Archive for April, 2010


Home and Hobbling

30 April 2010

After 16 days in hospital, they sent me home.  With crutches.  I can do a few things for myself, very slowly, but am so dependent on my incredibly capable and kind husband for most of my needs – like food, for instance.   Fortunately he’s not only a great cook but he loves it (and I don’t).  The division of labour in our house has always been that he does the cooking and I do the knitting – seems fair and equitable to me.

I’m still heavily dependent on my friends though to provide me with a bit of company and to allow David to “do his own thing” without having to worry about me.  I can’t really be left alone at the moment as I’m petrified I’ll fall over.  I have no family in Australia, except for David, so my friends have been my lifeline to the outside world.  Everyone has been so incredibly kind and generous with their time that I’ll never be able to truly thank them.  I just hope that when they need a friend, I won’t be found wanting.

Now that I’m at home, I can catch up with what’s been going on in the world.  Fortunately one of the most comfortable places for me to sit is at my computer so I’m able to read the news and gossip.  I’m getting stronger every day so I’m sure it won’t be too long before I can get out and about.  In the meantime, there’s loads of knitting to be done, so it isn’t all bad!

Thank you all so much for your kind messages, so many of which I’ve received from complete strangers who have been listening to the Sticks and String podcasts. 

Thank you everyone.



Thank You . . .THANK YOU!

21 April 2010

This will be short – I’m propped up in bed trying to type on the tiniest keyboard.

For those not aware, 10 days ago I fell over, broke my hip in two places and have been in hospital ever since.

Complete disaster EXCEPT if you want to tell me that you’ve better friends or family than I have, I would have no hesitation in calling you a liar!

When I’m a little more capable, I’ll tell you all about the extraordinary kindness I’ve received from friends, relatives, acquaintances and complete strangers.

Thank you, all of you.


And The Window Dresser Of The Year Award . . . .

11 April 2010

Does NOT go to the person who displays the knitted items at the Sydney Easter Show.

Everyone complains at the dreadful way so many of these items are displayed – we’ve had upside down, back to front, and hung up with fishing wire and hooks.  I was told by the ‘officials’ at the show that they’re “Professional window dressers”.  She didn’t mention what type of windows they normally dress but most of the skills would appear more suited to a fishmongers or butchers.

I think the best example this year was how this shawl became this:


It’s the black one.

And this gives you a ‘feel’ of the sweater/cardigan cabinet:


Truly dreadful.


A Purple THING

10 April 2010

I finished the purple ‘thing’ over the Easter weekend and have managed to wear it a couple of times.  It looks better with a thin black vest underneath but although it won’t be long before the winter sets in, today was really warm. 

I have to say it’s the most dreadful piece of knitting I’ve produced for many a long year – the finishing is really poor, the yarn was awful.  It’s Rowan Linen Drape which is now discontinued.  The colours in the range were terrific but it’s very difficult to work with.

But I really like wearing it.  It’s a great colour and I love the way it drapes and swings about when I walk. 

Purple Linen


A Complete Mystery

7 April 2010

Today I “reviewed” the knitting at the Easter Show with David of Sticks and String fame. 

It isn’t easy to talk about knitting for a podcast – the listeners can’t see what you’re talking about.  David and I did our best to describe everything but it isn’t always possible to quite get the flavour – and some of the items are indescribable.  Some are stunningly beautiful . . . and some aren’t.

Some are obvious ribbon winners but, shall I say, the winning features of some of them weren’t immediately obvious to either David or myself. 

Should we all get off our backsides and enter modern garments, knitted with newer techniques and newer yarns?  Or should we continue to produce garments more suitable to the 1950’s because those are the ones that so often win the prizes?  Should we bother at all? 

Why would anyone want to enter a competition where the criteria for winning are so shrouded in secrecy?  Are there any marks given for creativity, for choice of colours and yarn?  Or does it just come down to how you sewed up the seams and sewed in the sleeves? 

Who enters a competition where you’re not told what you have to do to win?  Isn’t that called a lottery?

It’s a mystery shrouded in yarn.





Atheism As The Root Of All Evil?

5 April 2010

I really can’t let this Easter weekend pass without commenting on the utter garbage coming out of the mouths of otherwise educated and presumably intelligent people.

The words of Anthony Fisher, Catholic Archbishop of Parramatta (an area of Sydney):

“Last century we tried Godlessness on a grand scale and the effects were devastating: Nazism, Stalinism, Pol-Potery**, mass murder, abortion and broken relationships – all promoted by state-imposed atheism”     

State-imposed “Godliness” has had some pretty devastating effects – the Inquisition and the Holy Wars are the immediate ones that spring to mind, and in the 20th Century, what about Bosnia, Northern Ireland and the Middle East?    

Both parties can argue till the cows come home which side of the religious spectrum has produced the most horror but that surely isn’t the point and just diminishes the argument, unless you consider it’s really been reduced to the “religion makes you good” one. 

All religious beliefs have produced good and honourable people – as has atheism.

All religious beliefs have produced murderers and despots – as has atheism.

And “produced” probably isn’t the right word – I don’t think that people have been necessarily made the way they are by their religion (or lack of it).

Archbishop Fisher also said “We find no community services sponsored by the atheists” which I find particularly insulting. 

Most of my good friends, but not all, are atheists.  Some are Christians.  But they are ALL generous in spirit, ethical, honourable and kind.  They would ALL help others, friends or strangers, in need.  Because they believe in society and community, NOT because they believe in God.

**Pol-Potery – isn’t that a wonderful word?


I Did It!

4 April 2010

I finished the items still sitting on needles or waiting for buttons and CAST ON something new on Friday night. 

Then tonight, I pulled it off the needles and cast it on again – all 326 stitches and 4 inches of it.. 

I’m really not sure where my brain is lately. 

It’s an idea I had for a jacket with two cables up the back and one on each front.  Meticulously worked out where to put the cables so that they wouldn’t be lost in the neck or armhole decreases.  But as I fell asleep last night, it dawned on me that when they meet at the shoulder seams, they won’t match – they were about 3 stitches out. 

So I had no alternative really.  Off it came, I re-did the maths and started again. 

If I didn’t have to knit everything twice, I’d get far more done.     


It’s Not ERNIE, But David**

2 April 2010

The competition has closed, the names randomly listed (two lists – one for Australian residents and one for residents from overseas), and each name given a number.  David then picks two numbers (without of course seeing the names – though most of the time they wouldn’t mean much to him).  The numbers were 1-30 and 1-8.

And he picked:

19 – who is MEG   

And 2 – who is PAT

Meg was in my knitting circle of friends when she lived in Sydney but she moved back to Victoria a couple of years ago.  She’s having her first baby at the end of this month – so I wouldn’t imagine she’s going to get much knitting done in the immediate future. 

And Pat is a friend I’ve made via my blog.  She lives in Dover (Delaware) in the USA and she was also the winner of the first competition I held here.  Funnily enough, we were emailing each other about half an hour before David conducted the draw. She recently lost her job when the company she was with closed and as she’s a few months older than me, and unemployment is at a nearly record high in the USA, I don’t think she held out much hope of getting another one.  But undeterred, she got out there and, lo and behold, she’s got a new job.  So congratulations on the job, and congratulations on the win.

I don’t buy the prizes until I know the winners’ names, so don’t be disappointed that you haven’t got a parcel at your front door next week.  I’ll let you know when they’ve been despatched.

Thank you all for reading this month.  Pompom now goes into its 4th year.

**  A reference that probably means little to anyone who isn’t English.  ERNIE is the Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment that is used to pick the winners of Premium Bonds in the UK each month.  


One Promise Kept

1 April 2010

Well, at least I managed to keep THIS promise.  I said I’d blog every day until 1st April and here we are. 

Some days haven’t been too easy (this is one of them – in Sydney it’s nearly midnight on the 1st so I only just made it).    

But it’s been fun and I’ve heard from loads of you with comments – thank you.   114 comments from 38 people.

David will do the draw in the morning and the winners of the Pompom 2010 Blogaversery Prizes will be announced tomorrow – the 3rd anniversary of my blog. 

So please come back tomorrow and find out if you’ve won.

PS:  And I’m on track to allow myself to cast on something over Easter.  Photos over the weekend.

PPS:  For those of you who expressed an interest in the design book I told you about yesterday, it cost AU$34.15 from the Book Depository.