Archive for March, 2013


I Did It!

31 March 2013

31 blog posts in 31 days.  I’m not quite sure how I managed it this year as March has been an incredibly busy month for me.  I was fortunate that topics just presented themselves – I didn’t have to think much about what to write about.

Looking back over the month’s posts, I think there was a bit of something for everyone.  The myths of the Health and Safety Executive, my anniversaries, a couple of plugs for indie-dyers, a couple of updates on the demise of the Kerrie Allman “empire”, life in Australia, life in general and of course the Sydney Easter Show (more to come on that).  

The prize draw is still open so if you haven’t already left a comment here, you’re welcome to do so now;  the winner will be picked from the hat by David on 1st April.  I’ve had 91 comments so far, the most coming from the post about Microsoft advising its staff that they can’t import dead animals into the UK (which tells me a lot about the sort of people who read my blog!)

Thank you all for your support this month and your kind words.      



Yet Another Anniversary

30 March 2013

March is the month I blog every day because it marks the anniversary of Pompom. On 9th March we celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. And today is the 10th anniversary of my moving to Australia.  Note that I was married to David for a year before I moved here to actually LIVE with him!  Although the wedding took place here (because of UK legislation about residency before a wedding, which David couldn’t comply with), I had to leave the country a week after the ceremony because I didn’t have a residency visa and it took me a year to get one, to sell my flat in London and to move out here.

I worked out recently that I’ve lived in 18 towns and cities (in 3 countries – England, Scotland and Australia)  so being the “new girl in town” isn’t new to me.  I knew nobody in Sydney except for David so had to “work” to make friends.  The first few months were spent getting paid employment and settling in.  I knew that we would be moving from our rented flat so didn’t make a great deal of effort to make friends until we bought a house in a different area.

Then I did what I usually do in a new town – if I met someone (mainly through work) I liked, I suggested lunch, coffee or whatever.  Or invited them over for a meal.  I went along to a couple of local groups that were of interest (non-knitting groups) and met Lara at one of those and we’ve been friends ever since. Then I read one day on the internet about people meeting up to knit.  I’d been knitting since I was 5 but it was always something I’d done in the privacy of my own home and had never made friends through it. 

So I thought I’d go along to one, at a cafe in Newtown (a suburb of Sydney).  I had a great time with a lovely group of people – men and women, all ages – and have never looked back!  I made friends that day and they’re still my friends.  Hello, Mary-Helen.

So after ten years here, I know lots of people some of whom I would count as very good friends, I have a pretty good social life, and the added bonus is that my knitting skills have improved!

So thank you, Australia.


“More Than My Job’s Worth”

29 March 2013

The Myth Busters section of the UK’s Health and Safety Executive really does have some beauties (I’ve mentioned the myth about charity shops not being allowed to sell knitting needles, and the conkers ban in schools – all presented as H & S problems and denied categorically by the Executive).

There are stories about Chinese restaurants not being allowed to provide finger bowls  (the HSE says this is just a blatant excuse for poor customer service),  a local parks department banning the small wooden canes used to protect daffodil bulbs (HSE says an incredibly minor risk to the public who should not be walking through the daffodils anyway), and the London Underground cleaners banned from wearing woolly hats (HSE says that if they’re cold it would seem sensible to wear a hat as long as it doesn’t impair vision or hearing).

“Can’t do it, mate.  It’s against Health and Safety” would appear to have become  a “catch all” phrase when either the person can’t be bothered to do something, or can’t be bothered to explain the real reason for the ban.

It’s a lovely site.  I’ve spent many an hour there!


Sydney Easter Show ….. No. 6

28 March 2013

Big drum roll please for the BIG winner:

Cabinet of Excellence - finest lace shawl, less than 4ply

This shawl created by Helen Taylor won the Margo Chick award for the best knitted piece at the Show (Margo Chick founded the NSW Knitters Guild) and it also won the Frances Binnie Award, which is for the best item in the entire Arts and Crafts competition.  That includes painting, sculpture, ceramics, leather and silver work etc.  So a wonderful achievement for this excellent knitter.  I don’t know what the pattern is or the yarn, but it’s 2ply at the most (laceweight). It may be finer than that.  

Beautiful knitting.

Technorati Tags:


Striking Off

27 March 2013

If you are a creditor of Craft Magazines Limited you should have been advised that the company has applied to be struck off the Register of Companies at the UK’s Companies House. You’re a creditor if you’re owed money or goods – so if you have an unfulfilled magazine subscription, you’re an unpaid employee or you’re an unpaid designer, then you’re a creditor. 

The company has made no attempt to settle its debts, and its accounts have not been (and will not be) audited by an independent third party if it’s struck off. Creditors therefore have no way of knowing if there is any money to pay them.

You can object for any or all of the following reasons:

  1. The company has an unsatisfied CCJ, and therefore legal action still pending against it.
  2. We understand that not all creditors have been advised of the striking off nor were advised that the company has ceased trading. Certainly not all people who held magazine subscriptions have been advised but there are also creditors owed much larger sums of money who have not heard a word. 
  3. They have to have ceased trading for at least three months prior to the application to be struck off and it would appear that may be the case.  HOWEVER, they must not in the last three months have disposed of assets or rights that they held for gain prior to that time. The magazine title Simply Beautiful was held as an asset for gain during the normal course of their business. They disposed of it less than three months ago – by giving it to a creditor in lieu of payment.  My understanding of this clause therefore means that they’re not eligible.  (And of course that raises the matter of the preferential treatment of one creditor).   

To object, you can phone 0303 1234 500  (from the UK) or email  Quote Craft Magazines Limited, Company Number 08051158.

Technorati Tags: ,


Sydney Easter Show . . . No. 5

26 March 2013

I mentioned the other day that I’d talk about tension/gauge of many garments I came across at the Easter Show.  Because I was able to actually handle the garments this year and not just stare at them through glass, I learnt a great deal about other people’s knitting styles. 

A number (and I mean a lot) of the knitting was as stiff as a board.  I got the impression that the knitter had looked at the ball-band, followed the recommendations for what size needles to use and off she went.  The fact that she was knitting some sort of fairisle or slip stitch pattern wasn’t going to deter her from following the instructions to the letter.  The result was that a couple of garments felt like strait-jackets and one baby cardigan would have broken the arm of any baby who tried to bend it. 

I’ve done it myself.  I knitted a jumper a couple of years ago and part way up the body was pleased to see that the gauge was spot on.  So I kept going until I’d nearly finished the whole body when it dawned on me (I know, I can be a bit slow sometimes) that the drape was dreadful.  It would have been like wearing cardboard.  I was so concerned with the size of the jumper and the quality of the stitches, I’d forgotten that it was supposed to be WEARABLE.

I did a knitting course once where the tutor kept banging her mantra into us – “Once you’ve knitted a few rows, it’s no longer knitting.  It’s fabric”.

I try to bear that in mind and I hope you do too if you’re thinking of entering the Show next year.    

Technorati Tags:


Sydney Easter Show . .. . No. 4

25 March 2013

Last year, I entered the “sleeveless cardigan/sweater – 4ply or over” category so obviously I was interested to see what the garments were like this year.    sleeveless garment, 4ply or over

The Blue Ribbon winner is the one in the top left hand corner, knitted by a Guild friend, Kris (Web Goddess). She’s come so near but managed to just miss the top prize on a number of occasions – lots of 2nd, 3rd and Highly Commendeds I believe, but this is her first FIRST.   

Kris also designed and knitted these mittens, which are extraordinary.  They have knitted into them a QR code which, when scanned, takes you to the web page containing the pattern.  Not sure how she got that QUITE so accurate – could have been a bit embarrassing if a black stitch here and there had been replaced with a white one, and the link went to a porno page or the website of the local Thai take-away.  But they work.  Congratulations Kris – I’m looking forward already to seeing what you come up with next year.

Creative/original design

Technorati Tags: