Sunday, February 22, 2009

2am, a fine time for making plans -

I am making a liar out of me - or attempting it. This week at work I said to a friend, 'No, no. No travel plans this year. This year is all about saving money and learning to be good at my job, no more flitting about, ha ha ha.'

And I was going to write to Amelia to say, 'No, no - my travel plans to BC are a long way off, I am not likely to be swinging by your place in the next three years or so.'

I had resurrected the Wool and Whisk(e)y tour of Scotland, now with added Ireland, plan.

I had told a friend, 'No, no, I am not going to come with you on a once-in-a-lifetime trip through Kyrgyzstan where I would ride on a horse and live in a yurt (who else is ever going to ask me to come to Kyrgyzstan and ride horses??).

And then *she* writes about *this*. And I just about had heart failure and died when I saw that list of names. And now I am wondering if work will give me a week (and a bit) of leave without pay and I am pinning out the Hap Blanket, checking flight prices to Vancouver on the internet.

The only room with enough carpet to pin it out on is the living room. I will try and explain to my long-suffering housemate in the morning what a large damp blanket (that smells, slightly, of moth balls) is doing pinned to the living room floor. These shots are from earlier.

The angora in the Naturally is lovely and soft, although it sheds like a bastard - I have been covered in fluff for days. And I used all but forty grams of it, it has been sitting in stash for five years. Hurrah. (Just as well I started on a stash diet (and have stuck to it in spite of sore temptation) seeing as I want to spend a stupid amount of money to go and knit socks.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Castro's and respect -

If you order your fancy chai with soy at Castro's, it comes with free with $3 worth of respect.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Green -

I have a favourite biscuit recipe - I made it up myself, it is an M&Ms and Baileys recipe. When I grabbed the most recent packet of M&Ms at the shops, I wasn't paying attention. The M&Ms were all the same colour. It Irished up the biscuits.

I am so nearly there with the hap blanket, only you can't see because it looks like a large, blobby sea creature, not a blanket.

And I found a clothes moth - chemical warfare has ensued.

M&Ms and Bailey's biscuits
, by me

125 g butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
glug of Baileys
2 eggs
1 tsp bicarb soda
2 cups plain flour*
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 250g packet M&Ms**

oven 180° C
baking paper
2 x oven trays

cream butter and sugar.
mix in Baileys.
add eggs, one by one.
mix in the rest by hand.

Bake 12-15 minutes (until they have browned a little) (in my oven [poor lame duck that it is] they can take nearly half an hour).

*if you accidentally use self-raising flour it makes them huge and chewy - not necessarily a bad thing (I accidentally make them with self-raising flour every time now)
**you might be tempted to go more, I often am, but it ends with bad clumping of M&Ms.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


A little bit of Finland arrived in the mail today.

Thank you for your interest in my ladybirds. Here are your stitch markers and something extra, too: it is a cell phone charm, hope you like it! The coat in the card is a work of art by a Finnish artist called Anni Rapinoja. She makes fabulous things out of materials from nature, such as common reed, feathers and twigs. There is something very "Finnish" in her art, and that is shy I wanted to mention it and send you this card. Thank you and have fun knitting!

The jacket, made from Phragmites australis.

And the stitch markers. I am delighted by them. I asked for some mingus ones and I love them in all their pop-eyed glory. And they have arrived in perfect time as I struggle to move the too-small stitch markers round the needles of the hap blanket.

And the phone charm is keeping my phone safe.

And I am off to investigate Anni Rapinoja. Gosh, but I love the internet.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oh yeah, and I love Randall, too.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Nightmarish -

Today has been the longest day ever. It started with a nightmare at 2.30am, that I didn't get back to sleep from. It middled with two of the worst classes I have ever tried to teach (so many things went wrong at once that I couldn't even get upset. It was ridiculously bad, laughably.) It was coloured by weird end-of-days red light. The afternoon saw me at the pub. The evening was all about rooftop bars in the city. It is ending with the start of the Hap Blanket.

The nightmare was epic and had clear symbolism that suggested my subconscious does not think kids/kittens/husbands/staying in Melbourne is the best decision. I was talked out of Eritrea tonight, so Tibet it is.
Bushfire Housing -

A friend has just started a site to help connect people who have spare rooms/houses with people who have no room/house.

She says:
"Hi All,

I’ve been working with my wonderful co-workers Jon, Gil Dimitry, Becky, Ben and Andrew on a very exciting project to aid in bushfire relief for the past two days, and the first iteration has just been released!

Please be upstanding for Bushfire Housing [], an online tool to facilitate the pairing of
those that are homeless due to the Australian bushfires with those that have room in their house, a vacant rental, newly purchased
investment property or holiday home they wish to offer as temporary accomodation.

We Need Your Help

This site isn’t going to work if no-one knows about it, so please tell everyone you know. If you can help, please sign up and list yourself. Go viral - post this on Twitter and, write a blog post, set your LinkedIn and Facebook statuses. Call your local talk back radio show. Email your friends and colleagues. Add a Bushfire Housing badge to your blog and company web sites.

Have you got an idea of how to spread the word? Let me know in the comments of my blog -

What’s In Store For The Site?

We wrote the whole site in about 8 hours and have spent the last 6 hours working on minor bug fixes and UI updates. Given the nature of the site, we’re working extreme agile; ideally having multiple release cycles per day.

Stuff for phase two includes SMS notification, Google map integration and more. If you have any suggestions or feedback, leave a comment.

Thanks in advance for your support,


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hap(py) -

I pre-ordered Ysolda's Whimsical Little Knits because I loved the Hap blanket so much. And I have been waiting and waiting (not very patiently) and I know what yarn I am going to use.

Naturally Sensation

And Rowan kid classic

But my abundant knitting time has dwindled, and I really wanted to get the owls finished by March, and I have a few other things I ought to be doing before I cast on something so indulgent.

I might just ball up a few skeins and decide if I am going to hold the yarn double (I think there is enough, I got it so long ago, there will be no chance of getting any more if I run out, though) or if I double the stitch count.

Is it likely I'll cast on tonight? I mention only that I have no needles large enough, but it wouldn't be the first time that I've made do on 6.5mm with my relaxed (sounds so much nicer than loose, no?) gauge.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kitten, please -

I am having a massive bad craving to adopt a kitten, lately. And it is not helped by knitbloggers and their bloody cute cat photo posting. It must stop! (I *really* want the snowcat).

The other night while I was jogging (yeah, you heard me, ...I don't believe it either) I kind of blissed out and, when I 'came to' at the end of the lap, I had decided about how life is going to happen during the next bit. I am not going to go to Eritrea or [insert troubled/war-torn country of choice here] next year. I am going to learn how to teach properly here, first (and go to Eritrea in a couple of years time). I am going to meet a nice man on Friday night, we are going to have 8 baby boys (whom I am going to name after my favourite boys - James, Simon, Jonah, Alex, Albert, Jeremy, Harry and Neil). I am going to get a kitten and I am going to settle down. (I may have got the order muddled). I feel so relieved, now that life is all sorted out.

Well, until I get a bad day at school or remember that kittens last for twenty years and babies longer.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

This happens to me often. Oh. And. I love Neil Gaiman.

Monday, February 09, 2009

I don't know how to say how I feel about these fires. I remember in Ash Wednesday when communities, usually united only by proximity and constant bickering, dropped all grievances and fought bloody hard. Together. First against the fires, then to rebuild. I'd be rubbish as a CFA volunteer and I will be no help with rebuilding (unless someone needs some grouting, I can do grouting now).

So, I dipped in to the yarn budget, helps me avoid SABLE* a little longer, might help someone else a little. I'll go give blood when they've got time (and after I've got a few good steaks under my belt.)

*Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy.
Happiness is...

Homemade pizza.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Neighbours -

The man in the flat opposite ours SINGS (there is no tune or rhythm or pitch, so it is up for debate exactly what to call what he is doing, apart from LOUD) and plays the DRUMS (enthusiastically, but out of time).

And now for some unrelated photographs.

He indulges in these pastimes at stupid o'clock in the morning. And midday and mid-afternoon. His offspring often play their music loud, with the window open, attempting to play along on a guitar, and singing. Their talent is evidence of the marvels of genetic inheritance.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Stupid hot -

The temperature is skulking around just under 46°C (115°F). The change is coming up the coast, but is not due for another couple of hours. I have brought all my pot plants in from the balcony - the heat was killing them as I watched.

It has just got too hot to knit.

So I am showing you Rovásírás and some graffiti.

And now a cool shower. I pong.