Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Schmocks

Taa daa - a boxful of socks and such all ready to be sent off to Can Assist!



I've finished the second pair of smockies
(and, yes, started on the third thankyouverymuchforasking) -
I'll try to post them soon =)

xo

BTW: Gordon is on 3 nights this week - it's so exciting!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

socksy

Check out these Jet Clafoutis socks, part of the latest installment from Taph and her mum for Can Assist.



That green's pretty huh?
Much nicer than the camel?



Dudes, they're the same!!!!!

Spidey did an over-dye job on the camel and came up with that divine green!!

Have I ever mentioned that I love her work??

xo

Sunday, April 27, 2008

oooh, go on!

Won't you have a cup of tea??

If you do, would you save the tea bag string??



Rachel at Beth Bynnag is hoping to collect 1000 tea bag strings to be knit-up as a craft/art/recycling statement project.

Get in touch with her if you can help out =)

xo

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nerd, geek or dork?

The nerd/geek thing seems to come up a bit when knitters get together, and this past week a friend and I were discussing nerds and geeks, what each means and whether there's a difference (deep, I know).

By complete coincidence I stumbled across a discussion thread on Ravelry which covered the very same topic.
Participants in the thread were posting and discussing their results from an online quiz - nerd, geek or dork?

Here's my results =)


Your Score: Modern, Cool Nerd


73 % Nerd, 52% Geek, 39% Dork



For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!

You can find out whether you're a nerd, dork or geek here!
Ooooh, and do share =)

xo

Friday, April 25, 2008

Birthday weekend


Thanks to everyone for your birthday wishes - I don't think I've had so many Happy Birthdays since my whole school class was invited to my birthday party (I was 11, and there was only 9 of us in the class!!)

There was a very exciting Gordony present from the boy (who was very pleased with himself for having remembered to buy wrapping paper, only to discover when he started wrapping that the lovey silver paper he'd picked out was actually clear cellophane...hehe)

The Boy made pancakes for breakfast, we had a visit from Maria, and then party pies and footy =)

We went out for a lovely dinner, and thanks to the wonders of modern technology (thanks Skype and facebook chat =)) I was able to talk to my Danish family, and catch up with some other friends =)

The birthday excitement continues through the weekend (I believe a birthday should last until you next have to go back to boring old work - I get the whole weekend this year!) - I'm catching up with Liv (whose birthday it is next week) tomorrow, then seeing the Boy's dad for lunch on Sunday and J-Mo in the afternoon =)

Thanks again for your kind thoughts =)
xo

Thursday, April 24, 2008

torch day

This morning we left for work uber early, on account of wanting to avoid the traffic issues caused by some roads being closed for the torch.

The Balloon Spectacular is on this week (finishes Sunday 27), and as we were driving toward the city we could see 12 or so balloons lazily drifting around.

From the city, waiting for the bus, I could just see these two.


I was a bit excited about the view I would get coming across the bridge - the lake looks so nice at that time of the morning, and with all those balloons it would be gorgeous!
I made sure I had a window seat, and my camera at the ready to take a few quick snaps out the window.
By the time we were on the bridge...

Nothing.
Just a couple of guys on their way to join in the torch celebrations.

(Speaking of the torch, last week at the concert someone in the audience called out Free Tibet, and kd said indeed, and that maybe we'd bump into her stomping around for the cause. I thought she was joking, but check out some of these face in the crowd captures on Flickr.)

If you're around Canberra I would absolutely recommend getting up a bit early over the weekend and having a look at the balloons - it's a good excuse for a nice cafe breakky too =)

xo

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

FO Marching on

I'm not sure why this guy took me so long to finish.
Perhaps just for the fact that I have to get off the couch to get my crochet hook and, let's face it, by the time my butt hits that couch off an evening it's gonna take more than a crochet hook to get me up (unless, of course, I've sat on said hook).



Here's the deets...
Pattern: Cygnus square
Yarn: Something acrylic from Big W (?)
Hook: 6.5mm (K)
Modifications: Nope
Size: 12"

Granny squares continue to fascinate me, and the 12" block-a-month CAL is still proving to be a great way to explore different patterns, and techniques - last month there was surface chaining, this month there's some crocheting into back of loop (I love how it looks like a real frame - I seriously think it's amazing the variety you can get from crocheting a stitch only slightly differently like that!)

So, now I've got a week to get of my butt for April, before May hits!
eeek

xo

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday, Saturday

In over two years worth of weekends together the Boy and I have developed some Saturday rituals.
However, it was only when we had a weekend guest a couple of weeks ago that I realised what creatures of habit we have become, and at no time more so than during the winter - when there's footy on.

This weekend I thought it might be fun to share a typical footy season Saturday.

We love to do a good breakfast on Saturday morning, and whilst the rest of the year we can generally be found at one of our favourite breakfasty cafes, during winter we stay in.
This is partly because of the cold, but mostly because we love to listen to the Coodabeen Champions' radio footy show. Only the second hour is broadcast into Canberra, so we stream via the ABC Melbourne website.

The Boy is in charge of coffee (which is served in our footy mugs on Saturday mornings!), whilst I look after the food.
Sometimes we have french toast or pancakes, but lately it's been all about the waffles. I use Georgie's recipe - actually I've put a link in the sidebar there to save me looking it up every week! (I hope you don't mind George - I just love it!)


Whatever we have, it's usually served with bacon and maple syrup mmmmmm ;)

The Coodabeens finish at 1, so there's just enough time for a quick shower, and a trip to the shops if we need any supplies for the day.
Then at 2:10 it's game on - the afternoon is spent on the couch, crafting and watching whatever afternoon game is on TV.
This week was possibly the match of the round - Geelong vs Sydney - and was working on my March (yes, it is April, thanks for reminding me) square for the 12" block-a-month CAL I'm part of on Ravelry.



If either of our teams are playing on Saturday evening, and the game is only on pay TV, it's time to pull on the footy jumper and head off to our local club.


This week my Hawks were playing J-Mo's Lions, so it was the perfect opportunity to catch up for a drink or two.
Oh, and the Hawks won! Hurrah!

Of course, we're not totally inflexible about our Saturday - I mean, sometimes we watch the afternoon game at the club and the evening at home, or even skip the evening game and head to the club for the Sunday match instead =)

Do you have a Saturday ritual you don't like to break or other favourite weekend pleasure? I'd love to hear about it =)

xo

Friday, April 18, 2008

time enough if goood enough

A quick reminder - there is still time (about two weeks) before the Knitting for Can Assist comp closes.

If you've sent off some socks, or anything else, please drop me a line (if you haven't already) by May 2nd to let me know and to make sure you're the running for one of our GRAND PRIZES! =)



These guys are from the free pattern Clafoutis (Rav), which knits up quickly and (as you can see) rather handsomely in Jet.
(The two pairs at the front are mine, at the back are Taph's, erm, Camel Toes...) ;-)

I hope to try and get a pair of Pink Ribbons Breast Cancer Awareness socks knit up in the next two weeks - I found the cute, free pattern on Ravelry and thought they were worth sharing.

Thank goodness for the weekend - and a short week (and my birthday!) next week =)
Looking forward to seeing some of my fellow Canberrans on Sunday =)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Some other kind of thumb

When I was making my first pair of smockies I wrote a little bit on the afterthought thumb - how you work it and some of things I think are good and bad about it.

In that post I mentioned that I would probably do things a little bit differently on my second pair, and now I've finished with the first one of my next pair I thought I'd share some pics of how these thumbs are being worked.

(I don't know what you call this thumb?? Anybody?)

So, the smockie is knit as per the pattern just like when you're using the afterthought thumb.
Instead of knitting the thumbs stitches onto waste yarn, you just slip them onto a stitch holder (or, well, waste yarn) - see?



Then you just cast on the same number across the top (I use the backward loop cast on for that).

Once you've knit the main part of your smockie/mittens you just go back, slip your stitches back to a needle from your stitch holder, pick up the stitches from your cast on edge (remember, because of the shape of stitches, if you cast on 8 over the thumb gap you'll be picking up 9) and one from each side.
Then just knit out your thumb.

I prefer this method to the afterthought, because I like to have the thumb gap there - it makes it much easier to try on, which in turn makes judging the length easier.



As Amy (from Rhode Island) pointed out in the comments to my post on the afterthought, the problem with both of these methods is that there can be trouble with fit - since your hands probably aren't actually that shape.

This hasn't really been too much of a problem for me as far as the smockies are concerned - being all rib (and a relatively soft gauge) means that they're flexible enough to stretch and hug the shape of your hand.
On the other hand (hehe get it?) something with a firmer, less stretchy gauge wont be so forgiving.

And here ends today's thumby lesson.

****

Knitting time has been a little sparse chez Kuka this week - Other Life Stuff has been getting it the way. In a good way.
The Boy and I have some exciting stuff going on that I'm not keen to share just yet - not until it's certain for sure.
Oh, and it's not related to the recent stashing and interest in yarns and patterns for little guys, just in case anyone is suspicious - it's not that kind of Life Stuff!

BTW, the yellow is best represented (on my screen, at least) in the shot where I'm trying it on =) Kind of. But a bit more custard, a bit less lemon

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

kd

I don't want to gush, you know, I think, when it comes to live music, I gush too much?



But kd was brilliant - funny, friendly, quirky, charming, beautiful, entertaining. And that voice. She stands there barefoot on stage, and there's this voice. And I look from her to the speakers, and just can't believe that the voice is coming from that little person on the stage, you know?
And the voice is loud and strong and gentle and soft and round and warm and carries emotion so well you want to cry - and all that depth and variation is coming from that little person on the stage.
It is just amazing.

The entire set was divine, and it was incredible and touching to witness live performances of Hallelujah and The Valley (both from Hymns of the 49th Parallel)

I feel like we've been so lucky the past 6 months, with some really top acts including Canberra on there tours (despite being the capital we're small enough to get left out).
So thanks for coming, kd - you're welcome back any time!!

xo

BTW, see the tickets there - row RR seats 46 and 47?
There were 4 of us together, seats 44 to 46, but when we arrived at the end of the row we could see there were only 3 empty seats where our four should have been.
So, I scooted across, cleared my throat, held out my ticket and said "um, sorry, excuse me, we have seat RR47 - maybe you're in the wrong row?"
"Sorry love - this is RR48"
Sure enough, we counted across RR - 45, 46, 48, 49... no RR47!!!
Luckily there was a spare seat at the end so everyone moved down one.
Can you believe it?? I swear there's a curse...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bobby Bobmas everybobby!



(did you really think I could resist a holiday celebrated with cupcakes??)

Friday, April 11, 2008

FO: Smockies!!!

Finally I have photos that are worth posting (thanks to my lovely hand model!), so I can now present to you the finished smockies!!!



So, here's The 411:
Pattern: Smockies (rav link). This is a free pattern which was entered in a 'design-along' (the winner of which, I think, was these mittens - ha too cute!!)
Source: BenteB's Blog - Bente posts in her native Norwegian, with English translations too - check out the gorgeous scarves and shawls!!
Yarn: Patons Feathersoft 8ply - almost exactly one ball (you can see in the bottom shot how little I had left)
Needles: 2.5mm dpns
Modifications: Ok, I really used the pattern mostly as a guide, because i love the idea so much.

Here's how my smockies went:
Casting on 60 seemed like way to many, for my yarn and needles anyway, so I went with 48 (I thought I needed a multiple of 3, for some reason - weird that's what happened with the broomhead scarf too).
I 'split' the stitches 20/28 for the palm/back of the hand (loosely based on the proportions in Bente's pattern).

It's important to know which stitches are the back of the hand, because after the ribbing you increase to have extra stitches on the back of the hand only - to make up for the loss of elasticity you'll get with the smocking stitch pulling the ribs together (does that make sense?? It's so clever really).
I increased to 55 stitches (you really do need a multiple of 5 here) - spacing the 7 increases evenly through my 28 'back of hand stitches'.
I used the afterthought thumb, as per the pattern, but I think I'll use something different on my next pair, since I like to be able to try on as I go.

I smocked about every 5 rows or so (that link is worth checking out if you haven't smocked before - it never occurred to me to carry the yarn up through the vertical rib, although that might not work with a contrasting colour anyway...)

So, obviously my row counting needs a bit more work since after the smocking was finished it's clear that I have one Smockie longer than the other (well, Dolly doctor says it's natural for them to be asymmetrical, anyway!), and the ribbing at the top is a bit longer on one too!

These were so fun to knit, and (did I mention?) such a clever idea - from something so simple you get a really impressive result.
I'll definitely be making a couple more pairs - I've already started a yellow/purple pair.

When I'm not working on the next Smockies (or thinking about what colour combo to try for my next), I'm working up the courage to cast on something that looks a bit trickier...
I got my hands on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket this week.
Think brave knitterly thoughts for me!!

xo

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ooodles of boodle

Oooh, there's been some boodle enhancement going on chez kuka!!
(Ok, despite how that sounds it has nothing to do with JLo-esque cosmetic surgery - my butt is just quite badonkadonk enough already, thank-you very much!)

Our Happy Spider recently received quite the delivery, and let me know that there might be a couple of things I was interested in...
Oooh, was she right!!!
Thanks Spidey!! ;)

I've got:

11 balls of paleish yellow Moda Vera Supremo cotton.

I've never really worn much yellow before - well, except my footy jumper ;) - but this spring/summer I've been all over it (or, it's been all over me - more accurately. And it suits me - I always get compliments in yellow =)
I'm thinking cardi for these, but not sure quite what...


Then there's the baby yarn.

Spidey originally asked whether I would be interested in the purple and limey green feathersoft (ooooooooh yes!!!), when I checked out what she had I put my hand up for some white and pink panda magnum too =) 10 balls of each!
(Actually, looking at the colour range at the Patons website it looks like they've got the feathersoft coming in some stronger colours - including red and navy blue!)

As well as a couple more things for Can Assist, I plan on trying out a couple of baby patterns. (They're so little!!!)
Speaking of little and baby clothes and knitting, I saw this picture on Ravelry today (that's the flickr link, though).
I think the bigger sweater is for a newborn and a the same pattern pattern knit up for a premie - I could not believe the difference in size!!! How can someone be so tiny???

Mum's been doing some premmie knitting too, between us some how I think we'll manage to get through this yarn ok ;)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I spy pies

I'm an absolute sucker for tv advertisments, and I only had to see the latest for Donna Hay magazine once to be sold.

Would you have a look at the pies on the cover!!???

If there is one thing I love more than tv advertisments and magazines it's a pie.

Especially during footy season -the Boy and I like to have a pie with the footy.
Whilst we love the good old four'n twenty, as a weekly habit we've been on the look-out for something with slightly more (or any) nutritious value.

Plus, the making at home factor adds some fun, and you know how I get all nesty about stocking the freezer around this time of year....

I was show-and-telling the mag for a work colleague when she said it:
"Oh, you should get a pie-maker."

A PIE-MAKER??!!!!
Can you believe I never thought of that myself!!!!!???
Genius!

Presenting my brand new pie-maker!!

On Saturday afternoon we cooked up the Beef and Red Wine pies from the Essential Baking Cookbook (naturally!) - the recipe says it serves 6, but I got 14 pies!

I'm not sure if you can make out what's on the top of those guys in the machine, but the one on the right has a guy marking a footy on it!
(the one on the left has stars)

Tonight we cooked up some good old-fashioned apple pie - does that count towards our 2 & 5??? ;)

I see pies in our future.
Lots of pies =)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Second smockies

Ok, so I still haven't posted my first finished smockies.... and yes I feel kinda guilty every time I think about it.

But I wasn't going to let that stop me casting on a second pair to keep me busy during my bus knitting time.

This pair is going to be yellow with purple (the first was green and pink).

These kinda odd colour combos are really appealing to me at the moment - green/pink, yellow/purple, purple/red, orange/blue, pink/yellow - and I'm finding the smockies, having one clearly dominant colour with just highlights of the second colour, are an excellent canvas for colour experimentation.

My broomhead scarf is coming along really well - it's knitting up so quickly!!

The yarn is so snowy snow white, but I am planning to work on a little felty embellishment for colour =)

We've got a fabulous day of footy planned today, ahhhh Saturday!
And with the end of daylight saving tonight we get an extra hour of sleep in the morning - bliss! =D

Friday, April 04, 2008

Wall of feathers

Lincraft, Civic

Scary but true.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What do you mean you're not stuffing my salad in a funnel?

Ooooh, what a weekend!

Harry was FABULOUS!!!
He's so funny and charming, and, well, voice of an angel!!!
He sounded exactly like on his CDs, and did I mention he's funny?

The set was more big band jazz than big band swing (and his big band musicians were amazing) and, from the couple of reviews I've looked at, he seems to mix it up a bit each night, and his chat with the audience spontaneous rather than a scripted spiel to use at each concert.

Saturday morning, very early, I jumped on a plane to Melbourne to join my family in celebrating my youngest sister (E)'s 21st birthday!!
HURRAH!!!

Mum wasn't expecting me (I only decided quite late I'd be able to make it) and was excited to have the chance to get some photos of us all together.

I have three younger sisters, and its quite rare for us all to be in the same place at the same time, and probably even more so to have Dad there too.

Luckily E got photoshop software as a birthday present, so now we don't even all have to be together for a family snap!! ;) (Joking, Mum hehe)

As usual there were lots of laughs, in particular on Sunday evening after Mum and I stumbled across a certain Secret Chimp on dvd (and sale!). Mum's been telling us about Lancelot Link as long as I can remember...

And how on earth did they get the chimps to do that?? There was an episode where they were threading a needle to sew on a button, or playing tennis??? Very silly! =)

That's Chef Ingy there, preparing chocolate croissants for our dessert on Sunday night.

Mmmmm - you just chop your puff pastry sheet into four triangles, spread with nutella and sprinkle with choc bits, then roll up and bake.

These guys were DELISH! Just the right amount of chocolatey! =)

Aah chocolate - you'd think we'd have had enough of it by now, wouldn't you?
Not a chance! ;D

besos =)