28 September 2007

Ooooh Ravelry....

I'm in! In a mad mad twist of fate, someone has used the name Jejune, so I'm Jejune19 on Ravelry. Hopefully soon ALL of you (who want to) can click on that link and have it work...

This is proving to be a very welcome distraction from the daily disappointments and dramas of trying to find a new place to live. I can't give it a lot of time, but half and hour here and there is nice. It's definitely addictive!

I thought you'd like to see my new Ashford swift, which is a thing of mesmerizing beauty when it's spinning around! It was put in action for the first time tonight (bugger about the boxes in the background, but well, we are moving after all... I'm still getting used to it!). The first sacrificial skein was my Fibreworks Possum Merino, which is now in a lovely squishy ball.

My sister in London sent me these badges (as well as a rather stunning piece of framed Chinese calligraphy that spells out my name!) - I love them all, although I think the "RELIGION. Stupid Then. Stupid Now." is my favourite.

And what do you think of my rather spiffy Liana Kebal original flower pin made especially for my Spring Shawl? How cool is that? And it came with a cute badge, too, "If it looks like a lolly, I like it" - Liana's sweet 'tag line'.

There are no open houses we can attend this weekend, as practically all the rental properties have a NO PETS policy, which is pissing us off no end. Cuts our possible houses down by about 90%. Which is, frankly, quite worrying. Ah well, we've got a few months to 'get lucky' in :/

26 September 2007

We have some winners!

Without further ado, the winners of my three Knitting Art card packs are ... (drum roll please) ...

Please email me with your postal address details, ladies!

And never fear everyone else, I will be repeating this event now and then :)

In other, less exciting news (and in brief) :

We had a great trip last weekend to Cooma to the Ashford / Past Times COMPLEX - this isn't just one shop, it's an old homestead as well, and so much more. Some pics for you to enjoy.... outside and in. Gay, the owner, was rather partial to Lulu ;) I now have a delightful Ashford wooden swift, too. It was worth the drive!

We visited family in Jindabyne, too - this is my niece Nicola with Lulu, who you will notice has a face mask, and is carrying a gun (thankfully only cardboard) - I'm sure not one of you is surprised.

As for my birthday - what can I say? My dear friends, you have ALL made it a very special time for me. Emails, comments, phone calls, gifts... I can't thank you enough. I don't have time to do justice to everything with photos, but a few highlights, amongst a truly stellar collection (including Belgian Dolfin chocolate) are George's stitch markers (made by her) :

  • The book Luxury Knits (cover in link differs from mine) from Bells
  • Purple & black striped pirate socks, purple MZ merino laceweight, and Ashford DPNs from Dotter
  • TWO sets of Brittany DPNs, nice short ones for socks, AND a lovely handmade shortbread stamp, from Taph
  • A BEAUTIFUL beret knit for me by Friend K. Beanies don't suit me. Berets do!
  • Danny Bhoy's Live Show DVD from my son
  • A hug from Dotter's Boyfriend M
  • and more...
My Secret Pal has outdone herself, with a special birthday edition package - with a copy of Knitting Lingerie Style, a back issue of Interweave Knits that I was missing, some cute magnets, candles, and more! The fibre highlights are two skeins of Koigu :

And two balls of NORO - my first ever! Amazing colourways, both of these. Molly, I am TRULY stunned.

The search for a new home has started, so I'm spending practically all my blogging time (and free time, and work time) trawling through real estate web sites, making calls, going to open houses, de-cluttering, packing, cleaning, and other vile tasks. I may be offline for some while, and not commenting or even reading blogs that much. I'll 'check in' when possible.

21 September 2007

Oh for joy

Just got The Call from our real estate agent - the house is being put on the market, so we have to move. No set deadline yet, but given the shocking state of Canberra's rental market (less than 1% vacancy rate, worst in history), we'd better start sooner rather than later. I was pretty sure we were on borrowed time, after the inspections and evaluations in March this year, so it's not a huge surprise. Bugger it. Our 11th move in 23 years.

In nicer news, here's the lovely green lightly-felted 'bag' that Susan sent me, FULL of Jolly Rancher watermelon lollies. Oh my! I *am* sharing, mostly. The bowl / bag is really wonderful, and will see much use, I'm sure. Thank you Susan!

In painterly news, here's Take 2 of my blue and white painting, in early stages...

... and where it's up to now. Hopefully I won't stuff it up in the final stages! The skein of wool only has it's under-painting done, lots more detail and depth to come... and the tea cup isn't quite finished yet, there's more pattern on the saucer to do.

Damn and blast. Gotta go start packing and house hunting. F**k.
Oh well, it's a good chance to de-clutter. whether we like it or not (and it's mainly not) :/

19 September 2007


In celebration of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, which just happens to be my birthday (aaaar, I be pirate through and through!), I hereby announce a birthday competition for all you beauties!

Leave a comment of any kind on this post, and in a week I will put all yer names in a pirate hat, and choose three of you to walk the plank win a mixed set of Knittin' Art cards! Now come on my lovelies and lurkers, don't be shy! Aaaaar!

17 September 2007

What, ANOTHER lace project?

This is the start of the Ogee Lace Skirt from Interweave Knits. I'm using the Bamboozle 70% bamboo / 30% cotton blend from Lincraft. It's pretty splitty - not a lot of twist, so the yarn is more like a collection of threads that happen to be hanging out together... a bit tricky to use. But very pretty. This is my first bamboo experience!

The lace pattern is pretty straightforward, the main trouble I'm having is the needles are so big (8 mm), and the lace is so 'loopy' that it's easy to lose track of stitches, or where you're up to. I think it will get easier as more rows are knitted. I've had to restart over once already, and am keeping a lifeline in (the white thread), and plenty of stitch markers! The yellow chain is the provisional cast on.

Thought you'd like to see a few pics of stuff being worn - the Archery Beanie in situ. I went down to the range yesterday and had a bloody great time - even got my first ever all gold end (ie all 3 arrows were in the gold middle bit)! Not bad after a 13 month hiatus. Boyfriend M is hooked after his first lesson, too :D

And the Pink Spring Shawl (Forest Canopy pattern) - this is the shawl that features in my 'Pink Shawl' painting.

On Saturday I had the chance to meet the delightful Rose Red! It's SO COOL to meet blog friends for real - what an amazing world! Bells, George, Rose Red and I had brunch at A Bite to Eat at the Chifley shops... mmmm, pancakes with caramelised mangoes... Lulu snuck along, too, and tried to convince me this sign applied to her. None of us was fooled.

I've just updated my Knitting Art shop - there are more things to choose from, and all the prices have gone DOWN. If you're in the USA / Canada, and hankering after a mixed set of cards, you can now purchase single Knitting Art cards, so you can buy one of each to make a mixed set. Aussies can still buy mixed sets directly from me, but I only have 4 designs printed. The Knitting Art Cafe Press shop has all 6 designs.

The 'blue and white' painting I mentioned a few weeks ago has been ruined by yours truly - bleah. I should have stopped when the masking tape removed the surface of the paper in a few small areas. Or when the lace tablecloth got too fussy and complicated. Or when .... ah well, we all gotta have the disasters to learn from - I'll be having another go at this one soon.

And in news just in - I've won Stacie's competition! W00t! Thank you Stacie!! :D I can feel a competition of my own coming on... long overdue - stay tuned!

12 September 2007

Back on target!

I've just completed two biggish puzzle jobs, above and beyond my usual workload, so I have resurfaced for air, and should be able to actually, you know, read blogs again! Anyway, on with the story...

I am an itinerant archer. I've had a bow for about 4 years now - I shoot a Samick Mizar recurve bow, with 22 lb Win & Win Challenger limbs. I like target and indoor archery best of all. My hubby and son also shoot (they're both compound archers). I love it, it's the only sport I really enjoy. However, I haven't shot for nearly a year :(

I'd like to shoot more regularly, but utter exhaustion, family duties, and fibromyalgia frequently get in the way. Highly frustrating. I work for our club as a committee member, having been Secretary, and currently being Registrar and Web Master, but rarely get on the range.

About a year ago I made a ribbed archery beanie, which although looking cool, was heavily on the large side. I've revisited the project, and after quite a bit of ripping out and other carryings on, have come up with this little number.

Posing with my Cartel arrows, arm guard and finger tab.

Here is it mid-way along. I knit it using the magic loop method, which worked a treat. The pattern is now up on my web site!

Dotter's boyfriend M wants to try archery (see, more proof that he's lovely!) so I'll be taking him to our Come & Try program this Sunday - a good chance to get my bow out too and get back into it! I'm planning to get some shooting time on my Tuesdays. The blasted weather hasn't been cooperating for the past fortnight, though – strong winds and rain are really no good for archery!

A gratuitous cute puppy piccie. For some reason Lily hopped into my son's rubbish bin (it was empty, honest!), and she liked it there! She sat in it for ages after he put it down sideways on the floor... All frow-ed out.
Hmmm, I probably should have thrown her out after the wee incident. It was my Branching Out alpaca scarf that was 'dipped' - it's all washed and better now.

My third Jejune day was very nice, thank you - didn't even step outside once. Slept in (Dotter is home sick, so no 8am trip to school), did some reading, and painting, and knitting. Not much else! Bliss!

In answer to Catsmum - it is hard using the bow with FMS - I have about the lightest draw weight possible, and can't shoot much further than 25 m, or more than about 30 arrows. I also practice with Theraband.

07 September 2007

Important Lesson

Never EVER wear a lovely long dangly handknit lace scarf while cleaning up dog wee from the floor.

F**k it.

And now for your viewing pleasure - the vest for my mum's birthday next week. All done. Completely reversible (thanks to knitting the body in the round and grafting the shoulder seams!). Happy to escort it off the premises.

I'm sure she'll like it, though.

05 September 2007


Three amazing things have happened in the past 24 hours.

Firstly, I've FINISHED THE PINK SHAWL. This is the truth. I was incredibly stupid frightfully clever at the very end, and did 4 rows of the 2-row-cast-off-pattern instead of just 2, as I wanted the edge a tad wider. Not realising until it was TOO LATE that the knit rows of this edging added 100 stitches to the row. So I added 200 stitches in the last 4 rows. It was 383 stitches in a row to start with, so by the time I was casting off, I had 583 stitches. Duh. Took several hours to cast off. And the wool was broken in the middle of the cast off row, so I had to do a join. Well, it was my day off, I was listening to Cast On, and wasn't too stressed by all this.

Here's what it looked like, with all the ends darned in :

Into the laundry sink, to soak for a couple of hours :

Aaaaah, blocking. On the only available dog-and-teenager-free space in the entire house, which is right against my side of the bed. I have to be careful not to step on the pins when I get out of bed... I'll leave it here for another day, until it's utterly dry. I love love love the way the green border has worked out, with the little random bits of pink. Fashion shot of shawl in outside light to follow soon!

Then this afternoon the postie called unexpectedly! OMFG, my Secret Pal "Molly" has outdone herself again! I've also received a card, and a postcard from her in the past week, as well! This box is a wonderful slightly early birthday pressie!! It was opened by Aussie Customs on its way to me, they were probably intrigued by the dog biscuits (can you see them in the plastic bag at the top?). Lily is sneaking these away to secret hiding places :)

Yes, yes yes - this is Knitting Rules by the Yarn Harlot. W00t! Can you see the white circle on Stephanie's ankles?

An autographed copy (faints).

More yummy candles (OK, OK, I know I'm not supposed to eat them, but with scents like Juicy Watermelon, Sage & Cinnamon, Vanilla Lime, and White Chocolate Mint, what's a girl to think?!).

The woolly goodness is quite amazing too - a ball of Tofutsies in colour 722 - it's almost glossy / satiny! The photo doesn't do it justice. Aqua / olive / purple / blues. Bliss!

And two balls of Mission Falls 1824 Cotton colour Phlox C405 (Product of Canada). Swoon!

There is also a huge bag of Jolly Rancher lollypops, which I'm not going to show you, cos then I might have to share. Molly, you have surpassed yourself, and I can only hope that YOUR Secret Pal is spoiling you rotten as well - xxoo !!

And lastly - Stitch'n Time in Southlands Shopping Centre, Mawson, ordered some of my cards. I've got a retail outlet. Small start, but a good start. So if you have Canberra friends or rellies who want Knitting Art cards, but don't want to buy over the 'net, send them to Mawson : )

04 September 2007

Bleu Cheese Yummies!

Dotter, BoyFriend and I had a delightful afternoon over at George's place on Saturday - the German waffles with cherry sauce and the very rare treat of whipped cream were SO yummy! A great lot of friends to share it all with too. I hadn't realised that Lulu had snuck into my knitting bag until we caught her at the waffles! I'm just glad we stopped her before she found the rack of wine behind her...

Now, as promised, the recipe for the Bleu Cheese Pastries I made for the occasion.

Bleu Cheese Pastries

  • 2 tspns soft butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 300g bleu vein cheese, crumbled (Blue Castello, mmmmm)
  • 1/2 cup (40g) finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbspns chopped fresh herbs - a mix of parsley with one or two others is good - I added fresh thyme; basil works well too
  • 2 cups cooked short-grain rice (I used brown)
  • 20 sheets filo pastry (or so) - remember to keep covered with a damp teatowel to stop it drying out.
  • olive oil spray

Melt butter in pan, add onions, cook, covered, over low heat until onions are soft. Combine the onions, cheeses, herbs, and rice in bowl; mix well.

Get 1 sheet of filo pastry, spray lightly with olive oil spray. Place a second sheet of filo pastry on top. Cut into 3 or 4 equal strips (cutting crosswise along the shorter dimension of the sheet). Put about a Tablespoon of mixture at one end, and roll up, using a dab of water to help secure the end of the pastry. Place on lightly-greased tray (or on a silicon baking sheet). Before baking, spray rolls lightly with oil spray.

Bake in moderately hot oven (200ºC) for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve hot or cold.

Makes about 30 rolls. Can be made up to 3 hours ahead. Storage : covered in refrigerator. Uncooked rolls can be frozen.

(This recipe is my adaptation of a recipe from The Women's Weekly Finger Food #2 Cookbook.)

Lastly, these are just a very few of the wonderful handmade cards BoyFriend's mother Julie makes - with matching decorated envelopes! She is a serious card maker, and will be having stall of her lovely wares at the Tuggeranong Homestead Markets on this Sunday 9th September, from 9am - 2pm. She's known as The Paper Wrangler, and she'll have over 500 cards ready for sale!

02 September 2007

Crap Journalism

A few days ago the Australian Government's Institute for Health and Welfare released the results of a study into diabetes in Australia, stating that the RATE of Type 1 Diabetes has risen from 19 in every 100,000 children, to 23, over the period of 2000 - 2005. The ABC report, while brief, was accurate and reasonable.

In fact, if you look at the actual report put out by the AIHW, it's clear that the study has only looked at people with diabetes who need insulin - so all Type 1s, but only a small subsection of those with Type 2 or Gestational Diabetes - as "people who use insulin" is what the National Diabetes Register records. (Photo : NovoFine needles which Dotter uses for her insulin injections - she uses 4 or 5 a day.)

However, The Daily Telegraph (never a bastion of good reporting), really went to town. I'm not including a direct link because - after what must have been an avalanche of e-mails and phone calls from parents and children with Type 1 Diabetes, the article has just been taken offline. These are the pertinent sentences (in blue) :

Diabetes mark of a lazy nation
August 31, 2007 12:00am

AUSTRALIA has become a nation of sloths with most people either eating poorly or exercising inadequately, a report has found.

More alarming is that almost 1000 children a year are developing type 1 diabetes - a disease which can be caused by overeating.

OMG, how WRONG can you be?!! This sentence was deeply upsetting to all the families I know who are living with type 1 diabetes - as well as us - just what we need - let's foster more misunderstanding and 'blame-ism' for us all! The cause of Type 1 isn't fully understood, but it is NOT related to your activity levels, weight, what you eat, and in 80% of cases there isn't a family history of diabetes either.

A study by Sydney University of more than 16,000 Australians has painted a grim picture of a slothful, unhealthy nation falling short of its recommendations for exercise and nutrition.

That's us guys, apparently - you feeling slothful and unhealthy?


An alarming report released today by the Federal Government also highlights the national diabetes epidemic which is doubling every 10 years.

It's not stated whether this refers to Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes... With Type 1, a rate change from 19 to 23 in 100,000 isn't a doubling. In fact, the variance for each number overlaps, so it's a barely statistically significant difference, within error. I'm assuming they're bunching Type 1 and 2 in together (even though they're quite different diseases).

Between 2000 and 2005 more than 6000 children aged under 14 years developed type 1 diabetes - a condition which requires daily insulin injections.

The 'reporter' doesn't understand RATES of change - just putting in a number like this (6,000 children) doesn't provide any evidence of things worsening or changing - how many kids got Type 1 before 2000? Saying it's gone from 19 in 100,000 children to 23 in 100,000 is actually informative and meaningful. This also highlights that while rates are increasing, it's hardly an epidemic (but it's such an exciting word, don't you think? Makes us all feel worse and more scared, that's for sure.)

The report, by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, also revealed more than 1000 teenagers developed type 2 diabetes - caused by lifestyle - over the five years.

The report's author Anne-Marie Waters said the rate of new cases among children was alarming.

"No one knows exactly why that is happening," she said. "Type 1 diabetes does not just develop in childhood. It can arise at any age." There are 750,000 Australians who have diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes - which is incurable - is caused when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin.

WRONG - Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where the body destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, and can no longer produce ANY insulin at all.

Doctors are warning parents to restrict the amount of junk food children eat which can contribute to the life-threatening disease.

This is what I sent to the newspaper :

This article is a dreadful piece of science 'reporting' - please get your facts right!

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease which can come on suddenly and is NOT related to 'lifestyle'. My lively 16 year old daughter certainly didn't bring this awful disease on herself.

I also have objections to labelling everyone with Type 2 Diabetes (quite a different disease from Type 1) as being lazy and overweight - it is unnecessarily pejorative. There are age, environmental, and genetic contributing factors in Type 2 Diabetes as well; not everyone who gets it is overweight or eats badly.

People struggling to live pro-actively with these life-threatening conditions do NOT need this sort of inaccurate and insulting reporting, which only adds to the negative 'blame-ism' and lack of understanding which is rife in our society.

Please correct this article. Thank you.

The other T1 D parents and I are watching the Australian media with interest ... the article has been reported to Mediawatch, and it will be interesting to see if The Daily Telegraph prints an apology or a correction... Grrrrrrr.