31 October 2007

300 and counting!

This is my 300th post! Ta dah!

And here is Mariah, all joined up! There are now well over 400 stitches in a row, but the decreases along the shoulders will ease the pain gradually. I'm going to continue the sleeve cable pattern to the neckline, add some darts at the back of the neck, and make other adaptations as suggested in Emily's Blog.

I changed Lulu's birthday skirt into a daring red dress (I know Rose Red will approve of both the colour and the increased coverage ;) - she seems pretty happy with it!

30 October 2007

Oh geez!

My Ogee Lace Skirt is finished, with i-cord ties and bind off all done.

Can anyone spot the problem?

Yes, folks, it's WAY TOO BIG. It doesn't sit well, and the wrap around is too much, so it just looks bulky and lumpy. NOT the look we're after - I supply enough lumps of my own, thankyouverymuch.

At first I thought it was because my gauge was WAY off. I didn't do a gauge swatch (BAD Jejune), as generally I'm on gauge, and I figured, well, it's a wrap around lace skirt, an extra few centimetres either way isn't going to be a big deal.

So I got out my trusty Knit Picks ruler, and tape measure, and the pattern and set forth....

The pattern calls for 20 sts and 28 rows to SEVEN inches wide and SIX inches long (ie not your standard 4" square). I got about 21 sts to 7", which is on gauge (close enough), and 8" for the pattern repeat, which is a fair bit off - much deeper than it should be. I didn't do the second pattern repeat, as it was already long enough! So no huge error here, in terms of the width gauge.

Hmmm. So to measure the length of the thing - 57"! I had done the Largest size. But you know what, I should have knit Small. It's just too long!

I'm also not happy with how it drapes, and think the bottom to top construction (ie you start knitting at the hem, and add stitches to the sides to get the curved edge) doesn't hang very well. I'm considering trying it from the top down, and just decreasing along the sides to get the curved hem. Any advice, ladies? Is this a Bad Idea TM?

So - AAAARGH - I'm going to rip it out, and start again. I'm sure I can enlist Lulu to help, I don't want to watch...!!

Today I think I'll drown my sorrows with Mariah... only 10 rows to go on the second sleeve, and then it's Joining Up Time, where sleeves, fronts and back are all collected together in one happy family!

Jejune's Day lives on- no work today, no packing, no housework, only knitting, painting, a nice walk... and ripping :/


11 am edit

OK, here is it.. the Ogee Lace Skirt in ball form :p

29 October 2007

Happy Birthday to my girls!

Yesterday my dear chihuahua Lily turned 12. She had a nice quiet day, mostly sleeping, with some ham as a treat.

However, the day was not over yet. Come 10pm, we noticed that she was breathing very quickly and shallowly, wasn't comfortable lying down, clearly in distress. She has a heart murmur, and we knew this could lead to heart problems. After 2 hours she was no better, and we called the Animal Emergency Centre in Braddon.

So at 12.30am, in the midst of the heavy rain and lightening, Hubby, Son and I took her to the vet (Dotter was staying at Boyfriend's house). After a lengthy wait, while we tried to stay awake, she was finally seen, and had an x-ray - yes, as we'd feared, she has congestive heart failure (Chronic Atrioventricular Valve Disease).

Her heart is enlarged, the valves aren't working well, and fluid is getting into her lungs - she was effectively drowning. They gave her some diuretics, and kept her in overnight. The vets all loved her, said she was remarkably sweet and non-nippy for a chihuahua.

We got home around 3am. After a whole 3.5 hours' sleep, I was back to pick her up, at 7am this morning. Then took to her to her regular vet - she's now on diuretics twice a day, and an ACE inhibitor (Fortekor) once a day, which will reduce her blood pressure and the stress on her heart. We need to count her breathing rate regularly, and keep an eye on things. There is no cure for this, but she can be treated. She may have another few years to live, or only a few months, no way of knowing.

The whole exercise is horrendously expensive, of course - over $600 in the past 12 hours... we've decided against the recommended ultrasound (coming in at an extra $350!), which would just be a 'baseline' to measure her status against... The meds aren't cheap either :/ But you do what you can... she is part of the family after all. All pretty sad.

This is her chillin' out listening to Queens of the Stone Age on Son's iTunes last year - what a cutie!

In happier news, today Lulu, the mad lamb, is 1! She got a cupcake and a new black net skirt... and has been behaving herself of late. Will it last??

25 October 2007

Silent Night

'Tis done! I've named this one Silent Night - a moment of peace and quiet amongst the lead-up to Christmas that is so often fraught and hectic... it is now available on my Knitting Art site.

I still need to write the table place setting name tags for my brother's wedding reception - the list of names and cards will be arriving in a week or so!

Dotter, BoyFriend M and I are flying to Brisbane for the wedding on 30th November, only 2 sleeps after the final house inspection at our old house; we'll still be living amidst boxes at the new place - and just about ready to fall over from exhaustion, if past experience is anything to go by!

Still, it will be a lovely event, I'm sure, and nice to have a chance to celebrate, get dressed up, and not unpack or clean!

23 October 2007

Writey painty

"Um, can you write our names on the front of all our wedding ceremony booklets? We forgot to print them before making the covers..."

Things I do for my brother... 80 or so covers. All done.

The Christmas painting is nearly nearly done... into the 'fine tuning' stage, where I have to look at it for areas that need work / fixing / more detail / shadows etc. There are more little motifs to go on the saucer, too. Hope to have it up on the Knitting Art shop within a few days!

20 October 2007

An apology

Dear Mariah,

You know I didn't mean to abandon you - it's just that other things got in the way, there was lace - well, lace is a new love, I must admit. Sorry. There were gifts for other people, and - oh, let's face it, I don't really have a very good excuse apart from not having the mental energy to follow complicated cable charts. But I'm back, and this is for good - honest! See - I knit nearly half your second sleeve in two days, and your cables have really clicked with me, I barely need your chart now - so our love only deepens.

With adoration,



And progress on my latest painting - a Christmas themed one (thanks Kate for the suggestion, which was blindingly obvious once you mentioned it :) Will be working on this and hopefully finishing it today. It's a remnant of mince pie on the saucer - oh! the things I do for my art (suffer, suffer, suffer), LOL ;)

Edit for American readers : Mince Pies are sweet, made with fruit mince. You can read more about their origins and stuff here!

18 October 2007


We got the house!! All those magic crossed knitters' fingers did the trick ;) Thanks everyone!

We're signing our lives away and paying two weeks' rent tomorrow, and then will pay the bond etc when we get the house in about a month. Plenty of time to de-clutter and pack etc!

A friend has offered garage space to store boxes in, so I'm taking a car load over now - our place is small, and starting to look like a cheap cardboard maze! The double-handling will be worth it.


17 October 2007

Elegant Lap Rug

My Elegant Lap Rug pattern is now online and ready for all to see! This is the throw I designed and made for my brother's wedding (on 1 December, so don't tell him, ok?). A nice quick and easy pattern!

No news on the house yet... waiting for the owner's decision! Thanks for all those crossed fingers and toes, I'm surprised any of you can walk or work at all ;)

16 October 2007

Secret Pal strikes again!

She's at it again, folks! Look what just showed up!

A seriously yummy cookbook of treats from Alaska (where my SP hales from)... and Roxanna's Sanna novel, something I have long wanted to read. Dotter has her eye on this one too :)

The CUTEST stitch markers ever...!!! Tiny pieces of cake and...

... an Aussie menagerie, remarkably accurate! These beauties are by Wee Ones on Etsy. They really are gorgeous, she even does sets of different dog breeds!

These need no explanation, apart to say TRUFFLES. DID share. VERY yummy. ALL gone :(

Halloween time! Some cool tissues, and a box of the most amazingly neat bandaids - Boo! Boo! Bandages - the 4 designs are Scary Skulls, Bewitched Bats, Ghastly Ghosts, and Spooky Spider Webs. I almost wish I was injured so I could use one! (ALMOST, I said, ALMOST - put that knife down!!)

And FIVE bottles of lovely OPI nail polish - the colours are great, I'm wearing one of them now, but check out the colour names (L to R):
Suzi Loves Sydney, Kangarooby, Didgeridoo Your Nails?, Fit for a Queensland, and Canberra't Without You! LOL! I think it's the first time I've ever seen Canberra included in a pun!

Thanks SP, you're the best !! You never fail to delight and surprise :D

In housing news, we've applied for this place today, and it's looking promising... the living areas are bigger than they appear in the photos. Lily is probably OK (although she may be restricted to tiled areas only), the intertown bus stop is practically outside the door, and the bedrooms are a decent size, plus there's a fourth bedroom as an office / studio for ME!

It's not available until mid-November, which means we'd be able to give a full 30 days' notice on this place, and can prepare without a mad panic. Dotter's lovely boyfriend M is moving in with us - paying board to help us cover the much higher rent. He is part of the family already, so it's a good move for all of us. Stay tuned, we should know soon!

15 October 2007

Crossword Crazy

You wanna see what I've been working on?...

I admit it, I'm a little bit mad (hey, stop sniggering at the back!)

More photos, and eventually a free bag pattern to follow!

And last but not least - did you need any further proof? :

I am nerdier than 83% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

14 October 2007

It's all real!

How cool is this? The first blogged Archery Beanie, using my pattern! W00t! Thank you for e-mailling me, Miss Me!

In the next day or two I will add a page to my web site for Archery Beanie photos and blog links, for those who want to show off their handiwork - just email me your Archery Beanie photos (web ready) if you'd like to share!

13 October 2007


Guess what? The next issue of YARN (Issue 8) is going to show my Knitting Art cards!! Wooo hooo!

I sent out samples to a few places a while ago, and recently heard that YARN will definitely be reviewing my stuff in the next issue, which is running late, but will hopefully be out soon! I'm packaging up sets of cards ready for the (hoped for) onslaught ;)

Thank you Barbara! :D

In housey news, we looked at the outside (and in the windows) of this place in Gordon today - it looks great - 4 bedrooms, double storey, big garage, looks out over parkland, GORGEOUS kitchen etc. There is a 'no pets' policy, but this place has been on the market since mid-August, and they've just reduced the rent, so the owners must be having trouble getting tenants. We're going to inspect it (I've already called the real estate agent) and almost definitely apply - the owners can then decide whether they're going to let a little cute chihuahua stand in the way of getting some good tenants.

11 October 2007


I don't want to say anything until things are more definite, but I've had some very exciting news today, stay tuned!!!

In the mean time - here's where my Ogee Lace Skirt is up to - looking pretty lacy :D

10 October 2007

Shiraz Socks

All done!

The Regia Mosaik almost brought me undone - very hard to paint multi-coloured knitting and not have it go all muddy. There's also not a lot of contrast between the needles and the lace... still, I'm very happy with how this turned out. As ever, it is now available on my CafePress Knitting Art store.

I will be printing a new batch of cards when I can afford it and have a new set of 4 paintings - probably in the new year. The USA to AUD exchange rate is really good at the moment, so any Aussies who'd like this card (or the Blue Willow design) might like to consider my CafePress shop - which also has my artwork on journals, notecards, magnets, t-shirts, posters, bags, mouse pads, and a whole lot more :)

09 October 2007

Red wine and lace

This painting is speeding along, I should have it finished today! I'm having a nice Jejune Day - no packing, only a touch of looking for houses, and plenty of knitting and painting! Good for my sanity.

Here are some progress shots. The curly lace took hours to draw, and then paint - no masking fluid tricks here, just paint and a very fine paintbrush!

To paint the mesh section of the lace tablecloth, I paint the white lace pattern in masking fluid (partly highlighted in red here for you to see)... when the latex is dry, I paint over the whole area with the 'table' colour (ie what you see under the tablecloth), and wait for it to dry.

A soft eraser removes the masking fluid, revealing lovely white lace patterns...

This is where I'm up to as of about an hour ago. I'm really pleased with the wine glass - my first attempt at painting glass. Now, on to some detail touch ups, and the knitting - let's hope I don't stuff it up at this stage!

08 October 2007

Red, red wine

Here's the preliminary drawing for my next Knitting Art painting - I know many knitters enjoy a good glass of wine with their knitting, so this painting has a glass of red, with a sock on the needles (Regia Mosaik yarn), and a very intricate lace tablecloth. Drawing the lace alone has taken about 4 hours... I really hope I don't muck this one up and have to start again! More photos as work progresses :)

In house hunting news - well, not much news. We keep looking at places, along with a lot of other people, and haven't found a suitable place yet. Stories from the coal face :

One house we looked at in Chisholm was advertised on AllHomes on Wednesday, the open house was at 2pm the next day, and a lease was signed by 5pm.

Another house we were really keen on was in Oxley - I called up this morning to be put on the list for when it was open for viewing (as the AllHomes listing told me to do), and was told the lease had just been signed - WTF! There had been no publicised open house at all.

I'm now calling up real estate agents asking to be put on 'the list', giving them the particulars of what we're looking for. Many agents don't do this, so I'm mostly drawing blanks. Having Lily is also a major problem, most places say NO PETS. I'm hoping we don't have to find her a new home :(

The estate agents for selling our current home are coming over this afternoon, to look over the place, and tell us what happens next. We have 8 weeks from the exchange of contracts to be out of here, so we have some time up our sleeves. We're packing anyway, as once we sign a new lease we have to be ready to move immediately. I'm mostly coping OK, with occasional panic attacks and bouts of depression.

02 October 2007

Stacie goes REALLY loopy

You may recall that a few weeks back I won a competition on Stacie's Blog...

Look what arrived in the mail today! *faints*

Inside the sweet little drawstring bag - ooooh, beads and watermelon lollies (I've got LOTS now, yum!)

To dye, not drink...
What a cool little device, never seen anything like it!

Hmmm, NOT sharing, I think...
Totally wicked badge (I'm getting quite a collection!) - and amazing card.

Most yummy lip balm - EVER. Mmmmm, coconut...

A WHOLE SKEIN of delicious purpleness...

Best for last - a REAL small project bag by Andrea Baker, in wild paisley,

... and look, a sweet narrow scarf knit by Stacie! LOVE the colours.

THANK YOU STACIE! This international online knitting blogging world keeps astonishing me at every turn :D

01 October 2007

Blue Willow Lace

This painting took a LONG TIME. I stuffed up the first attempt, and then proceeded very cautiously and slowly with the second try.

It is now up on my Knitting Art shop, and not all distorted like this image (which is at an angle).
(I'm adding a watermark to my artwork photos, just for a bit of added image security.)

House hunting continues; packing is going well, so we'll be ready to move as soon as we find a place.