Archive for January, 2008

Once again, some changes around here. I have wanted two sidebars for a while but needed to switch to the wider header and couldn’t remember how ;-)

I’ve figured it out now and you have a new header pic! (What is it?) I have also added a list of links to my tutorials in the left-hand sidebar.

Let me know what you think.

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I’ve waited a long time to tell you about this one, It was submitted to a couple of places and waited a little while in the publishing queue. Finally, it came out this week in the latest issue of Yarn Forward Magazine.


The Cloche is worked from the top down and the crown increases are incorporated in the eyelet pattern. The scalloped edge is knitted sideways - a little bit like an i-cord edging but it doesn’t roll. The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Swirl DK and I had plenty left over after knitting the medium size (there are three sizes in the pattern).

The magazine picture is better than any I have, if I can get hold of it, and get permission, I’ll post it here. I might take a few more shots when my cloche comes back from the mag.

Btw, this photo is taken at Putney Burial Ground, near my work. Some people think I’m odd taking photos in a graveyard, even when they live in graveyards themselves, but it’s definitely my favourite spot for shoots!

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No time to write much now, I’m off to spinning group :-D Have a great day!


I’ll give you the recipe later, in the meantime you could look here.

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So proud of myself, knitting away at my Karenina Socks. I made one mistake but found it before too many rows later and ripped back to fix it without trauma. Knit…knit…knit…

You know that bit where it says in the pattern “continue decreasing the gusset in this manner until there are 30sts left on the sole of the foot”


Look a bit closer…

“Does this foot look narrow to you?”

At that point I had 18 stitches left on the sole of my foot. Urk.


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The disadvantage of being three weeks behind is that what’s currently happening tends to get overlooked. Also, it’s far easier to use ready-made, nicely lit pictures from the summer holiday than battle with the greyness here in London. Today the sun came out (!) and I quickly grabbed the opportunity to take some pictures of things which are happening right now.

I finished one of the more pressing projects I had on hand and promptly cast on for the Karenina Socks, the Socktopus club December pattern. The yarn is Knittery cashmere blend and although I’m finding it a little splitty, it’s knitting up beautifully. You can see what these are going to look like here.


Another recently begun project is causing me a bit of a dilemma. This is a dead-easy mistake rib scarf knitted with Misti Alpaca Chunky. I LOVE this yarn. It’s the third time I’ve used it, having made two quickie cowls for Christmas presents.

Forest Scarf

It’s gorgeous. It’s sublime. It’s like cuddling kittens. But, it takes at least a 6.5mm needle and I can’t stand fat needles. It takes. so. long. to make every stitch. The way I form the stitch (I’m a thrower) means that it’s quicker the smaller the needles - less movement required to get around the end of the needle tip. Yesterday I knitted 15 rounds of 2×2 ribbing on my sock in about an hour (960 sts). This scarf is also essentially 2×2 ribbing and I have done about 80 rows (2,160 sts). I estimate I’ve spent at least 4 hours on it. Gah! So, should I keep buying it?

On the spinning front: One of the Ravelry groups I’m in set angora (among other things) as a theme for January. So I’ve been picking this up every so often…


Angora/silk blend from P&M Woolcraft. It’s lovely! As long as you don’t object to being permanently covered in white fluff.

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One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year is to eat more vegetables. Better ones too, which really ends up being part of the more - because if you buy good quality then you’re much more likely to eat it rather than throw it out. Also, you’re much more likely to eat it and not throw it out if you paid premium prices.

Last year we were chuffed when the first London Wholefoods store opened up right across the park from us. Sadly, it’s a really BIG park and although WF was walking distance it wasn’t really masses-of-vegetables carrying distance. So we tended to wander down there for the cafes and to buy tomatoes. For a long time I’ve been tossing up the idea of getting a box delivered and finally, after a bit of research and advice (there are a MILLION organic delivery companies in London) I settled on Abel and Cole and this arrived last week:

Veg box

Let me tell you, there is nothing like having all those heavy vegetables delivered right to your doorstep to make it easier to eat more. I really like the fact that not only is the produce local (don’t get me started on Tesco’s snow peas from Peru - not that I have anything against Peru, I just don’t think my snow peas need to travel 35 million miles to my house), it is also seasonal, and you can be satisfied that you’re eating stuff that hasn’t sat in storage for ten months. So I can’t get snow peas? Well, swede soup is a bit more hearty for this weather anyway.

On Thursday I was inspired by Crazy Aunt Purl’s post and so yesterday I got up early to collect my box (in my pyjamas, and got sprung by a man walking his dog - I think I saw him snigger) and see if there were suitable vegetables. There were - so into the crock pot went parsnip, carrots, sweet potato and potato, on top I put four chicken thighs, on top of that went some sprigs of thyme from Jan’s garden and I poured over a cup of vegetable stock. Press the button, go to work.

When I got home it smelt great! I thickened it with a little cornflour and tried to convince Neil that he really did want to eat some even though it had orange bits in. He didn’t - thus all the more for me. I have promised him that next time I will make it with just potato, or at least with all the orange bits down one end of the pot.

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I am now only about three weeks behind on my blogging :-P (still to come, the rest of Christmas, Hong Kong, and the last two weeks of wintery London).

I’m up to Christmas. In the sunny Melbourne sunshine we celebrated Christmas in good aussie fashion with several barbecues. Did I mention it was sunny 8-) Sunny, but not hot, of course. In a fine and long-lived tradition, I buy a dress every year to wear on Christmas Day (I don’t wear dresses much otherwise, the occasional wedding maybe). Every year, Christmas Day is just too damn cold for dress-wearing. Some day I’ll learn. This year’s new dress is a brown and white floral print from Esprit, bought in Geelong in the rain (see an earlier post) and is hanging pristinely in my wardrobe here in London waiting for a sunny day. Hah! (Three days after Christmas, of course, it was 35 degrees in Melbourne.)

Here we are at my brother’s new house (which has a pool, and sadly - not hot enough to swim)…

Christmas '07

Later we got to open lots of presents (woo!), my SIL Kat did the honours…


And we took turns exercising off Christmas lunch…

Neil and Shan

We did it all over again the next day (Christmas Eve) with my Dad and Carole and more family, then again the next day (Christmas Day) with Neil’s folks. By boxing day it was all we could do to munch down our leftover-ham-sandwiches and lie back being entertained by Australia’s most famous eleven…


Next post: What I Got for Christmas :-D

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Grab a hank of top. Admire the colours a bit. Split, pre-draft a bit. Feed it onto the bobbin at the grist it wants to be, not arguing with it to make it something it’s not. Pause a while to eat chocolate and admire the colours again.


Then find an empty bobbin, chain, chain, chain… Admire the colours. Skein off, dunk in water, whack a bit.




Did I mention that I love this colourway? It’s the November club fibre from Spunky Eclectic and it’s called “Pie For Everyone.” It’s Falkland fibre and pretty soft, although not super-soft, and drafts like a dream. Get some!

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Typical London January weather outside - wet (ish) windy, cold and grey. For those of you experiencing similar pooey weather I give you a photo feast. Only three short weeks ago and I am trying very hard to remember what it was like. (Hover over pics for titles).


We had just one night in Lorne, all we could spare from the whirlwind of visiting and house-sorting in Melbourne. It was brilliant! Lorne is about a 2 hour drive from Melbourne and we meandered down, stopping in Geelong on the way as it was pouring so we thought we’d get a bit of shopping in.

Diane Lorne


Most of the beaches around the south coast are pretty dangerous to swim at so the life-saving clubs are important and most people will swim between the flags where possible.


Lorne Seagulls

When we checked into our hotel room we were a bit disappointed, we had a lovely view from the ground floor straight out onto the carpark. Upon asking about the possibility of a change we ended up with this - a whole $20 (£8/US$16) extra for a view of the actual beach about 30 metres away! (You can see a tiny surfer out there - click to embiggen).

Hotel in Lorne

This is one of my favourite places in the world. The Great Ocean Road coastal drive stretches something like 100km and is just breathtaking the whole way. I never get tired of it.

Great Ocean Road

Only 2 more years before I visit Australia again…

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5 years ago this minute (well, not counting change of time zone) I was sitting around in my pyjamas with a gaggle of bridesmaids, my mum, my sister and a make-up artist running around. By 4pm I was a married lady.


Neil and I have actually been together for about 12 years, we held off getting married while I finished university and we settled down to what we wanted to do with our lives. He proposed to me on the beach in Penang when we went there on holidays in 2002. I don’t think he got down on one knee, but it was still pretty romantic.

We had a very traditional church wedding, I have sung in a church choir for many years and the choristers formed a guard of honour for us at the doors of the church. There was also a crowd turned up from the primary school I was teaching at at the time - kids love to see their teachers getting married.

The last five years have been reasonably uneventful. The purchase of our first home was the first major event, and the second was leaving it to live overseas and expand our horizons a little. Major event number three is still on the cards but no date being set as yet!

In general, we have rubbed along together very comfortably. He sits at the computer and games, I sit on the couch and ply whatever craft is absorbing me at the time. We don’t really need to talk, except a few words here and there, and although he complains when I burst into speech after hours or days have elapsed since the first part of the conversation, I know he actually can read my mind and it’s all an act really.

Happy Anniversary Neil  xx

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