Archive for March 2009

Why didn’t I do this earlier?


Things, big and little, tend to niggle and weigh on my mind until I do something about them. There are some big things that I know I can’t do anything about for months or even years, but the smaller things have been getting me down lately.

Some of the smaller things are kind of silly, like getting my hair cut, and some things, like my unfinished knitting projects and yarn stash, weigh so heavily that it becomes overwhelming. It was starting to get to the point where I dreaded going into the room where my unfinished projects and stash are kept.

This week I got sick of feeling bad about it and started to do something about it. Projects that I’m never going to finish are being ripped out, and yarn is being sorted through and will be given away or sold. As soon as the first unfinished project was ripped out, I felt so much better, like I was finally doing something positive to get rid of the yarn monkey on my back. I guess it was quite cathartic. Why didn’t I just do this earlier?

New skillz

Learning new crafty skills, is a good, albeit dangerous thing.


Today at Brown Owls I learnt some embroidery basics. I felt completely lost when I first sat down with my tea towel, embroidery floss, needle and pattern, but with lots of help from lots of lovely Brown Owl ladies (sorry if I forgot anyone who gave me words of wisdom!), I was happily on my way. I think I’m starting to get the hang of it now – it certainly feels like I’m getting through sections a bit quicker, and I think the stitches are looking a bit neater and more even!

The only danger associated with embroidery, besides the inevitable needle-in-finger attacks, is that it will be competing with knitting (and occasionally sewing) for my attention. I feel so unproductive already without another crafty hobby!

It really is about time someone came up with a 30 hour day.

Preparing for the cold

Writing an intro for a finished project is always nice, but my words feel clumsy today so it’s straight to the photo.


Cropped Tryst Vest by Kristen TenDyke
1.75 balls of Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 12 ply, Elm
4.50 and 5.00 mm needles
Start: January 2009
Finish: March 2009

I feel funny calling it Tryst Cropped Vest, because out of those three words, only ‘vest’ is still valid. I thought elm would be a nice colour for the vest, so I was going to make Rustic 12 ply work, but hook or by crook. Luckily, I got gauge straight away. Twelve ply is a lot bulkier than what I normally work with, but it’ll be good for the cooler months.


The vest was also lengthened so it ended at the hip rather than at the ribs. There is some shaping in the cropped version, so I mirrored that shaping in the rib to hip section. With the lengthening, there’s now eight buttonholes rather than four.


The only thing I’m a bit funny about is the buttons. The buttons used are the best ones I’ve found so far, and happily are ones I had stashed away after a buttonmania button sale frenzy a few years ago. However, I just don’t know if they look right.

The vest is my most heavily modified knit to date, and I’m pretty happy with the results. It’s entirely wearable, and it’s given me more confidence to modify other patterns. Look out hefty stash of vintage leaflets.

Today is a fabulous day…

…for I found a pair of knitting needles that match my bike.


Little by little, my life is becoming complete.

My favourite English book

The vast majority of books foisted upon us for high school English were, in my opinion, pretty average, but the class just had to deal with whatever the teacher decided to give us to study. However, in year 12, there were a number of English streams to choose from, so students could choose which set of books they wanted to study along with two (in my opinion average) compulsory texts. I chose the stream that included studying Frontline and The Outsider by Albert Camus. As I’d never perviously heard of The Outsider, my choice was based on my fondness for Frontline, and because it meant I could watch TV. The Outsider was the last book I ever studied at high school. However, it has ended up being one of my favourite books even after a number of re-reads and dissection of language and storyline that comes with studying it.


Within my group of friends at the time, it seemed to be quite a divisive book. The only person I know that liked it, outside of my friends who studied it as well, is my partner.

As The Outsider was originally written in French, I often wonder if there’s nuances in the French language that get lost in the translation to English. I guess, more than anything, I wonder if my understanding of the text is as complete as it can be.

My favourite container

This tin keeps catching my eye more than other tins, containers and baskets around the house, so it must be my favourite.


The bold colours, font and patterns makes me think of the circus, but the diamonds on the side also seem a bit toy drum.


I often wonder what it held between holding ice cream and me owning it. I like to think it was brightly coloured plastic figures, like farm animals or soldiers, or a collection of a child’s most prized possessions (a la Amelie, I guess!).

For me, the tin sadly still stands empty. I don’t have any brightly coloured plastic figures to put in there, and I want to make sure the contents of the tin captures my attention as much as the outside does. Perhaps it’s time I collected up all my little treasures.

My favourite shoes

Pip is hosting a week of favourite things, and I thought I might join in.


Technically these aren’t shoes, but ‘my favourite footwear’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it. The day I bought these boots, they were my little rays of sunshine on what was a frustratingly annoying day. My partner and I were in Melbourne so he could have an operation done. The day I bought the boots was the day he was due to go into surgery, but we received a call cancelling the surgery less than an hour before he was due to be admitted. We quickly booked flights so we could get back to work asap, but had the rest of that day to ourselves.

To try and relieve the annoyance, we wandered around the places we used to hang out when we lived in Melbourne. It was then that I came across my boots. I loved them as soon as I clapped eyes on them, but was a bit put off by the price. After an hour of deliberation I bought them, and the rest is history.

Even after owning them for a year and wearing them lots and lots, they are still my rays of sunshine distilled into footwear. The detail on the toes, the bright red buttons and stitching, the polka dot lining, all those little things about my boots make me smile. They were worth every penny.