Thursday, March 29, 2007

Rarrrr!

Yep rarrrr!
As Le Tigre said, "We have equal rights on Ladies Night".

So many things are just not OK. Like walking down the street and looking at a girl and thinking "wow she could have done her hair better, thats a designer knock off bag etc etc". Why am i thinking these things? Its not OK. It doesnt affect me personally, so why do i care? Because society and marketing tell me i should. Someones outsides do not reflect their insides. Society is also telling that poor girl she's gotta look like a barbie to be accepted, to be pretty, to be loved. So she spends all her money and time getting the hair, the car, the life to what end? What will her life be worth when she dies - what can she say shes truly accomplished? Western society is a vacuum.

Excersize Blog - I ran again. (I didnt go to the gym yesterday because of a pizza blow out the night before). But this time, i ran on 10.0 speed. Thats like super-fast-chest-pain-inducing speed for me. Normally if i run, its on 8.3. So whoo-hoo! (And i'm on a gym kick for my health - not to be a barbie either hehehe)

Knitting content - about 1/3 finished on the 2nd front of the $1.50 cardigan. I'm gonna put it down and work on the Monkey socks for a bit though.

My sister has decided she wanted Isabella for her birthday in July. I managed to score the last 5 balls i could find anywhere of Heirloom Cotton 4ply in mid purple - everything else in my price range is kiddies pastel. For $18 including postage from Ozeyarn i'm very happy, except about the prospect of knitting the whole thing on 3mm needles. Thats not happy Jan. But i really want to knit this for myself in black, with long sleeves so i guess its a good way to check out the pattern as well. As soon as i finish the socks i'll cast on i think. Maybe.
I'm also waiting to hear from my Secret Pal to see if they got the postcard i sent - once i've heard, i'll send them the Victorian Lace Today book i got for them :).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Whats this...

Someone asked me why is my blog SLAK.
I dont want to go on a rant, but some things really get me stirred up (even though most of y'all will know i'm pretty easy going). Apologies for speeling errors ;). And i doubt any of you will have heard me talk about this stuff anyway.

-Knitting and handcrafts. Just because they are typically female historied (in current society i'm talking about, not the distant past) it doesnt make them 'art'. A woman can spend 12 months or more on a quilt, using tonal variations, putting blood sweat and tears into it and it will always be a handcraft. Who gets to say what is art and what is craft? No-one has the right to say my art is craft and vice versa besides me. Craft is not a dirty word.

- Male priviledge. 60% of artists are women, yet their work makes up only approx 20% of what is shown in major galleries (Source - my Art Critiscm and History teacher back in Perth. Cant remember which publication, but check out here http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/davis/davis3-12-07.asp). They also consistently are paid less per piece than men. This is what inspired a group of us back in Perth to take male or gender-nondescript names to exhibit under. Thats where Bex comes from.

As long as people are OK with a conservative white male run society (heaven forbid interest rates will go up if we get someone else to rule our lives) nothings going to change. For as much as feminism has come far, there are further strides to go. By empowering the disadvantaged, the poor and the minorities we will create equality. I dont mean to save the world, the most i can do is be aware, and not take the lazy option of pretending its all ok bacause fighting is too hard.

Its not ok. Thats why i make things - i enjoy crafting because its not what the stereotype dyke does. I like making my own things because they have a piece of me in them (sometimes literally LOL) and didnt come from some soul-less slave made factory in a third world country. I beat the system. I listen to hard rock because it makes me angry - angry enough to fight off the lethargy that slowly creeps up on you.

The old boys club is not OK. Ok, i've had enough and am not making sense now, so i'm going off to knit something and gather my thoughts for tomorrow. ;)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Look what i got!

The new JoSharp Knit 3 book! I scanned my favs (click to see bigger)
















Bits and pieces....

Well, this a bit picture heavy, but anyway...

This is how far i am into monkey - the colour of the Lornas Laces didnt inspire me, but its looking good now. And a fast knit too which is good - for once i might finish these by the deadline!















Some baby hats, real simple, rectangles with ribbing, seam the edges, add tassels. The rainbow one is my own hand-dye (PRIDE baby hat hehehe for a queer couple i know). The green is Holiday, a normally yukky yarn, but they have changed it to be quite nice. Baby top to follow in same colour.















Calorimetry - yep i did succumb. The top one is some random Katia yarn, the right one is Noro Kureyon and the bottom one Noro Silkgarden. The Noro took half a skein each exactly! I think the pinky-red one looks a bit like a c*nt, but that could just be me. They are sitting in my FO box, they are emergency birthday/easter/whatever presents...















And lastly, Fit to Be Tied from The Happy Hooker. My first real crochet project. I made it a while back and gave it to my friend Jodie in Perth for Xmas. She loves it! I used Country Silk from Cleckheaton, 2 balls.















Excersize Blog: Today I ran. You have to understand how big a thing this was for me - i *never* run. I may walk fast or *trot* if i am late for a train, but i dont run. I had 3 minutes left on the treadmill at the gym, so i thought give her all shes got Scottie! I ran for a whole 3 mintues!!!!! yay! And my arch-nemesis was there again.

Theres this blonde chick who insists on hogging one of the cycle machines every morning for half an hour+. The gym is busy (and nary a spare bike), there are signs stuck to the bikes saying please only do 20 mins, and Ms Blonde sits there pedalling away, reading her New Weekly and not even breaking a sweat. She annoys me. And yesterday i went to use a shower, and a towel was left there. So i asked another girl if it was hers, she said no, so i went and put it on a seat in case someone forgot it. Ms Blonde comes storming out of a cubicle, gives me a dirty look, snatches the towel and goes and uses it to mark her territory again. Sheesh - get over it.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Quick MSG

Skirts Are Bleeding (the delightful perv that she is) is doing a MooZoo-lacto show at Hellfire on 20 April. Yup, shes finally gotten enough lactation going to do a show! Bound to freak the masses - cant wait!!!!!

Finally, a picture from my sister

Its the Knitty Leftovers Vest... That i sent her first week of January.... The quality is bad cos its a camera phone, but at least its a pic!

Pattern: Leftovers vest, from Knitty
Yarn: Harmony from Bendigo (30% wool, 69% cotton 1% elastane)

Mods: None. Well, besides fudging some bits (i found that my stitch count never matched the pattern). And going down to 3.75mm needles, then up a size, just to get a nice firm fabric.

I used aboout 300grms of Harmony, on 3.75mm needles. The stocking stitch just about killed me.... Around and around and around...

On the other hand it fits her damn good. You see, my sister lives in Darwin. The average temp is around 30c and knitted goods just arnt needed - but her office aircon is quite cold. So for Xmas she wanted a vest. It had to be a V-neck, not to thick and hot (ruled out wool) and easy to care for. This vest is all those things. And her work mates dont believe it was hand knit either! I was greatful it fit because she is about 4,000 km away and i couldnt check it at all.

I like the yarn to knit with, its a bit stretchy though so be prepared to go down a needle size. The pattern was super easy (even the picking up the neck stitches) and i may consider using it again.

I give it 8/10.

In other news - i present the Chaser's War On Everything Stitch and B*tch.

Thats me on the right, wearing a "I learned to knit in prison" t-shirt from Franklin, and Kris aka web-goddess wearing a "I blogged your mum" t-shirt i go her for Xmas. Hehehe.
I was SOOOO tired... I couldnt function, i didnt even have time for an energy drink :(. But it was fun.
Thanks to gadgetgirl Amy for the YouTube video!
BTW what were we knitting you ask? Amy was knitting a robot from Jess Hutchinson's book, Kris was finishing her Kitty Argyle Cardi, and i was working on the Monkey sock from Knitty. Knitters Represent!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Countdown to the Chaser!

Hi-deeli ho little bloggarinos!
As some of you may be aware, there is a little perspex box in the foyer of the ABC. This box contains a couch and a webcam. And on Saturday 24th March, 8-9 am (Aust EST) it will contain knitters.

What will we be doing you may ask? Knitting for the masses. Knitting for anarchy. Knitting to save the endangered red-crested swamp koala. To watch us - go here http://www.countdowntothechaser.com.au/

Yes, i am well aware of my geek status, but at least web-goddess will be there as well.... so i'm not the only one!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

FO - Boifriends Anniversary Socks!

nniversary Socks = complete!

Pattern: BFF socks by Cookie
Yarn: 4ply cashmere merino by The Knittery - in Chocolate Royale (2 skeins). The colour is more accurate in the second photo.





The Boi totally loves these socks. Hy said they are the most skilled things hy's ever seen me make (shucks!). The pattern was SO easy - and the yarn was thick and springy, but lacks the stretchiness of normal merino. The cable pattern was easy and quick, while the instructions were concise.



Mods - The only things i changed were the heel - i made it a slipped stitch instead of a normal heel, and the toe - the Boi likes a few rows of plain knitting before decreasing to compensate for big toes hehe. The socks took 2 x 100grm skeins (yikes!) so i had to get an emergency one from Daphne at The Knittery. Thank goddess she had one more left in the same dyelot. Now i have to figure out what to do with 3/4 of a ball - babys hat maybe?


Overall - I would rate this pattern with a 9.5/10. Highly recommended!

Monday, March 19, 2007

One pair of socks down, 4,167 more to go...

Not really, but it kinda feels like it.
I've finally finished the Boi's anniversary socks - pictures to come soon (I just bought a new camera! yay!). Boi - "Wow. Those are so detailed. Look at all the tiny cables - on a pair of socks!? It makes them special that you spent so much time putting the detail into them". I did a slip stitch heel as well cos i know he likes the feel. So time to start some socks for my friend's 30th birthday in May.

I'm using the Monkey pattern from Knitty, and Lornas Laces Shephard Sock in Mt Creek. I got the yarn from a seller in the US - $56 for 4 skeins and postage is a good price.... dont tell the Boi!!

But really, its been sitting in my stash waiting for a decent project. I dont think i'll be buying Lornas for a while yet, i just cant afford it. Its such a shame because she bought out some really yummo colours like Envy - greens, and Red Rover which is all different reds. When am i ever gonna make me some socks???

I've also decided to make a pair of socks for my sister in Darwin (i know i know - waaay to hot!) - i bought some cashmerino sock yarn in Waterlily (beautiful pale blues). Unsure of what pattern to use though.
My mums 39th is this year, so I got some 2ply silk merino in purples as well to make Branching Out from Knitty. That pattern will kill me. Seriously. I have tried 4 times, and get about 15cm along before stuffing up.... sigh... Lara was right, it isnt an easy pattern at all...

Excersize Blog - Second week, day 2, of getting up at an ungodly hour and going to the gym. Its getting harder and harder in the mornings to get up - i was having a dream that my alarm went off so i turned it off and went back to sleep. Then my alarm *did* go off.
I'm not sure if the excersize is helping as i've been on a total binge this week - anything chocolate.
Watching Mel on the Biggest Loser made me realise that we are around the same weight (well, we were when she was evicted - shes like a size 12 now!). So i guess thats my inspiration.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Gardasil vaccine

I've just found out i am eligible to get the HPV vaccine for free (from July this year) because I am under the age of 27. I encourage every aussie grrl to get the cervical cancer vaccine - its free, well tested and a bloody good idea!

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/standby/publishing.nsf/Content/young-women-faq

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Secret Pal 10~!

Squee!

I just got my secret pal - they live in the UK. They look a bit tricky to get stuff for as they also work in a yarn store.... but i'm sure i'll manage hehe.

They are also queer (what a match!) but have requested no hand made stuff (i make GREAT stuff! WTF?) i think i'll make them something anyway (as well as sending them lotsa stuff), just to prove that it can be cool ;P. I think they must be worried about getting a handmade granny-square scarf or something.... i was thinking a needle roll in 50's inspired kitsch prints from e-quilter... from the look of their blog i think they would appreciate that type of print...
i.e. - this is great!

I also realise that they would probably never stumble across my blog, so it should be ok to post a little about it here.... (not going to give anymore detail about who they are though).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Re-posting

Since March 15 is nearly here, i thought i better repost this

Just FYI swap partner - i'm a 26 yrd old gay grrl living in Sydney. I'm into punk, rockabilly, 50's kitsch, tattoos and anything with skulls on it ;).

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
My favourite is buttery-soft merino, like Zara. Or beautiful coloured yarns like Noro etc. Yarns i DONT like are acrylic baby-yarn. yuk! I love DK to worsted, but anything bigger is a bit thick for Oz ;). Not a huge fan of furry (mohair) or novelty yarn. I also like cotton/bamboo natural fibres. Pretty much anything that isnt 100% man-made. I'm also partial to nice sock yarn hehe.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have 3! handmade needle rolls. Most of the time they are floating around my house hehe. My circs and stich markers are loose in a see through bag. God i need some more stitch markers!

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Intermediate. I taught myself through the SnB books and from GLBT-Knit. I have no worries with Fair-Isle, Intarsia or decifering Vogue Knitting's instructions (hehe)

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Not at the moment - i spend too much time at Kinokuniya and Borders to worry about a wist! Would love to get my hands on Mason Dixon Knitting, Knitting from the 40's and Lace Style.

5. What's your favorite scent?
Honey. I like vanilla, mint, cinnamon and lemon grass as well...
Perfume - JLo "Still" (HOW EMBARRASING!) and Le Eue De Issey (Mens) by Issey Miyake. Not that someone will get me perfume, more of a just in case you were interested hehe.... I have heaps of it anyway :)

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes! I LOVE crown mints! mint mint mint mint! Anything with mint!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I sew, crochet (badly), embroider and paint as well - but knitting and sewing are my two passions.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Nick Cave! The Cure, Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, The Killers, PJ Harvey, Reverend Horton Heat, Rusty and The Dragstrip Trio, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, Silverchair, Nirvana... theres too many. I can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Black and red = love. I do like apple and teal greens, pinks and greys as well. Not a fan of orange, lime, fluro, browns (hehe) or primary-coloured stuff. I tend to only knit for myself with black, cherry red, green or pink with another colour (cant do all pink).

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Seeing a lovely Boi (i'm queer) at the moment (1 year on the 18th March!), living by myself. I used to have a dog that was pup-napped back to Perth by my ex. I miss him (Scooner) terribly! I volunteer at the Sydney Dogs Home so i get to play with the doggies. (They are furry people).

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves - yes, beanies - sometimes. Its not really cold enough for mittens here, and i only own some fingerless gloves - and no-way to ponchos!

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I am so lame - socks. I love knitting for other people (and have never made myself socks). I love looking at jumpers and cardigans and planning to knit them. I love knitting anything with Noro hehe

13. What are you knitting right now?
Socks (for other people hehehe). A Slytherin Vest, babies clothes for my friend's sproggs, Thermal from Knitty and the Dollar and a Half Cardigan from the latest IK.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Sure - as long as the person has made me something they think i would like, not something they like and want to give me. I.e. some pretty pink lacey thing - they love it, would I? Does that sound rude? Sorry - just trying to be honest... ;). I make so many presents for people and try to really think about what they would like. But it is the thought that counts, and heck, if someone wants to make me something, go for it! Put some skulls on it and i'm sure i will love it hehe

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Have to go with circs - though you cant beat a cool set of anondised aluminium needles from an op-shop (thrift store). Bamboo and metal Addis - all the way! I adore my Denises as well.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I love my winder - i sat down and wound balls just for the heck of it the other day. No swift... yet...

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
About 2 years maybe? Its just waiting to be frogged anyway.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Xmasoltice! I love giving presents!

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Vintage knitting patterns, mainly from 1930-1945. Carltonware (old crockery shaped like leaves and vegetables. Really). Tattoos. Stash. 50's kitshy postcards. Pin up girls.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I subscribe to Interweave Knits and am trying to get my hand on the Fall 05 issue. I get Vogue Knitting and Knit-scene when it comes out, and Knit.1 if it looks good. Would love love love a skein of Malabrigo! I would love to get my hands on the Mason-Dixon knitting book as well... and Vintage Knits. I also like the Phildar magazines, and Rebecca, but never get around to buying them for myself.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Hmmm i'm kinda teach-myself kind of grrl.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Sure are! About 26cm, or 10.5 inchs. Medium-wide foot.

23. When is your birthday? 25 Feb.

An easy FO

YAY! After working so hard on the back of the cardigan, i needed some instant gratification. It came in the form of the Anthropologie Capelet by julsey723. It took about 6 hours of intense knitting, over 2 days. And my hair is actually light red, its just the picture.


















It took about 1.5 balls of Shadow Tweed, a new yarn from Patons. The colours are so much yummier in real life... These pics were taken on my camera phone because the Boi is at the 'shram. Anyhoo, the only mods i made was to add some short rows in the back to make it longer there, and some length on the arms. I was debating whether to make it long sleeved. I may go back and buy some more ST in a different colour and make a long sleeved one i can button up down the front. Not sure yet....

Overall, love the yarn. Soft, lofty and great colours! The pattern was the easiest thing ever. All up i give it a 8/10.... ;)
UPDATED: Here is what the yarn looks like (click to see big)

Monday, March 12, 2007

45 cents??

I think thats how much the back is worth out of a dollar and a half... LOL
I had to photoshop the image a bit so that you could see the lace pattern. So here we are, the back complete, done in fatty-boombah size ;).
The michelin man bulge has been removed by blocking the life out of it (soak, roll in a towel and jump on it), and here it is being pinne dout on a towel to dry. I recommend measuring the sides and making sure they block to the size you want (in my case, 17in instead of 18.25in) as it shrank up a little bit....
YAY!
I think i will start the lace and plain side of the cardigan next, as its easy to make it the same size as the back... As soon as i've finished playing with my yarn pr0n heheh. I bought some Shadow Tweed, with a FO due to be finished today!
Oh, and I got up at 6am this morning and went to the gym. I must have been possessed by the spirit of gym-junkie, cos i worked out. At 6.30 am. But i'm feeling pretty good so thats a plus...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Film Review + Weekendedness

I love Autumn. Its 100% my favourite time of the year. Although its not really swinging into Autumn yet, we are having really nice cooler days so I can kinda pretend. I love walking home from the train station after being cooped up in a hermetically sealed office building all day, with a bit of a cool wind blowing. You know the kind, its got that slight edge of coldness to it. LURVE!
It also makes me want to knit up a million different things to keep me warm for the impending winter.... ;)

Knitting Update: Thermal has finally finished sulking in the corner, and has decided to behave (for now). I frogged back my delightful moebius strip, and 2 hours later had re-cast on and had 2 rows down. I have triple checked it to make sure no twisty-ness this time.

Dollar and a Half is coming along nicely, i wasnt sure about the Alpaca but i'm kinda liking it - its so soft and hairy. Lara from the Courthouse SnB convinced me as well!

I realised that I have 3 WIPs that really need some work - the Boi's anniversary socks (its one year this Sunday, my Slytherin Vest and the bolero from Vogue Knitting Winter 06 (in prev posts).

Knitting guild was fun - must remember i gotta bring the snacks next time... ;)

Saturday night we went and saw The Black Dahlia at the Moonlight Cinema in Centennial Park with a bunch of friends - free ticket crazyness! Food was yummy (everyone voted my fried lavash bread with cumin salt a winner - w00t!) and it was fun to hang out. The movie itself was so-so. We spent most if it trying to pick who the actors were (i.e. the crazy rich mum was played by the same actor who plays Harry Potter's evil aunt! LOL). Drool Drool KD Lang was singing in the lesbian club surrounded by scantily clad girlies! That was the best bit of the movie i think. I tried to take some photos, but it was a bit dark...
Overall, i wouldnt pay to see the movie, wait for it on TV. The story line was too complex to stick into 120mins, and it kept jumping around too much. The costumes were lovely though.

Oh a bat peed on me. Yep. It flew over, i felt something on my jeans. It was bat pee.
I would also like to rant about the stuck up north shore girls sitting in front of me if i may. I am not male. I am not taken in by your winsome smiles as you try and ram your bean bag lounger under my beach chair, and then act suprised when i explain that it makes it nearly impossible for me to enjoy the movie. I did not think your weak attempt at sarcasm was funny (and neither did the Boi..."Dont call ME sweetheart, sweetheart"). Using my leg as a prop to stop your bean bag moving was not comfortable, no matter how many times you told me i was "alright". I wasnt, which is why i asked you to move it. (not that they would ever read this. i am hearing "Whats a blog?")

Here is a bad photo of the Boi, Jai and Benji the Wonderdog.... ;) (Right to left)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Dollar and a bit of a mystery

Why is my cardigan so scrunchy when IK's looks so smooth and lovely.

Here is IK




Smoothalicious.... (well, it is when you open the pic link)













Here is mine....


Can you see the bumps?? This is the cardigans preferred resting position. I'm thinking the memory or spring of the alpaca has something to answer for in regards to the michelin man type bulges. And that tape measure says 8 inches at rest....


But wait, when i stretch it out to make it flat (but not tense) i'm given this...
How its meant to look??

Much better. I get all the length back - so its about 16 inches instead of 8.
I also would like to have a little gripe about the jump of 6 inches between the sizing of 41inch bust and 47inch. I am 42-43, when i make the 41 its gonna be too small, when i make the 47 too big.
I'm currently doing the 47, but i'm pretty sure i will have to take in the side seams when i've made it to make it fit nicely.... big sigh... But i am getting nice complements when people see it - the lace is really nice....

Monday, March 05, 2007

Dollar and a Half!

Heres my obligatory in-action shot....

Its the Dollar and Half Cardigan from IK Spring 2007, by Veronik Avery. (as per prev posts).

I'm using black 8ply/DK weight Alpaca from Bendigo Mills (its pretty furry, not sure how the cables going to look). I've done about 12cm or 5 inches of the back so far. The lace pattern is really simple, and I can do it in front of the TV.

My main issue is gauge. Its too bl00dy hard to measure the lace pattern gauge swatch. Its near impossible. That could just be me though. And theres no way i can get 6 rows per inch. I have about 9, so it makes my lace repeats quite small.

I'm finding the yarn very furry, and the hairs are coming off easily. It felt so soft on the ball, and now it feels a bit itchy. I think i may block my lace swatch tonight and see if it gets softer and bigger.

On a side note - Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was a hoot! The parade went for 2.5 hours, but there were so many people there!!!! And so many drunk str8s - that was funny.