Monday, January 28, 2008


I figured in my six days of unemployment I better make a cover for the nekkid cushion that had been on the couch for months. I was feeling a bit ghetto, what with the holes in the couch and the white polyester nekkid-cushion. It's some of Lara Cameron's fabric. Copying off her pot-holder, I put batting behind the fabric and quilted down the lines of the trees. I'm like, totally a quilter now.

Just before blogging this I read Aunty Cookie's blog, which linked to her photostream, and... damn. It seems she got to the birds-in-trees-cushion-cover-thing first... unless her cushion cover is also less than a week old? I really dig the squirrel decals above the cot too... maybe I should just give up on independent interior decorating thought and go all stalker-like.

It's also kind of embarassing to be posting this about 1/12 of the way into 2008, but this year is officially the Year of Finishing Stuff Up. I got a little bit stash-y on the knitting front in 2007, and want to clear up the boxes and my Ravelry queue a bit. I'll be seaming together the Rogue hoodie today. I've started Gretel (she can't be finished until after my birthday, as that's when I get the necessary needles...). I've made one of the six socks I want to make. I'm ready to go on Badly Coloured Boy's hundspun Stripy, and the only other thing to do is finish blocking and seam together Babette. And if I manage all that, then the tangled yoke cardigan is next on the list.

(And just finally - oo, check it out! Another indie fabric designer! Not only does she live in my state, she actually lives in BCB's hometown. Jeebus. And he tries to to tell me that the creative ones leave in this sudden we-finished-high-school diaspora).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Or not so much. Because I'm guessing that Jesus is not so much down with the LYS.
So what would you do with a hundred dollar voucher to Calico & Ivy?

I finished up working in the bookstore yesterday. No longer am I a bookpimp. It had its less-fun moments (corrugated cardboard cuts, carrying heavy stuff, cleaning, customers, being a data-entry monkey) but on the whole it was a rather nice place to work. I think evidenced by the fact that I, as a mere 'unskilled' casual worker stayed on for six years. Potentially a record. I worked seven Christmases, which was as many as the store owner had. And it certainly beat being a kitchenhand, which was what I was prior to my bookshopgirl incarnation.

Anyway, I was showered with flowers and afore-mentioned gift voucher, softening the blow a little. Plus I have to return, because I forgot to hand over my keys. I didn't take my name tag. I figure when another casual is hungover and surly they can wear my name and give poor service with impunity, knowing complaints can't be tracked back to them (that's actually pretty unlikely, as only six people work in the store and all are very physically different. A quick check of sex and hair colour would likely reveal the offender). But still, the thought is there.

Leaving me just to ponder what I should spend said voucher on. I'm leaning towards yarn rather than fabric. Ideas? Suggestions?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tomatoes. Um, maybe the smallest tomatoes you've ever seen, but there are quite a few of them.

Round my way 'soil' is actually sand. No, no exaggeration. We've been trying to build it up, but there's that niggling 'Gosh, we just put two hundred dollars worth of soil into a rental garden' feeling that stops me from doing anything really worthwhile. Next place round I'm building no dig beds, for sure.

Two. You do know how to sew a button on, right? Sewing over a matchstick, or a heavy darning needle, means that the thread is loose enough to allow you to pull the button out from the shirt a little and actually, you know, button the thing up.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Christmas, socks, pretty lettuce.

Christmas present. Ashford swift and Royal winder, from Bilby yarns. Given to me because I told Badly Coloured Boy I wasn't knitting his jumper until he bought me a swift and winder, or wound the skeins himself. He's seen me swearing over skein-winding. I hate it. Least favourite knitting-related chore ever. But now it's fun! It's all, like, neeeeeeow! Whoosh! Look at the awesome yarn-cake! I wanted to take an action shot, but, um, I was enjoying winding the skeins too much to pause.
I'm also a weeny bit partial to the swift, because Ashford made the rocking-horse I had when I was a kid. There ya go. Incidentally, I haven't named the swift yet. Any ideas? Or an opinion that naming a swift may in fact be the stupidest thing you ever heard of? The rocking-horse was called Ashley, for what it's worth.

Start of a Charade sock, with Verb for Keeping Warm's logwood dyed sock yarn. More subdued than I normally go for, but pretty, I think. I finished the Red Vinnlands I was chugging away on. Have to admit, I don't especially love them. They'll be the subject of another blog post.

And just because I can, here's what a sink full of radicchio leaves looks like. Must try growing my own radicchio sometime.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Summer Garden

Listada di Gandia eggplant flower. Isn't it beautiful? Hopefully it will soon look like this.

Dwarf red fig tomatoes. This cherry tomato vine is my most productive by far. It started cropping well before the romas, at the same time as the Grosse Lisse. But while I've had one (not very grosse) lisse I've harvested about twelve dwarf red figs. They grow in little bunches of up to six at a go. We had eight little tomatoes to eat on Christmas Day.

I am a complete convert to heirloom seeds. The Listada di Gandia and Dwarf Red Fig are heirlooms, as is the chocolate capsicum I didn't take photos of. When it ripens it's brown on the outside and red within. Beautiful. I was also given some heirloom seeds for Christmas - a selection of things in a pillbox from my mother's friend; and a packet of Minnesota Midget rockmelon seeds from my Stitch'n'Bitch secret santa. I cannot wait until it's time to plant a winter garden. Carrots, beets, garlic, broccoli - whee!

On the other hand, the world's crappiest giant sunflowers. Two to three metres is a big, fat lie. Any ideas why I have managed to grow dwarf sunflowers? Do they need really rich soil or something? One of the pumpkin vines damped off and died, meaning I'll have to be really careful to hand pollinate the flowers. There's been a run of bachelor boy-flowers, and a couple of little lady-flowers that have wilted off, but one big fat lady-flower looks promising. Cue my yelling across the garden "Oo! She has big stripy ovaries, so she must be easy to impregnante!"