In which the boots go back on…

•August 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment

A funny thing happened….
Actually, a great many unfunny things have happened, losses and changes that had very little upside, so… Being made redundant seemed only a natural part of the passing parade.

It seemed, therefore, there was only one thing to do: go as far away and do something as useful as possible. Countries with recent earthquakes seemed to fit the bill.

So I packed up a toothbrush, some 3600 yds of assorted yarns, and two pairs of Hiking boots, after a long set of flights and 8 weeks of fundraising – I’m in Nepal!



PAYPAL is obviously owned by Scrooge

•December 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I mean honestly. I’ve always subscribed to the theory that if you’re going to screw up, you may as well screw up big,

but PAYPAL – congratulations, you’ve done a ROYAL job in screwing over Regretsy.

In my days of writing What Not To Crochet (which – I’ve explained about before, and I’ll get back to Misstitched soon) I occaisionally made reference to Helen Killer and her rich pickings of the worst of worstness that can be found on Regretsy.

However I find her writing funnier than the resuming writer of WNTC (or I note – WN2C…) and I lurk there when looking to bask in fuggery. And Whimsicle Fuckery.

So when I saw the plea for donations for the 200 families who the Finnish Fairytale Flinger had included in the arms of the greater Regretsian family, I hit the Paypal Money slot with all the enthusiam of a yarnpig loose in the Bendigo Woollen Mills. 


So…. I was stunned when I heard that Paypal had suspended the payments.


Congratulations Paypal – that is utterly disgraceful.


There is apologies flowing from Paypal now, but the sour taste this brings to the Global Crafting Community – us Woollies worldwide is incredible.  Paypal is one of the only options for our cottage industries of hand-dyed yarnage, hand spuns and patterns.  For Paypal to betray our trust as we move to help others is sourness beyond reckoning.

Alas poor Samsung, I knew him well….

•December 5, 2011 • 1 Comment

Tis a sad tale…

Well – it’s taken me 38 years to admit this – but sometimes, you really should listen to your father.
Parentals have been having issues with their relatively new  Samsung tv for a while, and Father_figure called the Warranty people who told him that all he needed to do was update the firmware
 – download some files, onto a memory stick, then in to the Tv and it all works it’s merry magic – hey presto/abracadabra. etc.
Please don’t laugh at me yet…. you know electrical things and me just don’t work.
So – he was somewhat apprehensive but I convinced him this would be a relatively simple process and we downloaded dutifully the files, and followed the instructions (Execute to Follow)
 and the TV did what the instructions said it would.
Right up until we got to the point where the instructions had: “After upload, the tv will turn off and then restart after a few minutes.”
Obviously, the TV hadn’t read the same instructions.
It refused to.
It just sat there sulking, refusing to come back on.
So – after more phone calls to the Warranty people, and lots of stomping up and down (Dad), painkillers (Mother_figure’s back is trying to kill her) and considerations of running away from home (me),
we came up with some cunning plans:
  • Plan A- go to my storage unit in Mitchell and pull out my Plasma. ( Give that gainful employment other than gathering dust)
  • Plan B- go to Radio Rentals and hire a replacement. (Frugal and sensible)
  • Plan C- go to JB Hifi and purchase el Cheapo (Mmmm… close to Christmas…)   and….
  • Plan D- Hope like nine kinds of all buggery that one of the above plans work. (Fervently)
Bravely, Father_Figure and I set off on Our So Not Excellent Adventure in ever trustworthy Green Car.  Moderately distracted by the burntout remains of the factory and how close it really was to my storage unit.
Such a missed opportunity.
  • Plan A – well…… we could see my tv (Win!!) but it would be like a reverse game of Tetris to get it out (Interest Factor – Low).
  • Plan B. Radio Rentals offers some great deals (Win!) and according to their website, had what Dad wanted (Win!!) but.. they’re not open on a Sunday (<swear word>). 
Plan D was rapidly turning into “spending rest of the afternoon hiding under my doona with a bottle of vodka for comfort“.
Plan C…. Go to JB Hifi Woden. 
Find tv that is 2inches bigger than the dead one (Win!). 
And is cheaper by a factor of about 400% (Win!!).
Dad becomes slightly seduced by the 3D version (Pause… Two… Three…..) 
Buy the Non 3D tv (Damn… no vodka…..)
Take tv home.  Father_figure spent some of the happiest 2 hours of his life setting it up. and tweaking it.
The next 3 hours also featured frequent commentary on how much better the picture is than the deceased Samsung.
And I mean frequent. 
So – that was my Sunday. 

Photos on my way out the door

•November 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Having packed and rounded up my entries from Queanbeyan Show, I was lucky enough to have Father_figure drive

me to the airport – stopping by the office to collect the boxes and banners that made up a significant proportion of the 69kg weight allowance that Virgin Blue airlines makes part of the Premium Economy package.

Whilst waiting in that airline’s transit lounge, I noticed that there were definite signs of the upcoming POTUS  visit to Canberra.  It’s a lousy photograph with the window reflection – but the Galaxy certainly drew it’s share of attention as it taxiied.

The flight allowed for a certain amount of Elephantine Grey Shawl crocheting, but  getting in front of the camera whilst I was checking I’d put everything back together properly after cleaning was the Beige Cashmilon Laceweight afghan (because you know… I enjoy watching no progress being made).

I actually can see that a dent has been made in the 700gm cone – there’s a teeny bit of a “lip” on the cone where I’ve been unspooling as I work.

Am in love with that shell pattern though.

It looks like little wheat ears.

Am still pondering over a border.

But that could be another year away.

Not sure if I am alone in the surveying of my work’s progress but at present I get 1 1/3rd rows done to an episode of The Big Bang Theory (from the DVD so without adverts) which would mean that each row takes me about 18 minutes.

Two rows to a repeat, so far at the 23rd repeat.

I am estimating that I will need somewhere around 70-80 repeats for an afghan.


Always a good subject for checking if cameras are ready is Mr Fergus.


Ferg’s three favouritest things to chew are a)fingers, b) little white rawhide bones and c) pigs ears.
There is nothing quite so offputting as finding a halfeaten pigs ear in bed with you.

So – cameras are back together, the 50mmF/1.4 and 18-200 VR are snicked on, we set off to Adelaide where I am finishing those second last bits.

The last bits get finished at 1045 tomorrow.

Conference starts at 11.

Hugs to you all.

Another bragging photo or two

•November 13, 2011 • 1 Comment

In case you’re ever wondering  – to copy photos from the onboard memory of a Panasonic TZ7 to an SD Card – when in the playback mode – go to menu and under Playback is Copy.

Well – that’s a new thing learnt for the day.

So – a photo of the Gown at Queanbeyan Show :

Courtesy of my ever so Portable Panasonic Lumix (My second Lumix due to the coal dust induced death of the first. But I can recommend the Lumix as a Point and Shoot when I don’t feel like being the life support system for a DSLR and whole of lens/flash/battery grip. )

The gown is actually a little creamier in actuality – just looks a little dingy inside the shed.  This is a version of the Leisure Arts pattern but with a satin underskirt then edged with more of the 2ply with a mesh involving puff stitches and the shell row.

In hindsight I would have used a lighter weight fabric as the lining. Maybe next time.

Next bragging photo is my new Baby Blanket pattern.  This is a yarn eater – this version took up over 1300m of 3ply yarn.  I used a cheap (and I remembered why as I was using it) acrylic – Panda’s Big Baby in the 3ply. It is a splitty yarn which is why I am not a fan.

For the benefit of Panda’s feelings – it is a nice yardage and the varigated blue comes in a lovely lot of colours, but it’s just wretchedly splitty.


This is another of my FP edged baby blankets with a loopy edging.

There’s a centre panel made from a chain 3,

Dc loop stitch and also two rows for ribbon.  The centre part is time-consuming but it is enough of fiddle to keep your interest.   The FPTC alternates with DCs which makes a nice ribby border. Pattern will be available shortly!


Anyway – am about an hour from having to start chasing around – have to get house key, collect entries from the show, come back, go to work, collect all the conference bits and then go to the airport.


Excellent – another hour or so waiting in an airline’s club lounge. Admittedly – at least the bar will be open… though.. I do have to drive when I get to Adelaide….

Also – we know what happens when I try to crochet under the influence.

Catch you later.

Queanbeyan Show 2011

•November 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

For someone who just won Most Successful Exhibitor in the photography section, you’d think I could remember to make sure my camera had an SD card in it.. :/

Mother Figure and I (both of us wearing hats) went to the show after taking Ferg to the vet – our old friend, the ear troubles, has made a reappearance so we went back to a familiar old veterinary clinic – one which still had a long-gone and dearly missed Golden Retriever on their register.

I had entered 14 photos and have picked up some 5 firsts and 3 seconds in a fairly large competition.

Which is encouraging – I might be doing something right after all!!

The Queanbeyan show appears to be suffering a little, with fewer people in attendance than I thought I had seen previously.  Certainly fewer horses going round than I remember.

I had meant to enter Aston, but this has been a week of obnoxiousness at work (hence a paucity of postings) that was coupled with unnecessary phone calls and a faint waft of faded vanilla and headbutting untidily with being away for the next week in Adelaide. For the third time this year.  Anyone would think I like the place!

Sorry – that proved more than enough to deal without adding a four year old Warmblood entire to the mix and getting him ready for the showring.

However – making him beyootiful and taking him out over summer is on the do list.  Does it count that his picture made it to the show?

My photography is at least doing ok, I detest the sentiment by so many people who own a DSLR – that they believe themselves to be a professional when all they can use is the Auto settings.   Do love my Nikons dearly – am trying to restrain myself from buying a package deal for a lens I’m coveting and a more advanced body in the D7000.

But hey.


Anyway – given that this is a blog about Crochet as well – should mention how we went there!

The 2ply Christening Gown made it’s last competition appearance  – winning a first and then Champion Woollen Exhibit – Wheeee!

Also won the Champion Other Materials with The Freeform Bag as pictured courtesy of my mobile rather than any part of the significant dollar valued photographic equipment I own.  I am at a loss to explain why the sash says “Junior” but hey.

Also winning places are the Duffle Coat – 1st, my latest version of a Baby blanky – 1st, The Round Ripple in Natural Yarns 1st, the newer version of the Un Deux Trois Shawl – 2nd, beaten by the RR, another baby blanket picking up a second and my two doilies also winners. Not terrible!!

I have moved out of the house sit, and am back with the Parental figures, though departing for Adelaide gives them a week without me! Then another housesit next weekend, looking after our old friend Octave the French Speaking Cavalier King Charles Spaniel while his owners go away for a fishing minibreak.

Am now in the process of packing for Adelaide, and like any Yarnite, my greatest concern is what projects to take with me.  I prefer not to work in white when travelling, so I’ve opted for the 2/3rds finished body of the laceweight Regency Shawl using Filatura di Crosa Nirvana in what can only be described as an elephantine grey but has the advantage of being enormously (in an elephantine sort of way) forgiving on less-than-clean South Pacific airports.   I have 2 hours of travel to Adelaide (and then again home, but previous experience dictates that the flight back from any of my conferences -such as Cairns in June – usually involves me being asleep before they call pushing back) which offers the time to achieve about 6 rows of split shells which is….. a bit.  In a project that calls for 47 of them, and I’ve done 28.

This yarn is now remarkably well travelled having crossed Australia – after purchase in Western Australia,  was my WIP for the flights to/across/returning from Fiji and kept me from outright murdering people in the waiting lounge of the Velocity club Brisbane. Oh Yes – Virgin Australia – that really was the sucks.

My laceweight jag shows no sign of abating but my only hang up is that when people offer to destash, they only ever have one skein – not the three or four that I would like.  My current sitting in front of TV WIP is a project working of a 700gm cone of Cashmillon in 2ply. Hopefully that should be enough for the afghan I’ve chain on and am on my 46th row. When working in 2ply and using a 3mm hook to make an afghan, you really shouldn’t (well.. start the project in the first place comes to mind!) but you should refrain from that quantitative surveying of  how much you have done, how many rows are needed, what size you are making and the fact that it grows at two cm per repeat.

I also have a growing satellite stash which is NOT A Good Thing, and am not going to look up yarn stores in Adelaide.


Or Camera Stores.


Anyway – more packing – will catch you tomorrow.

Hugs to you all!!

If I had words to make a day for you

•October 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Taking on a rescue dog comes with an incredible responsibility – making things better.  Trying to ease the memories of the horrible and not have the whole world seem like a place of terror to the already terrified.

It was a year ago today that I drove, with Mother_figure to Victoria to collect….

A chronically malnourished, abused dog. He’d been living in the most foul of circumstances.

 I am almost positive that it is Fergus at the .45 mark.

After a year of being loved, washed when he is filthy – which is frequently,  he is sometimes refered to as a South Canberran Green when he is at his more fragrant and somewhat more Breadmouldish type days. He has had two haircuts, licked clean a very new baby Alpaca, and  discovered the most wonderful things in the world: small white chewy bones and pigs ears.

 He is currently living with Mother_figure while I’m house sitting and she reports that he still wakes up in the middle of the night howling.  We won’t mention that he still harbours grievances against men and has snapped (and meant it) at Father_figure and the gardeners…

But – I think he has decided to stay..

It has been a good six months since I wrote a post – the demands on my time include why I am housesitting and not living at the small farm with horses and the ambulant stash.  Or the Stash for that matter!    The Stash is in storage but threatens to colonise almost all of Canberra – when packing to housesit, or travel – one of the hardest things to decide is what project(s) to take with me! So far have worked through quite a pile of small items as friends have decided to have a flurry of offspring!

So – the Ambulant Stash.  Selling Alpacas is not as easy as one would think. Despite the prolific nature of small designer blocks around the region – there are also a large number of Alpacca breeders who were seduced with the idea of how much money (SNIGGER) you can make from Alpaca breeding.  After some false starts – a buyer for Alfred, Paris, Chelsea and little Elspeth was found. Small hitch: She lived in Queensland.

Next time I offer to drive 3.5 Alpacas 1187 km… shoot me.  It will go down as being one of the more interesting drives I’ll ever make – sleeping in Green Car is something I have done before – and lived to blog about it, but Alpacas make a horse float – and it’s towing car shake when they stand up in the middle of the night. This means everyone else gets woken up. Hilarity does not necessarily ensue.

Hilarity does, however, ensue when

You leave three Alpacas who can reach over the top of a horse float tail gate, who like to wheedle people into getting within spitting range.

In the Car park at a McDonalds’.

Several McDonalds’.

 Between Canberra and Brisbane.

For Maximised Child Traumatisation.

And then the week after that little adventure – I packed up for a week of living in Cairns – which required 2 projects to come with me, and gave an opportunity to take photos!

Like these of the Welcome to Country Aboriginal Dance

and immediately returned to the Week From Hell – though Hell would have been warmer and not involved Mother_figure learning to use a Pressure Washer.  I moved house.

Why? Well – after a significant period of time, it became clear that Plan Woolly was not going to work in the way that I had hoped. The property had not had the subdivision approved and I couldn’t afford to keep paying rent. So… things had to change.

I am now in the process of buying a house in Canberra – it’s being built! Despite the best attempts of the weather…. But hopefully should be finished shortly.  Until then – I’m house sitting for people, with animals, including one Border Collie who was undergoing chemo and a pair of Labradors who greeted their owners with some thing approaching disdain on their return.

Though who is sitting whom:

was dubious but they seemed to like having me around:

Black dogs are hard to photograph.

But…no matter how many dogs I sit –  my heart still belongs to:

Happy Anniversary Ferg…

Next up – how many Frequent Flyer points can you gain in a year and still have your sanity? And your luggage?