Friday, 15 June 2007

Where do you come from?

One of the things I love about blogging, is watching the amazing variety of places that people come from. It is absolutely fascinating to think that every day it is possible to communicate with people in so many different countries. So far I have noted knitters and people seeking information on fleabites (many apologies again!) from Australia, New Zealand, mainland China, Turkey, the USA of course including Hawaii, the UK, France, Denmark, Estonia, Norway, Finland, Canada, somewhere at the top of India ... I love visiting countries around the globe, some more so than others, and each time I look at the list of countries or the map with red dots, it brings back memories and also the desire to travel again to places that I loved, and of places so far unseen. We are going to India and Thailand later this year, but in my heart of hearts I want to live in another country for a time. Maybe after we have moved we'll join a house swap site and have a period of time living overseas, even if only for a few weeks. It is a huge temptation when you live in Australia to cram too much into an overseas trip, because it is so far to go (and SO uncomfortable in cattle class!) and also so expensive. We travel quite a bit, but I want to live in the centre of Paris for a few weeks, in a Japanese city, in Scandinavia, in the UK and the USA, everywhere!! - will I live long enough? I'll give it my best shot!

Please leave a comment and tell me where you come from, then I'll look up that town in the atlas and the internet and leave a post telling you if I've ever visited that country, that state/area/that town or city. If you live in Australia, the name of your city/town/suburb/or area - whatever you feel comfortable with. It's a bit frustrating looking at the pie chart from Sitemeter (above), as it only lists the last 500 hits, and only by country, and quite a few hits are from "unknown". Between it and the Clustermap I can get a better idea. Tell me where you are! Please!! At the end of June, I'll draw a name from a hat, and have a prize for that person - I'm not quite sure yet, what it will be - perhaps a surprise would be best! I look forward to hearing where you are from.

Oh, I'd love to know too, if you are a knitter, or looking for information on flea bites!!

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Confessions of ... cont'd

Well, the long socks saga (try saying that quickly when you've had a couple of glasses of wine!) is nearly over. All that remains to be done is to pass them on to their new owner. Grandpa Flea very obligingly modelled the socks for the photo - can't you see why I married him? Such a shapely pair of legs! Sorry about the photo quality - not helped by the dark colour of the socks. They are a Patons pattern in a 3x3 rib, knitted in Patonyle. I astonished myself by grafting the toe on the first sock with no trouble once I found a book with clear how-to illustrations. Unfortunately I couldn't manage it when I tried to follow Montse Stanley's directions. But I have a couple of old multi-craft encyclopedia type books and the illustrations and directions in one were very clear. However (my knitting always has a sorry end!), when I came to graft the second toe, I had uneven numbers of stitches on the two needles. Being absolutely sick of the socks, I grafted the first two stitches on one needle to the first stitch on the second, and it made a little bump in the side of the toe. It would be annoying if the socks were worn with shoes, but the recipient lives in slippers, so I think it will be okay.
True to my word, I am confessing to another UFO which I have just come across in my clean-up. I have knitted this pattern a number of times and it always works well. I started this at the beginning of last summer for the Littlest Flea but it somehow got to the bottom of a pile of knitting and I forgot about it. Fortunately I was making a size 5-6 as Little Flea is rather sturdy, but she has had a recent growth spurt and shot up so she is slimmer and I think this will still fit her come summer as she only turns 5 next Saturday. When the knitting is finished, Little Flea and I will make Fimo buttons to match. I did this with Ms 11 when I knitted her the same pattern at about the same age and we had a wonderful time. The buttons looked a bit wonky after little fingers had prised them up off the benchtop and put them on the baking tray, but that only added to the charm.
So this will be a UFO that is finished.

Somehow, confessing them publicly seems to make them get finished. I wonder why?

I had lunch with Janette today - lots of good knitting talk and general gossip. Janette is a beautiful knitter, plus designer plus teacher. I did a workshop with her at Virginia Farm a couple of years ago and her instructions were so clear that I amazed myself - I still haven't mastered Dorset buttons though. She published a knitting book about three years ago (it only seems like yesterday) but has since been waylaid by the arrival of three beautiful grandchildren - two of them twins. Have a look at her website

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Lesson No. 4: You can't knit socks while you watch SBS ...

SBS is our multicultural TV channel, and it has some great movies and series - most of which are sub-titled. Our current favourites are: a gory Argentinian detective series, shown late on Monday night, called 'If the Dead Could Speak'; and our extra-favourite 'The Eagle: A Crime Odyssey', a Danish crime series set in Copenhagen with little sidetrips to other parts of Europe. We particularly like this show as we spent some time in Scandinavia a couple of years ago, and it's wonderful to look at the action and recognise the places. It brings back a lot of memories.

However shows on SBS have the disadvantage, for us monolingual knitters, of being sub-titled. Grandpa Flea is very well trained now and gives me a running commentary if I'm distracted by the dropped stitch or frogging-in-progress, but I have learnt this week, after many aborted attempts (five in total!) to turn the heel on the second of my first ever pair of socks that I cannot watch SBS and do the sock thing simultaneously. This poor pair of knee length socks has already been dragged all over New Zealand, to and from various other places, been frogged once already from the ankle back up to the basque below the knee (because it is a K3 P2 rib and on my return from three weeks sightseeing in NZ I discovered many purl stitches where I had dropped back into the habit of K2 P2 - damn!) and they are looking quite old and pilled (it's Patonyle). However, I have at last turned the heel and whilst I'm not proud of the quality of the knitting and the turn, I'm ecstatic that I have managed to do it! I think I'm about to develop a sock knitting habit. One more FO to send out into the world. I'll add a photo to this post as soon as I can pin Grandpa Flea down long enough to wrestle his shoes and socks off so he can model them for me!

Lara has started coming to the Cherryhills knitting group, and at a recent meeting she had some hand-dyed Patonyle which looked great. I think I might have to give it a try. Lara used food dyes, and I have just bought a pile of extremely toxic looking food dyes to make cup-cakes a la Yarnstorm for the littlest Flea's 5th birthday next weekend.