21 June 2013

trinity stitch hat

No 'clever' post title today.  I couldn't think of anything.

Another hat!  I made this for Laura's birthday, then promptly requested she give it back so I could take photos.  Thanks Laura! xox

Rather than choosing interesting locations for my photoshoots I've instead been trying to find interesting backdrops.  What do you think?  It is all about the knitting after all. 

Thanks again to Clara for the photos! xox  (You may have noticed I've been wearing the same dress for a few weeks... we took snaps of 3 FOs in one day, how Clara puts up with me I'm sure I don't know).

Pattern:  Trinity Stitch Hat.  Lots of purling.  Owwwww.  In fact, lots of purling 3 together!  Double Ow.  I hate purling.  But in the 12ply it worked up quickly.  I didn't like how long it was taking to decrease at the crown so I sped up the decreases but did not take notes.  I really like the shape of this hat and hope Laura gets lots of wear out of it!
Yarn:  Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 12ply in Magnolia.
Ravelled here


-Linking with-
Tami's Amis FO Fridays | Fiber Arts Fridays at Wisdom Begins in Wonder | Natural Suburbia for Creative Fridays | I've Made Friday at SusanD1408 Crochet Addict | I ♥ Fridays at Petals to Picots

19 June 2013

more things

Last week I not only bought new needles, but also yarn at BWM. this combination naturally results in the casting on of a new project.  Here is Streusel.  I'm enjoying this knit a lot more than anything I have knitted before.  It's growing quickly and the construction is very interesting, with the lacey border being knit at the same time as the body of the scarf.  Very much want to wear it as soon as possible. Half way through now. 

I also completed one repeat of Hanami, and took some photos for posterity.  This has since been frogged, as I need to go down a needle size.  This is not as fun to knit - I think it moves much slower (even though I can see real progress when I sit down and concentrate).  I think it's all in my head, knowing that it's going to be so ginormous.  And, yeah it requires so much concentration - 31 row repeat of the basket weave.  Yikes.  I'm a bit stressed about not having enough yarn and have been weighing and measuring madly.  I think it will work itself out, but am still wondering whether I should do one less pattern repeat.  hm.

And that's all I have to say about that.  (For now anyways)


Linking to- WIP Wednesday (Tami's Amis) | WIP Wednesday (Ambassador Crochet) | Yarn Along (Small Things) | Keep Calm and Craft On {Crafting on} (Frontier Dreams) | What you doing Wednesday (SusanD1408 Crochet Addict) | Hookin on Hump Day (My Merry Messy Life) | Muster Party (Fluster Buster)

18 June 2013


I have a small confession.  I don't read much or broadly.  I put it down to my job, which generally involves reading and writing all day.  It's exhausting.  Why would I want to stare at more words in my leisure time?

I have however, found audiobooks have filled this gap for me.  This is how I read The Hunger Games, The Diary of Anne Frank and Game of Thrones.  It does have it's drawbacks - it's painfully slow.  It probably takes me twice as long to 'read' a book now through listening to it.  But the advantages vastly outweigh the disadvantages - sometimes you get different voice actors reading different parts, if someone is supposed to have an irish accent you can hear it and you can do other things while 'reading' - in my case, knitting or crochet of course.

So all this blather is leading up to me telling you about the book I am currenty reading.  That's right, currently reading, I haven't even finished it but I need to share because I'm bursting at the seams.  I have never felt so compelled to tell the world what I am reading.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Holey moley. Shit.  Fuck.  Fuck.  Fuck.

Is it wrong to review a book before I've finished it?  Too bad if it is, I have thoughts and I want to tell you.

It's really good.  So so good.  Not perfect, because on a couple of occasions I have had to roll my eyes at something Gus has said to Hazel, or Hazel's reaction.  But man I am having so many feelings. 

Mr Green, what the hell?  I wasn't expecting to be moved.

I chose to read this book because I hear about it everywhere, like all over the internets.  Well, tumblr anyway.  And I recently discovered and became addicted to the vlogbrothers, which has resulted in the development of a bit of a crush on John Green.  And Hank Green.  Not a crush like, oh I want to marry them, but an affection for their enthusiasm, energy, humour, intelligence and overall outlook on life. 

Don't forget to be awesome.

I don't think I've ever heard such a fantastically postive mantra. 

So these guys, they're so cool to watch.  Tfios is so ridiculously hyped.  Did I dare?  Obviously I did - I obtained the audiobook.  I started 'reading' acutally knowing very little about the book, other than it was about a girl with cancer.  That's it.  I have no experience with cancer, personally or otherwise.  So again, I did not expect to relate to this book as much as I am.

I'm half way through, and listening to it in public has already brought tears to my eyes in three instances.  I do not cry at books.  Well, the only one I have was To Kill a Mockingbird, but that is a fucking fantastic book.  Which has brought me to the conclusion that Tfios is also a fucking fantastic book.

Green's ability to describe the situation, to make me understand exactly how these characters are feeling, is amazing.  Ok, so a lot of the dialogue is convoluted.  Teenagers do not speak like that.  29 year old women do not speak like that.*  But I don't mind, because that's what I like about teenage fiction (my preferred genre for leisure time reading), the confidence and intelligence of these teenages is light years beyond who I was at that stage in my life (and who I am now for that matter) - it's nice to fantasise about perfectly beautiful conversations.  Also the relationship between Gus and Hazel is too perfect.  And the events are not particularly realistic (I'm referring to the wish business).

But Green and this book get mad props from me because the book has elicited such strong feelings from me.  I've lain awake at 2am wanting to listen more, not being able to sleep for needing to know what happens next.  I've not read a book that has been able to do that to me in a long while.  I'm not sure what the point of the book is yet, but I don't really care if it has a point or not. 

Would highly recommend. 

So, I guess I'm a nerdfighter** now?  Yay!!  Are you?


* this one certainly doesn't.
** a NerdFighter is a person who, instead of being made of blood and tissue and organs, is made entirely out of awesome (source).  Definitely me.

16 June 2013

365: 81-100

I think the wheels have fallen off my 365 project at the moment.  I'm trying to keep up but many days I really do just forget to keep my eye out for something interesting to capture.

So some days I've had to catch up by snapping 2 or 3 photos instead of one.  That's ok though, it's my project, and my rules let me cheat if I need to!

I really wish I had something more poignant than knitting for photo #100, but oh well!! Knitting is pretty rad :D

81.  My office plant.  A peace lily that hasn't flowered yet.
82.  You can't really tell, but the moon was out early and was quite large....That's my street in case you are interested!
83.  Loot from fabric shopping!
84.  Casting on. 
85.  Safety zone at the train station.
86.  My shoddy job of winding some beautiful yarn.
87.  Parliament station (Apparently you aren't allowed to take photos.. so this one is a bit illegal)
88.  Burke and Wills.  Did you also learn about them in school?
89.  Ebay purchase, love collecting things I used to own.
90.  Doughnuts *drool*
91.  New jammies.  Love the spots.
92.  We moved a shelf into the living room and The Kitten has claimed the top shelf as her new perch.
93.  Cool installation at Federation Square:  The Helix Tree.  It changes colour as people sing to it.
94.  The last of the leaves falling in the city.
95.  Craft market loot.
96.  OMG my new favourite game.  It's super scary, don't know what people around who could hear me screaming thought!  Dropped $20 bucks into this on the day of this photo.
97.  Another attempt at sewing (epic fail btw)
98.  Fishy in the tank at our local fish and chip shop.
99.  Best doughnuts everrrrrr!  *double drool*  The jam is dispensed via dolphin!
100.  More casting on. 


Linking with Wicked Artsy for Photographic Sundays!

14 June 2013


Heyyyyy.  Remember this?  So, turns out I was being overly dramatic, and all that needed to be done was to weave in the ends.  So, that only took me 10 months, and now I have a totally wearable hat!!

Pattern:  Snappy Hat.  A fine pattern, but next time I will probably do one less cable repeat so it's a bit more beanie and less slouchy.
Yarn:  Lincraft Veronica.  Super cheap acrylic, but very soft and I think it knit up very well.
Ravelled here.


-Linking with-
Tami's Amis FO Fridays | Fiber Arts Fridays at Wisdom Begins in Wonder | Natural Suburbia for Creative Fridays | I've Made Friday at SusanD1408 Crochet Addict | I ♥ Fridays at Petals to Picots


OMG I actually saw Arnold Schwarzenegger!  Actually, not even 10m away.  In the flesh.  He's in Australia doing, well I don't really know, but he came to a gym in the western suburbs to give a talk. It was a kind of, well, inspirational.  I was surprisingly in awe of Arnie, standing there, chatting away about his life.  I kept having to remind myself to listen to what he was saying because I kept getting distracted by the fact that it was Arnie!!!

We know how to welcome them in the West!
Anyway, so Arnie came to a gym near me, which is apparently the largest gym in the Southern hemisphere.  Go figure.

We only bought general admin tickets, because while I'm a huge fan, I'm not quite a VIP-$700-ticket fan.

There were about 1000 peeps in the crowd, but even then we were only 10m away from the Governator.  I took my super duper zoom lens with me, and got a few snaps of his royal Schwarzenegger-ness.

It was kind of funny to watch all the cameras and phones come out when Arnie first appeared.  I'm not making fun - I was one of them!
So I mentioned the talk was inspirational.  He gave a talk about his 5 steps to sucess, which weren't mind shatteringly novel, but coming from such an impressive figure, I found his words to be particularly weighty.  Here are his 5 steps to success, with some of the messages that particularly struck in my mind, albeit paraphrased below.

Arnie's 5 steps to success

1. Have a vision

If you don't have a vision with yourself you will just be floating.  With every rep I did, every set, I was thinking about lifting a trophy.

2. Think big

You can't fail from aiming high.  Even if you fail, as long as you get up that's not a failure. 

3. Ignore the naysayers

They told me not to be an actor because I had too many muscles, they said I looked like a monster.  They said I had a crazy accent, but it made me the perfect terminator because I sounded like a robot.

4. Work your ass off

You sleep for 6 hours, what are you going to do with the other 18 hours of your day?  Oh you want to sleep for 8 hours?  Well I sleep faster than you.

That's Danny Green there interviewing Arnie, for all you boxing aficionados. 

5. Give back

Give back to those less fortunate, share your success and it will make you happier.

Happily, he also spoke about his movies and answered some questions.  I took a short video of him talking about the formulation of his most famous line.  Danny Green was so cute totally fanboying over Arnie, describing to him his favourite scene from Commando.  (You can also hear me laugh when Danny Green says "let off some steam Bennett")

He also gave a shorter version of his steps to success:
  1. have 20 inch biceps
  2. have a charming Austrian accent
  3. be able to kill a predator with your bare hands
Someone had an Arnie doll! 
I found him charming, very articulate, engagingly funny and really inspirational.  Arnie was extremely down to Earth, ready to make fun of himself, his 'crazy accent' and his ridiculous last name, 'what is it, Schnitzel?'  He also spoke about the importance of being happy, and only doing things which make you happy.   I'm already feeling more positive and enthused about changes I can make to contribute to my own success!

Do you have a favourite Arnie movie?  I'm a huge fan of Last Action Hero and Total Recall.  I feel an Arnie-a-thon coming on!


P.s.  my friend showed me this video recently, and it needs to be included with this post!

10 June 2013

market loot and a craft rant

So I went to a craft market over the weekend.  I always want to take nice photos, but I always feel awkward, like the stall watching me, stealing their ideas. Which to be Frank, I kinda am. Not really though. I just personally have a real problem with buying stuff I know I could make myself. Plus I am a real tight arse.

Practically the only photo I took inside the market - really fab location eh?
I mean, look a this.

I was in Bendigo - I had to take a drop into the mills and the wonderful bargain room. All of this cost me under $25!  That red yarn?  $1.50 per 50g!  Because it's dyed unevenly?  More like charmingly variegated I say!

Anyway, craft markets.  I do find them inspirational.  And I did buy some stuff. See? 

Doily bag and brooch from wink & bid, and 'I tram Melbourne' postcards from, hilariously, I Tram Melbourne.  How does one tram Melbourne?  Does it mean you travel on trams?  Weird.  I didn't buy The Kitten, she just likes to get in on the action.
They make me anxious though.  Craft markets.  I can just feel the stall holders watching me inspect their lovingly (well, maybe, I'll come back to that) crafted items, waiting for me too ooh and aah over their stuff, when secretly I am totally judging them based on their craft skills, plotting and planning projects in my head.  Projects that will be much better executed and that will only cost me a fraction of the price.  I am so totally unimpressed with most things I see at craft markets.  They are generally not new ideas nor is much of the stuff made particularly well.  Even the brooch I did buy seemed quite flimsy (but for $6 I shouldn't really complain). 

Outside the town hall, feeling better about getting the camera out.
For example, I inspected some hand knit hats.  The owner dropped her knitting (she was knitting while running her stall), and jumped up "oh you can try it on!"  I swiftly declined. I didn't say that I could make it myself, and was merely inspecting her work.  She was charging something like $60 per hat and they pretty shoddily made with some god awful yarn to boot!!  Which brings me to the making.   I have a couple of friends who have experience in crafting for cash, and the impression I get is that once you are forced to churn out high enough volumes for the store, you don't enjoy crafting any more.  

Finally, I did not see anything at this craft market that I hadn't seen on pinterest before.  So really, maybe I shouldn't feel bad for taking inspiration, or 'stealing' ideas.  I'm certainly not going to be running my own store - what a bore!  I'm still not convinced that it's ok to take photos though.

So, there you have it.  This post was a bit pointless, other than to show off my loot.

Not really a dog person, but look at her jumper!
What do you think of craft markets?


08 June 2013

cuteness update

I'm sure you're wondering how The Kitten is going right?

Don't worry, she's still cute.  


06 June 2013

oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Yes, I use cheesy lyrics as a post title.  Sue me.

Really love the way this turned out.  Just in time for winter which is hitting hard at the moment.

I headed down to the closest seaside to my house to model this FO, Altona beach.  Partner acted as my photographer on this occasion, insisting on leaving the camera on 'Auto'.  I think the photos are great anyway!  Don't let the sun fool you - it was fucking cold and we literally jumped back in the car after taking these.  Luckily I had appropriate knitted accessories - what a crazy random happenstance!


  • Ships and Seaside cowl.  This was one of those patterns that I coveted the first time I saw it, then filed it away for future reference.  Then I remembered about a particular yarn in my stash, cast on, and it was all over in a matter of days.  It's essentially a knit loop.  I enjoyed making it very much as you can just see yourself wearing it, it knits up so fast.  I only had the two colours, so didn't follow the stripe sequence, but I would love to make another of these as per the pattern.  The kitchener stitch didn't bother me at all, and any errors I may have made (as if I made any!) are hidden in the fuzziness of the yarn. 
  • Mario slouch hat.  My execution of this pattern was far from elegant, but I think it looks fine and is entirely wearable. I like it with the cowl, not to matchy-matchy.  Knit up in a couple of nights. 
Yarn:  Touch Yarns Brushed Solid, a 12ply super hairy Merino/Mohair blend.  Still feels a bit scratchy on my skin, but I'm not too precious about that.  Very warm.  I had 300g worth and had enough left after the cowl to make two hats!  You can apparently make a whole cardigan with one skein of this beast of a yarn, it goes on and on and on.  Oh, and I'm sure this goes without saying but it sheds like a mo-fo.

Ravelled here


p.s. I'm sure you'd also like the the lyrics to I do like to be beside the seaside. You're welcome.  I especially like "Tiddely-om-pom-pom!"

-Linking with-
Tami's Amis FO Fridays | Fiber Arts Fridays at Wisdom Begins in Wonder | Natural Suburbia for Creative Fridays | I've Made Friday at SusanD1408 Crochet Addict | I ♥ Fridays at Petals to Picots

05 June 2013

for better or worse

A phrase that applies to marriage and knitting.

Not my marriage, no way!  But every time a friend announces their impending nuptials, I offer my services to produce a pretty wedding shawl.  In the current case, my friend has instead requested a shawl-as-a-wedding-gift, rather than a wedding shawl.  This is a top idea, as the shawl should turn out to be much more versatile and wearable.

As my friend has chosen both the yarn and the pattern, I have no qualms about recording the progress of said shawl on my lil blog.  Furthermore, I'm not sure how often friend frequents me here (hiya nusm if you're reading!!). 

So, the chosen pattern is Hanami Shawl and the yarn is Handmaiden Fine Yarn, Seasilk in colourway moondust.  Ugh the colour makes me sick, how fucking beautiful is it?  I'm not a huge fan of pale colours on myself, but these are definitely nusm's colours.

Here is a very unimpressive shot of my first 10-ish rows. Also my really shoddily wound ball (the silk was so slippery it kept slipping so I gave up).  I think I need to go down a needle size, it feels a bit flappy and loose.  I'm going to knit the first repeat and then re-evaluate.  Or maybe I should just learn how to measure gauge already!  sheesh.

This project is challenging for me as it's mostly charted.  I don't know how I am going to manage knitting on the train.  Any tips?  I think I might print a copy of the pattern smaller so I can easily refer to it rather than pulling out a big A4 piece of paper every 3 seconds.

The deadline is the start of November, do you think I'll make it??


Linking to- WIP Wednesday (Tami's Amis) | WIP Wednesday (Ambassador Crochet) | Yarn Along (Small Things) | Keep Calm and Craft On {Crafting on} (Frontier Dreams) | What you doing Wednesday (SusanD1408 Crochet Addict) | Hookin on Hump Day (My Merry Messy Life) | Muster Party (Fluster Buster)

04 June 2013

regular correspondence

I am addicted to love postcrossing.

One of the many reasons for my affection is finding people like my new penpal Anna. She is from the Saratov region of Russia.  She is the most kind and thoughtful person I've ever had the pleasure of corresponding with.  We have a bit of a deal now.  She collects stamps.  Every month or so, I send her an envelope including a few postcards and stamps, and she sends one right back!  She's actually ahead of me in the sending game - sometimes sending me two in the time it takes me to get one in the post!

And she doesn't just settle with stamps - here are the contents of a few of her envelopes.  Yes, that's tea!  And stickers!

In the Christmas card she also translated the message!

Envelope 2, more great stamps, postcards, tea, stickers and fliers for movies in Russian!

Envelope no 3, postcards (look at the cat one omg), stickers and a little magnetic calendar!

I've been trying to make up for her awesome parcels with some awesomeness of my own.  Tea, a koala magnet, rad postcards and aussie alphabet stickers!

Does anyone have any other suggestions of things I could easily fit into an envelope and send to my penpal?  I must out-awesome her (because obviously it's a competition!).


02 June 2013

Tanya does movies: May

May was a much better month for movies.  Last month has been unintentionally characterised as a horror month!

Evil Dead (2013)
Bloody Australia, they only showed this in one cinema in the state!  We had to trek into Carlton (gross) to see this highly anticipated masterpiece.  It did not disappoint and was easily the most gruesome and terrifying movie I have seen in an age.  The effects were horribly realistic and it didn't try to rip off the original, even though it was fun to see how the original had been reinterpreted.  Make sure you stay until after the credits for a real treat too!

The Fly (1986)
Jeff Goldblum is the bomb.  He was so adorable and creepy in this movie.  Fantasmagorical effects, and a riveting story, how had I not seen this before?  Shameful really.

Hansel and Gretel:  Witch Hunters (2013)
I thought this was gong to be horrendous, but it actually wasn't that bad. Enjoyable with some pretty gruesome effects, which I find absolutely delightful (see above).  Great popcorn movie.

Warm Bodies (2013)
Another movie I approached with extremely low expectations, and was pleasantly surprised.  There were a lot of great things about this movie:  John Malcovich, the reasons given why zombies eat brains, the way the zombies communicated with each other.  I found myself thoroughly entertained.

Just Married (2003)
This hardly counts as I caught it on TV one night and barely paid attention.  But I don't think you can expect much more from this kind of movie.  I like it when Ashton Kutcher gets enraged and starts yelling, and how great was Brittany Murphy?  Her performance was comedy gold.  Sad really.

So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)
HAHAHAHAHA.  Classic Mike Myers.  I forget about him, and then you see his comedy, and you're like 'oh yeah, that guy is pretty funny'.  Good little film.

Kingpin (1996)
You only need one reason to watch this movie, and that reason is Bill Murray.  Woody Harrelson is good too, but Bill Murray steals the show (as usual). Nobody plays a sleazy narcissist like Murray.  Also, intense sports movies about weird sports are humorous.

I Didn't Come Here to Die (2010)
Super cheaply made B-movie with surprisingly good effects.  I won't give you any spoilers, but yeah even though you don't go somewhere to die, you can't always have things your way.  The story was really dumb and the acting was almost as terrible.  A fun movie in any case.

Cockneys v Zombies (2012)
Again, I didn't pay attention to this one properly (was crocheting) but again, I don't think you need to.  I could tell it was hi-lar-i-ous and made very well too.  Very polished. 

Pumping Iron (1977)
Does this count as a movie?  I'm counting it.  I'm preparing myself to see ARNIE IN PERSON so thought I best watch him in his hay-day.  Just wow, he was totally unbeatable.  Honestly though, seeing all those muscles made me pretty uncomfortable.  I just feel like, how is that even possible without some sort of voodoo.  Do not like.

Identity Thief (2013)
Will somebody please give me that hour and a half of my life back?  My lord what a terrible movie, and coming from me that is saying something, because I will watch anything (as you may have noticed).  Ugh.  Like, the main character changes everything about him on a whim, all of a sudden?  Why?  Yes, it's a dumb comedy, but still.

Blade (1998)
Was only half watching when Partner put this on, but it's a good movie eh?  Bloody, good action, Wesley Snipes kickin' butt like a mo-fo.

Serenity (2005)
I'm a leaf on the wind!!!!  Just re-watched Firefly for the umpteenth time, so naturally I had to finish my depression off with Serenity.  Any Browncoats out there reading my blog?  If you are reading my blog and you're not a Browncoat, why not?  Go and watch Firefly and then come back.  Kthanksbye.

The Exorcist (1973)
I hadn't seen this before.  I wish I could go back to that beautiful time.  Why does this movie have the following that it does?  Wow, it was just awful.  And I'm not talking about crappy-B-movie-it's-so-bad-it's-good awful, but just shoddy.  It was too long and so boring.  When they finally go to the possession parts, they were good!  But everything leading up to that... sheesh.  Scenes weren't connected, I was given information I didn't know what to do with.  It just didn't work.  Lord, exorcise this movie from my memory.  Well, there were some cool quotes though - mainly the profanity that came out of Regan when possessed!

And the pick of the month.... EVIL DEAD! 


All pictures randomly found on etsy.  Click the picture to see the original listing.