Can’t make it out :\

See these ?

Yarn bowls. Sold by all the big companies and made by hand by many creative people. Question: when did you last see a ball of yarn that would fit into one ?

Oh sure, one can buy one’s classy wool or blend in skeins and have to haul out the swift and the ball-winder, ending up with a round cake of whatever; but in most cases the cake is too big for the average yarn bowl. And anyway, yarn one buys in skeins is always very expensive (around, say, AUD36 and not necessarily all that many metres).

Buying the kind of yarn I’m currently using sees big fat soft … erhmm … sort of oval-shaped balls[*] that can’t possibly fit any yarn bowl I’ve ever seen. And they are, in fact, these oval-shaped balls, absolutely infuriating: they’re designed to be pulled from the outside; but woven in such a way that they have to either turn over and over when you’re yanking them, or you can’t yank as you go but must pull off lengths of yarn every so often. I find that so irritating that I frequently feel like throwing them on the floor.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this ? I mean, is it just me, using the yarn somehow incorrectly ? Why isn’t the world full of grumpy people knitting or crocheting and muttering ?

If all yarn were produced to be pulled from the centre I’d be as happy as a pig in horrid stuff: the ball/s (current project has me using two at a time) just sit there, as well-behaved as anything; no turning over and over and tightening in the process, no need to keep unwinding lengths in advance … (Of course, there is the downside of how do you manage to rewind if you need to frog.)

I need answers. Hope to get some.



[*] once you’ve got ’em going, that is: they start out with ‘waists’ under the label – slightly hourglass-shaped


My unfortunate eldest sister

Whispering Gums reminded me in a comment, totally unintentionally, of something vile I did to J, my most respectable and quite brilliant sister (there were once 5 of us, but now we are only 3).

The comment was regarding my completing a crocheted lapghan for J – the one in two shades of grey NO NOT FIFTY !!!! – that I posted about here. A serious bit of work, of which I am proud.

However, the vile thing was this:

Heh heh …

It is in fact quite a good FO: the pattern got a bit tricky as the size increased, inasmuch as the number of 8s and 3s and whathaveyou meant I had to concentrate, or frog rows and rows. (Actually, I did that a fair bit. Grrrrrrrrr …) But the COLOURS, my dears ! – simply frightful !   :)

Trouble was that the American Yarn online shop in Melbourne had almost run out of this pertickler type/weight/etc., so I was limited to this or one that was grave-coloured – you know, greens and greys and blacks and stuff.

I did tell Jocie,up there in her Paris flat, that it was meant for her to put ’round her shoulders in the Parisian winter – only for interior use. Besides, I added, as she would need to be wearing sunglasses as well, it might as well be spring (even were she not starry-eyed and discontented …).

But I somehow think she’s never put it on. Pity.

The vintage walrus has begun

I’m fairly happy with the first few motifs, even though the row that caused me so much trouble that I had to seek help from someone on the Italian Scot’s Facebook site – which I did, of course !, by email – is also that on which the background colour cannot be hidden. Sighh … This kind woman sent me a chart; but was obliged to confess that she hasn’t actually got around to making the Walrus.

So if you check back to the picture from the pattern you can see that my motifs do actually resemble Lucia’s. Well, that’s the claim I’m making, anyway.

The odd thing is that I haven’t yet come across anyone who’s made it: Pippin Poppycock hasn’t, either. I should put my statement in context: of those with whom I’ve communicated, none has made it.

Here’s hoping I shall not become yet another of these fans who can’t seem to get around to it. At least I’ve started.


Hooray for Ravelry !

This is fairly mind-boggling … that a craft site, regardless of its member numbers, should take a stand in such a fashion. I congratulated them in a forum as soon as I’d read about this on Spinning Anna’s site.

Here are three reports by on-line publishers:


The Guardian

Business Insider

Amazed by Buzzfeed’s, OK with The Guardian’s and happy with Business Insider.  Happiest of all, of course, with Ravelry itself.



Crikey !- more problems!

That is NOT Lui. Not my cat. Whose ? – a matter of conjecture …

Yesterday morning …

At the unspeakable hour I am always dragged from my bed by the cat who IS Lui – the close vicinity of 5 am – I let him out the side sliding door into the yard and went into the kitchen to turn on The Coffee Machine. Waited for all the processes of heating and grinding and pulling the shot and making the milk red-hot, and finished. Suddenly realized Lui hadn’t come back in.

Wandered casually out and around the back part of my yard, to find Lui and him up there ^ in that photo squaring off at the end of the pathway. The second he ^ spotted me he went up the 12′ metal fence as if it was a set of stairs: truly, it was amazing ! Lui, my totally beloved 12½-y-o mog, hissed and spat and growled at me from the depths of his gut. Wouldn’t let me near him. I went back inside with my coffee and drank it morosely.

Eventually Lui came back in, behaving as if nothing had happened: jumped up onto my lap and purred, the little bugger. I punished him by hugging him very tightly.

Last night …

Went to bed around 9:30, as you do… Awoken by the sound of Lui mucking about in the vertical blind over the side door. Knew instantly what must be going on, and yes, there he ^ was, the great bastard – sitting in my little pot-planted yard, driving Lui insane. I waved my arms almost as if trying to stop a taxi from roaring past me in the driveway, and he ^ climbed leisurely up the wooden fence and sat on top of the gate. No faces I made at him had any effect. I couldn’t just go back to bed and leave him there: I had to make sure he had GONE. So I was obliged to open the sliding door; and Lui erupted out under my feet. He ^ turned and walked swiftly back along the top of the dividing fence and disappeared.

I went to where Lui was hissing and spitting and growling under my standing planter and tried to speak calmly to him. Being an extremely stupid person sometimes, I put out my hand to him; and he let fly with a right uppercut. I screamed really loudly because he had two claws wedged in my hand, and managed eventually to detach the latter from the former. Then I went back inside and applied bandaids. Lui came back in within a surprisingly short time, and once again I was in the company of Dr Jekyll. (Btw, my scream appeared to have awoken nobody. Just goes to show that it’s no more safe living within the grounds of an aged care facility than it is living outside one.)

Today …

I’d been over to Belmont to my optometrist, run into H ! and had a pie-and-cuppa and she drove me all the way home, the kind love !; and then I did my usual in this fuckin horrible weather and got into my nighty and dressing-gown. Him up there ^ then strolled casually past my front window, causing frothing rage. Jumped up without giving a moment’s thought to my attire, grabbed my phone and leaped out the front door in hopes of seeing him ^ ‘go home’.

He never did; but he walked rapidly – can’t call it ‘running’ – from the Units to Bella Chara* and into some bushes there. Need I add that not only appeared around a corner an admin bloke whom I really like and admire, looking every inch the professional businessman; but very shortly our duo was augmented by a car driving up that contained the CEO, who is a woman I admire enormously and like commensurately. There we were, the three of us, chatting in friendly fashion about this bloody cat: Alwin in super winter coat, Joy in her car but without doubt as well-dressed as she always is, and me in my nighty and dressing-gown AND UGG BOOTS.

I could’ve died.


So there are two more disadvantages re living in MACS: (1) this goddam cat that will be making Lui’s and my life a misery unless we can trap him and make the Council take him to a cat thingy; and (2) the fact that if I’ve done my usual towards the end of the day in terms of ‘dress’, I am not to go outside no matter what.


*The part of MACS that’s for people who can’t be totally independent but aren’t so helpless as to need actual aged care

First problem with living at MACS

It’s my address.

I kinda knew it would cause problems, but I didn’t realize how they would point up our national postal service as being … well, unbelievable, really. Nor how they’d show just how appallingly unsatisfactory is our taxi service.

The whole complex has the address of 100 Weddell Road; and admin says that for mail I simply preface that with my unit number and a slash (forward, not the … ahh … bladder-relieving kind !). But being an old fart and not having a car, I do a lot of shopping on-line, and need to have stuff delivered. So will Australia Post deliver to my door, as I have always understood is their byword ? – they will not.

Their database is one used by many on-line suppliers – like, a whole big lot of them. And when I tried to get that database to change my address from my previous one, it would let me add nothing but 100 Weddell Road. And having exchanged several emails with bloody AusPost and also several phone-calls, I now know that the reason for this is that “if we allowed everyone there to add their unit number, they’d all expect to have their mail delivered to their door !” Right: we all would. There are EIGHT units.    :\

As for the taxis – that’s a horse of a different colour. The driveway to MACS goes off to the right from Weddell Road, and at the very beginning of this driveway is a big “MACS” sign clearly identifying this very spot as the taxi pick-up/drop-off point. Since my address is given as [unit no]/100 Weddell Road, the drivers just roar down the driveway into the distance, heading for the main entrance – scarcely within coo-ee of me. I have to be waiting on the corner and just about jumping under their wheels to stop them passing me: waving like a windmill is apparently not enough.

As the weather is and has been for weeks inclement-to-put-it-mildly, standing outside to collect my taxi is not fun. Even less fun would be going all the way up to the main entrance. I am a hag-ridden, exhausted, irritated person.

Yeah yeah – so what else is new ?!

And here’s the other story

This is such fun !

As my colours aren’t the same as Lucia’s, I needed to get some way of arranging them that didn’t involve taking her 63 squares pages and replacing my colours on her list. The GSCPG was it !

Had a feeling I’d once seen something of this kind on-line, so searched under “mathematical way of using many colours” or the like, and sure enough, there it was. O happy day !

Enter 9 squares wide by 7 square high by 4 colours in each square and press GENERATE and Bob’s yer uncle.

Oh, except for the vital first stage: setting up your colours. This is quite a testing process, as (a) the little thingy doesn’t allow for entering HEX code, and (b) the colours it generates aren’t exactly the same as one manages to produce within the little thingy.

I shall ask this marvellously clever woman if she can add HEX coding to it, and then it will be absolutely perfect;

In the meantime, it’s hugely entertaining !

‘Tis done ! (and dusted)

Whoever thought I had the staying power ? – pas moi !

But I listened to several audiobooks with Lui snoring between my knees on the recliner chair, and it is actually finished: 6 balls of Scheepjes Colour Crafter @ 300m each. Nearly two kilometres !!!

I shall post this off to my eldest sister – unhappily, just as Paris is warming up. Never mind: she can stash it away in some nice-smelling drawer, ready to be brought out as soon as the weather turns cold-ish. It’s not a heavy lapghan, but soft and beautifully warm – I know, I tried it. 140 no-foundation-row hdc, it was; and I am madly happy to say that this stitch allows for absolutely surety of correctly reaching the end of each row, as well as being a single row pattern. Usually when I crochet a largeish whatever I have to rissole it because it’s become wider and wider or maybe  narrower and narrower and THEN wider and wider. [grin]

Crunch stitch is a very good one for blankets: it would be perfect for a baby blanket or rug. That would have to be for someone else, as I do not take frightfully well to babies, nor they to me (I sometimes wonder if it may have something to do with their wondering if I am a much larger version of themselves …).

Well, there you go. Next project is that sublime motif blanket designed by the Scottish Italian. I have all the yarn now. But deciding on which colour goes with which … well, that’s another story.

My hometown’s doing alright

This is REALLY impressive. So damned simple !

An obvious question (which would be received in silence were I able to put it): to all the town and city Australian Councils – why haven’t you taken this up ?!

Oh, and P.S.: when I grew up in Perth, Kwinana was, like, a completely different part of the topography. The thought of its ever being listed as part of Perth would’ve had us in fits of laughter, scorn or amazement …