The lazy woman’s guide

Since I’m never going to work out how to crochet long rows without having to count stitches, and since I’m far too lazy for such dedication, from the moment I realised how ‘non-meeting’ were the edges of the top-down cardigan it was always going to be frogged. So, I thought, I’ll frog it NOW and start again with something else.

Then I considered the amount of yarn that had been consumed by the pattern, and thought again: all that winding ! Far from good for the arthritis in the ancient thumbs.

Once having decided to try simply making a rectangle-or-square-depending-on-how-it-fits-my-back, on making two rectangles to match for the front and two in-the-round sleeves, I undid the slip knot on the bottom of the unfinished cardi and frogged a few rows. Then I made a (rather enormous) chain and started on the single crochet ‘rib’.

And thus have I progressed: crochet frogs brilliantly – much better than knitting ! – and all I had to do is dump the unfinished cardi in the basket and pull from it as needed.

I’m using ‘Crunch stitch’, which isn’t meant for garments. Me being a total smart-(_|_), I couldn’t see why not so gave it a burl. It turned out to be like nothing so much as a cuirass: I reckon it could stop bullets.   :\

Hence the couple of mesh rows in the middle: they’re my attempt to loosen it up. Somewhat.

Bet you can’t recall ever seeing a garment of any kind crocheted in crunch stitch.

Still, the sides don’t wander in and out. Every cloud ..

The US governmental system: HUH ?

A friend and I often share enraged thoughts about Trump; but we almost equally often come back to the fact that there are some unbelieveable (to us, anyway) facts about the .. ahh .. format ? – maybe design of sections of how the US government works, and these act as enablers for him.

For instance: gerrymandering. Someone explain to me how it is that political party members get to redistribute the voting boundaries in their own party’s favour ?

For instance: in the Senate its leader decides which bills – that Congress has already passed – are even looked at by the Senate, This little beauty enables Trump to go on and on about the “do nothing Democrats”, when in fact they’ve passed hundreds of bills – which are sitting in a pile (possibly under a ‘coffee’ mug) on McConnell’s desk.

Also, this appalling situation is what allows McConnell to ensure that only the White House’s choices get voted on to sit as judges on various – and many ! – courts.

He gets my vote, btw, as the worst villain in the entire setup; because he has so much power and chooses to use it in so partisan and unethical a manner.

For instance: he’s currently outraging the Democrats any American with a brain by boasting that he intends the Senate to work hand in glove with Trump’s legal team during the Senate part of Trump’s impeachment; but to my amazement, a Republican senator has come forward in her own outrage on that ! A brave person in the Republican ranks: who could’ve known ?!

For instance: judges – VERY non-partisan judges ! – being able to simply wipe hundreds of thousands of The Other Party’s supporters off the voting rolls.

I suspect I could go on; but I’m so gobsmacked by that quartet that I haven’t the energy to do it.


(Oh, and P.S.: if your’e wondering why I’m even interested in all this shit that’s going down in America, it’s because I’m a devotee of Obama’s, then and now. Perfect he wasn’t; but in his first term he was effective, and in his second completely stymied by the GOP-led Congress. I’ve come to think of Republicans as .. not nice.)

Boodie says ..

.. season’s greetings.


Well, he would say it if he could talk.

This delicious photo was taken yesterday by K, his erstwhile foster-mum. She brought a son with her; and they spent a happy 45 minutes or so playing with him and chatting with me. (I don’t think it was the other way ’round; but it was 24 hours ago.)

I believe he’s still small. I pray that he never gets bigger.

But on the other hand, what’s the point of praying ? If there’s a god of some sort s/he will know that I haven’t led an exemplary life; and the only other option is that there isn’t. So I don’t actually pray: I just .. hope.   :)

As always, there’s a problem :\

Yes, I realize it looks like an infant’s garment: that’s because the sleeves aren’t there. And that‘s because I haven’t made ’em yet.

You can see the problem, yes ? – I appear to  be incapable of crocheting a straight line. Even in the so-far-last 5 or 6 rows, in which I assiduously counted all stitches, it doesn’t line up !

I may have to top meself. (I wonder how many times I’ve said that ?)

If someone would inform me WHY my edges wander all over the place, I would be very happy indeed. The trouble is that crocheting a garment is always going to mean a whole shitload of stitches – especially with top down, of course – that, it seems, need to be constantly counted. At least, they do with me.

Any hints from anyone who can crochet without needing to count, 24/7 ? Please ?


Crikey !

It will get hotter than this today.

The real climate change thing is not only the appalling heat (outside), but the fact that it’s predicted to be a maximum of 22 tomorrow.

Go figure.

There is not a single sound outside my unit. Not a vehicle on any road. No matter how distant they normally sound,  there is total, utter silence. No birds. No people, of course. Nothing.

We have become a nation that knows its limitations. When the temperature goes above 110 degrees Fahrenheit we remember that we are only human, and we give up.

If all the “leaders” in the world had acted on the scientists’ warnings back in the day, this would not now be happening.

Yep, we made it to 45°C – that’s 113° in US terms. Hope everyone’s impressed. Not.

I just cooked this for my tea, and it ain’t the first time


  • Chop finely a 10cm piece of ginger
  • Chop up 2 medium (ripe) tomatoes
  • Chop up half an onion
  • Chop up 3 cloves garlic
  • Drain/rinse 1½ cans (c. 540g) chickpeas
  • Oil into pan, add onion garlic and ginger
  • Sauté for a few minutes
  • Add 2 tsps curry paste
  • Add 1 tsp garam masala
  • Add seasoning
  • Stir and cook for a minute or two until fragrant
  • Add chopped tomatoes
  • Cook for a few minutes until they start to break down
  • Shake wildly then add full can (c. 400mls) coconut milk
  • Stir; bring to the boil, lower heat to medium
  • Add chickpeas, cook for 7’-10’
  • Taste, adjust as necessary
  • Squeeze lemon juice only over portion/s to be eaten – NOT over any remaining for another meal !

Coupla things to note: remember the seasoning. I forgot it – often do – and had to add it to the portion on my plate. Doesn’t work as well as when it’s cooked in.

Don’t bother to peel the ginger. I got this tip from the beautiful Alison Roman in her recipe for “The Stew”; and it works fine any time the dish you’re making will be cooked for a while. Let us all give thanks to Alison !    :)

Oh; and btw – don’t reheat leftovers in the microwave. It tries to turn the chickpeas into popcorn. [grin]

There’s a link to the video of the bloke from whom I got this, under the recipe’s name.

Trying something new

Just because you have no idea what it is don’t mean it’s no good, you know. [grin]

I’m crocheting a cardigan in a top-down pattern ! – first time for top-down, ever ! Of course, a knitted top-down cardi would be the ultimate challenge (yesyes Anna – I hear you saying “Not for some !” and sniffing); but that’s for STITDF. Work that one out if you can.

(Also, I am using yarn left over from a unsuccessful project. Well, in truth it wasn’t actually unsuccessful: I just totally lost interest in it. Wait till you see the third colour ! – and yes, I’m determined to use them all.)

This is a pattern from Angela at Little Monkeys Design, and I was going to begin it roughly six months ago; but I was distracted by The Shawl. Sighh ..

One of two current WIPs. T’other one is purely practical, and not for showing. Pardon ? No, it isn’t a toilet-paper cosy !

How does this make me feel ?

I have a friend over in Perth; a man who is, I think, my very oldest friend of all – meaning the one who comes from farthest back. Longest ago. You get the picture.

Roger is a serial emailer: he receives emails of humour or interest from all over, and re-sends them to various groups of his friends and colleagues. A couple of his thread topics cause my blood to boil, and I tell him so in no uncertain terms. But there – you don’t agree with everything your friends like or do, do you ?!

Today he sent me one that has an introduction saying

which is followed by the series of images, pasted one after the other within the email.

As I usually do with emails of this kind, I went online, knowing I’d find the photos there, and probably larger. And there they are, on Hussey’s professional site – I can’t show you any of the photos, as I’d be breaching his IP up, down and sideways. Just follow the link to get started on the first of these wonderful photographs. (Sorry that I can’t frame it within an ‘open in a separate window’ call.)

So. How do I feel after looking at them all ?

They make me cry. They’re so absolutely … so absolutely TRUE. So RIGHT. They say everything there is to say about growing old.

It happens to everyone, if s/he is lucky (you’ve heard that weak joke about “getting old is so much better than the alternative”, right ?). We all become ancient versions of the young creatures we once were; and yes, it does seem like the week before last. That’s because inside our heads we’re still that age, and we can manage to forget our wrinkly casings until we catch sight of them.

All these people are actually studying them. So the viewer understands that this is not the usual light-hearted situation in which they’re dismissing the wrinkly casings with a laugh, but actually thinking about what they were really like as those young creatures.

And it’s sad. I was young once, and so was Chic.

Oh, he was a lovely bloke !

That’s The Doctor reclining upon his reclining mama. Chic saved his life several years before, and the Noom<*> doted on him at least as much as he did on me.

I do remember those times. How not ? – living with Stringer was glorious.

But to cheer myself up again, I simply remind myself how happy I am that I’m not young: what the world has come to is not a place I want to linger in.


<*> all cats have several names !



Climate change for deniers

I suppose I shouldn’t grump that this video comes from Facebook: most people who use Facebook do so because it doesn’t involve pecuniary outlay (but it certainly isn’t ‘free’).

But this Greenpeace video is good. Whether or not it has the slightest effect on the wilfully deaf and blind pollies is another thing.

I remember fulminating wildly against Tony Abbott and his bloody collection of morons when I was first blogging: Scott Morrison and his band of beasts are actually worse, inasmuch as they are as clever as a wagonload of monkeys. Cunning as sewer rats.

How in the name of all the gods we ever managed to vote these fuckers in is beyond me. Except that it’s not, really: it was sheer greed. GREED.

Still feel the same way.

One word only: HALLELUJAH !!!

And here is a video of it, which I insert largely on account of the loud shout I give mid-way through. You soon observe why.   :D

The colours are too well-bred, I have decided. In fact, I decided that some years back (What ? – I haven’t been knitting this for years ? Well, I’ll be blowed !) by which time it was Too Late. Alas.

I’m not going to be able to enter it into the Geelong craft comp next year: it’s not nearly good enough. The  last bit of brioche was marked, for me, by the virtual impossibility of getting that every-second-row decrease tight enough; and nearly every one is far too loose. Lesson for me: never make patterns that have a regular decrease at the end of rows.

As well, I don’t do Nan Bray’s White Gum Wool any favours by all the frogging and re-knitting: no fine 100% wool likes that, and WGW certainly doesn’t. It’s meant to be worked in pristine condition !

So several errors in this project, and all to be learned from.

Only thing is, I have NO IDEA what to do with it. Sighh … Anyone want a well-bred, mistake-free but not absolutely top-class in terms of even stitches light shawl ?


I think I might be mad already !

I first wrote as the header “I think I might be going mad”. Wrong.   :(

It’s The Shawl. (I’m not going to post a photo, as that will happen when – IF ! – I finish the bloody thing.) I am so close to the end that I can scarcely believe the errors I’m making at this late stage.

The Shawl starts with a large V-shaped section of 2-colour brioche, and it ends with an upside-down ditto. So I’m decreasing at one end every 2nd row (what you might think to be 4th but it isn’t because 2-colour brioche takes two passes to make one row – don’t ask me NOW !) and it appears to be something like four inches from casting off 5 stitches as closing.

I have had to frog rows and pick up earlier ones something like 12 times since yesterday evening.

Today I screamed in rage and threw it all on the floor. Boodie was alarmed. (So was I.)

I’m about to pick it up, untwist the frogged yarns and re-wrap them onto their balls, frog several rows yet again then sit back and CALMLY finish this last little bit.

I think the problem is that I’m so thrilled at the prospect of finishing this endless straight brioche and starting on another project that my attention – poor at the best of times – is lousy.

Also, the shawl is enormous; and I’ve never had such a large… THING hanging off my needles before. Turning it to and fro has become a major headache; and discovering this difficulty has made me re-think my intentions of doing something really nice next time. Like –

this pattern by the woman whose Craftsy (now BluPrint) course enabled me to actually do 2-colour brioche, Lesley Anne Robinson.

Because if my brain can implode with straight brioche, and even though I did finish that brown & gold scarf, I might have a major melt-down with something so nice.

Anyway. I’ll be posting a photo of The Shawl if, as I say, I actually do get to finish it.


A bit of mischief

Well, here we have it !

First sighting of an actually identifiable hand in this whole long, miserable time.

And now it can be seen for what it is, all that stuff about his hands: it’s the fingers !

They’re out of proportion, see ? – far too short for the size of the palm.

So now we know.