Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Cinderella's Stash

Look what the lovely Donna sent me the other day:
(bugger the picture upload on blogger is not working at the moment I'll come back and fix it later)

A library bag for Matilda, with a gorgeous little piggy embroidered on it. It is a nice size large enough for the largest picture books and the puppets she loves to borrow from the library. And a drawstring too to keep everything safe.

A pack of 5 velour wipes for Abby's new bub. She/he won't be a cloth baby but Abby has admired my wipes before so now she can use them too. I will be making more for her but nothing beats the quality of these ones.

Two mumma pads for me, one in lush red velour and the other in a tiger print. Almost makes me wish for my moon-tide now but they'll be tested out next month. Love my mama pads!

And, a tester crochet dishcloth which will be put to good use as I've often wanted to make dishcloths but other projects get in the way. The stitching is immaculate and Donna has asked me to assess shrinkage etc. I think they will be a hit.

I wanted to add some of the goats milk soaps she had as well but too late Donna is too efficient in sending out her parcels :) I highly recommend this shop, I know she's a mate but I'd recommend it anyway even if she was a stranger!

Everything was just so fantastic, quality wise. The stitching is perfect and there are no loose threads etc. Kudos to Donna for sourcing such quality products for ther utterly gorgeous store:
Cinderella's Stash

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Right now, I don't know whether to cry, or cry even harder. The tears have been flowing as have the swear words. Let me explain...

I had a lovely morning with the family, and looking forward to Citinits at 2.30pm. I had a couple of skeins of yarn to wind first though, to take along for various people.

The first two skeins of sock yarn went very well. OK, now I'm ready to tackle the 200g skein of laceweight 50% merino 50% silk (ie. very expensive yarn). I was planning a huge shawl with this yarn, it's equivalent to Zephyr Jaggerspun and just gorgeous.

Well, it didn't go so well. Pictured above are the results three hours and many tears/swear words/knots later... (the photo doesn't show the true colour of the yarn, which is "Grapeful Dead" and purpley grape)

I'm too depressed (and too late) to go to the knitting group now. And I missed out on swimming with M and R as well as I refused to give up on all that lovely yarn. Which is not so lovely right now. If I was cruel enough to torture some other poor knitter with the mess I'd put it up for free on the Australian Knitters group on Ravelry. But I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. So I want to burn it or something. A nuclear bomb would be nice too.

Silk! Merino! Laceweight! 200g! RUINED!!!

Think I should have stayed in bed today. Oh well at least I learnt a lesson and that's not to dye such big skeins of laceweight, and to unwind into a ball before reskeining in case there's a tangle. I hate myself right now. Even more than I hate that pile of beautifully coloured yarn.

Friday, November 28, 2008

First pictures

We had a sneaky hen who's been hiding her stash of eggs, and the first we knew about it was when we heard the cheeping of little chicks. She started off with six chicks but two of them didn't make it.

Here's the first pictures of the little chicklets:

And now all the other ladies are getting broody again (in two separate nest sites). One nest site is in the corner of my dye studio and there's three of them on there! Whenever I get too close while dyeing they show their displeasure... One of them even attacks me! I don't know, maybe having chicks is the latest vogue in Chooktopia ROFL

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mother Envy

I *really* envy those women who are lucky enough to have their mums close to them, both geographically and in the relationship. I'm really missing my mum today, for some reason. She is in the US with her new husband and his family. It's not fair! I want her here with her family!!!

We only had about three years together in Perth (I had recently returned from 8 years in Oregon) before she met K and they got married last year. He's lived in Arizona and has kids and grandchildren there so they decided to live there first to obtain mutual visas. The plan (promise?) was to spend winter months on two continents, but unfortunately it's not working out that way. Deep down, I know that I'm really angry at the situation but on the other hand I'm thrilled that she has found happiness again, later in life (after the death of my beloved stepdad a few years ago). But who knows how many more years we are granted and I really, really want us to be together!

It makes me cry sometimes when M does something new, and mum is not here to see it, any of it. It's not about childcare, it's about spending time together. Even now I try to mention Grandma a lot to M so she doesn't forget. Kids grow up so quick and mum is not here to see any of it! She also has a couple more grandchildren here in Perth, and some in Brunei. Yes, we are an international family!

I've decided that, whether she wants it or not, I'll always live within driving distance of Matilda. There's just something very special about the adult to adult relationship you have with your parents that just can't be truly appreciated until you've had children of your own. I only had a little bit of it with mum but it was really special.

Oh and another thought, lately I've met a few daughter-mum pairs who knit/craft together and they are so inspiring! I am fully green with jealousy when I look upon their relationship...

Alright, I'll stop being maudlin now. I've emailed her and hope to hear back soon (hint hint if you're reading this mum!! -- Love you!!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I just wanna cry!

Why? Well because I have close on 8 pages of products on my jj.net site that needs to be deleted, one by one by one! Seems like the web design for the new site/cart won't be ready for awhile, and I'm paying the fees anyway, so I've decided to go back to my own site instead of listing everything on YC. I have way too many products and am outgrowing (and hogging the space!) on YC, so...

Find me on here:

PS -- *sigh* sometimes, just sometimes, it feels as though I am cursed when it comes to my site. Every time I want to work on it (which is not often), the site goes down and the file continues no data or some such thing...

I just wish I could delete the obsolete listings while knitting, I have tried but no go.

Our Evenings

Last night was a typical evening, hanging out in the shed/workshop with Roy. He has been working so hard on the Bedford project, countdown less than five weeks to our trip. I'm clueless when it comes to cars and things mechanical, but there has been much grinding, welding, oxy torching, drilling and etc etc.

He is trying to get the gas-guzzler converted over to turbo LPG. The LPG guy will do some of the work but the rest is on R's shoulders with no help. Just a knitting cheering team (me) egging him on by calling the poor thing a Deadford.

So he welds and grinds and cuts away while I sit there with my knitting and we just chat about everything and nothing. Last night the TV (tiny and old) even got turned on for my weekly dose of "House". This has been our routine for a while now. When he's not feeling up to working (you have to remember, he does a full day of the same stuff out and about in his hydraulics business), we *blush* play Grand Theft Auto on the Xbox and I knit. I get most of my knitting done after M has gone to bed!

Last night there was a little bonus of a thunderstorm, it was lovely.

Anyway, I promised him no pics on my blog until we are in Esperance and well on our way to Victoria, but promises are meant to be broken (ha!) and he was so proud of this piece of *thing* that I can't resist showing off on his behalf. He started off with a few metal bits and a long length of 3" stainless steel piping. And in one night look what he made! I feel a little bit like the Wollmeise with her metalworker husband!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Avast! Beware ye knitters arrrrr

(photos will be added when I can whip my camera into shape)

This is what I'm working on between other projects: It is a boyfriend sweater! Not really a sweater's a zippered cardigan), and not THE Boyfriend Sweater, but definitely for my boyfriend, who shall one day be my husband (but that's another blog post!)

The yarn is Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, in Loden Leaf. I've gone on a bit of an ebay/Brown Sheep binge lately but this yarn is from about 2001. Bought about 14 skeins from Juniper Fibreworks in Bend, Oregon. The colour is a dark sage green, or army green. It really reminds me of our first (only) Kombi van which we travelled across the Nullarbor in, my biological family, when I was about 6 or so.

The yarn had to be frogged from a 1/4 finished jumper with kangaroo pocket in double moss stitch, a Dale design knit in the round that I never finished. That sweater was destined for my ex but of course has just sat unfinished, with remaining skeins used up or given away, after we broke up.

So I frogged it all and ended up with a 479g ball o' yarn, wound on my new Jumbo ball winder. Love it! Also love knitting from such a huge ball.

I had a turn around point when I knit about four rows after picking up from the cabled band, then decided that I didn't like the picking up job. Uggh! So I frogged back and re-did the picking up. For some reason the first time around I had just the right number of stitches (221), but the second time around I could only manage to pick up 150 stitches. So frog back again and added some increases. The increases makes me think it was really a waste of time to frog back, as it still looks a bit poorly.

This cardigan is a bit like Roy and mine's relationship: born of previous luggage, with the hard and complex part at the beginning. Now it is smooth sailing for a while. I was afraid that this would instead be bored to tears but I'm really enjoying the knit and can't wait to pick up while I should be finishing other things. And the picking up bit just didn't reflect how our relationship is travelling at the moment, so I had to re-do it. Make no mistake, it's not a perfect piece of work but a work in progress! I'm planning on lengthening it as Roy has a long torso.

I'm hoping to have this ready as a Christmas present, and yes I'm going to make him model it in the December heat!! I need to clear some room in my knitting plate, for our trip to Victoria this summer. I'm quite nervous about more picking up and putting in a zipper, something I haven't done for knitwear before.

I figure if I can finish this man-size project then I can finish other grown-up knits. So goes the theory,...

Postscript: Ooops! I forgot to detail the pattern I am using. It is the Avast zip-up cardigan with a cabled band, by Jesse Loesberg, and can be found on Knitty. Roy chose it out of quite a few Knitty sweater choices I presented him with. I was surprised but pleased at his choice, I thought he would choose a simple ribbed pullover.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My (updated) knit list

Yay, a knitting-related post! Still having various camera issues, so I thought I'd re-visit my knit list to see what progress (and un-progress, in the case of steeking) I've made since then:

Bold - knitted at least once
Italics - plan to do soon
Red - progress since last knit list

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KALSweater
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino Knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted Stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Grafitti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dyeing with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with DPNs
Knitting with someone else's handspun yarn
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dyeing yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on one long circular simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting mag
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wonky Cat

Wonky Cat is doing really, really well. She still walks around with her head tilted to one side, looking like she's saying "Huh? What's up?". I hope her neck doesn't hurt too much. She does take a lot of naps like she used to. Then mean old mumma walks in with a pill hidden in her hand and proceeds to get all her skin scratched off trying to administer the med's!

Sox is eating a LOT, which I'm very happy about. Must be the pred... And she can go to the loo too, which I am *really* happy about!

Last night she looked quite unsteady on her feet, usually she has her back legs spread wider to balance better but last night she was just wobbling around and falling over. She is better today though.

Wanting some Dine cat food whereas usually she just eats dry cat food. She'll just lick all the juices off the canned stuff and then we can give the leftovers to the chooks. Whatever makes my girl happy! She will be much happy when the pills are gone, although is getting used to the sneaky mumma attack ;-P

Sunday, October 19, 2008


My baby had a stroke on Friday night :*( :*( :*(

My best friend Sox (at least 16 years old, probably a bit more) was holding her head tilted down to one side, and sort of stumbling around on the bed. After a call to the emergency vet then a sleepless night we took her to where I used to work as a vet nurse.

Dr M is a good vet, and he diagnosed her as having a stroke on the brain near the inner ear drum. The part that co-ordinates balance etc. May have been caused by an ear infection, though she doesn't have history. He says Sox is probably feeling a bit nauseaus at the moment like sudden seasickness. Thankfully she will most likely get better over time; it will always be there but there should be improvements. Phew!

She's on prednisolone and Clavulox bid, both very fun to administer --- NOT! I have scratches to prove it. I'm a bit out of practice with the pill-giving but hopefully getting better. The pred will increase her appetite too. Which is good as she is all skin and bones now :( When Roy first met her she used to be a very amply-girthed cat, but not any more.

Send healing thoughts to my girl, I need her around a while longer yet!


Friday, October 17, 2008

D@mn RATS!!!

We've lost all our chickies-to-be :(

It's been about three weeks since Monday and Thursday started sitting on those eggs, and I checked under them yesterday. Nothing! All the eggs are gone with shell fragments though I did make a heartbreaking find -- a fully formed chick still half in it's shell with what looks like bite marks on it.

I think it's rats; the chook food has been disappearing faster than usual and we hear them at night. There was another nest similarly raided a few months ago.

I'm so mad! Out with the Ratsack!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Congo Cart

... gives me the poops! So far I've been on Ozebaby, my own site, and Yarn Collective, all using the Congo Cart platform. From the get-go when I was looking at getting my own site I knew it wouldn't meet my needs, so I've been considering osCommerce. Which is just not user-friendly enough for me I'm afraid.

Right now I'm getting a brand new site, on a new platform, for the jollyjumbuck.net domain set up, it is being done by a professional graphic artist. Let me tell you, this won't happen soon enough!

I have two huge totes of yarn to list and the CC site is playing up. Think I will pick up my knitting (currently, a Clapotis for my mum) and try again later. Looks like another late night.

By the way, I'm not going to go into the ways that CC is inadequate. I don't have enough time to list all the faults! *grumble grumble*

Off the whinge-train now...

I'm like an expectant mother!

My latest book purchase:
Well we have decided that it's time to move on and give love to another dog. Last year was very difficult in that we lost two dogs to the green dream (euthanasia). Lulu was a paraplegic and Missy was just really, really old. Our hearts have been healing, and now that we finally have a proper front gate installed, we feel it's time. So after our holidays this summer we are going to visit Poundwatch for a four-legged friend.

I've already found a few projects from this book I'd love to knit, but am holding off till we find the right friend, he/she could be any breed, any size.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Looped-out chicken

Ahhhh, spring. The season of chook insanity, of broody behaviour, fluffy new life, and a mathematical problem. Population of Chooktopia is set to increase in about 22 days; we have more than enough hens to meet our egg consumption and gifting needs. And definitely more than enough roosters! (we still have one more, "Pretty Boy", than we need -- but he is too pretty to relegate to the oven just yet). And the numbers seem set to rise at an exponential rate.

On Monday we were shocked to discover that Sophie, my favourite chook, had gone missing! Later on the day she showed up clucking and generally just being a looped-out chicken. Tracked her back to her hidden nest (among the bamboo), and discovered a sizable clutch of 14 eggs. Oh great, too late to rescue for the kitchen (a partly-foetus'ed egg -- not a pretty sight). So we let her be. But Sophie's problem is that she is breed-wise related to the battery hen chooks. So whilst she might have discovered her motherly instincts in the glorious spring days, she's not quite all there as a mother. The foodie in her dictates that she hops off the nest much too often, and then once she's off she'll start pecking at little bits on the ground for her not-yet-in-existence chicks!

It has happened once too often so I've just marked all the eggs and transferred them to the main roosting nest (where three other broody chooks have taken up permanent residence).

Oh, fun and games. I'll let you know in a further 22 days or so, what is happening in Chooktopia!


Monday, September 01, 2008

A pictorial post

Because I'm as tired now, as Matilda was when this photo was taken, I'll just let a few photos do the talking...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

i has been knitting

Finally, my knitting mojo is back!!! I blame the Olympics, perfect knitting weather.

This is what I've been madly into lately:
Gypsy Swallowtail Shawl
Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn
colourway S180A -- turqouise, orange, gold, pink, red, purple
4mm KP Options on 120cm cord

I started this one with no purpose (and indeed, a few other more pressing WIP's) when I came across the Noro Kureyon Sock in my stash. With a cast on of only 4 stitches, Swallowtail seemed irresistable. I hated the feel of the yarn (but I already knew that) but wasn't prepared for the low quality of the entire ball. My first knot came very suddenly, knitting away on the orange and bam a knot into purple. I was shocked into knitting on without trying to fiddle with the colour changes. Which, when continuous, are awesome to watch and knit, they are very gradual.

I actually knit an additional 5 repeats of the Budding Lace, which added 30 rows. Three rows into the Lily of the Valley Lace, I had a panic attack about running out of yarn (I did not did not did not want to fork out good money on more crap yarn -- in the same gaudy colourway no less), and ripped back to the prescribed 14 repeats. Now that I'm done with the Lily of the Valley Lace, I wish I had kept those rows because there is plenty of yarn left. I'm adding an extra Lily repeat, which makes the shawl look lopsided. Not enough "filler" and too much border.

But I'm sure my niece will love it. She turns 9 next month and I hope the bright colours will make her day. Luckily we're in the same city so she can return it for washings.

Well, I am almost done with the shawl now and the ball had a total of eight knots. A couple were OK, turquoise into turquoise for example. Sometimes you could spit-splice long lengths of adjoining colours together if the yarn was thin enough at that point. This is definitely not yarn for the anal knitter! It drove me up the wall a few times but I kept knitting whatever surprise came up. Some of the colour changes were very very strange, I wondered if the yarn was even from the same lot.

I wouldn't use this yarn for socks. Well not socks for me, anyway. I don't mind the hand-washing thing, but I wear my socks and I don't think even with kid-glove treatment they would wear very well. I cringe at the prospect of coming upon a really thin spot on a sole stitch. Never mind all those knots!

Now I'm on a gradual-colour-change kick and am bringing in a small stock of Kauni yarn into Australia! These are jumbo 160-170g balls and I'm so eager to see how the colour changes compare. Not to mention quality. I wanted so badly for Noro to be a great yarn (because it is beautiful to look at!), but it just wasn't good yarn. I have high hopes for the Kauni!

Check out these luscious Kauni projects on Ravelry:
Ravelry -- Kauni projects

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Gone: Green and Gold on CASBAH 120g

I've got three skeins left of a special self-striping yarn I created for some Olympic knitting. Dyed on the sinfully luxurious CASBAH (from Hand Maiden). Each "skein" consists of approx 100g self-striping bright Green and Gold, and approx 23g in a solid, darker heritage green to get your socks Heeled and Toe'd. Or your scarf Trimmed or Fringed? I'm knitting finger-up fingerless gloves, elbow length.

The stripes range in width from one to three rows, depending on what you're knitting, of course. I swatched a 48 stitch tube on 3.00mm needles, magic loop (oh Addi LACE how I love thee!):

Dyeing this yarn was, shall we say, a learning experience all the way. I ended up with a large skein (too large for the width of the stripes I was doing). Unwinding it was a nightmare, so the self-striping yarn was handled quite a bit.

Anyway, the sets are $38 including Express Postage. The first three people to email me at irene at jollyjumbuck dot net shall have it.

Yarn details: CASBAH by Hand Maiden 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon28st/10cm over 2.50-3.00mm needles

Countdown five days to the Olympics!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I'm so spoilt...

In terms of the awesome quality time I get to spend with Matilda. She is at the absolute sweetest stage right now, learning new words all the time and constantly chatting away. I even get asked for "kiss" and "cuddle" once in a while. There's a lot of demands to "show me", "open", "close", etc. She's a pretty happy kid; sometimes quick to temper but always quick to get over it (unlike her wayward mum..)

Rather than moping around wishing the rain away today (when I know we need it and the rainwater tank loves it), we went to the pool. She loves to swim and splash around. A little while with her "superman muscles" (arm floaties) and a little time walking around in the shallows.

We feed the chooks, hang around and cook together, and just generally have a lazy old good time. I'm cherishing the time as I know it's not going to last forever.

News on the knitting front:

(ie. NOTHING! I seem to have temporarily lost my knitting mojo. One round into the current sock project (last worked on about three weeks ago) and I just couldn't keep up with the easy pattern!)

I spent the last night and some of today untangling the Olympic mega skein of self-striping yarn. The skein was about 8 metres around. Never, ever again am I going to dye self-striping yarn this way again! There was about 300g worth of Casbah and I was asked more than once, "why are you bothering?" by Roy. And to think I was going to breeze through 15 skeins of this for the July Yarn Collective sock club!

I am going to temporarily re-open the Ozebaby store to list the 3 skeins of Olympic yarn -- it's either that individually disable each and every product (there are about 9 full pages of active products) on jollyjumbuck.net.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Getting on with it.

Right. It has been a rocky couple of months but I'm getting on with it now. We ran into a few problems and there was a point in there where Matilda and I moved out for a bit, but we are back now and working on it. A little more conversation helps greatly. Sometimes I think we are back at square one again but nevertheless I can't stay in this limbo forever.

I'm really sorry for pulling the plug on Jolly Jumbuck so suddenly (and at times gracelessly as I stuffed up the cart so orders were still coming through), but I really did need to focus on getting things back on track domestically. Something had to give and the only thing I could sacrifice wasn't my family, or my health, but my work.

Jolly Jumbuck is going to stay closed for a little while longer while I take this opportunity to do what I have been needing to do for a while now, and that is to transfer over to either osCommerce or Zencart cart. Congo has been fabulous but was always a temporary thing. So that's the Renovations part of it.

In the meantime whenever the muse strikes me I am dyeing up stock. Just a few skeins here and there whenever there is some free time. Matilda is down to one day a week at daycare now so you can imagine I'm not getting that much done.

And the best part, I can now reveal. I have been quietly putting my feelers out for an employee. I just can't keep on doing both the retail and dyeing part -- at least not the way I want to do it. So. the plan is this person will be handling the retail side of things when everything is all set up.

It's not a done deal yet, but my friend Abby (mum to James, three) seems really interested. What it will involve is I label and bring her the skeins, she photographs and lists them and then when orders come it they are filled from her home. So she can work from home and earn some money/computer experience at the same time.

On an unrelated matter, I have three skeins of yarn that needs to be skeined up and listed pronto. It is self-striping "Green and Gold" on Casbah, especially created for the Olympics.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Putting the Mum back in WAHM

A few people have contacted me lately, asking why things were so quiet on the Jolly Jumbuck front. Well, I've been busy behind the scenes doing large dye orders for a couple of places (hopefully I will find some time to catch-up blog about them later on).

But most of all, I've been busy being Mum. Matilda now has two additional days a week with me. My mum has moved away and daycare fees have gone up so that's why the change. We really enjoy spending days together, she's a very "sticky rice baby" and we have a lot of fun. It's a lot more exhausting than anything else though, so by the time she's in bed all I want to do is to knit and relax.

The past week has been quite distressing at night, she is usually a great night sleeper but has been having growing pains or something. Would go to sleep as normal but then wake up an hour or so later and not be able to go back to sleep for hours!

The plan is to do dyeing at night but as I said most days I'm just too exhausted. The new lights in the dye studio makes it a possibility when things settle down though. Right now I'm cancelling the dye-to-orders, and just focusing on dyeing up a stockpile for the occasional stocking. And other behind-the-scenes non retail stuff as well.

So that's a quickie explanation and another post in this dismally-maintained blog!

PS -- my laptop is well and truly dead and I'm too tired to fight for the computer at night so the next stocking won't be till June. I will update the newsletter soon.

PS #2, 5 minutes later: Eeep! Roy has just surprised me by nearly doubling my studio space and finally attaching the sink etc. I was wondering what all that banging was :) Now I really will have to dye more to make use of it! Anyone know where I can stretch time out to 36 hours a day?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Technology HELL

I don't know where to start!!! It has been one thing after another this month -- NOT happy. I am waiting for the next disaster to strike at this point.
  • Roy (and his sidekick R, I call them Beavis and Butthead) decides to do a complete computer overhaul (his PC is great now, BTW, but we'll get to that in a minute)
  • Mucks around with this modem and that modem -- everything is now networked and I've lost my wireless. Fine, I can drag a LAN line along everywhere.
  • Uhhh, where did the internet go? Call iprimus tech support, listen to crappy elevator muzak.
  • ISP is doing work on the line? A day or two? OK... thanks for the warning, but I suppose I can deal with not having net access on the weekend.
  • It's been four days, what the hell is going on? At this point I don't know or care where the fault is, I just need it fixed. Or at least back the way it was before you two f***ed around with it!!!
  • Right, internet is finally back. Manage to get the old ADSL modem to work on the home PC. I drag out my laptop -- untouched for the past week.
  • It's DEAD. Can't detect a hard drive.
  • Thankfully still under warranty, the last issue I had the replacement part came within one day. But, have I lost everything in the hard drive?? I think so. Did I back up? Of course not.
  • Wrestle B and B off the home PC (stop playing Spring already!) to check email.
  • Frantically trying to catch up. Only, I think I have lost a bunch of those too. I had 27 messages when I checked webmail from the library, but now they are gone. Off the server, into the great unknown. So if you have emailed me in the past week or so please re-send it.

I pull the plug on all technology (I wish)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

cough sniffle moan groan

I've just spent the last two and a half days curled up in bed, drinking endless cups of honey and lemon, and basically feeling like death warmed up! Thankfully Roy has been really good, and so has my mum in taking M, and better still I haven't (yet) spread the derms on -- I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy!!!

Things at JJ have basically come to a screeching halt! Some of the sock yarns are up, but there are still more, and all the soaker yarns still have to be listed.

I hope to feel better tomorrow, to catch up on the listings and orders, but right now I'm going back to being miserable. Should have got a flu shot!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Amazon splurge

To reward myself for saving so much money, I went on an Amazon shopping splurge. I spent up big, but not quite $580.62!

Some of the books on the way:
  • Favorite Socks
  • Last-Minute Knitted Gifts
  • Harmony Guide: Lace & Eyelets
  • Vogue Knitting The Ultimate Sock Book
  • Ocean Breezes: Knitted Scarves Inspired by the Sea
  • New Pathways for Sock Knitters
  • One-Skein Wonders
  • The Knitter's Book of Yarn

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I get it now!

I'm a bit of a clueless blogger! Have just received a gentle reminder that I've been tagged by Donna (Cinderella's Stash) months ago for an award. I was very touched by the award but didn't get that you actually had to do the same to three more bloggers :P

So here it is..

In turn, I would like to pass on the award on to three lovely Perth ladies:
Helen (Knitting in Perth)
Ann (1morerow)
Sasha (Knit Nutt)

In other news, I have been AWOL online for a while now (you only have to look at the sparseness of blog posts to deduce that!), but am slowly coming out of my "hibernation". I just wish that I had more time to keep up with blogs and podcasts and forums, but it just doesn't work out that way. Miss M is keeping me busy (and sometimes tearing my hair out as I'm chasing her from aisle to aisle in the shopping centre -- suddenly holding hands just ain't cool anymore). Anyway, that's why there hasn't been a yarn stocking in ages. I've got quite the stockpile building up, and am planning on holding what I'd like to call a "yarn banquet" after the Easter holidays. More details in the newsletter!

I'm also happy to announce that Jolly Jumbuck yarn is available in the US, from a fabulous new store called Yarny Goodness. Pam searches out the coolest indie dyers and crafters, go take a look. I've just sent off a shipment of yarn so they will be appearing in the store soon.

Also, I have a new helper! Her name is Alice, and she is so very very helpful to the business. She's an electric skein winder from Ball and Skein :-D I love Alice! Might share a pic in a future post.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What's going on

How sad is this blog?!? Very. The thought crossed my mind to take it off altogether, but that would have entailed some sort of effort... *smirk*

Anyway, sorry for the long stretch of silence. I'm dealing with some personal health issues at the moment; the light is at the end of the tunnel but for now I'm barely keeping things afloat. Haven't been on forums for weeks!

Business is good; there are so many things I need to do but have put off. First priority is to deal with the current orders, so many plans in the head but the lack of time or strength to deal with them. Family coming first.

Still haven't smoked a fag since 1/1/08 -- many times when I've been sorely tempted but thankfully not given in.

To better times ahead... they will come back soon!

PS -- the one thing keeping me sane are the knitting groups -- words can't really express what an impact they're having on my mental stability! Thanks guys, you know who you are.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Knitting is like playing Hearts

I'm reading this book by Stephen King (usually not my favourite author, but this one's not too supernatural and is really good) at the moment, called "Hearts in Atlantis". I think there's a movie of the same name out there somewhere, but can't be sure. Anyway if there is I'd love to see it.

Side note: For some plane reading, I took SK's "Four After Midnight" to Malaysia. It's a book of four short novels. I had just finished "Secret Window, Secret Garden" and was onto the next one, when I noticed Roy was watching a movie on the hotel cable network. It's called "Secret Window" and has Johnny Depp as the lead character. Turns out it was based on that very same story! The ending was a little different though... but what a coinkidink! (coincidence -- we at the S/JJ household like to make up silly words)

Anyway, back to "Hearts in Atlantis". The book is a series of five related stories over a 40 year time frame, and the title story of the same name tells of a guy in college who gets addicted to playing Hearts (a card game) in the Vietnam War era -- when flunking out of college could mean being drafted to the war. He just couldn't stop playing Hearts, and nor could the rest of his dorm floor. More than half of them end up dropping out. He knew it was consuming him and all that, but just couldn't stop staying up late and cutting classes and failing exams.

Well, my point is that right now, knitting is like playing Hearts. I just can't stop doing it! There are *so* many other things I should be doing. And late nights, hey I'm a bit of a nightowl anyway but last night was shocking. I just had to finish my Pomatomus socks, and at 4am Roy wakes up and tells me what time it was. I was flabbergasted, where did the night go?!

Must stop knitting, must stop knitting, must stop knitting (so I type as in my mind I am itching to cast on the next pair of socks).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

My nasty, dirty little secret

I have a dirty little secret... a few months after I stopped breastfeeding, I took up smoking again. At first it was a social thing (which started, of all places, at a mummy dinner where another mum who had continually smoked all through her pregnancies offered me one), then it became a way to get some time-out on the back porch, and soon enough the horrible addiction had taken hold again. Yeah I was pretty disappointed at myself as it took so much effort to quit the last time, a few weeks before I got pregnant with Matilda.

I had my last cigarette at midnight on New Year's Eve. The few days after that in KL was pretty bad as everyone and their dog smokes, and cig's are cheap as chips.

Well, I will never call myself a non-smoker. I'm an ex-smoker. Like a recovering alcoholic will always be an alcoholic, you know? It would be so easy to be a smoker again, but it's dealing with one craving at a time. Nicotine lozenges help a lot too. When I'm thinking I can't bear it anymore, I just want one (but with me it's not just one, as soon as I have one I think "what the heck I've already fallen off the wagon I'll just have another, and another and another..."), sucking a lozenge gets me over the hump and pretty soon I'm fine again. That, and lots and lots of water. Try to avoid the food distraction too!

The thing is too, I have never been heavier and more unhealthy. I weigh more now that I weighed even when 9 months pregnant! I can't do any exercise when I'm smoking, I just get so puffed out. Most people say they gain weight when they quit smoking, but for me in the past it's been the other way around! I have more energy to exercise (swim laps) and all round am a healthier person. Roy has agreed to do bedtime duties so that I can start going to the pool again in the evenings.

The "smoke-free" ticker is based on a conservative 10 cig's a day and $15/pack. Amazing how it all adds up isn't it! Methinks the money saved should be diverted to a yarn stash fund... or better still Matilda's ejumication fund ;)

Wish me luck :)
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