Month: July 2004 (page 1 of 6)

Drunken Snookums!

Drunken Snookums!
No, we haven’t been to the birthday drinkies yet. It’s just this funny game that Kathleen sent me. The goal is to get your little drunk guy to walk as far as possible by correcting his motion with your mouse. (My best score was, like, 39 meters.) Kathleen quite astutely noted that the character bears an awfully close resemblance to the Snook!

Happy birthday, Snookums!

Snookums the StudHappy birthday to the Snook, who turns 28 today. Isn’t he a studmuffin in this picture? (It was taken at the Summit Restaurant during our anniversary dinner last April.) For any of you Sydneysiders that want to help us celebrate, we’re going to be at the Forbes Hotel on York Street from about 8:30 tonight. See you there!

One month at the new job

Good morning, Tapestry Craft! This is Kris. Can I help you?
So I’ve nearly finished my first full month at the new job. Go me! Some notable milestones and highlights:

  • I met Sharon Aris! She came in the shop and placed an order for some Jo Sharp wool. As I was writing it down I asked for her name. As soon as she said it, I blurted out, “You wrote that book!” She was pretty amused. I mentioned to her that we’ve got several Sydney knitting buddies in common, including the SSK folks and Amy (who was quoted in the book!). My first knit-celebrity sighting!
  • Somehow the Aussie phrase “No worries!”, which I had previously avoided, has totally and completely insinuated itself into my vocabulary. I say it All. The. Time. I can’t stop. Need some help with that wool? No worries!
  • I’ve now got “my” customers, the ones who know me by name and like me the best. My own personal favorites are Monica, an awesome Chinese chick, and her totally cute Mom. They come in all the time and they think I’m a knitting genius. I love them.
  • Mrs. Coote always calls in and orders tapestry supplies for her elderly mother, Mrs. Proft. There was a problem with the last order though and I needed to contact her. She wasn’t at home so I tried at the mother’s house. “Hi, this is Kris from Tapestry Craft calling. Is Mrs. Coote there?” A creaky little voice said, “Ich verstehe Sie nicht!” Cool, I thought. Time to bust out the German! “Oh, sprechen Sie Deutsch? Ich spreche nur ein bisschen.” (Do you speak German? I speak only a little.) I was totally expecting this big Miracle on 34th Street moment where the little old lady and I would chatter on happily in German about her tapestries. Instead, the old biddy hung up on me! *click* I must have totally freaked her out. When I finally got ahold of her daughter the next day, I was like, “Uh, did your Mom mention that I called for you there?” And she was all, “Mom doesn’t speak English. And she doesn’t talk to strangers.” Yeah, I gathered. Still, a funny moment.
  • My legs and feet have felt great since I got the Kumpfs. I still haven’t been back to the gym yet though. I actually got a letter from them yesterday asking if I had had an accident. Good grief. Now I’m going to feel all guilty and defensive when I finally venture back. (The slightest physical exertion still makes me hack up a lung, so it won’t be anytime soon.)
  • I’ve had some great visitors! Rodd’s sister Jeannie and his nephew Kurt stopped in to see me one afternoon, and on another day Mary-Helen and Sandra came in. Oh, and Ma Snook called to say that a family friend had been in there unbeknownst to me and given her a glowing report.
  • We had a big serious meeting with an AMP representative about setting up new pension accounts. I told him that I’d be sticking with my old fund. I did not, however, tell him that the real reason was my inability to trust my retirement money to a man that said “pacifically” when he meant “specifically.” *shudder* I should write a letter to corporate headquarters.
  • I’ve met so many North Americans in the past month! A woman came in from Kentucky yesterday and I could feel my accent gravitating towards hers every second. It’s funny, though; most Australians don’t peg me for American. They think I’m Canadian or – oddly – Irish. I have no idea where that comes from.

Oh, and for those of you that know the shop, frickin’ Linley was in again tonight. And get this – she was wearing a hat she’d knitted out of her dog’s hair. It was grade-A, 8-ply, hand-spun Golden Retriever, I shit you not. I asked her with a straight face: “When it rains, does it smell like wet dog?” Needless to say, she didn’t see the humor.

A MALE blogging Domer?

Stop the presses, ladies… A male blogging Domer has been spotted! (Love that URL, by the way.) The proprieter e-mailed to ask whether I knew of any other ND alumni blogs. Off the top of my head, I pointed him to Brigita, Nora, and Yasmin. Who’d I forget? Anybody?

Elvis + wine = good

Elvis Costello will be playing shows at Australian wineries? I’m so there.

Everything you were afraid to ask about Donnie Darko

Everything you were afraid to ask about Donnie Darko. I think I’m finally getting a handle on this movie. It does sound though like the Director’s Cut gives a lot of stuff away that might be more fun to guess on your own. (Link courtesy of Brigita.)

Trevor wins Big Bro

Awww, Trevor won Big Brother 4! I totally screamed and got all teary when he proposed to his girlfriend. How very Rob and Amber, except without the whole “sleaze-tache” thing goin’ on.

More fun with Australian commercials

More fun with Australian commercials!
Remember this game? I give you the setup for a commercial on Australian television that is currently infuriating me, and you guess the conclusion and what product is being sold. (Sorry Aussies, but you’ll have to sit this one out.) Here we go: A nice yuppie-looking couple are sitting down to tea at Grandma’s house. As the old lady sets down the tray, her budgie (pet bird) flies past and – unbeknownst to Granny – craps in the wife’s teacup. Yes, we actually see it plop. Thinking quickly, the wife mentions to Granny that one of the kids has started swimming lessons, and wouldn’t she like to look at the picture on the mantel? As the husband helpfully distracts the old woman, the wife gets an idea…

How does she avoid drinking the tea without offending Granny? (Note: This is a commercial so we can’t assume she does anything rational like, oh, point out that the budgie just pooped in her cup. That would be too easy.) So what does she do and what product is this advertising?

Broad Street Mittens

Snookums and his mittensBroad Street Mittens
As the Snook daily complains about how “frickin’ freezin'” it is in the mornings, I decided to knit him these Broad Street Mittens from Knitty to keep him warm. They’re basically fingerless gloves with mitten shells attached to the knuckles. There’s a loop at the top of the mitten that you slip over a button on the cuff to keep them from flapping around. Cool, huh? I used some of the Bendigo sock wool I got at the Craft Fair last month and they turned out pretty nice. It wasn’t nearly as hard to knit gloves as I thought it would be. I churned these out fairly quickly too, despite the small gauge. (I figure it was about 10 hours or so per hand.) Now to knit some for me!

Mitten shell pulled back     Mitten shell in place

As usual with Knitty patterns, I ran into a couple snags and at least one outright error. Read on for my (voluminous) knitting notes…First off, the pattern tells you that you’ll need two sizes of double-pointed needles but it doesn’t tell you when to use them. I assumed at first that the smaller size was for the cuff but I wanted to be sure before I spent half the day knitting something too small. In desperation I had the Snook read over the pattern to make sure I wasn’t missing anything and he noticed a tiny line indicating that you’re supposed to use the bigger ones on the mitten shell. Fine, but there’s still nothing that says which to use on the glove. Eventually I just went with the smaller (2.75mm) ones. Whatever.

Okay, so that’s when I hit the major problem with the pattern: sizing. I cast on 48 and as I proceeded through the ribbing I realized pretty quickly that this was never going to fit over the Snook’s hand. After ripping back a couple of times, I finally accepted that I was going to be winging this and settled on 60 stitches for the wrist cuff. (I was actually doing them on two circs, so I had 30 on each one.) Then I did a row of *K5 INC 1* to get me up to 72 for the hand. Okay, so far so good.

(Actually, there’s a mistake in the pattern at this point but I didn’t catch it since I was changing the numbers. If you follow the instructions and use 48 for the cuff, you’re supposed to do a row of *K3 INC 1* to get to 60 stitches. Except that math is totally wrong. If you increase every third stitch over 48, you get 64 stitches. Should’ve been *K4 INC 1*. I only discovered this tonight when working my own smaller glove which uses the numbers from the pattern.)

Okay, so everything else stayed the same through the thumb gusset increases and subsequent decreases. I still had 72 stitches on the needles though so I needed to change the width of the fingers. That number happens to divide nicely by four so I made each finger 18 stitches around (9 from the front, 9 from the back, plus whatever extra I had to pick up or cast on). I changed the length of the fingers slightly too. The pinky ended up 13 rounds, the ring finger 14 rounds, and the other two were 18 rounds. (I had the Snook doing constant fittings, so that’s how I came up with these numbers.) The thumb was worked according to the pattern with a couple rows added for length. That was it for the glove, other than weaving in the ends.

For the mitten shell, I increased the number of stitches to 72 overall (to match the palm of the hand). So that meant I cast on 36 for the ribbing flap. Oh, and I used the larger 3.25mm needles here. Then I picked up 36 across the knuckles and started going around. I was worried at first because no matter how tightly I tugged the working yarn at the DPN joins, it always looked like there were huge ladders and gaps there. It seemed to resolve itself the further I knitted, though. I did the 17 rounds as stated and prepared to start the decreases, but it didn’t look like the shell was going to be long enough. So I modified the decrease pattern slightly. I did the “K to the last two stitches, K2tog”, then knitted a round even. Then I repeated the “K to the last two stitches, K2tog”. Then I added two lines to the pattern: “K6, K2tog. K 5 rounds even.” Followed the pattern all the way down to the last “K2tog on each needle” and realized I still had too many stitches, so I repeated that line again. That left me with the required four stitches for the I-cord. Unfortunately I still think the mitten shell’s a little small. The Snook’s fingers are rather broad and the mitten is a little too pointy, I think. I tried to block it out and was moderately successful. I think it’ll stretch and mold to his hand as he wears them.

One last pattern weirdness: At the end of the directions it says “Stitch the edges of the ribbing flap down along the sides of the hand” but the accompanying photos don’t show this. I wasn’t sure whether to do it, because as it is the flap pulls back nicely and lays flat. If you sew the edges down to the sides, you get a funky stretched bit right there when you pull the shell back. Eventually I decided to try it with some scrap wool and see how it worked. The Snook said he didn’t mind the wonkiness and it seemed to offer a little more insulation, so that’s what we went with. I still think the author could have clarified a bit better.

More Cat Paraphernalia

More cat paraphernalia… We just ordered one of these automatic feeders in preparation for an upcoming weekend getaway. I’m not sure how much relaxation I’ll have thinking of little Amy here all by herself!