Month: December 2006 (page 1 of 8)

Babies Suck

Babies Suck
I made my sister another present for Penn. It’s a baby bib! The design came from subversive cross stitch, and the bib itself is from DMC. I managed to finish it in just one day, despite not being the world’s greatest cross stitcher. (Yeah, I know it’s not quite centered properly.) And don’t worry; I already floated the idea to her on the phone and she loved the sentiment. New mothers are all about sarcasm, I guess.

Prague Restaurant

Prague Restaurant
On a whim last night, I rang Prague in Potts Point to see if they were booked out. It’s a well-known Czech restaurant famous for its food and beer, and the Snook and I have been talking about going there for ages. The nice man said he could fit us in at 7 so I headed off to meet the Snook to celebrate my last day of the sale. We were seated in the upstairs area, and I was quite surprised at how modern and posh it seemed. (I was expecting more of an “oom-pah-pah” atmosphere like Una’s.) We settled in with half-liter mugs of beer and watched the rain come down. I ordered the “Bohemian Party Dish,” while the Snook had the Goulash with Bread Dumplings. It was a TON of food. I particularly enjoyed my potato pancake and smoked sausage (which reminded me of Eckrich Farm sausage at home, and how much I missed that). We finished the night with another beer, the Gambrinus. I was all very enjoyable, but I have to say I think I still prefer Una’s. Prague was like visiting an actual high-class Czech restaurant, while Una’s is more of a friendly family place. The older I get, the more I realize how much I prefer the latter.

Gumnut Baby Hat

The January 2007 issue of Australian Women’s Weekly has a pattern for a “Gumnut Babies Hat,” for those who might be interested. It’s a little garter stitch helmet with ear flaps, and it features stuffed gumnuts or wattle hanging off the sides. It’s a little daggy, but still kind of cute.

Knitting Spectrum

The Knitting Spectrum
On one hand you have a knitted piece of Christmas poo, and on the other you have knitted mathematical representations of hyperbolic space. And I like both of ’em!


Debunking the World’s Most Expensive Chocolate. Awesome article. The Snook’s going to like it; he likes quality chocolate. Me, I’m happy with 99¢ Easter bunnies from the drug store…


I Invite You to Judge
I just had the rudest customer in the shop, but it occurs to me that maybe other people think such behavior is acceptable. I appeal to you, O Wise Internet, Arbiter of All Etiquette. What do you think? There’s a poll down there on the right. Here’s the situation:I spent about fifteen minutes today with a woman who wanted to buy a special fancy lamp for doing embroidery work. (The bulb simulates daylight so you can see colours better.) After answering lots of questions, opening boxes, and actually plugging in lamps so she could check them out, she wanted to know the price. I told her our normal price was X, but that since our Christmas sale is on, she’d get it for Y (which was 20% less). She made a face. Her friend had a similar lamp, and she paid less than X. “Did she get it from us?” She did not. The customer wasn’t quite sure her friend had had the same lamp though, so I fired up the Internet to verify (on our own website) that this one was the right size. “Yep, that’s it,” I said, and I verified again that our price is definitely X. “What about the manufacturer’s website? Here’s the address. Go there,” she demanded, pointing at the box. “Uhhh…” I couldn’t think of an excuse not to. So I go there, and they show a recommended retail price of X – $15. Hardly surprising, given that we’re a specialty store in the middle of a major city, and everybody knows our markups are higher. “I’ll take 20% off THAT price,” she announces. “I’m sorry; that’s now how it works. Our sale price is off of our normal price.” (I should note that with the discount, Y was five bucks less than the RRP.) She still wasn’t happy. “But you’re higher than their price! I should get more of a discount. What else can you do for me?” EXCUSE ME? This isn’t Cairo. We don’t HAGGLE. We don’t price match. I calmly – and bemusedly – told her that Y was the price, and that’s that. She might very well be able to find it cheaper online, but we had them instock and she could take it home today. (Not to mention the fact that I’d given her better service than she would’ve gotten anywhere else.) She decided to put it on hold so she could “think about it”. I’m still a little annoyed. The Snook and I were talking about this recently, about people who seem to think they’re entitled to better treatment than anybody else. (Like: people who ask for complimentary upgrades, people who demand refunds without receipts, etc etc.) But then again, sometimes I wonder if those people are actually getting deals and I’m subsidising it because I’m a big polite SUCKER. What do you think?


Does anybody know why Sunday’s Foxtrot (at least on Yahoo’s site) was in Spanish? Is it a mistake, or was it deliberate? And what the heck does it say? It looks like the Dad says something about “green pants,” and Jason replies with something about George Lucas. I’m lost.

Cabled Jacket of Doom

Cabled Jacket of DoomCabled Jacket of Doom… VANQUISHED
Okay, I’ve officially been working on this project for six months now. First I had to contend with the problem of multiple errors in the pattern. (Suck it, Debbie Bliss.) Then the cat decided she liked the taste of Noro. At the end of July I realized I was running short on wool and decided to frog the whole body back and reknit it a smaller size. (Major kudos to Calico & Ivy for having more of my dyelot, and to Don at Prestige for helping me track it down.) In August I declared that this jacket was “my Everest,” and that I’d “finish it or perish in the attempt.” I hadn’t even gotten to the frackin’ sleeves yet. The steeking was relatively pain-free, thank God, and I started the collar without too much trouble. In September I started the sleeves and decided to turn the collar into a hood. I was just a few steps away from finishing it… and as Indiana Jones says, “That’s usually when the ground falls out from underneath your feet.” Unthinkingly, I knit my sleeves according to the pattern, and when I went to sew them in they wouldn’t fit. (It’s all because stupid Debbie Bliss assumes you get her row gauge, and I so didn’t.) So the jacket went on a shelf for three months while I brooded over this final obstacle. On Friday night, I pulled it down and started frogging back the sleeves. People, I knit those sleeve tops FIVE TIMES over the past three days. Not only was I working without a pattern, but I was also contending with my own freakishly broad shoulders. But last night – FINALLY – I got it. I GOT IT. I needed to keep the momentum going. Back to the collar-turned-hood. Yeah, I had to frog that back once to re-work the shaping. Again, I was basically inventing here, though I did get ideas from both Rogue and Janda. I used a three-needle cast-off to join the hood seam this afternoon. Check it out. I’m still not happy with the excess material at the back of the neck (which I think is a remnant from the original standup collar design) but I’m not going to redo it. How often do people wear their hoods up anyway? It looks great down, so it’s staying. Now I just need to steek the front, sew in a zipper, and maybe do an I-cord border around the whole front edge.

But the important thing is – I WIN! This jacket threw everything it had at me, and I defeated the sucker! This sweet sense of victory almost makes up for the fact that I spent the entire Christmas holiday sitting on my couch, giving myself premature arthritis.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!
We’re three days into our four day holiday, and I’ve been outside the house for a grand total of about ten minutes. It’s been great. And you know what else is great? My new friggin’ T-shirt. Check out DeskCam. Isn’t that the coolest thing ever? Super special thanks to Bex, who got it for me as a gift. That was literally one of the best surprise Christmas presents I’ve ever had in my life, Bex!

I’ll check in tomorrow with a big post about the Epic Battle I’ve been locked in with the Cabled Jacket of Doom. Suffice it to say, I haven’t actually played any Wii thus far. But I think I’ve broken the back of this sucker. I shall be victorious! (In my new T-shirt.)

Sock Frog

How to make a sock frog. Awesome!