Silk for Lara ?

I just read about Tussah Silk – silk wound from cocoons after the moth emerges! Apparently there are people producing what they are calling “Peace Silk“, and allowing the moths to live out their natural life cycle.

It’s not vegan of course, but I have been very strongly attracted to Pamela‘s gorgeous Swallowtail, knit in Seasilk. The slinkyness, the shinyness, the colour….

Maybe there might be some silk in my future.

Items #5 & #2

I’m sick. I’ve been pretending that I’m ok for a few days, but today I have the sore throat, sneezing, coughing, and swollen glands thing happening. So in order to proceed with the list, I am doing some “research” from bed.

The RSPCA has a few bunnies, but they all look quite small – and the RSPCA doesn’t bother with describing rabbit personalities (maybe they think they are all the same?), so it makes it hard to adopt from there when you are seeking a particular personality. But they do have ducks! And chooks – even budgies. So if you’ve been thinking about getting chooks, this could be a good chance.

The Keysborough shelter in Melbourne have a few likely candidates, and I have emailed the carer to ask about personalities. Leigh lives for the bunnies she cares for, and I am sure she will have an opinion on the right match for Custard (if she thinks it’s a good idea to get him a buddy).

Apparently 2007 has been unofficially declared “Knit from your stash year”, but I’m afraid that just isn’t going to happen. I will use some of my stash yarn (my Lornas Laces is waiting patiently for just the right inspiration), but yarn shops of Sydney will rejoice in the knowledge that I intend to buy more yarn. Especially if the TC buyer comes back from his trip with the tasty supplies that Kris told me about on saturday night.

I have started to create a button for the anti KFYS (Knit From Your Stash) movement, but my drug addled brain and photoshop are not compatible right now.

As for specific projects, I am going to use some stash yarn (I have 10 balls each of burnt orange, lime green, and purple) that I am going to dive into for a little jumper/cardi/jacket for niecephew to wear next winter. I promise I won’t use all the colours together.

And for this project, I will break out my Christmas present from Mark, that I picked up from Karen and Chris on sunday. Karen and Chris took their baby daughter Lee to the US this year for the first time to meet the extended family. While they were there, they picked up a few things from Knitpicks…


I got the basic kit with a few doubles in the 3mm-4.5mm range (the needles I tend to use the most), a few extra cables, the pattern holder thingy, a few extra sleeves, and the needle sizer with the nifty viewing window. I believe Karen has an extra set that she’s going to ebay, if anyone is interested, let me know and I will post when she puts them up.

Can you feel the love?

I have a job

I start on monday fortnight. I have the use of a company car, and a letter of offer will be sent sometime this week (hopefully). The pay is a big step up from my last job, but I’ll have to work bloody hard to earn it – and learn what a spirometer is (amongst other things).

I haven’t done ANYTHING else today (except make my own coffee). I am watching Oprah, and sitting in bed with my foot up. I had plans to be all busy and start to get my life in order, but hell, getting a job is enough of an achievement for one day, don’t you think?

In other news, Mark has officially resigned, so we keep the status quo, with one job between us.

I have two weeks to dry clean all my old business suits that still fit me, and possibly buy at least one summer weight jacket, a few tops, and a few pairs of pants (or a skirt to take advantage of the first tan I’ve had in years). I also want to pack up all the clothes that definitely don’t fit, give away things that I can bear to part with (like about 10 bras that I’ve never worn), and sort out the wardrobe room.

Also on my list of things to do are

1. Organise the craft room/study. We need bookshelves for all the books, and I need to sort the stash, and craft supplies. Make the rec room look like a happy place to be.

2. Make a knitting project list. Buy yarn for specific projects, and consult the stash BEFORE I buy anything new. Also, I want to make time for knitting, since I won’t be knitting on the train anymore.

3. Weed the roses in the front, prune and fertilise. Perhaps even plant a new one.

4. Try to get in charge of the weeds in the backyard. Plant some basil and at least have a little herb garden happening before I go back to full time work. To be able to come home and get a salad together from the backyard is a huge luxury, and one I’m not willing to do without any more.

5. Make a decision about Custard. He needs a friend, and I am terrified of him attacking Monkey if we keep up the bonding process. Maybe we’ll find a big, mellow, girl bunny to love on Custard. He’s lost two bonded partners (as well as Grasshopper) in his short life, and he really seems depressed living on his own.

6. Organise our laundry system, and linen closet.

7. Get rid of the junk that Sarah helped us sort a few months ago, and do some more sorting of the garage.

8. Have a total attitude adjustment, and get over the sense of humour bypass I’ve been experiencing since we came back to fair Sydney. My life is pretty good, and though it’s normal to feel sad at the loss of a beloved furry friend, and a bit at sea without a job, and a little out of sorts at being plucked from a tropical island and landed back in suburbia, I am determined to be a happy and cheerful person that doesn’t wallow. Wallowing is soooooo last year.

Basically, I want to revamp my life. Put more in, get more out. Be more organised, do more exercise, plan meals and eat better, eat less, drink less booze, and be healthier. 2007 is going to be a better year, because I am going to stop expecting things to fall into place. I am going to push them.

Knitters at the Opera

P1070477 2

These guys were great.  Garish outfits, do-wop tunes, and a lascivious attitude.  What’s not to love?  They can be seen crawling all over me on Kris’ blog.


There was knitting.


There was more live entertainment.


There was one of the cutest babies in the world (Lee, whose parents Karen and Chris delivered my Christmas present from Mark – more on that later).


There was singing of the national anthem (picture taken from below, I was too crippled to stand up). 


There was even knitting during the national anthem.


And there was Mark.  He’s my favourite.

A decision needs to be made

I have two job offers on the table (potentially). And I do need to accept one of them fairly soon, so Mark and I can save packets of money and buy a shoe box in Bourke. Have you seen this? Housing in Sydney is less affordable than New York and London!

Anyway… Before we left, I had a very promising interview with Company X, on the strength of which I turned down the job that the anti-christ had offered me. They asked me to come in to meet the other director, which turned into a second interview (this is after I thought I had been offered the job). At the second interview, they said they would let me know in two days time – the day before we left for Vietnam. The day arrives, and by 2pm I was getting anxious. By 5pm, I was fuming. By 6pm, I was angry. I called them three times, but my calls were not answered, or returned, so I guessed that my talents were not wanted.

I had three weeks of blissful travel, during which time I convinced myself that Company X were a pack of bastards, who were thoughtless, and rude, and shortsighted, and that I really would not want to work for anyone that would behave in that manner. I contacted an old friend that I’d done some work for in the past, and he happily agreed to take me on. Even offered to negotiate my pay and conditions. Signed me up for his Superannuation fund.

And then, the day we got back, I got a text message “Are you still interested? Please call asap. Company X”.

I swore a lot. You can ask my mum. She’s heard me swearing for years, and I am sure even she would tell you that the expletives reached a new level of duration, volume, and venom. I seem to recall comparing someone to a “son of a motherless goat”. Or words to that effect.

Tomorrow I have to speak to Company X, and Company OF (Old Friend), and try to ascertain what it is that they each want from me, and what they are prepared to offer in return. I anticipate that X will require a lot of hard work and a steep learning curve, but that the financial rewards will be tidy. I’ll also have the added benefit of getting out of an industry that is plagued by low margins and stiff competition, and into an industry that has a much healthier margin, and I’ll be working for a company that has an exclusive distribution of a high value, highly sought after product. Eventually, I’ll also be out on the road, seeing clients, and perhaps even doing a little bit of work related travel. On the other hand, working for Company OF will be easy (the sort of job I could do with both hands tied behind my back while being beaten with a stick), I like the people, the money will be OK, and I’ll still get discounted Apple kit.

Both jobs are in places that are inconvenient for public transport (no commuter knitting), but one comes with the use of a company car.

I sent an email saying that I would call on monday (after I had a chance to calm down), but perhaps I should have given myself more time.

Another funeral


We buried Grasshopper today.  Jane bought a beautiful lisianthus plant, which we surrounded with sweet basil, at the same time we replanted Rhubarb’s grave with a rainbow chilli plant and bright purple and pink petunias. 

For once, I couldn’t really speak. He was very unique*.

*Something is either unique, or it isn’t.  My friend Simone goes batshit when she hears the words “very unique”.  Or “totally unique”, or “singularly unique”.  My favourite varies between “utterly unique” and “most unique”.  Even better than “better than the best”.

Happy Invasion Day

Peter Cundall became a Member of the Order of Australia for services to conservation, Stephen Bradbury (THAT speed skater) became an OAM, and Tim Flannery is Australian of the year. And he put one up John Howard in his acceptance speech. Winner.

And the police officer implicated in the death of Mulrunji Doomadge on Palm Island in 2004 will be charged. The police are outraged, but the timing of this decision, though not timely, has a certain irony, coming on the anniversary of an event that had tragic consequences for our indigenous population.

P.S. Bob Brown was visiting Palm Island when the Street Report was released.

Opera in the Park

Saturday 27.01.07 is the date for Opera in the Park

The Opera will be Turandodt, the weather will be fine (well, it bloody well better be!), I shall be cooking up a few tasty morsels, and bringing picnic rugs, wine, and of course, knitting.

Joining me will be a selection of Sydney knitting celebrities, including Sally (unofficial convener of the Rubi + Lana’s crowd), and David (podcaster, astronomer, diving instructor, published author, mountaineer, composer, magician, and ex taxi driver).  Please join us!  We’ll be getting in early to nab the best spot, and get some knitting in before the sun goes down and the fat ladies sing.  No, I promise I won’t sing.  Mark might, but only if you ask nicely.

Everyone is welcome (even non knitters), it’s free, and all you need to bring is yourself.  If you want to bring stuff, here is a list of suggestions:

A rug

Sunnies, hat, sunscreen (if arriving early)

Some tasty comestibles

Some wine

Some knitting

A mobile phone for finding us.

We intend to find a spot near the front of the stage, but perhaps off to the Art Gallery side (where I found a great spot last year).  Some indication of numbers would be great (so we can nab a spot of an appropriate size), comment here and I will email you phone numbers for Sally, David, and me.

David is aiming for “lunchtime”, Sally and I should be there by about 2.30pm, and the opera starts at 8 (I think).

Spread the word, cross post, link like it’s going out of style!

PS.  David is not all those things.  I threw in one extra to confuse you, a small Vietnamese souvenir to the first correct guess (no David, you can’t enter).



On the 5th of Jan, Damian (who was house and baby sitting for us), noticed that Grasshopper was acting strangely, and took him to the vet.  An hour later, the vet called him to say that the damage was too bad, and that he had to be euthenased. 

After Grasshoppers last trip to the vet, Custard had bullied him, so we separated them while Grasshoppers leg recovered.  We tried bonding Custard with Blueberry and Monkey, but a fight broke out between Monkey and Custard, and I ended up with a large wound.  There wasn’t enough time to bond them properly before we left, so I decided to put Custard back in with Grasshopper.  There were a few scuffles, but I wasn’t worried.

I should have been.  While Damian was at work, Custard attacked Grasshopper, and basically tore all the skin from his belly.  There wasn’t enough skin left to sew up.

Grasshopper came to us 3 1/2 years ago as a tiny leveret, less than a week old, and far too young to be away from his mother.  Someone took him to the local vet, the vet tried to look after him, but he wouldn’t eat, and they phoned me to see if I would take him in.  It was either that, or the big green needle.

Dad went to pick him up from Rooty Hill, and brought this tiny frightened bundle home in a fruit box.  I was told that he was a hare, but I believed that we didn’t have hares in Australia – but one look at him and I knew he wasn’t a rabbit.

You can see pictures from his first day here.

We fed him farex mixed with lactose free milk until I could get some rabbit milk replacement formula.  On further research I found out that his weight indicated he was very young, and since he had been at the vet for four days, and not eaten for that entire time, he was very lucky to be alive.  The survival rate of  leverets who are raised by humans is very, very low.

For three months he was with me constantly, sleeping in my sleeve and popping his head out when he was hungry.  More pictures here, and here.

Eventually he got bigger, and more independent.  He became more skittish, and preferred to stay away from humans.  He was growing into the most amazing creature I had ever seen, and though it was painful that he was drawing away from me, I understood that it was natural, and seeing him healthy was the best reward.  Pictures here.

Eventually we were able to house him with Rhubarb and Custard – he had no manners, but they tolerated him.

While he remained a wild creature all his life, I loved him very much.  I realise that I could never have anticipated that Custard was capable of such savagery, but I still feel guilty for placing him in danger.  I also realise that he probably would have been dead years ago without my intervention, and I hope that he had a measure of comfort and joy in his time with us.  He was  a rare and precious jewel, and meeting him has touched the lives of many people.

Many thanks to Damian, and to mum and dad, all of whom had to take care of the vets and the body, and the decision not to tell us until we got back.  I know it must have been a difficult decision to make, but I am grateful to them for keeping it until we got back – knowing sooner would have put a big dampener on our holiday, and there was nothing we could have done for him once we knew. 

We will bury him tomorrow.