I’m In!

In the Knitters Treat Exchange of course!

I couldn’t commit to the whole Secret Pal thing, but I found this thanks to Kate, a kind of SP lite…

Questionnaire Answers

1. What’s your favourite type of yarn?

A Soyslik/Cotton/Microfibre/Lycra blend. No, it doesn’t exist, but I can dream.

2. What’s your least favourite type of yarn?

Silk, Possum, and anything else that requires the death of the creature that produced the fibre. I’m not keen on angora bunny because of the conditions the poor wee bunnies have to live in, and I care very much about the quality of life of the creature that provides the yarn. Let’s talk about mulesing 😉

3. What’s the first thing you do when you visit a new yarn shop?

I find the brightest yarn and start fondling it, of course!

4. What other crafts do you do / would like to do?

I have my grandmothers spinning wheel, but am not an accomplished spinner. I have a few crochet hooks, but can’t follow a crochet pattern. I have a sewing machine, but I have no patience for process. I cook, when there is time, and I love my poor neglected garden.

5. What magazines do you currently subscribe to?

Interweave Knits, Yarn, and Yarn Forward.

6. Put this type of magazine in order of preference:
Knitting / Food / Garden / Crochet / Home / Other Craft / Fashion / Celebrity Gossip

7. What items do you like to knit / crochet?

I’m on a bit of a lace kick at the moment, but I want to do more garment knitting. I want to learn all I can about garment construction and design, because I have some things in my head that need to get out! I also have a growing collection of sock yarn that needs to become socks….

8. Are you allergic to anything?

I have pretty bad asthma, which is set off by strong chemical smells, dust, hard work ;), and many preservatives. Though I love perfume and scented candles etc, I have to be very careful.

9. What do you like to smell of?

I love citrus and vanilla – citrus for energy, and vanilla for comfort.

10. What’s your favourite way to relax?

Hanging in my home with the bunnies and my knitting, a sci fi series on DVD, and my hubby by my side. Knitting of course!

11. You’re stood in front of a Victorian style sweetshop, an Italian cafe, an old fashioned bakery and a dainty tea room. Where do you go first?

Italian cafe. No contest. I love savoury treats (I deeply regret having to give up anchovies when I gave up meat), and would much rather have bruschetta and a glass of red wine than ice cream and biscuits any day.

12. What do you come out with?

Um. Bruschetta and red wine? Arancini, salad with balsamic dressing, and maybe an espresso coffee with soy ice cream if I really need something sweet.

13. Where do you go next?

I’ll stay in the cafe.

14. Any other words of wisdom for your pal?

I like to think of myself as an ethical person, with limitations. I sometimes feel that people think I am a bully and impose my views on others, but that really isn’t the case (I hope!). I do like people to be educated about the choices that they make, but I certainly don’t expect everyone to agree with me! Difference is what makes the world an interesting place 🙂

Make Mine Chocolate

As Easter is coming up, it’s time for me to spread the word about bunnies, and how a bunny is not an appropriate Easter gift. A live animal is hardly ever an appropriate gift, but most people already know that, right?

Though bunnies have a strong link with Easter because of their prodigious powers of reproduction, these powers of reproduction make them difficult people to live with. Once desexed, rabbits make charming companions (I am writing this tucked up in bed with Custard asleep on my chest), but they require as much, if not more work than a dog or cat. Bunnies can be charming, and playful, and affectionate, and obstinate, and many delightful things – but they are not the passive soft toy that you may imagine from popular culture. I can show you the scars.

This Easter, show your admiration for rabbit fertility with chocolate.

And if you prefer our native Bilby (a very appropriate substitution), just make sure you read the label. Some chocolate bilbies are sold by a foundation that claims to protect bilbies in the wild – instead, they fund research into newer and nastier versions of myxo to kill rabbits. I don’t pretend that rabbits haven’t had a terrible effect on our country, but killing them with horrible slow acting viruses isn’t a humane way to deal with a problem that was created by us humans.

Happy Birthday Mandy and Meg!

We had a fabulous time last night at Mandy’s place, a big thank you to both the birthday girls for allowing us to celebrate with them.

The best party I’ve been to in quite some time, and the best welcome home I could have imagined.

Candy with gluten free joy!

There was cake.

Kate enjoyed the cake

The best gluten free cake.

Party poppers

There were party poppers.

Queen of the room

And there was one of the birthday girls, looking divine.

A perfect knitterly gathering.


I took a pass on work this morning, and took Jussi’s advice – got the ferry to Davenport (or is it Devonport?  Sorry) and wandered up the hill to the yarn store.  THe bloody quilting shop is mentioned in the brochure, but the wool shop isn’t.

Lovely proprietor, actually told me that she has active plans to expand her ethical yarn choices, and educate her customers about where the yarns come from, and who suffers to produce them.  Had a quick chat about mulesing, and I thoroughly regret that this lovely shop is so far from home.  But I’ll be back.

Particularly when there is a bookshop down the hill selling Alice Starmore Books.  Yup – a book I have seen on eBay and Amazon (when you can get it) for over $200 US, found in NZ for about $100 Aus.  Don’t bother hurrying to get there, I bought it.

Wandered up the hill from the ferry to a shop I had wanted to check out, only to find that it was a clothing shop, not a Korean stationery shop like I had expected.  And it was full of fur.  Bleugh.

Found a Japanese 100 Yen shop and found some wonderful stuff, then got lost in Borders for an hour.  Didn’t buy anything, but was tempted by Dominitrix.  A pretty ordinary sushi lunch, then a $70 cab ride back to the hotel, then on to the airport.

Sat between a cheerful kiwi and an intense yank on the flight home.  Thank got they were both slim.  NZ is more than its fair proportion of people you don’t want to get sandwiched between on a plane – except the yank had obviously just come from India, and was practising his tantric breathing.  It well put me off my alpaca granny square.

Mark eventually found me at the airport and took me to a new (to us) South Indian restaurant at Harris Park.  Bloody good Masala Dosa, superb Aloo Kulcha, but pretty ordinary Dahl.  Very cheap though.  A bottle of Pikes Polish Hill Riesling contributed to a perfect welcome home.

Custard is still ignoring me, but perfect apart from that.

To bed now, it’s after 11 by my body clock….

Day 3+4

Day 4 doesn’t bear much of a mention except that I had a very promising start to a business negotiation, and managed to avoid go to the ice bar with the American masters.

Day three was pretty ordinary until 7.10pm, when the lovely Jussi and he glorious daughter whisked me away from the thoracic society for dinner in the real world.

It’s about to be 11pm, and I have an early start, so I can’t do justice to my visit here. Suffice it to say that that Jussi is even more wonderful than everybody says she is (and everybody loves her), her home is lovely, her children are spunky (in a good way), her husband is charming (and a whizz with the barbie), and her cats are divine.

I had a perfect evening, and my sanity was restored (as much as could be hoped). Thank you from the bottom of my heart Justine.

And let’s not even mention the book and the hand dyed baby alpaca. Pictures cannot do it justice in the time fram allowed, but a photographic tribute to the gifts of Jussi and Kate coming ASAP.

One more day of medical insanity, some packing up, maybe a visit to some NZ customers, and back home on wed night. I miss my bunnies. And my husband, of course 😉