Thursday, January 26, 2006

It's finished, and it's me!

YAY! I finished the jumper yesterday, and it FITS! You may remember that I have knitted this jumper once before. It is Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed, and the pattern is Anya from a Jo Sharp book. The first time I knitted it to the end, sewed it up, put it on.... disaster. Way too wide, way too short, sleeves way too long. With the helpful advice of my cleaning lady, Gladys, who said it looked terrible, I unpicked it. Never before have I unpicked a whole jumper, but it had to be done. This time I went down a size in the pattern, made it longer and the sleeves shorter. And thanks to my daughter who advised testing the fit by using bulldog clips instead of pins - much faster and easier, and less painful. It was lovely to knit with, and knit up very fast indeed. I love the ribbing detail on the hem and the neckline, and also the interesting bell shaped sleeve. I'm very happy with it. So here I am, wearing it! It hasn't even been blocked or anything. I think people are going to see a lot of this jumper, as soon as it cools down enough to wear it.

What's next on the agenda. For his birthday, I gave my husband a certificate entitling him to one pair of hand-knitted socks. I have the wool. I have the fabulous sock book Julie gave me for Christmas. I have measured his feet (he enjoyed the process). I have EVEN KNITTED A SWATCH for the first time. The next knitting post will be sock progress. But my next post is going to be a Pug Post, so you know why my blog name includes The Pug.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

It snowed at Christmas!

What? Snowing in Sydney in December? Yup, right here there was snow in abundance. Christmas is when I get my snowdome collection out and put it on display. There are only 63 of them, and during the year they live in a little chest where they don't need dusting. Christmas seems like an appropriate time to get them out for an airing, so here they are. They are from all over the place, as snowdomes are. The gold one you can see towards the right is really a sandstorm - inside there is a Pyramid and a Sphinx with gold glitter. From Egypt of course. The big red heart behind it comes from New York.

On this little table with the lava lamp there is a Nebraska one, right next to an Elvis from Graceland dome. The matchbox shape is a miniature kitchen scene from Mexico, an honorary snowdome.

People ask whether I have a favourite, and I confess, I do. It is the one right in front in this little group. You can't see it well, but it is my only double-sided dome. On one side there is a scuba diver with coral and shells and little fish, and on the other side is a leaping dolphin. Where do you think this piece of exotica comes from? Melbourne. Yes, Melbourne.

There are places we've been that don't seem to have snowdomes. Like Korea, home of an enormous amount of tacky souvenirs, but no snowdomes. I guess I could go to Global Shakeup and buy one (if they had one) but I wouldn't dream of doing that. And please, now that I've revealed my secret collection, don't give me any. The rule is that either Michael or me has to be there and buy it in person. And we might JUST have enough domes right now...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Stick to your knitting

Truly, I am still knitting. Or re-knitting. This is the jumper I knitted to completion, tried it on, and unpicked it. The pattern is Anya from the Jo Sharp Gathering book, in Silk Road Aran Tweed. It was one of the fastest jumpers I have ever knitted. Alas, however, it was way too short, way too wide, the sleeves way too long. Never have I had such a disaster in fit, and I have been knitting a long time. Gladys, my cleaning lady, was here as I tried it on again, and she told me what I already knew. It had to be unpicked. It was a shocker to unpick, and I have all these little balls for re-knitting.

I went a size down from the book. I knitted the front and back much longer. I have knit the one sleeve a bit shorter. As you see, I have one sleeve to go. A sleeve takes less than a week, depending on how often I pick it up and knit it. Very fast. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. I don't want to re-unpick nor re-knit. I want this jumper done so I can start on the socks I have promised my husband. Yes, I have the wool for them. I have a new sock book - Sensational Knitted Socks - a Christmas present from my daughter. I am ready for socks, but I am being strict with myself. The last sleeve must be done first.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Toys for Christmas - or - The Wireless Office

We've had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and survived the great heat of yesterday. 44 degrees is TOO HOT! There were lots of new toys for Christmas, including a Nano iPod and a wireless router. Not to mention getting our fried computer back again, thanks to the Son-out-law. We must keep it on its other side to ensure that it gets enough air through it. Apparently it had suffered severe meltdown.

So isn't it fun to reinstall stuff (he'd saved all our data, thank you thank you) but there was much to reinstall, and much to replug. I know, I've blogged about big fat plugs before, but this time the subject is the Wireless Office. We have a wireless mouse, the digital camera, the e-book, the Palm, the iPod, a laptop, an ADSL modem, a wireless router so the laptop can be used outside in the garden or wherever. So how come all these things need all these wires? Here they are, you can see the mess we are in.

I've had SOOOOO much fun installing all this stuff, and it all now works. Except that I have no sound from the PC any more, nor any place to plug in the speakers. I'll fix that soon enough. And it took far too long to install the wireless router, because I didn't know I needed a dynamic IP address instead of a PPPoE, as was suggested by the documentation. Isn't it great to have a wireless office? As well as a paperless one?

And where do you think the Pug likes to sleep. You got it, he likes to crawl in and lie in amongst all those wires, on the big fat plugs where it is warm. Then he likes to lurch out with cords around his neck and his legs. Now that I have the camera connected (with its own cradle, its own USB connection, its own power source, I will be able to take a picture of him next time he does it. Provided, of course, that he doesn't get the camera cables around his neck and destroy the whole setup. Pugs are such fun.

Don't worry, as soon as I have the sound card I will bind all the cables up neatly using spiral cable binding stuff. And as soon as I have done that, I will need to unhook it all again for some other unforeseen catastrophe.