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Still here

June 27, 2005

I'm still here I promise! Just keep not getting far enough through my list to actually get to blogging! But have just had a great weekend taking it very easy and doing little.

I made a spicy blended pumpkin soup, had a disasterous go at cooking fish (oh it was so terrible, yuk yuk), and started knitting a teddy from my new women's weekly baby gifts. I got a little further on bloom and watched lots of episodes - the revelations mini series, and enterprise season two, plus a sliders that I fell alseep during.

Michael took me on a lovely date to see Batman (I gave it 7, he gave it 8 on first viewing the week before) and out to dinner afterwards to a local gem, which was less gem-like on the night in question, in terms of both service and food, but nonetheless was still nice!

Michael also made a questionable surprise gift purchase for me in the form of a talking donald trump doll. Though my eyebrows were raised at the time, I admit it has been mildly amusing watching him give commentary on our weekend, "You're fired" and the like.

Coming up to the end of financial year I did want to spend some time having a big picture planning session (oh I do love to plan, and think about the big picture) but I didn't get to it so perhaps Wednesday this week or next weekend.

I Purposefully did not do any sewing this weekend to try and give myself a break as I have been doing a fair bit lately and possibly it has stopped being fun! I am sure I just need to chill out a bit before picking it all back up.

Almost all of the amazon shipment has arrived though I did not spend much time on weekend looking at it all, though I did give a few hours to the new best recipe which is sooo incredibly fabulous I almost want to order 100 copies and give them to everyone I know. It is enormous, comprehensive, delightful and was less than $40 Australian including shipping! There are others in the series which will totally be going on my birthday wishlist.

I looked at Loop D Loop quite a bit when it arrived, there's not too much I can see myself making thought it's very interesting, but I'll definitely do the corkscrew scarf, and soon, I'm going to use some handpaintedyarn.com bulky yarn in yellow, and (even though it will probably look totally terrible on me and I'll have to modify the pattern for a larger size) the yoke vest, in burgundy from handpaintedyarn. So that will be my next craft splurge, which will use a good chunk of the craft budget top up when I get paid in a couple of weeks.. But that should be ok cos I'll also have the simply marilyn stuff bought ages ago coming in, hopefully, so I should be well stocked up.

With the rest of next months fund I may buy another skirt pattern - The one I've recently bought doesn't actually fit me I've realised, and though it's still a great pattern and I'm sure I can modify it, I still need to get one really good garment finished.. With the time and patience and attention to detail I've been giving knitting.. So I will start with a pattern that will actually suit me and actually fits and then pick some fabric I love and take it from there.

Sorry no photos. I've got photos hanging around from recent stuff like chocolate making with jessie and the new big tote, and a story to tell as I've aluded to earlier about not prewashing fabrics, but I just need to get around to it all!

PS, who's there?? I have five bloglines subscribers now, not crazy numbers I know but I am curious who you are. Leave me a comment!

Posted by lee_taylor at 08:16 AM | Comments (293)

More Melbourne Clapotis

June 19, 2005

Fans of Clapotis, go and check out Lisa's blog to see her fabulous shawl in Lorna's Laces, in black purl. Black purl was the colourway I was considering If I was going to get this lovely stuff myself and I can see I would not have been wrong! It's lurvely.

Posted by lee_taylor at 09:01 AM | Comments (1042)

New Scarf + Beanie, w buttons, and stuff!

June 18, 2005

Today I read eleven hours which I bought during the week. It was pretty good and a quick read! Not good enough that I'm saying go out and buy it - but if it's sitting on a shelf somewhere accessible, I certainly encourage you... so didn't knit much today, just a few rows on bloom.

But in other knitting news, I got a great stripey scarf and beanie set, in beige and chocolate brown, a gift from M's sister D and fiancee A, who arrived from Sunny Perth today. They are a beautiful soft lambswool/angora etc blend, and have buttons on them (in keeping with my current knit and buttons obsession, yay) Tomorrow is D's birthday - regular blog readers will know what she's getting. There's been an emergency related to that gift, which I'll chronicle another time.. It will put the fear of god into you and make sure you ALWAYS prewash your fabrics..

Anyhoo, I also made some anzacs, and there's chinese food about to arrive. I'm getting all the things I love that I don't normally have like honey king prawns and prawn crackers, yum, along with staples like satay beef and chicken with cashews.

Tomorrow we're going to cook up some kind of birthday dinner, and I'm baking a cake, a packet cake with some mods so I may do some photos. I may also use my new chocolate making kit (which I've not yet blogged about but is definitely blog worthy, so hang in there) to do some white chocolate stripes over the icing - D is very good at this and can help me. I've got champagne chillin and frozen rasberries so we may need to choose between the champagne and my famous rasberry dacquiris as apertif! Oh, decisions..

I'm about to start my new mary moody book. I may cop a bit of flack for it, but I love her!

There's a few FO's floating around that are needing blogging.. Modified Airy Scarf, Tote Bag, Liquor Chocolates, at the very least, plus the dual saga of the sewing blocks and the red fabric from last week, so hopefully tomorrow I"ll get busy with it all!

Posted by lee_taylor at 07:22 PM | Comments (63)

Must Read Book Review, plus new purchases

June 17, 2005

Last thursday a friend at work lent me the no 1 ladies detective agency and encouraged me to read it. I'd seen it around and knew it was popular but didn't know what it was about and it didn't look like my thing. Reading the back it still didn't look like my thing, but I had a go anyway and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was wonderful, really excellent reading. It was fascinating and whimsical, funny, thought provoking.. a genuine pleasure to read. She lent me the second book, tears of the giraffe, on wednesday and I've finished it this morning - knitting time suffered but I just couldn't put it down. I loved it for all the same reasons as the first, but it wasn't the same, you know what I mean? So it wasn't one of those sequels that is so like the first it was almost a waste of time. I can't wait to read the next one.. There are at least another two in this particular series, possibly more. I shouldn't glutton them all down at once as I so often do when finding a new tv series or author..

Anyway, this is definitely a recommendation, so give it a shot.. In fact, if you're Danielle or Sylvia for example, let me know if you do give it a shot, as otherwise this might be sitting pretty high on my what to get you for xmas lists..

I've done a bit of bargain book and shoe buying (Payday, budgetary funds replenished, craft freeze still on for one further month but everything else is back open).. May provide some more details on these (Definitely will eventually on sew easy and the baby gift one actually) another time..

Anyway, here's what I got

* Women's weekly craft library baby gifts (Has some great ideas, esp on the toy and applique fronts.. Lots of crap, too, not surprisingly, but definitely worth the measly $14

* Sew Easy.. a sewing book I'd seen before but didn't think was worth retail price. But for $22.50 it was definitely worth it and I've picked it up. My edition is different to the one I've linked to but I couldn't find another link! Has some great ideas in this..

* By the same author as my glowing recommendations above, The 2 1/2 pillars of wisdom - don't even know what it's about except that it's a different series to the detective one and it's three in one book. I will definitely give it a shot as his writing is just so lovely and wonderful.

* The new delicious mag, july 2005 (came with free june 2004 back issue, which I didn't have)

* and a couple of other really super cheap books that I'd been after and was thrilled to find on sale.. Eleven hours by Paulina Simmons (think that's the spelling.. the chick who wrote girl in times square) which I seem to recall reading in high school and was great, a sue grafton from the a is for alibi series (thought i'd read them all but found one i'd missed) and a new book from mary moody, as I really and unexpectantly enjoyed her two books au revoir and last tango in tolouse, autobiographical and about running away from home in rural Australia to move to France at 50!!! Now does that sound like something that would interest me, no way, but I loved it!!

* Oh and a new pair of shoes from rivers. some very flat mary janes. I'll try and update this post with a photo later..

Also last week I'd bid on a MON TRICOT - 1300 Pattern Stitches -KNITTING DICTIONARY on ebay that ended up going for $26 so i missed out, then found another and now i've been significantly outbid on that too. So I don't think it's meant to be. I'm willing to pay $20 including shipping.

Posted by lee_taylor at 12:24 PM | Comments (37)

Big list of knitting patterns to check out

June 15, 2005

Just a note to self, to check this out when I get a chance.

Posted by lee_taylor at 04:29 PM | Comments (2472)

Mixed Yarn Shawl

I like this and this. I'd really like to fish out all my single and novelty skeins (some of them anyway) that I bought when I first started knitting (late last year and early this year) and wasn't into projects and patterns yet, and knit up something like this.

Especially if I could do it on bulky needles. I love the way the fringe is done on the first. Hopefully she's kind enough to post a pattern. This could be a nice quickie, if on big enough needles. Would look nice worn with all black.

By the way I had a comment from kerstin over at mecozy.com on the weekend which is very exciting cos I love to visit her beautiful tea cozies and get ideas for quilting and patchwork piecing. She also has a blog so visit her and say hello!

Posted by lee_taylor at 09:23 AM | Comments (2167)

Sick of the computer, sick of the blog, sick of the sewing machine

June 14, 2005

I was going to blog about all the stuff on the weekend and put the photos of chocolates and new tote bag and stuff, but I can't be bothered. I am a bit over the computer and blogging right now (except this post to say that I don't feel like posting). In fact, I'm sick of sitting here and am going to go upstairs and knit and watch an epsiode of the 4400 that has just been downloaded.

Posted by lee_taylor at 08:10 PM | Comments (477)

No Japanese Books For Me, One Year

Oh no.. two weeks after my order, sigh, yesasia have sent me an order saying they can't get a hold of one of my items, so do I want them to ship the rest?

It's the sashiko embroidery one that's out of stock. One of the remaining books I only ordered cos it was only going to cost me a couple of dollars, as adding it gave me free shipping.. I need to look into this further methinks to decide what to do!

At this stage I'm leaning towards cancellign the whole thing. I don't want to pay shipping. Or, just getting the patchwork one. Sigh!!!

Posted by lee_taylor at 02:18 PM | Comments (2257)

Mr & Mrs Smith : 8.5/10

June 13, 2005

M and clapotis 2 and I just went and saw mr and mrs smith and it was excellent. I give it 8.5/10, which is a very high rating for me. M also gives it 8.5 which is an unusual symmetry. I've decided I will start blogging about the movies I see and the ratings I give them, and M's, which usually change dramatically from the one he sets right after we've left the cinema. He is a romanticiser, a 7 becomes an 8, a crap becomes a good.. Recent case in point was the interpreter which was really terrible, and that gained an extra 1.5 points or therabouts in his retelling! Shamelesss. Anyway, the blogging detective is now on the case.

Back to mr and mrs smith..

It was really great, as long as you don't mind a bit of rediculous fun, it's a blockbuster so I'm not saying it gave me the meaning of life or a deeply new and brave anything, but it was extremely funny (laughed out loud at cinema quite a lot which I don't usually do), and costumes and sets were really outsanding. More on that later, potentially.. Though I have not been buying into the crafty-bloggers apron phase, angelina's was fantastic and now I'm considering making one.

Brad and Angelina were both totally fab, and I'm not normally a huge Angelina fan giving that she's a) completely bonkers, seemingly and b) Michael's ideal lady. They are both really very sexy and lovely, and looked great in some oustanding outfits they were dressed in. I love Vince Vaughn, he's always so very funny. There was some nice girl power, lots of not taking selves too seriously, my only complaint is that it did go too long. Half an hour too long, easily.. Nonetheless, very happy and a must have for DVD, if only for all the freeze framing on great sets and costumes.

As usual my mind did wander a bit and I got to thinking about how I'm really enjoying this blogging thing and should start a category for movies/tv and books/mags to encourage myself to blog a bit about what goes on in non-crafty areas of my life.

And I also had some ideas about the toy I'm going to make, more on that later perhaps, and though more about how I don't have any links on my blog to other blogs, but how I'm not really keen to take my constantly expanding bloglines list and put it up because I don't wish to be explicitly exclusionary or inclusionary you know! But anyhow if I just have a section, then as I stumble apon things I can mention them. Or when I spend a few hours trawling through someone's archives and am fascinated, I can report.

By the way, clapotis (both of them really) is fabulously handy in the cinema. I wore it there and back as a scarf, and had it draped around me during the film! Brava! Although on the way back when we stopped for hotdogs I did worry about spills, but I pulled the length of it around to the back and all was well.

More later. I love long weekends. I have photos and stuff from yesterday too.

Update: Michael tells me Nicole Kidman was slated to be the original Mrs Smith. You know, I don't like to be nasty - she seems like a nice person - but I really don't think I like her at all, as an actress.

Posted by lee_taylor at 02:22 PM | Comments (310)


June 11, 2005

In the end it went 16 minutes, then 10, then 10 again, then 10 again, then 9, and then it was done. I think. there could have been one more or one less 10. Anyhoo - here we go. I didn't have anything the right size to dry it on so stuffed it with clothes and plastic bags, hopefully there won't be any lumps in the finished product.

Of course, this is just the beginning! Post drying I will start to think about lining and embroidering this beauty, although it's not on my immediate to do list so could be weeks or months away. Or not, who knows!


I had put these four images in a table, and for some reason it was messing with the sidebar menu. How frustrating. I've looked over the html and it's fine, so what is it? I guess I just have to move them one after an other even if it means making the page lots of scrolls down. Sigh!


Anyhoo, back to the bag, just cos I haven't said there's nothing wrong with it yet doesn't mean there isn't. It wasn't quite the dimensions I was expecting, even though I had adjusted based on past experience, it still shrunk lengthwise more, and widthwise less, than I'd expected.. Although, I think in this instance, these proportions will be better actually so not too bothered.


There is still some stitch definition visible but I didn't want it going any smaller. I guess I could hand agitate it a bit, but I think it'll be ok. The handles are a bit small, but giving I was totally winging it, it's ok. Plus, though my maths for it was fine, when I actually went to bind off and do the handles and space everything out, it came out not quite right - so given all that, the finished result is pretty pleasing at this stage.

Posted by lee_taylor at 02:00 PM | Comments (29)

Felting day.


Today is felting day. I finished the handles on loosely-based-on-french-market-bag, and it's in the wash now - first run 16 minutes and then I'll check. 4:07 left on the clock right now!

I just went and checked - still large and can see stitch definition. Next check (10 mins) I'll get M to take a photo. Oh that yukky smell, of wet wool..

I didn't leave # 1 in long enough (though that was the least of its problems) as it shrunk lengthwise much more than I'd expected.. But this time I've factored that in, so hopefully we're going to be ok! 6:12 till next check.


Posted by lee_taylor at 12:41 PM | Comments (91)

Yay a long weekend!

June 10, 2005

Lots happening this weekend. Having a friend around for some crafting, and she's going to teach me to make liquer chocolates, yum. Going to sew a big tote to replace my green safeway bag I'm carting to work - once you count gym gear I can't find everything into anything smaller, but now I've a new teeny mobile phone I really need a bag with a pocket, so going to make one..

Oh and I want to check out the martha stewart kids magazine website. And I have a baby gift to start work on. And a new book to read, a referral from a bud at work. And I'm not going to cook much this weekend - I've cooked major bulk the last few weekends for freezing etc, and I need a break from that methinks. And possibly a movie, mr and mrs smith looks great.

I'd like to have a good look at my recently purchased skirt pattern and ponder to self If I'm serious about making on and doing a proper job not hodge podge like my other, doomed from start, attempts.

Hopefully finish handles on french market bag and felt the thing.

Work on bloom piece two a bit (Still not sure when I'll be able to get someone to fix piece one).

And probably surf blogs heaps as usual, and think of a million things I want, and watch lots of dvds, and sit around a lot, and take miss kitty to the vet, and go grocery shopping, and do the laundry etc etc. dye my hair black. seek out scotchguard spray at the supermarket. Check out my diary and see what's coming up that I should be planning for.. Get started on my patchwork cushion from my new quilting book, or at least pic fabrics and start cutting..

What else methinks??? A bath, everyday, of course, and hopefully a wine or two, as I've been refraining cos of this cold.. I could really use a face mask and exfoliation, and possibly a bit of epilation too. And If I could remember to stretch, and drink plenty of water... And look at the budget as we're about to get paid. Pay some bills.

And feel bummed that my new books, etc, have not arrived.. Or my kidsilk haze!!! Three and a half weeks now!!!! Janette thinks they may have been lost but we're giving it one more weekend before she resends..

Update: Looks like I did most of these things this long weekend, and the kidsilk haze has just arrived..

Posted by lee_taylor at 03:24 PM | Comments (652)

Packages, Socks

When oh when will my packages arrive? Why must I be kept waiting!

Perhaps I should knit a pair of socks soon.. Learn to use dpns, and have some socks! Maybe some short ones, to be quick!!

On the not quick note, I really like these.. As socks and just as the lace pattern itself, to use for something else.. I must see if someone has this interweave that I can look at next time I'm at a knitting meet. Or perhaps it's still available somewhere.. I wish I lived near borders.. Maybe Mcgills.. I haven't been there in ages, maybe I'll detour today.

Posted by lee_taylor at 10:56 AM | Comments (3370)

New Purchases

June 08, 2005

In the new purchases department are some new platic containers for my overflowing stash and things, and my lovely bag ordered from Laura's house of the red shoes.


No buyers remorse on any of these purchases, only the extreme and fortifying emotion of total satisfaction and value! I LOVE those type of purchases.

Packages I'm waiting on: kidsilk haze I ordered three weeks ago now (three weeks!!) Amazon order which finally finished shipping yesterday (Though the loop-d-loop bit shipped a few days before that), yarn for simply marilyn plus some cotton fleece potentially for honeymoon cami, won't be here a while, and my japanese craft books ordered last monday, and my new virgin mobile phone - that's right I will be persisiting with my nokkia 5110 'brick' no longer, I'm finally joining the new millenium.

That's a lot of packages. Arrive, arrive, arrive! Note to all: I am still on my craft spending diet and have not spent a cent since that announcement. Still five weeks or so to go! and then I'll be back to my $100 a month, so it's not like I'll be going crazy..

Oh hangon. I did buy the plastic tubs - only $14 for the two but it's still spending. Does it count as craft spending though really, or is it household infrastructure??

Posted by lee_taylor at 04:05 PM | Comments (2424)

Ebony's Cushion Finished

I'm late posting the pic, but I did eventually finish off Ebony's cushion. Here it is complete with mouth and embroidered eyes. I'm told the recipient likes it very much.


Posted by lee_taylor at 03:48 PM | Comments (2036)

Top Secret No Danielle

If you're danielle, don't read further, the rest of you, wilkommen!

So I made these fab cushions on the weekend.

I embroidered some denim with three different designs and turned them into cushions. They remind me of levis jeans with the denim and the red and I'm altogether very pleased!

They are a gift for michael's sister who is coming to visit us next weekend from sunny Perth with her excellent Beau (and fiancee) Ahron. It will be the first time for Ahron visiting us in Melb and the first time for Danielle visiting us at our Maribyrnong residence. (doesn't that sound stuffy - "the residence").





Posted by lee_taylor at 03:42 PM | Comments (25)

Sylvia's Blanket

Hot off the needles is my mummy in law's poncho. Affectionately termed "the blanket" she notes it isn't quite what she envisaged when she decided on the project, but it came in handy during a visit to chilly Melbourne two weekend's back. (she lives in Perth where the extra warmth is less necessary)


I think the pattern was off the lion brand website then tweaked to match the guage of her yarn, patons or panda rhumba I think.

Nice job Sylvia! Her legwarmers are still my fave though.

Posted by lee_taylor at 03:28 PM | Comments (1941)

Finished! Bulky Scarf

Bulky lacy stashbuster scarf finished! Pattern from chicknits.

These aren't the best photos but you get the idea.

Started thursday night and finished sunday morning - it was quick, but really hurt my hands and forearms.

yarn: Two strands of gross out acrylic from stash held together on 9mm needles. Kinda wish I'd just used something nice from stash now instead.

I had to rinse it on Monday morn as I spilt wine on it when cleaning up office mess from friday drinks, it's now heaps longer and you can see the lace a lot better - I thought because it was acrylic blocking wouldn't make a difference but I guess what I did more or less blocked it, and boy did it make a difference. The yarn is still gross though so I probably won't wear it a lot.

Posted by lee_taylor at 03:23 PM | Comments (148)

Knitting Update

On Monday night on the train I found a hole a few rows back in bloom. I tugged at either side with my hands to see if anything would fall, was it a dropped stitch?? But no, it was more like an accidental yarn over.. a wee little button hole.

So I sighed and started trying to tink back. Fourish rows in this dificult to see tweed on tiny needles will take me forever I thought. I only got about one row back before it all started to become complicated and I wasn't sure I was doing it right, was I always picking the correct loop etc so I put it down.

Then yesterday I tried to do the put a thin needle through the vs a few rows back and rescue it, but it just wasn't working out.

so I picked up french market bag # 2 and have been working on that till I can get some help.

But now I'm thinking, rather than rush getting help and be stressed about it, I'll start on the front piece and leave this one on a holder or another needle, until next knitting meet or something when I can arrange some help.

My only concern is I was thinking the neckline does not go deep enough and would choke me, so was going to see how the back came out and then modify the front piece accordingly. But I would say I could just make the judgement that I need to decrease say five more stitches and feel comfortable with that.

anyhoo, i now have quite a lot of french market bag #2 done - perhaps a third. It is only very loosely a french market bag, my troubles with the extremely disappointing first have given me lots of insight into how to do exactly what I wanted! And though I've become disenfranchised with my colour choice (a pale green) I've decided I will line it and do some sashiko embroidery like over at wee wonderfuls when it's done, and perhaps some additional decoration like a button collage or who knows what! I may even purchase some magnetic snaps to do a really proper job on the seal.

So that will all be happening over the next few months as and when I need a break - but bloom is still the primary focus and I will be starting the front post haste.

The yarn for simply marilyin hasn't shipped yet, but I still have about three weeks worth of bloom work easily so no probs there.

Note to self: take some pictures of bloom iss-ewe and french market bag progress and post here!


here's french market. For the life of me I could not get a non blurry shot of the bloom hole. It needs an extreme close up. I will draw a pic at some point of what I am trying to achieve re french market.. but in a nutshell it will be a thin rectangular base, and quite tall.. so very different in proportion to my first one, which, frankly, sucks the ass. So to speak.

In terms of ignored WIPS - I still have a 90% complete lacy scarf based on the last minute knitted gifts airy scarf - I doubled it in width and height and modified it a bit, knitted most of it, and then put it down as the yarn feels gross. I wish I'd just not started really, or used something else! Silly girl. And then I have kyoto not even one half complete since it was restarted in cotton after I became disenfranchised with the cosy. It's really not like me not to finish things, but, well.. I have lost all inspiration. So don't expect a further update on that for a while!

I was going to be knitting furiously on something for michael's sister right now, but the kidsilk haze I ordered never arrived. It's now been three weeks, sigh.. So that will move to a later in the year project, perhaps christmas. At least this way I can discuss it with her rather than seeking the surprise, and now I have a few ideas beyond what I was originally planning... I'm so cryptic aren't I? I'm just not good at blogging regularly and now I have so many things to post I can't be bothered being detailed.

Did I mention I still love both my clapotis so very much? And any day I don't wear them is, by default, substandard??

Posted by lee_taylor at 03:18 PM | Comments (848)

Billy Corgan tickets

Billy corgan tickets went on sale today but I am not going to go. I think that that part of my life is over. It really was such an obsession and just not healthy. I suppose that means I should take his picture down from my cubicle!

Posted by lee_taylor at 03:10 PM | Comments (24)

Honey Joys! More cooking stuff to investigate

June 06, 2005


Came here for honey joy recipe (called honey jumble here) but looks like it will be good to investigate when I have some time.

Oh, and this one too


there's a whole cookbook here! contributed by families from the school.. Great, tried and true! Can't wait to investigate.

And crafty things to investigate:


But have to look at each letter individually to see what's in there. Sigh!

Posted by lee_taylor at 01:34 PM | Comments (12997)

More great recipes inc calzones

June 02, 2005

yum recipe and Lesson.. More recipes in extended





CLASSIC SALTIMBOCCA (thin veal, easy)












Posted by lee_taylor at 06:33 PM | Comments (59)