Monday, August 18, 2008

Practical things

I have been accumulating double pointed knitting needles for a while, I even have a few hats to show for it (but I haven't gotten around to weaving in the ends so I will leave posting them till I have). I now have so many they are all over the place and hard to find, so I decided to make a needle holder, which I then took a crappy picture of:

The other pictures I took of the inside where even worse but it does show the fabric, which I quite like (its a 'Japan' quilting fabric, which I got from Spotlight).

I have also become obsessed with making a 1950's bathing suit, or a 'playdress', like the ones below. But first I will have to lose allot of weight and figure out how to make one. The patterns are very rare and can be quite expensive, so I'm going to have to buy that dress-form (sewers dummy) I've wanted for ages and draft a pattern!
As you can see they are very fitted with lots of panels, so its going to be hard to draft a pattern but it will probably take me a year to lose all the weight so maybe I will of figured it out by then!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


In true Mr. Toad style I got bored of my blog and went on to something new and exciting. Now that I'm bored of that thing (finishing my thesis) I am ready to post again.

But I'm not totally back in to it so I'll keep it brief...I made some gloves, here's one of them:

They are called dragon scale mitts and I got the pattern from the free tutorials on the Purl Bee

Saturday, March 8, 2008

No Dear For A Month

Yesterday it was Kate's birthday and we had her birthday dinner at my place. Apart from the fact that I imbibed quite liberally and decided this morning that I would do the 'no dear for a month' thing (except no kidding, no beer for me!), I think it was a success.
For Kate's birthday cake I made a Transformers cake and I chose Sound Wave, mostly because its her favourite transformer and also because his stereo form is much easier to make into a cake.
Anyway I spent all day making it and in the end I didn't have enough time to finish decorating the house before Kate got there, which I did in the style of a childrens party in honour of the cake. In fact the whole thing was a bit of a Ruth style event...badly organized. Instead of making the cake the day before, or even buying the ingredients the day before, I woke up late and spent hours buying food most of which I didn't end up cooking. I was going to make some Pot Sticker dumplings as an apetiser for the dinner, instead I spent hours hunching over the cake and franticly cleaning the house (which was filthy).

Fortunately I didn't make the dinner, Matthew cooked us a Kenneth Lo feast! we had Peaking Duck wrapped in lettuce which we ate 'from top to bottom' (taking special care not to eat it from the bottom up). Some scrummy pork which had a name but I cant remember it, some equally scrummy scrambled eggs and sticky rice parcel thingys. My fuzzy memory doesn't do it justice but needless to say it was a wonderful tribute to good old Ken, who's cooking show we used to enjoy laughing at.

After dinner I presented the cake to Kate with the Transformers theme song playing in the background. I came out just when the song went 'Transformers!", it was pretty exciting. As you can see from the picture below I stuck a sign in the cake of Sound Wave saying happy birthday to Kate along with some sparklers, but Louis noticed...after I gave her the cake, that in my haste to finish the cake I had forgotten to put the R in Birthday. I felt like a retard when he pointed it out and now that feeling of shamefull stupidity will be carried on to every birthday; Kate thought it was so funny that she suggested that all Birthdays should now be Bithdays.

We then spent the rest of the night dancing to eighties music, along with a brief game of Word Power (a old board game), and a bit of Limbo. We limboed to that 'Feeling Hot' song, it was like we where in Weekend at Bernie's! I don't know who won, I think it was me.

Oh yeah and we had a funeral for Kate's car. Poor old David was recently yellow stickered and since there is no way that it would pass an inspection she is has to send it to the wreckers, hence the funeral. David is the cars name by the way, well his full name is David Duchovny...I'm not exactly sure why though. I remember that we where trying to come up with a name (we have a naming the car tradition in our family) and I was free forming; 'steering wheel', 'tape deck' (I was just saying what I saw basically) and then I cracked myself somehow up and started quoting Futurama, the Calculon scene (in the Warecar episode) where his is saying which famous actors he was in the past 'thespomat 2000, David Duchovney', which is funny because calculon is a supposed to be a bad actor who thinks hes David Duchovny. Anyway Kate screamed and said that it should be the cars name. It turned out to be kind of apt though because the car is a complete heap but its awesome, it has a good David Duchovny. He's not what you'd call a gooood actor but you love him, because he's funny. Not in the way where you laugh derisively at his wooden delivery of lines, but where you appreciate the wonder of his character acting. But seriously me and Kate have a fond place in our hearts for David Duchovny (borne out of the X-Files) and the idea that we named the car for him tickled our funny bones.
So when he got a yellow sticker it was very sad and we thought it would be good to give him a funeral. So naturally I made a newspaper effigy with the real David Duchovny's face on it and we cremated him in my back yard.

Anyway the night was a complete success...except that we forgot to sing happy birthday to Kate because we where all marveling at the cake, YEAH.

Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm Ms. Fix It

Well much has happened since last I posted. The day after I got my Corona knitting machine I produced this lovely fair isle sample...very seventies

But then I broke it, so instead of posting about the many jumpers I was going to make (but in more tasteful colour combinations) I took the Corona apart and tried to divine its secrets.

Surprisingly enough I managed to fix it and I learned alot about how it works in the process, which gave me a new found confidence (possibly ill conceived) to fix my old Singer sewing machine. I got it many years ago from my great Grandad, who was a shoe maker....and yes I knew him, in fact he gave me the machine himself when I was 23 I think. I vaguely remember him telling me that there was something wrong with the timing and I promised to go and get it serviced. Or course I never did and I eventually forgot why I never used it...until my sister pilfered my other sewing machine and I was left only with the Singer

Its a pretty awesome machine, Grandad added a heavy duty engine to it so he could sew leather on it and it looks good too. So I'm going to try my hand at it and I suppose if I cant fix it I will pay the $100 to get it serviced.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Even More Magnificent Than That Of The Sun - My Corona!

You know those times when you enter that zen state when Op-Shopping. The one you attain when methodically, almost meditatively leafing through the vinyl record section. Suddenly your reverie is shattered by a loud shriek from the back of the shop. On those occasions, which are rare, you flinch...should I be ducking and rolling or the shop under siege? But no, when you see a fellow punter eagerly rushing to the checkout with a battered box or some garish fabric, you gather from their look of rapture that it is undoubtedly the most awesome find in the history of Op-Shopping ever...

You watch as they jealously shelter their their find as if the whole shop will descend on them and wrestle it from their hands...and your thinking WHY COULDN’T THAT BE MEEEEE. Curse my ordered approach...’start at the front and work my way to the back’...maybe I should just tackle them before they get there. But on this occasion it was ME, only I’m not sure everyone would be as excited about my find as I was but so feel free to insert your own imaginary awesome Op-Shop find and you will appreciate the ecstasy I felt when I found my Corona.

Yes thats right even more magnificent than that of the Sun my Corona shone out from its stained and decrepit box at the back of the Morley Salvos. I said to my sister Kate, who also appeared interested in the enticingly hideous visage of the object, ‘hey what’s that thing’. Despite its condition the box informed us that it was a Corona CH-1000 Knitting Machine...and suffice to say, as a hand-knitter, I was quite excited. What’s more exciting is that it cost 20 bucks!! Im not quite sure how much they sell for but I think its in the hundreds quite a deal, particularly when I got home and found that it was in perfect working order. And to prove it, some pictures that will take a millions years to load:

Look at it, its old.....maybe

Look at it working! 

And this is everything that came with it, amazingly enough it had all of the origional accessories. That blue and yellow note book, with the ancient Woolies logo on it, contained the previous owners patterns...good old Judith fact I was so grateful that it was completely intact I gave the machine a name, ‘Mrs Parker’.

Anyway my sisters dogged determination to visit every Op-Shop she could think of ended with me finding that which she had coveted...THE MOST AWESOME OP-SHOP FIND EVER...maybe next time it will be her.