I am vexed,
there is this news article from the South Island of New Zealand...were the hikers from NZ? I hope not, I cannot imagine any of the hundreds of trampers I have met in the NZ bush ever behaving in this manner, it is disturbing.
then there is this, 15 years ago I wept with anger and horror at the genocide of the Kurds, years later I met a family from Kuwait who had lost everyone in their families, EVERYONE, nanas, grandpops, aunties, uncles, cousins, and the horror, the fear...and now they are both teachers, raising their 6 children (some born in refugee camps) to be Kiwi kids, I still have the pictures those kids drew for me the last time I saw them, the last day I worked as their parent's case manager, so full of hope for the future, maybe they have had more babies since, their motivation was so strong that their family would not be removed from the earth.
Saddam Hussein was a monster, and I think that, probably he deserved to die, that death was the only solution to the ongoing problem he presented, that if anyone deserves a punishment of death - it was he, we all know what he did, there is no question as to his guilt.
But...does his death by hanging diminish us? does it diminish the hangman? I am not talking from a Judeo-Christian standpoint, but from the standpoint of a Mum who realised that you don't teach a kid not to hit - by hitting, I do not feel that anything is gained by the death penalty, and that there is a facet of innocence lost.
I feel that I do not know my question, I most certainly do not know the answer, maybe I would feel differently about the death penanlty if someone harmed one of my children, maybe I would be rejoicing now if I were someone harmed by Hussein, I know that if the death penalty is warranted by anyone - he warranted it, but I still feel a deep sense of unease.
The house has been packed and moved, and will set sail in just over a week, the cleaners came in, did 3 hours work and left (2 of them) for $350. I was LIVID! no one was answering the phone at the removal company, but they got an earful, and will do so in person on tuesday. The floors were washed, the carpets vacuumed, the bathrooms and kitchen wiped over...thats it! no stove, no walls, no windows...I was so angry, I had explained that the most important thing was the walls...grrrrrrrr.
However, that was not enough to dampen our enthusiasm, we shopped big time for makeup, underwear and a couple of items of clothing for me (all will bcome clear in time) and shirts and power ties for Flash, had a great lunch down at The Rocks, and dinner with Maria at Red Chilli in Chinatown mmm Sizzling chicken! came home and collapsed replete on our airbeds ( we are doing it tough in order to be here for the New Years party on our roof - it is an institution!) Today Flash and I finished our shopping, and had the car groomed in readiness to hand it back. I scored at Dymocks with "Christmas Stockings" for $5, and "Yarns to dye for" for $10 (which seemed a bit strange because it is pretty recent...but who am I to argue?) Not that I am knitting much at present, it is difficult with only an airbed for furniture! I don't know what we would do without the laptop and 5 disc set of the first series of Boston legal.
Wishing you all a very happy New Year!
Sunday, December 31, 2006
I am vexed,
Monday, December 25, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
My house looks like a flatpak factory exploded, every vertical surface has a wafer of brown cardboard leant against it, the fold-out couch (from IKEA) is loaded with boxes, all bearing that familiar logo (actually the outdoor setting is from another company - but lets keep it simple).
The reason that our place looks like a satellite storage facility, is a pretty obvious one...money...we sold or gave away half of our belongings when we moved to Australia, we didn't know when we would be returning. Now we are going home and there are some things we need, furniture in NZ is expensive, the Auckland IKEA doesn't open until 2008 and we would prefer to spend more on important things (jewellery and champagne) and less on kids bedroom furniture.
But seriously, Flash has insisted that I purchase my home office setup, so that I have things almost exactly as they are in my dreams (except they are from IKEA), the office has white walls and pale blue carpet, so I am going with white and natural wood (I think they call it "birch"), loads of shelves and cupboards, a cutting table, and a desk which the two of us will share, and lovely curtain fabric in shades of beige, chocolate and pale blue. I keep daydreaming of finally having space to keep my sewing machine and overlocker on a bench available when I need them, of being able to find the embroidery threads without upending the button boxes, and of stacking my yarns in a visually appealing manner - ready to go at a moments notice, instead of being packed into plastic boxes and forgotten. Anyway - enough daydreaming, back to the point.
We arrived at IKEA early, to avoid the queues, and with a list which we had compiled using the website and catalogue, we eagerly marked the location of each item and even took time out for a coffee and a shared "Dime" slice at the cafe (mmm - Dime)so secure were we in our ability to complete our mission without incident. The warehouse floor was confusion, but we held hands and managed to find almost all of our list, but dammit! the glass doors for the "Billy" shelf units had sold out...won't be in until monday or tuesday, bollocks, and that metal DVD cabinet - it's on the slow boat from Scandinavia, it will be 4-6 weeks. We leave in 2 weeks people! Finally I resign myself to lining up at the checkout, with Flash promising to take a lunchtime trip on tuesday to get the doors.
Tuesday arrives, but the doors don't, seems they are on that slow boat too...my dreams lie in tatters, those doors pulled the whole room together, without them I am bereft.
For a minute or 2, then I ask Flash if he could go back and pick up some other doors, the ones you decorate yourself with paper or fabric, they sound good, I can use some of the curtain fabric, yay we're back on track!
Flash emails his brother, since he works near IKEA they may as well meet for lunch, his brother replies and suggests that he could "pick the stuff up from IKEA" for Flash, so that they get a longer lunch together, to which Flash replies, and copies me in on the email:
Great Idea - thanks for offering to pick something up from Rhodes for me... but obviously you have never been to IKEA !
1. thread your way round the entire place which is the size of a football field, and designed so you can't cheat - you have to follow their track. (while your wife sings the IKEA song to herself, and you know you won't get that bloody song out of your head for a week)
2. go to the Warehouse area and pick the product yourself …it will be out of stock
3. join a queue to talk to a staff member
4. who will look at you blankly while you try to pronounce a Swedish word which sounds something like “skanky ho” and won’t know anything - just paid to show up and wear the yellow uniform.
5. Once you've shown them how to use their computer to look up the product you'll have to thread your way BACK to the display area to see what their proposed replacement for the out of stock item looks like.
6. Ironically - the area you have to go to will be just past "kiddie land" so you are now limping because some stupid bitch ran you over with her "Bugaboo space station"(tm).You will get to the display and see that the recommended replacement is fugly but you will see something else that looks better
7. limp all the way to the fecking warehouse to see if they've got it but you would have forgotten the "location coordinates"
8. So - you'll limp over to a staff member - show them how to use a computer and find its out of stock !
9. GO back to step 5.
10. repeat this process several times (avoiding the married couples who are also repeating the process and speaking to each other in low and measured tones)
now it is wednesday, apparently I will get my doors tomorrow, then I will have 4 more little flatpaks to find stacking space for, I'm thinking of building myself a little fort and cuddling up inside it with some pillows and blankets - to hide from the inventory lists, the interminable cleaning and organising - so that I can spend 10 minutes dreaming about the fun we are going to have in the new house with the kids, the cats, the garden...and the sounds of Flash swearing because he has lost the bloody alun key!
There has been knitting, it is looking quite good, I will reveal all in time
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Loving this soft trees pattern from "Little Birds" quick, easily adapted and customised.
I didn't use the suggested rice or lentils to stabilise, and eliminate the rounded base, as I don't think the NZ Customs department would like them.
today I will try to find the plastic pellets used to fill beanie toys, but I don't mind the rounded bottoms.this is the sum total of our Christmas decorations this year, we are going very minimalist - given that our belongings will be packed up on December 27.
Blogger beta does not seem to like a lot of people judging by the emails I have received...sorry...maybe try commenting as "anonymous" and add your name to your comment
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I know, I know - never blog twice in a day!
We were a bit concerned when we started looking at properties, to afford most of the houses we liked would have meant selling the cottage, and we couldn't face that, but then we found this house, and it is fantastic! 4 decks, a new spa pool and an inground pool for summer living. 4 bedrooms, an upstairs parents retreat containing a master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe, ensuite, and best of all a huge lounge which will be my work room - I have to share it with Flash, but I'm sure we will find a corner for him...! off the upstairs lounge is a small balcony with room for a couple of chairs - perfect for relaxing with a glass of wine in the evening.
This house has everything we need and want, ok, so the kitchen is smaller than we would prefer, but on the other hand there is a seperate laundry ( sometimes the domestic goddess persona overcomes me - I have been daydreaming about shelves of neatly folded towels and laundry supplies - but it doesn't last long!), the bathrooms are a bit dated - but there are 3 bath-type rooms downstairs, so we can have one daughter washing her face or having a bath, while another is in the loo, and a third having a shower. There are a few things to fix, but they are minor, and easily sorted.
There are 2 woodburners, one in each lounge, so Flash is planning trips with the chainsaw and trailer, squirrelling wood away for winter, I am making plans of the plants we will need for the front garden in order to avoid mowing the lawn, and visiting Ikea (not yet in NZ) for cheap new curtain fabrics for the kids rooms...and I just can't stop jumping up and down with joy!
Now we can relax and have a nice Christmas, befor it all goes crazy again - the movers will be in at the end of December to pack and move us home.
I hand knit for various reasons: to keep my hands and mind busy when I am waiting, to relax, to make a connection with other knitters and with those I am knitting for.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Maisie can't read yet, so even if her Mum, my sister, does read the blog - Maisie won't know that I have made her a Moopy for Christmas (thank you so much for sharing the pattern Carly!) I am thinking of making a pirate Moopy for her big brother.
The scarf in the background is for Flash's Dad, who doesn't read the blog either - so I am safe!
"M" is also for mammogram ...which was clear yipee! so sorry to the comments I have not replied to...theres a lot going on behind the scenes at Just Jussi.
Posted by Jussi at 1:07 PM
Thursday, December 07, 2006
I have tried to raise my girls according to the principle - that change is to be embraced, not feared, because change is a surety.
so why am I trying not to notice that the changes that are occuring in my life concur with a steady march towards middle age? I am 38, many of my schoolfriends are having their first babies now, my eldest daughter is about to hit 20, I can no longer call her a child.
and my baby, although still tiny, scrubs up into a gorgeous young woman.
not goth,not emo, a unique child with a theatrical disposition
Posted by Jussi at 10:33 AM
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
The aurora languished in the stash, overlooked and unloved, I pushed it to the bottom of the chest, feeling guilty for my inadequacy, my inability to get the best from this yarn.
On monday night, in the midst of house drama ( I'll get to that in a few days) I had a sudden flash of inspiration - my brain is constantly on the lookout for a diversion - I'll do a short row scarf on the knitting machine, it will enhance the colours and relieve me from having to hand knit scratchy yarn. I cast on 40 sts and used max tension, and all 3 balls.
The aurora complied...mostly... it did try to drop sts whenever 1/2 or more of the sts were on hold, but judicious use of weights fixed that, the sts were very easy to pick up, they just sat and waited for me, and the results were stunning...Flash came home yesterday while it was blocking, and almost gushed at it's beauty, the short rows enhanced the colour changes with an effect reminiscent of oil pastels on a black canvas, even the lurex is not out of place, providing accent flashes every few inches.
The scratchiness disappeared on washing - I expected this, I am always having this conversation with people, they think silkgarden is scratchy, I say "Wash it!!!" the metamorphosis is amazing, the scarf is soft and just slightly fuzzy. I used lukewarm water and woolwash, as I didn't want any felting to occur, but I think this patterning would look great felted in grey tones, as an afghan or cushion covers.
Blaise thinks it looks like an impressionist landscape - I don't know but I love the curves.
I wonder if I know anyone who would like it? maybe a certain young woman who is having a birthday soon?
Posted by Jussi at 10:09 AM
Sunday, December 03, 2006
"A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked." -- Bernard Meltzer
Posted by Jussi at 6:55 PM
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Why would a "punk rock girl" have flowers in her hair?
And why in the performance of "Black fingernails - red wine" that I saw on tv recently, did the lead singer say "omo" is this the beginning of product placement in songs?
Why did my blog get 600 hits last tuesday?
Did it have anything to do with Yoga socks ? because I have been getting a lot of emails about them this week.
No, sorry, I can't knit them for you.
Yes it would have been on my statcounter - but I didn't check it until friday, and it only records the details of the last 100 pageloads.
Yes I may have to upgrade.
Why is it that every time we organise to go away lately - it gets cancelled at the last minute?
How am I going to live without Deus coffee?
How have I lived without Atomic coffee for the past 2 years?
I think I just answered my own question...
Where can I get Koigu in Oz? What are we going to do about Knitpicks?
Why did my alarm go off at 5.27 am? Have I forgotten something?
Why does the thought of having to shift again make me feel queasy - and speaking to moving company representatives makes me physically ill? (truly - this is a tell all blog)
What are the inhabitants of Bougainville called? Isn't it too hot to wear black jeans there?
How did I accumulate this much sock yarn?
What if they lose it? I'm going to have to catalogue every ball aren't I?
I'm feeling nauseous again.
Is it wrong to covet a Prada wallet?
It is small...but perfectly formed.
And when Tiffany's say "we don't sell jewellery - we sell the blue box" why can't you just buy the bloody blue box?
What is it about the blue box?
"Babies are a wonderful way to start people" yes I agree - but bunnies would be a wonderful way to end them, or kitties...can we start genetically engineering people to be cute and cuddly when they age?
Why was Boston Legal on so late? Was it so that I would have to buy the DVD?
and why does Bones seem to be on at a different time every week? to keep me on my toes?
or to make me buy the DVD?
trimmed the tree yet?
Posted by Jussi at 9:19 AM
Saturday, November 25, 2006
my excuse - my Mama was here from Auckland - for the last time before we too go home. We had a great week - Blaise had a week off school, so everything worked well, there was much shopping...
We visited Goulburn on thursday, we were aiming for Canberra ( the nation's capital) but undershot and got waylaid by lunch at the Paragon cafe
a trip back in time!
Then a visit to the Big Merino! Blaise grabbed the moment and the Philishave from the glovebox.
Isn't it cool when you can bend the rules of physics to your own devices!
we visited the new Sydney Wildlife Experience - the conclusion? GO! The butterfly house alone kept us captivated for 20 minutes, the place is very well organised to ensure that tourists stay out of the sun, and so well dsigned that you don't know what is around the next corner
The Nana survived despite our carelessnees - we exposed her to the perils of sun and alcohol, good Australian things - and she pulled through, what a trooper!
No plans have been made for our return to NZ, The skirt reminded me that knitters are alive and well and living in Auckland (thank goodness) we are looking at houses and should return home for a few days soon to hopefully purchase before we move. I am living in a dreamworld - but I know reality will hit any moment.
In knitting news, the angioplasty sock is moving along slowly ( we had the Nana here, and were having to much fun for socks!) one Elfine sock is finished SS syndrome has set in. For those visiting on saturday for the cake degustation - I will be sure to post my address and phone number on wednesday or thursday.
Posted by Jussi at 9:54 PM
Friday, November 17, 2006
Just over 2 years ago we uprooted 3 of our girls and dragged them kicking and screaming (not quite literally - but almost) to Sydney.We promised that it would just be for 2 years, a new adventure, a broadening of horizons, a wise career move.
2 years later - and we are torn...when we lived in Auckland we both worked fulltime, and had 5 kids at home, we used to visit our country cottage almost every weekend, and every weekend I was torn, I felt as though I had 2 lives - a mad crazy one, and a peaceful invigorating one, I wanted to live in the country,but circumstances did not allow, commuting was out of the question - it was just a bit too far, moving was not an option. Now I feel like I have a Sydney life and an Auckland life - let alone the cottage!
My relationship with Sydney has been rocky, I love living near the city, the excitement, the shopping, restaurants, King St, I hate the crowds and the noise,the pollution, the violence, the heat. I have avoided forming friendships because I always knew I would be leaving, and have kept the nicest of people at arms length,because at 38 I know that leaving hurts. Spending family time with our dear friend Jason, playing "Articulate" will never be the same.I have seen my girls grow from children into young women here, confident and outgoing. I joined SSK, and met the most amazing group of people, scientists, singers and artists all brought together by a fetish for yarn, I treasure those afternoons in that little upstairs room at Barmuda,drinking tea and listening to the banter, catching Mary-Helen surveying the group with affection for all the world like a proud mother hen.
I don't know what the knitting group situation is like in Auckland - please email me if you know of any, or even any of the crafting groups I have heard of,any Auckland bloggers out there? I can't be the only jafa knitblogger. I am thinking of starting a crafting group myself (Anne get that cross-stitch out, and let Anna know she is in my sights) it will be in the central/west for anyone keen - email me!
Discovering this country, hiking in the Blue Mountains, delighting over kangaroos, koalas, lizards, snakes and even spiders, revelling in the open road as I drive down to Wollongongfor SnB with another delightful group of chicks, given a choice I would buy the house next to Ailsa and sit with her on her back verandah in the evenings, knitting and setting the world to rights, planning escapades with Donni and Sharon.
Some time after December 20, we are going home, to Auckland. The stress levels are winding up again, the calendar is out on the kitchen table, my organisational side is kicking in - here we go again, movers (what if they lose my yarn?)Where are we going to live? do I go over and buy a house before we leave? or do I include the family in that decision? the one thing I do know now is that it will all be ok, that we will muddle through,the boxes will eventually all be ticked.
This is where you guys come in - an important even for me, some closure. I am hosting a knitting soiree on Saturday 2 December from 12.30 onwards, there will be refreshments and nibbles (and cake of course!) Everyone who knows me, has met me, or reads the blog and feels that they know me is welcome - seriously, this is my last chance to spend time with you, so please feel free to drop in.We will be on the roof of my building, there is a delightful sun-drenched deck (plenty of shade available) loads of seating (heaps more than the photo), views of the entire city. Drop in for 10 minutes or stay until evening.I will post the address and entry directions a couple of days prior to 02/12. emails are welcome, to let me get an idea of numbers - but not mandatory.
Posted by Jussi at 11:52 AM
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The angioplasty sock has dragged interminably, it found a new lease on life, or rather I did, last week and completed it on monday evening, tried it on Flash prior to sewing up the toe...and yuk...I obviously had not decreased anough sts at the gusset, and it was too loose. Flash was fine "no one will ever know" but I'll know, you will know everytime you put the wretched things on - because I'll have to make the other one match! I did the only thing I could do, I ripped - and Flash looked aghast as the toe, then foot, then heel of his sock disappeared, I then re-wrote everything in my little notebook so that I don't make the mistake again, and happily re-knitted the heel and gusset, and told him that it's all a walk in the park from here on in, so I can put the sock safely to the side while I work on something else for a few days.
On monday I dyed all of my remaining fingering weight alpaca, around 700grams, for some unknown stupid dumbarse reason I thought that just because the other times I dyed this yarn the colours had been muted and misty, that this time would be different - I would mix my dyes stronger, leave them on longer, cook them longer, use mind control if necessary to make that alpaca (did I mention it was also bleached?) pick up the colour. So I painted on my undercolours, so far so good, painted on the darker, stronger, brighter overcolours - wahoo!beautiful, exactly as I had planned...into the microwave for 7 minutes...a wee rest, then into the water - out of the water and yuk, colours have faded - I can't even figure out where that dye went, it wasn't in the rinse water! I tried cooking even longer, and that worked slightly, but the optimum time was 8 minutes, it didn't get any better than that. I hadn't ruined 500g of alpaca, as they are good baby colours, so I can always use it up in that way, but it was disappointing.Finally my brain caught up, I painted the last few skeins in muted, bleached seashell colours, beiges, salmony pinks, softest blue, silvery grey, I listened to the yarn, and it worked beautifully.
I then went about looking for a sock pattern to use with my new pretty yarn, something lacey yes! seashell type lace would be perfect - nothing I found corresponded with the idea in my head,I was not going to design a pattern myself - lace socks are scarey right? you need a degree in maths to work out the shaping...and then I found the Elfine's socks,(scroll down a bit) designed by Anna, who is a perfectionist of the highest order, her designs are exquisite.
The socks in the picture are green, and the lace is leafy, but still I thought they would suit the yarn, and then I struck a problem - Elfine's socks are knitted on 2 circs, while this something I have heard of, I never wanted to go to that dark place myself, loving as I do my 4 bamboo dpns. I studied the pattern, yes I could alter it to suit the dpns, but it would be clumsy, the magic of the pattern is in the 2 circs...so I took a deep breath, found 2 wee circs, and using Judy's magic cast on, I commenced to knit scarey lace socks on 2 weirdo circs.(did I mention I have never done toe-up before either...)
At first I felt clever - Judy's cast on is beautiful, the pictures are clear and easy to follow, then as I worked the toe increases I felt clumsy, like a new knitter, the circs dangled in an annoying fashion,but I just kept telling myself that dpns were a little unweildly at first, and I was right - it got better. I am halfway through the first foot, and loving it, the yarn is so soft and buttery, the colours soothing and evocative, it is easy to tink back a few sts when the count is slightly off, how could I have thought this was hard? why have I waited so long? I am already designing my first lace sock in my head, while I am knitting the sock I never thought I would knit - knitting lets me do the "one day a thing that scares you" without placing myself in mortal danger, it helps me to realise that there is nothing I will encounter that can't be broken down into bite-sized pieces and managed.
Between typing this and posting it, I was looking around the blogs and arrived at Nora's, where she has just finished - you guessed it - Elfine's socks! They look so pretty in the blue and green colourway.
Another find this week - Dave from "Sticks and string" the podcast came to SSK on saturday, his podcast is easy to listen to, and well produced, he has obviously put a lot of work into organising it, and I wish him well.
Posted by Jussi at 11:20 AM
Thursday, November 09, 2006
post-cleaning, we have found ourselves with an excess of "stuff", the stash fits into 6 plastic boxes, which are currently living in the lounge as they have outgrown the utility closet fondly known as my workroom.
The work knitting doesn't fit on the blocking board - the couch has been pressed into service. It's a good thing that Flash is in lockdown at the University this week, his favourite seat has been useful, and I have been able to work late into the evening - a no-no when a spouse is around, but I have missed him, they have him organised from 6.15 am to 11.15 pm, so I get to speak to him for a total of about 5 minutes a day - when he has toilet breaks.
and my interest in "organising" has reached Martha-esque proportions (note that I have not organised myself to the extent that I may be called Martha - I just dream about it - the organising that is...not being Martha - that's just creepy) this ribbon organiser has to be the ultimate.
and I have a favour to ask of one of you, dear readers...I have a little pile, about a dozen objects, which need a home, they are all samples and I am not willing to sell them, as I like what I sell to be as close to perfect as I can get it - these may have stitches showing through, or maybe the shape isn't what I wanted, whatever, most are in Organic merino - which is not machine washable - so there is no point in my giving them to a charity, not fair on the recipients to be given an item which then turns into a drowned lump in the washing machine, and I wouldn't expect people who having enough problems coping with what life is throwing at them to spend even 5 minutes handwashing baby clothes.
The question is - is there anyone out there, who lives in a COLD climate, who has contact with parents to be,(the clothes are mostly 0-3 months size) who you think would be open to the idea of handwashing little sweaters and cardigans - all that is really needed is a swish in Eucalan or Kookaburra woolwash, doesn't even need rinsing. Please do NOT contact me if you just want to hand them out to friends and family as baby gifts - you can go knit those yourself!
Cece got in first, and I know those sweaters are going to be loved.
Posted by Jussi at 10:24 AM
Thursday, November 02, 2006
If you haven't already you must go and visit Pia's (sorry, Alison's) blog and see what the delightful Miss is wearing, look out she'll have her own "what not to wear" column by the time she is five - syndicated in the all the best publications!
Found this gorgeous place (courtesy of My Mama) "Apple of my eye" if you need a gift for a baby (and you have already sent them a Hoodie from Just Jussi) go here...now! ( the Box tower - Shaker ABC is so cute)
Ailsa's comment that her husband may get lucky more often if she had a lace sampler on the bedroom ceiling was a fascinating one, I have started looking at my Barbara Walker treasuries slightly differently...but Ailsa, have you thought about getting a four poster bed, and making a complete canopy out of lace samples...things could get way more adventurous! (running and ducking for cover)
Ok, to make up for that one - you have probably seen Patricia Waller's amazing work, but if not - get thee over there immediately - I know it's not right - but I am liking the conjoined twins...
Posted by Jussi at 1:34 PM
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
We were advised late last week that we would be having an inspection of our apartment soon, so I went into overdrive on friday, and again on saturday morning, and when all of the cleaning was done, Flash and I went and bought a filing cabinet, and emptied 5 different filing boxes into it, and made 60 different categories ???!!!
Donni popped in on her way back to Wollongong on saturday afternoon, and I was so pleased to see her, but tired and a bit withdrawn, and after she left I realised that I had done it again... the combined stresses we have on us at the moment (inspection, Flash is away a lot at the moment, being away from the family in NZ etc) made me retreat into cleaning and tidying to reinstate external order -when the inside is in disarray...I didn't go to SSK, Wollongong snb, Pub knitting, I didn't go out with Flash for our traditional saturday breakfast. I cleaned, filed,and worked...and felt bad.
They say the unexamined life is not worth living, I am trying to learn from previous experience, and finding strategies to become a better person, I am paying attention to the warning flags, and am blessed that I am surrounded with a wealth of friends and family, and an understanding husband who finds me endearing.
To this end today I am working, I have not left the house - but I have gone to "the office" and will be back at 6pm (ok I'm on a lunch break now!) the dishes and vacum cleaner I walk past do not affect me - they belong to "home" they'll be there waiting for me at the end of the work day, oh,and I am definitely getting a cleaner!
Posted by Jussi at 3:37 PM
Saturday, October 28, 2006
this is supposed to be a knitting blog right? well that's why you all come to read it - those of you who aren't my friends and family back home anyway. I am perturbed...this is a knitting blog, and I have no knitting to talk about, I have knitting...but it's the same old kidsilk haze shawl with the artyarns regal silk and Louisa Harding kimono stripes, it will become more interesting when I add the lace border, much more interesting, interesting in the way that watching a guy walk the high wire without a net is interesting, but until then it's bloody boring, as are the socks - Opal Elements - nice, but blogging boring.
I spend almost all day every day knitting, and I have no knitting story for you! I can tell you that I have just finished a little organic merino cardigan which is beautiful in it's simplicity and will be posted on the website soon.
I have had requests for samples from a couple of the big shopping blogs for "Mommies", so you know what I am going to be doing with most of my weekend, free advertising is the best kind (and kind of necessary right now!) also through my advertising quest I have met Louise from GiGi designs she designs the cutest kids clothes, so go have a look! it is so wonderful to be meeting all of these exciting, supportive, interesting people, and people who just want to see you succeed, people who understand that if good people make it, they will pull others up with them - rather than step on them to get to the top.
I have other, bigger things to tell you all, but the ground keeps shifting on me, and announcements are best made in fact (no I'm not expecting - thats tummy fat) so I'll keep quiet for a bit longer.
Posted by Jussi at 11:20 AM
Monday, October 23, 2006
Say no more.
I no longer feel that way, I was going to write a long critique of the movie, but as you will shortly see, I do not have the strength of will to stay awake that long, suffice is to say: I enjoyed the movie, it reminded me to be a bit more careful, it validated my decision not to own a car given my present circumstances, it showed me that NZ is the best place for my family to live (majority hydro-electric power, Kyoto ratification, awareness) despite Madame Sydney's being so gosh darned attractive. It made me think that wether or not man is creating this current situation, if things continue the way they are going...maybe in 20 years Australia will be looking aggresively at NZ, due to Oz's worsening drought and salination issues, that NZ could become Australia's farm...by force. I know that is a bit radical, but who knows what will happen in the extreme?
Flash works for a multi-national, I was impressed by the fact that they have instructed (and will pay for) all of their staff to see this film, maybe Al is right and people are causing all of these effects, maybe he is less than correct and this is a normal cycle, it doesn't matter, we should all be trying to reduce pollution.
The reason my brain isn't working sufficiently for me to go any further with Al?
at 10 pm, these guys arrived and started scraping all of the ashphalt off the road outside our windows, then they pushed it up to this truck which sat and beeped loudly, and crashed, and smoked...there was much yelling, beeping, scraping and jack hammering, at one stage a man took to the road in a frenzy with a pick axe, Blaise asked what the road had done to him? had it insulted his Mother? (yes this is all so close that we could ask questions) it was entertaining for the first hour or so...but at 2 am it was not so good, my eyes were sweating beneath my sleep mask, and I could no longer stand the earplugs, which did nothing to stop the pounding noises from outside, except to add the ka-dunk, ka-dunk of my beating heart, at 5am they relented, thus ensuring us 1 hour of relative quiet.
We have a new free baby pattern - for handknitters, a super cute, super quick and easy mock cable rib beanie.
Knit in Cleckheaton Country silk, it will work with any wool based yarn which gets 22 sts x 30 rows to a 10cm (4inch) swatch on 4mm (us6, uk 8) needles.
Pattern is here
Posted by Jussi at 1:31 PM
Thursday, October 19, 2006
you can tell when Flash is away...the house is not untidy, but there are piles everywhere, laundry...kitchen table...coffee table, the kitchen is kept spotless because of the risk of cockroaches in this town...but thats about it, his side of the bed contains pads of paper, pens, books, stitch guides, magazines and yarn, the table is now "marketing central" more books, pens, paper, coffee cups...the couch is my relaxation area, more yarn, needles, coffee cups, and dvds.
I need an office - bad.
I also need help guys.
(not the pharmaceutical kind)
I noticed today that someone from The Gap ( yes THE gap) had spent an hour perusing my site, now I can understand that they may wish to ensure that I have not copied any of their designs, and am flattered that they are concerned about such a small player...BUT... on the other hand, knowing that all of my designs are original...I am slightly worried that some "designer" (the job description a few years ago was - someone who goes overseas four times a year and buys garments to take apart and copy) has decided that because I am such a small player, they can "borrow" my designs without any fuss.
My second concern is that I have basically no advertising budget, a small (black and white) ad in a USA magazine is $46K (yes you read right). I am working at my marketing plan at present (the resident Sales and Marketing Guru is rightly baffled - being used to obscene marketing budgets - but is trying to get on board quickly) any ideas folks? I have joined a press release service (free intro offer - yay!) and have signed up for Google adwords, I am not sure where to go from here, gone are the days when you could send a "freebie" to a magazine and have them include it in their fashion pages, now it is a freebie and lots of cash!
I'm open to any suggestions.
Posted by Jussi at 1:42 PM
Monday, October 16, 2006
the new Just Jussi website is UP!
I am really happy with this total change of look, as I have said so many times, I am a knitwear designer, not a website designer!
The talent behind the camera is Lara - and I am forever in her debt, we have formed a symbiotic relationship which I know will have positive outcomes for both of us. I am grateful to the families for being so gracious, friendly and warm towards me, and this fledgling of a business.
If you find any problems, once again, let me know...and if anyone knows how to fix that gap at the top of the "Home" page, I would appreciate some advice!
I had a wonderful weekend, SSK on saturday, and Knitting at the Courthouse pub in Newtown today, knitters are such nice people.
Posted by Jussi at 4:35 AM
Thursday, October 12, 2006
you aren't trying hard enough.
Has everyone seen this Yarn standards ? I love this site, I have bits of it printed out and sellotaped to the wall for ease of use. It contains all of the information you need to ensure a successful project - head sizes, other sizes, standard (american) abbreviations, symbols etc. Good stuff!
I was browsing at Threadless and found a t-shirt that I thought Lucia might like, and then one that I thought would be perfect for the Yarn harlot, and this one is perfect for almost all of us (yes I bought it, and a couple of others)
Go and see Iris and congratulate her on the new arrival, and Alison - who needs some support to evict her recalcitrant bub.
I'm sorry if you are trying to download my free patterns, I have changed webhost and am waiting on a couple of details before I upload the new and inproved website, I'm sure that I will be able to dot the "i"s in the next couple of days.
All is quiet here, Blaise is on holiday in Bateman's Bay, Flash has big work stuff and Maria has been lying in bed reading, and playing online games, you can tell when a teenager has run out of cash! I haven't managed to convince her to knit...yet. I did send a little package with Blaise though, her friend is 17 years old, and knits scarves and gloves, so I sent along some Lorna's shepherd sock (wound into centre pull balls) and some cotton self-patterning (can't remember what) a cute homemade DPN case, dpns, pattern and the URL for knitty, I told her to knit a scarf with it if she ends up wanting to stab people with the DPNs, but to keep the dpns and case for later - she will need them one day!
Cherry has a couple of blogs and a website, all are absolutely delightful, I am so envious of her studio at Pixie Wood, it makes me anxious to get back to NZ and get started on my studio at the cottage. If you are an artist or crafter you may want to participate in her partner programme. Cherry has some lovely recipes, and her styling is exquisite.
(see Maria does exist! and no, Charlotte did not lick the snake)
Posted by Jussi at 3:14 PM
Saturday, October 07, 2006
the cult of celebrity does not sit well with me, I don't watch much t.v., I don't read women's or celebrity magazines, I watch movies and listen to music, I read voraciously, I wouldn't know most of todays stars if I fell over them. I am grateful to those I do watch, read and listen to - for sharing their talent and making the world a richer place, stories must be told, just as they always have been. A great performance will send shivers down the spine, but I have no admiration for thise who are famous for being famous, it seems to me that if you are poor, your wrongdoings are evil, if you are famous they are entertainment.
To me there is no difference between Penn Gillette and Brenda Dayne - both entertain and enlighten me through their podcasts, they both challenge me to look both inside and out, to grow and accept life's challenges, they are both people who refuse to be compartmentalised by society, and if I had the pleasure of meeting either of them I wouldn't be screaming, fainting or sneaking photos to sell to Hello! I would thank them for giving me so much pleasure (and get a photo for the blog!)
Which in a roundabout way brings me to the reason for this post, Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark's book "Knit 2 Together" was released recently, I didn't pay much attention as I tend not to buy "pattern books" preferring "ideas" books (the recent purchase of Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature is the exception that proves the rule - her designs are so inspirational that they transcend mere pattern) however, reading the article in the fall issue of Vogue knitting was very disappointing, it was 3 pages about Tracey - (I must say here that while I know who she is, I haven't actually seen her in anything since the "Tracey Ullman show" so while she may be extremely well known in the US, she is moderately well known in NZ) and if she had written the book alone, then it would have been a wonderful article - it is great to see celebrities championing knitting, and showing the rest of the world that their prejudices are outmoded.
Tracey talks about knitting the way that we do, she is one of us, and that is wonderful...BUT...the article only mentioned Mel as an adjunct to Tracey, I am a knitter and a designer, I want to know about the WHOLE process, both people, how they worked together to come up with the designs. I read somewhere that Mel was originally from NZ, I don't know if this is true, but if it is I want to know how she ended up owning a store in California, where the knitting has taken her both physically and personally, because as I mentioned - my celebrities are those I can relate to: Brenda with her self-awareness and openess, talking about her human frailties in the light of motherhood and relationships, Stephanie who as a hippy-ish mother of 3 daughters I can relate to, who presents herself to us foibles and all, and whose yarn adventures "knit" us together as a community, and Norah who astounds me with her ability to see knitting from such different angles, and manage to communicate these to us mere mortals without making our heads explode.
So, in closing, I hope that Tracey and Mel's book does well, that it brings new knitters into the fold, and encourages old ones back, but in future I would hope to see a knitter's slant to an article such as this, especially in a knitting magazine.
Posted by Jussi at 1:26 PM
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Flash caught up on reading, Blaise is always writing, and I knitted...for a change?
We sat under a picnic shelter, covered the table with our individual projects and a lunch of chicken chilli and lime sausages, homemade organic tomato herb seed bread, and apples, and twisted our bodies in order to thrust our legs into the glorious sunshine.
Aussie natives: Grevillea, bottlebrush and waratah.
Excuse my absences of late, I am trying to unravel the intricacies of changing webhost, DNS nameservers and where they are pointing, uploading using frontpage versus ftp. Knitting for fun: string shopping bags from "String and air" using Handpainted yarns Himalaya cotton - it is too harsh (in my opinion) for garments (almost the texture of white string) but perfect for string bags - I'm getting a head start on Christmas!, I have also been experimenting with their laceweight merino - absolutely beautiful, sooooo soft that it feels as though it has a cashmere component, still handwash only - but perfect for those heirloom garments.
Posted by Jussi at 2:07 PM
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Charlotte is here, Blaise and Maria sprung the fact that they were on holidays BEFORE the holidays officially started - due to the fact that they weren't required at school if they didn't have exams...whatever happened to studying in the library??? Maria's school drives me nuts, she starts, and gets home at a different time every day, and is never at school for 6 hours, I know I am painting myself as a control freak here, but I do like to have a set amount of time to get on with my work and not have to worry about someone making a snack (and a mess) or wanting laundry done etc. the school says that it is trying to get the kids used to a routine more like University - where they are responsible for their time - but I prefer the old-fashioned "from 8.30-3.30" approach. Flash has been on holiday too - so you can imagine I haven't had much peace, so I gave in and am going with the flow... which led us to the Australian Reptile park on thursday.
This park is an hours drive from home, and is set in parklike bushland, the day was warm and peaceful, we had a great time wandering around admiring the Alligator pond, playing with kangaroos, bravely getting up close and personal with spiders, the keepers gave talks every hour, and these were relaxed and interesting, they answered our questions and came up afterwards to answer many more and to let Charlotte play with the snakes
the animals are well cared for, and the park is actively involved in the creation of anti-venom for snake and spider bite, the is no anti-venom for baby alligator bite, which is why the girls pulled their dangling legs up onto the wall when Rosie decided to go for a walk around the show arena.
Knitting for fun has temporarily ceased, since I got it into my head that I wanted to design my own lace shawl, luckily commonsense prevailed and that project has been shelved until the household returns to some semblance of normalcy, whatever that is? I have finished all gift knitting, much of which is blocking, and all work related knitting for this week has been packed and posted, it's all good!
Posted by Jussi at 4:25 PM
Monday, September 25, 2006
no, I'm not - but I know plenty of people who are. I figure I have done more than my share - giving birth to three, raising five, Flash has suddenly realised that we are never going to "downsize" to a small house, if nothing else we need the extra bedrooms for the office and library we always wanted, but there are 5 girls who are likely to breed at least once each in the next 15 years, and Flash's 28 year old son will probably do so sooner, so a boardroom size dinner table, and a guest room or two will be mandatory. Flash is exploring the concept of the "parent's wing" whilst browsing house plans, make that "Grandparents wing" if it has a direct exit to the garage he will be a happy man.
the reason for the sudden surge of maternal hormones in various friends?
Posted by Jussi at 6:44 PM
Sunday, September 24, 2006
I know, 2 posts in one day, but I didn't get this one in yesterday when it happened, and todays post was a draft from yesterday...anyway...she's he-ere
Charlotte, home for 2 weeks,we haven't seen her for 5 months
I am so proud of Holly and Charlotte, for working so hard, studying so diligently and being so independent while we are in Australia, but I miss them so much.
Posted by Jussi at 8:31 PM
one of the many things my family can agree on, is that watching "Top Gear" is the best way to spend a monday evening, Flash doesn't look sideways when I buy the DVDs, not even the Top Gear winter olympics, and it gives me something to talk about with the white middle class men I meet at his company functions, I especially impressed one recently as he had just boguht the Audi which featured a few weeks ago. I'm not even that into cars, but I am into passion, and these guys have it in spades.
Three years ago Jeremy Clarkson (whom, if he had less chins, would bear a striking resemblance to Flash) wrote "Every week I strap myself into a monstrously powerful car and hurtle round a test track in a blaze of tyre smoke and noise. It's a constant battle with the laws of physics, and that's a dangerous game to play. One day, inevitably it'll end in tears"
and this week it did, well actually it ended in a crash at 450 kph, and thankfully the Richard Hammond (the little guy) survived, and has even taken his first steps, he'll be back behind the wheel, performing stupid boyish stunts, monkeying around with rockets and generally pissing people off in no time.
Posted by Jussi at 11:26 AM
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
on monday night Blaise, Flash and I took the binoculars and camera up to the roof and waited for the Space station and shuttle to hurtle over our heads, coming from the north west, heading to the south east and passing over the city in 1.5 minutes - we had to keep our wits about us..."is that it?" "is it moving?" "no, thats a plane" it didn't help that our target ended up lining up with the planes for a moment or two until we realised that it was moving quite a bit faster than the planes in their landing pattern. Then we watched transfixed while the large dot passed overhead.
I took photos, but seriously, it's a bright dot against a blue velvet sky, not really bloggable. I got this lovely shot of a cloud to make up for it.
the yarn is soft 4ply cotton, the tulle edge is enclosed by the knit, so doesn't scratch, the organic circle appliques are cut from Amy Butler fabric, embroidered with pink and green cotton.
Please let me know what you think, your comments and suggestions have helped me to come up with new ideas and refine existing designs, and I welcome constructive criticism.
Posted by Jussi at 8:43 AM
Monday, September 18, 2006
Blaise is a normal teenager - she wears black, plays in a band, dyes her hair, worries about the state of the planet, politics, consumerism and junk food, feels that no-one understands, spends hours cleaning her face and mere milliseconds cleaning her bedroom, has a myspace account, talks on the phone...
and goes to school dressed as a pirate.
Happy "talk like a pirate day" me hearties, go on and party like it's 1799.
Posted by Jussi at 4:18 PM
the delightful Rox invited me to the Dishcloth shuffle, I had never knitted one before, but was inspired by the Mason-Dixon book.
in the style of Knitabulous I give you my friday/saturday knitting (ah dishclothes - even more gratifying than socks for those of us who have a short attention span)
the soft one - Bendigo DK cotton in a garter st pattern
the pretty one, 2 ends on Lana Gatto minicaribe cotton in dark and light pink, basketweave pattern from the Vogue Stitchionary volume 1.
The Emily Howard this is my first and last lacy washcloth - (pattern here) it looks too much like a doily, I actually enjoyed knitting this - "look family I am knitting a circle" and when I started thinking that it would look nice with a ribbon threaded around the edges, wrapped around a round soap like a little present (standard church fete fare) I needed a drink.
Flash and I went out on the bikes yesterday, following Jo's suggestion we followed the Cook's River trail, it was easy and enjoyable, the day was beautiful and the birds were everywhere. The trail follows a chain of parks forming a green corridor through the inner west, we rode from Botany Bay to Rookwood cemetary, apparently that is over 18km each way, so we were happy with ourselves. Flash spied this little guy happily eating dandelions while we rested nearby.
Posted by Jussi at 11:41 AM
Thursday, September 14, 2006
the wanderers have returned, and the laundry has been done, the damp rainforest smell still lingers on my jacket.
Jason did a great job of marshalling our girls, fed them well and helped with the homework - ahh I need a wife!
I did not get to Australia Zoo, I am getting over the disappointment - this was my second try at it - the weather was so bad that the bus trip was cancelled - I started out in the car, ever the intrepid explorer, but couldn't read the road signs through the downpour and finally admitted defeat. Every where we go I love exploring for wildlife, but we never see much - Flash has a theory - if you were above a nuclear explosion you would see devastation radiating out from the epicentre, well when I am looking for wildlife you would see the same pattern - the animals fleeing from me - I think his theory sucks.
We did visit a ginger factory on the way back to Brisbane, it was situated in a ginger garden and smelt like heaven, I had a ginger and cinnamon icecream whilst wandering, absolutely beautiful - we stocked up on ginger bears (sweets) and concentrated ginger extract for baking.
I then visited a family friend who has undergone a terrible medical misadventure, he is in hospital in Brisbane, and I was so glad I got to spend some time with him and report back to my parents who can't get here for a couple of weeks.
On the knitting front, I have finally published my Baby wrapover cardi for sale by digital download.
the pattern uses 4ply baby yarn, sizes 0-3,3-6,6-12 months, and has a unique all-in-one-piece construction, resulting in one seam to sew. I have also included a graph for the "Bubbles" colouway as a bonus extra.
This is the first time I have sold one of my patterns - wish me luck!
Posted by Jussi at 12:18 PM