O Hai! I’m Not Dead In A Ditch!

Gentle reader,

It’s been ages since I last posted. I do apologize! I’ve been meaning to get around to do a proper posts but, it just never happened. I’ve been a bit preoccupied. But, I’m back now, and here’s a recap of what’s being going on in my forest.

I did some work, and I played some games.

I finished the bunny sweater (though, I’m going to unpick the sleeves and restitch them, and fix some wonky intarsia bits with duplicate stitch)

I got an amazing parcel from my American Mom, Beth, with a bunch of lovely gifts and some of her beautiful glass work. We’re going to combine her glass pieces and my crochet into… something!

I bought some yarn. Naturally.
L to R: Rowan Colorscape Chunky, Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball, Noro Kogarashi

I got some new shoes. Green, of course.

I did some scribbles. The side two are plans for some lino block prints.

I smooched some cheeky pooses.

Listened to some tunes.
L to R: Emi Hinouchi – “Me”, Midlake – “The Trials of Van Occupanther,
The Civil Wars – “Barton Hollow”

I did some wandering around Melbs and enjoyed the turn of the season.

Aaaaand, I started some big, chunky bedsocks with the Kogarashi for my friend, Alf!
I’m using the pattern “Thuja” from Knitty.com

Phew! Did you like “My Life In Pictures” recap? Hope so! I’ll be back to posting regularly now. I think I might do more of these – unless raiding my Instagram is cheating… Hmmm…

How have you been!? Catch up in the comments! ^_^


Cameras, Birds (And Their Downstairs Mix-Ups), A Prelude to Intarsia & A Dash of Zombies

Gentle reader,

You may recall that our house was broken into… TWICE, and the second time they took Joel’s camera (which I had somewhat commandeered). While we’ve vowed not to replace any of the game consoles until we move, I was getting very itchy not having a decent camera, though I admit my iPhone does a pretty good job up to a point. So, I did some reading and I decided on the Nikon Coolpix L120 because of the cray-to-the-azy lens, some good reviews and the amazingly good price. You can get them for $198 at Dick Smiths, if you’re in Australia, which was about $60 cheaper than I saw at other places.

Joel and I got some dinner afterward at QV, and I decided to test it out on some birds.

I pointed my camera at these birds and this is what happened.

I love birds! I mean, I really know next to nothing about them like different breeds etc, but gosh I think they’re the cutest things ever. But then I remember they have cloacas which then kinda grosses me out for some reason and it mars my enjoyment of their cuteness for a few seconds, and then I push the idea of a one-stop poopin’, peein’, breedin’ shop from my head and then all is well again.

In fact, let’s do that now and move on from that unsavory thought and just enjoy these mighty adorable little critters. I LOVE that little nugget in the bottom left! Look at his little chest and face! Eeeeeeeeee! I would totally have given him a gentle hug in my hands if he’d let me. HIS. LITTLE. FACE!!!! ^_^     Cloaca. Dammit!  >_<

Meanwhile, I’ve been knitting a bit! I recently discovered the wonders of having a library card after not having one since I left college. I pretty much borrowed every knitting book that wasn’t totally naff from the library on Flinders Lane, and I decided that I’d tackle some intarsia. I’m making a wee bairn’s sweater from Picture Perfect Knits by Laura Birek. The design is called “I ❤ Mom“, and it’s a heart with a banner around it that says “Mom”, but I’m going to switch the chart out for a different design from the appendix at the back. So far, I think the book is awesome and probably worth the purchase. The pattern has been really clear, concise and easy to follow, but, I haven’t gotten to the intarsia yet and there was no shaping on the back piece, so, the wheels may yet fall off (I daresay that would be my own shortcoming and not the books though).

It seems on of my balls of yarn has become irradiated. Whoops.

I started with the back panel to safeguard against my finishing the intarsia and then getting bored with it and never finishing it. Geesh. I pinned it out for the sake of photographing it, I’ve not blocked it yet. I’ll pin the tar outta it when I do, cuz it’s super curly. I haven’t been slipping my first stitch to get a nice edge so it’s mega rough and curly at the edges. I dunno why I didn’t do the slipping thing. I think Marelle told me not to bother, so I’ll see how that goes. I’m using Cleckheaton Basics DK which I got from a sale. It’s a perfectly decent yarn, but I shan’t rave about it. I suppose that’s neither here nor there though, since it’s now discontinued. If you find it cheap though, it’s worth picking up.

I have a few projects on the go – I’m still working on my own sweater and Marelle’s crochet lace dress (which I’ve been taking to work to do on my lunch break) – but they’ve all gotten too big to to be suitable for public transport projects. Sure, the intarsia sweater is small, but since I’ll be starting the chart soon, it will be a sit-quietly-and-concentrate project. Luckily for me, I recently traded in some games and got Resident Evil: Revelations for my Nintendo 3DS (the only game console that wasn’t stolen) to while away my commute time. I don’t know if I can stress this enough: I love me some zombie-killin’. Yes, I do. The very first Resident Evil was one of the first games I got when we first got a computer. I’m fairly sure it gave me nightmares, but they were AWESOME nightmares (my parents may disagree on that fact).

“Resident… Eeevillll”

I played a couple hours of it over the weekend, and it’s pretty off-the-hook cray-to-the-azy. The graphics are super neat and definitely the best I’ve seen on the DS. It’s also compatible with the extra thumb-stick attachment, which I don’t have, but I really haven’t felt that controls are lacking without it. It’s very intuitive and fun. Are you guys even into games? Zombies? Yes? No? Lemme know. If you likey I’ll talk more about it, if no, I’ll keep it to my own nerdy self.

Have you tackled intarsia knitting yet? Have any tips? Share-zies!  ^_^

Knittin’ & Crochetin’! All Systems GO! (Also, Games)

As I had mentioned before, my craftiness had come to somewhat of an impasse. The koala didn’t get any more work – which no one seems to mind cuz it turns out heaps of other people hate koalas too; so pleased! – and my socks just had dribs and drabs here and there whilst on transport. I started a crochet sock; pulled it out. I started a beanie; pulled it out. I just wasn’t feeling it.

You wanna what I was doing though? Video games. I was definitely feeling that.

Sakura! Street Fighter IV for the win!

In the last month or so, I’ve finished Dante’s Inferno, Fable II, Mirror’s Edge, Bayonetta, and Devil May Cry 4. I wasn’t really sure what else to play, so I hooked up the Wii and started Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Which was garbage. I mean, it might have been alright a few years ago, but on a pretty vast HD LCD screen, the graphics looked like dookie, the controls were clunky, and it was just. so. BORING. So, I was like “I’ma trade in some games, y’all!” And I did! I now have Street Fighter IV and Alan Wake for Xbox to get through. I’m so obsessed with SFIV; the art direction is so yummy, it’s totally seducing my eyeballs. The picture above is Sakura, one of my favorite characters! Sure, she’s a little Japanese school girl in a sailor-style uniform, but she’s not overtly sexualized like other game characters, and her personality is so happy and fun.

I know, I know, I’m bad. The thing is, when I finish a video game, I get the same sort of satisfaction as when I finish a crochet project, so I feel like I haven’t wasted my time. And in that sense I suppose I haven’t, I just don’t have anything to show for it. But there is good news for all of y’all who don’t care what I’m yammering about unless it’s something yarn-y. Cuz I’m back in the zone, y’all! First of all, I had earmarked some patterns on Rav to get my inspiration going, and I found these gorgeous Totoro mittens by Brella.

Totoro Mittens!

I cast them on with some Lincraft brand DK acrylic and another nameless acrylic that I had lying about. I’m not the most confident knitter yet, and stranded knitting might be a little ambitions, so I figured I’d start with some acrylic and if all goes well by the halfway point, I’ll start a proper pair in nice yarn

Kooky. Indeed.

Then, while I was at work on Monday, I was flipping through a book called Kooky Crochet by Linda Kopp. I use the word kooky all the time, partially because it’s so versatile, and, well, this book does use the term faaaairly liberally. However, a lot of the items are quite fun, and it’s just refreshing to find a crochet book that isn’t all blankets and tacky singlet tops. I might review it later, but I won’t go too much into it now. Anyhow, I asked my manager if I could make the Lucha Libre you can see on the cover for the section in our store we like to call “Manland”, and the chicks for Easter, as well as some cool felted fortune cookies; the answer was yes! I’m pretty excited. I’ve started the mask, but I won’t show you pics of that yet; it’s just a blue disc. I would definitely make some changes if I were making it for my own benefit, but since it’s a sample, I’ll just to the pattern to the letter for now.

Peaks Island Hood by Ysolda Teague ❤

And finally! I had made my Ma a beret for her birthday, but I was really unhappy with how it turned out. It was too late to make her something else in time, so I just gave it to her anyway. She said she loved it, but I guarantee she’ll never wear it. In fact, I hope she doesn’t. I’ve been determined to find something else to make her anyway, and I found this beautiful pattern from Ysolda Teague, who I absolutely adore. It’s called the Peaks Island Hood, and it’s a scarf that converts into a hood as well. I was umming and ahhing about it for a ages, but I finally bought it and today I bought some new needles and yarn and cast it on. I’m up to about row six I think, and I’m loving it so far.

I can already see a few mistakes I’ve made with twisted stitches and a few weird things, but nothing I’m concerned enough about to rip back. It’s a learning experience, and I’m just trying to accept that. It’s definitely making me think a lot more about the architecture of stitches and patterns, and that’s really great. I’m just frustrated that it’s not as easy for me as crochet, but I’ve been doing that for years, and I’m just picking up knitting for the first time since primary school. Just breathe, Raynor… chillax!

Me As A Woman, Apparently

So, look, I’ve been very lazy with my posts, and my knitting & crochet to be honest (Satan Koala is still not done), but more on that later. Right now, I just wanted to do a quick post to sate my blogger’s guilt for now.

Lady Raynor

So, I opened my Facebook inbox the other day to find a message from my BFF Amanda (heretofore referred to as Panda), with this image attached and this message:

So I present to you lady Gats. And yes she is wearing a cat dress. PURR. ♥

And so, I share with you what I would look like if I were a lady, because I just know y’all were dying to know. I don’t know that I’d be that pretty or thin, but I’d TOTES be up for wearing a cat dress at every possible moment. See, I’m one of those people who maintain that Bjork’s swan dress was absolutely the right answer for red carpet glamor. I also appreciate the button nose ever so innocently… erm… marking the spot. Panda cracks me up with this sorta stuff, she speaks my language and I love her face off.

I don’t have much craftiness to report right at this moment, and what I do have I’ll save for the forthcoming post this evening. Suffice it to say that much of my craftiness has been a little sidelined by the Xbox. Oy. Anyway, I’ll post again this afternoon about all that jazz.


*Gats refers to an old college nickname “Gatsby”, FYI

Finished Object! Okay, I’m Cheating…

So, I *have* made progress on my socks, both the green one on a circ and the Noro one on DPNs, *and* I started the amigurumi koala for the store sample, but I’ve finished none of those. So, I don’t have any craft FOs.

BUT, I did finish Mirror’s Edge on the Xbox today!

Now, Mirror’s Edge isn’t really a new game at all, but I had fallen in love with it from the trailers after it came out, and then the reviews were really varied, so I ummed and ahhed for ages. I finally bought it and started it, and fell in -proper- love with it. But, for all my love, it’s one seriously frustrating game, and I put it on ice for a while.

I’d been playing Resident Evil 5 recently, until I could go no further due to a scratched disc (heartbroken!), so I gave it another bash. If you’re not familiar with Mirror’s Edge, storyline aside, your character is a parkour dynamo; you run across rooftops, finding jumps and sliding through gaps and you build up your speed. And that’s the game’s charm. Once you’ve figured your course, it’s incredibly exhilarating to execute each jump and roll and flying fox in one smooth sequence. And to me, that’s reason enough to play this game.

It’s actually really short all told, I finished it in two days or so. If you should pick this game up and play it; you will die. A lot. In same cases, you almost have to sacrifice yourself in order to finish it; by which I mean, to find the way through the level you’ll either have to die from trial and error until you figure out the right order of things, or you’ll have to be gunned down a few times while you explore so you can make your escape on the final try. This is one of the reasons I put it down the first time, but if you can stick with you’ll be rewarded. It’s an incredibly original, visually stunning game, and there’s really nothing else like it. And the exhilaration of nailing a path makes all the frustration worth it.

Now… back to the socks…