Never trust a panda

OK, I know, it’s been over a week. And I honestly sat down to write all about what I’m knitting, and what’s been going on in my life (the toran is coming along nicely, and mainly I’ve been cooking all the things because one of my flatmates is ill).

But then I thought ‘hey, I really ought to print out the pattern for Mopsy Bird“, and suddenly I’m being presented with patterns with names like “A beret that is different!”.



Which of course led me down the Trove rabbit-hole. Trove, that home of so, so many 4ply jumper patterns. It takes me long enough to knit a pair of socks using 4ply. Knitting an entire jumper? Probably insane. Which is why some time soon I’m totally doing it. But then I found this.


Oh, it’s a panda, yup, totally ordinary stuffed toy panda.


Wait, what? Why perambulator?

WHY IS IT STANDING UP UNAIDED? Is it sentient? Are there instructions somewhere in the 8th December 1949 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald explaining how to use your bloodstone circle for animating knitted toys?

Great, now I’m scared that if I make this it’s going to start walking around my house in the middle of the night.


I’m just saying what we’re all thinking. 



If nobody needs me I’ll be locking all my black and white yarns in a trunk and then hiding under a blanket.

Thoughts every knitter has on entering a new yarn store


Where’s the sock yarn? How is this place organised?

Oooh, pretty colour!…oh no, but it’s lace.

Well, I could totally start knitting lace if I wanted to.

Oh man, this is so soft…I wonder if anyone would notice if I rubbed it on my face?

How much is it?…Christ, for ONE skein?

Oh, no wonder, there’s cashmere in it.

I want to put it down, and yet I can’t.

Well, one skein is pretty restrained. Look at me being restrained…oooh, angora!

That colourway…it’s not really my thing, but limited edition!

I should have got a basket. Do they have baskets?

I don’t have any projects that need buttons. But these buttons are so pretty. Maybe I should find a project that needs buttons…

This would be perfect for that sweater, I wonder how many balls I would need…


No, don’t you dare start looking at that yarn over there. I may want more of it.

God, I hope they take debit cards…

Oooh, free wool wash!

Oh thank goodness, there’s a swift.

Winding this into a ball is SO much faster with a swift.

I wonder if they sell swifts?

OK, I am totally not buying any more yarn until I’ve finished a project.

That beanie hat I’m nearly done with counts, right?

The Five Stages of Crafting

With apologies to Larry Miller, whose routine ‘The Five Levels of Drinking’ brought this about.

There are five levels of crafting! Six, if you work for a yarn company. But never mind that now! We will deal with five.

Level 1:

It’s 2pm on a Saturday afternoon. You’re in a yarn store. You go to leave, when one of your friends points out another ball of yarn. One of your RECENTLY PAID friends. And here at level 1 you think, “hey! why, as long as I set aside seven hours tomorrow to finish the scarf for my friend’s birthday on Monday, I’m cool!

Level 2:

It’s the evening. You’re at your knitting group. You may have bought a few more balls, and started a project with one of them. You just spent 20 minutes arguing against synthetic fibres. You go to get the project you’re supposed to be working on out of your bag, but at level 2, a little devil appears on your shoulder. And now you’re thinking, “hey! I have plenty of time before Monday to finish that scarf. Besides, as long as I set aside five hours tomorrow to knit on it, I’m cool!

Level 3:

1 in the morning. You’ve abandoned tea for red wine. You just spent 20 minutes arguing FOR synthetic fibres. And now you’re thinking “this new project I started tonight is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever worked on! The yarn feels amazing! I’ve finished an entire two inches already!” You get knitting fantasies, like “hey! I could totally make that jumper in large with travelling cables and bobbles, I bet it wouldn’t take THAT long to make.” At level three, that devil is a little bit bigger…and he’s showing you things on Etsy. And you think, “hey! As long as I set aside three hours, well, OK, maybe the length of a movie, to finish that scarf, I’m cool!”

Level 4:

Two in the morning, and the devil is adding things to your shopping cart. You ARE synthetic fibres. You decide to go to sleep right after you go to sleep over your project. But then you think to yourself…”well, since I’m only going to get a few hours of sleep anyway, I might as well…stay up all night crafting! Yeah, that’d be good for me! It’d be so badass- and I could totally finish this project by morning.

Level 5:

8 in the morning. You wake up and find yourself in bed with no idea how you got there, when your partner gets up and opens the curtains, and you hit the worst part of Level 5: the sun. See, if you’d actually managed to stay up all night and finish that damn scarf, it’d be amazing, like you beat the night. But right now, with two balls of yarn still left to knit on it, the sun is like God’s flashlight. And you tell your partner you need to go shopping for a birthday gift at Lush, while you say, to yourself,  the crafter’s mantra:

swear, I am never leaving a project to the last minute again as long as I live.

And some of us, of course, have that little addition.

And this time, I mean it. 

Monsterful Monday: Porcupines, zombies and cabbage

Starting with the adorableness that is a porcupine eating a pumpkin. I got shown this at Girl’s Night at the weekend and it pretty much made me melt from the cuteness. I mean, Teddy Bear the porcupine actually sounds like he’s making ‘om nom nom’ noises. I’m always grateful for things that make me smile, and this definitely did.

The Walking Dead

I’m late to the ‘Walking Dead’ party, but started watching Season 1 recently and so far, I’m really liking it. It’s got some clever twists and storytelling, interesting characters, and I particularly like how the zombies aren’t the only problem for the survivors. The inter-relationships are complex, human, fraught. The characters are rounded, people aren’t always what you’d expect, good days come at a price, and nobody is safe. Just like ‘Attack the Block‘ (which if you haven’t seen, you should), you don’t get the sense that someone being a child is any protection for them. I think that makes it a stronger, more real-seeming show. Yes, the special effects are truly disgusting- I get through watching the horrible bits by trying to work out how they achieved particular effects. And I’m always grateful for a good story to get into while I craft.

Tanuki’s Cave

I caught up with my friend Jenni and her lovely partner Anna, which as well as being lots of fun was a good excuse to finally eat at Tanuki’s Cave. Jenni has talked about the glory that is their food for years and my goodness, I was not disappointed. The raw cabbage and mayonnaise starter is one of those things you wouldn’t think would be delicious, and yet we ate all of it with great enthusiasm. And don’t even get me started on the shrimp and bacon yakitori skewers. Ho. Ly. Bejeesus. It makes me hungry just thinking about them. So I’m grateful for delicious food, but mainly it was so good to hang out with Jenni and Anna and catch up. There are some friends where it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you last talked, you can just pick back up. Jenni is one of those people, and I’m very grateful to have her in my life.


There’s a long weekend coming up (even longer as I took some extra leave either side of it- 5 day weekend, y’all) and that means planning my crafts. I’m hoping to get one of my 15 in 2015- the Flamingo Dress- either finished or well on the way to being done. Which would be terrific because then I can actually wear it. The flamingo fabric has been sitting waiting to be turned into a glorious outfit for far too long. Because I can’t get enough kitsch print fabric, not now, not ever. I’m also getting my next tattoo started, can’t wait!

The little things

Snuggles (always), making progress on crafting, Galavant, retro clothes, new red lipstick, Agent Carter, homemade hummus, bbq cassava chips, serendipitous discovery of props, sleep, Etsy, the Best Beloved (also always).

How about you? What are you thankful for this week?

Twenty one COMPLETELY VALID reasons to buy more stash *

1) You just got paid.

2) You’re getting paid tomorrow and you’re worried it won’t be there when you come back.

3) Your friend talked you into it.

4) Your friend tried to talk you out of it but you think she/he secretly just wants it for themselves.

5) It was on sale.

6) It might go on sale and then it will sell out.

7) It accidentally jumped into your hand at the store and now you can’t put it down.

8) It accidentally jumped into your online shopping cart and you accidentally clicked on ‘check out’, and you don’t want the web people at the other end to judge you for being indecisive.

9) You need it for a project.

10) You might need it for a project.

11) You don’t need it for a project, and wouldn’t it be good to have at least SOME materials that aren’t already earmarked?

12) You’re on holiday. Holiday purchases don’t count.

13) You’re going on holiday and you want to make sure you take enough crafting with you.

14) You’re on a day trip in a new town.

15) The craft store *just* opened.

16) The craft store is independent and you want to make sure to support it.

17) It’s just so soft/so beautiful.

18) You’re trying a new craft and you need supplies.

19) You’re getting your mojo back on a craft you already do, and some new materials would TOTALLY motivate you.

20) You just want to buy yourself something pretty, OK?

21) If you stuff it in a pillow, there’s totes room for it in your house.


22) You were worried your existing stash was getting lonely with nothing new for it to play with.

23) You didn’t buy it, you swear the stash is multiplying when you’re not looking.

You’re welcome.

*I have used at least half of these.

And now for something completely different- Ellen Memes

I blame the Bloggess. I had no idea that people were going into Google and searching for their first name and ‘memes’ and seeing what shows up.

Well, first there was this:

Ellen Memes

With a name like mine, I knew what to expect. ALL the Ellen Degeneres memes. I am more than OK with that. Ellen first showed up on my radar when I was a teenager, watching her sitcom every Friday night. Sadly, Channel 4 stopped showing it when she came out. But she remained in my awareness. There was an Ellen- a famous Ellen. Who was awesome, and had self-esteem and the courage to be herself. Not only that, but to do it with humour.



If she can do it, I can do it. If I can do it, so can you.

In the meantime, happy Thursday, please enjoy these Ellen memes.



Modern familyturn down

And my personal favourite:

just keep swimmingAnd I know it’s not a meme, but this. This is brilliant.