Presenting Percival

I think it must be some chronic adrenaline-junkie habit of people in my business. We crave that last-minute mad dash to the finish line, the last fiddle, adjustment, addition while running, sweating after someone just as they're about to get the shot, or get pushed on stage.
Then as soon as it's all over, it can fall to bits.

Ephemerality junkies perhaps.

And so it was with less than 15 minutes to go before we had to wrap biscuits and pile in the car to Percival's recipient's house on Christmas Eve, that I finally secured the last button shank eye and said:

"I think I'll just make him a little garter stitch scarf"!

Anyway, we got there.
And Percival now has a very loving home, resplendent in a generously-proportioned tweed scarf.

Pattern: Fairy Penguin by Barbara Lennon. From Cleckheaton Wildlife in 8 ply. (no link, sorry)

Materials: Jo Sharp Classic DK wool, in Nasturtium and Lichen -I used just under one ball of each- on 3.25 knitpicks circs. Tight, but it needs to be a dense fabric especially when you're as keen on stuffing as I am. Hence Percy looks a tad more like a heavily pregnant Emperor Penguin after a
second helping of Christmas Pud rather than the actual Fairy Penguin model.

The fact that he turned out rather asymmetrical I think adds to his character and rakish charm, rather than alluding to the fact that I somehow managed to stitch his front panel on wonkily.

Seeing as this will probably be the last Needle's Edge for 2007, I want to thank all you lovely readers for taking the time to visit, read, think, make useful suggestions, comment wittily and generally be full of support and encouragement. Hope you all manage to get some replenishm
ent in and see you in 2008!


" Merry Christmas "

- said the Buddhist to the Atheist.

No, this is not a lame bar-room joke, this is actual documentary.
Yesterday as I was having a chat with my lovely and trusty local printer, she wished me a Merry Christmas as I was leaving.
And out of pure reflex, I wished her one too.
It was only seconds later that I realised how slightly absurd this was and yet more seconds later that it would be churlish, nay perverse to not ignore socio-politico-religious qualms and simply join in the general festive cheeriness that's swept over just about every shopkeeper in my local area.

The thing is -and this is installment #3 in the ongoing Further Fascinating Factoids- I don't really do Christmas. (Or Chrimbo as a friend of mine calls it, does anyone else? I like it for its silly and secular appeal).

Not in a Bah-Humbug-Scrooge kinda way. No, it's more that I am atheist, not particularly close to my family, the commercialism of it (which I hate). But mostly because I have strong and buried negative associations around it; a close relative of mine having a psychotic episode usually on or around the day, which was our family tradition.
Yes, some people do turkey, some people go very wrong in the mind tank.
Diversity is what it's all about.

But I did want to do a post about Christmas, not least because I know a lot of people genuinely love it and also because it would give me a good excuse to share with you my yarn-ey Xmas tree. Working up the front body of Pengy, the tapered panel of stocking stitch just zipped into a conical shape and did somewhat resemble a tree

et voila!

* in the window of a local eco-paint shop. Regular readers will know how much I do love a good paint swatch!



vessel wednesday

Lately, each time I take the dogs to the park I bring back one of these gumnut/ poddy things and this is how many I've collected so far.

Installment #2 in the series of Riveting Randomness - favourite smells:

freshly sawn timber
freshly poured concrete setting deep inside a dark, cool building site
hot bitumen hit by rain
freesias and gardenias (there, I had to throw a girly one in).


like a shag on a rock

is how the saying goes. An explanation here - if you scroll down a bit.
Or in this case like a shag on a pontoon.
The Cormorant, or shag, spreads its wings and cools its pits.
I wish this were socially acceptable behaviour for humans in this humidity.

And I did indeed feel a bit shag-like as I put my knitting down and crouched down to photograph it against the view.Another day at the office.
No, I'm not a fisherperson, I was taking a break from the darkness of the theatre opposite. I particularly like the texture of the weathered timbers along the wharves and thought it
made a nice foil to the black garter stitch.

It's an area which was known as the Hungry Mile back in the '30s, an area rich with history, but which is now basically the tjushed-up playground of the rich, with all the fabulous old wharf buildings mostly refurbished into Primo Real Estate with only the merest nod to its narrative. It's inevitable I suppose, but part of me thinks it's a shame that there's not a more democratic access to the harbour side. But then those vaguely socialist sentiments are probably genetic, which brings me to:

Installment #1
in the Seven Rivetingly Random Factoids about me.

My grandfather was a card-carrying member of the communist party in the 1950s, so it's a good thing the long arm of McCarthyism didn't reach as far as Newcastle (a tiny little town in Australia), and as far as I know Arthur Miller did not write a play about witchcrafting Plumbers set amidst the blue-collar burghers of Newcastle either, which come to think of it, could be hilarious.

Hooray for readers who've made it this far! You deserve a vessel wednesday. Thinking back to my delicious pho bo on Monday night, I hit upon the jar of dried Vietnamese rice stick noodles which are so diaphanous and delicate, and here they are:

As always, hardcore enthusiasts can see more glimpses here.


Some months go like that.

1. a fleet of ghostly ships, 2. Stepping Stones, 3. Teselación de base triangular, 4. foxtail, 5. DSCN0134b, 6. IceCrystals, 7. Untitled, 8. Elisabeth Bergner, 9. fallen leaves - shalechet 2, 10. Sublimely Kool, 11. Sunflower II, 12. IMG_7503.JPG, 13. Shades of White, 14. Untitled, 15. Untitled, 16. Untitled, 17. remnants · the exhausted book, 18. knot skirt i, 19. "But how do they erase their footprints?", 20. Secret Invocations in a Closed Room, 21. faucets, 22. needlecase, 23. DSC_0006.JPG, 24. November Path in North Florida, 25. SCRABBLE, 26. scoutphoto5-2, 27. for caroline t., 28. Bound, 29. Rainy Day Leaves, 30. Untitled, 31. show me the way .., 32. Untitled, 33. neck warmer, 34. Fabric Doll #3, 35. stuffed, 36. Zebra

A (late) Mosaic Monday.
Late for the Southern Hemisphere anyway.

I meant to post this last night.
Except I got home about 9.30, ate an enormous bowl of Pho Bo and fell asleep.
Not actually face-first in my Pho bowl, but I tell you it was a close call.

So here it is today.


wednesday : day of the vessel

white blown glass

It undulates, or does it ululate ? This is a fabulous new word I've picked up a
nd intend to use as much as possible from now on. I could look it up in the dictionary I suppose, but I don't want my Pollyanna-ish notions about it dashed just yet, thank you.

Also thank you everyone who left such nice comments on my last post about connections past.
I'm glad others find some resonance, inspiration or diversion from my
Thing is, for some reason I just couldn't get it together to do a decent bit of writing that would do the whole experience justice. But it was a long overdue post, and sometimes you just have to get it out there even if it is half-baked.

So ... my itch about wanting to knit nothing but mile upon mile of plain stocking stitch after the cable-ing contractions of Clessidra?

mimosa blocking

Let's call it well and truly scratched.

Finally, Al poked* me for a meme. Ordinarily I'd say I've already done two of these, surely there's no more to be dredged?! But strangely I'm in the mood to do this one, with a few modifications : I'll share one fact per post (since 'weird' is such a subjective term, I'll ignore that one, but random? I am always up for random), starting from next post.

I tag Eero, because I know she likes it, and anyone else who just can't stifle the urge to share, please consider yourself tagged.

The "Rules" :
Link to your tagger, and also post these rules on your blog.
Share 7 facts about yourself (random or weird) on your blog.
Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

*Wait! That's the wrong verb, silly! That's facebook! I'm getting my version 2.0 terminology confused!