Monday, June 26, 2006


The next production of the weekend was Sydney Plantagenet’s Psychedelic Quest in the Studio. A Radio Play "BROADCAST LIVE-TO-AIR ON FBi94.5FM". Although it took all day to set up, light and operate it was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to "the next exciting episode" on Sunday, and the following Sunday until it finishes on the 9th of July. The production of the sound effects was the highlight of the night although the cast and support act were fantastic.

Romeo and ...

Another busy weekend that also saw good progress on the Rib Wrap. First there was a stint on the Bell Shakespeare's production of Romeo and Juliet;

"This production is as contemporary as the iPod that Juliet dances to, or the rap delivered as an opening by the street gang in Verona. It is fresh and youthful, well served by Chloe Armstrong and Julian Garner as its star-crossed lovers, poignantly evoking the emotional extremes of adolescence." The Age, Helen Thomson, 22 May, 2006

It was a good production and the script is very true to the original, which makes it a bit longer than some versions. The fast past and frenetic activity of the first half slows right down in the second act so the School audiences always get a bit fidgety towards the end.

The set is very minimalist with No Balcony, just a slope and a bit of artful lighting but it worked.

I caught up with Mary Helen and introduced her to Friar Lawrence (Philip Dodd) who is a talented actor and knitter. He is wearing a sideways knitted vest of his own design that he modestly described as 'just something to use up some spare bits" while M-H is wearing a beautiful Noro (?) creation of her own - very suitable for going out to the theatre.

The Bell company has a few keen knitters within its ranks, both male and female. I'd love to do a study into the relationship of theatre and knitting - maybe it's something about all the time spent waiting or standing by - or all the touring to those small country centres.

Supposedly there is a superstition associated with knitting in the wings - apparently it's bad luck. I've only recently discovered this and I must say that it doesn't seem to be true as I have been knitting in theatre for over 20 years.

And this is from someone who will not mention the 'Scottish Tragedy' within coo-ee of a stage and who freaks out when wished "good luck" before a show instead of "chookas". Maybe I'm selectively superstitious.

Friday, June 23, 2006


This is 'Clifford', the amazing 'no aching arms', 'adjustable to any size skein', 'all metal Wool Winder'!
He's a very utilitarian winder, without the polished elegance of his wooden cousins, but his action is true and his base is blue. What more could a knitter ask for?

Unfortunately there are no skeins available to try him out but I have it on good authority that there are at least 3 on order.

Until then I'm sure he will wait patiently, in his box until required.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

And the loser is .... the Steinway.

Further to the previous post about the Freedman Jazz Fellowship the announcement has just come through that "Julien Wilson has been selected as the Music Council of Australia/Freedman Jazz Fellow for 2006." This is the line up that he won the fellowship with - it is unusual to see a Piano Accordian in a Jazz band but I did like the total sound the Julien Wilson Trio produced and the laid back look of the whole group - it is jazz after all.

That is more than I can say for another group who had a decidedly avant-garde approach to their performance. Part of their set was performed on a Steinway Grand Piano that was later used by one other performer. During rehearsals the pianist placed a few pieces of metal on the bare strings and the tuning pins a la Steve Reich and others. During the actual performance the "placement" changed to "bash", "drop metal rods and rummage chains". I could only watch with my mouth agape in horror. Just before the house opened I had watched Terry, the piano tuner, carefully and sensitively tune that lovely instrument to it best. Needless to say when the next poor sap sat down on the piano seat the thing sounded like a honky-tonk saloon upright. I hope that this had no bearing on the fact that the group didn't win - but as a consequence of the previous group's 'artistic expression' there were many wincing moments that jarred the enjoyment of the piece.

If I was that pianist I'd be taking the bloke out the back (helped by the piano tuner and a couple of mechs) for a tuneful, expressionistic use of the metal rods and chain.

Fair Produce

I was remarkably restrained I think, in my recent Craft show purchases. Even though I left carrying at least three bags full it all packed down to one bag of luscious yarns.

In the background, courtesy of Sarah's stand, we have three skeins of lovely Colinette Fandango in Nutmeg shade, destined for a top-down, cap sleeve, summer top.

On the left is an little known Chinese brand from the Prestige yarn stall; Fantasia Cronos, 60% wool 40% silk, going for a bargain, how could I resist?

And last but definitely not least; 7 balls of lovely organic Pakucho Cotton in the Dk Green shade. This is destined for a Kitty or Glampyre pattern.

The only other purchase of note was 3 skeins of Lightweight mohair boucle from Claire Patterson Designs that are to be customed dyed and which will eventually, (hopefully) result in a version of this vintage '60's jacket.

This little leaflet from a St Vinnie's shop has on the back a classy "jacket-suit" called Park Lane. Very sophisticated and obviously designed for a flat-chested, slim-hipped androgyne.

Jazz Knit

Tonight saw the culmination of a long day's work lighting the Freedman Jazz Fellowship . It was in the Studio and was one of the few times I can actually design and operate a show I like.

There were 4 contestants ranging from ear-plugs to awesome. I had my favourite but as the winner is not announced until the next day I am still unaware who actually gets the lucrative prize money. I'm pleased to report that the Jo Sharp rib progressed during this time. I kept the rig very simple, 3 colour wash and a few open white specials with minimal changes during the set (the musicians are on show, not my lighting) so I was able to get in a few rows with each number.

I'm not sure, though, if Jazz and knitting really go together. I know that Franklin has written a very thorough and entertaining post on the appropriate Opera Arias for Knitting but I can't say that one could be done for Jazz knitting. Tonight's performance was a bit like this this yarn - all thick and thin and varying colours. I spent a lot of time tinking my 2k1p rib as I didn't have a good flow. This may be because I had to change from 2k1p to 2p1k on the return row so my concentration was out of wack. Knitting in the round is a much easier way of doing uneven rib, methinks.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Stash, Stash, lovely Stash.
Nothing quite like it to use up the cash.
Koigu and Noro,
Kallund comes tomorrow.
It will outlast me, my wonderful Stash.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Not happy Jo!

I'm doing wonderful things on the Jo Sharp Ribbed Wrap Jacket, I've got the right tension and everything is going swimmingly when the first ball finishes waay before the diagram suggest. Am I doing it too tight - have I left a swatch somewhere and used up the yarn? Google the garment in question and find the errata - 4 bloody balls in this colour instead of 2!! Not happy Jo!

Monday, June 12, 2006

You can't take the sky from me

Wash: A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything.

Jayne: Damn straight.
Firefly: Episode 13, The Message

I, like a lot of other knitters on the net, am a Sci Fi Geek. You name it, I have watched it, several times and then again and again when it comes out on video. I am not therefore surprised to see a strong correlation between knitting, geekdom and Science Fiction. Look at how many patterns there are for all the versions of the scarf from Dr Who. (I have plans to investigate this further one day.) >

My favourite Sci Fi series, short lived though it was, is Joss Whedon's Firefly. I could rave on for hours about the great music, fantastic casting, marvelous scripts etc, etc, but I'll restrict myself to the costumes. In this series they are as good as the scripts - they range from Inara's sumptuous Indian silks to the ubiquitous Browncoat. In knitted items the most famous (or infamous) is Jayne's earflap hat which, I think, does a disservice to the craft>

I much prefer this outfit that River wears in Episode 4; "Safe". It's a loose, Mohair jumper over a cotton dress that she twirls about in, during a fiddle dance. The fact that she is a slim, slip of a girl that anything would look good on does not dissuade me from planning to make one of these one day. It looks fairly basic; boat neck with bell sleeves and big needles. It's on the to-do list.
(I wonder if there's there an acronym for projects that are planned but not quite started yet?)

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Here are some of the participants of the highly successful World Wide Knit in Public day held at the Sidewalk Cafe at the Sydney Opera House. This was a very handy location for me as I was able to duck out between shows and partake in a bit of WW public knitting. This slightly damp lot are proudly displaying various bits of knitted goods or their KIP t-shirts and bags. Check out other photos on Kris's or the SSK site.

The dampness was not restricted to the world outside - inside I was learning the cues for a wonderful show called 'Vula' which means Moon in Fiji. The show is "Performed on a stage flooded with water, it combines magic and illusion with traditional song and dance to create a captivating piece of Pacific Island visual theatre." Normally water and electricity don't mix so I'm nervous when the entire stage is one giant wading pool surrounded by lights and leads. The performance is so captivating though, that my fears, though not allayed, are forgotten as I listen and watch the beautiful singing and sinuous movements of the 4 performers.

I don't have much time for knitting either as it's an uncued show - I have to do all the lighting cues myself and after my long stint on House Lights in the Bennelong Palace I'm a bit out of practice. "Wot - you mean I have to concentrate!" I'll have to find a nice simple garter stitch on big needles project to keep on the go.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Dolores has arrived!

Dolores arrived in the mail today and brought with her some lovely rain. In the background you can see all our trees and plants celebrating her arrival. Some people might view the prospect of grey skies and drizzling rain as a depressing prospect but in these parts it is a cause for celebration.

Now, if it can only last for the next few days with maybe a sunny break on Saturday around one o'clock? Especially in the vicinity of the Sidewalk Cafe near the Opera House where Dolores will be in full display along with all the other proud Knitters in Public, life will be good...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Welcome to the Bennelong Point Palace!

Welcome to the Bennelong Point Palace where tonight we feature the one and only Englebert Humperdink!

I get all the great gigs don't I? Once again I was relegated to the arduous task of House Lights - which I must say I carried out with finesse and flair.

I was able to do some much needed swatching though - and the yarns were once again treated to the crooning of “Please Release Me”, followed by “There Goes My Everything”, “The Last Waltz”, “A Man Without Love" and many more. What more can a Mohair blend ask for?

Some progress!

I finally made it Rubi & Lana's for a Saturday Morning knit meet - Sally and I were the only ones there but we had a pleasant time surrounded by lovely wool and knitterly items. I'm toying with the start of some Mittens made from R&L Laceweight yarn and Sally is doing a scarf in Lana Grosso, Meilenweit Mega Boots yarn in a lovely autumn colorway.
I find being in a wool shop for an extended time is a bit like going to a Spa, or having a bush walk. I come out feeling all refreshed and invigorated.

I have made some progress on a number of items lately - especially the Raglan, top-down, this-bloody-sleeve-will-never-be-right jumper - it's finished!.

Now that this bottleneck had been cleared I can move on to more things; such as the two pairs of mittens I made from the lovely Debbie Bliss Cashmerino I received from Lara; sleeve swatching for the ribbed wrap jacket by Jo Sharp ; and continuing on with the Studio Mohair Cardi. The addition of the progress bars on my sidebar may help me maintain this momentum - thanks to Ann of 1 More Row for the code link.