All about hoodies

I haven’t even finished my first jumper and I’m already thinking about another one.
Which is surprising because it’s taken me ages to get to the sleeves and I’m not enjoying knitting them.

But a tweet from a friend asking about knitted hoodies led me down this rabbit hole.

All photos are from ravelry and the photos link to the patterns.







Full disclosure

I was actually pleasantly surprised when I started cataloging all my unfinished objects.
It wasn’t as bad as I expected.

I only have 4 projects unfinished on the needles that I don’t intend to frog.

I have Parcel which has no more excuses because it now has pretty stitch markers.


I also have two more rounds to go on my waves blanket.



I have a pair of vanilla latte socks which I’ve turned the heel on one to discover that it’s too big for it’s intended recipient my dear ol dad. But fortunately it fits the big boofer size 12 feet of HeWhoFishes.
So he’s going to get a pair of socks and I’ll have to make another pair for dad.


And then there’s mini mania.
I love the effect of the slip stitch so much that I keep stopping to stare at it. I just can’t get into a rhythm with the yarn forward, slip, yarn back stitch.
So it’s frustrating and in the naughty corner.



But it’s so pretty!!

So they’re the four projects which I want to finish.
And already I’m thinking about casting on something quick and gratifying for those moments which will probably happen really soon.
But I will be strong!!!!

(I’m fairly sure that this are the only UFOs around. I’m not counting the meerkat I need to seam up because that’s a lost cause. I also have only checked the back of the couch and my yarn storage containers. I haven’t checked handbags or my bed side table or any other random places I could have left an UFO)



knitting is awesome

Knitting is trending today due to photos of the Australian Prime Minister being published in Women’s Weekly.
Rather than pick fights with random people on twitter (never a wise idea) I’m channeling my annoyance into reasons why knitting is awesome.

Image links to shorpy

And then I got distracted by pretty yarn and all my anger faded.

Which is the number one reason knitting it awesome. Pretty yarn.

etsy link here
-it’s relaxing
-it’s good for my mental health
-it makes marathoning tv shows somewhat productive
-it makes watching all 5 days of test match cricket somewhat productive
-you can make things while you wait at places
-you can’t fidget and knit at the same time
-you can pretend to save money by making things you see in shops (when really by the time you add up time and yarn$ you haven’t saved anything)
-learning new things
-all the geeky patterns
-the heightened sense of awareness of other people’s knitwear
-other knitters, even if you have nothing else in common there’s knitting
-that smugness whenever you see someone knitting in tv or books
-and for someone who spends her work day on a computer I really like being able to say “I made that”

And the #knittingsongs hash tag.



I love being a knitter


My Ode to AFL

For my lovely blog readers who are not from Australia, you may be wondering what on earth that video I posted yesterday was all about. Or what are the events leading up to a group of burly gentlemen standing in a circle singing (I use that term loosely) an old show tune and throwing around powerade.

Allow me to explain a few things about a sport I love, Australian Rules Football.

Apart from being one of the greatest sporting codes in the world (cricket is a close second, nearly equal first), it has it’s own set of quirks which I think make it pretty special, which aren’t found in a lot of other sports.

The Banner
Slogans are chosen and thought up, and each week the cheer squad will craft together a banner from sticky tape and crepe paper.
Then all of that hard work is promptly destroyed by the players running through it before the game.
Last year I was part of the crew to hold up the banner which was really awesome, but it’s a pretty strange tradition.
Here’s a video celebrating a players 100 games achievement.

The Crowd
With the record crowd numbers up at the 100 thousand marks, the crowds can be deafening.
But we don’t have set cheers, or songs to chant.
The only thing close to a coherent cheer is when the crowd come together to yell “ball!!” in an attempt to convince the umpire to pay a ‘holding the ball’ free kick.

This phenomenon even happens in pubs where yelling is very unlikely to influence an umpires decision, but we like to think we can try.

We also yell out players names like “Breust” and “Dew” so it sounds like we’re booing our own team.

The Point For Trying
You get six points for kicking the ball through the two big sticks, and 1 point if you hit the post or get it through the shorter sticks.

If we gave out points for difficulty, some of these would be more than 6 points.

The Human Step Ladder

When you don’t have quite enough players to go out and play a full game, it usually turns into step ladder practice or ‘king of the pack’, where one person kicks the ball to everyone else and they all try to catch it.
Kind of like the bouquet toss at a wedding.

Invariably someone will try and emulate the boys on TV and try and use a smaller kid as a step ladder.
The video explains the high flying mark, and why Mum’s everywhere don’t want their kids playing AFL.

The Song
After the burly gentlemen have run through crepe paper, had the crowd pretend to be expert umpires, been given points for trying, and used each other as step ladders, one team wins and one team loses. (Except if it’s a drawn grand final when we come back and play the following week. Seriously that happened once.)
After one team wins they all stand in a circle and sing a song. (See yesterday’s post.)
Each club has a song, and which songs are good and bad is a subject best left for Internet comment sections and arguments with strangers in pubs.
I (unsurprisingly) love my team’s song. I think it’s perfect for pub singing and fist pumping.

These are just some of the reasons I love Australia’s game. I plan social engagements around football games, will share a football opinion with anyone who listens, and I will judge you on what your football team is.

And just in case you think that this all sounds a bit namby pamby, I’ll leave you with a video which demonstrates just how tough these guys are (and without any padding, shin guards, or even cups!)


Hottest 100

Well it’s that time of the year again.

Time to decide what what my top 10 songs of the year were (that were played by Aus radio station Triple J, and were popular enough to be included on their shortlist of songs to vote for.)

Some songs which I loved last year didn’t make the triple j list, (Trail of Dead) but I’ve learnt that if its not on the list, then it’s not going to be in the top 100, and my vote isn’t worth much.

It’s for this reason that I don’t believe the hottest 100 is anything more than the top songs which have been recommended for us by Richard Kingsmill.
Still triple j’s hottest 100, is better than any of the commercial radio stations and an Australia Day tradition.

So within those constraints here is my top 10 and close contenders.


I’ll be hoping to hear these songs whilst enjoying a couple of cold beverages with my nearest and dearest (and a paddling pool for good measure) this Australia Day.

It’s live streamed if anyone cares to listen (jan 26), or you can check out my top 51 shortlist to fill your ears with rad tunes.

lets talk!
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What were your top songs of 2012??

13 in 2013

These type of posts are dime a dozen at this time of year. Everyone is enthusiastic about what the year will bring. I’ve always set informal goals for myself.

• I have the usual goals that I set every year. Exercise more, eat more ethically, live more sustainably, thrift more/buy less, have a cleaner house.
• I have work goals, which are too boring to share on this blog but usually revolve around completion of projects and implementing process changes (told you it was boring).
• I have my eye on buying a house in the next 2 years so I’m working towards saving for that.

But I don’t want to blog about that stuff.

So here is my list of 13 fun and crafty things to do in 2013.

1. Open my little etsy shop.
2. Host a giveaway on my blog (this one should be easiest! Stay tuned)
3. Finish Start the knitting for my Pay It Forward post. (Who knew finding the right project for two of my knitting idols would be so difficult!)
4. Knit 12 pairs of socks. 1 for each month.
5. Sew some cushions. 6 to be exact. (Fortunately I have a friend who is in need of cushions.)
6. Write a knitting pattern and post it on Ravelry.
7. Post a tutorial or a how-to guide.
8. Try a new craft, or 2, or 3.
9. Create an artwork for my apartment
10. Embroider a whole song (lyrics) onto something.
11. Sew a garment from a pattern, and wear it.
12. Read a new book every month. (something I haven’t read before)
13. Crochet a granny square.

Does anyone else have a list of things to do this year?
I’d love to hear about it.


lets talk!
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Things my left arm is useful for

It’s been 4 days of being one handed. And in that time I’ve discovered how little I valued my left hand.

My right hand gets all the glory. It’s stronger, automatically gets the jar opening jobs, and (when I used to play piano) all the pretty melodies.

The left arm is not so useful. Yes it would hold stuff. But I’ve since discovered a whole heap of stuff my left arm is useful for. There’s the usual, getting dressed, cooking dinner, washing dishes which I’m milking for all it’s worth delegating to other capable members of the household, but there’s other things the left hand helps with.

* holding the spoon whilst trying to get enough liquid out of a tea bag to get it from the cup to the bin without making a mess (and another potential slip hazard)

* opening packets of biscuits which you had sticky taped closed but now it’s impossible to get the end of the sticky tape to open.

* opening an umbrella. This task is made more difficult when it’s already raining and the umbrella is sheathed in what is now referred to as The WORST INVENTION EVER!! Inevitable you will end up swallowing all pride and walking the 100m from the train station to work in the rain repeating “I am not the wicked witch of the west” underneath your breath like a mad woman.

*brushing my teeth was surprisingly not difficult. The child proof cap on my mouth wash is discriminating against one handed people and don’t get me started on flossing.

*ziplock bags are most knitters friends. But is there anything more sad* than packing up ones wip’s because they’re not going to receive any attention for a while, placing them lovingly into ziplock bags, but not being able to close them by yourself.

There are some things that you cant trust others to do.


*please read this in the spirit it was written. I am not in any way insinuating that my out of action elbow is a serious thing. I am hugely grateful that I can get good quality medical care, and that I am privileged to have 2 working arms to begin with.
I am laughing at myself and the predicament I find myself in.

lets talk!
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Pastels everywhere

Have I mentioned that next weekend I’m in Melbourne?
I probably should have because it will be the first time my Gentleman Friend and I have left the state in 2 years.

So I’m pretty excited. We’re going over to see The Shins!
Which is pretty exiting in itself.

The first birthday present I bought for my boy was a Shins wallet. It is freaking cool, but it was retired just before it was about to break. I have a feeling it may make it out of retirement for a weekend.

So I’ve been making lists and preparing.

I’ve also realised that my sister-in-law is due in another month. I swear she had at least 6 more to go, so I’ve dedicated very knitting minute to a baby’s blanket.
It’s another 10 stitch blanket.

I’m particularly fond of pastels at the moment.




lets talk!
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The versatile blogger award

I was nominated for the versatile blogger award from caity rosey who is a very talented knitter and I always enjoy reading her adventures in knitting. She has a wonderful sense of humour and I always look forward to reading her latest posts.

So I checked out the versatile blogger award website for the instructions.

“When you consider nominating a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, consider the quality of the writing, the uniqueness of the subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. Or, of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them.

Honor those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award.
Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.”

So without further ado here are 15 blogs which I read regularly and enjoy.

1- caity rosey thanks for the award!
2- when did I become a knitter always knits wonderful things
3- not all tea and scones is cooking herself through the CWA cookbook and has been the inspiration for quite a few meals in the Sparkles household
4-her name was Greta is on a bit of a break at the moment, but her blog is still a place I go for inspiration. She always finds the best stuff from around the web. (she also has a new blog which is chock full of pretty things to knit
5- sarahcastically has such a great sense of humour, some awesome tastes in music, and loves sport.
6- from wonderland with love takes the most beautiful photographs. Her blog is always so beautiful.
7-sweet spy necessity makes me want to sew better
8-living apockylypse is a geeky, multicrafter who is always on the go
9- silver sparkly lining bakes cupcakes good enough to eat through a computer screen
10- magical day dream gives me polka-dot envy.
11- wee pleasures another great knitting blog. Anyone that knits cabled socks is a sorcerer to me
12- scathingly brilliant has a gorgeous blog, with gorgeous pink hair.
13- one sheepish girl knits beautiful things also.
14- dots or stripes knits, bakes, and crotchets
15- the hairpin I just love it so, even if it’s not a blog in the strictest sense

And so 7 things about me.
1 I eat lemons. I love the way they finish off a meal.
2 I hate brushing my teeth, but it has to be done.
3 I collect tea pots and tea cups. I just need a bigger house.
4 A good hot cup of tea solves most of life’s ills
5 I have a stubby holder from most events I’ve been to. Festivals, sporting events, gigs, I have a stubby holder.
6 I’m always picking the dirt from underneath my fingernails.
7 My feet are always cold. Always.

I’m a sucker for a quiz meme

I love an opportunity to talk about books, and this meme is courtesy of sarahcastically

These are the rules, because Myspace surveys always have rules:
1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favorite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to pass the Q&A on to: Well if you want to continue it, go forth!

Favorite book cover:


I know I’ve spoken about this book before, but it’s influence on my life was so profound.
And it really does have a great cover.
It sums up this book so well.

What are you reading right now?
I’m still trying to read the Sweetheart Season by Karen Joy Fowler.
I’ve started it so many times, but each time I get to the end and have no idea what has happened.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
I have a lot of books which need a first read but I’ll probably end up reading Persuasion again. It’s such a comfort book, which starts calling to me in winter.

What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to?
On my shelf I have Game of Thrones by George R Martin, The Red Queen and The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory, The Captive Queen by Alison Weir, and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams, all sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?
I have a readers digest knitting pattern book. I don’t really buy print magazines much, I prefer to read them on my iPad (love Mollie Makes).
I do have a fishing magazine and some Simpsons comics, but they’re not exactly my taste.

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?
There’s only about 3 books that I’ve taken back to the second hand bookshop, and none of them I really remember their names.
There was one i think called 20 times a lady, who had made a pact with herself to never sleep with more than 20 men, and when she gets to her 19th she figures she should have found her ‘soulmate’ by now and so hunts them all down.
It’s a flimsy premise, but the narrative style and writing style were horrible. As well as it having a really predictable ending.

What book seemed really popular but you actually hated?
Wuthering Heights. I really didn’t get that.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?
I want to be really profound and say some classic book but Milk Run by Sarah Mlynowski gets recommended the most in real life.
It’s a chick flick waiting to happen.

But seriously everyone should read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – its wonderful.

What are your 3 favorite poems?
I tried to like Walt Whitman in high school. Song of Myself I can still quote parts of. But the only poetry I’ve really read was in Lord of the Rings.

Where do you usually get your books?
I have a second hand book exchange love and hate within walking distance of my house.
But I recently bought my first ebook for my ipad (the latest Sophie Kinsella), which wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be.

Where do you usually read your books?
The couch, in bed, in the sunshine on the banana lounge, at the dinner table, doing the dishes… If I’m in the middle of a book just try and make me out it down, I dare you.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?
“Just one more chapter!” And then 5 chapters later, “just one more chapter”, until mum or dad had to put the light out, and I would read under the covers, usually until I tried to fall asleep with a book in my hands (it sounded so romantic in books, but never worked in practice), or I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
I read the Deathly Hallows twice in one day when it came out. I read all three of the Hunger Games within a week, and I’ll devour any Sophie Kinsella or Maggie Alderson novels when they come out.

Have you ever “faked” reading a book?
Not really. I’ve faked reading a book before seeing the movie, but I’m always scared someone will ask me how did you like ‘this part of the book the movie left out’.

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
Not just because of the cover, but I have hunted a particular version of a book to match a set.

What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Anything by Enid Blyton, particularly the naughtiest girl in the school series, or cherry tree farm series, or the faraway tree series.
Then later Guitar Highway Rose (above) and The Wind Blows Backwards by Mary Downing Hahn

What book changed your life?
I’d say without The Famous Five books my childhood would have been a lot more dull.

What is your favorite passage from a book?
The last line of Northanger Abbey.
That book is so full of wit and catchy one liners.

Who are your top five favorite authors?
1. Jane Austen
2. Enid Blyton
3. Sophie Kinsella
4. Maggie Alderson
5. Lauren Weisberger

What book has no one heard about but should read?
Milk Run.
Why it’s not a movie already I don’t know. Maybe because I’ve been reading and re-reading it since I was in high school I overrate it, but I still relate to it and keep finding that it strikes that balance between funny, and romantic.
It would make a great chick flick.

What are your favorite books by a first-time author?
Is this debut novels? I don’t know.

What 3 books are you an “evangelist” for?
I think everyone should read Anne of Green Gables. It’s such a wonderful series, and I’m always sad when I meet someone who has only read the first one, or hasn’t even read that. So everyone should read Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island.
You don’t get the full Anne and Gilbert story otherwise.
And the read Rilla because it’s so full of romance against a hideous backdrop.

What is your favorite classic book?
I think I’ve mentioned two of the 6 Austen’s by name, but Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey are special friends.
Pride & Prejudice because everyone needs some Darcy in their life.
Sense and Sensibility, I swing back and forth who to relate to.
Mansfield Park gets a little squicky and as for Emma, I’d rather watch Clueless.

5 other notable mentions?
1. Mad About The Boy – Maggie Alderson, I still remember reading the first chapter in the book store and laughing hysterically. This started me on the Maggie bandwagon
2. Twenties Girl – Sophie Kinsella, I know I’ve mentioned Sophie before but I never really read the shopaholic series. But I have got 4 of her others, and I think this is my favourite. It really made me laugh, and reminds me of holidays.
3. Chasing Harry Winston – Lauren Wiesberger. It has a chapter title ‘panties is a vile word’
4. Ethel Turner – Seven Little Australians. It’s an Australian classic and one of the first books to make me cry
5. The Constant Princess – Philippa Gregory. Apparently it’s the most fictionalised of the Tudor novels, but I like the story and it’s got me more interested in historical fiction, which I never was previously. But mostly I like the story, even if it isn’t true to history.

Well that’s a bit of a walk through my bookshelf. It’s been pretty culled over the years and it’s not as diverse as I would like, but I do tend to gravitate towards easy reads. And I do love a good romance story.