Archive for June, 2008


Sampler Afghan

Although I have an account on Ravelry where I post all of my knitting triumphs, I keep forgetting that not everybody has a Ravelry account, and that some people therefore have no access to the pictures and stories I post there. Furthermore, my dad recently asked me to post some of the pictures of the afghan that I knitted for my mum for her 50th birthday last year. So, for all you non-Ravelers, here it is! The design is by Melissa Leapman, and comes from her book Cables Untangled. Here are the some of the best pictures I have of it, taken mostly at mum’s place last year:

The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky (in taupe). It was knit as 24 separate centre panels (sewn together into four larger rectangles) and then flanked by two additional panels along the long sides, after which I had to pick up stitches around the edge to knit the border. I worked on it over a 6-month period, and flew home to Australia to give it to mum on her birthday last November. It’s soooooo soft and heavy and yummy and squishy! There’s also a video of a very nervous me giving it to her on You Tube:

I’d have to say that this is without a doubt my greatest knitting achievement to date. Many thanks also go to Jantine, who inspired me to start the project and even knitted one of the panels and helped with the sewing at the end.


Bike betrayal

Today I was reading Ikzalwelgekzijn, the blog of my good friend M., and I simply couldn’t resist translating this post so that non-Dutch-speakers could enjoy it too. Here it is:


My bike spent all of last month slowly but surely folding up its back wheel, and the last couple of days even included a measure of joyful tail-wagging. This morning I decided that this could go on no longer, that my fifteen-year-long-unstolen bike and I needed to part ways when I returned from my cornetto lesson. I planned to continue riding it while searching for a successor (because I’m that insensitive), and then trade it in. Possibly even for money.

But my bike is no fool, and immediately spat out a spoke once I got to the station – which then refused to let itself be dislodged, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

This made the search a great deal less complicated: my new bicycle was waiting for me in the nearest shop (a bicycle parking shed). And indeed, there was, among the enormous quantity of new and fixed-up bicycles, exactly one that I wanted. Albeit for half what I wanted to pay, but insensitivity has its price.

The men from the bike shed even wanted to lower the seat for me, replace a nut, transfer my lock and recycle my old bike. The new one rides like a dream, speeds up and brakes and rings and the stand even works. And to top it all off, I found out when returning home from singing and drinking that the light works. Wait: That The Light Works. And suddenly I realised what a terrible burden it had been, using those little lights all the time, however much genius had gone into their design.

With retroactive effect, I hereby take leave without regret from my rattletrap, the jalopy, that thing that I always carelessly parked in the slums outside the station. My Bike Light Works! Well, for now, anyway.


A note or two

The fanfare starts! A theme emerges:
A-major’s bold, heroic sound
Brings forth a line that dips and surges,
And perfect fourths and fifths abound.
To B-flat major now we scamper,
And nothing in our theme can hamper
The bass’s fierce ascent to C,
Then onwards, up to D, then E,
And back to A. But then, dramatic,
A pedal-point creates suspense,
The theme spins upward, frantic, tense,
And loses all control – ecstatic!
A grander theme I’ll never know,
Than that of Super Mario.


Bogan musical

Oh my god:

I so have to see this! Thanks Stars!


Onegin stanza

I guess some people may have wondered,
“What is Brent’s weird poetic quirk?”
Truth is that recently I’ve plundered
A piece of Alex Pushkin’s work:
Eugene Onegin, tragic tale
Of boredom, friendship, then betrayal,
Whose sonnet form’s so crystal-clear,
I’ll teach you how to write one here:
First: fourteen lines (so nothing major),
Each line’s four lilting iambs long,
Rhymes alternate – first weak, then strong;
The rhyming scheme is clear, I’d wager.
So take your pen, and come upstage
My efforts on the comments page!


Familiar Dutch bicycle friends

I was in town last week having lunch with A., and you’ll never guess who cycled by:

Cycling brass band

That’s right, it’s the mobile cycling brass band! And after they paused to play the William Tell Overture at a pub around the corner, they came back the other way:

Brass band again

They actually sounded really good. I hope they keep this up all summer!



O hail to thee, procrastinator.
When your ideas, some bad, some good,
All cry out “now”, you answer “later” –
They don’t inspire you like they should.
The ploys you could employ are many,
Like “Now’s as good a time as any!
The iron’s hot, there’s sun today,
So strike your blow and make your hay!”
Yet still your hand avoids the hammer.
You see the field and heave a sigh
And, as you watch the sun drift by,
Eschew the smithy’s clang and clamour.
O friend, what force is keeping thee
Confined to inactivity?