Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Week that was

So much for me posting regularly! I had planned to post on my birthday, but somehow even though I didn't plan anything to celebrate, a lot happened!

So here I am. 

What is Shazmina working on.  Clapotis number six. The final one for a while. Although I do have to go back and finish 3 & 4! I am further along than this photo suggests.

I really need to make myself a beanie or beret, some fingerless gloves and another warm scarf. So they are going to be my alternate projects while completing the above mentioned project. 

Most excitingly, I have my very own design in mind for the scarf. Its based on a few things I have seen around the traps on different knitted items, but putting them all together as a scarf. Will tell you more when (and if) it turns out as I hope it will.

I also have the Xmas socks for sister. I really must start those! 

So what did I score for my birthday? Well I got a gift voucher from here from my lovely sister to buy a swift! An invitation to John Lewis to purchase
some birthday yarn from the lovely Margot. My friend Woolly Jitters cooked me a Roast lunch & arranged a visit to Socktopus, where she gave me a skein of Louet Mooi, seriously the most squishiest, rub it all over you body yarn I have ever touched! I got some lovely flowers from some work colleagues, a bottle of Moet from my boss (that was a really nice surprise). 

And to top it off I bought myself some Hazel Knits sock yarn from Socktopus. 

So, the festival of Shazmina, which lasted a week, was a rip roaring success! Loved every minute of it. Loved all my birthday messages from my peeps at home (I really do miss you all!). Loved it! 

It has made the perfect start to this next year, and made me a lot less nervous about celebrating my next birthday. The beginning of my 40th year on this planet has been perfect and I owe a lot of it to you! Bring on 40!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Send Me Some Sock Love. Please!

I need some sock love.

I need a bloody lot of sock love. I have to finish this pair, that is most important.
And then I have to knit two pairs for my sister. Unfortunately I made the mistake of saying, "What sort of socks would you like oh sister of mine?" To which she preceded to say, "Oh you know, over the knee, and can wear them with these weird shoes I bought that have a separate toe thingos, can you make them for me?" 

"Of course"

Of bloody course! What the flippin' heck was I thinking?? Oh I know what you are saying, well you are Shazmina Bendi designs........

Flippin' heck people! Flippin'. Bloody. Heck!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Snow is forecast for Sunday, eeeeeek!

Ok. At first I thought it would be fun, living in a cold country. Knitting alot. 

But the reality is I cant knit quickly enough to make items to wear in this bloody cold weather. I mean if I could knit a jumper in a week while working full time, maybe I could do it. 

But I cant. I have to pay rent. Which reminds me I need to buy a ticket in the Euro Millions. Winning 85 million GBP may free up some time for knitting!

But I digress.

I have been knitting, I have actually even finished something (don't faint!). The Lace Scarf from the Debbie Bliss knitting magazine. 2 skeins of Noro Cash Iroha, in a dark purple (112). I would definitely knit this pattern again. It is easy, quick and would make a great gift. Debbie really knows her stuff!

And now I am focussing on Clap(otis) number six. Maybe I will stay inside on Sunday and knit while I watch the snow.

Snow. Freakin' snow, people!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What is Happening in Shazmina Land?

So after a gentle nudge from Bells (ok, it still took me over a week to post), here I am. 

So what has Shazmina been up to? Well there was a trip to Madrid. 

I took with me Clap(otis) number 5. It was a hit and looked really wonderful on the the fabulous Kel. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos, but am working on getting some on location in it's new home town.

So now I am working on the Lacy Scarf from Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine. For me. Yay! I am using Noro Cash Iroha in 112 (dark purple) colourway. It is going to look fab with my green autumn/spring coat. 

Next project in line is Clapotis 6. I am making it in some Silk/Merino from The 
Knittery. And then next in line is a Hemlock blanket in Cascade Ecoyarn in Latte colourway for a friends wedding present. And then there are the mad socks that are a gift for my sister. Over the knee socks, with a separate big toe. Japanese style. when will I ever learn!!

So that is about it for me at the moment. I pledge to make regular updates with the crafty goings on at casa Shazmina Bendi. That is my promise to Bells. And myself!!   

Saturday, October 04, 2008


I have just found out why they call this country Old Blighty.

It is freakin cold people!! Average temperature this week in London, in the middle of the day, 12 degrees & windy. 

AND to top it off, the kind souls that make the decisions in my apartment complex have decided that the Boiler needed replacing. NOW. (insert really bad words here). I of course had a summer doona, so had to purchase another last night. As I write I am snuggled up under my fabulous doona, the filling is made from corn starch (a renewable resource). Toasty and saving the environment. Love it! 

Oh yes, and I REFUSE to use the word Duvet. It is on my banned list, along with bespoke (that is a whole other story!).

So what have I been knitting. Trying to finish Clapotis 5 (& have now lined up Clapotis 6). I finished a scarf for a friends birthday. You cant see the colours well, but it is made from Noro cash Iroha (shade 112) which is a lovely deep purple, and some Noro Silk Garden, ina colourway I cant remember. I used a BDK pattern, Noro Silk Garden Scarf, and modified it slightly (I think I CO less stitches).
I have been buying yarn, mostly to release back into the wild. Well ok into other peoples stashes. I was going to post a picture, but I don't want to spoil the surprise!!

And then there are these socks to finish.  And a whole lot of other socks I want to start!! 

Bring it on Knitting Goddess! BRING IT ON!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sounds of Silence

It has been a while. 

I have been waiting.  I have been knitting baby things.  

I have been homesick. 

I have been on holidays in Prague.

But I am back in London. The weather has changed and I am back to knitting big people things. More on that later.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I Have a Secret...

I have de-stashed. Wonders will never cease! I have sent a beautiful skein of yarn away to a new home. I am feeling just a little bit abandoned. Rejected even.

This little beauty is winging it's way to an unsuspecting knitter.
mwahahaha! I know who it is, and you have no clue. nah nah na nah na!
I like the idea that the mystery knitter is sitting at home. With no idea that a little surprise is sneaking, ever so quietly, their way.

I am the knitting fairy.

Love it!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Yarn Whisperer

I have a LYS. 

My very own LYS!! SQUEEEEAAAAAL!!!!

Stash Yarns are located in Putney, and I have to say they are lovely!! They are also online so check them out here

The owner was ok when I fondled. She was ok when I rubbed the beautiful Handmaiden seasilk & Shibuiknits on my bosom. And the Mission Falls, well lets just say I got up close and personal!! ;)

And then I got the best knitting tip ever. When you knit your gauge, wear it inside you bra to make sure it doesn't itch your sensitive bits. Kinky I know, but you just know it feels soooooo good!

I bought some of this Fybrespates Dream sock yarn. Hand dyed in Wales, it is made from the wool of Bluefaced Leicester sheep. i really have to check these sheep out! It is so soft and squishy and the two colourways I bought are beautiful. I love this yarn! Sigh, they are only temporarily in my stash as they are to be gifted to a couple of gorgeous knitters I know.

I can't believe how good I was in this store! They had Shibuiknits in the store!! AND Koigu in colours I love!!! But I abstained. for the time being anyway!!

I will go back there very soon and buy some koigu for me. And some Art yarns. And some Shibuiknits. And some Mission Falls. And then there was the Blue sky Alpacas...............

Sunday, July 06, 2008


This is how I am spending my weekend.

A good book.

And coffee.

I know it seems sacrilegious, reading about the English and drinking coffee, but I love it! Monmouth Coffee, the best I have found in London. AND the only place you can order a flat white AND they know what you are talking about!! 

This book was recommended to me by a German man I work with. Written by an English Anthropologist, it looks at quaintly
 english behaviour (the stuff that is driving me nuts!). I am enjoying it so far, cant wait until I get to the chapter about sex!! ;)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Did I hear the word Sale??

In the UK there is a store called John Lewis. A lot like Myer....... but on yarn steroids (yarnoids??)

The biggest store, on Oxford Street in London has a yarn section that defies description. It has THE biggest display of Rowan that I have ever seen. And yes, Rose Red, I fondled. I squeezed. And I gently caressed my bosom with the beeeeooooootiful Rowan yarn. And the Debbie Bliss. Noro. Mirasol.

This photo cant convey how much yarn there is.  Maybe there are bigger displays with more yarn. But this blew my mind. More impressive than that shop in the centre of Sydney that shall remain nameless.
And this week they are having a Summer Sale. Yes, that is what I said, it is Summer over here! We had a heat wave today, two consecutive days over 24 (today was 26!).

Mostly it was Rowan , Jaeger and Debbie Bliss cotton yarn on sale. But the real exciting news is this. I got 8 skeins of Noro Cash Iroha (black) for 30 pounds!  That is just over AU$60! Yay for me!!!

And Nora, guess what I am going to make from it?? 

ps the correct answer is a certain knitting pattern printed in February in the S'n'B desk calendar!!!
pps These photos are of only part of the yarn available. I was too overwhelmed to take an more. I needed a quite moment to reflect and fondle!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wherever I Lay My Head

So, finally I have got out & about and have taken some photos. I thought I would show you the place I now call home. This is my bedroom window, blinds closed because my room is a mess (currently known as the pit of despair!).
Kind of nice from the outside, huh! I live in a "private estate" as the committee (or grand dames of the heath, as I like to call them) keep telling us. We have had a couple of notes (kindly written on with compliments slip) letting us know that we need to fix our curtains and not hang washing in the window (our dryer is broken & we are waiting for landlord to fix it). So many rules for living here, & I think you can probably guess how I feel about rules!! :)

And here is the front of our lovely apartment, that is the lounge room bay window. The estate has just over 100 apartments, each building has 3 floors. It also has a couple of 
tennis & squash courts as well. Very posh huh!!  

As I said, it is a place to live and I love being surrounded by the heath, the trees and open space make me feel like I don't actually live in London. I am guessing that is why lots of Aussies, Kiwis and Saffas (Sth Africans) live in Putney.

I promise when I have cleaned my room I will take some inside photos. I had to take advantage of the sunny weather today, who knows when that will happen again. ;)

Monday, June 23, 2008

On knitting & Teenage Angst

Isn't blogging a funny thing?

Like life really. Two different people can go to the same shop and have totally different experiences. And you think it would end there. But no, they then feel the need to blog about it, and trash anyone who has a different experience or opinion of that shop. (Yes I am making a vague reference to a blog I recently read that trashed a different yarn store in London that I have yet to visit. I know, hard to believe that I have yet to visit a yarn store in London, but it is sadly true!)

I have been trying to decide whether to blog about my experience of going into iKnit. It wasn’t good. I didn’t like it. Mainly because the customer service was non existent. Ok to clarify, I did not experience any customer service. Many people in London really like this store, I think I am going to sit on the fence for the moment.

My two experiences of this store (once going to a S’N’B session and once to the store while they were having a S’N’B session) so far have left me cold. I felt ignored. Like the new kid at a new school, when the other kids look at you but no one stops and says hello.

It wasn’t inclusive, or fun or warm and welcoming. But I am wise enough to know that those were just my expectations of how I wanted it to be and not the reality I experienced. And then there is the reality of those people who love the place and go back for more. Neither of us is wrong, nor right, just have different experiences of the same shop.

So while it may not be MY favourite place to shop for yarn in London, it is the favourite shop of many avid knitters. I will go back if I need something specific from there. And I will DEFINITELY be going to see the Yarn Harlot (sorry guys, had to slip that in!!). And maybe sometime soon I will try, again, to go to a S’N’B session and get over my teenage angst and insecurities about not fitting in. And actually say:

‘My name is Shazza, I am Orstraalian and I knit. Can I join your gang??’

So if you are in London, definitely go and have a look at iKnit. You may just have a fantastic time!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Just a quick one!

ok, it has been a while.
Lots been happening.
I have had my first WTF am I doing here moment.
Shortly followed by the I hate this place, the English are mad I tell you (mad, mwahahahaha!).

And now I am more settled.

I have a place to live. Here:

View Larger Map

Putney Heath. Right above the K in Kingston Rd. On prtsmouth rd, surrounded by heath. And I have a local pub, it is so cute, looks like it is in the country (BP, you would be so impressed!). I will post photos soon.

And about that. I am staying with a friend in Surbiton (out woop woop) and have left the cable for my camera in Golders Green (less out woop woop, but in North London). So no photos at the moment.

And Rose Red, I have many new shoes to show you.

And yarn, OMG the yarn!

And then there is this.

He he he! Yes I am evil, but you know you love me anyway!!

Missing you all, more than you know!

Monday, April 14, 2008

It has been a week

Since I arrived in London. 
And you will all laugh. It snowed as I arrived. 
Settle on the ground snow. 
Freeze your behind off snow. 
Bloody snow.
And I didn't have a jacket. 

Who comes to London with out some kind of warm jacket? (I don't know Shazmina, some kind of nut job like you???). Lets just say I was thankful for a lovely pair of Fetchings (thanks Brown pants) and a wonderful sister who arrived to meet me with a coat with her. 

I have met up with one of the two knitting friends I have in London. Have got the addresses for a couple of yarn stores in London which I will be checking out this week.

So it is all happening. Slowly. But it is happening. 

More updates soon!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

You look like an Angel......

Walk like an angel
Talk like an angel
But I got wise
You're are the devil in disguise
oh yes you are
the devil in disguise

At least that is what Elvis told me last Friday night. Sigh. He sang to me. Me folks! I was in heaven! Elvis Pizza, Rushcutters Bay. Loads of fun, I had the best night, thanks to Brownpants for organising!! It means more than anyone will know that she arranged this for me. She is TOPS!

I do feel a bit devilish though, it has been so long since I have written a post and I have no excuse. Yes I have had a lot on, but that is not a valid reason. My brain has just been so full I have had no space left to post until now. And even now I have no craft to report on.

I have however, made time to read your blogs. Even if I didnt write a message I was there. Lurking. For a while I felt sad, because I am going to miss you all while I am in the UK. Until I realised that the inernet exists there as well (like, duh shazmina!). So then I was happy again. I dont have to say goodbye to you all (I HATE goodbyes) it is just catch you soon!

I fly out on Saturday, and promise to try and post at least once more before I go. And when I get on the other side, I promise to make contact. I will read AND post on your blogs. I will set up the supply chain for all that yummy Rowan, Debbie Bliss and Colinette yarn. I will be good.

No more devil in disguise for this little angel!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I have been meaning to post.

No really, I have. But there is sooooo much going on. I feel like there is limited brain capacity to do anything except rock back and forth murmuring "make it all go away"!

No seriously. MAKE.IT.GO.AWAY.

I have a HUGE list of things to do before I leave. HUGE. Well actually there are several lists going on.

  • The craft list.

  • The packing up house list.

  • The selling my goods and chattels list.

  • The finding Meena a home list.
So many lists, so little time! Due to current limited brain capacity, and overwhelming feelings of stress, I have now decided to split the craft list in two.
  • The Craft before I go list

  • The Craft when I get there list.
And to make it hard to start anything on the second list, I am planning to post all items on that list to the UK in preparation for my arrival.

Sounds sensible. So unlike me!

Had a great weekend. Mrs Bendi came to visit. We saw Billy Elliott (those kids are soooooo talented!) ate lots of dumplings & Tapas, bought a lot of fabric. ALOT! Why? I have no idea, especially as I am on the countdown to my (imminent) departure. Generally we had a great time! I have found the older I get, the more I appreciate my Mum & the more I enjoy spending time with her. Guess it takes a while to realise how cool your parents really are!

Beanie pattern by Jo Sharp (cant remember the book due to current limited brain capacity) 8ply silk merino from The Knittery in Charcoal colour way. And yes, it is on the craft before I go list!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Clap(otis) Disaster

On Friday I discovered that I had "over shot" the increase rows of the latest Clap(otis), you know the lace weight one. As I wondered why the bloody thing was taking so long to knit, I re-read the pattern notes.

So, you know the increase part of the pattern where you knit 6 repeats (12 rows in a repeat).

Well I knit an extra 7 REPEATS!

That is 84 extra increase rows on a lace weight Clap(otis) people!

And that is all I am going to say about that!

Monday, January 07, 2008


I am quietly freakin' out. Not because it is January 8 and I am in the middle of our bonus "season" here at work (yes, there are weather systems associated with our bonuses!). Not because I am still completing Christmas craft (don't ask & my apologies to those people who received their gifts in 2008. Woops!).

I am, just quietly, freakin' out because I am moving to London. Yep, the United Kingdom. Home of Rowan and Colinette. And I am planning to be in London for April 1, 2008.

And now you know why I am freakin' out.

I have to renew passport. Apply for Ancestry visa. Sell ALL my goods and chattels. Find a home for Princess Meena (trying not to think about that one, it makes me very sad).

And I have already hit minor hurdles. NEVER let your passport expire. I did and so far I have had one passport interview which was a disaster. Photo was wrong. AND I signed outside of the box. I wish I could show you all just how many mm's of my signature was outside the box. Bureaucracy! So now I am trying to organise another photo (I have already cut up 1 set of photos) and new forms.

And I am trying not to think about the people I will miss while I am gone. I keep telling myself that I will still be talking to you all via blogland. And that I will become your supplier of Colinette and Rowan (OMG I am trying to be a pusher like Rose Red!).

But I am just freakin' out. I don't like goodbyes. Have made too many in my life. I think it is because we moved around a bit when I was a kid ( I am an Army brat), that I have a particular hatred of them. Anyways I try and avoid them if I can, but this time I am going to be brave and face it head on.

And yes, I am excited. Excited about meeting men with accents (ok, I have a particular weakness for English/Irish/Scottish accents. And I want to develop a weakness for Spanish accents!). Travelling around Europe. Spending time getting to know my sister again. And knitting big warm woolly things for cold winters. YUM!!!!

Crikey! Lots to do, lots to knit, before I go.

So what am I up to craft wise at the moment?

  • Xmas craft. Still.
  • And then some more Xmas craft! Still!
  • Finding homes for more of these little fellas.

This is Melvin. He recently attended a NYE party, where he totally disgraced himself after too many G & T's. Bad Alien bear!

And there is the never ending lace Clap(otis), a Le Slouch, another lace Clap(will I ever learn??) and the beginning of Birthday craft. How can it be that I know soooooooo many people who are born in March?? What is that about??

So as I practice my deep breathing and meditation techniques, you will understand why I am not writing any NY resolution lists or goals. I have so many lists going at the moment it would get lost in the crowd!!

So the only thing I am promising myself, and you my gentle readers, is that I WILL visit Colinette in Wales in 2008!!