A word to the readers

Posted 17 January, 2016 by perigrine
Categories: archiving


Last ye…er..late 2014 I was, shall we say, ‘encouraged’ to take down my caving blog.

This was a blog I enjoyed adding to, and people (judging by site statistics) enjoyed reading. It also housed a review I was in the process of doing for the Xtar H1 light.

At least one person, a person I know, chose to ‘follow’ that blog, and subsequently took exception to something that was written in it.

This person did not come to ME about what I had written. There was always the option to leave a comment on any of those posts, as there is on this blog as well. The follower also knows my email address, and could find my mobile number with out too much hassle. And yet, chose not to get in touch. Instead, they chose to tattle to others which caused a great amount of strife. Consequences of that are still being felt. I no longer have that outlet to *talk* about things.

I deleted the blog out of respect for someone else who was put in an untenable position of go between. They were put there because the follower went to other parties with their ..concerns, and those parties went to the go between. NO ONE bothered to contact me about the words I had written.

607242 (2)

I fully expect that the same person is now following this blog. Why they would, I don’t know, but I have an excellent imagination and can come up with a multitude of reasons. Not one of them is because they are interested in hand knit socks or how to crochet a blanket.


I say to you, the readers, if you have an issue with anything I’ve written, PLEASE talk to ME about it. If not, see below:



DIY lantern wick

Posted 4 May, 2016 by perigrine
Categories: challenge, craft, knitting, salvage

Tags: , , ,


The power was out the other day up north. The person I was visiting only had candles, because they needed new wicks for their lanterns. I jokingly said to use the rope in the car for a wick(miles too thick of course), but that set my brain to thinking about how one could MAKE a wick. Happily, in the box I had some 4 ply cotton, AND the small circular needles in various sizes.

So, I tried it.

I eyed the wick remnant which was about 1cm wide. Cast on 5 stitches, which look ‘about right’ and knit about an inch of stocking stitch. Tried that in the wick hole, and it was a smidge too wide. It would work, but not well. I decreased one stitch and knit a length of about 20cm in total. I decreased one stitch at the start of each row and ended it off, leaving a length of tail for ease of pulling through.

It fed through the hole, but it still felt stiff. The knobs on the edges probably didn’t help. It was placed into the reservoir, which had diesel, since there was no lantern oil and we waited for it to wick up. The host lit it and lo! it worked! I was surprised, to say the least.

I knit another length of wick but slipped the first stitch of each row so the knobby parts weren’t there. We didn’t check to see if that worked better, because by then it was properly dark.

I think thinner cotton yarn would be better. I have some cheaper cotton that is thinner, so I might experiment by making more if I can find my 2mm needles. The only issue I can see is that the dye on the thinner yarns might burn funny or react with the diesel. (I don’t think buying ‘proper’ lantern oil will be on the cards if diesel works. And when proper lamp oil is $8 a litre versus $1.20

Lantern wick starts from $3 on eBay. $7 from an Australian seller.

DIY oil lamps. Very easy to make. Now that we know 4ply cotton works, how much fun could be had making oodles? Old salsa jar? stubby?

Looks like cotton knit t-shirt fabric works too. My mind says that will burn fast though. But it could be worth testing, if I could find some of those knit scraps from making pads. Having diesel at home would also be useful..and I don’t have that.

Cotton gauze also works apparently.

All in all, it was fun, and could be a useful ‘prepper’ thing to know.

Knitted squares

Posted 1 May, 2016 by perigrine
Categories: knitting, miscellaneous, salvage, scraps


I think I have more done since I started this post, so I will add to it as I go.

All of these went north to be put in the box. If I get another group done I’ll take those up and think about putting them together.

Grey looks ok. I don’t want it to be black, because I think it will be too dark. I did the grey edge with a single strand of 8ply and a 3.75mm hook. With the first blanket I made, I thought I would need 2 strands, like I’d knitted it in, and that really didn’t work. (I’m tempted to separate the squares of that and redo it. The only reason I’m not is the Tunisian crochet border.)

Random stuff

Posted 22 April, 2016 by perigrine
Categories: craft, ideas, knitting, miscellaneous, photography

Tags: , ,

Now that I have finished reading all of the Kathy Reichs books I ‘feel like’ knitting again. I had started a mystery ball single blanket (one piece?) but gave up, undid it and rewound into two separate balls – one plain, one variegated, and started knitting while I was away.  Since I started watching Bones (to see if they ‘matched’ the books) I decided to get on with knitting the mystery ball )which turns out to be commonly called a magic ball), and made two and a bit squares. But, I’ve run out of scrap yarn! Like, the truly scrap bits that were ‘too small’ to do much with, but too long to toss. All the golf ball – mandarin size balls are up north in ‘the box.’

Here is a link on ‘how to make your own.’ Which is only really good if you have those small bits – which I don’t.  This blog post explains, more or less, how I got my original sections. I went on a ‘yarn gathering’ spree, collecting up all those bits I’d undone, or samples I’d made, left over long tails, and sorted them into plain and variegated. The big blanket was going to be a ‘whatever comes’ one, but eventually I ended up putting a plain on a variegated ball and doubled up.

I would like to know how to DIY a magic ball from *new* yarn. I’m thinking just strip lengths of yarn off and have at it. I just have a feeling I will end up with knots in all the same places. Here is a YouTube link. This is another link that shows a way to measure. I am not using pure wool, (but I do have the tapestry yarns) I could still use the same sort of measuring though. 35 ‘wraps’ around a needle should work. Or maybe I should go half way…18? Who knows.

Last week I ‘accidentally’ bought new yarn. I tried to stick with colors that Spotlight never has. They certainly don’t have that pale apricot, and don’t have that light coffee. I rather planned to make a Sleepyhead. A rainbow one. I don’t have any babies around who might like it though. I have oodles of rainbow colors, in things I could cannibalise, so those colors weren’t necessary.

“Cow” as I call her, is growing. She knows which car brings a bag of grass for her. This means she remembers for at least 14 days. She even comes when called. I’m not sure what the plan is for her, but she will get a lot bigger, and harder to ‘handle.’ One does NOT want a pissed off full grown cow in the back yard. She will never be for milking, and if you can’t eat her…well..

The water use picture is how I envision water to be used. I grew up on tanks, so I feel ‘bad’ for ‘wasting some 14 litres to flush 400ml of wee. I don’t see the need for it.  Worse still, using FRESH DRINKING water for such. I could honestly see a long drop on site for a majority of the toilet business, and use the indoor one at night/in the rain, but still use recycled water.

So the shower would be the main consumption of tank water. The ‘kitchen’ wouldn’t use that much – maybe a litre a day for ‘cooking’ and 2L for ‘dishes.’ Chances are cooking wouldn’t always use water. Steak and coleslaw doesn’t need it. Stews and the like do..but not much. Crock pot even less. Since ‘shower’ water doesn’t end up all that grotty, it could go into a holding tank and be used for washing clothes, and perhaps the toilet. Washing machine rinse water, if needed, could be diverted to the toilet as well. From there, the laundry water would go to the garden, and the toilet water to the septic. Below the septic there is the option to plant fruit trees.

How to angle the house is an issue. I would orient it so that the maximum about of light and warmth got inside the house. Hence my dodgy picture (drawn on the freezer – I love being a grown up sometimes). The total angle for the sun is off, but not by much apparently. The total for summer solstice is 228, and winter is 138, but the distance from the horizon varies greatly. This sun angle calculator thing worked a treat. At noon on the winter solstice, the altitude of the sun from the horizon would be 25°36’24”. Which isn’t much. The owner plans to have solar, so that needs to be factored in. I’m sure there is some fancy calculator for working that out.

Last week Targa Tasmania was on. For the first time I was close enough to a section to actually see the cars. I didn’t need to see them racing, so on the side of the road near Herrick was about perfect. I was off the road, in a safe place and got a goodly view of them. I waved to people I know off Facebook😀 Half the pictures didn’t work well, but the phone was rapidly losing battery power by 9:30, and I’d only been there an hour. So, I had to have it plugged in to the stereo cable, rather than the USB port…coz ..SOMEONE…didn’t have the 2m long cord with them. Oops. Quite often there were log trucks in my view, and there were oodles of people who didn’t know/realise the road was closed not far past me. It took ME until about the last 5 cars to twig I could have stood there, in my hi-vis gear, and told them.

Well, that is enough waffling. I should get the bin out since it doesn’t look like I’m going anywhere, and wash the towels. Then maybe make a mystery ball. I like the name mystery ball coz it will be a mystery as to what color comes next.

on housing

Posted 20 April, 2016 by perigrine
Categories: ideas

Tags: ,

With the advent of a block of land, undeveloped even, to potentially build on, and presumably live on, thoughts went to “what can be lived in?”

First port of call were containers. Good, solid and …pokey. A quick Google shows that one can have a container from about $2100. That’s great, but it still needs to get on site. Some where or other I found/heard that it would be about $500 for transport. A single 20″ container has a floor space of just 13m². Doable, if you have just a change of clothes and a saucepan. A double bed, for comparison, is 2.5m². (metres square, square metres??) Either way, there is only about 10 square metres left if you toss a bed in.

Ok, but its SO CHEAP! buy…two! That increases the floor space, but adds another 500 for transport. Rumor had it that you *have* to have a independent roof. Not sure of that cost, but up there I expect. Add in the windows, at least one person size door and glass slinging door for a short end, and you have added a great deal of money to your ‘cheap’ house. Lets not forget that you have to install all of those. Don’t ask me what a grinder and associated tools cost (or builder).

I had visions of a V/L type. Something like this, with the corner join being solid glass and pointed to the north. The idea being that the morning sun would reflect off the ‘opposite’ glass and reflect down the length of the dwelling, and the reverse happening at the other end of the day. It would still be squishy though, and bathroom placement was horrible to work out. I thought that ‘later’ another container could be put on top of the ‘bedroom’ wing and the ‘main bedroom’ could move upstairs, leaving the ground level one free for ‘office.’

Outdoor bathrooms came into play to free up some inside space. This and this were two we liked. I/we thought the sun would do an outstanding job of heating the stone walls for ambient heating. Of course, an outdoor wood heated bath is also nice – but a bit impracticable for daily use.

My sister mentioned Earth ships to me. This sounded good!  This would be ideal. There are tons upon tons of scrap tyres available, probably just as many glass bottles. But…probably a steep learning curve. I ‘designed’ one. Living/kitchen about a foot lower than the ‘wings’. Left wing housing an office, bathroom and laundry. Right wing housing the bedroom with an en-suite, maybe a spare room for guests. Lots of work though.

After that I did the research, finding the Mother Earth News series about buying real estate. They mentioned kit homes, so I went looking into those. I found the Simon, and Dorrigo, and the Retreat. The Carnival on this page…(well, maybe, that one looks too big). The owner seemed to think these had potential, and at costs similar to what a container conversion would cost, without all the extra work, I had a closer look at ones in Tasmania. Statewide constructions (Pioneer looks good) sell them, as do Kit Homes Tasmania. The Darwin here is about 10,000. Somewhere I found that for one of these kit homes, you got 37ish square metres of space, versus 2 x containers having 27ish, for much the same sort of price. Kit homes come with a roof, so that isn’t an an additional cost. Yay.

I contacted a Tasmanian one and they actually called me back. For the one I asked about, it was going to cost some 20,000 to ‘lock up stage’ PLUS 1800 for freight. There was some thing about if it was going through the bank, the accredited builder would be included. If buying outright (I think) you could do an online course and put it together yourself.

A caravan was another thought. But…they get pricey. And really, where would one put everything *else*? Your full size fridge? tv? bed? For moving out of your parents house and starting fresh, yeah, you could do it.

I’ve just emailed Rainbow Building Solutions for a price on one of their garages. They do houses too apparently. A garage might for ‘for now’ and build a more stable house ‘later.’

From what research I’ve been able to do, so far, with no guidelines, the average cost to put the most basic dwelling up is about 20,000. On top of that price, I expect there will be drive way costs, council things, not to mention getting the power on…let alone the phone and internet. While on the phone to Telstra today, I asked about that. He said wireless broadband was how it had to be, since the phone lines out that way aren’t the slightest bit ADSL ready.

In addition to the ‘house’ you have water and septic tanks to buy and install. A Goggle isn’t showing prices, so I have a nasty feeling they are going to be expensive.


on buying ah…real estate

Posted 19 April, 2016 by perigrine
Categories: ideas, Pinterest

Tags: ,

Back when I was newly married with stars in my eyes…*cough* well..ok..learning to live with a bloke, it was always in the plan to buy a house. Or, preferably land, and build a house. I had a draft plan all sorted out. Two story, five bedrooms (or 4 bedrooms and an office), open plan living area including a round wood heater (something like this), glass sliding doors that opened onto a deck. Rather like this, but without the trees. In those days I believed I’ve be married and with the same bloke ‘for ever.’

Didn’t work out like that. Those plans were shelved. Then the first home owners thing came in and I was bringing in enough money to think about buying a house again. Cue life and THAT plan was shelved.

Recently someone I know has bought a bit of land, not dissimilar to this one out at Kimberly. The bit (and I say that coz anything less than the 7 acres I grew up on is tiny), of land is a bit bigger and ‘has power’ to it. I’m not sure how that works with no house..but anyway.

I’ve gotten to be a part of the whole process tangentially and it isn’t the nice easy ‘buying’ that going to the supermarket is. In the old days, I erroneously thought you saved up ‘enough,’ got a loan, and bought the one that interested you. And, you kind of do. But there is a whole passel of things you have to do as well.

There are lawyers involved for a start. Who knew?!? One doesn’t get a loan and pop into the real estate agent looking after the property and say ‘I’ll have that one, thanks.’ Hah! what was I thinking?

I’m not aware of exactly what was involved. Some haggling over price, some angst about getting things sorted out ‘in time’ – there’s a time limit on these things, did you know? I didn’t.

Turns out there are lawyers fees included as well. The lawyer needed to check for …things..outstanding rates was one of them I believe. A considerable amount of money was for ‘postage.’ O.o

I’m certain there were other behind the scenes things I wasn’t privy too, but just these were a shock.

Now that the bit of land is all sorted out, my opinion on things is being sought. I have opinions on things. One of the first ones was ‘replanting’ the land. I’m not sure what it was for, or when, but it is just bare land, a few bits of gorse from all accounts, a dam and a concrete building foundation. That’s it. OK, it is fenced. (I wonder WHO’S fence it is??) Whoever cleared it did an outstanding job. Friends have also recently bought land and they have tree regrowth that is fairly considerable. This block doesn’t have that.

So, plan to plant around the edges. Yay! But…me, being stingy, wants to do it free. I’m sure a lot of people are gung ho about BUYING ALL THE THINGS. Me, being stingy and sensible, can’t see the point in buying some…(I worked it out).. 40 x 6″ seedlings for one 20m stretch (1 plant every metre, two rows of plants)…and having half of them die. A nursery I found sold baby plants for 1.12 each. $45 just there. There is a a lot more boundary than 20m though. Where the land happens to be has oodles of space to transplant trees from. Outside the car port the other week I found baby wattle trees. These will get mowed eventually and aren’t needed for anything. Dug up and transplanted, well..if they grow, they grow. If not, nothing lost except a bit of time. Happily, the person who actually bought it agrees that the edges need to be replanted.

For me, the height and positioning of these new plants comes into play. If these are trees and grow 30 metres, how much of the ground will they shade? Will that be over the existing house foundation that the owner plans to turn into a vege garden? So, will shorter plants do the same thing? something more ‘shrubby’? Banksias get to 30m tall apparently. Personally, I don’t think I’ve seen any much more than possibly 3-5m. Since Australian native plants are evergreen, there wont be any dropping of leaves over winter, so one can’t assume that the lower winter sun will hit the garden. Too tall in other areas means they could fall on the non-existent house as well. Something like this windbreak is about what I’m envisioning. Maybe more filled out.

To give the plants a good start, I thought borrowing a friends excavator *now* would be ideal. Did a trench or two around the boundaries and fill it with organics to rot down for about 4 months. My timeline involves transplanting plants in about August when it should be mighty cold, the plants sluggish and before the onset of Spring rain. Why before the rain? Because there isn’t any way to water the plants if no one is there, short of visiting it every couple of days and using the dam water. This may be very wrong thinking, but I know a lot of plants die due to to inefficient watering.

I’d also spend the winter tossing organics into the proposed vege garden. There is a decent source of cow poo and seaweed not too far away, so that saves a ton of money. Sheep poo is about $5 a bag, horse poo can be found on the sides of roads for about $2. If one needed 100 bags to fill a house size foundation, that is a LOT of money…let alone transporting it all. I don’t think the owner is keen on this idea, even if they do want to grow their own food.

Speaking of, what sort of food do you plant in a vacant block with cows as neighbours, the odd sheep and possums? The best I could come up with is potatoes and pumpkins. Maybe garlic and leek. All, except for the leek, can be found ‘at home’ requiring precious little money. Later, if they ever choose to live on the land, more delicate vegetables can be grown. On my timeline, the planting happens in spring.

Summer on the timeline has improving the garden (not sure how, since it isn’t established yet), working out where to put the abode. The owner isn’t looking for extravagance and appears to want a tiny tiny place, so ‘house’ doesn’t qualify. I have very different ideas. I’d have at least 2 ‘bedrooms’, rooms flooded with light and preferably an upstairs (I’ve always wanted an upstairs). And a laundry…the owner hasn’t mentioned a laundry, OR storage space. Of course, its not my place so this is just day dreams…again. When you’re poor, it doesn’t pay to have dreams like this. Something like this would be nice. I think ‘housing’ will be for another post. Also on the Summer schedule would be working on the driveway. I found this the other night, and, even thought it is American, it seems driveway placement and stuff is something to think about. I was way too young to know, or care, how the driveway went in when Mum and Dad were ‘building.’

Irrigation is also on the summer list. I have dreams of a terraced vegetable garden. Nothing major like this, but small one foot wide ‘beds’ crossing the ‘hill.’ If one Googles ‘terraced garden’ everything is on steep slopes. This kind of garden curving around the ‘hill’ suits my minds eye better.

I started a Pinterest ‘House’ board a while back. I get to Pin my dreams.

Anyway, this has depressed me.

While taking a side trip to Facebook, I did a ‘can you buy a house’ quiz. Ended up with this result.

Bob based on your quiz results It looks like you match the “wrong deposit” loan profile.

This could mean you may not have saved up a sufficient deposit. Or you may have a large deposit, but you don’t have the perfect savings record.

Many banks won’t approve a loan if they can’t see a consistent pattern of savings over a long period.

This is often unfair for you as the borrower.

Another nasty trick the banks pull is not taking into account the rent you are paying when applying for a loan.

It’s a cost you would no longer have if you could purchase a home, and with the price of rent of these days it takes a huge chunk out of your income.

Quite often people are paying the same amount of rent as if they had a mortgage.

Obviously the last thing you want to do is to keep paying rent your whole life…

Now of course this information is only general advice. It doesn’t take into account your unique circumstances. Before making any decisions you should speak to a financial adviser.

The good news is there are solutions available and the next step is for a qualified specialist to contact you and let you know what your options are.

Stay tuned we’ll be in touch shortly.

‘Wrong Deposit’

Northern Caverneers

Northern Tasmania, Mole Creek, Australia, caving club, cavers, speleology, caves, underground exploration,


my (sometimes) crazy explorations of Tassie wilderness and mountains


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 502 other followers