Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Knitting, Natter and Seven Weird Things

It was a highly crafty weekend (unusually for me!). Three of us got together on Saturday for an inaugural NW coast KnitNatter at the Groovy Penguin, which was quite groovy. Penguin is a really pretty seaside town which is currently at the centre of a development furor. A gay couple from Sydney came down and bought and vastly renovated and developed the local market. Then they bought up large swathes of the town (before the real estate boom) and now want to do some massive developments of up to 8 stories, on the waterfront and through the sleepy and gorgeous town.

Many of the locals are against the developments (including me), but the couple are trying to make the anti development group into homophobics. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s not about homophobia, it’s about inappropriate development. I have no problem with gays, I just think the developments are too big and too ugly.

On Sunday, I went to a chenille class and made a beautiful bad in red,white and black Japanese fabrics!! It was gorgeous and I love the bag but almost took as much time and effort as knitting!

Georgie tagged me for the seven things meme – so first I’ll show you some pictures of the gorgeous birthday present I received from Bells and Georgie:

Look! Look! – A shawl book (Wrapped in Comfort!), 2 skeins of merino laceweight in lovely green aqua-y colours and a skein of posmerino laceweight in those plum colours I was talking about! – coffee beans and gorgeous chocolate and a beautiful card! Thank you – thank you thank you!! My challenge is deciding which shawls gets a guernsey (knitting pun) first!

Now, 7 weird things about me.

1. Sleeping in is absolutely impossible for me. I have never been able to sleep in, even as a lazy teenager (Of course I was – aren’t all teenagers?) The only time I can stay in bed late is if I am reaaaallllly sick!

2. I absolutely loathe throwing up – and will do almost anything not to!

3. I am an appalling spendthrift. If I have money, I spend it – mainly on knitting stuff – you know, yarn, needles, books, patterns, stuff! I have no idea where all my cash goes!

4. I can still do the splits and mounts, even though I am in my 40s, overweight and not as fit as I could be – if I get warmed up 17 years of ballet still works my muscles.

5. I am allergic to oysters. This is a great pity, as I absolutely adore them – but it leads to a terrible paradox – see number 2 above!

6. I am an appalling housekeeper. I am full of admiration for those who can keep houses clean and tidy (especially with children) but I can’t – too many piles of stuff around!

7. I love being spun around, heights and being turned upside down. I think fun parks are heaven and have done the big 5 at Dreamworld a lot! The schoolboys next to me on the drop thought I was so cool they saved spaces for me on the Claw, the Rollercoaster and the Wipeout because I sat there a giggled the whole time!

There you are – 7 weird things about me! So I’m tagging the Knightly Knitter, 2Paw, Amanda J, Madmad, Jejune, Catherine and Raven. Cheers

Ins and Outs


13 balls Bendi Cameo (thank you Mamasue!)
3 Amy Lane books, 1 T-shirt, 1 skein Shaefer Annie (Thank you Amy!)
1 Shawl book, 2 skeins merino laceweight, 1 skein of posmerino laceweight, coffee, chocolate (Thank you Bells and Georgie)
4 skeins sock yarns from the Knittery (Thank you Daphne!)
1 Cleckheaton pattern book
1 and ½ metres fabric
1 mug
(I am so spoiled!! An extra special ‘thank you’ to everyone involved – especially Amy, Bells and Georgie – you are so kind!)
DVD of Pride and Prejudice (the TV series –with Colin Firth in the wet trews!)
1 knit mag (Simply Knitting)
Lace Style
Knitting on the Road
5 balls Jo Sharp DK (for making Fibre Trends animals)
45 packets of yellow, orange and green KoolAid
1MP3 player
1 pair of PJs
1 pair sweatpants


2 shopping bags of stuff from the bathroom cupboard while I was looking for something else – elderly hairspray, conditioner, hairgel, coagulated moisturiser and suchlike!
3 Bags clothes (women’s refuge)
1 bag toys (women’s refuge)
2 infant/toddler sleeping bags (women’s refuge)
11 plastic softdrink bottles (I had been keeping these to make rhubarb champagne – but the rhubarb is struggling this year – so out they go!)
Yet more papers, B-grade children’s artwork (the good stuff has gone into scrapbooks), old accounts etc!

Shake it all about

2 metres of fabric turned into Chenille bag!

I can’t believe that with all this de-cluttering there is STILL a heap to go, but there you are. I will keep going.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thursday? Let's have a drink!

Thursday already!?

What’s happened to the week? It seems if I’m not attempting to be in 2 places at once, I’m trying to get the kids to be in 2 places. How did I get this busy?

Partly it’s the stunning bounty from our orchard. I have never seen a year like this for plums. Crops are so heavy they break the branches. And the d’Agen plums look glorious – all blue bloom with purple and red highlights. Can we do a sock yarn this colour?

I’ve already dealt with the Victoria plums – they’re my plum sauce plums; the d’Agens are being turned into prunes in the dehydrator, the blood plums were eaten, and the greengages and golden drop aren’t quite ready. In addition, the tomatoes are just starting to really hit their stride (Note to self – next year, don’t plant 9 tomato plants – 8 of which are various types of cherry tomato – even if they are yellow, white and red. Just plants 4 plants and make them BIG ones!)

Pears are just starting to ripen and quinces are a way off yet!

Knitting is happening. The Nutkins are nearly finished, the bag swap main bag has its main bit nearly finished, I’m on those dratted lace inserts for Bella. I’d love to wake up and find them done, but this is unlikely to happen as a) there are no knitting fairies and b) it will actually require knitting to be finished!

Unfortunately, yarn buying is still happening! The Knittery had a sale – I immediately panicked and bought 4 skeins of sock yarn – just in case there suddenly wasn’t any more! I am the proud owner of 1 skein of slim sock in Royal Velvet, 2 skeins of merino cashmere sock in Bloody Mary and Autumn and 1 skein of chubby sock in Barley grass! Yummy! I absolutely adore the merino Cashmere – I’m knitting my Nutkins in this and just love touching it!

The most wonderful thing happened this week! - I received my parcel from the fantastically talented author, Amy Lane! I was lucky enough to help edit her 4th novel – Bitter Moon 1, and she sent me a thank you pack (will work for wool and books!) It contained the new book – and I got an acknowledgement – how cool is that!, 2 or her other novels, an official editorial team T-shirt and a skein of Shaefer Yarns Anne, in a gorgeous forest green/khaki/dark turquoise colourway! And the books were signed and so were the bookmarks and there was a great yarny card too! Thank you so much Amy!! I’m looking forward to Bitter Moon 2 – and I’m making progress on Vulnerable!

Here are the pictures! That seems enough for a Thursday post! (Oh and thank you all for the good wishes for the Accountant’s birthday! – He had a lovely time, adores his drumkit and we had a beautiful grown-up dinner with very nice wine.)The weekend is bringing a North West Coast Knit together on Saturday, and a chenille bag making class on Sunday! Busy crafty times ahead – will report later.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Joy of Saturdays

Don’t you love Saturdays? The weekend stretches ahead of you, full of promise. This Saturday is especially special. Today is the Accountant’s birthday. This morning I woke early and went for a 30 minute walk (my third this week) and when I got back the kids and Accountant were stirring. We led him down to his birthday present and he was so excited!!

Although he really liked the DVD of ‘The Young Ones’, he was a bit surprised at 2 long pieces of wood in his present. So we lead him into the big room and there it was! A drum kit! I think most men of a certain age have fantasies about playing in a (insert preferred style of music here) band. Given the plethora of jokes about drummers, I thought drums might be the idea for a not terrifically musical man. He plays piano a bit and reads music but doesn’t really play any instruments. This is also the Accountant’s long held dream, and I think if someone with the drug ingestion history of Charlie Watts can do it – so can the Accountant. He hasn’t stopped smiling since he saw them – and has sneaked in there several times this morning for a tap!

I will also organise a few lessons – just to get him started!

Things are moving along on the knitting front. The first Nutkin is finished, the stocking stitch part of Bella is done and the shoulders sewn together. The front and bottom of the main bag for my bag swap partner is done. (No – no photos – I know you guys can’t keep secrets – look how you keep telling me about yarn bargains and sales!)

Speaking of sales I had 2 falls off the yarn buying wagon this week – although both were intended to happen rather later in the year, sales triggered them rather earlier. First, the Bendi Bargain Room had Cameo – but it was going rather swiftly, so I communicated with a kind, Bendigo based Raveller, sent her some cash and she purchased some for me and popped it in the post – it should get her next week. Thank you again, Mamasue!

The second yarn event was The Knittery having a sale. I am currently knitting the Nutkins from old (as in not the latest incarnation) Knittery Merino/cashmere yarn – in, from memory, Sea Life (a gorgeous spring green, turquoise and caramel colourway). I can’t tell you how lovely this is to knit – soft as soft, great stitch definition, no splitting! Beautiful! In addition, my lovely tea-cosy swap partner, Sheila, included a skein of their sock yarn in my parcel. Their yarn is just lovely – so I succumbed to the siren call of a sale!

A skein of chubby sock in Barley, merino cashmere in Bloody Mary and Autumn and slim sock in Royal Velvet are winging their way across Bass Strait and should arrive early next week. They won’t be counted in my Ins and Outs this week (neither will the Cameo) because it hasn’t actually reached here yet!


1 Vogue Knitting Mag
1 mug
5 metres material
1 Chenille bag kit (for class next weekend)


More bags mags etc (recycling)
4 balls sock yarn (ebay)
Socks, child’s backpack, 2 hats, 2 pairs toddler shoes (gift)

This week is good – the net loss is around 10 items.

But wait, there’s more! I still have enormous amounts of clutter to shift, and also need to do a little de-stashing. If I get a chance on My Free Monday (MFM) I will have a play in the stash, and see if more can be shifted!

The other nice present is that my Stepmother is going to look after the Princess and Destructoboy tonight, so we can go out to dinner. This is the third time in around 18 months, so is an exciting prospect and a lovely gift! Will report back later. Ciao!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

How to have a Happy Monday!


The house is quiet. The computer is on and no-one is crawling all over me trying to get to the keyboard. It’s Tinkingbell’s child free Monday!

I have the latest VK (mmmm!). I have coffee. I have been into the local haberdasher and craft shop and bought fabric – because gorgeous fabric is 5 dollars a metre. Some de-stashing Lorna’s Laces arrived in the mail. I read my bloglines blogs, downloaded a couple of patterns, checked Rav, and sorted the Opal and Heirloom I’ve decided to destash on ebay.

Lorna's Laces in Goldhill

Lorna's Laces in Bucks Bar

I’m going out for lunch with the Accountant today. Two adults having lunch – with no children!! Goodness!!

The Nutkin progresses and one shoulder of Bella is done. I want to cast on my RSC sock. Here is the Dragon Dance yarn, and here again, nestled in the gorgeous project bag the Knighly Knitter made for me.

I have decided to work a little harder at becoming fitter and slimmer, and at regulating the stash. I’m not putting myself on a yarn diet, but I am going to attempt to make mindful purchases. Not all the yarn in the world REALLY needs to be mine. Some of it is meant for others. Sheep are unlikely to become bald tomorrow. I will think more about what I need!

The decluttering will continue.


The destashing Lorna’s Laces, Vesper, Yarn Ahoy, No No Kitty mentioned previously.
1 skein of sock fro the Spindle Tree
1 VK magazine
4 books (Hobart trip)
1 glass bowl (Hobart trip)
1 gorgeous project bag (gift)
3 tops (birthday gift from the Accountant)
Fabric (lots-ish – around 8 metres in total)

4 skeins Rowan 4 ply (prizes)
2 small project bags (prizes)
Pile of boxes, plastic containers, bottles etc (recycling)
3 pairs of shoes (rubbish)
5 tops, 1 skirt, 2 jumpers, 2 polar fleecies (Lifeline)

Off to lunch! Eat, drink and be merry – for tomorrow we may de-tox!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Return of the Prodigals

Gosh – it really is nice to see some rain at last! I know you mainlanders are figuring you’ve had about enough rain, right about now – but we’ve had none so – every drop is welcome! After the driest spring in memory, a dry winter and the driest recorded December and January, a few wet days is just lovely. You can actually feel your skin relaxing into its accustomed wrinkles!

We drove through rain on the way back from Hobart. Had a very satisfying visit to the fleshpots – mainly catching up with friends (with just a little retail therapy thrown in! Caught up with some recently married friends (well, nearly 12 months ago – but we haven’t really seen them since the wedding!) and saw photos of their honeymoon – they stayed in several wine growing areas in France! Paul also proposed in a vineyard and they got married in a vineyard and (is anyone seeing a theme here?) yes, they do indeed enjoy wine.

We spent Saturday with the Knightly Knitter and her family – left the men holding the babies and shot through to the joys of Salamanca and SnB. Kate acted as a very good conscience as I was distracted by sparkly stuff and swooped, magpie like, on anything which glittered in the sun! I managed to escape with only ONE skein of hand painted sock yarn from the lovely Spindle Tree – the spinners and dyers co-op, and some earrings and hair thingies. For me, a very restrained Salamanca!

Hobart SnB is in a lovely café and all the members were very welcoming (sorry – not sure what happened there – I suddenly became a Rotarian!). The Hobart SnB girls rock – they were great and I had a fun time! - It is always fabulous to knit in public with anyone else – but better with ten or so – some very nice stuff being knitted and fondled! Thank you, it was wonderful to meet the real people behind the blogs and Ravatars.

After releasing males and playing with children and a fabulous dinner we packed the thoroughly overtired and excited children off – spent Sunday with other friends and their kids and then still other friends (our rare visits to Hobart are like that – we try to visit all the people we haven’t seen since last time).

Monday was retail therapy – the Accountant, after castigating my clothes last week had decided to buy me clothes he approved of! His comment was that I used to wear much better clothes when we met. We met in 1988 and I moved in in 1989. This means I was 20 years younger, at least 2 sizes smaller and had a higher disposable income – much of which I spent on great clothes (some of which I still have in the hope I will one day be that slim again – we all have our dreams!). I also had no children and worked – so I did not wear SAHM clothes. But given that fact he was offering (and it would be nice to wear things which were not pull-on ¾ pants and t-shirts…..) I accepted!

I am now the proud owner of 3 gorgeous tops which I have promised to wear! (and not just leave in the wardrobe and admire!) It was a great weekend! Kids had a great time and I got to catch up with people I adore – and meet some new knitters!

Thanks Hobartians for your hospitality – we’ll try not to leave the next visit so long. And besides – 3 or so hours each way means a finished Noropup sock, a cast on Nutkin and a pair of Vog ons!

And when I went to the Post Office on our return? 2 packages – my RSC pack for 2008 including the Dragon Dance yarn and a package from a lovely knitter in the USA who I assisted to ahem, destash – so a skein of Yarn Ahoy and some Vesper Sock Yarn from Knitterly Things! I really must get some stuff off the needles so I can get some more stuff on!