Monday, March 31, 2008

What I Did On My Holiday (Part 2)

Just before we get in to Canberra, I realised there was a bit of a gap in the blog! I hadn’t put up the lovely parcel I received from MadmadHousewife (finally – after customs and Quarantine had finished with it – and just slightly before we decided it had obviously been lost in the mail). This wonderful book:

and some maple syrup candy and lollypops (which seem to have disappeared – no idea where!). This arrived literally just before we boarded the boat and after the car was stuffed to the gunwales, so I didn’t get a chance for a proper look inside until we got home – so many things to make and what a great way to bust stash! I’m going to practice next week when some projects get under control.

These also got finished – either just before we left – the Nutkins in the Knittery merino/Cashmere in the Sea Life colourway

The Noropups were finished on the road.

Back to the trip. We arrived safely (didn’t throttle over excited children on long car trip – 6 or so hours in the car can be eased by the judicious application of lollypops). The wonderful Bells had organised a little lunch meeting with some of the Canberra Bloggers, so having packed husband off to work in Queensland and consigned children to the SILs care I sallied forth into central Canberra.

We had a lovely lunch and I got to meet Bells (who delivered a small package I had asked her to purchase for me when a certain Canberra shop had Zara for 2 dollars a ball! And she is even lovelier in person), Georgie (glowingly pregnant and even younger and slimmer than her blog indicates), Jejune (bouncy and generous and not yet purple) and the wonderful QuiltingMick (a fabulous crocheter and blogger and a joy to chat with).

It is so great to meet blogpals in real life (and a little nerve-wracking, too! – I knew I would like them – after all, we’ve been chatting and emailing and such – but what if I disappointed them? What if they were expecting someone wittier and funnier and more glamorous? If they were, they were nice enough not to let me know!). Much knitting and crocheting and petting of yarn took place – along with a bit of eating and drinking. The waiter even asked for some socks!

After lunch, when everyone except Jejune and I had to make their way back to offices, she offered to guide me to the two shops I wanted to visit. I’m afraid I rather enabled her at the TS14+ shop while I picked up one or two items. I was also lucky to get out of Borders without making any purchases. We gave Jejune a lift home after shopping and she met the poppets and SIL – Thank you Jejune – for your navigational and guiding expertise!

Easter passed in its usual haze of chocolate and excitement. We visited the National Gallery, Questacon and Dinosaur Museum. The Easter Bunny visited us and the children turned into feral chocaholics with the frenzy of an Easter Egg Hunt. On Easter Monday the girls had organised another little get together.

For an isolated knitter, the internet and her blogpals are a lifeline. Yarn people (knitters, hookers and spinners) are generally fun, generous and slightly obsessive. Meeting them in the flesh is a wonderful treat, and I hope to do it again soon! And if any of you are coming to NW Tasmania, let me know!

So Monday was spent with Bells, Georgie, Taph and the Happy Spider. Just lovely to see Taph and Spidey again (I met them last year) and so lovely to let yarn fumes wash over us and chat and knit and pet yarn and exchange tips and patterns and stories. I even received a present from the Happy Spider – some of her glorious sock yarn in Blackberry!

Thank you all again for your time and generosity! I looks forward to lots more meetings – both virtual and real – and a special thanks to Georgie and Bells for being such great organisers!!

Next post will cover Rutherglen and deal with WHAT HAPPENED AT WANG! (A tale to chill your hearts and credit cards, dear reader!)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What I did on my holiday (Part 1)

Goodness me! We got back yesterday and I’ve barely had a moment to breathe – what with the post holiday stuff! (Washing, tidying, shopping for food, organising stuff for school – you know!)

So this is only a half post – I’ll sprint from Tassie to Echuca and spend a little more leisurely time tomorrow in and around Canberra!

We went to Melbourne on the ferry and barely drew breath before speeding into Bendigo, and finding the rather well camouflaged woollen mill, where I sprinted for the Bargain room. I basically ignored all the stuff I can get at Bendi anytime a bad move as I later discovered – more anon – or at least in a day or so) and went into the back cave of treasures! Found that Bendi used to have sock yarn – called Miami – a wool/cotton/nylon mixture which seems to bear a bit of a resemblance to Socketta. Stocked up. A lot.

Then added some dark Purply- Blue aran (18 x 50gr balls at 2 dollars a ball) and 3 200gram skeins of colonial in a colour called Foxglove (think Jacaranda trees) for 7 dollars a skein! Caressed some sunflower yellow baby wool and some other bits and pieces, and managed to tear myself away.

Off to Echuca. My lord it was hot! 40 degrees –ish while we were there – lucky we had a pool, but hard to convince children to stay inside when they’re on holiday! (At least till the worst of the sun was off the pool – luckily we had packed DVDs!) Echuca meant Mandie from Ewe Give Me the Knits (one of the Greatest names in creation).

We had morning coffee and talked. And talked. And Talked – and since we could both talk for Australia, it was great fun! Mandie gave me some lovely gifts – Two beautiful rovings – one merino in colours called Turbulent 1

The other a merino/bamboo in the Blue Gum 1 colourway.

There were also some gorgeous skull stitch markers – but they are currently in service!

It was wonderful to meet yet another generous and funny blogger – and now I have to learn to spin – just to make something wonderful from such gorgeous rovings!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh my, Mr Rickman!

Gosh! Look at THIS!

What can I say - envy envy! I wish Alan Rickman would dance with ME like that!!

I'm just going to fan myself and have a cup of tea, a Bex, and a nice lie down!

I'll see you all in a couple of weeks - we're off on holiday tomorrow and I don't think I'll really be internettable!

Have a lovely Easter!

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Awake, for morning in the bowl of night
Has thrown the stone that sets the stars to flight

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam

The last two mornings I have been walking when the sun came up. I see a lot of sunrises, generally from inside the house, but at present we are in the transitional time of year, just before daylight savings ends, when sunrise doesn’t happen till around 7am and in less than a month it will suddenly jump back to being 6am, and this little brown duck is likely to still be tucked up in her bed then! I hope!

Currently, it is quite light just before sunrise, and then the sun hurls itself over the horizon and taa daa! Daybreak! I am generally walking along the road and look across the paddock where Lucerne has just been cut (mm, the smell of new mown hay), across the river and the trees beside it and over to the hills and here comes the sun!

Yesterday was bird day. Ducks in the creek I cross over; native hens; free range chooks and a number of roosters in one of the paddocks I pass; a hawk hovering low, looking at some poor small creature in the grass; a blue crane (heaps around here); a small colony of what I still call plovers, but are really masked lapwings; and some water bird, hidden in the willows, who goes ‘boink!’. Of course, the usual suspects were out as well, crows (actually forest ravens, native to Tasmania), starlings, blackbirds and sparrows. I didn’t see any sulphur crested cockatoos, black cockatoos, our local kookaburras or lorikeets – nor did I see the resident blue wren (willie wagtail!).

I love living in the country. I happily put up with the lack of pavements and even the fact our roads have no shoulder, just to be able to smell the hay (and occasional roadkill!), and to watch the sun rise.

I am also enjoying possessing an iPod. I walk faster while listening to music and although my walk is taking the same time each day, I actually go further (hell, yesterday I even RAN – for about 200 metres – but it didn’t kill me and I didn’t stop, just kept on walking after undertaking this dangerous activity). I’m looking forward to walking in new places while we’re away.

In knitting news, the neck inserts on Bella are occurring much faster than I imagined (it also helps that I am actually knitting them, instead of hoping that it would happen by osmosis or something!). I am likely (touches wood) all things being well (crosses fingers) to finish her before we leave (pats rabbits foot, invokes saints and knitting goddess and throws self to ground realising she has just put the kiss of death on ever finishing Bella).

I am narrowing down the knitting which must accompany us on holiday and trying to decide whether I should sneak in a pattern book, given that we are calling into Bendi and I may be ultra inspired to cast on something during the trip (Yes, I am bringing my Knitpicks with me so I will have needles – why do you ask?)

Off to referee the fight of the century, tidy up, put out the washing, wash up, clean out the car and put stuff away. Decluttering often happens as a side effect of this haphazard housekeeping. Cheers!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Whatever Happened To...?

You're The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

by C.S. Lewis

You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed
quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it
seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic
struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal
that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you're re-enacting Christian
theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust
in zoo animals.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Oh no!! Is it March already?

I’m a bad blogger. I blame Ravelry and its seductions; everyone else’s blogs (which I’ve been reading); the enormous bounty of Autumn which I’ve been trying to bottle, dry, chutnify, relish or freeze; my children, who I’ve been trying not to kill; and the fact I’ve got a secret and you’ll all know it soon!

Here, just for Taph, is a very poor photo of my chenille bag. Sorry Taph - I'll try and do better!

I’ve not finished a WIP since the bag swap bag. I’ve started a cardigan before Bella is quite finished, I’ve half a Nutkin to go and half a Noropup, and half another bag. I want to knit socks and cardigans and jumpers and bags and toys and kid’s stuff and live in a clean house, but – there just never seems to be enough time.

Got my Book Depository order in 10 days in 6 parcels. I am in love with Norah Gaughan, worship at the altar of her genius and want to bear her children - in short, I have my copy of Knitting Nature and only stern words to myself about bag swaps etc (and a number of WIPS which need to become FOs) has stopped me casting on most of the book. I also got Victorian Lace today, the Knitters Almanac, the First Yarn Harlot book, Zoe Mellor’s Nursery Knits and the Best of Interweave - for 52 pounds - Heaven, I’m in Heaven……..

I kept snorting coffee out my nose while reading the Yarn Harlot book (now I remember what keeps me going back to her blog) and nodding and realizing that all the things she said were so true – except the bit about ‘core stash’. I intend to knit ALL my stash. (Which is actually not stash according to the rules of Stash as Promulgated by the High Priestess of Stash.) Sometime. When I have time. Maybe next winter. Or the one after. Definitely by the one after that.

I’ve also been fairly good about acquisitions this week. Apart from some cashmere I’ve ordered. I’ve actually managed to get through the week without buying anything. Much.

Last week, you may remember, I bought an MP3 player. It didn’t work. So I took it back and exchanged it for an iPod shuffle. Much of my computer time this week has consisted of filling this up with music – ready for my first walking adventure with it tomorrow morning. Other than that, nothing has darkened my door, except those books.

Mind you, everything which went out this week went into the recycling bin or rubbish. So:

Books as above
Interweave magazine (at last)

Piles of papers and stuff (recycling)
Old lipsticks and eyeshadows – shopping bag worth – rubbish
3 tops and one pair of jeans – Lifeline

That’s it! I need to do lots more this weekend – a long weekend. De-cluttering, preparing for some time away and attempting to tidy the house for the house-sitter. Will one long weekend be enough?