Sunday, April 27, 2008

What Did You Do On The Long Weekend?

Another quick one (by which I mean no photos!).

We’ve had a very full and happy house this weekend – an old friend of mine (the one who I’ve been friends with since kindy – or should that be ‘with whom I’ve been friends’? Not sure) stayed for Thursday and Friday night – he had come up to visit a great aunt for her 100th birthday. It’s always fun while he’s here – we drink wine, tell silly stories and he does jobs around the place – this visit he decided his job was to collect walnuts, so he’s filled the vast basket with his endeavours.

And we also had the Knightly Knitter and her wonderful family to stay! It was a bit squooshy, and the weather didn’t cooperate – Kate and I managed very pleasant early morning walks, but later in the days it got cold and rainy.

It was lots of fun – the children enjoyed each other’s company, the menfolk chatted and looked after kids and played about, Kate and I knitted and talked about knitting and blogging and her new job. She gave me a crash course in downloading podcasts (No, I hadn’t been able to work it out on my own – I could listen to the current one but couldn’t find the back issues, so now I can listen to Lime’n’Violet, Stash and Burn, Cast On and Sticks and String - in my copious and child free time – ROFLMAO!!!).

I did a tiny bit of enabling when I took her into our little town and showed her Picture Patchwork (yes – it has Amy Butler fabric and patterns), a new shop which sells nice clothes and yarn called Simply Us and we both succumbed to the lure of wool silk, and our local clothing/craft/haberdashery/hardware/camping/menswear/shoe shop and supermarket. Each of the bits has a separate shop inside a shop and they are all interlinked – the Hardware shop and supermarket bits actually have doors between them, and they sell great clothes. And Shoes. And have just expanded their range of yarn.

Kate liked it so much she bought stuff and I put some shiny red shoes on lay-by.

We had fun. We cooked and talked and played with kids and knitting books and yarn. We drank wine and played in the garden when the weather permitted. We picked mushrooms in the paddock and made pizzas. All in all it was a fun long weekend. I don’t know about Kate’s children – but mine were exhausted by last night! You and your family are welcome any time!

In knitting news, I have finished most of the knitting on the Slouch Rib Cardi – I should have the bands done tonight, leaving only the remaining sewing (most of it) and the buttons to do. Then it’s onto Tahoe and the other 16 things I want to knit in the next week! So much knitting, so little time!

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and funny stories about things up noses. The Lego Man’s hand was undamaged in the incident, and so far Destructoboy has managed to restrain impulses to shove extraneous objects up any orifices. I hope this restraint continues well into puberty!

Monday, April 21, 2008

You Put The Hand In, You Take The Hand Out...

Just a short update today:


The scarf is finished and I will post photos later (given the fact I am posting the parcel today!)
The Slouch rib cardi needs one and a half sleeves and the bands – other than that it is all done (LOL)

I have been matching yarn and patterns and coming up are: Montparnasse, Tahoe, Cherie Amour and Pearl Buck – in no particular order. There are also unfinished socks, the Gathered Pullover and some requested mittens in there. And some baby knitting.

I have been spending too much time on Ravelry and lusting after other people’s knitting. And stash. So I’m going to make a huge effort to get more of my own knitting done, from my existing yarn-that-is-not-stash.

Other stuff:

In other news, the Knightly Knitter and her family are coming for the weekend. This is exciting, but also means I must tidy up some of the general high level of clutter around the place. I also need to terrorise the dust antelopes (some people have dust bunnies, but not this chicken, no siree!), and make sure there are some surfaces for cooking. Due to enablement by Ms Cindy2paw I acquired the AWW Winter cookbook and think some things from that may appear – last night we had chicken with olives and preserved lemon. Tonight it’s home made sausage rolls (full of cunningly hidden veggies!). Delicious magazine also arrived.

Fun in the Afternoon:

Now, I have discovered that having a good relationship with the reception staff of your local medical centre is crucial. Ask me how I know!!

For some reason, known only to himself, Destructoboy decided to put the teeny tiny little hand of a Lego man up his right nostril! Now, when a teeny tiny Lego hand gets put up the nose of a 3 ½ year old, it stays put – especially because his attempts to fish it out before letting Mum know drive it further up. Remaining calm (he wasn’t – he was deeply upset that he wouldn’t get the *&^*&*%%% hand back!) I whisked him into the car and off to the local doctors’ surgery.

Knowing all the staff really helps – when I explained the situation we were raced into an examination room, the first passing GP was frogmarched in, an examination assisted by magnifying glasses took place and anaesthetic was sprayed up Destructoboy’s nostril. It was really lucky the doctor could actually see the hand, because otherwise it meant a trip to hospital and a visit with the ENT specialist– but there is no ENT outside the northern capital – 100km away, and I don’t think they are there all the time – only some days! And an operation under general anaethetic – and wouldn’t THAT be fun!

A quick prod and grab with the tweezers and Destructoboy’s Lego man got his hand back. He perked up immediately (he had been very quiet and worried until then – said his nose hurt and was crying about the loss of the hand!), and promised never to put anything anywhere it wasn’t supposed to go. He got a lollipop to take away the taste of the anaesthetic. I really hope I don’t have to go through that again any time soon.

Just a quick update on the de-cluttering:


1 knitting magazine
1 Delicious Magazine
1 cookbook (enabled by Cindy2paw)
2 balls Moda Vera Sock yarn, 2 balls green variegated Jet, 3 balls of blue Jet to finish cardi, 8 buttons (Doomlight of Spot visit)
7 Buttons for Slouch cardi (thus converting a 20 dollar cardi into a 44 dollar cardi via 14 bucks for buttons and 2 extra balls of wool!)
7 Balls Bendigo - 3 wisteria and 4 sprite because it is discontinued and I love it!


3 wooden jigsaws – to child care centre
6 shopping bags of stuff (clothes, boots, shoes etc) Lifeline
1 large bag boys shoes – gift
1 bag girls stuff – gift

Shake it all about

Vintage hues scarf – gift

Hope to have some pictures later in the week. There are some items on the way which have fallen out of other people’s stashes and into mine! Off to have lunch and recover from the flat out fun of being a mother!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Attacking the Killer Tomatoes

Well, I’ve been a naughty blogger – but in my defence, I’ve been knitting, nursing 4 colds (mine, Destructoboy’s, the Princess’s and The Accountant’s), adding to the yarn-which-is-not-stash, and rolling up my sleeves to deal with Autumn’s Bounty!

I have dried tomatoes, turned them into a quadruple lot of relish – with chilli and lime – mmmm!, and made enormous amounts of roasted tomato sauce. I have dried pears, poached pears and made caramel pear upside-down cake; I have poached and baked and stewed quinces (we still have paste and jelly from last year); dried nashis; eaten apples – and I’m preparing to dry lots more; made zucchini relish – around 3 double lots, did the plum sauce earlier; dried d’Agen plums and greengages. I’m preparing for the last of the apples, pears and quinces and then the walnuts need to be picked.

Out in the back paddock we have 21 very mature walnut trees. The walnuts need to be picked up off the ground, and then they get plonked in a HUGE basket, which holds around 45kg. When that is full we put them in 15 litre buckets, and boxes. Lots get given away and our friends all turn up with buckets too! Once the walnuts are done I can officially collapse, because it is basically winter and the bounty has finished.

I find it impossible to just leave any of this to rot. My parents remembered the after effects of the Great Depression and I’m sure all this preservation is part of that – I can’t bear the thought that my family could starve over winter! I didn’t make any wine, though! That’s my step-mother’s purview, and she has elderberries doing their thing in a bucket at present. My elderberries and olives aren’t mature yet, so at least I don’t have to worry about them.

Despite the recent visit to Bendigo, I have just received an order from them. I didn’t realise, when I was there, that they had made the rash and unjustified decision to discontinue the Harmony yarn. This wool/cotton/lycra mix is a bit of a fave, so I had to buy some before it all went away. We are writing a protest letter, because in addition to discontinuing the Harmony, there are now only 4 aran colours and less Colonial colours – and the range of colours is getting smaller and much less exciting!

I finished the adapted edge to edge cardigan – here it is in Jet (from the Doomlight of Spot sale)

And I realised I had never posted a picture of Bella in all her glory – so here she is, too:

I’m currently working on the Slouch Rib Cardi from Knitting Daily and thoroughly enjoying it. Yes, that’s in Jet too, why do you ask?

In addition to the Bendi parcel, my yarn that is not stash increased further this week because Kmart had 25% off yarn. I bought up some Vintage hues - enough for a cardi (just scraped together enough of the same colur/dyelot), and some other colours for presents of scarves and hats. Here is one of the scarves under way – it’s the Yarn Harlot’s one row scarf pattern.

That’s it really – my week has been unexciting (unless you’re heavily into tomatoes!). Back to nursing the nose from hell!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Return Home

To finish off the holiday posts, I really need to catch you up on the parcels waiting for me on my return home. Waiting for me at the post office were my copy of Yarn Magazine and some other bits and pieces.

There were 3 cones of cashmere DK in Amber (from a weak internet induced moment because the exchange rate was so good)

The March sock kit from Red Bird – with 1.5 skeins of Jitterbug in Mardi Gras

The March sock club kit from Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Sock Club (2paw – turn away now) in gorgeous greens

My bagswap bag from my wonderful partner Bex – a mitred felted bag, a skein of beautiful 2 ply from the Knittery, and some realio-trulio amethyst stitch-markers:

This week has been just as bad because I exchanged the Jitterbug (because I already had that colour) and ended up buying 2 more skeins – so one skein of Mardi Gras has changed into a skein of Blue Parrot, a skein of Vatican Pie (Look away Rose Red) and a skein of Velvet Plum (look away Bells)

A Ravelry person was destashing some sock yarn and I ended up with some Madeline Tosh sock yarn in Dusk and some Yarn Pirate Killer Bees!

And finally, we did an enormous grouip order from Blue moon Fiber Arts – I seem to have ended up with some Fire on the Mountain mediumweight sock yarn and

Some Raven series silkie socks in Ravenscroft (How did that happen?)

I really need to stop this and pull back until at least a little of the stash is knitted. To that end I have finished a cardigan in Jet (from the Jet I acquired when it was 2 bucks a ball at the Doomlight of Spot sale) and am about to cast on the Slouch Rib Cardi, also in Jet. (Then there’s Montparnasse and Tahoe to come)

I’m on a bit of a cardi jag at present – for some reason I’m finding them more interesting than jumpers. Who knew?

In, Out, Shake it all about!

Oh Lordie! More than I can say!

Can we say lots and lots and lots of yarn-that-is-not-stash? Please see previous posts!
1 gorgeous bag (Bagswap from Bex)
Amethyst stitchmarkers and matching 2 ply yarn (ditto)
Happy Spider Sock Yarn (Gift from Happy Spider) in Blackberry!
1 Gilet and 2prs trousers, 1 pair leggings (TS14 – see shopping with Jejune)
6 books
1 pair trousers and top, 1 pair jeans
1 pair shoes (settle, Rosered, you’ll see them soon) paid off lay-by
Yarn magazine, Simply Knitting (2 mags), Jo Sharp knit 6
Creative knitting (gift fromTaph)
3 ACS pattern books

2 wooden jigsaws (gift to child care)
4 pairs trousers, 3 jumpers, 11 tops and T-shirts (Lifeline)
5 Books (ditto)
3 pairs sandals, 1 pair Blundstones (Lifeline)

Shake it all about
Finished Cardi from Spotlight Jet ($2 a ball sale)

Not enough out, but I’m pleading that I was on holiday and I’d ask the jury to take ACS at Wangaratta and Bendigo Woollen Mills in mitigation when considering sentencing!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

S.E.X. in Wang; Or, the Chilling Conclusion!

OK, we’re about to leave Canberra. Did you know, you can hide.. sorry… carry 2 packs of Zara and 10 balls of sock yarn in the front zip pocket of a medium sized case? Just in case you ever need to know (Yes, Georgie, I’m looking at you!)

We hit the road and by dint of stopping at a certain American fast food place and the judicious application of lollypops we survived the drive to Rutherglen – where we stayed at a wonderful unit complex in Corowa.

It was substantially cooler, so we immediately purchased some wine (in fact we stopped at 2 wineries on the way) and scouted takeaway food options. Settled in, got tired kids asleep, and I plotted.

Thursday was winery day, including lunch at a wonderful place called The Pickled Sisters CafĂ© (which just happens to be smack next door to a very nice winery – gosh!) and then we visited a couple more – and the children fed turtles at Pfeiffers winery.

Friday was my day – I have been in training for this one for a while! I organised lunch at Brown Brothers at Milawa, a quick trip to the Milawa cheese factory, and planned a route which led past Australian Country Spinners at Wangaratta!! They sell wool there for a bit over $27/kilo!!! And some is cheaper! (and some a bit more expensive!)

I planned our stop there for pre-lunch – because I am not totally insane! I have a very real appreciation of what happens when I have a few glasses of wine and am let loose in the vicinity or yarn!

I had a lovely time (if the place hadn’t been nearly full, especially of lovely grandmotherly ladies, I would have rolled in it all!) I bought lots and lots of Jet and Country Silk, Shadow Tweed and Country Prints, and Patonyle, Patonyle, Patonyle!! Including a 600gr monster cone (Patomonster) of printed Patonyle (heelllloooo, Baby Surprise Jacket!). And some Velvet Deluxe. It almost didn’t fit in the car, but when I suggested we just tag the kids and freight them home so there was more room in the car for wine and wool, the Accountant wasn’t impressed!

The Princess offered to sit on the wool, and Destructoboy is only short, so there’s lots of room under his feet. Besides, packs of yarn are flat and squooshy. You can used them to pad wine bottles.

So after spending most of the day drifting around Rutherglen, we tootled Melbourne-ward and back onto the ferry for the trip home. I still find myself chuckling over my not-stash (sale wool does not count – nor does gift wool, or wool you’ve almost forgotten buying). I occasionally hug my Patomonster.

And you all know my secret now. That’s right – Yarn magazine issue 9 came out while I was away – and it has my article in it!!!! Woo hoo! (Happy dance, happy dance!)