Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We're all goin' on a Winter Holiday, No more working for a week or two!

Well, we are off on holiday tomorrow. This means I am
A) wearing my most disreputable bra
B) the dreadful pants
C) the top I don’t like
D) jeans which are almost (but not quite) ready for the recycling bag

This is standard pre-holiday clothing in my house. What about yours?

For the next or so weeks I will be reclining on a tropical island, sipping banana daiquiris and …What? Oh yes, the children will be there too…

OK – I will be on a tropical island, hot and flustered, hoping the children are moderately good and don’t drown themselves. Happy now?

Of course it’s a holiday. This means I won’t be cooking or washing up for 2 whole weeks – that’s my kind of holiday.

Just to hold you, here are some pretty piccies. First up, the Tidal Wave Sock in Vesper. Aren’t they purty? They look like Raspberry, Mango and Pistachio Gelato – good enough to eat.

Here is a package from the Loopy Ewe. My first ever. Service great – crack er, umm, YARN wonderful. This package has Hand Maiden Seasilk in Renaissance, Numma Numma Baby Boo in Spinach and Brown Rice, Spritely Goods in Mallow and Shibui in Autumn. The bright amongst you (all of you) will have noticed there is only one skein of the Shibui. This is because I become so overcome that I forgot you needed two for a pair of socks. Duh!

This has meant I had to do another order. Bad Knitter! Bad Bad Knitter!!

And finally, a present from the wonderful Madmad – a SIGNED COPY OF THE YARN HARLOT’S NEW BOOK – for me! Thank you!

Oh – and my Rockin’ Sock Club parcel arrived too – Shrinking Violet, for Cleopatra’s Stockings. Mmmm!

So for the next 2 weeks, I’m not dead, just on holiday. I’ll spend 3 weeks after I get back catching up with you all!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Those Were the Days My Friend,

I pinched this from Catsmum, who pinched it from Elspeth.

Below are the top 106 books tagged “unread” in Librarything.

The rules:Bold what you have read, italicize books you’ve started but couldn’t finish, underline those ones you read for school.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canturbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame -
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Before I had children and knitted incessantly, I read. And read and read and read. I was never to be found without a book in my bag (and often a spare in case I finished and had nothing to read). I had almost permanent scabs on my knees and bumps on my head from falling over and running into things because I was reading while walking. I would stay awake until books were finished – and if that meant an hours sleep, then that’s what I would do.

I still read quite a bit – but not as much as BC. (You can read while breast feeding in the middle of the night – you just need to juggle a bit!)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Blasting into the 3rd Dimension!

I turned a heel the other day. This is something I have done around 50 times now (yes - about 25 pairs of socks) and every single time I am overcome by my own cleverness. This is not an arrogant thing. It’s not hubris. It’s wonder and amazement. I stare at the heel I’ve turned and I am captivated by how lovely it is. I am entranced that I have actually knitted into the third dimension! I can hardly believe that I have done something as wonderful as this.

I can’t imagine this feeling wearing off. I can’t imagine one day going ‘Oh yeah, another heel. Big deal.’ I can’t imagine one day being so blasé about this amazing trick that I won’t care anymore.

Thank you for all your nice comments on the last post. I know that there are lots of us Knitters out there. I know I am not Robinson Crusoe on this one. But it is nice to be reminded that there’s a crowd of us, excited about knitting and crocheting (yes, I am talking about you QuiltingMick – I don’t want to be on the CLF’s hitlist!)

Here are some pretty photos for you.

The Tahoe in all her glory. I adored knitting this, loved the pattern, loved the Zara – and the bands are from the Patomonster from Wang. I have the horrid feeling I need to move one button though. Damn!

And here is a stash addition. Somehow, these cones of golden cashmere silk (70/30) fell into a bag addressed to me – how could that have happened? Now I need to find the perfect pattern for such gorgeousness.

And just because all you Canberrans got to have a serious fibre orgy, I gave in and made a little order from the Loopy Ewe. I’ll show you pictures later. After I’ve finished fondling. At least long enough to take a photo.

And my weekend holds two social events. A Tupperware party on Friday night. And a Stitch and Bitch at the Anvers Chocolate Factory on Sunday. By the fire. Because down here in Tasmania it was really cold today.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

WIP it, WIP it good!

Yes, it’s time to get amongst the WIPs! The knitting on the Tahoe has finished (all except the bands), and it took nine and a half balls of Zara. Have I mentioned how much I love knitting with the Zara? I have also decided that ‘Lime green’ is not a good description of its colour, so I have decided it is ‘Wasabi’. The bands are knitted in a variegated Patonyle I bought from ACS at Wanagaratta (the Patomonster comes into its own) and the colour of that is medium and pale blue, spring green and white. I have to find some nice buttons, and do an enormous amount of sewing up (sides, inserting sleeves, shoulders, hems on bottom and sleeves and bands) and it will be mine!

Then, I am going to whip the WIPs into shape. I have 3 part pairs of socks which have been lurking, trying to attract my attention since the end of March, so the idea is that they will be finished before the end of the month. I am also around a third of the way up the body of the Gathered Pullover, so it would be good to make some progress on that. There are so many things I want to knit and to wear, that getting some finished would be good!

Somewhere in the last two years I have slipped from being a product knitter to being a process knitter. I have also become a capital ‘K’ Knitter in that time. Knitting has become a central plank of my identity. I see myself as a Knitter, Blogger, mother, cook and so on – but knitting is definitely one of the first things to come to mind if I think about myself. I still love the products of my hands (and just threw out another 2 manufactured jumpers to prove it), but the process of knitting – the learning, extending my knowledge, honing my craft – has become immeasurably important to me.

I’m enjoying the stash-busting cardigans. And to prove it I cast on a Juliet this morning! I have had some rather gorgeous bulky weight Jade marinating in my not-stash for a couple of years – and now was the time to use it – a short sleeved over-cardi, knit in the round from the top down, in bulky wool with a garter stitch yoke and a lace body – what could be nicer?

But I’m also enjoying socks, and felting, and knitted toys, and scarves, and shawls. I am enjoying the planning, the perusing of patterns, the stash-diving and finding the perfect yarn to match with the pattern. I have slipped from product to process knitting incrementally. I’m still not a complete process knitter, but I can see such a thing in my future. Maybe not all the time, or for every project, but it’s there – beckoning.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

That was the week (or so) that was...

Yet another week or so has zipped past! I’m sure someone is stealing my days and weeks – I can’t believe the year is nearly half over – and I’m sure I have no memory of February whatsoever – other than the Princess starting big school – but that was only one day – so someone has, yet again, made off with the rest of the month (and bits of April, and May as well)!

So the last week as a quick whip through, in the order in which I remember it!!

I have no idea what happened from Monday to Thursday. Use your imagination, make it as exciting as you like and then let me know – I’ll take it. I have the feeling that really I did Mum stuff – washing, tidying, cooking etc. Your ideas are bound to be better – I’d like to have jetted to the Bahamas for a secret meeting with Alan Rickman and Johnny Depp, whilst eating Beluga Caviar and drinking Tattinger, but realise this is unlikely to have happened. I think it was more probably the laundry.

On Friday we went to the opening of a friends microbrewery, Seven Sheds. He makes ale with his own hops, local malt and water, and sparkling mead (MMMMM!) with local honey. That was fun, even if I missed afternoon tea because I had to collect the Princess from school. As you can imagine, the event was groaning with local, state and federal politicians – if they’ll come to the opening of an envelope, how much more likely are they to attend an event with free beer?

The brewery is wonderful, the mead and ale fabulous and if you’re near Railton, Tasmania, you must drop in (beware though – both are extremely strong!).

Saturday was a girls day out to Agfest. A friend of mine and I callously abandoned our children to spend the day drifting about Tasmania’s premier agricultural showcase. We had great fun – we stopped and talked to people, only visited the stalls we wanted to see, had our hands done at demonstrations, our boots polished collected free stuff to make enormous show bags for our kids and husbands, ate exotic tempura mushrooms and drank homemade ginger beer, bought yarn, fibre, chocolate, soap and girl stuff. We patted alpacas, calves and goats, grabbed free fibre samples and bought fibre, rovings and tops (and yarn) from the alpaca tent, talked to llamas and men with fencing stuff and generally had a wonderful day. We got there at 8am and left at 4pm – we had about 10 free calico and coloured shopping bags, lots of handouts, heaps of stuff for the kids and sore feet – best day I’ve had in ages!

Sunday brought the in-laws over for lunch, which the kids loved and Monday was our 7th wedding anniversary. The Accountant and I went out to lunch at Anvers. This a the local chocolate factory and cafe - the food is fabulous, nearly all local and lots of it contains chocolate (including the home made beef, mushroom and stout pie - with chocolate and chili!).

The rest of this week has been mum stuff – especially today, which was the special Mothers’ Day assembly and morning tea at the Princess’s school – lovely singing and poems by the kids and the most beautiful picture of me by my daughter (I apparently have blue and green hair, triangular dresses and a big smile). – All in all and bit happy tearful at the loveliness of it all.

So now you’re up to date – knitting continues. Here, especially for Ms Madmad is the Slouch Rib Cardi

Admire the damn buttons please – they cost nearly as much as the yarn!

Tahoe is growing – second front is cast on tonight – I am deeply in love with the gorgeousness of Zara and want to wear it all the time – except when I am wearing Malabrigo, of which some snuck into my stash in the last few days. Mmmm Malabrigo!

Ciao! Promise to be a better blogger in future!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The De-Clutter Continues

Well, I haven't been posting as regularly as I would like, but I thought I'd better do a bit of an update for the 'In, Out, Shake it all about' stakes before everyone (including me) forgot what was happening!

4 skeins of yarn from Elin's stash
10 balls of Thorobred Flame from Sue's de-stash
13 balls of Dark Blue Zara, 2 balls Grinasco strong print sock and 2 balls of Madil Kid Seta (a moment of madness at the LYS)
1 skein wool and silk (other LYS)
7 skeins of Malabrigo in Tuareg, 1 skein in Amoroso (paypal spend up at Yarnandkisses)
Norah Gaughan Volume 2
Knitted Babes (enabled by Rosered tempting me and the great exchange rate!)
1 bag of alpaca happy (Fibre, roving and tops and 1 skein hand dyed) (Agfest)
6 bars soap, 1 jar herbal cleanser, 1 jar scrub, 1 jar moisturiser (Agfest)
6 bottles assorted chili sauces, pickles and chutney - spicy heaven (Agfest)


4 bags of assorted stuff (op - shop)
1 bag of manchester including doona covers (op-shop)
1 bag of tights etc (gift)
1 bag shoes (gift)
14 bags childrens clothes (ebay)
2 balls Madil Kid Seta (gift)


Slouch Rib Cardi finished (11 balls of Jet out of the notStash)

Will do a proper post tomorrow or Friday.

Taph is still an inspiration on this thing - and the junk room upstairs is becoming more visible!