Wednesday, January 30, 2008

And the winners are.....

And the winners are:




Georgie, I have your address, but Melinda, I need yours – please email me and next week I’ll get something nice away to you both!

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments on both my 100th blogpost and for your birthday wishes! You are all very kind! We went out for dinner last night with children at the local pub and, apart from a decided willingness on my part to swap either or both children for a puppy by the end of the night, we had a nice time!

We’re off for a long weekend to Hobart tomorrow, an operation which requires the advanced logistical skills and roughly the same amount of gear used by the 5th brigade when invading Iraq. In a couple of months we’re invading – sorry, Freudian slip there – ummm – visiting Canberra, via Echuca and Bendigo and Rutherglen and Wangaratta – wine and wool – Hey! Who does the trip planning for these holidays anyway? And the two and a half week trip will need almost exactly the same amount of stuff as the 4 day trip. Gone are the days when we used to throw a couple of things into an over night bag and take off with no preparation whatsoever!

There has been knitting happening.

I have finished the first Vog On and am doing the gusset of the second, and am up to the heel flap of the first Noro spiralling rib sock. I’m trying to organise things so I’ve got fairly straight and mindless knitting to do on the 3 hour drive in the car tomorrow – I prefer not to be picking up stitches to create gussets in a moving vehicle – one DPN always seems to fling itself loose during the process and end up under the seats in a position where it is impossible to retrieve until the car has come to a complete standstill!

We seem to be planning to spend most of the time catching up with friends we haven’t seen for ages, but I have rather sneakily organised to slip off to Salamanca Market with the Knightly Knitter, followed by an SnB. This is while our respective husbands mind our collective children!

It’s the first step in my master plan for world domination, folks, leaving the kids with Dad!

Talk to you again after the weekend folks – and will have a pile of blogs to catch up with on Tuesday!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Dashing 100th!

I currently have 5 quiet minutes to myself, while the kids play upstairs. A quiet moment is rather a luxury in this house – so I’m seizing my opportunity and updating my blog!

On the knitting front not much has changed. Bella continues – I’m part way up the front, have knitted both sleeve caps and started one of the lace inserts for the neck. This was because I wasn’t entirely sure I had enough of the Amerah silk for the job – but I’ve just started the 3rd ball for one side of the neck and even if it takes the whole of the ball I have one left (Hooray!). I also wanted to have lots of plain stocking stitch because an old friend is visiting this weekend and given that we tend to drink nice wine and eat nice food whenever he visits, I figured the stocking stitch front is my safest bet!

I’m still working on the foot of the first Vog On, and the foot of the First Noropup spiral rib sock. I was tempted to cast on about 3 other projects but have resisted the siren call of startitis.


Not a great week overall.

28 balls of Jet from the Doomlight of Spot (2 dollars a ball – 3 jumpers worth - sale yarn is NOT stash)
12 balls Patonyle off Layby (Discontinued yarn is also NOT stash)
4 balls Bendi cotton and 1 ball Bendi 8 ply (Stash, unfortunately)
1 skein Ranco, re-housed from Donyale (not stash twice! It’s sock yarn, which doesn’t count AND it’s being re-housed – this means one ball of Bendi is wiped from the stash list!)
1 linen shirt, Opshop

Enormous piles of papers, old magazines and old telephone directories – recycling (when I say enormous I mean around 4 boxes full)
Old travel and car brochures (ditto)
Selection of ‘B’ grade children’s art work (recycling)

Large number of bottles retrieved from shed to be filled with Plum Sauce (Yum)

Socially, I’ve had a fun couple of weeks. I’ve been playing on Ravelry a bit (OK, more than is good), and have met a local knitter through there. We had coffee and she knows other knitters – so this may form the nucleus of a local S’n’B. She dropped in a couple of days ago for coffee and brought some qiviut for me to pet. (I want! I. Really. Want. Some. Of . This. Stuff.) There ought to be a health warning about the addictive properties of this fibre. MMMMMMM!! I will know proceed to try and save up my pennies to afford a mere sniff of my very own.

Next weekend we’re off to that sink of corruption, that Sodom and Gomorrah of the South – Hobart. Although it’s only 3 hours away, and I used to trip down there 3 times a month in the times before children, now it takes rather more organisation! But we’re off and I will catch up with Kate, other friends I haven’t seen for ages, Salamanca and other joys!

I’ve had a sick poppet this week, but also managed to get over to Grandma’s and get some sewing done (for the first time in a millennia or so!). I’d forgotten the joy of REALLY instant gratification!!

I finally have some takers for Pay It Forward! Lynn from Too Hot to Knit, Ms Frog Ponds Rock and Baby Amore – you are the PIF beneficiaries! Don’t forget to put this up on your blogs and PIF to 3 other people!

And, by the way, if you didn't notice, this is my one hundredth post! Gosh! So I'd better have a competition. If you leave a comment (and your email address if I don't know you already) before the 30th of January, I will draw out 2 names for a pressie! (MY birthday, so it's reasonable to give pressies!) It will be something from stash, but a nice something! Cheers!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

In Which Things are Knitted and Others Picked!

I’m feeling a bit guilty as it’s a while since I blogged, but I’ve been either out or fighting for computer time with the Accountant and kidlets! I’ve been sneaking downstairs early to read blogs and email and catch up on Ravelry!

I’ve also been trying to limit yarn purchases since New Year (given that I knew the BMFARSC2008 bill was coming) but rather fell down with a small Bendi purchase (3 balls of cotton and a couple of other things ready for a certain Ravelry bag swap) and taking a skein of Ranco off Donyale’s hands (a civic duty, really!). I also happen to know there’s a sock kit on its way from Red Bird, and the RSC first kit will apparently be posted on Jan 21st from the USA, so it’s not really that onerous, except, well… I heard of a fabulous sale and had to ask a blogpal in that city and she bought me some of the said fabulous wool which was on sale and apart from THAT, hardly any wool has come in my door! (and technically, neither has that one because she is holding onto for me until I get there in March!).

Knitting has taken place. The Kaibashira socks are finished, the back of Bella and half of one sleeve cap is done (to check if I am going to need more Amerah silk), I’ve done the heel of one Vog On and am down to the heel of the spiral rib sock I’m making from one of my Noropups. I’ve started the bag for the bag swap (from stash – yayayayay!).

Now, no-one has responded to my Pay it Forward request!! Wouldn’t you like me to make you a something-or-other? Remember, the first 3 people who would like me to make them something in 2008 and will agree to offer to make 3 other people something in 2008 can participate. Let me know. It will be a nice something!

So, this week was enlivened by a day out in convoy with other mothers of small children (and my friend’s mother, grandmother, Mother in law and aunt) picking blueberries and visiting nurseries (plant kind, not the other). My children picked and ate enormous amounts (blue poo for a month) and I picked. We came home with more than 8kg of blueberries (at 4.50 a kg!!) and 2 tired and fractious kids!

There was also a birthday party of two of Princess’s classmates (twins) yesterday with a hired jumping castle! Princess had a great time, even though it rained – the first rain for ages and most welcome! It rained most of yesterday and most of the night – hurrah!

Now, I’m just going to pick my bonnet up and swing it by its ribbons, take a short ramble and hope to encounter Mr Darcy in wet clothes (shiver!). Enjoy your day!

Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm so happy!

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

I'm so happy!! My favourite heroine! I'm her (and in case you don't remember -I have a tiger daemon named Thaleron!) Life's pretty good really!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Help Me Knit While I'm Asleep!

How hard can this blogging be? I ask myself. It can’t be so hard – I’ll fit it in around life and children and knitting and Ravelry and reading other blogs and thinking about knitting and domestic life and very occasional desultory housecleaning. Not a problem.

Well, I’ve finally subscribed to a blog reader to tell me when new posts are on all your blogs (why didn’t I know about this and do it oooooohhh six or so months ago?). That helps, but my Rav usage has rather expanded, especially because I’m now a group moderator – remember the SPECIAL POWERS? I figure that with great power comes great responsibility – so I check pretty regularly on the groups I’m in (which have also expanded – somehow I’m in 14 groups now).

I’ve been fighting for computer time with the children and the Accountant. I’ve also been using the computer for legitimate (work type) purposes. And trying to do other things, such as cook meals, pick off all apples infected with codling moth (4 apple trees – 2 big and old), pick plums from this years bumper crop and turn them into plum sauce and try to beat the garden into submission.

I’ve also discovered the magic of dyeing and the kids and I spent a morning painting skeins of 14 ply from the stash, mordanted with vinegar overnight, with food colouring. We had a great time and the wool looked fabulous. This was Monday. By Thursday morning I had finished Destructoboy’s beanie (Taph’s bulky beanie pattern). I haven’t done Princess’s hat yet, but I will. Soon. It’s been a bit hot for knitting 14 ply.

I’ve had a couple of little stash enhancements – these are 2 little Noropups (Kureyon sock yarn) who were looking for a home.

This was from a swap – the lovely Spiraling wanted an Interweave and I love sock yarn – it’s a gorgeous almost solid turquoise-y blue and I see some embossed leaves socks in its future.

Just to prove there has been knitting happening – here are one and a half Kaibashira socks:

And here is the cotton, stocking stitch section of the Bella Blouse (at last!)

Other than that, life rolls on. I want to learn to knit in my sleep. If you’re very good, one day I’ll show you the numerous sock project bags (yarn and appropriate pattern in a ziplock bag, ready to pick up and knit.

Oh – I almost forgot the most exciting news! I’m in the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Sock Club 2008. I’ve paid. They post out on the 21st of January. Wouldn’t it be nice if the first package happened to arrive on my birthday?

Monday, January 7, 2008

And a big hand for......2008!

Aaah! New Year!

Season of resolutions and new beginnings. For me, 2007 was a great year. I knitted my first ever scarf! Truly, I did! I always hated the endless nature of scarves and last year I was a confident enough knitter that I actually knitted 3 – 1 for my SIL for her birthday, 1 for my wonderful Stepmum forr HER Birthday (from Recycled silk – which she adores!) and one for me – which was my travelling knitting for a while.

I’ve made my first real lace things, done my first ever cables, knitted around 12 pairs of socks and 7 or so jumpers, dishcloths, and bags, felted stuff – 2 pairs of slippers and 5 bags, fallen in love with KnitPicks and Harmonies, started having more than 1 WIP, started a blog, met lots of wonderful blogpals (some face to face1) and ended up as a moderator on a Rav Group (with SPECIAL POWERS – WOOHOO!)

So for 2008:

I’ve already mentioned I want to knit from stash. I don’t know if I’ll make it to 10 jumpers (given that I need to buy some cotton from Bendi,) but I will try! I really do want to make lots of socks and have almost finished the 3rd SSoS pair and have already cast on the 4th pair and am ready to go on the 5th with my new Noro sock yarn (such pretty colours!). Bella has finally turned the corner and I’ve stopped the interminable but beautiful and hard-on-the-hands band and am on the cotton bit – nice soothing stocking stitch.

I’m going to do some more de-cluttering (all the STUFF that’s been accumulated), and I’m not going to stress about the fact that I’ll get one year older at the end of this month (46 - Oh my!!). I’ll spend more time on things related to knitting and blogging (that should be an easy one!), in an attempt to make it all more professional (eg writing articles and designing more). I’d like to do some dying and learn to use my drop spindle, and spinning wheel, but I’m not going to stress if I can’t fit that time in.

I’m going to make an effort to meet more of my blogpals in the flesh (that’s easy too!). I’m going to finally subscribe to Bloglines instead of clicking on everyone’s blog every day in the hope someone is making new posts about the fun stuff they’re doing.

I’ll definitely do more swaps – because the tea cosy was such fun!

I like Taph’s aim of buying something from an Australian independent producer every month, so I’ll try to do more of that!

I’ll try to be more organised and get rid of stuff and live in a tidier and less cluttered environment. And spend less money (especially on my credit card), and knit more.
I’ll make lists and have fun and spend lots of time doing fibre-y stuff with the kids! (We spent yesterday dyeing wool with food colouring and had lots of fun – more about that later)

I’d like to knit a real lace shawl (and have some gorgeous lace-weight of Spidey’s to do it with).
I’d also like to lose weight and get fitter (I can knit while walking, I’m sure), because then I’d get to knit more things because they wouldn’t need to be so big! Also, if I got fitter I’d probably live longer, and that would give me time to knit more stuff and become a cantankerous old lady – and poke people with knitting needles!

I’m also going to do some sewing this year – I’ve bought some fabric and want to make some project bags a bit like Rosered’s! (I’d also like to make some like 2Paws and Kate’s but am not sure I’m up to that yet!). I am also NOT going to try and build up a fabric stash because I need more stuff like I need a hole in the head.

There. That should be enough to keep me occupied for a while. There’s more – I should be gardening and cleaning out rooms and reading more and learning more things and knitting for charity and teaching more people to knit. But somehow I’ve got to fit my life in between all this other stuff, so if it happens, well and good, and if it doesn’t – well, there’s always next year!

Bore Da!

Ins and Outs


2 balls Noro sock yarn – yarn porn!
Norah Gaughan Volume 1
1 set harmony option ends
1 set harmony sock needles
Christmas pressies – including DPN holder and Small project bag (Thanks Kate and RoseRed)
Clothes and Undies
The Silver Spoon cook book
Walking with Dinosaurs DVD
8 tops for me – Op Shop, Rockmans, and mail order
1 dress
Nice soap and Tea
2 skeins gorgeous baby alpaca (Thanks Donyale!)
NB I received 13 not 12 balls of the Tencel/Wool mix from the lovely Donyale – so I’m fessing up to the extra one because I can’t count
20 balls Zara (on sale so not counting as stash!)
Large bag of Sale wool from Bendi
2 large plastic tubs for the looking after of aforementioned yarn
Other assorted little notions for Christmas


23 jars – fruit and veg shop (jams and pickles)
70 egg cartons – fruit and veg shop
23 items of clothing – Women’s refuge
15 new items of underwear – Women’s refuge
2 pairs shoes – Lifeline
3 shirts – gift
2 nighties, 4 pairs trousers. 3 tops – gifts
Massive amount of old papers trashed, recycled and/or shredded (around 3 boxes full!)

Shake it all about

3 skeins of 14 ply stash wool, dyed with food colouring by kids and me – to be turned into hats!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The resolution?

or try this:

I’ve been having the devil’s own problems with this post (don’t ask – I have actually written it 4 times and been attempting to put in a link and transfer HTML thingies, and it keeps vanishing!

I am so over it, so this time, I’ve started in Word (so I don’t have to all the writing part again if it goes astray) and we’ll see.

I’m so dispirited by my lack of techno savvy I’ve just left the empty post up – and this was after saving and saving and saving! (I learned my lesson about that many years ago!)

I’m going to try and reproduce the immortal prose of earlier posts. In which I bemoaned the state of children’s literature. Presumably the previous posts have now migrated around the blogosphere and will come to roost in someone’s blog about Japanese carpentry techniques of the 15th century or something!

This all started because I took a quiz on the Golden Compass movie website to find my daemon (find the link yourself- I’m too scared to try and post it!)

Turns out my daemon is a tiger called Thaleron and I thought this was cool. Sheere Khan in Jungle Book (the real version with WORDS, not the Disney movie) was always my favourite, so I decided this made me a tiger – ie sleeping in the shade and scaring small children!

This then led me to reminiscing about my favourite children’s classics – Jungle Book, Alice, Wind in the Willows, Swallows and Amazons, Horse with the Green Nose and others. Then the modern classics – Alan Garner, Joan Aiken, Tamora Pierce, Andre Norton, John Flanagan, Eoin Colfer, Phillip Pullman, JK Rowling and so on.

I also bemoaned the fact that many modern award winning children’s books seem to involve incest, abuse, drug taking, sex, violence and so on. I agree that these things really happen, but is it absolutely necessary for children to be forced to read books containing these subjects, and why can’t we promote values of adventurousness, courage, responsibility, curiosity and independence, as illustrated by many of the classics.

Granted, many also contain traces of racism, colonialism and sexism, but many don’t and by ignoring books of this type, we take away the wonder, excitement and beauty contained in them. This came to a head for me when I discovered a picture book which won all sorts of awards written about the war in the former Yugoslavia and the rape and disappearance of the narrator’s mother and sisters, death violence and war. I really didn’t feel such a book was that great for an audience of 3 to 7ish year olds. It had, of course, won lots of awards.

Now I am totally against censorship. But can’t we make space for promoting books containing wonder and beauty, and do we really need to give all the awards to books showing only the ugliness of ‘real’ life? Can’t we allow children space to be innocent and children?

So, strike a blow for fantasy and read a child a book from the classics – read them Milly-Molly-Mandy, or Winnie-the-Pooh. Read it now!

Here endeth the Rant!

The State of the Library