Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month!

April Fool's Day!

And that sneaky person who steals my time has been active again! I swear (frequently and loudly) that someone has stolen at least part of February and March, because we are a quarter of the way through the year, and I'm sure I haven't taken full advantage of it.

I have been spending lots of time in the kitchen. The tomatoes have kicked in and I forgot one or three zucchinis, which immediately expanded to fill the space available.

I have relished, chutneyfied, roasted, jammed and preserved - currently, if you stand too still in my kitchen you are immediately turned into relish. This has meant somewhat less time for knitting, but maybe I will have more time for leisurely pursuits after the 23rd.

I have continued with at least some of the de-cluttering - 7 shopping bags of clothes (mine and the children) trotted off to Lifeline last week, and 2 boxes and an outgrown activity table went to the child care centre. I think I have mentioned before that our local childcare centre is a not-for-profit organisation, and they do a great job, so good quality outgrown toys go off there to be played with.

I have so many WIPs around that in the evenings when I finally sit down and knit, I just reach down and snag a bag and knit on whatever is in it. This so-called system may explain my lack of finished objects for the past several weeks!

In the March stash honesty situation, I was doing very well, and I hasten to say that I didn't buy very much. I did, however, receive both presents and prizes, which rather put me behind the eight-ball, but I am not complaining!

So, In:
13 books (11 were for review)
2 cds (for review)
1 DVD (review)
8 balls of jo sharp silkroad aran (prize from Serendipity's blog)
1 jo sharp book (ditto)
2 knitting mags, 2 skeins of sock yarn (prize/gift from Zephyrama)
4 balls sock yarn and 600gr Plymouth Outback and 1 book (gift from Amy)
3 skeins of sock yarn (I weakened)
2 sock club parcels
5 skeins of undyed from the Knittery

Total yarn in: 2.5kgs of yarn (oh my! That is scary!)

as above

Knitted: 6oogr (raglan cardi and socks)

I really, really, really, really need to knit faster.

Or with heavier wool.

And I need to read faster too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Autumn Sneakiness

Autumn is sneaking up on us....Ssshhh!

It's dark when I get up in the mornings, and daylight savings doesn't finish for another 2 weeks. We have had some cool nights, there has been a little rain, mushrooms are springing up and occasionally I smell fires in the evening (the good kind!).

Knitting has been happening, but not much has been finished. This Fish Hat is one of my few FOs for ages. Here it is being modelled by its recipient, Destructoboy. He chose the colours, and loves it. We are waiting for cooler weather. Princess would like one too. Along with a number of other knitted items she has requested

Thank you for all your wonderful and positive thoughts. Now I have got over the hurt feelings and wounded pride (`They don't love me enough', `I should be indispensable'), I am actually feeling very good about not having a paid job. Of course, I shall miss the `paid' bit, but I am seizing the opportunity and learning to spin, and helping out more at the school. I shall be quite happy when April 23 rolls around.

However, I have been having a serious attack of the blahs. Zephyrama suggests it is because I am the twilight zone, and I think she is right. At the moment, it doesn't really matter how good a job I do, I still have no job in 4 or 5 weeks. Of course, it matters to me, and to my boss, but it has no effect on the outcome.

This has made me unsettled (along woth general magpie-ness) and flat feeling. I was definitely feeling like that yesterday. Hard to get motivated, blahness and general not quite happiness. And this arrived.

A parcel from the wonderful Amy Lane. You may remember that I edited the second book in her Bitter Moon duology (and the first one, but that's ages ago). So just when I was feeling flat and blah, here is a box from the USA containg a copy of the book (Yay!), sock yarn, more sock yarn, 3 enormous hanks of Plymouth Outback Wool in a happy, sunny coolourway (enough for a jumper), a little wooly, sheepy tape measure and a knitters pin. Thank you Amy!

Perfect timing and a wonderful gift!

Just for Rosered, here are some orange shoes. They are pretty and comfortable and ORANGE.

When I have a little more free time, I will tidy up my blog. I seem to have not touched the sidebars and so on for ages, so there's another little uncluttering job to be done.

I have continued the de-cluttering. A further 6 bags of clothes are off to lifeline, and two boxes of books and toys are off to the child care centre.

Amy's parcel has ruined my in/out stash figures for this month. I had knitted much more than came in until then - but I'm certainly not complaining! If I knit faster, maybe I can still match the amount!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Brilliant Career Goes Bung

First, pictures.

Here are the gorgeous, very like 1930s/40s black and white shoes.

See the heel? It's octagonal.

The beige and tan ones are by the same people. I adore thirties type shoes and these are utterly beautiful. Both pairs have the same heels and both make me think of Kate Hepburn in `Woman of the Year' and other pictures with Spencer Tracey when she played a feisty journalist.


I bought these as my cub-reporter shoes.

Last Thursday, I was made redundant. Just over 7 months ago I was handed this job on a plate. I was very excited and because it was a dream job, even though I really didn't want to go back to work quite then, I took the job. Being a journalist, 3 days a week was wonderful.

But then came the GFC. Community newspapers which don't make money are not the most loved things by media companies. The fact that the Editor and I had made it into a good paper, which people enjoyed reading doesn't really count for much in these times. When she was promoted, but there was no sign of a replacement we began to smell a rat.

Unfortunately, there was no position for me. The only available job was doing shifts, full time, 5o kms away. Not really an option when you have a 4 year old and a 6 year old. Doing 3 days was enough of a stretch (and I'm not even going to get into the amazing women who hold down fulltimes jobs with young kids.)

So there it is. Maybe in the future more opportunities will come up, but at present, come April 23, I am unemployed.

However, this will give me the chance to learn to spin, and maybe to do some dying. I will have time to knit and cook more and to collect kids from school and play with them and do stuff. It's not all bad.

In the meantime, there is a fun little meme doing the rounds (I've seen it on Kuka and Penny's blogs). You google 'Unfortunately, (insert your name here)' and see what you get.

Here are mine:

Unfortunately, Ceri's new start seemed to involve disrupting lives, within days she's reunited a happily uncoupled couple....

Unfortunately, Ceri, the vast majority of the British public own mortgages and have to work (yes, even on weekends sometimes)

Unfortunately, Ceri passed away on January 14, however she wanted her message heard so others will learn and lives will be saved (urk!)

Unfortunately, Ceri Davis as Laurie was not strong enough to match Dominic's performance in any area, which was disappointing

Unfortunately, Ceridwen's hopes of getting Paul Simon's song 'Graceland' out of her head upon arrival in Memphis were dashed today

On an entirely different note, I was surprised how many of you are magpies too - look - sparkly stuff - and thought we could all get together someday in either a big department store or at Salamanca market and watch what happens. It would be sidesplitting! Lots of shiny and sparkles and distractions!

What fun!

Off to bottle the zucchini and corn relish!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Magpie Gene

Just for Rosered! I kept promising pictures of the red Dorothy shoes. (I keep wanting to click my heels together and chant `There's no place like home! There's no place like home!' whenever I wear them). And the others are lovely black dressing up to be a grown up shoes. See the heels? Highish, yet solid.

Now back to the scheduled programming.

I think I have a magpie - ooooh look! Something shiny!

Where was I?

Of course, yes, I have the ability to become easily distract.. (shiny! pretty! Ohh!)


Right. I have donned my blinkers and now I should be OK.

I tend to become distracted by pretty shiny stuff - which can be just shiny in the metaphorical sense. New! Exciting!

It happens every so often with yarn or knitting related products - ooh new patterns! NEW YARN!!!!! New projects!

And I currently have a very bad case of magpie-itis! I have been very good this year (look - nearly a whole quarter of the way through!)

I have bought very little yarn. Just the sale yarn in Gawler, South Australia, and the sock club yarn. There may be some yarn on order which has not yet appeared on my doorstep, so that does not count.

I have received some knitting magazines, and have finally got 2 books which were ordered from the Book Depository a while ago, but overall, I have been strong, I have not succumbed to my inner magpie (or my inner packrat).

All good.

But I have been... nervous, unsettled and not quite contented. I have been looking for my next project, given I am on the sleeves of this project and have finished a fish hat for Destructoboy. There are 3 pairs of socks on the needles and the interminable stocking stitch pullover, but I wanted more. I wanted the perfect project. A cardigan jacket. Longish, loosish, fashionable, warm, to be knitted with yarn from the not-stash.

I searched Ravelry. I scoured the queue and project lists. I looked and looked and looked. Back through magazines, through books and patterns. Then last night, I remembered where I had seen it. In the first Debbie Bliss Magazine. Apparently, the instructions are a bugger to follow, and it isn't charted. But I've found the pattern. And I own the yarn (thanks to a de-stash last year).

I feel better now. More settled, happier. All systems go. Oooh! look! something sparkly.......

Sunday, March 1, 2009

And another thing....

First, an apology. After reading Alwen's blog for, well, forever, I still managed to spell her name incorrectly in the last post. Sorry, Alwen.

And for some reason, no kid's books (juvenile fiction) went onto the list - so here's a quick rundown - authors only:
Phillip Pullman (His Dark Materials series),
Tamora Pierce - anything at all,
John Flanagan - The Ranger's Apprentice series - particularly good for boys;
JP Martin - the Uncle Books;
everything by Nicholas Stuart Grey (sadly currently out of print, despite a barrage of emails to Penguin);
some Enid Blyton;
Susan Cooper - the Dark is Rising sequence;
anything by Diana Wynne Jones,
Rudyard Kipling, the Just-So stories and Jungle Book - and Kim and lots of others;
Cornelia Funke
CS Lewis, the Narnia Books
JK Rowling Harry Potter
all the Graeme Base books

Oh - lots more! So I'll stop now before I get carried away!


5 books
3 mags
4 pairs of shoes

4 pairs of shoes (2 binned and 2 to Lifeline)
Pile of Mags - lifeline
1 bag clothes - lifeline

In: Stash
3 sleins of sock yarn (1 replacement for sub-quality; 1 club; 1 prize) = 300 gr

Out: Stash
300 gr ( Cherie Amour - not yet finished)
100gr (socks) = 400gr!!!

For the first time my knitted stash outweighs in incoming. I feel very virtuous.

I spent the weekend doing the job of a 19th century skivvy. I swept, mopped and scrubbed, then swept again, our verandah prior to painting. Our verandah is 3m wide and 12m long, plus a return of 6 metres. It took a long time. The outlaws were here on Sunday and I made the gorgeous choolate and dried pear brownie desert from this month's Delicious magazine (except I used cherries instead of pears) - utterly gorgeous and swooiningly rich.

In fact, this months delicious only arrived last week and has already been used for 4 recipes and I intend to cook some more out of it this week. Obviously a particularly useful isse!

Off to play snap with the 4 year old and think about what to cook for dinner.......