Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do you remember?

Do you remember how I said I would blog more regularly and I promised there'd be photos and deathless prose?

Do you remember me saying that?

Damn. I was hoping you'd forgotten that incident.


I have been a bad blogger, and haven't blogged as much as I should, and I'm not really sure why, except that life got slightly more complicated and I got distracted and, well, whoops, here it is, however long since I blogged.

And there's Bells, looking forward to blogging every day for a month. And me. Lucky to blog once a week - but truly - I am trying for more. I don't think I'm really a candidate for Blogtoberfest though - although you might be.

In truth, the return to yucky weather brought on a severe case of the blahs, so much so that I have hardly looked at Ravelry, and I've been reading and not always commenting on your blogs. I am sorry. I can't help bad weather blahs. To put it in context, since July 1 there have been 5 days without rain in Tasmania. Five.

No wonder I've been damp. Heavens - I can tell where North is because that is the side of me without moss on it.

But it all stops here. I solemnly promise that I..


What's that?

Oh - it's some pretty knitting.

The Vine Yoke Cardigan, (anyone mention bandwagons?). As yet buttonless, but blocked. In the Naturally Sensation (10ply merino/angora 70/30, soft as a baby bunny) that I bought while in South Australia in a heat wave last summer. For some reason there were 12 skeins, at $2.50 a skein. This cardigan used - wait for it - 6 and a half skeins. Can you believe it? So, including the cost of the pattern and buttons it cost about $25 dollars! An angora cardi for 25 bucks? Happy dance for sure!

I have been trying to finish WIPs and wearing blinkers so I don't get distracted. Having finished the Vine Yoke I finally cast on some gifty socks (Blackrose, but in 8ply) and will be trying to almost monogamously work on them.

With maybe a teeny tiny side order of finishing the half a sock I have to go on a pair, a bit of garter stitch jacket and perhaps a little Radiate - just to take the edge off.

In honour of Rosered then, here are the incomings and outgoings for September.

800gr from Bendigo Woollen Mills (gifty socks and enough luxury 4 ply for a thermal)
1 skein of sock yarn

That's it.

and I have finished 2 garments but they used very little yarn
Tempest - 250gr
Vine Yoke - 325gr
Cottys - 100gr
and Fawkes may get finished tonight, so I'll throw them in too - 100gr

775gr out and 900 in

Doesn't seem fair really.

Next month may be a little worse (unless I knit MUCH faster) - I know there may be something coming in and there are some sock club parcels arriving. I am still striving for stash diminuition. Maybe I should just knit socks and stuff with sock yarn for all of 2010.

What do you think?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What I did on my holidays.....

We're back. The washing is done, the sheets are flapping in the breeze out on the clothesline and spring has finally happened properly. In fact, although it rained all day yesterday, it is beautiful today and was every day we were away too. Well done to the weather gods.

We started out by having 2 days in Hobart, where I managed to catch up with the amazingly talented Ms Frog Ponds Rock. Pop over and visit her blog - she is a great potter and an amazing photographer. It was just lovely to finally meet her (and swap recipes and hit the spice shop!)

We also caught up with the Knightly Knitter and her family, where she prepared an incredible meal while also demonstrating superwoman capabilities by simultaneously cooking, wrangling children, talking about knitting, knitting and refereeing several disagreements amongst the junior set - and keeping the dogs outside.

Off to Port Arthur for 2 days and, truth to tell, I was a little worried, having not been back there since the events of 1996, but it retains the same sense of peace and tranquility I always remember. I was afraid it may have become something else.

Despite its dark history, I have always loved Port Arthur. I think it is beautiful. It is hard to believe it was a brutal prison for so long, housing convicts who had committed crimes after their transportation to Van Dieman's Land.

Probably the nicest thing about our stay down there was the fact that the place where we stayed was right across the road from the back gate to the site. Once we had paid the entry fee, we were given a key and could come and go as we pleased.

It was our domain. This meant that I could sorta run in the world heritage nominated area in the morning and be the only person in there, with all this beauty all to myself.

Then we headed up the East Coast and stayed at Coles Bay. We did some of the short walks and generally hung about.

The kids did some kids stuff (including mugging for the camera) and we all generally recharged our batteries.

We built sandcastles here.
And despite the Accountant suffering a major gout attack on the first day (which meant I had no time to knit in the car because I had to drive, and this threw my plans out dreadfully!), I finally finished the Cotty socks I started at Bendigo. Here they are, in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock, mediumweight in Koi Koi. Love them.
Now, I have to start looking forward to the next road trip!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Spring is Sprung! The Grass is Riz!

It's Spring, it's Spring! Or at least, it is spring today. The weather forecast is suggesting rain for the next week and for most of the rest of the month, but today it is spring. The bees are delirious with the beauty of the day - and so am I.

For the first time in weeks the washing is flapping on the line, the breeze is soft, warm and gentle, the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the only clouds are the little fluffy sort. Life is good.

Life is so good, I couldn't resist sneaking on to the kids' trampoline for a bounce - which made me feel all dizzy when I got off!

In fact, life is made even better by the fact I have finally finished Tempest. The ends were a complete sod to sew in (and next time I will use Dr Bones suggestion and carry them up the sides as neatly as possible!), but she is finished and I love her. This is really the first time I have made such a form fitting knit - she is snug (and will become less so as I lose more weight - fingers crossed etc), and I'm not entirely sure about the buttons - I needed 16 - 15 plus one for luck or accidents) and they were probably larger than would be thought best because the buttonholes grew with blocking. The colours are vibrant, so I went with transparent buttons - because I couldn't find the mother of pearl ones I really wanted!

Children are on holidays and showing tendencies of becoming loud and excited, so they and the guinea pig will be outside for a fair proportion of this glorious day.

The Princess has expressed a wish to undertake some sewing, so we will be doing that shortly, and then packing will happen for our short trip. I finally have the wonderful Meet Me at Mike's book (a beautiful book and a must have for those who want to support Australian mde and especially Australian hand-made!), but todays small sewing will come from the 1970s books that have been hanging about since I was just a bit older than the Princess.

Yesterday was another rainy day, so we went to the Imaginarium, where the kids went wild, raced the (virtual) dinosaur and learned about bugs, space and puzzles. I knitted.

Have a lovely weekend. Enjoy the spring. At least until it starts raining again!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Random Friday

Thanks everyone for your good wishes - currently the lurgies are in retreat (fingers crossed, knocks on wood, does lucky dance etc). We have had a single day of sunshine in the past many, many days. Maybe that helped.

Random stuff:

1. Apparently, if it rains on St Swithin's Day (July 15), it will rain for 40 days. It rained on St Swithin's Day and we are now approaching a lot more than 40 days. I'm hoping I have time to go to a woodwork class, because I don't think my skills are up to building an ark, but it certainly looks as if I need to be able to. We may have had enough rain - just for a little while. In ultra-random stuff, St Swithin is also the patron saint of apples and apple trees. Who knew?

2. There is very little sign of it being spring. The bulbs are out and so are the early fruit trees, blossoming their hearts out. But it doesn't feel like spring. It's still cold. And wet (please see point 1).

3. Tempest knitting has finished, but there is still the matter of umpty zillion ends. I hate sewing in ends. I am sure there are people who can make their sewn in ends look great. Mine look crappy and I find that sewing in more than 7 in a session fills me with a level of unholy rage. I loved the knitting. If I make it again I will either make it in one colour, or I will work out a way to carry the yarn up the sides for 14 rows. I won't sew the sleeves in until the ends are dealt with. This may take some more time.

4. The Vine Yoke Cardigan is growing apace. Not only is Ysolda a genius, but I shopped from stash (or possibly from insulation, given that I have no stash, as laid out in the rules of stash), and am knitting it in the Naturally Sensation I picked up in Gawler, SA for $2.50 a skein. The yarn is gorgeous, the pattern fun, and I have a warm inner glow which only comes from feeling that you have a bargain. I even managed to get the perfect buttons for about 80 cents each.

5. The concentration on knitting large garments have meant that the enormous pile of WIPs is still sitting there, staring at me sullenly. I will get to them.

6. Stash honesty forces me to admit that some yarn may have entered the house during August, but I can't remember all of it. I know there was a little sock yarn. There was some Fleece Artist (around 3 garments worth) but I have absolutely no idea what else. I may have repressed the memory.

7. The children have been tending to act up. Part of this is from cabin fever because the weather has been so awful that they have been cooped up - although I drove them outside last weekend with a pitchfork - well, not really a pitchfork, but certainly with a high level of coercion. Partly it is tiredness. The circus school's major show is on now and over the weekend, and there have been long (and sometimes, late,) rehearsals. The concentration on one child, has meant the other child asserting rights to attention by being a right little snot. On various occasions I have comforted myself with thoughts of infanticide, child slavery or sale or return. Then they are nice, and totally disarm me!

8. On one of the nice occasions, the Princess (who spent some of her birthday money on a cookbook) decided to make breakfast, lunch and dinner. She did a wonderful job. She made pancakes, turkish bread pizzas and Tagliatelle Carbonara. Grownups did the stirring things on the gas stove, and the putting into and getting out of the oven, she did the rest. She also made little pink biscuits. I did the washing up. This behaviour is being highly encouraged. I have fantasies of never have to cook through her teenage years.

10. School holidays start today. Next week we will have a few days away, visiting Hobart (and seeing the Knightly Knitter), Port Arthur and Coles Bay. This may help with the cabin fever.

Will try a more organised post (possibly with illustrations!) soon.