Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oh dear.....

Well, here I am, a little late and with almost too much news for a single post.
News of my demise has been greatly exaggerated - I have just been suffering from computer fatigue, due to assignments, required tutorial postings and general fighting and scrapping with administrators and bureaucrats. And then there were exams. Sigh.

I have however, been knitting ('I knit so I don't kill people' has become a mantra).
There has been knitting. Here is A Little Something (Sundara Silky Merino Aran - from a Ravelry de-stash):

A second Tempest (longer - in Somoko)

A Transverse Cardigan, in Classic Elite Renaissance (also from a Ravelry de-stash)

A Tea Leaves cardigan in Sanguine Gryphon Traveller. This may be my favourite cardigan yet. The pattern is lovely and the wool is gorgeous.

There is a bit of a selfish knitting theme going on here, partly because most of my cardigans and jumpers are too large on me this year (happy dance!) but also because it is comforting to be making oneself something pretty when wading through a pile of assignments. I have also been trying to shop heavily from my non-stash (as it is well known that I have NO STASH).

Partly this is motivated by the rather large quantity of - ahem - insulation which appears to live in our spare room (amongst other places), and partly because, while organising it, I discovered how much beautiful - ahem - insulation - I appear to possess. So I am using it, rather than merely patting it and admiring it.

I seem to have actually knitted more than I have acquired over the last few months. This is A Good Thing, especially with the Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show on the horizon, and the near certainty that I may acquire at least something knittable while I am there.

But it hasn't all been slaving over a hot computer and forcing the family to eat what ever I can throw together in 20 minutes.

No, no.

Just after Easter we escaped to Coles Bay for a wedding. The Accountant's God-daughter married her beau, in a most beautiful ceremony held practically on top of a mountain, overlooking Moulting Lagoon, the Swan River and across toward Swansea. Beautiful day, stunning bride and amazing location. Because of this, we had a lovely weekend away and the weather was perfect, as was the wedding. (I love a good wedding.)

My lovely Step-mother came with us, and looked after these two monsters while we attended the wedding, and the reception later.

After the stress of the assignments, and my practicuum (which was wonderful and exciting and took place in a 'challenging' school, with a very experienced teacher, and a fun and very lively class), we took a holiday. In fact, I actually truanted from my course for the final week. I made sure all assignments and tutorial work was done, packed the lightest text book for exam study and we headed off for two weeks in Fiji. I studied and knitted in a hammock, snorkelled every day, taught the Princes to snorkel, saw sharks and rays and lots of lovely fish and coral, kayaked and found 2 lost Fijian Crested Iguanas while knitting in my hammock.

The finding of the escaped iguanas then gave me an excuse for spending as much time in the hammock as possible. When people asked what I was doing, I could reply that I was looking for iguanas, with a perfectly straight face. I basically finished some Vesper socks (still have to put in afterthought heels), started some Duckies socks, and almost finished a Citron shawlette (hate that word).
The Citron would actually have been finished - had the Knitpicks cable not broken - grrrrrrrr!

So that's it really. You are up to date. Now I am on holiday (as much as a mother ever is!), the kids are back at school. The Princess still has her 4 Fijian beaded braids in and is resisting all attempts to remove them. Destructoboy is missing his splashes in the pool and unlimited access to pineapple and paw paw. The Accountant is missing the warmth and relaxation, and I am missing my hammock.It is the shortest day today, and utterly freezing. We had a hard frost this morning. Fiji seems very far away.

Excuse me, I need to go and knit something.......

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bad, Bad, Naughty Blogger!

I can't believe we are suddenly in March and I blinked and missed February entirely (at least blog-wise). My abject apologies. I think it is that time thief again. I truly can't believe it is March, and therefore, Autumn.

There has been a frenzy of what the Princess calls 'hibernation cooking'. It has only been chilly once, but when school starts, you know the countdown is on.

I have so far turned 20kg of tomatoes (not mine, unfortunately, this year) into roasted tomato sauce, which now resides n the freezer. I have turned the early plums into plum sauce. I have the second last plums (the D'Agen plums) in the dehydrator, becoming prunes. And I have acquired a slow cooker. A really big 6 litre slow cooker. Yesterday I turned 2.5kg of beef shin into an enormous amount of Osso Bucco, half of which has joined the roasted tomato sauce in the freezer.

I joined the Ravelympics in an effort to get some WIPs sorted. I finished a Stash,

a self designed Cowl

and the Ishbel

and I managed to finish the Rocking Sock Club socks from the November package, a lovely CookieA sock called 'Raven Swirl'.

I'm currently not too far off finishing a Damson for my lovely Step Mother. Unfortunately, her birthday is tomorrow, and I don't think I am going to get there.

Yarnadan was not a success. Despite some de-stashing and frantic knitting I managed to finish or dispose of around 1 kg or yarn. A bit more than that came in, but I am not admitting how much. There were some sock club parcels, a few moments of madness on the internet, and about 8 socks and 8 jumpers worth may have come through the door. Drat.

I am feeling quite good that there have been no yarn purchases this month. Some yarn has come in, due to sock club memberships, but I have not actually gone searching and slapped down boodle for balls (or skeins), so that's a win.

One of the main reasons for the blogging silence has been that my kids returned to school, and they are both at school five days a week this year. This has meant I had time on my hands. "Aha", I can hear you saying. "If she has all this time on her hands, why hasn't she been updating us with her no doubt riveting life and all the exciting things she is doing?"

Now, a normal, sane, adult type person would say, "Hmm. Time on my hands? Great, I'll clean the house. Or knit more, or catch up on reading or do some gardening." That is what a sane person would say.

I thought, " Great. Time on my hands? Why don't I go back to university and get another degree. I know, I'll do a Master of Teaching and I'll specialise in primary school.''

Not only am I doing this, I decided that it would be a really, really good idea to do it online.

And to do it full time.

So I am currently a student, a full-time student, part time mother and casual cleaner and house person (very, very casual!). I may be the owner of the messiest house in Northern Tasmania.

So, instead of posting exciting things on the computer, on an irregular basiis, I've been...

Well, I've been posting slightly less exciting things on the computer on a regular basis. So far, I've been a student for two weeks and I'm not behind yet. That's got to be good, right?

The really interesting thing will be how I manage to juggle the full time practical in-class requirement, when I am sent forth to practice my skills on unsuspecting children.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Strange and Odd....

I'm glad I didn't make any rash New Years Resolutions about yarn diets or such, because if I had done, I would have to be out the back giving myself a stern talking to.

I was hoping to get through the whole month of January without buying any yarn. I didn't.

Why aren't you at least pretending to be surprised?

So, for February, I am going to declare 'Yarnadan', a month devoted to contemplation, planning and higher pursuits (like knitting and cleaning), and not low and carnal pursuits (like cruising the internet and shoving people out of the way - in a virtual, cybershphere manner - to grab yarn at a Wollmeise or Sanguine Gryphon update).

Besides, February is a short month and I might make it.

As well as some beautiful yarn which may be making its way towards me, there is also the matter of a New Zealand Sampler Box which will hopefully hit the Tasmanian shores in a day or so. This, of course, is not buying yarn. This is more in the manner of a 'research exercise'. Sampler boxes are fun show-bags of lovely bits and bobs, including fibre and notions which allow you to touch and try before you buy. I have been lucky enough to buy a couple of the new Australian ones, and now managed the first New Zealand one.

The grand plan for some unspecified future date is to knit up some of the samples into swatch squares and make a sort of patchwork blanket from them. Sometime between now - and when I turn ninety!

The time thief has been here again - the summer holidays are almost over - in less than three weeks, the kidlets are back at school. And we have only a week of January left! I'm glad I'm not the only one affected by timethiefitis. Check this:

(There was an unsuccessful attempt to embed the youtube video in here which, as you can see, failed completely. Never mind. Just follow the linky!)

Seems as if Kate Miller-Heidke has the same trouble!

Of course, part of the trouble has involved connecting my Christmas Wii and playing lots of silly games which we are mostly bad at, but are lots of fun. I think I damaged my hamstring, possibly 100pin bowling, or maybe trying not to wet myself laughing as I attempted to beat the Accountant in a canoe race. We are enjoying it immensely, and it is bringing out amazingly competitive streaks in my children!

This weekend we are off to Cradle Mountain. Hope to get in lots of walking and see lots of animals and have a lovely time. I am even hoping to actually finish something in the knitting line, but as I haven't managed to do that in weeks, I see no reason why it is likely to happen in the next few days!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Twenty10 - It's a Year, not a Game (or maybe it is a game.....)

Happy 2010 everyone (insert sounds of fireworks, party poppers, sirens etc here).

I went to bed before midnight, but got up again because the noisy neighbours around where we were staying in South Australia started letting off very loud fireworks at midnight - and I LOVE fireworks. I got up and stood outside in my PJs watching rockets and sparkly things head skyward and laughed and made faces and left my mouth open.

Did you all have a marvellous Christmas and a very Happy New Year?

I'm not sure about 2010 so far, I was really just hitting my stride with the old one, just getting used to writing 2009 on things and then they change it. Seeemed to fly past, but I think it is just the time thief again. Maybe 2010 should be the year I find out who is stealing all my days and weeks.

In deference to the season, a little summing up is in order.

2009 was the year that:
-My children were both at school for the first time
-We worried about husbeast
-I knitted 13 pairs of socks, 9 jumpers/cardis, and assorted blankets, scarves, shawls etc
- I created too many WIPs and think I should do something about them
-I joined 5 sock clubs (a few too many, I think)
-I seemed to add rather a lot of 'insulation' to the house
-I sorta learned to spin
-I worked off 18kg (round of applause please), although I still have 12 to go
-I started (gasp) running - sort of
-I went to Bendigo and met lots of my wonderful no-longer-imaginary friends
-Australia seemed to go to the pack as far as climate and environment are concerned
-The 30th anniversary of the Mt Erebus aircrash
-Started the year as a journo, ended it as a redundant journo

In short. lots of good stuff happened, some not-so-good stuff happened, and some downright bad stuff happened (bushfires, floods, GFC, Copenhagen failures, Japanese whaling).

In other words it was a pretty normal year all round. Welcome to life in general!

So here are the last finished projects from 2009.

Felted wine socks, knitted from stash yarn, pattern from Yarn Magazine issue 1, gifty knitting.

Gumdrops socks, knitted in BMFA STR lightweight from the sock club, july, 2008 (did I mention about too many sock clubs?)

Arch-shaped socks knitted in BMFA STR Mediumweight in Iolite.

What does Twenty10 hold? Hard to predict, but probably some good, some not so good and some bad (see above).

Bendigo again, I hope. School for both the kids, more activity, more knitting, some spinning. I might be going back to Uni and I can almost definitely say there will be ups and downs.

The rest? Well I can give you a definite maybe on that!

Happy 2010, everyone!