Friday, December 25, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
We found heaps of wool, sewing notions and a toy loom (a bit expensive, but what the hell, it's Christmas), some shirts and these, my favourite things, which I even managed to photograph.
The white cane basket was full of knitting wool - most of it useable, the hand made little blue and white mouse in 3ply wool, the blue darning mushroom, and pink ballet flats with cute toe detail.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
So I had a birthday. The perpetual problem of having a birthday so close to Christmas is that it's a big hassle for everyone. People are busy preparing for Christmas, attending Christmas parties etc. If I plan a birthday function it's a hassle, so this year I planned nothing but a quiet weekend with The Old Flame.
He managed to surprise me with a gift. A Tupperware mystery box of goodies. I'm difficult to surprise, mostly because I tend to buy myself what I want and need, and also because TOF and I went to Sydney recently to buy each other's gifts, so I thought I knew what I was getting. I didn't, he surprised me and it was lovely.
The day held a surprise garage sale around the corner, a surprise visit to some friends, a surprise purchase of cute underwear at reasonable prices in a chain store (something I've never managed before - the benefits of significant weight loss) and yesterday, a surprise cake from my colleagues. I thought I'd hidden my birthday from my friends at work, forgetting that some of them are also my friends on Facebook.
Jill made a delicious cake which we shared yesterday afternoon.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I just love fnding new uses for Tupperware!
On Second Hand Sunday (29 Nov just passed), The Old Flame and I picked up the base of a Tupperware marinating dish thinking we might have seal lurking in the bits and pieces collection.
It came in quite useful when we rescued this little fellow. He was trying to cross the Barton Highway at a very busy spot. I picked up the smelly freshwater turtle, either Emydura macquarii (Macquarie Turtle) or Chelodina longicollis (Snake-necked Turtle), and we took him to a reedy spot near the lake in Nicholls. He was gone in seconds. So quickly did he depart, we didn't get another photo.
Live well, Stinky.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Lovely to run into Button Beauty and Consumption Rebellion at Salvos in Philip a couple of days ago.
I was buying old Zip disks for a friend who volunteers in a major national institution helping preserve technology and electronic records. If anyone has old Zip disks they were considering ditching, I can find them a good home. (And thanks to Twitter friend Sonja who has already pledged a couple more).
Hope the Barbie Camper found a good home. :)
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
I have a shameful secret. Really, really shameful. Only a few people know it and I usually don't like to talk about it. I quite like ironing.
My post on fabric napkins garnered a lot of "I love them, but hate ironing" comments so I thought I should come clean (so to speak).
Ironing is a bit like making jams and preserves - I'm not that keen on the process but I really love the result.
There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from a truly empty ironing basket that defies description.
Early memories of my mother are Sunday afternoons watching old movies on the telly while she ironed. The smell of hot cotton and Fabulon! I got to do hankies and pillowcases.
One of my household chores as a teenager was the family ironing. I didn't much like it, but I wanted my pocket money and it was better than mowing the lawn. When I was at college, I took in ironing to earn extra money.
Ironing also gave me a passive-agressive outlet. When Dad was pissing me off (and when wasn't he?), I starched his undies and hankies until they could stand up on their own. After I left home he complained to Mum that his clothes didn't feel quite right!
But I have to be honest, I enjoy seeing a rail of freshly pressed items and get a thrill seeing people I love looking smart in garments I have ironed. It's a bit like knitting really. All that time and effort - you'd only do it for those you love.
The Old Flame bought a divine new ironing board once I started doing his shirts, and I've invested in new spray bottles and pressing cloths and a clothes rack (because I broke the old one with over-use) in this last year. I even found the much lusted after Elna Press (at a garage sale in South West Rocks in August for $40) - which makes ironing jeans and tablecloths a breeze.
In moments of frustration I dream of leaving work and setting up as an ironing lady. There may even be a business plan tucked in the back of my diary. It's a great plan; let me know if you need an ironing lady, I might be able to fit you in.
Now go away, I have a fifties housewife to channel.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
New/old napkins on the washing line this morning.
I bought 17 cloth napkins recently in navy, yellow, red, green and cream at a garage sale for $2 and another 8 navy napkins at the tip shop for $1. These are going into the big box under the house where we keep our catering sets of glasses and other barbecue and party paraphernalia. I loathe plastic cups and glasses and much prefer cloth to paper napkins.
Monday, December 07, 2009
I know it's Summer when the first stone fruits hit the stove in a preseve-making frenzy.
The Old Flame and I took Mum and Peggy off to Young on Saturday and bought up big in the cherry shed on Torry Hill. 30 kilos between us might sound like a lot, but much gets given away.
Sunday, TOF and I get busy with the cherry pitter.
We sacrificed a bottle of vodka to make two jars of cherry vodka which will be ready in time for New Year's Eve and made a start on the port stockpile Dad left me and preseved a couple of big jars of cherries in spiced port for dessert on Christmas Day.
There are three containers of cherries poached in cinnamon syrup in the freezer to be eaten sometime in autumn or winter when stone fruits are just a dream. Five jars of cherry, ginger and port jam also made it off the stove. I suspect we'll use this more as a sauce than a jam as it's very runny and very gingery.
There's also a weeny bit of highly concentrated "Essence of Christmas" syrup. We chucked all the cherry pips and left over syrups from the other recipes which included port, cinnamon, orange peel, sugar, star anise and lemon skins into a small saucepan and let it simmer while we did the rest of the cooking. I seem to recall a mango seed also got popped in for good measure late in the day as well. We then strained and bottled it. It will be the base of a sauce or two for leftovers after Christmas.
Another couple of kilos went into the dehydrator for winter enjoyment as well.
Then there were the ones that only made it as far as our mouths. And there's plenty for snacks this week.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Luckily, Zuska has done it for me, and for all of us who care for a parent or older person. While the specifics are slightly different, the issues are exactly the same.
This post was linked to in Wallaby's Down Under Feminists' Carnival, which I found through Penthe.
Friday, October 30, 2009
I will admit to the acquisiton of my Nanna's china cabinet, but that is all the new furniture to come in.
Am currently reclaiming the vast tundra of floorspace from the roaming herds of dust buffalo. OK, so the tundra isn't all that vast, but there's definitely a clearing of modest proportions.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
She is no longer interested in cooking for herself (although she can still manage biscuits for the grand-children and the dog food - but this can be done in peak energy times, not in the evening when she's worn out), and manage other things like laundry and grocery shopping.
While I was already doing some of these things for her, it was when she asked - now it's factored in on a daily basis.
We have got her more home assistance, so cleaning is not a huge issue and that's a big help.
In the few weeks I've been trying to accommodate Mum's increased needs, my long-suffering mates have been advising reducing my activities. Well I would, but that happened already. I stopped attending SnB and didn't renew my memberships of the textile groups I used to belong to and attend. I have resisted invitations and enticements to join new groups or to take an active role in those I have continued membership of. I don't see my friends as much as I used to or as often as I'd like. I can't afford to give up work and I'm not prepared to reduce the pitifully small time The Old Flame and I spend together so I had to look at other areas that take up time.
This week I've been uncluttering my virtual life: unsubbing from email lists, changing profile settings on the time suck that is Facebook so I don't receive ridiculous email updates, leaving Ravelry fora and unfollowing advertisers and negative people on Twitter.
Now the email I receive is from people I want to keep in touch with and is a joy. The blogs I read are the ones I treasure. There is no blog reading or email replying backlog to make me feel bad and I can keep up with all of this in the half hour or so I allocate to it each morning.
Friday, August 21, 2009
And now I'm back at work.
What became very clear being with Mum 24/7 for so long is she needs more assistance. We're arranging an aged care review to see if we can get her more help around the house, but I'm not holding my breath.
The schedule around here is pretty tight. There is less blogging and social networking time, and no complex knitting time. Luckily I'm nearly
done with the WIPS. Only one thing to finish, and the rest is
unravelling. The endless parade of beanies is about to reappear.
I'm pleased to report that The Old Flame's Mum was pleased with her blanket.. We gave it to her last weekend because the Raiders had a night match here in chilly Canberra. Seemed to do the trick - Raiders defeated top of the league St George 24 points to 12!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The blanket for The Old Flame's mother is done - I'll block it when I get home.
Also done, TOF's 4ply socks. Don't have time to go into details about why they were not knitted last year when I first cast them on - detailed updates will have to wait.
The remaining WIP is a jumper that's been on the needles for 4 years. Should be finished by the weekend.
Days here are warm, and there has been much op-shopping and unravelling of old hand-knits.
Friday, July 17, 2009
A bag of books went up with my brother a fortnight ago and I've been mostly packed for a week.
One medium suitcase of the miniumum of clothes and maximum of DVDs and one smallish suitcase of knitting and associated paraphenalia - viz.
- 1 set Knit Picks nickel interchangeable needles
- 1 set Knit Picks Harmony interchangeable needles
- 1 set of mix and match DPNS,
- 1 niddy noddy,
- 1 ball winder
- usual pins, tape measures, stitchmarkers, scissors, sewing in needles etc.
- 1 blanket WIP (should be finished on 12 hours+ train ride on Monday and will be posted back)
- 1 jumper WIP (should be finished in a couple of days and will be posted back)
- 1 pr socks for TOF WIP (my carry around project for the trip) and an emergency ball of sock yarn just in case these get finished too quickly, which is looking likelyall associated patterns
- 1 coffee plunger because 3 weeks of instant coffee is no holiday.
- 1 new project's worth of yarn because the rest of the WIPs are mostly unravelling or little scraps of things that will not take any time to knit and because this "holiday" is the only time I'll get for ages to do some serious big project knitting.
The posting back is necessary because Mum's cousin is there now and I'm told he brought down another two suitcases full of hand-knits for us to unravel so I'll need the space. And that's why he deserved these socks, and why he'll probably get a few more pairs.
Back in late August.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
PATTERN: Pretty sure I got this from the back of an old Woman's Day.
YARN: Mystery 8ply cotton purchased in an op-shop many, many years ago.
ISSUES: Well it's been sitting for at least 4 years in this state - with only one side band and the neck band to go. I don't like how the bands came out and I don't like the chunkiness of it for a small baby, although the pattern is very sweet, and I really hate the way my seams came out. I could have redone the seams and I did try to unpick it but the cotton shredded in the process. Hideous.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
- The scarf is a modification of Norah Gaughan's Wedge. I made three button holes at the end of the second last row to form a closure, and used the yarn overs of the lace wedges for the other buttonholes.
- The hat is my own design (the notes for which have disappeared), using the short rows of lace and a couple of rows of garter stitch to form the body of the beret, joined by a three needle cast off. The band is rolled garter stitch picked up from the bottom edge.
Tip - NEVER UNRAVEL CARESSA, PARTICULARLY TWO STRANDS KNITTED TOGETHER.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
YARN: Anny Blatt Kid Mohair, a present from Jejune
PROGRESS: Knitting of this was finished and blogged on 4 January 2007. Tonight I sewed in the two ends and steam blocked it. Took about 15 minutes including photography.
ISSUES: I always intended a matching beret in this yarn and never found the perfect pattern. I did not then, and do not now, feel the love for knitting lace. I like the finished object, just don't enjoy the process. Perhaps that's why it languished in the knitting basket. It's such a soft, pretty yarn and was a thoughtful and welcome gift.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I knit and kint and knit and nothing gets finished (3 whole days and nothing finished - impossible!). People who like their gratification instantly or possibly sooner probably shouldn't be knitters. But I do so love it. I'm not me without knitting - I know because I've tried the not knitting and it just feels wrong.
The blanket for the Old Flame's mother is about halfway there. This is because I revised the finished size downwards, but it was based on a very scientific try-on-over-my-lap-and-his method. TOF's parents are considerably smaller than we are (cuckoos, anyone?) so if the rug fitted comfortably over my lap and part of his lap, I was obviously halfway there - at least. Right?
There are a some flaws in the blanket (a couple of purls that should have been knits), but I am embracing my limitations and going with a few imperfections. Perfectionism is part of the reason that 22 WIPs were identified at the beginning of June.
I did not, however, embrace the imperfections of the current sock in progress. Last week was a bit hectic, so only the cuff of the second sock was knitted (despite planning to finish it). Just as well because the nagging, "this doesn't feel quite right" feeling which plagued me during the knitting of said cuff turned out to be not the wrong sized needles, as suspected, but the wrong freaking pattern. Why I would knit a 1x1 rib when I always knit 2x2 rib cuffs? Also, why I did not check the other sock which was in the knitting bag the whole time when I first began to doubt is also beyond me.
We'll blame workplace deadlines and stress and let it go. Another hectic week this week with many teleconferences and meetings in which I could not knit means I've lost a week with the sock. Feeling a little less love for the project right now. Second sock is now unravelled and cuff reknitted and will be worked on in the coming week.
We have an unexpected arrival. A former member of my team and the world's loveliest person whom I fail to keep up with regularly because I am in the top ten of world's worst people, has just welcomed her first grandchild. A little boy - who is too big for the baby stash boy coloured socks. Obviously Aiden needs socks and I must provide them - now.
Luckily another dear friend's daughter produced a daughter who has been gifted with a matinee jacket (the pink one) and socks. I was prepared for Ruby.
Monday, June 22, 2009
PATTERN: TTWC using slip stitch for the body of the hat.
YARN: The dark purple is Cleckheaton 12ply, the variegated green/purple is Happy Spider Hydrangea - a custom job over very old Wangaratta Woollen Mills white from the 80s.
Now there are only two hats in the queue - wonder if I can eke them out for another couple of months? No, I don't think it likley either.
Oh, and Lovestitches - I'd really like to oblige with a photo of my entire stash but don't have access to a satellite right now. I wish that was an exaggeration.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
14.5 balls Patons Herdwick (maroon) and 6.5 balls Patons Herdwick (charcoal grey) plus 6-ish balls light grey Patons Family 5ply (not photgraphed) for less than $25 the lot. There was also Tupperware.
The 5ply will be socks for himself (most likely) and the Herdwick - not sure yet. I looked at them sitting together last night and thought a fair isle yoked cardigan, maybe. Was checking if there was any destashing on Rav, just the odd ball or two for contast in the yoke you understand, and found I have another 6 balls of the maroon colour and 17 of a light brown. It's a bit dire when I can't remember what's in my own boodle.
For the record, the Old Flame rejects the term "enabler". He prefers to think of himself as keeping me informed of opportunities and potential bargains. The decisions are, apparently, all mine. Great, because I'm so steadfast in the face of woolly temptation.
*I was going to entitle this post "My boyfriend is really good at S.E.X." but thought I'd attract the wrong traffic. ;)
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
After all that, the sock got a little international rugby action at Bruce Stadium where the Wallabies trounced the Italians in -2C weather.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
YARN: Lucy Neatby sock yarn in the Fiery Fuschia colourway that Janet brought with her from Ottawa in may 2007.
PROGRESS: Started in November 2008. Part way down the first leg.
- Because these are for me, they keep falling to the bottom of the pile in favour of more pressing knits
- I overshot the length of the leg and have to do some maths to make it work, or unravel.
- Do the maths
- Keep knitting - another portable project is a good thing.
Friday, June 12, 2009
On the way home in the bus (after finding a pair of skis by a skip and rescuing them) we knew we were almost at the end.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
There has been sock knitting, there has been blanket knitting. Neither are finished, nor have they been anywhere interesting to be photographed.
Also, the new Knitty is up and I really want to knit Annette by Helene Rush. I have several yarns in stash which would be perfect. I might settle for printing the pattern and gathering the yarn into a "not to be opened before September" kit.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
So far Mum's birthday socks have been to a National Trust Council meeting where we caught up with an old friend
and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the Farmers' Market.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
PATTERN: Umm - see "Issues" below.
YARN: Patons Patonyle in the sickly pink self-striping colourway.
PROGRESS: First sock knitted to gusset stitch pick-up. The were at this stage Christmas week, Mum's birthday is in late April.
- found I'd dropped one of the heel stitches way back at the beginning of the heel
- Mum's in warmer climes for winter and announced she didn't need anymore hand-knitted socks. However, she's been wearing the same two pairs of hand-knitted socks in high rotation for the last month. She does need and want more hand-knitted socks.
- Can't remember what pattern I was using, if any and don't have any notes about it.
- don't really like the colourway
- Stop worrying about the dropped stitch. Put a safety pin in it and sew it in when the sock is done.
- Count stitches in band
- Count stitches in gusset pick-up.
- Count number of rounds in band.
- Measure length of leg to heel flap
- Count rows in heel flap
- WRITE ALL NUMBERS down - that's the pattern fat-head.
- suck it up and keep knitting
Friday, June 05, 2009
YARN: Homespun 8ply weight bought of eBay.
PROGRESS: Started in December 2005! Jejune bought me the pattern for my birthday. Knitted up to arm increases
- There is a difference between homespun and hand spun which I didn't quite appreciate at the time of purchase. The yarn is quite coarse and doesn't really suit the pattern.
- Knitters I trust reported difficulties with fit when using other than the recommended yarn.
ACTION: Frog and forget until the right yarn comes along. It's done - frogged, washed and yarn drying.
PROGRESS: both sleeves and 4 inches into the body. *sob*
ISSUES: I love the colour of this yarn, I love the feel of this yarn and I really like the pattern but I cast on in the largest size 64" bust when I was about that size and it was looking a little large then. I'm 10" less in the bust than that now and I can't continue.
ACTION: It's frogged but the yarn will be back possibly in the same pattern but in a much smaller size. But not until the other WIPs are dealt with.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
- started several years ago and abandoned I don't know why
- Peggy is chubbier now than she was when I started this
- I'd have to find the pattern again, do the maths again, start again ....
- Peggy has two jumpers, Rosie had two jumpers and Lochie is a known jumper loser so only deserves one.
ACTION: Unravel it, wash the yarn and put it aside for something else.
Unravelling done, washing done - yarn now drying.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
The Pretty in Pink socks are done (thanks to a staff meeting and a lunch break). They are pressed, beribboned and in the pressie box for the next baby girl.
However, I got a bit muddled with birthdays. The Old Flame's mum's birthday is July, it's his Dad who was born in October.
What to do about the blanket? Give it to his Dad instead? Not sure he goes for mauve all that much. Knit like buggery and hope to get it done by 6 July?
There are exactly 5 weeks until 6 July. Presumably it will need to be ready a couple of days before that, but we won't quibble about that. I estimate I need to knit 3 balls of Studio Mohair each week until b-day to finish. Not entirely sure I can manage that, so what I'll do is knit it this week, review progress and revise estimates accordingly. It might have to be an "on the needles" gift, but I'd like to get it done ASAP.
I'll be helped along by this, though. A very sweet colleague (also a knitter) bought me this at Spotlight over the weekend. She reckons I'll need another cup for the extra caffeine required to complete this challenge.
Monday, June 01, 2009
YARN: Recycled black 8ply crepe
- Back completed
- Front at 9" - nearly finished the waist shaping
- It's for me, so I tended to put it aside in favour of other projects.
- I hate sewing up, I really should be knitting this in the round
- I got to 9" on the front - halfway to the armholes - and put the back and front together to make sure the waist shaping would be in the same place and discovered I'd knitted a 3x back and was knitting a 2x front. Effin' brilliant - very cross with myself.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
- first sock finished
- second sock knitted half way down leg
Saturday, May 30, 2009
YARN: Kanebu Kintting Yarn Chuboso 4ply from the Smith Family a few years ago.
- sock 1 - done
- sock 2 - knitted to gusset
ISSUES: I'm bored - these were the fourth pair in quick succession.
ACTION: Just bloody knit it. They'll be finished in a lunch hour or so if you do.
Friday, May 29, 2009
YARN: Cleckheaton Studio Mohair in the mauvey pink colour.
PROGRESS: Slow and sure - nearly 40cm of 180cm knitted in
- This is the project most likely to be still on the needles at the end of the challenge. That's OK, it's not due until October.
- The stripey effect is deliberate and will be echoed at the other end to account for different dyelots.
ACTION: Knit a few rows everyday.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
- This is a personal challenge to reduce my WIPs either by finishing or frogging what's on the needles.
- For the period 1 June - 31 August 2009 I will knit only current WIPs.
- Given the number of socks in the WIP pile - it's socks in the daytime and out and about.
- Hats are also acceptable portable knitting but no more may be cast on until the socks are done.
- Jumpers, cardies and blankets get knitted at home/at night to maximise concentration time unless there is a particularly portable piece.
- There will be three items in my knitting sights at any given time - the portable (most likely sock) project, the at home project (jumper, cardie or vest) and the blanket that I'm knitting for TOF's Mum which will get a little attention each day.
- Each project will be documented prior to becoming the prime knitting item during the period and its progress assessed regularly.
- There is a get-out-of-gaol free card only if a quick gift is required and the yarn is already in stash. (I anticipate some baby socks or hats may be needed during this challenge.)
I'll put a list of items up in the sidebar tonight. There are more than I thought and I cleaned up a couple in the last day or so when I found how truly little there was to do to fix them.