Thursday, June 30, 2005

El quicko and craft night

G'day all!

Feasts and famines - that is what it is like with me and blogging, particularly pics....

Last night was the main SnB night. We had quite a few newbies show up after the group was mentioned in the Age. Hooray! A day after the article was published, we had 19 new members. One of them spammed us - I hope the list mum reported her for spamming, not just banned her. We should have more members now :-)

Tonight was my local little craft night. A group of us get together and craft in our own ways. There were four people knitting tonight!

Well after the triumph of the sassy stripe socks, which I wore last night and someone picked up the broadripple pattern, I have put Nathan's sock back on the needles. It is almost at the heel stage - a short row heel. Then I get to do 5" of 1X1 rib for the cuff. Joy!

The Vogue jacket continues apace! I am now halfway through the armhole shaping of the back. hooray! If I take a pic it will look like a back!

Now just to keep you occupied, did you know:
In Jamaica (no she went....) that it is illegal to buy, wear or sell camoflage clothing?
that indecent language can lead to arrest? And don't go in the nuddy outside designated areas for the cells can get awful cold....

That if you go running with the Bulls in Pamplona in Spain, your insurance policy may not cover you for any injuries you receive? (like duh!)

I get travel advisories from the Oz Govt Dept of Foreign Affairs cos I work in insurance policy/training and knowing where they are saying people shoud not go is handy. BTW, Canadians, maintain the rage because Australians have been advised to take extreme caution in Canada - you never know when that evil snow will get you or the volcanoes in BC or maybe a pickpocketer in a big city, maybe even a terrorist! Talk about the most pathetic travel warning. But have we got one for the US? NOPE! Cos we brown nose up the US's butt.

on that charming note,


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A sad and sorry tale

G'day all!

Waaaay back in hmm, March? yeah March (excuse the pics of the beesting) I decided to make myself a nice top. I decided to make me a pink top with a noice lace edging.

Well the top gave me woe and grief but I finally had it licked (it didn't taste too good I admit). I finished it in time to wear to the kandknitters' fibre fest at the beginning of June.

Or so I thought.

I had carefully worked out my gauge and altered the pattern to be between two sizes cos that should be fine according to th pattern specs.

Well, here is a shot of the top after I made it up:

Here is the shot of it after I took in a good two inches down the sides....

What the taken in shot does not show is how badly it bunched in the arms and armpits, and how bad the lace looked at the seams. It was just plain bad, ok, and looked very badly seamed and knitted. I didn't LOIKE it! It looked like I was wearing a badly fitting pink bag with lace around the bottom.

This is how the top looks now (except I didn't leave it outside on the grass):

See how I punish bad tops? I RIP them and put them out on the grass to photograph to show off how BAD they are! (I would not have been brave enought to do this if my friend Karen had not said she has frogged whole jumpers cos she didn't like how they worked out.)

I've been threatening the Vogue jacket with the same fate but so far so good....

So when have you frogged a whole top or at least made a severe dint in all that knitting effort you put in?

One final shot for this evening. This little baggie has gone a wandering from Melbourne Australia, right up to near Blackpool in England, to live with KnittyInPink. It is part of her wedding present (next Monday, 4th July, American Independence day - strange the Brits don't celebrate it. LOL). See the baggie was admiring the view from my office before it cruelly got shoved in a post pack and kidnapped by the post.


PS. Oh yeah, when I get annoyed by pop-ups, I don't mean links and pictures you have put in your blog, I mean those annoying automatic pop-ups that load with the page, not that I know exactly what the pop-ups do cos Firefox blocks them automatically but jeez do they stuff things up on occasion!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Wa-hey! Two milliseconds of fame

G'day all!

Well well well (three holes in the ground - old joke in my social circle.)

You can find the link to the Age here but you'll need to register. My sock is famous! It is right up the front and so is my hat, my lovely handspun stripey hat! You can also see my current small project up the back on the pink needles, and my candy hat is a blur in the centre. The second sassy stripe sock was in progress - I knitted quite a bit of it whilst the shoot occurred and lucky me didn't have to rip anything bar the cast off, where I got a bit over excited. Can you tell which one I am?

I was excited by seeing us in the paper, the best paper in Melbourne though it doesn't have the circulation of the tabloid competition. OK, I nearly jumped up and down on the train when I found the article in the news section, not in the lifestyle part. I did manage not to giggle a lot. I showed lots of people at work. I have a second copy of it too so I can stick one up at work and have one here to show anyone stupid enough to walk in the door. The last time I was in the paper I was 8 and in the "tiny tots" netball. I was "small" and very blond and cute then.

Umm, what else happened today? Not a whole lot. We found out one of the girls at work had a red hot go at chopping her left index finger off whilst cutting open a passionfruit. She may need surgery to repair the damage. That is more than YOWZA! I would've fainted on the spot knowing my capacity to deal with my own blood. With this in mind, tonight I had a go at cutting off my finger whilst cutting up the chicken but I failed miserably. Despite using the second sharpest knife we have, there is hardly a nick and certainly no blood. Just as well, though it was on my right hand, but I can't imagine not being able to knit and spin for MONTHS! That was the boat the poor knitting doctor landed in. Ouch!

No great knitting progress today - another 12 rounds of thrummed mitten on the train. Lost the stitch marker that marks the beginning of the round, then found it half an hour ago when I got my lunch bowl out to wash - the stitch marker was sitting there happy as you please. Yay not lost after all stitch marker!

I leave you with some pics. We had a frost yesterday morning. Anyone from a place that has real freezes will laugh at this picture of a pumpkin with a dusting of frost but remember this is only about 3 metres from the house:

And here is the third stem of jonquils to start flowering. They are going off a bit early cos they started in May. You can see that since our winters are so "mild" (tell that to someone from far north Queensland where it NEVER gets below 15!) we also have active slugs and snails all year round:

Finally, a shot from our drive on Saturday. Row row row your boat....

Oh, yeah, I'm getting a bit ticked off with all these popups that people have on their blogs. They either crash my browser (Firefox) or they make it work overtime in blocking the pop-ups. Cut out the pop-ups people! Expecially the person who has TWO pop-ups on their blog who did a course recently with Lynne Vogel and has many beautiful pics of lovely rovings on their site but the two popups are killing me and I can't even look at your site! Do you need them? Are they suppoed ot make you money or do amusing things? Do you really need them? Do you wnt to attract readers or chase them away?

(from the opinionated knitter, spinner and blogster)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Hey was that the weekend that just rushed by?

G'day all!

What a fab weekend! Though it did go past in one helluva rush. It was a three day weekend and I have hardly anything to show for it apart from a heap of fibre, 2 new circular needles, 10 new plants, a completed sock and nearly two bobbins full of 50% silk/50% merino almost ready to be plied up.

OK, maybe I do have a leetle to show for it, including a whippersnipped lot of back yard and all the tomatoes pulled out (the two tomato plants, despite us not getting any ripe *and* edible tomatoes off them, covered an area around 3m by 4m), only to discover that they have effectively smothered three or four of my favourite roses. Sniffle.

Let's have a lookie at some pics. I haven't set up the Melbourne blog yet, am having enough difficulty finding time for this one! So here's a house in the Albert Park area, one of the better areas south of Melbourne. This house would be over a hundred years old, which is old as far as Oz houses are concerned. It is a Victorian style place:

This house was in Prahran - a typical terrace style house, again about a hundred years old:

But it had something special in the window:

(you can't really see the chinchilla cat inside but the black and white cat is obvious, as is the ceramic sculpture of a cat on the window ledge inside).

OK, how about some fibery shots?

Mountains of the stuff. OK, small mountains more like molehills, not that I have seen real molehills in person-like. Three lots of Jacinta's dyeing (waterlilies and summer pudding) above, then some stuff from the spinners' guild below. The last pic is of a mix of merino with 40% silk. Mmmmmm. Luscious, and I am splitting it into the component colours as much as I can, though it is pretty well blended.

Yesterday, in celebration of our 5th anniverary of starting to go out, we spent driving around the Mornington Peninsula. (Mental note to self - make sure the Ns in peninsula go in the right places...otherwise you end up with a porn blog.) We first met on the peninsula at a FOME camp. We had a very pleasant time, buying a bare-rooted quince and an elderberry from an elderly couple whose son grows and grafts a lot of fruit trees, toodling down to a fibre and art shop in Dromana.

(that's the beach at Dromana, again - it hasn't changed much except there are fewer people in winter and they tend to wear more clothing.)

up to Arthur's Seat:

(noice view! The road up is very popular with people in hot cars and on motorbikes - very twisty. I flogged a clubsport's butt (hot GM car) on the way up. Yay little green car! OK, maybe he wasn't in a hurry.)

through Red Hill (after a quick stop at a native plant nursery), across the rolling, rather English landscape of the peninsula (except for the gum trees everywhere) to Bittern to visit the native plant man there, where we bought a few more plants including a verticordia for me, then up to Hastings:

(I love the reflections and the pelicans. I need to put up an extra page of wavey reflections of the yachts in the water, particularly their masts and rigging, and the pelicans cos trust me I have about 20 pics of them and I love them all.)

and home.

Ok, one last shot of something (almost) completed this weekend - the sassy stripe socks! Yay me! Finished them at the Restore meetup this arvo. There was a photographer from The Age there and there'll be an article in Monday's Age about our SnB group! Yay team! My first SS sock should be right up the front in the pic, along with other bits and pieces of my stuff - I am so glad I took along various bright bits and pieces cos that is what Michael, the photographer, wanted. The meetup was good, and I think I sounded like a know it all, simply cos I have done needle felting and I spin and I can even do a thumb or double cast on and show someone else how to do it. *blush* I don't know it all but I knew enough to make a pest of myself :-) (I'm a bit jealous of Michael cos he has some acres on Kangaroo Island and is going to built himself a place there and have wind power with solar back up - 25kmh average windspeed! Not so jealous now!)

(and if you think there is a subtle colour difference between the socks, yes the back one is pinker and the front one is redder. Only noticed it when I held them up together. Ah the joys of hand-dyed yarn! Also I haven't woven in the ends yet....)


Friday, June 24, 2005

To thrum or not to thrum

G'day all!

I think it may be a bit late for the not to thrum question - I've already done it!

Mitten two is on the needles, although I am pretty sure I don't have enough yarn to finish it. I am getting even more sure as I knit more of it. My cunninge plan at this point is to use some other yarn that has the same purple/cerisey colour to finish it.

(Do you like the length of the grass? After I took the pics I moved a bit of stuff around and then whipper snipped (that's weed whacked) a third of the yard.)

I did manage to get me some lovely little bamboo circs - about $14-something each from the Wool Baa. They are the same length so I will have to make one set with nail polish or something to make sure I don't get them mixed up. Plus they are in US sizes, not proper metric sizes. They look very nice reclining on the grass.

For the etherknitter, here's an iris in bloom today in our backyard. A Louisiana iris I think. It's washed out - a fact of life with digital cameras I've found - despite me playing with the colour balance.

I saw a lot of really nice stuff today in my travels and bought a bit more than I should've. Ah well, it is our fifth anniversary of going out tomorrow and I know Nathan hasn't got me anything.... I have pics but no time to blog tonight. Some would go better in a Melbourne blog - maybe I'll start one of those this weekend.

so anon!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

uh-oh - I feel a budget blowout coming on

G'day all!

Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate them and am/will be off to your blogs to leave little presents behind..... (Karen - I'll be in touch)

I found out about 10 minutes ago that Addis come in bamboo! Oh gods, no! I invested in a number of addi turbos last year after various people raved about how good they are. I was disappointed, quite frankly. Two of them were very rough around the join of the cable to the needle and they all are a bit too short for my hands, which makes my hands cramp. Metal needles tend to make my hands cramp in general, so if I want cramping hands, why not pay $5 or $6 for cheap metal circs instead of $11 to $25 for addis?

But being a sucker for punishment, and wanting to learn how to knit two socks at a time on circs, I have discovered these (I can guarantee that link won't work forever). At a good price too as far as I can tell. 2.5mm addi natura circs. I need me two of them. I think I'll have to work out how to get them into the budget.

Does anyone know of any other bamboo circs that come in small sizes?

Ah, just remembered the Wool Baa has lots of circs. Hmm, the price will be about the same, but I can actually drive to the Wool Baa in about half an hour on a really good day. I can't see my car driving to Singapore in a hurray - he'll need an awfully long snorkel to navigate the sea bed with (and I'll need some sort of portapotty and a brick to keep on the throttle so he doesn't slurp up some water through his exhaust). Plus it will take 2-3 weeks for shipping from Singapore (which is silly - I reckon it will take less than a week cos I can hop on a plane and be there in about 6 hours and no stupid US customs/UPS interface is involved and Amazon stuff sent from Singapore takes less than a week).

The Wool Baa is looking really good at present :-) But I will have to wait until the morrow if I am to be bad because they are not open at 20 past 10 at night! Shock and horror!


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A trip and a question for you all

G'day all!

I have pictures!

Pics for you of recent spinning. The saga of the pink top will have to wait until a later day. It is long and pathetic.

So here's some Brianna that I got from AK2.

Lush purples and greens and blues and stuff.

But if it is turned over:

Whoa! Where did all that yellow come from!

Here's the spun yarn, navajo plied as always:

Soft springy merino - not as springy as the polwarth though. So many pretty colours!

Here's some polwarth in moody blues all spun up:

This was a devil to spin cos it is full of teensy little neps about 3mm (1/8") long. So many little neps that I gave up on trying to remove them and just spun it up a bit lumpy. This will make a great homespun looking hat or scarf and should felt as well. The yarn is soft and springy.

After spinning the pink and blue yarn a couple of weeks ago, I had a fair whack of the pinky/mauvey colour left. I spun it as a fairly thick single and then plied it up with a fine lurex thread. This lot is about a 10 ply or aran weight or heavy worsted I think in US terms. It is pretty and soft and I have no idea how it will hold up to being washed or knitted or anything. Pretty and soft and 150m long will just have to do....

And a closeup:

Now for the moment you have been dreading. Yes,

Lynne and Nathan go to the Transfer Station!

One of the great loves of Nathan's life is mulch from the Knox transfer station. Oh yeah, another is me. We've gotten many a trailer load of mulch from the greenwaste part and it is fabulous for improving the soil both at his parents' place (clay soil) and here (impoverished sandy loam over clay).

I've been following the Etherknitter's lead and hacking my garden. Not that it is my garden cos it belongs to the landlord, but the landlord likes us playing in the garden. I've severely cut back all the non-rose plants along the front fence (hopefully I won't try to run over any more pedestrians as I back out cos boy do they glare at you when they were the ones lurking behind the bushes). The roses, Lorraine Lee, don't get pruned now cos she is a winter flowering type in our climate. Nathan butchered (much more than decimated) the tibouchina back to some two foot high stumps Peter Cundall says it should regrow ok cos they did that to one in Hobart on Gardening Australia a month or so ago).

Well, we had a little problem.

Here is our greenwaste bin with most, but not all, of the greenwaste and prunings around it. I think you can see the problem.

Now we could've borrowed the mulcher from the PiLs but we hateses the mulcher, don'tses we cos it is noisy and vibrates and spitses bits out at us and hurtses us even if we wear gloves and eye/ear protection.

So instead we did this:

And this:

The big piles of greenwaste get turned into this:

(IMO that is a well composed shot even if the subject matter is a little dry for some of you. In the background you can see the Policy Academy chapel up on top of a big syncline, or is it the antisyncline? Whatever. It's a hill that dips down into the Dandenong Creek valley.)

The mulch then gets picked up by a big front loader, not the digger and lands in the PiL's trailer:

and comes home to become lovely lovely soil enhancing agents. Plus it stops the weeds growing and boy does Weedhaven need a bit of weeding! $15 for the trailer load of greenwaste and $5 for enough mulch to cover half the front yard! Yay us!

Here's a little pic of Father Christmas and Nathan. Nathan looks like he's had a few but Father Christmas, who prefers to be known as Wally from the tip has a little sparkle in his eye :-)

Wally is what we call a character. He has a bit of a wild and varied history but working at the tip, oops, waste transfer station suits him cos he likes keeping things nice and tidy and he makes great mulch.

Lynne's whinge for the day.

Nutmeg says don't do it, Lynne! Don't whinge! I feel all embarrassed and have to be a lady cat for a moment!

How do you get comments on your blog?

Thanks to the people who have commented in the last couple of day but I am feeling a wee bit unloved. I haven't yet worked out the secret to blogging success and getting comments. I've tried direct questions, I've asked for advice, I wasn't able to blog for a few days... but nope my blog just ain't worth commenting on unless you know me in the non-blogging world (with a few lovely exceptions :-). People talk about the wonderful community they have found through blogging but apart from a handful of Aussies, mostly in the most wonderful Tassie that I adore almost as much as my home state, I haven't managed to get much community going. Maybe it is just me. Maybe I just have to be more persistent and visit other blogs I like more and hope someone likes mine in return.... Maybe I am not effusive enough, but I hate gushing over things, even when I think they are totally gushworthy cos so many people fake it. Maybe I should link to other blogs more, particularly smaller ones cos let's face it we all love leaving the Yarnharlot comments and Crazy Aunt Purl and other big time knit bloggers. They get so many comments that they get driven to distraction trying to reply to them. Maybe I should not allow anonymous comments on my blog so that I can reply to you individually - at the moment I can't cos comments generally appear with no email addies. I have to find you all again, my favourite bloggers, cos I lost 95% of my favourite blogging bookmarks on the weekend. And some of you have withdrawn and gone all private on me and aren't blogging any more :-(

Of course I could always blog more about knitting, but who wants to see a sock with another six rows added to it each day? Or a jacket back that looks like no progress has been made (it seems to have fallen into a black hole cos I knit and knit and knit and don't get anywhere or so it seems). A sock at major turning points (pun intended) is good. A jacket that has obvious progress made is good. It is easy to take pics in spring, summer and autumn but now I leave before sunrise and get home after sunset and pics under flash are umm well dodgy.

Maybe I should blog less often and with more content. After all, who wants to see a trip to the greenwaste station??!! Even if it does involve father christmas! LOL Then again, it's my blog and I'll blog whatever whack things I want. Others blog their trip to gay Paree, I'll blog about the places I go and the people I see!

There. Whinge done.

On Friday I have the day off. I might get some pics of some knitting for you - I am knitting a sock and the Vogue jacket. If I am really lucky I'll get to go to the scarf festival on Friday or Saturday and maybe get some pics. Ooh, ooh, I should get some homespun yarn all knitted up ready to show off cos you never know who might notice! Dang, why didn't I think of that earlier in the week cos I only have one night to get stuff done!


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A solstice picture, if you will

G'day al!

Picture some sassy stripe socks. One incomplete but with the heel turned and the lace started. Picture some handspun yarn in various colours. Picture a trip to the waste transfer station and a meetup with father christmas. Picture all sorts of things.

I lied. I am such a bad blogger. I lied when I said I would have pics for you today.

Because I have a new and better and updated version of my operating system, I can no longer just plug the camera in and have it automatically show up on the desktop. I love the way things get better with new versions of software.

Of course I don't know how to get the camera to even plain mount (yep, that is what they call it under linux, mounting a file system, which makes me thing of words like serve as in a stallion serves a mare.... but that is just my mind, don't mind me!). As I took Nathan off to his weekly choir rehearsal, he said "Oh I could've just mounted it for you but it wouldn't automatically mount." This is after he's spent 15 minutes trying to get it to automount. Like he has plenty of time to fiddle tomorrow but now I can't blog with pictures!

Sigh. So apologies. I am starting to get to the point where I have had it up to (imagine a picture of me waving somewhere over my head) here with technology.

You'll also have to imagine a picture of a lovely big solstice moon, and this one will forever be only in your mind cos I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it. It keeps raining tonight, which is good because we so need lots of rain. So far this month we've had about 55mm, which is putting us well in the running for average rainfall, unlike the rest of the year. Rain at night is good. Rain during the day is bad cos I tend to get wet even though I now have my brolly with me (eek, it might be in the car rather than in the bag - better check that!).

Happy solstice to you all, whether you be having your shortest day like us in the southern hemisphere or your longest day in the northern hemisphere. There won't be any dancing naked around bonfires here tonight painted in woad or raunchy orgies, especially no frolics in the woods cos a) it is blasted cold and b) the firewood would be all soggy and c) we don't have woods, we have bushland or bushland/forests and d) it is illegal to have bonfires here and e) the woad would run in the rain most likely and f) woad is considered a noxious weed in Oz. Maybe I should run around outside and bang lots of pots and stuff to make a din to encourage the sun to return (???), but no, that is to chase away the dragon that is eating the sun during an eclipse, isn't it?

I guess we'll just have to make our own fun instead!

Oh, one final alert. I will be putting up pics of various bits and pieces of my handspun at this site shortly. This is not a permanent home for my yarn page, just a temporary one whilst I get things sorted out. I've lost at least a third of the pics of my yarn so please be patient whilst I redo the pics (may take a while cos I need to do them in daylight - the flash and/or fluoro lighting does not help me get accurate pictures of the yarn). Hopefully I'll have a basic page up within a day.

Maybe, just maybe I will have pics tomorrow. Cross fingers?


Monday, June 20, 2005

I'm still here but my hard disk ain't

G'day all!

Well it is nice to be back. Hello to y'all. Hope you missed me but let's face it there are plenty of spinny knitbloggers out there and I am just one of a thousand or two and not terribly talented at that.

So what's been happening here?

On Thursday I asked Nathan to replace the hard disk in my computer (technically my FiL's G4 mac). The old disk had been dying for ages and I was getting concerned.

"This won't take long," says he of great confidence.

After two hours, she of little confidence was getting extremely twitchy. 'I'm just upgrading your operating system to the latest version of Ubuntu," he says. "It works ok, now I'll swap the disks over."

Two days later, he finds a program that will hopefully read the hard disk with all my data on it, the old disk that died when the machine was switched off so the new disk could be put in and the old disk's data copied onto it.... Had he backed up the old disk first onto his machine? Why now that would be sensible and people of great confidence obviously don't need to be sensible.

On Sunday, he gave up and said here's the machine. It works. It is fine. Go for it!

It really depends on your definition of fine. I've lost all the data I had on it after the 12th of April, which means all the pics from my father's funeral and all the pics of his lodge regalia, etc. I've lost all my bookmarks AGAIN. Except there is a text file back up of ones from December last year, which were the ones I moaned about losing in December when my darling upgraded my system. I've started setting uo the preferences the way I like them again.

I can say this much - this blasted version of ubuntu better run ok cos I am NOT letting Nathan near this machine for ages and ages unless he promises to make sure *EVERYTHING* is backed up and will do something really radical if he stuffs up my machine again. Like wipe all his own preferences from his machine and have to start from scratch on his bookmarks and stuff. Nathan says that if he stuffs up an upgrade again, he is going to RUN!

Another "thang fer shure" - when you don't have access to your computer and can't read many blogs over the weekend, you sure get a lot of knitting done on these short winter days. Plus I got a wee bit of spinning done - so much so that I have spinner's limp.

Tomorrow, you get to take a grand adventure as Lynne and Nathan go to the waste transfer station and meet father christmas! Plus I might show off a few pics now that I am fairly sure skrewt (my computer and jeez has it been blast ended recently!) is up and running ok. It isn't the OS that is at fault. It is the yuman (as Carl Sagan would've said) who mucked around with my machine. OK at my request, but I sorta expected certain protocols to be followed.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

In a frenzy

G'day all!

Tonight has been one of those nights. I was bored reading my lack of emails, so I navajo plied up some stuff I spun last night and I am calling it "homespun" yarn cos it is most definately textured. It has a billion and one 3-4m neps in it, all the way through it. It is not easy to spin and if I find larger lumps I hook them out, but if I took out every last one of these blasted little neps, I'd be spinning this stuff until the day I died (as long as I reach 150)!

The plied up yarn is definately homespun looking but is very soft.

Then I cooked dinner, which meant chopping up a gazillion root vegies and chucking them in a pot and adding a tin of tomatoes and beans and calling it soup. It was quite edible.

Then I spun up the rest (about 50g) of the pink fluff from the pink and blue yarn I showed you last time and then plied it with a lurex thread. Apart from the singles falling apart a couple of times it was quite successful.

Finally, I finished the knitting of a certain little baggie for a certain person I know who is getting married soon. I have to do the finishing touches, but hopefully it will be winging its way to England by the weekend. The rest of the wedding present is possibly going to take a little more time simply cos I can't find one particular item.

No pics today cos I am too slack and have to go to bed soon.

To amuse you, here's a couple of dreams I had last night. I blame a combination of whacko jacko getting off the charges and the room being too warm cos we had turned the heater up cos it is COLD (ok, well above freezing but still COLD - consider us to be poor little Angelinos or something).

I dreamt that our favourite aunt Purl came to visit. There were lots of mixups in picking her up and lots of public transport stuffups (even though I have a perfectly good car). She was tired, I was tired and we lay on the bed and talked and fell asleep and I woke up later on and we were snuggled together and it was WRONG OK? (But it wasn't at my place cos the walls were white and the bed was not my bed but it was.)

Then there was the dream about me cleaning the spider web off the bath (which wasn't at my place cos the bath was white and in the wrong place but it was my place, and the bathroom was white too). It was a huge web that had appeared overnight. I traced the web back to one of those funnelly-type web arrangements and there was this horrid horrid spider waving its palps and legs at me, so I closed off its nest-tube with whatever I had used to clean the web up, and then it kept rushing at me down the tube and being ferocious and then this scorpion appeared in the tube as well - it must've been sharing the nest and it had a totally freaky eye arrangement where it just had a silvery band around its head instead of separate eyes (I guess a bit like ?geordie? from ST). It stared at me and waved its nippers, one of which was big and like a crab claw. Then the final completely freakazoid buggly turned up and I was soooo totally horrified by it that I
a) can't even remember what it looked like, and
b) ran off to the nasty chemical cupboard to find some insect spray, only I didn't have anything but baygon surface spray. Panic!

(I usually don't mind spiders but will kill ones that are known or suspected to be harmful to humans, particularly if they are in areas where I am likely to get bitten. I react badly to bites and stings, which you might remember if you've beenr eading my blog for a while.... Money/garden spiders I carry outside. Jumpies I let jump wherever but shoo them off my pillow. Huntsmans get escorted out the door on a broom. And I usually don't have fly spray in the house but I do like my baygon cos it stops the blasted ants getting in.)

Oh yeah, I finally finished the first sassy stripe sock! I've even cast on for the second one and have totally stuffed up the increases on the toe so I had to rip it back to about three rows off the cast on, which is tricky and horrible.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Winter is here, maybe

G'day all!

I think winter might finally be here. Today was the first day we have had a cold northerly wind - for most of the year it is warm, if not hot. Our cold winds usually come from the south-west, straight from Antarctica. Tomorrow we'll experience those Antarctic winds and we'll whinge and moan mightily about them, but be secretly glad because those same winds usually bring the rain we desperately need. We'll be particularly glad about being inside in heated office buildings or homes.

I checked out the new Marta's shop in the city. Ooo err, just as well I have no budget to spend.... Had a good chat with Patricia too. I'll have to take in some spinning to show her.

Speaking of spinning, here's what I got up to on Sunday and Monday:

Stinky rust and green coloured thick and thin:

(it has a slight mothball smell to enhance the smell of acid dyes/vinegar which I adore so I love and loathe this yarn)

And this is a special one, spun up from two totally different lots of tops:

One lot was pink with a little mauvey colour in it, the other varying shades of blue with some mauvey/pink in it. So I spun up two bobbins of the pink tops and slowly blended them into the blue tops. Some of the yarn is heathered - I hope the closeup shows this:

I am especially pleased with this because it has come up pretty much as I imagined it would. Either I am getting better at this or the result was very predictable.

Placename of the day - Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso (was Upper Volta) in Africa. I love that name! oo-a-ga-doo-goo. I'm probably saying it wrong but I love the way it rolls off the tongue :-)


Monday, June 13, 2005

Egads - an almost finished object

G'day all!

I have been holding out on you. I finished the pink top over a week ago. I put it on and discovered that it is about 2 sizes too big for me. I worked out my gauge, did the maths and made a top that totally swims on me. It looked like a large pink sack with lace edges.

So I sewed the seams in somewhat and that made it better but not perfect. Then I wore it for half an hour without having washed it and it ITCHED! But it is tencel and acrylic! It can't itch! It is soft synthetic, not orrible rough stuff. Plus I started to fry - it was terribly warm.

So I washed it to hopefully get rid of the itch

And it didn't dry in three hours of sitting outside on a windy day, unlike every other synthetic thing I've ever made or worn.

I tried taking pics to show you its ummm errm uncommon beauty and not so good fit but I was so disgusted with the quality of the pics (general lack of focus, my inability to aim and the bathroom mirror turning out to have so many smears as to look like a bugsplatted windscreen) that I deleted every last one and the folder they were in. Plus the thing was still damp and a bit icky to wear.

So no pics yet. I need someone to take the pics for me, but DH always disappears about 10 minutes before I want him to do something for me. I think he is prescient or something.

Back to w*rk tomorrow. I must get my cv back together and do a resume (never knew they were different) and start finding jobs again.

I am still working on the spinning page, never fear, but am being quite slow cos I have to take more pics of stuff and make sure that every yarn is measured in length, thickness and weight. That takes time, as I am discovering!

A pic for you of our little Nutty. Cheshire has been very nasty to her recently. Cheshire starts washing Nutty, then suddenly goes for nutty's throat. Yesterday they had a full on wrestling match over the chair they both like to sit in and usually share. It was getting pretty vicious - both of them with their arms wrapped around each other, biting and trying to bunny scratch with the back legs....

So when Nutty found Nathan's acrylic purple fur bed thing, she crawled inside and made herself a little nest and looked sad. Awwww....


Sunday, June 12, 2005

A long Sunday

G'day all!

What an excellent Sunday it has been. Not a bad weekend either. Yesterday, well what did I do yesterday?

*blush* I didn't knit in public. After trying to get some stuff organised, I got a phone call from my brother, reminding me about the meet-up at my sister's place to go and look at the memorial park where we are going to install the olds. So at midday I trawled off, taking photos of the freaky clouds over the Dandenongs as I drove (btw, that isn't blue sky, that is really blue cloud behind the foggy stuff)

and then after lunch and chit chat we hopped in the car and had a look at the possible sites.

Here's the view that we want, looking southish towards the Dandenongs:

and sorta north-eastish to the Yarra Ranges

Why is a view important?

Cos here is the view from out the front of Home:

And here is the house I grew up in:

And the primary school I went to, conveniently only two doors up from Home:

I snapped these shots yesterday since I was almost driving past. I also squinted up the sideway and found that they still have the two lilacs, so sometime soon I am going to have to go ask them and see if I can get cuttings. One lilac isn't particularly special, but the other one, a short pale mauve lilac came from the garden of one of Mum's elderly friends and so it has some family meaning. The cutting is about 50 years old from a plant that was planted possibly two centuries ago. Hmm, distracted from the reason that the olds need a view. They had a great view of the Dandenongs from home and now they will have a view back. OK, so they aren't in a position to enjoy it exactly....

Mum would also be pleased cos there is a bandstand nearby. The old man would never take her dancing enough. Mum liked dancing. No excuses soon! LOL!

So by the time I got home at 5pm, it was a bit late to grab my knitting and head out to a shop to knit cos they had all shut (except for Borders but I didn't think of them, instead thinking of cooking dinner).

After making myself some very yummy chicken soup, I wandered over to see the last performance of the show Nathan has been involved in. It was a caberet type show and was quite pleasant. Most of the performers were amateurs and most of them did a very good job. Nathan's mum was sat on by one of the professional artists as part of his act, but she shunted him off quick smart. There was a man there who looked disturbingly like a skeksi in the audience. It was the professionals that really did let the side down. No names mentioned but there comes a time when people should admit their best is past them and they should disappear gracefully into the sunset. Nathan got a certificate for being the "recipitent (sic) of the best piano player award." LOL Plus he got given a cyclamen, which was nice but he says next time he won't do about 30 rehearsals in 8 weeks and six performances for a certificate and a cyclamen - some $$ would be nice instead. He had no connection to the theatre group at all except for knowing someone who knew someone....

Hokey dokey, today. Today we got into the garden and hacked away. We hacked lots. We hacked so much greenery down that we have to get Nathan's dad's car and trailer to take a heap of stuff to the greenwaste recycling place. The front yard is now more bits of hacked down shrubs than it is shrubs. We haven't finished yet by any means. It was so pleasant outside that I wandered around in a little tank type swimsuit top (and pants and shoes!). Probably about 18 degrees and nice in the sun.

We went out to a plant nursery" for a while and Nathan bought a three way grafted nashi pear. It cost much less for the three way graft than for three plants that we have no place to put. We picked up a 500mm tub to put it in for only $7. It should do ok until we get our own place to live in, whether or not it is this one. We also bought some green manure seeds to sow in the vegie patch, plus a lot of cheap potting mix and cow manure from the local enormous hardware supplier.

I washed some of the yarn I have been spinning and hung it out to dry. What I did is called setting the twist, but I call it sorta washing it cos it involves a bucket of hot water, a bucket of cold water and some eucalyptus oil to make it all smell nice. I dunk the yarn into the hot water, shove more and more in, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then hoik it out and squeeze the excess water out, then put it into the cold water bucket to shock it and maybe felt it a little, then back into the hot, back into the cold then into pillowcases or cushion covers and into the washing machine for a spin around the block. Most of it managed to dry on the drying rack, unlike my clothing on the line - miracles do happen.

Some Wendy Dennis polwarth all plied up:

An experiment in about 200g of mostly red merino blending through to blue merino/silk mix via a red/blue merino/alpaca? mix. The colour is off - it goes through to navy but the camera just could not get a good shot and I can't fudge the colours well.

The other Wendy Dennis that I spun up that is a mate to the hot pink and blue yarn, but I separated out the salmon and blue and plied them normally not navajo style:

Knitting? You want talk of knitting? None of that here! Maybe tomorrow, but tomorrow is a public holiday and I'll probably be in the garden again, hacking more shrubs to death. We are contemplating taking down two trees, though one is too large for us I think. The other one likes to play with the power lines when it gets windy and it is a blasted useless thing that develops lots of enormous black scale (big as your little finger nail, honest!), drops its leaves two months before anything else, has a perverse liking for whacking people on the head when they are wearing hats and harbours weeds in its gnarled base. The Etherknitter has said gardeing is not necessarily a gentle past time, and at present I'd have to agree!