Thursday, November 30, 2006

Get the fire extinguisher

G'day all!

I am on fire!

So far this week I've completed one sock and a AIDS baby top. Plus I've done the foot/ankle of another sock since eysterday morning!

I give you Titania, horribly foreshortened and somewhat fuzzy in the centre, but you can see the "cable" running around gusset across the foot:

And a baby top in jacaranda - I love that colour:

(Scuse the crap photo and the top really is not for a baby shaped like a pretzel and in dire need of chiropractic care - it is hard to get it arranged on your hand cos you don't want to put it down in one of the charming old dunny-cart lanes in the back blocks of Carlton. BTW, scroll down in the second link, and down down down to the last story in that first link. If you read the tortoise story in the first link, yes they do wee and yes it STINKS! And whilst I am diverging, Martin Flanagan from the Age says this about current dunny carts: It seems a sign of our times that the truck attending to the portable toilets and known to previous generations of Australians as the dunny cart now bears the prestigious title of NON-HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL UNIT.)

I realised it was jacaranda in colour cos they are in flower now - they flower in Queensland in September, NSW in November and Victoria in December (ok, so they've been out for a week now, which means they started in November this year). Taswegians - when do your jacarandas flower?

Plus we've had a few nice sunsets, one of which is shown here

and despite the weather being feral (yesterday it went from about 15 at 1pm to about 32 and humid at 1:15, which is the time it took for me to check out a clothing shop and try some stuff on), some of the roses are still trying to look their best:

Isn't Scentimental a good rose? Smelly and stripy and flowers well - what more could you want?


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Could it be...

G'day all!

We had a big day today, as yesterday. Lots more socialising. This introvert has had enough of socialising, so why am I blogging instead?

We had morning tea with the PiLs and their old friends, went to Bunnings, got a door frame, some potting mix, plants and something special with my gift vouchers from my birthday.

I knitted. Lots. Coffee with the PiLs was good. I got lots of knitting done then. :-) Chatted, caught up on the goss.

Titania is crawling ahead. Trying to keep the lace pattern working whilst decreasing every second row is a PITA. Here she is in all of her glory this arvo:

The baby top caused some degree of interest at morning tea. Here it is as it was before I finished the matching stocking stitch this evening at dinner with the PiLs:

See the needles? I am using some of the Denise needles Dreamcatcher sent me. I started swatching for something with them but they are really being christened with charity knitting. The top is a very easy thing to make - 22 rows of 2X2 rib across 44 st, 30 rows stocking stitch, add 12 st each side, another 20-odd rows of rib then cast off for the head opening, cast on again and do the opposite. I chose mauve cos I thought it would look very pretty on a black baby.

Can you see what is underneath? There is a hint there :-) No, not the baby outfit thing - gosh you should know me better than that! I used my birthday gift vouchers to buy half of it. Family are handy things to have sometimes ;-)

(A2 look away NOW before you are scarred for life.)

Can you see it? Now?

Isn't it cute with most of its bits packed inside it? Yep, we got ourselves a BBQ!

It isn't a high end BBQ but we reckon it will be quite adequate for our needs. It has decent sized plates - cooked a meal for four on only two of four burners. The Boy thinks it will do verra nicely indeed, and the PiLs helped christen it. Whilst I have titled the pic of the Boy and the BBQ as a man and his bbq, this is my barbie, baby! OK, so Nathan put it together but it is mine! I wanted it for ever!

Head is swimming now. Time to go do some spinning or something else calming. Work tomorrow. Blah. I think I'll tell the boss I can only work three days this week cos four days is killing me - I am so behind with cleaning and planting and maintenance after most of 10 days of not being able to use my dominant hand's little finger....


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Ooops, or a picture tells a thousand words

G'day all!

Nominally this is a knitting blog but today I have no new pics of knitting to show. I have been knitting - I've knitted nearly half a little weird top for an orphaned AIDS baby in Africa. I've knitted more of the Titania sock and have less than 10cm to go on it. There has been knitting! Just not pictures cos it is night time and you know how crap my camera is.

Instead you get this:

Yep, that is my first ever turkey. The turkey that ruined my Saturday day - I had to spend 5 hours faffing around after it. I had to make stuffing. Turkeys don't fit into oven bags so I couldn't just chuck it in a bag like I do with a chook, nope, I had to baste the thing. Every half hour or less I basted it. I was paranoid that it would go dry and horrid, needing heaps of cranberry sauce and gravy just to choke it down, like nearly every turkey I've had. It was not too bad actually - reasonably moist, at least for turkey. Why a turkey? That's a turkey for American Thanksgiving, just a little late. I am not quite sure about why our American host holds Thanksgiving cos he basically says it was the mob who came across on the Mayflower giving thanks for the opportunity to wipe out a number of local tribes of Amerinds. Yet he has Thanksgiving each year.

Then there is this:

Nutmeg on her favourite purple furry thing, being a little hedonist. Note the paws - she is doing full on kneading as Nathan scritches her back in her favourite way. We indulge her in a lot of scritching and she keeps coming back for more. When it gets too much she just walks away.

But the real story of today, beyond good food and good company, was this.

An open door you say.

Hmm. Look again.

Oh dear.

Ooops! That would be the busted back door. It is really busted now.

Tomorrow we are off to the hardware shop, via Nathan's parents' place to get the big car, and we will buy a new door and new door fixings and yea verily we shall have a new door, a door that will (hopefully) not fall off on the cumquat or any other plant or critter when Nathan opens it a bit enthusiastically, a door that does not boom and bang in the wind even when it is shut, a door that is NICE and acts like a door should.

Since the new door and fixings are probably going to eat up my whole week's earnings, I can't buy a new camera. Until I get a new camera, you don't get good pics of anything, and few pics that you can see a big version of - the centre halo/fuzzy spot is getting pretty bad now. Maybe I should do an appeal - buy some yarn from my shop! I'll even update it - I have heaps of stuff to get online. I even have a spreadsheet now. It takes so much time updating the spreadsheet that I don't get the pics edited, the paypal link set up and the stuff online. 8-)

At least by the end of tomorrow I should be able to check the back door step more often to ensure I don't leave parcels out for days on end. LOL.


Friday, November 24, 2006

All sock, all the time

G'day all!

The socks continue apace! Well up to yesterday anyway.

ARGH! Spider in hair! ICK! That will teach me to go outside in the dark trying to get Cheshire in. She's been beaten up again and won't come near us - beaten up by another cat that is. She provokes fights and won't back down. Now she has to stay outside (she thinks) to protect her territory. Mongrel animal - I'll be off to the vet with her I bet cos she'll end up with wounds/abscesses again. Grump. Nut is much more clever - she runs away and hides.

OK, spider tragedy (tragedy for the spider cos it is the type that nests in my car and leave horrid webs all over it, so this one didn't get put outside) over.

Marcble Arches is done! The first one, at least. The pattern is the opposite to what I did (I thought I had cleverly reversed it but I hadn't) but I reckon they look pretty good anyway.

I like the heel for some reason. The fake cable curves cling to the achilles.

Now I'm onto the first Titania's Revenge sock. I thought this one was easy! The lace pattern is easy. It looked complicated but it was easy!

HA! Trying to get the decrease that runs across the instep to mesh with the lace pattern is pretty darn horrid. The pattern does not include instructions on how to do that - in effect it just says don't do a YO if you can't do a decrease. That makes it interesting to make look noice.

So I have had three goes at the one bit now and have decided that I will ignore the inelegance of what I have cobbled together and will knit on.

Since I couldn't take a single decent shot yesterday or today (crappy camera and crappy photographer combined), you get to see only this shot of Titania's Revenge - she certainly is avenging herself on me!

Hmm, what else? Work is like umm yeah. I have work until Christmas. I will be ready to move on to something else then. I have not had much chance to dye yarn. I GOT yarn in the mail! Yarn I didn't pay for! More details next time. :-)

Time for bed. A moth got caught in the window this morning and Nutmeg bounced all over my pillow/head trying to catch it. Today is my sleep in, no work day, so being woken up at 6:45am was not exactly appreciated. And the sod scratched me as I grabbed her and shoved her down the other end of the bed... (so the resulting itchy wheals helped keep me awake, along with it being very light and sun streaming in the window through the blinds).

This is the very sod herself, staring wistfully out the greenhouse door, not realising that the same cat flap that let her into the greenhouse will let her out again...

Mmm, sleep.

Tomorrow I have to stuff and cook a turkey - we know a few ex-pat Americans and they have invited us to Thanksgiving (a little late but like why on earth would Australians have the day off for an American holiday? I bet you guys there don't have Cup Day - a day off for the Melbourne Cup, a horse race. LOL). At least I'll be able to eat the turkey, and I'll take along a gravy mix I can have too. Plus a GF/DF eclair I bought today.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006


G'day all!

It is frying here at the moment. OK, it says it is only 30 outside but it is about 38 inside, despite our best efforts with fans and open windows. The cicadas are shrilling - I don't remember hearing them any previous night. The weather is freaky - the clouds are raining but they are so high up that the water evaporates before it gets anywhere near the ground, so the radar is showing massive amounts of rain falling but all we are doing is flopping around feeling ever hotter and more sticky....

Around 6pm the clouds looked like the belly of a grey tabby cat - all sorta furry. Of course since it was furry, the camera couldn't focus on it. Dang these cameras and their fancy pants inability to focus on fuzzy stuff. If only I could take a happy snap with my eyes instead.

I would show you the picture of the finished Marble Arches sock but I didn't cos it was pretty dull outside. But it is done! Very cute too, even if I did put the pattern in the wrong direction - the stuff swirls in the wrong directions and it has a distinct slope to the top of the sock... It is a fake cable, btw - it uses increases and k2tog/ssks to create the effect of a cable. I can't share the pattern cos it is a STR sock club pattern and so is only available to those of us who coughed up the bikkies for it.

Instead, I found a new colour on the weekend. OK, so it isn't new but this particular mix is new to my dye pot.

It is of course a true purple! It is a colour that the camera does not capture well but you get some idea of it in the pics. And no your eyes do not deceive you - that is wild raspberry in the mix too cos I am a girl and like pink and purple together.

Hands up who likes purple?

For those of you who appreciate a different part of the colour spectrum, I give you a fire skein:

I bought 50g of luscious merino in browny/orangey/firey colours and to make it go further I am spinning it with some brown (??)comeback fleece. In some lights the colours just pop out and sock you in the eye, in others the lustre of the fleece grabs your attention. Weird!

But I revert to type.

This lot is next on the drumcarder I'd be guessing. See if I can make me some batts o pretty colour.... But first I have to hammer my darling husband. You know how he is supposed to be cooking for me? Well if I waited for him to cook on these warm nights, I'll wait until this place freezes over, and that is not going to happen in a hurry! I hint, I suggest, I tell him what to make, give him options, but he plain does not want to cook. The annoying part is that he is a far better cook than I am. I think he has cooked maybe three meals in the last week. The rest I've had to make. Grrr.


Sunday, November 19, 2006


G'day all!

Thanks for the compliments on the scarf. I had fun doing the colours and getting it together, though after 300 rows of pattern it was getting a little tedious. A good exercise in zen.

Some people have asked after the finger. It is good, still all bandaged up and I'm still wearing the cosy, though it certainly doesn't need it for warmth today. Wednesday? Only about 10 degrees for most of the day. Cosy definately needed. Yesterday and today? 30 degrees. Celsius, that is. The biggest problem with the finger is that I think my fingernail has grown some and is slowly trying to pull the tape off. I sometimes feel that my nail is trying to explode. Oh and I definately need the padding of the cosy when I run around the house apparently smacking my hands at thin air but in fact trying to kill pantry moths - with the warm weather about a brazillion of them have appeared. I have the pantry moth trap - set it up about 10 days ago and it had about 20 moths yesterday. Today? About 150...

Here's the cosy - about 25 rows of garter stitch I think knitted together with the ends tying the top and a finger crocheted safety cord. I realised that I needed the cord when the cosy fell off for the umpteenth time, this time in the vegie crisper. Oops. Could've been worse - I'd cry if it fell in the toilet. (BTW, my fingers are not that short - it is the angle of the photo, honest!)

It has certainly fuzzed up a lot but I expected that cos it is subject to a lot of wear and tear being on my little finger on my dominant hand. Plus I've still been playing with (clean) fleece so it picks up fuzz off that. And I didn't bother weaving the ends in cos this isn't exactly something I expect to be an heirloom. I used some light DK weight yarn left over from sock making.

Now for the sockalicious part.

Around about my birthday I got my 5th Socks that Rock parcel. Great, I thought and set it aside.

Well suddenly this weekend I've had a bomb set under me and I want to make the whole lot of the socks (except for one that involves a LOT of k3 or p3 together. I jsut don't have the needles or patience for that....).

So in one 24 hour period, here is what I knitted:

Purdy, hey? (And I don't just mean my shapely white leg ;-)

Here's detail of the pattern on the instep:

This has been such a fast sock to knit so far. Admittedly it being about 30 and humid today meant I only wanted to flop around the place and knit a sock. The yarn is yummy. The pooling is interesting - nothing like what the sock in the photo looks like.

Plus I did a little more dyeing - another new colour! Some of you will *love* this new colour. But you will see that


Friday, November 17, 2006

Upside the head

G'day all!

There are times when I get very frustrated being me. Right now is one of them. Right now is when I've just remembered that I made chicken stock last night. I turned it off before we went for our walk to let it cool down enough to go in the fridge overnight.

Guess where the chicken stock is still sitting? Guess where the leftovers of last night's tacos are still sitting?

Guess who made chicken stock from the roast chicken bones earlier in the week? Guess what I did with that too?

Are you surprised that I whacked myself upside the head on both sides? (And now have a headache?)

It seems that after getting back from our evening walk, I am a zombie and forget all about food. If I don't get stuff done before I go for the walk it won't get done (except for automatic things like brush my teeth and wash my face before bed).

So distract you from the folly of being me, I give you colour.

Remember this?

That is a whole heap of umm, erp umm Finn cross fleece I chucked in the dyepot over a month ago. Well, I flicked it all out, spun it up as a single, making a nice big ball of yarn and started knitting.

It made this:

That is the YarnHarlot's one row scarf. Except it is mine. I made it all!

It is a nice easy pattern that you can do pretty much anywhere. One row makes it easy to remember so it is excellent tv knitting or out chatting with friends/family knitting. So simple. So effective! I might call mine Marilyn (one row). Thanks for sharing it with us, Steph!


Monday, November 13, 2006


G'day all!

Today I thought I would share some colour with you. Who'da thunk that I would spend 90% of my spare time in the last week frantically carding up any of the fleeces I can lay hands on? All washed fleeces. Some of them are even dyed. I had a lovely time on Friday shoving more and more washed fleece into the pot and throwing colour at it.

2paw, when I carded up the green puff on the left, I was thinking of you. It was soooo very green.

I bought another new dye colour at the guild when I got my drum carder. Here it is in all its lack of technicolour glory in laceweight single (quite representative of the colour) and a DK yarn (with added mauve).

Just in case you think I have gone dull and boring in my old age, think again!

And I am still knitting - two socks at the moment. I must download the pics so you can see that they exist and are real and I am not just faking it.

Haven't got pics yet of the most recent dyeing or spinning. I love the dyeing. One lot is going to Donni for winning the whizzy contest or was it the birthday comments? Or was that Sue? Anyway I have to get their snail addies before I send off anything!

My drum carding has slowed down over the last couple of days mainly cos every time I hit my poor slicey diceyed finger it HURTS! (Plus if I do it hard enough, it bleeds, again.) I had to go to the dr yesterday to get it looked at cos it had split open. Oooh, yuck! He put a butterfly tape over it after pulling it mostly shut. He covered it with filmy fibrey stuff and said it will take easily a week to close over (and longer to heal). In the meantime I should make sure it doesn't go yucky and keep it dry. No immersion in water. (I am very glad it isn't my armpit or bits....)

So you know what that means? NO DISHES for a WEEK! Very little cooking preparation since I can't wash stuff or handle meat. Meat is right out - an easy way to get it infected apparently. Poor Nathan is suddenly having to take over doing all the dishes and the cooking. He has hardly done any of it since I quit work. (NB I had to cook cos someone got on the blower and talked for an hour... dinner ended up being at 10:30pm.... grrr....)

Mental note for self - do NOT jam that finger in the shower again! It hurt so much I was speechless (yes, me stunned into almost silence except for the gasping whimpers) and my nose started running from the withheld tears of pain.

I made my finger a lovely little cosy out of some leftover sock yarn. So pretty - magenta, white, lime. Then I lost it on the way home tonight. So I knitted another one. Pics later. The idea behind the cosy is that it provides a bit of cushioning for my fingy cos the dressing on it doesn't cushion it at all. You would not believe how many times I've bumped that finger in the last two days. Plus writing is a chore cos I rest my hand on that finger and it can't bear the weight. Typing hurts cos I am not using that finger so my hand is having to move in ways it isn't used to. That being the case, I should shut up and let you get on with doing what you were doing!


Sunday, November 12, 2006

We've got a gusher!

G'day all!

Had a little accident before and now my left pinkie finger is gushing blood. Blasted inconvenient. Doesn't it know that I need it? Having it dripping blood is not very handy (boom boom). Also inconvenient is the fact that whilst I can deal with "dead blood," I tend to get a little overexcited when it is bright red, pulsing blood and in particular my blood pumping out.... So if I am even more ditsy than normal, you'll know why - I am ignoring the tissue that is turning red and the throbbing in my finger, along with the fact that my ring finger is doing double time on the keyboard cos my little finger is taped up dead straight and it is the tip that I cut. You would not believe how many As there are in the words we use.

I have been soooo busy recently, and tired to boot. I keep getting a sore throat that goes away with a good night's sleep and comes back during the day. That is the joy of working and commuting - exposure to all sorts of crappy bugs.

On Thursday, the couch guys at Crafties (yowza! Shift key action hurts!) gave me a voucher to BAAG, my favourite non-native nursery. Woo hoo! I can buy 7 bags of sheep manure and a little plant! (Or mybe I'll buy some nice plants or a nice couple of fruit trees :-) Peeve gave me a GF/DF cookbook that has some really luscious sounding stuff in it (it has no pictures but sometimes no pictures is better cos imagine can make nicer food than pictures). Thanks guys!

Last week, Mrspao reminded me to watch out for a parcel - some extra birthday action! Yee haar! So I watched out and watched out (and you would not believe how tired my ring finger is getting from doing two rows of keys) and nothing arrived and nothing arrived... sigh. Normally the post fromt he old dart to her (and vice versa) is excellent - 3-4 days. Better than it is to the other side of Australia!

Yesterday I noticed that the quince tree, which is living in a foam box until it gets a permanent home, was looking floppy so I went out the front door and around the back to water it. You might ask why go out the front door - why not the back door? Well, the back door has a little problem. The upper hinge has been screwed into the wood so many times that the wood has given up the ghost and split. We need to replace the door frame thing but the panelling all around is asbestos. Plus we want to remodel that whole area so we don't have three doors in 2m. The upshot is that we rarely open the back door.

To cut a long story short, what do you think I found on the door step of the back door?

ah-huh. Like who leaves parcels on the *back* door step?

It had been there for at least one night cos the snails had had a go at the label.

Yum yum yum.

Lookie what was inside!

Lots of chocolatey things that I *can* eat and then have to go for a bike ride to try to work off again. :-) My favourite biscuits! Yummy! Some choc buds that are me-friendly so I can make a chocolate cake out of the book Peeve gave me. Plus a yummy skein of Fyberspates sock yarn! And some really great candles that will be dragged out for birthdays for years to come - can't light them! Or maybe not until my 42nd. I am hoping that by my 42nd I will have worked out the question to Life, the Universe and Everything. (oops, I didn't get the card in the photo - it is a sock monkey. LOL)

Thanks, Mrspao - what a great and thoughtful parcel! I shall treasure each morsel as I stuff it down my throat! (Actually, if you have not worked this out yet, I am the sort of person who tries to make treats last as long as possible, so if I got 40 eggs at Easter I would eat one a day for 40 days unless some were big eggs in which case I ate about one small egg's worth a day)

Ah, dinner has arrived. Dinner is the reason why I sliced my finger - I managed to knock the slicey dicey thing and failed to stop myself trying to catch it as it fell. Interestingly, dinner is somewhat blood coloured cos Nathan sliced up a beetroot into it. Flavoured by hand?

Speaking of flavoured, the other night the cats were snuggled together in a rather unfortunate way.

You can't really see it but not only is Nut's face in Cheshire's backside, she has a fang showing.... I'd have more than a fang showing if my face was in such a place. You do that again and I'll bite!

I've got some pics from the local show and some recent projects but for now?


PS - knittyspinner who is blogless, I was thinking you are doing amazingly well for someone who is nearly 80 - extremely well preserved! You are doing well for someone of your real age :-)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lynne's busy and can't yack at the blog at the moment

G'day all!

Posted somewhat later than it was meant to be - blogger had a hissy fit and wouldn't publish it...

Some links to keep you busy whilst I am busy...

The Island of Misfit Patterns. I particularly like this one,
naughty squiddy but I like this one from a different site even more - Kristi's squid.

I got those links from kelpknits.

Interested in greywater? This mob in the US seem to have it right...

Scroll down this wikipedia page about Donald Rumsfeld and note that once upon a time he was happy to be seen with the big SH.

I've been enjoying wandering around NASA's visible earth, particularly this page about Australia's temperature oddity in October. There is also this page showing the drought affected areas in SE Australia. (I live just to one side of the top of the little hook shaped bay (Port Phillip) near the centre bottom of the map.)

Interested in plate tectonics? This might be just the ticket!

Jae - yes, the rest of the world is vitally interested in US politics cos the US is the last remaining superpower. When it throws its weight around, someone is gonna get squashed. We expect great things of the US too and the current administration has been disappointing in the extreme. Many of us feel that the US is not the shining beacon it once was. *political mode off*

Hopefully that lot will keep you busy for two ticks. I am not working tomorrow so I might have some time to catch up! Hooray!


To the American people

G'day all!

Thanks to the people of America for a late birthday present. Two years ago I was given a real lame duck present (the US elections were held on my birthday) but this is somewhat. better. Thanks, guys! I appreciate it ;-)

Time to get ready for work. It is sunny today - first day in well days when it's been sunny (I got sunburnt on my birthday wandering around looking at plant nurseries cos it had been cloudy and then got very sunny indeed).

Back later with some sort of fibre content....


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A blanket

Apology, that is. Those of you who are not locals don't need to read this but those who are may want to.

I am sorry I did not check to make sure my group email about the gathering went through. I did not realise that it was not received by about 95% of the intended recipients.

I am sorry I did not send details earlier. I am not a very organised person. I screwed up and whilst trying to take a lot of the blame pushed it onto others.

I am sorry that I threw the happy birthdays given to me on Thursday back at people ("But my birthday is tomorrow - today is M's birthday!"). It was rude of me. I did not realise people thought the 2nd is my birthday instead of the 3rd. My yahoo email address (natiel3) has a three for my birthday. I hope this is a useful mnemonic.

If you were offended by my behaviour, heck, even if you weren't, please accept this humble and open apology. I did not realise my behaviour was offensive. I will try to do better in the future. Those of you that I see at crafties tomorrow, I will apologise to in person.

Monday, November 06, 2006

What a weekend...

G'day all!

I am still recovering from the weekend. Never knew that it could be so exhausting to spend an afternoon in a park.

(Not GF but decorated by my youngest niece, who is now hmm 14 or so I guess)

Saturday morning I choofed up to the guild's annual textile bazaar. I actually managed to stick to my budget, even though I bought a beauty, a hint of which is seen here:

It doesn't have a doffing stick - that is what an old screwdriver is for! After a bit of fiddling and a bit of oiling of the axles, it was good to go! (You might be able to tell). So I've been playing with fleece and carding it. I've even started getting adventurous and putting cut up silk thread into it (I bought a heap of fine silk thread from Marta a while ago and dyed some up but without a drum carder getting it into fleece is a PITA).

I got home by 11:30, just in time to kiss Nathan goodbye as he rode down to the park. I discovered I can get my bike in the back of my car along with four foldy type chairs and a heap of food and crap needed for a picnic. I zoomed off to the park and discovered that without Nathan in the car, he (the car not Nathan) doesn't scrape on the speedhumps in the park road. Hooray!

Do you like this present from J? A pineapple plant! It is living in the greenhouse now to keep it warmish. One of my sisters turned up with a horrid disease (not her husband or one of her sons, though they were there, just one of the fluey viruses going around that makes you feel like death warmed up) and my brother and his mob were there too. They gave me gift vouchers to a big hardware chain. LOL. We are now halfway to buying a BBQ cos our old one was someone else's cast off and had been run into by an exhousemate (long story but I can't blame the housemate cos Someone Else(s) had put the BBQ in the driveway after trying to burn the house down with it..)

(The park runs cattle in the southern part - it used to be a sewerage farm and still has a main sewer running through it - poo-ee! There are dead trees all through this part of the park - salinity has killed them off. Salinity is not just a problem in the country - the city is affected too.)

Heh. More of Nathan's friends turned up than mine. R&M, with their two kids, T&P and J turned up out of my friends. OK, the mailing list I used to advertise the gathering up and died the day before I sent out the invite, so it didn't get out to all the people I thought it would, but I still think it is a pretty poor effort. I had given warning about 6 weeks before and said put it in your calendar with a rough idea of what was happening and then a confimation a week before (but that was when the mailing list died), and another only a day before cos the mailing list was up and working again and people were asking me what was happening as they hadn't gotten the earlier email (hello, there is this thing called the phone or email!). I guess the weather didn't look so good (it did not rain a drop). I did find it rather disappointing - after all it wasn't just any old birthday or any old gathering and not one of them said they would not show up but then again none said they would... and if I mull over it more I'll get grumpy. Or I'll cry, again. I should have asked for RSVPs so it is partly my fault for assuming lots of people would come. I am glad to know that Nathan was surprised that his workmates were more willing to turn up to the gathering than most of my friends. On the bright side it meant that I got to eat not only some of the yummy Lemon Meringue Pie from Silly Yaks but also some of my sister's excellent sponge.

(I spotted this little bloke nosing around in some grass at Braeside Park. He didn't like me getting about 3m away to get this shot but when I was quiet and still he stuck his head out to have a look-see.)

Sunday was expected to be a lounging around the house type day except I had to go shopping and Nathan needed various items to set up a watering system and then ordered a cubic metre of mushroom compost (not very well composted mushroom compost to be honest) and some pine bark chips, which were delivered on the driveway. Before I could put my car away, we had to move all the compost and chips. That took some time of serious shovelling. Oh and I added more mulch to parts of the front yard that needed it - more shovelling.

(A dragonfly on a rock by a creek)

Now for some comment followup.

Two people managed to guess that there are chooks on the horizon! They are my birthday present. We don't have them yet cos we need a place to keep them and Nathan has to build that. We'll only get three or four chooks so they will be able to live in an A-frame chook house. It has to be made vermin and fox proof cos we almost certainly have foxes around here and I saw mice in the compost bin last month (but I chucked a bucket of sheep fleece washing water in it and next time I opened it there was a drowned mouse - take that, mouse!). (Blasted pommie ancestors bringing foxes to hunt, along with bunnies and other stupid things like blackbirds - how ignorant and homesick were these people?) We'll have to get feeders and stuff and also tubs to put chook pellets in to keep them away from vermin. So chooks are a little way off yet.

Over 20 people wished me a happy birthday. Thanks for all your good wishes. I pulled a name out of the list - Spinning Sue, come on down! What would you like? Yarn? Tops? Carded fleece? Something Aussie that you miss?

Plus for those who had a ping at the mystery object last week, it was the washing machine on spin. Those names went into my random picker (on this occasion write the names on bits of paper and throw them into the air). Mog, come on down!

Just as well I got paid for my first week of work, eh? It will replenish the coffers a little. I still have to list some stuff on ebay - haven't gone back and tried to get it working yet. Plus I still have not updated my online shop, either the yarnivorous one or the etsy yarnivorous one. So much to do, so little time, and so little energy to do it with (I ate something that disagreed with my cursedly delicate gut and the repercussions continue three days later....).

Plus I've been doing Even More Dyeing. I should get serious about it but I love playing with the colours so much that doing repeatable colours seems dull and boring.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Acquisitive me

G'day all!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I'm going to put all the birthday wishes comments into a hat and pull one out, then send that person something nice. Plus I have to announce the winner of the "what is it" competition. These things require organisation and after trying to pull together a birthday gathering I have very little organisation skill left in me.

I had a lovely day - I drove up to Bulleen Art and Garden, which is my favourite nursery at present, maybe even more favourite than Kuranga. I bought some stuff from them, mostly stuff from their sad plants area - I love bargains and sad plants are excellent cos I can bring them back to life if they have any kick left in them. Plus I got a big bag of quite dry sheep manure cos it is supposed to be good for the garden. And a mushroom box so we can grow our own mushrooms. Then I found a new nursery that had 20% off plants and bought Nathan a special native plant and me a special native plant and then discovered one of my favourite (ok, my favourite plants number in the hundreds as far as I can tell) native plants at 50c a pop, so I bought a few of those to bring home. I got the scratch in the roof of the car polished out and dyed some tops and yarn. Nathan didn't do dishes for me and didn't cook dinner for me or anything though. We went out to a place called The Palms where a group of friends gathers once a month, Nathan had dinenr and I chucked a spaz cos I realised I didn't have enough time to go shopping. Nathan ate with friends whilst I went and did the shopping for the picnic.

So you want to know what goodies I got, and whether the Socks That Rock Club is worthwhile. Let's start with the STR club.

What do you want out of the club?

  • Do you want to get yarn that noone else has got, or at least has not been released to the public?
  • Do you want to knit up patterns that are at the very least tangy and possibly piquant if we use the Knitty scale of difficulty?
  • Do you want to be a member of a (relatively) exclusive club and gloat over all the poor souls who could not afford to join?
  • Do you mind paying roughly AUD50 per skein of yarn and pattern?

If the answer to any/all of these is yes then you might want to consider joining the club. It is not cheap. Nosirree it ain't hceap. Have I gotten value out of it? Well I do have some nifty patterns and I have learned a bit more about dyeing yarn and what goes on behind the scenes of Blue Moon Fibre Arts but I have not really reaped all the benefits I could. Heck, out of the hmm four? skeins of yarn I have received so far I have only knitted ONE sock! Not even a pair of socks!

So there is your food for thought.

Now I know that various people want to know what I got for my birthday.

My Brit friend E sent me a box of my *favourite* biscuits (which might not be my favourites if I could get them here cos scarcity makes something even nicer when you do get it) and a cute pussy cat salt and pepper shaker set.

Believe it or not until now we didn't have a salt and pepper shaker... Customs opened the parcel and can I just say they did a VERY poor job of wrapping the gifts back up again.

Dreamcatcher was very tricksy. See the label on the parcel?

So I open it and find two packages, one with some yarn (it was squishy - does anyone else try to figure out what their presents are?) and something that feels like a book, an oddly shaped book. All thought of accessories flies out of my head. A book. A video? A DVD in an odd package?

Isn't the yarn pretty? Aqua - one of my favourite colours. Plus it is a cashmere blend - the knitting world has gone nuts about cashmere. I have a bag of cashmere fluff but it is so short stapled I've never been game to try spinning it. Behind the aqua cashmere is what I thought must be a book or something, having forgotten the customs label all together.

So here's me opening the other present. Good lord!

Lookie, it's for real! I have me some Denises! (Does anyone else in Oz watch Spicks and Specks? Do you remember Denise Scott telling Denise Drysdale "You can do it! You're a Denise!" Since then I've often exhorted something "You can do it! You're a Denise!" even if it isn't a Denise. Now I have a set of Denises, so I must be able to do anything with a whole set of them! (except knit socks, LOL))

Thank you, Dreamcatcher!

I guess this obviates me wanting to buy some Knitpicks Options. Sorta. A bit. But I still want to get online and order me some and also some of the dye your own sock wool and stuff, but they don't ship to Oz. And I don't have any money for that anyway cos I managed to track something down yesterday morning. Pics later.

A group of my friends (not ONE of whom turned up to the picnic yesterday) got together and bought me these.

Yep. I got me a set of egg cartons. Empty egg cartons.

Any guesses why?

I finished the first of the gradient dyed and black socks. You might be able to tell I didn't use the Caesar's Check pattern cos I found something tricker in the book.

Cool, huh? It is only when I looked at the pictures I took, not even at the sock itself, that I realised how the pattern really works. It is sorta like what I expected and sorta not.

Back later with more acquisitions and my lone socky gift.