Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vanity - a change of heart

G'day all!

After all the fun times this year and gaining two new scars and loosing sensation in an armpit/tricep, I decided that I would no longer wear singlets and short sleeved tops and anything with narrow straps. After all, who would want to see my hairy armpits? Or the scar(s).

Well, the first hot days came along this week, closely followed by warm muggy days. Guess who was straight into singlets (tank tops) and spaghetti strapped tops?

That would never be me, would it?

Well I can't see the scars or the hair, so I'm not fussed 8-)

In celebration of the same, I bought me two pretty new sundresses.

Can you believe they were only $18 each?

I am delighted with them. Yes they are different - one is a larger size and they have different coloured dots on them.

I guess I am a bit of mutton dressed up as lamb but I really like them. They are pretty and I feel girlish in them, not like a Cancer Victim at all.


Also, look at those curls! I've never had curls before. I didn't realise the hair on the back of my head was curling so nicely - the sides look like Krusty the Clown half the time and the top has a kewpie doll thing happening. (Man, I'll never be a model with my shoulderblades covered in a nice layer of fat! But I don't want to be a stick, I like having a little flesh on me!)

I have been knitting on a new shawlette, 22 leaves. I rather like it, dunno if I will when I get onto the middle part of the pattern where it has a very repetitive small lace. Currently I'm finding I have to be alone to get it working as I keep miscounting in company. ahem!

Despite DH going back to Sydney on Monday morning and the weather being ABOMINABLE (like honestly, when did we move to Sydney with all this humidity and thunderstorms and rubbish?), I've had a good week. I've ordered the new windows and paid the deposit, I've got plenty to occupy me, I've got a lovely new fan, a metal one with red blades and body (for only $15 too!). My sister calls finding bargains like this a "Betty shop" in memory of our mum, who was an expert bargain hunter if ever there was one. Now all I have to do is clean up after myself - I've had two nights out in a row along with hot weather and working and I've been slack. My bad! Guess I know what I'll be up to tonight!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm melting!

G'day all!

It is horridly warm here again today. Am starting to envy the -6C temps in Fort Collins at present - that almost sounds pleasant!

Work was quite dreadful as the air con has passed on with a seized compressor and is being replaced. Home ended up being no better. I put the little portable fan on and at first basked in front of the moving air put out by it.

After a while, it didn't seem to be making much breeze any more. The louvred front was still whirling around so I thought I must just be not in the right spot to catch the breeze as it moved around.

I had noticed an odd smell but it wasn't very strong.


Fan not working but louvres still pushing around!

Guess I'd better go buy a new fan. We have the big black monster fan but even on low it blows all the papers off the desk. And it is in the attic behind other stuff that I cannot be bothered moving at present. I have a little computer fan blowing air on my hands and the laptop. It is very pleasant.

Also? The ceiling fan in the bedroom?

Hasn't been working very well. Lots of noise and squeaks but not much air movement.

Why yes, it does have a switch that reverses it from winter mode (blows air upwards) to summer mode (blows air down). Fancy that. Maybe I should flip the switch so that it blows air down....

I am much more willing to put up with noise if it moves air around!

OK, time to run away back to the ceiling fan room. Not enough air movement in here and I am frying. Pics will occur again in the future, never fear, but currently I am just too warm.


Monday, November 22, 2010

How time flies

G'day all!

What a topsy turvy week last week was. It was soooo nice to have DH home. And odd - I am getting used to not having him around! But now he is back in Siddeny.

It was stinking hot here today. OK, stinking hot for November. 31C, or did it hit 32C? It is still quite warm inside - 27C - and the poor little old fan is rattling away (the louvre on the front rattles). I'd use the giant monster fan that some friends gave us but umm, DH put it in the attic space and it is waaaay too hot up there for me to go find it and lug it downstairs.

This means my crafting time today has been zero. Not a bit of crafting done. I did borrow some interesting looking books from the library. I did go and look at cheap double glazed windows from Bunnings, but given the online quote for nasty aluminium windows was $700 less than the one for nice wood windows (much better thermally and look prettier, though with more maintenance) that also have the hardware (latches, winders, locks, etc) included?

When I've reorganised our money so we can place a deposit, I'll get that underway! Then we will have the new windows by Christmas for DH to install with some willing helpers. I hope with willing helpers!

I haven't knitted a stitch for two days. My arms are a bit unhappy with the amount of mulch I've moved so I am taking it easy on them. Mebbe I'll do a little after blogging.

I am inspired by this post of Melody's. I love the colour she has painted her bathroom. I've been trying to figure out what colour to paint our bathroom (currently it is sorta light dirty yellow with horrid spots and smears of some sort of oily hair product - thanks, house sitters! - and dark blue tiles). Well I am not too fussed if the colour doesn't match our beautiful pale cornflower blue bath, I just want light aqua walls! I went out and got a sample pot of paint in Chalk Blue (or so Dulux calls it) at half strength. Once I've sugar soaped the walls a couple of times, I'll see how it looks. I hope it won't be rancid cos I really like the colour. It is the colour of glacial water. Maybe I want that colour in the new kitchen? Or the loo?

I've got a whole bundle of fabric to photograph and share with you. Got some for my birthday. Maybe a bit more than some. *ahem* Scroatfight was selling off various fabrics rather cheap and someone cold not resist... sigh. Hopeless! Plus I must show you the cakes from my MiL and friends' combined 60th birthday party. My sister-in-law-to-be loves making fancy cakes and she sure had fun with this lot!

But for the nonce, I leave you with a fat quarter bundle of fabric that I have been eyeballing all year and finally bought recently. Hooray for the Aussie being pretty much on parity with the Greenback!



Wednesday, November 17, 2010


G'day all!

Over the last few days, I've been busy. Busy and slack. I've had five meals out (or takeaway).

Tonight I've had my comeuppance. Actually I am still having it. I hope that the apparently endless stream will end and I'll be able to go to bed. I am so tired I'm likely to fall asleep on the bog.... It is a pity it doesn't have a proper door yet, though I am glad I put the curtain back up! We have a door for it now but it has to be installed.

So in more pleasant matters, a while ago I finished these socks. They are in the Ewe Give Me the Knits sock yarn that I bought at Bendi. I like them. They are squooshy and soft and lurid.


As usual I couldn't make a pair.


I haven't worn them yet because the weather hasn't been that cold. I've worn some of my lightweight handknitted socks but it is coming into the season for light cotton socks or no socks at all. Hooray! (Much as I love knitting and wearing my woolly socks, I am a spring/summer person, long days, etc.)

And in answer to some questions, yes you have seen one of the socks recently but not both of them, yes I did long ago promise a pattern for the netted sock but given Leyburn came out a whole year earlier, you may as well make them! The bows I haven't written up properly - I started three years ago when we were in Colorado but I don't write patterns. I write recipes.

I have to make another unpair for someone who has helped me out quite a bit this year. Gotta dye some yarn that means. I would gift her these ones except her feet are a bit shorter than mine and unravelling the toe and undoing pattern and remaking it is fraught because these are toe up socks.


Remembrance Day came and went apparently unmarked last week, though I did do a minute's silence. My poppies are growing and flowering well, the Flander's Poppies that I grow in memory of my Pop and those who fought in wars, whether or not they made it home, whether or not they managed to reintegrate into society. The more I think about it, the more it seems likely that Pop had PTSD as it is now called. He certainly had bouts of the horrors and disappeared into his shed for a rendezvous with the bottle. Anyway, I love my red poppies, "Poppies for young men, death's bitter trade," (Sting, Children's Crusade). I have rosemary for remembrance and still have not managed to get rid of all the forget me nots - how could I forget them when I can't get rid of them?

*yawn* Scuse me! Very tired now. Maybe I can go to bed if it pleases you gut?


Monday, November 15, 2010

New and shiny

G'day all!

My laptop has a shiny new hard drive and a shiny new version of Ubuntu. Hooray!

Of course all such upgrades come at a price, and that price is I've lost my bookmarks until we find them in the back up.... Also about 50% of my preferences had to be deleted to make things work again.

And we forgot that the machine overheats unless the fan is told to run, and when installing software, the instruction to run the fan doesn't work! DH was getting mighty frustrated with it "crashing" (actually shutting down) until I reminded him. When he set up an external computer fan on the laptop, it ran like a charm. (I'm mighty impressed by these tiny little computer fans - it was moving a good bit of air around and I think on the next hot day, I'd like a few hanging around me! Alas that would mean having a power supply to lug around too...)

I've got new pics to edit to show you things I've knitted that I've forgotten to get pics of! I knitted a few things over a month ago and still haven't gotten their FO pics. I've not been doing so much knitting recently, not sure why. I think I've been doing too much gardening and quilting. The garden is an ongoing issue as there is only one of me and I'm stretched pretty thin. I've got work, chickens, cats, a half kitchen, a whole house, a garden.... Doesn't sound like much but I spent more than half of Sunday dealing with dishes, cooking meals and fixing up small things that needed to be done. It all keeps me busy! No rest for the wicked and I must've been extremely wicked!

I'll be back later - feeling hammered after a day of driving DH places (he hates driving) and then sewing a backing for the new quilt topped off by 1.5 hours of energetic weeding.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

New and shiny, I hope

Gday all!

My laptop is having surgery. It is getting a new hard disk. I'm writing this from my phone. Wish us luck!

Soon I should be able keep all my photos on my machine, hooray!


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Quickest quilt EVAH!

G'day all!

A couple of weeks ago, I got inspired to start a new quilt, based on a Fat Quarterly quiltalong.

I showed you some pics along the way.

The longest part for the whole quilt was hand sewing the binding down. It took me nearly a week - in part because some nong managed to not catch both sides of the binding when she machine sewed it onto the front. She managed that not just once, or even twice, but THRICE! I was getting really peeved with myself over that....


Anyway, it is all done now.


I am very pleased with it. If you are into perfection, this is not it - there are puckers all over the place, the backing isn't quite straight (ahem!) but I care not. It is done, it looks good, it isn't heading for a quilt show or anything, it is likely just to be used as a throw on DH's lounge suite.


I particularly like the use of the black and white polka dots on the binding and to make the backing long enough. Oh yes, I did not intend to have black and white dotty stripes on either side of the rainbow. I am not a black and white person - I think we have discussed this before. But I recognise that it is a very handy combo of non-colours.


Very pleased with how bright and chirpy it is. I'm not very good with dull colours, though I have the fronts of two dull cushion covers awaiting backs and turning into cushion covers... There might be a reason why they have been in progress since umm, well nearly three months now. They are dull!

I already have another quilt in progress, this one from the siggy quilt swap that I did several months ago. I've had the blocks sitting staring at me for ages and suddenly I just laid them out and sewed them up. Now I have to figure out a backing for that one. Sometimes I like the backing more than the front! Heh :-)


Monday, November 08, 2010

A perfectly lovely day

G'day all!

Thanks to those who have bought yarn - I am either packing it up for you or it is on its way. I'll let you know either way...

So today, Gibbering and I went for a drive down to Grantville. There is very little of any consequence at Grantville, really. It is a very small town. (But of consequence to my husband's family is that his brother's fiancee's parents have moved down there.) Of more interest to us is the bushland around there, and the report that my BiL brought back of orchids and other interesting stuff in flower. He was right. There was all sorts of flora on display down there, dirty stuff that it is, flaunting its sexual parts at all and sundry...

Why, then, am I putting a very unflattering shot of Cheshire on my blog?


Because cats are generally more interesting than plants to many people. And because I think it is a very funny pic. He took over the cat bed last night. Nutmeg slept with me instead. At about 1:30, Nutmeg got lonely and woke me up by purring in my face. I then had to get up to wee and saw Cheshire lying like a dead, bloated cat on the side of the road (only in a cat bed and he isn't dead, or he's reanimated very well indeed....).

Also it deflects you from the complete and utter lack of knitting content in this post. I've only knitted about 10 rows in the last week. Been a bit busy, I have.

More deflection - Miss Nutmeg came to visit as I took pics of the sock yarn yesterday. She was quite insistent on visiting and I had to sternly forbid her from sitting on my nice white cloth and the yarn itself.

I'll run away before you notice the lack of crafty pics. LOL


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Sock Destash Sunday

G'day all!

I have finally got pics of my sock yarn that I want to destash. Are you ready?

Hold onto your socks, we've got a bit of yarn here :-) I've done my best to keep my yarn away from the cats and cat hair, but if you have a severe allergy to cats, I advise that you not buy any of this yarn. Colours may vary on your monitor. If the yarn has been partially knitted up and then frogged, I give warning. Umm, anything else you need to know? Oh, prices do not include shipping and are in Aussie dollars.

Socks That Rock

SOLD Muddy Autumn Rainbow, medium weight, 380y/347m. Muddier tones of salmon, yellow, brown, blue, purple, green. AUD20 SOLD.

Tide Pooling, light weight, 360y/329m. Yellow, brown, blue, green, maroon. AUD20.

SOLD Bella Coola/Nuxalx, medium weight, 380y/347m. Blues and green. AUD20. SOLD

Amethyst, lightweight. Purple and mauvey-pink. Approx 10m missing from hank. Slightly frogged. AUD12.

Bamboo blends

Regia Bamboo Color. 45% bamboo viscose, 40% superwash wool, 15% nylon. Turquoise, blue, orange, purple, red, indigo, teal. AUD14 for the pair.

Fabiani bamboo sockyarn in greens, white and brown, probably a jacquard self-striping yarn. 60% superwash wool, 25% bamboo viscose, 15% nylon. 400m. AUD10.

SOLD Seacoast Handpainted Yarns, 60% merino, 30% bamboo viscose, 10% nylon, in Truffles, mauve, blue and brown. 400y/365m. AUD22 (cost USD22)SOLD

Wool blends

destash_wildfootlb destash_wildfootlbb
SOLD - ONE WHOLE POUND of Wildfoote from Brown Sheep in "Skittles," red, purple, cerise, orange and yellow. 75% wool, 25% nylon. Approx 2800y, or a honking 2.56km of yarn. Mothproofed. Gentle machine wash in cool water. SOLD

SOLD Discontinued colour of Patonyle, multi orange, green, purple, yellow and red. 75% wool, 25% nylon. Gentle machine wash in cool water. 190m per ball. AUD8 for the pair. SOLD

Unlabelled Patonyle in dull mid blue. Gentle machine wash in cool water. 75% wool, 25% nylon. 190m per ball. AUD5 for the pair.

Araucania Ranco multy in browns, oranges, blues and greens. Would not recommend machine washing this yarn as Ravelry reports suggests it felts quite well. 75% wool, 25% nylon. 376y/344m. AUD15.

Random sock club yarn, not sure if it is machine washable. Unknown length. Am pretty sure I overdyed this yarn. AUD5.

destash_regiapeacock destash_regiapeacock2
SOLD Regia Hand-dye Effect. 70% wool, 25% nylon, 5% acrylic. 420m. Says it is machine washable. Peacock colourway 06551. AUD18 SOLD.

Pure wools, non-STR

Slightly used Colinette Jitterbug in black, hot pink and almost orange. Part was knitted up into half of a sock. Machine washable merino. AUD12.

Hand-dyed machine washable merino wool. Browns, greens, "jungle" colourway. 390m. AUD15.

Cotton blends

Wolle Rodel Marathon in self-striping pinks. 45% cotton, 42% superwash wool, 13% nylon. 380m. AUD12.

Plymouth Sockotta in jacquard black, white, purple, orange and green. 45% cotton, 40% superwash wool, 15% nylon. 414y / 378m. AUD10.

Back with crafty stuff soon,


Friday, November 05, 2010

MiL thankfulness

G'day all!

I've been reading some of the threads in Remnants on Ravelry. (Go on, admit you like to hang out there too, even if you only ever lurk!)

I am sooooo glad I have the mother-in-law that I do. She's never gotten along with her MiL - her family was "not good enough" - but it made her determined that she would get along with her daughters-in-law when they came along (assuming her two sons were straight enough to prefer girls!).

Barb has been wonderful this year. She is busy with her job but she's taken time to look after me this year - cooked me dinner once a week (or more), checked up to see if I'm ok, etc.

So this is a little post to say I <3 my MiL. :-)


In other news, preparations are well under way for tomorrow's BBQ. I still have to buy beer and make two cakes and tidy up more outside (and inside) but I am feeling ok about it currently. I've visited the mortgage broker and it is very likely that we can refinance our place, and get this, the repayments will drop from about $1750 a month to just over $1000! That makes a *HUGE* difference to our position, especially since with any luck we'll still be able to pay out the old amount each month = pay off home loan much quicker.

Our chooks are down to two eggs every couple of days. They are living on borrowed time now. I have sourced some new chooks, only the new girls are at least two months off laying and I'm wondering what to do. They can't all live in the one pen most likely cos the established chooks will brutalise the new youngsters. But I can't make a new pen - don't have time and am not affording a new one either - we need to get Nathan a fridge first!

I have only 20 minutes or so more sewing on the quilt before it is finished. Hooray! I thought I'd be done with this by last Sunday it went together so quickly. But alas, it has taken days to handsew the binding down. I really should try sewing the binding down. That would require precision pinning and sewing though. I can't say that my sewing is very precise yet but practise will eventually make perfect, or at least good enough 8-)


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Hello 44

G'day all!

Thank you for the birthday wishes - I much appreciate them. I hope to get back to everyone that I can in person but you know me, so you might have to wait a little while.

Last night I had a very nice birthday tea at the parents'-in law place (homecooked Indian food with chocolate birthday cake). I even had a very small amount of Riesling, an 11 year old Riesling that was verra nice! (Even to this non-drinker.) Today work went out to lunch for my birthday and I got another chorus of happy birthday. DH basically forgot, though he knew it is my birthday cos when I asked him, he said "It's your birthday!" He thinks that because he knows, I know he knows - does that make sense? Like everything he knows and experiences, I experience. Doesn't quite work that way....

I didn't do much for my birthday. One of my sisters took me out for lunch on Tuesday then we wandered around the Australian Garden at the Cranbourne Bot Gardens. I started arranging to get our house refinanced cos our mortgage is extremely expensive - it was very competitive but then our financier was about the first company to go anywhere in the GFC (that would be global financial crisis, not the Geelong Football Club) and it suddenly became nearly TWO PERCENT more expensive than the cheap places and one percent more expensive than the big banks. With our mortgage, that makes $200 a month difference in interest alone, and our mortgage is not large. So if we can refinance, that would be grand.

I rang our ADSL provider and asked why we were paying rental on the handset we don't have. They said that was a very good question and they are looking into it.

I went shopping and bought some new clothes to go with the clothes my sister bought me on Sunday. And some clothes just because I haven't bought clothes for a very long time. (Unless socks count and stuff from Savers, stuff bought so I would be able to clothe myself after having my operation.) I still need some new pants cos my year old ones from the US are getting a little sad. We've all had a rather hard year.

Today I went to work. I did interesting things today and we had roughly an hour long discussion on the layout of a flier, including what fonts to use. I can be a bit of a font nerd at times. So can my boss. LOL

Have I taken pics of any of my crafting? Or any presents? *blush* Been busy! That is my excuse. Also I don't have pics of my destash sock yarn yet either. I probably won't get them before Monday at this rate - I have a BBQ on Saturday and have to clean the whole house from stem to stern, as well as cut the grass outside and get ready for an influx of people (I decided that since only about 12 people had said they were coming, I'd have it here. Now about double that many have said yes. Oh, for locals, BBQ here on Saturday arvo. We'll eat later in the day but you can come along from about 2pm, look at the yard, stop the kids from getting into mischief in the completely child unfriendly demolition remnants in the back yard, byo chairs and a plate....).

Tomorrow I am going to see a mortgage broker, see if I can't get a better deal onour mortgage. Maybe we haven't had our jobs for long enough. But maybe...


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Farewell 43

G'day all!

I am so glad to say goodbye to being 43. I hope the door hits you in the butt on the way out, 43!

42 was fantastic - we travelled a lot in the US, DH's job paid off a nice bit of mortgage, he took me to Europe for my first ever trip to there (fabulous! Would go again in a heartbeat if I had the option and would stay for as long as possible).


Then I turned 43. I thought it would be good. We were home, getting our visas for DH's job. The visas turned up 5 days after my birthday. Six days after my birthday, we got a phone call saying DH had been laid off.

Hooray and oh noes! It was both good and bad.

I was stressed out of my nut for the rest of the month - we had to fly back to the US, break our lease (costing us over $4K), organise to send stuff home (almost $3K), DH gave me a horrid cold that settled in my chest, giving me a swollen lymph node (or so I thought), then we said goodbye to the people and places we had become fond of and flew home. I was so excited to be going home, but I also had a sense of unfinished business.

It's funny, cos whilst I fell head over heels for Fort Collins in Colorado, California grew on me. I'll probably always have a soft spot for it. I would've liked to have seen more of it, and more of Oregon as well. Plus we actually made some good friends there.


Well within days of coming home, I've got a tentative diagnosis of breast cancer, followed by the bestest Christmas present ever: The tentative diagnosis was confirmed as an aggressive cancer. Merry Christmas, go and enjoy it and come back in nearly a month for us to decide what to do with you.

That wasn't the best Christmas I've had but it wasn't the worst either (that being the one after Mum died. The second worst was the one before Mum died).


DH couldn't find work. He's not the most stable person out there and things became very very difficult, between his unhappiness and my treatment.

Months of chemotherapy, months of it, from the start of February to the start of July. Then the slow recovery, halted rather by the operation to remove the remaining cancer, then more recovery (missing DH dreadfully cos he had a new job in Sydney), then radiotherapy.


I'd like to thank all of you, my readers, particularly those who have commented along the way for the support you have given me. Some of you I can even call my friends because we actually have an ongoing dialogue. (Remember, if you don't comment, I don't know you exist!) (I also admit to being a rather poor correspondent.)

Now I have to find the new normal. And welcome in 44. Here's to being 44, may it be a better year than when I was 43!


(PS - have gone through most of my sock yarn collection and culled the yarn that doesn't sing to me. It might to you though! I have some Socks that Rock amongst that yarn and a whole lot of other stuff. I hope to get pics tomorrow to post.)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Anew month, a new FO

G'day all!

Hooray for me I finished something!

I thought I would have a second something finished by now but not quite. It is close.

DOOD! Turn that stereo down - it is vibrating my house as you drive by!

Anyway, here's my new mittens.


Are they not lurid?

Mandie from EGMTK sent me the yarn - she said it needed to live with me. I started making socks with it but no, this yarn could not hide away demurely inside shoes! It screamed to be loud and proud and out!

So I made mittens instead. Tip up, not cuff down.

I love the way the thumbs striped. I knitted them during radiotherapy, so I'll remember them and the comments from staff and fellow radio-ers - people either love them or look away. I made them up as I went along so the first one (left hand) is a bit wonky. My sister-in-sin said they were made for someone with very long fingers. Yup, that would be me 8-)

I admit that I am struggling a bit at the moment. DH is having such a hard time in Sydney, between the job and being on his own, that he is likely to quit and come home. That means that we will only have my little job. OK, he shouldn't quit until he has a new job but the rate he is going, he'll end up in the loony bin. Either way, it adds a whole load of financial pressure as he'll have to pay out the lease on the flat, we need to bring some of the stuff up there home, etc, etc. (Hiring a van will cost about $800 I discovered in the past.) We don't have any cash reserves left to do that with. This last month is the first time I've paid the mortgage since March.

For a while there, I thought things would work out but *sigh* It makes things so very hard, not knowing what the future holds. Uncertainty is a huge stressor for me. Stress is bad for me, I try not to be stressed cos I don't want to dance with cancer again. I try to take things one day at a time but some things are too big to take one day at a time. I was so looking forward to a bright and shiny new month where things would sort themselves out in my favour but alas...

Which somehow reminds me. I am going to do a destash. I have waaaay too much yarn and fleece and stuff. It is stressing me. So apart from gifts and stuff I have clear ideas about using and a few things that I just love to bits and will not part from, I am going to try to put a few items a day up for destash. It is nice to have a collection but I need to have a little less of a collection.