Tuesday, January 31, 2006

In the Garden

I love getting 'good' mail - boxes, packages, journals..... (not 'bad' mail - bills, unwanted advertising ....)

Last week in my box there was the January edition of the Scottish Rock Garden Club Journal - the articles are excellent, including:

  • "Growing Aril Irises" by John Lonsdale - these irises are difficult to grow - coming from some of the coldest and dryest areas. I. kikwoodii which is pictured is on my wishlist - see John's website for more pictures;
  • "Erythroniums" which is a photo essay by Ian Young. . Ian writes a really interesting weekly 'Bulb Log' on the Scottish Rock Garden site.

Also in my letter box the latest pack of seeds - this time from Vlastimil Pilous in the Czech Republic. He has a fantastic seed list and I was luck to recieve some really choice plants including Jeffersonia dubia, Paraquilegia amenonoides and Paris delavayii. Of course the trick is to plant them and then cross fingers and hope they germinate (and then hope that they grow on... ).

Tony Hall, who was until last year in charge of both the Alpine and Woodland departments at Kew Gardens in the UK, spoke to my hort group, the Alpine Garden Society Victorian Group (AGSVG), just before Christmas. It was a great talk, and one of the gems of knowledge that he passed on was that he uses smoke water on most of his seed to help it germinate. So I have found a company in Melbourne that sells it and in the next week I should have it in my hot little hands. Then I will plant all the seeds currently sitting around on my side board.

And my other gardening news is that I am deeply into organising the:

AGSVG - Trough Making One Day Workshop - Saturday April 29

The AGSVG is holding a fund raising event where we are going to show gardeners how to make troughs for the garden. It's a group effort with many people generously donating time and 'in kind'. The Age Newspaper and Marcus Harvey, who puts out a 'to die for' bulb list, have both advertised it for free and we have already 3/4 filled the available spaces!

What are troughs I hear you ask - well...

Although not common in Australia, troughs are widely used in the UK, Europe and the USA for growing tiny plant treasures that would otherwise get lost in the garden and difficult plants that require special growing conditions. They can also look terrific in the garden if placed cleverly.

Many old and famous gardens contain troughs including Wisley, Kew, Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, Gravetye Manor, Sissinghurst and Rodmarton (pictured right - and one of my favorite gardens - I'm an Arts and Crafts fan and there is a whole chapter on this garden in Jane Brown's 'The English Garden Through the 20th Century').

Traditionally troughs were made out of stone. Nowadays most troughs are made out of a mix called ‘hypertufa’, which is set in moulds. This type of trough is easily made by the just about anyone once you know how!

At the workshop, everyone will make a trough to take home. There will also be two lectures, a plant stall, and a garden visit... should be a great day!

We are really looking forward to it - despite the hard work and worry it entails... like the difficult questions such as how many cubic meters of stone and pine bark will be required? can we borrow four cement mixers to mix the hypertufa and who do we know who can operate them? ... who can we borrow tarps from just in case it rains? (which it won't - she says emphatically!) ... you get the idea...

Self Portrait Tuesday - My Malvern Star and My Brothers!

I loved my red Malvern Star - and yes I love my brothers too - even if at times they made me scream and still continue to at times!

We had lots and lots of fun times growing up with all the Australian backyard pleasures that are the stuff of legend. We had a 'Clark Rubber Pool' with a pool slide, a tree we could climb, a front yard forest where we could have 'secret' picnics, bikes, a billy cart, totem tennis, netball hoop, a long driveway that made a good pitch... we were pretty happy kids and I think we were pretty privileged really.

In particular, I have very fond memories of tearing around the neighbourhood on my bike, zipping around corners, revelling in the speed and the freedom. I can also remember coming a cropper 'a beauty' sometimes - my knees still bear some of the scars.

As you can tell from the photos - I am the eldest child. A lot is written about the meaning and impact of where one comes in the sibling order - I don't think it really matters - although that is probably just the kind of thing that the oldest child would say!

I have often wondered what it would be like to have sisters, perhaps that is why I was so close to my mother and grandmother?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Dreaming the Dream

In other words... what new projects can I dream up...

I confessed my purchase of cream Patonyle in an earlier post - now I have the book! Yes I visited The Artisan Bookshop at lunchtime and was very restrained only walking out with one book (oh if I could have I would have ... purchased many!).

It looks fab - but I think you only really know about either recipe books or creative books once you have road tested them.

So while both the 'watermelon' pattern using Gaywool Bush Colours of willow, cranberry and rosemary, or the fair isle pattern using Country Classic dyes in the colours of blueberry, desert rose and maize sound delicious - until I have a go I am not going to know whether this is a good book or not?

Next step - find the dyes (only doubt in my mind is that most dyes won't dye non-natural fibers - and Patonyle has 20% nylon - oh well will just have to see).

Speaking of having to 'road test' books before you know whether they are good or not - I have been using Bill Granger's new book 'Simply Bill' quite a bit - all recipes tried so far passed the 'would I make this again' test.

Last night I gave his chocolate cake a try. I put raspberry jam in the centre rather than more chocolate which I think was a good idea. The icing uses 200g of Haigh's chocolate and 250g of sour cream! Delicious.

Haigh's chocolate, if you haven't been introduced is extra fab. It comes from SA, but there are three shops in the Melbourne CBD - one at the top of Collins Street close to my office. This was the original Haigh's shop in Melbourne I think. It has been there since my childhood. I have memories of visiting the city on shopping trips and going to Haigh's with my mother and grandmother where they would buy pepermint creams and I was allowed one rose and one violet cream!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Saga of the Green Socks

I started the dark olive Patonyle socks - only to be disappointed by the pattern - Not Cable Socks. It comes from Sock Bug (who has some terrific patterns on her blog).

The picture of this pattern looks good on Sock Bug. The only difference is that I am using a plain yarn, whereas the ones on Sock Bug use a strongly coloured varigated one. I will try the pattern again with a different yarn - but I just had to pull this one out and try something different.

What I came up with is an amalgam of a couple of different patterns. It is a real cable and I think looks much stronger.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Challenge Countdown - 42 days to go!

Ok - time is whipping along and now there are only 42 days to go to the 10 March deadline for the Redhill Show.

Finally finished the first pair of socks. Really like the way Lorna's Lace knitted up - intend to buy some more [some time...].

I have also nearly finished the front of the green mohair jumper - then only have to do the sleeves, neck and sew it up - easy! Bit too hot to knit it at the moment as it forms a mini rug over my lap as I knit it!

So off to cast on the next pair of socks - which ones??? Probably the olive green cable socks - even I can get sick of pink!

The only other bit of knitting news I have concerns one of my local wool shops (Dromana Wool and Craft - a survivor from the 70s). It is currently having a "huge reductions - prices slashed" sale!!! In reality prices are not really that reduced or slashed - but never-the-less who could resist taking a look...

When I was there last week I saw some cream Patonyle. My first reaction was to sneer - who would buy THAT???!!!! Cream socks - oh my God - hand knitted tennis or cricket socks or socks for the white shoe brigade? all equally appalling ideas.

Oh how one should not mock!

It then occurred to me this morning... I could practice dyeing with it! So I have bought four balls - and intend to visit the Artisan Book Shop next week as they have some great books on dyeing yarn to achieve particular patterns.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Finally some baking!

Well it is unbearably hot again - I got up early and did some baking for breakfast - finally made the Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins I have been talking about for some time.

The recipe only made 6, but could easily be doubled. It also contains a couple of mistakes - including 1 tablespoon of baking powder - I don't think so! and it wants you to make a strawberry sauce to serve with them - just too much effort - so the sugar that would have been in the sauce went into the muffins (they didn't have any sugar in the muffin mix and it was only 1/4 cup).

Nice and gooey in the centre - really good muffins.

Recipe came from 'Sweet Food' (no author but a list of photographers, stylists, editors etc at the back - in other words it is some kind of compilation put together by Murdoch Press) it would be nice to know where the various recipes came from but never-the-less a good book with some yum recipes. I can recommend it.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday - Me and The Mil

This isn't a particularly good photo - partly because I am holding the mobile phone camera with my right arm, unable to see what was in view - poor Mil has her bottom half chopped off!

But it shows me with one of my best friends - Milawa.

Thousands of clichéd words have been written about the bond between human and dog - mostly true (always pleased to see you, no hidden agendas ... etc).

Anyway regardless of all of that, I delight in her company and am glad to have her around. She has an interesting and suprisingly complex personality and I think she is terrific.

Given the theme of my last two Self Portrait posts - I don't want anyone to answer the question about owners resembling their dogs (or visa versa)!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What do you do on a day like this?

Well you guessed it - hot again. BOM predicting 43 deg C! Took Mil for a swim last night, which was just blissful - looking forward to doing that again tonight. It is probably even too hot to knit - my fingers are feeling too sticky - so I'm blogging instead...

As part of my surfing I visited Lynne's Yarnivorous who is taking part in the Knitting Olympics initiated by Stephanie over at Yarn Harlot. The idea is to cast on a challenging project as the torch is lit for the Winter Olympics on Feb 10 and cast off by the time the flame is extinguished on Feb 26 - 16 days of intensive knitting!

Lynne is putting together an Australian contingent - I am very tempted! This would fit in very nicely with my "The Challenge" to knit entries for the Red Hill Show by March 10.

So what would I knit??? It needs to be a challenge. One pair of socks doesn't seem enough - two pairs of socks? Maybe. Or the Jo Sharp kimono jacket - this may be too much? It uses DK after all. Another jumper I have wanted to knit for some time uses Jaeger's Chamonix - it is now discontinued - but I bought it in a close out sale from Jimmy Beans Wool . Here is what I would knit - a more complex pattern, but it's 14 ply - so maybe that is achievable?

Need to consider this a bit further...

I was also incredibly excited last night when I found the DVD of 'Desk Set' at my supermarket (of all places)! This is one of my all time favourite films. Anything with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy just has to be good - but the theme of office politics and the driving plot tension of cannot stand him/love him are really good stuff! Looking forward to putting it on this arvo.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

It's hot Hot HOT...

What a day. The BOM (Bureau of Meteorology - see side bar for link) had promised 33 deg C - but the planet delivered 41 deg C. Tomorrow is supposed to be 41 also... I don't deal well with the heat... and nor do most of my plants ...

Today I went with my friend Margaret to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) to see the Margaret Preston exhibition - it closes at the end of this month - not sure where it goes after Melb. It was excellent - and cool! MP is an interesting character - strong willed and creative - the debate continues about her lasting contribution to art - I enjoy looking at her work.

We also shopped - of course... first to Reader's Feast (despite the name, one of the best bookshops in Melb) where I bought Great Knitted Gifts (see side bar under 'I'm Reading'). It has some really fun stuff - pompoms, knitted circles... I am going to order some Jamieson's Soft Shetland (they have such great colours) to knit a couple of projects. Margaret bought Thea Gouverneur's Flowers in Cross Stitch, which is just beautiful.

We also went to Button Mania - a wonderful shop specialising in buttons (guess you knew that bit!?). It's on the second floor of an old building with a lift with doors that you have to open by hand and great french windows (the building not the lift) - I enjoy just visiting the building. The dark mother of pearl buttons on the top left and right are for the DB bear suit. The middle row are for a child's red cardigan. The others are for nothing in particular - the bottom left and right were the last ones left of their type and the middle one was given to me by the owner to experiment with dyeing.

We also went to Sunspun (an iconic Melb yarn shop) where I bought some more DB Cashmerino, Rowan Book No 27 which I have been hanging out for, and Margaret bought me Jo Sharp's 'Eclectic'. This is the book that has the kimono jacket I am (hopefully) going to get around to knitting for 'The Challenge' (I'm not going to knit the flowers) - I already have this pattern from a magazine - but I would also really like to knit the teapot cozy - so a big thank you to Margaret for such a nice present.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday - Canberra Reflections

I am very fond of Canberra and I love visiting. Today I did a flying visit (literally and figuratively) for business reasons - no time for fun.

But it made me think about the first visit I ever made. I can barely remember it - just a couple of snatches - I was 2 1/2.

It was Easter and we went for a 'Veteran Car Club' Rally.

Veteran cars are those manufactured before 1904. My grandfather rebuilt them in his workshops pretty much from rusty skeletons found in paddocks, sheds and once even up a tree (it had been there for years as the result of a flood). He had two - a red De Dion and a creamy/bone coloured Straker-Squire - but he built cars for others as well. I have vivid memories of his workshops, which housed all types of metal and wood work machinery for building engine and body parts, and always had wood curls somewhere on the floor.

But back to Canberra - for some reason a number of the accommodation bookings including ours were mixed up and we ended up staying in a boarding house - my most clear memories are of my mother's utter appal at the conditions - I think it was the insects that she was most disturbed about - that and the state of the bathroom! The trip became family legend!

These days I enjoy visiting for the National Gallery (some great Arts and Craft silver and 1920s/30s Australian paintings amongst other things), the Australian National Botanic Gardens and places like Calthorpe's House. I am looking forward to a future visit when I can join the Canberra Stitch n Bitch group for a session!

And just for fun - here is another picture of me on the same trip and a picture of my mother at the same age!

Monday, January 16, 2006

10 things I would do if I was on holidays...

1. Plant my AGS seed, which arrived two weeks ago and is just sitting around getting older

2. Keep knitting

3. Get my Flickr account into order so I can post the link

4. Remove all the cobwebs (I read Pea Soup's blog - looked around me and was suitably horrified - amazing what you just don't see)

5. Weed and mulch the garden

6. Make a Chocolate Cake and the Strawberry Cheesecake Muffin recipe I have found

7. Read

8. Make a little fabric bag with Kaffe Fasset fabric from one of the Rowan magazines

9. Catch the ferry from Sorrento over to Queenscliff for the day

10. Sleep in

But instead I am flying to Canberra tomorrow for a three hour meeting with some colleagues - and with no time to do anything fun like go to the National Gallery, visit the Bot Gardens or investigate Cassidy's (which sounds fantastic - thanks to Taphophile for writing about it).

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Challenge Countdown - 54 days to go!

Progress on the green mohair! Still haven't decided what edging I will use for the sleeves and neck... but at least I am on to the 4th hank - 3 more after this...

... and I have finished the first sock... just need to make the second one to complete the pair. After I took this picture I grafted the toe using Kitchner Stitch - probably my least favorite bit. I use Annie Modesitt's step by step instructions, which I think are the clearest I have come across (see Side Bar under 'I'm Reading' - it's both whimsical and useful).

My stash is out of control - this is a small part of it - too embarrassed to say how small a part. One of the reasons I have been so enthusiastic about the idea of knitting "The Challenge" projects is that EVERYTHING is using stash yarn! Ahhh - an opportunity for downsizing!

So it was with mixed feelings that Margaret (an AGS friend and fellow knitter) asked me whether I would like to order some Jamieson's Shetland Wool with her and another friend.

Margaret is particularly keen on gloves (she gave me these for Christmas) - and she uses Rowan 4ply and Jamieson's quite a bit.

I have always wanted to knit Carol Lapin's 'Bobble Shirt' from 'Jamieson's Shetland Knitting Book'. Should I /shouldn't I??? This is too difficult - I will have to knit some more and think about it.

PS - thanks to Rob again - this time for the gift of a digital camera. Pictures are definitely better. Also learnt how to scan slides today with my new scanner. Took me a bit of fiddling and working out to get there - I had to go through the process of frustration, the 'it's broken'... it's not me stage, to finally reaching the 'Oh, that's how it works' stage! Hope to post some results soon.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

January Meeting - AGS Vic Group

An important part of my gardening life is the Alpine Garden Society Victorian Group. I have been a member since the early 1990s and have met some of the best gardeners in Australia and internationally via this Group.

The name is misleading - the Society doesn't just focus on true 'alpines' - the focus is on alpine and rock garden plants, small hardy herbaceous plants, hardy and half hardy bulbs, hardy ferns and small shrubs.

Tonight's AGS Vic Group meeting is a 'show and tell' session - bring a slide, book, plant etc...

For the 'bench' I will take - Clematis viorna (see above). This lovely and rare clematis comes from the USA - Pennsylvania, Georgia and Texas. Its common names include Leatherflower and Vase Vine. It grows up to 3m in semi-shade, perhaps best over and through shrubs. It was grown from seed by another member of the Group. I picked it up a few years ago at the annual Christmas 'Bunfight' meeting - a free plant swap.

I have gone through some of my slides and made an eclectic selection to show tonight. I will scan some of them and post them later.

I will also take a few favorite books - my two Christmas presents (Trilliums by Case and The Collector's Garden by Ken Druse). The other book I will show is Frank Kingdon Ward's 'Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges'. I love Kingdon Ward's writing he is elegant, incisive and evocative (even though occasionally he clearly demonstrates the social attitudes of an Englishman abroad in the early twentieth century).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday

Three generations (pictured at roughly the same age). Dagar, Mother and I - can you see the resemblance? It's more than skin deep. I learnt so much from them both and they are always close.

Also a big thank you to Robert for the scanner - great Christmas present!

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Challenge Countdown - 61 days to go!

I have made some [small] progress on 'The Challenge' to knit 4 pairs of socks, a jumper and jacket to enter into the Red Hill Show (see original post: 5 Jan 06) on 10 March (closing date for entries).

I really like the pattern emerging for the 'Links of Lace' socks - but every couple of rows I stop and examine the work, agonise about the quality, debate whether this is good enough (am I going to embarrass myself?) and then keep going.

I have always been very self critical about my work. I think this comes from my family. Both my grandmothers (each very very very different in style and personality) were excellent craftswomen with very high standards - so it is easy to get paranoid about whether ones own work is up to scratch. I just have to keep remembering that I am doing this for fun and to fulfil a long held ambition!

In fact, it is only recently that I started making socks. I grew up with stories of my maternal grandmother's legendary sock making abilities (she is even reputed to have commissioned special needles made from bicycle spokes to knit super fine wool). All a bit daunting really. It was only with encouragement from Lisette that I had a go last year and was hooked.

I have also started the front of the mohair jumper - the yarn is JJ's Mohair hand painted by Jan Gilray from Napier in NZ. It is a lovely soft mohair. I made another jumper from the same yarn last year - it is multicoloured pinks/green/blue/yellow etc - known as my 'Fruit Tingle' Jumper (don't know if fruit tingles are available beyond Australia - but they are sherbet style lollies that tingle of course!).

Pink Socks!

I worry a bit that I seem to have a small fetish for pink socks! Is it ideologically sound? Are pink socks just pink socks or do they have another meaning?

These are made with 'Fleece Artist' 100% merino (it was a present from a very kind work colleague who bought it in Canada while on holidays) It came with the best basic sock pattern printed on the wrapper - I use it all the time as a guide when adapting other sock patterns.

These are made from 'vintage' wool bought at the Bendigo wool show last year - I used the sock pattern in the Rowan 'Yorkshire Tales' book. It is one of those 'two needle' versions that means you have a seam at the back. I have been always curious - so I knitted it. I was worried that the seam would be uncomfortable. I tried to make it as flat as possible. It doesn't bother me at all - but I would never do it again. Quicker to knit - but then you have to sew them up! Why bother...

These use Patonyle - they are so soft and lovely to wear - I used the 'Fleece Artist' pattern again.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Learning to Crochet - Part 1

I know I don't really have time for distractions or interesting procrastinations if I am going to achieve my "Challenge Goals" (see previous posts) BUT I have no capacity to resist...

... so I have also been mucking around this week with learning how to crochet (which is my one publicly stated New Year's Resolution!).

My companion on this journey is "The Marshall Cavendish Complete Book of Needlecraft". I love this book - it is both quaint and useful - and also has some really good ideas (despite the uninspiring title and its age).

I was given this book as a teenager (Christmas in 1980) by my Grandma and Grandpa (paternal side). I know most of the pictures by heart and the instructions are good to follow (this is the book that taught me how to control my knitting tension and make gloves!).

One of the things I really Really REALLY want to make (sometime ... lets face it I have had this book for 26 years) is a creamy crocheted quilt made from individal squares.

But first...

... to learn to crochet I needed to use yarn that I could imagine becoming this quilt ('NEEDED' you understand - this is all about inspiration) [Ed Note: read 'wanted' not 'needed' at all!]. At the 'Clegs' Sale (all the yarn was 10% off) I bought a ball of Naturally's Merino/Silk Blend (I know it is ridiculous to practice with something so good ... BUT...)

... and I am on my way (stay tuned for Part 2).

A bit more about "The Challenge"

This is the Jo Sharp yarn I am going to use for the Jacket (see post below) - the colour is called 'Emporio'. I have used the Aran Tweed before, but not DK Tweed. It's the same blend (85% wool, 10% Silk, 5% Cashmere). It's wonderful to knit and wear - jury is still out in my mind about its durability - but worth the risk I think.

... and here is the sock yarn - I really like the paper bands on the 'vintage' wool!

(apologies again for the picture quality - the mobile phone doesn't really cut it in the clarity department - have started shopping for a digital camera, but choice is a bit overwhelming and it may take sometime!)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Knitting Challenge!

I'm a girl that likes goals. I love the feeling of ticking something off my mental "To Do" list. The sense of closure and achievement - just wonderful! I also like the journey, but there are always boring bits, I need to imagine the end so I can get there...

So it was with some delight that I received The Red Hill Show Information Sheets on Competitive Exhibition Sections for the 2006 Show. I have always imagined entering some knitting in a local argicultural show, but never actually got around to it - could 2006 be the year???

Entries close on the 1oth March - what could I complete by then? Well what I would like to do is:

  • Links of Lace Socks (designed by Nancy McFarlane) out of Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock Yarn in Sorbet - as you can see I have started these (I cast on 66 st because I am using a finer yarn)!
  • stripy socks in burnt orange and bone - which will use up some 'vintage' wool I bought from the Australian Sheep and Wool Show held at Bendigo last year (this wool must be from the 60s or 70s? probably from some knitters stash???)
  • Not Cable Socks from Sockbug using the dark olive green Patonyle I have had in my stash for some time (I will probably have to adjust the pattern to use this yarn)
  • Little Shell Socks using very pale pink Patonyle which I have also owned for some time (I will have to adjust this pattern too)
  • and if I had time... some socks from the green Opal that I also bought from Bendigo last year - not sure what the right pattern for this wool is yet...


  • my mohair green jumper (I better get on and start the front)
  • and now for the real (and totally unrealistic) stretch the Jo Sharp jacket 'Asian Garden' which was published in Knitter's Magazine in Winter 2004 (and is also on the cover of Jo Sharp's Book No 8 'Eclectic'). I am not going to knit the flower pattern - I think a plain colour will be more elegant. But I do have a plan for a really good tassel for the front closure!

Too ambitious? Absolutely! Can I do it all - probably not - but you never know - and it will be fun trying. Even if I only enter one item in the Show I will feel a sense of achievement.

Monday, January 02, 2006

All for the want of a Quilt

I have always wanted my own patchwork quilt. I have lusted after them in magazines, but have never been able to justify the outrageous prices in the stores. But it is not just cost that has stopped me from buying one - the thought of one made by my own hands has always held great appeal.

So a few months ago I visited Patchwork House in Melbourne and started purchasing fabric for "MY Quilt". I now have all the fabric needed, including the backing fabric. It is a mix of pinks and blues, with a smattering of red.

Last month I finished cutting out all the fabric.

Today I put together another 25 blocks - giving me 40 completed.

I am now a 1/3 of the way through the blocks! It's a big quilt.

I am not hand sewing it (I want to finish it this decade) - but using my trusty sewing machine, which I am very attached to. It was my mother's. My father gave it to her for an engagement present - how little he knew her! While her mother was an accomplished sewer, knitter, embroiderer etc, my mother couldn't stand doing that kind of stuff! She had other skills!

So my mother never used her Husqvarna and I found it as a twelve year old at the back of a cupboard! It has been faithful to me ever since. I even love the colour. But it weighs a ton.

Well my Christmas holiday is over - but I live in a 'holiday destination' for many Melbournians - so I am still surrounded by tourists and campers.

Amazing what a bit of a temperature change can do. Friday night it was so packed on my beach that I couldn't take Mil for a swim.
Yesterday, with a top temp around 19 deg C, the beach was deserted in the evening when I took Mil down! It meant I could give her a good run without worrying about other people.

Bring on February - when school goes back, peace returns and the weather improves!