Sunday, April 29, 2007

In the Wars

Poor Mil (our aged and beloved blue heeler) - she has been in dog hospital all weekend with an extremely high temperature among other symptoms. I have just brought her home. It finishes a week of vet visits, with more to look forward to next week.

Last night I missed her terribly. I was surprised just how much I talk to her - I noticed because I kept starting to say something and of course she wasn't there! I'm also really aware of her in a spatial sense - I know it sounds strange, but I'm really conscious of where she 'is' in the house. Last night I found myself looking for her as I passed her usual haunts. I felt a real emptiness.

So pleased she's back. She's still not her bright happy self, but she's much improved from where she was on Saturday morning.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bits and Pieces

This arrived in the mail on Friday!

It's the Competition Schedule for the Royal Melbourne Show...

Should I, shouldn't I... maybe next year, maybe not...

Lots of indecision here.

It's always been my ambition to put in some entries to the Royal Melbourne Show. I grew up knowing that my paternal grandmother regularly won firsts and seconds for her spinning, weaving and knitting. She even had some of those extra special felt sashes. Mmmmmm. Need to think about this some more.
Progress on my two knitting projects:
  • finished the back and front of the hoodie and have started the first sleeve
  • up to dividing the back and front for the neck of the red rib cardi

No picture as I thought that would be a bit boring - in fact the progress report itself isn't all that interesting. I'm just writing this because it makes me feel better.

More nerines...

Last weekend I visited Peter Genet's farm at Gembrook. Among other things he grows fabulous nerines on a commerical scale. He sells the bulbs and flowers. It's a family thing. His father grew and bred them before him. He has a great collection.

Including some that were bred during WWII in the UK - called things like Bombardier and Spitfire!

The soil is well drained and they are grown on quite a steep slope. Peter is a wealth of information about growing them. He told us that recent research indicates that one of the most critical factors in determining flowering is soil temperature at or above 25 dec C for at least 6 weeks.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

More shoes

These little shoes look sweet but they don't stay on very well. The socks help, but I don't know if I dare take him out with them on.

The pattern is from Debbie Bliss. The yarn is 4ply Cleckheaton Baby wool.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Click Clack

Progress is slow on the red rib cardi for Mr S. I keep telling myself it only 'feels slow' because I am knitting the whole thing in one piece, but I cannot stop myself from measuring it continually. The tape measure is my constant companion!

And I have started the hoodie for Mr S (based on the Sirdar pattern) using the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK. It is knitting up much quicker that the red cardi (the result of stocking stitch rather than rib, and DK rather than 4 ply - no surprises there). Normally I knit right on the given tension of a pattern using the specified needles but with this I'm knitting tighter - not sure if it's me or the yarn? I quite like the stripe. They are not the normal colours I would choose, but given that I had the orange already I think the teal/aqua goes with it quite well.

And I have bought these really cute shoes to go with it - orange suede Italian shoes! They are Mr S' first ones. I've also joined a new group blog about knitted toys - called .... Knitted Toys.
It has some really cute stuff on it and I really like the button.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I know it's Autumn 'cause...

My garden is very important to me, but it's suffered very badly with the drought and neglect over the last two years. Last year during my pregnancy I was too ill to garden and this year I am back to my normal good health, but looking after Mr S has left me with no time.

There are weeds everywhere! It's way out of control. Now I like a bit of (what I would term) 'country style' (yes it's a euphemism)!!! One of my all time favourite books is Mirabel Osler's A Gentle Plea for Chaos.

It's a fab book and Mirabel Osler has a lovely voice - strong, independent, humorous, charming and calm. There is a tree house in the book that I would knock down and kill for.

But chaos is only attractive held on a short leash. My garden has slipped its leash and is running amuck! I'm actually quite embarrassed about its current state.

Still despite all that, there are still small vignettes that give joy...

The nerines, which come from my grandmother's garden (just ignore the grass), are my most favourite harbinger of Autumn.

As is Cyclamen hederifolium (hope you're still ignoring the weeds).

And the Glory Vine (which is totally out of control) is just beautiful. It was planted by Robert's grandmother. The purple flowers are Plectranthus ecklonii.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

Meet the Easter Bunny!

This is one very big bunny!
And tasty too!

Project Specifications:
Pattern: Vintage Pattern 'The Rabbit Family' - Father Rabbit knitted
Yarn: Freedom 100% wool by Twilleys of Stamford (50g, 50m balls)
Needles: 8mm (yarn label specifies 10mm)
Notes: Father Rabbit took 7 balls (6 and a third really) knitted at a tension of 12st in 10cm


Saturday, April 07, 2007

The mind turns slowly

I bought these for Mr S

Which reminded me that I still had this - Shepherd 4ply Baby Wool

I'd bought it while knitting this

At the time I thought that I would make a jumper to match.

The problem is that even though I'm an orange lover, I'm just not sure that I like this shade?

I keep looking at it and feeling very guilty about the waste if I don't use it. But my knitting time is so heavily rationed at present, do I really want to use it knitting something I won't like? What a dilemma. Which means that the wool just sits around while I 'um and ah' about whether to cut my loss and move on, or stick with it and make the [beep beep beeeeeeeep] jumper...

Anyway, the purchase of those socks got me thinking...

So I purchased these to experiment with - Rowan 4ply Scottish Tweed and Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK

And came up with these swatches

  • top few lines: Rowan Scottish Tweed and Shepherd 4ply knitted in stripes in single strand on 3.25mm needles
  • middle rows: Rowan Scottish Tweed and Shepherd 4ply knitted together initially on 4mm needles, then on 5mm needles
  • lower section: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK and Shepherd 4 ply (double strand) knitted in two types of stripes (two row and four row) on 4mm needles.

I quite like the lower section (using the Cashmerino and the orange 4ply doubled).

So I'm going to use these yarns and the stripes concept to make something like one of these Sirdar designs...


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Child? What child?

This is my knitting life every evening once Mr S has fallen asleep in my arms (won't fall asleep in his bed!).
I've seen some people knitting with bubs in slings, but Mr S knows the difference between a sling and arms. While he will quite happily go into his baby carrier when we are out walking or shopping, at home it's arms only thank you very much!

It's amazing how one learns to adapt, but this does slow me down and I don't think I can tackle aran patterns or intarsia (or at least I haven't tried yet).

As you can see I've started the red rib cardi and I've also finished knitting the rabbit (hopefully it will be finished by Easter).


Monday, April 02, 2007


A couple of weeks ago I went to the Stitches and Craft Show in Melbourne.

I spent a lovely afternoon wandering around, with Mr S in his baby carrier, examining all sorts of yarn, fabric, beads, thread... there was an interesting stand demonstrating punch embroidery, which I'd love to try sometime.

These kinds of events are a bit like a trash and treasure market... lots of trash, but treasure as well (and of course which is which is all in the eyes of the beholder).

Here's some of my treasure.

Hand dyed 5ply 100% wool from Fiberworks.

And three lots of sock yarn. On line (cotton/wool mix); Tofu tsies (wool, 'soysilk', cotton, chitin [from crab and shrimp shells]); and Jitterbug (merino wool). I think I was in a bit of a lolly mood looking at the colours.

The Tofu tsies came from a business that sells all kinds of unusual yarn including bamboo, organic cotton and organic wool - This yarn's made by the South West Trading Company - After trawling through the site I'm still not any the wiser about what 'soysilk' actually is.