Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A parcel

I love receiving parcels.

When I agreed to participate in the 'Swapping Susans' activity, I think the prospect of receiving a box in the mail was one of the primary motivations. That, and perhaps making a new friend somewhere out in cyberland.

The rules: a minimum of 200g of yarn and something local. Sounds simple, but oh the agony of trying to choose something for someone else, when you only know fragments about them. The questionnaire helped but it only goes so far.

I received my swap partner's box in the mail last night. Thank you SueChicago aka Sue Who Knits.

In my parcel:
  • two skeins of Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock Yarn in colourway Pilsen
  • a skein of Mountain Colours Bearfoot in colourway Soap River
  • a mug from a LYS
  • an embroidered button
  • some handmade earrings
  • map of Chicago and key sites marked and a postcard
  • a letter explaining everything.

Everything in the parcel was wonderful. The sock yarns are the 'right' colours, the earrings suit me, the button and mug are great. A got a great deal of pleasure reading Sue's letter and map. I really appreciated the time and effort she had put in to assembling something for someone that she didn't really know. Even if she had known me for years, she couldn't have done better.

Now all I have to do is hope that her package arrives soon and that she likes what I have sent!

Here are some pictures of my booty

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pretty in Pink

Well, I'm on to my twelfth colour. I think it's looking ok this time around.

But nothing is ever straight forward. I've now got a tension problem. The first six colours were done during summer, when my hands were hot and the wool didn't slide smoothly. So the tension is tighter. Now that it's cold, well the yarn's flowing freely and the tension is looser. Mmmmm.

Progress on other projects is steady:
  • Mr S' red cardi has a sleeve and collar to do - and then it's finished!
  • Leo Lion is sewn up, I need to to the finishing touches - embroider the face, sew on a tail and ears - and then it's finished too!

I've started a new winter hat for Mr S. It's from Zoe Mellor's "The Bid Book of Kids' Knits - 50 designs for babies and toddlers". It has ear flaps and cables.

Zoe Mellor's book is fab! There are lots of great patterns including a pirate jumper and a puppet theatre, with hand puppets.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mmmmm... Autumn

More Autumn Garden pictures.

Years ago there was a fashion to have 'your colours done'. I'm an autumn. I wonder if my fondness of this season has anything to do with loving the colours so much?

This kniphofia (Red Hot Poker) is a seedling. It always flowers once a year in late Autumn. It's one of the last things 'to do its stuff' before winter closes in.

And this is Pseudocydonia sinensis (pseudo quince). Great autumn colour. Gold with a touch of flame. Apparently you can use the fruits in the same way as a normal quince. I never have. But I guess I should - maybe next year. This year I'm just going to appreciate them on the tree, for their aesthetic value.

And this is Prunus 'Elvins' - the spring flowers on this are just stunning for about two weeks in October. All frothy pale pink. Then in Autumn, it gives again with great reds.

My house is about four houses in from the beach. There are houses, then a main road, then the foreshore and then the beach. The soil is very sandy, but surprisingly it's pH neutral. While I cannot grow many of the things that I would love to - primarily woodlanders that require moist peaty soil and really cold winters - I can grow quite a bit. It sometime surprises me how adaptable plants are.
If you look too closely at the pictures you'll see that I desperately need to do some tidy-up gardening. Since doing the baby thing I haven't been a very good gardener. I'll get back to it...

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Strawberry and Blueberry Ripple

I've bitten the bullet (so to speak) and unravelled about 10 colours of my ripple blanket. I cannot tell you how unhappy I was with it. The actually crocheting was fine, which is kind of what killed me about the whole sorry saga. But the colours! Ugg. Individually fine. Together, one horrible mess.

I knew I couldn't live with it. But I knew it was going to hurt unravelling so much. So, I procrastinated about taking action for weeks and weeks.

Finally, on Thursday night I did it. Here is how it used to look:

And now, well it's back to ripple ripple ripple! I've completed a further 1 1/2 colours. I refuse to say 're-done'. I think if I think about it in those terms I'm going to drag my feet, thinking that I am just going over old ground. I need to think about what I'm doing as new.

So, here is how it looks now:

I think that what helped me turn the corner was buying some new colours from Cleggs in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

They had some Cleckheaton's Machine Wash 8ply Wool Crepe on sale for $2.50 a 50g ball in some good colours - pinks, mauve pinks, pinky red, and they had some other colours of Paton's Totem, which I hadn't seen before - specifically a soft grey blue purple colour. It's one of those colours, which in different lights appears different. Looking at it this moment, it looks like periwinkle.

I think what I am ending up with is a Strawberry and Blueberry Ripple!


On a different topic, I have discovered Cast On. It's a pod cast about knitting, recorded by Brenda Dayne, who's an American living in Wales. I've only listened to 3 shows so far, but I think they are lovely. Bright, thoughtful, entertaining.

I listen to it on my laptop, but it's the first time I've started to think that maybe I do need an I-pod. Two people tried to give me one for Christmas, but I said I didn't want one. No use for one. I think I may have changed my mind.

I have Sue to thank for putting me on to it. I think I had read about Cast On before somewhere, but when I recently read Sue's blog, 'Sue who knits', I was convinced that I should at least have a listen. I think I'm hooked!


And changing the subject again, I am also involved in my first 'swap' as a result of participating in one of the forum's on Ravelry - Susan Knits. We are all 'Swapping Susans'.

My swap partner is SueChicago - the same Sue mentioned above.

I already have a few ideas about what I might put in my swap package - the minimum requirement is something local and 200g of yarn.

Everyone participating in the swap had to fill in a questionnaire, so I have some clues as to what her general interests and tastes are. Mmmmm. Trying very hard to be thoughtful and send something she may like. Despite the vague anxiety, it's kind of fun though!

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Autumn again

I've just looked back at my last 'garden' post. It was last autumn.

It made me reflect. I really love autumn. The mild days, some times warm, some times cool. The Chilly nights. Autumn is gentle. After the heat and harshness of summer and before the cold and harshness of winter.

I don't think I'd like autumn if it was perpetual. I like it because it's fleeting. Because it's a seduction. The hazy days are a caress.

And of course it's the beginning of the serious knitting season.

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