Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Simple Joy

I'm amazed how little time I've had this past week!! I've barely had time to turn the computer on, let alone blog or read/comment on everyone else's blogs. Where does all the time go? Partially to being sick I spose. And partially to catching up on a serious backlog of housework. And a big part to starting an exhausting new job!! (and very little to knitting unfortunately!) Anyway... here I am now. Procrastinating about cleaning the bathroom... feeling like I really should be in bed. But here are some long awaited (well for me anyway) pics of my finished objects.
Mum looking lovely in her shrug... which she LOVES!! (thanx for loving it mum!)

And Dad's beanie and with the last minute card I made for him. In the end I think the beanie was a bit too short. There's probably something to be said for following a pattern...

Thanks to everyone for all your kind words! This week is going really well. The kids are really fun (except when they're being little monsters)! And some moments are just magic... like when a helicopter flies over the yard, and the sheer joy they derive from that... I can't help wondering if the pilot realises quite how much joy she is causing??
And today while we enjoyed the gorgeous sunshine, we went blossom-spotting in the yard, and talked about spring and sang a spring song. Not a bad way to spend your afternoon really...

Sunday, 26 August 2007

I sneeze when I look into the sun today

Well... I'm still alive (just!). In case some of you were wondering!!
What a week!! My first week of childcare has been thoroughly exhausting!! I think I caught every single virus that every kiddy in the centre has... all at once! Aargh! Then a fairly traumatic day at work on Friday left me absolutely floored! Hey... it can only get easier from here on in! On the up side, every one is nice, the kids are cute, and I'm settling in well.
Also last week I finished Mum's shrug. She loved it!! I have pics of it and Dad's beanie to post. Super soon, I promise!! Now... I'm due in bed!
Hugs to all for their well wishes the past couple of weeks!
Oh and hooray for the 18 degree day (though maybe it was warmer than that?) And to 5 loads of washing all drying today!!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Two more days

Thanks everyone for your kind words about my life changes... they make it all a bit easier!! Thanx in particular to Mez, my beautiful colleague from SA... I'll miss you the most... but will still be in contact of course!

Slogging my way through the last week at work has been tough... but it's been cheered by a couple of lovely nights of knitting!! The first Inner North SnB happened at the Front cafe and gallery on Monday night. It was great to meet Mick finally, and all the other lovely knitters who I hadn't met before!! We had a great old chatty time, and discovered a few more instances of what a small city/country it is!!

Then last night was a lovely Knit and Talk Sh!t at R's house... with her two big husky dogs very intrigued by all the knitting folk!!! :) Thanks to K for the delicious roo stew!!

AND... 2 hours before his birthday (today) I finished Dad's beanie!!! Got up early this morning to block it... I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't hear the air fizzing out of the wool like George did... because I was quite excited about the prospect of that!! :) So it's sitting obediantly at home now drying out... and will be all ready to give to Dad when I see him tomorrow night! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out... maybe a bit too short, but ah well, I spose that's what I get for not following a pattern! I'll post a pic of the finished object soon!

I'm excited to do some work on the lovely turtle walk socks this weekend!! (I'm going to be hanging out with Mum and Dad, so I can't work on the last little bit of mum's shrug - which I need to finish off sometime between now and next Wednesday...)

Monday, 13 August 2007


I had a lovely time going to the craft and quilt fair on the weekend! I wandered the stalls for at least a couple of hours, in a bit of a daze. So much pretty stuff! There were disappointingly few yarn-related stalls…but the ones they did have pretty good! I was blown away by the free-form crochet and knitting stall.

This photo doesn't do it justice... check out the website. Although they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I was so impressed by the creativity that has gone into these pieces. Some of the coats etc were hard to take in, there was so much going on. Definitely wearable art!

I made a couple of small purchases. Some lovely soft Bolivian alpaca yarn…

And some very pretty beads which I have no idea what to do with! But I also bought some beading wire, so we’ll see what happens!

But for me the best bit was the quilt show. I’ve never really been that into quilting… although I like looking at the pretty fabrics for sale at quilting stalls, and admire the patience that quilters must have…it just never really took me as something I would be that keen to try. But OH MY GOODNESS I’m inspired now!! All of the quilts in the show were absolute works of art! And they also looked so fun! And I really like the idea of the free hand ‘drawing’ with a sewing machine on top of all the quilted together bits. Wow. Congratulations to everyone who made all the gorgeous quilts! Mick’s Cobargo Squares quilt looked absolutely vibrant in real-life. My favourite of all the quilts had to be the 50cm square tree of life quilt, with a gorgeous swirly-branched tree and over 1600 (!) tiny leaves all sewn by hand!!! This tiny quilt had won so many ribbons that they took up more room on the wall than it did!
I was only sad that after I’d finished drooling over all the quilts (not literally mind you), the fair was closed so I couldn’t pop back in and buy my first bits of quilting fabric!!!! Which is probably a good thing. One obsessive hobby is definitely enough at the moment!

Dad’s beanie is coming along quite well despite a couple of setbacks on the weekend. Setback 1: Whilst knitting at S’s house on Friday night as the boys set up the band equipment for S’s Global Warming Party on Saturday, there was a burning-of-the-special-butter incident. Not a pretty smell. Which then permeated everything that had been within a 3 block radius of the house. Including the beanie in the lounge room!! But a good airing on the clothes-line the next day worked wonders. And provided the opportunity to take a pretty photo of the sun shining through the beanie. Did I mention spring is almost here??

Setback 2: In calculating the decreases at the top of the beanie, I thought I would decrease in multiples of 7 – i.e. have 7 decreases running up to the top. So… 112 divided by 7 = 16, therefore I should decrease every 16 stitches right? But instead, I decreased every 7 stitches, and continued thus every second row before realising that I had way too many decreases, and the beanie was going to be incredibly short. (I claim distraction as I was also watching the subtitled ‘Ten Canoes’ at the time!) So… I got to frog for the first time ever! And I found it kind of sadistically exciting. I took advice that I had read somewhere, and picked up the row I was frogging back to on smaller needles, so there were no live stitches to try and catch up when I got back to there. It’s amazing how easily all those time-consuming stitches come undone!! Anyway… I’m back on track now, was able to enjoy the rest of Ten Canoes… and will hopefully get close to finishing the beanie at SnB tonight with plenty of time to spare before Dad’s birthday on Thursday!!

I threw open both the windows

Is it just me, or does it feel like spring has arrived?? That’s incredibly exciting to me!
I’ve seen the following evidence in my garden:

And this:

But then this morning, this:

Maybe it hasn’t arrived quite yet??

Thursday, 9 August 2007

I go up I go down

Wow... this quarter life crisis stuff is HARD. But I'm slowly getting there. We find out next Tuesday whether they're going to make someone on our team redundant. 'Strategic Realignment' they call it! Meanwhile a cloud hangs over everyone's heads as they all mull on the idea that it might be them that's going. Ironically, I'm pretty sure it's not me that's going, but I'm angling my way out anyway- at least for a while.

Yesterday my request for leave without pay until the end of the year was approved. So as of the end of next week, I embark on my life-change... hopefully resulting in a more relaxed and happier me!!

Besides the small high point of getting the leave approved in a lunchtime meeting with HR, yesterday was a painful, all day strategic planning meeting which had us all strung out... and saw me ending the day in the kitchen in tears over something small and stupid. But then a couple of hours later, Knit and Talk Sh!t was on at my place... and I somehow managed to pull together a Thai pumpkin soup, and myself - and the lovely Mr Purl obliged with the fire again. In the end there was just three of us... including our first serious boy knitter! The wonderful M who remembered all the stuff we taught him last week, and excitedly knit-up an impressively mistake-free rectangle which we're hoping to (somehow) turn into a baby bootee :)

And then today, as if a weight has been lifted by knowing I have my leave, I was much more relaxed, and tonight sees me home alone (Mr Purl is somewhere in Victoria getting a slabbing attachment for a log mill...), drinking my favourite Rutherglen Chardonnay, and catching up on my blog reading and commenting. AND I made a fire, which I cut the wood for myself, which for some reason I haven't done for ages. And as I was chopping the wood, I thought "why on earth haven't I been doing this after every hard day I've had??" It's soooo satisfying to get rid of all that yucky energy into a piece of wood... and then burn it! :) And it also made me realise how little energy I've had for everyday things over the last year... which I think I can attribute to the way I've been feeling at work. So... it's a good feeling to finally be doing something about the work situation!! YAY!! So tonight instead of crying in the kitchen, I'm dancing in the kitchen!

On my way home tonight, I rode past the child care centre which is to be my new workplace... just to be close to it made me happy.

Sorry for the complete lack of photos or knitting content. I got a bit done on Dad's beanie last night... and I'm loving how the speckled (thanks for the linguistic help Bells) wool knits up!

And thanks for everyones advice on how to come up with post titles. I'll try to be more spontaneous!! (but I also liked your suggestion Mick of using song words... this post title comes more or less from a Jill Sobule song)

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Does anyone else struggle to come up with witty or even relevant post titles? Any tips?

I finished listening to a taped book late last night - The Secret River by Kate Grenville. Quite a good read... (or should that be 'listen'?) set on the Hawkesbury in convict times. Thanx to the lovely K for lending it to me! Taped books are definitely the perfect companion for knitting... significantly improve my attention span and are a good way to keep me up knitting til midnight!

Last night also saw me cast on a beanie (which brings me up to 3 WIPs... oh dear!). The shrug is sooo close to being finished but still not quite... but seeing as Dad's b'day is a week before Mum's... I figured I should get trucking on something for him. He has a complete lack of good beanies, so there you go. It's in a lovely cream Cleckheaton Country Naturals and a specked (I'm sure there's a proper word for that) forest green which was left over from my trip through Africa where I learnt to knit. Here they are in front of the gorgeous orchids Mr Purl gave me over 2 weeks ago, which still look good as new!

I got absolutely no knitting done on the weekend... it was another working bee weekend, preparing for Corinbank. So we were up in the mountains cutting and carting trees and stacking them on a couple of huge bonfires to clear room for the main stage, and the rustic bar... great way to keep warm and get fit all at the same time. Bonus!! :) It's always nice to spend the weekend working outdoors... makes a great change from sitting in the office.

Friday, 3 August 2007


I've been struck by the dreaded lurgy that's going around... makes me feel like I'm thinking through cotton wool. One of my workmates is medicating me with whole cumquats, which are apparently supposed to heal everything. You eat the skin and everything - incredibly bitter! I was completely bummed not to make it to SnB last night... but I was comatose and curled around a hot water bottle. The lovely Mr. Purl whipped-up some yummy fruit salad which definitely helped!!

Knit and Talk Sh!t on Wednesday night was great! A big thanx to S, E and J for the yummy roast and curry! They needed two dinners to feed the 11 people that showed up!! And, for the first time ever we had 3 boys knitting with us! Yay for the boys. I tried to get some work done on my turtle walk socks... but a couple of newbies including one of the boys needed to be taught to knit, so I did that instead (pleased to be able to infect more people with the joy of knitting!). I only got one row (!) done on the socks in the end. But enough to remind me how lovely they are to knit! I'm really enjoying the small needles and gorgeous hand dyed wool!

And in (very funky) randomness that I found here:

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

As promised.

Here's the shrug in its' almost-finished glory. Looks like some kind of strange sea creature to me. The sepia photo is because I can't bear what the camera does to the colour!! (need to figure out how to get around that...)

All was quiet

It's been a quiet week for me on the blog front... which can partially be attributed to my continuing 'quarter life crisis' (as Mr Purl calls it), partially to the room that the computer's in being a couple of degrees warmer than an igloo and partially to me having very little progress to show you, and not much to tell.

But I'm getting there (on all fronts - except perhaps the cold computer room one).

I'm getting sooo close to finishing the shrug for mum. This last bit seems to be dragging out for inordinately long. Maybe because this is the crochet bit? Or because there are now all these other projects I would prefer to be working on. Like my turtle walk socks! - which I've forced myself to put aside so I can finish the shrug in time for Mums birthday! Oh the dilemmas!!

I had a lovely night last night though, sitting in front of the open fire (which the lovely Mr Purl made me to pull me out of the "I'm-completely-over-winter-in-our-freezing-house-and-want-it-to-be-spring-already" doldrums) and madly chaining-away at the border of the shrug!!

And things are looking up... with Knit'n Talk Sh!t with the girls tonight, then SnB tomorrow night. And... on the weekend I got to try my hand at being a personal yarn shopper for S who wanted some funky wool to make a beanie/booty set for her cousins bub. I got her the very bright rainbow coloured Cleckheaton merino bambino. So funky... (why are there so few wools for babies that aren't yucky pastel colours???? Babies like bright things! And hey... when they puke on something rainbow coloured, it's not going to show up anywhere near as much!!) Our mate J is making an incredible round lace baby shawl out of this same wool... knitted from the inside out... so with an ever-increasing number of stitches! I'm so impressed. Definitely destined to be an heirloom. I will ask her if I can post a picture of it when she's finished.

Oh... and... guess what?? Zed's back!! (Zed being the suspension chopper bike that went missing when our mate was beaten up). So thanx for all your comments of concern... I think they really helped, and karma won out in the end... :)

So... with the promise of pictures of the shrug and yarny goodness to come soon, here are some bits of randomness to amuse you in the meantime...

It's a completely crocheted bike (!!!) made by a girl in the states. He he. Combines my loves of knitting and bike building perfectly! Tho if I were to make one, it would be have to be a tall bike or chopper or...

Speaking of combining loves... for those of us who love cooking and knitting... I received my copy of the latest issue of Donna Hay last night (yay for my parents for giving me a subscription to DH - the best Xmas present ever!!), and lo and behold they've done a feature on what to cook for a knitting night!!! The article is ok, but it's more just exciting to see them use a knitting night for it!! (of course, it was all very fashionable, stylish knitting to fit in with the shoot... but we can forgive them that... If my house was that nice I'd force everyone to knit things that matched my decor too!)

I'll try and remember to take a picture tonight, and we can see if it looks anything like this!! Just for fun one knitting night I will have to cook some of the stuff they suggest. Although we have found at knitting nights that there's not too much point in having much finger food because noone really stops knitting for long enough to eat it. Better to just have dinner, get it over with and get back to knitting!!

So... it turns out I actually did have stuff to talk about after all!! :) More (including progress pics) soon.