Friday, December 30, 2005

Stinking hot, and knitting a woollen shawl?

G'day all!

Well 2005 is doing its best to go out with a bang. It is 42 degrees outside, and I ain't talking fahrenheit here, I am talking celcius, so that would be hmmm, nearly 110 f. I am glad I don't live in Ouyen cos a) Ouyen is one of those small towns that is well past its prime and b) it was 45 there today. Ack!

So why am I happily knitting a woollen shawl?

One of the lists I am on showed a link for the Tasmanian Spinning Guild:

When I followed it, I was told this:

"User Not Found

The account you requested cannot be found. You may contact the page owner if you know this is a mistake."

That is verbatim what the page says. There is no hyperlink for the page owner, no emailto:, nothing. So if I knew the page owner personally, I might indeed email them but as I don't, I don't think I'll bother. As it turns out, the lady who forwarded the link does know the listowner and emailed them.

Too drippy hot in this study. nathan turned the fan off cos it is interfering with the long phone discussion he is having. It is 35 inside, except in the loungeroom where the old airconditioner is wheezing away trying to get the temp below 30.

Here's what the weather bureau had to say about the temps in Melbourne at 5:30 this afternoon:
Melbourne * Temp 42.1 Humidity 6% Max temp recorded 42.9 @17:14

Moorabbin AWS * Temp 41.1 Humidity 3.5% Wind N Max temp recorded 43.0 @16:48
(Moorabbin is the closest to us)

I went out earlier on so I could enjoy the airconditioning in my car and also, so I thought at first, to enjoy the airconditioning in the large electrical retailers I wanted to visit. Pity that their aircon had given up the ghost.... Anyway, as I walked through one carpark (having made 20 very thirsty and dry pigeons move so I could put my car in a shady spot), I could feel my eyeballs drying out as I walked into a northerly wind that felt like it came straight from Hades. That is when I know it is really hot - when I can feel my eyes dessicating.

Once I have stopped melting I will get some pics of the shawl and tell you all about it. I am very pleased with it so far cos it is looking really good and I made it up all by myself. Hooray for me!

I'll talk to you in the New Year :-) Have a most excellent and safe new year, wherever you may be!


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

More Christmas goodies

G'day all!

Well today was the day we were meant to hand the keys back for our old house.

Only the real estate agent shut at THREE.

Guess what time I got there?

Pretty obviously not before three.... but not long after three either....

Is the place perfect? Nope! But the venetians are cleaned and we have receipts for the steam cleaning and the general cleaning. Deal, estate agent! Plus I have done the grass, poisoned the weeds with EVIL weed knockdown and paid a nice man called Dennis to do the front strip.

Anyway, we are now officially over Koonawarra St. Now it is all our own place we can fuss about.


Let's have a look at my other Christmas goodies.

An old family friend bought us an electric knife. nathan is very happy cos now he can use Mum's old one for carving polystyrene. Nathan's lovely aunt saw a most remarkable book on orchids and bought it for us.

(click on the pic if you want to see a bigger version of the book cover)

Now we have a his and a hers version of the orchid book. LOL

My good English buddy Elspeth sent over a most bizarre toy.

Its head wobbles from side to side if you put it in good indoor lighting. I don't have good lighting in here so it isn't wobbling.

Now I know that simple things amuse simple minds, so call me simple. One of my favourite presents was the Kris Kringle at a friend's place on Christmas eve. Which of the two items do you think I can put on my workdesk and not get censured for? (if you want to see what happens when you squeeze one of them, look here)

Oh whoops, no knitting again! I've been washing and cleaning and fixing up the back yard for OVER A WEEK now and you know knitting has had to take a back seat. I've done a fair whack of spinning though cos it doesn't seem to matter much that my hands are as rough as really rough things at the moment. I am covered in bruises amd scratches too - we've been getting pretty darn beat every day for the last 12. Even our day off on Christmas day we were exhausted.

Now I can tire myself out on things that matter much more! My own place. Woo hoo!


Monday, December 26, 2005

Images of an Australian Christmas

G'day all!

Some pics from yesterday. OK, so we can walk outside at Christmas wearing only tshirts (and often wishing that we could wear a LOT less ;-). Melbourne was pretty cool, temperature-wise actually - probably because we did not have a roast. It was cold meats, roasted veg and salads all the way. If Barb had organised a roast, it would have been stinking hot, like around 35 (nearly 100) and somewhere around 50 in the kitchen, like a Christmas 7 years ago when some friends brought around a 5 litre bucket of icecream (say 1.5 gallons) for four of us, and the stupid thing didn't fit in my freezer....

So let the pics roll on!

(No pics of the seafood entree - I forgot to take any)

Christmas table - cheers! (the pic on the wall shows Nathan and his little brother when Nathan was about 9)

Christmas spread:

My plate (no salads - couldn't work out what was in the "It's italian dressing"):

Note the weirdness of having jelly (jello) on the main course plate. Whacky Canadians - we had four from Toronto lunching with us. They eat pumpkin for dessert. And they call Australians a weird mob - at least we don't have sweets for dinner and savouries for dessert ;-) I can't wait to visit Toronto and see the milk bags that go into the jugs. And fondle yummy Canadian yarn.

Dessert - traditional

Dessert - easy peasy!

Nathan and I "entertained" the masses - at least Nathan played the harmonium and I sang rather badly. Note that I was knitting a fluffy scarf and singing. Eventually FiL joined in.

No pics of the men falling asleep in the loungeroom, or once they had been ousted, the ladies :-)

All in all a very successful Christmas!


Sunday, December 25, 2005


G'day all!

Well what a pleasant Christmas. I know Christmas is about giving, not getting but lookie what DH gave me:

Woo hoo! Now I can listen to podcasts and music and the radio and stuff on the train! Look how wee it is. It does so much stuff - it can even record inputs including voice - and is Linux compatible too!

Happy happy joy joy! It is the bestest present he has ever given me and was something he did without my knowledge whatsoever. He was feeling very cunning, and particularly peeved when I told the girl in the supermarket that he didn't give me presents. I now take back those words. (Did I give him something? Well I would've if I could find it! Someone stowed it for me and I can't find the flaming stuff!)

May Santa, or at least your nearest and dearest, have brought you what you want too :-)

Back tomorrow hopefully with more about Christmas, an Australian Christmas.


Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas

G'day all!

Just a quick one to wish you all a Merry Christmas and/or season's greetings. Stay safe, and warm or cool depending on where you live :-)

Remember this when you are cursing your Christmas knitting (IT). You could be moving house instead :-) My mother in law was fussing about the Christmas lunch for 15 tomorrow. I made the offer to make the salads whilst she helped clean up our garage. She thought doing the salads would be nicer. LOL Christmas shopping ? No time for that! Presents? Umm, yeah. Oops.... We have been moving stuff out of the house, garage and garden for 8 days now and we still have about 4 trailer loads of stuff to go. Next time, if there is one, we are DEFINATELY going to be in a position to get professionals to move us. And we'll have the house ready to move into, rather than finding it grotty from end to end, with even oatmeal spilt in the cupboard.

I'll be back in a day or so with an Australian Christmas, and maybe even pictures! Too much excitement!


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Here again

G'day all!

We are back online! Hooray! Except we have a little networking problem cos DH can't find the hub. Ooops. It will show up but until then, no pics. There may be no pics anyway unless I use the blogger pic server cos I am not sure if my server is online over Christmas.

On the subject of moving? I hope now that Nathan realises that it is not easy to move yourself with the kind help of two or three friends and the odd hand from the rellos. We still haven't cleared the garage. I went and hired some self storage yesterday but they are shut for three critical days over Christmas. We haven't cleared the yard yet either. And it is going to be 36 today!! today. Like nearly 100 for those of you in the imperial age. We got the house clear on Wednesday night and boy that was horrid. Every time you thought you'd finished, voila! Something else appeared in a cupboard. At least I can stick a lot of the stuff from the garage in the back of my little weeny car - just take the parcel shelf out, lay the seats down and I hav e aweeny little wagon.

On knitting - what is that? I have been moving and lifting and shoving things around for days but I haven't seen my knitting since last Saturday. I have spun up 100g of stuff in the last week but I've had no time for crafting. No Christmas knitting this year - moving is too important.

On Christmas shopping. Erp. Umm, no time for shopping either. I bought some meat for the cats. Does that count? I have to get meat for us too cos we have four lamb chops and a little rack of ribs and that is it!

On the price of petrol (gas for you North Americans). $1.18 a litre. It has hardly dropped from the high of $1.20 a litre on Wednesday. That is the equivalent of over USD3 a gallon. Admittedly it is the equivalent of about 50p a litre in English terms. I doubt it will drop any further over the holiday period.

On our phone and internet company. Our new phone line got installed yesterday along with the cable. The first message on our voicemail was a reminder from the phone company, dated Wednesday, that we were getting the internet on on Thursday. Ummm, hello? We didn't have the phone on when the call came through.

On our mortgage provider. They want four clear business days to set up the first payment on the 1st of January 2006. They send the mail on the 20th. We get it on the 22nd. Today is the 23rd. One business day. They won't be open until the 28th, if then, 28-30th December - 3 business days. If we faxed it back today it might get processed in time to take the first payment out on New Year's Day, except the banks won't be open for two days anyway. So we will ring them, get their account number and transfer our first mortgage payment to them by online banking. BTW, we don't have a fax machine. Thanks, mortgage provider for thinking ordinary couples who don't run a business do have ready access to a fax. Also, thanks for sending out the form letter without thinking about it being Christmas and the fact you will be SHUT for days around Christmas, and hte mail will be non-existant too cos they will be not working either. It is after all Christmas.

And I didn't get to celebrate the longest day. I was too busy clenaing out the old house. At least I have cleaners to clean it for me - I couldn't stand having to clean both houses in one week. Mental note for self - if we ever buy another place, insist that it be professionally cleaned from end to end. We moved into a house that hadn't even had a vacuum clenaer run over it. Talk about feral!

OK, enough ranting. I am glad to be back online, at least partly.

I hope your Christmas preparations are going better than mine! 8-)


Monday, December 19, 2005

Going going....

G'day all!

After all the threats to move the computers over the last few days, today is finally the day. The cable goes off here tomorrow anyway. Hopefully it will be on on Thursday at the new place, nicely in time for Christmas!

If you are expecting reply mails from me, please excuse me cos we are still flat chat getting the rest of the stuff out. You would not believe how much we have to take to the tip and recycle place.

I admit I did a little spinning yesterday whilst Nathan played the piano. It was very nice.

So if things go horribly wrong and I can't blog before Christmas, have a most excellent day and I'll talk to you


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Moving - one word

G'day all!

I only have one word for all this moving we are doing.


Followed by a whole lotta expletives. We have moved almost everything except for some kitchen stuff and obviously the computers/study. They will go shortly.

We have so much stuff to find places for. Thank heavens that the local govt in our new area does a big blue bin of recyclables - we'll be filling ours for the next few weeks I reckon.

We are going to cough up $400 to get the place cleaned. It is easier than having to clean two houses in one week plus clean up the garden here. I still can't believe that we moved into a dirty house, like grotty from end to end. It hadn't even been vacuumed.

Wish the people who said they would call back would call back so I know whether to go with the first ones I called.

OK. Time to go and do more dumping Stuff into boxes and loading them into the cars. I am soooo over all of this. Next time I move, I will dejunk well in advance.

Knitting? Spinning? who has time? Cooking? Don't ask about it - last night's dinner was burnt oven fries (and I have YET ANOTHER BLISTER on my hand from burning myself on the oven tray) that I dropped on the floor (yes I did cry cos bad enough they were burnt but now they were totally inedible and I was starving and it was after 10pm and I had had ENOUGH!) and lamb chops and peas and corn. I would so much like a decent Lynne safe meal. My current state is permanently hungry and exhausted.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Ours, all ours

G'day all!

Well settlement went through without a hitch today.


So why do we feel a bit flat and unexcited? Maybe because we now see how much work we have to do lifting and carrying and plonking and then lifting and carrying and plonking after driving for 15 minutes. Two of our helpers have pulled out and that is going to make a big difference to our work load. I haven't finished packing yet. Nathan hasn't even started. Plus we have to clean the new (old) house end to end - it hasn't even had a decent vacuuming. When we leave this rental property we are expected to clean it thoroughly. The place we are moving to will be in the same state this one was. Yucky.

Oh well. It will be good. We will be happy there I am pretty sure, we just have to get there yet! And the power has to be put on too. It didn't seem to be working but we only tried one light.

Nathan wants to move the computers there ASAP, despite not having cable and stuff. This means I will probably be offline by noon on Saturday our time (about midnight Friday night UK time and Friday evening in the US) until Wednesday if the cable guy comes. It isn't as if we won't be up here a lot. Maybe we can plug the laptop into the cable modem. Yeah.

I'll leave you with a tempting pic - the back gate of Tarndwarncoort

Wish me luck and I'll talk to you


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Our new arrival

G'day all!

Everyone else is having babies at present so we thought we should get in on the trend. We are proud to announce our new arrival.
4 kilos
Nearly 70cm (!!)
Remarkably brown considering her paleface "parents."
Not yet named (suggestions welcomed).

Isn't she beautiful?


Look at that baby go! Greased lightning! (And I only have shoes on cos we are outside and after the bee sting in April I am a leetle paranoid)

Yep, Felicia guessed truly. (Go check out her "sweet shop" - it looks totally luscious and I want some!) I now have a lovely Majacraft Little Gem2. I was really struggling between her and the Suzie but the Suzie Pro is not as portable and if we go to England, this baby can go as cabin luggage if I am lucky. I would not trust the luggage dudes not to bust a spinning wheel - I've seen how they handle luggage and it is SCARY! Admittedly the guy who saw me watching him unloading stuff started to not throw the bags over the top of other baggage but... I was very curious to see what he would do with the cello. (it was handled carefully) Anyway, this little wheel is the last forever worth of birthday presents from my father - some of his estate money will pay for my new baby :-)

I have to blog the pics from Wendy Dennis' place now, but they will have to wait until I get another chance to blog. Pics are all ready to go though.

The Christmas lillies are all starting to come out now. I bought random lillies two or three years ago - I love bargains and $1 plants are a magnet to me. I am a bit picky but some of the old fashioned plants and any native is almost irrestistable. So this lilly came home with me - all I knew was it was a very sad looking lilly and now look at her!

Oh, good news - we lose the cable here next Wednesday and our new home will get it on that same day! We were sooooo lucky! It should not have been on until sometime in the new year (no phone no cable for WEEKS! but no, we will have both before Christmas! happy happy joy joy!)


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Packing Hell

G'day all!

I am in packing hell. I am starting on the final packing rather than the stuff you can do earlier. Argh. Yuck. Dying! Too much to pack! Too much useful stuff to put in boxes and bags. At least the gas can be read on Friday so that we can have gas on the weekend. Woo hoo!

Gas, power, water, phone/cable - any other utility I've forgotten about? Don't think so.... Assuming all goes well, settlement is in TWO days. Then we are truly in debt but we'll have a house that only the bank can throw us out of!

One person has guessed truly on what the mystery item is, but I don't have time for pics today. Of course over the weekend I think we will lose both our cable internet access and the phone, and I don't know when they will be put back on. My exhousemate is arranging the phone and cable cos Optus are hopeless and despite me having authority to deal with the account will only deal with the original account holder, who has not lived here for what three years? This is going to get really dire - no phone but worse, no internet!!!! How will I survive?

Some links for you:

Wendy found these very cute gardens in an egg. They are me but I don't think that Customs/Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service would like them. They get very fussed about things coming in from O/S.

I was going to post a link to some yummacious yarn but I won't cos I want to BUY IT ALL MYSELF! Except I can't afford to. Mortgage and associated costs (even the cheapest possible way means that we still have to pay out a couple of grand to get everything going). Sniffle.

A blog that I have not come across previously, which is something to do with above mentioned yarn.

(As I typed some of these links I could hear Nathan vacuuming. He loves the Dyson. Something to do with it actually picking up grot rather than vaguely spreading it. It makes vacuuming fun! I love a man who vacuums. You can quote me on that.)

Another knitting mag, Knitting Fog. A little one this time. Interesting.

Plus a new spinning mag, spindlicity. Well worth a look for you spinsters out there.

A history of merino> sheep in Australia.

Some of these fibres look yummacious, particularly the blue/green/oceany one. Drool. I'm doing lots of drooling online at present. It's a stress response - look at pretty things instead.

No pics today - too much to wheel spin over. I am suddenly in ohmigod, I have WAAAAAAAAAYYYYY too much packing to do. And Nathan is stressed too cos he keeps running off to do stupid unnecessary things.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Yes, I have more fleece but...

G'day all!

Everyone reckons I bought fleece. Well I didn't. But I have more fleece.

Just over a kilo of raw Polwarth fleece from Wendy Dennis.

See how many colours I got? There's at least 8 different ones, but I think I missed getting a pic of the silvery one.

Here's a closeup of the crimp of one of the whites:

My kncukle is about an inch long, so you do the maths.

It (the fleece, not my knuckle) came free with something else I bought. Can you guess what?

For those of you up in the snowy, icy or otherwise cold parts of the northern hemisphere, I give you pictures from my garden, taken yesterday.

The first tomatoes. I admit this little cherry tomato bush had unripe little tomatoes before I bought it but I've never had tomatoes ripen before Christmas. Last summer the things didn't ripen at all.

One of my very favourite roses. Mary Rose has survived a LOT of neglect, starting with
a)an exhousemate who ripped her from the ground most cruelly ('but I asked Nathan,' said ex-housemate, and he said "whatever Lynne says."' Like as if it was Nathan's plant to deal with and as if it was pS's choice to make after I had flatly said "I do not want *MY* rose moved!") and
b) a husband who thought she is in a big pot and should get enough rain when stuck under a large (supposedly miniature) maple.

Strawberries in progress. The first ones are running a bit late I feel.

Very shortly my garden will be quite different.

Another final clue for what I bought. The inside of the bag. No it isn't a sheep cover, or a fleece cover. :-)

Any more guesses? If you guess truly I'll post more pics from the trip to Wendy's place. She has a magnificent homestead - comes from marrying into the family of an 1860s wool baron.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Guess what I got?

G'day all!

Well it has been an interesting weekend here at Weedhaven. The interesting part was not the time I spent at Weedhaven (ie home), it was the driving around and talking to people. On Saturday i drove around and talked to people in different yarn shops. I didn't talk to the lady in Sunspun cos I find Sunspun intimidating - very pricey but then what do I expect from a yarn shop that sells Rowan in one of the "better" suburbs of Melbourne? But then I went to calico and chintz, a new shop in Auburn (right under the railway line, literally, in Auburn). I really wanted to get some Artyarns but I can't justify $16 for a 50g skein of yarn that is just nicely dyed merino. I had a good chat to one of the owners, Beverley. She has some Dale of Norway yarn and some rowan and some nice bits and pieces. I bought a little something to make up a jacket for a new little boy (though I am starting to wonder if *I* like it too much for me!). She is interested in getting different yarns, so I wonder if I should connect her up with some of the smaller producers around the place that I know of? Then over to AK, cos AK2 doesn't exist any longer. AK smells of mothballs too much, and any long time reader of this blog will know mothballs make me ill. But I had a good chat to the owner of AK out on the footpath and she told me lots of interesting stuff like having one of the big UK dudes out here in early autumn to do some workshops. Then I popped over to Marta's and chatted to Pat there. Pat's starting to bloom quite nicely now - she's obviously pregnant now. She has a lovely cat called Nick, who is beautiful but I won't say any more cos someone might acquire him and that would be very sad for Pat who has had him for 15 years. Last night I watched half of the BBc verison of "Pride and Prejudice." Ah, what a lovely show. Oh! Mr Darcy!

Today, well I could rabbit on about today for hours, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what I bought today!

Here's a hint:

And here is another hint, a better one this time cos I didn't buy a Polwarth sheep, not even one in a natty coat. It is a really bad pic cos I took it of the said exciting item as it rode in the back seat all the 160km or so (that's a hundred miles for you imperial types) home:

(I was in the driver's seat at the time but I was not driving cos we had stopped for a drinks break.)

Can anyone guess what I bought?


Friday, December 09, 2005

Squares, squares gone away

G'day all!

Well my batch of 21 squares should be in LA by now. Doesn't mean that they are through customs mind you. Here are the last what umm 9 squares:

I had lots of fun doing the gradated colour ones. They look very jerky but in person they are quite smooth. I've not yet found a digital camera that doesn't get overexcited by reds and lurid pinks. I had lots of bits of yarn left over so I decided doing colour blends would be fun. And it was and now I want to do MORE! I want to have colour runs that go through all the rainbow over something as big as a bedspread. OK, it would be lurid but oh imagine the colour!

So I had one night without knitting after making all those squares in a week and then discovering I can't find *any*, not one!, of my yarn needles. I have so many darning in needles and blunt ended bodkins and every time I finish a project, I go and buy more. I had to use a crochet hook instead and it was Not Fun.

Why is it that the useful things disappear but things like envelopes, useless opened envelopes, seem to breed like rabbits on my desk?

OK, tired. Too much work and too much Stuff To Do at home. Bed time now. Oh blessed bed. Maybe I should write an ode to bed too. Or an ode to lost bodkins.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Crazy afghan plan

G'day all!

Just letting you know I have a snail mail addy in LA for any crazy squares to be sent to. Rememeber, 5" squares in something machine washable, just so it doesn't have a nasty little accident if it does go in the washer! I need your email address though if you want to send squares cos I won't post someone's private snail mail addy on the net.

For those who want to sponsor a square instead of making one, send me your details and I'll make sure you go onto the list of contributors! Two of you I know want to sponsor a square (make a donation to charity, let me know) so I'll get your names on squares asap cos I hav eto send my contribution like yesterday!

If you don't know what I'm talking aobut, read down my blog over the last few entries :-) That's all I'm saying!


Monday, December 05, 2005


G'day all!

Have you ever suffered from that horrible sinking feeling as you run across the road, that horrid feeling that you are getting a little more air than you would like? That the elastic is not gripping so well? That if you keep running you will have an incident involving makeshift fabric ankle irons? Or perhaps you become aware of unsightly rolling across the bottom area.

Welcome to WUS - Wrong Undies Syndrome. Yes, that marvellous knowledge that you should really have not worn those undies with that outfit, particularly the older, less elasticky ones with a skirt that sits just where they do. Mmm-mmm, are you feeling wussy right now? (That is a *very* personal question!)

Onto more mundane things, like blocks. Scusi the size of the pics - they are detailed and do not compress well.

Here's the lot so far, excepting the 2.5 I got done on the train today:

Now I have to make more cos this is a particularly pathetic cushion cover - 3 by 25cm square blocks of 12 5"/12.5cm blocks - let alone a woeful afghan.

If you guys out there are knitting away, I hope to have someone in the LA area to sew stuff up. Maybe one of you knitaholics can arrange a sewing party at one of your funky yarn shops!

I have to get this link about all sorts of breeds of sheep off my tabs. Firefox is running slower and slower cos I insist on having about 30 tabs open and my ancient G4 Mac doesn't enjoy it one bit. Plus this link about making coloured bubbles, but special one coloured bubbles, not multicoloured ones, with disappearing dye and EXPLODING LABORATORIES! (that was the exciting bit of the article - I've been watching too much Mythbusters and I'm all excited about BLOWING THINGS UP!!)

My garden pics for the day. Do you like my corn? It is about a month old now and starting to grow like mad.

I have to feed and water it lots in those boxes.

Finally, your flower picture:

A white xerochrysum. I love the way these strawflowers photograph. They are one of the most photogenic flowers I know. They are everlastings and have a particularly strawlike feel and sound to the flowers. They dry very well too.


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Quick one

G'day all!

I am still humming and harring about the thing for our favourite Crazy Aunt.

What am I talking about? Well I'd really like to get an afghan together for Laurie before Christmas *this* year. I thought it would be nice for her to get something from a heap of knitbloggers. And knitters and crocheters, whether or not they blog. If people can make something with 5" squares in pink and join it into a small rug, and I can find someone in LA to put it all together, that would be grand! Each square should have the knitter's or crocheter's name on the back so that she knows who it comes from. Then she'll know that there are people out there for her. It doesn't have to be beautiful and all match - not matching is good cos it shows the diversity of people out there and we don't all match (matching is nice but not completely necessary).

If any SnB groups or knitty groups are able to put some squares together for her, that would be great :-)

If not, she's going to get a rather small lap rug that I am madly knitting. 8 squares done so far and available for sponsorship (donate to your favourite charity and get your name on the back of a square). I have to finish it by next weekend to get to the US in time - for some reason mail to the US from Oz takes about 10 business days. No idea why...


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

An ode to mossies

O! mosquito!
How I hate thee!
How I hate thy whine
The shrillness of which hurts mine ear
And disturbs mine sleep.
O! Mossie!
Why dost thou bite me even though
I am covered in Aeroguard so heavily
I cannot stand mine own stench?
How dost thou find me despite the
obscuring odour?
What is thy fascination
with finding the edge of my shoe
or sock
and biting me there?
How I detest thy bite
which raises lumps the size of 10 cent pieces
or larger than american quarters
or 10p bits if you are English.
Lumps that have interesting contours and follow my lymph,
or my blood vessels,
take your choice.
How I wish my dear father in law were here,
for you love him even more than you love me,
and you would bite him and cause him much itchiness.
Better him than me.
How I hate thee, mossie.
Go and find someone else's flesh to bite
and procure blood for your horde of eggs and new mossies.
Dear husband, hand me my antihistamines
and cortisone cream
so that I may no longer
If I am lucky.

by Lynne, age (mumble)

Gosh I love writing really bad poetry. My output is one really bad poem a year. I reckon the Vogons could not do much better (or should that be worse? :-) (You can write sme Vogon poetry at the BBC's generator if you want! hOpe the link works!) My favourite of my poems is still "Ode to Toilet Paper at 8 Nicholson Street." My old worksite was really cheap when it came to dunny paper. One ply scratchy stuff with holes in it. Only marginally better than that horrid shiny stuff that is about as effective as wiping oneself with wax paper.

Now thanks to all those who have joined my Frappr map over the last day - it's great to have you pinning me! Since I can't send them messages, I'll just say a big g'day to Helen of the Flinders Ranges (we passed them by on the way to and from WA - must go there some day! They look FAB! Send pics! Send a URL!) and Lisa from Ontario (which I have never passed by unless you count flying from Chicago to NYC but will visit one day :-).

In a moment of madness, I started knitting a lap rug this evening. Roughly 20cm squares. Roughly. I am joining them onto each other as I go. It is going to be a bit ugly in some ways but really cool in others. I am knitting it with two strands of 8 ply (DK equivalent or roughly worsted) on 7.5mm needles. So far I've knitted three squares. It is much quicker than knitting the squares with a single strand, though I seem to be going through the yarn at a rapid rate. Oh well, when I run out of yarn, I'll stop making squares! Once I have a few more squares done, I'll take a pic and then YOU can choose a square to sponsor for a certain Crazy Aunt. Make a donation to your favourite/worthy charity (not yarn shop! ;-) and I'll put your name on the back of a square! This is my way around the problem of getting an afghan together in time for Christmas and having a good knitterly association with it.

Now since I have not been taking pics of the flowers in the garden recently, I've found a couple of shots from some drives we've done around this time of year or a little earlier.

This pretty pink orchid has a botanical name that Nathan and I should know, since we are members (currently nonfinancial) of the Victorian native orchid society. However, we don't remember what it is called and I've packed away the reference books. Oops. It is about 1.5cm across or say 2/3 inch.

This picture was taken a year ago on the Acheron Way. The daisy bushes and Christmas bush (white flowers) were blooming alongside the Prostanthera (mauve flowers). I love prostanthera. It is called mint bush for a reason - it has a spicy, peppery minty smell when you brush the leaves or in hot weather. If you are ever in the area and it is a nice day, not in winter, it is a great drive.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pictures! Honest!

G'day all!

I have deliberately made a little blogging time tonight.

Go stick yourself on my Frappr. Please :-) It is pathetic at present. We are all lonely on it. It's on my side bar.

So here is the picovoli. Do you reckon the neck is a bit more draped then I would like? (image not clickable)(mental note for self - trakky dax not good look under picovoli)(extra mental note for self - fix up the puckered yarn join on the front porch area)

I am exploring fixes for it at the moment. My current favourite is to run some ribbon/organza through the picots and tighten it up that way. Probably won't work though. Any ideas?

Hmm, my brilliant plan last week was to get together an afghan for our favourite Crazy Aunt, but it is going to go by the by. I can't raise enough people and I also can't get anyone in the USA to sew the thing together. I should've organised this at the beginning of November but I was flat chat then keeping the house and the cats going in absence of Nathan. However if anyone wants to make some Christmas decorations and send them to her post box, I reckon she'd like them.

I have to make one comment about buying a house. Ohmigod, the signing of documents never seems to end! All of them urgent cos either we have not received the things or we haven't sent them back quickly enough and the $22K goes through tomorrow for the deposit and then the rest of the money on the 15th and then BANG! Our house on the 16th!

We only have five days, from the 16th to the 21st to move and clean out this place, though we are negotiating a longer clean up time. The real estate agents think that having to deal with anything between Christmas and New Year is beyond the pale as far as I can tell. They were expecting us to put an offer in for the place but not jolly likely since Carl wanted $440K for a place that noone is offering more than $360K for. Plus our budget doesn't go that far.

Now because snow is hitting all sorts of places, including ENGLAND before it is even officially winter, I reckon I need to show you some bright pictures. Sunset from last night - wowza! The camera got a little excited but not that much:

Some of the flowers I supplied to brighten up the tables at Purplexity's wedding:

Carnations and ummm erp ornithoglossum? Something like that. Apart from the polleny scent they emit, they have held up really well - I finally threw them out cos of the pollen smell not cos they had died.

Finally, abject apologies to my blogging friends out there - I have been ignoring you cos I am a bit busy at present. I'm likely to stay busy until after Christmas, when I hope to relax a bit. And go back to work, boo hiss - I've got the two weeks before Christmas off. Not that I've told my boss yet.


Monday, November 28, 2005

too much to say, too little time to say it in

G'day all!

Well my days are simply flying by at present. I am not getting much chance to blog, although now that the world championship gymnastics is over and done with I'll regain two hours of doing things other than knitting and watching magnificent bods fling through the air. Have to say though that shortening Anastasia to Nastia is not making it a very pretty name, at least not in my books.... (one of the American girls is Anastasia Liukin, aka Nastia. Very good gymnast but horrid name).

I've been doing stuff, I've got pics of some lovely sunsets, I've got pics of flowers and of knitting but do I have time to edit them let alone post them? No!

No chance even to put some links in, though I have a few. Sigh. Nope it is time to sleep instead. Sleep, blessed sleep....


Friday, November 25, 2005

See? I do so knit!

G'day all!

Well it's been a busy time around here and sure to get busier as I compact all of my Stuff (tm) in preparation for moving. Plus I've cooked up a Crazy scheme to help out a fellow knitblogger (email me if you want more info! natiel3atyahoodotcom It is very exciting!) and I think I'm just a wee tad nuts.

So here is what I've been working on this week. After about a week of being faithful to the picovoli tshirt, suddenly I realised that I had to work on my diamond blossom scarf from Modular Knits. It just had to be done. So without further ado, I give you the diamond blossom scarf (you may need to adjust your monitor's brightness)

in four different colourways of some ancient Patons Jet 12 ply carefully hand-dyed with food colouring last year. I reckon it is waaay cool. You probably think it is waaaaay too lurid! Admittedly the picture does not capture the colours well but it will do....

You weren't happy enough just seeing the whole scarf? Well how about a closer shot showing all four colourways side by side. This will probably make you weep

(though your eyes may bleed from the bright colours).

I've started knitting the picovoli again. It is onto the hip shaping now - only about another 30 rounds to go and it will be almost finished! Hope I have enough yarn cos it would be annoying to have to try to get one more ball of a yarn that is not available in Australia.... (knitpicks Shine)

OK, since I can't remember what I was going to say (between a fabulous thunderstorm that lasted what seemed hours and Nathan not sleeping well and it being about 28 in the study, my brain has melted), I'll finish up for the day with some flower pictures. Keeping it light and bright for those in the northern hemisphere :-)

The first tiger lily flower for the season.

It is an odd almost pinky salmon and does not have much in the way of spots so i guess it isn't really a tiger lily.

One of my moss roses has gone stark raving bonkers. It is throwing out a brazillion flowers:

I *love* my moss roses even if most of them only flower once a year. They are so cute and the balsam on their mossing is one of my favourite smells.

Oh and to both idjits this evening who only looked one way before failing to give way to me, GROW A BRAIN AND LOOK! (That was your community service announcement for the day)

And the last one - when weaving in ends, make sure you do not weave in an end right over your NIPPLE! Heh. The end popped out and gave me a nice little fluffy tickler! LOL!


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Me too! Me too!

G'day all!

Not much at all to report. We got the Archicentre report regarding the hosue today - nathan was reading through going oh, we'll have to fix this, oh we'll need to fix that, but it is quite frankly nothing that we didn't expect to have to do in the first place.... Like the shower is likely to leak. Well we were going to replace it anyway.

Knitting is happening. So is fleece processing.

Now the me too is all about me joining the frappr mob. Yep! Me too! Me too! So please add yourself to the map - I'd love to visit you! Erin has joined the umm not exactly madding throng of knit/spin bloggers :-) When you click on my Frappr button (on the right side bar) you can add yourself on the right side of the Frappr page. If you put your URL in the shoutout, I can visit you even more easily! :-)

OK, well I'll keep tidying up here. I keep finding little stashes of yarn around the place. And fleece. This is much better than stash diving - it is like S E X but without the hip pocket pain!

added later - must remember not to tidy. I just spent 10 minutes wandering the house looking for my current knitting project. I even went out to the car in case I for some unknown reason had taken it for a drive when I dropped DH off at choir. I was starting to get quite worried. Dementia is setting in early! I could not find my knitting, and when I take a pic of it, you'll know why I think it should be obvious.... Of course, since I removed most the yarn from my desk and put it away and filed a big stack of papers and found some old projects I had forgotten all about, I had upended my normal filing system (most recent on top). When I dug under all of the stuff remaining on my desk, guess what I found?

Ah, all is well with my world. For a few seconds anyway.


Monday, November 21, 2005


G'day all!

On Saturday, I bought some fluff. It doesn't look very fluffy in this picture though:

Here's a lock of it:

It's from a yearling 3/4 Australian Finnsheep (if that makes sense) 1/4 merino cross-bred ewe. I bought it cos it felt nice. Greasy but nice. Soft. $20 for 1.8 kilos of fleece (in the grease).

I've never played with a whole sheep fleece before. So I read up a bit on the net and got me buckets of the hottest water I could get out of the heater, put woolwash into one and soaked a few little bits. It came out white! Not apricot or grey but white! Pure white!

So on Sunday I got serious and did a whole bunch o fleece. It only took about an hour to carefully wash the tips of say 400g. Here's a little of the fluff washed and dried:

You can't see the lock structure but it is there.

And then combed up:

And that one snail of combed tops became this little skein of yarn, somewhere between fingering and 5 ply/sport weightish:

It wants to spin fine. The good bits of the fleece wash up to be about 15cm (6") long! This may be the fleece that I try learning long draw on - it has a bit of crimp and it is nice and long and not terribly fine.

Tonight I tried flicking of some locks but that didn't get rid of the bits of second cuts that I missed whilst sorting through the fleece before washing, and the yarn was not nice - it had lumpy fluffy bits.

I have to say that the shepherd gives you pretty much all of the fleece. They skirted the really nasty daggy bits but there are some bits that go into the armpit and groin areas - different texture, smeared lanolin through it, shorter, little crimp. I'm keeping these skirtings aside - they will probably be really good for felting. Some are already on the way to being felted.

I got a moorit fleece but it is much smaller. It will be fun to play with too :-)

House stuff? Well I sent off our notice of intent to vacate in writing and paid our LAST LOT OF RENT hopefully EVER! Yay! (Combine snoopy dance with kermit waving) But apart from that, not much. Haven't done more packing or sorting or anything for days. I must make a list so that I can start checking things off as I do them. What, Nathan do something like packing? Excuse me?


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Our house

G'day all!

It's been a busy weekend! Saturday was insane from the moment it started to the moment we eventually got home. It started poorly when I had some weird allergic reaction (waking up with your heart rate at about 160 is NOT fun!), and didn't get to sleep until after 1am. At 7:30 I was up and at it. Made some pancakes for breakfast, plus some pikelets for an event later in the day, then eventually made it to the guild (45 minute drive) to buy some extra special supplies (more on that next time!), back again via Uncle Rick's for some GF, DF goodness :-), off to Oakleigh to buy nuts and seeds and flowers for the Event, plus the cat food. Home again, arrange flowers (accidentally delete pictures of flower arrangements whilst downloading them), discover I can make a second arrangement out of the native plants in the garden :-), get changed and then off to The Event!

(Faces pixelated to hide the "innocent")
(in other words, I don't have permission to show pics but I haven't been told I can't so for the time being, pixelation is my friend!)

The wedding was over and done in a flash. No hanging around! Then we had the prayers and blessings and sermon. I was very glad I had decided to sit on the kneeling cushion. The church was very nifty. Afterwards, there was lots of chatting and many pictures taken. We left at about 5:30 cos we were knackered.

Today involved stuffing around all morning (OK, I didn't stuff around all morning - I was busy doing something that you'll see later on!) until we decided to go take pictures of this:

Yep, that is our "new" house! It has been variously described as "cute" and "an ideal first home." It is small and a bit twee and we don't give a stuff. It will be ours, all ours! (except the bit the bank will own, which is all of until we start paying off principle.) The Sudanese guys across the road were very excited.

After stopping for a spot of shopping on the way home, I bullied Nathan into moving all the pots out of the most neglected corner of the yard (this corner features quite a lot in the neglected list, dunno why)

And I got the whipper snipper (weed whacker, ah how I love the phrase!) out and attacked it viciously (don't worry, the grass fought back rather well - I have a number of little nicks out of me where a bit went flying!). Take that you evil grass! How dare you grow so long!

Then I tired of the oat crop. It was full of rust and was no longer pleasing me. It was meant to be green manure but we never dug it in.

Ha! Take that evil rusty oats! You will visit the green bin of death and mulching!

Good lord, there was a pot in there and also the multicoloured solar light! I had forgotten about that! Plus there are some chives and the snapdragon that has lived for three years now. I thought snappies were only annuals. I am going to have to carefully dig up the snappie and take it with me.

Crafting? Oh yes,there was much crafting! Knitting and something extra special to do with spinning.... but you must wait until later to see it!

Your flower picture today is a bud. (clickable this time), I give you one of my favourite roses, the once a year flowering Chapeau de Napoleon, with his cute little frilly sepals and his bit of mossing. He smells so delicious even in the bud cos of the mossing.