Saturday, March 26, 2005

away away!

G'day all!

We are going for a bit of a drive. Don't know where we are going exactly but hopefully we'll find some cheap accomodation along the way! Don't know how long exactly we'll be away for either. Possibly until Friday, maybe earlier.

Have a wonderful Easter break and I'll talk to you


Friday, March 25, 2005

Nathan's sock

G'day all!

Wow, our first almost frosty morning for the year! Very clear skies last night. The heating even kicked in! (We didn't have the thermostat on zero. No we are not Canadian....)

Two days ago I showed Nathan his new sock (note the singular sock). The I gave it to him.

Harry Potter fans, guess what he said next?

"You gave Nathan a sock. Nathan is FREE!"

He still hasn't tried it on and until he does try it on I am not starting the next one.


It fits! Details next time.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Has Lynne gone nuts?

G'day all!

I have been reduced to posting garbage bags on my blog:

But wait, is there something in that garbage bag?

I think there might be!

Let's take a peek inside:

It looks grey and sorta furry and shiny.

Let's take a closer look:

and here's a bit on my hand, which is about 20cm/8" long ( I have big hands for a female...)

Guess what it is?

I'll tell you next time I blog.... One hint - it is NOT cat fur!


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

My first novelty yarn

G'day all!

Now I know what you are thinking. Lynne has gone off her nut and bought more novelty yarns.

But no! Looky this:
ungoth yarn

This is the first novelty yarn I've spun. Well I call it a novelty yarn - you might call my other efforts novelty yarns too! LOL! I dyed up some yummy merino/15% silk:
luscious silk and merino roving

in what I hoped would turn out to be dark and rich, brooding colours but the blasted deep blue went powder blue instead:
not as goth as I wanted roving

Then I spun up one ply with the occasional dash of a bit of purple or carmine fleece and another ply with some of Jacinta's hand-dyed silk wrapped around the ply. The silk is amazing, btw - when you fluff it up it becomes absolutely gorgeous. Light bright and wonderful! I plied the two singles together and threw in the occasional little bit more silk to add some more colour. It is mostly between what we in Australia call a 5 or an 8 ply (DK or a thin worsted). There is over 120m in the 50g
the ungoth yarn

Then I gave it to a friend for her birthday. I had dyed it up for her - she has Goth sensibilities. That is why I was so peeved that the blue washed out to wussy blue.

Plus a friend has asked for a purple vegan fox. I've made a brown one for A1 and a silver one for me so far. A purple one is different and unusual, in a nice way. It isn't quite as lurid as it seems in the pics but again getting a true colour in a digipic is hard. So this one went to Purplexity:

A2 vegan fox

(I am the model BTW. Excuse the armpit shot - at least I had shaved recently! LOL)
He has such a silly sad looking face:
purple vegan fox face

I finally managed to spin up the rest of the pale gelati. I have about 260m of yarn from the 54g of fleece. Not bad for a beginner! Now I have to spin up the waterlily colour. Plus the 100g of mint green roving I got that the craft show (it looks wussy nothing green yellow in the photo from yesterday's post but it is really a beautiful minty green colour). Then I can make me a lacy shawly wrap thing out of it. Only I have to find an easy pattern cos I am not good at the counting bizzo. Yes I can count to whatever number but between cats, blogs and husband I get interrupted a bit. That is what stitch markers and row counters, etc are for but I forget to wind on the row counter too.

I haven't indulged in many pussy photos recently. But today! Bwahahahahaha!

small cat becomes long cat on bed

Dunno how that hand-dyed roving and silk got to the cat's belly...but some made it into the novelty yarn.
silk and bright roving

Cheshire did something very unusual on Sunday. She lay pretty much upside down and kneaded the air:
pleased cat

Whilst napping between Nathan's legs as Nathan napped:
hubbo and happy cat


Monday, March 21, 2005

A few pics from the S&C show

G'day all!

I have been very slow getting these pics up! This is partly because I had to finish a couple of present for people over the weekend and also cos I had sooo many pics to edit!

The Stitches and Craft show is one of the biggest events in Melbourne for crafters. It has a definate female bias.... Lots of quiltworking, needlework, scrapbooking, beading, various weird things that you may not have heard of, and a random selection of yarns.

So what goodies did I get?

OK, let's start off with a confession. Yes I did buy the novelty yarns, six for $5 per bag. Two bags cos I really like the fake fur in purple and in red, and the funny white/green/brown one will be just someone else's cup of tea:
evil fluffy yarns

Plus I bought three balls of a 100% wool. No it is not black and white. It is black, white and lavender only lavender is not a good colour for the camera to pick up against such contrasty colours:
not black and white yarn

OK, confession over. Here's the good stuff.

A minute amount of Colinette from Sarah (a lovely lady - buy her stuff!) - some Shimmer Point 5 and some luscious blue and mauve mohair. Why yes I am about 80 years old and I love those colours! Plus the Artyfacts book:
book and two Colinette yarns

Some Noro from Threads and More. Only problem is that the big skein of Kochoran (on the left) is reeky of naphthalene and it is making me ill. Not happy cos it cost nearly $20 for the skein and I can't use it. Plus it keeps trying to infect my other yarns with its stench. I am currently knitting the dull ball up into a cap only I am not sure it will be a cap big enough for me or himself....
three different Noro yarns

Plus a skein of Cash Iroha:
dark teal cash iroha

Two books for $10 from the creative books mob:
beading and knitting books

50g of brightly dyed merino (can't help myself, can I??):
bush blush roving

From the Yarn barn, these piles of yummy merino roving, $5 each! Some of these weigh over 100g (more than four oz):
500g rovings

From Coloured Jules I bought some more Merino roving to go with the bright stuff I have been spinning:
pink roving, red roving, or vice versa

And this gorgeous bubble 100% silk, dyed by Julie not specifically for my delectation and delight, but jeez it is lovely. I took the pink lot into work today to paw and fondle to make me feel happier about being at work.

pink bubble silk
blue bubble silk

Julie is a lovely lady. She lives conveniently close to my brother. Except she is always at markets on the weekend... Buy her stuff you people here! Buy her stuff you people overseas! Even with the Aussie dollar buying just under 80 US cents, $18-20 a 100g skein of mohair, hand dyed mohair, must be worth your while!

Tomorrow I may reveal what the postperson brought me today. It is grey, soft and luscious, with a few tangled tips and a fair whack of VM. That should give it away a little!


Sunday, March 20, 2005

El quicko!

G'day all!

Just a quick one. It's been an interesting few days. Went to the Stitches and Craft show. Others thought it dull, I enjoyed it. Each to their own.

I shall do some pics of the new additions to the stash tomorrow- it is too late for me to do them tonight. 'Twil take about another hour to code them in and I have to get up early tomorrow and go to **** - that horrible four letter word.

Much sadness - one of the skeins of Noro that I bought is stinky with mothballs. The most expensive skein is the stinky one of course! Mothballs/naphthalene makes me as sick as a dog. I'll stay sick for a day afterwards. It does something weird to my nervous system it seems. Anyway, what this means is that I can't use the skein of wool as it is. Any ideas?

One of the cats is a right escape artiste - she managed to get out of the cat run when I thought it was cat proof.... Not that the cat run is particularly large or well made since I spent the morning enclosing the back verandah with large chicken wire and then decided Nathan could do the "hard" bits.

Hmm, better get me ready for bed. Time for jimjams, brushing toothy-pegs, etc.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

You know you are a sad puppy when...

G'day all!

I am a sad puppy - I sit and read my own blog and get amused by what I write. Golly, some of this is sorta interesting I think. It is the sorta stuff I like to read. Plus some of the pictures are pretty good. Oh heck, this is my blog!


OK, what have we got today?

More pictures! Yes, after a famine comes a feast of pictures. I think I'll have to spread them out a bit.

Here's some recent spinning. I've been slowly spinning up a fairly fine yarn with the pale gelati fleece. Here's the fleece all prepped and ready to rock and roll:

and here's some singles

and here's a little hank - about 24g and well over 100m, only I can't remember what I counted on the niddy noddy now. It is skewed to the blue end cos that is where I broke off the spinning - it had more blue repeats than any other colour.

In actual fact, rather than spinning it slowly, I am spinning it very very quickly - you should see how fast my poor treadling foot has to go to spin this fine stuff up quickly enough. Yes, I could get a 2 or 3 ratio flier but umm that requires money and the Stitches and Craft show is this weekend and I am bound to blow my budget severely. So for the time being, I just have to make that spinning wheel fly! Nutmeg the cat loves it:

(and if you can identify whose leg is behind Nutmeg, you get extra bonus brownie points from me!)

Nutty loves the spinning wheel. She loves "sitting" on my lap as I try to spin around her. She stands on my lap and watches it intently, riding the surf of my leg going up and down, up and down. She is particularly fascinated by the big lumpy knot on the drive band and occasionally tries to catch it as it flies past.

I got bored with spinning something that was taking about an hour or two for every 5g of fleece, so I spun up the peacock fleece. The yarnharlot has some of this too - I'd love to see how she spins it up.... I fluffed the fleece up a lot more than normal - you can see the fleece as bought on the left and the prepped stuff on the right.

It takes me about 1.5-2 hours to spin up 50g of fleece

and about half an hour to navajo ply it. That makes some roughly 8-ply or DK or umm a bit bigger than worsted - sport? weight yarn.

I am still knitting! No pics cos the person who I am knitting for may see it! Plus there is Nathan's blasted sock. I am in sock hell. I hate the sock. Why did I decide to do all of the cuff in 1X1 rib??? Whatever possessed me? I knew it was going to be bad and it is worse than bad. No pics cos if I took a pic every day of it I would get depressed - 30 minutes a day is seemingly making no progress. Plus I've realised that it is so long since I cast it on, I can't remember how many stitches I cast on - I've added some along the way I know.

Finally, here's a picture of a very relaxed cat. Nutmeg is weird. I've never seen a cat lie upside down as much as she does. This is very moderate for her - often she has all four legs splayed out in a very uncatlike pose. She was very naughty tonight twice and got two spanks. That upset her and she didn't talk to me for all of 15 minutes!

No pics of Cheshire at present. She is a funny cat - hides for most of the day then appears and tells me to uncross my legs so she can hop up by sticking her claws into my leg. Thanks! I don't want to encourage her but like what can I do? The other day she was excitedly examining the outside world through the bedroom window. Wish I'd had the camera handy and recorded a little movie. Cheshire is a good sized puss. Each one of her paws leaves dints on your leg. The head of the bed is by the window. Nathan was still asleep... can you tell where this is leading?

Here's the cat, standing on her back legs, peering out the window. Nathan is asleep, making whiny whinging noises cos the cat is STANDING ON HIS HEAD to get high enough to see out the window! LOL!

I must say I am getting sick of the pawprints on the toilet seat and bowl.... Like what is this fascination of cats with toilet water? It still is chlorinated though it gets a chance to (ahem) degas if it isn't used often. I put filtered water down for them in the bowl - they wouldn't drink the water out of the kitchen tap, can't blame 'em either. The water at the front tap is great, the water out of the bathroom tap is fine but the kitchen tap? ICK!

on that charming note,


Sunday, March 13, 2005

A perfect Sunday drive

G'day all!

What a marvellous weekend it was!

Perfect weather - in the low 30s compared to about 12 the week before. We are talking real numbers here - Celsius. Blue sky. Sun. A drive to the beach.... Air conditioning....

I drove down to Dromana, which is about 60-odd km southish of where I live, except you have to take a bit of a detour eastwards around Port Phillip (the bay that Melbourne sits on/around).

My reasons for driving down were ostensibly to visit this shop, but despite the website saying it is open on Sundays from 9-3, it was unexpectedly shut. The lady in the craft shop along the way was surprised. I was a little disappointed but hey I was at the beach and everything was alright!

Really, I wanted to go to the beach. I haven't been to the beach all summer and I figured this was my last chance. Himself doesn't like sand and didn't come along. He had other things to occupy him so I took off.

Bay beaches are very quiet, gentle sorts of beaches mostly. If you want some surfing excitement, you need to go to the "back beaches" or the ones that face straight onto Bass Strait.

Here's a random jumble of pics from my morning at the beach. Such calm conditions are usually associated with an inversion layer (warmer air trapped under a cold air layer) lying over the bay.

(If you know what these are, drop me a line. I can't find my book of seaside things - it's probably hiding in himself's unusual bookshelf arrangement)

The feet are a reminder that you should try to use the viewfinder when taking shots over the edge of the pier. LOL! Here's what I really wanted to take a pic of:

By lunchtime, it was getting pretty busy - the pics are timestamped around 10:30 - 11ish. Plus a gentle breeze was blowing, ruffling up the bay a bit. Not as pretty IMO.

I then drove to the other side of the Mornington Peninsula from Dromana and visited one of my favourite native plant nurseries. Still don't know what the bloke's name is but his nursery in Bittern has been a favourite for about 5 years. He is selling up the land and will only sell through markets now. Sadness! He reckons he can get about 1,000 varieties of plants in propogation. Cool! Will have to track him down!

I bought a few little plants from him in tubes. Here is a 5-6" bloom from the native hibiscus - I have to pull the flower heads off cos there are only four green leaves on the poor little plant....

And a close=up of its crepey skin-like petals:

Back to your regular broadcast tomorrow. Lots of spinning pics - I am a spinning bore these days! But soon I will have FOs to show off. Hooray for me!


Friday, March 11, 2005

It lives!

G'day all!

Yes it lives! It is also mighty glad that it can't smell a thing at the moment (admittedly this means it can't taste anything apart from things like vinegar either, which is a downer). Yes while this critter lives, apparently another one has died under the house again. This is an ongoing saga that we are getting somewhat over.... Anyway I can't smell it so it isn't affecting me.

What a week it has been. I've spent 3.5 days at home with this rotten bug and I still sound like someone has put a peg on my nose. You reckon Aussies are nasal normally? Well if only you could hear my husky nasal voice right now!

On a different note, my boss fanged on me yesterday about something where I was trying to save work's money and I nearly resigned on the spot. Totally over work. I have this need to feel like I am contributing and I don't feel like I am contributing at all at present. OK, so I am getting a work trip to Brisbane next week, but honestly I am not even going up there to deliver training. I am going to there to watch and learn a better way of presenting. I could do that in Melbourne, cos I am learning from my team mate who is also based in Melbourne. Guess I'd better get my CV onto seek and get the paper today!

No pics quite yet of the laceweight I am trying to spin with the pale gelati. I think laceweight yarn would be easier on a wheel with more than one ratio cos I am treadling like a mad treadling thing. Much faster and I think we'll achieve take off! After reading the Harlot's post on drafting, I am now finding it a lot easier - I always loosen up the fibres but I didn't loosen them that much. Anyway, it is taking many hours to spin it. Normally I spin 50g of wool into singles within an hour or two and navajo ply in less than an hour but this.... after about five hours, I had the first 24g plied up. That felt like a lot of spinning!


along with some other goodies, finally reached its destination yesterday! Hooray! I was starting to worry that the nice man from Canada customs had told me the wrong info! Can you guess who it went to?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

martian death sinuses

G'day all!

Well what a fun couple of days it has been. The sorts of days that make me really really glad I don't have kids. Yes I rediscovered the joys of infected sinuses! Yaaaaaay!

I have been doing things slowly but jeez, it has been slow! A bit of spinning but cos it is a fluey type sinus thing I can't sit in one position for long. A bit of knitting, only Cheshire has taken a liking to attacking the knobs on the end of the needles and appears to have a very high pain threshold cos when they whack her she just keeps on trying to bite them.... I am not particularly sure that she is very bright cos she hasn't put two and two together and realised that I control the needles. (though she just opened a sliding door!) I am trying to discourage her with flailing needles, NO and finger taps on paws and noses but alas she just does not get the hint. Plus I discovered that the BLASTED MICE had gnawed the knob on the end of my 10mm poplar needles! The ones I bought in Lonnie in Tassie (ha, work that out you people overseas!), in what I think might be Katt's favourite yarn shop. I have watched two DVDs - Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Sense and Sensibility. I like me a good bit of Jane Austin. Or is that Austen? Oh no! My brain leaked out (hmm, I thought it was unlikely that *that* was sinus-leakage!) and now I can't remember the correct spelling of the name of one of my favourite authors! Austen. I think. No I don't think....

We still haven't got a good name for the second cat. Currently we are considering Abysinthe, or Absinthe. She would drive anyone bonkers if we were not so delighted with her. She is clever and is a bit naughty. When I tell her off for doing something naughty she glares at me and flattens her ears, which makes me laugh. She wears her heart on her sleeve. Very expressive. She spent half the morning chasing a fly around the place. She and Cheshire play chasey now around the house but still hiss and spit at each other and won't share the bed.

No pics today - used up all the pics the other day!


Saturday, March 05, 2005

Melbourne blahs

G'day all!

Well what a week of contrasts it has been. Started the week off feeling pretty good but waaaay TOO HOT! Now we are wishing we had a bit of good weather. It was freezing yesterday (in the sense that a Melburnian understands it, which really means that we had about 10-15 degrees Celsius to go before it reached freezing) and today it is mild but no more than that. Blasted weather should be much nicer today cos it is the day of the Melbourne Grand Prix (yes, the rest of Australia calls it the Australian Grand Prix, but it is OURS! All OURS! Well at least for as long as the world motor sport body decides we should have motor sports here).

Let's have a picture or two of some of the things I've been spinning recently:

This single is one from the recent dyeing experiments. It came up like the colours for a football club that used to be in Melbourne but merged with a power team in the league and moved to Brisbane. I've called it Fitzroy.
my yellow, red/maroon and blue singles

And the Navajo plied yarn:
in honour of long gone Fitzroy footy club

And one with green in it:

These were spun from this:

hand dyed by yours truly

I think I'll use them for mittens and a hat. Someone might like them!

It has been a weird time for me recently. A good friend left work, well her job got sent to India. That is weird cos we used to chat by email and now I have less chat opportunity. The people (90% females) in my area are much more interested in clothes and their jobs than anything else, and it gets a little boring. Plus I just passed my 7th anniversary of work and I am really starting to get the seven year itch. I have had enough of it, and days like Tuesday just push me further towards the edge. (What happened on Tuesday? I got feedback from my recent training days and it was not good. The people in the training did not know why they are there and did not appreciate being there and the info they got from me was not enough to mollify them. It is a political thing and I am totally and utterly sick of politics. I am a trainer, not management and the managers are not telling their staff that they are falling down in certain areas and not doing well enough. That has to come from management, not from me.)

Plus it is TWENTY YEARS since I started uni. ARGH! Where did the last 20 years go? 13 years on and off at uni, including four working part time at the Dept Social Security, and 7 at AXA. Lots of retrospective stuff happening, and plenty of figuring out what I should have done in hindsight. Not much point though cos what is done is done and there is no going back and fixing it. Maybe that is why I like knitting cos I can go back and fix my mistakes. Then again, I can't fix spinning mistakes but they are all part and parcel of the whole deal. Sorta like life, really.

Plus it is March. I always go flat in March. March is the time of year when the long days disappear and the weather starts getting cooler (ha! This year it did that in early FEB!) and I realise yet another year of my life has gone by. Summer is gone, I'll be coming home in the dark in another two or three months and leaving before sunrise and it is all very tragic! Where did the last year go? Did I do anything good? Or am I just marking time? I tend to fear I am doing the latter. Until Nathan finishes his PhD I do not know what we are up to, where we'll end up or what we'll do. I have to stay where I am cos I am not game to take a risk and not have a job at all. Nathan's income will pay the rent and bills and that is it. No food, no nothing.

It is making me wonder what I would like to do. Getting a package from work would be good cos then I could spend six months sorting myself out and finding out what I could do that would earn me enough to live comfortably on. Getting a package is about as likely as me levitating under my own steam though (nb I have been known briefly to levitate on occasion but it has usually taken external intervention, such as my chiro poking a particularly sore spot or Nippy the huntsman suddenly running out of the mail - he has taken up residence in the letter box....). So I'll have to do it in time snuck here and there.

Here's some new stuff I want to spin up that I bought yesterday at great expense to the management:

The new fleece:

Waterlilies - I reckon this would make a gobsmacking lacy shawl if I can spin it fine enough. Even though I love the bright, rich colours, these sorts of colours and delicate pinks look fab on me.
gentle colours of Monet's waterlilies

More Gelati cos one 90m hank is not enough:

bright bright circus colours

A pale Gelati:

softer gelati coloured fleece

Here's what the Carnivale looks like spun up and in the cake:

lurid brights

Yes, the cake flared madly under the flash. It really is lurid! I love it :-)

Next time I might show off Nathan's sock. Yes, I am an inch into the ribbing on the cuff. Admittedly the cuff started 0.5cm above the short row heel but I figured lots of ribbing would ensure it stayed up well. So Nathan will soon have a sock. Most people want two socks. I hope Nathan is not too fussy about this matter cos this sock seems to have taken forever. I have two socks, two frogged socks and somewhere or another I have one cotton-mix sock but I haven't seen it for a while. Plus I should have nearly finished a bag I am making for a lovely lady in Merredin, Western Australia.

Finally, here is a gratuitous shot of Nathan and Cheshire. Look at those smiles:
two happy critters

And one of the lovely Lake Mountain summit circuit trail. One of my favourite plants is just finishing up its flowering - if you look closely in the heft hand corner of the large image, you might see some spikey pink bobbles, grass triggerplants aka Stylidium aff graminifolium:
Lake Mountain