Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A very windy day

G'day all!

Now firstly, I hope that noone out there has been badly affected by Katrina - looks like she had one helluva big partay in New Orleans and she's also trashed Mississipi and lots of the rest of Louisiana, so hopefully you and ya'll are ok.

We've had a very windy day here, on both a personal and local level. The wind was so strong this afternoon it nearly blew me off the train platform! One thing that most people can say about me is whilst my head is in the clouds, my feet are pretty firmly planted on terra firma. I am not wispy or delicate in build. Today though, that wind was gusting at gale force and it is really hard to stay upright then. Gusts have been clocked at around 100kmh or 63mph. There are warnings for Storm Force winds tonight (I had to capitalise that cos it really needs to sound Important). Storm force is stronger than gale force, so lordy knows what that means - probably we'll find either our roof gone or someone else's in our yard in the morning!

Very Important News - this blog is interrupting the ribbing on the thecond thock. Yeth, we have wibbing on the thecond thock. I would've finished the sock on the train tonight if I had been able to remember what sort of ribbing I had done, cos the train sat for nearly half an hour whilst they fixed up some power problems where the train and tram cross over at Kooyong. Trams run at a different voltage to the trains and when things stuff up apparently it can get very exciting indeed!

After the ribbing is complete I can choose what form of afterthought heel to do - any thoughts?

I am dying to start swatching for my handspun, hand-dyed socks a la Twisted Sisters. So excited!!! But maybe winding the yarn into balls will help me when it comes to knitting the socks - at present it is in skeins....

I've created a little button to set up a link to my yarns page but I may not get it functional tonight (takes about 10 seconds but I am stretched at present). I have to update that page with some better pics and new yarn. Plus I think I need to link to a currency converter - the Oz dollar is currently buying about 75 US cents, 41 new pence or 60 eurocents. What about buy it now buttons on stuff even if you can't buy it now now now cos I need to work out shipping, etc. Worthwhile?

Speaking of spinning, here is some of last week's endeavours - more bright clowny stuff!

Now I don't think I have reported much on the weekend's endeavours. I reckon I'll just show some pics from the treeplanting expedition.

This is the sort of land that forms the backbone of South Gippsland's dairy farming area:

hard to believe it was rainforest, eh? At this time of year it is lush and green but by late summer it will be bone dry and brown. BTW, the little dot in the paddock is me down the bottom of the hill. It was a cracking hill too.

Tree-planters getting organised - the little racks hold 24 tubestock plants cos the little uns grow best. In the background you can see the spots where the banks of the gully have been sprayed. The farmer is trying to reduce erosion on his property and improve downstream water quality. What a guy!

A waterfall about 100m back up the creek from where we were planting. Cute little fall, don't you agree?

Or maybe it is a bit bigger than it appears - DH is close to two metres tall and the waterfall dwarfs him.

Finally, the Lone Cow (cue spaghetti western music):


Monday, August 29, 2005

The day of stinging

G'day all!

I declare today to be the day of stinging. Why so? Well I have a little nick or cut on nearly every one of my fingers (I did lots of dishes too despite the stinging and cut up onion as well), I have a finger nail that is broken into the quick and I topped it off nicely by being bitten by my car - I forgot that if I stand on the curb, the back hatch is no longer higher than me....

We got a taste of summer today - temps aren't that high yet just in the low 20s with a rampaging northerly wind. The wind is so strong that it bounces my car as I drive along. OK, I have a tinpot little thing but still I thought I had a flat tyre or four the way I was bouncing.

Knitting content? Umm the thecond thock progretheth theth Igorina (Knitty in Pink knows her Pratchett). I also have a really simple wrap on the needles in some yummy hand-dyed silk. The silk is in bluey tones and just doesn't photograph well under artificial light (and it won't do it well in daylight either cos digis do not like certain colours)

So with Spring well and truly on the way, I give you some spring photos. BTW, most of them aren't clickable for a bigger pic - I am feeling lazy today!

first freesia in my garden, creamy
the first freesia in the garden

powder puff wattle flowers
stick type wattle flowers
WATTLES! Yes, Oz native plants. We have lots and lots of native plants so why do I show pics of the things you all know about - daffies, freesias, etc?

pink isopogon
An isopogon in full bloom. Fabulous plants - I like em lots and buy all sorts of different ones and sometimes manage to keep them alive for a while.

red snail grevillea rosemarinifolia
Grevillea rosemarinifolia. Cute red snail flowers, horrid vicious plant with a little spine at the end of each and every leaf. These plants are about to die - we are sick of them as you can't weed under them cos they BITE!

leafy promises
Promises of things to come - one of my old garden roses in shoot.

pretty cat ugly picture
(clickable) An unusual garden ornament - a really shocking pick of Nutmeg on the lattice at the edge of the garage. This is one of my favourite pics ever cos she looks mutant with one little fang hanging out and a fat belly pushing through. She's not fat she's just fluffy!

red lechenaultia
(clickable) And saving the best until last, a red lechenaultia formosa. Kazaam! Pow! Zap! Take that!


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Only one weekend?

G'day all!

What a weekend!

I was going to show you lovely pictures from my weekend, just a few highlights but dang-it, my image server is down because wierd things have been happening with the power supply at Monash, so no photos. Yet. Be warned.

Quick summary of my weekend - took boy out for dinner on Friday - he could choose whatever he wanted. What did he want? chicken and chips from Pinewood chicken shop. LOL Saturday morning - much running around looking for a me-friendly birthday cake and new bathers. New bathers v. depressing. Never been much of one for swimming anyway. More potting mix supplies for my roses, repotting of more roses. SIX loads of washing done during the day. Argh. Almost tshirt weather. Evening - v.pleasant - much sock knitting and possibly my favouritest (that's not a word, btw) ever movie: Star Wars. Still not impressed with the addition of the stupid CGI reptilian critters - much better without.

Sunday - treeplanting. Very windy but oh so sunny and tshirt weather! I planted a grand total of about 5 trees and made up racks of mixed plants cos the first thing I noticed as I planted those trees was that they had not been mixed up any so when the plants grow up there will be rows of this and rows of that. Had an interesting chat with the farmer. Slid in a mucky bit but Nathan far outdid me (more another day). Drove home, bought Nathan some potting supplies, kept on repotting the roses, finished the built up garden bed. cooked a fairly average dinner, downloaded 170 photo from this weekend...sorted washing from yesterday, did two more loads. ARGH!

Bed time now. Tomorrow another wonderful week at w*rk. Two more grammar and business letter writing workshops this week. I'll have to run at least one more in another week or so - so many people off work crook at present...

have a great week, wherever you are!


Friday, August 26, 2005

Thecond thock thyndrome banithed

G'day all!

The second thock continues apace. It helps that I had to wait for half an hour for my fortnightly desensitisation injection this arvo. I am finding that I can do just over one full colour repeat in half an hour. That means in the last two days I have done nearly 6 rounds on it. I am nearly up to the heel placement already.

This is the first thock, not the thecond thock:
rainbow lorrie sock minus heel
OK, the pic is a bit fuzzy cos I took it at sunset yesterday but the daffodil came out well. The thock does not yet have its heel cos I find it best to do the afterthought heels after finishing second thock.
(Terry Pratchett fans - who am I talking like when I thay thecond thock?)

I now get garbage bags in the mail

And I ain't talking junk mail either.

I now get rubbish bags in the mail
Can anyone guess what this bag is? I guess I should have rotated that pic before uploading it. LOL

A random diversion on *things*

I was thinking in the shower today - yes, very unusual, me thinking but not so unusual me having a shower since that happens every day - I was thinking about how everyone has their "thing." The thing that makes them happiest.

Nutmeg's biggest happy thing is the polar fleece we bought for her to sleep on. She lervs her polar fleece rug. She purrs loudly and kneads it with her front paws stretched out as far as she can extend them. Then if you pat her when she is in extreme happy mode, she flops on her back and wants you to rub her belly.

Cheshire's "thing" is standing on and jumping off her unfather's nads. Yep, Cheshire has an uncanny ability to stand on delicate parts of Nathan, causing him to expel urff noises and groan and occasionally curl up making little whimpering noises. How many small children have you seen apparently trying to emasculate their daddies? I've seen all my nieces and nephews catch their dads low blows, although not always with the desired effect of no more kiddies. Now considering Nathan is her (un)daddy and Nathan is a human and Cheshire is a cat, this raises some very interesting questions that I really don't want to think about too much....

Please note that Nathan's thing is not doing naughty things with cats.

What's my thing? I had to think about this a lot. My thing is colour. I love colour. I love spinning colourful things. I love gardening with colourful plants. I love getting out into the bush and seeing colour all around me. Colour, colour, colour!

So what is your thing?

Back to the garbage bag

Yes, you guessed it, it is a garbage bag with a very nice daffodil (see previous picture and earlier blogging for more pics of the daffodil). It is a garbage bag with Australia Post tape on it. I got it in the mail the other day. My admirers have taken to sending me garbage in the mail. How nice!

Now a couple of weeks ago I ordered something from Tracey of the now defunct Margaret Peel's fibre supplies. I've been waiting impatiently for it. Maybe I have given you a little clue....

If you rip open the bag impatiently, then inside you find:

I wish all rubbish was this good
Two KILOS (4.4 pounds) of 22 micron merino tops and a kilo (2.2lb) of pale baby alpaca fleece. Woo hoo! More stuff to play with! Boy oh boy, I can hardly wait except I already have a heap of alpaca combed up and ready to spin, and a whole set of drawers stuffed with wool to spin.... and three other alpaca fleeces waiting to be combed or carded up.... nyeh. We'll get to it sooner or later!

Happy birthday to my boy

28 today! Yep, DH is the same age as (possibly) my favourite movie ever, Star Wars. He doesn't remember it being released, surprisingly, but oh boy do I remember it!

I chased after a CD for him, even spent 10 minutes waiting for a "staff member to attend to me shortly" on someone's hold system, only to get disgusted with their lack of customer service. Boy was I peeved! Then I mentioned this to a friend and she said "I think they closed a while ago." So why are they listed in the white pages still? And their website was not helpful either. And why doesn't their answering system say we are now closed. I got one CD that he wanted but not the other - it is out of stock os I am getting it in for him. Plus I bought him a field guide of Australian butterflies cos we have books on all sorts of stuff but nothing on butterflies and it is annoying when you stalk a butterfly for 15 minutes only to not be able to identify it from the one good pic you got of it.

Quiz time!

Now Jillian did a quiz recently and I did it too. We were both:
You are Merino Wool.
You are Merino Wool.
You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to
keep you close because you are so softhearted.
You love to be comfortable and warm from your
head to your toes.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Jillian thought this was an odd result for someone who is self described as cantankerous, sometimes. She did it again.

So I decided to do it again as well with my second or other preferred choices. This time I was:
You are Shetland Wool.
You are Shetland Wool.
You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a
little on the harsh side. Though you look
delicate you are tough as nails and prone to
intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are
widely respected and even revered.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

FREAKY! Twinnies or what? LOL

Finally, this is one of the funniest things I've read for a while. OK, it is getting a bit out of date now as it dates back to November 2004, but John Cleese is a very funny man.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Even further doth the thock progreth

G'day all!

Still no pics of my only, lonely current knitting project. The sock is only about one colour repeat from the top now. HOORAY! -- OK, I have about 10 projects I haven't worked on in ages in a my "current project" trolley and two second socks to knit up but they don't count if I haven't knitted them in several months do they?

Yes I really do have a "current project" trolley. My idea was that I could stick all the yarn I needed in one spot for my "current" projects and make that spot have wheels so it could easily follow me around the house (picture Lynne with a little lamby chrome trolley following her around of its own accord).

Well the "current project" trolley has been stuck in the loungeroom between two chairs since ummm, February I think. LOL In the mean time, things are getting less and less current. Like the lurid, clown coloured scribble lace wrap I was making myself. The monstrous secret project that I realised was totally foul after I had nearly finished it. The THREE balls of Lion and Lamb awaiting their elevation to Claphood. The laceweight Fibreworks in pink, cherry, mauve and purple that awaits its fate (I have no idea what that is now). The top layer is taken up by novlety yarns in pinks and creamy whites. I can't even remember what most of the stuff is on the trolley, only the stuff that regularly falls off the overcrowded shelves. I found some needles that I thought I had lost on the "current project" trolley.

Then there is the yarn stash lurking in the corner of the bedroom. It is full of yarn that I thought I would get a chance to knit into stuff soon, mostly things like pretty scarves and the odd shrug. It has yarn that I bought over a year ago. The "rubbish bin" of cotton that needs to be knitted up into summer tops. I daren't mention that a corner of the dining room is a metre deep in yarn.

I don't think I need any more non-project yarn at present. But that won't stop me getting some stuff at Knitpicks :-) LOL Totally hopeless.

What has caused this terrible overload of yarn? Umm, maybe a certain spinning wheel.... Yes, whatever you do, don't start spinning cos if you do there is no looking back! You too will find that all that knitting time at home becomes spinning time! You will spin up a storm, or at least a heap of yarn and then not find time to knit it all cos you are spinning so frantically! LOL.

So don't cross to the Dark Side lest you only ever knit on the train!


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The sock, it doth progretheth

G'day all!

I don't think I've been so faithful to one knitting project since I was a kid, when knitting two things at once was outrageous, mainly cos I had one set of knitting needles.... LOL

The sock is a good 2/3 of the way up the cuff now. I have two more colour repeats before I do the ribbing. Hooray! I am getting mighty sick of the sock though and am starting to have unfaithful thoughts about a bit of polygamy, maybe with a Clap or maybe even getting the long abandoned pink top back on the needles with a new pattern on top of the lace edging.

Photos? Sock photos? You want sock photos? Egads! Too hard to get good shots cos it is getting too long to fit under the light of the terrarium (where I took the pics of the spinning I did the other day). I've spun up the rest of that lot of rainbow tops I did the other week. When I get enough light, I'll take a shot for you to show you there really are three lots of brightly coloured very soft handspun yarn.

If I am really lucky, one of you will spank me for my very bad title of the day.

Short one today - very tired and still must go for a walk. I learned about my company's version of 6 sigma today and how they use some of the methodology for working out processes and faults. Some people really couldn't get their heads around it and I can't blame them.


Monday, August 22, 2005

No rest for the wicked

G'day all!

This blog entry is a montage of thoughts, or maybe a stream of consciousness. I don't know what I've done to deserve this week - not planned well enough I suspect!

This is promising to be another week! I carefully planned out what I need to do, then got into work today and realised that I had totally forgotten about a course that runs tomorrow from 8:30 to 5:30. Plus tonight was drinks for the recent Big Work Thang that was launched. I missed drinks cos I was prepping and let's face it, I can't drink alcohol so what is the point? Unless it is to laugh at the people who take advantage of the free booze.... Today I spent prepping for the Workshops of Doom on Thursday, Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday, tomorrow course - I lose one full day of work that I really needed to have. Wednesday more prep for the Workshops of Doooom, Wednesday night - SnB unless it is next week. Thursday - final prep and run the first Workshop of Doooooom, craft night. Friday fix up all the mistakes in the first workshop and run another workshop of Dooooooooom and Despair, leave work for my fortnightly desensitization injection, celebrate Nathan's birthday as his family all leave him alone to go to his uncle's 50th up in QLD. Saturday - flop. Sunday - treeplanting.

Why are these such aweful workshops? You try teaching 45 adults grammar. The ones that know it will be offended and the rest will be offended because it is assumed that their grammar is awful (in the current usage of the word, not the original). Now just because I have had specific requests made for the business letter writing course to focus on grammar and sentence structure does not mean the recipients will enjoy the process.

Today's trick question:
What is a knitting blog without any knitting?

My blog!

I managed to get past the heel on my sock today, but it is a cheaty heel cos it is an afterthought heel - I don't want to interrupt the colour flow up the sock. No pics again - spank me! I've been reading Lynne Vogel's Twisted Sister Sock Book and am totally inspired to make fab socks, only I need a little more time. Anyone got a spare few hours of the day that they could lend me?

As I scurried to the station late this afternoon on my way home there was a chap in a very expensive car, like probably half a million bucks worth of car, probably an Aston Martin, who turned left in front of me as I scuttled across the road. If I was that man, I would take it back to the dealership and demand that they fix it. The engine sounded fine and the brakes worked well enough because he managed not to run into the stopped cars after he roared off down the road, but I would be extremely disappointed that the left hand indicator doesn't work. It is just not good enough! I've noticed that the more expensive the car, the worse the brakes (they can hardly ever stop before the thick white line at an intersection no matter how much time they have to stop) and the indicator stalks must all fall off after three or so days because the indicators don't seem to work. Quite unusual because I thought you get what you pay for, but even your average Aussie car seems to have quite functional indicators, even if they do often act as confirmators rather than indicators.

Knit blog? umm, yeah but at least it has pics of a cat!

See this? This mutant animal with only one ear and a fuzzy green eye? This has to be one of the least flattering shots of Nutmeg I've ever managed to take:

At the time she was clinging onto my arm with her back legs cos I was rubbing her belly and she LOVES that.

Here she is with the belly-wiper going:

(I've just realised that the name of that photo will mean I'll get a few unusual hits on my blog. LOL)

Ah, whilst I think of it, for Dragon Knitter, here's a page on wattles - they are trees/shrubs with almost exclusively yellow flowers and are a feature of an Australian late winter and spring. The best specimens become totally yellow (often a fluorescent yellow). Plus a little bit of info about Mt Baw Baw. Baw baw apparently means "echo" though it may derive from bo bo which means big. My very small experience of Koori or Aboriginal words says that they often repeated a word to emphasise it. eg my primary school was called Mullum Mullum, and mullum meant place of eagles, so mullum mullum meant place of many eagles.

Finally, here is my new religion, as long as I can get the gluten-free, dairy-free version.

anon! or should that be RAmen?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A new year begins

G'day all!

Wow, my second year of blogging. Thanks to everyone who has sent me a message - much appreciated.

It's been a very busy weekend. Yesterday morning I visited the handweavers and spinners' guild, and saw a demonstration of nalbinding. I'd call it a cross between embroidery and crochet. It uses a needle with an eye, you increase and decrease like you would for crochet but you use the needle with the yarn threaded through to create stitches. Very interesting but the lady running the demo was more interesting - she is in a Viking re-creation society, and an Arthurian one too.

Did I come away with more stash? Of course, but only a wee bit of fibre, unless you count the silk thread I've been told is great for plying thicker yarn with.

Do you agree that the silk thread at least looks pretty good for plying?

It was sooo very nice to sit down at my wheel tonight and spin this up. I've been spinning almost laceweight oatmeal alpaca for DAYS and DAYS and DAYS and I still only have a third of a bobbin, if that. It spins up well but it is BORING! So I decided it was time to play with some of my hand-dyed (by moi!) tops and see what I could come up with. Cheery, isn't it? BTW, I used the hot pour method to dye this up. It blurred a bit in spots and went a bit dirty here and there but that moderates the otherwise unrelenting cheeriness of the yarn. And it isn't oatmeal "coloured."

I bought three more colours of Landscape dyes at the guild - blue, red and yellow with the idea I can mix up a lot of colours from those. Four little spools of silk for plying. A silk cap. And horror of horrors some sea green ACRYLIC fibre to spin!!!

The afternoon was spent buying food and also potting mix for my roses and repotting another 13 roses in pots. I only have another 10 or so roses to repot. Huzzah!

Today we went for a little drive. Nathan wanted to visit some native plant nurseries in Gippsland, which is the area to the east/southeast of Melbourne. Gippsland got a bit of snow a couple of weeks ago - this is a rather amusing if not terribly clear pic of some alpacas who are less than impressed with the situation.

The scenery gets a little dull after a while as you drive along the Princes Highway - green rolling hills with a few trees, etc. If you drive long enough, you come to the La Trobe Valley, with its brown coal underlying the green and fertile looking land. But we turned off at Yarragon (where Nathan had a very nice hamburger and I got some yummy roast vegies! Me getting food from a takeaway - will wonders never cease?) and then headed up into the Strzelecki Ranges. The views out over the valley were magnificent:

(looking northish towards Mt Baw Baw)

The road was a little variable but it turns out that we took a wrong turn and ended up in an area that has recently been logged so the road was not that good in that area. But if we had gone the other way, we would not have seen the world's most mutant wombat - this is a flattering pic of it.

The poor old thing looked like it was blind and had been run over or was mangy. (no large pic - you don't need a closeup of it)

Plus there were little moments of beauty - a wattle in full bloom and a huge tree fern by the side of the road:

Along the way, we visited a couple of interesting native nurseries, and Nathan blew most of his weekly budget at them. We got some good stuff, a few bargains, and Nathan has plenty of plants to torture into bonsais now.

I reckon that will do it for the night - must blog the mutant cat pic next time. But it is bedtime, so


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Happy blogiversary to me!

Happy blogiversary to me!
Happy blogiversary to me-ee!
Happy blogiversary to me!

(I won't now go on to the birthday song of the Volga boatmen - may the cities in your wake, burn like candles on your cake....at your age you ought to learn, first you pillage *then* you burn!..... hear the women wail and weep, kill them all but SAVE THE SHEEP!... oops, sorry!)

Well it has indeed been a year. A year in which I learned to spin. A year in which I developed a few more connections outside my own immediate sphere. A year in which I got married and lost my father. A year of fanciful daydreams and terrible realities. A year of reconnecting with family and losing family. Seeing and experiencing new things (it snowed/sleeted on my car at Christmas, in summer!!! I had my first colonoscopy - how sweet! NOT!). Revisiting the old.

It's been a ride. Wonder where I'll be this time next year?


Friday, August 19, 2005

Daffodil Day

G'day all!

There seems to be a little case of the blogging blahs going about down here. Katt's got them, I've got a mild case too, if you hadn't noticed.

I seem to remember that around March or April, depending on where the northern bloggers live in North America in particular, people were totally sick and tired of winter. Over winter! Had enough of winter! Well I think we are at the same stage now, only we get it earlier and probably less hard cos at least we have green grass to mow, and weeds to pull out and flowers to admire.

Speaking of flowers, today is Daffodil Day in Oz. It is a major fundraiser for the Cancer Council. They get a few $$ out of me cos Mum and Margi did die of cancer (and most horribly too). I used to be the Heart Foundation charity captain at work, which means I had to razz the troops up and get them to support heart foundation fundraisers and Daffodil Day and lots of other charitable stuff at work. Then work reorganised its charitable program and the Cancer Council and the Heart Foundation were cut off the list. Can you tell that I am still grumpy about that? There has been a major health and wellbeing kick at work in the last year, and both those organisations have a lot to offer. But they don't fit the organisations's ideas of supporting the needy and sick kids. So I said no thank you, I want to work with groups that are making a long term difference not putting bandaids on things, and now only work with Landcare on the Powlett Project. I should some some photos of the places we have planted trees and shrubs and grasses - the change in 4-5 years is massive!

This next bit will indicate the level that my brain is functioning at present. Every day at work I am surprised by what work pants I am wearing on that particular day. You see the fastening arrangement changes every day. One day two trouser clips, the next a button, then two buttons, a button and a trouser clip close together, three buttons (! - very bad if I am in a hurry cos buttons flummox me!), a long flap with two buttons and a trouser clip, a long flap with one button and a trouser clip.... So many combinations and every time I walk into the toot it is like a brand new discovery. Oh, these pants! You would think I'd have worked it out by now but no....

Whilst I am on the subject of bizarre things (was that a bad segue or what?), what is it about non-stick cookware that makes stuff stick so well to it? One of the guys at work spends a good 10 minutes unsticking stuff from the toasted sandwich maker, which has a nonstick surface that loves a good bit of cheese or the sauce this particular chap uses. It loves the muck so well that it won't let go of it without an out and out battle. The 'non-stick' bread pan at home? Ha! I couldn't get the loaf of bread out of it! Stuck fast! Had to use a metal knife that scraped off half the non-stick coating! Then I had to take the crust off the bread cos I wasn't eating whatever the non-stick coating is made out of....

So why is non-stick cookware stick cookware? Should non-stick cookware have to demonstrate its non-stickiness before it can be sold? I guess if they called it stickware, noone would buy it. At least there would then be a little truth in advertising and marketing.

Oh, knitting content? Well, there has been some but the light is dismal and the sock is almost up to where it was - nearly at the heel, only half a colour repeat to go, and I've knitted another mitred square for the John Glick project at Knitty Gritty. Yep I have been slack - haven't done my mailing yet cos I keep losing vital bits and pieces of the stuff I want to send. One day the baggies, the next the contents, then one part of the content, then the baggies again... Plus I have to find out who was the 311th blog commenter. WHoever you are, you get a little something.

Oh, heck! Guess what tomorrow is? Apart from being the 20th of August? Here's a hint. I've had over 10,000 visitors since I put the counter on about a month after my blog started. Thanks to each and every one of you, especially those who have taken the time to leave the odd offering (message ;-) except the two horrible people who spammed me. I've met some great people through blogging (and jeez I would like to do Bilbo Baggins' thank you speech at his birthday party but that would be insulting - if funny :-).

Pictures? Umm, none of them either. Mebbe tomorrow!


Thursday, August 18, 2005


G'day all!

Today is brought to you by the number 10.

Yesterday was brought to you by the number 4.

Tomorrow? Who knows?

Yesterday the lift at work stopped at level 4 for me on 6 occasions out of 8. Today it stopped on level 10 on 4 out of 6 occasions.

My pretty sock? Frogged! Only back to the toe. I was up to the heel but I figured that I needed a little more room in it. The yarn is a bit thicker than normal so I used fewer stitches but nope, I need at least 64 stitches to keep my foot happy instead of a bit snug in the sock. It is such pretty yarn (as y'all have said). I like it more than any other sock I have made so
far, plus the yarn is quite soft. Some of the sock yarn I have used is quite rough and tough stuff, meant to last but if I don't like the feel of the sock against my foot I won't wear it. My feet are tender little blossoms and need to be coddled. LOL.

BTW, sock was frogged at 4:45pm back to the toe and 9:15pm was almost back to where I was this morning. I've had a couple of hours to work on it at craft night. Amazing how much sock you can do with a solid bit of work on it.

Training is done for this week. Hooray! It tuckers me out. I have to push me out there someplace, project my personality out to illustrate what I am talking about, and that is very tiring, particularly for someone with my personality type. By nature I am retiring but you can't retire when you are training, you have to be Out There. After two hours of Out There, I have had enough for the day. So why do I do it? In part cos it is my job, but mostly cos I love making the connection with people, seeing comprehension dawn in their eyes. I'd prefer to use a more Socratic method to training but most people don't want to *think* about things, they want to be told what they need to know. They don't want to play with ideas and concepts, they want to be given everything on a platter. But that doesn't lead to learning. I love playing with ideas, what ifs - admittedly if I have time. If I don't have time, i either have to make it or I have to do the platter thing and just lay out the facts.

Interesting comment from a co-worker. He and I tend to be apolitical - we don't set up deliberately set up alliances or set groups upon each other. We don't like manipulating people. We don't see the point in backstabbing and social status. (If we need to we can both pull qualification rank - he was a surgeon in the USSR and has a PhD, I have a PhD, so if someone is pulling the you are stupid stunt, we can both wave our quals. uh-uh. Ignorant, unaware but not stupid) We try to treat everyone equally - a little more deference for the Important People at work obviously but everyone is the same. So yesterday morning he commented that I seemed happier since a certain member of our team moved, not out of our group, but out of our workplace. And he is probably right. The area has depoliticised, relatively, after it turned into a political workplace where social standing was important. You were in or you were out, and I am one of those people who are usually out because we don't want to talk about the latest makeup, hair, shoes (though I do like a good 1930s-50s style shoe, peekaboo toe, a little bow, a kitten or king louis heel), where the trendy spots are, how much I drank on the weekend and the nightclubs I went to, etc. I am a geek, a knitting geek, a spinning geek, and all that political guff just doesn't interest me. In the words of someone who was beaten up some time ago, why can't we just get along?

So today was brought to you by the number 10. Have to say it wasn't a perfect 10 for me but it wasn't too bad either :-)


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A sneak preview

G'day all!

I was going to show you a pic of my bee-yoo-ti-ful new sock in progress but after changing some settings last night so that I can access DH's computer, now the camera and the computer won't talk to each other. Sigh.

Instead, take yourselves along to this site. It's a bit clunky as yet cos I am still working out a few details and some layout stuff. Plus I have by no means got photos of all the yearn, oops, yarn I could sell. Plus I haven't done a page for the neutral coloured stuff.

NEWSFLASH. Managed to download pics, though I haven't shut things down properly... so you get a sneak preview AND a sock pic in one post! You so lucky!

I so have to learn how to dye yarn like that! Not that I want to take someone's livelihood away from them but it is soooo purty! The pattern is based on Sockbug's lava flow - that is the bit closest to the toe but it was overdoing the pattern too muchf or me so I modified it. Frog the sock back? No way! I am not fussed by the change in pattern - I'll probably repeat it on the other one.


Monday, August 15, 2005


G'day all!

I am a bit of a yo-yo today. Up and down. Had to run through the rain (nb it only rained for 12 minutes and I was out there for 8 of those minutes) to get to the station this evening. I had left my brolly at work. At first I was peeved but then as I ran down an alleyway almost totally blinded by rain in my eyes, a splat of half melted hail on my cheek, water on my glasses and the sun reflected into my eyes, it became FUN! So what if I was getting wet and couldn't see 2cm beyond my own considerable nose? It was FUN!

But now I have come home to a house with a STRANGER in it. There is someone IN MY SPACE! It is wrong, WRONG I tell you! Yep, our new housemate has moved in. And the stove is already filthy and there is too much crockery in the cupboard and it is WRONG!

So I take solace in my new brightly coloured socks. And I blog the WRONGness that is everything but the socks. The socks are very right. I think I am going to call them my rainbow lorikeet socks - not my Trichglossus haematodes socks (bloody brush tongue - like YICK! Who thinks up these names???). Hopefully the socks won't be as noisy and belligerent as their namesakes, but let's face it, if I were a bird I'd want to be a rainbow lorrie cos they seem to have fun all day long and they dress in marvellously bright colours (the rainbow lorrie pic is a little way down the page on the right on my browser. And yes that is one of my trip pages. Deal ;-).

Since I don't have new pics for you to look at and marvel at my new socks in progress (I've only done the shortrow toes so far), here's a few pics from our trip last March. So long ago now!

I've forgetten the name of these cliffs, but they are only about 10 minutes north of Eden. Nathan and I spent a night in Eden - it was pretty spesh!

A typical Aussie beach, certainly typical of East Gippsland, 300km from home. Beach stretches on forever.

Sometimes there are a few rocks in the way of the beach. But not often.

We stopped at a little creek, calls itself a river but we know better. I had such fun photographing the reflections. I have a fascination with reflections.

Well that's yer bloomin' lot for the night, so


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Could it be a FO?

G'day all!

Thanks for sending warm. It was quite pleasant today until the cold north-westerly got up (we only get cold northerlies in winter - other times of the year they are hot!). Indeed a few plants have decided they had better put on their spring dresses

The cherry-plum street tree across the road from us. This one is a full two weeks later than one I saw about 20 minutes drive away.

The little magnolia next door. Magnolias have been in bloom for about two weeks as well.

Some of the first daffodils at my place

Looks like spring is not so far away after all!

What do you reckon this could be?

It has been a good week or two for finished objects. Not so good for spinning - it was too cold in the loungeroom to spin for more than about half an hour at a time. I still managed to get a little done - another 50g of purply/bluey/black merino with a little silk slubby action for A2 made up:

Here's a little bit of sock action:

See, there are two of them - distinctly different even though I tried to match the yarn colour changes. Fraternal twins they will remain. That is fine by me. I should find the label to tell you exactly what colour of Trekking XXL they are.

Yep, the pastel socks are done! I used a provisional cast on short row toe, a little ribbing in the cuff, then an afterthought heel. I picked up ideas from various socky websites and then ran off and did my own thing. Thanks to sockbug and stitches of violet for some ideas.

Now for the biggie. Yep, been working on this for ages, then I finally pulled my finger out and concentrated on getting it done. It would be a pretty quick knit if you worked on it for more than an hour a week like I did for two months.

Thanks to the smudge tool on the Gimp I bring you

Ta-dum! The Vogue Jacket! (Scuse the hair - it was blowing a gale practically and I could not be stuffed making the hair sit still)

Pattern details in Vogue Knitting, Winter 04/05. I made the second size and lengthened the arms cos it had 3/4 sleeves and in such a warm jacket I couldn't see the point. OK, so the front opens wide, but with a judicious kilt pin placement, you can close it. This fits like a glove - very snug but I can move around it it easily. I hav eto block the front still, and the collar looks wonky in the pic but it is really pretty good.

Hokey dokey - have a good rest of your weekends - it is work for me tomorrow, Monday morning again. Argh. It will be a bad week too cos I have some training to run, noone to talk to at work cos Helen will be in our NZ office, AND I have no Dr Who to look forward to on Saturday night. Saw the last ep last night and I feel a little gutted. I liked the Christopher Eccleston doctor. Sniffle. Oh well. I can always watch them again. Have to run now - Canterbury Tales is on and it has Billie Piper and Dennis Waterman in it.


Friday, August 12, 2005

You know it's cold when....

...you sit by the little halogen bedlamp to graft the heel on a sock and the light makes you feel warmer.

G'day all!

It has been a week. Most definately been a week. But now it is the weekend here. Hooray for the weekend!

I am most pleased to announce that one of the pastel socks is FINITO! Yay sock! It has taken me almost exactly a month to knit these beggars, yet I've done the cuff of one in the last four days. Weird, huh? Normally the second sock drags.

Pics? Maybe tomorrow if you are lucky. I want to have both socks finished before I take a pic. Plus I should be able to get pics of the not very mystery mystery large FO. I modelled it for the craft night mob last night. It isn't perfect but it looks pretty darn good. I have to block the front bits - the rest is snug enough that it doesn't matter.

Many thanks to those of you sending warm our way. It seems to be working - it was a bit warmer today and indeed at the moment (9:30pm) it is warmer than it was for all of Wednesday. Admittedly it is only 9 degrees but that is better than 4 degrees and feels like zero.

So now that I have two projects (almost) in the finished and wearable basket, what should I do next? My clap in sherbert Lion and Lamb? A Tivoli tshirt? Another pair of socks goes without sayig for my train knitting - I have some reaalllly purty yarn K gave me ages ago - such pretty colours but it should STRIPE! I didn't realise it should stripe! It came from Need More Yarn". Don't expect to find much in the way of sock yarn on the site cos K just wiped out a lot of their stock. LOL. Need More Yarn also does spinning stuff.... hmmm.....

I'll stop rambling. Let me know what you think I should knit next. Have a great Friday and weekend! Next time I should have pics :-)


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A boxy present

G'day all!

Happy birthday to my next up sister.

How would you feel if you got this box in the mail:

Ratty nasty looking thing isn't it? You can even click on the picture to get a bigger picture of a ratty box!

It is very very cold here at the moment. It has been around 6-8 degrees all day and when I went out at lunchtime, in the warmest part of Melbourne, aka the City, it was 8 but it felt like 4 degrees. That is fridge temperatures, folks! Outside right now it is like being in a fridge and feels like ZERO! Brr! No wonder why I am having difficulty breathing when I go outside - my poor lungs are getting really cold air (cos I can't easily nose breathe and warm up the air through my crufty sinuses). Even inside it is cold - the heater can't keep up with the loss of heat out the walls and gaps in the house. We are wearing hats and coats and scarves! But not thrummed mittens cos you can't type with them on. The unheated part of the house is about 7 degrees. BRRRRRRR! Send warm soon! You guys in North America keep saying how warm it is - we need some of your warm!

I've knitted about 1.5cm of the other sock's cuff. Hooray! If I knit for one whole train journey (about 25 minutes) I can get about 10 rounds done. This means the other sock will be done in about another week. Then I can do the heels.

Still no pics of the new mystery Finished Object. It does exist!

I have ideas about a new yarn storage device. Will let you know whether it works. Plus when it gets warm enough to go out into the garage, I can work on some wooden knitting needles and see how they work. The hoop pine one I've got at present is luverly, but the tas oak one needs some more sanding (read a lot of sanding). I think the hoop pine will be too easily damaged, but the tas oak will be pretty tough. I have lots of Ideas at present but no time to execute them in. Dang!

OK, so before I showed you a pic of a mangy looking box. Here's what is inside:

(you can't see the extra white merino tops or the hand-spindling book underneath.)

How do you feel about the ratty box now?

Thanks for your suggestions - I've put in a couple of lumps of polwarth, but there is an awful lot of merino cos that is easy to come by here (surprisingly cos we only have about 100 million of the blighters here - about 5 sheep for every person!).

Mmm, time for a bit of puss on lap. Nut is even purring as she sits on me - she is a hard one to get to purr sometimes but I guess she is as cold as I am!


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

So much to do, so little time

G'day all!

I have worked out why I am being so slow to set my yarn webpages up online. Not because I am worried about it.

If I want to do it properly, this is what I have to do:

  • categorise each skein/ball,
  • weigh it,
  • measure its length,
  • work out what needle size to use,
  • price it
  • then spreadsheet all the details
  • then get them onto the website
  • with a good picture

Crikey that is not easy. Especially when I can't get good shots during the week cos the sun is setting when I get home.

Plus I have to set up stuff on Paypal so overseas buyers can pay me instantly and I can send off their stuff quickly rather than having to wait 4-6 weeks for cheques to arrive and clear.

Each skein needs an individual number so I send the right thing to any buyers. I need to set up inventory control and logistics, and that requires a lot of organisation. How me is that?

Or I could just say all these yarns are about this weight and this length, if you want full particulars email me. All of these skeins are $XX each. All of those skeins are $YY each. But I still need to do an inventory and have some form of stock control - don't want to sell the same thing twice unless I have two skeins of it!

Hooray for me, I have nearly finished one of the pastel socks. Doing 7cm (nearly 3") last Friday night was most excellent and now I only have to cast off about 32 stitches and wait to do the afterthought heel. I must finish the cuff of the other sock before I do the heel cos I find that I forget what little mods I tried in the first heel by the time I do the second one.

I had my half yearly appraisal today. It went quite well - I was rather surprised. Instead of feeling like resigning on the spot, I actually came out with ideas about things to do. Most of the ideas disappeared within about 15 seconds cos someone who will remain nameless is not sleeping well and he keeps waking me up too. I must work on my mouth overrun. I am one of those people who work things out by talking out loud. People lose the message in the burble. They hear the reaction rather than the action. So my new motto at work is SHUDDUPA YOU FACE, Lynne! Don't talk unless you have something worthwhile saying and can say it without waffling or being negative. I wasn't negative for a while, honest. But work just grinds you down down down. Be warned - I reserve the right to burble on my blog.

Oh my word - I've just seen the weather forecast for tomorrow. Normally by the second weekend of August we have our first balmy spring day of around 20 degrees and then winter bites back. But nope, no 20 degree days in our forecast! After some recent almost spring like weather, we are in for it. I thought it got a bit chilly last week, but we are unlikely to even reach double digits tomorrow 8-( Snow down to 400m and snow flurries likely in the higher suburbs. That's not the city but I've seen snow falling outside at work. It falls but it doesn't land. Hobart in Tassie, another 400km or so south will have snow in the city! So exciting! Glad I don't live there when the weather is like that! Taswegians, rug up cos I reckon some of you will find it a bit chilly, even those in the warmer north! For that matter Melburnians rug up and those poor benighted people in Canberra, well...you have to take your chunks cos you do live there. Sydney, I am sure we would be very willing to share the cold weather and even a tad of rain! Do I hear a bid from the Brisvegans too?

Enough burble for this evening. Must play with paypal and see what I have to do to set up payment stuff.

Instead of knitty pics or even spinning pics, here's a lovely picture of our poor eyebrowless Nutmeg. Cheshire has a thing about Nut's eyebrows and has chewed them off. Three weeks ago Nut had lovely eyebrows - you can see her set of whiskers is quite impressive - but alas! no longer. Nut is asleep on the bed on the polar fleece cat rug. She loves polar fleece.

And a boy and his cat. Cheshire is Nathan's cat. She loves smooching and snuggling around your face, which Nathan likes but makes me sneeze and wheeze and get interesting itchy lumpy hivey things.


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Rain rain go away

Come again another day.

G'day all!

Today's forecast said fine, 16 and late showers. So why oh why did I wake up to grey skies and drizzle? Possibly because I wanted to do a photo shoot and also fix up some more of the garden. Yesterday was such a nice day - Nathan got into one of the worst areas and started turning a weed and rose in pot bed into a raised bed. Yep, those are foam boxes - one of Nathan's favourite building materials, plus they can grow plants too!

It is very good that we are getting more rain but it was verra annoying too. You see I have finally finished something I've been working on for a while - a couple of months? I spent hours last night and this morning crocheting, undoing and redoing and undoing and redoing (four times on the right front) - yes I am now a happy (??) hooker. Couldn't figure out why crocheting wasn't grokking for me last year. Now I get it - I learnt how to crochet left handed, being a leftie, but was trying to do it right handed. Swapping over the instructions from right to left was easy enough. Plus using a 7mm hook - well how easy is that?

So no pics, though I am sure you can guess what it is, cos it is an it, not a pair.

The only time it stopped raining all day was when we went inside and then decided to go out to a local monstrous shopping centre (mall). It stopped raining then. When we got home and started work on the garden again, wellllll..... down it came again. Mostly on Nathan - I had set myself up under the carport, repotting some of my 50-odd roses. I've done 12 now, only umpteen to go!

Have a look at what I found in a little pot with William Shakespeare 2000 in it:

Yum! Desiree potatotes! Very nice ones too - no potato scab or anything! We ate them in dinner. Didn't know that roses grow potatoes!

Hokey kokey - time to work on my yarn page a bit more. I am being very slow, presumably because I have what an ex-boss of mine called Issues (tm - note it has a capital i and has that little extra stress on *Ish*-shoos). What if people like it and want more but I can't provide? What if they DON'T like it and I have all this stuff that I won't be able to use in the next however long? What about postage - the local post office has queues almost literally out the door at lunchtime and you can be queued up for an easy half hour and I hate spending my lunchbreak in the post office, but the Pack and Send downstairs never has queues but costs $2-3 more and tends to be slower. Fuss fuss fuss - stop fussing woman and just DO IT!


Friday, August 05, 2005

Spinny question - beginner pack

G'day all!

Anyone got any suggestions for a little spinning pack I could put together for my sister? I was spindling at Christmas and she got a bit wistful about her spindle that she had in the mid-70s (we didn't see it when we cleaned the house out? Umm, errr, don't remember seeing it). Anyway, I bought her a student spindle at Bendi and now for her birthday on Wednesday want to send her a selection of fibres to play with.

I have available to me in my stash:

  • finn
  • merino
  • polwarth
  • some silk blended with merino
  • finn/cashmere (haven't played with that myself)
  • pencil rovings in ?merino
  • alpaca
  • mohair
  • merino/alpaca blend
  • merino/soysilk blend
  • silky wool

If I go delving more into the drawers I will undoubtedly find more. She isn't getting the cashgora, cashmere, pure silk or "luxury" stuff. Note that we are a bit limited in what is easily obtainable in Oz - what is this cormo stuff? Wool, obviously. Colonial - none of that here, though we were long a colony. Oor market just ain't very big and we have an *awful*, or should that be aweful?, lot of merinos.

Pencil roving might be good cos it is almost totally drafted already. Plus some other bits and pieces that I've been given to play with along the way, like a wee bit of silky wool and some alpaca tops, like 40cm of those. D'oh, forgot to get ink for the printer - can't print out instructions. Dang!

(Note that I started to spin with merino, merino and mohair, and merino and silk, though I am told these are hard to spin. Obviously I have no clue of good wools for beginners, which technically I pretty much am still).

The more I think about it, the more I think I will just grab a few samples of stuff that I have a fair amount of, like the pencil rovings, some colourful merino top (a lump of the stuff I dyed last week!), the merino/soy, some alpaca top that I combed myself (aren't we good? ooo, err! ;-). She hasn't spun for years, but I am sure that the stuff I'll send in this little pack will be much nicer than the horrible rough brown stuff she had. It might be 30 years on but I still remember how yucky it was. Pity I don't have any corriedale or other stuff that is a bit different - finn is different admittedly but I have to comb that up first unless I have some undyed stuff.

Thoughts, anyone?


PS - we are nearly up to the 311th comment now and I want to do a little prize, but I will not count the comments from this post as it really only includes the spinners. Why 311th? Cos! Maybe the best guess should get a prize too!

PPS - will find out what silk caps are and let others know. They aren't really caps for wearing though I do like the smurf hat effect :-)


G'day all!

Thanks for the messages about horrible drivers of white delivery vans. At the time I was too busy avoiding a prang to get busy with gestures and impolite words. LOL

It has been an interesting couple of days. Yesterday was the coldest day we've had in ages - probably a month. It rained a lot - we got an inch of rain overnight. That was excellent, but we need at least another two inches this month, preferably three to make up for what has been a rather dry, warm winter. The thrummed mittens certainly came in handy because I have the world's coldest fingies. Nathan often calls me Coldfinger, especially when I torture him with my fingers from the crypt. Of course spinning in the cold loungeroom doesn't help. Today was a bit warmer, like 13 instead of 10 (you North Americans are probably splitting your sides laughing).

So what happens when you follow these instructions (have a look around the Southern Cross Knitting website whilst you are there - you might find some stuff that tickles your fancy on the site) and rip apart your silk cap

(seen here doubling as a bright smurf hat on smily smurf and snobby supermodel-wannabe smurf)

into clouds of silk

spin up some of this

and ply it with the ready to spin silk cap?

You get this:

Ah what a happy combination :-)

Plus when you play with 200g of merino tops in the crock pot, you can make things like this:

Lord knows how they will spin up but it was fun dyeing them! Totally unrepeatable too but that is half the joy. Soon enough I will be repeating stuff to make more, more MORE! But for the nonce I like making bright things.

Knitting news soon - major progress has been made on two fronts, not just one! Hooray!