Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Uglee-est sock in the world!

G'day all!

These are not the ugly socks.

These are the unJaywalkers I made, toe up, short row heel. I hope the yarn softens up after I wash the socks cos at the moment they are prickly. I am the sort of person whom the YarnHarlot would despair over, as I can't wear wool against my skin. Soft sock yarns are ok on my feet but not coarse wool. There are some prickly bits in the Hot Socks wool.

Now here are the uglee-est socks in the world! I dare you to find anything more horrid. This photo was taken at 7pm or so

and this one an hour and a half later. I have to say the yarn is very easy to knit, but the progression of colours in the toe is just awful. Waaay too much yellow.

After I put in the line for the afterthought toe, I did a little slip stitch to see what happened then, also cos that is the spot where I wear out my socks most.

That looks much nicer, though the rows are very compressed.

I am now trying again, with a SockBug pattern (lacy scallops) just to see if it breaks up the striping a bit.

I am also contemplating dunking the toes of the socks in some blue dye just to get rid of the yellow. OK, they would be green, blue and purple then but better than yellow. I think.... I could paint other blocks of yellow with blue too. Or even with green. Choices choices!

Can you beat my uglee ugly sock?


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Wet! and bats!

G'day all!

This stuff kept falling from the sky today. It rained and rained and rained. We ended up with 20mL of rain. Of course we had pulled the cladding off the garage...

Not much knitting time today. Much sadness. Instead I drove Nathan around places and managed to avoid buying Even More Yarn That I Don't Need at Spotlight - they have some good prices on their novelty yarns, and am I a sucker or what?

Plus we had an adventure at a different rubbish dump. Never going back to that one. They charged us double for the privilege of getting bogged. You oughta try pushing an 1800 kilo (4000 lb) car out of a boggy patch. You can read all about it at our new house blog. (hope I got the url right!)

Anyway, I've promised pics of the secret project. Those of you allergic to novelty yarns, look away now.


It's a cocoon?

No, it's a curly whirly scarf! The "latest" thing in England. With beads in the cast on and cast off edge, just to give it a bit more vavoom! It absolutely ate up yarn like nothing on the planet. One row near the edge took 55m of yarn - the whole ball! It certainly is a novelty yarn stash buster. IT is really somewhat darker than it appears - a dark teal, not bright at all.

I've been knitting it whilst watching Dr Who - we have an hour of Dr Who every Mon-Fri at 6pm at present. We are onto the Sylvester McCoy doctor now and he is *such* an improvement over the Colin Baker one (but really, that isn't hard!).

I cast on a new sock in the gelati coloured yarn. Haven't found a pattern yet but I am sure I can find something before too long.

Tonight, during our semi-regular evening walk we saw BATS! Real bats! Such sweet little things on the wing - only about 20cm (8") across. They were really quite obvious against the twilight sky. I've never seen bats on the wing apart from the little one in our room down at Mallacoota five years ago. They are about mouse sized in the body and have funny little ears. People are scared of them but they really are sweet little things. I'd much prefer to have bats than have mice. If nothing else the bats won't gnaw their way into the pantry and poo and wee in all the food.

On that charming note,


Friday, January 27, 2006

Stuff fell from the sky today

G'day all!

It was really odd today. It had been hot and steamy all day. Then a big thing came over the sun and obscured it:

And then this STUFF fell from the SKY and it was really yucky and like my car was being sprayed with a firehose or something. We were trapped in the car as our neighbour M laughed at us from the shelter of his verandah. It was really like someone was throwing buckets of water on the car. We couldn't even open the window cos the stuff came straight in.

There was stuff in the thing I seem to recall is called a, ummm, a rain gauge?

And these pools of stuff formed on the footpath and the drain clagged up and it was all WRONG!

But I knitted more sock and it was all ok again.

(Pic not clickable) This is the second sock - I couldn't find the other sock but I did finish all but the weaving in of the ends last night. Ah, something finished!

Random bits:

Cheshire hates the airconditioner. It scares her. The smoke just added to the effect. If we turn the air con off, she shuts up.

For anyone who likes MythBusters, this is an amusing slashdot article.

This BBC article about Clonycavan Man freaked me out a bit cos the reconstruction of the face of someone who died 2500 years ago looks like someone I know. I'm not saying that people then would not look like people now, cos they would look just like us, just that it is freaky that he should look like a friend.

Here's a pic of the new diesel country trains - they are Velocity trains.

When I saw one in the yards, I regretted not having the camera with me. So I took the camera with me the next day so I could snap a shot or two for my FiL cos he is a train nuffy and I even went on board to ask the driver about it. He got out the operating manual (it comes with an operting manual!) and told me about its 19L twin turbo watercooled V6 diesel engines that generate 559 or was it 659 kW and some godawesome amount of torque, like 2100nM. He said it "goes ok, better than the N-class" (old diesel engines that are only used to pull passenger trains).

OK, that is another secret out. I like boy stuff - I love trains. I love planes too. Big ones, not little ones. Little ones seem too scary and a really easy way to die.

My new walking shoes. Super unsexy. You see my $170 runners died this week. I've had them for about 8 months, walked in them, run maybe a km all up, and the heel counters cracked. One cracked badly enough that it skewered me and shredded my fave sock (GRRR!). So I trotted off (more like hobbled in my nasty not good for walking in work shoes) to a shop in the city that sells Rockports cos everyone says what good walking shoes they make. I wandered around the shop picking up shoes and looking at them for a good five minutes before the sales assistant decided I might want to buy some shoes. I told her what I was looking for and she suggested a pair of $189 shoes. I tried them on, but they were too narrow for me. So she took them away and put them back in the box and went back behind the counter.

I had the distinct feeling that I had been dismissed. Funny cos I thought I was the one who was going to help her make money for the company and herself.

So I went around the corner to cheap and cheerful Payless Shoes. I looked at some shoes then decided I probably just wanted some lace up school shoes. One of the sales assistants there asks me what I'm looking for and points out the super special 20% off already reduced shoes. She hooks out some shoes for me to try on. I discover the shoes are a tad small and I need a bigger size. She went looking for the next size up. Remember that this is a shoe store were the boots cost no more than $70 and the shoes are less than $50. I cannot imagine the assistants there are paid top dollar but boy they actually want to sell shoes! (We still have some form of award rates here despite the introduction of enterprise bargaining and people do not have to subsist on tips.)

She didn't have a bigger size in the shoe I liked, but she had my size in these instead.

As I said, super unsexy but they are leather, they are the shoes nurses wear all day long and they cost less than $40! They actually don't look any less sexy than the expensivos shoes I had been considering. They will do for walking in and I can wear them at work, amongst all the girls with their stilettoes and $300 italian shoes. Me - daggy? All the time!

Finally, a pic of the Nut,

doing something she loves doing - smooching a proffered hand. She practically flings herself ecstatically at your hand if you lower it a bit. Funny animal.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

meow! meow! Pr-meow!

G'day all!

Well it's been another stinker of a day but I am finally on the cuff of one of the socks. Hooray!

One of the cats has been howling almost non-stop and she keeps trying to get us to go out of the house. She leads us to the back door if we stand up and if we don't move, she wails non-stop at us.

Me-OW! PRMWOW! PRRRMWOW! Meeeowwwww! Meow! PRMWOW! MWOW! Mwow?

We finally worked out the problem - it is smokey.

She is saying DUDES, get OUT OF THE HOUSE before we all BURN AND DIE HORRIBLY! Stupid hand that feeds, get out of the house! Why won't you listen to me? LISTEN TO ME! GET OUT OF HERE BEFORE WE ALL DIE!

Our house is not on fire but the smoke from the fires in Kinglake north of the city (about 50km away) is really upsetting the cat. The other cat is like whatever - it's hot. I wanna find a cool place to lie down.

Still no pics. Bad me. Hmm.... What do I have ready to go.

A month ago, before we moved out of the old house, I found I had a lot of out of date cordial in the bottom of the pantry. I also found one last packet of Kool Aid (it costs $1.25 here). Here's how some of the fleece came out.

Pretty, no?

I also had some diet and normal jellies (jello) hanging around that were a bit sad, so they added their colour to this

(And boy doesn't it take a bit of washing to get jelly out of fleece!)

Ok, time to go flop on the bed and see if this headache won't go away.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Smoke gets in your eyes

and more importantly my lungs and makes me feel wheezy. Not Weasley (just as well cos Ron is underage yet).

G'day all!

I would say Happy Australia Day but we aren't into celebrating this day, not as much as the government would like us to. Most of us are happy to get a day off, but the retailers int he big shopping centres have to work. The rest of us get to slack. One of my (non-Australian born) friends didn't even know we had this day off but any Aussie worker will be able to tell you the next day off they have (and I don't mean the weekends).

Well the tribunal is over and done. Thanks for yur concern and good wishes - it is nice ot see a bigger world than this one. We both lost - they didn't get the money they wanted, we didn't get to run off scott free either. Still it is done and after I pony up some money tomorrow, it is over. Forgotten, but the lesson has been learned. And the landlord, even though the house hasn't sold in four months, still expects to get well over $400K for the place. He doens't seem to be taking notice of the market trends.

Today Melbourne is wrapped in a pall of smoke. I haven't read the online papers yet but the smoke is everywere. I know this is petty when there are people out there fighting the fires and people losing property and animals, and animals having to flee or be roasted but it is mighty inconvenient cos today will be an excellent drying day and I have a LOT of washing to do! I can't hang it out nt even inside cos the whole place smells of smoke, which is why I am wheezy. Me and smoke don't get along, y'see. If I do washing when it is smokey, I may as well just leave it in the machine and wait for the wind to blow the smoke away otherwise I'll just be washing that stuff again to get rid of the smell of smoke. I have sometimes thought I hsould join the CFA - volunteer firefighters who are the fre brigade for most of Victoria, then I realised that having an asthma attack whilst fighting fires would be counter-productive. I'd have to be one of the women doling out sandwiches and tea. Since I am allergic to normal bread.... and so it goes.

I am glad to know that at least one other person in this world does not like sprouts. LOL

Knitting is slow but steady. I've split the socks onto two sets of circs (I would try magic loop but it is hard enough getting US1s here without getting 90cm ones. Most of our needles start at 3mm, which is a little too loose for the sock yarns). The socks were getting too hard to knit with two on the one set of circs - the weight of one was always making the edges of the other sag and was making ladders at the join between the circs.

I've been working on a secret thing, secret cos any "serious" knitter won't touch novelty yarns with a barge pole but I like the odd bit of silly fluff. It is almost finished, so soon you can see it too! (Assuming I can get photos - it is a dark teal)

I have managed to obain the pattern I wanted and the yarn for my Oympic chellenge. Hooray! Plus I have some extra stuff coming to me. It will take a while cos it has to come from the USA but it will be good!

Pictures? What are these things called pictures? Haven't taken any recently. Didn't have time or energy.

It is 8:40am and already 27 degrees. Methinks this Australia Day is going to be a hot one!


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

One sleep to go

G'day all!

This is going to be a loooooong post.

At last the much feared day is almost upon me. Hooray! I am sick of waiting for this day and Nathan's insomnia is not helping much. We have both been pondering the $1600 mattress that we lay upon last Sunday and wondering if it would be better to sleep on than a $200 futon that Nathan has squashed flat.... Like hello! I can see we will be going back to get that mattress, or a new unlaid upon version of it. It was sooo comfy.

Oops, diverted by thoughts of deep sleep upon a comfortable bed. A bed with double pocketed springs individually wrapped and a bed that when Nathan moves, I don't feel seasick from the ripples. Ahhhhhhh.

Anyway, I've been accumulating a few bits and bobs over the last while. I am having a bit of a bead gathering time, as you can tell from the pics that follow.

Now not all of those beads are to my taste but the necklaces cos $5 each and have some nice beads in them, more than $5 worth, and the bead box was half price cos it had lost some beads after someone broke it.

Then I found this book:

Totally fascinating. How to make all sorts of glass beads. Could this be yet another hobby for me?

But never fear, I am still knitting and I even did some spinning the other day - spinning when the weather is hot is not very pleasant as the fleece tends to stick to my sweaty palms and arm. The upwards Jaywalkers continue at a not particularly fast pace - I'm only getting about 6 rounds done on each train trip on the two socks on two circs - the weight of the socks is starting to pull the needles in odd ways. It is amazing how much you can get done though in an afternoon of watching B5 dvds whilst melting in front of the wheezy old airconditioning unit on a 43 degree day.

Here is the evolution of the socks, including a pic of the label for Karen. The socks were not very long on Saturday during the day:

Or by early evening...

But after several concentrated hours of knitting, by Monday evening they looked like:

Here's a tale of a very sad trip to a supermarket near work in the city. I needed some extra bits of food/drink for lunch, so I wandered down to the local supermarket. There I bought a bottle of "Fierce Grape" Gatorade and some "crunchy trio" sprouts for a grand total of $4.40.

What a waste of money!

I have been reading that sprouted legumes are very good for me. So I bought a mix of the things to add to lunch.

ICK! Yuck! These things are HORRID! They are bitter, and the ones that are not bitter taste like grass. Yuck! I can't stand bitter - it makes me gag. If I put something bitter in my mouth, it is all I can do to not spit it out on the spot (very embarrassing in company or at restaurants). The only way I can swallow it is to dilute the flavour with something nice, or at least something that masks the bitterness. So all those fancy lettuces are not my favourite foods cos many of them are bitter. I can only eat them by combining them with say tinned beetroot and even then I avoid the ones with the heavily indented leaves. Anyway, you should've seen my face as I ate the snow pea sprouts - they at least only taste like Green Things, but I still was underimpressed.

I managed to eat most of the sprouts by combining them with the rest of my lunch (leftovers from the previous night's roast chicken). Why do peple enjoy these things? How do they enjoy them? Or do they eat them just cos they are supposed to be healthy?

Then the gatorade. Oh the gatorade. Who on earth designed this "grape" flavour? I am almost tempted to ring their toll free line and tell them it is totally DISGUSTING. It smells like some weird cross between fake cherry flavour (another of my least favourite flavours in the world) and toilet duck or some other cleaning/disinfecting agent. It tastes pretty feral too - some chemically flavour that I don't recognise at all. It certainly doesn't taste anything like purple grapes to me. Don't ask me if it tastes like toilet duck too cos I don't know. Ah, I've just remembered what it smells like. I got some purple Kool aid a couple of years ago. It smells like that did. I wasn't game to actually drink it, I only used it to dye some yarn and nearly passed out from the smell.

Do Americans really think that smell is like purple grapes?

As I told a friend about this horrible experience, she suggested that toilet duck may be squeezed from little ducklings. This then reminded me of a story I read on the BBC website about a Vietnamese man's brush with bird flu.

This chap had come home to his village to catch up with everyone. His family made him his favourite delicacy - congealed duck's blood. I have to say that it is not one that I am in any hurry to try, especially since the man's brother fell ill and died not long after eating the meal, then the man fell ill too. OK, neither of them died of the horror of eating congealed duck's blood - it was bird flu that did one in and nearly got the other. Still for this person raised on a conservative western diet, anything involving eating blood or the innards or the extremities of animals sounds totally revolting. You can keep your pigs' trotters, or your sweetbreads, or chook feet, or haggis, or boiled heads, or BLACK PUDDINGS (ecky-thump!). No thanks! Not for me! I don't even eat many sausages these days. But I do enjoy the odd lamb shank or osso bucco or even some ox-tail soup. At least I know where those bits of meat have been and just as importantly *what* they are.


So here is what became of the gatorade:

Waste not, want not!

The fleece came out a pretty pale blue/turquoise/aqua with a few purple spots - I guess that was the first area to get to the dye. I used silky merino fleece and it is sooo pretty. I forgot to take a pic of it for you. But you'll see it soon! Lucky you won't be able to smell it though.

Finally, a weird sunrise. There are lots of bushfires around my state at the moment and we are developing a bit of a smoke haze (that could be why I feel asthmatic at present... ah!). Sunrise yesterday lasted an hour or so (and was a bit freakily like the Sunbane for those who have read the Thomas Covenant books, only without the nasty Sunbane effects....)

Okey kokey, that will do you. Have to go console the Nathan cos one of our witnesses can't show up tomorrow cos he took today off instead....


Monday, January 23, 2006

Cos I am busy

G'day all!

I have so much to tell you and so little time to say anything! I might be moving to a new server shortly cos we finally have our own server! Yay! I might even be able to install a moveable type sorta blog writer thingie whatsit. Only problem is Nathan does not have a computer so we are sharing this blast-ended skrewt. Nathan is catlike - he is not interested in something until I want to use it and then.... So I am getting an hour a night to play rather than unlimited time.

So because I am busy, I am going to point you at other websites and let you rip there instead :-)

Carole is running a stashalong called Buy More Yarn - none of these yarn diets for these bloggers!

An amusing article about knitting taggers - it's better than grafitti!

Spinning reaches the New York Times.

Don't want to go in the Knitting Olympics? Margene has an alternative.

Anyone got any suggestions for a challenging sock knit? Fair isle or lace, in normal sock weight so I can get the yarn in time for the Olympics.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

For those Aussies in the Knit Olympics

G'day to my Aussie mates!

Here's some little pics you can download onto your own server if you are part of the Yarn Harlot's Knit Olympics.

No hotlinking! This means save them to your own machine and/or server to put them on your page! Remember to right click on them and select save as or save image if you run Windoze. mac users - you know what to do and any people running Linux should know how to save images by now!


Friday, January 20, 2006


G'day all!

Jessie tagged me! I haven't been tagged in ages, which is good. Being tagged is good once in a while, but being tagged four times in a week is not so much fun. That hasn't happened for ages.

Four Jobs You Have Had In Your Life:

1) training and research consultant (present)

2) claims assessor

3) random dogsbody at social security (ASO-1 - I love what you can do to that designation)

4) ummmm - no other real jobs, just casual stuff.

Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over

1) Star Wars (A New Hope, any of the first trilogy)

2) The Princess Bride

3) Galaxy Quest

4) Blade Runner.

(Geeky? Moi? :-D)

Four Places You Have Lived

1) Melbourne (Ringwood)

2) Melbourne (Clayton, south side of the highway)

3) Melbourne (Clayton, north side of the highway)

4) Melbourne (Noble Park)

Why move around when it is all here, baby!

Four TV Shows You Love to Watch

Umm, erp, well I haven't been watching lots of TV recently.

1) Babylon 5 (on DVD)

2) Gardening Australia

3) Dr Who

4) Random Brit shows (Foyle's War, Midsommer Murders, Born & Bred, that Scottish one where Richard Byers got blown up)

Four Places You Have Been on Vacation

1) England - still want to go back and see more

2) USA - Madison, WI in particular

3) New Zealand

4) Tasmania (and half the mainland of Australia from Cairns all the way down around the coast to Eneabba in Western Australia)

Four Websites You Visit Daily

1) bom, and particularly here if it is raining or likely to

2) my yahoo email account (hello!)

3) The Yarn Harlot (do you really need the link? is there anyone who doesn't read her blog?)

4) Yours. maybe. If you are lucky I even leave comments!

(Nathan is most disappointed that I didn't list wikipedia)

Four of your Favorite Foods

1) Almost anything from Uncle Rick's particularly dairy free jelly cakes - bliss

2) Nathan's cooking, except when he loads it with garlic....

3) gluten free, dairy free gelato, like the banana one Nathan is feeding me right now

4) ummm, erp, some nice gf/df chocolate? Maybe some gf/df bread. Gf/df pizza? Crikey, I dunno!

I've see another version that includes

Four places you'd rather be right now

Now considering it is about 35 inside the house right now and thunderstorms are brewing,

1) at the beach, a nice not crowded beach

2) high up in the mountains - Mt Buffalo or Falls Creek would be nice

3) somewhere airconditioned but not a train cos the trains' aircon is atrocious

4) a nice cool bath. Mmmmmmm......

Four bloggers I am tagging

1) My good friend Dreamcatcher
2) A new blogger Peeve (is it cruel to tag a friend on the day she sets up a blog?)
3) Sknitty just cos I can, and finally
4) A lady with long narrow feet: Clementine's Shoes

I hope that is a nice ramdom assortment from my list of bookmarks! Actually, I am happy to tag anyone who wants to be tagged, and if you care not to be tagged, I am happy not to tag you!

I think I want to make these, but I can't make them in black and white cos it is a religious thing. You can ask about the religious thing but tonight it is too hot to keep yapping. I have lots to show and tell but not now! I can't even sit outside in the cooler air cos the mossies found me despite me being smothered in DEET. It is Too Hot To Think inside. And Nathan's computer died so we are sharing my old (technically my FiL's old) G4 mac. Somemone keeps hovering at me....


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Summer's back!

G'day all!

Look at this forecast and weep. After nearly three weeks when it only twice hit 30, it looks like summer is back! Socks are looking real good as things to knit this weekend, and on Sunday I think I'll go hang out in some air-conditioned shops, assuming it hasn't broken down again.... Alas I can think of no air-conditioned yarn shops, and certainly they won't be open on Sunday.

(Oh those temperature are in celcius, so think 90s to low 100s, and somewhere in the 70s overnight)


Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
P.O. Box 1636 Melbourne Vic 3001 http://www.bom.gov.au

Forecast for Melbourne Issued at 0505 on Friday the 20th of January 2006

Partly cloudy. Showers and thunderstorms, locally severe, developing in the
morning and persisting during the afternoon. Fresh northerly winds then
seabreezes developing later in the afternoon.

Max 35

Suburban Temperatures

Laverton Max 35 Yarra Glen Max 35
Tullamarine Max 34 Mt Dandenong Max 29
Watsonia Max 35 Scoresby Max 35
Frankston Max 32 Geelong Max 34

UV Index 10 [very high] reduced to 4 [moderate] under cloud

Fine. Min 21 Max 33

Fine. Late change. Min 23 Max 41

Mainly fine. Min 21 Max 28

Trend for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Mainly fine. Warm to hot.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


G'day all!

Is anyone else dithering over the Yarn Harlot's Olympic challenge? I am soooo in, but like what am I going to make?

I am all of a dither! I would like to do something I haven't done before but until next week I won't know how much time I'll have. You see this time next week, we'll know the outcome of the rental dispute we are embroiled in. Maybe we'll have to do lots of work at the old place, maybe we won't.

One of my friends is going to do an amazing laceweight shawl. I won't be, simply because I do other things than knit in my spare time. However, I would like to make a pair of these butterfly wings socks - I have not made real lace socks before. Then I thought I should do fair isle socks, or aran socks. Socks socks and socks cos whilst they would be a challenge, I have knitted a pair of plainish socks in 8 days before, so fancy socks in 16 days should be doable? I have done both fair isle and intarsia before (one day I'll show you the jumpers that I still have that I can't bear to throw away, including the one with the emu on the front, the batwing cardi with the geisha on the back and the one with the boy and girl gazing fondly at each other that I knitted in 1987).

Hmm, I reckon I need to go and delve into my books a bit. Back later!


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I'm a lonely little....

G'day all!

The other day I asked you to spot the odd man out. It is a lonely little purple petunia in the middle of the zinneas (and some white flower - stock?):

There are some sharp eyes amongst you!

Here's a little something that I've been working on recently.

Only thing is I prefer it inside out to right way in. I like the way the colours blob up - lots of people hate pooling but I love it.

Plus it is a bit tight around the old ankle, inside out or right way out. The pattern makes a firm fabric, and the yarn is already not exactly stretchy. (Mental note to self - take pics from the toe angle, not the ankle cos my ankles really are not HUGE GINORMOUS thick piano things - I have quite a well turned ankle if I do say so myself. And I do.)

Anyone guess what pattern it is, modified to be toe up with short row heel?

I might make the next one a few stitches wider across the sole - my left foot says the sock is fine, but my right says it is a bit tight.

A couple of you liked the houses and wanted more pics.

This is a white weatherboard Victorian cottage. It is not as grand as the houses I showed you before, but compared to the average hovel of the time, this was (and is) a very nice house indeed.

This row of terrace houses is flanked to the west by a place with a grand frontage (and high hedges, hence the lack of pics of it)

Other people who know a little about architecture could comment better than me. I just like taking the pics and looking at the amazing houses. You don't find houses like these in the area I live in! 1950s weatherboards and blond brick veneers dominate around here.

Finally, cos some of you are starved of plants and greenery and even basic things like sun, here's a shot of St Vincent's gardens, opposite these grand houses. Nice and green.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

seeking inspiration

G'day all!

Well I am sorta lacking inspiration for blogging today - something to do with two late nights in a row (we saw Narnia last night and got home after midnight). So I was happy to see a link on Dreamcatcher's site that took me off to the garnstudio. Then I followed a link that shows their designs for summer 2006 (a summer which we are already experiencing here in Oz).

I am knitting Yet Another Sock. You'll see a pic eventually. Plus I bought some Opal that will stripe up in orange with white spotty stripes for nathan. He likes orange, he likes it a LOT. I've joined two count your socks groups recently but I haven't put the buttons on my sidebar yet - I've been a bit busy cleaning up the house and yard (ie finding new and inventive places to put stuff) in preparation for a visit by most of Nathan's closest rellies. The rellies came and went and now we are left with half a dozen cups to wash and then we have to choof on up to Nathan's parents' place for a BBQ. I can say that I am almost all socialed out. Time for some more sock, I think. And a bit of book reading. Currently reading lots of Terry Pratchett. I need some extra silliness in my life.

Recently I went awandering around Middle Park, one of the "nice" suburbs of Melbourne. I went there to buy some needles and got the orange sock yarn for Nathan too. There are some magnificent houses there. Totally OTT. Apparently Melbourne has a very good collection of Victorian era houses, mainly cos there was so much land that if you couldn't afford to buy the place you wanted near the city, you just went a bit further out. Houses didn't get knocked down because the demand for the land was not great enough. Then by the time the houses become old and quaint and "collectible," preservation orders are slapped on them.

So today I will leave you with pics of two of the best ones I saw. If you like them, I've got a couple more I could show. I really like the second house. It is heavy and gothic - the gray is darker and brooding. Plus you get a gratuitous shot of a garden bed full of annuals in the park across the road from these houses. See if you can spot the odd man out in the garden bed....


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A gift

G'day all!

Yesterday evening I opened a lovely parcel from Wendy. It was fabulous timing cos you may know a bit of you-know-what is hitting the circular air circulation device around here at present.

Here's a pic of Cheshire celebrating the arrival of some most excellent handpaintedyarn.com merino tops in forest green and gold! Almost the national colours of Australia :-)

And a gratuitous shot of the fleecey goodness:

and one of Cheshire too:

Thank you, Wendy! It is lovely!

Did I promised anyone some photos of some almost finished objects yesterday?

Well here is a pair of socks made out of some german cotton. I lost the label ages ago.
I love the colours - I am a bit of an aqua/teal/seagreen/turquoise freak. Those colours of tropical waters or even just clear water on white sands make me drool (almost literally). I knitted the first sock in about November last year then didn't knit the second one for another 14 or 15 months. Now all I have to do is find the yarn needles - I must have about 50 of the danged things but can I find one? At least they are cheap - to darn in the ends. If you look around the ankle you'll see that the stripes don't match up - I used a slightly different technique for the first sock to the second. You can't see that the toes don't match but I am not fussed by them not being identical twins.

But have a look at this sock-it-to-you pair made from some different German wool, now only waiting their afterthought heels.

I have set up the needles for one heel, on a sock that has been waiting for oh about a year to get a mate and a heel. Second sock syndrome hit for sure with these socks! But after a while the colours become fresh and exciting again. I have enough left over of each lot of yarn for another sock. I am not sure I really need three socks though.... but then again the sock gnomes might strike and an extra sock would be good!

I think I started the second sock on Sunday night. Or was it Monday night? I sure knitted it fast, I can say that much. It simply flew on the needles, even the apparently never ending 1X1 ribbing I whinged about today to a knit bud.

Can you see the difference between the toes? The striping sequence is different. One was short-rowed and the other had that weird loopy cast on and knit around the little rectangle. I think I now prefer the loopy cast on - it isn't a figure 8 cast on cos I just drop those stitches like mad. I'll have to see if I can find a pic of the loopy cast on. Even its proper name will help.

Sunset from my kitchen window was quite pretty - see?

It even has the flywire mesh in shot. LOL

Dang! I just realised that I am almost out of things to knit on the train - the shawl is too big to drag around, my stashbusting project has about 400 stitches on the needles so one row takes most of the trip.... I'll just have to use up some more sock yarn! And then I can get some more! Yaaaay!


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Hi ho, hi ho

G'day all!

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the tribunal we go....

We've been served with notice, so on 25 January at 2pm we are there. Scared witless and something else-less too but we won't hold back (it's hard to hold back on the something-else-less - it tends to makes its presence known....). Plus we have a couple of exhousemates who will provide statements or may even be there in person. It will be interesting.

Now to make up for the fact I've been very distracted by these events and have forgotten to take pics of any knitting for days, how about I give you long promised pics from Wendy Dennis' place instead?

Plus I'll slip in a couple of photos from my brother's place too. He is 14 years older than me and has lived in his house for nearly 10 years now, so his garden is a bit ahead of mine. You'll probably notice some similarities though.

Tarndwarncoort was founded by Alexander Dennis in the 1840s out on the plains west of Melbourne between Winchelsea and Colac. On the way there, as I drove and drove and drove along the Princes Highway, we saw a lot of these, no lots and lots and MANY uncountable thousands of these:

I guess the farmers are cutting lots of hay and silage against another drought.

We crossed the Barwon River at Winchelsea:

25 km later, you turn off on the Warncoort Road and then up cemetery road. You know you are going to the right place if you pass a cemetery with a big erection on your left.

What a way to remember your loved ones. Build them a missile silo.

You keep driving down the road until you get to a three way corner on the dirt road and to your left should be a few green trees and an old building next to a gateway.

The back gate is now the entrance everyone uses:

Through it you can see the wool store - the building on the right that has luscious yarn and wool in it - and glimpses of the house. The house started off as a simple two story cottage:

and then later on this grand bluestone extension was put on - the 1848 cottage is to the left.

It is one of the few remaining homesteads or stations in the area. Totally magnifique.

We walked up to visit the cottages, one of which we intended to stay in. $55 a night pp for two people, gets cheaper with more people, plus it is cheaper for spinners (lol - we spend too much in the wool store!). I am contemplating organising a group to go there. Interested?

Here's the newer cottage:

and you may remember the view from the back verandah, which is really the front verandah:

Here's the older house, a Federation style place 100 years old. It was transported onto the site not very long ago. I loved it - if you want an older style home with all the pressed metal ceilings, etc, and live in Oz, I reckon you should look at getting one removed from some place in the bush and move it to where you want it to be. It'll cost but like what a house!

Wendy and Nathan are having a chat.

OK, here's a quick tour of the back part of my brother's place. The path between the west side of the house and the fence:

It's full of fruit trees and ornamental species. It looks excellent, really lush, plus there is a big water tank to help water it all through summer. I reckon it wouldn't be more than about 4m/12' wide. Amazing what you can get into a smallish space.

Then there is the vegie patch - carrots, capsicums, tomatoes, sweet corn and strawberries can be seen in the larger pic. OK, strawberries are not vegies.

All of my family love growing vegies and fruit and gardens in general. We all have vegie patches of some form or another and have probably 20 or 30-odd fruit trees between us. I guess it is the farming blood we got from the old man and Mum's determination to always be able to cut flowers from her garden. It is good to have such a great legacy. Craft and gardening genes. Makes me happy!

If you are very lucky (I don't demand good, just lucky) by tomorrow I'll have some pics of some almost finished objects. Like knitted stuff. Yeah, the stuff this blog is ostensibly about, when I am not off on some yap about something else.