Friday, March 31, 2006

April Fool's! part 1

G'day all!

Guess what it is today?


So here goes... Be warned this post has lots of pics but NOT one shot of sock yarn! I've already done that recently.... Oh and this is part one of two. In this post I tantalise with great boxes of yarn and stuff, and only hint as to their contents, though I might flash the handspun (don't you love it when you do a typo like nadspun?) and the fleece stash.

The Stashomat in the corner:

Nathan made a seedling raising stand, then discovered it didn't work so well for raising seeds. It works really well for holding yarn. :-) This is about half of my cotton stash. On top is some handspun. There's some interloper wool in there too.

The shelves with various things on them, fleece, handspun, yarn-to-dye, dyeing stuff, beads, and oh did I mention fleece and more fleece?

The tops to dye stash:

The colourful tops to spin stash:

The spun tops:

Some more handspun:

The main stash.

In the next post, we go stash diving.... Be afraid, be very afraid!


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ack! Stash flashing is on Saturday?

G'day all!

Argh! No! I have to get pics of all my yarn for Saturday. I think there will be pics of much yarn in boxes cos I have nowhere to spread it all out. Argh! Must make sure the spare batteries are charged for the camera! Ack!

Panic! Panic! Panic all over the place! Panic (whoo!) panic (whoo!) wipe that smile off your face...
Who sang that?

Who needs random Wednesdays when you can have random any days of the week? Maybe that is why I have a blog commentership of a few (you guys rock!) rather than 20 or 50 or 450. Not that I could deal with lots of people commenting, let's face it - I cannot keep up with half a dozen! That is part of the joy of being a stressed infp.

I started on one of my WIPs tonight. Two months ago, before I got sucked into sock island, I was knitting a seaside shawl, as I call it - a feather and fan triangular shawl that I made up as I went along in colours like stirred up seawater. Well it is almost big enough to be cast off now, but I am adding a row of starfish or maybe scallops or something on it - not sure yet cos I've only done one setup row of eyelets. Yes, I am treading in dangerous territory not having a real idea but I figure if worst comes to worst, I make some eyelets and then cast off and pretend it is meant to be like that.

Must get organised. Still getting over this stupid virus. TWO WEEKS now! I still don't have much energy, I get dizzy spells cos my ears are still half clagged, I am half deaf for the same reason, I refuse to get antibiotics cos there are so few I can have that don't give me allergies that I want to save them for when I am really crook. It is all so terrible! I might just have to go and attack a cat and snuggle it for a moment as she tries to get away from me.

Oh and Chris? Kellie showed me her Burts Bees lemon cuticle balm. Mm-mmm! It smells so yummy! I can't deal with perfumes and stuff but I love lemon scented stuff (and I bought something for you but didn't send it cos I thought it might be too strong and now am kicking myself).

Umm, I guess people come here to look at pictures of knitting and stuff. Ooops. Sorry. I'll be flashing my stash on Saturday though so I hope that helps... (but I am not on the list of participants even though i am sure I sent the email....)


Tuesday, March 28, 2006


G'day all!

I wish I was as energised as my Rocking Sock in Cedar Creek. This is an old shot and a not very good shot - the camera is being completely uncooperative at present...

Can you see that the sock is twisting a bit? Apparently the STR is energised. I've spun energised singles before but always taken care to not have energised plied yarn. Energised singles are fun to knit with and apparently the plied energised yarn is a bit tougher, which is good for feet and socks.

(Am I allowed to say that whilst I love the turquoise, I don't particularly like the poo brown and baby poo yellow - it reminds me of the Hawthorn Football Club too much. Their colours are brown and gold and they try to get away from the "poo and pee" colours by mixing them with navy.)

(Will you all kill me now and steal my sock yarn? NOOOOOOO!)

The sock is now past the heel turning and I am galloping through the gusset area. Picking up the stitches for the gusset took about half an hour - I am slow at it, but now that I have vast slabs of stocking stitch I am flying. (Now I wait for the vengeful Knitting Goddess(es) to strike me down)

This morning as I waited for a connecting train, I saw these:

BAWOONS! (I've been known to squawk BAWOONS! in a crowded train. V. embarrassing - I try just to say it in my head thse days but sometimes it just pops out before I can stop it...)

And in the backyard, at the very same time I give you

an eggplant, or for those who like it a bit French, an aubergine (I grow them every year and every year get two or three fruit, but generally the slugs get them first... ick! Nothing like picking an eggplant and sticking your finger straight into a slughole....)

and some apple flowers? Apples flowering in March may not be off for you guys in the northern hemisphere (except if you live where it is still snowy), but it is autumn here and this poor apple has popped all its buds! I guess it went dormant with the hot summer and it is programmed to flower if it puts out new leaves....


Monday, March 27, 2006

argh! Post three for the day

A new record! Three posts in one day!

I have to get rid of all these links. You guys can read em or ignore em. But now I'll have a record of them without bookmarking them. Most are medical sorts of things cos that is one of my main interests.

Some people are more susceptible to caffeine than others and this is associated with higher risk of heart disease.

Skipping periods might be good for you. And I ain't talking school here.

An oldie but a goodie. JenLa's Stash Wars.

DVT due to sitting still or poor quality cabin air?

More evidence that the Aborigines (original inhabitants) were not stupid savages. (Anyone who can survive in the Australia outback can't be dumb!)

Lots of other good stories on the ABC site (locally known as Aunty, and nothing to do with any Merican broadcasters - Aunty is the govt owned and operated broadcaster) - follow the links to all science news or the sort of news that fascinates you. It can keep me busy for hours!

Thanks to Karen for this one - Knitter's Anonymous.

Kitten War. Need I say more? Yes - Cats In Sinks.

My Johari window. Go tell me what you think of me! (Thanks to Darrow for already doing so - we agreed on one point!)

B5 podcasting.

(And if you are still here at this stage, Vicki, yes Bruce is an absolute god in person. Like he *radiates* Gobsmackingly handsome. The camera doesn't capture a bit of it. No wonder his wife decided he was the man for her - you would, rightly or wrongly, put up with a lot for a smile from him.)

Ok, this time fer shure!



Happy Birthday to Peeve! Go say it to her!


G'day all!

It is Monday again. In honour of Moanday, I wrote a little bit of filk to the Mamas and the Papas "Monday Monday."
"Monday moanday, so rotten to me.
Monday moanday, I know how rotten you'll be!
But Moanday evening, moanday evening just you wait and see....
Moanday evening is my brain still with me?"

Can you tell someone got out of bed on the wrong side today? (Fairly impressive considering the wrong side involves a large, inert husband and an even larger and more inert wall).

The weekend was a disaster zone. I got about an umpteenth of what I wanted to get done. I did get lots of washing done and we do have our new mattress on the old futon base at last (thanks to 12 new slats to help support the pocket springs of the mattress) but all my knitting was ho-hum and after nearly finishing this stupid hat, I realised it was too tight for me and I am NOT giving a hat to someone else after I've spent 12 hours knitting and ripping it. Well I am not giving it away unless I turn out to be allergic to the angora in it. Am I scabby or what?

Last night I finally did get some good knitting done. Unlike Other People who have already finished at least the first if not the second sock....

Yesterday evening I was going to blog and bemoan my lack of knitting over the weekend. But I got a bee in my bonnet all of a sudden and knitted half of a red scarf (for Project Spectrum, and it is using up some stash!) and another inch or so of the Cedar Creek sock. Now I don't feel so
bad about not having even reached the heel. Pictures? Umm, well it was the first dull day in Melbourne for two weeks and I didn't get any shots of my knitting. Very sad!

I have plans for Project Spectrum. I want to knit any projects out of my stash - I've got plenty of stash and need motivation to use it. I want to use it, I just don't know what to do with most of it. So I thought if I make one thing for me, one thing to sell and one thing to give away to
a charity each month from my stash I'll be doing OK. Except I don't like wearing orange, so the orange and red socks in the yarn I got from Jessie will have to do for my own orange article.

Plus I have to actually do my WIP Wipeouts - I don't know that frogging two tops really is wiping out wips, but at least they are not hanging over my head any longer. Instead, I have a bag of scarves to tie the ends in on (and this is where novelty yarns come into their own cos the ends
can just be knotted and clipped off and noone will ever know!) and some little baggies that need to be made up and if I ever find them again, two felted bags that need handles, plus a whole lot of other stuff I am sure. Like a top that I only recently found the pattern for, a top I started
knitting no later than january 1998.

The Comm games are over and I am sure that anyone from overseas watching the closing ceremony would be totally bemused, but I was amused! We are amused! It was parochial as all getout. Parochially Melbourne. And boy didn't we love the line, "If you've been to Melbourne, why bother with Sydney?" from Dame Edna Everage. Y'see we Melburnians love our town, love the crankiness of the weather (but after 10 days of almost perfect weather we can't complain)(but we will complain and it gives us stuff to talk about), and the restaurants and the nightlife and the parks and the arts and the sport and all the facilities that a 3 million people and most sports-mad city in Australia can offer.

Ok, time to go watch Desperate Housewives and spin a bit and then commander in chief, see if it amuses me any.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

A tale of acquisitions

G'day all!

Well the poor old budget is shot to hell and back. Here's why.

Over the last few weeks, I have been eyeballing some rownspun four ply at cucumberpatch (EVIL EVIL Sknitty for introducing me to the link ;-). Then I may have mentioned this to Peevish, who of course hopped on over and induced me, I say induced me to buy some!! (She says *I* induced her but we know the Truth!)

So I hopped onto ebay for the first time in ages, postiiiiively ages - like well over a month cos I had been avoiding cucumberpatch frantically along with all the other evil yarnpushers out there (mainly cos I keep buying yarn from Jessie (poor woman isn't even getting to put half the yarn up on her website that she blogs about cos of people like me)).

And the colours we want in the Rowanspun are still there. $USD20 per packet, free postage. Hmm.... Well what am I supposed to do? Other colours have gone but the ones we want? It's serendipity, I tell you! So I ordered it what on Monday?

On Friday (that is only yesterday - it feels like forever ago!) I found a couple of parcels at the front door. And you know what? I didn't even open them on the spot! Y'see my sister was coming around and I had to do the dishes and the kitchen floor and the benches and the vacuuming and some more tidying. Then we went out to catch up with Nathan's parents. He still has parents and that is a very nice thing. Oh, we went out after my sister left. We don't have visitors and just walk out and leave them. ;-)

Finally I got to open the parcels. But I only ripped one open, to find these two lovelies:

(from Jessie). The other parcel had to sit cos well it wasn't going very far and I was dead knackered.

Don't the new two ones look nice with verdant, some yarn I got a month ago from A Piece of Vermont?

This morning I opened up the second bag.

In it, I found

Good lord! The Rowanspun I ordered! What a surprise! LOL. Not that the Cucumberpatch sticker on the front was a giveaway or anything...

Turkish, Temptation, Slate and Sugar. One bag is purely Peeve's and one is purely mine and two are shared. Can you guess which colours we are sharing? I admit to being surprised that two of the yarns are very tweedy - it was not obvious from the picture online. Or maybe I am plain dumb. Plus I was extra surprised to feel how coarse it seems - it didn't prickly me mind, but I expected something more like summer tweed, lord knows why since they are different yarns...

Poor verdant got jealous of the new yarn and made a bold bid for freedom,

but I saw it! I grabbed it and returned it to the safety (??) of my lap. Not so fast, sweet verdant, I have plans for you! And I have plans for your leftovers as well....I reckon the three yarns will make a fab gradated fair isle sock when mixed with a good contrasting colour. (pic not clickable - you don't need to see my poor irritated corn that I've had since childhood)

Of course at the same time as all this yarn is rolling in, I am desperately trying to knit up this hat in the yarn I dyed two years ago (progress was slow cos I stuffed it up several times cos I am making up that pattern as I go along but I am now on track and need to choose an edging from Nicky Epstein's "Knitting on the Edge" - this is to say it is not Grumperina's most fine hat cos I went top down as I don't know how far the yarn will go) and I need to make a thing or two more for Project Spectrum, which I haven't even blogged much about yet.... and there is the Sock that Rocked, or in my case was frogged back to the first row after the picot edging was caught in cos for some unknown reason in the fourth row I decided to not do one repeat of the pattern correctly....

Oh, the last thing killing the budget? $300 of Rockport shoes last night. Nathan's cost $200, but that was cheap compared to the previous pair at $370. Yowza! I would take a pic of the old vs the new pair but someone left the camera on all day after downloading pics.... My bad!


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Odd day and GLOAT!

G'day all!

As happens now, the sun rose just as I got to the station. I had the camera with me but didn't take a shot cos I thought I was going to miss the train. Getting this particular train is important cos there are usually seats available.

So I got onto the platform and looked to where the train comes from. Then I twigged. I had not heard the train coming, nor the dingdongs 500m down the road, or any of the normal trainy noises. At that point I got out my knitting cos I couldn't read the paper - they had delivered the Wrong Paper (sorta like the Wrong Trousers, only different). I read the snobby paper not the pleb tabloid (that'll razz up a few people!).

Turns out some mug was giving the coppers a chase along the train line at Dandenong, three stops away. They couldn't run the trains cos they didn't want to run him over.

You would think the police could run someone down pretty easily, but this bloke delayed the trains by 15 minutes! I reckon he was THE most unpopular man in Melbourne - it certainly made the train trip a bit squishy! At the stops it was like an overful sardine tin spilling its guts.

So I missed getting really good shots of the fog over the city from Richmond station (hence the train stuff all around) cos I was a bit late. Instead you have to deal with adequate pics:

and then from the Yarra:

I love this walk along the Yarra. It has reflections:

If I look the wrong way it has Bright Light Wot Urts Moine Eyes:

And it has the old sandridge railway bridge which has just been opened as a ped bridge.

I love the reflected light bouncing off the Yarra. I love the ripples and reflections.

Then when I got into work, a workmate had brought two boxes of these from Sydney - we don't have a franchise yet.

I am told they are very yummy but I can't eat them so I don't know. Prolly just as well for my waistline.

Speaking of waistlines. I have to start being more careful about what I eat. My body is saying "winter coming, EAT! You need lots of FAT to prevent STARVATION!" Stupid body. I walked home from Springvale today, that is an extra mile or so jsut to help stop that sort of problem. It was warmish and my feet got sweaty so now my corn is blistered. MMMmmmmm - you needed to know that :-)

Knitting content? You want knitting content? Will yarn p()rn do instead?

I got a box today

Inside the box is:

I've already wound the skein into a centre pull ball. :-)

Poor Nutmeg. Nathan has totally blissed her out. Nutmeg will take all the patting she can get, even if she is obviously finding it OTT. She will squawl with pleasure and pain. She just keeps asking for more. You stop and she'll come back and butt your hand. She is now flopped on her blue thing exhausted. She can hardly open her eyes.

OK, time for a walk then I have to find the bead box with the little bit of wire in it so I can put some pearl drops or shiny beads onto this yarn I am knittng a hat with. It is a very Cool Hat, I think. (this means it is pretty daggy really)


Monday, March 20, 2006

Not more socks! And some things about me.

G'day all!

Happy Equinox! Today the day and night are the same length. Tell me about it! I now get up in the dark and if I haven't laid my clothes out the night before, I have to fumble around in the dark bedroom trying not to wake poor Nathan up! The sun rose just as I hopped on the train today. That is on the way to work, not the way home of course! ;-)

Some things about me (cos I can't be bothered thinking about 100 things):

  1. I get very cranky whilst driving behind slowsters, wanderers and the indecisive. I also get cranky with people who are impatient, people who don't use their indicators (blinkers), and people who are nasty to learner drivers. Go figure.
  2. I can't eat wheat, rye, barley, oat or dairy products. Yes there are still lots of things I can eat, just not takeaway.
  3. I have a *thing* about knitting socks at present. Sock yarn is more important than any other yarn in my collection. At present.
  4. I have been knitting for about 30 years now, on and off.
  5. I got my first spindle in July 2004 and learned to spin on it at the end of August 2004.
  6. I got my Ashford Traddy in January 2005 and boy did my spinning start zipping then!
  7. I am known for being a very "chatty" driver. Ahem.
  8. I love driving places, just not in traffic
  9. I love visiting our High Country - Mt Buffalo, Falls Creek, Thredbo are magnificent places that everyone should experience a lot. Especially in summer when the wildflowers are out.
  10. I love cross country skiing even though if you ever want to sell the car.... I've only done it twice and it nearly killed me both times cos I am unfit.
  11. I am really into native plants, like Australian natives. I particularly like anything that doesn't grow in Victoria - Western Australian natives are most excellent and unfortunately often hard to grow here. I collect verticordias, petrophiles and isopogons, lechenaultias. I also collect brachycomes, which are somewhat easier to grow.
  12. I have about 70 David Austin and Old Garden roses. I love roses too. The thornier the better - it ain't a rose if it don't have prickles!
  13. I keep trying to grow my own vegies. Sometimes I have spectacular successes but mostly I have dismal failures (like growing three metre high corn only to have a rat come and chew all the cobs and then poo on the only one it didn't chew....)
  14. I've been to the USA (mostly Madison, WI, a day in Chicago, one in NYC) and to England. And to the north island of New Zealand, but you guys are so like us that it doens't make much difference.
  15. I've been married for 18 months. Egads.
  16. We honeymooned in Western Australia during wildflower season. I drove us most of 8,500km (over 5000 miles) in three weeks in my weeny little car.
  17. My car is mine, not our car. My husband can hardly drive it cos he is 6'5" and looks like an ungainly grasshopper stuck behind the wheel. I've had it longer than I've had him.
  18. We bought our house in December last year. It is weeny. We have paid off $900 of the principal already after paying close to $5000 in mortgage so far. Only LOTS to go!
  19. I like dyeing stuff.
  20. I am addicted to colour.
  21. I am solar-powered. I need solar energy to power me up in the morning. Once I have a good dose, I last until several hours after sunset.
  22. I turn *mumble* on 3 November this year. Regular readers are invited to the party on 4 November 2006.
  23. We have two cats, Nutmeg and Cheshire. We got them 13 months ago from an animal protection society.
  24. I am rather reserved and shy amongst people I don't know.
  25. I can be loud/noisy/extremely silly/a showoff amongst people I do know.
  26. I have mostly gotten over being worried about what people think about me. Mostly.
  27. I am the youngest of four and have 9 nieces and nephews.
  28. I am an iNFp. This personality type is over-represented in bloggers. Quelle surprise!
  29. I say "Quelle surprise!" when I am being sarcastic.
  30. People often don't realise I am being sarcastic about something.
  31. I want to run away from work and dye lots of yarn and sell it and make lots of money from it. Nice dream.....
  32. I want to run a yarn shop where people can drop in and fondle yarn and chat and knit stuff and craft stuff and spin stuff. And give me money so that I can keep the shop open and make a living. Nice dream....
  33. I have a PhD in fetal sheep anatomy and physiology. So that is Dr Lynne to you! ;-)
  34. There is a market near where I did my PhD. I'd bring home legs of lamb, etc, for my housemates and I. They got worried about it.
  35. I know more about sheep placentas than most people in the world, especially about the shapes and forms of each little individual placenta of 70 or 80 parts.
  36. I am a terrible hoarder and DH is a magpie too.
  37. I was brought up on a steady diet of SF tv shows such as Star Trek (none of this DS9 and Next Gen for me!) and Blake's 7. Babylon 5 remains my favourite show of all time
  38. I cried when I heard that Andreas Katsulas died. This means no more G'Kar. G'Kar was my favourite B5 character. I never got to meet him.
  39. Meeting Bruce Boxleitner was the biggest let down ever. Stunningly handsome man in the flesh (it really doesn't come through on film/tv, let me tell you!) but he didn't want to interact with the fans.
  40. Peter Woodward (son of Edward Woodward) signed my tshirt in a certain place at a B5 convention. Cons are good fun and so was Peter. The smaller the "star" the more fun they were cos they had nothing to prove or reputation to maintain. They were there for a Good Time.
  41. And I have a sense of humour, I hope, about my old con-going days, and I love Galaxy Quest.
  42. I identify myself as a geek. I hang out with geeks. It is great to hang out with knitting geeks.
  43. There are no geeks in my workgroup at work. This is very sad.
  44. I like trians, planes and automobiles. Not the movie, the real thing. I stop to watch diesel and steam trains go by.
  45. I love Thai food.
  46. I insist on having at least three vegetables with my dinner. And that does not mean three onions, or an onion plus a potato plus a pea.
  47. I hate red cabbage. And bitter things.
  48. Yes, I hate coffee. It is bitter. I don't drink tea either, but will have a peppermint or lemon tea thanks!
  49. I like chocolate but I can't have any dairy in it. At all. This is a problem cos I don't like bitter things and this includes bitter dark chocolate.
  50. I would like to work in natural resource management.
  51. Sometimes I can't wait to be old and be able to look back on my life with satisfaction and enjoy being able to wear clothes that I wouldn't dare wear now.
  52. Sometimes I am scared of getting old and finding I haven't done the things I wanted to.
  53. The original Star Wars trilogy is my favourite set of flims. I don't have the DVD set yet. I need the DVD set.
  54. I hardly ever get colds and flu like other people (hardly ever, not ever!). So this recent bug has me constantly surprised cos I forget what it is like to have a real cold rather than some horrid virus that just makes you feel crook for week.
  55. Both my parents are dead and so are all four grandparents, all long gone.
  56. I miss having a connection to my past and to family history. Mum tried to sweep most of hers under the carpet and mostly succeeded.
  57. I have to be very methodical about some things, like putting my handbag in certain places only, otherwise I wander around for hours (or so it feels) looking for it.
  58. I tend to be a bit scatterbrained unless I am really interested in something. Then I am very focussed. Apparently this is a bit autistic. I think it is just me.
  59. Last one! Ummm, I prefer reading blogs to 99% of the shows on TV. You guys are real! If virtual.

Remember my pink stripy socks?

Voila! (NOT Wallah! as I have seen on some blogs)
(There's another thing that gets me cranky - poor grammar and spelling, and misuse of words. Yep, I used poor grammar earlier but that is a stylistic thing, not ignorance.)

Or from a different angle:

Golly - it is hard on your gut sitting with your legs up and also not leaning back. Can't lean back cos the photo won't be very good! The socks fit better than they seem to - they have a little toe wriggling room which the jaywalkers don't.

The stripy heels of doom!

Finally, as I wandered across a recently opened bridge at lunchtime today, I discovered that it has a lot of glass panels displaying the number of immigrants to Victoria from each country in the world up to the year 2001. It said that about 687 or so Sudanese refugees were living in Victoria by 2001. I hope the number is significantly greater than that now cos if it isn't, I've met about half of the Sudanese here. Our neighbour M is Sudanese and he has a great community of people around him. Nathan is a brother (despite being rather white) and I am a sister (despite being very white). We like it :-)

Oh, before I go, Katt, the last lot of wool in the one with the pics of dyed stuff that is one I didn't dye - it came like that. My experience of dyeing acrylic/wool blends is that if the wool and acrylic are blended together well, it comes out heathered, or if there is one strand of each then the wool takes up colour and the other doesn't. Hope this helps!


Feeling a little traumatised

G'day all!

Well well well... I am feeling a bit battered! I haven't visited some of my favourite blogs for a while, some only days, some weeks....

So I hop over to One Crazy Fibre Lady and discover that she lost her job! Argh! Bad news! But good news? Already she has a temping job and at least two interviews lined up.

I look around other places, find a few people are feeling down. Hope they feel happier soon! I hope I get over this stupid cold thing too - I had to come home early today cos I was not making any sense.

Then I hop off to the Etherknitter, only to find her husband had a bad skiing accident and has a awful fracture of the tibia.

I thought, "I'll visit Vicki cos she is always nice to visit." ARGH! Her brother was in an horrific car accident nearly a month ago and had brain trauma, multiple fractures to his spine including a unstable one at C7, broken ribs.... Lord knows how he survived! And he even seems to be doing OK now. He can move things and talk (if not keep a civil tongue in the way his mother would like - LOL).

Thank heavens for little fripperies like this - a red sweater tree. And whilst you're there, check out craftoholic's previous post - her mermaid mitts are gorgeous!

I also have a few knits that feel traumatised.

Two years ago, I had the mad idea of knitting up some Sirdar Funky Fur into a hooded jacket for me. Oh it is lovely yarn, fluffy and soft and you know that I don't mind knitting with fake fur. It was going to be marvellous. It was going to run from a deep purple/blue (with tufts of magenta) through purple/magenta to a hot magenta/pinky/red with purple tufts. Totally gorgeous to a colour nut like me. It felt fabulous.

Then reality bit when I saw how BIG people become when they wear fake fur. Now I ain't fat but i ain't skinny either, and a puffy fluffy jacket, no matter how gorgeous the colours, was going to tip me over the edge.

So this:

became these:

Dunno if that is a very good WIP wipe out. But it is certainly wiped out!

Does anyone remember my picovoli? It had what I believe is a common problem - the neck was floppy prolly cos I don't like wearing things just off the shoulder (I don't like strapless bras - prefer to go au naturel rather than wear one and I really should wear one cos the old front porch is making a dash to a lower altitude). I tried putting the organza ribbon around the neck and it did work but the tee was just wrong somehow.

So here it is now:

Should I make Soleil instead? BTW, the yarn is from the one dyelot (though it has little spots of what looks like oil from the spinning process on it) - it is Knitpicks Shine sent via a lovely blogger.

So that is two from two of my UFOs. How many more will I rip? Will I tie in about a thousand ends on unfinished scarves? Will I finish off two wraps that are on the needles at this moment?

I have a hankering to do more dyeing. I will need more sock yarn soon. Wonder if Paton's will sell me a whole heap of their Patonyle, or whether I need an ABN (effectively a company tax number) to buy from them. I reckon asking the LYS to get me 50 balls of white or cream yarn will stress them out somewhat and cost me a bomb....

Finally, little aliens are likely to pop up in our back yard in three or so months time. They will look something like these, only not quite the same. I'll take pics when we get flowers.


Sunday, March 19, 2006

The suspenders are killing me!

G'day all!

I've "sat" on this yarn for days, a week, or more! I can't do it any longer! Argh! I must share it with people even if the recipients see it on the blog!

Here's some sock yarn, 80% wool, 20% nylon, dyed up in jeweltones.

Does anyone know who this is for?

Some 100% buttery soft merino dyed up in brights - this is outrageous macaw colours. Gosh I had fun dyeing this lot up with food dyes.

So who gets this lot?

And there is this, a birthday present for a friend:

But before you get too excited, Peevish, there is also this, birthday present for another friend:

So who gets what?

(note I am not posting this because I want to gloat - indeed, I want to KEEP all this yarn, not give it to people but life is tough and then we die. And I am teasing people. I am a bad bad girl. But I will get my just desserts - tomorrow I have to go back to work. Blah.)

Have a great week! I have to start working on my WIP wipe-outs and also do the Project Spectrum stuff - more on that later. Unlikely to be tomorrow cos it is Mythbusters night, and Depserate Housewives and Commander in Chief and we desperately need to go shopping....


Saturday, March 18, 2006

A trip on high, or OMG what did I do to my ears?

G'day all!

What a lovely couple of days we had away. Ahhh....

It didn't start out so well, as always. I always get crabby as I wash the dishes, put all the stuff away that should be away, discover that I forgot to wash the vital stuff that I need to take with me, pack the food, pack my stuff and the bathroom stuff and the towels and sheets, leave DH to pack his stuff, get the cat food and litter tray ready, discover DH hasn't packed yet and can't find his socks....

So eventually we got underway. We decided to use a slightly different route to normal - DH said they looked about the same length on the map. Of course what the map didn't show is that the new and exciting way to go involves lots of slow wiggling around the Dandenongs (range of small mountains east of Melbourne). The normal route goes through suburbia (mostly through 70 and 80 kmh ones) along fairly much straight lines. I crabbed about it too, but got over it. It was after all very scenic if slow:

Eventually we got back on the main track and started making real progress. We were working against the clock - we had to be in Bright before 6pm in order to get gelati (we have to get our priorities straight!). So with few stops along the way, we flogged up through Yea (lunchbreak for the boy before he exploded with hunger), Yarck, Maindample, Mansfield, Tolmie (new toilets! Must write a letter of thanks, especially since some thoughtful person had supplied nice loo roll in addition to the horrid skid sheets), Whitfield, Milawa and Myrtleford, reaching Bright at 5:40. Time for a gelati - mango and pineapple for me. Yum! We stocked up on fresh foods and drove on, over the Tawonga Gap, through Mt Beauty and on up the mountain. The sun had just set as we reached Falls Creek. Hooray for Falls Creek, our destination at last!

Along the way, I had noticed that my nose was starting to run but it seemed like hay fever. Famous last words....

Nathan cooked a yummy dinner which I scarfed and we watched some Comm Games action. I am going to ring channel nein and complain about their coverage - talk about parochial! You would think that the only things worth watching are those that the Australians are competing in. If I am watching say the gymnastics, I want to see as many different competitiors as possible. I don't just want to see the Aussie girls do their stuff. I want to see others do their stuff too so that I can get a real idea of what the competition is about and what the competition to our gymnasts is.

Friday was a little bit of a disaster. Nathan was regularly hacking up a lung, as he had been for a couple of days. My drippy nose went straight to my sinuses and the ensuing headache was quite difficult to deal with, especially when I found the paracetamol I had brought was actually empty. Argh! I even crawled down to the lodge's kitchen in the middle of the night to scab through the first aid kit, discovering that they only had a painkiller of a type that I am not game to take as it sent my father silly, and sends at least one of my sisters tripping. I was a desperate woman with a throbbing head and didn't get a lot of sleep from about 3am onwards.

Despite the throbbing head and general feeling of being about to die, I drove Nathan to a beauty spot. He went for a walk, I staggered along a little way and admired the beauty, then sat down for a while. I was a little tired... I drove to another spot (no, Nathan is not confident with my car and I am not confident with him driving it especially on dirt tracks).

There Nathan went for a walk for about an hour and I had a lovely snooze. It was a little uncomfortable I admit cos my car is not exactly a luxury vehicle but I woke up much refreshed. Plus the shop was open when we returned so Nathan got lunch and I got some paracetamol. Oh blessed paracetamol!

A couple of hours later, we ventured out again. I was much more alert and my face and muscles and joints did not hurt anywhere near so much. I sat in the car and knitted whilst Nathan went a wandering up a steep mountainside around a pretty little waterfall (Nathan takes pictures of moss and stuff, not waterfalls proper):

Looking down at my car and across to the view:

Late wildflowers - we had the first frost for the year on our first night at Falls Creek:

A view to the east:

I was starting to feel better so after we drove to a flatter spot, I went for a wander to find the boggy patches we liked so much last we visited Falls Creek. The bogs are such pretty places - thick lush mosses and (sometimes) secret minute waterfalls, and serene reflective water:

We returned to the lodge for the evening. I managed to finish the second pink stripy sock, minus the afterthought heel whilst watching more Comm Games action. I had knitted the toe before the trip and in about 6 hours of kitting managed to get the rest done. That gives me some idea of how little time it really takes to knit a simple sock.

Something you might've noticed is that there seem to be a lot of burnt trees around in the pictures. In 2003 there were massive bushfires that burnt a huge slice of the Victorian and NSW alpine areas. They also took a swipe at Canberra, destroying about 400 homes there is a firestorm. Most of the Australian bush is well suited to fires - it helps regenerate bushland and gives both plants and animals a chance to flourish. The alpine areas are a little different cos they have a growing season of four or five months, and most of the perennial plants grow achingly slowly. The ephemeral plants are regenerating well, but it is taking the more long lived plants and the burnt bogs a longer time to recover. I was surprised by how little growth the shrubs have put on - they don't seem to be doing well at all after early amazing recovery. There's been a lot of protests by the mountain cattlemen cos they are no longer allowed to graze their cattle in the alpine areas. They see feed up there, they say they have an ancestral right to graze their animals there, but they don't see the environment as fragile and precious. I guess my views differ from those of the cattlemen.

Here's a shot from lower down the mountains that shows the aftermath of the fires, three years on:

You can see in the big pic some of the trees have resprouted green along their branches and trunks. Most of the trees that have not regenerated are alpine ash. They don't resprout after fire. Instead, the fire opens their seed capsules and millions of seedlings spring up. The understorey plants also get their go. So whilst some plants are killed, others get a chance.

Here's another side effect of the fires - you can now see into the valleys far below and see the rivers running through them:

I wish I could find my sequence of pics that show the regrowth of a favourite mountain lush, ferny gully - it is fascinating to see how it has changed after being almost burnt to the ground.

I noticed that I was rather deaf on the way down and I could hear all the little noises in my head - my pulse, my breathing, certain sloshy disgusting noises and OMG what did I do to my ears? The pressure changes caused some exquisite pain....

So we went down (ouch!) into the valley and up (ouch!) over the Tawonga Gap:

(Mt Bogong, some 1984 metres high, the highest mountain in Victoria)

(My car with under a very tall gum tree)

And down (ouch!) into the next valley and another gelati at Bright, plus a box of tissues - we went through 150 aloe vera tissues in a day and a half.... Impressive, huh? Then up again over the Tolmie way (more ouch!) and down again. We were getting pretty skint by the time we reached Yea, but scratched together $7.50 for a hamburger with the lot for Nathan.

Finally home, to the pussy cats, one of whom greeted us enthusiastically, the other of which just wanted to get out of the door. She later barfed her dinner all over the kitchen floor, as a nice sort of greeting....

Despite the woes with the cold, it was a lovely trip - I love the high country. It is beautiful and one of my very favourite places to be. I just wish I could've walked more and seen more of it.

Next time I blog - pictures! Of socks or something vaguely knitting related! I hope ;-)


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Gold amongst the dross

G'day all!

Well what an interesting ride this week has been. This is a whingy post. Be warned.

On Saturday we got the new roof sorta on the garage. It was hot on Sunday. On Monday more roof stuff happened. On Tuesday Nathan had a full on cold after feeling crappy for a day or two. Me? I don't often get colds. Instead my body vigorously fights them off for days and days and days. A bit of sore throat, that constant feeling of about to come down with a cold but nothing more. Just a constant feeling of underwellness. That is where I am at at present.

Because DH is under the weather, he has little tolerance for things that he does not want to do and because I am part of him, if I do stuff he doesn't want to do, I should not do it either. (No that doesn't make sense.) I have been happily dyeing stuff. I can't show pics cos they are special things for other people. I can say that I am very happy with the results - one lot had to go back in the dye pot but it looks great now.

Nathan is not into dyeing stuff. With his current lack of tolerance, he thought it was all a waste of my time and I should be doing something better with my time like doing all the things he should be doing. I wanted to take yarn to the guild to sell. That would take a good couple of hours - I was going to take the train - and guess what? Another waste of time! Why bother! Why bother? Cos the yarn could make me well over a hundred dollars and we are going to be poor quite soon since someone is not going to have a job soon, and someone else is killing herself slowly working at a big corporate in a job that is undermining all that she is and trying to make her into another corporate drone. Individuality is not something that the evilexa prizes.

Can I just say that I am a VERY cranky person at the moment - DH is rubbing me entirely the wrong way. Totally unsupportive. He is not normally this annoying - if he was he would not be my DH. Plus it is the time of year when I am very flat indeed - the days are getting markedly shorter. This flatness will last until some time in April. Happens every year.

Still there is gold amongst the dross.

And last night's sunset was magic - click on the paperbark tree for a series of pics...

We are going away for a few days. Back on Sunday! It better be good, though I fear it is going to be raining and that will cut down our walking and outdoors activities a LOT.


Monday, March 13, 2006

No rest for the wicked

G'day all!

Well no rest for the wicked! I thought that I could laze around a bit on my week off. OK, Sunday I lazed - it was 38 and Too Hot to Do Anything.

I thought I'd get lots of dyeing done early in the weekend, but it turned into watch DH and FiL rip the old roofing iron off the garage and plonk the new stuff on top after replacing/extending some of the rafter beam thingies. I did stuff around the yard and cleaned the house when I couldn't bear watching them wandering around between rafters. Plus I started building a warping board out of pine, so I am assured it will truly be a warped board within a couple of months (warping boards usually are used to measure out the warp for weaving but I am going to use it for self striping yarns, and pine, Pinus radiata - endangered in the wild but taking over Oz - is well known for warping as it dries properly). I bought 12.5mm dowl for the pegs in the warping board, came home, found we don't have that big a drill bit, went back to the hardware shop (the next day), discovered that it would cost over $20 for the right size drill bit or $4 for dowel in a size that we do have a drill bit in.... ummm, yeah. $4 thanks!

I did some washing of a small part of the 2.9 kilos of fleece that I bought. Such fluffy clouds drying on some old roofing:

And three stages of fleece - dirty, washed and combed into snails:

This is such yummy stuff to spin - it is gorgeous! Soft, bouncy, just a bit of sheep left in it.

I tried out some new dyes on some fleece:

Doesn't that look like some sort of mutant, colourful brain?

Don't they make a pretty butterfly?

I am in lerv, baby!

I did some more dyeing - pics later. One lot is EXCELLENT (more LERV!), the other a bit mm, yeah, nyeh. I think I'll overdye it some.

Yesterday we did more roofing stuff. Today Nathan had a full on cold. We spread it round the good folk at Kuranga, the best native plant nursery in Australia (with the exception of Max's place out of Albany - I know - I've gone to every nursery I've been able to drive or walk to). I'll show the whoopsy we had at their sale at another time on the house blog. I wouldn't have gone there if I had known there was a sale... We are planning to go away for a couple of days later in the week so I'd better not get Nathan's cold! (Am feeling underwell, so maybe he has given me it - don't want it!) If I am snorting and snuffling and feeling lousy then I can't drive and Nathan can't drive my car with any degree of ease - he hardly fits in the passenger seat let alone the driver's with all the pedals and the steering wheel.

Last night someone flew past on a whipper snipper (or that is what it sounded like). Eat your heart out, Harry Potter! Who needs a flying broom when you can have a flying, poorly tuned whipper snipper instead! (Weed whacker, strimmer, call it what you may...) Then during the wee hours, I was woken up by what sounded like a jumbo jet taxiing down the road. I didn't know our road was a runway!

Time for me to say toodle-pip and crawl off to bed. Very tired tonight. The fun of dyeing yarn all morning and driving all over the beautiful Dandenongs this afternoon must've worn me right out!