Friday, June 30, 2006


G'day all!

Well what an interesting thing happened this afternoon. I got the right sort of phone call, one that makes you dance with glee in the office, not caring if anyone sees you.

But first the Important Stuff. Yes, Sock visits Gembrook, pt II.

I admit straight up this was not much of a hike. It was nearly sunset and the walk down a steep hill pretty much knackered Nathan, so we just wandered around the edges of Gembrook Reserve. Still, I thought you should see what some (not very good quality) Australian cool temperate schlerophyll forest looks like.

Here's sock, admiring what I suspect are Eucalyptus regnans (the tallest flowering plant in the world) (or at least their bases):

Just in case you reckon these trees are tiddlers (and these ones are in comparison to the giants), here is Nathan standing next to one. He is 6'5" and over 240lb. That thing dangling in his hand is Sock. Sock felt very small indeed:

And we found a tree fern for Sock to wonder at.

These things can withstand frost and snow without any clothes on! (but not hard freezes)

The sun was setting too, which made the pics pretty average, so we decided to up stumps and walk back up the big long hill and drive home.

Along the way we found this view, which I really favoured:

Plus the pic of the fennel seed heads from the other day

and this lovely chestnut horse came to say hello whilst Nathan took some shots of the view to the southeast (?). I think he liked us, or was lonely. Nathan wants a horse and I want some alpacas or some sort of fibre animal that doesn't need constant drenching and worming and can look after themselves, relatively speaking. One day we might have some land!

Finally, sunset, almost:

Maybe next time I will blast you with more pics from yesterday's most marvellous walk along the Yarra from Richmond station. It was fabulous, if chilly! And the sock got in one pic!

Oh and that phone call I got that was good? Weeeeeeeell, a while ago I put a paper into a competition to win a trip to a biannual conference. I figured what the hell, why not?

So I get this phone call from the president of the association running the conference. Guess who won? Guess who is going to Cairns, in FNQ (far north Queensland), on an all expenses paid trip? (Guess who is going to find a way to get her husband up there cos it is over the time of our second anniversary.) OK, so I have to do a conference but that will be good cos the paper I submitted will be published in the association's newsletter and it will be known that I am a free agent! I can do that most horrid of things (networking) and maybe get me a brand spanking new job with terms that I want rather than having to put up with being dictated to! I also thought it very amusing that I quit my job and this happens - (amost ex)work gets no kudos because of me! I may be good but not good enough at one part of my job but the other part? I rock!

So what a quincy-quance (coincidence), hey? I shaft myself from the job before I get shafted and then I get this confirmation of excellence!


Thursday, June 29, 2006


G'day all!

It is the crack of midnight here and I have a pounding heart that is now slowing down. Soon I can go back to bed.

Doncha hate WRONG NUMBERS?

I flew out of bed cos the phone was ringing. Ohmigawd, what's happened? Why is someone ringing us at midnight? I hope noone's died or been in an accident.

Nope, some middle eastern dude kept saying ello at me and then hung up. I thought they'd gotten over ringing us but it seems not - our number used to be someone else's...


This time in a week I will be a free woman! (But I am actually fairly expensive, at least as far as yarn and fleece goes) Hooray! Gosh it is scary and challenging cos this job has been a fair whack of my life for four years, and the previous role was another four years.... Very odd!

I took many pics today of my walk from Richmond to the city this morning. It is about 3.5km from Richmond to my workplace and despite the many pictures and stops and sidepaths I took, only took 45 minutes to walk (at my best I would expect about 35 minutes). It was so beautiful and not quite frosty - we've had much too dry weather and quite a number of sunny days. Only 20ml of rain for the whole month so far - we normally get about 60mm or just over two inches. I am sure the heavens will open and it will starting PersIStING down when I am no longer working and able to spend hours in the garden each day.

OK back to bed, via the bathroom and a paracetamol - back is playing up. It hates my work chair and punishes me for sitting in it for hours each day.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sock visits Puffing Billy

(Peeve, you might need to avoid this post....)

G'day all!

Sunday was our 6th going out anniversary - yep, Nathan and I started on 25 June 2000. He was such a shy thing with me - not shy in general but with a girl????

Of course I only realised this some time in the evening when I saw the date.... So we had celebrated by Nathan going up into the roof to do mysterious Nathan things, and me getting cranky with Nathan's sock without knowing it. Then we went for a nice little drive to Gembrook.

Gembrook is a quaint little place somewhat enlivened by being the terminus for "Puffing Billy." It was also market day, and one of my favourite market people was there (remember Galadriel from earlier in the month? Well now she has a bunny partner.... no pics yet, too gloomy!). But even better than the market was Puffing Billy engine 6A!

Sock wanted to be in a picture of the train.

We hung around the engine and Nathan went to ask some questions - his Dad is a big train nuffy and it sorta rubbed off a bit (not a lot though!). The driver (who I am sure has a much better official title than driver) asked us if we wanted to hop in whilst the train shunted the carriages into the station proper. Oooh yes!

So the Sock got to ride in the cabin! It was toasty warm in there. The fireman said that it is 10 degrees warmer in the cabin than outside, which is very nice in winter but not so nice when it is 35 degrees C outside....

There were all sorts of gauges and shiny brass things and things wrapped in tape that looked ickily greasy. (I might like trains but I don't like icky things still!)

And the driver, whose name was Allan, and who showed excellent taste in football teams (ie Melbourne) took a photo of us, with the sock - am I grinning cheesily or what? Click for the big picture that tells you what Nathan is thinking...

So sock got to ride in the cabin and then be casually draped over the driver's window.

Next - the sock visits a Gembrook nature reserve. BTW, it is finished now. I just have to weave in the ends. Then I guess I have to knit the other one... sigh.

On a totally different note, I discovered why I don't like soccer. The referees suck BIG TIME! They seem to favour the favourites - it is like they want the "name" teams to win in this world cup. Not that the Aussie Socceroos were robbed or anything, nor any of the other "lesser" teams that are not well known in the soccer world, like the African teams. Not that the Italians have more frees for them than any other team, and they've had 100 more frees than they've had awarded against them. Not that ONE umpiring "decision" can give a team the game. That is what I hate about soccer. It is totally bloopy and dependant on just one man who can make or break the game and a team. There are too few scoring chances. I'm sticking with my Aussie Rules. Footy ROOLZ!


Monday, June 26, 2006

Clever Nut

aka "Give your unmother a heart attack"

I hope noone is epxecting tales of knitting at this very moment - I do have some socky adventures to show off but I decided that some pussy exploits were more important :-)

We already knew that Nutmeg is a good climber. She used to climb up the pantry shelves at our old place and get into the roof (you really don't want to know the reason why we had to cut the ceiling out of the pantry....).

Well Nathan spent some time in the roof on the weekend, doing mysterious Nathan things that involved a fair whack (boom boom) of banging around and general cussing. He had the ladder set up for the access hatch.

So I hear some scrabbling and what do I find? Nutmeg up the ladder. She jumped down.

I go and get the camera and encourage her back up it again. Up

(note the very excited tail)(note hot water heater with asbestos riddled chimney and asbestos riddled walls in background)


(note the excited intent face)

Up to the top level

But the top of the ladder was not good enough for our Nut. Nope, she stretched out to put her paws on the top of the door jamb...

and then she gathered herself and jumped!

I nearly had a heart attack - to catch her if she fell would mean breaking the camera cos I'd have to drop it.... Her unsister is too ungainly to make that jump.

But all is well that ends well:

(I bet you never expected to see a cat's bottom on this blog!)

Can you believe that she jumped up that 3 feet from the aluminium (yes that is how it is spelt not this aluminum bizzo!) ladder? She had a thoroughly good time exploring and got totally covered with cobwebs. And freaked me out again with this display:

Who needs a gargoyle on the chimney if you have a Nutmeg in it? Chaos eat your heart out!

Ohmiword. Has anyone seen the PDF linked to on this Bead and Opal Queen page? Sideways knitted socks, though when I chuck the text into the google translator, it indicates that you have to seam them. I think I'd prefer a whole lot of grafting.... I do have a fibertrends pattern for sideways knitted socks, but this is giving me ideas, weird ideas involving some sort of decreasing or something (Thanks Donni for the link to the Bead and Opal Queen). Plus the chap whose work the socks are based on wore odd socks, just like me and Nathan.

That will do for the moment.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Link city

G'day all!

This is a nonsense blog entry to keep you vaguely entertained whilst I do some house stuff.

So, here's an odd quiz result. Some parts are very accurate but others? I'll leave you to work it out.

You Are Likely A Forth Born

At your darkest moments, you feel angry.
At work and school, you do best when your analyzing.
When you love someone, you tend to be very giving.

In friendship, you don't take the initiative in reaching out.
Your ideal jobs are: factory jobs, comedy, and dentistry.
You will leave your mark on the world with your own personal philosophy.

Some stuff I want to make:

A pinwheel jacket (not a sweter - it has a ruddy great gaping hole down the front - that is not a jumper, a guernsey or a sweater or a jersey. Anything that doesn't have one solid front piece is a cardigan, a jacket, a coat or a nonspecific top - I am sure there are plenty of other names too).

A shruggy thing but in much nicer colours.

Really purty falling leaves socks.
from this book Three-cornered and Long Shawls — Sigridur Halldórsdóttir
(Scroll about half way down)(I know, I know - me wanting to make lace shawls....)

But I don't want one of these, either for real or knitted - the ferrari that I am sure you have all seen by now...

Don't look at this unless you want to be freaked out. Weta is working on a movie called Black Sheep.

Do look at this if you are in England in particular and/or want a laugh - scroll to the bottom of the page and look at what the girl in the picture on the bottom left is wearing.

Thanks for all your comments and support over the recent while - it sure has been a ride! It will be a different ride whilst I work things out too.

Oh and most of the beach pictures, but not all of them, were taken at Barwon Heads, otherwise known as Pearl Bay in Seachange - Sheep Rustler picked it, not surprising in a way cos we can drive down there in a hour or two....


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Done - where's the fork?

G'day all!

Well the deed is done. I rang my boss and resigned today. I followed it with an email. My last day is July 6. This is excellent cos it means I get my leave paid out after the end of the financial year, which means I'll not pay so much tax this year - I think I should be getting about 9 weeks of pay. That will be most fab, as long as they tax it as being 9 consecutive weeks and not a lump sum. Plus I just so happen to have two weekly zone 1 and 2 tickets so I don't have to waste a monthly ticket.

So work for the next two weeks then a couple of weeks off being a slacker around the house, maybe have a little holiday away someplace, and then back into job hunting.


Once I had done the deed, I felt very odd indeed - wobbly, excited, terrified, pleased, content. Job hunting is going to be a big challenge for me - I haven't done it seriously for over 8 years.

Now I just can't wait to get out of the place. And I chirped up a lot - started teasing people again. I don't tease people much normally unless I am in a particularly good mood.

How do I feel now? I feel that I've done the right thing for me. I feel much calmer and more relaxed than I have in ages. I also feel a bit light headed and as if I've misplaced something. I'd be guessing the misplaced something is anxiety and fear about being sacked if it all went pear shaped. I'm not used to being an underachiever.

It was a bit of a leveller getting home and finding out one of my net friends had died. C had an unusual form of degenerative disease that attacks the brain. So sad. She was such a character and we had many happy emailings on the John and Delenn list. C, I hope you are doing backstroke in a gutter and gazing up at the stars, never minding what on earth those substances are that you are doing backstroke in....

Now for some happy pictures

Fleece heaven - I washed a heap of coloured polwarth the other day and dried it in the greenhouse on a sunny day. It is roolly noice. Mmmm....

Nutmeg in one of her particularly mutant poses. (not clickable)

Cheshire looking particularly pleased about something (most likely the fact she is on the bed! On the acrylic fur blanket that Nutmeg has been sleeping on for weeks. What is it about Cheshire that makes her go and steal Nutmeg's favourite sleeping spots? Nutmeg gets really grumpy and has to go find another place to sleep).


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A solstice seachange

G'day all!

Today I had a long chat with my brother and my next up sister. They both agree don't do the SSRIs and do quit the job. They both recommended temping as a good thing to do cos it exposes you to many different workplaces whilst you work out what you really want to aim for and what skills you really do have.

Why don't I want to take the drugs? Cos I am by no means suicidal. I am flat, but I've been stressed out of my nut for about a month now, and my self-confidence has been undermined to the point where I can't make a simple decision about what to do next. I still find joy in things, just not anything to do with work (except my walks along the Yarra). I believe that I can bootstrap myself out of this state - I've done it from worse positions before when I had less support than I have now. I may be a wusster and a *nice* girl who isn't pushy (unless you really start treading on me) but somewhere in the fluff is a band of steel. I just have to get out before my job sucks the rest of my soul out of me. It is just a job, not a life sentence.

Today one of my nephews said to my brother "You really like water." He does. What I had not realised is the affinity I have for it too, until I drove along and saw this view:

and my heart swelled and ached for seeing the ocean (OK, it is Bass Strait but it is still the ocean to me)(BTW, that is what Californians would call a Monterey pine - they grow like weeds here even though they are endangered in the wild there. That sort of pine is used widely in industry and homes here and forms the basis of a huge forestry industry.)

I also love shots like this:

No through road - no kidding, eh?

It's been so long since I've seen an ocean beach. So long since I've walked along a beach with surf, well if not crashing onto it, at least making interesting surfy sounds. I had forgotten how much I like it. Admittedly I am not so keen on being immersed in this water cos in winter it is fridge temperature (around 4 degrees C) and even in summer it only gets to around 15 if you're lucky. Even so there was one very small girl with a very small boogie board splashing around in the shallows. But seeign it is good enough. Hearing it and smelling it. Ahhhhhh.

The sock hopped out of the car and started posing:

It was a little blue cos it was not very warm.

It wanted to go down the stairs to play in the sand, but we all know that socks and sand mix all too well, so well that they are never parted again.... Sock had to deal with being stuffed in a pocket and not being able to play in the sand or smell the seaweed.

But the clouds were threatening

and the sock got scared and wanted to get back in the car.

So we drove along another few km and found this place:

(Anyone recognise it?) The sock really wanted to be in shots of a place that is famous. Admittedly the most famous shack on the beach was knocked down and replaced with a nice kiosk instead. Sorta changed the character a bit. Unfortunately Mr Camera's batteries decided to peg it at that very instant, so I didn't get all the shots the sock wanted to be in. The sock was a bit grouchy about that but I reminded it that it had to go home, and if we didn't leave soon, the traffic across the Westgate Bridge would be horrid. We can always come back another day....


I so love the sea, and the rivers, and lakes, and water in general as long as it isn't tamed. There is little in the way of natural lakes or rivers around here - a flood retarding basin that you can't reach, a creek that is more a concrete drain...

If I remember correctly, the winter solstice is typically regarded as a time of rebirth, of new beginnings. The shortest, darkest day is come (though in reality, the worst weather is yet to come but within 7 weeks or so we will start getting real harbingers of spring). Here's to new beginnings and the regrowth of confidence lost and the regaining of my soul. Those in the northern hemispehre - enjoy your long days for the cycle continues and long days will become short, as ours will become long. This is the time when I wish I could scry the future and know whether I am making the right decision, but the lightness in my heart that fills me when I think of leaving tells me it is the right thing to do.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Question - Quit or Prozac?

(not so) G'day All!

So there is my question. Should I quit my well-paid job and hope that I can find something else within a couple of months (before the money runs out), or should I bow to the corporate giant of my job and the pharmaceutical companies and chuck down some pills? (The latter with no guarantee they will work and that I will have a job in a month's time anyway?)

Ah, decisions, decisions.

This is me at the moment:

(I doubt I am the only person in the world who has had to empty the vegie crisper straight into the compost bin.... and then has left the half washed out crisper on a table outside....)

And I am getting a bit more black and blue and frosty as time goes on:

(unlike my poor baby car who got attacked by Ninya last night and was all covered in ice!)(BTW, Patricia Wrightson was a top notch Australian author, and I thoroughly recommend her books if you can find them - I have to steal them back from my sister who stole my copies for her kids)

I distracted myself today with some yummy stuff, including this:

Can anyone guess what this is going to be?

That is some of Marta's hellaciously expensivos (and therefore lustworthy) thick and thin yarn with some of her two ply strung up with about 300 beads. Maybe more. I didn't count.

So my questions for you - quit or drugs?

I think quit.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

In a spin

G'day all!

I had feared that my spinning mojo had deserted me - afer all I hadn't spun for pretty much a month (though I have to say that the tennis elbow was not happy with this spinning thing). Then after seeing most beautiful handspun yarns at the handknitter's guild yarn expo, my spinning mojo found me again!

Ages ago, Wendy sent me some kettle dyed South American tops. I've played around with some of it and made some interesting yarn, but this was a fast and furious spin-up over the last night or two. I had need to grab fluff and spin madly. This fit the bill perfectly. Ahhhhhh. Thanks, Wendy!

(Look we had blue sky for a while today! Yesterday was rather grey)

A little while ago I dyed up some (washed) fleece I had sitting around. I just stuck it in the dyepot and squirted yellow, fuschia and clematis (purple) on it. I wish I had taken a pic of the fleece as it dried and then when it was in prep (I just flicked the ends out and fluffed it up some whilst watching the princess diaries on Friday night). I split it into oranges, pinks, mauves, purply/blues, icky purple/yellow and yellow. Then I spun it last night, whilst watching Rocketman and not-quite so Gabriel Kent almost getting his comeuppance on the Bill, and plied it up with a fine silk thread just to make sure it was relatively stable. I ended up with about 250m of the most gorgeous fluff.

I love this stuff

(well now that it is spun - the silk thread was a pain in the butt tangled in itself several times and I managed to cut several threads at one point so I ended up with 5m lengths of thread.... argh... I had to wind more out until I got reasonable lengths). It is so pretty that you get a "closeup" that shows how loosely spun it is now - the silk is holding it together. I want to make a smoke ring out of it cos it should circle through all the colours and go around and around without ever ending. I also thought of a moebius ring. Any suggestions for patterns?

If you are brave, click on the pic to see what Nutmeg is studying so intently. But not for the archniphobic.... It even freaks me a little.

Oh boy. That will do for the time being. My brain is seriously deserting me - I've had a heavy working in the yard day. I emptied the trailer of all the stuff in it, unloaded the wagon of a huge pile of wood (stacked by Nathan), then filled the trailer up with a load of old cladding from the garage. Hooray! But jeez it was hard work - took me nearly three hours and I was whupped by the end of it. I'm still in a flap about work - I am getting some of the blokes there seriously jittery cos I keep looking like I am about to burst into tears (which is true, LOL). I've had a chat to two managers now and one is trying to throw me a life line. I told him I had made a certain decision (and gosh it made me happy having made the decision), and he gave me an option to think about. It would be easy in the short term but long term? Would it work? I dunno, but being employed probably is better than not and I can always look around for other work.


Saturday, June 17, 2006

One extra thing about me

31. I have an extra special superpower. I can find dog poo to stand on where there was no obvious dog poo before - I apparently can conjure it anytime, anywhere (the best time was when I stood on some just before hopping in the car for three hours....)

Y'know some people get great superpowers but that one just stinks! (boom boom!)

Friday, June 16, 2006

30 things about me

G'day all!

Blame this on Kerrie from Hipknits. Cos she is turning 30, I am blogging 30 things about me.

  1. I started knitting when I was 9 or 10.
  2. My first jumper was in a thick and thin yarn called Country made by Cleckheaton. It was white yarn with a blue stripe. The jumper had cables and I wore it to death. Gosh I loved that jumper.
  3. Mum tried to teach me crochet too, but it never took. I finally realised why when I looked in a book (a year ago) and discovered that I crochet with the wrong hand and was winding the yarn around the hook in the wrong direction.
  4. I started spinning less than two years ago, when I bought a spindle to ply up some yarn.... Now I have two wheels, four spindles (rarely used these days), and two large plastic boxes (like goodly sized chests) of tops and yummy things to spin, plus several fleeces and some alpaca to spin up. Ooops.
  5. One of this month's goals is to set up my yarn for sale page :-) Whether anyone wants it is another matter....
  6. I have always lived in Melbourne, Australia.
  7. I have been to four other countries (not including the stopover in Singapore on the way home from the UK) - USA, UK and NZ. I spent 10 days in Madison, WI and fell in love with the blue moon icecream flavour from the icecreamery on the main street (is that still there - the icecreamery?)(this was when I could still eat dairy). I stayed with a friend from here who was there for a year. The enormous bookshops were great, though the bread from Wholefood was not. The differences between Oz and the US caused a weird sort of disconnect - it was like being in a dream. I spent a day in Chicago (after staying in THE WORST HOSTEL EVER! It smelt like it had been a homeless men's home. We couldn't even hire sheets for the disgusting mattresses) and a day in NYC. The NYC part was interesting, though I think I disappointed my host a bit because I was not impressed by Chinatown and the Italian District (mainly cos my city has a Chinatown and an Italian area, plus is the largest Greek city outside Greece and either the 2nd or 3rd largest Greek city full stop). My other host showed me Central Park and also demonstrated how to get through a crowd of Noo yukkers walking the other way (elbows up and keep on going!)) I spent two weeks in the UK, staying with one net friend in London, then another near Blackpool and the last one in Rugby (ha ha - very funny cos I am an Aussie Rules girl...). I saw so much fantastic stuff in England - stone circles, tombs - loved it!
  8. I've also been to NZ. I want to go back there and see it as a true adult, not a love struck 20 year old... or was it 21 year old? Anyway, most people can't stand the smell of Rotorua (hot spings, mudpools, geysers - very sulphurous) and say it makes them nauseous but I spent the whole time I was there absolutely ravenous!
  9. There is nothing better than an open road and no time limits on being anyplace in particular. Except maybe a good mountain drive - nice and curvy - on a clear day.
  10. I go stir crazy in traffic when I am driving (if I am not driving I can knit and admire the scenery/houses/whatever).
  11. I love growing plants. Got that from my father.
  12. I have bendy fingers - I can creep people out with the way they move and bend. hehehehehehehe.
  13. When I was young, my favourite sandwich was a Salada sandwich - a local dry cracker stuck between two bits of bread. (I could eat wheat then)
  14. I used to eat the crusts of the bread (my hair never went curly) and then roll the middle soft bit up and scrunch it right up and gnaw on it.
  15. Speaking of food I can't eat anything with dairy products or gluten (wheat, rye, barley and possibly oats) in it - makes me crook as a dog. I've always had a dodgy gut.
  16. Oddly enough I can eat lactose - it is the milk protein (casein) that I can't tolerate.
  17. I have a PhD. I may be silly and a bit wrong somehow but I'm not stupid.
  18. I'm a cat person. I think I've been catless for about 5 years of my life in total.
  19. I'm not very keen on dogs or babies - please don't hold that against me. They are very interesting to watch though.
  20. I like doing crafts - I always have liked making things
  21. This knitting bug has lasted five years now, and was spurred by a colleague wearing a ratty old scarf that both of us loved
  22. I have too many novelty yarns (some of which I will try to sell through my yarn pages, or maybe on ebay)
  23. I now have 3 or so lots of yarn in my stash that I could knit a whole garment out of, like a garment in the same yarn. This has not happened for a looooong time. Never had a stash at home, only leftover balls of yarn.
  24. I loved doing picture knits in the 80s. I really must take a few pics of them cos I still have most of them.
  25. I have difficulty throwing things out that I've made.
  26. I have difficulty throwing things out that I think I might use.
  27. I have difficulty wearing out my favourite clothes - I have 10 year old tops I won't wear cos I love them too much and can't replace them.
  28. Most wools, including buttery soft merino and even lion and lamb from LL, make me itch if I wear them against my skin, particularly around my neck and decolletage. This is annoying cos I like knitting with wool more than cotton.
  29. I like geeks - I married one after only ever going out with geeks. Geeks can be inept on occasion but they are sincere.
  30. I run ubuntu flavour linux on a mac. I am subversive :-)

Here's your obligatory, but not very good, cat picture - Nutmeg smooching on the tall fence over the side gate. That fence's days are numbered.

PS. Don't expect *mumble* things about me when I turn *mumble*

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


G'day all!

Do you ever find yourself so overwhelmed with all the things that have to be done that you end up wheel-spinning and doing the unimportant stuff simply cos it is unimportant?

Well that is where I am now. I haven't sent off a single job app yet because I have to rewrite my resume. I find it hard enough to sell myself normally, and now that my boss has been systematically tearing down my self-esteem (I got another thing today pointing out what I am doing wrong), I am starting to wonder what I have to offer! Every time I pick myself up and carry on, I get another thing pointing out how crap I am compared to what she expects. I am expected to impress every person every time. Tain't ever going to happen cos my very existence on this planet seems to offend some people straight off!

I think I am getting the same results-focussed management as she expects to get. She is ambitious and much more driven than I am. I am too laid back, maybe even laissez faire, and aware (despite what my boss thinks) that the way I act can impact others significantly. I try to be polite and decent to people, but I don't always succeed cos that is the nature of things. Everyone expects different stuff. Anyway, it is time to move on, and I must move on. Hopefully in another six months all of this will just be a bad dream.

I've noticed that a few of the people I went to uni with are what could be described as underachievers. I don't really know why. We are all clever people, but the big wide world is a scary scary place with people who are all too willing to have a go at the "tall poppies" and ensure that they stay where they should be - gentle spirits crushed and underfoot. Also our early training at school (schools that did not exactly stop the bullies and the kids who couldn't deal with anyone being different or cleverer than they were, or teach us how to cope with rejection by our peers) is so hard to get past. How many of you out there reading this blog can relate to that? How many of you were the social misfits and retards? How many of you still fear rejection when you go into an unfamiliar social situation, even though school is 5, 10, 20, 40 years ago? I still find I can't break free of some of that early training, though I have learned to bluff my way through relatively speaking. I don't think I ever reached my full potential, and I doubt I ever will, bt then again that goes for most of the population, so I am in good company there.

It's funny how my old fears rear their ugly heads when I get stressed or unhappy about stuff. It still surprises me how unhappy I am about having to move out of this rut. It requires effort and things I am not so good at doing (eg selling myself and remembering things - anyone else get memory challenged when stressed?).

Enough head-waffling. You are here for the knitting! Or maybe the pretty colours you might sometimes see here. Well instead I'll show you a little of the spinning I've been doing recently. Ha!

A while ago I put dyed up some plum and citrus tops just to see what the colours were like and how they dilute. I eventually spun up the tops and plied them with a bit of silk. The plum and citrus is the top skein pretty obviously.

Then there is the original skein of spinning the blues, plus a new one with added fluffy bits (I still haven't worked out if it is mohair or a long curly strong wool like English Leicester)

There's a bit over 80m of the citriplum yarn, and 75m in one skein and 48m plus 33m with fluff on the spinning the blues skeins. If you like either of them, let's do a deal!

Cheshire has taken to sleeping on one of Nutmeg's favourite spots - the pink fleecy on the back of the couch.

She is actually awake in this shot - four seconds earlier she gave me a Look of Death. If you saw one of the shots I took of her, you'd know why - it highlighted her backside nicely.... (Scusy the blurry bit in the middle of the pic - there was a grotty bit on the lens... oops)

Finally the moon was a bit freaky on the night it was full. It had a little weeny halo around it and was wafting through clouds. (pic not clickable)


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Oi! Bring back my sunshine!

G'day all!

Yesterday was a very nice, if rather cold day. It was so nice, I put my quick drying polyester work trousers (not that horrid seersucker polyester, nice modern pants) out on the line.

Within half an hour, it started raining, and showers kept falling for the rest of the afternoon and overnight and even now! Plus without the sun, it got very cold indeed. As they say, Murphy was an optimist ;-) It was good to hear the water trickling into the tank next to our bedroom, though I could've done without that sound at 4am - it was very inspiring, shall we say....

So I promised pics of Nathan's gloves. Here they are in all their burnt orange glory (colour isn't quite right):

Note the seam on the bottom one - I didn't put in enough short row shaping for the wrist and they were a little on the large side. Note the one on the top has lots of short row shaping coming into the wrist. It fits a lot better. I modified the original pattern a lot - it basically only was up and down garter stitch. I changed it to have longer fingers, short row shaping of the fingers (I shortrowed because I couldn't see that the fingers would fit around mannish, thick fingers but didn't want extra width across the palm), shortrows into the wrist, shortrowed thumb - gosh I am so proud of the anatomically correct thumb pad shaping... I don't even know if it is the same pattern! I did start writing it up but oh boy, it is confusing cos of all the short rows.

They have been given the tick of approval - they are warm when we go for our evening walks, very warm. Almost as warm as the thrummed mitten! Next they have to be tested on the bike.

I was so pleased with Nathan's that I started making me some. More on that some other time.

Hope the weather clears up some - I want to go out and plant the last of the bulbs (poor things are a bit late into the ground). I am sorta glad we didn't go for a big drive cos I would've frozen every time I got out of the car. As it was, when we went out to get some more stuff for the house, my fingies turned stiff and whte/purple, and my nose went all sorts of pretty shades that I prefer it didn't. Maybe I should make me a nosewarmer. Nathan has enough blubber to insulate him some and doesn't notice the cold the same way that I do.

Finally, cos there is not enough pussy action on this blog, I give you:

Nathan and his baby. Cheshire is a lap cat, when she is not out trying to give the local cats grief (and getting into strife herself). The Nut isn't.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sun chases grey away

G'day all!

"We are grey - we stand between the candle and the star.
We are grey - we stand between the darkness and the light."
(Who said that and in what tv show?)

Well it was certainly grey yesterday. It was the greyest and dullest day we've had for ages, and cold - only 10 degrees C. Fog rolled in overnight and just didn't go away until a cool change blew through after sunset. It was bizarre - we rarely have fog that lasts after about 10am. Nathan said when he was in Seattle, it was like that for a whole week. Ick. I need my sun!

But today it is just as cold but sunny. Sunny is good. Sunny means I can get pictures! Sunny means that I can see stuff easily. Late yesterday afternoon I was trying to work in the garden, doing some weeding and I couldn't actually see the weeds - it was like it was some time after sunset, not 45 minutes before.... LOL

I've finally been able to get some pictures. Y'see when I leave for work, it looks like this at the station:

(Note that a train has just left - the two red lights are up on the signals. It ran EARLY! I missed it. Grr. I got to work half an hour later cos I missed that train and the next one was late.)
though sometimes it looks like this if I look east and it is clear:

And when I get home, the sun has set. Flash-lit shots just don't look as good, I think.

So anyway, here's one thing I finished up this week, well one pair of things:

Some armwarmers for Nathan to wear on his bike. He rides to uni whenever he goes to uni, and he finds it a bit chilly some mornings. Dreamcatcher sent me some GGH Aspen a while ago, and four balls of it have become these. No pattern - I just swatched it out, and started knitting. They are quite slim fitting on the forearms cos I forgot Nathan's arms thicken up pretty much immediately from the wrist, unlike mine (I guess that is a male/female difference). Note that the cables go different ways for the arms. I am pretty proud of that little detail :-)

And here is another thing I am making for Nathan:

the first of a pair of socks out of some Trekking that Chris sent me. I am in the trek-along, but it is hard to post pics of your sock at home instead of on some amazing trail in some pretty place. I am hoping we will go for a drive later today, maybe stay away overnight, and find some good walks to do. :-) The sock will be going with me.

So thanks, guys for donating yarn to this unworthy cause! It is great :-)

I will post pics of the pak'ma'ra/cthulhoid glvoes soon, but since I get so little chance to take shots in daylight, I am going to spread out the pics over more than one post.


Friday, June 09, 2006

PS blues

G'day all!

Well the fun and games never stop here. To which I can say a big fat HA!

But there is always something to do and keep the hands busy and sometimes even the old mind.... though at present the old brain cells are rotting away cos DH decided to put some extremely smelly glue on something and the whole house REEKS of it. It is one of those smells that doesn't get familiarised to your nose/brain either - I've been home for well over an hour now and I can still smell it - so I guess it is a bad smell (nb this is why peoplw who wear perfume often throw more on - they can't smell it anymore, but everyone near them nearly passes out from the stench). So I am not sure that I am exactly focused on this blogging task 8-)

It is a long weekend here in (most of) Oz (not Western Australia). Ahhhhh, I so need a long weekend. All this work stress is driving me nuts.

I reckon it is about time I showed off some recent dyeing. I can't even remember when I dyed this yarn up (see, I told you that the glue fumes were rotting my brain). It is a wool and silk blend - little lumps of silk are spun into the wool. I've dyed it up so that there are long lengths of one colour, sorta self striping only it won't self stripe in anything other than a baby's jacket or beanie I reckon. Have a look-see, let me know what you think:

(this photo is darker than reality but it showed the weird dull blue/green colour on the left fairly accurately)

The skein!

I have to unskein the skein and wind the balls separately and label them in order - currently the balls of yarn are loosely knotted together.

I thought the dye job was very appropriate for the June Project Spectrum - blue. I have blue socks on the go. The cthulhoid/Pak'ma'ra gloves are finished and orange armwarmers almost done. Orange fits into blue in Oz - y'see someone with carrot coloured hair is often nicknamed "Blue," as is a particular type of cattledog which is usually a mottled/brindled orange/red/brown (although another sort of cattledog which does look rather blue in colouring can also be called "Blue" - confused yet?).

OK, gotta get some fresh air - it will be fresh cos it is only 8 degrees (C) here. My head is spinning!