Tuesday, May 30, 2006

15 years

G'day all!

The second Elfine is nearly done! Hooray! In time for the end of the green project spectrum month. Photos tomorrow or Thursday, if I remember to take the socks into town and can find a spot to get a good shot of them. Plus I have a great project spectrum project to show you.

Nutmeg is on my lap and demanding intensive patting - very hard to type when the cat puts her head under your hand... Plus I've put a muscle or two in my back into spasm, so it is hard to sit down at present.... (yes I saw the physio tonight and we did work on the spasming back not my elbow - hooray!)

I've started working on something for Nathan - a special request actually. No details yet - let's see if it works first.

But today is all about this woman, seen here on her wedding day some 50-odd years ago.

15 years ago, at this time, I was wandering around with a feeling of numbness and grief and relief. After a second battle with cancer, my mum had finally breathed her last. We didn't have to watch her grow old and infirm over the years - that happened in the space of months. It was sorta funny cos Mum was meant to outlast the Old Man, but he outlasted her by 14 years, despite being 13 years older than she was. We knew what had to happen, what was inevitable, and we were so ready for it when it finally came. Doesn't make it any better even after all these years, but when you see someone struggling so hard and in so much pain - well you wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy or on a dog (at least you can put a dog down) - and death becomes a blessing.

My mother was born to a couple who were quite quite poor. Mum only had one doll when she was young, which probably explains why I had so many. She had to leave school when she was 14 to help support her parents and her younger sister. She was just as much raised by her Auntie May, who was a woman who could do any craft she turned her hands to. So she was clever (an A student until Pop started putting pressure on her to leave school) and capable with her hands - Granma was not crafty but her sister May was, and Mum took after May (and in turn Mum's daughters inherited that crafty ability).

She worked as a book keeper for a firm where the old man who ran it thought Mum was a bit of All Right. We had a picture somewhere of a photo taken of the office staff, and Mum is perched on the old bloke's knee, just like a kid on Santa's knee at Christmas.

Somehwere along the line, she met my father. He was a bit of a rascal, with his gallon jar of grog under his arm. He wrote love letters to her - we found two of them after Father died. Mum used to sing an old song, which she related to her and her beau:
"Casey would waltz with the strawberry blonde,
and the band played on!
He'd glide cross the floor with the girl he adored
and the band played on!
But his brain was so loaded he nearly exploded
The poor girl would shake with alarm
He married the girl with the strawberry curls
and the band played on!"

They married and children inevitably followed. Mum also learned to drive, which I think was much more fun to her than babies (three of us inherited that love of driving too). Whilst learning to drive, she lost control of the car and managed to shoot off backwards and park the car between the park bench and a tree. Noone was hurt, but Mum insisted that the car was not steering as it should've, and when my father (a panel beater by trade with a lot of mechanical experience) looked at the car, he was surprised she had managed to steer it at all as one of the steering rods was completely broken off. Mum wasn't dissuaded from driving. Cars were freedom to her, though it was another 20 something years until she had her own car.

Mum loved cats. We always had at least one cat, though the Old Man didn't like them much cos he grew up on a farm where the cats were half feral and mostly stinking toms. Over the years I can remember a string of cats, the later ones being cats from rescue organisations (with consequent turnover problems - we had adult cats with various health problems). We didn't ever have a dog. When my brother was very very young, Mum would get up every three hours to feed her beloved cat through an eyedropper after he shredded his mouth on some bamboo, but my then infant brother was left to sleep through the night (which he quickly settled down to do!!!).

Mum was good at organising things. She helped with any of the women's auxillary things at the schools we went to. She organised my father whilst he was secretary and grand secretary of the local lodge. She helped run the school fetes. She liked making things and getting things to work well. I never lacked a costume for any fancy dress days - there is a picture of me aged about 7 or 8 with a prize winning Easter hat made out of stuffed chocolate easter egg wrappers on my head. I can assure you I did not make the hat, though I may well have helped smooth out the wrappers before they were put around fake eggs. It was obvious for her to take over running the high school canteen when I was late in primary school or starting high school, and the canteen sold good food and always made a profit even after allowing for Mum's wage. It gave her a great social outlet - I think Mum was bored at home by herself. Money was always tight but the extra wage helped Mum's budget a lot.

All through the years my father's health was a bit dodgy - when his ticker wasn't playing up, his body was from years of heavy labour as a panel beater (even though he was the boss, he worked alongside his boys). Mum kept him going. She was not a born nurse, but she had to look after me a lot too cos I was a weak child who got every bug that went by and then got bronchial asthma just to top it off. (Despite many weeks off school every school year, I never lagged in my studies - Mum made sure I was sent work and I was bright and absorbed knowledge like a sponge absorbs water.)

Then suddenly just when I had started to find my feet in my second year of uni and had my first boyfriend (yeah, late developer), it was Mum's turn to be crook. Bowel cancer. The area was resected but she wouldn't do the testing to make sure it hadn't come back. For three years she seemed healthy. Then she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, then the bowel cancer came back and it was all downhill from there. 10 months, during which Mum's sister died of breast cancer. I was doing honours at Mum's insistence. Such a hard hard year.

So it is 15 years on, and most days I try to be mindful of my mother's legacy. I have clever hands, and a clever brain, and I have to make use of both of those. Some days it is hard. Some days I wish she was here to kick me in the pants and tell me to get on with it, or to praise something I had done. I would not get a hug or a kiss or anything like that - we have never been a touchy feely family, but there are other ways of showing love.

So Mum, today is for you. I am going to try to fix up a paper to send in for a conference, see if I can win a trip to it. You'd be pleased with it cos it is a clever paper I think, and is something you never got a chance to do.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Box of yumminess!

G'day all!

I promised this days and days ago now, but things here are a bit busy. I never know where my weekends have gone cos they go by in such a flash and I wonder why I haven't gotten lots of things done...

Anyway, last week, on a very opportune day (being Thursday and the day after my spaz), a box arrived in the mail.

It was Saturday before I got some pics of it (and may I say that the photographer should be shot for doing such a poor job! Some of the closeups are about as clear as some of my prose).

The box came from Mrspao (oh dear - Mrspao had to have one of her moggies put to sleep! How sad! Gosh, now I feel a bit embarrassed posting this!) and lookie what was inside!

Yummy yummy yummy stuff!

Two boxes of my favourite biscuits in the whole world! (The bourbons are nice but the custard creams are like eating pure sugar only nicer!); a little cat ornament, hand and lip stuff (smelles edible!), some toys for the cats (our cats must be retarded cos they haven't really started playing with the fake mice yet but I am sure they will get the idea eventually), some second flush tea (!!!) (I presume that means the second picking of the tips of the leaves, not something to do with flushing toilets!)

Some uncle joe's balls (I am soooo glad I don't have an uncle Joe cos I'd never be able to look at him without thinking of his ***** aglow!!)

and some most excellent "Forest Walker" curious yarns sock yarn, which I think will be brilliant for the neutrals month of Project Spectrum, since it is a bit late to start it for May (no closeup cos said photographer is incapable of taking an unblurred closeup).

I tell a lie - Nutmeg has suddenly started attacking one of the toy mice.

Now the lip stuff must be so tasty smelling that some people try eating it cos it has this warning:

Now it is pretty darned nice to smell but like I dunno that I would eat the whole pot in one sitting....

Anyway, please go send your condolences to Mrspao cos it is a sad sad thing taking your cat on that last trip to the vet.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

newspaper headline

G'day all!

Woman dangles sock over river, (knitblog) community shocked

A member of the knitblogging community was seen on Friday dangling her newly-completed sock over the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia. Black-clad passersby rushed past, hurrying on their way to work, ignoring the plight of the innocent sock. Said knitblogger recovered her senses and put the sock away in her bag. When interviewed, knitblogger said, "I was trying to show sock a Good Time and the river, just like Steph shows off her socks." No charges have been laid despite a remarkable lack of sense being shown..

I won't run the alternative headline.

In other breaking news, said knitblogger followed up her vicious attack on the poor newly completed sock with another attack on some innocent sock yarn. In the words of the knitblogger:

"On Thursday one of my friends gave me a skein of self-striping sock yarn. She had two skeins of it. On the screen of the online shop it looked like a strawberries and cream mix, in person, well below is a fairly accurate picture - yellow, flesh-pink and salmony darker pink/red. She was a bit disappointed.

"I was given the skein with the proviso that I give my friend some nicely dyed sock yarn.

"Now I didn't particularly like the yarn either, but I thought I could possibly overdye it. So I gave it a whirl.

"I even did a test run:

"One in a pink food dye solution, one in an emerald green food dye solution.

"I hope you like the emerald one, cos even though I am not a green and brown girl, I liked the effect more."

So the evil vicious knitblogger attacked that poor skein of yarn with the Proddy Chopstick of Doom

and she did drown it in a solution of green food dye and vinegar

until it was all covered over

and all green and brown.

Knitblogger one, yucky sock yarn now nice sock yarn one. A win for all parties!

In other, older news, I had a little incident on Thursday night after a very pleasant night sewing up the jacket at our weekly craft night. I found out that my jacket was warm before I even wore it to work.

Mental note for self - unlocking the security door on the back door does not take it off the snib. Mental note for Nathan - change the lock on the front door.

(Can you tell where this is leading?)

So I get home at 10 to 10. I'm all ready to check my email and go to bed. I've had a good evening with good friends and I've finished the jacket and it looks good and all is well with the world.

Except I am locked out of the house. I had left the old keys, with the key to the security door, in my backpack, which is inside the house. I only have the key to the door that is on the other side of the security door.

I'm locked out and it is about 10 degrees C. At least it is calm and still, and heading for a frost, rather than blowing a gale and raining.

Nathan usually comes home by 10:15 at the very latest, so after working out that he is not inside asleep, or inside working, and that he probably is not home, and that there are no windows I can lever open enough to get into the house through, I settle down on the cold concrete front steps and pull out the elfine that is nearly done (the one in the pic at the top of the breaking news). I draped the jacket on my head and over my shoulders (and gosh wasn't it toasty!) and got cracking on the last row of pattern (in the half light of the street light - it normally seems very bright but I can tell you it isn't when you actually need to see detail). Then I started on the ribbing. One by one ribbing, cos it would work better with the pattern. Also it is easy to do in poor light

At 10:15, nathan wasn't home and I was starting to contemplate a night perched on the small and hard back seat of my car. My car is very nice and very good and does all that I ask him to do but his back seat is probably only about 1.3m wide and I am a wee tad taller than that. The Yarn Harlot I am not. Also, it was cold and I could not fold myself up small enough to fit under the pink jacket. My right index finger was going numb from throwing the yarn, out in the cold night air all by itself. I had done a few rounds of rib by now.

At 10:35, I drove off to see if a friend's mum was still awake. She is literally about 150m down the road, but I drove just in case she wasn't there and I had to go down the shops to find a phone (no, I refuse to have a mobile phone).

*phew* she was home and awake and available to visitors. I rang Nathan at Monash - he had gone there to pick something up two and a half hours earlier, and got caught up with finishing the paper again.

So I eventually disentangled myself from the family photo viewing - Nan was there and being shown the family memories album she is going to get when it is finished - and got home to find Nathan
was home. 11pm.

At least I know the jacket is warm. 8-)

Still to come:
Knitblogger receives yummy yummy parcel.


Friday, May 26, 2006

Gosh *Blush*

G'day all!

Gosh you've all been so nice to me! I feel all warm and fuzzy. Thanks for your comments and concern. Something will work itself out, I am pretty sure. I've got some good ideas from you :-)

It is interesting seeing how I regain balance, even if I am a little lower in the water than I was. Things that help me are crafting, music and getting outside, even if outside means walking from the station to work via the Yarra path.

These two little cormorants were duckdiving for fish as I walked to work today from the station. A third one popped up but I couldn't get a shot of all three of them.

Remember the knitting? Remember the pink jacket I was knitting?

I give you:


(Wiggly butt shot, blurred cos it was sunset when the pics were taken)(Is my hair really that pale? Or is it washed out by the bluish sunset light?)

Knitted in three weeks (yarn bought on the 5 May, started knitting at a social thing that night - I don't care if people think it is rude, they get together to eat food I can't and eating in front of others is rude, yes? And they don't care anyway.). This is a quick and easy knit cos I was not able to knit every night or much on the weekends (too busy chopping shrubs down and taking them to the transfer station), plus I learned how to do combined knitting (and boy it is much easier than throwing for patterns involving rib, like this one).

I think I am happy with it, even if I have to fix up the collar a bit.

Nutmeg found a warm place to sleep in my box of WIPS that need to be wiped out... I am such a bad wipeout participant cos I am focussing on not adding to the pile of wips rather than getting rid of some old ones.

Finally, another sunset picture - I love sunset pictures. I am sure you can tell. A good sunset is a nice pick me up.

Again, thank you for your caring - I feel all googly inside :-)


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

oh give me good news

For I want to crawl into a corner and shrivel up and die.

Y'know I've long known that I am different to other people (well we all are individuals, even the clown up the back who says "I'm not") but I am starting to really get my nose rubbed in it at the moment at work.

I'll try to illustrate what I mean.

Years ago I worked with a lady called Sueli. I believe it is a Portuguese name. I don't speak Portuguese or Spanish. I speak English. that is it. And understand a teensy bit of french and some written german and italian and stuff but I'm a native English speaker.

I could never say it to her satisfaction. I could not hear the difference between what she said and what I said. It was something to do with the e in it. It is somethign to do with being English and not havign that sound in our language. She never picked on anyone else and told them they were saying her name wrong in my hearing.

That is how I am at work at the moment. I am doing something badly wrong but I can't even figure out what it is. People tell me it isn't right but they can't tell me why and I can't hear or understand why it is wrong. Maybe I have asperger's and can't really relate to anyone or anything like normal humans do. I just thought I was an introvert and a bit shy but nope there's something more fundamentally broken than that.

I am not used to failing at anything I turn my hand to. I have failed classes but they didn't matter to me. This really matters. This is my job. This is the thing that keeps a roof over our heads and food on the table and yarn in the stash. This is what I do for a living.

I don't even know that I want to try to change it. In a way I do because because the bustedness annoys me and I desperately want to do the right thing, but in other ways I suspect it is likely to be fundamental to me, so much a part of me that I could no more change it than I could chop off my own arm. I've tried roleplaying being a model worker but that is so wearing and I still don't get it right anyway. How can I? I don't know what I am doing wrong.

I guess I should go find another job but I find other jobs that I think I am a great fit for and I try to persuade them that they need me cos I'll do a better job for them than anyone else, but I don't even get an interview. I leave the PhD off my resume and say I did research for five years instead. In my limited experience the PhD is more barrier than aid - I am not going for medical research jobs because my skills are not what are needed for most of the jobs I see (why no I can't do analytical chemistry or molecular biology, and no I don't have 5 or more years experience with them, and I will not bluff cos it is really obvious that I don't).

I am stuck. I really don't know what to do.

So give me some good news, please. Tell me good stories. Or give me your sob story so I can go and worry about someone else instead of me. OK?

Knitting content will return later. Knitting and spinning are good but they can't make my work situation better.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sleeves triumphant

G'day all!

Well the sleeves of the jacket are about to be blocked. I finished them before going off to the physio. I am a naughty naughty girl cos I am not stopping doing things that could aggravate my elbow, but like what am I supposed to do? Put it in cotton wool and not use it? It's my dominant hand, and if I should stop aggravating it, in particular repetitive movements, I'd best stop typing and writing, which means I can't work! Stop knitting? Hell NO! It doesn't hurt at all. Honest!

So I block the sleeves in a little while, after blogging. Yeah. The rest is already blocked, except the collar cos it is still shaped like a ball of wool - odd that cos I haven't yet knitted it.

Now yesterday I got a little something in the mail. OK I had to pay (lots) for it but I got this nice thing. It has a card with yarn samples and a postcard for me, but you don't see the inscription cos it has my proper name on it. That is Too Much Info for the web. When I decide to knit a shawl, I reckon this will be it...

The Dove Shawl from Heirloom Knitting.

From the sublime to the ridiculous:

Which country should you REALLY be living in?


G'day Mate! You're a yokker. A true Aussie. You love the beach and barbies, as well as sport and sex. Life couldn't get any simpler, and thats the way it should be. C'mon Aussie, C'mon!

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

So tell me something I don't know - born and bred an Aussie, no intention of leaving, well not for long anyway - love to travel, but I've not found anywhere better than here so far! Some of my friends here who did the test were horrified to test as Aussies, but it could be worse! BTW, that should be OKKER, an okker, not a yokker! What the hell is a yokker?

What should we do with spammers? To what hell should they be consigned? Darkreading has some ideas.

Back to the sublime - sunrise this morning near Caulfield from the train (complete with blurry bits, reflections and out of focus-ness, but at least you can't see the look the girl opposite gave me!):

and the view just outside Richmond station (complete with overhead wires):

A bank of fog made the scene amazing.


Monday, May 22, 2006


G'day all!

I had a little oops yesterday. Y'see I tested some of that cheap wool I bought and found it fulls like a champion! All I did was get some hot water and some soap and rubbed it like billy-o against the scrubbing board built into the laundry trough. Within five minutes it was all matted together. Ha ha!

So we went back to scroatfight and bought ALL of the remaining stock. I am such a greedy pig!

Ahem. There's at least 15 balls of each colour in that pile plus some fancy yarns that I couldn't resist... Nathan likes the two greens and wants something patterned made out of them.


And now I am told Kmart has a yarn sale on - between 25 to 50% off yarn, including my current favourite, Jet. Argh! How can I get to Kmart this week? How can my budget stand it? Will I get my yarn and stitchmarker page set up this week to offset some of my mounting yarn bill?

I bought some lovely fine silk from Marta - I intend to dye it and cut it up and blend it into fleece and spin it up. When I say fine silk, I mean hair thin (not baby fine but certainly hair thin). Here's the first one I dyed.

Typical me colours.

In my dyeing party of ONE yesterday I also dyed some sock yarn into stripes.

There's three or four rounds of each colour per repeat. Also me colours.

Now if anyone covets that sock yarn, it will cost ya! It is proper good Aussie sock yarn, a wool/nylon mix, should wear like iron. Of course you'll have to pay and fight me for it, but then again I can always dye up more, assuming I have more sock yarn that is. :-) Also at the moment it wouldn't be hard to beat me up and run away with my yarn cos after a weekend of moving bits of tree around and shovelling mulch, I reckon I am around about a hundred (but I still went to the cardio room and did 30 minutes on different bits of equipment and got to see THREE people I know on the telly! Three! Cool! They were on a program called "No Limits" and this links to tonight's ep, two as guests and one as the host. OK so I'm a bit behind sinc ehtis is ep 80 but better late than never!).

Far out. Katt, I STILL haven't mailed the yarn but at least I have a mailbag for it. I just have to dig up your address.

OK, got some more pics for tomorrow, assuming I find time to blog....


Saturday, May 20, 2006


G'day all!

You know those almost perfect days?

Well yesterday was one of them. The only thing that stopped it being perfect is I found too many bargains to buy, so I spent too much money.... No pics of those yet. BTW, Melburnites, check out your local Spotlight. Mine (Sandown Park) has just refurbished and is throwing out yarn for 99c a ball. I bought a heap of pure wool that is rough but not scratchy, if that makes sense. My skin tells me it is rough but then doesn't get irritated.

Why was yesterday perfect? Well I got to see SUN! And lots of it! The forecast was not that good - 15 and cloudy, but whilst it only was 15C it was sunny for most of the day. My car heated up like a little greenhouse. Ahhh toasty warm without the heater on! (I actually had to wind the window down at some points to get some cold air!) After the 3 or 4 weeks of totally dank weather we have had until this week, it was lovely to get some sun. And in some miraculous occurrence, I managed to get clothes dry on the washing line!!!!! (Except then I forgot to bring them in until 2 hours after dark so I had to dry the dew off them inside.)

Today's forecast isn't so good. I think I'll try getting some clothes dry (like all my work clothes) in the greenhouse-in-progress. It is almost enclosed now so it heats up with a bit of sun (35 degrees C yesterday!)

Knitting wise I am now less than 3cm from starting the sleeve head on my jacket sleeves. Hooray! I've slowed down in the knitting recently cos if I gym in the evening it takes a goodly chunk of time. Plus last night we walked to a housewarming - a friend now lives about 20 minutes brisk walk away, or 25 minutes slower walk. His place is quaint - a Californian bungalow, built sometime between the world wars. He doesn't own it, just rents it, for which we are all pretty glad cos it has a few problems, like the singularity in the corner of the study that pulls all into one corner (aka the floor slopes pretty radically there - it is freaky cos you think it is flat but you suddenly are walking downhill and you start walking faster until you hit the wall). I'd show you a pciture of a typical Californian bungalow like T's but I can't google any up - obviously none have been put on the market recently. I did google up some houses that are distinctly not Californian bungalows - you would think that real estate agents could tell the difference between Federation style houses (c 1900), Victorian (c mid-late 1800s), Californian bungalows and cheap 1950s weatherboards but apparently not.

The socks continue but I seem to be crawling with them now. Dunno why. I thought my progress was OK but now that they are separated I should be doing two repeats a day on the train. Maybe I should take them to the cardio area of the gym today and sit and knit. I'm not used to riding the bikes yet to do that though.

Hmm, well not much is happening here really - it is early on a Sunday morning and I am not really awake at this stage. Nathan has gone to play organ at the church and take a load of photinia to the transfer station (where he gives them $20 and the photinia turns into a big pile of composted mulch!). I am yet to have breakfast, but that isn't too far away considering the noises my stomach is making. I need to finish the wall in the fibre room so that I can start tidying it up and get wool out of the loungeroom. If I can believe the weather thingie on my toolbar, it is only 6 degrees outside. Brrrr! But that is still 6 off freezing... It would explain why it is a little chilly inside the house though - we don't have a heater that we leave on overnight.

Oops, forgot to post this and now it is lunchtime and 12 degrees. Well that is two above Blackpool in England, but it is in the wee hours there.

Here's a pic of a pink correa happily flowering away in the front yard - note the blue sky in the background and the last few leaves on the liquidamber. It might be coming into winter but that is when a lot of native plants flower here, in part because it doesn't get cold enough for their pollinators to hibernate and the buggies and birdies need somthing to live on.

OK dokey, gotta go pull a part of the fence off so we can back the trailer in and unload it then load it. Plus I have to go buy MEAT (and some more yarn cos I tested it and it fulls well and also softens up after a little bit of a wash, so for 99c I am getting me MORE!).


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Say goodbye my lovelies aka the last dance

G'day all!

Thanks for all your well wishes - the old gut is settling down a bit now I think. It's knocked me around a bit (I could've killed for a good nap or a sleep in today).

Well I've been doing two socks on one circ until today. Then I suddenly realised a problem. The pattern on the Elfine's on the cuff means that I have to swap stitches from one needle to the other. The stitches travel a bit. I can't swap stitches from needle to needle on the middle stitches where there are no two needle ends (this isn't making much sense, but trust me that the addis have a very strong cord and I can't make it disappear to get the stitches off and onto the other needle and using another holding needle seems dumb).

So say goodbye to each other my lovelies! Ne'er again will ye snuggle toge'er on the needle!

Here they are on my desk at work, the only place I can get daylight shots of my knitting now unless it is the weekend and the weather is ok. Enjoy your last dance together socks! You'll have to wait until you are finished before you dance together again.

Now I have cruelly ripped them apart onto separate circs. O! Woe! Alas!

Here's the reason why I am not getting daylight shots. I was a bit late getting to the station today and look what happened:

yep, the sun rose as I waited for a train.

Then this happened whilst I was trying to get home:

Umm, that would be sunset then. We are getting some really grand susnet when there are breaks in the clouds. Sorta makes up for the days when it is nasty and grey (yep it really does rain in the land of Neighbours).


Wednesday, May 17, 2006


G'day all!

I am a naughty naughty sinner tonight. Y'see yesterday I joined a gym. Membership active as of that moment. Tonight I was getting ready to go when well let's put it this way - I've been visiting the smallest room of the house a bit more than I'd like to. Dunno if I got overexcited or whether I should've washed the salad at lunchtime a bit better or what. Anyway, there's been lots of weirdness happening and I've been plonked in front of the telly for almost three hours now, in between trips.

Anyway it is peeving, particularly since I bought some Expensivos Shoes to replace my last pair of runners which decided to start eating my socks and my heels ravenously. Heel counters had broken. I need to get good value out of these new shoes cos they cost a bomb, but they are the first pair of runners I've tried ont his year that felt Right. It was like coming home when I put them on. I've tried probably 20 cheap pairs and none felt Right. These do. Americans would die at the price cos it seems shoes are cheap there, but here? Ha!

I do admit I have had some good knitting time, watching the New Inventors, Spicks and Specks and the Worst Week of My Life. I still have to watch what I am doing with the combined knitting but I am now starting to be able to peek away, at least on the knit stitches. I've only been knitting that way for two weeks. As for the pink jacket, I only need to do two more increases on the sleeves (and I fear buy at least one more ball of yarn) and bring them up to 43cm long and then do the sleeve caps... and the collar... and block it all... and sew it together... argh! OK, so it will take another week. Still, that will be 3 weeks to get a jacket knitted, which is excellent going for me.

I've realised that the Bendi show woolcraft entries are due soon - just the entry form, not the items thank heavens! I am going to enter some yarn in the novice class and a hat and a skein of alpaca or something in the open classes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! The worst that happens is it gets displayed.... It seems that I need a cheque for the entry. Anyone know how much a money order costs?

Umm pictures. Umm yeah, those things. I arrive home after sunset and leave before sunrise. Soon it will be dark when I leave home. Ack. Sunset won't pull back much more now though, thank heavens!

What do you do when you don't have any new pics? You go through your archives and find these! A cute cat picture, and a picture from three years ago, of the Ovens River at Bright. I'll leave you to work out which is which ;-)


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

No (new) pics :-(

G'day all!

Well it is official. I now leave home before the sun rises and after the sun sets (though I did my best to get home by 5 tonight but no dice - some dude on the train got sick and delayed it by like AGES and I had to swap trains. At least they got sick at the multiline interchange station, not one of the little tinpot stations. DOOOODE don't get sick on my train! Cos then it has to wait for the ambos....).

(Ambos = ambulance)

So no pics cos it isn't light enough when I am home and my only indoor light that is bright enough to get reasonable shots by is small. Why not use the flash, I hear you ask? Well the flash on DH's camera (not mine any longer - it is technically his, though I take 95% of all pics taken on it these days) doesn't care if you are doing a macro shot, which makes for all sorts of fun with tissue paper over the flash, etc. Otherwise you end up with black yarn that looks washed out grey and all the colours wash out. Boring!

Wonder if Sknitty's new camera isn't so excitable when doing macros with the flash on? Must start researching cameras. It needs both a good macro and a good zoom, plus good colour reproduction on landscapes (we don't take many pics of kiddies and parties and whatnot but we do take lots of pics of plants and knitting and yarn and landscapes and sunsets and stuff). nathan wants to get a digital SLR this time around - I just want a good optical zoom and a good macro and a flash that doesn't wash macro functions right out.

Now there has been knitting, but you can't see the evidence. I've turned the heels on both of the Elfines (if you can call a short row heel "turning") thanks to the Sick Dude on the Train (see there is something good to come out of someone collapsing on the train! I got the second heel turned!). I am nearly to the elbow on the two sleeves of the pink jacket. My combination knitting is coming along nicely if a bit wonky on occasion - the tension gos a bit nuts cos the yarn gets caught sometimes cos I am not used to having it on my left rather than my right, so I forget to clear a path on my left, or I set the yarn up on the right. Hmm, I only have three balls of the pink Jet left and I still need to do the rest of the sleeves and also do the collar. I bought a ball of contrasting but complimentary colour Jet the other day - maybe I'll do the collar in that to brighten things up. :-)

It has been a marvellous day here - 18 degrees (celcius!) and sunny and gorgeous and I thought I would fry in the sun at lunchtime - hafta make my vitamin D! It has been gloomy for ages here it seems and a day of sun really has brightened things up. By the looks of the forecast, it will be yucky again for the weekend

Since I didn't post any pics of the sunsets we had in the last couple of weeks, I will now bore you with sunset from the 7th of May!

And best of all, an early shot:

Finally, I want to join the Trek-along but it is really hard when you don't have any Trekking yarn (well I do but it is the leftovers from the socks I made last year) and you can't get it without ordering it from overseas and your budget for yarn is being saved up for the handkitter's guild day in June and the Bendi show in two months. Yep, you can take that as a grovel - anyone got any yarn they want to swap or something?

(Oh, Jill, the silk is yours if we can find a good arrangement, and Katt, I've been slack and haven't sent yours yet, and Mrs Pao, the cormorant is about a foot long in the body and head without the neck extended, not including the tail)


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mother's Day

G'day all!

It is Mother's Day here and in the USA - England too this year?

This is for all the mums-to-be and for all the mums-who-are:

But the best of it all is for the mums-who-were. For my Mum:

and a close-up for Jillian's Mum:

and another for my non-blogger friend Cathy:

who is both Mum and Mum-less.

I love these chrissies - they are flowering just down the road. I love the obvious small flower formations in the centres - makes it really obvious that they have hundreds of individual flowers in the centre of the "flower." Why chrissies? ChrysantheMUMs are the flower of choice for Mother's Day here. They hit the peak of their flowering around now and the disbuds are so spectacular.

Treasure your Mum - you only get one. Even a good mother-in-law can't make up for a mum who will kick you in the backside and tell you to get on with it, or pick you up and take you shopping when things are tough, a mum who can embarrass you with tales of your lack of derring-do as a child...

Happy Mother's Day!

She knits!

G'day all!

Ah, what a week. Dunno where it went. Dunno where all my time is going at present - it just seems to go. It is already 20 to 11 on a Saturday night as I write this and I haven't blogged yet, haven't blogged for days!

So here's what I've been up to this week:

Yep, that's the jacket and the socks. Progress has been made! I have now finished the other front, the one on the needles in the pic, and started on a sleeve. I am vaguely contemplating doing both sleeves at once, just to get them even.

I've been talking a few pics along the way this week - I shall bore you with them tomorrow, plus then I have to do a special Mother's Day post. Australians won't be surprised by the flowers that will feature, but a lot of people from the northern hemisphere probably will be!

Here's your obligatory pussy shot.

Yep, DH trying to keep both cats on his lap. The next picture that I haven't blogged shows the Nut making a grand escape, but it isn't very interesting and is a bit blurry cos I was laughing as I took the shot.

Plus a shot of a cormorant or shag drying its feathers whilst sitting on a litter trap on the Yarra. The larger shot shows some good detail of the feathers.

I saw a physio today because ever since we moved I've had lots of problems with my left forearm. He asked if I had seen a doctor. Of course I hadn't, mainly cos the doctors usually ask for x-rays or expensivos ultrasounds and then tell me there is nothing wrong with it, go home and stop whinging, oh and get some anti-inflammatories. So the physio pokes and prods and makes tears squeeze out of my eyes, then tells me I have tennis elbow! I have not picked up a tennis racquet in years. (You shoulda seen how good I was at serving the ball right over the safety net around the courts!) Then he does some deep massage on it, tells me it will probably bruise up nicely and here have this brace - it will help. Well the brace does help, except I can't wear long sleeves with it (a minor inconvenience since the weather has decided to be winter, not just normal May weather). Don't do stuff that aggravates it, he tells me. Well knitting with the brace on doesn't aggravate it, so that is good. Knitting without the brace on does annoy it, but so does everything at the moment. And it has bruised up - the whole area is tender to touch. Oooucha, oucha!

Now the good news from the physio is that I can go do some exercise as long as I don't hang onto anything but the lightest of weights. Yep, I gotta get me in shape for my mumblieth. I have less than six months to go. I have been arguing with myself - $80 a month plus joining fee to go to a gym in the city, conveniently located to work so I could do a workout at lunchtime, or $40 a month for the local uni gym, where I'd have to go at night but then could see friends. The city gym would be a 12 month membership, the local uni gym is four months of direct debit to get the $40 amount then month by month (or $45 a month). I don't know that I can cough up over a thousand smackeroos for a year's membership that I might not use - the local gym is sounding much more reasonable.

Finally, I managed to get off my butt and get the last bits together for some parcels I have been meaning to send. Hooray! One is pretty much packed in this shot, the other is yet to be packed.

I think they both contained some of these:

Yep, stitchmarkers. More stitchmarkers. I have a box of beads and keep accumulating more. No surprised for the two ladies getting the parcels! Not in the stitchmarker line anyway. I bought some more little jump rings today so I can make up gazillions (or should that be brazilians?) more stitchmarkers. Or a bit over a hundred anyway.

That's yer bloomin lot for today!


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Steam probe

G'day all!

Well it has been both a slack and very busy time here at the Modest Manor (speaking of which I really must update the house blog with Stuff). I've been crook sorta - I stayed home yesterday call all I wanted to do was sleep. Today I didn't need to sleep all day so I went to work and did a catch up with my now boss who used to be a team mate. We talked on the phone for an hour cos she is in Perth (that is like, hmmm, say I am in NYC and she is in Seattle, except it doesn't snow here and Perth is more like LA than here is only without the smog). Then I ran an info session with the toughest lot I've faced so far - the group is full of cynics. After that I discovered that I had said to someone they could borrow our team's laptop because we didn't need it tomorrow morning, only it turned out we do need it - my team mate hadn't written the booking in the book. Sigh. I spent an hour on the phone ringing around trying to find a phone and trudged down and up stairs trying to find another laptop. We sorted out a semi-arrangement and then what happens? One of my team mates says, as I am walking out the door, "Oh, Lynne, do you need a laptop for tomorrow? Why not borrow mine? I can use B's desktop box instead."

Argh. All that cos I didn't ask her first cos she was always on the phone when I wasn't! I am amazed I have any talk left in me as I talked for a solid three hours today, with some more talk thrown in.

Here's what you came here for. Knitting and yarn and stuff. Cat pictures.

The Elfines yesterday. No, oops from Monday. Dreadfully out of date picture. Dunno why I am showing it really - just to show the pattern I guess. This is such an excellent pattern - very easy to read so I don't use the directions anymore cos it is pretty obvious what you have to do. I am so proud of myself, being somewhat of a lace doofus until reading Eunny's excellent explanation. Even better when you do stuff up it becomes obvious quickly so it is easy to fix (eg I will forget ONE yo on occasion, always in the same place).

They have another repeat or three on them now and I am getting close to the shortrow heel.

Some yarn I dyed up - displayed (??), OK thrown on the piano seat.

The yarn nicely balled up

Three balls of mulberry silk laceweight. Same stuff as supplied by Kaalund Yarns up in QLD. Maybe a bit bright - needs to be dulled down a bit but silk is hard to get good photos of.

Three balls of wool single laceweight.

The colours are basically the same between the yarns, they were just done at different times. Plum and hibiscus/clematis overdyed with black and then a bit of clematis to add blue spots. Interesting how the silk is more intense - I know to expect that but still an interesting experiment. There's enough of each batch of yarn to knit a shawl. At least 600m, more like 800-900m on the three balls but I have to check. Again, let me know if you like anything. (BTW, Katt, I need to email you about the berry mix from the other day - you have first dibs). It looks way cute in the skein but I've not been able to get pics that are at all colour representative - it keeps being cloudy when I get home, apart from the sun setting around then too....

This is the other skein of yarn, the 280g monster - no wonder I was having problems getting the dyes distributed evenly in it! It has come up really nicely after being overdyed with black - it has dulled down some but not all of the colours. The closeup is almost representative of the colours in the skein. This is a pure wool from Andyle, so it was not a cheap yarn to buy - cost be about $25 I think.

Nutmeg's favourite place and way to lie

stretched along the top of the couch. What a picture of elegance!

Cheshire's favourite place and way to lie

upside down under the clothes horse, doing her best impersonation of a dead cat bloating in the sun (though in this case in front of the heater). Hmmm....

Time to go belt the husband on the back - he has the hic-cough-burps - hiccups, coughing and burping at the same time! In between hic-cough-burps he says it is getting very annoying!

BTW - the subject line? From the coffee machine on our floor. The machine is busted again - I think it has been out of order for all bar about 10 days so far this year. Just as well I don't like coffee. (Sacrilege!) The little display said:
Select product
Steam probe

Hmm, sounds rather painful to me! You might expect latte or capuccino but nope, it is only offering a steam probe! eeek!