Monday, July 31, 2006

August! Since when?

G'day all!

It is August already! How did that happen?

Happy Birthday to one of my sisters, and happy birthday to all the race horses in Australia and NZ. They all got a year older overnight.

You may have guessed from the pic I showed yesterday that the croc sock is done! Once I started knitting it in earnest, it took not very long at all. The beads were not a problem - remembering to place them was the hardest bit along with shuffling 170-odd beads long the yarn. We had to go into the city for a birthday party on Saturday night and HOORAY! I didn't have to drive, so I sat in the back of a car and knitted 15 plain rounds in the dark as we flogged up the freeway! Then since I couldn't eat at the restaurant (pasta), I sat and knitted there too - I figure if they are going to eat in front of me, I am going to sit and knit in return. Then I knitted the toe at the chocolate bar that we went to cos I couldn't eat there either (everything was dairy and wheaten). I ripped the toe on Sunday morning cos somehow it was two stitches out and looked wrong - it was twisted to one side. That will teach me to count the stitches! Or to do top down socks!

Let's look at the croc sock as it "evolved."








(The heel looks rather short to me - I followed the instructions I thought to the letter but maybe I counted wrong, though I picked up the exact number of gusset stitches from the loops that were available)





Details: Reptilian Lace by Sivia Harding from summer 2006 Knitty. Yarn - Forest Walker from Curious Yarns, gifted by Mrspao. Beads - el cheapo from somewhere, hmm Riot Art and Craft?

I finished another sock on the weekend but the weather has been poxy (HOORAY! Snow has fallen on Lake Mountain! Hooray! We've had over 10mm of rain!) and I don't have any pics of the finished sock so far. Details when I get a good shot. Here it is after I turned the heel:


Next on the list are Hedera and Widdershins in purple and burgundy.

That Patonyle is ancient, and I think Peeve would like it - it has little tweedy flecks of blue and red through the burgundy, livens it up nicely.

Wish me luck! I don't think I'll be knitting Likkety Split or Dancing Lady (certainly not the latter in the yarns the designer dyed herself) or Cut Your Teeth or Tangled Garden or Tiptoe or Crusoe.... If I do have time, Crusoe and Dancing Lady are the most likely. (you can see the list of old Knitty socks here)

Project Spectrum? Ummmm... well I'm finally knitting something purple - cast on yesterday. Does that count? Purple flowers in the garden - I have lots of pics just not enough blog to show them off in.... And now I am supposed to be doing neutrals. Well burgundy is a neutral, isn't it? LOL.

anon!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Bananas



G'day all!

You may be wondering why a picture of a mostly nekked banana graces the top of this blog entry.

Well there is a story to that banana.

Last Wednesday, a bright and sunny day in Noble Park, Gibbering and I went to this place:

Heronswood, home of the Digger's Club, down in Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula. We went there to buy seeds. Seeds! Seeds! Bucketloads of seeds:


Can you tell I want a rather large vegie patch this year? There's a few ornamentals in there - the variegated corn, the Flander's poppies (which I grow for Pop, not that he liked them but they are symbolic of WWI), the sunflowers (but they also provide seeds).

After visiting Heronswood and coming away with a rather expensive load of seeds, we stopped in Dromana to get some lunch and look at a couple of craft shops. It was a dull and gloomy day in Dromana and this was our view:


This is where the bananas come in.

About 5 or 6 months ago, a cyclone rampaged across a particular part of Queensland (a northern aka tropical state of Oz). The particular part that provides a large proportion of Australia's banana crop. I can only guess this was a cyclone that was very hungry and had a taste for bananas as it destroyed the whole crop. We don't import bananas cos they already have enough diseases here without having more diseases that would wipe out the whole crop for ever and ever amen.

In response to the laws of supply and demand banana prices went through the roof, from about $3 a kilo to $12, $13, $14, $15 and a princely $16 a kilo.

So this most yummy banana


cost $2.15! And it was only a bubby one. Gibbering's cost $3! For a banana!


Mmmm, it was a good banana though. Almost perfectly ripe for my tastes. No chance of these blokes getting a look in:


Haven't had a banana for months. I feel sorry for the people with little kids who like bananas cos they will be feeling the pinch. Bananas are being blamed for an increase in inflation here - the Oz Bureau of Statistics reckons we are still eating bananas at the same rate. Well I am not! I reckon there will be plenty o people out there who are not eating bananas either. Petrol is a factor but I am not so sure about bananas contributing greating to inflation.

Now in case you think I am teasing you with indications of knitting, I show you this teaser. The socks as at yesterday morning:


anon!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Satdee Sky

G'day all!

The last few days have been quite busy, not that I have much to show for it cos my darling husband has generously shared his bug, aka virus, with me and I've been quite sluggish. I was particularly sluggish after riding to Monash with him on Friday, a ride that is pretty much all uphill and which normally takes me half an hour. I think it took about 3/4 of an hour cos we were riding into a pretty annoying headwind. I almost needed granny gear to get up one particular hill. The way home was great though - top gear down that same hill, doing almost as fast as the cars (in a 50kmh zone). Wheeeee!

I have many sock pics to show you but no time at present to show them. Instead, you get pics of our sky yesterday afternoon when some lovely storms blew up.





Some sun crept through the clouds and lit up a bit of the rain falling - weird huh?


For all of the drama of the clouds we only got 1/2 mm of rain. That means this month we've had about 20mm of rain, less than an inch and less than half of what we would expect.

Sock pics soon! Progress has been made :-)

anon!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bendi = TOTT (totally over the top)

or

OMG what am I going to do with all this fleece?


or

What madness gripped me?



G'day all!

At last I come to the end of the Bendi photos. *phew*


A kilo of polwarth from Wendy Dennis. This is a really clean fleece and I might try spinning it in the grease. If you mouse click on the pic and look at the big pic you can see the crimp quite clearly in the bottom centre/right.




From Andyle, more than a kilo of the most beautiful spotty silver and white merino fleece I've ever seen. This is truly a yummy yummy fleece. I've already washed some up (mainly cos some of the tips are a bit clagged otherwise I'd just spin it in the grease cos the white bits are quite white). Tonight I've started spinning the softest finest yarn I've ever made from this fleece. I am in lerv, baby! Cheryle said it was a lovely fleece, one of her favorites.




2.7 kilos of merino/corriedale cross from Bennett and Gregor. This is another extremely soft fleece. I loved the different colours in it and decided to buy the whole lot cos I couldn't pick out what parts to take....The staple is quite short, mostly around 5cm with some bits about 8cm long, which is a shame but the fleece is reallllllly yummy! Soft and almost edible! You get lots of shots of this even though I think I like the silver spotty fleece more.


Maybe at this point I should break into "for we are living in a material world, and I am a material girl...."

Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but it seems I prefer fleece. If only I could lay it all out and roll on it without felting it or getting it dirty....



OK, as a reward for sitting through the tedium of my purchases, I give you the tedium of some random shots snapped from the car on the way back from Bendigo.


Grand buildings in Bendigo - being a gold boom town, it really showed off the wealth way back when.



The road to Melbourne. Blue skies, little traffic and 100kmh. River red gums and box ironbarks (gum trees) line the roads.


A bit of a late afternoon view, slightly skewed.


A small car fled down the freeway in front of me.


Hanging Rock.


After sunset on the Western Plains.

And a snippet of news for Babylon 5 fans :-) (And dang you Andreas for smoking so many cigarettes for so long and killing yourself. Still cranky about that. The smokes kill. Straight out. Only the genetically lucky survive.)

Tomorrow I might show some of my recent progress on the sock project. Not really that much to show off - I've been too busy in the garden and playing with my new fleece. The croc sock is starting to look like an overgrown pulse warmer - I'm less than 20 rows from the heel turning now, thank heavens. Not sure what the croc sock is? Tune in next time to see!

anon!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bendi = SEX

G'day all!

We are now into the business end of the deal. This is where I start revealing my luscious purchases.

Looking for lush yarn? well, I realised that I only bought two lots of yarn. Pop over to Peeve for a gander at her lush and yummy yarn! And whilst I am linking, visit Purplexity and console her on her pussy costing $1400 and counting. That is her lovely CAT Purple.

OK, where were we? Bendigo stash enhancement.

When I go to Bendi, I tend to go a bit nuts. I buy little amounts of things to try and I buy great gobs of stuff that I know I will like. This is my first year buying fleeces, so excuse me if the yarn enhancement suffered - I can make my own yarn!

Bendigo Woollen Mills purchases:





5 ply yarn to dye, 1 kg of sliver to dye and spin, two bags of "felting" laps to spin and felt. The wool/alpaca/mohair (white and blue with the odd dash of pink) is coming up a treat!



From the Finn Sheep lady:





Finn sheep tops and a bag of pure finn fleece. I have some of her finn X merino and it is verra nice.... Spins up fine, both as in well and as in thin. I should try making laceweight from it. Ahhh....



From Ixchel:

Two rolags of a luscious blend of umm wool. alpaca, angora? Kid mohair in there too? Ooops, can't remember 8-) A bag of bunny fluff. A skein of handspun Galadriel in a different mix to what I bought in June. Plus a skein of laceweight from Fibreworks, only the colour is cactus and the only shot I have that really shows the colourway is badly blurred. If you scroll down and look at the shiny bag I bought the same colourway in tops.



From various places:





Lots of merino tops to play with. Plus some lurex threads to ply stuff with. The shiny bag of sarsparilla tops can't be opened until I want to spin it - I've found that the tops are jammed so hard in that you'll never get them back in after playing with them. One bag of stuff from fibreworks exploded on me once. LOL. As along as it is only tops and fleece that explode at me I'll be happy :-)


A random bag of not too bad randomly dyed locks. I thought these could be spun into yarn as I was plying it to make it more interesting. They aren't prickly - I had worried about that.



From Virginia Farm Woolworks 300g of Optim tops and 250g of 40% silk and merino. mmmmmmmmmmmmm! Yummy!




From Wooleebaa Farm, 1.6kg of Polwarth and just over a kilo of randomly dyed Romney X Corriedale (takes after the romney I fear but I think it will be good for sock yarn, especially if plied or blended with a more delicate fleece).







Finally, a couple of books that I have been interested in for a while. I love the way the viking/celtic stuff is worked into the knitting and Cat's moebius stuff, plus the cute cat pics.... More things to dream over and not make! I can't figure out how I used to work full time and actually get anything done!




If you want contact details for any of these good vendors, send me an email and I'll let you know phone/fax numbers and email addies.

The embarrassment of riches continues tomorrow when I reveal the last three purchases. Oh yes indeed there is MORE! I would take a picture of me rolling around in it all but I can't find a big enough space - certainly not in the house and definately not in the street - I might get run over! though there is plenty of room there - plus I spent 5 years reeking of sheep for my PhD and don't really need to do that any longer....

anon!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bendi = show us your cash(mere)

G'day all!

The Bendi flashing continues! Woo hoo!


A cashmere billy goat eyeballed me curiously, but I've been warned that billy goats have their own particular cologne, so to speak, and stayed a few feet away.


The cashmere kids were very cute


This little bloke/girl lipped my fingers and started nibbling... still very cute, and yes I do have all my fingers!


An angora goat. I love the halo effect around this goat - it just sorta fuzzed in the light. What do angora goats supply?


I bought some bits and bobs from Ixchel, run by Charly (no website! Charly, you need a website!) Isn't her stall pretty? All handspun stuff, except the stuff that is waiting to be spun. There's also some woven tabardy/wrappy things. No I'm not pregnant! I stood in a really really bad way and look enormous!


I didn't buy anything from Sarah Durrant cos I was too busy buying fleece. Sarah stocks Colinette yarns. Mmmm.... She is displaying some point 5 in one of my favourite colourways here :-) At least I've given her a plug.

Now I must show you pics of some of the magnificent rams' horns I saw. Must I tell you!


This is a Drysdale ram - I love this pic. Magnificent horns and a pretty face :-)


A ram jam (my technical term for it) - four sheep were stuck in small cages, obviously not for long periods, for judging.


A merino ram - not all merino rams seem to have big horns like these so I presume he is one of the sub-breeds or they get de-horned or it's an age thing or something. This ram was so big that he barely fit in the cage. I looked at how much he weighed in the fleece and he was over 160kg! (350lb) I'd hate to have to lift him and shear him!

Finally another favourite picture

A headless sheep! Some would say that that is their natural state - brainless!

Tomorrow - Bendi = S E X. Unless I get sidetracked, again. :-)

anon!