Monday, 31 December 2007

December Roundup

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I am hoping They are right, because I haven't done much else to endear myself to you, dear reader. I have been a very bad blogger indeed. I can only promise I will try to make it up to you.

This month has been a topsy-turvy (whose December hasn't?) and I present to you a wrap-up of a few Moments of Significance.

1. Catering a friend's 50th birthday weekend gathering.

I somewhat rashly promised to do this back in, oh about August, and it all came back to bite early in the month. The party went for 3 days, and there were between 15 and 25 people to keep happily fed. Bbq one night, finger food for several hours, buffet dinner the next night.

Luckily it was held at the Birthday Girl's newly renovated country lodgings in Jamberoo, with a shiny new whiz-bang kitchen, and ample capable and willing sous-chefs on hand (capable meaning capable of taking orders!).

It all went swimmingly: no disasters, too much food (phew!), everyone happy, especially the Birthday Girl. And lucky me, she presented me with a little something: Secrets of the Red Lantern, one of my recent wish-list cookbooks.

2. Doing the Wiggle Groove.

The Wiggles came to Canberra, and of course we took PJ along. He got into it a little more than last time, and even took me down to the mosh pit at the front of the stage for a while. No dancing, just absorbing the atmosphere.

But it's still a very serious business, this Wiggles thing.

Note to ACT govt and operators of AIS arena as a venue: SORT OUT THE FARKING PARKING. What a shambles - and they socked us $5 for the privilege of sitting in traffic for more than 30mins coming in and going out. Total Shambles doesn't even come close.

3. Holidays at Nana and Grandpa's.

We arrived back home last night after 2 weeks staying with my parents at Corowa on the Murray River in southern NSW, for Christmas and the aftermath.

Highlights include:

  • Catching up on lots of sleep, as PJ sleeps in Nana and Grandpa's room. (Mind you, he sleeps through almost every night for them!)
  • Seeking relief from the summer heat by going for a swim

  • My Dad's World-Famous paella, cooked, like most of his creations, on his Weber:

  • Keeping PJ up til 9pm on Christmas Eve to walk around the corner to see the christmas lights. The animated Reindeer head that spoke to him by name freaked him out a little, but otherwise he got right into it.

  • The usual present excitement - PJ totally got the idea of gifts this year and we couldn't put anything under the tree until he went to bed on Christmas Eve because anything wrapped clearly needed to be unwrapped Right. Now. and was obviously for him. PJ very democratically played with all his gifts in turn, but I think the winner was this digger, made by his Grandpa:

  • I scored very well indeed on the gift front: an Ipod (once I figure out how to use the mongrel apple thing); not one, but THREE cookbooks (Delicious. 5 nights a week, My China by Kylie Kwong and Margret Fulton's updated tome); socks from my MIL; a gorgeous brooch from my parents. Lucky, lucky me.

  • A very decadent Christmas lunch, as prepared by the whole family
  • A lunch cruise on Lake Mulwala which captivated PJ

  • Eating fresh blackberries and icecream

4. Deadline Knitting

My brother, 6pm on Christmas eve: "Hey Georgie, you know how I'm going to Detroit in 2 weeks - don't suppose you fancy knitting me a beanie do you?"

Me: "Why not. Would you prefer this yarn, or this one?"

10am Boxing day: one beanie and one happy brother, thanks to Taph's TTWC. No photo, but hey, its a beanie.

5. Planning Failures

You would think that after my catering triumphs (see 1), I could organise knitting projects for 2 weeks. But no. Sadly, there was little other knitting aside from the emergency beanie, despite ample opportunity. I took 4 projects - one, I'm not happy with and will probably frog; the second, Beloved's Jet jumper, stalled because I didn't bring any more balls other than the one I was already halfway through; both the third AND the fourth, I didn't bring the patterns for.


6. Coming Attractions

I opened with an apology for my lack of blogging these last weeks. I hope you can forgive me when you see that I've been a little busy - and tired - growing this little critter:

Sorry about the crappy scan. Due July 3rd. Unlike my pregnancy with PJ, I have been nauseous and dizzy, and tired like Ive never felt. But now hopefully things will be on a more even keel and I will be back to my knitting, blogging, commenting self.

If I missed catching up with you before, I hope you and your loved ones had a very happy and enjoyable Christmas (or celebration of choice), and my best wishes for a gute rutsche (good slip) into the New Year.

Friday, 7 December 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

and Christmas around here means Spritzgeback! German christmas biscuits. Last year Bertie's parents were with about now, and my MIL taught me how to make them. So last weekend at our place it was all hands on deck.

I wont reproduce the recipe here, because, as you will see, there is some specialist equipment involved, and I'd never heard of this particular use before so Im not how widespread it is. (of course I can add it if you roolly want).

Spritzgeback are basically a shortbready biscuit - butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, eggs, touch of milk. The dough is made the day before it's baked, and stands overnight somewhere cool (yes, clearly a northern hemisphere recipe).

Then you give it a good mix and start cranking out the biscuits.

Pirate Jim was very keen to help this year. Note the concentration manifesting in the poked out tongue.

As you can see, the traditional method is to use a hand-turned mincer, with a special form on the front, to squish the dough out into the right shape. We've tried rolling out the leftovers and using a biscuit cutter, but sadly it doesnt work.
You can see it a bit better here:

That long flat bit to the side is a series of different shaped holes that that give you different shaped biscuits as the dough gets forced through.

You get a long snake of formed dough, that is then cut into short lengths before baking.

After about 15 minutes in a moderate oven, they come out all nice and lightly browned.

And becasue there are very few things in thie world that arent improved by the addition of chocolate, you can then paint one end. Very traditional, Im assured.

And then, the pay-off: enjoying them with a cup of tea!

Unfortunately, despite making two batches already, I'm going to have to go back in and make another couple. It seems Santa has been sampling the goodies at our place already.

p.s. if you're up for some more European Christmas baking, Kuka's been making some yummy treats over her way too.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Yes, there has been (some) knitting

I have been very slack not reporting on a couple of FOs from the last month or so. Sadly, they've been few and far between. First I got a bad case of casting-ons, now Ive got a bit of startitis. I currently have too much choice (but more on that in a future post).

Firstly my beloved Clapotis. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways....

I cast this off weeks ago, just in time for Canberra's warm spring weather to hit. I still love it.

Yarn: Happy Spider custom-dyed; about 110g.

Sticks: 4.0mm addi circ

Mods: I only did 5 increase reps (following RoseRed's lead), and I'm quite happy with the width; in hindsight though I should have done a few more straight rows for a little more length.

Next up: a vest for Master O, a commission (my workmate keeps me busy!). And one for the Pirate (see issues below):

Pattern: Vest with splits from Panda book 204

Yarn: Bendigo 8ply Classic in Tuscan

Sticks: 4.0mm straights; mark II on 4.5 mm straights (see issues)

Mods: none (except I knit on the first one at SnB one evening and got distracted, so its about 3 cm longer before the armhole decreases than the pattern states)

Issues: I was given Master O's measurements, and the met with the pattern finished measurements, and I got correct tension, so I knit this as the pattern stated. Except when I finished it, it was 2cm smaller a the chest than it should have been. Master O is the same age, but a bit bigger, than the Pirate. This vest is intended for next year, and I figured if it was only mildly roomy on PJ now, it wasn't going to go close to Master O next autumn. So I sucked it up and knit another one on 4.5 mm sticks, which is much better.

So now both PJ and Master O have tuscan vests.

Confessions: I outsourced the finishing. But I did try! Several times! But considering these were a commission, I thought they deserved better than my efforts. Next time, I promise.

Because, believe me, if I'm going to regain any credibility around here after last weeks little expedition, I'm going to be doing A LOT of knitting over the summer.

That's all I have to say about that right now.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

She's back....

And because I'm too lazy right now to recount all the comings and goings of the last 2 weeks, I'm just going to ease back into the saddle with the meme that's been doing the rounds lately (first seen by me on Amy's blog).

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night.
Pirate Jim saying, very seriously "oh my goodness" when he dropped something.

2.What were you doing at 0800?
Having a shower and listening to the radio news (we have a radio in the bathroom)

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Brushing my teeth (its only 845 am)

4. What happened to you in 2006?
I got a job in the Commonwealth Public Service - I had been applying for about 3 years, and then got a call out of the blue the day before Good Friday to ask me to apply for a job I had never seen advertised based on submitting my cv for about a dozen other jobs in the place.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
"Bye" to Pirate Jim and Beloved as they headed off to take the dog for a walk.

6. How many beverages did you have today?
One - a juice with breakfast. Haven't gotten around to making my first cup of tea, but that's next on the agenda.

7. What color is your hairbrush?
I don't use a hairbrush, I use a comb. Its blue.

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
A prescription at the pharmacy yesterday.

9. Where were you last night?
On the couch. S.O.P.

10. What color is your front door?
Blue, same as the trim (inside and out) of the whole house. The owners obviously have a thing about steely blue-grey.

11. Where do you keep your change?
In my purse. Unless the Pirate has been in the there, in which case its all in his pockets.

12.What’s the weather like today?
Overcast, mild. About 17oC (62F) right now, predicting 25C (77F)

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
Pistachio. Or bacci (choc hazelnut). Especially from a Roman gelateria.

14. What excites you?
Yarn. Patterns. A block of clay waiting to be worked. Getting mail (even junk mail). Good news. Having guests over. Unexpected guests dropping in. Right at this very moment, the prospect of a change of Federal Government.

15. Do you want to cut your hair? I can count on one hand the number of times I have actually liked how my hair looks. I would really like to trade my hair in. Too fine, too frizzy, too mousy, and I'm too lazy to take the time to do anything about it.

16. Are you over the age of 25?
On the outside, well and truly. On the inside, I'm somewhere about there. I always get a little shock when I fill in a form with the age groups and my pen hovers over the "18-25" category, then reality sinks in.

17. Do you talk a lot?
Yes. More than I should.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Yes - very amicable work colleague.

20. Do you make up your own words?
In English, not so often. In German, all the time. Usually by taking the english word and "german-ifying" it. I hit the mark a surprisingly high percentage of the time!

21. Are you a jealous person?
Sadly, yes. I don't much like the idea that stuff goes on without me. I'm working on it.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter "A."

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter "K."

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
My mum. She returned my call when I called her from Cassidy's (LYS) to tell her about the $2 yarn sale.

25. What does the last text message you received say?
"You have 2 new V-mail messages". I'm completely hopeless at hearing and answering my mobile.

26. Do you chew on your straw?

27. Do you have curly hair?
Kinda. I had ringlets as a child; now its kind of wavy-frizzy-totally unglamorous.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
The local primary school to vote in today's federal election.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
I have an aunt who is appalling rude, but I don't have much contact with her. A couple of work colleagues.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
Weeties and sultanas fro breakfast.

31. Will you get married in the future?
Already am, so its not on my radar.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
This could be "the last 2 years" and I still wouldn't have an answer. I don't have the attention span or patience any more to watch the rubbish that passes for movies these days.

And I haven't actually watched a movie in the last 2 weeks.

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
John Corbett. But I don't think its reciprocal.

Otherwise there are lots of lovely people in my life right now who I enjoy spending time with.

36. Did you cry today?
Not yet. But the day is still young and Pirate Jim has a lot of boundaries to push. Never say never.

37. Why did you answer and post this?
I love a good meme, and I needed something a little bit easy to get back into the blogging mood.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Did anyone get the number of that truck?

Today I graduated from bed (where I have been since Wednesday) to the couch.

Can't do more than a few minutes on the computer, can't knit (even thinking about knitting does me in), thankfully can read for short periods....thank goodness the cricket's on the radio.

Normal services will resume shortly.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Sock Progress

Due to popular demand, here is an account of my sock progress in the last week or so.

If I had to describe it in a single word it would be this: slow.

Since my triumphant finish of the first Opal Smoke plain sock, I have been plodding along with the second:

I may be about to lose my "newbie" status on Southern Summer of Socks with the following statement but...I think I'm over the plain sock. I'm up for a challange.

So I dived into the stash, joined the rest of the known knitting universe and cast on a Monkey:

The yarn is Jawoll Colour Superwash. I did the cuff using three needles instead of 4, being still too newbie-ish to juggle 4. But Im loving the pattern and it cruises along quite nicely.

Not as easy to pick up for a round or too when the Pirate is rampaging as a plain sock, so I think there's room in my life for fancy and plain socks.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

That my boy Part II

It's been a slow blogging week Chez Kitchentable - Beloved has been away, pushing back the frontiers of science, and Pirate Jim's Nana has been keeping PJ and I company. Not a lot of screen time available when I'm keeping those two in line.

Regular readers know my Mum as the Master Finisher; she was a sample knitter for Patons in her youf and does beautiful work, as well as having a seemingly bottomless supply of patience. So there's always lots of knitting going on when she visits -often because she has big pile of my finishing to do!

PJ clearly decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

PJ: (with my 4mm Addi circ) Nana, I knitting too.

PJ: Nana, I want wolle (wool)

At the ripe old age of 2 years, 2 months and 3 weeks, PJ has his first knitting lesson.

Thank heavens for Nanas!

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

No Guilt Stash

I hereby adopt the No Guilt Stash manifesto as developed by Bells and Amy.

No Guilt Stash Manifesto

I will neither defend nor apologize for my stash. My yarn brings me joy, and therefore brings others in my life joy.

Through my hands I do good in the world. I knit with love for friends, family, and strangers. Yarn is my medium.

I promise not to let my stash acquisition interfere with personal relationships or financial health; yet neither will I give in to pressure from significant others to reduce my stash.

I will not judge others' stash. I can admire it, be inspired by it, even covet certain skeins, but it is not my place to pass judgment on quantity or quality.

I recognize that stash management is personal. I fully intend to knit my beautiful yarns, but I refuse to be guilted into doing so on anyone's schedule other than my own.

I understand that it may take many years for a yarn to reveal its destiny, and that yarns that have been in my stash for a seemingly long time just haven't met their correct pattern. I won't feel guilty about this.

I also recognize that yarn can have many destinies. It can be a reminder of a special trip, a friend, a time in one's life. It can be comfort or inspiration. It doesn't always need to be knitted to fulfill its destiny. I accept that some yarns in my possession may never be knit by me.

I believe in the karmic properties of stash. I willingly share with other knitters, and I realize the stash, like love, will grow when it is shared.


Thanks Amy and Bells!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

That's my boy!

This afternoon, Chez Kitchentable......

Pirate Jim: Mama, I take basket, I go shopping (holding small plastic shopping basket)

Mama: OK, darling, what will you buy?

PJ: Eggs, we need eggs.

(a few minutes later....)

PJ: Look Mama, I go to shop. I kaufen (buy).

In case you missed it....

One skein of 4-ply and one skein of 10-ply Waratah Fibres yarns, acquired at yesterday's visit to Helen's home (as blogged here by Happy Spider) and yet to be RRSSS'd.

Boy's got taste.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

The postman always rings twice

Well, he would if I stopped ambushing him halfway down the driveway and let him get the to front door.

The wheel needed feeding. So, with thanks for all of your recommendations, I did a little shopping. How much do we love the innernets?

Yesterday, my lovely postie brought me this:

Merino tops from Virginia Farm Woolworks. And a spare bobbin and a niddy noddy. I've gotta get set up, right?

I've also discovered the lolly shop that is Ewe Give Me the Knits. Mandie does amazing things and tonight, the poor postie had the parcel containing this ripped from his hands.

Chacha (top; a little than I expected!) and Skip a beat tops.

Cheeky Cherry, and Under the Sea

Moroccan Nights and Mulled Wine (hmm, sounds like a good idea to me!):

It would be fairly safe to say I got a little excited at EGMTK; I plan to spend quite some time with the plain tops before I tackle these beautiful dyed fibres.

And I may possibly have reached husbandorial limits too. While I was standing on a chair trying to get decent light to take photos of my haul, he wandered past, shaking his head. The words "sick", "obsessed" and "crazy" all passed his lips.....

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Make mine a Guinness

I noticed a little quiz over at Kuka's blog...

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

I do love Dublin. Especially because it's filled with Irish people with Irish accents, my favourite accent! Hey Amy, do ya reckon Tom Brady has an Irish accent??

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Did you pick it?

Ten championship points and a free set of steak knives to all those who picked that yesterday's photo of my newly finished sock was posed on the treadle of an Ashford Traditional spinning wheel.

Which has come to live with me!

A few weeks back, Jejune mentioned to me that Othlon now had two wheels, and that they didn't really have the space for this one. Especially since they're moving house soon, would I like to borrow the Ashford for a time?

Is a bear a catholic?? Would I!

So yesterday afternoon we had a bit of a playdate, and Othlon showed me to drive it. (please excuse the hair. I was going for a Farrah Fawcett flick but I think I may have missed. Exacerbated by sitting beside the very glam Ms Othlon with her sleek new haircut - way to look daggy and slept in, George)

And after an hour or so, I had a nice little bobbin of spun yarn (the colours have photographed somewhat more...vibrantly than in rool life):

And then Othlon showed me how to skein it:

And now I have it to love and pet and call my very own. (That's some of Othlon's hand-dyed fibre she let me play with, by the way. I've got twice her years - how come she's so clever??? And has such groovy hair? 'snot fair)

How much fun is this spinning caper?

So now, of course, I'm desperate to know where one obtains things such as tops, or batts, or fibre, or whatever it is I have to use to feed to beastie now residing in the spare room. It's getting very hungry! If you have any suggestions for reputable sellers, and also for good reference materials, I'd love to know.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

The Sock is My Bitch

'Nuff said.

With a very special thanks to Jejune for showing me kitchener stitch.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode, in which out heroine explains the context for this photo....

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Sweet surrender

You are going to think I'm the worst kind of trollop, but I'm here to admit that I am smitten once again.

Last time it was the flashy, trashy Clappy that came on like the executive assisstant after a few bubblies at the office christmas bash*; this time I have been gently wooed and finally succumbed to the subtle and serene beauty of the humble sock.

I'm not going to claim it's been all sunsets and heavy breathing - no indeed, this relationship got off to a slow (dare I say rocky?) start - those first few rows on dpns made finding our rhythm together a little tricky.

I was slow to warm up to the round and round and round of rib, then stocking stitch. But I thought we were getting somewhere - like ready to start the heel.

Then, as is often the way, it took an outsider to observe that things may not all be fine and dandy. "Hmmm, its rather...big, dontcha think George?" observed Bells on the weekend. "But I'm using Happy Spider's basic pattern in the small size! How can anything possibly be wrong?" said I.

A count of stitches showed that I had 76 - fine, if I was doing the calf shaping as written into Ms Spider's pattern. Which decreases the number of stitches to closer to 60 when its time to start the heel. Der.

Luckily for me, Ms Spider's patterns come with a free 24-hour counselling hotline. Several angst-ridden emails and a calming phone call later, she had the sock and I back on speaking terms, and we felt like we'd really turned a corner in our relationship.

And here it is: one sock, stitch count waaaay out, but with a turned heel and partly decreased gusset:

Isn't it pretty? It might be a little wonky, but but I'm satisfied now that the sock and I are back on solid ground. I'm flying down the foot, and have discovered what everyone else already knows: the deep and abiding love that is sock knitting.

A comfortable, easy relationship; now we've got the maths sorted, certainly not high maintenance. No jealousy here - its happy to be picked up and put down at a moments notice, for a round or two while Pirate Jim eats breakfast or while I'm waiting for the pasta to boil (assuming the pirate isn't trying to play with the knife block or pretend the dog is the dishwasher and trying to find the place to put the detergent tablet).

It might be short grabs of togetherness, but its quality time. And that's what counts.

*disclosure: I have edited this analogy - my first attempt was a little unthinking and possibly hurtful to people I care about. Sorry if you read it and were offended - that wasn't my intention. Think first, post later, George!

Sunday, 14 October 2007

The drought has broken

Looking back at my blog, I realsied my last FO was the Dayflower scarf way back in August. Yikes! Anyone would think I haven't even been knitting - although I'm sure Beloved would very quickly disabuse anyone of that misplaced notion.

So I am very pleased to finally report on the completion of Little Miss M's Birthday Jacket (aka acres of moss stich).

For once, the colour is pretty good!

Pattern: Zip-up Jacket from Adorable Knits for Tiny Tots by Zoe Mellor, in the 3-4 years size

Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 12 ply in Tuscan; 500g (the pattern stated 400g - a big thanks to the good folk at Bendy who sorted through the store until they found an extra ball in the correct dyelot!)

Sticks: 5mm straights

Modifications: I left off the two front pockets and a pocket on the upper sleeve. This was a deadline knit and I wasn't about to make things any harder than they needed to be.

Comments: this was a very easy knit, once I got over my initial dislike of moss stitch. There is not terribly much shaping, and it goes quite fast in the 12 ply.

Disclosure: the finishing was outsourced (thanks Mum!). Didnt she do a fab job? I would like it noted that I started, but found getting seams and stitches ot sit properly with the moss stitch wasn't easy. Being a gift, I didnt want it look like crap, so I let Mum work her magic.

Coming soon - 1 sock, O's vest (actually finished by me!) and some clappy progress.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

URGENT - Feral Sock Warning!


Issued: Tuesday October 9th 2007

Department: Bureau of Invasive Garments, Department of Knitting and Associated Crafts (DoKAC), Canberra

Priority: HIGH

The Department of Knitting and Associated Crafts (DoKAC) issued a High Priority Alert today in the wake of several sightings of the potentially dangerous and highly invasive Faux feral species of sock. All residents, especially knitters and crocheters, are warned to be on the look-out for specimens.

Faux feral socks are easily recognised by their distinctively patterned pelts, usually in contrasting but complimentary colours. They are most commonly found in pairs, but older specimens may occur singly.

F. feral can survive in most urban settings. They are excellent climbers, and are generally arboreal.

Pair of F. feral in their preferred habitat
F. feral are generally shy and will seek cover.

However, when mating, as with all species of sock, they are found on the ground in sheltered habitats.

Mating pair of F. feral. Note the distinctive entwined coupling.

F. feral will often approach domestic environments to find food and water, particularly in the current drought conditions.

Most importantly, residents should be aware that domestic socks of all species, particularly Business sockii, are in danger of predation by F. feral. A shortage of the natural prey items of F. feral has led to increased incidence of injury and death of B. sockii. Residents should avoid leaving domestic socks unattended, especially if they are tethered.

F. feral feeding on domestic sock species

Any sightings of Faux feral should be reported to DoKAC immediately on the hotline number 1800-FERALSOCK.

Residents should not confuse Faux feral with the similarly patterned, perfectly harmless domesticated sock, Faux fairisle. Should they, Trent?

Saturday, 6 October 2007

My precioussssss

I arrived home from SnB on Thursday night to find a parcel waiting for me.

It was my prize from Donyale's recent competition.

I hope the Clappy doesn't mind sharing me for a while, 'cause I am soooo smitten.....

Thanks Donyale, purveyor of fine Knitpicks and craftswoman of immense talent!

Oh, and if you want to catch up on what PJ's been up to, check out Bell's post about Friday. We all had so much fun! But I can see I'm going to have to keep a close eye on that child! I'm not sure who's a bigger flirt.....

Thursday, 4 October 2007

On love and lust

I've been very slack on posting the progress of my Clapotis, especially since Tink and I are supposed to KAL-ing. And Lynne has joined in.

I was waiting to discover if it's love or just lust, since the thrill had (temporarily) gone. It could just be that I was suffering from performance anxiety due to the deadline projects I've got going on. There's only so much Georgie-love to go around after all.

But now that the moss stitch jacket is done (just the finishing remains and I'm outsourcing that - Hi Mum!) I've found my focus and done another repeat since I took this shot yesterday afternoon.

I think I can say that absence does make the heart grow fonder.
G x

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

They followed me home - can I keep them?

This weekend was a long one here in our part of Australia, so we packed up Pirate Jim, the dog and the cat, and headed off to visit my parents. They live about 5 hours south-west of Canberra.

Despite the availability of free baby-sitting, there was only a few minutes of Ravelry-ing, no blogging and almost no knitting.

But there were these:

And I have absolutely no idea how this made it's way into the back of the car:

But at least there were these inside:

Let's here it for baby-sitting grandparents!


p.s. My Ravelry name is Georgiegirl, if you're looking for me.

The Luckiest Knitter in the World

I am claiming this title today, because I got an email last night informing me that I had won Donyale's September Knitpicks Comp!

You could've knocked me down with a feather (although that may have had more to do with the 2 G&Ts that I'd just had) - the last thing I won was the Narre Warren North Pony Club Member of the Year in 1988!

So a huge thankyou to Donnyale! And I 'd like to thank my mum and dad, and my lovely husband for supporting my knitting, and my darling little boy, and my knitting friends, and all the sheep, and...what do you mean time's up? I've only just started.....

Friday, 28 September 2007

The definition of irony finally getting your invite to Ravelry exactly 1 hour before you have to load the car and then drive 5 hours to spend the long weekend with your parents......

But YAY, I'm in!

On the upside, I have do babysitters on tap for the next 3 days....And my parents do have broadband.....

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Southern Summer of Socks - Personal Challange

I think a list of personal challenges for the Southern Summer of Socks is a great idea - I'm the sort of person who responds well to milestone setting, especially when I take a public oath and know (well, at least think) that everyone will be laughing at me if I don't make a worthwhile attempt.

So here's my list of Personal Challenges:

1. Finish a pair (matching) of socks. Seemingly insignificant, but since Ive never knit even one, this tops the list. The other challenges will also have more context if you keep this in mind.

2. Knit a pair of socks with with cables.

3. Knit a pair of socks with lace.

4. Knit a pair of socks from the toe up.

5. Dye my own sock yarn and produce a pair of socks from it.

6. Learn to knit using the magic loop technique. I'm not going as far as Bells did, and knit two socks at once using it, but I will at least give the technique a go.

My reward: I will buy a fabulous skein of yarn for socks for me (maybe from wollmeise, maybe from somewhere else) and a book of sock patterns.

So there you go - bring on the socky summer fun!

Friday, 21 September 2007

Knitty Picky Socky Stuff

I love getting mail. Especially when it contains these little lovelies from Donyale:

If you think you'd like some of your own (or rather, more of you own, because I think I am once again the last person on the planet to get some), head over to Donyale's Knitpicks shop. There's a groovy little button over on my sidebar that will get you there too*. (This is me shamlessly entering as much of the competition as possible!).

She has a fabulous competition running this month that you can enter when you buy something from her, so check it out.

It's very timely, because the other day I cast on this:

Yes, folks, I can hear the chattering of Beelzebub's teeth - hell has indeed frozen over. I have cast on a sock. I am ashamed to say my motives were not entirely pure, but nonetheless, it is a sock. Ive done about 10 rows and haven't cocked it up yet.

I don't think the Clappy is jealous of the sock though - she's too busy flirting with almost anyone who's dropped past in the last few days!

*edited to add: Look, Ive been working on this button caper since lunchtime (its 830pm). Ive had two other blogger mates try and explain it to me. I'll fix it when I get a clue - in the meantime, there's a sort-of button there that shows the way to Donnyale's shop. If you've ever seen one of my mud-maps, you'd know that this is quite a step up in terms of directions to anyplace other than here.

Monday, 17 September 2007

They call it Clappy love

I never considered myself a flibbertigibbet. While I have never claimed to be a one-WIP girl, I do pride myself on being loyal, in a mildy polygamous way, to my current projects, which I keep to those I can count off on one hand. What's more, I am stubborn to a fault, and never, ever give up on even the most wayward ones. They are all my loved ones.

But then along came Clapotis. It was certainly never lust at first sight - I shunned the Clapotis early on as much too common. She was seen all over town, on all sorts of needles, in just about any yarn that cared to cast a sideways glance in her direction. And she's no spring chicken - 2004 for heaven's sake! This is one pattern that's been around the block a few times - in fact I'd bet there a few of you out there who's mothers have done Clapotis.

But then I caught a glimpse of RoseRed's and Shazmina's Clapotis. I started to get a stirring in my nether regions (my fingers!). And, despite not one, but two, deadline projects on my needles right now, I have finally succumbed to the siren song of the Clapotis.

Never let it be said I'm easy - I needed to find the perfect colourway. Nothing so common as off the shelf yarn, thankyou: I asked the Happy Spider to dye me some. Be still my beating heart:

Clapotis has got the right stuff, let me tell you - I was hooked after the first few rows. Drawn right into her web. So seductive, watching the little triangle pour out from my needles. She whispers all the right things in my ear: you're so good, no one knits me like you do, look at the way I respond to your touch.....I would have thrown my morals out the window ages ago if someone had told me how much fun she is to knit!

And I'm not even feeling guilty about the other WIPs in my basket, even the deadline ones. Such is the power of the Clapotis.

But, as those of you with children would know, the little darlings are always popping up just a exactly the wrong moment, just when you're getting intimate.

Sweet, isn't he? Want him?

I am so enamoured of her, that I'm not at all perturbed by the knowledge that Clapotis is spreading the love around. Its even better knowing that I'm sharing her with someone dear to me - Tinkingbell and I are having a little Clapotis Love-In.