Thursday, 26 June 2008

A very special post

I'm still here.

I contemplated taking Rosered's suggestion to save my 100th post for the arrival of the bump (who's ready for the live streaming?? Kidding!!), but an opportunity to good to pass up has presented itself.

What nicer way to mark one's 100th blog post than with a celebration of the kindness and generosity of knitters, crocheters and bloggers?

I have commented before on the joy and acceptance I have found with the Canberra SnBers. Ive been going for a bit more than a year now, and look forward to the regular gatherings so I can catch up with those whom I now regard as friends, ooh and aah over everyone's projects, paw through new books and pat new yarn and meet new folk. I was introduced to blogging, and a whole new world (literally!) of blog-friends, through SnB.

On Tuesday evening, at one of the regular gatherings, I was reminded once again of the importance SnB and blogging now has in my life.

I was presented with the most gorgeous, thoughtful, generous gift for the bump.I cant do it justice with any single photo, but you get the idea: a blanket made from squares knitted and crocheted by a raft of SnBers and bloggers, sewn together and edged in crochet.

I'm not sure if it was evident, but I was quite speechless and overwhelmed that this has been going on behind the scenes for so long and with so much enthusiasm!

I love it - both because it is so lovely and snuggly and perfect for the Bump, but also because it represents all the things I love about being part of the SnB and blogging communities.

I would like to thank everyone involved, both local and remote: a special one to Beth Bynnag for organising, coordinating, sewing up and edging, and to all the contributors: Jejune, Othlon, Kuka, Taphophile, Happy Spider, Quilting Mick, Silkydoll, Luckycat, Twitchy Fingers, Rosered, Tinkingbell, Monnsqueak, Olivia, kms, Bells, and the bloggless Jacqui and Krissy.

So finally my 100th post (you were so right Bells! June - and only just!) and Im so glad I had the opportunity to make it about something special. Since the Bump Sweepstakes is still going, I think there will a random celebratory competition sometime down the track.

Thank you all, more than you can possibly know.

G x

p.s. The Bump Sweepstakes are still open, of course, but enough with the middle-of-the-night predictions already! Please!


ETA: It had to happen, It nagged at me when I wrote the list, and I thought "I bet I'll forget someone".

And I did: Caffeine Faerie, Im so very sorry!! It wasn't on purpose, I promise!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Did someone say nesting?

I guess maybe I have been. Just a little. That big long list of Things To Do Once I Start Maternity Leave is slowly getting shorter. I have been cleaning, washing, baking, making (more) lists, sewing, and yes, some knitting too.

I figured that despite recieving many gorgeous gifts already (about which I will blog later), I really should knit something for the Bump myself.

Inspired by Bells, I started a Pi Blanky a couple of weeks ago, in Bendy 8ply Classic in Tuscan.
You need a nice warm, bright blanky in the Canberra winter. I'm keeping it simple, just the YO increases for the pattern, although now I'm in the "knit 48 rounds" section, I've put in an extra row at 24 rows.

Although it's great, mindless round-and-round knitting, Ive decided to put the brakes on because I've got some outstanding gift knitting on the needles.

That didn't stop me casting on a pair of longies in Happy Spider 8ply Wakame.

What did stop me, however, was getting to the gusset of the longies and needing a second pair of 4mm dpns. Now I know I have at least one more set (I'm sure I've two), but do you think I could find them?

Not in my needle cases or boxes (just dont ask. I am in dire need of needle storage solutions.)

Not in this knitting basket......

And not in this knitting basket.

What I did find, though, was a huge bloody shambles of WIPs, random small purchases, sample cards, ball bands and general crap.

It called for some cleansing. I am pleased to report that I frogged no less than five languishing WIPs:

  • a BSJ in Happy Spider 4ply (I just can't get the hang of this pattern, as much as I long to),
  • a beanie in Jet that I can't get the cable pattern to work for,
  • a baby kimono (from a Sirdar pattern - in pieces! Why would I knit one in pieces and then sew them up? Hah!)
  • a Debbie Bliss baby jacket both in pieces (hah!) and 5ply (w-a-y too slow)
  • a baby beanie in Peaches and Cream that just wasn't working.

And relocated no less than 25 balls of yarn back to the stash cupboard.

Still no 4 mm dpns.

But it feels much better! And I have identified some good hospital knitting:

  • Cobblestone jnr for PJ; Im up to the sleeves and just need to concentrate
  • Monkey socks that have been OTNs forever
  • the rest of the Pi Blanky

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got stock on the stove, 2 loads of washing to hang out, and I believe there's the back of a cupboard somewhere that might need cleaning....

Wednesday, 18 June 2008


First, a public apology to Bells, for suggesting she could ever be anything approaching unkind. The irony of the rudeness of calling her unkind (even a teeny bit!) is not lost on even me! I claim a failure of my brain to come up with a better word and lack of rigorous editing, rather than intentional slander. Sorry Bells.


Now. It has come to my attention that there have been questions asked about The Bump.

So I thought - even at the 11th hour - I'd make sure everyone has all the information they need.

Listen carefully, I will say this only once.....

Everything is fine. No issues with the Bump, no issues with me. Apart from mild annoying wakefulness in the middle of the night (usually 1:56 am to around 4am, then 5:01 am to 6-ish) and an unspeakably painful pelvis, we are both very normal (quiet in the back) and healthy.

My due date is 26th June. That's the doctor's due date. Mine is 3rd July. We'll see. Place your bets**.

No, I don't know the gender. I'm not ready, and once you know, you cant unknow. I did half-wish I knew when I was browsing the baby clothes sale at a local department store Still not ready.

No, we're not particularly hung up on gender-specific colours. Bright is good - of any colour. Pale yellow is not. Frills and fluff are not a favourite either. I'm right with you on the pale pink frou-frou thing Amy. (this is not intended to sound presumptuous - but I know it has been asked)

As I mentioned last post, there has been some expansion. Even though everyone keeps telling me I look very "neat" or "compact", I feel like a hippo.

I was going to entertain you with a photo of what used to be known as my belly-button, but decided against it.

Despite my very best intentions, and an ever-increasing Ravelry queue, I am yet to knit a single thing for this baby. Not a sock, not a hat...nada. I do have one thing on the needles, nice mindless knitting, but it's got a long way to go.

Bad Mama.


**Kate's comment on the last post arrived just minutes after I wrote that sentence and I say YES - lets have a guessing comp!

Leave your bet for date and time (Australian Eastern Standard Time please - no way am I figuring out where you're from and what time it is there compared with here.....) in the comments and there will be a prize for whoever gets the closest!

It can be either side (before or after) - just the closest. Entries close when I go into labour - although I wont be blogging that, there will be some who know when it happens.

Note to Beloved: if I give away some of the stash, am I allowed to replace it?


Yet again, another week (and more!) has slipped by and my blog lies neglected. Ive missed yet another This is....but I dont think you really want to see a photo of my forehead, since my brain is my main creative space right now - I dont really have a physical space right now.

My first blogiversary was sometime in April, a date which I duly missed. I voiced my regrets to Bells, and said "that's OK, my 100th post is coming up, I'll celebrate then". I thought she was being a teeny bit unkind when she said "Oh, sometime around June then?". But of course she was right. I just checked - this is post 97.

Maybe July then? Har har.

I finally finished work on Thursday, after scrambling a few last minute items for my manager. Despite all his claims that I didnt need to do any handover notes, and trying to brief him for several weeks, I spent an hour with him on Tuesday morning explaining one small part of the what Id been doing for the last two years - how I'd put it together and where the files were.

At least they gave me morning tea!

Today is really the first day I've felt like I can settle and take a breath and "start" my leave - we went to visit Mum and Dad on Friday for the weekend, then Monday and Tuesday have been full of appointments and errands.

Including one with my OB, who calmly said "So 10 days to go then?". Hmmm. Yup. 10 days. 8 now.

That means 8 days to get through the huge list of things to do that Ive been compiling for the last couple of months: "things to do when Im on leave". Like catch up on our 7 or 8 loads of washing, find and wash all the teeny tiny baby clothes, the cot sheets and the spew cloths, set up the nursery room so I can find said things, clean the pram, clean the grusome alien life-forms out of the fridge, try and get through some more unpacking / re-organising / decluttering (that's wishful thinking!). I'll be a lady of lesuire.

That also means 9 days until the next tranche of Germans for 2008 arrive - Beloved's sister and her 3 girls (aged 10, 11 and 13). In their (and my) defense, they booked in first, a whole year ago. Its just a quirk of timing.

But it does mean 4 extra people (5 when their dad arrives 3 weeks later) at a time when things are already likley to be somewhat busy. However, they're very self-reliant and although it will be crowded and busy and hectic, it wil all be OK.

There has been some knitting, but that will be blogged later when it's gifted. Hopefully soon - it's already overdue.

There has also been significant expansion in the bump department since I last updated you - but that's another post.

Who knows, now that I'm a lady of lesiure, maybe I'll get to post 100 this week!

Sunday, 8 June 2008

This favourite holiday memory

Eek - has it really been a week since I posted last? 7 whole days? No one nicked any....positive? I guess being my second last week at work, I was unusually busy. Colleagues finally realised I was GOING for 6 months and that if they wanted anything from me, now would be a really good time.

So, thanks to Hila, here is my favourite travel memory.

You may or may not know that Beloved is German, from a small village not too far from Cologne. When I say small, I mean 550 people. His family has lived there for nearly 900 years, and he is related to about half the inhabitants! We try and visit every 1 - 2 years (although that is of course less possible now with kids and costs), and I love going back. It's very grounding.

We went for Christmas 2004, and as Beloved's godson was having his first communion at Easter in 2005, we decided that I would take leave without pay and stay there for the in-between time. We found out 2 days before we left that I was pregnant with Pirate Jim.

Beloved returned to Australia at the end of January, and I stayed with his younger brother, his wife and their 3 months old daughter. (The very same who visited us earlier this year, although Miss M is now 3 years old of course). I had a fabulous time. My German improved out of sight, I got to experience a Karneval in the village, and did some travelling around to visit friends and family all over the country. Nothing like getting caught on an inter-city train without the correct ticket to give one's language skills a run!

This photo was taken a few days before Beloved left the village to return to Australia. The village is nestled in a little valley between several mountains; I am standing on top of Limberg, with the village and it distinctive spire behind me (although you cant actually see that! But what you can see is a bit more than half the village).

There was snow, and there would be a lot more that winter, but it was a period of several warm-ish, rainy days - hence the patchiness of the snow and the umbrella I'm carrying.

It was my first "white Christmas", and very very strange to be celebrating all rugged up with short, cold, overcast days, when Ive only ever had long, balmy (or baking) days in swimsuits and sundresses with post-feast naps in the shade. Athough the post-feast nap is apparently universal.

I have a dozen travel memories I can draw on, but I think this is my favourite because its the time when I really felt that I became part of my German family. It also gave a very strong appreciation of just how hard it was for Beloved to leave here and relocate to Australia (Bundaberg) in his 20s, with no family and only school English.

And PJ was there too!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

This pets

I grew up on a farm, and so as kids we had a constant procession of pets (or animals we tried to make pets), ranging from cats and dogs to Miss Margaret the chook , ducks, a tortoise (Bert), rabbits, pigs and countless doomed goldfish. You've already seen my pony Diamond, a few posts ago.

These days we are much more pedestrian, with just a cat and a dog to our name. We did recently find ourselves seriously discussing a fish for PJ. He was fascinated by the one we fish-sat for a couple of weeks last year, and maybe one day soon we will.

But for now, here is Asha, adopted from the pound as a kitten when I lived in Darwin. She's now 8.

And here's Brock, also adopted from the pound as a very neglected 9 year old when we lived in the Blue Mountains. He's now 13. His hobbies consist of sleeping (23 1/2 hours a day) and eating.

Both these two have always been sensational with PJ, never raised so much as a claw in his direction despite some fairly severe toddler treatment.

We couldn't ask for lovelier pets, really.