Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

can I get a yee hah?

There's this really strange stuff appearing in the goat paddock. It's kind of green ... and soft... and it smells kinda nice when it rains. The girls aren't at all sure what to do with it.

I believe it's called "grass". Of course I could be wrong. It's a long time since I've had any actual experience of a lawn persuasion.

Some folks have rushed in and stated the drought has broken. Up here, I guess the feeling is more one of cautious optimism.

That being said:

I guess you could say we're getting a bit of rain today.

Monday, May 28, 2007

we now return you to our regularly scheduled Blogging

Normal, sensible people probably know their limits.

Normal, sensible people, when they are unwell, probably rest.
I have never claimed to be a normal sensible person.

Broken bum
Zero energy
So what have I done in the week since I posted last? Actually the fact that I went more than 2 days without posting is probably a clue of some sort...
  • Knitted a scarf and another almost finished something which I will unveil later this week
  • participated in eleven and a half hours of dance classes
  • taught my twice a month quilt class here
  • had another session over at Maryborough for the VicHealth Arts project I'm not allowed to tell you about yet.
  • hiked next door to feed PND's goats and dogs each day for a week and a bit.
  • joined David up to the local gym
  • chopped wood
  • read The Shop on Blossom Street and A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber. [ Okay I guess. Wouldn't bother buying them or rereading them - and that, for me, is saying something. If I'd read A Good Yarn first I probably wouldn't have bothered with the other one. Fluffy, predictable. Underwritten. Unrealistic characterisations but pleasant enough no-brain reads ... they're set in a yarn shop which is the only reason I picked 'em up in the first place but it's a little too " Hey, I'm writing a novel about knitters!" ]
  • helped a very stressed friend move house in a hurry
  • made samples and wrote up project notes for a magazine article ... more about that later ]
  • fallen asleep on the couch several times [ I wonder why ]

Housework : bugger all

Gardening: minimal

If I stopped dancing, I'd probably hurt less, be less tired and bounce back more quickly, but if I can't dance, I'm not a very happy [ or pleasant ] girl, so I choose to dance. Last time I had to stop dancing for 2 years while my knee rebuilt itself, I compensated by going to the gym every single day. Yes I'm obsessive. I know it. Was this really a surprise to any of you???

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Quilt Meme [edited and edited again ]

After that last post I thought I'd make up my own quilt related one for you all to try and pass on
Same rules

Bold for stuff you've done [ I've also used purple again to make it easier to read]

italic for stuff you want to do and leave the rest normal

nine patch

log cabin

curved piecing by hand

curved piecing by machine

hand applique [ needle turned ]

hand applique tacked edges

hand applique with fusible / blanket stitch

reverse applique [ hand or machine ]

Afro-American improvisational style quilt

hawaiian applique / tivaevae

machine applique


whole cloth

english paper piecing by hand

american piecing by hand

american piecing by machine

strip or string piecing

kaleidoscope or mandala [ not stack and whack]

stencilled quilt

hand quilting

machine quilting


quilted commercially with a longarm machine

3D folded flowers

made a quilt on commission

sold a quilt other than a commission piece

taught quilting at any level

stack and whack

stack and slash

Anjii's Angles [see link in side bar if you don't know what this is ]

embellished with embroidery, beads, etc

celtic applique / bias work

Amish style quilt

Cathedral Windows

stained glass quilt [ any method ]

had an original design published

written a quilt book [ or in my case part of one ]

scrap[py] quilt

baltimore applique

sampler quilt

japanese design

foundation piecing

crazy patchwork

silk fabrics

cotton fabrics

woollen fabrics


row by row

1930s or feedsack fabric [ only once for a shop so it doesn't count ]

1880s reproduction fabric

tea cosy

item for an animal

hand dyed fabric [ yours or someone else's]

round robin


non-traditional quilt

traditional quilt


full sized bed quilt





patchwork or quilted clothing


christmas themed [ quilt, wallhanging, stocking, etc ]

medallion quilt

raffle quilt [ all or part ]


baby quilt

landscape quilt

participated in a group challenge

exhibited a quilt overseas

made a prize winning quilt
... my darling daughter very quickly came up with several I'd missed. She obviously spent WAY too much time hanging with quilters when she was growing up!!! so:
impressionist flower garden quilt
doll quilt
biscuit puff quilt
One-of-a-Kind Quilt [ a la Judy Hopkins ]
and ones I meant to add and forgot:
freehand rotary cutting [ no rulers ]
bargello [ gawd how could I forget umpteen gazillion of them at class ]

if you want a giggle go visit Tanya who has posted a BAD quilting meme as companion piece to this one :]

Knitlist Meme

It's been fun following this one around the Blogosphere and seeing what various people are /were/will be into.
You all know the drill:
Bold for stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing. It was a bit hard to see the difference between the bold and normal so I've also done the bold in purple

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire [ maybe ]
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up [ one day ]
knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down

Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns [ was reading a how-to article today actually ]
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting [ not sure what they mean here ]
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn [ soon soon ]
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental Knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns

Publishing a knitting book
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)

Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs

Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit [ dozens and dozens of 'em back when I was teaching Primary School Art /Craft in the 70s and early 80s ]
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dyeing yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO

Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO

Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn [ yes I admit it ]
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine [ nope but I've bookmarked plenty ]
Rug [ 70s!]
Knitting on a loom [ when I was a kid ]

Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets [ does a crochet and felted cat basket count ?]
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Saturday, May 19, 2007

unrelated bulletpoints and a bunch of photos

  • the cold has progressed to what the pharmacist euphemistically referred to as a 'productive' cough. In other words it has taken up residence in my chest and ... no you don't need the mucus details. Use your imagination if you must. Of course, the only cough medicine that isn't going to reak havoc with my meds is so foul as to almost take away what little breath I still have.
  • Pete-next-door has lost two of his does in the last couple of weeks. The vet thinks it was due to their being fed incorrectly not some dreaded goat pox that could waft over the fenceline and attack MY goaty girls. I'm looking after the remaining four next door for a few days while PND has a holiday. They all look fine thus far.
  • Still on the subject of goats, it is now pretty safe to say that Ms Rosie's one night stand with Blackadder was successful. There will be cute kid photos in mid September.
  • I have just found the cutest ever free pattern for a baby/toddler jumper here at Jimmy Beans
  • We have had enough rain this last couple of days that the signed floodway on the road leading to MY road is actually flooding for the first time in years. Doesn't look like much I grant you, but the unwary might be in for a nasty surprise because there's a dip of the 'slow down or risk taking the bottom out of the car' variety right at that point. It's not like there's really been THAT much rain ... maybe 3"... probably wouldn't be over the road but for one salient point: the brains trust that designed the golf course which abuts the right hand side of this photo built one of the fairways right over the creek. So when it does actually rain, the water has nowhere to go.
  • David gave me THIS for Mothers' Day: yup a Sheepie Knitting Bag
  • and THIS is why I can't get up to answer the phone mid-raisin toast.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

In today's post Caity did a riff on old quilting books and where people were at, when she started quilting back in '92 or '93 or so. Boy did that Country Bride book take me back. I HATED those bloody things.

This is not a 'traditional versus contemporary' thing and not even a 'pieced versus applique' thing. I've made a gazillion or so tradional style quilts... admittedly mostly pieced either by hand or machine rather than applique ... and about the first hundred or so were hand quilted to boot ... but I have never ever ever been into " nauseatingly sweet and pretty applique quilt that the whole world is copying "

So here's what I was doing in '92 and '93

and I'm trying to remember what my favourite books were back then.

Ah yes

these two:

some things never change

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I hab a code id da dose

David has been his usual generous little self when it comes to the sharing of the germs.
I'm at the sandpapered throat moving into the head full of concrete stage. Blogging will resume in a couple of days.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Nuno redux and saturday sky

The photos I posted yesterday of my nuno piece were taken at night and the colour was WAY off, at least on my monitor, so here it is again in the clearer light of day [ well sort of ... it was still taken inside but now you can sort of see the shibori dyeing] and hanging properly thanks to some strategic pinning. It lasted like this for about a minute and then Oakley decided to take a swipe at this interesting thing that was so conveniently at his level.
I love my cats but not so much that he can use my newest creation as a cat toy
so it's now folded more over the bar as per yesterday and hopefully out of the reach of those claws. I'm just glad I was there and caught him at it before he could actually do anything. The possible consequences had I not ... UGGGH ... just the THOUGHT of all that work shredded!

and saturday sky about 8am and up to 5 degrees from an overnight low of 3C .

Friday, May 11, 2007

Move over sara Lee

What do an historic masonic hall, several large pieces of bubble wrap, empty milk bottles, some olive oil soap, plastic aggy pipe, old threadbare towels and acres of bridal tulle have in common?

Not much, one would've thought.

Then if you add in seven determined women, one fabulous tutor, a very accomodating shop owner in the role of gofer, some delicate silk tissu and a box full of wool and silk tops ... ??

Yes, the day had rolled around for the much anticipated nuno felting workshop with the multi-talented Faye Cunningham at Daylesford.

I can't even BEGIN to remember the last time I got to be a student so NOTHING was keeping me away this time. Particularly not that idiot woman swatting me on my injured heiny the day before [ drugs, lots of drugs ]

okay so

you start by placing the wool on the bubble wrap so that it is slightly under the edge of the silk. Well, actually you start with a cuppa and a demo from the tutor but after that ...then you position more of the wool on top of the silk and also on the first layer of wool but at right angles. Then you put tulle over the top, wet it all down with hot soapy water and you start in with the patting and gentle massaging. Gently, gently.

After what seems like one or two ice ages, it starts to felt and the tulle has to come off before it actually felts into the surface of the piece.

THEN you roll it and fold it and roll it again

....and again

...and again

... and again

another ice age or so later you rinse it in hot water


no ...not finished yet

NOW you get to thump the bejesus out of it

and rinse and thump and rinse again [ that's Faye in the black btw ]

and NOW?



We also have aches in places we didn't know we had, but meh! who cares about that when the results look like this, eh?

The last one, the blue and purple one hanging over the thai mahogany hanger thingy is mine. I don't know if you can see it in the photo but I'd shibori dyed my piece of silk ahead of time. I just love it. I may just leave it hanging in the hallway like this when I'm not wearing it :]

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

photos take two

I spent about an hour yesterday carefully crafting and polishing a post about the weekend's class and uploading the relevant photos. Just as I was about to hit publish, Windows decided it had a glitch and needed to shut down ... so sorry ... everything gone. So just for once it wasn't Blogger's fault.

Anyway right now I'm not feeling so spiffy largely because one of the ladies at quilting who didn't know about the broken coccyx gave me a hearty swat on the caboose, thinking she was being amusing I guess. Just as well she walked off as she did it or I might well have said something ... regrettable. [ Marcie, if I said a certain hairdresser named H, you'd know who I mean ]


I'm just going to give you the photos and I'll come back later with the names once I can actually sit down. [ Right now I'm typing from a kneeling position ]
Edited later to add:
okay I'm back so here's the relevant info:
First photo is a sashiko / vintage kimono silk cushion made by one of the 'Polla Bay girls in a class I taught at Daylesford. Then the wonderful Sister Pat who is well into her 70s and just such a sweet lady [ who disappears for an hour on Sunday morning for Mass but makes up for it by sewing like a mad woman once she gets back]
Continuing on, we have a general group shot [L to R ] Laurie, Sister Pat, Sue McKenzie, Pat Laird - maker of the sashiko cushion - and Evonne.
As you can see everyone made the same Mystery Quilt [ ie they had no idea what they were making until they did it ... such faith ] but with quite different colour choices.
Sue Mc K who was making this for a friend going through breast cancer treatment, hence the pink. One of the fabrics has the breast cancer awareness ribbon on it.:
My hostess with the mostest Judy:
and Laurie:
somehow I missed out on photos of the other five but they were nice too.

Just so you know: those teeny triangles are 1 1/2" square !!

For those who commented yesterday: the caboose is better today [ drugs! Lots of drugs ] which is just as well cos I spent the whole day learning how to do Nuno Felting. About which I will blog tomorrow.

Yes, you have to wait.

Practising patience will be good for you.

Monday, May 07, 2007

May Madness in AB or what I did this weekend

Apollo Bay [ or Polla Bay as the locals like to call it ] is a tiny hamlet on the southern coast, a holiday and retirement colony accessible only by one of two equally tortuous and dangerous roads and my destination for the weekend.
Once a year I make the 300 km/ 4 hour trip down to the coast to stay with my friend Judy and teach something to her patchwork group.
Of course the prospect of spending that long in the car with the broken backside wasn't thrilling but you've made a committment so that's what you do, right? ...and anyway if Judy could contemplate a visitor for the weekend and a 2 day class when she was getting back from CHINA about 2 hours ahead of my arrival ... well, nuff said, eh?
Okay. So the house was cleaned, provisions laid in for David and the live-in Carer, notes copied and bags packed.
First stop after one hour ... purely in the interests of taking the weight off my coccyx you understand ... was at Sebastapol near Ballarat and the best quilt shop in Victoria IMHO : Gail's Patchwork Emporium. I know some people rave about Quilter's Barn down at Loch and I know that the owner there is a great entrepreneur but it's never really been my cup of tea. For my money, it's always been Gail's, dating back to the days when it was called The Silver Thimble and operated out of her rumpus room. Back then, a carload of us would make pilgrimmage up from Melbourne a couple of times a year because she was the only one selling bali batiks, Hoffmans and hand dyes. Hard to believe now I know, but in the late 80s no one else was game to take the risk and carry fabric that was 'different'. These days, even though I only live an hour drive away, I mainly catch up with Gail at Symposiums and the like except for the annual jaunt to the coast.
After the obligatory free cuppa and bikkie and trip to the loo, the plastic was bent thusly: [ surprise! it's all japanese ... apart from the super cute santa pattern which was an astounding $18 for 2 pieces of paper and a photo, so I'd better make sure I use it, eh? ]
Back in the car, chugging across interminable stretches of farming country through Rokewood and Cressy until another hour or so later, I turned for the coast near Colac.
This last hour of the trip is up and over the spine of the Otway Ranges along hairpin curve after hairpin curve with vertiginous drops, and breathtaking views that I couldn't see because my eyes were glued to the road. I swear the sheep around there must have legs six inches shorter on one side because they'd fall over otherwise.
It wasn't too bad Friday because the rain had stopped but I have to tell you that this is NOT a road you want to travel in the rain [ like last year ] or after dark. The curves are so tight, and the road so narrow, that you can't see oncoming traffic until it's about 10 metres in front of you so no matter how vigilant a driver you are it's hairy to say the least, and there's about 40 km like that.
Note to the driver of the 4-wheel drive with boat trailer and cabin cruiser attached who rounded a curve on my side of the road : thanks for prooving just how good my tyres and breaks are fella!

Pleasant evening catching up with Judy's China news, good tucker, later to bed than was probably prudent ... didn't much matter. I had a pretty disturbed night's sleep anyway but that's normal ... and up bright and early for the day's activities: a Mystery Quilt class again. This time it was one I'd designed in probably the early 90s that fitted the brief the girls had given me: smallish and able to be manifestly completed in the 2 days.

That's probably enough photos for now so I'll show you the actual class stuff tomorrow.

Same bat time, same bat channel.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Random Wednesday:[ edited ]

No hope of a coherent neatly segued post today so here's the midweek random bullet points [ an idea I pinched from Sheepish Annie who in turn purloined it from someone else. Some person in authority. I don't know who. Most likely the Astronomer Royal ... oops sorry... went off to G & S land there for a sec. Anyway...

  • First up we have Happy Squishy Mail on Monday:

From Julia's unbelievable De-stash contest, this: glorious stretchy cotton / lycra handpainted sock yarn and pattern from Greenwood Fibreworks and one of Yarn Harlot's books.

and in the same mail, this: from Elspeth . She promised 'something nice' if one was game to flash the WIPs ... and something very nice it is. Two balls of On Line's Linie 14 kid mohair/ acrylic which is destined to be a beret for David's friend Jessie, the princess of HotPinkdonia. It was nearly a toss up but Her Majesty Queen Beryl of HotPinkdom can't cope with mohair ... AND three frogged balls of NORO Silk Garden in one of my two favouritest colourways. Maybe a felted mitred square book bag? Anyway both these girls were incredibly generous and both sent out their parcels airmail from the States to boot.

Also a trio of magazines plus two at the newsagents. Two NZ Quilters, one QNM, one DUQ and Simply Knitting. It's all too much to take in so after a quick flip, I'm rationing myself. My brain goes into meltdown if too many mags arrive at the same time. Anyone else have that problem?

  • I was booked to do a bellydance demo om Monday morning with my teacher for a bunch of senior cits. Woke up convinced that she wouldn't show so I took the CD player and music with me and threw in the clogs as well to be on the safe side. Ever heard of a self fullfilling prophecy? So I ended up doing a couple of eastern dances and then changed into the taps and gave them three clogging numbers: Sold, Old Hickory Lake and Bad Moon Rising. Guess who I ran into in town a half hour later and who is NEVER going to be allowed to forget that she forgot :]

  • Yesterday was Purls' Princesses [ SnB without the bitching ] over at Daylesford so I showed off all my happy squishy mail, checked out the new yarn colours and knitted on the Hug Me Tight from Knit2Together. I just luuuurrrvvve this design. I'm doing it in BWMs Caprice [ 50% wool 50% alpaca 8-ply / DK ] and cast on 170 stitches last Thursday. First you knit a big rectangle in 2 x 2 rib which gets folded in half and partially seamed for the sleeves and then knit the lace separately before sewing it all together. Of course there will be amendments made. The lace in the pattern, pretty though it is, is an 18 row repeat with no plain 'resting' rows so I'm substituting one which is a 12 row repeat with alternate rows in plain knit. Don't know about anyone else but there is no way in hell I'm doing over 80" of a 6" wide lace pattern that I probably can't memorise and don't much care for anyway.

  • I spent some time on the weekend hand painting some 12 ply [worsted] wool/angora from BWM and after rinsing and drying it, had it on the swift so that I could wind it into nice, neat centre pull balls with my nifty wool winder. I wandered off to feed the goats so Oakley in his infinite kindness decided to help me take it off that funny spinny thing. Whatwas a single 200 gram ball is now one big ball and one little one. Any suggestion s for what I can make with it? I have a couple of small balls of purple and blue in compatible weight that could go with it.

  • The colour in that photo is more pink than it actually is so here's a closer approximation

  • oh and this is Nadie looking very exotic at Cirque de Soleil last week. We didn't purchase the mask which was an absolute steal at ONLY $160 something. [ yes that was me being sarcastic in case you couldn't tell ] but she looked gorgeous so I snapped the photo as quickly as I could. She also took one of me but you're not seeing that one cos I deleted it.

  • and last but not least ... on the quilting front I am out to the borders on Riley's Quilt and the next THREE projects are lined up and ready to go. What??? That's normal, right???? No I'm not starting them just yet. I have a Mystery Quilt Class to teach this weekend in Apollo Bay which involves a four hour drive each way so the broken coccyx and I are not planning on any unscheduled sitting at the machine, or in fact any where else if I can help it, for probably the next week... or two. Except for Mothers' Day. I'll have to drive down to Melbourne AGAIN for that I suspect.
I've just spent 2 hours trying to upload photos so I think that this is your lot for tonight folks.