Monday, November 30, 2009

'T'is [ almost ] the Season ...

December will be upon us in just a few short hours, and it has been pointed out that I have not as yet given any evidence of the usual descent into Christmas Craziness a la Catsmum.

This is so extraordinary as to have occasioned alarm amongst the general populace - or at least those who know me well - so I thought that I'd better 'splain quicksmart:

On the day that I began the prep for this year's 'Explosion at the North Pole' [ as someone who shall remain nameless described my house during the last festive season ] I only got as far as doing some pre-emptive dusting / polishing and putting out the Nativity sets when I received confirmation that workmen will be arriving next week [ I hope ] to install the new A/C. This will include the sawing of numerous holes in the plaster ceiling and ...
Plaster dust over absolutely everything.

and I don't even want to contemplate what hordes of blokes in workboots might do to all the strategically placed festiveness

hard as it is to believe, I'll be waiting until they've gone and until I've cleaned up and by then who knows how close to Christmas it will be and how much decorating can be done.

However, if you are brave of heart, possessing nerves of steel and an iron constitution, you can check out last year's effort here

Friday, November 27, 2009

Now before anyone jumps to any conclusions ...

I actually thought rather long and hard about whether I was even going to show you a particular piece of this week's knitting.
and not because it's some hideous freakish failure for which I would be forever derided, laughed at and shunned by all right thinking individuals ...
It's just the colour
You see, it's pink
very very pink
and very very small
and given that some of you are aware that I'm going to be a grandmother again in June, I could just see certain people jumping to all manner of conclusions

The article in question is, in point of fact, not for my grandbaby-to-be-who's-sex-is-still-undetermined.

I just felt like trying out a variation on one of Jackie Kelly's versatile and cute seamless baby kimonos [ link to specific pattern at the end of the post ] and here it is
ta da!

I added a garter neckband and front bands and it was fine, but I felt that I could've done with a smoother transition from the neck to the front bands:

so then I made another in cream [ which probably will be for the grandbaby ] and shaped the neckband a little differently and I'm happier with this iteration.

both versions were made in Sirdar Snuggly DK in the 3 month size, but the pink was on 4mm needles and the white on 4.5mm so it's slightly bigger. I think that I actually prefer the slightly looser fabric of the larger one, but you can see that there's not really a huge difference in size:

Either way it's a very easy and enjoyable knit
Lots of plain stocking stitch [ or garter for that matter ] can be awfully boring to knit unless there's clever shaping to keep you interested. This pattern has just that ... very clever engineering, no seams, and the potential to play with endless variations.

You can find a free version of the 3 month size HERE
or you can download a paid version with multiple sizes from Jackie's site.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Clean washing? What clean washing?

Bear proves once again that he has been raised by cats:

Friday, November 20, 2009


I've just spent over an hour lovingly crafting and polishing a post on the evolution of the crochet bag made to carry my darling daughter's yoga mat to class. I'm sure you would've been amused ... enthralled even.

the Internet ate it

so here's your lot for today:

Panda Fuchsia [ cotton blend ]
4mm hook
no pattern

Sunday, November 15, 2009

and this is supposed to be Spring

... The scorcher continues - although not quite at the revolting level of Wednesday

the last four days have 'only' been around the 35C/95F mark

absolutely not fit weather for [wo]man nor beast

so the Weasleys spent the day asleep under a bush, but they emerged for long enough to make unflattering comments about Bear's new short summer look

and here he is treating them with the utter disdain that such rudeness deserves

"Blast! How can you tease someone who ignores you ?"

[ well actually he didn't say 'blast' but I can't repeat what he did say because I don't use fowl language ]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's too darn hot

It's been one of 'those' weeks.
You know the kind where you have plenty of fodder for posts, lots of photos to share
and no time or inclination to craft a decent post.

It is quite possible that some of that lack of inclination may have something to do with the fact that the digital equivalent of mercury has been registering over 30C all week [ that's mid 80s and above, Fahrenheit ] and right now it's sitting on 40.1C
... and for you on the 'heading into winter' side of the planet, that translates as 104F
[ and I still don't have functioning A/C ]

All of which makes me very glad that the date for Bear's summer haircut had finally arrived.
There are a lot of good reasons to use a groomer ... but in the bush in summer there are 2 main reasons when one owns a long haired dog.
The obvious one has to do with comfort in the heat ... but the more important reason are the ever present grass seeds.
They are a huge problem and can work their way in between toes, inside ears and cause all manner of nasty results

So this was Bear at 11am and before he saw the lead and the car keys, put two and two together and hid under my bed.

is Bear at 1pmand yes I am sure that I got the right dog back !

and thanks to my blogging-friend Groomer Angie in Tennessee who gave me some really great tips on how to find the right dog groomer

Friday, November 06, 2009

All the news that's fit to ...

It seemed like a simple enough idea really - pop Rosie and Robbyn on their chains, lead them out the front and get them to act as lawn mowers on the grass ... ahem ... weeds ... growing along the side of the carport and the driveway.
Normally this gets done through September/October/November, gradually moving further away from the house but, strange as it may seem, wrestling with a 90 kg / 200 pound critter was not on the list of approved post-operative activities so it had to wait until I felt up to it

that's their normal paddock behind the fence

I wasn't about to leave my caprine Houdinis unattended ... not if I wanted to still have a rose garden when all this was finished [ a collar and chain mean very little to a truly determined goat ] so I settled down with a comfy chair, cuppa, Bear and the newspaper

"Whatcha doin' Mum?"
Reading, huh ?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

as promised

My ravelry queue has several hundred patterns in it - there's a whole sub list for arms and hands -
So you'd think there'd be no problem on deciding which goth-ish gauntlets were needed to complete a costume for DD's work 'do' in December

... there are a lot of really nice gauntlet / armwarmer / fingerless glove patterns out there ... but somehow I still ended up creating something new

Now you have to bear in mind that she wants these for the start of our summer, so above the elbow in anything other than cotton would potentially be unbearable to wear
... but then with cotton there's that whole lack of stretch when you need it, coupled with the tendency to stretch sideways right when you don't want it to [ so having opera length gauntlets stay up - without resorting to ribbon - was an interesting technical issue ]
we decided to go with lengthwise garter stitch not unlike my Frothy Gothy wristwarmers and the first one was finished while Nadie was up here this week
there was a slight hitch when the cord on my KP's came adrift from its mooring, spilling the stitches [ which when we're talking black and lace and at night is never a good thing ]

which required a restart on #2, and it is entirely possible that some bad words were said, but thanks to the wonders of Craft Glue, we are again underway

Monday, November 02, 2009

Monday Miscellany

It was hot and humid again, so much of the day was spent doing various 'vegging out inside activities with David, Bear and Nadie.

The television figured prominently
We have worked our way through Ironman, some Harry Potter, and now we are engaged in a Red Dwarf marathon of sorts [ but only till 9.30 cos I have to watch Mythbusters ]

It was far too humid to even contemplate being under a quilt-in-progress, and reading might have been construed as unsociable when DD is only up here for a couple of days.

Normally I'd say that knitting was just as unlikely as quilting, but the next project in the pipeline required working in cotton so I happily ignored the slowly growing miles of boring stocking stitch that may - by next football season - realise it's potential as a a Melbourne Footy Jumper for grandson Riley. I haven't photographed the new project yet, or even listed it on Ravelry, so I'll save that for the morrow [ which could well be a sad day as there is a funeral/memorial service to be sung at and I probably won't want to blog about that ]

so basically you're getting a few shots of the garden this week, taken before the inevitable heat damage and the downward spiral into summer ruin

Here against an unidentified pink daisy and Larkspur, the first of the Love-in-a-mist which started flowering only in the last couple of days.
I've been watching the delicate, feathery fronds grow larger for weeks, waiting for them to bud. Just love these flowers.
Pierre De Ronsard is just getting started but is absolutely covered in buds - dozens of them

Against a background of lavender and stock, the latest lot of iris - and I have NO IDEA who gave me these ones. They just appeared!
and this Fruhlingsmorgen (Spring morning) rose was a houswarming pressie - and again, I have no idea who from because there was no card. It was just there after the party.

Someone out there probably thinks I'm the rudest beggar in creation for not saying thankyou but I've asked all the likely suspects to no avail.

and lastly,these petunias were a single $2 pot bought last February - $2 well spent I'd say!!