Sunday, May 30, 2010

In the meantime...

Busy week ... proper post soon ... promise

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

FO catchup and gratuitous cute cat

Despite the fact that I only finished the one quilt last year [ at a quarter to midnight on New Year's Eve ] I totally failed to show you documentary proof of same.

So here 't'is:
It doesn't have a name yet, and isn't from a pattern per se, but is the latest in a long, long line of quilts made using my friend Anjii' Solomon's ever-so-clever Angle technique.*

The top was made in '05 or '06 as an extra class sample
but I only just got around to having it quilted late last year
and as it ain't a quilt 'til it's quilted, I'm claiming it as a 2009 quilt.

and THIS little sleeping bag was a really quick crochet project back in April, before I found out that Noah was going to be such a ... substantial ... birth weight

The pattern is a freebie from Sue Thompson
I did modify a bit by tapering the sleeves and doing a gentle increase at the sides of the bag/skirt portion, but nothing too drastic.

and finally, the gratuitous gorgeous feline is my grandkitten Suki

*Anjii's Angles by Anjii Solomon & friends [ of which I'm one ] Pride Publishing 2004

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hello Possums **

Last year, the week after I had surgery, my friends Karen and Lorene, headed over to the Land of the Long White Cloud for a clogging convention [ Appalacian tap dancing to the uninformed ]
Usually my souvenir of choice is a postcard, but I think they figured post-major-surgeries-me needed something a bit more comforting.

So they bought me two balls - one mauve and one kiwi fruit green - of possum/merino yarn.
Now do they know me or what ?

I do have to say was horrified the first time I saw a garment made out of possum fur yarn from New Zealand but after reading up on the subject, my viewpoint has mellowed a bit.

Here in Australia possums are cute little animals. Moderately annoying when they decimate the garden.
Very annoying if they get into the roof and pee.but cute

[ they are not to be confused with American Opossums which are nasty and ugly ]

but across the pond in New Zealand, where they are an introduced species with no natural predators, they are a major headache.THEY are the predators and are decimating native NZ wildlife

so they have to be culled
it's that or lose a host of beautiful and unique lifeforms
et voila, the possum fur yarn industry.
Possum is a hollow fibre and one of the warmest on the planet, so almost too warm for even a freezing Central Victorian morning [ did I mention that it's not even winter yet and it was minus 1 this morning ? ] so a possum/merino blend is just about ideal
sooooo soft
Of course, you're limited with only one ball of a given colour, so I immediately thought hat ... one of those poochy slouchy ones that everyone's wearing.
Unfortunately as it progressed, I realised that - on me with the super short hair and middle aged face - it looked like something I should wear to muck out the goats.
SO the planned decreases for a crown never happened and it evolved into the
Hello Possum Cowl

you'll have to trust me on the colour - it looks pale greenish grey on my monitor but is really the colour of kiwi fruit flesh

The cables 'pop' so beautifully, and there's a short fuzzy brown halo of possum fur all over.


1 ball of Utiku Possum Merino 8 ply

[ supposedly a DK weight but I didn't like the super dense fabric on the recommended 4mm - I'd call it more of an Aran / Light Worsted ]
5mm KP Harmony circular
pattern :
improvised - could be a freebie if anyone needed it

** "Hello Possums" is the catch phrase of a certain iconic cross-dressing Australian comedian

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Warning! Warning ! New grandbaby pics ahead ... enter at your own risk !

and bear in mind that this 'little' guy is only 4 days old ... all 10 pounds plus of him
[ and yes, that is some of his nannie's knitting he's wearing ]

Of television and Noah's Ark

The big rear projection unit that I bought for Marc as a 25th anniversary present just before he passed away is no more.
Well technically it still works but the convergence has slipped so that all the yellows have dropped down a few inches and everything has a strange jaundiced shadow.
I was told [ AFTER it was purchased ] that these tvs had a probable lifespan of 7 or 8 years, and that once it went, it would be too expensive to justify getting it fixed.
If I could.get it fixed that is
apparently rear projection is a technological dinosaur.
It's lasted over 10 years so I probably can't complain
The Boy internet searched and found this mob, a selection was made, Paypal swung into action, and four days later there was a delivery truck in my driveway.
... and that was a week ago
the box has sat in David's room
for a week

Nadie came up on the train yesterday and helped me to move furniture and install - which is to say, I mostly did the moving and she did the installing.
The plan was for David's 6 month old Panasonic Hi-def, which is really too big for the small room, to have a change of scene into the rumpus room, and the slightly smaller new Kogan [ which The Boy tells me is last year's Samsung rebranded basically ] for David.

toooooo many wires
most of them redundant with the newer technology
have I mentioned that I'm technically dislexic ?
The old tv was a stand alone elephantine thing.
The DVD player lived in a corner unit that Marc had built - along with my entire knitting and crochet book/pattern collection AND all the DVDs and most of my CD collection
The cables etc for the tv and the AUSTAR satellite were naturally where the old tv had stood , so the corner unit needed to be moved
but first it needed to be emptied

I have a LOT of CDs and a lot lot lot of knitting stuff [ that's like a lot only more ]

it doesn't make for neat piles
it slips and slithers
and attacks innocent nearby elderly cats

so, as it turns out, the actual hooking up / figuring out part of the process was relatively quick and painless.
Moving stuff not so much.

Of course once we moved the corner unit, the carved chinese camphor-chest-that-I-got-for-my-eighteenth-birthday-as-a-Hope-Chest didn't fit so well and looked odd, so we moved that
and then we moved the old Singer treadle
and the armchair
and the other armchair
and the couch
and a standard lamp
and then I put everything ... almost everything ... back into the storage thingy.

and then I collapsed on the couch while Nadie finished making the dinner I'd started
then we held an 11th Doctor [Who] mini marathon while I put the finishing embroidered touches on this

which is going to accompany Nadie and I down to Melbourne in about an hour for a certain little man.
It's not a new 'specially made for the baby' quilt. It was actually made back in 1994, but just seemed like a natural fit for a kid named Noah.
so all I needed to add was his full name and birthdate

new baby snuzzles today

Sunday, May 16, 2010

monster n my garden

Do you remember when I showed you that strange Ox Tongue Lilly flower ?
Well, it's taken 2 months but finally the leaves have started to appear
perhaps now you can see why it's named as it is

mine is a little too constricted in that pot so the leaves really aren't as large and fleshy as some I've seen ... but that's fine with me because quite frankly they can be a bit disturbing.
Sort of like Mick Jagger's lips.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

can I have a whine with that ?

If you read yesterday's post you're probably expecting the tale of a lightning fast trip out to Berwick coupled with a gazillion new baby pics and exploration of the cuteness that is Noah James Iacuone recounted in excruciatingly minute detail


Woke up this morning completely unable to breathe and straight jacketed in my bedding ... the wrestling-with-the-sheet was not helped by the presence of two cats and one small dawg draped around and on my person. Once free of bedding, I discovered that the lack of breath was due to a stuffed up nose and ever so slightly scratchy throat. [ coupled with the fact that I have to sleep with a dental appliance making mouth breathing impossible ]
[thinks] this had better just be hayfever because a code id da doze could spell byebye to baby visiting
... then I attempted to roll over and discovered that my back was very - and I do mean VERY - unhappy with me [ too much raking, piling and bonfiring yesterday I presume ] so probably not a good day to spend 5 or 6 hours in the car


still, I stagger out, feed the goats, ducks and assorted companion animals and medicate myself

Mmmm strange that David's not up yet

breakfast and a cuppa later and he still hasn't stirred

so I decide to be a good mum take him brekkie in bed

and discover one feverish boy in rather 'nasty' pjs and bedding

you DO NOT want to know what his bathroom and toilet looked /smelt like
but I was thankful for the stuffed up nose
cue frantically fast shower plus change of bedclothes and David popped back into bed for the morning

At this stage I ring the new parents with the reason why we are definitely not going for a drive down to Melbourne, and also my aged MIL to explain that she can't go see the baby yet.
At least they are all suitably understanding

and my son volunteers that from water breaking to delivery was 6 hours
Our not-so-little man had to be suctioned out but it went quite smoothly, in constrast to all the kerfuffle of his big brother's arrival.
I rack up maximum Mum points by not pointing out for the fifty millionth time that he should've been a Caesarian [ C section ]
I asked if we have a prospective Melbourne FC full forward ?
SJ replies " He's the whole back row"

which brings me to his weight.
According to the quick calculation that Stephen was given by the nurses, 4.66 kg is 10 lb 4 oz, the 2 sites I looked at for conversion said 10 lb 2 oz and 10 lb 3 oz. I'm inclined to call it 10/3 but whatever it is, he's a whopper

the remainder of the day has featured bathroom scrubbing, washing of quilts, sheets, etc, and when I thought that it was all over and I could settle down for a quiet knit ...

fresh cat pee all over a wire basket/ drawer thingie full of yarn.

SOMEONE [ who ? me ? ] had neglected to check that the cupboard door was properly closed.

Although on the plus side least it was fresh cat pee
... and [ as someone on Ravelry pointed out] I've gotten all the c**p out of the way in one hit.
... and David's bedding was due to be washed anyway - even though I probably wouldn't have chosen to do it today
... and now I have a sparkly clean bathroom and loo
... the yarn will probably survive
... I have a perfect excuse to go out and buy more splastic storage tubs
... I think it is hayfever
... David's fever seems to have broken
... and now that I come to think of it, I'm going down to Melbourne next Saturday to meet up with Ms Alice at Die Fledermaus [ David Hobson yum ] so that trip down might well segue into an extra baby snuzzling opportunity
... and there's always tomorrow
or Monday

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hello baby!

Noah James Iacuone
arrived an hour ago
10 pounds 2 ounces / 4.66 kilos

I don't know much more than that. They're well. He got stuck and had to be suctioned out, just like his big brother.

Now you know as much as I do.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy [2nd] Bear-thday

Bear was up bright and early to unwrap his present,

at all times keeping a watchful eye on the marauding magpies

then we proceeded to the totally misnamed Emu Creek [ no emus and no creek that I could see either ] so that he could give Misty a belated Mother's Day gift,

while I made sure that I had a small natal pressie for his sister Molly [ that's mum on the left above ]

After a far too generously sized lunch, Brenda and I and dawgs took the obligatory post-prandial perambulation to inspect the livestock
a couple of the locals were feeling a bit bullish and declined to be interviewed for the blog,while Ceefer left us in no doubt as to her feelings about the sudden appearance of yet another canine interloper

[ Cee-fer Cat ... yes, okay Pete, I get it ... groan ]

As Bear has been raised by cats, and one of them a psychotic tortoiseshell, he suddenly developed an overwhelming urge to inspect the far side of the veggie patch ...

Who said he's a Bear of very little brain ?

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Knitting Song - Bill Oddie

This is Bill in 1965 pre The Goodies

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day of 2008 was quite eventful

This year I was hoping for a Mother's Day gift of the cute, newborn HUMAN variety but alas, not yet.

This is the bump that will soon [ hopefully, for his poor mother's sake, very very soon ] be grandson #2.
He's a bit overcooked so I should be able to introduce you to him properly any time now.

Anyway, as you can see he is already doing a wonderful job of modelling his nannie's knitting efforts.

As has come to be the norm, Grandson #1 wouldn't have a bar of me or the camera :( so you'll just have to take my word for it that he's still as cute as a button.

and so that I can't be accused of being entirely boy baby-centric,
this is Nadie's God daughter, Ms Annabelle May, who was visiting Nadie and Chris, along with her mummy and Daddy, Uncle Brett and Aunty Nat

I couldn't resist taking this shot of her trying to reach through the glass table to get the candle.

Belle has featured on these pages before, but admittedly she did look a little different:

Anyway my darlings have a nice Sunday

and as you may have worked out, if Bear was born on Mother's Day 2008, it follows that this coming Tuesday will be his second birthday.
Is it really only two years ?
Seems hard to credit .

Bear and I are going to have a celebratory lunch at Emu Creek with his 'grandparents', mum and sister Molly.
I doubt there will be cake.

Friday, May 07, 2010

what I did yesterday [ but was too shagged out* to blog about ]

David gets dropped off at his Day Placement between 9 am and 9.30. It's supposed to be 9 but as I never use an alarm - it being redundant since I started being a goat-mamma -he gets there when he gets there ... UNLESS I have somewhere I really need to be
and I pick him up at 3pm.

It's a bit like having a permanent Preppie [ first grader ]

Yesterday as it happens I did have somewhere I needed to be

... at 11 am
... 150 km away.

and back by 3pm as we have already established

so this was one of those rare occasions were he was in the door at Windarring pretty close to 9am, and then the car and I proceeded in the general direction of the Freeway and a 2 hour drive to and through Melbourne and out to the eastern suburbs and my dentist of 35 years.
We will draw a veil over the next hour so as not to discomfort and discombobulate the dentalphobic amongst you [ I had to throw discombobulate in there for Bells. Sorry. Long story: Facebook ]
Just because I had the current travel knitting along for the ride, of course it follows that he was running on time and the waiting room was only a blur as I was shown through.

NOTE TO SELF: When on a tightish timeline, ALWAYS take travel knitting. If the mojo works, you'll get straight in, and if not, the knitting zen will keep you from focusing on the minutes ticking away.

I was out by 11.50 and by noon was walking in my darling daughter's front door for a very speedy lunch / chat / grandkitten snuzzle / knit / cuppa [ x 2 ]
great run home and back in town with a whole 5 minutes to spare...Windarring is at the north end of town, so I stayed on the Freeway and took the Harcourt Exit which [ totally coincidentally of course ] took me right past the Salvos Op Shop ... 15 count 'em FIFTEEN vintage baby knitting pattern booklets - albeit in fairly parlous state - for $1. ONE DOLLAR!

but I don't have photos of any of that, and the travel knitting is currently under reconstruction due to a slight cat-related incident over night
so here's the recently started quilt-to-be

and a fairly gratuitous frail and elderly cat

* dental work = mouth open = TM joint unhappy = migraine = no choir last night

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

an uneventful day ?

Today was going to be a day of 'nothing in particular'

The sun was shining brightly, although [ always needed ] rain was forecast

Nothing much on the agenda apart from some nebulous plans that might possibly involve ... shock ... horror ... knitting or quilting, and maybe some time spent pottering about the manse [as Sheepie might say ]
The first change to my non-plan came on the way back from dropping David at Windarring, when I was struck by an irresistible urge to visit friend Beverley at the semi-ungodly hour of 9.30am
Maybe she was sending out subtle 'come see me' vibes, because I was met at the door with glad and joyous cries expressing the thought that I was just the person she wanted to see.

So one coffee-in-her-totally-wonderful-garden-with-cats later, and after some solicited advice [ and a quick trip home and back for one of my Japanese quilt books ] I once again headed for home and the first of two phone calls alerting me to impending visitors.
The first - who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty - wanted to know if I could take up a couple of pairs of work pants because she'd lost the foot pedal to her machine.

except that 2 pairs ended up being seven or eight [ I lost count in there somewhere ]
sotto voce mutter, mutter, grumble
deep cleansing breath
Serenity was easily restored in a very predictable manner:
I took any lingering frustrations out on an innocent barrow load of firewood
and then


followed by the predicted rains : gentle, soothing, but necessitating a change
of venue

Fast forward to late afternoon and Ms Tara arrived on a mission that involved borrowing one of my quilts. Needless to say there was also the prospect of more cuppas, a little more tandem knitting, and - the most important detail - Tara brought cherry cake. [ she is now David's new best friend ]

She admired the newly finished striped-thingamajig-which-turned-out-to-be-a-stole
and ended up coming in at 58 ' x 16 "
not bad for one ball of yarn

and I stood mute witness as she came to the sad realisation that this yarn did not want to be a sock.

It has ceased to be
It has rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible
It is an ex-sock

but that's okay because it can now realise its yarny dreams of becoming a shawl

and what does the rest of the evening hold for David and I, now that Tara has wended her way homeward to a well-deserved dinner ?


Dr Who mini marathon [ with knitting ]

Sunday, May 02, 2010


It will be readily apparent to all and sundry that I'm a complete and utter and total failure when it comes to using my 'you-beaut-whiz-bang' ergonomic computer chair

and what's more ... I'm almost prepared to bet that most of you looking at that photo didn't see me at all on first glance.
You were all looking at Mr Bear, weren't you ?
I know
It's okay
My feelings aren't hurt or anything
He can't help being the centre of attention

Saturday, May 01, 2010

If I told you ...

that I added an extra row of eyelets to this pattern, that I found in a vintage Paton's Woolcraft,

specifically to get the Noro Kureyon Sock to change colours once per pattern repeat
like this

you'd believe me ?
Wouldn't you ?

don't quite know what it's going to be just yet - stole ? scarf ? shrug ? because I want to see how far one ball [ a fairly impressive 420 metres ] will go.

and I think that if I show you another triangular shawl this month *
... well
... let's just say that even I have limits to my obsessiveness**

If my admittedly rough calculations are correct I'll get 28 repeats of the lace from the ball and then it's all up to how aggressively I block the result.

Stay tuned

* and of course, after I posted this, I realised what the date is - it's a whole new month ! Happy May 1st
** but those colour changes would look SOOOOOOOOOOOO good in a triangular shawl