Friday, July 30, 2010

Ruby here ...

Mu-u-u-u-m wants me to tell you:
that this last week's been very, very full, mostly pretty damn good, and she WILL try to do a catch up post over the weekend
basically ... well ... she's totally and completely exhausted

so all you're getting is a picture of my newly pedicured toes

don't I look just maa-a-a-ah-velous ?

Friday, July 23, 2010

what you can do with 6 days

Do you remember that gorgeous yarn I bought last Friday ?
It's all grown up:

I'm going to wear it to the big Quilt & Craft show @ Jeff's Shed*, down in Melbourne tomorrow [ just so I can show it to Nadie,Tara, and Luz ]

pattern: yes it's another Forest Canopy Shawl [ Susan Lawrence]
needles: 5.5mm KP Options
yarn: EGMTK Sock [ no idea what the colour is called ] 610 metres
mods: 18 repeats of the main pattern and an extra repeat in the border
finished size: 78" x 40"

* Jeff's Shed is actually The Melbourne Convention Centre or somesuch but everyone [ including the Street Directory ] calls it Jeff's Shed after the State Premier at the time it was built.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

FO and totally gratuitous animals

Last week, I'd finished the Lara Pinwheel Cardi and promised visual proof, but it's taken me until today to get a halfway reasonable photo of it.

It was duly 'christened' on Thursday night at choir, followed by a second outing at the Sheep & Wool Show, and, despite numerous compliments coupled with requests to "turn round so that I can look at the back", etc., not one photo where you could actually see the garment.

So I was finally forced to resort - as so often in the past - to layering it on over mum's wedding dress on the mannequin in the loungeroom.
Of course I didn't think to do it in nice, clear daylight, so the colour is a bit washed out

but at least let's you see a bit of the detail. Dark dark charcoal is so hard to capture digitally. The last one is truer for depth of colour [ if you can call charcoal a colour ]

Lara Pinwheel Jacket [ freebie ]
KP Harmony 5mm and 3.5mm crochet hook for edging
Body - BWM Rustic 5 ply in Graphite [ sadly discontinued ]
Crochet edging BWM Rustic 8ply in Graphite

made the sleeves slightly longer, and left of most of the rows of crochet arcs in the border - too 'froofy' for me

I'm not convinced that a swing jacket with cutaway front is really suited to a middle-aged, overweight Catsmum but people seemed to luuurve the back!!

totally unrelated and completely gratuitous Rosie and Bear

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wool & Sheep part 2: the people

Please don't all collectively keel over with shock, but I have none of the semi-mandatory Fibre Festival pics of assorted unbearably cute ovine & camelid species.

In fact there was absolutely no interaction with assorted fleece -bearing livestock this time round at all

just totally ran out of time I'm afraid

and the reason ?
just too many people I needed to hug / chat with / buy stuff from / have coffee with
wherever one looked there were small groups foregathering - frequently in the middle of the road - mostly sporting Ravelry badges
I wonder what the appropriate collective noun would be for a group of Ravellers ?
A rave of Ravellers perhaps ? or a ravelling ?

I'm afraid the cute-and-fleecy didn't get a look-in

Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. When you read you begin with ...
[ Okay. I'm back! Slight detour into Sound of Music territory there ]
Anyway WE started of the morning at The Flower Shed where I left most of my yarn/fibre budget in the hands of Mandie from Ewe Give me The Knits

There was time for a hug with the giant green bunny [ Charlie from IxchelBunny - she who was the recipient of the great big blanket 'o love ]

A little later, while the fashion show went on largely ignored - at least by me - Jeanette and I had coffee / chai with the lovely Bells, seen here wearing her Coraline cardi
and Brangian shawl

... mmmm cashmere

and DrK [ aka Kylie ] wearing Ysolda Teague's Rose Red Beret made by ... guess who ? ... RoseRed ... appropriate, yes ? ]

Also at the table with us: Bells' friends, the delightful Knitabulous [ Ailsa - on the left ] in her Ishbel beret, and Randomknits [Donna ] wearing a beautiful "Gretel" beret by Ysolda Teague that you totally can't see in this photo and "Aran Scarf" by Veronica Manno. Right at the end as they got up to leave the table - and after this photo was taken - they both pulled on truly amazing gloves. Luckily for you lot, there are details on both their blogs.

True to form, Bells whipped out the current travelling knitting:

her aptly named Bendigo socks.
In a moment of shockingly unprecedented short-sightedness, I had signally failed to come likewise prepared ... bad Catsmum ... bad ... bad ... bad !
I was so much in danger of withdrawal symptoms that I had to come home and cast on a new shawl straight away
but that's a post for another day

and in a postscript to yesterday, Tara has kindly offered to pick up a lambieskin for Noah tomorrow.
Her blood's worth bottling!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A new definition

Today saw us - finally - at THE Australian Wool & Sheep Show at Spendigo.
You probably don't remember but I didn't manage to get there last year so was doubly eager in the run up this week:

We came
We saw
We purchased

veni vidi visa
and then, less than half an hour after I got home, #1 son rang and suggested that new grandson Noah could do with a sheepskin

A new definition of poor timing ?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

sort of catch up and some old family pics

I am aware that I haven't posted since the weekend
it's been a busy week
- spinning with the TDF
- a break from the above when I decided that there was an outside chance that I could, just possibly, drag the Lara Pinwheel cardi out of time-out and get it finished to wear to the Wool & Sheep Show at Spendigo tomorrow
[ I knew that I had to finish yesterday if there was going to be any chance of it drying enough to wear by Friday ... finished 11.45 pm last night, wet blocked it before I went to bed and the result is currently luxuriating in front of the fire ... and yes, there will be photos later when it's dry, and the ends are woven in. No I didn't do that first. I wanted to get the beggar blocked and on the path to drying before I hit the sack.]

-physio appointment for the wonky hip [ second one happening in half an hour so this has to be brief ... and let me just say that if you must do painful exercises it is made slightly more bearable and/or embarrassing when the new physio is young, male and super-cute ]

- oh, and there was the dropping of about 10 kilos [ that's 22 pounds ] worth of log onto my foot when the woodpile collapsed somewhat unexpectedly, and - seriously - if I hadn't had wellies on, I suspect I could currently be sporting a plaster cast right now instead of just an interestingly blued foot.

There was some other stuff in there as well

F'rinstance there was a celebratory natal-day cofffee & chat & handing over of pressie [ another Yarn Harlot book ] for Ms Jeanette

There was a flying visit including lunch-and-fondling-of-Spendigo-goodies at Ms Tara's. This was extended to include tickles and cuddles with the resident kidlets.

- I n connection with the visit Chez MacGrath, I vaguely recall staging a pre-emptive strike on the magic-back-room-of-special-discounts at BWM ahead of the scheduled plundering by the voracious hoardes* which is probably already in progress.

The rest is a blur of TDF fuel sleep deprivation

so in lieu of the photos I haven't taken yet of finished object and newly augmented stash,
here are some old family pics which will only be of interest to the rest of my family but tough. That's all I've got for you :)

I think this was possibly my first day of school

[ with my BIG cousin Stephen who was a whole year older ]

This is big cousin Stephen's baby brother, Andrew in my doll pram - so I would have been just hitting 8. From memory the shabby, much washed, much loved, and nearly-grown-out-of dress was red.

and that's a selection of the grandkids with Marnie [ my wonderful English maternal grandmother ] my mum to the left with my brother Bill [3] in front of her, Auntie Judy kneeling with her youngest, my cousin Randal [2], his sister Janis [3] in front of me, and that's Andrew again on Marnie's knee.

** voracious hoardes = fellow yarnies in town for the Wool & Sheep

Sunday, July 11, 2010

only 5 more sleeps to go

After an unplanned 2 day hiatus from spinning and knitting , caused [ as my nearest and dearest and FB friends already know ] by an argument with a serrated bread knife ] I'm back - slowly and carefully - spinning along with the TDF.
I'd normally have to characterise the cut as completely inconsequential, piffling, barely worth a couple of bandaids, except that - due purely to placement - it clearly did have a consequence this time ... no spinning or knitting for enough days that I was in serious danger of slipping into a decline.
Luckily I was well supplied with plenty of mags and books, TrueBlood and Dr Who DVDs and a whole menagerie of small, warm, furry, bodies, all eager to share my unexpectedly vacant lap in front of a roaring fire
the finger has now mostly healed [ except where I keep knocking it open again ]
while knitting may have to wait a while longer, today has seen:

a plethora of plying [ which for the uninitiated, means taking the two full bobbins, and sending them on another journey with the wheel spinning backwards, so that they twist around each other into 'proper' yarn ]

followed by a slew of skeining,

a welter of washing and whacking,

and the resultant 442 metres of sacred alpaca

is currently warming its backside by the fire

and if you're puzzling over how any of the above relates to the post title, puzzle no longer:
Australian Wool & Sheep Show
this coming Friday [ and Saturday and Sunday ]

and to give you the teeniest sense of what that means
here's a couple that I prepared earlier

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

2nd verse ...

... same as the first!
and gratuitous cute cat [ who just happens to be reasonably colour co-ordinated to my sacred alpaca ]Ms Sophie had a fairly nasty epileptic episode yesterday, and is getting plenty of mummy cuddles as compensation

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

and some more

Some more quilts that is

I could show you more TDF spinning, but it looks remarkably like the photos in yesterday's post, except that there's a bit more on the bobbins
or I could show you a whole bunch of the knitting that you haven't seen, but there's plenty of time for that later

so you're getting more of the back catalogue of quilts:

this first one [ which hangs in my blue-and-white kitchen ] was designed for an Australian Patchwork & Quilting Yearbook many years ago

and no, this next one isn't the same as the one I showed you 3 posts ago. It's her non-identical twin sister.This one was made first - for my BFF-in-Tasmania's 60th birthday - and then I made the other for myself to remember it - and her -by

and a couple more of the Japanese themed ones:

Monday, July 05, 2010

There is a season ... turn, turn, turn ....

Ms Quilting Mojo has been back in residence for a while, so I kinda half expected it, and yup, this weekend her sister Spinning Mojo turned up after an absence of almost exactly a year.

Not a word have I heard from her since the end of the Tour De Fleece last year, but let her get the slightest hint that those cute-little-bottoms-in-tight-lycra are about to hit the pavements [ not too literally please] of France and Belgium, et voila, there she is ... on the doorstep ... expecting to be allowed some space on the couch in front of the fire.
Seriously, why do I tolerate this type of behaviour ?

Same as last year:
Not a note
Not a phonecall
Not so much as a postcard
For all I knew she was lying in a ditch somewhere

Ms Charlotte Sheridan [ who obviously has a more forgiving nature than I do ] welcomed her back with open ... ahh ... bobbinsYes, I know I should be grateful that she's back in the fold, obviously healthy and unharmed ...

but at the very least she might have warned me about the pitfalls associated with wearing clothes that contrast with the 'fleece du jour'

which is more of my 'Big Bag O' Alpaca from the Op Shop'

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Retrospective Quilt Show part deux

This sunflower one was made go-to-whoa in the 2 weeks immediately after Marc's illness was diagnosed and we were trying to think positively

Today would've been his 60th birthday, but in my mind he's still a very young looking 49.

Not all stories have happy endings
but life continues on This last quilt is titled "Rise Above' but the whole quote is" Rise above the clouds and you will find the sun"

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Mini Quilt Show part 1

I've made well over 200 quilts ... not sure how many exactly because I stopped counting, or otherwise keeping track, about a decade ago ... and there are an awful lot that I don't have photos of any more.
Most of those would have been early pre-digital-image ones, and to be brutally honest, a lot were pretty ordinary ... not poorly made you understand. just ... well... maybe a bit ... ummm ... pedestrian.
Most were made just because I just couldn't imagine NOT making quilts. They were made for my home and family, given away as gifts, or charity donations, or made as class samples once I started teaching, and later for publication.
Anyway as I said, a lot of those ones I don't have digital photos of [ and quite possibly wouldn't own up to even if I did ]
so basically you're getting a random selection of what's on the computer, which almost by definition, means the later stuff
No promises that you won't have seen them on the blog before either

[ because basically I'm far too lazy to go back and check ]
but they'll hopefully be new to some of you