Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas has moved

If you've been missing your annual dose[s] of Catsmum Christmas Insanity, it may be because you haven't caught up with the move over to the new blog.
Please come visit for some shortbread, mincepies, general christmas cheer [ and of course more santas, snowmen and snowflakes than you could shake a reindeer at ]

Monday, July 18, 2011

One Door Closes

and another one opens

From today I will be blogging over here

I do hope that you'll follow me over to the new abode, and see how the furniture looks in its new home. It may take me a while to get it all arranged to my satisfaction but we're mostly unpacked and the kettle is on, so come on over.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

decisions decisions

For some time now, I've known that I was almost out of photo storage space on this 'ere blog, and because of that, perhaps haven't posted as often, or with as many pics, of late.

Moving across to another blog is hardly onerous ... Bells did it quite successfully and so did Caity ... but illogical or not, I've resisted having to make the move from this space where I took my first tentative baby steps into the blogiverse.

I can't put it off much longer though:
As of this post, I'm up to 99% of photo storage so it's going to happen soon, and yes, I do realise that I can put pix in by linking to my Flickr account, but I tried that and that doesn't always want to co-operate, so pffft ... some day very soon, you'll come by and there'll be a note pinned to the door, telling you where to find me and mine.

but not today

today I'm going to show you some of the multitude of small things that I've been churning out since Kiri came off the needles.

Not all - probably don't have photo space enough for that

Herewith my dears, the four versions of Meret [ freebie from Wooly Wormhead ] that I've churned out recently:

Meret #1
is in Reynold's Andean Alpaca [ worsted/10ply ] that I bought in April's destash a while ago
2 extra repeats of the lace for maximum slouch. This one is nominally mine.
is in BWM's Luxury 8ply [Brick] and only one extra repeat.
Despite how well that colour looks on The Girl, this one is also mineminemine
#3 is Bendigo's Alpaca Rich in Deep Plum ... and THIS one is her ladyship'sand finally [ for now ]
#4 is in Colinette Art [ Aran/10 ply ] in Copper Beech, which is also Nadie's.

and in case anyone is concerned about possible depletion of my stash [ yeah, right ] from all of the needle action that has occurred during my recent extended couch time,
need I remind you all that


2 more sleeps till The Oz Wool & Sheep Show

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

where we're at

Well here I am, 7 weeks out from surgery, and to be honest not getting back to full strength as fast as I would have hoped [ Nadie says that this is because I totally SUCK at being lazy ]
Doesn't feel like that to me.

Initially there was a lot of bed-time. In fact, on the advice of a multiply-surgeried friend, I spent the first couple of weeks post-surgery, in my jim-jams.

and subsequent to that, there's been a buttload - and that's a metric butt-load, not an imperial one I'll have you know - of time spent on the couch: reading, knitting and catching up on some tellie.

I'm convinced that the real problem is that certain things are hard wired in when you're a mum ... I'll just bend down and pick that up, wipe that bench, empty that washing machine, dishwasher, feed those animals ...

okay okay ... yes Nadie is correct. I'm no good at taking it easy.

Still doesn't feel like that to me. The couch is beginning to develop a definite Susan-shaped divot at my preferred spot. The garden is sadly in need of a weed [ and yes, I DID pull out a few handsfull until the achey bits told me that wasn't a brilliant idea ] and we will not even discuss the amount of winter-born detritus that needs raking, piling and burning. THAT I am resolutely ignoring ... for now.

and no spinning either :(

However, I did manage to get myself off the couch, albeit under the careful supervision of She Who Must Be Obeyed,otherwise known as my lovely DD.

With SWMBO riding shotgun "just in case" I made my first tentative forays into town, to drop off Dave, and when nothing too dreadful ensued, there were a couple of [ careful ] expeditions further afield
... over the North Harcourt Road to Emu Creek for some baby goat snuzzles

[ pausing ever so briefly to admire the two lots of newly finished headgear, I would suggest that you ignore the hunched over Catsmum and focus instead on Bear 'kissing' the little Boer kid. A cynic might point out that he was probably after the milk remnants on it's cute wee face ]

and a few days - and a few ibuprofen - later into Bendigo for the ritual raiding of the Magic Back Room at the Woollen Mill, ahead of the arrival next week of the locusts ... ahem ... the lovely ladies and gentlemen who will be decending on Spendigo for the Wool & Sheep Show.

Ten minutes at the Mill segued into some baby snuggles of a very different kind, when Nadie and I finally got to meet the newest arrival at Mayhem, Chaos & Anarchy
seen here modelling one of his Catsmum natal offerings - it's a lousy pic of the hat but you've got to admit that it's a cute one of Master BJ

I was going to show you all the latest knitting but I doubt that I can top such baby cuteness so I will leave you here

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Ta Da !!

As I pointed out last week, there's a huge difference between unblocked lace and the way it looks once it's thoroughly wetted out and well stretched on the blocking wires

and even better once it's completely dry and being modelled by my darling girl:

Sunday, July 03, 2011

The things one finds...

when one has finally given up all hope of ever finding them.

Dateline: yesterday
Location: my wardrobe
where the urgent need for a knee brace [ I need to train Bear out of his habit of jumping enthusiastically into the back of my leg when he wants to play 'fetch' ] had me searching the innards of the tote bag that I only take to clogging classes. It is just the right size for a couple of pairs of tap shoes, some CDs, spare socks, some bandaids ... and an elastic knee bandage brace thingy.

Knee braces are a necessity for those of us, well past the first flush of youth, who still insist on engaging in high impact pursuits like Appalachian Tap, so I rarely bother to take it out of that bag. I mean, I know where it is when I need it, right?

what with the surgery [ and the run-up to the surgery ] there hasn't been an awful lot of clogging in my recent past, and no need to wear knee protection, so the bag has been stashed away at the top of the wardrobe.

A couple of weeks ago, I was bemoaning the loss of a pair of fingerless gloves that I'd managed to misplace before I'd even photographed or blogged about them.
I hunted high
and low
I checked every bag, basket, drawer and coat pocket that might conceivably harbour a pair of rolled up gloves, I even checked under the bed and that space under the driver's seat in the car that attracts old shopping dockets and stray mints.
No joy.
It didn't cross my mind for a single second to haul down the dance bag. It was completely off the mental radar.
So of course that is precisely where the missing gloves were hiding, along with the matching cowl that I don't actually remember making ... and the brace of course.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

and another addiction is born

Tara was responsible for my well-documented love of the Forest Canopy Shawl. This is where it started.

and if you've been with me for a while you know that my deep desire for one of my own has actually resulted in seven of the beggars

That first one was pin blocked before I acquired the wires [ well that, and the fact that I wanted to show it off at knitting group before it was truly bone dry] which means that it 'relaxed' a bit during that first wearing, pretty much lost the points and therefore doesn't really have the drama of all its younger siblings.
Anyway, I'm seriously considering reblocking that one ... one day ... when I have nothing better to do.

Now, it seems that I have passed on my love of that particular pattern unto the next victim:

You probably don't know my quilting friend Val-from-FerntreeGully.
We've known each other for quite a long time now, and though she never comments directly here on the blog, she always emails me with her responses.

Anyway, pushed to action by all of the shawls that I've made over the last year or so, and in particular, the aforementioned Forest Canopys, Ms Val has just finished one of her very, very own, and here 'tis in all its glory.

As she doesn't have a blog, I asked her if I could share it with y'all :)

unidentified 8ply[DK]yarn on 4mm needles

and [ big suprise ] she's already on the lookout for the right yarn for the next one :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

[Sh]awl Together Now

Last year could be justifiably decribed as The Year Of The Shawl

I finished 11 of them completely from start to finish [ plus the Neverending Baby Shawl that had been on the go since 2006 and finally finished Feb 2010 ]

... and it's not like I kept them all for my own wardrobe ... several of them ended up as presents for my nearest and dearest, so it's fair to say that I haven't quite made all the shawls that I hope to just yet.

Around Easter 2010, I finished a shawlette version of Kiri and have always intended to make another larger one.

and it needed to be red
and preferably finished before The Australian Wool & Sheep Show at Bendigo in a couple of weeks

so that's what I've been doing over the last couple of weeks - when I haven't been reading

MissC made it her job to ensure that the shawl-in-gestation was thoroughly CATscanned

Anyway, this is what it looked like before blocking ... kinda wafflish and fluted
but what a difference a warm bath makes

here 't'is on the blocking wires

hardly looks like the same project, does it ?

Kiri [ rav link ] & if you aren't on ravelry, you can find a free PDF on All Tangled Up

KPs 5mm & 6mm for the cast-off

Socky Goodness by Mayhem & Chaos[ aka Tara ], and a small amount of leftover Aarlan Arwetta dyed brown to finish out the border when I ran short ... because heaven forbid that I should pull out several thousand stitches to go back one full repeat, and then redo the whole border. Serendipity. I like the subtle dark edge.

anyone else got something on the needles for Spendigo?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

For the cats' domestic staff

If, like me, you are in servitude to a feline or two ... or three ... or ..., you may appreciate what Chris found for your jollification

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How do non-readers cope?

Just try being stuck at home and indoors with orders to 'take it easy' and 'not to lift more than a couple of kilos' for a month and a half.

Okay, the first week or so, it's all about the rest and the pain relief, and the 'being looked after' [ thankyou Nadie ], but after a while that begins to get old.
There's only so much tv that one can watch
and it hurts to sit at the computer for more than a few minutes [ stitches ... don't ask ]

so how do people stave off total boredom if they don't knit ... or quilt ... or read ?

I really have no idea [ and don't say gardening, cos I can't do that yet either ]

Anyway, there has been plenty of reading going on, as evidenced by the fact that I'm up to book 60 for the year, and that doesn't count the ones that I started but gave up on halfway through.

It may seem that I'm getting desparate for blogfodder when I post lists like this. but that's just so not true.
There is method to my madness.

Y'see, every time I post my booklist, someone who has bothered to wade through it all chimes in with some fabulous author that I haven't discovered yet.
Recently I've been working my way through two authors that I wouldn't have found were it not for rave reviews from Sheepish Annie ... Cassandra Clare and Mike Carey specifically.
As it happens I was able to get the Clares from the Library, but they only had the first of the Careys ... which turned out just fine, because I liked him enough to plonk down my dineros to buy the series [ including the one I'd just read ]

So, in the hope that some more great reads might be forthcoming, here's the 2011 booklist to date:

I Shall Wear Midnight - Terry Pratchett
Changes - Jim Butcher
A Kiss of Shadows - Laurell K Hamilton
A Caress of Twighlight - LKH
Seduced By Moonlight - LKH
A Stroke of Midnight - LKH
Mistral’s Kiss - LKH
A Lick of Frost - LKH
Swallowing Darkness - LKH
Divine Misdemeanor - LKH
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Attwood
Dead Over Heels - Charlaine Harris
Guilty Pleasures - Laurell K Hamilton
The Laughing Corpse - LKH
Circus of the Damned - LKH
The Lunatic Cafe - LKH
Bloody Bones - LKH
The Killing Dance - LKH
Burnt Offerings - LKH
Blue Moon - LKH
Obsidian Butterfly - LKH
Narcissus In Chains - LKH
Cerulean Sins - LKH
Incubus Dreams - LKH

The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Played With Fire - SL
Many Bloody Returns - Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher et al
The Harlequin - LKH
Dark Lover - JR Ward
A Touch Of Dead - CH Book 30
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest - SL
Merlin - Stephen Lawhead

Murder By The Slice - Livia Washburn
Goodies Rule OK
Wild Sheep Chase - Haruki Murakami
Dance Dance dance - HM

Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare
City Of Bones - CC
City of Ashes - CC
Side Jobs - Jim Butcher Book 40
Keep The Aspidistra Flying - George Orwell
Deja Dead - Kathy Reichs
City Of Glass - CC
The Devil You Know - Mike Carey
Death Du Jour - KR
Deadly Decisions - KR
Dark Side - Belinda Bauer
Rite - Tad Williams

Fatal Voyage - KR
Grave Secrets - KR Book 50
Bare Bones - KR
Devil Bones - KR
Blacklands - BB
Mint Juleps, Mayhem and Murder -Sara Rosett
A Cottswold Killing - Rebecca Tope
Bones To Ashes - KR
Indigo Dying - Susan Wittig Albert
Fever Of The Bone - Val McDermid
Vicious Circle - Mike Carey

Dead Man’s Boots - MC Book 60

so any suggestions ???

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The More Things Change ...

the more they stay the same:

Bear and Sophie July 2008Bear and Sophie June 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


We all know how one thing often leads to another.

well this particular chain starts with a simple little [ free ] headband pattern, that my friend Robyne-with-an-e found on the Drops website about a year ago. As is the way of such things, it quickly went viral within our Purl's Princesses knitting group with pretty much everyone - myself included - making at least a couple of them.

Now the thing that caught my fancy was the clever way that the increases and decreases were worked within the purled sections of the rib, but to be honest, I wanted to try the idea on something else.
So I trauled through my collection of stitch dictionaries and found a nice - and still simple - lacy rib.
The next step was to swatch a set of increases in an 8ply[dk] and to block it.

A little bit of maths and a fair bit of luck / intuition led to this beret [ modelled here by Tara ] with all the shaping within the purl sections a la the original drops headband

then a matching pair of wristwarmers

You'll just have to take my word for it that, after languishing in the bottom of a knitting basket for half a year, they did in fact get sewn up about 2 months ago, and have been worn a couple of times.
The reason that you'll have to take my word for it is that I appear to have lost the beggars.
Can't find them in any of the obvious places
or even in any of the totally ridiculous ones
so basically the only 'proof' I have that they ever existed, is this fairly c****y pic of one of them in its unsewn-up state, and the second one on the needles.

oh, and they're not pink either ... more a deep cherry red.
Moving on
I made a second and much longer pair for The Girl in BWM Allegro 8ply [DK].

You can see the way that the increases have been worked in.
Needless to say, the girl was rather happy with how these turned out ...

and before you could say 'Flashdance' this led somewhat inevitably to a pair of legwarmers, also in Allegro.

Was I finished with this lace yet ?

It occurred to me that I could probably stretch the pattern a bit by introducing an extra row each of knit and purl to make it a little less lacy
and I did gave that one ball of a lovely soft sage green [ also from BWM ]

the sequence - currently - ends with this slouchy hat

Now if I could just find those blasted fingerless gloves!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

I've lost track

... of what I've shown you and what has gone undocumented

so, after some blog perusal just to jog the little grey cells, here's some of the stuff you haven't seen:

First up, you might remember the red slouch hat I made for Nadie. At the time I said that I was going to make a blue one for myself
which I did
and then the girl hinted strongly that she wouldn't mind one
so now there are twins.

BWM Luxury 8ply in Junior Navy
KP Harmonies 4.5mm and 3.75mm

Which is just as well, because a certain person has managed to misplace hers twice already and has had to borrow mine
which is okay
not as though I've been going out anywhere

and then she expressed a strong desire for a blue scarf
I was going to say matching scarf, but it doesn't exactly

match that is

it's the same colour as the hat, but is a completely different lace pattern ... the same Grandmothers Lace variation that I 'unvented' for the Frothy Gothy Wristwarmers.

DD already has a matching set of those Wristwarmers and scarf in country red Sirdar Snuggly DK. They were made a couple of years ago and by happy co inky dink are close enough in colour as makes no nevermind to the BMW 8ply Luxury in Ruby that I used for her slouchy hat version1.

The red one btw has four eyelet rows per point [ so 8 pattern rows ] and this one has 6/12, so the points are a little larger. Not precisely what The Girl had in mind, but mama likes it/

what else?
well, the Hair Of the Dog handspun shawl is waiting for me to recover enough to spin more alpaca/samoyed, so it's in hibernation at probably about half finished

I crocheted a different shawl while I was waiting but no pix yet, so I guess that's a post for another day

Some of the alpaca/kid angora/corrie cross handspun from the Goat Show demo at Easter is now a pretty basic, rustic lookung beanie for Davidand then there was ...

okay stopping now before anyone has a cerebral meltdown

Friday, June 03, 2011

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

a week in the life

Well, it's just been one hectic and giddy thing after another here Chez Catsmum.

There was the sitting
sitting and knitting
lying-down and knitting

reading - both the sitting and the lying-down variety
watching seasons 6,7 & 8 of NCIS, 1 & 2 of Glee, and slabs of heroes and Dr Who, in both the sitting and the prone position
there was a certain amount of 'persuading certain animals that I am not a cushion
... or a springboard'

AND for a change of pace
there was knitting

Oh, what a life I lead!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

possibly TMI

Thanks all for the good wishes, both here and on FB

As it transpired, six days of heaving up my toes after the massive surgeries of '09 [ because no-one had made the connection that I was having what is euphemistically referred to as an 'adverse reaction' to morphine / oxycontin, as a result of which, they kept me well topped up with more of the same ] didn't do my then newly eviscerated insides any favours

quelle suprise !!

anyway, the net result was last weeks reprise repair of some of the same portions of my battered carcass ...

Apparently I am something of an anaesthetist's nightmare now [ three of the fetching, red alert bracelets, each with multiple entries ] ... there were no general anaesthetics that he was willing to risk so I had a spinal.

As promised, I don't remember anything between having the ice cold pink stuff washed over my back and waking up with everything below the bellybutton not answering directions.
It was a very strange experience as bits and pieces came back on line.
At one point I could make my legs respond, but not the blocks of heavy ice that were subbing for my feet/toes and tush.

There were no private rooms available initially, so I had the 'pleasure' of sharing with a locally notorious, extraordinarily demanding, little old lady who was both physically and verbally incontinent and deaf [ loudloudloud tv] , and a fragile young lady going through some health and lifestyle issues that were totally none of my or any one else's business, but which, because of the flimsy illusion of privacy offered by a drawn curtain, we were all fully aware of.

After three days of feeling like a voyeur [ and 2 hours sleep a night due to little old lady's nocturnal wanderings ] I was less than sparkling, so one particular staff member iniatiated the opening of a closed 4-bed ward just for me.

It would have inconvenienced the cleaning staff who suddenly had one more bathroom to cope with, but, to tell you the truth, I was past caring.

A couple of days of peace and quiet ensued and I came home on Monday.

I'm trying to behave: bedrest with periods of moving around, trying not to 'just pick up this' or 'move that' and to find the balance between adequate pain medication [ I am invincible, I can do anything ... ] and somewhat less than adequate [ owowowowowow ]
It's a delicate dance known, I now realise, to all who have ever had to recover from major surgery.

I am:
reading [ Cassandra Clare: City of Glass, and during the last week, Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs, Keep The Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell and Side Jobs by Jim Butcher ]

knitting [ currently a scarf for Nadie - hospital knitting was a shawl from last week's alpaca/samoyed, now temporarily on hold until I am up to spinning some more ]

and catching up on 3 seasons of NCIS

and you should all make yourselves a pair of these [ fabulous freebie pattern from Mindie ].

Pattern: 19 row slippers from Knitting If Not Eccentric
Yarn: vintage Thorobred Celtic 12 ply /bulky pure wool from New Zealand
Needles: KP Options 8mm
Mods: I used a slip1, k2tog, psso as the left leaning double decrease instead of the SSSK, and added a few rows of garter at the cuff before casting off.

and the colour is actually not as grey blue as this nightime picture would imply. It's both clearer and brighter.

I made Nadie's first and then a 'taking to hospital' pair.

So that's m'week!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Doing well

Hi all, Nadie here.

As some of you may know, mum went in for surgery yesterday (re-doing part of what was done 18 months ago). She has come out of it very well, and will most likely be home on Sunday. In the meantime, anyone local who wishes to visit her at Castlemaine hospital is welcome to do so.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Only in Castlemaine [again]

the full vid of our flash sing during the State Festival

I'm at 2:42 and Nadie at 3:47

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Hair of the Dog

Just quickly
[ because Blogger has been temperamental, and also it's past time for me to jump in the shower and do all those things associated with getting on with my day ]

this is 220 metres of pale blue-grey alpaca from the back room at BWM with some of last week's wonderful white [obviously] Samoyed. This was seasoned with a hint of Wendy Dennis' dark brown raw Polwarth fleece.
Not the easiest mix to work with, but my fondness for working with alpaca stood me in good stead with the puppy dawg wool which has a similar feel and 'handleability' to the alpaca.

The whole lot was lightly drum carded, before spinning on my Sheridan Celtic

... initially the Celtic and I were having some 'issues' but a clean-and-oil in all the right places worked wonders for her 'tude. Shouldn't be surprised I guess. A good oiling does me the world of good :)
Anyway, the resultant yarn varies quite a bit in weight, mainly dependant on whether it was the stuff I spun on Saturday night, before I figured out the problems with the wheel, or yesterday's lot.
Some of it is almost an aran/worsted, most is about what we Aussies would call 8ply [ DK or Sport ] and some of it is about sock/4ply.

Yarn with character !!

and now I'm late ... buggerit


Okay so here are the thoughts that occurred after I pushed 'publish':

The yarn is a 2ply construction. Only one of those plies is the alpaca/samoyed/polwarth mix and the other is the carded alpaca. You can hardly see the dark brown wool but it has added a certain little extra something.
The magnificent animals whose wool it is are the Aussie Champion 'Taj' and his mum 'Grace'. If you'd like to find out more about them, you'll find the Snowbrook Samoyeds here

Thursday, May 12, 2011

And a cast of ... several

So do you all remember me mentioning the flash sing at the IGA during the State Festival ?
Here 't'is [ most of it anyway - filmed on someone's phone, so all things considered the quality's not too bad ]
The sharp of eye may be able to find me in the midst of the pack but poor Nadie, being somewhat vertically challenged, is invisible.

Some of the more "innovative" harmonies were supplied by shoppers who just had to join in.
I can't decide whether my favourite bit is Judy & Janey dancing or the bemused 'checkout chick'

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guess Who's Three Today ?

This is Bear when his adopted [Cats]mum came back from town without the obligatory birthday bag of big meaty bonesnot impressed Mum !

a liberal ingestion of leftover roast pork has since returned Bear to his customary happy self

Monday, May 09, 2011

this is what a box of dog looks like

When Nadie and I were at the Goat Show over Easter, we had an intriguing conversation with a lovely lady who breeds Australian Champion Samoyeds about the possibility of spinning her dogs wool. She went on to order some Tupperware from Nadie, the delivery of which sort of clinched the need for a visit.

I mean really
talk about your no brainer

Offer me free fibre and the chance to get up close and personal with a couple of the most stunning canines you are ever likely to see [ although you're NOT likely to see them because I failed signally to garner photographic evidence of their magnificence ... bad Catsmum ... BAD ]

and the day got even better as we managed to combine it with a return bout of baby boer goat snuzzling over at Emu Creekthis is actually a pic I took last week but they were just as cute today :)

a prettty good day all round then:
Nadie and I got sniffed/slobbered on and muddied by assorted cats, dogs and goats
Bear visited his Mummy and sister - but I forgot to buy them some special bones to celebrate Bear & Molly's third birthday on Wednesday [ again BAD BAD Catsmum! ]
this is what a boxful of freshly shampooed-and-groomed dawg looks like

I think I have a date with my carder!

Monday, May 02, 2011

another finished object [ which needs a name ]

Nadie wanted a slouchy hat
I felt like playing with a particular lace
This was the result
and I like it so much I'm about to cast on one for myself in blue

pattern - improvised
needles - 3.75mm & 4.5mm KP Harmony
yarn - Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply in Ruby

This isn't by any means the first time I've used Luxury, which is a nice, soft, machine washable little workhorse of a yarn with only one drawback. It grows like nobody's business the first time it hits water. Now if one happens to know that, one can [to a certain extent ] allow for it, but it does still make 'improvising' in this yarn a bit of a gamble size wise. This time, with the help of some swatching and some maths, I pretty much got the desired result ... even if The Girl does still think it's a little loose.

anyone want the pattern ?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

More Fibre goodness

I don't know that I ever actually explained to you how I ended up spending a large portion of Easter at the Bendigo Showgrounds, but in a nutshell the story goes like this:

The denizens of Emu Creek, otherwise known as Pete-and-Brenda, are keen Chrysanthemum growers as well as their more usual guise of gurus of all things goaty.
Anyway, a year, or so, ago they decided that Bendigo really needed a Goat Show. I mean really, really, reallly [ no arguments from me ] and the easiest way to do it without headaches over venues and public liability insurance and the rest, was to create a goat sub-group in the local Chrysanthemum Club and ride along as part of the long-standing Easter Chryssie show at the Prince Of Wales Showgrounds - better known to readers of any knitting blog based in Oz as the home of the Australian Wool & Sheep Show. [ prize for most run-on and parenthetical sentence of the month ]
As is often the case, someone who fully intended to be there, selling her spinning wheels, fibre and yarns, had to bow out fairly late in the piece, and all the advertising mentioned spinning, so a spinner there had to be, even if she was only there to demo... and guess who is the only spinner that Pete-and-Brenda could call to mind ???
got it in one

And actually, now that I've written that, ONE advertisement came out touting the presence of " sinners" as I found out on the Saturday when one smartypants enquired " Are you one of them sinners I was reading about?"

this is the alpaca/ kid angora singles that I managed to get spun over the two days of constant interruptions - like having to go pet sweet, snuggly caprines and camelids
this is how it looked on Sunday night when I plied it with a Corriedale-cross singles that was hanging around begging to be used

and the plied, wetted-and-whacked end product

Those lumpy bumpy bits all seemed to happen when I was trying to answer questions

as did any and all yarn breakages

any perfect spinning occurred when I was not being scrutinised

of course

and we will not even begin to discuss the subject of how one copes with the discovery [ beginning of day 2 ] that one has left the [ absolutely vital ] orifice hook sitting in yesterday's bag on the coffee table 50 kilometres away !!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

All roads lead to Bendigo

Last October I was able to cross yet another life ambition off The List when I achieved near immortality by having a goat named after me

"Self" I thought at the time, " It doesn't get any better than this" [ which my family and friends would probably tell you says volumes about my life ]
Self agreed with me, but it turns out that both of us were completely incorrect.

It turns out that leading your namesake into the judging ring at the inaugural Bendigo Goat Show is pretty nifty too

and even better is when she wins Best Anglo-Nubian Doe in her age group [ narrowly beating out another of PND's doelings, Ms Hannah ]

and, cheesy grin notwithstanding, if you click for big, you can read what it says on my shirt

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Almost lost for words

chris found this on line

I can't decide whether it's so twee that it's cute [ maybe with a white 'beard' as an elf ]

or whether it's just ...

oh, heck, you decide :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Castlemaine State Festival 2011 ; the final washup

So here's the thing

Pretty much every day for the last week and a half, I've composed mental blog posts... mostly in the car ... or under the shower.

They were witty and polished.
Moving even.
They would have really made you want to jump on a bus/train/plane and get yourself up/down/over here ... if I had, in point of fact, actually got as far as the keyboard,
but alack
and alas even
there was just sooooo much going on, that just didn't happen.
as you may have noticed

there was:
mass dancing in the streets at the Opening Ceremony
marvelous pieces of theatre to be seen/heard/enjoyed in venues both traditional and decidedly not.*
wonderful exhibitions by just about every practising artist in the area
fabulous concerts [ the standout for Nadie and I had to be Toronto-based Klezmer band ' Beyond The Pale' and their Beyond Mozart concert

... the divine Wolfgang Amadeus played on electric mandolin, violin, clarinet, piano accordion and bass ... some of it in Balkan 7/8 time !!!! ]

singing ... in the street outside the Castlemaine Fruit & Veg with the Peace Choir
singing ... at the railway station [ at 6 am ] with the Chat Warblers
singing ... with a cast of what seemed like thousands in the IGA Supermarket [ and apparently we were on ABC Radio too but I missed it ]
some seriously frocked-up** singing ... with soloists from Victorian opera conducted by Richard Gill in a sing-your-own Mozart to Mayhem concert.

Surprisingly, I have almost no voice left, and and seriously need to buy shares in whichever pharmaceutical company makes Strepsils.

Oh, and I mustn't forget that David got involved too

and then there was the all-day closing party yesterday
but I'm all tuckered out so I'm going to leave that for tomorrow

* down a Goldmine

**frocked up
: the condition of being very, very dressed up for an occasion such as The Opera or The Ballet.
In the case of my friend Janey, it meant swapping her habitual checked-work-shirt-and -jeans for a pristine white-shirt-and-jeans.

Some of us who did frock up as directed, scored double pass tickets to a Victorian Opera production in Melbourne later in the year.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

spot the Catsmum

Forget Where's Wally? ... can you find moi in this group of pajama-clad ladies warbling at the Castlemaine Train Station at 6-flipping-AM on Monday ?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

OCD queen

I swear I had today's post all planned out.

It was all about the evolution of an idea

I was going to explain to you all how a really simple freebie headband pattern lead to a beret
[ that I haven't shown you yet, despite the fact that it was finished halfway through last year ] which lead to some wristwarmers
[ that I also haven't shown you because they're not sewn up ]
which lead to the leggies that I kinda slipped into the last post
and then to the current project ... which I was confident would be entirely finished, ends sewn in and photographable by tonight


in the long established tradition of best laid plans 'o mice, men and Catsmums going aft aglay

just as I was casting off, I noticed a row count error

90 rows back

and yes
I nearly said something less than ladylike
and yes
I did pull it all out
and yes
I have started again

but that will be a post for another day

Sunday, March 27, 2011

this week

Nadie and I spent some quality time with Bear at the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens

I made a new bit of garden ... which has been subsequently rearranged several times by the cats

so I've temporarily given up my landscaping attempts until the irresistible attraction of newly turned earth wears off

I also designed and knitted some legwarmers for The Girl

Nadie made sushi for the WIP [works in progress] day that we had yesterday

and we marked Earth Hour 2011 appropriately [ Nadie and The Boy playing cards by candlelight ]