Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Wishes

Best Wishes to all out there for a Happy evening of celebrations and a wondrous New year to come.

We are busily putting everything away and making salads for a feast tonight with friends who are coming over to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another.

The clothes washing is almost done in the catchup since arriving home from the beach and I've now run out of washing powder so it has been added to the list of food and drinks Jules and the two big boys are out gathering. By the time the next load is done the previous one is dry as today's current temp is 36 deg (97F) and still climbing, which combined with the wind is resulting in miracle drying!

The top photo is our regular beach from this past week, it's the busiest we have ever seen it and are very glad we stay in walking distance as there was no space for cars on the access road! The bottom photo is of course all four of my boys doing what they do best at the beach which is try to keep the water at bay!! Zac was not hindered in the least by his cast as we had borrowed a special waterproof glove to go over it and his sling was quite cool. We came home on Tuesday night to attend his checkup on Wednesday and we are all very glad to say the plaster has been removed and our next beach holiday starting in 9 days time will see Zac well and truly in the water! No one is more happy about that than Zac :-) He will have trouble straightening it for quite a while due to the muscles needing to be stretched out but I will be consulting our local physio (my sister) to see how we can help him recover his stretch quickly.

Hoping everyone has a lovely evening and a peaceful year. Thank you for stopping by during the past year and leaving comments when you could. I love getting them and appreciate the time it takes you to stop and write them. I will try to do a photo round up of my year in knitting in the next day or so as so many others have been doing, for a year that started slowly on the knitting front I am surprised at how many finished projects (31) I have (I know lots are small....ssshhh!!) and can't wait to see them all in one place, so stay tuned!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Beach combing

That's what I'll be doing for the next couple of days, enjoying the peace and having a chance to just stop.

Hope everyone gets a chance to recover from the last few days.

See you when we get back!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

It's been hard to be excited about Christmas this year, lots of things have been getting between me and the good old Christmas Spirit.

I found out recently that I won't have work in the coming year. It was one day a week with holidays that matched the kids holidays so it was perfect in so many ways and I will be very aware of it's absence. One of the downsides of being a casual I suppose. I'm trying to look on it as just a step to moving on to something new but the timing and the manner of it all happening have been a bit rough.

The tree has had to be on the top of the tv all month or it would be undecorated on a daily basis courtesy of a determined 2 year old. No presents could be added because the same 2 year old knows presents are for unwrapping and was determined to do so despite none of them being his. He now knows his way around rearranging the furniture to get high enough to reach what he wants so nowhere was safe.

The big kids have forgotten how to do a few things this month: listening, playing nicely with each other, listening, doing what they're asked, listening, playing by themselves, listening...so there have been a couple of tanties at various points, at least one of them courtesy of me! Now that the school/kinder year has ended they seem to be a bit less exhausted and are playing better with each other, we're still working on the listening though so all the old methods of getting them to behave have had to be resurrected.
That and coming to a few realisations:
(1) The school kid has been "instructed" all day every day and the new cry of "but I don't know what to do" is probably a factor of this. The eternal answer to that one is "go outside and find something to do" which may take a couple of minutes but generally works.
(2) The arm in plaster is actually having an effect on the types of activities the big boys usually engage in and Hunter is finding it hard to account for the difference as Zac is generally very able and now isn't quite as.
(3) The whole being with bigger kids all year has lead to Hunter being rougher with his brothers now that he is home with them which again because of Zac's broken elbow has lead to some trouble mainly of the Zac getting splatted on the ground variety and Hunter being banished to a chair or wall or bed until the damage is assessed.
So far no major injuries but I'm more than over it and cannot wait until the 30th when the next round of x-rays occur. I am seriously hoping for no more plaster but have to keep warning Zac it may be back on again. He's not impressed.

There have been highlights this month amongst the other stuff:
The bigger kids have enjoyed doing both of our advent calendars, one a traditional nativity scene where the characters get added daily and the other a set of drawers which we put Christmas decorations in on the odd days and chockies in on the evens. We start the month with just tinsel on the tree and the decorations are added gradually over the month until it is complete on the 23rd.
Tyler is now toilet trained day and night. We have stopped bothering to put nappies on him for naps or overnight and he's all good. We have the odd "forget" where he starts and stops and yells "toilet" but no puddles anywhere in weeks so that is brilliant! My baby is getting all grown up!


We participated in the Toy Society Christmas drop again and this year dropped two toys. I like the idea of my boys taking part in giving something to others for Christmas without expecting anything in return. I think this will become more understood on their part in the coming years. Maybe they will start making things to include in drops, who knows!


So after a bit of a shaky start to the Christmas feeling over here, it finally got into high gear on Christmas Eve. The tree was relocated from the top of the tv to a table placed in the centre of the fireplace (decorations had to be replaced constantly before bedtime).


The two advent calendars were arranged on the mantlepiece and various decorations were added to set the scene. We spent some time on the afternoon of the 24th making paper Christmas trees to put on the mantlepiece.

This kept the boys busy for a whole 30 minutes so that was good!

Getting the presents under the tree and leaving a snack for Santa and his Reindeer certainly helped with the increase of Christmas cheer.


Watching the Carols on the tv always helps, though this year it was mostly listening to them as we wrapped presents.


The kids were brilliant on Christmas morning waiting until everyone was up before diving upon their presents. The hit of the day appears to have been the walkie talkies we got for them, they have played non-stop with them ever since having to have them taken away at meal and bedtime so that some social interaction could be achieved!

I'm hoping that everyone has had a lovely Christmas, that your Cheer found you in time and that the coming year brings lots of love and joy and peace. Best wishes for a safe and healthy Christmas Season and year to follow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Toy Society Christmas Drop #2


Managed to finish the jelly fish and take him to the bridge where we had left the octopus. His mate was long gone so we put him in the same spot. My helper was much happier about leaving this one. Again as we left a couple of people stopped to have a look but no immediate takers as we were watching. Haven't been back to check if he's gone but assume he has. It's a very busy path no matter the time of day with lots of families using it.


Here he is closeup. The major difference between him and the octopus is the abundance of tentacles compared to the eight of the octopus. Was hoping he'd be a bit flatter rather than round but I'm sure I'll be making more so I'll get to practice!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Toy Society Christmas Drop

This weekend is the World Wide Christmas drop for the Toy Society and despite the reminders in the last couple of weeks life has been so distracting that I only remembered this morning and while watching the boys play, crocheted up a little octopus.


We went for a walk along the local path and tied him to the handrail on the bridge, took a couple of pictures, wandered up to the next bridge and then headed home again. He was still there as we passed and soon after we saw a dad with his toddler out for a walk. Dad looked at the label but left it there and kept walking. A couple of minutes later another couple with a baby in a pram walked past and the Mum stopped and checked it out but again left it there. We came home and I went to put the pictures on my computer to post and realised I had forgotten to put the memory card in....so back I went, about 2.5 hours after the original drop and all I found was this:


We had used the tinsel to tie the bag the octopus was in to the handrail, so we hope that a little girl or boy out there has a nice new toy to enjoy!

All of us except Hunter of course who had his eye on it for himself and who had even gone so far as to say that if we went and checked on it in the morning and it was still there then it would be allright for him to have it! I explained that we would be leaving it there for another kid to collect as a surprise. He wasn't so sure. I think he's hoping that's not true :-)

Was inspired by the Octopus (who I made up) and am now working on a jelly fish. Hope to get it done this evening so that Jules can take the boys back tomorrow and leave it there for the next person.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ewe Beaut Fibre Sampler

Recieved the December Ewe Beaut Fibre Sampler this past week. It's not the best picture but you get the idea. 7 yarns, 3 fleece samples, a stitch marker and a beautiful button.


Couldn't help myself had to start knitting, needed a different brain space. Used two different samples. One from Celia's basket, a sample of her warmth10 (that little white cylinder in the middle of the shot), lovely and soft almost silky to the touch. Colourway "In the nude". The other a sample from a new fibre supplier Milk and Honey. Her shop doesn't open until February but I'll be checking it out. It's the one on the far right. Colourway "Cranberry Christmas".

Together they resulted in this gorgeous little hat.

Took it with me on Tuesday to show the girls at SnB and then later to show my sister. I don't have it anymore as it appears to have been acquired by my little sister for her impending baby!

Not sure what's next but Teresa was full of glee at the sight of the fleece, crowing about teaching me to spin :-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

One year on

A year ago today my Nan passed away. It was a sad time at the end of a highly stressful year. I have thought of her often. When little things happened, things that I would call her about like watching the Tennis in January, I'd miss her more. I know I'll always miss her at moments like that. It's nice to be able to reflect on the things she brought to my life. The love of cups of tea. The support during my schooling and University studies. Her love for her grandchildren, my children. While not being the most social of people she had a great love for her family and it's nice to be able to remember that.

Thinking of you Nan.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

5 things

I'm playing along with Pottymouthmama who has started a new meme. Boredom is indeed the place from which creativity springs.

The meme: 5 things you love/can't live without (in no particular order)

1/ Tea freshly brewed from tea leaves.

2/ Chocolate preferably from the fridge, sometimes from the freezer, never from the cupboard.

3/ Knitting: it calms my soul and makes me slow down a little inside my head....a bit Zen like.

4/ Swimming: never thought I'd say it but yep swimming....I go to another place. It rarely fails to calm me. The concentrating on the breathing and the counting of laps, it forces me to put everything else aside, because losing count is just soooo annoying, lol!!!

5/ My family: The boys and Jules. We have days when we drive each other insane but the world without them in it would be a dark place indeed.

So there you have it.

Let me know or Pottymouthmama and we'll come check out your list too!

P.S. For those enquiring about Zac's broken humerus (again not funny) he is not in pain any more and in fact has adapted so well that it takes people who are used to seeing him (friends/kinder teacher/childcare carer) a while before they realise he is in fact doing stuff one handed. Personally I really wish he'd stop pushing his luck and refrain from climbing up trees or hanging over 4 ft drops from his other hand. The running around is hard enough to watch. I think he's doing it just to do my head in. Not sure how I'm going to make it until the 30th when he gets the next set of x-rays done......hopefully he makes it without breaking his other arm!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some photos from the last few days

Sports Day Dinner...sausages in bread

The beach of my childhood....Lake Tyers.

A piece of driftwood in a section of beach that is slowly re-vegetating

And FO#30...a red hat knit in my favourite stitch pattern, using a made up pattern, knit from the top down with double increases used to keep the pattern straight. I was aiming for it to fit a 2 year old and it does! Even with his boofa!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Busy, busy busy

Have had an eventful week really. Have managed a little knitting (more on that later), had a couple of major events and one semi majorish disaster.

So the major events were: our first school sports on Thursday night at which Hunter competed alongside the other preppies in their teams. Between them his team won 3 second places and he is very proud of his ribbons :-) Each team also sang a Christmas carol with actions and all. Not sure who won the night but I'm sure it will be in the newsletter!

The second major event was our annual Christmas party with my Dad's side. It occurs every year on the first Saturday of December. This year my Uncle who lives in Lake Tyers (Victorian south east coast just past Lakes Entrance) was hosting so we planned on going down to Mum's on Thursday night (2 hour trip) straight from school sports, followed Friday morning by the rest of the trip (2.5 hours). We had a cabin booked for the two nights and it was a much anticipated event by all. Especially as both Hunter and Jules had taken Friday off school and work.

And here we come to the semi majorish disaster....at school sports Zac was showing his Dad how he can swing along the monkey bars when he lost his swing and dropped to the ground landing on his butt and catching his weight with his left hand. Now if he had been on the small kids set which he is quite adept at it wouldn't have been much of a problem but he was on the big kids set and the drop is longer. He has a supracondylar fracture of the humerus which for you and me translates as a break across the rounded head end of his upper arm bone but at the elbow end. We arrived at the Austin at 9 pm and left at 1.30am. The poor little thing was woken at least three times to have nasty painful things done to him (x-rays, plastering, more x-rays) but he has come through it all quite well. Apparently he has been really lucky with a very stable fracture no fragmenting or pieces out of place so we are thankful because otherwise he would have had to have it operated on. Last night we were back at the ER for another 2.5 hours because his skin didn't agree with the "mefix" tape and he had blisters under it so it had to come off and he had fresh plaster and bandages applied. Today we had an appointment(1.5hours) at the fracture clinic and they decided that it will be three weeks in plaster with his arm held so his left hand is pointing to his opposite shoulder. So that was another round of placement and plastering which took two plasterers and a lot of tape and a lot of yelling and squirming on his part to ensure he couldn't straighten the joint before the plaster sets properly (about 24 hours). So no swimming lesson for him this morning (last one), we dropped by to say goodbye and happy holidays to his swimming mates and teacher, and no swimming for the next three weeks. Which for any other kid wouldn't be a problem but for this kid is the difference between sleeping deeply enough so we don't have night time accidents in bed and sleeping lightly which almost always results in night wets. So we might have to see if we can find some other form of exercise for him which is as full on as swimming without there being danger of falling over because he only has one hand to catch himself with.....this may indeed be a challenge. He did enjoy himself at the beach this weekend with arm in sling and covered in a plastic bag so the plaster didn't get wet, so that's an upside I guess.

So with one thing and another I did manage some knitting over the weekend and while waiting at the hospital last night so I have almost finished a little hat. The order for a size 2 cardy has fallen through because of the cost, but I will endeavour to have a couple of size 1 and 2 things ready for the February market just in case people are tempted.

I am now completely exhausted and am facing at least two more loads of washing from the weekend away with a weather forecast which isn't brilliant. The next few weeks are very busy as well as it is that time of year. Not yet used my new lawn mower but really want to. I have one of these courtesy of my Qantas FF points. Sad really but I enjoy the immediate results of mowing. A sense of achievement in 30 minutes with results that speak for themselves, who could ask for more?

So there you have it, the last 4 days of my life in summary!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's going to be a great Christmas!!

Have just been playing on Rav and had not one but 2 fantastic messages!

Firstly I have won a prize in the Mystery sock KAL for Socktober with my Sweet Chilli socks, a skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock will be winging it's way here.

And secondly I'll be getting my hands on one of the Ewe Beaut Fibre Sampler boxes as my name has come up on the waiting list, so twelve samples from Australian and New Zealand spinners, dyers and makers will be making their home with me in the next week or so as well.

Lots of loveliness in time for Christmas. And yes I am grinning form ear to ear!!

Clearing the decks in December and a market round up

So with December beginning yesterday it is now Day 2 of Clearing the Decks in December. We had the lounge suite cleaned yesterday and the resulting disarray in our living space was amazing as furniture was all pulled out to allow access for the cleaner and then to allow for the furniture to dry out, so instead of clearing it was more like messing! Today things are much more under control. So this year's aim is to knock some knitting WIP's on the head, sort out the study which has only gotten worse over the last 6 months not better, relocate half of the contents of the laundry to the garage. With our youngest now toilet trained we no longer have need for multiple laundry buckets with lids for dealing with soiled nappies, also recent repair jobs have resulted in various items used by the handyperson not being returned to their rightful resting places but they have found interim resting places in the laundry! We need to make space for the (tiny) Christmas tree and presents, find a place for our Advent calendar to be set up and somewhere for the Advent drawers (a photo another time) to reside and all pretty much pronto!

Market day was Saturday and while it wasn't a huge success in terms of sales, it was in terms of exposure and feedback. Lots of people coming up to inspect the little cardi's and hats and socks and to ask questions. Lots of amazement about the bamboo yarn: "So soft", "almost silky", "So light", "Wow!", "Better than silk!" A few disappointed people "Do you have anything in a size 2?" unfortunately having to answer a "No" to that one, but after the third person asked I pursued it a little further and I now have an order for a size 2 cardi that isn't required until next Winter. Have been checking out the local stores for an appropriate yarn (lots of squishing of wool balls) and will be calling her shortly with a couple of options and prices before buying the yarn and getting started. The next Northside Market isn't until February so I might see about getting a few bigger items together before then. It all comes down to time.

Have school sports tomorrow night and then we are leaving for a weekend at the beach. My Dad's side do a Christmas bbq on the first Saturday in December and it's the uncle who lives at the beach who is hosting this year so we are pulling Hunter out of school on Friday and going swimming instead :-)

Lots of events stacking up in December so it is going to be busy. Hope we manage a break here and there to just sit and appreciate the passing of another year, this one ohhh sooooo much better healthwise both physically and mentally than last year. And to anticipate the new addition being provided courtesy of my youngest sister who is due to arrive on Australia Day!

Enjoy the month, let me know if you'll be clearing the decks and what it entails and hopefully there will be some more FO's before the year finishes!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Market Day

I'm off to market today, maybe I'll see you there!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Market Preparation

I'm going to be at the Northside Makers Market this Saturday with all of my little items. I can't wait. In full preparation mode over here. Have some stuff that hasn't made it to the website yet that I will have with me. So if you are curious stop on by. I'll be under the Northside Makers banner sharing a space at the Collective table.



My preparations would be aided by being able to show the kids the backdoor and leaving them to their own devices but that is not my lot this week. We are having both of our side fences replaced and we are up to day 5 of not being able to let the kids loose. Three reasons really, lots of rusting nails on the fences that have been taken down but not yet removed, no fences and no gate to the front yard. If the kids were out they'd last all of two minutes and they'd be off! So no playing out the back unsupervised this week. We will be having to rake the whole yard down as well before they are allowed back out barefoot. Sooo don't want trips to ER with rusty nails in feet.

Have finished up a pair of socks using leftover yarn from the Ixchel cardy and they are very cute. Will take a photo before I go to market just in case someone can't resist them!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New projects

Of course after finishing up a couple of projects it was time to start something new, or a couple of somethings really.

A small pair of socks with the left over Ixchel yarn.

A new design in a 4ply (fingering) bamboo yarn. Will play with it a little more before I reveal anything on that one.

And I'm also working on a small orange scarf in Tricot. Don't now if I've mentioned that one before.

All little projects that don't take up too much brain space.

Oh and Twist Collective has their "Winter" issue out, when I get a chance I'll have a peruse.....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FO #27 and #28 and almost #29

That's right two finished projects and an almost completed one!!

Firstly here are the photos of the Through the Loops Mystery socks. I now have a pair and if it wasn't 31.4 deg outside and I didn't have an itchy foot from the silly bee sting I would sooooo be wearing them!



Secondly, I finally sewed in the ends of a washcloth I made from hemp twine a while ago so now it counts as finished!


Last one is a sneak peak at the little Ixchel cardy. It is completed in terms of the knitting. The ends are sewn in I just need to find some lovely buttons to complete it. I absolutely adore the way the centre fronts match in colour on the two side fronts. Pure fluke but totally gorgeous!

Have to decide what colour buttons to use....any suggestions??? Who knows what Lorraine will have at the store but she generally has something that is an excellent match.

The bee sting is still being annoying, itchy constantly despite the antihistamines.

The plumber was able to repair the damage to the tap out the front. We were lucky, the broken piece was above the main line so just removal of the broken bit and replacing it, no major works were required. Still cost $170 but at least we have the water back on and I can only image what a major repair would have cost!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Not good

Just broke the outside tap at the front property line and have no water to the house until the plumber gets here sometime this arvo......Not Good. Managed to break it off at the point where it joins to the main line into the house. Nothing spectacular on my behalf, just knocked it, but it's so rusted it broke off at the base.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Summary

It's been busy over here.

Crafternoon was not a rousing success, most people begged off with other commitments. Coming to that time of year really. Will try again next year after school starts and everything has settled.



Have finished the second of my mystery socks. I love them. Feel like a weight has been lifted have too many WIP's on the go, it's getting out of hand. They probably aren't even all over there in the sidebar. Keep starting little things and not listing them.


Have been working on the little cardy I am making with the Ixchel yarn, went to SnB at the Botanical gardens yesterday and took it with me. Jules took the big boys into the Children's Garden and down to the lake, Tyler slept in the pram beside me for a good two hours or more. Beautiful child!


Started a little scarf with the leftover orange Pear Tree yarn from an earlier cardigan. Doing the open tricot. It makes it all so light and airy.


Would provide you with photos of the socks and cardy, but the ice pack and anaesthetic cream hasn't really helped much with the pain in my poor toe. I was taking a bag of rubbish out to the rubbish bin for collection in the morning, but as I went to walk out the front door I managed to step on a bee. Not sure how since it was dark out, about 9pm, post swim but yes I was barefoot. No idea where the begger came from but I removed the stinger from the soft flesh on the underside of my toe and I did indeed say the f* word. May have said it a couple of times with extreme feeling even. Soooo not impressed. My toe is about twice the width of the one on the other foot, hopefully it will go down overnight. But in the meantime it would be a hobble.

So tonights photos are from earlier in the week when we had solar panels installed on the garage roof.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cooking (not with gas)

I live in Melbourne.

The top temperature for the past three days has been above 30 deg.

The forecast for toda
y was 34 deg and we are currently sitting at 35.7 deg (96 F). There's a weather station over the hill from our house, we know the numbers are pretty accurate to the temp outside our back door.

The next four da
ys are supposed to be 31 (88F), 29 (84F), 29, 35 (95F) followed by 27 on Sunday and a beautifull 23 deg on Monday.

Summer, well it doesn't start for another 22 da
ys.

I'm predicting at least one 40 deg (104F) da
y before we get to Christmas.

All I can sa
y is "Oh how I love my ducted evaporative air conditioner"!!!!!

Oh and the Crafternoon I am holding is on Saturda
y for the Mum's from school.....that's the 35 deg day. I figure I'll get more takers if they don't have cooling themselves so I'm putting a reminder out tomorrow :-)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Shop Update

Have just added a few more items to the shop this afternoon. Still have more to add. Want to get them all up before the next Maker's market.

I'll be having some space on one of the tables to display my wares so people can check them out in person. So if there's anything you want, make sure you don't miss out, do your online purchasing prior to the 28th of November as I will be shutting the online shop down the night before, just in case.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

FO# 26 - Best Friend Socks

I finished sewing in the ends and took photos of the Best Friend Socks last night just in time for them to be gifted away to my swimming partner this morning.


Vital Stats: Patons Patonyle 4 ply, was looking for a Burgundy and this was the closest I could get on short notice from one of the local yarn stores.
Needles: 2.5mm knitpro circulars.
Pattern: Best Friend socks by Deby Lake, free pattern on Rav.
Thoughts: While doing the cables made these socks longer in terms of time to knit, the cables made for easy counting and matching when doing the second sock. They were finished over the weekend while we were away but I had forgotten to take a sewing needle with me so the ends weren't dealt with until late last night. This pattern makes a lovely thick sock and they will be tempting to make for myself at some point.

Best bit? They were declared "Cool" by both the recipient and her 4 year old daughter who also asked "How did she know you like red Mum?" The fact that we have known each other for 17 years, and were each others Bridesmaids might have a little to do with it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

She has an American Friend...She Scores!

Ah yes, the joys of having an American friend whose husband works in the army. Free postage to American addresses counts because for the army they have a static address in the US that doesn't change and it just gets shipped courtesy of the army to wherever they are stationed, i.e. here in little old Australia (at least that's my understanding of it).

So what might I have gotten my hands on you ask? Technically there are two things and they are closely related.

I'll give you a clue.

Cakes can be made using one by itself or both of them together.

They both spin but they are not part or parts of spinning wheels.

They are both used to handle wool in some way.

One spins evenly and the other spins like a crazy person.

Give up???

I have a brand new swift and ball winder. All for less than $100, yay for the strength of the Aussie dollar! Special thanks go to the lovely Amy and her enabling!!

Here's my first cake, yarn cake that is! Had to redo it twice because I had help the first time winding it (thanks kids...all three of them) and the second I forgot to tension it properly so it was very squishy, third time lucky!! Have to try a couple more before I attempt the 1700m or so that is my very fine Habu, soooo don't want to mess that up!!

PS. If you need to borrow it, that's cool, just let me know!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And back again


So we have had a lovely three days at the beach with my now completely healthy family. 10 minutes walk max between the house and the beach, so we've done that trip twice a day each way except for today when we went to the park in the morning instead. Loaded up the pram with beach stuff and off we went. The kids love the beach and have such a great time there. We saw our particular beach on "Coxy's Big Break" on Saturday night. They were doing a special on the Mornington Peninsula and there was our beach at Point King complete with bathing boxes. We frequent the beach twice a year courtesy of Jules' parents who rent a holiday house nearby. It is a beautiful, protected and shallow beach where the kids feel safe and the waves are gentle, perfect.

While we were there I managed to finish reading the first of 8 books my Mum lent me to read at my Birthday. Called En Rue Tatin by Susan Loomis it was a lovely read and I am now looking forward to picking the next book off the stack. I used to be an avid reader who just read through books so quickly. Now with little hanger onners there isn't much time for books. They are tolerant of the knitting but apparently I tune them out too well when reading and it annoys them so they annoy me!

I also finished knitting the second of my Best Friend socks. Just need to sew in the ends and then I'll take some pictures. Started the second Mystery sock and have completed the cuff and am about to start on the leg. Will get to that some more this week. I think that one will move along quite quickly now as it is the only sock on the needles at the moment. No competition!

Tomorrow will be a bit mad with getting everyone out of the house to all of their respective destinations and then I have huge piles of clothes to organise as not only do I have washing to do, sort and put away but before we left I had to unearth all of the clothes in the next size up for both Hunter and Tyler and now I need to sort out and find all of the ones they have been wearing and get them stored away. The dining table is currently buried under at least three different sizes worth of clothes which all need to be relocated elsewhere so that we have somewhere other than the couch at which to eat!

It's now 11 days until I host my Crafternoon so I sort of have a deadline for not only the clothes but all of the other stuff that has crept out of its hiding places to be encouraged back to whichever nook or cranny they came from. In a house as small as this every scrap of spare space is in fact not spare at all and it all needs to be organised and cleaned pretty promptly. So that's what I'll be doing for the next week or so. Watch out spiders and webs here I come :-)

Oh and one other picture, I just have this thing for "tunnel like" pictures and thought I'd share the only one I had time to take this trip. It is a roofed section of the jetty at "our" beach and I just like the effect it makes looking through it's length at roof height.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blogtoberfest 31 - The Ultimate

Well it has been a busy month, fitting in a post a day on all but the 28th (I think!), but we're here now at the end of the month and we have survived!

Socktober summar
y:
Finished the first of the best friend socks and am now working on the foot of the second sock. Not much chance it will get done b
y this evening but it will get done in the next few days as it will be gifted next Saturday and needs to be done by then.
Finished the first of the Through the Loops M
ystery socks for this year. I'm loving the pattern and the Needlefood yarn is so nice and soft it is making wonderful socks. Any wonder Jules is wearing his pair of socks made from this yarn all the time!
Didn't get to an
y other socks, but that's ok because the Southern Summer of Socks has been relaunched and I can just keep making more socks for that!

Life summar
y:
The illness that beset our house this week seems to have passed, wonderful news as we ma
y be heading down the beach this evening for a couple of days. Thanks for all of the get well wishes.
Work has finished for me for another
year so I will be having kid free Wednesdays for the next two months and then one kid only for the month after that. Wonderful :-)

Plans:
Working on a Clear the Decks in December plan. Have a lot to do but wonder just how much I will get done.
Need to put some more stock up in the shop this week. Have stuff ready to go it's just finding the time to get it happening.
Want to finish the other M
ystery sock and a couple of other works in progress so I can get started on some new stuff. I have all sorts of yummy yarns and they are begging to be knit.

So there you are. Blogtober ends. For other Participants see the list at Tinnie girl's blog.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blogtoberfest 30 - Waiting

It's been a bit of a week and the bug is still lurking, Zac and I have thus far remained immune but I'm not holding out much hope. My pregnant sister has now come down with it 2 days after seeing us, so very sorry about that. It looks like the plan to go to the beach for the long weekend will have to be postponed until at least tomorrow night if not Sunday morning to see if either of us come down with it. I soooo don't want us to pass it on to my in laws. Jules had it yesterday and still feels wiped out today. I can only imagine what it would do to two people in the 70+ age range. So for the next two days it is hiding out at home, cleaning the bathroom and toilet again and trying not too touch anybody. What a wonderful way to end the month!! So I'll be knitting while keeping the kids company and then washing the knitting before it gets gifted just to make sure.
Hope your month ends up better than mine!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blogtoberfest 29 - Todays post (Spoiler alert TTL mystery sock completed photos shown here!)

Well I got the final clue for the mystery sock this afternoon after I had done kinder and school pickup. Took me a while to get to it but the toe is slightly patterned like the rest of the sock and took a whole 21 rows!

So here it is the completed sock!

Beautiful really and no second sock syndrome here, will be casting on for the next one just as soon as I finish the second best friend sock which I am up to the heel on.

Blogtober 29 - yesterdays post today

That's right I managed to miss yesterdays post.

I plead parental obligations! Julien had to pick Hunter up from school at lunch time yesterday after he had a couple of episodes of vomiting. He, like Tyler on Monday, seemed to be ok once he was empty and last nights plain pasta and drinks have stayed where they belong so that is good. He slept on a mattress on the loungeroom floor because I wasn't going to try to sort out a sick kid on the top bunk even if isn't as high as a normal top bunk (only about 1.4m). He is having the day off school today though because of the exclusion rules for gastro. Tyler was up a lot in the evening as well wanting to be held, so I completely forgot really.


What you should have had was this:

Have finished the fourth clue on the TTL Mystery sock for Socktoberfest on Rav. It is looking very pretty and you can see the pictures on my Rav project page. The next and last clue will be available here at 3pm my time (Melbourne, Australia) tomorrow (Thursday, obviously now that is today!) which is normally right when I leave the house for school pickup.


Todays addition would be:

So by the end of the evening I should have a completed sock....barring sick children!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blogtoberfest 27 - It's days like these

It is in fact days like these that I think I am crazy insane for attempting to maintain my Blogtoberfest efforts.

Have finished the fourth clue on my mystery sock, can't wait until Thursday arvo for the last clue. Haven't got photos yet as the lighting at my sisters is crap and we've just gotten home and I'm sooooo heading to bed for hopefully a full nights sleep.

At least it will be in my own bed and not alternating between a mattress on the floor and the spare bed of the study while the hot and cranky baby tosses and turns and vomits until 5.30am like last night. He is all better, obviously just needed to have a completely empty stomach. He woke this morning right as rain unlike me who felt like I was sleep walking and completely seedy through the morning and part of the afternoon and finally felt awake and mostly normal at about 4.30pm.

So I'll get photos of the sock progress hopefully tomorrow and Rav them but it won't be until evening as I'm working tomorrow. Hope you are all getting some of this sun we've been getting, it's fabulous!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blogtober 26 - A long night

Tonight has the potential for being verrrryyyyyyy long. I've been swimming this evening and when I got home Jules was cleaning up after Tyler who had been sick. He is still sick and won't go to bed. Hopefully both he and I get to our own beds at some point tonight.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blogtober 25 - A beautiful day

We had a birthday party to attend this morning for twins whom we have known since before they were born. It was their 4th Birthday party and they had a ball. So we wrapped up the two bags I finished yesterday, each one containing a waterproof torch that only takes 2AA batteries and has red, blue and green lights as well as the usual torch light. The presents were a hit! One of the two bags had all of the recipients presents put inside and then was carried around for the duration of the party. I figure that is the best type of present feedback! The other one got carried around at the end of the party (the more active kid!) with everything stuffed inside it as well so we think we did a good job there.

Dropped via our house to collect a couple of nappies and some bread rolls for the kids and then headed over to Eltham for the Practically Green festival. Always interesting to see what new green products are available and what the current advice is for Solar power and water and other living green stuff. There was a section of stalls that had all sorts of stuff for sale like cloth nappies, bags made from recycled plastic bags and tyre inners, local honey, eco friendly cleaners, all sorts of stuff really. It is held at Edendale Farm and down the back they had a great selection of noise making gear for kids, all outside and all intended for bashing and crashing and musicality. The kids had a ball!

The weather held out and it did warm up so no rain on our heads today which was great.

We got home and I deboned a leg of lamb and chucked it in the oven with some spuds, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, zucchini, onions and garlic and we had a lovely roast for dinner in an hour. Boys are all in bed, although Tyler is trying to stay awake, will have to go deal with him in a moment!

Hope you had a great weekend and made the most of the nice weather!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Blogtober 24 - Three Finished Objects

As mentioned earlier in the week I decided to get the sewing machine out and create a couple of bags as presents for two little boys for their birthdays. The last time I made a bag like this was at Nikki's bag making day for the Bushfire Survivors. Unfortunately I couldn't find my instructions from that day and I had only vague memories of how we achieved our goal on the day so I elected to make a practice bag for Zac just in case I manage to completely muff it up! So the first bag was completed on Thursday morning in time for Zac to proudly take his stuff to Kinder in it.

Minor modifications were incorporated into the second round, and I started the two gift bags yesterday afternoon between dropping one kid at Nanny and Poppy's house and picking another one up from school. After running around doing errands this morning I set it all up again and finished them off.

So we have three bags completed and I'm really happy with how they have turned out. I have even written down what I did so that when I next want to make one I'll have the instructions!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Blogtober 23 - The last Birthday of the year

Today is the last Birthday for the year.

It's the turn of the man of the house.

This makes the fifth Birthday in the last 4 months.

Happy Birthday babe!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blogtober 22 - Clue Number 4

That's right the fourth clue (and all previous clues as well) of the Through the Loops Mystery Sock is now available, so I'm not hanging around....I have my printout and I'm off to pick up heel flap stitches and watch the unfolding pattern. See you tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blogtober 21 - The Planning

Well this evening I sat down and picked a date and time for my Crafternoon. I've written out a notice and tomorrow will distribute it to the other Mums of Prep kids at Hunter's School. Then we will just have to wait and see how many takers there are and where their interests lay!

In the meantime it's time to stop ignoring the millions of things I've been letting slip by in the house and actually get to them and get them done before all and sundry arrive to be crafty. I have just over three weeks to get a grip on the madness that has crept upon my house and contain and eradicate it.

It's funny, I don't actually have a problem with it. I love getting ready for our kids' Birthday parties because I know the house gets a thorough clean up. I have at various points actually contemplated the thought of scheduling an event at least every two months in the off season so the house doesn't get as out of hand in the 9 month gap betweeen the "last" birthday and the "first" birthday. I know, somewhat insane.....just goes to show how much Me and housework don't get along and how much I know I need a kick up the rump to make me do it. Self knowledge is a wonderful thing!

The kids have been getting up at the crack of dawn this week, who knows why?? I surely don't. So I'm heading off to unpack and repack the dishwasher then falling in to bed for hopefully a solid night's sleep in my own bed unlike last nights 3 hours on the couch.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blogtober 20 - Here Comes the Sun...

Well at least for one beautiful toasty warm 27 deg C (81 F) day!

Had SnB knitting this morning and worked on the second of my Best Friend socks. Tyler was quite crabby and actually fell asleep on the way home. Unfortunately he didn't stay that way as he has now caught the big boys cold and coughed himself awake. Hopefully he will have a good nights rest tonight and will feel better in the morning.

Zac and I started working on a little project today. I've been wanting to make some bags for the boys for them to carry their special things in when going out and we have a pair of Birthdays on the weekend for friends that reminded me of this desire so we got all of the fabric out today. We picked out some fabric to make into bags for the Birthday boys but then I couldn't decide how I was going to put it all together so I pulled out a different set of fabric and Zac thought that would work for him so we are making the prototype up for him and then we will be able to zip through the Birthday gift ones hopefully! Will show you pictures when it's done. The thrill of the day for Zac was being allowed to be the one to make the machine go. He got to press the foot pedal to make the machine sew. We had a couple of moments when he made it go when my hands were near the needle but after I explained why it was a problem he stopped mucking around and enjoyed seeing the progress we were making. So, since I'm at work tomorrow, we won't get back to it until Thursday but we should get it done during the morning before Kinder. So Thursday night or Friday I should have some pictures for you to see.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Blogtober 19 - Crafternoon?

I'm thinking of holiding a crafting afternoon (Crafternoon) at my house for the other Mums of prep kids at school. The idea would be for them to bring whatever project they have going or to try something new if they want. A chance for us to get together without the kids in a crafty environment. I will be sending the kids away with their Dad for the duration so we won't have to worry about little fingers in everything, and the polished floors mean that if we drop something it will either be easy to find or easy to sweep up before the children return.

So.....

Any ideas of what I'll need as the host? I've got more than enough needles and yarn for newbie knitters/crocheters if they want it. Fabric, a basic sewing machine, rotary cutter and mat, scissors and threads and an overlocker for the sewing inclined. A couple of different tables so that different crafts can be set up separately. A big back yard in case of lovely weather. Recipes on hand for yummy treats.

Have you hosted such a get together before?

Any tips?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blogtober 18 - Botanical Gardens SnB

It's that time of month again, SnB at the Botanical Gardens!

I headed off around lunchtime, leaving Jules to wrangle the kids for the afternoon and drove into town to meet up with the girls. Took my Habu, the finished sock for my friend and the half finished Mystery sock for show and tell. All well received, which is lovely, thank you ladies!

We had a visitor in the form of Lynne, who is back in Oz for a visit at the moment. Nice to meet her in person.

Cast on for the second of my friends' socks and completed a good couple of inches, 6 pattern repeats, a sum total of 36 rows. Sometimes working in small yarn (4 ply/fingering weight) on small needles (2.5mm) is just disappointing! But hey every row counts!

Came home to a chicken roasting in the oven with some onions and potatoes and garlic. Chicken and chips with a difference!!

Hope you had a great weekend. I'll be fitting some more knitting in once the boys are in bed!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blogtober 17 - The Third Clue

Finished the third clue on the Mystery sock last night and I really like how it's looking, the twists and ribbing continue down the heel flap.

Am wondering why I have two pairs of red socks on the needles at the moment though, they are quite hard to photograph!!

Had a swim through the mist this morning, quite serene really. Busy day ahead, two parties at the same time in locations an hour apart so some of us are going to one and the others to the other but first we need to buy presents!

Have a great day, I hope we all see the sun at some point, I need to recharge my good mood batteries!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blogtober 16 - Half a Finished Object

Well half a pair of socks really. I finished the first of the Best Friend Socks last night. It's beautiful, a lovely dense fabric, instantly warm on the feet.


Won't be casting on the next one tonight though. Tonight is James Bond and the heel on the Mystery sock.

Back to the second sock after that!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blogtoberfest 15 - Sock clue

Argghhh it's five thirty and the third clue has come out for my mystery sock and I don't have time to download it and/or knit it yet. Hunter's best friend is here to play until Mum or Dad picks him up and dinner is on the stove....oh well, maybe after my swim!

ETA Now that I've checked, the clue isn't up yet! So no lost time yet!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blogtoberfest 14 - Sock update

I have been working on the first sock for my swimming friend and have finally turned the heel and done some work on the foot. Really want to get it done and dusted so I can start on the next one.

Tomorrow Clue three comes out for the Through the Loops Mystery sock, we're up to the heel on that one.

Blogtoberfest 14 - $5 worth of joy

So many things in life cost so much money.

So today I have a question: What gives you joy and costs $5 or less?

For me it is this:

One of the local Sunday markets had these for sale at $2 a bunch or 3 bunches for $5. I bought the three bunches and smiled every time I saw them.

Joy!

So what does it for you?????

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blogtoberfest 13 - Tricot comparison

As promised, both a second post today and a comparison between traditional and not so traditional Tunisian knitting (Tricot).

So, as mentioned before, I went to Craft Fest 2009 in Melbourne on Sunday and came across a class which I did not attend due to it being full, which was held by Prudence Mapstone. I was fascinated by the thought of how you could create a light and airy fabric without any curl, to me Tricot was as shown below.

The front

The back
It is an obviously dense fabric, really warm as a scarf!

I did inspect the fabric made by Prudence's method at the show and when I got home had a play with my tricot hook, looking to replicate her fabric. The only difference between the traditional method and the lighter fabric is where you put the hook through to create the stitches on your hook. The return row is still the same, you just need to be careful not to pull the loops too tight and all works well. So what does the new fabric look like?

The front
The back
What a difference hey?? So much lighter and as promised none of the curl of the traditional method. In retrospect I have actually made a couple of lines worth of this variation before, but was looking for the dense fabric so promptlypulled it out!! Like any tricot it is more labour intensive than knitting with sticks, much more concentration and visual focus required, more like crochet at least for me. It is also less yarn hungry because it so much more open, lovely for a light scarf for a Summer evening!

So how do you do it? I'm not so good at explaining from scratch but if you crochet or tricot yourself it will probably make some sense:
Make a chain of the number of stitches that gives you the width of fabric you want. Make a stitch by putting your hook through the little bump on the back of the V made by the chain second from the end, hook the yarn and pull it through to make a stitch on your tricot hook. Do this in the back of each of the stitches until you get to the end. Make a chain stitch, then hook the yarn pull it through the first two stitches, hook the yarn again and pull it through the next two and repeat until you get to the end. Repeat from the beginning.

Have fun!

Blogtoberfest 13 - Ooops!

That last one should have been Blogtoberfest 12, the excitement over the possum made me do it!!

Will be back later with todays real post!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blogtoberfest 10 - Close encounter

A close encounter of the animal kind happened at our house today. If I hadn't have been here I would have had the incredulous look I just observed on Jules' face when Zac told him the events, just before.

To set the scene: The back door was open and the gardener had been visitng next door, mowing the lawn, doing the edges, using the blower thing
y. Zac and I had been in and out checking out the proceedings, Zac generally up in a tree for a good vantage point.

The event: A friend called just after lunch and I was chatt
ing away with her when Zac flew in the back door, screaming in a mixture of fear and panic and possibly pain. I launched myself out of my chair and met him in the kitchen only to be greeted by the sight of his panic stricken face close by the gorgeous face of a tiny ringtail possum!

Needless to sa
y I gently but firmly (geez they can hold on!) removed the possum from his shoulder, it promptly bit me on the base on the thumb (didn't break the skin thank goodness), and took it outside to put in a tree in the neighbours yard (the gardener had left) away from our curious cat Maddy who had come to see what was going on. I don't believe it was full grown but it was a ringtail possum.

Zac's stor
y: Apparently the possum had climbed over the fence from our neighbours, crossed to our clothes line, run up the path toward the house and then across towards the dining room window. Zac approached the small creature which immediately and to his complete horror climbed up his leg and his back and settled on his shoulder at which point he headed screaming into the house.

So there
you go. I know they are pain for some people but they sure are cute!!


Can you see him???

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blogtoberfest 11 - Craft Fest 2009

Headed off to catch up with Mum this morning at Craft Fest 2009 at the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne. The surroundings were just beautiful and as Mum said, it was quite a different layout and feel compared with what she's used to at Jeff's Shed (ok so it's supposed to be called The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, but honestly no one here calls it that!), Tyler came along and fell asleep just before I got there so he was asleep for the first hour which was great!

So what did we see? Lots of paper and beading stuff which we both skipped over pretty quickly, neither of us are very interested in that type of stuff at the moment, maybe one day but not now. The Resin jewelery class Mum was interested in was completely booked out so she missed out on that one, I had a look at a class by Prudence Mapstone for Tunisian knitting that promised a light and airy fabric. Unfortunately not only was the class full but they had run out of their bamboo hooks that had a cord (like circs) with a bead on the end so that you could have large numbers of stitches on it. Useful for doing scarves sideways and other large items as well. But I did have a look at the fabric it made and have come home and had a play while finding bits and pieces for Jules who was fixing the garage roof. So tomorrow when it's a little longer I'll show you a comparison of my old method and my new oh so much better method for making light scarves!!

We did stop and look at all of the patchwork/quilting/accessories type displays. Mum was interested in the Drunkard's path template sets, but the size she wanted wasn't there, she did get a rotary cutter with a really small diameter for cutting around circles. I forgot to look in my fabric stash before meeting Mum so did my best not to look at the fabrics very hard, although there was one quilt pattern that caught my eye (scroll down to Dragons on the Move). Managed to get away without buying any fabric though, I think I need to work on destashing/using the stash before I add anything else!!

There was a super special stall there just for me I think......some people will understand what I mean LOL! I think my Mum could attest to the almost insane joy I experienced at spying Dairing and their wares. Lordy Lordy that was my kind of stall. Hemp, nettle, linen, cotton, silk, bamboo......heaven, heaven, heaven! Somebody, anybody, ever want to get me something from their shop, I'd be drooling, drooling I tells you! I believe I was talking with Teresa, she's lovely, so clever, gorgeous. I was able to touch the garments, stroke the skeins, purchase a few things.....I had never had the privilege of playing with Habu. In fact hadn't really heard of it until recently via various blogs and Ravelry of course. Now I own some.


Just one skein. It's linen, 8.9 ounces (approx. 250 g). At 194.8 metres/28g, that's 1774 metres (1940 yards) in one skein and it's laceweight. It is gorgeous.

I also fell in love with some of Dairing's 100% Cotton 5 ply. It is made up of 5 strands: 1 red, 1 burgundy and three black, so it is quite dark but knits up so beautifully and soft too.


My last purchase was a brand new Addi Circular needle from the Yarns Galore stall. After recently purchasing some KnitPro circulars and having used them I was curious to try the Addi's for comparison. If I want more I can order them online and an individual needle is posted free within Australia which is fantastic! So I'll try them out and see how it goes.

In other news, I finished the second clue for the Through the Loops Knit A Long last night. My Rav project page has the new photo, won't put it here just in case someone else is doing it, don't want to spoil it for them!

And as a last bit of joy for the night, this is how Tyler fell asleep this evening while I was listening to Hunter read and then sang both he and Zac some songs.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Blogtoberfest 10 - conundrum

I'm knitting two pairs of socks to two different patterns. I'm up to the heel on one and the second clue of the mystery sock on the other.....Which to work on now?????

Blogtoberfest 10 - Visiting

This week I have been out and about a bit more than the usual swimming/knitting/school and kinder pickups and drop offs.

On Thursday I attended a lovely gallery opening for the the very creative Teresa who instigated the SnB group that I attend. She and her friend Heather are holding a joint exhibition at the Bolin Bolin gallery at Bulleen Art and Garden (a wonderful nursery with amazing art and craft stuff). Such a wonderful contrast between the styles of the two ladies while still being well suited to being shown together. Excellent work all round.

Today we have been to a double Birthday party at a park in Clifton Hill which I ducked out of for a little bit to go and check out the new market on the block. A mix of stuff for kids and adults. Lots of fabric based wares the odd knitted item stall. Jewellery, Art collages, bags and wraps, face painting, kids craft table, all sorts of things! Lovely to see Cathie and Nikki again and meet Cam and Felicity in person.

Tomorrow Jules will be taking the two big kids to a Birthday party while I am heading off to meet my Mum at the Royal Exhibition Building for Craft Expo 2009. Will be taking the littlest man with me.

More Birthday parties next weekend and the one after that so party city really!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blogtoberfest 9 - again!

An extra for you!!

If you are in Melbourne and can spare some time tomorrow (Saturday) do drop in!!

Blogtoberfest day 9 - Receiving

I have just participated in a swap organised by the lovely Linda which revolved around getting a blank notebook and decorating it in some way for your swapee. I sent my package off last week and got an email a couple of days ago to say that it had turned up safely at it's destination and the recipient used words like "fabulous and "wonderful" to describe it. Makes my heart sing really! Only problem is I forgot to take photos of the notebook, the buttons or the washcloth I sent along with it. Ooops. Oh well next time I'll remember!

Today the postie brought me a package...and it's ace!! It's my notebook from the person who was decorating it for me. See...just for me!!!
A skein of handspun, a bookmark and a lovely little card accompanied the notebook which contains many beautiful stickers and three special recipes!

Oh and it got the seal of approval from one of our cats as well!!



So Thank you Lisa, it's wonderful!