Monday, April 26, 2010

Construction Progress

Last time we had holes, posts and 1 set of beams.

Since then we have added:
joists and a floor


a guard rail
palings and second level beams.

As of last night that was the state it was in. First thing this morning after the umpteenth visit to the local hardware store, we had the rest of the wood and bolts that were needed for completion of the project.

Stay tuned for today's amazing progress...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gardening Challenge

On Thursday last week I had a gardening friend visiting and she was pruning and cutting up the prunings while I endeavoured to dig out an Oleander.

It started looking like this:


and ended looking like this.


I was very careful to protect my back and hips from strain by sitting on mats when doing close up stuff and using the hoe to dig out very dry compacted dirt. The problem is, that despite being a knitter who would expect to have relatively strong and dexterous hands I completely wore my hands and wrists out to the degree of being unable to lift Tyler using my hands when he wanted to get up. It has been 3 days and while most of the muscle ache has subsided the wrist pain is still present when doing anything weight bearing through my hands. Of course because the general ache has subsided I've been doing more around the house today cleaning up the kitchen, hammering in nails for Jules and replacing the elastic that had worn out in pyjamas belonging to Zac. So now I am back to having the ache. This evening I had to get Jules to tip out the pasta water for me because I couldn't lift the pot.

I did get some knitting in and it did appear to help, at least it got the blood going through my hands and as I worked out, I don't bend my wrists while knitting. Thing is though, it's slow and my hands wear out :-(

Gardening is scheduled for next Thursday as well and the Oleander is still firmly rooted in the ground so I need to have functional wrists and hands again just in time to wear them out again!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Big Picture

Sometimes it's hard to step back and look at your successes from the outside.

I feel like I'm constantly fighting to keep on top of everything, it doesn't help that there's a whole pile of stuff that I just don't like doing that just needs to get done.

But I've had a few self found revelations in the last few months. My body is well and truly geared to supporting babies and small children at the expense of anything vaguely related to storing a memory. So as the hormone induced fog gradually lifts I am looking at my/our life with new eyes and trying to get to know the new me.

I am not the person I was before having children. Sure a lot of the basics are still there but the details have changed. The things I value are now coloured by how they affect not just myself but my little family. We have had some pretty big discussions here in the past few weeks trying to sort out where we are and where we want to go/be. And it's been good, really good, to know that we are generally on the same page still.

Anyway the whole reason for this post is to remind me to step back and see what the big picture is:

When I feel like the house is a constant mess: It's clean dry washing that just needs to be put away, not dirt, and it means the clothes washing is getting done.

When I feel like I've had no time to myself: I've swum at least once in a week if not 3 times and I've taken the kids with me to SnB on a Tuesday morning, and attended SnB at the Botanical gardens once a month by myself.

When I feel like I've made no progress on my knitting: I have a gazillion projects of which I have worked on five different ones in the past week including finishing off 2 things, both new projects, and I am making slow but steady progress on my Twigs and Leaves cardigan which I will photograph at some point.

When I feel like I am at constant odds with one of the children (they take turns): It's generally only one kid at a time and there's generally a reason of some sort, no matter how long it takes, we generally work it out and deal with it. And they're kids, pushing the boundaries and driving their parents insane is in the job description.

As a general rule the kids are happy and healthy they have good times together and aren't at constant odds with each other or us as parents. They love us and we love them.

All is good.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Family life


Well it's been crazy busy as per usual around here. We've had two weeks of school holidays and are just entering the second week back at school. The holidays had fantastic aspects (getting away to the beach and also meeting up with a fabulous blogging friend, she has detailed our encounter here) and just plain annoying aspects (kids behaviours) but we made it through relatively unscathed. It was probably the most difficult of the holiday breaks we have had since Hunter started school mostly because of the difference in the ages and stages the kids are at and the fact the he just couldn't slow down. Thankfully returning to school seems to have settled him down some, that and spending hours at a time making dominoe trails to knock down. Zac has coped well with being in 4 year old kinder and after a very unsettled week last week, seems (crossed fingers) to be in a better state of mind today. How long it lasts is anyone's guess. The big boys didn't seriously notice the week without TV they just had courtesy of some bad behaviour but we have noticed the pace they are running at has slowed somewhat and that is a good thing. Tyler, after being bombarded by big brothers who kept knocking him over during the holidays, is enjoying the slower pace of school/kinder term time and has had a couple of play dates with a little boy who are is here on vacation from Laos for 2 months with his Mum who is a long term friend of ours.

So a slightly more peaceful status has entered the home zone and we are all welcoming it.

There has been construction happening on a small scale.


A once neglected corner of the yard which was long ago allocated as a kids space is getting a well deserved upgrade which the kids will love once it is completed.


So far we have 6 holes

and poles


and now a cross beam

More photos as progress emerges. We work on a slow scale here, especially with a drill that can manage 2 drilled holes per battery recharge! We do have two batteries and they are being recharged on rotation so the holes should all be drilled by the end of the week.

Oh and as for the pumpkin at the top, well we grew it! More like it appeared in the garden and we allowed it to grow and we occasionally remembered to water it.


But hey with three small children racing around the place like lunatics anything that escapes the confines of the vege patch (bird netting surrounded area) is fair game and somehow this pumpkin and it's companion (still in the garden circled in dodgy red up there) managed to survive and we have chopped this one up and roasted it this arvo with the intention of either making pumpkin scones or pumpkin soup....yummo!

Lots of knitting has been happening as well. More finished objects to come but it's time for kids to have a drink and then we'll head off for school pickup.

Catch you later!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

2010 FO# 11 - Feather and Fan Scarf

A simple scarf in a simple pattern that rather effectively shows up the colour changes in the yarn.
Had two balls of Morris and Sons Quartet (70% Wool and 30% Soysilk) in the Quill colourway. After using the blue toned ones (Wharf) to make a plain scarf last year, I thought I'd use the brown ones to make a feather and fan scarf to see how it worked.

I used a k2 edge and a 6 stitch feather and fan repeat and just kept going until I ran out of yarn. There was one problem: the two knots in the balls. I really find it annoying when you pay good money for yarn and it ends up having knots in it. Luckily they almost matched the colour when they rejoined the yarn, it was close enough that I could just continue knitting and it wasn't an obvious colour change.

Anyway like the way it all turned out just have to decide what to do with it next :-)

2010 FO# 10 - Facewasher


I know this is just a little square but it has brought with it a couple of questions.

I knit this on the diagonal, 4 stitch cast on, K2, yo, K to end until I got to 60 stitches (23cm side length) then decreased by K2,yo, K3tog until last 4 sts then cast off.

Problem is it tapered strongly at the cast off edge (top right) rather than being curved like the cast on end (bottom left), it sort of looked stretched. So I took the last few rows out and decreased more quickly and cast off on more stitches but now it has this V shape at the end. Maybe I'm fussy but I want both the ends to have the same shape.....

So any ideas out there for how I can decrease to get a similar shape at both ends or am I just going to have to live with it????

Stats: 8 ply Heirloom Cotton, 4mm bamboo sticks in 2 days.

Clean up

Been doing a little cleaning up.

Have made a new blog entry for my Finished Items for both 2008 and 2009 and have backdated them so they are on 1/1/09 and 1/1/10 respectively. They are now in the History section in the sidebar. They have links for most items to either Ravelry or internal references to this blog.

At the end of this year I'll do the same to this years list.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

aaaahhhhhhhh.....

Home again.


Unpacked.

Washing on.

Kids fed and in bed asleep.


So You Think You Can Dance supplying a dose of fabulous dancing and an amazing performance from the three boys....H.O.T.


Aaaaaahhhhhhh!

In other news, we had a wonderful couple of days at Mum and Dad's and a further fabulous 3.5 days at the beach in the company of Jules' family. The kids have been spoilt by the various Easter bunny deliveries. We have had many many Easter Egg Hunts, the kids love hunting, finding and then taking turns in hiding them all again just so they can hunt for them again. Keeps them busy for ages. They also don't expect to eat them all either which, while being quite weird, is actually really good because you can use the same eggs for hours!!


Knitting was undertaken while "supervising" naps for the littlest one and I am officially 1/3 of the way up the back of my Twigs and Leaves cardigan. Need some daylight for photos of that one. Lots more washing to do after being away for 5 days but I am making time to catch up with a lovely blogging friend on Friday and it is sure to be lots of fun :-)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Some eye candy

Hunter was bored on Thursday and wanted something to do, he asked to wind some balls of yarn for me. I figured why not? Here's what he got up to.

First he turned this Socks That Rock Mediumweight in colourway Pride


into this


Second was this Socks that Rock Mediumweight in colourway Lucky


which was turned into this


and then this Moseley Park Wool/Bamboo/Nylon (40:40:20) sock yarn in the Spring Fields colourway


which was turned into this


I'm all set now to pick the next sock pattern to knit I just have to decide which yarn to use :-)

We are heading off for a couple of days to Mum and Dad's in the morning and then onto the beach for a few more days. I need something simple to take with me apart from my cardy which I have to concentrate on and watch charts for constantly. Lots of packing to do.

Have a great Easter, see you when we get back.

It's out!

That's right the new Twist Collective is out!

Sure it's the Spring/Summer edition but hey socks and shawls are year round projects :-)

2010 FO #9 Jitterbug socks

When you have leftovers from making a pair of socks for yourself (above) and there's not enough to knit a hat with, one of the other options is to knit a pair of small socks. I split the ball into two without cutting it by hand rolling it into 2 equal (by weight) balls.

First attempt used too much yarn so I frogged and tried again with a smaller size and my other pattern, in the end I was left with a very small sample of yarn (about 2m) that will be kept in case I need it for darning my socks at some point.

The socks are seen here modelled by the camera shy Little Miss M at age 8 weeks. Her toes in no way reach the end so they would fit a baby up until they are approx 3 months.


Specs:
Colinette Jitterbug in the Lagoon Colourway, leftovers from a pair of adult socks, 22 g approx 60 m.
Knit Pro 3.25 mm fixed circs.
Cast on March 12th
Cast off March 21st
Pattern comes from my head, Ravelled here if you want the details.

2010 FO #8 Karaoke hat

While I sat at the Makers Market a couple of weeks ago I figured I should be doing something with my hands to make double use of the time. So I took along some dpns and some yarn and cooked up a hat during the course of the day. Wasn't quite finished by pack up time but it was by the time I went to bed!

Specs: SWTC Karaoke Soysilk and wool on 4mm metal dpns.
Cast on March 13th
Cast off March 13th
Colour changes courtesy of the yarn!!

Knit from the top down, very happy with how the colours worked in this one. Will have to remember to change up a couple of needle sizes for the cast off next time, it has a very firm edge rather than a stretchy one. Fits the supersized 2.5 yo head that lives here apart from being firm around the edges so would work comfortably for 12-24 months on most kids.

Will have to get it out and write down what I did so I can do it again the same next time!