Saturday, April 30, 2011

Found: 2 lost Birth Certificates


Celebrations abound.  I may even make myself a drink.  The search is over.

Today as part of the reorganisation of our bedroom I moved the filing cabinet that has been inaccessible for the past two years back to it's original position in our room.  The joy of drawers that open all the way cannot be underestimated.  I opened the bottom drawer to put the files back in and a flash of white caught my eye.  I realised that underneath the bottom drawer was some paper, a small pile of paper and a plastic pocket.  5 minutes later and I had persuaded the bottom drawer to come off it's rail so I could access behind it.  Apart from some receipts from a couple of years ago there were the two long lost Birth Certificates carefully enclosed in a plastic pocket.  So at some point they were filed in the cabinet, they must have just slipped between two files and made their way to the bottom of the cabinet.  The search is over and apart from the relief of having found them is the relief of knowing that the next part of sorting out our room was to go through the very full filing cabinet item by item looking for these missing papers again and now there is no need :-)

Hope you have had a great Saturday, I certainly have.  Who can fault a lovely warm day and the solving of a mystery?

Purples for Kates

Something lovely and pretty for the end of a gorgeous, Autumn week.  I don't know what these flowers are but they lasted about a month!

In knitting news:
-The cowl is 8.5 repeats in with a 15 repeat finish point, it's lovely knitting, very easy to read the knitting and no need for the written pattern after about row 3.  Life lines are a must, there's a k1p1 row every 12 rows so my life line is going through that line.  I had a dropped stitch which led to a 7 row tinking* episode over 180 stitches, now I can just rip back to a life line, so much easier on the brain :-)  Of course now that I'm using a life line I haven't had an unfixable dropped stitch!
-My Lorelei is now 2.5 repeats into the lace patten with probably half a repeat to go until the plain section starts.  I'm finding the lace very easy, the return row is a mix of knits and purls but I can generally read the knitting to work out where they need to be so don't have to refer to the chart as much.
-Looking for a truly mindless pattern to knit next.  Something with no lace (Lorelei) and no twisted stitches (cowl).  We have a new tv series we have been watching (Warehouse 13) which Jules has been downloading and I'd like to be able to absorb a bit more of it rather than having half an eye or half a brain on my knitting.

Today is all about the weather. It's the last day in a week long run of 20-22 degC.  Tomorrow it starts cooling and raining again for the next week.  So there's lawn mowing and leaf mulching and weeding and fertilising in the garden to do and bedroom rearranging and clothing upsizing to do inside the house.
Have a great weekend!

*tinking: the reverse of knitting, i.e. undoing each stitch one at a time (knit=tink).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The skirt is done :-)

The skirt was finished up on Monday evening at the Richmond knitting group.  I don't normally go to that knitting group as it's one of my swim evenings but this week was an exception because a lovely blogging pal is in town from Seattle and was going to be there.  She had come to the Botanical gardens for a quick knit on Sunday but she was going to be able to stay a lot longer on Monday night.  So I took the skirt, finished up the cast off (500 odd stitches, it worked on the fourth try!) and sewed in the ends.  The sewing in of ends took a while as I was being careful to weave them in in the same style as the Russian join I had used to join each new ball in.  The yarn is a mix of cotton, hemp and rayon so won't felt to stay in place, so extra care must be taken to secure ends so they won't undo.  I'm very happy with the results and you will get to see them in the forthcoming finished object post :-)

Tuesday I worked on my Lorelei and it now has the beginning bit and one complete repeat of the motif in place.  It's a lovely yarn, so soft and squishy.

This is the reverse side
I actually took the reverse side photo first and didn't realise until I inserted it here that I'd photographed the wrong side!

I also cast on for a gorgeous cowl for a friend in Wollmeise.  The pattern looks complicated but it is so easy, it's a dream :-) There is one row I need to concentrate on and then the remaining 11 just follow on from there, it's wonderful.  (It's upside down in this photo)

So I will be alternating these two projects depending on my mood for the next few weeks.

All is good in this knitters world :-)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Todays almost finished object

Yesterday the debate was about which project to work on at the Botanical Gardens.

Thank you all for your comments, in the end the skirt won out on two fronts.
*The first being a simple feather and fan motif with 3 rows of plain knit in between the one patterned row vs lace patterning on every other row with the return row being a mix of both knits and purls meaning each row needs to be watched.
*The second being the thought of having a finished project in the offing, such a powerful thing :-)

In the end I put 13 rows on the skirt, a reasonable amount considering the length of each row.  After returning home I managed another 4 rows and this morning I have gotten up knowing that today, with only 7 rows remaining, 6 of which are straight knit rows, there's a fair chance I'll have it done.

The weather is going to be nice, the kids are on holidays and the holiday rule is "If it's not raining you are outside" so I'll either be outside with them enjoying some sun or inside listening to a podcast while they practice playing nicely together with me keeping an eye on them through the window.  Oh and at some point I'll probably get some cleaning done as well (yuck, so not a fan of cleaning, I do it but it is definitely under duress).

The knowledge that my cardy is sitting ready and waiting in the wings is a powerful incentive for finishing :-)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ah the dilemmas

Today's dilemma is:

Work on the 4ply skirt which has 22 rows to go or thereabouts and then the cast off, the catch being each row is close to 400 stitches and takes foreeeeeeeeeever OR work on the cardigan for me in 8 ply on 121 stitches.

I know which one I will "see" more progress on, 8 ply is lovely like that, but the skirt is so close to being done and then I can send it off to it's owner and I won't have it hanging around.

There are deadlines on both pieces, the end of the month for the skirt and the middle of July for the cardy.  Both will be finished in time, the question is potentially finish off one garment today or put some length on something for me.

The dilemma has arisen because today is Knitting in the Botanical Gardens.  Traditionally a knit for me only event, although occasionally I will work on something for one of the kids or for Jules.  Do I break my self imposed rule and just get something done, or stick to it and know I have to come back to the skirt again sometime later this week.....

I know, it's a hard life, the dilemma of which project to work on.  Other people have real dilemmas and occasionally I am in that position as well.  Today, happily, I am not.  I am pretty much recovered from the infection in my ear canal, it's my official one day a month of doing something for me, the weather is going to be beautiful and I am going to enjoy it while Jules has the boys for the whole day.  Dinner is in the freezer so I don't even have to think about that either.  Ah the blessed relief from responsibility.

So knit the skirt or the cardy, that is the question.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thank goodness

For husbands who get it enough not to ask "why?" but go out of their way to get to the store and pick up a replacement set of tips for your inter-changeables so you can keep working on that knitting.

Love you Jules

Monday, April 11, 2011

When knitting needles attack

I have a problem.

I've been knitting a skirt for a little girl using my Knit Pro interchangeables with 3.25 mm harmony tips.  The knitting has been going along wonderfully and it has kept me company all through this challenging weekend.  I've been going great guns and have added several inches.  Earlier today I had it outside with me while the boys were playing and I was sitting in the sun.  We've since come inside, made scones, made dinner sorted the boys and put them all to bed.

At some point between knitting at 3pm and just now when I picked it up again, my needle has broken, snapped clean through.  I initially thought the tip had come unscrewed, 8 stitches were hanging loose. But when I looked at the end of the piece still in the knitting I realised I could see wood, not screw thread.  Crap. Crap. Crap.  I've broken the needle.

Looks like I'm going shopping tomorrow with three boys in tow, either that or Jules has a job in his lunch break tomorrow because I don't have a spare tip and cannot continue with this skirt without the harmony tip as I get different tension on the nickel tips.

Looks like I'm knitting on something else for the next 24 hours....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Burning the candle at both ends

Apparently I have been doing too much, or not enough depending upon how you look at it.  I have been getting to bed really late.  Lots of stuff to do, Kinder stuff, knitting stuff and sewing stuff as well as the usual house stuff and kid stuff as well.  This has been going on for a couple of weeks now, the burning the candle at both ends and this week it has had unfortunate results.
After last weekend where I had two nights without children invading my bed, I have had one, if not two, invading my bed every night this week at least once if not two or three times.  That would be the kick back I get for having some time to myself apparently.  This has meant that good old sleep deprivation has kicked right back in.  Combine that with two and a half days of terrible side effects from dumb natural hormones and my body gave out.  I gave in and went to the doctors this morning and paid the big bucks to see someone since I can't lay on one side for the pain in my ear.  I don't have a middle ear infection, I appear to have an infection along one side of the ear canal, an abscess if you will.  It hurts.  Nope that's not right, it aches almost constantly but if you touch it that's a whole different story, it is a direct line to instant, breathtaking, excruciating pain.  I now have antibiotics of the "Very strong" type, they are horse pills.  They'd better work because keeping children from hugging you is nearly impossible and I don't seriously expect them to remember that Mummy has a sore ear or to understand just what sore means in this case.  Jules has been home the last two days because it's the weekend and that has meant I have been able to just sit and knit and listen to podcasts and pretend I'm like anyone else who has a sick day, i.e. stop.  Tomorrow he is back at work and I go back to the nurse to get some blood tests done just to check everything is ok and there's not something else causing issues.
I don't often get sick but when I do it's usually a doozy and it's no different this time.

The good news for the week is that the front fence has now been repaired and is as good as new.  Zac has survived his first term at school and has made some amazing progress with both reading and writing.  He is exhausted and keeps having little melt downs but will be fine after a few days of rest and lots of food and cuddles.  Hunter has received an award for greatly improved concentration on his work which is truly awesome.  And Tyler is growing up on a daily basis and demonstrating  his strength of character to his brothers, much to their chagrin!

Bring on the holidays, we all need a rest and we all deserve it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The weekend that was away

This past weekend I went away to the middle of Gippsland to a small and comfortable resort at Rawson for a UFO Quilting weekend with my Mum and a long time family friend.  There were 90 women in attendance all working on a project of some sort of their own and during the course of the weekend we all completed one quilt square using provided materials and pattern called a "Friendship square" which were sewn together into 3 completed quilt tops to be finished off by one of the quilting groups and donated to charity.  I had a lovely time and am waiting for Mum to let me know when next years UFO weekend is on so I can put in the diary.

Apart from the square which we all did, I completed the whole of the top of a quilt for me including layering the backing fabric with the wadding and the top and pinning it all together ready for quilting.  The pattern which I used was from the Down Under Quilts annual for 2006 which was Issue #98 and is called  Bamboo Screen by Petal Davies.  The quilt in the magazine uses two black and white fabrics and a contrasting orange for the centres of the tilted squares, I wanted something a little different and also wanted to emphasize the "panel" effect by highlighting the individual panels.

So here is how it went
I started with these strips that I cut out during the week, the green underneath is the backing fabric.

They were sewn together into strips of three with the patterned piece in the middle

They were then cut into tilted squares using the template provided in the pattern

Then the squares were laid out to check colour arrangement options

Once the order of colours was settled upon, the  sections were sewn together

 And then the borders were added to complete the quilt top.

It isn't a big quilt, it measures at 123 x 127 cm (48.5 x 50 inches) but it will be plenty big enough to keep me warm on the couch on cool evenings.  Mum mentioned that she thought the quilt would have been bigger and we suspect that by making the strips wider and longer it would be quite easy to upsize this quilt and keep it looking good.

I also put together a two layer quilt using a piece of polar fleece and a piece of cotton for my cousin who has just given birth to twins. I'll post those photos in a different post.

So a very successful weekend.  Lots of lovely food and company and a respite from the day to day at home.  Time well spent :-)