Sunday, December 2, 2012

Reflecting on 2012



 I would like to be someone who thinks about and reflects on the day/month/year gone by and learns from my reflections.  Mainly I forget to even remember to reflect, other times it is hard to take the time.  I tried to do some reflecting in December last year but wasn't in the right brain space at all.

A blogging friend recently posted about a month of prompted reflections - Reverb12 hosted by Kat at I saw you dancing.  One a day: you can write a blog post, get on twitter, or just reflect privately.   My preference is for the reflecting privately but I might pop by occasionally here and note my answer to a particular prompt.

This year has seen lots of small changes and some big ones, and as my youngest finishes kinder and heads off to school next year there are some more big changes about to happen, so a month of being prompted to think about different things sounds like a good thing to do.

The first prompt was: How are you starting?  And it made me realise that even though we are heading into  a very busy week/month ourselves, I'm relaxed, happy with where the year has gone and ready to face the challenges of the coming month in a way I have not been for the last 4 years.  So I'm happy and this is good.

The second prompt: Your most significant spend?  Now I thought this would be a hard one and then I realised it was actually an easy one.  I thought we hadn't done a lot of significant spending this year but there is one thing that I have not held back on the spending on.  Not to say we have spent exorbitant amounts of money but the purchase  has been ongoing and significant: books for the kids.  We get Scholastic book club brochures home from school and we are lucky to have the Scholastic Warehouse (direct sales at discount prices) nearby, so this year we have expanded the size of children's library of books significantly. It has had two major effects: the kids see that we value books and their reading skills have expanded dramatically.  With three boys in the house (aged 5, 7, 9) and a husband who confesses to not being a reader at all until after age 17, I had feared that our children, especially our second child,  would struggle with reading.  I grew up in a house where books were always around and important, we visited the local library every week/second week and borrowed numerous books that always were finished way before they were due to be returned.  I wanted that for my kids and we have always read to them and have at times been regular users of the local libraries.  Our eldest reads constantly (except when I send him outside to play!) and the same books get read multiple times, so having a library at home isn't a waste at all, it keeps him occupied!  The middle kid has clicked with reading this year in a way that brings great joy to my heart, he was ok at the beginning of the year (grade 1) but has come leaps and bounds during the course of the year, his teacher is so impressed, as am I!  Our youngest, who doesn't start school until next year is already reading very simple readers from school and picking up on the words written on things around him, sounding them out, putting a bit of effort in, getting frustrated but not giving up.  Seeing this happen over the course of the year I have been both apprehensive and proud.  Apprehensive because I want him to learn but not get too ahead of his peers, and proud because it has all been self directed, he wants to know so he asks questions, we answer them and he gathers knowledge and reading skills as well.

So there you go, Day 1 and Day 2 down, this might be a very interesting exercise!

PS If you sign up by 8pm tonight you can go into a draw to win a great prize :-)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Today...

Two got prepared


for a science experiment.


One made use of a shady spot


for reading.


and one worked on a knitting project :-)



Monday, October 1, 2012

The School Holidays

We're in the midst of the school holidays, J has taken the four days spanning the middle weekend off from work and it has changed how our holidays run.  There's an extra set of hands around and the boys and I all notice the difference.

We've had a lot on:
*A brand new niece arrived.
*My Dad dropped off an awesome box he made for me for my knitting. A friend spotted one on Etsy and asked if anyone knew of someone who might make them locally.  He made one for her and then a second one for me :-)

The inside with removable insert


The outside with beautiful detailing
 *A Birthday party for the youngest to attend.  
*The purchase of a long awaited and saved up for iPod touch for the eldest who also went off for a sleepover at Nanny and Poppy's.
*Knitting group on Tuesday: an excuse for milkshakes and treats.
*A visit to the vet for the ancient and arthritic cat.
*Cousins staying over and camping in the big tent in the backyard overnight and using the big swing.
* I bought a new cupboard to put my knitting in progress in so it's not all over the place.  It fits perfectly in the space available and both of my new knitting toys fit on top.

IKEA Aspelund Bedside table
*We went out for dinner with friends and their kids that we haven't seen in months.
*J took the boys for a visit to the big new waterslide that opened locally while I met up with some wonderful ladies to pick up my new toy.

Garnrollenhalter-or thing that spins (Lazy Susan) as yarn is used from outside of ball. This one is made from Oak.
*The youngest turned 5 yesterday, he wanted a chocolate cake with rainbow icing.  He was happy with my interpretation.



*Today the boys have all gone off to the Royal Melbourne Show together leaving me home alone for the day.
And that's all in the first 10 days!

On to Knitting:
In the past few weeks I've finished up some knitting.

Baby's hat
Smaller baby's hat

Kiss Me Kate by Mary Annarella

Maree's socks #1
And now I'm working my way at high speed through the next few items and carefully trying to avoid planning the next thing until after I have knitted the boys' next round of jumpers which they all could really do with now!

Pas De Valse for me, done both fronts now needs the back piece (in the
middle of the picture) done.
Monkey Socks for Em's Birthday in December.
Maree's socks #2


A hat to use up some sock wool.
Skyp socks for me.
So busy all round really!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Appi Arrives


I have a new baby niece as of 9:30 am this morning.  She arrived reasonably quickly a day before her due date and weighs in at a respectable 3998g.  I got to meet her this afternoon and give her her cardy.


The boys were looking forward to meeting their new cousin who has been giving them pokes and prods from the inside for the last couple of months.  The confusion will reign when they have to try to remember her out in the real world name :-)

Cardy: Maile Sweater, Moseley Park Barna (machine washable wool) in the colourway Tidey.  You can find my Ravelry notes here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stress

So one aspect of the year so far has not gone quite according to plan.  This is the last year that any of my children will be at kinder and this is our 6th year in a row of doing the kinder thing over the 3 children.  By the end of last year I had been a member of the Committee of Management for 3 years and J had been for one, so 4 out 5 years we were helping out.  This year I had decided to step back a little and do a minor role but that is not how it has panned out.  A couple of people who signed on to have one of the big jobs backed out after a month or so, leaving us in the lurch, so despite J's misgivings I stepped back into one of the big jobs.  It's mostly been ok.  The actual tasks associated with the job are pretty straightforward and I've done them before so I'm familiar with them.  The problem comes from the extra stuff, the people management, the issues that come up that need to be researched, the info needs to be presented to the rest of the Committee, and educated and considered decisions need to be made.  We unfortunately have one member of staff (we only have 5) who constantly brings things to us that she knows are pushing the bounds of realistic or possible and then she gets totally cranky if she doesn't get what she wants, regardless of whether it's in the best interest of the kinder or not.  She wants what she wants right now, with no consideration of any of the implications for anyone else or the ongoing running of the kinder or the thoughts of the families.  As a Committee we are supposed to represent a cross-section of the families at the kinder and look at any issues from multiple angles and we do our best.  This last month has been very full on.  Completely ridiculous and over the top requests including requests that have been made before and been turned down.  But each time a request comes up it involves researching and talking to various government departments and other advisory bodies.  So it means a lot of extra work for parents who are volunteering their time.

Now I thought I'd been handling it all reasonably well and at our meeting this week some pretty big issues were resolved in a wonderful fashion and now just need to be followed through on.  It must seem odd, none of this is about knitting, but wait, here it comes...

This morning I knit the foot of a sock, it's the second sock of a pair.  I got all the way up to the toe decreases and then measured it against the first sock.  The second sock is wider and longer.  Apparently while I was stressed I was knitting tighter, and now that I'm not so stressed I'm knitting looser and the first sock fits perfectly, meaning the second one won't.  So I've had to frog the foot section of the second sock and now I have to re knit the foot deliberately trying to hold the yarn tighter channelling my inner stressed self.  This is the first time I've had tension issues due to stress and hopefully it will be the last.  The AGM for kinder is at the end of October and that's when I can put all of this crap behind me.  In the meantime I have to go pick up the boys from school, it's an early mark today as it's the last day of term.  Perhaps the added stress of having the children home will enable me to get matching socks!!!




Monday, July 23, 2012

Stream of consciousness

I have just spent the weekend in the country town of Bendigo attending the Australian Sheep and Wool show and the Nanny and Ewe Muster, visiting the Bendigo Woollen Mill and spending loads of time with the Posse.

I have new yarn and some of it is already in use and more of it has a plan.



I just took 6 pairs of hand knit socks that belong to me off the washing line and I definitely need to knit more.

The white shirt that was on the line is now back in the washing machine due to the annoying bird which had been eating berries.

The six year old forgave me for not being home for his seventh Birthday on Friday.


The four year old employed the ball winder and swift to convert a skein of sock yarn to a usable ball so I can cast on his next pair of socks because his current pair is too small to wear any more and his cousin might need a turn with them now.

The eight year old is at a mate's house for a play date and I'm going to have to go and pick him up sometime soon.

We found out today that my MIL is going in for surgery on Wednesday and will be in hospital for 4 days before staying at a hotel for a further 4 days as part of her recovery.  My FIL can't be left alone at home so my BIL will be staying with him for a few days and then his two sisters will take turns.  My MIL has been told she will be recovering for two weeks.  We are sceptical, she is 73 and is going under a general for abdominal surgery (not sure if keyhole or otherwise).  We are thinking 4-6 weeks minimum, we will be happy to be wrong!  She thinks she told J about this previously, we had no idea at all!

I have lots of lovely yarn which is making me smile :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A busy month

When last I was here there was a sock looking for it's partner



There were two scarves, one in need of blocking and the other in need of finishing and then blocking


Done!

A cardigan in need of another sleeve and a body.



Well the sleeve is done and there's about 5 inches of body left to do :-)

I have also made two small hats, one large hat and a cowl.  The knitting has been flying off the needles :-)





In the meantime I have had my second bout of Tonsillitis in a month and I'm still fitting in Penicillin around eating which is a bit of a pain.  It does mean more knitting time though :-)

After a bit of debate between two cardigans for me, another Tempest  (in the grey and red from the last post) or a Dark and Stormy (in Shibui knits, Merino Worsted-colourway Ink), I cast on for the Dark and Stormy with the reasoning that a thicker, warmer cardy would be more appropriate at this time of year and the Tempest will be cast on once this is finished as it is a lighter cardy and more suitable for the slightly warmer months.  



This is a picture of the centre back cable and twist (sorry, it's not the best picture).  I'm hoping to have the Dark and Stormy done by my annual pilgrimage to  Bendigo, but if it isn't done in time then it will be going with me to be worked on :-)


29 days to go!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

In my knitting bags...

In the vein of "My Grandmother Went to Market" I looked through the bags containing my WIP's and have found

a sock - looking for it's partner

a scarf - in need of blocking

a scarf - in need of a better ending and the other end knit to match

a cardigan (Rav link) - in need of another sleeve and a body

I also found some gorgeous yarn, some of which knows what it wants to be.
Meet my second Tempest (my first one is in high rotation in the wardrobe):



And some of it which hasn't found a purpose yet, but is sure to be well enjoyed :-)


 Madelinetosh - Tosh Sock - Earl Grey


 Skein - Frog and Toad (Rav Link) -  Be Mine

Wollmeise - Twin WD Gonzales

So, I am off to cast on a sock and start working on a brilliantly green sleeve.  Once these two are out of the way, I am likely to cast on that Tempest :-)

Monday, March 19, 2012

I have

I have a cup of tea

A sunny day

and knitting.

I love Autumn!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A little at a time

It seems thinking about posting here is a bit of a challenge so I won't, think that is :-)
I'll show you instead what we've been up to!
I finished this on the last day of 2011

and it is lovely :-)

I finished this black cowl for a lovely lady called Jenny


it's long enough it can be pulled up over your head while still keeping your neck warm.

In January we went here for two weeks:

we stayed in our tent, we didn't get washed away


and we went for a big walk and saw some tiny things


after a storm at sea, somebody needed a rest.

We found a mermaid

Once we were home again, school started


but not for the youngest yet, this is the closest he gets until next year!

We've grown up a little


and we've lost more teeth (and another one since then!)

There's been knitting finished up




 and there's knitting still underway


and catching some of the last warmth before Autumn fades away into Winter


Until next time!