And my Rainbow Connection handspun for my MIL is all complate and just drying. All ready for Christmas day on Friday.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
It is looking like this
I am still working on (and making good progress) on the Diamond Fantasy shawl for my SIL with only 3.5 repeats to go before corners and edging (i-cord) so not too much to go. The pattern is divine very angular and definite - making it quite easy to spot errors and undo them quickly. I am also still working on the yarn for my MIL who is often at our house for school pick-ups in the afternoon - making it hard to complete the spinning.
I also managed a visit to the Morris and Sons Sale and only purchased Beads for the upcoming proposed insanity of 10 shawls in 2010 as well as some small cables for my knit picks options. (which seeem to go the way of socks and tape measures in my house).
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Started Saturday morning over breakfast on the way to a full day of knitting. It is progressing really well and the pattern is just stunning.
It's amazing what a full day of knitting, especially on the edge of Sydney Harbour will do to restore some knitting mojo.
Colourway - More than a Waitress. A Christmas present shawl for one my SIL's.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Dh's birthday was a quiet affair with a small gift unwrapping during the day and the two of us at home that night (mainly as I had picked up a dreaded lurgy on my flying trip to Brisbane). He has been enjoying the Charley Boorman book I gave him and is yet to start the Eoin Colfer penned sequel to the Hitchhiker's series. He also gets to enjoy the new series of 30 Rock and Wii Cricket (which will tide him over between tests and one-dayers over the summer)
Friday night found me dashing out of works' christmas party hosted on the beautiful Sydney Harbour to the Opera House to see The Whitlams play all of Eternal Nightcap with the SSO (as the first half of the concert) followed by a range of other songs in the second half. The show was wonderful with highlights being Peter Skulthorpe's arrangement of "Out The Back" (that sounded like being in the ocean) and one of my favourites "Life's A Beach". I also can't miss saying that Tim Hall's songs off the Eternal night cap album were performed well (but not as well as he did them).
Saturday saw the last of my learn to Spin classes but we have overcome that by arranging a once a month catch up to keep the momentum. I will really miss the experience but perhaps not the early Saturday morning's.
Saturday afternoon was concluded with a High Tea with Bubbles at the Harrogate Tea Rooms as a Christmas Shindig for the Thursday night knitting troupe with a couple of blow-ins.
I was enjoying myself way too much to take lots of photos (one of a hnadful above).
We had arranged a kris kringle and I managed to make a few knitted baubles (Covering existing ones) some more below. That were used as make-shift earings. Colourful, easy to make and really adorable.
Monday, November 30, 2009
- A Tori Amos concert with her and her at the Opera House. A wonderful night with dinner and drinks at the Opera Bar and a fantastic Concert aimed squarely at the fan.
- An impromptu knitting get together with a particular out of towner and a few friends (yes there were more but I am being slack).
- Work Christmas parties and other work associated events.
- Yesterday we checked out the Illawarra Fly as a birthday treat - it has amazing views (yesterday was a tad hazy). The tower is actually ok to walk up being much less daunting than it looks (it's the walk back up the hill that will shock you). The signage from Wollongong is not fantastic and bickering carloads can easily miss the minimal turn off signage.
- We also checked out the Grand Pacific Drive and the Royal National Park which had me revisiting or at least passing some places I spent lots of time at as a kid. My childhood had us spending time on this stretch of coast between Coledale (Camping) and Stanwell Park (picnics and swimming). I in particular love the park at Stanwell Park and the beaches at Coledale and Austinmere are always delightful for a swim. During high School (When cars became a standard in the social activity) we ventured into the national park to Audley (Hiring Boats) and Garie Beach most weekends in Summer.
- Later this week there is nights out with friends, dinner for just the two of us and a family breakfast.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The Studio has 2 window displays always filled with the most gorgeous fifties and sixties vintage or inspired outfits.
Currently they have a wonderful Black fifties style dress with a velvet front panel. Photos from the bus are hard work as I never seem to be stopped at a great angle for a quick snap.
Recently a gorgeous display featured a fifties style full skirt dress with (I believe hand-painted) bluebirds around the bottom.
In addition to the dresses they have a fantastic range of accessories and hats a great place to explore.
Monday, November 9, 2009
I have managed to fit in a little spinning though.
The fruits of my labour approx 100g of lovely purple yarn
The Cat has been busy too. Her favourite way to wake us up is to empty the bottom shelf of the bookcase. We were both so tired this morning we didn't even notice.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
On the Left the most recently spun bobbin and on the right the yarn that I have spun. Still a little slubby but this is getting less and less.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
The distraction hasn't completely meant I have stopped thinking about knitting. I managed to pick up some Knitter's Addiction Cashmere in 2 ply and 4 ply. (Lace projects anyone?)
The final distraction or household consumption has been Dh construcing the ambitious Halloween Costume (featured below). Make shift hoops and ghoulish white makeup finished the effect.
Monday, October 26, 2009
When we moved we left behind two nearly established Blue Moon Rose bushes. We have yet to replace them. They were both gifts (from dh) and I miss seeing them bloom (and having the passers-by pinch them before we get to pick them!).
They are most definitely my favourite rose for their lavender tinge.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Today has been a busy day Markets, Shops, Rain but best of all I have managed to Spin 3 bobbins worth. I am starting to get more control (not so much slub happening). I have enough of the Dark Blue Fibre to spin another bobbin. My thoughts are then to ply the light and dark together.Miss Fee and we headed to Petty Cash for a little chat a little knitting and a pot of tea (and perhaps some Pear and Raspberry Bread and a Muffin)! We talked crochet as well as knitting and spinning.
Just one Question - are we sure tomorrow is a work day? I want to stay home and Spin some more!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I asked for the two rugs she had made that always sat on the backs of the chairs in her front room. My mother mentioned she still had the one my Grandmother had made for me. So she bought the two of them home for me after they had cleared the house and my old one was liberated from my mother's linen closet. (They are pictured above with the one made for me in the middle). These rugs remind me of being at both my grandmother's houses with an open fire and snuggled on the couch under the rugs, as well as the love she put into the one she gave me. My family now make extensive use of them. Rugs of this kind are sprinkled through my mother's family and friends home all made by my grandmother.
My cousins eldest daughter (who had learnt to bake from my grandmother) took all her kitchen utensils as she was moving out of home and family who visit are always reminded that she made that using Gran Ryan's cake tins or pans. Two of my brothers took some shaped mirrors from the fifties that had always been in the bedrooms at her houses.
None of the items we wanted were particularly valuable they just had strong memories. I never really mastered crochet I can do a chain for a cast-on or an edge but generally it is not an art I practice. That said I do appreciate there is work involved and in most-cases some genuine love.
Friday, October 23, 2009
(waiting for the 2 steps back now!)
The cat loves to be part of everything, tonight she came and rolled on/rubbed herself in the fibre I was using earlier . Completely loving it. It was quite funny. She then tried to walk under my legs...not very co-ordinated.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I also have 2 pairs of socks on the go that need to be finished but I cannot rekindle the passion for them at the moment yet.
My knitting process is to have a couple of things on the go but at least one inspirational/passionate knit. A challenge, with stunning yarn and colour and something that requires some truly hard work. If I have such a project I can alternate between that and socks or jumpers that are a little less challenging?
I am still in search of my new knitting love affair?
What is your creative process?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
My guilty pleasure is an immersion in fun, popular quirky romantic comedies. To be specific the eighties romantic comedies (and one nineties extension) starring John Cussack. This passion was fuelled first by the influx of video stores (that allowed these films to be imprinted on the psyche of my then young soul) and consequently the release of DVDs. The mindless indulgence is pure fun and takes me back to the late high school/early university days when all-night video watching with stacks of friends was a common weekend event.
My fab five films are
First up is the crass and truly obvious "The Sure Thing" which telegraphs its conclusion well in advance. The journey is well-handled by light direction from Rob Reiner and great believable (as they get) performances by Cussack and Daphne Zuniga
Second (And probably my original favourite) is the wonderfully dark "Better off Dead" directed and written by "Savage" Steve Holland who later went on to direct 13 episodes of Lizzie McGuire (you will recognise the cartoons). A quirky ridiculous set of characters populate this movie and Cussack embodies the High School misfit dumped by his girlfriend who attempts suicide. A highlight is the amazingly agressive paperboy "I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS". This film will either make you laugh yourself silly or cringe. A highlight (I have included video below) is the guys who commentate their impromptu street drag racing as Howard Cosell) . It perhaps hasn't aged well and is full of some cringe-worthy stereotypes..but the darkness surpasses the flaws.
Third up is the reuniting of Holland and Cussack in the not quite as successful but still great fun "One Crazy Summer". This time he is joined by a group of misfits, labelled as "Hoops" but with no basketball talent and trying to challenge the rich kids on an island during summer. More twisted and dark cartoons and an insane race and you will again laugh yourself silly. Demi Moore is his love interest.
Fourth is the incredible "Say Anything" with Ione Skye and directed by Cameron Crowe (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Singles, Almost Famous). A true romantic comedy where Cussack plays Lloyd Dobbler a more mature leading man whose performance breaks your heart. A film that has become a video and DVD classic this film will forever be tied in my head to the heart-wrenchingly beautiful Peter Gabriel Song "In Your Eyes". A film for every lover of romantic comedy.
The final installment (an updated intelligent and much more recent outing) is Grosse Pointe Blank that follows Martin Blank (Contract Killer) back to his 10 year high school reunion and the girl he abandoned on Prom Night. The absurdity where he tells everyone that asks what he does for a living (and they think he is joking) is one of the highlights. The brilliant 80's soundtrack, the incredibly violent episodes within the perfectly ordered lawns and society. You will laugh yourself silly. The relationship with his psychiatrist, his assistant (ably portrayed by sister Joan) and fellow Killer (Dan Ackroyd) is comedic gold. An absolute favourite (I watch it regularly). It channels the eighties teen romantic comedies tinged with darkness that I matured on. Cussack was part of the script-writing team (He went on to co-write High Fidelity as well). Special mention to the convincing friend performance from the wonderful Jeremy Piven (now of Entourage fame)
I have linked the trailer for Grosse Pointe Blank and a Howard Cosell moment from "Better off Dead" to whet your appetite. Hopefully this will inspire a few to watch these films (or even watch them again) and be added to the odd favourite list here or there.
Grosse Pointe Blank
Better Off Dead (Howard Cosell Commentary)
Monday, October 19, 2009
About an hour and forty minutes spent casting off. Blocking and shots in sunlight to come.
I also spent yesterday at the Primary Schools choral Festival performance at the Opera House so I missed the 19th day of blogging.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
I have missed my knitting and probably not been as diligent at the spinning practice as I should have. But tonight (after some sleep I expect) my available time will return to normal.
I have over a hundred blog posts to read at my leisure.
Promise a good, well formed update soon.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The end has been creepin' up slowly and I am now halfway through the final chart (13 rows of 26) it is looking incredibly stunning in the shimery silk. It is also looking huge, huge, huge.
It has been my only knitting this week as I am determined to get as close to finished as possible by the end of the weekend.
Note: I am in awe of the aforementioned MissyFee for her recent production output.
I am off to day one of the conference I am presenting at (tomorrow). To assist with enjoying your day please enjoy the song with the same name as my Post Title by Taxiride.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
So here are my favourite thing about Knitted Socks
- Well made, well knitted socks are really amazing to wear and significantly warmer and more comfortable than store bought socks
- If made with the right type of yarn (generally with some nylon in them) they will wear well, wash well and soften just perfectly.
- They can be repaired (Darning)
- As gifts they are relatively easy to knit and almost universally appreciated. Once someone has warn knitted socks they will find store bought socks inferior!
- There is a myriad of patterns, yarn, and techniques to keep knitting them interesting and as challenging or easy as you like.
- Seeing the entire family's knitted socks drying on the line after washing is a magical sight.
- A non-knitter who envies the hand-knitted socks of you or a loved one (and appreciates the effort) is a good friend who will love any hand-made gift they get.
- Sock Knitting is a long tradition of many cultures and it is nice to be part of extending that tradition.
long to the weekend, the memory of the last one is still fresh.
Tuesday is the day my to do list explodes! I always end the day with
more to do than I started. My knitting and now spinning homework fight
hard for attention often only getting thirty minutes first thing in
My energy solution music played over and over again. My escape
solution playing the fast forward "sleep" button and jumping into
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Do you think if Hand-Knitting manufacturing quantities of any garment or item for a small amount of money was viable we wouldn't already be doing i?
So when we say no we don't think any knitters want to knit something that takes them 50-60 hours for a $20 payment we really really mean it. None of our fellow knitters wants to get paid that for what is essentially a hobby and no we will not ask them.
You should probably know, that as with any hobby, pastime or craft you undertake the joy is often in choosing what we knit and who we give it to. Not in the production of the same garment over and over again.
That said I will happily teach you and you can make them yourself! NO? How disappointing.
End of Community Service Announcement.
Tomorrow, fabric, yarn, books and shawl pins and probably an update on the Spinning course I start tomorrow.
This post is about exploring my reaction to the portrayal of racism on our TV's. Last week I caught the first 2 episodes of Tangle, the new show from the team that bought us Secret Life of Us (Yes Us not American Teenagers) and Love My Way. These shows both had their strengths not the least of which was honest dealing with grief, bullying in the workplace, infidelity and the general messiness of life. Both had a level of rawness and inner-city sensibility. Tangle is much more about suburban sensibilities and dealing with the general messiness of life.
The character of Vince (portrayed by Ben Mendelsohn) is a slightly dodgy, earthy, and overtly racist builder with ambition. The character has a surname of Kovic but in a verbal and physically violent encounter with a business colleague looking for money utilises racist languge in the engagement to belittle the other character. The phrasing jarred with me as it would have been a deliberate choice at some, if not multiple, points within the development, filming and editing process and seemed an odd choice to me. it glorifying racism, just creating the character or exposing an ugly underbelly of our society (yes this kind of racism exists in our suburbs).
I am sure that the character will be portrayed with flaws and admirable qualities - perhaps my issue is wanting story book good and evil. Racism = Bad so am i expecting he should be an "evil" character with no redeeming qualities.
I am left wondering if my struggle is with the difficulty I will face bonding with the character. A character like this in a film would perhaps not provide me with the same difficulty. I will watch it again.
The puzzle continues.
For your own contemplation.....They Might Be Giants - Your Racist Friend (covered by Mick Thomas and the Sure Thing!)
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Like most people we have some routine activities we perform at or around the same time in the same place most weekends. The family shop takes place (usually) at a local shopping centre, small, reasonably well formed except for the sharp left turn on entry to the ramp, and easily accessible.
The first thing we do on arrival is grab a coffee at the coffee shop and sit outside near the pet shop. This happens most weeks and of course I pull out my knitting. The waitress at the cafe and a number of the other locals often asked what I am knitting and check out the item.
I do not know the name of the staff at the coffee shop (where we have been going for around five years) shocking but we are there once a week. In my own defence I do know the name of the barista and server at the coffee shop I go to every work day. Anyway she is always lovely and remembers our coffee order and who has what. The other week she bought out her coffees asked me what I was knitting (Toe-Up Socks) and proceeded to say "When I get married and have a baby you are going to knit all their clothes". This was all one sentence pronounced incredibly quickly.
It evoked in me images in me of her walking down the ailse, having the baby and me knitting the train out of baby clothes like a little clothesline. I wish I had the time and creative tools to photoshop this image. Would be spectacular I am sure.
We laughed but it does highlight that a lot of people think that if you knit you automatically want to knit for other people, whether you know them or not, whether you like them or they you. There is little acknowledgement that this is something you invest time and effort in because you enjoy it. That the choice of what items you knit may be a big part of that enjoyment. If a friend builds you a cabinet or wires your house or paints you a picture is it seen with the same? Would you expect to pay for the materials and the labour, or in the case of the artist would you expect to pay market rate for their work?
Today and into this evening I am crazy busy trying to complete a presentation for submission for next week. So I thought I would share some photos we are looking at using.
I will leave it to you to work out the connection between an IT presentation and Chocolate...oodles and oodles of chocolate.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
You may have seen mention following links from Blogtoberfest yesterday and finding fabric.
Well I found this link FreshFabricAustralia when reading Sew!Busy!Mama! and a few fabric purchases may have magically leapt into my cart and are heading my way this week.
Which may have inspired me to check out Raveller gingerm's wonderful eBay Store and some companion fabric may also be joining it.
You will just have to wait for the post to see what I have added to the fabric collection.
watched my step daughter build a city, grow a city and then destroy it
with meteors. So much for a productive Sunday. I did get some sock
knitting done whilst reading instructions.
I then spent the next few hours flicking through the first column of
sign-ups for Blogtoberfest. Lots of great blogs to read, I would love
to put a snakes and ladders game together with links to various blogs
maybe later in the month. Also lots more reading to do as I have
subscribed to quite a few of them. In the interests of full disclosure
I may have followed a link and purchased some fabric.
This afternoon I watched the NRL final and sewed up all bar the last
three squares of the blanket -photos tomorrow. It was not the most
The day has somehow wandered into the evening and I am exhausted but
the weekend chores are calling and I am wondering how I will avoid
them for the remaining few hours until bedtime-why ruin a perfect day!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Playing with combinations before I sew the squares together. The colours are vibrant and work well in many combinations. I am not a big fan of forced repeating patterns when it comes to squares or colour blocks. I will play some more before it is final.
The weather today is the rainy, stay inside, snuggle and turn up the music kind. To go with the mood some stripped back Go-Betweens along with some chatter. The stunning Cattle and Cane and the haunting Bachelor Kisses. Well why kill a theme that seems to be working.