31 July 2008

Celebrity Encounters (porcine)

The nine year old visited the local children's farm yesterday as part of the Class 3 farming lesson block.

And met the pig who plays Wilbur in Charlotte's Web. (It was filmed in Melbourne).

"It's a girl pig, called Angie. And it just lay there. No backflips, nothing."

30 July 2008

Festival of Feather and Fan

the fish's scarf

I hadn't knit the feather and fan stitch for years. Associating its old fashioned pattern with all the baby matinée jackets (please note new accent skills thanks to Pav) that we received from various great aunts when first with child, I hadn't given it much thought for grown up garments.

the fish's scarf

But when a certain fish commissioned a scarf from my 'Ocean Jewels' hand dyed mohair wool yarn, I knew the gentle undulating waves of the feather and fan stitch would be perfect.

the fish's scarf

Fit for a mermaid.

I hope she likes it.

That final shot is post blocking, while the first two were taken before it was blocked. I wanted to have evidence of the difference it made, and I do think it's helped define the stitch pattern, despite what was a very gentle blocking. The fish can manipulate the width and laciness to her heart's content the first time she washes it if she is after a more open, lacier effect.

Then because I was on a roll, I whipped up a traditional feather and fan baby hat, in non-traditional lavender blue.

Just because.

feather and fan baby hat

The pattern is from an ancient, fragile black and white Paton's pattern I found in the op shop, but if you're keen to make one yourself there are similar patterns here and here.

feather and fan baby hat

27 July 2008

i feel like a new woman

new hair, new glasses

(But I won't be getting one this week).

new hair, new glasses.

The glasses have only been on for three days so I'm still at that point where the floor seems to slope towards me as I walk. (Driving is exciting and fun!)

Thoughts from the week ...

:: you don't get a lot of change out of a thousand bucks for new glasses when you have a powerful prescription. Sheesh.

:: the good news is that now I'm old (and starting to do the long sighted peer at the tiny writing on the sides of jars, etc), my prescription is going in the other direction and my vision is "improving". Well, that's not what the opthamologist calls it, but I'm being optimistic.

:: the glasses look black in that photo but they're actually maroony plummy kinda sorta. Inside the arm it says both Sangria Swirl, and Moulin Rouge. Which is the style and which the colour is anybody's guess. You also can't tell from the photo but they have gold swirly bits in the corners which sounds a touch Dame Edna but is quite restrained. Your gladioli are safe with me.

:: remember I said the hairdresser replied Just like Posh Spice? when I described what I wanted for my hair? When I arrived at work the next day with the new do, my job share bloke said Just like Cilla Black! and my boss exclaimed at the same moment Just like Mary Quant! which I think displays more about my colleagues' respective vintages and tastes than my hair. (I said as much to which he replied Ah but you knew who Cilla Black was, didn't you? Touche.)

:: Must research how to do acute accents in Blogger.

:: Went to dinner at Shakahari on Friday night with my two oldest friends for a regular catch up (sans partners and children which makes it heaps better). I dawdled in Readings for a blissful twenty minutes beforehand, killing time and browsing. So much nicer than the other one across the road. Every single person in Readings was wearing head to toe black, except for myself (I was wearing brown pants with my everything else black). There's nothing quite like Carlton on a Friday night, is there?

:: I lay in bed until nearly midday yesterday (first sleep-in in MONTHS), ignoring my children and wolfing down Helen Garner's new book The Spare Room in one big gulp. It's very HG - spare, conversational and brutally honest in its tackling of the tickly subjects of friendship, anger, death. Lots of food for thought. My criticisms would be that the only character we really get to know is Helen herself; I would have liked to hear more about the dying friend and then perhaps I would have liked her more? Or at least felt a bit more sympathy. Also the ending felt a bit rushed with its list of one liners about what happened immediately prior and post death, but then one could argue that the story was about the journey towards death ... anyway, it's very moving and lovely to read with its starkly simple prose. And it's set in my old neck of the woods - she mentions Bellair St, Newmarket Station, Racecourse Road, taking the green arrow into Macauley Road, etc. I got a small thrill with each little marker of familiarity.

:: I'm listening to Patrick White's The Aunt's Story in the car right now and getting thoroughly fed up with the pretentious dialogue ("Do you believe in saints, Ludmilla?" "I believe in a pail of milk, with its blue rim" etc). That sort of thing is fine occasionally but it's constant and wearing. Does that mean Patrick White is dated, or I'm just old/cynical? I remember being very impressed with this book when I was about twenty. Let's just say Helen Garner's writing was a breath of fresh air. Time to hit the library for another audio book.

:: Son #1 been sick all week and even a little bit the previous week too. Nasty cough and cold, listless, feverish, falling asleep on the sickbed in the middle of the day and talking in his sleep kind of sick. He's now 99% and itching to go back to school. They've started rehearsals for Twelfth Night and he's afraid he won't get a decent part for being away so long. (He watched Romeo and Juliet on dvd from his sickbed and is all ready for Shakespearian dialogue, he declares).

:: Speaking of Shakespeare, I missed Hamlet. Mr Soup went (it was his birthday) and I stayed home to nurse the ailing child. If it was superb, I do not want to hear about it. Do not leave comments that will rub it in thankyouverymuch.

:: I am so bad at getting myself to bed at a reasonable hour. I finished knitting a scarf last night and immediately (like at 1.13am) cast on the Robin's Egg Hat in a gorgeous red Malabrigo. Which I have now realised will clash horribly with the maroony plummy glasses. Shit. And double shit because I'm now really really tired. And I still have socks and a vest on the needles already so don't need another project to distract me.

:: all my posts lately seem to be Stuff in My Head. So next up, The Festival of Feather and Fan. When they've finished blocking, drying and there's enough light for a photo shoot.

Have a good week y'all.

22 July 2008

the long and winding road

sweeping road

takes you far, far away

the roos had left by then

to a place where kangaroos graze alongside woolly sheep

blue window

and you can spend two glorious days

hips and drips

noticing photographing sitting being nurturing listening unwinding

green baby sock for Nina

crafting laughing knitting eating felting talking sewing inspiring

mermaid scarf wip

nourishment for the soul

of course you can knit an apple

a privilege

17 July 2008

miscellania and sock yarn sale

Narcissus

Still don't have much to say, so here's some yarn to keep the blog warm.

This little beauty is a 100g skein of sock yarn, hand dyed by yours truly with gut rot I mean, Kool Aid. It's quite colourfast, is rather soft and squishy, and because etsy is down right now and won't let me list items, I'm offering it for sale here. Leave a comment if you wish to purchase it. $20, plus postage depending on where you are. There is enough in this skein for a pair of adult socks, or baby socks plus hat. The colourway is 'Narcissus' and I don't care that it's not actually Spring anywhere in the world right now, it may well be by the time this is knitted up. SOLD!

What else? Let's see ...

I thought yesterday how handy it is working at a university. I had decided I wanted to read Helen Garner's new book The Spare Room so put it on hold at my local library, only to find I was number 80 on the holds list. So yesterday at work I took a brief break from the scintillating kind of work I do and trotted along the corridor (and around the corner and along the next hall and down a flight of stairs and across an external walkway and up another flight of stairs don't you love campuses that have been added to over and over throughout the years and let's not even talk about sympathetic architectural styles) and plucked it off the shelf, all brand new and never before opened. (Because students don't read, clearly).

Love it.

I had my hair cut and coloured today. Blonde. Bobbed. Well, kind of, in both cases. (More blonde highlights to break up the grey and apparently 'bobbed' like Posh Spice although I'll have to take that as read as I wouldn't have a clue). (I am married to a soccer player too however, so it's appropriate I spose).

I pick up my new glasses next week, and hopefully my new car within the next month. I will be a new woman. Watch the tea towels fly.

And now I must run. Tomorrow morning I have a crack o'dawn meeting on the other side of town, followed by a full day of work followed immediately by a long drive Up The Country (singing the Not Drowning Waving song all the way) to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show and a weekend of crafting and knitting with the regular craft retreat gang. To this end, I must now bake a cake, make a batch of Nigella's muesli bars, raid the wine rack, pack, pack up the car and download the tax office's new software (unrelated, but necessary).

Adieu.

Don't forget, Narcissus for sale! I'll post on Monday, if anyone buys it. SOLD!

14 July 2008

silences

Sailor, July 2008

Three days without the internet was awfully quiet and isolating. On Sunday evening it returned as mysteriously as it had vanished.

But I haven't much to say anyway.

There are many silences around here.

The children are back at school today after two weeks of holidays.

I am on semester break from uni right now and am at that stage in my degree where I generally lose interest and motivation in a project (generally about two thirds of the way through something). The pile of unfinished craft projects in my study is testament to that particular bad habit of mine. And it's about this stage that I pulled out of the last degree. I am determined not to do so this time, but I got my semester one results last week and let's just say they were not as good as I am used to them being. Time to pull out the finger.

I went to the farewell of an old boss on Friday and found that she is battling with her third bout of cancer. She looked so frail. I had dinner with a friend that night and was quite teary over the gnocchi.

I am restless and quiet and resentful. The dog lies behind me as I type, his tail slapping the rug as he dreams.

I'll return when I have something of interest to say.

6 July 2008

a plethora of pinks

A new yarn in the shop! Sock yarn this time. Strawberry Fields.

Strawberry Fields

I've been fitting in a bit of dyeing this week during the school holidays, in between the care and feeding of three children, working here and there, disappearing to the coast for a couple of days, more gardening with rabbit-proof fencing and inedible grasses, voracious Sudokoing and reading:

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. Good yarn (haha) and I was quite moved at the end, but oh the main character annoyed the hell out of me. I don't care if she was rebelling against her posh mother, no naice gel from Double Bay "sucks on a tinnie of beer" or says "rozzers". Rozzers??! It just didn't ring true. And it makes me cringe, all that "matey" business.

In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant. To get me in the mood for August (for a Renaissance Venice subject next semester, not my next career move). Narrated by the dwarf servant, set in Venice. Colourful. I do like me a decent historical novel. Although I did turn away from a luridly covered paperback at the op shop yesterday interestingly called An Autobiography of Henry VIII with Notes by his Fool Will Somers. So you see I am fussy. (If you google that and end up at Amazon, I can tell you the cover on the edition I picked up [and put back] in horror was far far worse).

An Equal Music by Vikram Seth. It leapt out at me from the For Sale pile at the library - I couldn't quite believe that such a book was on the shelves of the withdrawn, and for $1. Such an author, and the book itself is a hardback with a glorious cover featuring a painting by Il Padovino titled Orpheus Leading Eurydice out of the Underworld. I thought Orpheus played a lute, but in this painting he has a violin strapped across his back. Beautiful anyway. And we have the cd of the music so I can listen to it each evening when I'm reading. Music, love, obsession. Started yesterday, unputdownable. Yes that's a word, shut up.

I've also been knitting something for me for a change. I've knitted fingerless gloves for everybody else in my life (real and virtual) and now it's my turn. I saw this deliciously soft silky aran weight yarn in Lincraft the other day; it's 70% wool and 30% soybean, and is called Prism. Quite lovely to knit with, albeit a little splitty as it's single ply with very little twist. Truly glorious colourways.

wristwarmers wip

They were supposed to be the Fetching which I've knitted twice before, but I was on the coast and knitting from memory. My memory failed me and I completely forgot to do the cabling at the wrist. I remembered the second band of cabling just before the picot cast off though, so all was not lost. That photo was taken yesterday - I wore them today at Son #2's soccer match. Love me a quick knit.

Anyway, the point of this post wasn't knitting or boring you with my current reading, but to let you know that more yarns have been dyed so you know, when I've wound them, photographed them, uploaded them, put them on etsy, been thrashed at Scrabulous and done a load or three of laundry, they'll go in the shop too.

Just for you.