23 April 2009

This week I have

[ ] had lunch by the fairy tree with fabulous friends (do enjoy the photo of me with my mouth hanging open like a dopey dork if you click on that link)

[ ] sold seven skeins of my hand dyed sock yarn. As fast as I upload them to the shop, they go ping!

[ ] watched the big fellas fly in and eat the little fellas' food

21 April : the cockies take over the birdfeeder

[ ] come to the realisation that the essay due tomorrow at 4.00 pm will not actually be submitted tomorrow at 4.00 pm

[ ] had several insane but ultimately satisfying days at work

[ ] moved into my own office so Job Share Bloke and I no longer share but are next door neighbours. He got the bookshelves but *I* took the couch (and ordered another bookshelf). Contemplating artwork for walls. And a pot plant. (He kept those).

[ ] We have a code: one tap on the wall means Be quiet in there I am trying to concentrate and am very important; two taps means Let's go for coffee; three taps means Ha ha I got the couch.

[ ] delivered a birthday present to a friend

drop stitch scarf

[ ] come to the realisation that that friend has found the blog. Right, Linda?

[ ] discussed DBC Pierre's Vernon God Little at bookgroup and agreed it is unlike any other book we've read before which does not necessarily translate into yes I liked it

[ ] finished my audio book copy of Kate Atkinson's Case Histories and am positively totally bereft. No more Jackson Brodie until she writes her next novel. Hurry up, Kate.

[ ] also finished reading (finally!) Lauren Groff's The Monsters of Templeton and enjoyed it immensely. A cross between a memoir, historical fiction, genealogy mystery but it is more than the sum of its parts and totally engaging.

[ ] not been able to think or plan what to take to craft weekend tomorrow night (tomorrow night!)

[ ] come to the realisation that I will be taking a half finished essay to craft weekend tomorrow night (tomorrow night!)

[ ] along with a sticky dessert of some kind

[ ] and my knitting and maybe even my spinning wheel

[ ] and all the books and journals that go along with the essay

[ ] and a goodly stash of chocolate and wine.

18 April 2009

sock yarns in the shop - ALL SOLD, THANKS!

100g hand dyed sock yarn 'crabapple'

apple green sock yarn

17 April : hobbitty green hand dyed sock yarn

Three sock yarns in the shop now! Quick, before I change my mind and hoard them for myself. SOLD!

camp knitting

kind of a Thorpe

The night before we left for our traditional Easter camping trip to the mountains, Son #2 announced he needed a new woolly hat, preferably in green and red stripes. I scurried about and found a ball of green Noro, and paired it with the red worsted weight I dyed the other day (seen a couple of posts down, bottom row of the clotheshorse, second from left) and cast on so I'd have some car knitting and campfire knitting.

The Noro quickly turned brown and then blue, and when I'd finished (it's a Thorpe but without the earflaps because I didn't have the pattern with me, I just knitted until the bottom and then cast off) he announced at first it was 'awesome' and then the next day 'nope, too brightly coloured'. Teenagers today, so fussy. So it now belongs to the mister, and I have to start again. Additionally I have to rip back the edge of the Thorpedo-esque and add another inch so it's big enough for the adult sized head it will now adorn. Sigh ...

Anyway, knitting it kept me busy for the long car drive (through kilometre after kilometre of burnt charred desolate heartbreaking landscape) and for a couple of around-the-campfire evenings, and then I had to return to the purplish lacy socks, until I reached the short row heel and stalled. Cannot make sense of instructions. Have set aside in frustration and will concentrate on other things for a while. Like diligently writing my essay uploading eleventy gazillion camping photos onto flickr and tweeting.

This year we decided to camp off mountain in the hope it would be a smidge warmer, and thank god it was. Much more manageable. And it only rained the first two evenings (the first about 15 seconds after we'd got the tent up thankfully). The beauty of being off the mountain (atop Mt Buffalo is our usual Easter spot) in a pretty little village at the bottom famous for its autumn colour, was that we were able to drive up other mountains to have a look at them. Photos to come when I've done the big sort. Suffice to say we went to Mt Hotham and if anyone else has done the drive up Mt Hotham they'll know what I mean when I say SPECTACULAR DRIVE. Also in a fit of nostalgia we drove up to Falls Creek for the day to revisit the scene of Mr Soup's and my first meeting, 22 years ago oh-my-god this winter. It was quite odd, pottering about the Falls village, pointing out to our children where we had each lived and worked and first met, where so and so had worked, the scene of the Great Skiing Accident, the Medical Centre where I was patched and plastered, the lobby where I was sacked minutes after being plastered because a kitchen hand with one arm in plaster is useless, etc.

Ah, memories. Sweet.

Anyway, pretty mountain and autumn colour photos to come later when I have the energy.

PS. I've just re-read the last two Easter camping-at-Mt-Buffalo posts (here and here) and come over all nostalgic-like again. But jeez it was cold.

17 April 2009

Har har me hearties

mean pirate

And don't mess with the parrot or he'll whip those safety pins out of his feet and stab you before you can say Har har, Cap'n Birdseye has got your chillun. (And you don't want to know what goes into my fish fingers ...)

the pirate is mean but the parrot is kind of a softie har har

I titled this one 'The pirate is mean but the parrot is kind of a softie'. I crack myself up sometimes, really I do.

8 April 2009

Roy G Biv : indigo and violet

most complicated lace socks ever

I ran out of steam with the rainbow thing so here are indigo and violet thrown in together. Just look at this yarn in a different light and I'm sure you'll see indigo in one shot and violet in the other. Yes you will.

most complicated lace socks ever

See?

hand dyed sock yarn

I had a big Kool Aid dyeing session after work the other day and dyed half a dozen skeins of sock wool for the etsy shop. And then I promptly cast on a pair of socks with the grape coloured skein. Whoops.

4 April : Kool Aid dyed sock yarn for the etsy shop

One of those candy pinks has since been over dyed so it's a stronger red, and one of the greens is a lovely soft apple green.

On a roll, I spent most of Monday dyeing everything I could lay my hands on, with professional acid dyes this time. I dyed lots of sections of thrifted blanket for homemade felt, a playcloth in a moss colour (I have this theory that there's a market for muslin playcloths in natural colours, in addition to the omnipresent rainbow colours they come in) and lots and lots of sock yarn and thrifted and recycled yarns from my stash. I am experimenting with greens, and also trying to find the perfect red. I'm leaning towards sock yarn in solid colours these days rather than variegated (to show off stitch patterns) but I did do one lovely strawberries and cream sock skein (bottom row, in the middle). Can't wait until they're all skeined up and looking pretty.

this I what I did today

After Easter I'll skein these all up and pop them in the etsy shop. It's looking a little sad in there right now, although there are a few lovely skeins still in there if anyone wants them!

In the meantime, please help me with my mantra for Easter ... Camping is fun, camping is fun, camping is fun, camping is fun ... it will not rain, it will not rain, it will not rain.

6 April 2009

Roy G Biv : blue

fruitbowl

the blue of my glass fruit bowl ...

blue stitches

... blue stitches on Son #1's hat (getting my money's worth with this one) ...

garlic and ginger

... the ramekin that holds the garlic and ginger.

5 April 2009

thorpedo[s]

Thorpe up close

This is the hat mentioned yesterday that I made for the eldest child. He picked up an earflap hat in a shop the other day and asked me to buy it for him. I looked at the price ($20) and said I could knit that, expecting him to roll his eyes and walk away. Instead he said Ok!

The minute we got home I dragged him to the stash basket[s] and he chose blue and black, but when I explained the black was too fine and I didn't have enough to hold the yarn double, he asked if I could hold the black yarn double with red. Sure! Anything! My fifteen year old son wants something handknitted by me? In dubious colours? With yarn held double for two of the three colours, interspersed with single threads of the third colour? And I don't have enough of the first colour?! Sure thing!

Son #1's Thorpe hat
Please excuse the fact that the sofa cushion is upside down, with the zip at the top. It had been used as a car ramp by the ten year old until five seconds prior to this shot and I didn't notice it was the wrong way up.

I cast on while watching Tess of the D'Urbervilles and then it sat on the coffee table untouched for a whole week. Until I picked it up again to watch The Hours and finished it off.

2 April : Thorpe hat

He loves it and assures me he WILL wear it. (And he has, all day, and even out in public).

And now ... prepare to be even more impressed ... da na na na ...

Son #3 was so in awe of this new hat he went and raided the stash basket[s] last night, found some old hand dyed green from my very first dyeing adventures last year, and demanded I knit one for him.

Thorpe II

I cast on last night and got a fair way in. This morning Son #3 burst into my bedroom holding the knitting and requested I continue knitting. I demanded sustenance in the shape of a cup of tea (with toast and fig jam please) and continued. A brief foray out to the local farmers market to stock up on outrageously expensive organic celery and beetroot, followed by a hilarious Greyhound Playgroup session for the hound, and then back to the knitting.

5 April : Thorpe II

Voila. Two hats finished on consecutive days. He declared it awesome and has worn it all day long.

The pattern is of course Kristen's fabulous Thorpe available at Through the Loops here, and further details are ravelled here and here if you're interested (and a member of Ravelry which you totally should be).

Son #2 is giving me the poor neglected middle child eyes now. Sigh ... I foresee a third Thorpe this week.

4 April 2009

catch up

Oof, so much to tell.

• Son #2's indoor soccer team was in the grand final last night. They're a great bunch of boys (the parents aren't half bad either) and they have really come together as a team this season. Eleanor, who rather hit it off with Son #2 when they met the other week, texted me to ask when is the game and good luck! I was clutching my handbag to my lap nervously and actually felt the buzz that meant my phone was ringing (would never have heard it with all the noise and excitement) so was able to text back saying I was watching it right then, and the score was 2 all and oh oh oh it was all too nervewracking! From then on I kept my phone in my hand and spent the rest of the game updating with messages like Oh no, 3-2! and then later 4 all! and 4 all oh god my heart can't take it! with Eleanor texting encouraging smiley signs and ogod's and go go go! etc. Finally I was able to text triumphantly They won! Wow, it was kind of like liveblogging the match. Well, with an audience of one.

In the time honoured tradition of winning teams, all the boys and their families repaired to the local scottish restaurant for a celebratory meal and close examination of their trophies. The mister was pleased too as he was the coach for the season. Kind of. A sort of default situation as I don't think any of the other parents actually know the rules of indoor soccer. He shouted things like Ref! Sub please! a lot, and told the boys where to stand and whose turn it was in gaol goal, so that's being the coach, right?

• What else ...?

• I've been dyeing again. Kool Aid this time, thanks to my never ending supply from an extremely generous pal. Five skeins of sock wool in grape, green and cherry. I think the reds might end up being overdyed because they're candy pink rather than red. They are all hanging on the lounge room walls drying off right now (hooks and nails in odd places everywhere in this house) which makes for an interesting interior design look. Photos to come.

• I've also gone kind of crazy on my ravelry queue this week. Ahem. I think a shawl is up next. (Photo to come circa 2012).

• The middle child came home from a week of school cycling camp. It had been postponed three times due to the bushfires so by the time they actually left they were kind of keyed up. He came home positively grey with fatigue (he doesn't know how to pace himself, that one. It's full on, or unconscious; two speeds only. Soooo unlike my other two) but apparently they all had a fabulous time. At their school the children actually camp in tents and cook for themselves - none of this staying in dormitories and being fed canteen meals - so they work hard. They cycled around south Gippsland, the brave ones swam in the icy Antarctic waters (that'd be my child and a dozen others) and did a big ride into Wilsons Prom, scene of one of the summer's major bushfires. He said it was amazing to be surrounded by black, and yet see the brilliant green baby fronds poking out of the charred tree ferns. Quite a sobering experience for a bunch of thirteen year olds, and one which really brought the scale of the horror home to them. Members of the school community lost homes and loved ones in the fires so it was all rather confronting.

• One of the women in my spinning group lost absolutely everything in the St Andrews fire (she has been restashed with wool, needles, fibre and a spinning wheel now) and she said it's very healing to go up to their property and see the green fuzz appearing on the blackened trees, and new shoots springing up where her front door used to be as the wisteria emerges from the charred ground. Apparently you can't kill wisteria or roses.

• The spinning is coming along nicely, seeing you asked (someone asked in the comments). I think I'm addicted. Must master plying though - not terribly good at that bit.

cherry merino and white silk, handspun

• The boys are now on two weeks of school holidays. I, unfortunately, am not, so Mr Soup and I are tag teaming the parental responsibilities until Easter and the annual family camping trip.

• After a long time of not having much knitting to report, I have in the past few days finished a whopping (prepare to be impressed) three projects. A scarf for a friend's birthday (completed two weeks ahead of schedule, go me!), a hat for Son #1 which positively flew off the needles because when your fifteen year old boy actually requests a a handknit you move fast from the shock and novelty of it all, and a pair of socks for me. Photos of hat and scarf to come.

Hedgerows

The socks are Hedgerows. The yarn, Lorna's Laces. Ravelled.

• Must run because it's 11am and if Mr Soup comes home from the grocery shopping and finds me in my pyjamas, blogging, there might be words.