Wednesday, November 30, 2005

1000 things

I have a thousand things to blog about but time is tight. So for now, here are a few shots of me modelling (like a complete dork) my Silk Garden OSW. Please excuse the foul profile shot of me - it was a good shot of the OSW so I posted it anyway. I am also modelling the glass bead necklace, earrings and bracelet that my wonderful mates Rae and Kerry were so kind to teach me how to do yesterday. I made them all in less than two hours. It was such fun - I am hooked!!!
ps Thanks to Rachael for the sock patterns you are a legend!!

(Oh where is the blogger toolbar and the photo posting icon gone? Boy you might not get photos after all.....sorry...) ** Update**Ok after checking it about twenty times today I pressed reload and Hey Presto the tool bar came back!! Duh!!!) So here are the pix,.... better late than never...

The Foolish Shot:

The BAD Profile:

Monday, November 28, 2005


After four days away we are now back home and back to normal.

Man - I just wrote about three paragraphs detailing what I did this morning then realised that it was STULTIFYINGLY BORING. (Cleaning, visiting my mother in law and groceries) So it's deleted!!

Instead I'll tell you that while I was at my mum's I FINISHED the Noro OSW!!! I was able to wear it to the SnB Xmas party on Saturday, which btw was a complete hoot. It was excellent to have dinner and few drinks with the gals after an afternoon of knitting. Check out the Wollongong SnB site for the photos of the evening.

You lurkers, it was great to meet your hubbys hope you are feeling a bit better today!!

Hopefully tomorrow I should get posted some shots of the completed pregnant size OSW and the suprise package that arrived today from my SP6, Rachael. Thanks heaps kiddo. The calendar is just the thing and choccies NEVER go astray.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


I forgot to mention that we are away for a few days and so normal communication should resume by Sunday. JT is off to Canberra for a GP conference thingy so the girls and I have packed our knitting and headed north to my parent's place at Avoca Beach. We are heading back down the coast on Saturday, hoping not to be too late for SnB.I'm desperately trying to finish my Noro OSW to wear because Saturday is our SnB Chrissy Party Event. AND I have a long overdue cross stitch birthday pressie to complete - and frame by Sunday. EEkk Kid distracting grandparents to the rescue - Hooray!! Hope you are all well in blogland, I feel lost without my Bloglines to check!! :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Rock Star Parking Spot

Today I had the totally satisfying experience of having 15 mins up my sleeve as I drove from Silverwater to Coogee. What to do with 15 mins?? Well knitophiles will know that its just a tiny dogleg off my route to get to Champion Textiles in Newtown. "I'll cruise past" I thought. When I cruised up THERE WAS A PARKING SPOT RIGHT OUT FRONT!!!! On King Street!!! - This is unheard of!! The good old rock star park, I thought, sauntering in to the shop. The knitting gods are smiling on me. I was actually secretly hoping to find a specific thing: a ball of Noro Silk Garden to finish the pregnant size OSW that I have been knittng for me. In this case it will be a three skein wonder but who is counting???

So as I walked through the door I noticed that they had a Noro display in the window. Promising! I thought. When I got in there I was sorely disapointed because the joint looked like the same dusty rat hole it had looked like when I went there about two years ago - only with less stock. Very Sad. So I did a lap of the store- crestfallen - then I spied the Noro. As I looked through the 'Noro Bay' I realised that it was all Iro and Kureyon - no Silk Garden. So I was lifting up the crinkly plastic bags despondently, thinking, reds, more reds, more skeins of Iro.." I was after the teal grey and green mix of Silk Garden. Behold the lush colour.

Oh well, I thought, nice to see the Iro anyway..." then suddenly on its own sandwiched between bags at the back was ONE BALL of teal/grey Silk Garden!!!! I reached out thinking it would vanish before I picked it up but no, it was real and it was mine AND CHEAPER by $4.00 than Tapestry Craft!!!

The knitting gods were smiling on me!! The only bad thing though, is that I'm off to Every Second Tuesday Spinning group tonight and so I'll be spinning rather than getting to knit my Noro......Such is life...

So here is is the pregnant size OSW, begun last Wednesday. It's about three nights TV knitting so far- I had to stop when I ran out of yarn. The pattern suggests knitting a size smaller if you fall between shoulder blade inch measurements. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I never am a size SMALLER. NEVER!! And definately not when I'm preggers - So my strategy has been to just keep knitting till I think it won't look too small and tight. I'm on to the sleeves and the ribbed bask next, I should have it finished by the end of the week. Very Satisfying!! Thankyou again Dawn. Thankyou Glampyre.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Queen of Cupcakes

How good are these cupcakes!!!

My wonderful neighbour across the road (Ailsa) came to our door yesterday evening bearing a plate of cupcakes. How good do they look?? Well, they tasted just a good I can assure you!!!

Yesterday Ailsa left a lovely comment on my post Three WIPs saying that she never wants me to move house because we can, do furniture projects in the garage, knit and sew and embroider the days away when the kids go to school. That sounds FANTASTIC!!! - but unfortunately we will be heading away in a year or so - for JT's work. BUT we will be here quite long enough for summer barbies by the pool (or sandpit) , knitting arvo teas and quilting lessons for Ailsa.

When we move, I think she should come too. I have never had a cake bearing neighbour before - its great - and what are the chances of moving in across the road from another knit blogger??!! Really - What are the chances??

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Friday's Mail

Here are the shots of the wonderful parcel of pressies that Jussi sent me for winning her competition about things that make you smile. My entry was a very dodgy photo of the first ultrasound shot we had of out number three bub who is on the way. I was pretty excited to win the competition. It was my first blog comp. This is what was inside the parcel. Where to begin unwrapping??

This was what was inside the wrapping. Two cute gummi bear point protectors (I've wanted some of these for a while!!) One of Jussi's wonderful needle rolls in Kaffe Fasset's Millefiori glass inspired fabric. (I love that fabric Jussi!!) Some choccy which I scoffed on the spot! A very cute fortune looking cat covered tape measure which is suspect is another Jussi original, a vintage baby jacket pattern book, a georgeous sweet orange lip balm and a packet of T2 turkish apple tisane. I've always wondered about tisanes and not had one, so now is my chance .

Thanks Jussi for your generosity it was such fun to be the winner of your comp, I love all the goodies!! Am I disqualified from entering any more of your comps now??

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Gifts Galore

Yesterday the very kind parcel post people handed me some pressies!! What joy! They always seem to arrive just as the girls are going to sleep so I can open them at my leisure. This is what I got. Talk about just like Christmas!!!!

This one is from my Secret Pal. I wonder who she is? I can't say that I'm 100% sure but I have my suspicions....Look at this pile. Its a symphony in Lavender.

Inside was a great poem, which I can't type in at the moment, cause I'm not at home. Some great vintage dpn and circular needles, a great old simplicity pattern book from the 50s I think.A most generous pack of lovely lavender products from Innoxa, a lavender exfoliating soap, some 'notions', scissors(I needed them!) A gauge measurer and a little quilt block measurer, a beautiful painted 'Knitting Nancy' which I adore AND as if that was not enough, a great ball of Katia cotton in the Jamaica colourway. My SP is clearly psychic because I've seen that and I can't remember where but thought to myself at the time "hmm cotton , what great colours - I'll have to get some of that one day...." And she has done it for me!! Have a look at the impressive pile of goodies....What a pile of FUN!!!

Thankyou most generous and thoughtful SP its been such a treat getting your parcels. I've really appreciated your attention to detail, your matching wrapping, your clever poems, your very apt gifts. It's obvious that you have read my questionniare/s and had your thinking cap on. I'm really looking forward to finding out who you are so I can thankyou properly.

I'm running out of typing energy in fact any energy, (The girls seem to be sleeping so that is what I'm about to do too!!) and so you will have to wait for details of my second giftie - However the sender will know who she is and I thank her very much for the completely unexpectedly packed prize!!!

You knit bloggers are all really the BEST!!! :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

That Knitting Machine

Last SnB, I scored a loan of a knitting machine. (Big thanks Rae) I have a BIG IDEA and some other little ideas, you see. Now said machine came without the instructions. Being a knitting machine virgin, I needed the instructions - desperately. It is a completely mysterious machine without that document. So www to the rescue. I found a very kind gent in the UK selling photocopies of many many out of date pieces of machinery. (Funny how the internet has become a big meeting place for 'enthusiasts').

Last week the instructions arrived. I am not an engineer! It was looking bad. Until my husband who, prior to becoming a doctor was an engineer (long story)!! He could not resist the lure of the machinery. He really could not resist and even when it seemed to be taking FOREVER and I would have kicked the thing out of the house in frustration, he persevered. "We will get it this time!", "One more go" he said. I brought beers. He wrestled with the thing.

Milly, bless her, entertained herself, Gemma, bless her, slept.

Then THREE HOURS LATER Eureka!! A result. It doesn't look like anything but believe me we got it to work. This was a very exciting moment. Milly and I danced. JT drank his beer.

Now for my BIG IDEA. I'm still an extreme novice but I think I've worked out that I won't be able to do what I want to do. BUGGER!! My idea involves being able to increase and decrease on stitches in the middle of rows. I can't see how it can do it except at the end of rows which is not what I want. Jussi, Donni, Knitting Machine Afficionados ....HEEELLLPP!!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Three WIPs

Behold three Works in Progress. The largest is a set of shelves that I've been doing up very slowly in the garage. I've sanded three of the four sides in anticipation of some day being painted, waxed or varnished. Because my amateur furniture restoration hobby is so incredibly slow I have decided to put them to use, as is. Because otherwise they will languish in the garage another six months. This hobby like mosaics (my other secret garage activity) can't be dono infront of the TV or around kids and thus is extremely slow going. So I'll put all my fabric in there and if the mood ever takes me I'll finish them.

The knitting: Remember the cotton skirt for Milly? Well it was finished. Buuuut well I just wasn't happy with it soooo.... its back on the needles to be extended into a dress. A dress was actually my original plan but due to laziness I thought I'd stop at a skirt - you see laziness in this instance hasn't paid off. I think it will look much better with the OSW as a dress....I'm getting a little sick of it though.

The Karabella Roses two ball scarf. Oh boy am I sick of this...I've knit this first ball about four times in various combinations of needle size and number of stitches and have not been happy each time with its dimensions- this time, however I thought I had it. I chose 15mm needles and 20 stitches and a simple yarn forward, k2tog repeat each row, it makes a kind of a diagonal trellis lace-ish kind of stitch - it looked good with the Roses - I was coming to the end of the ball after knitting away feverishly without concentrating much, happy to be almost through the darn thing. THEN I discovered that somewhere along the line I've lost 4 stitches. Can I be bothered to workout where??? No - I must have forgotten four times(!!) to yarn forward- Off to the frog pond to be begun again when I feel I have more concentration resources behind me.

In other news I received two Tribe tokens in the mail this week. A postcard from Rox - Hay to you too Rox, and a lovely fridge magnet from Donni. So that's at least three organised Tribers
(I had a card from Shannon a few weeks ago too!) I did have a plan to send some bits + bobs to all the tribers too but I feel it was a little ambitious and so I think in order for it to actuakly happen that plan may be scaled back somewhat.

I managed to get my tardy SP parcel off today - look out SP it's on its way and MOST DISAPOINTINGLY, a couple of weeks ago I accidentally revealed myself - Damn, Damn, Damn!! Stupid me - I was rushing to post a secret hello on her blog and left my blogger sign in there instead of making it an anonymous post DUH!! I get total placenta head award for utter foolishness. So tragic!

Off to rescue child number two from playing in the bathroom cabinet eek.....

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Luxury Weekend

Well it was fun. The bride looked beautiful, the location and weather were both perfect, the restaraunt was lovely, the hotel stay was magic.

Here we are after the big event: Milly is super happy as you can see.

Here's the view from our hotel room. Can you see the Harbour Bridge panorama??

I didn't do much knitting but I did get the crossword out on Saturday whilst we luxuriated over hotel brekky with no kids. Then we all spent today catching up on rest. It was a busy weekend. I'm really glad to have my Mum and Dad back from New Zealand too!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Busy Weekend

We are going away for the weekend!! Hooray!!

It is finally, after all the dithering, JT's sister Alexa's, Wedding to Ronald Ross the Antarctic Explorer. TODAY!!

As a result I don't have any knitting to show for the last few days because I was busy sewing beading on a wrap and skirt that I'm wearing to the wedding and I couldn't take a photo of it because JT has already packed the camera.

Ronald and Alexa are getting married by Sydney Harbour in the Royal Botanic Gardens followed by an intimate family reception at the very swanky Level Forty One Restaraunt . We have organised OVERNIGHT baby sitting (my legend brother, his girlfriend and my aunt) and are planning to stay afterwards at the Sydney Hotel Intercontinental.

Oh an evening of luxury; fine wine, fine dining and a stroll to the five star, historic hotel. Breakfast is included!! Sometimes I look forward to the hotel brekky more than the room. (But you all know already that I'm a greedy guts). We got a good last minute deal on the hotel and we've never actually stayed in a hotel in Sydney before so it really is a very special treat. I don't suppose I'll get much knitting done - but I'm still taking it. JUST IN CASE!!!

We don't have to check out or the hotel till 4pm so my brother is going to bring the girls in to the hotel and we can all hang out until we are bored - or had enough of the Harbour Bridge view, room service, or satelite TV (ha). Then we are staying Saturday night at my brother's house in Coogee (which is actully our house, but he lives in it at the moment), picking up my Mum and Dad from the airport after their month long trip in New Zealand. Then we are having family brunch on Sunday with Mum and Dad before perhaps visiting my high school best friend who had her first baby a week and a bit ago, then driving home to the Gong.

PHEW!! I'll tell you all how it went on Monday. Have a good one.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

More on Cream Buns

What is a cream bun?
A soft, sweet, round roll about the size of a hamburger bun, cut in half diagonally, filled with cream, glazed with some kind of sweet syrup, dusted with icing sugar and finished with a blob of jam in the middle of the cream. Have a look at the picture in my last post.

Early Days:
I first discovered cream buns in my primary school days. The local bakery made (and still makes) very good cream buns. We used to be able to order them in our lunches. Lunch orders were a very special thing in our house. I think it was only on my birthday or similar very special occasions that I was allowed to order my lunch. When I was allowed, I always ordered a cream bun for recess (morning tea). What a treat! I don't remember anything else about ordering lunch except the cream buns - Obviously the beginnings of an obsession!

They're hard to find, those cream buns. Not all bakeries have them. The kind of 'french' bakeries run by Vietnamese bakers don't do them. They prefer croisants and palmiers, remnants of their colonial heritage. Michel's Patisserie, Bakers Delight and similar chains that, in true 'gloabalisation' style are taking over the world, don't do them. They prefer, cheesecake slices, mudcake with swirly cursive messages, cheese and bacon squashy bread and sweet expensive loaves of ultra refined white bread. You have to go to a ordinary suburban independent bakery. Even then, they don't always have them. I am lucky enough to live near two bakeries that make quite acceptable cream buns.

In South Australia:
Earlier in the year my family went on a driving holiday for a month through four states of Australia, we discovered (should I say I discovered) that outside NSW cream buns were impossible to find, there was none in Vic, none in the ACT and none in South Australia. In South Australia they did however have The Kitchener Bun! (Strange name!) These are a local specialty I think, not having come across them anywhere else. They are almost the same as a cream bun but with one important difference. They are made of a sugar coated doughnut. A DEEP FRIED, sugar coated doughnut without a hole, cut in half and filled with cream (usually fresh cream) and a blob of jam. Totally deadly, Very yummy, addictive for the cream bun inclined but not a cream bun. I could never remember the name of them when I went to the bakery, Kitchener Bun! WTF? One time I asked for a Hindenberg Bun. There were howls of laughter, the blimp reference was quite apt. My dad and hubby called them 'blimp burgers' after that.

Mock v's whip:
I believe that the best cream bun is mock cream not fresh. Mock cream goes a bit yellow after half a day in the cabinet and whilst it has that special dairy fat taste it's not sweet enough for me. Mock cream is very white and very sweet (god knows what its made of!?). I also like my cream buns to have a little 'all spice' mixed through the bun so that its slightly coloured like a hot cross bun but paler. I also don't mind a tiny bit of fruit mixed through the bun, its nice to come across a moist currant or two.

Eating a cream bun:
The contrast between the sweet bready roll and the slippery mock cream is what it's all about for me. I love the way that the icing sugar falls all over the place. You invariably get cream up your nose because as soon as you take a bite it squeezes up and out. You have to have a technique. I am a champion!

The best cream bun:
At the moment I like the cream buns sold at the bakery opposite the park in a small town called Gerringong, about 45 mins drive south of here. (Annie you might know it) Their buns are just like my ideal. I always contrive to stop at the bakery if we are there. Sometimes I go there for a daytrip with visitors. It's a very scenic town, no really, it is visit worthy. Can you believe that until recently the best wool shop on the south coast was there. At that time Gerringong was heaven on earth for me.

I'm off to the bakery. One of the local bakeries always has a special deal: Buy two get one free. Are you kidding me? That's one for me, one for me and one for Jt if he's not too late home from work!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Latest Pregnancy Craving

I am totally addicted to cream buns! They will be my undoing.

Monday, November 07, 2005

More things that makes the heart sing!

I am busy FINISHING THINGS at the moment!!!!

One advantage of having a lot of projects on the go at once is that you occasionally get to the point when I whole lot of them finish at a similar time. Its VERY exciting!!!

Yesterday, I finished the last of my 500 grams of stunning Merino 85% and Silk 15% blend from First Edition Fibres in Euroa. My spinning guru Kerry, calls F.E.F. 'The Boys'. Of course it's a little diffucult to see the colour but its a carded mixture of about four blues: royal, teal, turquoise and an iris type colour carded with plain silvery silk. The result is a lovely kind of sunny day, ocean blue colour with the added shimmer of silk. Here they are, all seven beautiful skeins!!

Here is a close up (complete with my manicured nails (ha!) for scale). Can you see my hydrangeas in the background?

I'm so pleased with them this year, two seasons of judicial pruning have paid off. Look at those blooms!!! Sigh! Hydrangea season makes me soooo happy. They are my absolute garden favorite!!!!! The colour is a little washed out. They are much more violet-y purple in the garden.

Yesterday I carded and spun a little of my fleece from Crookwell - what fun! Today I did my tax return and I'm expecting a sizeable refund wooo hooo. I also did some knitting on my Karabella Roses scarf that I have knit and re-knit about five times. Now I seem to be happy with it and might just make it to the second ball. Then tonight, I went to my Dreaweaver MX class, yes I will be a web design goddess in no time, I seem to be picking it up pretty well. Tomorrow is family day care day - no kids!! Happy Days!!!!!!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Here She Is

Are you sick of hearing about the OSW yet? Here is Milly in her party gear, showing off the pretty OSW. I couldn't find a little top that looked nice enough with the knitted skirt and the OSW so she ended up in her spots. I'm thinking of turning the knitted skirt into a dress (which was actually my first plan, then I got lazy) so I then I won't need to stress about finding the right top.

Here are all three of us in our party gear:

Here is the bride to be in her party gear. We had a huge girls night out on Friday, then had to get it together the next day enough to go to the 'family celebration'.

The husband to be, Ronald, made it from Antarctica in time, (Phew!) and the party was a great success we met some of his siblings for the first time. Now we are all really looking forward to the wedding next Friday.

What will I wear??!!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Ta Daaaa!

'Tis Finished, Front Shot:

I finished it yesterday afternoon!!! I really enjoyed knitting the One Skein Wonder its a savvy sassy pattern (if there's such a thing). I enjoyed it so much I think I might do one for me.

For this OSW, I used heirloom cotton that I had left over from another project. I used it double because I prefer cotton to be stiffer rather than really loose and floppy. I used slightly less than one ball I think, although it is hard to tell because I was using up odds and ends. I was pretty happy with the result because I totally guestimated the sizes, gauge and everything and it turned out perfectly.

I kind of reasoned that since I wanted it a few inches smaller than the smallest size listed I'd just follow the pattern but use smaller needles. So I used 4mm needles instead if 5mm and Heirloom (8ply) doubled instead of aran weight, hey presto - either its a total fluke or I really am becoming a more experienced knitter able to judge these things well. (Ha!)
(Donni- I didn't even swatch!!)

We are going to a party this afternoon for John's sister Alexa (Who wrote this book)and her fiance Ronald who are getting married next week. (If you, by chance, have read the book you might be able to work out that Ronald is Ewan in the book and that Ahhh there is a super happy ending a few years and lots of travel later) He is flying in this morning from Antarctica and there has been bad weather down south and it is touch and go whether or not he will make it out...eek...they live mostly in San Francisco and so not a lot of people here in OZ have met him and there have been wedding celebrations here that he hasn't been here for (remember the virtual engagement party?) so it will be great to have a few celebratory parties when he is actually present. I dont think a virtual wedding would be quite so successful (or legal).

I will try to get a shot of Milly in it this afternoon at the party.
Back Shot:

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Knitting Update

This is post #93 I noticed, so it's a count down to #100. I'm sure I won't have anything as good as Nikki Shell had on her 100th post.

Progress on Knitted Skirt for Milly: Here she is in her pyjama top showing off the just completed but not washed or blocked knitted skirt. She's cropped out of the shot because she looked pretty feral with her morning hair and all, but the skirt looks pretty good, I'm pleased! It should fit her for a couple of seasons too because it's a generous size.

Progress on One Skein Wonder: I've seamed up the sleeves and picked up the stitches for the rib bask on Milly's OSW to match the skirt. Shouldn't take long to finish the rib now!!! Here it is how cute does it look!!

Progress on Froth Scarf: Doing well although very slowly. I'm still on the main body part and feel quite proud that I've memorised the lace pattern, but you will probably all laugh because it's a pretty easy pattern!! I'm thinking its going to be quite small though maybe it's because I'm knitting it too tightly. (story of my life...)

Progress with Knitting machine: Found instructions on ebay in the UK and they are on their way. Can't wait!!!

Progress with Spinning: I'm itching to try my fleece that came from Crookwell last week but I MUST finish the lovely merino/silk that came from the boys BEFORE I touch it!!! I keep thinking thaat I'm nearly there and spend an hour or two and I seem to still have about the same amount to go but no matter. I'm really enjoying it and it's going to be a lovely Paris Loop (or two) when its finished.

Off to blitz that OSW.....

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Composing Myself

Does anyone compose posts in their head while cooking dinner? I do. I've just composed a very witty post on a variety of subjects and promptly forgotten the clever opening. So this will have to do.

I've cooked Boscaiola Sauce. With real cream! I have not cooked with REAL CREAM for years and years. This might set a dangerous precedent. (Tonight it satisfies the cheesy, bacon craving and has the extra cacium and calories needed by pregnant women!!)

I went to S'nB on the weekend which was fab as usual. Jussi made the trek from Sydney again (which I am always super impressed by!) and all the other blogging suspects were there as well as the usual blog lurkers (Go on leave a comment!!) and hard core knitters from Kiama (You know who you are!) as well as pleanty who know nothing about computers but PLENTY about knitting. That's why it's so brilliant!

I'm off to spinning tonight at Becky's house she has a new blog so head over and check it out. She's a beginner spinning demon! She will be running rings around all of us before long!!!! You know, as far as I'm concerned there can never be enough spinning and knitting groups to attend.

I've joined Rox's Christmas Decoration Exchange. An exchange for HANDMADE Christmas decorations!! This is totally up my alley. I looove handmade and I looove Christmas decorations. So come on Rox fess up - I know you only want to have it so you can have a button on your blog that says Orna-mental!