Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Garden's Return

I am stoked! We are now eating fresh beetroot, beans and peas (shelling and snow) from our gardens. I've even had an onion, yeah it was a bit late, but it got there in the end!

I have several grape tomatoes fruiting and I think it's a Verna Orange also starting to form fruit.
I've just picked more Butter Beans and Stringless Pioneer Beans, I will gather the shelling peas again on Sat, this time I will see if we can get them onto a plate :) E and i picked some the other night, but only 3 unshelled pea pods made it to the kitchen, we were so excited we ate most of them outside as we picked, oops :)
I just love my gardens, they make me happy and I spend a fair amount of time out there picking off bugs, feeding them to the chooks and watching the foodstuffs grow. Definitely the best thing we have done around here was get the chooks and start our many gardens.
Now for some pics.

E is doing well in his Distance Education, I'm surviving as well. He is doing Occupational Therapy now to help him get better movement, which in turn will help with speech and energy levels.

I'm slowly getting knitting done. Working on Evenstar and Ulverstone stole when time allows.
Well, now I am going to go find a cool breeze to sit in, its only 27C but the humidity is through the roof! :P

Friday, September 10, 2010

Babies, Weddings and Lost Mojo.

Since E started distance education I have barely knit a stitch, and now the mojo is gone.

I've tried around 10 different projects to get the knitting bug going again, but nothing!
It's frustrating me beyond belief. I've tried everything from garter strip to intricate lace, still no mojo. Then J's bed mate and partner had a baby girl on the 3rd of Sept, Aurora was 5 weeks early and approx 1lb. Teeny tiny baby. Even that didn't get the knitting bug into gear, though I have done the straps of some booties, now to find the gumption to complete them.
This weekend we are heading off to a wedding, I am not a fan of large groups, more so when the only person you know is your partner. My self esteem is pretty low at the moment, mainly because I've put on 18 kg in the last 6-8 months thanks to another medication change, grr. Seriously, one lot of medications I lose weight, next lot I gain. These are medications to ease the pain in my spine, but not pain killers. One type makes me crave, CRAVE sugar, yet I am not a person who would normally want sweet foods, I tend to go for more savory things. I do my best to ignore it or have a glass of diet coke to try quieten down the craving. The other lot just make me slow and sleepy. Winning combination huh?!
So anyways, fat girl, new dress, size 20 (I've never ever worn a size 20 before *cries*), room full of ppl I do not know, meeting all J's friends for the first time....excuse me while I go melt into a corner please. Maybe this is pay back for how he met my family, my Nana's funeral. We had only been dating month when that occurred, now its 15 months later and I am about to meet most of his mates at a wedding. Tonight I will met B, one of J's 2 closest mates, and I know he is really hoping we get on, B can be hard to get along with apparently. Moody artist/chef, Yay!
Bright side, it's a weekend away, E is staying with his Granny and Poppy. I'll get to go see Deb who I haven't seen since Bendigo 2009, maybe the knitting mojo will come back when I hang out with another knitter :)
My gardens are going very well, seeds have sprouted everywhere. The beans which are normally one of the first to sprout are taking longer than carrots which are normally one of the last to sprout. Everyday I see some new form of life popping up through the soil and I get excited. Even the Rhubarb seedlings have sprouted, but the two I am really waiting on and most excited about have no yet produced a seedling - Gooseberry and Tomato Currant Mix.
Maybe in the next few days they will germinate.
Last week one of the chooks seemed to be in la la land when I called them in for dinner and bed. Chicken Legs was seriously on another planet. I had to pick her up, heck her over and place her into the chook coop. Net morning I found an egg without a shell had been laid. I can only assume something had scared her or she was feeling poorly and as a result ejected the egg early. Thankfully I've heard of eggs being laid without shells before I even got the chooks, so no stress there. All seems fine now and they are all laying one egg a day. I do love those chooks, hours of entertainment.
Today we are expecting 24C (ohhhh yay some warmth!) and thunderstorms, another yay as I love a good thunderstorm.
Maybe a knitting photo next post. Come home my knitting mojo, you are missed.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Seeds are Sown!

Over the weekend I got to go play out in my garden, I moved a few plants, some cabbages and silverbeet that wasn't performing to it's best in the original garden. Then I got busy sowing some seeds into all the gardens. I have drawn up a plan of what is planted where so I can rotate the "crops" as needed. I've has my original garden for a number of years and never bothered with crop rotation as it was a small plot which have a huge variety all tossed in together.

It took Digger's 26 days from order to receiving the seeds, The Lost Seed took 8 days! I'll buy more from The Lost Seed in the future, they are in Tasmania.
Right so what went into the gardens?
Well, here is a list:-
  • Cape Goosberries
  • Tomato - Red Fig
  • Tomato - Mortgage Lifter
  • Tomato - Moneymaker
  • Tomato - Verna Orange
  • Tomato - Amish Paste
  • Tomato - Principe Borghese
  • Tomato - Currant Mix
  • Beans - Sex without Strings
  • Beans - Stringless Pioneer
  • Peas - Greenfeast
  • Peas - Bliss Everbearing
  • Silverbeet - Fordhook
  • Onion - Barletta
  • Squash - Spaghetti
  • Pumpkin - Waltham Butternut
  • Carrots - All Season
  • Strawberry - Bush Alpine
  • Rhubarb - Victoria
  • Lettuce - Italian Lollo Mix
  • Cucumber - Armenian
  • Broccoli - Green Sprouting
In the next few weeks I will also put in more lettuce, some cabbage (January King) and Parsnips (Hollow Crown), of course more beans, peas, carrots etc will go in to stagger the growing so we dont get a massive crop all at once :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gardens galore

Showing our chook run (1/3) of backyard), Jake is watching them dig a hole, again :)
Smallest frame is our potato tower, as they grow you add another layer of timber and mulch.
Twin beds are 2 x 7 foot. The garden with foodstuffs in it has been there for about 5 years now.
In this pic you can see, at the bottom, part of the big garden. This will be home to spaghetti squash, pumpkins and some climbing beans, peas, tomatoes and maybe some cucumbers in there too.

Summerflies shawl - to wear to wedding in Sept.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ch ch ch ch Changes!

Where to begin, so much has been going on here it's like a circus freak show with a hundred of those magic mirrors, everywhere you look something is different.

Let's zip back to a month ago. E had to see a pediatrician, after several tests he decided E needs to go to Occupational Therapy (OT). I got a letter from the OT people and holy moley its a LOT of money. As in $480 just to start of with, that kind of lotta money. Years ago when I was on approx $700 a week take home I wouldn't have even hesitated, but being on a humble pension I was stunned. Each session there after is another $140, fark! I decided to look around, see if public OT was available, NOPE, why? Cause he is in High School and this should have been picked up and done by the time he was in Year 2, ooooh right. You mean when I was saying to the school something is a miss and they told me no there wasn't. Right. Well. No use dwelling on that. He is booked in next month to do the assessment.
Then I get a phone call to "come collected your son, he has been suspended". WTF? My first question was "he ok?" followed by "what did they do to him this time?". It was a stand in Deputy for the day, I arrive and E bursts into tears cause he is suspended and it will go on his record. He was devastated. In front of the Deputy I told E no more tears, I am not angry at him and if he did hit the other kid I was damn proud of him for finally sticking up for himself. Hoping that just doing it once would be enough for these kids to sit back and realise he won't always take their shit. Turns out half his class were pushing him from one kid to another, he told them to stop but they kept going and eventually he started to fall. He tried to grab a pole but accidently got a kid across the face, this kid then started to punch and kick him. Half the class reported E hit him, the rest said no. Because it wasn't clear he got a 2 day suspension.
On the day he was to go back we had to have a meeting, regular Deputy was back. Personally I think this man is a douche, but anyway. We go in and have a talk, he makes out like E did wrong so I spoke up and asked why he hasn't been dealing with these kids for the last 6 months, we complain often enough. He told me he had been working with E, E had no idea what he was talking about. When E was told he could go back to this class he just put his head down and cried. I told Mr McM to put him in another class, they separated a few bullies earlier in the year, surely they could put E into a better class. He said No, then after watching how upset E was for 5 mins he changed his mind. Only to ring me 2 days later and say No again. This from a man who didn't suspend a kid that hit E cause he was in full uniform and seemed like a good kid. Right.
E came home with me.
A week later he was pulled from the school and now does his learning online. Distance Education were all his classes come from teachers at Marsden Park Christian School. He is enjoying it well enough and I spent most of my days now helping him get through the material. Thankfully they like to use videos in the form of lessons/tutorials, great for a kid who is dyslexic. It's a lot of work for both of us and right now the housework is lacking as I work out how to fit it all in. I think it's worth the current chaos if it means I get my happy funny kiddo back, not the sullen, depressed child I've had to deal with for 6 months.
Other news.
I've knit Summerflies and Annis, both are blacked and I took some photos but I am waiting for Emma to arrive this weekend to get better pics. So I will have those up in my next post.
We have built a few extra gardens here the last few weeks and hope to fill then with tonnes of veggies once I have the seeds in my hot little hands. My broad beans have loads of flowers so it can't be long til I get beans, if not, it's green manure. Sweet :)
We hope to get to a point where we are only buying fruit or veg we can't grow here such as bananas and grapes. Right now we are feasting on silverbeet, lettuces, beetroot greens and chives. he onions are growing well and the beets should be ready in the next month for pulling up. Fresh beets, oh yum! The peas have been pulled and E has planted about 30 seeds in his tiny plot, which has all come up in one little area, LOL.
I'll get some photos up ASAP.
Right, keep fingers crossed my car passes rego today and that E doesn't need new colour tint on his Irlen glasses. Off to pick up his Text books for school, exciting :)
I'll try get some pics up next week at the latest.
Play nice :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A birthday and some shawls

July has been a busy month here, E turned 13 and we had a small party, with his mates dropping in for food, cake and all night gaming. He had a lovely time, lots of laughs with the boys just all being typical loud teenage boys. He is laughing his butt off as we sang Happy Birthday. Don't you just love the chocolate cake :)

I stopped working on my Feather and Fan blanket/shawl (shown below) to work on a test pattern. Salsa Roja by Celia on Ravelry. It was knit in 4ply Cashmerino by The Knittery and the edge finished of with some Ranco. I enjoyed this shawl and it was a quick and intuitive knit.
The Feather and Fan Shawl from A Gathering of Lace. This I am in love with :)
It has been knit in 8ply Bendigo Rustic in Radiant. I really enjoyed knitting this shawl, the flower motive took some concentration, the feather and fan section took barely any. You knit 3 rows to every one patterned row, TV knitting, simple. I have only blocked the flower motif at this point as I don't have an area large enough to fully block her. Until now that is, we are about to rip the carpet out of my room, so I will block this baby before it ripped up :) I'll add a photo later of her fully blocked.
In Sept I have a wedding to attend in Wollongong. Now it's bound to still be pretty chilly at night so I decided to knit Summer Dew. I am using 3 ply Bendigo Luxury and adding some clear silver lined beads. So far it's an enjoyable knit. The plan is to knit this, then dye it once we know what we are going to wear. I was gifted this pattern by a friend who knows this year has been a rough one. Thank you :)

More pics next blog post.
Keep smiling :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Haapsalu Shawl Book Review

Last month I had my birthday, 35th actually, and as I do every year I buy myself something I really want. This year it was the book The Haapsalu shawl: a knitted lace tradition from Estonia by Siiri Reimann and Aime Edasi. I bought the book from and it cost me $67 Australian at the time of purchase. They were very quick with delivery being just two weeks. My book was very well wrapped and secured in a cardboard frame of sorts to minimise any damage during transit. I was expecting it to take about three weeks so when my delivery guy turned up with a parcel I had an odd expression on my face, until I saw the foreign writing on it and squee'd, much to my delivery mans delight :) He knew there and then it was knitting related, haha.

The Haapsalu Shawl
This book is well designed, the layout is crisp, clear and beautifully presented with stitch binding.
The book is large, measuring 25cm x 32.5cm (breaking library rules here :), it has 183 pages.
It starts with a page on Haapsalu itself before the contents pages, which are clearly sorted into pattern types which includes:
Stitch patterns, Lily of the Valley patterns, Pasqueflower patterns, Leaf patterns, Twig patterns, Peacock Tail patterns, Paw patterns, Head of Grain patterns, Butterfly patterns, Diamond patterns and Named patterns with 3 additional pages of Lace Edge patterns.

The book then goes into the History of the Haapsalu Shawl which is informative and very interesting. The pictures I found delightful. I enjoyed reading about Master knitters and how the knitting societies survived wars and where they are heading today. The local High School teaches knitting as part of the curriculum!
Teaching the traditions of the shawl is passed down through the generations, rarely were they written down, they just remembered the lace patterns or picked up a piece and studied it to replicate...heck I want this skill :) I can't remember what I did 5 mins ago let alone a whole shawl of lace.
There are pages on yarns, tools and what makes a haapsalu shawl, how to calculate for edgings how to join to center section (sewing) and of course blocking. I LOVE the way they block and plan on adopting this method, no more freaking pins!
The stitch guide is clear and easy to understand.

Not only does each pattern have its own page with a photo but on several of the accompanying pages it has the history of the shawl the lace pattern was used in (see photo below), again with pictures. It shows you the repeat of the pattern, its up to you how many repeats you want to do, therefore how many stitches you cast on.
This is not a book of shawl patterns, but rather the lace patterns used to make the traditional haapsalu shawls.

This picture shows the pattern used on the right and a shawl knit using this pattern, Queen Sofia Shawl (Queen of Spain), giving a brief history of why it was knit, by whom it was knit and history of the design itself.

I love knitting lace, so for me, this book was well worth the money and will pay for itself in no time at all and is a fabulous resource book for those who love to knit lace.

WARNING: If you do order this book be prepared for the postage, which is more than the book at 25 EUR, this book itself is 19 EUR.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Education System Gone Mad.

Not only do schools specialise in Performing Arts, Sport or Technology, they now specialise in what learning issues they will take on : Autism, Reading, Behavioral etc
It's a bloody joke! It should not be this hard to find my son a school that can handle his education. His current one "oh we don't do dyslexic kids", this after promising to get funding 3 times. What a waste of Year 7, a waste of his education, and his already crumbling confidence. Because he doesn't have any "tags" to his name it makes it even harder. We just say he is under the dyslexic umbrella to get a look in. Education Dept can't even tell you which school has what programs, no idea what they actually do then. Anyone??
The $600 I've just spent on getting an updated psychological report the school wanted....I had to ask the counselor 3 freaking times to take a photocopy of it. Seriously, I had to ask her how she would know what it was about if she didn't read it..I was told its ok dear I see these things often. WTF?!?

No way lady! The look on my face must have said it all, the third time I said it, it was not a request but a outright demand before she finally got a copy. Next week they have slotted me in for a 30 minute meeting with the welfare officer, who proclaimed he knew nothing about E then babbled like a headless chook when I said that was odd since I personally handed him a copy of his previous reports, the counselor and deputy principal (who was the one who promised 3 times he'd get onto the paperwork for funding for E to have aides). The welfare officer has also informed me that they do not get funding for children under the dyslexic umbrella...huh? Oh but they do for children with behavioral problems. Thanks asshat, but my kid doesn't have behavioral problems, which you would know if you read the reports I handed you, duh!
I've just rung two school this morning to see about their programs and IF E would be better off at their school, first one took my name and number because she didn't know *stunned*, the second was more proficient and again took name and number so she could get the appropriate person to phone me. So now I am waiting on two schools to return my calls.
If anyone out there reading this has any idea how to go about finding information on schools who can handle children with learning issues (our case being communication, reading, writing etc), please inform me. I have been jumping through school hoops for 7 years with little information being given to me. Any and all information I have found I have gained from other ppl or from countless hours searching the internet.
I'm close to pulling him out of school altogether.
Frustrated. Angry. Concerned and feeling verbally abusive of the shitty school system NSW has in place.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Universe can get....

They say bad news comes in three's, whoever "they" are, lied!

My family are battening down the hatches and quiet possibly want the world to get the hell off our backs.

In April my grandfather had another stroke, he is still in hospital and will remain so until he can eat solid foods. He is still having problems with liquid foods going into his lungs etc.
Then we had word a family friend was in palliative care with brain tumors, he passed away on Tuesday May 18th leaving behind one of the most loving and fun families I know.

By ANZAC day my boyfriend had a mental meltdown and my grandmother was in hospital with an inflamed knee...but not the same one as my grandfather. J is getting more help for his mental health issues and hopefully will get his world together. Nona needs a knee replacement at some point but won't have it done as she is the main carer for my grandfather, however Mum said her medications were not right and were not controlling the inflammation etc so she was required to stay in hospital to get that right.
My mum has been driving the 90mins each way to the Central Coast to their place to do their washing then visiting both in their respective hospitals. I have offered to do the run as Mum tires quickly now since having her operation in Nov last year. But she won't have it, it's her mum and stepdad and she feels it's her duty alone I guess. We are such a healthy glowing bunch :S
I rang Mum last night to let her know Gonzo had gone and she had more bad news. My Uncle Lance is dying, he has cancer and has withered down to 43kg, he is 6'3"! My Dad is in Western Australia working but doing a mad dash back to New Zealand to be with my Uncle in his last days. It is around now 13years ago they lost their Mum, my grandma Grace, or Fred as my brother and I call her to Emphysema. See I told you we are a healthy glowing bunch! Blah!

On top of all this E is having a horrible time at school with bullies and a school that do nothing! It infuriates me the lack of care at this school. Next Friday I will go pick up his report done by a psych which looks into his learning issues and what can be done to help him. I hope we find some answers. If we do, I am going to use that report as a shield to push, fight and force my way into finding him a good school.

I am at the point where I just want to curl up and cry, but that is not how my Mum raised me. Instead I will pull up my socks and solider on with my brave face on supporting everyone else around me, crying any tears in private when I have time for myself.

When all this started I cast on the Feather and Fan Shawl from A Gathering of Lace in 8ply Bendigo Rustic in Radiant, a gorgeous red shade. A blanket to put all these emotions into, a big hug to myself when its done. So if I have been quiet you now know why, life has been hard and I am fighting in this emotional shitty battle. Maybe soon I will find a place of rainbows and butterflies, a place of no pain or loss...ok so that doesn't exist, so I will take any joy, happiness or love the world wants to toss my way instead cause my family could really do with a good dose of any of those :)

HUGS, big squishy warm hugs!
The world seriously needs more hugs, smiles and love. O X :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

WIPing Along - Still.

WIPing Along - Still.

Slow but steady wins the race, right? Lord I hope so.
I'm still plodding along on my Heather Hoodie Vest, if you could call it that, since I am just using the basic shape of the piece. I'm on the right front with both back and left front completed. Once its done I will block each piece, sew it up then pick up the stitches for the hoodie and button bands.
I hope to her have completed within the week as no J this weekend means I can knit as much as I like. Besides I have two appointments to attend today, one in which E is busy and I get to knit for an hour.
I've done both squares for the swap and will be posting those out today to Miss Sandybags.
I decided to go with one plain and one lace, I was going to jazz up the plain square with buttons etc, but she has a little one and I don't want to send something unsafe into her home.

I've had my eye on some cute fingerless mitts in someone's projects on Rav, there is no pattern. So, Vintagegrrl and I sat there for a few hours and roughly worked out how it went, then VG opened a book and there it was, harrah, We only had to change one little stitch :) I of course cast on to see if the mitt would work...but then I was good and put it to one side, other wips to finish first! :)

I had a bit of a "stuff the world" moment on Monday and felt down and out, so went on a spending spree. First it was Bendigo Woollen Mills for some Rustic for a blanket I want to knit, colour Radiant (red), also some single skeins. Luxury in Leaf 4 ply, Classic in Berry red and Mallard in 5 ply for a couple of shawls/scarves. For some time now I have wanted a few more cables for my Knit Picks tips, so Knitting Inspirations was next! I bought some cables, some clear tips in 4mm, packet of cable connectors, a set of DPNS 4mm and some yarn, Fleece Artist Trail sock in Topaz and BFL in Wine....well they sent me the right colours but the Wine was also in Trail not the BFL....anyways, it is still pretty, maybe I should tell them the mistake? Was no price or yardage difference.

Chicken Update: our girls are doing well, laying an egg each per day, unless I lock them up around laying time and totally put them off for the day, oops. They are a joy to have and they come now when I call chook chook chook, or if they hear the back screen door open :) They happily follow us around the yard as we do gardening...even the mower doesn't bother them. The eggs started around the 42/43grams now most are around 49/52grams...holy cows batman, I just went out to collect the eggs and we got a 56g, monster egg:)

Hopefully pics next time of finished projects, would be nice :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chooks and WIPs Along

The green hat you see here is Everglade by Woolly Wormhead, excuse my mugshot, it's a beautifully written pattern. Within hours of finishing this one I cast on another, which will be black. My adorable but goofy son put this on over the top of his hoodie and has stretched it, so it's going for another bath soon to hopefully fix that.

Revontuli is done :) I will try get a better pic soon, when we find the sun again. I won't complain as I am enjoying the much cooler weather. There was a knot going from the lovely sunburnt orange to the bright lime green, I had to wind off 36g to match it back up again, thankfully it could be matched up. I am thinking of putting Indian bells on the tips, hippy it up more :)

A week ago I picked up these lovely ladies, Hi-Line Browns. They should start laying anytime now and when they do it's one egg a day generally.
Yesterday I paved under their coop to help with keeping it clean, then lay down straw. I will get some river sand to lay down instead, just used what I had on hand at the time.
Yesterday while I was busy they munched on baked pumpkin, boy did they dig in! We give them scraps and so far they seem to appreciate it.
We got them just before school broke up for Easter, which was great timing, E has loved sitting out the back with them...I too and guilty of this :) Awesome time wasters.

I cleaned up my WIPs box, its just a small 10 litre red plastic container, nothing special. It was overflowing...9 WIPs in total, including the Revontuli shawl above. Well 9 is just nuts for me, so I started a thread on OTF (Rav) to encourage others to sweat it out with me and finish our WIPs.
My Heather Hoodie Vest had been cast on and only 2.5" of ribbing done on the back piece, which is now done. Today I have cast on the left front and hope to have that done by tomorrow. Of course my knitting mojo is usually killed off while J is here, I need to be social :S
I have eliminated the XO cables, not my thing. Instead I am thinking of keeping the channels where the XO's go but leave it plain until I get to the top, above boob level and do an Owl...just for something different. I hope to have this project all done within the week...ok 2 weeks :)
The next WIP to finish is Mum's Aeolian, IF I can ever work out what I have done wrong, if not I will rip it back and either start again or make her a different shawl. She will have a shawl!

Right, back to that hoodie!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The one about the chicken coop..

Tada! One spunky new chicken coop, devoid of chickens..ok I will work on correcting that this week. This was a Bunnings buy, I should know better, really, but anyways. So I buy the coop in a flat pack, we get it out to the car and it *just* fits. Good thing I borrowed mum's car as there is no way it would have fit into mine. We then get it back home and decide to tackle it after lunch.
I read over the instructions, it's pigeon english as this was made in China. J looks over instructions, we talk about certain points and decide we have it worked out.
However, clearly on the day this shed was being manufactured the Beijing Olympics were on, most of the drill holes did not match up, the front frame (door and panel) was twisted as the layers of metal didnt match up and the job was dodgy. Ok ok, fair enough, the Games were exciting. I decide it's nothing a hammer and drill can't fix. Then we get to the rivets...rivets, are they kidding? We don't have a rivet gun....I get one from mum's work, parts missing.
The next day we ask at several hardware and tool stores if they sell the parts, no, you need to buy a new rivet gun. So we do. We get home, do the 6 rivets and start assembling the whole thing. Now nothing matches up, we start to think we have half the panels upside down...recheck. No its right according to booklet. Hmmm. By now I had broken the drill bit (it wasn't designed for drilling metal), not discouraged I pick up the hammer and a tiny screwdriver. Hello hole punch!! :) Holes punched thru tin to match the ones in the harder metal all works great and we finally have our 4 walls up. By now we just looked at each other and declared the roof better bloody fit... it did :)
J secured the roof while I prepared dinner. This cool chook coop just took up 10 hours of our lives, I'm sure it shouldn't have taken more than 4. However it is done and we are extremely happy of our achievement, especially with all the modifications we had to do in order to make it all fit together :)
I hope to have three stunning ladies in it within the week, hopefully eggs soon after.

What else is news....
E and I put vegetable seeds out in the garden over the last two weekends, we have peas already poking through along with year round carrots and beans. E got a little ahead of me and can't recall what else he put in there :)
Garden #2 will be build the weekend after Easter, I'm planning on brussel sprouts, container pumpkins, spinach, more carrots, peas etc

A few weekends ago E went to stay with his Aunt and Uncle for a night...they threw him off a cliff!
My mother was only too happy to sign his permission slip.....what a family :)
Where was I? At home making a huge life decision, full of worry I was getting it all wrong....and there my baby was Hang Gliding! Hehehe.

I'll try get the video footage up in my next blog see him run and then, hesitate! lol

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Give me colour!

In recent times I have realised I've finally started to embrace colour. My inner goth is letting in a rainbow of bright bursting shades of every hue. Now normally I wear black, probably about 90% of the time in Winter and about 80% in Summer months. I even tend to knit in darker shades, colours I can hide behind.
Now I crave some colour, I want to wrap myself in bright reds, purples, greens, pinks (who knew!) and blues. I did some dyeing recently, a lovely turquoise blue skein of Knit Picks Bare wool/silk blend, it's so pretty I don't know what to do with it :) I also dyed another skein a lovely red, Waratah red actually. I'm either growing up or pregnant..I vote growing up :)

This is the Knit Picks I dyed red with the first installment of sock yarn from Needlefood Sock Club, pretty pretty :) As soon as I opened the parcel and saw the colours I fell in love with it. I can't decide between Ulmus or Faraway, So Close (even thought I am spinning yarn for this shawl, I can have two, right?). All I know is I want to wrap it around me ASAP.

The picture below is a scarf I am working on for Jake, he asked me to knit him one in dark purples, which sadly my camera washes out. It's done in waffle stitch, quick and easy and I really like the effect.

While surfing Ravelry I came across a blanket done in crochet flowers like the one pictured below. I had to give this is go and this flower is the result. Once I have finished crocheting together Mum's knitted fish blanket I just might order some Bendigo yarns and make myself a bright and colourful Hawaiian Flower Blanket to piece together over the cooler months.

However I should finish my bright cheerful shawl, Revontuli in Kauni yarn as shown above. How funky are those colours? This yarn was gifted to me by a lovely Raveller who knows things have been a little emotionally tough here of late. I have to say I didn't know how I'd go with this yarn as it's quiet rough, but I am really enjoying the texture. Let's hope it softens up once it's had a bath. As I was working on it this morning and getting lost in the colour change I suddenly wondered what it would be like in a wool silk blend... delectable I am sure!

The other things on my needles..the cabled lace vest I mentioned in my last post. However, the lace is doing a big lean to the right, I don't know if once it's block it will be fine or continue to "wrap" around me :S It's now hibernating til I can work it out.
I also have some Sean Sheep Rockbank in Hibiscus (pinks) on the needles, it's a self fringing scarf for me. I'm knitting it in the round, with 20 stitches between 2 twisted stitches, I will cut down the centre when I am done knitting it and unravel the 10 stitches each side and block. Self fringed scarf done and so simple.
I am also working on a roll top sock, the first of the two was completed in Jan 2008, once this one is off the needles it will be my first ever hand knitted by me socks :) I already have one pair which Fiestywench knit for me last year, which I adore and don't want to wear out, hence the casting on of my second sock. I don't think I will even be a big sock knitter, but occasionally a pair of anklets might be in order :)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winter Knit Wants

So I've been looking around at some winter knits I might like to knit for winter 2010. I could be dreaming at this stage as very little knitting is being accomplished while my hand is being, simply put, a PITA.
However in my fairytale dreamland I'd like to get a cabled lace vest done as well as the Heather hoodie vest. I'd also like some striped arm warmers, a pair of awesome Love Bytes mittens and to complete Revontuli and Aeolian shawls.
Meanwhile I have the urge to cast on about 10 various knits.
I have some yarn dyeing to knit J a simple scarf. He wants purple so hopefully I get a nice dark purple from the pot for him. I will find a nice stitch and take my time knitting it up. He'd like it about 10cm wide and as long as I can make it, with approx 220m it should be a good length.
I did suggest a Dr Who scarf, but he wouldn't go for it :)

I have been making batts while I have Emma's Inwood-Smith Drum Carder here. I have a lovely green batt I've been spinning on my Golding spindle. I am spinning up some various purple blends for a shawl on my Ashford Traditional Wheel. Yesterday I made a pink batt with loads of milk fibre in it, I hope to get a good yardage out of that for a lace stole, we will see.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Everything new, yet very old.

While I was away over Christmas 2009 and the New Year I was feeling very optimistic that 2010 would be our year, that hopefully the powers that be would see fit to let us have a year full of new things. New jobs, new location, new school for E, new beginnings and a new life for us all.

Here we are in the last week of Feb 2010 and oh yes we have new things, but not the things I was secretly hoping for.
I guess E got the new school part, high school. It's not a very well thought of school, no surprises for this area, but is the lesser of the two evil's. The other high school changed its name about 2-3 years ago in the hopes of shaking off its unsavory image, I've worked there personally, thankfully for just a month, it was hell. It confirmed to me that there was no chance I was allowing my child to go to that school, even though we are in it's zone. I had in fact planned for him to go completely out of zone, all the way into Newcastle, however we got word too late that E would be going on to high school so it was a scramble to find any school other than hell high. He is miserable at this school, they do not cater for children with learning issues. His confidence has been crushed and I am left feeling like a mother who has failed her only child. Awesome.
Moving on.
J and I have been applying for jobs all over the country, we are simply keen to work and work where ever we can find it. We have been applying for jobs for almost 6 months now, with not one single interview between us. Nada. We are finding it hard to keep a brave face, wondering what it is we have to do to gain employment. We won't be giving up of ever working in libraries, but for now we will apply for other jobs too. J is wondering why we did a 2 year diploma, can't say I blame him, but we will find something.
We are at a cross roads atm, wondering if we should take the risk and move to Victoria where most of the jobs seem to be, or sit tight and keep wondering if it would help if we lived more local to the jobs. E and I are all for moving, J is too but seems to be less hesitant than me. I find this somewhat amusing as it's me who will be leaving behind my family, my house and my son's friends. Only thing holding J here is E and I :) We have two options, move as I just said or stay put, find any work we can and accept it for what it is then be surprised when we finally get a job we can move too. Of course if you look at the pro's and con's we are probably better off staying put for now, since we have cheap accommodation, E has already started high school for the year, I can't be told no pets allowed and then there is a family and friends here. Downside is the lack of work opportunities, the kid next door, the bad school and the feeling of being miserable here.
I'm all for getting out there and finding your own happiness...but at what cost? I mean mere moments ago the brat next door was in our yard trying to take my son's bike ramp, a big black plastic ramp. E caught him and I heard it, so he bailed and went back into his own yard, his mother hearing the commotion upped him for it. Yes they have admitted they have a problem child on their hands and are at a loss. Sad really.
On the sad front, I am sad. Ok ok so its more than that. Yet again I have more medical drama going on. Towards the end of 2009 I was getting increasingly tired, napping once or twice a day. My initial fear was chronic fatigue. I went to the doctor's to get a blood test done, the results were low B12 levels, thankfully not chronic fatigue, been there before and it's not a nice place. This has resulted in getting B12 injections every month. I've just had my 2nd one last week and I have to say this past week I haven't felt the need to nap..except one afternoon after a day of 37C and overnight temps of 26C in the house. The other piece of un-fun medical news is that my doctor suspects the pain in my right hand is rheumatoid arthritis, probably as a result from the damage done to the root nerve that runs down my right arm. I'm on some anti-inflammatory drugs. Here I am at 34yo, my body is falling apart and I want to work, bit of a joke really isn't it. I am a dreamer and will continue to believe that someone somewhere is willing to take a chance on me and employ me. I'm only a little bit battered :)
The worst of it all really is that I am having a hard time knitting, very little is being done. I do have a shawl on the needles, Revontuli, in Kauni EQ (rainbow colourway) yarn. It's going to be a very slow knit. I did however manage to knit a Haruni Shawl some weeks back, it's a lovely pattern and I highly recommend it. I still have mum's Aeolian on the needles which I started on New Years Day. It looks like I am allergic to the yarn, which is a shame as it's just gorgeous. A 2ply lace silk, alpaca and cashmere blend. Now I haven't entirely given up on finishing it, even though it's now been neglected for several weeks. In fact I picked it up a few days ago to knit a row..but horror of all horrors I couldn't get the stitch count right for the row I was up too. Add to it I had hay fever and sneezed several stitches off the needles! I stopped, put her away again and will deal with her again soon enough.
Oh one last point. IF we stay here, I can have chickens and have another baby!!
No no no, not of the human variety, though I could do that of course, but in this case I am speaking about getting a Maine Coon cat. A brother or sister for Garfield. He needs one, really :) A big ginger baby to love and cuddle with and just be generally over pampered, as cats should be.
So while some things are new in our lives, the medical, job applications and school horrors are all really just the same old recycled troubles.