Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Knitting: Baby Surprise Jacket

So there was this famous knitter called Elizabeth Zimmerman and she didn't like doing purl stitch and she wasn't that keen on seaming either and she wrote books, newsletters and made videos etc. She's pretty much knitting royalty. She made this pattern which is like origami, you knit it and then you fold it and the only seams you have to do are the tops of the sleeves. It's quite amazing.

I brought the pattern and yarn in my four day jaunt to the U.S. and when I got home the lady from the store had given me the wrong pattern and the yarn was absolutely no where near enough. The lovely ladies from the Richmond SnB helped me out with moral support as I went and cast on with many of them who were doing this project as well. As far as the yarn goes I used Mirasol Hacho in beautiful purples and reds, and striped with an Sublime extra fine merino.

It was interesting to knit, and I feel it was somewhat a rite of passage, but I'll never knit another one... hell I like purl :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Max the Cat

Nawwwwwww cute kitten in bed asleep

Pieces of Fleeces

This year I volunteered at the Lilydale Show to demonstrate spinning. I love the opportunity to plant the seed of interest in anyone but especially kids. The wall that we were sitting in front of was full of fleeces that had been judged in the show and it was great to explain the process from beginning to end for people. The next time that I saw Lesley the lovely organiser, she had a fleece for me all of my own to clean and process and spin enough yarn to make something really substantial.

This was my fleece in it's natural state.

This is the fleece after a significant number of hot hot hot water washes with shampoo and 2 rinses. It still has a bit of vegetable matter and the ends that were out in the sun and got dirty. I think I missed something in the processing, maybe I should have flicked out the ends before I started washing it. Anyway I'm going to start going through it bit by bit and working on getting out the dirty bits and the vm.

Any suggestions welcome.

Crochet: Best Bunny

Cute as bunny. This pattern was free from Lion Brand and crocheted in Anchor Magicline which is 100% cotton. This is the first thing I've crocheted that wasn't a scarf.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Max the Cat

Reading: Top 100 books as voted by the Australian public in 2004

This year I started reading books from the Top 100 books as voted by the Australian public on the ABC in 2004. You can read about it on my post here and find the list here. I have been keeping track of it on The Last Sunday Book Group blog that was started by my old 'in real life' book group after it broke up because a few of us moved away. Today I blogged about Magician by Raymond E Feist.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cooking: Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree (and puddings)

The Christmas cooking vibe has hit me for the first time and although I'm not really a cake baker I got inspired by my cousin Audie's Crabapple Bakery cupcake cookbook and whipped up these christmas tree cupcakes. It's a WHOLE LOTTA FROSTING to eat in one sitting and to tell you the honest truth those cachous are kinda crunchy but they're super cute. The cake part of the cupcake was really good and I think a recipe I will use again with more subdued frosting, it has brandy and fruit mince in the mixture and a liberal dose of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, which makes it Christmassy but still really light.

As I was inspired I found a recipe for those little balls that you make by breaking down a fruit cake and mixing it with delicious rummy goodness so I made these mini plum puddings as well :) They're dipped in white chocolate (which is a travesty when eaten along but ok for decoration) and I used my new found icing skills to add some holly to the top.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Knitting: Stripe-a-licious (Noro is Expensive)

So I knitted the noro scarf outlined on Jared Flood's blog. I won a gift voucher from Morris and Sons on WWKIP (World Wide Knit in Public) Day otherwise I would never have splurged on this wild Noro Silk Garden which is made of 45% silk, 45% kid mohair and 10% lambswool because it's crazy priced (like $18 a ball or something). So the finished product isn't what I imagined, but with Noro it never is because you always get kind of ambushed by the crazy colour changes. It's a bit too masculine a colour scheme for me but I'm glad to have it completed and Matt is going to make good use of it.

Cooking: The Cupcakes Have Landed :)

Rita and Owen's baby shower was a completely awesome success! There were heaps of lovely people, which is only a reflection of how lovely Rita and Owen are. There was babies, games, iced tea, sunshine and it was fabulous. The cupcakes went down a treat and elicited squees of approval when the lid was lifted. As always click on the photo to embiggen :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cooking: Cupcakes

So Rita's baby shower is next weekend and I wanted to contribute something fun. I'm making cupcakes and today I made my first test batch. I've chosen the icing patterns that I'm going to use, but I'm ditching the Robert Gordon straight sided pattys for the traditional patty pans. I used fondant icing and also piping bags and orchid icing for the first time, thanks to the advise of my cake decorating friends.

Here's me, with said cupcakes, minus the ones we ate.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


My Dad came to spend some quality time in Melbs and we had a ball. We went with Rita to the Ricky Swallow exhibition which was brilliant, preused the book market, drank coffee and watched the festival that was occuring, there's always something on the go at Fed Square plus we had Yum Cha which is fun. We went out to Healesville so I could show Dad where we're interested in living and relaxed at Innocent Bystander drinking wine and eating tapas. We drove out to Marysville through the fire affected area which was emotional. I thought so much time had passed that I wouldn't have the reaction that I did and people must be so freaking brave and awesome to still be living and working there, constantly surrounded by the memories. I know a cool lady who still lives out there and she lost her house but told me on the weekend that she couldn't imagine waking up anywhere else.

While Dad was here we also went to Stephanie Alexander's book launch at Mont Salvat which is a beautiful, strange, ecclectic artist colony out at Eltham. Stephanie Alexander was business like and passionate and not all that different to what I expected.

Dad cancelled his ticket to fly back to Queensland and instead we embarked on a Road Trip to Dalby via
  • Ballarat to see the ORIGINAL Eureka Stockade flag, again very emotional but it seems I'm always about to cry these days. When I found out that the Eureka flag such an amazing part of our heritage still existed and you could go and see it I was dumbfounded. It embodies, rightly or not, the fighting, rebellious spirit that I think Australians are so proud of
  • Daylesford - beautiful little tourist town and I stopped at Purl's Palace for some delicious yarn love and just one skein of Colinette Jitterbug hopped into my bag (thanks Dad).
  • Bendigo - stopped at the mills for a little 10 ply and bargain room steals
  • Shepparton, Tocumwal, Jerilderi, Narrandera, Ardlethan,
  • West Wyalong - Situated in the lovely Shire of Bland
  • Forbes - Where we had to choose not to take the turn to Bogan Gate
  • Parkes - Where we stopped to commune with the giant Radio Telescope and we brought eachother meteorites. That's my Dad bottom right of the photo. The telescope was built the year he graduated high school.
  • Dubbo, Gilgandra, Coonabarabran, Narrabri, Moree, Boggabilla, Goondiwindi,
  • Moonee - Cleanest toilets in Australia and they'll tell you why

To reach our final destination Dalby :) where my folks and my bro John live. I got to see my freaking adorable nieces Lily and Sophie and my charming nephew Frankie. I taught the girls to knit which they might not take in on full ball now but it was fantastic fun and I've planted a seed that they might remember when they get older and hopefully get as much fun out of it as I have.

After a couple of days with my family in Queensland we all road tripped down to the Central Coast of NSW for my handsome and intelligent cousin Adrians wedding to his lovely and also intelligent bride Mel. The wedding was fairytale stuff, marquees and chandeliers, happy families and wonderful music, beautiful ceremony and fantastic funny speeches. I had the pleasure of staying with my fabulous cousin Natty (who is my special birthday cousin because we were both born on the 23rd May who is so accomplished. She has the most generous and loving nature, a wicked sense of humour, two adorable kidlets, keeps her house freaking perfect, manages to always look flawless and is unfailingly fantastic. I'm very proud to call her kin. It was great to also see Deano and his hawt funny girl Aless. My Aunty Coll, Uncle Mike, Aunty Liz, Uncle Chris and cousins Audie, Dale, Bernie, Jo, Andrew and Livvy. I know I know right! HUGE family get together, they're always crazy times.

Then I hit the road back to home and my wonderful Matthew via Goulburn, Gundagai, Wangaratta - where I may have purchased further yarn :) at the ACS mill shop. Not as organised as Bendi but better value if you are familar with the yarns that ACS produce.

I love road trips, but next time I'm taking Matt.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Knitting: Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

I have knitted dinosaurs for the little ones of my friend Kate. They are super cool and colourful. Knitted in peaches and creme worsted cotton in delicious rainbow colours. The pattern was the free one by Jennifer Rose Devine from xtreme knitting and it was really well written and easy to follow. It was hella fun and pretty instantly gratifying as these guys only took me a couple of weeks.

Crochet: Blankets of Friendship

You might have read about it on other blogs e.g. Chocolate Trudi some of us from the Ravelry Rocketeers are putting together blankets for Blankets of Friendship which was an awesome act of love and kindness by Ozifarmer off Ravelry. Her house was overrun by the generous knitted square donations that rolled in when the call went out after the Black Saturday fires in Victoria where so many people lost their lives.

My lovely friends put aside a purple bag for me and at first I was a bit scared when I saw the different sizes but after a solid 30 mins of blanket Tetris I got it worked out and now I've started joining.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Knitting: Koolhaas for a Kool Lady

I made a Koolhaas for Flick from my work. The malabrigo that I knitted it with went really felty as I was making the hat but Flick looks great in it and it is undoubtedly one of the sexiest squishiest nommiest yarns around.

The pattern was one that I brought when I first started knitting and I had no idea what I was doing and gave up. This time I perservered and really enjoyed the process. The chart actually started to tell me what I was looking at as I knitted and I'm looking forward to starting a very serious lace knitting project soon (gasp).

Knitting: Rita and the Magic Slippers

A great joy in my life is that my best friend Rita is baking her own little sprog inside her tummy and I am going to have a new human to indulge and love and cuddle who will be as good as my own flesh and blood.

I give you Rita and the Magic Slippers.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Spinning: Fruit Tingles

This 100g of Silk, Bunny and Blue Face Leister Sheep was the nicest pinks and oranges with dash of purple. I probably shouldn't have plied it against itself because it's really crazy bright but I'm loving it all the same.

Purchased at Bendigo Sheep and Wool from the lovely Charly of Ixchel Bunny Farm fame. I think it's telling me it wants to be used for colour work on a black background, but we'll see.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Garden: Tasty Turnips

Nom nom nom

Our turnip crop was good and the roots were glow in the dark white with purple on them and we've been enjoying them in stews, soups and a scalloped with potatoes in double cream over the last week.

Beautiful Zulfia

In 2005 when I worked in Melbourne, or should I say when I fell in love with Melbourne before moving here I met a girl called Zulfia, full of fire and energy and friendliness, she was an absolute treasure. She has been living overseas with her new husband for the last 3 years but returned to Australia recently and on Saturday her parents threw her a big reception, kind of a welcome home by the Bangladeshi community.

The first photo is with Zulfia and her husband Shahadat, the second with my adorable Matty and the final one is Zulfia with her brother.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Spinning: Rainbow Happiness

Finished spinning this rainbow merino from Ewe Give Me the Knits.

It was really fun to spin, happy making with all the bright colours and to maintain the colour progression I did my first Navajo plying which is a method of plying the yarn onto itself kind of like doing finger knitting. View my photo and be cheered :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Knitting: Socks for Mum to wear at Yoga

So I made these socks in July for my Mum, Rosalind's birthday but forgot to post about them as I didn't take any photos. My Mum thinks she's hilarious because if I ever ask her to take a pic of a finished object she puts something funny in it. Below are the socks that I knit her and the first ever eggs that her chicken laid.

These socks are the simplest rib pattern ever and it can be found on Ravelry if you're a member as Wise Hilda's Basic Ribbed Sock. I knitted in in the wonderfully saturated colour joy that is Colinette Jitterbug which I can't go past for sock knitting even though you can only make little socks because the yardage is short.

One more example of Mum being crazy :) please find the sock photo she took for me previous to this one.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Embroidery: Loving the Swirly Birds

My most recent finished object of craftiness please find for your visual pleasure the Swirly Birds embroidered bag. I thought that this would be a great project bag someone who knits :) and has many many WIPs (wip it good, wip it real good - sorry 90's flashback). For those of you uninitiated WIP is work in progress.

Got this fantastic Swirly Bird pattern from www.lazymay.com which I fell in love with, delivery was super fast, check it out if you're the stitcher kind. This is really my first serious go at embroidery being from the school of cross stitch and let me tell you it's very liberating :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Great Ocean Goodness

You know the Great Ocean Road is damn picturesque! This weekend we ducked down to Lorne for the Saturday night with Rita, Owen, Gem and Tarsh because Gem had a weekend of the torture of Air Force officer training at Sale.

The sun was shining bright most of the time we were there and the odd sun shower brought nothing but rainbow-y happiness. The view from the front room of the house was straight out the the never ending ocean and the beach just 100 metres from our door had rockpools with red and white anenomes and orange and purple starfish. There were piles of stinky yet fascinating seaweed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nana Rose

Rose Theresa Beckman 1922 - 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mission Giraffe Complete

We have uploaded our Giraffes and it was so much fun drawing them together. I think that we can all agree that Matt and I are not consumate artists :) Matt's is the one with the giraffe being an alien :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Random Act of Kindness (RAK)

Hi Peeps :) I think you should draw a giraffe! I'm going to....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

World Wide Knit in Public Day 2009

Saturday 14th June was International World Wide Knit in Public Day. The Ravelry Rocketeers met at Ringwood and then some of us headed into the city to meet with other knitting groups. We spent a couple of hours cosily ensconced in Feddish (nice locale but the food was average) at Fed Square having some lunch and well knitting in public.

I caught the train home and did some futher knitting in public, doing some jaywalker socks for my Mum which illicited some sidelong glances and some outright questions. I find that the generation of people who knitted themselves are more likely to be surprised to see anyone knitting socks than they are impressed or pleased. I guess when it was a neccessity perhaps it wasn't considered such a pleasure as I take it to be. I'm sure that they didn't have access to the deliciously scrumptious Colinette Jitterbug sockyarn that I do :)