Tuesday, 26 February 2008


I love reading and when I retired four years ago I thought I would have oodles of time to read. Not so, I'm afraid. At the time I retired I also discovered knitting on the internet. I've always knitted quite a lot but once I was exposed to all the beautiful knitted things on the net my passion grew that much more. (Note: I said passion, not obsession).

It became a real dilemma. Do I take the time to read or do I knit instead? And then, fortunately, I discovered audiobooks and now I can do both! The first audiobook I listened to was Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader. What a delight. It is read by the man himself and he has such a wonderful witty turn of phrase. Since then I have listened to Emma and Persuasion and currently I am listening to Jannette Turner Hospital's Due Preparations for the Plague.

I am finding that the selection of audio cds in my local libraries leaves much to be desired. I intend remedying that by making them constantly aware of the need to broaden their range. Fortunately things like Librivox exist and that gives me access to free downloads of many of the classics. The readers can be a bit patchy but its better than nothing.

I've also been able to augment my listening needs with the many great podcasts out there - usually the knitting ones. Craftlit in particular is a great find - combining literature and craft! Currently we are doing Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I last read that as a teenager and I'm finding that I'm enjoying much more this time round.

Of course I still have to make time to simply sit outside and listen to the bush breathe.......

Saturday, 23 February 2008

The Big Smoke

We spent a few days in Melbourne this week. A most unusual activity for us as we tend to be rather reluctant to leave our bush paradise. We had an apartment in the heart of the city and made use of the opportunity to catch up with friends, visit the museum and see a show. We went to see Keating - the musical. It was great fun.

We had planned to do a few more things in town on Friday before coming home but by that stage we had had enough of city life - too many people and far too noisy. Even those few days were too much for Bruce and I'll probably have to continue to debrief him for the next few days.

Catching the train too and from the city gave me an opportunity to work on my cosy. It was the only project currently on my needles small enough to take with me. I have stalled a bit on the cozy and seriously started to think about frogging it but now I won't. While we were in the city I decided to give the cozy to Kate when its done. She was wearing black and green when we met and she looked so good in it that I just had to offer her the cozy. I was wise enough not to stipulate a finishing date though!

I finished clue 8 on the SSS. The photo only shows clue 7 and half of 8. Clue 8 went really quickly but judging what Lul has said it is merely the calm before the storm. The real challenge is yet to come. This is a good thing because this is, after all, my year to learn new techniques in knitting.

Monday, 18 February 2008

A new craft?

No, not really but I did have fun learning something new. On Sunday I went to a workshop at Purl's Palace to learn to make jewelery out of buttons. This was the end result:

A necklace, a pair of earings

and a bracelet.

It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning. Purl's Palace has a delightful atmosphere and Zoe kept us well supplied with delicious tea and biscuits.

I've made a start on my bag for the Australian Bag Lady swap on Ravelry.

This is going quite quickly. Just as well because if turns out to be a disaster I should have enough time to make another bag.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

SSS clue 6

I have complete clue 6 of the SSS. We are now half way through the clues but not quite up to the half way make in terms of rows. I've been trying to guess the theme but without much success. The outside medallions remind me of daisy chains and the main design is making me think of formal gardens.

Clue 7 has appeared and this clue might shed some more light on the matter.

Life is gradually returning to normal now that my mother has left. We still find ourselves doing things for three rather than just the two of us. Amazing how quickly the human can adapt to changed circumstances.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

A week of goodbyes

This has been a bit of a sad week for me. On Thursday we went to the funeral of a friend who died of cancer. She was in the palliative care unit for three weeks prior to her death and during this time we went to say our goodbyes. She was already drifting in and out of consciousness but we still managed to get glimpses of the old Barb during her periods of lucidity and her sense of humour still shone through. It was a strange experience knowing we were taking leave permanently.

This morning we took my mother to the airport at the crack of dawn. After a visit of just over two months she is heading back to South Africa. Those airport goodbyes are really tough and it will be quite some time before we see each other again. While visiting us she turned eighty. She's in good health so I am hoping that she will be able to make the journey again in two years time.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008


Finished this BSJ last night. I knitted this with Bendigo Woollen Mill Mystique and Boutique using 5mm needles. This is to fit a toddler. At the moment I think it will be far too big for her but hopefully by the time the winter comes she will have grown into it.

I picked up the stitches around the sleeve and added a short ribbed cuff. I also picked up stitches around the neck and used reversed stocking stitch to create a little rolled collar.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Happiness is

Happiness is receiving a parcel you thought had gone missing. Today I received some lovely lace weight yarn and stitch markers from T and J at baadmedicine. I won the yarn participating in the Hanami KAL. This was such a delightful surprise. I'm already wondering what I can knit with the yarn.

The yarn is Knitpicks Shadow in Campfire Heather.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Casting on and casting off

I finished the Spider's Web shawl. This was such an easy knit. I could do it in front of the telly without any trouble. The only downside was the fact that I ran out of yarn. I thought I would be okay because I had a skein of a 110g but it was not quite enough. I had to stop 2 rows short and still didn't have enough to do a crochet cast off. Nevertheless I'm pretty happy with the end product.

I've made a start on Kate Baby Surprise Jacket. Its for her birthday in a couple of weeks time. I'm making it quite big s that it will fit her by the time winter arrives.

And I've cast on for the Cozy Up KAL on Ravelry. Progress might be a bit slow to begin with but I'm hoping to get into the swing of things by next week.

Finally, I think I've narrowed down bag patterns to two for the Australian Bag Lady swap and I'm trying to decide on the appropriate yarn. This is always a bit of an apprehensive time because I want to choose colours that my pal will really like.