Sunday, February 22, 2009

Let's start again...

I was going so well! I was doing the thumb gusset and everything. And then mysteriously there were two less stitches than there should be on the needles. And since I'd made a raft of minor errors already (I was still going well!), I decided the mitten had to be frogged and started again. It's just a good thing I really love the yarn! The mix of silk and mohair in the yarn is amazing to work with.

Wine and Roses Mitts by Jolene Treace
in Apple Laine's Painted Daisies

And you can see my $5 sunglasses!!! Seriously happy with these. They give the world an amber glow when I look through them.

I really enjoyed this piece on Obama's surprise market visit in Ottawa. Obama buying cookies. It makes me happy.

I have no idea why. Much as I have no idea why I tear up watching Sister Act.

But now I'm off to check the progress of my pink grapefruit sorbet.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's the weekend!!!

I'm trying something new. At the end of the week, I clear off all work related matter (this week, anything to do with picture books... yes, I know, that's why I still can honestly say on occasion 'I love my job') and make myself a weekend desk!!

A few weeks ago, too, on Lime & Violet's Daily Chum, there was a post about whether you could tell you were a knitter from your immediate surroundings. As I cleared off all Emily Gravett's picture books, I looked at what was left... then gathered it in place on the desk (away from the messier cords and pieces of paper!)... and said, "Yep, I'm a knitter."

I've just cast on some Wine and Roses mittens to knit alongside Arwen, which is going really well. I'm almost up to the sleeve, which is a slightly scary concept, with the whole front, sleeve, hood being one piece. For the Wine and Roses mittens, I wound up some of my Apple Laine, which I picked up so so long ago, but which I love knitting with. There's this gorgeous silky sheen to it. I'll put some photos up once I've got... ah... a little further than the cast on.

Right now, I'm off for some time on the treadmill before heading off to buy new jeans. I was hanging up my best jeans yesterday when I noticed - horror of horrors - there's a hole in the, um, seat. Well, not quite a hole. But you can see between the threads of the fabric. I can't believe I wore out my best jeans...

In the meantime, I watched this this morning and it simply made my day! Snails partying!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blocked Sunshine

I've been running around in a whirl of sunshine... even though it is a bit hot for that!

The hens are still as happy as pigs in mud, although last night, chasing Mimi back into the coop after her vegetable patch adventures, I managed to scrape my eyelid on the door into the coop. Great. My hen gave me a black eye!

Okay, it's not black today. It is still a bit swollen, though.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


For some time I've been trying to figure out why, when Mimi and Coco join the two little hens, the little hens' water bowl always ends up empty and full of mud. Mimi and Coco have their own water bowl. They can't be that thirsty.

Then I turned around after filling it yesterday. Mimi was at the water bowl. Using her foot to splash the water out so that she could play and peck in the resulting mud.

Here she is - blurred foot in foot action shot

When I was a kid, the house I lived in was on stilts and underneath there was a small laundry area and the rest was basically dirt. I regarded it as a high treat when Mum would let me use the hose to create an under-the-house river. I'd play there for hours. Mimi and Coco are chips off the old block. This morning while watering I gave them a little river and they were thigh high in it in moments, scratching and splashing and generally having a great time. (And the plants got watered as well - I wasn't wasting water, don't worry.)

This afternoon I spent finishing fish tails on my Lothlorian Sunshine Shawl. Here it is pre-blocking. It is currently on the spare bed blocking. It was a tricky, pin-wielding project and I have a complete inability to get lines straight... but I think it'll be okay! Fingers crossed!

P.S. Wondering what was in the parcel delivered so early? Valentine's presents of course! Including a very pretty French white knit top.

Friday, February 13, 2009

An Ominous Banging Upon My Door

I'm working all day from home today. I get to do that. I get to sit in my pyjamas, drink coffee, and work on my laptop. Because the commute is easy, I can sleep in a bit. I actually didn't today. Which is lucky. At 8am, I was sipping coffee and reading the papers online when I jumped ten feet in the air.

Bang bang bang.

Who would want me at this time of the morning? And don't they know I'm in my pyjamas?

I went to the door. There was a parcel on the porch and the delivery guy was slinking back to his van. He never comes this early. And why did he feel the need to make a racket on my door when he was just going to leave the parcel there anyway? Did he suspect I was asleep and feel the need for revenge since he was already up delivering parcels? Is he the same guy who caught me earlier in the week when I'd just been on the treadmill before lunch and had had a shower, so had wet hair and was snuggled into a bathrobe when I had to sign for my box of Lush products? I mean, I had been up for ages. I'd been working. I'd just taken a Treadmill break. But he still gave me that "figures... doesn't get dressed before midday" look.

Oh well... this is just so cute. It's a crochet whale cosy for your headphones! From Roman Sock. I want one.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


This is what I get for merrily cabling while watching Life (although, it always seems weird seeing Damien Lewis starring in it - I saw him long ago in Hamlet in Hackney!). Fortunately, a friend just directed me to the Yarn Harlot's method of cable correction. She's a genius!!! Needless to say, the "down in the weeds" cheat is for me!

Oh, and I know the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal is going brilliantly and all, but don't forget some of the smaller volunteer organisations, like these, helping out the injured and homeless wildlife. The habitats will take some time to recover, so these guys have a long road ahead helping the animals get back on their paws (and claws and flippers etc).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Don't look if you're in Knit!'s cinema sock club!

Okay, taking a quick writing break, I - ah - write a blog post. But I spotted my comments earlier today and couldn't leave people on tenterhooks, right?

So, first, as you'll see above, is a rather sad, burned, but resilient bean. It is still growing. It is now starting to wind around the trellis.

And then I got home and found my last Lush order... with a freebie of Ruby Slippers, which I thought was just serendipity. So I popped my Ruby Slippers yarn in with my Ruby Slippers bubble bath bar and... they got along great!

It's been rather grey, so you don't really see the sparkle in either, but it's there, I assure you!

Loving the cloudy skies and cinema sock yarn

We've had some really bad days in Victoria. Most of those reading know about it and I don't think I could say anything better than what has been said in respect to the sympathy that we have for those who lost so much and the awe we have for those who risked it all to save what could be saved. But I can point to this. Seriously, have a look... it will make you smile in the midst of all the bad news.

And it's actually cloudy and cool today. Which seems odd after the week we've had.

I've starting knitting all the fishtails on my Lothlorien Sunshine Shawl. Two down... something like ten to go? And as I arrived home after work (having just cleaned out my office - not that I'm leaving, I'm just moving to new digs), I found a surprise parcel. Well, not so much a surprise, but I hadn't thought about it in a bit. My first installment of Knit!'s cinema sock club - The Wizard of Oz month. I shan't say too much, since by some quirk of fate, the one person in the club who hasn't had their yarn yet will probably click onto my blog for the first time ever and I have enough friends telling me off about 'spoilers' (I admit it, I'm bad - I also have a mother who always asks me what happens at the end of a film or book, so I'm kind of trained to 'spoil'), but let's just say, it sparkles and Rose Red would approve! Okay, that was a bit spoilery, but, as I said, what are the odds? I'll put a photo up in a few days' time.

Friday, February 6, 2009

T-shirt Love

I so want this T-shirt.

Magazine Roundup

Just trotted back from the shops with my hot pink trolley (no grandma trolley for me!) full of fruit and vegetables and knitting magazines!

I finally found knit.1 at the newsagency!!! I'd been really, really wanting this issue! Seriously, Cookie A.'s Marlene socks, Ysolda's Rapunzel stockings... when I saw it there on the stand, I was practically jumping up and down in glee. Also spotted the new Knit Today that had one of those glorious Rowan Magazine vintage sweaters featured. I kind of wanted that magazine, but couldn't get it (I was too slow at the LYS), so just having the one pattern... yes, yes, yes!

Oh, and that's a blood orange and cardamom cordial in the background. Isn't it pretty? It reminds me of my Lothlorien Sunshine Shawl. We've got another really hot day tomorrow, so I've got cordial for icy drinks. And lots of watermelon, fruit, anything that might be cold.

But now, I'm off to nibble sushi and finish a book review. I've discovered writing book reviews is really really difficult. Having my own writing out there now (non-fiction and in very obscure places!), I'm very aware of how it could hurt to read an even faintly negative review (not that I read reviews - I'd like to retain my sanity), and, after all, the review is just picking up weaknesses I perceive and I don't know everything.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Patterns You Fall In Love With

I'm still in love with my Lothlorien Sunshine shawl - aka Flower Petal Shawl. I took it to work with me yesterday and was knitting away at it during a coffee meeting. My colleague smiled when I defiantly took it out and started clicking-clacking: "I like it when you knit during a meeting... it's calming." I... ah... did notice I made a mistake a few rows back, but you know what? I don't care. I can fudge the mistake. Meanwhile, I... ah... frogged the Sherwood Stole (don't worry - I'll find it another yarn real soon!). It just wasn't liking the Fleece Artist Twilight yarn after all and the yarn changed its mind and wanted to be... ah... another Flower Petal Shawl. A fact confirmed when said colleague looked at my pattern and went: "Ooooh, that's very Twilight, isn't it?"

And then I'll have day and night Flower Petal Shawls!

The heat has meant a slow down to a grinding halt on Arwen, but I do intend to pick that up next week when the heat goes away for a bit.

I got my copy of French Girl Knits with one of my other love objects, Anjou. I just have to figure out a good substitute yarn... hmmm...

And then I saw this shawl on Ravelry. Oh my! Oh my, oh my, oh my! And all based on a doily. I can't crochet, but VCM can. And I spotted a freebie pattern to something very similar (the original pattern is from a Russian book).

In the meantime, I was delighted to hear Obama demanding caps on executive pay and bonuses!!! Okay, only during this crisis when they're receiving government money, but... couldn't we just keep it running? Because one of the things I think is wrong with the world is that some guy gets paid that ridiculous amount of money for making money when the firemen, police officers etc who risk their lives to save others... well, don't get paid that ridiculous amount of money. Isn't there something wrong with that?

And is it wrong to give chickens ice cream? Well, it was 45 degrees at the time... and they totally enjoyed it.