Saturday, November 06, 2010

I do still exist, contrary to popular belief. I have been knitting, learning to spin and trying to keep up with the whirlwind of activity that the end of the year creates. The lovely little school my children attend is closing in 5 weeks, so I have been organising their transfers for the new school year.

Above is my first attempt at spinning. It's a bit lumpy and strange, but I like it. I didn't get a lot out of the first attempt, so the plan is to knit it into a hot water bottle cover. The next lot is looking much more promising.

I have been enjoying the birdlife in our tiny suburban garden this spring. This little fairy wren is hanging around with his harem. In this phot he was actually scolding the blue peg for infringing on his territory. The males are only blue in the breeding season, and the wrens remain brown throughout the year. I was so excited to discover a tiny nest in the shrubbery outside my bedroom window.

The kingfisher has been hunting from his fence perch. He pointedly ignored me with my camera, sneaking up on him behind the yuccas. They are such sedate birds. We have also been entertaining kookaburras.

My other little visitor has been a baby possum, badly photographed below:

I found him on the road outside our house, valiantly fighting off two crows who clearly thought he would make a most excellent lunch. I gathered him up, and possum sat for the afternoon, until I could take him to the vet to be passed on to licensed carers. He was unhurt, and quite snuggly once he had recovered from his fright. My guess is that he had fallen from Mama possum's back, as there was no sign of a parent anywhere. It's illegal to keep the wildlife as pets, so I had to reluctantly give him up. Josh and I are resolved to investigate becoming wildlife carers next year, so that we can help these 'furry friends'.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Still here, still knitting.

And baking cakes.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I've been doing some internet housekeeping. I have set up a new blog, just two posts so far, with the intention of using it as a craft specific blog. It'll be mostly knitting, with a little sewing thrown in too. Family related posts and pictures of the kids will remain here, where my heart is.

I hope I'll see you all in both places!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Knitting like a maniac at the moment. Winter has well and truly arrived and the needles are in overdrive. I seem to believe that if I start a pair of socks tonight I will be able to have warm feet tomorrow. So here are a few finishes:

Spiral Scarf, a kit I bought at the Morris and Sons stand at a craft fair in March. I also bought cheap bamboo needles so that I could cast on while waiting for Brett to come get me. It was such an easy pattern, and looks pretty amazing.

Star crossed slouchy beret, a Ravelry pattern, knitted in Malabrigo Worsted, colour Pearl. This was another quick and easy one, though Brett was away that week, and I do tend to hyperfocus on stuff in the evenings without him around.

And Cedar Leaf Shawlette, knitted in bronze Handmaiden Lady Godiva, one of the most sensual knitting experiences you could ever have. This yarn is divine.
There are more projects going, of course, a couple very close to completion. Let's hope winter lasts more than the weekend!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The first of June, the first day of winter. Our fair city had a small winter celebration, The Saviours of the Lost Arts, an extravaganza of workshops, markets and tea drinking. The local Council invited the knitters of the city to do a little yarn bombing. The green heart is a logo they use a lot on local council stuff, so hundreds of green hearts were knit and attached to places around the city centre. I searched and searched, but never found any of my contributions. I did love the possum one so much. It's such a cute bronze statue at the bus station.

City hall was taken over by a vast spider's web, with a wooly spider in the centre. There was also the cutest line of baby clothes strung on the other side.

Notable legal minds clearly have interesting hobbies!

There are some large metal spherical sculptures outside the city library. These were wrapped into enormous balls of yarn. I was amused at how many passers by would pause to touch the yarn. The trees also gained a little wolly warmth.

And this kangaroo sculpture is exceptionally well dressed!

Monday, June 14, 2010

My favourite shoes and socks combination at the moment. The shoes are made by Colorado and the socks are a simple stockinette stitch made from Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn.

This weekend I finished my Cedar Leaf Shawlette, knit from the luscious Handmaiden Lady Godiva, a silk and wool blend. The colour is Bronze. It still needs blocking to bring out the shape of the leaf border, but it's just lovely as it is. I am a little sad that this one is going to be given away, and think I might have to make another for myself.

I am such a Bad Blogger. I have been reading, but failing miserably in the commenting and blogging stakes. I have been knitting like a woman possessed, so many finished shawls, scarves and hats and no photos to prove that it really happened. I promise that I'll be doing a whole lot of blocking, photographing and blogging to catch up.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Firstly a find, this gorgeous brooch was snapped up by yours truly at the nearby Salvation Army thrift store. I have been searching for appropriate shawl pins and this treasure makes a wonderful start to my collection.

Just Enough Ruffles was my winning entry into the Tangled Yarns Malabrigo March competition. I knitted this up with Malabrigo Worsted in Damask Rose, with a Pearl coloured edge due to the lack of forethought of the knitter. I only bought one skein of Rose when I really needed two, and when I went back to the store they had run out of Rose entirely. I won another skein of Malabrigo from the store, so I think I came out on top!

And this is the Simple and Effective Shawl, which I knitted with Noro Silkgarden Sock, using two balls to make it larger. Very snuggly and the colour range goes with almost everything I own. Perfect!
All patterns are available at

Saturday, April 03, 2010

March has been crazy busy ...

with a Teddy Bears' Picnic,

Easter Bonnet Parade, one with an Easter theme, one with a Weather theme and one with an Australiana theme,

a day out on the water for Christopher,

and a bit of game playing down time.

and Earth Hour.
There was also a bunch of knitting and a thrift store find, but that's going in another post.
Have a lovely Easter!

Monday, March 15, 2010

It has been a busy time around here, with extra choir commitments to work around as well as impromptu guests while my grandmother was in hospital. She has made a great recovery, in spite of being a 'difficult' patient. The only thing I have had time for, with plenty of sitting around by bedsides and in the car waiting for choristers to finish up, is knitting. This is the year of lace for me, and I am very pleased with the results so far.

This delicious shawl is Luna Moth, from Ravelry. I used Malabrigo Silky Merino, in the Smoke colourway. The yarn was purchased from Tangled Yarns, my all time favourite yarn store. I have bought yarn from them online and the speed of delivery would make your head spin. I have also been going to their social knitting morning as often as I can, and always seem to leave with more yarn than I had when I came.

And these two pictures are of my Swallowtail shawl, also a pattern downloadable free from Ravelry. I knitted it with very fine silk from Kaalund Enchante in the shade Glasshouse. I bought this at a craft show, and would certainly buy more. I had to get a circular lace needle, as it was far to frustrating on regular needles, but it is oh so soft and feather light. I used beads to replace the nupps (pictured below) and like that they give the shawlette a little weight, so that it sits really nicely around my neck. I am reknitting this pattern in Malabrigo Lace as a gift for a dear friend having a milestone birthday this year.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We have a baby kookaburra hanging around our neighbourhood at the moment. He and his parents spend a lot of time in the trees surrounding our yard. He is still learning to laugh, and sounds more like a very sickly chainsaw trying to start, rather than the familiar kookaburra laugh.
This morning he was carrying on continuously, and the kids went out to see if they could spot him. They came rushing back in to tell me that he was choking on a shoelace. Riiight. So I went out to take a look. Sitting on a branch was the proudest bird I have ever seen, proudly displaying a (very small) snake he'd caught all by himself. Obviously the noise was because he wanted us all to see how clever he is!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Australia Day

We have really been out and about this month, in spite of the sweltering heat. Last weekend we spent a few days in the bush, only an hour or so down the road from our place. We enjoyed the opportunity to explore a little further than a day trip allows.

We paddled in creeks filled with guppies and water skaters. Josh was disappointed to discover that this version of paddling did not involve canoes. It was so hot, and our car airconditioner is once more on strike, so any accesible creeks were considered fair game to cool ourselves off.

My favourite spot was Natural Bridge, a fascinating arch and cave caused by a creek eroding the sand stone. There are glow worms, but they are not visible during daylight hours.

Outside looking into the cave.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Birthday Drive

Another birthday out of the way. This year we took the kidlets, crammed them into the car and forced them to endure some aimless wandering through the mountains behind Brisbane. The 'are we there yet's started about ten minutes in, while we were barely through to the other side of the city. The above photo was taken at Jolly's Lookout, on the way to Mount Nebo. We meandered up the mountains, drove in to Bellbird Grove to see if we could hear bellbirds (we didn't) then up through Boombana and Mount Nebo (so many bellbirds, as well as a whip bird!! Follow the links to hear their calls.) before having lunch at Mount Glorious. So aptly named!

Exploring a creek at Bellbird Grove

Some of the picnic grounds at Bellbird Grove.

Monday, January 11, 2010

100 Books I have to read ...
Revisiting my 100 books list. I have been making progress. I have read far more books than the list implies, because this list is merely a guideline. I am inclined to make another, which shows all the other books that have caught my interest since making this list two years ago. It has been a great way to find some new favourites. Wally Lamb and Margaret Atwood spring to mind as two authors I had not really broached, but now read avidly. The Bookfest is coming up soon, and that always is a great spree!

For my 100th post celebration I have decided to branch out a little from the traditional '100 things about me' posts. Instead I have been working on a list of books I really want to read. This is not a finite list, obviously, and there are other books that I will be reading simply because I have them! The list is composed of books that I have always wanted to read, and books that have been recommended to me from various sources. Some of them are already sitting on my shelves (lucky me!), and I will mark them with an *.

1. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

2. Candide - Voltaire

3. White Oleander - Janet Fitch

4. I Know This Much is True - Wally Lamb*

5. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood*

6. Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez*

7. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - John LeCarre

8. She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb

9. The Inferno - Dante

10. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer

11. Paradise Lost - John Milton

12. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackery

13. Tess of the D'Urbevilles - Thomas Hardy

14. The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James*

15. Bleak House - Charles Dickens

16. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald*

17. Sons and Lovers - D. H. Lawrence *

18. The Power and the Glory - Grahame Greene

19. Decline and Fall - Evelyn Waugh

20. Scoop - Evelyn Waugh

21. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh*

22. The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger

23. Madame Bovary - Gustaye Flaubert *

24. The Plague - Albert Camus

25. Middlemarch - George Elliot*

26. The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky

27. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez *

28. The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton

29. Beloved - Toni Morrison*

30. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

31. Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

32. The Shell Seekers - Rosamunde Pilcher

33. Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery*

34. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

35. Swallows And Amazons - Arthur Ransome

36. Ulysses - James Joyce

37. The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner

38. A Passage to India - E. M. Forster

39. A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemmingway

40. The Old Wives' Tale - Arnold Bennett

41. The Epic of Gilgamesh - Maureen Gallery Kovacs

42. Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf*

43. Memoirs of Hadrian - Marguerite Yourcenar

44. The Pilot's Wife - Anita Shreve*

45. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini *

46. Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes

47. Walden - Henry David Thoreau*

48. Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

49. Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde*

50. Journal of the Plague Year - Daniel Dafoe *

51. The Color Purple - Alice Walker

52. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

53. Hornblower - C. S. Forester*

54. The Forsyte Saga - John Galsworthy *

55. The Warden - Anthony Trollope

56. Barchester Towers - Anthony Trollope

57. Like Water For Chocolate - Laura Esquivel

58. The Tale of Genji - Lady Murasaki

59. Feast - Nigella Lawson

60. How to be a Domestic Goddess - Nigella Lawson*

61. Cook With Jamie - Jamie Oliver*

62. The Writer's Book of Hope: Getting from Frustration to Publication - Ralph Keyes

63. The Secret River - Kate Grenville*

64. My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult

65. Everyday - Bill Granger

66. The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards

67. The Sixth Wife - Suzannah Dunn

68. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver*

69. A Perfect Day - Richard Evans

70. The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings - Amy Tan

71. The Sacrifice - Beverly Lewis

72. The Emperor's Children - Claire Messud

73. Birdsong - Sebastion Faulks

74. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

75. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Graham (read years ago, but want to reread)

76. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

77. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

78. The Life of Pi - Yann Martel

79. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

80. The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus - Margaret Atwood*

81. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers

82. I, Claudius - Robert Graves

83. In a Sunburned Country - Bill Bryson

84. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling - Henry Fielding*

85. Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe

86. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera

87. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

88. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou

89. Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut

90. Aspects of the Novel - E. M. Forster

91. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide For People who love Books and for those who want to write them - Francine Prose*

92. On Becoming a Novelist - John Gardiner

93. Clarissa - Samuel Richardson

94. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne

95. Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome

96. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

97. The Quiet American - Graham Greene

98. Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson

99. Lanark - Alasdair Gray

100. Oscar and Lucinde - Peter Carey

Here I am, a whole day after I started this post. I have read more book reviews than I thought possible and perused more top 100 lists than I dreamed of. I love books with a passion, but found this list a struggle, because I was avoiding books that I have already read, and trying not to list books that I just wasn't interested in.

If you're one of those people who is obligated to buy me a gift from time to time this would be a brilliant place to start ;)