Catherine's Wheel

Thursday, June 29, 2006

It's all about balance

DH has been interstate this week for 4 days, and the two kids really miss him - as do I!

Last night I went to my local S'n'B meet at the Prahran Market, and my 16yo nephew babysat for me - hi Moo! It was a good meet, with around 9 or 10 of us there, but it finished up just before 9pm. As Moo was staying the night, it seemed a waste of a night of freedom to go home so early - almost ungrateful :)

So I popped around to Nic's place , and we spent a good couple of hours chatting about families, what to do with our limited free time and - of course - lots of knitting and crafting.

I got home at a very respectable midnight.

This morning I went down to the supermarket while Moo looked after the kids. It was heaving; why do I always tend to go on pension day?* I was very grateful to not have had the kids with me. Later in the day I thought I'd take the kids to meet DH's plane at 7pm, so I took them down to a beach cafe for fish and chips lunch and a good play in the playground afterwards. It was glorious sitting in the sunshine and knitting while Goose and Dash worked off some energy. It may seem hard to believe, but there were kids running around in T-shirts and bare feet - and we're supposed to be in the middle of winter! The bare feet weren't even blue; it must have been around 17 degrees Celsius and just lovely.

Sorry, but it was too lovely to get my camera out for photos, just take my word for it :D

* Pension cheques in Australia were traditionally always mailed out on Wednesdays to be received on Thursdays, so lots of the pension-collecting members of our community tend to go shopping and run all of their errands on this day. These days I believe it's force of habit, as all pensions are nowadays credited directly to bank accounts on different days.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New Knitalong

Has anyone else seen this Knitalong SamplerM ?

"Knit the - probably Dutch - knitting sampler with the letter M from the beginning of the 20th century with 29 wonderful stitch patterns. The patterns will be posted in this group one by one. Knit along and see your sampler grow!
Start: July 1th 2006"

It looks like fun. It's based in Utrecht, Holland, but they're actively recruiting English-speakers.

Gotta run; helping my parents move today after 35 years - definitely a day of mixed emotions ;)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

News Flash!

I am so excited, I can't put words to it.

Oh, OK, since you insist...

I had a phone call today from one of the organisers of the Handweaving and Spinners' Guild of Victoria Summer School, asking me if I'd be prepared to teach a class next January. The topic is fairly fluid at present but we have certainly reached "in principle agreement" that I will be able to teach something, probably about knitting. Can't say more at this stage, but stay tuned.

Sssshh, don't tell them I'd probably pay them to be able to teach what I love...

Friday, June 23, 2006

First Rant

Welcome to my first rant. Knowing me, it won't be the last :)

On Thursday I took "Goose" (DD, 6yo) and "Dash" (DS, 4yo) on an outing to see "Disney on Ice". Even though our seats were right up at the top of the Rod Laver Arena, we had a pretty good view and the kids on the whole enjoyed themselves.

My experience was slightly different. $22 for a program and a fake red rose? Gulp. It's all part of the deal, I suppose, remembering how much I enjoyed poring over programs as a kid. At intermission, I was stuck, not wanting to take the kids out to line up for refreshments, and them being much too young for me to leave them while I went. There were vendors with their trays walking around, but the only ones who came near us were selling yet more tat: flashing swords, Mickey ears and the like. Thank goodness our kids are well-enough behaved that when I explained why they couldn't have a drink, they didn't create a fuss.

My real rant is reserved for Yarra Trams. Now, I don't know much about our public transport systems - despite being married to the Connex Whinger - but wouldn't you think they would be aware of events at Rod Laver and Vodafone arenas? Especially events involving kids and families? Surely someone up there has the nous to think "Gee, we'll need a couple of extra trams at the end of the show to get them into the city or out to Richmond"!

Nup. We stood there as a crowd of damp, tired, cold potential commuters and waited. And waited. And waited. Twenty minutes and two overfull trams later, the kids and I finally squeezed onto a tram for the homeward journey.

Next time we're driving all the way, baby!

Coming up: it's a good jumper, but it doesn't do me justice. To sell or not to sell?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ready, Steady ...


Well, here I am, feeling as if I'm at an amateur dramatic night and I've just been pushed out through the curtains to do my act. I don't really want to be a "world-famous" blogger, but I do want to document my crafting activities, mainly to keep myself focussed on works in progress (WIPs), UnFinished Objects (UFOs) and maybe insert annoyingly cute pics of 2 kids and 2 cats ... annoyingly cute pics of DH may be a little harder to come by ...

I shocked myself last week by emptying out one rather large basket in the corner of my loungeroom and rediscovering the yarn and fibre stash contained there. Maybe when I've clued up on blogging a little more, I'll be able to "flash my stash" but at the moment denial is a much comfier place to be.

This basket is - hang on while I find a tape measure - 72cm (28 inches) high and is filled to 100cm (39 inches) high, and it is 188cm (74 inches) around. In other words, my stash runneth over! This basket, in turn, represents roughly 20 to 25 per cent of my total stash, which ranges from fibre for spinning, through yarn (handspun and commercial) and half-done projects, to fabrics for sewing, mostly long on inspiration and short on activation.

I don't know if I actually want to admit to the exact size of my problem. I keep giving myself a strict talking-to about stash diets and the like, but somehow the scent of fresh yarn undoes all of my good intentions, even more so if it's seasoned with a discount pricetag. Take the Handknitters' Expo two weekends ago. I was really only going along to see what was there and say hi to a few sister s'n'b-ers who may or may not have been there. Besides, "A" could use a lift and she lives in a direct line from my place to Coburg, right? Good enough for me!

Well, I happened to see Wendy Dennis there, who has some Polwarth top to die for. I spun a sample of this in April at our Guild's Sharing Day and it plied at 34 wraps per inch. It almost spun itself! So it was just as well I went, as I could pick up a couple hundred grams of that without having to pay postage, right?

Then I found an older Cleckheaton Angora Supreme booklet I'd seen a year or so ago and hadn't seen since, so that came home with me, along with some Cleckheaton Machinewash 8 ply in three yummy colours at $11.00 for 11 balls. Simply Irresistible, sang Robert Palmer, and I was lost. I also found some older pattern books for my sister's MIL, who had asked me to find some plain-English, good quality patterns for her. A couple of Patons multi-patterns did the job: you know the type, choose your neckline, choose your sleeve/armhole, choose 5, 8 or 12 ply and off you go. I narrowly escaped succumbing to the siren song of Sarah Durrant's Colinette stand, settling for a quick fondle while I pretended to help Sarah untangle a couple of errant skeins.

I also ran into a new student in the Weaving class at Guild and was able to help her with some suitable yarn choices for her first project. So not a wasted effort after all. However, I may need to help the Army out with a master class in camouflage and subterfuge. When the lovely girl at the Busy Bee stand offered me a plastic bag for my yarn purchases, I had to say "You must be joking, I can't sneak a see-through bag past my husband!" Not that he'd notice unless I cluttered up his PC keyboard with it or substitued a skein for his mouse! I'd say we're about even on the obsessive hobby/passion and stash fronts!

Right, that'll do for now, maybe next post I'll admit to exact number of spinning wheels/spinners/drop spindles in my possession ... hmm, wonder if I have to admit to the Ashford Traveller on loan to "A"?