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June 2006
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August 2006

Home and (not) Away....

Our house has two street frontages, well a frontage and a backage really. The road at the front runs righHay_a_good_bookt below the raised footpath and so you have to come in and out the back way.  Despite this, my letterbox is at the front of the house. There is a point to all this. On Sundays the paper is always put into the metal cylinder thingy on the back gate. I never check for mail at the back gate: there never is any. Never say never. Yesterday when we went to get the paper, poking out of the metal cylinder thingy was a rain soaked invitation to my friends' daughter's 21st birthday afternoon tea - yesterday afternoon!!! Minor panic and battle stations!!!!! I had planned to do nothing at all yesterday, so luCaras_21st_birthday_and_cakeckily I had time to buy her a present : the very nice Donna Hay Modern Classics 1 - she loves  to cook. I also had time to make another applique Easter Egg. Could I could find both of the eggs I had carefully put away?? No!!! So Joanie's mum and Cara's mum both received their very late Easter presents!! and I had a lovely afternoon tea. Cara has been wishing for a Sweet shop birthday cake ever since she can remember and now she finally has one!!! Cara's mum is moving back to her house which is just 3 houses up the hill from me!! How cool is that??? We are very happy.

Last_2_little_zippy_bags I have finished the last of the Little Zippy Bags. I  saw patterns on the internet when I googled, and I bought a few patterns from catalogues (so yes, the dog handbags may yet appear) but as I am wont to do, I changed things. I made the long pieces beside the zip twice as wide and folded them in half rather than having to finisLeft_all_aloneh an edge and then fold it under, and I made the bag a little smaller too. I am forever not making things to a pattern!!!

This morning we all slept in till 10am again. It was the excitement of the party: all those egg sandwiches and cups of tea. There was no walk at the dam, but late this afternoon we went for a walk to the shop to post some parcels. They sat and waited patiOh_happy_day_youre_backently while I was in the PO and there they were still sitting quietly when I came out!! Peri cried a bit, but Harki is older and wiser and knows I will be back.I love seeing their happy faces when I come out of the shop, and when I come home too!!!

Something else I like : Bleak House, the BBC's latest adaptation of Dickens' novel. It is absolutely full of actors I know and has a plot the Footy Fixtures Show would be proud of : woman has baby out of wedlock, marries an older man, years later the lover returns only to die....her daughter comes to live nearby to be a chaperone and immediately gains a stalker...meanwhile the two young wards of the man who hired the young woman fall in love and elope....... See??? It's Soap opera really!!! I used to skip over Dickens' descriptions when I was reading his books. Miriam Margolyes is following in Dickens' footsteps in Dickens In America at the moment. She adores him. Although I disagree with her, he is not greater them Shakespeare, I am still enjoying the programme. Oh I just read that in the UK Bleak House was screened in half hour episodes as a nod to it's soap opera roots. Now I'm a literature geek!!!

Ann and I are having our own private little KAL : the V neck vest from Jo Sharp's Knit 1. It's the Equine Vest you know!!!Truly_i_can_take_a_photo_really

Never let me take your photo. I will promise the earth and deliver, well, mud!!!  I have 15 more of these. I have no idea what it is but it is definitely mine : it's green!!

Writing Vet Letters in the Sand....

Yesterday Harki and Peri had a run in the drizzle. They ran a lot because there were Hydro trucks and people on the dam road and The Labradors had to be on their leads till we reached the bush. Peri has her annuaLittle_zippy_bagsl check up at the Vet soon and she ran away with her letter : it smelled of Vet I think. Harki has been playing with her tyre toy from Katie. Yes, it is still going, no longer squeaky, but good for  throwing. Usually I have to try and throw an unstuffed toy leg. That just doesn't work.

Also yesterday The Knitting Coven had their stall. Suzi has an exMrsmacgyvers_socks_1cellent post outlining the 'happenings'.

I finisheWe_have_lace_offd the little zippy bags and they are very cute. I made 6, and 5 of them have purple or violet!!! That's 5 things for the sadly neglected July Project Spectrum. I have also started MrsMacGyver's birthday socks using the Knitty RPM pattern and The Knittery's wool, Sea Breeze I think, but there is definitely purple there. I have also started the Print O' The Wave Stole with the lovely wool from The Fabulous Knitabulous, and the Equine vest is galloping along. I am almost at the underarm of the back. It is excellent TV knitting of the peculiar mindless variety.

In Doctor Who last night we saw Sarah Jane Smith and K9. My word ElisabEquine_horsing_around_1eth Sladen looks good : 9 times better than K9!!!

Now, don't ask why, but I am off to make an applique Easter Egg............

The Grateful Undead

Yes, I am Mrsmacgyvers_socksbeing grateful for the next two weeks at least. I am playing The Glad Game properly and not moaning and whining. How did I degenerate into non-stop moaning and whining???

Today I wound wool. I wound MrsMacGyver's sock wool ( and yes, only because it has purple and qualifies for the sadly neglected July Project Spectrum!!!)  I wThis_will_be_a_stoleound the Knitabulous lace weight wool into a giant ball, and then discovered I didn't have the right needle, so I can't start knitting that till tomorrow!! But I have printed out the pattern. I am in no way daunted by the pattern. This may not augur well!!!

A_vest_with_no_name I have been knitting the as yet unnamed vest. I have this very minute named it 'Equine", as we all know I have been through the desert on a vest with no name!!! There is 30cm of 5ply rib on 3.25mm needles to be made. I am half way there.

I have made 5 little bags, and I have only to line 4 and they are all complete!! They all have purple or violet colours : I am not silly. That's 5 more things for Project Spectrum. They are, of course, lined with green and they have a little green tag onPretty_maids_all_in_a_row_2 which I shall indelibly draw my trademark two paws. I have one more to make for someone as a thank you but I need to buy some material she will like.

Peri and Harki have been disgruntled today. They were not happy that I kept going out to the balcony to wind wool. It interfered with their day. Peri discovered that she could hop up on the chair I was sitting on and have a clear view over the top of the balcony. I would have taken a picture, but as we all know, Peri sees a camera and runs towards it!!

And, for the record, Amanda Tapping's hair is endlessly fascinating, as is the hair of the entire team. Ilk is a word that must be said every day, lest it fall into disuse. Jamie Durie stands on a little box whilst hosting Dancing on Ice, which I like to call 'Being Injured on Ice'. This week they tried to disguise the platform by tapering the edges and making it look like a flattened pyramid. It didn't work. He is still short. I defy you not to notice this all the time now!! According to the IMDB he is 5'73/4". I think that says it all really!! Ha!!!

This is the recipe for the extraordinarily easy slice, which can be as healthy, or not, as you choose.

  • 125g butter
  • 2 tbspn honey - or substitute jam or golden syrup as desired
  • 55g sugar
  • 135g rolled oats
  • 40g self raising flour
  • 140g dried fruit
  • 100g nuts
  • 100g choc bits : optional
Use whatever fruit and nuts you like. I used a mixture of craisins, almonds, sultanas and white choc bits.
Preheat oven to 180*C (160 ff) and grease and line a 20x30cm tray.
Melt the butter, honey and sugar in the microwave and stir till the sugar is dissolved. Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly, make a well in the centre and add the wet mixture.  Stir till well combined and press into tray. Bake for 20 minutes and cut into squares while still warm.

The Price of Cove(n)

Yes, today I am paying the price for enjoying myself yesterday. It is like a 'cold hangover'. Not that I have had many hangovers, in fact I have has just one, about 15 years ago when I drank sparkling white wine (can't say the 'C' word now apparently:Your father smelt of elderberries) ) on an empty stomach.  I had studiously avoided hangovers before, and now after, this horrid event. I can't understand why anyone would want to feel so boogelly. I am a fast learner : once was enough for me. I enjoy a G&T, a nice glass of wine, in fact I like lots of alcoholic drinks, just not to extreme. This is opposed to the other parts of my life where I induge in extremes and obsessions all the time. According to some. Anyway, today I accidentally slept in, I had every intention of taking The Labradors for a walk but I didn't wake up till 9-30am and then I have been on the edge of, or totally in, a headache all day. I have had cups of tea, food and tablets and I am staving it off . Late this afternoonInitially_these_are_lovely I rallied and Harki and Peri and I all walked to the shop and back. They were very happy.

It is a dull and rainy day, so all my photos are dull and rainy. I like the rain. Rain is good. Is rain : is good.

Yesterday at The Knitting Coven Caroline the Blogless gave us all a present : little stitchmarkers with our initials. I plan to make earrrings, as otherwise I will just have to knit thPonies_and_applesem into a pair of socks!!! Sharon let us all fondle, then marvel at, her B4 bag. She also brought along the Pony Pearls we ordered. I am in love with them. The most excellent Donna sent me a set and now I am addicted to them!! They are fantastic for knitting socks. Katt brought along the last of the sock wool orders and I am the proud owner of some Opal Uni in Apple Green. Suzi was very excited to be 'allowed' to leave 'school' early to come. Sandra picked her up!!! Cathy was sounding very poorly though. Toni came again - Hi Toni. She's making the loveliest scarf from Knitty : Loopy. She is inspiring me to make one too. We also had another pAnd_you_can_colour_my_worldotential member visit!!!

I have new books. I will try to add them to my reading list at the side. I have a new book about colours. I love colours and I collect all the colour books. I have the most greens : Of course. I have 3 new Doctor Who books. I have a new novel, Kiki Strike, and MrsMacGyver lent me Half Moon Investigations. 7_wonders_of_the_neck

On July the 7th I had 2 necklaces : a lovely malachite one and a green dangly one (top left and middle) Now I have SEVEN. I am nothing if not determined to become a necklace wearing person now. I love all my necklaces and I shall be wearing them all the time. Unless it is too hot.

House_of_elliott_socks The House of Elliott Socks have been completed and posted off. They were easy, if loooooong, to knit and they felt very soft. I hope Mrs Dollhouse's dad likes them.

If you like knitting Lace, then pop over to Whose Lace is it Anyway? I would like to join, but I fear I won't be able to buy a lace pattern here. I will have to have a browse in the KN&Woo!!!

The Third Ban

Don't Panic. No-one has left me a truly horrible comment. It is only MrsMacGyver, who told me a week or so ago that I should go to the Doctor, rightfully saying 'I told you so'. She is also banning me from any comments about Amanda Tapping's hair whilst watching Stargate SG1 DVDs, and any other characters' hair, it's less of a blanket ban, more of a hair ban. Oh and the word 'ilk' and one other thing she can't remember. I blog in trepidation!!!

Actually, I go on my merry way, commenting about everyone's hair and saying ilk at every opportunity. It is also my duty  to indulge in every other whim, fancy and eccentricity until I find whatever the forgotten third thing she wants to ban is!!! Be kind to her, she has 26 seasons of the original Doctor Who TV show to catch up on!!!!!

My Big Fat Geek Watching

Tardis_rose_and_the_doctor Yes, I am a fully fledged Geek!! Not only can MrsMacGyver and I watch 'Tooth and Nail' Doctor Who episode 2 as recorded on the DVD hard drive, we can also watch it with the commentary downloaded from the BBC Doctor Who site!!! There is a commentary for every 2006 episode. I worked out how to subscribe and download them to my Juice thingy. Then I worked out how to download the older ones. Now all I have to do is work out how to burn them to a CD for convenience. I can highly recommend listening to David Tennant as you watch the show : it is very amusing!! I have just enough geekery and nerdery to do this, though it is MrsMacGyver who has the courage and gungho-ednesss to actually find the exciting things!!!

Once I made my appointment to see the Doctor ( not, not THAT Doctor!!) the earache disappeared. Isn't that always the way? No doubt it will be back as this was the second attack. I am feeling a little more like myself today. It must be all the enforced rest and Recuperation soup. I have been to the Hospital to have my port flushed and they kindly changed my pathology form so I could have my blood tests at the same time, instead of having to traipse off to another place. It is not a terribly unpleasant thing to be poked and prodded with needles, but I am much happier if I know the person performing the task. They know me, I know them: we have a certain rapport!!!

Trying to take a photo without The Labradors today was well nigh impossible. The Nice Lady Nextdoor  was having some trees removed today, and the tree men had 2 dogs. Peri didn't know what to do, she was both infuriated and intrigued. She would race outside, hackles up, straight to the fence, give a few barks and then race inside to tell me about it. Harki had a more laissez faire attitude : she looked alert and stood about being watchful, but mostly she just looked at Peri's behaviour with amusement. The NLN saw me after I came back from the Hospital and reassured me that The Labradors had not been barking, not even once, while I was out. I think it was all for my benefit. I would also like to say that The Not_camera_shy_labradors_at_allLabradors do watch the neighbourhood cats. They have an easy truce with the cat next door, but otherwise they do bark if they see a cat on out front lawn. The neighbourhood cats are not silly, they stay a safe distance away from the house with 2 Labradors!!  So here is a half sewn little bag, with Peri on the left and Harki's head on the right!!!

My ever so slowly increasing state of wellness is illustrated by the increasing length and quantity of The House of The_almost_house_of_elliott_socksElliott Socks. Now there are two. In fact there would be two completed socks, but I stopped at the very first toe decrease on the second sock inorder to take a photo before the Sun disappeared behind the hills. See how they match?? See how there is a tiny amount of wool left from the first ball of Patonyle? There is about 2 1/2 metres. That is all. I can't believe how lucky I was not to need another ball just for 2 1/2 metres. I will post these off after the Knitting Coven tomorrow. I plan to rest in the morning. There is no walk to be had, and so I will sleep in as far as I can and take tablets before I go out. I can afford to be grumpy and feel boogelly at home, but it is like in The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy : "I don't want to die now. I've still got a headache. I don't want to go to heaven with a headache, I'd be all cross and wouldn't enjoy it" - "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Radio Series. Fit the Second. I don't want to go out and feel poorly!! I save feeling poorly for at home!!!

I owe emails to people who have left me lovely comments ( and horrible ones too!!) I will get to them this week. It is my only goal!!!

Here is the recipe for Recuperation Soup. I found it while idly googling. It is based on one of Nigella's recipes, but far easier. It is very restorative!!!

Recuperation Soup
Loosely based on Anna del Conte's recipe, found in Nigella's 'How To Eat'

2 tins of chickpeas
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and bruised
400g tinned tomatoes
60 ml olive oil
3 litres of stock (vegetable, chicken, white wine & water or a mix of any of them)
270g small tubular pasta
parmesan for grating over
flatleaf parsley, if you like

Empty the chickpeas/beans into a large pot with their liquid. Add the olive oil, the garlic cloves and rosemary and cook for a few minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and the stock.
Once it comes to the boil, add the pasta and cook for about 1 or 1.5 hours, so the flavours really meld and combine. You can add flatleaf parsley near the end, if you want to. Serve with parmesan cheese.

I'm on the road to somewhere...

I'm glad I don't have human children, as they would have been taken by the Welfare at some point early on in the last week. The Labradors can survive reasonably well with an intermittent walk, a good feed and a few feeble pats. There is no dire crisis, I just have had a new cold, or the old one has come back with a vengeance, and knocked me for 6 or 7. ThereNot_poppin have been headaches, ear aches, paleness, listlessness, an inordinate amount of sleeping and an assortment of tablets taken. I haven't knitted really at all, I have half sewed a bag, I haven't read a book at all. I have blobbed on the couch in front of the TV or lain, Lady of Shallot style, abed.

There has been nothing to blog about, even if I wanted to. I had neither the inclination, nor the energy to bother. There: I am all full of self pity, and as MrsMacGyver would admonish : "It's all about Me, Me, Me!!" I'm not sure if I'm on the road to recover yet, I'm not sure if I'm on the road to anywhere, but I  expect I'm indicating towards the road to recovery!! But I am fortified by tablets, which I am allowed to sort through and then take as I like (according to the back of the packet etc etc though lets' face it, I'm more likely to die of my boogelly disease before an extra tablet will kill me!!), cups of tea, and a restorative soup made with leeks, parsnip, carrot, garlic, organic chicken, brown pasta, parsley and lemon juice.

Harki and Peri are excellent nurses and lie beside me wagging their tails and looking at me lovingly. It is sunny so we might sit on the balcony for a little while and watch for cats!!!!

Yo Ho Ho and I'll lose my bottle : What fun!!

Yes, theA_collar_with_no_crimere is a collar, well almost a collar in Bill speak!! I have been knitting the annoyingly short rows of the lace pattern for it seems like forever, but it will be put to rights and banged up soon enough...I still think I'll have this completed over the weekend because I have knitted the increases, the back of the collar and now I am up to the other side of the front and the decreases :  but we shall see!! I could bottle out before the day is done, though I am stubborn, so it's not likely!!Thems_knittin_hands

Thanks to Caroline from the Knitting Coven and her mobile that takes photos, I present our 'knittin' hands and charity squares at the Black Spot of Doom Light TM . Guess which one is me!! Not hard to do, is it.... The KnittinHarkis_made_herself_comfyg Coveners each knitted a square. That was all there was to do.

Harki and Peri didn't have a walk yesterday due to the fact that I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2 with Mrs MacGyver. It was great, very amusing, and if you go to see it, stay right to the end as there is a tiny scene after the end credits jPeris_in_the_best_spot_now_1ust as there was with POTC 1. Today the went for a walk and they ran wild and free. They are playing musical couches tonight : Harki scruffs their blanket about till it is all comfortable, then foolishly takes her eye off the prize and before she knows it Peri has swiped hThanks_tianneer spot!!

  The lovely Tianne has sent me a clipping showing someone who has made a working Dalek, a working Dalek!!! It moves, it speaks, it has a webcam, I think it could probably navigate stairs!! Thank you, and Boss too.Youre_not_the_boss_of_me_now 

The weather is weird, the seasons are muddled : I have bulbs flowering in the middle of our coldest Winter for many a year. Most of the night temperatures are below zero now. I love the cold weather. It is Bulbs_the_dills_are_out_in_winterbracing and brisk!!! I compromise by wearing a sleeveless Summer top under my 12ply Bolshoi. This morning I undid the back part of the neck edging I made, about 1/3 of the rows, grafted it together and attached it again. It is so much better. It has a better fit, with the sleeve caps more in place and the upper fronts cross over more. I am much happier. I will be wearing a Summer top under my Bolshoi again when I go to brunch tomorrow. There is no need to be out of bed as we walked today, so I can lie abed till it's time to go.

You say I want another Revolution...

Thank you lines people, thank you ball people!! I love Bolshoi: Game, Set and Match. So much so that soon I will be starting Bolshoi Mark 2!!! In deference to Amy, who insists on calling it 'Bolshie' in her head, perhaps I should call it 'Pinko Revolutionary' or 'Greenie Revolutionary' has a certain ring to it!!! It is nice when you knit a whole garment and voila, there it is, and you like it!!! I think there is so much blood, sweat and tears, time and sheer doggedness, invested in a jumper or cardigan that it should jolly well be eminently wearable and desirable when it is finished. It must be disappointing to a new knitter to have their hopes and dreams, jumperwise, dashed. I think that's why there are so many non-garment patterns now. How can a scarf not fit??? Tonis_mrs_beetons_1

Toni came to lunch with the Knitting Coven yesterday!! It was very exciting. She showed us her felted projects and we all oohed and ahhed, and she paraded her Mrs Beetons from Knitty. She made them in burgundy Zhivago and another Hideously Expensive Brand of Alpaca, the name escapes me....... They are beautifully beaded and modelled by Toni herself. She is a hand model extraordinaire!! On the Knitty patternOpal_acapulco_greener_than_it_looks_1 there are some green ones I am now coveting!! The Knitting Coven was too exciting yesterday, we all talked and shared and by the time I came home I needed a rest.

  My new sock wool arrived. Suzi and Fifi and I ordered it from Melanie. Mine is Acapulco. It is greener than it looks in the photo, but I am not totally averse to other colours...not totally...

Remember Mulberry? The wrap around cardigan in Country Silk?? Well, over thAnd_i_would_knit_500_rowse last 2 days I have finished  the final sleeve and now I am knitting the endless lace for the collar and trim. Yes, it is more than 400 felt like more as I kept making mistakes last night and having to undo it. I realised I was too tired and my ear hurt, so I stopped. I think I might knock this over by the end of the week and be able to wear it. Huzzah!!

Spring is officially here in town and Spring clothes are sprouting up in all the shops. Harkis_nose_ramekins_and_khaki_jeansI deliberately and with consideration bought a new pair of khaki denim jeans/trousers. They are too long, but I will hem them. I also picked up 4 lovely green ramekins at 1/3 off their original price. Why would they be so sadly left behind?? Harki is just checking to make sure the ramekins are empty : Nope, no food!!!

Harki went back to the Vet, but her ears are still boogelly, so she has to have the drops measured (7ml) and syringed into her ears. She is such a good girl. She feels ever so much better today, I can see she feels chirpier and we have had to play endlessly and enthusiastically with her tennis ball: in bed, at morning tea and while I am typing this.....Peri had been stealing it, but she has let Harki have it back very quickly as Harki is being all dominant and bossy.

On the subject of imaginary husbands, the Zap2it Girl has one, just like MrsMacGyver. Careful though,  Zap2it has TV spoilers.......

Marmite but Pawill*

I don't know why I endlessly complain about being tired : you would think I would be over it now!! I am going to be tired, with slight episodes of less tiredness, forever!! I think I complain mainly because it stops Bolshoi_wrap_cardigan me doing the things I want to do.

It has not stopped me sewing up Bolshoi, however, and I am wearing it with my pyjamas right now at 3-45pm. It is a 'look' if I ever saw one!!! At least everything I am wearing is green, so I'm 'teaming with the theme'. Bolshoi is very nice though when I make it again I shall make some changes. I already decided not to knit the sleeves 49cm long, thank goodness. My arms are not short, but the cuffs would have covered my hands completely, rendering me a sleevage mutant. I also added a band to the back of the neck. Who thought a raw cast off edge was a good idea???? And because of my inherent 'curviness' I  think next time I will decrease the front edge more gradually, so more of my decolletage is covered and warm. Nevertheless, I love my Bolshoi, it onlt took me 16 days to complete. I am going to make a pair of trousers with some Mechanical Stretch in almost the same colour and I will be making a new Bolshoi soon too. I think I might dye some cream Rustic. Ooh I am so brave!!

In the latest Knitscene there is a man's zippy uppy cardigan called Vegemite. Now here in Australia we know and love Vegemite , so I emailed the magazine, explained about Vegemite, and asked why they called the cardigan by that name....They just liked the word!!!!! How very North American Continent of them. Perhaps I should call my next knitted project Philadelphia Cream Cheese!!!!!

It has been raining on and off all day, so the poor Labradors have been stuck inside, they don't want toLime_casein_colours_for_me  get wet. Harki has to go back to see Dr Tim, or another doctor, in the morning to have her FlippyFloppy Ears checked. Peri will have to be shut inside and she will be howling piteously.

Casein_needles_for_me I have new casein needles, the tortoiseshell kind. I have found that you can buy brightly colour ones as well, and I am lusting after the green ones, naturellement!!!

I might have to venture out to the shops now as I am craving some fresh fruit. I will quickly take some photos, which will be dull due to the cloudy rainy weather. I think The Labradors can have a bone. My new green glasses are here. I shall pick them up now too!! Kismet......