Previous month:
December 2006
Next month:
February 2007

I'm walking: No sunshine, oh oh!

What_a_lovely_time_we_all_had_and_j Today The Labradors went on an 'Expotition' with Clara and Rosie's mum and her children, C,S and J. Harki and Peri knew they were going on a special trip and they were very excited, but they didn't exactly know why. You can see they look thoroughly happy and content. They ran and played and had a big drink, and dribbled watery dribbles on everyone's legs and trousers: they were allowed off their leads aVandals_broke_the_tablend were so thirsty by going home time that they drank almost a litre of water. We all climbed up the stairs to the LookOut and we saw men fixing the vandalised picnic area. It is very disappointing to see that the table and seats had been ruined as they were only refurbished before Christmas.

The weather today was cooler, and quite rainy too, but very windy. We were all Vandals_ruined_the_seatsblown about and looked like fir bushes in a fit!!!  The Sun wasn't shining at all and has only started to shine quite feebly this afternoon.C,S, J and their mum and I all went for lunch and had a little shop in town for Back-to-School things and a thin J_s_and_c_went_on_our_expeditionbookcase too.

I have finished the Block of Chocolate socks!! They are complete and done and O.V.A.H. Not because they were a bother or a trouble, but just because I had to put in that final effort to complete them. I have 'misplaceBlock_of_chocolate_socksd' my Knitting Journal from the end of last year, so I had to use Sock #1 as a guide for Sock #2. This was a little tricky as I did some juggling of the stitches at the start of the heel to make them symmetrical. I couldn't remember what I did at first, but it all worked out well in the end.

The Block of Chocolate Socks: My own pattern, made with The Knittery's Merino Cashmere in the Chocolate colour and 2.25mm needles. I started these on January 2nd, so they took almost 3 weeks. They are for MrsDrWho for Christmas 2006. The wool is beautiful to knit and even lovelier to wear. I am now tackling the second Blake's 7 sock in Knitter wool for her 2006 birthday!!! Sock #1 has the Blake's 7 logo and sock #2 will have B7 written in knit on a purl background. They will be a pair, but not matching.

My_yoghurt_banana_and_honey_yummy I made some yoghurt and we have all been eating it. It is very delicious. I had yoghurt, drizzled with delicate flavoured honey topped with a nice banana for my breakfast. The Labradors like yoghurt too and I am pretty sure it is good for them. They lap it up as if it were cream.

It was Starsky and Hutch's Mum's birthday yesterday and I madNeedle_book_for_starsky_and_hutchs_mume her a little needle book from some nice flowery felt. I used a button and some nice trim from AmySue to close it up and I filled it with needles. I quite liked making this and I might make a few more, though there is little felt choice here.

It is that time of year, when lots of new TV shows are being shown. This is a time when I am always awash with TV, too much TV to watch, but one can never be too careful. Sometimes I have missed the first episode of a new show, only to find out I would have loved it. Now I record everything humanely possible, and then begin the task of discarding the flotsom and jetsom (I found that I use the olden day spelling) and keeping only the shows worth pursuing. I am almost, but not quite, over Prison Break, Lost and The Desperates, and 24 is going to have to prove itself to me, or I will just keep on watching the 'Last week on 24' highlights all season till the last episode!!! You have been warned, Jack!!!

Yoghurt-imate! Yoghurt-imate!!!

You would not believe it!! On Tuesday at The Knitting Coven Miss Darkside showed me the newDalek_yoghurt_battle  insert for my yoghurt maker.  I SMS-ed MrsDrWho, as she was at the other end of the island, and asked her to buy me one at the Big Initial-at-the-end-of-the-Alphabet shop. Lo and behold, she had already bought me one!! Then, to top it all off, Miss Darkside said that the yoghurt container she had there was actually for me! I thought she was just showing it to me, but it was a present!! So now I have 2 new inserts and 4 little containers and I am all 'set' for yoghurt making today. It is ever so convenient to be able to have one lot being eaten and another lot on the go being made!! When I was about to take a photo I realised what the containers reminded me of: Daleks!!! So out came the Doctor Who Model-Making Sock book and we were away. Resistance is Useless!!!!

I have completed one Sinatra sock. It knitted up so quickly. I used my normal pattern that works every time, and whipped it up in no time!! Ann sent me the Acapulco wool, and of course I was soon humming along to Frank in my head and so the socks were named!!! The Block of Chocolate sock #2 is aSmells_galore_1t the heel, and so I feel I am on the homeward bound there.  My only consolation is that it  is too hot for MrsDrWho to be wearing socks anyway.

The Labradors had an extra long walk today as they met Winnie and Wee Jock!! There were many excellent smells and they were allowed to play in Peri_beating_harki_in_a_race_to_me the vicinity of the track-we-are-not-allowed-to-take as long as they came back straight away when I called: and they came, ears flying in the breeze and legs leaping through the bush!!!

Nora of Black Dog Knits posted a great tutorial for a bag, combining knitting and sewing. I am using it as inspiration to make myself an emerald green bag. I like to have bits and bobs in my bag: camera, purse, Buffy Diary, mobile, drugs!!(legal!!!) dog treats and knitting too, so I thought that I  might line the bag inside the knitting part so none of the strain is actually taken by the knitting. I Green_bag_begunthink I'd also like one long strap inserted down each side seam. I will have to draw up a diagram and take measurements. I will also have to go to The Black Spot of Doomlight (TM) to find some good emerald material. I think I would like a variegated all over pattern.

Penni who is about to go back to teaching  in 2 weeks after 8 months off, is quite right when she says :"it's a life long passion, or is that a life sentence?!?!" Even though I am 'retired' I never stop thinking like a teacher. I still have my teacher voice and I expect things to happen pronto if I use it!!! Teaching is a vocation, so while the last of the holidays wind down for the children, teachers will be back at school over the next two weeks preparing their rooms ie moving all the furniture back to where they want it, planning, attending extra meetings, making their rooms look fantastic and preparing great learning experiences for their new students. School starts on February 15th....

Yesterday was Australia Day. For me, it is not a big day. I'm not always proud of the way our country has 'behaved' over the last few years, and I am nervous about rampant patriotism. Most people interviewed yesterday swathed in flags, really didn't understand what the day was about. I believe we live in a good country, a lucky country, a country I am glad to have been born into, but a country that should be better behaved ethically and morally. I also have issues with some of the awards given out. Lots of important and powerful people are rewarded for doing their jobs, while the people who really make a difference every day are often ignored. There were also almost 4 times as many men as women receiving awards. I'm not too happy about that either. Perhaps it is because I live on an island that I feel somewhat apart from the mainland?? I don't know. Maybe Federation Day would be a better choice?? Or Eureka Day!!! But any day I hear I Still Call Australia Home or Tenterfield Saddler ,Down Under ,Sounds of Then , My Country,or our National Anthem , my eyes well up with tears and I forget for a little while my misgivings.

The Post-seidon Adventure

Yes, this could have been a disaster post, but I've got my act together to do a bit of catching up. I Bush_labs_1 love the names people have for their various car bits:  winkers and snibs, dic-dars and the weirdest of all Amanda - indicators!!!!! And another Hillman Minx owner too. I loved my old car: column shift, 3 gears and reverse, real red leather bench seats and two-tone colourway with creamy white on the top and under a snazzy swoosh of metal, a pale aqua blue. Sarah, Australia would be the perfeCleo_the_acrobat_burt_lancasterct place for Lord Greystokes, aka Tarzan. We are the land of vines. Here Kiwi Fruit and all kinds of Passionfruit, Banana and Nelly Kelly, grow like weeds and I think Chokos on the mainland are on a vine too??

I have been Kitten Sittin' and Cleo has been a handful. She got stuck behind the bookcase, climbed up onto the window sill, opened the drawers of the button box and stole buttons and then pulled down her mother's jade display. She is full of beans!!!

Now, other catching up includes *hanging my head in shame* Katt's SS presentThank_you_ss_katt to me: a Buffy the Vampire Slayer tin handbag, which Katt coveted but she gave to me!!, a cute little owl charmy thing for teachers, even though I'm not one now!!, and a pair of beautiful cabled green Prisma socks. There is only one sock as they accidentally went to Hobart with my mum and now they are back but to Katt's horror I won't cut of the little bit on one sock where there was a flaw in the wool. I like it!! It will take me a while to cut it off....6 weeks so far... There was also a present for The Labradors which has been consumed with gusto. Thank you Katt.Doctor_who_tardis_coin

Skein_winding_thingy Caroline and her daughter Miss Tinny (she is always winning things!) gave me a skein winder thingy and a Doctor Who TARDIS coin respectively. I shall treasure the coin and wind with the knitting implement. Thank you.

I sent Ann a Sock Knitting Tote and she sent me a reciprocal gift, unexpected, but so appreciated. There is a little green Harrods bag. I will never get to Harrods, I'm all Marianne FaithfullA_lovely_present_from_ann about certain things now, I'll never drive through Paris etc... There are some little knitting needle type wooden pins and a ball of Opal Acapulco. I have started a new pair of socks now!! This is #4. I am on the second Block of Chocolate socks, about to start the second Blake's 7, but am only up to the heel of the first Greenery Snickert/Baudelaire. I am a poor KAL-er!!! Block_of_chocolate_sock_2_2 

We are all so much happier that it is cooler this week.  It has been in the middle 20s and that is the kind of heat we can cope with. The Labradors have been for a long 28 minute walk, that's a very long for me, and we had a big play with tennis balls on the verandah this evening. Our very own Austalian Open of sorts.

Whose_whos_are_these Oh I have new Doctor Who books. I have new Library books. I have way too many books to read now. It is always the way!!!

If A Tree Falls In The Backyard.........

TBlink_blink_blinkhe indicators on my car are working very well!!! Over the last 15 years it has cost me about $15 aTurn_turn_turn_2  year to use each indicator: not much really, almost a pair of socks each!! But I have to be safe if I am turning a corner with The Labradors on board. I actually call them 'blinkers'. My friend at Uni used to call them 'wickwacks'. I have those little buttons that you press down on the inside of my doors to lock them: they're called 'plonkers' but they aren't plonkers in the Minder or The Bill sense. In our old Hillman Minx, the first family car, they made a hollow 'plonk' sound when you pressed them down. I have a fondness for the Minx, I had a station wagon for my first car too. It is the only chance I got to be a minx!!!Help_me_i_think_im_falling

On to other things. It has remained cool, in fact there as been heavy rain, flood and wind warnings. That might be why one of the big trees in my backyard fell over last night. Luckily it missed anything of any real importance, but Harki is mightily upset that it has fallen in her backyard. She has been sitting at the top of the steps crying and looking confused and cross. Peri has been playing Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Tree, ducking in and out of the branches and exploring the snapping point!!! When I look out the back door it looks all tropical Tree_is_all_i_see because the Kiwi Fruit vine has partially come along  for the ride as well. "I think that I shall never seeeee, A thing as lovely as a treeeee" is not top of the pops here at the moment!!!

Then to round things off nicely my printer has developed a failure to communicate.

Despite this, I am decidedly cheerful. I popped a few Rescue Remedy pastilles, and had a cup of tea and then went to MrsDrWho's to watch 3 more episodes of Stargate: Atlantis. I played rough and rowdy-rebel games with Cleo the Kitten and had a leisurely lunch. MrsDrWho gave me a present for Other_puppies_to_keep_my_car_coolmy car. It is a thing to keep your car cooler. I don't know what it is called, and she thought it might have cows on it, but when I opened it there were puppies!!

Consequently there has been no knitting of late. I have joined the One Hour Craft Bag Swap. I've sent off an email to my swap partner today and I will have to get a sewing wriggle on soon. Of course I have but one wish for my bag: That it should be green!!!

Now, before any other disasters befall us here, I might sneak in a cup of tea and a little Block of Chocolate sock #2 knitting before Shakespeare Retold starts. It's The Taming of the Shrew tonight!!! I caught up with Macbeth during the week, and even though I almost know the play backwards, I was riveted by the story.

The Towelling Inferno!!!

One_artemis_owl_sock The Artemis Owl socks were completed and wrapped up in time!! Here is MrsMadcage wearing one!! They fitted perfectly!! Of course it was too hot to wear two socks, one was enough. We are still at the 30*C mark inside at 10-30pm tonight and it has been unbelievably hot for 3 days now and promises to be so for a few days more. I have found the best way to become, and maintain, The Cool is to swathe myself in a cold, wet towel. That, combined with Mr Cooly  (obviously mine is not the nuclear looking type!!!) seemed to do the trick last night and I managed more than 4 hours of undisturbed sleep. Take_us_home_were_hot_1

Poor Harki and Peri are so hot, and despite misting and hosing and paddle pooling, they remain so. If it does cool down much later on they like to run about and play in the coolness, regardless of the hour. When we walk very early in the morning they have a wonderful time, but if I ask them 'Is it time to go home now?' they turn around and head straight back to the car for a quick drink from the water I take along and then our homeward way we wend.

The GardyGardeners received some quilted decorations a few years ago that they immediately decided made excellent drink coasters for their tea and coffee. They were sad I didn't make them some Gardygardeners_extra_coastersmore last Christmas so I whipped them up two new ones on Wednesday morning. I know they are fulfilling their under-the-cup function admirably!!!

Tomorrow I have to have 2 whole new indicator lights for my car. My word they are expensive: they cost $200 each!! But I need to go safely around corners, so there is nothing else to be done. I shall swear off sock wool for a month or two if I can bear it.....

Being MacGyver's ex-wife has really paid off for MrsDrWho (nee MrsMacGyver, nee nee Aunty Captain Mrs Archer etc etc etc) Lucky Cleo has the beginnings of a new 8th Wonder of the World!!!

I have followed David Morrissey from Blackpool over to State of Play. I watched the episodes in this order: 2,3,5,1,6,4 because I 'misplaced' them momentarily!!! I am distraught to see that there is going to be an American version with Brad Pitt in the John Simm main role. This is so wrong, its wrongness is incalculable. I will be boycotting it, just like when Tom Cruise was in The Firm. He was just so wrong I haven't ever seen the film, it would sully the book.....

Sunday, Muddy Sunday

Yes, filmic-ly, Sunday was a bit muddy, a bit fuzzy: The Labradors had a walk and then I went to bed at 10am and despite their best attempts to waken me, I slept through the heat of the day till 6-11pm. Now this cut severely into my sock knitting time. I was committed to doing things yesterday and I had onlyArtemis_owl_socks knitted up to the cuff. Luckily MrsMadcage has small feet and I was able to finish The Artemis Owl socks in time!! I keep typing Artemis Fowl, MrsMadcage likes owls and Artemis, the goddess, is represented by an owl, hence the name: Artemis Owl!!

So, The Artemis Owl Socks: knitted in Regia Crazy Colour #5443. The pattern is my own, my usual 72 stitches on 2.25mm, a slip 1 K1 heel and the little lace pattern that I just 'did' . This is the first of the Birthday Socks for the year, this being the Year Of Birthday Socks!!!  Wetnnot_very_wild

We are hot and it is going to get hotter. Harki (standing) and Peri (sitting)  are happy to be wet and cool in front of the  breeze, or the evaporative cooler, whichever is coldest really.

MrsDrWho and I had a cool luncheon after my appointment of boogelliness yesterday and she had sushi. The very best part was the tiny plastic squeezy fish filled with soy sauce. Now MrsDrWho and I know someone who works at the Cafe and so she's hoping for a little Soy_fish_with_sushi stash of the fish for herself, rather than the fish being thrown away. They have little faces, sad faces I think, and little scales and fins.

I am glad there are other people out there who understand my comet suspicions!! John Wyndham's books are fantastic: The Midwich Cuckoos, The Kraken Wakes and my very favourite, The Chrysalids. His books are haunting and I'm keeping an ear out for Triffids... you never know where they might be lurking....

MrsDrWho has sent me comfort viewing : MacGyver, Blackpool, P&P and North & South. By way of thanks, I have turned her to the Dark Side and she has become totally and emphatically enamoured of Cleopatra the Kitten!!

The Accidental Lunchist

Something_for_us Peri is so lucky to have so many Birthday Wishes for Doggy things!!! I know she wants to pass on a wiggly waggly tail thump and a dribbly lick as a thanks to all: she's a sharing, caring kind of Labrador!!! When I look at her happy face, and Harki's too, it makes me feel very happy too. I love coming home and seeing them inside the gate, wagging their tails and ready for a big pat from me. They gaze at me with their big eyes and I melt into a puddle of give-them-any-treat-they-like...almost!! I love this picture of them with happy treat-anticipatory expressions!!

Having heard a boogelly tale about pork imports into Australia on RN, I have decided to only eat happy free range pigs, a la Restaurant at the End of the Universe!!! So armed with said happy free ranging ham as a gift, I went to MrsDrWho's house to watch Stargate Atlantis: Season 2 and eat smoked chicken salad for lunch. Atlantis was purchased after the horrid TV station graced our screens with only 3 episodes and then stopped. Just. LiAngel_bags_ready_to_goke. That. Then there was a phone call and we went out to lunch with Mrs Starsky&Hutch and Wee Jock's Mum!! Very nice and relaxed it was too, even if it was unexpected. I think sometimes the unanticipated outing can be the best!! Today there was a planned outing, but the cafe was closed and we went to the Gorge to eat and to watch the start of the Sports carnival: bike riding, running and kSide_view_of_the_artemis_owl_sockayaking/canoeing. I was able to exchange late Christmas presents and have a lovely chat to my friends!!!

One Artemis Owl sock is complete and I have till Tuesday morning to finish the second. I have one more round of rib to finish the cuff and then it's onto the leg. I really like the lace pattern and the way it continues down to the toe. It is pretty and, more Bev_of_the_artemis_owl_sock importantly, quick!!!

It's hot, dammed hot, and it will be hotter as the week progresses. At least we are not exploding!!! Oh and there's a comet. Don't look - Day of the Triffids and all. I won't be looking, not that I think I can see it from here, but I need to keep an eye or two on the sock I'm knitting. A girl can't be too careful..............

HaPeri Birthday to You!!!

YesterdaCollage_1y was Peri's birthday and now she is 5!! I can't believe she is such a big girl now: 5 years old. It just seems like yesterday she came home to live with Vundy the German Shepherd and Harki-Parki-Parker-Posey. Peri is a challenging Labrador!! She is very 'enthusiastic' and likes to push boundaries, but she is the smoochiest and most loving Labrador. She loves Harki and howls if they are apart. She is always busy and her specialties are: eating, dribbly drinking, sitting on me, swimming, stealing Harki's toys and running around with a really waggy tail as she carries something in her mouth!!!

Yesterday was not going-for-a-walk-day but because it was Peri's birthday Rub_a_dub_dub_2_labs_in_a_tub we had a special midmorning walk, and then we came home and cavorted in the paddle pool because it was so hot.

Peri_gets_her_own_card It is extremely sad to see that Peri had to get her own birthday card. We are in a very bad way!!! I thought I had 50 cards in the cupboard, so where she found this one, I don't know!!

The Labradors had an extra meaty bone to eat and some chicken too.Peri_is_a_big_5_year_old

Today it is hot again and the city is covered with a cloud of smoke. It has blown over from the mainland where they are again in the grip of bushfires. Our fires are under control at the moment, but we are urged to be alert.

I have not been alert. I managed to do 6 or 8 rounds at the end of the Artemis Owl sock just as I approached the toe, I was like a drowning person giving up all hope as the rescue boat appears. I put the sock aside. It must be too hot for me to knit. I am on a desert knitting island it seems.

Baudelairealong and other socks..

AJ and Nora and I are Baudelaireing along. I know we are not following the rules of spelling, but dammit, we are wild, wild women and just this once we don't care!!!! Oh, the Labradors are wildly wet!! The have been cooler today but in the last few days they have been Wet'n'wild!!!

Unravelled_greenery_snickert I had dropped some half stitches and one whole stitch in my  Greenery Snickert aka Baudelaire sock. It has been staring at me since the last Knitting Coven meeting and so today I unravelled back to the cuff and started on some steel needles, rather than my cute little pony pearls. The metal needles seem to pick up the wool more cleanly. They are Pony Metals!!! I am half way to the heel again.

I have almost given Nora a conniption by turning the chart upside down and making the socks top down. The pattern isn't the same, you don't get the same Greenery_snickert_attempt_2 defined leaf, more a leafy seadragon seahorse, but I like it. It is mine and no-one else will have one like it!! Because I like 72 stitches on 2.25mm needles I have also had to modify the cables and adjust them so that when I am up to the instep I have a nice clean cable down each side. Thinking ahead there!!!

I have arranged my stitches on each needle thusly:

  1. P1, second 11 stitches of lace pattern, P3, 8 cable stitches, P3 (26 stitches)
  2. 22 stitches of the lace pattern
  3. P3, 8 cable sitches, P3, first 11 stitches of lace pattern, P1 (26 stitches)

That is 72 stitches in all. I am cabling cable 2 front and then cable 2 back. This means that after the heel and gusset when I end up with 36 stitches:

Cable 2 back (4) , P3, 22 lace, P3, Cable 2 front (4)

This makes 36 stitches for the instep and then 18 on each on the the other needles after the gusset!!!One_chocolate_sock

On other sock fronts, I have finished MrsDrWho's first Block of Chocolate sock which fits beautifully. I am waiting on more wool to make the second sock.

I have started the Artemis Owl sock for my friend, Madcage, who likes owls. TheyArtemis_owl_socks_begun  were meant to be made in Opal Owl but there was no buying it early last year and so I owled up with some other wool instead. I am just doing 3 simple columns of lace up each needle: K2tog, yfwd, K2, yfwd, K2tog tbl every third row out of four. These are for her birthday in less than a week so I had better get a wriggle on!!

I don't like cricket, Oh no, I 5-Love it!!!

Well, it was a 5-0 win against England for the Ashes: that's 5 for us and 0 for them. It was quite momentous and strangely disappointing at the same time. I'm happy we won, but the England team wasn't up to its best and we had a lot of shortened matches because we won early.

MrsDrWho has a new blog!! How exciting and it should be easier for her to upload pictures of Cleopatra now. Cleo played with me this afternoon and was ever so cute and clever.

AJ and I have been joined by the lovely Nora at Black Dog Knits in our Baudelairealong. Although it is cooler and I promised a picture, alas, it is too dark for a photo now. Nora's sock is beautiful!! I look The_pumpkin_bagforward to our mutual support group ending in 6 lovely socks!!!

So, here are some other things I made at the end of the year....

The Pumpkin Bag, my first felted project!!! It was knitted in the exactly right wool and though I think it could have been felted just a tad more, it turned out very well I think.

Little_christmas_bags Little 3D Zipped Christmas bags. I really like the effect of squared corners on the base, they give the bag depth. I drew up a pattern and Embroidered_decorations designed my own bag. I am very pleased. I lined them and then added some Suffolk Puffs to make them Christmassy.

I embroidered lots of decorations, and then backed them with some Christmas material and made some into hangings!! I have made some with angels in red, gold and green as well.

Blueberryfields_nameless_and_iciclesFinally, here are some of the Sock Knitting totes I made: Blueberry Fields, Judy Garland(who was namelss at the beginning)and Icicles.

The weather has at last taken a turn for the cool and rainy and The Labradors and I are feeling better!!! We walked in the rain this morning and splashed in the puddles and now we are going to bed to sleep the sleep of the cool!!!