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March 2008
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May 2008

People Will See Me And Cry:Flame!

Off_we_go_into_the_wide_green_yon_2 I am in a state of ambivalence. When I was teaching The Olympics was a time for celebration, excitement, lots of interesting research and often our own Olympics with fun events. This year I am not so sure. This year we have the official Chinese pale-blue track-suited flame 'attendants'. This year the flame has more security measures than APEC. This year we have actual violence against spectators and non-violent protesters for Tibet. This year the gloss of the Olympics seems to have been tarnished. This year I am not sure whether I will watch the Olympics, or if I do watch, will I enjoy myself?  In other Flame related pondering: Yesterday was ANZAC Day, and though it is good and proper that we remember the past and honour the people, we apparently don't learn from History. 93 years later and we are involved in an illegal war. Happily the troops will be home soon. And then some Happy Labradors on their way somewhere to cheerIng_time_socks you up!!!

There are no such doubts about my knitting. I have finished the Ing Time socks. I actually finished them last night but I grafted the toe this morning. Very happy with them, the fabric of the knitting is very smooth and even though the 'speckly' bits have made different spiral pattern on each sock, I am not too concerned!!! The Ing Time socks on 4mm needles using 2 balls of Buttons wool. They are just a basic 44 stitch top down sock to fit a 30cm foot.

Pop_tartigan_sleeve_and_my_toe I have started The Pop Tartigan for MrsDrWho. The first sleeve is complete. I am making up the pattern as I go using the Ann Budd Book of Sweaters. I like doing this as I can really personalise the Tartigan. I am using black Jet for the bands and Moda-Dea Vixen in Licorice Whip for the body. It knits up quite quickly, I knitted 40 rows watching Pie in the Sky . My imaginary wool from Bendigo turned up. It took a whole week. Three 200g balls of Classic 8ply in Mid green for The Chappa-ai Cardigan which will feature a Stargate on the back!! I showed such self -restraint (again) by starting The Pop Tartigan first!!!

Yesterday there was a mini Knitting occasion!! Amanda , and Kate anSpring_arbour_from_kated her family, and I met in town for a cup of tea, a few rows of knitting and a good catch up. How lovely to see everyone. Kate gave me a Spring Arbour patterned face cloth which I haven't used yet!! I am looking forward to it though. I saw her Jacobean socks and some other projects too. Amanda had her socks on two circular needles and reminded me that it was 10 years ago that we first met in my classroom. My . how time flies!! Soon they were all gone but there's talk of more catching up soon: Amanda has tasked me with the organisation!!

Eatin_rock_yr_doin_it_wrong This morning we went for our walk and saw a rock. Yes, it's the same rock we see every time but today it was imbued with special Rock Powers that needed about 5 minutes of concentrated sniffing!! On the way home we rescued Muffy and his two Humans. Their car was stopped and I saw in my mirror that they were pushing it. I reversed to see if there was anything I could do (Ha!! Like I know anything about cars or could push with any force!!) And so they availed themselves of a jump start. Muffy was a bit grumpy at first, but then had a nice pat and a treat from my pocket. Harki and Peri had extra pats from the Humans and were very excited.

Later Peri went to have her stitches out. Was she apprehensive or tentative?? NO, she was not. SUs_to_the_rescuehe made long noises of excitement and was too overwhelmed to drop and roll over. In the end, I supported her head and the Doctor 'gently' pulled her legs out from under her. Then she kept very still and calm while her stitches were whipped out. What a good girl. I bumped my neck in the process though!!

On a Jennifer Fallon note, I have it on good authority that she is writing a pentalogy. I of course realised this as I got closer and closer to the end, thinking all the time, 'Wow, she's really going to have to wrap this up quickly.'  Well it does mean I have two more books to look forward to!!

Now I'm off to have lunch with MrsDrWho and Mrs House Of.........

The Lady's Not For Turning Straps

The_two_of_us_2 How cute it would be, I thought, if Peri could sit outside in the Sun, with a little sign that said 'Thank You' and I could take a photograph and everyone would go 'Awww'. Right, like that was ever going to happen. Peri is feeling almost back to normal: she is playing rowdy games with Harki (who loves her and is very tolerant!!), she is stealing the newspaper and trying to escapMy_paper_my_toy_2e out the back gate at every opportunity. She is back to being Peri Naughty. The only reminder apart from her stitches, and I have restrained myself from posting a picture of her belly, is that she tends to sit down a little gingerly. That's it. Everyone's kind wishes, thoughts and virtual pats and kisses passed on with enthusiasm have obviously done the trick!!! We are very lucky.Im_well_let_me_run_free_2

The enforced sabbatical at home (and here I wonder can you actually have a sabbatical at home if you are always at home anyway??) has led to some more sewing and knitting. I made another Lotta Apron, this time for MrsDrWho, from some vintage (and this sounds so much better than old, I think) fabric given to me by Cathy. I added a pocket and I think I have mastered the strap length. This apron is hot, and I don't mean hot in the 'oh it's the man from Burn Notice, he's really hot' kind of way. No, I mean the added two layers of fabric in the apron make it almost too hot to wear!! It's definitely a Winter Apron. The fact that I am not for turning straps led me to make a Pointy Strap Tutorial. You Mrsdrwhos_lotta_apron_2can find it in the side bar under My Patterns. It is but a small and whimsical thing, yet I like it!! It is my first photo tutorial foray!!!

The next sewing projects will be fixing the zip in MrsDrWho's handbag and sewing myself a Lotta backpack from the lovely Dog fabric LoopyLouey sent in my Bag Swap parcel. It is drying outside now and as soon as I have posted I will make the pattern pieces.

I started the first Ing Time birthday sock for Mr Madcage and you can probably guess his first name!!! It is a quick knit from 8ply Buttons on 4mm needles and 44 stitches. It grew very fast as I knitted away in waiting rooms this pastFirst_ing_time_sock_3 week. No other socks for me as yet, and no Bendy wool has appeared so I'm wondering if I did order some, or I'm just delusional!!!   

I do have a new cooking magazine: the AWW published a Christmas edition last year and that was quite good. This Winter one has a delicious Moroccan soup with chick peas and lamb that I will cook tomorrow. Also Chile Con Carne with Corn Dumplings and Pea and Prosciutto pasta. Y.U.M. And there is a whole chocolate section.

I_cant_resist_2 Right now I am reading the final book in Jennifer Fallon's Tide Lord series: The Palace of Impossible Dreams. It has many story lines happening simultaneously, and they get a chapter each, concurrently. It hate it, she leaves you with a cliffhanger ending and then it's off to another character. I am rationing myself to make the pleasure last as long as possible!!!

Operation: Peri-coat*

No Cary Grant, no Tony Curtis, not a submarine to be seen, but thankfully Doctor Malcolm was on hand to save the day!!

Over the weekend I was idly rubbing Peri's belly with my foot as I am wont to do, me on the couch and her on the floor, when I suddenly felt a big lump. My heart stopped still and didn't really start beating again until 5-47pm tonight when Doctor Malcolm rang to say Peri was fine.

We went to the Hospital on Monday and saw Doctor Malcolm, so I knew they were as worried as I was, because he's the Senior Partner and Labrador Specialist!! He felt her lump while she stood very still, and then she leaped about like a mad thing afterwards to show how happy she was at being a good girl!! Then he said she had to be operated on straight away the next day.

Peri_home_at_last We had an extra walk and I fed her especially yummy food. Just in case.

I dropped her off this morning and left Harki at home by herself. Peri was as happy as Larry till I went. I could hear her complaining as I drove away. I kept myself busy all day: Harki and I went for a walk around town to buy some wool, I went to The Knitting Coven, I found my lost Library book, I also found enough money on my bedside table to pay my mobile phone bill ($10, I never talk on my phone!!), I ordered some wool from Bendigo even though I have no idea which colour or how many balls, and I knitted away at the first Ing Time sock. Harki stayed at home by herself when I went to The Knitting Coven and didn't cry or bark and was such a wonderful girl- I checked with my neighbour and she kept an eye on her!!! Harki looked for Peri all day.......

The friends I told were supportive and positive and helped to keep me sane and calm.They did an excellent job.

Peri had a fatty lipoma. It is out now and she has some stitches and some antibiotics and she is going to be fine. Tonight she wandered about the house like an aged rock star: confused and weary!! Harki followed her around and they have both gone to bed. Where I will soon be.

It's been an interesting few days and I will be close to home for the rest of the week keeping Peri warm, and trying to keep her at least a little confined. My poor baby!!! She is very brave.

*The film was much better than the TV show.

When You Wish Apron A Star!!!

I borrowed Lotta Jansdotter's book from The Library, and I have made an apron. I am wearing it now. Lotta_apron_2 I have barely had it off since yesterday: everyone can thank their lucky stars I didn't wear it to bed as well. It's that good!!! I was originally going to make one for MrsDrWho, but wouldn't you know it, all my fabric is green!!! If you already sew, you can whip this up in just over an hour. It was very quick and easy. I had to make the waist ties longer otherwise I would have expired from constriction!!! I may still add a pocket. Maybe. I hate making ties, with the whole turning them right side out thing, so I always do it my way: I'll take some pictures to show next time.

Last night MrsDrWho and I watched The Ark of Truth, the first Stargate Movie. Wow!! I had assiduously Wee_small_sock_swap_2avoided all spoilers and information, and I was thoroughly surprised, amused, frightened, sad and happy. I really enjoyed it. I squealed and hid my eyes and laughed out loud, at various different times I hasten to add, not all at once like a crazed person. It was one of the best sequel movies I have ever seen and now I am impatiently awaiting the next one: Stargate: Continuum.

I joined The Ravelry Wee Small Sock Swap and I received my sock from the lovely Kim yesterday!!! She specially found some green wool and a tiny sheep stitch marker. It is very remiss of me not to have shown my lovely Ravelry Bag Swap either, from the excellent blogless LoopyLouey!! It is green, beaded, lined wHarki_and_the_beautiful_bagith green and has a detachable brooch!! Too many extra good things to mention individually, but click to embiggen and play I Spy with the pictures!!! First things to spy? Harki and Peri!!

There are also a lot of books to spy. I snapped up a bargain Nicky Epstein at the Crazy Day sale last Saturday. I don't know what I will ever use it for, but how could I pass it up??? The GardyGardeners gave me some old cook books, which I am reading in bed!! Then last nighPeri_and_extra_treatst MrsDrWho lent me some very old Too_much_of_a_bargainbooks, some older than me, to read.. there's a Biggles, The Secret Garden and a ballet book!!

There has been no knitting, I had a woozy head and a day in bed on Wednesday, but was up and about yesterday and we have been for a brisk walk in the bush today. The weather is dulling up (I know dulling iOld_recipe_bookss not correct word usage, but it is exactly what is happening) and rain is forecast soon. Hooray. I am still managing not to kill my lemon tree and I think this is due mainly to the rain we have been having. I will have to have a closer investigation next time I go through The Forbidden Zone to see if it is actually growing. I'm off to wash some more fabric, I'm thinking of making a new bag, and after 3pm I'm having afternoon tea at the trendy cafe on the coWiggly_tails_of_loverner with The MadCages. Oh, and here's a picture of Peri on the left and Harki on the right, wOld_books_to_enjoyagging their tails furiously as I am taking photos outside. They were hoping for a treat as it was time for Elevenses. Sadly, no luck there!!!!

Hour: Mutual Friend*

Labradors_in_the_drizzle Yes, at last Daylight Saving has ended and we all gained back the lost hour. This means, of course, that we are waking up an hour early. Sigh. The Labradors are all perky-eared and bushy-tailed at 6-30am and have to be very persuaded to lie down again until it is time for a walk. This morning it was drizzling and then raining hard so it was a very happy walk. There's not enough rain for puddles, or even the greening of the bush, but there's enough for hope.

The When You're On A Shawl Thing? Well I've stuck to it and it's finished.  Donna at Random Knits was so right: it is the blocking that makes a shawl!! This is juWhen_youre_on_a_shawl_thing_5st a little shawl, but I am still extremely pleased with myself. I couldn't believe how a little soak in some warm water could turn the crepey, bubbly knitted fabric into such a soft and smooth lacy swoosh. I left it all night and here it is, pinned on some poplin on the back of the couch, and badly photographed. I may be able to talk someone at Sewing on Wednesday night to do some stylish modelling!!! So, it's The Swallowtail Shawl from IK Autumn 2006, I used 2 and a tiny bit balls of Merino and 3.75mm circular needle. Started about the 28th March and finished 6th April. 

I was theMrsdrwhos_unnamed_cardin bereft of a new handy project. I hadn't started any socks, I had sewing up to do, and you can't start a cardigan you're knitting a Stargate into, or The Sherlock Hemlock Blanket while watching the last episode of Life on Mars. So I started the cuffs of MrsDrWho's as yet un-named cardigan. I think I should call it The Pop Tart. Any other good Doctor Who names you can think of??? It is supposed to be knitted on 6.5mm, which means 7mms for me, but I am using 12 ply on 5mm for the cuffs and then Making up the pattern for the frou-frou black yarn.  In another handy way I'm makiMarch_wife_1ng March Wife, or Annie Modesitt's June Bride, for my nextdoor neighbour. The picture in the book bears no resemblance to the actual pattern, so I'm a bit disappointed, but soldiering on nevertheless. They are in a burgundy or maroon colour to match the colours on her stall at the Market. They should keep her warm now Winter is coming.

Life on Mars?? Most excellent thing I have watched or read in recent times. Absolutely wonderful. Great ending, fabulous characters, writing, music, John Simm: Everything!!!

The passionfruit and lemon cake was delicious, served with some vanilla bean King Island Yoghurt and more fresh passionfruit squeezed over the top. However, I made a mixed berry topped brownie, more or less from Donna Hay's Chocolate book, for MrsDrWho. Recipe follows. There's not much green in this post. I had better get my act together and whip up some green things pronto!! Tomorrow I'm making Things Rhubarb: more Autumnal Harvests!!! (Karen Martini's new cook book: can anyone recommend it? It's a bit expensive to buy without the nod from someone)

Berry Topped Brownie

  • 220g good dark chocolate, 70% is niceBerry_studded_brownie
  • 250g butter
  • 200g cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1/4 tspn baking powder
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups berries: I used mixed frozen berries

Preheat the oven to 180*C (350F) and grease and line a 20- 23cm square tin. Melt the chocolate and butter together gently, cool slightly then add the sugar and eggs. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into the tin and then strew the berries over the top. Bake for about 45 minutes or until it is set in the middle. Take care, as all the chocolate will burn easily. Cool in the tin. I think it is nice, I can't eat it:-(

*Our Mutual Friend

Much Ado About Nupping

It was either this, or Sort Of Dunno Nuppin', and Shakespeare won out, mainly because Much Ado was Nuppin_2 first performed in Autumn!!! I did do cheating nupps: even though I knitted loosely (thanks Ann) and thought about slip 2 P3 together slip the 2 purls over (thanks RoseRed) in the end I found a tiny sock needle and used that for the purling 5 together. It was no more trouble than using a cable needle, so I was very happy. I do like my new camera which enables me to take much better close up pictures. Relatively speaking, you realise, as compared to a Labradors taking photos!!! Pile_ocardigan_pieces_2

All the pieces of The GITNeB are complete and are waiting in the Sun to be blocked and then sewn up. This was a fast knit, I used 4.5mm needles!!! I have new wool put away at the Woo(l) shop in town: Vera in variegated green. It isn't cheap, but I can pay for it as I go. I am making a vest of some description. I don't know which vest yet, but the wool is Vero_green_wool beautiful!!!

Here is my Ravelry Bag Swap bag all complete. I knitted the String Green Bag pattern from YARN 8, designed by Lisa at PlainJane Creations. I used BlackSpot of Doomlight(TM) plain wool, and it took 8 balls. Of course I had no wool other than green in my stash so I spent most of the money limit on the wool. I bought lining and made a little zippy detachable bag and I spent some extSwap_bag_ready_to_gora on beads to match. I changed the pattern: the size, the placement of the holes, the handle length etc and I also added a gusset by sewing across the bottom corners before I felted. The felting went really well and I was very nervous, worried, and then jubilant when it worked!!!

The weather here has been truly Autumnal. We had hurricane wind warnings, that's the highest you can go on the Beaufort Scale. There were no actual hurricanes, but roofs blew off houses, about 20% of people in the state were without power and there were 17 metre high waves on the West Coast. A house further up the road lost its roof. We hunkered down last night while the wind blew the torrential rain right into the verandah and onto the front windows- and that never happens. It is a bit worrying because the man over the road manaUndermined_spellingged to undermine the actual road with illegal digging and blasting. The council put up a helpful, if badly spelled sign, but though it started on Boxing Day, there are still huge water filled barriers and no sign of a retaining wall yet....

Autumn is also the time for apples, and The GardyGardeners brought me some apples and passionfruit yesterday. I am eating the apples and making a passionfruit and lemon cake!! Harki and Peri like the apples but are not sure about the passionfruit. I know they would like cake Autumn_harvest_not_mine_2 though.