Sunday, July 19, 2009


Yet another trip to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool show has come and gone. Sam and I ventured over on Friday via Purls Palace and the Chocolate Mill in Daylesford before landing at the Bendigo Woollen Mills and then onto the motel. After check in, there was a brisk walk of town with the main intent of finding a bottle shop and hence wine before returning back refreshed and exercised. It was then, clearly, wine o'clock. Rach, Grant and Neko arrived shortly there after. Excellent timing I'd have said!

I was declared the queen of wine and wool and presented with my shell soap-and-toiletry-holder tiara and very long Sam-made knee sock sash.

Wine, pizza, chippies, chocolate lava cakes and Eskimo Pie were consumed and we settled in for some knitting and TV (and more wine).

Saturday saw us head off to the Ravlery breakfast which was a hoot and saw us walk away with a range of prizes and consume the most long-awaited coffee of the weekend.

The show was of it's usual standard. The stallholders had some magnificent wares and both Sam and I purchased a range of beautiful things (although I think I was very controlled coming home with only a little over 500g of yarn).

Here I am showing my justifiable love for some Wooldancer rainbow organic merino and some equally loveable Tailored Strands Alpaca.

Sam was enamoured with her Jitterbug from Sarah Durrant that she has been babbling about for the last month (year, century..) or so.

There was some amazing wool craft like this...

And some VERY ugly jumpers like this...

There was a sheep that Sam tried to speak nicely to...

It didn't reply so I gave it a seeing to.

It was much better after that! There was an alpaca that really belonged in "The Big Book of British Smiles".

And lots of other cute alpacas and big-bummed rams.

And all I came home with was this "little" pile...

See, some of it isn't even yarn!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

As Promised.....

The Rose Ribbons Shawl is done and dusted. Another lovely Evelyn Clark design from her book "Knitting lace Triangles". The book is a bit of a bugger to get in Australia but well worth the effort as a learning exercise. In it Ms Clark goes through the complete design process for this particular style of shawls as well as including a number of pattern suggestions.

This is "nearly" as the book prescribes. It went a little askew when I got a little carried away and did the flower beginning and then two repeats of the flower lace instead of one. I then continued on as prescribed but decided that I had enough yarn for an extra round of double repeats of the flower and the leaf lace. I finished it with the first six rows of flower lace and transition 1. The edging is two rows longer than suggested just to get the lighter tone on the cast off edge.

This is a lovely shawl and I am very pleased with the end result. The Kauni Effektgarn 8/2 (ED colourway) is again not the softest of yarns but forgivable for the great colour changes. If you are after a soft-as-silk shawl stick to something else. If you love the subtle gradient changes then go the Kauni.

Oh, and I would like you to note from the last photo that I do not have the 37 chins indicated in the first.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Marriage and the art of the school holidays

Today is my parent's 46th wedding anniversary. That is not a typo - forty-six! That is one hell of an effort any way you look at it. I have been married 13 years. Jas and I have been together now for 17. Most of those years have been marvelous, but I think any married person will tell you that there are times that aren't so great too. There are times that you could easily pack your bags and walk away without a moments thought, yet you don't.

I have seen my parents marriage and take it as an example. I know there were times that were less than great. I know that there were times when either one of them could have walked away. I also know that they hung on despite this and they have had many great and happy times together in that 46 years. Making a commitment to stay with one person forever isn't an easy one.

Jason and I married young, or at least what is considered young these days. I was 24 and he was 22. I sometimes say that we are still together as much through good luck as good management. What I mean by that is that we are both quite different people to who we were as young adults. Thankfully the changes have been positive (or at least bearable) and we still love the person that the other has become. In many ways it could have easily gone the other way.

On a less serious topic it is school holidays. Oh how I love school holidays. I know that some parents dread it but I love the casual, relaxed nature of a school holidays spent at home. I love the lack of time constraints and the lack of pressure (and I confess, the lack of work). Currently the kids are still in their jammies. Bevo is on the computer completing a very important Scooby Doo related photo collage and the two youngest ones are entertained with a cubby made from the couch, the coffee table and two blankets. They probably should be dressed but where's the hurry? We aren't going anywhere.

I also love that the holidays is a chance to tackle some of those bigger jobs that seem to much trouble for the weekends. So far I have sorted all the boys clothes, taking the too small to a friends house and shuffling the rest down a boy. I love that my kids are so unconcerned about these things that they are excited to receive "new" clothes from their bigger brothers. I also finally tackled the bathroom cupboard in our ensuite. I am sure that I haven't organised that since we renovated nearly 5 years ago! The knitting stuff in the lounge also got a going over. Needles back where they belong and all that jazz.

I have also got a little knitting done in the hols.

Pattern: Omo Scarf by Lucia Tedesco
Yarn: Cashmere 8ply from Ebay
Needles: 5mm
Comments: I just love this scarf. The pattern is beautifully textured without being fussy and easily remembered being just two rows.

Pattern: Hannah by Blake Ehrlich
Yarn: Cleckheaton Merino Supreme
Needles: 6mm
Comments: This is my new hash hat. I need to have my hair ponied to run and my old headband had lost it's elasticity. The only mod I made was to add about 3cm to the hat as I wanted it further down my ears. This thing whipped up so quickly. Even with pulling all the decreases to make it a little larger, it still only took about 3 hours.

Work continues on my Rose Ribbon Shawl. I anticipate an end very shortly.