Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bits 'n Pieces

It's not often I have a lazy weekend- doing nothing-but this weekend has been one of them. I was just not in the mood for doing anything much at all.
Not that I did 'nothing'.
My list of 'to do' things before the trip to the USA-now has lots of ticks on it!
I checked out Knitpicks & placed an order- that will be delivered to my GF's & I'll pick it up when I visit in May. In some ways I'm glad they don't post to Oz or I'd be done for-you'd find me buried under a pile of wool & fabric.
I certainly don't need anything in the parcel before then- its more sock yarn (which I find hard to resist) & a ball winder. I do have a ball winder- well, really, technically its a cone winder & the balls tend to collapse on themselves as I don't keep the plastic cone in there.....
Next on my list was embroideryonline, after I had gone through all my machine embroidery threads, to see which ones need replacing-that took me the best part of 3 hours on Saturday . The up shot of that is that all the threads are tidy & sorted. Seems I need a few threads-I've sewn more than I thought I had in the past 12 months.
Sew, when I arrive at Barb's it'll be like Christmas for me- all these parcels that I have delivered to her place prior to my arrival.
I played around with a Flickr album- I seem to have albums all over the place with pics in them-but I'll keep this one for my sewing & knitting.

My knitting is certainly progressing well. After I gave Gemma her pink socks I then completed the blue, Embossed Leaves, pair- they are really gorgeous & I love the heel & toe detail in them-a little different to what I've done on other pairs. Very classy looking.

Today I started a pair with my yarn cafe shimmer yarn-it's a variegated yarn & patterns do not show well with all the colours. This is my improvised pair- I'm making it up as I go- hopefully when I finish I'll have something wearable & that fits a foot as well- you never know what will happen when I start to knit. I am now ready to turn the heel.

This afternoon I sat & watched 2 movies on DVD- I rarely sit & watch anything at all-its a good excuse to knit. The first one was a Helen Hunt one- 'then there was you' I think was the name of it- lovely girlie type movie for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The second one was Indecent Proposal-I wonder how many people, in a similar situation, would do the same thing. Hell ,I'd have 'slept' with Robert Redford for nothing!

MOTH leaves for Malaysia on Wednesday, then onto UK-we don't catch up again until I get to Canada around 3 June.

Tuesday week I'm off to Hong Kong with the gals for our yearly shopping trip-this is when I might buy the camera I've been after- no DH saying to buy a Sony! Looking forward to our 6 days away- no guys-no meals- no dishes!!!! The perfect holiday!
Happy Crafting

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Knitting, Travel & Airport Security

We flew to Melbourne this past weekend to catch up with DS no1, his wife & our 4 year old GS-it's so nice to see them more often these days, without the long flight to London! They all seem to be settling in very well. GS can tell you where all the trams are going by the number & even remembered to tell me that on the weekend they ran a No.3 so we could get that is we missed the 96! Not sure what they'll teach him in school next year!
On the flight down I sat & knitted my socks on my small DPN"s without a hitch- no one said a thing. They cleared security with no problems & the knitting was sitting in the top of my bag so anyone could see it.

On the flight home our plane was delayed for take off & I sat & knitted again-many of the flight staff walked passed me without comment....then it only took one.....Excuse me, you can't knit on the plane. I'm not sure how you cleared security with them.....I'll have to confiscate them.

You can imagine my surprise as I'd been knitting for the previous 30 minutes & no one had commented, indeed I knitted around the USA & back to Oz from the USA & no one said I had a dangerous implement on board.
So take my knitting they did- to the Captain & Security meet me at the plane after we landed, walked me back out of the airport & handed me back my knitting! As most of the Flight Staff commented- not sure what I could do with them- I said- not even pick your teeth as they aren't sharp enough! looks like I'll be packing them on the next flights! Sure passes the time if I can knit.

While we were on St Kilda beach with the wild child one day we came across a group of Indigenous People dancing & someone taking a video of them- I snapped a few pics-not sure what it was all about.
I have completed the Lacewave socks & given them to Gemma-I think she was rather pleased to be a recipient of my knitted socks & now I've moved on to Embossed Leaves from the same book. I have completed 1 sock already & down on to the leg of the second-so well & truly underway with them.

Socks are so easy to knit-doesn't take long to get to the end of a needle & at 64 stitches all round -they knit up very quickly. The Wild Child has asked for matching socks to his fingerless mitts & beanie which he calls his rainbow lorikeet outfit!

DIL is wearing the socks I gave her for Christmas & is very pleased with them- I never thought in a million years I'd ever be knitting socks!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ramblings of Mad Woman

My knitting has progressed well through the week. I have completed one of the socks of hideousness & am at the heel of the second one....perhaps I'll finish this one before we leave for Melbourne on Thursday morning.

We are off to visit with No 1 son & his family- namely the 4 year old GS. Apparently he has been throwing hissy fits & his parents are not amused-especially when he is out & does it. There is lots of advice on dealing with temper tantrums & small children & we do know they grow out of it-but at the time you'd like to give them away until they can be returned to you as reasonable young persons- about 25 years of age- give or take a few years!

Thankfully, none of ours were real hissy fitters-they may have thrown the odd one ,but it wasn't a regular occurrence- mine learnt pretty quick they never got their own way with me if they did resort to temper & tears. I also only fought the battles with them that were necessary- I never worried if they wanted to put a blue T shirt with the orange shorts- I let them pick their their own clothes from very early on-at least then they felt like they had some control over their own lives.
Lets face it, when rearing kids, by the time you know you stuffed it all up ,its too late! Some children should be born with an instruction manual- & not written in Chinglish either!

On the camera front, I wish I had never gone there. MOTH is getting very insistent that I buy a Sony- he even offered to buy me an A200 to see if I liked it or not-the more he pushes the more I want the Nikon D80-at this stage I'm not buying anything-I just can't stand the angst it is creating! I wonder what happened to free will in this family.....obviously not when buying a camera!
My sewing has been productive- I have written up the instructions for both my articles that are to be published, done the samples, photographed what I needed to & sent it to the editor! YEAH- even the articles are ready to be boxed & posted, hopefully tomorrow. Well before my deadline date.
DD dropped some fabric in this afternoon to make a slip for her to wear under a sheer top-that must have taken all of 45 minutes from drafting to finishing-only cost her $5 for the fabric a far cry from spending $45 to buy one.

As I was making this little slip up I was thinking that when I was her age we wore the sheer things without anything much underneath them ,funny how times have changed- we flaunted it all back in the day- these days it is better left hidden away- no one wants to see what I used to have any more! Lets face it- it isn't even where it used to be , anymore!! LOL

It would appear that many people are returning to sewing & crafting with the recession- great for all of us who have always done so & good for the businesses that sell the items- hopefully it will bring about a resurgence of crafting & sewing.
Until next timeOz-tralien

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Flying Needles

During the week we changed areas at work. We do 3 months in one area & move on. This area I am now in will not go fast enough! Lynda, whom I follow at work, said the same thing!
One of my visits is eye drops.....3 times a day.....every be given 5 minutes apart.....and there are 6 of them.....sometimes's very tedious, to say the least.
The first few days I suffered through Antique Road Show, I Love Lucy, Elliott Ness, M*A*S*H & Gunsmoke, willing the minutes to hurry by. This lady is blind & turns the TV up very LOUD.....she's not deaf at all, so I wonder why the TV has to be at full volume, perhaps to compensate for not having the visuals.

Larissa suggested I take my knitting in, to fill in time. What a brilliant woman she is! I've knitted a sock, the fingerless mittens to go with the hat & a bow tie scarf all this week! The 5 minutes between each drop is now flying & so are my needles & I'm not bored whit-less by the inane TV.
Knitting also is a conversation starter-my lady asks me each day what I'm up to , and how much more I've done.
Yesterday I went looking at new cameras. I like the Nikon D80. MOTH has been pushing me toward a Sony A350 because he has the A700 (& is coveting the A900) & he says we can share lenses. This sounds fine in theory but I have my doubts that it will work in practise. I also have to decide if I really want to start carrying around camera gear, as opposed to "a" camera.

This week I completed the red Ladder of Life socks for my GF's DH (scroll down to see pattern)-I'm sure he will love them & my GF will tell me not to encourage him!LOL
The bow tie scarf pattern was done with an odd ball I picked up at Spotlight. Patons Soft Haze in a very delicate pink. I knitted the scarf bit longer than the pattern as I found 12" choked me! The pattern is a free download from Ravelry.
Next were the fingerless mittens, to match the hat, all done in the wool I dyed with food colouring a couple of weeks back. I found these instructions difficult to follow- the mitts look like they should be longer to me-but hey, I have more yarn I'll try again with a different pattern!
Last night I started another pair of socks. What can I say- they are easy, very transportable & they knit up quickly. These ones are called Socks of Hideousness , have started these with some yarn I bought on EBay a few weeks ago.
I did start a shawl from my knitted lace of Estonia book, but felt I couldn't concentrate on the graph with the TV blaring & my lady talking to me!
Happy Crafting

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thanks for the Memories

Yesterday I went on my Redballoonday with Sydney Photographic Workshops.
This was a day that my family had paid for for as birthday present for me-it turned out to be a great gift!

What an excellent day I had.

My camera was by far the oldest & the least fancy- most of the group were sporting Cannon's with more lenses than a photographic shop & the professionals that took us!

We started out at lunchtime with harsh over head light & snapped all day until the sun had gone down & we had a lovely model, Annabelle, who posed for us & did the fire poise for us-spectacular on the darkened beach.

This is where my camera was limited as I don't have the shutter speeds like the full digital cameras, but I got a few decent shots off. The professional photographers were really great with me- trying different things to get the best from my camera & a lot of it is composition & the lighting-it might be nice to zoom in & get the fly on a nose, but at this stage I can live without it-I'm still not prepared to carry 6 KG of camera gear around with me when travelling!

MOTH had a look at my shots- declaring that he could do better & that a few of them were too postcard-y....but to me they are 100% on what I was taking 4 weeks ago! AND, lets face it- he would never say I took a better pic than he did!

La Perouse was an interesting place. I've lived in Sydney my whole life & never been there, that I can remember. It is obviously a popular venue for bridal photographers as there must have been at least 6-8 bridal parties there during the time we were there, all dressed in their finery, clambering across the rocks & rock pools. They, had at least removed stilettos for easy to manage thongs!

I came home exhausted & happy & had taken over 500 shots- this would never have happened back in the days of film- I'm also sun burnt!, but thankfully not too badly....

I'm sure a great day was had by all....and I may just go off & do a few more classes now!