Thursday, February 26, 2009

long not so lacy summer

in two days they tell me summer is over for another year, but i remain a sceptic. the australian climate has no respect for european calendar systems. i have known it to be damn hot at easter. we have had a minor reprieve with some rain and cloud but we are off to canberra this weekend for the flyball comp at the canberra royal (and to catch up with people and to see clever knitted things in the show), and i know it will be stinking and if there is hell on earth to me, its canberra in summer. at a flyball comp. but there will be compensations, im sure.

the point of this rant about summer is that its over, which means the 'long lacy summer' is over. i have been a bad KAL-er, as i always am, because life (and other knitting) seems to get in the way. i have made very little progress on the myrtle leaf shawl that bells and i started on australia day:

its a difficult knit in terms of concentration factor and i havent been up to it with the new job and working out timetables etc. and then there was lily. i did really itch to do some lace lately so i went back to victorian ruby which has a rest row, and a knit one at that. nice.

this yarn is jade sapphire cashmere and is the most beautiful thing i have ever held, i wish i could explain how soft it is.

but i did finish one lacy thing this long summer, and its a gift. it was went to be a christmas present for george, it was finished a couple of weeks ago and finally got blocked this week. it is just lovely:
it is not perfect, and my blocking leaves something to be desired, but this yarn (knittery slim socks in merlot) has lent itself quite well to the idea of being a scarf instead of socks. it has a lovely silky touch to it that works really well with the fantastic pattern that is the 'weldons wide and handsome border' from victorian lace today.

speaking of socks, my IK Spring arrived yesterday and i was flicking through some kind of nice patterns (probably nothing i will make) when i saw the most interesting thing in the magazine - an ad. not just any old ad tho, oh no, it was an ad for a book, a whole book of cookie a sock patterns.

it comes out in april. i am sooo there.

k xx

Sunday, February 22, 2009

back...and baking

that was a long and tiring week. im glad its over. i dont like being away from home really. i did get nearly a whole paper written, it just needs some polishing, but its pretty close. i didnt get a lot of knitting done really, just a few rows on lily here and there. but there was a lovely little parcel waiting for me when i got home...

ok, it wasnt so little. it contained rather a lot of malabrigo:

the green is for renee and the rest is for me.

these 4 skeins of lace weight are in paris night colourway and are for the shetland tea shawl from 'a gathering of lace' if i ever manage to finish the myrtle leaf, or the victorian ruby. (i am a bit obsessed with lily at the moment but am missing the lace, i might do some today). the paris night colours are perfect, not quite black, or grey, or blue, or purple, but little bits of all of them at the same time. scrummy.

and two more velvet grapes in worsted to go with the 4 i got for my birthday. this is enough now to make a leisl for me. if i ever finish lily, and trents cobblestone! so much knitting, so little time.

oh, and whats that in the background? sam norton knight tackling my yarn, as the waratahs beat the chiefs. two from two, happy about that.

anyway, all this yarn fondling made me want to do some baking, so i set up the ingredients in the kitchen and set to work:

the result was 5 cakes:

2 of the velvet grapes for leisl, one socks that rock in atomic for the blackrose socks (i only have one pair of socks that are nearly finished on the needles, must remedy that situation!), plus the koigu for plain socks, and one skein of the paris night just to see what it looked like. delicious!

k xx

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

away from home

this week i am away from home, but only down the road. well, 2 hours down the road, but i am staying here for the week because i am in a 'writing for publication' workshop and there is homewrok to do and its pretty heavy going, so i didnt think i could cope with the driving AND thinking. today was day 2 and it has taken me this long to figure out how to get the laptop connected to the uni wireless network. sheesh. anyway, here i am, eating my healthy choice microwave meal, reading papers about factors that influence nursing as a career choice and making mind maps:

its raining here still, and its lovely really. this is such a gorgeous campus, here is the view from my window (i am staying at the unilodge).

oh, and i might be knitting a bit. i cast on lily mark two in the filatura di crosa zara and its motoring along:

i love this pattern, so easy. no sewing. this might be a record knit for me, timewise. and did i mention i am in love with the zara? i may never knit with anything else again....

and before i left i managed to finish the second of bells' christmas monkey socks. the colours are not great here as it was cloudy but the cherry tree hill sock yarn in serengeti is MADE for monkeys. voila:

i must end with an apology. i am not much of a blogger at the moment, obviously rather sporadic in the posting, but not great on the commenting either. a full time job may well add to the bank balance (not sure, havent been paid yet) but it definitely detracts from important blogging time. you are in my thoughts tho.

k xx

Thursday, February 12, 2009

when looks deceive

there is nothing quite like the joy of home grown tomatoes:

there is also nothing quite like the horror at home grown tomatoes gone wrong - grubs did this i think:

and too much rain did this:


dont get me wrong, im not complaining about the rain, it started a couple of days ago and has been pretty constant on and off since. they are getting some of it down in the fires, and things are looking a bit greener and a bit less scary around here. the temp has dropped considerably too. i am grateful for that but the extremes are a little off-putting. it just seems very unpredictable. its freaking me out. as a kid growing up in the 70s i remember lying awake at night in real fear of the nuclear bomb. these days i am glad i dont have kids to raise in a world that sits on the brink of environmental and ecological disaster. it would be too freaky.

on the not-so-freaky side, i have started another version of the lily cardigan. i made one of these last year in a lovely possum-merino blend and it was beautiful, until i washed it, at which point the sleeves grew by about another half length and the picot edges curled up making the whole thing about half a foot shorter than it should be. ok so i exaggerate a little, but ever since i have been determined to make another one in a more structured yarn, minus the *cough* slight variations *cough cough* in the first one.

so i bought some zara specially, and swatched it two nights ago. i swatched it on 3.5mm needles because they were what i had spare (even tho the pattern says 3.75mm) and despite rather vigourous wet blocking my swatch refused to be 4x4 inches.

sigh. i do have a 3.75mm addi turbo but the cable in it really shits me because it is badly kinked, but i cast on with it last night anyway. there is a lot more room in the stitches, i can tell already it will be closer to gauge.

this is good because it means i dont have to alter the pattern or stitch count. my only concern is that its going to make a fabric that is a little bulkier than i was hoping for. i know what youre going to say. swatch it again on the right size needle. no FREAKY way. too impatient. sorry.

k xx

Monday, February 09, 2009

world on fire...

all the news here is about the fires in victoria and its hard to not have that put things in perspective. bells has already written most eloquently on the subject. it does however make me think about all sorts of things, about white settlement of a land mass that regularly sets itself on fire to regenerate, and our complete and utter refusal to accept that fact. about our modern capitalist insistence on being individually comfortable, in cars, with air conditioning, no matter the cost. and it reminds me of a book i read recently, cormac mccarthy's the road, (about to be a movie) which is the scariest thing i have read in a long time, the most utterly distressing and compelling book ive ever come across, about a world destroyed by fire and what happens to humanity in the aftermath. its a very telling tale, but its a lesson i fear we we will never learn.

despite the southerly that came last night i woke up in a sweat and got up to turn fans on. i looked outside and could see the peats ridge fire buring in the distance.

its a good 60kms north of us but it has been burning all weekend and the smoke has smeared the horizon:
while the smell of burning eucalyptus fills the air. its a strange sensation, and its one i associate entirely with summer in australia. so why are we never prepared?

anyway, we spent most of the weekend in our luxurious pool thanking our lucky stars that we have a pool. trent and the dogs slept a bit:

yesterday evening we cooked chicken on the bbq and sat looking over our yard and the miles of bushland only a hundred metres away and talked about what to do when the fire comes our way, as it inevitably will. dogs. laptop. run. oh, and ring the insurance company and check our coverage.

it has been so hot i have not managed to get much knitting done. when i am tired i find knitting acts like a soporific so its been slow going this week. another repeat on myrtle. approaching the toe on monkey number two:

and back to work already. i have one more week of working two part time jobs, before starting the new one full time officially next monday. my first week is a full on writing workshop. good lord, what have i done?!

k xx