02 October 2009

Good job you're not a surgeon!

I am making the Multnomah shawl for my husband's aunt as a Christmas present. I really like this pattern, easy and clear instructions (especially now I have got the "(yo, k1) 6 times" part straightened out) and very effective; and I like the fabric taking shape on my needles. So here I am sitting in bed happily clacking away, then, there's one stitch short, how come?! I counted back along the pattern, ah! found that I did one extra k2tog. So I unpicked the stitches to the culprit and started again... then, there's one stitch out, how come?!! I counted back along the pattern, ah! found that I did one less yo. So I unpicked the stitches to the culprit and started again, this time counting each stitch as I went... then, there's one stitch out, what the *$%#! "Agh...!!!" I shouted. My elder son came running in "What's the matter? What's the matter?" "Oh nothing," hubby said reassuringly "it's just your mum getting her stitches twisted again." (see, I do have understanding husband!) Anyway, I retraced the stitches one by one and found the REAL CULPRIT - I'd inadvertently dropped a yo on the returning row. So I unpicked the stitches once more and remedied the situation with my faithful crochet hook, "There! All done!" I said in triumph and happily resumed my clacking. "Good job you're not a surgeon!" chirped hubby cheerfully, "imagine telling your patient you'd messed up with the stitches and having to redo them, three times in a row!"

He does always know how to comfort me.

19 August 2009

Short break to Otways

Three days' break is really short and we are back already! Fauna Australia turned out to be a real gem, we saw lots of small animals, fed pademelons, hairy nosed wombats and koalas. The pademelons were running wild in the ground and they were very friendly, especially when you have food in your hands! We saw two mummy koalas with their babies in their pouches, they were very silky to stroke and simply beautiful.

We did the Otway Fly Treetop Walk and it was amazing, metal pathways were hung 25 meters above ground, although they were quite sturdy but you could see through the grits under your feet to the ground down below and that was a bit unnerving. The viewing platform was 45 meters high and once you got up there it swayed a little from side to side in the wind, the trees nearby were also swaying from side to side but not in sync with the platform! Although the swaying was almost undetectable on its own but teamed with the swaying trees it can make you feel dizzy! The boys were quite bravado about it at the beginning but quickly changed their mind once on top of the platform. But we enjoyed it over all, well worth the effort.

Other hightlights include seeing the glowworms at night in the Melba Gully and a wild baby possum in the woods. The glowworms were truly amazing, they were like stars in the night sky and they may even formed constilations! And we've all fallen in love with the little wild possum in the woods, we were walking towards the Triplett Falls and saw some people bending over something on the ground, and when we got closer we realised that it was a baby possum burrowing in the foliage, totally unperturbed by humans.

We drove back today along the Great Ocean Road, the scenary was spectacular and we decided that one day we are going to go back and stay a few nights at Anglesea or Lorne to explore the area better. We really enjoyed this short break and once again this country has amazed us with its beauty and diverse environments, there are so many places to see and things to do and we barely scratched the surface - more adventures awaits!

16 August 2009

Birthday getaway

It's my birthday tomorrow and instead of having a 'do' we are going away for a few day, we are staying at a place called Fauna Australia Wildlife Retreat. It's a private wildlife preservation centre near Cape Otway and we're hoping to have some close encounters with cute small wild animals on the reserve. We are also eager to check out the Otway Fly Treetop Walk and the glowworms at Melba Gully.

Unfortunately the forecast is not that brilliant for the next few days, and it's been really windy the last couple of days. Fingers crossed the wind will subside otherwise we may not be able to do the treetop walk. The boys are really excited and so am I, but we're not packed yet! Also I don't think there is internet connection at the accommodation so it'll be quite strange not going online... how did we manage before? Well, I'd better get off now to pack!!

11 July 2009

Mohair lacy scarf

Although I'd knit lace before, but only as garnish and never in fine wool. Then one day I saw some lovely kid mohair in the shops and I just had to have it, and I knew just the perfect project. So I started this lacy scarf to test the wool and my lace skills. The pattern calls for 3.5mm needles and for some reason I haven't any in my needle bag, no matter, I'll use another size. Toying between 3.25mm and 3.75mm, I finally decided on 3.25mm, my reason being I don't really like wide scarves. I haven't done a swatch, but in this case that's not really necessary, is it? We shall see.

Cast on today, a bit slow to get started, the fine wool and its lightness took some getting used to. But I've got the hang of it now, I think. And so far so good.

07 July 2009

Mindless knitting

I always knit while watching TV, it seems a crime if I didn't, all that time would be wasted! But I was taught a lesson Sunday night, it was the Wimbledon men's final Federal vs. Roddick, both my favourite players. I was knitting some socks for my cousin's birthday, the pattern was quite easy and has a nice rhythms to it. So I was clicking away cheering for both, then halfway through the match I suddenly realised with a horror that I had picked up stitches without shaping the heel!! The sock was looking more like a sack! I didn't rip it back there and then as it was way past midnight by the time I realised it, the sock was finished the next day. Note to self: better choose something less shapely when watching Wimbledon finals, it's obviously more absorbing than average TV programmes.

28 June 2009

Vests finished

I have finished knitting the vests for the boys, the smaller one was knitted in flat pieces and sewn together and the larger one was knitted in the round. As I'd planned the design in my head I didn't write down the pattern while I was knitting it, the instructions are quite easy but the cable chart could be tricky, not sure to do it on the computer or draw by hand. Procrastination is beginning to bite....

23 June 2009

Body warmers / vests

Melbourne's winter can be quite cold, although not nearly as cold as in the northern hemisphere. I suppose that's why the school uniform does not include a coat or parka, but on a frosty morning things can still get quite chilly. That's why I decided to knit body warmers for my sons, for them to wear over their uniform teeshirts. I have chosen the wool in their uniform colours, dark blue and green, and I'm going to follow their uniform: solid in one colour with contrasting stripes on the collar and at the hem. To add a little interest I'm going to add a cable panel at the centre front then branch out along the v-neck on each side. I've never written a pattern before, so it's going to be a challenge. The knitting part will be easy.

30 May 2009

Knitting again

When I was growing up I can remember that mother was always knitting, it was a skill necessary to keep your family warm during the harsh winters. I was taught this skill when I was about eight, along with crochet, a craft mother always favoured. I vaguely remember making scarves and gloves when I was a teenager for my then boyfriend, then a couple of jumpers for my now husband (when we were courting), then a baby blanket and a cardigan just before our first baby was born. After that I hadn't touched the kneedles and hooks for a good 10 years, I even gave all my kneedles to mum as I was so wrapped up in other things I didn't think I'd need them again.

Since becoming a freelance interpreter, I often find myself having considerable period of time between jobs, sometimes an hour, or even couple of hours, just sitting in the car listening to the radio. My hands were itching to be occupied, so I turned my attention to knitting/crochet again. That was a few months back, now my house is once again filled with my stash and UFOs, and I am feeling very content :)