Friday, January 19, 2007

Wooly goodness update

Yesterday's dyeing efforts:

(two weeks later, different batch of wool)
To continue the laundry theme:
And the finished product:


Does anyone know of a retail outlet where I can purchase some time??? I need a few more hours in each day, and a few more days in each week, etc etc. I will pay any price (but need to put it on the credit card).

What would I do with such time? I would dye more (a whole kg of wool dyed today just wasn't enough, I wanted to keep going and going but alas Miss M wanted dinner!), I would knit more, I would do more than just skim the forums, and most of all, I would catch up on my zzz's.

It's also hard to comprehend, Matilda is 8 hours away from being exactly one year old. Where did the year go? I think Father Time has been cheating me of a few hours here and there!

The proceeding post is a classic example of my blog description: "sleep-deprived ramblings of an insomniac woolyholic".

So, off to bed I go --- after I take one last look at today's dyeing bonanza.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A new favourite

I have managed to source out a fabulous new wool yarn that is fast becoming my new favourite. It is an Australian Polwarth that is an absolute dream to knit with and has a lovely silky drape. It has an amazing lustre to it that just can't be beat. The yarn is slinky soft! It takes dye very well, compared with BFL and a merino I have, wool from the same dye lot comes up brighter and more vibrant. The yarn is not treated with chemicals.

The Polwarth breed (Australia's first breed of sheep) was developed in Victoria more than 100 years ago , from a cross of Merino rams and Lincoln ewes. It produces strong, dense wool that's about 23-25 microns without a trace of scratchiness.

I love it! Soon you can too, when Jolly Jumbuck re-opens for business in mid-February.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Off the needles

Some recently-finished projects...

Roy's birthday-slash-Christmas socks :P One sock was finished just in time for his June birthday and the other sock finished at 3am Christmas Eve LOL. The yarn is OnLive, a self-striping fairisle sock yarn.

Matilda's crawling shorts in Utiku Seaweed. I still have to do the cartoon caterpillar crawling up the leg but the knitting's done and she's been wearing it (sans elastic! what a funny sight...). I used Utiku as I don't want to be too precious about it, she can use it in the garden, the mud, whatever. Most of all, the little the muckypup can use it while eating (self-feeding: favourite new form of food intake).

I'm sure there's a couple more, I will dig them up and add to the list so I can see my own progress :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Dawn of the cape

(Knitter's magazine, spring 2001)

What a difference a good blocking makes!
From this:To this:

I pinned out the cape on the bed when we went away on holidays. The reason it had sat unfinished for so long is that I never had a bed big enough to block it. I had to do a rush-job as there was still packing to do for an early ferry. It's not perfectly blocked (I didn't steam press it as I wasn't 100% happy with the overall shape, I will re-block and steam press when I wash it next) but it got done. Finally. One down, two to go (UFO).

The beauty of lace doesn't reveal itself until it's been properly blocked. I still have to get just the right buttons (3) for the front. I couldn't afford a handpainted yarn when I knit it in the deserts of Central Oregon, so I chose Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport. I got a 500g cone of it and am knitting the rest of the wool into knee-high stockings. Too bad I won't get much wear out of them, as Perth doesn't get quite as cold as Alfalfa OR!

:'( <--- one very homesick knitter

Monday, January 08, 2007


It's good to be home! Well if you want to get technical about it, I got home almost a week ago, but owing to DP catching up on his bookkeeping and me not really wanting to leave vacation land (in my head), I have resisted the computer pretty much since we got back from Rotto. It was a fabulous holiday, and much needed, I tell's ya.

I really enjoyed the family time. Granted, life certainly has changed since the last time I was on Rotto years ago (oh boy what an understatement), but I think for the better personally. It was one of M's first holidays and she absolutely loved it. We were over there for six nights, over New Year's Eve and all of its craziness (sometimes even adding to that craziness). My closest brother (and the only one that lives in Perth, serendipity!) and his family came with us. We were pretty to get the Rottnest Island lottery the first year we applied, so we got a nice four bed villa near the Village. There were my brother, his wife (who I love to bits) and their my niece Sam (7) and nephew Tim (3). My mum joined us a couple of days late, which was a blessing as she's off on another overseas holiday soon :'-(

A lot of alcohol was drunk, a lot of bike rides taken (I hate 'em hills!), and many a euchre and Monopoly games played (and I won every one, teehee!). My fave part was snorkelling off Little Salmon Bay, for sure! I just go into another state of mind when in the water... and all the wonderful fish and coral were a balm for my stressed psyche. I confess, I cuddled a few quokkas.

Matilda went for a couple of swims in the pretty cold water but then had great fun eating sand and crawling after crabs. I had a baby seat on the back of my bike which she had a love-hate relationship with. She loves the ride-ride but hates the humongous helmet!

Unfortunately Sam had a bit of a rough time of it; the first day there she was riding down a hill with my bro and Roy, and came off. She had grazes and bruises all over her face and arms and knees, but rode home bravely and nurse "ku-ku" (me -- it means auntie in Hokkien) fixed her up with Dettol ... she was such a trooper as that stuff really stings! Then on the last day she was stung by a jellyfish, more nursing! I'm so proud of little Sammy, she's my pal.

It was really good to spend some time with my mum as well. She's met a new fella! My stepdad died in 2005 and she's been living a varied life since. When she went back to Malaysia for my grandma's stroke she was introduced to a widow from Phoenix AZ by her youngest sister, so since then she's been SMS'ing and calling him at all hours! It was like our roles had been reversed and now she was the love-struck teenager. Anyway she's flying out tomorrow, for three months, to meet him in the US. I will really miss her (so will Matilda).

And guess what? Nobody brought a camera! (almost a miracle in my tech-crazy family).
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