Monday, December 20, 2010

Adieu, goodbye, auf wiedersehen, farewell!


About to go to the airport.  House-sitter is settling in nicely.  Gryph in the doting hands of Roy's parents.  Sox in the same cat motel she's gone to last four years.  Plenty of knitting WIP's packed.  I wanted more, but hey... realistically there's already about 7 or 8 (I'm afraid to count!).  I'm actually pretty thrilled in that all my WIP's are now organised; we needed the suitcase they were willy-nilly jammed in LOL so I went and got some handbag organisers that hang in your wardrobe and I've never been more organised!

My Thailand lies over the ocean,
My Thailand lies over the sea,
My Thailand lies over the ocean,
Bring me back to Thailand yippee!

(our last trip there was when Matilda was living in my belly :))
--- and no I'm not from Thailand, but Malaysia.  It didn't stop the locals trying to speak Thai to me though!


PS -- if you never hear from me again it's because we bought one of those million-baht houses and have decided to stay.  :-P

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sick as a dog...

...(Dog! Stop eating my sick!!)  GRYPH!  COME HERE NOW!!!

We've had a spectacular run of gross, gushing V&D this past week.  (That's, for the blissfully inexperienced stands for vomit and diarrhoea). :P

It started with a great day at the Variety Club Xmas party.  Spectacular rides (with M's favourite being the pirate ship slide, even though there were lots of kids she asserted herself when she needed to!), face painting (rainbow butterfly to match her rainbow Rainbow Dress and Pinwheel Sunhat), AND a circus!  We'd gone to the Joseph Ashton Circus before, they're always touring around Perth; that was a few years ago.  Interesting to see them grown up a bit, what a family enterprise!  And a lot, a lot, a lot of food.  There were sandwiches and R was telling me he overheard a lady asking for gluten-free food and was basically laughed at.  So we let her indulge.

Later that night, four or five times of Matilda just waking up, big hurl, change bed change sheets change PJ's, and then pretty much go back to sleep again til the next vomit.  And horrid, horrid poos in the morning.

Well a couple of days later it's my turn.  Nothing says class more than driving down Welshpool Rd in peak hour, discreetly (ah, you think?!) dry-retching into a Kleenex tube... I just wanted to get home.  And 5pm I'm in bed curled up under two doonas but still freezing.  Thank you Roy for stepping up and taking care of Matilda tonight despite your mate being here xoxo.

Ate some leftover dinner, ten minutes later it's out.  And Gryph is feasting.  Ugh!

End of comfort blogging.  I might have the man-flu.

TMI?  Ya think!

Friday, December 10, 2010

She loves it, she really really loves it!

Woot!  After a series of two-hour "welcome to pre-primary" sessions in the last six weeks, Matilda had her first full day at "big kids school" (a local, public, friendly and multicultural) Pre-Primary school today.  She just CANNOT stop talking about how great it is.  There are enough kids for two PP classes, and even though unfortunately the small handful of kids she knew from kindy are actually placed in the other class, she still can't stop talking about the kids in her class, by name (which in itself is a major milestone for her, she has only started referring to specific people by name in the last month or so).  Already it's Cameron said this, Ella did that, etc etc.  I am so thrilled, to the point of tears (happy ones of course), that she has developed SO MUCH socially, she is like a totally different child to when she was diagnosed with ASD.  Now you can't shut her up, now I am a mother who has to deal with "Why?" questions all the time.  Now she is happy and sociable and loves meeting new kids and having new experiences. I'm just SO proud of my little girl... so you'll have to forgive my gushings.  I'm proud, I'm loud about it, and I want to tell the whole world!!!

Times like this, I want to have more kids.  But I don't think I will ever again summon up the level of love and pride that I feel about my one and only.

Tomorrow, we've been invited to the Variety Club's Christmas Party for special needs kids.  A couple of weeks ago we went to a similar event and were showered with gifts, free rides, ice-cream (a special enough occasion to break the dairy ban).

My world is a pretty happy place right now.

I LOVE YOU, MATILDA M. S.!!!  Forever and a day (or two)....

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Ah, the perils of anonymous comments

I just had to share this comment I recently got on one of my posts, the spam filter missed it. 

I give birth to infer from a only one of the articles on your website at this very moment, and I extremely like your line of blogging. I added it to my favorites net period roster and disposition be checking promote soon. Divert check out of order my put as ok and leave to me be familiar with what you think. Thanks.
Hilarious, no???  I have NO idea what it's supposed to mean, or what the native language of the person/bot (more likely) leaving it, but I just found it funny to try to decipher.

All jokes aside, people, please please please (OK three's my limit for begging) leave me some comments!  I'd like to know who's reading this lonely old blog.  I want to try to link up to other blogs (I've seen "blog rolls" on others' blogs) but can't quite work it out yet.  Teknologically challenged is what I am.  So go ahead and give me some hints eh?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

To Megan...

(I had a very interesting, unusual encounter with a stranger yesterday.  The parking lot at early intervention was unusually full and I had to park illegally, drop off (the already late) Matilda, and then rush back to my car to move it into a spot that had just freed up.  I was stopped by a stranger, a lovely woman who was doing a seminar on personal development and one of their homework tasks was to approach a stranger with a sealed envelope, ask the stranger to open it and read out some questions about their personal goals, dreams and achievements)

To the lovely Megan, I'm sorry we didn't have more time to talk, what you are participating in sounds very intriguing.  I give kudos for you wanting to improve your personal development, and feel very strongly in the little time we had to talk that you will achieve your "purpose in life", and be damned good at it.  Stress not, it will come in time, life moves in mysterious ways and on it's own timeline.  In the meantime I applaud your desire to help the kids and I wish you all the best in your endeavours.  Thank you for adding a little bit of life-outside-my-own to my day and week.  It is very highly unlikely that you will read this, but I will send it out there to the cosmos anyway.  May your path in life be smooth and clear.  And when it's not, may the trials make you stronger.  xoxo

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Muggles in my studio

Urgh. I have the heeby-jeebies at this moment in time. Roy's parents are here for an *extremely rare* visit, and he and his dad are taking apart something in my studio! I need to get in there and dye. Instead I am sitting here feeling wierd that there are muggles in my studio poking around. MY space! MINE MINE MINE!!!

To fill out this post, some recent pics of little Diva Princess (so much so in the past couple of weeks) modeling some recent and not-so-recent FO's.
A "Flirty Skirty" (more than three years old!)  in APHRODITE (never shaved, good as new!), with a couple of "Rainbows and Ringlets" tops
Geisha Girl:  an "In-Threes" with ATHENA Monochromal Gradual Gradient in "My Sweet Valentine"
"Ningaloo Maxi" Super-twirly in Dec 2010 yarn club, dress is in yarn boot camp! (used, abused, washed carelessly)
"Citrus Garden" in hand-dyed ARTEMIS (BWM cotton 8ply), definitely a pattern to be repeated (longer length, cotton shrinks)
An IvyAnna test knit from Zanz 10ply dishcloth cotton

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dyeing in the moonlight...

Once again, I'm making another late-night post. I've just dyed up some more cottons and my mind is buzzing, awash with colour and what I'm gonna do tomorrow (it's past midnight, time to turn off the radio I dye to and give the neighbours a break).

It's just been so hot during the afternoons, with the sun beating down on my back (sunscreen has become a vital part of my PPE) as my dye studio is semi-open and orientated so that the sun shines directly into it in the afternoons (mornings are for family).

I struggle sometimes with finding a balance between satisfying my creative urges, and spending time with the family. So often the only uninterrupted dyeing time I have is at night, under the moonlight (daylight flouro lights help too!). I'm awfully pleased with how tonight's session went, and I've already placed my dibs on some yarn (fringe benefits). I'm also a bit of a night-owl in general so this is when my brain is most active, after the dinnertime slump when all I want to do is to shower and dress Matilda and chuck her in bed and cozy up with a book and some knitting. Then night descends and I come wide awake. I worked the 6pm to 6am shift at Hewlett Packard in Corvallis, Oregon once and it was the best job ever.

I was dyeing cottons and cotton-blends in 200g skeins (variegated) with 100g trim. I hope the trim colours I chose are OK; I don't know if I will be packaging them all up as 300g lots or making the trims optional. What do you think?

I hope to have these yarns as well as the December instalment of the yarn club all ready to go and stocked by mid-December. We're going on holiday from the 20th so I will have to discuss with Annette (the JJ Yarn Fairy) whether she will be able to send out orders while I am gone or whether I will have to shut up shop for two weeks. I can't wait to show off what I've dyed!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Shriekingly, shamefully scared of slithering snakes

I saw a 1.5m long dugite snake when I went to hang out some laundry this morning. My voice is still hoarse from the shameful shrieking I did. Roy says I took five years off his life when he heard me. Matilda and Gryph who were both outside just looked at me bemusedly (I'm glad I didn't pass on my fear to M). It's really not surprising to see a snake on our property, we are semi-rural and surrounded by horse paddocks and tall grass. But this one was on concrete (granted, slithering away from me, and slithering very speedily when he/she heard my shrieks), and it just gave me a terrible fright. I'm not usually a timid type of person, but snakes just terrify me. Sometimes when I'm reading a picture book and a photo of a snake shows up I won't even touch the page. Irrational? Yes! Maybe I was a mouse deer in a previous life and prey to snakes. Maybe I was traumatised by a visit to the Snake Temple in Penang when I was a child. Maybe I'm just silly, stupid, and senseless, to be scared of slithering snakes!

By the way, Roy chased it off with a rake with G, M and I cowering in the house. Matilda laughed at me. Gryph thought it was all great fun. I shudder to think what would have happened if he'd discovered the snake himself. Shivers...

I'm now too scared to go out to my dye studio but I will, with my trusty gumboots on! More cottons to dye :)

I need a new slogan

For years, the slogan for Jolly Jumbuck has been "For the love of wool". Well it's time to update it as I've also fallen in love with dyeing and using cottons and cotton-blends.

So, I could go with:

"For the love of yarn"
"Hand-dyed happiness"
"Jolly good yarn"
"Bloody good yarn", as in "Jolly Jumbuck - Bloody good yarn!"

Some of these are suggestions from my friends at Jolly Jumbuck Mates on Ravelry. I'm running a little competition to come up with a groovy new slogan for the shop, the person who comes up with the slogan I decide on will win 300g of ARIADNE (100purewool 3ply superwash) custom-dyed just for them. If I choose a slogan that I came up with myself, I will put the names of everyone who suggested a slogan in a hat and draw out a name.

So, please leave a comment on what you think my new slogan should be!

Also, I've noticed that the "Yarnies, know thy yarn!" post has netted some disagree's. Which is fantastic, the world is full of people with differing opinions and a healthy debate is always welcome. But I would really love to know what exactly people are disagreeing with, that is why I've enabled anonymous comments (thank goodness for spam filters though!). Could you leave me a note as to what you are disagreeing with? Is it because I've broken the unspoken taboo of criticising my peers? Or do you think it's not important for a dyer to familiarise themselves with their products? Do you think it's OK to chase the popular yarns based on other peoples' reviews or what other dyers are using? After all, in the current environment yarn bases are pretty transparent (at least I try to inform my customers which yarns I'm using), and with a yarn that is universally available do you think it is OK for the dyer to rely on reviews and word of mouth? Or do you object to my somewhat superior, snobby tone? None of these are going to change my views, and I will continue to use and live with the yarns that I dye, and share my experiences because I owe it to myself as a dyer and a knitter too. But it sure would be nice to know what people are disagreeing with. I look forward to some comments.

Now I shall take my insomniac self off to bed and dream of what I'm going to knit next with from my current batch of yarns.

PS -- Just dyed: "Thanksgiving" from the Circle of Stash yarn club, and a bunch of variegateds with trim on Henry's Attic cottons. 200g variegated, 100g trim. Hopefully some will make it through the Irene-Tax/Market Research checkpoint and onto the shop!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time for a facelift

All these months away from my blog (previous to the last two posts), I have been thinking about what direction I'm going to go with it. No one reads it any more, this is because I'm so sporadic at posting and it's all drivel anyway LOL

But I decided that it needed a facelift, so I've been mucking around with templates. The old one was really old, at a time when Blogger gave you ten templates to choose from. Well I've found one that's to my liking, but had to do a bit of tinkering to get it to work. That's why it's been set to Private view; the dates and graphics just weren't lining up. I hope you like what I ended up with. I'll be tinkering in the next few weeks to make it just like a "Jolly Jumbuck Journal".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yarnies, know thy yarn!

Feel it, touch it, fondle it all you want. Even take it to bed with you if you must. But most of all, use it. Knit (or crochet) with it, feel the texture, amount of give, best gauge, etc. Then, wear it. Wash it. Again and again. Live with it. Only then will you get to know the yarn. Not by reading reviews on Ravelry and other places, not by scoping out "the next popular yarn", not going by brand names and what other dyers are using.

Unlike painting, where the composition of the canvas is of minor importance to the art of the piece (although I do like a good oil on canvas, the textures created by brush and knife), dyeing yarn is not just adding colour to strands of white. The yarn itself, the base, is an *integral* part of the final product. To sell it, you need to know it. How many people would eat meat dishes made by a vegetarian chef who hasn't tasted it? Or modern cloth nappies from a WAHM who uses disposables full-time on her own children? Or, heaven forbid, a designer who hasn't actually knit her own pattern? And yet, nobody hesitates to buy yarn from someone who doesn't knit or crochet, or somebody who has had the yarn base for more than a year and yet hasn't knit with it.

I just don't get it. First, how can these dyers be surrounded by such tactile goods as lush yarn, and not want to attack it with needles or hooks? To get to know it, to learn about it, to familiarise herself with it's pro's and con's. Where are they getting feedback on yarn performance over time from -- their customers, members on Ravelry? Even though I myself find this feedback invaluable, it doesn't stop me from wanting to experience it myself. And I am not saying that I knit every colourway that I dye, that would be ludicrous. But I do knit an item of each type of dyeing process, and I knit garments with every one of my many many bases over the years.

That's where I form my opinions on the pro's and con's of each yarn base. They all do have con's, you know. To not have personally used the yarn itself is cheating yourself and your customers of an objective view on the yarn's not-so-good points. This is where I develop my favourites which I will continue to stock and dye, knowing that the yarn itself will perform well over time. There are "popular" yarns out there that I have tried, but decided against for whatever reason. And the yarns I like won't be the yarns everyone else likes, so I do stock yarns that I personally wouldn't seek out to use. Then, once in a while, I hit upon a yarn that even though I have kg's and kg's of and unlimited future access to, in the secret squirrel stasher part of my heart I want to keep all to myself! (But I don't, because that would be selfish!)

I might not have a garment knit and being worn in certain base yarns before selling them, but the avid knitter in me is faster than my hands -- I literally cannot wait to try a new base as a garment. So I will get there, soon. Or I don't feel qualified to judge a yarn's inner qualities as a functional and colourful product.

Now I know this has been a very controversial post, but those who know me will know that over the years I've never been hesitant to speak out about things I am passionate about. And dyeing is my passion, as well as my profession. So I will voice my opinion out loud, here on my blog (who nobody much reads anyway). Anonymous comments are possible.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chucking a sickie...

Sometimes, despite your best intentions, life just hands you a "free day off" pass and forces you to take it. Today was one of those days. Having planned a day of listing yarn for the next store stocking tomorrow night (as we'll be out all day tomorrow), this morning I got a phone call from kindy to say that Matilda had had very runny poos and please to come and get her.

So, I resigned myself to staying up tonight instead, sat back and enjoyed the day. M was in very good spirits, happy and smiley. It had to happen on a day we were using woollies though... poo explosions are much easier to clean off normal clothes and were very unpleasant on her Flirty Skirty. The washing machine is my friend. So I popped her in a disposable nappy instead in case it happened again.

We then locked ourselves away in her bedroom, all doors closed, as it's the room furthest away from the workshop where dad was hard at work fixing his parent's car. We *hate* loud noises! Turned on the clock radio (which *I* grew up with) to 6IX (80's classics?), sang and boogied a little bit. She did her felt pictures, we're chattering away to each other. I got to work on my Sea Princess jacket -- mmmm great yarn great pattern, thoroughly satisfying cables.

After a bit of this we went and laid down on the couch and cuddled to watch TV. I might have even fallen asleep a little!

And all this also on what was supposed to be "Cleaning Day" for me... I took a sickie off from that too!

By the way, no more poos were forthcoming although she's asking if she can stay home from Star School (early intervention) tomorrow :) I'll think about it!

ETA: Oh I forgot! Guess what she painted this morning before I picked her up... I wish I could show it here as it's hilarious (but still drying at kindy). It was a painting of "me on the potty" and "mummy on the toilet", both of us with huge grins on our faces and rainbow-type bands above our heads... not quite true to life in my case but quite topical.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Hi Nancy :)

Peekaboo I see you! :) :) :)

Hey sis Roy told me that you read my blog and my heart almost stopped! I realise that I may have posted some stuff in the past whingeing about you and your bro but please don't judge me too harshly, this is a place I go to unload. And then there are months in between when I keep it all bottled in, so this blog isn't an indication of my total wellbeing, you know?

Anyway, I hear you're into handbag designs now. Don't forget the cables!!! LOL I actually still have a Intro to Cables book I bought you a long time ago.

And thanks for your invitations to join Facebook. I'm just not going there!!! No FB for me!

Your SIL

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Inspiration -- West Coast Sunset GG

A shot taken while returning from fishing at Carnac Island last weekend:

The vision: a Gradual Gradient type "set" comprising of starry deep blue skies at the top, ranging towards lighter blue and finally to the magnificent golds and oranges of a west coast sunset. Add a bottom border of black, embroider your choice of silhouette ... it's easier to execute and show than it is to explain! My pattern of choice? Versa! Love the neckline, fits my girl exactly.

Something juicy that's been simmering in my brain for a while now, a great re-introduction to dyeing...

The store will re-open very soon!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Oh, Sox...

*sigh* two posts in one week, it's always feast or famine with my blog posting.

Not a good one this time around either. Sox had another "vestibular episode" last night, and it's quite distressing to see her this way. The head tilt, repeated eye movements, and not being able to walk properly. I see that she's got off the bed and taking refuge in M's room at the back of the house. I've just made her up a bed on the floor next to the heater. She ought to improve enough to get to the litter box and food/water in a day or two but the first few days have been described as like having sea-sickness as her three-dimensional sense of feeling is all out of tilt. This has happened twice before so this time around wasn't quite the shock of her first one in which it was described to us as a "stroke". Sadly there is nothing beyond making her comfortable that we can do, the symptoms do get better gradually.

My girl, my best friend, is about 17 at best guess. She was adopted from an ex-partner so I don't know her exact birth date but it's around 1993. A Californian girl, driven north to Oregon where she lived in town and then the badlands of central Oregon, out-living three other, younger cats from the predatory coyotes around. Shipped half way across the world, 90 days in quarantine here in Byford, and three house moves and she's still going strong. Spends most of her days in bed, most of her nights in my arms.

She pee'd in the bed last night, so a big load of laundry. Pee's and poo's like a greyhound (or so the saying goes), the crystal stuff that is supposed to last one cat, one month, barely makes it through the week. I'm just dreading the conversation tonight, if Roy brings up the "green dream" I am going to have to choke him. I've held pets in my arms for euthanasia, both as a vet nurse and a pet owner. Each time the decision and time was right to say goodbye and let go, but now is not the time for Sox. She is destined to live out her days in lazy comfort, heck it's inconvenient and smelly, but she is in no pain. Gryph and Matilda have both learnt to respect her boundaries, and gosh darn it she just makes me happy. So no, I won't be considering euthanasia for her. There is no pain, just occasional vestibular episodes like this one, her last bloods were completely normal, and she's very well-loved. I'm pretty sure I'm not in denial about this, but if anyone has any comments to make please do so I will consider all points of views.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Horror Week

It has been a bit of a horror week here... starting off with having to take Matilda to the emergency room in the middle of the night (problem all sorted now, thankfully), and culminating in the scary, scary events of last night. A portion of Roy's workshop (where he keeps all the paints, kero bath for cleaning parts, and other inflammables) setting on fire. Thankfully he looked out the door at just the right time and saw some of the flames through the cracks in the door. Ran out, heard paint cans exploding, and reached for the fire extinguisher on his truck. That was soon empty so we both struggled with the hose. The fire just wouldn't go out... and M came out and started calling for me. I unhooked the boat cover and grabbed the fire extinguisher from there and chucked it to Roy and then ran back to M and took her inside. Finally after a while he had it under control. What a mess there is this morning though. We think that if he'd spotted it a minute or two later it would have taken out the whole workshop, my adjoining dye studio, and perhaps even spread to the house. So, we were very, very lucky. The flames were just terrible it seemed as though they would never be put out by extinguisher or water. We don't know what started it but we do know there's a lot of cleaning up to do! And Roy is very, very depressed about it.

I was so looking forward to this week; back to school finally. The school holidays were a challenge. M really missed the routine and straight-out fun that school (kindy and Ei) offered, so when we didn't have that it was a real struggle to keep things interesting. We tried to plan an activity out of the house each day... swimming (unfortunately our local pool has shut down for renovations so we had to travel to the next nearest), playdates, even a movie with me sneaking in butterless popcorn :)

I shut down Jolly Jumbuck a few weeks ago; Abby was having personal problems and could no longer work for me sending out the orders. But it seems that I got more enquiries after I shut down the shop! There are a lot of people I need to reply to via PM and email. I just haven't had the online time to do so. So yeah, I've read the messages but put off replying to each one which would take hours, hours that I don't have with miss climbing up on me every time I open the computer. Roy is taking M out a few times this weekend so I'm going to catch up. I just feel really torn between dealing with M and the family, and keeping up my online presence and other commitments I've made including finding a way to pay for a recent Henry's Attic order. As she is growing there are more and more autistic traits making their way into everyday life, challenges hard to see from the outside. Those who meet M comment on how "good" she is, ie. will sit and wait while I have a medical appointment, but they don't see the bad days. The dawdling, the determination to finish her crafty things, the funny little quirks. The tanties while I'm trying to drive through heavy traffic. I wasn't born maternal, and to have a child with special needs is... not what I thought my life would be. There's just no respite; there's no family we can call on for a break, friends have their own families, and I just feel drained. Roy has his work and his drinking friends but I can't just spontaneously go out. When M goes to bed of an evening, the LAST thing I want to do is to think about going online and dealing with this and that. So I take refuge in knitting, and watching TV or reading novels to escape the drudgery of everyday life.

Enough whining. On the knitting front I've got lots done. My Central Park Hoodie was shoulder-seamed and the hood started, then I realised that I may not have enough yarn (hand-dyed in a non-reproducible colour) to finish the hood and add the pockets I deem essential. So it's sitting waiting for me to undo what I've done of the hood, rip back the shoulder and armhole shapings, and reducing the length a little. True to form, I found a new project to work on while I procrastinate on that. I was just browsing the newsagents the other day and picked up a copy of "Designer Knitting". In the past something like this would not have appealed to me but I found at least three garments I'd like to make from it. I've been wanting a belted cardigan so cast on the cable and lace one with Highlands Cinder and it's stimulating. There is patterning on both sides, so it's a bit piquant but a really fun knit. I've also been making a few Gidget sweaters from "Doggie Style" for our dog Gryph (a red rough Griffon Bruxellois). The first was a bit of a tight fit and the design looks better with lots of positive ease, so I will be offering it up for free on Rav sometime soon, it should suit a chihuaha or similar. The second one I just went to town and added all sorts of cables and twisted stitches. I'm very happy with it but still have to sew on the snap tape and faux buttons. It's been cold so he's worn it a few times already. I also started a cabled cardi for Matilda but it is turning out very huge so it's hibernating as she's got a lot of growing to do before it will fit.

Side note: if you've emailed me at jollyjumbuck at iprimus dot com dot au in the past month or so, please send again to irene at jollyjumbuck dot net. I'm having trouble retrieving the iprimus emails.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


1) Denial.
2) Anger.
3) Bargaining.
4) Depression.
5) Acceptance.

13:15, 10 Feb 2010.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Do ya think I need to lose weight???!

Matilda came home with some kindy art today.

Here is a painting of daddy:

And, here is mummy!:

Seriously though, Roy and I are like Jack Sprat and his wife. He can't get fat no matter what he eats whereas I have to exercise and watch every bite I eat. It's OK though, in May last year I was up to 76kg, with 44% body fat! (I have a cool set of scales that somehow measure body fat percentage). A couple of years ago at my mum's wedding all the guests thought that I was pregnant..

Right now I'm hovering around 65-66kg, with a body fat of about 33%. Gotta be happy with that :) Actually I didn't really do much to get to this weight, just being a bit more conscious of our diets.

This is what exercise I'm doing now:
* 15 minute ride to and from kindy twice a week.

* (Hopefully), swimming laps after M's weekly swimming class (I plan on swimming with her for a while after the class then into creche while I get back into the swimming -- it's such a great form of relaxation)
* Running around like a mad woman whenever I can, cleaning, dyeing, whatever.
* Sunday kneeboarding at the river.
* Consciously trying to use the car a lot less.

It's not much but I can't really go to the gym or pool, our schedules just don't allow that.

My goal is; I want to get below 60kg, but would be really thrilled if I can make it to 55kg.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Bloomin' Beautiful!

Just thought I would do a quickie blog post while R's getting the boat ready for what's become our special Sunday session out on the river. By tonight I'll be too sore to do anything much less type :)

As I said before, I am addicted to tiKKi's Bloom pattern. It's all I've been knitting lately and I have more planned. I'm even considering licensing the pattern and going back to selling knits -- after all, how many versions of the same dress can Matilda (and *all* her girl cousins and friends) have LOL!

Anyway, this was my first Bloom. I hand-dyed 100g kettle-dyed blues and greens BWM spinning fibre and 100g teal. I spun the singles on my electric spinner and plied them on my Ashford Joy. It looked to be like a heavy worsted yarn. So I had 200g of this and decided to cast on. I knew I wouldn't have enough but I was planning on spinning up some more in a more solid teal for the bottom pattern (below the skirt diamonds). Well I didn't get very far with the yarn:

I have since frogged it and knit the bodice in some BWM Mystique 16ply (seen in above photo) that I had leftover from my Counterpane Pullover. Yes you heard right, 16ply!! I am knitting this one to pattern, the lighter handspun will be good for the skirt part.

My second Bloom was for Matilda's 4th birthday dress. I knit this one in BWM 10ply Luxury in Ruby, from the stash and a colour I've loved for ages and just had to have (with no particular project in mind). I added an extra pattern of diamonds on the skirt, making a total of five rows of diamonds for a longer skirt. The hardest part was choosing the ribbon, I must have spent about half an hour at Spotlight trying to pick the perfect one.

Here she is on the day...

Blowing out the candles... (how embarassing is that cake, but hey it was the best I could do with gluten free, egg free, dairy free, lots of sugar LOL deeeelicious!)

The gorgeous little girl in the background is Shinae, her 5 year old cousin. She's getting a pink (her fave colour) Bloom soon :)

And this is Samantha, her 10 year old cousin who is getting a large Bloom made out of this Gradual Gradient of dark cobalt to light, light aqua to dark and back to light (as you can see, her favourite colour is blue. I took measurements on the day LOL). The yarn is BRIDGHID, a nice plump superwash worsted. I will have to do some maths for this one.

While we're showing off pictures, there is also a Bloom in Mikayla's future. She's Abby's 8month old daughter. I think a light lilac BWM alpaca one for her, gifted to me by the generous Kelly G. Mikayla looks great in that colour.

And the piece-de-resistance... a Bloom for Matilda's dolly! She has a really big head and is really quite pudgy so the standard dolly pattern didn't fit over her head, so I did some modifications and cast on 76 stitches. The bodice is in 10ply Luxury leftover from M's dress, and the skirt in 8ply Luxury in the same colour. Here is dolly in her box...

The ladybug stickers were expertly applied by Matilda before I wrapped things up, I thought they added a bit of jazz to good ol dolly who's been fingernail painted, texta'ed, and stickered throughout her time with us.

Dolly was quite the party animal (was it the punch???), here she is the day after:

And a great end to a great day... (shall I make Bloom's for these guys too?? Hmmm...) My brother and Roy.

Right now I'm knitting a black Medium Bloom for mamasue's JDRF auction. Bodice in Merino Deluxe DK and the rest in a very dark Athabasca in MAIA (Henry's Attic Worsted). It will be top length instead of a dress as I only have 100g hand-dyed yarn. About to do the diamond panels on the bottom.

See, some knitting content :) :) :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Proudest mumma on earth

(Those of you squeamish about bodily functions and their products should tune out now)

OK, I know this is supposed to be a knitting blog, but really I don't see it that way. I see it as a place to share about the entire Jolly Jumbuck family, so here goes!.....

Yes, that is what you think it is. Yes, I have a photo of a poo on my blog. Yes, I'm the proudest mumma on earth right about now. This is the very first time that sweet, lovely Matilda has done a poo all by herself, without being asked or told to go to the potty. She had a wee accident in her knickers, and I asked her to go change her knickers. Off she goes... and then comes back and says "I just did a poo". I assumed she was talking about the wee, so I said "No, you did a wee". A little later on I walked into the laundry/toilet and the above picture is what greeted me! Woohoo!!! She had even put her wet knickers in the laundry basket, wiped her bum independently, and put on fresh knickers! I was sooo happy and astounded.

She turned 4 on the 19th, and will be having her party this Sunday. It seems like she makes these milestone leaps around her birthdays... for example she took her first independent steps on the day after she turned two.

Now, I promise the next post will have *some* knitting content, even if it's just photos of her in her new Bloom dress with matching dolly from her birthday party :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

A breakthrough!

You know you're a parent when the *most* exciting thing in your day is your almost-4 daughter tells you she needs to go wee-wees, and then does a big one in the potty!!! Matilda hasn't been quite ready before now, despite many attempts at weaning her off nappies and into knickers, there would be many accidents and the occasional fluke, with a reluctance to use the potty. Sometimes she would tell us about the accidents after the fact, most times not. We were in panic mode about kindy this year, but thankfully we have ended up with a kindy and caring teacher who didn't bat an eyelid when I mentioned that she was not potty trained.

We had enrolled her in a private/independent K-12 Anglican school, all the way into the orientation day. Well it just did not *feel* right, and they were quite blase about her autism and need for extra help from an aide. So at the very last minute we made the decision that the best way to meet her needs would be to go through the public system... and luckily the local kindy had someone pull out at the last minute, so we got a place in it. When I went to visit the kindy and the teacher, all of my worries just evaporated. Mrs H genuinely cares about her kids, and it's not just a job being a teacher, it's a passion. And best of all it is within walking distance (quite a long walk, but nevertheless...), and M will have opportunities to make friends within the local community.

So anyway, I've been a fulltime mum for the past month or so, until the school term starts on the 1st Feb. Then it really ramps up, with kindy Mon and Wed, and early intervention therapy across the city on Tue and Thurs, leaving us Fri's for our regular playdates with her cousins which she really enjoys (and me too, Mandi their mum is such a rock for me).

It has been such a joy to see her bloom and blossom, and for her gorgeous personality to shine through. Neither Roy or I have much family support but that is OK. I do miss my mum and wish that she could be more a part of our lives, but she has a new husband and a new life now in the US and I've decided to stop being bitter about it and just deal!

The diet proves to be a challenge but I've decided to go with the flow and deal with that too. We'll do a review at the end of the year...

Haven't done much dyeing lately as it's impossible during the day with M, and there is no more daycare. And at night after her bedtime, I am way too tired to think about dyeing. So all I've been doing is checking my email for orders and taking care of them when I can, I haven't been on Ravelry for months now -- I do miss the community but not the time wasting and stress. I'm still knitting, although very sporadically compared to before. I've just finished a Bloom dress for M's 4th birthday with a matching one for her dolly. She is four in four days! Amazing it's been so long since we looked at each other and said hello.

I'm looking foward to school starting and having a few hours a week to myself, hopefully I can dye a little bit then. I'm really not that concerned about slowing down on the Jolly Jumbuck front, my priority lies with getting M through the early years of autism now. She will be amazingly "all right" at the end of it all. I am swamped by feelings of love and protectiveness for her that not much else matters anymore. And Roy and I are getting along better having come to an understanding. He is very busy at work and I'm busy doing the housewife thing. I even feed his offsider (employee and friend) most nights! We're all basically on the same diet, GF/CF with restrictions on eggs, tomatoes, etc.

The poor chooks, we can't even eat their eggs anymore. And we were surprised with a huge brood of chicks (15!) hatched about a week ago. We don't need any more chooks so will be selling the chicks ASAP.

On top of this all, we have another new addition to the family -- a puppy! I will introduce her soon.
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