Thursday, November 12, 2009
The long overdue post

A lot has happened in the last couple of months. Where do I start?

Chris left his old job, and started a new one. There was a bit of uncertainty while he looked for a new job but he found a new one quickly. He wasn't dismissed. He left, in case you're wondering, because things just weren't so pleasant anymore. I am pleased that he seems much happier to go to work now and comes home a happier man. Happy husband/Daddy makes for happy wife/child.

I have been busy. The project I am working on didn't go so well once it was in production and I have been working hard, osmetimes late at night supporting users, testing patches, etc. Pretty much doing the things I normally do, and more. That has now calmed down too. Thank goodness. I was not sure I could handle much more stress. In that time I found a white hair. Oh my! I hope it was just stress and not old age. I am not that old yet, am I? I haven't found another, but to be honest, I am not looking that hard either. If you see one (or two or three), please don't tell me. I don't want to know!

As for Alex.. well, as you would probably have guessed from the previous post, he is growing up quickly. He likes painting and drawing, and gluing and folding, but not cutting, apparently. There is something about cutting that frustrates him. He hates it and won't do any craft that requires cutting, or so I am told. He is also slightly obsessed with cutting straight lines and gets frustrated when his little fingers can't manage it. That said, he does have a "thing" for straight lines and orderliness. Hmm.. I am nto so sure that this child is related to me after all. Orderliness is what I am not!

Aside from work, I have also been very busy knitting and sewing.

I found a kit to make this at my local Salvos shop:

It only cost me $9 and the only thing I had to supply aside from thread was the cotton batting inside. Alex loves it and calls it his duck blanket. It really is Mother Goose, but he thinks it's a duck and who am I to argue with toddler wisdom?

It was completed in one day and easier than I expected. Don't look too closely, though. The applique work is really dodgy, despite it all having been cut out for me and all I had to do was sew. It's also not bound at the sides like a "real quilt" normally is. I sewed it all together (inside out) leaving a gap and turned it right side out and then top-stitched it. The layers were then tied together with bits of thread. A bit of a cheat but an effective one! My binding skills are crap, despite having watched dozens of tutorials on youtube.

I am now working on a shawl (which can be used as a lap blanket).

I am using some handspun Blue-faced leicester (hand-dyed by me, of course) which I had plied with two strands of commercially produced cashmere/silk.

Then.. horror of horrors, I ran out and it was still too small for a shawl. So I had to find another yarn to go with it and finally settled on this:

I am way past that point now, having completed about 10 repeats of the pattern. I am basing it on the Kiri Shawl buy Polly Outhwaite, but making it a square instead of a triangle. It's actually working out quite well. I have a gazillion stitches on the needles now though and each round is taking me longer. I think I will give up soon, maybe when I reach twelve repeats of the pattern. I still need to make sure I have enough yarn to finish the edging. I'd hate to run out again and have this look like a scrappy shawl, which it should not be.

More recently I have also been dreaming up another simple pattern for a hat. this time it's a girly hat.

It's pretty simple and can be knitted up in a day or two. I took longer because of many interruptions and also feeling the need to concentrate on the shawl, which must be finished and blocked by the end of November as it is a gift for someone very special to Chris and I. I'll have to fine-tune the pattern and get it test-knitted. The yarn I used for this hat is actually a "seconds" lot from my store. the brown part has spots that are darker than the rest, and so it is a "seconds". I actually don't mind that and I think it's not very noticeable, and it goes well with the white/cream spots.

I have been spinning too, but don't have that much to show for it.

This one I call "Pure Dark Chocolate"

Spun from Bond fleece purchased from Shiloh Wool. It’s deliciously soft, which is, to me, so unusual for Corriedale, but I guess Bond is very special Corriedale. It is bred to have finer fleece than your run-of-the-mill Corriedale. It is approximately 24 to 25 microns and I didn’t think it would spin up so nicely, but it did.

It’s going to be a scarf for Alex as he wants a scarf to be “just like you, Mummy”.

Then there is this one which I spun for a customer, who is also a friend.

The hand-dyed superfine merino top is from Selah. It's not one of mine. It was a joy to spin as it really is quite soft. I navajo-plied it to keepthe colours together. I would imagine that it would stripe madly across whatever Anna decided to knit with it. I love how bright the colours are. they're not "my colours" but I did enjoy spinning them and just looking at the colours make me happy. The yellow is such a cheerful yellow and the reds and blues are so bright.

That's all I have energy for today.. but I do have more to post later.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Alex's masterpiece


Names written by his teacher at daycare, drawing by Alex.

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