Tuesday, 28 March 2006

My Comm Games experience

A friend was in the closing ceremony (if you watched the ceremony - he was one of the gladioli-brandishing Dame Edna's in the grand finale) and had a last minute spare freebie ticket (tickets were retailing at the $250 to $400 mark from what I heard, so free is good) so on Sunday evening I made my way to the MCG.
Comm Games closing ceremony arrival

We had seats on the bottom level of the new Northern Stand so we were quite close to the action.
Waiting for the opening of the closing ceremony

Before the televised broadcast began, the crowd were warmed up for about 45 minutes by Rusty and John from the "Scaredies" (officially known as the Scared Weird Little Guys). The sound was a little bit muffled at times which meant that a lot of their whip-smart punchlines were lost on us. However, they finished their set with a fantastic version of Old MacDonald had a farm sung to the tune of Smells Like Teen Spirit.
They also instigated a camera flash Mexican wave.
Comm Games Closing Ceremony - Mexican Wave 01

Once the ceremony itself began, it was essentially a big rock concert with mass dancing/parading etc. For the benefit of Genevieve, I include a shot of Ben Lee who had us singing along to We're All in this Together.
Ben Lee at the Comm Games Closing Ceremony

The fireworks that went off periodically throughout the night were pretty speccy. My overall review of the evening is that it was an enjoyable spectacle, but my enjoyment gained certainly wasn't worth the ticket prices that they were asking. A lot of the performances were optimised for viewing from a bird's point of view, which we certainly did not have, so a lot of the formations just looked like a mass of people, but when you caught glimpses on the big screen you'd realise "Oh - that's what they're doing".

Saturday, 25 March 2006

My first sock

Blue sock completed
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
I think I'm starting to get why so many knit-bloggers seem to be addicted to sock knitting. Trying to approach this methodically, I worked my way through "Socks 101" and this is the end result which isn't bad. I'll certainly wear it - assuming I can get the second one to match.
My only concern is the cuff. I've used the long tail method (or at least what I think is the long tail method from what I can make of various instructions) and it has a certain amount of strech, but it won't go any higher on my legs (my calves are decidedly bigger than my ankles). I think if I wanted the socks to go higher, then I would need to do a bit more shaping in the leg.
I was a bit anxious about the ladders that you sometimes get where you switch from one dpn to another, but that seemed to be ok as long as I pulled the first couple of stitches really tight.
The yarn (a wool/nylon blend) is a lot softer than the itchy woollen socks you get in the shops. I'm not sure how well they'll wear. I might need to go down a needle size or two to make them tougher (I used 3mm) next time.

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

Changing seasons

We're moving into the early stages of autumn here which makes for some really lovely days at the moment. Temperatures in the low 20s which means that I can potter about the garden and the house without getting too hot and sweaty. I can open up windows and blinds and let in the fresh air and light without the house over-heating. Daylight savings has been extended by a couple of weeks thanks to the Commonwealth Games so I've still got a bit of daylight to enjoy when I get home in the evening.

I had a pretty quiet weekend on the face of it, but I achieved two things in the grand doing-up-the-new-abode scheme.

1. I scraped off the residual bits of lining paper from the vinyl wall-paper I ripped off six months ago and washed down the bare plaster wall with sugar soap in the hope that that will remove the vast majority of any residual wall-paper glue that remains there.

2. I calculated the surface areas to be painted in each room - this takes quite some time, what with windows and doors and irregular shaped hallways. I was actually pleasantly surprised with the Dulux figures on how far 4 litres of paint will go. I won't have to buy as much as I thought might be the case.

Crafty snippets...

I'm working on...

... quilting the Japanese Charm Square Wall Hanging.

Charm Square Quilt progress

... beginning the piecing on a new quilt project.

quilt beginnings

... learning to knit socks.

Training Sock
Ready to knit socks

... using up Olympic knitting leftover yarn.

Large granny square

... and knit-along-ing on my Silk Garden Snake.

Silk Garden Snake

Sunday, 12 March 2006

Slubby Bag

Slubby Bag
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
Back in July last year, I bought this yarn with an idea in mind. I did all the knitting for it and then the two bits just sat in my work basket for the best part of 6 months. I seem to be on a UFO completion drive this week so I got out the crochet hook, put the two halves together and added a handle. I can't remember what the green yarn is apart from the fact that it's a wool/acrylic blend. The multi is Marta's slubby. I'm not sure that it's a very practical bag and I have no idea what it will end up being used for, but at least it is finished!

Scrap Project unveiled

Circ needles holder
Originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.
Ta da! It's circular knitting needle hanging device. :-) Also serves as a useful spot for storing a couple of sets of stitch markers. I haven't got around to hanging it properly with some dowel yet so the bull-dog clips and coathanger will have to do for the moment. This was a nice quick project to make. The top was machine pieced with scraps pieced together in an essentially random fashion. The blue slots for the needles were bias binding left over from C&D's wedding quilt. I pinned them down on top of the patchwork and used the hand-quilting lines to hold them down as well quilt the piece.
And what was that clue/red herring referring to basmati rice all about? Well all good patchwork projects need a serviceable backing fabric.
Rice bag as quilt backing

I scored a heap of these rice bags from S's mum who thought I might be able to use them. This is the first one to actually go into a project.