Monday, 31 December 2007

Crap it's hot! (Happy New Year everyone)

Well, barring Adelaide which is far more used to this kind of heat, Melbourne is the hottest capital city this New Year's Eve. Darwin hasn't even cracked the 30 mark and Broome has only made it to 33. Our mercury got to a top of 41 about an hour ago and I'm very grateful that I have an air conditioner.
I went to the movies this afternoon and saw Atonement. I wanted to really love this. Period drama and the lure of tragic romance seemed a promising premise. Plus James McAvoy is yummy to watch in just about anything (Shameless, State of Play and Bright Young Things in particular come to mind) and despite her skinnyness, Keira Knightley has this luminescent beauty on screen that makes just looking at her a pleasure.
So why my slightly lukewarmish response? I'm not sure. It's definitely worth seeing. It's beautifully shot and I couldn't fault the performances. The only thing I can put my finger on is that I found the ending a little rushed in comparison to the pace of the rest of the film and since the ending is the last thing you see (apart from the credits), that is often what stays with you.
Happy New Year everyone. Stay safe, don't whinge about tomorrow's hangover and enjoy whatever festivities you've planned. :-) I'm off to C & D's for a quiet BBQ (D's doing a pork roast on the barbie).

Saturday, 29 December 2007

More patchwork history


DSC01957, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

This is one of my earliest pieces of patchwork. I'm guessing that I would have been about 13 or 14 when I pieced this. I was just mastering the art of the sewing machine and I got carried away with piecing square after square from our stash of scraps.
Once it was pieced I think it got tucked away for several years and was never made into a finished item.
Then I remember Mum and I found it one day. I wasn't fussed about it and made a flippant suggestion that I could take it apart and re-use the fabric. Mum would have none of that and said that she could use the whole piece for something. The next time I came home, she had lined it with some netting and made it into a bright curtain for their en suite bathroom. I love the stained glass window effect that it makes.
It's been up there for years now and it's fascinating to see which fabrics have held their colour and which have faded in the sunlight.

Friday, 28 December 2007

A medallion quilt history


DSC01938, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

I've been home visiting my parents for Christmas and this is the quilt that I've been sleeping under while I'm here. I completed this quilt in 1999 after working on it on and off over several years. The central panel and the first postage stamp border are hand pieced. The rest is machine pieced. Then the whole thing is hand quilted. I gifted it to Mum after she had dropped lots of heavy hints that she would really like a quilt. In particular, she would really like this one.
This is truly a scrap quilt and many of the fabrics hold memories of other projects, bits of clothing and the odd holiday here and there. I love the medallion style of quilt. You can grow a quilt bit by bit, without having to plan it all out beforehand. Although you can see that I was running out of inspiration - or perhaps stamina - when it came to the last border. I kept that very basic with pieced strips and mitred corners.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Feb Baby Jacket progress

I suppose in the grand scheme of things, this project is not difficult. But I'm finding it fiddly. (Of course, I've made it even more fiddly than the original patterns suggests, by deciding to the knit the sleeves in the round using two circulars instead of flat.)
I like the way the colours are coming out. I was a little worried that it would look too "Aussie" with the yellow and green. But I think the variegation in the yellow saves it and it looks more like the wattle flowers that were the original inspiration for our national colours.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

ta-dah!


Baby A Shawl complete 04, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

Today is the Summer Solstice, our longest day of the year. But given one look outside and you would be forgiven for thinking that we were actually in the midst of winter. The last three days have been pretty stormy and we've had some flooding incidents dotted around Melbourne (my front step included - but no harm done).
So today has been the perfect weather to do some baking. I've made 48 mince pies (sorry no photos - this is not a food blog...).
I've also finally got around to taking some nice photos of the Baby A shawl. It's turned out bigger than I had anticipated. I forgot about the stretch factor when you block things.
I shudder to think how filthy this thing will get once it falls into the hands of a small baby. But Mum-to-be-S chose the colour so who am I to argue? At least it is machine washable.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Le cardi bamboo est fini

Seamless, slippy, slinky, soft and smooth.... so the buttons are a necessity, although I'm not 100% happy with the button loops. No matter.
bamboo cardi fin front

I managed to take a photo of the back with the camera held over my shoulder. No luck with keeping it in focus though.
Bamboo Cardi fin back

This finished project ended up really looking nothing like the original Soy Cardi pattern that it was based on. However I'm really happy with the way it has turned out. The top-down construction really lends itself to trying it on as you go and just winging it.
I guess in the grand scheme of things, this project didn't take that long. But now I want something that's a bit quicker. So I've cast on for a February Baby Jacket.
Feb BJ start


(Baby A's Stonington Shawl is blocking at the moment. It's grown by about third so now it's a bit bigger than I would have intended. I'll post some photos once it's dry)

Thursday, 13 December 2007

a propos de rien

We went out for our department Christmas lunch today. The waitress kept re-filling my glass when I wasn't looking. I'm not driving anywhere.

I watched the first instalment of The Vicar of Dibley Christmas special last night. I am now lusting over Richard Armitage in a big way.

Think I will watch Sense and Sensibility tonight. I'm so sappy.

The bamboo cardi is nearing completion. Just the cuffs and the bottom band to do now.

I've got my Gryffindor self-striping yarn...

New lace blocking kit from here arrived a couple of days ago. Blocking Baby A's shawl is scheduled for this weekend.

Number of patterns queued on my Ravelry has passed 60... Perhaps I have overdosed?

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Sunday - a work in progress

The emus have been blanket stitched, patchwork-bordered and basted.
emu ballet basted 02


One Horcrux* Sock has been completed.
Horcrux Sock 01


Discontinued sock yarns are being stock-piled.
Patonyle bluePatonyle grey-brown


And in non-photo-documented news: Christmas fruit cakes are in the oven (I know, I know it's a bit late. Bite me.) Weekend washing is on the line. The first tomato has appeared and its companion basil plants are thriving. And I think I can see the beginnings of the first ever lemons on my little lemon tree.

All is calm. All is bright.

*No souls were ripped in the making of this sock.

Friday, 7 December 2007

You are getting sleeeepy...

Spotted on the train last night.
sleepy

You know that almost-falling-asleep-and-jolting-half-awake thing that people do on the train sometimes? Well that was this fellow yesterday evening. I'm pretty sure he wasn't drunk, just tired. The only trouble was that the particular seat he was on didn't have a side. I was convinced that he was going to end up on the floor of the carriage, but somehow he managed to stay (almost) upright. The suspense kept me entertained for the duration of the trip. I am easily amused.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

bamboo softness


bamboo cardi progress, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

This is fun. Having followed the Soy Cardi instructions thus far, I'm now finding that I'm pretty much making it up as I go along. I love that I can try it on as I go, and I'm pretty much working on the theory of knitting until I almost run out of yarn and we'll see how long it gets. Then I'll finish it off with some garter stitch edging. I'm working the sleeves on magic loop so that I don't have to seam them.