Monday, 31 March 2008

getting ready

Travelling sock yarn ready.
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Soakers number 3 and 4 finished and presented at S' baby shower.
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The baby shower had a rate of 33% pregnancy. We had 12 attendees. S has about 4 or 5 weeks to go. C has just passed the half-way point. Then during the festivities, two more friends took the opportunity to admit to their slightly suspiciously rounded tums. They're both due in October. Babies everywhere....

Monday, 24 March 2008

An Easter progress.

Every few years, I bunker down over the Easter 4 day weekend and throw myself into a crafting frenzy. In the past couple of days I completed this patchwork cot blanket from go to whoa.
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I've also made a start on the baby sized soft brown socks to match T2's grown up socks.
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It was also a good time to pull out some DVDs. I watched the old 1980 BBC version of Sense and Sensibility, followed by a dose of my favourite Machiavellian evil political dude, Francis Urquhart, in To Play the King. Yesterday was Clueless, followed by Emma (are you spotting a theme here?). Today I watched the Frances O'Connor/Jonny Lee Miller version of Mansfield Park. I remember being quite disappointed with it when I first saw it in the cinemas. The references to slavery seemed unnecessary in a Jane Austen adaptation and they didn't really add to the plotline, apart from serving to make Sir Thomas far creepier than I had ever imagined him. But I re-watch it from time to time, just to try and work out why they made it the way they did. I'm not there yet.
I was, however, amused to notice that they had the same woman playing both Mrs Price and Lady Bertram - a nifty piece of casting!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Hello there....


DSC02063, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

I've been a bit quiet on the blog front lately. There's been knitting bubbling along, despite the disgustipating heat wave that we had last week (admittedly not as bad as Adelaide's record-breaking run of days over 35, but still pretty unpleasant). I am grateful that I have an air conditioner for such occasions.
These socks have been dragging on since January (bless Ravelry, otherwise I would have no memory of when I cast them on). Man-sized socks on 2mm needles take an absolute age. I magic-looped them in an effort to avoid second sock syndrome. But this has the unfortunate side effect of seeming to take twice as long to knit a sock (which of course, it does...). But, they are done now and I get to decide which project (old or new?) will now become my train knitting.
I've got one more week of work before I take a long awaited holiday. Somehow I've managed to accrue about 7 weeks of annual leave and the HR dept keeps on emailing my boss to give me a nudge about at least planning to use some of it. They don't like it when your accrued leave goes over 4 weeks. I think they worry about having to pay it out if you resign. I'm pretty conservative when it comes to taking annual leave. I think it's a hangover from all the years that I spent working on casual rates when I didn't get paid leave.
So anyway... I'm off to Japan, which I'm pretty excited about. Since I won't be able to knit on the plane (I'm not buying into that debate...) I've got myself Stephen Fry's instructional book The Ode Less Travelled, a blank notebook and a Pacer. I've never really had the slightest yen to write poetry, but I'd read the telephone book if it was written by Mr Fry. So, in the interests of trying new things (travelling on my own is another...), I'm going to give prosody a go. If nothing else, perhaps I'll learn to write my cranky missing book emails in iambic pentameter (whatever that is).
There'll be plenty of train travel once I'm in Japan, so I will be taking some knitting with me. I have these visions of taking travelling sock photos (a la the Yarn Harlot) in the gardens of Kyoto.

Monday, 10 March 2008

The one where Spotlight comes into its own...


DSC02056, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

As horrible as a lot of their stuff is, there are times when Spotlight really is just the ticket. This morning I was lurking on the Australian knitters' forum on Ravelry and spotted a mention that Spotlight were having a sale - just for today. 20% off everything - even the already on sale stuff. So I decided to brave the stinking hot weather and the open-air car park and headed down to my nearest store. I came away with 20 balls of yarn (12 pure wool and 8 balls of bamboo wool blend) and change from $50. There's nowhere else in Australia that you could do that.
The pure wool is Panda Woolbale which isn't the softest of yarns, and it's hand-wash only - but that's just what the doctor ordered for some more soakers. My goal is to try as many different soaker patterns in a new-born size as I can get done by the time Baby A arrives. Then S can pick which shapes work best and put in her requests for bigger sizes as the little sprog grows.
The bamboo (80%) - wool (20%) blend is a Spotlight home brand - Bella Baby Layette. It's a light-ish 8 ply - perhaps what Americans would call "sportweight"? It's got that bambooey smooth softness so I thought it might be nice to try some of the old Patons baby patterns in it. It's the wrong gauge, so they'll end up a bit big - but in my limited experience, I have at least learnt that babies grow so they will fit into things at some point.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

This is what a soaker looks like...

Another soaker finished for Baby A.
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I'd never come across the soaker concept until a couple of years ago when a girl at work had a baby and made the decision to use cloth nappies rather than disposables. She'd done her homework and is now a bit of guru on what I believe are now called "modern cloth nappies" - cloth nappies that are sewn into shape so there is no need to learn complex folding techniques.
Since, unlike a disposable nappy, there is no plastic cover on its cloth counterpart, a need is presented for an extra layer of protection - not quite leak proofing as such, but an extra layer nonetheless. That's where we knitters come in. Soakers and longies - nappy covers knit at a tight gauge, then "lanolised" (wool-processing having removed all the naturally occuring water repellent lanolin) seem to be the popular choice among many modern cloth nappy users.

WIP Report:

On the sock knitting front, the Ravenswood Diamante is progressing nicely. The pattern is pretty easy and the yarn is lovely so I'm plugging through it a little at a time amongst other home knitting projects.
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T2's alpaca socks are getting there - tiny bit by tiny bit. I'm really hoping to finish these by the end of the month. Then I'll have enough left to make a little pair of matching baby socks - a bit of an overload on the cuteness, but I just can't resist.

The baby blankie for C is going very slowly now. It's takes about half an hour to do one round and that's still only going to get longer. At least I've got until August to finish that one.

The ripple rug? It's still there and gets pulled out every now and then. It has no timetable - that can be a dangerous thing.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Much better thanks

I'm much much better today. The green ribby thing has progressed. It's now one cuff and a couple of seams away from being a soaker.
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I hope it fits.

On my sick days, I did manage a little detour into the local op shop where I picked up a couple of old Patons books.
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Decisions.... decisions...

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Snuffle


DSC02047, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

It's 2pm on a week day and I'm still in my jammies. Nuff said.

On the upside, I've spent the last couple of hours catching up on my blog-reading and knitting whilst waiting for my dial-up internet access to load - I know... I know... in these modern enlightened times I really should be on a broadband plan... I'm waiting till I get a new computer though which will hopefully be in the next couple of months if I can get myself organised. I might even get myself a new ipod nano while I'm at it.... I digress. Where was I?
Ah, yes, catching up on other bloggers and knitting this green ribby thing. Hopefully this will turn out to be about the right size soaker for a new born. Baby A is due at the end of April/early May (S is willing the bub to hang on until May after T2's exams) and I'm going on holidays for half of April so I'm madly trying to do as much baby knitting as I can before then.
The other benefit of being home sick? I get to veg out in front of the cricket this arvo with a cuppa and a bit more knitting. I'll be back to real world tomorrow, so for now, please excuse me.