Sunday, January 30, 2011

Showing off Australia

Time has passed quickly this January. My parents arrived at the beginning of the month and we've spent the last 3 weeks showing off Perth in all it's glory.

I think the highlight for my dad was the kangaroos.

He said it wouldn't be Australia if he didn't see kangaroos. So we delivered. We called him the kangaroo-whisperer. Not bad for a farm boy from Saskatchewan.

My mom on the other hand has the "take the bloody picture now before I pee my pants" look about her.
We even got a chance to have a quick family picture taken (this almost never happens - all cleaned up and sitting pretty).

And to top if off, I made a scarf. It's a silk-bamboo yarn blend from Kauai - soft and light and perfect for summer.
Next up - February. It should bring finished socks and maybe a sweater started....just maybe.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Knitting Along

I just finished my second pair of socks for the Knit. Sock. Love knitalong on Ravelry.

When I first got the book, I wasn't sure if I would knit all the patterns. Some were previously published on Knitty or in other places. Some I have already knit. Some just didn't really appeal to me.

Then I joined the knit a long and my attitude has changed. So many knitters are making the same socks as me at the same time. Knitters can seek advice on patterns or yarn selections. We can oh and ah at the finished socks. It's really very motivating.

I wasn't going to knit the Hedera pattern as I had already completed one of the patterns for January. I got drawn in by the excitement and the chatter. And I got my sock knitting groove back.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Snow Princesses

Sometimes, you have to forget about all the responsibilities of your life and have a little fun.

The weather has finally gotten a bit warmer and we are able to enjoy all this snow. We built a fort and made snow angels. I can't remember the last time I made a snow angel.

It's fun introducing the Princesses to the fun of digging around in the snow and building castles. They pretend to climb the snow mountains and slide down the other side.
The adult in me has been complaining about all the snow that's fallen. Yesterday, I reminded myself what the world looks like when you're a kid.
And then I came inside, drank hot chocolate and knit cashmere socks. Because being an adult can be fun, too.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Freo Fighter

I have learned that Australians love to shorten everything. The afternoon is the arvo; biscuits are bikkies; and Fremantle (the port of Perth) is Freo. We live relatively close to the ocean and in the summer a strong south western breeze blows in from Fremantle. It's known as the Fremantle Doctor and it makes summer bearable here. Actually today, I was quite cold with the breeze blowing in.

Introducing the cutest, most knitterly way to deal with the Doctor.

The Peyton cardigan from the Twist Collective. Plain, but cute. Warm, but not too warm.

It's knit in a fingering weight cotton from Bendigo Mills - thanks to Amanda for introducing me to Bendigo!

I've already worn it a couple times, and know this will be well worn. Not a bad way to kick off my 2011 knitting.

Now onto some Cookie socks and a baby blankie....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Usual Excuses

I've been busy, I haven't had time, blah blah blah.

The usual.

I even have something finished to flaunt, but as of today, no pictures have been taken.

My parents arrived last week from Canada (well, California actually, but that's a long story, and if you had forgotten....I'm too busy to explain), and we are keeping them busy at a blistering pace. Beaches, and more beaches, and Cricket matches, and shopping, and eating out, and enjoying all that is Perth. Hence, little knitting.

I'm looking forward to February when life gets back to the normal, school-going, work-going, knitting-time friendly, routine, but I'm also not wishing away this time we have right now.

Gotta run....I'm busy.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Itchy Fingers

I have itchy fingers. I want to start about a dozen new projects which is strange because I'm a monogamous knitter at heart. I think there are a few factors at play here:

1) I have worn through several pairs of socks lately. These were socks that I really loved and wore a lot especially in the winter months. I haven't been knitting socks for myself lately so I'm feeling the need to replace them.

2) Ysolda has a new book coming out. It should be published in March, but we've been expecting it since September. I pre-ordered the book because I like to support the arts, but mostly I wanted to get a peak at those new patterns. There are 7 sweaters in the book. I have plans to knit at least 5 of them.

3) I had a peak at the stash last night. Wow. I happen to have yarn to knit the 5 sweaters mentioned in point two on hand. I foresee a lot of yarn winding in my immediate future. I also recently purchased some really large zipock bags so that I can wind the yarn and put it into bags in preparation for March.

4) It's cold and snowy here. By cold, I mean that will a wind chill factored in, it feels like -35'C today. And by snowy, I mean we've received about 40 cm of snow in the last week and it doesn't appear to be stopping anytime soon. Nothing makes for better knitting weather than cold and snow.

So, I'll just keep my head down and finish the few projects I have on the go. (They are secret projects that involve a birthday girl down under and a baby due in February.)

Hopefully March will come soon and bring Spring with it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The Spectacular Ms J. will be celebrating her 29th (sort-of) birthday on Wednesday. Her birthday will arrive here in Oz before it arrives in Canada, so I figure we can make this a 37 hour sort of celebration.

Every year I've tried to celebrate her birthday here in a different way. This year, I thought I'd try and express what J. means to me. What her friendship means to me.

I came up blank.

How can I describe it?

Friend seems like such a silly word. It is not a word I throw around lightly - there are truly few people I'd call "my friend". The world however, looks at it differently. Friend is used by many to describe their 532 acquaintances they've acquired on Facebook. So, by todays standards, friend doesn't have the same meaning anymore.

BFF is even more ridiculous. It conjures up visions of giggling girls on their cell phones, and high school; and who really wants to relive high school? Again, not an appropriate word to describe what J. is to me.

Mate might be more appropriate in my new land, but its a silly word to say. And is J. my schoolmate (we did go to University at the same time, but we didn't really know each other)?; or is she my workmake (we did work together but havent' for a long time, and workmate just implies someone you see and interact with at work)? And soulmate has connotations which are inappropriate to describe a relationship between two married-to-men women.

Chum seems like a word my parents would have used, and comrade makes me think of Soviets.

Maybe sidekick? I'm tall, she's short. She's friendly, I'm not. We complement each other in many many ways. However, I think superheroes or Western movies with that word. also recommends consort and accomplice. I could possibly consider accomplice, but we haven't really committed any crimes - we've only thought about it.

So, I come to the end of the synonym recommendations for friend, and I conclude that there truly are no words to describe it. I just looked up "indescribable" and one of the words was transcendent. Maybe I'll go with that.

Or I'll just stick with keeping it between J. and I. I know she gets it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dude!

You know how sometimes you notice little things about the people in your life that make you appreciate them?

Well, this weekend was like that for me. My husband works long hours. He tells me he is very busy and important. Well, on Friday night, he was home at 5. That might be a record.

On Saturday, it snowed. And by snowed, I mean the snowflakes started falling Friday night and continued well into Sunday morning. There are little flurries of snow outside right now. At last count, we received over 30 cm of snow. (That's about a foot.) The Dude shovelled. He shovelled again. He shovelled once more then again. He pushed our neighbours cars out of snow drifts. He drove us around to do our errands and never once made us feel like we were in danger. (There's nothing better than a man who makes you feel safe.)

When our date night got cancelled (we didn't want our babysitters to have to drive in such crappy weather), he piled us into our car and took us to the local pizza joint.

So today, I celebrate the little things that my husband does that make our lives better. And today I celebrate another year that he's been in my life. Happy Birthday, Dude!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Plowing through....

I'm trying to get a few things here finished up. Not really lingering things, but just odds and ends. There are babies coming in the spring that I need to knit for, so I need to get some other projects out of the way (NOT babies in my house, or J's house - just for clarification).

First up, my Peyton Cardigan. Cute, cute. My other black cardigan I own has two small holes in it so a hand-knit black cardi is necessary. (I'm hoping the holes are not from moths....I'm trying to ignore the problem).

Next, my KAL socks. Turned the heel on the first one, and on the straighaway. These are freakin' gorgeous, and the yarn is unbelievable (Wollmeise Twin purchased from Jo's stash).

Finally, a scarf knit in yarn I bought in Kaua'i over Christmas. It's a bamboo silk blend and it's as soft as can be. It should be light enough that I can wear it now.

After these 3 are complete (or almost complete)...a baby blanket and a baby sweater are next. Pictures will be posted only on completion!

No rest for the knitter.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Birthday Cookies

It's funny how quickly a project can go when you really enjoy the pattern. I cast on these socks on New Year's Day and I cast off yesterday.

As you would expect from a Cookie A pattern, these were challenging. There are 4 pages of charts to work through and get lost in.
(Pointelle by Cookie A in Knit.Sock.Love knit in Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere)

I love how the pattern becomes clear as you knit along, watching a lace pattern turn into diagonal ribs that run into each other and then give way to lace again. I love how once you knit the heel flap and turn the corner, you only have to worry about patterns on the top of your sock and the rest is simple knitting. I love how pretty these socks turned out.

I love that I will get the chance to knit all the patterns in this book if I like and I love that these will be on my feet for my birthday.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What I learned on summer holidays

I spent the last 3 weeks in Hawaii.

I know - you all feel real sorry for me.

In an effort to not end up in a psychiatric institute for my first major holiday away from family, we decided to meet with family "half-way" (it's really more 2/3 - 1/3 way, but that's not important).

We spent a lot of time doing nothing. We hung out with my sister and her family and visited beaches and ate shave ice and bought ukeleles and saw celebrities (well, my sister did). It was perfect. It also reminded me of a lot of things I enjoy doing and just don't seem to have the time to do.



My love of knitting have waned a bit over the last few months. I blame Jo. Her not being around to keep me on my toes has had an effect on my production. But I'm hopeful that 2011 will bring heaps of finished objects.

I read good books. Books I couldn't put down and wanted to stay up all night to read (I didn't of course, but at least had the urge to). I have decided to try and broaden my reading horizons in 2011 and only read things I want to. Have you read an amazing book lately? Let me know.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I had forgotten

I had forgotten how much I like the challenge of working a complicated pattern with charts. I have been making lots of stocking stitch and garter stitch and straight lines and simple tubes. I need to flex my knitting muscles and stretch. I'm very grateful for the Knit Sock Love knit a long for reminding me to branch out.
I feel like this pattern has helped me to find my delight in knitting again. What a lovely way to start a year.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Start

It's a New Year and I'm turning over a new leaf.

Having a friend move to the other side of the world is a difficult thing. You have to learn all about time zones and mail deadlines. You have to talk less and text more. You have to accept being covered in snow while your friend goes to the beach. You have to find ways of keeping in touch.

T and I have managed to do all of the above. (But I still miss her. Christmas was hard.) And now, in an effort to continue to do things that are normal for us, we're starting the Knit.Sock.Love knit along on Ravelry. Cookie's new book is bright, colourful and inspiring and after a season of knitting mostly plain socks for men or kids, I'm excited to start working my way through this book. Each month, the knit a long chooses two patterns to knit. Each knitter can knit one or both if they like. This month, we're starting with Pointelle and Hedera. I'll be attempting to knit myself a pair of the former for my birthday on the 12th. (That was not a shameless plug. It was more of a statement of intent.)
My hopes for the knit along are many. I hope that I manage to work through a number of challenging and pretty patterns. I hope to participate in the knit a long on line and with my dear friend. I hope to stockpile socks for gifts and for myself. (I picture my own little sock store where I can shop when I wear through a pair.) And I hope that we'll have something to talk about, if you're interested.

I also hope that it keeps me busy until Ysolda's new book comes out, cause the only thing better than a new pair of socks is a new sweater.