Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

It is that time of year again. When I was vaccuuming the house tonight I realised that I hadn't made a decision to put up the tree, so it is still sitting in the cupboard where I found it today while looking for a ball of yarn that I had lost. My house is looking decidedly unChristmassy, except for the cards on the shelf above the kitchen splashback, and the presents needing to be wrapped sitting on the table. Amongst those presents are a selection of pressies for my neighbours gorgeous baby girl born today. I am assuming she is gorgeous, I haven't met her yet, but her parents are great people. Congrats to G and S on the birth of little K! Merry Christmas.

Back to the ball of yarn. I have been looking for it for about 3 months, which is when I last put it in a safe place. Since then, I have turned the place upside down numerous times looking for the rotten thing. Of course, I found it in the last place I looked, which was also a place I am sure I have looked before. Now if only I could remember which project I had decided I was going to use it for. It was either mittens or a hat.

Speaking of hats, one of my great work mates bought me flowers for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, so I returned the favour by making her a hat. I think I became addicted to Patons Jet while I was making it, it is great stuff to work with. When I get time I will post a pic of it. Right now I have to find a pattern on Ravelry that I thought I had printed.

Hope you all have a great day tomorrow, whether it be close to family or far away from them.
I know I will have a great day, my wonderful Mum makes her delicious Christmas Pudding while watching the Christmas Eve carols. Can't wait to eat it tomorrow.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm off to see.....

the Wiggles, the wonderful Wiggles of Oz. Because, because, because... I can't remember the rest of the tune, but I have been singing this to one of the songs from the Wizard of Oz. But instead of singing "the Wizard", I have been singing "the Wiggles".

As you may have guessed, I am going with my sister and her girls to see the Wiggles tomorrow. I am really looking forward to it, I can't wait to see Bear and Monkey (their Dad's nicknames for them) jumping around like the psychotic little 1 and 3 year olds that they are. After the show I think I will have a nanna nap, to give me the energy that I need to eat the dinner I have ordered for tomorrow night - lamb roast with 3 bits of pumpkin, no peas and sponge cake for dessert. All in honour of the fact that 35 years ago on Thursday, my wonderful Mum went to sleep and woke up with me! The joys of caesars.

Usually we only have birthday dinners on the day of the birthday, but since I have tomorrow off to go to the Wiggles, tomorrow is the only day that I can get to Mum's for dinner at a suitable time for the kidlets. If we did Thursday night, I could get there at around 9pm, that is if I don't have to do overtime which is a common thing at work these days. I had a very long day at work on Friday, 11hrs with my shift + overtime, then half an hour after I got home I got a call and had to go back again. All up, from the time I left for work to the time I got home for good, it was a 16 hour day. Then I got hardly any sleep Friday night, so I feel like I am still trying to catch up.

One thing I have managed over the weekend, was to do some cables. I am knitting a hat for two people at work who really deserve something special. One is one of the level 2 nurses who is such a great guy to work with, and really funny as well. If he ever left my hospital it would be a huge loss for the department. The other is my boss, the CNC of Anaesthetics and Recovery. She is the best boss I have ever had, even if she does roll her eyes and moan when I say that I have had an idea (that seems to be a common response when I say those words!). She is a great teacher - she did my orientation in anaesthetics, and very approachable. She is a fantastic support person for the team. This year has been a hard year at work, and she has done a marvellous job keeping us all together. She deserves a special gift as a thankyou.

The hat I am making is the Lucky Seven hat, but I am not sure of the sizing. I am using a Lion Brand yarn that I got from Spotlight a while ago in a gorgeous blue colour. Tom has a fairly big head, so the hat needs to be stretchable for him. Deb has a normal size head, so the hat should be fine on her. I recently bought some blue Inca, it is a bigger gauge so may suit Tom and his big head, better than the LB Wool-ease. If Tom ever read this, he would laugh at this. He is a Pom, so we regularly take the mickey over the way he says things like 'book', and 'garage'. He hassles us back, the other day he said I looked just like Mick Jagger. I have to watch out that I don't do too much standing with one hand on my hip, otherwise I might break out into a Stones imitation.

Better go work on my hat for a bit while I watch Ugly Betty that I taped last week. Don't think I will stay up to watch Eli Stone (also on tape). I saw the first episode and really enjoyed it, thought it was very original.

I will try to remember to post all about the excitement I am sure us four girls will be having at the Wiggles concert tomorrow. One of the Drs at work said today that Captain Feathersword does a great imitation of Mick Jagger, I might have to copy it for Tom later in the week, lol.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hat obsessed

I have been too busy knitting hats to post anything to the blog. I think I am hat obsessed. It is pretty funny considering I have never been a beanie wearer.

Here are some of the hats I have made:

Pattern: Hurricane Hat
Yarn: Vanna's Choice
Needles: Knitpicks Options 4mm circs - magic loop
I think I made this an inch shorter, after comparing it with the very first hat that I made. Depending on who I talk to, it either looks good on me or too short and needing to be folded up. I don't like the look of it with a folded brim, so it will be gifted to my niece. Little SennaBear loves trying on things that I make, and the colour looks good on her so it will be one of her Chrissy presents. I love the colour and feel of this yarn, so will use it again. Maybe for a lacey type hat.

Pattern: Spiral Rib Hat
Yarn: Patons Feathersoft 4ply
Needles: Knitpicks Options 4.5mm circs magic loop
The hat is lovely and soft, but it is too soft I think.

Pattern: Pinwheel Beanie
Yarn: Wendy Peter Pan Double Knit
Needles: Knitpicks Options 3.5mm circs, magic loop
I liked this pattern, might try it a bit bigger next time
Yarn: Patons Feathersoft 4ply
Needles: Don't remember, but was done magic loop
I am not too happy with this hat. I should have done the i-cord, but wanted to finish it in a hurry. The yarn is definitely not a good one for hats, unless I do premmie size with smaller needles. Feels lovely and soft though.
Pattern: my own, using a combo of hat formulas and just making up numbers.
Yarn: Wendy Classics Courtelle Double Knitting
Needles: 4mm Knitpicks Options
Technique: Magic Loop
I really love this hat. I bought the yarn thinking that it would make a very funky scarf, but it is a bit too bright. It makes for a great hat and sock. These will be gifted to someone having a baby, but it has to be a girl.

Needles: Knitpicks Options 3.75mm circs
Yarn: Wendy Classics Courtelle Double Knitting
Technique: Magic Loop
I enjoyed making these and will use this pattern again. SennaBear (21months) was the test foot for these, they are a bit too small for her little feet. She insisted that she had to have both socks on, and was very cute walking last night with them on - till she stood on the wood floor and nearly went over. Not a good floor for kids with socks.

My sister asked when I would make her a pair of socks, hmmmm maybe when she has made me a pair? We can learn together. I am currently doing the class sock from Sensational Knitted Socks with the bright yarn. So far I like it, but have learnt that you need to pay attention to the pattern. I hope to have a pair of cuff down socks, and a pair of toe-up socks done for me this Summer.

I will have nearly 3 weeks off work over the Christmas period, because we won't be having any elective surgery (except for a couple of Caesar mornings). Unfortunately I will be on call for most of the break, so will not be doing anything exciting. I hope to be enjoying some fresh vegies from the garden, if they grow super fast.

Wow, looking back over this post I have been busy.
BTW, after that day with the bees I have had no more problems with them inside. I think they may have been attracted to the Dynamic Lifter liquid stuff I put on the garden. If I have a problem with it again I will be giving it away. I have noticed bees outside a few times, maybe they were swarming that day looking for all the seaside daisies I had pulled out of the garden a couple of weeks before - they always seemed to be hovering around them.
Better go do some stuff, am going out for Turkish tonight to celebrate Cathy Miller being in town. It has been organised by the wonderful QM.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not the bees knees

I have BEES in my HOUSE!!!! I have no idea where they are getting in, but I have killed about 10 of them so far. Mortein doesn't seem to do a good job of killing them dead, just stunning them - the shoe does the job. In the last year I have found two dead bees under the gas heating duct in my bedroom, but hoped that it was just a freaky coincidence that they were sneaking in the door when it was open and dying in my bedroom.

I didn't notice anything flying around today while I was enjoying the day off work. It was only when I was creating the layers of the lasagne that I noticed what I thought were two blowflies hovering around. I thought it was great that they weren't getting too close to the dinner I was making. But then I walked into the laudry and saw what I thought were about 6 flies around the backdoor. Out came the mortein, and I did the rounds of every window and door in the house. Luckily I am in a townhouse with neighbours on each side, otherwise I would have had more windows to patrol.

In the bedroom was a dead bee, that very obviously looked like a bee. That was when I realised that I hadn't been invaded by flies enjoying relief in my house from the 30 degree day, but I had been invaded by BEES. I think once they got in, they just wanted to get back out. What I want to know is WHERE THE DAMN THINGS GOT IN!! The options are: holes in the flyscreen, a small gap I found at the bottom of the sliding door that could let them in, or through the roof. If it is the roof, then they could be coming in through the heating ducts, or the exhaust fan in the bathroom.

I am not very happy, as you can imagine. I had been doing the last rounds of a hat, and anticipating my lasagne that is hopefully going to be cooked soon. Now I am watching where I walk in case I tread on a bee and get stung. I haven't been stung by a bee since I was a kid, but I remember that it hurt heaps. Luckily I am not allergic like my sister. I am hoping the bees came in through a tiny hole in the flyscreen, because I don't like the idea of a swarm in the roof. I have had people in the roof this year, my brother put in insulation in February, and I have had heater guys here a few times doing service and repair of the heater. None of them noticed any problems. While I was on my bee patrol I could see them buzzing all around outside the front and back doors. Tomorrow I will be ringing a pest control person to come and spray my house.

I have had lots of things to write about lately, but not had the time to post. I have some pics to show of what I have been up to, including the stuff I got from the Tapestry Craft (Morris and Sons) sale. Today I had a brilliant idea of yet another project I could start - matching hat and socks for a baby that is on the way. I have only ever done one pair of socks - the baby socks in the magic loop booklet. They turned out ok, but not great. I have been doing magic loop hats, so have been practising that technique. I am glad I haven't had the problems with ladders that I had with the socks I did for my niece when she was born. Anyway, I have no idea what pattern I will use for the hat and socks, but it is something I can do from the stash, and it will also mean that I can make a pair for the Southern Summer of Socks. I might try a hat with cable, since I have never done cables before.

Other things to do in the next week, besides hope that I don't have a beehive in my roof:

  • make the bed with the sheets that are sitting freshly washed and dry in the laundry - hopefully with no bees hiding in them
  • have yummy sponge cake and lamb roast dinner tomorrow - my Dad's 60th birthday
  • go to work
  • finish my tax so I get a bill. Etax is useful, but not so great when it tells you that you will get a bill. As you can probably tell, I got to that point and didn't finish entering all the data.
  • find where I put all the papers for my tax
  • enjoy my Dad's 60th birthday party on the weekend
  • get lots of advice from the garden nursery guy that is coming next Monday to help inspire me with my garden. Maybe I will get some plants that don't attract bees
  • watch the Melbourne Cup
  • Enjoy my four day weekend. I love having the Monday off, with a Public Holiday on the Tuesday

Wish me luck with the bees. I have declared war.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

seven random thoughts

Bec tagged me for the seven random thoughts meme, so here we go.

1. This is the first meme that I have been part of. I have been lucky not to be tagged before (that my foggy tired brain can remember) in blogworld. This had been a good thing cos I have trouble writing interesting stuff on my blog.

2. I hate water. Saying I have a phobia for water could be a better way of putting it. I don't like to splash my face with water, or put my face under the shower. The water has to be warm, not just luke warm. I can't go in a car wash, I have tried twice and won't bother trying again. The second time I went in a car wash I had a magazine to distract me, but I still found myself with my hand on the door handle ready to get out when all the water and brushes came at me. I even have trouble being able to walk along the footpath next to the lake. It all stems from childhood, I can remember being pushed in the deep end at Jammo pool as a kid and not being able to get up because a really big person (I was always a tiny little person) had jumped in and I couldn't get up to the air. I was really good at sitting on the side of the pool when we had swimming lessons.

3. I finished first grade Primary School at High School. In October 1980 in Canberra we had a HUGE storm that caused heaps of damage to my school - it got flooded, windows were smashed, and from memory the roof over the library collapsed. Luckily they had finished building a High School in the next suburb, so we finished the school year there. I can still remember putting up Christmas decorations around the classrooms. The High School didn't last long as a school, it closed down in the 90s I think.

4. I can remember when I was a kid I used to have fun sleeping in strange positions in bed, with my head at the foot end of the bed under the blankets, sideways or with my feet up the wall. I used to wake up sometimes having fallen down between the mattress and the wall. I still wake up laying sideways in the bed, with my feet hanging out the side of the bed. Good thing I sleep on my own, don't think any man would appreciate being kicked out of bed, lol.

5. My parents have rented or owned 3 houses in Canberra with the hideous brown cupboards and extra hideous yellow bench tops. I am not sure if that is why I hate yellow, or if it was an itchy yellow jumper that I wore as a kid.

6. My sister and I have the same size feet, and have managed to buy exactly the same sneakers and summer slip on shoes when we weren't in the shop together. We hadn't even seen each others shoes. It has been a real pain when we both take off our summer shoes and get them mixed up - my feet are a bit wider than Cathy's.

7. I have defective hands, they look normal, and usually are except that I can't count to five the same way everyone else does. I raise my fingers in this order: my thumb, index finger, middle, little and then the ring finger. I cannot straighten the ring finger on either hand without doing the little finger first. Or holding the little finger down with the palm of my hand. I have just been doing this to try to explain it, and discovered that I also have to straighten my middle finger as well to fully straighten my ring finger. Bizarre. I have only ever seen/noticed one other person with this defect, the daughter of a friend I went to school with. I should ask one of the Orthopods (bone doctors) at work why this is. Anyone else with this problem?

The seven people I would like to know more about are:
Caffiene Fairy

Better go to bed, am on call tonight so need to get some sleep in case I get woken up at some ungodly hour and am expected to function.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Remember, add the washing powder.

Next time I decide to quickly put the washing on while my porridge is in the microwave, I WILL add washing powder. I am doing a great job of wasting water today, I will just pretend that we don't have water restrictions here in Canberra. I had planned on getting all my washing for the week done this morning, but have a slight delay while I rewash the sheets, this time using detergent!

I have had a busy week on the work front and the knitting front, as a result I have lots of housework to do today. Luckily, I have the day off work so I can try to achieve stuff. I was making a hat for my Dad for Fathers Day, but ripped it back because it would fit my little head better than his big head. I was doing so well with it, even had perfect gauge. It has now been restarted on 5mm instead of 4.5mm.

My niece turned 3 on Saturday, so we had a really fun party. Pass the Parcel with 3 year olds is hilarious. Lots of my favourite foods were on show, honey joys made with Cornflakes, my Mum's sausage rolls and her egg and bacon savouries, little boys (otherwise known as cocktail frankfurts), as well as the usual fairy bread and a delicious chocolate butterfly cake. Maybe I should have taken note of my sister's tale of the cake, she forgot the eggs and had to take the mix out of the butterfly tin, obviously I take after her when it comes to forgetting essential ingredients like washing powder!

I gave my niece a hat that I made with Lincraft Prism for her birthday. It is such nice yarn to knit with, as long as you take care not to spit the 70% wool, 30% soy combo. It looks and feels scrumptious. For the two seconds that it was on her head, it looked like it was a good fit. It was way too big for her little sister, but looked very cute on her too. IMG_0215
I used the free pattern that they had at Lincraft, but made it using one circular needle instead of two straights. I am well and truly hooked on hats. That is probably a good thing, after seeing the hat I made for me, people at work want me to make matching ones for them. I will experiment with different patterns that I am allowed to produce and sell, and also different yarns. I have bought more Prism in different colours, and will even try to do the Palindrome Hat and Scarf. I have loved these since I saw them, but after trying Prism and then finding versions of Palindromes made from Prism I now know what yarn I will use.

On Saturday I had a great time pruning the garden. I will take photos later of all the bare patches I created! I ripped out all the seaside daisies, and attempted to dig out one of the roses. I have two rose bushes, neither of them have roses that are very suitable for vases, they don't have nice fragrance but they do have a zillion thorns. I didn't really like them last year when I moved in, but like them even less now. They can go and be replaced by something better.

The washing has finished, and the coffee has gone cold so I should get going with the housework. Tonight I will be stitching with the girls, so that should be fun.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Things of blue

On Monday I picked up my quilt from the Caroline Conlan of History in the Making. Unfortunately she doesn't have a website, but if you want her to do any work for you I can give you her number.

The quilt looks beautiful, as you can see. Caroline custom quilted it, and it look spectacular. The actual star part of the quilting was a bit of a challenge, the design we had chosen for the quilt had bits that we thought would work for all parts of the quilt, but the star bits are parallelograms, not the diamonds that were needed for the pattern to work. I think that the design Caroline came up with for this portion worked really well.
Broken Star quilt
Here is a close up of the centre of the quilt. My Mum is in love with feathers, so she kept showing me pictures of similar quilts she found that had feathers on them. Two quilting designs I don't like are feathers and stipples, so I don't think I will ever use them. I am sure feathers would look fine for this quilt, but I reckon this looks better, it is more original.
broken star quilt
Don't you just love the design in the lighter part of the quilt? It helps the fabric to stand out. I knew nothing about luminosity when I chose the fabrics for this quilt, but I managed to create a good effect anyway.

Broken star quilt
It was hard to get a pic showing the quilting on the background fabric, but it is basically three quarters of the section in the light fabric. The border quilting looks a bit like swirls and hearts.
Broken Star quilt

At the moment the quilt is still sitting on my sofa, waiting for me to cut out the binding, as well as remove the excess wadding and backing fabric from the quilt itself. The only problem with having to do that, is that I won't be able to admire it on the sofa while I am working on it.
Thanks again to Mum who offered to pay for a quilt of mine to be quilted when I bought my house, I am pleased I chose this one - if I had to pay for it to be custom quilted it would probably be sitting in a box for another 5 years.

The other scrumptious blue thing that has come into my home in the last couple of weeks is this gorgeous baby alpaca dyed by Donyale. I was inspired by QMs Clapotis that her Mum made for her, and wanted to make a similar but larger version.
gift wrapped Habu Alpaca
The photos don't do justice to the colour, but it is a really nice bluey-grey. I also bought some stitch markers, because they just looked so pretty on the website, but they look even better in real life. The lighting in the bathroom shows off the colour much better than the lounge, but these are the only pics I have.
Habu Stainless Steel Alpaca
Speaking of bathrooms, better go do some cleaning before I go out for coffee.

Busy working in my native garden

The last couple of weeks have been so busy I haven't had a lot of time for crafty stuff. I worked out yesterday that my last proper day off was the 17th of August. Last weekend I went to the Canberra division (Zone 7) of the OTA's AGM/seminar day. There were some interesting topics being discussed, and I won a backpack/trolley bag. I think it was a leftover from the state conference earlier this year, but it is really cool. It has loads of pockets, and has wheels and a handle so you can load heaps of stuff into it and push it around if you need to. I sat there and visualised how many pasties I can fit into it to bring home from Adelaide next year. I will add a photo when I get round to taking one.

I spent time last Friday arvo and Sunday morning working in the garden. I have a little patch out the front of my place that had horrible diosmas in it. They were scraggly looking things, that had been badly pruned at some point. I hated looking at them, so had them removed by one of my neighbours. He certainly earned his money that day, a couple of the plants were so deeply stuck in the ground he had to use his car to pull them out!

The soil that was underneath them was mainly clay, I don't think there was anything good about it at all. I started my work trying to improve the dirt, by adding garden mix, compost, dynamic lifter, and potting mix that I removed from three rotten wine barrel planters that were in the backyard. I planted some natives and put down sugar cane mulch so that when it broke down it could add some nutrition to the soil.

Last week the local garden centre had their spring sale, so I bought more bags of compost and mulch, and some more plants (to replace half the plants that had died in the front garden last year). I spent hours digging the compost into the soil, using the garden fork I was able to get at 25% off. It was still really hard work, but much easier than last year. I think when I started on that garden last year it was 100% clay, this year it was much better. Using the fork was a lot easier too, the spade I used last year just got heavier and heavier with the clay.

Here are some pics of the garden, luckily I finished Sunday morning, because I got called in to work after lunch. I did run out of mulch before I was finished, so still have to top up one end of the garden, and inside the courtyard. I made a quick dash with my sister to The Garden to pick up more mulch at lunch time, it is still sitting in the courtyard waiting for me.

garden August 08

Katie's plant

Here is a photo of the Correa that I planted in Katie's memory after she died in January. I didn't get any photos while it had more flowers, I have had to hold back some leaves so you can see the one flower that is left. Luckily that is one of the plants that survived. This close up was taken before the mulching, but the Little Cate correa is surrounded now by Cutie Cat Pansies. We had a bit of rain last night so everything should now be doing really well. Hopefully it will all survive.
Little Cate Correa


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gold medal hopes dashed

Just like Susanna Kallur, I can't get past my first hurdle of the Maine Morning Mitts. I am attempting to do them using magic loop with Noro Kureyon yarn, which has great vibrant colours, but is so sticky I am regretting the choice. I have never made mittens before, and made very bad magic loop baby socks for Niece1 3 years ago. I have been putting them off for days, just in case I couldn't get the rhythm of the magic loop and the increases going.

I should have had a bit of a warm-up before the girls came over last night so I could consult WithaQ, a legend in the sport of magic looping. I should know by now that if you don't do the training and the warm-ups you can stumble and fall.

I have cast on about 6 times to do these mitts for the ravelympics, and haven't been able to pass the first round. The first time was the most successful, till I looked at it and had a very loose dodgy looking spot in the cast on. I think I stuffed up an increase. I have been lucky enough to avoid knitting too many things with increases, so still don't have that skill mastered, I can do it but it is a struggle.

My other problem with this is that I can't seem to be able to count. I can't seem to remember if I am up to a M1R or a M1L. The last attempt seemed to be going ok, I even managed to get to the end of the first needle! But then my brain kicked in (as it does when knitting and my logic isn't on the same page as the patterns logic) and I started wondering where I could find the final M1L of the needle. In the pattern it is worked on 3 needles to get the patten repeats even, I am putting 2 repeats on needle 1, and the other on repeat on needle 2. Each pattern repeat ends in p1 followed by M1L. I guess I do the M1L between the needles and end up with it sitting on the next needle.

I am sure I have managed to lose you with my description of this, much as I have managed to lose myself. I have thrown the needles down for the night. I suspect these fingerless mitts are going to be mittenless mitts! I will have another go tomorrow when the brain is fresh, otherwise I will have to wait to consult with the experts for a lesson on basic knitting. These mitts are making the hat I made look easy.

The hat was a resounding success. Even though I am not happy with the seamed part of it, people at work were so impressed some of them want me to make them one. I have to experiment with a couple of different patterns, and work out how much to charge. Once I got past the tricky bit of adjusting the pattern, I really loved knitting the hat. I only frogged that half as much as I have these rotten mitts. If I give up on them for the ravelympics, I will have to move onto my jumper that needs seaming, and about 1000 loose ends woven in.

BTW, I tried to find a good link to the start of Susanna Kallur's 100m hurdle race, but had trouble. We watched it last night and it was devastating to watch. I think she was our favourite in that heat because her hair looked so cool. I don't think she had a good start, her foot looked as sticky as my Noro yarn, and she couldn't get enough height to go over the first hurdle. I guess that is what sport is all about - train your heart out and have it all turn to shit on the day.

Better get to bed so I can try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I finished my hat last night, I love the yarn and I think I am addicted to knitting hats. I think next time I will make up the pattern for me, instead of adjusting a different pattern. I will be wearing it to work today, pity I can't wear it AT work, have to wear a proper theatre hat. I will show it off to everyone though.

I think I will work on my WIP Wrestling next, then have a go at
my mittens on the weekend. I am going to try and magic loop them, I don't own any DPNs the right size, and wouldn't be able to use them anyway.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I think I have got it

I should have worked it out this way, but was told 12 less stitches was the magical number. All I could see was the number 12 in the pattern, so it looked ok to me when I didn't think it through.

I think this is it
Original size was 97 stitches. Decreases worked like this:
K10, k2tog=
12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 1
End up with 1 less stitch from each 12 stitches
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Should have been 8 less stitches:
89 stitches, start decreases with row 3
K9, k2 tog
11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 1

not this: 85 stitches
k11,11 11 11 11 11 11 8
Does this make sense?
I am going to rip back and cast on again with 89 stitches

That way I can reward myself with wine and chocolate, not have them because of frustration

That Dratted Hat

Ok, I am a bit peeved at the moment. I had consulted with someone about adjusting the pattern for my silk garden beanie. It was knitting up beautifully, even with the pain of the finger that I jammed in the drawer at Mum's (note to self, watch drawer when you close it, not the two little nieces playing nearby). Even the knotted join in the yarn two rows before the decreases was going to stop me. What did bring the knitting to a grinding halt was the fact that when I was doing the first row of decreases, instead of knitting to pattern and ending up with 1 stitch left I had 8. No matter how many times I counted, I couldn't change the 8 to 1.

Now I am no expert at knitting patterns, that is why I got some expert help. What I can't do is make it work. I could keep going with my knitting, but I don't think the decreases will work. I am tempted to rip it right back to the beginning and start again knitting as is, and ending up with a pattern that is too big. Or following the pattern on smaller needles (original plan B) and maybe having the fabric too stiff. What to do?

I think I will have a glass of red and open the block of chocolate and get stuck into that while I think about it. One good thing, I love the yarn and the colours in it. I am wishing that I had bought more so I could do matching mittens.

I need to go have a second bowl of Cauliflower and Parmesan Soup. Yes it does deserve the capitals. I don't know what magazine it was in, but one of the Anaesthetists at work was telling us about what she was cooking for dinner a week or so ago, and it sounded so good that we had to copy the recipes. This soup had fennel in it, which I have never used. It makes it such a great soup that it beats the Stephanie Alexander cauli and vegemite soup - and I really loved that one.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

All pressed up and somewhere to go

I am supposed to be knitting, but have managed to achieve something that I feel I can brag about....I am up to date with reading my blogs!!!! Thanks to QM I keep up with everybody's blogs using google reader. Love that little reader, except when it tells me that there are 200 or so posts to read. The technique I used was to see which blog had the most posts, and read them all in one hit - even if there were 56 of them. There are some blogs that I read as soon as I see a new post, but lots that I read later. Thanks to reading the one with the most for the last couple of weeks, I am up to date - no new posts to read. Woohoo.

You are probably wondering what the title has to do with this post. On Wednesday I took a quilt to be quilted. Mum had said when I bought my townhouse that she would pay for one of my quilts to be quilted. I instantly thought of this quilt:
broken star quilt
It was made at a workshop with Jenny Bowker, I think it wa 2002? It is a Broken Star quilt, made using Jenny's Pieces of Eight technique. I fell in love with the paisley fabric, and just love the quilt to bits. I think it will go on a wall, but to start with it can hang out on the couch with me. We took it to Caroline Conlan to quilt, it is being custom quilted. I am sure that it would look ok with edge to edge quilting, but I don't want it to look ok, I want it to look stunning. I will post a pic when I get it back, I hope I get it back soon. I have to measure the left over outer border fabric, I had hoped to use it for the binding, but think it might not be enough.

BTW, congrats to Jenny for winning Best of Show at the Canberra Quilters exhibition.

Fun and games at the craft show

On Thursday I went with my Mum to the Canberra Craft and Quilt Fair. Thursday used to be the quietest day, but I think it was busier than usual. My sister decided that she wanted to go, so we met her and her 2 girls inside. She had the 2 kid pram with her, so the children were nicely contained. Cathy commented on the many filthy looks she was receiving from mostly older ladies. It is amazing how poorly some people tolerate prams, but for Mum's like my sister taking the children in the pram is the only way they can get to things like the craft show. I told her not to worry about it, she had paid for her ticket (well Mum did, thanks again Mum) so she had every right to be there. The kids loved looking at everything, there were so many things to see.

When I converted my handbag to the backpack style I commented to my sister that I would get filthy looks too, but my back and shoulder don't tolerate wearing my bag on the shoulder for long. I didn't notice any evil looks, but I guess they were all behind me. I figure if people can lug trolley bags around, then others have the right to prams and bags on their backs.

I managed not to spend too much at the show I bought some Lang yarn for mittens and a hat at Yarns Galore. lang yarn
They are the same dye lot, but look different. Two years ago I bought some different Lang Yarn wool from that stand, they were the same dyelot but looked like they were not. I made them into a scarf earlier this year and wore it to the show.

At Threads and More I fell in love with the colours of their Noro. I bought some Kureyon and some Silk Garden to make a hat and mittens for the ravelympics.
noro purchase I have knitted tension swatches with each, the Silk Garden is much nicer to knit with.

Other purchases included a hat pattern and a Beadie for holding knitted tops together.
beanie pattern beadie from Threads and More I figure the Beadie is sort of neutral so will work with whatever colour I wear.

I tried on the beanie at the stand, cos I have had trouble finding hats that don't look dicky on me. I thought the hat looked pretty good, much better than the hat I wear every day at work. My sister wants to learn how to make a hat, so I thought this pattern would work since it is knitted on straight needles. I only use circulars these days cos I find them more comfortable. I think I have worked out the needle size I will use. I needed a smaller size to get tension, so will use 4mm instead of the 5mm for the stocking stitch section. I am adjusting the pattern to make it a bit smaller so will keep my fingers crossed. To enable the repeats to work I will try taking off 12 stitches.

I bought the One Skein Wonders book from Can Do Books and have enjoyed flicking through that. There are some felted things I would like to try. I also bought a Curvemaster foot from Punch with Judy, she has so many things on her stand, if you want some sort of gadget for patchwork or other machine sewing, then she will usually have it. If not, she can try to get it. I also bought another purple thang, I have two of them but have no idea where they are.

One of the things I had planned to do with my week off was organise my spare room and my study/sewing room. Nup, didn't happen. I did find buttons on Monday that were for two knitted tops I was doing for DN1. The newest one would fit DN2. Of course, when I was looking on Wednesday for the safe place I had put them, I couldn't find them. I thought I had put them on a shelf, I know they are in a little white paper bag somewhere.

I have managed to catalogue a lot of my stash on ravelry, but have not yet opened the 40L plastic container in the cupboard. I know I have some zhivago, tapestry and some other yarns in there. And then there is the baskets of sock and baby wool. I desperately need some proper shelves in my cupboards to organise my stash properly.

Well, I am off to knit my hat. We have a Scquilters dinner tonight, so I plan to knit when I am not eating. I hope to finish the hat tomorrow or Monday arvo so I can show it off at SnB.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Anniversary to me!

I just looked at the date at the bottom of the computer screen. Today is the 6th of August, which means that I have worked as a Registered Nurse for 7 years. I graduated in June or July (can't remember which) 2001, and had several weeks off before starting the New Graduate Program. During that break I did my beginners patchwork class at Calico Patch.

I have been at my current job for five and a half years and love it most of the time. What other job lets you go to work in a tracky pants in winter, and shorts in summer (when they fit)? No thoughts to what you wear to work, you can throw your clothes in your locker and wear PJs (scrubs). Doesn't matter if you are having a bad hair day - after 10 hours of wearing a hat you won't really care about your hair cos it will look much worse at the end of your shift. Every so often at work we talk about the possibility of finding another job that pays more money, but we always decide that we are in the best job. Don't have to have an up to date wardrobe, the hair and makeup done etc. Wearing PJs is easy cos you don't have to do any ironing.

I work in theatres as an Anaesthetic and Recovery Nurse. I have the chance to meet new people every day, and have variety in my job. Essentially it is the same sort of thing, but doing different types of surgery and the different doctors you work with gives the variety. If anyone is looking for a career change and wants something that allows you to travel around the world and work, nursing is a good job. There are so many areas to work in, that you can find your niche. I enjoy working in theatres, but didn't really enjoy the wards - most theatre nurses would tell you the same thing.

At the moment there is a huge shortage of nurses. I read somewhere recently that the World Health Organisation estimated that in either 2010 or 2015 there would be a shortage of 1 MILLION nurses in the world. Very scary, you wouldn't want to get sick. Hospitals around the country are starting to offer incentives to entice people to work there. They might pay moving costs if you move interstate (I have heard of up to $3000), or a sign on bonus. My work is offering $2500 for nurses or CSSD staff, all you have to do is work 3 days a week and pass your 3 month probation period. Like every other hospital we are a bit short staffed, but we work with a really good crew. Whenever there have been staff satisfaction type surveys, working with a good bunch of people has been right up there for reasons to stay at our hospital. If anyone knows of anyone interested in a change, send me a message and I will help you to get the bonus. If you put my name in the introductory letter to the hospital, I would also get $2500. Then once you are permanent you can recruit people and get more money for yourself.

On a crafty note, I have been busy doing all sorts of things. I was supposed to be going to Katherine this week, but decided that I would rather go on an adult list rather than paediatrics - I don't do a huge amount of Paeds at work. This meant that I get to go to the craft show tomorrow - Woohoo!!! I haven't missed one for 10 years. I will be going with my Mum and sister and her two littlies. My oldest niece is a fan of quilts, she has been brainwashed from a very early age. If there is a quilt on the floor, or even a big bit of fabric she will lay down on it and say "pretty quilt Auntie Trudi". She has good taste. It will be fun going through the quilt exhibition with her. Last week DN1 found Mum's box of scraps and was arranging them on the design wall. Talk about cute!

I will be keeping an eye out at the craft show for all the pretty yarns. My latest thing that I am obsessed with is hats and fingerless mittens. I am going to have a go at some for the ravelympics. The mittens will be handy when I sit at the computer, my right hand always ends up a lot colder than the left.

Today I am going with Mum to the quilter. I have to trim the threads and press the front and the back. I will be taking my pieces of eight quilt that I did in a class with Jenny Bowker. It is the sort of quilt that needs custom quilting rather than an all-over pattern. My fantasticly wonderful Mum said when I bought my home that she would pay for one of my quilts to be quilted. Love you Mum.

Here is a pic of my Sunshine quilt in progress. I think I will call it Little Ray of Sunshine. I love the song, and I love the Sunshine fabrics so I think it suits.
As you can see, it is not finished. I need to put it on the design wall to play with it properly. It is too hard to do it on the floor. The only problem with that is that the design wall is in use. It still has my quilt as you go on it. I really need to sew the rows together, maybe this arvo or on the weekend.

Better go deal with the quilt top and back, Mum will be ringing any minute to see what time I am ready to go.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's raining, it's pouring

It has started to rain outside, which sort of justifies not going to stitch and bitch, but sitting at home and stitching instead.

I am managing to have a quiet weekend with some creativity thrown in. Last Friday I went to the VIP night at Hobbysew, and saw some really yummy fabric. Usually when I go to patchwork shops I try not to touch the fabric, because once you touch fabric you like you have to take it home with you. I've been on a quilt related no-spending spree for a while, and was doing pretty well. I tried to avoid patchwork shops, I compared it to being an alcoholic in a pub, I was addicted to fabric/fibre/colour and couldn't have any.

I was being a well behaved addict until I saw the Moda Sunshine Range by April Cornell. The fabric that jumped out at me was this lovely piece of paisley.

I have decided that maybe I don't have the aversion to paisley that I thought I had - or maybe there are nicer paisleys around these days. This will be my third quilt with paisleys. And maybe even the first paisley quilt that I finish. One is sitting ready for the quilter when I iron the backing, and the other is yet to be cut up Chocolat, another Moda fabric.

The range I fell in love with was only $13.95 a metre, and the green fabrics were discounted for the VIP night (Christmas in July). Here are the fabrics that I am using, all cut into strips and matched into pairs. I went to Calico Patch to get a couple of fabrics that are in it, they had a couple of diffferent fabrics in the range to the ones at Hobbysew. I like to spread myself around the shops, it means I get great choice because all the shops in Canberra have differences in the fabric they stock, and the shops all get some of my business.

The strips of fabric hanging on the clothes airer are the reason I didn't get to Stitch n Bitch at Dickson on Monday night, I spent the evening admiring the fabric and rearranging the the pairs into more suitable partnerships. I couldn't tear myself away! It is a pity that once again I am missing SNB (this time in Civic), but I am really pleased that I am inspired to do some patchwork. Since I moved into my place in May last year I have had fabrics and rotary cutting gear all ready to start a quilt, only to put it away again a few days later untouched. I have my groove back!

Here is the pattern that I am using, but I am not doing the prairie points. Not enough hours in my day to waste on those. I saw this quilt made up in Hobbysew, and it looked great. The green at the very front is the inner border, and the blue paisley is outside border and binding. I also managed to pick up a nice green backing that was discounted.
Here are some of the strips ready to get a rectangle chopped off one end before sewing into their pairs.

The rectangles that go on the outside of the blocks ready for squaring off. I love my bright yellow rulers, they are great for accuracy. The colour is not so great though, I am definitely not a fan of yellow. This quilt only has yellow in it because it needs some.

The strips pinned ready for sewing. I don't know where the rest of the pins are, probably pinning another UFO. I used all the pins in the tin to pin my pairs together. Now all I need to do is get the sewing machine out of the cabinet and set it up to sew. Then more pressing, cutting, sewing etc till the blocks are done. Pity that my sewing room is in the middle of the house with no windows. Only a skylight that is letting in no light due to the overcast day.

After I have done some sewing, it is time to make chillie con carne before Private Practice comes on. That will give me some meals in the freezer besides soup. Having a freezer full of dinners is great for late shifts at work, after 10 hour shifts or other days when I couldn't be bothered cooking. If I can drag myself away from the computer I can have some blocks ready to show the girls at Wendy's tomorrow. But first, COFFEE - I have only had one today.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

As the days go by

Once again time has gone on by. I have had a busy time lately. One of my work colleagues is friends with a girl I went to school with. She told me that Rachel's daughter needed a new liver and that there was a walk being held to promote organ donation. My Mum and I went and did the Bridge to Bridge walk on a beautiful Winter's day. There were speeches by people from Girls Grammar (Rachel's school), and by Jon Stanhope the Chief Minister. He raised the possibility of an opt out method for donating organs. When you consider the fact that a fair few people die waiting for organs like hearts, kidneys etc, I think opting out is a good option. Especially when you consider that there are people who would donate who just couldn't be bothered getting on the organ donor register. I think that part of the problem with the low donor rates, is that people are on the register, but their families stop it from happening because they can't face the idea of their loved ones having their organs removed. You can't take your organs with you, but you can help others - so make sure you are on the register. I should add, I was told last week that Cordelia got her liver, I hope she recovers well and can enjoy life out of hospital.

While we were walking around the lake, I took photos with my new digital camera. Here are a few samples that I took by just aiming in the general direction. They actually turned out pretty well. Here are some of the people walking ahead of us, and on the left is Floriade 08 in the making.

The pics above and below have used no skill to take, just aim in the general direction and take the shot. No editing to crop the shots as you can see, but I do like the way you can see the reflections in the water and all the clouds. I would like at some point to be able to play with my camera and know what I am doing with settings and editing etc.

I have been working on scarves lately, here is a UFO that I finished a couple of weeks ago, it uses Wendy Double Knitting yarn. I had been knitting it last year but decided that I needed the needles for another project (my wrap vest that has to be reknitted after the second armhole).

Next time I am doing a rib scarf, I will cast off in pattern. You can tell that i didn't do it this time.

I also finished a Mistake Rib Scarf that I made for one of my neighbours. It is an achievement to take out the rubbish and bring back the empty bins before Pedro gets to them. He is a great neighbour, so I was pleased that the scarf suits him. He told me that he has been wearing it inside on cold nights, great to know that handmade gifts are appreciated. I used my knitpicks options for this scarf, I love them so much, the cable is a lot more flexible than my addis. I used Cleckheaton Country Naturals for this scarf.

I will try to post tomorrow with an update of what I have been doing this week. But first, I have to get the sewing machine out - I don't think I have used it since I bought my place, in December 2006! I took the new iron out of the box for the first time the other day, it came home nearly a year ago. You can tell I never iron. That is one of the best things about being a theatre can go to work in your daggy clothes and put on even daggier scrubs, no ironing needed. If I ever had a career change I would need to do regular ironing, and buy new clothes. We often talk at work about all the positives of theatre nursing, the wardrobe is one of the positives, as is not having to worry too much about your hair and what you will wear that day.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Not so wrapped in my wrap

Can't believe it has been a month since I posted last - gee I'm slack! Yesterday the horrible migraine came to visit me so I had the day off work to try to shake it. I am still not feeling so crash hot, but heaps better than yesterday. If only I could avoid the "migraine hangover" that I can often get for a couple of days after a migraine.

Anyway, last night when I felt a bit better I decided to do the last bit of my asymmetric wrap vest. All I had left to do was one row of knit and the cast off. I was saving it for when I had time to appreciate it, and not have to run off to work. I sat and watched Ugly Betty and did the last stitches. During one of the ads I ran to the mirror and tried it on. I fiddled with it here, and adjusted it, it didn't get any better. I just don't think I like the asymmetric bit. Love the colour, love the yarn. I still desribe it as "yummy" whenever I talk about it. Baby alpaca and silk really do make a gorgeous yarn.
asymmetric wrap vest
asymmetric wrap vest

Before Ugly Betty was finished I decided that I was going to rip it. RIP, RIP, RIP.....but not today. I have to consult with the experts, my stitching mates. I think what I will do is rip it back to where the decreases started for the left front (or was it the right). I will do some decreases on both edges so that it is less asymmetric. Hopefully I will like that better, otherwise I am screwed - I really don't want to find a new pattern to use the yarn. A couple of the girls on ravelry suggested gifting it. My immediate impulse when I read that was to mentally hug my wrap to my chest and not let it go. Bit silly when you consider how much I hate the look of it.

I have taken a photo but the camera battery is just about flat, so I need to charge it before downloading it to the puter. Pretty dodgy photo too, the light today is really bad with all the clouds in the sky, my place is pretty dark when there is no sunlight outside. You will notice that my circular needle is still attached. I used it to pin the wrap in place, it is still holding the final stitch because I didn't pull the last of the yarn through.

I started a new project this morning. It is the prismatic scarf pattern that I found on ravelry. I am using a super bright rainbow yarn by Wendy. It is going to make for one hell of a bright scarf. Maybe I can find a hat to match then I can blind everyone with my cool knitted gear! I have put a photo of the yarn below, but the colours didn't turn out very well. One of my goals for the next couple of years is to learn how to take good digital photos, and be able to edit them and do creative things with them.
Wendy double knitting courtelle
The main reason I started the scarf is because I couldn't decide what big project to knit next. I have some older yarns in my stash that I want to use up. I thought that since I don't have a lot of jumpers and cardigans, I could make a couple of things to wear around the house, and maybe they will look good enough to wear out of the house as well. I am trying to decide if I will make a powder puff cardy, or an fdk cardy or jumper. Or there is also the brown alpaca jumper, that would be pretty nice. I need to knit up some swatches so I can decide what yarn and stitch pattern I like.

Today at work I saw one of the new iphones. One of the surgeons had it, and it looked really cool. He didn't have the 3G version, he never uses his phone for internet sort of stuff so didn't need it. I can't decide if $600US is a lot or not. I think it is amazing how we get new phones so often. I have had mine for about 15 months, and already want a new one. I know other people who get new ones every 6 months. Bit different to my Mum, who has had hers for years and has only just gotten a new basic phone because her old one didn't work. Not many people that I know keep their phones that long.

Canberra Quilters is tonight, so am looking forward to that. What I am not looking forward to is having the phone handy. Being on-call when you are out enjoying yourself is not very much fun. Oh well, if it gives me money towards a new rangehood for the kitchen that I can get ducted out into the outside air, then that will be good. The one I have at the moment is horrible, it just recirculates into the kitchen, so it puts grease everywhere - and it doesn't even suck up steam properly. While I am thinking kitchens, I need to start thinking about dinner.

Before I forget, Bundy is having a giveaway on her blog because she has reached 100 posts.
I haven't heard much from Bundy on Scquilters, since the days of ICQ chats on Friday nights, but will have to check out her blog regularly. It is amazing how much time you can spend reading blogs about stuff like knitting and quilting, and not actually doing the crafty stuff yourself. It is lucky that I use google reader to keep up to date, cos I am waaayyyy behind with some of my faves.

If I don't get round to posting again before the Queen's Birthday holiday, have a great long weekend. I will be spending time with the family, Mum and Dad come back from their holiday on Sunday or Monday. It will be great to see the look on their faces when they see Niece 2 running around - she was only crawling when they last saw her. I hope they have taken time to organise the photos they have taken into a slide show, I expect to see it when we have coffee after they walk in the door.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Not Happy

I am not a very happy camper today. I am sick with a cold, and only bothered to get out of bed because my gas heater was being serviced. It was working fine before the guys came to service it, but after they left the fan wouldn't shut off, even when the heater was turned off at the wall. The heater guys came back after 90 minutes, and played around with it for over half an hour. They had said it "had them puzzled". Finally the boss of the two guys comes in and says that the pc board has blown, and needs replacing. It is ordered and will be here sometime, but they can't tell me when. They also said it was not as a result of anything that they did. The power did cut out while they were here the first time for some reason. They thought the light in the roof was blown, it was really the power.

So as you can probably imagine, I am pretty pissed off. At least they reckon it will only get to 6 degrees tonight, not any lower. I only have a tiny little heater that I used to use in Mum's bathroom when the duct to that room wasn't working. It won't really be worth using in my lounge, because the room is too big - lounge, dining and study. Open planning is a bitch. I will see how I go tonight, I think I will definitely be putting my new extra warm wool doona on the bed. Good thing I have my old single bed doona, I can sit on the couch under that. I think an early night will be called for. I just hope that they can get the part this week, and install it tomorrow or Thursday arvo. Otherwise, if it comes Friday I will have to take the day off work. If the house is too cold, I will have to go sleep at my sisters place. I wish I could remember which phone number I gave the heater company when I booked the service. It is almost funny, the guy said that the heater should last about 5 more years, but it really only worked for about 5 minutes!

If I don't turn into an icicle, I will post an update when it gets fixed. I hate being so frustrated when things are out of my control. Shedding a few tears from frustration is not helping my cold and my blocked nose.

I think I will go and make a hot milo and eat some easter eggs. Only 6 left now.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The wrap that grows by itself

Last weekend I was knitting away on my wrap vest when the phone rang - it was work, I had to leave immediately for a caesar. I was in the middle of a row. I completely forgot about that till my neighbour asked to see the wrap I had told her about. I picked it up from the couch, and a heap of stitches fell off. I have an amazing skill of being able to turn random knit stitches into purl stitches, even though I use the same technique to pick them up.

Anyway, before the great unpicking episode (I ended up unpicking 3 or 4 rows of 159 stitches, I stupidly purposefully dropped one stitch a couple of rows to try to fix it), the wrap was measuring 32cms from the armhole. Now that I have reknit the unpicked rows, it is measuring anything from 34 to 35cm. Don't ask me how it has grown that much, cos I don't have a clue. I know that it is alpaca and prone to stretching, but I have been careful, I promise. I have always tried to place it carefully on a flat surface to measure. Last night at quilters it was spot on 33cm, the required measurement to create another armhole. Somehow it grew overnight.

I am going to go to work shortly and hopefully have a nice day. I will get to listen to some cool music. The surgeon in my theatre this arvo listens to Wolfmother, Foo Fighters and the Chilli Peppers on his ipod. All really cool. Except for the occasional classical pieces. But I can handle that. Some Doctors only seem to have heavy classical and opera on their ipods. I finally bought the latest Interweave Knits, so will have that for my reading pleasure this arvo.

If I get around to it tomorrow I will post some photos. I am very slack with doing that. Hopefully I won't have to unpick anymore of my knitting. I have a dreadful feeling that I will have to though. It is a one size fits all pattern, and I am on the smaller scale of one size, so if it is too big across the back it won't work.

My other project this weekend? To put in an Avon order. I am not entirely sure why I did it, but I have become a sort of social Avon rep. Just selling to friends, family and work mates. I have to collect some orders tonight.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I am going to Katherine!!!

I have some really exciting news. I am going to Katherine in August! I have never been to the Northern Territory, so it will be a great experience. It won't be all fun and games though, I will be working. The previous owners of my hospital now have a charitable foundation - the John James Memorial Foundation. They have been doing some great work, they bought some new equipment for the theatres, and have donated money for good causes. One of those was to a program to encourage kids to exercise and eat healthy.

The major project that they are working on is providing much needed surgery to disadvantaged areas of the Northern Territory. There are a number of trips planned for this year, providing Orthopaedic, Obstets and Gynae, ENT and Dental. I am going in August on one of the dental trips, which is funny cos I hate going to the dentist. When I am in a dental theatre I can't look when they are pulling out teeth, and I don't like listening to the drill. I basically pretend that I am not in a dental theatre. Give me gut surgery anyday. The reason I volunteered to go is cos the patients need the surgery, and I like working with the teams that you get in dental - the Dentists and Anaesthetists are all really nice. I always have fun working in dental theatres.

I am not sure how much time will be spent working, but I believe that there will be some free time to see some of the sights. We leave on a Saturday at 6.30am and get back the next Sunday. The only down side? (besides the 6.30 am flight?) I miss the craft show. BOO HOO. I have been every year since 1996, so that will be very difficult. It was mentioned that I may be able to get an earlier flight so I can go to the show on the Sunday, but I am not sure if I will go that option. I might miss seeing something great in the Katherine area. I will miss seeing the quilts, and I won't get to see the new yarns and projects at Yarns Galore and Threads and More - my favourite two stands at the show. My other fave is Punch with Judy, I always go to her stand first and buy the gadgets that I need.

One of the Doctors at work laughed at me last year when I was talking about going to buy gadgets at the show, he thought I meant computer gadgets (apparently the only sort of gadgets that exist) at the computer fair. I tried to explain to him that there are all sorts of gadgets used in crafts, but he was very sceptical. He did concede that the instruments used in surgery are a sort of gadget. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that one of the instruments for arthroscopic shoulder surgery resembled a crochet hook, and I said the only time I have used one was to pick up dropped stitches in knitting. A little while after that they had the equivalent of a dropped stitch inside the shoulder, so Gus asked for the crochet hook! Finally, someone at work appreciated my obsession for crafts.

I had better get going, my sister and her family are coming back from a trip to South Australia in a couple of hours. I have really missed the girls. I can't wait to see them all. We have to ring my Granma (Mum's Mum) in hospital tonight. She went to Flinders in Adelaide yesterday with chest/arm pain, and is having an angiogram on Monday. If they are not able to put in a stent, they will do a bypass on Thursday. I am sure she will be OK, I hope. I am pleased that Granma decided to have the surgery, they told her that if she didn't she would have a heart attack. I will keep my fingers crossed that everything goes ok for her, April is not a good month for our family. Monday will be the 5th anniversary of my Dad's fathers death. Bamp was a great Grandad, and we miss him. I always think of him at Anzac time, not only because it is when he died, but because every year on Anzac Day he would go around Adelaide Oval at the footy in the cars with the other returned servicemen who had played for one of the Adelaide teams. Bamp played for Glenelg, I can't remember if it was before or after the war. He had one of their jumpers on his coffin at the funeral.

Tomorrow if I get to it, I will post with a little unpicking episode I had today. I hate dropped stitches, and really want to know how I can pick up knit stitches and end up with some purls in the mix.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Must watch TV tonight

I have learnt something very important. When you can post to a blog, make sure you do it for the correct blog. I had a big oops moment, and posted this to a sock blog that I can post to! Lucky I looked at the post on the blog. While I am on the subject of socks, I have 3 sock books winging their way to me from Amazon. I would have bought them here, but no shops have them in stock. Worked out quicker getting them from Amazon. When I get them, I can make my first socks (the dodgy ones I made for Niece1 don't really count). On to the original post......

I think I overdosed on hot cross buns yesterday, because my brain turned to mush and I forgot to mention something important. If you get a chance tonight, watch 60 minutes. One of my sisters good mates Marty is going to be on. He is an Associate Professor (or maybe Professor now) at University of Canberra. He is an expert on rivers, salinity and drought. He has gotta be one of the most interesting guys I know. He isn't anything like what you may expect a science guy to be like. Just an average bloke, and very funny - he was the MC at my sisters wedding. Anything that he has to say tonight has gotta be worth listening to. And the other person that is on 60 minutes is Will Smith, one of my favourite funny guys.
I wish I knew who gave me the chocolate bunny yesterday, I have ruled out Helen, with her new hip she might have had a bit of trouble placing it inside the screen door. Maybe her hubby or one of the other neighbours? I had plenty of time to try to work it out last night, the neighbour behind me was playing piano really loudly till after 12.30am. I guess she doesn't realise that her lounge backs onto the bedrooms of me and the people in the unit next to me, and that noise travels really effectively across the courtyards. I will have to let her know. At least the dog was quiet last night, and the piano didn't start again at 7.30 on a Sunday morning as it has in the past... kinda ruins the Sunday sleep-in.
While I was trying to drown out the noise of the piano, but keeping the ears free of ear plugs in case the phone rang, I went through my list of possible things to knit next. The Clapotis with the Noro yarn? A Zhivago jumper or cardy? Maybe the boring FDK cos I got lots of balls for $2 each a couple of years ago? Or I could use the powder puff to make a cardy or jumper. It is too hard to decide. Winter is coming, maybe I should go for some kind of thick jumper to wear so I don't get tempted to turn up the heater. And I could also sew the rows of my quilt-as-you-go yummy quilt together, so I can be sitting in front of Greys Anatomy and stitching. Then in winter I could be really warm under a quilt wearing a daggy jumper and uggboots. No wonder I am still single. I am still hoping that there is a Mr Right out there somewhere. In the meantime, I will find a cat at some point to give me someone to talk to.
When is it going to decide to rain? We were supposed to get showers the last two days, I don't think 2 drops count. Hopefully the sky will deliver today after I bring in the washing - better go hang it out, and while I am doing that I can count how many tomatoes I still have very, very slowly turning red.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Gotta love Easter, until....

you stand on the scales. I don't know which celebration is worse for putting on weight, Easter or Christmas.

One of my favourite foods is hot cross buns. Liz, one of the girls at work has lost count of my favourite foods (and so have I). She thought I was obsessed by chocalate, until she saw me dive on the hot cross buns in the tea room. And I guess she watched me eat two for supper one night at work. They were Bakers Delight ones, definitely not light-weights. I have eaten 4 today, two for morning tea, and another two at my sister's for arvo tea. Yum. I bought a couple of packets for the freezer as well, so they should maybe last me till Anzac Day.

Back to the chocolate obsession, I have discovered that the chocalate machine up past the Maternity ward at my hospital only accepts exact change at the moment. On Wednesday I had the biggest chocolate craving that I have had in a long time. If I was at home, I would just eat a few spoons of milo and I would be right. I figured that the next best option would be to get a Cadbury fix after taking a patient to the ward. I was most unhappy to discover that I would have had to donate $1.60 to the machine in order to get my fix. Instead, I did a few groceries at Woolies on the way home and bought some little Top Deck eggs (delish), and a crate of 20 eggs that I will attempt for about the 6th successive year to only eat one a day.

I also bought a bag of little Cadbury eggs for work. It was only after I had eaten most of them myself that I realised that the bag weighed 475gms. I don't think the padding I will gain from that has helped with the sudden cool change that we got yesterday. Thursday was 29 degrees, yesterday was 14. I have always been a bit of a coldfish, (OK, a lot of a coldfish). I love nothing better in winter than hanging out with my ugg boots on. But the 14 degree change in temp? C'mon. I looked at my thermostat earlier and it was 22 degrees. Maybe I should have put on my uggies, cos it felt like it was cold enough to put on the heater! I didn't though, eating leftover pizza and garlic bread with some red wine did the trick. I can highly recommend the chicken italiano pizza from Dominos. It looked so good when I bought it home last night that I couldn't take a pic of it for my blog - I had to start eating it straight away. I skipped the mushrooms, and had capsicum instead. As you can guess, I don't bother with the no meat on Good Friday. I have such a strong dislike for seafood that I can't even do fish oil supplements, even the anti reflux ones leave a fish taste in my mouth. I have flaxseed oil instead to make up for my not eating fish every week. Don't think it does much to help my skin, or could that be all the chocolate that I eat?

When I put the pizza box out in the bin earlier, I found this on my doorstep. I really found him with my foot, cos I didn't turn on the light. Luckily he bounced.

I don't know who left him there, I have some really great neighbours. Pity about the noisy dog that barks and keeps me awake when I am on-call. Unless you have done shiftwork or been on-call to go in at all hours, you don't appreciate the value of sleep. Otherwise you would not play piano loudly at 7.30 in the morning, and you would tell your dog to stop barking, especially in the middle of the night.

What have I been up to? Yesterday I planted a couple of natives in my front garden. I had bought a correa called Little Cate in Katie's memory. I didn't realise till I got it home that it was spelt wrong. Doesn't matter, it is still a nice plant. I also planted a crowea to replace the two that had died. I have given up on water crystals in the garden. I had followed the instructions on the container, but with disastrous results. Three of the plants that I had put in last year died after heavy rains - they were suffocated by the crystals. I didn't realise how clay the soil was in that garden bed. I need to get some gypsum to break it up. I think maybe 3 tonnes would do the trick, man is that stuff hard to dig! I also put in some pansies, alyssum and some sweet william. I had bought them last weekend, but didn't plant them cos I figured they would die in 30 degree+ heat. They nearly died anyway.

Did I tell you what I won last year? I joined the Yates Garden Club, and entered a competition. I received an email the day after Katie died telling me that I had won. It arrived a couple of weeks ago..

I have to decide where I will put it. Can't wait to use the stinky dynamic lifter. The timing is pretty good, I had run out of seasol. I think I will give away the water crystals that came with it, I really don't like them. Here is what happened to my pumkin when we had about 60mls of rain in a night.

My wrap that I am knitting is slowly progressing. There is about 33cm to knit between the armholes. I am up to approx 27cm. Can't wait to be able to do the decreases. It doesn't look like much spread on the floor like that, but I am hoping it will look nice on. I love the colour. I can't wait till I can start a new project with my knitpicks needles. I can't decide what to knit, I have so much wool, and so many patterns to inspire. Some of my wool is no longer really fashionable, like the velveteen and another called FDK. I thought that I could maybe knit some things for around the house as practice. You never know, they might turn out good enough to wear out.

Well, that is it for the moment. Half of my long weekend is gone. Tomorrow I will be at my sisters watching a bunch of 2 year olds searching for easter eggs, that has got to be hilarious. Then I have to do some housework and get into the readings for my ACLS thing I did a couple of weeks ago. I should have read the book within a few days of the seminar, but it got buried under a pile of other stuff to read. I have about 3 weeks to read it and do the e-learning exam. Here's hoping I am never in a situation that requires me to do advanced cardiac life support. The main thing I can remember at the moment is that every second drug is Adrenaline. I hope my mind lets me remember more than that when I do the theoretical and practical exams and doesn't just go completely blank.

Off to bed, hopefully I will be able to sleep and not lay there trying to work out which of my neighbours gave me the bunny. I will see if I can make him last - Liz if you read this, no laughing!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Life gets away sometimes

(I tried to post this a couple of days ago, but blogger was not working. Luckily it saves your posts)

I have been so busy for the last couple of weeks, it is amazing how little I have managed to achieve. I really enjoyed the Canberra Show, it was great to see my friends work exhibited. I was so proud to see that QuiltingMick and Jacqui had ribbons next to their work. Unfortunately I found out a couple of days ago that a friend had a painting in the art section, I wish I had looked at the names, not just the pics.

I finally found a hat that doesn't look too ridiculous on me when I was at the show, so I bought two, a green and a blue one. I think they look pretty cool. I also managed to buy a chocolate showbag, must confess that didn't last long. Mmmm, Cadbury's.

I am really, really wishing that I hadn't found I seem to waste so much time on there, that the house is feeling very unloved. When I finish this post, I will make a batch of pancakes, and get out the horrid green and noisy vaccuum cleaner. Probably not as noisy as the neighbours dog that woke me in the middle of the night, or the loud piano playing at 7.30 this morning. I wish that if people lived in a townhouse with neighbours very close by, and insisted on having a piano, that they would get double glazing and keep the windows shut!! I am doing so much call and late shifts lately that my sleep is becoming very precious. I missed out on Canberra Quilters last night because I was just a bit too tired to enjoy it, so I sat at home and watched some of RPA and Lost instead.

At least all the extra call has allowed me to buy a toy - an MP3 player - to keep me company when I go for a walk (if I can ever be motivated to go for one on the rare occasions that I am not on call). Now I have to figure out how to put music on the computer, convert it to WMA or MP3 files and move it onto the player. I also have to download some podcasts, the main reason for getting my toy. What I really, really want to figure out at the moment, is how to get the Electric Quilt software, EQ5 and EQ6 onto my computer on the general user, not the administrator, without getting horrid error messages. I am very not happy with Vista and its stupid user accounts when it comes to putting my quilt design software on the system.

Better get organised with the cleaning, then I can watch Grey's Anatomy that I taped from last week. I had worked 12 hours Friday, was back 6 hours later for another Caesar Saturday morning, which meant I got to Maccas just before they stopped serving brekky. Love the bacon and egg muffins, and the hashbrowns. Two of each was just the perfect brekky. Sunday I spent the whole day at work learning about Advanced Cardiac Life Support, so as you can guess, I had an early night from brain drain. Watching McDreamy and the rest is my reward for catching up on the housework.

Will post pics of the hats later, and hopefully I can figure out how to add links to the website in the post. Don't know how to do that

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Show weekend

This weekend is the Canberra Show weekend. I am going for the first time in 20 years, with my sister, her hubby, 1yr old and 2yr old. Mum and Dad are also going, and are generously giving me a lift. No point taking 3 cars when 2 will do. I can't wait to see the craft with Jacqui's knitting and Quiltingmick's crochet. The other thing I am interested in is the cats. I would like to check out the different breeds, and maybe pick one that I will like at the end of the year when I get a replacement for Katie. I am hoping the donut van will be there as well....mmmm donuts! (one of the essentials in life).

I received my replacement knitpicks on Wednesday, thanks to my great neighbour Pedro who kept an eye out for the postie. He is the best neighbourhood watch that anyone could have. I am very lucky in my little complex, there is usually always someone around. You tend to get that when there are 3 nurses, someone that works for themself and retirees. One of neighbours is selling, so will be interesting to see who moves in. Anyway, back to the subject ofthe knitpicks. I have to say I am very happy with the service of Knitting Inspirations. They send by express post, so that meant that I made my order last Tuesday, and I got the replacement needles by Wednesday. Gotta love Express post, especially when the things are from Perth. Helen did such a fab job, she even put all the needles and cables into the appropriate sections of the binder. I can't wait to finish my wrap so I can start something on the knitpicks, I have done about 12cm of the back, only 21 cm to go and I can start on the other front. Than I just have to choose which kind of decrease to use (on the right side, so needs to be left facing).

I don't know what my next project will be, but it will definitely be from the stash. It should probably be from some of my older yarns and patterns, and practice something a bit techo. Even if it is just something I wear around the house, it will be useful to try new techniques. I really should dig up the jumper I was making a couple of years ago. I think it was almost finished, from memory all I had to do was sew on the sleeves, or maybe I had done that already. It is in the chaos of the sewing room, but I think I know where.

This weekend is supposed to be an 'all about me weekend', one where I do stuff like patchwork and knitting and a bit of housework. I decided a while ago that when I am not on call for a whole weekend to use that time to spoil myself and do crafty stuff. It nearly happened this weekend, but am doing call tonight for one of my mates who has something on. I won't be having much time next fortnight, I think I am on call heaps.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wasting the weekend away

It is amazing how easy it is to achieve absolutely nothing on your days off. This morning I went to pick up a parcel from the post office. My knitpick needles had arrived. I used the parcel as motivation to get the bathroom and toilet cleaned (except for the shower, that can wait till tomorrow). When I did open the parcel, I was a tad disappointed. The beautiful ring binder is faulty, the rings don't close properly. Pages will either fall out or get caught on the partly open rings. Not very happy. I have put a pic below, but it doesn't show it very well. If the dodgy binder (worth US$20!) is not bad enough, one of the 4mm needle tips is bent! I have heard so many great things about knitpicks needles, but I am very disappointed with their quality control. Am waiting to hear back from the shop I ordered them from, hopefully I will be able to get an exchange at no cost to me. I know if you are in the US and buy direct from Knitpicks they will send you a replacement immediately.

Since my morning disappointment, I have wasted time on the computer (what's new!). I have been trying to decide whether or not to download the latest microsoft updates. I am a bit wary of these, last year one of the updates killed Mum's computer. Apparently it was a common problem. I have already had enough issues with this puter. I removed itunes after I found out that it had changed registry settings and made the computer think that the dvd drive no longer existed. I want itunes so I can easily listen to podcasts, but am not game enough to put it back on the little machine.

While I was busy wasting time, I clicked onto my blog to update it, and found that it looks a bit weird. There is no little bar running across the top of the page with the dasboard or sign in links. There is a little 'info icon' hiding behind the title. Very strange. I think I will clear my cache etc to clean up the computer a little.

On a happier note, my new technique for outwitting the birds has worked. The rotten buggers keep eating my strawberries as soon as they turn ripe enough to pick. I started to rearrange the leaves and the strawberry stems so that the strawberries were hidden under the leaves. It worked, I was able to enjoy a strawberry after hanging out some washing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The forgotten Cucumber

I have been a little disappointed with my vegie garden. I did have lots of little baby cucumbers growing, but they all died. I have given all the vegies some phostrogen (tomato food) to make them all flower and fruit - hopefully that will do the trick. When I was watering the vegies yesterday I went around to the back of the pots by the fence and found this...the forgotten cucumber hanging down behind the pot. That will make some nice salad.

I have now got more tomatoes than the measly 2 that I thought were all that I was gonna get. One of them is starting to turn red, so am dying to eat that one. My pumpkins are doing the same thing as the cucumbers, dying as babies. I picked one the other day, so will have to try it. LOOOVE pumpkin. I noticed lots of little white flying bugs under the pumpkin leaves yesterday, will have to find out what to use to kill them, maybe they are the cause of them dying before they get bigger than a 50 cent coin. I have learnt one valuable lesson, as soon as you think about picking a strawberry, do it - otherwise the birds will enjoy it instead.

Canberra Needlework were having a closing down sale the other day, 50% off everything. I went into the shop and felt so guilty, I hadn't been in there since before I bought my house. I sorta felt like it was my fault, even though I only made really small purchases in the past. I walked out with 3 patterns, a pigma pen and a clover chaco marker in my little pink paper bag. One of the bag patterns is for a bag with round handles. I will use the round handles that my Nan gave me years ago. They have been sitting in a box looking for a better home - I am so happy that I have found the perfect home for them.

Here are the pics of the yarn that I got for $2 a ball at the Cassidy's sale. The red will be for something for Niece2, she looks great in red. The blue sirdar snuggly will be something for me, when I figure out what I will make with it. It is 10 balls of DK yarn, I am not sure yet what I will do with it, have been searching all pattern books and mags.

Speaking of mags, I have been sorting out my magazine stash. I have nearly emptied the bottom shelf of my bookshelf. Here is a photo of all the mags that I have culled. I have been doing it in all my spare time over the lat week and a half. I have a system where I write on the pages which mag and issue they are from. I have also started to write what the block is to make for easier filing. At the moment I have them sorted into folders under categories like: angels, cats, bags, techniques (ie quilting, batting, labels etc), stars, triangles and squares. I will have a bit of a reorgansation and put each category into alphabetical block day. I have the pattern sheets tossed into cardboard magazine holders. I need to organise them properly so that I can find the relevant template when I need it.