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.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Should be stitchin

I should be doing some stitching or knitting today. I have been a bit slack, but have been so busy working or going to visit with the family that I haven't had much chance. I have to sit and do the armhole in my wrap vest. I have finally worked out the pattern (I think), it is a bit confusing the way it is written. I went to Cassidy's yesterday to see if they had any yarn left, and picked up a few things. I will take some photos later.

I have been to pick up Katie's ashes this week. I have to say again how great they have been at the Kippax Vetinary Hospital. I got a letter in the mail last week with handwritten notes from everyone at the vet. It was a lovely letter that I will keep with Katie's pawprint. Thanks to Dr Calista for helping Katie with her artwork. She was so supportive, so was Yvette and Pip, they made Katie's last day easier for me. I wouldn't have had Katie for so many years if it wasn't for the team at Kippax. I think I will take a few weeks off at Christmas and get a kitten. It can get used to the place before I have to go back to work.

Here is a photo of my "this way and that" quilt that I am making at the moment. It is a quilt as you go project, started in a class with Judy Turner at Addicted to Fabric in 2006. My Mum did the class as well, she has finished her quilt. Judy is a great teacher, I saw the quilt at the teachers meeting at Canberra quilters and decided that I had to do it. Judy's quilt had a charm pack on one side, and one fabric pieced with seam covering strips on the other. I saw the Cottage Charms range by Nancy Halvorsen at Rosemont in Tuggeranong, I bought the charm pack for one side, but couldn't decide which fabric to use for the other side. I ended up choosing four fabrics, the ones that you can see above in the washed out picture. The photo below is a bit better for colour, but is blurry.

With this quilt, you work on both sides at once. It was a challenge using 4 different colours on the front, so what I ended up doing was putting a yellow front with a yellow back, red/pink back to back etc so that I would end up with a good mix of red, yellow, blue and green without having to constantly check the back of each piece. Then I had to deal with the different patterns on the back. I had to make sure that I didn't have checks, stripes etc too close together, and that I had a good random mix of the patterns. I am up to the stage of sewing on the long seam covering strips to the rows, then hand sewing the strips on the back. Then all I have to do is binding, and throw a label on it. I think next weekend can be put aside for this project. I can't wait to be able to toss it on the couch, it matches it beautifully. I haven't used my machine since I moved into my place, so I hope it still works.

Coffee is calling me, so had better go have some. I am on call for work today, and I hate being called when I am due for a coffee!