Saturday, April 28, 2007

zombie squirrels

As promised, I hereby present some squirrelly progress:

I'm just upto the thumb placement.

The thumbs in this pattern are knit in by moving the stitches above the placement line onto waste yarn after knitting, then casting on the same number of stitches in the next round.

When it comes time to knit the thumb you then pick up the stitches from the waste yarn, and the cast on edge to knit out from.

The squirrels are definately cute, but I think perhaps I've been looking at them too much - they are starting to look like zombies to me! eek!

Today I've baked some ANZAC biscuits (from the essential baking cookbook) to distract them - just incase they come after me. =)

besos =)

Friday, April 27, 2007

wok 'n' roll

It was my birthday on Wednesday! =)

I had a fabulous day
- starting with a divine breakfast (mmm french toasty strawberry mapley goodness!) with J-Mo, to dinner with T & N, to the premium cinema experience with the boy - it was all good =)

And on Thursday at work there was cake!

Mum had asked me what I might like present-wise, so I have to admit I wasn't super surprised(super excited though =)) to unwrap the essential wok cook book.

The essential cookbooks are excellent.
Betty bought me the essential baking cookbook for Christmas, (as I may have metionedonce or twice before) and I was so impressed I also bought the essential asian cookbook

I wasn't, however, expecting the little surprise that came in the post with my birthday card last night - a Myer voucher so I could buy myself an electric wok!!!

I went in and picked one out tonight, and even got an extra 10% off the price (on account of the Myer stores in Canberra currently having a sale whereby public servants save a further 10% on any purchase!)

Its so nice =)
Smooth shiny 'quantanium' (oooh yes - it sounds like something the Mythbusters would try to blow up ;))
It's really big, and heats up qickly, retaining the heat really well - mmm sizzle sizzle

Tonight I made a beef, snowpea and capsicum stirfry, using 3 out of the at least 12 distinct types of capsicum know to mankind (according to chairman Kaga, at least) =)

The essential wok cookbook is no exception to the quality of the other essential cookbooks I have tried.
At the start of the book there is a comprehensive section on the ingredients, tools and techniques relevant to wok cooking.
The recipes covered include everything from soups to curries and stirfries, deepfrying and steaming to yum cha (can't wait to try out some of those ones!)
mmmmmmmmmm delish!!!

wishing you a wokin' weekend =)

btw, I'm hoping to post some squirrelly pics tomorrow - I'm just up to the start of the snowflakey section, after making some progress (and receiving some moral squirrel support from Bells, Liv, Meg and Jacqui at Tilley's on Thursday night...) =)

Oooh, and, FYI, the Knitty surprises (knitted umbrella anybody? are out - just incase they slipped by anyone =)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

shawl candy

Oooh, after chatting with Taph at S'n'B tonight I thought I'd have a closer look at the shawl Mary's lille pige went home in yesterday.

aaaah, sooo pretty =)


Sunday, April 22, 2007

I've never felt(ed) like this before

As I mentioned yesterday, Liv had me all inspired to get my felt on.
So I picked up some Sean Sheep 'armytage' (from Big W) in the bluey greeny colour and got to it.

I figured I'd start with something super basic - like a little pursey type of thing to keep my knitting findings in for my 'on the bus project.' =)

This meant I didn't need to worry too much about exactly how big it was going to be.

So, I cast on 35 and knit garter stitch til the end of the ball:

Then sewed up the sides so it looked like it was pretty much in proportion:

Then felting.
(sorry, no pic yet - it kinda just looks the same as before - I'll take one in natural light tomorrow hopefully to show)

It worked out, but didn't really shrink as much as I expected.
I think its cute though, and will definately get a lot of use =)

This afternoon I just couldn't resist making some 'Hurrah! It's a girl!' pink cupcakes.
They're cookies'n'cream, from the 500 cupcakes book that Betty gave me for my birthday =)

besos =)

Ooh, and, speaking of being born, HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEPH =)
And if you don't want to wear the mittens, I think they'd make good stubby holders if you just turned them upside-down ;)

Tillykke - en prinsesse!!!

Woo its a girl!

Congratulations to Mary and Frederik on Danmarks first 'prinsesse' since 1946.

Depending on timing, we might be in Denmark for the christening (although, I think Christian was about 3 months old at his, putting us there a teeny bit too early), which would be very exciting!

(I'm guessing Prinsesse Ingrid! =))

The pic above is from Queen Margrethe's birthday last week - you can read more about that and all things Danish Royalty at Danish Royal Watchers.

Oooh, there'll be Danish Flags flying, bonfires burning (to 'spread the news' and artillery salutes to celebrate. Oooh, I wish we were there now!!!

Tillykke Mary, Frederik, Christian og hele Danmark!!! =)

Kaerlig hilsen, =)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

mitten mojo

taa daa - the corazon mittens are finished =)

These were so much fun to knit - and pretty quick too.

I cast on for the left on Sunday at S'n'B, and was done (except for weaving in the ends) last night, and really only worked on them on the bus (about 1hr each day)

And the zhivago is sooo soft and
(I could tell just from the 5 minutes I wore them for some pics) really warm =)

Here's the stats:
Pattern: corazon mittens (Knitty)
Yarn: Patons Zhivago in red (#4433) and black (#4438)
Needles: size 3.25mm and 3.5mm (thanks again Liv =)) dpns

Next up I have two projects up my sleeve (quite literally...):

1) I need to figure out 'what next?' with the Squirrels.

<- This is where I'm up to.
Maybe at the very top you can see the yellow stitches - they're squirrel feet =)

You can't see it in the pic, but there's also a ribbed cuff which gets folded under and sewn in - it goes up to the top of the pine trees there - so I've done about 10cm so far.

The thing (ooh, I know, there's always a thing), the thing is that I think it's knitting up kind of stiff.
But I'm not sure whether that's because I've been using the super soft, silky zhivago, or whether it's because I'm trying to weave in 3 colours as I go and it's too bulky or whether it just really is stiff.

I'm using Patons Bluebell, which is a 5ply, rather than the 4ply the pattern calls for, on 2.25mm needles, and suspect I may have to go up a needle size (and I think I could get away with a bigger needle, since the pattern is small, and may be a teeny bit snug).

So, I decided to swatch.
I pulled out just the centre bit of the pattern - only 33st by 16 rows, which should be enough since I'm more interested in how the finished fabric feels, than the actual gauge.

I knit up the 2.75mm needle swatch first, and was pretty happy with it - I think it feels less stiff (although, at this point I'm starting to think it may all just be psycological....).

Then I go to get my 2.25mm needles.
One is missing.
And there is an extra 2.75mm needle.
Oh yes, I have just knit up a lovely swatch - with one of each size of needles!!!

Tomorrow I might try the swatching again, although I think I'm more inclined to just start the second mitten with the bigger needles, and compare when I get to about the same stage.

The other thing is that the pattern uses the same size needle for both the ribbing of the cuff and the actual body of the mitten - patterns I've used before have had you switch to a bigger needle once the ribbing was finished - so it does make sense to me that you might use the 2.25mm for the cuff and then move up to 2.75mm for the rest.

2) I've decided to (and yes, this is big) make wrist warmers.

At first it was just about having a nice smallish project for my first attempt at cables.

But, seriously, wrist warmers?
No way...

I saw a pair at Sportsgirl,
and thought perhaps if they were 'in' then my more fashion concious sister might appreciate some - then I'd have some kind of excuse to knit them - but when I checked out how she felt about them it was also a 'no'.

The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to knit them.
And suddenly it occured to me that I could use the pattern I had seen but substitute in the DNA cable.

Now I even think I'll wear them!!! =)
(I think I'll use the brown 'Lima' there)

In other knitty stuff:
(ooh yes, there's more)

- Inspired by Liv's latest projects, I have bought some Sean Sheep wool for a felty project.

- The next mitteny project looks like being from S'n'B Nation.

Ahh so much yarny goodness =)

besos =)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

but wait there's more (aka Easter part C)

Ok, so obviously I heart footy.
But there was more to Easter in Melbourne than lots of footy
(and a little knitting)
(ooh, and chocolate - lots of chocolate!!)

Sunday night, after checking into the hotel (and watching the replay of the final quarter) we headed out to grab a quick bite before catching Jimeoin's show at the Melbourne Comedy festival.

He's funny funny funny!
He doesn't even have to say anything and he's funny!

We really enjoyed the show, then we had the pleasure of catching up with newly Melbournianised Beauzo and Kit for a few drinks (and some emergency chocolate at Fed Square!)

The guys took us to one of their fave Melb hangouts - the Gin Palace.

They had been in to see Dylan Moran (from Black Books, which was apparently also definately worth seeing)

Monday morning we strolled the city's beautiful arcades forsomewhere to breakfast, deciding on "Brown Sugar" in the Block Arcade (that's it front left in the pic), before heading down through Federation Square and along the walk up to the MCG.

We were so lucky with the weather all weekend - it was about 26 degrees each day, and the evenings were also mild.

On Monday after the game (did I mention how great the game was?) and after some (ok, A LOT) of delish mexican food (and a frozen midori margherita mmmm) we walked along Southbank to the casino complex with the hope of seeing the fireballs.

Unfortunately we didn't get to see them go off (they only fire hourly), but I'm sure you would agree we were treated to a gorgeous light show none the less =)

Tuesday morning started with the absolute best scrambled eggs I have ever ever ever tasted, at the Riverland Cafe and Bar, (at Federation Wharf).

The eggs in question were in the egg and bacon breakfast roll, and I honestly have never ever had better eggs!

After the MCG tour it was time to go to one of the funnest places in Melbourne - the Royal Arcade.

There's so much to look at in the Royal Arcade - there's a games shop with all kinds of nerdy logic puzzles and jigsaws, a whole shop of just babushka dolls, the delish Koko Black, and ooooh my favourite place ever Suga!!!!

At Suga you can watch while they make rock candy right there in the window!!
With words in it and everything!!
Or tiny pictures of fruits or hearts - anything!

Its very cool - and free entertainment!!!

mmmmm I can taste the Melbourne rock now!

besos =)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

6am weekend

Yes, unbelievable but true, I saw 6am on Saturday.
This is why...

The Canberra Balloon Fiesta!!! =)

And it was totaly worth it!
Look at all those balloons!

There was even a giant footy balloon -

Over the weekend I also finished the first corazon mitten

(I haven't taken a finished shot yet - here all that was left to do was the thumb)

and cast on for the second one today at S'n'B =)

Oooh, and there were vanilla autumn leaves cupcakes too...

Really, though, the weekend was just too short - if only all weekends could go for 6 days, like last week =)
(at least Grey's is back =D)

Besos! =)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

too much footy is never enough (aka Easter part II)

Besides giving us the chance to catch up with my family, a couple of days in Victoria meant footy - and lots of it!

We watched games on the TV on Thursday and Saturday nights (and, of course, then there's 'Before the Game' with Dave Hughes - easily the best sports show on tv!), which may have tipped the Easter bunny off to what we might like to find in next to our beds in the morning...

On Sunday morning we got on the train and headed off to Melbourne to see the Bombers take on Fremantle at the Telstra Dome =)

The Telstra Dome has been unkind to me in the past, but now, with the redevelopment of Spencer St Station, there you just cross the handy dandy Bourke Street Bridge and there you are =)

I also have to admit that, just as long as you are't way up the back, the Dome isn't too bad a footy venue in general, except that they only had 'traveller' pies, not the regular four and twenty ones - and the travellers don't taste nearly as good!

We had a fab time and, even better, the Bombers actually won!

Actually, the coolest thing was when the ball was headed out and Pavlich scissor-kicked it back over his head, Ronaldinho style, leading to a Freo goal.
Has to be the goal of the year!

On Monday afternoon we walked over to the MCG to see the Hawks take on the Demons.

At the MCG the tickets are usually general admission, so we could sit anywhere we wanted, and managed to get seats by the Ponsford end goal, next to the Hawthorn race.

Whilst I am a Hawthorn supporter all the way I do have a definate soft spot for Melbourne, so it was pretty exciting to get to see so many of my fave players all at once. (like Croad and Neitz there)

Again we were treated to some great footy, and an exciting game too (only hawthorn could look in serious danger of losing whilst dominating play and being 5 goals up at 3/4 time!), and the Hawks won!!

I could not believe (actually, I still can't) that here are two teams who won only a handful of games between them last year, the ony weekend of the season that we would be able to make it Melbourne and see both teams play, perfect weather, and we both got to be winners!!


(Seriously, this could be the only weekend all season that both teams win!!!)

I do have a few family members who suport Melbourne - my mum's family are all big Demons fans - so I also got to catch up with my aunt and two cousins at the game.
There's my aunt there, well that's her foot in that lovely shoe =) hehe
(yes, all the women in our family are well known for our fashion sense, especially when it comes to accessories in your team colours...) =)

Oooh yes, we picked a fab weekend for footy!
(you could say we kicked a goal! hehe) ;)

Besos =)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Taa daa!!!! (aka Easter part 1)

Ok, I'm going to try and do what I can usually never ever do - catch you up on some of what the Boy and I got up to on our (6 day) weekend in Victoria.

Most exciting news first - I finished the rbpm!
Taaa daaaaaaaa

It's actually Knitty's Via diagonale bag =)

As I may have mentioned (just once or twice...) this took longer than I expected (when I read that Wendy finished hers in 5 days I should never have assumed it would take me any less than 10 times that!)

I used Pellicano mercerized cotton in blue and red - less than a whole ball of each - and made no mods to the pattern.

I loved how the slip stitch pattern came out - it was so simple to do but looked great (actually, I have a feeling that the cotton I picked up last week may end up as one of these bags).

The only thing I wasn't really happy with was the lining (so please don't look too carefully! =)) - I found it really tricky to sew in (no matter how carefully I measured the bag, the lining was never the right size when it came to sewing them together).
I tried to machine sew it, then ended up hand slip stitching it in (if I do make another one I will probably do it with a blanket stitch).

I gave it to Betty, but am still not really sure whether she actually liked it or was just super relieved it wasn't a super-sized poncho!!! hehe =)

Oooh, I've got to go now, I've got a couple of things to do - and it's a family edition of extreme makeover tonight (how could you miss that!!???!?)

besos =)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

good on ya mum...

Hurrah for Mums and their stashes =)

I've started the squirrelly mittens in greeny blue with dark green.
I've got yellow for the squirrely, and will pick up some white in the city over the next couple of days for the snowflakes =)

I can't post any pics yet (not til I'm home on Tuesday evening), but I am up to the top of the trees, just above the cuffs.

We're on the train to Melbourne tomorrow morning, in the city in time to go to the Essendon/Freo footy game at the Docklands, then we'll see Hawthorn vs Melbourne at the MCG on Monday.

Our flight back to Canberra isn't untill Tuesday evening, so we'll have most of the day on Tuesday to enjoy the city too.

Oooh, and the Melbourne Comedy Festival is on at the moment - we've got tickets for Jimeon on Sunday night! Hurrah =)

Happy Easter all =)

besos =)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Nuttin' t'knit

Hurrah - we made it to Victoria =)

Unfortunately, despite my best efforts at planning, I haven't got anything to knit tonight =(

I finished the pattern repeat on the first corazon mitten, and had even brought along my darning needle and printed out an illustrated tutorial on grafting so I could finish them this weekend.

What I failed to remember was that the corazon mittens use two sizes of dpns - smaller (3.25mm) for the cuff and top, larger (3.5mm) for the main body of the mitten.

I forgot to bring my smaller needles!!!!
This means I can neither finish the tops of the right nor start the cuff of the left =(

Having anticipated that I would probably come pretty close to finishing the corazons over the weekend, I did bring along a backup project - the squirrelly mittens.

These little guys are knit in 4ply, which I found pretty much impossible to locate during the week in anything but baby pastels.

On the advice of a kind lady at Lincraft I decided to knit up a swatch of a 5ply knitting cotton to see if that could be substituted.

I knew all along, of course, that this was highly unlikely, but still thought I would give it a try.

Before even finishing the cast-on I could tell that there wasn't going to be nearly enough 'give' in the cotton for mittens =(

So now I'm wishing I had been less rational in my yarn shopping and picked up the royal blue (the only non-pastel) and cream 4plys that I had considered getting 'just in case' - the idea of pastel green trees with a royal blue sky and albino creamy squirrels is more and more appealing!!

hmmmm, I think I'm gonna have to raid mum's stash for something (anything hehe)

besos =)

Hot fudge here comes the judge

Tonight (Wednesday), in celebration of the start of our Easter break, the Boy and I tried out another of Canberra's newest haunts - Baskin Robbins =)

The Boy had a very berry strawberry thick shake (very pink!!)

I went for a sundae - two scoops, hot fudge and roasted almonds =)
Now, I thought cookies and creme icecream was good but let me tell you - cookie-dough icecream is where its at!!!
Mmmmm there's real chunks of cookie dough in there!

We're on the 9:15 flight to Melbourne tomorrow - and very excited!

Oooh, I did actually end up going with the stranding on the corazon fair isle mittens, and I'm really happy with how they're turning out =)
Check out my progress there =)

Besos =)

Monday, April 02, 2007

the dilema

Ok, so here I am working on my corazon mittens, yeah. (I have a progress shot - I'll load it up when I get home - oooh, look there it is =))

Here's my dilema:
I'm up to the fair-isle bit, so should I strand or weave the colour I'm not using?
The most stitches in a row of either colour is 7, I believe.

I don't mind the weaving, its just that I'm worried my back colour will show through and I won't get enough contrast?

Ooh, and I'm using Paton's zhivago which is mostly (all?) acrylic - so any stranding wont felt down.

Does anyone have any advice?

besos =)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

that's the thing about football

actually, there's a couple of things about football...

Sometimes you win.
Sometimes you lose.
And sometimes you get thumped.

(and if you spend the entire game pissing about in your defensive 50 you're probably not gonna score many goals.)

But no matter how bad this week was, next week could be fantastic.
Because, let's face it, a week is a long time in football.... =)

Yeah, so last night was a minor disaster.

In large part, though, this was because of our venue - we called ahead to see if they would be showing the game, to which they said yes definately.

When we arrived and asked about it we were informed (and in not the friendliest manor) that they 'are a league club so we shouldn't assume they would be showing the game (hhhm, perhaps that's why we called ahead?)

The hawks weren't exactly in their best form ever, but some parts could be taken as promising...

(hey, they scored their 6 goals in a split period of about 5 min. Now if they can plan an entire game - rather than just 5 min - then they could kick oooh at least 95 in the next game ;) )

Today I decorated my cupcakes from yesterday - the theme of the week being the return of football, naturally!

Lethal Leigh Matthews was honoured this week for his 750th game as captain or coach, so there was a tribute to him.

Footy fans may recognise it as that day at Windy Hill, when the point post got in Matthews' way, and came off second best =)

And just up there is Russell Robeartson, taking one of his trademark speccys!

Blogger isn't super keen on uploading pics tonight, but there are a couple more on my flickr page (including Shane Clawford, Matthew Lloyd, Leo Beary and Troy Simmonds from grandfinal day 2000)

besos =)