Thursday, October 26, 2006

My Back Door

My back door is unassuming - it's not fancy or even well constructed.

It opens the wrong way, has no protection from the weather or the hot afternoon sun.

What is does have going for it is a wonderful aspect over our back yard and beyond.

It gets some nice visitors of the human and bird variety and is a lovely place to sit with a cup of tea and admire the view.

This curious Australian King-Parrot was looking for a feed but the cupboard was bare. Until we can get a cat-proof feeder no bird food is going out .

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Accentuate the Positive

This could have been a stressed and tragic post just like the Sunday shift I had - but instead I'm going to be accentuate the positive and speak of Cupcakes and Picnics and Picots progress.

It was a busy weekend because, as usual I was juggling lots of things at once. Guild meeting on Saturday then travel down to the City after picking the young Dragon up.

Centennial Park Sunday morning; planning on having one of the great Bacon & Egg rolls they make at the caravan kiosk in the middle of the park when we espied many, many little tents and tables. By happenstance we had stumbled upon the SMH Good Food Month Spring Picnic - and me without my camera!

The cupcake is a sample of the myriad and multinational food they had available. We had Dogs Of Warr, Japanese Crab Balls, Guatemalan coffee, organic guava juice. We passed on the Wagyu Beef, the Chorizos, the Venison rolls and the char kway teow.

On the knitting front I tried on Picovoli and am fairly happy with the progress - the raglan increases leave a little to be desired but the fit is good and the sleeves are to my satisfaction. I'll try the cap sleeve method Grumperina suggests to bring them a bit further down.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Obligatory Cat Post

Cats and Knitting Blogs are apparently synonymous in the Cyberworld, so here is my obligatory Cat Post.

This is Trim. A noble and adventurous cat who, in his master's words, was
"The best and most illustrious of his race. The most affectionate of friends, faithful of servants, and best of creatures."

Trim now has pride of place on the window ledge (a place most cats like to sit) of the State Library in Sydney where he can keep a watchful eye on his Master, Matthew Flinders, who stands before him.

They traveled together from the Cape of Good Hope to the great Southern Land where this puss had the honour of being the first feline to circumnavigate Australia.

Friday, October 13, 2006


I've jumped straight into Picovoli with no second thoughts about finishing off other UFO's or what's next in the queue. The weather is a big factor in making this decision. It is Hot and therefore anything that is wool or has the slightest hint of mohair in it send my palms into an instant sweat. Even that delicate little cashmere scarf is too warm.

Luckily I had all the makings for Picovoli in the Pile ready to go. Six balls of Debbie Bliss Cathay in lovely Grass Green courtesy of Wool Shack's effective discount sales technique.

I only had to upgrade the needles to a set of Naturally 3.50 Bamboo circulars. I did this when the young Dragon was being entertained by a reptile show at the library - he got to pat a Children's Python while I nipped downstairs to Katoomba Knits and shopped for necessities.

With a pattern as popular as this one I have no lack of past examples to inspire or dissuade me. The only feature I would alter is the sleeves - I might try and make them a bit more of a cap than a strap.

I started off Picovoli as Tivoli because I couldn't be bothered doing the provisional cast on it required. I also did the first 5 or so rows flat as the my 80 cm circular was initially too stiff to magic loop. Changed my mind about the picots on the third row and put them in. I'm now in the process of knitting up my standard cable cast-on stitches into the main body to make a firm, no sag, picotlated edge (I hope) .

Of course I wish I had changed my mind about this before I had done the first increase row. I have to do some jiggery at the increase points to prevent the edge developing an extreme slant because of the extra stitches. What - why didn't I tink that extra row and do it proper? Because I'm a masochist I like a challenge.

With the No Seams, Start-at-the-top -keep-going-til-you-stop design I have high hopes of a speedy finish.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pretty in Pink

I've finished the ISE scarf and can pack it off to California just in time for winter. With its pinkness and crystal beadiness and shells it's the most girly thing I have ever made - obvious its not for me!

I don't think I'll be venturing back into the realm of 4 ply for a while though. Progress seemed to be so slow - the fact that I had to frog back to missed yarn overs in all that faggoting may have accounted for this.

Despite this I do have a Cashmere laceweight piece on the needles but that's different - don't ask me how, it just is.

A simple Feather and Fan on Size 3.5, 7 inch needles is very handy to have in the handbag for the little bit of quick knitting in the bus or on the train - the stitch is a classic and easy for me to remember. Just knit til the yarn runs out and you have a lovely, light soft little scarf.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Fun Was Had

Playschool 40th Birthday - this was a fun show.

- I met the talented Jay and Karen, two very funny and very friendly characters with so much energy and vitality.

It was also Simon's Birthday so he got several rounds of "Happy Birthday to Simon" and a very rich Chocolate Cake.

The show was only about 40 minutes long but was very energetic and, as you can see employed the most highly trained staff the Opera House could provide.

This is Slush the Pig making sure he's got a second career choice when his looks give out or they start talking about 'Babe' replacements.

I also had many knitterly chats with Miss Fee who designed the set and who completed a sweet little Rowan Cotton bag during the run of the show. I thought I was doing well grafting my scarf together!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hard Rock

The Foo Fighters in Full Flight. I wasn't directly working on this show so I was able to get fairly close and personal to this band that (again) I had never heard before. My pop musical education stopped around the late 80's but it's been getting a big update lately. This group was pretty loud and in-your-face - not your typical hard rock group - in fact at times they were almost (dare I say it) folky, but with attitude, lots of it.

As is the way in the Concert Hall barely had the vodka bottles and beer cans been cleaned out of the dressing rooms than the next big name event came in. And for this lot the Mosh pit had to be expanded because this audience knows how to ROCK a bye baby with the best of them.

Yes it was the Playschool mob celebrating their 40th Birthday with their star studded cast:

Jemima in her Logie frock; Scrap the dog with Big and Little Ted, a single Banana in pajama with Humpty all waiting backstage for their entrance cue.

The audience went mad, screaming and waving; some having to be physically restrained in their seats. Three shows today and another three tomorrow - "If You're Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands" one more time!

The good thing about this lovely happy little show is that I have been able to finish the ISE Scarf and graft it together. The Faggot stitch grafts leave something to be desired unfortunately but the rest will shake down in the Block - then it's add a few baubles and beads and it's on its pinky, silky, alpaca way. This will then leave the way open for the completion of the neglected items in the progress bar which have been static to the point of fossilisation.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Just Walking in the Park

Its Labour Day today - one of those great Aussie long weekends that normally wouldn't really make a difference to me because I usually work weekends and public holidays. What it does mean is that the highway at the top of my street is bumper to bumper with traffic coming back from the Leura festival or the Bathurst races.

I usually try and stay as far away as possible from public or tourist destinations at this time, being more of a backstage person with a dislike of crowds. This proves to be a bit hard when I live in "The City in a World Heritage Park" so we went walking through our backyard away from all the crowds.

This is a fire trail at the back of Lawson that is a 10 min walk to a lovely waterfall. Along the way we came across lots of local fauna such as this delicate blue Dotted Sun Orchid and the state's symbol the Waratah, along with parrot in the background.

It's nice to be able to go for these walks at present - in a couple of months (maybe weeks) it will be too hot to go out in the midday sun as we did today - especially once the bushfire season starts. This is the beauty and the danger of this wonderful place though and I wouldn't change it for quids.