Thursday, November 29, 2007

Let the stars keep on turning

My friend Cathy's brother Michael was in a terrible accident at the start of this year, and is currently residing in the spinal ward in a Sydney Hospital. Michael and his fellow spinal ward mates are doing Movember this year. If you haven't already sponsored someone with an ugly mo' at work, then please consider sponsoring Michael or one of his mates. All money is going to such a great cause.

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Now, on to more trivial matters! Finally I had a chance to steam block and photograph the Radiant Shawl. I think this took me about a week to make, and I didn't tire of making it once.

Radiant Shawl

Pattern: Radiant Lace Shawl from
Yarn Magazine issue 8

Yarn: Grignasco Bambino 4 ply baby wool in royal blue - 3 balls (672 m in total - I was left with 1 metre of yarn!)

Hook: 4.5 mm bamboo

Notes: This is so very soft. I could have made it bigger, but I liked the idea of a compact little shawl which just sat on the shoulders. I'll make another one - but with a bigger hook and a bigger span for my bigger shoulders. Plus next time I'll actually check my guage - I was naught with this one and didn't, hence the extra ball of yarn required.

Radiant Shawl - up close

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Now I'm a believer

SnB tonight, a great excuse to get out of the house and meet up with some yarny friends. The lovely Taph surprised me tonight with a gift - 2 balls of Opal Prisma yarn. Just gorgeous! Thank you Taph!

My blue Radiant Shawl was finished last night, but I am yet to block it or take a decent photo of it to share. Tomorrow I promise!

The weekend was just wonderful - a friend visiting from Sydney, a lot of baking, not enough people turning up to the part to eat the food ... but to be honest we didn't care as the government was kicked out and we got ourselves a new one. Ecstatic would be an understatement - we whooped and hollered and cheered and toasted each time a coalition seat fell.

Now of course there is much uncertainty at work, but I think we are all so happy that we may get a humane PM and government, we really don't care if we end up in another department.
Only 2 weeks and 2 days to go and we are in the car headed home to Queensland. So much to do, so much to do ...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Now she's thinking of the red soil and those mango trees

At work I'm absolutely drowning in financial profiles and project plans and mid year accounting reviews. Outside of work I'm absolutely drowning in crochet and baking and cleaning and sorting and laundry ... but the difference is I'm absolutely loving the stuff outside of work. How I would love to take 6 months off work right now...

But I digress.

The reason for such busy-ness at home is fourfold. My good friend P is coming to visit from Sydney this weekend. We are anticipating much coffee on the deck, Mr QM's home cooked breakfasts and long talks under the stars. On top of this, I'm co-hosting an election party with the lovely J and her daughter. Lucky for me I just get to bake and bring the stuff to J's house.

And before I move onto the last two reasons for busy-ness ...

'nuff said
That's all.

I've been crocheting Christmas gifts. Boteh was more than half done the other night when I discovered a big oops and had to rip out three triangles. The Radiant Shawl is looking lovely only I needed to get a third ball of wool today as I am a complete idiot (i.e. I didn't do a gauge swatch). The present for S will be a Crocus scarf and I have the yarn picked out - Lana Grossa Meilenweit 100 Bosco, a gorgeous yarn I picked up late one night while shopping at Simply Sock Yarn.

And finally, we are heading to Queensland 3 weeks from today and I am losing sleep over it. So much to do before we leave, although we have housesitters so that is one less thing to stress about.

Today I had a specialist appointment at Calvary, and on the way back to work I popped into Cassidy's at Jammo to pick up another ball of the Bambi for the shawl. And came out again with that plus 18 balls of Patons Totem in a gorgeous pale olive colour. $2 a ball. Sure, you can go to Cassidy's and see what else you can find, but I'm pretty sure Georgie and I have cleaned both stores out. Maybe. Probably.

So this turned into a post about absolutely nothing. I couldn't even rustle up a photo. Slacker. But isn't this rain lovely??

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Swim with me to keep this boat afloat

Thanks for the support on my huge rant from Friday night. To clarify, I don't want everyone to like crochet, but I just want people not to hate so much, and be abusive in that hate.. That's how wars start, people.

The flies and chronic hayfever have stopped me from gardening past 9.30 in the morning, but I've still managed to mow the grass (note that I don't write "lawn"), move another barrel, fill it with soil and plant rocket and baby spinach, and also plant some more strawberries.

Look at my snow peas!

Snow peas

This lettuce is growing so fast that we can't eat it fast enough.


After gardening it's back inside for a shower, a handful of anti-histamines and the rest of the day on the sofa crocheting with the Gilmore Girls. Not that I'm complaining, mind you!

Yesterday I went to the Rose Gardens and Old Parliament house to watch the wedding of a dear friend's daughter. Between the roses, the beautiful bridal party and the carefree attitude of the bride and groom, this was probably the prettiest wedding I have ever been to. Inspired by the prettiness of it all, I went shopping straight afterwards.

Pretty Grignasco Strong Print sock wool. Probably it will be a Radiant Shawl for me. And Cleckheaton Country 8 ply at the very pretty price of $2.

Grignasco Strong Print

In the mailbox , I had some pretty stitch markers which I'd bought on Etsy, made just for crochet!

Stitch markers Stitch markers

And my pretty Radiant Shawl is still coming along nicely, thank you for asking. I can't wait to finish it!

Radiant shawl - day 2

Friday, November 16, 2007

Whatever. Nevermind. *

I've calmed down a little. And taken some of the harsher sentences out.

Although I have been a crocheter since I was a wee lass, I'd never been part of a knitting or crochet community until about March or April this year. No Stitch 'n' Bitch. No Ravelry. No Knitting Daily newsletters or CrochetMe or even blogging about crochet.

I do occasionally wonder about the hostility and (dare I say it?) hatred towards crocheted items both online and in real life.

I know how to knit. I just don't like it. I prefer to crochet. If you don't like crochet or the fact that I crochet and don't knit, keep your opinion to yourself - I'm not interested. And if, for heaven's sake, a free daily knitting newsletter dares to bring some news and information about crochet, just once every couple of months, why should it matter to you?
Why all the hatred?

* please note this post is not directed at anyone personally. I'm just tired of the general attitude. It sucks, it's hurtful, and it's enough to make me want to go back to blogging about quilting and gardening only.

Now, for those who hate crochet, you can look away now. Go over to Yarn Harlot or something. She hates crochet too.

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Currently quite poor due to an antique solar hot water system which needs replacing, I've decided to crochet all my friends' Christmas gifts this year. Lucky for me I only have three friends ;-)

The Boteh for J continues, and I am still enamoured of the Cleckheaton Bamboo.
Boteh continues

I bought the Yarn magazine for the first time yesterday, mainly because I finally saw a crocheted item I liked (they only ever have one project at most in the magazine so I have to make sure it's worth me spending my money on it). The Radiant Lace Shawl is just lovely - not too sure the Bambi yarn is doing it justice, but I didn't have any lovely handspun on me at home. This shawl is for H when she is working late at night in her office in Melbourne.

Radiant Lace Shawl

I haven't slept in two days and I'm wiped. I'm going to bed and tomorrow morning I shall probably die of embarassment over this post, but I'm still mad. I'll probably just keep it to myself in future (ironically, I wonder why people who hate crochet can't keep that to themselves?).

Friday, November 9, 2007

Listen to the voices, the ones that are calling me

Last night I came to an awful realisation. I'm sure many of you have come to the same realisation before. I'd been crocheting the back for Short and Sweet, and was 12 inches into it. Suddenly I thought to look at the instructions. Yep. I should have stopped at 6 inches, added the two front pieces, and then continued making the body as one piece.

What a fool.

As much as I love the pattern that is Short and Sweet, I really hate crocheting with the Bamboozle. But I love the feel and the drape of what I have done so far, so I think I will frog and then make a concerted effort to finish it. Just not right now.

Has anyone made anything with this yet?

Cleckheaton Bamboo

Because I have and it is MAGNIFICENT stuff. I'm crocheting another Boteh scarf as a Christmas gift for a friend. Love. That's what it is. True love.

Boteh scarf number 2

This rain we've been having all night has been beautiful - a great start to what will hopefully be a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Don't want to see you hear you be anywhere near you

I've a stunning case of gastro. It started yesterday morning, continued through a morning of work, where unlike 80% of the Department of Industry, I was trying to be industrious by not having a 4 day long weekend.

By 2 pm I was ready to take a cab home, but unfortunately (fortunately?) Mr QM was feeling equally crappy (sorry!) and drove both of us home. From there we both went to separate beds and didn't emerge (except for my frequent trips to the loo) until 8 this morning.

I am now feeling marginally better. I managed to get a couple of rows of Short and Sweet done while watching Sex and the City, but really, it was just a feeble attempt to take my mind off an extremely painful stomach.

Short and sweet - progress

Perhaps I should think about some soup and some dry toast for dinner, but then I wonder what the point of that would be? I don't fancy another night of this pain.

Short and sweet - progress

On the weekend, when we suspect all this intestinal trouble started, we went to Wagga for the wedding of our nephew Ashley and his sweetheart Ellen. It was a beautiful wedding in the botanic gardens, which I would show you if I had bothered to bring a camera. I managed to take a couple of rubbish photos with the Nokia at the reception. This one is of Mr QM, pre-gastro, with his big sister Carol. It was a good family turn-out with five of his eight siblings turning up (one of them being father of the groom, so he had no excuse for staying away).

Scott and Carol

It didn't rain for the ceremony, but it rained straight afterwards during the photos and all the way through the night. Ash and Ellen weren't worried though - they were having a fabulous day regardless of the rain.

Ellen and Ashley