29 September 2008

27 September 2008

we did see some other stuff too

It was a good day at the Royal Melbourne Show overall, despite me waking up in the morning with a headache and thinking Oh goody, a day at the Show will do this headache the world of good.

We staggered off the train, exhausted from the effort of avoiding eye contact with the heavy-lidded young woman on her second vodka and lime UDL can (at ten in the morning) who was steadfastly ignoring her whining toddler to take phone calls from her partner about how what the charge was to be and how long the gaol sentence would be, while explaining to her friend how she was off to Queensland soon to see her four.other.children who had been taken away from her. My boys kept giving me covert shocked looks. (She and her friend laughed at my sock knitting, saying the knitting needles looked like chopsticks).

Thankfully things improved once we arrived at the Show, I popped a panadol and we headed for the dog judging.

Despite the older two being at that age where The Show is all about the rides and your friends and the rides and the showbags and the rides and the noise, I did insist on at least a wee bit of animal viewing.

12 day old baconers

The 12 day old piglets (seen here eating a car) won my heart. They are, rather sadly, known as baconers. Or is it porkers? I forget. We asked what a pig's natural lifespan is and the farmer just shrugged. Never found out, he replied laconically.

We ate our lunch while watching impossibly tiny girl-children on their impossibly tiny shiny ponies performing dressage tricks, followed by the amazing and totally fearless Ukrainian cossack rider Sergei Someoneov who was followed by the rather unimpressive Samson the Monstertruck. Samson drove over the top of some wrecked cars and, as we were sitting in the front row on a corner of the track, showered us and garnished our lunch (sausages in bread with tomato sauce followed by an apple thank you for asking), with dirt and grit five times before exiting the stadium.

Then came the utterly insane motorcross bikeriders, some or all of whom (I'm not sure, the MC was shrieking incoherently) are members of the Crusty Demons. All I can say is that I hope their mothers were not watching. Those boys are nuts.

flying tricks

I was thinking of sending that photo to my parents, saying Your three grandsons have a new hobby.

We also saw the mighty woodchoppers (Tasmania won), and a wonderful sheepdog demonstration. I dragged Son #3 off to the craft pavilion and made him look at the jams and breads and knitting and quilts and the gingerbread houses. Which reminds me, I never showed you Son #3's gingerbread house, made at school a few weeks ago and all I have to say is that maths lessons aren't what they were in my day. Behold.

Son #3's gingerbread house

The architects among you might notice that it even has flying buttresses.

Ok, back to the Show.

The boys were allowed one showbag each.

big glasses, small pizza

And one ride each. Son #2 wanted to go on one of those scary ones,

the noisy bit of the Show

so I went to the Victorian Apiarists' stand and absorbed some interesting facts about bees (and bought some honey) and we met up later and he was still in one piece.

new sock

Then we caught the train home and I knitted with my chopsticks and sent a text to Mr Soup saying O GOD POR DA YN WE R ON R WAY HM.

after the Show

25 September 2008

we went to the Show yesterday


Someone took it very seriously.

21 September 2008

will o' the wisp

haruha scarf

My first experience knitting with cobweb weight yarn is, well, quite an experience thus far. Lace knitting. Who knew?

haruha scarf

A chance visit to the op shop recently resulted in the purchase of several cones of varying weight and colour vintage yarns from the Wangaratta Woollen Mills. Oh it was timely, and I was excited by the possibilities. Knitting, dyeing, skeining, winding, planning.

haruha scarf

And while I have lately been daydreaming of knitting a wispy, ethereal shawl, I thought I'd begin with baby lace steps ... a scarf.

haruha scarf

The Haruha Scarf, to be exact.

haruha scarf

I've mastered the art of knitting from a chart (the idea of which had previously put me right off many a pattern) and the lace is slowly emerging from the needles as if by magic. It's a different beast to my usual knitting though - no satisfying click of the needles, no firm woolly fabric growing onto my lap and settling with a sense of importance and finality. Just a feeling of insubstantial fiddling with barely there materials, and a wafty web floating around my wrists.

haruha scarf

I noticed that another haruha knitter (Ravelry link) had worked out she could knit one lace repeat in half an hour, and thus could manage two repeats in her lunch hour. Timing myself tonight I discovered I can do a repeat in 25 minutes (smug? oh yes) but shied away from calculating just how many hours will actually go into the making of this little neck cloud. Oh no, that would be too scary. Better to just try and achieve one lacy cobwebby repeat each day, in amongst the other tasks and detritus of daily life, and enjoy the journey.

Just what I need. A reminder to enjoy the journey.

Thank you all for your kind words on my last post. The generosity of the blogworld never fails to amaze me and lift me up. I tried to reply to everyone, but if you don't register an email address with Blogger it's hard to respond. Please know every comment was heard and appreciated very much. We are missing our sweet old girl, but this morning I found this - the last photo taken of her a day or so before she died, and it made me smile. The dog will get to lick both the container and the lid from now on.

Greek yoghurt, helicopter view

17 September 2008



Rest in peace, sweet Meggie Moo.

8 September 2008

how to make toffee

toffee making

Son #3's recent school project was to investigate a food - to find out how it's grown, harvested, prepared and eaten.

He chose sugar.

My favourite part of his project was The Life Cycle of Sugar which went something like
1. The sugar is grown.
2. The sugar is packed.
3. The sugar goes to the supermarket.
4. The sugar is in your home.

Complete with flow chart.

I didn't have the heart to tell him I suspect the question related to the life cycle of the plant. At least his teacher can be sure it's all his own work.

Anyway. Part of the assignment was to choose a recipe which featured his food prominently and rope his mother into being photographic assistant.

We now have rather a lot of toffees in the pantry.

5 September 2008

cleaning up my act

Perhaps it's the onset of Spring that's inspired me to knit cleaning materials?

In between the tending to a sick child (#2), the parent-teacher interview (#2), the violin concert (#1), the continuing de-lousing (#3), the clearing out of outgrown clothes (#3), the cheering on at soccer matches (#2, 3 and Mr Soup), and the attendance at a blogmeet (me yay!),

I have been maniacally knitting washcloths.

Or dishcloths.


granny's favourite dishcloth

They're quick.

granny's favourite dishcloth

They're easy.

basketweave dishcloth

They're soft and cottony.

smocked dishcloth

They fit in my handbag and can be worked on in odd moments.


And they're ever so slightly ... addictive.

Vital statistics
8 ply cotton in Parchment, from Bendigo Woollen Mills
3.75mm wooden needles
Patterns here and here.

3 September 2008

4 down, 86 to go

they come alive with the black

They really ping! when edged in black.

Starting to get excited ...

1 September 2008