14 December 2011

around the house

I see a little silhouette

already rumpled

eucalyptus leaf with blanket stitch

Thanks to those who entered the knitting book giveaway; we have a winner! Duchess-declutter, your name came out of the hat. Would you care to send me an email at suseinthesoup[at]gmail[dot]com and I will pop your book in the mail.

8 December 2011

2012 calendar

2012 calendar!

Yes, it's the annual pea soup calendar, available for purchase (or you can just gawk, but I'd love it if you purchased too) here.

According to the site, they can still guarantee pre-Christmas delivery if you order before the 17th of December. It would make a lovely gift for that awkward-to-buy-for great aunt, or, you know, it might even look pretty on your own kitchen wall.

Also, there's still time to enter the knitting book giveaway. I'll be drawing that at the end of the weekend (Melbourne time) so go to it.

7 December 2011

shaelyn ii

I made the lovely Shaelyn shawl again, as a birthday gift. One day I will make one of these for mine own self. This one is for an old friend who I've known since we were 16 and in high school together, who from now on is facing her birthdays without her identical twin.

Shaelyn shawl
every time I see this photo I think lopsided nipples, what's with that?

Shaelyn shawl

Shaelyn shawl

Shaelyn shawl

Shaelyn shawl

Shaelyn shawl

Shaelyn shawl

This version was made from bamboo yarn as the recipient has a wool allergy and the bamboo gives the finished shawl a lovely drape and subtle sheen. I hope this little knitted hug brings her some small comfort.

Further details and the opportunity to click on that lovely little heart button here.

4 December 2011

second light

Second Sunday of Advent

The second light of Advent
It is the light of plants
Plants reach up to the sun
And in the breezes, dance.

3 December 2011

knitteries and treats

luna park

I made the long and arduous trek to St Kilda recently to meet up with the lovely Mary (who had made a slightly longer and more arduous trek on Jetstar), have a quick dinner, drink, catch up and see Eddie Izzard. What a splendid, splendid evening; I laughed until my face ached. Also I proudly pointed out to Mary the grassy knoll in front of Luna Park where I went into labour for the first time in my life nearly eighteen years ago. She nodded dutifully and appeared appropriately impressed.


Awkward and unrelated segue ...

In other news entirely, the postman was kind to me a while ago and I've been remiss in not posting this.

Knitting Beyond the Edge, by Nicky Epstein

Nicky Epstein, guru of the fancy flowers and nifty stitches, has put together an invaluable (and beautifully photographed) book of every kind of possible finish for for a knitted edge (eg. collar, hem, cuff) that you could think of - tassels, braids, cables, bobbles, picots, designs both floral and geometric. And the good folk at Soho publishing have sent me a book to give away to one of you, you lucky lucky people.

You know the drill. Leave a comment if you would like a copy and I'll come back next weekend and pick a winner out of the virtual hat. Good luck!

29 November 2011

there is another sky, ever serene and fair

Friday 25 November I

spring morning

morning skies

bushfire exercise

sunrise, mist, golden dawns and a bushfire exercise comprising the CFA, MFB, SES, DSE and various other letters of the alphabet all day long right over my house.

21 November 2011

Botanica gloriosa

Reading Marion Halligan's The Taste of Memory at the moment, which is more a memoir about gardening than food. It's perfect reading material for this warm wet Spring, with my own garden growing like topsy all around me.

bearded iris

The bearded irises flowered, the new white one for one brief but glorious day before torrential rain killed it. I don't know the name of the coppery coloured wonder above, but I was able to enjoy it for at least a week.

I have been determinedly continuing my new practice of only using flowers from our garden for the house, and this week's posy is a pleasing arrangement of ivy, jasmine, rosemary and gone-to-seed parsley all in a rustic jug found at the op shop recently.

I spent a goodly part of yesterday transplanting one of the three westringias from by the swing in the back to the bit of front garden by the driveway. This is a bit of previously ignored garden that until the drought broke, was barren, dry and brown, with earth packed so hard I bent two trowels in half once, trying to scrape a shallow hole to plant in. Now it's lovely diggable soil, so I have put in some grasses, and on the weekend before, a red cordyline which will contrast nicely (I hope) with the grey of the westringia.

The other horticultural inspiration of recent times comes from a visit last week tO the magnificent garden of Shadygrey, a garden full of roses and eucalypts, nooks and crannies and surprises around every bend. I didn't take a single photograph of her garden but snapped one or two in the house, however they remain trapped in my camera so I can't share them. Anyway I returned home full of renewed enthusiasm and immediately pruned the cistus and slashed the purple fountain grass and am even having thoughts of vegetables, which I haven't had since before the heartbreaking drought years. Shady has a Shetland pony plant whose name I've forgotten and I can hardly go to a nursery and ask for the shrub that starts life as a rabbit and ends up a small pony, so I hope she leaves a comment here, hint hint.

PS this post was written in bed, on the iPad, and boy is it tedious typing on this thing. Time for another page or two of Marion Halligan before lights out.

8 November 2011

crunchy, with a chance of tie-dye

school fete poster

Our school fete, this Saturday. It's huge.

The VCE music students are performing their solos in the Eurythmy Room at 1 o'clock. In amongst those performances there should be one or possibly two movements of 'Spring' from Vivaldi's Four Seasons Bach's partita in D minor although from the nonchalance exhibited around the house this week (read: distinct lack of practice), there may possibly not be.

I've been rostered on for rubbish duty at, wait for it, 1 o'clock. Sigh. Have to find someone to swap my shift with.

6 November 2011

structured procrastination

[] five loads of laundry. check.

[] base of taps scrubbed around with old toothbrush. check.

[] spring garden photodocumented. check.

Winchester Cathedral

[] mango chutney made. check.

[] mantlepiece rearranged. check.

[] all beds changed followed by essential sorting of linen cupboard. check.

[] structured procrastination instructions consulted. check.

[] essay ...

31 October 2011


shaelyn shawl

For my cousin on her 50th birthday.

shaelyn shawl

A lightweight, airy shawl. Perfect for evenings in her tropical part of the country.

shaelyn shawl

Knitted, dyed and delivered last weekend along with the one for her mother's 80th birthday - they had a mother-daughter joint birthday reunion at The Windsor and thoroughly spoilt each other! Ravelled here.

shaelyn shawl

On a more sobre note, the week was soured by the devastating news that, with no warning or consultation, the Steiner stream at Footscray City Primary School, where all three of our boys attended flourished before we moved to the other side of town, is to be axed at the end of December. Needless to say the families directly affected are reeling. They're also now angry and taking action. If you care about proper community consultation, due process, and/or the provision of alternative educational methods in our school system, I urge you to visit their website, sign the petition, write to the minister and if you can, attend the rally this Sunday 6th November in the Treasury Gardens. Please support this fabulous school and the wider Steiner/Waldorf community by spreading the word. Thanks.

24 October 2011

Terra redux

Terra wingspan

For my aunt on her 80th birthday.

grey Terra for my aunt

Enormous, soft and cuddly.

grey terra

I finished knitting it on Friday night, blocked it Saturday night, delivered it Sunday morning.

grey terra

I think she liked it.

grey terra

I do.

Ravelled here.

19 October 2011

a bit more about my new shawl

I said the Terra shawl wouldn't get its own post but I changed my mind. I love this shawl so much - it's enormous enough to really wrap yourself up in, and the yarn (Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic in 'graphite') has a lovely drape and extreme squish factor.

I neglected to mention that I didn't have the pattern but just winged it, with (it must be admitted) only moderate success. The last two lace repeats are slightly dodgy due to the excessive fudging of numbers, and one day I may rip it out and redo those bits because I now have the pattern. I know, I should have just bought it at the start and followed the instructions as clearly, Jared Flood is a better shawl designer than I. Anyway I now have the pattern and have almost finished another one in a lighter grey Pear Tree Yarn, this time for my aunt.

terra hybrid

Don't look too closely at the dodgy bits, just marvel at its impressive wingspan, ok? Then go and knit this shawl. Seriously, you need to. (Hint: use the pattern).

terra hybrid

I've been on a[nother] serious shawl kick lately. Not only have I finished this charcoal one and nearly completed the light grey version, but have only ten rows to go on my office shelf project which is a stripy green and black number, and have cast off and dyed red a lightweight Shaelyn shawl for my cousin (daughter of the aforementioned recipient of the grey shawl). Lots to show and tell when I get a minute.

terra hybrid

For those of you who asked, Son #2 loved camp. After a year filled with camps (Year 9 - six camps!) this one was the 'no technology' camp, which means they camp with just the bare necessities; no tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, stoves, backpacks or raingear. They each take three woollen blankets rolled up into a swag and tied with a belt or rope, with one change of clothes tucked within. They toss a week's worth of food (lightweight, no packaging etc), a cup, bowl and spoon, a billy and some matches into a dilly bag which they have made themselves (Son #2 can be seen sewing his bag here). The camp teacher gives each child a large piece of heavy duty black plastic which serves as their sleeping mat and/or shelter, raincoat, and swag cover. Then they set off and canoe through the flooded Barmah Forest for a week while their parents worry about them. Upon arrival home they downplay matters such as near hypothermia (extended swimming in the icy river), extreme cold at night (three blankets being almost sufficient but not quite) and sunburn (yeah I must have missed a bit with the sunblock), and instead focus on how AWESOME it all was. Thank heavens.

And now if you'll excuse me I have to finish a grey shawl by Sunday and bake a cake for the school Spring Fair on Saturday, in addition to becoming a cello virtuoso in time for our performance "gig" at said Fair.

(We do like to say band and gig. We are so mature).

8 October 2011

this week ...

• I forgot to buy my regular bunch of lilies when I did the weekly shop so I picked a posy from the garden. Must do this more often.

this week's flowers
the wormwood perked up after ten minutes in the water, even though it looks sad and floppy here

• we are rabbit-sitting the next door neighbours' little black lop eared bunny. Soooo sweet. Please lawd, do not let the thing die while it's on our watch.

he sews

• Son #2 got out the sewing machine, propped it on the kitchen bench and made a dilly bag (for camp next week) while I cooked risotto. Good to have company in the kitchen. Good to see a 15 year old boy sew, too.

He threaded up the machine like a pro and when I checked it was perfect. Oh Mum, he scoffed, I've done it a thousand times at school! Gotta love that Steiner education.

Terra shawl completed!

• Wore my new shawl. I finished this just before we went off on the gypsy wagon and wore it a lot on camp. With embroidered peasant skirts and gold teeth, while playing the accordion. Ok I lie, but I wore it with jeans. (Modern gypsies wear jeans).

The shawl should probably have its own post. (But it'll have to be content with this). It's the Terra shawl from Brooklyn Tweed and seriously, I had to cast on for this shawl because I was starting to dream about it. I was obsessed, I tell you. The pattern didn't particularly grab me when it first came out but then I started to see lots of rustic-yarned versions on Ravelry, and then this sent me over the edge. My version is Ravelled here for those of you who need the full gory details.

wagon face

• Sent this photo to a friend who collects faces in inanimate objects.

• Was grateful to live in an age of antibiotics and Panadol. And cranberry juice. Gawd.

• Laughed at the dog who has done little more than this since we came home from our holiday.

exhausted and muddy dog

Did I show you this? After the first day of trotting behind the wagon he chose to ride indoors.

dog nose

• Missed Penny the Clydesdale.


• Got an iPad at work! Having fun with it. Have told the boys it's very sad but the institution's insurance policy means *I'm* the only one allowed to touch it. Ahem.

• Sewed another strippy-quilty-patchworky cushion cover.

• Received a gorgeous knitting book. Stand by for a giveaway soon.

what are you looking at?


3 October 2011

what i did on my holiday

day three campsite

First night campsite

day one campsite

relaxation by the campfire


on the road

country roads

velvety horse ears

expert driver by now

on the road again

Plod plod plodding along

day three

Penny smiles

Hellooo, got any carrots?

examining each other

nose wrinkle

Big drink after a day's work

slow travel

Full set of photos here. Horse and wagon booked from these folk.