Thursday, September 11, 2008

Once more, with feeling!


Yup. The lurgy has me in its grip. It's miserable. My nose hurts from constant blowing and even the mega soft aloe vera and vitamin E tissues are no longer easing the pain. Bleeeeeeergh. 

However as is the case in times of misery, it's good to find cheery things to lift the spirits. Like the fact that we are suppossed to have 23 degrees here on Saturday. Wooohoo! Heatwave! 

And the fact that I had a parcel of pure unadulterated joy land on my doorstep this morning. The delectable Susan (Catsmum) recently ran a competition on her blog to celebrate her blogiversary. I was one of many people who left comments, and I won! What did I win may you ask? 

Within the parcel was a beautiful book on spinning (how she knew I loves me some technical type manuals, I don't know) two lots of fibre, one a bright funky orange, and the other a thankyou for a pattern book from the lovely Jeanette whom I met at the Bendigo Show - various deep reds. Ooooh lush, I love yellow and red based colours, yellows, reds, oranges, rusts. *drools a little* Also a wee book on Faerie Folklore which I will have great fun reading to and explaining about to the kiddies. Last but certainly not least, a CD by the Mafumani School Choir whom with Susan recently performed as part of the Castlemaine Choir. I desperately wanted to go along, as I just adore the vibrance and energy of African music, but sadly the Macbeast was still on nightshift, and a babysitter for the kids is not easily gotten. This CD is the next best thing!!

There was also a package of lollipops, which, predictably have been 'claimed' and are now living in the pantry to be doled out as treats. That boy of mine is very clever - he sees the postman walking down the path with a package now and starts going "yum!" - there's no sneaking anything past him anymore. 

Thankyou so much Susan, you really lifted my day! And with the Cd my days will continue to be lifted. Happy music is the best. 

And while I am on all things happy, here's my happy picture for the week. I didn't really need to take a picture, as it is directly outside my front window, but I did anyways. One of my favourite things is Cherry Blossoms. White, or pink, I love them. 2 days ago, the one in our front yard was bare except for the tiniest, most barely visible smattering of buds. Over the last two days it has exploded, like fireworks. Apologies for the dodgy picture taken at night but it truly is a thing of beauty and a sight to behold. They even LOOK like fireworks the way they shoot off in a zillion different directions. 

Spring has most certainly, sprung. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Update 3 of 3 - Rockstardom

Socks. Hand knit socks. There honestly is nothing better. The best hand knit there is, ecspecially in this yarn. These are my 'Rockstar Socks' - so dubbed because they were mostly knit in between rounds on Guitar Hero. Hahahaha, let me tell you I rock! BUT they are knit in Misti Alpaca Internation HandPaint in the colourway 'Bird In Paradise'. They are an alpaca/silk/nylon blend and man are they COMFY. I love them! New faves, it's bliss. 

In other news, I finally bought some yarn for a project that I have been lusting over. That's right, LUSTING. 

Dream In Colour Classy (worsted weight) in the colourway 'Cocoa Kiss'. It's for the Dream In Colour Shrug. (look it up, sorry I am link retarded) It's beautiful, and I can;t wait to cast on - but I am currently using my 5mm tips for Fintans Jumper so will need to finish that first. I can;t be naughty. (But don't think I didn't consider it).

And finally, some more handspun, which had not even started being spun when I did my last update, and as such needs to be included here. 

This is Merino and Angora blend from EGMTK, dyed in a colourway called 'Imperial Reign'. I was in lust at first sight with this baby, and upon being spun up, it sure didn;t dissapoint. It;s just my sort of colours, lush, vibrant auttumn tones. Again I have no idea what to do with it, but I am thinking perhaps a cowl for myself for next winter. It's 170 metres of 8ply-ish equivalent. 



And if this post seems a little scatterred to you, and a little like my brain is AWOL - that would be because it is. Both kids are sick, the Macbeast has been sick and now dum-dum-dum - I am sick. Blergh. No rest for the wicked though and must battle on, but am having a great deal of issue concentrating on anything for any real length of time. Welcome to the house of *cough* -sniff- ~sneeze~...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Update 2 of 3 - The new wheel and the handspun.

A couple of weeks ago, my new wheel arrived. She is a 'Rose' from Majacraft. Double treadle, upright wheel. Amazingly smooth, fast, and easy to spin on. And so quiet!! Not to mention far more portable than my old one. Absolutely money well spent, which is really saying something because she was far from cheap. And we all know what a tight ass I am.

Since she arrived, I have been trying to keep an even keel on my knitting and spinning time, but the fact remains I have two skeins of handspun here, and one not yet completed pair of socks. Hmm. buh-bow. When the spinning 'experience' (wank wank) is this good, it's kind of hard not to gravitate toward it though.

So far I have taken her to The Bendigo spinners and Weavers group Come and Try day. I have taken her for a visit to Catsmum's and I have also taken her to visit another friend. Just pop her on the passenger seat, put a seatbelt around, and off I go. Brilliant!

My spinning has improved with the new wheel too. Don't believe me?

Here is 100g of merino / bamboo in the 'Harvest Wine' colourway. Spun fingering weight, Navajo plied to keep the colour repeats intact.

I have no idea what to do with this yet. It's so girly, and would look great on Miss Chaos, but in what form I don't know.

However this - well I love this. Initially spun to be a beanie for Mister Mayhem because he lost his blue cabled beanie. Halfway through spinning it, he found the beanie, and now that its done the weather has started to warm up. So I think it may just become a yarn pet for a year or so until the weather cools down again. I love it alot though, so thats no hardship.
100% Polwarth in the 'Rifle Butt Road' colourway. A fractal spin, 2 ply that is about worsted weight or ten ply equivalent.


I was also RAOK'ed with some Noro Silk Garden Lite a couple of weeks back, which is living on my desk. Such beautiful colour. It's always good to have things to touch, things that make you happy, sitting around where they are accessible. I am a tactile person (yes - a tactile person. NOT a fibre/fabric/yarn whore, thanks lol) so when feeling a bit crappy the odd squish of some handspun, or just looking at something beautifully coloured or patterned makes me feel a bit better :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Update 1 of 3 - Mayhem and Chaos

I have lots and lots and lots to update with. So I am breaking it down into three updates. This first one is concerned with Mayhem and Chaos, both Version 1.0 and version 2.0 - the kids, AND the shop I named after them.

The kids are going well. I've popped the photo up there as a reminder that nine times out of ten they really DO look like butter would not melt in their mouths. Even when you realise it is suspiciously quiet, and round the bench to find a tin of milo has been poured all over the kitchen floor, they look at you and grin, for all the world like total angels. It's lucky they are cute!

Master Mayhem now goes to daycare for 6 hours on a Friday, which has proved to be much better for him than I thought it would be. He's become more wordy since then, and alot more confident and independent which is a good thing. Although the wordiness I am in two minds over. We were so worried about his lack of speech for so long, but when I am working away on the computer with them next to me, and he drops something and goes "oh shiiiiit!" it makes me wonder why I worried at all. All in good time as they say. (Although I will admit to having to turn away so he wouldn't see me fighting my uncontrollable laughter)
He also appears to be going through a growth spurt at the moment - well, they both are actually - it's like spring has sprung and weeds and kids need to grow. All of a sudden our little boy who was kinda short, and a little bit swarthy and gnome-like because he was so broad, has shot up. Pants are becoming too short, as are sleeves.

Mistress Chaos has always been on the tall side, however she is shooting up even further too. There is 13 months and 2 days difference between my kids, but she is about 2 inches shorter than her older brother, and there is about a millimetres difference in the sizes of their feet. They have both already worked out their shoes are interchangeable. This is a problem because Miss Chaos has inherited the shoe loving gene from her mother. Whereas Mister Mayhem inherited the bowerbird gene from his father and is obsessed with anything sparkly or shiny. Throw in one pair of silver sparkly glitter shoes, the realisation by Mayhem that he fits them too and you have trouble. A world of trouble.

Miss Chaos you see, is.. well.. a bit of a drama queen. And when I say a bit, I mean I need to enrol this kid in acting classes when she is old enough. She doesn't get a drink at the exact precise moment her brother does? Have a paddy. Accidentally dropped her dummy? Have a paddy. Something doesn't move out of her path when she looks at it sternly? Have a paddy. We are talking throw self down onto the floor, wail and squeal like its the end of the world, paddy. She's a princess too. If she has socks on or is barefoot, and steps in something? She will hop around on one foot, wailing, waving the dirty foot in the air until you clean it off. It's really quite amusing that one!

I am partly bemused and yet partly of the feeling its typical that my two really are far more speedy, and far more sneaky, than other kids their age. I look at other kids out and about who will sleep in a pram, or hang on to the trolley and walk with their mothers when Shopping and I think "Why can't mine do that instead of running off in the other direction hand in hand before deciding to have a headbutting competition in another aisle?". Then I realise if they didn't do that, they wouldn't be them. And for all the sneakiness they really are very clever, beautiful kids who are alot of fun. They make me giggle on a daily to hourly basis.

That's not to say I don't have my days where I feel I will scream if I have to say the words "no", "put that down", "look with your eyes not your hands!" , "don't touch that" , "get off the bench", "put the cat down", "don't kick your brother / sister" or "get back here!" again. Although having to tell Mister Mayhem the other day "don't lick the cat!" kind of made me feel like I had fallen down the rabbit hole and lost my mind along the way.

As for Mayhem and Chaos version 2, I am nearly ready to do another stocking. I am hoping to do proper, regular stockings from now on, and am looking into getting my own website up and running down the track rather than relying on Etsy. This update will have hand dyed 18 micron sliver for spinning, and sock yarn in 5 new colourways, and one old colourway. There will also be handspun yarn go up, but I have a few things on the way for future updates. Keep eyes peeled!

And while I am speaking all things handspun, hand made etc - I have a question to ask the blogosphere at random. (It also helps as I know some of the people I am addressing the question to read this lol). If you or your kids received hand made gifts for christmas be they hand knit, handspun or whatever - would you think the giver was stingy? Or a stooge? Would you mind receiving gifts or your kids receiving gifts that by their nature are not seasonally appropriate given christmas falls in the Australian summer - but would be useful when winter rolled around again? I am considering making some of my neices and nephews some hand knit stuff for christmas gifts, but am unsure of how they would be received. Any excuse for me to thumb twiddle over a dilemma and avoid the washing piling up in the laundry eh?