Tuesday, 31 May 2011

so what will I do now

Since I finished my shawl, I've been at a bit of a loose end.  I've started a couple of things but have pulled them back, not happy with either.  I think I may make some beanies for my friend in Christchurch, NZ.  She works at a school and several dozen beanies for pupils were donated, but more could be used.  She also knows others who would appreciate them too.

She emailed me the other day to reiterate how tired she is of aftershocks.  There had been thousands between the shocks in September and the next big one.  She said there had been one of magnitude 3 the other night, but she had woken in a panic sure there was another huge shock.  Turns out her cat had jumped on her in bed  from the top of a wardrobe!  Almost two metres away.

I decided that if Cindy can post about  food, then so can I.  She is cooking her way through the alphabet and today has spicy kumara wedges.  I had another for "K".  The box of fruit and vegetables has a King Brown mushroom in it.  It's the funny looking bit slightly right of centre.  I hadn't tried them before and I cut two slices from the stem.  On the plate of food they look a bit like potato slices.  They were delicious, a rich, strong flavour and a good texture.  I must keep my open for more.

I've been having a box of fruit and veg delivered once a fortnight.  It would have pretty much the same selection as this box but more of everything.  I had some left so bought a small box today.  I have some control over the contents but am mostly happy to get a surprise.  There are few things I don't eat as far as fruit/vegetables are concerned.

Neither of the two large supermarkets here delivers any more, although it's possible that they do from another suburb, more of a nuisance to get to.  I don't have a car and don't intend to get one.  My eyes haven't been the best for driving although once upon a time I drove many miles.  I would need to go out for fruit etc every few days as I can't carry heavy stuff home, particularly in the bus.  So I'm happy for the delivery.

There are over twenty different things in that box, really just a sample of many.  The plate is tonight's dinner.  It looks like a lot of meat, several meals for me, but it's veal parmigiana and the slices are very thin indeed.  Had they been the usual thickness of steak, that amount would be more meat than I eat in two weeks.  Eggplant, fresh beans, King Brown slices, and some salad greens with balsamic glaze on them.

I do a stocktake of the fridge before placing an order.  Sometimes soup is made from what's left.  That's good for lunches especially in this cold wet weather Sydney is having.  It's bucketing down now.  Again.  Leftover fruit is cooked up to go on my muesli and all is ready to start again.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

striped study shawl

I'm off  to lunch today and will probably be wearing this.  Cast off last night.  What a lot of garter stitch.  It could have had a slightly wider green border but I was sick of it.  The 100 metres in the next ball would have given me only about eight more rows maximum and I decided the effect wasn't worth the effort.

The effect of the short rows can be easily seen here  with the shawl on the floor, even though it's unblocked as yet. Larger photos by clicking on image.

The colours are not really accurate here.  The black is an intense, deep black and the green is a rich forest green without the blue tinge at all.  They look good together and even unblocked the shawl is large.

The designer has another shawl, really more like a scarf done using similar principles with short rows.  I like the result but can't face more at the moment, although the scarf is smaller.

Here it is on my model keeping her warm.  It's a good deal warmer than yesterday and the gale force winds have dropped.  I went out as I do most Wednesdays and was waiting for  my usual bus.  It didn't arrive.  Neither did the next one.  Ten minutes after that a bus came, I don't know whether it was either of those two or the  next one early.  It made little difference to me.  I was very warmly dressed with a hooded, quilted silk jacket.  I'd been at the south facing bus stop in a gale for almost 45 minutes.  I was cold.  I don't know if it was the weather or some accident or what but the traffic was appalling.  Sydney grinds to a halt in on the roads in bad weather. When I was still at least twenty minutes away from where I change buses, I was about a kilometre down the road, stuck outside Ashfield Park.  I came home.  I would have been arriving  when everything was over.  So it's  cold enough to dress up my model.

Actually all my grandchildren are offended by her and also by her several equally unclothed cousins at DIL's place.  I find it amusing but all things considered I'd rather they had some sensibility like that.

It's not a well composed shot at all.  The slash of red next to the model is actually a rug over a chair behind her and the frame of the chair can be seen on the floor too.  The window in the rear of the picture opens onto the common courtyard area contained inside the building.

Rather than upload a huge lot of photos, here's a slide show you may find interesting.  It's the replacement of a huge advertising poster over from where I am.  I had a lot more photos but have edited these.  Mostly cropped out is the road.  Parramatta Road, one of Sydney's busiest roads is directly under where these men were working.  The wind was blowing a gale and one of them had no safety harness..   Here's the link.  Posters in a gale.  I was scared watching them work.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

red sky in the morning, shepherds take warning

I've been busy and BLOGGER was uncooperative for at least two days last week.  Possibly more.  I've also had a nasty tummy upset and any information about that is more than anyone wants to know.  DIL took me back to IKEA and we exchanged the door with the broken glass for another whole door, taken straight from another box.  I hope no other purchaser finds themselves short a door, but I can see it could easily happen.  I spent quite a bit of money on the shelves for my storeroom and now have them up.

The longer shelving to the left was erected twice.  I had it all done and found it was too bug for one person to stand up.  Then DIL and I discovered that it would not go into the space allowed by less than a centimetre, taken up in the door frame.  We undid it and put it up inside the storeroom and it just fits in nicely.  The shelves are more than twice as wide as the temporary shelving I had there.  I even have boxes of stash across the top which is not really convenient but I have strong steps and really, how often do I need to investigate it.

Some boxes have been in and out a couple of times and may yet move until I find where they really work properly. Practically every time I go shopping I buy something else needed for general household living. Today it was a very expensive chef's knife.  I have good smaller knives and didn't want a block and a full set,but I've been used to a decent sized chef's knife so bought one.

With the new cupboard in the lounge, I've moved plates etc to there and freed up some space in the few kitchen cupboards I have.  All the plastic ware has been sorted and is no accessible.

Here's the larger cupboard.  Wine glasses are now accessible on the top shelf but I need to buy some glass tumblers as I have only one or a  few small whisky style glasses.  Even they are small than the usual for that purpose and a couple of times I've been tempted to have two gin and tonics before dinner.  I haven't, I've stuck to one.  I've been able to unpack some really old stuff, vegetable dishes and meat trays from my grandmother.  I think that clicking will enlarge any of the photos.

The drawers which were here are now in my bedroom and again, more sorting has been done.  Winter woolies are easy to reach which is just  as well.  A couple of weeks ago, the mornings here were down to about 3° C but lately they've been higher.  However, a cold change came through here about two hours ago and the temperature has dropped considerably and it's raining.

This place is delightfully warm for a large part of the day when it's sunny.  It's three rooms wide and the lower winter sun streams in and warms the place up very well indeed.  It cools quickly from mid-afternon, again because it's three rooms wide with a large area of glass in each of those rooms.

This was taken about 6:45 this morning and is the reason for the title of this post.  True to the saying, this beautiful sky did not last much past lunch.  It's now grey enough to need a light on to read and is much colder than when I was  waiting for the bus to the shops.  It's taken from my balcony, looking toward the city skyline and I like the silhouetted outline of trees in the foreground as well as the buildings standing out against the sky. A larger picture by clicking shows the sky really well. The clouds are intensely coloured.

I have about 250 metres to knit on the striped study shawl and a lot of ends to sew in as I used individual balls of Bendigo's Melody in deep forest green and black.  Just how much depth those 250 metres will add to the border, I'm not sure.  There are over 300 stitches now and while they move around on the needle, I can't spread it out for a photo. Each row eats up a bit more wool each time.  I'm going out for lunch on Thursday and would like to wear it so I can see some time tonight and a good bit of tomorrow doing it.  I bought a TV about two weeks ago so knit while watching.  I am unaccustomed to watching TV, haven't seen any for 17 months and really little has changed.  Many of the ads are the same and  very little seems to have happened in the programming.

Now I need to decide on dinner.  Lunch was very good pumpkin soup, one of the nicest batches for quite a while and some homemade fresh bread, also very good, a mix of rye and multigrain.  Something easy and I can knit while it cooks.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

striped study shawl

I mentioned I was doing a small Aestlight shawl with some 5 ply of unknown length.  I am quite unsure just how far the yarn will go, so have decided to turn it into a neckerchief, for want of a better term  Definitely not a shawlette.  Eeeuw!  Not a pleasant word to write, look at or say.

So I wanted something fairly mindless but still attractive for which I knew I  would have enough yarn.  I poked around on Ravelry and found I had already stored the Striped Study shawl in my library.  It's originally done in 4 ply on 4 mm needles but I had plenty of two colours of Bendigo Melody which is an 8 ply.  I'm using 5 mm needles but have much more  wool that that specified in the pattern for the thinner yarn. There should be enough.  I have black  and a lovely deep forest green and am happy with the combination.  12 repeats of the contrast stripe are called for.  I'll see how big the shawl is after  ten repeats of the thicker yarn.  I've done seven contrast stripes.  Look!  Patterns on the Kindle.  This makes it very easy to carry around and it's clear.  I can mark and make annotations if needed too. I think clicking on picture should enlarge image.  I've downloaded a copy of Nikon D3100  for Dummies and am making progress through it.  It's much more clearly written than the manual which came with the camera.

I'm gradually getting what I need here.  I think the only major purchase left will be bookshelves for the spare room.  I've priced some which are sturdy and reasonable to look at but need to arrange for not only delivery but someone here to help with the delivery. Oh, I also need a sofa bed which looks fine, is comfortable, well made, and easy to use.  I haven't yet looked for one at all.

My son scored a new TV for me on ebay and I hope the delivery is today.  I've been tracking it and it should be.  He paid $243 for something which is over $400 retail and it costs another $39 to come from  Melbourne.  All bells and whistles on it, live pause or whatever it's called, flat screen, lots of other letters too denoting what he says are good features.  32" which is fine for the size of the room and for me too.  I don't like the room to look dominated by the screen and I don't watch it for hours on end.  I haven't watched TV for 17 months now so am right out of the habit.  However, I think that with winter rapidly approaching it will be pleasant to be cosy knitting and watching.  Particularly as I'll be by myself most of the time.

Lots of visitors on Mother's Day and dinner the night before too.  Two sons and their families.  A simple, easy lunch of homemade  chevapi, BBQ chicken, salad, sausages  etc.  Most of the grandchildren hadn't been here so were glad to see my new place.  It was all very relaxed.The picture is Master  5 with a crewcut from his hairdresser mother.  He took blunt children's scissors to his hair and ended up with a  half-chewed looking mess.  A crewcut was the easiest way to fix it.  He is a bit abashed by it and I doubt he will try doing his own haircut again.

I bought some wine which was also delivered today by a very rude Aust. Post courier.  Am hoping the next delivery will be more pleasant.  At least he did deliver it.  My last delivery by one of those couriers did not even rate a ring at the security door downstairs.  Even though it was a small package, it was taken straight to PO and I had to collect it.  I was not very happy, he didn't even say which PO and there are three all much the same distance from here.  He also carefully did not put his name or truck number on the card left.

I think my poor toe is making a bit of progress.  I've had shoes on most of the day and it feels reasonable.  I'll lose the nail and am not sure whether there will ever be another nail grown with the damage to the toe, but the I believe the toe was itself also broken.  That bit seems to be recovering and about time too.

Friday, 6 May 2011


I  had planned on being out of the place this morning fairly early, but forgot my plans  when I woke up.  Put washing on and had a leisurely read of the paper while I ate my breakfast.  Mum would have been horrified.  Certainly no reading at the table for her, even when she was by herself.

The security buzzer went and there was  a UPS man wanting entry to the building.  I had ordered a Kindle last weekend and was expecting it to arrive on Monday. Perhaps.  It was early.  So I've spent the rest of the morning fiddling.

I plan to use it  to hold books, there are thousands free but I have actually purchased two and downloaded them.  The two I've bought are what I'd call manuals for my new camera and they come well recommended.

I've tried to connect to my own wi-fi network instead of their 3G network,  using my coded password records.  Never had problems before and my iPhone connected just fine.  One of my computer whizz sons will be here at the weekend.  He set it up and he can hack back into it for me and I'll join the Kindle to my own network.  I can see at least a dozen neighbouring wi-fi set ups including MacDonalds from downstairs and out the front.  No problem usually in decoding my notes.

Another use I intend to make of it is for patterns.  PDFs are easily downloaded and I've set up a shawls folder already.

The interface is very clear and easy to read and there is a light in the cover.  Not planning on using that now, but it's there.  I bought a Kindle a few months ago as an expression of thanks for the support from one particular friend over a long period of time.  Strong shoulders and a listening ear and good, well considered advice for me.  I have always intended to get one and almost did then.  Now our dollar is s much higher than it's been for a long time, this was cheaper than the first I bought.  I know a high dollar causes problems in other areas, but right at the moment, I'm being selfish and making use of it for myself.

At a family reunion last week I was using my phone to retrieve info or something similar.  The wife of a long unseen cousin remarked how brave I was to be up with technology.  My jaw dropped and I actually didn't know what to say.  Anything I thought of sounded like boasting or putting her down.  With two computer gurus for sons and a more than competent  in that area  third son, I would be hard put to be illiterate.  They make me find things out for myself and only interfere when something major is planned.  They expect me to be able to do stuff, so it just happens.  She was afraid of even entering a contact to her phone.  I showed her some useful applications  but she just shook her head.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

more than a week

There has been some knitting but really, who's interested in seeing a slowly growing triangle  of the start of another Aestlight shawl?  I found some 5 ply wool dye in a mix of pale green and white and am using it up.  Yarn was bought at a Spinners and Weavers Open Day at Burwood, NSW some years ago. and unfortunately, while the weight is given there's no indication of length.  So a small Aestlight has been commenced, but it's a bit like watching paint dry to see an increase.

My son has put a picture of  grandson on the family Flick'r page.  He's wearing the tiger toes socks shown below a bit.  I can't link to it as the photos are private, a group family project.   Nor can I copy it. He's wearing Shrek pyjamas, bright green and then the socks with their bright orange stripes. A really good look fashionwise!  All complimented by the crewcut given him by his hairdresser mum because he took  his small, blunt scissors to his own hair and made a horrible mess.  Apparently my guess to size was pretty good and these have good room allowed without being sloppy.  He loves wearing bed socks and sleeps better with them.  Cold feet must wake him up.  I'm the opposite and always end up shedding the socks if I ever try wearing them.

So I've compensated with a picture of one of life's pleasures.  My second cup of coffee in the morning.  That's my limit for the day.  It's taken on my glass dining table which gives the delightful background of plain grey carpet.  I'll not do that again quickly.  I cropped the picture or you could also see multiple chair legs and frames through the glass.  I enjoy my coffee, I'm not really a tea drinker and it tastes so good that I often refuse to buy coffee when shopping as I know I can easily do much better than many baristas.  A good deal more cheaply too than buying at a coffee shop.