Thursday, 30 June 2011

please grandma

I received a text yesterday purporting to come from  Miss Six.  It said Please grandma, make me some more which cover my fingers!

I made these last year from some scraps and they didn't take long.  I don't know what she's done to the one on her left hand.  Did she chew it while in the car as she is now?  Did the cat claw it?  Or perhaps the dog played with it.  Who knows?  They are certainly too small for her now.

Next week she and her older sister  who turned nine yesterday will be here for several days.  I think I'll make them when she's here and i can try as I knit.

I am not a quilter.  I did make  a couple of small quilts many years ago and I know people who do beautiful quilts and two who have many prizes for their quilts. So far however, quilting holds no attraction for me to do myself.  I bought this quilt, it's silk and not heavy.  I bought it for the colours and I tried this photo for its colours.  I find that red and sometimes purple is difficult to get accurately.  However, I'm pleased how this has turned out.  I can see the sheen of the silk and I'm quite happy with the colours.  I take some photos pretty well everyday, so perhaps am gradually learning something.  It's very grey outside although my bedroom has lots of white and light.

The green is my Kindle which had just finished charging.  I'm currently reading The Bell by Iris Murdoch on the Kindle.  If it's not wet tomorrow, I plan on walking up the road opposite to join the local library.  It's a branch but close.  The main library in a neighbouring suburb has just re-opened after a major construction job involving the old Town Hall, council offices and library and the shopping mall.  I'll get there soonish I hope.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

this little piggy went to market...

...and these little piggies were blue from  cold.  This strangely coloured picture shows something I whipped up last night and this morning.  Son had reconstruction done on his right ankle last Thursday and his little tootsies were cold.  They would have been even  colder tonight had I not done this.  A cold change, with snow on the Blue Mountains whipped through this afternoon dropping temperatures by about 10 degrees, more if windchill is factored in.

I used 8 ply  in what is really a rich  dark green and 4mm needles with 66 stitches. It's quite long, son is 6'5" with feet made to carry that height.  Not as big as Ian Thorpe's but a size 14 I think.

All a bit of guesswork really, because when I saw him, I forgot to measure  how big the cast was around circumference.  It looked as if the sock would fit but I found some very wide, strong elastic, turned over a hem and threaded elastic through.  He says it's working fine.  He can't put that foot to the ground for at least six weeks and is on elbow crutches.  He also has a contraption especially manufactured for such times.  It's a cross between an old fashioned scooter and a skateboard and bike.  He rests the bad leg on it  bent at knee, and propels himself with other foot pushing along the ground.  It has a rest on it so he can keep foot up when he's sitting in a chair.  The cast goes up to his knee and is quite heavy.

Hopefully this is the end of such surgery.  This is the ankle that was mended years ago and which was torn apart again after Christmas  when the already injured left ankle collapsed and he fell heavily on outside stairs.  He always was accident prone as a boy, but has been fine for many years.  He's still on strong painkillers, two types of morphine but hates them so weans himself off as  soon as possible.  Tramadol in particular makes him hot and itchy but he needs  the  relief right now.

I've done a few more of the small alligators from the post several down from this and tweaked the pattern to suit me, and I've just finished some little booties for a  friend's grandson.  They need  ribbon or braid.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

it's been a while

It's been a while and looking  back, I can't work out what  hindered me from posting.   Certainly the weather hasn't been inspiring for much at all.  Rain, rain and more rain.  Last Monday which was a public holiday, I was all set to  go  to the Central Coast to see son and his family and have SIL cut my hair.  She's a very good hairdresser and while I do pay her, it's not as much as I would pay down here.

The morning was wet, very wet.  I checked the buses to the city and found they were running  every hour.  What??  Even on Sundays they still run 30 minutes apart.  I know because I catch the bus to church.  What was worse was that there were no trains on the mainline or north shore line or from Hornsby to Newcastle. Trackwork on a holiday Monday.  I know plenty of people come to Sydney for football etc and trains are usually packed.There's no shelter where the trackwork buses go except small tents with no sides.  Two hours were allowed for my trip which normally takes 50 minutes.   Still I got to bus stop down here and it poured.  I turned around and went back inside.

I have been knitting and playing around on Ravelry.  I made a scarf for Master 5 who wanted something to go round and round his neck like I did for his daddy.  His words.  I made him a scarf in 8 ply and embroidered an initial on one end.  It worked out well, his new favourite colour is blue which is what I used from stash.  That colour has been orange for over  two years and has finally changed. I made  some fingerless gloves for his older sister and again she had just asked her mum for some for early morning rides to school.  However, I forgot to take a photo before giving these away.

I've made quite a few more little alligators as shown below and have tweaked the pattern  so they are more to my satisfaction.  Not so fat and with a bit longer tail.  I also made the tail i-cord as it's much easier to do than a tube with just two stitches on each needle.  Currently I'm doing some booties for a friend whose daughter is having a boy in  a few weeks.  I must remember photos before I send them off.

Speaking of photos.  I'm gradually getting used to my new camera.  I've taken a lot of photos, some have been great, others I've deleted as soon as they were downloaded.  As today was pleasant I went walking and took the camera.  I was reminded of the man in his 90s who walked every street in almost 300 Sydney suburbs.

I've been trying not only different settings on my camera but also different angles and techniques.  I've joined the 365 Project and am attempting a new photo posted there every day for a year.

This top photo is taken in the fire escape near my apartment.  The colours are fairly true and I like the way the top steely grey is picked up again at the very bottom of the shot.  This one reminds me of some of the work of Escher although I think that was more by good luck than good management or my skills.

I loved the contrasts shown in this shot which is also Escheresc.  The shininess of the wet leaves against the plain rails.  The straightness of the lines of the planter boxes and rails  contrasted with the curves of the leaves.  I didn't see all of this at first, I was most interested in seeing if I could catch the shininess of the wet leaves.  So now I am spending time on looking for different angles when I use the camera.

Click to enlarge.

Monday, 6 June 2011

never smile at a a crocodile

 Actually, in this case, never smile at an alligator.  An alligator was the avatar of an admin on an internet board I frequent.  She died very suddenly, most unexpectedly, several months ago, and a group of us is collaborating on a memorial banner.  Some have embroidered some of her famous to us sayings.  Others have done something else and I'm knitting alligators to go on the banner.  This is the first, and I've emailed a picture to the co-ordinator of the project.  It's about the right size I think, but I really want to shorten the legs a bit.  They seem out of proportion but I followed the pattern.

Some of the last of the Bendigo Melody.  A child's hat, recipient unknown at the moment.  I'll put it into the charity/gift box for the moment.  It will warm someone's head soon.

Speaking of's very pleasant inside and it was meant to reach only 16° today.  I have a long sleeve top on, but it's not thick.  I'm warm.  However, I went down to check the mail just before this entry.  It was chilly outside and when I opened the south facing doors to the letterboxes, I  had to push the heavy door against a very strong wind.  Very cold outside the block.

Finally, just because I can, a shot of the inside fire stairs near my end of the block.  There are stairs each end of the block on every floor as well as the stairs which some use  instead of the lift.  I was experimenting with my new camera again.  The colours are fairly accurate as the light bulbs are  yellowy.  The concrete is raw on the stairs and the tiles are a deep cream to mustard.  Clicking will enlarge.  I like the way the colour of the rails at the top is echoed right at the bottom of the stairs.

The stairs lead up to a roof garden as well as to outside in an emergency.  I spent quite a bit of time up there last Friday when it was  sunny, experimenting with aperture etc on the camera.  Some worked, some didn't.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

is there such a thing as too much sock wool?

I doubt it, I've used sock wool for shawls, scarves and berets as well as for socks.  If it's Patonyle, I'll buy it because I like to have it on hand.  Great for all socks, especially children's.

I went to Spincraft in Sydney today for the ribbon.  I won't be going there in a hurry again, if possible.  It was worse than a jumble sale, even worse than many Spitfight shops I've been in and they seem to be lifting their game somewhat at the moment.  Stuff was everywhere, including on the floor.  I think that was because bins were overfull and even brushing past them caused a cascade of items to the floor.  Most of the yarn was acrylic, 100%, and I wasn't interested.

The end of practically every aisle had a screen playing  some form of tutorial, always loudly.  Over the top of it was some radio station playing something very mediocre.  Noise and mess - I couldn't get out of there quickly enough.

So what did I buy?  The Patonyle in the picture and the ribbon, which was the original reason for braving the place.  Now I think about it, Woolworths at Town Hall Station  sells spools of ribbon, I should have checked there first for colour and width.

I have a very warm, quilted silk jacket which has had a lot of wear.  I've been wearing it for the past week.  We've just had the coldest May for a very long time and Sydney has been extremely wet.  Very heavy deluges of rain which have fallen with little warning.  I've lost two umbrellas this month by having them blown inside out.  The jacket has been quicker protection than an umbrella in a deluge and gale.

I put the jacket on yesterday to discover the cuffs are worn out.  Little splits down the cuff all the way around the wrist.  The rest of the jacket is in good condition despite the use.  I decided I'd put some braid there as reinforcing.  No braid in width needed.  No grosgrain ribbon in proper colour, not even black.  So this is what I bought and I think I'll try sewing it by hand.  A bit like the edging on a quilt.

Sigh.  They just don't make things as they used to.  After all, the jacket is only just over twenty years old!