Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It was a suitable name

When I went to meet Bells in Civic today, there was young dog happily bumbling around amongst the public servants emerging onto the street for lunch. He had the air of a dog who is accidentally on a grand adventure when he should probably be safely behind a fence. No one seemed to be with him or looking for him, though I had seen him greet quite a few people, who thought he was cute or sweet. When I spotted Bells approaching, he was heading up towards a busy road.

One of my greatest fears is seeing a dog get hit by a car. And I'm not that keen on seeing a car or two crash because they were trying to avoid a dog, either. I also feel I have a debt to society, because in the early days when we were still getting the fences and gate dog-proofed here, our dogs were returned by kind neighbours quite a few times. So I couldn't just let this little fella wander away.

He came with me willingly enough, but there was no name or phone number attached to his collar. So Bells called Domestic Animal Services, who quickly worked out that his description matched that of a dog that had been reported missing today from O'Connor (one suburb away). In an unexpectedly efficient bit of service, they also put her call straight through to the person who was missing a tan coloured Cocker Spaniel puppy called Wally. (He seemed to recognise his name, but then he was pretty eager to please in general.) We had one anxious wait while the young girl called her mum and then got back to us, then a longer wait for a family friend to come and find us.

I owe Bells big thanks for being willing to sit on the street for ages, in brand-new pants, no less, when we were supposed to be picking up our knitting from Crafts ACT and eating lunch. (Luckily we still had time to do those things after). I really didn't think I could handle the mental images of lost or squished dog the rest of the day, if we didn't do something.

And, yes I am a sucker. He was so sweet. Look at the size of those feet - I don't think he's finished growing yet, not by a long shot. Reuniting him with his people totally made my day.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Laugh at the devil as his train rolls by

blue cable_2

The duck socks (see previous post) are swimming along pretty fast. My brain is busy with other - sadly less productive - things and I find knitting around and around on a small easily completed object just so satisfying and soothing too.

These socks in merino cashmere sock yarn from The Knittery, which is just the loveliest stuff to knit with, took a long time to come to fruition. I was determined to try a gusset heel and the first time I messed up the numbers. I didn't used a pattern, just started toe-up and tried it on my foot as I went, as they were for a friend with similar-sized feet to me. I used the heel part of the instructions from Widdershins, a pattern that is written for a larger gauge yarn. So it took one failed attempt trial run to see how the heel worked and revise the numbers. Of course I could have done a trial heel in other yarn - but I always like to dive in on the real project, cause there's a chance I'll get it right first try. Isn't there?

Anyway the first sock went into time out for a while (months). When I finally ripped out the heel and tried again it worked out fine. And it's amazing how much quicker the second sock grew! So far I am experiencing the reverse of second sock syndrome - the second one is quick and easy because all the decisions have been taken and I just have to follow my notes. But, it is still early in my sock knitting career.

Based on the size of the sock yarn stash, there IS going to be plenty of sock knitting in my future. Was it only late last year I was saying "I don't think I'm interested in knitting socks or wearing hand-knitted socks"? Heh.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I think it IS a duck.

It all started with Georgie, who told me there were many woolly bargains to be had at Spotlight. On Sunday, Kuka and I decided we had to check out the situation for ourselves. She went in with a specific project in mind and bought the exact wool for that project, at a very nice price. I, on the other hand, went in with a couple of empty shopping bags and grabbed a little bit of everthing that might felt. That's a great thing about felting, I can use up small amounts of all sorts of things. It's always the least guilty part of my stash.

We were nearly done and so ready for coffee when I spotted this stuff: Moda Vera 'Adore' (made in Turkey and packaged for Spotlight). A range of self-striping colourways. Looks like a 4ply. Composition is 75% wool and 25% polyamide. Gotta be a sock wool, right?

But, the label suggests 4.5mm needles. It looks like really skinny yarn to me - 4.5s would create really holey, ugly fabric. The price on the shelf was very reasonable, so I grabbed two balls to give it a try. I was thrilled when it scanned at less than half price, $2 a ball.

I thought maybe I would swatch on 3.25mm and see how that looked. And by swatch I mean, cast on a toe and start knitting. But when I got out the needles they just looked way too fat for the yarn. Straightaway I swapped them for 2.25s. And even with those, the fabric was a bit loose. Now it is going swimmingly on 2mms. It's reasonably soft and nice to knit with, softer than the Jigsaw, a little bit splitty but nothing outrageous.

Of course you can knit socks with anything - my first ones were done in a chunky cotton - but I was just mystified by this yarn that had no socky indications on the label, and such a weird needle size recommendation - and yet if it looks like a sock wool, and walks like a sock wool...

I can only hope it washes and wears ok, because at that price, I couldn't resist going back today for several other colours for the stash.

Monday, August 13, 2007

When you're gone I like to try on all your clothes

I've (finally) put together a set of much better photos of Mum's jackets in the 'Women in Motion' exhibition in Pine Rivers Shire Regional Gallery. I already thought they were great, but still couldn't get over how amazing they looked, displayed in the gallery. Click on the link above to see more.

In the photo above you can also see one of my aunt's paintings.

Trish Goodfield gets it. 'Rozalie’s pieces are simply beautiful investment jackets that you will be able to wear for many seasons.'

Happy birthday Mum.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

No tropical depression gonna steal my sun away

self portrait, originally uploaded by Olma.

I did not have the internet access I had hoped for while in Thredbo. Last year we had access to free broadband if I sat in the foyer of the lodge. Now there is a wireless hotspot in the village, but I was too cheap to pay for it.

I knitted all the way up to Thredbo while DJZ drove (a rare treat) and finished my new hat on Sunday night in time for the week's skiing. I wanted to try a two-colour brioche stitch, but I also wanted to get it done quickly, so I settled on simple two-colour ribbing - not as stretchy as normal ribbing but I really like the effect. (And, you know, vertical stripes make your head look thinner. Or something.)

It was a great week with a bit of everything - a lot of snow on the ground already, some sunshiny days, some rain, some snowfalls, howling winds and massive windchill. It was about day four (of seven) when I felt I had my 'ski legs' back. A good feeling but I wish I could accelerate the process. The very last day brought the best snow, combined with better confidence, and a chance to tackle some tougher runs. A great note to leave on, though bittersweet.

A small photo set with a few more notes on the trip can be found here.