Monday, March 31, 2008

It's officially winter!!

This morning the delicious rain hasn't stopped, and now I can hear thunder rumbling, occassionally loud enough torattle the front window. Flashes of lightning illuminate the room a little brighter every now and then too.
It's absolutely blissful :)

Not so blissful however is the whole in the roof of la nestie (my studio) which has STILL not been fixed by the real estate. At present a piece of cardboard is shielding the room from adventurous spiders and such.

fixin a hole

But I don't think it will last long against the determined drip drip of the leaking roof... Today I shall be sending them a stern letter, reminding them they have now had a YEAR to fix the leaky roof, and in that time all they have done is sent around a chap who made the whole LARGER (to accomodate his head, so he could fossick about up there and.. not fix it!) so this is NOT satsifactory *stern look*

Over the past week/s I've been putting in some serious hours to sorting, culling, organising and reacquainting with my lovely goodies out there in la nestie. We've put up some excellent shelving and removed some antiquated furniture to make room for other bits and bobs. It's SO exciting to have a lovely creative space so nearly ready!! Here's a little sneak peek *grin*

[lovely books and one of mypapercrane's charming pieces of bread!]

More pictures to come once it's all pretty and finished :) I'm thinking I'll have a knitting party as a Studio Warming once Le Nestie is ready to make some friends and welcome people to her loveliness, oh.. and once there's no hole in the roof too!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Organic Delicious

I'm a big fan of fresh fruit and veg, particularly since I don't fill up on that other food group - meat!

But I would get so downtrodden and disappointed every time we went to do the grocery shop and as we wandered through the fresh produce section, nothing much ever made its way into the trolley. All the fruit and veg on offer from the big grocery stores seemed... lack lustre and unappetising. Manky or waxy or flown in from some far off land.

Eventually I discovered a nearby(ish) Growers Mart sort of place that sold all sorts of yummy goodies, fresh home made pastas, delicious cheeses, fresh baked breads and a fabulous array of glowing radiant and completely edible fruit and veg! yay!! Some produce was still flown in from far off lands, and only a small amount of organic produce was available.

So we weren't there yet.. but THEN.. then a woman at work casually mentioned a group that source organic fruit and veg from local farmers, divide it up between their customers and deliver the box of goodies to your door each week! hurrah!! It sounded too good to be true! I'd heard of these 'box schemes' before but never thought I'd find one in my area! I pick up our box of juicy deliciousness (rather than having it deliviered so far) each week on my way into work and we enjoy succulent, colourful, tasty produce throughout the week.
The fruit and veg available is only what's seasonally available - which makes sense! It's grown in the seasons the produce actually CAN grow! Not grown then kept in gas freezers for a year, or drugged up to the eyeballs so an apple will grow in summer.. or whatever you fancy. It is SO refreshing to know I don't have to SCRUB the fruit and veg before eating it - what's the worst that could be on there? dirt? maaaybe some manure!? So a rinse wash is all that's needed before it's intothe cook pot or straight down the hatch - yum :)

Check out one of the goodies that came in our box this week...
The most gigormous eggplant I have ever seeeeeeen! It's HUGE!! Will definately be trying my hand at some eggplant parmigiana this week - mmmmm!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Beer Bottle's Birfday Suit!

For the Scrumptious Bum's birfday this year I wanted to whip him up a little knitted something, but in this case not something for keeping warm.. but something for keeping cool!
A beer jumper!
Beer Jumper!
Inspired by 's Beer Sweater I picked out some yarn from the stash that Skoot had dyed some time ago and got cracking with my own pattern, improvising it as I went along. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try out steeking! I love trying out new knitting techniques, and little goodies like this are great to try a technique for the first time, they're small, quickly completed and not SUCH a disaster if the trial run goes wrong- you can always re do that part!

Since neither Skoot or I are employed full time at the moment, we've been able to spend a lot of glorious time together - including.. time that I'm knitting - so, no secret gift knitting! So I decided to pose him a gift riddle as part of his giftie (since no full time employment also = no excessive gift funds) - could he figure out what I was knitting for him before I finished it!

I started at the bottom and worked up in the round. Skoot's fabulous dye job on the yarn (some kind of 8ply pure wool?) knit up wonderfully into a great stripe effect! He made a few guesses, including that it was a stubby holder, but then when I got to the arm holes and put in a p1, k1, p1 for my steeking gap he was thrown off! Why would a stubby holder have two little ridges on it?? Hmm.... hehehe

stubby parts

I ran out of yarn part way though and ended up using some stash yarn leftovers in a PERFECT match of deep green for the sleeves, with a little of Skoot's yarn at the cuff :)

When it came to the steeking things got a bit messy. If I ever steek something in a larger scale I'll do a good bit of reading before hand, and have another listen to Kelley Petkin's podcast episode on the subject - I'm afraid I went in a bit blind this time around!

stubby steek stitches

You can see my rather rushed-with-excitement and lacking-in-finesse stitches there in brown thread, desperately clining to the stitches destined for the snip!

I really could have made the ridge a little wider to accommodate for all the fluffy cut ends poking out everywhere - but managed to seam the sleeve in with the fluffy ends tucked inside well enough.

stubby steeked

All up I'm very pleased with how the Beer jumper's turned out and think I'll have to make up a full wardrobe of them for Skoot to choose from! He was suitabley impressed and love love LOVES his new woolen goodie - an item for keeping cool!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Armii in Hoodii Sleevii

I know I still haven't posted my most recent FOs and belive me and HANGING out to take photos and get them up here and on Ravelry too - but for now some exciting Hoodii progress - Sleevii!!
CPH sleeve
I had knit a sleeve passed the elbow before realising it was simply too tight. In fact I was doing the increases incorrectly - only half as many as I should have done, Gah! So I haven't frogged that sleeve, but left it hibernating for a while as I got on with other projects, gifties to be knit up and the like. I cast on anew for the first sleeve and am now almost up to the shoulder! A few more centimetres and I'll be able to start the sleeve cap - hurrah!! =D

CPH sleeve (1)
I'm super keen to keep cracking on with the Hoodii so I can have it ready for the cooler weather which is just peeking it's head around the corner now, but not quite ready to grace us with its presence! I'm also eager as I've never done sleeve caps and set in sleevey goodness before - well, this is my first jumper so I suppose that's not surprising! So that will be fun to do in only a little bit more knitting time!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Few posts but many chillis!

I've been a bit absent from the blog lately - I like to post much more frequently than this!

Plus I have several fun finished items to post about too! And I know how much we all love checking out finished knits on blogs and such, so I really must get my arse into gear!

But alas, life has a way of distracting me at times - and it seems the best way to stay constant to ze blawg is to post frequently - keep up the momentum. So I'll try to get into doing that again :)
chilli harvet 0308
For now I leave you with a shot of our recent chilli harvest! The plants are beautiful to grow and I admit I dote upon them! Unfortuantely, I can't go NEAR chilli though - I'm so hyper-sensitive to it. Even when Skoot's cooking with chilli enfused oil I have to run coughing and spluttering from the room (and even the adjoinging room!) because of the evaporated chilli in the AIR!! Nonetheless I really appreciate the aesthetic of chillis - love the colour and vibrancy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fluffy lettuce leaves

Well I think I have kept you in suspense for long enough! (longer than I intended in fact, but that seems to be life, doesn't it?!)

We indeed even have one correct Clue Sleuth! Blue.Knit guessed correctly that this:


Signified this!
lettuce leaf

Delicious Malabrigo worsted (approx aussie 10ply) in the Lettuce colourway!! A beautiful, gentle mix of greens, from lettucey green to a paler softer green - delectable!!

lettuce mmmalabrigo

I bought this skein, my first ever taste of mmmalabrigo, from Yarn and Kisses, an online store that now supplies Malabrigo in Australia - hurrah!! =D I don't know if this is the first time it's been imported to Oz, but it's the first I've stumbled across it s deliciousness and I'm SO excited!!!

green nipple
[The real colour is part way between all these photos!]

Although this was my first Malabrigo experience I can assure it you it will NOT be my last. I couldn't put it DOWN! Even now I'm pining to return to my almost-finished project! (more on that later) It's a single ply yarn, one great cooshy spongey soft ply of fabulous merino - yum yum!! It's knits up into a beautiful fabric too - I'm using 5mm needles and having a BLAST with it. I can't WAIT to knit up many a delicious wearable item - particularly ones I can wear oh-so-close to my skin!

mmmalabrigo stitches

The only thing I'd be wary to knit with Malabrigo would be a jumper or other item you want for rough use, or that will get lots of friction-y wear. I think it will pill under too much rigourous adventuring, but seems PERFECT for garments like shrugs, scarves, berets and such, and cardigans/jumpers you'll mainly wear while not running around in the bush or squirming around on the lawn at the dog park!! We'll leave that kind of activity for tougher yarns, like the Tahki Donegal Tweed (or "hessian" as Skoot refers to it!).

For now I'm off to finish my current knit with this irresistible delicacy - which is one of Ysolda's fantastic designs - Verity! A divine beret with natural curves and a button! Stay tuned for an FO any moment now! Hurrah!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A hint..

I have a clue for you!
Is this a fun game?
Hehee - a certain something is sitting in my bag right now... only just cast on and with a yarn I've never used before but have been wanting to sample for a long time.
This yarn is... DIVINE!
The clue is this picture:
"Hmmm.. what yarn could it be" I hear you wondering...
Why not have a guess!! =D

Cleverness in cartoonia

No pictures or knitting content this post I'm afraid. But I wanted to get a post up and out because it seems I linger across the blogger dashboard wanting to post but not being able to put the entire amount of energy in to upload images, and so on!

So! For your interim amusement.. I offer to you a little treat.. a FABULOUSLY witty and clever website based on the Garfield cartoon. Bekk of Bowerbird knits brought this one to my attention (I think.. was it you bekk? or was it B?) and I have been passing the link on to friends near and far because I think it is absolutely brilliant!!

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolor disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.

Heheheee! I urge you to go and check it out! New strips are uploaded everyday and some leave me with tears of laughter in my eyes! Enjoy!