Monday, November 29, 2010

I can knit (if not sing) a rainbow.

"Red and yellow and
Pink and Green
Purple and orange and blue

I can sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow
Sing a rainbow too"

Arthur Hamilton

Little Boozle 2010

Pattern: Big Sister's dress by Tora Froseth

Yarn: Lincraft 8 ply Cosy wool (bright mix)

Little Boozle 2010

A cute little pattern
and simple and fast to knit up.

Little Boozle 2010

(plus I can add "rainbow" to the list of acceptable colours
in the little goddess' repertoire)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pets? Lets!

Long before we produced human offspring,
 my husband and I had a baby.
He was a six week old stray,
a brindle Staffordshire,
and he commandeered our lives.

He walked to work with me every day,
we took him out for a walk every night after work before (a consequently late) dinner
and he was our child.

We lost Murphy when our first child was one.
He was only eight years old
but developed a heart based tumour
and had to put be put down.

My husband and I were devastated.

We got another Staffy, Violet,
when our first child was one.
She is now nearly seven
and fits in to our little family pack somewhere above our youngest child
and below the others
(mind you, the way our youngest runs her life,
poor old Violet will be relegated to the back of the pack very soon)


But my priorities had changed.

With the birth of each child,
my days have been taken up more and more taken up with simply coping
and looking after our non-furry kids.

I am ashamed to say that Violet does not live the life that Murphy did.
It was easy to let life get so busy and challenging that
our pets were not a priority.

A couple of years ago,
we lost both our old cats.
I was devastated and missed them badly
but it was easier to say "later"
than get new kittens to toilet train, feed and keep safe
when I had three young kids to toilet train, feed and keep safe.

Today we brought home our new additions.

OND 2010

Violet the Staffy is blissfully unaware of their arrival at the moment
(and when she is, she will be perturbed-
as well she should be.
Two one-half kilogram, six week old kittens will consider themselves significantly further up
the social ladder of our family than a mere twelve kilogram chunk of dog)

OND 2010

I am well aware of the advantages of pet owership, including with regards to children.
Reduced blood pressure and stress levels,
improved emotional and physical fitness,
higher survival rates pst-heart attack,
teaching children responsibility,
lowered childrens' allergies;
I could go on.

Hubby and I need to take the time
to teach our kids to value our pets,
to love them as members of our family
and to care about their wellbeing.

But sod my cardiovascular health- what I really hope to gain from having pets
is a few snuggly cuddles at the end of the day
and a warm little furry ball at the bottom of my bed keeping my feet warm.

Our little boy (the already-destined-to-be-trouble-climbing-the furniture-with-my-claws one)
is called Walloon (which I am sure will become Wally)
and our little girl (the butter-wouldn't-melt-in-my-mouth one)
is Flanders.

Yes, odd names.

10 years ago my hubby and I travelled around Europe for 7 months in an old Combi
and discovered that Belgium has 2 regions.
Yes, you guessed it,
Walloon and Flanders.
I decided there and then that I wanted to name our next pair of cats after Belgium.
In my defense, I did expect that they would be boys but my 3 year old adamantly chose the little black one,
a girl,
now stuck with a really odd name)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sis Boom Rosetta Ruffle bag

Little Boozle 2010

I actually sewed a little bit this week,
just so that my sewing machine wouldn't disown me.

As an unsolicited comment,
I have to say that the Sis Boom range of patterns
(or at least those that I have tried)
are, without fail, comprehensive,
well laid out
and sew up very nicely.

There are also usually a good number of variations available within each pattern.

My only comment is-
read the pattern through on your computer screen before printing out
as they can be very lengthy patterns
but there is a handy page telling you which pages to print for the size that you are sewing.

Little Boozle 2010

I was worried that this might be a little prissy for me
but it is my new favourite bag!
It helped that I used co-ordinates from my favourite fabric range for this year,
Lecien's Flower Sugar.

Little Boozle 2010

The other thing that I loved was the size.
I would normally associate a bag of this style to be a cute, smaller purse style.
I made the medium size
(the large size is a tote)
and I can fit a huge amount into it,
perhaps even my 3 year old daughter!

Little Boozle 2010

Now off to pander to my crochet hook...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Frenzy of Knitting

It is a while since I have made up a collective noun
but given my current (and usual) obsession with a new hobby,
this one seems appropriate.
I have had 3 knitting projects on the go
and have had to actively refrain starting anymore.

My crochet hooks and sewing machines lay abandoned,
melancholy (if it is possible for inanimate objects to be melancholy)
and gathering dust.

Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills 8 ply Highlands Iona

Little Boozle 2010

I am really happy with how I did with this one.
The colour is richer than the photos show.

Little Boozle 2010

The only things that I mucked up were the front edges
where I had to pick up stitches.
I picked up too many and as a result there is some loss of shape,
particularly at the neckline.

I am pondering this
but I am expecting to unpull and redo this section
so that I can be really happy with it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A stripey (but not meant to be stripey) Cassia dress

yarn- 8 ply wool (fuschia) pink..
(now who do you think chose that colour?)

Little Boozle 2010

Notice the stripe through the body of the dress?

It would appear when I was grabbing the balls of wool at the yarn sale,
while elbowing the little old blue rinse set ladies out of the way,
it turns out that I grabbed a mix of different labelled wool which looked the same colour.
Some people (likely little old ladies with a blue rinse) might say that it served me right...

Still learning lessons as I go it would seem.

I am knitting a cardi for myself now because I then I can get away from pink yarn.
Though to be fair, I am doing Tikki's KAL
and the little goddess and I have compromised on a colour change-
red is her 2nd favourite colour.

Little Boozle 2010

There are a few patterns around with this ruched pattern particularly around the neckline.
I am kinda in love with it.
First my GarnStudio tunic,
now Tikki's Cassia,
soon the Madeline Tosh Tea Leaves cardigan. (yes Kate from Foxs Lane- you helped me find that one)
then Tikki's Olearia.

I am sure that I will get sick of it at some point...maybe...

Today I am smiling...

Little Boozle 2010

...just because the sun is shining on a Spring day.
...just because the roses are beautiful and the bees are busy.
...just because I can sit having a coffee and indulge in some people watching.
...just because.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Separation Anxiety for adults

Hands up if you recognise this scenario.

Mum and dad settle in the babysitter, booked weeks (months!) in advance,
rush out to the taxi as fast as they can without seeming like uncaring parents,
get seated at the restaurant with the first bottle of wine
and sigh in bliss.

An evening without children.


First rule of such evenings: There wont be talk about said children. At all. For the whole evening. Nada.

This works swimmingly for a while.

At least 5 minutes.

Until an apparently innocent conversation
about the amazing paintwork of the Sistene Chapel
turns somehow to the topic of toilet training their youngest.

And a funny chat about using the brand new digital camera
inexpicably ends up being a conversation about their child who who refuses to eat anything
that is green...or red...or...any colour really.

Ring any bells?

Hubby and I reminisce about pre-children times
and wonder at what we did with all that spare time and money.
Heck, to be totally honest,
we entertain thoughts about what we would be doing now without kids.
(Don't frown at me. It is only occasionally.
Like tonight where I have projectile vomits coming from all directions of kids' bed)

Divorce rates are increasing in couples over 50.
There are a number of reasons for this
but one seems to be due to suddenly being distant empty nesters
when the kids move out.


My husband and I celebrate 16 years of married life together next year.
21 years of a shared life.
I am somewhat self-satisfied, comfortable and happy
that we seem to be in a good place.

But the "we" is definately taking a back seat at the moment.

First up is the offspring's demands on our time
Anything left over is about sleep and "me" time.

In hubby's case, that means getting up at 5am
and cycling up hills...(yes, apparently for fun)

For me, that means sitting up till late watching movies
or crafting or drinking chai
or better still, all three.

He would get as much excitement and enjoyment from learning how to do a rolled hem
or crochet a multicoloured granny square in front of "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
as I would from pulling on lycra from head to toe
and then trying to stay upright on a bike while reaching the top of a hill.

Big. Fat. Zero.


(Though I harbour a sneaking suspicion that HE may be entertained by ME
squeezed into a lycra outfit trying to get up a hill on a bike )

Even with the kids,
while family time does happen frequently,
other times we tend to divide and conquer where possible for ease and economy.

So where does that leave us?
Headed for the divorce courts when we should be headed to the travel agent
to book our retirement overseas cruise-of-a-lifetime?

Should the list of modern wedding anniversary gifts read...
1st- clocks
2nd- china
25th- relationship counselling


Hubby has single handedly brought back date night.
Each Friday we put the kids to bed
then eat "adult" food,
(you know, with flavour)
watch "adult" telly
(and I don't mean rated R- I just mean not rated G and with a soundtrack along the lines of
"Toot toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car")
and then some "adult" relaxation.
(Big sticking point here as my definition of that is a good book and a good night's sleep.
Let's just say that he uses a different dictionary)

I do hold out strong hopes that this will not be an issue for us.
If for no other reason that we are older parents
and we will probably be in aged care and physically incapable of walking out on each other
before we get the kids out of the house.