Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Big Week

This week I was privileged to be a school helper on the 5,6,7 class camp to Nepabunna. Nepabunna is a tiny Aboriginal community in the Flinders Ranges.  This was my first visit to this unique part of the world and I feel like I am still processing a lot of our trip.  The scenery was dramatic, and diverse, and quite harsh.  The Adnyamantha people are so welcoming and friendly and keen to share their culture.  It was a wonderful experience.









Unfortunately about a third of the kids and most of the adults got a rotten flu bug and Hannah and I have spent the last few days recovering.  I was determined to still get to the Mt Pleasant Fibre Fair yesterday, so in the afternoon my friend Christine and I set off and managed to bring home some terrific goodies.


I finally have a new (working!) ballwinder and you have no idea how happy that makes me.  Of course lots of yummy fibre followed me home too - and books, oh books! The girls have already looked through that little knitted wrist warmers one and picked out a couple of must haves and now are casting looks at my stash to see what wool will be best LOL  The two pairs of socks are handknit by a lady from the Mt Pleasant Spinners and Weavers.  I love to knit socks but I know how time consuming they are and I cannot believe that she was able to make and sell them for $7.50 a child's pair and $20 for an adult.  The wool is often worth that much!  Anyway, I was happy to support her if it meant another day of warm feet at bush kindy. One day in the not too distant future I shall have enough handknit socks to wear a pair every day!
I got quite a lot of knitting in while we were travelling on the bus so next time I will be able to show you my progress on my Tea Leaves Cardigan and Klausner Mitts.
Until then, have a good week!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Spinning, and Knitting, and Baking to beat the Winter Blues

Well it is Tour De Fleece time again and that means spinning everyday that the bikes are in motion.  We are all most nostalgic for all things French at the moment as it is two years exactly since our Paris sojourn.  The weather has turned decidedly icy so a fair bit of time has been spent baking, spinning and knitting and scrapping indoors.
Yay for crafty goodness!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Taking Stock..

Time for taking stock again, a tradition from Pip Lincolne over at www.meetmeatmikes.blogspot.com
Making : a cute little rainbow cardigan from wool I dyed and spun myself
Cooking : slow cooker meals, and lots of quick easy pasta
Drinking : decaf coffee and not enough water
Reading: Year of Pleasures by Elisabeth Berg.  She is perfect week 10 reading - kind of soothing..
Wanting: To get new hikers and break them in before week 3 term 4
Looking: at ways of decluttering over the holidays
Playing: new story cds in the car for kindy
Deciding: whether to pay more off the car loan or the mortgage
Wishing: I could have been in two places at once tonight (Dan got his orange belt at karate presentation and Hannah sang solo in the Choir at Hills Music Festival)
Enjoying: watching them both grow and blossom doing what they love
Waiting: for holidays (one more sleep!!)
Liking: my days in the bush with my kindy kids
Wondering: How long Maddie will have this cough and whether it will get worse?
Loving: the thought of 2 weeks of school holidays with my kiddos
Pondering: Whether I should take Maddie to the doctors tomorrow and how much the whooping cough/tetanus and diptheria update vaccination will hurt? I am such a sook with needles!
Considering: Whether I could sneak in one last bit of spinning tomorrow night before the Tour De Fleece starts..
Buying: Seeded sour dough from the Lobethal Bakery (best bread anywhere) and horrible pre-packed pane au chocolat for the kids since it reminds them of France and is as close as it gets?
Watching: Nothing particular - no new Downton and finished Call the Midwife on netflix so kind of inbetween tv shows at the moment
Hoping: For something good to watch soon!
Marvelling: That we got through the term!
Cringing: At the thought of two more terms fulltime.
Questioning: My ability to juggle work and family and Close To My Heart
Smelling: freshly washed hair and coffee
Wearing: p.j.s right now, but mostly jeans and my new red docs for work
Following: ravelry and pinterest and now instagram too
Noticing: that my kids have too much screen time
Knowing: that I need to change that even if it means being the bad cop these holidays
Thinking: they should go outside more
Admiring: how Dan's sensa can manage children with difficult behaviours
Sorting: a big box of old cm clutter
Getting: excited about Nepabunna
Coveting: merrel hikers
Disliking: the impending feeling of doom I get when I think about assessment and reporting, quality improvement plans and the National Guidelines Assessment that we will have next term
Opening: new circular needles and new fibre for the tdF
Giggling: at Dan's story about Granny swearing in the car
Feeling: Happy
Snacking: on Old Jamaica Rum and Raisin chocolate
Helping: Maddie learn to read
Hearing: That cough, poor little love!
Looking forward to: a surprise photography session for my Mother in Law (all of her grandies together) with photos by my awesome friend Ali Moylan
Dreaming: Of Summer!

If you would like to play along head over to Pip's blog.  
Happy holidays to all - I look forward to being back here with crafty goodness soon!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Spinning Rainbows, the kindness of strangers, and Julie and Julia

It strikes me that I never really wrapped up last year's Julie and Julia project? That is because it has sort of just evolved into me mentioning the book/magazine everytime I show a finished article on here.  I did learn that I do use my knitting and crochet books and mags but not so much my quilting ones so I am endeavouring not to buy too many more of them.  I also learned that more often than not I use patterns from Ravelry so I am being more selective with the books that I do purchase.  It was a good exercise and I did get to make some fun stuff, but I think when all is said and done I am happy enough with my book collection being largely eye candy to read in the bath.  Sometimes it is not so much about the finished product but about the planning and the dreaming and the what-ifs.  I am okay with that!

I have been spinning a fair bit lately.  I have also been spinning my own dyeing attempts. That has been super fun. Not that I think I will ever get into dyeing in a big way but it is really satisfying to have a project that you have dyed, then spun, then knit/crochet/woven.  This is the cold water solar dyeing that we did at Bungaree.
 While it was spinning it looked like this:
 This made for ridiculously happy spinning!
Then I navaho plied it to keep the colours:
Sooo much fun! I think this will become another little baby cardigan.

This week I finally got to a jam packed post box and found that the lovely Kate from over at foxslane.blogspot.com had sent me the cutest little crocheted cupcake and one of her apple bags! Thank you Kate, I really love it and the apple bag made my day.  I will have to remember to take a photo and post it here after I clear my camera.  There is something about the kindness of strangers! I really hope that one day I meet Kate IRL because she is one of the best bloggers I know and I do really look to her for parenting wisdom too as well as a dose of crafty goodness!
Anyway, the roast is ready, the glass of red is poured, and the weekend is drawing to a close.  Hope yours was a good one!
Keep smiling,
Nell
xx

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Domesticity Fail

Well it has been a wierd kind of weekend.  Patches of brilliance and sunshine, and patches of rain and epic fails.  Yesterday I went to the Hills Spinners and Weavers Open Day and had a lovely time catching up with friends and seeing all of the fibre goodness and going a bit crazy with books and fibre (nothing wrong with a bit of stash enhancement is there?)  Then I came home and got enthused to finish off my disasterous Bungaree Socks (but got impatient and instead of you-tubing the stretchy bind off just fudged it so had to rip back and re-do again today!) I recently re-read Jane Brocket's "The Gentle Art of Domesticity" which I LOVE so much so had it in my mind to make flapjacks.  They burnt and were an epic fail.
I had borrowed "I Capture the Castle" from the library and spent most of the weekend reading it and nursing a bout of tonsilitis. Such a fabulous book and I can't believe I hadn't discovered it before now.
Today I dehydrated a heap of apples and made apple and cinnamon muffins and a roast chicken dinner and apricot crumble for dessert. Winter comfort food.  Now I am luxuriating in having one less WIP and a few more knitting books and just thinking about what to cast on next.  I think I may spin tonight instead of rushing into another pair of socks just yet.
Hope your weekend was a happy one!


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Winter Weather Equals Knitting

Funny how the minute the weather turns a knitting frenzy sets in.
I find myself klick clacking most days even if it is just a row or two while waiting.
Our Guild has Open Day next weekend so there has been some last minute knitting for that as well as some finishing of projects.
This is the Olivia Cardigan from Nikki Van De Carr's beautiful book "What to Knit The Toddler Years" - a joy from start to finish, handspun angora/merino from Ixchel Bunny.  This makes me want another little girl just to see her wearing it (don't worry - not about to happen LOL)

Hannah's Vivonne Bay hat (after the first one was a bit snug and snaffled by Maddie) This is such a great pattern (free on Ravelry from my talented friend Jude) This is knitted in possum/merino and I had less than two inches of yarn left.  Nothing like yardage chicken to get your heart racing.
And this is a Katia Park Avenue scarf destined for the Guild table.  I do wish this girl would stop growing up.  We've just had early birthday celebrations with her two besties and I was surprised at how grown up their conversations are getting.  So not ready to head into the teen years yet.

All of these projects can be found on my ravelry page (where I seem to hang out a fair bit these days!)
Happy knitting!


Friday, May 8, 2015

Taking Stock May

Making : the "olivia" cardigan in variegated homespun
Cooking : chats with parsley and garlic and butter, and a simple rib eye - feel the need for a good steak
Drinking : Jamie Oliver's hot chocolate (from his Comfort Food book)
Reading: "The Magic Art of Tidying Up" (yet to be convinced as I don't think she has a crafty or sentimental bone in her body)  She certainly never had to deal with a craft room like mine!
Looking: for the new host rewards stamp that I put in a "safe place" because I couldn't wait to play with it!
Playing: with the National Scrapbook Month "Taste of Summer" paper pack ($12.95 this month only!)
Deciding: to relax the t.v. rule for the kids on this rainy Friday afternoon after a huge week
Wishing: dinner would cook itself
Enjoying: the thought of a reasonably cruisy weekend
Waiting: for my hubby to come home and pour me a glass of red
Liking: that I have finished my first aid course and don't need to worry about it for another 3 years
Wondering: whether we will ever finish decluttering this house
Loving: my stash enhancement from Bungaree Fibre Weekend
Pondering: where Maddie has hidden her library books
Considering: a no borrowing rule for her
Buying: 12 jars of tomato chutney for my Mother in law (best not to ask)
Watching: Call the Midwife on netflix
Hoping: the rabbit's eye ulcer heals quickly
Marvelling: at how quickly one small child can empty the contents of her wardrobe and at how slowly she can manage to clean it up
Remembering: an awesome New Zealand holiday!
Cringing: over the state of pretty much every room in the house
Needing: to warp up my loom again and get back into weaving
Questioning: my ability to juggle too many commitments
Smelling: our manky grungy couches that have seen better days
Wearing: leggings and boots and long flowing cardis that hide the flab
Following: too many bunny posts on pinterest
Noticing: that if I don't do the housework no one else does it
Knowing: that I can't handle too many more nights of sleep deprivation (go away silly full moon!)
Thinking: It has been forever since I wrote regular blog posts
Admiring: all of the beautiful artwork at our CTMH meeting last night
Sorting: clothes, books, hopefull the pantry this weekend
Getting: a cold I think (runny nose and sore eyes)
Coveting: a fluffy aqua polar fleece dressing gown (finally decided to let go of my big apricot towelling one that I have never liked and go back to my worn but comfy blue one)
Disliking: the guilt of parting with gifts that I have never really liked
Giggling: over how silly it was for my friend Anne and I to get locked in the car park after our meeting last night!
Feeling: tired and a bit fluey and relieved that the week is over
Snacking: on raisin toast and dried cranberries
Helping: Maddie to find library books, Hannah to clip the chooks wings
Hearing: the sound of Horrible Histories from the t.v. in the front room, white noise from the fish bubbler, cars in the background
Dreaming: of a sleep in tomorrow
Excited: about our Nature Connect pilot programme for kindy!

If you feel like playing along head over to Meet Me At Mikes and download the list.
Happy weekend,
Keep smiling,
Nell

p.s. Now that I am back stay tuned for more blog posts!