Friday, March 31, 2006

Who's the Fool?

Today, 1st of April, there is 20% off EVERYTHING at Purl Yarns. But only until midnight AEST so don't miss out!

The other white meat

Due to the lack of knitting going on around here at Chez Bear, I will distract you with my other love.


More accurately, cooking books. (and we will not mention the fact that the top shelf is bowing under the weight.)

I love to cook. Let me rephrase that, I love to cook when I have time. When I don't have a toddler hanging off me (can't wait till he's old enough to help), when I don't have to scope out my local chinese supermarket for tamarind root or some obscure ingredient. I like it to use what I have in the cupboard, I don't want to go get more. Unless the time is there, then I can make the list, browse the deli, cruise the supermarket. When we have friends coming over for something special I love to spend a day creating a masterpiece, love it. But these days, time does not allow for such luxuries, so I pour over my lovelies (seen here in their neatened rows) (which I just fixed before I took this photo, can't have it looking like a dogs breakfast like it usually does now can I?). I love my Jamies, my Nigellas, my Donnas especially off the shelf by Donna, I likey the sound of Off The Shelf.

There is one small problem though. Out of the million and one cookbooks I own... I don't actually eat much of it. Yes, I am a fuss pot of the highest calibre. Green vegies? I'll only eat snowpeas (or mangetout for our UK friends). I'll eat most meats, except duck just because I can see them down at the local pond. I expect that if I lived on a farm I would be a very thin vegetarian So I browse my food porn, looking at the gorgeous pictures. Desserts on the other hand, I have no problems with. Oozy triple choc thing that looks like it might make your teeth fall out if you eat it? I'm there in an instant. Giant creamy cakes? I'll have five (but only if it's not that nasty mock cream stuff, make mine real cream thanks). Mmmmm, I'm hungry now.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Aren't they for ladies?

I have a confession to make....

I don't get shawls.

Not that I don't understand them, I know what they are and what they are about. But, really, aren't they for like, grown ups? You know those glamourous ladies with lots of money with houses in Tuscany who use them to keep the chill out as the wind comes over the olive trees? I know, SO MANY people knit them, and they really are beautiful. But do you actually wear them? And where do you wear them to? I dunno, I just can't see them working with my Bonds t-shirt, cargo pants and sneakers down at the local Woolies.

Something that will work though is my International Scarf Exchange scarf from my pal Marti It is gorgeous, Branching Out from Knitty in Cherry Tree Hill Alpaca in Java . I love it, and amazing matches nicely with the colours I am wearing today!

Also in the scarf department, my truly gorgeous mum weaved this for me for my birthday, I'm not sure of the yarns but I has a silk/wool combo in there (I think maybe from Jo Sharp) and another yarn with a hint of sparkle. She has just started weaving with one of those looms you hang off the door handle (which I suspect is the same as what Donni is using too) and she's going great guns. I love it to bits, and it will go fab with my vintage coat I got in Melbourne.

I had spinning class last night which was great fun as always. I spun up some of my new stuff, mainly the silk caps and tried (and I do stress, tried here) the soy. Silk was lots of fun, how tough is that stuff!! All that yanking about will build muscles that's for sure. And the soy, lets just say that my teacher thinks it can't be spun without being blended. It was HARD, too much spin and it snaps, too little and it falls apart. I know sounds like most fibre, but there is a very fine line between too much and too little with this stuff. So I'm thinking a nice merino/bamboo blend might be the way to go. An adventure to say the least.

Still no joy in the what to make next quandary. I would love to make Starsky and it means I can get an order from Knitpicks - any one want to go in? I have a friend in the States who I might lean on for some postage services (unbeknownst to her, hi Kathryn!) I don't think I could do it any cheaper with yarn from Oz. And I might do some bed socks for the Little Man, much like the ones I did for him when he was smaller cause they rocked. And I can use some of my stash for it, a huge plus.

Sock it to me Summer is still rockin' on, even though it's, uh, autumn. So we need a new name cause we would like to continue it as it's been lots of fun. So any bright ideas from you crafty chickas out there? My brain is consumed with what to knit next madness.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Du-BLING, Jetlag and general musings

I am tired.

Tired to the bone.

I don't think I have felt this tired since I was pregnant... no, I'm not pregnant (although there certainly is something in the water in Aussie blogland of late). But you know the kind of tired I'm talking about? When exhaustion feels like it's weighing you down like a bigball of scratchy yarn? I don't know why I am feeling so tired, yesterday and Monday I felt absolutely fine, minimum jet lag, went to work and everything. Bright as a button. Today? Feels like a Mac truck has knocked me down.

And to add to the weary feeling, I have NOTHING ON THE NEEDLES. Nothing. Zip. Nada. This is truly a sad state of affairs. And also, I am currently visiting a place that is well known to me, End of Project confusion. You know, as I get to this juncture at the end of every project, I am beginning to realise why I have all the confusion. Too much choice. Too many things to knit. Too much inspiration, from books, blogs, websites. I have this problem in yarn stores too, like I don't know where to look. It's overwhelming, all that colour and texture. Sensory overload, and more often than not I come out with nothing. Maybe I should join in on Use your Stash Month but it may take me a whole month to decide what to knit. Then I'll get frustrated cause I'll find a pattern that I like but nothing in my stash would be appropriate, then I'll end up back in the LYS with my sensory overload issues, then I'd be back to square one. A vicious circle I tell you. If anyone has any bright ideas I'm all open to suggestions.

Anyway, onto Dubai, or should I say Du-bling! What a place, such wealth just flashed about the place with wild abandon. Gold! Big expensive cars! Big expensive buildings! The largest shopping centers I've ever seen (complete with snow and ski slopes, as you do). But surprisingly, not very expensive to visit. Accommodation, moderately expensive, but buying stuff? Cheap as chips. And the people, friendly as anything and Little Man was a big hit with the locals, not a surprise as he always charms everyone everywhere he goes. We had a great time, alas no yarn to be found.

I'll leave you now with a couple of pictures that make me smile.

Now doesn't every mother dream of their children reading yarn magazines and pointing out what he wants?

p.s. I hear you out there muttering about unfinished Olympic knits. Surely I have aired enough of my issues in this post to be going on about my blocking issues as well...
p.p.s I just looked at my blog and noticed I do have something on the needles, French Market Bag. We'll just ignore that one, all that knit knit knit may just push this weary body over the edge by boring me senseless.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Just a quickie...

...cause I have been flat out since getting home (got home yesterday, still in some other time zone.)
Looking at this to add to my list of things to covet (I love you eBay)(and also PayPal) and also have just put a whole heap of Lorna's Laces up on Purl Yarns so if you're in the mood for some yummy yarns go check it out.
Will be back soon with a full jet setting report, promise!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Who'd have thunk it?

Soon we are off to Ikea (I cannot go too long before I hear the call of all things cheap and Swedish) to get this for Little Man. The Big Move to the Big Bed is on. And strangely enough, my mind has wandered to... quilting. I know, I'm astounded too. Not only because it will involve making peace with the Singer (I'm thinking of following Grumperina's road to sewing machine bliss), but also because I'm not usually a big fan of quilts. To me they scream COUNTRY DRIED FLOWER ARRANGMENTS and HOME SWEET HOME TEDDY BEAR IKYNESS in a very unladylike way. Alison's beautiful quilts quickly dismissed these images from my mind, and seeing yarnstorm's gorgeous daily dose of fabric lovliness, I have decided to give it a go. Of course, most people when starting a new craft would do something small, manageable, something that won't be cast by the wayside at the first sign of sewing machine hatred trouble. Me? May I remind you of my first lace garment? Butterfly. Hardly a beginners lace knit. First pair of adult socks? Go With The flow. So it stands to reason that my first quilting project should be a single bed cover. Quite logical really.

I have FINALLY finished my Paralympics Knit (cause at least it's finished before those are over), I will get to blocking it when we get home. We leave the UK tomorrow for sunny Dubai, I'm looking forward to visiting a souk or 4, most probably the gold souk and I hear there is a amazing fabric souk (with maybe some yarn to be found, one can hope) (or maybe some unusual fabric I can use on a quilt) (god help me like I need another thing to spend money on).

Saturday, March 11, 2006

It's raining... FIBER!

Last night I did a bit of a yarn store search. You'd think there would be many yarn stores here, being cold an all. You'd be wrong. And the ones you do find, full of Rowan, Jaeger and Debbie Bliss. All well and good, but I can get that all at home. I want to see new stuff (not hard to please am I?). Anyways, I stumbled upon this place, and it just happened to be in the neighbourhood of where we were planning to go today. Handy no?
Whoops, did my hand just slip into my wallet? (or more accurately, DH's wallet heh heh).

CASHMERE!!! *droooooooool*

Mmmmmm, silk

MORE silk!!!

Soy!! How fun!! I also got some bamboo, but who knows where that photo got to.

And looky!! I have wanted to get this book for ages. I also wanted to get hands on spinning by Lee Raven but they didn't have it.

I'm almost done on Backyard Leaves, unblocked photo to come soon. Got about one repeat to go and then I have to sew (blurgh) (sorry involuntary reaction) it together. Also knocked some little mittens for Little Man, but getting photos onto here is a major act at the moment so a pic might have to wait till when we get home. They are too cute, but could be a little longer. I forgot how long Little Man's fingers are (much like his mummas).

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cold, but no rain... yet.

How good is my husband?
The man knows how to make me happy on my birthday.

Yes dear readers, THREE issues of Rowan mag. I might faint from excitement.
But that is not the extent of the presents for the birthday, especially not when it's the over-the-hill type birthday. I found a fab little place that custom blends perfumes, sounds just right for a big birthday to me. Oh and there's the little town called Dubai that we will be stopping at on the way home that just happens to be the center of the world of all things gold...

So, I have said ciao to Italy and am now saying 'oi!' and 'wot?' in the land of expensive everything. Luckily there where savings to be had on the Rowan mags, at almost half of what we pay for them at home. But the cost to even get to the place to buy the mags? We may have to take a loan out to pay for it. I have visited a couple of yarn places, one being John Lewis (just Rowan Jaeger and Debbie Bliss there) and Liberty (I love visiting Liberty) (oh and just Rowan, Jaeger and Debbie Bliss there. I sense a feeling of de ja vu). I hope to get to Loop sometime this week, I probably won't be dropping any cash in there (as all my savings would have gone on the tube ride to get there) unless something SPECTACULAR catches my eye.

Some knitting has been done, slowly but surely. Did I hear you say Knitting Olympics? Well I may have been KO'd on the old KO. About halfway thru the 16 days, somewhere in amongst scoffing another bowl of pasta and dragging myself home at 5am I decided that I just might not make it. Especially since I was no where near half way through the knit. So I have about a quarter to go on it, this is not including the blocking (blurgh) and sewing (double blurgh). I see Miss Moggy managed herself a gold (and I'm sure many other bloggers that I read did too, but I haven't gotten that far on the blog reading front yet.) Well done Donni!

Next on the needles, some mittens for Little Man. The only DPNs I have with me are only big enough for sock yarn, and as I happen to have some left over Lorna's Laces with me I think there maybe some socks for mum and matching mittens for son action going on. Next step, matching jumpers for the whole family (I'm sure I have a Lion Brand pattern for that somewhere...)