Saturday, December 30, 2006

Shaken, not stirred

The visitors have been and gone, the food was cooked and eaten and now onto the business of my knitting (or lack thereof).

First up, the finished set of serviette rings:

Also on the table Little Man and I made some lovely trees, suggested by Nora. Our version were slightly more toddler-fied (think, lots of glitter).

Here's the finished table, we had an entree of prawn and mango salad (with a mango chutney dressing and naan bread, delish). Then the traditional roast chook and lamb with all the trimmings (we won't speak of how I forgot to buy gravy...). Then for dessert, my piece de resistance...

Two tiered pavlova with berry cream, topped with strawberrries and mango. I was so happy with the meringue - they can go so bad and flat sometimes if you don't treat them with lots of tlc. This one was high and fluffy and teeth falling out sweet. Perfect.

And check what my husband got for me.

The present I knew about (because I pointed it out to him) (OMG I forgot to take photos! Tomorrow I promise, it's too dark now. Oh yeah, it's yarn).

and the one I didn't.

Of course, one must knit an iPod cover, I even put in a pocket for the earphones. Fancy.

So onward into the abyss known as I Have Nothing To Knit (aka IHNTK). I seem to frequent IHNTK a lot, and many of my knitting friends don't understand such a locale. Some look at me as if possessed and mutter 'I NEVER have nothing to knit.' Which, from the look on their faces, roughly translates as 'you are some kind of FREAK'. Some look at me with pity, 'you poor child, it must be awful not knowing what to do with your hands while watching TV' kind of faces. Other with hatred, knowing that they have about 2 billion projects calling for their attention at home. So how do I get to this point in my knitting?

1. Procrastination: I mull over what I'm going to knit for a VERY LONG TIME.
2. Serious Indecisiveness: When I narrow it down, it also takes a VERY LONG TIME to decide.
3. I like a quick fix: Quite often the quick fix I want to knit does not match any of my stash. Which, means I have to visit the LYS. Which leads me to point 4.
4. LYS-phobia. Not so much a phobia of the yarn store (and certainly not a phobia of yarn, I have the wrong hobby if that's the case) but more of the sheer amount of yarn and colour. I get overwhelmed by the sight of so much yarn and forget what I was there for. I can't just go into a store and buy yarn, I have to have lists or otherwise I come home with a whole heap of yarn that no pattern on this planet will match (see point 3) (it's viscousus cylcle).

I could go on. Suffice to say, I am currently at point 2. I have narrowed down - one being this (yes yes, in Crack Silk Haze. I reckon I could just about manage it in st st) or Eunny's lovely Print O' the Wave Stole. That would be stole, not shawl. No shawls here. And I think I might knit it thinner and do it as a scarf. I was thinking of using some Malabrigo laceweight that I got from a previous Knitty SP... but, I dunno. I hear so much from US knitters how Malabrigo is SO SOFT. But in a recent poll among Aussie knitters, it's just not soft. Maybe it softens on washing? It just doesn't feel like merino to me. But then I am spoilt and get to handle 17 micron merino fleece at spinning each week. So being the sucker for punishment I am, I'm thinking about this also in the Crack. Clearly I don'rememberer the Butterfly incident(s) that plague me every couple of months. Maybe I should add this to my list, short term yarn memory loss...

On a totally unrelated note, I got to go to the movies last week (usually unheard of around our house due to parenting duties) and we went and saw Casino Royale because you gotta see Bond in the cinema). I must say to really enjoyed it, Daniel Craig did a superb job (although I heard people walking out complaining he wasn't like Pierce. Um, hello? HE WASN'T MEANT TO BE). And I love the little references all through it to the usual Bond movies. My favourite line? The 'Bond girl' Vespar walkes up to Bond and says 'I am the money'. His reply 'every penny of it'. Classic.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

If you can't stand the heat

This year, for the very first time, Christmas is being held at our house. Not a big crowd, just the in-laws, my dad and his partner and us, but enough for me to go into menu planning overload. I am agonising over it, taking (many) cookbooks out of the cupboard, pouring over them looking for just the right entree, main, dessert (well we all know that will have to be a pav. Can't have a xmas without a pav). I even went to the newsagent yesterday in a panic looking for cooking magazines. My dilemma is that DH's family do the traditional hot meal, whereas my family are a bit more relaxed about it - throw some prawns and ham our way with a few salads and we're set. So I'm trying to mix it up - modern entree, trad main, trad but light (none of this pudding stuff around here) dessert.

I have also decided that I'm going to go all Martha and set a table. With trimmings. Since the knitting has been at an all time low around here lately, I decided to pick up the Crack Silk Haze. Ha! Sorry, I was delusional. I meant to say, I picked up something that may be on par with the CSH, wire.

Yep, I'm knitting some napkin rings from the latest Knitty. Apart from aching hands and black fingers from the wire, it's actually pretty fun!

I have no idea what else is going on the table, but at least the napkins will be rockin. 2 down, 4 to go.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I hate sewing

That is all.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Flat and sweaty

This time of year. Oi. Busy, hot and really a bit flat in the knitting department. I'm getting so desperate I'm thinking of doing a shawl (and I'm sure you know my thoughts on shawls). I'm thinking socks might be the go, lord knows I have a tonne of the good stuff sitting in the next room. Maybe this tasty number from Knitty (shame I just ran out of that colourway) or I especially like this.

I'm plugging along on the old mohair cushion cover. I have read many people say that knitting with mohair is a bit like knitting with fibreglass... I'm being to understand that line of thought. Also not nice when sitting on the couch and my tshirt rides up a smidge and it rubs against my skin.... *shiver*. Almost there though, I think I can make it without resorting to wearing cotton gloves while knitting it.

We are all ready for Xmas here - lights up, tree up, presents bought (except for the biggies for DH and Little Man) and cards out. We are the lone house in the street with xmas lights up, and I feel rather extravagant with 3 santa sillouettes, a banner saying 'merry chrsitmas' and one strand of icicles (is it just me or does anyone else laugh at the irony of hanging iciles and singing songs about dashing through snow in the middle of summer?). That was until I read about Laurie's nutter neighbours. Australia is not known for it's big light shows as America is, but there are a few streets around town that go all out. I just found this. Oh My.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

In situ

Traditionally the stocking is hung from the mantle, the place of warmth.

Call me old fashioned but it's not quite the same hanging off the air-con...

Little Mans Xmas Stocking
Yarns: Katia 'Diane' in red and white - 3 balls (2.5 red, .5 white)
Pattern: Heavily modified version of Berroco's John Stocking

I must say I had a great time knitting this, apart from the fact that I went a bit too big on the foot part of the sock, I think it's pretty groovin'. The fair isle was, uh, interesting. Definitely lots of lessons learned on this one, and as I'm not a huge fan of fair isle that is worn I can't see me whipping up a jumper in the near future.
Oh and it hasn't been blocked or washed yet... in typical me fashion.

Next on the needles.....?

Oh, and I have a new toy that I want want want. Pity about the price, but I had a play with the lovely Sue's on Thursday night spinning class, and oh boy it was pretty. The wheel testing came about when DH mentioned that he knows what he'll get me for my birthday next year, a new wheel. Of course, I had to try it out, and bring home the brochure (you know these boys need it pointed out to them, preferably with a big red circle around it and arrows pointing to it. And may I suggest leaving it in the garage/near the remote/on their computer keyboard for an increased success rate). After seeing the price I have not heard another word about it, I did warn him...