knitting


You know I have a list of blog quirks I hate, and posting either a) filler posts when you can’t be bothered to write anything, but feel you must, somehow, appease Your Public (usually pics of your kid doing something that you think is cute, or posting something apologetic) – to which I say, for dog’s sake, get a grip upon thyself, no-one cares that much, or b) breathy “I’m back!” posts, after your period of not caring to write anything because you can’t be bothered, or, worse, because you have an Exciting Project that you can’t write about (then why are you here? why bring it up?), when really? you were gone?

Both very annoying. I stopped myself – just barely – from a), but as you see, could not stop myself from b). Perhaps my terribly amusing little rant has distracted you, and you didn’t even notice, in which case, carry on, dear friend.

1) I’m back knitting my poor mother-out-law’s mittens, She’s going to Spain next month, so I feel I must finish them before then, because she’s walking a lot, I imagine there will be chilly mornings, and I do worry about her poor cold hands, all alone and misunderstood in rural Spain. They’re coming along. The problem is that I must actually concentrate while I knit, and I usually knit with one eye on a movie or something, and it isn’t helping. My oldest son is home sick-ish from school, so I think we will fire up the popcorn, and watch MirrorMask. I’ll try to knit. I have, on the other hand, completed a pair of mittens each for the small boys, and begun a half dozen silly projects for myself.

2) We’ve all had a nasty head, migrating to chest cold. The little boys brought it with them and we’re just finishing it up. It is the cold that wrote off the holidays, we were all too sick to go for walks or come up with thrilling holiday activities. Luckily, we all enjoy lounging around playing computer games.

3) Honey vs sugar. Which do you like? I used to be all honey, all the time, but I often find that buttery sort of honey flavour a bit too much in herbal tea, mostly because I tend to drink super delicious herbal tea (let me now urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to try Celestial Seasonings Black Cherry Berry. If you like cherry flavour, you will LOVE it). But honey of course is very nice on its own. In an attempt to not find myself after lunch, jangling and headachy from eleventy cups of tea, I’ve been drinking hot water, with a spoon of honey and a slice of lemon in it. Very pleasant. No jangling.

4) Lemons are good, aren’t they? I can’t grow them outside here, so I have a small one in a pot (which reminds me, I need to pot it up before spring – add to list of million pre-spring things I should do; I haven’t even done the pre-winter things I meant to). I used some in a marinade last night that was too lemony and not enough mustardy or soy saucy or something, in any case, not what I hoped for; and others in this lovely yoghurty cake which I’ve made with berries, but mostly I’m not so hot for cooked berries, altho it is very good with them, it is also quite wonderful without, especially warmly fragrant from the oven. Ingrid, that blog’s owner is in Switzerland, so I wonder if she used beet sugar in hers, and maybe that recipe would be a nice one for you, too?

5) I’ve been re-reading (and did you know, some people don’t re-read books? isn’t that odd?) Geraldine Brooks’ Nine Parts of Desire, and it’s an interesting read. I always do enjoy Brooks’ writing.

6) Not pregnant. Am constantly angry.

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I really love mohair, especially kid mohair, and especially when it is spun very fine and is like a whisper soft cobweb of warmth and softness. Often, mohair is spun with acrylic, which gives it a great deal of strength, but always seems to make the resulting yarn rather scratchy once knitted. On the skein, it’s very nice, like the skein of Sirdar Blur I bought last week which was like a lovely blue kitten until I swatched it, when suddenly it turned nasty, and just like the mohair blend yarn I bought last year, unwearable. The solution is to buy better quality yarns, ones that are spun with merino, or silk for strength. I have a skein of something mohairy by Anny Blatt floating around, which breaks every twenty centimetres or so: the only mohair yarn I have been completely happy with is Jo Sharp’s, and until now I’ve been hesitant to fork out the cash.

Craft was nice this week, if quiet: only two of us in attendance, I don’t know what happened to everyone else. Some crossed wireage, for the most part. Still, we had a nice time: lunch was very good, and the company delightful. I mean my friend, not that she found my company delightful. Although I really am rather delightful, when I make the effort.

I’m carefully not mentioning my bad news. I alluded faintly to my pregnancy in previous entries, but I have to now say that that pregnancy ended this week. We’re very sad, and rather battered, but we’ll be alright. I don’t think either of us are actually mourning a lost child, and really, I wasn’t very far along, certainly not time to attach our vague baby plans (some names, some knitting, ideas about a crib) to this actual pregnancy as an actual individual, but we did dream, gently, cautiously, about what this child might be like, when it would be born. Life goes on though.

This is going to be a bumper multi-media entry. You’d better go and make a cup of tea.

First up, this is what late Autumn misty mornings look like here (if you are at dog level in our back 1/3, looking east)(and are the husband, he who took this picture):
and this is the mitten I am currently knitting for one of my lovely mother-in-laws (the charmingly named Bird in Hand mitten)(very definitely worth two in the bush):

* Went to craft group on Friday at our new venue, the Other Pub (there are two, as well as a sports club, all serving alcohol and doing very nicely too, in this town with a population of 400. Do Australians have a problem with drinking? No mate, no trouble at all) where we had shepherds pie (delicious) and apple crumble (also delicious!) for dessert. Effie used the last of her own apples for the crumble and says that if we teach her to knit, she’ll teach us to shoot.

* Sometimes being pregnant is boring. I am about 9 weeks pregnant, and it is dull dull dull. Unlike thrillers and clever little entrees, pregnancy is better a bit boring, so I shouldn’t complain, but I wish I had something to talk about. The husband doesn’t wish to know the sex of the child, while I do, very much, as it will influence what I knit. This can’t end well.

*There is a mouse in the house. We’ve seen it a few times, and I can hear it now behind me, scruffling around. I am even more determined to cut holes in the floor so that the cats can access the upstairs (I miss kitties sleeping on the bed!) and avoid the dog, who cannot help but chase after them every single time he sees them. I’m not certain if he wants to eat them, or play, but they are having none of it, and hate him with a white hot passion.

* I made peanut butter cookies yesterday. They were delicious.

And I’m just uploading a funny little video, also taken by the husband, of a small and interesting frog. I’m uploading it to youtube, which is taking about ten zillion years, so while we’re waiting, maybe you can send me helpful thoughts to help me think of something to make for dinner to go beside little meatballs. Chips? Potato pancakes? We need easy, not drippy food that we can eat while slumped on the couch watching Lord of the Rings, on our inaugural Tuesday night movie night (because WoW goes down, and this is a nice chance for us to catch up on movies, which we all love, but mostly take too long for us country mice who must wake up at either 5, 6 or 6:30 am depending on day and person). Don’t movies sneak up on you? I have Beowulf and I Am Legend waiting downstairs for me, but I have Marie Antoinette on my mind, and will probably knit for the baby (I’m knitting this nice little kimono type thing, and can I add, if you are new to babies, that this shape is the easiest and quickest to get onto a baby, and very warm. Look for the ties relatively high on the chest like this one, not low, closer to the hem, for better staying on babyness. I had some French baby clothes for one of mine, and the underwear was all shaped like this, and so easy and wonderful I’m pining for it now. English and French babywear is the nicest, in my opinion)(Oh yes! I’m using some wool/silk stuff from NZ that is amazingly soft and smooth and squooshy) while I watch it and make notes for a review that I want to write.

~time passes~

Ugh. I’m going to publish this post and edit to add the video later, when it’s done uploading.