Tuesday, 31 July 2007
I rolled my alpaca yarn into a ball- it measured approx. 76.5 yds....46 loops that measured app. 60 inches each....i *think* i did that math right.
It's all over the place inthickness changes-more than I realised before. But it is still very soft and not sure what the heck I am going to do with it. I had planned some squares and then make into a scarf or something-but....76 yds isn't alot. *sigh*
I got the "Drought Busta" washed and now is all dried- waiting for photos- it has the cutest curly Q's in it- not sure if they will stay once it is released from the skein and put into a ball or not....need photos before I will create a ball/ skein from it....
and tonight I managed to finally finish my Moroccan Nights.... my hands have stopped hurting so much- so spun when I could. Now- I think I am going to try my hand at plying two separate balls of the same stuff....wish me luck....
should be very pretty though.
I am not confident in plying and it makes me mad that I mess up what I have spun pretty well by my lack of ability to ply. >:(
Ah well...... Mandie of Ewe Give Me the Knits is soon going to list more hand dyed (22 micron!) merino rovings in her store.....sneak peak on her blog here ...... so I will soon be obsessing over new stuff to spin. Anyone I can hire to ply? LOL Just kidding.
It's late and I am heading for bed. It was a WINDY day here and we didn't get outside to do anything which bummed me out.....hoping tomorrow will be better......less windy.
Heard from my sister Donna- home safe and sound and busy as busy can be........not sure 'retirement' has the same meaning nowadays as it used to have- she was always so busy anyway- but nowadays she is always on the go. Mostly for doing more fun things than going to work- but she mostly always liked her work anyway. That is a blessing isn't it? Work you don't mind getting up for......wow. [Sending a hug (or 3) your way (((Donna)))]
Hope you are well.
Sunday, 29 July 2007
I kid you not- I had to wash that skein 3 times with shampoo in very hot water (and 2 rinses) and the water was mostly clear when I was done. I was so amazed- the first 2 washings looked like mud puddles in the sink! I even had DH come in to see it and the 3 of us stood in our teensy little bathroom to watch the yarn finally become 'clean'! It was *that* amazing! lol
I also got my 'drought busta' onto the niddy noddy- will endeavour to wash that today. And I started to ply my clownface (100g ball from the T spindle...)- with black thread- and OMG!- what a NIGHTMARE that was. :(
I am not joking when I tell you it got tangled up and took me/us (DH helped -than Goodness-or else it would all be in the garbage by now!)a complete 30 mins to unwind it and wrap it on a length of wood- much like a nostepinne without the proper wrap. The last thing i wanted to do was learn to to wrap on a nostepinne last night!!!!
so it is a little bit on my spindle and majority bit on that wooden thing. *sigh*
I will try it again now- but if anyone has a help for me on how to stop my center pull balls from my T spindle from tangling up as I 'use' them- I would be forever GRATEFUL!
I didn't get the chance to make my CD spindle yet- but hope to at some point today.
We are having rainy weather and my hands/fingers/wrists have been really feeling it- for a few days now. :( But will stop when the weather gets nice again. We need the rain so am not complaining one bit!
Made the most divine soup last night- "Chipotle Corn Chowder"- was going to follow a recipe I had found- but ended up- as usual- using it as a guide only. But ohhhh it was so divine....yummmmmm. Just the right amount of heat and so rich and filling...
we each had a grilled/broiled flour tortilla with cheese- RJB didn't eat much even though I left all the hot out of his soup....and usually anything with cheese is eaten right up- but no luck last night.
Am intending to make that crockpot stew today...boy- I have lots planned for today...hmm...
My sister, Donna, went on vacation/holiday to Canada two weeks ago- I keep hoping to hear they are home safe..... most of my USA family loves to go to Canada in the summer. I've not been there- but the funny thing is- when someone here tries to figure out my accent ( me ? with the accent- no, not me- it's all of you LOL! )- they more often than not ask if I am from Canada! lol!
RJB has my accent ( or lack of ) at the moment- once in awhile his father's English accent creeps in on certain words- but no Aussie accent.....expect he will pick that up once he starts school...*if* we are still in Oz for that. Only 2 more years...*sigh* - I will love having my 'me' time back- but I am going to miss him lots. Waited a LONG time for a little one.... I do try to enjoy the time I have with him. Not successful every day but that is my own fault- not his.
OK- better get going- laundry is hung- but lots more to do- will be back asap with pics of that 'paca yarn and more.
Hope you are well!
Tuesday, 24 July 2007
I have a good start on the Moroccan Nights I got from EGMTK! - am amazed at how slippery those fibres are compared to the previous ones- it's fun and frustrating in one- remembering to adjust your draw from one to another. Mind you- being the novice I am- I have no idea what kind of draw ( to name it, I mean ) that i am using.....so I call it 'the one that works for me at the time with that type of roving/fibre. ;)
Gosh- am drawing a blank as to what to write- can you believe that!? Me!? lol
I am wondering what is for dinner / tea tonight- am thinking of making a mexican rice casserole that we haven't had for over a year now- because when I first made it we had it ALOT and got sick of it I think! LOL We do love mexican. Well- RJB isn't as keen on it as i would like- but he is young. He will grow into I reckon. Pretty easy to make- cook rice- while that is cooking get some TVP ( about 1 c. with 7/8 c. water) in a bowl and add in some taco seasoning & fresh crushed/minced garlic if ya want. Reconstitute that with boiling water and let sit until you are ready for it. (alternatively- for you meat eaters- mince/ground cow and taco seasoning as if you were going to make tacos.... but keep it a little drier than perhaps normal.... )
Cube up some cheese. Find a small tin ( 450g/ 14 oz) of diced tomatoes. Put some frozen corn kernels in a bowl in the microwave and heat them until they are defrosted/lightly cooked.
Once rice is cooked and cooled a little so that it doesn't break up into mush- put that into a large mixing bowl- mix in the tvp, corn, drained ( or not- prefer to partially drain them) tomatoes, chopped/diced onion, the cubed cheese, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to taste- and the all too important JALAPEÑOS!( ok- so we have to add them later as they are too hot for our little man) ....plop that into a greased casserole dish and pop it into a preheated 180°C / 350°F oven and let it bake until it is warmed & all cheese is melted- I would say a good 35-40 minutes ( for a large baking dish- depending on your quantity as to how long you bake, obviously). I love to add in red sweet pepper/capsicum that has been chopped too- dont' always have it on hand- but yummy- adds in a nice flavour. Oh-some shredded cheese on top is always nice - as it stops the rice from getting too crunchy from the baking process....depending on how 'wet' your tomatoes were to begin with.
Then I serve it with tortilla chips ( like Doritos ) if we have them, salsa, and SOUR CREAM~ yum!~ on the side- as some of us (RPB) don't like it- while others of us ( RJB and me ) love it.
I am thinking of crockpot stew for tomorrow or the day after -whenever it gets cold and rainy again - as that is a warm filling lovely meal with fresh bread. Been meaning to make a Rosemary Focaccia,too.... will have to have that with some spaghetti- whichever night that turns out to be.... I am awful at planning meals. I like to- but seems the mood I am in on the day is not the same as the food I planned....anyone else like that? We just finished off a batch of Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies from a recipe book by Mr. Food that I have had for a long time and had yet to make something from them. They were quite nice. Certainly easy and quick to make.
Smelled sssssssssoooooooooooo good while baking it was torture to wait for them to cool! RJB actually wanted some mississippi mud I think- which is ( for those who may not know or may know something else by that name ) chocolate brownies with marshmallow creme and essentially soft choc. fudge for the icing on top of that. We made a batch for DH's birthday cake at the beginning of June and of course put sprinkles/ 100's & 1000's on it for decorations- and that is what RJB wants- those darn colourful hard things. Bleh! I am not keen on them- but that is what RJB kept talking about- make a cake and put "fpwinkles" on the top. Well- he got brownies- but no sprinkles........poor child. Maybe next week! :)
Sayings from our world-
Junction Jogger ( train that is in Mt. Barker and takes just a short trip- mentioned in one of the first posts I did here) - known as the "Junker Junker". ;)
More or less anything that starts with an "s" is an 'f' sound and you kind of have to wrinkle up your nose to say it right- like snip is 'fnip', snow is 'fnow', etc.
Dr Phil is "Dr. TV".
Darn- there are more- but can't think of them right now.
Time for a nap-nap anyway- so will post this and write more when I think of them. :)
Hope you are well.
Monday, 23 July 2007
Thomas being attended to by the train folk. His real name is "Bub". He is small gauge train.
Here is the full size locomotive they had running that day - named Peronne. :) You could get really close to it.
This is inside the second class carriage that RJB & RPB rode the day they went- we rode in FIRST CLASS (woo hoo) the day the 3 of us went. ;) In first class the seats were individual-ish and facing backward and forward rather than 'in' ...and the guardsmen let us look into the back area where packages and such were kept. Was very nice of them. :)
Here's Thomas passing Peronne- or was it Peronne passing Thomas?!? A photo taken out the window, very artsy don't you think?
Here is Peronne as he is pulling away- yes- they back him out of the railyard- down about 150 yards and then back again! What do you want for $2.00 !?
This is inside museum- they had what seemed to be hundreds of trains all parked inside buildings- many of them you could see set up as they would've been back in the day... some of the engines we could climb up into and have a look around. Having LONG legs is a real bonus for this exploration! They had some of the BIGGEST engines I have ever seen- literally giants. The wheels were probably a good 5 & half feet tall- if not more. Literally awesome. No photos could be taken where you could truly appreciate how HUGE they were. Maybe next time we go we will try though.
One of the many steam engines they had at the museum. I can't imagine a more comprehensive collection in all of Australia. So if you or someone you know is a train enthusiast- let them know about the National Rail Museum here in Port Adelaide in South Australia- they won't be disappointed any time of year! There is ALOT more in the museum, so much that I couldn't even *begin* to tell you it all. I am not the biggest enthusiast- went for Riley's sake- but memories of Dad talking about trains & all the memorabilia he had kept in the shed while he was alive, and remembering the museum my brother Randy & I discovered accidentally one weekend just riding up to the New England states for the day...... I have good feelings and happy memories linked with these iron horses.
Besides - who can not smile and wave at a passenger train full of happy people waving at you as they pass?
Thanks for looking- hope you are well!
PS) The red hat RJB is wearing- crocheted by me with commercial yarn. It is meant to be cuffed so it isn't so BIG- but well... LOL! ;) And he chose the colour. :)
Sunday, 22 July 2007
Just realised I have not resized any of the train pics from when the boys went on their own- and we didn't take the camera on Friday when we all 3 went, so will have to post about the train experience next time...
so this time you get treated to some photos of Sellick's Beach- which is about 20 mins south of us- went there because 1) it was a really nice day yesterday (about 17° C) and 2) there is a geocache in that area which we have wanted to go find for months now.
We have recently had a pretty severe storm come through and there was a King tide with it- which brought ALOT of high waves with lots of energy in them to move things. We have not been here before so couldn't know for sure what the tide did- but there were lots of small rocks close to the cliffs and these beauties were sitting there. Likely they were not overly affected by the storm-the tide happened to be out at this time. Or so I thought. Actually it was just starting to come in, as by the time we left-the part of the beach where they are allowed to drive on the beach was getting covered in water! Now that *was* about 2 hours' time lapse- but still- once it started to come in, it came IN!
Here is RJB on one of the large sandstone formations. Would be a nice place to bring a towel, climb up, and just relax in the sun. The dark spots are small 'caves' in the rock. Not sure if they aren't more made by humans than nature- but are interesting parts of the landscape.
He brought his front loader toy- we thought there would be more sand than there was! lol He did use it in a rock pool area while dad went off into the 'canyon' to find the cache. ( success was not easily found I am told- but he was successful!)
This is another long shot of Sellick's Beach- if you notice the white 'spots' in the background on the green part- those are water pipes. Carrying *lovely* city water to those in need! Not too far from the cache here really.
This is an amazing naturally occurring sandstone 'bridge'.
It is so hard to show depth in photos- isnt' it? Next time we go back- we will have someone stand under it to give you a better idea of how large it is- we didn't anticipate so many rocks so Riley and I just had our plastic clogs on- *not* good for rock walking. lol!
Was a really nice day for being on the beach- LOTS of families with several children in them out and about as we were leaving. End of school holidays and nice weather combination make for good outings with the family. :)
I also have some pics to share of the finished "Drought Busta" roving- still on the the spindle- which is now emptied of that and has some "Moroccan Nights" roving started on it. This is slippery stuff compared to what I just spun and am finding I am spinning it very, very thinly. Was tired when I started- so maybe I will do better today. I don't mind thin- but don't want thread! lol
You can see some of the purple hints in it here. Very subtle- I can hardly wait to find a project for this one to see it crocheted/knitted up... very nice. :)
This is doing the "under one, over two" wrap method on the spindle. Easier to see all the neat colours this way.
Here it is right side up! ;)
I had another one to post- but figure you are probably bored with looking at the same one.
I am not sure this cone shape is the way it is meant to be wrapped- but it works for me! It allows me to fit the whole 100g on- although at about 3/4 it does start to get heavy and breaks more readily if I am not careful.
Better get going-the rest are awake and are having a cranky time. Am hoping to post train pics later today or tomorrow.
Hope you are well.
Thursday, 19 July 2007
We went shopping - for groceries on the first day- woo hoo! Well- it did involve going to Colonnades mall instead of just over the road. So I got to go to the newsagent and look for the new issue of Spin-Off magazine- i found it and drooled just off the pages- and remembered we had splurged on a subscription to it last month! So our issue should show up very soon(hoping for today actually!) You can be sure I will be writing about it once I have recvd. it and read it through once. ( I WANT A NOSTEPINNE!!! -they have one on the front cover with a partially knitted sock- they have great covers.) And then I got to go to the 'continental' foods store- where they sell imported things we foreigners miss from home- all at a hefty price- but i tell you what with the cost of shipping- I can't blame them! (e.g. $7.50 for a bottle of Karo syrup and $6.50 for a small jar of Hellman's mayo. USA flavoured mayo- they sell Hellman's here- but it tastes like all the rest of the Aussie ones-which I found to be odd. I am not a big mayo fan- prefer Miracle Whip for most things...) and then to Coles for some groceries- it was a total madhouse and we got very little!
The next day I think we might've not gone anywhere- and if we did- it was probably just for the items we forgot in the madhouse the day before.
Sunday I was unwell and was in bed for half the day- finally about 3 pm everything eased and was feeling better- i got some spinning done and plied my long awaited alpaca singles. Did a center pull ball and plied it upon itself. It's not near as nice as the raspberry wool I did- but I have to remember this was leg fleece and the staple is VERY short and would normally be a bit of a challenge for a seasoned spinner- I have thought of a project in which to use the yarn- once it is washed and dried- I will start that and when it is finished- want to show you all the steps from start to finish. :)
The guys went to near the City and went to a Thomas the Tank Engine exhibition at the Rail Museum. I was bummed to miss out- but they did ok and found out it is on until THIS Sunday- so might get back- depending on the weather. So I had from about 10 am to 4:30 pm to myself! ( too bad I didn't feel up to doing anything until 3! LOL! )
Saturday is not coming to mind what we did. hmmm........ Not much I am going to say. Geocaching maybe?
Man- I will have to write later- I just can't think.
At some point after the alpaca got plied I started my "Drought Busta" roving I bought from Mandie last month....it's so pretty! Shades of green with tiny touches of purple in it. I am 2/3 done and then have to decide what I will do with it- it is such subtle shading- I might just leave it as an unplied singles.....and set it that way and use it for something then... that is such a neat look- but i worry it might come apart some how....... shouldn't once it is set though-right?
Will have to research it before I decide for sure.
Well- RJB wants some juice so will go for now- at least I got something added to the blog before a week was up! lol
Will post more asap.
Hope you are well.
Friday, 13 July 2007
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
This lurgy that i thought I was over is still hanging on- but am still feeling better than I was a few days ago- so will still call it progress. :)
Just found out that we will be having a few days of holidays ( vacation for the American readers) very soon- ( in 2 days) and I don't know for how long- but DH 's boss came up to him yesterday and told him that now would be a good time to take his hols as they really dont' have any work for him right now. They could find some for him- but likely it would be in an area of the factory where he doesn't like to be. So! "Vacation- all we ever wanted......"- looks like RJB might be able to get a train ride in sooner than I thought he would. Fingers crossed for a sunnier slightly warmer day over the next week or so. Have to check out when the trains run... I know the children are on school holidays at the moment- so the trains are running down at Victor Harbor- and there are a few geocaches down that way that RPB will want to get while we are down there too. Me- I just want fiber! I actually am spinning in the evenings for an hour or two as we watch telly- but my fingers are sore from doing so much spinning to finish up that alpaca that they haven't had a chance to recover and I have done another ( or nearly) 100 g ( roughly 3.5 oz) of the Clown Face dyed merino- pictures all forthcoming. I just keep getting caught up in the plying dilemma.
This clown face is awesome and i can hardly wait to ply it and wash it,etc- so I can make something with it! Not sure if I can part with it as I originally planned! LOL We'll see.
In case you wish you could get your own copy of Yarn Magazine- Mandie of Ewe Give Me the Knits! sells it on her website now. Isn't that cool? It is a really great magazine - and if you knit- I think you will find it invaluable. This month's issue even goes into making your own pattern/items. It's all greek to me since I don't knit! LOL
Another "All Saints" character left the building tonight- Vince is the character's name- he just left to go to Canada and get his own practice......... less dramatic ending- but he gets to come back if he wants some day! Not so easy for the previously mentioned Englishman- Sean/Chris Vance.
OK- I have to post a pic. before I turn in for the night- just have to:
This is some of the spinning of the clown face roving on my turkish spindle. It's much fuller now. ;) Am hoping i can stuff a few metres/yards more on there as I just separated out another arm's length of roving.
And for those of you who are curious about my adorable son RJB- here he is- reckon I should post this or delete it? I don't know...... I am torn. Don't think anyone can look us up via this thing- but one never knows! Opinions please- pics or no of said son?
He had a thing for sticking out his tongue that morning ( yesterday I think it was...)-I got one or 2 without -but I like this pose. I have better ones to post- but as I said am unsure if it is wise.
Will delete it if others are as paranoid as me. ( Red Chestnut has not helped me completely get over my worries for others- but it's helped! And I can thank the Wild Oats BFR for leading me to spinning- I just know that! It worked really really quickly for me! I am so thankful for that & for Crystal for making the deal we'd both take the drops so that I took them as I'd been putting it off! Why? Who knows? Fear of actually finding out what I want to do with my life and not know how to go about it I guess!)
OK_ am going to bed now it's after midnight!
Hope you are well.
Monday, 9 July 2007
Feeling better is a nice thing. My 3 YO eating peas on purpose is a nice thing. Him eating a green bean in plain sight on a spoonful of veg. soup alphabet pasta is a nice thing. Having friends and family who care you are ill is a nice thing. Soft fleeces and colourful rovings are nice things. A surprise bouquet of sunshine-y yellow lillies from my hubby and son on my table is a nice thing. Layby (layaway) is a nice thing. Rain on a drought stricken country- a very nice thing. We need more- in nice amounts spread over weeks- can you all say "Thanks for rain all over Oz" to the Universe? In whatever way you do things like that? Prayer, meditation, talking out loud to the sky...whatever.
All I know is that if we put lots of positive energy into saying "thank you " for what we need to be done-as if it were already done- it will happen. If we focus on the lack- that is what we will get. So THANKS Universe for rain - and nice things.
Tell me some nice things from your life recently, please?
Hope you are well. :)
Thursday, 5 July 2007
My first Raving is a kitchen tip that I learned about 1 or 2 years ago now- and I really want to share it in case any of you have not tried it yet- this is really a good one:
We are a family of 3- and even though we are vegetarians- we tend to not be able to use a whole bunch of celery before it goes off. Well! It used to be that way- now - as long as I remember to actually do this tip ( pathetic, I know....) - is to wrap your celery in alum. foil! It really really works! We compost almost all our veggie scraps- so I just hack off the top leaves, saving any good sized stems that are in there, and cut the celery to fit the hunk of foil I have ripped off.
I find it keeps better if it is wrapped tightly in the foil with nothing sticking out. I also recommend using heavy duty foil for this task- those rascals can be pointy when they want to be! ;)
Done this way I have found the celery stays quite crisp and nice for weeks and weeks! I am sure the nutritional value drops as would be the case for any long storage vegetable- but well- you can't have it all I reckon! Give it a try and let me know- I like feedback! :)
Hope you are well.
Wednesday, 4 July 2007
There's no harm in wishing anyone anywhere a Happy 4th day of July- so if it means something to you- please do a little family celebration with me in the back of your thoughts if possible. It is a wild and windy day with gale force winds predicted this afternoon- so no celebrational fireworks ( read: Sparklers) will be going off here. And know I am thinking of you all.
RPB is home today not feeling too keen and last night I started with it- his goes to his head- mine always goes to my chest/lungs..... RJB is sneezing lots- but hope he stays healthy! (for the record-I tried white text here but was not very visible so finally decided on another shade of blue- but know I intended for white! ;) )
Not much going on but wiping of noses and resting. I'm spinning where/when I can making headway into that 100g of leg fleece I carded. it filled a plastic grocery shopping bag FULL once I was done carding it! Didn't take a pic- should've. Ah well.
Thinking of you all- Let Freedom Ring!
Hope you are well.
Monday, 2 July 2007
It is Monday morning as of my writing and I am not able to send out mail.
We are having WINDY weather, with rain forthcoming- that couldn't possibly be affecting mail- but thought i would mention it. The weather bureau gets it wrong 90% (+) of the time it seems- but oh well.
I should start a blog just for that - to record what they forecast and what we got. LOL
Better to not know I reckon. All I know is that if the wx folks got it wrong this often in PA- they'd be run out of town!
Crocheting a hat for RJB and spinning the alpaca- much thinner this time- i am not keen on spinning thin- but hope it will fluff up like the wool did and i should have something more managable. I am using the Babe spindle I got from Caroline who lives a few hours' drive north of me in Elizabeth East I think it is.....too far to drive with the cost of petrol- mailing is cheaper- but what a neat lady- please click on the link and visit her eBay store- she has a tahkli/takli [ supported spindle] I want to get to try with my angora bunny fur I got from Mandie .). I am using it nearly like a supported spindle as even though it is light in weight with just one whorl on- it is still a big heavy for the short fibers of the leg fleece I am spinning. I somehow enjoy the challenge of spinning the leg fleece- go figure. Ah and by the way- I HIGHLY recommend the Babe spindle ( from the USA originally- will put a link once I can find it again and *if* i remember it. otherwise email me and i will look it up for you if you are in the USA and want one.........)- it comes with 2 whorls (& o rings to keep them in place) so you can spin top or bottom whorl and you can also ply with it- haven't figured that out yet- but i WILL- Caroline sent a very informative CD ROM type thing with lots of info on that i can't quite find the time to view all of it yet. But i will eventually.
I think the wind just damaged the over the fence neighbours new verandah roof- just heard something loudly crashing. eeks!
Hope you are well.