28 January 2008

Icy Washcloth

Here's a Ballband Washcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Started on Wednesday last week, just darned in the ends. Very easy knit, and used some half-balls of cotton that were lying around. Yes, that's the dark Sugar'n Cream you sent me, Donna!

And Ice Queen from the latest Knitty - very nice! I know - it's 34ºC (93ºF) outside, it's the last thing I need - but in fact it's good summer knitting, very light and lacy, and I'll be all ready for winter!

It's fairly straightforward Feather & Fan, with beads thrown in for prettiness! I actually wound the skein of lovely soft blue laceweight (which featured in my Blue Willow painting) into a ball at last. This project will only use a small amount - plenty more for a special stole or shawl or something!

I've finally picked up a paintbrush again - it's been nearly 2 months since I've had the time / place / inclination to paint - all the moving house and funeral stuff squashed my creativity for a while there. But I'm back! Just doing some simple exercises at the moment, nothing fancy, but it still feels good :)

And last night I sat down and inspected the Crossword Bag in detail (remember, I lost all my notes...) and have written out the basic pattern for myself - now I can start doing the illustrations and getting the whole pattern onto my web site - stay tuned!

22 January 2008

1 Across : Preposterous puzzling pouch

Yes folks, it's the Crazy Crossword Bag!

Here's the side with the British-style crossword on it (lots of black squares, and a high percentage of unkeyed letters - white squares that are only in one word). Handles courtesy of Tall Poppy Crafts.

And the side with the American-style crossword (relatively low % of black squares, highly keyed (ie white squares crossing over both an Across word and a Down word).

The inside - with a pocket on one side, and a strip of black elastic which holds pens / sunglasses etc on the other :

My next challenge is to write up the pattern for the bag - I'll let you know when it's ready!

And some weeks ago Bells gave me this very beautiful sock yarn (she ordered it from Blue Moon Fibre Arts when Rose Red placed an order. Bells couldn't let her have all the fun!) - my first ever skein of Socks That Rock, Corvid colour - practically black, only it's also purple and green. Very very cool.

18 January 2008

And the winners are...

From the OMFG I'm in Vogue Knitting Blog Comp of last week, the ten winners (courtesy of little scraps of paper with all your names on them in a plastic shopping bag, shaken all about) are, without further ado :

Hurrah! Please e-mail me your postal address (unless I already know it, Georgie and PennyD from Vienna)! If I'm going to see you soon at a Canberra SnB, we can do stuff in person. (And never fear, I never ever use personal details in any way apart from to send you pressies.)

Damn, it's hard to leave 26 of you out :( I wish I could have given ALL of you a prize - but I will do this again.

17 January 2008

We have a jumper

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have an announcement : the Sherwood jumper is in London, I repeat, the jumper is in London. It is being worn by 2-year-old nephew Ben. He is cute, I repeat, he is cute. The jumper fits.

Thank you for your attention ;)

15 January 2008

A bunch of buds, beanies and bags

I'm slowly getting my knitting mojo back... this little Vine Lace baby bonnet from Knitting Daily was a start. I used the Heirloom Baby Yarn from my stash, and made it in one day. Don't know who it's for yet, but I'm sure it will find a home eventually!

Another beanie, this time for Dotter's boyfriend's little brother, who turns 2 in about a week. It's the Little Cables beanie pattern - I took a guess at the number of stitches to use for a Toddler size (cast on 91, ie a 13 st pattern repeat x 7, and it seemed to work OK). I did a rolled brim (ie just knit and knit and watch it roll up) rather than the ribbing. Dotter suggested the knotted i-cord top. I'll know by Saturday if it fits him! The colour is really hard to photograph well - it's basically a rich orange /red with lots of variation, as it's hand dyed Totem that used to be pink (courtesy of Taph).

At last, some progress on the Crossword Bag - I've FINALLY sewn the lining, and am hand-stitching it in tonight. Then all it needs are handles. And for me to write up the pattern - without all my pattern notes (which were in the notebook I lost...). Still, it's pretty straight-forward, hopefully won't be a drama.

Thank you all again for all your very kind emails, comments, wishes and everything during this difficult time. I've really appreciated hearing from so many friends from far and wide. My parents and siblings have been reading all your comments on the funeral post, and have been very touched as well.

Tim's Memorial Service is this Sunday (to be held in Canberra, for those who didn't travel to the funeral - such as his doctors, friends, carers, and family friends), and then that will be the end of the public grieving process, at least. Still swinging pretty unpredictably between tears, relief, feeling good, feeling numb, and occasional bouts of guilt, as are the rest of my family. I'm remembering more stories about Tim, which is nice, too.

News of our other ailing family member; Lily is still with us, although her condition is slowly worsening. My first thought every morning is whether she's still alive ... and she has been so far, despite scaring us at times! Her little doggy medications are helping still, although not as well as before.

Let's end with some flowery goodness. Look at this sweet rose bush I got from Bunnings (it's a bit dangerous living less than 4 km away from this particular shop!) ...

It's a miniature! Look! It's a rose, and it's tiny!

I'm nearly feeling sane enough to cope with reading and commenting on all my lovely friends' blogs again ... hope to catch up with all your goings on before too much longer!

09 January 2008

Woo hoo! A Competition!

Look! Look! I just got my copy in the mail (Monday 14 Jan). It's on page 20!

To celebrate the release of Vogue Knitting which includes a short article about my Knitting Art work, I'm announcing a competition!

Leave a message on this post, and I'll put all the names in a hat and draw out TEN names on Friday 18 January! Prizes will be selected from Knitting Art cards, magnets, and some other treats. All welcome - if I haven't heard from you before, now is the time to speak up! :D

05 January 2008

Tim's Funeral

Happy New Year everyone - sorry I haven't written for a while. It's been so busy, getting ready for Tim's funeral, and also dealing with a bad gastric flu which my FIL gave us on Christmas Day!

Son, Hubby and I drove down to Cobargo on Thursday. Our contribution was a 15 minute long slide show, with music, of photos of Tim over his life. It was days of scanning etc on my part, and Hubby did the electronics and managed it on the day of the funeral.

I've been to about eight funerals in my life, so far, and this was the best one - as far as a funeral can be good. My SIL is a newly-qualified civil celebrant, and this was her first funeral - very tough as it was also a family funeral. She and my brother did a wonderful job. The whole funeral was really a family affair. My brother Dave made the casket. My mum sewed a kimono-like garment for Tim to be buried in. My dad helped with the slide show. The service was held at my mum's home... and so on. I won't go into all the details. But it was really perfectly designed, bringing the family closer....

Early in the day just the family gathered, to bring Tim's casket into the garden, and then stand in a circle around it, holding hands, and each saying how we were feeling at the time. This was really good - gave us all a chance to say things that we mightn't want to say in public, and cry, and resolve some tensions. Tim's life was a stormy one, after all, and it was so hard for all of us.

Here the men of the family bring Tim's casket into the garden - L --> R - my dad Barry, brother Dave, Hubby, brother Ben (only just back from his honeymoon), step-father Ivan, brother-in-law Richard.

This is a photo taken by my dad of Tim a few weeks before he died, in a very typical pose! I printed and framed it. I also designed the wedge-tailed eagle which Dave painted on the casket - a symbol which Dave chose to symbolise freedom.

Then there was a family lunch, and guests arrived - extended family, and friends from the area. There were about 35 or 40 people in all, I think.

This is the casket in the covered ceremony area in my mum's garden.

All of my immediate family spoke, Mum and Dad at length, us siblings gave shorter speeches. All pretty hard, I think most of us were crying as we spoke. But it was important to do, and I'm glad we could say the things that we said.

An olive tree was planted in Tim's memory. Then his casket was driven up to the cemetery - a 15 minute walk away, along a grass track - on a trailer pulled by Ivan's old tractor! We reckoned Tim would have been having a huge laugh about this time!

Son helped carry the casket to the grave, and lower it in (he's the one in black with long hair at the front). Deb read some poetry and finished proceedings. We placed tokens on the casket (ours was a bunch of rosemary (for remembrance) tied with some of Dotter's hand-spun), it was lowered down, and those who wanted to helped replace the soil. Very confronting, seeing the casket so far down in the earth, but I'm glad I looked. I did about 6 spadefuls of soil. My brothers completely filled the grave themselves.

This is the view over Cobargo from Tim's gravesite.

We walked back to Mum and Ivan's place for the wake. A good day, surrounded by family, old friends and new friends; difficult, but cathartic and a fitting celebration of Tim's life.

In knitting news - to answer one question - I haven't seen the VK issue yet - so no further news on the article. The lovely woman Hubby, Son and I stayed with (my Mum's neighbour) is a KNITTER and might be moving back to Canberra, fingers crossed! And damn bugger and blast, I lost my knitting notebook, probably fell out of the car in the carpark at Cooma - and yes, we went back to look on the way home, and it wasn't there :( Two years of notes....