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Wednesday List of Doom

I haven’t blogged much lately. Recent lists have also included “dentist”, “tax return 09/10″ & “pap smear”. I suppose I could have blogged those lists, but frankly, I’m sure you’ve all got your own lists of doom and don’t need to devote any more energy to mine. I hope to emerge from these lists before “tax return 10/11″ goes on the list.

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I have been thriftily knitting my way through my stash since November and today I’ve actually taken photos. My friends are finished their PhDs, now they’re having babies. Some of the ones who didn’t do PhDs are having second (and third) babies. There are a lot of babies to knit for, many of them are due in winter, this is excellent. They’ll all get out and about in a Friends of Innercitygarden uniform.

Stash busting by baby hat
I made a promise to myself that if I knitted up useful things (presents are useful, I would buy something for these babies if I wasn’t knitting for them) from my stash then I would earn some Habu yarn with which I can knit Kirsten’s paper crane top. I’m nearly there. The paper crane has been in my ravelry queue for quite a while.

Cotton bird mobile in progress

Grandpa cardi with leather buttons

Lace cardi

Details are on ravelry for the interested. I took that last cardigan to craft camp this weekend – I sewed on the buttons and seamed the sleeves and declared it a Craft Camp Finished Object. So what if I did all the knitting part over several months? I worked through a pile of almost finished objects and made them finished finished – I replaced elastic in my fire engine red skirt ready to wear for winter (it’s an 80s wool number, apparently it originally came with a matching batwing sleeve top), attached velcro to the kid’s cape so he can be a superhero (or wizard, it’s black with a star) and warmed up on the craft camp sewing by making a wheat bag for the kid. I can’t photograph it, it’s in his bed. It’s a hand-me-down light brown cordoroy, a very basic rectangle. He loves it. He has low expectations. Anyone who shows him Tania’s wheat bags will have me to answer to. I pieced a doona cover top, I ran out of fabric to do the back of the doona cover. The Bloke had threatened to leave me Craft Camp until I finished finished the doona cover. I was prepared to wait him out. I haven’t photographed it.

I made myself a wrap dress. I’m pretty happy with it. As usual, there are things I’d do differently if I was doing it again, but that’s to be expected with a make it up as you go along type pattern. This is the only photo that’s not totally out of focus. Do you like the stripey sock on the floor? I must have words with Teddy about putting his laundry away.

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Now, the photo above of my list was taken this morning. This evening the list looks like this:

[Buy] caustic soda

Put washing away

Make bread

Superannuation

Make soap

Museli

Knit

Pay childcare bills

Nobody say anything. So long as no one speaks I might be safe from thinking of anything else that is on the list but not currently written down.

Sometimes, when one is a craft-inclined person, one finds it quite easy to end up with a room full of fabric and yarn (and paint, ink, pencils, textas, brushes, woodblocks, musical instruments and camping gear). Periodically it becomes necessary to put a temporary halt to the acquisition of any further raw materials and get on with matching patterns to the existing stash.

Sometimes one finds the amount of yarn, for example, that is leftover only matches up with a pattern for which one has no immediate recipient in mind. But the thing about babies is they tend to keep turning up. So, in the present stash waiting on the next baby girl who arrives in our part of the world, Lily the Pink (in grey).

Lily the pink in grey Baby Cashmerino

It’s tiny, a newborn to three months size, because that’s all you get with two balls of yarn. Everyone in my house (including the Nearly Four) looked at it finished and said “It’s so tiny“. Our memory of newborn sizing is completely shot.

I’ve had a spate of making screwups, which may account for the recent burst of activity in the garden (hell, when the crafting gods have left the building, you may as well throw it all in a heap and get on with some planting) but today I thought I’d get back to a project I’ve had on hold for a few weeks. I hadn’t screwed it up, I had all the stuff, and the kid is at childcare, so there was nothing that could possibly go wrong.

Unless of course you are of the opinion that a quilt backing should cover the entire back of the quilt, in which case, what I have here is another screw up.

quilt back fail

Excuse me while I add that to the sock that needs ripping (the Bloke wants them to be the same length) and the top that I need to purchase another ball of expensive wool for (so that it will cover my torso without breathing in all day). Fortunately the extra quilt backing fabric and the wool come from the same shop, so fixing these measuring blunders could be relatively quick. Just cross your fingers for me that they haven’t sold out.

Repairs

A week or two of full time work is about to begin. The work pants are mended, the childcare arrangements altered, the kid prepped, and the Bloke is readying himself for a week or two of juggling and cooking. Now all I need to do is get my sock needles back so I have commute-knitting ready. Sometimes you just have to turn everything upside down for a bit to remember why you usually do things the other way.

Woohoo! The Obamas are planting a veggie garden on the front lawn. They’ve clearly been inspired by the good people of Melbourne’s inner north-west, where front yard veggies never went out of style. It’s most helpful if you’re a novice veggie grower, walking home from the tram you can see what seedlings you should be putting in and compare your harvest to the masters. It’s quite heartening to see how a bit of friendly viral internet-based lobbying can alter peoples’ thinking. So Kevin, how’s about some broccoli on the roof at your place?

In other news, I planted stuff too. From top to bottom there are scarlet runner and green beans, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, nasturtiums, spinach and parsley. Out of shot there is sage, rosemary, thyme and alyssum (which we wont eat, they’re just for the pretty factor). Still to go in, carrots, more beans, onions and garlic. The Bloke planted some natives in the front yard, so it looks ever so slightly less bogan. And I finished the biggest thing I’ve ever knitted. The Jo Sharp Sideways top in Sublime Organic Cotton. The details are on Ravelry for the interested types.

first-rural-living-veggies

sideways-top

Some time ago, when the lad was still getting started on the whole speaking English deal, some people were blogging their kids’ language, because you want to remember that sort of cute when your kids are teenagers. Lately we’ve had a storm of cute. He’s hailing cute. Every morning he gets up and declares it’s snowing (he’s got a northern hemisphere book about bunnies and seasons), which is pretty funny, he’s getting the hang of more grown up phrases, which is novel enough for us to be amused, and he’s still getting some words and phrases a bit wrong. Which is the best sort of cute. He’s quite fond of eating Ice Quackers and his rocking horse requires constant motivation from the rider: “Giddy Up! Giddy Down! Giddy Up! Giddy Down!”

But not prayin’. Because we’re not the prayin’ kind. We’re not above beggin’, though it wasn’t in the song. We applied for a house last week, and we’d really quite like to get it. The agent will be ringin’ back today.

In the meantime, there’s knittin’ and sewin’ and wrappin’, and showing that we care, etc.

blue-sock

I finished a sock on the bus & train back from Carrum yesterday. The kid enjoyed the first of our family Christmases, especially the splashing and jumping in the water, although the train and bus trip there was also pretty exciting. He loved his pres-pres and I had to disappear them before childcare this morning to ensure he wouldn’t try to take them with him. He got a Beetle!

beetle

and a Dumb Fuck!

dump-truck

So, should we unpack the Christmas decorations, or for the third time in my life, will I be moving house the week before Christmas?

It took lots of goes, several online sock-knitting tutorials, a fair bit of retiring early for peace and quiet to concentrate in the evenings, master classes during family get-togethers, and one false finish. I couldn’t bring myself to blog it when the first finished sock started unravelling while I finished the second.

Knitted between and during paid work, parenting, studying, housework, watching the male football grand final, and a few sick days on the couch, hence the name. They’re also mine all mine, for me and by me. Which is a bit unusual.

I finally finished my boring essay, and celebrated with traditional sucking up to partner with Indonesian sweets and European beers, then we all got The Cold.

Blergh.

I am therefore spending the day that I’ve been looking forward to for weeks not doing any of the things I planned on. The kid is at childcare, I am in my trackies, I am knitting and watching stuff on youtube. And blowing my nose. I’m doing a lot of that.

I can now tell you with some confidence that there are a lot of Americans interested in making stuff out of their currency. I’ve also got tips on knitting continental style, which I should implement so that I don’t get RSI from knitting one way all the time.

The vest continues fine. Ish. I’ve made a few errors I don’t think I can be bothered fixing. My child will be amateurishly clothed, but warm.

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