Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bye Bye Blogtober

I've noticed that many of us that have taken part in Blogtoberfest are looking back today at the month that has passed. I too have been thinking about what I would say in this post and basically my main thought is...I've really enjoyed it!

At the start of the month I wasn't sure how I would go with the motivation to keep going and thinking of something to post every day, but really it wasn't too hard. Of course there were days where I thought I couldn't be bothered but for the most part I've had fun with the process of thinking what I'm going to write about and finding the pictures to suit the topic. I wasn't always successful, but then that's also part of the learning process.

Some topics of the past month were geared towards giving me motivation towards a goal, unfortunately I still haven't gotten very far with that! My so called attempt at starting to get fit and healthy again have fallen by the wayside and I'm still trying to master the hula hoop. But I'll keep trying and maybe I will let you know how I get on.

Mostly though I have enjoyed reading other blogs taking part in this little festival, as well as some that aren't, and I can honestly say I've learned quite a lot. I look forward to continuing the learning process and in getting to know a few more of you a little better. I also want to give a big thank you for everyone who has been reading and especially to those of you who have left comments, it really does brighten my day to find that someone has taken the time out of their busy lives to write something in response to my ramblings.

Thanks again everyone and Happy End of Blogtoberfest!

Friday, October 30, 2009


It's about this time of the year when I start to think more of my family and friends, seeing as they are interstate and I don't get to see as much of them as I would like. We usually book our Christmas trip around now so I start to get all excited about catching up with every one again.

Because of that I thought I'd look at a few old pictures, and also to share a couple with you here.

They certainly bring back lots of good, and happy, memories, as they should. Got to love those special dresses that Nana made!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

CastOnItis Strikes Again!

I've gone and done it again, cast on another new project! After yesterdays unhappy attempt at knitting lace I thought I'd try something else with some yarn I'm more comfortable with, a nice lovely 4ply!! When I say lovely 4ply I mean it, Malabrigo Sock yarn is lovely to work with and is fast becoming a favourite along with the Handmaiden Casbah Sock I've used a couple of times.
This time I'm trying Gudrun Johnston's Aestlight Shawl, which has rather a different construction. You start with just one stitch and add to it at the beginning of each row by looping the yarn over the right needle, it produces the open stitches on the edges so that they can be easily picked up for the border to be worked. So far I'm about 60 or so stitches in to a cast on of 154, not too bad for an hour or two's work for me.
This is the easy part, the proof of how successful I'll be in sticking with this project will be when I get to the trickier border and edging sections. But then again there are over 500 projects on Ravelry so it can't be too hard, I hope!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Calling all lace knitters.

Ok, well I couldn't wait to start my Summer of Lace so I cast on the Hidcote Garden Shawl today and I'm not too sure about it. Even though I'm using smaller needles than specified in the pattern it's still looking a little too lacy for me. This is what I have after completing the first chart of twenty eight rows.

So my question is, does this look right to you? I get the feeling it needs to be a bit tighter but I'm also wondering if the yarn will bloom a bit after it's been soaked for blocking. I'm using Knitter's Addiction Lace Weight Cashmere, which I haven't tried before. It seems nice so far, but I'm just not used to using such fine yarn, the Malabrigo laceweight is nice and fuzzy so it doesn't seem so thin for some reason.

Seeing as I'm still very new to this I'm not sure if I should keep going with this needle size or try it again on much smaller needles. I must say that this attempt on 3mm needles does look better than the few rows I tried on the 3.25mm needles. Anyway, all tips and hints will be much appreciated. Thank You!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays - A Favourite Author

On the night of my thirteenth birthday, I made an announcement.
'I am never getting married and I am never having children.' (p.1)

The teaser lines today are the first two from the new novel 'Leaving the World' by one of my favourite authors Douglas Kennedy. When one of my friends asked a couple of weeks ago if I would like a copy as he'd seen it going cheap in the city I said "Yes please!"

Since reading 'The Pursuit of Happiness' back in 2001 I've pretty much read every other novel he has written. Some are gripping, thrilling and are great page turners. The last couple however I've found to be a little strange, they start out really good, with all of Kennedy's trademarks, but then they turn, become a bit too fantastical. There's something about them though that I still enjoy, so when a new novel turns up, I go out and get it and start reading it with a good sense of expectation. Hopefully this new one will be another gripping ride.

As for last week's book 'I heart New York' by Lindsey Kelk, I have to say I enjoyed it. At times it got a little tedious/predictable (like most chick lit books do), but for the most part it was a really fun read with little twists here and there to keep you guessing. It helped too that she evoked the city really well, and also mentioned one of my favourite works of art to boot. If you're looking for something light and fun to read, then this one fits the bill.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Since I started knitting lace earlier this year with Ishbel and the Adamas Shawl I've been getting closer and closer to trying knitting lace in actual laceweight yarn. It hasn't happened yet, but I am using the laceweight for the Featherweight cardigan at the moment and really, it's not that scary.

Seeing as Bells is talking of doing the Summer of Lace again this year I thought I would join in and have been trying to decide which pattern I'm going to do. I think I've worked it out and am considering using some beautiful cashmere that's waiting in the stash to make Miriam L Felton's Hidcote Garden Shawl (Ravelry link).

Then again, I could end up making something completely different, we'll have to wait and see what I come up with, sometimes I surprise myself!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some knitting.

My knitting project at the moment is a little on the tame side, loads and loads of stocking stitch, but at the same time it's quite soothing, and the yarn is just beautiful. I'm making Featherweight Cargidan by Hannah Fettig and am using the yarn called for, Malabrigo Yarn Lace. This yarn is the softest, lightest and finest yarn I have ever worked with and so far I'm loving it. I just keep laying the piece down on my lap so I can touch it, and have been known to rub it against my cheek from time to time too!

I'm starting to reach that point though where my mind starts to wander off to other project ideas, what else can I do, what yarn can I use........yes, castonitis is trying its influence yet again. So far I've been strong, mostly I think because I can't yet decide which new project I want to cast on, there are so many calling to me. Luckily there isn't just one with the loudest "Pick Me" call yet, so Featherweight is safe with my affections, for now!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Attempts at fitness.

In an attempt to boost my motivation for getting fit and healthy I thought I would try something fun that the Lukester and I can play with together, I bought us each a hula hoop!

We had lots of fun this afternoon trying to use them but they're not as easy as I remember. I couldn't get it to work at all, it kept just dropping to the floor. I'm determined to be able to use it though, so hopefully by the end of the weekend, I'll be hula hooping up a storm. Yippeeeeee.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This is funny!

The other day we found the baby dancing to Beyonce on YouTube which is hilarious, they must have had a heap of people using it though because they've now disabled the embedding function, you can still go and check it out here.

While I was looking for it tonight to show you, I came across this other video which I thought was just as good, stick with it as he has some good moves towards the end. Little ones certainly know how to move!!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Date night.

Tonight, I met my Handsome Husband in the city for an evening out together, we thought we'd try the Night Noodle Markets which are an annual event in Sydney. It was a lovely night, but very crowded with massive queues waiting for the food, and in the end we didn't even bother with lining up to get drinks, just made do with the bottle of water that we had. The atmosphere was pretty happy and relaxed though, I think because it had been a really nice, warm day today, so everyone was enjoying being outside.
It's so nice to spend some time together just the two of us, it's a pretty rare occurrence these days. I think we'll have to make more of an effort to make "Date night" a bit more of a regular event. What do you think Rob????

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays - Some Chick Lit.

Her perfect wedding outfit was carefully folded over the back of a chair and I hesitated for a moment before looking down at what she was wearing instead. It's a bit weird to see your mum wearing an old Blondie T-shirt and a pair of your boyfriend's boxers. (p.12).

I've started a new book today, 'I heart New York' by Lindsey Kelk. I've got a nice pile of books to choose from at the moment, but I can't seem to bring myself to read anything other than fluff, hence the chick lit. At least it's set in my favourite city!! Judging by the first twelve pages I think I should enjoy it, I'll let you know how it goes. What are you reading today?

Monday, October 19, 2009


Yay, another shawl is done, that makes seven finished since June! There's also a looooong list of more to do yet, at the moment I'm trying to decide which one to try, there are so many beautiful patterns to choose from.

This pattern, Clothilde, took me a week to do (again I was very good with my monogamous knitting) and I thoroughly enjoyed it, there's enough happening in the pattern to keep your interest going without it being too taxing. I think this is a first for me in not having any mistakes in it either, none that I know of any way!
I think I mentioned before that the yarn is Fifty Fifty by Knitabulous and it was really lovely to work with, beautifully soft with great stitch definition and drape. The only pity is that the colours don't show up well in the photography. I know I had my reservations about it when I first started, and although it's not usually a colour I would go for, I found myself seeing something different in it every time I picked it up.

In hindsight I think I could have made it a little larger, again I have ended up with at least 15 grams of yarn left over, and my bind off mustn't have been stretchy enough as I didn't get the points with the spearhead lace, I didn't try it too hard but it did seem a bit resistant.
All in all I'm happy with the outcome (it helps that the designer Kristen Hanley Cardozo and Ailsa Daily from Knitabulous have both faved my project on Ravelry!!) and I would definitely recommend it as a lovely shawl to make. Go on, you know you want to!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Tonight I was going to do a 'No Words Sunday' post, but Blogger has other ideas and won't post any of the pictures I've tried uploading for the past I'm not happy! I have some lovely pictures I took down by Lake Illawarra this afternoon when we went down for some fresh air and sunshine. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to post something a little more interesting again.

Thanks to the Handsome Husband too for his guest post last night, it was a nice surprise to see what you came up with.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Is that a Y chromosone in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

So the missus walks up to me and says, "Wanna do a guest blog?" How can I refuse?

The regular readers will know me as the Handsome Husband (that's her opinion, I reckon I've got a head like a dropped pie) who crops up in the annals of Aspiring Blogger from time to time. I love AC/DC, playing with the Lukester, football, Tintin, Sudoku, the beach, my family and the mistress. I hate fascists, Gloria Jean's and Starbucks coffee, Tangara trains and reality TV. But enough about me.

I thought I would share with you one of my favourite photos of my beautiful wife. Some background on the picture. It was taken at Moana - Google Maps - with the coolest car I have ever driven. The car belonged to Big Bad Brian, my father-in-law, and was reluctantly sold the next year after this was taken.

Hope you enjoyed my guest stint on Aspiring Blogger. I'm off to be a knitting widow for the rest of the evening.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Like a woman possessed.

This time last week I was telling you that I had cast on Clothilde, and by the end of tonight I should hopefully have it finished! I'm not sure if it's just a quick knit or the fact that I've been obsessively working on it all week, but I've almost finished the large size. I've thoroughly enjoyed making this one and I've really warmed up to the colour but unfortunately my photos are not doing it any justice at the moment. Maybe if I get my act together, and the weather isn't too bad over the weekend, I can do a nice little photo shoot to try and improve that.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Stash!

Most knitters know that an important aspect of the craft is building "The Stash". Some people don't store much yarn in theirs, but I must say that I am rather guilty of accumulating more than a few skeins, although I am not as bad as some. Yet again Ravelry has helped me to see that there is always going to be more people out there that have way more than me so I don't feel so bad, there are even threads in the forums where people show off photos of their stash and how they store it, believe me it's worth checking out!

Another aspect of "The Stash" that Ravelry has developed for me is the photography of yarn. I would never have imagined that I would put time and thought into taking photos of balls of yarn, but I have, and I think I'm improving! There's another group on the site which is devoted to photographing their knitting projects and yarn which I have been stalking and considering joining, some of the photography is amazing and has really inspired me to try a few different things.

When I think about "The Stash" I know that in my case the majority of it has been bought with a purpose, with a particular project in mind. It doesn't always end up as what was originally intended but there is some thought put into it, much research on my knitting bible (Ravelry of course) and then it comes down to what I feel like casting on at the time. There's a lot more I could probably say here to try and explain myself a little better but I think I'll leave it for now. Maybe I'll get another post out of it if I'm struggling again for something to talk about here! It all goes to show though how much knitting has become a big part of my life, as something that I enjoy and benefit from. Got to love that!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Discovery

Just recently I've noticed that a lot of advertising on television is using a new technique that seems to convert actual footage to make it look like it's made of miniatures or models. Each time I see these ads I wonder how they do it as it looks amazing. So yesterday, when I was having a bit of a look around various blogs again you could imagine my interest when I saw someone had a photo that uses the same technique, and that she linked to the site where you can try it out for yourself!!

A life of a photographoe has a beautiful looking blog, with some wonderful pictures that she's taken. I originally came across her blog through Ravelry and only periodically check in to see what she's come up with, so yesterday I thought I'd have a bit more of a look around at some of her older posts, hence the discovery....the Tilt Shift Maker. You upload your photo and can edit it in such a way that it turns out looking like a miniature world.

Here's my first experiment;

The picture is of the Painted Ladies in San Francisco when Rob and I were there on our honeymoon and while I like the effect I think it could use a little more tweaking to make it look really good. I've also got a couple of ideas stored up in my little head to try a few other things so you never know, you may see some more tilt shift work from me!

PS You can also click on the picture to get a look at it bigger if you like!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays.

Yesterday I was having a bit of a look through some of the Blogtoberfest participant's webpages and came across the bookend. She mentions finding this meme by MizB from Should Be Reading where you open up a random page of the book you're reading and share a two sentence teaser from the page. So here goes;

My teaser comes from 'Three to Get Deadly' by Janet Evanovich;

He made polite conversation with my mother and grandmother and discussed sports scores with my father. On the surface Morelli seemed relaxed and smiling, but there were unguarded moments when I caught him watching me with the offhand intensity of a tree toad eyeing a tasty insect. (p.106)

This book is the third in a series of fifteen, at last count, about Stephanie Plum who ends up working for her cousin as a bounty hunter. It's been a long while since I've found any books that make me laugh out loud but these ones do the trick. Stephanie comes out with some fantastic observations, like the one in the quote, and her grandmother is a great source of amusement.

If you haven't tried any of these books and you like a bit of a mystery as well as a laugh, then I definitely recommend giving them a try. Let me know how you go.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A past life.

In my previous life (a life where I was known as Susanne, not as Mummy) I spent a great deal of time looking at, reading about, and studying art. I was interested in most forms of art, but modern art soon became a firm favourite. In particular, Edward Hopper's work stood out for me as something special, so much so that I wrote my Masters' dissertation on it.

Due to that I immersed myself in his work, reading as much as I could and studying picture after picture, over and over again. The one thing I felt I was lacking though was seeing his work with my own eyes, I felt that my writing would be less informed because of it. Nevertheless I finished the study and did reasonably well, but I still felt the need to see his work.

Soon after my graduation my husband and I were married and off on our honeymoon, first stop New York. My poor husband got dragged around gallery after gallery so I could absorb as much as I could. I managed to see some brilliant works of art that I had thought I'd never be lucky enough to lay my eyes on, and discovered more that just jumped off the canvas, works that had done nothing for me when I had seen them in books.

As I stood in awe of the many Edward Hopper's works we managed to find, Rob snapped these pictures of me so I could always remember that I had seen the real deal, so I could prove to myself that I had actually seen them. Even though they're not the best pictures of me, I'm so glad to have them.

Works in order of appearance:
The Lighthouse at Two Lights, 1929, Oil on canvas, 74.9 x 109.9cm, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hugo Kastor Fund, 1962.

House by the Railroad, 1925, Oil on canvas, 60.7 x 73.7cm, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Given Anonymously.

Tables for Ladies, 1930, Oil on canvas, 122.5 x 153cm, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, George A. Hearn Fund, 1931.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Night

It's cold and raining outside and Rob is off watching the Australia vs. Netherlands soccer match so I'm going to put my feet up with my knitting, a movie and some popcorn....and probably some chocolate, before heading off to my warm bed for some zzzzzs.

Gone are the days of staying out all night with friends dancing and drinking! Do I miss it? Not really.

Have a good night, whatever you're doing.

Friday, October 9, 2009

There's nothing like a new project!

Ahh, that feels better! A new project on the needles is so satisfying for some reason, the thrill of the new, the challenge.
The call of the shawl has been very strong to me again so I've cast on Clothilde by Kristen Hanley Cardozo. I've been looking at starting this one for awhile now and was originally going to use some Malabrigo Sock for it but I've gone with some Fifty Fifty by Knitabulous.
So far the yarn is really nice to work with but I'm not completely sold on the colour. I really liked it in the skein but now it's being knit up I think it's a bit bland or something . I'm going to give it more of a try and see how it goes, I'm sure it will be fine.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


It seems that the warm weather we had a couple of weeks ago was a bit of a false start to Spring. This past week has been miserable. I took this picture yesterday evening from my bedroom , the rain was running down the window in sheets. We did get some sunshine today but it has been blowing a gale and absolutely FREEZING!

It's really not helping my resolve to get out and do some exercise, but it is helping my knitting! The cardigan is almost done, just the neck band to complete now. Hopefully tomorrow will see a bright, sunny, wind-free day so I can get out and about and started on my quest for a slimmer, healthier self!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Project monogamy.

There is something to be said for working on one project at a time. Seventeen days ago my cardigan looked like this

Now, it's almost finished! I have about half a sleeve and the button bands and neck to do. Usually I would have gotten totally bored with all of the stocking stitch and let it sit for ages like I did with my first cardigan. After the Tour de France efforts though on my Garter Yoke Cardigan I've learned that spending time on one project goes a long way to getting it finished and being used much faster - who would have thought such a thing was possible!

This last couple of days though I have been furiously trying to resist the dreaded CastOnItis! I have a list of shawls as long as my arm that I want to get started on and having a skein wound ready to go isn't helping. BUT, I am determined to finish this cardigan first, in fact I should go and finish that sleeve now.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Out and about

A couple of weeks ago we had a lovely day at Symbio Wildlife Park. The weather was perfect and the three of us had a fantastic time seeing the animals. It was the first time we'd taken the Lukester anywhere like it and he had a ball. There's an interesting mix of animals there including Red Pandas, crocodiles, sheep, pigs, ponies, koalas and Meerkats.
Luke especially loved the lizards and feeding the wallaby, it was so hard to tear him away from one exhibit to the next, he just couldn't seem to get enough of everything he saw. I would dearly love to take him to Taronga Zoo to see all the other animals that he's so familiar with from books and tv shows, but unfortunately the trip of at least two hours each way, and the rather exorbitant entry cost won't see us heading that way any time soon. Hopefully we'll make it to Adelaide Zoo when we head back to South Australia for the Christmas holidays.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Nice Lazy Day

We had a Public Holiday here today so we spent it at home not doing much at all, just being together, which was a really nice change for us. The morning was spent playing and a bit of time spent on various computers (don' ask!). Then after lunch we were treated to a pretty good thunder storm. Just before it hit the lake turned a really beautiful green colour, so I had to take some pics.

The rest of the afternoon saw me get some knitting done on my cardigan. The first sleeve is almost finished, so hopefully I'll have a completed cardigan by the end of the week.

I had a good chat with my Mum on the phone then headed off to the supermarket for the weekly grocery shop. I also tried a new recipe, a Gnocchi Pasta Bake which we ended up calling Pizza Pasta because that's what it kind of tasted like! It still didn't impress the Lukester though seeing as we're going through the "terrible toddler not wanting to eat dinner phase", he kept saying that it smelled!
He's now nicely tucked up in his bed, so I'm here on the computer for a little while, then I'm off to finish that sleeve. Have a good night everyone, see you tomorrow!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Regular program resumes tomorrow

I've been laid low with a migraine today so here's a pretty picture or two for you to look at instead of my ramblings, and I'll be back tomorrow with something a little more interesting.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


About a week ago I finished Stephen West's Herbivore pattern, which I really enjoyed. I've made two of his patterns now and have a couple more in mind to try in the future. It's so refreshing to find such young, male designers of knitwear. I think the clean lines and simple design is what appeals the most, a lot of people on Ravelry are saying how they like the architectural nature of his work and I'm inclined to agree. This pattern in particular is made up of some interesting angles which add to the shawls great versatility when it comes to how you wear it (I'm even wearing it now seeing as it's been such a cold, wet day here).

This was my first time using Malabrigo Sock yarn too and I must say it is VERY nice, luckily there are a few more skeins of it sitting in my stash and I dare say I'll be using them sooner rather than later. I wasn't sure how I'd go with the yardage, but in the end I could have made it an inch or two wider as I've ended up with a spare 15 grams.

I'm on a bit of a roll with some knitting monogamy at the moment so hopefully I'll have a finished cardigan to show you before the end of next week too. Yay!