Thursday, May 31, 2012

Boo Hoo

I just spent a couple of hours improving my sound system. It should have been a happy occasion, but I came across a few technical difficulties and tough connections and my fingers came off second best.

No I didn't accidentally cut myself, I was very careful with the sharp things. I wore a blister on my finger with the tough connections. And yes, those are real tools: pretty, but real. They are part of my living room set of tools. There's also a matching hammer and screwdrivers. I have the usual ugly ones on a shelf in the hallway. These ones live in a wooden box on a shelf near my armchair. Why? I got them on sale when I used to have a tool shed in the back yard and wanted a handy set for indoors on a dark, cold or wet night. Just for fun really. Now to work out why my new digital radio keeps skipping bits of its high resolution sound. I was told I could buy the cheapest digital radio as long as I plugged it through a decent amplifier. Maybe I was told wrong. I don't really know much about such things.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Calling All Humans

I've just attempted to turn off the "word recognition torture" as my most recent commenter called it. Now I need help from a handy human. If you are not a robot, would you please attempt to comment on this post. Let me know if that often unrecognisable "word recognition" gadget shows up or not. Thanks:)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


There are so many difficult things in life from which I cannot protect myself or the people I love, but there are also so many little cute bits of happiness in the world. Here's one:

I love to knit. My knitting goes everywhere with me. I like long straight knitting needles for some projects, even though I'm now just as comfortable with circular needles or dpns. Long needles inevitably stick out of my carry bag. Sometimes I bump into people. Bumping into people while carrying long pointy sticks is not a good thing. These little balls of soft firm usefulness push onto the ends of my knitting needles. Now I don't have to worry about damaging a stranger at the shopping centre when I lose track of exactly where my knitting bag is amongst a crowd of shoppers. And my knitting is less likely to slide off my needles. It doesn't solve the problems of the world, but it's something!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Better Already

I've added a few rows of crochet to one of the black bunny wristies. And I'm definitely happier with it. Not only does it add the bit of colour I wanted, it also controls the rolling edge that is inevitable with stocking stitch and adds a bit of length to boot.

It didn't take much. Now to do the other-- and stitch in the loose ends that are hiding away from the camera.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Around and Around

Some jobs in life just come around and around. Clearing my big table is one of those. It seems that every weekend when I think through my "to do" list there it is: clear the big table. Having just about achieved that task this morning, I have room to take a pic of these little black wristies.

I bought the yarn from the wonderful Charly a month or so ago and knitted them up right away. Unusually for me--and for Charly too--they're just plain black. I thought they'd be versatile and I guess they are, but I've realised after wearing them a few times that I can't get excited enough about wearing plain black accessories. They're wonderfully warm, though and having knit up a three-ply yarn I'm not about to waste them. There's a coloured trim coming soon. I just need to choose a colour, pull out the crochet hook and stitch around and around a few times and I think I'll be happy with them. Meanwhile I'd better really finish clearing the big table and decide how to celebrate my achievement.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Life has been complicated and blogging ended up in the too-hard basket. Strangely, once I'd missed a few days getting back into routine seemed even harder. Anyway, here I am back again. I have been spinning and knitting as usual despite the long silence here.

One bit of excitement: Sussex Neighbourhood House is participating in the Coburg Carnivale yarnstorming of Coburg Mall. As if the opportunity to participate wasn't enticing enough, our theme colours just happen to be based around the colour BLUE. Funnily enough I was able to find a fair bit in my stash collection to contribute. I won't be doing a lot of knittting for this, but I did have fun with an extra large twisted cord.

It's late autumn in Melbourne, which means lots of grey skies, rain, rain and more rain. That's perfect weather for sitting in the armchair with some nice yarn. There are hats, wristies and a couple of blankets in the queue.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blue Brew

I brewed up a dye pot this morning. The yarn has been hanging around for a long time. I initially painted the wool with earth palette dyes on a hot day.  Today it's wintry and landscape dyes on the stove were the order of the day. Both colours were called "sky", but evidently they weren't the same. That's just fine.

I'll be interested to see how the different colour distributions turn out when they're knitted up. I don't have a definite plan, but I have 600 grams. I'm wondering about a blanket with perhaps some navy wool to finish it off.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Classic Image

Continuing my habit of picking up something to look at and think about on my walk--and continuing my thoughts about possibilities of my next linocut--I picked this daisy and its leaf this morning.

My walk turned out to be cold and a little wet. By the time I realised that the fine drizzle wasn't about to stop I was too far from home for it to be worth turning back.

Friday, May 4, 2012


The day has gone by without a blog post from me and with no more than the usual number of coffees. This coffe pot pic is here as a note that I am contemplating progressing my linocut adventures by smaller stages.

And I have the possibility of a screenprinting workshop next Friday. We will be screenprinting on a tea towel, so I'm thinking about simple kitchen-themed shapes.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

More Grevillea Exploration

After sketching the grevillea leaf yesterday afternoon I decided to have a go at the flower. The tension for me is between simplifying it and maintaining the appealing complexity. I found that when I selected or separated out a particular element--such as one of the scroll-shaped petals--it didn't grab me in the same way as the challengingly tangled whole. Here's where I got up to before I had to head out to my quilting class.

I photographed my sketch and then set the colour to black and white on my computer--I don't have photoshop skills . . . My next thought was to wonder what would happen if I made a negative of it--reversing the black and white. That's where I left it.

Meanwhile I have been spinning and knitting. And there are three new beginners in my quilt class, so life is never dull.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


This leaf belongs to the grevillea I've been hankering after printing recently. I think it might be a more realistic starting point than the flower itself.

I'm trying to be realistic about the fact that a linocut will be black and white only--or whatever coloured ink I use. And I'm going to have to carve any fiddly little bits without spoiling the rest, so starting slowly sounds like a good idea. Just looking at the picture now, I think I might make the lines a bit thicker. It's only a quick sketch,  but I like to play with it and see how I go. Or maybe I'll try another sketch. Or maybe another cup of coffee first . . .

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Take 2

I did my regular walk again this morning. It's not just physical exercise, but time to think; get perspective and observe. I generally take the same route, so there's a pattern of repetition and change. So, I walked past the same grevillea bush as last week. I picked another flower

I'm really taken by the little loops formed by the opening buds. Don't know what I'll do with it, but there it is . . .