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employment-go-round again

I’ll miss watching the progress – and the view ๐Ÿ™‚

YoungB’s contract is at an an end, so he’s on the job-hunt. Again. The thing about our recent elections – both state and federal – is that the change of government (at both levels) means that there are opportunities aplenty in different fields, some of which he might find appealing. He’s had his resume professionally tarted up – I beg your pardon; updated – and it’s impressive.

Me? I’ve officially notified the Powers That Be the date on which I’ll be retiring later this year. Leadership at work seems surprised. I don’t know why! My age is no secret. I’ve clearly been suffering work-related aggravations to existing health problems ever since I started there. I’ve made absolutely no secret of my intentions. Why is it suddenly unexpected, and something they hadn’t foreseen? You know that emoji where you smack yourself? Yeah. That seemed about the right response; but I didn’t.

Someone who appreciates why retirement is a good idea asked me what I’m going to do – apart from all the obvious things like crochet and knit, of course – and I said I might cook. She thought that was a wonderful idea. So did I. I like cooking. I would have to shoo Dr B out of the kitchen – it is his domain, after all – but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me elbowing into his space if it means he has more time to do other things. I would bake, too. It would be gratifying to go back to making bread. That was one of my great pleasures that simply disappeared.

Dodgy back and leg notwithstanding, some routine exercise will also feature large. It’s most likely to be continuing the hydro-pool exercise classes that I presently attend. They’re generally kind in terms of both parts of the physique and, because it’s a therapy pool, the water is always wondrously warm. I would be free to join a book club. Or a gardening club. Or a photography group. Or all of the above!

I could once again suss out options for joining local choirs. This time, when they all respond with some version of, “We rehearse and perform during the day, during the week,” thus putting such delights entirely out of full-time worker contention, it wouldn’t matter. I’d have that availability.

I might by then have reached the top of the waiting list for eye surgery, and, postoperatively, be able to see better than ever – really ever, as I’ve been wearing specs pretty much all my life – and then I might be able to reinvigorate my sewing and make some inroads on all those projects that are presently too difficult. Oh, boy. And people wonder if I’ll have enough to do. Smack-yourself emoji again, I think.

Meanwhile, however, there’s a certain amount of excitement and tension around YoungB’s potential new job. There are choices in fields where he has qualifications and expertise, and there are choices in fields that would suit his outgoing personality. There are jobs with crossover. He’s already sent inquiries and job applications. It’s going to be an interesting few months, watching how everything turns out, but he is likely to have some much-needed downtime before starting in any new position, whatever the field.

During that downtime, I anticipate the mealtime conversation will centre on matters mechanical. I’ll be knitting in my room, if you’re looking for me ๐Ÿ˜€

 

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two significant days

Knitting in public, while enjoying a gin based cocktail

Today has been World Wide Knit in Public Day. Coincidentally this year, today has also been World Gin Day. Two of my favourite things, all rolled into one. Who could ask for more? And who could resist the opportunity to celebrate?

Accordingly, YoungB and I took ourselves off to the local to sample some of their specialist gins, while I sat and knitted on the baby beanie. It’s not a brilliant photo, but it’s me knitting in public on a day allocated to that very pursuit. And that is a slightly sour sloe gin cocktail (gin from Dasher and Fisher, a Tasmanian distillery hitherto unknown to both of us).

There. Done my bit for the world today ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2022 in Health, Knitting

 

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not quite that mistaken

It looked all right on that side ๐Ÿ˜€

I was carefully working on the baby beanie, counting as carefully as I could. It looked okay until I turned it over. Then I saw that, wouldn’t you know it, the mistake rib had more than its proper quota of mistakes. They were well distributed right across the row. It took me a while to repair and I admit to swearing quite profusely over how sticky some of the stitches were. That’s mostly because I’m using small needles. Otherwise, the BWM 4 ply baby yarn is delightful and a treat to use.

I took it to work today, thinking I might do a row or two at lunchtime, but that didn’t happen. Nor did I do any on the homeward bus trip, which was surprisingly crowded. Perhaps it’s a good thing, because I might have made more unintentional mistakes while trying to dodge elbows.

I hope your yarny mistakes are retrievable mishaps and not irretrievable disasters ๐Ÿ™‚

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2022 in Knitting

 

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not enough fingers

Beautiful colour: BWM Baby Meadow in colour Golden Sands

Dear Mum, here we are again, around the time of what would have been your birthday; and it’s one that uses significantly more fingers than I have. Being June and officially winter, you won’t be surprised to hear that we’re enduring appropriately wintry weather. Yesterday, I dragged out my beanie, my fingerless mitts, and my rowing scarf – of sleeted upon at Ballarat fame – and I was still cold.

YoungB was wearing the grey beanie I made him, and a pair of gloves that I gave him; although I didn’t make them. He still uses his badly repaired (but functional) fingerless mitts for computer work. He said he’d raided his little box of “things to keep you warm”, and a surprising number of them were from me. He doesn’t do quite so many early mornings nowadays, but it’s still a good idea to have a beanie you can grab whenever you need it. It cheers me to see that “no questions asked, this is the best choice on a cold day” attitude. I’m sure you’d understand.

When I was working on the border of the temperature blanket, he said how much he liked the purple colour. I would happily make something for him using that yarn, but there are quite a few other things on my present list, and only so many hours in the day. A purple object might have to wait.

I’ve started knitting a beanie for the latest baby in the family, your first great grandson. He’s a big little boy, and YoungB reminded me to be sure I’m making a bigger size than I think I should be. I am. I’m using Bendigo Woollen Mills Baby Meadow, a 4 ply 100% Australian fine merino wool, and it is beautifully soft. The pattern is a 1×1 rib for the first part, then 2×2 in what I learnt as broken rib, but modern stitch dictionaries tell me is mistake rib. Broken rib is different. Well, there you go. Neither is difficult, although you’d undoubtedly agree that both require attention to establish. It’s easy to get it wrong, and then a nightmare to retrieve.

I’m trying to avoid obvious “special design features”, meaning that I’ve already had to do a bit of tinking. Perhaps it’s that usual old complaint: I rarely get a chance to simply sit and knit, my eyes are getting older and my visual acuity lessening, and I will insist on knitting late at night. This colour is at least easy to see.

On the subject of getting old, and things not working as well as they once did, I’m distressed to find that knitting makes my fingers quite sore. A few years ago, I changed to soft-handled crochet hooks. Mine aren’t the really expensive brand, but they are kind to my fingers. Knitting needles by their nature are less “soft-touch” although it may be worth my while to have another try with bamboo needles. I didn’t like them the last time I tried; but if they help, then I’m prepared to learn to like them ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m presently using Aero metal knitting needles that I’ve had for adunnamany years. They do the job and, because I’ve looked after them, they’re (mostly) still straight and don’t have any rough sections to snag the stitches; all definite pluses. However, they sometimes make my index fingers stiff and sore, particularly needles at the tinier end of sizing. When I’m ribbing with UK size 12 / 2.75mm needles, I often find myself stretching and flexing my fingers, the way you used to. Perhaps it’s a good thing that I can’t sit and knit for hours. You see? There’s an upside to everything.

As the cold, wet weather is continuing with some dedication, tonight will be a good one to stoke up the fire and keep knitting, however many fingers it takes, and however many times I need to stretch them. There’s a baby who needs a beanie so that he’s warm, too; and I don’t need any fingers to calculate his age ๐Ÿ™‚

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2022 in Knitting

 

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just like that

Four tidy corners and nothing more to do ๐Ÿ˜€

I’d almost decided to call it a night, then I shook out my work and had a good look at it. There were perhaps 20 centimetres remaining on the last side of the last round of the border. Yeah, that didn’t equal calling it quits and going to bed! So I sat up for as long as it took to work those remaining (UK) htr’s, snipped my yarn, wove in the last end and, just like that, it was all over. What an anticlimax.

It should really be a very big ta-dah moment: I have finished the 2021 temperature blanket and presented it to YoungB as a special delivery from the laundry fairy!! He pretended to stagger under its weight. In case I never see it again in daylight, I took a few photos. They’re not brilliant, but they will do to accompany a detailed post; which I am still drafting.

So what am I going to do now??? Well, apart from some of the by now fairly pressing household chores (consider above non-coincidental reference to laundry fairy), I have a baby beanie and some toddler beanies to knit or crochet. I have a couple of pram rugs to knit or crochet. There are a couple of adult beanies on the list, and those I will probably knit. There are new-to-me crochet techniques and patterns I’m itching to try for some knitworthy (or crochetworthy) recipient.

That should keep me busy till this time next year, don’t you reckon?

 
 

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bloody brilliant

Would easily double as a travel blanket ๐Ÿ™‚

Recently, I was trying to refine almost 40 years of friendship into 250 words, for inclusion at a commemoration ceremony we couldn’t attend. I failed. I managed in about twice that many, and cheated by adding a few more to accompany musical excerpts I forwarded. The musical excerpts were often for things that you could consider travelling songs.

In Australia, and particularly once you get beyond the major cities, there’s plenty of time to sing, often unaccompanied. When I was a child, my family had rounds down to a fine art. When his children were small, our late friend’s family preferred the call and response repertoire. We sang Three Blind Mice while they sang the Banana Boat Song.

Then there are songs that don’t fall neatly into either category but without which no trip would be complete. I have some memories of Botany Bay featuring in our repertoire because of its easy chorus. Our friend’s family was much more likely to belt out a song taught them by an Irish-Australian primary school teacher. I am only a little surprised that the (said to be traditional) Irish funeral or wake song Isn’t it Grand, Boys? was never in our repertoire. There might have been too much profanity for Mum’s tastes, although the rest of us would have been happy to roar it out on top note. In any case, I am delighted to have acquired it now as an extra for any trips we might take in future.

While I was auditing versions of songs to choose versions, I worked on the last few rounds of the temperature blanket. The days are cold enough now that it was a welcome addition. And it is nearly finished. There’s only one round left, and a weekend ahead.

You know where I’ll be ๐Ÿ˜€

 
 

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only a few rounds left

The end is almost in sight

Last night, I sat up late, working on the blanket, because I couldn’t sleep. It’s not sensible when you know you have an early start, as today I did; but it’s sometimes unavoidable. Might as well be doing something useful. Right? As a result, I have commenced the final colour of the border, which is viridian. I am – as you might be able to see – part-way through the second round.

I’d originally half-planned to work the entire border in viridian, to pick up on the colour of YoungB’s futon sofa. Obviously, that’s another plan that changed, but no matter. We’ve plenty of colour choices, and now that I’ve completed the bits that used several different colours, I think I can truly claim the blanket is very close to finished; very close indeed.

We have a surprisingly busy weekend ahead, so I doubt if I’m going to finish all the viridian rounds in the available spare time, but I will certainly keep plugging away at it when I can.

Whether or not you have a busy weekend, I hope you, too, are able to keep plugging away at your almost-there-but-not-quite projects.

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2022 in Crochet

 

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definitely gaining

The border is wider, and I’m ever closer to finishing it

I had a day of WFH that included two long, must-attend online meetings, which didn’t require my input. In that case, what do you do but grab your in-progress blanket and keep yourself warm while working? Right? I did. The days here are getting colder, so a toasty blanket is definitely a winner. Somewhat surprisingly, we haven’t yet turned on our space heater but we’re not going to be able to hold out for much longer.

It’s interesting to note how tired we all are. We remain, astoundingly, COVID-free, although wider family members have been less fortunate in that respect. There are days when I think that the ongoing uncertainty and the tedium of daily RATs is all too much. YoungB is exhausted and despondent and we’ve only just begun winter. He is looking forward to having the blanket, so I must away and do some more rounds while he is out at salsa classes. They provide some light relief and physical exercise that is undoubtedly good for him.

I hope you’re also able to find some light relief, whatever form it takes.

 
 

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comparing but not really

Little visible progress on the border

That would be me on the border of the blanket. When the rounds get this long, you sometimes can’t easily see the progress. You’ve worked steadily for what is a significant chunk of time and you still haven’t finished the next colour!

Their progress isn’t obvious, either

The preparation for the remodelled GPO, however, is a bit the same. It has reached a point where there’s a lot of work – mostly pumping concrete, as far as we can tell when we line up at the window of our 13th floor lookout – but there’s little enough to see for the effort. The concrete is all going into the ground in long pillars of extremely-heavy-duty REO.

I’ll get there, and I’m sure they will, too. It’s not in any way a race, but I reckon I’ll finish first ๐Ÿ™‚

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2022 in Crochet

 

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still going around

Border getting wider, but I think needs to be wider still

Borders on large objects make the object even larger. It’s the nature of borders! YoungB would have been happy to take delivery of the temperature rug with a reasonably narrow border (about where it is in the above photo). The weather is cooling, and he’d appreciate the extra warmth provided by its undoubted weightiness. I haven’t weighed it yet or calculated rough weight from yarn used.

However, because the blanket is large, I think the border should be wider – something like as wide as the side of a square, simply for visual balance – and have kept working on it. I had hoped I might finish it on the long weekend just gone, but didn’t. All the same, YoungB shouldn’t have to wait much longer before he can use it.

I hope your long weekend went according to plan, no matter how you spent it.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2022 in Crochet

 

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