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Tag Archives: Christmas

then the Cup, the Cave and then

Looking for an opportunity to dress up and have fun? Can't do better than the Races!

Looking for an opportunity to dress up and have fun? Can’t do better than the Races!

I probably need to decode that, don’t I? The photo was taken at Derby Day.

If you’re in Australia, or possibly if you’re an avid horse-racing fan, you’ll know what’s coming up this week: The Melbourne Cup. In metropolitan Melbourne, it’s a public holiday. Elsewhere, we down tools for an hour or so. We have sweeps at the office, enjoy a chicken-and-champagne lunch while we watch the race and might also have silly-hat competitions and things of that ilk. Of course, it’s not without its problems and detractors and there are undoubtedly good reasons for that.

And if you’re in South Australia, you’ll know that after the Cup, it’s time for the Pageant and the Man in Red taking up residence at the Magic Cave. This year, his plaster equivalent, the one that once upon a time was on the portico of the relevant department store, will be greeting shoppers from a new locale at the Central Market. And the next C after that? Yep, it’s that one associated with tinsel. Cripes, is roughly my reaction to that idea. I’ve been watching people’s posts about how few shopping days there are left. This morning, though? Someone posted, “Next month” and I thought, well, hasn’t that come along quickly?

As I say every year, no, it hasn’t. Christmas is a fixed feast. Unlike Easter, it doesn’t change from year to year. But, yeah, heck, doesn’t last Christmas feel like it was only yesterday? And I’m sure it’s not a year since I had to fossick around and pull out the Advent calendar but, you know, it obviously is.

Sewing plans? Knitting plans? Crafting plans of any sort? Uuuh, no. Mostly, I plan to get to Christmas without killing myself or anyone else. That will rank as enough of an achievement this year, I think! What about you?

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2015 in Musing

 

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last-minute ramblings

Some roses from a friend, not for Christmas but just because

Some roses from a friend, not for Christmas but just because

You’ll have to forgive me, but this truly is rambling. I’m so tired I can’t be coherent.

Our Advent calendar has nearly completed its greeting of MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU but for the last letter and the final punctuation point, which is provided by some holly leaves. Have I managed any sewing? Yeah, nah. Had I planned any? Uuh, yeah. But all of those plans were a bit like the SMS conversation I had today with Eldest Niece.

She’s newly in a home and I thought she might like some homewares or something culinary. Coffee pods (easy, but a good gift for someone who uses them and there’s a nice variety of specialist flavours out for Christmas)? She’s stopped drinking coffee. Right. Okay. How about a runner for the dining table (my original plan, only time is now perilously short)? They don’t have one. What, not even a breakfast bar? Nope. So no placemats, either (a more time-consuming alternative, but definitely an option)? No. Yeah, right. I accept that this means I’m off the hook with one lot of last-minute sewing but it hasn’t solved the problem of a Christmas gift for her and her partner. In my defence, I’d washed and ironed the fabric and had been trying to get details of her – now known to be non-existent – table for some time from every other member of her family. So, you know, plans? Yeah.

If you’ve been trying to sew or cook or craft or knit or create something in whatever medium tickles your creative fancy, I do hope you’ve been more successful than I have. I hope, too, that your year has been less chaotic than ours. I often tell myself that next year will be better and sometimes it is. I also remind myself that any notion of a new year is purely academic, since one day simply rolls into the next and the years don’t do much but add wrinkles to your skin and grey to your hair. I don’t really mind that. Losing muscle memory is a little more worrying – I sat down to practise some scales the other day and couldn’t remember the intervallic progression for one lot; how many times have I played those things? – but I can still knit and sew. Next year I aim to include more of those because I fret when I don’t have a bit of knitting to keep me occupied in the evening or a little sewing project to work on at the weekend. I’m a nicer person and considerably less stressed when I have a creative outlet.

May your Christmas be wonderful, whether it’s a crafty one or not. 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Musing, Sewing

 

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it’s supposed to be summer

Arguments rage as to when summer begins officially – in Australia, we don’t start our seasons coincident with solstices and the like, but arbitrarily on the 1st of the relevant month; I have no idea why such a decision was taken or by whom but it was and a long time ago – but whenever it’s meant to be, our temperatures lately have been too cold for comfort. Well, for my comfort. The upside to the continuing chilliness is that it’s still perfectly all right to whip out your knitting and whizz through a few rows between time trials at rowing. So today, that’s what I did. That purple scarf? Mate, I’m on the home straight! And, you know what? One of the coaches came up to congratulate me for knitting. Yeah. Trendy as, that’s me!

She and I talked about knit and natter sessions – or stitch and bitch, whichever it might be wherever you are (and perhaps that varies according to mood) – then for a little while about knitting for payment and knitting whilst commuting on long bus trips – the two are linked, because it’s possible, we agreed, to bowl over a lot of knitting in a six-hour bus trip – and the joys and attractions of Arans and Fairisles. Dr B just sat there and grinned. Of course, he probably couldn’t hear half of what we were saying because he didn’t have his hearing aids in (he’d taken them out for cycling purposes) but obviously he caught the gist of it because, once the coach had returned to her rowers, he felt absolutely obliged to point out that, in the big scheme of things, fancy knitting is decadent. Plain knitting? Perhaps allowable. Anything else is beyond what’s required for immediate survival and therefore has to be considered wasteful of time and resources. Hmm, yes. You can tell, can’t you, that YoungB did a philosophy unit this year?? Me? I just kept right on with my very plain knitting. I mean, it doesn’t come much plainer than a long, straight, garter stitch scarf.

Of course, I haven’t really started any other of my Christmas crafting, unless you count pulling out relevant patterns, ironing fabric and ensuring some clear space for sticking PDF patterns together prior to eventual cutting out of fabric. I consider all those things progress, because I’m much more easily able to do something for a few minutes if it’s all just waiting there; but I’m scarily aware that, help, the Advent calendar is at the halfway mark and I have such a busy weekend coming up that there’s little likelihood of doing any sewing. Too bad. What gets done will get done and what doesn’t get done I plan not to mention. Out of sight out of mind, and what the eye doesn’t see the heart won’t grieve and all that. What about you? Do you have a good plan for making light of the unfinished projects and instead celebrating what you have achieved?

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Knitting, Rowing, Sewing

 

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apparently that was the weekend

Last week was, as you might expect at this time of year, busy with a lot of hearings (quick, must get it done before Christmas) and home has been a bit nuts too. I did, however, make a point of heading down to Vic Sq one lunchtime to check out the yarn bombing. Here’s a link to the City of Adelaide’s Facebook album. No, you can’t see anything of mine in any of the photos but that doesn’t matter. I found my items and they fitted right in with everyone else’s.

WordPress and I are having a bit of a stand-off about photos at present. Mostly I can’t get them to work. Sorry, about that, I’ll keep trying. But in the meantime, that link will show you VR all decked out in special Christmas finery, of which I’m sure she’d approve.

Sunday afternoon when I went out, I found my self thinking (for the first time this season, despite some warm temperatures early) that summer has finally arrived. Given that, I was pleased to have spent a few hours putting away my winter woolies. That required making some new lavender bags. They weren’t fancy, merely a handful of mix tossed into old stockings I’d cut up. I did, however, make a real one for YoungB’s undies drawer because I was well overdue to replace several I’d borrowed.

The annual Toy Run took place on Sunday too, so Dr B and YoungB headed out on their motorbikes for that. Because I then had the house to myself for a while I was able to decorate our Christmas tree. I’m not much good at it, to be quite truthful. I couldn’t honestly say I don’t have an artistic bone in my body because if that were so, I’d never have been much chop as a performer. Simply, my artistry and creativity don’t extend to decorations.

Dr B complimented me for the tree. His take on it is that, if he were in charge, there’d be no tree because he wouldn’t get around to it (not necessarily because he’s closely related to Ebenezer Scrooge). It’s been a decorative couple of weeks, you might say, and I’m now getting a bit desperate about the amount of work I want to get done before all the guests start arriving. Help! Are you having the same dilemmas or are you just one of those really, really organised people? Whichever you consider yourself, good luck with getting all the festive season stuff completed in time.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Crochet, Knitting, Sewing

 

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dark glasses

I made sure I was wearing my sunnies today when I dropped off my contribution to the Victoria Square yarn bombing. Ideally, I’d like to be able to participate in the placement but I can’t guarantee my availability. Therefore, I delivered my rose and scarf to the cafe in the square. But, you know, it’s graffiti, so I thought I should disguise myself! Just in case.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Knitting

 

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knitters are everywhere

Rowing parents are a varied bunch. At a recent regatta, two of the mums had their knitting out. Yes, I was one of them. The remarkable part about it was not that we were knitting but the comments we garnered from other mums (no dads commented, I’m not being sexist or elitist), many along the lines of how lucky we were to be able to knit. Knitting is like many skills, easily learnt. Yes, expertise takes time and practice, but there have always been lots of books and nowadays there are online resources to help with that.

The funny stories from other would-be knitters? One – whose jumper made for herself would, she assured us,  have fitted your average horse – had us in stitches (I know, couldn’t resist) imitating her serious husband wondering at which point she hadn’t realised that the sleeves were, ahem, MUCH too long? I had to say she obviously hadn’t knitted a tension square – she admitted that was true! – but who hasn’t had similar experiences sometimes even IF there’s been a tension square? Real garments don’t always behave like tension squares.

I pounced on the other knitting mum to ask if she was participating in the Victoria Square yarn bombing? She knew what yarn bombing was if not that there was a sanctioned plan afoot to bedeck Vic Square for Christmas, but generally she didn’t appear interested. Oh. It can’t just be me, can it? Dr B finds it a nice idea if somewhat nutty. YoungB has me sussed. He knew the moment he read about it in the local paper that I’d be there with my knitting needles (and crochet hook, I feel bound to add).

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Knitting, Rowing

 

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all too difficult

That’s a bit how life is at present, just too much effort. How can I possibly find the energy required for going to work and then doing the work when I have two urgent knitting projects? Not only am I still working on the White Caps Cowl – although I don’t get enough knitting time, it is progressing even if I’m doubtful about it being ready for the next-week birthday which simply means I’ll have to do something else for the birthday and shuffle the cowl along to Christmas, I suspect –  but now there’s a yarn bombing project with an early December deadline. I know why I have a job but, gee, it doesn’t half get in the way of the fun stuff!

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Knitting

 

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