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Tag Archives: Tarrantino yarn

just nuts

If I may change sporting analogies for a moment, I’m almost through the red buoys, only about a bow ball away from the finish line with the Tarrantino scarf – that is, it’s knitted and I have only the ends to sew in. It will not be getting blocked. Amen.

The second Simple Linen Apron is almost finished but I foresee a small-hours effort trying to achieve that goal since Dr B’s very late plan change for today’s timetable has thrown everything into chaos of an extremely high order. I wonder, after all these years, why I should be surprised by that; but, you know, he still has the ability to knock my feet out from under me!

You’ll see why it’s back to work I go. Let me say only that, along with nuts, there had better be some chocolates and plenty of cherries. Then I might think it’s Christmas. The Advent calendar today reached the closing punctuation point of “Merry Christmas To You” and so, this must be the time to wish all of you just that: a very merry Christmas, however or whatever you celebrate.

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2013 in Knitting, Musing, Sewing

 

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perhaps that was an exaggeration

You know how I said the end was in sight with that purple scarf, the garter stitch one I’m making with Moda Vera’s boucle-style Tarrantino yarn?

By comparison with where I was when I started it, that’s perfectly true. Really, though, the amount remaining to knit is probably more akin to a few laps of the oval at the end of a marathon. I’ll get there and despite the hot weather I’m finding opportunities to keep at the knitting – sitting up late waiting for YoungB to come home from the beach, those sorts of times – but, yeah, not quite the home straight.

How’s all your Christmas handiwork progressing?

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Knitting

 

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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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working up a sweat shivering

Today has been like the past few days in terms of weather: cold enough that my fingers nearly froze, then sunny enough that I almost started to sweat, then back to freezing cold. Luckily, when you’re down by the water photographing rowers, as I was for much of the day, there’s plenty to keep you occupied so that you don’t particularly notice either end of the temperature scale. And judging by the number of photos I have now to edit, I can’t have had time to feel the cold.

YoungB competed in four races today, starting with the second race of the day and finishing in one that was close to the end of a fairly long regatta. We were all worn out. Dr B viewed much of the racing from the warmth and comfort of the car but I wrapped up in my old raincoat and latticework scarf – the one I finished to wear at Ballarat – and didn’t fare too badly by the lakeside, though the strong wind provided some challenges with regard to holding the camera steady.

As usual, I took my knitting with me. It languished in the car for most of the day but I managed to add a couple of inches to the purple Tarrantino scarf while we were waiting for YoungB to pack up after his last race. That probably helped my fingers to warm up again (something that seems like a silly comment when we’re staring down the last week of November, a time of year that’s usually hot). Irrespective of the climatic considerations, that steady bit of knitting made me feel remarkably productive, I can tell you.

I hope your day has been pleasant and that you’ve managed to make progress on your Christmas crafting, whatever form it might take. Productivity is the name of the game at this time of year, and we all feel virtuous when we have something to show for our efforts. Or is that just me?

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2013 in Knitting, Photography, Rowing

 

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just the usual dilemmas

Suitably simple but not entirely plain

Suitably simple but not entirely plain

Father Christmas arrived in town yesterday and not only is he now firmly ensconced in the Magic Cave, he’s already started working hard. This is bad, bad news because it means that I really have run out of procrastination time for things I’d planned to make as Christmas gifts. Those aprons? Mmm, yeah, better get a move on with those. Stoke up the ironing board and look for the quickest way to make something useful. Never mind the fancy design I had worked out. There’s not time for that. D-rings and white header tape? That will do just fine for straps. Self-fabric ties are vastly overrated. The Christmas coasters? Mmm, yeah, they’re not going to make themselves. Dig out the fabric and chase up some backing, quick smart. Those lavender bags? Mm’hm, they won’t make themselves either and there are only so many that can be appropriated from around the house. Yes, the supplies of ribbon are adequate and the amounts of lavender mix are nicely up to date but the sachets to contain the mix? Better crank up the sewing machine again.

In amidst all of those heart-shaking realisations, it’s also that time of year when all the weariness catches up with you and your hectic life becomes even more hectic; the combination means that every outing seems like a major effort. Our sport-related outings are ongoing and many, some more onerous than others; but in general, our social outings are few. Even so, I have rarely known us so subdued at a meal in the Asian Food Hall of Adelaide’s Central Market as we were on Friday night. True, it’s usually so noisy there that you can’t hear yourself think, which makes listening to somebody else quite a challenge whether or not you’re wearing your hearing aids (that would be Dr B; I’m not in that category just yet). But on Friday we just sat there and relatively quietly ate our food. Then, equally quietly, we decided we were too tired and had eaten too much for coffee to be an option – I tell you, that ranks as heresy of a fairly high order in this family – so, instead of wandering around the market as we’d normally do (it’s such a fantastic place), we came home and collapsed into bed.

YoungB managed to drag himself out of it on Saturday morning, most reluctantly. Much as he loves rowing and cycling, he said (as if it were not obvious from the fact that he kept bumping into things) that the amount of effort either would require felt beyond him. All the same, with some parental prodding and a willing driver (in this case, that would be me; yeah, Dr B and I struggled out of bed, too, he to make coffee and provide moral support) he made it on time to the cycling meet-up point for the group training ride to the regatta course. There, bikes were swapped for boats for the first of the day’s training sessions. Yesterday was the first regatta for the season at which all the schools were competing and things were busier and more chaotic than usual. The coach decided that one on-water session would be sufficient and the second session would be more cycling. Instead of aimlessly cycling round the regatta course for 90 minutes, YoungB fitted in about 80 minutes of purposeful cross-training by riding all the way home.

In the expectation that he’d have had two on-water sessions, the original plan was that he’d be picked up. That was going to be my job. Had there been any waiting around involved, I’d planned to keep working on that purple scarf I’m knitting. Yes, thank you, it’s going along well and will probably be finished in time to appear under the Christmas tree. It’s plain but pretty and will certainly be warm. Any portable knitting that requires more brain power than garter stitch is too complicated at this time of year, so I’m keeping it simple as you can see from the photo. How’s your Christmas crafting coming along? Is Father Christmas already ensconced in your equivalent of the Magic Cave?? And have you completely lost the plot as a result???

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2013 in Cycling, Knitting, Musing, Rowing, Sewing

 

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is this really spring?

Springy enough but winterly warm

Springy enough but winterly warm

If it is – and if the swooping magpies didn’t suggest so, then the amount of sneezing and general misery associated with hay fever certainly would – then I think my knitting is likely to be put into some form of storage, the sewing machine come out of semi-hibernation and the seasonal swap take place. I don’t really sew much but I think I do more of it in the warmer months. That’s plain silly, really, when YoungB is always on the lookout for warm, knit-fabric sweaters and the frankensweater is yet to be made. On the other hand, it’s generally far too cold in the sewing room for me to use it during winter. It’s clear, though, because I checked on my Ravelry page, that I have been reasonably productive this year with knitting projects, many of which haven’t been hanging around forever but were actually started this year. Of course, some have been around for a good bit longer. By about now, though, I’ve run out of steam and I’m sneezing too much to be bothered with knitting.

Sewing seems to be the answer. I went so far as to purchase a couple of sewing patterns this year, with stash fabric in mind, but whether I’ll ever actually get around to making them up is quite another thing altogether. The PDF one that I have to stick together, then trace my size onto lightweight interfacing, then actually cut out on fabric, is just sitting there patiently awaiting sufficient clear floor space – and enthusiasm – for all of that to happen. The one that has to be ironed, spread out and then traced and cut out? Yeah, see previous comment about floor space or implied lack thereof. I have made up some shopping totes and lavender bags and no doubt I’ll make a few more of those sorts of things with Christmas in mind. But, you know, I’m tired (hence the lack of enthusiasm). It’s been an odd sort of year and it’s quite scary to think it’s nearly over.

YoungB is nearing the end of his first year at university. I don’t understand that at all. It’s only yesterday, surely, that he was starting primary school. Although, come to think of it, I do have some photos of his last primary school sports day and I can tell you he’s grown some since then. Actually, I have photos of his last assembly at high school. They were taken about a year ago. Oh. My. Giddy. Aunt.

We are presently in the throes of organising YoungB’s application for a year of exchange study in Italy. In the interests of assessing his language skills so we can get an idea of his proficiency levels (and what summer courses he might need to do to boost them if they’re not as they should be), I’ve been looking up a few applications and trawling the web for sites that might be of assistance. I tried out a few of them. I have a great verb trainer on my smartphone. It turns out I’m very good at knowing what the verbs mean, even some of the less common ones.

I’m not so good, and this doesn’t surprise me at all, at conjugating anything much beyond fairly oft-used verbs in ordinary tenses but not moods. I think I’ve said before that I get stuck when I’m faced with having to choose between conditionals and subjunctives. It was ever thus, hence my relative silence whilst I was living in Italy. By the time I’d worked out which of them I should be using, the conversation had moved on so far that it didn’t matter any more. YoungB is much more inclined to just jump in and have a go. I’m hoping he’ll have such a fantastic immersion experience that he’ll come back fluent in all conjugations, whatever the moods or tenses and whether it be spring or any other season.

Of course, that’s all very well. But needing a quick, undemanding project (read, something to fill my hands while we’re discussing all the implications of such an exchange at the kitchen table), I had to dash off today to buy some yarn to make a winter scarf for someone in the family. It will be a Christmas present though not required till next year; but if I wait till her birthday, the poor thing will have died of cold in the interim! So, you know, what I was saying about giving up knitting for a bit? Yeah, maybe not just yet.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Knitting, Musing, Sewing

 

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