Monthly Archives: April 2005

dyeing Merino Wool – Lessons Learned

Last night I tried my hand at dyeing merino top in the microwave using Landscaped dyes. The colours came out great, but my treatment of the wool after dyeing caused some felting. This stuff is so fine you just have to look at it sideways and it felts. In future I will allow the wool to cool naturally and I will not even squeeze water through it.

Here are some pics of the results:

I was up very early this morning for our inaugural bike group bike ride. It was about 18km from start to finish, so I feel it was a very reasonable effort since it is over 2 years since I last rode.

I need to get some fitness back for our sea kayaking trip to Fiji in June. I’m working to lose about 4kg too, as my weight has crept back up a bit over the last few months, so far so good 🙂

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Posted in Linocut | 2 Comments

Opera, Art, Parades and a Little Bit of Footy

I’m back from Melbourne. We had a wonderful weekend, the highlight for me being the Opera and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

The opera was packed out. We saw Opera Australia’s production of The Magic Flute by Mozart. I thought I wouldn’t know much of the music, but actually I knew heaps of it, probably from the film Amadeus. I kept on singing Papageno and the Queen of the Night aria on the tram afterwards.

The next day we caught the Bill Henson Exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre at Federation Square. WOW, some of it was pretty confronting, but WOW!!! We also caught the Top Arts show of work from students who completed yr 12 Art and Studio Art in 2004.

On the southbank promenade there was an art/craft market. Riscy and I call these things ‘crappe craft’. Most if the stuff if pure junk. Whenever I show my stuff to people they invariably tell me I could go to craft markets and sell it. NO NO NO!!! If I was looking for a way to kill my creativity stone dead, that would be a sure way of doing it.

Yesterday I was woken up by bagpipes at 5am. Yes it was ANZAC Day. We ended up catching a few hours of the big Melbourne parade. We were nicely positioned on the corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street right in the thick of things. It was difficult to get good action shots, and this really was the best we could do:

A lot of blokes in uniform

I usually can’t watch the parade on telly as it makes me cry, yesterday was no exception. It’s just something about those old blokes … and even worse, the ones where the family member marches with the photo and medals of their dead relative. It just sets me off.

My Pop is 91 and still kicking. He went to Papua New Guinea and the Middle East in WW2. He never marches in the parade or talks about the war, I don’t think he likes the RSL. I wish he could live forever.

This was the best photo I took, this is the leader of a pipe band:

After the parade we headed to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the big Footy match. The Bombers beat The Magpies, it was a poor display of ball skills and a very scrappy game. However, this was expected given the poor perfomance of both teams so far this season.

We were as far away from the action you can get. About three rows from the top of the Great Southern Stand

In fibre news (congratulations if you got this far!), I’ve got heaps knitted on the orangy scarf. I’m going to have enough wool for a matching beanie!!
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Out the Door

We’re just about to leave for our much anticipated weekend in Melbourne. The pets were at their respecive boarding facilities yesterday so we had a definite empty nest feeling last night.

Tonight we are going to see Opera Australia’s production of The Magic Flute at the State Theatre. We’ve never been to the opera before, and I’m especially looking forward to seeing the costumes. If I could come back as anything in my next life it would be an opera singer, either that or a dog.

On Monday (ANZAC Day) we’re going to the footy (Australian Rules), Collingwood (my team) v’s Essondon (Riscy’s team). I’ve never been to the footy before either 🙂

Today we are going to shop til we drop. So cheerio all. I’ll talk to you on Monday night or Tuesday.

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Tiny Paintings

Yesterday I received a little package in the mail from my sister. We have recently been sending bits of art to each other. I love sending her stuff but even more fun is getting something 🙂

I have previously written about her status as a ‘non practicing artist’. This was totally based on my impression that she was struggling find time and energy to create art. However, I was suprised to hear last month that she has a little show happening at a hairdressers in North Hobart.

She does little paintings, between 2cm and 4cm square. Then she tapes them together so they look a bit mosaic or patchwork like. She sent me a tiny folder of her tiny paintings and here they are:

Art by Megan Collidge

These are her ‘reject’ squares, but quite precious all the same. I’m gonna buy one of the pieces from her exhibition.

I was so tired last night after my two day trip to Omeo. I was in bed and asleep by 8:30. When in Omeo I stopped into Benambra Blue for a look and walked out with some of her beautiful handmade soaps and 250g of undyed Merino Silk Blend combed top. It was pretty expensive, but I couldn’t resist.

I also spent my lunch hour at the Latrobe Valley Spinners and Handweavers Guild. What a great bunch of people. I’m sad to say that I will miss both the Back to Back Challenge AND the Traralgon Spin In – I’ll be on a sea kayaking expedition in Fiji… so I shouldn’t complain.

Lets not talk about my quilting, or lack thereof. This week is a write off. I’ve got too much going on. I’ve just got to accept it an look forward to next week. Continue reading

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Sisters Three

I’m going to be away alot this week, Monday and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and then down to Melbourne on Saturday, returning on Monday. I hope I’ll have some stuff to post on Tuesday and Friday anyway, so don’t stop checking in 🙂

I have two sisters, Wiggins and I 18mths apart (I’m the eldest) then Zippy is 15 years younger than me, which makes her 13 (no that can’t be right… I think she’s actually 12). Anyway, here’re the sisters three:

This looks nothing like us, but I like the idea of them representing us.

An hour ago I was headed off to bed, photoshop sucked me in, good and proper.

Anyway, this is the beanie I knitted this weekend:

Cast on last night, finished today. I got no sewing done ’cause I HAD to knit this. Once again it is made from my homespun merino yarn.

I’ve been bitten by this knitting thing. I should have listened to the inner voice when it was warning me not to get into knitting. I’m spreading my creation time too thinly. I listened to an audio book whilst knitting it, so all was not lost… if you are a member of
then check out The Memory of Running by Ron Mclarty. It was my best listen so far.

Talking of audible, I’ve unsubscribed. I have too many books stored up. I may return when I’ve listened everything I’ve got already.

Also, check out what I’m currently spinning:

Isn’t this just the most delicious colour. I’ve got another skein to spin, but in the meantime, I will start on a scarf. There’s no stopping this knitting thing.

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Book Meme

This is from Liz’s blog, Dreaming Spirals…

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you

“Using a skewer, secure the opening so that the cumquats remain within the chicken.” From the recipe for Spiced Cumquat Chicken from Zest by Michelle Cranston, publised by Marie Claire. I didn’t count the ingredients when choosing the fifth sentence. This is a recipe I am unlikely to make since I don’t have access to cumquats 🙁 I wonder what I could substitute.
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Posted in Dyeing | 1 Comment

Another beanie FINISHED!

Well, I’m getting pretty fast at this. This photo was taken last night at about 1am, I’d drunk a hell of a lot, but I also finished this beanie. I feel crap this morning, totally self inflicted.

Yay!!! it fits and I like it alot 🙂 I spun up this yarn myself and I’m very happy with how it knitted up, very happy!

I’ve resisted up til now, but here is a photo of my darlin’ Lucy.

I thought I’d share this quilt with you. It’s at that touch and go stage that nearly every project goes through. I’m not overly taken with it…. but I’ll push on.

This is the quilt after a two sessions. I think I still have a bit more cutting to do before I start quilting, and I may add some different coloured line elements. Still undecided.

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New Do



I’ve gone with a fringe. It’s very radical as I had various awful fringes in the 80’s and early 90’s, the horrors of my Nan putting stickytape across my fringe to get a straight cut, the spikes, the mullet-like do’s, teased, sprayed… you get the idea.

I also tried a new hairdresser, it’s out of town, but I’m definitely going back! It is twice as expensive to my old place, but way cheaper than my last hairdo which I had done in Melbourne.

I’m busting to show you progress on the quilt I’m making, but I’ve decided I should wait ’til I’ve had another session on it. I don’t want to jinx it too early.

I’m thinking of making up another bag on the weekend as I’ll be headed up to Omeo for work next week and that’s where the shop is that expressed an interest in selling them. I sort of went off the idea as they have been getting more and more time consuming. But I can’t resist taking opportunities, I never know where they might take me, sometimes it’s a bad thing, but mostly good 🙂

NOW If you’ve made it all the way down this post, I’ll reward you with the revelation of my ***GUILTY PLEASURE***… Romance Novels, the Harlequin Mills & Boon kind. I was given a big garbage bag full of them when I was about 13 years old, addiction took hold pretty fast. I even repented of them a few times (back when I was a christian LOL), but I couldn’t give them up. I’m now an occasional binger, but I try to mix it up with more serious stuff.

You’d reckon that a steady diet of these books in my teens would have lead me to a life of marriage, children, subservience etc, but it is totally the opposite, and I can’t figure it out. I do remember reading one about an engineer who met her man on the the Appalachian Trail (you can imagine how this Tasmanian pronounced that one!), maybe that’s what lead me to finding out about engineering. Plenty of the women were pretty feisty too, but they are always tamed by marriage and I’ve known for a very long time that I don’t want to be married. Continue reading

Posted in Knitting | 4 Comments

Beanie, Sans Pattern

I’ve nearly recovered from Sunday’s gardening. Riscy came home with pizza so I didn’t starve to death after all.

I also finished this beanie. It’s made from my homespun yarn which is a mixture of merino and an angora/alpaca blend.

This is a small beanie, It would probably fit a child better as it looks almost like a scull cap on me LOL

I didn’t use a pattern for this beanie (thus turning out smaller than expected) I just knitted up about 4cm of ribbing, then about 3cm of stocking stitch (which was the fatal flaw, I should have knitted about 8-10cm). I also decreased in a zig zag fashion. This was to disguise an error I made, but it turned out pretty cool :-).

I cast on for another one last night as I am determined to knit a decent beanie if it is the last thing I do. Continue reading

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Before I start this very long blog post, I thought I’d show you the painting I did last night:


Today started out so good. I got up at about 7:30, read some blogs, ate some porridge, had a cup of peppermint tea.

The morning was glorious, so I headed out in my night shirt and slip on sandles and pruned back all the plants (roses and Salvias) that we wanted to transplant into the new beds.

Then I went inside, had a shower, woke Riscy up and headed off to the quilt exhibition and to get some manure for the garden.

I was an hour early for the exhibition, but they let me in anyway 🙂 My quilts looked like they had just come out of their bags, they looked ‘not flat’. Oh well, I wasn’t too stressed. Almost everything else was very country and beginner level stuff.

My trip to the garden centre was very fruitful, normally I wander around and buy very little, but today lots of stuff jumped into my basket, including a beautiful orange chrysanthemum.

Headed home. Riscy had already started digging up the roses, it was also started to get very hot and the temperature did get over 30 deg C (around 90F), which isn’t great for plants in shock.

We worked pretty steadily ’til noon, then I popped down to get some lunch as we had nothing in the house.

Riscy got called into work. I knitted ’til he rang me at about 3pm to remind me that the plants would need to be planted out otherwise they would die in the heat and that we have about 5 loads of washing to do.

Feeling guilty I headed out to do everything. Very soon after that a big storm hit, it was very windy, very wet and I worked in it until 6 this evening. I got all the beds raked, all the plants planted (7 mature roses, 2 salvias and about 40 potted plants), manure spread, lucerne hay distributed. All whilst soaked to the skin.

I’m glad everything is done, but I’m really tired now. The dog is very dirty and sitting on the couch, Riscy isn’t home yet, there is still no food in the house, the washing isn’t done. Whhhaaaaaaa 🙁

If you got this far, thanks for reading.

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Posted in Books | 2 Comments