While I was away

So as always before heading off on my travels I packed a few things to keep me busy along the road. I always find it difficult to choose what I should work on.. a wip, something new, should it be easy or intricate enough to keep my attention?
Of course those of you who know me well enough will already be chuckling because what this means is that decisions need to be made and decisions and I are never the best of friends… so… I packed Stockholm to work on and an extra 200g ball of bendy luxury 12 ply because it would need a bit extra. I also packed a skein of Cousteau for a hat and 2 balls of Debbie bliss Riva for a second hat. Two skeins of Knittery chubby sock for a shawl and of course all the requisite patterns printed out for reference in case my iPad ran out of battery. Oh and did I mention my full set of interchangeable needles, double pointed needles and cables?

I’m mad… stark raving mad when did I ever think while gallivanting around the northern hemisphere where there was snow to be played in that I would ever need that much knitting! ( I may have purchased a couple of skeins of some lovely 4ply in Norway as well, and dropped in to half a dozen yarn stores in my travels).

Surprisingly I did use a lot of what I packed…. okay well I didn’t even look at the stitching I packed and the Cousteau came back untouched but… there was casting on and even a few finishes 🙂

Lets look at those finishes first shall we –
1. Stockholm (Norway)

Stockholm II

I didn’t get this finished before the trip and ended up actually completely restarting it while in Brisbane over the Christmas period. The flight over was a great help though and I made steady progress leaving me to finish it While on the cruise up the Norwegian coast. I did take some photos at the time in the ships cabin but none of them really turned out and new pictures were taken once I got home. The yarn is lovely and squooshy but I do fear with a lot of wear this would see some obvious pilling and surface damage. I ended up using about 1.5 skeins of the Bendigo luxury in 10ply which was 14 pattern repeats coming to an unblocked width of ~10 -11 inches.

2. Simple Slouchy Beanie… aka emergency hat replacement (Finland)

not so slouchie

So this hat was started on the 11th oh January and finished on the 12th of Jan. Super fast and super easy. It is quite cute but really has no slouch what so ever. It sits more on my head like a cloche, I’m told it still looks good but it wasn’t quite the look I was after. The original intention with this yarn and hat was to knit it up before I went so I didn’t have to take the Etta hat I knitted in 2011 in the scrummy Malbrigo purpuras… of course that didn’t happen and Etta was my main stay hat throughout the trip… that was until I left it on the bus between Inari and Kakslauttanen in Finland. The day I lost my hat was incredibly stressful as it also had the travel vouchers for the rest of the trip, not so much of a concern for the flights and hotels as they all work with booking etc anyway but the local bus transfers were going to be hard without tickets. So after much talking with the more than useless staff at Kakslauttanen and waiting in the snow and cold for an hour that night for a bus that never came I gave up on ever getting my hat back, resigned myself to difficult conversations with bus drivers in order to get to Rovaneimi and cast on a new hat to distress. The knitting was great for calming me and by the next day I was ready to face down the dilemma of the travel vouchers, long story short though I got Etta back thanks to a wonderful bus driver that dropped hat, vouchers and gloves off at the reception to the hotel *hooray*. So this poor hat was put into the suitcase and never got the opportunity to keep my head warm as I meandered my way through Lapland… maybe next Melbourne winter it will get a look in.

And from finishes to new starts –
Aiming for a finish in each of the nordic countries I visited I cast on another project after the hat, a simple shawl – called less is more it is a basic stockingette in an 8 row repeat that has three ridges of texture stitches in each repeated section. Fantastic flight knitting as you don’t really have to be that with it to keep it progressing. Of course that would of been the case if the Scandinavian airlines let you knit on the flight… grrrr… so away my knitting went into my checked baggage and there it stayed. Of course I could of knit on it during the 20+ hours I was in flight back to Australia but well of course I only remembered that as I was waiting to board at my gate and realised I had left my knitting in my check baggage with absolutely no way I could access it now… woops. I will probably just keep working on this in bits and pieces as it will be great knitting for those nights I really want something to wind down a little after work but I’m too brain fried to even count through a simple pattern.

Less is more shawl


So there you have it.. all in all I think I was rather productive during my holiday even if I did over pack and cater for far too many eventualities. It was nice to see I was not the only one knitting too. During the cruise I met a lovely lady from the UK that was knitting a gorgeous aran style cable jumper in a deep sea green and there was always a Norwegian lady sitting in the corridor before dinner service knitting on traditional colour work mittens. She had a whole bag of them by the end of the cruise. They were so beautiful and she worked so fast. I would have loved to of bought back books of traditional Norwegian patterns but unfortunately my Norwegian is non-existent and whiel I looked at them to see if I would be able to work out the jist of them from the symbols and common terminology there was no chance. So I just ooh’d and ahh’d when I saw the beautiful work in the shops and put the books back in what is a more sensible than usual kind of behaviour from the likes of me 😀

Time for an adventure

Well I thought I would have time to post a few pictures and update my progress on my projects but I was wrong.

There is no time for pictures and the camera is packed.

Christmas was a whirlwind trip up to Brisbane catching up with friends and family and while it was busy and hectic it was really nice to see everyone.

Now though starts the big adventure… I’m about to embark on probably the biggest trip I’ve done so far. London –> Norway –> Finland –> Sweden and then back home.

The nags are packed and the winter woolies ready to hand. the camera is loaded and there are plenty of SD cards ready to try and capture the Aurora Borealis. Four currencies for just as many countries and I am hoping that everything foes smoothly.

The knitting is packed (probably way too much of it in fact) books are loaded on my ipad and I think I’m as ready as I can be.

I’m not sure how much access I will have to the internet while I am away but i will upload photos to my flickr account where possible if not posting directly to my blog.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year and although I may be a little late posting them I have been working on what my Goals for 2013 will be.

Stay tuned there bound to be as hilariously unattainable as always 😀

Tour Day Two

Today was traveling through Normandy with visits to Rouen, Honfleur and Deauville.
The wireless here in the hotel doesn’t seem to play well with my iPad word press app so uploading photos directly here is being more than a little bit painful.
I have uploaded a few pictures to my flickr feed though.
I Rouen we visited the site where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake as well as a number of beautiful gothic cathedrals. The one in the flickr feed is an example of gothic flambouyent which is a later period style where the carved decorations are meant to be reminiscent of candle flames.
The cobbled streets were lined with beautiful boulangerie and macaroon stores.
We managed to order a crepe Grand Marnier from a street vendor at the Christmas market which was delicious.
Honfluer is the capital of lower Normandy and is a beautiful seaside village in the mouth of the seine river.
Here we were able to taste the local Calvados (apple brandy) and picked up a bottle of the 25 year old… 72 Euro but I think it was worth it.
Surprisingly although Normandy is renowned for raining 360 days a year it was actually sunny while we were there… Still cold enough for nice on then footpaths but sunny :p

We stopped at Deauville which is on the coast of the English channel just in time to catch the beginning of the sunset.
The seaside boardwalk here is lovely and has been a draw card fir the rich for many many years.
It was strange as I had just recently watched a French film on coco chanel before leaving Australia and yesterday I found myself walking along the boardwalk where she first got the inspiration for her classic striped shirt and style from the fisherman along that very coast.
We ended the day .. Well night by hid stage driving to Herouville
Just outside of Caen past the Pegasus bridge ( world war two memorial at the site of the actual bridge).
Day three will be exploring Caen and visiting the Bayeux tapestry.
Hopefully the next hotel will have wireless too… We have been warned though that it is unlikely.

A quick photo update from Paris

Well McDonalds may not be the most suave place to be eating in Paris but it does mean free wireless, which considering we haven’t found any other way to get our Internet fix from herewe yet means we will probably be visiting dear maccas more than we have in ten years ( not hard that really )
The whole language barrier is a little daunting and there have been a few deer in the headlight moments but so far I have managed to make myself understood for the most part and have even deciphered bits of what people are saying to me.
Here’s hoping that exposure and practice will make it easier as the next few weeks pass.
The while phone plan seems to be proving more problematic than expected with Mr B discovering the hard way that data carves dorm south Korea are very expensive ($25 a Meg). That’s all sorted now though and his phone is hooked up again if anyone needs to call.

This morning we spent 4 hours wandering around the 19th arondisment and came across a gorgeous park (Parc des Buttes Chamont) with gorgeous statues and a lake. Unfortunately since we haven’t been back to the hotel I don’t have those photos to share yet just some others from the last couple of days in transit. We meet up with the tour group tonight but before then we are hoping to explore a cemetery a short walk from the hotel…. If we can still walk after this mornings adventures 🙂

In flight route I formation Melbourne to Seoul. From Seoul to Paris we went over China then across Russia(Siberia) then down through Norway to Germany and the France.
The flight to Paris we were in the middle seated section, in the very middle seats. Not the best place to be seated but it was okay… Right up until I got a migraine complete with sever nausea. Thankfully the flight attendant was able to give me some anti nausea medication and disaster was averted.

View of Seoul from the plane as we came in to land. Seoul is crisscrossed with these massive road bridges that go out to Incheon airport and other islands off the coast.

On the first night in Paris we walked through Parc de la Villete, an area that has the cite de sciences and the cite de la musique. This is a close up shot of an amazing carousel we came across near the canal. It is a gorgeous old style carousel styled on the stories of Jules Verne.
The ceilings are painted with scenes from the books and the riding cars were a mixture of things like a rocket ship, hot air balloon and other things of wonder. I have completely fallen in love with it and taken quite a few photos both last night and again this morning.

Another thing of wonder in the Parc de la Villete is the Geode that is part of the Cite de Sciences. It is a HUGE highly reflective ball that looks like it is floating in the water. The way the lit reflect off it is stunning. This photo isn’t great and sure didn’t capture the great way the light bounced off and w reflected in the surface. I want to go back tonight with my good camera and try to take some longer exposure shots and see what I can capture.

I am going to have so many pictures to upload to flickr when I get get home lol.
Oh the scarves I knitted this year are sure getting a work out. Just right for the weather… There was a light dusting of ice around on the footpaths this morning and some of the waterways had slightly frozen surfaces 😛

Time to blow away the cobwebs

Wow it has been a while.
Most people that wad my blog though will know what has been going on. Uni was crazy this semester but thankfully that is all over for now and I have a job starting in January.

Before then though I’m off to France and the. Wales via London.
I can’t wait and sitting here at 11pm blogging is probably not what I should be doing. I wanted to test blogging from the word press app on my iPad though as I am hoping to at least try and keep some kind of travel journal while I am away.

Or at the very least post a few photos.
Speaking of photos I have a couple of finished projects to show off. Not the pictures I promised back in July but new projects! There hasn’t been much crafting in the past few months but I did finish off a beret for myself and another infinity scarf.

This time I used two strands of yarn… One of Debbie bliss baby cashmerino and the other a lace weight alpaca yarn in charcoal. It is so squooshy and soft and very very warm. Just right for winter in Europe .. Or at least I hope so.

The beret is to go with my ruffles scarf I did earlier in the year and is done in Morris and Sons quartet. Unfortunately the Morris and Sons sale starts tomorrow, after I fly out so I will miss it, but really I can’t complain too much considering where I’ll be instead 🙂

Overall I am happy with the beret my seaming needs work and in future I would knit this in the round but not too bad for my first hat.
There was another scarf as well knitted in nor yarn to see what I thought of it. I don’t have photos of it on my ipad though to upload. You can see it over on my ravelry page though if you’re interested.

There are great plans afoot for my crafty adventures in 2011 but the explanation of all that will just have to wait for another post.
And this time I promise the post will be closer together than the last few 🙂

Holiday update

Well I didn’t get back to my blog before heading to BrisVegas… but really who’s surprised about that?
The trip up was good but really really busy, filled with trips to see family and friends and lots of running all over the place.

I think I actually managed to cover the four corners that outline the outer regions of Brisbane. In ten days I was in Logan Reserve / Beaudesert, Boonah out past Ipswich, Caboolture and Cleaveland with a brief stay in the centre of the city as well. Phew it makes me tired just thinking about it all over again.

I got the cake made before I left as well as decorations and an overall plan which had me less nervous about getting it all together in time. I didn’t manage to make costumes but did track down props and bits and pieces to throw together a little red riding hood and woodsman costume… complete with wolfs head with grannys night cap 😛

The party was a great success filled with over 40 people there to celebrate with dear friends. Even though I wasn’t happy with the overall finish of the cake (there being too much un-eveness on the top) Lesley and Colin loved it and everyone was more than happy to tuck in to the mud cake and the cupcakes.

Hearts and Roses

I ended up with a white chocolate mud cake filled and coated in a rich raspberry butter cream then coated with a white chocolate fondant. The decorations were sugar paste roses and hearts made in house by Mr B and myself. Not too bad for our first ever attempts at sugar roses if I do say so myself. I also made 5 dozen cupcakes – there were chocolate with raspberry butter cream and decorated with a two layer red and white sugar heart and then white chocolate and macadamia cupcakes with a white chocolate and vanilla bean butter cream. Surprisingly a lot of the cakes were eaten on the night.

It was a busy few days helping set up for the party , the the party shenanigans an the clean up but it was a fantastic time and I am so glad we were able to be a part of it.
Colin treeI even managed to get a couple of pictures of the completed Lesley and Colin name trees I finished last year and forgot to take photos of (picture of the Lesley tree can be seen at my flickr account). Lesley is rather enamoured with them and they were still out hanging on the handles of one of their display cabinets. I only grabbed a couple of quick shots but at least now I have a record of how they ended up after finishing.

While away I started and finished a knitting project, just another infinity scarf, this time for myself. No photos yet though as I still need to block it and take pictures. I have progress on my restart of the woodland lace scarf too so I will leave that for a knitting focused post later in the week.

Tomorrow is the last day of my holidays… surprising how fast it has gone. All in all I don’t think I managed to do a fraction of what I had planned but that’s ok. What I did manage was to spend time catching up with some great friends both here in Melbourne and in Brisbane… and I even got skype working on my phone so I can call friend farther afield a little more often too which will be nice. The best thing about tomorrow though… I’m off to Bendigo again! we’re filling a car and heading off on a road trip again, 4 yarn mad women and a date with the Bendigo Australian wool and sheep show.

Do I need more wool?.. hell no! but I am sure I will come back with quite a bit. 😀

Dropping in to say hi

Well it is the SWIP SAL over on the HAED bulletin board this weekend / week (the SALs are week long affairs now, though I suspect I will only play along for the weekend). I have decided to pick up my little lost dragon for a bit of love and attention. I’m never going to get him finished if I don’t start getting in a few more of those little crosses.
I’ll be sure to update again with my progress once I put him away again.
Mostly I have been madly beavering away on Mr Admas scarf for him to take back on Tuesday… at this point I think I might just make it. I am two balls in so far with a chance to get hopefully a third done before my time is run out, I may end up having to make it a little shorter than intended.

Today though I am off with friends to tour around some wineries and just generally have a good time so I will catch up with all my photo uploads and general shenanigans when I get home. 🙂

scorch and spooky at the domain chandon

Craft Show Shenanigans

Well it was that time of year again, The Craft and Quilt Fair. Nic and I used to run away from work and attend this in Brisbane most years.. It was always a fun day out even if we pretty much always left having spent way more money than we even intended to.

This year the location is a little more southern and the company a little different but the end result was rather similar. I had a fantastic day yesterday running around with Nancy, Sharon and Tracy oggling at all the pretties and enabling each other at every turn.
I came away with a rather different selection than usual though, with no fabric from stitches and spice and not a cross stitch chart to be seen ( I think Nancy bought the only chart if you can believe that). We were dazzled by so many local producers and stores that don’t travel up to the Brisbane show so the variety was amazing, and there are so many more wool supplies in Victoria.

Thread wall

I think the biggest win for the day was the stall selling hand crafted Jarrah wood pieces, boxes, spool holders of all shapes and sizes, frames, stands even little knitting Nancy’s and wooden spools. I picked myself up a Jarrah box with a place for needlework in the top (I am going to use this to store my Vikki Clayton Minis and also a spool tower .. it spins! It also doesn’t hold all my spools but sure looks pretty all filled up. I also got some pin cushion bases and wooden spools from the same couple. They are based out at Geelong and will do custom work as well so I forsee a trip out to see them again at some point. Their prices were really good (made all the better by the wonderful sale prices they were having at the show) and the quality of the pieces is lovely.


My other big purchase was two stumpwork books by Jane Nicholas. If you get Inspirations Magazine you will have seen some of her work in there from time to time. The stumpwork designs are stunning to say the least and photos just do nothing to capture the three dimensional beauty of the pieces she creates. I got both the Beetle Collection and Medieval Flora books (the second being a complete lack of willpower after walking past her stall a second time). They are both signed by the author and Jane was incredibly lovely talking to us for quite some time and showing us the pieces and in some cases wip stages of some of the wing sections etc. She said not to be afraid and just jump in and give it a try so here’s hoping I can. My current evil plan, seeing as we were all so wowed by the bugs, (who knew so many of us were gaga over insects) is to pull a bunch of goldwork supplies together to attempt at least one of the bugs each next time we meet up for a stitchy day. I didn’t buy a kit as a have a bit of goldworking supplies which I have been stashing away with the hope that one day I would build up enough courage to try some things with it. The only materials related item I bought was the wires for the wings etc. Her website seems to have everything though so I will need to decide if I get things from there or put in an order to Hedgehog Handworks which has an amazing supply of historical embroidery and clothing resources (yes an order to them will just be an excuse to get more books and way more than just a few supplies for some stumpwork bugs).

Everything else was bits and piece that caught my eye really, some acrylic paints in copper and purple for doing stamped embossing styles things on velvets. These are mainly for a few ideas I have floating around in my head for a Stempunk alchemists costume for a steampunk ball we maybe attending for New Years eve… still lots of planning to go into that one. Some fabric for the wonderful guys from the fabric stall I can never remember the name of. They do great36ct evenweave that I love but this time around also had a bunch of new hand dyed products in 28 and 36ct. They also had some fantastic new opalescents in black there was black with silver, I think gold and a purple opalescent sparkle as well. Unfortunately at this point they are only doing them in aida but they assured me they are working on having it done on their black evenweaves too and it should be ready for the next show (which I got reminded I need to take show and tell of my stitching along for because I forgot this time).

Goblin of cuteness

I also got a pattern for one of the best goblin dolls I have seen the interpretation of the patter that the stall holder had done blew me away and he was so soft and cuddly I just had to get the pattern so I could make my own. He reminded me a little of the Brian Froud goblins I love so much. Oh and in case you are wondering all that coiled ribbon at the front of the picture.. yes it is about 60 metres of velvet ribbon in purple , black and a dark deep blue in 5mm up to 16mm widths. At 50c a meter how could I resist?

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