Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Boatie Bits and Knits

I wanted to throw a post in here before we left for our boat trip, and indeed, had much of a post done before we left. It was started, but not completed. So now, I'm doing some creative editing on the "old" post, and adding the unfinished and new bits. At the moment, time is not on my side, so if some of the edits make no sense, and if I'm sketchy and a bit brief, then I can only apoligize in advance.

With Christmas obligations and Chris on school holidays, my schedule has been packed full. I came home from work last Monday morning, showered, loaded up everything and left for the boat. We were on the boat until Thursday afternoon, back to work Thursday night. I work Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and then when I get home Sunday morning I'll shower, load up in the car and begin a three and a half hour car journey to Wool Bay. Wool Bay is a seaside resort community on the Eastern shore of the Yorke Peninsula. An old friend of Chris' has a cabin there, and we will be staying with him and his wife Sunday night and Monday night, returning home Tuesday in time for me to be at work Tuesday night. Such is my schedule at the moment. Consequently, this might look a bit hurried, and editing will be rough.

Now, to go way way back (or so it seems now) to the things going on before the boat trip. I'll get to the knitting bit eventually, but one thing I thought pretty exciting was that I actually had a raffle win. I was in the express line at the grocery store a couple of months ago, and the checkout girl asked me if I wanted to enter a raffle aiding in the support of the two new pandas they were getting (and have since got) at the Adelaide zoo.

I said "I'll donate two bucks. I'm a bit short on time".

She said, "Oh, the prizes are great, and I only need your name and phone number".

So I scribbled down my name and number, gave her a two buck coin and never thought another thing about it until I got a phone call from Woolworths. Even then, I didn't recall it immediately. The girl on the phone told me where she was calling from, and I really couldn't figure out why Woolworths would be calling me. Then she told me she needed my address because I had won $1000 worth of "gift cards" in the "Panda Raffle". Still, no bells are ringing, and my first instinct was it was one of those calls where they try to glean information and then rob your bank account or something. I figured there was no harm in giving her my address, as it's in the phone book anyway, but I was wary about giving her any more information. Thank goodness she never asked for anything more. She just started explaining to me what I had won. It was then that I finally remembered the Panda raffle, and started paying attention. At that moment I realized it wasn't a prank, since I hadn't thought anything about buying that ticket, much less told anyone about it.

After asking her to repeat what I had won, I started to get excited. Essentially, it was two $500 Wish gift cards that could be spent at any Woolworths or several associate stores. They arrived by registered mail a few days later:

Shortly after the phone call, I had called Chris to tell him the news. We had planned on buying a new digital LCD TV for Christmas, sort of one big thing for both of us, but we knew we'd have to put it on the credit card and pay it off. So he suggested we get the TV with the cards. We went shopping at one of the associate stores, Dick Smith Electronics, and got this lovely whopper of a TV (well, whopper compared to the 26in we had):

It's a 42in Sanyo LCD, the picture is beautiful, and we are enjoying watching all the new digital channels. Admittedly, with all our running around, and the utter crap that on TV this time of the year, I haven't had a chance to watch to much on it, but I'm sure I'll get my chance soon enough. The only problem is that I'm having a bit of trouble hooking it to the DVD/VCR player, but I really just haven't had time to figure it out. Something else for me to put my mind to when all the running is over with.

All in all, it was a nice little windfall, and helps us tremendously in planning and saving for our planned trip to Tennessee in late August. Chris has applied for the time off work. We still haven't gotten final approval back from the department, but it looks promising. We're planning as if it's a done deal.

Also, on one of my days off a few days before the trip, Chris and I went bushwalking in a nearby conservation area, and I managed to get a couple of shots I thought I would include here. It's a lovely spot. Chris goes there alot, and was anxious to show it to me, and I must say, I was impressed by the landscape, but not so impressed by the plethora of flies that abounded there. I was wearing my "fly hat" though, so all was well:

Notice too our handy new hiking poles. Chris, ever the ebay stalker, found them on there. Mine was originally supposed to be his, and came from China, but it was way to short for Chris, even fully extended, but perfect for me. He got himself another taller model:

I suppose I should mention Christmas in here too, although really, we didn't do much. I was off Christmas Eve night, and we went to Chris' parents for lunch the next day, then down to the beach for awhile, and then over to some friends of his for a few hours in the evening before I went to work. Unfortunately, I didn't have the foresight to take any pictures. I did, however, get one knitting related present that bears a mention and a picture here. My newest Christmas ornament, sent to me by my dearest mom. It's too cool for words, and I love it to pieces:

Sometime back before Christmas (honestly don't remember when) I got my latest installment from David at Southern Cross Fibre Club. It's quite lovely, and I plan on taking it with me to Wool Bay tomorrow, and hopefully get started on it there.

Now, for pics of my pre boat trip knitting. The only finished object to report on is the Honey Bee Socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Solids, which turned out to be very pretty. Sometimes pretty socks aren't terribly "wearable", but these certainly are, and I'm very happy with them:

Also, I took out some of my "early" homespun, a semi thick yarn made with some Border Leichestershire tops I got from Jane at Moseley Park eons ago and whipped up a quick little sock for my still very much loved iPod touch:

Here we have the Lacy camisole, which liked having the sleeves sewn on in this pic:

I did manage to get one sleeve sewn on, and the second sleeve started before we left for the boat, and even though I took it with us on the trip, it is still in exactly that same position. I never even took it out. I'm not even taking it with us to Wool Bay, as I'm traveling a bit lighter and know I'm not likely to get to it. I don't like sewing at the best of times, and I really don't like sewing away from home. It doesn't fit my "strategy" for getting seaming done. That is, I like to lay it out on the couch and just leave it there. That way, I feel obliged to stitch on it when I sit down.

Then there are those projects I did actually work on while away. I'll show a "before picture of them now, and save the "after" picktures for later on in the post. (I'm really trying hard for some cronological order here.)

The Welt and Rib Raglan done in Sublime merino silk and cashmere blend went with me as my . Here's a photo of it before we left:

Then there's my "pride and joy" WIP, the Alpine Lace Scarf from Victorian Knits Today book, made with Ixchel's merino cashmere laceweight 2ply in a lovely sky blue, or would that be ice blue?? Well, a very pretty blue anyway. It looked something like this before we left:

I took along Matilda, my Majacraft Little Gem spinning wheel. Before we left, I'd been spinning some of the roving I got from Southern Cross Fibre Club into one long single, and the plan is to Navaho Ply it.

The trip upstream on the Murray River was nice. We caught up with Chris' coworker Amanda and her husband Bob shortly after we left the marina in their little pontoon style boat, the "A'Salt":

We went up to the cliffs outside Mypolonga:

and moored in a shady area, but unfortunately the banks were a bit on the "weedy snaky" side, so we weren't able to get off the boat and walk around much. Amanda and Bob pulled the A'Salt in next to us:

We did a bit of swimming around when it got quite hot in the afternoon:

Unfortunately, my swim was cut short by this dang dead fish that was floating straight for us. I crawled back in the boat quick as a flash, but my hero tried to protect me from the beast by removing it from our swimming space:

We went a bit further up the river, to the other side of Mannum and moored there on the second day. Again, a nice spot. More swimming and such, but I must admit I spent the majority of my time on the boat knitting.

Amanda has an old spinning wheel, and likes to spin locks from her family sheep. I try to get her interested in prepared fibre, but she's more interested in the more rustic aspects of lock spinning. To each his own. But what she has been keen on is learning how to knit socks. She's a novice knitter, but she picked up the magic loop method in an instant, and with my help, set about knitting her first ever sock:

Matilda fit rather handily on the boat:

and at one time or another both Amanda and I took her for a spin. It was so nice to be sitting there spinning, rocking in the boat and watching the fish jump and listening to the birds sing.

On the third day, we headed back downstream, and stopped in the exact same place we had stopped at on the first day. It had gotten progressively hotter as the days went by, and this day was the worst. In the late afternoon, I actually had to stop knitting on the Welt and Rib Raglan for awhile, since my sweaty hands were felting the stitches.

Very early Thursday morning, more to beat the heat than anything, we were headed back to Murray Bridge. I found the best time for working on my Alpine Lace Scarf was while actually traveling, since Chris was busy at the wheel and Amanda and Bob were on their own boat. I took this picture of my progress on that final leg:

It is breathtaking and I love it immensely. I had alot of trouble getting started, having to completely frog it twice before successfully finishing even 20 rows, but eventually I got the hang of it. I'm also putting in lots of safety lines, which is easy to do with the KnitPicks Harmonys I'm using for the project. I'm using the method where I just pull the safety thread through the keyhole of the needle in my right hand. After all the running around and holidays, I'll do a bit of a mini tutorial on the method for those not familiar with it. At any rate, things are going much smoother now, and I've only had to use the safety line once so far.

After getting home, I took this picture of the Welt and Rib Raglan. I finished the lower body part. It had to be cast off using the sewn cast off method, and that took me literally hours to do all that many stitches. Then I cast on for the first sleeve and managed to get quite a bit of it done:

It's coming along quite nicely I think, and it is easy knitting, good to do while watching TV or chatting with others.

I didn't get as much spinning done as I thought I might, mainly because I was sharing Matilda with Amanda, but also because I was just feeling quite involved with my knitting. I did, however, manage to finish the bobbin I had started:

I still haven't plied it. I've decided to ply it on the Ashford, as I have the jumbo bobbin on there and (it seems) a bit more control while plying. That will have to wait till all this running is over with.

Well, that just about brings me up to speed. We leave out in the morning for two days on the coast. The Alpine Lace and the Welt and Rib Raglan are going with me. I'm also taking a ball of self striping sock yarn, and might (just might) start a pair of simple stockingnet stitch socks while we are away. The Raglan is getting a little big for carry along knitting this time of year, and will certainly be too big once I finish the second sleeve and start joining everything up. So I will soon need some simple carry along knitting to work on.

I'm now out of words and out of time. I'm only going to give this a quick once over, so pardon any imperfections. It's pretty much my bedtime, and if I don't want to be exhausted tomorrow, I'd better get my sleep today. I'll post again as soon as I can after we return. Till then....


Anonymous said...

Beautiful post from My Beautiful Daughter!! Glad you liked the ornament. I LOVE my sweater you made me for Christmas. Nice for this - 0 weather! I will send you a picture of it on me as soon as I get to feeling better. Love You, MOM

MrsDoF said...

Some lovely projects. And I'm not sure I would enjoy Christmas quite so much if the weather is too hot to work with yarn.
Your holiday time is upside down from Illinois prairie weather :)