Catching Up

I am SO grateful to have two weeks holiday for Easter this year instead of the usual long weekend followed by 4 days of frantically trying to get things done.  I pretty much slept through Easter which was much needed then took it easy last week so this week is more of a week for getting things done.  I have spring cleaned most of the kitchen including the exhaust fan and the cupboard fronts and started a few other projects.

But the thing I’ve enjoyed most is having time to catch up with people. Time to have a chat with my elderly neighbour who moved away to an assisted living place in Toowoomba today, time to sit with one of my Avon customers and drink liqueur and coffee and laugh at Bronco snuffling in her mondo grass, time to sit with one of my BFFs down at Pallara and drink coffee fairly peacefully until a certain blue cattle dog decided to terrorise one of her roosters and especially time with my boys to hang out, chat, learn new things and work on some projects together.

A very, very special catch-up has been with another BFF up in Cairns, Fiona aka Fifikins.  Fiona took up knitting a couple of years ago after I did and has way surpassed me in skills, finished projects, stash and just about everything else knitting related.  I don’t mind this one bit because I can see how how having a high-fibre (yarn) diet has really brought her a lot of satisfaction.  What I marvel at is the fact that she has never actually been inside a “brinks and mortar” yarn shop.  Cairns in far north Queensland does not have a yarn shop and I’m pretty certain that Fiona has not left Cairns in the time she has been knitting.

So she has learned to knit by making the most of what’s out there in cyber space.  There isn’t a place for her to go and have lessons in Cairns so she has taught herself, mainly through You Tube.  There aren’t regular social knitting groups in Cairns although they do have Ravelry get togethers sometimes.  Fiona has become very much involved in the whole Ravelry scene and joined in with a myriad of groups there. And earlier this year she began her own podcast.

A few years ago Eric and I were very fortunate to have a week up in Cairns with Fiona and as you would expect Fiona and I spent many long hours on her back deck with the fairy lights talking, sharing and reminiscing.  I missed that when I came home and have missed it ever since.  We talk on the phone, communicate almost daily on Facebook and skype sometimes but it just isn’t the same.

Enter the podcast!  Once a week I get to sit at my computer and listen to Fiona and see her on the deck with the fairy lights having a yarn about knitting and lots of other things.  Who knows when I’ll get to Cairns again or when she will get down here but watching the podcast is pretty darn good.  I sit with my knitting and get caught up.  I had missed a few episodes over the past month because of everything happening so over the past 2 days I’ve watched 3 episodes as I catch up.  For two of those episodes this afternoon I set myself up with my laptop on my back deck and worked on a project for school.  What a great afternoon I had!

Fiona also hosts VKNs (Virtual Knit Nights) using Google Hangouts where you can sit at your computer with a group of others on the screen and knit and chat together.  I’ve only managed to get to one of those once so I’m definitely aiming for more.

Fiona’s podcasts can be found on her blog A Down Under Yarn,podcast on the Ravelry group with the same name and on I-tunes.

The photo is Fiona and I on my back deck this afternoon.  I’m the one with the wine boxes (explanation to come!) and she’s the one on the computer screen.


Jack of all trades?

Long time no blog again!
It isn’t like I’ve forgotten this blog but life has been frantically busy and while doing other things and reading LOTS of other things I’ve been pondering the future or even future direction of this blog. Lots of questions have been bubbling up. Should I kep blogging? Will anyone read it?
I’m sure there’s not many around to read it as I haven’t been blogging very much and that leads to another question about building up an audience.
I don;t know if I’ve got what it takes to build up an audience. For starters My blog is a little bit of everything. I’m a mother but don’t have enough material to be a Mummy blogger. Although I will be writing about “Technology Diets” and “How to not kill your soon to be teenager” in the near future.
I’m a teacher and I’m very pleased with a lot of what I’m doing in the classroom especially with Daily 5, Rolem Maths and Words Their Way but I don’t know if that is enough to build myslef an audience of “teacher readers.”
I’m a knitter and crafter but not doing nearly enough of that to have much to write about. Certainly not like my BFF Ms Fifikins who has her own weekly knitting podcast!
I like to say I’m losing weight and write all about that but it ain’t happening just yet and I am certainly not an expert dog owner – even though we have become a lot tougher since Christmas.
What it all boils down to is that I’d like to keep blogging and it will continue to be a little bit of everything.
There will be something for Mums, teachers, crafters and anyone else who is interested. The discipline of regularly putting thoughts on paper (or on-line) is a good one for me and helps me put life’s happening in perspective.
And why the Bronco photo you may ask?
He’s the main subject of most of my photos these days. Hmm, better take some more of the childerbeasts.

What Works For Me 57/365 When an IOU has to do

My boys attended their first Baby Shower with me on Saturday as I had to drive a fair way to get there and as usual I was a “Bowls Widow” for most of the day.  I didn’t tell them too much about it because I didn’t know if it would appeal to them and Daniel informed Anthony as we were leaving that we were off to a “Baby Bath” or “Baby Barf” if we are going to use Daniel’s pronounciation!

I’ve been working away on a present – two little pram blankets for the twin boys that are on their way but haven’t finished them because I am still waiting for another colour of yarn. So I had to do an IOU for this event.  I took a piece of yarn from each colour of the blankets and another piece that was the same colour as the yarn I am waiting for (but not the same yarn obviously!)  They were tied in a knot and popped into the card where I wrote:

My gift to you is an IOU

Two little rugs

To keep your boys snug!

What Works For Me 37/365 Knitting Along

Ok, so January scarf “knit-a-long” was finally completed on Sunday night which was February 5 but I’m pretty pleased with the timeframe given everything else that has been going on.  I LOVE Malbrigo sock yarn and can’t wait to knit something else with it.  This month is hats and I am officially a dag because I would love to knit a hat for my pre-school dress-up box for Annie Apple.  All the Apple hats are for babies though – will keep thinking.

What Works For Me 15/365 Knitting Along

There’s nothing like knitting with friends to spur oneself on to start (and finish) a project so today I joined the Threads and More Summer Scarf Knit-a-long.  I cast on some scrumptious Malabrigo sock yarn to knit a light scarf with some ruffling and eyelets.  We are not all knitting the same thing but everyone is doing a scarf or something close like a cowl or shawlette.  I’m already looking forward to meeting up again next week to see everyone’s progress.

What Works For Me 10/365 A Little Bit of Lace

It is too hot to do anything really but in the past couple of days I’ve finished two cotton dishcloths.  And in the process I’ve taught myself to follow a couple of simple lace patterns.  I haven’t actually done any lace knitting before so there was a bit of “frogging” and “tinking” and muttering as I counted, and re-counted and tried to keep track of where I was in the pattern I was following.  But now they are done and they’ve given me a bit more confidence to try some other patterns.  They will also be mine to use in my kitchen as prototypes for what I may eventually sell to make some much needed pocket money.

A Little Bit of Decorating

We didn’t get to do much extra decorating this year and a lot of our lights have given up the ghost but I did get two little projects done.  Using cut out “slices” from cardboard tubes I made Silver Christmas Stars with Daniel and I managed to finish my Christmas star garlands for each boy.

The star garlands had ten stars each which made a total of 20 stars.  That total isn’t really important until you consider the “blocking” of the stars which took 200 pins.  My poor thumb!  I was very happy with the finished result however!

The cardboard roll stars were pretty easy with the use of the hot glue gun.  Daniel enjoyed having a go of Mum’s hot gun even though he had to be VERY careful.  Silver paint and clear sparkly glitter finished them off.

I’ve seen many ideas for Christmases to come and I’ve been pinning and pinning and pinning.

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