Friday, December 29, 2006

We interupt this summer for some winter knitting

It's been really cold this week in Melbourne and we are really glad we've procrastinated taking in the winter doona for its summer clean because we have needed it. This time last year we were melting in the heat.

What I should have been doing was sewing together all those Noro blanket squares. What I have been doing is a new hat and scarf project (because I only have about 50 of these already!) But it is not all bad: I found the half-finished 14-ply jumper I started about 8-months ago and abandoned after realising it was too short and too wide for me to wear, ripped out the knitting, salvaged what yarn I could. Then I started on a nice simple piece of therapeutic knitting, a four-stitch four-row wide basket weave scarf. Then I realised I had plenty of yarn left over, so I made a matching hat. It's all very daggy or "cute in a retro way" as my husband puts it. It is also very warm. I'm not sure if I will inflict it on a friend or relative or donate it to charity.

Monday, December 25, 2006

You wouldn't believe this if it was in the movies

Australia is famous for some pretty quirky weather including sudden changes that tend to freak out visitors and newcomers. But a film script based on the events of the past few weeks in Victoria would be dismissed as being too unbelievable (although I can see it being promoted as 'A Christmas Miracle'.)

Due to a lack of rain, the bushfire season started early with the first fires in October. By the start of December there were massive bushfires in the alpine areas of Victoria, destroying hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest, burning down buildings, and injuring a number of firefighters, killing one. In the week before Christmas, the fire was threatening several communities and there was the very real possibility that a major ski resort would go up in flames.

Then the miracle happened. It rained, enough to put out some of the fires. The weather remained cool. And on Christmas day it snowed. In the middle of an Australian summer, snow fell on the Victorian alps.

If you don't believe me, visit the story here. They even have a photo of the fire truck covered with snow and Christmas decorations, surrounded by some very relieved firefighters.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

And now the work begins

I've finally finished knitting all 24 Lizard Ridge squares, all the ends are woven in and I've even steam blocked the squares flat. But how I dread sewing it all up!

Speaking of sewing up, it looks like my square for Grandmother Purl's blanket made it into the main item (3rd row from the top, 3rd square from the right) - not everyone was as conscious as me in ensuring they produced a perfect 8 inch square; hence two more blankets made up of "squares slightly smaller than 8 inches" and "squares slightly larger than 8 inches" will be made up.

I also received a certificate from The Beaconsfield Close-Knit Community Working Group thanking me for my contribution to their 925 metre scarf. Look out for the extra-bright lime green section if it comes to a town near you.

I've (obviously) been a bit "off" blogging the last few weeks; my knitting slowed down but did not stop altogether. I've been reading a bit more; conscientiously slogging my way through "The God of Small Things" - I know it is meant to be great literature but I'm finding it slow going. A faster, and for me more enjoyable, read has been Dodie Smith's "I Capture the Castle" (click on the link for a good plot summary). A $5 bargain from my favourite op shop. Written in 1949 but amazingly fresh and compelling. A film version was made in 2003 but I'm sure it could not capture the nuances and energy of the book.