Saturday, December 27, 2008

The dutiful daughter-in-law

This is attempt number 2 at a hat for my father-in-law. The first time I mis-guessed how many stitches to cat-on, so I also have a child-sized hat floating around. Lucky it's such a quick knit!

Recipe: Cleckheaton's Merino Supreme wool (discontinued), one 5.0mm circular needle, 5.0mm DPNs (I used 5.5mm DPNs as they were handy). Cast on 84 stitches, join in round. Knit 60 rounds in 2X2 rib before decreasing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ye Gods! Photos of finished projects

Noro Silk Mountain Scarf

Noro Silk Mountain Scarf

This scarf is for my Mother-In-Law who probably can’t appreciate just how luxurious and expensive this silk/wool/mohair yarn is. So, why am I giving it to her?

1/ It’s a very quick, easy knit. Just 21 stitches, slip the first stitch and knit each row. The yarn does all the work.

2/ I bought this yarn on impulse and while I know it looks great, I just really don’t love it or love knitting with it. I was glad to have an excuse to get it out of my stash.

3/ Even if the MIL doesn’t appreciate how great this yarn is, she will appreciate the thought and the fact it is warm. And it will impress the hell out of people around her who actually get it.

Baby Surprise Jacket

This jacket is for a friend who is pregnant with her second baby boy. I just have to sew on the buttons. It looks so tiny but I guess babies come out this size.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Contentment is being happy with what you have

"What I really want," I told J some months ago, "is security.  I don't have any desire to be wealthy or wear designer clothes but I want to know I have enough money to do what I want when I want.  When I retire I want to own the roof over my head - if we don't have to pay rent or a mortgage we can live pretty cheaply."

"I can understand that," J said.  "But look at yourself now.  You are lying on your couch with your cat and your knitting watching Midsomer Murders having just eaten a wonderful dinner cooked by your husband.  AND we have dark Lindt chocolate for desert. Tell me - is there really anything else you want right now?"

Fast forward four months and the stock market has crashed even more spectacularly - 45% since this time last year.  I'm glad I'm not facing retirement in the next few years.  I can close my eyes when the superannuation statement arrives and tell myself this will all be a blip in 25 years time.

I'm glad my job seems relatively secure; that the new CEO likes me; that all my hard work over the years is paying dividends.  Too many people, often undeservedly, are losing their jobs, not through any fault or greed of their own but because they were in the wrong company or industry at the wrong time.

I think back to my accounting graduation during the recession of 1992.  "Get into insolvency," a young Turk from KPMG told me. "It's a dynamic and growing industry."  I don't think he realised the irony of what he was saying.  But who am I to laugh?  He's probably managing the section now, making more money than I could ever dream of.

Whereas I am in a job I love, where I am respected, with a husband who loves me, a comfortable house, wonderful friends, the two best cats in the world and enough DVDs and books and knitting yarn to get through the recession of 2009 without having to buy a single thing.

Life is good.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Settling in

A picture is worth a thousand words but only if you can find the camera cable and your home computer doesn't spontaneously shut down every few minutes.  As J says, would I rather he spent time fixing the locks or fixing my computer, because he would much rather devote the time to fixing the computer but there is a lot that needs to be done around the home.

So I will have to be descriptive with my language.

Still settling in.  The cats are finally "legal"; the new registration tags having come in the mail.  After a fortnight of whining, they were finally able to go outside, where they gingerly poked around for a few minutes before demanding to come back in. OK...

There are all these expenses when one moves that can add up to a frightfully large amount, a few hundred dollars at a time.  So far they have included carpet cleaning, new locks; new door handles, two ceiling fans, a kitchen hutch/dresser (paid less than half price due to a few scratches and bumps), a new sofa and chair (indulgent, but a worthwhile quality investment that will outlast cheaper models), extra lights and a tv antenna booster so we can consistently access the news.

J's become - much to my pleasant surprise - very house proud.  He's set up the living room beautifully and has even pulled out the vacuum cleaner without me saying anything.  We are eating our meals in a very civilised manner at the new kitchen table, rather than on the couch watching TV (J even seems dubious about the risk of us taking coffee into the living area), and while we have heaps still to unpack and sort out, we seem to be more on top of things in the new place.

I haven't quite worked out the best way of managing all my travel; I have to discipline myself to leave on time from work as an extra 30 minutes of mucking around can mean arriving home up to an hour later than need be.  Sometimes I'm so tired I nap on the train; other times I read or knit.  I think it's just a matter of getting used to my new routine.  I love our new place and the area and don't regret moving for a moment.

And by the way, I wasn't compalining about our new council's green policy - I agree with it entirely - but that doesn't mean that it isn't diffiuclt to change the habbits of a lifetime.  And there is a limit to how much one can reuse all the packaging used in moving.  We will eventually put the cardboard boxes on Freecycle - we'll have to use the general Melbourne site; funnily enough for such a green precinct there is no Freecycle group for our specific region.

In knitting news, I'm getting close to the end of the BSJ.  I hesitate to say this, but I'm finding all the garter stitch a little boring.  But I hate trying to do lace as I have a tendancy to miscount and hate having to either fudge or frog rows of lace.  J is very keen for me to crochet a throw for our couch - I think he has no idea of just how much is involved in this.  He want's it one or two colours but I am seriously tempted by the Babette Blanket - it's one way to burn through some of my stash and will be a lot easier and more entertaining than just doing 100-plus identical granny squares.