Saturday, 11 August 2007

K is for Kindergarten

K is for Kindy. When I was a little girl in Kindy, we had to sit on the floor on little hessian mats with a cloth binding that our mothers had to make for us. The girl who sat in front of me had long plaits and I was fascinated with them. I was always in trouble for squeezing them - I wanted to know if the plaits could feel - I knew my own short hair couldn't, but those big fat plaits looked so ALIVE - I can still remember trying to puzzle it out. No matter how carefully I tried to squeeze them, this girl would start to flick her head and look over her shoulder - and the teacher would be on me like a ton of bricks.

J is for ....

J is for the first initial of my only sibling's name - Mr Mooney. He is a sweet, gentle man who lost his beloved wife to breast cancer just over eighteen months ago - she had just turned 47. They were true soulmates and Mr Mooney is, of course, still grieving. I love him dearly and wish I could make it better.

J is for June, the month of Ms 5's birthday and her Grandma Flea's birthday.

J is for July, the month of her Mamma's birthday and her Grandpa Flea's birthday. There is a nice synchronicity there.

J is also for "jumpers" - those things that Aussie's wear in cold weather. They are called "jerseys" in the deep south of New Zealand, and I do believe that those people who speak the President's English call them "sweaters" (I hope sweater wearers remember to bath every day!). We do have regional variations in English in Australia, maybe, just maybe, jumpers are called jerseys in South Australia, but I'm not sure. "Sweater" is becoming more common here - the pervasive nature of television is stealing our identity. I know that when I lived in Victoria as a little child, we called our swimmers "togs", and our suitcases were "ports". We also used an American "a" in words like "castle". I only ever said it once in NSW. I was a quick learner! Amazing how the ridicule of your peers speeds up the ability to learn!

Encycopedia of Me Meme: I is for icord

I is indeed for icord - a useful little trick to have up - or on - your sleeve, especially applied icord.

I is also for island - the tropical kind, where the beaches are long and white, the water is like a cool bath and little ripples run gently up the shore; where the cool, dark vegetation provides a welcome respite from the heat of the midday sun; where my cabin has a shady verandah with a view of the water and my comfy chair which sits next to a low table where my knitting awaits my pleasure, and a tall pitcher of iced water with lime slices has little cold drops of condensation running down the side - where is this island, I hear you ask? In my dreams, dear child, in my dreams.

The littlest Flea saw her cousins furry scarf with pockets for keeping little hands warm (in the absence of a magical grandma who could knit Sanna, Sorceress Apprentice's self-heating mittens), and promptly ordered one in the same colour - a colour which I could not get again. So, I used some faux fur from my stash and edged the pockets with the left over yarn from Ms 11's scarf, then used the remainder to knit an earwarmer/headband. The yarn is multi-coloured - hence the orange pocket trims and the pink headband. Ms 5 is a PINK girl - I hope she is happy with it.

Friday, 10 August 2007

H is for Hoosier ...

I had wondered what Hoosier meant, but found out when this package of goodies arrived at my door from Kathy of Indiana, winner of the prize from the knitting trip around the world on the magic shawl. But where does the word "Hoosier" come from?

I can't wait to try the sweet and sour popcorn, but thought I'd keep it until the biggest Flea comes over again, as she had a year in Atlanta as an exchange student and is still very interested in things from the USA. The wool from an Indiana sheep, no less, feels soft and lovely and I feel a beanie coming on for Master 7 - one with earflaps and pom pom trims in the two natural colours. My fingers have all split from too much getting-the-house-ready-to-move -. I seem to be washing my hands all day long, so I'll be interested to see if the lanolin soap helps - it smells beautiful. But wait, there's more! The James Whitcomb Riley Cookbook, described on the cover as "A cornucopia of delectable delights from the turn-of-the-century world and the great Hoosier poet AND MORE". "AND MORE" is piles of information and illustrations from the "olden days". Wonderful! Thank you so much, Kathy. I am so lucky. I'll have to have a few more competitions if I receive wonderful goodies like these in return! I really enjoyed the knitting trip around the world, and we might repeat it again one day.

If you get a chance, pop over to Kathy's blog and look at the socks she knitted from the sock wool in her possum parcel. She calls them a "Homage to the possum"! They are so pretty - a wonderful match of colour and pattern.

There must be a flea plague in the northern hemisphere at present - I seem to be getting LOTS of hits from Google seaches for pictures and information on flea-bites.

Being a non-technical nerd, when Ravelry started asking for Beta Testers, I assumed that BTs would be technical wizardy type people (maybe you are!) but as people started to fret about being thousands down the list, I thought I'd sign up too - the worst they could do was reject me. So slowly, ever so slowly, I'm making my way up the waiting list - it sounds almost as long as the waiting list for elective surgery in this crazy country of ours.

You signed up on July 20, 2007
You are #18956 on the list.
10335 people are ahead of you in line.
5461 people are behind you in line.
34% of the list has been invited so far

One day ..... I'll find out what it's all about!

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

G is for GIRRRLS

Yes, little GIRRLS - what I don't understand, is why little girls love pink? Is it because from birth, they are dressed in pink by their parents and this Grandma who should know better and promulgate non-sexist clothing, but can't help herself (or that's my excuse)? When I was a little girl, I loved blue - but then, I did really want to be a boy because everything I wanted to do was forbidden, because I was a girl ...

Speaking of which, reminds me - in response to B is for books, Gemma commented that she always saw herself as George in the Famous Five books- now that is unfortunate, so I had to email her, and tell her that sadly, SHE can't be George, because I AM!

Kate said that she too loved the "Coral Island" when she was a child. I spent many happy childhood hours marooned on the Coral Island with Robinson Crusoe and the Swiss Family Robinson for company - that's when I wasn't having midnight feasts at boarding school with all those jolly English lassies. ( I'd still like to know what breadfruit tastes like. Does anyone know?)

F is for Front Teeth and F is for Feet

Now we come to TEEF - oops - I mean TEETH. The other night, the shy little possum looked out of her box to see what the possum fight below was about - and for the first time I saw these cute little teeth! I hope you enjoy them too.

Yes, FEET - what can I say about them, except that whilst I am glad that I have a pair, they are a downright disappointment! When I was young(er), I LOVED shoes - quirky shoes, shoes with embellishments, goofy coloured shoes, strappy shoes .... get the picture? I went to my GP the other day, and she was wearing a pair of low heeled, peep-toe shoes, made out of red patent leather with white polka dots! I didn't know whether to kiss her feet or rip the shoes off her and run! In the end, I settled for saying (through gritted teeth) "I love your shoes" and she said, with a HUGE smile "Aren't they wonderful? I just HAD to have them".

Yes, FEET. I have now entered the age group where I have to wear "orthoses" - inserts that go in your big-unfashionable-because-they-won't-fit-in-any-other-shoes shoes. These are to correct flat feet, and bunions, achilles tendonitis and hip pain. Just add any other complaints to the list - I probably have those too ... However, totally unrelated to the dreaded orthoses, I had made the decision many years ago to never wear high heeled shoes again - this was partly in response to having my consciousness raised about high heels and straight skirts being tools of the oppressive male class to hobble women, and partly in response to having fallen down the front steps when my heel caught in a crack in the concrete. Not that there aren't wonderful flat heeled shoes - take my GP's for instance (yes please!), but high or low, it just isn't possible to wear those beautiful to die for shoes I regularly pass in DJ's shoe department. Sigh.... But, if that's the worst of my troubles, I'm doing okay.

E is for .....Eloise, Extra and Egg

When I was checking earlier posts to see if I had posted this before, I discovered that I have posted photos of ELOISE and Ms 11's scarf .... twice! That's indicative of the my state of mind at present - EXTRA stupid! The jumper above is for Ms 11. I bought the wool, Patons Vintage Hues, to do the jacket that Kate knitted in Vero, but in my haste to knit it, I automatically started doing it in the biggest size. Being lazy, I did the two sleeves first, rather than knit a tension square. When I was a few inches into the back, it became apparent that the thing was going to be HUGE. So, checked the tension - okay. Checked the pattern - right number of stitches - BUT - for once, the pattern catered for a number of larger sizes, the largest being for a 122cm bust. Now, while I am rather larger than my Avatar (I didn't like the clothes for the fuller figured avatar!) and my hips may well hit the 122 or larger mark, I certainly don't take that size in a jacket! So I unpulled the back, but at that point I couldn't face reknitting the sleeves in a smaller size, so I picked another pattern in the book with a semi funnel/boat shaped neck, and knitted it for Ms 11. Fortunately, I have been told that it fits but I have yet to see it on. I like the way that the shorter rows in the sleeves give a mottled effect while the body is striped.

E is also for EGG - I have a rather ambivalent relationship with eggs - I like the chocolate kind, but am not too fussed about the other sort - and certainly not those with runny , or even moist, yolks. UGH!