Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thank you

I think thank you gifts are kind of tricky. That is if you really do want to thank someone, and it's not just a gesture.

First you want to make sure you give them something they will like. If they hate your thank you gift, chances are they won't offer what you were thanking them for again.

If you go over the top, then the person you are thanking will feel bad that they didn't do enough (I know I have!).

If you underwhelm them with your gift they might think you are cheap and there could be the same consequence as the first senario.

If you know the person you are thanking very well, then there isn't much of a problem, you just have to think and observe.

If you don't know the person well at all, then the gift takes a little more thinking and a little more effort.

I'm making a mountain out of a dish cloth, I know, but I care about these things.

I hope they like them and I hope they know how much I appreciated their hospitality (which was overwhelming, by the way) Thanks again.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Velvet Grapes Vest

I finished my Malabrigo Velvet Grapes Vest. At the moment it is my favorite piece of clothing that I own. It is so soft. It is warm. It is so wonderful to wear that I can't take it off.

Can you see the colour change half way up? You can't see it so well with your eyes but the flash really brings it out. I guess I just got a skein or two that were a different dye lot even though the tags say they were all dyed on the same day 10-4-05. But like I said in a previous post - it doesn't bother me.
Now I have enough for a hat and a scarf or wrist warmers left over. I'm a little afraid to knit them for myself because I will want to wear the hat and scarf all the time too and well... I guess you can imagine that look as well as I can. But, I don't want to give the wool away either because I love it too much. Dilema, but fiddle dee dee, I will think about that another day.

I have five WIPs now. I hardly ever have that many projects on the go at once but each has a purpose or a problem. I have a shawl that I need an edge pattern for (I don't like the one that came with the pattern) and I am searching. I have an important baby friend on the way. I have a thank you gift to finish and two pairs of socks on the go - one complicated lace and one straight knitting for the trip to Sydney. And I don't know which to knit on now? How do you decide which project takes your fancy at a particular time? I want to knit them all right now.

I think the thank you gift needs to be the next FO.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sydney to see the Archibald Exhibition

What a great weekend! I was off to Sydney on Friday to see the Archibald Prize winner - actually I couldn't even look at the winning painting it was so creepy - but the exhibition is an annual event for a friend and me. We go to the Art Gallery and walk around on our own for about an hour. Then we come together and walk around again and compare notes. She awarded the prize to Rodney Pople (again) for his self portrait and I gave it to Alexander McKenzie for Sarah Blasko. The painting of Heath Ledger was very disturbing - technically brilliant - but very sad.

Anyway, we stayed in Maroubra. Lovely beach, still, calm and quiet. We stayed with really lovely people who treated us like royal visitors - it's been a long time since I was treated so well. And the spaniels were delightful. Oh, I musn't forget to mention the visit to Yarn Addiction in Bowral on the way through. LOVE IT!
Early Saturday morning we sat on the steps of the Art Gallery of NSW waiting for the doors to open trying to beat the crowds, and we did. There were a lot of people with canvases and paints waiting to get in too. We didn't really look for them afterwards to see what they were painting and now I am left wondering a little. I would like to be them spending the day painting.

The fountain in the Sydney Hospital is delightful. I've spent a lot of time in hospitals with my son over the years, and I would have liked this fountain to sit by. It's also on the shortcut way to the Lindt cafe where we had hot chocolate and lunch. Have you been there yet? It's in Martin Place and it is to die for!

My friend shopped - and since I'm not a shopper I sat in Pitt St Mall and listened to this man who had the voice of an angel - really!

We had take away Lebanese food that was really yum. We had great coffee. We shopped and bought at Tapestry Craft (and saw women giggling, a lot, over a intermediate class in increasing, decreasing and reading a pattern class - I really wanted to join in).
And across the street from where I stayed was a little gnome village. They were playing statues everytime I looked but I heard them giggle as soon as I turned away.

It really was a great weekend. And I want another one soon.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What to do with a very expensive single skein?

When I was stateside last year I bought a lot of yarn! And now that I am going to knit through my stash, my mind is always thinking, seeking, watching, imagining what to do with all the skeins of yarn that I have. Three of linen, four of bamboo... And I am keeping a little notebook and writing down ideas.

Enter my very expensive skein of Blue Heron silk and rayon twist yarn. It is absolutely stunningly beautiful in my eyes. But, what to knit with it? I am totally into scarfs but this shouldn't be a long skinny scarf. It should be a very special scarf. So out came all of my books, magazines, and downloads from Knitty, etc. Elizabeth Zimmerman to the rescue. In particular, the pi shawl. I've watched a couple of bloggers knit this lately and it seemed perfect. Easy and plain enough to show off the colours and sheen.

And I love it. Look isn't it pretty?

I have some very soft cream baby alpaca and silk mix that I think will be another one of these.
Now, Nettie look away.
Tonight is Nat's going away party and Pat's birthday party so I made something special to take.
This is what 12 ounces of Lindt Chocolate looks like ready to be...

This - Chocolate Cinnamon Tart. I put lots of cinnamon in it.

I'm going to smother it with cinnamon whipped cream. If it works I'll let you know. If it doesn't we will never speak of it again!

Sunday, May 4, 2008