Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sweater for Daisy Mae

A little Bendi cotton sweater for a new little girl. And an old dog who is my heart.

BTW - I have a new BookViews blog - come over and check it out and tell me what you think

Sunday, October 24, 2010

No pictures - just books.

I just remembered that I signed up for a blogish book club a while back and have not posted on it at all. Shame! So... mostly I have been reading Spanish language books which are slow and not very interesting to anyone else but I have read a couple of novels too. I read Great Expectations by Dickens - my first Dickens. It was so much better than I thought it would be when I started it. You get used to the old worldly language quickly and then the quirk and delight of Mr Charles shines through in a big way. What a clever writer. No wonder this book is on the canon list.

I also read the latest Janet Evanovich - Wicked Appetite. Well, it is formulaic and silly. Evanovich can really write in her genre - she is one of the best in the "light-hearted" section of the book store. And there are some classic moments but it is the same old JE without much new. It only gets two and a half stars from me, I'm afraid.

Now I am in the middle of a huge committment 'Fall of Giants' by Ken Follett. Again, it is not very taxing but satisfying all the same - all 800 pages of it. And we are not talking Harry Potter sized pages - these are grown up pages. But it is one of those books that is easy to read but hard to hold therefore not the best bed-reading tome.

I am really ready to have a meaty book that I can sink my literary teeth into so I just got the 2010 Booker Prize winner 'The Finkler Question' by Howard Jacobson from the Public Library and that will be my next read. I am looking forward to it.

Another little fun thing - I won a contest on the ABC - The Books Alive Suggest a Read contest. I wrote a little review of Wolf Hall and won! I was on the radio and everything and Nettie assured me I sounded OK. Well, last week I recieved a box full of the the 50 books that were recommended by Books Alive as the 50 books you can't put down. (Some I can't even pick up!!)(oh, I know, I'm a snob but I am over 50 and I am not wasting my time on bodice ripping romances - sorry!) So now my next to the bed pile has grown considerably.

If you are interested here is the link to my review - Wolf Hall

Happy reading everyone. Rhonda

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Favorite thing to Knit!

These went to my daughter in law but I think everyone in my life will get a variation for their next birthday/christmas/just-because present!

I might even try to sell some - what do you think?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bookclub in Blogland

I met my friend Nettie not long after I came to Canberra when I joined her long established bookgroup. It was wonderful at the time and I made some great friends. Knitting also became a passion-in-common. Recently she posted about a bloggy bookclub and I love the idea. I am in my second year of part time uni and working part time and I would love a place to discuss what I am reading and see what others are reading since I no longer have the space or time to commit to a regular bookgroup meeting.
My biggest problem with my past bookgroups was I often had to read books I didn't want to read. I admit that every once in a while I didn't fancy reading a book and it turned out to be something I enjoyed. But not very often. I'm afraid that I also was too vocal in the group and felt like I dominated the conversation sometimes. It is a flaw that I have tried to work on. And it used to actually piss me off when half of the members had not read the book. There were plenty of reasons - good and bad - for the lack of reading but it really upset me. Silly on my part, now that I think about it.
Sadly, after I left the book group I never found another that I wanted to join and now there just isn't time. If I take a lit class at school then I do not have time to read a book group book as well.
But never-the-less I love reading, I love learning, and I love listening to what other people have to say about life and books. I have read a lot of books in my life and could never decide on just the 5 I would take with me on the deserted Island. Shakespeare's complete works would have to be one. Tristram Shandy is a close second. But the last three would take so long to decide upon that I would miss the boat completely. I now have an ebook reader (don't worry - I still love the sound of turning pages in my bed at night) and if I could count that as one book I would be a happy girl - there are already 100 classics on it.
So I have signed up for the bloggy bookclub at Krafty Kula.
This month I am reading Great Expectations. I have never read Dickens. Shame! It was never on the list of classics at my school, having grown up in the states. I have not taken any classic lit classes yet and it was never suggested during my bookgroup - probably because you all read it at school. I am in chapter 3 and finding it incredibly clever and witty. Dickens is a wordsmith and a very good one. I love the images of place that are already filling my mind. I love the character development that is already established. And I love his sense of humour. I am starting to understand his place in the canon of classics. Can't wait to read more.
I am also reading the last of the millennium books - the girl who kicked the hornets nest but feeling a little bogged down by it. Will keep reading tho!
Can't wait to hear what you all are reading. Cheers.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Black Hoodie

I didn't take a photo of this hoodie all nicely laid out on the quilt or hanging on the padded hanger at home like I should have. So just before I mailed it off I asked the mail lady to model it for photos. She is about 12 inches shorter than my son's partner - whom it is made for. But you get the idea. (those are thumb holes in the sleeves btw)
Now the story of this hoodie is kind of funny. My son has decided that his 5 month old son needs to wear clothes that are like his. If my son wears camo cargo pants then Jax wears camo cargo pants. If my son wears a green hoodie then Jax has to wear a green hoodie as well. Well, my son has a black leather jacket with two white stripes on the sleeve so Jax got a black leather jacket with two white stripes on the sleeve with a skull and cross bones on the back. But what about mum? She got left out so.....
Grandma to the rescue (with permission) and now mummy has a black hoodie (not leather but Elizabeth Lavold Eucool wool - lovely to knit with and lovely to feel once washed) so they look like a real tribe when they are out together.
Eucool is part wool and part eucalyptus fiber. I got it in the states on my last trip. And the hoodie is pretty much just knit as I went with a zipper closing (that was interesting!)
I hope she likes the result and hopefully she will send me a proper photo with her in it!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's better for you?

The difference between what's best for you and what you want are often oceans wide. I'm not talking about that piece of chocolate at 9:30 at night but real true deep life.
My brother's brother in law just passed away after almost a year in a coma after simply falling off his bicycle. He had a condition similar to 'shaken baby' syndrome. So from far away, I can say it is better that he has died and been taken out of his and his family's misery but it's not what anyone wanted.
How do you reconcile the two.
I have had almost 30 years of trying to come to terms with this dicotomy. I have a son who is disabled and I love him as much as any mother loves their child but is he the child I wanted - plain and simply - no. But I love him to the bottom of my heart anyway. And I have come to a kind of terms with it.
We lived together for a long time and had some joys along with the sorrows and hard times. He lives away now which presents a whole new world of hard (to go along with all the rest of the hard). I have to trust other people to look after him in a way I can't any more. That is best for him and me. Is it what I want - no! It is what is best - yes!
So, how do we find a peaceful place between want and reality? How do we all live in a space where we deny ourselves what we want for the greater good? Nobility doesn't feel good despite what the self help books tell you.
My heart goes out to wife and children right now - and I miss my Dad! Hope you are all happily enjoying your best wishes right now. Peace.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Camera

Plus I won an ipod nano when I bought the camera!

Monday, May 31, 2010

And speaking of a joy to knit with.....

Cashmere and silk wedding cape. Usually it was laced all the way down but she got a little warm by the time I took the photo. It was an absolute joy to knit. I got a knitting patterns book from the public library ( I know - how good it that!) and I can't remember the name of the book - sorry - but I fiddled with the pattern so much that it hardley looks like the one in the book anyway. I knit the light tan in pure cashmere - knitting 8 rows and picking up the stitches from row 1 with row 8 so it made a pleat, and between is two rows of a cashmere silk blend in a darker brown - you can see it slightly on the bottom row. It was a joy to knit and she said it was luxury to wear. (that's a little collette dinigan wedding dress under the cape by the way!). And I noticed lots of wedding guest - friends - absent mindedly stroking the little cape as well. I hope it lasts for as many years as her happy marriage will.

Should we call it the August Baby Sweater down here?

No - it still looks like a February Baby Sweater to me. This one is for little Neve. No idea where the wool came from it's been in the stash that long. I did the 'is this wool ? test' by burning a little bit of it and it came up wool so I'm happy. It's very bright - hope they like it.

And socks for DIL's mom - Bendigo Luxury - in 4 ply - brilliant for socks and so nice to knit with.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

bear, mouse,mouse

This bear is enroute to my Grandson - bit like Paddinton but not from Patagonia! Was it Patagonia? I wonder what he will name him?
And the mice are keeping him company (they are for my Grandson's kitten's so they will leave his bear alone!)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Six months since I blogged

Wow - I really thought I would never blog again but I realized I miss it - not that I have a huge (or any for that matter) following - but I love reading other's blogs so I will try again. I love knitting too, so along with work, uni and other committments I want to keep this blog going.
My big news is I have a new grandson. Oh, he is just the joy of my life even tho he lives in another country and I only see him on Skype now, but I was with him on his first day and for 4 weeks after. So knitting has been mostly all about him for the last 6 months but now he is going into summer and I have a couple other knitting projects on the go.
The blanket is EZ's Mystery Blanket knit with Bendigo cotton - big mistake. The blanket is just gorgeous but there are a lot of ends to weave and I am worried about the washing machine undoing some of them. It was a real joy to knit so I'm OK with it falling apart but next time it will be in wool or a blend so the ends felt in. The little sweaters are just my own design and I must say - if you have never knit for someone you love but whom you have yet to meet - you should try it.
My God Daughter is getting married in June, outside in a garden. She has a beautifly sleeveless dress so she needs a shawl/cape. This is a mix of pure cashmere and a cashmere silk blend. How will I ever go back to plain old wool again? Hee hee! I'll post a photo of the finished and modelled finished item.

And socks for my new DIL's parents - shush - don't tell.

Nice to be back - Adios!