Stuff and things

I’m pretty sure I’ve used that title at least five times. Oh, well.

Feeling really brain dead today. Been a week of early mornings, and I’m fighting off a cold. Nothing dramatic, just… the theme of this month seems to be me whinging about being tired. I’m not even THAT tired, I’ve certainly been tireder. But everything seems to take just a bit more energy than I have. It’s probably fine, actually. I’m probably just projecting my Friday Tired onto my last month. PLus, you know, it’s not been a good news week. All the bad news is exhausting. Not to make it all about me! But the continual pounding of bad events does wear one down.

I’ve been a big lurker again lately. My home computer died – AGAIN. I think I know what the problem is, now. Which means more money to fix it. Not too much, thankfully, but it’s been on hold for a while. And I must say, I’ve kind of enjoyed not having a computer. I can do most of my internetting at work in my lunch break, or when I get in early. And my evenings are plenty full with knitting and gardening and house work and the occasional social event – although I’m still being a hermit most of the time. The only thing I miss is podcasts. I only have about 30 left on my iPod. Which is ok, I’m working my way through a reading of Northanger Abbey at the moment. I’ve read it before, but can’t remember how it ends. It’s making me snort quite a lot. I’ve had too many friends like Isabella, let me tell you.

Here are some things that I wanted to tell you about. Here is a photo of my spinning wheel that I took to show Suse and then couldn’t find my fecking camera cable.

I have yet to actually use it. I was waiting to get some large house jobs done, and then my computer died. I’m going to need Youtube to help me learn, so that’s on hold, too.

I’ve been doing some garden stuff. Like mulching the front yard. A friend found a bunch of carpet by the side of the road and nabbed it for me. As of last weekend my front lawn is carpeted – and I haven’t had time to put on the mulch. Looks quite strange.

Carpeted front yard

I also accidentally neglected the tomatoes a bit in one of the heatwaves. It was just too hot to go out and tend them. Turns out, rain and then hot days are just what tomatoes like.

Overflowing tomatoes

Oh, well. At least there are lots and lots of these.

Have to be a bit careful actually because they are SO TOMATOEY. I made a tart tatin, and it was just so acidic and zesty. Deliciously so, but one slice was enough.

tomatoes are pretty much where it’s at at the moment. I bought a bunch of struggling $1 punnets at bunnings a while ago, and they’ve just started to get going. I was sort of hoping that everything wouldn’t make it, because I sort of had too many plants for the space. It seems like the only things that died were the cucumbers. Boo, I was looking forward to cucumbers. I’ve got some zucchinis that are going to get picked this weekend, and some silverbeet starting to hit its stride. Some flowers on some eggplants (eggplant plants?).

Zucchinis

And the herb garden is just taking off, which I think I am the most excited about. Basil! I have never been able to grow basil properly. It’s either just died, or straggled on so I don’t have the heart to pick it. But the basil in my garden is aggressively healthy. I picked some for my tart tatin, and left the leftovers in the fridge for a week. I found them this morning and they looked like I’d just picked them. It’s amazing.

There’s been lots of knitting. I keep knitting something, thinking ‘oh my GOOOOD that took me FOREVER’. Then I go into ravelry and it turns out it took me about a week.  Oops. I’m up to the last sleeve on Avalon, but I’m taking a break for baby knitting.  I’ll show you that when it gets to the reciever, but here is the February Baby Sweater (rav link) that I made for the general baby stash.

Seems like a lot of people I know well enough to knit for, but not well enough to deadline knit for, are about to procreate. So I might have to make sure I always have a baby garment on the go. If I am doing the 12 jumpers in a year, which I still like the idea of, this could work well. The official group does not include baby jumpers. But I consider that a me-sized garment + a baby sized garment = 2 small-adult sized garments. Especially since many of the things I want to knit are 5ply. Anyway, I am quite pleased with this top, even though the last bit seemed like it would never end. I think I need to keep a realistic eye on how long I actually have been knitting it. This took me just under two weeks. Hardly eternal torment.

(Although it did take me almost three weeks after that to sew up the underarm sleeves and sew the buttons on.)

I went up to Strath (where S lived) the other weekend and hit the op shops. The ones in town are getting expensive and picked over. The ones in Strath? BRILLIANT. There are a bunch of antique stores, which are pretty much like museums. This time we just went to the little pokey church op shops, though. I got some good loot.

Op shop loot

Here are some of the highlights. Original Harmony Stitch guide for $2.  ‘Growing Fruit in Australia’ which I bought for the section on Espaliering, but am reading cover to cover – I expected it to be all ‘you must plant your trees at least 5 metres apart’ but actually it’s all about ‘cram as many in as you can! She’ll be right!’ I know some of you have referenced a fruit growing book – is this the one?  Paper Bag Princess was 20c and I couldn’t resist. Pot is perfect size for two people’s worth of pasta and also unbearably cute.  Suitcase was $4, and is currently storing linens under my bed. The brand is ‘Long March’ which I find quite inappropriate.

I also bought this blue vest which I apparently cannot take a proper photo of, but am extremely pleased by. It says ‘Italian Merino’ on the tag (and also ‘dry clean only’, which is DAFT) and it is soft as kittens. Softer, even, because it doesn’t have pointy bits on its ends, and it isn’t nibbly. It is also the perfect me colour, as you can see.

Blue vest

There was some other stuff which I didn’t photograph and can’t remember off the top of my head. Some fabric bits and pieces, a scarf, that kind of thing. The price quoting isn’t quite right because it’s one of those places where they look at what you have and go ‘oooh… $10 will do’. I am quite pleased with my loot, and I’ll have to make a point of going back there.

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4 thoughts on “Stuff and things

  1. What a shame you can’t get the wheel on the plane and bring it to craft camp. By the way it looks just like my Ashford Traditional. Is that what it is/what you think it is?

    LOVE the blue vest and the blue pot.

    The fruit growing bible I’ve mentioned in the past is The Complete Book of Fruit Growing in Australia by Louis Glowinski . Apparently it is THE horticultural reference guide. Is that what you’ve got?

  2. I lov those sort of op shops. More and more of them here are moving to prices on EVERYTHING – and the prices are a fucking insult sometimes. $9.50 for flimsy blanket? It was donated ffs. It was sooo soft and for $5 I would have snapped it up but not for nearly $10.
    I love the baby sweater, it’s rather ambitiously sitting in my rav queue. If I ever get that good.

  3. Your spinning wheel looks so lovely against the green wall, that really it could be justified for purely decorative purposes. Although spinning would be rad too. My mum used to spin and I think she really enjoyed it.

    Underfelt is a great way to start a garden patch, even better than cardboard or newspaper (which are OK). The worms seem to really love underfelt and the soil changes quite quickly. Our mulch was a bit thin so I just add random prunings and bits as I go and it seems to work out well. The fruit tree book sounds most excellent too.

Whadya reckon?

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