Monday, April 21, 2008

New York Times Sunday Magazine - The Green Issue

"Why bother? That really is the big question facing us as individuals hoping to do something about climate change and it’s not an easy one to answer. I don’t know about you, but for me the most upsetting moment in “An Inconvenient Truth” came long after Al Gore scared the hell out of me, constructing an utterly convincing case that the very survival of life on earth as we know it is threatened by climate change. No, the really dark moment came during the closing credits, when we are asked to . . . change our light bulbs. That’s when it got really depressing. The immense disproportion between the magnitude of the problem Gore had described and the puniness of what he was asking us to do about it was enough to sink your heart."

Absolutely fantastic article on why we should bloody well care by Michael Pollan for the New York Times. Read more here.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Riding, riding, riding

Hello! We're back from our biking holiday. We rode the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, starting at Beechworth and going all the way through to Bright. The clean mountain air and plentiful sunshine have done us the world of good, and with all that peddaling we now have muscles on our muscles!

If you're looking for a cheap family holiday, you really can't go wrong with a Rail Trail. So much to look at: mountains, beautiful trees, the bike path stretching out in front of you, farm animals, native animals, the bike path stretching out in front of you, places to take a quick leak before another rider comes trundling past, the - ah - bike path still stretching out in front of you...

Seriously, heaps of fun. Grumbles loved it, Galumph relished it, and I'm pleased to say that my pink bits survived hours on a bike seat each day. And the autumnal scenery was incredible.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This one has birds on it!

Eeeeek! I feel like I'm running just to stand still at the moment. I have about as much energy as a sloth, and everywhere I look there are things to be done: ants to be rid of, dishwashers to unstack, late basil to plant, sheets to be washed, floors to be mopped, windows to be vinegared, books to reshelve, dust bunnies to exterminate, neighbour's jeans to be taken up, knitting to be frogged, overlockers to rethread, quinces to be poached, songs to be sung, hearts to be won (ok, I threw the last two in just to see if you are still with me).

At least I got another top for Grumbles made. Now that's something!
Project specs:

Design #15, Ottobre Magazine 1/2005 (same pattern as this one)
Fabric: Cotton quilting fabric
Ribbon: Very pricey fancy french ribbon

Fabric and ribbon from Patchwork on Central Park

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sunday bike ride: a black and white photo essay

Well, parents, it's a Sunday morning, and you've just informed me that we're heading off for a bike ride. If that's the case, then I'll need a good breakfast to keep me going. I'll take three Nutella pancakes, if you please!

As we ride along I spot a playground. "Pull over!", I command. A girl's gotta play, you know!

Playing and pedalling. It's hard work for one so small, so a tiptop lunch is in order, I'd say. Salad sandwiches? Geez. Here sparrows, help yourselves.

More riding? You guys are going to Just as well Dad packed some dates and sultanas. Oooooh - is that a chocolate bud I see? Mine, all mine! Hands off, daddy-o.

Come on, Mum! Put the camera away and get on the road already!

Sing it with me now! The wheels on the bike go round and round and twinkle twinkle with Humpty Dumpty on the waaaaaallllllll! (Note: she actually did sing that)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Faster, Jorthy, faster!

No time to blog in a coherent manner. I'm way behind on sewing Grumble's winter wardrobe, and we're going on a bike holiday in a week and I still haven't made any more pants for her. No pants! She's be a pantless rail trail-er! ARRRRGGGGHHHH! The panic button (and the '!' key) has been pressed!

And that photo I took is immensely craptacular. Gah.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Tale of Two Patterns

Tsk, tsk, Rowan. Look at what you've made me do!

Look, let me start off by saying that I love you. Really, I do. You make spiffy, wearable knitting patterns in gorgeous yarns. But please, what is with the pattern instructions? I'm yet to knit up a Rowan pattern that wasn't in some way needlessly complicated. Take the Dream cardi, for example - why not knit it all in one piece, rather than knit half the bodice in one section then pick up all the stitches to knit the remainder? It doesn't make any sense your way, even taking into consideration that you want to thread the ribbon through. Couldn't you just sew loops on afterwards for the ribbon? Wouldn't that have been a gazillion times easier, and then you wouldn't have an ugly seam hiding out beneath the ribbony bit. I mean, really, what sort of knitter did you have in mind - one who actually enjoys picking up tonnes of fiddly stitches? Huh? HUH?

So, after wrestling with the instructions, I gave a great sigh, picked up my trusty greylead, and rewrote the pattern myself. Strangely enough, I found myself enjoying the process. Just enough maths involved to make me feel smart, yet creative at the same time. And I've done such a good job of it that I've now decided that I want to be a knitwear pattern designer when I grow up. Sheesh! As if I didn't have enough things to do!

I'm pointing the finger squarely at you, Rowan. It's all your fault.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A girl, her dog, and some MC Hammer pants

Finally got stuck back into the sewing!
Project specs
Design #15, Ottobre Magazine 1/2005
Fabric: Cotton quilting fabric
"Desert" pants, design # 17, Ottobre Magazine 1/2008
Fabric: Light-weight denim

Both were really quick sews, about 3 hours each all up, including doing the fiddly topstitching. I'm rather happy with the top, but I'll confess: the pants are a leetle bit too 'MC Hammer happy pants' for my liking. Still, Grumbles gives them a sticky thumbs up and requests to wear them everyday, which either means that she really really really likes them or that she has no taste.