Old dog, new tricks aka I have no idea what I'm doing...

Monday, 12 February 2018

I have a new hobby...spinning!

Mr Homespun bought me the most amazing birthday gift last year so I have to use it, right?

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

It's been while since I learnt a new craft. I've been knitting and crocheting for almost 40 years (yikes!) and even though I have only really picked up my needles and hooks again in the past few years I still knew what to do. But this is a different story. I had absolutely no idea where to even start. How does a spinning machine even work?

With the help of the University of youTube I have managed to get started. I'm trying to get a little practice in every day in an attempt to become more consistent with the size of the yarn coming out of the darn thing but it is really hard! So much fun though.

I've already learnt so much, even though I still pretty much suck at it for now. This photo is of my first attempt, something that I now know is called 'art' yarn but I call it 'no idea what I'm doing' yarn. It's very pretty but the things I can make with it are pretty limited.

This one is my second attempt, quite obviously a more consistent size but I still have a ways to go folks! Working with the colours is also a skill that I will work on when I have the size down pat. This photo is the same wool as the top photo but when the two threads are plied together it certainly has an impact on the colour.

I've since bought some undyed roving (that's what the thing above is called) with the intention of spinning it and then dyeing it so I can possibly make something at the end. No idea what it will be but I can guarantee it will be rustic.


Sunday morning

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Good morning lovelies,

How has your morning been? Given that it's not even 9 am as I write this chances are you may still be abed. 

I've spent a little time in the veg patch this morning, mostly weeding as at this time of the year they are growing faster than I can keep up. We had a few showers this morning but not enough to make the dams or the tanks happy. Although it is only mid summer and the worst of the heat is yet to come, this morning had an almost autumnal feel with a lovely cool breeze after the rain. No doubt as the sun rises higher the temperatures will chase us all inside.

I'm now making my little family breakfast and pondering the possibility of spending every Sunday at home with a possible change at work giving me two consecutive days off every week. Doesn't sound like a big deal, especially in the middle of a four day break but it will be a treat to be able to plan something regular instead of having different days at work every week. I crave routine but haven't been able to achieve it for the past few years.

This evening should find us in the shed extracting honey from a hive box we raided earlier in the week. We usually do this the same day but scheduling conflicts this week have meant it has been sitting in the shed where it has started to drip and attract the bees.

But for now I am savouring a slow morning, perhaps a little knitting after some house chores have been completed. I'm currently working on a shawl that has been in my Ravelry queue for some time. I was hoping to have it finished this week to give to a colleague on Friday night but as I work my way through the border that seems highly unlikely. It's a 36 row cable and lace pattern that is repeated 19 times with each repeat taking about an hour. I'm trying to do one repeat every day but maybe today I will get a bit more done.

Hope your Sunday is just as lovely no matter what you are up to.


Last minute renovations

Friday, 5 January 2018

Some last minute gardening before Christmas

Hello lovelies!

I hope the new year has started gently for you. Mine is full of the usual: attempts at new routines and the promise to myself that I will do better this year, a new diary (oh what promise a new diary holds!) and all sorts of craziness that my head manages to come up with.

The lead up to Christmas also had its own brand of crazy. We traditionally have xmas lunch with Mr Homespun's side of the family and dinner with mine and this year was no different, except that it was our turn to host dinner at our place. Gulp.

So in attempt to fool my family into thinking we hadn't been sitting around doing almost nothing for the 4 years we've been here, the second half of November and all of December was spent on starting all the projects I have in my head. Projects that Mr Homespun tried, but failed, to convince me not to do.

Like painting the exterior of the house.

Yep, that's something you really want to do in the heat of late Spring and early Summer with a deadline looming. But start it we did, Miss 14 and I managed to get the back of the house painted in 24 hours and then we started on the extra bits. The railings and rafters of the deck, the deck itself, the colorbond windows that didn't match the new house colour. The rafters of the deck. That are C shaped and required 3 coats of paint each. Inside and out. Grrr.

And although we didn't get everything done along the back of the house it was close enough that you can see where it's heading. Just a few bits and pieces to work through before I'll allow myself to move on to the south side of the house. I'm saving the front for last, painting it and seeing the whole house transformed will be the reward for all the hard work we are putting in.

I'll save the pics for another day, likely when I have finished a few of those bits and pieces.



The most amazing week

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Last week I had the most amazing, and busy, week. It was full of Christmas parties and get togethers and two of the most amazing concerts I have ever seen.

First we had the Field Family Annual Concert (yep, that's totally a thing now, last year it was Coldplay) and we saw the legendary Paul McCartney. A real life Beatle. I don't know anyone who doesn't love The Beatles so to be able to see one live was an experience I will never forget. I don't think the girls really appreciated it, frankly one of them was bored, but hopefully they will as time goes by. He played for an incredible 3 hours with only a couple of minutes off stage before the encore and told stories and anecdotes between each song. Some were about the songs, some about fellow Beatles and some about other musicians (Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, the list went on).

We had total nosebleed seats (or ear bleed in my case) but the arena is only small so you have a pretty good view no matter where you sit. It was a sold out show and worth every cent, and there were a few of them required for the four of us to attend. But totally worth it.

Five days later three of us made the hike back down the motorway to see my favourite band, Muse.

If you aren't familiar with them, check out this quick video to get an idea of how freaking awesome they are.

Our eldest opted out of this one as she'd already seen them twice before. Mr Homespun missed them the last time they toured due to work commitments and tried to get out of it this year as his work Christmas golf day was on the same day but we waited until he got home before heading to Sydney.  And he certainly wasn't sorry we did so. They put on an amazing show, as they always do, and we all had a fantastic night. We had incredible seats as you can tell from these photos.

Now I'm dealing with a serious case of post-concert melancholia (also totally a thing) as I get my head around possible never seeing one artist ever again and the others for another few years. Total mood killer.

Have you seen any incredible never-to-be-forgotten concerts? I'd love to hear who they were.


What being deaf sounds like

Sunday, 24 September 2017

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you'll have read that my hearing aid recently broke and is currently being repaired. Unfortunately a spare $5000 hearing aid doesn't sit in a drawer somewhere so I am without my other 'ear' for a week. This has caused me to spend a little time thinking about what it sounds like to be deaf, a strange concept to most I'm sure. I expect everyone's experience with hearing loss is different and I realise that there are many people out there doing it much tougher than I am, but if you are interested in what my world sounds like, please read on.

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of my hearing loss is that it is only one ear. So I should just be able to hear with the other ear and move on, right? But as with most things in life, that is rarely the full story. So I've narrowed how it feels to be 'my' deaf to two descriptions, one literal and one figurative.

First, the literal description.

I'm unable to hear most sounds less than 100-110 decibels in one ear. That's about the same volume as a rock concert, so not much is getting through to my brain (take that either way, lol).

Now that may be difficult to imagine, but that is only what is going on in my middle ear. It's when we get to the inner ear that things get interesting.

Grab someone who's close by and get them to stand with their mouth about 2 inches away from your ear. Now get them to make a 'shhhhh' noise at a firm level into your ear.

And never stop.

Occasionally they can get really loud for an hour/day/week at a time but rarely quieter than that original level. And imagine that is almost the only sound getting through on that side.

Now your brain is trying to interpret all the other sounds going on around you from just one ear. That's a whole lot of sounds to sort through.  Driving you crazy yet? That's the best description I can give on my current level of hearing loss.

And figuratively?

Imagine you are wearing a big set of headphones.

And music is playing through them, but it's different music in each ear. One is a crazy busy piece of classical music; beautiful, but bloody complicated with lots of stuff going on.

And in the other ear? Norwegian death metal.

And you don't speak Norwegian.

And aren't really much on death metal either.

That pretty much sums it up, so next time you run into me and I insist on standing to the left of you or I just smile and nod at everything you say, you'll know why.


Tokerau Shawl

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

I recently finished another knitty project, my Tokerau Shawl.

This was my first project using an indie dyed yarn and it is divine! The colours are amazing and it was a great fit for this project as it shows off the gorgeous speckles just perfectly.

I've also purchased some more yummy yarn from the same dyer so I'm now working out what to make with it but I have a few other things on the go that need to be finished first. The dyer has only been selling her yarn for a short period and she's Australian so it was also lovely to be able to support another small business owner. If you want to see more of her gorgeous hand dyed yarns she has an Etsy store found here.

Details Ravelled here.