May has been a rather busy month, with a few bits and pieces that I want to catch up on here.
AND NOW FOR THE WEATHER
The start of April saw the first of our fogs, which is something that Bathurst has a lot of during the cooler months, especially as we are having such a wet season. However, our wet has been nothing like other areas of the eastern states. We have not had any torrential, flooding downpours, thank goodness.
Before we left for our holiday in mid April I remembered to take a photo of our street trees, as I expected them to be bare on our return, three weeks later.
Yep, a rather more wintry outlook, with just a little wispy mist in the valley over the road from our house.
We were lucky not to have any frosts until then.........so our first frost, in early May, being -3.6C was a little bit of a shock. Mind you, this was a late start to the frosts for this part of the world. Just as well Mick had put all our frost tender plants in the green house before we went away......oh yeah, one of his favourite succulents was missed and looked rather sad. It was immediately relocated and we think that it is still a bit alive....we hope. We had a second frost that cold, but fortunately, it has been a bit warmer in the mornings, but the days are definitely cooling down.
As a result, all the frost tender plants have been removed or chopped back for the winter. It looks rather bare, but better than it did.
And a random photo. One wet morning, before daylight, I took some rubbish out to the bin and I thought the hydrangea looked so nice in the light.
BATHURST 12 HOUR RACE
The Bathurst 12 Hour car race was held a couple of weeks ago. It is not something we are very interested in, but still a great event for the town. Unlike the Bathurst 1000, there are more European cars. Each year they bring the cars and drivers down to the centre of town for everyone to have a look at and meet the drivers if they wish. The weather for the day was forecast to be very wet, however, it was dry for just that little window of time that they were on display.
You had to be a bit of a contortionist to fit into this Audi.
The driver even had to disconnect the steering wheel to get in. It was quite a process.
The passenger was quite squished, with her knees really bent. At least the driver was able to stretch out his legs. I wouldn't want to needing to get out of there in a hurry.
This was a local car.
Not long after the cars left it started to rain again, so they were really lucky with their timing.
Rylstone, about an hour from home, holds its Swap Meet in the middle of May each year, and it is one we like to go along to. We were looking forward to it this year, but the weather report looked rather dodgy, with wet weather for most of the week leading up to the event. We decided that, rather than take the caravan over on the Saturday, we would assess the weather on Sunday and leave really early in the morning if it looked OK.
Therefore, I intended to spend the day in the sewing room, joining in with Chooky's Zoom session.
Thursday and Friday weren't as wet as predicted and Saturday was actually shaping up to be a sunny and warm day, so late in the morning, on the spur of the moment we decide to throw a few things in some tubs for a stall, and go over on Saturday after all. Rather than take the van, we would sleep in the canopy of the ute. Mick has set this all up, but we hadn't tested it out as yet.
When we arrived over there we were surprised at how few stalls were set up. Obviously, many had been kept away by the weather forecast.
Before we set up, we went for a quick walk up the street before the shops closed. I was on a mission.
There is a rather nice wool shop over there and I wanted to buy some 40cm circular knitting needles, something I couldn't buy at Spotlight. Happy dance.
Next it was time for afternoon tea. We called in at the bakery.
When I worked over at Kandos for a couple of months in the mid 1990s, this bakery was famous for being wood fired. It has only been sold in the last couple of years and these beautiful old ovens now sit idle. The photo is a bit dodgy, as I couldn't see the oven straight on.
Back when I used to go over, the general practice was that if you had a large gathering that required a large piece of meat to be roasted, you would take it to the bakery and they baked it for you in their oven. How cool is that.
By the way, the afternoon's weather was beautiful. It was tshirt weather until about five o'clock. So nice.
As we only took the ute over, we went up to the local pub for dinner, which was delicious, and for Mick to watch the footy. There was quite a group of us watching, with most barracking for the one team, which fortunately won. It was a fun night.
Here it is all packed away again. The mattresses are tucked away under that shelf at the back. Mick has had a lot of fun working everything out. There is even a USB outlet to charge the phones overnight. When we aren't using it for camping he can still use it for storage. The other side of the canopy has the Engel fridge, two burner stove and cooking stuff, as well as a battery and inverter. There are solar panels on the roof. The idea is that we can use this to camp for a few days if we get somewhere we don't want to take the caravan.
Anyway, back to the Swap Meet............
We woke up rather early on the Sunday and wandered over to the loos. We were a bit surprised that there was no fog.........there were also no stars.........
By the time we were back at the ute there was a very fine mist......
We still had our stall, but there was misty rain quite a bit and actual rain for a little while. Despite that, we did sell quite a bit of stuff and were happy with how we went. At about ten o'clock another shower was coming across, so we decided to pack up and head home. Of course, it was a very short shower and cleared up after that, but we were still happy with our decision.
After we packed up, we once again went up the street and had some morning tea and a look in a couple of shops that were closed by the time we arrived on Saturday. A nice way to finish off the weekend before heading home.
We quite enjoy going to Swap Meets and having a stall. It is a good little hobby. They are rather social, with a lot of the stall holders knowing each other and you tend to see the same people at the various Swaps. If we sell enough to pay for the weekend away, that is all we ask. Going forward, we may venture a little further, taking the van and a few more days. We will see.
So why was I after some circular knitting needles?
I want to knit a beanie. Not just any beanie, but to replicate a beanie I knitted for myself about 30 years ago. It was made from wool spun by my Dad. When we were on holidays back in 2017 I wore it a lot and I lost it. I must have knocked it out of the ute somewhere. I was sad........
I've been meaning to knit another one. You can't rush these things.
I still have quite a bit of wool spun by Dad, so pulled some out.
I can't locate the pattern I used before, which is annoying, as I know there are two copies here. Mine, and Mum's. What makes it more annoying, is that I saw a copy of the book in a op shop recently and didn't buy it because I have two copies here.........
My last beanie was knitted using two needles, but this time I wanted to try it with a circular needle. The only other time I have used a circular needle was to knit a fair isle yoke on a jumper back in my late teens, so this would be a learning curve.........
Let's watch some youtube clips to see how this is done. Yep, I can do that.
Next, to find a suitable pattern. I looked at quite a few and then came across one that wasn't really a pattern, as such, but worked out measurements to fit you and your tension and needles etc. That is what I am using. I hope it works.........
First, I had to do a tension swatch, seeing as I'm not using commercial wool. It took a couple of goes to find a nice feel. Then, to see if there were any suitable needles in Mum's collection. Yes, but they were longer. Time to watch some further tutorials to learn how to do the magic loop. Yep, I think I can do that.
Yep, I think I can do that.....I think I can, I think I can.......Nope, this is not working out nice at all. I think it would be easier on some shorter needles...... That's where Rylstone came in.
Now, let's start again. That feels much better. The solid sections of the needles are shorter, which makes everything easier. Cast on, count the stitches, knit the first row of the band. Knit the second row of the band, hang on, something isn't right...... Check this, check that, count the stitches....Blast. Ten stitches too short. Undo again. This poor piece of wool will be wearing out with the frogging it has endured.
OK... cast on, count, count again, count again, just to be sure. Knit first row, knit second row, phew, it finally looks like it may work.
One I had a few rows knitted it is nice and easy. I love that I can put the work down at any time, rather than have to work to the end of a row. I just have a little loop of embroidery thread as a stitch marker and that is working fine.
Of course, Joey has to be in on the act. He's a great help.
When I finish the band I will be working a couple of rows of a checkerboard pattern, as per my previous beanie. I do hope it all works out. I'll also hunt out a photo of me wearing the original beanie many years ago. Watch this space.
Speaking of Joey, here he is soaking up the morning sun. One of his favourite spots in the cooler months.
By now I'm sure you have had about enough of my blather, and I should go and get some tea on, so I will finish off.