Wednesday 30 November 2022

The End of the Month

I can’t believe how quickly this month has passed.  The fact that we had an unexpected trip to Queensland this last week probably has something to do with it.  More on that in a separate post.  This is all about how my goals for the month turned out.  

I’ll start with my “15 Minutes a Day” goal.  That went very well. I managed to work for at least, and generally much more, than 15 minutes each and every day.  Since my last update I worked on my crocheted shawl on the Monday and again on the Tuesday, while travelling along on our trip north.  I’ve never worked on anything in the car before, as I suffer from motion sickness, but it was fine.  Now I may do the same again on long trips.  I finished the edge of the shawl with a very simple shell pattern.
Here it is, just in time for the (hopefully) warm weather.  It will be ready to go next autumn.  The shape also works well as a knee rug, as I discovered while working on it. The colour change to the second ball of wool seemed to work out OK and doesn’t look too strange.

I worked a couple of days on the final few hexy flowers for the Blue Quilt to complete my One Monthly Goal.  I was cutting it fine, as I only finished them yesterday. I’m linking up at Elm Street Quilts.
Anyway, here are all the blocks.  That is all of those units completed.  I will probably put them aside for a little while and work on another section of the quilt.  This is a project I am happy to take my time over.  There is no rush.

Back to my 15 Minutes….

I have started a new knitting project.
Remember I bought this wool when a friend and I visited The Granny Square at Katoomba.  Well, for once, I was determined to use it straight away, rather than put it away for “one day”.  After much deliberation and looking at patterns I decided to make the “Be Simple Variations” shawl.
First, I had to wind it into a usable yarn cake.  It was interesting seeing what the hand dyed yarn looked like when the hank was opened.

Fortunately, I have a yarn winder that was Dad’s when he did hand spinning.  Well, what a heap of @#$%& it is!  Somewhere along the line he had “improved” it.  Whatever he did, the ball will not wind in the centre of the winder and the yarn runs either over the top of bottom of the centre.  
Therefore, instead of one nice yarn cake I had to create three and subsequently join them in my project.  A new yarn winder is now on my shopping list.

On the day I finished my crocheted shawl I started my new project.  I was going fine for a while and then somehow stuffed it up.  I couldn’t figure out how to sort out my problem and there may have been a little tanty and some swearing, before I frogged it and started again.  I didn’t get very far before I stuffed it up again, so frogged it again and returned it to being just balls of wool. It was getting late and I was tired, which probably had a lot to do with it.
A couple days later, I pulled it out again and it has been going swimmingly ever since.  I’m really enjoying knitting away.  Now that we are back home I will switch to longer needles and probably eventually circulars, depending on how much wider it gets.  The above photo doesn’t show the colours too well.  It isn’t as grey as it looks.  The colours are more accurate in the balls of wool.  I have knitted up the small ball and am well on the way to finishing the largest, so it shouldn’t take too long to finish.

I have the two that I can share - the shawl and the beanie I finished a couple of weeks ago.  I will include my secret projects in December once they have been received.


I did join in for a change, working on my secret stitching.

And that sums up my stitching for the month.
Now, for my other goals….

No, didn’t happen.  A little trip north kind of interrupted things.
However, we did listen to an audio book while travelling.  Another by Dervla McTiernan.  We are really enjoying her as an author.  This was quite different to the others, and we now await whatever she writes next.

Sort of.  
This time it was an adaptation of my usual, with the rhubarb slice.
And revisiting my old Christmas Cake recipe I haven’t made in a very, very long time.


Originally, this was going to be a fail, as our planned little trip was cancelled due to the continuing bad weather.  Then, we had an unexpected trip to Queensland, so did get a trip in the van after all.


Our original plan was to join the local motorcycle club on a day ride, but it was cancelled.  Yet another victim of the bad weather.  We had then hoped to go for another random ride, but our trip to Queensland put paid to that as well.  Not to worry.  There will be other opportunities.


Yes, we checked out the race cars in town, went to the Swap Meet and Car Show and did have some fun while away.  I think that little lot will count, not that any of it was on a Friday.

So, all in all, not a bad month.

Now, I will get out my knitting to complete my 15 minutes for today.

Monday 21 November 2022

Last Weeks Happenings

Last week was a little more sedate than the previous one, which was a nice change.
Once again, the weather dominated our plans for the week.  As I mentioned last time, there was flooding in the Central West of the state.  At the time of my post, we were not fully across the full extent of things.  Locally, as the day progressed the flooding got worse.  The town was cut in two with many people stuck on the opposite side of town from their homes, including lots of school children.  
I took these photos late on Monday morning and the river was rising fast.  The water level on my gauge of the Gordon Edgell Bridge sign was much higher than the previous moderate flood.  I saw a photo later where the water was up to the sign and the poor sign had a decided list downstream.

I grew up on the flood plain and where we used to live was under water.  We moved from the street in the late 1970s. After the 1986 flood the local council commenced purchasing the houses that were on our street and there is now only one standing, which funnily enough doesn’t get flooded.  There are now football fields where the houses used to be and the clubhouses are built up, so were on islands.  Since the 1998 floods levees have been built and this was the first time they were tested. They worked well.  Last time about 200 homes were inundated.  This time there were six.

Further afield, there has been major destruction, particularly in the little town of Eugowra, which is located beside what is normally a very innocuous little creek.  A tsunami of water came down the creek in the early hours of Monday morning, flooding nearly all of the town and completely destroying 21 houses.  Some were washed several hundred metres down the street.  Sadly, two people lost their lives and it is a miracle there weren’t more.  Over 100 hundred people had to be rescued by air from roofs and trees.  It will be a major effort to get them back on their feet.

Molong, another small town had a huge flash flood from their creek, going well up the main shopping street, which isn’t flat either.  It must have been incredible to see so much water.

Canowindra has also had major flooding, but it wasn’t flash flooding to the same extent, so hasn’t received as much publicity.  Forbes, Condobolin and Hillston, on the Lachlan are also receiving record flooding as the water makes its way down the river system.

These are all small towns that we like to visit and we feel so much for them.  It all seems so much more real when you actually know the area and it isn’t just another news item.
Enough of that, what did we get up to?

I continued to work on my 15 minutes a day of stitching.  Here’s how I went.

14th, 15th, 16th, 17th & 18th
It sounds like a lot of work on my secret stitching, but on some days I didn’t spend much time.  I’m happy to say that it was all completed on the 18th and I can play with other things now.

15th, 17th, 18th, 19th & 20th
As you can see, on most days of the week I also worked on the shawl I am crocheting.  This was taken on Tuesday when I had completed my first ball of wool.  I am now well on the way with the second ball and will have it finished very soon.  On Saturday I was distracted and couldn’t count, so ended up frogging all I did that day, so on Sunday it was just a catch up to where I was the day before.  I don’t mind too much, as crochet is so easy to fix, not having to pick up stitches like knitting and I am enjoying the process.
Now that the days are longer, it has been rather pleasant sitting in Grandma’s chair in my sewing room in the late afternoon and working on the shawl, as the light is so good.

I will have to get out my Blue Quilt EPP and work on it this coming week to meet my One Monthly Goal.
Mick has another new toy for his shed.
To make it easier to work on “Floyd” and his other bikes he has bought a pneumatic bike lift.  He finds it is getting harder to work on the ground, so this will make life much easier.
On Saturday we had a garage sale as part of the nationwide Garage Sale Trail.  
It went well and the weather was perfect.  A glorious, warm spring day.  The only one we had.  I was sitting in the sun crocheting between customers, which is how I was distracted and lost count.
There was a huge Christmas Markets on the weekend, which incorporated a truck show on the Saturday, which we obviously didn’t see, and a car show and swap meet on the Sunday. We had considered having a stall, but after the lovely day on Saturday, the weather changed once again, with rain overnight and then a wind picking up. We decided against it and are glad of our decision.   We did go and have a look.  There were some lovely cars on show.  Come for a stroll.
And that about sums up our week.

Monday 14 November 2022

Last Week

Keeping with my plan to blog more regularly, it’s time to look back on last week.

The weather continues to keep us on our toes.  There has been more rain during the week, now mainly via storms, although we had a couple of really nice spring days in there as well.  

Our plan had been to take the caravan over to Gulgong for a few days, to just play the tourist and then to have a stall at their swap meet, which is always a good day.  Well, the weather forecast continued to deteriorate as the week progressed, so we made the decision to stay home, which in the end turned out to be the correct call.  They had a storm on Friday afternoon, another on Saturday afternoon and then set in rain on Sunday.  So sad for the organisers.
A considerable band of rain was forecast to come our way yesterday and it was rather incredible watching the radar as it built up across the state.  This was early in the morning, and by mid afternoon, nearly all the state was under rain.  We had one band go across yesterday morning, as per the radar picture, and then it was fine until late afternoon, when it really set in.  In the end, we received 94mm in the 24 hour period.  The heaviest rainfall in a single day since 1997.  As everything was already saturated, there has been a lot of localised flash flooding from the rain and the river has now risen very fast and is currently at major flood level.  Levee banks have been built after our last major flood in 1998, but they have never been tested.  It is predicted that they may be breached later today.  Let’s hope not.  I feel so much for the towns that had already been affected by flooding and now they are copping it again.  Several towns are completely isolated, and others with flooding where there has never been flooding before.  Such crazy weather.  
Now on to more positive things.
For the first time in, I’m guessing in over twenty years, we made a Christmas cake.  I used a recipe that I have been using since my early teens.  Mum had her recipe and I had mine.  We did cheat and just used mixed fruit. 
We’ll find out on Christmas Day how it turned out.  It looks OK.
Our rhubarb is growing gang busters at the moment, so I decided to use some in a slice.  I used my old faithful mixed fruit slice recipe and just substituted the fruit with three stalks of rhubarb and some cinnamon.  Yummo!  It is more like a dessert slice than a lunchbox slice and was a great success.  It will be made again.
You may notice a strawberry on top.  They are now really starting to provide fruit.
We also now have teeny weeny zucchinis on our plants, so it won’t be long until we are inundated with them.  Not such a bad problem.
In the flower garden, I love how as one plant finishes blooming another starts.  The bottle brush only started to bloom about a week ago.  It’s hard to believe that this bush was really struggling to survive, due to drought, only a few years ago.
The pinks and love in the mist have now joined our lavender in flowering near our front door.  This is the little corner we like to sit in for our afternoon tea, overlooking the town and Mount Panorama.
Having sent the little German sewing machine home with Hans I had an empty shelf.  Well, you can’t have that, so now my little Elna Junior with the music box in it is finally on show, rather than sitting in her case.
On the weekend Bathurst hosted another car race up at Mount Panorama.  This time it was the inaugural Supercheap International.  That means that they now have their full quota of five car events each year.  This event has classes for lots of different types of cars.
On Thursday afternoon they drove a selection of the race cars down town and had them on display.  Of course we went to have a look……and it was one of the days where we had decent weather.
We have no interest in the racing, but they are good to see.  
Such a variety.
I’m glad the older Holdens still get to have a race.
We have a local contender and the driver is proving to be quite successful.
This was Mick’s favourite.
They had a young lady providing some musical entertainment and she had a wonderful voice.

They had good weather on both Friday and Saturday.  On Sunday there was a decent rain band in the late morning, but was then OK for the rest of the day.  I hope they did well.
Now onto the stitching side of things and my goal of working on something for at least 15 minutes each day.  Yes, we are still on track.

7th, 8th & 9th
I continued to work on my beanie and have a very successful finish.

This project introduced me to yet another technique I haven’t tried before, knitting on double pointed needles (DPNs) to decrease for the crown.  Firstly, I had to find some needles.  I doubted if I would have any in the right size and expected to have to raid Mum’s needles when I next visited.  However, firstly, I had a look through my not inconsiderable supply of needles.  I have mine, Grandma’s, Mick’s Mum’s and various others that have come my way, mainly in vintage knitting needle boxes. Guess what?  I have MANY sets of DPNs.  One of the first sets were the right size.  Happy dance.  I also have had a big sort out of needles, throwing out any odds and sadly, finding that moisture has somehow got into Grandma’s box, so had to throw out some old needles that had gone rusty.
Anyway, back to my beanie.  Although initially fiddly to hold, it wasn’t too bad using DPNs.  However,  I think I will still stick with a circular needle when easier to do so.

I would now like to make another version of this pattern, but with a longer rib, to allow to fold back, and one less pattern repeat to fit my head a little better.  Other than that, I’m really happy with it.  I love the texture.

As well as working briefly on the beanie, I continued with my secret stitching and made good progress.

For a change I made another EPP unit for the Blue Quilt.  That is all of this unit completed.

While on a roll, I glue basted the remaining hexy flowers for the Blue Quilt, ready to pick up to stitch whenever I feel like it. They need to be completed by the end of the month to complete my OMG for November.

11th, 12th and 13th
I also started a new project……. After finishing the beanie, I really wanted to start something else in either knitting or crochet.  After much umming and aahing and searching Pinterest and Ravelry, I settled on “Eva’s Shawl” using some of the Bendigo Woollen Mills yarn I bought at the Bathurst Swap Meet last November.  I bought four balls, all in different colours and I think these two will look OK together.

I want a nice warm shawl that will just live on my chair in the sitting room at home and can be draped over my shoulders when the evenings cool down.  It probably won’t be completed, ready to use, until next autumn, but that doesn’t matter. 
This is where I am up to now, after three days.  Not too bad.  It is rather relaxing to work on.  The yarn I have started with is called “Autumn”, but isn’t really all that autumnal in my opinion, but that is OK.  “Tropical Fish”, which I will use for the outer rows definitely has more rich tones.  It will all work out fine in the end….I hope.

I want to get this completed before the weather gets too hot, but I think I need to put it aside in favour of completing my Secret Stitching.

So, not a bad week.  Now it is time to work out what we will get up to this week.