I had this half memory of Holly Hunter, in The Piano, being pensive-and-shawl-wrapped on that wet New Zealand coast [ which couldn’t be much more different that the wilds of rural Victoria in the height of Summer ] but when I did an image search on the Almighty Google, I discovered that she wasn’t wearing a knitted shawl at all

but she should have





my own design, improvised in the spirit of the classic Faroese shawls but from the top down*. I could ramble on about what went into designing something like this, but truthfully the recipe is pretty much Vogue Lace Stitch Dictionary + maths = shawl

Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 8ply in Purple Storm

5.5mm KP needles



* apparently Faroese shawls are knitted from the bottom up


a] I didn’t know that


b] I like top down construction, so it wouldn’t have made any difference if I had known.



You may remember a few posts ago when I alerted you to the  seductive nature of testknits.

Well  evil temptress enabler friend Toni did it again by pointing me in the direction of a new design by Canadian designer Natalie Servant.

Like I needed another shawl!

The original is a clever v-shaped shawl, but Natalie was interested in having it done as a rectangular stole as well.

Turns out long skinny knitted thingies may not be the easiest things to photograph

His Royal Beariness thought that this first pic

would be enhanced by the addition of his chewtoy. Purely for purposes of scale you understand.

The one thing to be said in it’s favour is that the deep cherry colour is reasonably true, and it does show off the pattern nicely I guess. Ms Natalie calls this one Clover [ presumably 4 leafed?] but I see hearts.

I tried laying it on the floor … various tables … nothing remotely successful

So next, being the kind, considerate, loving mother that I am, I hauled Nadie and an assortment of woollies outside for an extended photo shoot.

In case you didn’t know, it’s Summer here.

Today got to 38 degreesC [ 100F ]

Once again, greater love hath no daughter …

and for those who care about such things

Pattern: Clover by Natalie Servant

– I mainly used the written with the chart as backup.

yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4 ply in Ruby [ 100% machine washable wool ]

needles: 4.5mm KP

The Joys Of Life In The Bush … NOT!

Personally I blame Nadie

‘T’is she who only a day or so ago happened to mention on one of the Ravelry forums that we hadn’t had any snake sightings so far this Summer.

So  –  of course –  you all know what happened next, right ?

11 am yesterday Bear and I decided to take the wheelbarrow for a leisurely wheel up /over the block towards Pete-formerly-next-door’s side fence to gather some edibles for the goaty girls.

Bear was blazing the trail ahead when his attention was diverted … much the same as it was a week or so ago when he discovered the echidna.

So over he went, leading with his inquisitive little black nose, as dogs do.

What I saw next was The Beariness leaping back slightly as a very unhappy Brown Snake* reared up on its midsection and lunged at him.

I screamed at him to come while simultaneously abandoning the hapless wheelbarrow to whatever fate might befall it.

Bear did what he was told and ‘came’ unlike the last time

I ran with him back down the path to be met at the door by Nadie and The Boy who’d heard the commotion, and we all proceeded to give his furry little body a comprehensive medical exam.

The reality is that, had he been bitten by a brown, there probably wouldn’t have been time to get him  into town to the Vet.

This time we were lucky.

Bear is fine – although a little miffed at being taken out for toilet breaks under armed guard – and the cats are singularly unimpressed at my locking of the catflap.

In a day or so, I’ll relax and go back to my normal level of snake season vigilance

not yet though

and there are no pix to go with the post … strangely, grabbing the camera was the last thing on my mind.

*and before anyone asks, all snakes around here are highly venomous but rarely encountered

and what the heck do I talk about …

for my 1000th post ?

once again it’s been one of THOSE weeks – or more accurately, fortnights.

So much has happened and each day I’ve thought about writing but it just hasn’t quite happened.


here’s the bullet points version with no attempt at coherent segues:

  • two weekends ago, Nadie’s BFF Natty came up on the Saturday, stayed over [ hilarity ensued ] and then joined us and a cast of several for our monthly craft day, otherwise- and variously-known as Stitch ‘n Bitch, Sit ‘n Sew, UFO [Unfinished Objects] and/or WIP [Works In Progress] Day.
  • Nat has caught the highly communicable quilters disease, S.A.B.L.E. Her family have been warned to watch out for signs of stash accumulation beyond life expectancy.
  • I have the fabric, fibre and yarn strains of this debillitating condition and poor Nadie has not only succumbed to these three but also the slightly rarer spindle-acquisition syndrome.
  • I WAS going to do a post on the Great Goat escape of 2012, and how The Boy and I bonded over some fence mending.
  • Then we had Goat Escape 2012, the sequel, and Goat Escape 2012, part 3

    goat paddock to the right, not-goat paddock to the left

  • By then I’m pretty sure both The Boy and I were over the whole fence mending bonding experience.

    Robbyn demonstrates where the fence and straining wire have parted company

  • There have been no, repeat no, goat escapes this week.
  • last weekend was Nadie’s 30th Birthday Bash. Major barbequeing was done involving a cast of thousands … er… several dozens … who had voyaged from several points of the compass and distances varying from 4 km up the road to halfway across the state. Friends and rellies helped us celebrate the major milestone augmented by three Japanese Farmstay students.
  • NOTE Three teenage boys are three teenage boys regardless of country of origin. The amount of food that they put away was roughly equivalent to their combined body weight. The rest of us just watched in awe.
  • Brenda [ of Pete-and-Brenda ] and I attempted to transfer her pair of Guinea fowl into my large cat cage for the trip to Capricorn Cottage.
  • One escaped.
  • Half the guests were deployed to ensure that we did not have a repeat of the Great Guinea fowl escape of 2012.
  • Fowl were eventually conveyed to their new home, much to the amusement/bemusement of the farmstay boys who had to share the back seat with the cage. Apparently the average young urban Japanese male is not intimately acquainted with raucous odd-looking wild fowl. Funny that 🙂
  • Bear discovered an echidna down near the road and generously shared his marsupial find with the remaining guests.
  • Echidnas are nocturnal and very very shy
  • This is only the fourth one I’ve seen here in seven years.
  • Sunday morning/afternoon involved a PCCB [ proper cooked country breakfast ] of scrambled eggs – nearly 2 dozen of them – bacon, tomatoes, toast and spinach, a trip to Maldon for a raid on the quilt shop and the Ice Creamery, followed by more quilting.
  • Wednesday was Ms Tara’s birthday. She was duly showered with pressies as is her due.
  • one of them came in the form of an I.O.U.
  • There may have been a modicum of knitting, spinning, baby snuggling, and new kitten cuddling indulged in.
  • My week since then has involved cleaning up post-party detritus, gardening, goat wrangling, more gardening, more knitting,
  • and after that lot, I’m sure that you now realise why I made no attempt at all at a carefully crafted post.
  • postscript: I almost forgot. Dance class started back this week as well. Should’ve been last week but as we all had a funeral to go to, class was cancelled.
  • post postscript: Nadie and I took ourselves off to see the new Muppet Movie at the historic Castlemaine Theatre Royal. Great fun and probably the best since Muppet Treasure Island. If you have fond memories of the original show and/or the original Muppet Movie, you will probably enjoy this revisit.

Who said Guinea Fowl have faces only a mother could love ?

For about 30 seconds this morning, I had custody of five new guinea fowl – three for myself, and a pair for Pete-formerly-next-door and Brenda. Graham the chook bloke was barely out of the driveway before one of the little beggars darlings discovered a hitherto unknown trapdoor in the cage that I had borrowed for the occasion.

I didn’t actually see how it got out. All I knew was there was a chicken running frantically around the carport.

While I gave equally frantic chase and managed to corner it between my dyeing microwave and the aircon inverter, another one had discovered the same method of egress and headed off into the bush.

Ever try to chase down a wild fowl that is hell bent on freedom ?

Do the words ‘lost’ and ’cause’ mean anything to you ?

Lost cause nothwithstanding, Nadie and I spent the next half an hour creeping surruptitiously [ hard to do in crocs in long dry potentially snake infested grass ] and listening for any hint of a betraying rustle of grasses or cheeping.

There is a lot of cheeping in the middle of the bush in the middle of the morning, let me tell you … and rustling … and slithering.

What there wasn’t was any sight or sound of my errant fowl.

So now I have custody of FOUR guinea fowl.

There’s at least one boy in the bunch, so PFND & Brenda can still have their breeding pair,

and my beautiful pale grey [ lavender ] girl is still there, but just what the last one is I won’t know until Graham the Chook Guy comes back tomorrow morning.

Of course, when I tried to get a shot into the cage on an angle so that you could see all four, the camera insisted on focussing on the bars, so this is all I’ve got.