Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Craft Bazaar news... sold NO knitted items! I sold 1 framed photo.

Oh well, $85 is better than nothing!! Now I have baby gifts for years to come.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I'm home! Now I just ened to stay awake for another 5 hours.

I am going to work on posting the photo album tonight, but I'm not sure if it'll get finished. I'm short a night of sleep.

Yarn: I ran to town on our last morning in Sydney to Tapestry Craft and got a bunch of yarn. Enough for a sweater, a hat, and mittens.

I finished the Broadripple socks on the airplane and got pretty far on my Kiri shawl. I am already thinking the leaf lace would be nice for a thicker yarn for a quicker project.

Friday, November 25, 2005

I'm back in Arlie Beach from our Scuba diving trip. It was really good. The water is amazing here - especially when the sun is out. The ride out to the reef was pretty rough - we arrived, trying to sleep in our bunks at 3AM. I held off sea-sickness by a decent margain. It was tough. I had to lay on my bed, stomach down completely silent and felt OK. If I wanted to move my sheet, a wave of nausea came over me. I was exhausted when it came to morning wake up at 7:30AM. Our first dive was at 8:30 then 10:30, I slept through the 3rd dive, but Jesper went. That evening I was feeling much better. I didn't actually get very far on the first dive, since I can't clear my ears as fast as the rest of the group, so I snorkelled. That was fantastic too.
The diving was great, like in a tropical fish tank. There were so many types of fish and coral. During our night dive, I saw a sea turtle. By the end of the trip we did 8 of the 10 dives and felt like we saw a lot, ate some good food and were entirely salty and fulfilled.
Yesterday was Jepser's birthday. We went out to dinner here in Arlie Beach and picked up our underwater photos.
The weather here is in the 80's. We are hanging in the shade today for sure.

Knitting: Working on socks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Whitsunday Islands
(didn't take this photo - but the water is sorta like this...)
We're in Arlie Beach now, the Whitsunday Islands. Tonight we leave on a 3 day/night Great Barrier Reef SCUBA trip.

As far as Aussie culture goes, here are a\somje quick observations:

Very polite drivers - always observing the speed limit and keeping the passing lane clear.

Like adding plurals and baby talk:
Brekkie (breakfast)
Schoolies (12th graders that just graduated and enjoy going to the Foam Party at the night club next to our hostel resort)
Diggis (Digeridoos - YES, Jesper bought one and was bold enough to practice at the local swimming pool)
Toasties (eaten at breakies)

Please let me know if there is an explanation for this language.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Our drive back from Hervey Bay to Brisbane included dropping Lis (Jesper's mom) off in Noosa, a beachtown. We found it to be really nice and too tempting to leave right away. It was an hour and a half away from the airport, so we cancelled our Brisbane reservation and stayed. Earlier in the trip I'd seen a wild bush turkey and on the beach in Noosa they were everywhere. They probably don't have the Thanksgiving worries USA turkeys have.

We've been in a great routine of going to bed early and waking up early, so the next morning we were able to get up with time to make it to the airport. Our room was unusual in that is gave us both nightmares of being locked up or trapped. Three walls were concrete blocks, the window screens had security bars and the door had 2 door handles that both had to be turned to open it. Sound like bad Feng Shiu?

Good news: We were refunded our money from the hostel in Sydney.
Yarn news: No chance at all to stop in Brisbane to find a great yarn store I heard about. No other yarn stores really acessible.
Knitting news: I finished my red "Steam" scarf!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

From where I left off...

Thursday morning, we (Jesper, Lis & I) started early for the airport by bus and flew to Brisbane where we picked up our rental car. After a few times making U-turns and focusing on driving on the left hand side of the road, we headed North towards Hervey Bay, our departure point for our Fraser Island Safari.
I picked out a detour from the Lonely Planet Guide book and we visited a waterfall and walked through a rainforest. This was the first day I could walk at a normal pace, what a relief!
We made another stop at a dairy for some ice cream, then continued through the backroads absorbing the lush green farmlands. We saw a koala crossing sign, but no koalas. As the afternoon went by, we made it back to the main highway and started focusing on spotting kangaroos. We really didn't think we'd see any, but it was something to look for. When you get out of the main city limits there is NO radio reception.
I spotted a couple kangaroo in the grass on a farm by the road and calmly let Jesper know so he wouldn't swerve the car. He made a U-turn and we stalked them from a backroad. I think once we crop the photo we took - we'll have proof.

We made it into Hervey Bay before sundown and found our hostel to be very nice - many palms surrounding.
Early next morning we were picked up for our Fraser Island tour and boarded our tour bus, there were 15 people on the tour. We had a very seasoned guide, it happened to be his last tour.
Frasre Island is entirely sand. the roads are sand, like the beach. We were very glad we chose a tour after seeing how driving a 4WD vehicle is not a small task. Our first walk was through a rainforest. We were promptly greeted by bushflys the feel like they bit you but they are actually peeing on you. We also were introduced to the holes under trees which poisonous spiders burrow. Then a Monitor Lizard walked by. We were pretty much doing the fly swatting, creepy bug fear dance by the time we started walking. There was a crystal clear creek running through the forest valley. There we some pre-histoic palms/ferns towering over the creek that grow very slow.
We ended the walk with a lunch under the blue sky and palms.

We continued across the island on the sand track in our 4WD bus to the resort we were to stay at then onto the beach. The island's main expressway is the beach. We zoomed up the sand North and saw the significant sights including the sand pinacles, colored with rust and Lis saw the shipwreck on the beach. We were too tempted by the airplanes parked on the beach not to jump at the offer of a flight. Before Jesper and I knew it, we had taken off on the beach runway into the sky - and had a birds eye view of the island and it's lakes, surf and forest.
As we headed back to the resort, a dingo trotted along the beach and peered at us in the bus. It's bony frame longing for a handout.
The evening was nice - a yummy buffet and interesting talk with our guide.
The next day we headed up the beach to a lake. We treked across a sand dune to a lake where we swam and lounged (with the stinging flys) for an hour. I ended up swimming - band-aids and all after spinning around from the flys - too much effort for comfort... the water was perfect.

Lake BirrabeenTo finish off our amazing Fraser Island trip, we stopped at Lake Birrabeen. The fresh water lake was crystal mineral water was clear and beautiful. We were instructed to wash our hair, skin and jewelery in the sand. It the sand particles are perfectly sphyrical and don't stick to you.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

We've had a great time with the rental car and on Fraser Island - more soon...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Today I sat in the lobby of the Maritime Museum and began the "Kiri" shawl with my Kidsilk Haze that I bought when I first got back into knitting a few years ago. It looks great so far and I am so pround that I have no mistakes yet and am on the 21st row. I found out that knitting is not allowed on air travel in Australia. I think I can get through security with bamboo needles, but can't use them until I am on the United flight on the way back home.

My feet are really killing me and I am walking so slow and limping - it so lame. Tomorrow is a travel day and we pick up a rental car from Brisbame and will drive to Hervey Bay. I think it will be fun.

Last night we had a fun time at dinner, Jesper and I chose a restaurant next door to the hostel that has interesting seating. You get to lounge on a queen sized daybed that had a table in the middle. We had tasty wine and entrees and watched the snow crab in the aquarium bully the defenseless lobster. The winter was storm force outside and was making the front windows make a creepy low vibrating noise.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I have met up with the infamous bed bug. Before we found the fat bastard in the bed, it managed to take over 3 dozen bites of me. This all started Saturday and now it's Tuesday, I went to the doctor and found out that my blistering bites are infected. So now I am onantibiotics both internally and externally. The worst part is the bites on my feet. After 2 days of heavy walking, they don't look so great.

On the bright side...
I found the Stitch N Bitch group and had a nice time meeting Aussie knitters. They were an educated bunch, as so many web based knitters seem to be. The travel time from Bondi Beach was a little too much, but Sydney is a huge city.

We enjoyed a gorgeous walk along the coast from Bondi Beach to Cogee Beach. There is a special "Sculpture by the Sea" exhibit along the trail. It was a modern art museum setup in nature.

Yesterday I had a chance to stop into Tapestry Craft and Yarn store downtown. I got some nice sock yarn. There were so many nice wools, but I couldn't think of what to make, so I didn't know what or how much to buy. I'll see another(better) store in Brisbane hopefully and might get inspiration.
We spent the day at Taronga Zoo. It was a ferry ride from the harbor and then a cable car ride to the top. They had many amazing animals and we about killed ourselves coverering every end of the zoo. The chimpanzees and gorillas were amazing. The koalas were sleeping and the kangaroos were lethargic. Lots of fun stuff to see.
We ended the evening walking towards Darling Harbor and finding out we had better take a taxi the rest of the way and then after dinner a taxi to the bus stop.

The weather has been really perfect up until around noon today. Sunddenly the wind picked up the sky filled with sea birds and sea became white capped. It's raining now, and should clear for when we head to Fraser Island in a few days.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

We're in Sydney!

Yeasterday we were greeted at the airport by Jesper's mom, sister and sister's boyfriend. The weather is PERFECT. They made us a nice breakfast which we devoured. We dropped our baggage at our hostel and hopped on a bus to Circle Quay - peeked at the Sydney Opera house then skooted onto the ferry to Manly Beach.

Sunbathing at Manly was perfect for a first day off a long flight. Jesper decided to rent a surf board and gave it a good try with his sister tutoring him. The water is pretty cold in Syndey, but that means there are no mean jellyfish here. I tried surfing a little too. It felt great to be in the water with a wetsuit. It makes it very comfortable.

We crshed early last night and are refreshed to see more of Syney today.

At 1PM today I am headed to the Syney Stich N Bitch to knit :) No other certain plans yet.

So far we've seen parrots and cocatoos in the trees. Since it's the end of spring, there are some beautiful trees with blue flowers blooming.

Stay warm in Seattle! I'll be working on my tan :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I dropped off my holiday bazaar items today. I snapped a photo in case I never see my knits again. I have no idea how much will sell. What ever I don't sell will be baby gifts, etc. for many years to come.

Last night I made a nice cover for my inflatable neck pillow, sorry no photo. I also started a eye cover, just need to get bias tape from JoAnns today to finish it up.

I also made a goal (at Innebandy) last night - not even a lucky shot! It was great - thanks Jesper for the great pass!
I didn't avoid getting hit by the ball as much as I'd hoped (pre vacation bruising was supposed to be healed), but I managed to get a ball in the mouth. Luckily I saw it coming and my flinch kept my mouth shut, I did crack a lip, it's not really bad though. The swelling is all gone. I am just thankful I don't have a black-eye. That's not what I had in mind for vacation photos.

Today is the last day of work - tomorrow I am going to do the 10AM Jazzercise class so I will be fit for the airplane ride...2 hours to San Francisco, a 4 hour layover and 14.5 hours to Syndey - now that's some serious knitting time to look forward to!

Monday, November 07, 2005

After letting the Steam hat sit for a few days, I frogged back to the beginning of the decreases and found that I just started the decreases to soon, too fast. Now I don't have to rip the whole thing apart. I just need to revise my decrease strategy. Thanks again to my secret pal for this lovely yarn!

I also have been working on a few other hats, but I can't show them online just yet. I really need to put them away and do gift knitting, but they are too tempting to work on.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Status on Steam hat.... well... If I ripped back at about 4 inches, I can give you a pattern for a headband, that's perfect.

The hat, in this gauge isn't going to be right - at least for my head. I didn't make it all the way through the decreases, but when I try it on, it wants to pop off. I can't decide if it'd be better to add 32 more stitches or choose a yarn with a larger gauge. I think I'll add stitches, since I love the yarn, and have enough. That many more stitches is going to cause this hat to be a 10 hour project, lately I love 5 hour projects.

It's silly for me to expect it to be perfect on the first try like Winter Femme was. I'm just running out of time and HATE frogging and re-doing. I can salvage this attempt to a beautiful head band though. I know they're not exactly in style in the city, but handy when you need your head a little exposed to left off the steam from skiing.

Maybe Monday you'll see a headband pattern :)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

For a while, when I came home I found the radio on. Jesper has been tuning in Jazz for Stella (my cat) to enjoy for the day alone at home. When I came home, I usually scruntched my eyebrow and though - hey! there was power 'a wastin'!

Well, I found out from an article in the NY Times today that there is an internet radio station just for your pets! I didn't think Stella was a Ricky Martin fan (which is what I hear playing at the moment), but I can see Enya was a closer match. I guess Ricky is the cue to get up for a drink from the water dish?

Anyway, maybe your pet would like this station? www.dogcatradio.com
What's for dinner tomorow in the crockpot?
Herbed Artichoke Chicken

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I am about half way through the Steam hat I am designing. It's going to be really nice :) I hope to make it to the decreases tonight. I am loving the feel of the Knit Picks - Andean Treasure - Baby Alpaca, it won't be itchy as far as I can tell.

I got a personal delivery from Angela of A Swell Yarn Shop today at work. Not only can you get pizza delivered, but yarn too! No, I don't really need MORE yarn, but I have another project I HOPE to get accepted to a book. We'll see, I don't have my hopes up, but it doesn't hurt to try!

Last nigsht we booked our SCUBA diving cruise. 3 days, 3 nights, 10 dives in the Great Barrier Reef. Horray!

For now, I leave with a photo from Innebandy last night... most of the photos were blury, I need to read my owners manual to get indoor action shots.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I got this great shot last night at Cupcake Royale in Ballard. I had just finished the pom pom minutes earlier.

When I got home I started my Steam pattern as a hat with the Knit Picks Andean Treasure. It will take a little while to knit up since it is 160 sts around. The yarn smells of cherries since it was shipped in a box with Kool-Aid. It reminds me of Scratch N' Sniff stickers when I was a kid. I got 10 rows in and had to go to bed.

There was someone in Purlygirls making my Winter Femme hat last night. She is adding an extra cable repeat to increase the width for her big head.