amanda j

Archive for the ‘memories’ Category

You might notice a couple of changes around here. I was beginning to feel my blog was looking a little dark, so I have changed themes. And, the name of my blog too – I still heart knitting a heck of a lot, but seem to have broadened my horizons lately. I think it looks good – I hope you agree.

There are some photos to show you today! I have been enjoying some quiet time at home and have been fairly productive over the past couple of days. I also bought myself a camera (finally!) and have taken some happy snaps of my work.

Sewing – a wrap skirt and an apron. The skirt is for me and the apron is part of a gift that Purl is putting together for her friend’s 16th – how cute! A baking kit!

mind the early onset bunions

mind the early onset bunions

There has been knitting, as usual. Socks in progress:
Zigzag Lace

Zigzag Lace

Spunk Socks

Spunk Socks

Embossed Leaves

Embossed Leaves

I also found myself in Spotlight today (surprised? Perhaps not!) and bought more fabric. Some to make curtains for the bathroom, some to add to fat quarters to make aprons for birthday presents and my absolute favourite is this:
Too cool for school!

Too cool for school!

I am going to make a skirt out of this fabric, and wear it on Fridays so that when I have to talk in assembly the Grade 9s will have something to do! Not that they don’t love to listen to me going on about this and that, but seriously! I absolutely love love this fabric!
And to add some cute, check out these bugs. Our good friends gave Tiny Madam a Chicken Socks pack for Christmas, and we got to make bugs out of pipe cleaners and beads. It was very much fun! Then, you fold the book around on itself and it becomes a house!! If you have kids, or know kids, I would recommend these packs as gifts. They are terrific!
Time for tea!

Time for tea!

Despite all the exclamation marks I have put in today’s post, I am feeling quite sad because Auntie died this morning. It was expected, but part of me feels like it is a chapter closing on my childhood – all the important elders are gone now.

I think tomorrow we will go the beach and have a picnic and blow some sadness away in the sea breeze. Sounds lovely don’t you think?



What a night!! Saturday we saw Crowded House and it was the most awesome night ever. I was wishing it was never over – I cried a number of times because the music was so beautiful and the memories of listening to the songs were so lovely. What you can see here is a very crap photo that in no way represents anything that we saw or heard, but it’s the best I can do. I really need a camera!! If you squint, you can see Neil.


  1. Getting away from it all with the Spunk, shopping at Salamanca Market, listening to some fantastic Celtic music at the New Sydney pub whilst sipping a beer and making our way to the concert.
  2. Seeing my all time favourite band live, even though they haven’t really existed for a long time. I never thought that would happen.
  3. The weather held out. It was crisp but not freezing and I was quite comfy in jeans and three layers on top, with a beanie and boots.
  4. Knitwear everywhere. I will share examples below.
  5. Great atmosphere. Not a lot of scope for bogan-like behaviour at an event like this.


  1. Portaloos. Say no more. (Although I had a Kenny experience at one point and a nice man cleaned the toilet just before I went in! Hilarious!! And remembering how I fell out of a Portaloo in my wedding dress. But that’s another story.)
  2. Lining up for drink tokens to then line up for drinks. Thankfully I didn’t have to do this because I am spoiled rotten, but I did have to wait a long time!
  3. Flipping idiots in front of me who may or may not have escaped from some kind of facility for the mentally challenged who were THROWING PEANUTS and people and at one point STOOD IN FRONT OF ME SO I COULDN’T SEE until the Spunk asked them to kindly sit. He figured we could have taken them in a fight.
  4. Walking for nearly an hour afterwards before we could get a cab.
  5. Crazy taxi driver on the way who told my friend to stop playing with the window uppy downy button and to STOP ASKING STUPID QUESTIONS and BE QUIET WOULD YOU. I thought we might get put out. He was a very grumpy man.

Knitwear spied. Sorry if by some strange and unfathomable coincidence you see yourself. Please know that I stalked you with the greatest appreciation and not a bit of creepiness.

I have finished a part of my Secret Santa for our Saturday group, but don’t know what else to do – I need to add something. The silly season is just beginning. It’s a slippery slide of get togethers, break ups, shopping, baby showers, school picnics, graduations, barbecues, prodigal brothers returning and Christmasses (yes, plural. Bloody divorced parents) from here until January. I figure I will just go along for the ride and let it all happen. Somewhere among all that I will turn 34. I don’t remember ever imagining being 34. However, I have a feeling it will be a good year.

PS Check out Summer Sue.

We have had so much hot (for us) weather in Tassie this last week or so, it has been absolutely amazing! We decided to take off to the beach for New Year’s Day. This beach is about an hour from our house.

This is my bunion enjoying the sand.

We all managed to get sunburnt except the Spunk. I felt like a very poor mother! I swear the kids had sunscreen on. They didn’t complain though – it really was quite superficial. Apart from that, we had a lovely time. When I was a kid there was no such thing as worrying about sunburn. My brother and I seemed to be outside most of the summer with nothing but a swipe of zinc cream across our noses for protection. I shudder to think what damage has been done.

I finished the socks for my No.1 Son. He loves them!

In fact, he is heading out on his skateboard right now with his Dad, and insisted on wearing his knitted socks. Yay! I also made these for the Tiny Madam. My goodness socks for small people go quickly!

Tonight I should finish the second Retro Rib sock for the Spunk. I love him, but by golly his feet are big. I am planning on making socks for ME next. The January challenge for Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry is to knit either a pattern by Cookie A or intarsia. I am not going down the intarsia route with socks thank-you-very-much, so I am going to make another pair of Monkeys, this time without the purl stitches, which should make them go very quickly. I might also make Hedera as this pattern has been in my queue for a very long time. I have my two skeins of Trekking. The grey was intended for the Spunk, but I am feeling a bit selfish after making so many socks for others! 

The two girls went and saw Enchanted yesterday, and both loved it. Quite a feat considering one is 5 and the other 14.

Today my dad called in, picked up the Spunk and the three kids and off they went on a trip down the river! They didn’t catch any fish unfortunately (or fortunately. I can never decide. I do love to eat fish but I DO NOT love to cook them!). Here is another peaceful water scene for your viewing pleasure.

All of this time allowed me to do a massive clean up around the house. I dusted and washed and vacuumed and cleaned and tidied. Now I just need someone to visit to admire how clean the house is for once!

Tomorrow, we are heading to the First Basin for a swim in the pool. We really are very lucky to live here.

Finally, does anyone know anyone who has ever taken spam email seriously? Here are a selection of today’s subject lines:

  1. airohpue
  2. Monstrous PriceReductions Plentiful Collection Pharmecology
  3. Your doubts about pen!s enlargements are vain


Well, actually 247. That’s how many blog posts are unread in my google reader account. Holy shmoly. I will have to work 24/7 this weekend to get through them. In between finishing report writing (well actually both starting and finishing report writing) and Christmas shopping, putting up the tree and general house worky type activities.

I have abandoned my photo every day challenge. It proved to be far too challenging. I can not commit to it. I found myself thinking about taking photos but I was a bit too busy to actually get around to it.

I am also in danger of needing to change the name of my blog. I have not knitted a stitch for perhaps two weeks. I don’t know what has come over me. I have crocheted two little aliens and most of a large bunny for the Tiny Madam (who incidentally turned five on Monday! No more babies!). Then Mr 7 wants a bunny and Purl thought she might like a red and black dead looking emo type rabbit as well!


Meanwhile, I have not finished Christmas sock knitting, nor have I even thought about my Cosy Exchange, and at last count there were only 25 days until Christmas!! And 13 until my 33rd birthday! Yay!

I have had the great pleasure today to say goodbye to a group of young men and women who are leaving our school and making their way into the world. It’s always a time of reflection and I always cry! Four years go by so quickly – it’s a great privilege to see the kids grow up. They looked amazing last night in their Graduation Dinner clothes (us teachers usually scrub up pretty well too!) and they were sincere in their thanks to us teachers today. Good feelings all ’round, tinged with sadness.

I got yarn! Nat and I put in a joint order and I got yarn!

My daughter, Purl, turned fourteen today. Fourteen is a lot of years. In four years, she will have been around for half of my life. I have to say, and I acknowledge my bias, she is quite remarkable. Tonight we went to watch her in her first ‘big play’. Drama is a big part of our lives, most of it unscripted! It was amazing to see her on stage tonight – she is a natural! 

It is the first time my parents have been in the same room for some years, and their willingness to be there is testament to Purl. She was fabulous and she has declared “I love being on stage”. I guess we have a lot more theatre ahead of us. Her ‘step’ grandparents were also there to support her – this too is interesting as mostly they prefer to be apart! There we all were. In a row. Mum, me, my actual mother in law, the woman my Dad married (as I was an adult when all this happened I can not use step mother or step father to describe these two. I love them, but they are not my steps), my father, my step mother in law and my father in law. Ah, the modern family. The one thing we had in common was our love and pride in this young woman. It was quite something.

Dad bought Purl a new camera. You might have read about our problems with cameras since Purl dropped our perfectly good Kodak in the creek at camp. Well, now she has her own perfectly good Kodak. I am going to share with you today some of the photos she has taken so far. They are a mixed bunch!

This could explain my problem with getting any real knitting done. I must tidy up.

This is Louis in the foreground, and Mrs Mouse in the back. Louis has taken to jumping up and hanging from the top of the enclosure. She may be bored. I will address this boredom with toilet paper tubes. She loves them. Mrs Mouse just loves the suspended wheel.

This is the money Purl got for her birthday. $150. Holy shmoly. The mind boggles.

And this . . . well this is a sock that is working. I will not talk about it yet. It is not for Sockapalooza. It is for Purl. It is Socks that Rock. In its second incarnation. Toe up with a black toe:

And speaking of Sockapalooza, which I am not, I started another sock last night, did a few pattern repeats and stuffed it up again. I am OVER IT! I will not cast on. I will not obsess. I am a procrastiknitter by nature and all of this trying to get things done early is obviously upsetting the universe.

i quit!

Posted on: May 26, 2007

No more posts about Sockapalooza until something goes right. I have knitted and knitted and knitted. The Undulating Rib socks from the previous post are no more. I am not talking about it. I have jinxed and hexed myself somehow. Suffice to say, I am knitting something, and you will just have to wait and see what it is.

I have almost finished the second sock for the Spunk. I will photograph them tomorrow on his feet. They look good!

Today I was listening to Cast On, which is a fabulous podcast and one I highly recommend. It was the end of this series and Brenda mentioned that next series she is going to be running a ‘camp’ where you can earn badges and sing along to campfire songs. I was a Brownie for a number of years and became a sixer (leader). But, I never did a badge! Not one! I can still say the Brownie pledge. I happily shone my little brass pin and brown shoes every week. I wonder why I could never commit to a badge? Were any of you guides/scouts/adventurers/campfire girls? How many badges did you earn?

Tonight I am going to that Scottish play, presented by the Bell Shakespeare Company. I am quite looking forward to it, despite it being with kids from school! One day soon I might get through a weekend without interacting with some of my students!

I got an extremely good mark on an assignment – 85% – and to congratulate myself I am thinking of buying this:

Did anyone else watch Growing Pains? Apart from George Michael (I know, I know!) Kirk Cameron was my first love! (Picture somewhat shamefully stolen from 80s tees.) Check out this site! There is some seriously cool stuff.


We are budgie sitting! My Dad has gone to Queensland to see my little brother for his thirtieth birthday, and Daphne is staying with us. It is a bit strange with so much chirping noise in the house, but not unpleasant. At times Daphne can be heard saying things in my Dad’s voice through a budgie modulator. This is disconcerting to say the least. However, I could get used to the wolf whistles! She is cute:

A disclaimer before I go further. The camera situation has not been rectified. Today’s photos are even worse than some others we have had recently. However, I prefer to add pictures, so bear with me. I have used the Kodak software to add a spotlight, hoping this will add a little something to my photos. It does – black edges. It kind of reminds me of a very bad episode of Neighbours when Bouncer had a dream. That may have been the last episode I ever watched. I am hoping a new digital camera will drop out of the sky any day now.

The Tropicana sock is no more. I stretched the sock over my calf and there was a muddying of colours. I am now doing the Retro Rib from Favourite Socks:

So far so good. I have stretched it out as far as I can and it looks fine, so it is definitely the mixture of pattern and yarn. Such a shame because unstretched it looked fabulous! If it was intended for me I would have continued, but because at this point this is still the Sock apalooza I have to be a bit more discerning. What do you think?

The Mexican sock (so named by the Spunk himself) is coming along nicely. I have passed the row where you knit with a waste yarn and then keep on going – this is where the heel will be (you can see a darker line. So far this is the only knitting I have done with the fourteen balls of Zhivago I bought!). I am going to try a sewn cast off for this sock. I think. I will google stretchy cast offs, unless someone has some advice?


I received a letter from my Knitter Letter Swapper that I wrote to!


Thanks Vicky! Hi! I am writing back tomorrow!!

I did some spinning today. I really need to devote some time to this hobby, consistently. It is not easy. How do people make it look so easy? Tomorrow I am going to hit the books for some technical ideas and advice and spend a good amount of time practicing. I think I am sitting too low. Where do you spin if you spin? I might have to try all the chairs I have until I find the right height.

Tonight we went out for the third night in a row! I have never eaten out so often in my life. On Thursday we had a dinner at a nice Italian restaurant not far from home. I ate garlic prawns which were passable, the Spunk had veal. Last night we went to a bar and bistro type place which was lovely. I had chicken and shitake mushrooms, and the Spunk had a Caesar Salad. Tonight we ate with family and had Canneloni and a lovely dessert of lemon tart and blueberries. I feel full of too much food. Tomorrow might be toast and cereal all day. I love cereal. I could eat it day and night. I am supposed to be heading out for lunch, but I am not sure that the budget or the waistline can take it!

Two weeks until the holidays. I am going to make it, just! We have a busy couple of weeks coming up with three birthdays in six days in the family, drama competitions and youth theatre plays, end of term barbecues involving 450 sausages and 206 children, parent/teacher interviews with us in the parent chairs for a change and untold unforseen events that seem to pepper our lives at the moment. Thank goodness for the escape that knitting and the interknit allow!

Stay tuned – Little Purl has read the Friday Night Knitting Club, and since I am not going to get a chance before it is due back at the library after waiting months for it to arrive, she will be reviewing it for us! I will just have to wait until it is either released as an audio book or for Julia Roberts to lead me through the story.

Flickr Photos

i am knitting

  • Pinwheel Blanket
  • Sassymetrical
  • Socks x 3
  • Button Me Up V2.0
  • i will knit

  • Flower Basket Shawl
  • Seamless Hybrid Sweater
  • Rogue
  • i knitted 08

  • Central Park Hoodie
  • Back to Basics III
  • Smooth Monkeys
  • Retro Rib Socks
  • Fetching I
  • Fetching II
  • Fetching III
  • Shalom
  • Wicked
  • Wickeder
  • Woodland Shawlette
  • Jumper for ILC
  • Socks for ILC
  • Hat for ILC
  • Booga Bag I
  • Booga Bag II
  • Washcloths for Mother
  • Mini Socks
  • Spunk Socks again
  • Cuzmo
  • Cozmo
  • Rose
  • Olivia
  • Shalom
  • Asymmetrical Cabled Cardi
  • Juliet
  • Liesl
  • Arch Socks
  • Button Me Up V1.0
  • Boy Teacher Cardigan
  • Camp Cowl
  • Felicity Hat
  • Zippity Blanket
  • Grandmother's Favourite Washcloth x 5
  • Apple Dishcloth x 2
  • Patonyle Socks
  • i knitted 07

  • Mother In Law Socks 2
  • Fon Sox
  • Elspiral Socks
  • I Can't Say No socks
  • Pomatomus
  • MIL1 Tea Cosy
  • MIL2 Tea Cosy
  • Green and Purple! socks
  • RPM socks
  • SIL socks
  • Tiny Madam Cardigan
  • Country Silk Cardigan
  • Monkey
  • Silver Scarf/Belt
  • Skinny Inca Scarf
  • Pink Fizzy Scarf
  • Super Spunk Socks
  • Diagonal Cross Rib Socks
  • Baudelaires
  • Mexicana Socks for Spunk
  • Opal Socks for Spunk
  • Jumper and Hat for Teeny Guy
  • Embossed Leaves Sockapaloozas
  • Socks for Robyn
  • Montego Bay Scarf
  • Sparkly Hat
  • Tiny Madam Cardigan 2
  • Waving Lace Socks
  • Swirly Girl Socks
  • Tiny Kevat Shawl
  • Baby Beanie
  • Embossed Leaves for Xmas
  • Mother's Back to Basics
  • Friend Back to Basics
  • Socks for Barb
  • Socks for MIL2
  • Socks for No1Son
  • Tea Cosy Swap Cosy
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