Camping time!!! Good for the mind, not so good for the body

It was a long weekend last weekend so we took off to the south all set for a camping weekend. 

It was glorious. Sure there were idiots with their generator on til 2am, dogs not on leashes running amuck, loud music and general disruptive behaviour but we were away from the city in the great outdoors and it wasn’t going to spoil those 3 night we planned at Logue Brook Dam (about 2 hours drive from home).
We didn’t stay in the Tourist Park area (too touristy!), but instead drove to the other side of the lake and camped in the National Park. It was more our style of camping.


It’s not quite ‘glamping’ but we do make camping less stressful by having good equipment . We have a pop-up tent and a gazebo for shade, stretcher beds and self inflating mattresses for sleeping, and a solid set of camping chairs and table. The new addition this holiday was a hammock which was lovely and relaxing until the wind started to howl. 



I spent my time wisely and finished 3 books and started a 4th. 

I finished The Book Thief and tried not to cry. It was gorgeously written, very poignant but ultimately tears were shed. 

Wedding Night was on my iPad so it got read while I was working on my knitting. I’d read it before and it was a good bit of fluff to follow a WW2 novel. 

I also finished Rilla of Ingleside for the upteenth time. I found new covers for the series on Book Depository which I had to buy. 

And I started Shadow Scale (sequel to Seraphina which I raced through and loved!) but I only got about a third of the way through

(This brings my total read books for this year up to 24 meaning I’m likely to meet my challenge of 30 new books. The 24 doesn’t include any books I re-read.)

 The Nightvale-esque eye bag is my new knitting project bag.  It was purchased in a Cotton On sale where everything I bought (new work shoes, a floppy hat, some more shoes, cat socks, more shoes) was $5.

I googled ‘camping knitting’ before I left. I didn’t really have anything on the needles that I could knit without thinking. I needed the type of knitting that takes your mind off carsickness, can still be done around a campfire, in between scrabble moves, and which isn’t going to result in frogging the next morning. 

Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Pi shawl has all the stockinette a camper could ask for.  The chapter of the Knitters Almanac with the Pi Shawl recipe has an entire section on camping knitting which put me right in the mood. I have since bought a hard copy of the book, but I found the pattern in an online preview which I print screened and took along with me.


I also finished off a pair of slippers that I needed the foot model to try on. They went to a very happy grandma. 

Unfortunately no fish were caught (although not for lack of trying.)
But the early morning trips to the dam weren’t entirely wasted with my brother-in-law doing a spectacular slip into the water. I didn’t see it but apparently it rivalled my less than graceful entry into the hammock the day before. 


Ultimately it was a fantastic 4 days, after which I felt relaxed, inspired, and like I’d had a week’s peace and quiet. It has been followed up by a week of Physio appointments and a bucket load of pain killers for my back, but sometimes getting away from it all it totally worth it. 


Ahh the serenity….


I can smell summer

The weather is starting to warm up and it’s beautiful. I feel like a lizard who no longer needs to lie in the same to feel warm but suddenly there’s no longer ice in my veins and I start to become alive!

Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but I do think I’ve been cold for the longest time and now that I can feel my fingers and toes when I wake up in the morning I can start to move and do.

Including doing some sewing. Yes sure my back hated me for a few days afterwards, but I had a pretty dress to take my mind off it.

I bought Tilly & the Button’s Love at First Stitch book and successfully made a Megan dress!!!!
Look at me and my work elevator selfies.
Unfortunately this is the best photograph I took, and as the dress is currently on my floor-drobe in a pile and the fabric requires ironing, it may be the best photo there is for a while.

There are still some problems with it. The biggest one is that it’s made from fabric that you need to iron and ironing clothes isn’t high on my list of favourite tasks.
Secondly the way I’ve gathered the sleeves makes my shoulders look *really* wide and the high neckline makes my boobs look *huge*. The last thing I need is to look wider.
And thirdly I used the wrong type of stabiliser for the collar which makes it really scratchy and stiff. I may just cut that off to make it a bit more wearable.

But like anything these were opportunities for improvement and I have another Megan dress already cut out, in a different fabric, with a modification to the collar and sleeves.

So I’m looking forward to sewing that together and seeing if my “improvements” help the dress. I kinda freehanded the drafting of neckline….
Sewing needs a bit more precision than I usual have.


I’m sensing a spirally theme


Somehow my daily happy things journal (which I was using to properly keep track of my 15 in 15 goals) has fallen a little bit by the way side. It was recently found under a pile of knitting that had fallen off the couch!

So I’m taking a wild guess and thinking that these are finished objects 12 & 13 for the year.

The hat is a pattern I made up. It was a cast-on 84 stitches, do a brim, increase row then knit until it needed some decreases. It’s very slouchy. Really I could have started the decreases about an inch earlier but it’s still super cute.

The yarn is from the Fiberista Club. I went on a bit of a club binge earlier this year and signed up for another YarnvsZombies club, the Fiberista club, and also the Fandom of the Month club.

It’s LYDIA Sock in colourway ‘Watermelon Wine Cooler’. I think it matches my hair quite well.

(Yes this is a selfie while I’m outside the pub waiting for a taxi. There are still ends that need weaving in….) 

The wibbly wobbly 10th Doctor shawl has been on the needles for aaaagggeessssss. At least a year or more. Mostly due to me not being able to count and running out of yarn. Then I couldn’t remember what the pattern was or where I was up to.

Eventually I figured it out (it was the Canyonlands Shawl which is perfectly wibbly wobbly) and got stuck in again and finished it on the weekend while watching season 4 of Scandal.

Yes you’re all getting to see my dirty laundry AGAIN but there’s no other place to block a shawl with 2 kittens who think that my blocking mats are their scratching post.

I thought that I would have to block it rather aggressively to get it to curve like the picture, but I just wet it and once I pinned out the top edge it smoothed out into those gorgeous wobbly edges.

And because last time I forgot to tell HWF that there was a shawl blocking in the bathroom and he opened the door on itand nearly feell over, this one came with a warning sign.

Now if it would just hurry up and dry I’ll be able to take some dodgy shawl selfies!!!

Things I’ve learnt recently 


Dont start to dye yarn when there’s a strong chance you’ll nod off and leave it on the stove. 


But do dye some more once you’ve finished your nap. 

Cats like photobombing yarn pictures. 

Cats snuggling while playing Mass Effect is the best way to spend a Saturday morning. 

(Jane Shepherd is amazing and I love her and want to be her!)


Although it’s difficult when they’re climbing all over you and being adorable.

Bright pink hair makes me happy. As do polkadot shirts and dark lippy. 


Happy days. 

I want to put something witty here but it’s too much effort. 


So I have been knitting and doing stuff other than working long hours, curating the @we_love_aural Twitter account, working more, and posting cat pictures to the Internet! 

For starters I finished Mass Effect. (Wooo!) I’ve now started Mass Effect 2 and my aim is to have finished all 3 before 4 comes out. I am nothing if not a high achiever. 

Also I’ve taken the leap and opened a new shop. 

So far it’s been friendlier than etsy, but with higher overheads. Plus I can make more listings. 

Tell all your friends to visit !!! 

On the knitting front I just finished a pair of arm warmers/fingerless gloves. 

The yarn I dyed myself and I made up a pattern. But they’re warm and I love them. I even braved the cold to take some pictures outside. 

There has also been some stamping and new listings for the shop. Plus I’ve ordered some new stamping blanks which I’m excited about. 

It feels like I’ve been very busy with not a lot to show for it. The only other news /life update is I got (what I thought was a normal-ish) haircut. But I’ve been getting compliments from my local chemist, pubs, bottle shops as well as coworkers! 

I’m feeling pretty hot right now!  


Because I always need another hat (FO11)


The yarn is from yarnvszombies.

The pattern is Tramontane from yarnvszombies

And it’s really really cute!

I love the short row brim and will definitely have fun experimenting with different ways to wear it. I’m also considering blocking it (or just wear it outside – it’s pretty rainy at the moment) to stretch out the lace. 

The lace was really quite simple. It was over 6 rows and I had to keep the pattern in front of me but I don’t think I made any massive mistakes. This is HUGE for me and lace patterns. 

It will go quite nicely with the snakeld scarf in the same colourway. 




**Once again I have to reiterate that I received no sponsorship from yarnvszombies, I’m merely doing my part to put Kiki’s cats through college.

A wippy shawl 


To celebrate the arrival of KnitPicks in Australia I bought some yarn (gun to my head, hand over your bank details!).
I ordered some bare yarn for dyeing, and picked up my promotional free ball of Chroma fingering in the Carnival colourway.

I love the gradual colour changes and I wanted a shawl pattern that would show them off, but I could pick up and put down.

So I set to work and started designing.

After a few false starts this is where I’m up to at the moment. It will definitely require blocking! It was a monster to photograph and I had to enlist some human blocking pins to best show off the pattern.

You may be wondering why I’m choosing to share an unfinished pattern. Well in my inbox this morning I got an email to say for the month of July there is 30% off Chroma!!! So I’m making the pattern available now if you’re umming and ahhing about buying some chroma, you can ssee some of its potential!

So here is the pattern for my wippy shawl (working title!)

CO – 4 Stitches
Row 1: K3 (Place marker) YO K1
Row 2: KF&B Purl to marker K3
Row 3: K3 Knit to last stitch YO K1

Then you repeat row 2 & 3.
When it looks like you’re running out of yarn, make that difficult decision about when to start playing yarn chicken and bind off.
Note that I haven’t got to this point yet, but that is how I’m planning it!
There *may* be some weighing and maths involved, but the smart money is on me playing yarn chicken.

I may block the edging so its stretched into points. I also think perhaps the yarn overs at the end would be nice with beads. 

Endless possibilities and ideas.



Finished object 10 – soft squishy socks


Just a vanilla pair of socks with a fish lips kiss heel. Easy football knitting or while waiting for your turn to present when you’ve heard the other 2 lectures before. Although in hindsight I would have liked the chance to ask the GM if he didn’t mind me knitting, but he came in late and it would have disrupted my lecture. 

I digress. That’s been what this week has been like. Awful and unable to focus on anything. Ooooh!!!!! Squirrell!!!!!!!!!

Back to the ordinary socks, the yarn is so smooshy and dyed beautifully it makes them extraordinary and lush. 

It was given to me in a ravelry group swap box and it is so beautiful. I’ve lost the label (I can’t find anything this week!!!) but I do know that it was a merino/nylon/cashmere blend. Swoon. 

These are the first socks off my Hiya-hiya 2.75s. What a delight to knit with. 


The variegated yarn makes them look good inside out as well. I like slightly oddway socks so I shall be wearing one sock inside out whenever I wear them methinks. 

I’m a but disappointed in my ribbing though. In hindsight I should have gone down a needle size because after one wear all the ribbing stretch is gone. Or maybe it’s because I did the ribbing with the knit stitches through the back loop. I might try blocking them. 

Still, they are a squishy, smooshy, warm pair of socks, just in time for some cold (for Australia) weather. 

I know my Canadian and Wisconsin are rolling their eyes as hard as I do when someone mentions a “30 degree heatwave” (30 degrees is my normal. A week of 40+ is a heatwave!) but I digress. 

A pair of socks off the needles and I still have 60grams to make something else pretty from that yarn. 

Tina-cat also seems to like them!!! 

All the FF7 Feelings

It was Christmas 1998*. My parents bought me and my two younger brothers a PlayStation and a game each. 

My youngest brother got A Bugs Life. My middle brother got Need for Speed game. 

I got Final Fantasy 7. It’s likely that my parents didn’t know anything about the game except that it won lots of awards and was a high seller. 

So I played it. And formed an emotional attachment to Cloud, and Barret, and Tifa, and Aeris. Oh Aeris. You are still my username on many different websites and I will always refuse to call you Aerith. I’m stubborn like that. 

I joined the Internet and found walkthroughs and discussions and other people who also played FF7. 

But I was at high school. I had homework to do, plus the PlayStation was a shared present. 

Eventually I clocked up about 140 hours, finished the story and started to play again. And then again. Exploring the world and exploring the characters. 

It didn’t matter about the graphics or some of the odd translations. It was still the game that I first loved.

I was at a new job, hardly knew anyone and I heard Cloud’s victory theme as someone’s ringtone. Instant friendship formed right there and then. 

Aeris’ theme is still one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. I’m tearing up a bit listening to it now. 

I wrote a Uni essay on the music of Nobuo Uematsu and how video game scores is the current standard outlet for classical composers. I still stand by my claim that this could be played on ABC Classic Radio and no listener would automatically assume it was from a video game soundtrack.  

I still have that PlayStation. And until a few years back I was playing FF7 on that console until the memory card broke and I realised I could play it on PS3. 

Then I bought some other games and still kept going back to FF7 (hint it looks almost playable on VITA – and terrible on a 48″ TV). I played Dragon Age and Mass Effect and Assasins Creed and found new characters and worlds to absorb myself into.

Yesterday Twitter exploded on me. I’m not a huge game nerd who pays attention to the goings on and game releases. I figure if it’s good enough Meg or Marnie or another one of my Twitter lovelies will tell me what I need to play. 

But yesterday E3 announced Final Fantasy 7 is getting a remake and it is taking all of my strength to not post this in all caps right now. All of my feelings, my childhood game…..

The characters I escaped into are now being remade into high definition. 

This makes me unbelievably excited and scared at the same time. 

I love this story, I love these characters and part of me loves them just the way they are. But there’s another part that is so excited. 

I want to see this remake. I want to see how these characters are taken and remade and updated. 

I am excited. The most exited I’ve ever been about a trailer in my life. 

As soon as I saw South Edge on the train map I had suspicions and then as soon as I saw the slide just outside of Sector 7 I just knew. 

I don’t know when it’s due for release, but be prewarned that I’ll be hibernating for a little while. 

*dates may not be 100% correct. It was 1998 and I didn’t historically document what Christmas presents I got at 13.