All kinds of balls

I might just have watched the latest Doctor Who episode, “Listen,” for the third time this week. That’s totally not over the top, right? (By the way, I’ve begun to suspect that it’s a Sontaran sitting on Rupert’s bed.)

I may have become a 12th Doctor kind of woman, possibly from the moment his attack eyebrows appeared in “The Day of the Doctor.” It was definitely confirmed with ‘Door. Boring. Not me’ (“Deep Breath”). And as someone who got into Doctor Who at “Invasion of the Dinosaurs” with the 3rd Doctor, the Doctor standing in a nightshirt, on a rooftop in Victorian London, yelling ‘Oy! Oy! Big, sexy woman!’ to a dinosaur… yeah, well, I’m sold.

Before I left for New Zealand a few days after “Deep Breath,” I’d already changed my desktop…

(I might also like Danny Pink)

(I might also like Danny Pink)

Speaking of that, I did get Pop Rocks in New Zealand! Along with some Robin’s Egg Blue and Smokestack. I might have been swayed by the amazing woman behind Holland Road Yarn Company who suggested the colour combination on Twitter. When I was in the Wellington shop, they followed me home.

Balls

Balls

Oh wow that Madeleine Tosh DK is squishy! I now understand why everyone talks about it in hushed tones. And why certain people I know pet it.

I’m seeing if I can make a Happy Street Shawl work in DK. So far, so good.

Soothing rows of garter stitch

Soothing rows of garter stitch

Right at the moment, the Scot is playing with one of his own balls. It’s a plastic ball that makes a lot of noise as it bounces off walls and furniture and occasionally the power switch for the computer…

But he’s crazy about balls. I love this photo of him that I took while we were playing soccer in the back yard. It may seem weird, because I basically cut most of him off as I tried to juggle the camera… but look at that smile!

Balls!

Balls!

Incidentally, while watching this season of Doctor Who, the sampler grows.

I stitched a sonic screwdriver

I stitched a sonic screwdriver

You Spin Me Round & Round

One of my KAN adventures was to learn the art of the drop spindle. I’ve been wanting to learn this for years. While at first, my efforts were very wonky and very fuzzy, they quickly became cheerfully erratic! But now and then a little length of genuine yarn formed… usually in between the times the spindle went flying across the floor.

In the end, I had produced yarn – of a sort. So, all set for the zombie apocalypse!

Twisty Fluff

Twisty Fluff

We were instructed to knit up our yarn when we got home.

It's ART!

It’s ART!

Look at that! I spun it and I knit it! How fantastic is that? Now I’m investigating spindles to buy so I can keep practicing!

KAN Nights… and Days

I wish life wasn’t so busy. There’s so much I want to record, but every time I think I have time to sit down and write up a proper post, other deadlines come fluttering in and problems rear their heads.

But a couple of weeks ago, I did sneak away to New Zealand for a few days. It wasn’t really intentional. I’m not really sure how it happened. I was going to KAN (Knit August Knights).

I flew over to Wellington first. This was our idea of breakfast.

Sweet Pea, Wellington

Sweet Pea, Wellington

It was a full day of flying about the city and its yarn stores! A huge lunch of ribs and dirty rice and dash into the TARDIS… okay, it’s really just elevator doors, but how cool are they?

Bigger on the inside!

Bigger on the inside!

Also a quick drive down the coast and, of course, gelati. There was strawberry and balsamic along with cucumber and lime. Bliss. (Did you know Peter Capaldi, the 12th Doctor, basically comes from a family of gelati-makers? He couldn’t be more perfect.)

All you need is gelati

All you need is gelati

We collapsed that evening with Doctor Who and tacos. It was going to be an early morning.

We set out on our road trip with the Ram They Call Jayne and some coffee!

The Ram They Call Jayne getting caffeinated

The Ram They Call Jayne getting caffeinated

I bought the Ram They Call Jayne on our last New Zealand adventure, so he couldn’t be left behind this time. We had a gorgeous, big breakfast at a cute little cafe and sang along to Once More With Feeling as we drove. I was assured my singing wasn’t that bad and The Ram They Call Jayne wanted to take the wheel and drive through the fire.

I will drive through the fire, 'cause where else can I turn

I will drive through the fire, ’cause where else can I turn

KAN was held in Napier, Art Deco capital of New Zealand. I love Art Deco.

Tobacco never looked so good

Tobacco never looked so good

Ghosts of past office workers

Ghosts of past office workers

Nothing like a pink shell

Nothing like a pink shell

KAN was fantastic. I learned new skills, collected yarn, met other knitters. It was amazing and at times a little overwhelming – I’m so totally bad at dealing with crowds!

But there was always a rainbow of Knitsch to reassure me.

Yarn Rainbow

Yarn Rainbow

I won’t share everything I bought in one go – that would be showing off! But I will be showing off my new ninja* fibre skills in the coming weeks along with a few new exciting projects!

*Not really ninja, but add ninja to anything and it just sounds better!

 

Making a Sweater

I’m going to knit another sweater. A simple, classic sweater that will replace all the cream sweaters I threw out a while ago.

Future Mudblood

Future Mudblood

It’s going to be in Bendigo Woollen Mills, which is good for a simple, workaday sweater. It’s going to be the Mudblood Caridgan from The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, because I like a good buttoned cardigan. I am planning to add elbow patches in some fancy yarn, though.

One day I plan to knit another sweater in more expensive, exquisite yarn, but frankly, at the moment I’m still having issues with body shape. Once I get that sorted, I’ll invest in the yarn without trepidation.

I’m not obsessing over my weight, though. I loved this article by Rachel Grate, in which she asks: “What if working out wasn’t the prerequisite for the reward—whether it’s food, weight, or “beauty”—but was the reward in itself?” Then I saw a great tumblr post featuring Captain America, which made me laugh. It affirmed my approach, though. I’m doing spin class, I do the odd cardio workout, I hoop, I roller skate, I play with the Scot and I eat moderately, occasionally fueling my body with gelati! It’s all good and if I’m still a bit out of synch, I at least know I’m on the right path to feeling more my old self.

Crossing my stitches

"The Pandorica Opens"

“The Pandorica Opens”

Oh, who really needs a diamond cliff face to scrawl a message to the Doctor? I have a needle and some blue thread.

Sampler in progress

Sampler in progress

Shelley gave me the pattern (from Crown Street Cottage on Etsy) and since the new Doctor Who episode is a mere fortnight away, I thought I should start work. It’s going to be brilliant!

Mum and I found some fantastic cross stitch magazines in Milan. Don’t understand Italian? No hassle. Everything is charted, after all, and we’ve managed to sort out supplies with a little help from google translate. I do have plans to eventually stitch a table cloth.

A grand plan

A grand plan

Can’t resist anything with a squirrel on it!

A Little Interval in Italy

Me: "Are you happy to see me back?"

Me: “Are you happy to see me back?”

I’ve been away in Italy!

Lake Como - just as though someone popped a postcard in front of your nose.

Lake Como – just as though someone popped a postcard in front of your nose.

Shopping for real estate in Lake Como

Shopping for real estate in Lake Como

Visiting Juliet in Verona.

Visiting Juliet in Verona.

Peeping into Juliet's bedroom. (Mum: "There is no such person. Why is everyone here so obsessed?")

Peeping into Juliet’s bedroom. (Mum: “There is no such person. Why is everyone here so obsessed?”)

Verona - where you can sit and enjoy a coffee at a cafe overlooking the tombs

Verona – where you can sit and enjoy a coffee at a cafe overlooking the tombs

I love gelati... maybe not this much.

I love gelati… maybe not this much.

We did eat a LOT of gelati.

We did eat a LOT of gelati.

We also ate gluten free pizza in Florence

We also ate gluten free pizza in Florence

Florence is pretty

Florence is pretty

And I love it when you turn corners in Italy and get these unexpected views

And I love it when you turn corners in Italy and get these unexpected views

They also have some wonky towers. Seriously... it's really leaning. I know all about it leaning, but to see it... it's really leaning!

They also have some wonky towers. Seriously… it’s really leaning. I know all about it leaning, but to see it… it’s really leaning!

But you can't ever get enough of the Tuscan landscape

But you can’t ever get enough of the Tuscan landscape

... Or the door knockers that look like they belong in the Labyrinth!

… Or the door knockers that look like they belong in the Labyrinth!

I’m back now. I have jetlag + ‘flu, which isn’t a fantastic combination. However, I did manage to finish a little project.

Sherlock has a friend - soon they'll have pillow fights. Stay tuned!

Sherlock has a friend – soon they’ll have pillow fights. Stay tuned!

 

Travelling socks

I almost always have a pair of plain vanilla socks to knit while out and about. The kind of vanilla socks made from fantastically pretty yarn that you can knit without too much thought and, hey, if the ball of yarn bounces down the bus aisle, it’s not the end of the world.

I just finished another pair knit from Knitsch Sock in “Filibuster.” The socks have been doing some travelling. The first sock had a rather sedate life on the bus to and from work, with the odd meeting thrown in.

The second sock has a leg that was mostly knit during a fairy tale event in Sydney (go figure – that’s my life), with the foot mostly knit while watching Maleficent. I was prepared to hate Maleficent. Hate might be too strong a word, but I didn’t like it. Especially because this Maleficent made me mess up in the dark theatre and I ended up with a few wonky stitches. I can’t wait to go to a lights up event!

Maleficent's fault

Maleficent’s fault

I also got quite a bit of popcorn in the sock, but that’s another story. Why didn’t I like Maleficent? Well, for a start, I’m always dubious about films that make the villain sympathetic. Maleficent in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is a scene-chewing, malicious, snarky villain of the first order. She has her name for a reason. There’s the odd glimpse of her in Maleficent, but she’s also a woman wronged by the man she loves and I could almost hear the country and western songs being written for her… oh geez. Not to mention what they did to my favourite fairy godmothers! It’s no wonder some stitches went wonky.

Now I’ve got the ‘flu (which, come to think of it, I should also blame her for) and I couldn’t manage much more than some simple knitting and the making of chicken soup today. So I finished the second sock.

The Scot: Just a minute, what's going on?

The Scot: Just a minute, what’s going on?

There’s a special satisfaction in a utilitarian pair of socks. They’re cosy, efficient, pretty…

The Scot: Oh, actually, yes, this might feel good...

The Scot: Oh, actually, yes, this might feel good…

On a chilly afternoon, when you’re all snuffles and sniffles, they’re just about the best thing ever.

The Scot: Oooooh, oh yes! That's the spot! Just massage me right there! Oh yes!

The Scot: Oooooh, oh yes! That’s the spot! Just massage me right there! Oh yes!

I think I’ll go and put pjs on now and make a toasted cheese sandwich for dinner. I have no idea what the Scot is doing…