Sunday, September 30, 2012

Exploring II

Willie and I went for a Sunday stroll along the Yarra river this afternoon.
Lots of interesting buildings and bridges and sculptures to be seen, as well as a choice bit of graffiti...

We ended up crossing the river and getting some tasty Turkish snacks (called gozleme) from a stall outside the Arts Centre. We wandered over the road to the Botanic Gardens to eat them, sitting on the grass. There were lots of colourful birds flying about and making a racket, so it was all pretty idyllic!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Exploring I

I swear Melbourne is made of gingerbread. Gingerbread and trees.
I took these pics on my phone, on my way home from lunch and birthday-card-posting yesterday. All on Collins St, I think...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Melbourne for beginners

Well, I'm finally here! Yesterday was my first full day in Melbourne.

In the morning, Willie and I headed out to brunch with a friend at a fantastic place in Hardware St, which was well worth the wait for a table. I had a pot of French Earl Grey tea, and some delicious baked eggs with asparagus. I managed to drip pistou down my front, but luckily I had my trusty Bright Side scarf to cover up the evidence. ;)

By the time we got back to our apartment we were both severely in need of a nap, especially as I never sleep well in a new bed, and my day of travelling on Saturday was pretty draining. When we woke up, there was just enough time to get dressed up, grab a bite to eat, and scramble to get to the Arts Centre for the performance of L'Orfeo. We just made it (hurrah)!

It was amazing to hear this live! The instruments in particular sounded fantastic, in various colourful combinations of violins, viols, lirone, recorders, cornetti, sackbutts, harpsichords, organ, regal, theorbos, Baroque guitars, and percussion.

After the opera, we walked home and again collapsed with exhaustion.
I expect I'll start to feel more like myself in a few days, but until then I'll have to try to take it easy...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Up, up, and away!

Today is Travel Day. And quite by coincidence, it is also Hobbit Day, the birthday of those two most excellent hobbits, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.
One couldn't ask for a more auspicious day to begin an adventure...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Anticipation, trepidation

I'm off to Melbourne this Saturday, at last! I'm pretty excited, but I also have a few things I'm not exactly looking forward to. I don't like airports, for one, and I'm kind of a beginner at overseas travel. This will be my fourth trip overseas, ever. But Willie has been super-helpful and written a cheat-sheet for me, listing all the stages of the trip and what happens at the airports (immigration, customs, duty-free, etc). I've already packed and weighed my suitcase (and promptly unpacked my knitting again) - can you tell I'm nervous? ;)

But! I have all this cool stuff to look forward to:
  • Living in a fancy CBD apartment, with the whole city right there
  • Going to the opera on my second night in Melbourne! We've booked our tickets for L'Orfeo, which is being performed with period instruments. So excited!!
  • Going exploring, on foot and on public transport
  • Taking heaps of photos
  • Checking out the op-shops in Fitzroy, and plugging a few holes in what's left of my wardrobe
  • Going to the NGV art gallery and being able to take my time
  • Eating at interesting places
  • Finding out more about the choirs in Melbourne, and auditioning for a few (must get a keyboard/piano so I can practise)
  • Joining a local knitting group - Melbourne has "Stitch 'n' Bitch" groups in several suburbs
  • Signing up for a spot in a community garden near our apartment, and getting back into gardening
  • And last but not least, getting to hang out with Willie again. :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012


A belated present for Oma's 80th! I'd hoped to have it finished for her birthday in July, but it was a bit much for my brain to cope with to knit lace and prepare to move house. I hope she likes it. :)

The pattern is my own Amy's Scarf, and the yarn is Vintage Purls Lace in 'Birthday Suit' (i.e. undyed). This is the second scarf I've made using this pattern, and I really noticed the difference in how much more comfortable I've gotten with knitting lace since making my own 'Amy's Scarf' in 2010. I was able to memorise the lace pattern much more quickly, and I'm now much better at 'reading' my knitting so mistakes are easier to avoid/notice/repair.

The lace pattern is variously known as 'Spanish Lace' (in my old Mon Tricot stitch dictionary), 'Frost Flowers' (in Barbara Walker's stitch dictionary), and 'Shooting Star'. It's very Victorian, and very beautiful.

Dad lends a helping hand

After knitting all of this creamy lace, I started noticing all the other white-and-frothy things around the place, and went a bit mad with the camera... ;)

White forget-me-nots (click to enlarge)


A pretty ground-cover in a pot

Plum blossoms, now with leaves!

Pieris flowers

Jasmine on the fence

Lichen on the silver birches

My afternoon coffee

And a cushion knitted by Mum. :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cardigan success!

It's taken a few months of chipping away at it (in between getting seduced by other projects), but my first proper cardigan is finished! I started it back in April, and blogged about it in my very first post. Awww.

The pattern is 'Chickadee', from Ysolda Teague's wonderful book on knitting well-fitting garments, Little Red in the City. I've put my notes on getting the fit right on my Ravelry project page. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find buttons for it yet, but I'm sure the craft shops in Melbourne will have a good selection. I can use a brooch in the meantime, or wear it open. Next on my garment-knitting agenda is a long-sleeved Cria cardigan from the same book, in variegated greens. :)

Dad and I had some fish and chips for lunch today, down at the 'Heads' - the mouth of the Whakatane river. The local seagulls were pretty excited about our chips! Cheeky buggers.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Spring in the garden

I've been practising with Dad's camera again, lurking around the garden spying on the locals. Click the pics to enlarge them. :)
A waxeye in the bottle-brush tree

A pair of sparrows have moved into the birdhouse

Hazel guards the veg patch

A bumblebee enjoying the plum blossoms

A monarch butterfly hogging all the nectar