I’m home!  I’m back!  Goodness, I have been away a long time.  And there’s so much to share here.  I don’t know … this summer has just escaped from me.  We’ve had many lovely times … and many dreadfully hot days when it is all I can do NOT to indulge in a nice little tantrum over how much I dislike days that are over 40 celsius.  There was also an unexpected journey to Brisbane with my Mum to help care for my dear old Grandad who suffered a heart attack.  He is doing well and Mum is staying for a month to keep him and Nanny on the straight and narrow.

But now … school goes back tomorrow (I don’t know how this could possibly be so, but new uniforms hanging on the line tell me it is), baby sitting will start up again next week, and there’s just a month left before my final semester of nursing gets rolling.  Eeek!

However, there is going to be such busyness and creativity round these parts.  Oh yes!  I intended making the most of every moment.  So without further ado, I have for you this eve, a wee tale of woolliness …

started here

It started here.  Yesterday morning – another day of dreadful heat – I wanted to work on Julian’s Argyle Vest.  But it really needed to shift out of the little embroidery box and into something that held it properly – those little balls of colour, oh they do like to roll away.  So I decided to sort through the baskets behind Julian’s armchair (yes, that’s where I try to hide my woolly messiness) and clear one entirely so that it could become the current project, a.k.a The Argyle.

when there was hardly any

Well.  Those baskets were stuffed full of all sorts of little-bit-started, half-way-done, oh-my-goodness-what-was-I-thinking projects.  So I emptied them all out with a view to frogging and winding the wool and putting it in the huge cane laundry hamper in which I keep my stash.  Except it wouldn’t fit.  So I emptied it out too.  Except that not much really came out, because most of it looked like this …

a tangle

Ahem.  Yes.  Well.  So then I got out the two back up storage baskets and tipped them out too.  Sadly, they were in a similar state of tangledness.  However!  There wasn’t a single moth to be found and all the wool was beautifully intact.  That’s good, right?!  So here we are, on the eve of the second day and I’ve been untangling and winding and untangling and winding … and untangling and winding.  All on the kitchen table.  And floor.  And chairs.  Any other action that has gone on in the kitchen has had to do so, squished in amongst the wool.

wound it grew

Which in itself was making me a wee bit fretful.  There’s a lot of wool.  A lot.  It’s the woolly equivalent of  that moment a couple of years back when I realised I could supply new tents for every circus currently performing in Australia made from the patchwork fabric I’d acquired.

lots variegateds tweeds

There’s lots of little balls of Patons, Cleckheaton and Heritage DK (remnants of many crochet projects), a lovely pile of Debbie Bliss Tweeds, balls and balls of Brown Sheep’s lovely Cotton Fleece, left over bundles of Malabrigo, Rowan, Beaverslide and Twilley’s, hopeful hanks of Cascade 220, a bagful of someone else’s handspun that I bought at a craft fair donkey years ago, masses of Lanaloft that was going to become a jumper for Julian but he no longer likes it, several skeins of honey coloured mohair that I’d started knitting lace edging with (?????) …  So much wool.

swifting yellow mohair

But then, just when I was feeling a bit sick about the dollar value of all this wool (and yes, it is a lot), as I was remembering projects that different yarns had been bought for, I realised that what lay before me was the wool I have been squirrelling away for 25 years.  That’s a fair chunk of time.  And even more cheering was the realisation that whilst lots had been used, and used well and with love, there were many many projects that will grow out of this stash … even if most of them will be of the stripey persuasion (apart from that Lanaloft there’s not enough of anything that by itself would make more than a small shawl, and there’s a limit to how many shawls I need).

rosy red mermaid yarn

But oh the potential!  There will surely be many more crochety things.  More dolls.  Arm warmers?  Perhaps I could buy some lovely tweedy grey and make up all those Debbie Bliss balls into a stripey short sleeved jumper like my Stevenson Jumper.  I long to marry that buttery honey off to the mermaid blue homespun but will have to swatch it first to see if they are a perfect match.  There are three whole skeins of Misti Alpaca in Doctor Who Blue and I’m not sure someone still wants that Tardis shawl, in which case, I could knit up one of those ever so whispy thin cardies – like Hannah Fettig’s.  There’s almost a whole jumper’s worth of a marly blue that Nanny passed along to me.  And enough of that Cotton Fleece for … something.  Then there’s always baby knits – I’m thinking I might start a baby knits drawer – for presents and such.  That would be fun.  Quick to knit, and good for using up small bundles.  As for that Lanaloft, someone will wear it :-) 

brownsHowever, right at this moment, instead of finishing the untangling and tidying away all that wool (and I do have plans – they involve many of the sweet pillowcases I made Abby when she was little, with cardboard tags and shelves put in the gentleman’s wardrobe that is currently woefully underutilised in the living room) … I have my eye on this lovely tweedy brown (a Jo Sharp DK that had been started THREE different times – none of which I’d frogged and none of which I remembered what I was doing), Nanny’s marly blue, and an orange (remember that DREADFUL razor lace cardigan that I had to frog after completely finishing it!!!!).  I think …. no, I KNOW they want to become the North Shore yoked, fairisle sweater from Tin Can Knits.  Who I think may well be my new favouritist knitting designers – oh my goodness, they create such beauty.

Do you think Abby and Julian would notice if I slipped away into the bedroom and quickly cast on?  I could always pretend I’m reading …


… which I am!  Whilst on holidays, we visited the annual Bega Book Fair and I snapped up several more Patrick O’Brian’s books from the Master and Commander series.  Honestly, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but you know that scene in the book/film The Jane Austen Book Club when the gorgeous young man tells the rest of the group that they really should try O’Brian because if you love Austen, you will love O’Brian – IT’S TRUE!!!!!  My goodness, Mr. O’Brian weaves a magnificent tale, full of historical detail, fabulous characters – I mean Jack and Stephen – so totally different to each other but both so charismatic – Jack, the enchanting, passionate, over grown schoolboy with buckets of integrity and good humour; and Stephen, the wily, clever, compassionate doctor/spy, as for Killick – makes me laugh every time.  And Tom Pullings – oh, be still my racing heart!  Plenty of nail biting action (of the fighting and wild weather variety), intricate descriptions of the social conditions, and the sailing and construction of ships.  With fascinating intrigue and adventures.  This one – The Wine Dark Sea – is not disappointing.  Jack, Stephen and the crew are crossing the Pacific to South America – but have been mightily waylaid by an undersea volcano (which O’Brian described so well – he didn’t mention it was a volcano so I the reader was just as bamboozled as Jack) followed by an interminable lull – no wind, no rain – day after day of still and balmy weather – the suspense is building!

So there you go … huge return hello and joining in with the lovely Ginny over at Small Things and her Yarn Along.  Lots of woolliness and a good book too.

Hope you are all doing well, dear folk.  That this New Year is taking care of you and yours – despite frigid cold or melting heat.  May we have a year of much love, a goodly supply of happiness, challenges that reward us, and plenty of time for our stitchy delights.

See you tomorrow!


oh the woolliness

10 thoughts on “oh the woolliness

  • January 29, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Welcome back, Lily, you’ve been missed!

    Thank you for the lovely chuckle over your destashing (it seems to have been the season for it!) or rather, re-stashing.

    And as for Patrick O’Brian, well! I have all the books at last, thanks to my son. I had the last two but not the third or fourth last and of course I couldn’t read them out of sequence. But now they are all here and as I’ve forgotten exactly where I am up to, there’s nothing for it but going back to the very first and reading them all in sequence until I can open the very last unfinished voyage of Jack and Stephen. They are wonderful ageless books, and what a beautiful relationship between the two.

  • January 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I’ve missed you too!

  • January 30, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Oh my goodness SO MANY TANGLES. I can’t wait to see what comes out of this! I have a feeling it’s going to be absolutely spectacular. Stripes for the win.

  • January 30, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Wow, that’s a lot of yarn! I must admit, I’d be overwhelmed at it all, but it is so lovely to look at,a ll over like that. A very happy painting.

  • January 30, 2014 at 7:41 am

    So glad you are back!
    LOVE the picture of your precious Girly just fiddling away on the computer, oh-so-nonchalant about the piles growing around her! She is JUST the daughter for you!
    P.S. Has Senioritis set in yet?! Wait. That could be interpreted wrong…I am talking about your final semester of schooling…not, well, ahem, your age…!

  • January 30, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Oh my, so much beautiful, wonderful yarn. It is quite comforting to think of all the items that have been made with our stashes and the glorious items that have yet to come. I would love to have your warm weather. We have been stuck in 20 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks. Brr.

  • January 30, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Welcome back and I hope your holiday was restful – if not a change of scenery is all one needs. Love your wool collection!!!

  • January 30, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Oh dear, sometimes it’s a bit daunting to really look at my stash. I know how you feel. Can’t wait to see what you start on. The books sound great. I’m going to have to add them to my list. Love the pictures! I always love yarn after it is wound into little cakes, so cute! Happy knitting!

  • January 30, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    That is a lot of yarn! But actually in comparison to myself (been knitting for about 18 months) I can see that in 25 years I just well may have a lot more than that! All those lovely colours, it just makes me happy to look at it.

    The hot weather is a challenge when working with yarn isn’t it? As a dyer, I try to work in my dyeing around the weather but it’s tricky :)

  • January 30, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Oh my, all that yarn is going to make for so much fun and beauty! Can’t wait to see what gems you create. Your last semester of nursing school. Now that is something special to celebrate.

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