The joy of sox

Bad title pun intended – sorry!

I have joined the pilgrimage that many others before me have travelled. What is it about knitting socks that is so addictive and inspiring. I am a complete babe in the woods – one pair of small child socks, three pairs of baby socks, and currently in the midst of the second sock of my first adult pair – but I already want to design my own sock patterns. Half the saved tabs in my browser window are sock knitting tips. So to add to the plethora out there here is my two cents worth on the joy of sox (my mother often wrote socks this way – think it may have been a shorthand trick).

eye of partridge stitchI have stumbled across Kate Atherley and highly recommend her Toe-Up versus Top-Down post. With my nascent sock knitting this is a great reminder that you need to try the various combinations to see what suits you. That is simple but stellar advice. My personal tip is to start with a pair of child or baby socks in a DK yarn. The socks knit very quickly as you are learning and practicing the techniques. I am going to do that for trialling toe-up, so far I have only knitted top-down.

I am totally in love with the eye of partridge stitch for the back of the heel (aka the heel flap). If you have not tried this stitch before here is a link. It creates a lattice effect.

alegria manos del uruguayI have already purchased the next yarn for my next pair of socks – yep mine, for me – I am knitting for me! I have always liked socks and buy fun, brightly coloured pairs. I do not wear through socks quickly so they can last for years. Even if I only make two pairs of socks for myself a year, over time I would end up with a fabulous collection. Anyway how gorgeous is this yarn? It is the Alegria range, from Manos del Uruguay which I purchased from the lovely Morris & Sons in Melbourne. I am also going to be trialling a different pair of needles. My first pair of adult socks are currently being knit on a set of Symfonie 2 mm bamboo DPNs , my second pair will be knit on a set of Karbonz 2.25 mm carbon fibre DPNs.

I have scanned lots of other posts and three others that I have read and found helpful are one about needles, one about avoiding ladders on DPNs, and one about socks in general. And will I be trying out my own pattern with the Alegria, you betcha! Something small to aid the time passing in the knitting of the foot.

Current definition of a petrol head…

…me!

Deep dark confession time. On occasion I am a fan of fast cars. Perhaps even worse I have liked cars since I was quite young.

I am at the F1 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park this weekend. I have always wanted to go in the grandstand, so this year have grand stand tickets at silly dollars – yay something ticked off my “do before I die” list. And for me worth the price.

And what I am really enjoying…for once it is the male persuasion queuing for the toilets rather than me! Yippee!! How often can a girl say that?

F1 Melbourne

Image courtesy of http://www.grandprix.com.au/

The real joy of Nana

Trying to get day care in Melbourne is a little like a lottery, only the impact of not winning can have a larger outcome. We are currently waiting for an extra day to become available for our daughter at daycare – we are one day short per week. So her Dad has covered a couple of weeks, and then we put the call into Nana who lives over the Tasman sea. She was with us covering three days (as in one day a week for three weeks), as well as generally making life easier for us. And then we are back to Daddy daycare for that day.

Nana (and Pop – who stayed at home this time) are very accomodating. We only have two bedrooms, and so they stay on an airbed (double height I should mention) in our little girl’s room. Now we have been having trouble with the afore mentioned little girl – she keeps waking in the middle of the night and wanting to sleep in Mum and Dad’s bed. We have been trying to figure out if she is scared of the dark, cold, not feeling well, just doesn’t want to be by herself. We have been trying different tricks, lights, more/different blankets, if we were not so tired we would give her a cuddle and put her back to bed after 10 minutes. We know we have to get this figured out. And then along came Nana. For almost the entire time she was here, while our little girl would still wake in the night, she would hop herself into the air bed with Nana. So Mum and Dad have experienced almost three weeks of sleeping through the night. Oh what a feeling! Of course normal transmission has resumed, and we are back to square one. New tactics about to be trialled.

tired parents north melbourne

Image: www.huffingtonpost.com

Kid’s Big Book Spectacular

I am not someone who normally promotes events, however as someone who has read to her daughter since she was about 3 months old, and following in my beloved Dad’s footprints have commenced taking my daughter, at the now princely age of 3 and 1/2 years, on a semi-regular basis to our local library, I feel it is ok to promote an event associated with children, books, and the library! I must admit the current drawcard for my daughter and the library is the fancy return system – she loves to put the books in the slot, and then race around to the ‘staff only side’ and watch the books travel along the conveyor belt and be automatically dropped into carts for shelf restocking. Her second favourite activity is to scan the books to take out.  But hey you have to start somewhere!

So what event am I promoting, the Kids’ Big Book Spectacular, which is a free event all about children’s literature and illustration, taking place at the State Library of Victoria on Saturday 13th February from 11 am – 3 pm. It is one of those events where you can drop in at any time and there are activities for kids of all ages to partake in; further details on this Kids Book Spectacular_eFlyer.

As an aside my local library, the North Melbourne Library (part of the City of Melbourne) is actually one of the longest established libraries in Victoria, built in 1882 and opened in 1884 as a Mechanics Institute and Library. Since 1905 it has provided a free public lending service to the City of Melbourne. Taking my daughter down has started me back borrowing books…instead of buying!  And brings back may childhood memories (two countries – three locations) of my Dad taking me the library, including picking me up after school on a Friday in the car for that very excursion.

kids big book spectacular

WOMANz: How to be a Rock Star

I never thought I would be taking my three year old to a Melbourne Fringe Festival event. I imagined this was the exact opposite of what the Fringe was all about.  But hey I am open to being proved wrong… and I was totally wrong.  In fact when you go their website – kids is the third category on the left hand side.

I had the joy last weekend of taking my daughter to the utterly fabulous Womanz: How to be a Rock Star – by the equally fabulous Tessa Waters.  Talk about true talent.  I am always in awe of those who can get up on stage and entertain, but someone who can do it for kids and parents in the same show, while weaving in some positive body messages is absolutely a star.  There was my three year old not necessarily complying with exactly what was asked of her on stage, but nevertheless in there with gusto.  And I can still see in my head this young boy who amazed us all by doing the splits.  Just a sensational show, my daughter and I did not want it to end.

Towards the end of the show when there was a call for four parents, my littley said that is you Mum – more confident that I.  I hesitated when I should not have, but promised that I would get up next time we were at such an event – and I will.

So thank you Melbourne Fringe and Tessa Waters – it is never to soon to indulge your children in culture.  Especially when it is on right in your neighbourhood – and that is my last thank you, to my very own North Melbourne for continuing to be one of the host venues.  I will be on the look out for more next year.

Tessa Waters North Melbourne

Photo courtesy of http://www.melbournefringe.com.au

Drive for Cheaper Now

If you are anything like me, you end up doing quite a lot of shopping around online – always looking for the best deal.  You may even recall many, many moons ago I coined the term mum-onomics, and it made reappearances (here and here).  Sometimes I can and I mean literally spend hours looking at options.  And then I get really annoyed at myself for wasting so much time.  My worst habit, which I am trying to break, is doing the searching and then sitting on the fence and not doing the booking or buying, and then having to go back another day and repeat everything I have done previously.  Talk about wanting to shoot myself in the head!

So needless to say, I have become very familiar with sites that do the hard work for you. Did you know there was a new kid on the block?  I did not, but I do now.  And “new” maybe the wrong word, “new for me” is what I really mean.  Did you know there is a car rental hire site equivalent of iSelect or Webjet, called DriveNow?  If you want cheap car rental at Melbourne Airport and around Melbourne (not to mention the rest of Australia, and actually a fair chunk of the world!) you can never go astray with DriveNow.

You have to check it out for yourself, but they bring all pricing together and make it quick and easy to find the best deal.  There are no fees or cancellation charges, and what I like is that there is no need to pay a deposit or supply credit card details in order to lock in the deal.  My kind of booking!

So Mum-onomics 4: There are websites out there that have already taken some of the leg work out of finding the best deal.  Make use of them, leaving more time to shop for something else!!

Beer cracking time

peroni north melbourneI cracked a beer at 12 noon today.  Did I mention I was in charge of my 2&1/2 year old?  Rest assured I did not give her one!  But as for me, it is Melbourne, I am on my last week of holiday, and the mercury is at 36.1 ºC.  I feel like a reckless Uni student, having a beer in the middle of the day.  Note to self, must do more often – ok, it does not always have to be a beer, but to capture that spontaneity, that is worth pursuing. Continue reading