Saturday, January 29, 2011

Another Sweater Finished

It is always a pretty exciting time when you finish a knitted item that you have been working on for a little while, but this one is special. It's really the first item that I have made for myself that has had any sort of cables, and I am really happy with the way that they turned out in general. For your own eyes, here is a photograph of the finished product :
All in all, I'm really happy that I have been able to commit myself to a project for a relatively short period of time, and get it done. Normally, a sweater would take me months and months to knit, whereas this one only took about two or so. Needless to say, it will be a welcome to the wardrobe, especially with the cooler months coming round sooner rather than later.

And, very cheekily, I have immediately started on getting another project up and running. To be honest, it has been cast on and just languishing in my knitting storage space for about 4 years, and I think that it is about time to get it over and done with, so I can make some more room for other things.

In other news, (and rather ironically), just mentally preparing myself for the heat wave that we are apparently going to be having here in Sydney, so I don't really know how much knitting is going to get done, but I am going to try my best and just keep plugging along.
Oh, and next week I hope I'm going to have a Wii party with Tiff and Adam, and maybe a few others but we'll see. Should be very exciting.

x peace folks

Day at the Library

Technically, I didn't really spend a day at the library, it just happened to be the day that I went to the library, so I think that I can get away with the title.
Anyway, here is a photo that I took at the library (I wasn't really sure if you were allowed to take photos inside, so I just played it safe)

Local Library

I'm always really surprised by the local library, it normally has everything that I am looking for, which is really great. I can get most of the heavy duty reading from the library at uni, but that type of stuff is mainly all the books that you just copy a chapter out of here and there, and then just put the book back where you found it. Whereas here, they have a really great selection of books for a smaller sized library, and they actually have a fair few knitting resources, which is always a godsend. It's nice to not have to spend a whole heap of money on a book, getting it imported in from overseas (because we really don't get the good range of books and other things that are available in North America or Europe, at least some specific items like knitting books, etc.), and just to walk into the library and be able to take the book for a month, relatively free.

Anyway, we got a call from the optometrist today, and my prescription sunglasses have come in, which is pretty exciting. That is the only problem with having glasses that you need to have on whilst driving, you can't wear a pair of sunglasses without technically breaking the law. So I'm looking forward to getting my hands on them tomorrow.
Except...well I can't really wear the new prescription sunglasses while my new prescription glasses are still out being prepared, because it would be too much for my poor eyes to handle. So although I'm pretty happy about the sunglasses getting in, I am SO looking forward to when my normal pair comes through.

While I was down the road today, I also stopped by the newsagency and got myself a copy of the Winter edition of Interweave Knits. It is really exciting to have a flip through, as I could actually envisage making a lot of those patterns, as they have always worked out well for me in the past.
And while I'm on the subject about magazines and stuff like that, I personally find it really annoying that the price of a magazine in North America is half the price of what we have to pay here in Australia, especially when our currencies are so close. I suppose that they have to figure in transporation costs, but it does seem to be a little over the top. Regardless, I think that it is worth the price to pay, there are always a lot of patterns in there that I will actually make, and use over again.

And finally, on a quick update, I am close to finishing the second sleeve on the sweater, which means that the sewing is looming, but I am looking forward to stepping up to the challenge of making up the sweater pretty nicely. It is something that I often overlook, but I have the time now to spend a little bit more effort on making the final product a whole lot more presentable.

Peace folks x

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mum's birthday today

So today was my mum's birthday, which was pretty good, we all got up earlier than we normally do and gave her all the presents we got for her, and then...

We went to the movies over at Wetherill Park, and saw the King's Speech, the movie with Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. It was actually pretty good, I always find it a little bit awkward when movies are made about people who are still living, having a young Queen Elizabeth in the movie was alright though.

So yeah, then we had some fish and chips for lunch which is always a bit of a treat, I do love to have some fish whenever I can, even if it is in the battered form. But give me a bit of proper smoked salmon any day. YUM. A couple of years ago and you would never have caught me saying that, but that is what a year overseas can do to you I suppose.

Then I made a Banoffee cake, banoffee being a merger of banana and toffee, which turned out really well. The one thing that I kind of had a problem with was the sweetness level. I got the recipe of a cooking website from the States, and I should have realised that this would be a problem when I was buying so much sugar. Don't get me wrong, the cake tasted amazing, and I can appreciate the way the cake came together, but it was a sugar overload. And this is something I've found with most of the recipes I get from over stateside, all the deserts seem to be incredibly sweet, overly so, which is something that we're just not really all that used to here over in Australia. But the cake was a success, by anymeans. Nice, but you definitely need to have a whole month of exercise after each slice.

And then, I made some futher progress with my sweater that I'm making, and here is an attempt at a photo of the sleeve. (I make no claims to fame for being a great photographer, I just shoot and point in general.)

Second Sleeve
 I know that its hard to see the pattern, and I'll see what I can do to tune up the detail a little bit, but I am really pumped at how very little time it's taken me to get this sweater almost done, which is why I'll probably keep plugging along after I've finished this post. :D  The only thing that I'm really dreading at the moment is all the sewing and stuff like that coming up, urgh. My least favourite part of the process, mainly because I find it to be incredibly stressful, and so finnicky. I'm far to impatient for sewing things nicely into place, but I always strive to do my very best.

As a final note, I'm thinking of getting into the 365 project, where you take at least a photo a day (and then put it up on a blog or somewhere like that). I'm kind of pumped for it, but kind of worried that I am going to cop out after a while. It sounds like something that I wouldn't normally do, but I have read a couple of blogs by people who are givign the project a go, or who have finished the year, and they seem to be loving it. So I am going to try my darndest and take lots of photos, and today was just the start.

x peace folks

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nice chill of a weekend.

You might be happy to know that I have come back to the blogging scene after a bit of a hiatus, I just haven't really been able to sit still at the computer for long enough to throw out a blog post here and there.

Anyway, I've been thinking that I really do need to get a bit of media on here a bit sooner, rather than later, because I know that my incessant ramblings would probably get a bit tedious after a while. So keep watching this space and I hope you will be pleasantly surprised with a couple of changes.
I think that I have just been in a bit of a blogging funk for a bit, but it's always nice to come back and just let myself ramble for a while.

Oh, and I got a Kindle eBook reader today! And it's really quite cool, I'm loving just exploring it here and there. To be honest, there are some pretty good finds out there if you look hard enough, I got the entire Arthur Conan Doyle collection for free, which is always a good thing. Plus I like its dictionary, it's got a lot of great features that I am pretty eager to get acquainted with.

So, I have dancing again tomorrow which should be fun, and a pretty nice workout. Not only do I get to work out while I'm having fun (which, to be honest, is something that I've been looking for for ages, I never seem to enjoy myslef whenever I'm doing any hardcore exercise), it will be really rewarding if I ever get round to joining one of the performances, if I can put myself up to that standard.

And from then on I think that I am going to have a fairly busy week, it will be my mum's birthday on Thursday and there is plenty to be done before then, I've found an uber cool cake recipe that I am going to cook, but I will link it to you guys next time.

peace for now folks x

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why I love to knit

It's actually been quite an enjoyable day, it hasn't been a common day when I have just sat back and watched most of the second series of Bones and just got stuck into a lot of knitting that I have left unfinished for a while.

I kind of was wondering why I do knit in the first place, apart from simply being able to do all the stitches and finish up everything to a good standard. It's kind of an interesting hobby for a guy to have, but I don't really see it as being anything effeminate in any way, to be honest, although I know that heaps of people would tend to disagree with that.

Actually, it has been a really good ice breaker with the opposite sex in general, which is always good. But again that isn't the real reason why I like to knit so much.

I suppose that it is generally a sense of accomplishment by being able to set out a plan to start something, and then spend hundreds of laborious hours of work and finally ending up with a finished project. In all honesty, we don't really have the climate here in Sydney to warrant me knitting things all the year round, but I still do it for some reason.

And then I guess that there is the whole business of artistic expression. I have a belief that everybody, in some way or another, has some artistic nature to themselves. Whether it be designing curves on a math plane, drawing anime, making music, creating movies or even just taking a liking to them, they're all forms of expression, and I think that it has to come out every now and again. For me, there is nothing more perfect than wearing a piece of clothing that has a history, where you have been involved in the creation of something that has so much of yourself in it. Being able to say that you made something yourself is always nice.

It's not all about the attention from others (although it is an added bonus), just being able to wear a nice pair of woollen socks in the winter feel a little bit warmer when they're hand knit. For me, it's more than just a nifty craft, it's something that I put a lot of my time and effort into making things look good. Everything I knit has a character, and that's something that I really love about the whole process.

Oh, and it's really relaxing once you've got it done pat. Not so relaxing if you're trying to struggle through row after row of complicated patterns, but if you can just chug along in a basic pattern, it's really nice to pop on a movie or, in today's case, a tv series, and just let your mind wander a little bit. But not too far, you don't want to be dropping too many stitches now :)

peace x

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

what IKEA means to me, and why I love it

It may be very un-finnish to enjoy going to Ikea so much, a rival Swedish company, but I'm not all that concerned.

A couple of days ago I was supposed to go to the beach with some friends, but it was kind of overcast and noone really felt like driving all the way down to the beach just for the weather to be miserable, so we decided to go the park and have a bit of a picnic, which turned out to be really good fun. But it rained there too, so we had to pack up shop and the general consensus was to go to Ikea.

So we all went to Ikea, and it was a very exciting moment for me.
After coming back from Finland, I've kind of been in a Finnish void for a year, there are not many things which you can get in Australia that are authentically Finnish, or even nordic. So when you go to a place where a lot of the signs are in Swedish and they have all the food and accessories you were so used to eating and seeing during a year and haven't been able to get for ages, something just snaps, and you go a little crazy.

It was soooo nice to spend some time in the cafeteria, with all the precision of those back in school in Finland, and just to eat some of the food that I hadn't tried for ages. I had the meatballs with some lingonberry sauce, and a piece of Daim cake, but that isn't really important.

For me, it was just really nice for a moment to be taken back to a lot of the things that I became really familiar with during my exchange year, I even saw a couple of Swedes while I was there. So it was a good trip, and I shall definitely be heading back pretty soon.

Oh, and I'm also waiting for a Finnish cookbook to come in the mail, it looks like its going to be pretty awesome, it's even got recipes for Karelian Pasties and stuff like that, and I've tried really hard to find those, but to no avail. So I'll be doing an uber excited blogpost about that.

And you can find out more about IKEA here.

peace folks x

Sunday, January 2, 2011

On a Spanish High

Ok, so I've kind of decided that I want to do really really well for my summer Spanish course, basically because I have the whole entire summer than I can simply devote to going over everything I learnt last year and just consolidate the hell out of it.
This probably isn't very blog worthy, but it really is the only thing that I can think of blogging about at the moment. Apart from the fact that I applied for a job at the JB Hi-Fi that is going to open in a few months at my local shopping centre which I really hope that I get. And there is all about New Years Eve, but I think that I am going to have to devote a whole post to that sooner or later.

Anyway, I've set myself up with an account at Flashcarddb, and I'm making myself massive lists for all the vocabulary that is in the chapters of my Spanish textbook that I've been using at uni, and I'm also just making lists of randomly impressive words that I may never use, but it's always good to know.

I've also tried to find some decent telenovelas on the internet to watch, which is kind of proving to be a little difficult. I may just suck it up and see if I can buy a DVD set or something like that online, which would be good.

But yeah, pretty much just living in a Spanish bubble at the moment, which is kind of fun at the moment. But I suppose that I do feel a little bit bad not devoting more time to Japanese over the holidays, but I try and do a little bit each day. I just find it a whole lot harder to do that in Japanese, I don't really feel as if I am at the same level with Japanese as I am with Spanish, in all honesty. But I will keep on keeping on with it, I'm really eager to see how the 2nd year of Japanese will go at uni, I'm hoping for some really good progress.

So yeah, just thought that I would keep you up to date at the moment. I'm actually really surprised at how quickly the summer holidays have been going, which is good and bad. It's right about now where I kind of get mixed emotions about going back to school or uni, you know when you actually start to look forward to getting back into the swing of things and finding a bit of a routine. And getting into a reliable sleeping pattern, which is something that I always have in the back of my mind as something that I should be doing, but never really get around to.

peace folks x