December Road Trip Part 2

Days five and six were spent alternating between seeing my Aunt & Nana and some more stash enhancing…  First stop on day five was the Woolsy Trading Post, that despite several trips to Geelong in the past, neither of us visited before! The first room of sheepskin-related products was totally forgotten when we came around the corner into the yarn and fibre sections.


Woolsy Trading Post (well, part of it)

Heaven.  Huge range and lots of patterns too.  I fell in love with a skein of Misti Alpaca 4ply handpainted cotton/silk yarn and also picked up some silver angelina for blending and spinning.

We also went to Twisted Threads (sorry, no photo) where I bought a few balls of Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal wool/cashmere.

On day six we took a drive that became a bit more scenic as we argued with Stephen again about the fastest/shortest routes.  Then, close to our destination, we found the road we intended to turn off the highway at, didn’t actually meet the highway (and I had checked this both on the TomTom and on Google Maps – same error!).  As I had scouted our destination on Google Maps, I knew where the other end of Roseneath road was, so once we were safely able to turn around, we had no further dramas.

Our destination, Tarndwarncoort (or “Tarndie”) was well worth the drive.  For starters, the Polwarth wool is divine (I had come across some Tarndie Polwarth wool/silk in 2011 that became part of my Polwarth Daybreak shawl along with Polwarth from The Thylacine – sorry, not blogged) and it became a matter of deciding what to buy when you want all of it…


The shop at Tarndie

I eventually decided on a kilo of white tops, 400g of wool/silk tops and two 150g skeins of natural grey 4ply yarn.  Then, naturally, we had to have coffee and scones. Great jam!


Making short work of afternoon tea at Tarndie.

In a lovely backdrop.


Tarndie with skeins of yarn drying in the background

There was a group of ladies staying in Tarndie’s accommodation who were sat around a table knitting.  All Ravelry folk, of course (hello!).


More Tarndie

In our bags of purchased stuff we were given Otway Harvest Trail brochures; on a future trip we may need make some other visits in the area, along with Tarndie.

Day 7 was the start of our return journey home.  We decided to make a detour back to Kyneton so I could visit Lauriston Press as the art works there had caught my fancy.  It turned out to be a total waste of time as the shop was closed beyond the normal opening time while deliveries were being made.  The sign said the shop would open at 11.30, but we stayed until 11.45 and even attempted to ring the owner (no answer).  Being unable to stay more than the hour we had already waited, we headed on.  Lunch was “observed” by an extremely tame pea hen.


A pea hen at the rest stop

Wodonga was our last overnight stop, then boring Hume Highway again.  I picked up two kilos of cherries at Tarcutta, but that was about all the excitement to be had on the road.

Calli cat was excited to see me home.  She was visited daily in my absence for feeding, but every time I checked “Calli Cam” she was in her day bed on the sofa, mostly sleeping.


Calli cat, in a rare waking moment

The first tomatoes were ready to pick.


First tomatoes of the season

I had lots to unpack.


Trust me, they are enormous sacks

And here are the items bought after the photo at the end of Part 1.


The second half of my purchases

The week before we left a new drive band for my windwheel arrived, so I probably need to fit the band and get on with some spinning!

Posted in Stash Enhancement, Stuff that Happened | 1 Comment

December Road Trip Part 1

School finished up in early December and I was home for a few days before Mum and I took off on a road trip to Geelong to see my Aunt & Nana.  The first day was boring.  We drove to Wodonga (guided by my Tom Tom with the voice of Stephen Fry – hereafter referred to as ‘Stephen’).


The Hume Highway is boring

Day two was the start of the fun, even though it was raining, off and on. First stop: Wangaratta Woollen Mill.


The Mill Shop at Wangaratta

I picked up some undyed 4 ply yarn, a 1kg bag of alpaca roving and a couple of big calico sacks that were only a dollar each.  Mum also bought a kilo of alpaca and some other things, including FIVE of the sacks!

Next, we headed over to Milawa, where we called in at Brown Brothers. Mum bought a few bottles and we stopped for coffee (sorry, no photos). Then we hopped over to the cheese factory.


Mum is excited about blue cheese

After a bit of cheese tasting, we came away with some very nice cheeses, crackers, a sourdough fruit loaf, and a few other treats.


Cheese at Milawa

We then had Stephen direct us across to Glenrowan, where we called on the 10 to 4 Gallery.


One corner of the 10 to 4 Gallery

Here I picked up some silver-grey natural coloured wool tops.  I probably would have bought more, but I knew I had more places to visit in the coming days.  I can’t remember what Mum bought here.  The yarn looked particularly delightful.  There was a nice selection (more than shown in the photo above).

Then it was back onto the highway down to Euroa.  After a spot of lunch, we dropped into First Edition Fibres and Yarns.  This stop was a little disappointing, because they didn’t have a lot in stock – it was simply the wrong time of year.  But Mum and I still made a few purchases – I bought a pure merino coloured tops blend in purples and a merino/alpaca/silk tops in blue.  We stayed in Euroa on the second night, though we could have easily made it to Bendigo and dropped the night in Euroa.  It was our only night in a motel (the rest were in cabins in caravan parks with our own cooking facilities) and our only night eating out.  I forget the name of the place we dined at, perhaps because our meals were disappointing.

Day three, and on to Bendigo! Bendigo Woollen Mills was the first stop. We spent ages deciding on what should come home with us (I haven’t used up all of what I bought on a previous trip).  I bought three skeins of undyed 5 ply machine wash yarn, two skeins of 4 ply fine merino sock yarn, and a(nother) ball  of Rustic “Ash” (I bought a fair bit of Rustic earlier this year by mail order).  Mum bought lots of things.

Then we moved on to Bendigo Pottery.  I last visited there in 1996 on my way back from a botanical trip to South Australia.  I have a small deep dish I bought on that trip that I use often (for my favorite pudding recipe!) in which the glaze is starting to crack, so I was keen on buying another.  I also bought a small flan dish and a yarn bowl that is naturally made to take the Bendigo Woollen Mill-sized 200g yarn balls.


Bendigo pottery purchases

We had the whole afternoon to laze about in the swimming pool at our accommodation.

Day four was the last leg of our trip down to Geelong.  First stop was Kyneton, where we arrived a little early for our scheduled stash enhancement opportunity and partook in browsing shop windows and a spot of coffee with shortbread/caramel slice.  It was obvious from the shop hours that most trade took place on the weekends, so many of the shops were closed.


Crappy window shot of a linocut at Lauriston Press, Kyneton

Pick Up Stitches is open 7 days, and proved itself very worthy of a visit. We spent aaaaages in there – probably our longest stop.  So much stuff I hadn’t seen before.  I picked up a couple skeins of Amuri merino/possum 4ply, some Regia sock yarn, some Clover circular stitch holders, reversible Japanese fabric and some buttons that matched the fabric.


Pick Up Stitches, Kyneton

The Japanese fabric was rather surprising.  On one side the texture of the weave is evident, and on the other side it isn’t.


Japanese reversible fabric

Then we headed on to Geelong, with a slight backtrack at one point because Stephen has some funny ideas about “fastest route” versus “shortest route” that took us along a dirt road without good reason… (and despite the GPS being told not to use unsealed roads).  We stayed out of town on the Bellarine Peninsula and unpacked the car for a three-night stay.


My purchases so far…

I had filled one of my two sacks from Wangaratta, but wasn’t done yet.



Posted in Sewing, Stash Enhancement, Stuff that Happened

More Garden

How do you know when your domain points properly to your blog? When the spam starts pouring in… I found the setting to turn off comments on old posts and all was well again.

I’ve now restored the images to all posts except 2005 & 2006 and the dyeing pages. It all has to be done manually – uploading all the photos, editing each post to point to them correctly, and editing internal links as I go (having moved the blog from Typepad to self-hosted Movable Type to self-hosted WordPress to, there are a few layers of bad links that have crept through).  I lost the comments to the posts that weren’t in the backup file. I’ve learnt my lesson and will ensure I backup more regularly!

I couldn’t help it – I went to Spotlight:


The top two are Cloud9 fabrics which I quite like and wish they did a few more in fabrics besides quilter’s weight…  Pretty posies is first up for sewing.

While the weather was good today I got a new layer of mulch onto the garden. Going back through all of the blog posts and photos was great to see the progress of the garden, and how small some of the plants were when first planted!  I added a new category of “Garden” so just those blog posts can be pulled out to view.

This is the “natives end” now – with the same (larger!) Grevillea “Lady ‘O'” at the far end:


On the left are a cumquat I bought six months ago that has not grown at all, and the Eureka lemon that has taken two years to start earning its keep, having produced just one lemon in the first year – I’ve had five so far this year and the tree is laden with plenty more!

All of the other plants have changed: the Philotheca and Rulingia both died and the aphids and other pests attracted to the paper daisies deterred me from planting them again. In their place there is a Convolvulus (I planted two: one here and one down the side passage of the block and can’t remember which one was which variety!), Grevillea “Goldfever”, Scaevola (again, two, but I think this one was “Sunfan”), Acmena “Allyn Magic” – which I hold fears for as every time it gets a flush of new growth the possums graze it back – and some Mondo grass. The two Grevilleas are fought over by the local birds as they flower prolifically.


Up the other end, with the rosemary in the distance that was once just a wee plant, we have all the possum proofing:


Behind the fencing are some new tomato plants, snow peas and silverbeet. Beyond that is an older “cage” I’m about to replace that has some capsicum plants that have lasted two seasons (and are mostly dying), and last year’s parsley that has bolted.  Most of the time the parsley is grazed back to the wire – the local brush-tailed possums seem to have better pickings elsewhere at the moment and haven’t visited in a few weeks.

This year’s tomatoes are a low growing variety that should stay well within the fence. I had a lovely yellow tomato last year that grew large and flowered and fruited well, but the possums raided all the fruit when still green and I only got two tomatoes. I tried everything to try keep them out (heaps of netting, water guns, possum off spray), but they ripped everything apart to get the tomatoes.  The second plant last year was a different variety of low growing cherry tomato that I mostly got to keep, and I’m hoping these two with be the same.  The fencing will be reinforced over these holidays – I had to put it up hastily when the possums went after two previous attempts of silverbeet seedlings and the snow peas – eating them down to the ground! (they hadn’t taken interest in the snow peas before – bastards!).


I’ve had plenty of snow peas though (I’m only just keeping up with eating them), and the third planting of silverbeet is finally picking up. And I’m never short of rosemary! The possums don’t like it.

Posted in Garden, Sewing

Almost there

I’ve restored all of the blog posts, but not yet all of the images.  I’m waiting to stop seeing this rotten screen:


because I’m currently trapped in a loop that keeps dropping me back to the soon-to-be-ex-web-hosts until my internet service provider’s domain name servers are updated (along with everyone else’s) to point to the right place.  When that happens, I can choose the fastest method of restoring the images because I can’t presently see what works and what doesn’t.

Meanwhile, while I wait, I’m trying to decide which blouse to sew next, and which pattern. And talk myself out of a visit to Spotlight.


So many possibilities, but I’m not inspired.  I don’t need more fabric stash, but…

Posted in Sewing, Stuff that Happened

So the blog moved…

The blog has had a happy home on the same web host for six years without incident. Then, at the start of July, there was a billing problem that I caught fairly quickly and rectified. No biggie. Moved on. Had other stuff happening.

Last week I opened up my stats email (some days late; been very busy) and whoaaaa!!!  Traffic indicated things were not right.  Not right at all.  My charming web hosts have “suspended” the account.  No functioning blog or web pages. No functioning WordPress login.  No cPanel login.  But I can login to the “client area” and see my account is “active”.  Great!  Several support tickets (unanswered) and a phone call pushed to their “call back” service after waiting on hold forever (I’m still waiting for that call back a week later) and I can confidently say they are my very-soon-to-be-ex-web-hosts.  Meanwhile, I’ve had to let the renewal of my domain proceed (effective on Monday) and now that the school term has ended, I will begin the process of transferring the domain to point here.

And start rebuilding the blog. *sigh*

Yes, I have backups.  I’m ashamed to say how old the newest one is – it goes back to a point shortly before the blog posts became erratic.  But I haven’t lost anything.  I have every image.  I have retrieved all the text.  It’s just getting it all onto this new space is going to be a bit time consuming.  I was hoping to get back into the old site to make the transfer easier, but since my web hosts have been ever so communicative (not), its a waste of time to wait (especially as I can cut off the hosting at the end of this month – the billing problem has been repeated on the account for the next quarter).  My soon-to-be-ex-web-host’s status page has a notice from 3 September stating that “cPanel6 is offline” with “Current ETR 15.10”.  After my unanswered enquiries, I could really believe they may seriously mean the 15th of October…

Posted in Stuff that Happened