Friday, August 31, 2007

Learning new social behaviours from Majic

When it is a nice day and we have free time, we like to explore the nooks and crannies of Sydney. We hop in the car and explore a new suburb. "Hey, how about Bexley North today" or "Have we ever been to Yagoona? What's there?" There is always something there, wherever that it. A specialty food store, a park, or both! Yesterday was glorious, and we had the time. What about Cronulla? Indeed, what about Cronulla. Off we went. We almost had Cronulla and Wanda Beaches to ourselves, and Majic did some Crazy Pug in the sand, and took lessons in being a Digger Pug. He is not a Swimmer Pug though, and was a little concerned at the waves when they came nipping at his heels. The water was clear and beautiful, with gentle waves. I wish I'd had my togs!

After the beach we explored the reserve behind, where once there were huge sand dunes. There are still some dunes left after years of sand mining. I imagine much of Sydney was built using sand extracted from here. It was very interesting. I had my camera with me and took lots of pics. The camera is my non-digital SLR with slide film, so we must accept delayed gratification picture-wise, or follow the links to the pcitures and surf-cam I have thoughtfully included.

What is the point of the title of this entry? As we were walking in the reserve, we encountered a group of schoolchildren. Maybe 13-14 years?? Majic knows no fear, and expects everyone to love him. Mostly they do. This group was no exception. As soon as he saw them he fixed a big smile to his face, set his ears and tail to their most friendly settings, and trotted up to them. Soon he was surrounded by a group of admirers, all of them trying to pat him. They managed to read his name tag, so there were coos and squeals of Majic! Majic! I looked over and saw him lying on his back, paws waving happily in the air as they scratched his tummy and chucked him under the chin. Bliss! We just laughed and laughed.

The new model of social behaviour is this: look happy, rush up to people and expect them to adore you, and lie on your back with your legs in the air. Ummm, maybe not!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Post script

Oh yes, the cleaning lady LOVES it - took delivery this morning.

Hat mandala

I love Mary Rowe's book on Knitted Tams. I borrowed it from a friend, and knitted up the first tam which I wear a lot. I used leftover sock wool for that one. My mother liked it a lot, and asked me to make her one too. So I did, with a slightly different design. You see the result in the top left of my blog's banner. Then I bought my own copy of the book. I knew I was hooked on knitting tams.

My cleaning lady spotted one of them and liked it a lot. She asked whether I would make one for her daughter, and offered to pay. She said she would like bright colours, and I was inspired. I trotted off to Tapestry Craft and bought five balls of wool. Pale blue, dark blue, purple, white and red. Much reviewing of patterns ensued, and I worried about the combinations. I finally opted for four of the colours, and chose the two border patterns and the central wheel pattern.

They don't take long to make - only a couple of weeks, and that interspersed with boring black sock knitting. The four colours presented a slight challenge, especially when all four appeared in the same round. Two colours around each hand plus five needles meant that a small dog jumping in my lap could lead to catastrophe.

You never really know what a tam pattern is going to look like until it is properly blocked (involves being washed, then stretched to dry over a large dinner plate.) I am just thrilled with the result.

This is a side view before blocking. You can see the border OXO pattern quite nicely here.

And this is a view of the top with its second border pattern (a garland) and the central wheel pattern. It is just lovely, and I am almost tempted to whip up another one immediately. They don't take much wool either, so I have lots left to try all kinds of different patterns and combinations.

It is much more exciting than boring black sock knitting. The man likes his winter black Patonyle ribbed socks and has requested more. Not patterns? Not colours? No, exactly what he has. So I have a stock of ten balls of trusty black Patonyle and I will continue knitting clones of these socks until I run out of wool. He has VERY large feet, so I don't know how many socks I will achieve. These will be my veggie knitting for a long time.