Route 1 and a trip to market

The sun peeked through for a trip to the market last Sunday. This is the drive to the Southside markets at Gympie, all taken on the go through the car window. Zoom zoom, life is too short for stopping apparently! It’s a bit of a drive, so we left at 6:30am.

Mango farm in our road

Macadamia nut farm at the end of our road.

Views over town

Court house

Lots of old miner’s cottages in Gympie.

Straight ahead you can make out Gympie hospital, and just to the right with the steaming chimneys is the Nestle factory, producing International Roast coffee. 😬

Over the river

And the market.
It’s a pretty good market. In the past I have purchased furniture, puppies, chickens, a kindle, fruit and vegetables here. This trip we just got sweet potato, a picture and a woollen coat.

So far in this oddly warm winter we’ve only had two wood fires. Atticus, for one, clearly enjoyed them. Toasty feets…

And speaking of toasty feets, more socks of course. Another boring grey pair for M that I didn’t bother to photograph, and a chocolatey pair for me. I’m putting some little flowers around the tops of these.

I’ve never purchased sock blockers as they seemed expensive and pointless. But when you’re constantly photographing socks, they begin to have some appeal…so I asked M if he could make me some. He said ‘draw a picture’, so I did. 20 minutes later he emerged from his shed and handed me these, out of recycled Perspex sheet.

What a legend. 🙂 He wanted to put holes in them for faster drying, but so far that has proven unnecessary. 
So then, in the spirit of pushing my luck, I said…you know what I’d reeeeeeally like? An e-spinner. (For the non-spinners, this is an electronic spinning machine, very handy if you have bad joints). They are expensive (very). And M said ‘show me a picture’. So I did. 
‘I can make you that’, he said. ‘Okay,’ I said. Yay!! I will keep you posted. 🙂
I’ve been spinning a lot, and I do mean a lot. Inspired in part by the acquisition of a pair of Majacraft wool combs, which make fibre preparation so much more fun than boring old carding. 


Practising two ply, 3 ply and chain plying. 

I also finished my Route 1 by Norah Gaughan. This is the second of these I’ve made, it’s a free pattern, a quick knit and a useful style for in-between weather. The yarn is Bergere de France’s ‘Recycline’.

Year of William Morris update: tapestry has resumed with the assistance of adjustable tapestry stand that means I can now lounge and stitch at the same time. 🙂

But for now, back to the wheel! 
B 🙂

Bit busy

Life has been a little hectic of late at Ravensridge, with major work changes and M away at a couple of conferences. Where are the months going? I can’t believe that a year ago this week we were climbing the Eiffel Tower and watching the sunset over Paris. 🙂

This week we have goannas climbing gum trees instead.


 This week’s projects – 
Madrona Cardigan by Rohn Strong. Not sure how this one is going to turn out, will have to see how the sleeves look.

2 X ‘Over the Willamette‘ shawls, which I had to make after seeing Karin’s at Pointe Shoes Punk Rock and Purl. These only take a few hours, lots of fun! (Details on my rav project pages.)

A little birdie told me that a set of my favourite Knitpro crochet hooks was winging its way to me courtesy of the lovely M, and I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing them all in a pencil case with the others. So, knowing there were fifteen in the set (fifteen! Oh the joy! :)), I set about making a case for them. I am pleased with the end result.

(Incidentally, a lady at the Brisbane Craft Fair last year told me to put clear nail polish on the size so it doesn’t rub off, and it proved a good tip.)

 A Year of William Morris update:
The peony tapestry cushion has been such a joy to stitch! I’m about two thirds done. I almost don’t want it to end. 

And a William Morris cross stitch has been started…this is called ‘Peace be in this House’. I’m not a lover of cross stitch, but I couldn’t resist the design or the sentiment. 🙂

I’m also in the process of planning a William Morris quilt. Incapable of directly following a pattern as I am, this will certainly be a hybrid, and will include ravens.

Christmas Village Mark II:

So… promised, I gifted the original Christmas Village – with a little pang, I must admit – and set about planning the next one. I wanted it to be sturdier than paper this time, so I had the idea of using model train scenery. 
I did some research and chose HO gauge and started looking for little houses. Well, if you know me at all, you can probably guess what happened next. The simple Christmas Village in my head has now exploded into a full blown model train layout, and my plans include over a dozen buildings, lake, mountains, Christmas market in the town square….you name it. Oh, and of course a train. I had no idea the model train thing was so frickin HUGE, particularly in the UK but also here. And now, I am becoming one of them. I shan’t be wearing a tracksuit nor growing a beard, but I have inadvertently stumbled upon a whole community of my own miniature-loving kind!
I’m doing it all arse-about, as for me the train is secondary to the landscape. So I started with buildings. I got my first kit on eBay for 99c. I didn’t know at the time, but this is a pretty complicated sort. There are over ninety metal extras plus the houses. The first one took a week of evenings to complete. I am using Tamiya model paints and Piko glue. I am particularly pleased with the curtains, stripe linen in the lounge and gingham in the kitchen. 🙂 (The pen is to show scale.) Weathering and the ‘Christmassy’ aspect will be added later, when I have more of the village completed.

I have picked up 8 buildings so far, and will slowly work my way through them. 

In the meantime I am gathering supplies for the build and reading railway modelling magazines, sometimes into the wee hours, which M finds hilarious. (Yeah, go ahead and laugh it up, Chuckles. You’ll be wiring the whole thing up for me.) 🙂 

A Year of William Morris

It is finally feeling like Autumn, and we all breathe a collective sigh of relief here at Ravensridge. The body language of this koala says it all. We had actually never seen one sleep like this before, and I could empathise after the summer we had.   
It’s a magical time of year, beautiful, cool, sunshiney mornings and plenty of wildlife. Lots of koala spotting, wallabies and goannas hanging around my train while I’m working, and some black cockatoos. 


Atticus enjoying the sun.

Dougal enjoying unconsciousness.

Even the cacti garden flowered this year.

And dragonfruit threatens to take over the entire garden.

The wasps are also going crazy artistic in this weather. Most of the ones round here are stingless, including the mud dauber that built this on the laundry wall. I can watch them for hours sculpting with their little blobs of mud. (We don’t normally remove them, this one was just in an unfortunate spot and had to go).


I have of course been knitting and crocheting madly, which I will document next time. I am currently obsessed with Tunisian crochet. Crochet that looks like knitting! It makes me very happy. 🙂

I have also been enjoying more sewing and needlework. And in that line, my mum came up with an idea for herself that I am totally stealing. “A Year of William Morris”: a year of projects related to the art of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts period. Instead of always looking through the books saying ‘oh I’d love to do one of these one day…’, I decided I’m going to actually do some. 
When I gathered up my relevant books from all over the house and the train for inspiration, it became obvious this had been on the cards for a while.

Of course, this won’t be ALL I do for the next year, but it will be a consistent background theme. I have plans for cushions, a rug, a fire screen, a painting, cross stitch pieces and at least one quilt. After the summer hiatus, I’ve also resumed designing and am feeling very motivated! If anyone would like to join the journey, please do! 🙂 There can surely never be enough William Morris projects in the world. 
For Ravensridge, this one is of course on the list, ‘Raven’, from Beth Russell’s William Morris Needlepoint. It makes me swoon. I’d like to design a quilt to match, too. And maybe a jacket. 🙂

It had been a while since I did any proper needlepoint, so I practised with these projects. I finished my hazelnut cushion and a small rose tapestry, which I also made into a cushion to match the sofa. Both zippered, although I drew the line at piping. I think I was just procrastinating, really.


Finished a ‘cottage and manor’ cross stitch duo. These were from a vintage kit I got on ebay. They are suuuuper tiny, and were very hard on the poor old eyes. :/

And then, feeling warmed up, I started this, Project Number One: Peony Cushion. A needlepoint cushion, an interpretation of William Morris’ peony design from the book ‘Country House Needlepoint’ by Frances Kennett and Belinda Scarlett. My Year of William Morris is underway! 🙂