Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tropical Challenge #1 - Rainforest Ishbel

As part of Tropical Challenge #1 here is the first shawl + summer dress combination. In this instance I had already begun knitting the shawl when I bought the dress, but it was that good strong green in the dress that complements my Rainforest Ishbel Shawl that convinced me to buy it. And its going to be a little while longer 'til I finish Travelling Woman!
Days into challenge: 50
Days wearing summer dresses for at least half of the day: 43 (that's 86% folks, well I'm impressed!)
Number of knitting projects in queue to complement dresses: 8 and possibly increasing, bound to buy more dresses though...
On the sticks:
Tropical Teal Travelling Woman Shawl - Dress: Tropical Butterfly
Tokyo Rose Aestlight - Dress: White Mexican w/Embroidery
Elizabeth Zimmerman Silver Samurai Anniversary - Dress: Grey palm leaf
Summer Shetland Shawl (red) - Dress: There's a little black one looking for some red

I recently purchased Romi's 7 Small Shawls and currently deciding which yarn to use on which shawl to go with which dress. Will the madness never end?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mellow Yellow

I don't know what it is but lately I feel the need to have a stock pile of yellow squash at all times. Perhaps its because that they are in season and abundance in the local fruit & veg markets. Fortunately they are the central ingredient for one of my favourite receipes, Happiness Soup from Nigella Lawson's 'Forever Summer' cook book - fitting.

I've also found fresh turmeric at the markets, which is a real treat. Previously reserved for cooks who were committed to travelling all over town to hunt the little rhizomes down (even if they do look like mishapen toes at time). Home made satay, curries and soup, will never be the same again.

Getting to know you

So I've been in Cairns about 7 weeks now - just about time to find a local hairdresser and really inculcate myself. Highlights include a visit to the Atherton Tablelands stopping off at Lake Tinaroo a favourite fishing spot for Barramundi, so I hear.

The Curtain Fig tree at Yungaburra (must come back to this lovely little town, reminded me of Berrima) which is a fig tree that wraps itself around an (un)fortunate(?) host tree strangling it but leaving this remarkable work of art in its wake.

There was a visit to Gallo Dairyland for lunch, cheese and handmade chocolates, complete with a stop at Shaylee Strawberry farm on the way back - FYI Cash only if you're going and you've stopped off at Gallo's first and used up most of your cash.

The Cairns Show (complete with a public holiday for 'show day'!) was held recently at the local showgrounds, where I went on the Ferris Wheel and for the first time in my life I found myself wishing it wasn't quite so high up. This from a seasoned amusement park ride enthusiast which friends accompanying me to Luna Park (Sydney), Wonderland and Dreamworld could attest to. Maybe this is what happens when you visit LA twice but never make it to the gran'daddy of them all Disneyland! I saw some new friends at the Fibrecrafters FNQ stand and sized up the knitted entries in the Arts & Crafts Pavillion. I was very impressed with the numerous categories for entries (RAS take note!) and I'll begin planning a 2011 entry or two soon no doubt. Lots of bobbin lace on display and a few shawls (with just one scary clown but no two-headed upside-down dolls thankfully!).

I stopped to watch one of the finalists in the local Barista comp, which reminded me to go looking for coffee beans. My favourite coffee plantation so far is Skybury and I think sitting out on the massive 'tree-house' deck taking in the view and noting we were only an hour from the Great Barrier Reef a few years ago really sowed a seed that culminated in our move up north. Definitely worth a visit and the coffee is pretty darn fine too!

Now I must go put the coffee on and investigate what the mob of Wallabies that reside over my back fence (I know, how country 'ostraya!) were doing this morning, if I didn't know better I'd say they'd ganged up on a couple of geckos demanding their lunch money!