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Adventure bound

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We’re (thinking about) preparing for our next caretaker adventure, back to Deal Island, Tasmania. I’m glad I read this Wikipedia articleWe will be on the island during their fall, March-June, and it may not be as cold as I expected. It’s tempered by the sea and 40 mph winds that frequently buffet the island.

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We’re definitely going but are a little lax in our preparations at this point. Qantas tells me there are about 40 days until we travel. I AM winding down at work, have arranged for Loki’s cat sitting and learned there’s no longer a butcher where we shopped in 2010. I kept my shopping list from last time. It’s an important list because we bring all our food for 3 months with us. No shopping in between. I’ll try to arrange for the bulk of my list by email with the market on Flinders Island, our staging point.

So my mind turns to food preparation. Last time, I kept a blog called 300 meals on a deserted island and will probably do the same again this time. It helps me remain creative with my food when I know every meal will have a photo shoot.

Here’s last night’s apple pie on the mainland of NY.

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Work, work, work

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Or for me it’s really play, play, play.

I had several days to work with my knitting machine. I made the transition from thin acrylic yarn on cones ( where did I get this anyway? I would never knit with it) to wool in my stash, And I’m off!

Plus another knitter in the machine knitting universe sent me a spare part I needed. So I tried my panda hat.

It’s a pain to knit, by hand or on the machine, because a lot of it has a 3rd color on some of the rows. It’s a little clearer by hand but I have to knit the white backwards every other row.

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Next time, I’ll add the white at the end with a duplicate stitch. I’m timing myself now to see if the machine actually saves time because fair isle is a little fiddly. Just like John Henry, and as Tim says, we know how that worked out.

Then on to baby things. The little tike needed a pair of mittens. Done up in no time.

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The question is, “Does he need thumbs?” I opted for no.

But he does need leggings. I modified these from an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern, added short rows so the back is higher than the front to accomodate his diaper bulge, but they still may be low risers.

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On the weaving front, I measured 480 threads, 7 yards long, to tie onto the warp I used for beautiful towels. The pattern was complex so I thought I’d save time by tying the new ends onto the old. But..with one misstep, the old warp literally flew off the loom and I have to start from scratch again. ; (

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Machinations

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I’m dragging myself up the learning curve on my knitting machine. Plenty of opportunities to learn with all the mistakes I have made.

I did make a hat in a fine gauge yarn that is basically an adult version of the hats worn on newborns in the hospital. I may still have my kids’ old ones. Here’s mine.

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I practiced and practiced and wasted lots of yarn. Luckily, I’m known locally as a fiber enthusiast (nut) and receive yarn when people destash. No loss.

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My colorwork kept having problems but I finally figured out why. I had jury -rigged a yarn feeder from a bic pen cap because only one of two was included with the machine. This was creating just enough drag to botch up the tension and cause minor disasters. I put a request out to the machine knitting world and a new feeder is in the mail to me.

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Once I relegated myself to only one feeder, things came together.

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By jove, I think I’ve got it!

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