I like stuff

When we lived in Hong Kong, I was fond of telling anyone who would listen that I was “really over shopping”.  I thought that this was because I had progressed to a higher stage of being, revealing a less materialistic Ingrid.  This was false.  I didn’t like shopping so much because I already had heaps of stuff! This truth has become apparent because most of my stuff is in sea freight, and man, I miss it.  Three stories about missing stuff:

  1. After knitting with some washed Colourmart cashmere, I decided to frog a work in progress for my husband (a seamless hybrid a la Brooklyn Tweed) and wash it. You will note that I did pack my swift in the air freight.  I had cobbled a pattern together, hoping to combine the instructions in Knitting Without Tears with the design capacity of KnitWare.  One problem – KnitWare is installed on my computer, which is being held hostage in the sea freight, and the thought of redoing all the maths is making me feel extremely unenthusiatic.  I’ll do a gauge swatch in the vague hope that I’ll match the gauge previously achieved, but I’m not holding my breath;
  2. Two years ago, I made this cherry cake for Christmas morning, and apparently it has become a family tradition (especially according to certain small children who vividly remember any day of the year when they get cake for breakfast).  I own the book How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson , and used her “German Plum Cake” recipe from it, but the book, along with lots of other recipe books that I like, is in the sea freight.  Does anyone have a recipe for a German yeasted cake fruit bread thing that they can send to me? If I recall correctly, you only need to let it rise for an hour.
  3. This post has been delayed because one other essential item has been stuck in the sea freight – the charger for our digital camera.  After some fairly limited googling, I ordered a replacement from www.aubattery.com.  You owe the pictures in this post to their quick service. I received some gorgeous yarn from Ailsa of Knitabulous as part of her club – but the battery finished charging after the sun had set.  I love the colourway madly, and think that it will become a small shawl in the near future – it is too pretty to waste on feet! To see a picture – look at Bell’s blog.

So the decline in my consumeristic tendencies is due to the fact that I already owned most of the things that I wanted.  Being in a somewhat interestingly decorated furnished apartment has really unleashed some major shopping urges.  Some of them have been entirely necessary – who puts a candelabra in an apartment, but not a can opener, or vegetable peeler? Others are a point of difference between the Fireman and me.   He had to peel my unwilling fingers off a salad spinner in a posh kitchenware shop this afternoon, pointing out that I already had one.  Rationally, I know that is the case, but what use is it to me when it is trapped well beyond my reach somewhere between Sydney and Hong Kong?

We are going to be between houses for some months because we have bought an old, fairly decrepit house, with TENANTS.  We have considered asking if we could move in with them, but it looks like we will need to wait until they move out. The house looks like it was once well loved, but is in desperate need of attention, and the removal of a hideous extension. The house borders the girls’ school and they started for the last couple of weeks of the year.

Our little experiment with home schooling has left us a bit twitchy, and on more than one occasion the girls were in tears asking “why can’t we just go to school like the other kids”.  While they were both nervous to be starting a new school, they seem to have made friends, and looked happy to go to school every day.  I was delighted to meet a another (self-described) “crafty person” at an school end of year party.  She said that she was trying to get back into sewing, and had seen some great board short kits online.  I said “a friend of mine is putting together some kits for boardshorts”; and then we realised that we were talking about the same kits. I told the crafty person that I was self same the “Ingrid” referred to in Soozs’ blog.  I felt like an extremely minor celebrity!

With the house buying, and car buying, and school starting, and range of unwell relatives, I have been doing very little crafting – only this colourmart cashemere hat, knitted from this pattern, that was meant to be finished for older daughters’ birthday 10 days ago. I needed super boring knitting for waiting at hospitals and travelling, and it pretty much fit the bill perfectly.  If I had really had my wits about me, I would have only double stranded half the yarn, and been able to end up with a slouchier hat   Even with the super-boring knitting, I managed to screw it up – I was plugging along on the ribbing, and whinged fairly consistently to my sister about how the knitting from 6″ of ribbing to 7″ of ribbing seemed to be taking forever. Of course, I finally checked the pattern, and the ribbing was meant to finish after 4″! The hat is actually finished now, but is not blocked, and older daughter will be unlikely to agree  to model it until I put her in a much colder place (which will be happening in January…).  After I finish writing this post, I’m going to cut out her birthday dress (you might notice a theme with the timeliness of the presents!).

Thanks for all of your well wishes for my mother – sorry that I have not been replying to email.  Things seem to be settling down now, and hopefully I will get a few more minutes each day at the computer.  My mother is doing a lot better now, and has returned home.  She will be joining us for Christmas Day at my sister’s house, and will be getting a lovely gift from my father.  My father and I have a long standing arrangement where I provide a consultancy on his present buying for my mother, and I think she is really going to like what I chose this year. 


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I can be contacted at travellersyarn at yahoo.com

10 thoughts on “I like stuff”

  1. Oooh, I hope you’ll show us your mum’s present after Christmas!! Sounds like a very good arrangement you and your dad have.

    I can help you out with the recipe…I’ll send you an email!

    Oh, and I know exactly what you mean about stuff…I’m at the stage where I really don’t want any more, but that’s mostly because I have SO MUCH ALREADY!

  2. Ingrid, so happy you are settling in. Even though I only visited HK…I miss the shopping too.

    Hope you have a great Christmas with your family!


  3. So glad to be a part of netting new crafty friends! That is so funny!! But I am totally impressed with how fast you are getting life together. I hope you have a wonderful christmas together.

  4. Hey – glad to see you’re back in the saddle. Have a wonderful Christmas, I’m intrigued about the cold place in January you might be going, so look forward to hearing about that.

    Definitely catch up irl soon too!

  5. I’ve been thinking about you this last week Ingrid and wondering how you were all settling back in 🙂

    That’s great to hear that family is all doing well and the girls are liking their new school. It is hard moving between countries and not knowing what you will REALLY need before the sea shipment turns up. I learnt a long time ago to make do with what’s at hand .. makes for interesting cooking skills let me tell you lol. I’m not sure if my sister has the Nigella Lawson book but i will check for you 😉
    I tend to avoid the shops as much as possible at this time of year, too many frantic people trying to find the perfect gift. Luckily for me eldest girl loves shopping so is having a blast doing the extra shopping things i missed (with my money i might add… just you wait till yours are old enough to spend your money .. ).

    Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas together 🙂

  6. Such a wonderful update. Thank you. 🙂

    I had things in storage for years because I didn’t have space for them, and I constantly missed what I had. The day everything arrived in Houston was a day of great relief. Hang in there!

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