The BEST Swing Set in the World

cow

On our way home from Toowoomba and the very epic Easterfest, we had a few adventures ūüėČ

dino

The first was finding a crazy dinosaur on the side of the road. ¬†I can’t remember what small little town it was but we decided to stop the car, turn around and all get out for a few photos ūüėÄ

nundle

Secondly, we visited the Nundle Woollen Mill. ¬†Nundle is a small little country town about an hour out of Tamworth (think Golden Guitar and Keith Urban) and about 5 hours drive from Sydney. ¬†I was positively beside myself with glee at this little adventure and couldn’t wait to get there.

The mill itself is set back from the road a bit and there is off road parking, however Nundle is such a quiet town that parking on the street is no drama.  Outside is a lovely place to picnic, there are a few tables around and some trees to shelter under away from the hot Australian sun.

mill outside

Inside is knitters heaven! ¬†When you walk in the door you are immediately in the shop. ¬†On the left hand side is yarn, lots and lots of Nundle yarn that has been spun on the premises (and possibly some Noro). ¬†There are lots of colours to choose from and a few different weights and blends. ¬†There was also a beautiful display of Art Viva knitting needles, made from Tasmanian oak in Tasmania (ok, they were arranged in a tin bucket but that doesn’t sound as nice “display”)

The night before we went to Nundle I sat with my phone trying to decide on what pattern to buy yarn for, I was thinking of knitting up a cardigan, but when I got to the mill I realised that I would need around 1000 yards of yarn and that seemed to be a bit too much for my bank balance. ¬†So I settled on the Hopsalots slippers by Tiny Owl Knits. ¬†I came across this pattern a week or so before we left on our adventure and was totally in love with the idea of knitting and then felting slippers – something that I haven’t tried before. ¬†The only thing that concerned me that there was no mobile phone coverage in Nundle and I couldn’t access ravelry to find out how much yardage I needed.

On the right hand side of the store were a range of clothes, socks, locally knit scarves – I didn’t pay a great deal of attention to these as I was there for the yarn, not the already made goods. ¬†At the back of the store was a door that lead through to mill viewing area. ¬†Essentially the mill is a 2 storey building, with the shop and the viewing area both being on the top floor. ¬†Unfortunately I think everyone was out at lunch so I didn’t get to see the mill in action, BUT just seeing the machinery pretty much put my excitement levels into overdrive and I almost cried (I’m an emotional being). ¬†There was also more yarn, a lounge to relax (and possibly knit) on, more clothing items, Ugg boots, lots of different books for both knitting and crochet, and a basket on a table full of beautiful ready to spin braids that have been dyed locally.

lunch

After settling the kids down outside for lunch (they were going a little silly in the mill) I went back in to make a decision about my purchases. ¬†That wasn’t easy. ¬†In the end I settled on 4 balls of the 100% Merino 8ply in hot pink, perfect for felting (and if you’re wondering, my guess about yardage was spot on ūüėÄ ). ¬†When I got to the counter I asked the lady a few questions, trying to suss out if the yarn was completely 100% Australian, and happily it is (the ball band even has the Australian Made symbol on it). ¬†Although that’s not true of all the yarns available from Nundle, it was for this one and I walked out of the store so happy to not only be supporting the Nundle Woollen Mill, but supporting the Victorian processing plant and the hard working Aussie wool growers.

goodies

By the time I had finished my rather large family had moved from under the tree where they were enjoying their lunch to the playground that sits just to the side of the mill.  For such a small town it was one of the best playgrounds I have come across, with a cubby house, slide, swing set, and other various climbing on and over things.  It was great and the kids were having such a ball, it was hard to get them back in the car.

cubby

The entire playground had a farm/ yarn theme, which for a fibre enthusiast left me wanting to play too. ¬†Above and beyond all the sheepy and farm¬†inspired¬†equipment, there was one thing that stood out from the rest…

needle

 

A swing set, made of knitting needles and yarn :p

swing

 

Wish I could have one in my backyard!

If you’re ever in Tamworth, make sure you take a trip out to Nundle, it’s totally worth it.

Have you ever seen a knitting themed playground? ¬†If so, where? ¬†I’d love to see it – even if they are only pictures ūüėÄ .

Christy

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Route 86

strangling

About a month ago the local Christian radio station that we listen to, Hope 103.2, was running a competition for tickets to Easterfest, Toowoomba. ¬†Easterfest is a Christian music festival that’s held in Toowoomba, Queensland and has been going for the last 13 years. ¬†I registered my name, not thinking that I would win. ¬†I wrote on the cow blackboard (yes, I have a blackboard in the shape of a cow) that is hung near our kitchen what I needed to say just in case the radio station rang me. ¬†I never thought that I’d win.

Easterfest 2013 005

Day 1 of the competition, I listened as I organised my kids out the door, no phone call.

Easterfest 2013 009

Day 2 of the competition, the older 3 had just left for school and G was nagging me to put the tv on. ¬†I walked over to the radio to turn it off and they had just started the call out. ¬†The phone rang on the radio and my heart dropped a little in disappointment, the phone continued to ring and eventually the broadcasters cut the call and started on call #2. ¬†Again, the phone rang out and as the presenters were discussing the possibility of no one answering their phones that morning, my phone began to ring. ¬†I quickly picked up the phone and said very timidly (just in case it was someone else) “Hope 103.2 send me to Easterfest”. ¬†I instantly heard cheering on the other end of the line. ¬†I won, I won a family pass to Easterfest 2013 with a premium upgrade. ¬†I honestly couldn’t believe it!

flat

The next few hours were spent in a flurry of activity as I tried desperately to find¬†accommodation for a family of 7¬†in the already packed to the rafters city of Toowoomba. ¬†Finally – after a few tears – found accommodation in Postman’s Ridge, about a 15 minute drive out of Toowoomba, down in the Lockyer Valley (yeah, you read right, the place that had all that flooding, although I didn’t realise that until we were there). ¬†I was quite hesitant when I rang Six Mile Country, the camping ground that amazingly enough had cabins big enough for my family, I wasn’t expecting them to have any spots left, so I was beyond pleasantly surprised when she said that the 8 berth cabin was available. ¬†And the price, oh my, so affordable, especially in comparison to what we would have paid if we’d stayed in a motel. ¬†After that it was easy to find accommodation on the road to and from Toowoomba – for those playing along at home, it’s about a 12 hour trip from the Blue Mountains in NSW (where I am) to Toowoomba, QLD (where we were going). ¬†I guess if the kids were older we could probably have done the trip in 1 day (and to my darling husband, I don’t think I will be ever up for trying that!) but 5 -6 hours in the car is not fun, especially for the kids. ¬†Plus with all the toilet and food stops it generally ends up being a lot longer than what we expect.

Easterfest 2013 018

It wasn’t until the week before we were supposed to leave it hit me that we were going away for almost a full week and then the pressure was on to get all the washing done, dry and folded, ready to pack. ¬†What I accomplished in that week still astounds me, especially considering that I still managed to blog and get some knitting done in that time :p .

eyes

There were moments on our journey that we both wondered what we were up to (me more than Mr HKWT, seeing as I won the tickets and he was only along for the ride) especially once we got to the camp ground.  There were only 2 showers and 2 toilets for all the people camping, and while that was fine on Thursday night/ Good Friday morning, by the time Friday afternoon rolled around and all the other guests had arrived, that was a lot of people using only a few facilities.  And folks, this may come as a surprise to all of you, but I am no camper!  I found the whole sharing amenities a little confronting Рbut for the sake of my personal hygiene I did get over it :p .

elmo

But in the end it was more than worth it and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. ¬†The people in the caravan/ tent set up across from us were also going to Easterfest and their daughters played so nicely with my kids. ¬†They were also kind enough to lend us their GPS so we could find Queens Park (which really wasn’t that difficult to find) and told us where the “secret” parking was – aka free parking.

spider

There was a dedicated kids programme run by Scripture Union Queensland. ¬†While Mr HKWT and I were rather tied to that particular area due to needing to supervise our children, the kids had a ball. ¬†There was phenomenal face painting, a jumping castle thingy, a ball pit, a petting zoo full of little farm animals including the cutest tiny little piglets, games, activities galore, a sand pit, colouring in, a circus school – not once did I hear the word “bored” in the whole 3 days. ¬†The kids had a blast! ¬†And Mr HKWT and I did manage to get out individually to see some of the other things that were happening around Easterfest, plus drink some of the best coffee I have ever EVER tasted!

flowers

Saturday was the epoch of the weekend for me and will probably go down in history as one of the best days of my life! ¬†In an amazing twist of fate (sometimes having kids has it’s bonuses beyond the love, cuddles and kisses) I managed to not only meet the guys from NewWorldSon but I also had my picture taken with them, all the while listening to Audio Adrenaline, who were just over the fence, sound check. ¬†Then I had my Audio Adrenaline cd – Under Dog – signed by Audio A. ¬†That cd is now priceless! ¬†To top off an awesome day, Saturday night was spent singing and grooving along at the Audio Adrenaline concert headed up by their new front man, K Max, originally from DC Talk. ¬†E. P. I. C! ¬†Now I know the vast majority of you will be wondering who I’m talking about and if you ever walked past any of these fellas you wouldn’t even bat an eyelid and that’s ok. ¬†It was my epoch, my day to savour, my weekend to be forever thankful for, a memory that will always bring a smile to my face (especially after being told by 2 of the artists that I admire so deeply that I was wearing a cool t shirt) – and yes, I’m still smiling now, almost a full week later at the joy that weekend bought me.

NWSI’m the one in the middle that’s smiling so hard her face is about to explode :p

What did you get up to over Easter?

Christy ūüėÄ

Surprise!

This is intended to be a very quick post. ¬†I finished the Sunlight Shawl for Sad People and wanted to let you all know. ¬†I’m so happy that’s it done. ¬†The ending was a little tragic due to not knowing how much yarn it would take to do the picot bind off. ¬†I started and realised (among other things) that I didn’t have enough yarn, so I ripped it back and started again. ¬†Now that it’s finished I can see I could have knit a few more rows. ¬†But, on the upside I have enough yarn left over to make a little cuffie.

Giving it a severe blocking to :p

 

I’m a little concerned as the colours seem to have faded a bit during soaking but from the pic it looks ok (the water in the bucket is a really lovely plum). ¬†I’ve blocked it out rather firmly, stretching it out as much as I could. ¬†I can’t wait to see how it looks and drapes once it’s dry.

I’m also very very excited because I started Aestlight last night. ¬†It’s my Christmas present to myself, ha! ¬†I was organising my knitting for our Christmas break (I’m seeing the MIL and she always seems displeased with my knitting – so I have to seriously plan what I’m knitting in order to not heap condemnation on my head) and decided that I could afford to start Aestlight considering that the Sunlight Shawl is finished. ¬†The plan is to knit Aestlight whilst travelling and when MIL is otherwise occupied. ¬†At all other times I will be working on Mud Puddles and I have packed the yarn to start J.J’s Artichaut (which she is very happy about).

So in love!

I’ve admired Gudrun Johnston’s work from afar for a very long time and had at least one of her designs in my rav queue for the last few years (pretty much ever since I discovered knitty and ravelry that top has been in my queue). ¬†It’s so exciting to be finally working on something by one of my favourite designers :D.

From my somewhat crazy and very wonderful family to yours, a very happy, merry and wonderful Christmas.

Have a goggling good time :p

Christy

xo

…will travel

Another fortnight has slipped by between blog posts, however I’ve been touring the countryside. ¬†Well not really, not in an Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy kind of way – how cool would that be? ¬†Having servants, spending all day knitting and sewing for the church, taking tea, entertaining guests and then spending my evenings playing card games and going to balls. ¬†But then…. I don’t think I could give up modern conveniences like flushing toilets and the internet :p. ¬†Plus, I love jeans and I don’t think I could cope with long layered skirts in the middle of summer.

Anyway, that was a total aside. ¬†We’ve been visiting my husband’s family in different parts of the state.

It was a good trip, my kids loved seeing their grandmother, uncle, aunt and cousins and I got lots of knitting done. ¬†When we first got into the car I took out my teeny tiny Hiya Hiya needle with every intention of working on Kai Mei as we drove (the first leg of the journey was around 6 hours, not including stops). ¬†However, when we got to the top of the street and I realised that I’d left the longer needle for magic looping (I swap to magic loop for the foot, don’t ask me why) at home and my ever loving husband wasn’t about to turn around to get it for me. ¬†So instead I started on Marin.

Believe it or not, it is actually easy enough to do in the car. ¬†There is a chart and initially I was quite tied to the pattern and the chart but not enough that I had my head buried in paper the whole time we were driving. ¬†This lovely shawl is¬†such a joy to knit¬†and so serendipitous. ¬†The yarn arrived 2 days before we were due to go away and I wound the skein into a ball the day before we left. ¬†I’m just over half way through which I think is a pretty good effort. ¬†I wish we could go away more, I’d get so much knitting done. ¬†Unfortunately Artichaut is being quite neglected. ¬†Thankfully M.I.A hasn’t asked why I’m not working on her cardigan.

My M.I.A looks so good in my knitting (she’s wearing my Trillian shawl) that I should just get on with Artichaut, I’m just so easily led astray. ¬†M.I.A is such a wonderful big sister. ¬†I couldn’t ask for better kids.

My nephew has a ukulele that my little G just couldn’t get enough of. ¬†It was all on for young and old every time it was taken away from him. ¬†Well, at least I know what to get him for Christmas now :p

After a trip away I have more washing than I can poke a stick at (that’s the downside of travelling with 5 kids) and it’s the last day of the school holidays (not including the weekend) so I think I shall go and hang out a truck load of laundry and spend sometime with my little ones.

Take care

Christy

Just Hanging Around

This week marks the second week of the winter school holidays, that means that in just a few days the holidays will be over and the kids will be back at school and to be honest, I’m not looking forward to it! ¬†We haven’t done much but for the most part my 2 older girls have been so helpful and I’ve really enjoyed their company. ¬†Plus having no set routine and the need to be somewhere at a particular time is a bonus when there’s a new baby in the house (well not so new now, she’s 7 weeks already).

She’s still so snuggly and new. ¬†They grow up so quickly and I’m trying to soak in every moment right now.

3 of my older children shuffling on an empty cardboard box in our sunny backyard.  I love their amazing imaginations Рturning a cardboard box into a dance floor :p.

My oldest practiced being a rock star on that cardboard box (actually they all did, but I’m pretty sure she started the trend). ¬†That’s the back of my youngest son on the left. ¬†I love his curly hair :D. ¬†And I love sunny days in our backyard!

I thought that I’d get heaps of knitting done during the school holidays but I haven’t done as much as I thought I would (well actually that probably has more to do with my ridiculous expectations on myself rather then actual reality). ¬†I’ve finished the main body of Sunny girl’s cardi (photos next blog) and now I just have the sleeves to do. ¬†I have also been working on a secret project in between the cardi for some very special people. ¬†Want to see a sneak peak?

More pictures to come of this lovely little surprise (do you love the crazy button eyes?).

That’s all from me today, hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow with more of a sneak peek of these adorable little surprises :D.

Christy