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…so I thought I’d say ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’ all at the same time. *queue sad face*

I have so many fond memories to take with me across the world, but the fact that I won’t get to work with you, in your beautiful store again, making beautiful art and helping ther people do it too, breaks my little green heart in pieces! Will I ever be as happy again in a job? Will I ever get as good a latte again? Will I ever spend working meetings debating the merits of a raspberry pink over a dusty shade of mink? WILL I??!?

I’m a little scared right now that I won’t ever get to. Thank you so much Apple.Fluff for showing me the best time ever. It was a once in a lifetime chance happening and it was MAGICAL! xx

Super Quick Hello

Just wanted to say HIYA from lovely, but suprisingly western and touristy, Vietnam! How are things with you, Saucy? I can’t tell you how jealous I am about all your lace knitting plans and KALs for the store…very tempted to just fly on back and live in your store room just so I can knit along too :)

OH, and have you got your hair cut yet??? So exciting!

I’ve been having inspiration overload, especially in Cambodia. That place was incredible. And with all the bus and train trips everywhere, I’ve had a lot of thinking time while the view has been flying by, a lot of time to mentally kick my butt for all the things I could be/should be doing with myself. There are a lot of them, music being the main one however. I’m so afraid of making a fool out of myself and failing spectaularly that since leaving college I haven’t even given myself a decent chance to do anything. Ugh! Reaching that conclusion has been more than a little unsettling but better now than when I’m 70 and bitter, right?!

However this great raises the stakes…don’t you just hate how that happens when you suddenly get some clarity on a situation…you now have a resonsibility to DO SOMETHING about it. Ignorance really is bliss sometimes.

Anyhoo, that is what’s been on my mind and I needed a little vent :) Hope you don’t mind.

Must run, but I’ll get back to some proper blogging when we reach Malaysia. Til then think of me every yarn-over you do…..so blinkin’ jealous ;) xx

New Horizons

Dear Baked Potato,

I’ve been mulling over your last post and the question about how quickly I get bored with a project … am I a slow burner or a hot flash?? I’d have to say that I am one that needs to make sure the project has the potential to be finished within the period of momentum driven excitement of the project itself – in short, a hot flash … like my little Knit Cafe passionfruit Alpaca Silk beret – three days! It was my first attempt at knitting in the round, and after a slight pause after I ribbed inside out, I churned that baby out oh so quickly! And what about the Spud & Chloe Rabbit – literally two evenings in front of the teev - now neither of these projects have been big - I mean they are both one skein wonders … but none the less they both held my excitement from beginning to end. I think I need to be learning something each time … I understand those that need “something to knit in front of the TV that is mind-numbing” but it’s certainly not me. Knitting and crocheting is my stimulus after a crazy day ‘at the office’ [mind-numbing IS the TV] so the more complex the better. Which is why I have a few projects on the go at the same time: of course my KAL cardi takes precedence right now; and then my malabrigo lace wrap second; closely followed by the milk cotton crochet ripple stitch blanket. I have other things I have started – but I was just mucking about and haven’t really got my head [or heart] into them … I do have two new projects that I have been obsessing over, both using the milk cotton from rowan, and both blankets – one crochet and one knitted. And I am still praying that no one takes the Blueberry Alpaca Silk from the hook in the shop this weekend, so I can claim it as my own for the rectangle shawl – there’s a project I just won’t be able to put down! Simply love that yarn.

Your need for sock yarn totally whizzed above my head – I fear the dreaded sock, I look at sock patterns and I ponder their beauty, marvel at their intricate details and then … turn the page! No socks for me – although, like top down knitting,  I am enamoured to the idea of fitting as you go. I do however, completely agree about the likeness of sock yarn to skittles … such clever candies! The way to can combine colour in socks is great – no need for decorum, with a sock you are allowed to have pink next to red, green and blue merging into one and with the absence of a pattern, you can even chevron your way through the rainbow. If you come across the citrus skittles – dive in! I always sneak off with the mandarin ones, and the boys can have the rest, but mandarin just tickles me pink [or maybe orange].

Much love Apple Tart

Hairspray

I say go for it!!! At the very worst (and there is no way a good hairdresser would let this happen) if the colour doesn’t suit, it’ll be super easy to dye it back to your normal chestnut. The cut sounds super, I would love a change myself, my hair just looks like a big fuzzy/curly mop on my head. I can’t even imagine the colour on you though, it will be so exciting to see. Don’t forget to post a picture once it’s all done.

There is nothing like  a trip to the hairdressers. I look forward to it so much. I love getting pampered and getting my scalp massaged. I love the smell of hot, clean hair being blowdried and having someone making me all model perfect, super bouncy and shiny. AAAhhhhhhh! Think of me while you’re there getting pampered.

Any new projects on the go? I’m bored of mine now. Finished all the ones that I was really enthusiastic about and now left with projects I know I’ll love when they’re finished but just not into working on them right now. Wish I’d brought some sock yarn with me for times like these. Those wee hanks of sock yarn have so much potential in them and usually come is such candy-bright colours you just don’t normally make garments in, they are as uplifting as a packet of Skittles are to your blood sugar levels. *whispers* “Knit the Rainbow” Heehee!

Might be out of touch for the next few days, don’t know what the internet situation is like in Cambodia but I will write again as soon as I find an internet cafe. Can’t wait to hear about the hair, and the baking, and the store (how are things? the winter rush hit yet?). Hope everyone in your home is feeling better. Oh and throw up one of your Threads posts…I better they’re brilliant :)

Baked Potato x

What joy! I wondered how long it would be before you were linked into the net to see my little post to kick off our blog. I was actually just thinking about you as I stood outside listening to the rain and thinking that this blog is a cross between Mason Dixon and the new movie Dear John [haven't been, just the trailer on the Teev] – letters between friends about all the stuff that makes our minds tick. Then I was thinking about how given your current travelling situation it may well be two letters from me for every one of yours – but then I drop in on our little seedling blog and there it is … Dear Apple Sauce … Apple Sauce, Apple Tart … both valid terms depending on the day and my current state of mind. Today, Sauce is very apt – bit sludgey. First cold of the season has infiltrated our house, right on time for the welcoming of Autumn, F and H are both coughing and spluttering which means dearest mummy is a sure bet for the sniffles. The silver lining – time off work for recovery [ie: knitting ALL day, just because I can!] And you know what that means Cardi heaven with maybe a second course of ripple stitch crochet to finish before family dinner. F is keen for the Christmas hot cake which I think will be a perfect way to finish off family dinner tomorrow. Having the boys in the kitchen is chaos but if you can handle the noise, mess and late bedtime, then the joy [and batter] on there faces is priceless.

I too have been eyeing off the lastest from Kaffe. The barrage of colour and pattern assults the senses and you are constantly trying to find quiet in so much movement until you realise that its the movement that makes it so still. Now there is some juxaposition! hehe I have always been smitten with the fabrics of Kaffe and his ability to seemingly “throw” it all together. I remember reading a Rowan Magazine article that showcased his studio … oh what I would give for a space full of inspiration and room to have all my difference ideas spread out infront of me. In design school we were taught early about looking for inspiration all around, especially connecting to pattern in our natural and built environment. Many a day was spent wandering the streets of Brisbane looking for pattern and colour, and now everywhere I travel I love searching out those glimpses of wonder – alas my eye sees what my camera can’t … but I’m working on it!

PS: They say change is as good as a holiday, and since you are on holiday, I’ve decided to change … long straight and dark brown with blunt cut fringe to dark strawberry blonde, 50′s curls and a sweeping fringe – what do you think??? I need a thumbs up … it’s a big secret back here xx APPle

Dear Apple Sauce…

I really wanted to call you Apple Tart but I thought you mind hunt me down in Thailand and give me a slap for being cheeky! Or you could be Apple Fluff, but I like blogging incognito…just call me Spudling, wink wink! (* She looks shiftily over her shoulder, turns up the collar on her trench coat and pulls a hat down over her eyes*)

LIfe is good on the road but not necesarily crafting-friendly. Instead, when I’m not stuck in airports where knitting is about the only thing I can do to relieve the boredom, I am on the look out for inspiration. I saw an interview with Kaffe Fassett on the PurlBee blog, pluggin his new quilting book and talking about his inspiration for the patterns included. The photos in the book look fabulous, beautifully captured mosaics of life around the world. I love how he finds pattern in obscure places and then translates it into his art. So I am hard at work, looking closely in front of me and then look again with a mind to find inspiration for my knitting, crochet and everything else. I’m excited about what I might find, especially in a culture so foreign to my own, I find myself being smacked over the head everyday with juxtaposition – old and new, colourful and dirty, western shops beside old Buddist temples, tuk-tuks weaving between SUVs, ladyboys dressed up next to little old ladies with aprons on. I love it! I’m still pretty slow at remembering to photograph these things before they pass me by, but I”m working on it. Photography isn’t my first instinct when I see something fascinating. I love to just look and soak it all in instead, but learning to capture a little memory of it is worthwhile.

And the food! Well you know me and food…and I know you and food…and between you and me, it’s blinking brilliant! And I love the readily available freshly squeezed fruit juices, talk about taking the edge off the midday heat, they’re heavenly. The downside to being on the road is not having your own place to cook and experiment with the local tastes and produce yourself. Being cooked for it great but then I’d love to be able to make some of it when I get back home. Oh well!

I miss baking as well, it’s my therapy of choice. Nothing makes me feel more productive in a day. And when I want a quick pick-me-up cake or a hassle free brownie I always turn to my Nigella Express book. I loved her Christmas episode too. I make that Christmas hot cake, that makes it’s own sauce in the pan, all the time at home (perfect for the Irish climate with a cup of tea on the side). I’m a bit of a Nigella fan, as you know, especially as she makes no bones about being a cook, not a chef. I couldn’t ‘chef’ to save my life, but I like to dabble in some cooking every now and then, and I like that she marks the difference. I’m definitely more of a baker though, taught by my Ma (I got to make cookies with the leftover pie pastry or lick the mixing spoon…) I bet F will be overjoyed to get to ‘cook’ his own special popcorn with his Ma and who knows where it may lead. Start them young and at least you’ll know he won’t be living on instant noodles when he leaves home for the first time!

So proud of you, working hard and getting things in order. It’ll make all the difference! I should have finished my cardi by now…the buttons are sewn on and one side is seamed but I’ve got lazy and haven’t finished seaming the other side. Should be finished soon, with photos of course, and then up on the Threads blog it shall go. (I have been planning to get my first post up there but it seems I’m only admin on ‘AppleFLuff’ blog, not Threads.) I’ll be sad to see that project finished, I really enjoyed knitting it. I have two other small project on the god but they’re older and I’ve lost steam with them a little bit. Momentum is such an odd thing. Do you find you loose steam with things, need to get them done while you still feel that inital excitment about the project? Or are you a slow burner and enjoy taking your time over something?

Good luck with the popcorn. Sounds so tasty! Don’t forget to put your recipe up…

Dear Little Fire

Dear Littlefire,

I think I am finally getting back into the rhythm of creativeness after hitting the numbers hard these past few weeks [I actually think that maybe its more like a month - but I'm not going to obsess over "spilt milk"] … I had a particularly creative moment and drafted three posts for Threads just last night, I wonder if they will be received with interest or if my mind has yet again deceived me of my crafty genius, and it is actually just a whole heap of ravings about not much at all. You of course can be the judge of that … keep an eye on the blog and let me know what you think …

Anyhoo, two things spring to mind that I just wanted to tell you before I forget. Firstly I have been prompted to write by Nigella Lawson [I know I do have friends in high places] no, no, no - I was watching Nigella Express on Sunday evening and became enthralled in her Christmas episode – it, as all things Nigella do, made me think of you and I pledged to F that I would make feastive popcorn for him this week as a special treat. Of course he will want something not so spicy so I feel a recipe mod is in order, however, I WILL not be slack and I WILL follow through on this pledge of food creation with a recipe [if successful] for our little blog. The great thing about this pledge is that it’s little people friendly and the boys can help make the popcorn with our ‘Cornelius’ poporn maker while I whip up a cinnamon/caramel popcorn crust. Hmmm, it does sound very good …

Second, I have finished the back of my cardigan, and am in the process of a longtail cast on for both sides [knitted on a long circular] to come good on another pledge ‘to be past the ribbed section of both sides by Sunday afternoon’ There’s a choclate freddo frog in it for me, but more so, the pleasure of stocking stitch being oh so much faster than the single rib. I have of course, completely gone overtime on this knit a long project, and will need to do as you did, and finish with short sleeves with an eyelet trim to complete the project in a respectable timeframe and of course then play catch up on the Alpaca Silk shawl in Blueberry … you know, it has come to my attention that all things lead back to food, as my second colour choice was Mango. I wonder how much knitting you will get done on your travels, and ponder on what it is that may well be on your needles as you move from a world getting cooler into a world getting warmer. Oh please oh please, if you end up in New York [I can't remember your itinerary] promise you will head over to the new Purl Soho and take LOADS of photos, how I wish for a store to look like that!

Back to my longtail cast on tutorial … APPle x

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