Thursday, 5 May 2016

A busy time

When a run of good health occurs, I can't help but make the most of it by getting busy!

A view across the valley from Mount Lofty Botanic Garden. The hills in the distance are covered in bush and cultivated land. The autumn leaves range in colour from reds to greens.
Mount Lofty Botanic Garden
Here's an update on recent activities:

School holidays: unseasonably warm autumn weather. For the first time in a long time, the whole family was available to visit to Mount Lofty Botanic Garden.  On the way we stopped at Mount Lofty Summit - the highest point of the Adelaide Hills (official title: Mount Lofty Ranges).

Trees and vegetation on Mount Lofty in foreground. Beyond the nearest hills,  Adelaide city in the middle distance surrounded by parklands which appear as dark treetops. In the distance is the water of Gulf St Vincent.
View from Mount Lofty Summit
The city square of Adelaide and Gulf St Vincent can be seen in the distance.
The long, white horizontal shape to the right of the city is the  Adelaide Oval stadium.

I was surprised and sad to discover that it was the children's first time ever at the summit.  All those years of illness meant that I was not well enough to take them anywhere.  It was nice to make up for lost time and the clear day gave great views from the Willunga Hills in the south to Para Hills in the north. Looking back on a family happy snap of this day, the lupey redness was showing on my face. I don't recall noticing it on the day but that was probably the start of the crash that was to come.

Two piles of autumn leaves from a Manchurian Pear tree. The sun is shining on the leaves in the foreground to highlight the red, yellow, orange and brown colours of the changing foliage.
My autumn leaves 2016!

Raking up autumn leaves doesn't help!  They are so pretty! I am not supposed to exert myself in such a way but it feels nice to be able to get out and rake them, crunching them beneath my feet; such a satisfying sound.  My tree is getting too big to manage (as you can see by the piles of leaves) so it will be trimmed this season when the tree is bare.

"Purple Rain" cinema ticket

Friday night: attended a special screening of "Purple Rain" to honour the passing of Prince Rogers Nelson (7/7/58–21/4/16). It was the only screening in South Australia and had a large attendance.  Prince was my best friend's absolute idol and his music was a soundtrack to our lives.  The previous weekend, a local radio channel was playing back-to-back Prince and I came to a realisation: if, every time I turned on the radio, Prince was playing, I could live with that quite easily! A sad week as another extraordinary talent is gone.  Of course, I wore my crocheted purple cardi with a black and purple vintage 80s skirt, black ruffled shirt and long over-the-knee leather boots as a tribute.  Sorry, forgot to take a photo of the ensemble!

After the film, we went looking for coffee and ended up near the beach.  We went down to Brighton Jetty where the Anzac Day commemorative display of knitted and crocheted poppies was still on show.  I hadn't had a chance to visit it before and, being close to midnight, it was easy to get clear photos of it because there was no one else around to get between my phone-camera lens and the poppies! More about the display in a future post!

The metal railings of the approach to Brighton jetty have been adorned with a sign saying "Lest we forget". The sign is a rectangular mesh fence with crocheted and knitted poppies attached and arraged to spell out the letters.  The tower at the end of the jetty is lit up.  The bright white shape on the upper left is the reflection of a public sign at the beginning of the jetty.
Anzac Day poppy display with Brighton jetty in the background.
Brighton War Memorial, Brighton, South Australia.


It's footy season again. Last weekend I attended the Adelaide Oval, despite tiredness, to see the Crows win against Fremantle.  It was David Mackay's 150th game.

A view of Adelaide Oval from the southern stand.  A guard of honour is formed by yellow flame throwing pots and visiting football teams. The Adelaide Crows team are walking through with the intention of running through the banner, a light blue rectangular shape towards the centre of the oval.  In the background from left to right one can see a large video screen of the action, the original manual scoreboard, the new eastern stand.
The Adelaide Crows AFL* team run onto the oval.
The banner celebrates David Mackay's 150th game.

It was fun to catch up with our regular gate attendant Lisa (for whom I made some fingerless mitts last year) and other friends and family. This game was extra special because my niece and her son were on the oval as part of the half-time entertainment!

An Auskick game in progress on the oval. The players are in teams: red vs black.  The large goalposts are on the right hand side.  On the oval are mini goal posts marking the boundaries of the mini-matches.  In the background is a three-tiered stand with glass viewing boxes at the back of the middle tier.
'Auskick' games are part of the half-time entertainment.
My niece is the goal umpire in white at the left hand end. Her son is the tiny player in black at the far right.

At half time, selected teams of junior footballers and 'Auskickers' set up mini goal posts and entertain the crowds with mini-matches.  My niece was one of the goal umpires in the white coats waving the flags and her son, just 5 years old and the tiniest one on the team was playing in his 3rd ever football game.  At that age, it is all about encouragement and building skills so they all had a go at kicking for goal, handballing to each other and chasing the ball around.  My little nephew was awestruck by the crowds and the size of the stadium.  He was easy to spot in his black uniform and bright orange boots. An experience to remember, no doubt!

A wooden bowl with contents: grey and black balls of yarn, grey and black striped and dotty fingerless mitts in progress with a blue-handled crochet hook.
More "Dotty Hand-warmers" on the way!
Thinking of Lisa's mitts, I am currently making another pair in a man's size. The pattern is called "Dotty Hand-warmers" written by Tara Murray. I got half a glove finished on the way home from the footy during a train delay.

A ball of silk-mohair lace weight yarn and a scarf in progress. Coloured plastic stitch markers can be seen (pink, blue, yellow)
A new creation!

At last the pink/purple silk mohair scarf made it to the blocking board and a new silk mohair creation has commenced!
Silk mohair fringes made of chains with floral motifs at the end of each chain. Colours include purple, orange and pink.
A silk-mohair floral fringe on the blocking board.

A mock-up of the top of trousers in a toile fabric on top of the grey fabric which will be used for the finished product.
I made a mock-up of the trousers to
learn how to sew a zipper and fly.
The trousers will be made in the
grey fabric shown underneath.
The fly underlap looks crooked because I had
already started detaching the zipper
to re-use when I remembered to take a photo!
The sewing machine has also come in handy for a student who is having trouble finding school trousers that fit properly.  I have been very exasperated by the school uniform supplier whose sizes don't seem to fit anybody properly.  Last winter I had some trousers especially tailored but when reviewing the cost, I decided it was about time I learned how to make trousers myself and then they will fit properly and be cheaper in the long run.  

I discovered that my student's body measurements vary from size 8 in some places to size 12 in others!  No wonder nothing ready-made fits nicely. It is so hard for teens that are in between children's/youth sizes and adult sizes. I am thrilled to have made trousers with a zipper and button fly. That is a new thing for me.

Intersperse all of these activities with family birthday gatherings and appointments and unforeseen demands on my time and energy. I am glad I was able to keep up the pace but this week I am not feeling so good. The fatigue is closing in.

An oval-shaped badge with a silver backing, white text on a dark blue oval bordered by a green line and white scallop shapes. The text reads "The Stitches & Craft Show Est. 1987"
Stitches and Craft show pin from 2015.
The annual Stitches and Craft Show is runs from Thursday to Sunday.  I prefer to go on the weekdays to avoid the mad weekend crowds but both weekday mornings have important prior appointments and the friends who were hoping to meet me at the show can only attend on the weekend.    These circumstances feed my internal debate on whether to go at all this year due to fatigue and funding issues.  I would really like to go but I made a pact not to spend any more money on yarn until the current stash is significantly dented!

To top it all off, we are in the middle of Australian Alpaca Week
It runs from 30 April–8 May, 2016.  Many alpaca farms will open their gates for the public to meet the alpacas and their breeders.  In South Australia, there will be farms open in Birdwood, Currency Creek, Strathalbyn and Minlaton.

Activities include viewing and petting alpacas, spinning and other fibre craft demonstrations, clothing, yarn and raw fleece for sale. See how fleece is processed and how to make felted fabric out of all grades of alpaca fleece and maybe felt your own piece of alpaca fabric! Check with individual farms for opening hours and activities offered. Details can be found through the Australian Alpaca Week web page.

Anyone want to visit alpacas with me?

With the craft show, alpaca week and everything else in my life, there's so much going on!  I can't do it all. Isn't that typical?  Either there's nothing happening or it's all happening at once but what a  nice problem to have!

What is going on in your part of the world?
What have you been doing? 

*Australian Football League

Related Posts on Lupey Loops

"Brighton Jetty Anzac Display", 12 May 2016:

"Urban Alpacas", 25 February 2016:

"Footy Friendships & Corporate Crochet", 3 September 2015:
This post includes details about Tara Murray and her "Dotty Hand-warmers" pattern.

"Adelaide Stitches and Craft Show", 9 May 2015:

"Better Than a Bought One", 26 March 2015:

"Lupus (SLE) Resources", web page: 


Adelaide Football Club, Adelaide, South Australia:

Adelaide Football Club, David Mackay (14) player profile:

Adelaide Oval:

AFL Auskick:

Australian Alpaca Week, Australian Alpaca Association:

Australian Football League:

Fremantle Football Club, Fremantle, Western Australia:

Inside Crochet, Issue 14, magazine, February 2011,
The "Dotty Hand-warmers" pattern by Tara Murray appears in issue 14.

Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, access via Summit Road or Picadilly Road, Crafers, South Australia:

Mount Lofty Summit, National Parks South Australia: 

Murray, Tara, "Dotty Hand-warmers", Ravelry pattern page:

The Stitches & Craft Show, Expertise Events, Adelaide Event and Exhibition Centre, Jubilee Pavilion, Wayville Showground, South Australia:

The Summit, restaurant, Mount Lofty Summit:


  1. You've had a busy time! Good that you're feeling better.
    I'm only now realising that you live in the same city as one of my FB friends, Ansie van der Walt, who has a new column running in the Adelaide review this month - A thread runs through it.
    I would have loved to visit the alpacas ;-)

    1. Hi Stel, I hope you are happy and well. There are a lot of ex-pat South Africans in South Australia. Is Ansie one of them? I will see if I can get my hands on an Adelaide Review and have a look. That's exciting to know the connection between you. Have you heard of the concept "6 degrees of separation"? In South Australia, and Adelaide in particular, it is more like 3 degrees and your comment proves that!
      I would also like to visit the alpacas. One of these years, I might manage it. That would be a nice thing to do with friends. This year was a start in that I had it on my calendar. I did buy a ticket for the craft show. Prudence Mapstone's massive crocheted and knitted Flower Power work will be exhibited.
      Take care. Hugs and best wishes xxx

  2. I will be a friendly chauffeur if I can help out for any of the events you would like to attend. My car is nearly a limo.....

    1. Haha! 'Mum's taxi' more like? Were there any events that you were especially interested in? I would love to do the alpaca thing one day. That would be great fun to do with friends but my week is already booked out with unavoidable family and medical appointments. I had put the week in my diary but when the only appointment times are this week or next month, I have to take what I can get.

  3. Wow, you have been busy :-) Feeling good is, indeed, key to everything.

    1. I agree, Amalia. If one can feel well within oneself, it gives the strength to cope with almost anything. I hope you are feeling good lately too. :-)

  4. You are making my head spin with all you have been doing. I am so glad you are feeling up to being out and about with your family.
    Take good care,

    1. Hi Meredith, the only thing that should be spinning is yarn and fleece, not your head! School holidays are a good time to achieve things because I am not spending energy on 'school runs' and the body can rest when it needs to rest - without the interruptions of a school timetable. The energy saved can be used for fun activities instead of chores. I hope you are managing to incorporate some fun in your weeks, too. Keep smiling! :-)

  5. Hi Jodie,

    Good to hear you are feeling better! I loved reading about your recent adventures and look forward to seeing more of your WIPs and finished scarf! Funny to see you working with mohair when I just switched to cotton here (as it is finally hot!)

    Ingrid xx

  6. Hi Ingrid, I'm just waiting for the right opportunity to take a nice photo of the scarf and then I can share it with you. I'm in a raging debate with myself over whether to keep the scarf or surrender it to the gallery because I don't have a prototype of my own for that design yet.

    I also made it to the craft show because i wanted to catch up with people and I needed some more silk mohair colors for this season's scarf collection. Just as I spent all my savings on silk mohair my LYS just put out big discount specials on the cotton I like to use! Oh well, can't have it all. Pity!

    I am looking forward to offering a lovely scarf collection to the world this season and wishing I could be as productive as you, Ingrid. xxx