Wednesday, November 03, 2010

End of the Road

Well, my friends, Swatchy has reached the end of the road. I have been able to share so many wonderful trips with you vicariously through the Swatchys, and you have also been generous to the Botswana Project (Ravelry link).

But traffic both to and on the blog has slowed, and so it seems a logical time to wrap up the project. We will keep the blog here as an archive, so you can flip through all the places Swatchys have gone, and all the wonderful people they have met. I hope you have all enjoyed the journey as much as I have!

This project started at the suggestion of Noricum, and I am eternally grateful to her and to everyone who has been a part of Swatchy. Swatch On!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Dear Knittah,

The day after we went to the Ex, we went to Sheeples, a sheep farm near Inwood, Manitoba. Did we tell you about the last visit a couple of years ago? I can't remember if that's one of the things we kept meaning to blog, but never got around to. (Sorry, we've been slackers!)

Sheeples plans their lambing season to happen when it's warm: it's easier on the lambs, and since they don't have to worry about having the most weight come slaughter time (these are fleece sheep, not meat sheep), that's what they go with. Noricum *loves* spending a day at Sheeples during lambing season. (Frankly, I think she'd love to spend more than a day there!)

We took a bunch of photos so that you'd be there in spirit too.

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We even got a demonstration of sheep shearing this year!
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Did you know that when sheep are upside down, they can't burp/fart? The gas can build up, and essentially suffocate them! They try to do the shearing as fast as possible, and also check the sheep several times a day to make sure they haven't tipped over. (They're like turtles, and can't right themselves... especially when they have their full fleeces.)

Now, you might be wondering where I am, since I'm not in any of the photos? Well, I was there, but hung out incognito all day... Noricum says it's too hard to hold a baby sheep, take photos, *and* hold me up too.
I was kind of jealous... but how can you compete with a face like this?

One of the boys:

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If you ever manage to visit us in Manitoba, make sure you come during lambing season... Noricum says she'll catch you a bottle baby lamb to hold in your lap. :)


Friday, July 02, 2010

Red River Ex

Hello Knittah! Swatchy here. Noricum took me to the Red River Ex last week, so we thought we'd invite you along too!

We went on Friday, so we could help Noricum's mom carry stuff in for her demo. Here she is, demoing:
The other person is Noricum's step-dad. He's cool!

Both Noricum and her mom got art in the art show at the Ex. The theme was "Manitoba Homecoming", so everything had to have something to do with Manitoba. (Although some artists seemed to ignore that rule.) Noricum entered her Great Blue Heron:
and Forest Chickadees:
since both are present in Manitoba. Both paintings got accepted. (As you can probably see.)

Noricum's mom entered four paintings (the maximum). Only three got in, but one won a prize! Here's her prize winning painting... it's the one with the brooms:
Isn't that buffalo awesome? It was done by a *teen*! (There were three categories: teen, amateur, and professional. Noricum entered as an amateur, and her mom entered as a professional.)

Noricum really liked this painting of mushrooms, but it wasn't for sale:

Another cool painting:

Okay, enough art... let's show you the fairground! (Note: if you're wondering why there aren't many people in these photos, it's because we went during the workday.)

Look, a pig on a spit!

This guy was carving logs with a chainsaw:

Yep, it's a fair:
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Whoa... *fresh* fruit? Not candy coated?!? Must be because it's operated by the Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg, an organization which raises funds for charities:

Noricum remembers this fun-house from when she was a kid:

This is new, though:
(Or maybe she just wasn't tall enough?)

Hee! A little train!
I wanted to ride, but Noricum said that I was too small to ride without her, and she was too big to ride. Oh well... she took me to the petting zoo instead. (We were too busy petting the sheep, alpacas and goats to take any photos, though.)

We hope you enjoyed the tour! (And you didn't even have to pay admission, or get sore feet walking on the pavement!)

Love and hugs,

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Wine tasting

Hi Knittah.

Todd, Robyn, Eliza and I did a little overnight road trip up to the Hunter Valley for wine tasting.



After visiting a few wineries, we shopped for dinner. We stayed in a little cottage with a nice patio and grill and such. And wildlife.


Todd grilled lamb chops and Robyn did a lovely spread of salad and cheese and fruit.



Todd's "g'day mate" flip flops (purchased to spare his zjuji prada loafers abuse):


We stayed up playing manipulation, snap (Todd is wicked), and go fish.


And Robyn impressed us with her fancy karate kid moves:


The next morning, we had company for breaky:


And then we enjoyed a scenic drive on the back road to Wollombai and back to Sydney. The bridges are rustic:


and vibrate a lot when you stand on them while a car goes past:


Friday, February 05, 2010


Hi Knittah.

Todd took Eliza and me to the cricket!


Aus was playing three tests (what they call the serious, old-fashioned, multi-day international country-to-country cricket matches) with Pakistan and the second test was being played at SCG--the Sydney Cricket Ground. Apparently Australia has been the best team in the world for, like forever, and beat Pakistan handily in the first test. There was a lot of rain overnight and it drizzled on the morning of the first day and the Australian captain made the unorthodox and soon-to-be very controversial call to bat first (when the pitch is damp, the bowls get wonky and it makes it that much harder for the batting team. So batting first was a...curious...choice).


We got to the match a little after play had started and Todd was shocked at the start--already 6 wickets and only something like 10 runs. Cricket has two innings. One innings (always with the "s") is 10 outs. Outs are when the bowling (pitching) team catches the ball on the fly or hits the wicket on the bowl. And Aus was doing poorly:

Aus doing badly

Our seats turned out to be in the Pakistan supporters section.


Pakistan funs

They were very polite (always sat down before a play) and oddly cheerful, regardless who was doing well: when Pakistan got an out, they cheered like mad and waved the Pakistan flags; when Australia got a four or a six (sort of like home runs in baseball--automatically four or six runs), they cheered like mad and waved the Pakistan flags. And whenever Asif, one of the Pak bowlers, took his outfield position hear where we were seated, they went absolutely nuts. Almost disturbingly so.

the cricket

You can't make it out in the photo, but the blue sign being held by the guy in the lower right reads, "you are one sexy bowler."

So the pitch is now completely encircled by stands. The two original, old stands are the Members' stands--very chi-chi (or "zjuji" as Todd and Robyn would say--although I'm not sure how they would spell it).

the members' stands

(that's the ladies stands on the left--although apparently the members' stands are now fully integrated. not sure how recently.)

So some of the fans in the "normal" stands would try to get the wave going (bizarrely, they call it the "mexican wave" there--and the authorities don't like), it would go all the way around the stadium to the Members' stands. Most of the Members don't do it so as soon as the wave reaches those stands everybody else automatically boos until the wave reaches the normal stands again and then everyone cheers even more. And then it goes around a couple more times until people get tired of it for the time being. It's hysterical.

Cricket is very very big in Australia--an everyman's game. And everyone just knows it--there's almost no announcing/calling of the game. So Todd just knew (and explained to me), when the umpires started talking at about 6:45, that they were gauging the light. Aus had gotten out a little after 6 pm and clearly wanted to keep playing to force Pakistan to bat under the same difficult conditions, with the pitch still damp from the rain. Pakistan faked an injury to kill time, hoping to just resume the next day when the pitch presumably would be dryer and they'd have an easier time batting. So the umps called it for the day, the fans all booed, and everyone went home. But everyone was walking off the field before the announcer came on and said, as an after thought, that the game had been called for light and play would resume at 10am.
Anyway, after the cricket, we met up with a friend from school, Brett, at a pub near the SCG. He and Todd have both served in senior levels of the New South Wales government and are active in the Labor Party. So for them apparently it's not unusual to have a beer with the premier (governor) (well, former premier--he got ousted in December). So Eliza had a nice chat with Nathan Rees before he got cornered by a couple of drunk yobs who apparently are very big fans.

Hanging with the Premier

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


On New Year's Day, Eliza and I rode with friends of Todd's (lovely Johanna, Angela, and Jason, of whom Eliza stupidly failed to get a photograph) up to Sydney while Todd guided Diana and her parents. We met up with them in Sydney and had a bit of a driving tour of the Sydney before Ken and Judy had to go to the airport. Here we are in Watson's Bay (I'm pretty sure that was the name of the neighborhood) enjoying the sunshine and some very large prawns:

with the Rosenthals (and large prawns)

And the view back across the water to the city:

the view from watson's bay (?)

The next day after brunch with friends...

todd di eliza and me

...Todd, Robyn, and I walked around Sydney, across the Harbor Bridge and around the Rocks and Circular Quay.

view from the Bridge

opera house from the harbor bridge

In the 1970s (?), Sydney built a public housing tower in the Rocks, right next to the Harbor Bridge and with amazing views of the harbor and the Opera House:

public housing building by the Harbor Bridge

public housing with a view

By the time we got around to the Opera House, a storm was moving through:

the storm passes through

the Bridge walk in a storm

after the storm

Here are Todd and Robyn as the rain eases:

Todd and Robyn in the rain

Here's the view back towards the city:

View back from the Opera House

Up close at the Opera House:

The tiles on the Opera House

As Robyn leaves her mark (she wears bold lipstick):

Robyn leaves her mark