I hereby declare 2005 to be the Year of the Appliance. Drum roll, please...
Immediately after Christmas we decided we were tired of being the only people in creation who didn't own a DVD player, and there were lots of good post-Xmas sales on. So we got a DVD player. Of course neither of our two ancient TVs could cope with anything as newfangled as that, so we had to get a new TV. Fortunately they were on sale too! There had to be quite a lot of rearranging to get the new TV, etc, into their designated places in the big corner cabinet-thingie that had been waiting for new equipment for five years (and in the meantime we had placed all sorts of junk in the relevant places!) Things were washed and dusted that had stayed put for five years. Some of them were put out for the op shop!
Then two days later the oven blew up. Well, the element blew, it turned out, but as it is about as old as the TVs we were not at all sure that it would be mendable. We are planning a kitchen renovation at some point, so it will be replaced then, but after blowing money on the TV and DVD we certainly couldn't afford a new oven on the spot! Fortunately I have now been able to get it mended and it should last until the renovations (hopefully within the next year or so).
Then George got the lawnmower out and it died on him. He may be able to mend it, but it turned out that the relevant part of the motor was held together with imperial screws, and all of his tools are in metric (and the mower comes from New Zealand, so we wonder why it has imperial screws! I pointed out to him that this is what caused the Ariadne to explode. He didn't know that). So he had to go out and buy tools in imperial measurements, much to his disgust.
Then I dropped the iron yesterday. Shouldn't have been a real disaster, except that I was about to iron in the family room, which has a slate floor. Vale iron. Fortunately that was the iron that replaced the one that George dropped, so he couldn't very well yell at me!
We figure the fridge will go next. It is 15 years old. We replaced the old washing machine six months ago so that's safe. The tumble drier is only four years old. The fridge is the only other major thing left. (We had to replace the computer three months ago. It will probably need a new monitor some time, though).
So it is formally the Year of the Appliance in this house.
On to knitting content. I finished the blue sparkly Opal socks but forgot to take a picture, and as the digital camera in George's work camera they will need to wait, unless I can squeeze them onto the scanner. They look cute. I am not totally comfortable with hand-knitted socks as I tend towards hot feet (unlike George who always has cold feet and loves hand-knitted socks!) but they feel nice and I won't wear them unless we have actual cold weather. (We are supposedly in the middle of summer here in Melbourne - which means the weather lurches dramatically from hot to cold over the course of the average week).
I started three new projects for the New Year. A pair of socks for George in a self-striping Regia yarn in shades of dark blue, denim blue, fawn and dark brown. A Diamond Patch jumper in a stonewashed pale denim yarn from Elle which is a 50/50% cotton/acylic mixture and looks like linen. And a simple summer poncho in candy pink cotton, Online Bingo, which is mercerised and has a lovely sheen to it.
I treated myself to a couple of Christmas pressies from Ebay - a set of Denise interchangeable needles and two packets of Susan Bates acylic crochet hooks. The crochet hooks come in lovely jewel colours and look extremely cute, though I think I will have to take to the bottom of the some of them with fine sandpaper to remove the moulding marks. The Denise needles were something I have been mulling over for at least twelve months. I am very happy with them so far. I am using them for the poncho - the cotton is very easy to split or snag and there has been absolutely no snagging whatsoever with the needle connections. My only real complaint (well, it would be fun if every pair of needle ends was a different, exciting colour!) is that they don't go down to a small enough size for me to able to knit a shawl with real, laceweight yarn, of which I have a couple of hanks in my stash - so if I ever get brave enough to do that, I will still need to buy really long circulars. But they seem versatile enough for most things I do.