Saturday, September 30, 2006

A better time had by all.

I must say that this weekend has panned out a lot better than last. The wind has been mild, the temperatures more suited to a Spring day and good progress has been made on my project du jour - the ISE alpaca/silk scarf. The mental block I was suffering under seems to have dispersed and two lots of Gazebo lace have been completed. This is Bou sitting at the back door showing off the progress that has been made.

I found another tempting scarf design in a Cleckheaton Studio Mohair book that was light and lacy and challenging. If I understand the distinction correctly it was knitted lace more than lace knitting - one having a purl row on the return and the other having lace stitches on every row? The test swatch I did looked lovely so I may save it for another day.

I'm impressed with most of the designs in the Studio Mohair range. Maybe it's the art direction or the colour range that appeal to me but I have acquired all three of the pattern books in this yarn and have 3 items from these books on the go.

The garden festival we have entered has taken up all my weekends so I haven't been to any Knitting groups near or far. Next weekend knitter Sally, fresh from "sunny Bristol", will be going to the Rubi & Lana's knitting group, and hopefully bearing copies of Yarn Forward and Knit Today . A yarn Mag Hag such as myself can never have enough so I may have to do some serious roster jiggling to get to this meet or (more likely) wait til next time.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Spring is here

Spring has arrived with a gale force wind. It's going to be a long and hot summer if today's 30 degree temps are anything to go by. I can smell the whiff of bushfires in the air already.

All things knitterly have been sidelined by the local Garden Festival which we are organising and entering - Glutton for punishment is the phrase of the month.

The bits of garden that haven't been blown away by the wind do look beautiful though. The creamy mass of Wonga Wonga Vines in blossom is a wonderful introduction to the small but tidy little native garden we have. Even the next door plants have climbed over the fence to join in. Their scent at night is rich and intoxicating.

Yesterday was the opening day of the festival so, for a bit of variety, local Middle Eastern Dance Groups entertained the crowd in the School playground.

Everyday 'school Mums' were transformed into swirling, shimmying, exotic denzins of the Seraglio.

It was inspiring to many of us who don't have an anorexic waif physiques, to see how graceful and senuous the dancers were. Apparently it's also a fun way to get fit.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Note to self

Note to self: it doesn't matter how much you want to get past the first 20 rows of your International Scarf Exchange Project, it is not advisable to knit while operating a show comprised mostly of Snap cues and critical visuals! No wonder I have to now frog the last 10 rows I did last night.

These 20 rows of Lace have been on and off the needles so often they must be feeling seasick. I was commuting by car this time so I didn't have 2 hours of dedicated knitting time to fix it, as I do travelling by train. At least I'm past the first 18 rows of Nicky Epstein's Gazebo pattern from "Knitting on the Edge" and when I repeat it for the other end I (hopefully) will have learnt from my mistakes.

The show was an energetic dance piece called Special Mention, nicely lit by Bernie Tan. It was a collaborative work commissioned by the House and involving young dancers, aged from 14 yrs to 26, from all over Sydney.

There was a lot of Teen Spirit around and except for the odd outbreak of 'Whateeever' and 'Shut uuup" it wasn't too excruciating. The cast and crew had a lot of fun and the music was LOUD. The audience of Sydney Symphony's performance in the Concert Hall may have noticed a 'doof, doof' back beat to the Mozart Overture. I had earplugs in one ear and a big headset on the other.

All in all it was a good day - the Stash sale at the Mountains Knitting Guild went well and I divested myself of one packet of Op Shop wool (replaced by two skeins of hand dyed Merino!). I think I will have to start selling stuff on ebay if I am serious about getting some stash reduction happening. At least the Bluebell Crepe went to a good home. Janette traded me a lovely pair of wooden Addi's for it. Go and check out her 'quick knit' in Cleckheaton Cotton Soft that she 'just threw together'. Classic lines and beautifully finished.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Op Shops

I love op shops and this is why. A quick visit to the local Vinnies store resulted in whole stash of wool including Jaeger Mohair Spun, Totem 8ply, Patons Bluebell and Heatherwood as well as a half completed jumper of Studio Mohair in a discontinued shade plus the current Cleckheaton pattern book it came from. All for about $1.00 a ball and the book thrown in for free.
It seems that someone has disposed of their Stash so I therefore undertake to find it all a good home.

We are having a Stash sale at the Guild this weekend; I'll add most of this to the not-as big-as-it-could-be pile I have managed to extract from my stash.

Now what are the chances that I'll be able to resist temptation and come away from the meeting empty handed?

Friday, September 08, 2006

A typical day at the office.

I had occasion recently, to visit Lara in her workplace. (I was retrieving knitting I had left behind at SSK ) She works in a lovely, light filled space with a beautiful easterly view over the harbour, freshly ground coffee on call and lots of techie stuff to play with.

On this note I thought I'd put up some shots of my usual working environment - cramped dusty lighting positions high up in the roof with a minimal view and no coffee at call.

Here is my 'office' at the moment, (working on Ben Folds unplugged - more on that later.)

On the right we have me high up in the roof above the Concert platform working on a project in this 'office'. (Fixing up the keyboard special on Mr Fold's piano)

Then I moved to a "Front of House" position and fix up a call light. Here there are lots of airconditioning ducts, winch lines, cable trays and pointy bits of sharp metal everywhere. It is not an area designed for anyone over 5ft tall , of a portly stature or in any way claustrophobic or scared of heights. I just sneak in because I'm 5'3". The rest I'm not so sure about.

This is what all that crawling around in the hot dusty cramped roof is for - Ben Folds performing with the Sydney Symphony orchestra for four nights. It has been a very pleasant experience although I am embarassed to say I knew nothing about Ben before I started this Gig. I am now able to recognise at least 8 songs from his, no doubt, extensive repetoire and they don't all sound the same to me as they did when I worked the first show. It's a very laid back show in most respect - it only has 3 cues! So this means that once the house lights have gone down I am able to concentrate on my knitting for at least 90 minutes. That more than makes up for all the hot and sweaty 'roof rat' work that precedes it. Life's Good.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Spring Diversions

Another weekend of Social Knitting and my spirits are restored. SSK on Saturday was a lovely diversion before I headed off to work.

Then, the following day as we were traveling to a Father's Day excursion I just 'happened' to come across a newly formed little knitting group at 'The Kiosk' in Katoomba.
Barbara and Tess had met up at the Knit-in for East Timor Refugees that was held at the Carrington Hotel the previous month and they decided to form a very casual group at this lovely little cafe near the Scenic Skyway. That was our original excursion destination but as there was a bit of a gale force wind blowing nobody minded the diversion. Traveling a "720 meter journey 270m above ancient ravines and dazzling waterfalls" in a box on a bit of steel rope is challenging at the best of times without the added drama of high winds.

We did journey on after Fathers Day gift Ties and handwritten cards had been dispensed. The brisk winds blew away all the clouds and revealed the beautiful scenery of the Narrow Neck Plateau. The brief bit of bushwalking we did revealed some spectacular views and exquisite foliage; The native heath, Epacris microphylla, and the pink Boronia ledifolia as well as many, many lovely Banksias, Isopogen and Acacia species.

I think this is a little sprig of the rare and endangered Epacris reclinata growing out of a rock crevice (above rather a sheer drop I might add.) Spring in the Mountains is a subtle affair (if you don't count the in-your-face and up your nose wattle blooms) The Bush is rich with delicate flowers that are such a contrast to the northern hemispheres intensity of Daffodils and Cherry Blossoms that feature so predominantly in the Mountain townships.