Thursday, March 29, 2007

Housekeeping: Knitter's Treat Exchange

In the absence of a photo essay I'll post the questionnaire from the Knitter's Treat Exchange I joined recently. I did this in preference to Secret Pal 10 that is also running at present because I don't think I'm up to a full cream exchange - I see this as the Lite version.

1. What's your favourite type of yarn?
Pure Merino/Cotton/ silk blends

2. What's your least favourite type of yarn?
Acrylic, novelty, feather & fan

3. What's the first thing you do when you visit a new yarn shop?
Tour the whole shop just looking, stroking, and checking out the books and accessories.

4. What other crafts do you do / would like to do?
Lino Printing

5. What magazines do you currently subscribe to?
Interweave Knits, Yarn magazine.

6. Put this type of magazine in order of preference:
Celebrity Gossip / Garden/ Crochet / Other Craft / Food / Home / Fashion /

7. What items do you like to knit / crochet?
Most items – sweaters, scarves, mittens, (not socks)

8. Are you allergic to anything?

9. What do you like to* smell of?
(*This is not a typo. The question is: What do you like to smell of)

10. What's your favourite way to relax?
Watching DVD’s and knitting, reading graphic novels and trashy books (into some pop-shock, full-on Matthew Reilly lately – it will pass)

11. You're stood in front of a Victorian style sweetshop, an Italian cafe, an old fashioned bakery and a dainty tea room. Where do you go first?
An Italian café

12. What do you come out with?
A glass of red wine, some crusty bread and a big bowl of fresh pasta.

13. Where do you go next?
Somewhere to have an espresso coffee - though I do like a refreshing cup of tea at the right time. Real tea, not novelty, fruity blends

14. Any other words of wisdom for your pal?
My favourite colours are the greens and browns of the forest and the bush, the blues and aquas of the sea and rich red plums and purples.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Green Parsley

This post was going to have a photo of the swatch I had knitted from this lovely Parsley yarn I got in the mail from That Spinning Place. It's for the International Scarf Exchange 4 (see side bar button) and I was pretty pleased about the quality of the yarn and the pattern I had finally made up for it. In the process of arranging a photo shoot featuring Jiji and said yarn I DROPPED the camera and I broke it - broke it good.

A few years ago this would have been a nuisance- an inconvenience even. In my new Blogger incarnation this event is Tragic, Catastrophic, Disastrous! I am contemplating taking my knitted bits to work and borrowing their camera so I can keep current with my Blog images. Pitiful isn't it.

This is the second camera I have done this to - the first was a bit old so I did what any decadent western consumer would do - put it away and bought a new one. I know the combined cost of the two repairs is equal to a new cheap digital but in all conscience I cannot do this again. I have enough old computer parts around the house to provide for a major landfill so I am going to be green about it.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Movin' On

It finally arrived all the way from Seattle USA - the skein to finish Green Gables. There have been so many times over the last month that I wanted to wear this, lovely rich green top. Now I can finally complete it because this sole skein of Provence managed to overcome the trials and setbacks of the postal service.

Case in point: see the destination? CANADA? I live in Australia - have for a long time so I don't think I would have put Canada down as my address.

Second point to note: Despite it having Canada as the address it was still delivered to Australia! The US postal System must be very intuitive to know that where Canada is written read Australia. (Sorry for all the Canadians out there whose mail is now being delivered to the Southern hemisphere.)

So considering this is the third attempt I have made to get this yarn delivered I will treat it and the gorgeous top knitted from it with all the respect due to epic heroes of old who and met overcame all the trials and misfortunes that Fate has put in their way to finally prevail. Yarn, I name thee Leif of Deltora.

With this major setback overcome the gates have opened and 2 of the items in the Stash have been started. Yes the Stash-along is still in place. Pullover Flair is in the background - it's being knitted in the round in the lovely Cleckheaton Country Silk - while in the front is Collinette Fandango being made into a cap sleeve top. I had plans for this being a 7mm quick-knit until realising several rows into it that chenille is never quick. But at least the fingers and hands are working again - that's the main thing.

On a side note I must pass on my thanks to all those people who left supportive comments on my previous post (I feel I was bordering on a whinge) and to all commentators in general. Once I figure out how to get past the label that Blogger puts on all the mail I might be able to pass on my appreciation directly.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fete day

It's Fete day today! We had Fairies doing Physie, Bushie Firemen, Zhagaret Belly Dancers, Ghaziya Tribal Dancers, Judo and Karate Demos, and, at the other end of the School Playground, State Election entertainment- "Vote for Me! No, no, Vote for Me"

My role in this was a bit of event managing and sound operating. Other options open were running the Chocolate Wheel, making green Fairy Floss or being a target for the "Chuck a Wet Sponge" stand. No contest.

I'm off to a birthday party now so I have to wait until tomorrow to play with the long awaited yarn that just arrived yesterday. it may be the key to unblocking that 'hitch' that has plagued my knitting progress for so long.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Eye Candy

Big Day Out yesterday - rehearsal finished early so a few of us borrowed the company car and went across the bridge to look at an "innovative ShowLED Animation Starcloth" . It got me out of the House, I saw Morris Iemma in the Foxtel studio looking seriously concerned, and got to play with the GPS with the nice English voice.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bitch and Knit

I've just finished listening to the latest Sticks & String podcast and David's title essay "The Guild'" has been very cathartic for me. Not because he said anything that was specifically referring to me or that was deeply profound. Instead it was a matter of fact explanation about what a Guild does and where it originates from, and how people can enjoy and benefit from attending such meetings. I just needed to be reminded of this because over the past few months I got distracted from this fact.

Its a common feature for many Bloggers and knitting commentators to acknowledge the destructive power of negative feedback - how 1 anonymous remark can totally negate a lot positive praise from people who are not afraid to own their opinions.

This happens in other areas such as organising a group of over 60 members, running the meetings with up to 45 people present at any one time as well as fulfilling any legal and social responsibilities inherent in this group's charter. There are many people that could do this standing on their head with a blindfold on (though it may look a bit funny) and not suffer any qualms about whether or not everything is being done just right. I am not one of them.

I have posted in the past about my "inherent anxiety about social interaction" and I am amazed at how this doesn't stop me accepting volunteer roles such as Chair or Convener for the local Playgroup or Knitting Branch. I keep doing it - I think to the best of my ability - but am devastated when I hear, third hand, of disparaging or bitchy comments, never to my face and never with a name.

Such remarks totally destroy any enjoyment I get from being a part of the group and interacting and learning from the many skilled knitters that come to the meetings. I get preoccupied with rectifying the apparent major short coming they reveal and lose sight of why I am there. I feel I can't see the wood for the trees or the Jumper for the yarn.

And that's where David came in with his nicely timed essay. He reminded me of the enjoyment and enthusiasm I felt as a new member on first attending my first 'real' knitting group and the promise of skills and techniques it held.

Over the next 8 months I think I'm going to listen to that essay again and again - just to keep it all in perspective.

Thanks, David.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

talent en route

At work lately we've been reaping the benefits of a lot of talent en route to or from Womad - the World Music Festival in Adelaide.

Acts like Gotan project, Kronos Quartet, Mariza (which Lara saw and gave a glowing review, thank you) and one of my favourites, Salif Keita. All of these performances were held in the Concert Hall so one large lighting rig was supposed to fit all. The majority of them had their own touring sound and lighting crew so other than tweaking the rig to fit their individual requirements there was no actual design input required from our side.

With one exception - Salif.
The band had just arrived from Adelaide the day before and were pretty bushed so not only were we providing the design and operation we did so with no rehearsals and sandwiched between 2 Sydney Symphony rehearsals that required an empty stage.
A bit stretched for time? Absolutely! We didn't get a Set List until half an hour before curtain up but despite all these 'minor set backs' the show rocked. The band all look pretty relaxed in these shots of the sound check but once the house lights went down light it was on!

Salif announced to the crowd that it was his birthday and he wanted everyone up and dancing. It must be said that the Concert Hall is not really conducive to rave dancing - it hasn't got much of a Mosh pit - but this didn't put the audience off. Old and young they clapped and stomped all the way through, culminating in one big party on the stage when Salif pulled people up on stage to dance with him.
At the end of the night I was exhausted but satisfied. The challenge had been met - the show went on - and in theatre that's all that matters.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The balance restored

Things do come right after a fashion, as this weekend has shown. I wasn't expecting to get to R&L as the first Soccer match of the season, followed by a niece's birthday party, had priority.

Fortunately for me the Soccer field was too wet to play on and as the party was at Bondi I thought a slight deviation up the M3 to Gordon might be excusable. This meant I had to take the young Dragon along to a 'boring knitting party' but with the help of an "Asterix and Obelix" book as well as a Birthday card to fill out I managed to get in at least 45 minutes of Knitting Group exposure before the boredom factor kicked in.

A good number of people were there, including David, Lara and Mark, Sally, Meg, Pamela and others. Apparently more knitters arrived after I dragged the young boy away from the Sewing Thread display. I had time to admire Meg's Loopy Mohair Trim Sweater- she has put a lot of time and care into its construction; Pamela's Candle Flame Shawl in 2/28 lace weight silk yarn and David's lovely little jumper for baby Bella.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Just a little hitch in my git-along.

With all the energy that's in the air at present you'd think there would be enough to go around. It seems not to be the case where I am concerned. Cousin Lazybones's "just a little hitch in my git-along" plaint is more in keeping with my present state of being.
This is a bag of projects - just past the swatching stage - all ready to go.
Several have been started and then frogged and I think it's because of this.

Green Gables is so close to completion it hurts. Knowing that that elusive last skein was so close to arriving in my post box before it was banished also hurts. All my knitting Mojo has stalled, hijacked by the postal system. What is a girl to do?

I'll once again order the yarn (if it is still there) from Little Knits and once again wait and hope that it makes its way safely across the Pacific. My Pay Pal account is more like a tennis net the number of returns it has going across it.

Retail Therapy
In times of creative distress there are always ways to reduce the pain. I went to Charing Cross and did a bit of medicinal shopping. This little suburban centre is an oasis of original and quirky products. One newly opened outlet has an eclectic mix of Japanese and New Zealand nick nacks, including some lovely paua jewellery and Kea, Tui and Morepork plushies. I browsed though Shasta Bray and found this cheerful, knitted Raffia bag for a ridiculously low price - feeling better already.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


The day started off well - my work shift had been cancelled so I was free to spend the time on Knitterly pursuits. First the Guild AGM to attend and catch up with other guild members. Then on to SSK for a long overdue visit. I was pleased with myself because I was running early, I had time for a cup of coffee and a leisurely read of the paper.

Obviously I was having way to much fun for the Fates to tolerate so they decided to take me down a peg or two.

This sign - well concealed by other cars and some ironwork - says "Caution Front End Parking Only" What happens when you don't do as the sign advises?


No pleasant afternoon knitting at SSK, no catching up with other Guild members, no leisurely cup of coffee and newspaper.

I should have known there was something amiss with the annoying 'powers that be' when my order of yarn from Little Knits was returned to them as 'undeliverable'. The package had been opened and the yarn damaged. I'm not sure why - maybe an over zealous drug sniffer dog?

I would really like to receive that yarn - especially the Classic Elite Provence. I have a half completed garment waiting for one last skein - of course.

I have heard of others who have also been subject to the whims of the muses of misfortune so I'm putting it all down to Mercury being in Retrograde and accepting my fate.