Category Archives: friends

knitting in public, and other things

im home sick today, and waiting to find out if flights to perth (scheduled for 10am tomorrow) get cancelled due to ash cloud activity. secretly, i kind of hope so. the idea of 5 days away from home with lots of people to meet and talk to for work while hacking up a lung doesnt really appeal. and yes, im going to the doctor. its nothing serious im sure, just a reinfection from the flu that i had a month ago and never quite got rid of. but its annoying, the way they linger these days. a sign of encroaching old age, i think.

thankfully, i didnt get sick until late saturday night, so i have plenty of pictures from the weekend! the fun started about 230 friday afternoon, when i met up with shelley at our swanky hotel in the city, got changed out of my work clothes and headed off. first stop lindt cafe,

hot chocolate and waffles with lindt icecream

then the morris and sons sale, shoe and bag window shopping, and kinokunya where we met up with jp and randomknits and knitabulous. jp was off to the film festival, so ailsa, donna, shelley and i headed to liverpool st and had some excellent tapas for dinner. apparently a litre of sangria isnt really all that much! shelley, who was tired from her very early morning flight across the ditch (pacific ocean), headed back to the hotel to sleep, and i persuaded donna and ailsa to buy tix to the film festival and see the new jane eyre.

i loved it, its my favourite bronte anyway, and this was an excellent adaptation. great acting, editing, costume and cinematography, a lot like bright star, aesthetically speaking. and mia really was jane, one of the best ive seen. catch it if you can.

saturday morning we headed off in search of coffee,

and some more window shopping before the secret squirrel business, which was yum cha for donna’s recent birthday.

it was so much fun, trying to keep this a secret from her, i think she was pleasantly surprised. i took care of the birthday cake, red velvet cupcakes of course!

then we all headed down to circular quay for the official business of world wide knit in public day. it was all very well organised, with lots of new faces, although i was a bit overwhelmed by how many people and how crowded it was. it was a lovely day outside, so some of us decamped to the verandah

and later to the courtyard for drinks.

it would have been nice to stay there all night really, but shelley and i had other plans, which was a super rugby game out at olympic stadium.

the waratahs smashed the brumbies in a rather pedestrian display and are into the semi finals (im sure you’re all thrilled about that). we knitted in public there too,

and it was freezing cold, and i had a sore throat on the way home. grrr.

sunday morning was lovely and sunny as well and i dosed up on cold medication before taking shelley down to the beach for breakfast at diggies, of course, with more knitting,

then we did some touristy type things, checking out the sights from the lighthouse and the lookout.

a glorious day, finished with cake, pizza and more knitting. monday we drove up to balmain to visit a certain little yarn and fabric store

and have coffee and macarons (salted caramel butter) with donna.

some jitterbug may have fallen into my bag, and i also picked up an order that had arrived a while ago from rosered:

the jitterbug is the oyster and the blue, the 3 large reds are spud and chloe fine and the darker reds are more blueksy alpaca silk, for celes. speaking of which:

as usual, with jarod’s patterns, surprisingly easy to remember. i have also started some new socks for me,

these are nancy bush’s ‘unst’, and i had my arm twisted by knitdra and mrs-sockvictim, we’ve been waiting for certain yarns to arrive. and no, i still havent finished either of the two pairs of socks im knitting for trent, or the greenfield cardigan, and suddenly i have 5 WIPS not 2, and its all because of my evil enabling knitting friends!

so, a great weekend, exhausting and sometimes frustrating, but a great chance to connect with friends old and new. next year, for WWKIP though, im going to go sit in a park. which means it will rain of course. but thats what pubs are for right?

hope it was a good one, wherever you were.

k xx


onward upward

so im over the sad now (thank you for the lovely comments). im not one to wallow, these days. i did a lot of that when i was younger, it got me nowhere. it doesnt get anyone anywhere. there is too much to be grateful for. apart from the job thing, and how promising things are looking there, i am most grateful this week for friends. some people know just what to say. and even when i dont feel like being around people, being around people is just what i need. i have lots of ‘being around people’ happening this weekend coming. as most of us who knit are aware its ‘world wide knit in public week’, with some events being held last saturday, and this saturday is a kind of ravelry meet up in sydney. lots of my favourite people will be there, and i am especially excited about shelley coming over from new zealand (ash cloud permitting). along with our wicked partners in crime, we have scored a very nice secret 5 star hotel deal for friday night, and there will be much giggling late into the night i suspect (no there will not be pillow fights). there will be breakfast, shopping, knitting in public (im hoping for sunshine so i can decamp to the forecourt outside customs house and really annoy people), and then shelley and i are off to the rugby saturday night. then shes coming back to visit in the gong for a couple of nights, and monday we’re planning a little car ride over to balmain. apparently there is some cute yarn store. and macarons.

the problem with all this is not what to wear, but what to KNIT! the current WIPS are a bit meh. i really like these conwy socks and want to get them finished

but cable socks on dpns are a bit tricky out and about. i have restarted work on these lovely regia kafe fasset toe ups,

because they are magic loop and plain knitting, so very practical. but they bore me after a while. i dont want to start new socks (I have yarn and pattern lined up for both unst and a do-over of the ‘evening stockings’ but i owe trent at least one pair of socks this winter, so i must be strong). also, i really want to finish the greenfield cardigan while its cold enough to wear. i finally cast off sleeve one last night

and started sleeve two, but its not at all portable. it might spend a couple of days home alone.

if you are a knitter like me, you will know that the perfect solution to this scenario is to start something new. something soft and fuzzy. something lacy. on the weekend just past i admired greatly missfee’s celes. i have the pattern. i also have 2 skeins here and 2 skeins coming of this lovely bluesky alpaca silk.

i might need a few more to get it as long and wide as i like, but that doesnt mean i cant start right?

so whatever youre doing this weekend, have a great time, knit lots, and remember how lucky we are to be alive and well.

k xx.

the week that was

its been a big week. a few milestones passed and hurdles climbed. the most interesting is that this week marked two years since i moved into this house. of course, i didnt just move into a new house. i started a whole new life. these kinds of milestones always make me pensive, and because i dont want to drown in an ocean of sad ive not been thinking or feeling much, just trying to get through the days. it hasnt always been a great two years, but its been productive. ive learnt a lot, grown a lot. knitted a lot. watched a lot of buffy. she saves my arse. a lot. ive been round a lot of people this week but havent felt like ive got much to say. what is there to say really? you get on with life or you go under.

it helps that im so busy at work, with the ‘death’ of ERA and an interesting new project working with  nsw police on alcohol and sexual assault in the pipeline. and in the big news, my position was made permanent this week. this doesnt mean i will be in that position permanently (there are always plans afoot to move me into something bigger and better but i’ll believe that when i see it) but it does mean whatever happens, im safe and secure. it means i can start thinking long term, including ‘talking to bank managers’ type long term. the little communist in me hates the idea of becoming a property owner, but as a 42 year old single childless female (with no intention of changing that status. ever.) im also a realist. i took a small step and joined a health fund. thats enough excitement for one week surely?

despite the ‘pensive’, i have had a great weekend of socialising, starting friday night with meeting jp at the sydney film festival.

we saw ‘sleeping beauty’, a new australian film. i put my knitting away before it started.

i really wish i hadnt. good lord, what a load of self-indulgent pretentious TRIPE. i get the theme, i get the whole ‘disconnected young female’ thing, but is that really a story worth telling? and if you are going to tell it, then for gods sake tell it in such a way that doesnt make half the audience burst into hysterical (and relieved) laughter when its finished. i applaud emily browning, she did a great job, but that movie is a prime example of why novelists should not be allowed to make films. and i can say that because i was once a novelist who tried to make films and i sucked. at least i know it. it was a great fun night though, but i abandoned jp during the film-makers Q&A to go spend the night at missfee’s house. and what a lovely little house it is, and what wonderful hosts are fee, matt and po and tom. it was lovely to spend some one on one time with the mr and mrs sock victim. and also, i saw fee’s stash. im not allowed to say anything about that. oh i wish i could. but i wont.

saturday morning it was raining in fee’s backyard,

but it stopped by the time we got to bourke st bakery for coffee and croissant, followed by second breakfast at the book kitchen with a few others

followed by knitters guild meeting in surry hills

followed by some knitting in public

at a coffee and a yarn in newtown.

it was so much fun spending all this time with people i love and who are so easy to be around. even so, by about 3 oclock i was exhausted, and drove home to a dinner of vegemite toast and hot milo. i was asleep by 10 and slept right through until 730, a big sleep for me. then i headed up to the southern highlands to poke around in antique and patchwork stores and have a pub lunch and buy lollys with some of my favourite people.

so lovely to see them, and are little ones not good for the soul? then it was a drive down macquarie pass in the pouring rain,

and i felt like crashing out straight away, but instead i played with my own stash for a little while. thanks to missfee and the webs sale, i added some more silky wool to my garment stash

this is going to be a summer solstice-meets-adrift. then i decided that some of my nice yarn needed to come out of hiding and warm up my lounge room.

i moved the harry potter box set to make way for some STR, koigu, wollmeise, knitabulous, bluesky, jade sapphire, madtosh, lornas laces and frogtree, among others. its makes me smile to look at it.

less smile worthy is the ENDLESS hell of sleeveland, i am still on sleeve one of greenfield, but if i got off the computer i might actually get it finished today. so on that note….

k xx

where’s my head at…

work, apparently. i appear incapable of more than once a week posts again as things go from crazy to insane at work. the melbourne trip will be followed up by a visit to a perth university in a couple of weeks, and i have two journal articles to finish editing, one to write from scratch and two conferences to prepare for. the promotions project continues to take more than the two days a week im meant to be working on it, and my other research project is about to move into phase two, which means i have to do stuff. i had some odd media attention this week about that, except my research is on risky sex and they wanted to talk about planking.

not quite the same thing but anyway. so i feel like my head only has just enough space to remember all the things i need to tick off my to do list everyday, and the more i tick off, the more things go on there. im still recovering from a chest infection, plus im a bit blah emotionally anyway, and i end up wishing i could just crawl into a cave somewhere. a cave with a doona. a big white fluffy doona.

i left the house long enough yesterday to spend some time at least with nice knitter peeps, including lunch at diggies

i had trouble deciding what to have

i ended up with the croque madame (a very fancy ham and cheese toastie with an egg on top)

but i ending up wishing i’d had the pear:

then it was up to the novotel for our monthly local stitch n bitch.

i didnt feel much like talking yesterday, and there was a new person who really annoyed me and i figured it was just wise to be silent and knit the hat.

thats also where else my head is at, desperately trying to make a new hat by next weekend. the cashmere beret is lovely, but hardly suited to a weekend camping (yes camping) and chasing sheep around a paddock with my dog in the middle of nowhere, which is where i’ll be. the hat is this pattern made with the  filatura ‘sport wool’ i got in melbourne. its a good match for the stripe study shawl, and for the hem that gets turned under im using the left over madtosh sock in ‘tart’, just for the matchy thing, and also cos its softer on the skin than the sport wool.

i blocked the shawl too, and it did grow a bit, and became very soft and drapey, and i love it even more.

otherwise, im a bit over people at the moment. i get like that sometimes. a busy week at work and a weekend away with possum should sort things out i hope. so long as i dont die from camping in the cold.

k xx

red update

first, thanks everyone for the lovely comments on the last post. i nearly didnt post anything about mothers day, its not like its a new thing, or something i dont think about every year, but this one felt a little different. not enough to make me post the note though. well not yet at least. the urge seems to have passed (some might say sanity has prevailed).

unfortunately, though, i cant give you a finished object update on the stripe study shawl. its getting very close. im nearly through the second skein of tart, so its getting big. its already bigger than what the pattern suggests. i think i have one more red stripe section to do then im onto the black border. it may not be done in time for the trip to melbourne this coming week however, depends how much more knitting i can stand tonight!

but its cold in melbourne, and i couldnt go there without something warm and fuzzy, and red, to wear around my neck. you might remember last year i made this gorgeous ravelry red clapotis in malabrigo silky wool.

i loved it and wore it lots. but when i pulled out my woollens bag last week in preparation for the cooler weather, it was nowhere to be found. i dont remember losing it, but i dont remember packing it away either. a tragedy! the clapotis pattern is one of my favourite pieces of neckwear, and i was devestated. i did have this earlier one, that i made maybe 3 years ago:

it’s in fibreworks alpaca/wool blend, i think, in the ‘desert sunset’ colourway. once, i did pink. and purple too. not anymore. i wore this to work on thursday and it drove me crazy with its pinkness. then i had a brain wave. did i not know someone with a bit of a thing for dying yarn? so we got together on friday and did a few experiments with different colours and decided the ‘fire red’ would overdye the best. the first dying turned it a very bright hot pink. ailsa left me some dyes and i had another go later in the afternoon, and i really let it have some heat in the microwave until the water ran pretty clear, and then i hung it out to dry:

perfect. in the shadows it looks dark and mottled:

in the sunlight its the most dazzling jewel red:

i love it. what a great way to reclaim an old object and make it new again. i wore it up to sydney to knitters guild on saturday, everyone commented on it as if it was new, except kris who said ‘oh clapotee! really? isnt that so 2004’. funny ukelele playing hipster chick. guild was lovely, as usual. ive been meaning to take some pictures of this amazing venue for ages but forgot my camera again. the phone camera did manage to catch rosered and zena, with crown st behind them

and wittyknitter talking about…copyright maybe?

rosered ran a workshop on ‘pattern grading’ while we ate an amazing morning tea from missfee and jp,

then we hit the street for lunch and much laughter (sorry random passer by)

and then there were baby cuddles when mr rosered and connor joined us. can you believe that connor turned one last week? where did that year ago? i bought him some presents which he liked ripping open – some MoMA pram-hanging texture boards, a maisie book with moving parts (which i dont expect to last long)

and these cute finger puppets.

(no i didnt make them. some poor peasant in guatemala did, although apparently they’re made from acrylic, as yarn snob mummy pointed out! she didnt mean it in a bad way, but it was funny that she noticed). i got to have a cuddle too, wearing my clappy:

a fantastic day all round. it will be a perfect weekend if i can get this shawl finished.

k xx

this one time…again

yes its that time of year again. the wrap up from the annual CR&K Daisy Designs Knitting Retreat. Organised by my local yarn store, this is one of the highlights of my year, mostly because its not some big fancy posh thing, but a small gathering of people who already know each other, in very rustic but beautiful surrounds.

a few people who’ve been before couldnt make it this year, and we missed them, but some people who’ve been busy raising families came for the whole weekend, and the drop in numbers made for a smaller knitting circle, which meant everyone could join the conversation. there were no schisms or politics, everyone got along really well, and it had the feeling of good friends getting together for a really relaxing weekend of knitting, eating, drinking and laughing.

friday night we had dinner in front of the tv because of the royal wedding. as you may have guessed, i have no interest in things royal OR wedding, it irritates me that so much hype surrounds the marriage of two people who just happen to have been born into a particular bloodline, making them and their wedding no less special, romantic or beautiful than the thousands of others that happen around the world every day. but i did enjoy seeing her beautiful dress and the modern touch they tried to bring to a rather archaic tradition. we watched until the archbishop said ‘let us pray’ and about 5 of us said ‘lets not’ and we retired to the lodge to knit (and drink) for a few hours.

i was a bit under the weather, i woke up friday morning with a really bad head cold, that turned into the flu, and i thought for 5 seconds of not going to camp, and then sanity returned, i took a lot of drugs, and off i went. but i was pretty sick friday night and went to bed early. i was very grateful for my most excellent room mate kris, who also likes a nice civilised half hour of reading before lights out, and i think we both slept surprisingly well (as well as can be expected anyway). i was pretty ill on saturday morning too and groaned a bit before making a killer pot of coffee, taking more drugs, and beginning to feel a whole lot better.

it rained pretty heavily for most of saturday

but i dont think anyone complained too much. the scenery was still beautiful,

and we put the fire on and moved indoors. then suddenly, the lights went out! in fact, the entire camp lost power. but no one panicked. phone calls were made, generators, ladders, lights on strings, gas burners and camp torches acquired (thanks to trent and ailsa’s dad for helping us out there!) and knitcamp suddenly became, well, camp.

it was great fun though. it was hilarious watching people knit with lamps on their head or person

or, a la randomknits, casting on a new intarsia project with a torch under her chin. its never too dark to knit right? we did stop for a moment when kris brought the ukelele out and we sang our song that we’ve been practicing over the internet (amanda palmers ‘in my mind’). i had printed out some lyrics and we handed them around and people joined in for a second performance, and it was great, lots of knitters can also sing! even people who swore theyd never sing in public sang, and they sounded good! the only bad thing about the power going out was no hot shower sunday morning, and donna’s mai tai slushie bucket didnt freeze. i did see her with her head in it one time, contemplating just slurping it up with a straw,

but she resisted and stuck to the wine instead.

we had the usual trivia night on saturday night, and christine did a great job with her powerpoint presentation. the theme of the trivia was ‘all about knitting’, and it was quite interesting to find out what we did and didnt know about fibres, sheep, knitwear designers and where kerry has her holidays. there was much cheating of course, if you knew auslan you got a few freebies from rae, and if you’re like me and brazenly walk up to the white board and change your score from 37 to 39, you still lose by 2 points to the table with the two yarn store workers on it. hmph. then there was more knitting, drinking and eating of chocolate.

every year we also have a saturday night dress up theme, this year was ‘bollywood’ but we mostly decided it was too hard to put on sari’s in the dark. kris and i did put on some bling and make up (no decent photos sorry) and zena and charmaine managed to dress up like ‘nana mouskouri goes to the ashram’

(where’d you get those wigs Z?). i was asleep probably just after midnight, and in the morning there was evidence that Some People had partied on a little bit longer,

but really, everyone was pretty well behaved and not too wretched looking on sunday morning. sunday was glorious. the sun came out and we resumed our usual position of knitting along the wall.

it got warm enough at one point that cardigans were shed. there is nothing finer than hanging out with really great friends on a warmish sunday morning knitting and laughing and eating left over chocolate snowball-cookies for morning tea. i think some people had such a good time they didnt get much knitting done, or had to frog what they did do. i did some of the stripe study shawl, some of the greenfield cardigan, and got to the toe on the first conwy sock, which i finished off last night at home. so happy with this, and it fits trent perfectly.

overall, a great weekend. one of my best camp experiences ever. the camp organisers did such a great job of still managing to feed us with no electricity, and if it wasnt for wanting hot showers, i think we would have hung around a bit longer. but by 2pm were were all on our way home, with more memories, closer friendships, and yet more jokes about this one time, at knitcamp….


on the fourth day…

i went to the Show.

the flyball competitions were all over,

my ex team had already beaten all comers to win Division 2 making them the National Champions, and while i was a bit sad to not be there, i was really happy for them because it makes up for the nightmare that was the nationals in melbourne last year. i was also really happy for trent, because jem got to run in that team, and there have been people in flyball with an agenda against trent and jem, and he hung in there despite it all, and the 9 year old wombat ran great the whole time and finally got to win some silverware again. seriously, living well really is the best revenge (although i do still have fantasies involving screaming and lots of blood).

on easter monday, possum wouldnt get out of bed so we left her at home and just took the boys up to do the demonstrations throughout the day. jem ran again for the 4th day in a row (did i mention hes 9  years old?)

and ricco got to have a go and finally did his first full run!

not bad for a dog who doesnt get any regular training! that was really the highlight of the day, that and meeting up with some of my favourite knitting peeps to indulge in  some baked goods:

food on sticks:

and the critical evaluation of the knitting displays:

i have had a bit to say about this on ravelry and i feel too dispirited to bother saying much more. i will let the pictures do most of the talking. this particular cabinet contained the 8ply or over garments.

that THING in white took second prize. you tell me if that’s finishing of a high quality? the gorgeously perfect hipster cardigan that kris made earned nothing more than a staple in the arm. when you turned around from this cabinet you saw this:

yes thats my 150cm across CIRCULAR shawl with the sunflower pattern in the middle. the very same sunflower pattern that had been the central feature of the shawl, was now all bunched up, wound about with fishing wire and used as a hanging point.

one point was NAILED to the wall, while the other has had fishing wire threaded through the actual lacework and tied in a very tight knot that will need scissors to undo.

i pretty well nearly cried. not because i didnt win anything, that was a given for me, it had mistakes in it that any good judge would see. but i wanted it in there because it was big, circular and coloured, with a modern looking design. there was room in this cabinet for it be hung fully extended. there was not a single other circular shawl entered. there were hardly any other coloured shawls. it was a sea of cream and nupps. if i’d known the secret criteria for winning was to knit something from ‘estonian lace today’ i would have entered my ‘lily of the valley’ scarf. oh wait. it was red.

apart from the introduction of a long overdue accessories category (with some really excellent pieces by clever people i know),

the whole thing was just a big disappointment. luckily kris and i had some fun taking photos and tweeting about kids singing and dancing badly to beiber on the food court stage (glee has a LOT to answer for)

and ogling Fonzy, the tallest steer in australia.

‘oh my god that is a really big cow’  was possibly the funniest thing i heard all day.

so my emotional attachment to the show takes another beating, which is probably a good thing. i wont be entering knitting again, and i didnt miss the bad parts of the flyball. (the early mornings for one thing, the continued stupidity and immaturity of some of the competitors for another). so thats a plus.

time moves on, heals most wounds, opens new doors.

and brings us to within 2 sleeps of knitcamp2011. Bring. It. On.