Tag Archives: easter show

its a thing!

i have had my knitting time seriously encroached on this week due to Other Things like work, and singing practice, and a little thing called ‘organising the fabulous fibres feature display at the Sydney Royal Easter Show’.  im really enjoying being the co-ordinator of the display (where the knitters guild will have a large area to display our work and run demos and chat to the public etc) for the two whole weeks of the show, but good lord, the organising. lots and lots of spreadsheets and emails, trying to keep track of all the different elements. im lucky, i roped in some good people to take on specific tasks, and theyve been great, but sometimes collectives are harder than just doing it yourself. so much consensus building, and in a group as diverse as the knitters guild, consensus is a nice ideal! (Turns out I would have made a good facist dictator). but mostly, its been a good experience in staying focused on the goal and not sweating the small stuff.

i did manage to get one thing finished, one single lonesome sock, the first tarty pea (recovered from its little surgery).

this fits really well now and i like it a lot. the madtosh sock yarn knits up a dream. im not going to start the second one straight away. i owe someone a new pair of socks. these are the current knitted man socks in the house (missing one patonyle gansey – who knows where that is?)

as you can see some of them are faded and semi felted. sigh. so im going to start the first of these

and make one before returning to the tarty peas. that way he might have new socks by june.

i was also distracted this weekend by a little unexpected BUNT knitting. we decided for the stall to have some knitted bunting. bunting is a THING, mostly in sewing circles, but knitted anything is better, and my own guild group have decided it will be the thing they contribute to the stall. there was a string of them already on display at saturdays meeting, and i couldnt resist, i had to come home and make one:

this is some left over yarntini self striping. i have some cherry tree hill left overs too, and maybe a bit of wollmeise lying around. it could only be more of a THING if you put a bird on it, right?

k xx


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.


playing with string

there are a few sure signs in this part of the world that winter is on the way. all knitting type magazines originating in the northern hermisphere forget they have readers in the Opposite world and start with the cottons and pastel colours. a blanket at night doesnt cut it anymore and you switch to the doona (last night). and your feet are cold in the morning, mostly because the slippers youve had for the last 4 years have a hole in them. i always associate slippers with easter, as a kid, i got a new pair every year with a big chocolate egg inside them.

but as an adult, easter has mostly meant the sydney royal easter show, and the 3 or 4 days of flyball competition with the 5am starts and long treks from carpark to showground. that’s not part of my world anymore (except in a peripheral sense) but i have a different attachment to the easter show this year, which was the entering of a knitted item into the arts and craft competition (for the first time ever, in any show). i entered the girasole shawl. it was fun to enter and im glad ive done it, but i wont be doing it again, and not because i didnt win anything. i categorically did not expect to get a ribbon of any colour. it was non-traditional lace, in a non-traditional colour and design, and any good judge would have picked up the one mistake i couldnt hide. but i am sad beyond words to hear that that lovely big circle with the flower in the middle was displayed folded in half with points strung up by fishing wire. it will sound weird, but i am sad for my shawl. people passing those glass cabinets will just see this mess of dark red string, and wont know how really pretty it is. and im not the only one. even the absoutely gorgeous winning shawl by nikki was all bunched up and probably inside out. such a shame, and so unnecessary. im very glad to see some of my very clever friends like fee and zena get ribbons for their beautiful things, but the judging in some of the other categories just really makes you wonder.

actually, the whole show makes me wonder. on tv the other day there was a ‘news’ item advertising the start of the show and there was a guy in an akubra telling everyone how this was the ‘real australia’, the smell of the grass, fresh produce, animals etc. i wanted to add racist, bigotted, bogan, uneducated, homophobic, sexist, nationalistic, conservative, backward and less than 30% of the population, but hey what would i know? i got out of the ‘real australia’ and headed for the city as fast as i could, where i am obviously not a ‘real australian’ but some kind of phoney (let alone An Immigrant). on the weekend at herding, i sat through conversations that made my stomach turn. people (the same ones who make fun of me for having a phd) talking about homosexuality and immigration as though a) their opinions on this actually mattered and b) they knew what they were talking about. i wanted to remind the rednecks at the table that their idea for getting rid of all immigrants meant that they too should get on the first boat out, considering none of them are aboriginal and thus they are ergo, all immigrants.

the unfortunate thing is in australia we have dog whistle politicians, who play to this lowest common denominator and portray this way of thinking as ‘normal’ instead of setting a standard based on ethics,  humanity and compassion. we are so busy here knocking the heads off our tall poppies and wringing our hands over the pernicious evil that is the do-gooder chardonnay and latte sipping watermelon elite that the creaking wheels of the archaic ‘outback’ get portrayed as mainstream and normal. and sadly, it appears as though this is also the case with aspects of the arts and crafts competition at the easter show! i know its terribly post modern of me to eschew all normative definitions of ‘real’ (my real being no more real than anyone elses) but i will at least maintain that the Real (sorry Lacan) as presented by rural australia needs a good swift kick up the arse.

of course, none of that has any bearing on my knitting activity, which has never been driven by any need to display or win ribbons. i knit because i love knitting, and because i like to wear the stuff that i make. the chill in the air this last couple of days has made me more conscious of wanting to be wearing my own knitted things soon, and has upped the ante on the ‘red accessories’ project.  i have socks and a shawl, time for a hat. i am also trying to knit as much as i can with the amazing things i got in america, and so i have gone straight to the top of the pile, and last night pulled out this:

what can i say about string cashmere that wont sound like i need to be locked in an institution? such a great little shop, like a parisian boutique! and the yarn, oh swoon. i wish i could convey to you how soft this is. would it help if i said this cost me $40US a ball (with assistance from the gift voucher from jody!). i have not really thought of myself as a hat person, but last year when i went to bendigo i borrowed rosered’s ‘rosered’ and everyone said a hat really suited me, so i thought i would make myself one this year. i decided to keep it fairly simple and this is going to be hannah fettigs ‘early morning beret’.

its knitting up so beautifully, i cant wait to wear it.

as you can see the magnolia tree out the front of the house is losing its leaves quickly now, so i guess i will be whinging about the cold soon enough. perhaps that will make me a real australian?

k xx