Thursday, 31 December 2009
Turn a Square beanies for baby brother and his gorgeous girlfriend for xmas.
Monkey socks for sister - seen here on the sock blockers, almost ready to send off as a belated xmas present (better late than never). I had to send her a WIP photo for xmas. She laughed.
A xmassy cotton mitred hanging towel for a xmas swap partner.
And these snug purple stripey socks that I finished back in October, just in time for my trip to NYC. The gorgeous Grignasco Strong Print yarn was gifted to me by PomPom in a swap earlier this year.
Summer knitting continues, with a few different things on the needles - some of which, frustratingly, have been frogged or tinked back many times. But more socks will be cast on soon, a shawl will be on the blocking wires very shortly, and a cosy pinwheel blanket is progressing well. Loving catching a few short hours to sit with my knitting, watching Sensitive Skin on DVD and enjoying my all-too-short break.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
This year it was a toss up among Shirley Bassey, Neil Diamond and Elvis.
Last year I blogged about my grown-up daughters requesting xmas skirts each year. On our recent trip to LA, Daughter2 selected some Michael Miller Party Girls fabric for this year's xmas skirts.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Sunday, 22 November 2009
I’ve had the argument put to me that if we don’t buy the goods that are made in poorer nations, then those sweatshop girls won’t earn a living. Isn’t it more about making a stand for better conditions for those workers? Hmm, I can see I’m not forming a logical argument here, and I am sure that others can provide a more convincing discussion. I don’t think that my little effort will affect the livelihood of those workers. But it is my little effort, and I feel better for making it.
I read lots of blogs and websites like Consumption Rebellion. I love the Brown Dress project. I chuckle over and admire some of the creations on Wardrobe Refashion.
But how to make a little more effort myself?
I have, in the past, given myself small challenges to desist from buying new clothes, new shoes or new books for six months at a time. Recently, I joined Knitting Sprouts in an effort to reduce consumption. (Mind you, my trip to the States temporarily knocked me off that wagon.)
So my new challenge to myself is to make my own wardrobe – for a year. Too much of a commitment? Well, we’ll see. I know myself that I don’t rise to self-imposed challenges too well (otherwise I would have lost these superfluous kilos long ago, non?). But nothing challenged, nothing gained, I say.
Make my own wardrobe for a year? Everything? I reckon that the only things I won’t make are shoes (a bit tricky), bras (yes, I probably could, but I won’t) and stockings (the ones I could possibly knit would not be very functional, I’m sure). So: make my own wardrobe for a year, everything except shoes, bras and stockings. What do you think? Possible, or no?
After all these words, here’s a couple of photos to indicate that I am on the way. The week before I went on hols, my favourite (and only) pyjama pants fell apart. Yes, I could have run out and bought a nice new pair, but I rose to LilyandJinks’ personal challenge to me one lunch time and whipped up a pair the day before I left for overseas. OK, they’re a bit baggy and clown-like but, my oh my, those soft cotton thrifted sheets make comfy jammies.
On my return, I made the pattern again, this time a size smaller. But the cotton from this sheet was not quite so soft. And Ralph wasn't very impressed either (as we can see by the expression on his little furry face). Lesson learnt: choose your fabric carefully.
So the start of my voyage is represented by a couple of pairs of pyjama pants. I wonder what’s next?
Saturday, 21 November 2009
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Things have been happening, including a trip to NYC to act as support crew for Daughter2 (aka Marathon Woman).
Here she is, waiting for the Staten Island ferry to transport her to the start line:
And here she is, 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometres) later in Central Park:
She ran the whole way! It was an amazing experience just being there for the New York City Marathon, even as a spectator. Almost makes me want to run one myself. I said almost.
And no trip to the States would be complete without visiting my favourite sister and my favourite fabric store in LA .
Thursday, 17 September 2009
Yes, in 1968, my sister and I were Irish Dancers. I'm not quite sure why, on the day this photo was taken, she (on the left) is resplendent in Irish Dancing costume and shoes, and I am not. Maybe I was getting a bit too old for it. Or maybe she was just better than I was and went in more competitions. She did win way more medals that I did.
Nowadays, we are no longer competitive. We are closer than we have ever been - even though we live so far apart. And so, a few years ago, we declared our very own Sisters Day. We picked a month that was about half way between our birthday months and xmas, and a date that was half way between our birth dates. We send each other something lovely on Sisters Day.
This year she sent me a delightful mix of the old and the new - knowing how much I would love both. Purple hand-crafted pot holders, wrapped in a vintage scarf, with a vintage card.
Well, not exactly a vintage gift card, but more a vintage card of hooks and eyes that cost 15c for size 1. How cool is that!
Happy Sisters Day to my favourite sister.
Sunday, 13 September 2009
It's a lovely easy pattern for a beginner lace knitter like me. I knit it with no mods to the pattern as written, and it makes a lovely wide but shallow shawl that can be wrapped around the neck like a scarf. Knit in Naturally Haven 4ply from NZ - lovely and soft, and very purple!
Saturday, 12 September 2009
I have made these felted clogs for myself as well. Love 'em.
Friday, 11 September 2009
But the strangest part about grief is that you never know when it is around the corner, waiting to come at you like a train, mowing you down with the devastating sadness that you thought you had left behind. Making you sob. Sob like you may never stop.
My Mum died three years ago yesterday. This year, I was wise enough to take the day off work, just in case that old companion, grief, caught me unawares again. It did.
I wonder about the strength of this emotion, that it can make me weep so.
The funny thing is that my Mum used to drive me crazy, as mum’s often do. But, hell’s bells, I loved her so much.
Yes, I know that Mum was old (well, not that old, in my opinion), and that she wasn’t really well. She wasn’t very mobile and had a lot of chronic pain. But those who once said to me ‘at least she’s not in pain anymore’ just don’t understand. That doesn’t make me miss her any the less. And I do miss her, so very much.
While my day yesterday was saturated with tears, I knew that calmness would eventually return. I made myself go out on a pre-arranged date with wonderful girlfriends who didn’t know Mum, who didn’t know it was any sort of anniversary, and who make me laugh and laugh. What good medicine that was.
And next year? It will probably be the same. And the year after that. Grief keeps waiting just around the corner, ready to bowl us over.
Saturday, 8 August 2009
And while I should really be painting my laundry this evening, I am not. I am reflecting on the nice life that I have. And cupcakes.
Thursday, 6 August 2009
When I visited her in April, she asked me to show her how to make socks.
I thought about it.
And then I said NO.
This is the last remaining creative pursuit on earth at which I have more skill. No, I was not going to teach her to knit socks. I would knit socks for her.
We chose some beautiful soft and squishy hand-dyed sock yarn at Wildfiber in Santa Monica. And I knitted her these socks. (The red bit is not some nasty frill at the cuff. It is the top of the sock blocker.) Waving Lace Socks from Interweave's Favourite Socks, in Pagewood Farm Glacier Bay Hand Dyed Sock Yarn, harvest colourway, on 2.5mm Knitpicks.
I think she likes them.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
There's been knitting too. I knitted up some floppy socksy things. And felted them into clogs! Voila!
Fibertrends felted clogs knitted in Filatura Di Crosa 127 Print bought at the Great Cassidy's $2 sale yonks ago on 8mm Knitpicks. Mmmmm. Cosy.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
I set my mind to trying to sew a practical yet pretty needlecase - to hold sewing needles, not knitting needles. I have sewn a few versions, some fancy-schmancy, and some a bit plainer but just as practical.
I would really appreciate the views of a reader or two to let me know if I'm on the right track.
Oh, and a point of clarification: I am in no way competing with the fabulously talented etsy craftsters who sell their creations online. I am merely looking for gift ideas.
Well? What do you think? Is Fancy-Schmancy too much so? Will Plain Old do the trick? Or do we really need extra leaves inside to make a needlecase truly functional?