Thursday, 17 September 2009

Sisters Day

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

Travelling woman

No, not me (well, yes me, but that's another story). Here is my Traveling Woman. (I never quite get the one l vs two l thing.)

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

The art of giving

I will admit it. I am a Ravelry time waster. I love it, but spend way too much time there. One of the things I love about Rav (and there are many) is the sense of community it creates. It is also a haven for swapping. It's a crazy thing really, people sign up for swaps and make fabulous things for people they have never met. I don't know why we do it. Maybe it's the element of surprise - never really knowing what you will receive in your swap package until you excitedly tear it open. Maybe it's the fact that someone has really thought about the collection of lovelies that goes into a package for a certain stranger. Myself, I love the fact that someone will actually MAKE something for me.
But often I feel a little bit like I'm letting down the team - that the packages I put together and send around the country, or even around the world, are never quite up to scratch.
But, in the name of proving that this is indeed a knitting blog, and that I have in fact been knitting, I offer some of my latest creations, mostly made for other people.
Firstly I went on a bit of cowl thing, making these two for different swap partners.
When the knitting doubts hit me, I do a little sewing instead. This little project bag has knitting instructions on the ribbon around the top (ah, NYC you are a shopper's dream).
Then I ease myself back into gift knitting by knocking up a little wash cloth or two.
And recently, I whipped up some felted clogs for Kelly for her birthday.

I have made these felted clogs for myself as well. Love 'em.

Friday, 11 September 2009

A certain sorrow

Grief is the strangest thing. At the time of loss, grief can overwhelm us like a heavy blanket, falling over our being, suffocating us, creating a barrier from the world around us. Gradually, very gradually, the weight lifts, we can see others around us, others who want to be part of our grieving, who want to comfort or empathise or sympathise. And soon, or maybe not so soon, that feeling is no longer our constant companion.

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.

Thursday, 10 September 2009