Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Canberra Crew

Recently, some of the Canberra knitters got together for a swap. It's a bit of a Ravelry thing - swapping. This time the fun (and the pressure) came from actually knowing my swap partner. Alison and I and several other knitters meet up weekly at lunch time to knit and drink coffee, and about once a month or so for an evening session, usually involving a glass of alcohol.
We got together one Friday night for a pot luck dinner and a few drinks to swap our parcels amongst friends. This is what I knitted for Alison in the Canberra Crew swap.
It's the Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronika Avery, in Colinette Jitterbug purchased at Wild Fiber in Santa Monica last April, and supplemented with another skein (I was slightly stressed that one just wasn't quite enough) by Carrie. It's a lovely simple pattern to knit, and the Jitterbug blocked out beautifully.
(I haven't told Carrie yet, but I found another skein of the same colourway in my stash the other day!)
Pop over to Alison's blog to see the gorgeous scarf she made for me.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Little efforts

I am not really a fan of shopping for clothes. If I have my fashion advisers (Daughter1 and Daughter2) with me, then I feel OK about buying a thing or two – and usually I just find one item I like, then buy it in every colour. Not smart shopping, really. I have a real aversion to buying mass produced articles of clothing. I don’t want to pay many dollars for something that some person was paid a few cents to make. On the other hand, I am more than happy to pay for a locally designed and made item. It’s not about the cost, it’s about where it comes from and how many more of them I’m going to see in the street.

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

Not knitting

I'm loving getting to know my sewing machine. I've had it for a year or more, but I've not really devoted the time to it that it deserves. I have a fabric stash that truly rivals my yarn stash, and still I buy more. And just on that point, I have a few lovelies to show you in more detail.

As my favourite sister reminded me, in my last post I didn't show the laminated nut sack fabric that we bought in LA. Both of the following are designs from the Kaffe Fasset Studio, and are very soft and drapey.
This next one with bright red cherries is a bit sturdier.
And, because Michelle asked about it, here is a closeup of the dictionary print fabric that I bought on that same shopping expedition. It has definitions of words like original, real, fresh and simple. I think it will make a good lining for project bags.
Back to the sewing machine. I whipped up some cute little pants for ma minette.
I have been doing a bit more sewing, and also a lot more thinking about sewing. I might even want to share that thinking with blogland, but I need to straighten up my own thoughts first. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Travelling women

Can it really be two months since I last blogged? I guess that when your own daughter sends you an email reminding you that you haven’t posted in a while, then you’d better get a move on.

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.

It was kinda cool to be there at Halloween – there were little (and big) kids dressed up going to parades and parties and there were skeletons and vampires skating at the Rockefeller Center.

Of course, no trip to New York would be complete without a little yarn shopping. Knitty City, Habu and String gave up a few little goodies for me. (And I can’t believe I didn’t photograph my haul before cramming it into my stash cupboard.)

And no trip to the States would be complete without visiting my favourite sister and my favourite fabric store in LA .

In the few days we were there, we found time for another walk around the lovely parts of Los Angeles, this time to the gorgeous canals behind Venice Beach.
And on the homefront, there has been a little crafting, but I’ll save that for another post. Right now, it’s cup of tea time.