Archive for June, 2007

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Fight The Black Dog (Courtesy of Ginger Nut)

29 June 2007

One of the members of the great group of knitters I belong to recently had to leave her chosen career in Sydney because she suffers from depression. 

She’s young, intelligent, educated and attractive.  She’s a kind and lovely person, and fun to be with.  I’ve no idea why she suffers from depression and I don’t know whether she knows either.  But it’s a sad fact of her life and one that she has to deal with to be able to enjoy the quality of life that she deserves. 

Today, she “came out” on her blog and talks about the way in which knitting has helped her get through this.  She wants to provide a space for others who may want to talk about it as well and so has started the Fight The Black Dog campaign. 

We’ve all thought a lot about her this week as she was subjected to a rather savage and unprovoked attack on another blog.  But it’s indicative of her strength of character that she didn’t run away and hide in the corner.  

So go and see what she has to say, and maybe you have a story you’d like to share with her.   It may help you, and I think it will help her.

Good luck to you, Ginger Nut.  I have a feeling that your new life will start here.   

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A Dishcloth By Any Other Name

26 June 2007

I think everyone who knows me has now heard of the scarf I knitted for my father when I was 5.  After that I knitted mainly sweaters, cardigans and the occasional pair of gloves and didn’t knit another scarf until about 18 months ago.

Since then I’ve made about 12 I think and have 3 on the needles at the moment as they make such good gifts.  Everyone wears scarves in some form at some time.  Whether large woolly warm ones or silky lacy ones, multicolour or subdued tones.  And they’re a great excuse to buy all those beautiful yarns that are available now but are far too expensive to produce a whole garment.

You also all know my views on knitting dishclothes though a number of people have pointed out that they’re a great way to play around with new stitches.  Well, scarves serve the same purpose for me.  Find a stitch, find a lovely yarn and away you go.  And when it’s finished, you wrap it around your neck for warmth or style.  Or present it to your nearest and dearest.  What you don’t do is rub it all over your dirty dishes.

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And since I posted this, I’ve received a general invitation via the Knitting-Australia Yahoo group to join a “dish rag tag”!  If I understand this correctly, there are teams of 6 knitters.  A box containing a knitted dishcloth, two balls of dishcloth cotton and a small treat (chocolate for instance) is sent to the first knitter in each team.  She/he keeps the dishcloth, knits another one with one of the balls of cotton, keeps the second ball of cotton, eats the chocolate (not sure if that’s compulsory), buys two new balls of cotton and a new treat and sends the whole shebang off to the second knitter in the team.   This continues until all members of the team have competed, and the fastest team wins a prize.  They haven’t mentioned what that is and I’ve been racking my brains to think of something appropriate.  Suggestions, please. 

I believe the modern expression is WTF!

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It’s Been A Long Time

24 June 2007

It’s been so long since I last wrote.  I did say when I started this blog that I didn’t know how people find the time to work, knit, do housework AND write about it (and my sister kindly pointed out to the world that I usually skip the housework bit).

One Sydney blogger I occasionally read knits, sews, takes photographs, is organising her wedding, taking very heavy exams AND blogs nearly every day with a photograph of yet another piece of her handiwork.  I think I’ve found Superwoman.

But to get back to average me.  My excuse is that I’ve been very busy with work plus a lovely 4 day trip to Melbourne.  The last few days I’ve had a really bad cold which has kept me at home, with no strength to blog but in my weakened state I still managed to pick up the knitting needles (and it goes without saying, Judith, absolutely no housework).

The financial year end looms in Australia so I’ll be extra busy over the next 2-3 weeks but I’m determined to retrieve my Superwoman cape from the back of the wardrobe, wash it, iron it and hope it still works.  If so, I’ll be back in a couple of days.  Oh, and I know that washing and ironing comes under the heading of “housework” but desperate times etc etc.

   

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A Double Whammy!

10 June 2007

I really intended to go to KIP yesterday but everything conspired against me.  The weather in Sydney (and the rest of New South Wales) was truly dreadful, parts of the State being declared a Disaster Area.  And on top of that, because this is a long weekend, CityRail decided that they would do trackwork on my rail line, so getting to the Opera House was going to be a five-act drama. 

So I did what I always do when things get difficult.  I gave up. 

But all was not in vain as I have friends who also didn’t want to put themselves through this treadmill so we arranged to meet up in a cafe in Gordon, next to Rubi & Lana, the yarn shop where we have our get-togethers.  So thank you Pamela and Candy for the fun company on such a dreadful day. 

I believe 27 people made it to the Opera House though and they really should be congratulated.  You can see pictures here.    And what a wonderful poster Dervy produced.  A big Thank You to her and Kris for all the work involved in organising this and I’m only sorry I wasn’t there to enjoy it.

 Any chance that one year it could be held in the Southern Hemisphere’s summer? 

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I’m Not Very Fond Of . . . Part 3

9 June 2007

Lazy journalists and sub-editors.  Those who have to describe every situation in terms of popular film and television show titles.

Every child left by herself is described as Home Alone.  Young boys out on a Saturday night doing what young lads all over the world do on a Saturday night are labelled Men Behaving Badly. 

Last week I read in two newspapers and heard (on the ABC News, no less) a group of women described as Desperate Housewives.

And I know that by writing this I’ve left myself open to being called a Grumpy Old Woman.

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Choices! What Choices? (Part 2)

5 June 2007

I recently wrote that young people in particular would be dreadfully affected by our new Work Choices legislation.  They don’t have any negotiating powers and their employment conditions can now be at the whim of sometimes unscrupulous employers.

But today I learnt that some employers can go even lower than exploiting young people looking for their first jobs. 

A 15 year old school student I know is shortly to spend a week doing work experience with a local professional firm.  For some reason they have sent him a contract, despite the fact that his week’s work is unpaid.  This states that his working hours will be from 8.15am to 5.00pm and that he will not be expected to take a break during this time!!  This apparently is the document they send to all new employees, which is harsh enough, but to a young man looking around to see what sort of work he’d like to do,  I find it despicable. 

And I find even more unacceptable that this would appear to be legal.

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I Really DO Knit

3 June 2007

But I just don’t seem to find the time to do it AND write about it.  In the last couple of weeks though I’ve sewn up 3 garments as I promised myself I wouldn’t start anything new until my current crop was actually in my wardrobe or on my back.

I’ve also been waiting for an opportunity to take photos but when I eventually found the time, the camera batteries were too low for it to work properly.  (Note to self:  must get better organised AND get my own camera – I’m using David’s).

But I now have off the needles:

1.     A really snuggly warm jacket, courtesy of Patons Shadow Tweed, and knit from a pattern from their Book 1263 (Style 7, if you’re interested).  I think I’m going to live in this one during the winter.

2.     A smaller box jacket, using Bendigo Mystique and my own design, with edgings taken from Nicky Epstein’s Knitting On The Edge.  I quite like this but it isn’t exactly what I had in my head when I started out!

3.     A short-sleeved V-neck sweater (own design, but ‘design’ isn’t really the right word as when I say ‘short-sleeved V-neck sweater’, I’m referring to a bog-standard ‘short-sleeved V-neck sweater’ – hardly a ‘design’).  This is knitted with Filatura Di Crosa Multicolor which I bought in Hong Kong for $5 a ball – and saw in Tapestry Craft for $15.45!!  If I’d realised how much it cost here, I’d have treated it with more respect.  Anyway, enjoyed knitting with it and now have a fairly ordinary (but ‘useful’) addition to my wardrobe.

So I’ve now started a short-sleeved cardigan with Twilley’s Freedom Spirit(I’m not obsessed with short sleeves but don’t have enough yarn for anything longer) and am working on what I believe is called a ‘stash buster’ to try and get rid of all the odds and ends of DK (8 ply) wool I have just taking up space that could be better utilised (with new purchases).  Going to knit it double with two different colours and change only one of the colours every 5th row.  I rather like the effect of that as it creates really gradual striping.  And I’ve already got two scarves on the needles, probably as presents.       

I still haven’t bought any new yarn and even managed to spend only $3.10 at the Tapestry Craft sale!  (Needle gauge, if you’re wondering what on earth one could buy at TC for under $10.)

However, and it’s a big HOWEVER, I’m going to Melbourne for a long weekend in a couple of weeks so just may break my resolve (and if anyone can recommend any must-see yarn shops there, please do let me know).

And to remind everyone, World Knitting in Public Day is Saturday 9th June.  Sydney is celebrating at the Opera House – the cafe at 2pm.  Hope to see loads of you there.