Archive for August, 2008


Warm Clothing; Cold People – The Conclusion

31 August 2008

I’ve finished collecting the knitted items to go to the Winterwarm Project and I’m so pleased by the response I got to this.

We have:

1 scarf

3 prs socks

3 prs mittens

10 sweaters/cardigans

43 hats

TOTAL:  60 items

And you should see this knitting.  I keep popping over to the great pile that’s accumulated in my dining room to look at it.  Really beautiful items knitted with a lot of care and love.  Fabulous hats!  Balaclavas, fairisle hats with ear muffs, stripy ones, beautiful colours.  Everything knitted in lovely warm wool, quite a bit of it handspun. 

As you all know, I don’t think there is any Great Plan which means that some children are born into poverty.   It’s an accident of birth that I grew up without ever suffering from hypothermia or hunger.  In fact, my parents were so aware of the inequalities of the world that we were never allowed to say we were starving;  it was pointed out that we would never know what ‘starving’ means.

Nobody ‘needs’ to starve to death.  There’s food in abundance around the world – it just isn’t always in the right place at the right time.  Unfortunately I can’t do anything practical about that – just join campaigns to drive Governments to behave morally and responsibly. 

But we can all help stop someone from dying from cold.  One hat may be all it needs. 

I’m not going to thank everyone individually who contributed to this as I run the risk of missing someone out.

But a great big THANK YOU to all of you. 


To Die For . . . Part 2

30 August 2008

First of all, a correction to my previous post.  The price is for TWO skeins x 150g so it’s ONLY $38 per skein.  A bit better perhaps, but not exactly a bargain.

Secondly, I see that Claudia, the woman who makes this wonderful yarn, has a stipulation that you mustn’t trade or sell the yarn for a year.  I’m not a lawyer but my basic legal studies would tell me that’s totally unenforceable.  With a few possible exceptions, you can trade or sell any item to which you have legal title, ie you OWN it.  And I think if you’ve ordered two skeins of sock yarn and paid for two skeins of sock yarn, you OWN two skeins of sock yarn.  You can do with it whatever you wish. 

If this wool is so desirable that people are willing to pay more than the original purchase price that’s because the company has created this “must have at any cost” market.  So I don’t think she can really complain that there are some who’d capitalise on this. 

Maybe I should have entered the “lottery” anyway.  The profit I’d make on re-selling the stuff would probably fund my yarn purchases for the next 12 months.   

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To Die For

28 August 2008

I think I now know that I’m getting old.  When I was younger there were things that you just HAD to have. The latest pair of shoes or a record.  Now there are things I’d LIKE to have but can’t for one reason or another (lack of spare money, availability etc) and so I’m a bit disappointed.  But I get over it. Fairly easily.

Over on Ravelry at the moment they’re going crazy for a yarn that is “to die for” apparently  –  Wollmeise.  It’s a sock yarn and it seems that the woman who produces it in Germany just can’t make enough of the stuff.  She’s now started a sock club – four times a year you get 150g of yarn, a sock pattern and a small gift.   And to join this club, you have to win a lottery as she can’t produce enough to satisfy everyone.  The losers in this lottery are crying all over Ravelry. 

I’m sure it’s lovely yarn; everyone says so and who am I to argue as I’ve never seen it?  But is it to die for?  

Well the price would give most people a heart attack, that’s for sure.  To join the club costs 180 Euro, or AU$306.  Every parcel of 150g of yarn will cost about AU$77.  

Am I missing something here?  Is this yarn really so gorgeous that you just HAVE to have it, or has there just been some canny marketing exercise going on here?  If the company produced this wool identical in every way but with a different name would it be so desirable?  I think not until the Yarn Harlot or someone with a similar high profile came along and ‘sold’ it to us. 

Or maybe I’m just a cheapskate.

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A Rose By Any Other Name

26 August 2008

Today I went to David Jones in Sydney (a rather ‘upmarket’ department store) where I was greeted by a young woman dressed as a ballerina.  She handed me a small piece of card, on which were written the words “Dirty English” in an Olde English typeface.

Now I know I wasn’t looking my best but I didn’t have coal smeared all over my face and, to the best of my knowledge, I didn’t smell.  And she hadn’t heard my accent.  I was confused. Was this some sort of Pom joke I hadn’t heard of before?

No, apparently.  I was told to sniff the card.  It had been sprayed with a man’s fragrance called, of all things, of course “Dirty English”.  Er?

I think it’s likely that the majority of men’s fragrances are bought by women and this would be borne out by the fact that I was handed this card.  But who would you buy this one for?  As David is both English and Aussie (like me), I think he may take offence if I presented him with a bottle.  What focus group thought this one up?  And why would they think that the word ‘dirty’ would be appealing?  Nobody makes soap for ‘dirty’ skin and despite the fact that there are shampoos for just about every condition (dry hair, flyaway hair, coloured hair), I’ve never seen one labelled for dirty hair.   

I don’t want to appear over-sensitive but would the manufacturers (a company called Juicy Couture) have got away with this if they’d called it Dirty French or Dirty Japanese?  Or maybe Dirty English is the first in a series. 

Who cares?  I won’t be buying any.


Warm Clothing; Cold People

25 August 2008

As I mentioned before, I’m collecting knitted items for the Winterwarm Project, based in Melbourne.  These will be distributed through the Save the Children fund in Afghanistan.

I’ve had a terrific response to my requests for you all to knit for this and have already collected quite a few items.  It’s a wonderful way to use up all those leftovers (from the items I’ve received so far, and from those I’ve knitted myself, I can see that stripes are going to be the ‘in’ thing in Kabul this winter) and it doesn’t matter if the finished item comes out larger or smaller than you planned  –  it will fit SOMEONE.

If you have anything you’ve knitted for this and want to get it to me for postage to Melbourne, Emily will be collecting items at the Tapestry Craft SnB on Thursday and I’ll be at SSK in Newtown next Saturday.

If you prefer to post them direct to Melbourne, the address is:

The WinterWarm Project, P O Box 1076, Belvedere Park LPO, Seaford, Victoria 3198

It’s such a small thing to do and could save a life.

Thank you, everyone.

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Mangling the Language

17 August 2008

You may remember I was hissing recently about the number of knitters who seem totally unable to spell the word ‘gauge’ – a word all avid knitters come across practically on a daily basis.

I’m spending quite a bit of time at my local library lately (still no phone, no internet).  A place of learning and literacy. 

There are signs all over the place declaring:

COMMUNITY LANGAUGE – Located near the Literacy Section.

Maybe it was written by someone who’d read my blog and now assumes that it’s always “A before U after a G”.

Literacy?  Not in this library.


A Long Silence

12 August 2008

No telephone at home, and hence no internet.  I won’t go into the long and boring details (Yes, we HAVE paid the bills).  We’ve been assured every day for the last 12 or so that it will be re-connected the next day.   The latest news is that it should be on Thursday.

BUT we may have a different telephone number.  AND if we do have a different number, we won’t have any internet without re-applying.  And we can’t re-apply now because they may, rather grudgingly I have to say,  give us back our original number. 

So I’m sitting in the corner of the public library using their computer to pick up emails, catch up with friends, pay bills etc – all the activities we’ve rather got used to doing on-line nowadays. 

I’m pretty annoyed.

No I’m not – I’m furious.