Archive for May, 2010

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A Dying Art? Like Hell It Is.

11 May 2010

The Shetland Islands Council announced last week that they intend to save 130,000 pounds a year by removing knitting lessons from the school curriculum (thank you, Judith, for bringing this to my attention).  The full story from the Shetland News is here.

Every knitter knows the contribution that the Shetland Islands has made, and still makes, to this craft.  Which is why I found it odd that one of their local Councillors should claim that “knitting is a dying art”. 

That’s the sort of comment we all get often from the man/woman in the street as we’re rushing around from one knitting group to another, as we’re drooling over the yarns being produced by some wonderful new indie-dyers and as I’m organising WWKIP in Sydney where I imagine the age range of those attending will be roughly 20-70.  Most of the knitters I know in Sydney are under the age of 45.  A lot are under 30. 

I’m constantly amazed by the work that is being produced by young knitters who didn’t grow up in a household of knitters but who came to it themselves as young adults.   They’re trying new ways of doing things and I’ve learnt so much from them.  I no longer assume that the way I was taught was the RIGHT way – it was just the way my mother and grandmother knitted.  One of the things I love about knitting is that there’s always something new to learn just around the corner.  (Last week I was shown how to produce single row stripes without having to use 4 balls of yarn for instance). 

So knitting certainly isn’t dying in my neck of the woods.  Please don’t let it die in the Shetland Islands. 

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WWKIP Sydney

7 May 2010

WWKIP logo10_1

As you may appreciate, with the “problems” I’ve had lately, I’m a bit behind in the organisation of this year’s event.  But I’m catching up and most arrangements can be made over the internet.  Where I need legs, two good friends have offered me the use of theirs.

So, this is where we are so far:

Saturday 12th June – 1.30:5.00pm   Abraham Mott Community Hall, Argyle Place, Millers Point (The Rocks).  About 10 minutes walk from Circular Quay.  There’s a bus terminus outside the Hall for Routes 431, 432, 433, 434 and 343.

No food is available for sale so feel free to bring your own.  Hot and cold drinks will be provided for a donation to costs.

We have TWO competitions.  The first is a brain-power and knitting knowledge one, with a wonderful 1st prize of a basket of goodies donated by Mosman Needlecraft (and if you saw the basket Debbie donated last year, you’ll certainly want to be entering this).  The second is a knitting competition, just for fun.  If you want to enter, bring along a few grams of yarn (4-8ply) with the appropriate needles or crochet hook, if you prefer.

There will be lots of prizes for both the competitons, plus door prizes.  I’ll give you a list nearer the time but you can look forward to beautiful yarns from Kaalund Yarns, Knitabulous and Celia’s Basket, just for starters.  The event is being supported this year by Yarn Magazine, whose logo will be alongside this year’s Sydney WWKIP one (same style as last year – different yarn) on tote bags available for sale on the day.

 Last year, 80 people turned up and we spilled out of the restaurant.  So this year, we’ve got a bigger venue and here’s hoping we can fill it.  I’m looking forward to seeing loads of you for what I hope will be a really good afternoon of FUN.

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A Day In The Life Of …

6 May 2010

Hobbling Pompom!

I’m still on crutches and likely to be so for another 3-4 weeks, then maybe I’ll be using walking sticks.  This is SO limiting.  All those things that you promise yourself you’ll get done if you’re at home with little to do are totally out of my reach – literally, for a lot of them.  If I drop something on the floor, for instance, it stays there until someone (read “David”) comes along to pick it up. 

I can get out of bed by myself and use the bathroom (but not shower or bathe).  I can now get dressed if the clothes are suitable (elasticated waists etc), I can make myself a hot drink but can’t carry it anywhere, I can sit at my computer, I can sit at the dining table and I can sit on the ghastly pink vinyl chair we’ve hired for the occasion in the sitting room.  I can type, knit, read, watch television and listen to talking books and the radio.  And that’s my day.

Most days I have a visitor which is wonderful.  I’ve had one trip out of the house, to my GP, and today I’m going to a physiotherapist.  A couple of times a day I walk up and down outside for ten minutes or so. 

But there’s loads to be grateful for – it’s just that I can’t always see things that way! 

I’m improving every day.  I’m not in great pain, just uncomfortable sometimes, and am reducing the painkillers. That has the added benefit that my brain isn’t quite so befuddled most of the time!  I’ve started to really enjoy knitting again (I started a baby cardigan this week, and within 24 hours had completed back and both fronts – and I finished a shawl I started in hospital). 

I’ve got a great circle of friends so there’s always someone at the end of a phone line if I fancy a chat.

And I’ve got a wonderful nurse.  Better than Florence Nightingale as I doubt whether she was as good a cook as David.  I don’t know how I’m ever going to repay him for the incredible way he’s dealt with all this but I’ve promised to treat us both to a few days away somewhere before I head back to work. 

So life’s not that bad and I’m well aware it could be so much worse.  How do people get through times like this without the incredible family and friends I have?

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Guilt-Free Knitting

2 May 2010

After friends have expressed concern for me in my sorry state at the moment,  they try to cheer me up by reminding me of all the knitting I’ll be able to do – guilt free, as I can’t do much else. 

When I was taken into hospital, I had (of course) a small project in my handbag that I’d been knitting on my train journeys to and from work so there I was, propped up in bed, in a morphine-induced state waiting to go to theatre, knitting away.  It fascinated the nursing staff and it kept me relatively sane.  The knitting of course was dreadful and will have to be ripped. 

Then friends arrived with yarn and patterns to keep me occupied.  One friend turned up with a simple shawl pattern, a beautiful ball of yarn, the needles, stitch markers and a tape measure.  Everything I needed to keep me occupied for a while.  Other patients and their visitors would pop over every day to see how I was getting along.  Knitting is such a USEFUL hobby – therapeutic, relaxing,  transportable. 

Now that I’m at home, I knit a bit each day but find it difficult to concentrate on one activity for any length of time.  So I sit at the computer and catch up with my friends and the rest of the world, I read a bit, I knit a bit, I sleep a lot.  I’ve been given some audio books, which go well with the knitting, and I try not to watch daytime TV. 

I can get out of bed by myself now and can get myself around the house.  I can make myself a hot drink but have to stand in the kitchen to drink it as, with crutches, it’s impossible to carry anything.  I can’t cook but as my sister (kindly) pointed out yesterday, I couldn’t cook before the accident so why would I think a bone fracture would make me into Masterchef?

Each day is a little better than the day before.  And by the time I’m up and whizzing around Sydney at my usual pace, I hope to have loads of knitting to show off.