I've just packed up the car and driven off for a long-awaited holiday at my parent's farm, as the deadline for the Christening Shawl looms ever nearer.
I packed the DVDs to watch while knitting, plus the spare needles, the safety line yarn, the pattern -- I even remembered the actual project.
"Brilliant," I thought to myself as I accelarated away.
"I can get heaps of knitting done -- should be able to get it to the final edging before I have to go back to work. It'll be ready just in time."
So after a hard morning's work (counting cows and making notes, as I watched the others branding cattle), I put on the telly, picked up my needles. Good movie, comfy chair, happy knitting...
But my joy was shortlived -- and my yarn was short-changed. As soon as I went to knit the first stitch, I realised that I'd stopped at the end of a skein, and hadn't brought any more yarn with me. D'oh!
Looks like there will be no knitting for me, until I get home on the weekend/early next week.
That will teach me for trying to cram a six-month project into a two week break...
I've spent the past few months quietly trawling through thousands of patterns and projects on Ravelry, rather than actually knitting. I'm sure I'm not the only Raveller that has that problem, but one thing has really stood out for me in all my browsing.
All of a sudden, knitting seems to have become really complex, and very professional. Now, it could just be my skewed perception, but it seems that when I started out (maybe 2001, 2002?) it was all basic arm-warmers and fancy cabled hats for the experts. Now it seems like every knitter can whip out an Estonion lace shawl or amazing intarsia sweater in three weeks, and I am starting to feel like a pupil who's been kept back so many times that I'm a college student in a kindergarten class.
Everyone has become so talented! The inspiration has just been amazing. And more importantly, it's taught me to not be afraid of stretching my skills. I have picked up projects that I'd never have even considered before (like the Christening Shawl, which has amended and final deadline: May 30).
And it's not only that I wouldn't have considered them -- a lot of the patterns wouldn't even exist without this new talented generation. So I guess my message (from this midnight musing) is really, keep up the good work, everyone. And maybe one day I will graduate to the next class up! Until that day, I will just have to keep trying...
I've been dreaming of a bright yellow dress for years, and a leisurely Saturday seemed like a good time to get sewing. No pattern, no fear! Also no clue.
First problem was the geriatric Singer. I'm not sure when it arrived in our family, but my mum seems to think it was a birthday gift when I was five. So that makes it at least twenty-*coughmumblecough* years old. It hadn't been used in about 18 months, and on setting it up, I discovered it had become a well-loved but impractical paperweight.
So being the talented repairwoman and overly-optimistic soul that I am, I decided to take it apart and see what was wrong with it.
As you can see, not only do I not know what I'm doing, but I also got the make of the machine wrong. See those letters? They spell out J-A-N-O-M-E. No wonder my spare parts never fit.
Luckily, I had a can of WD-40 and an overgrown Boy Scout at my disposal.
Between the two of us, we got the case off and discovered that the main crank-thingy had seized up through lack of use. Cue the WD-40! Seriously, that stuff is awesome. Never sew without it!
Once the machine was working again, Boy Scout went to watch some splosions on the telly, and I got sewing. And ripping. And sewing. I'd fudged a pattern by cutting around an old dress, and ad-libbed the cowl neck (well, it saves putting in a zip, doesn't it?), so I was pretty much putting it in the cut-and-sew-til-it-seems-right school of clothing making. I'm not sure I'll ever graduate from that class to the real "uses a pattern" sewer.
Anyway... a few dodgy seams and a couple of glasses of vino later, Voila... my fabled yellow dress! (scuse shockingly awful lighting and blur... it appears BoyScout may have had some vino too.)
Apparently it makes me look like Velma from Scooby Doo. I'm keeping my fingers crossed they meant this Velma, not that one... but I think the results really speak for themselves!
* Also shown: CitySlickerCat, who really liked my boots.
In writing, like knitting, the first line always seems the hardest.
You put down the pen or the needle, become distracted by the more immediate demands of life, and your work gets forgotten. Buried on the desk, shoved under the couch. You find it, months later, and pick up your tools. Your fingers feel clumsy at first, stumbling over a movement that has become unfamiliar.
But it comes back...
I have abandoned this blog, and the crafty side of myself, for far too long. So I've committed to a) finish a christening shawl (above) by May 30; and b) to blog at least once a week.
I can't even remember what I last wrote about -- finishing off a jumper to wear in England, for a trip I took 18 months ago. My passport has expired since then, and I still haven't finished the damn sweater. I *could*, except that I decided, 9/10 of the way through, that the yarn sheds too much and therefore I will probably never wear it. Unless anyone knows a way to stop yarn shedding?!
My job has taken over my life, and while that was fun for a while and I don't see it changing, I can't help feeling like there has to be something more. I've just spent the weekend in Brisbane, thinking about all the things I should be doing to make my life happier, and to address my work-life imbalance. And those two seemed like a good, achievable place to start.
Not much else to say -- CitySlickerCat is nibbling at my feet and this is far too contemplative for anyone to be interested in reading, but it's a start. So now to keep going...
So I'm flying out in 36 hours, and I have just been told knitting needles are definitely a no-go on the flight. Boo hiss. It may or may not stop me though... I can always feign ignorance, right? What's the worst that could happen?
People are always surprised to discover I'm really not one for breaking rules, so it probably won't happen. All my rebelliousness is expressed through hairstyles, not actions. I will just have to suffer.
I've also finished all but one sleeve of the new Apocalypse Hoodie-- desperately trying to get that finished before I leave!
I interrupt this scheduled silence to bring you... a blog post? Surely not!
Well, nothing with anything remotely picture-y or implying progress has been made on any project, but an update of sorts nonetheless.
I am going to visit family in England in two weeks, and maybe I have my priorities out of line, but do you know how excited I am at the thought of 28 hours uninterrupted knitting time on the flight?! (um, least I hope so. I am too scared to check!). Not only that, but also... THE YARN!
Yup, that's much more important than my little brother's 21st... and also, it means I get to knit a sweater to wear while I am there, seeing as I live in Queensland and only own three items with sleeves.
Anyway... Snow White is finally going to make an appearance, just as soon as I can get gauge. Wish me luck!
We held a fundraiser for Lifeline at work today, so of course I harassed all my friends to donate so I could "earn" the most money (I am not competitive, at all. Why do you ask?).
Money came pouring in, and my donations were more than double what everyone else raised. I know it was not because I am more persuasive than anybody else, and although I am definitely more willing to annoy my friends, I know the real reason is simply that I am lucky to have the best kind of friends- knitters.
It's something a lot of people have talked about, how generous yarnies are, but today I saw it in action. Every single person who donated to my cause was a fan of the pointy sticks. And together, your donations brought us hundreds of dollars more than our initial target.
From the bottom of my stash, I thank you all. (My stash where my heart is, duh.)
I think I just drooled a little bit. This is where I might sound a bit obsessive, but dear god, I love the Deal girls. A few years ago, MissK and I went to see The Breeders, and being dorky fans, we waited for them afterwards.
Because I am so adorable when I am drunk and overcome with girly squee-ness over one of my favourite bands (trust me, I am), one of the sisters kissed me. What started as a peck on the cheek turned into something I will talk about forever (she smelled like egg salad... and I liked it). Sadly, there are no photos.
Anyway, MissK and I have always disagreed whether it was Kelley or Kim who couldn't resist my charms. I thought it was Kim, she thought it was Kelley (hey, it was dark! and, you know... drunk).
Now, I don't care who it was, I just wish I'd gone up to their hotel room to talk about gauge squares and the best kind of cast-on...
(In other news, I am slack. But I am still knitting so don't give up on me!)