Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Still Alive......

but not really here.

I am about to head off for a few days break but will post upon my return. We are going to the Catlins which are a couple of hours south of us. I will take some photos so you can all see a little more of the New Zealand countryside. Hopefully the weather will be good.

Of course what projects am I going to take is the next question I hear you ask?

I have decided to take some projects I can't run away from. In my weird world with all of my weird rules I have decided that having more than one pair of socks cast on at one time is a path to ruin. So I am going to take the current socks I am working on with the hope I may make a serious dent in these, no not literally, well maybe. I swear my brain starts bleeding when I knit these. They are the Eunny Jang ones, knit on size 0 needles with about 100 stitches around. As I write this I wonder why the hell I am knitting them! Did I mention they are very cool and all the cables run into each other in that cool Eunny Jang way and I really want them. Cables are lovely aren't they. Cables are good and clever.

I am also taking the blanket just in case I can't take the pressure.

Oh and maybe for a baby hat, you know, just in case.

Sunday, 28 January 2007

All Done.

I wanted to make something a little different for my new nephew. I thought about what I would have liked with my two and remembered feeling really frustrated with the booties and socks that would never stay on or wouldn't be warm enough.

So I present the Stay-on-the-foot-felted-baby shoe! Tested and passed with flying colours on a real live baby!

To come up with the pattern I played around with paper, scissors and staples. I had a few false starts once I went to cloth and found it didn't work or wouldn't stay on but eventually I got the pattern down.

Remember all those felted swatches lying around that you plan one day to sew together into one big blanket (when you go over the edge, you know, then) well I now have a use for them! The green is much brighter than the photo showed, more lime.

I needlefelted a koru on the front. This is a Maori symbol that means new life, growth, strength and peace. This is a very powerful symbol and a favourite of mine.

Then I hand sewed them together with a heavy duty waxed thread. I made the base a thicker felt so the shoe has some structure.

I added some unbleached, cotton elastic and sewed down the flaps.

All Done.

Can I cast on for a new project now? Please.........

Monday, 22 January 2007

Bits and Bobs.............

Life has been a little hectic around here.

My sister, her partner and my new 2 month old niece arrive tomorrow. This is good. I am very excited. However it does mean we have to do lots of last minute things, things you must do before family arrives, you know the sort of things I mean, the old I always keep the bathroom this clean kind of thing.

This is the news that threw me. My sister-in-law (Ted's sister) has given birth to a little boy. Now this is good news too. There is just one thing. This is her first baby. And as all knitters know first babies come late. You can set your knitting calendar by this. Well this baby is a week early! Not only does this catch me off guard but I feel unreasonably cranky about this, cranky at my sister-in-law, why even cranky at the baby. You see, I was just in the planning stages of the knitted gift, the what shall I make because I have lots of time stage. Then we get the email, she is up in the middle of the night because she is getting pains. Ted and I look at each other and have that all knowing look "oh how cute, she isn't in labour, it is just Braxton Hicks, you know because we know everything, everything". Then the next day I get the call while Ted is out, she had the baby, all is well. I am happy and then after I get off the phone it hits me. By the time Ted gets home from work some 5 or 6 hours later, well, I was livid. "It is just downright indecent, indecent I say! I mean I went almost 3 weeks over and what was so wrong with that, why couldn't she go 3 weeks over? What is she too good for going past her due date? Women have been doing this for years and it has been just fine for them? I don't have time for this!" Ted just looks at me and answers "I can't believe we are having this conversation, why don't you just buy something" BUY SOMETHING! For a new baby, buy something! For the love of god! Now tell me who is really crazy in our household. Exactly. I will keep you posted on the baby gift progress.

The feather and fan scarf is finished, sitting in a crumpled pile, waiting for it's blocking, waiting until I have been freed.

All of my birthday books arrived! I love new craft books beyond all reason. I will be doing some book reviews here soon, stay tuned.

Why what is that poking out of the bottom? Now what could that be doing here? Where did it come from? I wonder if it has anything to do with the loom that has appeared upstairs in the family room? Probably not.

Apparently a finished object is not truly a finished object until it is felted. I did not know this but my 3 year old explained it to me. You see while I might consider her slippers finished since she couldn't yet wear them they really weren't. Now I see it from her point of view this could be true. Did you know this? So one pair of felted slippers.

I need a real sweater. I have a whole wardrobe of little cardys and shrugs from my Southern California days. I need a real cover-all-of-me sweater. Do I knit one of those tried and true, always wanted to knit sweaters or go for one of the new fancy pants, hot off the press jumpers? I am thinking of the hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted gifts. It always looks so nice on other blogs, like it fits well.

I am self defeating, here I am seriously considering casting on a new sweater tonight, I must be out of my freaking mind. Back to baby gift.

Lastly we homeschool our kids and homeschooling in our house means a good calendar, one that we can easily put notes all over. Here is what I created this year for us. By the end of the year the calendar will be surrounded with notes and interesting facts, right now it is still looking a little bare.

Think of me. What to make when you can't think of what to make? Aggghhh!

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Can I tell you something..........

Now I am aware that this a knitting blog and knitting, well, it is my favourite child but I may have other crafty interests.

Okay I do.

Sometimes I sense a wee bit of a snobbery from knitters towards other crafts and while I don't find this particular offensive if the truth be told I bet you my bottom dollar there are many of us out there secretly have an affair on the side(or maybe being downright sleazy we are carrying on with so many).

Today I am going to tell you the tale of our quilt because everything has a story and sometimes it must be told. I now consider myself a quilter, I have made 3 of them so not a serious quilter but a quilter nonetheless. However when I made our quilt I wasn't. I had however sewn in the distant past and had confidence I could still find my way around a sewing machine.

I was in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand and came across some used hand-embroidered patches from the local hill tribes. These were wonderful little pieces of art that had been collected by a local for sale in her shop.


And these:

And more, many more.

This store also sold it's own hand-dyed, handwoven hemp fabric. I couldn't resist. Who could?

I spent a wonderful hour going through baskets and baskets of these patches before deciding on my favourites. I added about a half dozen rolls of the hemp and left happy, very happy. It must be said that not only does Thailand have some of the best food in the world but the shopping is fabulous.

Once back home in the States I had my brain storm. How about I make a quilt out of it all? I mean how hard could it be? I went to the library and found my muse in a Kaffe Fassett patchwork book. Now for all of you laughing out loud at the presumptuous beginner starting with a Kaffe Fassett pattern, I say hush. He had this great pattern for a window covering and I figured well this looks doable and decided to modify it to a queen size quilt. About 18 months later and many, many hours (god where did the perseverance come from?) I had a quilt, I had learned alot and made many mistakes but damn I was proud, and you know I still am.

And the back:

But more importantly when I look at this quilt I remember. I remember backpacking for 4 months through South East Asia. I remember the sensuality of Thailand. I remember it's intense heat and humidity. I remember missing hot showers because we could only afford basic guesthouses and basic meant cold water only. I remember Ted being shocked to his core by this. I remember for the first (and last) time feeling safer than Ted when out at night alone because the prostitutes weren't interested in me and the local men were very respectful. I remember the kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness of the Thai people that made travelling with a 2 1/2 year old much easier than you would think. I remember being so pregnant with my daughter that I could barely reach the machine by the end so determined was I that I would finish before her birth (and I did).

Because like knitting that's what a quilt is isn't it - a vehicle for our memories.

Like everything we make with our hands, it just means more somehow because of it.

What else do you do?

Friday, 19 January 2007

6 Weird Things About Me..............

1. I have an ability to remember people by what they ate rather than names or even faces, certainly more than the conversation (well unless the conversation was about food!). I can remember what we ate at different festivals, celebrations and dinner parties going back years. This is in absolute contrast to my partner Ted who will remember the conversation and connection he made with someone. This is how a conversation will go in our house -"do you remember when Jane Doe at Mickey Mouse's restaurant said..." "wait a minute, Jane Doe? was she the one who had the chicken?" "how would I know, she was the massage therapist from Mars that just got out the tough relationship" "the one who was next to the guy who had the pork but said that he usually prefers beef?". I hate it when people argue with me about this. Ted's family does this. Then I have to prove them totally and completely wrong (what else do you expect me to do!) by completely describing their meal, right down to the thought process about choosing that menu item. I won't even go into how cranky I get when they try to argue about what I had! I have been trying to think how I can use this strange power of mine for good.....

2. I have a complete fascination with where people live and why, particularly when it is in an area I find really extreme. I think ordinary people living ordinary lives tend to be so much more interesting to read about and meet than folks with lots of money and power carrying on like spoiled brats. Currently I am reading a book about a computer programmer who chucks it all in to become a cook in Antarctica living in a tent and another about a year in the life of family on a small organic farm in Vermont. (This is good stuff, loved the book). My fascination particularly extends to places where people live beyond the Arctic circle. I really feel the cold and have a morbid fear given my impulsiveness that I will one day decide to move there, you know just so I can see what it feels like to live there and get to know the people who do. I have had many conversations where I start out by pleading with Ted "no matter what I may tell you in future, no matter how strong my argument is, don't let me move to the Arctic Circle, I would be miserable so just don't let me do it okay, okay?." I might add this is usually at the weirdest moment and completely out of the blue so he will look at me strangely and just say "ok".

3. I am scared of riding bicycles. I wish I wasn't but I am.

4. I firmly believe that a hot shower will solve most problems, physical and emotional. Whatever a hot shower doesn't take care of, then a piece of toast with butter and vegemite will certainly cure. Yep I am talking big stuff here too.

5. I once read a study that 95% of people talk to their pets. To this day it is deeply disturbing to me that 5% don't.

6. I tend to make large decisions about my life very impulsively. It does not help that Ted does too. We will decide things like moving to a new country in the course of an evening. However it doesn't tend to take me long to feel certain about a decision and I always figure that the worst that can happen is it sucks and then we will just try something else. Of course sometimes these decisions haunt for me for many years to come. Like the day about 6 years ago that I had this really fabulous vegan meal in Victoria, B.C and then decided then and there that I LOVE vegan food (which I do) so therefore I should become vegan and furthermore Ted should too. That afternoon Ted agreed to becoming vegetarian (keeping cheese and eggs in our diet) as well as our son Palin. It only took me a few days to realise that given my love of food I was miserable cutting so much out of my diet so of course I couldn't be vegetarian let alone vegan, I mean what was I thinking?! So now I live in a vegetarian household with a vegetarian partner and children. Yep those decisions.

I was tagged to tell 6 weird things about myself from

"THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

The 6 (un)lucky contestants I chose to spill the beans are:

Blue Thing Pie
Dances with Wool
Mainly Zaz
Yarn Harlot (I know, I know she is the Knitting Goddess but what the hell!)
Adventures with the slowest knitter
Blog is the new black

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Sometimes you have see the big picture............

Ever had a vision of a project and then when you start it it somehow seems to turn out differently but you feel you have to trust the original vision and then you finish it and and you think "what the bloody hell was I thinking" and your gut was right.

Yeah me too but thankfully this wasn't one of those.

So I am knitting up the Community Afghan from
Handknit Holidays. I have had my eye on it for a while. I have always had a hankering to knit a blanket (I know that may make me officially crazy) but always felt a bit sick when I would work out the cost of it. There seemed no point making it unless the yarn was delicious. I knew after my alpaca haul the time had come.

I started playing around with the colours and the gauge and it never felt right. Then I just decided to trust the vision and go for it.

Check out an individual square. Kinda of ugly and trashy in a god-you-have-to-be-joking kind of way. Have faith.

Now check out the blanket, now do you see?

Yeah me too. Did I mention alpaca, hmmmmmm, soft goodness.

This is only about a quarter of the finished size, it is a long haul this blanket business.
And no I don't want to talk about the sewing up at this point.

Feather and fan scarf update: It is getting longer, it is not just my imagination, right?

Oh and by the way I got tagged by
Emelia. I have to mention 6 weird things about myself. This is not as easy as you would think. I asked Ted and was a little shocked by the reply; "that is not weird, why is that weird? well I never...!" Give me a few days on this one. By the way check out Emelia's blog, her clogs are awesome! She is very, very talented. New blog to lurk on (old me talking, of course I don't lurk anymore, I comment).

By the way I love the comments and emails I have received, thank you so much. I do appreciate them all.

Monday, 15 January 2007

Over the hill and far away........

I don't know about you but I have very structured ideas about what my birthday must be like. Without it being all my way I consider it a total failure. There is no in-between. I understand putting this down in writing makes me sound like a prima donna. I can live with this. It is what it is.

Rule #1 - Everyone must really, really nice to me all day, fall over themselves nice, the kids are not allowed to fight, that sort of thing.

Rule #2 - The most important part of the day is the food. There must be great consideration given to the food, it must be all of my favourite foods (unfortunately for Ted this changes on a daily basis). You must be prepared to have many conversations with me about my birthday food for many days prior. Luckily I have my sister who is equally obsessed about birthday food so there is a little relief for Ted. She lives in a different country, this does not slow us down. I don't care about the cake, you can figure that one out on your own.

Rule #3 - I pick the daily activity/trip/etc. You must grin and bear it. In fact you must act as if there is nothing you would rather be doing.

Everything else is negotiable. Presents are nice but not necessary. I would hurt someone who decided to throw a surprise party- I mean what about the food!

So for the past few years birthdays have meant trips to new, always meant-to-hit yarn stores, a yarn crawl if you like. This birthday approached (I'm a late December baby) and it was hard getting any birthday spirit going on knowing that wasn't to be. It was a low time.

Then I thought lets give that Yellow Pages another whirl and I turned up this-

Clifton Wool 'n' Things
Highcliff Road
Otago Peninsula

Now the Otago Peninsula is not far from us. If I could fly (and wouldn't that be a cool birthday pressie) I could get there in 10 minutes, we look at it every day over the other side of the bay. To drive however is about 30 minutes. It is spectacular place, mostly rural with only 1 or 2 very small towns. There is quite a bit of farming, even more "lifestylers" "hobby farms" whatever you want to call them. I figured what the heck, nice trip. Off we went, picnic packed, a day of exploring planned.

We found the sign. And then the driveway down to the "store"

Saw some of these on the way, good sign.

Look across the bay to one of the last bays, that's where I live.

I wasn't thinking blog when I took these photos so I didn't get one of the "store", sorry. We went down the drive, it was about 1 km long. Down at the end, perched high on the hill overlooking the bay was a packing shed. So these folks have a Romney "coloured sheep" flock. They only sell their own wool. It is all undyed, in all stages of production. It smelt wonderful, very sheep-y. And was very, very reasonably priced. It inspired lots of visions of nice earthly, nutty crunchy knitting. It's that kind of wool that is meant to be outerwear, not as soft as merino, a little on the scratchy side, kind of like Shetland but you know it will soften over time and stand up beautifully. Even Ted got excited, but he's a New England, got to have earth tones kind of boy. He actually asked if I would knit him a sweater. This is big news in our house.

So he picked out this:

Medium brown, bulky weight, not less than 200 yards in each skein, $8.50 each! Total for the sweater $51

So I had to make one for me too of course.
3 dark brown, 1 medium brown and 1 natural in DK weight, each skein not less than 400 yards, $8.50 each for a total of $42.50 (yes I know that is about 2000 yards but I can figure out something to do with the leftovers I am sure!)

Who can resist a little handspun. I think it is about 150 yards on each she said. $7.50 each! Handspun right at the packing shed, unbelievable price! Yummy hat, yes? mittens?. I know all of her yarn felts beautifully too, hmmmm clogs?

So this little package of natural goodness set me back a total of $108.50 NZD (about $75 US)

They do just washed fleece for $7.50 for 500 grams (1 pound) and carded fleece for $8.50 for 50 grams (couple of ounces I think). And yep they do mail order if you are feeling the need for some not fancy, down home goodness, support a local farmer type of wool.

(No sock yarn, "it's not practical, no one makes their own socks anymore don't you know", I had heard that)

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Once upon a time......

.......there was a beautiful princess. Now this beautiful princess was a knitter because as we all know all knitters are beautiful and handsome and good. I am going to tell you a tale about this princess knitter, a tale that seems so wonderful you won't dare believe it to be true but true it is. Now settle down, have a cuppa and allow yourself to be swept away........

One day, not so long ago our princess knitter (who will now be known as P.K) spent some time in the lovely yarn friendly land known as Massachusetts. P.K was out for a walk one day with her darling family when, oh my, what did she spy but a yard sale. As we all know yard sales are good things and are dearly loved by all crafters alike. But this was no ordinary yard sale, no this was a yard sale with yarn. Our heroine had chanced upon a yard sale where a dutiful daughter was selling off her mother's rather large stash, mum was no longer able/wanted to knit. (Not all fairy tales are happy but it all comes out well in the end I promise). P.K knew that it was her citizenry duty to do the right thing and give all this yarn a good home. The dutiful daughter was happy as she "didn't know what she would do with all this crap otherwise". Maybe dutiful daughter's name will now be evil stepsister because that is no way to talk in front of yarn. Now P.K send her family onwards with their walk as she knew saving yarn was tough and nasty business, one that is better done alone with focus. Sensing other knitters in the vicinity she threw herself into the task, knowing that there was limited room on the lifeboat she decided to forsake all of the acrylic and just save the "good" stuff. While some may have considered her greedy she knew that there was no such thing as yarn greed, this was a theory developed by other jealous knitters who came a little too late to one said yard sale. 186 skeins and about $80 later P.K gave herself a pat on the back and felt proud of a job well done.

The End

The 2nd chapter of this tale comes when we hear how P.K turns some of the rescued alpaca (I did mention about 100 skeins of it was alpaca, right, oh well silly me!) into one lovely (unfinished) blanket.

Oh and I will get to finish the yarn store post next time, promise.

Saturday, 13 January 2007

We all want them, we all love them, we all want to love them.......

Once while I was still living in the States a kiwi friend said to me that what she most missed about living in NZ was that life was so much less complicated than life in the US. She wasn't a knitter. Knitters don't want uncomplicated lives.

Let me explain. I love local yarn stores. Love the possibilities, the smell, the tactile experience that follows, the acceptance of being surrounded by my people. I buy as much as the next knitter on the web but when I really boil it down I am all about yarn stores. I have been known to change the way I feel about a town or state for that matter based on the strength of their yarn stores. Just spent the summer in Massachusetts, I could live there, their yarn stores are fantastic.

So upon returning home I was within days planning my LYS trips. So off I went to what is considered the "best in Dunedin" (the yellow pages said so). I needed some more alpaca to add to my blanket, okay need is maybe the wrong word but lets not muddy the story shall we. I was little thrown by the store upon entering, it had that bright lights, white fakey kind of shelving thing going on (like a miniature version of a Joann's/Michaels/Spotlight with just yarn and very few needles). But I thought now first impressions aren't everything (of course in retail we all know that isn't true but I was just trying to be nice). I had a little look around, feeling more and more despondent. I approached the counter and asked a very nice woman "excuse me but where oh where do you keep your alpaca?". She showed me a few balls of "lovely" wool (Cleckheaton ruled in this joint, not that there is anything wrong with that workhorse of a yarn, it just ain't sexy is all I am saying and when you have a stash the size of mine sexy it has to be - this should be good for google searches!). No, no I gently and slowly said (I had correctly diagnosed within a few short minutes that I was dealing with a person who knits, not a knitter and I didn't want to scare her), your a-l-p-a-c-a. "Now why would you need some alpaca when there is perfectly good wool available" but she managed to pull out a few remaining balls of an alpaca/acrylic blend, nasty nasty stuff. Your cotton, your bamboo, handpainted, your silk, your knitting books, for the love of god your Addis!? (my voice may have been a little on the high side at this point). Ummmm no, no, no, no, no and who? I pulled out of my bag the NZ handpainted laceweight (everyone carries extra yarn in their bag, right, in case you meet another knitter and want to show and tell, don't make me feel weird) and asked anything like this. "It would be lovely to get something like that here but we really don't need it, Dunedin is too cold so it wouldn't be practical". Practical, need it - I don't understand this sort of talk, what sort of place have I moved to! Panic rising I left the store and went to number 2, 3 and 4 on the list. I even went to Spotlight (our Michaels) in case in some freaky other world kind of thing the tables were turned and the big box was the one with the really good stuff in town. Yeah, no, but disturbingly it was no worse.

A crushed, defeated person I returned home, I could no longer live here; yes it hadn't been quite a week and yes it was quite possibly the friendliest, most beautiful place I have been (and I lived in Canada for 6 years) and yes I loved being home but damn there was no decent yarn store. I should have checked this out more thoroughly before moving here, what the hell was I thinking, screw libraries, beaches, parks, wildlife, bookstores, cafes and Asian food stores, it is all about the LYS, I mean I knew that.

So after Ted talked me off the ledge, he reminded of the power of the net, he reminded me how freaky fellow knitters can be when a fellow knitter is in trouble, he reminded me we love to travel and even though I thought that he didn't realise I had planned entire family trips around LYS's he wasn't that silly (well lookee, lookee what do we have here, a yarn store, who would have thunk it) and that it was all going to be okay, really, he was here to help me work through this. And you must love this man; not once did he mention that I could just knit from my stash, knit from my stash for a long, long time.

But all was not lost because I found hope on the horizon......
Tomorrow part 2 of the LYS drama.

For the record this is my drive home.......

Friday, 12 January 2007 way of a yak.........

My Vogue Knitting has finally arrived!

The Holiday 2006 issue (not the latest one, that would be unthinkable). Only 2 months and one gentle reminder to Vogue that as a subscriber getting the actual magazine might be nice. It is a better track record than Interweave Knits. My first love is IK. That does not mean I don't appreciate a good read of Vogue. Now here is the weird thing I don't think I have ever knitted anything from Vogue and to be honest don't tend to even like anything between the pages. My reaction ranges from "I guess that is okay" to "what the hell are they thinking!". (Although there was one little shrug in a past issue that will be given its turn on the needles at some point - well once I can figure out the pattern directions, you know translate them to english from double dutch.) But they do stir a comment and that is what keeps me an active reader. Unlike many other (unnamed) magazines they are not "tired". They don't look as though they are stuck in the '90's. They have a point of view, yep not mine or anyone I know but still a point of view.

This issue did not disappoint. Is it possible their models are getting thinner, like scary thin! I had such hope after their last issue with an older (but still slim, it is Vogue after all) model, such hope that perhaps they were trying to make it "more real". As always I enjoyed the ads (scary isn't it), the articles and little bits of information scattered throughout the magazine.

Especially liked this ad....

And yes it is in black and white in the magazine. This one I don't get even a little bit, in fact I had a wee bit of a dry heave, followed by a giggle. Especially when I got to the bit "You'll look elegant season after season". Elegant wasn't the first word that came to mind.

The patterns in this issue were even less likely to ever be knitted. In fact there was not one that I even considered, even with much alteration.

Verdict: not worth the purchase price unless you are like me and just like to get it - just because. (Or you are about a size 0 and want to look like this year's fashion victim - you know, unless that)

Have you ever had a project around for so long that feels like part of the family.

Slightly annoying but still you feel a commitment to it. I have a project like that.

My feather and fan scarf.

It is made out of the lovely Artisan NZ Merino Laceweight. It is my warm up to a full on shawl.

Let me digress here a little. I have knitted lace before, in fact quite a lot of lace, in regular weight yarn. So I figured how hard would laceweight be. Ummm it is a tricky little buggar isn't it. I am doing a simple fan and feather and yet, oh and yet........

So I knit and knit and then I knit some more and here is the thing it doesn't get any longer. It keeps going away for a holiday until I can stand the sight of it again (wow this sounds more and more like family doesn't it!). It has come for another visit. I want to finish it - not because I actually plan to wear, I mean I might, but because I want to experience the magic. The magic that I have witnessed on blogs and heard about in the circles I run in. The magic of blocking. It is a crumpled little mess at the moment. I frequently crush it into still more of a crumple, you know so the transformation will be even more thrilling.

So back to the plot. Yes my warm up to a shawl. I am not made for shawls. I get cold easily and I don't see a shawl cutting it to be honest and it might lose something over a thick jumper (sweater to the rest of the world) and my fleece. The other thing is unlike the Amy Blatt lovely I am not elegant. Wish I was, have tried to be but lets just say it wasn't a good fit. I think you have a wee bit of elegant going on not to look silly in a shawl.

But how, how I ask you, how can I call myself a knitter and not have knitted a shawl.

See, now you see don't you.

Maybe I could pull it off. I have always wanted to be elegant. I have some lovely silk..................

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Take 2.......... or lets talk

So for my 2nd post I had this idea about talking about some of the different Stitch n' Bitchs I have been to but then I realised it would be impossible to only play nice. I firmly believe that all knitters are wonderful accepting people, superhuman if you like. However this does not extend to people who just knit and some of these people have been a big part of the groups I have belonged to. (Lets be honest I understand them less than non knitters - how can you be exposed to the magic and remain untouched! You know the type I am talking about - "oh I just do it for something to do", "yeah this scarf has taken me 12 months, I only work on it at the SnB every week", "why would I do more than one project?' "socks that rock who?" or the scariest one of all "no I don't need to touch your yarn, it seems like it is nice")

So anyway back to what I was saying, oh yeah play nice.

I think I am a respectful, considerate sort of person but I don't often step down from my opinion and that can upset some folks. While I am a lurker as I mentioned that didn't mean I don't have some strong opinions about what I read. But what upset me most of all is when comments would come back saying you shouldn't say what you said, you should water down your opinions so not to offend anyone. What a bunch of crap. Don't read the blog then, simple. I read blogs to hear what it is someone has to say, really say. I don't have all the answers; I don't walk in their shoes. That is what this blog will be like. I know I will offend some of you and for that I apologise but I say live with it or leave. If you want to present a counter argument for me to consider then please go ahead, I would love to hear it. You don't have to agree with me to become part of my knitting circle, god that would be boring.

So here's some of what you are getting yourself into -

  • While I loved living in the US for the most part we didn't just return to NZ we also decided to leave the US. The current political situation was one we could no longer stomach.

  • I think the Democrats are too conservative. I guess that tells you my opinion of the Republicans.

  • I fully support the right of all humans to live lives that are free of hate and prejudice and I think the opposition to gay marriage in the US is morally wrong and hateful.

  • I think it is right that I use the word moral even though I am an atheist.

  • I do not and will never support the war in Iraq. This does not mean I do not support the troops.

  • I am an obsessed knitter. Utterly and completely. In fact Ted (my partner) is thrilled that I have started this blog so I will give him a break from listening about knitting. He actually said this. He is so naive, the capacity I have to talk knitting is greater than he can imagine.

  • Cats are better than dogs. (I am sorry but this one is simply a fact not an opinion so I can no argument on it!). Dogs are alright but they can never be cats.

I am sure there is more. I hope I haven't scared off too many.

Let’s end on a positive note shall we....

Tell me this isn't the most gorgeous thing.....

Let me set the stage - drafty old unrenovated house, all wood floors, with no insulation in a cold climate - pom pom rug. Oooohhhh I think I need some pom pom action 'round here, yessirree!

It is from Craftivity. I have ordered the book; I will review it once it arrives - in about 6-8 weeks. Yep there are definite drawbacks about living on the end of the earth!

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Where do I start?.....Hello....Someone...Anyone....Anyone out there?!

The first blog post, ever. Enough to make anyone nervous.

Welcome all.

Soooo who am I?

Well that will take more than one blog post to answer so over the next few weeks I will try to fill you in. But lets start off with the niceties. My name is Tanya and I am a New Zealander - sort of. I was born and raised in this wonderful country but left for my OE (overseas experience, a rite of passage in this country - another blog post another time) when I was 21 years and after 16 years living in Canada and the US (mostly) I have returned to New Zealand dragging along an American partner (who I swear married me for my New Zealand passport, I saw the glint in his eye when I mentioned where I was from originally!) and 2 great kids. We returned about 3 months ago, to a new part of New Zealand for me, down in the south of the South Island, Dunedin (another post on my newly adopted town I promise). I am not ashamed to admit that the thought of lots of knitterly goodness helped me make up my mind over where to live. Hell I just came from 4 years in Southern California where knitting the kids mittens, hats and scarfs was a little wasted, not that it stopped me of course - a knitter must knit.

So here I am, home. After such a wonderful community of knitters in North America I am feeling a little alone, hence the blog. I love blogs, love podcasts, love love the wonderful internet world of knitters. My day is not complete without some
Knit and Tonic thoughts, I live from post to post for the Great Eunny and of course as do many hundreds, nay thousands I kneel at the alter of the Divine Harlot and many many others (don't get me started on how fabulous Brenda is and how I think the world would be a better place if we forced all the non knitters to listen to her). But I am a lurker. Completely. Love them all but I never comment. Don't really know why. I should. I mean to. I just never do. I don't know what to add I guess. So to start off the new year and a new life I am have decided to become an active member of the worldwide knitting community.
Starting here, starting today.

What is my blog going to look like?

I plan to talk about my life here in this part of NZ. Some of the culture shocks and differences between here, the US, Canada, and Aussie (where I lived for a while also). Of course my knitting will be included but also my other crafts and endevours. Lots of photos, promise. I would like to review some blogs, podcasts, books, yarns and LYS's. Since I don't have a way to browse through knitting books at the bookstore any longer before purchasing I rely on the internet to determine whether I would like to purchase a new book, I always appreciate a objective in-depth review. This is my goal. (This goes to all of those shut-ins out there, oohhh Canadian hockey days are coming back!). I might go over some past FO's too that I think are blog worthy. I welcome all comments and look forward to connecting with anyone who feels that this blog may have some interest to them. Yeah thats about it. For now. Will work on the getting the side bar thing filled with good stuff. I did mention I was new at this blog thing right?

Enough talking for one day. Bye.