Monday, 28 January 2008

There is something to be said for balloon animals.....

You know how when you go to a party and there is the quiet kinda nerdy dude in the corner (you know before nerdy was hot) and you pass right over him - boring - and then some music starts up and - boom the bloke starts swing dancing like no tomorrow ....... that my friends is a great party trick.

The time has come that I can no longer rely on my liquor induced obnoxiousness alone to save me at a party (funny as you grow older how weenie you become around liquor ".........and then, and then I drank the WHOLE beer by myself and well I was just away with the fairies............woo hoo"). I feel it is time for me to get a party trick.

I really considered swing dancing but was strangely more drawn to Appalachian clogging and somehow, maybe it is just me, but I don't think it will say cool to others. Balloon animals are out, I suck at that, don't ask me how I know.

And then it hit me - origami.

I have been spending a lot of time around some Japanese women lately and all of them can origami like you wouldn't believe. Apparently they learn it at school. Finally a school system that sets their pupils up for real life, although I guess if everyone can origami the whole party trick thing.......(and yes origami is a verb, well...... because I said so). So every time I come into work there would be another of the cutest little thing and then finally the coup d'etat, an origami cell phone. So let me just set the scene for you, as in welcome to my daydream, there I am sitting in the middle of a crowd of admirers and I say "oh poor you you have lost your cell phone, well here take this one" and toss them a paper cell phone and all clap and laugh at my wittiness and I fling my non-existent hair around "oh really it was nothing, anyone can do it".

My son got me one of those cool origami a day calendars. I am 3 weeks into the year and I have been practising my origami. For some strange reason I thought it would be fun to do it each day with him, forgetting that the boy has just come off a year of "a paper airplane a day". For the record telling your kid that doing a perfect outside fold is just dumb and no one thinks he is clever cause it is dumb and no I don't need to see how it is done perfectly because remember they are dumb and I am not going to do those dumb things.... yeah well I don't think they covered that in parenting 101.

My version of a penguin...... a penquin I the bird............oh be quiet.........

The peace dove who couldn't get her fat ass off the ground if peace depended on it..........

You know magic tricks always go over well don't they........

Maybe I didn't give balloon animals enough of a chance............

They say liquor is quicker.............

Saturday, 19 January 2008

A little sewing........

Remember these?

Yep, scrunchies.

Well my daughter didn't live through the 90's so she thinks they are awesome. She gets to pick out her favourite fabric from my stash and like magic in 15 minutes she has a scrunchie. She gets to iron them and sometimes sew the seams on the machine while on her mama's lap and life does not get better than this. And later if she is really lucky she will get to "help" make dinner. Because when you are 4 years old all you really need is attention, love and a favourite toy and all of the rest of that plastic crap just gets in the way because it gives your mum a reason and excuse to say"for goodness sake go and play with all the great things you got for Christmas and don't hang around my feet".

And her favourite toy, a wooden trolley we found at the dump that she got to decorate all by herself.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Simple - Yes, Easy - No

There was a baby born about these parts lately, #3 to some friends. Now at the risk of offending all is just me or do baby #3, #4, #5 in a family seem like less cause for celebration? Even with my second there was less who-ha, that's okay you get way too much crap with babies. I once met a couple so excited about their pregnancy I would have sworn it was #1 but it was #8, I was floored. #8 and they were still all about it, go figure, I don't get it. In fact even someone else having 8 kids makes me feel nervous. Imagine being the extended family, you would want to make double sure you kept both of those parents alive wouldn't you. We are official guardians to 4 different kids (2 different families) and it makes me nervous when I see the 4 parents say travelling in the same car together. I just don't think it is wise. I don't manage 2 most days, could you imagine 6! It didn't go over well when I expressed that one out loud, really I was just trying to be practical. Aaah but I digress. ........

I want to see baby #3 but what does it say about me that I am more excited about finally being able to make a pair of Saartje's bootees. Of course a new human being is more important than a (super duper cute) pattern. Of course it is but damn, it is a mighty fine little pattern isn't it. And he is not mine after all and he has lots of other people to be excited about him but being excited about his new bootees I think I will take care of that job.

Now I thought I would be able to whip these out in an hour or two and that may be the case if I could just get past the constant frogging I have done. I am on yarn #3 (hey like the baby, maybe it is fate....spooky). It is many attempts later, because they are too small to swatch for in my mind. Since I have started these booties about 15 times trying to work them out the irony is not lost on me. But finally one is done. I have reworked the pattern to allow for the larger gauge. I am not thrilled about the colour or yarn but since this is a fairly traditional couple my yarn choices were extremely limited. Machine washable and no hint of any colour that would change the child's sexual orientation in later years (of course it has been scientifically proven, and anyway don't you know the old saying "pink for a baby boy and there will be no heterosexual joy". You don't? Odd. Guess you don't get out much. And anyway I don't need that hanging over my head). Ted tried to convince me to just go with what I wanted but what I wanted that these may be worn. My only nod to a little less conventionality will be to put 4 different buttons on them for a little fun (for me) (guess it is I who doesn't get out enough). It is a novelty yarn alas but I think it will go over well with the couple. I will save my organic Blue Sky undyed cotton for the next knitter's baby, it would not have been appreciated here and I may have made a bit of a fool of myself trying to get them to see the folly of their ways. People get a little funny once you try stuffing yarn down their shirt so they can truly see how soft it is.

So pattern verdict..........simple - yes, easy - no. Baby stuff is a political minefield.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Time to walk the talk.......

I have been thinking about over consumption a lot lately.

I have been thinking about how we are changing a whole generation by giving them everything they could ever want or need. I worry about this. I think it is going to bite us in the ass big time.

I lived in Southern California for about 5 years, a place where it was never too hot, never too cold, no bugs and life was pretty easy. And you know what I learned. I don't appreciate good weather unless I have had a winter to suffer through. It was weird lesson to learn. Here in Dunedin where the weather is often yucky when we have sun the whole neighbourhood comes alive as we all think the same thought, "I must go outside, I must enjoy and saver, I must garden, I must lie in the sun and read and I must try to get to the strawberries before the bloody birds get them". I swear this is a universal thought in my neighbourhood on a sunny day. You feel the joy a sunny, warm day brings.

I think about it when I craft and find myself more and more drawn to using recycled materials. Because I have made the commitment (due to budget and environmental reasons) that all the fabric in our curtains and upholstery will be from recycled materials I now get the joy of discovery at op shops and garage sales and I am ashamed to admit the depths of my stash. I know I value my handcrafted clothing more than store bought. I know my gift recipients agree. Is this why so many of us are crafting more and more? Is this why I am growing more of my food? Is this why I am drawn to making my own bread, jam, baked goods? Can I only appreciate what isn't easily gained? In our effort to make life easy for our kids what are we depriving them of?

( Calorimetry from Knitty, lovely little pattern it is!)

I met a knitter the other day who was down in Stewart Island for a week and it was cold. She didn't have a hat but she just couldn't bring herself to buy one because she is able to now make them. She is a brand new knitter who has only made scarfs but was confident in her ability to make a hat. So instead she froze. She laughed about it as she was making a hat in the warm sunny weather we were having in Dunedin. I completely agreed with her. I would have done the same thing. I have done the same thing.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Is anyone still out there........... very delinquent blogger is now back.

Now I thought about giving all sorts of lame excuses since the truth sounds even lamer but I figured honesty is the best policy in this case.

Truth #1: By nature I need lots of "alone" time and I haven't been getting so much of that lately. I now have a very social job that consumes 30 hours of my week and 2 busy children that insist on having many friends. New Zealanders are a friendly bunch and I find myself attending more dinners, parties, bbq's and "just drinks" that we have time for. So as a result I have severely neglected other parts of my life, just ask my knit night group - Tanya who? It is not just you; I haven't been reading blogs lately nor taking the time to comment, even Ravelry only gets a look in.

Truth #2: While I still love knitting, it doesn't consume me like it used to. I have been doing more and more other crafts and have had less and less knitting to discuss. Yes there is always something on the needles and yes I knit most every day but it doesn't fill my every waking thought like it used to. Now given I am the Kiwi Knitter would a blog that allows other crafts to make an appearance be okay?

See I miss blogging. I miss the connections that I made with so many of you. I love the feeling of the internet knitting village that blogging helps to create. I miss the chance to have my say, completely uninterrupted. I would still like to blog but it will always be on this erratic schedule I am afraid, it will always be feast or famine. Don't you hate it when you discover these truths about yourself?

Will you have me back?