Saturday, April 20, 2013

Unsettled

G'day all!

It has been a very disturbing week.  Not only have I been coming off the high from last week, but things like the Boston marathon bombings, the explosion in West and then earthquake in China - normally I try not to let things in the news disturb me, but this week I've been a bit vulnerable and some of the news has been quite shocking.  I'm still feeling a bit off-balance.

I'm probably in pretty good company though, aren't I?

So when the going gets tough, the tough start knitting madly.  This week I've knitted two cowls and finished off another massive one (that I am likely to rip out and redo in another way, now that I've worked out what that way should be).

Do not adjust your eyes,
well maybe put sunglasses on

IRL the yarn is neon yellow and green.

I've been planning to knit a Norwegian sweater ever since Syttende Mai last year, when there were not enough handknitted Norwegian sweaters on display at the parade.  Well I finally got some yarn together and with less than a month to go, cast on.  Nothing like giving myself a challenge!

Since 5pm, I've managed to cast on 265 stitches, do five rows of ribbing and then three rounds (yep, it is joined and will be steeked!) of pattern.  It has taken me over five hours to do that much, but I did get heavily distracted for over an hour and then had to cook and eat dinner and watch Man Lab as well.  Once I am past the first fifteen rows of checkerboard knitting, only every fifth row needs two handed knitting (hooray!) until I get to the main pattern, which is only 15 rows long.   I only have something like 110 or so rows to go on the body (and they should speed up a little when I move to larger needles where the stitches won't be so tight with not as much patterning), and then the sleeves and then the steeking and the button bands and the neckband... so not much more to go!  Tally ho!

At the knitting retreat, people exclaimed over my knitting speed but I'm no speedster, just faster than them.  I would need to modify my technique further to make it really speedy.  Even so, wish me luck, I think I'll be knitting a vest.  LOL

I'm starting to think I should go and knit in the very local LYS more often.  I should get out more and meet more people.  I'm still pretty isolated here but I fill it with busy-ness, making things, adding to my stashes to the point where I'm starting to not want to buy stuff any more.  Yes, I have enough stuff (though when faced with prettiness in the yarn shop in Friday Harbor, well we did have an accident there... and I had to buy some local Lopez Island yarn from the stall Maxine from ?Lopez? brought across.  And of course I had to buy some more yarn for the Norwegian sweater because I needed the right blue, Norwegian blue.  There's a joke in that!).  Last week, hanging out with so many knitters, having so many people around was a wonderful thing.  I am an introvert, I do need me time but I also started growing up as part of a household of six people and there was always noise, always drama until I was 13, the last of the kids to be at home (I'm a bit younger than my siblings).  It was nice to have chatter, to be able to help people and see new things and see people expanding their horizons and taking on challenges that a week before would've terrified them.  I need to get out into that more.

I have to say that I am pretty chuffed at the reactions to the photos I took on the islands.  I haven't put all of them up on my Flickr page as I don't have permission to share all of the people pics.  Some people really like them, they say they are really good, that I'm a good photographer.  I'm not used to being praised for anything - being so much younger than my siblings meant I was always playing catch up footy as we term it.  Yay me, I can walk at nine months but I have to learn to run because I can't keep up with my siblings if I don't.  Yay me, I can talk in complete sentences at whatever age but noone can hear me anyway because my next up sister won't shut up.  Yay me I'm reading the newspaper before I go to school.   I was always aware that even though I was good for my age in certain things, I was terrible in others and totally hopeless compared to siblings 5, 11 and almost 13 years older than me.  So praise makes me blush because I'm not that good - if I was, I'd be out taking award winning pics and making megabucks or I'd be curing cancer or making a difference to the world around me some way.  Then again, I admit that whilst I'm not that good, I still share pics and stuff with you.  I can't help but seek praise, try to master something, try to demonstrate my worth and my value through material prowess.  I want to be noticed (younger sibling syndrome much?).  At the same time, I don't study some of these things on my own and try to perfect the craft.  I'm leery of such things - perfectionism has caused me major amounts of grief in the past and I've had to learn to let such things go.  It's finding the middle road that is hard.

Speaking of family, my brother recently had a major birthday.  A Big One.  Of course I couldn't be there but I sent him a quilt.  LOL - I paid through the nose for fast shipping but because of Easter (which is a four day public holiday in Oz), it didn't get there until after his birthday.  You may be able to guess that he likes a certain cartoon character.

Fancy machine sewn binding

The back?  The front?

Or is this the back?  Or the front?
Yep, I made him a double sided Snoopy/Peanuts (tm!) quilt.  My goodness this thing ate so much fabric!  I thought it would be simple and quick but then suddenly I needed more and more and more fabric, and I started using fabric that was for other projects and had to go back and get more fabric twice!  Then again, it pretty much covers a double bed - one more row and it would've.  Building the log cabin style blocks I thought would be quick but nope, lots of ironing (oops, pressing) and sewing happened, and I thought I'd never finish cutting fabric into strips and then joining the strips together and sewing them onto the block....  I think I had to wind three bobbins of cotton for all of the piecing.  After all of that, I was exhausted when it came to quilting so I kept it simple and just did "straight" lines in one direction.

He emailed me and said he liked it and it was sitting on his armchair, waiting for cold weather to come along.

Is it surprising that I gave my brother a "childish" thing?  I tend to see being an adult is full of enough crap as it is (eg I have to go have a colonoscopy soon, when I arrange it.  I won't be full of crap then!  I have to see a dermatologist about my moles and I seem to be developing rosacea in response to cold weather/wind burn).  So why not mix it up, make it a bit more fun, do something silly or childish (as long as it doesn't hurt other people)?  Wear brightly coloured socks, wear something that gives you a thrill or makes you feel special, do something fun, brighten someone else's day with a quick witty quip or a kind act.

Anyway, time to bid you toodle pip, what ho and take me off to bed.

anon!

4 comments:

  1. Dude, if you find that elusive middle road? Would you send me directions? Thanks.

    I think we all need to embrace our inner child, especially when horrible grown up things are prevalent like this week. I have a bigish birthday next year (40) and want to go to Disneyworld!

    Good luck with your medical crap. I'm late getting my smear done this year (yearly because of past problems) so we should both just man up and get them done!

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  2. I sometimes feel Luke a kid just pretending to be a grown up. That Snoopy quilt is so fun! I love the way the yellow strips add movement with their placement. I hope this week is a bit less unsettling.

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  3. Norwegian blue? Beautiful plumage!
    I love the Snoopy quilt. If it makes you both happy (and I'd be happy with a gift like that), then why the hell not?! Growing old is mandatory - growing up is not.

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  4. It is unsettling, but it must restore your faith in people to know that they ran towards the bombs to help the victims. Brave people. I think people of a certain age find it hard to accept they are good at things. We were taught not to blow our own trumpets, to be meek or otherwise pride cometh before a fall- I learned that from my sakes and ladders game.
    Oh the quilt is fabulous and I totally agree, life it too full of horrid things not to indulge in childish pastimes and fun. Hope you are feeling more settled soon. Oh and I love the neon cowl!!!

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