Friday, August 21, 2015
If you've landed here, it's probably from clicking on a comment I left. I'm having issues commenting on blogger blogs, it won't let me do it with my wordpress account so I have to use my google account. Very annoying!
I don't blog here anymore, I'm at https://craftastrophies.wordpress.com/ now.
Thanks for dropping by, I hope you'll join me over at wordpress.
Friday, May 09, 2008
It's not you, it's me.
OK, I lie. It's totally you. You're passive aggressive. You are trying to cut me off from people - taking their messages but not leaving their contact details. You ar controling - you won't let me insert pictures properly and your spacing is recalcitrant.
I think it's time we called it quits. We were better as friends, anyway. I understand if you don't want to see me for a while, but when you do, I'll be here.
That's right. I've found someone new. Someone supportive. Someone who will let me be me. Someone I'm comfortable with.
I hope we can stay friends.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Apparently I fell off the edge of the world. But now I'm back! Oh, yes. Fur sure.
Only, I'm out of the habit, now. What do I say? Let's start with what's on my needles.
I'm knitting a BSJ (baby surprise jacket, for those not in the know) out of yarn that is quite pink. It's going a bit slow, since it's my first time knitting it, and while it is mindless in some ways, it is complex enough that I need to keep my eye on the ball. So to speak. I think I'm close though. I've stepped that one up, since the intended recipient will be ready for in in under a month, and I was hoping to ad a pair of booties or some other charming token to the mix.
I'm knitting another Cobblestone for my dearest papa, since the last onewas a tad snug. It's a good thing this is mindless enough for me to do without knowing that I'm even knitting, practically, since otherwise it might jus drive me MENTAL. (lord knows it's not a long trip). I'm about 5 inches away from the armpits.
It's slowed down, though, since I started on my Central Park Hoodie. This is what joy feels like, people. Every time I pick it up, I think 'well, I'll just knit until teh next cable row.' Then I get there and think 'hmmm... I can't really see that - I'll knit a few rows until I can see it emerge.' So I do. And THEN I think 'well, I'm, only four rows away from the end of the repeat. I'll knit to that.' And then I think 'in two more rows it's another cable row! I'll just knit to that...'
You can see where I'm going with this, can't you. I cast on exactly a week ago, and I'm about two inches away from the back armpit shaping.
Since I am most certainly not in the mood to wrangle with blogger, here is a link to my flickr stream. Annoying, I know, but there are some photos in there under the 'knits' set, and if you are of a mind, you can also check out all the different kinds of funny faces my sister can make. That ought to brighten your day. Or, if you're on ravelry, you can see me here. While you're there, you can also search for 'jo sharp wrap jacket' and a picture of my sister pops up. Gave me a shock the other day, I can tell you.
I have been reprimanded a couple times recently for my rabid queueing habits on ravelry. It got a bit obsessive, I'll grant you. I'd hunt for new exciting patterns, and queue with abandon. It gave me a rush. It filled in for knitting, which is frowned on during work hours. I got cranky when I couldn't find new patterns to queue. I would angrily scan people's queues, wailing and gnashing my teeth when I had ALREADY QUEUED every single pattern that they had. My friends got sick of waking up to a long list of 'kaviare has queued.... kaviare has queued...' They staged an intervention. I'm feeling better now.
In all seriousness, though. I think I've run out. I have five pages of queue. That's 186 items. Every one of which I am burning to knit. You don't believe me? I've had several purges. It's a refined list. When do I think I have time to knit that, or money to buy the yarn? Clearly I'm delusional.
Thankyou, Jess and Casey. You are the best enablers EVER.
Friday, March 07, 2008
So, anyway. The show is a bit arty farty, done in a bunch of different langauges. I didn't reread it beforehand, because I have seen it performed a couple times, and also I find it really boring on the page. Partly because I don't really like any of the characters except Oberon and Puck. I mean, Dimitrius leaves whichever H-name girl (You can so tell I care, non?) is in love with him in the forest, all alone! After he attacks her! And yet I'm supposed to be glad when they get together in the end. Becuase he's under a spell. Which other people have been put under, and when it's taken off they see it as a dream. So now he's walking around, not really being himself. Which i don't care much about, because I think he's a stinker, even if he is an Ancient Greek, but then I have to think about 'what does love mean' and 'how do our emotions change us'. Which is fine, but don't expect me to look at a cast of characters living a lie and expect to get all soppy.
ANYWAY. So, the point is, I didn't reread it. And as soon as I sat down in the theatre I thought 'shit. I don't remember a thing about the plot.' But it turns out, it didn't really matter. There was a last minute addition to our party who didn't know anythign about the plot, and he struggled, but I think if you've read a paragraph-long synopsis, you'll be fine.
All the important plot points, and famous lines, were in the original English. Hermia, Helena, Titania and Bottom speak almost exclusively English. And, given the impenatrability of some of Shakespeare's language if you haven't read a footnoted version, I don't think it suffered that much. Some of the languages were beautiful - I'd love to know who was speaking what. It perhaps would have been better if I didn't live in a large apartment building full of people who speak other languages, many of whom are Indian. In that way, it was kind of like a usual Saturday night for me, except they weren't playing the same bollywood song over and over and over, and I wasn't trying to sleep. However, I do try and kind of treat where I live as live theatre anyway, so I guess that works out well (that might need a whole post) The night after, I made sure to pay attention to what I could hear from my flat. The Indian couple on the left were watching a Romantic Comedy. The Chinese couple on the right were watching a horror flick. Upstairs there was Bollywood music. Downstairs there swas an accordian (and much yelling of 'puta!') That's where I live.
ANYWAAAAY. So, the language was not an issue for me, in fact I kind of liked it. I find a lot of the long impassioned speeches boring, which is one of the reasons this isnot one of my favourites. At least in another language, you could just listen to the rythms (which is half the point anyway) and there was always enough going on peripherally to give you something to look at.
The costumes were unbelieveably gorgeous. All indain silks and bright colours and bling. Puck (who is always the high point for me) was FANTASTIC. The faries were great - hard core, you know? These were no wishy washy, tulle-wearing fantasms. These were trouble-making, mean-business faeries, the ones that English and Celtic culture used to have, before modernity diluted them. They were all male, except Peasblossom, who was totally awesome. I liked that Titania's entourage was not silly and sulky, like they're usually played. In fact, she was much more of a sympathetic character in general than I usaully find her. Much more of a faerie queen. Bottom was also fantastic. Extremely charismatic, not just a stupid buffoon, but a peasant with pretensions, someone with force, who, given the right circumstances and education, might have been Someone to Reckon With.
The set was made up of a pit of sand (no shoes were worn throughout - my kind of performance) and the backdrop was a bamboo scaffolding. To begin with, this was covered with paper, through which teh faeries made their entrance, tumbling and clambering and screeching and laughing. So much movement and colour. The set was used extremely well - possibly my most favourite part was when teh four lovers are chasing each other - Puck is walking calmly round the action, setting up poles all around the sand. He then ran elastic bands around and around and around, to make a webby maze, through which the actors stumbled and climbed, trying to get at each other for kisses and caresses or blows. Then, when it becomes obvious that he's blinded the wrong man with the love spell, Oberon chases and hunched and sheeping Puck around the same maze.
All the actors were extremely nimble - not only the fairies, but also teh mortals, entered and exited through teh scaffolding, at different hights, adding drama to the moonlight chase through the woods. There were also ropes and fabric from above, which were climbed and slept in. All of the actors were extremely fit and attaractive... not that I noticed... *cough*
All in all, it was magical experience. I once went to go see this performed in the Botanic gardens, where the fairies climbed the trees and ran amok. This had all that magic, and more. The one single downside was that the actors were perhaps too impassioned at times, so that you couldn't tell when they really meant something. There was no modulation. But whatever.
If you can, I would strongly recommend you see this. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Just read the synopsis first.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
So, first, I got one of these:
He is a mini Rex and he is soooooooo soft. He’s also a big fat dork. He has two names – n00b, because he is, and Christopher Robin, because he goes ‘hoppity hoppity hop’, and I needed a name that was easier to explain to people over 30 than ‘n00b’.
Mostly I just call him 'bunny', though. Or 'bunster' or 'bunstable', or 'el bunnarino', since I'm not into that whole brevity thing.
He disapproves of my poor cleaning skills.
He lives in my spare room, and likes to wake me up at 5:30 by ripping newspaper. He chews things. I luff him. He is indifferent to me, as long as pellets are provided. He tolerates pats but eschews cuddles. He is very hard to take photos of.
Second, I frogged this.
It is technically my first jumper. You might remember me talking about it here, and here, where I was about to proceed on knitting the sleeves. Yeah, not so much. Despite this jumper having been to China and back with me, I was reluctant to come back to it. Part of this was the fact that I had originally, with my mother’s help, attempted to adjust the pattern so it would fit me. It’s in a Katia book, and so has only one size. I was definitely a knitting n00b, going back and forth between the English and Spanish instructions, because the Spanish had centimeters. When in China, I gave up, and started knitting it to the pattern, hoping against reason that I would be able to wear it.
Last year I decided I’d finish it, and that it would fit someone. Probably my younger sister, although I am reluctant to lavish knitwear upon her. But last week I took it out and… well… it looked… small. Tiny.
That is MOST CERTAINLY never going to fit me. It might still fit my sister but I don’t even know about that. That’s not a large top. It is the opposite of large. So. Frogged. Free yarn! Hoorah!
Some of it has since become something else, but more about that when I have pictures.
I’ve made progress on this:
It’s made from the alpaca that was originally intended for Bryant’s Slipover, but didn’t turn out so good. I decided to knit the Alpaca Silk Fairy Net Blouse from some issue of IK. Except without much of the fairy net. Being more of a Faerie type of gal and not having much room in my life for fairy nets. Or useless pieces of fabric that turn a shaped garment into a boxy one. Still, I knit the lace sleeves. Several times. I just COULD NOT get a handle of the decreasing in pattern. I knit the first one once, while listening to a lecture from UC Berkeley about the French Revolution. I knit it again while watching Beauty and the Beast (don’t laugh. It’s a good movie. Well, if they took out Mrs Potts and her insufferable child. That’s a twisted relationship if ever I saw one.) I knit it once more while listening to another UC Berkeley lecture, this time about Bismark. I FINALLY got it.
And then I lay out all the pieces. All the pieces knit in alpaca. Alpaca with no silk involved. Heavy. Hot. Short… sleeved…
I WILL DEFEAT YOU!!!1!!111!1
I’ve seamed it up the sides. I’m still dragging my heels on putting the sleeves in. Where I am going to wear a short sleeved alpaca top, I don’t know. Also, it’s kind of itchy, so I’d have to wear a reasonable top under it. It’s too girly to be a vest – picot edging, you know.
What I do know is that it’d be a bitch to frog. That alpaca is HAIRY. Maybe I can pull it off as a vest?
On Saturday I went to an engagement party in a park. It turned out to be a lovely day for it, but when I left home it was overcast and blustery, so I wore my blue jacket. Although I met them at the same time, I’m better friends with him (B) than her (R). Turns out, see, that we read all the same webcomics.
Anyway, the first people I spoke to, after greeting, were R’s parents, who I had never met before and in fact didn’t realize were her parents until halfway through the event. I’m sharp like that. Her dad comes marching up to me and says ‘What a wonderful jacket. Did you make it yourself?’ I’m standing there wondering whether to be offended or not, when I notice his partner, R’s mother, peering at the lacework. She knits. We had a wonderful conversation about ktogs and yos. She said she just couldn’t find patterns that she liked. I suggested teh interwebs.
About a half hour later, there was a new arrival wearing a knitted top. It was a hideous mustard colour that led me to believe that it was store-bought, but it was chunky enough to be feasibly hand knit. Mandarin collar, high waist, I’m eyeing it off distractedly as someone talks to me, wondering about construction. Out of the corner of my eye I spy R’s father marching up to the mustard-clad girl. Drifting on the breeze I hear ‘No! I bought it at Sportsgirl!’ I felt smug. Somebody slap me.
This is not my bunny. this is my sister's Bunny. His name is Giacomo Casanova. No joke. Also, if you haven't seen it, you should totally check out the BBC TV series of Cassanova with David Tennant in it. It's totally surreal and cool. And sexy. Best. Dr Who. EVER.
And to top it off, a story whose moral I have not yet decided on.
Since I was meeting and greeting on Saturday, my weekly cleaning got left until Sunday. I hung my quilt (or doona or whatever anyone calls it) out on the line to air as usual. I’m a bit nervous about leaving it on the communal line. I’ve lost a couple of face washers, one of which might have just fallen off (since someone likes to ‘borrow’ my pegs) but the other of which was definitely taken, so I went to get it after about an hour.
It was gone.
It was definitely not just fallen off, etc. I looked. I stood there, disbelieving. I went back upstairs and cried for five minutes. I was already having a bad day, ok. Also, I’ve had that quilt for years (which, now that I think about it, is kind of gross) It’s like if someone had taken my teddy bear or security blanket – and then I wrote a note.
It said ‘Whoever f*%#ed off with my quilt – BRING IT BACK’. I sneered at myself a little for doing it, but it did make me feel better. Something about registering my anger, or whatever. I pegged it to the line where my quilt had been.
Yesterday I had to go to the shops after work. As I left my apartment, there were a couple of people hanging out their washing. As I walked back, I strategically detoured through the washing line area and…
There was my quilt! I scooped it up and ran to my apartment. I am still undecided as to whether this is a story about the good in people or the bad. Then again, I’m a glass-not-full-enough kind of person. Make of that what you will.
Also not my Bunny. I hope my sister never finds this blog, or I'm in Trouble.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I just came from watching the parliamentary apology. My first reaction, right this moment, is this: Fucking Brendon Nelson, get your head out of your Arse and at least pretend to be gracious. I mean it. I mean all those swear words (something else I try to keep off of the blog) All of them. I thought my years of being ashamed to be an Australian every time I saw a politician on my screen were over. Not so. I don't think I could have cringed any more. After Rudd's speech which, ok, was not perfect in delivery but was at least heartfelt, Nelson's piss-weak excuse for an apology was deeply painful.
Let's try a metaphor here. This path - it's the way to a whole and healed nation. With me? OK. The gorse and broom weeds on the edges? Brendon Fucking Nelson.
God. Way to screw up your moment in the sunshine.
OK, now onto the petty sniping which I do so well. I enjoyed watching the benches as the speeches wore on. Julia Gillard spent the whole time looking dignified, and nodding along, looking at the back of Kevin Rudd's head as though she Believed. (For those non-Aussies, Gillard is the one who, a few years ago, called another member of parliament 'a grub'. When told by the Speaker to apologise, she said 'I apologise for any insult I may have caused to the Honourable Member. Or to grubs.' Makes me miss Keating.)
On the Labor side, most of the White, Middle Aged Men looked varying degrees of bored or glum. Maybe they were going for gravity. I think they missed. Except, of course, for Peter Garret.
That's right, for those of you who live overseas or haven't been paying attention, our Minister for the Environment used to be the lead singer of Midnight Oil. I saw him speak at my left-wing uni one time. The guy who used to run around with dreads and bare feet came dressed up like a Quoll, and tried to dump a bucket of barkchips over Garret's head, shouting 'What about the Tasmanian Forests, Peter? What about the Forests?!?!' while the security guards chased him round and round the food court. Good times.
Anyway. Garret was on the edge of his seat, looking tense and excited. The women, of whom there are a fair few scattered along the back benches, were more interesting. I am going to show my ignorance now, since I know none of their names, and I can't look them up since none of them look anything like their official pictures. My only excuse is the Howard years - I just couldn't stand to pay attention anymore.
The woman directly behind Rudd, along with a few others, were weepy. The woman behind her was engaged and dignified, except for when Rudd mentioned mothers, when she did a little simper-sob thing, and looked mushy for a few minutes.
The Liberal benches just looked bored, glum, sullen, sulky. When Nelson got up to speak (boo, hiss) the contrast of Julia Bishop sitting behind him to Gillard was interesting. I actually had to ask someone to check that she was not, in fact, Camilla Parker-Bowles. She looked either glum or sneery throughout.
There were shots of past prime ministers - Keating next to Hawke, Hawke next to Whitlam (interspersed with wives). Keating looked OLD, which made me feel old, likewise. Those were the days. I was in primary school, we had a prime minister who had worked for a living, and the future was hopeful. We never dreamed of Howard.
During Nelson's speech, we got a shot of Hawke and Gough. Hawke looked like he needed a drink (badump, cha), and Gough was leaning forward, looking appaled, like he just couldn't tell where that horrible smell was coming from. I know. It was from Nelson.
Apparently people on the lawns outside stood and turned their backs on both Parliament house and the screens showing Nelson's snivelling face, bringing back memories of the time Howard was similarly snubbed. My reliable sources tell me that Elder park, here in Adelaide, saw similar disapproval. At work, we fired up the TV screen and there were 6 or so of us early birds, and the heckling was intense.
I am just so ashamed. Rudds speech was compasionate, heartfelt, sincere. It was full of feeling, without being sentimental. Nelson, on the other hand, was sickly and sentimental, and seemed to undo, step by step, Rudd's good words.
OK, so Rudd did not deliver the speech with the same vim that you could imagine someone like Keating doing it. He's no Barak Obama. But as he got going, I got caught up in his words, in the story he was telling of my country. It was one filled with real people, with lives, and real pain.
I hope you won't think I'm being overly dramatic if I say that it was the first time in my entire life that I have heard a Prime Minister of my country describe it in a way that I recognise. Rudd spoke about my reality - a reality in bad things happened, and need to be addressed. A reality in which ignoring other people's pain is not only morally wrong, but also counter productive. A reality in which, if we can't acknowledge these wrongs, we must keep feeling ashamed of them. Only when things start to change, can we be, as Nelson claimed we already are, free of the guilt of our prosperity at the expense of the first peoples of this land.
But it is still a reality in which there is room for hope.
For me, it was a very hopeful speech. I could see a glimpse of a future that, two years ago - heck, six months ago - would have been laughably optimistic. A future where Australians are Australians. Where we can live with our past, without feeling it as a weight. Where an aboriginal person walking down the street is no more noteworthy than someone in a headscarf, or a white woman with her child, or an Asian student with fluffy things hanging off of her mobile phone. I can't get over how you can see the members of any nation walk towards you and not blink an eye, but when a member of our first peoples is walking, everyone crosses the street.
I was hoping to come away from this morning feeling lighter. I don't. I feel a strange mix of uplifting hope and grinding, belly-wrenching shame. I'm not sure which will win.
I expected to come away feeling good about the people in charge. I certainly didn't expect to be so incensed by Nelson - I was hoping for hope for bi-partisan movement. I'm not feeling that, now.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Looking on ravelry and listening to Stash and Burn has been fuelling my knitting fantasies. My queue on Ravelry is nothing. nothing! This week I have regularly worked myself up into a frenzy, in which it seems not only desirable, but also sensible and necessary, to knit an aran weight tshirt. For an Australian climate.
But some things have stuck. Like Tempest. Do you think that would look ridiculous? I almost don't care. I want it. And Milicent, I want badly. Badly. Except sans sparkles.
I also want to knit baby things for my friend who is pregnant, but not in baby colours. They're all so blah. I am going to get some white baby wool and attempt to dye it using Jelly crystals. If it works, I might try other yarns. If you look on my ravelry page, you'll notice that most of my knits are in Bendigo Mills yarn. This is because it is good, and it is cheap. It enables me to knit the things I want without breaking the bank. Yes, luxury yarn is wonderful, and there are some things in my knitting queue (in my head, not in Ravelry) that will requre spun silk and kid mohair. But for your everyday jumper or jacket, I am not willing to spend $200. And then knit it. And then, it's not quite right. The only bad thing is that their colours are limited, and sometimes a little boring. And acid dyes are scary and complicated.
Speaking of luxury yarns, I am thinking of knitting a wrap/stole/shawl thing for my cousin, who is getting married at the end of 2009. She's pretty sensitive, so I'm thinking pure silk. I don't know what colours though. Or what pattern. Conundrum. Perhaps I will have to buy 'victorian lace today' or something.
Anyway, that was all extraneous. What I was really blogging for was to tell you this story.
Wednesday night was knitting group night. I left reasonably early - I was tired. While I was waiting for the bus, I was knitting on the-sock-that-would-not-die, aka the hedgerow sock. (It's a quick knit - it just kind of got pushed to the backburner during the christmas knitting madness, and hasn't recovered since. I am sooooooo close, though, so it's become my bus knitting). A young guy walked past with his very trendy-looking, pink haired girlfriend. I could see out of the corner of my eye that he was watching me, and he turned and slowed. Eventually, he was standing stock still. He stood there so long that I had to look up - he was watching my hands.
'What are you making?' he asked. American accent. He mimed knitting as he asked - maybe he thought I couldn't hear over my iPod. I was only listening to Cast On, Brenda's voice is nice and quiet.
'A sock! Awesome!' He seemed genuinely pumped. He shot me a double handed thumbs up, and kept walking. The woman on the next bench and I shared a grin.
I do not generally enjoy encounters over my knitting, unless you are a knitter or crafter yourself, so we cna engage in an actual conversation. I don't really care that your granmda used to knit. Or even, really, that you've tried to knit and it just didn't take, or that you wish you had the time. I don't like talking to strangers - I don't know how to react, and my privacy always feels invaded. I always feel like they mean that I am old fashioned, or that obviously I am not as busy and important as themselves, or that they are waiting for me to offer to teach them (SO not interested. Sorry)
But this one has made me grin every time I think about it.
A sock. Awesome.