Monday, March 31, 2008

Erm, does anyone see a theme here...

I think there's a joke about the dangers of listening to the voices in your head - where the punchline is something about it only being bad when you start talking back to them.

I don't know about that, but here's a story about the dangers of not listening to the voices in your head. You know, where you decide to make a lovely pair of soft red socks for CanAssist using yummy red Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, and you have a pattern which will be quick and easy and uses that very yarn, which you have in your stash. And the pattern says to use 2.75mm sticks, which for me, using a sportweight yarn, was something I knew to be dangerous. Here's how it went:

Voice In My Head: Go up a stick size (at least) - they'll be too tight

Me: Nah, it'll be ok, they don't have to fit me, so it won't matter if they're a bit smaller

VIMH: Yeah, but you want them to actually fit someone, don't you?

Me: They'll fit! And besides, I'm using my 3mm sticks for something else, and I don't want to use 3.25mm sticks or otherwise they'll be too loose...

VIMH: Gah! Well, don't say I didn't tell you...

So of course I cast on and was merrily knitting away. Every so often I'd hear:

VIMH: I knew they'd be too tight. Look how they don't stretch very far. TOO TIGHT!
Me: Shut up. They'll be fine.

And I got to the toe. And I had a work colleague with very slim feet and ankles to try them on. She couldn't get them over her heel.

VIMH: Remember what I said...?
Me: SHUT UP! They'll stretch a bit when I block them.
And so I finished the toe...but didn't kitchener it...the Voice was wearing me down.

And yesterday:
Me: (whimpering) shut up...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

a Kooltime was had by all!

Lovely knitblogging weekend...

Along with BrownPants, SadieandLance and a bunch of other friends, Friday night formally farewelled the lovely Shazmina Bendi who is going to live in London for a year...or two...and then meet Lord Looks-like-Mr-Darcy and move to live in his castle in Wales right near Colinette. As Shazmina is a huge Elvis fan, the venue was Elvis Pizza on Bayswater Road at Rushcutter's Bay. All you can eat pizza, pasta, salad and garlic bread, followed by a live Elvis show. Just make sure you finish your pizza quick smart because Elvis is the pizza cook! (or something...) It was TOPS!

Saturday the lovely Bells came to Sydney to visit, so we made a day of it and caught up with Shazmina and BrownPants again (boy, I was just a bit seedy...oh dear), Nora and Donni. We bought buttons, had many coffees (and in my case, a bacon and egg roll for lunch...mmmm hangover food) and had a great chat.

Home so Bells and I could exchange our anniversary gifts (why yes, we are a pair of gumbies!). Here is my loot:
A rose red tea cup! A red metal bucket/yarn container! Cookie cutters! and mmmmmmmmmMalabrigo! Two skeins in Sealing can only see one, because after our dinner on Saturday night, Bells and I had a Kooltime Kasting on our Koolhaases using our Kmalabrigo (Bells' is Vermillion, mine is Sealing Wax)! In fact, Bells enjoyed it so much, she ended up casting on 3 times (whoops...)Lovely lovely weekend, thanks Bells and Donni for driving up to Sydney to visit, thanks Bells for lovely gifts and WILL MISS YOU SHAZMINA! Good luck lovey, you will have the best time and I am very envious of you!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bags me!

I guess I haven't been showing a lot of knitting lately - mainly because I've been knitting my swap goodies for the Australian Knitters Bag Lady swap on Ravelry - our packages were due to be posted off this week. I'm pretty sure my swap pal doesn't read my blog, but I didn't want to post any spoilers just in case (so there'll be a big week of FO's next week!)

And something which is always a nice surprise, even though I know in theory it is coming, is that I get a package in the mail too! Yay! And the best surprise of all was that my swap pal was Tinkingbell! I did wonder why I wasn't being asked any questions, as other Ravellers in the swap were. I just figured I was totally easy to stalk - I mean, hello! Something red - check; something shoe related - check; yarn - check.

It never occured to me I would have one of my blog pals knitting for me - how cool is that!

And here is my package of goodness. It was hard to fit it all in the one shot (although I did somehow still manage to get my washing in the background. Sigh).
So many things!
  • a red and black felted bag - with lots of external pockets - I love bags with pockets!

  • a red and white fabric sock project bag - yay! Even though I think I've got about 6 project bags, I was running out. Now the Grrrman Stockings have their own lovely sleeping bag, while they snooze in the naughty corner

  • 2 red flannelette shoe bags - with sock buttons!

  • a red shoe mobile phone charm

  • raspberry red yarn! It's Naturally Mist....I'm thinking of making Wisp out of it, what do you think?
  • Marian sock pattern
  • mmmmm Tasmanian fudge

  • mmmmm rocky road ... soap. So I can't eat it, although I'd really like to!
  • Cupcake lipgloss ... also can't eat the cupcake!

  • and for something completely random, a grow your own gnome! Hee, I love gnomes. I shall be conducting an experimental grow from the weekend, documenting it every day...

Thanks so much Tink, I love everything!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Every little bit helps

I was going to post today about my fabulous Ravelry Bag Lady Swap package (a HUGE thanks to Tinkingbell) but I was so busy finishing up my own swap package to send off today that I didn't get a chance to upload the photos last night. So you'll all have to wait in suspense...

In the meantime, can I encourage you to sign up for Earth Hour here. Earth Hour started in Sydney last year and is now global (yippee!). So for those who don't know, what is it? Here's the blurb:

At 8pm on March 29, 2008, Sydney will turn off its lights for just one hour - Earth Hour - to show that it's possible to take action on global warming. Switching off is a simple action that can make a difference and it sends a powerful message that the people of Sydney care about the future of the planet.

My work is doing it, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is doing it, I'm doing it - all the cool kids are doing it! I did it last year too and it was actually a really good change to turn everything off and sit and knit by candlelight (as I recall, it was a nice easy garter stitch project!).

So if you can, do your bit to make a difference.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

SHOESday: Back to Black

As promised, back to the month of black. Well, this is the last SHOESday for the month, so next week there'll be something other than black, but (and I know you'll no doubt find this very hard to believe) I do have some more black shoes, so we'll return to this theme at some point in the future.As generally happens with fashion, one day you're in and the next day you're out (tee hee) ... so sometimes patent leather is in (eg the season before I bought these shoes on sale at David Jones) and then it is out. Fortunately for me, it is back in again, so even though these shoes are about 5 few years old, they still fit right in with today's trends. Not that I keep up with trends too much, I guess I'd describe my style as classic eclectic (well, my work dress style - my weekend style is just comfortable).The thing I love the most about these shoes is the heel. I couldn't get a great picture of it, but the heel is actually a hexagon, all the way up to where it meets the sole of the shoe. Each side of the hexagon curves gracefully upwards, getting wider as it nears the sole. It really is a divine little feature that makes a fairly plain black shoe so special.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter!

Well, as the long weekend draws to a close I thought I'd better post! I meant to post on Saturday but that didn't happen. Or yesterday, or today, until now! In my defence, I've been busy!

On Friday we went to the Royal Easter Show (Sydney's version of the state fair, I guess, for you US folk). It's the time every year when the country comes to the city - or at least, that's the marketing blurb. It is that time, but it's also a great time to gouge huge chunks of money from the wallets of (un)suspecting parents. My goodness, the show can be expensive. But if you don't go on rides, or buy showbags, or buy yukky food from the usual suspects (dagwood dog and fairy floss anyone?), you can go to the fancy-schmancy "fine dining restaurant" (Jamieson's) which overlooks the main arena and have a silver service lunch including wine and cheese platter. All very refined and something we didn't know about until this year. Yay!

And you can look around the Arts pavilion (I shan't review the knitting competitions - Ailsa has done a fine job already and I can't top her efforts!), look at the animals - here's some alpackys for you fibre lovers:
(nb: "alpacky" not "alpaca". Why? Because it's The Rules!)

And we always check out the District displays. Each state district (there are 5 or 6 I think, including one from Queensland although I've no idea why) does a sort of life size diorama type display every year using only produce from within their district - fruits, vegetables, wool, grains, preserves etc. They are really quite amazing to see, both for the imaginative displays and ways of using the produce, and just to admire all the effort which obviously goes into them.

This year, one of the districts had moving parts - an emu which went up and down on it's (I imagine, increasingly rickety) legs, a kangaroo which bobbed up and down and a frilled neck lizard whose frill opened and shut (sorry the pictures aren't great, only took the little camera with the hopeless flash):
Not sure if this is the first time moving parts have been used, but if so, no doubt they'll all have them next year. This next one is from the district where my home town is (can't you just see how it could be improved by legs that actually run!):I loved the use of the black images in this (can't remember what that is called now, but I'm sure one of you will help me out):And the lights shining through the preserves in this one - an old trick, but a good one nonetheless.And there was some yarn - not much, which was somewhat disapointing, although good for my stash balance. I did buy this cone of Belisa cashmere - the colour was just so lovely that I couldn't resist. And I'm doing my bit for local growers/suppliers (at least, that's what I tell myself), and it's a souvenir as well which will give a lot more pleasure than a huge stuffed toy...(see, I'm good at this justification stuff...).
I did not purchase any alpacky yarn from here ... although I was extremely tempted and nearly went back - for a gorgeous gorgeous red in their 4ply. But they are upgrading their website shopping, so I can always buy some another time.

Alas, I was less restrained at the Alpacky shop at Berrima yesterday (on our Southern Highlands road trip). See that packet of yarn behind the cashmere cone up there...that's 10 balls of 5ply (sportweight) alpacky for only $50! Woo hoo! Except for the whole "I just bought another 10 balls of yarn" deal. But it's the holidays, and it's souvenir yarn and...and...and. Ok, I'll stop now!
Hope you all had a great Easter and a lovely long weekend!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


G is for Grrrrman Stockings!
I must be a crazy person for making these - knee high socks on 2.5mm sticks, with a very detailed cable pattern which ultimately travels down the leg and across the foot...but oh my, what a lovely pair of socks it will make! In soft squooshy Patonyle.
That is, after I let it out of the naughty corner. After ploughing through the 2.5 inches of 1x1 twisted rib (why, o why, Cookie A, must you torture us so!) and then flying through 2.5 inches of stocking stitch, I immediately mucked up the fancy cable (I blame the pattern - why write it as if it is knitted flat when it is clearly knitted in the round!). So after a night in time out, and the insertion of a lifeline, it was frogged back to the end of the plain portion.
And it still sits in the naughty corner (although I have put it back on the needles). When it wakes up to itself and decides to work, then I'll pick it up again. I just hope I can read the pattern properly this time around...And yes, I am trying to ignore the fact that clearly my calves and legs are h-u-g-e. I could kind of ignore that when I was using the teeny tiny 30cm addi circular, but when I changed to 2 circs, it showed the magnitude of my leg size in all it's glory. Sigh...

In case you are going to be in the Southern Highlands this Easter long weekend, Wool Addiction in Bowral will be open from 10-2 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (husby and I just may need to have a road trip on Sunday - what a great excuse to get out of the house and go for a lovely drive!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

SHOESday: Happy St Patrick's Day!

I know I said that March would be the month of black, but I can't post black shoes the day after St Patrick's Day (not that I'm Irish or Catholic, but it's always a big deal in Australia!).

So here's a little green for St Patrick (and for Ms 2paw).
There's even a little orange (and pink, but let's pretend it's not there, that's what I usually do).For one of the most inexpensive pair of shoes I own, I always receive a lot of compliments when I wear these! The "suede" (I use inverted commas as they may be faux suede, I'm not sure!) and "velvet" (ditto) are looking a little worn now, but still ok from a distance!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happy Anniversary Bells

Today marks the day that Bells and I first "met", in 2007. Well, we're not sure it was the 15th March or another day, but it was somewhere around this day, so we decided the ides of March it was!

Who'da thunk that we'd become such good friends in the space of a year. We have started a new blog and a KAL together (Mouthfuls of Heaven, and Southern Summer of Socks), we visit each other when we can, we email constantly during the day and have had more than one occasion to say to each other something along these lines: "me too!" "that's my favourite as well", "three words: separated at birth" and "are you sure you aren't my twin sister?"

Amazing, just amazing. Bells emailed me this morning to wish us a happy anniversary, and her "I'm pleased" comment about our friendship was the perfect understatement. I'm pleased too!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Day in My Life: 14 March

One of the first bloggers I started to read, Little Jenny Wren, had a great idea to chronicle her day every 14th of the month. I thought this sounded great, as I so often think back to certain days and wonder what I did. Especially ordinary days, as these are so easily forgotten. I'm a bit late posting (this is actually posted on the 15th, although I've backdated the post) as the 14th was a work day and we ended up watching a movie on Foxtel last night, so I didn't get a chance to slip away to the computer. So here's my day, Friday 14 March 2008:

Woke up at around 6.30am. Husby going into work early so I stayed in bed a while and he spoiled me and brought me a piece of vegemite toast - oooh, breakfast in bed on a workday - wow! So I listened to a podcast (I finally took your advice Bells!) and did a little bit of knitting in bed, then dragged myself out to face the day. Showered, up to the bus stop to wait...and wait...and the bus finally arrived and so into work. As I usually do, I read the front and back page of the paper and did the sudoku, and then still had some time to knit some more on the bus.

Got into work a little late, but had time to make myself a coffee (my work has an excellent capuccino machine) and then had a meeting at 10. Work work work until 12.30, when I was meeting with a former work colleague, Miss E, for an expedition up to Tapestry Craft. Miss E has decided she would like to start knitting socks (yay!) so I brought in an easy 8ply sock pattern for her and we picked some yarn (hot pink Zara!!) and sticks - she's going to try magic loop, and looked at poncho patterns as well (she's also keen to knit a cabley type of poncho, like one that is currently in Witchery). Actually, I forgot to mention, I checked out the knitwear in Witchery on my way into work - they have some nice chunky knits at present, included a sideways garter stitch vest which could very easily be knit without a pattern! Most interestingly, none of the knitwear had labels which showed what type of yarn they were made from - well, not that I could find anyway. Perhaps I didn't look closely enough at the care labels?

I did not buy anything at Tapestry Craft!! Amazing! Miss E went back to work while I went to Lincraft - I needed to buy some felt and embroidery thread for a swap gift I'm making (the bag lady swap on Ravelry). I also checked out the yarn. I find the Lincraft yarn area quite depressing generally speaking, but they do have some good yarn at the moment, the new Cleckheaton Vintage Twist, new Patons Serenity DK and a few others, but their pattern books are all over the place. Shame really, as it makes it so hard to find anything, especially when you have limited time on your lunch break.

Picked up some Hokka Hokka noodles on the way back to work - reached the free noodles space on my regular customer card - yay! Friday is often noodle day for me, I have to admit. I had the same as I usually do, white flat noodles, BBQ chicken, broccoli and soy & oyster sauce - yummo!

At lunch at my desk and checked a few blogs, then back into work.

Three o'clock is coffee time (and why yes, I do say it to the tune of "Hammer Time" and do the "do-do-da-do's). I always get a "downstairs" coffee (ie a capuccino from the coffee place out the back of my work) in the afternoons - it's a nice "fresh air" break. I took coffee orders from my work colleagues and one came with me, so we chatted while waiting for our coffees to be made.

Back to work, until about 5.15. We have a little fridge in our work area and since it was Friday, a few of us stayed behind and we had a bottle of champagne (well, sparkling wine, as it clearly was not French, nor expensive!) and a chat, which is a great way to end the week. Husby picked me up just after 6 and we drove home. I knitted in the car, as I usually do.

Friday night is always takeaway night. We usually get Thai or Indian, this week it was Indian. Samosas, butter chicken, vegetable korma, rice and garlic naan. We decided to watch a movie on Foxtel Box Office - cheaper than hiring a DVD or going out to the movies! So we fired up the tv and watched Ratatouille - it was great! Husby loves animated cartoon type movies, so that one is going on his birthday/Christmas wish list! It finished in time so that we could watch the end of the West Wing on the W channel - another favourite show - if you haven't watched it, I highly recommend it - great writing, great acting and just interesting to see "inside" the White House - I mean, I have no idea how realistic it is, but they do a great job portraying how it might be.

I forgot to add, I was knitting all the while when watching tv. Sometimes I feel like we should have the lights off when watching movies, but then I couldn't knit - and I'd rather be knitting than just sitting there with the tv on.

I fed the cat while husby cleaned up the dinner plates - naughty Nellie didn't come inside so we had to leave the cat door open for her, which I don't like doing, but don't have a choice - she can be very sneaky when she wants!

Hit the bed - fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow!

So that was my day - if you want to join in, feel free - I'd love to read about your day too! (next time, I'll try and take some pictures too!!)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

SHOESday: Got any blacker?

You can't really get any blacker than these. My first pair of designer shoes, bought on huge sale in, where else, but Singapore! My first Singapore trip. Husby had to go to Singapore for a couple of weeks for work, and I decided to join him for a long weekend. We stayed in a fairly simple serviced apartment not far from Orchard Road. Wow, did I ever love Orchard Road! Great department stores, great chain stores - Zara! TopShop! And designer stores as far as the eye could see. I'd never been in a designer store before then, I don't think. Too scared. Too scared the shop assistants (I'm sure they are probably called Sales Associates or some other upmarket name, but whatever!) would look down their noses at me as if to say "You would never in a million years fit into our clothes" or "You can't even afford to buy a keyring in here, what are you doing here". But I thought to myself, well, I can afford to buy a keyring, and more, and yeah, I dare say I couldn't fit into your clothes, but I can fit into your shoes. So I'm a'comin' in, and ptooey to you if you don't like it. (I'm sure they weren't thinking these things really, that's just me, so really this conversation was with myself!)
And not only could I afford the shoes (especially as they were on huge reduction - I'm talking like 50-75% - much better reductions than in Australia!!) but I could also fit into them (fortunately my shoe size is the largest they usually stock). And every time I wear these shoes I feel like a million bucks, and I think of something my friend Miss J said to me on the second Singapore visit (when we had a girl's shopping weekend!!): "a cat can look at a king". Why yes a cat can, and sometimes a cat can even dress like one. Or at least, like a queen perhaps!Things I love about these shoes - the cross detail on the heel cup; the buckles on the vamp which have "Gucci" inscribed on them (why yes, I am a label whore...well, in a very very very understated way...I wouldn't buy a logo handbag for example!) and the sole of the shoe, which is actually a great non-slip sole, rather than slick leather, which means I don't need to get them resoled. These shoes are at least 4 years old and they still look fantastic (one of the benefits of buying good shoes and lots of them - they wear exceedingly well!)

Monday, March 10, 2008

While I'm on the subject...

Thanks everyone for your comments on my International Women's Day post - it was gratifying to get any comments at all, but to share such thoughtful and interesting perspectives, it was fabulous. I think that choice is the key, choice without judgment.

So while I'm on the subject, or perhaps the soapbox, let me quickly mention something else I've been thinking a lot about lately (and then I promise some knitting content at the end!).

That thing is chocolate. I mean, clearly, I think about chocolate a lot anyway. Like at 7am this morning, when I decided it was not too early to have last piece of chocolate that was sitting there on the coffee table. Because then I could throw the wrapper in the bin, and tidying up, that's good right!

A few weeks ago Em posted about chocolate, and in particular about the production of cocoa beans in Africa by farmers using child slave labour. And that's a pretty horrible thing to contemplate. I know different countries have different cultural norms, and I believe that, on the whole, one particular country or culture does not generally have the right to force their beliefs on other different countries or cultures, but to me some things are inherently wrong, and slave labour, whether by children or adults, is one of those things.

So while confectionery companies agree to do something about it by 2005, and then 2010 (as was reported on the news on the weekend), what can we do? An easy thing to do is buy fair trade and/or organic chocolate.

Since I read Em's post and the follow up post, I've been consciously buying Green & Black's chocolate, which is organic (and therefore far less likely to be produced using slave labour). And also, I have to say, it is totally delicious! I succombed on Saturday to a bar of Cadbury's, as we'd been without chocolate for a day or two and I couldn't get by, and the Cadbury's (which in the past I have soo happily eaten) was just not so nice. (I must add a disclaimer - I am not aware where Cadbury's sources their off to investigate their website...where I found lots about obesity, sensible eating of chocolate, marketing to children and tours of the Cadbury factory in Tasmania, but nothing about this issue).

While doing the grocery shopping yesterday I noticed two new different brands of organic, free-trade chocolate on the shelves in Coles. And since I'm a sucker for chocolate orange, I thought I'd try one of the new brands alongside my Green & Black's.

Now, Green & Black's and Cocolo are more expensive than Cadbury's and similar name brands, but the other thing I find is that while it not only tastes better, I actually tend to eat less, because the flavour is stronger. So it lasts just as long as a larger block of Cadbury's, and I'm also dieting! (well, sorta...)

And since I promised knitting content, and I'm on a do-gooder thing right now, here's the pilchers I've made for Terri, who is collecting them to send to an orphanage in China who need them for disabled kids.
I just need to put some elastic in the legs and then pop them in the post for Terri.
And tomorrow, shoes. Because I am totally shallow and materialistic about some things. And contradictions are one thing that make human beings such interesting things of study!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Happy International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. So yay us chicks!! On the whole, I am glad I am a woman. I mean, we have much better shoe choice, apart from anything else.

But seriously, I love being the woman I am. I am very lucky, I know. I live in a country where women are on the whole treated equally, where women have access to education and healthcare and social security and many other things which allow us to make real choices about our lives. I have benefitted from all of those things (in fact, out of my family of 5 - 4 brothers and me, I am the only one who went to university). While my mother was not a feminist and would probably think that feminism was something bad, I always expected to be able to go to university and work and make my own choices. And my brothers were expected to wash and/or dry the dishes and clean the bathroom and do other household jobs, the same as I was.

At work, a large part of my role has been to look after "women's issues" in the workplace, including our organisation's reporting to EOWA. In Australia, we have a government authority, the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, or EOWA. Organisations who employ more than 100 employees are required to report annually to EOWA on, basically, what their organisation does to advance women in the workplace. EOWA also awards an Employer of Choice for Women citation each year to a select group of employers who meet the fairly high standards set by EOWA. One of these, for example, is the provision of at least 6 weeks' paid maternity leave to women who have been employed for at least 12 months. Another, more contentiously, is that the pay equity gap must be less than 17% (which is what the pay gap between men and women generally is in Australia - or to put it another way, for every $1 earned by a man, a woman earns $0.83).

There's been a bit in the media over the last week about the pay equity gap, both because the most recent list of Employers of Choice for Women have been announced, but also because of International Women's Day. And I have to say, that while I totally agree that a woman doing the same job as a man should, generally speaking, be paid the same, I'm not entirely sure that looking at pay equity overall as a means to advancing women is right. It ignores factors such as the "feminisation" of certain jobs (eg teaching, nursing) - which are traditionally undervalued in society anyway, as well as certain jobs which are considered "masculine" - construction work, mining etc. Which are perhaps more highly paid but which also bring more physical or dangerous risks. (I'm not suggesting women shouldn't be exposed to those risks, just that on the whole, they are less attractive in a job to many women). You can't compare the salary of men in these roles against the salary of women in "feminine" roles. It's not a valid comparison. But within industries or job roles, well, it makes more sense. But that's not how EOWA, or others, measure it, and I think that's a shame, because it diverts attention from other, perhaps more real, issues (to me, anyway). Like ensuring that women have a real career path, and proper superannuation at the end of their careers, and that childbearing is not seen as an end to a woman's working life. Or that a woman who wishes to work flexibly is somehow not "serious" about her career.

And that's leaving to one side huge cultural issues such as violence against women.

I think a lot about these issues, given that it's part of my job, and I am a woman. I have come to the view that things will only really change for women when men value what women value. Right now, the sorts of things that EOWA measure are, to me, based on men's values, what men think are important - pay, career, etc. They don't measure the things that are, generally speaking, more valued by women - caring, family, home life, choice (to name a few). And I'm sure many men want the same opportunities as women to contribute to their family life, and are as constrained by ideas of what men "should" be doing (ie working full-time, earning lots of money and supporting their family in that way) as women are. I really don't think women will have truly the same choices as men (or vice versa) until what is valued by women is also valued by men. To me, that's where organisations like EOWA should be focusing, attempting to make real cultural change, rather than just trying to give women what men already have. We need to try to give to men what women have as well, because otherwise, I think we are saying "we are not happy with what we have. We want what you've got". And that makes me sad, because I love what we have! It's not perfect, but neither is life as a man either.

Of course, I accept there are many other views and many different views about these issues. I absolutely do not profess to have the answers. Or any answers at all. I wanted, simply, to share my thoughts on a day where we should be thinking about women. And society, and how we want things to be. And maybe taking some action to try and realise our dreams. I'd love to hear your dreams.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Do I seem weird to you?

Em tagged me ages ago for the 7 weird things meme that goes around and around and around. I've been trying to think of 7 more things that I haven't already mentioned here or here. It's hard! Because I'm not I?

See what you think:

1. I love salty and sweet flavours together - think McDonalds fries dipped into McDonalds sundae ice cream. Love it! It's a taste sensation! Or raison toast with vegemite - yum!

2. I can touch type. I went to technical college at night to learn, when I was in high school. A bunch of my friends and I all went along. This might not sound that odd, but it was at a time BC (Before Computers) (or at least, before computers were on every work desk and in every household!). So we learnt on typewriters. Manual typewriters. It was a bit of a shock when we went back the next year for the advanced course and they'd upgraded to electronic typewriters. Wow. Amazing technology!!

3. When I started work we had an internal email system but no external email. You had to have a client who wanted to email you before our work IT department would allocate you an external email address. And we didn't have internet access. When we finally got it, only one person in the team could have it (that was me! Yay!). But if it crashed (as it did regularly) you had to wait at least half an hour before starting it again. And searches took, like, for-evah!

4. I don't dye my hair. It's quite grey-ish, but I don't care. I never experimented with hair dye when I was a teenager and salon jobs are so expensive. I'd rather spend the money on shoes. Or yarn.

5. I read a story recently about women going grey (ie not fighting the battle against greys). The best piece of advice was to wear silver (or white gold) jewellery. So I've been wearing a lot more silver jewellery recently. Now just have to convince husby to buy me a new wedding ring and engagement ring (since they are yellow gold).

6. I hate wearing silver and (yellow) gold jewllery together. The grey hair won't kill me, but the silver/gold combo just might!

7. I don't believe that opening an umbrella inside is bad luck. Oh, and umbrella must be pronounced "um-bar-ella". And sword must be pronounced "sword" (ie no silent w). Why? Because it's The Rules.

If anyone else feels like sharing, share away!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

SHOESday: Got any in black?

I'm conscious that I haven't posted many black shoes for SHOESday. I know for many women that it is a truth universally acknowledged that you can never have too many pairs of black shoes. And while this is true to some extent for me, I tend to go for colour in my shoes because I go for black in my clothes.

But to begin the Black Series, I give you these:Bought on sale at David Jones at the same time as these - because, apart from really liking them, and in particular the contrast of the green with the black, I thought I probably should buy at least one pair of "sensible" shoes!!

Other things I love about these shoes - the delicate yet sturdy heel which is a good height:The matching contrast lining, the bows and the way the toe area ebbs and flows:And that they come with a red sleeping bag. What more could you ask!

Monday, March 03, 2008

A's socks

A secret project for a friend's 40th birthday (A is a 29 February baby!) - finished last week and gifted on Saturday and so now bloggable!Details:
Pattern: A had been dropping hints for a while that he'd love a pair of handknitted socks. I decided some time ago to make a pair for his special birthday, since it only really comes every 4 years, and what could be better than a unique design just for him! So I designed my own, albeit fairly simple, sock pattern. I picked up the vikkel braid from Nancy Bush (last seen on husby's Spey Valley socks) and did a simple rib, narrower for the cuff and wider for the leg. Also good as I didn't have any measurements for A's legs/feet so the rib gives a bit of stretch.
Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock yarn, in SY-39 Master Grey, and SY-38 Forest Fog for the contrast toe - 2x50g balls of the grey, and a small amount of the green for the toe. The yarn is a little scratchy to knit with, but softened and bloomed beautifully after a good long soak in SOAK wool wash.Sticks: 2.5mm on the leg, changing half way down to 2.25mm, to allow for some calf-shaping. I started off with 2.5mm 30cm Addi circular, but couldn't hack the teeny tiny circ, so magic looped instead, which I found much easier.
(here is the sock taking in the view from my desk at work)
Time: Sock 1 was done from 7 October 2007 - 6 November 2007, sock 2 from 12 November 2007 - 25 February 2008, with a fairly big break so I could do my Christmas knitting. What I learnt: That I love leaving myself plenty of time to do gift knits. I had to hurry myself along a little towards the end, but I really did have a good long time to do these, which was great, given that they are bigger than I usually make socks both in leg length and foot length.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

And it's a new dawn, a new day...

a new month...

Which means montly goal time! I've had some trouble thinking of March goals, beyond #1 on the list (for perhaps obvious reasons...but honestly #1 looks like a lot of stuff, but each item is relatively small. Or at least, it is in my head, so hope each will not take longer than I'm anticipating!). March goals are in the sidebar.

I am quite liking this goal setting stuff. It really does give me (and you, if you are interested in watching) an incentive to get things done. Except my tax, I was naughty about that. But I will do it today, I promise! I would probably feel even more like achieving stuff if I had a star sheet (or whatever you call it - the chart you might use for kids where you give them a gold star if they make their bed every day etc). Because, you know, I am like 10, and need that stuff! No, I will make do with the sense of satisfaction that comes with crossing stuff off the list.

Now for the stash honesty. I would have been doing ok this month if it weren't for generous friends, winning a giveaway or the German postal system! But am not complaining about any of those things, especially the miracle of the Grrman yarn finally arriving! It had been that long that I'd actually forgotten what I'd ordered! But here it is in all it's loveliness!
Soft as, well, silk, Regia Silk, and the lovely colouredy-goodness which is Kaffe Fassett Regia yarn. Oh the colours, they are divine. Am looking forward to seeing the stripey goodness in this one!

Tally for February (in 50g ball lots!):

Yarn obtained = stash: 12 balls
Yarn purchased for gift knitting: 0
Yarn used this month from stash: 10.5 balls (ok, I gave 5 balls of stash to mum for her charity knitting!)
Yarn used this month for gifts: 1
Stashbusting: +1.5 (sigh...but not as bad as last month, at least!)
YTD stashbusting: +21.5