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I’ve been a bit of a lurker lately. I’ve been reading everyone’s blogs and looking at your flickr photos, but just haven’t felt like I have much to say, or the brainspace to put anything into words. Feel a bit on the back foot, just in general. That’s not really accurate. I feel like I’m riding in the passenger seat a bit. Everything seems to be on hold – until my sister moves out (soon! Scary!) until it gets warmer and lighter (hooray for solstice!) until… I don’t know what else. But I miss chatting at you guys, and I have to talk about craf camp and Julia and my FOs.
Queen’s Birthday long weekend I went on another lovely craf camp. It was LOVELY. But that deserves its own post, not to be part of this bitsy one. While I was on camp, I pestered Suse and Janet into taking photos of my two finished jumpers – Emily, which had been done for a while, and Cinnabar, which I seamed up finally that weekend. It just needed the arms attached.
Here is Emily (rav link).
You can see the line where I lengthened it and the grafted it – the band originally started where that line is… much too short. I could have lengthened it a couple inches more, I think, but I’ve decided I’m happy with where it is. I shortened the sleeves, too, since I knit this out of regular yarn not cracksilk haze as the pattern calls for, so instead of being soft and billowy around my hands they were just bulky and annoying. I didn’t do bust darts because the neckline is so low, and I don’t think it needs them, although looking at the curving-up hem on that last closeup it wouldn’t have hurt. The fit is ok – I just did the shaping in the pattern and it doesn’t match me perfectly but it’s pretty good. I might have to start lengthening jumpers from the middle by knitting and extra inch or two between the hip decreases and the bust increases, since that is where I have the extra length (I’m long waisted. Most people fit two sideways-hand lengths between the bottom of their bust and their waist, I fit three) and most jumpers – this one included – sit a bit out above my hips because of that. Looking at the photos I feel like it’s a bit lumpy bumpy, but I can’t work out how much of that is 1)because it is 2)because it’s photos of me and everyone always thinks they look terrible in photos even if they are FINE and 3)because I made it so I know all the places where it is not-quite-right, could-be-better, wish-I-had. Why are we always so hard on ourselves?
The yarn is Bennet & Gregor and I LOVE it to pieces. It is soft and smooshy and the blended colour is really interesting – you can see the darker strands if you look close and that gives it depth and saves it from being to beige. There definitely needs to be more of this in my wardrobe. In varying colours – natural sheep colours, of course, since that is what they do. They don’t have an internet shopping cart, but they are very friendly and helpful – if you contact them, Nancy will send you out a colour card, and they take mail orders. They are usually at Bendigo Sheep & Wool as well, keep an eye out for them. Their yarns have some vegetable matter in them, but it’s a small price to pay for not using sulfur to process tehm (says the itchy one) and it’s not enough to be annoying. The yarn is an absolute pleasure to knit and to wear.
I haven’t gotten heaps of wear out of this one, but I think that’ mostly because it’s gotten cooooold and this isn’t really a full coverage jumper, and because you can see whatever you wear under it it is less versatile for layering. I think it will be the perfect transition season jumper, though. I am not 100% happy with it, but I love the overall look and I am ignoring that line. Because this jumper is done and I am f*&king NOT regrafting it. So there.
What I would change: the adjusted sleeve length is perfect (ravelry tells me I made them SIX CENTIMETRES shorter) but I wish I had been more carfeul when I picked up stitches on the sleeves and seamed them, because they are a bit bunchy chunky there. Not too bad, but a bit irritating. I would have made it much longer – when I fixed it I knit three extra inches and I wish I’d done just one more. I wish I had seamed better (I’ve recently given up and learnt mattress stitch and folks… it makes SUCH a difference) but overall it’s a good, servicable, wearable knit.
What I love: The yarn. The neckline. The yarn.
And here is Cinnabar (rav link).
This one was a bit epic. I was determined to do this one RIGHT and I ripped and I ripped and I ripped. And it’s still not quite right, but it’s close enough.
Issues with it: The collar is a bit weird – I had trouble making the placket the right length to sit right. Since I don’t intend to add buttons, I’m not fussed. I might have to undo that bit where it’s all bunched because I seamed it badly (on the left of the neck in the above photo). The right sleeve is a bit wider than the left because I switched to circs for that linen sitch band, and my gauge was looser than on straights. Again, not much, but enough to be a bit irritating, especially when putting on jackets, etc. It’s actually a wee bit long. I deliberately made it long and I love the length, but it bunches up when I sit down, so I end up tugging it back into place when I stand up. This is more pronounced because the whole thing is just a bit big. The yarn (just Bendigo 8ply rustic in Red Currant) bloomed quite nicely when I blocked it. I also made a larger front size to compensate for absentmindedly casting on and knitting half of the back before realising I was knitting it a size too small. I needn’t have gone up an extra size, it’s plenty big. The extra size in combination with my laboriously knitted bust darts means it pooches a bit at the shoulders/underarms (you can’t see it in those photos because my hands are on my hips stretching the extra fabric out). It’s not that big a deal, but it looks more pronounced to me because I am looking down, which makes it obvious. I’m sort of tempted to find a dryer and chuck it in for a minute to shrink it just a biiit, but the thought of actually doing that is a bit scary.
Most of these issues are not actual issues. It’s just that it’s turned out to be a different jumper than I thought I was making – I thought I was making a form fitting jumper to be worn over a tshirt. Turns out I was making a comfy winter jumper to be worn over at LEAST two shirts. I’ve worn it twice every week since I finished it, and I see it being in high rotation for many months to come. It’s comfortable, well made (except for that fracking placket bit) and the red is lovely and makes it look smart. I am not 100% happy with this one either, but I am very very proud of it. I definitely took more care with this, and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot.
Things I love: the colour. The length. The beautiful seams.
I really need a better system in my wardrobe. At the moment I have NO ROOM so all my jumpers are shoved into the top bit of my wardrobe. Really, shoved. This makes it very hard to find anything, and I just wear the same ones over and over. I now have enough hand knit jumpers that I could probably wear one a day to work without repeating (although a couple of them I don’t really wear much) and I’d like to get more use out of them while it’s still cold.
While we’re on the topic of FOs, you can see another one in the Emily photos. In my last minute packing frenzy for craf camp, I chucked a skirt into my luggage. It was part of a set that my sister bought at an op shop, of a cape and a skirt. Sort of like this, although slightly less lairy. Here it is, on the floor at sewjourn.
The sister kept the cape, and since the skirt was teeny, she said I could have it, because I had admired the fabric. It’s not pure wool, but close enough. It really is teeny: it literally only just fit my thigh.
Please to excuse my tres sexy pj pants – I spilt tea ALL OVER my jeans (it was v. dramatic) and had to wear my pjs for half the weekend. Because I am classy, that’s why.
Anyway. Janet had very kindly borrowed her mum’s sewing machine so I could have a go at sewing. And did I! I did. Janet was very patient with all my nervousness and umming and ahing, and I chopped away at the skirt, refaced it, and took it in a bit. Then the lovely Suse pinned the hem and I hemmed it (by hand and everything!). Ta da!
I love it. I haven’t worn it to work yet, since it’s been too cold really, and I’ve been too tired to futz around with stockings. But it will be worn. Oh, yes, it will. I wore it home on the plane, too. Looking at this photo reminds me of my pirate-plaid skirt that would go very well with cinnabar. Must crack that out when it warms up a bit.
I also traced off a pattern from one of Janet’s Ottobres and sewed another skirt, which just needs hemming. Which of course I haven’t done. But it has a ZIP! The most badly done zip in the history of zips, but still! A functioning ZIP! Oh, and I also finished Damson on camp, but I ran out of yarn on the cast off. This is what I had after I eliminated a purl ridge and cast off again:
And it was too tight. So I ripped it when I got home and recast off with different yarn, but I haven’t reblocked and photographed it yet. Hmm, this sort of turned into a craft camp post. Well, let’s change directions and make it a FO post, since I don’t think I’ve talked about Sahara (rav link), have I, since I finished it?
I really need to find somewhere where I can take self portraits. I have no good photos of this – I asked my sister to take some, and this is what I get:
No, no, take photos of the TOP!
No, of the TOP!
Well, yes. Technically that was what I asked for. OH HAI INTERNET HERE ARE MY BOOBS.
It’s been a while since this was done. Don’t really remember much about the knitting of it. Rav tells me I used a smaller needle and a larger pattern size, to get a fabric I liked. I used Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool which is ACE and I would totally knit with more of it if I could find it somewhere that doesn’t charge as much for shipping as for the yarn. It’s surprisingly warm, but also nice and cool in hot weather. It’s a wee bit scratchy (for sensitive folks like me) so I almost always wear it with a singlet underneath – for modesty as well cos, dudes, that’s a LOT of boob. But it’s a flattering length of neckline for the big busted among us – breaks it up a bit. I pretty much knit this to pattern apart from diddling with gauge and adding bust darts, and the shaping is excellent. Oh, I believe I lengthened it as well. Since it was top-down, I could try it on to see where the shaping should be, which was wonderful.
I had a bit of a wrangle whether to knit the cap sleeves, short sleeves, or long sleeves. I am very happy with the cap, and sort of converted to the whole knit-tshirt thing. I’d previously thought it was a bit silly, but no! It’s so useful! I see more in my future, if I can find appropriate yarn… why is it so hard to find summer-weight yarns in Australia. Counterintuitive. But I would love to have a long sleeved version of this as well. I see on rav that some people have knit it in wool, and it looks fine. I’d do a DK and do the same gauge shenanigans. I reckon it’d be ace.
God, that boob photo is confronting. Note to self. Find place to do FOs, STAT. I don’t have any finished photographs of Rogue, either. I wish I had crafty papparazzi here ALL the time.
And to finish off, here’s a WIP.
Remember my granny hexes?
Gosh, the colours in that bottom one are making my heart thump!
I was doing them on a 3mm hook. Once I had a few of them I put them together and realised that they were too stiff. Not nice for a blanket at all. So I decided to get a bigger hook and restart them. This was a bit disenhearteining, so they languished. Then, last Tuesday, I decided I had to restart them RIGHT NOW. Possibly spurred on by the granny blanket I found at the Pt Adelaide Market for three dollars. It’s lovely, too, I wish I could show you now, but the photos are still on my camera. Anyway, I went to look at other people’s crochet to see what size hook I should use and got enchanted by Lucy’s Hexagon how-to. Then I got sad because I didn’t have a 4mm hook, which meant that I couldn’t start them AS SOON AS I GOT HOME. I was emailing S and mentioned this. He was picking me up from work that evening and… he brought me a 4mm crochet hook. That man knows a way to a crafter’s heart. WAY better than roses, I tell’s you. I might have blushed.
So, anyway, I started with some hexagons that night. I thought I’d ordered white yarn to edge them, but apparently not, so I’m just cranking out little circles at the moment and I’ll start joining them later.
I’m actually quite happy with that as it gives me time to build up some colour diversity. I might need to order some more yarn for them, because otherwise I’ll use up my leftover yarn too quick. There’s some rainbow wools scraps leftover from this blanket (rav link).
The scraps are lovely – both the colours and the yarn – so I might get me some more of that. Or maybe just some more Bendigo, since that’s cheaper and that’s where I’ll be ordering the border yarn from. If anyone has any 8ply scraps in bright colours that they are feeling guilty about: I’ll have em! I have less yarn to work with than I thought because I rejected some yarn for being too muddy. Don’t worry, though. Those hexagons didn’t go to waste. I upcycled them into hats:
Anyway, I had booked in a ‘hermit weekend’ to spend by myself, having some down time and cleaning my house, which is a bit trashed. I DID mop the floors, but apart from that I mostly slept and spent quite a while this weekend sitting on the couch drinking tea or beer (in the evenings) and crocheting away. They are like potato chips, I can’t stop. I have about twenty some now. I think I want to make it big enough to be used on my queen bed, but I might be kidding myself. Then again, I’m sort of happy to be working on this for years. My favourite part is choosing which colour to use next. Looking at them makes me really happy.
Ooooh, shiny happy colours!
Today is payday. I have paid my bills, put some away for the ones I will get on the first of next month, before my next pay, along with the automatic deductions for my Chirstmas club account, my private health insurance, and Medicans Sans Frontiers. I have resubscribed to foodconnect which has my food pretty much covered for the next month, and budgeted the small amount extra I will need. I have put money aside for surprise social events. I have not, it occurs to me, called the Jim’s mowing guy who repeatedly refuses to send me a bill so that I can pay him, but since I called him this week already, maybe he can wait until next pay. I mean, really. I am TRYING to give him my money, here.
The point is, now it’s fun time. I have been waiting for pay day since Definiatalie posted about her redbubble store. She posted about a discount off framed and canvas prints, check out the code here. I was pretty excited because I have been looking for some lovely ladies to hang on my wall. I was looking on etsy, but all the prints involving women have them waif like with huge bobble heads and dinner plate eyes. Which is an aesthetic I quite enjoy, but I would like some fatties on my wall first. And since I don’t appear to be able to buy the fat fairy here, I thought I’d give Natalie some of my dollars – although searching on redbubble for ‘fat’ has come up with some good things, too, that I might keep in the list for later.
But now I can’t decide between ‘heart strings’ and the fat ladies in a line. What do you guys think? I really should only buy one, for furgality and also because I don’t really have the wallspace for two. But I love them both!
Also, has anyone ever done the ‘two fruit trees in one hole’ thing? I’ve been ringing around about multigrafts, but no one has what I am after (pears and peaches and cherries). A couple of nurseries have suggested just banging two trees in the same hole and pruning as if they were one tree, which is something I have read about. Any first hand experience out there? Then I could just order some more trees from Yalca Fruit Trees, and frankly I’d rather give them my money than Bunnings.
On the Tuesday after craft camp, it was obvious that I was actually ILL, not just sniffly. My throat was sore, my ears were sore, I felt like someone had been using me as a punching bag, I was all stiff and achey and poorme. The last two hours of work were a trial worthy of hercules. As I left work, my sister rang me, squealling that the cat had caught a baby mouse and was playing with it, and she (the sister) had to go to work, so if the mouse was not dead by the time she left, I would have to deal with it.
Luckily, the cat appeared to have consumed it by the time I got home.
I put myself to bed at 8.30 that night, anticipating a restless night. I always sleep badly when I’m sick. And I always have horrible epic dreams in which I have to endlessly search for things or perform repetative tasks.
Surprisingly, I slept pretty well up to about 3.30am, when I woke up and then dropped back off at about 5.30, just in time to be very surprised that my alarm was going off.
I did have lots of vivid dreams, though. They were almost exclusively about craft camp, and were quite wonderful. What a lovely bunch of women to spend time with, even in my subconscious.
I did have one nasty dream, though. About my mother, of course. They always are. I don’t really remember much about the dream. It was set at the parental home, but although my father was dead in the dream we were younger – I was a teenager and my sister young, although she didn’t feature in it except inasmuch as I felt the need to take flak to shield her from my mother, as was usual. I had to perform some dream task – looking for something, maybe – and my mother either wanted me to do something else, or wanted me to do it in a particular way that I knew wouldn’t work. But she wouldn’t listen to the reasons for why I had to do whatever it was my own way. She was just talking over the top of me, being quite rude about my general capabilities and grasp on reality, until she found some way to force me to do it her way.
It was a pretty unremarkable dream, really. Except that when I woke up I still felt all the emotions – that soul deep frustration and anguish and powerlessness and lack of agency. That terrible loneliness of being caught under someone else’s power and not even allowed to acknowledge that. The anger at having one’s will not even heard, simply squashed, for arbitrary reasons.
It was nice, in a way. It was good to remember the way I used to feel, all the time. That these were genuine emotions, caused by real things that my mother did, not just teenage tantrums. That I am in a better place now, thanks to hard work on myself and also limiting the amount my mother features in my life. Phew! I will be remembering those dream emotions the next time my mother tries to emotionally blackmail me or guilt me about something. Those emotions, remembered in my dream, are why I have no positive emotions about her now.
Tangentally, I realised that although I grew up calling my parents by their first names, I hardly ever do anymore. They usually feature as ‘my mother’ and ‘my dad’. Mostly because very few of the people who are important in my life actually know/knew my parents. But also, I think, because it’s easier to refer to my mother as such, when she refuses to treat me like a fellow human being. It’s easier to give her a label and a niche and file her away as a symbol, because that is all (all! ha!) she really is. The same goes for my dad, for a whole barrel of different reasons, obviously. I don’t really miss having a dad, I must say. I miss Tim, though. On the other hand, I don’t miss Theresa, but I sometimes miss having a ‘proper’ mother – whatever that means. A mother who it is safe to allow access to my life, I guess.
Oh, well. I feel remarkably little angst about it at the moment, but I suspect that that is a result of the new-relationship brain drugs and also the fact that I haven’t had to have much to do with my mother lately. Oh, and having blogged out some angst, and figured out some connections. The angst will be back, I’m sure. I’ll keep you posted on that, shall I?
To quote at you. From Garland Grey’s post on Tiger beatdown..
Being a feminist is about fighting complacency within yourself and others. It is waking up every morning and knowing that something you do will be shitty and full of privilege. For guys, it is about repeating “If it’s not about you, don’t make it about you” a million times until you understand that it isn’t. That is the process that we all go through to be allies to one another.
This is why it is ok to suck, sometimes. Because it’s impossible not to. And it’s important to accept that you will suck. You should still try not to. And when someone says ‘hey, that thing you just said? It sucked’, you say ‘hmm, I see your point, I’m sorry I said that sucky thing, let me think about that’, not ‘no YOU suck!’.
Craf camp photos on flickr and blog post here this weekend I hope. I’ve been sick and have been sleeping instead of flicking. The short version: it was awesome. I made stuff. Other people made stuff. We ALL said ‘vagina’ a lot (I think I might be a bad influence).
First, let me tell you a story. I promise it will be relevant later. Twice! (Photos unrelated, except that this is a post all about ME. And so are the photos.)
When I was a kid I did ballet in a little hall in a nothing much town in the hills. I wasn’t very good at it, but I would only have been about 5, so that wasn’t really the point. I didn’t love it, but it was fun. I wasn’t super enamoured of the dances we did and clearly these were all Neat Girls and I was the scruffy one, but I got to be a woodland animal, so I could deal (they already had too many fairies – fine by me). I didn’t like the attention being on me and being watched physically doing things that I wasn’t very good at (still an issue - I HATE going dancing or participating in other activities where I might be physically embarrassed) but it was ok. I did it for almost a year and I quit just before the major performance.
I quit because of the stockings.
I had what I now realise were minor sensory issues, mostly around my feet, which is really common for kids, although I also couldn’t handle anything around my neck (as in, I would have a minor breakdown, couldn’t handle.). I could not (still can’t) handle having the seam of a sock pulling on my toes or sitting under my toes. Can. Not. Handle it. I will take my shoes off on the bus to fix this. I really should just start wearing my socks inside out.
I can’t handle it when socks get long and baggy and pooch out at the heel and there’s all this extra fabric. I cannot handle shoes with tongues, especially on my right foot. I have to tie them SUPER tight so they are snug around my feet, and then I have to stop every five minutes or so and adjust the tongue of the shoe so it sits just right. Even if it was already sitting just right. And I HAD to do it, even though I was aware that it made me look ridiculous.
I would have screaming arguments with my mother over socks. I fold them down. She wanted me to pull them all the way up. I was not ok with this for two reasons: they then got all saggy and poochy and they also constricted my ankle. And I hated it as much as you would hate it if someone got a piece of hot metal and wrapped it around your leg. That is the level of discomfort I am talking. So I would fold them down. And then we would argue about it. SCREAMING ARGUMENTS. And we had the same ones about stockings. It would take me forever to put them on. And then they would always be twisted. And then they had to have the same tension all the way up my legs. And then of course we would be late and my mother would be cross because she didn’t even WANT to take me to ballet, she was DOING THIS FOR ME and WHY COULDN’T I PUT ON MY DAMN STOCKINGS and ARE YOU DOING THIS ON PURPOSE?
I am wearing stockings today, and it took me about 10 extra minutes to get dressed, while I took them off and put them back on again, trying to get the legs on straight. I am 26. It takes me 10 minutes to work out stockings.
This is not a diatribe to tell you how broken I am and how you should pity me (SRS I promise, it becomes relevant. Twice!) It’s just that as an anxious 5 year old, that was not a fun thing. Add to that the thought of being put on a stage to do something I didn’t think I was very good at and have lots of strange people looking at me? Halfway through one argument, I sobbed that I didn’t want to do ballet anymore. And so I didn’t.
And so, on to the cookies!
Cookie the first:
Is me. I am one. A smart one.
I have about three half-written blog posts about how bad I am at accepting compliments. Accepting compliments is something I have actually been working quite hard to get better at. First up, you should go to this post on the Pursuit of Harpyness and read the links there that give some excellent background on how I have been trying to think about this stuff lately. And I don’t do too bad. When someone says ‘did you make that? It looks great!’ I say ‘thankyou, I worked really hard and I like how it turned out’ and I try really hard not to say ‘well, the sleeves are a bit short and it fits a bit funny in the waist, and there a gajillion other ways in which I am IMPERFECT’ or ‘are you mocking me ARE YOU MOCKING ME???’. If someone says ‘I like your hair!’ I say ‘thanks, me too!’ and if my boss says ‘you’re doing really well learning your new job’ I say… ok I admit it, I said ‘well, I haven’t fucked anything up too badly yet’. But I’m trying.
So, ok, lapses aside I don’t deflect or argue too often about things. I am sometimes really uncomfortable NOT qualifying a compliment, but with a few notable exceptions in particular areas I usually resist. Those areas appear to be: being a Good Person, and being smart.
I constantly tell people that I am a bitch. I do this for lots of really complicated reasons that I haven’t untangled yet and probably will never get to the bottom of, which is why it is still a behaviour I engage in. The most obvious is that it lets me off the hook from a lot of social niceties that I think are dumb. And in fact, it allows me to own OTHER good things about myself without apologising – because I have already said I am a bitch, so people can’t be surprised that I am not being ‘polite’ by insisting that actually, everything I ever do is shit.
I do it because I don’t like to lie. As a kid I lied a lot. This is related to being smart (smart kids lie better and earlier) and also related to the fact that my mother was emotionally abusive, as you might have gotten a hint of from my lead-in story. This fact (the emotional abuse) is something I have only gotten ok with putting a name to recently. There is another heartfelt post about that for you to look forward to, as well. Anyway, kids of emotionally abusive parents lie. They lie a lot. They lie by default, even when there’s not an obvious reason to lie, right now. They lie to make the world a better, safer place for themselves and also to make their unpredictable parent more predictable, to play damage controller. But I don’t like lying, it takes too much energy and also it sucks, so I don’t. So if someone says to me ‘do you like me’ and I don’t, I will probably say ‘no’. I wouldn’t walk UP to someone and say ‘I don’t like you’. I would consider myself a passive bitch rather than an active one. But still… apparently it is not nice to admit that sometimes you don’t like certain people.
I also tell people that I am a bitch because I was taught that I am. I was taught that I deliberately disregard what other people need and want, because I am selfish and ignorant and arrogant. This is plainly not true. But as the sock story illustrates (see! Relevant!), my mother considered her subjective experience to be far more important than mine. And folks, let me tell you, her subjective experience? Was fucked. When her five year old daughter couldn’t manage stockings, it wasn’t because said five year old daughter hadn’t quite managed the concept of long weird stretchy tubes and inserting them over her legs. It was because her five year old daughter was DELIBERATLY BEING STUPID in order to spite her. When said daughter reacted strongly to having socks pulled up, it wasn’t because she had a legitimately negative experience, it was because she could NEVER DO ANYTHING PROPERLY.
This is only a minor example of all the ways in which I was taught that I was not good enough, and that I was a sneaky horrible child and that I should apologise to everyone around me for what essentially amounts to being a human being with flaws and subjective experiences.
So, the POINT of that is, I am trying to stop doing it. Pointing out that I’m a bitch, I mean. Because, whatever. It’s boring. People can figure out what I am or am not by themselves, without me putting a label on it. I don’t need to fear that they will reject me once they really figure out who I truly am, so I don’t need to cover that fear by telling them that they should reject me first, to take the sting away when it inevitably happens (as my subconscious tells me it will).
Remember how this all started with me saying I am bad at accepting compliments? (You remember Alice? It’s a song about Alice?) I am really uncomfortable being told I am a nice person and people like me for me. We have traced that back to my mother (I mean, mostly. It’s not like everything I don’t like about me is her fault. Just MOST things. ). I am also really uncomfortable being told I’m smart.
So, I mentioned before that I’m seeing someone. This has meant a lot more compliments than I am used to. And folks, it’s weird. It’s weirding me out. He thinks I am the shit. And while I don’t disagree, and tend to think that, actually, that is a good prerequisite for someone I am in a relationship with, it is CONFRONTING. The other confronting thing ties in to the smart. S is trained as a teacher. He’s currently working as a teacher’s aide. He focused, in his degree, on learning difficulties, and on gifted children.
So, every now and then he’ll say something. For instance, I mentioned something about the tights and socks saga (relevant! Twice!) and he said ‘yes, that’s very common among gifted children’ and then when I opened my mouth he gave me The Look. You know the look. The ‘I know what you are about to say, and you’re wrong, and you know you are wrong. Why don’t you rethink it before you embarrass yourself’ look.
He has a point. I am smart. I have always been smart. I went to a small primary school, with combined year level classes (ie, R/1, 2/3) and I was always doing the work of the year above me. I was in extension programmes. I got good grades. I did all of this without really trying – year 11 was a bit of a shock because suddenly I had to WORK at things. I enjoy thinking and making patterns and working things out. I am and always have been curious about and engaged with the universe, while at the same time having a rich internal life. There is a lot of evidence that I am, in fact, one smart cookie. And yet I am SUPER uncomfortable even typing this.
I mean, I’m certainly not saying I am the smartest ever. I am very smart in some ways, and not in others, just like most of the population. I’m not saying that being smart makes me better than anyone, or that smarts are enough in isolation. But given that I value all the smart people around me, what is it that stops me from valuing it in myself? I guess girls aren’t supposed to be too smart, and even the smart ones shouldn’t talk about it too much.
Well, fuck that. I am smart. No qualifiers. So there.
(WHY was that so hard?)
Cookie the second:
Cookie the third:
I think I might have posted this before. But I LOVE EET
I had to stop myself from squeeing when I saw that beefrank of Mr Xstitch faved one of my flickr photos. I know it was probably only because it has the word ‘vagina’ in the title, but still! She’s INTERNET FAMOUS, y’all!
Look, Johnny Depp isn’t going to be favouriting any yarnginas anytime soon, so I’ll take it.
Sign # 573: every time I see a ball of yarn like that I think of vaginas. I didn’t post the photo where my sister was sticking her finger into it, though, so maybe I can still be allowed out into society?
Cinnabar is close. It only needs the sleeves sewn on. I spent a good few hours on the weekend seaming, but I had to redo the placket a couple times, and after that I was sort of over it. And I haven’t really been in the mood to do thge sleeves since. I really need an hour or so where I can sit down and concentrate, since it’s something that requires care and attention, if not a huge amount of thought power.
Which is also the reason that I haven’t yet made up my pattern blocks. They are not hard, they just need attention (to basic maths and things like ruling straight lines) and I haven’t had the time and the attention at the same time. This is partly due to general business of life, but mostly I think it’s fair to say, due to the fact that I have just started seeing someone. Now, this is not something I am complaining about, don’t get me wrong! But it certainly does reduce my weekend crafting time!
That said, the knitting is going pretty well. Been doing lots of bus knitting. I’m up to the lace bit on Damson – unsure how complicated it is because I haven’t even looked at the destructions yet. Instead I picked up the Peaks Island Hood (above), which I want to knit for my sister to take to Ireland. I also would like to make her the Snapdragon mitts (below, also from Whimsical little knits 2 by Ysolda Teaue) to match? Or in a different yarn? I can’t decide – I will have to order different yarn anyway, as the hood is 12 ply and the mitts are 8 (although annoyingly Ravelry says that both are worsted weight. Grrr). Will rifle the stash. Something mustard would be nice, she LURVES mustard. Anyway, the point is, that the sister is leaving in a month and a bit, so I want to get a head start.
So, I never did get around to that craft camp post, huh. It’s been six weeks, and I know that because the weekend after next I am going to another one, and they were eight weeks apart.
There are 159 photos in my ‘Sewjourn’ set on flickr. As taken as I was with the whole experience, that is too many. I need to get better at choosing photos, and at deleting forever the ones I don’t wish to keep. Because I DO intend to write a craft camp post after the next one. Seriously! Don’t look at me like that, I mean it this time…
I must have really liked the above view because I have about 10 photos of this. From this same angle. I think it’s the colour of the lavender.
It’s now broken down into moments in my mind. Picking Eleanor up at the airport (good LORD what a nice woman she is! Unbelieveable. And don’t try to deny it Eleanor… stop bieng so polite! ) The drive through the lovely countryside.
The getting out of the car and seeing Suse’s car already there. The buildings, the flowers, that moment of terror that it would all be quite ordinary and how could it possibly be as wonderful as everyone says it it! (Unfounded) Popping down to the bakery for coffee (and a snot block for me).
The Friday afternoon when it was just Janet, Suse, Eleanor and I. The quiet stillness of that and the promise. Quiet crafting as the sun slowly set, setting up and nattering like crazy. The pauses in between.
Eleanor’s typing and asking for suggestions. Talking about feminism and other women and crafting and work and parenting and how all those things fit into our lives. The ease of this conversation, as if I hadn’t, in reality (but who lives in reality!) just met these women. As if this was the most natural thing in the world.
Waiting for Lisa to arrive and hoping she wouldn’t miss the turnoff in the dark. Her delicious butter chicken and her giant, teenage-boy-sized serves of it. (I ate all of my giant serve).
Waking up the next morning. Wandering down to the farmer’s market with Eleanor. (Can you tell that I totally have a girl crush?)
The beautiful produce.
The flirty baker who assured me that if I made french toast with my fruit loaf, I would have an epiphany with the god of my choice. (I didn’t make the French toast.)
And then it all becomes a bit of a blur. People
Photographs, food, endless cups of tea.
And of course lots of laughter. A rousing game of pictionary that Shula tells us could be heard the next state over. Lots of helpful suggestions and encouragements. Cross-craft pollination. Lots of swearing and laughing and talking. I said ‘vagina’ a lot, because that’s how I roll. People exhibited great acts of craft bravery that astounded me.
We had swirling discussions that lasted for days, the same way our email chats do (so why was I so surprised?), picking up where they left off and jumping back into the fray.
But my favourite day was the last day. There was a peaceful rythm about it as people finished of craft projects in the morning sun
and the afternoon sun
And the ever adorable Caroline and Eleanor put on a show
So that by the end of it I was almost, almost reconciled to the fact that I had to leave and go back to my normal life. The most bittersweet moment, because these are my people, age and life differences notwithstanding. And I was just so honoured and proud and grateful to get to spend time with them. I cannot WAIT to do it all again