Saturday, April 04, 2009

movin' on up

i decided to do more than just update my template. i moved streets entirely. im still in the blogger neighbourhood but my new address is

come on over, all previous posts and comments have been moved there.

comments on all posts on this blog have been closed. please leave comments on the new one.

k xx

Friday, April 03, 2009

blog philosophy

i have been thinking about this post for a few days. this is post number 400. i have been posting on this blog since may 2006. i had been meaning to post something about the trip to london, but i have been having some 'feelings' about that, and then when i noticed it would be post 400 i thought it might be a good chance to stop and take stock instead.

i think i am experiencing a bit of e-world over-exposure. a few months ago i started facebooking, and more recently got on the twitter band wagon. i very quickly set my facebook settings so that no one can search for me (in other words, i can only add people i WANT to see me) and i am ok with how thats working, but the last few days i have been twitter spammed. i started following the prime minister kevin07, and within about 10 minutes i had all these people start following me, including the liberal party. what the?! i blocked them all, including the one that was just a link to an online casino site. ok i can block them, but the fact that people can set up their twitter to automatically follow someone who starts following someone else is just stupid. and eerie. what sort of world is it that you want to read updates about people you dont even know? what sort of person is it that needs to accumulate followers like the toys out of a happy meal, plastic and meaningless? that is NOT social networking, or whatever you want to call it.

but i dont see the blog thing as social networking, for me. i started this blog when i moved to canberra from wollongong and knew no one. all my friends were still in wollongong and sydney and i was lonely and at home working on a phd. when i started going to canberra SnBs i heard that some people had these knit blog things, and i thought that would be a good way for me to tell the people i had left behind what was going on with me. so i blogged my knitting but i blogged my life as well.

this tendency has come back to bite a couple of times. once i blogged something about a dog competition and got a nasty comment from a fellow-competitor. i changed my comment settings. recently, i blogged about another dog competition and had part of my text taken out of context (no permission no credit) and used to start a debate on RiotACT where i was villified by people i didnt know for comments i had made in the context of a blog NOT in the context of starting a debate on RiotACT. that whole episode was very distressing, not so much because of what was done but because of the rationale that was used that it was ok. that is, my blog was public and therefore 'fair game'. technically speaking correct. ethically speaking, low. lazy journalism at best.

i have however, always been aware of the paradox of public diary keeping. because this blog really has become a kind of diary. now i have moved away from canberra as well and left behind all my friends there, i feel the need to stay connected more than ever. time poor and chained to a desk, blogs, facebook and twitter are all good ways to stay in touch with the people i care about. so for me they are friendship tools.

but they are not this for everyone. for some they seem to often be a means of taking pot shots at others and hiding behind so-called 'anonymity' when we all know what they really mean. they can be tools of one-up-manship and name dropping and creation of false personas with hidden agendas. this is me being 'half-glass-empty' and focusing only on the negative, when there are real and genuine positives, i know that.

still, they give me pause for thought. i am not sure anymore how much to share. if i were to focus only on knitting, then posts would be few and far between because i am so bloody slow. and i like other peoples blogs that dont just talk about knitting. so i tell more than that, and sometimes more than i should, because thats who i am.

but a blog is not who we are really are. to judge people from what they put into 30kb posts is to make a serious error of judgement. im sure we're all guilty of it, im sure i have been. but i dont really want to stop blogging. i get so much out of it, from doing it, and from other people doing it, that i can put up with the other stuff. its just tiresome, that wherever there is human nature, there is 'other stuff'.

i dont know, maybe i need to quit the facebook and twitter instead. maybe i just need a new template.

or maybe we just all need to go back to letter writing and phone calls.

anyway, thanks for reading!

k xx

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

pictures for thousands of words

so i am still too out of it to blog properly and i am not sure how to organise my adventures, chronologically, or by theme, because there was history and art and yarn and travel and work, so in the meantime, here is a link to some of the photos i took (i took about another hundred i wont bore you with).

they give you some idea of what i managed to cram into a few days!

k xx

Monday, March 30, 2009

theres no place like home...

nothing is quite as beautiful as watching sydney unfold as the sun rises while you drop from 30000 feet in a plane full of poms. they were impressed. its a beautiful sight, and not just because theres no place like home. that coastline north of sydney is really something else. but yes, after 48 hours travelling i was pretty homesick and had to restrain myself from kissing the tarmac. i have now showered and eaten my first batch of vegemite toast. i am never going away without it again. i tried marmite in london, it was passable but not quite the same. there are some things one just cant live without it.

24 hours on a plane makes my back hurt. my knees also hurt and i have a blackened toe nail, as if a blood vessel burst. movies arent quite as good on 7 inch screens. its surprising how humid sydney is, even just after 10 days. the crap coffee at sydney airport at 730 this morning was better than just about any other coffee i had in the entire UK, apart from at flat white in soho (thanks shelley!). trents hair has grown. he swore at me on the mobile within 5 minutes of me being home because i got cranky with him for not being right there where i was at arrivals. so things are all normal there. i didnt forget how to drive, tho i was a bit erratic on the harbour bridge just now (trent had to go to work poor thing). jem nearly wet himself when he saw me, possum just rolled over for a tummy rub. the water pressure here is great. so is fresh white bread toasted with vegemite. i have 94 posts on bloglines to read and i think some sleeping to do, so this is just a teaser. there will be more, complete with photos, later. maybe tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

crazy town

a quick post, sans pictures, from the crazy place that is london. i am leaving it tomorrow morning and i have just figured out where everything is of course! for some reason i couldnt figure out the directions of things and kept walking south when i meant to go north and ended up in back alleys and went round the block 4 times looking for the british museum when its just over there! but today of course, it all went click and makes perfect sense and now i feel completely comfortable and its time to leave!

but i am glad to be going. dont get me wrong, i love it here, its the most amazing city i have ever seen. its about a GAZILLION times bigger than sydney. for example, i just caught the bus back here from oxford st. it took as long to do 2 blocks as it takes to do circular quay to central. but it doesnt stop there, it just keeps going and going, with more shops and more streets, and more people than can possible live in one place. its just all crazy insane with people and buses and taxis and noise! i am looking forward to my two hour train trip to cardiff just for some peace and quiet. i am also hoping cardiff is considerably smaller.

i am sore all over from walking, i havent walked so much in three days for a very long time, and the jet lag has been bad, i feel asleep the first day i got here at 4 in the afternoon and woke up at 1am, then slept again till 5. last night i did from 8pm to 4am, so im hoping i can hold out a bit later tonight and get a more normal sleep pattern happening, before i get back on the plane and screw it up again entirely. its much worse going in the opposite direction i know, so im not looking forward to that.

but i am looking forward to getting home and seeing my boy and my puppies and blogging properly all the funny things that have happened and the amazing museums and all the yarn (and the books, oh god the books) i have bought so far. like the rowan, the manos silk, the wensleydale, the sublime, the debbie bliss, the quivit. no its not all for me. and i havent even been to colinette yet!

more to follow
k xx

Friday, March 20, 2009

me and my clapotis

are off to london to visit the queen.

well not really, i am actually going for work in the form of a conference and meetings in cardiff, but that starts wednesday. before then i am going to try and see some of london. i am staying at a little place in bloomsbury, just near the british museum, which is appropriate given my interest in all things virginia woolf. i arrive sunday morning british time (gaining a day on the way) and have plans to walk around and check out some of the shops etc along oxford st (liberty, john lewis), and then pop into the brit, and maybe the victoria and albert museum, and then take the tube to waterloo and hang out at iknit, maybe visiting the tate modern and the globe afterwards, crossing the river on the millenium bridge to see st pauls. followed by a collapse.

then i catch the train to cardiff, for meetings and networking and then a workshop presentation at the biggest nursing research conference in the world, being held in this rather swish building, complete with swish conference dinner. then on friday i am hoping to hire a car and drive up to this little town, which is the home of colinette, and roll around in yarn there for a while (i wonder if this is where dafydd lives?!). it is about a 3 hour drive from cardiff apparently, but seems a good way to see the countryside. i will have seen enough of cities by then i think.

i have just about everything ready, workshop prepared, money organised (not without some hiccups there), tickets, etc, and you may have noticed that the suitcase is not quite full. of course there a few more things to go in there, but not much, because i intend to be bringing a few things back. nothing for me of course! also, i have decided not to risk the knitting needle thing and will settle for some good movies and a book instead. and hopefully some sleep. it is kind of weird to think that this time tomorrow i will be in the sky somewhere headed to the other side of the world.

see you when i get back!
k xx

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

my sweetie pies

nothing about knitting pleases me more than socks. sometimes i am still amazed that something i once thought was impossible now seems so easy. this doesnt mean i do it well, particularly, but i like the fact that i know i can take some wool and some sticks and make a sock without having to carry a notebook or pattern or chart etc around as well. so much so, that i am thinking of taking an innocent ball of koigu and some bits of bamboo in a pencil case on board with me on saturday. (dont tsk tsk me like that. 22 hours in the air and you expect me to not knit?) the point im trying to make however, is that i am confident enough about the numbers of sock knitting that i can just make it up as a go.

i attempted to make one of my christmas presents up as i went, like actually designing my own pattern. i wanted to call them sweetie pie socks, because they were to have pretty purl details and be made out of a red called vatican pie. it didnt quite work, so i ended up resorting to an old favourite, the picot eyelet pattern (ribbon still to come):

i did add a few extras, like a german heel with the two purl stitches at each end of the heel flap rows, and the purling for gusset decreases.

i also did purl decreases on the toe, but i made one serious mistake with these socks, which was gift one of them with an IOU attached, without taking notes about what i did. so i am not entirely confident that they match. i thought i did a french toe on the other one, so i tried it again here, but from memory. i dont think its quite the same. however, i tell myself, this adds to their charm.

and of course, you cant go wrong with socks made from colinette jitterbug in 'vatican pie' which must be one of the most amazing sock yarns, and brilliant colours, ever. i will be at a conference next week a mere 3 hours drive away from the home of colinette, and i am determined to get there. its the same thing as being in rome and having to see st peters yes?

at any rate, i am going to go back to the drawing board on this design. i really like the effect purling can have on plain socks in yarn like the colinette or koigu, with the really tight spin they have. purl details really stand out and make the colours 'pop', as people say. i wanted to have a plain picot edge, no eyelets but a row of purls instead, then a panel of purls down the side of the leg, that matched the purls in the heel.

a very long flight on a very large plane seems the right place to attempt such a thing. i wonder if i can get an upgrade....

k xx