Wednesday, September 30, 2009

People as Sanctuary

Today is my favourite day of the week because it is Thursday. Thursday is knit night and I get to spend time with a wonderful group of knitters (you know who you are).

This is a time when i can be myself, I feel no pressure to be someone I am not, I am accepted and can generally discuss anything I wish to (or not discuss anything). Spending time with these people and knitting energises me after a long arduous week of work, it can relax my stress. I also get incredibly agitated if work is going to impinge on it in any way.

I have pockets of this in my wider life but do wonder if I should seek out more. At work I am lucky to have 2 pairs of colleagues who provide this human space. Two peers who i share leadership responsibilities with and with whom I have an incredibly frank, often laughter filled, open relationship, managing people can be rewarding but it can also be draining, frustrating and at times painful. The other pair of colleagues are of my era, have similar senses of humour as well as an almost (but not quite) identical set of cultural references. We are often able to respond to the events of the day with shared references and laughter and discuss what next over coffee and lunch. This relationship does extend to creative pursuits outside work as part of the retreat from work-a-day humdrum.

My core circle of friends that has mainly sprung up around a couple I went to university with has pockets of this. Partners, additional acquisitions etc has made larger groups of this more about debate and occassionally finds me more guarded. But in one very small central core of this that sense of sanctuary and ability to say whatever i want and need is there. We do make efforst to maintain this smaller circle for ourselves.

At home my wonderful dh is able to provide me both sanctuary when I am in need of retreat and support (and I to him) and debate when I am in need of a good intelligent exchange of ideas. Our core values are similar so we are not at complete loggerheads but are able to explore disagreements and differences with passion and humour. Occassionally we will also just bicker about stupid things for fun, which drives both our mothers mad but always ends in us laughing ourselves silly.

I think the key is that laughter - all consuming moments of shared humour or absurdity are the recurring theme of all these relationships and are universally present in these interactions. So I will continue to seek out those I can always laugh with.

This gives me the perfect chance to share one of my favourite bands (Weddings Parties Anything) and their song "Island of Humour" the original had Billy Bragg...enjoy.

Blogtoberfest and Blog This (or Lets do more with less time?)

Bells has inspired me to try something different. I have signed up to both Blogtoberfest (more info can be found here) and Blog This both efforts to increase the regularity of my blogging and challenging me to look at some different topics.

I am really looking forward to the challenge. I have of course picked a time when I have a paper to finish by mid-next week for presentation to a conference, a new team member starting next week and a lot of other work on the horizon. I may have also mentioned a certain spinning course which will probably also take up a bit of my time.

I have this powerful personal image of myself from my mid to late twenties where I achieved amazing amounts both personally and professionally at a time when i was really, really (incredibly) busy and am thinking I might be trying to recapture that (just a little) by challenging myself to do just a little bit more.

Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me

My dh buys me wonderful presents but draws the line at buying me more yarn (but I can't really complain).

Especially not when this arrived for me (a birthday present to myself) today.

The goodies include

  • Handmaiden Casbah in Amethyst
  • Dream in Color Smooshy in Visual Purple
  • Madelinetosh Tosh Sock Yarn in Wood Violet
  • Malabrigo Sock in Violeta Africa
  • Have You Any Wool Luxe Sock in Amaranthine
  • Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solids in Purple
  • Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select Semi-Solids in Iris

A wonderful Present if I do say so myself.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Birthdays, Knitting and Dust

Monday I grew a little bit older so Sunday night we had a few friends round for a small celebration. The original plan was a BBQ but dust and wind eventually put that idea to bed (the BBQ would not stay lit). We escaped to the cosy confines of the dining room and enjoyed BBQ fare finished in the oven/grill and some wine. The biggest hit was the decorate your own pavlova - always have at least one passionfruit per person...and flake bars for chocolate flakes is always popular.

I am a lucky lass and in addition to the (yet to be delivered) brand new purple laptop (yes he is well trained) I recieved some great earings from Polli (woven in blues and aquas) as well as a gift of the NSW hand weavers and spinners guild's beginner's spinning course.

Monday the family arrived and I was treated to a hand made photo frame with a pic of the family cat in "a box" another craft basket for projects and things and Transformers the game for the PS3 (no I haven't played it yet) and a beautiful Angel Face Rose bush.
The celebrations (small as they were) So knitting on the weekend between planning, cooking etc was not as prevalent as it usually is..I have finished the first of the Toe-Up Socks with contrast toe, heel and cuff and I have all but finished (1.5 squares to go) the squares for the cotton baby blanket.

The dust has slowed me down in the last day with the after affects being a sinus infection (ouch). It is on the mend and I will hopefully stop waking with searing headaches. Looking forward to a bit more knitting and some time to relax on the upcoming long weekend.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pleasant Surprises

Last night I was lucky enough to recieve the above book as a gift from my SIL.
The surprise was the fact it is a sock book I don't already own and the patterns are really cute.

Yay for gifts.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monogamous Knitting

Lately I have been a bit single project focused which is incredibly unusual for me. I normally switch between projects and happily knit on a few different projects.

The It Must Be Love Jumper and the Hearts and Flowers Socks are both languishing unloved in the project bag and the Shawl Flu has besieged my knitting mojo. I have managed to complete Aestlight, Ishbel and am now fully entangled in a return affair with Icarus.

I flirted with Icarus in January and February and even into March if i recall correctly (my memory is not what it once was). She was not complicated just big and my fingers itched for new and interesting yarn and patterns and she was quietly discarded. I actually think her simplicity for first chart was why we parted.

Come August she was liberated and quickly showed me that after the long term investment in the repetitive pattern she had a series of more complex ever evolving pattern sections (no repeats) to finish the dance.

I of course braved these sections without a net (lifeline) sweeping through the first pattern section and boldy striding through the second able to recover easily from a trip...until the second last row. Yes I know that is what lifelines are for to stop you having to undo huge amounts of lace.

So here I am undoing the last 4 or five rows of the middle lace section.
I am determined to finish her this week (although T is telling me to put her down for a bit, give my head some space). Yes i know I said the same thing last week! But I will finish her honest, or
I could just pick up those socks or the jumper again.

I really could just start something new, it's not like I am really being unfaithful.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sunday Sunday

An eventful day let me share a summary.

Knitting (Icarus)
Power Outage
Tea (thank god for gas)
Blocking (Ishbel)
Fathers day Present giving (coffee cup)
Walk to markets admiring spring gardens
Markets breaky -Coffee, bacon and egg roll, iced tea ( cranberryand

Markets purchases-
Blocking tool additions foam centred cardboard and EVA skins
Halloween costume supplies for O
Garlic, onion and corn
Flowers - poppies
Passionfruit butter

Stroll home

Setup T and O to watch Kung Fu Panda
Make scones, whip cream serve scones with Jam, cream and passionfruit
butter (Yum)

Now TV (AFL), knitting (Icarus) and tea! T having a beer!

Good day!

Shawl Flu Persisting...

The knitting here has been focused and dedicated. Longish hours at work have distracted me but the I have managed to complete Ishbel Saturday afternoon. The Yarn Lust yarn is stunning in colour (Colourway Crush). It is now blocking on the dining room table.
I managed to complete the large pattern with one skein (very generous yardage in the sock yarn).

My fingers were itching so I have picked up Icarus with the intention of finishing it.
I do have some baby items to complete as well.