Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thanks for the inspiration

This weekend, some knitterly (and new to knitting) friends went to Canberra for the Spinners and Weavers Guild's exhibition "Warped and Twisted". A detour through Bundanoon whilst looking for a bit of tea and scones (or elevensies? for the Brits) found us in the midst of Brigadoon. Whilst the rain fell steadily and available car spaces rapidily declined, we thought it best to leave Bundanoon for another visit. We're not quite sure what Brigadoon was all about as we saw a lot of people and not very much action. As one of the knitterly friends (CC) said, "I see no kilts nor hear any bagpipes". So instead we made our way to Collector to visit Lynwood cafe, perhaps the only place worthy of a mention from the "oh so trendy" foodie set of Sydney this side of the Great Dividing Range.

I can now recommend the Pork terrine, Country pate and the bangers and mash. All served with their famous chutney and relishes which you can purchase to take home. Just ensure that you do eat it and not leave it at the back of the cupboard. It would be an expensive bit of mould otherwise.

Onwards to Canberra, we made the necessary "wrong way, go back" tour to the CSIRO main office. However, Warped and Twisted was actually at the Discovery Centre part of the CSIRO which of course is also where Telstra Tower extends from.

I have in my posession, numerous old copies of Mon Tricot, the crochet and knitting magazine of the days prior to Interweave Knits and the modern Vogue Knitting. Needless to say, the weaving projects in Mon Tricot were these ghastly looking rag rug type concoctions. So I never really understood why people like weaving so much. In particular, when it appears that the most they can get out of the craft is a scarf or a rug. The exhibition has really opened my eyes (okay, I won't go as far as to say, endless opportunities) to all the alternatives and creativeness of weaving.

There were also some knitted garments, some beautiful pieces and some rather boring pieces which looked like they were knitted from a 1980s Women's Weekly freebie pattern of the week.

They also had a shop downstairs which I was quite keen to check out but was rather disappointed with. There were garments for sale which were actually quite nice. But for someone with the attidude of "I can make that myself", I would have liked to see more handspun wool for sale, or raw materials. The wool that were there were rather uninspiring and looked like it had been put together by someone wanting to get rid of their odds and ends.

Whilst not totally inspired by this exhibition, the whole trip itself was really fun. Which I guess, brings me to the title of this post. You know how sometimes, there are times when you meet someone and you think, wow, we are so alike? Well I've actually been fortunate enough to meet two such people so far. First is Katie and the other being CC. Both people I met through work. Katie, when I was working for a software company and CC when I was working for a publishing company. I guess the common ground between all three of us is that we all like handicrafts and we all not only like to try new things but is not afraid to do so. But sometimes, I believe that the similarities stretch further than than this. Sometimes, in conversation with either Katie or CC, I'm constantly saying "me too, me too" whenever we talk about what we would do or how we feel about certain things. For example, CC was talking about flitting from one hobby to another and how I would think, that is so ME!

However, in my everyday life, I am a person who finds inspiration in "one line". What do I mean by this? Here are some examples:

1. This blog. I started this blog a few years ago just to store my random ramblings. However, Katie and I caught the same plane back from Melbourne once and she was telling me about her knitting blog. Now this has turned into a random rambling/knitting blog.

2. A uni friend Jenny once said to me "You don't need to eat everything off your plate". I thought, you're right! I instantly shed about 5 kg.

3. I saw another uni friend - Jill - once at a party after not seeing her for a while. She looked particularly good. I asked her what she was doing. Apparently swimming! So every second day, I went swimming. Instant 5kg loss.

4. I joined Weight Watchers after reading Julie talking about it on her blog. I've lost just under 8kg and am loving my meetings.

5. My friend Helen said that she goes running at night time around Marrickville as her exercise routine. Now I've just completed the Couch to 5K running program which I have been doing at around 9pm.

It might sound like I've lost a lot of weight going by all that inspiration and motivation. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all. The problem I found, is staying power. I can only do one thing for a certain amount of time, and then I lose interest or maybe motivation. I'm not sure. But with people like CC and Katie out there, I'm sure it won't be long before my mind is occupied with something else.

So although I do possess my own mind and can think of some new ideas, I thought it would be a good opportunity to acknowledge all those people who may or may not have consciously passed on a "one liner" to me.

So who inspires you?

Monday, April 23, 2007

A post full of random-ness

This weekend saw me join the Rubi + Lana knitting group. I used to frequent this shop quite a bit when I was working in Lindfield. It's everything I love about an LYS. An understanding and patient owner, specialty yarn all colour coordinated for inspiration. The strange thing was that right next door to my old work was Gretas in Lindfield. Everything about Gretas was what I hated about small specialty stores. Snobby owner, no prices listed, general boring colours. Each time I made a purchase at Greta's my heart skipped a beat when I heard what the price is. How can two yarn stores, one suburb separating them could be so different.

I'm so glad that Lara invited me along. I even got to meet her bunnies (so tell me, how is it possible to fit so much cuteness into such a small package?). So out came the Hedera socks which I had put aside for ages and started working on them again. I finished one today! Will have to take pictures again.

On Sunday, there was a RYSF (random yarn shop find). Well not a full on yarn store, but a quilting store in North Rocks that stocked some yarn - perfect for "gosh, I had better get my hands on a new project" moment.

Quilt Love is in Westfields North Rocks, tucked away in a corner near the carpark entrance. They don't have a huge range but they do stock Naturally and Patons and a few other brands as well.

Does this remind you of anything?

I started making a pink version of Reid for my friend's baby... umm... like 2 years ago. Then I moved house and everything got packed away. Can't for the life of me find the yarn I had bought to make it. So I started again, but in an off white colour this time. I'm glad to say that I am only one sleeve off, then piecing the whole thing together and finally crocheting the edges.
I will finish this ... I have to. Baby Jade is going to be 2!! Luckily the sizing for the pattern starts at 2 years.

Just so my non-knitting friends who read this blog (I know you're out there despite the loud silence of NO COMMENTS!!) don't think that my whole life is consumed with knitting, and that other thoughts do bounce around in my head, here is some other random-ness:

This is the view from my office window. I was sitting at my desk when I took this picture. I love the idea that the people who live in the apartments across from our building pay huge $$ for the view and I get paid and the view comes packaged with it.

However, every 10 days, this comes in and blocks my lovely view for a WHOLE day!!

Whilst waiting for a friend for lunch today, I looked up and saw this:

I went to the Blackett hotel earlier this year for a conference, but in my usual state hurry, failed to notice that they had really restored the building's exterior. Inside it was rather swanky as well but I'm glad that they kept to the original facade of the building. Sydney has enough glass already.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Oh my goodness - I had that dream too!!

One of my favourite sites is Apartment Therapy. I came across this post today. I used to dream about the unit we used to live in when I was younger but it is much bigger in the dream. I have had numerous dreams of the house I grew up in and there were always extra rooms. I always woke up with a good feeling, but then realise it's only a dream.

At lunch today, I thought I might mosey over to Pitt St Mall to have a look in Borders. There was this guy coming down the escalators talking on his mobile - LOUDLY!! Normally, I find people who talk loudly on their mobiles extremely annoying - as most train commuters can probably attest. But what made this guy doubly annoying was the fact he was speaking in really bad chinese. Generally, I would commend people for trying to speak another language other than their own, but I was unsympathetic because of the loud yabbering. It sounded like he was yelling. He probably was - at his mail order bride!! I just wanted to go up to him and say INTONATION, it's all about the INTONATION!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New toy

Raymond came over and surprised me with a new toy. He bought me a new mobile phone. Not that I needed one. Raymond has two passions: cars and mobile phones. Actually, he just likes anything techy. He got himself a new PDA with built in GPS.Umm... I thought I was the one needing help with reading maps. (Yes, I know - I'm ashamed of breeding the female stereotype of not being able to read maps.)

Anyway, back to the new phone. It's a Sony Ericsson K750i. I didn't really need a new phone. I'm still quite happy with cute little Samsung slidey phone he got me about 2 years ago.

The main feature of this little baby is its 2 megapixel camera. And the fact that it has bluetooth. Not that I really care to be zapping people within "bluetooth" distance!!

So here is some camera phone fun:

Lucille looking angelic!

Ray behind bars

Next month, Ray and I are going to Melbourne. I managed to snap up 2 mega cheap return tickets with Jetstar when they were having their mad sales. So I'm going to try to see if we can get to Bendigo and visit the Bendigo Woolen Mills. If that does not happen, then I'll have to get my fibre fix at Warp and Twisted 2007. A few knitterly friends and I are going to drive down to the our Nation's Capital for the weekend. BUT there will be strictly NO KNITTING in the car ride. One of the knitterly friends who have years of experience ahead of me once gave me a stern talking to about the dangers of knitting and car travel. Seeing as she will be coming, I dare not bring out the needles.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hacking Cough of Death

I've been homebound for the last two days. I've got what a friend calls the "hacking cough of death". The last time I was inflicted by this malady, I was halfway across the world, hacking my way across the United States. It's one of those coughs where your whole body rocks and you think you're going to pass out because there is not enough air.

Anyway, it just so happened that I had an assignment due yesterday as well. I emailed my lecturer but I don't think she really believed me. This last assignment was a design one. I have managed to learn the basics of InDesign in one day. Next I'm going to start tryiing out Illustrator.

On the weekend, my bookclub met up to discuss our latest read. I actually finished the book this time. The book was "A fine balance" by Rohinton Mistry. I bought this book on a Saturday and finished reading it in a week. I was totally hooked. Whilst the focus is on the lives of two tailors, a widow and a student, it really brought to light the time in India during the "Emergency" and the Indian caste system. There are certain parts in the book which is extremely confronting and violent. One member of the bookclub couldn't keep reading after one of these rather disturbing scenes. However, I actually kept with it because I was waiting for that redeeming factor which would let me know that at the end, the story would end with on a happy note. Even if it didn't have a fairy tale ending, I was looking for hope. This book will definitely keep you thinking long after you turn the last page.

The next book on the list is "Everything is illuminated" by Jonathan Safran Foer. In my breathlessness state today, I trekked up five flights of stairs of the University's library so that I can get a head start on this book.