Knitting for a cure

Internet, hear my plea!

Again this year I am walking in the Relay for Life to help raise money for cancer research. My team is called Knitters for a Cure and we take this relay very seriously. I’ve done the relay with this team a number of times before and it’s something I really believe in.

Cancer touches everyone sooner or later. My grandma Rose died of cancer. I’m walking for her this year. It’s also something that has affected my aunt and my good friend Charly (who I have walked for previously).

Team KFAC 2012 © warpgirl

I will be going around and around a little track for many hours tomorrow, knitting in hand. It’s likely I’ll be walking in some less than pleasant weather and I know I’ll be sore before I’m done. We are walking at the UWA relay site. I may get to dance to Gangnam style again as I did last year. 😀

If you could help by donating some money to this cause, it would mean a lot to me. I feel bad that I haven’t done more fundraising this year, but it has been a very busy time for me. My team is doing well with fundraising and I’d like to help them be in the top few teams at UWA.

You can find my page and make a donation here.

Thanks for reading.

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Trip planning

I’ve been a bit quiet on here lately. It’s not because I don’t have anything to say (perish the thought!) Rather, it’s because so much of my spare time has been taken up making arrangements for my forthcoming holiday.

In less than two weeks (eep!) Craig and I will be jetting off to Europe for a much needed break. I’ve been pretty slow in organising things mostly because life (and work) keep getting in the way but I’ve finally finished booking all of the hotels and roughing out a travel itinerary.

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Daniel Daranas

We will be flying into Paris and staying there for a few days. I’ll be able to catch up with one of my best friends, Tanya, who I haven’t seen in years. I’m very excited about that! Then we head to central France where Craig’s dad has a place. We will stay with him and his wife for a few days before heading to southern France and then Lyon. On my birthday we will cross into Switzerland spending a few days in various places and thence into Germany. We’re only going to have time to get to Southern Germany sadly but I am very pleased I’ll have a chance to visit my favourite yarn shop!

We will also be in Munich for the start of Oktoberfest. I will not be partaking and I expect it’s going to be quite mental. We’re then passing through the Alps down to Italy where we will go on a week long guided tour all over the country. We’ll fly out of Milan and into Brisbane to head to my sister’s upcoming wedding.

So it’s going to be a very full on month! I’ve been to Paris before and Craig’s been to Lyon but otherwise it will all be new to us. We’re hoping to be able to pick things we like to visit again in the future. We’ll be largely travelling by train which I’m looking forward to as it will give me lots of knitting and reading time (not to mention the views).

While we have the hotels pretty well sorted, I’d still love suggestions for things to look out for and do along the way. If you have some to share, please leave a comment.  We’re also going to be travelling with backpacks and I traditionally fail at travelling light so I’d very much appreciate suggestions there too. 😀

I’m hoping to blog and tweet along the way but it will depend on internet, tiredness etc so I won’t make any promises.

My foray into family history

I’m fortunate enough to sit near the family history specialists at work. Fortunate because Tricia and Leonie are both lovely and very interesting people. It is family history month this month and last week they co-ordinated a wonderful series of talks at work. Many months ago, Leonie started twisting my arm about giving a talk. I told her quite truthfully that I’m not particularly knowledgeable about family history. She didn’t let this stop her and decided that I should give a talk on apps and suchlike for genealogy.

So that’s how Geneappogy came about. I spent a while researching various apps for family history and it quickly became apparent that it would be at least as useful to talk about apps that can be generically helpful for research and information storage. I also covered why devices are so convenient as a research tool and what other tools they can replace.

In the Jungle  © Molly Tebo

I felt  like a bit of a fraud since I hadn’t tried all of the apps I was talking about. One I did try however was BillionGraves. This is a pretty cool idea which is all about crowdsourcing the recording of grave yards. Last weekend I went for a walk to a nearby pioneer cemetery and tried it out. I used the app on my smartphone to photograph the graves, this took about half an hour (and it automatically geotagged the images). When I got home, I transcribed the information from the gravestones via the website which took a few hours more. I was impressed that it was so easy and relatively fast to do. Now the information on those grave stones is searchable by genealogists all over the world which is nifty. 😀

Back to the talk. It was held in the State Library theatre which is quite a formal venue. I was glad that I had a decent crowd (over 50) as it made the theatre look not too empty. I’m not going to go much into what I talked about, but if you are interested in finding out more (I’m looking at you @MsSMuffett), my e-handout is available here and the prezi I used is here.

Despite the large amount of information, I got through it fairly quickly. The audience were polite but did contribute when I asked them to. They asked some good (and a few curly) questions. At the end I invited them down the front to ask further questions and to try out some of the apps on tablets and smartphones I had brought along. A number of people said complimentary things about the talk and they were most interested in seeing Google drive and Evernote demonstrated rather than the dedicated FH apps.

Finally, I was asked by the president of the WA Genealogical Society to do another talk along the same lines for their members. Quite flattering really! I’m glad it went so well and I could help out my work buddies. 😀

Knitting for Lily

I have a niece, her name is Lily* and she’s one year old.  I knit her things.

She’s kinda lucky since I don’t knit things for many people, I’m a fairly selfish knitter for reasons that I’ll write about another time. But she’s gorgeous and I like to make cardigans for her. The first one was a teeny tiny BSJ which she wore on her way home from the hospital:

The second was a lovely and very bright Scrappy Socky Stripey Cardi that I made out of various colours of Wollmeise:

I’ve just finished the latest and I’m really quite proud of it. I started it in some colourful handspun that I bought at this year’s knitting retreat. Unfortunately it was very dense and was knitting up more like body armour than a child’s cardigan so I started again in a random ball of Bendigo Alpaca Rich that I had kicking around. I’m really glad that I did, the yarn and pattern go very well together. The pattern incidentally is Granny’s favourite. I’ve named mine ‘Little Red‘:

Image

The yarn is less pink and more red than these photos would indicate (taken in a hurry with my iPhone) and has knitted up beautifully.  I like it so much that I’ve ordered more in cobalt to knit myself Iona.

Aren’t the buttons adorable? A friend from work took me to a great little shop in the city where I found them. I’ll be sending this labour of love off to my sister on Monday and I’m already looking forward to some photos of Lily in it. I hope it fits for a while.

* Photos of Lily have been used with her parents permission.

And the winner is…

Thanks to everyone who helped give their opinion on my last blog post.  I tallied up the results from the blog, Twitter, Facebook and offered in person and the winner (by a decent margin) is Walk on the Moon, the first option.

So on Friday night I cast it on and I’m making good progress. I’ve finished the first chart and am up to row 54 currently. It’s an interesting pattern.

I haven’t forgotten about the other options however. I’m planning to re-chart the Sierpinski gasket shawl and choose some yarn to use to take on holiday with me. I’m also contemplating colours for the Colour Affliction.

In the meantime, I’ve also discovered this amazing Escher fish blanket that I also want to knit (from Wollmeise):

@ Jana Huck

Isn’t it incredible! It’s available on Ravelry as Tiling Fish.

What to knit?

This is a just a quick post to ask for help. I have recently finished a few projects and I’m keen to cast on something new.

These are the choices I’m tossing up between…

Walk on the Moon in Wollmeise lace. I have a kit for this in the colours below:

Walk on the moon © mirih

The next option is Color Affection or as I prefer to call it, Colour Affliction. I haven’t settled on colours for this, but my Wollmeise stash is certainly equal to the challenge:

Color Affection © Drucilla

The final choice is a bir trickier. I want to do a variation on the Sierpinski Gasket shawl. It’s a fractal shawl pattern which appeals strongly to the geek in me. I want to do it from laceweight, something with silk or tencel (plenty in the stash). I’ll probably have to rework the pattern a bit before starting to knit. Something I could work on this weekend I guess.

The Sierpinski Gasket Shawl © Amanda M. Williams

Some additional considerations include that Walk on the Moon and Color Affection would be more wearable (I have loads of fine lace shawls which I mostly don’t wear already) but Sierpinski Gasket would be lighter and better for travelling with when I go to Europe in a month(!) I plan to knit all of these in due time, it’s just a matter of picking which to start. Maybe I should try to knock out one of the first two before my holiday and then start on number three while travelling.

Tell me what you think?