Relay Wrapup

Well it’s been an insanely busy week between preparing for the trip and finishing things off at work. I wanted to put up a quick post about the relay on the weekend however. I really REALLY appreciate the support I received and want to sincerely thank everyone who sponsored me and/or sent supportive messages.

The relay went really well. The promised rain mostly stayed away and the weather was warm enough during the day to be pleasant to walk in but cool enough to not be unpleasant. It got cooler in the evening and the onesies started coming out. I almost wished I’d brought mine along.

There was a great turn out for my team, Knitters for a Cure. We had a fabulous tent site on the far corner of the oak lawn from the main stage. This was good as the music blasting out from there was loud. Walking past it was quite unpleasant at times, but it was muted at that distance. For the third year running, we won best decorated tent site. This was largely due to the efforts of Nanna Ruth who always puts in a great effort.

Knitmashup

As you can see, our theme this year was ‘We knit so we don’t kill people’. There were a few times I wanted to use my needles to deadly effect when people who were running the course dodged past without giving warning. One even ran into me. On the whole though, the walking was great. I got to walk with a number of my teammates including the wonderful Julie who I’d wanted to chat to last year and didn’t have a chance.

The relay started at midday on Saturday and went for 24 hours. Craig and I couldn’t stay for the full time because we had a lot of packing and trip prep to do, but we were there until 9pm Saturday. In that time I smashed my previous fitbit stepcount bests, getting my 20,000, 25,000 and 30,000 step badges all in the one afternoon. 😀 I walked over 20km (in bursts of 40 mins or so) knitting the whole time. We ordered pizza for dinner and it disappeared in a hurry after all of that walking!

The best news of all  is that Knitters for a Cure raised over $7,000 for cancer research. We were the second highest fund raising team at the UWA event and exceeded our team goal. Thanks to you guys, I raised nearly $400. 😀

I look forward to doing it again next year. The epic blood blister on my right foot should have healed by then. 😉

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.

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?

Knitting, it’s not just for Julia…

So the current media circus swirling around Julia Gillard is to do with an article for the Women’s Weekly showing her knitting. Now it’s not exactly a secret that she knits, this has been known for some time. Yet suddenly she’s being attacked all over the place for it. Mainly old white men are calling her ridiculous for showing off a hobby popularised by 50’s housewives. Like this trite example:

She is giving encouragement to young female politicians by plying a hobby now synonymous with mad old aunts – Andrew Bolt

Like he’s such an expert!?

So, is knitting such an olde worlde hobby that it will lead Julia further from the voters?

The more than three million users of Ravelry, a knitting website, are sure to disagree.

Also, I personally disagree. I like the idea of Julia knitting in her spare time. It’s something I totally relate to. I’m a rather busy person and it’s great to have a hobby that you can do while you do other things. I can knit while I read, watch tv or have a conversation with friends. I also get to know people through knitting, I can totally imagine having a chat with Julia about her favourite type of yarn and trying to persuade her to use circular needles.

Tony Abbott grinning inanely from his bike however leaves me cold.

So why is knitting so excellent? My friend @bekswhoknits has already written a great post about this topic and I thought I’d add my 2 cents.

Knitting allows you to make pretty things. Since I started knitting in late 2007, I have made the following items (and many many more):

Celestarium

I love it for the beautiful colours. A good skein of yarn is a wonderful thing, it feels delightful in your hands and has colours to die for. Having a house full of yarn means having a house full of warmth and colour. Better yet, you can make it yourself. Chris Pyne may make cracks about spinning a yarn (yeah, never heard that one before), but it’s an amazing thing to be able to do. How many people do you know who can take a sheep and use it to clothe their family?

One thing you may notice about most of the knitted things above is that I like to knit lace. It’s a bit weird since I don’t often wear lace, but following a lace knitting pattern seems to itch my brain in a really satisfying way. I do make practical things like jumpers, hats and fingerless gloves but I always come back to lace.

I also like having a productive hobby. I’m not good at doing nothing or even doing one thing at a time and even when I’m relaxing I am driven to create. Knitting means that I can relax and have something to show for it. If I’m really tired, I just pick up an easier project. Knitting is portable as well, I can do it on the train and on planes. I would knit in meetings at work if I could get away with it.

But how many others share this hobby? Well you might be surprised. In my city I know of about six knitting groups that happen at least once a fortnight. I also do some social knitting at work during Wednesday lunchtimes. Some people at my work who knit don’t come along to this, but do show me their projects or ask for opinions about patterns.

There are a lot of us and we’re a diverse range of ages. A knitting retreat that I helped organise recently had people aged from their mid 20s to nearly 80. The mean age would have been mid to late 30s.

My point is that knitting is awesome, funky and it’s not going away in a hurry. The usual mansplainers should check their facts before they run off at the mouth. I don’t love everything Julia does, but I thoroughly approve of the knitting.