Deep dark confession time. On occasion I am a fan of fast cars. Perhaps even worse I have liked cars since I was quite young.
I am at the F1 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park this weekend. I have always wanted to go in the grandstand, so this year have grand stand tickets at silly dollars – yay something ticked off my “do before I die” list. And for me worth the price.
And what I am really enjoying…for once it is the male persuasion queuing for the toilets rather than me! Yippee!! How often can a girl say that?
Over Christmas I visited Hokitika for the first time – the joy of family who relocate enabling you to see new places. For some unknown reason I did a bit of advance preparation, as in I found out there was the world famous, or “perhaps world famous in NZ” Sock World Hokitika – here is their website and facebook page. Small town NZ is a large part of my childhood so I love to support local endeavours. And while I am absolutely not the world’s best sock knitter – I have yet to even try knitting a pair of socks – I am of course craft curious, and my before I went search had alerted me to the fact that they may have also sold yarn… And of course it was the yarn that I was after, I wanted to buy something that I would associate with the place.
For my little girl, with her input (have to have that these days unless you are keen to start WW3!) I have three hanks of beautiful 10 ply Waterspout Felted Yarn (75% superfine merino 25% possum). It is so light and soft. No idea what I will make for her yet, but that is part of the adventure. There is a beautiful hint of black in the yarn.
Anyway last night for the very first time I took a hank of yarn and created a ball of yarn. I am so proud of myself! It is a huge ball – I put the tape measure in the photo for a sense of scale, it is about 12 cm in diameter. I followed the sage advice from Craftsy here, and in reading the comments there was a great tip about continuing to wrap the yarn around your finger as you create the ball; it worked a treat.
So what am I going to make with the beautiful sea green teal that I bought for myself? What I initially wanted to make is the utterly gorgeous pleated scarf by Jen Geizen on the left below, but alas I do not have enough yarn. I suspect I may go out and buy enough of some other yarn to make that scarf – I love it! Instead I am going to try a new stitch – the garter drop stitch – the effect looks amazing, yet the technique appears rather easy; a combination I am fond of. There is a pattern for the scarf on the right below, but you almost do not need it. Hoping to finish the scarf for this winter. And here’s to the family staying put in Hokitika for a while, I want to go back to Sock World Hokitika and buy more!
Giezen Pleated Scarf
Garter Drop-Stitch Scarf
Image on left courtesy of Craftsy.com and image on right courtesy of Redheart.com
We are conscientious in the purchase of goods, an example being buying refills instead of a whole new bottle. With a small child (ok and with messy adults!) spray on stain remover is bloody useful. Bought the refill the other day as getting towards low on the existing bottle. This morning it was time to do the swap over. Not being wasteful I tip the last little bit from the old bottle into the new bottle and then go to screw on the spray part of the bottle. They have changed the bloody size – it does not fit. I am not known as a swearer but I dropped the f-bomb (small child not in the house so no ears were harmed). So I then had to pour the entirely new bottle into the old bottle. I can tell you this is not the way to start a day. P*ssed off! Having vented I now feel much better.
Utterly out of the blue last night, my daughter at the ripe old age of four & three quarter years, asks can you teach me to knit. You could have pushed me over with a feather at that moment. I think my heart turned to mush. It was the last thing I expected her to say. I of course said yes, shall we do that tomorrow morning, a hearty yes being the reply.
She then immediately asked me who taught me to knit – one of my childhood memories came flooding back. Me, about five years old sitting on my brother’s lap in the kitchen – he reading a book to teach himself to teach me – with Mum on hand for tips. I still have that book. So I replied my brother – who is your brother the next question. Uncle K (the whole a person can be more than one thing still does not sit well – its my nana not your mum!).
This morning she asks are you teaching me to knit after I am dressed – the keenness is real. We started with some of my needles but they were clearly to big. A quick internet search confirmed that kids’ needles exist, she picking on screen which ones she wanted, so off we went to Spotlight to find them. Needless to say the pink pair were acquired, along with some pink sparkly wool and some rainbow wool – all her own choosing.
To help teach her I am using the rhyme from this post which I also found this morning – thank you Tin Can Knits. My little sweetheart says I am going to make something for you, something for daddy, and something for me. Heart melt! And while it will clearly take her some time to get the hang of this, and I need to find out if I should be teaching her differently as she is left handed to my right handed, her “independent as hell” nature is already in full flight. Keen to do it on her own she demanded I go and get my current knitting – because she wants us to knit together. Heart melt more! I even had to take her knitting down the road with us for lunch. As a die hard Sci Fi person I have to save the force could be strong with this one!
Can you remember learning to knit or teaching someone else?
Sweet! And pun intended I am afraid! I have indulged in culinary pleasures with my new found taste of freedom. Perhaps like many of you, I have a list of things I would like to try but have either not had or made the time. Well that has changed, and I have knocked two things of my list – jam and ice cream – and I have even managed to combine the two.
I remember my Mum making jam, there was always loads of plum jam which was never my favourite, clearly we had plum trees. When we lived in the UK Dad and I would go blackberry picking – I have fond memories of Dad and I scrambling in and around bushes. More importantly blackberry jam was my absolute favourite.
When I was at the Queen Victoria Markets I noticed that I could buy three punnets of strawberries for just $4.50, and that triggered my thoughts and started me looking at recipes. I am now very proud to say that I have made strawberry jam; and it was not as complicated nor as time consuming as I imagined it might be, and it set (with some help from Jamsetta).
My Strawberry Jam!
Strawberry Cloud Cake
I have now also made ice cream for the first time in my life, and even the “hard to get a compliment out of other half” thinks it tastes like the real deal. I made strawberry ripple ice cream by hand, using my jam. Again not that complicated, I would make both jam and ice cream again. Making them myself has also reminded me that jam and ice cream are not health foods! I also made a strawberry cloud cake, definitely not a dieter’s special! My thanks to Annabel Langbein, it was her ice cream base recipe and strawberry cloud cake recipe that I used.
I also wanted to give a shout out to Bee Sustainable on Lygon St, I went there to purchase some Kleerview covers before making my jam, and at the time they did not have any in stock, but very kindly directed me to Fowlers Vacola– back in North Melbourne (asking if I was familiar with North Melbourne – just a little!) and in doing so giving up a sale. And thanks to Fowlers for suggesting the Jamsetta when I said I was making jam for the first time.
So what does freedom taste like? For me rather a sweet start! When you made a change, how was it for you?
I originally titled this post, “Why am I deaf to myself?” but a period of time has lapsed between starting and finishing this post. However let us return to the start.
Five months ago I wrote that change was coming, that I had got myself to the point of action. Well how wrong was I? And that horoscope quote came back to nip me on the bum – damn it. I turned down what was an incredible opportunity for a next job – I had achieved the almost impossible which was an academic role after being out of academia for a dozen years. Why did I slam the door in my own face? I was kicking myself a month later and could not see the answer as to why I had done that.
It is more than this role that I was deaf to though. I say to myself time after time that I am putting too much of myself into work and not enough into living. And yet I let it happen again, and again. Well I have finally cracked it – somewhat inelegantly. With no notice I took two weeks of work off at the end of November – precipitated by I do not know exactly what, other than I was in a complete funk, and the thought of being at work was more than I could bear. Perhaps the trigger was that I had been at work in Sydney, and then Torquay and the thought of heading physically back in to the office was just too much.
And do you know what I did at the end of those two weeks? I resigned! I finish up at the end of this month. And I feel free. For the first time in a very long time I do not know what is next, and do you know what, that pleases me more than anything. I have managed to exit the treadmill. I have created possibility and it feels powerful. Time for reinvention, realignment, or who knows what, and I am excited.
Would love to hear if you have done something similar, or want to do something similar…