Tag Archives: knitting

Strength

I have two quotes about strength to offer to you today.

This one came from Karen in a comment she left on this blog. It spoke to me on many levels.
“Sometimes the bravery and strength is in how we deal with what is put before us, not in what we seek out”

The other quote about strength comes written on this piece of South Island granite or is it schist?

The quote was given to me by a friend some years ago and sits with me daily now on this piece of rock. “One of the greatest gifts I have is giving and receiving strength.”

The layers in this rock are testament to the forces that have been applied to it in nature but it remains; visible proof of endurance.

I hope you find strength today.

Blogging the globe

In recent weeks WordPress has added a new statistical feature allowing me to see in which country people who have read my blog each day live. I’m an old geographer from way back and I have always enjoyed learning about new countries so this feature really appeals to me.

I have been pleasantly surprised to find just how far and wide my blog posts reach some days.

One country that had me reaching for my Atlas was The Faroe Islands.

I had not heard of these islands previously. I discovered a series of islands in the north of the Atlantic Ocean, between Norway and Iceland.

This link gives more detail about these beautiful islands.

I was also fascinated and humbled by reading about the Lace knitting that originates from this community. The way they construct their shawls is incredible.

Image off Wikipedia

So wherever you live on earth welcome to my blog and thank you for reading it. You make it an enriching experience.

Industrious neighbours

I live next to two very industrious neighbours. Both men are semi-retired and are skilful with hammers (except they use nail guns nowadays) and constructing things.

Just in the past two weeks one has reclad the lower section of his two-storey house where old timber was rotting and the other has erected a glass house (except nowadays plastic is used in lieu of glass) and built a made to measure garden shed.

Both men installed windows which looks to be tricky work and both worked from early morning until late afternoon in order to complete their projects.

Life is not a competition so I have stood by and admired their skills and the results of their hard work. But I thought I would show you some of the ways in which I have been industrious these past few weeks.

I have made 6 full length aprons – two were “man aprons” and four were for women. I also made a pre-school sized apron for our grandson so that he would match Daddy and be able to wear his apron when he helps Daddy cook.

Woman's full length apron

Woman’s full length apron

I’ve made a strong tote to carry our singing folders in and I am busy making some light- weight pyjamas for our grandson in an electric guitar print. He is crazy about music and his Daddy plays “big guitars”.

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On the knitting front I have been busy knitting these wee tunics for our new granddaughter and wrestling with crochet flower embellishments and I am also using yummy soft, non-prickly alpaca yarn to knit a hoodie for our grandson for the colder weather ahead.

Alpaca hoodie on the needles

Alpaca hoodie on the needles

I suspect there has been productive hum emanating from our little patch on the earth

Two small flowers

You may remember my post about allowing my brain to get to work on the crochet flower pattern while I went out into the garden. Well here is the result. A small crocheted flower, made out of embroidery thread, for a wee knitted tunic.

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I have since made a second crocheted flower as “neurons that fire together wire together” meaning that the more we practice a skill, the stronger the connections in our brains and the easier (in theory) things become. My second one is a little different to the first one so I have not polished my skills on this pattern yet.

The other small flower is on the Fuchsia procumbens, a native plant to New Zealand. I have this low growing pretty plant growing in a mass under the Melia tree.
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The flowers came out in December and are delicate red and yellow. In autumn large pink/red berries form on the plant. It is an evergreen with pretty round green leaves.

The people who owned this house before us were very keen gardeners and planted some unusual specimens. I think this is one of those.

Prompts

Over the weekend I saw this suggestion for encouraging writers to write. Begin sentences with “I write of”. Here are some of my sentences from today:

I write of nature because it contains so much beauty, power, rhythm and a space for me from the pressing things of life.

I write of things quirky because I have a sense of humour and a curiosity that enjoys such things.

I write of the ordinary and the good to offer a balance against the glitz, hype and unpleasant that occurs in our world.

I write of the ordinary and good because I know the value that both offer to me and to others.

I write of simple traditions such as cooking for others, writing letters, gardening, knitting, singing in a group, walking, spending time with people we love and connect with.

I write of books simply because I love books.

I write of books because they have helped me in a myriad of ways throughout my life.

What do you write of?

Another prompt I found was over at http://concernedwithstory.wordpress.com was to write beginning with “Right now….”

So for me today, Monday 25th July 2011:

Right now I am very grateful for heating, warm clothing and warm food on such a cold day.

Right now I can see the birds enjoying the apples I have hung for them for winter food.

Right now I am pleased to have paid the bills and grateful for having the money to pay them.

Right now I am wondering if my cat will increase his food intake.

Right now I am processing the information I received about a family member who served in WW2.

Right now I am thinking a lot about resilience and the notes I made this afternoon.

Right now I am pleased to have fixed the errors in the socks I am knitting my grandson.

Right now I have meal preparation to do so I am off to begin that:-)

When I ran self awareness groups I would use a “Right now” exercise at the beginning of the session to help clear the immediate, scattered stuff that was “on top” for participants. Once this happened, focus was easier for everyone in the group.

Writing “right now” sentences offers me similar but different clearing, focus and more.

I’d be interested in your discoveries from writing some “Right Now” sentences.

Notes and Notions from Stitch magazine, March 1956

Here are some items from the “Notes and Notions” page from the March edition of Stitch magazine, 1956. Love the narrow waist and the long white gloves in the above advertisement.

” If you are still serving salads, but find the usual boiled egg dull, try Scotch eggs, a family favourite, served in lettuce leaves for a change.”

” Rivalling the suit for Autumn days is the dress and jacket ensemble. Box jacket over a slim dress is flattering and practical.”

” Time to look over your preserving jars and equipment. The season for bottling will soon be here, and it is best to be prepared.”

“Virginia Mayo believes that the first essential of a good figure is a good breakfast. Comforting words from one of the screen’s loveliest stars.”

“Make a little bag from a face cloth and draw the open end tight with elastic. Fill with soap ends and you have a useful bath pad.”

So there you are, so much advice in such an advising tone…..and why do I have a Stitch magazine from 1956? There is a great pattern in it for small people’s socks to knit:-)

Autumn scatterings

I planned a day at home, taking it easy and the autumn weather has meant it was a good decision and an easy option. It has been dark, cloudy, very gusty and the autumn leaves have been scattering.

So what have been the scattering of activities of my day?

A prayer and good wishes to the people of Christchurch early this morning as I learnt that two nasty aftershocks had rocked that ravaged city early this morning. One shock was large enough to cause a brief power outage. I wish those tired, stressed people so much peace.

Humming Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi” which we learnt at singing last night.

Monitoring PG, the cat to determine his intake and output. The vet was happy today to let him track on in the hope that the extra fluid interventions he has had on Monday and Tuesday this week had helped him regain his appetite. More monitoring is required just in case he needs another sub-cutaneous bolus of fluid tomorrow.

Watching more tree felling happening in our neighbour’s backyard.

Finishing a small knitted toy and trying to embroider a face on said toy……more practice needed on that skill, but the end result is good enough.

Hearing on the radio that it is 25 years since Paul Simons’ “Graceland” album was released and singing along to some of the familiar tracks off that.

More synchronicities found in the blogosphere as I find links between several blogs that I enjoy reading and one written by a woman who taught me my first computer skills way back in the late 80’s. The course was called “Computer Confidence for Women” and was nothing short of brilliant.

Collecting two books from the library which look particularly interesting for where I find myself these days.

And I took a few photos in my garden this afternoon but for some reason WordPress is not playing the upload game right now and I need to go and prepare some dinner…..

Nice day……

Putting things to good use

I am busy knitting small garments for babies and children in Christchurch, using wool I have in my stash.  Wool that has been in my stash for quite a long time.  I have been pleasantly pleased with how some blending of leftovers have turned out in cute wee hats.  It is so satisfying to see these left overs being put to good use.  

My parents were strong on making good use of what we had around the place and I’ve picked up that value too.

So what else am I putting to good use?   Some tablecloths and napkins that were engagement and wedding presents to my parents; some shower gel that was given to me 7 years ago; some tea towels I bought 26 years ago; greeting cards and writing paper from my mothers’ collection.

Our wee grandson is using the trundle bed we have had for 30 years and never used and I am eyeing up dead cabbage tree leaves to make bundles of kindling for lighting a woodburner.  I am sure there are more usable resources stored away around my home.

In a society that is driven by advertisers to buy and buy it feels good to be counter culture at times.