Friday, September 30, 2011

12 in 11: September

I have one item of clothing to add to my total for 2011 - some Trippen sandals purchased at the wonderful Sole Devotion on a visit to Brisbane earlier this month.

trippen sandals frontTrippen sandals side

They're made from dull brown leather (not dull as in boring but dull as in not shiny) and have an interesting shaped heel. And they're very comfortable.

I'm three-quarters of the way through the year and I have one item left to purchase if I'm to meet my target. Unlikely that I'll succeed. I think there's a pattern emerging here - I'm quite good at not buying clothing - so far only 5 items for the year - but not so good at avoiding purchasing shoes and accessories. Still, as commenters have noted from time to time, these totals would be much higher if it were not for the 12 in 11 challenge. It really has made me think, hard, before purchasing anything.

Clearly, however, there's a limit to how long this challenge can be sustained. I have lots of clothes I've been wearing for a long time, or that I wear frequently. Many of them are becoming rather tatty with wear and some, frankly, are boring. I'm sure I can manage some restraint till the end of the year, but after that - who knows? It will be interesting to see if this challenge has modified my clothes-buying behaviour in a more sustained way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Spring frolic

' Frolic'...a playful antic...

Frolic socks 1

I didn't plan to make these socks. The yarn was there, and I found a stripey pattern, and started knitting. They were fun to knit, and easy - a great distraction from more serious or challenging knitting, particularly when I wasn't feeling well.

frolic socks 3

The pattern is Spring Socks by Eveli Kaur and I knitted in 4 row stripes of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn and Ewe Give Me the Knits! Sock Yarn. I altered the pattern just a little to make the socks knee high. They have a knitted-in hem at the top through which I'll thread elastic to help keep them up.

A frolic...but maybe a bit too much of a frolic for me to wear.  Perhaps they'll make a playful gift.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Unscheduled socks

These socks are one of those random, unexpected knitting projects. I had no intention of knitting socks other than those already on my schedule for the 2011 Personal Sock Club, but from one day to the next I found myself knitting these unscheduled striped socks.

Long striped socks

I guess they're not really so surprising. For years I've admired other knitters' striped socks or mittens knitted from Noro yarns, and have frequently indulged in stripey projects myself. I certainly started this project at just the right time. Over the last few days I've had conjunctivitis - a highly contagious eye infection usually associated with children. I'm peering out at the world through swollen, gummy eyelids. I suspect it's one of those childhood infections that's worse if contracted as an adult. So this knitting project, which is essentially plain socks with stripes, has been perfect for a time when I'm confined to the house with limited vision, waiting for the antibiotics to work.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Some time away

When I started blogging I don't think I ever anticipated that my family and old friends would use my blog as a way to keep up with my life. I think I expected it to reach a small audience of knitters and maybe of people whom I didn't know in the life I've lived so far. But I now have old friends saying things like 'I noticed you'd not been blogging for a few days so I thought you might be out of town' or family members commenting on an opinion I'd expressed in my blog as if it were part of an ongoing conversation with them. I guess I just have to accept that my blog has become an integral part of my life.

This is all by way of saying that I've been out of town and away from my computer for a few days and feel as if I need to account for my absence. I've been baby-sitting (or perhaps in deference to her four-year-old status I should say 'child-sitting') for my grand-daughter - the dotee - in Brisbane. The child-sitting went very well, although I've come away with an increased appreciation of why you have children in your twenties and thirties - maybe forties - but definitely not in your sixties. I've answered many questions; a few with expertise and many with creativity or confessions of limited knowledge. I was particularly chuffed by questions about word meanings; I love having someone around who's already so interested in language and how it works.

But I really meant this post to be about Brisbane. I think I'm probably repeating myself, but I'm always struck when I visit by how it seems to be more brightly coloured than Sydney. The vegetation is more riotous and brilliant, the sky seems to be a more intense blue, and it generally seems to sparkle. It's not a subtle city, but it's engaging.

Moreton Bay figs

So, some random things I like about Brisbane:

* The river. It's not the Seine or the Danube and it's not Sydney Harbour, but the Brisbane River is a central part of Brisbane's identity. I love the way it twists and turns upon itself so that so many suburbs have the river as part of their neighbourhood. And the river cat ferries often allow you to combine the pleasure of a river cruise with the necessity of travelling from place to place.

Brisbane skyline

But then, of course, as the floods earlier this year demonstrated, so much of the city is also vulnerable because of the river. I imagine many people must still be suffering the ravages of the floods, but as you travel up and down the river there's no longer any evidence for the casual observer that the floods ever occurred. The recovery seems miraculous, though you know it must be the result of much hard and cooperative work.

* Queenslanders - not the people, although I'm sure they're as nice as people generally are - but the houses. My daughter has recently moved to an old suburb of Brisbane with lots of these modest and often modified wooden houses raised on stilts. Brisbane's hilliness always surprises me and these houses seem to perch precariously on the steep slopes. They're unpretentious and everyday and seem to sit very lightly on the land.


* South Bank. The cluster of museums, galleries, the State Library, and parklands, with its view back to the city, is such a gift for Brisbane. That it's well-served by public transport increases its pleasure.

brisbane south bank

The dotee and I spent an afternoon at the library that has a most wonderful section for children with books, cubbies, craft materials and dress-ups often thematically related to exhibitions in the arts complex. At the moment the theme is the sea and islands as the Museum currently has an exhibitions on the Torres Strait Islands. However, the main attraction for me just now is the extensive exhibition of photographs at the Queensland Art Gallery by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Cartier-Bresson worked from the 1930s to the 1970s and travelled widely. He had the luck or good management to be present at events and within periods that were formative in countries' histories. His back and white photos, however, are not usually of the main historical players (though the exhibition does include some of his superb portraits) but of the bystanders, or even of the neglected and unaware. I'd love to go back for another look.

* Leaving the best things till last - the dotee. It was good to have extended time with her.

Ana Maria Sept 11