Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Bonus Pattern: Modern Millie Vintage-Style Cloche.

I forgot about the 'Bonus pattern'. There is one for every month! That's what brings the total to one hundred and twelve, but there is no time allotment for them. Suddenly, in the last day or two, I am feeling overwhelmed (dramatic?) by the project. I had a January catch-up day. I spent half an hour on each incomplete project. Half an hour is only a few lines or a few stiches long, but here is a snapshot on how all January's projects are progressing:

Antonia Shrug: Body finished and started on the sleeves; lining fabric chosen, still the main article being worked on above and beyond the project of the day.

Slippers: Knitting finished; lining cut out and started sewing up, will be cute-as in my opinion.

Tiny Teddy Jumper: all done!

Cell phone or iPod pouch: lining being sewn, carabiner purchased (even if it is about as large as the actual item), close to done.

Chevron Cowl: Few more lines done, still a ways to go, but this is one worth waiting for.

Isabella Teacosy: knitting all done but I have made the fatal mistake of desiring (what would Osho say) a particular fabric to line it and now having difficulty finding said item; owner waiting for this item to be completed.

Mitered Blanket: I had four days to do this blanket of squares. I have made four squares. May take a little bit to finish this. It's an enjoyable knit though so I am looking forward to spending more time on it. I'm making it my 'just a few lines while the coffee pot boils' project.

Elegant Baby shoes: Knitted, sewn up and laces in, so just have lace knobbles (?) to make and the 'final details' to add.

Simple first sweater: It's a boatneck tabard type item at the moment; awaiting some sleeves, some sewing and some decoration.

So ultimately, of all the nine items of January, one is bartered, one is available for you to buy, and 7 are still works in progress!!! Eek. And on rolls February. (And now, March!)

The actual January Bonus Pattern is for a cloche. There are lots of cloches and cowls in this calender. Otherwise known as hats-that-warm-your-ears and scarves-with-no-ends. It is made with the bountiful supply of wool from my blue-grey swingey jacket (teacosy, boat-necked sweater). I have lined it with a mint green lining to make it snugger and it has a mint green pom-pom with quilted pink highlights. And, seeing as it has no time (allocated), it is finished. Available, if you like it and have a smallish kind of head.

Interestingly Osho is also talking about time this project. Time is quite a fascinating thing, is it not? Like how it is arbitrary. I've made up a new type of time all by my little self: the unit of time called a 'project'. It's as valid a length of percieved time as a minute or a second or an hour. It's just more uneven. And when the Large Hadron Collider, the other project (hee hee, how long ago is that—day, week?), allegedly made an atom go faster than the speed of light, opening up the possible possibility of being able to go backwards in time, did you do like me and think 'which way is back?' Osho believes time is the realm of the past and the future. Those two operate on a horizontal line (not sure which direction), but the present does not belong to time. It is outside of time and operates on a vertical plane—it is eternity. If you can move from the past and the future and exist only in the now, the now has no time limit at all. Three things help most to be in that column of now-ness more than anything else: meditation, death and love. This project's mission, should you choose to accept it, is to, when loving, be the loving. It's like being the sucking we talked about last time. Being in love can for a moment stop your mind. Here you are with your desired one, and everything is perfect—you no longer desire anything. Disaster, of course, strikes when you then say to yourself 'I want this to last forever'. That moment of perfection is a moment when desire stops, the mind stops and you are in the vertical eternity of the now. To want that to last forever is to start desire again—with it's implied future. To stay in the now, you need to, as I understand it, be love, give everything over to love, meditate love: 'forget yourself completely and the lover and the beloved disappear, and there is only love flowing—then ... everlasting life is yours.'

My thoughts: I am not sure if we Westerners can understand this kind of love very well. We have mucked love up quite a bit with movies and popular culture and expectations and marriage and Valentine's Day. It is reminiscent of how Osho described our 'selves' a few projects ago. An act, a charade, a facade. To do this technique I think you need to first let go of the expectations of love. That is not so easy to do.

Don't forget: this hat-that-warms-your-ears is available if you fancy it.

Simple First Sweater: January 30th to 31st.

It would be handy, in all this knitting, if I had children. Not handy in the sense that they would, of course, get seriously in the way of the whole project and project-doing would possibly be impossible, or, even, handy in the sense that you could teach them to knit and then get them to work, but rather handy in the sense that there would be recipients for all the child type items. If it wasn't for the prohibitive cost, I would adapt the childrens clothing to adult sizes—kids get to have the best clothing. I have never been able to understand why you loose this benefit as an adult and suddenly there is all the mutton and lamb stuff being bantered about. Why do we outgrow tutus, big flouncy pockets, garish colours and dressing up like adults (in a parodic way rather than the serious sense—I'm talking ball gowns with baseball shoes, outrageously seventies organza dresses with denim jackets, that sort of thing)? Maybe that explains why my favourite SITC character is Carrie—she epitomises adult-as-child dressing, and the adult version of that, which is haute couture. Now if only we could afford to dress like that (especially the last season's dresses and the ones from the lamentably bad second movie).

This item would be an enjoyable child's jumper for adults. I love a boat neck—frenchness, boats, tour de France, croissants, any French food or wine. Snails, maybe. The wool is again from my pulled apart navy-grey swingy jumper (angora meets acrylic) and gives the piece a wavy, loose softness. I was able to try a three way cast-off—ace, it's sewing up without the needle. And now I'll be picking up and knitting sleeves from the body of the piece so less sewing again! Stupendous. Loving it. I just realised as I wrote this that sewing up is not my favourite part—like casting off from a purl stitch (ugh). I learned a great technique the other day which involved sewing up like tieing a shoelace. That made sewing up temporarily exciting (although I did have to You Tube it so that I could understand the instructions).

Don't forget that if you have a child that you like to dress in child-like clothing and if that child happens to fit this jumper, it will be available for bartering, buying or begging. It's creative slant will probably involve appliqué.

Osho's gone all Freudian on me this project. Is Freud a guru or a prophet too do you think? This weeks technique for enlightenment is forked. Freudian slip? No, it just has four tines you can try: pretend you are dead; stay in the emotion you are in; stare without moving an eyelash; or; suck something and become the sucking. Ultimately they all aim to draw you out of the body and into pure consciousness—which seems to be the whole point, yes? If I could name what I would like the point to be, I think I would want to not be adversely affected by what happens around me, which I suppose gets down to being removed from it. Not removed from what happens so much as removed from the emotion. But, again, I worry that you take away the good with the bad, the babies with the bathwater. My forehead is crinkly with imagined and seemingly real anxieties (subtle difference) but maybe it's the price you pay for moments of joy. What do you say to that Osho?

The achievement of any of these four techniques, Osho believes, heralds a new man (where are the women Osho??). If you can truly feel dead, unable to move, to cry, to talk, to swat away a mozzie, then you can realise that you exist outside the shell that is your body. That makes a kind of sense. If you can truly stay in anger, sadness, anxiety, in any emotion, without moving a single thing, without the 'motion' of emotion, then it will go. If you look at the emotion and are not moved by it, you master it. This technique may get me what I think I want. It makes a certain kind of sense too. If you can truly stare without binking for ages and ages and ages (longer than the thirty seconds I think I could do it for), you attain the same effect as focusing between the eyebrows: the third eye. It's cross-eyed time again. Or, done properly, transcending-the-mind time. Osho tells of a man who stared at his ceiling for three years, and who then visited a mind reader—a reputable and always-right one. The mind reader was, basically, unable to find the other man's mind. Cynical-me steps in. Given it may take a few years to become enlightened in any life time, does that mean you walk around for the rest of your years with an empty body while your mind floats somewhere away from you. This is all meant to be about the 'now', but that doesn't make the now seem attractive to me. I am probably missing something but it doesn't make any sort of sense to me to want to do this. And lastly, and here comes Freud, big time, if you can truly become the process of sucking, you can eliminate desire. As soon as you are born, you start to want to return to the womb (Freud). There prana is delivered to you without trying. Here, in the real world, you have to get it for yourself. For a while you get it from the mother's breast. Now the way back to the womb is through the breast (Freudish). There will always be desire (very Freud). The only way to overcome that is to become the process and pass through desire to non-desire. Unfortunately, seeing as I love the whole Freudian thing, this sort of does make sense, reluctantly. Perhaps what this does is put the self back inside the shell. You can use it for any -ings: sucking, running, working, loving. If you are the process of the action, then you are no longer the separate desirer of an action inside the body of the actioner. You're whole. I am getting so confused. One of these days I will have to actually start doing these techniques instead of just reading about them.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Elegant Snowballs Baby Shoes: January 27th to 29th.

Elegant snowballs were made on my holiday in Apollo Bay. It was apt. While the rest of the state was sweltering, Apollo Bay was in a little ball of coldness. Terribly weird. The sky was grey and cloudy, almost foggy. Clouds were sitting on the hills, and at night, in the amazing blackness, cars coming up the road were like invading spaceships as their lights triangled for hundreds of meters into the sky. If you drove ten or fifteen minutes in any direction the temperature went up six degrees and the sun came out. I like swimming, but in Apollo Bay I got shin-deep and decided reading my book under a towel was a much better option. I didn't get to read as a frozen boy followed me out shortly after and we ended up driving to the Twelve Apostles instead. Ironically the only swim we did manage to get for the weekend was at Fairhaven Beach (in the vicinity of where we would normally go) and so the only beneficiary of driving the extra hours in each direction to Apollo Bay was the shoes—they got done! (Except—there is always an except—for one little feature and the Charlieficationing process.)

The cute little booties are made of Moda Vera's Faith, a forty-thirty-thirty combination of acrylic, mohair and wool. Again I cheated somewhat on the neutral stakes. The wool is a pinky-grey. One slight idiosyncrasy, if you are thinking of making an offer when they're done, is that because the wool is variegated there was just enough of one colour to make a single boot and so the second boot is ever so slightly a different colour.
I like to think that means you are get the baby-equivalent of my very much coveted Vivienne Westwood two-tone brogues (pictured). I love these shoes so much—if you ever do see a size seven pair at the op-shop, grab them for me and I promise to pay you back (I can't seem to find them any other way; I am seriously contemplating doing a shoe-making course in order to make my own pair—and then go on to an illustrious career in the shoe industry).

Like I have revisited shoes here (second pair made in four weeks or so—see the slippers from project two), Osho was revisiting awareness on the turning points of the breath. His theory about his techniques is that—like the one hundred and twelve knitting projects—there must be one for you. (Shameless sales pitch enclosed). The first time he brought this up he apparently was talking about them in a scientific, factual way, but if the scientific and the factual aren't your cup of tea, if you are just not that into the periodic table, he suggests doing the same thing with devotion, utmost devotion. With love, faith and trust. This works for those who do, or who can start to, think of their bodies as temples (are there many in this self-depreciating society of ours who do still? probably, possibly). If your body is a temple, inside is the divine. Imagine that it is the divine in you that breathes and feels the turning of the breath. Imagine it is the divine in you that does any of the mundane or special things you do on a daily basis. I kind of like it. We could all probably make our lives feel a whole lot better if we could spare a little love for ourselves. Believing there is a divineness inside of you is a step in that direction. It is late, evangelists are on TV, I'm sugar deprived—all of these things are making me a little sentimental so just ignore me and believe whatever you like! I'm going to make my divine-me a cup of tea with three sugars.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mitered Blanket: January 23rd to 26th.

Four squares in four days. One hundred and forty-three squares in one hundred and forty-three days? Eek. What are these people doing to me? There are three blankets to make this year. Supposing they are all the same size as this one—and despite them not all being a square derivative pattern—that would mean four hundred and twenty-nine days of this year will be needed to make just the three rugs, let alone the other one hundred and nine projects. Why do we ever add? No good ever comes of it. Not that I am implying minusing, dividing, timesing or even square rooting ('scuse) are any better. I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the project. Other non-project projects are also trying to sneak their ways into project allocated time (japanese crane hanging, facebook creative chain-letter promises (otherwise I'll die and lose all my money to charlatans) and b-word based uniforms for bifurcating Britain, just to name a few). I'm getting burning skin sensations with no obvious causes. I think I'm stressed.

There are four yarns in this little number (two pictured so far). They are: Moda Vera Gardenia (seventy-five percent acrylic, twenty-five viscose derived from bamboo) in cream; Moda Vera Marvel (acrylic through and through) in a sagey green (if you squint it looks neutral; neutral is hard to do when there are four colours and you're trying to make an interesting balance that is not just black white and two shades of grey—yeah. I know, excuses, excuses); Moda Vera Noir (three quarters wool, one quarter polyamide) in a multicoloured brown and grey; and; Cleakheaton (phew, another brand; hundred percent wool) in mottled brown. It all sounds a bit like a weird tree, but trust me, I used to be a colour consultant. I like making these squares—they epitomise the wackyness of knitting: you start with two sides effectively cast onto your needle and then knit them pointedly into a square through the middle. That is as hard to visualise as it is to describe, but amazingly easy to do. Buy the calender, try it, become as project-obsessed as I am—I recommend it.

If however, I start to feel the prana (given an acceptance of becoming able to feel it in the first place that is) leaving my body any day soon, I may give the project up. Maybe. Osho is dropping little dung bombs this project. Prana comes into the body normally. The breath brings prana in and leaves the body empty. If at some stage you feel the reverse start to happen, it means that in six months time you will be dead. Eek. But eek is not meant to be the reaction. 'Shall I spend the last six months of my life knitting?' is not meant to be the reaction either (not that he makes that exact point). When we feel this directional change we should already not be afraid of death. This weeks technique moves us toward losing that fear because death, after all, is just a long sleep (and we all know how much I like to sleep). But it means trying to change something else I like as well: dreaming. Osho says: feel the prana at the time of going to sleep through, ideally, the third eye technique discussed last project and as you fall into sleep you will be able to control your dreams. Benefits of controlling your dreams include choosing which ones you want or don't want, creating dreams, being aware that you are dreaming, and stopping dreaming altogether because, he says, it is absurd. I subscribe to the Camus school of thought already and all 'life is absurd'. I don't know if I want to give up dreaming. It is an absurdity that doesn't have to be made into sense. I wish instead that I could accept the awakened parts with the same disregard for their not making sense. Life may be a little easier to not react badly to. But he does offer on panacea for non-dreaming which is you get a better quality of sleep. Given last nights effort, I am all for that—although technically I needed to be asleep before dreams affected my sleep, not just lying there watching extremely large pylons drive slowly past with men sitting on the back of them. (That was weird).

I am (of course) off track. If you can become the master of your dreams, Osho says, you become master of the big sleep—death. You can choose your dreams or not to have them, but when the big sleep comes, you can choose how, when, why and what you come back as afterwards. Sleep is a day-to-day death; death is a life-to-life sleep.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Isabella Hat Teacosy: January 18th to 22nd.

What is a teacosy but a very small hat with slits for spout and handle. My work colleague (the same one who has dubious Scrabble adding skills—its happened twice, this is probably libelous (sorry)) wondered if the hat on the recipe could perhaps be adapted to a tea pot. I thought, why not? The tea pot is 'so' big [hand gesture of guestimated proportions]. Turned out it fitted not too badly. I used an angora acrylic blend that I unraveled from a jumper I had. It's beautifully soft. I have great plans of how to 'personalise' it but just have to find the where-with-all to do it. It's that old chestnut of shopping for an idea rather than shopping to find an idea—I'm chasing a cloud. I'll catch it, but in the meantime there is a naked teapot in the suburbs. I won't keep you long teapot!

Discovered over the duration of this project what a good place to knit the long-distance drive is. We went down to Point Roadknight for a boogie-board. The waves were about as big as the amount of knitting I was able to do on the trip: in knitting speak it was lots, in wave speak it was not even enough to get you to shore if you couldn't just stand up and walk out. But so beautiful. The little-over-an-hour drive is worth it for the sparkling blue clearness of the waves and the amazing light effect of the sunshine of the grains of sand caught in the (tiny) surf. The more I venture there, the harder it is to walk into the oily, murky, bits-of-icky waters of Port Melbourne (ah, the lamentations of the privileged).

If I am a capitalist swine with access to a vehicle (even if I don't, in any way, own the mean of production), it is because that is a role I play given the live I life and the place and time I live it in. But it isn't me. I am playing out a script I have been given in this drama of 'life' Osho says. Remember a couple of techniques back how there was the gap between the two breaths and it touched down to your very center, the center that is the true you? This is effectively the same technique, but done in activity. If you can be aware of the gap and the center through every waking minute, while you go about the minutiae of daily living, you feel what is center and what is periphery; you feel the difference between doing and being, between center and script.

Osho says that the reason to do this is that by practicing this technique you are able to see your life as if it is happening not to you, but to someone else. I'm not sure I like that idea: it displaces. Why 'do' the life of someone else? Why do anything? It's not practical for everyone to be a guru—live in cave, meditate all day. What is probably more take-away from this idea is that if the doing part is all an act, then your center is not affected by what happens in the act (and to not take anything away from Osho, he does touch on this). If something bad happens to you, if you make a mistake, it is just a part of the drama, not a part of you. You can't feel guilt or anger or hate in your very essence if it is caused by an actor in a play. Conversely, and maybe I'll understand this more later, how do we then feel love?

This item has been bartered in exchange for the year long use of a large box of knitting needles. Thank you to its recipient (when they eventually get it that is)—saved me a pile in needle purchasing!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chevron Cowl: January 16th to 17th.

This is so lovely. White, beautiful pattern, creamy and soft. I have visions of lining it with a lovely light silken fabric or even a soft fur. I wish it was winter. On the other hand, because knitting always has two hands (for the most part), I have started it about four times (two! I'm exaggerating) because I tried to mathematically adjust it to fit the reassessed analysis of the gauge (the wool's too thin for the pattern—in lay-speak). Maths wasn't my strong suit that day. But it was all happening during a game of Scrabble on the balcony (tea and jam rolls included) and so I am going to say the maths side had been disengaged by the word side. Maybe that is why my work colleague (you know who you are) often 'miscalculates' her Scrabble score—the word side has just 'taken over'. Puts a new perspective on the amazing ability of the Words and Numbers contestants, who are freakishly clever already without having to switch brain functions as well. In the end I stuck to the pattern and hoped for the best—or for a skinny-necked, small headed recipient of this particular item. Is it possible make your head smaller? Maybe I will start with my hair and shave it all off. No, I say that just because I want to shave it all off anyway—it's so much easier.

This item is knitted in, you guessed it you pattern-finder you, Moda Vera (they should sponsor me)(they might if they new I existed) hundred per cent Merino wool, cream. I am learning how the little things you do in knitting change the shape of things radically and chevroning is a fine example. A couple of stitches knitted together and a couple slipped over, two stitches knitted from one and suddenly a straight line becomes a zigzag. Like soaking olives for three months in a changing briny solution and playing a ball game where you can't ever touch the ball with your hands but you head, knee, foot, or even your bottom probably, is okay, who thought of that!! Speaking of little things changing things radically, it time to see what's in Osho's window this week:

My prana is often sucked away from me. That is not the vital point of this weeks technique, but it explains what I feel when I spend lots of time with people. Most of my prana actually gets sucked out through my ears at work. Prana is vitality: the essence of the breath. It is one part of what happens in the technique Osho speaks about this knitting pattern—attentiveness to the third eye. If you close your eyes and focus your mind's eye to the right place between your eyebrows, you feel your eyes become fixed—that point is your third eye. Fixing your attention there makes you a witness to your thoughts; you are removed from them and able to see them objectively. Through this technique, instead of being, for example, angry, you are simply surrounded by it and unaffected by it—it will come and go and you will stay centered. Part two involves prana: when you are focused on the third eye, you can experience breath and the magic prana that it is the container for. You can fill your head with the vitality. This is where it all starts to go a little strange. With a shower-of-light, prana-filled head you can make things happen. You must be pure though—otherwise bad things happen. You can think about a long-lost friend and they will knock on your door, you can wish someone was (eek) deceased (if you are impure) and they will die, you can wish you didn't exist and you won't. I am wishing, when I close my eyes for a few moments and find the little sucker, that I never want to eat biscuits again (except on special occasions) and that I will find carrots much more appetising.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cell Phone and iPod Pouches: January 13th to 15th .

The Eighties are staying right where they are, was what I always said, but I knitted them back into my life over the last couple of days. The wool is Moda Vera's Tracey which is an odd mathematical formula worth of wool, acrylic, polyester, nylon and lurex (see, 80's written all over that ingredients list). The pouch took all of thirteen minutes to make—after I spent two hours trying to find the end of the skein. I have the final flourishes to add (lining, once I buy it; caribiner, once I buy it), but the little sucker has kind of grown on me. As I normally have to find all sorts of odd places to put my iPod while walking to and from the Blue bikes, it would be good to have something to put it into—even if that something looks like it came straight from the 'Let's get physical' film clip.

I'm getting married.

Did your breath catch? (Possibly only if you know me and my theories of relationships.) For us mere mortals that pause in the breath, most often, comes only when something completely unexpected happens. I am joking about the marriage, but if you think about that pause, and next time it happens, be aware of it—bam! Transcendence. When something so unexpected happens your breath stops and your mind stops, and with it the endless inner chatter which, Osho tells us, keeps us from understanding our higher self, that keeps us grounded in our material and cognitive self, our 'small self'. And speaking of 'small' in the seeming attainment of 'big': All this enlightenment mumbo-jumbo seems a little hard to get (physically and mentally), but the good news apparently is that there is nothing to get—it's already got! The divine You already exists, it is just hidden deep down inside the corporeal You. You just have to find it, and the easiest way to do that is through the simplest means and the smallest things—the gaps and the pauses in every breath you take.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cardigan for Tiny Teddy: January 9th to 12th.

I am not sure if anyone in the universe owns a tiny teddy this tiny or whether I was having some sort of a tension issue. This is the worlds smallest cardigan. Just so you can see its smallness, I have arranged for this crime scene shoot. Teddy earned his varsity letter, from Teddy University, Port Melbourne Campus, in maths. He particularly likes simultaneous equations but won't remind me how to do them (I need to know to solve a puzzle in a book I have, and I can't do any more puzzles because I am anal and have to do this one before I can carry on (otherwise it messes up my figures (how many right, how many wrong))).

Someone told me this week that I waffle on—very upsetting—but I blame punctuation; semi-colons, em dashes and double/triple/quadruple bracketing opportunities allow for diversion and don't keep me on track. Other diversions from the knitting project this week have included gold class tickets to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. American version. I did enjoy it and much preferred seeing Daniel Craig's naked bottom, but I think the portrayal of Lisbeth is better in the Swedish movie (the American one, I believe, takes away her power).

I think that I should have not been shy and should have done my knitting in Gold Class while I was watching—it works at home.

I made one of my passwords something to do with knitting this week—and spelled it wrong. Anyone want to play scrabble with me this week?

Knitting is meditative. So I have been thinking about this Osho thing. I am not sure I really buy 'transcendence'. I wanted the short version of why one would do these one hundred and twelve meditations, and so I asked V—— for the answer. He told me that it is so that we can realise that we are all one—a wave on the ocean is not separate from the ocean. He also told me that it means not coming back and having to do this all again. Okay, so I have two issues with those theories. One: I don't know if I really want to be one with all the people that I talk to (over the phone), even though I do understand that an acceptance of them may work better for me in the long run (where clashing doesn't). And, two: I won't know if I do or don't come back in the next life so why does it matter. All in all though, knitting certainly is giving me room for thinking. This weeks technique (and I'm paraphrasing from now on) is all about breathing again—to 'watch the fusion point of two breaths'. This is similar to the first meditation in that it speaks about the gap between the in and out breaths, but it is more about place. 'Civilization, education and morality' Osho says, have caused us to breath shallowly and in our chests; if we breath deeply instead, like children, into our abdomens, then that point of change in breaths touches our 'center' and in this way we know where our center is. It seems an egg and a chicken thing where not touching our center means we are not total (total in all our emotions, anger, love, whatever, and so completely open and completely vulnerable) and so we are in control. We don't want to do this because we are afraid—afraid to be so vulnerable and afraid because society doesn't allow for the way of life such vulnerability allows. If we can become aware of the breaths' fusion, we become aware of our center and access the cosmic energy. Simple. It's the path to enlightenment.

Teddy's cardigan is Bella Baby 'Sugar' pure wool in a creamy colour with pink, lilac and hot pink splotches. Teddy has no issues wearing pink.

This item is available for buying, bartering or if you can just convince me undoubtedly that you need to have it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Basic Slippers for the Family: January 4th to 8th.

I made one pair—I suppose I can in some ways be seen as a family of one. I don't feel I belong to a traditional family, a concept I am not sure I really understand as nobody else seems to either, except for people who do. To extend my family and seeing as I have plenty of wool left over, I could make a foursome for Lolli,

(not her most flattering photo ('coz it makes her bottom look HUGE and she would kill me if she knew I had posted it)), a pair for B——, my bestie and housemate of so many years that we are literally 'like an old married couple', and a pair for V——, who could possibly provide me with the socially acceptable appearance of a family, but who I love all the more for putting up with not travelling that particular path (works better doesn't it Babe?).

I finished the knitting part in the allotted time and have even has some time to continue work on outstanding project(s). The wool was Moda Vera Shiver, a soft feeling acrylic in a stoney grey. The size of this particular pair is 7 (like me). I haven't as yet embellished the pattern-version but have plans and, now after two op-shop forays, have also the materials to finish them off a-la-mode-de-List Addict. Turns out that the project is a little bit of a logistical (whisper) nightmare! The wool planning, the needle buying, the embellishing ideas and materials. I am becoming project-obsessed. I love it! ho thought I could think up more reasons to go op shopping. Today we went to Savers. It was, frankly, quite odd to shop for fabric and colour instead of actual items to wear. I could go into the places where all the little people normally shop—they have lovely patterns.

Here are the slippers as per the pattern; stay tuned for the coming-soon, embellished ones:

Thanks go, this week to B——, who donated three woolen jumpers to the cause, and who says she will also do the unraveling of those items. I am truly blessed.

For the largest shock of all ... I can hardly even bring myself to say it. Eek! In the interests of further extending the exposure of this blog to the masses I am seriously (oh, my goodness), seriously,considering joining ... oh Lord, Facebook! I said it. Now, all that remains is to see if I can actually do it. I tell myself it will just be a tool to bring people here.But I told myself that an i-Pad was a way to have a computer and a kindle at a much better hiking weight and now look who is addicted to Angry Birds.

I leave you with what Osho has been thinking about this week.
As breath turns from down to up and again as breath curves from up to down—through both these turns, realize ... realize the turns and you will realize the self ... In that [turn] you simply are: you are simply an existence—pure, simple, unembodied, with no mind ... In that moment you can easily become aware of who you are.
            Book of Secrets, pg. 36-7.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Antonia Shrug: January 1st to 3rd.

I cast on just after watching the Arts Centre Spire catch fire in the gold-themed fireworks. As midnight on the third approaches, I am about one third of the way through. Knitting is just the sort of thing I am keenest to do during these heat waves. (Melbourne, for those of you who didn't know, has spent the last four days sweltering—35, 33, 40 and 30 degrees respectively. Summer makes me thermometer watch—I dislike it intensely.) Luckily, and you wont hear me say this often, I was on night shift in an air conditioned building and got quite a bit done (you're wondering what kind of a job makes you work nights, but then entails sitting around knitting—if I told you I would have to hypnotise you to make you forget again so I won't say). I'm told its looking lovely. This is what it looks like so far:

My wool is Moda Vera 8 ply pure Australian wool, dark grey. After midnight I will move onto the next project and so this remains a work in progress. I have some ideas of how I will make it unique and I will direct you back here in posts to come so that you can see the outcome when it comes out.

Thank you to a beautiful sponsor who today donated a Spotlight gift card to the project. It is greatly relished!

This blog will be about knitting, about a year of knitting and creating, and about the things that keep me from knitting (like a two hour kayak to the St Kilda marina this morning—lovely—followed by spicy eggs for breakfast). Coincidentally there are one hundred and twelve patterns in my calendar and one hundred and twelve meditation techniques prescribed by the Tantric guru and philosopher Osho in his The Book of Secrets, so I will leave you today with the first:

To know the truth means to know that which is neither born nor dies, to know that eternal element which is always. You can know the breath going out, you can know the breath coming in, but you can never know the gap between the two ... Before the breath is turning in or turning out, there is a moment when you are not breathing. In that moment the happening is possible, because when you are not breathing you are not in the world.
            Book of Secrets, pg. 34.