Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sock Knitting




I have become a sock knitter. I was warned when I began - it would be addictive. I wouldn't be able to stop. And I fear those warnings may be true.
Who knew that socks would turn out to be such a satisfying thing to knit? I have knitted two pairs, and I hope to knit a few more before the year is out.
These ones pictured are sort of my first pair. I say sort of because I completed one and a half socks before putting them aside to work on some other projects. I had birthday presents to make and some design deadlines.
One of the birthday presents I made, were socks. My lovely friend Kellie and I once had a conversation about how we would both like to tackle cables and socks. She suggested I tackle both at once. I jokingly agreed that I should, and then a little while after that when pondering what to knit for her birthday, I knew it just had to be cabled socks.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Handspun Rainbow Scarf | Cast On


I mentioned on Monday that I'd be writing a post about my spinning here this week. When I wrote that, I had every intention of doing just that. A nice little spinning post on Friday was what I had planned. But, as weeks so often do, this one got busy and I found myself without a moment to blog or even upload the photos I had taken of my handspun to the computer.
Nearly a week has gone by now, and I have decided that if I jump on here and get a post written quick sticks it still counts as "this week".
I originally planned to share with you my first few spun yarns. Some alpaca, some brown wool, and then some rainbow organic merino.
But I cast on with my rainbow merino on Friday and since then I have wanted to only write about it. I want to skip the part about the other yarns I have spun and talk about this one.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Here & Now | July 2017 Link Up


Well, we're officially more than half way through the year now. I can't quite belive it. Actually, I keep forgetting it is July. There are little signs to remind me though - the days are very slowly becoming a tiny bit longer again after the Winter Solstice, and the paddocks and bush around me have quite suddenly become very dry and crispy.
It's time for Here & Now once again - I hope you'll enjoy this month's post and also the posts that others will share too. (Make sure you check back in a day or two to see the newly added ones!). I'd love it if you'd join in too, either on your own blog or on Instagram. The guidelines for doing both are at the bottom of this post.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Teenage Mothers, Sock Knitting Machines and A Rooster Called Bruce



I've "met" many different people through my blog, some of them staying in touch for a short amount of time, and others I have enjoyed ongoing conversations and friendships with.
Margareta Osborn is one such person. I'm not sure how or when (perhaps a year or two ago?) she found my blog, but I am so glad that she did.
Starting off as encouraging comments, I've since enjoyed exchanging emails with Margareta and more recently, a lengthy conversation over the phone.

Margareta is an Australia author - and a rather good one at that. After spending several years writing her first book, Bella's Run, which became Australia's No. 1 Best Seller, she has since penned and had published another five books, including her most recent work Lake Hill.
I was delighted when Penguin Random House offered to send me a copy. I hadn't read any of Margareta's books before, and I was hooked from the first page. Lake Hill starts off with an emotional prologue of a teenage mother leaving her baby on a doorstep. Fast forward two decades later, and the first chapter starts off in the present day and follows the beginning of the main character Julia Gunn's journey to start a new life after the death of her husband.
I rang Margareta on the weekend to discuss Lake Hill with her, but as is bound to happen when you're having a good conversation with someone, we barely talked about the book and instead kicked off the conversation with cake and wound up discussing family history, cows and sock knitting machines. Did you know there is such a thing? I certainly didn't, and neither did Margareta until recently.
Apparently, you can still buy them in America, and there is even a Sock Knitting Machine Appreciation Association!
She's got a lesson planned with a friend who owns a 100-year-old machine and is very excited about it. And why wouldn't you be? I'd love to have a look at a domestic knitting machine, and I think one that specialises in socks would be even better!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

When Did Spying Become Ok?

I was at a cafe yesterday with my Border Collie Rilla, when two teenage girls came in and sat at the table next to mine.
Shortly after their arrival, I heard them discussing Rilla. This always happens when I take my dogs out - everywhere I take her she receives multiple compliments and friendly comments.
I turned my head to face the girls only to discover that they were sitting with their backs to me, and were holding a mobile phone on the table. They had the camera open and set on "selfie" mode, so Rilla was displayed on the screen where they could easily see - and discuss - her.

I was very surprised to see them doing this and, I must admit, a little annoyed. If I hadn't been so taken aback at the time I probably would have said something along the lines of "Excuse me, you're welcome to come and pat her if you like".

As I've mulled this behaviour over I've thought how truly odd and unsociable it is. Instead of turning around and speaking to me about my dog (or even just to Rilla, as many people do) they had the idea to pull out their phone and use the camera to look at her.
Aside from this feeling a little like an invasion of privacy, it's actually robbing those girls of a chance to talk to other people.
If it had been two friends belonging to an older and wiser generation, I'm fairly certain they would have actually turned in their seats and addressed Rilla, rather than spying on her. (Because it really does feel like your dog is being spied on when this happens!)
This would have led to a conversation with me, however brief it might have been.

© Say Little Hen
Maira Gall