Thursday, 29 December 2011

A Personal Entry at Year's End - warning no knitting content

This is what happens when you catch up with friends over the holidays:

You know you are ancient when you have nostalgic convos with your old uni pals. Rang an old bud from the dark ages, that period of the very early 80’s when our music was really f’in loud and our hair seriously short and crunchy. 

Well, at least mine was. Dear Donna remembered how bloody poor we were – no phones (‘cept the shite one in the halls hallway), no spending money, and really crap food. Well, I only remember eating Saturday or Sunday am after an all-night outting with friends. She recalls she did actually eat at the dining hall on occasion. Being a veg, the sight of ham salad on the salad bar, well, let’s just say it seemed safer to me to drink Tab and smoke cigarettes than trust the ‘salad’ bar.

That said, she was remembering how absolutely penniless I was one summer living in the Back Bay of Boston. Yup, I remember I had to borrow packets of 2-minute noodles from a mate who lived nearby. He lived on the things so much so that he’d buy an entire grocery store case of the suckers and glued it to his kitchen wall, with a cutout where the packets could be conveniently dispensed. Just in case you weren’t sure what that was for, there was a sign on the box that said, Take One.

I wrote a 2-minute noodle cookbook (wrote them out by hand with drawings) and gave them to friends. I wonder if anyone still has one of these gems of culinary publishing.

Good times people.

Donna also reminded me how much I pissed her off going out mid-week when she’d have a management exam. See, if you loved music, the way I did, that major was simply OUT. Too many exams. Me? I figured out early that an English and Communications major involved writing lame papers and working on ‘projects.’ No exams to cut into the club schedule you see. Donna Donna Donna, how could you not have known this?

One thing that came in handy were her management textbooks. I recall one evening when we used her Fundamentals of Management (or some such wanky title) to cut cheese slices (nice thick cutting board) to go with our Mooseheads (or was it Molson?). This was the night we decided to write fake answers to personals ads in the local cool free paper. So after a few of our missives (man wouldn’t it be great if I had a copy or two?) we sealed the envelope(s) and went for more beer at the Star Market.

Next morning I said, hey, let’s read some of those letters. She said, WHUH? After all, we had worked our way through some at least ½ a slab – no M, we mailed ‘em.

Well, that sent us into hysterics. A few days later I (I think I must have signed a few) WE got a reply. The result was a very strange d00d and one really strange song Kenne Highland wrote called Froggy. Uh, I kinda helped over a lunch break. Do I have a copy of the recording session still? Oh yes I do. Can you hear it. No you can’t.

Good times Donna. I’ve decided I’ve remained in contact with D when I’ve not done so with anyone else from that time. Why? Insurance. She knows way too bloody much.

Friday, 23 December 2011

A Christmas Gift from SWTC and SIOz

A big thank you to Jonelle Beck and the entire SWTC family and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (for those of you who don't celebrate Christmas) from them (and us) to you!

Here's the latest SWTC enticement for your needles, with a little help from Stranded In Oz.

2010 Knitter's Club members will recognize this scarf as the Dark Rainbow Scarf -- here it's been knitted in the divinely soft Infatuation by Treisur. Am I infatuated? Yuh, it's fabulously soft and has a nice stitch definition for a bamboo-blend sock yarn. Mmmmmmmm. Did I mention this is also my favourite scarf?

Customers who order 2 balls of Infatuation from Stranded In Oz 'til the end of January will automatically receive this pattern with their order, starting today. The stocks are a bit low (xmas shoppers, thank you!) but MORE is on the way.

 Infatuation by Treisur

Monday, 12 December 2011

Next time someone asks you why you knit wool jumpers...

Check out this article from Mother Jones -- just adds some nice fuel to the anti-fleece argument fire. I reckon ditto goes for the plastic-based fleece-type yarns?

Ah well, there goes my guilty pleasure sleeptop -- the one I knitted out of microfibre. Then again, chucking that into a bin will pollute something for sure. Hmmm. Recycle it into what?

So when someone in your family or circle of friends says, really, what's with the woolly jumper knitting, you can say, well, it won't harm the oceans, it keeps Australian sheep farmers in business (buy it here please), supports local retailers, provides clothing for me and my family, and brings me hours of entertainment and relaxation as well. How many people can claim that for their hobby?

I've been cooking up an article about why I love sustainable man-made fibres from natural sources, like soy. Stay tuned for that after my next deadline this week!

Bye for now, Melf

Saturday, 3 December 2011

December? Really?

Getting into the holiday spirit here at SIOz Central -- this means holiday orders amongst the usual juggling of painting, designing, and writing. Can't say much at present, as been busy restocking and tackling the monumental task of sorting out mill orders for 2012.

Check out the new gift category on the webshop if you are so inclined. I've been steadily planning what to put there for you fab knitters, crocheters, and spinners, and felters.

Back to the workpile, which includes some sorting for tomorrow's Port Market.