Saturday, April 28, 2007
I've been asthmatic since I was born and weirdly, when I moved to London 10 years ago it was the best time for me - I didn't use my reliever for about 7 years, and then it all started again. Well, the cat had it in for me on Friday and to cut a long story short here I am in A&E at 4.30am on Saturday morning! I've lived with this for 34 years and I just usually get on with it, but it still scares me when I'm unable to catch breath. I often forget just how debilitating it can be - I am a fairly active person and this just closes me down. It's depressing but I suppose I can't worry about it too much, although seeing myself as an old codger, housebound and wheezing is an image that prays on me sometimes. All this from being in the cold air and in the presence of a cat for ten minutes! Ironically enough I had an allergy test a few weeks ago and I am still waiting to hear if I'm allergic to sheep...
This is sheer coincidence too, but I was going to link to an asthma charity here, because if this scares me then I can't imagine how the thousands of children cope with it and I came across World Asthma Day, which is next Tuesday. I remember when I was young it didn't really stop me, I always had my inhaler to hand, but I was larking around and playing in the fields opposite my childhood home with the rest of my mates. Playing on the railway, running from the police etc! I do remember a few big attacks, one of which left me and my sister calling for an emergency doctor at 3am - but it's remarkable to think that this happens to young kids every day, and you have to just admire their strength of mind for it not to destroy them. believe me, not being able to breathe, to feel like your drowning in air is frightening.
Sorry, this post wasn't about knitting but after last night's shenanigans and little sleep I really just wanted to talk about myself!
Friday, April 27, 2007
Then I really wake up and catch my breath and wonder whether we are going to get the river sewn in time for the 12 May when we march with it to Downing Street.
If you are reading this you will not be surprised by another post about the river and how much support we have received etc etc but I have to go on to say that I am amazed every day about the different levels that the campaign is working on.
In June last year we got very excited because we thought we had come up with a great quirky idea to campaign for WaterAid. We thought Knit a river might help to disseminate the issues that an extraordinary amount of people face due to lack of access to safe, clean drinking water.
Then we received some blue squares. Then some more and more and more and you know the rest.
We are sewing it at the moment and we are getting a lot done thanks to many, many individuals and lots of groups. We put a call out to the schools in the area local to the WaterAid office (who knew there were so many?) and the response has been, obviously by now, great.
I have just taken 2 bin bags, to add to the first, to another secondary school around the corner. They have sewn a whole bin bag in less than 2 days. Some of them have even taken them home to sew! While I was there talking to them in their library one of the questions was 'If I come to the march will I get on the telly?'
'Of course,' I said. ' Why wouldn't you? But you must ask your mum and dad to bring you.'
'I can come on my own, I'm 14!'
'I'm sure you can. I will speak to the press people at WaterAid and find out if they can get a story in the local paper about how great you are for helping. Shall I?'
'Yeah! Will we have a picture, too? I think it will be good with a picture of us all but I think they should take a picture of just me because they would probably want to use that one. What's this for anyway?'
That was my cue. I told them more about WaterAid and offered to come and speak to them in an assembly. I hope they take me up on that, I love speaking to kids about water issues, they pick it up easier than I once thought. It's very easy for young people to engage with these massive issues as the fact that they affect so many children in Africa and Asia makes it very easy for them to relate to it.
Knit a river hasn't just reached the knitters. It is doing much more.
The WaterAid Campaigns Manager was on a course this week and the tutor gave them a presentation about strategies and building campaigner support and she actually sited Knit a river (with a picture in her powerpoint presentation!) as one of the best campaigns ever as it was quirky, engaging, unusual and promoted a great action - knitting a square! Charity knitting is not new to us but I am not sure there has been anything like this before.
Our next item on the campaigning agenda is writing to your MP. An End Water Poverty Early Day Motion has been tabled with the House of Parliament. An EDM is an internal petition for MP's and if lots (over 200) sign it then it will be discussed within the house.
It's very easy to write to your MP using this website. All you have to do is encourage them to sign EDM 1113 End Water Poverty. The global crisis in sanitation and water is an outrage. We can not choose to tackle or not tackle this crisis. This is the fundamental issue on which the eradication of poverty depends.
Please write to your MP and urge them to sign EDM 1113.
Now, what have I done with that sewing needle!?
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Yesterday was St George's day of course, and we English, being very restrained and stiff upper lipped as we are don't really seem to celebrate it the way our Irish cousins do. It's almost as if we're ashamed of ourselves somehow! Anyway, about 4500 of us packed into Trafalgar Square last night to break the world record for the largest coconut orchestra - New York held the record but London tripled that! Led by Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and the cast of Spamalot (including cuddly SRB) the square was crammed with coconuts playing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. I especially liked the fact that someone had written in each coconut (that's about 8000!) the letter 'L' and 'R' just so we all knew what we were doing! trust the English to break the silliest world record imaginable. But we were all very proud of ourselves and it was a laugh and no mistake.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Totally worn out today anyway after yesterday's exertion - i did five loads of washing, whilst watching the marathon on the telly. I was really hoping to get down to the Grapes pub and joint Cast Off and fellow knitters to cheer on Susie Hewer who set the first world record for the longest scarf knitted whilst running a marathon! We saw Susie being interviewed on the BBC before she set off though and there's more to come so you can still sponsor her at the Just Giving website. Well done to her, and to everyone who ran yesterday. G was at the finish line helping out with the many WaterAid runners who take part each year and was inspired to do it next year - he's trying to convince me that it's something everyone should do once in their life - but we'll see how long his enthusiasm lasts.
Off tonight to play coconuts in Trafalgar Square - first day it's rained in ages!
Friday, April 20, 2007
Audrey and Dickie Fleming
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
The first yarn to be sent out on 1 June is being hand dyed by fibrespates as I write, 100% merino superwash - we love the fibrespates colourways!
The second batch is being dyed in South London over the next couple of weeks and we're very excited about this as we've seen the samples!!!!
The other batch, Colinette Jitterbug, speaks for itself! I wish I could join!
My Dad's birthday is this week, guess what he's getting!
Friday, April 13, 2007
I am right I am sure. Thank you. I love it! I have never done lace and I am very excited to start!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a little scared to be sure as some of the patterns I can't even read but they are described as experienced lace so I am sure I will get to these.
I've spent the winter wrapped in a half finished crochet blanket that became known, thanks to Esther, as a Celtic Warrior Shawl. I will now have a proper ladie warrior shawl.
Thank you Secret Pal. I love you.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
On 12 May 2007 we will march to Downing Street to End Water PovertyThe march is the first activity of this kind for WaterAid so we must be very proud of ourselves - knitters are brilliant and the contribution made to WaterAid through the Knit a river campaign is incredible. The river is truely magnificent and I think with lots of us knitters being there to carry it it will look even better.
The beauty of this is, of course, that it is not a fundraising campaign, it is simply asking for more attention to be given to the billions of people who struggle without accss to safe water and basic sanitaion. Even now 4 children die every minute as a result of prevenatble water related diseases such as diarrhea. The idea that diarrhea could kill a child in the UK is crazy - it would simply never happen. The short walk from Vauxhall to Downing Street will be representative of the hours wasted each day by women and children walking miles and miles for water for their families. The time wasted impacts on everything - women can't work, children can't go to school- billions of people are locked in a stranglehold of poverty just because they lack access to water. But you are helping! The river is helping, and on the 12 May we will be able to use the river to amplify our simple request - End Water Poverty.
The assembly point is still being confirmed but it is very likely to be Spring Gardens in Vauxhall, just minutes away from Vauxhall Station. We will start around 11am and the whole show will be over by 2pm. The idea of marching with the river to Downing Street is incredible; I hope many of you can make it on the day, we could never have got this far without your support.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
I did another sock. I have only done 1 as I might just use it for display in the shop, it's very tempting to do the other, though. It's Colinette Jitterbug. It's my first in this yarn and it's gorgeous.
I was distracted by a baby cardigan in Rowan Cashsoft dk.
I've only done the back up to now, it's great yarn to knit with, it just glides on the needles. The bank holiday weekend has been knit free. I've watched the last 6 hours of 24, though. It's a bit strange how much I love this show. The last few episodes do require a great level of commitment that I think challenges even the most faithful fans but it's worth it. I've never really though of myself of a man's man, in a manner of speaking, but I love Jack Bauer. After watching 5 series I do believe that if, after a series of unfortunate events, the future safety of the United States or indeed the world, ever rested in my hands I would be able to make the right decisions that would get us through the crisis. I doubt I would be able to use a gun, though. I think I would knit my way out.
We also watched the pilot episode of the new Battlestar Galactica. I don't remember anything from the original so this was mostly new, it's great, by the way. I love watching nonsense escapism. Especially at Easter!
From the sublime to the ridiculous, or the other way around. On the telly behind me, Maria is currenty singing about how she has confidence in herself; bag and guitar swinging, skirt twirling! On second thoughts I think if I was ever charged with ensuring the saftey of the world Maria and the rest of the Von Trapps would be my only inspiration.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Are these not brilliant! They were designed and made by Gethan Dick. We love them. I haven't made one yet, still doing socks - I just can't put them down! The pattern is available from the shop in a gorgeous hand made picture booklet, though. They are perfect for Spring, I think I will make a swarm of them!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
There is a moss stitch border to the central stocking stitch panel, 110 stitches on 44mm needles - simple as that. I used Artesano Hummingbird 100% alpaca in Woodpecker. It's designed to be a thick sock yarn but I need a blanket. It is so soft that I think I might have to cover my pillow with it!
The colours are amazing, you can see the pattern is incredible! It came out all on it's own! People keep talking about why knitting is so popular at the moment - it's due, at least in part, to the amazing yarns available that not only look and feel great but they are exciting to knit with, too!
Last night's knitting group met up at our favourite bar in London, Retro Bar, down George Court. This is our local when we're not knitting (even if it's not actually that local!), but the upstairs bar is a great place to snuggle up in the booths and get the needles out. It was a good laugh last night - we taught Phillip the barman how to cast on, cast off, knit and purl all while he was in between serving up the drinks!
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
It's very exciting to know you are all the way in Australia!