Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Preparing for Wednesday, & Thursday & Friday ...

This week there are several days to prepare for, I've spent the week preparing Wednesday ready for Thursday, I'm waiting for Thursday and my students are alternating between panic mode and the-calm-before-the-storm mode as they head towards their final degree hand in this Friday. Yes there has been knitting, only sock knitting .. but there have been other things distracting me. First up is Halloween .. and the parental preparations required that will allow me to keep knitting thru Halloween events, then I've got the knitting report, Clue IV of the Soctober mystery sock was fun .. and pretty, and quite clever, and my second Frankensock grows - and its easier the 2nd time around.

Halloween - in my day, when I was a kid .. Halloween was something we saw on sitcoms .. in a distant land .. where kids wore costumes crafted by their mums (or dads) and trolled the neighborhood requesting and receiving candy and treats. Seen from afar it seemed an odd tradition but a lot of fun. Here in New Zealand Halloween was not part of our little set of traditions - we had to hang out for bonfires and Guy Fawkes and toasted marshmallows and fireworks - and the lolly scramble. But as the world gets smaller, as travel and communication is easier .. as we have more of the world at our doorstep, traditions seem to be adopted and adapted. The school my kids go to, a primary school, has a tradition of a disco in the last term of the year. And for whatever reason the once a year Disco is now held on Halloween, that is this Thursday, and the kids dress up, so apparently we learned do the parents. The first two years Toby was at school he went with a friend whilst Bear and I sat at home with our baby daughter. Last year they both went .. and Bear chaperoned, and found that dressing up was a 'big deal', he came home and announced 'all the other parents dressed up - I felt out of kilter'.

Knowing that - this year we've made an effort - Poppy is going as Wednesday, so I spent Saturday sewing the Wednesday clothes ready for wearing on Thursday. I made a Black calico old fashioned full skirted petticoat buttoned down the back, and a long sleeved pocketed, severe dress also in black calico with a prissy white collar. We are going with the bleaker look of the the early Wednesday here - not floral. apparently Wednesday is named after the poem - Wednesdays child is full of woe, and her middle name is Friday. Tucked in one pocket is a headless doll (from the $1-$2-$3 shop) dressed to match and into the other pocket a pair of blue and black stripped knee high socks. Poppy loves it and has announced she wants to wear it as her new party dress - to all her friends parties. Now I'll admit I was a little tired of the whole pink sparkly purple fluffy frilly barbie-esque theme of little contemporary girls clothes - but I'm a little taken aback by my new wee goth's enthusiasm for severe black.

Toby wanted to go as a 'homicidal maniac' - that is in ordinary clothes but with a large plastic axe. We refused and negotiated him down to Indiana Jones, he has jeans, brown leather boots, brown belt, kakhi shirt, a cheap fake felt hat, and a bull whip (again the $1-$2-$3 shop - but found in the slightly naughty adult aisle - don't ask, we removed all the packaging). He is happy - its modest enough to fit in with super cool friends, not to exotic, and he spent a lot of time outside trying to crack the whip. We have elicited a promise not to whip any teachers or kids ... what else can we do? Bear has bought himself a pile of chain from the hardware shop, and several black belts, and dug out his oldest black tee shirts and jeans and plans to shave his head and go as an aging punk. Me - I'm going to go to knitting, after all its Thursday night, I'm going as a slightly odd or crazy middle aged lady who knits in public places, (I feel I've done my bit by providing all the costumes).

Sewing and providing has robbed me of my knitting time this week, but I managed to keep up with Soctober Clue IV. Its turning out a very pretty sock, Kirsten Kapur is a clever designer. The two lace twists on either side of the leg shifted and moved and neatly became a single center motif on the instep - very nice, very neat. Cue V is due out Thursday US time, so I'll not get to pick that up until Friday morning here New Zealand time. It will be the toe - but I'm wondering how Kirsten will toe these socks ... aren't you?

Once my Soctober Sock knitting was complete .. I turned to Frankensock sock II. Knitting anything the second time is always faster and easier .. all the puzzlement and guessing has been done as the first. sock was knit. I'm just begining the heel flap so well on my way to finishing.

And I'm reading, I'm half way thru The Nature and Art of Workmanship by James Pye, which I will write a little more about in a post soon. It is one of those books that I read that 'just feels right', I love the idea of workmanship of risk and workmanship of craft .. and some of the other concepts that he discusses seem to fit seamlessly with my understandings of different approaches to design. I like it. I also started two books yesterday, Everyday knitting - treasures from a ragpile by Annemar Sundbo, which I have from the library for one week so have to read now, and The cutlure of knitting by Joanne Turney. Both of these I've only dipped into the first few chapters of .. but I love them both. Everyday knitting is both sad at the thought of all that history being torn up and insightful into lost arts and processes of knitting and of recycling .. and The Culture of knitting so far is hilarious. I'm not sure I should consider it hilarious but the chapter on gendered knitting and the meanings imbibed into(onto?) men wearing cardigans is a hoot - plain and simple - a hoot. I don't know I'll ever be able to look at a cardigan wearing man and keep a straight face ever again.

I'll explain more in another post - when I've read more and probably have a more balanced report to make on the whole book.

na Stella


carolynswafford said...

I love your blog! Your kids costumes are great (I totally understand about the boy thing, I have a 9 year old) and it is so interesting reading about your country's different traditions. I love seeing your knitting and hearing all about the fibery world in terms of books, etc. --- it's always educational for me!

Knitting Linguist said...

OK, now I'm dying to start that book! It may come with me on the plane this weekend... The costumes look fabulous; I don't think I'll tell my kids about those, no sense letting them know just how deprived they are in the crafty mama realm. It is interesting to think of the ways that some of these holidays have migrated. I wonder if we'll ever get Guy Fawkes day here?