Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is it just me?

When I first started up this blog, I had an intention to talk strictly only about two things: My knitting and cats. The reason is I don't want to get too opinionated and then get angry messages from strangers and all that (you know how it is like on internet nowadays, don't you?)

However, I think I am over it. I am over the fact that there are always people who have nothing better to do than to send you a 'YOU SUCK' message on your blog, no constructive purpose whatsoever.

My sister's blog was number 2 on top 10 blogger two days ago. She got, of course, a lot of heart warming readers, including finding her kindergarten friend back through that. However, as you can already imagine, she got 'you suck and why don't you spend time doing something to save the miserable lives on earth' messages. (I swear I quote the above message!)

I wonder why this person sit his/her ass in front of the computer, sending message to stranger, asking them to 'save the miserable lives on earth', instead of moving his/her ass out of the house and REALLY save those lives him/herself?! Buddy, it is only a blog about knitting and living in Paris as a foreigner. You have a blog, I have a blog, many of us have a blog nowadays, chill the crap out, ok? If you don't like what you see, just click on the top right corner on your screen for PC-user and top left corner on your screen for Mac-user, close the window. It's easy, try that...ciao!

It then brings down to the knitting-related topic. Let's see, how many of you (I assume most of you if not all of you are knitters reading my blog, why else you will read about me?!) got the following conversation at some point in your knitting life?

Stranger/Colleague/someone else: What are you doing there?

Me/You/Knitters: I am knitting. (Thought, I am not swimming, ain't I?)

Stranger/Colleague/someone else: Geez, I thought nobody does that anymore, it's beautiful, my grandma used to....(blah blah blah, omitable)...but I won't have time for this.

I don't know about you, I can't help but wonder (Yes, I sound like SATC now, didn't do that on propose I swear), how do I have time then? Honestly, I have a full-time job, a part-time course, a cat to take care of, am thinking of start up a cat sitter business, I finish a pair of socks in a week JUST using bus-riding time (only 30 minutes from home to office one way)!

Are people that busy nowadays? Or is it just me to notice that these people are actually watching crap TV 3 hours a day and complain about not having time to care about others, spend more time with kids, knit, call their parents, and other nice and important things? Is it just me to notice how much time they spend on the bus reading gossip magazine and staring at the free newspaper full of crap?

I must be honest with you now that I don't owe a TV and I haven't bought newspaper or get free ones for 8 years now. I am not saying it to show that I am holier than someone, I am saying that to show that I might be FREE-R than someone.

I don't owe a TV because I have spent 23 years living in a city where there are TVs everywhere! I mean, seriously, everywhere! Bus, taxi, mini-van, some lifts, on the street, not kidding. So I figure I can do with some peace at home. I love movies and documentaries, I did Film Studies for two terms in college, I watch DVDs, that's all I need.

I don't buy newspapers because 8 years ago I had a conversation with my oil-painting teacher. He said, 'I don't buy newspaper, I prefer to read books, I prefer to be able to choose what I like to read,' everyone in the class was amazed and asked 'how do you know what is happening in the world,' he said (and I remember all my life), 'believe me, you will know. If it is really important, you will know even without buying newspaper, if you don't know them, they are probably not important'.

I tried for 8 years and believe me, he was right. Every day, I know what is happening in the world by hearing from people. If it is something important, then it will be on the top of the page on google if you want to look into it and search for the information.

Believe me, with the free time coming out from gossip, ad, unnecessary information from TV and newspaper, you will have so much more time to care about others, knit or send 'you suck' messages to people's blog if that's what you want or 'spend time doing something to save the miserable lives on earth' or whatever.

NB: No judgement on those of you who love TV, gossip magazine, newspaper and stuff, I am just saying I don't and how do I manage to have time, so if you want to send me angry message on this subject, maybe you REALLY can save time by not doing it, see?

(Larm said: Be nice to each other, I am watching you, maow!)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Irish Knitter Retreat Report

The retreat is finished.

Are you expecting a photo journal to report the whole trip?

Have I made one?

The answer is no because I was having WAY TOO MUCH FUN to remember to take photos! But the great thing about being with bunch of knitters is, there is always some careful knitters who will do so!

Please check out the link here if you want to see some photos from the retreat. Thanks to Diane who has generously put up on flickr. She has also put in an entry in here if you are interested to read about what crazy stuff we have done.

Here are a few shots of Yarncat in case some of you are interested what I have done in the retreat:

Yarn Quiz (the one in blue top on the left is me): we are supposed to guess which yarn it is from the samples. Did I win anything? Nope. The good news is I don't owe THAT much yarn to know all the yarn on the sample board. Hehe.

Learning to spin on a spinning wheel: One of the fellow knitter is kind enough to have bought a spinning wheel to the retreat so that we can all try out. How do I feel? I feel like I am learning to ride a bicycle again => panic!

Knit: Yes, that's me knitting socks.

Here it is, we are sewing up the blanket.

the finished blanket with one last shot before handing in to Mairead, the owner of Craig Country House.

See? I am touching the blanket once more before letting it go... it was difficult...

Thanking Mairead

All in all, I have a wonderful wonderful weekend with bunch of likeminded people from all walks of lives. We got a mathmatician, a town planner, a IT professor, a civil engineer, an architect, two nurses, and many other Raveler that I haven't even got enough time to know what they do in their lives. Have I mentioned we were all women? So next time, if anyone gives me the knitters-must-be-grandmas-sitting-on-a-rocking-chair shit, I am going to so give out to them. (Not that there is anything wrong to be a grandma sitting and knitting on a rocking chair to start with!)

Now the difficult part is to wait until next year retreat arrives...

PS. The country house is a very nice place to stay and the host family is very friendly and caring. So if anyone of you want to experience Irish countryside and want to be away from touristic things, you should definite consider it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Irish Knitters Retreat - ready to go!

I am so excited! After waiting for so many months, it is finally here! Irish Knitters Retreat!
Stress has been kicking in to make sure I have got enough knitting, yarn, tools, drinks, etc for the trip to come.

We are all supposed to make up a square especially for this trip so that all the sqaures will be sewed up together to make a blanket for this trip as a memory.

I have been trying very hard to think of what to make! Something that represent me and some new technique that I have never tried before...

Here is the result...

No, I am joking! It was the back of my square using intrasia technique. It is my first intrasia project ever. Here is the front:

Look, it is even better after blocking...

Actually, I have kind of cheated since it is not me who have done the design, it is you-know-who (note to those who don't know: the man who is the graphic designer behind YarnCat).

So what does this square said about me? Here is the official entry to the booklet of the retreat I have handed in:

My square has a white background with intarsia cats in purple and green on it. The reason I chose this pattern is very simple: I love cats, I am working on getting a qualification to be Cat Behaviourist. The choice of colour: Purple is the colour of Bauhinia, which is the emblem of Hong Kong and green is for the Shamrock; the symbol of Ireland. It is my first intarsia project so far.

I wonder what will it look like after all of the square got sew up together and how will the trip turns out. Check this space for updates after this weekend.