Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

This WEA workshop was promoted as tackling the serious theme of modern feminism with fun and humour.  The facilitators were Diane McCarthy a performance poet and project manager of the Kate Sheppard Celebration Tours, and Lucy Gray a PSA activist who is curator  of Banna a co-constructed banner for pay equity.  Two other facilitators had dropped out beforehand.  We started with a sharing round of our feminist backgrounds, and Lucy talked about Banna.


We were then invited to crochet (hooks and wool provided) and if we wished to, make a flower which could be added to Banna.  I’ve never managed to crochet.  My mother who was proficient tried to teach me, but the fact that I’m left-handed while she was right-handed proved to be an obstacle.  In this group people were willing to demonstrate, but again they were all right-handed, and I didn’t manage very well.

My flower didn’t flourish

We were introduced to a book with many ideas for feminist crafting: Crafting with Feminism.  25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy by Bonnie Burton.  It gives ideas for feminist dates we might commemorate and some slogans.  I particularly liked Vivant Viragines – Long live female troublemakers!

The WEA offers good kitchen facilities.  I was delighted to find a tea-infusing spoon and loose Earl Grey tea leaves, which meant I could have a proper cup of tea.

Later we were invited to start knitting a feminist ally, with instructions from Knit your own boyfriend by Carol Meldrum.  I finished one leg, and may do more.  The pattern could be used for any doll.  The final activity was to re-purpose a hard cover book which we’d been asked to bring.  This involved sealing the pages and recovering the book.  I declined to do this as it would simply produce another item that I don’t want, and I left early (though not as early as the three who disappeared at lunchtime).

I met some interesting women, but overall found the workshop a little disappointing.  I’m not sure just what I was hoping for, perhaps more structured sharing, and the opportunity to join in something like yarn bombing.   Opportunities to meet with feminists in a light-hearted way are rare these days, and I commend the WEA for providing this session.

I find it rare in nowadays
to meet with new Viragines

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New Hat

Being tired of my several winter beanies I decided to knit something different.  A woollen hat is essential for walking in a Christchurch winter.

I searched online and eventually found a slouchie hat that could be worked on straight needles, which I find easier than round.  The pattern called for three knitted flowers, and I had several knitted flower brooches which I thought would do just as well.  The hat was knitted in double moss stitch.  I’d forgotten how to do this but Aunty Google soon explained.  It’s a simple stitch, more suitable for a hat than stocking stitch or rib.  The pattern took just two balls of wool and a few hours listening to the radio.

I’m not sure that I’ve got the flowers placed quite right and will move them around again.  I enjoyed the knitting, and would like to do more, but don’t want to tackle a large garment and it’s hard to find patterns for simple small items that would be useful.

I heard recently that the reason for the renewed interest in handcrafts is because of nostalgia for the 1950s and 60s.  I’m not sure about that.  What do you think?

“My knitted hat brings satisfaction
now what could be my next wool, action?”




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Woolly Whim

I had the idea I might like to do some knitting.  I didn’t want to start a large garment, which could be time-consuming and the wool expensive.  As I was passing Knit World I popped in to see if they had ideas for small projects.  The first thing I saw was a display of woollen baby singlets created by volunteers, for the Kiwi Family Trust.  They looked simple.  I spoke to the shop assistant who told me just one ball of 4 ply would be sufficient.  The pattern could be downloaded from their website.   I was concerned that woollen singlets may not wash well, but she  assured me all their wools are machine washable.  There was a group of women sitting knitting in the centre of the shop, which happens every Tuesday morning.

I chose my ball of wool, and came home and downloaded the pattern.  A stitch holder is required.  I definitely used to have one of these, but couldn’t locate it.  I’m sure a large safety pin will suffice.  Time to cast on . . .

“It’s seven years since I have knitted
some rustiness might be permitted.”

p.s. Here’s a picture of the garment, finished two weeks later.  It seems short, but I followed the measurements faithfully. (added 20.6.18)

Baby singlet (Small)

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