Monthly Archives: July 2016

No, you stand up

As one mass murder after another places men on the front pages of newspapers these last few weeks, another man, on Facebook, is telling women to take up more space. Be noisier. Be loud and gross. Stand up for yourselves, etc. As if these are good things because men already do them.

Apart from the obvious irony of a man telling women what to do, I wonder for what kind of woman this would be relevant?
Would it work on Serena Williams after herĀ 23 Grand Slam tournament women’s singles titles?
Ellen Degeneres and her $50 million annual salary?
Marie Curie who won two Nobel Prizes?
Steffi Graff who won 22 Grand Slam snigles titles and the only one to win a Golden Slam?
Chrissie Wellington, four-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion, who wrote about using her urine to disincentivise fellow competitors from using her slipstream in races?
Would it work on Hilary Clinton? Whose number of people killed is a lot higher than the number of shares this guy got?
Would it work on Theresa May or Margaret Thatcher? Destroyer of countries, societies and individuals?
Who are these girls who need to take up more space? Who need to be loud and gross?
The ones already doing full time jobs plus many other unpaid jobs and whose hours are filled with responsibilities?
The women who are leaving their homes as refugees and being the strongest survivors amongst the roughest (literal) waters?
He is not talking to empowered, strong, intelligent women or girls. He is talking to victims who if they want to be heard must rise up. He is not rallying against the structural inequalities, which see women weighed down with all the opposing forces available and still succeeding more than men. The ones who couldn’t work because they had to care for children and then had their pensions ripped away with no chance of making money to sustain themselves in the meantime.
He is not talking to the ones succeeding in making black lives matter, speaking up for the environment and the world when men seek to destroy it.
He is not speaking to the doctors and the teachers and the nurses who not only are expected to work for free but are now going to be paying the universities to let them work.

Don’t tell us to take up more space. Look at yourself and own your guilt and role in this crazy and unequal world.
Let’s look at some reality for a second?
How many mass murders have there been in the last 12 months?
How many were committed by women?
How many countries were invaded? Who invaded them? Who benefited?
Who destroyed more of the planet?
Who perpetrated more of the crimes?
Who had more road accidents?
Who caused more harm?
Who abused more?
Who helped more?
Who provided for more?
Who took care of the children?
Who took care of the dying? Of the patients? Of the babies?
Who created humanity?
It’s a sad state of affairs when most of the negatives are perpetrated by men, most of the positives are created and sustained by women, and it’s men who are telling women to be like them?
Why, for God’s sake? We don’t need more chaos, aggression and disaster. It’s time for men to become the humans they were meant to be. It’s time for them to sit down, shut up, and care about things around them. Talk less, listen more, help others and repair, rebuild, and nurture.

You stand up. You acknowledge your shame and blame. We will do just fine without some guy on Facebook telling us what to do. We will be even better with fewer men on the front of newspapers.

The Great Ocean Road: a knitted asymmetric shawl

It’s been a bit of a busy time lately and I keep trying to find time to update this blog but fail miserably. It’s usually because I’m chasing a child around, working on an editing job, or knitting or designing. The designing part has been the most surprising part to that list.

Great Ocean Road

I started writing about it but then had to do something else. But here, see the following:

From a few weeks ago, when I first started writing this post

I have been preoccupied with designing a knitting pattern for the last few days. I took part in Aroha Knit (Francoise’s) #initiateknitdesign five day course and by the end came out with the beginnings of my first written pattern.

Some parts were harder than others. Finding time to knit up a swatch was a bit of a challenge when I was also running around after two little ones because daddy was away, and then translating my successful swatch design to the pattern was even more of a challenge.

What worked on a square, did not work at all on an ever-expanding shawl. From casting on 12 stitches, the pattern is worked until there are 282 on the needles. The stitches increase by one every odd row on only one side.

What I first thought needed to look like this:

Great Ocean Road initial swatch

and written up like the following pattern:

GOR_chart1

Turned out in fact to need to be written the other way around, as follows:

GOR_chart2

And then to be written with cable stitches rather than SSK and M1 stitches. The particularly surprising thing was that the cable stitches went on top of each other rather than a left-leaning diagonal pattern.

GOR_chart3

It was all rather mind-boggling and I frogged 21 times (give or take a few) but finally got there.

I have now found the final pattern I am sticking with. It’s this one here.

I originally wanted to use one light blue yarn and one sandy one but then realised I had a combination of both in the Suave sock Crushed Melon on Ice. It is 50% superwash Merino wool and 50% mulberry silk and it’s a very soft and silky combination. I used it a week ago for the Persephone crocheted shawl and it’s lovely to wear. Very soft.

The crushed melon colourway sold out very quickly but I dyed up a similar colour but brighter and more vivid: Orange in the Sky.

The pattern did great when it was first released and there have been nearly 3500 downloads. It was number one on the Hot Right Now chart for three days. A month later there have been some people who have made it and helped me sort out more problems with the pattern.

It’s been an educational experience.

I was so excited about releasing a pattern that I sent a swatch to a yarn company for a new pattern and it got accepted. I am in the process of knitting it up and writing the pattern.

A third pattern was rejected from a magazine but I had done a terrible job on knitting a swatch to show what it would look like. I’m now wondering whether to use it for my own yarn or to try to submit it elsewhere. It’s a bit of a niche pattern so I’m still thinking about it.

That’s it for the pattern business.

I have set up a Zanetto group on the Ravelry forums for any pattern support required.