Monday, July 29, 2013

Tuesday Task and sunny sunshine

After a long, cold, grey and gloomy weekend, yesterday was gorgeous and sunny. I decided to skip my usual Monday swim and go for a long walk instead (yes, I can see the irony of skipping a swim because the weather is warm for a change).

Don't these leaves look like they are saluting the sun?

Lucy wanted to come with me but she seemed to have some difficulty with the concept of moving forward...


A few months ago I finished my Honey Cowl and loved it. I immediately started an Infinitude Scarf using some stash yarn and then got bored and shoved it in a corner. So in the hope of finishing it while the weather is still cold enough for me to wear it, this week's Tuesday Task is to complete this project.

It'll be so nice and warm once it's done!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday task already done

It turns out finishing my Annis shawl was much faster than I expected.

The whole fabric is riddled with a mix of little holes...

..and big holes, so into the bin it goes.

Another Tuesday task, done!

Tuesday task: doing that one shawl thing

Yesterday was too icy for me to go for my usual Monday swim. Today I felt lazy and sluggish so I braved the cold, drove to the pool and sat for literally fifteen minutes in the car park talking myself into getting out of the car and into the water (I did eventually but seriously - what kind of crazy person goes swimming in the middle of winter? Is health and fitness really worth it?). I think I am officially reaching that point at which winter has been going for so long that the cold has started to attack my motivation to do anything that involves leaving the house. At all.

So, it seems apt that my Tuesday Task for this week is working on something that reminds me of spring. I finished this shawl over two years ago while I was waiting in hospital for my leg operation but I have never woven in the ends and blocked it.

The shawl is Annis from Knitty and was so quick to knit that it didn't even make it onto the blog in WIP form, so I think we can all agree that two years is a ridiculous amount of time to wait for something that will take me an hour tops to finish. Completely ridiculous!

Setting myself a Tuesday Task is working really well for me. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed with all of the stuff I need to do so, when I saw the Billfold's day for doing that one thing - you know, the one thing you keep putting off and off and off but then you do it and it doesn't take hardly any time at all and you feel immediately better - I realised it's a perfect strategy for me and my knitting. I'm getting stuff done, one thing at time :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Monet's Garden and an almost-finished cardigan

Happy Monday, everyone. I hope you all had a lovely weekend :) I didn't do much other than work and go to the footy (Go Saints! Umpires are the worst) but I did go to see the Monet's Garden exhibition at the National Gallery last week.

It's interesting because it develops further the trend I saw at the Dali exhibition last year to feature audiovisual material about the artist and their life as well as the artwork of the artist. With this exhibit, the final two rooms featured a wall of photos of Monet and his garden and studio and an audiovisual installation featuring Monet's house and garden at Givenchy. I wonder if that's because audiences are demanding AV material, if it's seen as value-adding or if it's just to pad out the show?

There was also a photowall at the exit, which I found beyond hilarious. If you do go, though, go first thing - I went at lunchtime and it was so packed that I couldn't get near some of the works, especially the ones featured in the audio guide. At almost $30 a ticket, I'm not sure if it's worth it unless you're a big Monet/Impressionist fan.

In exciting news ... look at this!

The sleeves are finished and blocking! I realised as I was casting off that I'd knitted the whole sleeve using 3.75mm needles instead of using 3.75mm needles for the cuff and 4.5mm needles for the rest, but I just don't care! I'm finishing this damn jumper come hell, high water or incorrect gauge. After five years, it will be done! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Some thoughts on for-profit companies using charities for marketing purposes

On Twitter today, Clementine Ford (@clementine_ford) tweeted about the One For The Girls campaign, where if you buy a packet of Moxie pads they will donate an equivalent amount of pads to women in Uganda through the organisation AFRIpads. I think it’s a worthwhile campaign and one of the reasons I follow Clementine Ford is that she often brings my attention to issues like these that I miss hearing about through other media. I did not know access to feminine hygiene products was an issue for women in Africa and, now that I do, I definitely want to do something about it. These are all good things.

However, Ms Ford got a major side eye from me when she tweeted: “I don’t use pads, but I’ll definitely be buying some bathroom guest supplies so I can support the #oneforthegirls campaign.” It highlights the No.1 issue that consumers need to remember when a for-profit company donates to a charity based on sales – they are employing a marketing strategy. If you are already a Moxie customer, this won’t change your purchasing patterns. But, if you are not a Moxie customer, for the next few months, you may buy Moxie pads instead of your usual brand because of this. There is nothing wrong with that – if you’re going to buy pads anyway, why not pick a brand that are doing something good? But remember, there is absolutely no reason why Moxie couldn’t have committed to donating a certain amount of money to AFRIpads without advertising it or linking it to sales. They could have done it silently and not publicly but they didn’t, because a) bringing attention to the good they’re doing creates positive associations with their branding and b) it will increase sales and attract new customers. Feminine hygiene products have a high degree of brand loyalty so, once you attract new customers, they are likely to stay with you. Additionally, pads aren’t something that people talk about often – Moxie are very cleverly inserting themselves into conversation and increasing awareness of their brand.

I am not saying that companies shouldn’t donate to charities, only that customers need to be aware of what companies are doing with campaigns like this. Don’t buy a product you will not use just to support a marketing campaign – give your money directly to the charity instead. That way they get all of it and you are still doing good. In this day and age with ubiquitous marketing that comes from all sources, including journalists we admire, it’s more important than ever to be critical consumers.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tuesday Task: Time to get things done!

It's funny how finally doing one thing can provide an amazing impetus to get more things done. I loved the feeling of finishing the mitts and crossing them off my list of things to do and since it felt so damn good to get that thing done, I'm going to try and make it a regular thing and set myself a weekly Tuesday task of finally doing that unfinished thing that's been hanging around not getting done. To start with, I figured I'd start with something big that's been hanging around for a really really long time...the never-ever-finished big blue jumper.

Look at that - it's almost done! All I have to do is knit the sleeve caps and the button band, seam the whole thing up and I have a finished cardigan. It's absolutely bloody ridiculous it has been hanging around for so long!! Therefore my very first Tuesday task is simply to knit the sleeve caps. That's all. It will not be hard and shouldn't take longer than an hour but I'm already feeling pretty darn good that by this time next week, the sleeve caps will be done.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mitten Epiphany (2013 FO #12)

Happy Monday morning, everyone! While that is a particularly cheery greeting for a Monday morning, I am particularly cheery right now because today marks the point at which there is less winter to come than there has winter been. We are more than halfway through the coldest, wettest, dreariest season of the year and I am incredibly excited!

Yes, I do complain about the cold all the time and yes, what kind of moron complains about the cold in Melbourne year-in-year-out (it's hardly a surprise when it gets cold, really. Not only does it happen every year, there's a whole season that exists to warn you that winter's coming). That said, I believe in providing solutions rather than just complaining about problems because there is literally nothing more boring than listening to someone complain and complain and complain and complain without doing anything about it (except watching golf. That's really fucking boring). After the disaster of the Endpaper mitts I was making for my sister, I was a bit disheartened about knitting in general and mine in particular. It was cold, I was feeling bleurgh and motivation was in really short supply, so weeks passed without me doing anything to get the mitts done. However, last week in a desperate search for some Vicks Vaporub (it's not winter without a chest infection - fortunately, not mine) I stumbled across a drawer I had forgotten about that is filled solely with bits of yarn left over from other projects. There was 30g of Mountain Colors Barefoot left over from my mum's dream socks, I knew a pattern that made supercomfortable mitts from small amounts of yarn - I had a pattern plus yarn epiphany!

The finished project is fantastic! The yarn is warm and soft and the pattern fits (hehe) like a glove! I lengthened the cuff and finger ribbing to use all of the yarn I had and omitted the cables because I hate them.

Thumbs up to fingers being kept warm and a job eventually being done!