Tuesday, February 28, 2006

80's Sweaters

2/8's Shetland. Brother 950i. 1989

2/8'S Shetland, Brother 910, 1985. I sold loads of this damn pattern! I knit 18 sweaters a week in those days.2/8's Shetland. Multicolour tuck Brother 950i inbuilt pattern. 1988
2/8's shetland. 50 colours. Borther 910, 1985
Fifth passap Duo 80. 2/16's Lambswool. 1987
Fourth Passap Duo 80. 2/10 Botany. 1987
Third Passap 80, 2 x 2/24's Botany. 1987
Second Passap 80 sweater. 2x2/24 Botany. 1987
Very first Passap sweater, FX/BX Duo 80, 2x2/20 Botany. 1987


Me, aged about 10, in Singapore. These are not my Afghans. I had visited them after reading in the newspaper about them being dognapped and returned.
This is the only photograph I have of my childhood.

Oh Sh*t!!!

It was dark, very dark. His body seemed weightless. He felt like he was floating. He felt lost.
Up ahead he could see some people gathered in a group. Not clearly, just the outline of them as they appeared to be standing in a fuzzy light. As he wondered about them, he drew closer. Now he was almost amongst them but he still couldn't make anyone out distinctly and the light that enveloped them was still hazy and strange.

Suddenly, he was standing in front of his Aunt J. She smiled at him, placing her arms around him and drawing him close.

'You can't stay, ' she said. 'It isn't your time. You must go back.'

He opened his eyes. The light was bright and it hurt. He looked down at his arm, which hurt like hell. He saw tubing sticking into him and as he saw it, he recalled....

'Trust this one to eat!' he heard a woman say, as she was forcing a tube down his throat. He then felt something sharp being forced into the back of his hand.

Now awake, he was angry and afraid. He pulled the tubing out of his arm and blood immediately sprayed from him. He reached up to his face, having realised something was covering him and he pulled away the mask he found there.

In a very short time, a nurse was restraining him, talking soothingly.

'You are a very lucky boy,' she said, smiling kindly at him.

"F*ck off!" he replied. He did not feel lucky at all. In fact he felt terrified and very very angry.

He realised he was alive. He also realised he couldn't die. There was no excape. Death was an illusion. There was no death. What was he going to do?
Terror filled him like nothing he had ever experienced before. There was no escape! He was stuck. Nothing he could do to end his suffering.

He told no one of his short visit with Aunt J. He knew what it meant. Now he was scared to die and to live. What a terrible place to be. His mind couldn't take it in and he sank deep within himself. He stayed within himself for a long time. He did as he was told, he took their pills, he stopped fighting.

Until the day it dawned on him what meeting Aunt J had really meant. He came to terms with the fact that what he hoped was oblivion, his death, was not the end after all. And he didn't have to fear not being able to stop life.

He began his journey toward peace.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Emporer Has No Clothes

Quite some time ago, I saw a program about a religious ceremony. The people taking part were all white westerners, educated, well to do.

A boy of about 4 was brought into the centre of these people for a ceremony. He was very cute, dressed up in his little suit. He had trust in his eyes, he was smiling at all the people around him, making a fuss of him.

Then a man came up to him, pulled out his penis and chopped part of it off.

The people around him clapped and smiled and generally were very pleased.

I would have jailed every single one of them! I could not believe what I was seeing. To say I was appalled is an understatement.

This was abuse. No doubt. All circumscisions are -unless it needs to be done.

What sort of God do people believe in that requires them to abuse people? Where do these people keep their brains? Their feelings? Their compassion? Their common sense?

It is not surprising that people do not see that the Emporer has no clothes. We are taught to only see what we are told to see. We are taught that we are no good, bad people if we dare to question what we are taught. We are told that Satan makes us question. That Satan makes us doubt. That indeed Satan is living in us, in the form of demons, if we doubt. We are told that God will destroy us or make us suffer for eternity if we do not comply. If we do not believe ridiculous cruel and dangerous stories.

So we grow up afraid, no matter how deeply we bury it. We grow up unable to think in case we discover that our parents were wrong. In case we discover our society is wrong or whatever church/religion we were indoctrinated by was wrong. FEAR stops us thinking. FEAR forces us to pass this abuse on, generation after generation.

We only have to look at our world and the daily horrors perpetuated by religion's indoctrinees.

'Look Jesus, look how good I am. Save me Jesus. Look what I have done for you!' they say, as they kill a doctor who performed an abortion, as they scream messages of hate at the funeral of Matthew Shepherd, as they applaud the killing of non white non xtians.


'Look Allah, look how good and worthy I am, I will kill for you when i see your name deflied'

FEAR is evil and it produces evil behaviour. We don't see it. We refuse to see that the Emporer has no clothes. We have been taught that to notice that the Emporer has no clothes will mean banishment, abandonment, eternal damnation, eternal suffering. No wonder we keep our mouths shut and commit evil.

We abuse children daily. It is sanctioned. It is prasied. It is considred our right. We have faith schools. Insidious and evil. We mold children to our needs. It is not an accident that Jesuits would say 'give me a child till he is 7 and I will show you the man'.

NO CHILD should be indoctinated into any religion at all. Teach about the different belief syustems but above all teach them to think without fear. Teach them to be who they are without fear. Eradicate YOUR fear that children will be monsters if you don't terrify them into being what you want them to be.

God has been made in man's image. We have created a God with all the worst human failings. A God who demands our obedience, a God who destroys what doesn't please him, a God whose self esteem is so low He needs our constant praise and worship! We have given him words that are unbelievable, stupid sick stories that we insist are the Word of this God we have invented. And at the same time we say God loves us! NO WONDER WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT LOVE IS!!!

Love does not condemn, nor destroy, nor reject. If there is a God and God's love is uncondtional, then everything esle is bulldust. There is no threat! No insisting that we believe the unbelievable. No need to fear. None at all!

It is said by many that Jesus suffered for us. People go on and on about his suffering. They know not of what they speak! If the story has any validity at all, he had good parents who loved him. He lived a good and happy life until the last few days. Yes his friend betrayed him and he died horribly.

People live far more painful lives now and back then. People are betrayed daily by their parents, their siblings, their friends. People are tortured not for a day but for years. Six million people sufffered worse during the Holocaust. Give me a break! What planet do thses people live on? Do they go around in a vaccumn? Do they not see?

The pomp and circumstance and wealth the churches have. Jesus preached against this! he HATED this.

And the hypocrisy! Robertson allways spouting his evil yet is rolling in money, YOUR money! Do you have a credit card? A loan? A mortgage? The Bible expressly forbids these things. Evil has filled you with fear and is laughing all the way to the bank!

I heard a missonary once, who worked with the sick and dying in a Third World counttry. She was asked why she did it. I was expecting her to say something like 'I can't bear to see this suffering. I can help to alleviate it so I do. It hurts me to see my fellow humans suffering like this' did she say that? NO! she said she did it becasue she loved Jesus! BULLSHIT!!!! She was doing it to please her idea of Jesus, to save her own skin! It was selfishness that drove her. Fear that drove her. It was not love.

No one pays for your sins(mistakes). YOU do and it matters not one jot what you believe. You cannot escape the law. You cannot pass the buck. YOU are responsible, no one else. Has all your suffering stopped because you believe that someone else died for your mistakes? Can you do wrong and not suffer for it? Can you stick your hand in the fire and not burn? Of course not!

What sort of God brings pain and suffering upon people? Only a human God, a God created by ignorant scared people. You had an accident. Did you deserve it? Was God trying to teach you something? You have cancer? What is God telling you? What did you do to deserve this? You are born disabled-did God do this? Was it meant to be? Thousands die in the Tsunami. Was this God's doing? NO NO NO!

We are human beings and our bodies are vulnerable. Shit happens and it happens regardless of our own thoughts and behaviours. It pays no regard to our supposed goodness or suppose badness. How that suffering is experienced is a direct of how we think, what we believe.

Love yourself, love others. Then you have a God worth having. No fear, no threat.

Love has noting to do with like. We do not need to like anyone. We need to love everyone,including ourselves. We don't and therefore this world we live in is in a dire mess.
We need to eleimnate fear, judgement. We need to understand that love is action, not feeling. It is not emtional attachment. Hence we can love those we don't like.
Love is being kind and helpful, no matter what. It is easy to be loving. Don't litter! Huh? I here you ask? Don't litter? Yes! Dropping your littter willy nilly is not a loving act. It pollutes your environment and everyone elses. It is not a loving act. Not doing is a loving act. Holding the door open for someone is a loving act. Not doing so isn't. Not parking in the disabled bay without entitlement is a loving act. Taking that space without entitlement is not a loving act.
Being polite. Love. Being rude. Not. Beleiving yourself more deserving or better than - not love.

YOU are responsible for your behavior and your thinking. You are responisble for your beliefs. YOU and only you can make this world a better place. Really want to change the world? Then change yourself. Grow up, take responsiblity and allow love to grow in you. Ditch the fear. Ditch your foul idea of God. Be brave, dare to think and above all dare to beleive that YOU are loved, worthy, right now, as you are and you do not have to believe any crap or do anything at all. Just be.

Suffering is down to us to fix and we can. We only have to change the way we think. No amount of pleasing an invented God will change anything. No matter how many times you pray, no matter what clothes you wear, no matter how you mark yourself, no matter how loudly you shout and how visibly you declare your alleginece, you will not excape your thinking! You cannot be the cause and have no effect. The effect will ALWAYS come.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Knitting Attitude

Sometimes people say they wish they could knit like me. I say they can. First they have to believe they can! I believed for years that I could not handknit a sweater, even tho I had HKnitted since I was 7. Then two years ago I did my first, my own design. I then knit another which was better, then another, and another till I then knit my own design Aran and I am doing more. What changed? My attitude! I believed I could.

I have machine knitted for 25 years. I get better all the time. Most of the improvement has come in the last 3 years. Why? My attitude changed! I began to feel I could do better and I wanted to do better. I was prepared to make mistakes. I was prepared to put the effort into it. I also vowed to only make what I like. I will NOT knit commissions, generally, tho if it is a repeat of something I designed, I will. I already know I like it!

Practice makes perfect. Always use a good yarn. Always. If you bugger it up, you'll do better next time. There is no point working hard and making no mistakes if the finished garment is one you hate. So start with a good yarn.

MAKE A SWATCH. Yes. ALWAYS MAKE A SWATCH. Do to the swatch what you are going to do with the final garment. Wash it and leave it to dry. Take your measurements after it has dried.
Most of the work, for machine knits, is in the finishing. How you attach the collar and how you sew it up. DO NOT SKIMP ON FINISHING. An otherwise excellent garment will be rendered amateur and poor because you didn't take the time to finish it well. Many garments will take longer to finish than to knit.

Making a swatch, washing and drying and finishing all apply to hand knitting also. Hand knitting will take longer to knit than to finish!

Read as much as you can on techniques and finishing. If you can, see someone proficient working. Once you are more confident, start working on you own designs, work out the shape yourself, the sts and rows you'll need etc. No designing is not hard! You CAN do it.

Keep your work simple. Get really good at making simple but classic garments. Once you have achieved this, then perhaps, you can move on to the more complicated work, if it is your desire.
Learn to work with colour, choosing the colours that complement. Learn about texture. What really turns you on? Colour? Texture? Both? Play with your yarn. Experiment. Try things out. Knit LOADS of swatches. Don't be tied by what you read, or another's opinion. Experiment. Put colours together that YOU think match. If YOU like, that is all that counts. ONLY KNIT WHAT YOU LIKE!!! This is so important. Knit to please yourself, not anyone else. Not your partner, not your children, not your friends or other knittters. Only please yourself.


Frauke-before and after

Lambswool Boucle

This is a beautiful yarn. Very soft, wonderful texture. Bugger to knit with. Not quite true. Fairly easy to knit but picking up stitches not so easy cos of not being able to see the stitches well. Sewing was the same. I could not finish in my usual way, invisible seems, because I could not see! So it was sewn together using backstich.

I had some of this yarn a few years ago, only enough for a a couple of garments and I sold those. I then found I couldn't get anymore! Then a few weeks ago, I found a job lot of it very cheap so snapped it up.

80% lambswool, 20% Nylon. Machine washable and tumble dryable. No shrinking.

Shadows and Light

The lights were bright. The walls were bare. The furniture was grubby. The people were scary.

A young man sat in a dirty, torn up armchair. His arms were covered in deep livid scars. His face looked just as livid. He just sat and stared.

An old lady, in a filthy nightdress, with long dank grey hair, was wandering about, a thin arm raised, pulling at her hair, whilst she implored her long dead Daddy to take her home.

In the hallway, just off this main room, a man was screaming into the phone on the wall. 'The Nazi's are coming! It's a raid, a raid!' Another man, his identical twin, was trying to get the phone off him so he too could yell about the danger we all faced.

In another chair, her black filthy hair just hanging like dead seaweed on a rock, was another woman. Her face was blank, her mouth hung loose. Still. Perfectly still.
Three members of staff walked up to her. Two grabbed hold of her firmly, whilst the third pulled her hair back, so as to force her head backwards. Her mouth was forced open and an amber liquid was poured down her throat.

This place was to be his home for the next year. This place that was supposed to be a hospital, a place of safety and care. Instead, it was a place more like an ante room for Hell. Strange noises all day and night. The screaming, the garbled speech, the violence that brewed and boiled over. The staff who vented their own shit on their hapless charges. The staff who practiced their need to control on those much weaker than themselves.Or at least those who appeared to be weaker.

One very early dark morning, a toilet trip led to the discovery of a body hanging from the piping.He was only a teen, burdened beyond his understanding. And later the same week, another body. Found drowned in a shallow bath. How desperate, he thought, she must have been to have been able to drown in a few inches of water.

Thinking was hard. He too was force fed the amber liquid. Oh, not physically, just by threat.The thick sweet liquid made him gag and left a terrible foul taste in his mouth and throat. Ooccasionlly, he would be held down whilst someone pulled down his pyjama trousers and injected a substance into his buttock that burned like hell but took any fight out of him. They kept him quiet. No one wanted to hear his secrets.

His stay made him well. He kept his secrets to himself. In fact, he came to realise that his secrets were lies after all. He had made it up and what he didn't make up he had deserved.

However, secrets, real or imagined, have a habit of rising to the surface. So when after a year he was released from this place, he only had a year out before he was back. Different location, different hospital, same staff and inmates. Same horror.

And so it was like this. In and Out. If only he could accept his badness. If only he could accept his feelings were not real. If only he could accept his secrets were lies. He sunk. Deep down inside himself and he stayed there. He got out and he stayed out. He found his own medication and he kept away from the 'angels' in white coats with smiles on their faces and the keys to Hell in their hands. His own medication, marijuana and booze, kept the demons at bay, kept them locked down good and tight.

All things come to an end and so did this.

When the lid finally blew, a true angel was there to hold him. Was there to listen to his secrets. Was holding him every step of the way whilst he slowly and excruiatingly
pulled himself up thru the darkness, battling and destroying his demons on the way. Death nearly overcame him and indeed seemed preferable to this agony. Yet he was drawn upward toward the light that filled every corner of his soul, bringing forth the truth. It laid bare the truth and that in itself was very nearly all he could bear. Yet his angel trusted him and believed in him and knew he had the strength to get through . And he did. Bit by bit, over 5 years, he worked it through. This time his secrets were seen for what they were - the truth. His secrets were met with compassion and empathy and understanding.

Seven years later, he still does not take his medications. Neither his own nor prescribed. Drug free for the first time in many years, since he was 15 in fact, when he was first prescribed a mood altering substance so that no one need hear or see him. Today, he battles his demons with a clear head and he mostly wins.

He wasn't mad and bad after all.

Was he?

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I saw a Neurologist last week and I have his letter and diagnosis now. I had originally been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, as well as spondylosis of my spine. However, I was not happy with that because it seemed to me that my symptoms were beyond the scope of FM. Anyway, this Dr agrees and he says I have a functional disorder of my central nervous system which he writes, is more disabling than most MS sufferers.! I have two friends with MS and I know they can still walk! Me I cannot walk with severe pain and using sticks and then only for a few minutes before my legs just don't work. And we won't bother to mention all the other symptoms, especially the cognitive ones! (Of course I am highly releived it is not MS as that can kill and is awful.)

The point of this is: I have to go to a tribunal tomorrow. To prove I am sick and disabled. I will be sat on a small chair in a front of a large high desk behind which will be sat a Dr , a lawyer and a 'disability rights advocate'.(The latter does not appear to be on my side-I know- I have had two aborted tribunals already). It seems to me the whole thing is set up to humiliate and intimidate. Yes I know there are fakers out there but I have seen 3 specialists and my own gp regularly now. I deserve an Oscar for managing to convince them I am ill if I am not! Besides, x rays show my spine is disintegrating, a thallium test shows my heart is sick and the nuero's test shows my central nervous system is f**ked. What more do they want? All this to get a blue badge for my car. At least so I thought but it appears it means I will get money too and they pay for my car if this goes thro. I didn't realize that when I applied, I thought I was applying for the badge.

Oh and those forms! I have an IQ of 135 plus, or I did at 15, and I could not understand the form and they ask the most stupid questions. Like how long it takes for me to use the loo! How would I know? I don't time it when I need to go! So of course my case was rejected. I have since found it was rejected because I filled the form myself. The trick is to use a professional form filler provided free by disability rights orgs. That didn't occur to me. Why would it? I assumed honesty was what they wanted. They do BUT there is still a certain way to answer these questions it seems.

When I stop thinking about the hassles and realize this neuro's letter describes me as severely disabled with little hope of improvement, it rather hits me in the guts. I have coped this last 3 years so well-I think because I just assumed it would go away eventually.

However, I do NOT let this get me down, I am still active even if thru gritted teeth and I still do what I want. Life is short and mine is not yet over. I did not struggle to survive my past in order to be f**ked over now! ;-) I enjoy myself. One of the first things I did was get rid of the wankers in my life. I stopped being so damned nice all the time. I gave up thinking I needed to put up with people. Oh I still listen, I still help when I can, but I refuse to take shit and I don't.
Instead of dreaming about road trips, I take them.

I went to Oslo in Norway in 2004. I saw OSLO!!! It was hell pain wise and when I got back I was in so much pain I cried for days-I had developed an abscess on my coccyx, I couldn't walk, I couldn't lay down, I was well and truly stuffed. But so what? I went to Oslo. I drove 1200 miles, on my own AND not only that, I got caught in a blizzard which was scary and exciting.

And, get this, this is soooo amazing as I can't even get up a step ladder for fear of heights(okay so now I couldn't anyway but that isn;t the point), I DROVE over the second HIGHEST AND LONGEST bridge in the world. A 13 Mile suspension bridge between Denmark and Sweden. Before I did, I parked in a layby, talking myself into it, and whimpering like a dog! I was shit scared. Then I said 'look, just move the car forward 50 Ft. Once you have, you HAVE to go over the bridge, no turning back. So I did, I took the choice away myself. And you know? Instead of racing over it with my eyes shut, I slowed down and enjoyed it! I looked down at the sea. 83 metres high! Wow!

Last year, I went back to Sweden with John and later to Lake Konstanz. Yes, now I couldn't do these trips on my own as I am worse physically but I still do them. And yes it is me who drives. Driving is the most comfortable thing for me to do as it keeps my legs moving but not pressured. I can shift about in my seat all I like.

Anyway, I said I need to get to bed early so bye bye!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


This part of my stash. The rest is in a full attic and a full walk in under the stairs.

I think I went a bit over the top. Maybe I'll live, fully functional, for 150 years more and I might get thru my stash. I really must stop visiting yarn shops and internet yarn sellers and Ebay!
Even with my stash, I often don't have quite the right thickness, or colour, or compositon. I think that is a legimate reason, don't you? After all I AM an artist!

I also have 15 knitting machines, about 100 pairs of Addi Turbo's, about 6 Rosewood circs and Bamboo circs too, I don't know how many. Oh, and a box full somewhere of metal, plastic and bamboo str8's.

I can't join yet another 12 step group and I am sure there isn't one for this so there! Mind your own business!

I keep telling John we need an extension. He isn't impressed. I remind him we need room for HIS stuff. You should see the amount of books he has.....elsewhere for now as we don't have room for them. He writes and is an historian and book collector(alongside his real job) so I think he should consider an extension or a biggger house. He keeps saying he'll build a separate building in the garden and move me, my dogs and yarn out here. He doesn't mean it, he loves me really.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Blast From The Past

and things were going so well.....

I got an email this morning re another list I had been a member of for 8 years but left a year ago.

I had made a dear friend on the list with whom I communicated regularly for 8 years, phone calls too.

She died June 12th 2004. She had been like the sister I had never had. A truly warm and lovely person, honest, sincere, patient, non judgemental. One of the things we spoke about was how the list we were on was not as it seemd and how she only had regular contact with me and one other person. I telephoned almost daily until two days before she died.

I was en route to Sweden the day she died. I never heard from anybody regarding this. I learned it via the list we had been on, i think, or an email sent to many people. Suddenly everybody it seemd loved her and was her good friend. To this day, no one has ever contacted me or even acknowledged the friendship we shared. I know there were tributes sent, written, devised. I found out later. Whilst I felt left out of the loop, I know that nothing will alter the friendship we shared and I know she is with me still in spirit, watching over me and the family she adored.

She was a most fantastic mother. She had her challenges and she met them face on. Her only regret about her dying was leaving her children. I cannot imagine how that was for her.

She was such a brave loving soul who knew herself well and tried her best to know and understand others. I miss her, she was safe harbour for me.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

How It Was done

Walking along the road. A man and his son. Every now and then, the man would hit his son across the head.

'Walk properly! Stupid!

The boy tried to walk properly, wanted his father's approval. He could see the shame in his father's eyes and hear the disgust in his voice.

No one ever told the boy how to walk properly, or even what it meant to walk properly. He had no idea how he walked and why it was wrong. Why was he different from other 9 year olds? He didn't know. He knew his father was disgusted by him and had always known it.

The boy is sitting on the floor, surrounded by his colouring books, filling in the pictures with vivid colour.

'Put it away, now.' His father demanded.

'Just a minute,' the boy replied.

He looked up just in time to see a small suitcase flying through the air at him.
He had no time to move. The case hit him in the side of his head with such force it smashed the other side of his head into the teak coffee table leg which had a carved bird head right at the spot where his temple hit.
He sat there, stunned. No tears. He stared at his father whose face was contorted with rage and hate.

His mother, laid the boy out on the couch, soothing his head with a cold wet cloth.

'See if you did as you were told, this wouldn't happen'

With these words, the boy knew he was on his own.

Later at bedtime he kissed his mother goodnight. He said goodnight to his father but did not kiss him. He never did again.

His father was proud his son did not kiss him. He was becoming a man.
The boy knew otherwise and whilst he lacked the maturity to understand what it was he sensed, he saw his father for what he was.

He also saw his mother for what she was.

In bed, he lay in the dark, afraid and wondering how he would survive. He knew his parents didn't love him. He felt the deepest shame and wondered why he was being punished so and why God hated him. He knew he was going to Hell, just as the Nuns had told him. Not even his parents loved him so God certainly didn't.

He couldn't think what he had done wrong. He just knew he was no good.
Something about him filled his father with shame and disgust and he knew that his mother wanted him to be diffferent too.

Of course, he didn't know how to be diffferent or what needed to be different. He just knew he wasn't acceptable.

In his mind, unknown to himself, he started to become whatever people wanted him to be. He shut himself, his real self, tightly away and spent his time trying to please. He acted whatever he thought others wanted.
Trouble was he never knew what that was. And with this ignorance, his fear grew. He knew that if he wasn't good and wasn't liked, he would be hurt, killed even. He already knew that could happen. He hadn't really been a child for years already but had no one to help him be an adult.
No comfort or peace was to be found.

Until the day he discovered that eating lost of sugary starchy foods stopped the fear.

And he could carry on appearing to be the happy cheeky chappy most people thought he was.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Unfinished and Finished

70% Cashmere 30% silk, 12/60's, done on Silver Reed 830
close up of cashmere /silk

4/15's 50% Merino 25% Cashmere 25% Silk moss stitch rib done on Brother 940 using Garter Carriage

Incomplete Aran. Knitted using 5.5mm Holz&Stein Rosewood circular needles. The yarn is Garn Studio's Alaska, 75m per 50gr. My own design.

My Stash

Completely out of hand. I have so much yarn. I will NEVER be able to knit it all up. Certianly not by hand and not even by my machines, of which I have 15.
Cashmere, silk, cotton, wool, Merino, angora, alpaca, mink, all sorts of wool. Cones and balls/skeins.

The attic is full. The cupboard under the stairs is full. The smallest bedroom is full - so full I can't even get to it all and don't know what is there. Just writing this excites me! ALL THAT YARN!!!! The look of yarn, the feel of, the possibilties, it gives me a buzz.

My head gets full of ideas, even when I am knitting up one design, I am thinking of another. Especially so when hand knitting, so much so, that i often have 3- 4 garments on the go at the same time. Machine knitting is a bit easier as I can at least finish before I start something else.

Anyway, back to this yarn. Ideally, I could get rid of the dogs, my partner and my phone and my pc and anything else that takes me away from knitting. I could lock myself in and just knit. That way, by age 150 I might just have knitted thru a quarter of my stash. Why is life so f***ing short?
Why do 24hrs pass so quickly? Why must we waste time sleeping? Going to the loo and eating and drinking. I think we should have been designed better. Self maintaining, no food, no drink, no toilet, no sleep. THEN we might have time to do what we want to do.

Oh, and of course no clapped out bodies. I used to be able knit up and sew together two sweaters in one day(machine) and still do the the dogs, play with them, walk them, watch tv, cook and relax by hand knitting.

Now this friggin disease makes me feel 87 instead of 47. I walk and move like an old person. I can't do anything for very long without seizing up. If I get carried away when HKing or MK'ing and forget to move every few minutes, I seize up and am stuffed. I have to roll myself onto the floor where I can slowly uncurl my legs and sloooowly get up on my knees, crawl to the wall and lever myself up on to my feet. If John is in, he can haul me up. Then of course my hands seize up and knitting becomes a pain. Well, a worse pain cos everything is a pain!

Which is why I ignored medical advice to quit doing what i enjoy! I did quit for 18 mths and nothing got better. I decided is I was going to hurt doing bugger all, I may as well hurt doing what i like.

The most difficult part is the muscle wasting, on my legs, excercise is difficult as it hurts and eventually my legs just give up and then I am stuffed. However, i DO make sure my legs get used. It doesn't seem to make any diffference.

Anyhow, I have just about finished putting the collar onto my aran. I have done the back and front, joined the shoulders and am now knitting on the collar. Then it is time to start the sleeves. I will post a pic later today of progress so far.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Boy Who Died Of Hate

They were about 7 years old. Friends, living in a small , very small, English village in the mid 60's.
One of them had an Asian mother and the other one had a Latin mother. This was their bond. To the other children, they were Chinky and Wog.
It had been an ordinary day, after school, going to the sweet shop.

'Hey Chinky!' they yelled and their stomachs lurched, here they come again as they saw the bullies coming their way.

What happens next is very patchy, and some of it was filled in later by adults, so we have to take their word for it.

Asian boy's watch was snatched and he gave chase while Latin boy ran behind. The squeal of car wheels. Commotion. Ambulance and police. Asian boy trapped between two cars.

Later, the police were at Latin boy's home, just about to tell his mother to come to the hospital when Latin boy walked in and went to his room. The police it seems thought Asian boy was latin boy. Asian boy was dead. Latin boy refused to speak. The following day, Latin boy was shown the newspaper. On the front page was a picture of Asian boy with the headline THE BOY WHO DIED OF HATE. Latin boy was asked if he knew who was in the picture.

'Me,' he replied.

In a very short time, Latin made his first suicide attempt. He was 7.

Today, Latin boy remembers nothing about this except for seeing the newspaper and his response to the question. He doesn't recall Asian boy, or the incident. He does remember trying to jump out of the second floor window.

Latin boy was afraid of men but he doesn't remember why. He remembers loving school, his escape. Until the day he went to school and was found his new teacher was a man. That had never occurred to him! Up until then he had only had female teachers. Now it was all changed and he was afraid. And school was no longer a safe place. Innocent children's games and explorations were not so innocent. Latin boy knew too much about such things, about what adults did to each other. Yet he doesn't remember how he knew.

Loss had already been a big part of his life, he had already lived in a diffferent country before this village. Soon he was leaving this village, going to another country. He was told they would be back and the people he loved would still be there when he got back. It was a lie. Mrs M and Mrs R and Mrs B, neighbours who were kind and loving to him would forget him, he knew it, and they did. Two years later on a visit en route to a country even further way, he was so excited to go back. His stomach ached with excitement. Then as they arrived he saw Mrs R standing waiting for them. Her tummy was huge! He knew then it was over. He had nowhere to go, his safe place was gone.

Beautiful Heads

What more is there to say?

Thanks Annie

This was posted as a comment . I thought written here would be more appropriate.

Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows,the censure of their colleagues,the wrath of their society.Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence .Yet it is the one essential vital quality of those who seek to change a World which yields most painfully to change .If people bring so much courage to this World the World has to kill them or break them so of course it kills them.The World breaks everyone and afterwards many are strong at the broken places.But those it will not break it kills .It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.If you are none of those you can be sure it will kill you too ,but there will be no special hurry " Ernest Hemingway as quoted in Robert F.Kennedy's notebooks .

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Interesting Point

into email has shown that email authors think that their emails are
clear, unambiguous and not subject to misinterpretation. However more
than half of the time recipients actually interpret the tone or
underlying objective of the email as being different to that intended
by the sender. It's not malicious or deliberate, it's actually
unavoidable as email does not transmit the non-verbal queues that we
usually rely on for interpretation.
Email is not a clear and objective communication mechanism."

My thanks to Mary for posting this elsewhere. I think it accounts for a lot. It doesn't explain away the name calling and dowright nasty stuff but it does explain why the spats get started in the first place, those that seem to come from nowhere. There are of course those started deliberately by trolls etc but the majority do indeed seem to start for the reasons sated above in the quote.

Self Opinionated

I had one of those all capitals emails today. The email equivalent of the green pen notes sent by loonies.
Anyway, it was rather odd. It was supposed to be an insult but in their ignorance complimented me. They called me self opinionated.

Good! I can't live according to someone elses opinions! My opinions are my own, not anyone elses! I imagine that what pisses them off is that I don't think according to their rules. How about that?

So yes, I am self opinionated and proud of it. Should a I be a sheep and only have opinions given to me? Should I only think what I am expected to think? Should I do as many do and say 'I think this way because my parents did? Or my teachers did? Or my Priest did or my Pastor or because some 'holy' book did? That way I could blame someone else. Oops, sorry, they told me to think it, it wasn't my fault.

Use your brain!

Where is Knitting Headed?

I don't think knitting will hold the amount of interest it has at present. Much of the new craze is down to 'celebreties' publisicing it and people following on from them as part of their need to be seen as 'belongin' to be 'cool'

Then there are those, like me, who don't sway with the fashion but have continued to knit uninterrupted, regardless of the trend. It is we who will keep knitting. Those who need to create. Those who have a passion.Those who are not slaves to public opinion or favour.

Why does an artist paint? Why does a composer compose? Why does a sculptor sculpt? Because they have to. Why does a knitter knit can also be asked and for those who will stick at it, the answer will be the same - I have to! It is how I create.

So I don't think the current phase will last, it will die out. But knitting istelf will not die out. As an art form it will survive. It isn't about money or what is in vogue now. It's about art and creation and as such, and becasue of such, it will survive.
(The above applies to both hand and machine knitting, imo)

Blaming the Victim

Supposedly child abuse is way out in the open now . As a result people have once again minimized it and shoved it under the carpet again. 'Isn't it awful?', they say.'Still, you are alright now aren't you? No? Oh well a couple of therapy sessions will fix you? No? Then grow up and stop complaining. Get Over It! Stop having it on show, put it away, I DON'T want to see it'.

Yes, we are not as caring as we like to think.

It isn't so much the physical violation that does the damage. It is the destroying of trust in oneself and others. It is the destroying of one's ability to form a reality.
THIS is what happens: you are abused. You are told that ; A) it was your fault B) it didn't happen C)that it wasn't abuse. THIS is what does the damage. Abusers know this and they use it to control their victims and justify themselves. It is very rare for any abuser to accept responsibility for their actions. They will deny forever usually.

So where does this leave their victim? Doubting. Forever. Imagine that if you will. Really try and imagine that. How will it feel to never be sure if what you see and sense and feel is real? How will it feel to have someone abuse you and leave you wondering if 1) they did abuse you 2) did you cause it 3) am I a bad person? It always comes down to that last one. Am I bad person? Imagine this: you are 9 years old. You are accosted in the jungle. You are frightened. Your abuser does what he does and blames you and threatens you. You have nowhere to turn, no safe place. Why? Because at home you also have abusers. Your head was smashed against an ornate table leg. Your mother cleans up the mess, soothing you with her voice but at same time telling it was your fault. And this happens not once but frequently. The next day you are told it never happened. When you finally have the courage to tell about the abuser in the jungle, because another child is hurt, you are punished. So you learn that to speak up is dangerous. So it happens again and again and again. And this time your abuse is recorded on film and you feel dirty and ashamed and afraid and no one protects you and you are told your feelings are not real, that you abuser is a nice man and you should be grateful he wants you and that you are appealing enough to be filmed anyway, you are 12 and really should know better, you could have gotten away if you wanted to.
So you then become an adult. An adult who believes everything is his fault. Who is unable to see the bad in others. Who doesn't understand boundaries or the word No. So the abuse continues. You hit me, I apologize. You want sex, I don't, who wins? You do. Sex becomes the only way of communicating. Sex becomes love. Abuse becomes love. And all the while, you live in a nightmare. A nightmare of confusion,. What is real, what is not, of tremendous fear, a nightmare you can't awake from. And on top of this, you are also told God hates you and you will burn in Hell for being you.

Until you discover booze or drugs and you are released from hell. For a while. The cruelty being that this friend is just another abuser. Makes you feel good at first and slowly but surely turns on you, bringing you even further down. And people turn their backs and blame you and judge you and forget all about the who's and wherefores. It is easier to blame the victim and always will be. Or at least it appears that way. In the long run the it costs us all. High crime rates. High suicide rates. High fear rates.
Burying our heads in the sand and blaming the victim has got the world where it is.

And as you crawl your way to peace, you learn to trust and you open up to some people who then use what they know to dismiss you, your feelings, your perceptions. You don't have anything valid to say any more., If you disagree with them it is because you are damaged and not because you have a valid argument.

It is very easy to isolate, stay in your hole, and it takes enormous effort, 24/7 to not to that, to continue to search and grow and find peace.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Micah - 11.5 weeks

Luna Lovegood -below, 10 weeks
Also Moon! I don't know which of these two I shall keep yet! 11.5 weeks old.

Knit stuff

This is a yarn I picked up cheap in Germany. It is made by GGH(or is it GCH?). It is a superwash yarn. I am knitting on 3.75mm Addi Turbo circulars. Two rows of 1x1 rib and two rows of garter stitch, alternating. Very easy to knit.The drape of the yarn is very good. I started with 6 rows on 3mm, then 6 rows on 3.25mm, 6 on 3.5mm and then into main body.
This is one I have just designed and started. I have not knitted a rib. I just cast on and gone straight into the pattern. The yarn is Rowanspun Aran and I am using 5mm needles, bamboo circulars.
I have completed the front and back of this work. The design is mine. The yarn is Alaska made by Garn Studio's. I have used 5.5mm rosewood circular needles.

12th February 2006

Sleep had been difficult to come by. Sleep was something to fear. If he closed his eyes, the blackness would envelope him and the demons would take him away, drag him down to eternal damnation. He may have been only 19 but already he knew he was damned.

"Demons possess you, ' his brother had said. "You are not one of the chosen. You are evil! The Bible says so. Those books you read, they are possessed by demons. Demons stop you believing. All the trouble you have caused, your time in the mental hospital, all caused by you and your unbelief. YOU have let the demons in! You are possessed! The Demon of Smoking! The Demon of Homosexuality! The Demon of Unbelief! Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother! Pray for you soul! Only Jehovah can save you!"

It went around and around in his head. His brothers words. His stomach burned with fear, his chest constricted so he couldn't breathe. Yet somehow, he moved. He had to get away. He has washed his hair and now that it was wet, he was searching through it, with the large mirror in front of him, using his fingers to pull and separate, looking to see if he had the mark of Satan on his skull. The number of the Beast. Frantic, he pulled his hair this way and that way, trying to get a clear view. The mirror became a wall of flame and out of the flames leapt a vicious animal, teeth gleaming, as it roared toward him. He had never felt such terror. He scrambled to his bed and lay there on his back, praying and holding the Bible open across his body. It didn't work. He leapt up again and pulled some clothes on. He called to his father for help. Even in this state he was taken aback that his father had reacted the way he did. He did as he was asked! No argument, no fists flying, no scorn, no abuse. He just did it!

The drive he then took was taken in silence, his father mute, and he just about holding himself together. Everywhere he looked, he could see demons. Rushing by, whooshing up to the car window. He was willing the car to go faster, faster, please faster, get me there! Would he make it in time? Was it already too late ? Was he damned? Would Jehovah save him?

Before the car had come to a halt outside, he had jumped free of it and with all his strength, he pulled open the doors of the Kingdom Hall.
"Please, help me! Save me! Get these Demons away! I am sorry, please help me! Help me!" He collapsed on the floor, holding his stomach as if he had been punched. His breathing was rapid, he was drenched in sweat, was pale as can be and his eyes darted wildly.

At that moment it was if he had left himself. He saw his brother staring at him. The look on his brother's face was that of mortification. Yes! He was ashamed! There was no pity, no relief that his words had finally gotten thru to him, no thanking God his brother had been saved. Instead he was mortified at what his brother was doing. He was looking around at the others and then at the Elders who had come over to see his brother, still on the floor shaking and begging for help. They didn't pray! Instead, they talked about calling an ambulance, how the young man prostate before them was obviously disturbed and needed medical help!

In that moment of sheer terror, when he had been lifted out of his body , he could see! They were frauds! All of them! His brother was a fraud! His brother was embarrassed and ashamed! His brother didn't really believe at all! It had all been a sham! Instead of rejoicing at his brother's turning to Jehovah, he was standing there wishing they didn't know that this wretch was his brother!

Later at home, he watched fearlessly as the carpet undulated in front of him, crawling with insects. Was amused by the pictures on the wall talking to him. He lay on his bed, still terrified of the future but now knowing he had no need to fear demons other than those in human form!

Eventually he slept. When he awoke, something had changed within him. He had begun to take the long route to his own salvation. Oh much more suffering was to come, much more fear and doubt and the total aloneness and devastation that would almost destroy him but lead to his rebirth had yet to come. But this was the beginning of his road to peace.