Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Small pleasures

Small pleasure 1

Donna's stuff

I bought some things from Donna's etsy shop. A couple of fabric rolls for storing dpns (double-pointed knitting needles) and a small project bag that's perfect for sock knitting. The finish of these items gives me such pleasure. The beige linen ties for the needle rolls are just right. The tiny buttons that trim both the rolls and the project bag are perfectly chosen. And the fit of the zipper in the project bag is a joy to behold. I suspect I'm a finishing nerd. Now all I need to do is to round up my dpns and file them in the needle rolls. I wish tidying up gave me the same amount of pleasure I get from contemplating Donna's sewing.

Small pleasure 2


I ordered some of Brooklyn Tweed's 'Shelter' yarn from Knit Purl (my not-so-secret place of temptation) and it arrived last week. I'm not sure why I bought the yarn. It was being discussed on internet sites? My admiration for Jared Flood's knitting aesthetic? Sheer self-indulgence? Probably a combination of all these motives. The yarn does give me great pleasure. It's robust and rustic and the colours are subtly rich. It's very much in the shetland tradition of hard-wearing, slightly catchy yarns and reminds me of some Jamieson yarn I bought very cheaply some time ago and haven't yet knitted up. But it is expensive, and with sensible shopping around some of the UK sites in particular, there'd be very acceptable alternatives. I admire what Jared Flood is doing in creating yarn that suits his style and meets his standards for quality and 'localism' of both the raw materials and the mechanics of producing the yarn. However, the attraction of 'localism' rapidly disappears once you have to transport the yarn all the way to Australia. I think this yarn, lovely as it is, will be a one-off or only very infrequently repeated pleasure.

Small pleasure 3

Art gallery

Over the weekend I visited the Art Gallery of NSW. This is not one of the world's great art collections - in fact it's not even the best Australian collection - but the AGNSW gives me great pleasure. Partly it's the location with its view over Wolloomooloo bay to Sydney Harbour, but mostly it's the program of free events that are always on offer. There's always a film program with films loosely linked to one of the major exhibitions on show. Currently it's a program of films set in France during the high Romantic period covered by the exhibition of drawings From David to Cezanne. We saw the classic French film 'Les enfants du paradis' - made in France under all kinds of constraints under German occupation during the second world war. The film is romantic and sad and cynical and pragmatic and very very long. It provided an afternoon of emotional indulgence.

We also saw the current exhibition of Aboriginal artworks, Art and Soul. Many of these works were included in the recent, wonderful documentary on Aboriginal art by the same name. The exhibition is luminously beautiful and the documentary well worth viewing.

(Not so) small pleasure 4

My daughter was awarded a highly competitive research grant which will fund her employment and research for the next three years. Not a small, but a great pleasure.


Anonymous said...

i think donna is one of the best sewers ive ever encountered, i love her finishing touches too. those colours are just right for you! i am contemplating some shelter too when i am in the US. dunno if its my kind of thing tho, will be interesting to to hear how it knits up. and huge congrats to your daughter. this little black duck wasnt so lucky this year :(

Rose Red said...

Small pleasures are often the best I think, especially ones that keep on giving - dpn storage every time you start and finish a project, yarn as you knit it and wear it and so on.

And congratulations to yor daughter, that must be a good feeling to have that security (and validation)

jp said...

Yes Donna's sewing is just stunning isn't it. She has such amazing finishing skills.

The Art Gallery's film program is spectacular isn't it. I cannot believe the films they have. I must always remind myself to go.

Donna said...

I'm so glad you're happy with them! I've got some Harrisville Shetland yarn on the way to me, and I believe it's the same people who are making Brooklyn Tweed's yarn. I hope it's just as nice!

Sel and Poivre said...

I am headed to New York next month and so, of course, a trip to Purl is on my list, and Shelter was on my list to buy. Your comments about that yarn summarize my suspicions about it. As a long time Brooklyn Tweed follower I have always felt much of his success to be a result of his magnificent photography. It captures the essence of a knitter's dream of the perfect knitting experience. Flawlessly knit (in flawless lighting) in tones that remind me of house that's been staged for sale - appealing to anyone. Of course I am included in that "everyone" so I'm excited to check it out for myself but your words will be no doubt ringing in my ears all the way from Australia as I consider my purchase there in Soho! Perhaps "local" can be a relative concept!?

Big Congratulations to your Daughter on her grant!

Sally said...

Congratulations!!!!!! Great news about your daughter!

Yoga Knitdra said...

I'm always a fan of small pleasures, they just add to the quality of daily life. The dpn roll looks very tempting and the Art Gallery is such a lovely space, I find it good for the soul.

Emily said...

Loving the DPN rolls, excellent news indeed re your daughter and -

well, I'll stick with all the various Shetland and similar yarns I can get here. Thanks!

Ruby Girl said...

Such indulgences are such a nice way to treat oneself.