On knitters' podcasts. I have trialed about 5 different knitting podcasts over the past 2 months and I am sorry to report that only one (Brenda's) is worth regular listening. Most of the others are either full of random thoughts like "I knit a red hat. I don't know who I'm going to give it to." or hysterical giggling at in-jokes that the rest of the world doesn't get. Or noises off the microphone that either prompt a long explanation or something disrupting the course of the podcast. Don't these people have notes before hand so they know what they are going to talk about? If they lose their place or get interrupted, can't they pause the recording and perhaps rerecord the bit where they fumbled around looking for the notes? Maybe it irks me (one of my favourite MIL expressions) because I used to do a lot of public speaking in my previous job and I learned to speak in complete sentences, to enunciate, and to talk at a speed and volume that were easy for people to hear and understand. People who do podcasts should learn to do the same things. I toyed with the idea of doing a podcast that was less cutesy and perhaps more witty and definitely more on-topic but I'm not sure what I'd cover that isn't in my blog already. (and as a naturalized Australian, I get annoyed when people in the US find our vocabulary in some way cute or even worth calling attention to in any way; the worst side of Americans is implying if not outright declaring that the American way is "right" and all others are quaint or wrong. Somewhere along the line I have morphed from being seen as a tourist into being treated as a permanent resident since I am no longer asked how long I'm here for, but instead how many years I've lived here) I am cutting back on the podcasts I listen to and want to listen to more music.
I made the third batch of berry jam today and this time I tried it by the seat of the pants method with bulk pectin and a guess at proportions. I am following the knitting tradtion that ignores all the yarn manufacturers warnings printed on patterns that if you use any yarn but that specified "your results may be unsatisfactory." When I first started knitting that instruction terrified me, especialy because I have a lot of old knitting patterns for yarns no longer made. Now that I have handspun I know that you are your own designer and anything goes. My first project involving hand spun is one the inkle loom as pictured on the right. While I know it's nothing special, it's all mine, from raw fleece to spun yarn to dyed and now woven. The colours are an interesting mix and nothing at all like what I was aiming at but they work, I think. I have only woven about 8" of a rather long warp and I have lots more yarn dyed. As I said earlier, I intend to weave enough to make a tote-style bag. English Leicester has such a luster it almost glows but is definitely high on the prickle factor so I might add some leather to the handles, and will definitely line it as anything sharp would poke a hole in it. The inkle loom is C-clamped to a little rolling kitchen work table with a ceramic tile top, one small drawer and wire baskets below full of crochet cotton at the moment.
One of the great frustrations in my life healthwise is forcing myself not to do things I want to do. I made jam this morning, which involved standing a bit. I would like to put the ornaments on the tree but that also invoves standing and if I did that my legs would be useless (i.e., in great pain) for at least one day. So I force myself to sit down, do computer stuff, weave a bit, watch things I've taped from the past month of TV, etc. It is also cool and damp today (it rained last night) and would be an excellent time to do gardening stuff but that's standing work too (I can't kneel). There is still the whiff of smoke in the air and things look bad in eastern Victoria. I keep thinking of that for our potential rural lifestyle.