Casting on

My little knitting blog has been a bit unloved of late and I’ve decided that with the new year it might be time to cast on afresh and see where we end up. Casting on, I think, is always the most exciting part of the knitting adventure. With the Year of the Rooster approaching I also checked my Chinese horoscope to see what it might hold and came away with the rather inscrutable advice that it “is always better to carry a Jade Mandarin Ducks Tassel with you always”. OK.

captureI do have a quite bit of knitting catching up to report on, but I thought I might start with a small project that I call my Charleston socks because (one of them at least) came with me on my travels to South Carolina last November.

It’s been an eventful year workwise and I’d only just been appointed to a new role managing our university library before I headed off to to Charleston where I’d been invited to give a lunchtime talk about ebooks. I used to get horribly nervous speaking in public but I guess like most things it’s just practice and I actually enjoyed it – it got a nice write up here.

When I first got the speaking gig I was hoping I could organise a little stopover or side trip but it all became a bit difficult with last minute bookings so I ended up flying straight through Melbourne to Charleston via Los Angeles and Chicago. I was initially hoping for Qantas but the flight connections through Dallas were pretty tight and the company sponsoring my trip thought United Airlines seemed like a safer option. Sorry United, but I think I’d take my chances on Qantas next time.

capture2The trip started out with the longest checkin line I’ve ever seen and a flight delayed by two hours. Luckily all the other flights were also delayed by two hours so at least I made all my connections, including at Los Angeles which always seems to be in a state of collapse. They really should knock the whole thing down and start again. At Chicago they seemed to have misplaced the plane and we got shunted from gate to gate until they found it. About 32 hours after checking in at Melbourne I fell into my bed in Charleston.

Charleston is a great little city and home to a great library conference, the eponymously named Charleston Conference, which brings together libraries and publishers. It’s not too big and is held at a number of hotels around Marion Square in the centre of town rather than a big conference venue so it feels even more small scale.

socksMy socks are plain old vanilla ones from a pattern by Ann Budd, but I really love the yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Relikt in a tweedy olive green colour. It’s made up of 70% recycled roving from the production of Zauberball but the bright colours of Zauberball become more muted in the recycling process. This is my second pair of sock in this yarn and I love it.

The people from the company that sponsored my talk were lovely and looked after me really well, but it can get a bit lonely when you’re away from home all alone so I’m glad I had my socks along for company.

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