The clematis that grows in our back fence has burst into flower this week, which is a very promising sign that winter is on its way out. The Māori name for this plant is Puawhananga, or 'flower of the skies' which I think is more beautiful than 'clematis.'
I hope you are well and keeping warm, wherever you are in the world.
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This week I finished a pair of socks that I had been working on for quite a long time. The yarn is from Dark Harbour Yarns and the colourway name is the rather glorious 'Rare and Exotic Beast - grey with bits.' I've made this pattern lots of times and I love the design - it stays up, keeps its shape, and is nice and simple too. But I might try a different pattern next time. I'd love to master 2-at-a-time socks.
I do like to have a sock project in progress at all times though, as it's the perfect thing to fit in my work satchel for the odd bus knitting session or when I'm waiting to collect kids from somewhere.
This pair is a gift for a sweet friend of mine.
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This week I read a very small book: Notes of a Bag Lady by Margaret Mahy, a favourite NZ writer who died in 2012. In this essay, she describes how writing has given her many different ways of seeing the world and trying out different personas, from a detective to an adventurer, a princess and a witch. She eventually trained and worked as a librarian before writing full-time.
Notes of a Bag Lady is a very funny piece of writing but, being a devout librarian fan, I particularly loved what she had to say about her profession and thought you might too:
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...I saw a picture in which the prim austerity of a female character was emphasised by the fact she was a librarian. Over the years librarians have been given a repressive image. Time and again they are shown as humourless women who, being largely sexless, have never escaped into the halcyon work of housekeeping and hanging out napkins.
Of course many people are unaware that Casanova was not only sexually prodigious but also progressed to become librarian for Count von Waldstein in Bohemia for 13 years, though admittedly this was towards the end of his career. We have no evidence that he progressed to be an efficient cataloguer.
Casanova to one side, I am here to assert that librarians stand dancing and pivoting on the tenuous ridge that separates chaos from order. That dancing librarian makes so much of the world accessible to others.
- Margaret Mahy (a small extract from NOABL, Four Winds Press, 2003.)
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