Monday, September 29, 2008

A response

I thought I would make a new post to respond to a comment left in my last post.

I had posted this: "
I'm Scottish, but due to moving around a lot when I was young I have an English accent. I don't like my accent at all - this is not to say that I think there is anything wrong with being English, but I'm Scottish, and it bugs me that I always sound like a visitor to my own country. "

I dithered about posting this in the first place, because I was anxious that it would come off in a bad light.

Kirsty's comment reads as follows - and I would like to say a thank you to her for posting. I would rather someone posted their opinion and gave me the opportunity to clarify something I've posted, than they walk away thinking I'm narrow-minded.

"I would just like to point out that lots of people without Scottish accents actually like to consider themselves to live here, and not just visitors, but ingrained attitudes like that certainly make us feel less than welcome and remind us that some people are making judgements about us as soon as we speak."

I feel we are perhaps coming from the same angle, however I struggle to write with clarity on an issue that is quite an emotive one for me. I, as you, are aware of the judgements that are occasionally made as soon as I open my mouth.

However, that is not say I make those same judgements on people, and perhaps my choice of words made it appear otherwise. (I love to post my knitting life on my blog, but don't profess to being a 'Writer')

Perhaps a little more information about my past would be useful; When at school in England I was bullied for being Scottish, when I moved to Scotland I was bullied for being English.

It can be tough to feel that you don't 'fit' and so, from a young age I have longed for a Scottish accent so that I could 'fit in' with my family - who all sound Scottish. I think it is natural to want to have an identifying accent with your family and home country. Moving around a lot (inside and outside the UK) in my life has left me feeling that I have no 'home' and so my accent is one thing I feel that places me.

So for me, it is about my identity with my family/Scotland, and my struggles to come to terms with this.

I have never felt that someone without a Scottish accent shouldn't
"...consider themselves to live here, and not just [a] visitor ...". Glasgow in particular is a diverse city, with many, many people from all over the world living here, and this is one of the reasons I love living here.

Because of my experiences, I feel that I am more aware of the judgements that can be made on anyone who doesn't 'sound' like those around them, whether they sound English or Scottish (or Irish or Welsh for that matter). I've been at the receiving end of many hurtful comments in my life.

I certainly don't make that judgement myself with people, and I'm quite worried that it would come across that way in my blog.

OK, I've typed, and retyped, deleted and edited! I do hope that this hasn't come across as defensive, or negative. I'm a bit upset, so perhaps I shouldn't post quite yet, but I'm not going to be able to do anything else today with this in my mind. At the moment it's reading a bit like 'A Statement' or something, but I would rather just post it than say nothing at all.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Scottish Television

STV filmed my knitting group last night for the Five Thirty Show. I managed to get a shot of the cameraman filming 'The Force Scarf' that I knitted for the boy's Christmas.

I couldn't use the flash as it would disrupt the film (and he was having a hard enough time trying to get the heavy camera at the right angle to see the shadow knitting!) so it's a bit blurry.

It was interesting seeing how it filming this type of thing worked, and the host Vicky was great fun - very enthusiastic and said it was the best feature that she'd filmed - go knitters!

She wanted to interview me about the scarf *gulp* I hadn't considered that I'd actually talk. I'm Scottish, but due to moving around a lot when I was young I have an English accent. I don't like my accent at all - this is not to say that I think there is anything wrong with being English, but I'm Scottish, and it bugs me that I always sound like a visitor to my own country. So anyway, I didn't plan on talking, because I didn't want to hear my accent on TV.

But suddenly there was a camera and a bright light in my face, and Vicky saying 'just look at me, and talk natural'. It's just that easy!

I've always had on my report cards at school; 'doing great, but needs to stopping chatting so much' ... and it's true, I do like to chat, and chat.

However, I've learned yesterday that if you stick a camera in my face, not only do I become as verbal as a newborn baby, I can also suck my own hair into my mouth and almost choke while talking...

Lynette says that I'm overthinking this, and she's probably right, but I don't expect my interview to appear on TV - maybe a shot of the scarf - which would be cool. A library is the worst place to work sometimes because all I want to do is be distracted, but working in a quiet environment makes my mind recall Vicky commenting on my Yaarnn pirate t-shirt, and me getting excited and shoving my chest into the camera. Doh!

Should be coming out this week, or next in case anyone wants a laugh at me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Identical hand twins ...

In the last fortnight I've gone a bit mitten mad. I've made Ysolda's garter stitch mitts with some Orkney Angora that I bought at K1 Yarns - it's so utterly soft.

I love LOVE this pattern! It's perfect for work because the mittens don't cover too much of my hands. At a glance it might look like I've got longer sleeves. They also keep my hands nice and toasty, but free for knitting.

And they're quick, quick, quick! Which is good because I want to make them in every colour and fibre.

Then I made some giant cable mittens - this is the first pattern I've designed from scratch. I've just got to get a wee bit more Paton's Jet so I can finish the other one. Then I might see if I can get some test knitters to try other sizes and maybe get a pattern on Ravelry!!

I'm in the middle of making gloves with a sockweight yarn using Anna Tillman's glove pattern. The yarn is Fyberspates merino/tencel sock weight that I bought at Woolfest. The colourway makes me drool a little bit - it reminds me of winter berries.

I also used Fyberspates Scrumptious DK in spring green, kindly given to me as a birthday pressie by Lynette, to make more mittens and a hat.

The mitten pattern was Ysolda's garter stitch mitts again, and the hat was 11th Hour Hat by Amy Florence. The garter stitch brim is knit sideways, which makes it easy to knit the perfect fit. Then it's grafted together, stitches picked up along one side, and knit up to make the top of the hat. The spiralling decreases look great.

I got both out of 1 skein of Scrumptious, with about 3 inches left over.

And finally, I made some fingerless mitts from the Noro Designer Mini-Knits pattern book by Jenny Watson. I used 2 skeins of the same colourway but different sections to make a striped effect.

They look great, but the pattern was knit flat so it was a bit of a footer to seam up all the fingers. I changed the pattern by adding an extra stitch to the pinkie finger. After seaming the pinkie was a bit too narrow otherwise.

And a close up shot of the kitty to remind myself that he can be an angel sometimes, when he isn't getting tangled in the spagetti of wires behind the tv causing it to nearly fall off the unit. Or sitting on the laptop when it's on pressing buttons that make the laptop speak the screen, turn the screen upside down, and other commands that I don't know how to undo. Or mieowing incessantly from about 4am, 'just for kicks and giggles'

And a pretty sunset from a couple of nights ago, outside the front of our house.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Granny's Heiland Hame

The boy and I are just back from a lovely weekend in Elgin. We stopped on the way, just past Carrbridge for some FO shots of the Honeycomb vest. I finished it the day after the Olympics, but had to block it. I'm quite pleased, but I picked up too many stitches around the arms, so it's sagging a bit - I think I'll try weaving some elastic into it and reblocking, before taking the drastic action of reknitting.

It was quite a hard pattern to follow - there's an expectation of a knitting level I feel. Luckily I managed to grasp the pattern, and how to adapt it when waist shaping leaves the stitches out of sync with chart pattern. I modified it to knit in the round (notes here)

We also popped up North to Brora to see some relatives. My granny mentioned that she had aquired some Hunters of Brora yarn and I've been desperate to get my hands on this for some time.

Sadly, this yarn was found in bags out the back of Hunters after it closed. They threw out bags and bags of it. I wish we had known and we could have hired a moving house-sized lorry to remove it.

The 2 shades I got are stunning though - a 4ply, enough for 2 cardigans or jumpers - yay!

On the way my mum mentioned a traditional song about the area from her childhood Granny's Heiland Hame. I've never heard it, but found the lyrics online.

We hadn't meant to travel that far North, and had only popped out to try spotting some dolphins at North Kessock and Chanonry Point at Cromarty. I really really wanted to get the yarn though, and the boy hadn't been up to see where my family are from.

We set the sat nav from Cromarty, just to see where it would take us (even though we know the route) and it took us a different way... 'take the next left, and then take the ferry'. Ferry!? What?!

The sat nav alerts you when your route will include toll bridge, so it never occured to us that it would take us on a ferry route without warning us first.

And a ferry? On a Sunday? We were doubtful, but sure enough, there was a two car ferry, every half hour, every day. So we thought why not (after checking on ye olde-fashioned paper atlas that we weren't about to go on an island-hopping detour)

It was state of the art ... well perhaps not, but it was totally cool to find this adventurous detour. If we hadn't been using the sat nav we would never have come across it - and we shaved a good hour or so off the trip. The pic above is of me trying to keep my balance.