Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Australia Diaries Part 4 - I love Sydney!

Do you know what I discovered on this trip? Australia is really, really big. I have travelled from Melbourne to Sydney before but it was only just over an hour in the plane so it felt like no distance at all. As I was already half way up the New South Wales coast we thought it would be a really good idea for me to complete the journey to Sydney by coach. At 6.30am I was standing, bleary eyed at the coach stop in Merimbula. At 4.00 pm I emerged, equally bleary eyed to be met by my blogging friend Lyn of Shades of Grey fame. We had already met up in London where Lyn very kindly offered her hospitality and the chance to come to love Sydney as my only previous experience had been work and rain soaked!

Lyn lives in Redfern, a diverse and colourful inner city suburb in an apartment that mine wants to be when it grows up, surrounded by books, beautiful and interesting objects, comfy sofas and the evidence of a lively, intelligent and creative mind.

No sooner had I put my bags down and she had whisked me off to a ballet at the opera house. Yes, the Sydney Opera House, most iconic of iconic buildings and I've been inside it! I have to admit that I was very excited.There are few urban views more spectacular than Sydney harbour with its bridge and opera house and ferries buzzing backwards and forwards. I was well and truly smitten.

The next couple of days were a whirl of good food, good company and knitters! On Saturday we went to a meeting of the Inner City branch of the Knitters Guild which was inspiring to me on many levels. Firstly, the number and variety of ages and skill levels of the knitters gathered in a small room at the central library. Secondly, the way that it was skillfully run with a very light but firm touch. There was a brief amount of business, an interesting and accessible tutorial, a very inclusive show and tell and of course tea and cakes! It certainly made me reflect on the UK Knitting and Crochet Guild and how much more vibrant and relevant this group feels to the organisation we currently have here which, to the general member feels very inward looking currently.

The other highlight of the trip was an invitation to Rose Red's baby shower. It was so lovely to be surrounded by warm, friendly knitters that I have known through their blogs for some time now and can at last put faces to the names. Of course there were so many people there my head was a bit of a whirl but it was particularly good to meet Miss Fee, DrK, and Bells knits as well as Rose Red and her impending arrival.

As a tribute to these lovely knitters who made me so welcome I wanted to find a way to show them to you on the blog without embarrassment as I know that not everybody likes to have their face on the Internet so, with their kind permission I have some images of knitters with their knitting.

People may recognise themselves....

And of course, the reason why I needed to abandon work on my shawl and do some speed knitting becomes obvious.

Little red socks for the new arrival.

I have just heard that baby Connor arrived safe and well on Mother's Day. Health and happiness always to all of you.
And thank you, knitters of Sydney, and especially Lyn for making it possible for me to say 'I love Sydney!'


missfee said...

thank you Jane - we loved having you visit too. And you know that Lyn's flat will soon be available if you want Sydney would love to have you!!!!!!

I love seeing the familiar hands and projects quite a few of them are finished now - I recognise Jodie's clap and Margarita's baby shawl in there.

Knitting Out Loud said...

There's something wonderful about seeing hands knitting.

A baby on Mother's Day. What could be more perfect.

Where the nodding violets grow said...

I really enjoyed reading this blog. Thank you for sharing. I love the photos of people knitting.

suse-the-slow-knitta & Baldyboi said...

Sydney opera house must be a fabulous place to visit, lucky you

drkknits said...

it was so lovely to meet you and have you come to the shower, and your speed knitting was very impressive! i love the way youve represented us through our knitting! and we are very lucky with our guild meeting, dont we know it! :)

LynS said...

It was so good to have you come to visit - and I'm happy my campaign to have you love Sydney was so successful.

Thank you for the photos of the knitting hands - a wonderful idea. I've been having such fun trying to match hands and people. Some are obvious - but others not so. I actually recognised my own knitting project before I recognised my hands - I guess we just take them so much for granted.

We hope to have you back in Sydney on your next Oz visit.

Yarna said...

It was lovely to welcome a fellow Pom and to see ourselves through your eyes. Yes - we are lucky on so many levels here not least because of the companionship and inspiration we get from fellowhip of knitters.

Bells said...

it was SO good to meet you! I've been reading you for quite a well - meeting you in person felt, as these things often do, both familiar and strange all at once!

Love the hand shots! I found myself recognising quite a few!

Rose Red said...

I love the hand shots too!! It was very cool to see who I could recognise and who not! And to see the different ways everyone holds the needles/knitting - proves there is no "right" way of doing it, I think!

Thank you so much for coming along to my baby shower and for the lovely lovely socks - we came home from hospital today and it is definitely handknit sock weather here now!

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