28 December 2012

Oh My! Is it end of the year already?

There must be something wrong with the calendar, how can it be 28th December already?! It only seemed yesterday that I was making plans for 2012, it feels like I haven't had a chance to carry out my plans. Heck, I can't even remember them! Still, now that Christmas is over it's time to reflect on the time past and looking to the year ahead.

First thing first, my final FO: Purple Leaves of Summer Vest

Pattern: Leaves of Summer Vest by Doris Chan
Yarn:   Panda Regal 4ply cotton
Hook:  5.0mm
Note: I couldn't get the hem to come out right according to the pattern so I winged it with a simple border and made some ties just under the bust. This is my final entry for the IntSweModo2012 challenge, my 12th!! I must have been mad when I signed up for the challenge, although I made it (just!!) it was a real struggle. Was I pleased that I'd done it? You bet I was! Would I ever do it again? I'd have to be totally off my head!! like my new mannequin ;)

Reflecting 2012:

It has been a busy year, and not just because I made 12 sweaters (have told you that already? :P), looking at my projects page of Rav I count 30 completed projects, that's not too bad, right? Plus I have acquired a new passion - spinning :D 

I'm excited about 2013, there are so many avenues to explore in spinning and dyeing, and I have many knitting and crochet projects lined up already. But one thing is for sure: I am NOT making 12 sweaters!

Happy New Year Everyone! May 2013 bring you much joy and happiness in whatever you do!

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!  

21 December 2012

So We're Still Here :)

Yep, sorry to disappoint those staunch Mayan calendar enthusiasts out there, as I write this post it's already past midday on 21 December 2012 Australian Time, looks like it's doomsday no more and we can all get on with our lives.

Well, for those of us who are lucky enough to do so that is. My thoughts go to the families and friends of the victims of Newtown shooting, I know I can never fully comprehend what they must be going through right now but I sincerely hope that somehow they will find strength to pull through. My Christmas wish for this year is that the US government and the NRA will collaborate on working out a solution to curb these senseless shootings so that those little angels and their teachers did not die in vain. I know being a non-American I shouldn't get involved but I just couldn't help this time, as a parent I feel the pain of those who have lost their children in this horrific tragedy, especially at this time of the year.

Sorry about my off topic ramblings, now back to fibre arts...

I finally finished the Skyp Socks for the old man, I started them back in November but only worked on them when I was doing the waiting around. The pattern is nice and simple but the result is rather elegant, of course I reverse the process and did them toe-up with short-row heels.
The sock blockers are homemade by following this tutorial, I think the heel part could do with a little more shaping but otherwise they work just fine :)

I also did some experimenting with dyeing the wool locks to spin a gradient skein, I used one of the small fleeces I bought from my sheep farm visit, it came out rather well I think :)
Three more days till Christmas, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas wherever you are :)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

14 December 2012

One Two Pickle My Wool ... ...

Summer in Australia can be very hot, which is perfect for solar dyeing :)  I've been reading up on different dyeing methods ever since I started spinning, solar dyeing jumped out particularly because it's energy efficient and easy to do. Now that summer's finally here I'm eager to try it out!

I had some of my own hand carded hand spun 75/25 merino tussah silk blend that I wanted to dye, my little man helped me mixing the colours because he wanted to create Cyan. First the yarn was pre-soaked in a white vinegar solution to help set the colour because I was using food dyes, then I filled two jars (a pickle jar and a recycled Chinese sake jar) with my dye stock and submerged one skein in each jar and left them in the sun to cook:
... ... and when the water in the jars was clear I rinsed the yarn and hang it to dry, and tah dah!
I'm not sure it's Cyan but I quite like the effect,  it's been named Summer Seas :D

Finally I can show you my finished Fern Amiga Cardigan, it's very comfortable to wear and weighs hardly anything. This is the eleventh of my IntSweMoDo2012 challenge, I'm still one short, yikes!

The response to my story last week was good, Vivian was particularly encouraging (she always is!). I wish there was something exciting to share with you this week but it has been an ordinary week with lots of to-ing and fro-ing, including visits to dentists and GPs, lawyers and barristers, oh and I went to prison again (that doesn't sound right!).  The story I'm sharing today didn't happen in this week but it concerned the same client that I saw in prison which I think highlights the challenges we interpreters face in Court Interpreting.

The visit to prison this week was by a psychologist at the request of the defence lawyer. The inmate, let's call him H, he might appear in other stories, was accused of murder. I have been working on this case for about two years now and H is still in remand. He was due to be sentenced a few months ago, I went to the meeting with his lawyer and barrister a few days before the hearing and during the meeting H agreed to plead guilty in the hope of a reduced sentence. I thought that was the end of it, but a week later his lawyer called me to attend another meeting with him. Apparently during the arraignment H first pleaded guilty (through an interpreter), but when the judge was going through the particulars for the next steps H had an outburst saying that he would never admit to murder. You can imagine the confusion and kafuffle! During that follow up meeting H insisted that he Did Not plead guilty in court, that the court interpreter got it wrong. However as a result of this misfortune his lawyer and barrister could no longer represent him, as they themselves might be called as witnesses when the matter was investigated. H had to find another lawyer.

The new lawyer kept me on the case and obtained the court recording to find out what had happened, I went through the recording countless times and did a transcript verbatim. The recording did show that H pleaded not guilty and when the interpreter interpreted "I plead guilty" H was visibly surprised (he did understand that much in English), and the outburst ensued a minute or two later. Now I'm not criticising that court interpreter in any way, in fact I sympathise and feel sorry for her because her competency and reputation will be put under scrutiny. The acoustics in courtrooms are generally bad, particularly in the supreme court where this hearing was held. Interpreters always have a hard time at catching what everyone's saying in court as we don't get headphones like conference interpreters do. Added to the difficulty was that H did not appear in person but via video link, I can only imagine the sound quality, plus H has a tendency to mumble anyway. When I did the transcript I had the luxury of going over the recording numerous times but, when in court, blink and you'll miss it and then your reputation is on the line. Such are the perils of court interpreters. And that's my story for this week.

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

07 December 2012

No FO but a little story...

Today is definitely not FO Friday!  The cardigan I started last week is not yet finished, but I can post a WIP photo:
As you can see I'm not far off, only got one more sleeve to do. I'm making the sleeves longer than the pattern called for, and I've also lengthened the body as I don't like my cardigan hanging about my waist. It doesn't look like I'll get a matching second sleeve in the colour sequence but I don't mind. The front edging rolls terribly at the moment, hopefully blocking will sort that out. Oh, and I didn't make button holes, think I'll leave it as it is and use a pin when I want it fastened.

That's all my news on the fibre arts front, but I would like to share a little story from my other life if I may. In the non-fibre world I am a professional interpreter working in the English/Mandarin language pair, and to be precise I am a Community Interpreter, meaning I don't work in glass booth with a headphone but rather I work in community settings which range from court rooms to hospitals, from police stations to schools, from employment services to correction services, etc. What I like about my work is that no two days are the same and you never know what you will get even when you know where you are going. For some time now I'd thought about keeping an interpreter's diary but as you know, I'm prone to be lazy so nothing has been done. But if you don't mind I might use today's opportunity to test the waters, so here it goes...

I was booked to visit the MRC (Metropolitan Remand Centre) with a psychologist during the week, who was writing a report on the (Mandarin speaking) inmate we were seeing for a parole application. As our meeting was drawing to a close we heard the announcement over the Tannoy system (loud speakers) that there was going to be a headcount in 10 minutes. Now if you are a regular visitor to the prison, as I am, you would know that when there is a headcount no one moves except the guards. The psychologist had other clients to see there so she quickly wrapped up the meeting and signed my job sheet so that I could run out before the count starts. Unlucky for me, I only managed to get through two sets of doors to reach the inner reception when the count started, so I was stuck. Even more unlucky for me, the headcount didn't go smoothly meaning the first count didn't tally up so they had to do it again, and it was clearly not my lucky day because the second count didn't tally up either, so the whole prison was in lockdown.  As I had nowhere to go and nothing to do (no phones allowed beyond the first reception) I got chatting to the guard on the inner reception and he told me a story about one of the inmates that was so incredulous that he had to look up that guy's file to confirm it was true:

This man went out shopping with his wife, upon returning home they found a man on top of their roof trying to gain entry. He shouted and his wife called the police, the (potential) burglar panicked and slipped down from the roof and injured himself, then our man hit him out of rage. The police arrived and arrested both men, after questioning our man got prosecuted for assault and sentenced to two months imprisonment, the other guy walked free because no crime had been committed. The kick in the teeth was that this inmate was ordered to pay $10,000 compensation to the potential burglar because that guy got injured from slipping off the roof at his house!

Seriously you can't make this up, and I'm lost for words. Oh well, at least the heads did eventually add up otherwise I'd be posting this entry from within the MRC!

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!