Friday, January 8, 2010

Theatre + boredom = knitting

Last night I went to my first show for 2010, Mo and Jess Kill Susie, a play by New Zealand writer Gary Henderson, directed by well-known Wellington director, Murray Lynch. It was staged at BATS Theatre - my favourite Wellington theatre venue because of the opportunities and support it gives to emerging theatre practitioners. The play was a very intense drama dealing with Maori activisim and race relations in New Zealand and the performances were really strong.

BATS is actually where my desire to knit was born... In August 2009 I assistant directed Measure for Measure, part of a Shakespeare double-bill called Vienna Verona produced by Three Spoon Theatre. Three Spoon is a theatre company created by some of my friends whom I met studying Theatre at Victoria University as part of my BA.

(a publicity image for Vienna Verona)

Measure for Measure was 90 minutes long and there was a half hour timeslot for changing the set over for Romeo and Juliet each night, the changeover needed all hands on deck to make it smooth and speedy so I was needed to help each night. While I loved MforM, having watched it 3 times a week for weeks on end during the rehearsal period, I didn't want to sit and watch it every night for 2 weeks. This meant an hour and a half each night sitting upstairs in the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes clubrooms (which is above the BATS' theatre space) reading, chatting to the costume girls and the actors arriving to get ready for Romeo and Juliet, reading, and generally trying to pass the time while waiting to help with the changeover. While I love reading, sometimes you just don't feel like it and when people are talking and coming and going it can be hard to focus on reading (I like to really concentrate when I read...) so I wished I had
something I could carry around and whip out when I needed it because I hate sitting around doing nothing.

What sprung to mind was knitting! I knew how to knit a basic knit stitch because my Nana taught me years ago, but I didn't know how to cast on so I bought The Bible and taught myself. This wasn't until after the show's season finished though and since then I've taken a bit of a break from theatre as Vienna Verona was a lot of hard work - fun, but hard work. So when my next theatre project rolls around (whatever and whenever that may be, at the moment I'm having regular meetings with two theatre friends and we're working towards devising a two person show that I will be in this year, but we'll see what happens with that) I'll be prepared for any time that needs passing!

Today I recieved a parcel in the mail that means I can finally start on my hat:

Some 3.5mm (US#4), 40cm circular needles! When I went back to Knit World on Wednesday, having worked out the correct needles I needed (US#4 = 3.5mm, US#5 = 3.75mm - I'm not sure how the girl at Knit World got it so wrong, she looked at the US to UK/mm converter thing but must have looked along to the wrong line or something because she'd given me way bigger needles - 6mm ones!) they only had the 3mm and 3.75mm ones, so I got the 3.75mm ones and went to Goldings to try to get the 3.5mm ones, but like Knit World, they didn't have them. So I went online to TradeMe to try to get some second hand ones (ideally bamboo ones because I really loved using my Clover bamboo needles on my scarf, such a nice feel and so light) but there were no 3.5mm ones at all so I ended up making my first purchase from The Yarn Queen. It arrived today in the mail with a bonus copy of The Wheel (no idea what it is but apparently it's 'Ashford's fibrecraft magazine - New Zealand', I was pleased anyway!). Such quick service!

So hopefully this weekend I can cast on my 112 stitches and let the fun begin! 112 seems like a lot but I guess they're smaller needles than I used on my scarf...I'm going to trust the pattern and go with it anyway. And seeing as I bought this, I'll never get the wrong needles again!

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