Posts Tagged ‘Travelling Teddy’

Picture update

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Inspired by one of Jinniver‘s posts last week, recapping the various visits she’s had from Travelling Teddies, I thought I should catch you up on various photos, especially those of my visiting teddies.

R's belt
This is my mother’s belt, that was supposed to be for Chanuka, except that I lost the 1mm hook! I have got another one now, and it is a few centimetres longer, but still nowhere close to belt length.

French Twist
My great flatmate took me off to a fancy hairdresser for my birthday and this is the partial result.

Mr T on the tube
Mr T, my latest teddy visitor, on the day he arrived.

Crazy Cloth potholders and Knitpicks crochet hook
For my birthday and chanuka presents my brother took himself off to the LYS and bought me a Knit Picks Harmony crochet hook, which is beautiful, and works like a dream, as it’s perfectly smooth. Obviously I had to put it to practise straight away, but the only yarn I had available then was some cheap cotton, so I decided to make us some more pot-holders/dish-cloths, as we use the last ones I made all the time. I just finished the fourth one today, actually, so need to come up with a new commuting project that can fit into my raincoat pocket.
Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted
He also got me a yarn voucher, and he and my mother helped me choose this Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted to make myself another shawl. I’ve been wearing the Seraphina’s Shawl I made last spring all the time, and thought another would be just as useful, if I make it in colours to go with other sections of my wardrobe (ie blues). That one was from alpaca (in undyed beige and browns) my mother gave me last year, so having this one be from my brother will be good.

Cloth purse and phone holder
Back in London, in January, there was a secret swap at the local yarn wrangling group, and I received these great cloth bags.

Mr T reading about Billy Blood Drop
Before Mr T moved on to his next host, he came with me to the Blood Donor Centre to donate platelets, and was given a book about giving blood to read while I was there. Unfortunately I failed the iron test by one point (extra frustrating since the level required was five points lower, so I’d have passed that with flying colours!) so have been put off for three months.


Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Reginald in bright jacket
I’m still blaming lack of access to my own computer and camera, but thought I should throw up a couple of pics I did manage to obtain. The one above is of Reginald actually not being stroppy in his new jacket (I don’t seem to be able to stop using this yarn, even though the 1mm hook is driving me mad – I’m finally actually working on my mother’s belt, although I don’t have any pictures of that yet).

He arrived with Holzmichel about three weeks ago, as Travelling Teddies, but HM has now gone on to his next destination, and Lotus has arrived to take his place. Reg will follow at the end of this week, and Lotus should be with us until the next, during which time I’ll get a pic of her for you.
Light brown bears rule!


Friday, 28 November 2008

Well, I’ve made it, and any more books I add to the list are now bonuses. Maybe we can aim for 365 (not a leap year) in 2009. Or perhaps I should just do a bit more work on the masters instead…

I haven’t even told you that Reginald and Holzmichel (the latest Travelling Teddies) have been here a week already, because I can’t show them to you. I’d be less frustrated by this if there were actually something wrong with the camera, and it wasn’t that I’ve still not found the charging cable…

Anyway, this is about the books:

296. Into the Fire by Miriam Walfish

In World War I East End London, a group of Orthodox Jewish boys about to be conscripted decide to join up together as a group of Pals, who could thus stay together and support each other religiously through their training and service. We are reminded that these are just boys by the other plot about an orphaned child in Salonika, who despite the war wants to make his way to England where his only surviving relatives live.

297. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

I was actually disappointed by this classic. One of my main childhood memories of the long car journies to and from my grandparents during the December school holidays is always stopping in the same village, and going to the same craft shop, where they always had a video of Disney’s film of Pinocchio playing, over and over again. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it from start to finish, but I must have seen all of the scenes many times. So, I thought it would be good to read the original now. (To be fair, the original is in Italian, and this edition doesn’t even say who their translator was, so it’s possible the adaptation is responsible for some of the faults I’m about to describe. If I’d enjoyed it more, I might try reading one of the English translations on Project Gutenberg, but I amn’t inspired enough to do that now.)

I think the main thing that annoyed me is the lack of continuity. The first example of this I noted (and one of the slightest) is that near the beginning we’re told Pinocchio doesn’t have ears; a few pages later his smile is so wide it reaches his ears, and then a few chapters later he’s being pulled along by his ears. The timeframes mentioned don’t match up either. I suppose a lot of this has to do with Collodi having (according to the Wikipedia link about him above) originally published this as a newspaper serial, and honestly, it reads like an oral saga, where the individual tales all concern the same characters, and interrelate, but were never really meant to all be told together, or be held to each other’s details.

But this may be a rare case of the film being better than the original book, and I don’t plan on seeing the film to check does it live up to my memories!

298. The Midnight Fox by Betsy Byars

This book, about the quiet indoor son of two very outdoorsy parents, who is sent to stay on his aunt and uncle’s farm while his parents go on a cycling holiday, and hates it until he comes across a rare black fox, made me think of another childhood memory, but this time a book I read over and over. A Family of Foxes, by Eilís Dillon, first taught me that foxes come in colours other than red and tells of some far more hardy island boys from a place where the phrase “cute as a fox” is only negative (meaning “cunning”, not “sweet”!). In both books the boys attempt to protect the unusual foxes from adult detection and thus slaughter, and have to overcome moral quandaries to do so. I think I still prefer my childhood read, but this one is good too.

299. A World of a Difference by Elisheva Mintzburg

This is a really well-written autobiography (although I believe the names have been changed for privacy), and a very interesting tale. The author describes her life, and how she came to convert to Judaism, with the steps along the way. She explains the steps and qualms along the way, and how this was right for her, with the help and the hindrances she received.

300. King of the Cloud Forests by Michael Morpurgo

And number 300. I had always thought of Morpurgo as a writer of realist fiction, but here he verges onto the fantastic, and perhaps because it isn’t what I had expected from him, I wasn’t as convinced as I might have been. The beginning made me expect one set of issues, but then that really wasn’t what the book ended up being about at all. So not my favourite of his canon, but it won’t put me off reading others.

Pairs of Books

Friday, 24 October 2008

The month of Jewish festivals is ending, and I’m back at work on Monday, so my flatmate and I are going away for the weekend. Unfortunately I still haven’t found the cable to recharge my camera battery, so unless it turns up while I’m packing there won’t be any pictures, even ones for me (rather than the world), unfortunately.

Guliver Beal is going to move on today, as well. He’s been a great guest, and I’m looking forward to the next teddies when they come my way.

I’ve finally done some more crocheting, although it was a trim I did for a friend‘s knitted garment, so not mine to show you. I hope she likes what I’ve done!

So, for the books. There are five there, because I haven’t yet finished the pair for one of them, but the comparisons can be made already, I think. Hm, what does it say that that’s the pair of physical books, rather than the other four Librivox audiobooks?

271. The Tale of Grandfather Mole by Arthur Scott Bailey
A children’s garden tale, where Grandfather Mole interacts in his iconoclastic way with the other wildlife. I particularly like the way the animals behave as animals – rather than as miniature humans – although they do talk to each other. The reader is Australian (I’m pretty sure), and the author American, although the animals are basically those traditionally found in British literary gardens.

272. The Biography of a Grizzly by Ernest Thompson Seton
This one is more specifically the potentially real tale of a bear’s life. This bear doesn’t speak as a human, although he has a name and some basic emotions. It sounds well researched.

273. Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon
This one came up as a newly completed work on Librivox, and referenced The Prisoner of Zenda as a more famous example of the genre, so I listened to that next, and have now downloaded the sequel. Hopefully the Graustark sequels will come up eventually too. Anyway, they aren’t as similar as I thought they might be, and I greatly enjoyed both.

I didn’t find it that hard to guess many of the upcoming plot points, but it’s hard to know is that partly because the genre has become so classic these days. There are some stereotypes that are not so acceptable these days (particularly the harping on the difficulties of the Princess being both ruler and girl – rarely woman) but that is to be expected over a century later. I just wish I saw less of it in modern novels…

274. And Rachel Was His Wife by Anonymous (ed. Marsi Tabak)
This is a modern classic among Jewish novels, and I’m pairing it with a real classic, that I’ll probably finish this weekend, Akiva by Meir/Marcus Lehmann, since they tell the same tale, of the Talmudic Rabbi Akiva and his wife Rachel, who inspired him to learn and become the great scholar, teacher and leader. Both are working from the somewhat scanty historical record. The Gemara does not set out to tell these people’s life stories; it gives over their teachings, and uses anecdotes from their lives to show specific points. Perhaps because of this, while both books show mostly the same events, Rabbi Lehmann makes his couple about a decade younger when each historical event happens than they are in this book.

This book is written as the occasional journal of a fictional friend of Rachel’s, who changes and grows over the years, and tells the dramatic communal as well as personal events of these important decades. Highly recommended.

275. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

This one is another reflective first person account, that shows the emotional impact of the (rather fantastic) events. It deserves to be the classic it is.

A teddy’s Sukkos

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Since Guliver Beal arrived, we’ve had Yom Kippur and the first days of Sukkos, and mostly Guliver Beal and the hug have been watching us, and enjoying the meals we’ve had at home. Lily is less worried about everyone else’s state of clothing since I improvised a nice silky boa for her, which she considers very stylish indeed.
Lily in silky boa

Today is the first day of Chol Hamoed, however, so we went out into London. We didn’t take any photos on the tube, but we got one on the bus.
Guliver made lots of friends out and about today, from a dragon:
Guliver with a London dragon.
to the cashier in Accessorise when I bought a couple of shawl pins
Shawl pin on Seraphina's shawl. He also expressed great interest in the Kindertransport memorial.
Kindertransport memorial at Liverpool Street Station

It was such a lovely day that we came home to let Guliver sit in my little sukka:
Guliver in the sukkaclose-up of Guliver in the sukka

Now that Guliver’s fame has been justly acknowledged, nay encouraged, it’s time for my own: I’ve somehow been mentioned twice in three weeks on Getting Loopy, so obviously you should all go listen! Actually, if you’re a crocheter it’s a great listen, with nothing to do with me. It’s actually an online radio show (A warning: this link automatically starts playing the show out loud.), but I get the podcast, seeing as it’s on Monday evenings at a time that’s the middle of the night for me. I heartily recommend entering the contests (really a draw) in each episode – I’ve just won my second prize, and will be showing it off once it arrives!

Hmmmm… No, just join the hundreds (thousands?) of listeners, and leave the prizes for the roughly thirty of us who enter every week! 😉

Guliver Beal comes to town

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Guliver Beal and the Hug

Guliver Beal is our second Travelling Teddy visitor. He came very well dressed in his green jacket, and so Lily, who likes her hug to be well dressed, thinks Zippy needs something. (I don’t think I actually introduced Yudel, Zippy and Lily (left to right) when Bruno was here, did I?)

Anyway, the new friends relaxed on the sofa this evening while I (sat on the floor and) avoided studying – I had done some earlier! – by making myself a new cloth pad. It’s rather cobbled together from bits of old clothing from my rag drawer, and while it’s more interesting colours than the ones I have made before (they were made from grey and pale blue t-shirts) it is not shaped well at all. My sewing skills are getting worse…
top side of open padunderside of open padfolded pad

Photos, if few words

Friday, 26 September 2008

Finally found my computer cable, but I’m still short on time, so I’m going to recap the end of Bruno’s visit (he’s now on his way to Germany, and the next teddy is coming my way – Luna, by the way, is back in London, but not with me) mostly in pictures, and leave catching up on the books even longer.

These were the directions we found on the way to our train:

Syd is now at least done enough to make friends with, although he is still missing most of his extremities.

We got out into the countryside, and saw some views.

It wasn’t cold, but Bruno did get a bit windswept.

Bruno and Books

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Another hectic week of not blogging, but there have been lots of books. My flatmate got her thesis in, and the Crochet Liberation Front First Ever Book is out, as of Friday! I haven’t had my copy yet, but it should be here soon, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m a published designer!!!! (If you’re a Ravelry member you can get it at a well discounted price by heading over to the CLF group and looking in the stickied thread.)

Bruno, our visiting travelling teddy, has been providing moral support during the week, helping to welcome our guests over Shabbos, and then coming shopping today. He helped me choose some buttons for the Cafetiere Cosy I finished nearly a week ago,
Bruno and buttons
and encouraged me to finish his belt,
Bruno croppedDSCF0500
once we got home. On the way he took advantage of the sunny weather to climb a tree.
Bruno in tree
cosy cafetiere

I’ve also read a good few books (mostly for children) in the last few days.
248. The Adventures of Robin Hood by Marcia Williams

I really liked Robin Hood stories when I was a child, and this has most of the classic stories of how the known Merry Men joined the outlaws (although interestingly Will Scarlet is in there, but his joining isn’t). The illustrations are fun, too. (The book is in comic strip/graphic novel format.)

249. Heartbeat by Sharon Creech

This one isn’t a standard novel either, as the whole tale is told in first person poems by adolescent Annie, who runs and draws her way through life, trying to make sense of her mother’s pregnancy, her friend and running partner Max’ moods, and her grandfather’s dementia. Annie is basically a happy well-adjusted child who wants to do what she enjoys simply for the enjoyment, rather than being pushed to compete and conform.

250. Arctic Hero: The Incredible Life of Matthew Henson by Catherine Johnson

I hadn’t heard of Matthew Henson before, but he seems a very interesting and inspiring character. He was an African-American Arctic explorer, and possibly the first to get to the North Pole (although it is now considered that the means of ascertaining one’s arrival there in 1909 cannot be trusted – still he according to this book he got as close as was then possible). At the same time, as a Black man in the USA back then his achievements went unacknowledged. This is a short easy biography, but now that I think of it, we may have a longer one in the library. I’ll have to take a look.

251. Kiss of Death by Malcolm Rose

Horror has never been a particularly favoured genre of mine, and though the continuity here mostly works, and it’s a well written tale, with some great and well-researched settings, I don’t think this will be changing my mind. It’s told from the point of view of Seth, whose class in school go on two school trips in close succession, at both of which his twin sister Kim and their friend Wes find and take artifacts they should never have removed. All three end up getting physically ill, to greater and lesser extents, and only Seth can put things right…

252. The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Manhattan District

This was recorded for the sixtieth anniversary of the events described, and it’s well worth listening to if you are interested in World War II, nuclear bombs, ‘Total War’, or the events more specifically. The earlier chapters can seem a bit dry in relation to such an event (although they are most informative), but the last two chapters counteract that tendency, as they are the personal account by a Catholic priest who lived in Nagasaki at the time of the bombing, describing that day and the ones following, with all the personal tragedy and infrastructural catastrophe involved.

And now, seeing as it’s taken me hours to complete this entry, I can show you that I’ve finally got around to stuffing Syd Rabbit, and doing up his body. I’d like to finish him this week (finishing two WIPs today has put me in that mood), and if that doesn’t look likely I might just decide he’s a pear (adding a stalk at the top) and have done!
Syd Rabbit pear

Bruno’s Here!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Bruno with his travel gear
My first visiting Travelling Teddy got here in less than a day, and he’s lovely and silkily strokeable. He comes from Kimmikat, who is very creative, and has made him a set of hat, scarf and bag (my flatmate is jealous…). He also has a passport and journal, and came with fridge magnets for all of his hosts along the way. (Those for his future hosts are peeking out of the front pocket on his rucksack.)
Bruno and friends enjoying almonds
He’s spent this evening making friends with the locals, and telling them about his journey. They wanted reassurance that Luna’s going to be alright while she’s away, and are also getting excited about their own role as hosts. Who knows what they’re all going to get up to together tomorrow while I’m at work?

I read today about something they had better not go anywhere near:

247. Shark Attack by Tom Jackson
There really aren’t very many sharks out there that will actually attack a person, but this book describes the ones that will, some cases where it’s happened in the past, and what to do and not to do to make sure it doesn’t happen to you (stay out of the water if you’re bleeding, be careful where you do go in) and how to survive if it does (fight back).

The book isn’t horrendously graphic in terms of the pictures chosen, but is well illustrated.

Lots to say and show

Monday, 8 September 2008

I have to get back to regular posting – there’s just too much to put in when I leave it!

I’m still waiting for some of the pics to upload, so I’ll tell you about the book first:

246. Probable Sons by Amy le Feuvre

This certainly falls into that Orphan Girls genre I was talking about last week, and it’s by far the most explicitly Christian one I’ve read (or listened to), seeing as I’m Jewish myself. I left out then, since Understood Betsy is one of the exceptions, how the child (Little Lord Fauntleroy being a prime example of this theme) is usually an unknowing very good influence on the disaffected adult(s). The book being so overtly Christian (the title is based on Milly’s mispronunciation of prodigal) her guardian has more lost fervency in his religious beliefs than interest in society, but gets it back under her influence.

Milly is sweet and sad, but she really needs some companions to play with. The reading is good, but this probably won’t be among my rereads. (If it had been longer I probably would have given up before the end.)

Luna in envelope
Luna set off on her travels today (this was the position she chose!) and I realise I didn’t show her getting travel advice before we left Ireland.
She learnt all about carrying your world on your back (that or she was trying to hide from me). (And I might or might not have got an idea for something to make for my mother – this is only half the collection!)

Anyway, Luna is now on her way to Germany, and I’m expecting a little bear visitor called Bruno in the next few days.

In crochet news, I’ve actually finished something for the first time in what feels like ages! It’s still blocking, and I need to obtain and attach some buttons (or something equivalent) but the crocheting’s done, and the blocking is in progress. This is the most comprehensive attempt at blocking I’ve made so far, so I’m going to put the pictures up without my own commentary, in anticipation of advice and suggestions from the more experienced. I used what I had, as I don’t own any specialist blocking tools.
making a blocking template
board, piece and template
checking pinned piece against template
pinned out piece
wetting the pinned piece