Saturday, June 11, 2005

CattyRox - a writer's knitting blog or a knitter's writing . . .

To Blog or not, the illuminated letter, Phryne and fingerless mitts.

All week I’ve been wondering whether to blog or not to blog. On the plus side is the community of fellow bloggers – but which community of blogging would it be – writing, teaching or knitting? Can I do all three in the one small blog, to be updated on a twice-weekly basis come hail, sick children, phone calls from my mother or student work to be corrected. The wise Ewan, who puts my www pages together said a resounding no. This was only because he sees me nearly every week looking nearly as wildly stressed as himself.

But, hey Ewan, you may have seven children, be doing too many degrees part-time whilst trying to finish a science fiction fantasy trilogy but what do you know?

I’m going to blog. So there.

This is what I have been doing the past week:

The Illuminated Letter workshop at Thomastown Primary School

Students take the first letter of their first name and write a portrait of the letter (and themselves, of course) using this is as their structure:
1. talk about the shape of the letter and liken it to something
2. what sound does your letter make?
3. what emotions can your letter be?
4. bring in six words at least that begin with your letter
5. Bring yourself back into the poem with a warning, telling others not to trespass on your letter.

C is for Catherine

C swoops around in a curve
a curl, but turned sideways –
it’s a canoe or a cradle
C is a crack, a crunch
cymbals that clash
or a celestial choir.
It can be cranky, crabby and cross
or as calm as quiet contemplation.
C is for Catherine, Catty or Cat
cartwheels and chaos
collisions that crash
conspiracy, collusion and crime.
Hand’s off it, c’s mine
for Catherine, Catty or Cat.

When they had finished, the kids typed their letter portraits onto an A4 piece of paper and then illuminated their letters. You’ll be able to see examples here. Very soon.

The other thing I have been doing is reading Kerry Greenwood. I love Phryne Fisher. No, actually I don’t. I love Greenwood’s historical detail. Whether she talks about Castlemaine, the Sydney poets in the late twenties or circus life in Victoria, you know she’s got those details right. It makes me want to write historical fiction.

And, of course, I’ve been knitting. Fingerless mittens from Anny Blatt black alpaca yarn found in an op shop in Traralgon last year. I’m doing a feather fan pattern and I love them so much I’m making lots!

1 comment:

Lorraine said...


it is wonderful to read about a similar writer- I love your poems and have long been an admirer of your work- this idea sounds wonderful and I realise that I need to be more creative in my workshops- yesterday I tried to take love poetry with a group of secondary school students- to steer them away from cliche - it was challenging , using crazy comparisons, I need to evolve a tighter scaffolding.

Lorraine M