It was raining yesterday morning as I took a brisk exercise walk in my neighbourhood to Chapel Street.
I noticed a lady walking in front of me with a shopping trolley and a bedraggled dog, she wasn't wearing any shoes.
I'm kind of weird about bare feet - I am rarely without shoes. So rather unhelpfully I asked her where her shoes were. She replied she had stayed at a friends and left them outside (cause they stank) and forgot to put them on when she left. Anyway this conversation went on for a bit as we strolled down the street together.
At one stage she was looking for something in her bags and I noticed she had balls of brightly coloured new yarn. When I asked her about the wool she said that she knitted. Well we then had a great old chat. Her name is Tracey.
Tracey said she tried to make things to sell and was hoping that Stonnington Council would allow busker style permits like the City of Melbourne. (This seems unlikely I imagine) Anyway Tracey explained to me some of the things she made.
She crocheted hats.... and was excited to tell me about the hand-warmers she made. Tracey was concerned about how to get them to fit various sized hands.. so I gave her a tip about sewing up the sides with thumb gap one inch from the bottom. She had been making the thumb gap in the middle.
Tracey then went into great detail about the sculptural pieces she was making. Wrapping sticks, that had fallen from trees, and encasing them in yarn. She then decorated them with feathers or hanging pieces of yarn. Tracey was trying to get some old unwanted jewelry pieces to add for decoration. She was really passionate about these. It was a good chat.
The fact that Tracey was living on the streets was kind of irrelevant to our conversation, but obviously not irrelevant to her welfare. I didn't want to ask too many questions, but I did want to help. I only had $4 cash on me, but I suggested she head down to the Prahran Mission to get some new shoes so she didn't injure her feet.
Anyway I hope Tracey is ok, maybe I'll bump into her again soon and we can have a longer chat about knitting, craft and life. After all, that's what being part of a community is about.