Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What Millie and Grandma did next

Today we went to Derby for the first time in about two years to see the Mr Men at the Assembly Rooms.

Millie and the other million or so children really enjoyed it - at least judging by the joining in with the 'He's behind you' and the songs and games they did.
Being in Derby today for some reason brought back lots of memories. I was taken there from time to time when I was no older than Millie and the Market Hall has changed little apart from the addition of a glass elevator which would have been undreamed of when there was a tripe shop just outside.

Derby was the last place I visited with my mother before she went into her decline, although, with the benefit of hindsight,I realise it had already started. We went to Derby to take my Dad to the hospital for a cataract operation. I couldn't understand then why she didn't want to stay with him.

Here is a cardigan which I struggled to finish. it is in Rowan Tapestry and Isabel gave me the first two balls as part of my Mother's day present which everyone except Isabel and me thought very strange. Well as I loved the colour so much I added a few balls and cardiganised a jumper pattern in the book 'Knitter's Stash'. It didn't take long to knit and I took it to Yorkshire when we went at the end of April to sew it up.....only I didn't. It came home still in pieces and minus the front band. At last, this weekend I took it upon myself to get it done and sewed it up - but the ******* band was so much trouble............I picked up the stitches all round the front - twice obviously cos it's never right the first time - and garter stitched a couple of rows.I was running out of yarn so I cast off, only the yarn ran out with a foot or more to go so I started to frog the last row. I left it off and the next day, during my major stash stirring, found a small ball left over. Hurrah!!! Well it's all finished now and I rather like it. There are ribs and cables which don't show to well in the pictures but which give a nice shape to the back and make the cuffs grip nicely. It's really comfortable.

Oh and somehow through serendipity and a little juggling ( I think that's where the little left over ball came from) the fronts kind of match.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bobbi's questions

Our Secret Pal hostess has posed some holiday questions; 1) What do you pack to knit? and 2) What do you hope to shop for?
Our spring holiday was in Yorkshire, a great county for wool. We made a pilgrimage to Dent of the 'terrible knitters' fame. This is an isolated village where the whole population (including quite young children knitted like crazy to produce stockings for the market at sedburgh. There is a small section in the heritage centre devoted to these industrious people, including songsheets, knitting sheaths and models. On the way we discovered;
Jenny Scott's Beckside Studio, a lovely yarn store in the little village of Clapham.
There I bought some local wool from local sheep.
We also visited (twice) Coldspring Mill where there was major stash enhancement.
To answer the first question, I took to knit a) Rosemary's grey cardigan
b) Isabel's socks to finish
(oo-er they've gone green!)
and c) my Brioche rib socks
The last week in June we are all off to the Lake District, another sheepy county. This is planned so that Isabel and I can go to WOOLFEST Yay! We went last year and had the best time. I bought lots of bits and pieces, especially felt-making stuff and look forward to doing the same this year. I have no specific plans I'll just see what takes my fancy but I am sure it will include lots of tops. We had a go at spinning and Isabel was coveting a wheel. We went in a yurt but we weren't so keen on acquiring about one of those, although when we were in Clapham we overheard a couple in very late middle age saying they were living in one. This year the Fest falls on Isabel's birthday and Rosemary was sympathising that she had to spend the day thus until she remembered that Isabel isn't just going to look after poor old Mum, but actually really loves it too! It obviously isn't Rosemary's idea of a good time (where did I go wrong with that one)
We are renting a bungalow in the South Lakes area and there will be me and James, Rosemary and her boyfriend, Johnny, Millie and Isabel. Sadly Isabel's James doesn't get enough time off work to come with us this time so he is staying at home with the rabbits.

(Bonus: Where would you go on a "knitting holiday"?)
There are so many options here. I'd love to visit some of the yarn stores in New York or in Toronto, I'd like to hear the Yarn Harlot speak, or visit Di Gilpin's Studio to take a workshop with her. I have read lots of itineraries for knitting holidays, even Skip North or a weekend course at Rowan would be great.How about a knitting cruise with speakers to be decided by me and free yarn for all. Unfortunately circumstances don't allow for any of these but it's fun to imagine and I have my felt-making workshop at Rufford to look forward to in just 2 weeks time.

Holiday Tuesday

Because I work for a city council I get an extra day at bank holidays. This will not last. We will soon have to add those days to our normal leave and, okay we will still have the same number of days off but it is kind of nice to have this extended break which I am sure will not easily be available after the change. I know I should have spent the day doing housework and I did this morning, I even started a major stash reorganisation, but this afternoon the weather took a turn for the better so james and I hit the road. We only went as far as Arkwright's Mill in Cromford but, honestly it is like being on holiday. We had a light lunch in the lovely coffee shop then pottered around, browsing in the few shops that are there and eaves-dropping the tour guide. It was so lovely we dawdled on a bench for ages before the coffee shop called us back for tea and cakes.
We drove home via Crich and stopped off at the factory shop in Bullbridge where I found a brown linen skirt for £6.00 only when I took it to the till there was 25% off everything which made it £4.50! Perfect!
Meanwhile,back at the afore mentioned stash sort.... I have tried to put the majority in those bags which get squished down with a vacuum cleaner and just keep the most lovely out in the big basket...I have far too many odd balls and 3 ball sets. Sock wool, of course, like broken biscuits, doesn't count. I have been struggling to finish a Rowan Tapestry cardigan with far too little yarn for a self-respecting edging and lo - a small ball hidden in the depths of the basket. Best of all I found the free pattern leaflet I picked up with my first ball of sock wool, the one with the notes, the measurements and the stickers. I had been searching for it for months. There is a moral to this tale which I am sure you can work out....but doesn't tidying waste good knitting time? How am I ever to get through all this yarn if I keep straightening it?????

Monday, May 28, 2007

Holiday Monday

I was trying to clear out some old knitting magazines when Millie noticed a waistcoat in Knitting Today which she liked the look of. It was in Noro Kureyon but I had some Silk Garden in a similar colour so I got cracking. I'm not sure if the frill is as intended, I found the instructions a bit confusing

However, it fitted perfectly!

Today Isabel, Millie and I went to the Arts and Gardens Festival in Draycott. On the way we went to Lane's Garden Centre in Risley which Rosemary has just found out is attached to a working farm and has lots of animals for the children. It was great fun, there are sheep, pigs, rabbits and guinea pigs, horses and hens which can all be fed with carrots and cabbage leaves. There is a shop selling produce and the plants all looked very healthy. The only problem....the coffee shop is closed on Mondays! We made a dash to Draycott and the Beetroot Tree where we had a little lunch. The Arts and Gardens trail was great fun and the gardens were beautiful, particularly the one behind the Beetroot tree which I would just love to take home.

Millie painted a little watercolour, made a 'funky pencil topper', rode on a flying carpet

(don't worry it was cleverly done with blue-screen technology. The photo is a picture of a screen which is why it is poor) and made a fabulous crown

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lazy Sunday

It's only morning but I see little prospect of getting much done today, I feel so exhausted. I ( and everyone else there) am finding work tiring and stressful and after the bungalow doings yesterday I feel totally *~?#*. I have just managed a picture of a recently finished cardi which I am wearing today for practice as I am not sure if I like it;

It's turned out a bit big. It's knitted from the Rowan pattern on the front of their latest magazine in some pink cotton tweed which I bought at Mill when we went there on our recent holiday. It was one of their designer yarn cone bargains and for £20 I seem to have only used about half. Here is the rest of the haul I bought at the time

See that Debbie Bliss silk? 99p a skein. I also bough corn coloured Silkroad and it was £1.99. I'm not sure if I am glad or sorry that this place is 2 hours drive away!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Secret Summer Santa

Today James and Isabel and I went to try to sort out some of the stuff in Mother-in-Law's bungalow as it has finally gone on the market ( she is in a home). On the way I had a parcel to collect which turned out to be from my Angel yarns forum Secret Summer Santa and these were the conents

There is Patons Jet, a wool and Alpaca mix in a lovely soft pink like a foxglove, Makalu lambgora in a mix of lavenders and lilacs known as 'purple passion' turkish delight and Wow oh Wow Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers. now I have had this from the library but it must go back as someone has reserved it. i am so happy I have a copy to keep!
How did the bungalow clearing go? We made great progress in the morning, we took things to a clothing bank and a charity shop then had lunch in Bingham a little town with a lovely square surrounded by Georgian buildings. We carried on for a while in the afternoon but then had to stop as we were all getting overwhelmed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's like moving house

Following the disappearance of my previous blog ( a link just in case it rises from the ashes) I have decided to take the advice given by Gourdongirl when I had problems before and move lock stock and knitting into a new nest. I feel a bit exposed without all the stuff around me that I had added to the previous site but I hope to gradually settle in here. Quick.......let's have some knitting......