Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oooops I forgot

How rude of me. I can't believe I forgot. It's just I read the comment late one night and didn't feel up to doing anything about it at that point. I've just read it on someone else's blog and now I must deal with it. What is it? THIS

I was nominated by Riggwelter (Angie) from Jazzycrafts as thanks for being her Secret Pal in the last round. So with apologies to her for my apparent lack of appreciation I in my turn nominate Chris of Christina's Creations


A few days ago I received a swap parcel from this kind person. The swap was just for yarn and a pattern for a pair of socks but in my parcel was;

not just sock yarn in the sort of colours I would have chosen myself along with a whole bunch of patterns but also a ball of beautiful pink Jaeger Alpaca to make something for Millie, a tablet of strawberry soap, a great sheepy mug and some really pretty lilac stitch markers. How lovely was that! I hope she gets a good package back!

Bank Holidays Rock

I love it that we who work in Nottingham City libraries still get an extra day off at Bank holidays. They keep saying it's going to change and the day will be added to our annual leave which would be okay but it's kind of nice to have to take a day off.
On Sunday we went to Trent Lock to have a birthday lunch for Rosemary. It's a lovely place, barely half an hour away and I haven't been since I was a child. I don't know why it sort of disappeared from my consciousness.
Monday was the day Millie and I were looking forward to as it was Moorgreen Show The weather was lovely and the show even better than last year. This is an overlooked occasion. I have lived all my life within a few miles of the site and only actually went to it last year. With hindsight it may be that no-one was willing to accompany me before Millie. Well there were rides and Tombolas... observe Millie and her prize leopard on an AA rescue truck.

The animals were restricted because of the foot and mouth problem but the Shire horses walked proudly in their rig outs

There were lots of craftspeople to watch, a flint napper, wood turners, basket weavers, glassblowers and a knitting and spinning guild with the knitted farm that fascinated Millie last year. We watched a re-enactment about Robin Hood and had a crisis about whether we dare ride a donkey or not (no). I got a free cotton bag by pledging to take the bus to work once a week (Mmmmm) Millie tasted local honey (3 sorts) and decided she does like it after all, well, as the woman on the stall said, it's quite different from supermarket stuff. Then a final doughnut

and home to collapse in front of Ceebeebies until poor Mummy, who doesn't even get one Bank holiday day off from work, got back. We have already made a date to go next year!
So today was my extra day off and leaving the weeds in the garden and the dust on the shelves James and I spent the afternoon in Bakewell just pottering around, watching the ducks on the river that runs through the town

and enjoying coffee and cakes in the Old Bakewell Pudding Shop

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mrs Beeton R.I.P.

As a little project after the big one I just completed I decided on a pair of wristwarmers, namely Mrs Beeton. I've had the pattern and the intention for ages and found some palest pink Blue Skies alpaca and silk and some cream Kidsilk haze in my stash. I knitted a frill in each yarn......then came the moment to join them together. Now I can knit 2 lots of stitches together from straight needles up there with the best of them, but putting one lot of dpn's inside the other and knitting one stitch from each in the round on super slippy aluminiums! Well all the stitches fell off one of the needles and I decided to join Rosemary's johnny in his aluminium allergy and here is the sad resulting pile

Then I cast on for some 'Wine and Roses' fingerless mitts from Interweave Knits. It's a pretty pattern and I am using some wool in shades of pink which I got in Fyberspates Sock Cub and seems an appropriate colourway for the name. Unfortunately I seem to have a touch of chart-blindness. I have knitted up as far as the thumb gusset 4 times. First I made a hash of a row of pebble stitch, then I made a different hash of the same perfectly easy stitch, then I realised my stitch count was wrong and just couldn't figure out why until I checked the chart for the very first few rows and realised I had missed a decrease row!~£*$&*/ Now I am into the hand section at last but have gone wrong somehow with the very simple lace stitch so have abandoned it for a short break. Some patterns take me like this. I don't know why. I remember starting the Mason Dixon wash cloth about 5 times before I got it right. I've knitted several of them since though so I hope I will crack this stupid mitt enough to at least do the pair.

Sleeping Princess

Yesterday we went to see The Tweenies at the Royal Concert Hall. The show was great but the merchandise!!!! What a rip-off. The prices were ridiculous. I know it was my fault for getting carried away with the moment but I paid £9.00 for a 'Tweeny clock' spinning light thing. Okay it added a lot to Millie's enjoyment of the show, nearly all the children seemed to have one or something similar and it was great seeing all the coloured lights in the darkness but as soon as we left the theatre the wretched light stopped working. It still spins but it looks like the bulb has gone or something. The ridiculous thing is I had refused earlier to buy a Sylvanian families toy for £5.95 saying 'That's too expensive for today.'

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jenn, the coordinator for my SP11 group has posted a quizz so I will try to give some answers

1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without?
Presuming this is beyond needles I think it would be stitchmarkers. I find them invaluable to mark decreases and pattern changes. I tend ti knit while watching TV so it is good to have something tangible to remind me to take notice in case I rattle on to the end of the row

2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If
so, how much and what type of project?
I do take knitting on vacation. I take more than I estimate I will need as I once finished a project and had to buy yarn and needles in a tiny shop with little choice.

3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favorite spot?
I love the Lake District in England, especially when the vacation takes in Woolfest.
4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it?
The fiction knitting book I have most enjoyed is Knitting by Anne Bartlett. Books about actual knitting are another matter. I love lots of them but I think I will select Unexpected Knitting by Debbie New for it;s inspirations.
5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)?
I don't listen to podcasts at the moment. One day I will figure them out!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What Next?

I'm almost finished with a big knit and I'm not sure what to do next, Probably something small. It's like when I finish reading a good book, I only want magazines for a while. I have some socks on the go of course but maybe I'll get some mitts done ready for when the weather cools off.
I went with a friend to Trentham Gardens today. it was a bit of a drive but we went in her car so I was able to knit and despite frequent showers we had a lovely day. I absolutely fell in love with a cardigan in Edinburgh Woollen Mills, a shop I claim to hate.It's camel coloured boiled wool with a needlefelted flower design.
Last Wednesday I took Millie to a workshop at the Angel Row Art Gallery which is in the same building as the library where I work. We had great fun making cloud mobiles

and kites. It was quite funny seeing the panic of the invigilators as a dozen or so under 5's ran around the gallery space 'flying' their sugar paper kites1

Saturday, August 18, 2007

SP 11 Questionnaire

At last I have a little time to answer the SP11 questionnaire. Sorry for my delay. I have been knitting.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I prefer natural fibres especially alpaca. Anything soft and friendly really but not that eyelash/furry stuff.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have my dpn's and circulars in a flat basket and my straights in a knitting bag bought for me many years ago in a conspiracy by my older daughter and my mum who sent me off when we were all out shopping together. It is ratty now but very precious
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
For how long see my avatar. This really is me aged about 7 long long ago. I didn't take to it much at first but have knitted pretty much regularly since I was a teenager although only became compulsive when Millie was an embryo - almost 5 years ago. I am pretty experienced
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I have an Amazon list here.
5. What's your favorite scent?
I love flower perfumes especially rose.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Oh yes! Dark chocolate, also turkish delight.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I love feltmaking although it has been neglected lately. I have a collection of bits for scrapbooking but I never really do it. I don't spin.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I don't listen to music much, I'm such a philistine. I like to listen to audio books or comedy programmes

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love greens and blues, plum, rust, brown. I don't like royal blue
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my long standing rather faulty husband and a crazy cross breed dog -Lily from a rescue centre. We have 2 grown-up daughters. The older has a daughter of her own who is nearly 4 who we care for 3 days each fortnight. The younger one lives with her boyfriend and is studying for a degree but has a job already as a fundraiser for the Wildlife trust.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves yes, hats not so much, Mittens deffinately (fingerless ones) ponchos, sorry I was around when they were first popular so nope.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I always have socks on the go as a transportable project but I knit all sorts and don't really have a favourite. I don't really like knitting toys but will do so for a certain child.
13. What are you knitting right now?
Socks ( of course) Icarus
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Most certainly.
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I prefer plastic straights, as short as possible but my favourite sock needles are ebony. I am using an Addi circular lace needle for Icarus and finding that very successful.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I have a vintage swift that is so useless I hang things from it (bakelite bracelets mostly)
17. How old is your oldest UFO?
See the avatar. No seriously I used to say the 'My Little Pony' Cardigan I started for Isabel 20 years ago then I realised i don't actually have it anymore. I don't think I have anything old and unfinished unless I have erased it from my memory (quite likely)
18. What is your favorite holiday?
Last June we had a week in a bungalow in the Lake district, we all went and on the last day Isabel and I went to Woolfest. That has to be pretty much my favourite holiday
19. Is there anything that you collect?
Vintage knitting stuff, sheepy stuff.
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I subscribe to Yarn Over, Interweave knits, Knitting and Simply Knitting.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I wish I was better at colourwork.
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I am a sock knitter, though mostly for the daughters and their partners. I take an English size 4 continental 37
23. When is your birthday?
May 2nd
24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
There are 4858 people ahead of me!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bags and rags

Dishrags that is. Why is it that people ask what I am knitting when the answer is 'a dishcloth' and why am I embarrassed to give that answer? Is it because people invariably retort 'but you can buy one for 45p from Wilko's' ? Yes I know you can....and???
Here is one I made earlier for a swap. It's left for America and yes I did look shifty when I had to complete the customs declaration.

Isn't it lovely and spring like? isn't it nicer than one from Wilko's?

I don't know what it is with these two bags but my second attempt at photographing them hasn't turned out much better than the first but as they are also in the post these will have to do.

This is knitted in Wendy Fusion and slightly fulled. I wish I had photographed the other side too as there is a flash of blue. I love these colours. I bought the yarn in Boyes in Kirkby-in-Ashfield at £1.50 a ball. It's gone off to Chile.

This is the brother of the one I made for Isabel. Blue faced Leicester wool with a red enamel button to fasten. This one is off to the USA.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Once again....

Yet another too long gap between posts.What am I doing? Well it may appear that there is no knitting but in fact I just posted a rather doily-like dishcloth off for a swap. You would have been impressed but I fogot to photograph it! I did take pictures of 2 bags I have made but the pictures are so bad I'll have to do them again!
James and I took Millie to Carsington water last Monday. We had a great afternoon. We rode on a dray,
performed scientific experiments on the Kugel ball
and spent rather a long time examining/arranging the stones and pebbles around the shores
Then on the way home we stopped at George's fish and chip shop in Belper.Perfect!
Our latest theatre outing was to see Beauty and the beast I don't know how they managed it but Gaston was a complete doppleganger for the cartoon character! The special effects and the costumes were very impressive.