Friday, 31 August 2007

10 years ago...

I had just arrived back from a business trip to California, USA, was feeling not too great but very excited as I was due to get married at the end of September. I had developed some sort of virus, which the doctors couldn't pinpoint,and it left me feeling weak and listless - although I had plenty of lists to check! I was living in a lovely red sandstone tenement house in the Southside of Glasgow , the kind with huge Bay windows overlooking a green square, and 10 feet high ceilings with gorgeous coving.
In the middle of some Sunday morning programme, there was a news bulletin stating that Princess Diana had just died from injuries sustained from a car accident. Now love her or loathe her, you couldnae miss her - as my old Granny would say, and I was sad that such a public person with two young children had met such an untimely end. I also marvelled at the press who had criticised her previously now venerating her to Sainthood. And I do confess that the very public funeral had me perplexed , being a stoic presbyterian I don't do weeping and wailing and chucking of flowers at hearses , not at complete strangers anyway , no matter how famous. I'm more a cry into a lace handkerchief enveloped in a big black coat, singing the 23rd psalm to the tune Crammond - but each to their own.
Less than a week later, another, less tragic although no less sad, death was announced - that of Mother Theresa. A women whom I am glad was never my mother, as she was quite a force, but for the poor whom she served, I am sure they were eternally glad she was on their side. The strange thing is, I don't remember any news reports of her funeral, just that photo showing her wearing the plain white sari with the blue stripes, and the wee wooden cross pinned on it.
And in a small village Kirk, three weeks later, a marriage ceremony took place with close family and friends. The piper was a Uist man, native gaelic speaker and work collegue to my husband. The minister was retired and friend of the my father. There were children and grannies, aunties and uncles, parents of the bride and groom . And .... it didn't rain (brollies always at the ready!)
Sadly several of the party are no longer with us.... happily there are several more little bodies with us now, and a few more on the way (not me, I've had my quota!)
My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones - we've all been through such pain at one time or another, and it is never easy. However, in my selfishness I will be dwelling on happier things.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Getting Slower...

Stopped on the Pinwheel sweater, then started again. The stitches are increasing, and once I cast off I should have 392 stitches.... ouch! Just now its looking like a big colourful rasta hat - maybe that should be the next project. Also need to grow my hair a bit more , mind you, hope this project does NOT take as long to finish as my hair takes to grow! Its curly so it grows the long way down. I believe my knitting buddy Lynette is on the sleeves already , oh well two more shades and I'll catch up with her.
My baby started Nursery today - Daddy and I took him in then were waved off. Hung about a cafe for an hour feeling like a spare part. The killer is when you turn up to take them home, and they scream blue murder that they want to stay! Even a trip to the much beloved Garden Centre was just not cutting it today. Still we calmed down enough to discuss what we liked with Daddy, whilst dipping our feet in mummys' knitting basket. And I managed not to let the mascara run too much!
My Rowan free gift turned up today - it contained cotton rope and not all seasons cotton and was a candy pink instead of a raspberry colour. Still I'll give it a try, would like to do the waistcoat instead of the shawl, especially as I think the rope is more suited to a waistcoat. Note the reflected words, this is what happens when you take a photo with Ibooth.
Have just noticed that this is my ninetieth post - wow, would never have thought that I'd get to ninety, that means I've written on average ten posts a month since I started back in January. Might do something for my one hundredth post, mmmm let me see......
Have an opportunity to go down to an Iknit event, featuring Debbie Stoller, author of Stitch and Bitch. Her next book is called "Son of Stitch and Bitch" and contains patterns for mens knitted garments. If I can manage, I'll be going down for the day, six o'clock start, home by midnight.There will be different events throughout the day (November 10th, Bloomsbury Hotel London .) , one features Amy Lame Pom-Poms. Don't ask, she's a one women show and looks like an extra from Happy Days!
Visited the Dr Who exhibition (again!) on Saturday, and this time GOT TO KNIT! Yes you guessed, it was a Dr Who scarf. They inviting folk to knit a few rows each, in the hope that eventually they would get to the world record length for a Dr Who scarf . Then they would "gift" it to David Tennant the present Dr Who ,who will no doubt want to poke his eyes out with Pony Plastic needles when he gets a feel of the itchy scratchy squeaky acrylic yarn thats been used,to say nothing of the "design" issues , i.e. holes it contains. Still never look a gift horse in the mouth!
Oops, just remembered left the ice-cream out to soften - smoothie anyone ?

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Why does it always rain on me.....

Fourth shade and waste yarn knitted in for armholes already!
Its been a miserable summer , even my tomatoes in the green house refuse to grow ! And yesterday I put away the summer clothes.... always a poignant moment . Today, I have on a light sweater, its not been worn since April .
So I am hiding in my room, with my laptop , knitting and tea , while the children play, fight, argue, and take time out to occasionally watch TV . I do quite like these "do nothing" days , it gives the brain time to breathe, and the hands time to do some knitting. I can also look through my new Rowan Magazine, it arrived , at last! Still no free gift though, never mind , gives me time to finish some other projects .
And the cotton top ? well, I guess I'll just wait until next spring to start it again. Now lets see if I can get on to my 5th shade - do you like the colours?

Saturday, 11 August 2007

A Short Book Review

I have just finished reading this book , and found it simply amazing! I don't normally recommend books , even ones I love because it is quite a personal thing. However, I know the lady who wrote this, and also was aware of her situation, but not of the trauma she has come through to ensure her children have a normal as possible life . I have relations with aspergers syndrome, as well as close friends whose children are autistic, and I think this book will be recommended to them for its advice and inspiring encouragement . Also, a percentage of royalties will go to Autism charities.

A wee catch up

Managed to the in-betweeny meetup at Beanscene on Tuesday, and hurray, finished my one-skein shawl. Its not blocked yet, but I have been using it as it is so soft and cozee . Had a lovely time admiring the many WIPs' and FO '. But first, some photo's
This little end is all I was left with of my one skein, once I had cast off - close call or what!
And here I am knitting ;-) , on to the second shade already, its a quick knit, but I need to watch out about the increases .
Now, my Rowan Magazine has not arrived yet (gggrrrr!!! , as they would say in the Beano Comic) , but Kathleens' has, and she most very kindly let me peruse her copy on Tuesday evening . There was a fair old discussion about it , as is always the case with the latest Rowan Mag. Who likes what, who dislikes what etc.
Both Kathleen and India were wearing their beautiful shawls, which I managed to get a good look at. Lilith mentioned that her lovely Arisaig cardi didn't fit anymore, and was offering it up for a swap. After having a wee look, I was sorely tempted .
Kathleen was knitting a lovely sweater is some Scottish Tweed and Harris wool, a complimenting green and damson shades. Elaine had brought her you-know-what sweater, and told me how she had to pull it back after she had found a mistake - OUCH! Lynette had a red sock on the needles, not sure what yarn it was, but a lovely shade .
India was casting off in a lovely pale green tweed yarn, but I can't remember the pattern, and Lilith was knitting the beautiful circle sunrise sweater from Interweave knits, also in a lovely green, Rowanspun yarn. Julia had her Panda Yarn (bamboo) socks which are coming along nicely, and Poor Thea had a book review to do, so she didn't stay long.
I was introduced to Lisa, whose first meetup had been the previous week. She showed us her WIP, a lovely childs' jacket in a gorgeous deep purple shade and lace design (pattern from Knitty).She also showed us some lovely Harris yarn her parents had picked up at a Petrol station on Harris !
Thursday night was Flavaknits night (can never get too much of a good thing!) , and although Karens' hand is improving, she was still finding it a little hard to knit - still plenty of magazines and books to look at . Gale had found two balls of a lovely pale blue Mohair in a charity shop for £2 ! and was knitting a lovely stole.Val was knitting a second sweater in Sirdar Spree, a lovely yarn and lovely feather and fan pattern. Moira, as ever was knitting a baby sweater for a friend - the women deserves a medal, I am far too selfish to knit for my own never mind other peoples kids!
I started on my cotton summer top again - hopefully going somewhere warm next year , so it would be good to finish it for at least next summer!
It looks as if I've done nothing but attend different knitting groups this week ......
Now, what WIP should I do today ?

Sunday, 5 August 2007

What a Grey day!

What a miserable Sunday it was (still is) weather wise - fortunately for me it was the Tramway Knits day, the only bit of brightness to the day . There was also a lot of colour about the table. Before I continue , here are some photo's, bit dark, but you get the idea!
Josephs multi-colour coat - a before, the ball you can't quite see is a raspberry shade.
The pattern - say no more except Thank You Lynette, and your kind parents.
Well to my left there was Nan, who was knitting a sleeveless sweater in a beautiful green, Louisa Harding wool/silk yarn. Then there was Lynette, knitting her Pinwheel sweater in the you-know-what yarn, and coming along very nicely. She even had the sleeve slits knit in the waste yarn, so she's charging ahead here. India was knitting something complicated in what looked like a lovely handpainted yarn (stole/shawl?) . I didn't quite catch what Thea was knitting as she left early, but it looked like a nice scarf . Gloria was knitting up some socks in a gorgeous blue variegated yarn, Jane was knitting a lovely sweater in a beautiful coral shade (bamboo? cotton? ) , and I never asked Fiona what she was knitting but it looked like a sleeve for something. She did manage to show me her goodies from Chicago , a lovely lilac alpaca, and a handpainted yarn. Catherine was knitting a scarf in a lovely chunky Mohair, and we discussed whether it could be used as a stole as well, since it was wide enough, and the feather and fan design gave it a lovely drape.
And me ? I just ogled my lovely yarn, and continued my one-skein shawl, and ate and drank and ate and drank. But it was a miserable Sunday, what else could one do ?
Edited later - of course I forgot the beautiful Shetland Triangle shawl that India brought in, and Lynettes' lovely handdyed yarn from Old Maiden Aunt (Tiger Lilith)

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Repeating myself - sign of old age

Okay, I have just noticed that I have been mentioning a certain yarn, in the last five (I'm only admitting to that) posts . D'you think I'm excited or something, or maybe I'm just getting old and the memory is not what it used to be. After today, I will not write about it but there will be photo's popping up, so watch out. Now, where did I put that ear trumpet ????

A Lesson learnt the hard way

So it was off to a shops today to get the weeks groceries AND a box of CD-R, and cases for them. Plan is to use my Macbook for blogger photo's, and the Big Mac for family ones, TO BE SAVED ONTO THE DISCS ON A REGULAR BASIS !(she shouts to herself) I am still in mourning over losing the pictures (especially the kids ones) , but hopefully we can get copies from family of the better ones. Thank you Kathleen for your kind sympathy.
One of the lovely things about the macbook is that I can take spontaneous photos using the photobooth facility - here are some with the bizarre effects (somebody wanted to look like a Dr Who monster!)
The one eyed siwel!
The Odd Bodds!
And a nice b&w effect
And the facility means I can take a photo of myself in my FO's, without some weird and wonderful mirror effect . Although I still find it a bit scary seeing myself on the computer screen!
I have found of late that my focus is ...missing, and I still have several unfinished projects that I was convinced I would have finished just now - I guess this summer I just lost my knitting mojo, (along with my photo's, okay, I'll not mention them again). Didn't stop me from buying yarn, but the yarn is languishing in the stash just now .
And tomorrow I get more! My Peruvian Yarn ! I keep looking at the pattern I'll be using the yarn, and can't wait to get started, so... I am promising myself that once I start, I'll not stop until I finish. You read it here . It should help that several other folk from my knitting group will be knitting this too, and act as encouragement. The pattern is also something I've not tried before (basically knitting a big circle with arms coming out it).
Anyway, tonight I get back to those summer projects, its not too late, September can be mild!

Friday, 3 August 2007

So you didn't backup...

three years worth of photo's gone - the old macs hard drive was a no-hoper in the end . And of course I hadn't put any photo's on disc , (I had printed some, but nothing like the 800 stored on iphoto). So tomorrow its a big pile of discs to save any future photo's . Thankfully the other files were nothing much so not to be missed . Now I have to reinstall the printer - oh joy.
Still, least I've got the Macbook - trusty little Macbook! I think I need to do a course on computing, cos I know nothing and it scares me. Or rather the damage I could do cos I know nothing .
Had a lovely evening at Flavaknits last night - Gale was back from South Africa, and had very kindly brought back Jelly Tots (they are softer than the UK ones!) for the children . Poor Karen was still recovering from her hand operation, and although she had tried knitting, it took a few hours just to do one row. She comforted herself with her Noro Iro ebay bargain, and some lovely Noro books of Marions. Kimberley had finished her beautiful Colinette Tao beret, and was working on a Rowan Big Wool Moss Stitch cardi in a bright pink. Moira had brought her bargain Knitting book, which had some fun knits in it, many using Rowan big wool/biggy print/ribbon twist etc. And I have to admit I did like the knitted knickers done in a lilac cotton! I had brought in my Colinette Parisienne yarn and book, as well as the DB astrakan. Still knitting the shawl, hopfully have it done by Sunday.
Sunday......its peruvian highland wool day - well I need something to cheer me up!
Today I took the boys to Ardardan, a farm shop/tea room/nursery in the middle of a working farm. They were very excited about seeing the Highland cows (its Highland Cattles mummy!) the sheep , the pigs and the free range hens . The hens looked very well indeed with the exception of one who looked like it may have got caught in some farm machinery and escaped by its tail feathers. Had a lovely lunch (very good home baking!) and took home some of the eggs. The eggs were so big they're bursting out of the box!
Anyone for Omlette ?

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

A trip to Hamilton!

Today started out dreich and dismal, the clouds were below the hills and the rain spattered everywhere. It began to clear up on the way out of Gourock, and by the time my sister and I arrived at Hamilton.... it clouded over again! Yes the sun did come out for a short while, but we didn't need it, cos we had found our way to Stitching Time, Nans' shop
A cup of coffee, macaroon and a few hours later, we did emerge into the sunlight again (Did I buy anything? wait and see....) We met the delectable David, otherwise known as TB, got a good look around the new Designer Room (As Edina in AbFab would say, gorgeous sweetie, just gorgeous!), as well as most of the other rooms . Admired the Victorian Lace book again, and saw the start of something lovely (loved the stitch markers Nan!)
And of course I bought something, Nans' nickname isn't Yarn Pimp for nothing you know! But first, here is something I made earlier....
My Shipwreck'd cushion cover (I can hear Patsy saying, fantastic darling, absolutely fantastic!) I squeezed the square cushion into it, because I wanted a nice plump, pouffe cushion, and next we have ....
Debbie Bliss astrakan in a sky blue with a matching colour in cashmerino, hoodie pattern for baby girl in background! The YP, she's good y'know!
Now I haven't abandoned my other projects completely, here is one thats been on the go for a few months, and is nearly finished .
Its my one-skein wonder shawl in Colinette Parisienne, I love it, I really like the parisienne, nearly as much as KSH, not quite but nearly!
And last but not least, this is the back of my cotton summer top, I'm showing it as the front , cos they'll be the same, and its awkward trying to show it against my own back!
Its been a fun old day, now back to the knitting (sshhh, the peruvian yarns coming on Sunday, yippee!!)