Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Its Raining Its Pouring

There are some days that leave you feeling distinctly miserable, with hunched shoulders and a furrowed brow. The newspapers are full of doom and gloom, everybody appears to be moaning and whinging and every little problem seems like an impassable mountain, and and you just want to stick your head under the duvet and make it all go away.
Then there are days where your fellow humans inspire and encourage, and you feel glad to be part of this mad world.
Today is one of those days!
It all started this morning, a few of us , ahem, girls met up for a wee bit knitting, chat and coffee.
Karen brought out her HANDSPUN and HANDKNIT shawl in the New Lanark Merino, done in a lovely lacy leaf pattern. It was really quite beautiful , and has inspired me to get back to the wheel so to speak!
Gail is preparing for her friends visit, and I love the attention she gives to her preparation, from baking and cooking to making sure they have matching shampoo and shower gel !
And then, while visiting Indias' blog , I came across a link to Adrians' blog.
Now, I have never heard of Adrian until today. He is a 26 year old reporter for the Huddersfield Express and Chronicle and is suffering from Leukemia. He is using the little time he has left by starting a petition to request that all 17/18 year olds receive some education on bone marrow donation , to encourage more folk to sign up for it. I'm not very good with words so have a look here and be really inspired!
It is very sad that someone so young and talented is being struck down by this awful disease, but his courage and example are so positive and uplifting, it makes you proud to be a human being!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Good afternoon

So I had a lovely afternoon at Tramwayknits on Sunday, all manner of gorgeous items were being created, and lots of plans for future creations.
Heather was wearing her beautiful crochet shorty cardi done in the most divine bright blue silk (Nan and I were lusting after it!) The very talented Alice was crocheting and gorgeous cardi in Jaeger 4 ply cotton, which she plans to dye to a deeper shade of green.
Now I couldn't see what Linn was knitting, but I think Gloria was adding to her pile of crochet squares for a summer top. Nan had the lovely Kaffe Fasset sock yarn and was knitting....socks! And Maggie was knitting a lovely denim pinafore for her friends little girl. Patsy had her socks and I think was also knitting a stripey sweater .
And me, I was finishing this !
Its meant to be for my Sex and the City weekend, charity event in Inverness. Bet you'd never thought you'd see the words Sex and the City and Inverness together !
Also on Sunday, I was spoiled a little..... okay a LOT! My PIF from Heather was this !
Heather was worried that I may not like it!
A stained glass knitting notions bag (and I have a copy of the pattern!) and these gorgeous fingerless mittens.
I have been taking them to bed at night to cuddle , they are SO DIVINE!
Heather I LOVE THEM!
Only thing is , now my PIF seems a bit unimaginative now, so I need to up the ante as the say!
So I am glad to say that after a wee visit to John Lewis, I will be adding a little to my PIF recipients gift , and I hope they will like it .
Now a certain person in our knitting group has a special birthday next month (apologies Linn, read the message wrong and thought it was this month).
But what do you get another very talented knitter/crafter for a special birthday.....mmmmmmm , I'm off to peruse the internet to find out!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Kitchen Korner!

After the garden , the kitchen is my favourite place to blog .
Its not a big kitchen , enough to cook , wash clothes and sit at a table and eat meals, or do the crossword, or Su Doku or blog!
Today Junior jnr and I made iced fairy cakes - Nigella Lawsons they were not , but the boys enjoyed eating them. Junior jnr is more Gordon Ramsay than.... Gordon Ramsay (except that he hasn't acquired the f-word , just the grumpiness ) , cooking in the kitchen with him is quite a vocal experience.
Which brings me to my confession of the day - I LIKE Gordon Ramsay . I like his recipes , I like his craggy features , I like that Geri Haliwell even got him to do Yoga (mans a saint in my books after that!)
Anyway , got that off my chest , on to the knitting , not sure if you remember this , my 4-ply summer top , this is the back!
The front it more or less the same except a bit more is scooped out at the neck. Once knitted there is a crochet edging which will be the big challenge! Mmmm , me and crochet.
And now there is this because you have to start another summer top even though you've not finished the "4-ply one that will take forever , well probably to next summer anyway !" . This one is being knitted in the gorgeous DK Silk given to me for my ... cough... birthday , by the lovely Kathleen .
Not a great picture, but the surprise will be when it is done and being worn (surprise that it will be done in time for holidays!) The pattern is from Interweave Knits Summer 2006 , its knitted in the round with a lace body, and plain yoke . The original pattern was done in Bamboo, but the silk looks soooo much better , don't you think. The lace pattern is not too difficult, but I got mixed up on the second repeat, so its been pulled out a few times. It is lovely to knit with though , and I can't wait to see it finished .
I've got a couple more items cast-on , but these are going to good homes , so more about them later .
Only kidding - here's a wee peek!
Did you spot my Selfish Knitters badge - with Verruca Salt holding all that yarn saying - "Its mine!"

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Auntie's going to Knit!

So , apparently the BBC is discussing knitting patterns with Mazz - the outcome appears to be good. Lucky thing is also going to meet the Dr Who team (how jealous am I ?)
And perhaps a future Knitted Monsters from Dr Who book ? we hope!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Have a Nice Day

I am so far!
Sun is shining , I'm in the garden with my cup of tea and laptop.
Had a lovely day on Sunday too, it was Tramwayknits group, and we all sat out in the (not so) Hidden Gardens enjoying our lunch and knitting....or rather in some cases crocheting!
Heather, Alice and Gloria were using the crochet hook and creating some gorgeous items . Heather was nearly finished her short jacket in a beautiful shade of turquoise silk. Alice was making a short jacket too but this time in black (very brave but there was good daylight!) . Gloria had a large pile of granny squares, all self-coloured but in different pastel shades , and was hoping to make a summer top from them.
One of our group (Patsy I think?) was knitting an elephant , although its shape did cause a few giggles amongst us (shame on us!), while Nan was knitting something for a small person (child? my memory is appalling). Catherine was finishing off the collor for her beautiful Sirdar Click cardi, while Maggie was continuing with her Denim sweater. Forgot to ask Thea what she was knitting before she left but it was some angora cream yarn she was using!)
Got some pictures this time - please forgive the quality , Lord Lichefield I am NOT.
Note the busy hands and concentration , also camera avoidance!
The sun is shining so everyone is smiling (unless trying to concentrate) .
More busy crafters (we can see you we're just not looking up! lol)
The one good thing about taking photo's is that you don't get to be in them - but I won't be a spoilsport, here is one of me to laugh at.
The sun was shining here but it was about minus 4 (or it felt like that) .
How many clashing knitted items can one wear together before having to put on the sunspecs!
Now , I don't like to make statements on a knitting blog , but the recent actions of the BBC make me ashamed to be paying a license fee. Apparently they have asked Mazzmatazz to stop giving away the free Dr Who patterns online, as they are defending their Trademark. And it was stated that they would resort to Court action if their request was not met!
BBC - Hang your head in shame . Threatening a creative person who was very good at what she did, gave away her patterns and did NOT do this for money!
I will be writing to Auntie in the most serious of tones!!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Sunshine on Leith

and most of Scotland! There is a cloud threatening but I'm shooing it away. That and the wicked Magpie!
I'm a part time Bird Police Officer/ Egg sitter just now , a blackbird has made a nest in our hedge , and for most of the time is sitting very still like a statue jealously guarding her eggs. Along came a magpie and an almighty fracas ensued , with me helping chase the Magpie away along with mummy blackbird. Last year , Magpie wrecked the nest and the eggs , so hopefully this year we'll get baby blackbirds to maturity !
I love being able to write this blog from the garden , and today I'm wearing sandals , SANDALS! I've had my lunch and dinner out here listening to the calmness , and the occasional safety announcement from the Western Ferry down the road.
As I write , I am surrounded by my summer knitting magazines , trying to decide what to knit with silk , 4 ply cotton and BANANA Fibre (not all together I hasten to add)
I am knitting a lovely little eyelet detail top in 4 ply cotton just now , and have found two little tank patterns for the silk. But BANANA , hhmmm.....
Better go and have another look at my magazines , and check the Blackbird eggs !

Friday, 2 May 2008

Flowers in the window

its such a lovely day! Sun! And I'm blogging from the garden again
Camera still on the blink , so to speak , so can't take pictures of the flowers in the garden , never mind in the window.
There is a profusion of deep purple pansies in a big blue pot , there are daisies all over the grass , and the Cherry Blossom tree is in blossom with lovely pink flowers. The Fuschia by the front door has started to flower too .
My herb pot of coriander started to grow exponentially and produce lovely delicate white flowers , although I'll have to wait for the leaves to come back before I can use it for cooking again!
Karen and I took our spinning wheels into the Nursery on Wednesday to give a demonstration - the kids seemed to really enjoy , although the teacher enjoyed it a whole lot more! They tried a little knitting/finger knitting , had a feel of the fleece/roving/yarn , gave the drop spindle a wee spin and were generally entertained for about half an hour. This was longer than I had expected , I thought that they would wander off after three minutes and start playing on the climbing frame!
Knitting has slowed down just now , I need to get a move on for several projects that I actually have deadlines for , namely the PIF and my summer tanks!
I am looking forward to "making" my Pay - it - Forward item , it was in December that I signed up on Heathers blog to take part in PIF , and the lovely Tash from Vintage Pretty is to be my recipient of Pay - it - Forward . I've had an idea for some time , so the month of May is devoted to creating it!
Had a lovely evening at Flavaknits night last night , we took up nearly three whole tables. Poor Sandi had done herself a serious injury on her tandem bike , but managed to come along anyway . Lewis and Kimberley were all excited as they go to New Zealand on Saturday for almost a months vacation. Gale was telling us all about her lovely holiday in rural France , a foodies dream holiday! And Moira was knitting up that gorgeous Artesano Alpaca Aran (deep red) into a lovely cabled bag .
I am quite jealous as I love that yarn , it is the loveliest aran yarn I've had the pleasure to work with but sadly it was for a gift so I had to give it away!
I have just realised that it is only a month until the lovely Tigerlilith runs her marathon! I have great respect for anyone doing this , especially if like me , they had no previous running "experience" ! (NB I don't "do" running , walking yes , but not running! lol) If you get a chance , go over to her blog and sponsor her , its a great cause , Cancer Research .
I should really go and do dome housework/entertain jnr junior/ complain about faulty goods , but its such a lovely sunny day, I'll stay out in the garden a little longer .