Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Missing Needles

Its a gorgeous day now - sun shining, leaves falling gently, carpeting the ground in different shades of red, gold and brown , and it make me nostalgic for the days when my two were babies. Then I would just wrap them up warmly , put them in a pram or buggy , and set out for a bracing walk .
Now , it takes fifty minutes , at least 4 tantrums and raised blood pressure just to get them ready to go out, by that point I've either lost the will, or its started raining again ! So, for now, I'll just sit and look outside and dream of babies who could be put it prams !
Well, I've almost decided what pattern I'm going to do , BUT, I forgot I lent my Denise needles to my Aunt, who was on holiday until recently. So to fill in the time until I get them back (which could be like NOW, if I wasn't so lazy and would pick up the phone), I decided last night to start something in my lovely Noro Silver Thaw .
The pattern is called Erica (its the one on the right) .
And although you can't see there is a little "cross-ribbed" effect , or perhaps its more a twisted rib , mmmm , can't quite decide !
Anyway , every second rib has a slight twist to it .
And here is the start of the back , I just love knitting with Noro Silver Thaw , and I'm so disappointed that it is now discontinued . Thank goodness for Ebay and De-stashers !
The colours are given numbers instead of names , so this one is Number 13 - Lucky for some!
It has a hood which is not shown in the picture, and when I started knitting it, I thought it may be a good sweater for relaxation at Yoga. So while relaxing at Yoga today, I kept envisaging this sweater - Peace , man!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

A Fine Romance

Does anyone still remember the 1980's sitcom with Dame Judi Dench and her (real-life) husband who played the main characters ? I loved that programme , it didn't contain Hollywood style romance , but something a little closer to reality , and bit more "solid" , or very little romance at all to be honest !
DH and myself are not the most romantic of people , but we do like our little moments especially on our anniversary - look at this gorgeous card from DH..... it has Swarovski crystals on it, gorgeous!
Explaining to DS one and two that it was our wedding anniversary, and that meant we still like to kiss now and again , there were numerous puking and yeuch noises .... the little one in particular used his favourite expression - dats isgusting ! Ah the innocence !
Give them 10 years!
Was reading the YH latest blog entry and she has the book Armenian Knitting on it - won't go into details since she has , but I remember having a good look at this book at the Iknit shop and mentally putting it on my wish list. Instead I bought Simply Shetland - the one with Eunny Jangs fairisle sweater pattern, that I may knit next century , hopefully!
Instead , I may use my New Lanark chunky for this ...
Or this sweater on the left.... or the one on the right.....
Too much choice really.... I just love when you get pattern books that you love everything in , and you want to read again and again!
Just like Dumbledore said, when he used the bathroom at Horace Slughorns house , Horace asked him what took him so long (never a good question is it?) and he answered he'd been reading muggle magazines , he especially liked reading the knitting patterns in them!
Yes , DS one and I are reading Harry Potter again, it is to my son what knitting patterns are to me!
Well am off to get the Indian Take- away for the anniversary dinner - a fine romance indeed .
PS - just learned how to use the flip function in my Macbook photobooth , Fab!

Friday, 26 September 2008

Bliss !

The last few days have been lovely, both weather and otherwise . Wednesday , there was a strike , which meant the Nursery was closed for the day. So my good friend Karen and I had a lovely morning spinning , while the children gaily played inside and out (although I think at one point Karen was requested to be a firefighter!)
I managed to spin and ply my Natural Dye Studio Bluefaced Leicester "Halo" roving. I wanted it rather chunky, which may not have been a good idea since there was only 100 grammes , and I don't know if there is enough yardage to make anything, but it looks good (or so I think!)
Not a great photo - the camera may need a service as it the batteries don't last long in it, one or two photo's then it tells me the batteries need recharging !
Yesterday was DS no.1 's birthday - eight years old, wow, how the time has flown especially when I look at his baby photo hanging on the wall, he was only one day old in it . We had a big chocolate cake covered in munchies, rolo's and smarties , his favourite. Made a change from the Tardis cake last year, and that awful blue icing!
Had a lovely massage in the morning, which helped clear a dreadful two day headache, and kept me calm all day. Although by evening, I was almost comatose, and had difficulty staying awake!
I did manage to Flavaknits , though, and the girls from Dunoon had brought over a fabulous array of their knitted items.
Joanne is a new knitter , but her knitting is gorgeous, so neatly done, and expertly finished. Sandy is Queen of the felted knits just now , she had loads of felted bags and purses , made in the lovely New Lanark yarn . She also had a lovely little headband that could double as a grown up choker .
I had decided to give my Druid Mittens a miss last night, and started some socks in my Old Maiden Aunt sock yarn , I found a lovely pattern via Heather called Circles, and even in my semi-conscious state, I managed to get the pattern!
This morning I was alerted to this magazine , by my good knitting friend Irene, which was in my local Keystore along with the Vogue Knitting.
See, Gourock IS the bohemian centre of Inverclyde!
I have some of the Donegal Tweed patterns it contains, as I bought the DB Donegal Tweed book, but the rest of the patterns I don't have , and they are gorgeous too .
There are loads of cables , which I love, so I think there may be some cable knitting this winter !
Just checking that the two small people in the living room are okay - living room is not, but they are, so all is well with the world !

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Death Becomes Her

Hey , where did that attractive hat come from ??
Murdered by Bluesocksuk , and a killer colour combination
Death becomes her quite well , don't you think ?

Monday, 22 September 2008

A Spinning Yarn

A wee while back I got some lovely Harry Potter inspired roving , with the Gryffindor colourway. Now although it is some 2 years since I was first taught to spin (thank you India) , and although I have friends close to home who spin and also encourage me (thank you Karen) , I'm still pretty new to it - that is, I don't practice often enough to feel good at it .
So I was quite determined to try to spin and ply this roving to the best of my very inexpert ability..... and here it is. Not too bad I think, and I have a lovely little pattern for a scarf for it (yest I get to KNIT IT too!)
A slightly clearer picture, the top one shows I still have a little left to ply on the bobbins, and my home-made lazy kate .
And finally here are the pictures of my Falling Leaves socks in Koigu PPM - they've turned out a little loose , but are cosy to wear . Next time I would go down a needle size to 2.25mm to see if it made it a slightly tighter fit .
The heel and the toe are done in the same way , knit up one way with wraps and increases, knit down the other with decreases , its not the snuggest of fits , but I'm happy with it.
The heel on show - I just love the way this yarn knits up even in the plain old stocking stitch .
Had a lovely afternoon yesterday at Tramway knits , full of chatter , eating, drinking and the occasional knitting . Maggie has swapped knitting a sock and was making a chevron scarf instead , Ali was making the cutest bootees ever, Alice had her wonderful KSH sweater (deepest purple), and Thea was making headway with her shawl. Gloria was knitting a cardi and I didn't really see what Linn and Irene were doing as I was trying to remain calm as I knit my woolly weapon for Hat Attack 2 , using SWTC Therapi yarn . Its wool/silk and Jade mix , bit sticky and quite expensive. This is the first time I've had to knit to someones specifications including gauge , yarn, and pattern ! Its quite a demanding exercise !
Anyway , my woolly weapon is on its way to kill someone , didn't want to take pictures of a weapon as I try to keep items of aggression off this page! lol
Hopefully it won't be too painful a death , the fudge and fridge magnet should help!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

A week is a long time in Politics !

Well , last week I mentioned that our little knitting group may have to move due to our size , but a week can be a long time , and in that time our favourite meeting place and Knitty Home has come up with a solution.
So it looks as if we will be returning to Cafe Flava - obviously to help finance the expansion!
Just now I am in training for Hat Attack 2 - I have received my target , needles and yarn at the ready and the kettles on . The Hat Pattern is to be issued between 2pm and 8pm EST , USA , which roughly works out at 7pm and 1am BST , UK .
Could be a long night..... or I could be lazy and get "assasinated" first..... mmmmmmmm......
Hat Attack (2) is a bit like Sock Wars, you knit a hat and send it to your target, this then assassinates them . However , you may receive a hat at the same time , and then you are assassinated ! Its all bloodless good fun
The Therapi yarn , which is the recommended yarn for these "Games" is lovely to work with and feels quite smooth , just like a jade stone (it contains Jade fibre!) That will probably be incentive enough to keep going , that and the Fibonacci sequence that is included in the pattern .
Fibonacci? its all about nature!
Watched BBC4's Connect Quiz last night and there was the "Knitters" group, who just happened to be Craig from IKL and his two pals from their Knitting Group (Esther with the lovely pink sleeveless sweater)
I felt a bit......uneducated, the questions were all about connecting things/people etc. and I don't think I was able to answer any !
So I did what any self-respecting woman of my age would do - switched over to Sex and the City !

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Blessed are they that mourn.....

.....for they will be comforted
Olivia Nicholson Turner nee Gilchrist, 1935 - 2008
asleep in the Lord

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Time to Flit

Our little group at Flava started off with three people , Karen , Val and me . Moira , Kimmie and Lewis soon followed and there have been others on the way who started and stopped, started again, then we never saw them ! Was it something we said ?
And now ? Now, our little group is little no more , there are at least 12 of us meeting every Thursday evening in Cafe Flava . Unfortunately, Cafe Flava has not grown with us , and we are too big a group to meet there now (boohoo!)
We're a bit sad that allowances could not be made for our size , especially since its been our regular venue for two years. Such is the life of a radical and subversive group , kicked out of a Cafe !
So for Thursday evenings we will need to find a new home , we are checking out some venues and hopefully will find one that fits our needs . We'll still be causing havoc on a Wednesday mornings at Cafe Flava , or knitting eating and chatting whichever you prefer ! lol
Gorgeous Manos silk blend and Knitwitches silk mohair - they are practically works of art !
Well , my Koigu socks are done - still to put photographic evidence online . They are a bit big , but knowing my sock wearing history, they will no doubt shrink in the wash! My lovely blue/green megaboots socks got slightly felted , I blame the spin cycle on my washing machine , as the yarn was meant to be washable (wasn't it ?).
I'm in a sort of blue/green phase just now , I am knitting green mittens, I have bought lots of green/blue yarn , my next pair of socks is going to be green, and I may try experimenting with this blue fabric .
Kaffe Fasset Design, Rowan cotton print .
Bought this in Liberty's on Saturday, its very pleasing on the eye, and although I am not the best sewing, I may take a masterclass to do something good with this !
But for now ,the washing calleth , as well as the vacuuming, the ironing, the wild children swinging from light fittings , the dusting, the dishes AND a big glass of wine - guess whats getting done first ?

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Little Eccentricities

Conversation heard in vestibule area of Royal Horticultural Halls on Saturday just before Yarn Harlot talk .... "I'm not queue-ing out in the rain , love, I mean I know this womans great and funny and all that, but waiting out in the rain ,that's just crazy !"
This was a mother talking to her 10 year old daughter (I think the wee girl got her photo on the Yarn Harlot blog!) , her terribly excited and daft for knitting daughter , who was pleading with her mother to go over to the queue for the Lindley Hall where Stephanie P-McP was talking. And the rain , it was pelting it down.
Had to smile .
Now, I am a reasonably intelligent woman, mainly sensible and practical, but I too have my "excited and daft for knitting"moments too.
Like just now - I am wearing the first sock while trying to finish the second one, I feel it encourages me , and I also like the feel of the Koigu PPM , so I can't wait until I'm finished both to wear them .
My finished and almost finished Koigu socks - before I put the finished one on!
Its the opposite of "startitis" , its called "finishitis" !
And while I'm trying to finish, I start to think , mmmm, I could do with more of these handknit socks . What yarn should I use next ?
Perhaps my new Kraemer Silk and Silver from Iknit London shop - it contains silk AND silver , just as the ball band says.
Bit fancy for socks - might end up as fingerless gloves, or finger gloves!
Or maybe I should use my Old Maiden Aunt sock yarn - its very soft and cuddly, just wish I could knit quick enough!
All this while I'm still wearing one sock while knitting the other !
Fingers allowing, I'll be wearing the other one later this evening . Blocking , what about the blocking I hear you cry - well that's what the feet are for !
Kraemer Red Silk and Silver sock weight yarn - with Wensleydale black roving, it is so soft and glossy it could be on a Harmony Hairspray Advert!
Thank you all for your kind comments about the death of my Aunt , it is very comforting to know others feel for your sadness, and it is lovely to know so many kind knitters.

Monday, 8 September 2008

A little rain must fall......

It was with a a bit of heavy heart that I set off on Friday , but soon the events that followed did manage to cheer me up greatly. Even the torrential , almost biblical , rain that came down on London on Friday evening didn't manage to dampen the spirits again. And the taxi driver who had apparent gaps in his "knowledge" , which meant we drove about in circles for twenty minutes before arriving back at the same place couldn't quell our excitement .
Rowan cotton print , puddles and rainclouds , from Libertys of London .
The Iknit London weekend was here ! We would soon be seeing the Yarn Harlot , who would be entertaining us with her wit and wisdom on knitting, life and the Universe .
We would be meeting up with knitting friends and making new knitting friends .
And , we even managed a trip to the Iknit shop down in Waterloo , not quite in time to enjoy a refreshment, well there was plenty of yarn and books to be perused first . Have to get our priorities right , yarn before booze!
On the morning of Iknit day , we popped down to Libertys, as our Kimmie had never been there before. We entered the Tudor facade entrance , as the doors opened at 10am , took Kimmie right into the centre display and told her to look up at the beautiful wooden panels that adorn each floor .
Libertys is really THE MOST beautiful store in the world , there is nothing like it , Harrods and Harvey Nics' pale into insignificance next to it , and if you only have an hour to see something in London - GO THERE!
WE oohed and ahhhed in the Haberdashery department , the tana lawn , the silks , the patchwork cottons , and yarns , the books and patterns..... quite overwhelming .
Yes , we bought !
When we arrived at the Royal Horticultural Halls , there was a queue right round the building . And what a diverse crowd , mothers with newborns in papoose carriers , trendy young teens and twenty-somethings , glamourous grandmothers and fathers , bohemian arty sorts...... and us!
Iknit programme , ticket, badges and YH signed book, tube ticket for the day.
Once in the hall, we sat ourselves down, then got a cup of tea to set us up for the onslaught ! Thankfully, with me being tall and having a head of curly hair, I'm easy to spot in a crowd , so my good pal Lynette managed to catch up with us almost immediately , then Catherine , then Julia , then Paula , and later , Heather and Yvette. I have "known" Yvette virtually for a wee while , so it was lovely to finally meet her in person .
Another lovely thing was the way , you ended up chatting to complete strangers , and finding you have quite a lot in common (wonder why that is ? lol)
Met a lovely lady from Swindon , whose name I never got , so I shall have to check on Ravelry later. Also, during our visit to the Victoria and Albert museum on Sunday , we met the Dutch knitters , and two lovely ladies , one from Geneva , the other from Denmark.
The lovely lady from Geneva owns a yarn shop , so I can see a trip to Switzerland coming up soon , especially since our good pal India lives there now too !
And the very lovely and educated Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was as good as promised, funny, witty, entertaining, and educating . Although some of the questions asked of her were a bit.... lacking in the intelligent (what is it like to be a man knitter ?!?!? ) The chat went on for an hour and a half - far too short , especially for the folk who were knitting throughout!
And having the bad memory I have, there are certain bits that stand out more than others. One in particular was the research done by Cambridge Uni on how people cope with trauma. If someone sees something traumatic, but is doing something repetitive , this blocks of the primal part of their brain and allows the intellectual part to work it out, thus reducing the effect of the trauma. Repetitive actions included knitting! And the final quote was "although, you cannot expect people to carry about emergency knitting in case something traumatic happened!
Mmmmm , you think?
Then a lady from Oxford Uni stood up to tell how she was conducting research on the effects of knitting , especially on people with depression etc. (bad memory , again!).
Instead of a boat race, I think there may be some Knitting research races in future !!
Too much intellectualism makes me sleepy , so it was off for a cuppa and some more shopping!
Managed to wave to Yvonne , at the Knitting and Crochet Guild stand , while I was standing in the queue to get my book signed - it was that sort of day . There was so much going on , so many stalls to buy from , so many folk to chat to , some wonderful fashion shows (Jane Wallers' , new book out soon , TO DIE FOR!) . It all went by too quickly.
Some of the purchases from the day - manos del uruguay silk blend, Kraemer silk and silver , NDS roving , Knitwitches silk mohair , Wensleydale tops , and Rowan Cotton print.
Later on , a crowd of us Scottish Knitters (made up of some scots, an american, a canadian , and some english folk ! lol), met up for dinner in Kensington. It was a great night, the food was wonderful , the company great , we chatted, ate, drank and chatted some more . Bit like a knitting meetup, unfortunately the wine was too strong, goodness knows what the knitting could have ended up looking like if we did eventually get to knit!.
Too soon , we were back on the flight to Glasgow , back to "auld claes an' purridge " !
It was such a wonderful weekend !

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Excitement tempered with Sadness

The bags are nearly packed , passport, flight tickets in handbag , weather report checked , hotel and restaurants booked , its nearly time for Iknit Yarn Harlot Day , and I should be sooooo excited .
And yet , I am sad! My lovely auntie died today , so I may be sad for a wee while. Although, I know it was her time , and to linger would have been too painful for her , I will miss her .
Time to remember happy memories.