A needle short of a full set

That’s not just how I feel right now, it’s also a statement. There was an accident with Pomotamous. I’d turned the heel, finished the gusset decreases, and was transporting my little baby to and from work happily until last night, when I pulled it out the bag to find the lace side of the foot missing a needle. I frantically picked what I could up, but stitches are dropped next to yarn overs, and I couldn’t find where to pick them back up. So, my poor little baby is no more 🙁 And I need a new set of dpns. I have no idea where that needle has gone either :/ Poo. Mum’s coming over to buy more yarn from Holmfirth this weekend, so I’ll see if I can get some needles there, but mine are bamboo and are ace and lovely, so I hope I don’t end up ordering off the internet and having to buy yarn to pad the order out…
That would be awful.
In the meantime, I might pick out a different sock pattern and different yarn. I know I want the Poms in LL now, so I’ll save it for when I’m ready again. I’m sorely tempted to break out the cashmere sock yarn from the stash… Woof.
In other brief news, the argyle sock pattern has now been downloaded over 200 times 🙂 My stats program is playing up a bit and reckons there has been no action at all on this site for a week, when there clearly has, but at last count, it was about 215. Hoorah!

Amazing Lace Challenge 3, plus a little elaboration

A haiku on Lead or Follow

Knitting lace is hard
With Lead or Follow I should
Follow, but I’m lost…

Well, not as bad as that, but blimey, the yarn is a little more delicate than I’m used to. And it feels a bit strange compared to the fibres I’ve used before (I have no idea what it is incidentally. It was just cheap and there in front of me to buy). It moves slowly at the moment. The heat and commitments with friends means that something requiring this much concentration has taken a back seat too many times.

And so, I present to you, my progress on Lead or Follow, just to qualify the reasoning behind the haiku above (that’s a pencil at the bottom to give you perspective)…

haiku lace.jpg

Honest opinions needed urgently

I’m getting a sweat on, and I’m a little scared. I’ve been wondering what to make for my One Skein pal for a while – I want to make it something that they will use, wear, and hopefully love. I figured a scarf, while a bit obvious, is a good place to start, but make it special. First I thought of scribble lace, but that isn’t really OS. Then I figured I’d use my new skills with crochet to make something I’ve loved looking at for ages – a gorgeous scarf in silk mohair in a Rowan magazine, but try out my Habu Mohair Silk Kusa, but I’m not sure if it will work. Not because of the yarn or the pattern, but purely because my skills aren’t really very good 😉
So please take a look at this and tell me whether, with blocking and a few more squares stuck together, I can make a nice light, gifty scarf. Also, with it being squares is it best to block them individually and pin them out before sewing together?
BTW, the yarn is just gorgeous…
rowan block.jpg

Burnt as a crisp Part 2, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the funk.

It is far far far too early to be writing this on a Sunday. What on earth am I doing?

Well, I’m up and about so I might as well be sorting this out 😉

Ok, so the rest of the weekend was a bit surreal. By Saturday night, Sarah and I were probably dealing with sunstroke and booze related psychosis. We started talking to each other in a bizarre accent that was somewhere between German (or rather bad nazi accent from bad TV movies) and Italian for no apparent reason. Actually, Sarah started it. So there. Sarah has this thing going on in her head that creates strange incidents, and also attracts very strange people to within 10 feet of her. She’s just set up a blog to celebrate this fact, but I can tell you that on her way to Sue’s on the train, there was a man dressed in England shorts, a bum bag, and a t shirt that had a picture on of a guinea pig that said ‘In loving memory of Molly’, carrying a box. When he went to sit down, he practically threw the box on the luggage rack, and warned the lady he was going to sit next to to watch out as, even though guinea pigs may not fall out of the box, poop and straw might. Nice. Her blog mentions that when she went into Subway and asked for a cheese sandwich, she was asked if she wanted cheese with it.

Knowing these tidbits will go someway to describing what our Sunday was like. Sunday was ace, but one of the most surreal experiences I’ve had in a while (keep in mind that normally hanging out with Sarah does induce surreal experiences, and we don’t meet up nearly often enough). Sue took us to Oakham to the village fair in aid of the Make a Wish foundation. We knew we were in for something a bit unusual when we saw there was a Ghostbusters themed treasure hunt there. It was a stunning day – the hottest we’ve had so far this year (which may not be saying something, but lets say high 20s and the UK don’t go together very often). When we arrived, there were guys dressed as stormtroopers and Smiths, but the Stormtroopers were a bit odd – they had those kind of visor things (more like Vader’s helmet), and were wearing white wellies… In spite of the wellies, they were making a great effort. One guy was waiting at the traffic lights to cross over the road, but while he was waiting, you could hear the radio thingy on his helmet changing his voice, and he kept saying ‘move along, move along’ to the traffic. The guy on the our side of the road, when the lights changed, started talking to someone in a car, asking him if he’d seen any droids…

Here is Nic, gangin up with a stormtrooper against me. The gits.
nic and stormtrooper vs me.jpg

We walked round towards the castle grounds, and when we got there, the place was full of sci fi super heroes, but with a twist. Trinity was there, with more Smiths, and the poor lass was wearing a black PVC trenchcoat (she must have been sweating cobs). Batman was there too (also in black rubber), chatting away to Trinity (or was that chatting up?). There were the Ghostbusters, naturally, but not 3 of them. Not even 4 of them. We counted 6. Quigon Jin was there too, with Obi Wan and Amidala, and thankfully there was no sign of bloody Jar Jar. There was also a powerranger (don’t ask which one, but he was discussing his special power of the extra man-arm with a Smith. A tad dodgy when there are kids around, but I suspect they’d questioning his packet anyway in that lycra), and some random guy dressed in army fatigues with a floppy black hat and a gun, and we couldn’t think who he was trying to be for the life of us.

Here we have a lovely pic (sorry about the quality guys) of Quigon having a bit of a fight with a Ghostbuster.
ghostbusters vs quigon jin.jpg

It was a really good laugh to go round, watching the kids asking them all for autographs, and the Ghostbusters chatting to the kids on the Make a Wish podium. We did decide though that it wasn’t the kids getting their wishes brought to life, but the guys in costumes. The charity apparently does a lot of work to help people dress up as sci fi characters from films and fulfil their wildest dreams by standing around at a fair and chatting each other up while signing autographs. Hooray!

After that, we went to Rutland Water. It’s a beautiful place, a reservoir with some wildlife reserves around it. When they flooded the valley, the ended up, in typical local council style, destroying a village with some historical buildings, but they kept the church as a monument and museu,. About half of the church is now underwater, so it’s quite a striking sight when you come through the trees to see it.

rutland water church 2.jpg

rutland water church.jpg

It’s a really beautiful place, and the weather was just gorgeous, so we went on a boat trip and I ended up with sunburnt arms, and that little red nose. Whoops.
sunburnt nose.jpg

Finally, we headed back to Burghley, and went to feed the deer. The does are pregnant and pretty skittish, but you can feed the bucks by hand – they are pretty used to the attention, and hang out around where the cars park under the trees. When they saw Sam coming, they recognised that he’d be brining goodies, so moved towards us, and all you do is hold your hand out like feeding a horse, and they just lift the food really delicately off your palm. They’re antlers are like velvet too at this time of year, so you could stroke them while they fed. Just beautiful creatures.
feeding deer 2.jpg

After that, I had to get the train back home 🙁 What a bummer. I know you can’t live like that all the time, but living there would help after work 😉

Time for some gratuitous knitting content.

First up, the gifty things I got from my lovely mates 🙂
Sue bought me Knitting on the Road and Spin It (and the very wonderful Jeanette Winterson’s Lighthousekeeping) 🙂
Sues gift.jpg

Shirls got me some cloisonne containers in the shape of kimono wearing girls 🙂
Shirls gift.jpg

And Nic got me some Body Shop Vanilla stuff, and some vintage yarn 🙂
Nics gift.jpg
In there is some german baby yarn which is incredibly soft and cushy (the white on the left), some Sirdar Alpaca blend (the big ball of lilac), and some Tivoli slubby cotton (the white and orange on the right) that is so vintage it’s untrue 😀

My mates are so cool 🙂

So did I get any knitting done? Not much – it was too hot. But I did do some sewing up when I got back, and ended up with this. I’m not impressed.

astrakhan cardi finished.jpg

It’s the Debbie Bliss Astrakhan cardi from Vogue, minus the cashmerino aran cuffs and collar. I decided not to include those because I couldn’t get a good colour match, and I also wasn’t really impressed with the collar, particularly with how it would probably look on me. It’s ok. I’ve warmed to it since I made it, but when I first tried it on, I sent a text to Sue asking if she knew anyone who’d want it… That may have had something to do with it being very hot, and the cardi being very warm. It may also be to do with it being a bit too big, and the bulk of the wrap in compensating for the size makes it a bit, well, bulky!

astrakhan cardi finished looooong sleeve.jpg

It might be a nice cardi when it’s cold again, but still, it isn’t a masterpiece. I’m surprisingly ok with boucle thing, but the yarn isn’t easy to count rows/stitches with, so watch out. It’s also impossible to sew it up with itself, so you need to find a good colour match and just hope that you are sewing the right stitches together seeing as you can’t see them. It could be worse, and it could be better.

Which leads me to one last thing. I’ve hit a knitting funk. I’m not sure if it’s because of the heat recently, or whether it is just me, or the projects I’m working on, but I have very little knitting motivation 🙁 I’m not making anything rubbish – the lace scarf, a moss stitch scarf, socks for someone at work, Pomotamous (which are finally going well and look cool). So what do I do? I add to the pile and try something else – another OSW now that the weather is gorgeous, but work is freezing with the air conditioning thing (are shrugs still ok to wear? I’m not the most fashionable girl, but shrugs are such a funny thing sometimes). But I’m ok. I’ll surge through it 🙂 I can finish the OSW today probably, especially after getting up so early, which might help a bit.

And these might help too 😉
Aileen sent me a little surprise birthday thing 😀
Aileens birthday surprise.jpg
It’s Sandra magazine, Interweave Crochet magazine, and a hank of Kilcarra Tweed in the most gorgeous red with flecks of blue. Yummy 😀 Here’s a close up.
Aileens birthday surprise close up.jpg
And I got a package from my One Skein Secret Pal too 😀 A ball of Rowan Cotton Tape in a tasty apple green-yellow. Yum 😀
skein 01 2006.jpg
I’ve already got a pattern for it – a little crochet cap, which might also get started today in the grand funk thing. Hoorah!
Ok, I better shut up at this point, or I might break your puters…

Burnt as a crisp, but chilled out and happy Part 1


For some reason WP did not post the last two posts, so I’m very sorry if you think I’ve been a bit slack 🙁 Anyway, I’ve slapped them up, even if they are out of date now… Bugger.

I have lots of piccies, and lots to tell you all, so I’ll have to do it in stages. Otherwise, I will break your puters/connection with all the pics I put up, and/or I will go mad typing the whole bloody thing up.

Ok, so lets start with Friday. I had booked the afternoon off to go to stay with my friends for the weekend, and have a bit of a uni reunion. Sue and Sam live at Burghley House, as Sam works as a gardener there, and gets to live on site as part of the job. Ooooh, it is a gorgeous place. And it was gorgeous weather all weekend. Burghley has a long history, and has had lots of cool things filmed there, like the latest Pride and Prejudice film (Keira stroked Fen, Sue and Sam’s dog :D) and the Da Vinci Code (for those who are interested). Friday I arrived late afternoon, and met them and another mate at the station. Then we toddled back to the house and had a big buffet thing while we waited for the others, drank lots, waited a bit more, drank some more, watched Big Brother a bit, shouted and laughed at how poor it is/the people are/how cheesy TV is etc and had a bloody good natter all night.

This is the bit that Sue and Sam live in:
stable yard.jpg

and this is the view from the window outside their flat:
view from stable flats.jpg

The deer in the grounds often come up to the fountain first thing in the morning for a drink, but we weren’t awake at that kind of time, because we were dirty stop ups.

Saturday was a bit awkward – we were expecting more friends to arrive for lunch, and the footy was on in the afternoon (or rather, knitting time for Sue and myself), so we just went into Stamford in the morning for a bit (a lovely lovely little place – visit it if you get near enough), and picked up goodies for a picnic. When we got back we went for a walk round the sculpture park. I took loads of pics there, but I only had my little phone cam which doesn’t really do it all justice, but trust me, it is fascinating. There are the three bears complete with porridge bowls and a little area for the kids to sit in for stories. There is a mad glass space hopper, a huge partial face (that you can see on the website), a completely mad sound experience in the Ice House (an hour long soundtrack with different people saying the same words and phrases in different languages – after a couple of mins it can drive you a bit potty), and very beautiful sculptures made from tree trunks that blend into their surroundings. Well worth a wander round. We sat by the edge of the lake to eat, under a willow, and watched the world go by. Bliss. See?
lakeside picnic.jpg

By the time we’d done that and met the others on their arrival it was football time. Sue and I sat and knitted away, and nattered at the back of the room while the football fans watched. Sue also instigated the first England goal, by leaving the room and coming back in to cheers. Sue is magic. After the match, Sam burnt barbequed some stuff up, and we stuffed our faces in the sun again.

That’s it for now. I have to go and apply more aftersun on my nose/shoulder/arm/any other bit the factor 20 missed or got sweat off… But trust me, there will be yarn porn, knitting content and pictures of animals being generally gorgeously cute. Be warned…

A very very very quick post!

I’m going away for the weekend after work today, but I just wanted to post a very quick message to my One Skein Secret Pal. I got a little parcel from her earlier in the week, but haven’t had time to post about it because I’ve been rediculously busy this week, and have barely had two minutes at home to rub together :/

Thank you Pal – I love it 😀 I’ve told you that already in an email, but just to clarify things… 😉

I’ll post pics when I get back, but there will be quite a bit to show I suspect (I’ve already got one thing finished by some kind of miracle). Nice weather + friends watching football might not equate to knitting too much, but we shall see what my mate cooks up… Have a fabby weekend everyone!

Just checking in…

Not much to show or say right now I’m afraid. It was DB’s birthday yesterday, so I spent the week preparing before the celebrations, answering emails. The only knitting I’ve done is stuff that doesn’t currently leave much to look at I’m afraid. I’ve got all of 6 rows of Lead or Follow done for the Amazing Lace KAL, have just started the heel for the first sock I said I’d make for a colleague, and have frogged the beginnings of Pomotamous socks twice because I wasn’t paying enough attention and missed rows out. Duh. I have made progress on the Astrakhan cardi tho… I’m halfway through the second sleeve, and am beginning to think that I won’t bother with a collar, or at least not in cashmerino aran anyway. I’ve got a busy week ahead too, which doesn’t make it look too good for knitting – a Harvey Nichols cardholders’ night (ooooh dear, I see a spending spree ahead), a meal, a haircut (the first I’ve had since Christmas – whoopsy), and then on Friday, I go off to visit Sue and have a bit of a reunion for the weekend, which may involve some knitting escapades, but not too many as not all of us are crafters. We may knit while England play though 😀

My mind has been dragged away from current knitting by two things – the arrival of Mason Dixon Knitting from Amazon this week, and watching Lost 😀 Oooooh both are fabby! And I’m also mildly playing along with the Lost ARG. Ooops! Mason Dixon has totally inspired me (and made me cheer when I saw that they list Texere and Up Country on their suppliers page – hoorah!). I’m thinking of different yarns in my stash that might go towards a lovely Moderne Log Cabin blanket, but I certainly am not allowed to start it until I’ve finished some other things. Blimey it would be a good stash busting exercise though… Yum. And I can use the inspiration – I was inspired to also order Barbara Walker’s first two pattern treasuries via ILL at work. The British Library only have these two listed on their catalogue, but I’m hoping that I can get the other two from other libraries. Hopefully they won’t take too long to arrive, because after all I’ve read and seen about them online, I could do with their help in getting some other sock designs going… The argyle type one has had 90 downloads since I put it up, which is rather cool 😀

Sooo, for what is left of the weekend, I’ll be baking choc chip ginger biscuits for work, perhaps doing some more Kool Aid dyeing (but that might wait till tomorrow), and hopefully finishing the sleeve and blocking. A tad ambitious, but with Poseidon Adventure showing on Channel 5, I think the knitting potential is high 😉