Up Knit Creek

Monday, May 30, 2005


Help! I think I'm going off knitting! I hope this is just a temporary aberration but I'm really finding it difficult to get motivated on any of my knitting projects at the moment.
Clapotis - I've done a few pattern repeats but it's nowhere near done
Lacy scarf - haven't touched it for ages
Chair cover - ditto
I've started the "marshmallow" top from June's "Knitting" magazine, but I'm not really enthralled by it. I've also tried to start a cardi of my own design with some lovely soft microfibre yarn I bought about 18 months ago, but I've frogged about three times and every time I try a different stitch pattern, it just looks crap.
If anyone out there in blogland has any spare inspiration, please send it my way!
To change the subject completely, Simon and I decided that, being a Bank Holiday and all, we should go out somewhere. Being the daring, adventurous types, we went all of 9 miles into Brighton and went to the Royal Pavilion. It's about 8 years since last time I went and I had forgotten how completely decadent and opulent it is. There has been quite a lot more restoration since my last visit and it really is incredible - I was impressed.
We then dodged the rain (well, it is Bank Holiday) and had Tapas for lunch, complete with some sangria - almost like being on holiday. A stroll around North Laine and along by the arches and fishing museum, then home for tea and scones. How jolly British!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Shrug it and see

Been a bit busy this week which is why I haven't posted since last Wednesday. The busy-ness has resulted in this:
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I have also finished (I think) my ExTex project, but I'm not posting pictures of it until after the exhibitions - yes, it's all going to be on public display!

That's it for today, I'm very tired!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

No knitting

No knitting at all today - didn't get chance during the day and when I got home from work I had other stuff to do. I don't suppose it's a bad thing to have a break from knitting, my wrists do get quite achey at times.
First, as promised, a picture or two of my nuno felted scarf:
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and a close up:
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The main reason for the lack of knitting was the fact that I have to finish my ExTex project by mid-June and I hadn't started on the main piece, which is a vessel in which to put the flowers I am making. After several re-thinks, I finally decided to bite the bullet and make a 3D vessel rather than making a flat piece of felt and stitching it into a vase-type shape.
Well, I knew the theory, having already made a little bag, but the practice is another thing altogether. At various points during the process, I thought I would have to scrap the whole thing, or else I was desperately trying to think of ways of retrieving something from the sorry mess of fibres on the draining board. I kept finding holes around the edges (guess who hadn't remembered to allow extra fibre to overlap the sides???) and every time I tried to add more fibre, I just got a separate piece of felt that was attached by just a few threads. Any way, I persevered and am now fairly hopeful of the end product. The vessel has been shaped around a tin that normally contains a bottle of Becherovka which is a rather yummy Czech herbal drink. Herbal, huh? Must be good for me, right? Well, after several shots, the world takes on a very rosy glow and a feeling of relaxation sweeps over you which obviously has nothing whatsoever to do with the 38% markings on the bottle. Certainly does me good!
The vessel is currently drying:
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and will eventually contain these two plus a poppy which is still under construction
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A big thank you to anyone who has left comments - it really means a lot.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


I decided I wanted to buy a copy of Yarn Harlot's book, but didn't think it would be readily available in our local bookshops, so I went on to the Amazon website. I've always been satisfied with my dealings with Amazon in the past and had no reason to think this would be any different. To my surprise and delight, "At Knit's End" was listed as being available for despatch within 24 hours. I also saw "A Gathering of Lace" by Meg Swansen and thought I'd have that as well. The confirmation e-mail I received assured me that both books would be despatched by the end of April (I placed the order on 26th March). The end of April came and went, and I heard nothing. When I checked my account, it said that the books would be despatched in June!!! I was not a happy bunny so I sent an e-mail to Amazon customer services (after trawling the whole site for the address - not easy to find at all - Amazon take note). This email expressed my displeasure in no uncertain terms, and I cancelled the order. I got an email back from Amazon apologising for letting me down and giving me a voucher for £3.00 off my next purchase - a result.
I then went on to Waterstones website (which is Amazon by a different name), saw both books on 24 hour despatch and placed my order. That was on Friday morning and Hey Presto! both books arrived on my doorstep at 10.00 o'clock this morning - another result! What I can't understand is how one section of Amazon can get things so badly wrong, when another section gets it absolutely 100% right. It's Waterstones for me every time from now on.
I am happy to report that both books live up to their expectations and are the main reason for an almost complete lack of knitting today (I did about 6 rows of the Viennese shrug). We also went to a wedding today ( I didn't think it would be quite the done thing to knit in the register office or at the reception, but I'm ashamed to say that my obsession has taken such a hold that I really did consider taking my wool and needles along). The bride and groom both looked absolutely lovely and even the few small showers didn't spoil the day.
The day has finally ended with me driving into Brighton at 10.00pm to pick up Lucy and her friend from a rock gig they had been to - I knew I had the right place when I saw loads of teenagers dressed in black baggy things and sporting t-shirts with satanistic scrawlings on them. Can you tell that I'm really up to speed with developments in the world of popular music?!!

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Oh dear! I fully intended to post a blog yesterday as well as tweaking a few bits and pieces on the side bar, but alas! Blogger was being very temperamental last night adn kept coming up with error messages. I tried for about half an hour and then gave up. The UKnitters ring thingy doesn't allow me to click on to the next or previous blog and I couldn't fix that either.
So today will just be a quick blog before I go to work.
I'm about half-way through the Viennese shrug and it's looking good, if I say so myself. It won't be finished in time for the wedding at the weekend unfortunately, so Lucy will just have to shiver!
I made my first attempt at Nuno felting last night and I'm very pleased with the result (although not so impressed with the puddle on the kitchen floor). I now have a muslin scarf with strands of felt attached to it, and the muslin in between the felt has puckered and gathered really nicely. There will be a picture when I have more time. I've also finished a needle-felt lily for my ExTex project - again, pictures to follow.
Must dash now - work is beckoning, worse luck.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


I've been a very good girl today - I've finished, not one, but two things! Three, if you count my sunflower, but that's ExTex, not knitting.
The proof is here:
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That's the flower basket shawl from Interweave Knits autumn 2004 and Via Diagonale from the latest issue of Knitty.
The bag came out a bit too floppy for my liking, so I quilted the lining and used some washing line with a wire core inside the handles. It just gives it a bit more substance. There was some fabric left over from the lining, so I think I'll make a needle roll for all my dpns; at present they just roll around in the bottom of my "Knitting tidy" (there's a misnomer for you - it's anything but tidy) and I can never find the set I need.
I need someone with very narrow shoulders to donate the shawl to - as I've said before, I didn't bother to do a test swatch even though I was using completely different yarn from the one suggested, and the shawl barely wraps around my shoulders. Still, it was nice knitting it!
I have now started the Viennese shrug from Interweave Knits Summer 2005.
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This will be for Lucy so obviously it had to be black. I think it will look quite dramatic in black although it's difficult to knit with...............maybe I should get my eyes tested or get a brighter light.
On an entirely different note (no pun intended) I'm planning to get out my viola tonight. My other half works in a music shop and came home with some Tchaikowsky and some Vaughn-Williams transcribed for the viola - just thank your lucky stars that this isn't an audio blog!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


I can't believe it! I travelled the M25 on Bank Holiday Monday and didn't get held up at all. Really, I'm not making it up, there were no hold-ups at all. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for last Friday when it was stop-go all the way from Junction 9 to Junction 15. I was not looking forward to the drive, especially as I had what I thought was a rotten cold on Thursday - turned out to be a fleeting allergic reaction to something unknown.
We had a good time at my parents'. We managed to get kitted out for a wedding we're going to in a couple of weeks. I really don't like going clothes shopping with the girls - we have very different ideas about what is "suitable" - but in spite of the huge crowds in Leicester on Saturday, we all got something to wear. Bethany is very pleased with her little black lace number and Lucy has been practising walking in her first pair of stilettos.
My mum's Sunday Lunch (yes, it does deserve capital letters) was as delicious as usual............ although I'm not a great meat eater, there's something about Sunday Lunch that is very comforting; maybe it's the chance to spend time with family, maybe it's the wine, maybe it's the roast potatoes, who knows? Whatever, it was really nice to see mum and dad for the first time since Christmas, and to see my brother and his girlfriend.
We always play Trivial Pursuit at mum and dad's (yes, I know it's deeply sad) and i am the champion. We only played three games, but I won all of them (oh God, I really need to get out more!)
Mum thought it would be a nice idea if we all went to see a play on Saturday night, performed by a local amateur dramatic group. Well, the idea was nice but the play was not. Badly acted, badly directed, utterly boring. The evening was then rounded off fittingly when Mum won the star prize in the raffle.....................a pair of tickets to the next performance in October!! She was thrilled (not!)
On the knitting front: Via Diagonale is complete, well, the knitting part, anyway. I have to get out the sewing machine to make the lining, but haven't got around to that yet. The Flower Basket shawl is complete, it just needs blocking. I'm going to have to block it to within an inch of its life, as it has come out very small ( before you ask, no, I didn't bother with a tension square - it's a shawl, how can it not fit?).
I will be heartily relieved when the election is over. Every time, I have great hopes that something will actually change for the better, and every time, I'm disappointed. I've voted in enough elections now to realise that "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose".
Peri (see Knit and natter) has similar views, I think, as do a great many others.
That's all for now. Don't forget to vote!!!