Up Knit Creek

Friday, October 28, 2005


Here it is, the loopy thing in all its glory!

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Bethany only agreed to pose for the picture if I promised to remove her head, but what can I say? I lied!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I knew it............

You Belong in Paris

Stylish and a little sassy, you were meant for Paris.
The art, the fashion, the wine, the men!
Whether you're enjoying the cafe life or a beautiful park...
You'll love living in the most chic place on earth

What City Do You Belong in? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

............... I knew I was destined for better things. I'm off to brush up my French, mes amis!
A bientot!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I spent quite a while this afternoon looking at other people's blogs because I couldn't think of anything to write about. I could write about my knitting, I suppose, but it's not all that interesting at present; on the needles is a..................well,.......................... a collection of loops is probably the most accurate description. It's knitted in this in the greeny-blue colourway and will hopefully turn out like this
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only without the peculiar "thing" hanging down at the front. (Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2005) It's for Bethany and was, according to her, the only decent thing in all my magazines and knitting books (of which there are many, many, many - is it possible to have a stash of books as well as yarn?) Although it is a simple pattern, it has been quite a challenge to knit because of the combination of fine yarn and large (12.75mm) needles. It hasn't been helped by the fact that the needles have a habit of falling out at most inopportune moments - on Sunday, the yarn and one of the needles went rolling off down MIL's driveway and then again down the hill where we live. There's only a few more rows left to do, but then I have to join it all together. The pattern says to use slip-stitch crochet and have the seams showing on the outside. Sewing is definitely not an option - how do you sew spaces? Hopefully there will be a photo of the finished article by the week-end.
Apart from the above object, I have been fiddling around with a bit of free-form knitting and crochet. I saw Prudence Mapstone at Ally Pally and was so impressed that I bought her book. I've only made a small "scrumble" so far but the results are promising. The key to a successful freeform is colour, in my humble opinion. Although it seems like an excellent way of using up stash and all those annoying leftovers from colour work, I think that to make anything that you would actually want to be seen in, you need to choose the colours very carefully. The beauty of it is that if there is a very very expensive yarn that you've been dying to try, one skein can be enough if it's mixed in with lots of others. I have an idea forming at the back of my mind that would involve a skein of really beautiful hand-painted yumminess which could then be used as the basis for a colour-palette........................... maybe I should stick to something small to start with, at least until I have more of an idea about what I'm supposed to be doing.
The aran chair-cover is still ongoing - it will be subject to some intense attention as soon as Bethany's loopy thing is finished and I also have a new project to start (well, actually, there's about ten new projects waiting in the wings, but this is the one I most want to knit). It's a "Sailmaker" top from Elle yarns, bought at a bargain price from Scarf-o-matic during her de-stashing sale. I've wanted this kit for ages but couldn't really justify spending fifty quid, but half price.......well, honestly, how was I meant to resist?
Must go now, I'm on hairdressing duty; Lucy has finally decided on her new look....................

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

In one piece

I've survived, despite trains that didn't run*, dodgy hotels**, even dodgier taxi drivers and eating at McDonald's, I'm still in one piece.

This was the first time I had ever been to Alexandra Palace and the first time I had ever demonstrated anything at a show and I would readily do both again. There was a real buzz at the show, and although I didn't get to look around as much as I would have liked, what I did see was very inspiring. The whole place was a riot of colour and texture and there are so many new techniques that I really want to try. It's probably just as well that I didn't get to look around too much as I would have spent far far too much money.
I had a great time demonstrating the "Wonder Knitter" and the Hairpin Lace tool along with knitting needles and crochet hooks. Nina and Naoki were really friendly and easy to get on with so I needn't have been nervous at all. Now I want to have a go at the applique and mesh-weaving that Nina was demonstrating, just so I can have a go with that really cute little mini iron.
Unfortunately, my head is now completely full of fluffy yarn so there is no room for a brain, as manifested by the fact that I totally forgot to take the camera, so I apologise for the lack of pictures - I'm sure there are other, more organised, bloggers out there whose brains are still intact and who will have pictures on their blogs.

All in all I had a great weekend and I'm feeling quite proud of myself. Only a few weeks ago, the journey alone would have put me off going as my mood was so low and motivation non-existent but things have moved on and I've had a great little adventure, made new friends, found loads of inspiration and proven to myself that I can speak in public ( a personal challenge that I have always avoided in the past). Wow! There's the proof - Knitting Is Good For You!

* On Saturday morning, there were no trains running to Alexandra Palace station as a Eurostar train had broken down there. What I can't understand is why a Eurostar train was anywhere near Ally Pally? Was it lost? Did the driver mistake Ally Pally for the Louvre?
** Apparently, the hotel I stayed in at Haringay is (or was) a brothel. I didn't see anything suspicious, but I wouldn't know what to look for anyway!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Too early

It's ten to six in the morning and I'm trying really hard to keep my eyes open. I've been awake since three, going over and over in my head all the things I need to take with me for the jaunt to Ally Pally.
The list is seemingly endless, considering I'll only be away for a couple of days.
It's also still raining which means I'm going to get wet walking to the station and will be wet all the way to London.
I'm only whittering like this 'cause I'm nervous - my stomach is churning and my hands seem to have a mind of their own (I've corrected half a dozen typos in this post already).
I hope I'll get to meet some of my fellow Bloggers over the next few days - I'll be on stand M33 "Clover" so please come and say hello.
Happy Knitting, everyone!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Here we are.............

.............at last, a few piccies. This blog has been sadly lacking in piccies recently so here, for your delectation and delight are:

The "Accidentally on Purpose" drop-stitch top from Stitch 'n' Bitch Nation
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modelled by Bethany ("Mum, you must make sure you crop the picture so you can't see my face or arms")

Machine-knit scarf made using my very own punch-card (more by luck than judgement)
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modelled by Lucy ("Mum, make sure you crop this picture too; Lucy looks really scary")

A close up of the scarf which, despite having been severely blocked, still curls up at the edges like mad.
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And finally, a little necklace made using beading wire and beads on the Clover "Wonder Knitter":
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I'm really pleased with this as it seemed to be going horribly wrong to start with. I think that if I make another one, it would be worth splashing out on silver or silver-plated wire because it has a much nicer colour. The wonder knitter is basically a french-knitting dolly but it has removable heads with either three or six prongs on and the head turns as you are knitting which speeds things up quite a bit because you don't have to keep moving your hands. This is one of the things I'll be demonstrating at Ally Pally next week so if you come and say hello, I'll let you have a go - how could you resist!!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A challenge

The lovely C left this comment yesterday:

C x said...
I'll make you a deal. If you finish the legendary Aran Chair Cover before Christmas, I will send you a nice knitty Christmas pressie. There you go. Motivation.
1:08 PM

I am *fairly* sure (well, a bit sure) that I can meet this challenge but it does pose another challenge of its own - how can I repay this thoughtful act of kindness?
It is deeply sad that I need a carrot dangled in front of me in order to finish a project that I was so enthusiastic about at first and it is even more sad that I cannot think of a fitting way to repay C. I know she works in a yarn store so it is very unlikely that I have (or could get) any yarn or knitty bits and pieces that she doesn't already have. Hmmmmmm............................ thinks............. may have a little idea.................................... *scuttles off to look in deepest recesses of sewing boxes*
C, if you read this, give us a clue!

Sunday, October 02, 2005


.................or, more to the point, lack of it.
Bad girl, naughty girl, go and sit in the corner until you learn to keep your promises.
I will blog more than once a week.
Well, I'm back at work after 10 weeks and it feels like I've never been away. My colleagues have allowed me to ease in gently but I think it's been a bit too gentle as I've found myself without much to do and have got fairly bored already. Oh well. It didn't help that my first days back coincided with the Labour Party conference so all the parking in Brighton was mucked up and there were armed Police all over the place. Why don't these parties have their conferences in something like a disused Army barracks, so the security is simple to arrange and ordinary peoples' lives aren't disrupted? It's not rocket science............

On the knitting front (which is, after all, the raison d'etre of this blog) I have knitted 3 fine lacy scarves and a jumper on the knitting machine and done a few rows of the good old aran chair cover (I really must finish that, I'm even getting bored of blogging about it now!). My main focus now though must be on knitting some samples ready for the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace. I'm going to be demonstrating the "Clover" range of bamboo needles and crochet hooks and I have to say that the samples I've been sent are very good - I was pleasantly surprised. I'm really looking forward to the show and meeting lots of like-minded people. If you're going, please stop and say "hello".
By the way, if you haven't already, pop over to Scarf-o-matic as she is having a de-stashing sale.
OK, that's it for today, bye!