Up Knit Creek

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A few little things

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Lucy's shrug, finally finished after three false starts and a decided lack of interest after the first side was complete. Lucy is happy with it, but I don't really like it much - the pattern doesn't go with the yarn and isn't very visible; I think this stitch pattern would be better in cotton or silk............ next time.

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This is the first attempt at knitting with my own handspun yarn. It is very variable in thickness, full of nobbles and the colours are a bit yucky but I can't help feeling pleased as punch with this. Things can only get better from here!
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Second attempt at handspinning; I have no idea what the wool is as it was given to me by Ann from whom I bought the wheel. I found it quite easy to spin and the overall thickness is much more uniform than the first attempt. I would like to dye this using natural dyes but am a bit unsure where to start (I bought some raw beetroot in anticipation).
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This little chap is a silly present for a colleague who has a "significant" birthday coming up. What on earth do you give the man who already has everything? Of course! A knitted bellboy! The pattern is by the inimitable Jean Greenhowe, whose attention to detail really makes these patterns stand out. I have several of her booklets and have been really pleased with finished results every time. Her traditional teddy is the best knitted teddy I have come across.
I know I haven't been blogging much recently but as you can see, I've been busy. As well as the above, OH and I went to visit Standen on Sunday and what a little gem it is. In addition to the lovely Arts & Crafts house, the local Spinners' Guild was demonstrating in the conservatory and there was an exhibition by three local textile artists in one of the bedrooms - beautiful felt bags and scarves, fantastic embroidered pictures and some of the nicest patchwork I've seen. The exhibition finishes this weekend so do try and go if you can although the house alone is well worth a visit. (No pictures as Bethany still had the camera!)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I did this..................

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on this:
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and I liked it so much I'm going to do some more!

A few weeks ago I joined this group and asked if anyone had a wheel for sale. A lovely lady called Ann replied to my plea - and how! It turned out that she was coming to stay for a few days in a place about 25 miles away from me so she brought the wheel over and gave me a two-hour spinning lesson. She also gave me a large bundle of fleece to practise with so there really is no stopping me now. Thank you so much, Ann, you're fantastic!
The first skein has been knitted up in a feather and fan pattern and will hopefully become a neck-warmer when I have spun some more. I can't wait to try out other fibres but for the moment I'm limiting myself to ordinary wool until I can spin a lot more evenly.
I went to the Knitting & Stitching Show at the N. E. C. on Sunday with my mum and amongst other things, I bought some alpaca fibre - it is so deliciously soft that I have to keep reaching into the bag to stroke it - but it won't be spun until I am convinced I can do it justice.
My mum, who I had hoped would be a restraining influence on me (huh, fat chance!) bought a couple of tapestry kits and some cotton/wool/acrylic blend yarn (which is probably a completed cardi by now, the speed she knits) and I got some Handmaiden lace silk in Periwinkle and some hand-dyed merino 4-ply in gorgeous shades of blues and purples for the amazing price of £10 for 500g - unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the stall I got it from. I would post piccies but Bethany has got the camera for a school trip to Tate Britain. The silk is probably destined to become a shawl or stole and the merino will probably be a jumper of some sort, I'm thinking some kind of modular knitting to show off the colours to best effect.

On an entirely different note - gallstones. Anyone had them, or the op to remove them? Your thoughts would be most welcome.

P.S. Apologies for all the links today, my links finger has gone into overdrive.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Lucy is.........

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She is now an adult in the eyes of the law, but will always be my little girl.
We are going to the pub later so she can have her first "legal" drink and we will be going to a Spanish restaurant on Friday to continue the celebrations.
Lucy didn't want a big party or a lot of fuss so I'm not going to embarrass her with lots of pictures of her as a baby or tell stories about her early exploits (and there are plenty, let me tell ya!), I'm just going to wish her a long and happy life, success in everything she does and lots and lots of love.


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Yummy carrot cake as requested by the birthday girl.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A few little changes

I have added a map and a chat-room type thingy just to see if it works so I would be very happy if anyone who reads this drivel would put themselves on the map and try chatting. I think you probably have to sign up for Frappr to do so, but it seems pretty straightforward. I thought the chat-thing was more immediate than comments and more likely to elicit a response!

We went to the BBQ last Sunday and had a really nice time - I met up with a couple of friends whom I haven't seen for aaaaaages so it was great to be able to catch up on the last few years.
Both these ladies were friends back in the days when I was still married, and despite promises not to take sides etc etc, we just drifted apart. Last week we chatted away as if we'd never been apart so I'm hopeful that our friendships can be rekindled - there's already talk of cinema/meal/gossip sessions!
I took my "unbiased" bag along to the BBQ and as a consequence, have orders for at least two more. I got some more sari silk on Ebay and decided to wash it before attempting to wind it into balls and start knitting - of course, it's raining today so have to wait for it to dry (booooooooooooring). This lot appears to be even more tightly spun than the last lot and is trying to twist back on itself so I think it will prove tricky to knit with. The washing doesn't appear to have helped much with the twisting - any of you spinners out there got any suggestions?
Both girls came to the BBQ as well but I don't think Bethany enjoyed herself much - let's just say that she won't be touching alcohol again for the forseeable future!

It's funny how things work out - having just re-acquainted myself with two old friends, I have to say goodbye to a fairly recent friend. One of my colleagues has just got a new job in London and will be moving up there shortly. He has worked his last day with us so we went out on Friday night to wish him luck in his new venture. Usually, "a night out with friends from work" is a euphemism for a pub-crawl but we were very good this time. OK, we started in a pub, but instead of trying to find somewhere sophisticated for champagne cocktails and tasteful little nibbles we ended up in an Indian restaurant called River Spice. I don't agree with the first review in the link - the food was very good and the service was pretty good too, although they did forget two portions of pilau rice initially.
Anyway, Philip had a good send-off and we will all miss him (and his wonderfully dry humour) a great deal.

Knitting.... aaah yes............knitting um, well, you see, it's like this....... I haven't really done much this week (no, really? You don't say!!). Lucy's shrug is about halfway done now but had to put to one side for an urgent commission from OH. He was given free tickets to the Goodwood Revival on Friday and wanted to go (as people are encouraged to do) dressed in period clothes. Well, he found a trilby and suitable shoes etc etc but needed a tie. "A knitted tie would be just right" I said (opening mouth and inserting foot) "There's a pattern in that old book of my Granny's".
The pattern was duly approved as suitable and I set to work - fine wool and finer needles. After about two inches, I realised that it was far too wide for a 1950s style tie so frogged and started again. Trouble is the tie had to be about 44 inches long and I only had four nights to knit it. After the first night I had only managed about 6 inches but I persevered. It was knitted double (knit 1 slip 1 across every row to produce a double-thickness fabric) and I just couldn't knit quickly enough. I admitted defeat after two nights and OH found a rather ghastly paisley number instead. The knitted tie has been put to one side for now, but will be finished eventually, maybe in time for next year's Revival!

Come and chat with me now, please!