Up Knit Creek

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Fiddling and faffing

I've been doing a lot of this over the last couple of days, trying to get a unique font for this blog and then trying to find a means of making it available to others. I think I have succeeded, thanks to Bethany who has kindly agreed to play host for the download file, and who has talked me through what to do using words of one syllable. I'm not a complete Luddite with computers, but I don't know much (if anything) about html and all that techie stuff.
Anyway, if you wish to see this blog in its very own totally unique font, please click the link in the sidebar and download the font to your PC. Please let me know if it doesn't work and my technical adviser (thanks, Bethany) may be able to help.

On the knitting front, I am plodding on with this, but I don't really know if I like it now. I have one sleeve and all the frilly bits to do so I'll decide when it's finished, but I can't help thinking it's a bit too frou-frou for me. I also knitted a small moebius neck-warmer/headband on 15mm needles using some Rowan R2 braid which I dyed last weekend; there may be a photo later, if I can be bothered! Trouble is, although I'm very happy with the colours, the yarn is a bit difficult to know what to do with, and I have discovered today that I am terminally useless at grafting in garter stitch (unless it's meant to have big holes in it?.............No? thought not!).

As a bit of an aside, I have been shocked recently at some of the vitriol that has sprung forth on a couple of knitting forums, particularly regarding a yarn retailer not too far from Up Knit Creek. Although the vast majority of posts on the subject were only concerned with trying to sort out their orders or to get some kind of information, a few posts were intent on doing maximum damage to the company in question and personal slurs on the staff, past and present. Obviously, I don't know the whole story, but I was horrified and very saddened to think that such words could come from the knitting community that I have always found to be friendly and supportive.

In other news, Lucy starts her very first job tomorrow. It's a part-time tele-sales job (which is not her ideal choice, by any means) so I wish her lots of luck and hope she makes a real success of it.

OK, it's knitting in front of the telly time now, the new Stephen Poliakoff drama is about to start.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Little stitches

Last weekend I went to "Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts" at the Brighton Centre, where I was helping out on the Knit 'n' Natter stand (mostly nattering, in my case). The show is geared mainly towards cross stitch and card-making (I have voiced my opinions on card-making in the past so I'll say no more about it) but there were one or two stalls of interest to knitters including Mo-bair, run by Victoria Smedley. She dyes, spins, weaves and knits and makes teddy bears from mohair and other fibres which are all in gorgeous colours but what really caught my eye was the teeny tiny knitting needles she had for sale. I had to buy a pair (just the one, how restrained) of size 22 (0.7mm) just to see whether it was actually possible to knit with them. I'm happy to report that it is!
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These samples are both 27sts by 40 rows and are the lattice-work pattern from Alchemy Yarn's "Rock Star" cardigan. The top sample was knitted on 4.5mm needles with some reclaimed yarn of unknown parentage and the bottom sample was knitted on the teeny-tinies using some almost invisible cashmere that has yet to decide what it wants become. I would love to knit a shawl using the teeny-tinies, but they're only about 4" long so it's not really practical unless I make lots of separate motifs and join them together - any suggestions? (Lucy's suggestion: Choose a shape that tessellates well.)

Just because I can, a gratuitous picture of Mollie
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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Not Valentine's Day

In our house, 14th February is not a romantic day of fine dining, flowers, wine and chocolates for two, it is the anniversary of Bethany's birth.

15 years ago today, I was in the far from romantic position of being poked and prodded by a midwife, given numerous pills to pop by a homoeopath, and having accupressure applied to my ankles, all in an attempt to get the baby out. Everybody told me that labour is quicker the second time - hmmph, everybody lied! The baby had been breech up until the last minute, but in turning head down, had got herself into an awkward position that meant labour was long, tiring and singularly unproductive until the last half-hour. 14 hours after the onset of contractions, she finally made her way into the world, all 8lb 12oz of her. Bethany's birth should have prepared us for Bethany herself - unorthodox, unique and all in her own good time!
She was a good baby, very placid and always smiling, but babyhood soon gave way to the "terrible twos" with a vengeance. Many's the time I had to carry a screaming, kicking, fighting toddler down the High Street because her plans did not match mine. By the time she started school (which has been "Boring" since day one!) she had calmed down and begun to show her flair for language, although one teacher did describe her as "eccentric".

Now she is 15, Bethany has grown up into a highly creative individual who definitely has her own outlook and her own views on life and is not afraid to express those views, often in a very eloquent and surprisingly mature fashion. On the other hand, if she's not in the mood, conversations consist of a series of grunts, followed by a narrative composed of "y'know, blah, blah, blah; and then we came home".

Bethany is an obsessive Placebo fan (go on, admit it), a talented web-site designer, founder God of the A.S.P.P* (for more info, look hereif you dare), has a wicked (and far too knowing) sense of humour, is appalled by discrimination, is a talented artist, a loving sister and daughter, a voracious reader, prone to start things and not finish them (hmm, wonder where she gets that from?), impatient with those less able than herself, does not suffer fools gladly and is totally and utterly unique. And she'll always be my little baby.

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Happy Birthday Bethany
Edited to add a picture of Bethany that she actually likes
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* Apple Sticker Political Party

Saturday, February 11, 2006


.......... that I wasn't fibbing in the last post:
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a good job, if I say so myself. (Not bad for 46, is he?)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Another Birthday

Well, secret project #2 (did I say there were two secret projects? Yes, well, there were two) was finished over a week ago and has been received by the recipient. Unfortunately, I forgot to take piccies so I'm waiting for my brother to send photos of him modelling it. It was a reversible hat knitted in sock yarn, pattern available here. The one I did for Michael was black on one side and lots of different shades of blue on the other. I'd tell you exactly which sock yarn I used if only I could remember where I put the leftovers..............................
I enclosed a note in the parcel to explain why I had knitted a woolly hat for him - basically because he is now at that age (46 ha ha ha) where his own natural head covering is no longer thick enough to keep in any warmth. Yep, my big brother is going bald!

I'm off to Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts at the Brighton Centre this afternoon, to help out on the Knit 'n' Natter stall, so if you're going, please come and say hello.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Happy Birthday Mum

Today, 3rd February, is one of the most important days in my personal calendar because it is my mum's birthday. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to speak to her today so her Happy Birthday wishes will be a bit belated but no less heartfelt for all that.
I wasn't supposed to be getting her a present because my brother and I bought a new TV for Mum and Dad as a combined birthday/Christmas present, but I wanted her to have something to unwrap on the day:
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This was whizzed up on the machine using some very fine merino wool which was originally intended for something else that I've forgotten. It's lovely and soft and very delicate and probably includes a few cat hairs as Mollie insisted on sitting on it as soon as I'd finished blocking it - it all adds to the character.
I don't get to see my parents very often as they live 176 miles away but I think about them a lot and they are both still a very important part of my life.
Before I started writing this post, I had all sorts of phrases in mind about the things I wanted to say about my mum, about how she has always been supportive and encouraging, even when I know I've let them down; her patience (especially when I was first learning the violin!), her common sense, her passing on of knowledge and skills (especially knitting and cooking) - you get the picture, there's lots I could say but it all seems a bit inadequate somehow, so I'll just say this:

Happy Birthday Mum, I love you x x x
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Mum aged 22