Up Knit Creek

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Not much knitting

Going on chez Up Knit Creek. I have started the Lotus Blossom Tank (scroll down) which I am doing in a subtle pink shade of Rowan wool-cotton. The yarn was an E-bay bargain about a year ago and has been sitting patiently waiting for the right project to come along. I've never used this yarn before but would definitely use it again. It's soft, easy to work with and the stitch definition is excellent. The tank is knitted in the round and I'm about half-way through the stocking stitch above the lace pattern - unfortunately, whilst knitting on Friday, the cord connector on my lovely Denise interchangeable needles snapped clean off causing me to drop several stitches. This is the second time that a connector has snapped so I e-mailed Denise straight away and got a very quick response, apologising for the problems I've experienced and promising to send a whole new set of cords. I'm sorry to say that if I was dealing with a British company, I would probably have had to prove that I hadn't deliberately broken the cord and then pay for the grudgingly sent replacement, promising to not be so hard on the replacements in future. The Yanks (used admiringly) certainly have a lot to teach us about customer service. Speaking of which, I was talking to Tess, the owner of Angel Yarns last weekend and she told me that they have sometimes received knitted garments through the post which have obviously been washed on the wrong programme as they have shrunk and felted, with a note from the irate customer demanding their money back. Tess usually obliges, which I think is very good of her, because, surely, if you've spent a lot of time and money on your new knitted project, you take great care with the washing of it. How can it possibly be the store owner's responsibility if you don't bother to read the washing instructions? To say that I was gobsmacked was the understatement of the year.

This morning I have done a little gardening - not my favourite pastime, and certainly not with any results worth showing - but there was little patch in front of the roses that was really bugging me, so I tidied it up. Trouble is, there's now lots more little patches which need tidying, but they will have to wait. I do have a grand plan for the garden that I drew up about 6 or 7 years ago, but so far they remain just plans - there has been no action on them whatsoever.

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Mollie trying to avoid the heat.
This picture pretty much sums things up at the moment - I would like to be able to go to sleep, hidden from view, and wake up when everything's over. It hasn't been a good week really; I don't like to use the blog to air my personal problems so let's just say that whoever said that being a parent was the hardest job in the world was lying. What they should have said is that being a step-parent is the hardest job in the world - all the problems and few (if any) of the joys.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


The little sparkly bolero thingy that I was knitting for my friend's daughter is finished.
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(excuse the dustbin, it was the only thing I could find to raise Dolly Dummy up to the required height!) The bolero thingy is going to be worn over a scarlet strapless dress and has matching beaded bag and shoes so I think she'll look fabulous - hopefully I'll get photos of the whole outfit on the big night.

In other news, I went to a Cake & Knit event at my LYS today. What can I say, my two favourite activities in the same place at the same time. Bliss.
I was quite restrained - some Twilleys "Freedom" wool (to make a bag from this new book which I acquired on Friday) and some Celestial Merino in Seashell colourway (scroll down a bit).
The main problem with where I work is that it is very close to a large branch of Waterstone's and a branch of Borders so it is very difficult to resist the temptation to go in and browse the Knitting & Crochet section on a regular basis. It's a good job I'm not in the office all day every day otherwise my stash of books would be as big as the yarn stash - who am I kidding, I've got enough books to start my own shop already!

Today was Father's Day in the UK; my dad doesn't really go in for "all that commercialism" but I wanted to mark the occasion without going over the top about it. After much pondering I had an idea for the perfect present - useful, a little quirky and handmade by his favourite only daughter. Dad has recently and reluctantly started to use a walking stick owing to an arthritic knee which sometimes gives way without warning, but although the stick is very useful it also gets in the way when he has to do other things like paying for goods or showing his bus pass. The solution to this problem was simple - I crocheted a loop from household string which Dad can attach to the stick and loop over his wrist at the appropriate moment to stop the stick falling on the floor. He seemed quite pleased with it and I await the results of the first test-drive!
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(Dad on his 80th birthday).

Monday, June 12, 2006

Oooh eerr

Just found this on someone else's blog (sorry, I've forgotten whose) so of course I had to have a go
You Are The Moon

You represent the unconscious side of life, what happens in dreams.
You are capable of great genius - but also of great madness.
Emotions tend to be primal for you, both your fears and your fantasies.
Your intuition is always right, listening to it is the difficult part.

Your fortune:

You are about to embark on a very important journey - and a very difficult one.
Some of your deepest dreams will be realized, as well as some of your deepest nightmares.
Follow your creativity and visions; stay away from your weaknesses.
You are taking a voyage to the center of yourself, and you may be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

Bit scary, wish I hadn't bothered now.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Big Knit-In

I should have blogged about this earlier, but I kind of forgot, so here it is better late then never.
Click here for the official info and eventually piccies from this year's event.
Unfortunately, being a total dork I was thinking about knitterly things so I forgot to take my camera - you'll have to rely on a non-visual description.
The girls spent most of the day attending to Bethany's dreads, putting the final touches to the wild and woolly creation springing forth from her cranium, but did take time out to eat a good chicken wrap from the BBQ and to look around the degree shows by the photography, textiles, fashion and knitting students - very innovative stuff going on there; I wish I could do one of those courses.(Bethany also knitted a few rows on an octopus's tentacle, but Lucy has resisted all attempts and pleadings to learn how to knit).
I showed a friend how to do hairpin lace and she showed me how to knit with wire - I have tried before, but the wire I used was just too stiff. This time we were using pure silver wire and it is much easier to manipulate. Thanks, Joan. We also entered the heats for the fastest knitter - I managed 117 sts in 3 minutes but the woman who won had knitted 141 sts! She was knitting continental style and afterwards I asked her to show me how to do it. Thanks, Marianne. I think it will be when hell freezes over a very long time before I can work up any speed using this method, but I'm really pleased that I know how to do it. I had figured out the knit stitch some time ago but just couldn't get to grips with the purl. Next I'll have to work out yarn-overs and k2tog etc. It feels really weird to be a beginner knitter again and it's quite frustrating that I can't (yet) manage to produce a nice even-tensioned knitted fabric.
I resisted the temptation to buy yet more yarn, despite Laughing Hens' blatant and despicable attempts to seduce me with Colinette, Noro and Rooster yarns. I have enough projects lined up to see me through to Christmas, not including any knitted gifts I may make, so increasing the stash would just make me completely lose the few remaining marbles I still have.
The weather stayed warm and dry, the music was good, the food plentiful and the company of like-minded friends very relaxing; all-in-all a great day out.

A friend at work has asked me to make a shrug for her daughter to wear at the school prom, so I had to go into the LYS yesterday to pick the yarn and pattern (didn't buy anything for myself - how good am I??). She chose a gun-metal ladder yarn and a simple tie-front design which IMHO will look stunning with the scarlet strapless dress and silvery shoes. My own beloved #1 daughter refused to go to her prom last year, thereby denying me the chance to get all gooey and indulgent over ball gowns, pretty bags, limos etc etc. Whether beloved #2 daughter will choose to go next year, we shall have to wait and see. If she does go, I don't think there is any danger of her wearing a conventional ball gown, more likely to be something composed of recycled t-shirts, netting and a few laces to hold it all together - she doesn't really do conventional. (Speaking of which, the dreadlocks had to go as she risked being suspended from school. This has led to much sighing and bemoaning of how "lame" the school is and a new, shorter, haircut which actually looks very good).
Enough blogging, I should be knitting.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Bethany will not be very happy about this, but never mind.

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It broke my heart to see that lovely Colinette Point 5 used in something that wasn't knitted, but #2 daughter has admitted to being satisfied with the result, so that's OK then.