Up Knit Creek

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Do you want to know a secret?
OK then
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I can reveal all now that it is in the safe hands of Sandy, my kind-of-sister-in-law. It is "Argosy" from Knitty's winter 2006 issue, knitted in Jaggerspun Zephyr (50% merino 50% silk) in "Cinnabar" colourway. It was very straightforward to knit yet the effect is so light and lacy that people think you must have magical powers! The only changes I made were to the method of casting off each little square - the instructions called for "k2tog, slip st back to left needle and repeat" but I just couldn't get it to look neat so I went for an ordinary cast-off which looks a lot more even in my humble opinion.
There is still another part of the secret to be revealed but that must wait a while longer yet......... the suspense is killing, no?

The bag-shaped groove I seem to have climbed into continues
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This was made with some recycled sari silk I got off Ebay. I was very disappointed when the yarn arrived as the colours were nowhere near as jewel-like as normal and it kept breaking when I was winding it into balls. As a result, the yarn sulked in the bottom of the stash for several months before deciding that it would like to become a bag. This was another "make it up as you go along" type jobby and one which I don't think will be repeated; the silk is too floppy for a structured bag like this and is only holding its shape because of the heavyweight vilene sandwiched between the outside and the lining. I gave up on the idea of i-cord inside transparent plastic tubes for the handles as too many small animals were suffering during the experimental stage and resorted instead to poking wire-cored plastic washing line into the i-cord. A tough job, but someone had to do it.

Current work-in-progress is a lightweight sweater for me using some hand-dyed yarn I got at the Knitting & Stitching show in Birmingham last year. It is very fine yarn, somewhere between 4ply and laceweight at a guess so progress is very slow. This is normally a source of some frustration for me as I like to be able to see quick results but in this instance it is a good thing - I am on Jury service for two weeks from next Monday and have been warned that there will be lots of sitting around, waiting - lots of simple stocking stitch in-the-round will be a perfect antidote to boredom.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Normal service resumed

Yep! I've got over my motoring angst (well, not over exactly, more that I've put it to the back of my mind) and am back to my normal ramblings about knitting and associated stuff.
Today I met up with nine other members of the Angel Yarns forum for lunch, knitterly gossip and a look at everyone else's books and current projects. We had a lovely lunch here and talked about far more than just knitting. Everyone had brought their favourite knitting books with them and we could easily have opened a bookstore. I think my Amazon wish-list may be just about to grow........damn, I didn't write down the titles! I'm not too sure what the waitresses thought about these strange women who were too busy discussing knitting to order their food but at least we didn't misbehave. Unfortunately, Lewes does not have much of a yarn store anymore (it used to be home to Kangaroo until business rates went sky-high) so any thoughts of stash enhancement were quickly dashed. There is one shop that sells yarn and they certainly have more variety now than they did a couple of years ago but there is little there of interest to me at present. Just as well really, my stash never seems to get any smaller...........

There has been knitting but it has been of a somewhat secret nature so I can only give you a little taster:
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All will be revealed in the next couple of weeks, promise.
Current work is a bag in recycled sari silk that I am pretty much making up as I go along. This yarn is some that I got from Ebay and is not how I thought it would be - the colours are not as vibrant as in other sari silk yarn I have used and the yarn is very hairy and not (in my opinion) very well spun ( as a spinner of some 4 months' experience, I think I know what's what!). In spite of this, I think the bag will work out quite well, especially if I add a few details to give it a more finished look. When making bags, I always worry about the handles as they can really make or break the finished article and today saw me trying work out ways to poke knitted i-cord down a transparent plastic tube to make a more substantial, yet toning, handle. I haven't figured this out completely yet, but I think it may involve persuading a very small animal to run through the tube with the i-cord attached to its tail - whaddya think?
OK, I'll get my coat!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Calling all motorists

I'm not normally one to get political but action needs to be taken on this. We already have the most expensive petrol in Europe, if not the world, as well as paying vast amounts of road tax. This is a tax too far.
See this article also.

I use my car for work; if I didn't do the job I do, I probably wouldn't have a car. My car is small, economical and has very low CO2 emissions. If I could afford an electric or hybrid car, I would buy one. This is yet another tax on average people by this government, who have already pushed the tax burden on ordinary people higher than it has ever been. The revenue raised from all the various motoring-based taxes must surely be enough to provide cheap, reliable public transport; instead, bus and train fares rise all the time with no discernible improvement in the service.
Please sign this petition.

P.S. Normal knitting service will be resumed when I have calmed down!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Six weird things

OK before we get started on that (and don't for one moment think it's going to be worth waiting for), please have a look here. It's obviously at the very early stages but I'm hoping to set it up to sell some of my stuff - garments knitted or crocheted by myself, patterns for some of my designs and maybe a bit of handspun yarn. If anyone else would like to sell through this site, I would be happy to discuss terms etc (my commission will be very reasonable, I promise). Right - advert over, down to business.

Six weird things about me:

THE RULES:Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”

Weird thing #1: Although I am a fully trained classical musician, (3 years' hard graft at a conservatoire, dontcha know!) I hardly ever choose to listen to music. I hear music incidentally (on the car radio, overheard from daughters' rooms, on the TV etc) but it is a very rare occurrence for me to actually pick out a CD and play it. (I thought of this one myself)

Weird thing #2: I have a bad habit (so I'm reliably informed) of stating the obvious - e.g. "Oh! You're wearing a skirt". This is a rare happening as neither daughter wears skirts very often, but it is (apparently) both annoying and weird (Lucy thought of this one)

Weird thing#3: I won't let anyone else read one of my books until I have read it myself. I actually don't think this is weird (a bit selfish, maybe, but not weird). (OH thought of this one)

Weird thing #4: When in the shower, I always do things in the same order, and the last thing is always washing my hair. (I thought of this one - well, who else knows what I do in the shower).

Weird thing #5: Despite being a generally patient and easy-going type of person, I find it very hard to deal with other people who are not well. I run out of sympathy very quickly and often end up being quite terse. Illness at a distance is fine - I can deal with an ill brother nearly 200 miles away (not that he is ill very often) but closer to home and I run out of patience very quickly. (I thought of this one myself too, though I'm not sure I should have admitted to it)

Weird thing #6: My relationship with meat is a bit, well....... weird. I like meat but only in few guises. I don't like roast beef or steak but will happily eat anything made with minced beef. A beef casserole or goulash will find me eating all the vegetables and gravy but giving the meat to OH (very embarrassing when we were in Prague). I love sausages and ham but don't like roast pork. Turkey and chicken is fine as long as I am 100% sure there is no fat on it, but other birds (duck or goose) no way Pedro. (I thought of this one myself too though it is backed up by anyone who has ever had to cook for me).

The people I tag are:
Sussex Yorkie
Knit Tigger
Shazza's Knits

Sorry if you've already done it, or if you don't want to have a go that's fine.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

First FO of the New Year

Yes, it's true - only 2nd January and I already have a finished object. It's very small and didn't tax me too much but it is finished already, having been completely knitted on New Year's Eve, sewn up on New Year's Day and finished off with the ribbons this afternoon.
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It's the baby kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting, stocking stitch version using up some Rowan Wool-cotton which is a delight to knit with - very smooth and easy to use. The intended recipient has not yet put in an appearance despite being due on Christmas Day but she already has a name - Layla - and will be OH's great-niece. It looks very small but then it's a long time since my babies were that small so I suppose I've forgotten how tiny they are at first.

Well, Christmas is all over for another year and I'm happy to say that, despite my lack of organisation and planning, it all went off without a hitch, unless you count the tragic incident of the broken fingernail. Everything was going swimmingly on Christmas morning, the turkey was in the oven, the sprouts were prepared, the roast potatoes were crisping nicely and then I went to get a sauce-boat out of the cupboard (sounds posh doesn't it? A sauce-boat? I only bought it a couple of weeks ago 'cause I didn't think our guests would appreciate having sauce dumped on their plates straight from the saucepan) anyway the cupboard door slipped away from my hand but caught the left thumbnail and bent it back beyond its normal limits, causing it to split quite a way down. Very sore but fortunately no blood.
You can tell from this incident that I've obviously had a very quiet, uneventful holiday season as it was by far the most exciting thing to happen all week.

It's back to work tomorrow and I'm really not looking forward to it. I had so many things I wanted to do whilst on leave and haven't managed any of them really. I've done a bit of spinning (three more skeins of recycled sari-silk, making 187g spun in total) and a bit of knitting (secret surprise) but there has been absolutely no progress on the getting-ideas-onto-paper-so-I-can-work-them-out-properly front so my plans for world domination through knitting are no further advanced than they were three months ago *sigh*.

A little while ago, I was tagged by Helen to do the "6 weird things about me" meme. I haven't forgotten but I'm having trouble with this, 'cause I'm just not weird, well, I don't think so, anyway; also having trouble thinking of six other people to tag as nearly all the bloggers I regularly read have already done it.
I will canvass opinion from my nearest and dearest and get back to you on this..........

May 2007 be a year of knitty goodness for you all.