Up Knit Creek

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Well, aren't I the unreliable one! I fully intended to post last Sunday but found myself in the grip of the worst migraine I've had for ages - it started on Friday night and lasted right through till Monday afternoon. Not my favourite way to spend a weekend but at least they don't happen often.

Anyway besides the migraine I've had a few other things keeping me occupied, apart from the usual work and daily grind.
My parents were due back from their antipodean adventure on Friday 16th so I was rather peturbed to get a phone call from my brother saying that they wouldn't be back as expected because mum's bag had been stolen and it contained their plane tickets and passports as well as cash and credit cards etc. They were trying to sort out everything and would be home as soon as possible but it was likely to be several days before they could get another flight. I then heard that the bag had been found and the only thing missing was the cash so mum and dad had been able to get a flight for Thursday 22nd as their passports were now back in their possession. They spent another few days in Auckland, seeing the sights and making the most of their unintentionally extended holiday
In the meantime, I had had my own little drama: trying to cancel the flowers that I had ordered for Mother's Day as I knew she wouldn't be there to receive them. It was sorted eventually but not without extreme stubbornness on my part which really shouldn't have been necessary. (I'm good at stubborn, especially if I know I'm right).
Thursday dawns and I get another call from my brother - mum and dad had arrived at Auckland airport but had been refused clearance at passport control because their passports had been reported stolen. They were marched off to the police station and then taken to the British Consulate where a couple of phone calls solved the problem (God, I hate bureaucracy). Of course, their plane had left without them so there was another delay and another unexpected night in a hotel but they finally arrived back at Heathrow on Saturday, only to face a further two-hour wait while the plane looked for a parking space and their baggage was unloaded. They finally arrived home about 8 days later than planned and were greeted by the flowers which I had cancelled (and been refunded for), still apparently looking lovely.

So Mother's Day was not quite the event I had planned for my mum but I had a lovely day thanks to my wonderful, beautiful, amazing daughters (Lucy told me to put that!). They bought me a card and pressies and we spent a very relaxed day together just enjoying each others' company - what more can a mum ask for?

The creative spirits have been out and about too, and have visited Bethany. She is in the process of planning her final piece of work for her Art GCSE exam and has been using all different kinds of media. The latest ouevre is a photo she took of Lucy and then manipulated on the computer. I was bowled over by it:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I have also been hard at it, but not with such spectacular results. Bethany's prom outfit is nearing completion - there is the hemline and the lace trim to do on the dress and a ribbon fastening for the shrug to be finished. There's also the matter of the head-dress but I haven't quite got my head round that yet.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

(The shrug is actually not uneven at the front - Bethany obviously didn't inherit her photographic skills from me!) The pattern for the crochet choker is now available here click "Shop", then scroll down a bit.

By the way, the competition (in which you have to think of an idea for a fibre-related competition!) is still open so keep those entries coming.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Two years today

Since the inaugural post of this blog.
I can't believe it - two years of writing this drivel and not one complaint (yet). I've just had a quick look back through the archives and am dismayed to find that the quality of writing has not improved one iota! Don't know why I should be surprised really; after all, I've not made any attempts to improve the grammar or technical aspects of writing, never mind the imaginative or creative qualities. Maybe I should take a creative writing course - I'd love to be able to write stories and I'm sure the basic techniques could be applied to blog-writing. I've forgotten everything I ever knew about plot development (y'know, all that stuff about having a beginning, a middle and an end along with the odd climax or two on the way!) and have often found myself either waffling on without saying anything or finishing very abruptly because I can't find my way to the end. In the secret life that goes on in my head, not only am I very rich, unspeakably elegant and about 3 stone lighter than in real life, I'm also unbelievably eloquent and a master of the mot juste. Too bad that reality keeps rearing its ugly head!

Now if I had half a brain, I would have devised a clever and interesting competition with fabulous knitty prizes to celebrate two years of blogging, but such grey matter as I possess seems to be in a permanent state of fuzziness these days and will not co-operate.
Instead, I shall turn the tables and offer a rather more mundane (though knitting-related) yet-to-be-decided prize to the person who leaves a comment with the best suggestion for a competition. The only condition is that the competition must be fibre-related in some way so come on, get thinking!
My decision will be final and the closing date is 31st March.

Wanders off, singing "Happy blogversary to me, happy blogversary to me, Happy blogversary dear Creekie, happy blogversary to me"

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Woo hoo!
Please have a look over here
A small beginning, but a beginning nevertheless.

Big thanks to Sheepish Annie for being the test knitting guinea pig, it really gave me confidence to know that someone else had understood what I meant.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Time well spent

I recently managed to get hold of some chunky-weight 100% wool for dyeing (no, I'm not giving a link in case you all go off and buy up the remaining stocks!) so I was finally able to have a go with the Omega dyes that my daughters got for my birthday last November.
Although the website is not particularly user-friendly, the same cannot be said for the dyes themselves. It couldn't be easier, no smelly vinegar, no messy soda-ash and the dye is in crystal form so no mucky powder to blow around everywhere either. You simply mix with hot water and off you go.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I dyed 1000g altogether, using submersion and hand-painting techniques (actually, hand-painting sounds a bit too technical, sploshing colour around in squeezy bottles would be more accurate, along with a bit of flinging of crystals directly onto the wet wool). The solid colours were submersed in a nice big preserving pan that I found in our local flea-market, and the variegated colours were shoved in my biggest casserole dish and shoved in the microwave.
Close ups:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Because of this happy colourful sploshing episode there has been absolutely no progress on Bethany's prom dress, but sssssh, don't tell her. I will get started soon but I need to find a large, flat space that isn't covered in clutter to start what I always think is the scariest part - cutting out the fabric pieces. If you make a mistake at this point, you're stuffed! When I made my wedding dress, nearly twenty years ago, I made my mum make the first cut as I was so scared of cocking it right up. Needless to say, the dress turned out fine (which is more than can be said for the marriage, but that's a whole other story) so I guess that now, as then, I'm probably worrying over nothing.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Not much knitting

going on at the Creek at present. I could show you a photo of seemingly endless acres of k2 p2 rib in black but it's not that photogenic really.
The reason for lack of knitting (and lack of blogging too) is that I often have the house to myself on Sundays and Wednesdays so they tend to be the days that I actually sit down in front of this little screen and start bashing the keys; last week was different though. We went to see "Hot Fuzz" on Sunday and the cinema just happens to be right next door to an outlet shopping area, so by the time I had watched and shopped I just didn't feel like blogging. Wednesday was OH's birthday so we went here for dinner. The food here is always very good and the service is spot-on too. Our little town doesn't have much to recommend it, but this place is an exception. Of course, when I got home, I was too stuffed to do anything except slump on the sofa and allow my digestive system to do its stuff without interruption.

The aforementioned acres of ribbing are destined to become a shrug for Bethany which she intends to wear for her school prom in June. Now Bethany is not usually one to grasp the concept of forward planning (i.e. GCSEs looming in just over two months, as yet there is no sign of a revision plan or study guide) but we have already got a two-thirds completed shrug and today we went shopping for the rest of the ingredients for her outfit.
Shoes have been bought (am I wise to let my little pumpkin wear 4-inch heels? What if she breaks her ankle? or worse?) and this pattern also came home with us, along with 4 metres of deep green dupion silk, 3.5 metres of lining fabric, a zip, and some rather pretty black lace with sequins. Guess what I'm going to be doing for the next few weekends?