Up Knit Creek

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Change of address

This will be the last post on Blogger, at least for the time being. I have decided to move the blog to WordPress.
Click here to be transferred.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Not my fault...

...this time anyway! The computer went a bit wrong, as in wouldn't load Windows. Didn't matter which option I selected, I just kept getting the same message "We are sorry for any inconvenience (Inconvenience!!!) but Windows failed to initialise properly blah blah blah". We just kept going round and round, round and round, round and round until I was about ready to chuck the stupid thing out of the window. Sanity prevailed and the nice techie guy Alex came over and sorted it out. Computer has now spent the rest of the week on the naughty step until it apologises for its unacceptable behaviour.

So, there has been knitting (since I couldn't get on Ravelry or Facebook, or any of the other procrastinators I regularly use) and I am now on sock #15 of 16 of the MSP*! Yay! Go me!
To make up for lost time, I also had to do a spot of online purchasing, namely undyed sock yarn and nice shiny new needles from Knit 'n' Caboodle. I was very impressed with their service - I ordered at about 11.00pm on Wednesday night and received the parcel on Friday morning, beautifully wrapped in purple tissue, with a free cable needle and a couple of sewing-up needles included. Excellent.

On Saturday, I went to Lewes Town Hall for the bi-annual show/exhibition of the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. There was, as expected, much delicious booty to be had. My purchases included some Blue-faced Leicester fleece (I've wanted some for ages and thought I ought to have some as I am originally from Leicester), some BFL/Nylon undyed laceweight yarn (1200 metres for £5.80), both from DT Crafts; a copy (finally) of Barbara G Walker's "Treasury of Knitting Patterns" and some rather lovely dyed merino/silk rovings from P & M Woolcraft; and lastly some very very fine cashmere singles yarn in a deep red which I intend to ply into approx DK weight - if I can extract the wheel from its thick pall of dust, that is.

This morning, I have transformed the undyed yarn into a riot of colour - well, I've splashed the dyes around and some of it landed on the yarn - so the bathroom now has big drippy skeins hanging from the shower screen, a lovely blue laceweight, a "sunset" colour and "autumn" colour for the sock yarn. Photos eventually, when it's all dry.

There is an upside to the computer misbehaving - I seem to have been quite a bit more productive than usual. There's a lesson to be learned there, somewhere...

*MSP = mammoth sock project (still!)

Sunday, October 07, 2007


The MSP* continues, 5 pairs down, 2 and a bit to go.
The other project that I have been working on has been put on hold for reasons that I'm not going into here; suffice it to say that if people give me their word, I expect them to keep it.

I have been spending far too much time on Ravelry which is huge fun but a terrible distraction from actual knitting.
Lucy dragged me away from the computer yesterday in order to visit Kingston University which is somewhere that she is considering for next year, "A" level results permitting.
We went on the train (less than 2 hours, which is good) so I was able to indulge in some train-knitting which I haven't done for ages. We were quite impressed with the university, the facilities seem good and the staff were all knowledgeable and friendly. Other plus points included student accommodation which is bigger and better than Lucy has at home, very tasty biscuits during the "meet and greet" part, close proximity to London and beer that is only £1.50 per pint in the student bar on Saturdays.
We also looked around Kingston town centre and were quite impressed with the wide variety of shops and cafes etc. The riverside setting makes for a very pleasant place to spend time so I would not be unhappy if Lucy eventually decides to go to Uni there.

We are also due to visit Middlesex Uni in about three weeks, so no decision will be made until then. Sadly, no knitting will take place on that journey as I will be driving :(

Today, Simon and I went to the South of England showground for an Autumn Show and Game Fair. We saw some very cute bunnies and even cuter guinea pigs ( I love guinea pigs but don't think Her Royal Mollieness would approve if I brought one home with me). We ate far too much and saw more pairs of patterned wellies in one day than I thought possible. I also finally bought a pair of pale pink ankle boots which I have lusted after for years, ever since seeing some at Heathrow Airport seconds before our flight was called. I would post a picture but that would mean getting up off my fat a**e, finding the camera etc, etc, it's easier to find one on the web:

Not a brilliant pic but you get the general idea

So there you have it, not particularly exciting, not really very fibrey or knittingy (unless you count the quick visit to John Lewis Kingston's yarn dept) but a little true-to-life glimpse into my world.

* Mammoth Sock Project

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Birmingham Goodies

I have heard/read a fair amount of disappointment with the Knitting & Stitching Show at NEC Birmingham last weekend and it's beginning to get on my nerves.
This year was only the second year that the show has taken place in Birmingham so it is bound to take a while for it to become established.
People seem to forget that it is called the Knitting and Stitching show for a reason, that reason being that there will be stitching stuff on display! Knitting has first billing purely because it sounds better and rolls off the tongue more easily than "Stitching & Knitting show" in my humble opinion.
True, there were not as many knitting-yarn vendors as last year, probably due to the cost of the stalls which I believe cost thousands of pounds, but if you want Colinette or Get Knitted they have well-established and efficient websites.
What I like about the NEC show is that there is plenty of opportunity to see fantastic exhibitions of new and upcoming textile artists/designers as well as smaller, independent retailers who have goods for sale that are not available elsewhere.
Suffice it to say that Mum and I both liked it enough last year to go again this year and Sandy (SIL) was very impressed with her first visit, enough to go again next year. (Yay! I'm converting her slowly too - she bought a kit for a knitted felted bag!)

OK, onto purchases:
First up was this

Wool for felted honeycomb bag

which is to make a new version of my Honeycomb bag (which I can't find a picture of at the mo). I wanted more contrast between the colours so this should fit the bill nicely. It came from Knitting4fun, where mum purchased some gorgeous silk yarn in a beautiful old gold, and Sandy bought her knitted bag kit. I also got this bit of loveliness from them

mohair&silk mix
mohair and silk for me

Spinning supplies were obtained:

wool batts for spinning
wool batts for spinning

sparklies for spinning
sparklies to add to spinning

hand-dyed silk hankies
hand-dyed silk hankies for spinning

and also a little tool for measuring it all up when it's done (in about 2015 at current rates of progress)

WPI kit

The wool batts, silk hankies and Angelina fibre all came from Crafty Notions and the WPI tool came from Knit'n'Caboodle (who were selling the most gorgeous sock yarn - merino, silk and real sterling silver, heavenly). Unfortunately, I have completely forgotten where I bought the three reels of silver-grey machine embroidery thread.
The final yarn purchase of the day was some of this
Ganpi abaka

Not entirely sure why I bought it, to be honest, but it has very er...interesting texture and might make a nice little insert in something else (maybe) or go in a stash swap. It's Noro Ganpi Abaka, if you're interested.

The other big highlight of the day was meeting a fellow-blogger, Kate, from Knit the Knits. I accosted her as she was taking a well-earned rest from the poking, prodding and fondling of all that yarn and we oohed and aahed over each other's purchases. I almost fainted with delight when she showed me her Kauni sweater - the pictures on her blog do not do it justice. I also met the famous Ann-at-work who features regularly in Kate's blog and is a novice knitter herself. I'm so pleased to see that Kate is pushing enforced indoctrination guiding and advising her so well.

OK enough is enough - see ya on Ravelry!

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm in!

Finally got my Ravelry invite so I've been playing on there the last couple of days. My user name is UpKnitCreek (what else?) so come and play, it's huge fun.

PS I promise that this weekend I will take pictures of the stuff I bought in Birmingham and post them on here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Catching up

and lots of it. Where on earth have the last three weeks gone?
First of all though, I must say a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Lucy for yesterday. 19 years old and every inch the perfect daughter [if you are prepared to overlook the *ahem* somewhat dishevelled *ahem* appearance of her bedroom, that is! ;)]. I can't believe it's 19 years since I held her in my arms and gazed into her big blue eyes for the first time. Tempus really does fugit.

Well, the bank holiday weekend (remember that? It was about a million years ago) saw the girls and me stuck in traffic on the motorway as we journeyed northwards to my parents. There was the obligatory trip to Borders where Bethany conned persuaded me to buy her some books as a reward for her exam results and I drooled over the knitting books [only bought one, and it was actually a crochet book so it doesn't count. The dark side is calling...]. We then spent Sunday en famille with my brother, sister-in-law and nieces, and inadvertently formed our own Stitch 'n' Bitch group. There we were, sitting in the garden, in sunshine (on a bank holiday weekend? No, I didn't believe it, either), Mum, niece#2 and I knitting, SIL crocheting. I felt all warm and glowy inside ... until I dropped a stitch, that is.

The following week saw a return to work and of course the weather changed for the better, humph. Having spent most of my two weeks leave dodging the showers I was less than impressed to be driving around all day in high heat and humidity. Still, I did get to meet the oldest man in Britain.

Last week, I was lucky enough to be given two tickets to a talk by Kaffe Fassett. The talk was the official launch of his new book, although "new" is something of a misnomer. The patterns are all old designs that have simply been reworked in new yarns/colourways, with a few slight changes to some of the garments - the words "old rope", "for" and "money" spring to mind. The talk was illustrated by some beautiful, colourful slides which demonstrated very well where Fassett finds his inspiration. I persuaded Bethany to come with me, as she will be using textiles as part of her Art(mixed media) "A" level, but she was less than impressed - "so far up his own a**e" was the exact phrase she used, if my memory serves me correctly.

This weekend, I am off northwards again as SIL, mum and I are going to the Knitting & Stitching show in Birmingham. Mum and I went last year and although there were fewer stalls than at Alexandra Palace, the whole experience was more enjoyable as it wasn't so crowded [and nowhere near as hot as Ally Pally, a very important point at my age!!].
Ah yes... knitting... well, there has been some; I am halfway through the MSP*, and have completed some other socks too, the pattern for which will soon be available here [scroll down a bit - those teal socks with the twisty pattern? They're mine! Yippee!]. Am I allowed to grin cheesily at this point?
There is also another project on the needles but I don't want to say too much about it in case I jinx it, but it is progressing as well as can be expected.

Reading back over this post, it doesn't seem as if I've been that busy really so I could probably have managed a post or two; truth is, the blogging mojo is not at all strong at the moment. I read other blogs that are much wittier, cleverer, more insightful and generally more interesting than this and begin to wonder why I bother, so for those of you that have stuck with me this far, I am very, very grateful. I don't want to stop because, if nothing else, it's a great way to record all my knitting and crochet projects, but on the other hand, I don't want it to become another chore. We'll see. [I'm sure there's a post in the making following the trip to Birmingham].

*Mammoth Sock Project

PS Big big thanks to all those commenters who sent exam congrats to the girls - it was very much appreciated [see - I do read the comments!]

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Excuse me

While I have a "proud mum" moment.
August is a tense time for many teenagers around the country as they anxiously await their exam results. The Creek household has been holding its breath for weeks now but at last we can all finally exhale.
Lucy sat her AS levels and one GCSE retake, achieving C for Art, B for Communications and A for Media, with a C for Maths GCSE (Huge sighs of relief all round).
Bethany sat GCSEs and got:
C for I.T, D for Psychology (but she doesn't care about that one, so there!), B for R.E, B for Maths, B for Double Science, A for Art, A for Media, A for English (Lang & Lit) and A* for French.
Hooray! Well done girls, I am very proud of you and have had to keep the tissues handy all day!
There will be much rejoicing over the weekend with exams well and truly forgotten (until next year...)

PS Hope it all went well for all the other examinees this year and that you can all carry on with your plans.