Thursday, January 29, 2009

The best of friends must part. (1385)

Well my Anna socks remain unfinished, I have been sidetracked by spinning this week. I finished off all my Wensleydale and am now spinning some lovely cherry Alpaca which I am thinking of leaving as singles to make socks with. It will depend on how energised the yarn is when it comes off the bobbin.

Other news:

On Saturday one of my friends (a fellow knitter) Marion hosted a Burns supper in aid of the RNLI. What a fantastic night it was with a few kilts and some fabulous food including a delicious haggis. Allister, Marion's husband, addressed the haggis and later Marion recited, no she performed, Tam O' Shanter. It was the best rendition of it I have ever seen, she was amazing! We had such a good time we didn't leave until 2:00 a.m. and as we staggered up the hill (did I not mention the fine whisky I was plied with!) it was snowing!

On Tuesday Carrie, Matt and Abigail headed back to the USA for an extended holiday (conference for Matt). It seems they ran into a terrible ice storm and were caught up in New York for two days before finally making it home to Lexington. I hope the weather eases a bit for them so they can visit all their friends and family safely. Looking forward to seeing them back in March!

The week continued on a high note when my lovely friend Gale emailed to say that she had been granted citizenship and was to make a flying visit back from South Africa to attend her citizenship ceremony. She arrived late Tuesday and on Wednesday morning mum picked her up from her hotel so that she could come to our Wednesday morning knitting which she used to come to every week. It was so lovely, just like old times, then the two of us went off to the ceremony. Of course it's a very solemn and sombre event so it was just typical that we got a case of the giggles before it even started. Things were made worse when they played the National Anthem on a very old tape recorder with a very abrupt finish halfway through the final line!
But it was touching and poignant too and I am of course secretly (well it's not very secret putting it in a blog is it?!) hoping that it means Gale will come back some time soon to live here permanently.

Wednesday evening a group of us went out with Gale for a meal and it was really lovely to be all together again, it was as if she had never gone. We're all hoping that once her computer arrives from Scotland she will be Skyping and blogging so that we can all keep up with her news.

Thursday night was SnB at Flava, with the twelve of us and a packed cafe it was extremely hot and loud. All of the knitting on show was fabulous but Margaret's lace shawl was simply stunning, I really have to dig mine out again and put a bit more effort into it. I am too easily diverted and keep thinking of new projects for all my lovely new yarn.

It's nearly February now and so I need to think of which sock pattern I am going to move on to next, let's hope once I have chosen it I can get the time to knit it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You cannot put an old head on young shoulders. (1591)

This week I mean this literally. Here is an excerpt from an email I received just yesterday.

Dear Karen,

I am a TV Producer from Endemol UK, I am looking for social groups from Scotland where the ladies are 60-70 to take part in a new charity show for ITV1.

Its called The Feelgood Factor and its being hosted by Eamon Holmes and Myleene Klass and its off the back of a government campaign called Change for Life – which is about getting the nation fit and healthy. We are doing a Pound for Pound pledge where groups from all over the UK are doing a sponsored slim for charity – where every Pound you lose, family members and friends donate a pound towards their chosen charity.

I saw the website with Stitch and Bitch and thought you might be able to help us.

Well, I'm afraid we had to turn down the offer of a TV appearance as we have only one member over 60! I'm not sure why the stereotypical image of knitters persists, especially in the media, I thought the 'Knitting Revolution' had become a wider spread phenomenon. Perhaps not!
I'm not really affronted it gave me a wee chuckle anyway.

Not that much knitting this week again, unfortunately dad has been rather poorly and was rushed into hospital last Thursday. After an emergency operation to remove his gall bladder and a hernia, he is now starting to make a recovery.

I am still working on my Anna knee highs, one down, one to go. I am still loving these socks and am desperate to get them finished so that I can wear them out. I'm not sure the photos do the sparkle justice, they really do twinkle in the light. I am also really keen to get at least one and maybe more new pairs cast on. I've got a real sock knitting thing going fuelled by some sale purchases of lovely sock yarns.

Paul has also got the sock thing, whilst in London he popped into iKnit and bought 2 skeins of yarn for socks for himself (not that he's knitting them you understand!). 1 skein of Malabrigo Merino and 1 Lang Jawoll Silk. Only the best for himself then?

I have also bought 1 skein of Opal handpainted, 1 ball of Meilenweit Mega Boots, 2 balls of Rowan 4ply soft in a colourway that I just loved the sound of "Honk". Oh and 7 balls of Kidsilk Haze also fell into the cart, don't know how that happened!

In a rush of guilt at having fallen so spectacularly off my yarn diet, I decided to use up some stash knitting a series of dish/wash cloths. The first came off the needles in little over an hour and is knit up in Sirdar Denim Cotton. I'll be tackling the Exfoliate Dalek pattern next which looks just fantastic.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb (1662)

Having joined the Unicorn Quest this week (thanks Mhairi, you enabler you!) I proceeded to break my yarn diet. Answering a question correctly gave me a discount at either Natural Dye Studios or Fyberspates. Checking my answer on the NDS site a skein of Sweet Violet Merino/Bamboo 4 ply accidentally fell into my shopping cart. And it's here and it's beautiful. Having succumbed to one purchase I then proceeded to totally bust the diet by taking advantage of the 40% off (yes that's nearly half price) at Fankle Yarns. I can't even remember what I ordered now but I know it included 7 balls of Kidsilk Haze, I think the yarn sale "rush" has totally fuddled my brain.

I can justify (most of) my purchases as I have also signed up to the Pair a Month challenge here (Ravelry Group: The Great Sock Off of 2009). I like this group as you have total free rein of what yarn or pattern you want to use.

For the January socks, I finally finished my Vanilla Socks started at the end of November on my trip to London. I think they took so long as the pattern was quite dull, but I do like the look of the FO. The Kaffe Fassett colourway is really bright and cheerful. I guess they are a bit of a cheat as they weren't cast on in January, but I have cast on a second pair immediately that I also hope to complete this month. They are the Anna Socks from Rowan 40, in Kramer Silver and Silk, Tuxedo. So far I am totally in love with these socks. The yarn and pattern complement each other perfectly.

I think the knitting MoJo is back with a vengeance!

Oh and congratulations again to Andrew who has received an unconditional offer to Glasgow Caledonian University. Who's a clever boy then?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A woman's place is in the home (1844)

Or so it felt over Christmas. I didn't manage to leave the house at all until New Year's Eve. (Not quite true in fact as I did get to Mum's house a couple of times but then she is just four doors away).

So many visitors, so many meals, so much entertaining, so little just relaxing and enjoying the festivities. Christmas day was magical of course with no one undermining Maisy's belief in the big red guy. There were 12 of us unwrapping gifts and it seemed to go on for ever, no credit crunch in this household it seems. Everyone got just what they wanted and more.

My knitting related gifts included The Knitting Circle (already finished, wept almost all the way through), The Yarn Harlot calendar Never Not Knitting, (lovely daily dose of wit and wisdom), the fabulous Knits to Care and Share and the brand new Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn, 3 pairs of beautiful Rosewood needles in 3.25mm, 3.5mm and 3.75mm from The Little Knitting Company.

As we had visitors throughout the holiday I didn't manage to get my knitting out at all, not once! I think that's the longest I have gone without knitting for years. So following on from the 5 loop through garter stitch scarves for teachers (sadly not photographed before being given away) I have no fo's to show off. I feel a kind if knitting lethargy may have set in. May be related to my general lethargy post Christmas.

My New Year's Resolutions however include the following:

  1. Continue with the destashing and yarn diet
  2. Finish my outstanding wip's
  3. Spin every Tuesday night
  4. Blog more
I would love to commit to join Mhairi in her one pair a month sock resolution but fear I may fail at the very first hurdle having not even completed November's socks yet!

Wishing all my very good friends and lovely family a very happy and peaceful 2009.

Ah Ha! I remembered a FO to show. My draught excluder knit New Lanark Aran, Cherry, felted and stuffed with 5kg of rice!