Monday, July 30, 2007

Birthday, Part 2...

...also known as total bliss. I'm always one to think about how lucky I am but really after a weekend like this... well I am as happy as I could be :o)
This will be one of those 'photo heavy' posts as I did get the camera and I made good use of my new toy. Sadly not in Get Knitted though - I went all bashful inside the BEAUTIFUL shop, and outside? Well it's not in the most aesthetically pleasing part of Bristol so you're not missing anything by not seeing that!

We went to GK first and wowzer was it fun :0) Mr Sarah was very well behaved, went and got a haircut, helped himself to a complimentary tea and most happy making for me he chose himself some yarn for a pair of Dashing and then used the swift to ball it up - whilst doing this he was mistaken for an employee which made me chuckle.Here I am back at the hotel picking over my purchases with glee. I made a plan before I went in and stuck right to it except for a random pompom maker, which the Mr was very keen on. We got straight to work over our picnic on the pompoms.
So to the knitty gritty: the yarn choice was very good, not everything in the world (imagine that shop!!) and some surprising omissions - no Regia sock yarn for example, no Manos del Uruguay and no Berocco. I suppose I knew this from the web, but somehow I sort of was still expecting these.

What they do have is a great range for all budgets, well displayed (by manufacturer and type of yarn) and they seem to specialise in a lot of the US yarns that many UK stores don't have - Brown Sheep, Lornas Laces, Cascade etc. I was glad I had a list of what I wanted as it was hard not to feel overwhelmed by the choice and I did about three laps before I put anything in my basket!

I decided that I was allowed some premium sock yarn for a pair for me, thinking I would probably go for some Lorna's Laces, actually I went for something I hadn't even heard of before. Fleece Artist Sea Wool - it's in the front of this picture.I've heard much of Hand Maiden Sea Silk but not of this sock yarn blend which is 70% merino and 30% sea cell, sadly it doesn't smell of the sea but I wanted it for the novelty, the springy feel the sheen and the glorious colourway - Renaissance.

I stuck to interesting blends with the Trekking Pro Natura - 75% wool, 25% bamboo - intended for these super cute socks.

I've also been keen to get a cotton blend so I couldn't resist the Lana Grossa in a pretty aqua which is 45% cotton, 42 % wool and 13% polyamide, this is intended for a pair for my Mum, as is the amazing Florentina Jitterbug at the top if I can bear to part with it - will the meanie take over? It was hard to stop at one skein of that heavenly stuff but at £10 a pop sense won the day.
Then we come to the pick by Mr Sarah who displayed impeccable taste with some Colinette Cadenza in a fabulous, well named Slate. I chose a skein of Lambs Pride, this is 85% wool/15% mohair. It feels smooth and soft and the colours they had were so intense especially this Regal Purple. The plan is to use it for this hotty botty cover.

So that's the haul, didn't do a bad job did I?

Here are some shots of Bristol to finish with; the camera and I are going to be good friends I think. It was great to have a relaxed time in a city I know and love. Taking photos makes me look at scenes in a different way and I found new details on buildings I have walked past hundreds of times.


The sun shone for most of the weekend as well which really helped to make it just perfect.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Birthday, Part 1

This year in recognition of being too truly wonderful to be contained to one birthday celebration I thought I'd have two.

Mum, Dad and I celebrated our three birthdays at the start of the week. The cake was a big hit (thank you all for your lovely comments) as too were the silk scarf and the socks. I have been advised that I may knit any amount of socks for my Mama's tootsies which I am super excited about. This is just a slight improvement on the reception of my Dad's Christmas socks - lingering unworn - I shall try again there though - he will be won over to the wonders of hand knit socks. Mwa ha ha ha ha!

With a few well placed hints (also known as urls) I got some rather fabulous knitting pressies for part one: a ball of Sirdar Blur, a skein of Artesano Hummingbird in Turtledove, 3.75mm Brittany Birches and these little beauties.Part 2 also known as the official birthday will be tomorrow and in a fit of total extravagance the Mr and I are heading to Bristol for a weekend of fun and being pampered at a lovely hotel that I used to gaze at in awe in student days - fingers crossed it lives up to expectations. I should have photos to show on my return as I am led to believe that tomorrow I will become the owner of my own digital camera, it's like coming of age!

The first stop on our visit will not be for a trip down memory lane though, no it will be the flesh and blood version of a favourite online haunt: Get Knitted YEY! I have wanted to visit this vast and splendid palace of yarn all year and with my Ma's comments ringing in my ears I planning on going in all guns blazing for the sock yarn :o)

Queen of the Froggers has kindly bestowed this rather natty award upon me:


The lovely Marianne also awarded me the badge a little while ago. I've been remiss in passing it on - I just don't know where to start - I think that the blog owner of every blog I read rocks. Every day I realise more and more how much this community rocks - so as it's almost my birthday and that means I get to do what I like I hereby give it to everyone in my sidebar :o) Hope you all have a rocking weekend.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Domestic Bliss

We've had a lovely lazy Sunday afternoon. Sofa bound with cats, papers and naps not to mention exciting sport on tv and knitting in the lap.I've also been busy in the kitchen. Ma and Pa arrive tomorrow for a few days and we will be celebrating their birthdays from the start of the month and mine which is at the end. When I saw this cake on Andrea's blog I knew I'd got the perfect birthday cake for us.
From these to this. As is a little apparent from the clumsiness this is my first attempt at a cake iced with royal icing. I'm normally too impatient to eat the cake to wait for it to cool let alone then decorate it in any elaborate fashion but I know they will be tickled by this.
There has been more time to work on the newest WIP - the Stashbuster Serape - than I expected this weekend.
That'll be because I had the book delivered to work by mistake! Ah well I consoled myself by getting sorted.

The sorting hat says that I belong in Hufflepuff!



Said Hufflepuff, "I'll teach the lot, and treat them just the same."


Hufflepuff students are friendly, fair-minded, modest, and hard-working. A well-known member was Cedric Digory, who represented Hogwarts in the most recent Triwizard Tournament.






Take the most scientific Harry Potter
Quiz
ever created.


Get Sorted Now!


Friday, July 20, 2007

What's a Girl to Do?

When someone put a pond where her lawn used to be?

Why throw on some snuggly socks of course ;o)











Pattern: My own design!! Based on instructions from the Socks, Socks, Socks course.Yarn: Hand dyed Trekking Sock Yarn: Blueberry, 75% wool, 25%polyamide. About 90gms.
Needles: 2mm bamboo dpns
Started: June 23rd 2007
Finished: July 20th 2007
New Skills: Old Norwegian cast on, twisted cable ribNotes: I stuck to the basics with these: just a little cable rib in the cuff for decoration, plain stocking stitch to show off the yarn, slip stitch heel flap, round heel, wedge toe. I am so proud of them as they are as close to perfect as anything I have made so far. I took time to get things just right and I love having really consolidated what sock knowledge I had and built on it to feel more confident with all of the components and with sizing in particular. I had such a joyous time on the course that I feel the memory of that in these socks. Definitely happy making socks. Thanks Gosia.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

13

My lucky number.
I am the proud recipient of not one but two fabulous prizes from super wonderful bloggers. When you consider the recent package of pretty in pink yarn as well I think this officially makes me the luckiest blogger :o) It's such a privilege to be part of this amazing community.My first parcel is from the very generous Queen of the Froggers who gave away all her lace weight yarn having concluded that she didn't like to knit with it. I won the beautiful greens wool mix and as if her generosity was not enough she also included a purty stitch marker and a lovely lavender sachet. THANK YOU!The second parcel is from the equally generous Katie who not content with giving away a prize for the 1,000th comment on her blog gave away two additional ones :o) So much fantastic stuff here: expect the blogging to improve with the great book, very pretty green buttons in there, fabulous Rowanspun and my personal favourite item these very clever envelopes recycled from books. THANK YOU!I'm not superstitious but I shall always have a soft spot in my heart for 13 from now on; QoftheF made her draw on Friday 13th and I was the 13th commenter on Katie's prize post.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Knitter in Need is a Knitter Indeed

I'm sure many people will already have heard that Annie Modesitt's husband Gerry is suffering from a form of cancer called Multiple Myeloma. If anyone fancies knitting themselves a beautiful corset or gown then it seems like now would be a great time to buy a pattern.

The speed I knit I'll be sticking at corset length I think :o)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Goodbye Miss Meanie...

...hello best daughter award winner. You may remember my reluctance to allow my Mama's scarf its full complement of the heavenly Debbie Bliss silk. I grumped over the fact it needed two skeins for a fair while but this weekend I knuckled down and lo, my Mama shall have a scarf that circumnavigates her neck with ease.Pattern: Easy Lace Scarf from Knitter's Review
Yarn: Pure Silk by Debbie Bliss, Colour: 27003, just under 100g
Needles: 4.5mm bamboo straights
Started: May 12th 2007
Finished: July 12th 2007
New Skills: First full lace pattern
Modifications: I added 5 more garter stitches each side of the central fan to make a slightly wider scarf
Notes: This is not a two month knit - that was all due to the grump, it is quick easy and fun to do - just enough pattern to keep me interested and not so much that I spent too much time going back to correct. Obviously there was some tinking (note to self - knitting in the dark in the garden to make the most of the one proper summers day so far in 2007 does not make for good progress). I am not over the moon delighted with this, I think mainly because I love the yarn with unnatural passion and I'm not sure that the pattern lives up to it. This silk feels like I think silk should feel. I'm not sure I can explain this but I remember the first time I felt a silk shirt it was a huge disappointment to the child that had revelled in imagining silk. This yarn hits the silk mark set out in my imagination, it is beautiful. I must find other small projects for it.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Life is a...

I woke to the post man knocking on the door feeling weekend cheery. When I got my parcel well, how can you not feel that life is a bowl of cherries when you have been lucky enough to win two skeins of beautiful yarn?Dorothy organised an amazing range of prizes for supporters of her amazing fundraising efforts. Thank you Dorothy :)

My work in the spare oom is complete so I'm allowed a short blogging break - no knitting till our bedroom looks as good though!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Itchy Fingers

If only I could begin on this....
....but no, I have all of this I really must focus on first.Plus I am in spring cleaning mode, I know its summer (which is in fact more like autumn) but this place needs a clear out. My lovely friend is coming to stay for a week and at present there is no where for her to sleep as the spare oom is just a cupboard full of DIY kit and bags of things for the charity shop. I figure if I spend all day tomorrow clearing and cleaning then I earn an entire day of knitting on Sunday :)

I should point out that it is me that is behind the times with the Yarn Forward magazine, I only ordered the first issue last week and Kerrie dispatched it straight away, it got caught up in post strikes but it was there to welcome me home from the work trip to York. That and a lovely cup of tea - hotel room tea with UHT milk just doesn't quite hit the mark.

Queen of the Froggers have you got issue 2 then... is it as good as the first one? How is the production? I really like the ideas in this issue and there is a definite gap in the market for this magazine but the photos are a bit disappointing in general, some of them are very stretched but I'm guessing this will improve as the teams experience increases. It's lovely to have a UK knitting mag with such great patterns in.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Absorbed

There are so many reasons that I love the craft of knitting but one of them is definitely the ability of the knitting to totally absorb me. Whether its flitting around gazing at blogs, yarn and pattern for hours on end, dreaming and planning or whether it is is actually physically knitting it engrosses me and takes me away from the everyday to somewhere incredible.

I got a phone call yesterday at nearly 8pm from the Mr to enquire as to where I was and when was I wanting the lift from the station. I was still with Gosia and Iwona totally absorbed in the world of socks, socks, socks. We had started at 11am and with only a short lunch and yarn shop visit we knit and talked the whole day away. Total indulgence. Totally fabulous. And the end product is not too shabby either.

I shall enjoy another extended visit to the world of socks tomorrow as I am off to York on a three and half hour train journey. For once I shan't begrudge the working day eating into the knitting day as they become one; obviously this was not at all in my mind when I volunteered for the trip. I mean its not as if the yarn is absorbing all my thoughts all of the time is it?
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