Monday, May 26, 2008

Grumpy Socks and a Meme

Well it's no surprise to any of us that I didn't get straight on with the seaming and blocking of Moonlight is it?! It would be nice to pop her on for this cold, grey evening but I'm settling for a new pair of hand knit socks instead.It's the ultimate pair of grumpy socks - the Love Me Knots - the trials and tribulations of these socks are well documented and it's only the fact that the Honeybees needed to go into the naughty corner that meant the LMKs got pulled out and the last little bit finished off. I still don't love them but perhaps as the pain of the knitting fades I'll get less grumpy with them. Hope you can see the illusion affect in these photos, socks on the hoof are troubling enough to photo without the added complication of trying to get hearts to appear or disappear.
Pattern: LoveMeKnot
Yarn: Trekking ProNatura - 75% wool, 25% bamboo
Needles: 2.5mm magic loop, dpns and two circs
Started: October 2007
Finished: 24 May 2008
Notes: In summary - the Socktober challenge sock that was nearly too much of a challenge. One really great thing about them is the yarn - love this wool and bamboo blend to knit with and they feel nice on the feet. Having tried three different needle options I'm still a DPN lover above all else.

So what have the Honeybees done to get themselves sent to the naughty corner? Look at this pretty photo and then feel for me that the thing won't go over my heel. Sigh. The cuff has to be ripped out, as even tough love blocking hasn't done the trick. I'm still summoning up the will power.

So enough of grumpiness Bells tagged me for this Peeps I Want To Know More About meme.

The rules: Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

Here are my responses.

1) What was I doing ten years ago?

Exactly ten years ago I was not managing to do much revising for my first year exams at uni as I was suffering a bout of ME with a vengeance. I ended up repeating the year. Every May since I left university I feel an overwhelming sense of relief at not having looming exams, I've never minded the actual exams as much as the guilt in the run up to them whenever I did anything that wasn't revision. The bliss of picking up a novel without feeling I should be reading a textbook was so strong for those first couple of years of freedom!

2) What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:

1. Persuade the other half to clean the house as my cousin is coming to stay
2. Blog, as I may not get another chance pre Oslo trip
3. Make something yummy for dinner
4. Watch the cricket highlights
5. Knit on a happy happy rainbow coloured sock

3) Snacks I enjoy:

Mmm mmm mmm cake. Most cakes will do but there is a complicated league system of preferences - chocolate is bottom of the list and lemon at the top most days.

Fab ice lollies - as in the brand Fab - not just fabulous lollies.

This weekend in particular - brown rice sweet chilli crackers - they were yum

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Quit work and buy a huge house by the sea in Cornwall. Fritter my time away on anything that took my fancy - no doubt mainly knitting - and give oodles of money to charity to restore my sense of worth.

5) Places I have lived:

Saltash(Cornwall), Bristol, Oxford.

6) Jobs I have had:

Cleaner, deli counter assistant, supermarket cashier, tele-market researcher, legal aid claim processor, receptionist, dogsbody temp, pensions fund secretary and for the last five years journal publishing manager.

7) Peeps I want to know more about:

Now I'm rubbish at picking from all the blogs I read but I also only do memes when I actually get tagged for them so I'm going to do some tagging by picking the commenters from the last post who I don't think have done this yet:

Rose Red
Queen of the Froggers
Raining Sheep

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Summer Knitting

This scarf is winning my award for the perfect summer knit at the moment. It's a pleasure to knit in warmer weather as the cotton/rayon blend of the Giotto is light on the hands and it's a great gift for the summer birthdays that abound in my clan. I've felt a bit odd when I've given even small woolly items in the warmer weather as I like to imagine the recipient to be able to use their gift straightway. Bags are the other good option but I haven't yet really embraced bag knitting after I got all hot and bothered over the felting of one last August.

This scarf is Mama's but because it only took one skein (and I promise I wasn't a meanie) I have another waiting in the wings. If it is half as big a hit as last year's offering I shall be stacking up the daughterly brownie points. I'm already feeling rather smug as it's not due to be gifted until the start of July; nice not to be late for once!

Pattern: Morning Surf Scarf
Yarn: Colinette Giotto - Rose Garden
Needles: 9mm wooden straights
Started: 6 April 2008

Finished: 21 May 2008
Modifications: 26 stitch size
Notes: Lovely simple pattern which creates a perfect effect to show off the ribbon yarn.

A less summer friendly knit is the 100% wool Moonlight but I've really tried to persevere with this one as it got hibernated last summer to wait for colder weather but didn't get woken up soon enough!

I'm finally to the blocking and seaming stage and hope to get straight on with it this weekend. This potential reduction in WIPS is positively scary!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In the Balance

My latest yarn purchases have tipped the balance for the year towards more bought in than knitted up. It's not where I wanted to be but just setting the goal of knitting up more than I buy has made me think much more about my purchases and slow things down a bit. I've got time to redress the balance if I can find a little more knitting gusto than I've managed of late. I'm sure I buy more yarn the less I knit as compensation!

April and May are tough months at work with lots of client meetings and they've been taking their toll on this sickly child. It really is a question of balance here too (small voice mutters - as in kniting, as in life) but there is some reward on its way which will help to even things out. Two of the meetings are in Oslo next week. Two tough days but then I'm adding a three day break with the Mr. Bliss.

Hmm more yarn stores to explore means I'd better get on and knit some of this latest haul I think. The Rowan Calmer I got from Jannette's Rare Yarns and was totally delighted with the price and wonderful service. It's set to become a nice little summer shrug. The Regia Nation was from Web of Wool and again they were very efficient. I had tried to order it from Angel Yarns originally but they were out of stock and then they couldn't get any more from their suppliers - one of the colours I ordered still seems to be on their site which seems odd. I'd definitely stick with Web of Wool if you go after any of this super stripey stuff as with the free UK postage they worked out cheaper too. The stuff at the front knits up as rainbow stripes - featured recently on the Yarn Harlot blog. There's also a little bit of Jaeger mohair peeping out of the top - 3 balls for a £1 in the charity shop :o)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Summer Unfriendly Socks

It's taken the return of grey skys to persuade the 1TB to don the wool socks for their blog photo shoot. Every cloud has a silver lining! We seemed to skip spring and jump into summer here for a few days there. Normal service has now been resumed and socks are once again desirable.
Pattern: Primavera
Yarn: Shibui Sock - 2 skeins - Seaweed
Needles: 2.5mm Brittany Birch DPNs
Started: 2 April 2008
Finished: 10 May 2008
Notes: Fab pattern - very easily memorised and a lovely effect. Also loved this yarn - Raina recommended it and I got a batch shipped from the States via Simply Socks Yarn Company who provided a very good service and good value even including shipping. I'm a big fan, in love with the feel - very like Jitterbug or Koigu - and by all accounts there should be no bleeding of the colours in the wash. The colourways they offer are fabulous and this rich semi-solid green is a joy in person, though not easy to capture on camera. Officially worth the delay these are the recipient's favourite socks so far and my favourite pair I have made.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"As in knitting, as in life"

Whilst admiring Bells beautiful steeked jacket the other day I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with her suggestion of knitting as a metaphor for life and mentioned my little "as in knitting, as in life" mantra I'm often mumbling.

You know how it goes - the pattern/recipe you modify without noting down the changes = a hard to replicate FO/dish. As in knitting, as in life. The one more row/I'll just finish this before I go to bed mentality = dropped stitches/botched job. As in knitting, as in life. The jump in head first without proper swatching/preparation = ill fitting knit/ill realised project. As in knitting, as in life.What it all boils down to is the big WIP of life - we knit, we make mistakes, we learn, we adapt, we pick up those dropped stitches, we live with the imperfections and we get better at it all. So for anyone who knows that it is all about the knitting take this blog button and display it proudly in your sidebar, link back to the blog you get it from and we can form a blog ring of people that know that although life is like a box of chocolates, it's more like a piece of knitting.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Recommend a book

There's a lovely blog contest over at One Scheme of Happiness. In return for some recommendations of summer reading you can be entered for a lovely selection of prizes - including one of those lovely Schrodinger sock cubes.

My summer reading? It's the Anne of Green Gables series - just finished the first :o)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

No Socks but Happy Times

A lovely time was had on my trip with my Mum, in fact we had too much fun for me to finish the socks. I think I'm just about forgiven though it was touch and go and I mustn't be online long as they must be finished this week!

This is the view from the car as we left England for Wales. The struts on the bridge remind me of sails.

The blue skies in this picture are much more representative of the weather than the greys captured below. We did spend some time dodging showers on the Saturday but a trip to the British seaside without rain just wouldn't be right.
We stayed in a little town called Penarth just along from Cardiff which has a very pretty Victorian seafront, it almost seemed wrong to be promenading here without lace gloves and a parasol. It was a lovely time: lots of food, endless chatter and a great show in Cardiff.

Quiet time was often spent with my nose in this book rather than in knitting and sadly I am as yet unable to combine both. I thought it would be a safe book to take as I didn't expect it to suck me in and pull me along like it did. Loved it.

Before I dash back to the socks I must just say - go and enter Clarabelle's wonderful shawl raffle if you haven't been there and done that already. I want to win so don't beat me, but I can't keep this opportunity to own a Clarabelle original tres fantastic shawl from you and it's a lovely fundraising idea in memory of her Dad.
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