Friday, September 26, 2008

My Holiday by Sarah

This week back at work has been a bit of a shock to the system, I think the strategy of saving lots of things to do till after my holiday was possibly not the wisest! Still it's Friday evening and I can finally take some time to look back on the glories of the week before in Dorset. No-one at work asked me to write an essay on 'My Holiday' like they used to at school but there are a few words that sum up the essence of it wonderfully: sun, sand, sea air, tea shops and knitting. The evidence is here:I heartily recommend Dorset as a holiday destination for all and for knitters in particular - not just for the beach knitting opportunities but also as it seems to be well served by LYS - in particular of the traditional British 'The Wool Shop' variety - exhibit A from Portland:I got directed to Honora on the main street in Christchurch by a lovely lady. She was delighted to see me knitting outside a tea shop as she didn't see many people knitting these days but she had heard that knitting was coming back. I reassured her that lots of people were knitting :o) The shop was great - stuffed to the rafters - most of the traditional British supplies of Patons, Sirdar and Rowan. Nothing very unusual but a real asset as your LYS I would have thought.

Plan-Knit in Poole was the only shop I had found out about in advance - always important to try and factor in the yarn tourism element to ensure a successful holiday. It's quite a new shop and seems to be trying to straddle the demand for the cheaper, high acrylic content yarns and some of the more exciting and unusual blends. In a not at all surprising turn of events I bought some sock yarn including some lovely stuff from UK Alpaca that I'd not seen before.

My Ravelry alter ego Thumbelina has sprung to life and set up shop in Wareham:She's doing a great job and sold me some bargains from the 99p bin and yes, more sock yarn.We also drove past a yarn shop in Swanage after it was shut and such was the abundance of visits to LYS that I didn't even make the 1TB return the next day. I bought something at all the stores I visited as I was putting a notions kit together for my cousin; a new knitter who is being encouraged at every turn! I do like to buy something when I visit a new shop and do my bit to support bricks and mortar stores; this was a nice way to buy something from everywhere without too much increase to the mighty stash - I'm still hoping I may just end up this year having knit more than I bought. Well, we are all allowed to dream aren't we?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

And finally the socks...

...make it to himself's feet.

Pattern: Plain soothing stocking stitch with a deep 1x1 rib for the skinny ankled
Yarn: Regia Nation Color - 5391, most of 2 balls
Needles: 2.25mm Harmony DPNs
Started: 2 July 2008
Finished: 12 September 2008
Notes: I had to rip back the first one around the heel to get the yarn pattern to fall nicely there - I originally went for an all black heel with a wider yellow stripe at the front but where the colour changes run in I ended up with about eight black stitches slap in the middle of my wide yellow band. I'm not really a fussy knitter when it comes to the placement of stripes and making matching pairs but it had to go! I don't mind the narrow black stripe but if I did them over I might be tempted to break the yarn so it started in pure yellow and get the wider yellow stripe. Still the recipient is happy and so I'm happy.

Most often referred to as the bumblebee socks when people saw them being worked on they are in fact knit to be in the colours of Linacre College here in Oxford. It's a smaller, modern postgrad college built in red brick so it doesn't have the glorious dreaming spires but it does win the award for the best dressed rowing mascot I ever saw. If I had a dog I would have to knit it a coat like this:
Now the socks are on the hoof they are all set for the next stage in their travels - a weeks hols in Dorset - hurrah! See you soon x

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The socks went to London to see the Queen...

...the Queen of Knit Blogging that is. Yes that is her, I promise. She's wearing her Manon. Seems like these socks are going to be the best travelled socks before they even make it to the foot. They very much enjoyed being in the huge hall with soooo many other knitters listening to the Yarn Harlot.

It's really no surprise is it that I Knit Day was fab: beautiful venue, lovely stalls, knitting fashion shows and of course a very entertaining talk to knit to. I totally failed to see any other bloggers, I think the yarn fumes may have made my vision a little blurry :o) I did however get a good eye in for knit identifying. I felt like I needed a score card and a pattern spotting book like a pro twitcher - Is that a Swallowtail? Ooh there's a Hey Teach. Oh look a Clapotis. So much fun to see all that real live hand knitting being worn!

I was well behaved on the yarn purchasing and only a skein of Malabrigo sock made it home with me after I squeezed my way to the front of the Socktopus booth which seemed to be mobbed the whole time. Ooh this stuff is soft, soft, soft and a wonderful souvenir of a great day.
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