Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fly by

With a whoosh we're at the end of September. I am about a month behind the year, I could just about believe I was ready to start September not finish it. So if anyone else is feeling life is running away with them you might appreciate these words of wisdom selected by my amazing notebook customiser:

T made a beautiful, suitably autumnal, cover for the notebook she converted to an illustrated book of days which will commence with October. I hope that it will help me savour and create the greatest number of good hours (and some lovely recipes too!)Thanks again for my wonderful parcel, talented T, thanks again to QoftF for organising a lovely swap and thank you all for the compliments on my first faltering steps in embroidery. Here's to a wonderful October, I'll be back soon with tales of a trip to Brighton, reports on stash enhancing and reducing and maybe, even some knitting, one day.

Friday, September 25, 2009

From other needles

I've been dabbling a bit more with some embroidery these past few weeks. I bought the Jenny Hart book and kit some time last year but never really got going with it. Then suddenly, lately, it's been a craft quite irresistible.
Queen of the Frogger's summer notebook swap was the inspiration I think - adding an embroidery to the cover seemed like a fun customisation:
Since then I've made several little embroideries to attach to cards and I'm enjoying myself immensely, it feels like colouring in but with more sophisticated results. I'm not very skilled as yet but I've ordered a lovely felt ornament kit from Posie (to go with the one I barely managed to start last year) and I'm hoping they will inspire me to master the french knot which seems somehow pinnacle-ish in the embroidery stitch world!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Travel Plans

Under a month to go now until our holidays, a trip that has been booked for so long I was beginning to feel it would never happen! All that lead time should mean every last detail is sorted but of course they're not, though I like to think that the important things have been - like the travel knitting project - everyone knows socks are a perfect travel project and for a longer trip - take longer socks:
Amanda (if you've never visited with Amanda click this link to see her BEAUTIFUL Aeolian Shawl) asked whether I thought they'd stay up - as written I had my doubts so I added in a line of eyelets just above the ribbing so I can add a pretty ribbon garter. I'm having a hard time resisting knitting these but I want to make sure I have a good long stretch of knitting to go for the airport and flight time. (I also like to imagine that I need to stop at this point to make sure that there is enough knitting in hand so that I won't finish the project before the flight home - I will never accept how slowly I knit!)

We're flying into Seattle and then down to Portland where we'll spend most of a week while I'm working and I get a day at the end of that week work free, for which important thing number two has been sorted - a lovely looking yarn shop to visit: Close Knit.

Then we get in to the less firm plans, we want to visit the Oregon coast and think hiring a car is the best option, and then we want to get the Cascades train up to stay in Seattle for a few days before we fly home. There we're hoping that we can sample the delights of Delancey.

So who would have guessed that knitting and food are the fixed points in the itinerary of a trip I'm taking?! Any suggestions of places we must see most welcome.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Strictly Come Knitting

The sequins are back! What fabulous knitting time Strictly Come Dancing is. During some pretty dedicated watching of the last couple of series I've developed my own special dance ranking system, the knit freezeometer. For me quality/entertainment factor can be precisely measured by the time it takes me to pick back up the knitting. I pause for the start of each routine and if it's fab-u-lous then I can't take my eyes off the screen till the end, if it's D - U - double L then the knitting can recommence.

The only downside to Strictly is the lack of 'spot the natty knit' sport, sometimes they're barely wearing a dress let alone a nice cardi! Though talking of spotting the knits I was shocked to see the otherwise fabulous new Miss Marple in what looked suspiciously like a machine knit the other week, scandal in St Mary Mead!

Ah what joy the autumn tv schedules bring to this knitter's heart.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

An Ode for Patti

There once was a cardi named Patti,
The start of the knit was quite ratty,
Then the karma got shifted,
The curse it was lifted
And our friend the knitter felt less batty.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September Sunshine

The sun has been quite shy all summer which is making seeing it all the more delightful this weekend.It's my idea of weatherly perfection.
There's a freshness in the air and a mellowness to the warmth of the sun that made being in the garden the obvious choice today (unless you were my one true beloved, in which case cycling to Cambridge was it).
Panda agreed with me.
The leaves are starting to colour and fall but there are always flowers to enjoy.
This little nasturtium has had a hard fight to bloom this summer. The seeds sent from my Mama's garden were still in their envelope when they should have been in the soil and I had little energy at the time to do anymore than cast them on stony ground and trust that they would find a way to grow. Thanks to my Mama and Mother Nature for this golden treasure.
These cyclamen don't know how easy they have it.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

In the grip...

... of new project passion.Talking about getting cosy for autumn this weekend the image of the Over-the-Knee Socks in Handknit Holidays sprung to mind. A quick rummage through the stash yesterday for something vaguely suitable in sufficient yardage (Rowanspun 4ply in Sludge) and I am away, knitting as fast as I can to keep pace with the beating of my heart!

Thank you all for the encouraging words for Patti, I feel sure all your positivity must have balanced out that bad karma. She'll have her day when (probably about mid-calf) the shine rubs off these beauties ;o)

Friday, September 04, 2009

But is it cursed?

With the WOW extravaganza going on over at RoseRed's place I thought I'd get my own bit of the starting buzz and cast on for Patti finally.

This has been a long dreamed over project, I think it was last year that I hunted down the pattern book then I stalked the yarn on Ebay and as a carrot to finishing some other projects I swatched for her a couple of months ago.

Last month I cast on and fairly soon thereafter wanted to fling her across the room as I was using straight needles too short for the 200 odd stitches and stitch markers that kept flipping themselves off the stitches. This is the state the beloved calls '"when knits go bad", when all thoughts of knitting as a peaceful, relaxing, centring hobby seem ridiculous and it is is best if he keeps very quiet and does not say "oh is it not going well?". So rather than fight on I gathered what shreds of patience I have and ordered the right size needle tips for my interchangeables and some of those dandy little Clover locking stitch markers.

As I sat this week and started the casting on again I was already drafting a little blog post in my mind about using the right tools for the job and how swimmingly it all goes when you're properly prepared. Perhaps that was what distracted me and explains why I cast on 100 too many stitches. £xh*7!£%$!

Felted Tweed is not easy to pull back as the fibres cling together with all their might. That feeling of wanting to fling her across the room was back again, cats looked up nervously from their slumbers as I tried to pull the stitches back and pulled the yarn apart instead. Still I got over that hurdle okay by cutting the yarn at the right number and then split splicing the working yarn back on and off I went on the first couple of rounds, stitches flowing, calm returning until crunch......needle in two pieces!

The lovely ladies of Get Knitted have got a replacement needle charging over on a white horse as I type but really, dare I knit on or is this project destined to send me round the bend?
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