Friday, April 28, 2006

oh what a week

a boring account of an exhausting week-- sun: work, home to prepare handout for Weds night course, back to work to cash up, home. mon: work. tue: work am, minor surgery pm. wed: lie in (til 8am!), work, teach evening class. thu: up at 6, off to meeting in St Albans, then travel to Oxfordshire. fri: writing packaging copy, travel home. Tomorrow sees me at work all day. I had thought that I'd finally get a whole day off on Sunday but, joy of joys, I have to be in at 7am for a stock take. at least I don't have to do the counting!

Highlight of the week was the evening class, where we created log cabin squares and made i-cord. I even got to do some knitting by demonstrating the techniques far more thatn was strictly necessary. When I got home there were two exciting packages waiting. One, looking like a blue cushion, was Marble yarn (James Brett) which I'd ordered from Dianne's Knitting Yarns as I think it is sufficiently self-striping to look good in short row projects; I'll find out with the class the week after next, and will report back. The other item was a log, encrusted in attractive lichen. this turns out to be impregnated with spores of oyster mushroom and is an inspired gift from my sister. DH has put it in the garden and I plan to inspect it sometime soon! Off to bed now, zzzzzzz

Sunday, April 23, 2006

spring greens

Spring is sprung! The front garden is awash with pansies, hyacinth, grape hyacinth, and daffodils. As I've no camera to capture the garden gorgeousness I give you my latest, lazy, spring knitting project: a border of Sirdar Fizz and a tangle of elongated garter stitch in a wonderful Wendy DK cotton in variegated greens.

Still working crazy hours-and next week promises to be crazier still-but there is, finally, some light at the end of the tunnel. Meantime, my knitting classes have started again. This week was the end of the beginners' class, next week is the start of Creative Knitting. We'll be doing log cabin squares this week, which I love. which reminds me, I know I've got a copy of a book on knitting and spirituality somewhere that has some great variations on log cabin (mitered corners, puffed out layers) but am not sure where I've buried it! One of the best things about last week's class was hearing that when Angie and Emma from the group return to the US at the end of May and they are setting up a mother-daughter knitting group.

Monday, April 17, 2006

another FO

You can tell that I've finally had a day off, plus a late start this morning. Have actually finished the grey frilly scarf in Knitit. (See pic 1 on previous post). It used 2 balls and is just long enough to cross the ends over. I don't usually do frills (too much like my Sloane Ranger phase in the early 80s, sooner I draw a veil over that the better) but I like the look of the finished scarf, quite fun. The yarn really is something else. It looks a bit like bias binding but has the loose weave of a bandage. It is in two colours (dark grey/light grey; burgundy/ivory; dark pink/light pink; navy/bone) and you can choose which of those 2 colours you want as the frill and which as the ground.

I couldn't decide whether to strand the yarn in my left hand or my right and kept switching from one to the other (pretty much like when I crochet). I'm pleased with the end result but eager to get back to "real" knitting. Can feel some socks coming on, but also want to have a go at mitred log cabin squares before my creative knitting course starts next week!

And now some rather drunken concrete poetry, for cider lovers everywhere. (NB was it my fault that it was a Sunday bus service today and that I just missed a bus so had to go to the pub as I just couldn't face returning to my desk?)

On drinking a pint of Addlestone's (keg) too fast:

spin spinssssssss
spin spin pppppp
spin spin iiiiiiiiiiiiii
sppppppspin nnnnnnnn

Reckon those socks/log cabin squares had better wait a bit!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Skipping all over the place

Oh happy day! A full day off work (my first since 25 March) and an FO to show off. This (the second picture, haven't quite mastered uploading images yet!) is the "holes scarf" from Iris Schreier's "Modular Knits" (Lark Books ISBN 1-57990-649-4) knitted in awonderful wool/nylon boucle from antipodean firm Touch Yarns that I gave in to at Ally Pally a couple of years ago. I'd been looking for the right design for it for some time, saw the holes scarf and knew that yarn and pattern had met their match.

The pairing is a happy one, but there were some tense moments along the way. Firstly, I cast on at Textiles in Focus and just couldn't get the pattern to work. I assumed that I was miscounting (as tends to happen when serving customers, chatting to the public etc). But when I got home and still couldn't hack it I turned to assorted Yahoo groups for help. turns out there was a missprint in the pattern. Once that was cleared up, progress was, initially, fast and I decided that this would be the ideal project to take to Skip North. Only somewhere between Cambridge and Howarth I forgot what you were supposed to do at the end of a tier of holes. Cue mobile 'phone call to DH, who was told where to find book and pattern then obligingly read out the bit I'd forgotten. This is some husband I have here, he may not knit but he can read out strings of instructions dashed accurately.

Anyway, knitted on happily throughout Skip North and all the way home but then work went wild with a major staffing crisis and knitting (alas) got put on ice (or, more accurately, in bag tucked under chair in staff room). Picked it up to take to a Cambridge KTog, lifted it out and, yes, found that I couldn't remember the pattern. Cue mobile 'phone call ... etc. This really is some husband I have here, he'll even read out the same thing twice without calling me too many rude names! Liz (Knitting on the Green) was highly amused by all this, as she's witnessed the initial cast on at TiF and both rescue 'phone calls. Knitting then went on hold again until last Tuesday's KTog, when I remembered to take the pattern! Cast off at home that evening and finally got ends and scanning pic conquered today. Ta Da! it will be popped in the post on Tuesday as a belated Easter present for my sister.

Meantime (first picture) I cast on some Wendy Knitit tape (think that's what it is called) earlier this week and am busily whipping up a scarf that reminds me of slug genitalia (don't ask!). I can highly recommend this yarn for knitting in public. You'll get lots of non-knitters coming up and saying "Wow" and lots of knitters coming over and asking what you are doing. What you are doing is drawing the tape through itself rather than wrapping it round the needle. You also have to keep the wrong side of the tape facing you (so that the top and bottom "curls" will be on the outside of the scarf, to form the frills) and I suspect that it would be much easier to work knitting continental style, so I'm off to find an online tutorial whilst DH is at church.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

how much does it cost to buy your soul back?

work. don't talk to me about work. unless you're an HR expert in which case: HELP!