Sunday, March 23, 2008

White Easter!

Graham has gone to church

but I can't decide whether to create more anemones (Scarlet took this picture at the KTog party on Wednesday night, where Anne got to work on a fabulous collection of sea slugs) for the crocheted reef.

or to do more work on young Radish. There is just one word for my spinning efforts to date, and it isn't fit for public consumption. Let's just say that we're having brake tension issues. Fine tuning has never been my strong point, but I seem to lurch from "too overtwisted to move through the orifice" to "so little twist that once through the orifice it snaps". Last night I spun some pencil roving into mad twirls but it is back to the fleece today (special thanks to Wye Sue for sending me a large bag of "play fleece").

(Oh dear, I think maybe I need to do some tidying up whilst Graham is out! And, no, that's not the chair I sit in to spin!)

Frustratingly, Blogger is refusing to let me upload pictures of the wonderful Easter goodies that Monkee Maker sent me for coming up with a mad name for her delightful crocheted pigeon. Suffice to say that I've eaten the eggs already, and the knitted muffin (with mad eyes and twirling moustache) deserves a post of its own anyway!

So I shall end by sending you

(found this card in an antiques centre in Ely)

Now--forget all that crafty stuff I was planning to do: I'm off to play in the snow, whee!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

UK crochet coral reef project

Well, the spinning wheel and I are still at the treddling stage (but not for much longer, I'm getting steadier, and rarely let the wheel slip into reverse now). In the meantime, here's what's been filling my time.

(This one may be a coral, but, flipped over, it also has jellyfish potential...)

A trio of sea anemones.

A hyperbolic sea slug (which I may keep, as it is made from yarn I had-painted and would make a rather striking bracelet).

These are for the UK Coral Reef project. I've blogged about this in much greater detail (and with links to some truly awe-inspiring work) at the KnitCambridge blog

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Two thousand and eight: a yarn odyssey

My schedule is so fibre-filled at the moment, and I'm having so much fun that (coupled with the evil sinus germs) I just don't seem to have the time/inclination to blog. Look here's my wheel (her name is Radish*) and I think I'm finally mastering the treddling):

And I can't remember whether I've mentioned my trip to Ely for the first-ever Ely KTog meeting. It was a fabulous evening and Jayne and Emily have found the perfect venue (good lighting, quiet music, squashy sofas)!

It seems hard to believe that the knitting group I rustled up (via Yahoo and the UK Handkniters Group) in March 2003 is now so big (12-20+ at most meetings, 70 members on Ravelry, 100 people receiving details by email)that we are having to switch the venue of our Saturday meetings. Here's a glimpse of some of us at this Saturday's meeting:
We'll be celebrating our 5th birthday on Wednesday. I can't claim any of the credit for this, it is all due to the many wonderful knitters and crocheters who have attended meetings over the years. Several of us remember events where only two (or, worse, one) turned up but the rising popularity of knitting and, in particular, the birth of Ravelry, mean that there is little danger of that now. Moreover, through the Ravelry group, it looks as if there may be more offshoots at new locations: if you're not on Ravelry, watch the KnitCambridge blog for more details.

The day after the Ely meeting I headed to Norwich to visit the rather wonderful Cloth and Culture exhibition at the Sainsbury Gallery and the equally wonderful Norfolk Yarn for a really tempting shopping experience. That trip was a dry run for two KTog group visits. The first of those was yesterday and I think it is fair to say that we had a great time, not least to Rebecca, of Norfolk Yarn: she is the perfect proprietor of the perfect shop! This afternoon (I'm typing this on Saturday, though goodness knows when I'm going to be adding the links) was another KTog meet and tomorrow I'm off to London to learn how to teach others to crochet a hyperbolic reef. And, of course, befoer I've managed to get this published, I'va actuaally been to the workshop. How's this for inspirational work:

I'll try to get a dedicated post done on this very soon!Oh, and (going back to my diary) earlier in the week (Wednesday?) I went on a Rowan finishing techniques workshop, to jolt myself out of my bad habits...

I realise that I've not shown you my SkipNorth spoils...but here's a shot of several swag-laden knitters:
(Since then, I've also acquired lots of lovely, dyed corriedale sliver from Norfolk Yarn and the truly brilliant Wye Sue has sent me a large bag full of combed fleece). I'll add some pics now and post this, then hope to add fuller reports of all these events (and, importantly, links) over Easter weekend (Yay! Two days off work! I might actually get some yarn spun).

Factual, chronological and sensibly composed, illustrated posts, with decent links, should be resumed again later this week...

(* I love Radishes, but Radish is also short for Radegund. It's a long story!)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

wheely exciting

My amazingly lovely wheel was waiting for me when I got home today. We've set her up and been treddling (yes, Graham too, though I think he was pretending to be driving a pedal car).

Not sure that I'm brave enough to try to actually spin on her yet. (This has more to do with the befuddled state of my germ-filled brain than any reluctance to spin!)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

skip, snuffle, spin

Am drowning in germs so very brief entry. Despite near-inability to breathe spent last w/end at in the company of many other yarnaholics at Skipnorth, the only holiday that ferries you around Yorkshire in a minbus with the express purpose of enabling knitting and yarn shopping. Other holidaymakers will be named and shamed--and my purchases will be revealed--as soon as I can breathe properly and think straight again.

But just a little confession. I'm awaiting delivery of a sonata from here....

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

what a knitcase...

There was great excitement here on Monday, caused by the arrival of a parcel.

It has to be admitted (and no doubt you've already realised) that Graham and I are both about 5 years old at heart. So even though the parcel was addressed to me, we both had to be there when it was opened. Off came the paper to reveal:

A stylish little case. The catches were opened, the lid lifted, the exciting burgundy tissue paper peeld back and lo!

and behold!

Knitting goodies galore, and more (apologies for the sideways picture, my HP software has not been playing ball for the last couple of days!) Some Posh Yarns Laura, in Camelot colourway (combining earthy browns with a luscious, vibrant green). Some Elsbeth Lavold Angora (squeeze those skeins). A delightfully sheepy card (revealing that all these goodies had come from my UK Swap Pal Heather). Green and Black's dark choc with cherries ("ooh, look" said Graham, "your favourite". Yes, indeed, and it is going to Skipnorth with me, I must try not to eat it before I get there!). Twiglets (these were opened straight away and, despite my reputation for being "the Twiglet Piglet, *"I have been rationing myself, and there are still a few left for tomorrow evening). An elegant silk corsage, in berry shades. A decadent candle, scented with ginger (we've been enjoying wonderfully relaxing candle-lit baths thanks to this) and, best of all, the perfect notions bag. You can see the beautiful green outside, but the inside is a work of art: bright green fabric strewn with polka dots, pockets and little loops with press studs for retaining useful things: such as the green stitch markers, the tape measure and the little bag of buttons that were inside it. Heather made this herself and it is perfect. As Graham's hand hovered over the chocolate, and as he went to put the candle in the bathroom, I rushed off for my prized Susan Bates crochet hook set and my indispensable Cibi. They fit! they fit! No more unglamorous plastic bags in my knitting bag.

I'm overwhelmed by how perfect these gifts are, and how carefully chosen. And I love the note explaining that the Elsbeth Lavold yarn is "an extra" from Heather's stash. Thank you so very much.

* I've been known as The Twiglet Piglet since time immemorial. I have my darling Ma to blame for the irritatingly catchy name!