Monday, June 30, 2008

Wild, Wet and Woolly...

Back from wonderful break in Cumbria (including Woolfest) Many pictures taken, many tales to tell. Am about to work about 9 days without a proper day off, so report may not be immediate.

Must now go and help Mr Caught Knitting; no sooner are we back than he is off to a conference...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

nom de crochet

Forget the nom de plume, I have a nom de crochet.

This clashingly colourful object of mine is on display in the Hayward with The International Coral Reef, and my name is given as "Rosy Sykes".

Note how it is next to a quote about "sea-mucous"!


I've been spoilt (by Sarah, blogless) via Zoe's Bookmark Swap

I've been ambling around the local botanic gardens with my friend Tamy

And I dragged my sister along to the crochet jam at The Royal Festival Hall, where she had her first-ever crochet lesson
picked things up quickly
and soon had her very own hyperbolic coral to add to the UK reef
Yay, Sister!!!

Another fun-filled week stretches ahead of me, so watch this space.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

It was 34 years ago today...

Mum and I were off down memory lane when I 'phoned her this evening. She'd seen footage of the Queen's (official) birthday procession and asked if I could remember the time we went to see it. Which she insists was in 1974. Gulp. It can't have been that long ago since I was 13...
Now, whilst she remembers that we had to tell my little sister when to jump (so that she could get a glimpse of the Queen over the sea of faces) and that the salads in Selfridges were served on plates that were still hot from being washed up (ugh), my memories are slightly different. First of all, I remember that I was delighted to get tongue with my salad. Does anyone still eat tongue? Secondly, it was a blisteringly hot day, so when it suddenly rained we saw steam rising from the pavements of Oxford Street. Ah, Oxford Street: my first-ever visit there. It was on this trip that I first discovered Miss Selfridge. Mum remembers the jacket I got there: a sage green denim blazer. I also remember the olive green skirt that I got to go with it. It had an elasticated belt with it and since one of the belt loops was broken Mum negotiated a sizeable discount. (I love the way mums teach you these useful things!) And I got a neat little straw hat, which I name Mams'elle Chritofunnel (the story behind the name is a long one, stretching back to 1966 or thereabouts, and yes, I still give my straw hats names).
But most of all I remember the corasge that I wanted to buy to complete my outfit. Oh, how I wanted it. A soft green rose, just tinged with pink at the edges. But mother put her foot down, uttering the unforgettable words: "No, they're what, nasty girls wear". Could this be why I now spend several hours a week crocheting corasges to sell to feed my hooking habit?

(Oh, and sorry about the absence of pictures. This week I've walked from Cromer to Sheringham but forgot my camera. I went to Norwich but found the batteries were flat. And at WWKIP I was so busy crocheting/chatting/eating cake and daintily sipping ribena and G&T-- though not both at once-- that I forgot to buy replacement batteries. Sigh)

UK Swap Question of the Week

Saturday 14th June is World Wide Knitting in Public day.
What are you doing to participate in WWKIP day on Saturday?

Saturday was a brilliant day but (renegade that I am) I must confess that I was crocheting in public... First of all about a dozen of us assembled outside Sew Creative, where chairs, bunting and even a parasol were waiting for us. The lovely staff (waves to Janine, Jill and Allison) were plying us with Ribena, tea, coffee and cakes and choccie biccies, mmm. And we were awarded 10% discount cards, valid until the end of August. Mine has already saved me over £3.00 (ahem) with a colourful assortment of balls of Twilleys Freedoms Spirit, ready for making felted pots. (I've made 5 in the last 4 days, so the new yarn was essential, oh yes). From Sew Creative we headed to Parkers Piece where some 20+ of us knitted (and 3 of us crocheted) alongside the Country Fair. They even had a tent where I was able to get a Gin and Tonic, mmm. So it is probably just as well that I headed home at about 3.30pm, before a posse of knitters headed off to a local hostelry.

I'm hoping to be able to link to some pics soon.

What is the strangest place you have ever knit?

Depends what you mean by strange! If we're talking exotic, then I've knitted in the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa, and with my feet dangling over the Pacific Ocean in the Marina in San Diego. If we're talking liable to raise eyebrows, then I've crocheted in both Norwich and Ely cathedrals (but not during services, as I never go to services!). The most bizarre position I have knitted in is lying face down on my bed with hands jutting out over the foot of the bed. I was in agony with sciatica but determined to knit bootees for my best friend's first baby. I dislocated my jaw in the process.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

In Praise of Fresh Air

First of all, a promise: there will be photo posts coming soon! Meantime, read on to enjoy trips into the Cambridgeshire Countryside!

Though the hayfever season is here (and there has been much sniffling and sneezing chez Caught Knitting) I still love being outdoors and the last two days have been wonderful.

My friend Tamy (scroll down past the ripple scarves to see her!) is back in the UK but currently a bit too jetlagged to spend the whole day researching in the University Library, so yesterday we ambled through the meadows to Granchester and back. All that cow parsley that dominated the landscape so recently has faded, now there are tall waving grasses as far as the eye can see.

And today I went to Wimpole Hall's Woolcraft Weekend, with Marianne and Barry. As well as seeing a demonstration of sheep-shearing methods ancient and modern we had a wonderful time admiring the farm animals, especially the naughty little Tamworth piglets who kept squeezing through the railings. Marianne got some superb pictures of them but what the camera can't capture is the sounds: I was particularly amused by an exhausted sow snoring and almost overwhelmed by the noise of a Shire Horse peeing (what enormous bladders they must have...)

It was a fabulous outing but the naughty National Trust kept tempting me with things like freshly-baked cheese scones, bacon butties made from local pigs and local ice cream. After so many calories I decided that it would be a very good idea for Graham and I to wonder round a few local fields after we ate supper this evening. I'm so glad we did as we were rewarded with glimpses of larks and lots of birdsong.

Now I'm off to do some spinning on Radish in the hope that one day I'll be as good as the ladies from North Herts spinners who were demonstrating at Wimpole.

Friday, June 06, 2008

coral reef update

Earlier today I was telling a friend about the crocheted coral reef project (and trying to persuade her to join me at the hyperbolic crochet jam at the Royal Festival Hall on 21 June, noon-3pm). As we were near a computer at the time I tracked down the Institute for Figuring's website and clicked on the London Exhibition link. Scrolling down the page I suddenly spotted two of my tube anemones (the green pair in the second reef-in-progress photo). Nowhere near as stunning as the gorgeously bright and candy-striped work by Ildiko Szabo but I am so excited.