Although I am a bear of very little brain, usually I can manage to walk down the street without making a total eejit of myself. Usually. Not so, yesterday.
As I stepped gaily along heading back to my car after doing some small errand, the pavement jumped right out of nowhere and hit me, hard - for no reason ! I stepped, I slipped (on, and this is the weird thing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING), I landed with some force on my bum with my leg under the, thankfully stationary, car. Naturally I followed this up with the traditional leaping to my feet whilst furtively looking round to see if anyone had noticed and pretending that I meant to do it all along action. They had noticed. They were laughing. I wasn't :0(
So today I have some interesting photos to show you of various parts of my body ..... no, perhaps not. Let's just say we're talking glorious technicolour on the part of my anatomy I use most.
Happily I was hugely cheered up by the arrival of my latest self-indulgent indulgence. A parcel from Get Knitted. And in it ........
2 skeins of this
Get Knitted's very own colourway of Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Sock Yarn.
Isn't it gorgeous ? Honestly, it couldn't have been more my colours if I designed it myself. I even love the orange - which is a colour I normally don't do. Normally.
Oh except for this
10 balls of DB Cotton Silk Aran in Burnt Orange. (This was a real bargain - £1.50 a ball, how could I not ?)
Now of course I'm left with the dilemma that I look strangely unwell with orange next to my face but I thought maybe if I combined it with say, a deep winey colour, it might work okay ? And if not, Rosie looks fab in orange :0)
Amidst all this stashing I have actually done some knitting too. Not much, but some.
I've restarted my Regia India socks on 2 circulars. A crowd of us are going to India's for dinner tomorrow and she and I are doing a skill swap - I'm going to show her how to do socks on 2 circulars and she's going to show me how to crochet a fabulous scarf - so I thought I'd better get on with them. I cast on again last night and .....
This time, inspired by Claudia who posted about it a while back, I decided to do a picot edge - and I really like it. I may never rib again. As long as they stay up.
And I've also been swatching for this
I really fancy having a lightweight spring / summery cable sweater and I think this one from Interweave Knits might be the one. Sadly, I don't think this is the yarn ....
I swatched it in some stashed Rowan Linen Drape in Watermelon - which is almost the same gauge as the yarn used except apparently when I knit it. My gauge was way off - 31 stitches instead of 24½ to 4 inches. I could go up a couple of needles sizes but I think the Linen Drape might look a bit holey if I do that ? Any thoughts from anyone who's used this yarn before ?
Apart from knitting goodies cheering me up, I discovered that the lovely Lis has answered her interview questions - now that cheered me up no end. Go read what she says, she's smart, she's funny, she's interesting. Actually, I think I hate her ........ ;0)
Late addition :
As you'll see I've been changing my look but some browsers and Mac's see it in double width. If anyone has any idea why and how to fix it, I'll be eternally grateful ;0)
Well, I told Emma I was up for it so she's gone and done it. She's sent me a list of interview questions to satisfy the incurably nosey. Incurable nosiness is one of my own assets :0)
The idea is one blogger asks another some questions. They have to answer on their blog leaving the following explanation in case anyone wants to be interviewed by them. Got it ?
If you want ME to interview YOU you must :
1. Leave a comment saying "Interview Me". I will list your questions on THIS blog.
2. You will give answers on YOUR blog.
3. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
4. You should ask 5 questions.
Here we go :
1. Emma and I both have Allan/Alan's in our lives so her first one was easy ! :
How did you meet your Alan ? Spill !
I met Alan at a Halloween party in 1987 when I was 21 and in my final year at Glasgow University. He was a baby lawyer in the first year of his traineeship after graduating and (just like Emma's Allan !) was a friend of my flatmate's boyfriend. He was very cute and funny and 2 days later he took me out to lunch. No bloke had ever taken me to lunch before. He was wearing a suit. Wow. I was so impressed. (Remember I was a drama student - suits weren't really big in my crowd :0)) The irony now is I'm surrounded every day by men in suits and not quite so impressed.
4 days after we met, I dumped my boyfriend. (Yeah, not good I know - but honestly that relationship had been dead for 6 months I just hadn't got round to putting it out of its misery) And that was it really.
Oh, except for. When I dropped into the conversation "by the way both my parents are totally blind and my mum's got terminal cancer so I can't see you at the weekends 'cos I have to go home to look after her ..." he wasn't at all fazed. That impressed me too.
5 weeks after we met he asked me to marry him. After I'd stopped laughing I said "yeah. right. ask me again in 5 years and I'll think about it". And the bugger did. Elephants and lawyers - they never forget.
We'll have been married for 12 years this October and the rest as they say, is history.
2.How do knitting and blogging enhance your very busy life [ and how do you fit it all in ? ] ?
mmm ..... I think I'll do them separately. Knitting does not enhance my life. Knitting is essential to my life. Like Emma says, I have a pretty busy life. I have 3 daughters aged between 2 and 10, I work 4 days a week as part of the senior management team in an early childhood service, I look after my dad who's health isn't so good these days and recently we've also been looking after my father-in-law a bit too.
If I didn't knit, I'd go nuts. Knitting is my still, quiet place within myself. And always has been. When I'm stressed I can go there and be alone in my mind with the comfort of the yarn, the colour, the creation. I can't really explain it any other way.
Blogging is about the other side of my knitting. I first discovered knitting could be external as well as internal when I was a student. My flatmate (the one who's boyfriend knew Al) knitted too. I had never met anyone my age (18 then !) who knitted. We used to have long evenings together in front of the black and white TV and the 2 bar electric fire which passed as heating in the flat just knitting. Sometimes talking, sometimes not. I loved it.
AND we discovered Rowan together. Rowan was just launching its first magazines in the mid 80's. We both joined Rowan International and I've stayed there ever since. I'm still in touch with Linda tho' she moved south and haven't seen each other for years but remembering all that has kind of made me think that maybe we should. I'm going to e-mail her.
Anyway (god I could drivel for Scotland couldn't I ??), through the Rowan forum I came across Emma and Lis. And through them, blogging. I've been blogging for a year now and it DOES enhance my life.
I don't need it in the way I need knitting but it has opened my life to so many wonderful friendships, experiences (vicarious and real !) and shared joy that I would find it hard to give it up.
I fit it all in just because I do. I've always been a person with a lot on. I've always had caring responsibilities, studying or work to do and I've always had the need to fulfill my creative side. I just lurch from crisis to crisis to really and somehow it all hangs together. Oh, and I don't do housework so we live in a midden.
3.Are you keen for your girls to want to knit ? Are you teaching them ?
I would like my girls to knit to see if they could gain the same satisfaction that I do from it. The 2 older ones are quite arty - they love drawing and making pictures (Alan's sister is an artist and she enourages them) and I think they may come to it in time. Rosie is quite interested but, like her Dad, is a perfectionist. She gets very angry and discouraged if she can't do something perfectly straight away so she's started and stopped a few times. She's keen to go on a Rowan parent & child weekend with me tho' so maybe that would be the impetus ?
Hazel hasn't shown any interest yet - she's more of a performance artist. Or perhaps drama queen would be a better way of putting it. And Rowan is just too little at the moment.
4.Any knitting ambitions,of any sort ? Techniques,workshops,retreats [if only !]?
Hah ! Chance would be a fine thing ! I have been to a number of the Holmfirth weekends and I do really enjoy them so I will definitely be back there. I love spending time in the company of other knitters especially if I find a kindred soul.
There are loads of techniques I haven't tried even tho' I've been knitting forever but what I lack is the concentrated time. I usually knit late evening after everything else is done and tiredness saps my energy to try things. (This is also my excuse for being crap at lace knitting :0))
I'd really like to do more of my own designs. My head is stuffed full of ideas but I often lose them before I have time to write them down and work out the technical stuff. But I do get a lot of satisfaction from my own design work. I really enjoyed working on the little baby sweater I made recently - even though it was very simple, it was still MINE. Who knows, maybe I'll write up the pattern one day !
5.What is your relationship with your stash ? Does it torment you or comfort you ?
Ooh good one. Definitely both. My stash is pretty big. (An entire walk-in cupboard plus 3 crates of overflow in the dining-room - sorry Alan !) And I have a lot of knitting books - maybe a hundredish ? Maybe more ?
Some of my stash is very old - yarn I inherited from my mum or Rowan stuff I bought in the 80's. And some of it arrived yesterday. I don't really stash because of any need to have stuff, for me it's more about surrounding myself with snippets of inspiration. Once I get a notion or idea for something, I want to start NOW, not have to wait until I can get into town for the yarn - so it's comforting to have it all to hand.
On the other hand, it torments me because everywhere I look see ideas for projects and not enough time to do them !
Bonus question : When will I see you again ? [That song's going to drive you all crazy now !]
I think we could "share precious moments" pretty soon Emma ! I'll chat to the man and see when he'd be up for a day's sole parenting and we can talk dates :0)
Phew, now all that's off my chest. Knitting. Or not.
I have run out of beads for Cambio so it has stalled whilst I wait for the others to arrive. Apparently the shop has run out them too. I blame all these Chicago knitters.
So in the meantime ........ naturally I'm not going to get on with any of my umpty WIP's ..... I'm thinking ACCESSORIES.
When I was in VV Rouleaux I bought a little snippet of this
I adore the leopard tinges running through it and have a vision of a little purple leopardy bag trimmed with it ....... just need to work out the pattern .... or .....
I could be persuaded in the direction of this bag knitalong ........ or
maybe a lacey (AAGH - run screaming now !) scarf using my gorgeous Blue Heron yarn that my Secret Pal sent ? ........
Sheesh ! So many ideas, so little time.
I've just added Lis's interview questions in the extended entry bit if anyone's interested !
Curls 'n Purls nyc was one of the first blogs I came across and I am thrilled that Lis wants me to interview her. Over the last couple of years as we've got to know each other online we keep finding out things we have in common so I'm fascinated to know more - or at least as much as she's willing to tell :0)
Don't forget to put the rules along with your answers on your blog Lis. Here goes :
1. 2004 saw some really major changes in your life. What brought them about ?
2. You often give us little glimpses of your Italian family background. What does your Italian/European heritage mean to you ? Is it an important part of shaping who you are ? How will it shape Jamie's life ?
3. Your Friday postcards are fabulous and seem to show a real passion for NYC. What, if anything, would you change about your city and could you ever see yourself living anywhere else ?
4. Knitting , sex , chocolate - rate them in order of importance and tell us why !
5. And finally I'm pinching one of Emma's questions to me 'cos I like it :
What is your relationship with your stash ? Does it torment you or comfort you ?
Sweet is finally finished. And is very Hazel. She assures me that the colours are "totally gorge" and the "Medusa sleeves" (as she calls them) are "way cool". I aim to please. :0)
Actually, I am quite pleased with it. I think the yarn substitution worked pretty well (I used Rowan All Seasons Cotton instead of Cotton Glace) and for once things just went completely right. So it fits. Which is a good start after my Butterfly sizing disaster !
It did take me a little longer than I thought but that's partly because we went here again for a long weekend. The accommodation was great and it's a beautiful place with plenty for the kids to do so I got a bit way-laid on the knitting front.
I was also distracted on the knitting front by the yarn buying opportunities. There's still a working mill at New Lanark but instead of spinning cotton as it did originally, now it spins wool.
It was a really good price and they had a reasonable range of heathery tweedy colours. So I hummed and hawed and pondered and wondered and finally bought .......... nothing. It just felt a little too coarse for me and I couldn't think of anyone I normally knit for who wouldn't mind a slight scratchiness. So I left it. Marvel at my self-control !
Or not. The self-control contained a healthy amount of self-interest as I knew that when I got the chance a certain yarn shop was lurking in the main town of Lanark. :0)))
Now it was not a WOW of a window when I saw it. And I have to tell you it is also not a WOW of a shop inside. Like lots of small yarn shops it felt a bit chaotic. Perhaps there was a logic to the layout of different types and shades of yarns but I couldn't see it.
BUT it is the only UK stockist of Phildar so I managed to have a good fondle of various types. I didn't buy anything on the day but the lady was very pleasant and helpful and is happy to do mail order so I've been checking out their site.
I have some Phildar books from a couple of years ago and I think I'm going to try out some Oxygene in Rouge to knit Rosie a little raglan 2x2 rib jumper with a zip set into the left front seam. That is of course assuming my French is up to it !! (Happily we Glasgow Rowanettes number a French teacher amongst us so I have high hopes of success :0))
As well as all this NON-yarn buying I did pay attention to my little poll and bowing to public pressure started something new !! Let's face it. You all knew it was going that way :0)
I don't know about unspeakably fabulous but I really like it.
This is the beginnings of Cambio from the new season's Knitty.
Instead of a crisp mercerised cotton though, I've chosen some long-ago stashed Rowan DK Soft in a pale powder blue and I lOVE it so far. The little silver beads nestling in the soft slightly fluffy blue folds are gorgeous. (Why did they discontinue this yarn ??? It's wonderful.)
I'm thinking either a matching powder blue, bitter chocolate brown or old rose pink for the velvet ribbon trim. What do you think ? Naturally this will necessitate a visit here to choose - such a martyr to the craft, me.
I'm going to knit it slightly longer, tho' not long enough to cover my bum - Susannah and Trinny assure me that nothing screams middle aged more loudly than this. Who knew ?
And here was me thinking it was my big bum that was the give away ......... :0)
I'm a Grand Prix widow today. During Grand Prix season we are all banished from the couch - unless we are prepared to stay completely silent and that includes no clicking of needles. So I'm through here in the, ahem, office - otherwise known as the dining-room / dumping ground - but I'm happy for it's also the home of the stash.
It's quite sad really when your idea of a good afternoon is raking through bags of yarn and rediscovering long forgotten purchases isn't it ? It has made me think though about what I want to knit next.
I've nearly finished Sweet. Back and both fronts are done and I've just arrived on Sleeve Island. I may be here a little while as like Polly I usually do both sleeves at once. It does feel like it's taking ages but they match perfectly and at least once they're done you're on the home run. Even so I reckon I'll be finished by Tuesday.
Rosie wants to be next and has asked me to knit her something a little more challenging.
She's nuts about all things Celtic and has fallen in love with Rogue and wants me to knit it in this in the Hocus Pocus shade - which I am selflessly liberating from Rowanette Jill's over-full stash (I'm good to my friends ain't I ?? :0)))) But Jill's in India at the moment so I have to wait till she gets back :0(
So in the meantime what do I work on ? Should I be a good girl and finish one of these WIPs ?
Audrey from last summer's Audrey knitalong
Or shall I ignore the murmurings of my Scottish presbyterian upbringing, throw caution to the wind and start something NEW ?
You decide :0)