Saturday, 20 October 2007

Knitting Update

Although it's been quiet on the blog front, I have been busy knitting this week. Last Sunday I went to Lorainne's and witnessed the Eighth Wonder of the World, which is her Stock and Stash. She has some amazing yarns and I felt completely overwhelmed. I just didn't know where to start looking and scratched the surface when I opened a couple of yarn boxes. I bought two skeins of sock yarn, which was actually very restrained. I didn't stay knitting long because I had to go for a Sunday dinner for the German teachers, who are here at the moment.

Work has been hectic because of the return leg of the Exchange, but so far so good. I feel exhausted because there has been a lot of socialising (including a meal for fourteen here), early mornings and organising trips. I enjoyed my trip to the town hall and bowling. Bowling was brilliant because I could knit between turns.

On Wednesday I went to Lucy's and knitted and chatted for the evening with her, t'other Lucy and Mara. It was a nice evening and we had lovely food. At both Lucy's and Lorainne's I had the use of their ball winders and swifts. These are fantastic gadgets and speed up winding wool into balls. They then make your yarn look really pretty. Caroline has offered to lend me one of hers and I cannot wait! All my yarn is going to be wound and ready for action.

Some quick photographs:

These are finished Christmas socks for my Auntie:

You can tell the yarn is my hand-dyed stuff because the socks are different. The right sock is much darker. I think it's a quirk of the yarn.

These are socks I am knitting for my Great Aunt, but as she had a fall this week they are going to be sent as soon as they are finished; she needs cheering up and I think she deserves an early Christmas present. Granby just wouldn't leave me alone this morning. He was being all cute and cuddly whilst I was trying to take photos.

I love the colours in this yarn, and it is beautifully soft, but I don't like the way it has knitted into spirals. The way the yarn is on the heel flap is how I would have preferred it throughout.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Secret Pal

Following Caroline's suggestion I have started a Secret Pal for the local knitting community. It seems other people are really interested in doing something similar and have been really helpful with suggestions. We're set to roll in November and December and I am really excited. The trouble is, I want send be a Secret Pal and send somebody something, but I will automatically know who's my Secret Pal because I'm organising it all and am coordinating it. Is that a problem? Or should I still participate and just not have it secret? Afterall, the excitement will be the parcel. I don't want to do all this and miss another boat.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Missing the boat

I'm in a mood. I feel that I always miss the boat. I found out about Ravelry late so I'm still waiting to be invited. I feel I have more chance of being invited to Buckingham Palace. I've been on other blogs and I want to be involved with 'Secret Pal 11' but I'm so late for that it's untrue. There is so much great stuff going on, yet I always find out about things too late, despite my daily internet trawling.

All day I have been planning my Secret Pal items, even though I'm not even involved. How do I make sure I am involved with Secret Pal 12? When is that going to happen?

If anyone out there knows of something exciting in the pipeline, tell me now! Please.


I didn't feel too well yesterday so I stayed in the house all day, stayed in bed for much of it and generally lazed about. I think I'm just really tired at the moment. I got a lot of knitting done once I'd decided which yarn to cast on. This is one of my original two yarns and I've called it Bilberry because the reds, blues, purples and greens are all the colours you can find on Bilberry bushes in these here parts. I've combined it with some plain Opal sock yarn I have left over because I think it compliments the colours and is a way of getting rid of some of the large leftover pile. I'm hoping that this will make the Bilberry sock yarn go further in a different pair of socks. These socks are for one of my Aunties because I think they are more feminine than masculine despite the green and blue.

It took me a long time to dissuade myself from winding the 'Saddo' (see last Saturday's post for a photo) sock yarn and casting on with it because it is unquestionable my favourite self-dyed sock yarn to date. But I thought I would hurt the feelings of 'Bilberry' by making it wait again to be cast on. As it is, I'm loving knitting with this because the colours are really good and nicely variegated.

It was lovely knitting last night. Grandad came for his tea and I cooked a lamb casserole with lots of vegetables that Ezzie had brought from the garden and it was gorgeous! That put everyone in a good mood. For pudding we ate our only melon from the allotment this year, and it was so sweet and juicy. I didn't want to eat the last piece because I knew it would be a year before we would eat another. We watched 'Strictly Come Dancing' and I decided that I'm going to fall in love with John Barnes this series, though Ezzie's heart still belongs to Lilia. It was dark outside but we had the radiators on and were lovely and warm. Admittedly sitting on the sofa bed all night wasn't great, but in two weeks the new suite is here and I cannot wait. Granby was snuggled up to us and it felt as if we didn't have a care in the world. I felt smug because England had beaten Australia again and I watched France beat the All Blacks and felt relief that we wouldn't have to meet that lot in the semis. I think the day of idling, watching tv and knitting did me a lot of good.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Too much choice

I have finished another pair of Christmas socks. I'm managing a pair a week at the moment and hope that will be enough for Christmas demand this year. By my reckoning I can knit another eleven pairs, which is surely enough. These are the Opal Rainforest Peacock socks you saw at the beginning of the week. I like them; they were no trouble.

The difficulty now is deciding with which yarn to knit next. I am having difficulty choosing from the lovely sock yarns I have. I don't consider this large amount of sock yarn to be a problem ever, (you can never have enough sock yarn) but I do consider it to give me too much choice. I'm indecisive at the best of times and I've been wondering all night and already this morning which yarn to cast on.

The options:

1. Good old fashioned faux fair isle
2. My own dyed sock yarn
3. Some of my posh sock yarn
4. Try mixing some of the leftover yarn
5. Dye some new sock yarn and then cast on with that

All categories have their individual appeal, but even then I would struggle because in option one I would have to choose between the many faux fair isles. In option two I have two of my own sock yarns. No option is clear.

I'm probably giving this too much thought, but I'm going to set a deadline of 8.00am to decide.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Swift Envy

During my daily blog tours of people I know (and people I don't), I'm starting to notice yarn pictured like these on KnotAnotherKnitter's blog. Scroll down a bit and you'll see the lovely skein next to a perfectly wound ball (is that the correct word here?) of wool. Woolforbrains had some sock yarn in the same lovely-woundiness on Sunday and I think they are not done by their own handiwork, but by a swift.

I know that every post these days has me looking on enviously at other knitters but this envy is different because it's not their skills and creativity I crave but could never have. No, this is achievable. I could buy one, just as they have!

In order to curb my jealous streak, anyone local know where I could get one sharpish and how much they cost?

Monday, 1 October 2007

Knitting at Mara's

Yesterday I had a great time 'round at Mara's. The usual knitting suspects met at her house and knitted merrily away. I made good progress with my sock and had a good nosey at what everyone else was knitting.

I am wondering whether other people's obsessions are contagious. Whatever Caroline is up to, I want to do as well. She uses up leftover sock yarn for cuffs, toes and heels and now I have started to do this. Caroline does toe-up socks, so now I do toe-up socks. Caroline weighs her leftover yarn so she can make new socks from odds and ends and because she kindly brought her accurate scales to the meet, I did the same. There's something gone weird with the photo, but these scales are gorgeous and mightily accurate. Guess what I've asked for Christmas? I've been looking on ebay because I want to be able to weigh my own yarn to 0.1g as well. I hope that Caroline's eye for colour is also contagious.

Kate and Caroline were busy spinning for an hour or so but I resisted temptation to get involved with that because if it is contagious, and I fear it may be, I might end up purchasing a spinning wheel and that's not as easy to hide as yarn.

Lorainne brought some of her gorgeous yarn for our perusal. Lorainne has beautiful yarns and everyone went a bit crazy when we opened the boxes.

I am told this is the tip of the iceberg and I did well to resist the many temptations. I chose some Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock yarn in Sweetie. I am pleased with these because I've only ever seen them on American blogs before.

Saddo sock yarn is now dry and everyone admired it. I saw Wheezy's sock yarn and it is pretty. She and Holly did a great job! I think I'm an expert even though I've only dyed three skeins.

Before I finish I'd like to thank Mara for hosting us all. The buns were fantastic and everyone had a good time. I'm glad that she managed to get out of the kitchen and join us.