Monday, 19 January 2009

Older and wiser?

I'm so much older than since I last blogged. I've entered a new decade and my age now has a zero at the end. A lot of my friends are turning the same age as well, but it doesn't seem so bad to me as I think all the great things in life are yet to happen. I went out for two lovely meals for my birthday and am going to the Ritz for afternoon tea later in the year. I got lots of lovely cards, some money and some lovely presents.

Amongst other things I received a felting set with some wool to felt and a lovely book with instructions. Some of it looks hard! I think that will be a long term project. I also received some gorgeous sock yarn and some wool to spin. The sock yarn is Colinette Jitterbug in Raspberry and has beautiful pink and purple colours. The wool for spinning is also pink and purple. Half is Merino tops and the other half is a merino and silk mix. Pink is clearly a theme! They are both going to turn into gorgeous socks for me!

I've not been blogging much as last week was manic at school. We've had a health drive and all sorts of activities were organised. It went really well, though it did affect my health as I was not sleeping for all the worry. As far as I am aware, there were no glitches, so this weekend I took it easy and caught up on some sleep.

My friend Di has been in the UK for a few weeks. Her holidays in Australia are during our winter as it is their summer. It was really nice to spend time with her and such a shame that she has now gone back. She still wants me to go out there as it'll be another year before she can visit here again. I want to see her, but I have no appetite for Australia or the inevitable long journey. I need to think about what to do.

This weekend a group of us went with Di to see Slumdog Millionaire. What a film! It was brilliant, from start to finish. I haven't been able to stop thinking about this film. There are some awful moments in it and I couldn't watch parts of it because it was too grusome, but if you can go and see it, I strongly recommend it. The child actors at the beginning are amazing. It has every human emotion and a great story as well.

Tonight I'm missing my Mandarin class. I'm off to the theatre. I have been working hard on my Chinese recently and am learning more of the characters. It's hard going, but it's bound to be. I just have to accept that progress is slow but that with perseverence I will manage it.

On the knitting front, it won't surprise you to see more socks. I may be older, but a leopard doesn't change its spots, especially an old leopard. These socks are Opal Acapulco 1306 and are for a friend at school's wife. The yarn has been in my stash for over a year and I can't even remember buying it, but I think it looks great and I'm sure the recipient will like them. I've still got quite a bit of yarn left so I am going to make some stashbusters using black yarn.

At the moment I am knitting a pair of socks for an old friend I met many years ago in Switzerland. We've not seen one another for nine years, but we still have contact from time to time. I'm sure he will love these socks, but he'll be surprised that I made them because I knew him in my non-knitting days. They are Regia 4 ply Line Steps Color in 05368. They initially look plain but there are odd stripes and dashes of colour, which I think gives them depth.

When these are finished I'm going to finish Ezzie's pixie socks as I have Second Sock Syndrome at the moment and he keeps reminding me about it. I'm then going to start some socks for me. If I don't blog before next week, Happy Chinese New Year!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Knitting for sanity

Back to school this week and it's as hectic as ever. I've really hit the ground running. Actually, with the snow and ice at the beginning of the week I hit the ground sliding and skidding, but you know what I mean.

I won't go on about school too much. All I'll say is that I am up to my neck in preparations for a big health drive I've organised for next week. There are a lot of things to sort out and I'll give more details if it goes well and is a success. I will tell you one funny story from today, though. I've organised for a lot of pedometers to be in school next week. We have a powerpoint slide with details about this and before explaining what would be happening the kids could read the slide. One lad shouted out (deadly seriously): "What paedo meters?"

Anyway, knitting is proving to be such a saving grace at the moment. It's good to think about other important things like dropped stitches and how long to make the foot of a sock.
The Café au lait socks are now finished and looking gorgeous. They'll be with my friend shortly and then she'll travel with them all the way down under. Such jet-setting socks I make:

I'm now working on another pair of socks. These are made from bits of leftover stash. The green and white are from the recent Irish socks and the burgundy is from the café au lait socks. Ezzie has decided they are for him. He loves stashbusting socks and likes these socks because they are different. I decided that for January's new sock (remember the resolution?) I would design my own sock.

I have to confess that I didn't plan on making Christmas elf like socks, but that's what I've ended up with. Ezzie loves them, which is good for him and even though they look insane, knitting them is keeping me sane, which is good for me.

Friday, 2 January 2009


I didn't stay up to see in the New Year. Instead I went to bed at a reasonable hour and hoped that the fireworks wouldn't wake me. They didn't and I had a great night's sleep. I've not been feeling well over recent days so rest was most welcome. Today I've made the fatal mistake of having an afternoon nap, so now I cannot get to sleep. When I can't sleep, I usually blog so that's why I'm here now.

I'm hoping that 2009 is a better year than the one we've just said goodbye to. I'm hoping that I achieve all the things I want to at work, make progress with Chinese and enjoy a couple of nice holidays. They're not impossible desires, so let's hope they happen.

I've made only one resolution, and that is to knit a different sock each month. I reckon I've knitted over sixty socks during the last couple of years and about half a dozen of them have been a patterned sock. I've done some Monkeys, Jaywalkers and recently a Zigzag sock. That's not too impressive, especially when you consider the many different sock patterns out there. I've got two sock books myself, so there's little excuse really. Afterall, they do say variety is the spice of life.

With this in mind I have started a different sock. I've only done the leg part in the pattern, but I think it still looks nice. I've taken the lace pattern from Paula McKeever's Cafe au lait mitts and transferred it to these socks. The pattern is a free Ravelry download and it's nice to make use of all that stuff on the net.

These socks were originally intended for a colleague's wife, but my friend Di was around today and she fell in love with them, so they immediately changed allegiances and will soon be her property and on their way to Australia when she returns there shortly. Why she wants wool socks when it's abotu 40 degrees out there, I'll never know, but she became quickly smitten so I asked no questions. The yarns are some I bought earlier this week at the Wool Baa. The cuff, heel and toe are in Regia 4 ply. It's a burgundy colour. I'm afraid the ball band has already disappeared. The main part of the sock is Regia Stretch Color in colour way Toronto 121. Caroline was at The 'Baa and helped me choose the colours. I think they work really well together.

Tomorrow I will finally send my presents off to Germany. With the horrendous month that was December, I missed the last post date for Europe so postponed sending things until now. I will also be sending my Grandma her first pair of socks from me.

I've long since wanted to knit her some socks, but she has always declined the gift. I think she thinks other people come first on the knitting list. However, recently she asked to borrow some of my knitted socks for bed because her feet have been rather cold. She saw one of these the other day and was pleased so I know they are going to get some wear. The yarn is some Knitbird bought me last year. I forget the type of yarn and dyelot. I'm pretty sure it is Natural Dye Studio and it was lovely to knit with.

When these socks are finished, I'll be knitting yet more socks. A few people in my family are overdue some socks, though I think I need to find some time to knit myself some as well. I've not had any new socks for a while so maybe in 2009 there will be some selfish sock knitting.