Sunday, April 30, 2006

Here is the muse


As I was busy Kitchenering these little beauties the other day, India's feet modelling turquoise cabled socks, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino BabyI thought how much easier life would be if closure could always be achieved so easily. After all, most of life's ups and downs and various problems involve a variety of threads. Just being able to weave all the ends in to a harmonious whole would lighten the load for most of us. Enough musing, already.

This Sunday's knitting meet up was kindly hosted by one of the group, since our usual venue was out of action. A great time was had by all, I think it fair to say, with the homemade goodies going down particularly well. My knit of choice for the day was another of those little projects that I made a trip to the States for. Took me all of 90 seconds this time. I had hoped to knit it in Rowan Wool Cotton, which I reckoned was pretty close to the yarn recommended. However, I'm knitting it in Debbie Bliss Cotton tee-shirt top. Half finished, lacy panel at neckline, knat down to waist level. Although I love the colour (nothing like it appears here, naturally!) and feel of the yarn, it splits very easily, so I'm not sure how durable it will prove to be. The socks, however, I am delighted with. Knit in Cashmerino Baby, I am sure they will pill, but I don't care. I knat them on 3mm bamboo DPNs, instead of the recommended 3.25mm, and carried the cable right down to the toes, instead of stopping at the ankle. They are soooo comfortable that I'm about to do another pair in pale green. An everyday sock for wearing around the house to relax in.

Speaking of not relaxing, in other words going to work, how do y'all fancy commuting in this baby? small helicopter hiding in the grass Mr India and I spotted it while we were out walking last weekend. Never mind being a 2 or 3 car family. It seems that a paraffin budgie is what the discerning family need to get about these days.

and, finally, in this bitty little blog, here is a little pic to gladden your heart if you've had a grey day, weather or otherwise. little pot of pink and blue spring flowers Have to say my heart was getting a tad frustrated trying to post this and the helicopter pic - in the end I had to save this post as a draft, close it down, open up another page, upload the pics to that, reopen this one and finally cut and paste them here. Bet you needed to know that?. Anyway, enjoy the spring weather

Monday, April 24, 2006

A wee stroll

Here's India ready for a stroll in the countryside. India, unemcumbered, ready for a stroll Here's Mr India ready for a stroll in the countryside. Mr India, loaded up like a pack mule, ready for a strollAll I can say is that I can't help it if he wants to be a gentleman. Can I? The weather was just right for a bit of a stroll, makes it all the easier to clock up the 10,000 a day. I was a bit worried when I saw the sign stating that 'Military vehicles are not allowed.' Ulp. I wasn't planning on bumping into military hardware anywhere , off road or not.

After walking for several 100 miles, we decided that a wee spot of dinner was called for. It's not just Mr Brown who is fond of The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. There are branches of this fyne ( couldn't resist it) restaurant popping up all over the place, but we think the original is still the best. I decided to be brave and share a shellfish platter with Mr India (Note to Mr India - even though I know my own mind, and you kow me well enough to not even suggest that I don't, the next time I claim to know my own mind in respect of ordering shellfish platters, take your life in your hands and remind me that it's a bad idea). There's no getting away from it. Prawns and longoustine just remind me of a pink kind of cockroach. We don't eat creepycrawlies, so why do we eat creepy swimmies? HAving said that, I do like mussles, and I'm not going to begin to ttell you what they remind me of. The fish at the restaurant is lovely. So is the wine. I allowed myself a second glass, after the first one failed to set off my acid reflux. In addition to that, I finished the second Debbie Bliss sock, while Mr I finished the crab etc. Course, whether the waiting staff though I was mildly eccentric, or off my rocker, depends upon how much money they thought we had. That'll be completely off my rocker, then.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Main engine start!

..we have Cast on!! Finally had to give in and get Mr India to tinker around - keep it clean, I'm talking about iPod here! - iPod was pretending to have podcasts on it. Don't know what Mr I did that I didn't, but be that as it may, I have all the portable knitting talk that I need loaded into a gadget just bigger than a packet of Wriggley's

Main engine start!

..we have Cast on!! Finally had to give in and get Mr India to tinker around - keep it clean, I'm talking about iPod here! - iPod was pretending to have podcasts on it. Don't know what Mr I did that I didn't, but be that as it may, I have all the portable knitting talk that I need loaded into a gadget just bigger than a packet of Wriggley's

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Yep, that's me. When it comes to new technology, I'm a regular brontosaurus. It worries me a bit. Well, a lot to be honest. Is it an age thing? Am I too dependent on My son? My husband? Any random 3 year old who can work a pc better than me?

Having been an independent woman for years, I have slowly sunk into the quagmire of having Mr India deal with most things - bills, technology, DIY. I need to get off my A** and do a bit more. Today, I have been stumped by my iPOD shuffle. When I bought it last year I made a big mistake. I let my son load music onto it. Consequently I haven't a clue what to do. YOu would have laughed if you had seen me trying to subscribe to some podcasts today. I , meantime, wanted to cry.

So, nothing for it, but RTFM - read the flippin' manual. I decided to go right back to basics and install the thing. And maybe, just maybe, that's been the problem. I think that my son uploaded music without it being properly installed (is that possible?). Anyway, I am now able to get the podcasts into iTunes. Whether or not I'll be able to transfer them to this little widget is another matter. But I'll keep iPlodding along.

Some time later.....
Well, I think that I now have 2 podcasts on my iPod. I don't want to count my chickens, though. In the meantime, I am going to leave it plugged into the pc to become fully charged while I get stuck in (bleh!) to some studying for the ol' assignment. If I'm a good girl (!) I will reward myself with a spot of knitting and podcast-listening later. I'm in the middle of these fabulous socks . Knit in Baby Cashmerino, turquoise, they are soooo soft and I'm just lovin' knitting them.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tuna or cheese?

I like the way those two words alliterate. Course, if you happen to have an accent which means you say 'too-nuh' let me explain - over here it's 'chewna' - chewna or cheese - get it? Anyway, I just can't decide what to have on my baked potato tonight. will it be cheese'n'pickle ie Branston or Tuna, sweetcorn and mayo?

Those of you in the know, ie fellow wives of computer scientists, will realise that my husband is with colleagues having a fancy meal. Us wives get the baked potato with cheese.

Or Chewna

Monday, April 17, 2006

Fancy feet

Full steam ahead!!! No second sock syndrome here. Second sock cast on within 5 minutes of casting off the first, finshed not much more than 24hrs later. I'm impressed to blazes with myself. And here they are in all their glory. India's feet modelling brown/sand coloured stripy handknit socks

Knitty Gritty:
Both socks:
Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock 'Safari'
Toe up, garter stitch short row toes.2.25mm birch dpns
Short row garter stitch heels. 2.25 mm birch dpns
Main body of sock - 2.5mm birch dpns
Left sock - 54 stiches in main body of sock
Right sock - 54 stitched until about 15 rows before heel shaping - then inc 3 stiches across top of instep, kept these for remainder of sock
Right sock - 3 rows shorter than left.
Yep, I really have knit Left and Right socks - what's the point of having custome made socks if they don't fit like a glove sock.Having knat the first sock, It was neat enough around my foot ( I hate baggy socks) but a bit too snug round the instep. Not enough to make me want to frog it, but enough to deal with in the next one. MY right foot is the smallest one, hence the fewer rows in length.
Satisfaction - 98% Hot diggidy! This is now my default sock pattern.

I was interested to see the difference to the striping that 3 extra stitches makes - The sock in the foreground is the Right one i.e the one which has the increases at the instep. It makes a much wider stripe. brown/sand soloured stripy handknit socks showing variation in stripe pattern between the two Now, this difference between the two would drive some people up the wall. Happily for me, I Can live with it. And, as all of my other socks will have this increase at the instep, it won't crop up again. So, much happiness all round.

What do you make of this little baby? One of the attendees at yesterday's knitting meetup was working on her second felted bag. Luckily, she had brought along felted bag No 1. felted blue/white handknit bagIt's gorgeous. Very flexible because it was knat in a fine yarn - DK, I believe. I want one. Now.

I'm getting a bit crafty with Blogger now. It wouldn't ket me upload 2 of these 3 pics. So, I saved this post as a draft, uploaded the two pics to a new 'post', then cut and paste here. Neat.

I have to get my studious head on now, much as I don't want to. Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend - Mhairi, hope you had a quiet one on call.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Check out the sidebar

Fini, complete. done, ended - Brier is now an official FO

Knitty Gritty:
Pattern - Rowan 'Brier' Book 36
Yarn - Rowan Felted Tweed DK
Shade - erm, Dark Blue
Size - small
Needles - 4mm Denise
Buttons - 10 of those cute Rowan ones with the heart
Length of time to complete - no bloomin' idea - far too much inattention paid, kitting up, froggin' down and Kitchenering a front at the last gasp.
Satisfaction with completed garment - 90%. Fit not quite right. If I (ever) do it again, I'll alter the shaping to suit MY shape

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Much ado about knitting, part 2

As promised in the previous blog, here is a pic of today's efforts, courtesy of yarn and KoolAid received in a swap with L.

Much ado about knitting

Where to begin?

Ok, first of all, here is Brier - as predicted, I have ground to a halt with only a little bit of sewing to do. It's neater than this, honest. Just trying to show the ribbon behind a band and across the shoulders.

Next up. Going for Gold in this month's Project Spectrum colour. Yellow was a bit of a challenge, so I opted for what I call a facecloth, but what I believe our North American cousins call a washcloth. I couldn't understand Mr India's revulsion at the thought of a knitted washcloth, until I realised he thought it would be knit in, no. The pattern has been slightly adapted from the linen washcloth in 'Knitter's Stash' and is in the Dragon Scales pattern. I like it a lot.

The yellow theme has kind of been continued in this sock. Welllll, it's called 'Safari' - brings to mind lions and giraffes. And they're yellow, right. Right?

And what about this lot? L and I had a little exchange - and, wowee, do I ever like KoolAid dyeing. Note to self - remember to wear gloves next time. Blue isn't really my colour. Not on the end of my fingers, at any rate. Pic in next blog - I think this one has reached it's limits

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A bum note

I don't expect 'somethin' for nothin'. ' Nope. No way. No how. A fair price for a fair product - that's why I try to shop ethically when/where I can. Is it too much to expect to be served food that isn't mouldy? Is it too much to be given an accurate bill?

After our knitting meetup tonight, in a different venue from the norm, we were given a bill that just didn't add up - despite members of the group adding it 3 times. We were short of a grand total of £1.20. I suggested to the waitress that we just hand over what we had, minus the £1.20. No - not acceptable. I pointed out the fact that we had been served mouldy food - 'But you weren't charged.' was the reply - that's because I didn't EAT IT. The member of our group who did accept a replacement was charged the full price. There was no offer of compensation - not a drink of water, not a dessert, not a reduction in the bill. Perhaps the offer would have been accepted, Perhaps not. I just don't think it's acceptable to serve food of that appalling standard. It certainly isn't acceptable to avoid any kind of recompense.

So, given that I was perfectly polite about my comments to the waitress,why am I left feeling that I am the one at fault?

so near/so far

Go on, have a wee peek in the sidebar. See Brier? See what it says? 99% done. The 1% to go is the sewing of the ribbon across the back and behind button/button hole bands. Oh, and the sewing of the buttonholes on my new sewing machine. Maybe that should be 2% to go.

I managed to make myself go into the craft room - it is a disgusting mess at the moment - took secret pleasure in moving the machine with the tip of a pinky intead of a mobile crane, and came up against a major problem. CFTFT - can't find the flippin' thread. Those of you who know me won't be surprised to know that I was so tempted by the black tacking thread. The devil on the left was reassuring me that it'd be 'Ok - really.' The angel on the right was screaming 'Step. Away.From.The.Machine.' The angel won. Phew. Made sense, really - all that froggin', knittin', refroggin'. Oh, not to mention my Kitchener Party. It went well and I'm real proud. You can't see the join. Nope. No way.

So, it's off to JLewis later this afternoon and in the meantime, I'm going to have a major tidy then a minor study.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

That was the trip that was(n't)

had a great night out with fellow Rowanettes on Friday - and got to see The Ring - elegant and sophisticated, just like the wearer :0)

Knitting was done, please note Mr India, and even a spot of crochet. The wine consumed had nothing to do with the cancellation of yesterday's trip to The Gate Inn - believe me, nothing as minute as a tiny hangover would've got between me and a meal at t'Gate.

This post could easily have been named 'The Incompetent Knitter'. Brier is at it again. Look There I was, doing what us knitters love best, the seaming at the end, when something was brought kicking and screaming to my attention. Despie lots of care (!) I managed to have one of the fronts longer from armhole to shoulder than it should be. No manner of easing was going to make more than an inch disappear. I couldn't face yet more re-knitting, so I've decided to have myself a Kitchener party. Careful calculation informs me that I need to make 8 rows disappear. I'll be counting carefully, ever so carefully.

Paloma has gone to the frog pond. I just wasn't feeling the love. And only too soon this little imp was whispering in my ear 'That's gonna look like s***' 'Remember Knitter's Rule Number 1 - only knit what you truly love'. So. I listened and soon all that could be heard was rrrrriiiiiiiippppp .

One final thought. Having decided accidentally at last to avail myself of the spell check, why on Earth would anyone dream of replacing 'Knitter's' with 'Janitor's' ? Answers on a postcard.....

Friday, April 07, 2006

Counting sheep

Leastways they are obviously good at number recognition in the Dales. Wish I'd had the camera with me last weekend- all these ewes and lambs with numbers spray painted on their sides. Wonder if we should do that for the Nursery outing - stamp the nursery name and 'phone number across foreheads in case of sprogs (and parents....)going AWOL. Hmmm.

Hasn't been much progress on the assignment front this week - Self and intersubjectivity, or summat like that. I'll have to knuckle under next week. On the knitting front - I've started a non-yellow/orange piece of knitting. Paloma has a combo of colourwork and cables. My colourway is a wee bit different from the one on the website. And just look at that tangled mess those 'workable lengths'. I hate working with bobbins, but I don't really like this either. In fact, I'm not sure I like knitting with different colours.....oh well. I'm knitting it on 4.5mm pins, but as it's 'one size'll fit an elephant', I'm sure it's still going to be on the baggy side. The moss stich at the base gets folded over as a hem. I'm going to redo that bit in the dark grey. I'm not much impressed with the pattern - it's photocopied sheets and the colourwork chart is hand drawn. I din't think about it much until I saw the great quality of the pattern for St Aula . I think my pattern expectations have just gone up another notch - especially when I'm paying hard earned cash for it.

Off for a night on the tiles with some knitting buddies tonight. Contrary to what Mr India believes, we do actually get a bit of knitting done....Looking forward to seeing Jill's ring. Wonder if she's still at the 'holding it out at arms length, wiggly hand from side-to-side and giving big, happy sighs' stage?


Monday, April 03, 2006

UP hill and down dale

Although, I have to say, it all felt like up to me. Guess that's what comes of being unfit. Still, I managed the 10,000k - steps that is, not km.

Mr India and I are determined to get just a wee bit fitter. As part of that master plan, we try to do 10,000 steps a day. Now, I realise that in the big scheme this is paltry, but every little helps, right. Right? So, to celebrate the start of the Easter break, we went here . I thin kwe only did about 4 miles all in all, but most of it seemed to be vertical, so I figure that it probably counts for triple. Best of all, I was able to walk in relative peace and harmony, 'cos there were none of these . Don't tell me that they're harmless. I know otherwise. Believe me. anyway, we had a great walk and then I found a signed copy of Tudor Rose by, whisper it, Alice Starmore. Complete with dedication, signed by the lady herself. Now, it has some beautiful patterns in it, but I decided that £50.00 was a bit of a laugh and a joke. SO, I managed to restrain myself quite easily.

Have I shown you this, completed, before? Well, almost complete. I just can't face redoing those armholes. Pathetic. Almost wearaable. I think I'll give myself a deadline. One arm, unpicked, by Wednesday evening. Shouldn't be too hard to achieve....

I'm going to be knitting something in Louisa Harding's Impression for this month's Project Spectrum knitting. This month's colours are yellow and orange. Ok, Ok - I know I'm stretching it a bit, but if you look at shade Number 8, you will see some yellow in it.

My aim to take over the world with spinners came nearer to fruition today. One of my fellow kniiting meetup attendees decided to learn to spin. Poor soul happened to mention it within my hearing. A fun time was had by all. Well, by me anyway. I think that L enjoyed it - leastways she was smiling as she left with her first skein of handspun in her hands. I've never taught anyone to spin with a wheel before, usually it's spindle first. It's a bit odd, first time round. I had to keep doing a bit myself, describing to both of us what I was doing as I was doing it. Seemed to work, though. Wonder if TwistFibre will be getting a call anytime soon?

Right, off for a bit of knittiotherapy. cya