Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Nasty Noro (not the yarn!)

I had a really good weekend - it was my 30th birthday on Sunday and I went out for the whole weekend - had so much fun.

Monday morning I was supposed to fly to Helsinki for work - I felt a bit funny when I woke up and it all went down hill from there, I thought it might have been the weekends excitment but when the world turned multicoloured in the worst possible way, I did start to think something else was wrong. I had to cancel my trip, aircraft and unhappy insides are not a combination I want to try!

Since the Noro virus is going around I think I must have picked it up (maybe from Mum - she sees lots of patients and two of her colleagues are ill already). Noro is not my fav word right now - which seems a shame as I really like the yarn!

Being at home is boring but necessary - I am doing some work, some knitting and internet stuff. I managed to get drawn in to the Get knitted sale and bought a few bits and pieces - Lornas laces fisherman, I've never tried this yarn but will let you know what I think. I also got some yarn for a pair of arrrgyle socks (Regia SIlk)- so many men in my life would like a pair! I am just seeing how they go the first time.

Browsing ravelry (as you do when everything else makes your tummy hurt!) I saw the woodland shawl pattern from Nikol Lohr, it is perfect for a friend - I really want to make her something and this just has her name ALL over it - now I just have to choose a great yarn - she has very different colour taste to me so it might be quite hard (brown, greens, creams and rusts). I think I will wait for a Posh sale and get something from there - poor Dee and Tony at Posh, random crap luck they are having at the moment - big hugs to you both.

I am really looking forward to the swap starting - I have finally managed to do my questionaire, so here goes:

Part One: Crafting

Do you knit, crochet, or both?
Both, I love variety.

What do you like to make? Do you have a favourite project?
I enjoy making so many things – I go through phases of things – at the moment it is socks, lace and small items

Do you have a favourite type of fiber or brand of yarn?
I love anything slightly out of the ordinary, small artisan producers and anything soft (I’m all about the softness of the yarn – comes from having to wear horrible itchy grey woolly socks at school, I hated them so much!).

Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?
Rough wool or anything that isn't at least partly natural fibres

Do you do any other crafts?
I like to sew (clothes, furnishings, patchwork, quilts), make jewllery and cook, my friends think I am a 1950’s housewife. Anything that is creative gets me really excited – I love trying anything new and experimenting.

What knitting do you bring ‘on the go’?
Small things! - socks, hats, nothing requiring more than two balls or long needles.

What do you carry your ‘on the go’ knitting in? Do you want something new?
I have a fabulous bag already - one from Heather for larger projects and one from Socktopus for small things

Are there any knitting gifts (book, toy, yarn, item, tool) that you have been lusting over?
There is a really cool book about knitting teacosies that a lady at my knitting club had. Any yarn with interesting or unusual ‘ingredients’ bamboo, soya, maize, stainless steel, camel all that kind of thing. Cute stitchmarkers are brilliant as well - you can never have too many.

Part Two: Your Favourites

What is your favourite colour? What is your least favourite colour?
Favourites – cool blues, greys, purples and pink. Not feeling so much affinity with muddy or acid toned greens, yellows and oranges.

What scents/smells do you like? What don’t you like?
Green fresh scents, roses, citrus fruit, patchouli, fig, rosemary. I don’t like anything sweet smelling or fruits like strawberry and raspberry, mothballs make me feel sick too – or maybe it is the thought of moths in my stash!

How do you like to pamper yourself?
Long baths with moisturising products, massages are also good. Natural and organic products are particularly yummy

What goodies to you like to treat your tummy with?
Cheese, chocolate (lots of cocoa content), good bread and coffee

Do you prefer tea or coffee while you knit? Any particular kind? Favourite mug/cup?
Coffee or herbal teas – has to be real coffee – black no sugar.

Do you listen to/watch anything while you knit? (TVshow-Along, movies, music, podcasts)
Radio 4 – generally I love everything they do, I also like crime/spy dramas on TV – British or American (Spooks, Bones, CSI, prime suspect that kind of thing) period dramas too.

Part Three: Living & Past-times

Where do you live in the UK?
Near London

Have you always lived here, or did you grow up somewhere else?
I grew up between the UK and Denmark - half of my family are Danish (hence the continental knitting style). When I finished uni I lived in France for five years - I love France and the French and really miss being there.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Japan and Morocco

If you couldn’t go to a knitting group, what other kind of gathering would you go to?
I love my yoga class' (ansura and vinyasa) – but I don’t get to go so often now I work in London, I also enjoy teaching snowboarding – and love either giving or going to a class. I also love sailing, kayaking, skiing and rockclimbing

What’s your style?
Glamourous and quirky (burlesque and 1950’s glamour) at work and when going out but also sporty and natural when I am doing something active!

Final Part:
Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)?
Allergic to plasters and hate parsley – but I don’t think that’s what you meant :) nothing I haven’t mentioned already

Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?
That I’m really excited about this – it's my first swap!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Coffee at Borders

Today I went for my usual Sunday coffee with a friend at Borders - they have their usual Starbucks, which I am not keen on but Milton Keynes only has chain shops. Also this is the only place where you are more or less sure to get a free parking space.

Said friend is male and so I decided to ask him what he thought of the newest Debbie Stoller book He isn't a knitter but I wanted to know if the patterns were acceptable to guys- I have heard very mixed reports from people so had not yet purchased it. He actually liked quite a few things which encouraged me to buy it - he then requested a hoodie but was firmly told "no - not unless we were married and that isn't going to happen!". I am looking forward to reading it tonight in bed.

I normally knit when I have coffee but for some reason didn't bring anything with me - very weird doing nothing with my hands!

I finished my socks from socktopus sock club over Christmas - Anna Karenina, I adore the purple colour in them but was not so sure about the greeny yellow - now they are finished I really like the combination (but I am still really in love with the purple!)

They do make my ankles merge into my calves and look chunky (cankles I believe they would be called!) this and the cashmere content will make them house socks. I finished this one watching the history boys - such a brilliant film, I laughed so much. The other one is being washed (don't ask - the perils of knitting whilst commuting!).

I also made some jewelry - all the pictures I took of this were terrible - maybe a different colour background would have helped? The other thing I made is a secret surprise for someone, so I won't show it on here.

What you can't see is the wire is red and there are five wires they go through five smaller hematite beads and then all the wires go through one larger silver bead. I think they look like clusters of grapes but the rude part of my brain mentioned hemeroids! Anyway - I like it and shall ignore my inner bitch.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

bad blogger!

I’m so ashamed about my lack of blogging – my excuses are pretty poor too – new job with long hours and a commute (good for knitting time!) and Christmas pressies which required me to knit not write about it. However I am resolved to doing a bit more blogging not least because I joined uk swap and my upstream may want to read my blog. I am amazed that anyone reads it actually, sometimes I think it is just me talking to myself for extended periods but then I think how many blogs I read and hope that there might be one person reading!

I knit many things for the holidays and then very very stupidly forgot to take any pictures before I gave them away as gifts for Christmas.

Tuscany (from no sheep for you) was finished – looked lovely and grandma was really pleased.

Thrummed mitts (Interweave – can't remember which edition) – really lovely aran weight alpaca in walnut colour with pink and purple thrums – I WANT a pair for me! I already have requests for two more sets so I’ll try to take pics of them.

Fingerless mitts (original pattern in Yarnforward but I changed a few things) these were for my friend Leo – she’s a very talented interior designer so I was worried about the colour being perfect – finally went for a Rowan tapestry yarn in blues/seagreens.

Koolhaas hat (Jared Flood in Interweave gifts 07- I love this guys knitting, knitting men - there is something uber cool about that) in a really lush green (reminded me of Christmas trees) Rowan 100% merino aran weight for a Finnish friend Olof (this was a birthday gift really but his birthday is just before Christmas)

My new job have given me a great phone with a 5 mega pixel camera so it should be easy to take pics of projects – I really don’t like the digital camera, arsing about with linking it up to the PC just seems so much work.

Note to self – having spent 2 hours trying to link the laptop and phone together using Bluetooth or infrared – never trust the technology to be simple EVER.

I do now have a couple of pics

Mmmmmm yarn!

The yarn in the left basket at the front is some more aran weight alpaca for some more thrummed mitts - it is soo soft and yummy - the light blue tops for the thrums is behind, the yarn was from the knit1 sale - I had not bought much there previously but am really pleased by the speedy service and the great sale. The cake of laceweight blue is from my LYS - Sue helped me spend some of my first paycheck from my new job, this is just some of my bounty - cherry tree hill in moody blues, not sure what to make with it yet!

The right hand basket is mostly posh stash with a bit of the cashmere from Loop at the front. This bit of my stash looks quite organised - my grandma and I spent a while sorting it all out over Christmas (the sheep skin rug in the front was a Christmas pressie from her too) she laughed so much at all my yarn and we had a fun afternoon stroking and sniffing it all - she went home with a large bag full too.

On the right you can see a little of my project bag from Heather (I love this bag it is so unique and beautiful) and it's current contents. Better picture of the contents - the back to school u neck vest from Fitted Knits this is a fantastic book with some great patterns, however I am grumpy about this project. I was making it for a friend who is a teacher (back to school and all that) I had nearly finished it but realised that halfway through the neck/shoulder shaping I had a senior moment and changed the stitch pattern - what was I thinking! or perhaps the problem was I wasn't thinking. I had already bound off before I noticed and now I hate the thought of ripping it out - I think I would mind much less if I didn't have to un-bindoff. I am so cross with myself that I can hardly stand to look at it - hence the picture was taken to try and force me to do something about it. The yarn is a very pleasing Cascade 220 'quatro' - it doesn't show to well here but it was a joy to knit with and I love the four ply in the four different colours it makes the over-all shade really interesting, plus it was not expensive (£4.99 for 100g) - maybe I'll make one for me - it is small enough for train knitting - it would be good if the full range of colours was available here - there are some great ones, I really like 9437 or 5014 - unsurprisingly the blue and the pink - maybe I should be bolder in my colour choices? I had my colours done last year and now I feel guilty if I choose something that is not supposed to suit me according to the colour lady - feels a bit facist though "you must never wear black again"

Must go to bed now (new wifi allows me to work in bed - I'll never get away from the computer now - it's almost hardwired into my brain!)