Wednesday, 21 November 2007


I am back from staying with my mother! In the end, it was all ok - my 5 days without my knitting. There was plenty of creating - my brother had a mad hatters tea party, and so we raided my mum's dodgy linens chest and made some truely outrageous hats. It was great fun. And then I made my mum get out her knitting because 3 days in to the stay I was getting very itchy fingers. My mum has been knitting this tulip cardigan for almost as long as I remember. At least 20 years anyway. The colours are really lovely (tulips are different shades of pink on a blue/grey background) - but having devoted an evening to finishing a sleeve I can quite see why it has taken her so long. It is all fairisle, and knitted in this doubled up very very fine wool she bought from a weaver. Nightmare. She only has one more sleeve to go, so on current projections should be finished sometime in 2012.

The first thing I did on returning was to get onto the knitpicks site and order some needles. I am now the proud owner of an options set AND quite a lot of their finer circulars. They are great. I am knitting socks with them. Long live the magic loop and death to DPN's! I am experimenting with making toe up jaywalkers.... the colours are lovely, the pattern is lovely, I am about to get to the bit where i have to turn the heel so it might all cease to be lovely by the time i have worked it out wrong a few times.

Other than that work is totally hectic, I am plastering the hall in our house, my husband is possibly dying of man flu....... which all means that half a sock is pretty good progress.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

I've goofed

I am staying with my mother for a long weekend (she has been gifted the harebell lace scarf and love's it). I came down on the plane yesterday, and she came to collect me from Bristol Airport, which is lovely because it is about 3 hours drive each way. Because I am away until Sunday, and then going to a conference next week, I decided to spend my last night at home for a while having some quality time with my husband.

We went for a lovely meal, picked up a programme for the theatre/nice cinema; our arts centre has spend the last 2 years shut for renovation and opened last weekend. I am really exited about having 2 cinema screens less than 5 minutes walk from my house, and being able to watch lots of foreign and interesting films. Then we spent the rest of the evening sitting by an open fire in our sitting room, marvelling at the newfound warmth. Given that I have finally nearly finished the curtains (they are still pinned at the bottom and I need to take them down and do the hems on 2 of the pairs) and have insulated under the floor finally, this is a relativly exiting activity.

I did a couple of round on the entrelac bag. It is much bigger than anticipated, and I am on the 4th ball of kureyon. I have one more left, and I think that will just about finish it off. A nice bit of stash completion if ever there was one. It is going to make a fantastic bag - lined and given handles - great for shopping.

I purposly didnt bring it with me, thinking that I might still give it to Mum for christmas so I didn't want her to see it. Instead, I have swatched in my olive and lettuce coloured malabrigo worsted weight, and washed them (learnt my lesson from Meagidh, which has grown considerably on washing and needs re-knitting - it is ok for one wear but then grows - and I think I want to alter the neckline). I wound 3 of the skeins onto balls, sorted out the needles, remembered my tape measure and knitting design sketch book. And left the swatches pinned to the spare bed - so I have everything ready to do the maths for a new cardigan, but no idea of the gauge. I could ring home tonight and get my husband to measure it for me, but quite frankly I am so worried about it not being right that I don't think I can really trust him.

But not to worry - I had a backup plan. I have a lovely skein of sock yarn - one of the october specials from Violet Green. A lovely mix of burnt orange, terracotta, reds and browns. Just perfect for some socks for me, and given that I have newly discovered the magic loop techinque, just perfect for doing a little bit more of that. But I looked through the needle collection and found that the smallest circular I have is my 3.75mm addi turbo lace. But still no peturbed, I calmly chat to Mum and determine that Get Knitted isnt so far from Bristol airport, and we have an hour to spare. And they sell Knitpicks needles. By this point I am formulating a long and complicated shopping list - possibly a set of Knitpicks options, and certainly one of each of all their smaller needles. And they have Cascade 220, which i am seriouly thinking of getting to make afghan mark 2 so that I can occasionally have a go under one; my lizard ridge has been claimed and I almost never get to use it. And Malabrigo laceweight - I could get a skein and make me one of these. Oh - it's a frustrated rural knitter's dream - especially as I have no local yarn shop.

But the plane was late and mum had to go to an art class in the evening so in the end there wasnt time. So I am stuck here with not knowing the gauge for the project I have needles and wool for, and not having needles for the other one.

I have goofed. I am facing 5 days with no knitting - will I make it? Who knows. Wish me luck!