Saturday, February 28, 2009

One foot in front of the other

If I can be allowed to whinge for a moment, that's what it feels like at the moment. Both of us are still suffering from the effects of the cold, even after all this time, and it is a royal pain in the bum. Hence the slim pickings blogwise, I suppose.

Anyway, here I am, Saturday afternoon, and the Rugby season is in full swing. Which is not a bad thing, I just find it difficult to enjoy on our little tv screen, so unless and until we indulge in something huge and room-dominating, I find Other Things To Do.

First up. I have just taken part in my first Ravelry exchange, and can only hope that my partner is as delighted as I am with it. Lovely fibre and spinning.


But then, these.


How cute - and thoughtful - can you get, eh? Great little coasters, with photographs of the mogs. I shall hardly bear to use them, as they need to be preserved! Thank you so much.

Then, I have managed to find sufficient get up and go to finish of these yarns.


Left to right, Freyalyn's "Imperial' colourway; some luscious camel and silk from Adelaide Walker; and a skein of the white faced woodland, which continues to spin up like a dream. I still haven't got the spindle wheel out, but will do so, really.

And, a finished object.

Seaweed scarf

Knitted from handspun silk, this has been on the go by the pc for ages. A total pain to knit, all that casting on and off, but pretty. I got it done this week by dint of discovering "Being Human" (Way cool series, well made and with a thing or two to say, not just vampiredram.)

What else? Some more Forrester spindles arrived. Very, very nice, but I'm rather putting off working out the price. Ah, well.

Oh, and speaking of mogs, which I was a few paras back. We finally got our act together to take Max to the vet. Much fear and trembling as we were both convinced that his cancer had come back. But - seemingly not! No lumps to be felt, and a thyroid imbalance showing up in his bloods. Nice and easily treatable. That was quite a considerable relief.

I need to go get sorted for tomorrow's trip to York to visit the York Ravellers. I'll try to take photos.......

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Another round of workshops

Began yesterday, on our home turf. I have to be honest, I wasn't sure if this was a wise thing or not. But I felt that we needed a preliminary outing for "Spin to Knit", however truncated, and the guild needed some in-house workshops, so it seemed like a reasonable idea to go for it.

In the event, both the DSM and I were in the final stages of the latest cold from hell, which might have made matters worse, but actually induced a kind of "oh, what the hell" feeling, and maybe that helped. I felt that it went well.

Quite a challenge to get the content right, and I'm not entirely sure that we did, but not bad for a first effort. "StoK" is going to be a drawing together of several different day workshops that the DSM and/or I have taught over the years, brought into a coherent order and expanded. (That is the theory!) So here we were with that under construction, now distilling it back down to a short day. But in fact, it was a useful exercise for us, and I think the participants found it useful as well.

We cut it down to basics, left out actual practise of knitting techniques, colourwork, cables, etc, concentrated on spinning and stuffed the knitting in by talking about various things whilst people were spinning.

I now feel very enthused about the week-long course, and only wish that I could take it myself - which is of course, what I aim for, constructing something that I would want to do.

A few happy snaps:





Everybody seemed to get the idea of long draw!

Next weekend, we are at it again, with another workshop for Ravelry people, which will be fun. The DSM is doing spindle spinning, I'm taking a group on wheels. We had a wonderful time when we went to these folk before, so I am really looking forward to it.

And the following weekend yet more - a natural dye workshop this time. I relented. I didn't want to do any more, but I was asked very nicely, and couldn't resist. It will be ok, we are keeping it simple, and they are going to do most of the fetching and carrying for me. I need to have something of a practise before going, as I am going to use the pre-reduced indigo (as opposed to the instant, which I love but can't get in the UK to the best of my knowledge). So, I'm hoping for a fine day between now and then! And hopefully some pretty results to blog.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Would you Adam and Eve it?

Firstly, that I am calm. I am not throwing myself to the floor, banging the boards with my tiny, clenched fists, chewing the carpet (ew - have you seen my carpet!?!)

Neither am I slumped in the corner, a glazed expression in my eyes, motionless and hopeless. (Although a little corner of my psyche is wounded, and screaming silently "Why me? Why am I such a....)

So, ok, what have I done this time?

It is Spiraluscious, of course. Cursed, that project is. Cursed, I tell you. (I should make it crystal that any cursings, deficiencies and bloodynesses all relate entirely to me, the perpetrator, and not to the design, which is lovely in the extreme, and to any other knitter would present a straightforward, interesting knit that would be accomplished in a few hours. Not weeks of torture-filled anguish. That's just me. OK?)

Where was I? In essence, sitting on the sofa (sigh) last night, getting a bit tired, having to peruse the pattern about three times for each edging row by this stage, but getting on with it satisfactorily enough.


I don't quite know how I realised, but I did. I had managed to knit the edging on arse-backwards. You know, so the ssk join showed on the right side as an ugly ridge, and the stitch pattern was bright side to the inside.

I ignored this phantasy for a few more rows. then I put the knitting down quietly, and sat out the rest of the tv programme we were watching, without saying a word. Internally, I was wrestling with the notion that I could just ignore this, and no-one would ever - EVAH! - know.

But - I would. So, guess what I am going to be doing today?

Sob (quietly).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The upsides and the downsides, or rather, vice versa

As seen, yet again, from the sofa, with knitting.

The DSM brought home a cold. His first of the winter. My fourth. I am not pleased. If we had the energy to spare, we might have strangled one another.

I tell you what, this has disabused me of a long-cherished belief. Which was that cold winters are healthy, the frosts kill off all the germs and bugs. Yeah, right. The coldest, snowiest winter for many a long year, and look at me. (Well, don't actually. Not a pretty sight.)

Oh, but there is much more up than down.

Last Friday, my regular AH class, for instance. Full, again. Lots of lovely, enthusiastic spinners of vintages various. And the next one fully booked already.

But even better than that. I wasn't able to go, due to way too much snuffling, sneezing, etc etc. But last night was the meeting in town to see how much interest there might be in setting up a fibre/textile/spinning etc group locally. The DSM returned at 9pm, from a 7.30 start, so I guessed it hadn't been a complete bust. But something like nineteen people turned up! Some of them returning to spinning or whatever, some of them only just starting out. From talking to a few people about it, I had thought it was going to happen, but this is much better than I had anticipated. There are weavers, or wannabes, as well, which will be great for getting us off our backsides (so nearly there!) And where to meet has been sorted effortlessly, at least for now, as the pub where the meet was last night are happy for us to be there for the buying of a few drinks - and they do serve coffee!

One of these days when I don't have a head stuffed full of cotton wool, I will write the great philosophising blog post about just why this resurgence is happening (IMNSHO), along with everyone else who has already done so. And how it will save the world. I do wish, but fear not......

Meanwhile, I am going to return to Spirabloodyluscious, which has painfully crawled to the final section, wherein I have to wrestle with a provisional cast on, and some more holey knitting where I will not so easily be able to apply the fudge technique (tm). And then, I shall cast on that small mountain of Noro for the ribbed jacket in the current Yarn Forward. Nice, straightforward.

I like Yarn Forward. Several things in this edition that I intend to make. And I now know why I like the magazine, but I'll expound on that at a later date, too.

ETA: Margaret (?) asks "which website?" Ours! Long anticipated, finally going to happen, a "Spindlers2" site with spindles for sale, information about classes, all the usual stuff. It will take a few weeks to build and tweek, I imagine, but as soon as she is born, I will Let Everyone Know. (Well, otherwise, there ain't much point, no?)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oh, phhhht........

I'll get to that. First, a couple more Cornwall photographs. Both pretty self-explanatory.



OK, so to fibre stuff. Ever have one of those projects that just WILL NOT, WILL NOT, WILL NOT no matter what you do, go right? Well, Spirabloodyluscious is like that for me. It has a curse upon it, methinks.


Here it is just before lunch. After lunch, I pick it up to work on. First realisation, dammit, is that late last night as I got to the end of a round, I had found that I had not got the right number of stitches left to do the final repeat. So, now I start unknitting the round. And somewhere going around, I realise.

The effing thing is twisted on the circ. Again. After I had taken so much care - I thought - to get it straight.

(Insert silence punctuated by large, loud, gusty sighs at this point. And curses.)

I will not be beaten by this thing. Alternatively, I am a glutton for punishment. It is now cast on to dpns. I will have one more shot.



I shall cheer myself up with a picture of a brightly coloured sock in one of my favourite sock yarns.

And then with - ta da - a purple shawl. Completo. Warm and snuggly.

Truly Tasha

Now, I desperately want some more cormo roving, and can't find any. Not that I am short of other stuff to spin, you understand.

I need tea. I woke up at 5.15 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep again. And I don't want any clever comments from certain early risers out there. I am not one of you. But I have to be moderately alert this evening as we are talking to (shh....) the website designer (Imagine that in tiny letters, which I don't know how to do on Blogger.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Finally, a post! It has taken a day or two, partly because I was knackered after the journey home, partly plenty of other things to do, and partly getting around to uploading photos from the laptop to Flickr.

We had a very nice, and interesting week. Didn't do anything very much, except lots of visits to DMIL, who was on good form. Mostly because it is to my way of thinking out of character, I find her telling strangers confidingly that she's 93, you know, very endearing. But she is great "for her age" (which has to be a pretty patronising way of complimenting someone!)

Major trip was to GJ Beads, justified by the need for a few findings, and I didn't spend all that much, honest. I am hoping that I am about to get my beading mojo back. I did a little stringing just before going away, and now want to be getting on with the real stuff.

We made the usual pilgrimage to Hemmick. I'll not put up the regular "view" shots, but these instead:


Rock pool

Little pool

The tide was further out than I have ever seen it before, and we spent quite a while fossicking about amongst the rocks. The shot into the rock pool I particularly like, the colours and shapes as well as the content. I don't think that this one shows any sea anemones, though.

We were staying at Charlestown (nothing if not creatures of habit, us) and woke up on Tuesday morning to this:

Snowy cottages

(The yellow porch is the one we stay in.)

Took a few arty shots:

More lobster pots

Mooring ropes

I'll maybe work through a few more later.

The week stayed very cold, and as most of the blogosphere has been reporting, there was a lot more snow. Not where we were, but a bit up country. In fact there was some doubt for a while if we were going to get out when we should have. But sterling work was done on clearing the major roads that had been closed, and although some traffic lanes were still closed, there were minimal people about, so even though we set off much later than we would usually have done, we got home in one day and at not too unreasonable an hour.

I did knit a lot whilst we were away, but I didn't quite finish the "Truly Tasha". It is now done though, and I will try to get it photographed and blogged. Did a bit of sock - a few inches; and was seemingly making good progress on the "Spiraluscious" when I suddenly realised that - thanks to the blasted magic loop - I had inadvertently twisted the stitches at the first round, and simply not noticed. to say I was annoyed would be quite an understatement. Particularly as I have cast it on at least three times since then and made some sort of error or other each time......I am seriously considering using dpns at least to start it off. ML is doing me 'ead in, guv.

I'm going to leave it at that for now. I've got quite a few things I need to be getting on with, like an AH day, and then some other workshops upcoming. One or two other projects suddenly in the pipeline, like the possibility of a local textile group starting, and - even better? - talking to someone about a website. Which means that I have just cause for sitting at the pc staring at websites for once!

A question of "watch this space." More anon.