Thursday, 5 June 2008


Sorry about the long silence. I meant to post on Monday. What happened was that I was checking out the games on my new pc, to see if it had Solitaire, and I came across a game called Mahjong Titans. After that, everything is a blur. Three days later, I have a sore back and a stiff arm, made worse by the fact that the new mouse isn't very good. Of course, if I had been doing what I should have been doing the old pc would be stripped of everything useful and I would be able to swop around the mouse and the keyboard - the new keyboard is quite flat and has very flat keys so I keep hitting the Caps Lock instead of the 'a' key, or I hit them both at the sAME TIME - but I haven't done that yet. I also have a stiff neck because this screen is about three inches lower than the old one and requires me to bend my head instead of looking forwards - who decided that?

A little turquoise Malabrigo lace mouse arrived, for finishing off the Swallowtail Shawl. Old Nokia phone included for scale. I still use this phone as my eBay bidding reminder because it has a better alarm than my new phone. Actually it's better in a lot of ways. Fewer key strokes to start doing anything, and my new phone (a Motorola Razr) has a different sequence of keys for deleting mesaages in the Inbox from that for deleting messages in the Outbox; why would anybody do that? And I could text one-handed with the Nokia, which the Motorola won't do. Bah.

I also got a couple of samples from Heike for the baby shawl I'm planning, about 20 yards each (stitch marker included for scale). Aren't they sweet? One is the Merino and Shetland yarn that I was interested in originally, and the other is a Merino and Blue Faced Leicester which she suggested because the BFL is from Northumberland, as is the baby daddy. I love working with the yarn and I think the mother-to-be will like the idea of the Australian-Northumbrian blend, so that's the one. I started off by swatching the patterns from Knitting Lace Triangles, but all the ones I favoured were the very holey ones and I decided that although this isn't going to be a traditional baby shawl it would be a mistake to make it too holey and maybe cause problems for tiny baby fingers. So I ripped that out and started again with another Forest Canopy Shawl - now there's a surprise - which suits the yarn beautifully. I've ordered the rest of the yarn and there will now be a short pause while Heike spins it.

I went to the Gallery of Modern Art on Sunday in the pouring rain - there was a good exhibition, of work by people who could draw. I went with this small person. I should really take advantage of the pause to knit her something for her birthday next week - do you think she might like something pink?

Also on Sunday in the pouring rain I dropped into K1 Yarns in the Grassmarket to meet Fyberspates and see her yarn in person. In spite of the weather, people had been making the pilgrimage and there was a cosy little gang sitting knitting. I sort of have an eye out for some yarn to make Miriam Felton's Adamas Shawl. I think the square motif gives this shawl a very art deco feel, and I want a very drapey yarn in shades of cocoa and custard to bring that out - the fabrics of that time were often drapey, silks and artificial silks, and I think of those brown naturals as very 'thirties although that's probably more their furnishings than their dress fabrics. So I got this, which is her Scrumptious in laceweight. It's 55% Merino and 45% silk. I might use it or I might follow up the service she's offering at the moment to dye yarn to your specifications. This is certainly very beautiful, sort of cocoa and bronze. It's 1000 metres so it's about three times the length of the Malabrigo - Get Knitted pen included for scale.

The poo project is completed (thanks for that, grannypurple) and awaits posting. I haven't bought the Silk Garden for Lara yet, because the chiropodist did domething sore to my toe (not chiropodist's fault: toe's fault) and I didn't feel like hobbling around the shop.

One of the first things I did with my flash new pc was spend a bit of time on YouTube, something which my old pc used to get very nervous about. It was quite a nervous machine anyway, much given to fits of the vapours which caused the screen to go black and rebooting to commence. Sometimes it used to get into an endless cycle of closing down and re-booting and the only thing to do then was to give it the high-tech equivalent of a slap in the face, which is a manual shutdown. The new pc has Vista, a feature of which is a deliberately darkened screen and my heart still sinks every time that happens. Anyway, while I was YouTubing, I came across this, Loudon Wainwright III singing The Picture. When it began I thought it was going to be about a wife or girlfriend, but it's about his little sister - it really hit me like the proverbial bricks. It was my big brother who introduced me to Loudon, when we were all young, but my brother isn't growing old with the rest of us; he left rather abruptly many years ago. Watch Gerry Anderson at the end; he looks choked too.

The Summer Interweave Knits finally plopped through my letterbox this week. I think it's the first one that really feels like Eunny Jang's work all the way through. The Apres Surf Hoodie seems to be very much her mix of traditional technique and current style, and the fair isle cardi in Manos del Uruguay strikes a similar chord in a different way. I think they're both lovely. I daren't imagine what the yarn for the cardi would cost but it could be a good project for using up stash if one had the habit of buying odd skeins of yarns in different colours. Who might do a thing like that?


Dawn in NL said...

Your Dis & Dat post was very interesting reading. I love the cocoa and bronze skein.

I apologise for stating the obvious here, but do please do something about the height of your monitor. If it really can't be raised a bit more, then put the whole monitor up on a tin or book so it is the right height.

Too much use of the mouse will hurt your arm no matter how good it is. I used to try and alternate left and right hand regularly, but eventually settled for left (I am right handed), no more sore arms. I think it is because there is no number and arrow pad on the left so my arm lies in a straighter line from my shoulder.

All the best,

GrannyPurple said...

I think calling the Malabrigo a mouse is not quite accurate--the miracle of the yarn is that it arrives so tightly twisted that it feels like a bullet--then turns into almost-cashmere when you knit it. That said, anything wooly and weighing 50 grams is treated as a kitten by our cats, and constantly moved from place to place. We once found 7 skeins in the hall which had been transported up from the basement.

Knitting Linguist said...

Gorgeous yarns. Love them. (The blue of that malabrigo especially makes me happy.) And I'm guessing that your small friend would love something in pink -- she looks like that kind of person :)