Friday, 19 September 2008

Endless Striping

I've been flogging away at the two little stripy scarves and I've nearly lost the will to live.
They're almost finished now (these pix are from earlier in the week) and I'm trying very hard to finish and block them without casting on a piece of Kidsilk Haze lace, but I don't think I'm going to make it. Do you? 

The baby shawl is finished and blocked. It didn't grow as much as I expected - perhaps I wasn't as fierce as I could have been, but I forgot to measure it beforehand anyway. 

I collected the blocking wires from Jean on Monday and hope to do Icarus over the weekend. We went to K1 Yarns and I got the sweetest ball of Orkney Angora - the 100% angora one - which I'll use for a Christmas present for friend who is soppy about rabbits. The 50gm ball has 400 metres and I'm thinking of doing a Shetland Triangle. The first piece of lace I knitted was one of these and I've wanted to another one ever since. 

Keeping me going on the scarf front is the fact that I won this.

Both Jean and Spinning Fishwife were kind enough to mention me. 

Getting something like this is very time-consuming, because the first thing I do is check the blogs of everyone else they've mentioned, and then quite a few of the blogs mentioned on those blogs. And so on. This is one of the nice things about the Internet, how one good thing leads to another. 

I stopped off to buy Woolly Wormhead's new book of children's hats, Wee Woolly Toppers. Have a look at them: they're modelled by her lovely little boy. Go on, you know you want one.

I have to nominate four more, and I've decided not to duplicate any that Jean and Fishwife chose, so it's hard. 

In no special order, Just Another Raveller, who doesn't just knit but tells us about the local (to her) history of knitting too. And makes up her own patterns as she goes along, gasp.

Kristina at Bespoke by Brouhaha, who isn't posting very much just now because of family responsibilities, but usually dazzles by how much she does and how much she blogs. 

And, although I know she's too busy to be bothered with the likes of this, Annie Modesitt, who is the person I would like to hope I could be if I ever had to deal with so much adversity. 

And Miss Alice Faye, who doesn't post very often but who knits the most breathtaking lace and also has the gall to take breathtaking photographs of it, making me feel inadequate twice over. Look at this. And this, gulp.

It's a pity I can't nominate LOLCATS because they've been on such a roll lately. 


I'm just so impressed that this site has gone on for so long simply on the goodwill of the people who track down photos and make up silly captions. Long live the sillier aspects of human nature.

 A big thanks too, to all the people who left comments from in response to my last post, about the Jigzone link - jetlady, I'll describe how to do the hat in my next post. It's lovely to know you're all still out there. 

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Nobody Here but us Knitters

My visitor stats have taken a shocking plummet. When I started adding jigsaws to the blog, a feature that I hadn't noticed caused my blog address to appear all over the Jigzone site, and in a day my visitor figures leapt to a thousand. I nearly fainted: in fact, I nearly took the blog down. 

After I'd calmed down a bit and got used to the crowds, checking my stats meant trying to find the knitters in amongst the haystack of puzzlers - not that I having anything against the puzzlers: some of them left very nice comments and I quite enjoy doing a puzzle myself from time to time. 

This week Jean told me that the link from Jigzone to my blog had been replaced - she noticed this while doing an early morning puzzle - and puzzlers are now directed to an advertisment for a writer. I hurriedly checked my stats and it's true - we're alone here again. Can you tell how quiet it is?

Click to Mix and Solve
Coincidentally I have got round to adding a new jigsaw: it's here and at the top of the others in the sidebar, the little black and white striped hat. The stripes and the joins in the floorboards make it quite satisfying, I found.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Accumulated Post

I haven't been able to post because I was getting a Blogger problem which allowed me to compose but not to move photos and one or two other rather important things. I thought it was a Java problem but it occurred to me today that it might be something to do with my browser, so I tried logging in to Blogger with Chrome and everything worked, so here I am. By the way, if anyone else is using Chrome (Google's new browser), does it really go backwards only one page at a time? Or am I missing something? 

I've finished knitting Icarus. It still needs to be blocked and I'm going to try blocking wires, so I need to wait until I see Jean, because I'm going to borrow hers. 
I finished knitting the baby's Forest Canopy Shawl and I'm going to block that with pins so I should do it in the next day or two. I'm expecting it to grow a lot. 
I've also knitted a hat for that baby; it's not a typical baby hat because it's in black and white stripes. It's Debbie Bliss's baby cashmerino, which might be the only baby yarn you can get in black. The baby daddy supports Newcastle United FC so I expect he'll be pleased, but if baby is a girl the hat might have to wait a while. 

Writing this, it occurs to me that maybe I should knit  a little scarf as well. 

I didn't use Jared's pattern in the end - I just made this up - but I tried the jogless joins. They weren't a huge success: I think I may have to practise a bit more. I'm not showing you them.

I'll knit another hat to go in the parcel but I haven't decided yet what it will be.

The Old Maiden Aunt yarn arrived and it's very nice. I realized it's the wrong weight for the Wristers, so I still have to buy some yarn for those.

One afternoon last week, Turner Classic Movies showed A Day at the Races and Casablanca one after the other, from the ridiculous to the sublime.  I turned it on just at the start of my very favourite Marx Brothers scene; I like it even better than the Sanity Clause. Groucho is posing as Head of the Florida Medical Board and impersonating a hurricane.

For fans of movie trivia, the pretty dark-haired girl is Maureen O'Sullivan, Mia Farrow's mother. 

It's been a long time since I watched Casablanca all the way through, and I loved it all over again. It left me with a hankering to watch Play it Again, Sam, again, so I must do that soon. I like it when one film leads to another.

I love Diane's sweater.

I also started a stripy hat for my little pink relation; it's going to have a matching scarf. I used the Bobble pattern by Kim Hargreaves from Rowan 34, in Felted Tweed and Kidsilk Haze, but I've changed the shaping. The pattern is described as fitting 'an average sized head', which is a fat lot of use. I made it a little smaller at the edge and a bit fuller elsewhere. The pattern is knitted on two needles: I was going to knit it in the round but then I remembered my lack of success with the jogless joins so I stuck to the pattern.

I was talking to her mother on the telephone the other day and she asked to speak to me. We chatted; I asked her if she had a good day at nursery and she told me she had a new Jasmine doll, and then she said 'K, BAI' and as she passed the phone back to her mother I heard her say, 'Who was that?'

Diva or what? I don't think it'll be long before she's saying, 'I am big: it's the movies that got small.' 

Monday, 1 September 2008


I didn't want the beads on Icarus to be too obtrusive, so I'm now worrying that they'll be totally invisible. I suspect that after blocking, they'll be fine. I wanted them to twinkle and that's what they do. I haven't put them right to the end of the wingtips, just on the tail - did Icarus have a tail?
I splurged and got Swarovski crystal beads, in black and clear and silver. They're impossible to photograph and it's finally dawned on me that the reason the pics of this come out so oddly is because the patches of black and white confuse the flash.

I just have a couple more rows to do in the greys, and then I'll switch to the black, which is called Starry Night. It's just been discontinued but someone was selling four balls on eBay tonight and I made a small killing, so instead of having nearly one ball left over, I'll have nearly four. That sounds like an excuse for a shawl. I hope it arrives soon.

In order to console myself for missing Old Maiden Aunt's appearance at K1 Yarns, I went to her website and got some. I had it in my head that I wanted variegated green yarn to make a pair of Salad Wristers for someone, but I changed my mind and got Espresso. They won't look like salad, but I think they'll have a nice fungussy appearance.

The last two paragraphs mean that I have bought 5 balls of yarn in the last few days, which isn't bad for someone who theoretically isn't buying yarn at the moment. I don't expect it's a record, though.

I came across this photograph at The Criterion Contraption.

It's Sergei Eisenstein and Walt Disney. Once you tear your eyes away from Walt's shoes, you can see Mickey beside them in the hedge.