Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Spending Continues

Still not much to see in the way of knitting progress, as I am totally absorbed in the string bag / elaborate lace project that I'm doing off-blog.

The blue baby blanket (blue blanket for a baby, not a blanket for a blue baby, fortunately) arrived safely and was enthusiastically received. The baby's name is Isaac. The blanket grew a little when washed and I didn't really block it, just made sure it dried without any waves or coggles. Seven balls of All Seasons Cotton (and a tiny bit more) on 5mm needles made a Pinwheel that was 40 inches across. I've put a jigsaw in the sidebar - scroll way down.

Although there isn't much knitting to see, that doesn't mean I haven't been spending money. Oh no.

Fiona has been de-stashing and I got this heavenly silk.

There's quite a lot of it, enough for two shawls for instance, or something else drapey.

And I bought a nostepinne from Jessie at What Housework? Her husband made it from wood from one of their apple trees, in Vermont. How could I possibly resist?

The groove measures exactly an inch so that you can check your wraps-per-inch at a glance.

If you ever want a really good photograph of a pig for your desktop, try Jessie's blog. She has photographs of Milo the cat too and a lot of other animals, and it's a really good place to follow the seasons.

The first thing I'm going to do with the nostepinne is wind the skein of yarn I bought from Jessie ages ago, and then maybe I'll knit something with it and allow myself to buy another.
I've photoshopped these a bit to let you see the colours, but it's a dull day: they're a rich blend of blues and purples and some greens, but the greens seem to have disappeared when I pressed the button. Do click.

I'm thinking I'll use this for a Just Enough Ruffles; it would really show off the yarn. After all, I need more scarves, don't I?

Now that I have one, I really must find out how to pronounce 'nostepinne' - is it nostapinny? or noast-a-pin? or what?

Friday, 15 May 2009

Blue Circles

There's not a lot to see here. I finished the blue striped Pinwheel Blanket with two balls of the navy blue, Dusk. It's a lovely inky navy and it matches the nail polish I'm wearing just now. I always think that's so important, don't you?

I did a picot bind-off and actually managed to run out of yarn a few inches from the end, so I subbed a different duller dark blue which I already had. I tried it with a brightly coloured shade first, but it looked sort of naff, so I ripped it and used this instead.

The baby will never notice. I wanted to get it on its way quickly and I had the chance of being near a post office on Thursday, so I decided not to block it and just leave the edge wavy and I wrapped it up and wrote a note and set off.

Then, one unhelpful taxi-driver later, I was back home still with my parcel, so it looks like the knitting gods mean me to finish it properly. Meanwhile, here are the stripes.

It looks like a slice of cassata, doesn't it?

I've done some more of the secret project and last night I found the answer to a question which has long occupied me, how often can I look at a lace chart and do the wrong thing? Last night, it was twelve times. When I realized what I was doing wrong I put it down for a couple of hours while I fumed, and then picked it up again and took it back to the beginning of the row. It wasn't that bad really, and I'm steaming on now.

Lovely Lindsay lent me her copy of Breeze, which I am in love with.

I told myself I mustn't start another sweater until I've finished Chrissie (do you remember Chrissie? No, I expect not.). I really must dig her out and finish her off.

This is Georgie.

This is Rose.

I love that sideways rib. It's on Ruby as well.

Most of them are made from cotton yarns and my pore old hands aren't going to let me knit an entire adult sweater out of 100% cotton, but Georgie is meant to be made from RYC Pima Cotton DK which turns out to be the same tension as my old favourite Rowan Felted Tweed. Mmmm. That might be something to aim for.

If that doesn't make your heart faster, here's Nick Lowe. I'm going to see him in a couple of months and I hope he sings this.

Friday, 8 May 2009

I can't comfort you, I'm on hold

I finished the Orange Shred Shag. It's not terribly long and may have to be worn en jabot, but it's lovely. I haven't seen my upstairs neighbour to pass it on yet so this is how it looks on the doorknob. (Orange Shred Marmalade is the very vivid sort, with strips of peel in it.)

The secret off-blog project can be seen on Ravelry, but I must warn you that it doesn't look like much at the moment, a bit of an ugly duckling.

Tattooed Lady
I saw the youngest member of my family on Sunday and she was wearing a temporary tattoo - at least, I hope it was temporary. She was sitting on her daddy's lap for 7 seconds before squirming off somewhere else, and I caught this.

Her daddy doesn't have a tattoo.

The title of this piece is from a television series that I came across by accident and have been revelling in ever since, Slings and Arrows. It's a Canadian series set in a theatre company that specializes in Shakespeare and it's shown every night on Sky Arts in the middle of the night. I didn't even know that I got Sky Arts (I'm on cable, not satellite) but it appeared after Mr Murdoch and Mr Branson made up their spat recently. I don't understand why Slings hasn't been taken up by a terrestrial channel, unless it's because it doesn't have any explosions or dismemberments and not much adultery (it's about actors, so there has to be some). It's full of theatrical in-jokes and even some real stories which you might recognize, and the actors are obviously enjoying themselves enormously - actors acting actors, what more could they ask - and it's written by one of them, who plays the insensitive financial manager surrounded by people who make a profession out of being sensitive, and who gave himself the line at the top.

In the first series, a film heart-throb (I think that word dates me but I can't think of a better one) arrives to play Hamlet, and in the second there's a fabulously pretentious production of Romeo and Juliet, where the lovers are dressed as chess pieces and never look at each other but address all their speeches, delivered in monotone, direct to the audience. And it stars the delicious Paul Gross - fans of Due South are probably fanning themselves at the memory - but his real-life wife is in it too, playing his love interest, so one's feet stay on the ground: probably not a bad thing. There are lots of other good actors too. Well worth tracking down and recording.

Anna Conroy: [holding Oliver's skull] It's not that heavy at all!
Geoffrey Tennant: It's much lighter without the ego.

If you can't get it on your television and the dvds are the wrong region, you can watch quite a lot of it on YouTube.

Watch to the end for the punch line.

And Geoffrey directing Ophelia: I wish Meg Ryan had seen this before she made Restoration.