Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Quick Knitting, I Hope

This is just a quick note about the yarn I've chosen for the Doctor Who scarf, for Fiona, and anyone else who might be considering setting themselves up with this chore.

The yarn I have chosen is Sublime Chunky Merino Tweed. This is because, in no particular order,

  • it is chunky
  • it is discontinued so it's available at about half-price. There's quite a lot on eBay and Kemp's have got it for £2.79 per ball. I bought some on eBay from a seller who had sets of it which went very cheaply, and got the rest from Kemps.
  • it is 80% wool, with a little viscose and a little acrylic
  • it is chunky
  • it comes in a wide range of colours
  • it is tweed so there will be a bit of variety in the colour to keep me interested
  • did I say it was chunky?

You won't find it on the Kemps' website by using their Search box: you need to go to Clearance Wools and then click through to the third page.

I also noticed this chunky 100% wool yarn which looks worth investigating - terrific choice of colours.

If I'd been going to use aran / worsted weight, I would probably have settled on Wendy Traditional Aran, which is 100% wool and comes in a wide range of colours. There was an Irish tweed yarn I got very excited about but the postage was very high, so it wasn't a bargain in the end.

In the end, I've spent more than I intended, but it's still a very good price for two good long woolly scarves and probably less than I'd pay for purchased acrylic ones. And I suspect I'll have some left over and it's a lovely yarn for quick cowls.

And Joan, I don't know how I'll avoid expiring of boredom but a stack of very demanding films should help. Some years ago I knitted four Harry Potter sweaters, and when one of them was accidentally put in the drier I knitted a fifth, so I'm capable of tremendous feats of endurance when my small relations are involved.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Not a Lot

I didn't manage to get Rayures finished before I went to see the cat, and although I've finished the knitting since I got back there has been a strange lack of progress on the kitchener front. I did do a bit of wrestling with it, but the brain fog prevented any progress being made. (The first time I typed that, I typed 'barin fog', so you see what I'm up against. Sigh.)

 I didn't do much knitting while I was away. The cat was snuggling a lot and at first I thought this meant that she remembered me and I was very touched, but then I realized it was probably down to the cold weather. Cats are like that. I didn't get any lace knitting done at all, and only managed a few rounds of the turquoise Navigator. I still have about four inches to go before I start dividing for sleeves and so on.

Doctor Who scarves have become fashionable again and in a moment of rashness I asked one of my younger relations if he would like one for Christmas, expecting a polite rejection, but he was quite keen. I then realized that someone else might like one too so I asked him, and now I find myself having to knit two Doctor Who scarves in three months. You will remember that Doctor Who scarves are very long.

I'm not hugely concerned about matching the colours to this series or that, and won't be following a pattern, but I've spent an unfeasible amount of time looking for an acceptable (to me) yarn at an acceptable (low) price. It has to be chunky because I'm not one of Nature's scarf knitters, and it has to be wool, or mostly wool, because I couldn't bear to put all that effort into something that wasn't actually going to be warm. On the other hand, there's no point in paying a lot when there's always the chance it'll get left on the bus, is there?

I think I've identified an appropriate yarn on eBay and will report back. The last time I knitted a Doctor Who scarf was in the late 1970s for my then boyfriend's housemate but I don't think I persevered to any extreme length. I had better try harder this time. Perhaps I should knit them both at the same time, so that I don't crack up, or break down, half-way tyhrough the second one.

Cat videos
And finally, proof that cats are better than dogs. Not that we needed it.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Dis n Dat

I think I've nearly finished the Rayures. It's almost five feet long.

I'm doing two shades of purple now and am tempted to add more but I think I'm just procrastinating because I don't want to do the kitchenering. In the round. I'm going cat-sitting again on Saturday so I'm trying to use that as a deadline for getting this finished.

I haven't decided whether I will resume the dusty denimy Shetland Triangle that I started last time, or just take the turquoise in-the-round Navigator from the previous post. I reckon I could really get a lot of that done while I'm Netflixing.

I spotted this photograph which was taken on the night of the London Olympics opening ceremony. I'm not particularly a fan of any of the people in it, but my eye was drawn to the shawl over H.M.'s arm - that yarn is Kidsilk Aura in Coral, isn't it?

I'm sure it is. I can't name the pattern but it looks familiar. I wonder who knitted it? I expect Ladies in Waiting have lots of time for knitting, or she might have knitted it herself. Or perhaps the designer of the dress arranged it. Anyway, it reminded me that I knitted a shawl in this very yarn and forgot to show it to you.

I'm sorry it's so crumpled but as you can see it hasn't been finished and blocked, and it had got dug into the clutter on the sofa. It was meant to be an Opal, which is a lovely, simple and effective pattern, but I lost concentration at a crucial moment and it went wrong. If the pattern had a stitch count for each row I could have recovered, but it doesn't. Anyway, it's smaller than an Opal should be but it's still very soft and fluffy and a wonderful colour, so I'm sure it'll come in handy at some point. Once I've blocked it and sewn in the ends.

The Flickering Screen
I saw a film from Sri Lanka which was on Film Four recently, called Machan, a co-production between Sri Lanka, Italy and Germany. It's about a bunch of poor young men who are desperate to go abroad and make some money but cannot get visas, and come up with the idea of forming the Sri Lankan National Handball Team so that they can get to Germany for the international games. They don't know the rules, and don't actually have a handball, but they get some tee shirts printed and get their visas.

 Their plan is to disperse as soon as they arrive, and I won't tell you any more than that. Apparently it's based on a true story, which I didn't realize when I saw it.  It's has a cast of actors and non-actors and it's very good. I was expecting it to be quite light-hearted, maybe a variation on Cool Runnings, but although it's funny it certainly has its dark side too.

Tonight I watched Young Adult, which I hadn't realized was written by Diablo Cody, who wrote Juno. I liked it and it was funnier than I expected. It's about a very unsympathetic character, a no-longer-girl who goes back to her small home town to disrupt her old boyfriend's marriage. She's played by Charlize Theron, who doesn't try to win us over at all and everyone else is good too.

And Inspector Montalbano is back for the winter on BBC4, bringing fabulous sunshine - which we need, I can tell you - and stunning architecture, exquisite tailoring, lots of shrugging and sensationally bad driving.

It's funny, we get a prim little warning beforehand about bad language, even although it's in Italian. For people who are offended by subtitles. Fortunately I have a friend who spent a year in Naples and she can help me out with translations and explications of the finer points, although as usual one often finds that insults are much less breathtaking when taken out of context.

And kmkat has already blogged about the Internet Cat Video Film Festival, so I don't have to. Thanks, kmkat.