Saturday, 4 March 2006

The stash has landed

So where to start? Ruth was so lovely to keep it all for me. We met up this morning in Greenwich where she handed it over. Strangely there seemed to be rather more than I remembered and the suitcase I had brought with me to put it in was pitifully inadequate! (Ruth was off to the opening of the hipknits shop and told me some very exciting news. I won't spoil the surprise but keep an eye on her blog to hear about it!) Here it all is on the dining table:
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Here is some lovely 4-ply from the skep
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plus some cotton tape in yummy colours that will be baby clothes and maybe even a little vest for me if they'll stretch that far.
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In the background that is james c brett in the new red colourway with some funky stripe-plyed stylecraft at the front.
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Then to finish there is the small astrakhan mountain.
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Actually that's not quite the finish. There is also this monster cone of about 1400g of tweedy stuff. This is for a jacket in the last Vogue magazine but I am going to knit it with a strand of something else - maybe threaded sequins or lurex - to amek it special.
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Now you know the space dyed pencil-thick I got from Wingham and mentioned in the last post? Well, this is what it has become using my trusty denises and a 8mm crochet hook to define the corners.
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I wanted a 'smarter' version of the pinkyred bag I did before and have actually felted this and am blocking it as you read. It has turned out *so* well. Just as I wanted it. I'll post pics tomorrow if I have a chance.

Just to keep you up to date I heard back from cherry tree within 24 hours and need to email them some more details but they are very sympathetic and want to get to the bottom of it.

Project Spectrum has begun, although I haven't had any emails from the organiser so I'm not sure if I'm officially included yet. The colour for March is red so I'm thinking of doing something in the james c brett. (I really love this yarn - you can get it from dianne's knitting yarns. It's acrylic but doesn't feel like it.) Just not sure what. I think I have got a bit overwhelmed with having all this new yarn and don't really know where to start. I'm not going to force it though - something will occur to me.

Now today is an important day on the byrne calender because today is the newest 2 pill day. For those of you new to my drug habit I take 60mg (3 pills) fluoxetine a day except Monday and Thursday when I take 40mg (2 pills). It has taken about 6 months to get to a point where I do not now feel irritable and depressed on Mondays and Thursdays. So today was a big day because it was the next stage of one of the slowest, most circumspect cut downs in history. I am feeling pretty tired (a regular side-effect) and a little bit irritable but on the whole I'm good. I'm not looking out for negative signs so I'm happy to believe I have been sensible and waited until the right time and my body is now happy to take this step closer to 'normal'. (How much do a loathe that word?!)

Also happening today - I got the wedding invites/postcards in the post so have been scrawling them on and off. At this point it is more of a 'keep-the-date-free' notice. 26 May 2007 people for those who like to plan ahead! It will be a modest affair with 50 or so of our dearest so sadly my sweet knitting buddies will be underrepresented but there is an engagement party next saturday. Email me/leave a comment with your email if you'd like to come along (erm, only regular readers will receive an invite. Nothing against you lurkers but you could be one of Pooch's ex's set on having a terrible revenge and be a danger to my stash.) I will post a pic of the invites as soon as I find the camera again.

Suddenly feeling in need of another snooze. Hopefully will dream of what to knit next!

Thursday, 2 March 2006

Blue fingers and the stash starts to arrive

Let us deal with the first topic first. You know I love Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn? Well, you might also know they've had a bad rap recently because their colours have been fading in the wash. I myself have had a pair fade (as well as one pair be absolutely fine). Now last night I was happilly knitting away at Golders Green when I noticed my fingers had turned an interesting shade of blue.
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I had loads of dye on me! I wasn't , ahem, sweaty. I was just sitting there minding my own business and the dye came off on my fingers. I am going to send an email to Mrs Cherry Tree Hill and see what she says. It doesn't bode well for the washing and also means if I want to continue I have to resign myself to blue hands. Anyway, I will see what she says.

So the stash has started to arrive - the parcel from Winghams has made its way home, at least in part. Let us start with the variegated DK that is a new line Wingham have started doing.
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I would love to see some of this knitted up. I really love the colour but am not entirely sure it will suit me. Time will tell.

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This is the pencil thick wool I am going to make another felted bag out of. This is what I made my first bag out of (and bought the wool at the Bradford trip in 2005). I saw a sample of this knitted up and loved the colours. A bit like moss on an old stone wall. Oo lala!

A rather lovely surina wood crochet hook.
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Wingham had the whole range of ornate and plain crochet and knitting needles, straights and doouble points. The double points go up to about 15mm I think too and the prices are very good - the plains are about the same as your average john lewis own brand ones. This is a 12mm.

Now the other project I cast on from the cone I brought back is this:
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I did the bra test and it's lovely wool but something it's just not talking to me. I've done 20 rows of 1x1 rib though on 3mm so there's no way I'm ripping that out in a hurry.

Now did I mention I have swung a business trip to Philadelphia in May? Is going to be awesome and feel free to suggest which yarn hot spots I should ensure are on my itinerary! Not that I need anymore yarn at the moment....

Tuesday, 28 February 2006

Photos (but not actually on the blog)

There are now SkipNorth photos up here. In other news I have had a letter published in the Inst of Physics member newspaper AND the stuff I bought from Winghams and paid to be posted is here already. Mmmmmmm. AND...I have made a big decision, actually a couple.

I am selling the knitting machine and ribber. £50 (what I paid), you collect. Life is just too short. And this way I can have the spinning wheel and there's no net gain in "stuff". Aha!

The other decisions are wedding related. Pooch and I have set a date: 26 May 2007 which is incidentally the eigth anniversary of when ManU won the treble. We are going to have our wedding list at some conventional place but there will also be a list pour moi at Woolly Workshop as Gill very nicely agreed to setting something up for me. How exciting! You see even if the list was at John Lewis all they have in the offbeat way is Noro which I don't rate (although I did see a fab shawl knitted in silk garden this weekend). This way I get Cherry Tree Hill and lots more! Woo ha! Invites and so on will go out in the autumn. There won't be room for many knitters unfortunately but I will be inviting a fair few of you to the hen afternoon (very refined) which will be at art4fun.co.uk in West Hampstead sometime in April 2007. I don't drink more than the odd sherry and like to be asleep by 10pm so I'm not up for a big night out or an expensive meal. And it will be painting for yourselves rather than for a marital tea set!

Pooch and I actually had a massive row last night. The weekend is the longest we've been apart maybe since we moved in together and I think we had both built up the homecoming in our minds a bit too much. We made up this morning though and now everything is sweet in the house of Pooch&Wool. I love my Pooch xx

Monday, 27 February 2006

SkipNorth - awesome

This is where we stayed, so the setting was lovely just for a start.
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It was nice and comfortable and the food was excellent. There was also (how happy was I?) a YHA cat in residence.
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I didn't get to spend long with her but I'd like to think we formed a bond for 10 minutes. More than that this photo gives me an opp to show off my Ruth Paisley Original that I purchased on the first night. You know I posted that hexhat buttopn a few posts ago? Well it was one she had made and I just fell totally in love with it at first sight. After buying it I was once seen in public without it before arriving back in London late last night and that one occasion was only because I was waiting for my hair to dry. That hat is the bomb.

The shopping was totally awesome. First Coldspring where we shopped our socks off. Then the Skep where we shopped our socks off before heading to the pub for a quick drink. Then Bombay Stores. Now there is a place with wow factor. Got some amazing fabric but there were shoes, clothes, jewellery, crafty bits. SO much stuff basically. Unfortunately we didn't have nearly long enough at any of these places. Nic and I have already decided less is more for next year (oh yes, I said "next year"!). Then on to the KCG Collection. Now there collection is amazing but what was almost equally amazing was the 1p a gram yarn mountain which I hadn't known about and those that did had assumed it would all be rubbish. But there was rowan and all sorts as far as the eye could see and dare I say we have added considerably to the buying power of the guild now through all our shopping.
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This lovely dress was something that caught my eye. The photo doesn't do it justice but it was absolutely lovely and quite wedding-esque I thought in a kind of burne-jones type way.

As well as all the great shopping there was great chatting and knitting talk (as well as copious mentions of breasts and bernard matthews). The evenings were mini social whorls as we totally took over the lounge and did the spinning-and-knitting-in-public thang while glugging wine and sherry.
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People had cooked cakes too which were scrumptious.

Sunday saw the final shopping destination and many people said to me that we had saved the best til last. I do love Wingham. Ruth who owns it was lovely and opened early for us and was so so helpful. As an added bonus I scored another cat.
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It's left front paw was paralysed in a car accident some months ago but she gets around fine and as you can see frequently jumps up onto shelves and chases things. She was a big softy too. In fact it was a highly satisfactory weekend for cats.

At Wingham there was this particularly beautiful multi coloured merino roving. Yes, I did purchase just a tad. After we got back there was an excellent show and tell session with more knitting and chatting. People had brought some gorgeous things. Just as an example on this table...
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...we have shawls from scotland, hats from Ruth (the same type as mine is at front right in its full hex glory) and then some lovely colinette patchwork creations. The mitred square one I am particularly loving and am thinking what to make one from. You avoid all the heaviness of sewing mitred squares together by picking up along the edges and doing it that way. So sensible and a technique that is in the patchwork knitting book I've already got.

So, do you want to see what I got then?
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That's it. Because the thing is there just wasn't enough room in the car for everything and by the time we had packed the car absolutely to the brim the only two bags still on the pavement happened to be mine. I took the small brown cone of wool so I had something to get started on but all the rest went with Ruth so I will need (and I mean NEED) to meet up with her one evening soon to get it back here. Thank god she did have enough room in her car though as otherwise we would have been totally screwed. The other cebtre pull ball is some cherry tree hill that Jane gave me as a thank you present when we dropped her off. WHAT A DUDE. I can't see on the label what it is called but needless to say as soon as I got up this morning I wound the skein into the ball and cast on a sock. I LOVE this stuff. Can I say it again? She is a DUDE. So so far this morning I have done a swatch in the brown which has been residing in my bra for the last 2 hours doing the bra-test. And done the first inch of a sock. I will have to delay the gloating and stroking until later in the week. But...don't worry - I'll report in full when I do get it back.

These are just the tiniest part of the photos. The majority will be up at www.proudtobecrafty.co.uk by the end of this week.

Now I did mention next year because Nic and I have discussed making this an annual thing although with some necessary changes. One of which will be to offer accommodation in EITHER the hostel for still around £100 a head for the two nights or add a premium for people to stay in the hotel opposite in either single or shared rooms. We have also dicussed going overseas somewhere with a smaller group of people in the autumn so I'll let you know how that turns out.

Basically it was all very good but pretty tiring. It would have been nice to actually make a profit out of it instead or barely breaking even but now we know what works and what doesn't we can make the next one even better and hopefully attract some extra people along.
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