Thursday, 29 March 2007

You know how sometimes you write a big long post about socks and then blogger eats it?

Ah well, poo happens.

This really rubbish montage is the result of my frustratons with trying to manipulate many images of socks, all of which are potential candidates for the sockwool by SP gave me that I blogged about first thing this morning. I want to do it justice and so I present, for your entertainment ...

I keep changing my mind. The green ones are from this website which has some awesome socks on it. The others... well, you'd have thought I'd have written them down somewhere. Um, I'll find them. Um. Anyway, which one? I think I've gone off the plain ones with the spiralling eyelet. The beaded ones are nice but somehow don't feel right for this yarn. Hell, should I just blow the $6 and get the pattern for the green ones?

A couple of people have asked where the sock yarn was from (apart from it being from my secret pal) and it is this website which needs flash but is worth it as it is all dynamic and flashy. This is the blog of the dyer too which has a 'translate' link for english. I've just been having a great time trying to wok out what she meant in the first place from the translation. Whatever it is she has this rather amazing mobius wrap going on that looks moth eaten and yet utterly glamourous! And the last link is the socks my pal is knitting although she has made some changes to it. It's a free pattern and they are lovely knee socks so it's well worth a look.

Podcast should be up tomorrow!

Oh yeah baby

Today's post is accompanied by the track 'jump around' by house of pain. Not, as they might sound, an emo grunge band. But some hip hoppers from the nineties who wanted to put the 'irish' back into hirishop hop.

Because, Lo! A mighty box from my most excellent secret pal has appeared and Lo! It is truly mighty. This was sooooo cool and really reminded me why secret pal is such a great great thing. It is so lovely to get not just one but a whole box full of presents all tailored to yoooooooooou! Let us begin... first up is a notebook and pencils for sketching impromptu kniting designs.
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But... this isn't just any notebook. It has a picture my sp took herself on the cover, some personalised toe up sock instructions inside AND knitters graph paper at various tensions glued to some of the pages. How cool is that? Here it is again...
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Then we have the edibles, and not so edibles.
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I love it that she warned me not to eat the lush bath bomb that looks like chocolate. Ahhhh, how well you know me. Don't tell Pooch but the rabbits didn't quite make it through the night and there was also the most delicious cherry choc bar which didn't even make it to work. I really think I have a problem but let's not go into that now. Isn't the little sheep cute! He's is one of those really really soft jellybean ones which I was in fact eyeing up to give to my sp at the weekend.

Then, make sure you are sitting down, not just one but TWO addi needles for doing magic loop socks. Oh yeah baby.
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Plus yummy lipbalm in both vanilla and strawberry which I had put as my two favourite scents. How well thought out is this parcel?

And of course having provided a sock pattern and the needles, what else but some delicious sock wool? I am so spoilt! Not just the regia in a delicious shade that makes me think of chocolate cherry bars and which I haven't seen before, but some hand dyed yarn from a place she did tell me but in my excitement I have temporarily forgotten (sorry) but that is local to her.
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This yarn is really beautiful - the photos don't do it justice. I kept picking it up and combining it with other things from the parcel. Here it is with the card she made, which also uses the photo from the notebook.
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I am just blown away by the generosity and thought that has gone into it. My pal had wrapped everything beautifully with lashings of red tissue paper and gorgeous ribbon. She says in her letter how she is more into cool tones so thinking 'red' was a real challenge but one she has risen to wonderfully. I spent the rest of last night trying to think of a sock pattern that would do the yarn justice. I was thinking maybe something with cables? She did say it gives wonderful stitch definition. Any suggestions?


Monday, 26 March 2007

Fruitlooping it UKHandKnitters Style

I swear (or I would if the list rules allowed it) the UKHandKnitters yahoo group has a complete hissyfit every three months. It is a sign of how society does something to someone everytime some sort of circumstance happens, especially when they are in a group or community represnting something, or something like that. This time it is HipKnits again. There are the "but she's pregnant/given birth" camp and the "but she took my money and won't answer my emails" camp which I was until recently part of. I have now got my refund and am steering well clear of hipknits. The listmom, in a misguided effort to steer the conversation away from HipKnits, has announced she will be banning all discussion of any inidividual company or any discussion that looks like it pertains to any company. I have some questions, which I've submitted to the list...
  1. Is she now reading every message and passing or deleting them individually?
  2. Are only certain people's messages being monitored, and if so who?
  3. (I only just thought of this one) does this mean we can't talk about patterns that are in books by Debbie Bliss or Rowan?
I feel for Dora but can't help feeling she's started a whole new heap of trouble for herself. I'm just going to go no mail for a while (which is what I normally do when these nutty episodes kick off) and go back in a few weeks when everyone will be all loved up again and past indiscretions forgotten. Jeez!

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Back in the swing again

Geez, I was really really low last week. But it was miraculous how putting some distance between me and london, or more specifically, me and work, on friday night caused a complete shift in mood. I have been spending waaaaaaaaaay too much time trying to work out how to make my current job more bearable and generally stressing about it while not having any energy left to get a different one. So, off with the old and in with the new. I have been thinking a lot about what was taking up the most head space for me and it was the usuals of having power and money and respect. What other people would think of me and the impression I gave was far outweighing what would make me happy and what would make me think well of myself. So I'm not looking for the same money anymore because with that kind of money goes pressure and responsibility. I am happy to exchange a pay cut for a happier life. My priorities are so different now to what they were before I went mad. I used to think of position and career and possessions whereas now I'm thinking about learning to cook, how I can contribute to society and yes, maybe even having one of those noisy sprogs I see hanging around the necks of some women.

Anyway, enough of the navel gazing. Let's talk knitting. I've got a few photos to share. First up what I have been working on loads for the last week. It's skipnorth booty from coldspring mill. It's an elizabeth zimmermann pattern and is done completely in the round. It is some half price DB cashmerino chunky and is just yummy.
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Still a fair way to go but it's coming along.

Then there is this...which I should think practically every knitter ever has knitted by now. It is, of course, branching out from
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It's been done in alpaca silk from elann and was a present for my mum who's birthday is tomorrow. I gave it to her today as we were down there for the weekend and she loved it so that's good.

Then there is a slight catch up as I have finished a vast number of socks since I last blogged properly. Here is one pair (socks that rock)...
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and another (cherry tree hill)...
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and the oddments....
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I'm actually rather pleased with these last ones. They were a present for Pooch and here he is gracefully modelling them.
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Here is a detail of the random slip stitch pattern I used.
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OK, and finally, a sneak preview of a pattern coming up in the third issue of 'Proud To Be Crafty' the zine. It's what every gal needs for her eco friendly shopping - a reusable and 100% degradable cotton bag.
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I've gone and splashed out on some blue sky cotton to be the sample with the zine so people can see how lovely it is. Although you can also use £1.99 a ball sirdar cotton and it will come out just as wonderful.

So here is to a happier week - hazaaah!
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