Saturday, September 30, 2006

I will survive

At first I was afraid I was petrified
Kept thinkin' I could never knit those socks before I died
But then I spent so many nights
Thinkin' no I won't go wrong
And I grew strong, I joined in the knit-along

And now those socks have gone
To another place
From the time it's taken to get them there they may have gone to space
I should have paid the extra price, used overnight delivery
If I'd've known for just one second someone would assassinate me

Those socks have gone, gone out the door
I'm hiding from the postman; parcels are not welcome anymore

Are you the one who's trying to hurt me with your yarn?
Do you think I'll crumble, Do you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh no, not.I. I will survive Oh as long as I know how to knit I know I'll stay alive;
I've got numbered days to live, I've got socks and socks to knit and I'll survive, I will survive.
Hey hey

with apologies to Gloria Gaynor!

The short version is that I am neither dead nor a victorious assasin! I do however have some piccies to share!

First we have a very special ball of yarn. This ball will allow me to finish Smoulder yippee! When extracted from the pile of laundry in my study it keeps mocking me so I will be glad to finish it and wear it while it is still appropriate weather for cotton cardigans.

This means I will be shelving the Greek Sweater temporarily so I finished the back, ta da! it is gorgeous yarn and so soft and warm - perfect for winter.

And last but not least my PS Neutrals postcard

Happy knitting for the weekend one and all - I'm on HOLIDAY!!!

Friday, September 29, 2006

I'm still alive!

Life in the trenches - by our special correspondent assasin Carie

25/09/06 - Assasin Carie reporting to base control: The weapon has been launched
26/09/o6 - Assasin Carie reporting to base control: The weapon is in flight
27/09/06 - Assasin Carie reporting to base control: The weapon is in flight - the target has identified the weapon as incoming and is attempting subversive manouvres by launching her own weapon.
28/09/06 - Assasin Carie reporting to base control: The weapon remains in flight
29/09/06 - Assasin Carie reporting to base control: The weapon remains in flight - the Atlantic and Wales and some fields appears to be wider than originally anticipated. DPN watch has been stood down until further notice.

Various incoming weapons were identified and neutralised including a Project Spectrum Neutrals postcard from Diane (thank you Diane) and ammunition necessary to complete Project Smoulder. There have been no casualties to date.

Assasin Carie signing out for the night

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Socks of DOOM!!!

And here they are:

Assasin KillingmeSockly, tremble in your unshod feet - these are in the post!! I started on Friday night and finished on Sunday and they were posted lunchtime today.

Fortunately for my target she lives a long way away. A very long way away. In fact between her and Birmingham central post office lies Wales, a rather large pond, a few seagulls and a couple of fields on the other side.

I estimate that the parcel will take at least a week to get to Illinois. Plus then it will be another week for her unfinished socks to get to me, unless she has already launched her weapon in which case it could be even longer. That gives my assasin at least 2 weeks to get cracking - perhaps I'm the doomed one:

Out flew the web and floated wide
The needles knit from side to side

"The curse has come upon me" cried
the Lady without a sock (with apologies to Tennyson I think!)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sock Wars

Needles: Check
Yarn: Check (in suitable bloody colour!)
Pattern: Check
Target: Check (despite unfortunate hurricane inspired delays)


(Normal content will resume as soon as I have finished these socks!)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

NEC Knit and Sitch

Happy Sunday! I went to the Knitting and Stitching show at the NEC and it was quite a show. Apart from the shopping (more on that later) they had just wonderful textile displays including some gorgeous quilted seascapes and a lady who has done a series of full size quilted sketches. Essentially she paints the figure on calico and then adds fabric and embroidery on top to accent bits.. The ones I liked best were people she had sketched at train stations and they were all lined up along a platform - so how a platform looks any day of the working week!

The other ones I loved were the seascapes - I love the fact that when you look closely at them there's a whole other level, for example one of the big shorelines had a load of building silhouetes which were quilted out of either marine chart fabric or marine charts printed onto fabric - so cool!

The knitwear companies also had various fashion shows going on during the day but I wasn't bothered to see them as my "to knit" list goes on for pages!so did just the one workshop whereas at previous shows I do loads. Part of it was sheer 'I'm shattered can I really concentrate for lots' and part of it lack of planning!

Anyway my last minute workshop selection was the Beading Guild's wire brooches workshop and we made this:

This is my part finished brooch - it will eventually have a completed round of cream and another round of cream and pink alternating to be a big flower type thing. It looks far more cream and less mustard in real life I promise!

The beading is just as calming and knitting and it took a lot of willpower for me not to acquire some more wire, beads and sieves to try making my own brooches but I resisted (and gave in to a little kit for beaded snow angels - seriously pretty and perfect for the Christmas tree - is it worrying that I'm thinking about Christmas or just organised?

And then we have the shopping:

Hmmmmmm sock yarn. Including the lovely Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock - I really start to see why the Americans rant about this stuff - it is gorgeous and so soft - definitely socks for me! The other skeins in the left hand picture are Opal handdye and some hand painted yarn and on the right we have my colour choice for the socks of death! Roll on sock wars!

A few other little things also crept into my bag along the way including two more balls of KSH for Aimee and the needles for my Greek IK sweater - I'm off to cast on right now!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Squeeeeee - and other happy noises

Some of my long expected post arrived! yippeeeeeeeeeee!

Part of the reason I haven't posted much recently is because I've been waiting on various parcels (and not doing much knitting until they arrived) but now I have PRETTY THINGS (and I haven't even been to the NEC Knitting and Stitching show yet!)

The first, and most important arrival is my Summer of Socks Secret Swap Socks. I have had a wonderful package from Jodie which was all beautifully wrapped - I would show you a picture but I wanted to open it so piccies went by the wayside!

She sent me these lovely goodies:

As well as these fabulous socks:

The pattern is river rapids by sockbug and the yarn is Opal and they are so snuggly and fit perfectly and I love them - you can tell this by the fact that I could not remove them from my feet to take a photo - I just put my feet on the desk!

I haven't heard whether my secret pal has got her socks yet but I think it takes a while for things to get to the States even by air-mail so I hope they arrive soon.

All credit to Abigail for setting up this swap - it seems to have been a resounding success so far and I have really enjoyed being involved in it.

Ooooh - what next....

Well in order of decibel of squee noise I think I ought to introduce my other parcel, this time from Curious Yarns. They do some really wonderful stitch markers, some of which are presents so stay secret but one set of which - chosen by my lovely husband were turtles comme ca:

As you can see they have already migrated from the tin and onto my trellis scarf - they are just so pretty and they help the lace no end.

Speaking of lace......

this is a skein of 430 metres of laceweight silk which came in the same parcel and will be a stole/scarf for me when the right pattern presents itself. The colour is tired roses and it is softer than it appears in the picture - dusky roses, greens and browns. (Re the colours - the background fabric is the same in this picture as for the turtles!)

Finally, my wonderfully well trained husband went to Web of Wool on Friday to collect my Kid Classic for me and I am itching to get started on this project - it is the Greek Sweater from last Autumn's IK and looks like this:

Add some needles tomorrow and we have lift-off

So what have I actually been knitting? Well I do have a little stash-busting quick knit to share. On our honeymoon I did acquire some pretty varigated cotton DK/Aran weight yarn from Sugar and Cream. It tried to be a pair of socks but got impossibly nasty pooling so I set it aside with a general scheme for it to become a bag.

Et voila!

I cast on last Sunday and finished it earlier in the week (at least the knitting part of it). The background is the fabric which I am going to use to line it - all stripes and spots. The pattern is Sweet Suede from the Spring 2004 Knitty and took two balls. It is very easy, very tv knitting and a great sized bag as a little honeymoon memento (other than the appendix scar of course!)

Soooo - NEC show tomorrow... expect more in a similar vein soon!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


If you are (a) my husband or (b) think you may be my Summer of Socks pal but haven't yet got your parcel look away now.

I haven't posted in a while because of a serious lack of exciting things to share with you - the last two FOs have both had to stay secret (until now!), the colour I need to finish Smoulder is hopefully winging it's way across the Atlantic and the trellis scarf now looks like this - I assure you that huge lack of progress took HOURS!!


As my husband is due home from his mountain in Wales very soon (actually he's just arrived) and my parcel to the secret pal was sent on Monday I think I am safe to share some piccies!

So, these are my latest secret project - another pair of socks for my lovely husband - the pattern is just a basic sock pattern with a 2x2 rib at the top and the yarn is Regia Canadian:

The lovely husband likes them a lot and as his feet are rather sore after the Welsh mountain trip (he walked/ran 27 miles yesterday) I thought it would be rather good for the feet to have a little treat! I've been knitting them secretly on the train to work but most of the second sock was done yesterday and finished last night - excellent tv knitting!

The secret summer socks look like this:

Well kind of - they really aren't so blue in real life they're a pinky purply blue mixture which produces some gorgeous pooling - it looks like they have ripples running across them. The yarn is Regia Bamboo which is a mixture of wool and bamboo and it very soft and silky to work with- it's like a more drapy cotton. The pattern was an adaption of Dublin Bay - I put the Dublin Bay motif repeats down the side of my standard sock pattern and all was well - the first version, following the pattern, gave me massive socks so I restarted.

These socks have also been travelling round with me and so I give you "the sock and Warwick Castle"

It was at this point that my husband decided that sanity had clearly left me and this sock knitting thing was getting a bit too much!

Hope you like them secret pal - I won't reveal her name until I know the parcel has arrived safe and sound!

As this weekend has been gorgeous I took the opportunity to dye up my final blank skein of sock wool with the remaining Kool-Aid et voila!

It looks a lot less neon and more summer berries in real life - perhaps that's what I should call it - summer berries to go with lettuce leaf and blueberry bruise! Any other suggestions for what this colourway should be called?

So now with the summer berries yarn drying in the breeze, the husband gently reviving in the bath, and a good five hours worth of ironing sat upstairs.... I'm going to go and cast on for Joy!

Sunday, September 03, 2006


I think everyone else has already discovered these but I have to confess to a serious addiction to Podcasts. Brenda Dane's Cast On is a great favourite with many people but I have four particular favourites to share.

The first is Pointy Sticks by Christine Selleck - I love listening to her stories of her knitting and the songs she plays are just great - plus the Flying Fish Sailors 'Poke you in the Eye' theme tune is cracking!

Then my current train listening is Heather Ordover's Craft Lit which is usually a little bit of what Heather has been up to and a big chunk of the lit in question - which at present is Pride and Prejudice, always a favourite of mine and so lovely to have it read. Heather used to teach English so she always introduces the new chapters with a bit of litcrit on the previous week. Sadly I am catching up far too fast - what will I do when I finish catching up and there's only one episode a week! CraftLit is also available through ITunes which helps with the downloading!

Another podcast on ITunes is Lime and Violet - these girls just make me giggle


on a train full of grumpy commuters

Seriously an achievement!

And finally another girl who makes me laugh, Manda of Knit Psychos

Go and check them all out!

UFOs - or are they - and USOs

The start of September always makes me feel very autumnal in a sort of back to school way - see what all those years buried in an educational establishment do to you.

In this vein I have been reviewing the list of UFOs I made in May and creating my list of UFOs and USOs (un-started objects - yep cracking English there!) for September.

The round up:

Carolina - colour leaked all over hands - pattern abandonned - yarn returned to stash and now intended for Rowan Vintage Style's Aimee

Baby Cardigan - finished in July and sent to baby Pearl shortly after her arrival into this world - hurrah!

Jaywalkers - wearing them as I type - need I say more

More socks- the sad sock got frogged (and the yarn is still wrapped round the back of my study chair to straighten out), the port and starboard socks were made and the cotton socks attempted.

Smoulder - so far so good - slight hitch with the yarn

IK trellis scarf - current WIP

That actually includes all of my current UFOs apart from a secret project for my lovely husband

The USO list is a bit longer:

Greek Jumper from IK
Rowan Joy
Rowan Aimee - both from Vintage Style
Fruit Salad - all from Classic Summer
A short sleeved cardi from Classic Alpaca
Two tops from Debbie Bliss pure silk
Serious designs on the Simple Knitted Bodice

It's going to be a busy autumn!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The end of Project Spectrum

So finally August is over and Project Spectrum has drawn to a close (apart from sweep up month this is a really good idea and very necessary to boot!).

I have loved being a part of this Craftalong and I've really enjoyed the postcard swap - so often I make cards for birthdays or thank yous and it's really nice to be challenged to make something without a pre-ordained theme (apart from the preference for butterflies) and in colours that I wouldn't necessarily use.

So for the final time I present to you this month's Project Spectrum postcard:

This is the front and back before they got stuck together - I should explain the backing paper is a picture of stamped letters!

Aside from Sweep up month Lolly is planning another form of Project Spectrum towards the start of next year and is collecting ideas - if you have any pass them on to her!

All this brings me onto the topic of knit alongs. I seem to have got rather swept up in KALs recently as I have another to add to the collection - Yarn Monkey is running a KAL/assasins game called SOCK WARS - if you ever played assasins at college the concept will be pretty familiar - on 22 September each warrior gets the set sock pattern and their victim's address. The aim is to knit them their socks and send it to them. When they get the socks they are dead and they send you their unfinished socks and the name of their victim. At the same time, someone else is knitting you a pair of socks to try to assasinate you - it sounds hilarious to me and I couldn't resist joining in - thank you Manda for mentioning the Wars in your podcast!

There always seem to be unlimited KALs starting up on the web and I suppose it is merely an extension of knitters getting together in person to knit that instead we all meet up in webland!

The problem is that I get tempted by so many and if I had all the time/money/yarn I wanted I probably would join them all. I am however, particularly tempted by the Sexy Knitters Club KAL which is currently either Sizzle or the Simple Knitted Bodice - both of which are gorgeous. I think I am heading towards the Simple Knitted Bodice - to use the blue alpaca I have for the short sleeved version. I though I could also add in a strand of somthing like Kid Silk Night for a bit of sparkle at the bits where the pattern calls for sequinned yarn - hmmmm

In terms of actual knitting, Smoulder is making remarkable progress comme ca:

The colours are a little distorted because it is an evening shot but I have completed the back, both fronts and a very little bit of the sleeve. This is where I stop and start kicking myself. I made huge efforts to get the yarn called for in this pattern - some of it comes from the Netherlands, some from a clearance department store and some was found in Shipston. However, I got only one ball of the deep purple cotton glace and I need two - gaaaaaaa it's a discontinued colour, impossible to find in the UK as far as I can see and my hope now rest on a webmail service from the states who had one ball left according to their website. As I haven't heard that they don't have any and it's been a week since my order I'm really hopeing this means it is winging its way to me - fingers crossed.

My yarn moratorium (now ended) means that there is very little knitting on the needles that I can just pick up and go with so my current knitting is the IK Trellis scarf which was in the issue of IK that lovely husband bought me when I was in hospital in Florida. It involves knit 7 together into 5s which frankly scares the living daylights out of me and is not relaxing knitting, requiring immense amounts of concentration to get even one row right. I think it may have got easier by the 23rd repetition!!

This is the border and almost 2 repetitions!

It's Kid Silk Haze which is very snuggly but a bit of a challenge to knit with to say the least! Still perseverence will win through and there are days when challenging knitting is required. That would not be today though so I have put it aside to write this post before I make any more mistakes!

Sneeky side note: I do have a pair of socks on the needles as a secret present for lovely husband but they are hiding in my work bag for train knitting only (shh!). I have also ordered the yarn for my Greek IK sweater in Glacier (Kid Classic - gorgeous) and the Yorkshire Tweed needs some bead threading before starting Rowan's Joy. I know I could start Joy now but I've been longing to knit the Greek sweater for ages so that's what I'm doing!

Happy weekend one and all!