Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hyacinth is finished.

I haven't posted here for a day or two because I felt there was nothing to post about. I was still knitting away on the Hyacinth Mystery and not really liking it. No, that's not true, I like it, I just don't love it. I had built myself up into a high state of anticipation: it was my first KAL; it was my first mystery; it was my first time knitting lace with handpainted yarn; it was my first time working with Margaret Stove's beautiful yarn. How could the reality ever live up to the expectation? It couldn't and it didn't. I have finished with the Hyacinth Mystery. I finished the knitting yesterday morning and then took a few hours to ponder the cast off.

There's a lot of talk about a suitable cast off to use for lace. Some people advocate using a larger size needle; some people the icelandic bind off; some like a sewn cast off; some like the suspended cast off. It starts to boggle the mind. In the end I did this: Knit the first two stitches, * pass the first stitch over the second stitch, pass the one remaining stitch on the right needle back to the left needle, knit it again, knit another stitch and repeat from *. (If you are a left-handed knitter, or knit standing on your head, you would probably have to modify these instructions - I trust you to do that for yourself.) I don't know what this cast off is called but it seemed to work well enough. Naturally, I don't have too much difficulty knitting a nice, loose cast off. If I used larger needles it would end up a loopy mess. Do what works for you. There is nothing to stop you casting off a few stitches using one method, having a look at the result, assessing the situation and deciding you don't like the cut of it and starting again with a different method. (Or even, dare I say it, changing the method in mid cast off. It's not like those knitting police will be at you. Obviously, I wouldn't advocate this method if you were entering the piece in a competition - but if it's just you and the man on the running horse, well...) Here she is unblocked, just off the needles:

She looks so small and vulnerable. She's only 20 inches down the back seam and has a wingspan of 42 inches.
So then she had the fishing line threaded all around the edge. I have found that there is no need to cut the fishing line - I just leave it attached to the reel so that I can pull out more if needed. It usually is - I'm often surprised by the amount a lace piece can grow in the blocking.

Then she went into the bath. She's here soaking in lukewarm water with Lavendar Eucalan added:

If you are Sharp-eyed Susan you may just be able to see the fishing line coming off the bottom point at the top right of this picture.

Then she was spread out on our bed. Time was getting on by this stage, I was hoping I wouldn't have to explain to 'im indoors that he would be sleeping on the sofa as the bed was taken up with a mysterious Hyacinth. As it turned out, the evening was very warm, Hyacinth was very thin and she dried out in no time.

This picture of the blocking is not the best but I just wanted to get it done. I put the pins through the knitted fabric on the inside of the fishing line. It means you don't need to use so many pins and it helps to get straight edges. I didn't want straight edges on the two long sides, I wanted scallops. I can't say this blocking was brilliant. I was in a bit of a rush but she looks nice enough, though not terribly even.

In hardly anytime at all she was dry. I had to wait until this morning to get some photos. #1 daughter was entrusted with the camera and did a great job, I think:

So there she is, all done. She is quite petite and delicate. She measures 30 inches down the back seam and has a wingspan of 66 inches. I can't tell you what the newborn weighs until I take her to the post office. I know it is a great deal less than 40 grams. I've got another two 20g skeins of this lovely yarn, plus quite a bit of the second one I started on clue 4 of the mystery. What shall I do with it? I expect something will come to mind.

As if all that excitement weren't enough, this morning that well-trained postman knocked gently at the back door and when I went to investigate I found he'd left a package on the step. Inside the package were all these goodies:

These are presents from Kiki of Luscious Gracious, all the way over there in Arizona. There are two 100g cones of "Infinity" soy silk from South West Trading Company, a lovely card ( "Goddess; a woman whose great charm or beauty arouses adoration" - Head? Big? Me??) and (my personal favourite) a "Knit the Knits" wrist band. I haven't taken it off since. I can't wait to get some of that soy silk on the needles - 100g, 1,400yards and I've got two! Ohh, the joy, the anticipation, the delight. Kiki, you're the best!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

This is what I mean

The technology was against me yesterday. I never understand it when the magic doesn't work. I never understand it when it does work. (We are speaking to the woman whose grandmother used to keep the plugs in the sockets overnight for fear the electricity would leak out.)

I spoke of wanting to live elsewhere and how sometimes nature bites you and cuffs you round the head and lets you know that it's not all that bad living where you do. The pot of gold was not in my garden:

but you can't have everything, can you?

I looked out at the back and this is what I saw:

Yes, we do have electricity here in the backwater. Excuse me, I need to go and put the plugs in the sockets.

Just in case.

Knitting?? No, work.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Is it me?

I've been knitting away on the Mystery Shawl and am almost finished with clue 4. Clue 5, the final clue, has been posted but I haven't looked at it yet. This betrays a certain indifference. It's not that I'm not enjoying knitting with the yarn (beautiful - skinny but beautiful). I'm not quite sure what it is. This has been my first ever KAL (although I have knitted various shawls together with my knit f(r)iend) and I can't say I really need to know how everyone else made a mistake; how this one mis-read the pattern; how that one is wondering what needles to use (have a try, dare I say the word "swatch"?); how that one is having a picnic at the frog pond. There have also been various mistakes in the charts - nothing major and easy to spot and rectify. We have, however, had to wade through tens of emails, all saying, "Is there a mistake in the chart?", then more saying, "Yes, it's such a thing." Get a grip, girls. Read the message and if it's already been said, don't bother saying it again. Maybe I'm just getting cranky in my old age but I really can't be bothered. I haven't found the pattern to be particularly challenging, either (but that is not the designer's fault - how is she to know that I am the pickiest knitter on this earth?)

I was discussing what it is that makes a "good" lace design with said knit f(r)iend the other day. I think it's that the pattern seems to grow and progress in a natural, almost organic way. For me, there needs to be a logical progression (as in Rosy Fingered Dawn and even better in Sandy Terp's "The Great Cosmos" - the shawl I have enjoyed knitting most of all) and I do not like constant repetition of the same motif. (Because I get bored easily - so bite me.) I'm sorry to say that in the mystery shawl there was very little of the former and too much of the latter for my taste. So why don't you design your own lace patterns, I hear you ask? Well, I just might do that.

Fluttering round cyberspace I am constantly amazed at the beautiful places all these knitters live. They live in the desert, they live by the sea, they live in Finland and Norway and Japan. They post pictures of their houses and views from their windows and I want to live where they live. Yesterday there was a rainbow over my house. The pot of gold was not in my garden but in that of the house across the road. I got a picture of that and I got a beautiful picture of the setting sun from my bedroom window. It made me glad I live here and not anywhere else. I'd like to share those pictures with you, so that you all can lust after living in the rural backwater, but Blogger will not play ball. You may get them later, you may never get them at all.

It's gone very dark. There will shortly be a great downpour and a thunderstorm. 'Im indoors is ordering me to get off the computer. He always likes to look on the bright side of life and is fully expecting lightening to strike through the keyboard and that he will find me charred and blackened - sacrificed on the altar of the blog.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


I have finally knitted up the whole of the first skein of the Margaret Stove Artisan Lace Merino, which I am using for what has become known as the "Hyacinth Mystery". That's only 300 metres, that's only 20 grams, that's only one quarter of what I've got, and I've almost finished clue 4 (of 5). Either I am making a shawl for Barbie (good colour for her, too) or I have seriously over-estimated the amount of yarn I need.

This is what remains:

This is what it turned into:

Doesn't look much, does it? I know, I know, lace always looks like a pile of something you wouldn't want to tread in, until the magic of the blocking. I know that everytime the lace will grow, maybe by up to a third; I know it always looks too small; I know that it will be fine; in spite of all this vast stock of knowledge, I have a niggle at the back of my mind - what if it's too small??

In my flapping round cyber space lately I have come across a knitter called Freddie Robbins (female, by the way) who has designed some seriously odd pieces. The oddest may well be these knitted homes of female killers, which also serve as tea cosies.. She also has some very odd gloves, where each finger sprouts another hand - I can't decide if they are quirky and whimsical or extremely disturbing. (I also can't find a picture of them now, though I know I've seen one. I hope I've seen one - it couldn't be a product of my fevered imagination, could it? Tell me it isn't so.)

Relief floods my being. I found this.

My knit bud has got her Wedding Ring Shawl pattern. We are chatting about needles, yarn and sending pictures of our swatches. It won't be long now. Well, it won't be long until we start, it will probably be years before we finish.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Even more mysterious

I have completed Clue 3 of the Hyacinth Mystery. I have not looked to see if clue 4 has been posted. I expect it will be there when I am ready for it. I'm not surprised that it looks the usual mess:

OK, I could spread it out a bit:

It still looks no bigger than it did the last time you all saw it - it must be bigger but it doesn't look it. The ball of yarn appears to have shrunk not one whit, either:

Mindful of the international nature of my readership, I have included both a pound coin and a 5 cent coin (is that a nickel or could it be a dime?) to show the scale of the thing. As it turns out the coins are almost the same size anyway. For any European readers, I'm sorry I couldn't lay my hand on any euros - I know there are euros in the house but, like the fourth dpn, they are never to hand when you need them. Speaking of dpns, I found a pretty blue metal one down the side of the sofa the other day. I would be prepared to swear on my grandmother's grave that I have never, ever, seen the thing before. Where do they come from? Where do they go?

True to my nature of finding it impossible to start a project, finish a project, move on to the next project, I have started a dalliance with the gauntlets from Rowan 38.

This is basically a reverse stocking stitch tube with a twelve stitch cable crossing every 10 rows. Recommended needles are 7mm and yarn is two strands of Kid Classic, held together. I happened to have the yarn, I chose 6.5mm needles (because we all know I am a loose woman). The pattern says to knit it flat and "sew palm seam". "Sew palm seam"? How thick are two strands of Kid Classic; how bulky is that seam going to be; how uncomfortable would that feel? Kate doesn't do sewing, she will therefore make a tube and use two circular needles to do it. You can see the arrangement of the needles quite well in this picture. I'm sure I've given a link to the technique in the past. At present, it eludes me and if I don't post this now, I will not have it done before midnight, as I have to go back to work. (Yes, again!) Google is your friend, girls and boys.

Also, there has been a dental emergency that has meant I have not responded to emails as promptly as I might have done. If anyone is waiting on a communication from me, rest assured I am back on the case now. Maybe at dead of tonight, maybe tomorrow, my fingers will be flying.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Clue 3

#1 son and #1 daughter have returned from their camping trip. #1 daughter brought this:

Very sweet. There's another one that says "Friend" on the bottom. There have been no less than three actual sheep in the garden, since the first two. It's like a storybook for children - we will learn to count to ten with the help of these animals. We are not quite sure what sort of sheep they are. We know that some of the sheep in the back field are Jacob's, but were under the impression that Jacob's have a dark spot and are not dark all over like the three in the garden the other day.

Work continues on the Hyacinth Mystery. I'm pleased to say that the 2.5mm 100cm circular needle ordered last week has arrived and the stitches are all safely transferred. I much prefer circular needles to straights. However, the points on these are not quite so "pointy" as on the straights I was using. I am hoping this will not create difficulties with the double decreases (slip 2 tog as if to knit, knit 1, pass the two slipped stitches over). It is sometimes hard to dig out those two slipped stitches and get them passed over - that was the manoeuvre which caused the yarn to snap on Rosy Fingered Dawn. It seems to be going OK, so far.

Here is clue 3 almost complete. I have pinned it out as best I can. I'm still not sure that the variegation in the yarn doesn't detract from the lace. It's just so difficult to get an idea of what the whole thing will look like when it's finished. Of course, that's one of the reasons I'm in love with lace. You just don't know how magical it's going to look until you do the blocking at the very last minute.

As I said, I have also done a swatch for the Wedding Ring Shawl, using the gossamer merino and 2.5mm needles.

Same observations as before. I do not think this is the yarn for the job. It's lovely stuff and for something else I think it would be ideal but for this heirloom pattern I think I prefer the silk. I'd like to see if I could get some suitable silk yarn in an ivory colour. Sharon Miller herself is going to be selling it on her website but it is not available yet. I've had a look at Texere and cannot get my head round all the numbers which indicate thickness of yarn. What does 10/1nm mean? How skinny is this? Worst case scenario is that I may have to bite the bullet and order some silk to play with.

Popped into the LYS yesterday to collect the circular needle and couldn't help myself. I ended up buying Rowan Magazine 38. It has some fine patterns in it. It has some patterns which make me think "Never in a million years." and "Do they actually pay people to design this stuff?" I am obviously in the wrong job.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Word has got around

Obviously, everyone in the vicinity knows that Kate does knitting. I was even upbraided the other day for answering a knitting question posed at the end of a long Saturday night at work. Linda quietly said she thought we might have managed a whole evening without a knitting conversation. Margaret (she of the Heirloom Shawl) asked me a question and I merely answered. I have no other excuse.

I awoke this morning to further proof that everyone knows yarn is welcome in any variety:

The yarn is actually walking into the garden, with no encouragement from me.

Busy weekend at work, little knitting. Tried to watch the cricket. Couldn't bear the tension. I have no fingernails left. (and it was a draw, at the end of the day - but we should have won, we played our socks off.)

I am busy with clue three of the hyacinth mystery. I have also done a little more swatching for the Wedding Ring shawl. This time I used the gossamer merino and 2.5mm needles. I have not had the chance to take a photograph and now the light has faded and it's far too dark. I think this particular yarn is too thick for a wedding ring shawl - it's lovely stuff, just a little too coarse for the job.

Sharon Miller is going to be selling the skinny silk (first swatch) but it is "coming soon". It can't come soon enough for me, I tell you. I also asked Sharon when her new book is due out. "Not before next year." was the answer. Can we bear the wait?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Is that a swatch?

We are all squared away on clue 2 of the Mystery Shawl. I have completed both the Hyacinth and the Mystery Green versions. No pictures - they are the same, but bigger. So I felt justified in having a play.

I took out the 2mm, 2.25mm and 2.5mm needles. I took out the samples card from the Wedding Ring shawl. I took the silk sample and I wrapped it round a piece of crumpled tissue (as Sharon recommends):

I started with the 2.5mm needles and the sample chart and I did one repeat, then I moved to 2mm needles and did another repeat. (I put a row of eyelets inbetween so I could see the change):

Here it is still on the needles and therefore completely unblocked.

Here it is pinned out as tight as I could get it:

Some observations:

It is very difficult to keep the tension of the edges regular. In the "real deal" we will be picking up stitches from these edges to continue with the borders. I will need to think very carefully about what selvedge treatment (if any) I want to use to facilitate the picking up.

I think I prefer the 2.5mm needles to the 2mm.

It is very difficult to see the stitches on a plastic coated metal needle. The stitches slither about something dreadful, too. Some people advise using bamboo needles to counteract this. I'm sorry to say I can't stand bamboo needles. It's like nails down a blackboard to me. I believe there are ebony needles in existence. These would be the ideal but they seem to be rarer than hen's teeth. Do you think I could get a sponsorship deal? Would there be someone out there who would be prepared to let me use their needles in return for - what? The Glory? Yes, I think the glory, together with copious plugs on the blog as to how wonderful the needles are; how the points are perfect; the joins smooth; the cables flexible; blah, blah, blah. Any takers?

I had to do two stitches of tinking. This involved an SSK. Sharon suggests K2tog, tbl but I usually do SSK (first stitch slipped as if to knit, second as if to purl). You absolutely do not want to be tinking an SSK on teeny-tiny needles with ultra-skinny yarn. I seem to remember reading somewhere that with these very skinny yarns the knitters of the olden days simply did K2tog in all circumstances and did not bother with pairing the slant of the decreases. On the second repeat of the test pattern (that would be a swatch in technical terms), I did K2tog throughout. I also did K3tog in place of any more fancy double decrease. I can't see that it has made one whit of difference, so that is what I am going to do when it comes to the "real deal".

I wonder how long it takes to train a Guide Dog for the Blind? I feel I may need one before this thing is over.

In other knitting news: Annie of "Up Knit Creek" fame (Isn't that the best name for a blog?) asks how I can be so prolific and produce so much knitting in 24 hours. I'd like to say that I have learned to warp the space-time continuum but the truth is much more prosaic. I have tunnel vision - I look neither to right nor to left; I do not see the dust bunnies; the piles of un-ironed clothing; the unpolished silver (chance would be a fine thing!); I just look at my knitting and it gives me joy.

Also, I came across this blog the other day in my travels. It was via the Knitty surprise page. I was completely blown away by the sheer exuberance of everything on the site. Turns out that Kiki has been impressed by my humble efforts here and has offered me the first copy of one of her original lace shawls which is in the designing stage now. It gave me goosepimples when I read that. How kind, how generous, how honoured am I?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Another day - more lace.

Spent a lovely day with my friend Clare yesterday - roaming the Cotswolds in her big red Alfa Romeo; eating lunch; visiting Daylesford Farm Shop (don't even bother clicking on that link unless you've got double broadband - it takes forever); visiting Longborough Farm shop, where I bought some rather nice Frozen Strawberry Daquiri Sorbet; buying shoes; taking tea in the Bantam Tearooms (you don't just drink tea in Chipping Campden - you "take" tea) and generally having a nice time. Result? Little knitting accomplished.

I did manage a few rows of the "Hyacinth Mystery". It still looks like a crumpled mess - just a slightly bigger crumpled mess!

A close-up, where it looks slightly less crumpled:

The shadows are a bit distracting in this shot but it's the best I could do - the weather, beautiful yesterday, has taken a turn for the worse. It's like sitting at the bottom of a metal dustbin when someone has just clapped the lid on. These days are known (in our family, at least) as "dustbin lids". Today is a prime example of a dustbin lid. I could not take any pics indoors without the flash. I had to go out into the garden. It could be worse - it could be raining!

Yesterday I had an email from Mike at Heirloom Knitting, telling me THE pattern had been sent. I was lying in wait for that postman this morning. He brought me this:

All these delights. The charts, the explanations, the extract from Sharon's new book (can we pre-order this book, I wonder? If it's anything like her first book it is a "must have").

The yarn samples:

Yes, the yarn samples are very, very skinny. I might even go so far as to say "ultra-skinny" (new technical term).

Have I bitten off more than I can chew?

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Trouble with Lace

The trouble with lace is that you knit and knit and knit; you hold up the knitting; you admire the knitting; you pat yourself on the back; you knit and knit and knit; you hold up the knitting again; you marvel at the fact that the knitting has not grown by one inch since the last time you held it up. You also marvel at the fact that the knitting looks like a crumpled hankie. You know, in your heart of hearts, that the knitting will be breath-takingly beautiful when it is blocked. You still, even now, even after all these years of knitting, and knitting lace, don't quite believe it.

Can't you tell that I am at quite a low ebb?

I have had to resort to "old knitted stuff" again. I thought you might like to see the Canadian Living Heirloom Shawl in her new home. Here she is, modelled by Margaret, who now takes care of said shawl:

Doesn't she look great? No slinging it over the shoulders and ending up looking like a granny (not that she is). No, it's more of an artfully arranged nonchalance. Skinny AND brown - if she weren't such a sweetheart I'd be ready to spit.

I've been thinking about gift-giving. I made the Heirloom for Margaret because she asked me to knit her a shawl and I picked the Heirloom because I wanted a challenge. I gave it to her, safe in the knowledge that she would treasure it and take care of it and love it. Sometimes, we give a gift and later discover it hasn't been treasured, or loved, or taken care of. So, what to do? Naturally, one feels a bit let down. I put my heart and soul into this and you can't even be bothered to keep it out of the dressing-up box? I could tear a strip off you; I could cringe inside and say nothing; I could just let it go. When we give a gift, should we just let it go? Answers on a postcard...

Finally, because you all need eye-candy, this is Sharon Miller's Garden Shawl, lounging on the hedge in my garden:

(It's not Sharon's - it's mine.)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Proof Positive

Here is proof positive, if proof were needed, that I am stark, staring mad. I've been looking at this pattern for a while. I'm a great fan of Sharon Miller's patterns; I've got her book "Heirloom Knitting" (which is THE definitive Shetland Lace Knitting Book); I'm a member of the Heirloom Knitting Group on Yahoo (I've even had two of my "Sharon Shawls" featured on the front page there); I've made several of Sharon's designs - the pink puzzle wrap being my favourite.

I hadn't told anyone about lusting after this pattern, for fear of the "Are you completely off your trolley?" reaction. Yesterday, my knit f(r)iend (you know exactly who you are) sent me an email with a link to this very pattern asking if it shouldn't be in #1 daughter's future somewhere. I know you think you are the Great Enabler; I personally think you are the devil incarnate. I could not resist the sound of the gauntlet being slapped down in front of me. I have bowed to the inevitable. I have ordered the pattern.

I hope you are proud of yourself.

In other knitting news: there has been a heart-stopping moment on Rosy Fingered Dawn. There are two types of double decrease in this pattern - every other round at the corners you do slip 1, K2tog, PSSO; in other parts there is the centred double decrease (slip 2tog as if to knit, K1, pass the two slipped stitches over). It's slightly awkward to get the two slipped stitches on the needle ready to pass them over, so I usually give a little tug down of the fabric just below the stitches and dig the needle in. I was in the midst of this yesterday when there was a "ping" and the yarn snapped! Not the working yarn, the yarn in the middle of the two slipped stitches. Imagine the horror! There are no pictures, I was too busy trying to catch the two ends, stop other stitches unravelling and wondering what on earth I was going to do.

This is what I did. I tied the ends together loosely (and temporarily!). I tinked back about 6 or 8 stitches. I moved the stitches around the relevant spot onto a pair of short dpns which I keep ever at hand, along with a crochet hook and a few safety pins. It so happens that there was a knot in the skein while I was winding this particular colour and I therefore have two balls of it. I took a little bit of the other ball and I joined the yarn in and reknitted the disaster area. I then slipped the stitches back onto the working needle and, using the working yarn, I continued gaily on my way.

The second clue in the Mystery Shawl Along has been posted. I have got my work cut out, since I'm knitting two (one in the Margaret Stove, skinny; one in the Phildar, fatter).

Oh, and the writer for Simply Knitting, who's writing the article about knitting bloggers? She finally got back to me (I thought I'd blown it when I said the patterns were "ghastly"), she wanted a picture. Watch this space.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Double Trouble?

I came across this mystery yarn the other day:

It's not exactly a mystery, since, for once, we actually have ball bands. This is Phildar "Phil'douce" 75% acrylic, 20% kid mohair, 5% wool. There are three full balls, three partial balls and two balls that appear to have already been knitted up and unravelled. (I don't know if that last is true, unravelling something with 20% mohair usually results in more of a mess than we seem to have here.) I don't know how old it is; I don't know where it came from; I have had, until now, no idea what to do with it. It has spoken up a couple of times but we could never agree on what it wanted to be.

I don't know if this is a great idea but I think this yarn wants to be the second mystery shawl. To that end, I got out the 3.5mm needles; I got out one of the little balls of Phil'douce; I printed out chart 1A and I was off.

What do you think:

Some people on the Mystery Shawl Along have measured their work at the end of chart 2 and found it to be 9 inches by 20 inches. When I stretch this out it's about 8 by 18, more or less in the right area. Is it too nerdy to be knitting two mysteries at once?

In other news, I knocked this out yesterday:

Another One Skein Wonder for Ann. Less than 100g Aran weight 100% wool from stash, trimmed with the Wendy Melody pictured the other day. It's not quite as tight as mine and the back has a slight tendency to curl up but she is pleased with it and I'm pleased she's pleased.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

It's a Mystery

Yesterday was the beginning of the Mystery Shawl Knitalong. I was poised beside the computer, needles and yarn in hand. The first clue came out and there was a certain amount of confusion. Teething troubles, only. Once that was sorted out I was up and running.

I swatched with 3mm needles, but wasn't terribly happy with the resultant fabric so I went down to 2.5mm needles and just jumped right in, without swatching again. Here's the result:

The construction of the shawl is such that it's very difficult to see the knitting when it's on the needles. The work starts at the centre back and increases four times on each public row (two stitches in from each end, and then with YO, K1, YO in the centre). I like this construction - it's the same as Flirty Ruffles, and Peacock Feathers, both from Fiddlesticks Knitting and both of which I have previously made.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how this project turns out - it's great fun so far. Next clue is due next week - what on earth shall I do in the meantime?

I could go back to work on Rosy Fingered Dawn, who has stalled slightly in all the excitement of the beginning of the Mystery. I suppose working on that will feel like knitting with tree trunks after the teeny, tiny needles of the Mystery.

I could start a bag (yes, another one). I got the yarn:

This is some discontinued Rowan "Polar", which Nicky was just about giving away. How could I resist? The darker colour there is a very deep aubergine and I'm going to put it together with the pale lilac to make another of Emma King's bags from the "25 bags" book. Let's hope I don't run out of yarn - there is no chance of any more! I thought I might make another One Skein Wonder with the green, but it could be too thick. We shall see.

I also bought some other stuff - it was in the sale.

That's some Rowan Wool/Cotton. I haven't really got any project in mind for that, so if anyone's got any ideas...

The odd ball is Wendy "Melody" that I'm going to use to trim a One Skein Wonder I've promised to make for a friend of mine. I think it's about time I started doing some of this stuff, rather than writing about it, don't you?