Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Stash Enhancement

I blame it all on Jackie. She it was who told me of a yarn shop in Droitwich (where?); a yarn shop where the owner was stepping down (though it will remain as a yarn shop); a yarn shop where yarn was going begging; a yarn shop which we could easily reach.

You know what happened, don't you?

This happened:

Six balls of RY Cashsoft. Three light pink, three a darker pink. I don't know what they are going to turn into. At the moment I'm quite happy just to fondle them.

I just couldn't resist this pale pink 100% raw silk - absolutely good enough to eat.

I bought all there was, which turned out to be 200g. 85m/ball. Any idea what I could make with 340m of the most delectable pale pink silk? I just love it.

Finally, I got three balls of Rowan Ribbon Twist:

This, I think, is going to be this wrap from Rowan #38.

Oh, and Droitwich turned out to be a pretty little town with a famous Brine Bath, which sounds horrid but looks lovely.

The cat is still here. S/he (I have no idea - I don't even know where to look) almost got in the yarn pictures but not quite. Next time, maybe.

Many thanks to Daisy for alerting me to the fact that the article about knitting blogs has finally appeared in "Simply Knitting", and that I am featured. I have not yet had the chance to catch sight of it (you may know my views on the ghastly patterns in it) but if anyone sees it, could they just reassure me that I didn't make a complete arse of myself? It's so long since I answered the author's questionnaire that I have absolutely no recollection of what I said.

That's enough for now. Yes, I am back. Yes, I am fine. No, you haven't seen the last of me yet.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'm a real knitter now.

Yes, I've finally made it into the ranks of the "real" knitters - look what I got:

This cat appears to have adopted me. It sits outside the back door; it creeps into the house; it got itself into the outhouse and gave me a right turn when I went in there to get something out of the freezer. I cracked and gave it some milk. I don't suppose I'll ever get rid of it now. It'll have its paw in pictures of knitting next.

And speaking of knitting...(That is why you came, isn't it?) I've finally finished the Kerry Blue shawl. No pictures yet because it looks a bit of a sight at the moment. It will be blocked and photographed shortly.

I've finished the Sari top, made with the yarn from Italy. I'm not so sure I like it very much at the moment - I think the back really is too low and it's incredibly heavy. No pictures of that either. Are there going to be any pictures at all today? Well, yes, there are. Just bear with me.

I went into my LYS the other day, to find that it's gone nuclear. The small wool room at the end (the one where the knitting police apprehended me) has been transformed into a knitting room and all the yarn has gone upstairs and grown by about five times. Nicky wouldn't let me go up there until she could come too. So she could hear my swoons of joy, she claimed. In fact, I just asked her to pass the scissors. Why? So I can snip my credit card in half.

Before I did the snipping I purchased some Louisa Harding yarns to make a scarf/wrap thingie for my sister-in-law.

This is (clockwise from top left) Sari Ribbon; Glisten; Fauve; Kimono Ribbon. Lovely.

Destined to become a scarf/wrap thingie. I saw a pattern (if you could call it that) in a Luisa Harding magazine. I don't really think I need to pay £7.50 so that Louisa can tell me to cast on 40 and work a stripey feather and fan pattern, leaving the Sari Ribbon to make a fringe whenever it crops up. I have winged it. This is what it looks like at the moment, seen from close quarters:

I'm not posting a picture of the finished item because I don't want to run the risk, however slim, that my not-a-Barbie sister-in-law might be looking at this. I also obtained a splendid mother of pearl button from the antique/junk shop in Shipston. The chap in the shop gave it to me - free gratis and for nothing. I've promised to take the finished item into the shop to show him.

Best thing that happened today, though? Nicky had some old Anna Burda magazines for sale at £1 each. I got some beauties:

Isn't that just yummy? We all know that Herbert Niebling had patterns published in Anna Burda. I don't know if this is one of his. To be perfectly honest, I don't really care. All I know is that it is making my fingers twitch. I really, really, really want to get this on the needles, sharpish.

Here's another one:

Lastly, we have a Peacock Feather tablecloth:

Finally, and just to cheer everyone up, I was listening to "I'm sorry, I haven't a clue" on Radio 4 the other day. There's a bit where the contestants have to make up new definitions of ordinary words. One said, "Rambling: jewellery for sheep." I nearly fell off my chair, I was laughing so much.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Italian Yarn

I didn't buy a great deal of yarn in Italy, but I did buy some. I found a sweet little yarn shop in Sorrento and had a good old chat with the owner. She admired my Louisa Harding shoulder wrap but when I asked about ribbon yarn she said it was "filato del'anno scorso" - last year's yarn and therefore not cool enough for your average Italian (knitter or otherwise).

Why did I want ribbon yarn? Well, just before I left I saw this pattern:

Available for free here. I like the swag-like effect at the back - I don't know if I'm daring enough to wear it but I know mother would, so I feel I should give it a go.

The yarn used is S. R. Kertzer's Sari. Yardage is 95m/50g and for my size I would need four balls. This is 380m in total. Gauge is 14sts/24rows = 10cm over garter stitch using 7.5mm needles, but as the pattern calls for both 7.5mm and 20mm needles, I cannot think gauge will be critical.

Anyway, I found something that I thought would work:

Here's the bag, although the yarn is not, in fact Filatura di Crosa - it's made by a company called Bertagna Filati, which I've never heard of.

Here's the pile of it:

and here's a close-up of the ribbon and the jewelled bobble thing (technical term):

Nice, eh?

It's a yarn called "Tulipano" (yes, that means "tulip" - see how easy Italian is? You'll be speaking like a native in no time!) It's 70% nylon, 15% acrylic and 15% cotton. Yardage is 63m/50g (so less than the Sari) but if I need a total yardage of 380m, I need 380 divided by 63, which comes to 6.031746. I have therefore bought 7 balls to be on the safe side.

The shop does have a website but, though I have the address, I can't seem to find it. In any case, I have the phone number so if I do run out of yarn I'll simply telephone and ask her to pop a ball into the post for me.

In other news: I'm still working on the Kerry Blue and it's coming along fine; I'm still working on the border of the Garden Shawl and it's not coming along at all; I'm still working on the Kimono Jacket and there has been no progress whatsoever.

Oh, and I came across this Knitting Beyond the Hebrides Lace Knitting Symposium. Everything you ever wanted to know about lace and more besides - I hope they leave it there and don't take it down at the end of the week! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Happy Blogiversary to me!

I've just realised that it is my blog anniversary. Yes, it's one whole year since I started to bore you with knitting, knitting and yet more knitting.

There have been highs and lows but I'd just like to thank all of you who have been bothered to read what I witter about. I know where most of you are (but not all, so stick a pin in that map in the sidebar, would you?) and I know who many of you are (but not all, so leave a comment why don't you?)

Obviously, I have returned from Italy and we have had a lovely time. Sorrento is delightful and perfectly situated for visiting various places. Capri - beautiful and very expensive; Naples - totally chaotic, the noisiest place on earth though the people were lovely; Pompei - huge, crowded and incredible; Herculaneum - small, intimate, very well preserved.

I didn't manage to buy any yarn in Naples, though I had several addresses. It was just too busy and I didn't really feel I could drag mother on and off buses all over the city.

I did, however, find a sweet little yarn shop in Sorrento itself. Here is the outside:

Just one small window set into the marble facade of the shop. Not a great deal of yarn on display but maybe there would be more inside?

Yes, there was more inside. Mostly novelty stuff - eyelash, thick and thin, shiny, though there was a little plain cotton. But then you know my view of cotton - it's the work of the evil one.

Yes, I did buy some yarn but due to constant picture taking while we were away, all the batteries of the camera are flat. They are charging at the moment and so will be ready for action tomorrow, when I will reveal both what I bought and what I am thinking of making with it.

I leave you with a picture of a mosaic floor in Pompei - if I am not much mistaken, this is the tumbling blocks pattern, as used in patchwork quiltmaking. And didn't Kaffe Fassett design a jumper with this pattern?

Which all goes to show - There's nothing new under the sun.

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