Sunday, December 31, 2006

Just some things to share.

My favorite card.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This a picture of the bookcase in the kitchen of friends David and Gloria in deepest Somerset (not far from Glastonbury for all the international readers). This is the card they sent the year before:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It is the bookcase the other side of the door in their kitchen. David is an artist and expert on 3d photography who runs a business making 3d cards. Gloria is a much sought after karmic astrologer (she does 3+ readings a week and last time I asked the earliest she could book someone in was a year ahead!). These photographs evoke lots of special memories and time spent with friends in their kitchen. It makes me feel so homesick.

Today my son sent me photographs of his partner Caroline wearing the One Skein Wonder I sent with her Christmas present. I am somewhat ashamed to admit this was a late birthday present - her birthday was 28th August!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This was knit with Colinette Prism in Blue Parrot and if I remember rightly I only resorted to the second skein in the cast off row.

My son hasn't said yet what he thought of his present and I hesitate to ask these days. That is ever since the birthday when I thought I had got him something he would absolutely love. He loves wolves and I had found just the best wolf T shirt. When I saw him a few weeks later I asked him whether he liked it thinking it strange he had said nothing. Bear in mind we were in his flat and he had friends round. He looked strangely at me and said that he had loved the T shirt and that he had also loved it when I got him the exact same T shirt 9 months earlier for Christmas. At this point he produced the 2 identical T shirts thus confirming to his friends what he had probably been trying to tell them for years - that his mother was senile!

He bought us games for Christmas a racing game and flight simulator for Keith on the Game Cube and more traditional logical games for me on the Nintendo DS. Our dark side. How well he knows us.

Tying up loose ends

I have spent the day trying to finish all those things that might stop me starting the new year afresh. So I have balanced all the accounts and replied to emails and caught up with secret pals. It will let you know how far behind I was if I tell you it has taken all day.

So now it is time to catch up with the blog. So first off many, many thanks to my
SP9 pal. Two parcels arrived this week.
First we have this:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Lots of goodies, like a linen blend yarn, cardmaking kit, quilting magazine, bag handles, Gypsy Tea Earl Grey a little book of knitting wisdom. This pal has been reading up on me! I love all of it but most of all I love this:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Is that cute or is that cute? It should be the sign on my blog. And it has a black cat!

Two days later I had another parcel from her:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

More yarn - this time Rowan woollen tweed DK ( I am thinking something felted but no idea what yet). A box of things that say they are wine glass markers but you and I know they are stitch markers. Disappearing chocolate. A purple notebook with handmade paper and a darling purple cat. Now this cat is so me that it so happens I already have one! So I introduced them:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

They like each other! Just as well since they will spend the rest of their lives together.

Fish, our largest black cat (we have 4 black and one grey cat) decided to cuddle up with them.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

So thank you Secret Pal for a great week.

What about my progress on the UFO's? Well I frogged some and after an excruciating attempt at trying to finish an almost finished crochetted shawl I decided to leave the few crochet projects I have until the summer when maybe my hands wont hurt. Tomorrow I hope to have a full update of UFO's to include in my New Years Determinations.

I did finish the Silky Chic Panache poncho.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It was a commission for the daughter of friends Rachel and Gregoire.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Here they are looking rather tired from the endless work of running a restaurant at Christmas/ New Year. Rachel recently started blogging and she is well worth a visit if you are interested in France or restaurant life. She has an unerring eye for the little eccentricities of the locals in a small village which she reports with affection and humour.
Vas voir.

This is a something of a bitty post as I try to finish off 2006 so here is a picture of my stall at the last Christmas Market I did at Ambrieres-les-Vallees.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It was a bit moist but luckily did not rain. It is the only outdoor market I did after the summer and I do not want to do another I was so anxious about everything getting wet. I now have to reorganise everything, try and get more on to Etsy and make sure everything stays dry.

I had started knitting the Swallowtail Shawl from the Fall 06 Interweave Knits.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It is the first time I have knitted lace as such and at the moment it doesn't look much. However I am encouraged by all those who say lace only comes alive after it is blocked.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And just to finish this post a pic of (what I have to put up with - this is supposed to be struck through but I can't find where to do that - help?) mothers little helper.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Time Warp

I seem to have been in a time warp for the last couple of weeks. I can't believe it is more than 2 weeks since I last posted since it is always top of my 'to do' list! Of course this might have something to do with weeks of sleepless nights. I have never had trouble sleeping before and there seems no obvious reason for it. Coupled with my (admittedly not completely out of character) disorganisation and general cluelessness I have come to the conclusion that this might be the change! Oh what fun.

Still I can still knit and in the spirit of trying to keep to some of the years determinations I am going to see how many UFOs I can demolish before Jan 1st. I currently have somewhere in the region of 25. I am not going to deny myself the pleasure of starting new things, I just want to finish some too. On verra.

I hate posting without pictures but next time will do. I was happy to see pix of the One Skein Wonder I made for Daisy so you can look at that if you want.

Have a good time tomorrow everyone, we are going to have a blissfully quiet time.

Friday, December 08, 2006

How Fetching

I have been knitting Fetching.

I tried it in the recommended yarn - Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and just love the yarn, so soft and washable too. However I didn't like the picot cast off as it seemed to make it saggy at the top, so I tried just casting off straight in size larger needles (in my case 4mm as I had knitted in 3.5mm). It was still a bit saggy for my liking. Version 2 are the purple ones in Cashmerino DK knitted on 2.75mm (my beloved Brittany 5 inch DPs). According to the
Fetching KAL these should make a childs pair but all my friends who tried them on felt the purple ones were a better fit than the green ones. Maybe I just know people with small hands... I cast off in K1P1 rib on 3mm needles to try and reduce the sagging even more.The cream angora ones are knitted from some lovely Jaeger Angora I got in a swap from Amber and have turned out the nicest so far. I thought they were too short after the thumb opening as I prefer them to cover the knuckles so I added an extra cable repeat and stopped 2 rows after that (instead of 4) while the cable still pulled it in a bit to further reduce the sagging and then cast off straight without changing needles. I think this is the final modification. So I am now on to pair 4 in bright turquoise angora - Patons Fuzzy Wuzzy - I swear this yarn must be 30 years old as I have had it for about 10 years and the box it is in is labelled in 'old' money (pre-decimal). Since I believe decimalisation arrived in 1972 that makes it at least 34 years old (unless it was reboxed?). Still it feels as good as new and I am hoping that some little girl will like them this Christmas if I ever get round to shipping them, as these really do seem to have turned out child size.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

In France mittens are les moufles and les mitaines are fingerless mittens. Talking of mittens have you seen the absolutely gorgeous ones that
Eunny has just designed? I so want to try these. Maybe I will get the pattern for Christmas?

Anyway I have been doing some other mitaine knitting. In the Warm hands, warm heart swap my partner was Amy and I knit her some fingerless gloves in Colinette Tagliatelli a merino wool ribbon yarn. I also started a pair of really long ones for myself. This is from 2 skeins of Tagliatelli in Jamboree that I had from frogging a loose top that I knit ages ago and never wore. I used much smaller needles than those recommended (4.5mm) and the result is a really dense velvety texture that I really like. It is knitted in 2x2 rib which adds to the elasticisty. I think I am going to like them.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Also on the needles is a commission for the daughter of a friend. She wanted a poncho and picked out the pattern herself. She chose the
Panache Poncho a rather sophisticated choice for an 8 year old - but then she is french. The yarns she chose are pictured here, Colinette Silky Chic in Lapis and Florentina and Giotto in Fresco just to add a bit of a spine and stop it being too saggy

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The mitaines I really, really want to knit are the
Mermaid Gloves. They are beyond beautiful. I had been musing for sometime that the pattern on the Pomatomus Socks would make lovely gloves and of course someone had already done it! So they are top of my New Year Determination list. Talking of which I need to review which of this years determinations still need some attention (or abandonment!) I like to start composing a list at Solstice and write it down at New Year (this year it turned out to be Chinese New Year!) So who else will post their 2007 Determinations?