Monday, July 30, 2007


Well count me a miserable failure - but I will finish, I will!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I just realised I had not published the previous post. I think I was waiting for my camera batteries which have still not arrived.

I have done little more on the Swallowtail but count stitches, and get everyone at my knitting group to count them (everyone came up with a different answer - and none of them the right one!) and try to figure out where the missing stitch has gone (or better still have it magically reappear). With only an hour or so to go of the TdF I think I will smudge it and see whether I can finish it today. I will post a picture of it later today just to stay honest - lets hope it is of it blocking (mistakes and all).

I can't do much else as something has happened to my knees that has practically immobilised me. Could it be old age and over exertion? If this is old age it sucks. Plus, surprise, surprise it is raining.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Uphill Struggle continues

Well I am still struggling with my TdF project the Swallowtail shawl. In the spirit of the competition I refuse to give up but with only 14 rows to go the problems refuse to go away. I can check my stitch count before starting a row to ensure I am on track and by the time I end the row (or usually only get to the halfway marker) I have too few (or too many stitches). What happened to them? I finally finished all the Lily of the Valley borders by sheer persistence. When I concentrated really hard I got a rythm going and I didn't need to frog the second border (just the odd bit of tinking).

However in frustration I started an Aviators Cap as some straightforward relaxing knitting.

And...MY RAVELRY INVITE CAME!!! Lorena was right it is a time sink, I could have spent all night on it. I have started to use my notebook, am nowhere near photoing any of my stash but I am actually beginning to feel a bit organised. Maybe listing all my WIPs will encourage me to finish them. I wonder if they allow unlimited WIPs? Of course looking at all the patterns only encourages me to start more.

Conrad came out of hospital after his third chemo, the end is in sight now. He has finished the new Harry Potter and is sending me a copy since their 2 person household has 3 copies! Having read a spoiler (which may not be true) that HG dies I asked if anyone dies (without wanting to know who) and he said the book was a bloodbath. Makes it sound more like Resevoir Dogs than a childrens book. (I don't really know if RD was a bloodbath since I couldn't watch beyond the first 10 min. I think I am alone of everyone I know in not liking Tarantino's stuff). Well anyway it means my cheapskate ways paid off and I will not have to wait too long before reading it.

I have been trying to put stuff in my Etsy shop but a series of thunderstorms shut me down and then I realised my photos were a bit blurry so I will have to reshoot. I have some really soft laceweight to put on so will post when I've done it. For the time being I am going to put everything in the one shop - Tri'Coterie since it seems a bit pushy to have a shop called Tricot Treat Shop when there is already a Tricot Treat. Incidentally I discovered the other Tricot Treat is on Ravelry and I sent her a message.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Of course

everybody might be reading the latest Harry Potter and the world will come to a standstill for a few days. I am one of those cheapskates who will be borrowing someone else's copy sometime soon I hope. Please don't tell me what happens...

Maybe Tomorrow?

Down to 33!!!

So Near Yet So Far Away

I am now only 103 away from my Ravelry invite and have taken to checking every half hour. Why? Is all the hype getting to me? I feel like a kid at Christmas. It is worth noting that the queue behind me is growing at a faster rate than the invites are happening and is approaching the 13,000 mark. That makes around 20,000 existing and prospective members. Wow, are there that many knitters active on the internet?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Super Fast Post

Luckily I unplugged everything yesterday evening as we had the mother of all storms last night and lost elecricity so the modem wouldn't have stood a chance. I have logged on brieflyto pick up email but must get off soon as the sky is rumbling and predicted to do so for the rest of the day.

Conrad goes back into hospital for his third session of chemo today which is different in some hitherto unappreciated way. Caroline has finished all her exams and is quietly confident that it all went ok. Since Conrad can no longer worry about Caroline he is left with worrying about Conrad like the rest of us. I think his situation has finally hit him and it has been a salutory experience. Although there is no real reason to know how it will all end for years the results so far are bound to make us feel optimistic. He is of the opinion that although the treatment is gruelling he would just as soon battle ahead and get it over with quickly so in only a few weeks he should have finished treatment and can concentrate on recovering.

On the Tour de France front the uphill stages just about sum up my knitting! I am determined to get this Swallowtail Shawl finished but if it wasn't for the challenge of the knitalong I am not sure I would make it. I finished all the budding lace - not without at least as much tinking as knitting and felt I was on the home stretch having reached the borders. Wrong. I was half way through the Lily of the Valley border and was coping with the nupps (despite not having new pointy lace needles) when I realised that nothing seemed to line up and then I ended the row before I ended the pattern. Arghhhh.

With the yarn I have, dark brown alpaca, and the way it scrunches up I cannot see the pattern as I go along. I stretched everything out and it looks nothing like it should. I am in the middle of tinking back to the beginning (I daren't frog). May be I should put in a lifeline next time. I. Am. Determined. To. Finish. This.

Must unplug now, catch you later.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Counting down

Yesterday I checked my position in the Ravelry queue and this is what I was told.

patiently awaiting your invite?
If you've added your name to the invite request list on our front page then you can use this form to check your place in line.
Email address look me up!
Found you!
You signed up on June 1, 2007
You are #6136 on the list.
579 people are ahead of you in line.
10185 people are behind you in line.
33% of the list has been invited so far

This is what they said today:
You signed up on June 1, 2007
You are #6136 on the list.
499 people are ahead of you in line.
10729 people are behind you in line.
33% of the list has been invited so far

So I am getting closer and at this rate maybe I will make it within a week. Interesting to note though that registrations are coming in at such a rate that the proportion of the list who have actually been invited hasn't changed. So if the rate of registration continues there should be more than 12,000 behind me in line by the time I get my invite.

I must admit the suspense is getting to me reading on the blogs of others what a good time they are having once they join.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Le Tour and Secret Pals

I am a bit slow in posting the last parcel from my Secret Pal Amber

I opened the parcel to a lovely rainbow wind spinner, just what I need to bright up these dull rainy days.
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Next up, a gorgeous Green Man card, with lots of detail you can't see because of camera glare, with a sweet little feather.

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Then patterns (including the clog pattern I have been coveting for so long) and an unusual book that looks interesting.

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Oh and Takumi needles - bamboo - short. I love these. A beaded book mark and sweet sheep button.

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Lots of little beautifully scented soaps, incense, an haute couture notepad, koolaid and the loveliest little cat button (it looks more like jewellery).

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And yarn, beautiful yarn. This is so lovely. Probably the loveliest yarn I have ever had. A skein of 100% mohair in sumptuous rainbows and reds from Yarnsmith and over 400 yards of Shimmer from Knitpicks. This is baby alpaca and silk. I have already picked out the pattern for this. If my current lace project works out I would like to try Branching Out

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And the current lace project?

Well when I checked out Amber's blog, I saw she had joined the Tour de France Knitalong. Although Le Tour goes nowhere near us (unlike last year) I felt like I really should join in as I live on French soil.

The uphill challenge of the Pois Rouge jersey seemed an ideal incentive for me to finish the abandoned Swallowtail Shawl. I started this as a Christmas present for my SIL in Seattle (who will be avidly following le Tour). It was my first attempt at lace and I wasn't prepared for the concentration it takes. So it became an abandoned project.

The first challenge was to find it. Then to find out where I was in it. Which turned out to be a row that had the wrong number of stitches! Well there is a clue as to why it became an abandoned project. I seem to recall frogging more than I knitted. So I tinked back 3 or 4 rows until I was pretty sure I was on the right track. Since then I have knitted and tinked a couple of times. This is where I am at the moment. It looks a bit like a screwed up scrap of yarn. I am trying to have faith that blocking will bring out it's beauty.

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The latest updates on my son just get better and better. When he was recovering from his last bout of chemo they had to redo one of his blood tests because the recovery rate of his white blood cells seemed improbably good. They had doubled since the previous day. However the redone test showed they had doubled once again! He is bouncing back much faster than any of the doctors thought probable. He is still suffering the side effects of all the treatment and is pretty washed out but really the news couldn't be better. So thanks for all your positive thoughts and good wishes, every one helps and it certainly has here.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Couple of Quandries

Well Conrad is back in hospital. He had to have transfusions for his extremely low platelet count and then he got an infection (at least his temperature went up and so they assume he has). Although it is much nicer being at home he is being very philosophical about it and taking the long view. i.e. in a few months he will be finished with it all.

I have a couple of quandries and could do with some advice.

Quandry 1

I have stuff to put up for sale on Etsy. I have 2 shops Tri'Coterie which I use for commercial yarn (Colinette and Recycled Sari Silk) and Tricot Treat Shop which I was going to use for handmade stuff. When I set up Tricot Treat Shop some time ago there was already a shop called just Tricot Treat, which was sad but it seemed to be unused so I thought what the hell (I was also feeling pretty unimaginative at the time) and called mine Tricot Treat Shop.

Now I actually want to use the thing I find that Tricot Treat is in action and selling cool hand dyed yarn and stuff. So I don't know what to do. It is all so confusing especially as the one thing you cannot change in Etsy is the name of your shop. Maybe I should just stick everything in Tri'Coterie.

What do you think?

Quandry 2

It is real odd reading foreign blogs (non-european) and hearing about hot summer weather. We are having rain, rain, wind, rain, thunder, rain - you get the idea.

Along with all of this comes slugs.

Now I like to try and see the bright side whenever I can and although I will do my best to rid myself of the pesky devils I keep wondering if they have some redeeming feature. Now snails you can eat (not that I think I would but I am living in France here) but it is really stretching the imagination to imagine a slug recipe.

They are terrorising me. Eating whatever I plant. Sneaking up on the cat food at night. Leaving ominous silver trails for me to find in the morning (I do not feel inclined to walk barefoot in the dark at the moment). When I find them they are not titchy little things but well fed, looking like they could understudy for Jabba the Hut.

So can anyone tell me if slugs have any redeeming qualities?

Back now

Well I finally finished the Bristol City fingerless gloves for Conrad (not that he will be going to a match for a while). I sent them off with the bag I knitted for his partner , Caroline, and they got them earlier in the week. When I spoke to him he said Caroline loved the bag but he found the gloves 'scary'! Here I was thinking that handknits were all trendy again - well obviously not for some young men.

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It reminds me of being at school when everyone had a commercially knit yellow jumper for hockey (now that is a vicious game) and my mum hand knit me one. I was mortified. I guess from some points of view it looks terribly old fashioned. I am relieved though that he is able to tell me without any beating about the bush. How many times have you bought some luscious yarn, picked what you thought was the perfect pattern, invested hours of time in a present for someone special; they thank you, make all the right noises and you never see the item again? Much better to knit for someone who will really want your gift (this probably means knitting for another knitter). Still even better would be if they gave you clues for next time like "that's nice but I would really love a ...". Trying to think up the right thing is the hardest. Still he appreciated the card I sent with it...

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I hope Caroline wasn't just being polite.

I didn't get anywhere near finishing the sheep glove puppet for my SP so I made a knitting needle case instead. I love it. It was hard to part with it.

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I used a cat fabric as my SP (who I want to reveal but it doesn't seem right until her parcel arrives) has just become a mum to two gorgeous cats.

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I also dyed her up some sock wool as she is into fuschia and orange at the moment. This is 100% Blue Faced Leicester and so soft.

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I decided to make a needle case for my dpns as I keep losing them. Even the cats love it.

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