Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Ten Random Things

I am a big fan of Annie, a lovely lady who blogs as Knitsofacto.  You may ask how I can be so certain about her character if I only know her from her blog (and you would be right) well it is because she has responded to every comment I make on her blog.  Sometimes she will make a comment here and, once when I asked her a technical question about Blogger, she e mailed me the solution.  How kind is that?

Recently she has written  a couple of posts with the title 10 Random Things and in her post on Easter Day  invited other bloggers to do the same - so here we go...

1. I'm delighted to accept Annie's invitation as I was wondering what to blog about this week

2. I am prone to Arthritis in my hands and it terrifies me  that I could, one day, not be able to knit or sew

looking after the tools

3. I love travelling, despite having a panic attack at the airport/eurostar station almost every time I set out.

How could I miss this? (Aphrodite's rock in Cyprus)

4. I have bouts of compulsive tidiness, folding linen in the airing cupboard with folds all facing the same way and hanging clothes in my wardrobe by category

folded (the wardrobe is going through a messy phase)

5. I buy far too much makeup but hardly ever wear it!

too much?

6. In my garden I have several plants grown from cuttings that I have stolen from parks and open gardens (my mother always said this was OK as long as no damage was done to the main plant)

The mother plant

7. For lent this year I aimed to walk 10,000 steps a day, drink more water and stop snacking (80% achieved) Next year I'm thinking of giving up sugar


8. I have known my husband for 42 years (married for 37)

JTH sharing a photo with one of my favourite interiors

9. I have a tendency to over commit (to projects, organisations and work) until one day I come to a full stop and retreat into my burrow for weeks on end

three current WIPs (not counting those in the cupboard) and about to begin another

10. when following instructions (knitting, sewing cooking, you name it!) I go off piste with very variable results

frogging the last experiment!

Random facts, anyone?  If you decide to accept Annie's challenge please let me know (a link to you blog in  the comments here will be good).



Sunday, 18 May 2014

Day 7! Looking back and forward - Ten Things

Looking back?  This time last year I did not join in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, but I can remember how things were.  I was feeling pretty blue and just marking time.

Looking forward? There has been no lightening bolt moment and I still only have a vague idea what I will do in the next year but I do feel positive and happy about the future and it will involve my new studio (and in the short term I plan my own personal Blog Week telling you all about all the lovely things I have created to go in there).  However at the suggestion of a fellow knitting blogger Knitsofacto here are ten random things that I might or might not achieve in the next year.

  1. I will make at least one sweater, one shawl, a pair of mittens and an afghan/wall hanging ALL FROM STASH
  2. I will learn how to spin, properly
  3. I will not ever work at something that makes me unhappy (or involves a boss!)
  4. I will spend more time with my family, on their terms (i.e. when they want, not when it suits me)
  5. I will relax...
  6. I will have one last go at publishing the two half written books (one is about knitting)
  7. I will explore the possibility of other people coming to my studio - perhaps for lessons and certainly just to hang out
  8. I will travel (even) more
  9. I will take more exercise
  10. I will grow more vegetables and I will cook more creatively (that is stop treating all the books I have on food and cooking as though they were just novels)

Sooo look out for Day 7 of next year's Knitting and Crochet Blog week



Saturday, 17 May 2014

Day 6 "Write about a knitter or crocheter you admire"

My first thought - Elizabeth Zimmernan!  It would have to be her.  Wonderful elegant writing style, serious commentary on knitting, innovative designer and loads of practical knitting advice (did you notice I put style at the top of my list? Significant? No?)

But that would be a thesis not a blog post and toady is a special family day.  The day in the year when my brother and I with our spouses spend the day together, eating a good lunch, wandering some London gallery and end the day at the Theatre.  We meet at many other occasions, with some or all of the seven children, their partners and four grandchildren but this special day is for the four of us, all our birthday and Christmas presents rolled into one.

This year, the first meeting after our father's death I thought of our mother, who died more than four years ago, and her knitting.  She was not an artistic knitter, nor like many of us today did she seek out special designer patterns or indie dyed yarn, her craft was simply practical.  She knitted warm, easy care hats, gloves and sweaters to keep us warm. And she knitted all the time, by the fireside, visiting friends for afternoon tea, in the car (she once eccentrically said the problem with driving herself was you could not knit at the same time) and even on the beach

If I had it, the photograph I would post today is a family group on the beach in about 1960.  We were holidaying a small hotel in Poole in Dorset where we met and became friends with a couple of other guests, a lady and her daughter.  We were all on the beach, my brother, the girl and I making sandcastles with Dad and mum and the lady sitting close by on deck chairs, mum was knitting.  Along came the beach photographer snapping away.  He pointed his camera at our group and said the fatal words...

"Perfect, perfect! No, KEEP KNITTING GRANNY'

My mother was outraged, her hair, like mine had gone white in her 30s but otherwise she never looked her age, in her sixties she looked ten years younger.  But the phrased entered the family lexicon.  Whenever she looked in the mirror and felt she looked tired or her hair was a mess (rarely) mum would exclaim "oh! Keep knitting granny!

I wish I had that photograph still.



Friday, 16 May 2014

She wears it well

Day five of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week and the challenge is to do something different.  While this is a mixture of several things I have done before I have never put them together.  I credit the idea for today's blog to a friend Porpoise Fur who pointed out what a good model Aphrodite is - my only criticism of her is she has only one facial expression.

But she wears a number of my recent knitted objects rather well - no?




Thursday, 15 May 2014

5th annual Knitting and Crochet blog week #4

The Stitch Marker's Rant

I just can't believe that she had never used a stitch marker until she went on THAT COURSE (ED - it was P3) I'm not even sure she had even heard of me and my associates before then either.  Now she collects them

It's not that they are all from Fripperies & Bibelots, just that she likes the cute tins

Although she does have quite a few from F&B

She also has these - very handy for marking a place lower down the knitting as they open like safety pins but don'y have the nasty snaggy, twirly, bit at the end.  They can also be used for marking a dropped stitch or taken out easily when accidentally knitted in - OOPS

One or two are just cute and collectable and don't actually get used

These are her favourites but she only has two.  Once she had four, they were a gift in a yarn swap from a nice lady who lives in Portugal but two are MIA (probably down the back of the sofa, chatting to the odd coin or peanut!)

Thinking they would be good replacements she bought these but pretty as they are they are also pretty useless as they come apart.

OH LOOK!  has she noticed one of her missing favourites has got into bad company and is hanging out with the pretty useless ones??!!

She even tried to make some and learned some valuable lessons.  Stitch markers should have no little sharp bits to snag the knitting, should not be too heavy and definitely should not fall apart ! Chopkins is currently seeking to place them in new employment more suitable to their talents (beauty) and qualifications (none)

Rant over


The Stitch Markers

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Knitting and crochet blog week #3 - Photography day

The instructions are to photograph our knitting in a setting or in a way not done before.

Here's mine

Nest Egg
No fakery - the nest is a collared Dove's, photographed when she took five minutes to stretch her wings.   She comes every year to our garden and raises several clutches of eggs, this is her second this year (I confess, however, she doesn't usually share her nest with my knitting)



Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Day two and hanging on in there

Instructions from Mimi "Write a dating profile for one of your past finished projects"

Are you feeling blue?  Do you need cheering up?

I am seeking a companion.

I'm colourful and affectionate, my antecedents are noble. but I'm no good alone.  I am an excellent travel companion whatever the weather. I can be your arm candy (well substitute shoulders for arm), will keep you warm and cheer you up on a dull day, I seek a mutually beneficial partnership.  Without you I just hang around

Name - Color Affection
Age - 12 months
Origins - Countess Ablaze Dr Donegal
(slightly pretentious) Interests - Classical History

There - I said I would be perfect for you

But I can't promise I will not find other partners equally well matched... a coat perhaps or jacket...


Monday, 12 May 2014

The 5th Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2014 - A Day in The life of...

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week is the idea of Mimi of Eskimimi Makes.  Mimi sets a series of challenges, a topic for each day of the week.  Quite a challenge!  I took part a couple of weeks ago and am going to give it another go this year.  So here we go...

A day in the life of my favourite shawl

It's called Blight -  knitted for a dare, well a KAL actually about 2 years ago.  I knitted fast and furious for nearly week and because I was the fourth to finish I won a prize, a skein of yarn sent all the way from NYC.  I still have the yarn, ear-marked for another shawl but never quite got around to winding the skein and casting on.

The yarn is yarnscape's  beautiful  Wintersea.  I am a tad proud of the shawl it was my first attempt at lace and I wear it often but since I bought this beautiful pyrex shawl pin at Wonderwool

I have worn it constantly.  Even today

WHEN I WAS PAINTING THE BOXES FOR MY STUDIO.  Madness - I am a messy painter, I could have spoilt it, but luckily I didn't.

So this Day in the Life of my Blight was a risky one, but luckily no harm done.



Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Deed store to yarn store

I am a tad over excited, my studio is nearly ready for occupation by my multiple stashes (Yarn, fibre, fabric and Haberdashery!) .  Its all down to me now to get the painting done, some floor laid (well the carpet store will do that but they can't till I've finished the painting) and then I can begin the big move.  A couple of lovely knitterly friends have promised to come and help!.

white for the outside window frames, grey for within and yellow for the work-top

The cupboards are on the walls

 And the shelves are up

And if the shelves and drawers are to enough I have had these deed boxes.  They have been gathering dust and cobwebs in the garage for years

They came from a solicitor's office that was closed down

I wonder who A.M.Feak was?  I once worked with a solicitor who had a deed box with The Maharaja Of Jaipur stencilled on the side, it sat on top of his filing cupboard.  The story was that years ago the firm's senior partner acted for the Maharaja and once a year would travel to India to obtain instructions and carry out the Maharaja's business.

Now that deed boxes have become as obsolete as travelling halfway across the globe to receive clients' instructions, they are going to make very good stash boxes, once scrubbed with a wire brush and painted.  I shall mask off and preserve the makers stamp on this box

I did think I would throw this one away, it has been repaired extensively (the bottom soldered back on) has string to prevent the lid falling too far back and one hinge is broken

But the very fact that it has been repaired so much makes me think that if someone felt it was worth keeping then so should I.

I plan that they will be dressed up in pastel shades with a cotton lining  and hope to show you the finished articles next week.