Wednesday, August 30, 2006

rollin' again

The concert on Saturday went really well. (Maybe next time Alice?) We had nearly 100 people, most of whom didn't know anything about us and had just seen flyers around the neighbourhood. And they seemed really enthusiastic which was great. We made a profit of nearly £400 which we'll be giving to a charity in Georgia.

Ruth aka Woolly Wormhead was my inspiration and guide when I started knitting eight months ago. Not only do I love her hats, but the links on her blog took me to so many places I needed to get to. My second hat was from her Rollin' Beret pattern, but I was a tight knitter back then and it came up too small. So I just knitted a second one in the same size as before, but it came up bigger, presumably because my knitting got looser. TC (the OM) took some pictures of me in it for Ruth's Owners' Gallery and I like them so have stuck one on blogger profile.
I'm struggling with the yarn habit.. I've just moved bedrooms and as a result explored the stash. The thing is I don't really want to have to find space to store any more yarn, so it does make sense to consume what's there, especially as it's all lovely wool. But woke up in the night yearning for a nice warm jumper for the autumn in my current favourite Colinette colour Venezia.
I'm having a go at cables for the first time at the moment, and using some more of the gorgeous merino from Handpaintedyarns on Fetching. I get cold hands when I'm working at the computer in the winter, so these should be really useful.

And to return to the hat subject, this is rather wonderful.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


My elder daughter Rose has been staying this week. One day we went out to the Stour Valley for a walk. The landscape was a bit flat for my taste, but we had a sensational tea at the National Trust teashop at Flatford. And also found lots of wild plums and sloes.
TC and I had already picked 4lbs of blackberries on Walthamstow Marshes and made 2 litres of blackberry whiskey. The sloes are destined for sloe gin. Not sure about the plums - I made pork with plum sauce this week but it hardly made a dent in them. Any ideas?
More hats have also been made, replenishing my winter supply. Berets and cloches seem to be my thing at the moment. I've got quite a few books of hat patterns now, but I seem to prefer looking at the pictures to following the patterns.
The beret on the left is from Noro Iro yarn.
the others are from Handpainted Yarn so they cost about a third of the price to make, though in my view the wool is softer and the colours are just as lovely.
Tonight some friends and I are putting on a concert of songs from the Republic of Georgia. We've booked a local church as the venue, and we got it into Time Out (nothing much else going on in August so they had space) but we've no idea if we'll get an audience. (In case you're at a loose end in north London tonight it's at St Mary's Old Church, Stoke Newington Church Street, N16. Doors open 7.00, concert starts 7.30, tickets £5.) Haven't decided which hat to wear yet...

Monday, August 14, 2006

smokey days

Home from the Voice Camp - our annual singing, campfiring, socialising, sun and moon-enjoying week in Dorset. Made new friends, learnt new songs, and even sold some hats! There is a 90 minute Market in a big marquee once during the week where everyone hauls out their beads, and candles, and home-made cds etc. I sold four hats, and another five at other times during the camp. I also offered to knit someone a hat in a promise auction for Wateraid - it went for £27, but in the event the bidder chose a hat I'd already made and I gave her another to go with it. I found the crochet hats were the most popular - probably because they are denser and hold their shape better than the knitted.
My first customer was Vicky - and here she is in one of the two hats she bought. It was so good to see people wandering round the camp in my hats!
I thought about doing a knitting workshop but someone else had already got it organised. She ran a "late-starters" knitting class and taught several men as well as lots of kids.
But I was no knitting slouch during the week either. Finished a pair of mittens and knitted three new hats. I was pleased with this one - crocheted from Noro Kureyon, pattern made up as I went along.
I bought the yarn before the voice camp in Fishguard - thanks to Kendra for discovering the shop. We had a great week camping in Newport, just north of Fishguard. Did lots of walking on the coastal path as well as hanging around on the campsite in the sun. We also went to the 149th Fishguard Agricultural Show which was really fun - lots of beautiful animals on show but also a massive produce show which included knitting and crochet items. Very inspiring, but unfortunately I didn't have the camera.

Before Pembrokeshire we went to North Wales to deliver the dog to my father and stepmother (no doggies allowed at voice camp sadly). Jean is a very expert spinner (and knitter) and had recently been to a dying picnic with her Spinners and Weavers Guild. I don't know anything about dying (or spinning) but she told me everyone brought something to make a natural dye bath, and made up the dyes in buckets in someone's garden. Then they all were able to use all the dyes to dye their own wool and fleece. Here's what Jean came home with. And here's her spinning wheel and chair, which was made by my dad who is a woodworking genius. (Jean did the seat cushion)

So having made about £100 on the hats at voice camp I feel fully justified in having a big yarn splurge. Very busy catching up with work now but as soon as I can I'll be frantically blog-visiting to see what tasty stuff is being devoured.