Sunday, April 22, 2007

More stuff

I keep putting off blogging because I think, "I must take a picture of that first" or "I must wait for that to arrive". And then there's so much to say, it's a bit off putting and you stop visiting other people because you feel a bit guilty about your procrastination.
Anyway I'm fine, and thanks for enquiring. Lots of things have been happening. My 18 year old daughter Ellen flew to Rio de Janeiro on March 28th to go travelling for three months - due to return from Lima, Peru. Before she went it was crazy as she'd left everything to the very last minute, and afterwards I was missing her too much to think about much else.
Before that was TC's birthday. I finished the jumper the night before, and I thought it was fine but he was a bit uncertain about the fit. Then I wet-blocked it and although I was incredibly careful not to let it stretch, it kind of "relaxed" and got about six inches longer, and looser all over.
He doesn't like it, says it feels too big. And if I'm honest he's right. I'm pissed off because I was really careful to measure his favourite jumper, and adapt the pattern etc. I can of course shorten it but I'm not sure he'll want to wear it even then as it is a kind of chunky sloppy-joe-ish style, and so can't quite face the job. Afterwards, I read this in Stitch'nBitch
Here's a legend known to all knitters across the land: it is bad luck to knit a sweater for a boyfriend as it guarantees that the relationship will end...Like most myths, it holds a good amount of truth. If you've spent a month or two working long and hard on a sweater for your guy, only to have him not appreciate it enough or not wear it very often (and this happens all the time), you might catch a lingering resentment and wind up dumping the ungrateful lout. The theory, I suppose, is that if you're married to the guy and make him a sweater he never wears, you're still stuck with him.
Perhaps one day - maybe before next winter - I will feel inspired to try and fix it. If not I guess I could find someone who does like it, or put it in the washing machine and cut it up to make felt bags or something ...
I had another failure with this shawl but in the opposite direction. It's got a lace panel down the middle, which you can just about see, and I love the yarn (from handpainted yarn), but I knitted it on too small needles so it doesn't drape properly - it falls off.
I haven't finished the second sock yet, but I haven't abandoned it. And I'm still working away at my Colinette jumper, which is a real delight to knit because it's so simple and I so love watching the colours pass by.
I made a decent-sized dent in my stash when Rose, my older daughter, asked for yarn for her 22nd birthday last month. So I've been busy replenishing. I was down in the south west over Easter, and visited Mandy Wools shop in Wells, a huge emporium of a yarn store. I was fairly restrained - I got some bottle green dk merino by King Cole to go with some cream I've already got - one day to become something stripy. Also some Regia sock yarn, and a couple of small balls of cotton for trying fancy crochet stitches.
I've also been visiting Jannette's on ebay, where she's doing a great deal on Debbie Bliss silk and alpaca dk. I've never tried a really luxury yarn before so this was a bit of a revalation. I'm trying a simple lace pattern for a scarf but I'm a bit puzzled by it.
It's diagonal, so you move along a step for each right side row. At one stage a k2tog moves from being the first stitch in the row to being the last. So you effectively shift two stitches along, which means the diagonal lines go out of alignment every 16 rows. As a lace beginner I don't know whether this is a mistake in the pattern, or normal.

I also paid another visit to the irresistable handpainted yarns, and bought some lovely stuff including sari silk. You pay a flat rate shipping price of $12, so it makes sense to get a decent-sized parcel! (Well that's my excuse. I love their yarn, and the prices, but feel uncomfortable about the air-freighting)

Despite the setback with the birthday jumper, and the shawl, I'm generally feeling quite good. My shoulder is much much better - I can even do up my bra strap if I stretch it down a bit. I've put on half a stone, but actually a lot of my clothes fit me better now than they did before so I don't mind too much. And I've got a new haircut. This picture was taken by me with a £14 web camera which I'm going to be using when I start a remote class in Georgian (the language) next week.

We had a really lovely Easter weekend in my friend Catherine's family's holiday house on Dartmoor. She's a very keen walker and took us out every day for wonderful walks. One day we went to Ashburton. I walked into a second hand bookshop, and laid out on display on the table by the door were these.

The Kaffe Fassett book is interesting but the designs are very 1980s and way over the top for my taste. The mindful knitting book though has been a revelation. I'm now trying to put all my attention on making each stitch (which I certainly need to do with the lacey scarf anyway) as a way of occupying the present moment - as opposed to being constantly pre-occuppied with something else like what x said to y, what I need to do next week, etc.
Sorry this post has been such a long haul, and thanks for reading this far!