Friday, 26 October 2007

Weddoes and well dressed skeletons

Saturday saw me in knitting heaven at the Twist Fibre Craft shop in Newburgh, Fife. I know that many people in the states go to knitting and spinning conventions and I have seen so many photos of Rheinbeck to make me positively sick with envy. We do things slightly smaller over here. Debbie Bliss had been booked to talk at a fundraising day in a hotel next to the shop but she was poorly and we valilantly made do with a room full of yarn and samples instead. Never have I witnessed so many women stroking themselves with cashmere and angora blends. What a chance to try on samples of garments and see them on people of normal, ie, varied sizes. I spent too much on merino tops as usual and have been spinning like a dervish ever since. I also met a couple of people who read the blog which was a complete surprise ( hello Di ).

My companion for the day was my SIL, Babs and we had fun with woolly stuff while our partners, actually, I don't think I ever found out what they did, I was too busy with the yarn stroking. Anyway, we met up again on Tuesday in Stirling to watch The Wedding Present.
The venue was a very warm, or that might just have been the glow of pride coming from our side of the room. The drummer of the Weddoes you see, is none other than Archie's nephew Graeme, son of Babs and Archie's brother Donald. This meant that we got in on the guestlist and I had permission to take photos. I've always wanted to be on a guestlist ( I know, very sad ) and felt slightly more hip than usual with my special wristband on. The gig was brilliant and reminded me that I should go to see bands more often.

The post this week brought me a very odd prize, my mum enters me into competitions and I know nothing of them till the phone rings, or a letter arrives. So I was a little perturbed to find that I'd won £800 of laser tooth whitening. Luckily the other parts of the prize are more my style - First Class travel to Manchester and a champagne lunch with a jewellery designer who will then make me £500 worth of bespoke jewellery. Hopefully someone else will want a grin like Tom Cruise, or Gordon Brown for that matter, apparently the PM has had his teeth lasered.

We'll miss Halloween in the village this year as we are off to the Highlands, to a cottage near Glen Affric. Lots of yarn, fleece, books, and a real fire. I'll leave you with that image, as well as the scary skeleton that lives in Sylvia's house. You might recognise her as my knitting model. With her wig and lipstick she looks a lot like one of Tom Wolfe's Social X - Rays.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Pssst - Pass it forward.

I've just put a comment on Miss Frugality's blog in the hope of getting a little something in the spirit of Pay It Forward. I don't do swaps or secret pals because I'd hate to sign up to something and forget/run out of steam/money.....

However, I think I can manage three things and it would be nice to send something off into the wild blue yonder. Please bear in mind that if you get picked, there has been a postal strike in the UK and things are still a bit wonky.

Here is the blurb for the PIF.

"I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

It would be great to hear from you.......

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Oh no, early Halloween!

Just realised that if you blow up the picture of KHQ in the last post then Magnus looks like a vampire. Doesn't bode well for household harmony.......

Can Karma work backwords?

Doom happened to me this week. On Monday to be precise. I killed my Placed Cable Aran sweater. I had finished a front, a back, two sleeves and knitted the floppy collar on circular needles and then something slipped in my concentration. I sewed the top of the sleeves onto the shoulder parts - twice. Both tries went wrong. Instead of following my instinct and putting the knitting in a bag till the morning, I kept going. The third sleeve attempt went wrong and as I unpicked the sewing I nicked a stitch and it just unraveled from there. I managed to botch the thing so badly that I couldn't see a way for it to be salvaged. There isn't a photo on the blog so you'll just have to look on my Ravelry notebook. I haven't updated the status from WIP to ITB and yes, that does mean In The Bin. I just hope I can find an emoticon that manages to express the sheer waste of time and effort, not to mention bad language that accompanied the demise of the sweater.

So I was wondering about Karma and what I might have done to deserve this and I've come to the conclusion that Karma works on a different timescale to the rest of the world. You see, I didn't do a really bad thing until today, six days later and boy was it bad.

Readers of the Mog archives will know that what other members of the family call the Spare Room ( or Spare Oom, if we happend to live in Narnia ), I refer to as Knitting Headquarters. Actually KHQ only takes up half of what is an obscure attic shaped 8ft by 30ft space. The other half has always been taken up by blankets, bits of tent and other stuff with nowhere else to go. This week it has been transformed into Writing Central for the sole use of Archie the other half. Archie has spent many many hours fixing up an old computer to use in WC and was almost at the point of success when some stupid woman walked over to the plug and switched it off. Right in the middle of rebooting or something equally important. In my defense, for I was that stupid woman, the plug was in an extension with other plugs and I always switch it off at the wall if I need to re-set the broadband thingummy. I was somehow oblivious to the computer wheezing away next to me and that is how it became the second thing I killed this week.

It took many many many more hours and different disc downloadings and frownings and reading the paper while things loaded and wheezed then the computer coughed back to life. Fingers crossed it is still working. And I am very sorry.

I have sworn off knitting for the rest of the week and concentrated on spinning this Jacobs Fleece from Twist Fibre Crafts. It was a little rough so I think it is destined for a felted bag rather than a garment. In the present state of Karma, I think it's the safest option !

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Spinning and reminiscing.

I left home again last week and moved into Sylvia's for cat/cat/cat/house sitting. This time the dog went to her parents ( Sylvia's parents that is ). I brought some spinning and three different knitting projects and came home with them all unfinished. The cats were fun though. There is a lovely wood burning stove in the living room so I spent most of the time trying to light the damn thing and keep it going.

Lots of family stuff - my big brother came home from California where he lives now and there was the usual round of meeting, eating and catching up. Tom and I also went on a tour of old Fife venues so that he could take photos for his website about Kirkcaldy punk bands. It is a sad case of affairs when at least three of the venues have now become residential homes for older people. So much for Punk's Not Dead. Part of my enthusiasm for the trip was the chance to drop into the LYS and get even more fleece. I came in looking for reds and purples and came out with orange and green. Blame it on the autumn air. I have plans to knit a (possibly lacy ) long rectangular wrap so any pattern ideas would be most welcome. Another advantage was the visit to Pillars of Hercules which is an organic farm and cafe. They do the best cheese toastie ever. We had a great day remembering what it was like to grow up in small town Fife in the 1980's. If you want to know more, have a look at the site at

Knitting Bee last week was a salutary lesson in FINISHING STUFF. I can't emphasise too clearly the sheer horror of the box Helen, one of the Bee-ers brought with her. It was full of unfinished garments, there were hundreds of them, and they all belonged to the same person. Unfortunately this person had died and it fell to her family to untangle all the knitting leftovers. I think it would be fair to say that we all looked into the future and imagined our own families plowing their way through half done jumpers, orphaned socks and fingerless gloves. All of us except Grahame of course, he makes tapestries and always finishes them. You can see one in the left hand corner of the picture. We all went home vowing to finish every last bit of knitting that was hidden in bags all over our houses. It's only fair to those we leave behind.

Talking of fingerless gloves, here are some mittens I knitted with my handspun. They make me feel so smug. Only problem is, we're having a bit of an Indian Summer here and it's far to warm to wear them. I've also been working on Archie's 1960 sweater, only one and a bit sleeves to do so he might get it this winter after all. What was it I was saying about unfinished knitting.........