Thursday, 22 November 2007

There's a man at my window and I'm on the first floor!

This has been the year when everything broke. From the freezer to the dishwasher to the sink to the ominous springs in the mattress. This week the roof decided to let us down. It had rained heavily and the sound of water dripping in the kitchen made my heart sink to my mouse filled boots. If I tell you that our kitchen is an extension and the dripping is between the new and old bits of the house in the walls, then you will know how sunk I am. Hence the face at the window. The local roofers are on the case, they should have started yesterday but apparently they can't fix leaks if it is raining. Hmmm. The good news is that the damage is minimal and should be fixed today.

The weather has been truly awful so there has been a lot of lying about a la Magnus. I'm on sleeve two of the Vogue Sweater and Nell's thing that involves roaring is coming along nicely. The Twist Fibre Craft shop was on my to do list this week but that was derailed on account of the dripping. Luckily they do very quick mail order and a parcel of fleece and dye should be in the post. I have been gazing at Pi Shawls on Ravelry and I feel an itch in my DPNs. Maybe after the big handspun wrap that has already been planned I will start spinning for a shawl. The dyeing is brand new to me and I don't know whether to colour the Wensleydale fleece tops or spin and then dye. Any advice? I have a leaning towards dyeing the fleece and then blending when spinning but I could be persuaded either way.

The mouse filled boots were actually a single shoe. I came upon Magnus in our storeroom with a paw inside one of my trainers and having lured him away with the promise of milk, I checked inside only to find a harvest mouse. This fellow was unharmed and hanging on by the paws to my shoe. He was taken outside and persuaded to stay under the shed until Magnus had forgotten about him. He should be fine, which is more than I can say for the bird that went behind the washing machine on Tuesday, but that's another story!

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Noggin Problems

It's been very quiet here at Mog Towers. The only thing of note to report was a medical first, although not one I'd recommend to anyone else. I had a six day migraine which left me lingering under the duvet for most of the week. The doc tells me it was a cluster migraine and she has given me very strong pills in the event of it ever coming back. I spent many hours spinning and trying not to feel pain. The spinning worked out well though. The fleece I was using is pretty close to the colour these sheep are wearing in a photo my father took on one of his weekly walks. Next time I'm going to ask him to carry shears.

I'm almost at the end of the first sleeve of Archie's 1960 Vogue sweater and the anxiety is creeping in. It's a funny one, the sleeve is shaped and then a saddle of 24 stitches is knitted to the same length as the back shoulder and when sewing up occurs, it will be sewn between the front and back. The back shoulder measurement seems to be longer than the front due to neckline shaping and I'm a little unsure as to how it will turn out. I've seen similar patterns and I'm hoping that when I come to the sewing it will all miraculously make sense.

A glorious thing making no sense whatsoever has returned to UK telly. The third series of The Mighty Boosh started on Thusday. I'm not going to try and explain the allure of this show, just have a look at and see if it makes you laugh. Most of our family are in love with Noel Fielding, seen here on the right wearing lightning.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Hurray, I can have a bath!

This post celebrates the end of possibly two or three months of bathroom disturbances. First the leak from our sink onto the neighbour's ceiling. Then up came the floor, then down came a bit more of the neighbour's ceiling as the soggy insulation was scooped out. Then the insurance guys, then trips to choose new flooring and phone calls to plumbers. This week saw Archie make beautiful tongue and groove panels for the bath and paint the walls before the lino man came yesterday. Now it is all over and I can wallow in my bath without worrying about not having a floor, a functioning sink or angry neighbours!

I have been spinning some leftovers this week. In my enthusiasm, last time I was at the Twist Fibre saloon I bought Icelandic fleece instead of merino. It is too scratchy for my tender flesh so it will eventually be felted into a bag. Till then I have been having fun with the mixing up of colours and spinning. It is easier to spin than merino which I'm putting down to the coarseness of the fleece. I would never have put those colours together without the benefit of serendipity but I'm pretty pleased with the results. Note the lone Christmas stocking in the photo, I think this should have been sent to a deserving child last year. So much for forward planning.

I have also been working on Nell's thing that involves roaring. It is coming along nicely and will be photographed in due course. I have been completely avoiding Archie's 1960 Vogue jumper and I think it is because once it is finished I'll have to SEW IT UP. Last time I tried that was the disaster that became the Placed Cable Aran. Fear is the greatest aid to procrastination. I will persevere - Face the sleeve and do it anyway!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

A new face in Knitting Headquarters.

More of an old face really, but a welcome addition to KHQ . This is my maternal grandmother, Eleanor, possibly taken at her nursing graduation. I'm not sure of the date and I'm counting on someone to be more specific. I have the worst memory in the family, Tom my brother knows everything - every time, date and event in our childhood whereas all I can remember are little flashes of recollection, like the smell of hot water in the bath, or the fear of mantraps in the park on Bonfire Night. In defense of the Bonfire organisers of Inverness, the likelihood of mantraps was very slim. That wasn't what the bad boy in my street told me though and I was only about 4 and a half. I managed to lose the sausage out of my hotdog that night too, I was looking down, checking for traps and lost my grip on the bun. That's how family legends are born. The same horrible boy told me that the planes flying overhead were German bombers aiming for my house and the sound of flight still makes me shiver.

Anyway, on to my grandmother, the reason she fits so well in HQ is that she was the first knitter I knew. I have vague memories of her teaching me, in fact, she is the only teacher I remember at all, but the right hander/left hander divide made things a bit tricky. I have better memories of receiving knitted gifts like the huge rainbow cardigan that kept me warm in many a heat starved student flat. We have old copies of cine film and video and there is some great footage of my Gran sitting in her living room surrounded by guests, knitting away on a neckline with four needles, no notes and no pattern. I have a lot to live up to. It is lovely to look up from my own knitting and see her beside me.

Another much younger spirit has been on my mind this week as well. Three in the morning on Monday found me awake with the sick feeling of something forgotten about. I made a cup of tea and settled down in the living room with the laptop and Ravelry, the insomniac's friend. Looking through the knitting projects of complete strangers helped remind me that I had an important job outstanding. Christmas gifts for Nell and Esme, the small glorious children belonging to my good friend Gill. This year we have decided not to give presents or recieve them on the understanding that we aren't Christian folk and we don't really celebrate any other religions' festivals and expect to get gifts so why do this one. But Nell, Nell thinks that I am an artist who can make Critters and clothes for Barbies and I can't let her down now. So I am in the middle of a project for her and I have plans for her little sister too, I think Es will need something to be tucked under her arm and cuddled. Nell will get something with a bit of interaction, possibly involving roaring noises. So far it looks like the photo above.......

PIF people, please email me with details of colour likes and adresses and anything else I might need to know. I think you can find my email on the blog profile. Failing that, leave a comment and I'll get in touch with you instead. I have plans for you too!