Sunday, October 23, 2005


Oh my, what a weekend - I took myself off to the SECC for the Hobbycrafts knees-up (the main stitching one is in March each year) to meet up with the sublime Yvonne again and volunteer for the Knitter-Natter stand where knitters suck people in with siren-call promises of free yarn and lessons in knitting.

So for a show that isn't the main stitching show, and some have slagged off (so I hear) for offering little to the general knitter, here are just a couple of offerings...

T A J Crafts

What you can't see are all the gorgeous books and Alchemy yarns and Kaalund skeins and Lion Brand and needles and buttons and ...... How the heck these people managed to get so much gorgeousness into such a small space I do not know - it was heaven. Yes, I did buy a few little things, ahem (churlish not too, if they have come all this way).

Then in the show there was also Mo Bair.

This photo doesn't do justice to the stand - those skeins were screaming "take me home, take me home, take me..." So naturally I did. The yarns are delectable - the feel and the colours are heavenly, I bought enough of a bobbly, hand dyed, brown-toned mohair to knit a simple wrap from Wrap Style by Allen and Budd (Interweave Press, isbn 1931499918), all I can say is that the yarn is divine.....

Oh, but I was there to work and yep, there was even some of that too (in between the cheese stand and the fruit cordial stand and the roasted nut stand and the curry sauce stand and the home made jams/preserves and ....)

"Knitter - Natter" (Sunday 23rd October)

This of course there is the chance to meet other knitters and (soon to be knitters), it is the volunteer stand, manned by hardened and shameless yarn-junkies. It was a total blast and in there teaching two eager little chicks is the supreme Johanna - Lord alone knows how many people she has now taught to finger knit. During the show she began to finger knit a scarf that grew each day - until the final day it measured over 35m - so if there is a cold snap, Johanna is all set. All I can say to Johanna is "you are the shiniest amongst the most shiny and may you shine on forever..." (Johanna would understand that). And there on the right at the close of show is the finger scarf snaking off into the distance.....

I don't know who these two scary women below are - but they volunteered and I am told (by reliable sources) that you never - and I mean NEVER get between them and a little skein of something from MoBair or TAJ Crafts - NEVER. They are smiling in the photo but two minutes later after some serious fur-flying over those balls of yarn they were both completely bald and sobbing in seperate corners over a ripped ball band.

Oh all right then, this is what I bought - but it was all yarn-rescue stuff. I knew it had to go to a good home so my purchases were an act of yarn-kindness that all knitters would understand. We are talking Alchemy, we are talking Kaalund, we are talking Mo Bair - we are talking hide-it-quick-in-case-the-husband-sees-it (its o.k - he doesn't read my blog).

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Having been exploring some of the knitting blogs I admire, I came across this Google search on Clementines Shoes... take the first five sites of "your name and needs"...

So taking the first five sites of "Juliet needs" from a Google search I get:

Juliet Needs YOU
Juliet Needs sex!
(wrong, Juliet actually needs more yarn and more space to put it)
Juliet Needs to be in bed
(wrong again, Juliet needs her favourite knitting chair vacated and a nice cup of tea)
Juliet Needs to find the way to release him before the chaos gets out of hand
(Juliet suspects that releasing him, whoever he is, will only add to the chaos - that is pretty sexist but it is a general truism around here)
Juliet Needs court bilingual interpreters
(I do???)

I never knew I had such an exciting life, I just wish I was there when it was all happening.

My husband on the other hand

Trevor Needs to start a RCMB generator fund
Trevor Needs to Pay $2
But Trevor Needs his own thread
Trevor Needs to show how residential density is affected by each of the three options…
Trevor's Needs change and we just change with him

I do quite like this one which just missed out - Trevor Needs this sense of strangeness (that must be me!!!) . I need to have a hunt to find out if we are compatible, but there isn't a lot of common ground there at first glance.....

However if I were being a bit more realistic, the phrase would go "Juliet should"...

Juliet should make an excuse
Juliet should meet him
Juliet should marry
Juliet should not have lied to her parents
Juliet should have replied briskly

all quite possibly true.

And finally, Juliet did... a hoodie in her own design in Kidsilk Haze, which looks a little wierd laid out like that.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

held to ransom...

Can you read this???
(fresh organic carrots everyday or the PC cable gets it)

Someone has nibbled though the Broadband cable. We are not sure who - but this appeared on the kitchen notice board, suggesting an inside job. The husband has pointed the finger at the rabbit (is that libellous?) although I doubt the rabbit can reach the board and if - as the husband claims, the rabbit is as thick as mud, then it is highly unlikely he would post a ransom note with all the letters selected from The Independent. Personally, I suspect the husband, he is deeply jealous of Theophilus afterall, and this could be a stitch-up. Would a rabbit with a face like this really do such a thing?

It is much more likely to be the husband as he is not competing as successfully as he once did for food around here (something to do with slowing down due to his advanced age – 41). Still it was only the broadband cable (which can be replaced) – it could have been yarn……

I have just realised in the last week or so, that my non-knitting-expectant-fellow-kiwi friend is about 6 months along and all I have knitted is one wee cardigan. What sort of knitting friend does that make me? So all projects have been flung to one side to knit a teddy to add to the cardigan - two things makes it officially a collection as far as I am concerned. Lil' Ted is sitting next to my Ted who is modelling a scarf knitted by my non-knitting sister - isn't that just gorgeous, the colours are like paua shell and I cried when I opened the parcel (and then slept with the scarf under my pillow for the next week - is that too much information?).

Lil' Ted Yarn: Felis trends by Adriafil, shade nr 10.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Socks are GO!

The socks are fini! Theophilus is just inspecting - a rabbits' quality approval is all important in our house. I used to curse the fact I had these short fat trotter-like feet, but now having knit a pair I realise I am truly blessed - well at least it means with my very short attention span I actually finish them both. I still however dream of long slender feet that look fabulous in winkle-pickery type shoes and wistfully gaze at the slender gazelle like legs of the daughter, she will never have problems zipping up boots over her pins. Knitting is having a big slow-down this week due to half term and the fact that three treasures are in-house and I am on almost constant kitchen duty as it is raining with typical West of Scotland thoroughness. I am not necessarily feeding the treasures you understand, more guarding the remains of the recent shop run (yesterday). The thing about 12, 11 and 10 years olds is that they are like aphids - they are voracious and nothing much seems to stop them and they hunt either in packs or singly and even at night. I am worn out with fending them away from the cupboards and barricading the 'frig. Despite my valiant efforts I can see another big shop on the way home from work tomorrow. Hell - if you believe it exists, is (at least I reckon) a recently re-organised supermarket where you know its all there and you have to get it in a hurry, but you are absolutely D***ed if you can find it, sigh....

This is the next project....

(Solveig Hisdal - Poetry in Stitches, isbn 8251784352, page 140). Kit from Nordicfibrearts.

This has been sitting in my official knitting pile for a while (that would be the pile the husband knows about). So far as of this evening, I have managed to cast on the 280 stitches on circular 2.5mm and progress as far as the hem and picot edging. I should be finalising a teaching session for Thursday when I take 6 hardy souls for an afternoon of literature searching and critical appraisal. I would far rather teach them knitting. The photo doesn't do the sweater justice - it is totally scrumptious and I will be thinking about it all tomorrow as I head off to a meeting regarding the ins and outs of repeating our joint NHS Trust journal subscriptions at Inverclyde.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Oh autumn should be the season of mellow fruitfulness, however up here in bonny Scotland (at least on the western side) it is usually not. Don’t get me wrong, we have our days of bright clear weather when the place glows with an intensity of stained glass. But really autumn to this neck of the woods means dreich. Which is exactly as it sounds - sort of “dreek” but with a lot of phlegm at the end… “dree-eghkkkkk...” as if you are spitting the soggy drizzly weather out with distaste. Still at the weekend, this was a brief interlude of something bright and sunny, so number three and I headed off to Stirling to do the "messages" – which is what locals call grocery shopping or any other shopping that is necessary as opposed to the other sort. Stirling can be a bit of a grim place down in the city centre – new shopping mall with every chain store and chain-smoking poverty on the streets, but up in the old town there are marvels to be had. For instance Mars Wark – a huge town house up near the castle built in the late 1500s for the Earl of Mar.

Then slightly lower down is the Cowane Hospital – built 1630-40s by John Cowane. I love the inscription above the hospital door – “…for the entertainment of decayed gild breither”. Note, there are no wives of these decayed breither in the gild mentioned – they were probably at home silently fuming as they paired socks or whatever as their menfolk entertained their decaying selves. I think it is proof if ever proof were needed that man-flu has been around a long time. These men are decaying dammit, whilst the women are carrying on as usual. Things just don’t change.

I have finally finished the baby cardigan for my friend the expectant-non-knitter. I have spent a pleasant hour in the kitchen making Fimo buttons but now can’t decide which ones look best, still as I was waiting for the Fimo to bake I found some Rowan Kid Classic in the perfect red for some bootees/socks to add to the outfit. The husband as I was pootling came and peered over my shoulder and sighed – and then inquired as to whether or not I was regressing back to childhood just a little, the answer to that is heck NO! Some of us have never left it (and do not intend to). Even at the ripe old age of 41, I am still surprised each morning when I wake up and realise I am not 8 anymore (or maybe I am inside still).

Finally, I have cast on and even progressed a little with my slouch socks – in winter I get such cold feet that they wake the husband up when I put them on him to thaw them out when I go to bed (and I thought it was a man’s job to provide the warm bod to do this smallest of tasks). So, I have found some nice bright yarn to knit some good thick bed/sofa-slug socks to mooch about in, now this (and the mug of something hot and calorie laden) suggest the nights are finally drawing in. Isn't that the perfect mug for a librarian? No one knows who's body it might be......