Sunday, January 29, 2006

January 29th

Oh, we are a house of woe (when are we not – just pick your type). Dave has escaped – this is bad, it has also meant much hand wringing, I guess we were not the benevolent humans we fondly thought ourselves to be otherwise Dave would not have sought freedom. So now not only are we agonising over the well-being and general happiness of Dave, but also our fitness as a hamster-inclusive family (why didn’t we clock any signs that Dave felt so unhappy and unsupported within the family unit?). We are currently divided into two camps – do we completely uproot furniture that has not been shifted in ages in our quest to find Dave? (which to me suggests inadvertently squooshing sleeping Daves’) or do we just leave his little cage on the floor with little Dave treats inside to tempt him back – or at least to keep him well nourished whilst he is on the skedaddle? (thus, a silent reproach to all in the living room) and what if he doesn’t come back? Anyone with hamster psychology experience please let us know.

In the meantime, we have vacuumed more diligently than ever before – so we can better estimate fresh hamster poo (yikes), doing a whole room with the small nozzle attachment thingy to avoid the unspeakable even in a small house is no mean feat. Come back Dave or at least send us a message (even a little pooky message is fine)….

Dave in happier times (at least that's what we thought)...

Apart from that, I have finished Thistle (had to shorten the fringe a little as otherwise I might need a retinue of little helpers to hold the train as I walk…..) and Tree for baby-yet-to-hatch for my fellow Kiwis holed up near Gartacharn. Somehow a missing Dave takes the gloss off things.

Monday, January 16, 2006

New Years Resolutions’ and all that (or should this be called l-cord limbo?)

Having spent most of December lying low and feeling pathetic as a result of a flu bug that decided it liked our family and wanted to become one of us, my New Years resolutions are probably going to kick in around February time, or maybe later. But having thought about the year just gone I have to admit with a heavy heart that there are those little projects that got away (for the moment) – Thelma the pink Jaeger Fur bunny is still armless and legless – which is not unusual for those enjoying a thorough Hogmannay, though it is stringing it along a little bit. The pink socks for Madam are still on the first sock (haven’t even turned the heel), the Hisdal Jumper is still mainly a nice neat kit, but more depressing is Thistle….

I fell in love with Thistle a while ago, it is a RYC design and just the ticket for looking lovely as one wanders the grey and windy western Scottish shores at this time of year. Except having collected up lots of Rowan Magpie in Toad (no, not the correct yarn but I LOVE Magpie – why the H*** did they ever discontinue something so near perfect??? Can you hear the cry of pain? Can you? Can you?) from various sources at discounted prices (4 corners of the UK were involved and weirdly they are all the same dyelot – an auspicious sign if ever there was), I have ground to a halt. Over Christmas, I rallied from hibernation and managed to knit the cardigan bit of it in 4 days (sounds so fast doesn’t it, but plain knit and 4.5 mm needles…), however I have now run into l-cord limbo of 72 stitches on the end of each scarfy-thing that need to be cast off over a 62 row of 2 stitch l-cord. It is taking longer than the actual cardigan and despite counting and re-counting each fringey-thing the 62 rows do not all look the same length and I thought my knitting was very regular. Sigh, double sigh and sigh again. But I sooooooo want to be wafting along the pebbly beaches looking mysterious and fabulous in Thistle – I can almost hear the swell of music and everything and the gorgeous stranger with the intense and passionate eyes and …. (oh darn I have a husband, that might put the mysterious stranger off, in fact if the husband doesn’t – he after all may be too engrossed in the shingle as that is what he does for a living, then the three fractious little treasures certainly will, in fact if I meet the mysterious stranger I might just smack him one, Very Hard for taking so jolly long, humph, after all I wasn’t meant for the type of life I am living - but one of being loved and utterly adored and worshipped). The reality of course is that I will look like an unravelling skein fighting to stay upright, and not tripping on the dangly scarfy things could be a challenge in high winds, but a girl can dream.

In fact having worked a fair bit of the scarfy-fringey thing at the end of each trailing bit, I may just look like a knitted squid. This may not be the year for mysterious stranger and I may have to wait a while more.

Anyway, New Years Resolutions so far (I make them up as I need them – that way an inappropriate NYR doesn’t linger into June, perhaps I should call them revolutions as my NYR are kind of the revolving door variety).

To only knit things I love (whether for me or for other people)

To get rid of (by any means) things that are not proving lovable (i.e. by frogging, donating or just plain old “disappearance”) rather than leave them festering in darkened corners and haunting me with reproachful rays that can penetrate wood/glass/plastic bags.

To be a more adventurous knitter – try new shapes, techniques, materials and colours.

To create more of what I knit from scratch.

To appreciate more what I have knit – more padded hangers for knits and general care and even actually thinking about what I wear with them.

To share more at knitting shows (volunteer more time this year than last year – which means I would probably see more Yvonne too!!!)

To “purchase with pride” no more sneaking yarn into the house from the car when everyone has gone to sleep (does anyone else do a 2.00 a.m run to the car in their jim-jams?), or bringing home 1 skein at a time from my work address etc etc, and definitely NEVER again will I stuff yarn into my clothing and smuggle it in that way either.


Let the yarn decide the project – if it says knit at a certain gauge and use particular needles, then I am actually going to do it (most of the time), and if a yarn has enough interest without doing knittable acrobatics I am going to restrain myself and just let the knit develop.

Apart from that I am finally shaking off the sluggishness that had me slumped on the sofa and I am back on the baby clothing kick for my friends the soon-to-be parents that are due to hatch in a month. The Noro Blossom took an evening of enthusiasm (and then I ran out of yarn on the final sleeve) and now can’t decide if I want to sew it up purl or knit side out, the Graphic was coffee breaks at work, the little hat is supposed to be felted on a wing and a prayer (front loading washing machine – means you can’t interrupt mid-cycle, kind of like my husbands thought processes) however it looks kind of baby-head size anyway, as more yarn is coming there will be denim pants and some Rowan things still to knit.

Graphic Baby Sweater

Noro Blossom Baby Sweater

Pick Up Sticks Baby Hat

Dave - the Christmas Hamster for Number 3 Child and Theo

Couldn't resist a photo of Dave, the Christmas hamster who is very lovely but lazy. Theo is getting used to his "step brother" gradually but initially was petrified, however we have placated him with the card board box the cage came in.