Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bedtime Reading

I was trying to read Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow by Peter Hoeg but I mostly read in bed these days and the book was so dry and disconnected I got to page 50 and stopped. There was no great writing, characterisation, metaphors or insights.

I'm now reading The Moonstone, which gripped me straight away. I was in the mood for old-fashioned storytelling.

My all-time favourite bedtime book is The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. The bite-size chapters are perfect and the story is superb. My memory told me the story is set in Edinburgh but it's actually set in London. Wishful thinking. Perhaps I was influenced by the documentary I watched on Deacon Brodie, said to be the inspiration for the book. Deacon Brodie was a cabinet maker who led a respectable-sliding-into-dissolute life, making wax impressions of his customers' keys then stealing from them.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Me and My Monkey

This is me working on the second beady sock with my little monkey beside me.

Sometimes she loves me so much she sticks close by me and follows me around the house wherever I go.

A second after this photo was taken she sank her claws and teeth into me! She's been getting very handy with her paws lately, ever since the cat flap was fitted.

As you can see, part of my day was taken up with me curling my hair. It took an hour and I like the result. I'd really like to have a 40's hairstyle.

We went into town for lunch today, then went to John Lewis so I could look at the wool (of course). I bought two balls of discounted Rowan Handknit DK for £1! The colour is Mango (which is obviously why it was discounted) but I thought I'd make myself another pair of slippers as my white ones have large holes in the soles and I have to wear little socks with them now to stop my feet getting cold.

They also had some orangy-yellow Cotton Glace for sale for 50p a ball. This evening I looked through my Vintage Knits book and considered what I could make. I thought about the Glace Vest or the Glace Jumper from the twinset before I came to my senses and realised I don't want an orangy-yellow jumper or vest!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday in the Shed

I'm doing the dreaded Tax Return today - not mine, my husband's. I actually enjoy doing it once I get into it, it's more the thought of it that I hate. So I have to make sure I do nice things alongside, such as listening to Just A Minute or I'm Sorry I haven't A Clue or Open Book online. Today I sort out the receipts (a huge bagfull), next day I itemise them, the next I fill in the form.

The photo above is of two drink-making things I really like (this is another small, nice distraction!). The love heart tea pot and cup I got from a disused railway station in the small town where I live. They've turned the station into a cafe and shop where you can buy all kinds of weird stuff like marmalade, gift bags, wardrobes, toys, etc, but it's all homemade or made on the premises or curio-type stuff. I love the station. The chocolatiere I got from my friend Lynsey in Edinburgh for Christmas. There is a really cool chocolate shop in Edinburgh where Lynsey buys the best drinking chocolate from: so she also gave me some of that.

I thought I may as well also upload this photo of some bootees I made a while ago. They're from the 50 Baby Bootees to Knit (or some such title), I think by Zoe Mellor? The wool is Rowan Polar, left over from my big cardigan. I made them between bigger projects while two friends were pregnant, and haven't got any further in deciding what to do with them. They're really soft and lovely and, I think, a great design. I love the buttons too.

Well, the receipts aren't sorting themselves, as I'd HOPED, so I guess I'd better do it :)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

One Beady Bed Sock

One Beady Bed Sock complete!

I love it; the wool (RYC 4-ply cashsoft) is really soft and comfy and feels great. I love the beads too and it didn't take too long to make (one week of not really trying) so I'm very happy with it.

I find knitting and wool and colours so uplifting and relaxing and exciting. It's an antidote to anything horrible and reinforces all the good things in life.

We went out to an Indian restaurant in Norwich last night with my friend and her husband and had a really nice time. They're both from Newcastle so, obviously, they're lovely people.

I'm having another much-needed lazy day today. Will go to Sainsburys to get shopping and potter for the rest of the day.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tapestry Design (by ME)

This is a drawing of a design I want to make using the Tapestry wool my secret santa gave me for Christmas (aka Vicky). I'm not so good at drawing, so the sleeves are disproportionate to the body.

The 'cross' parts of the design will be in moss stitch (possibly double moss stitch), the 'line' part will be rib (giving the Empire Line effect) and the 'plain' part will be stitch stitch. The bottom of the jumper will probably come down to the top of my thighs.

I don't want to start knitting it straight away as I want to finish my beady socks and my Alpaca socks first, but I'll probably begin it after that and have it for next winter.

As Vicky bought me two different colours of Tapestry I thought I'd choose the redder wool as the main colour and use the one ball of greener wool for the rib.

I also thought about designing something using different yarns and think Jen's design on her xtreme knitting blog looks gorgeous.

I'm also intending to buy a sewing machine imminently and want to make myself some summer skirts, pyjamas, bags etc. It's my Christmas present from my husband but with Christmas visiting and flu getting in the way we haven't had time to go shopping.

I also have to say CONGRATULATIONS to Vicky for finishing her hat. I helped her with the cast on and with the flaps but she did the rest herself. I wish I'd taken my camera into work yesterday to photograph the finished item but I didn't believe we'd get it finished (it took very little time). Will try to get a snap of her next week. She was really pleased as she has huge enthusiasm for starting projects but also the need to see results quickly so the hat was an ideal size of project (Big Wool, 15mm needles) and this has really encouraged her to carry on.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Alpacas Rool!

I couldn't resist this Alpaca wool when I saw it; there were other great colours, I liked them all and will probably buy more.

I've decided to knit socks in-the-round with them, once I've finished my red socks on two needles.

After finishing my two jumpers I want little projects to tide me over for a while.

I'm so happy it's Thursday because that means tomorrow is Friday and Friday is Bacon Roll Day, as well as being the last work day before three days off :) We get the bacon rolls delivered. It will probably be my last for a while as I need to get onto my no bread, low GI diet again.

I've also designed a great jumper I want to make using the Tapestry wool my Secret Santa got me. I'll draw a decent-ish picture and post to let you see what it's like but it has an Empire Line and is quite Jane Austen-esque.

Today I sat with Vicky while she knitted her hat (the same as my Big Wool hat). She's knitting hers in two tone pink. I started her off as she hasn't done too much knitting, did the increases for her, then left her to do the st st. We're hoping to get it finished tomorrow.

And tomorrow night is Quake night!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Beady Bed Socks

I'm knitting Beady Bed Socks from the Rowan Home book. Except I'm making them shorter than the recipe suggests because Anna made them to the book's specifications and the rib isn't wide enough to pull up the length of your leg. I cast on really loosely too and it just comes above my ankle so I shall knit SHORT socks, which is fine. I'm using a gorgeous red, RYC Cashsoft yarn.

I wanted to make little socks for my friend Nathan but I'll have to check out the pattern I have. I have a reindeer motif that is cute and a tradition with my Godson.

We are also drinking Glenmorangie, to remind us of home and to see in the New Year! We bought a measure yesterday in John Lewis.

We watched White Christmas yesterday, which we usually watch on our anniversary but we were busy this year. It's one of my favourite movies (my favourite is It's a Wonderful Life).

Then today we played our friend Pete at Quake, an online fighting game. I haven't played for ages, neither has Pete but it was so much fun.