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September 2006
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November 2006

New yarn; good colours...

I have complained bitterly about the lack of a good colour range in DK weight pure wool, so I'm really pleased with the new Rowan Pure Wool DK. I bought one ball in a few of the colours, purely in the interests of research, you understand.


The yarn feels soft and non-scratchy and the colour range isn't bad at all. Colours in the photo are rather washed out - they're brighter in real life. Decent yardage too; 125m (136yds) in a 50g ball for £3.25.

Beastly weather


Today's a grey, grey, grey day. Yesterday was nice and bright and I went to Stash Yarns to buy needles, hang out and do a little knitting (scroll down). Nic, Dawn and Jill were there; it was also good to catch up with Anna and meet Polly who brought along her Kew socks from Knitty.

The needles are Addi bamboo circs which hopefully will be easier to use with Angel Hair mohair than wrestling with Addi Turbos which are too slippery. After frogging the beginning of this three times, I'm beginning to think the yarn should be called Devil's Spawn; there's nothing angelic about it...


This is Wavy from Knitty, a nice quick knit after struggling with the mohair. It's knitted in one of Silkwood's Lucky Dip yarns from Woolly Workshop on 4mm Bryspuns. I added an extra repeat to the width to compensate for using a thinner yarn and smaller needles and I like the colour a lot; shades of really in-your-face pink.

Leaf_lace_shawl_finished_unblocked    Blocking_wires

My Leaf Lace Shawl is finished and looks like a crumpled mess before blocking. I'm looking forward to blocking it with proper wires instead of using hundreds of pins; just need to find a clear stretch of carpet....

A long way down memory lane

On the way home from food shopping, I noticed something in a shop window. It's a posh frock shop - you know the sort of place - the window is usually full of very tiny expensive things you'd have to be equally tiny to wear. Taking pride of place today was a frothy crinoline skirt made out of several tiers of gathered white net. It took me straight back to my early teenage years when it was de rigueur to wear such a garment underneath your frock, not instead of it.


This is me (on the right) with my best mate at the time, Carol, waiting for the next dance at the school Christmas party c 1959. I loved this petticoat more than anything else in the world, even though wearing it was a complete pain in the bum. The tiers were so enormously frothy that I had to cart the thing round with me in a big box and change when I got to the party, dance or wherever. I remember starching it with sugar solution and picking off tiny little flies that got stuck to it while it was drying. And I had to be awfully careful to keep it under control when I sat down...

Two days in knitters' paradise

I spent Thursday and Saturday at Ally Pally - I've never seen so much yarn in one place or talked to so many knitters! The show was hot, sweaty, crowded and totally enjoyable. Most of the time I was helping teach knitting and crochet in the Relax & Knit area which was busy, busy, busy on Thursday and only slightly quieter on Saturday, but I did find time to look around and buy yarn, and then, er, buy more yarn. I completely ignored my spending plan; I blame it on the heat although the quantity and choice of yarn displayed on the stalls and my inability to resist may have played a small part....

Ap_haul    Lornas_laces_purple

On the left of the first pic, Hand Maiden Angel Hair in Nova Scotia, Cherry Tree Hill Merino Lace in Tropical Storm from Gill at Woolly Workshop; on the right of the pic, Nic's hand dyed sock yarn in Charred Chivalry (just try saying that without concentrating), Wagtail Yarn's 4ply Kid Mohair in Deep Violet and Cherry Tree Hill Potluck Supersock in Blues/Purples and Earth. The fab selection of Lorna's Laces yarns in the second pic came from Get Knitted - 8 skeins of different yarn in gorgeous shades of purple/lilac/blue which were sold as a set. Some of the yarns like Lion & Lamb I've already used; others like Dove (tweedy wool/cotton) and Glory (mohair/wool) I haven't even seen before, let alone got my knitting needles into.


On both of the days I was there, loads of bloggers were chatting, buying yarn and indulging in bouts of fibre-related show-and-tell. Yvonne (above, purple jumper), Relax & Knit's boss lady (and shameless yarn purchase enabler), counted 13 bloggers in Relax & Knit at one point on Thursday. I saw lots of knitting and stitching friends and met lots of knitters I recognised from reading their blogs. There were a surprising amount of knitbloggers there called Sue, including Wye Sue, Spinning Sue, Susoolu, Knittiotherapy and Stitch 'n Dye, as well as some of the Stash Yarns regulars including Dawn and Jill. I also caught up with Mary and met Fred (above, green shirt), Mary-Lou, Gerard from I Knit London.

Liz came on Saturday and after doing our bit on Relax & Knit, we had a good look round the yarn stalls, happily enabling each other like knitting friends should. As well as yarn, we both bought (and thoroughly approved of) the first issue of Yarn Forward, Kerrie's new knitting and crochet magazine. Ruth had her lovely spiral hat creations with her and much hysteria ensued when I tried them on (I look pretty dorky wearing any sort of hat - think Benny in Crossroads - even when the hat itself is gorgeous). I understand there may be photos....


Anticipation is, I think, a good thing when it's not tinged with apprehension. I get as much pleasure anticipating reading the pile of books by my bedside


as I do wondering what to knit with this month's mouthwatering Sock Club yarn from Posh Yarn.

Sock_club_october_1    Sock_club_october_2_1

I'm also anticipating going to Ally Pally on Thursday and Saturday; more to meet up with old friends, knit and chat rather than for the shopping. I haven't made an Ally Pally shopping list and I'm not intending to buy anything (shock, horror, hold the front page..). I'm planning to leave my plastic at home and take a little cash, just in case.

Chinese_pincushion_detail    Chinese_pincushion

Isn't this pincushion great? Sue brought it back for me from her last trip to China and it's far too pretty to stick pins in. The fabric colour is much richer in real life.

I was in Stash Yarns yesterday for a little knitting and chatting. Nathalie showed me her Print O' the Wave Stole knitted in the softest cream-coloured Sea Silk. The stole is gorgeous and your grafting looks fine, Nathalie! I bought a skein of Helen's Lace in the so-hard-to-resist Black Purl colourway. I haven't quite decided what to make with it; the Leaf Lace Shawl is about 10 rows from being finished and I rather fancy the challenge of casting on one of Miriam Felton's shawls next.

Royal Mail rant

I was going to call this post 'Fun and games with Royal Mail' but it's been neither funny or a game. I ask you, how difficult is it to accept a package in Manchester and deliver it to the right address in London? Not that difficult, you would have thought, we're not talking complicated here...

To cut the story short, Royal Mail managed to lose two cones of black indigo denim yarn I bought on eBay a couple of weeks ago. A stonking big black mark to Royal Mail, but the eBay seller was terrific and replaced the yarn without a quibble. He sells really good indigo denim yarn and I'll definitely buy from him again.

OK, rant over; back to work....