Monthly Archives

August 2008


The last day of summer


I fear we may just have had it. Still, I managed to do the laundry which is key if tomorrow’s thunderstorms come as promised. I have spent this last day of summer like this:
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Partly because my back is a bit bust and I can’t do anything else and partly because lazing in the sunshine is what August is for. Such a location automatically leads to productive knitting and I have (at last) finished the blue part of the second Frenchmans‘ Creek sock:
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I’m currently 4 1/2 repeats around the lace edging at the top – fingers crossed I might get it finished tomorrow.

I also met a new kind of bug in the garden – can you see her?
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A little lady-bird golf ball from Father Christmas which got a little delayed!
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The blogging world as a whole has gone pretty quiet so I’m assuming that you’re all enjoying the sunshine!


A little of what you fancy


The disadvantage to my recent sewing room reorganisation it that now that I can see the stash in one place it is calling to me. Particularly quick little baby knits for the torrent of bambinos arriving in the next few months. I have a cunning plan for most of the babies who are on the knit-list and this is just a little something to keep the edge off:

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A mitten. Size 0-3 months. Utterly cute and tiny. The pattern is a Drops Alpaca one so instead of getting a great name we get number b13-5 which is clearly a name that inspires images of cute babies rolling in meadows (or whatever babies do – I may be getting confused with lambs). Anyway, the pattern is here. If you click on the link and take one look at the baby model you’ll see why I couldn’t resist knitting this.
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The mitten is only the start of things, the pattern includes jacket, trousers, bootees, mittens and hat and a blanket and I’m doing everything other than the blanket which I hope will make a perfect little layette for a Scottish baby, H’s latest cousin. We don’t know whether it’s a boy or girl baby so I’m hoping that this soft sea green/off-white combination hit the mark as gender neutral. The original was beige and off-white which was a no-go for a colour magpie like me and this just seemed to suit – I can claim it’s the colour of the sea (or the loch – the baby will live by the loch) and the snow on the top of the mountains (baby lives with mountain in back garden. lucky baby).

I’m all lined up for a few Baby Surprise Jackets for colleagues but I’m a bit stuck for the final one. Our close friends are having their first baby (first baby in that group of friends too) and I don’t know what to knit. The baby’s Mum knits, spins and quilts, Grandma quilts and knits and Auntie B could probably produce something homemade as well. So what do I make that strikes the right balance between saying “you are my best friends” and not stealing anyone else’s thunder? Answers on a postcard.

Run and hide


There are socks on the loose in the Royal Mail between here and Scotland – they look like this:
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scary bright colours no?

These are the second half of H’s brother Tophy’s birthday present. His birthday was in May and I choose a muted blue/purple/brown stripe for his birthday socks (these ones). He is a conservative dresser whose favourite colour is brown, closely followed by blue so they hit the mark.

As the second half of his present he asked for another pair of socks (his wife doesn’t knit and I think he is a little envious of H’s collection) so we took him to Web of Wool to choose and I promise you, on the longevity of my DPNs, this is the colour he choose.

To say I was taken aback is to say that Team GB had a minor success in Beijing (yes I know, Olympics on the brain). Anyway, I asked him whether that was what he really wanted. He said yes. His wife asked him whether it was really what he wanted. He said yes. H came in and baulked at the colour. He raised an eyebrow at Tophy and Toph declared that he would really like socks in this yarn.

And so he has, nice plain stripy socks knit on 2.5mm DPNs in Regia Stretch colour Neon Electra (or as I would put it, Highlighter Bonanza). When I got to the second sock I thought that for once in my life I had two balls of yarn that started in the same place. As it turned out, I didn’t but the difference between where I was and where I thought I was is pretty tiny – here’s your challenge – can you spot the difference?
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Tophy works in a hospital in Scotland so if you’re in a hospital and you think you’ve just started some really bad hallucinations don’t worry, it isn’t the drugs!

Hmm, the evening is before me and H is on a business trip. Will I (a) tidy and clean the house, do some laundry, iron some clothes, or (b) take the yarn I have been piling up on my desk while I write this post and cast on a little mitten for a baby and a little mitten for me?

C’est finis, It is finished, I don’t know any Chinese


One wrap top, one tank top, oh and this much sock (but not counting):

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And the games are over.

I’ve been glued to the Olympics on the tv and glued to the Ravelympics in my hands throughout the last two weeks and I can honestly say that I’m sad to see it go. Not least because there’s nothing good to watch on the telly now.

The Closing ceremony was billed as being more low key than the Opening. Clearly low key Beijing style means something different to the rest of us but it was brilliant because of it. The 8mins of London’s taster (horribly hyped in the press with all secrets given away beforehand) was great; I was really worried that it would make me wince and just be too keen and catering to the youf of today and not the essence of a Brit but I think they got it spot on. I also like the 2012 logo a lot more in Union Jack colours – I’m not wild about the neon colours. So roll on the next 4 years and we’ll all be in East London celebrating.

So, highlights:

  • Phelps’ 8 medals, particularly the one he won by 1 hundredth of a second – it was amazing
  • Usain Bolt’s 3 medals – that man cracks me up – he has so much fun running
  • 4th Place – need we say more?
  • Random sports I didn’t know about – Rhythmic Gymnastics, strangely addictive

And the not so great:

  • The British track team’s curious inability to hold onto a baton. Yes I know it was raining but dudes you come from Britain, it rains here, I can’t believe it never rained on a training day.
  • The Cuban Taikwondo player kicking the referee in the head – ouch
  • The rather subjective judging in the fighting sports – overturned once, dubious on a number of occasions.

And now it’s all over for another four years – I’ll have to start learning winter Olympic sports in preparation for 2010!




When I started Posy on Monday I queried whether I’d finish before the torch went out on Sunday. My good friend Mandy was having nothing of Sunday night and confidently predicted Saturday night. My dear, I am afraid you were wrong.

I finished Posy this morning.
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Incidentally had I not been away for most of this week, missing out on two days worth of commute and Tuesday knit night it might have been a lot sooner!

So here we have medal number 2, this time in the Vest Vault, the Posy Vault from the Mission Falls Illustrator booklet by Mags Kandis. I changed the Lichen to Sky (403) and kept the Wintergreen (302) and Pebble (103) the same. This top is everything I wanted it to be, the Mission Falls Cotton is spun in a way that lets the softness of the cotton come through and the twist gives the yarn a little ‘crunch’ and slightly nubbly texture. I finished this morning and I was sad to see it done. I also really want a sweater in this yarn at some point – actually I could put arms on the tank, or something like that.

I knit the medium size with the long (and extra long) length. It only really added 2 more rows but it has turned out the length I like for this type of top so smiles all round.
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(when I look at that photo I can’t help thinking How long am I? Yes I know I should have realised already!)

The delicious irony is that I had a really hard time deciding which of my two Olympic projects was going to be the Olympic project – I’m really glad I got to do both!

Oh, and my artistic director asked for flamboyant!
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I’ve just cast on a pair of socks for Tophy in some seriously retina-searing yarn- it is very wrong of me to think that if I stayed up all night I could knit the pair by tomorrow night and have a third medal? Perhaps that’s just greedy!

And on an unrelated side note, a new discovery- his and hers magazines!
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Mine is clearly Craft which I picked up in Borders in Birmingham although they had some in WHSmiths in Leamington – it has lots of articles as well as fun projects – making a kite, and pocket loom and how to make Ice Lolly moulds of your very own.

H’s was on the shelf below. I usually buy him art magazines but he mentioned the other day that he fancied having some electronics “just to play with” so when I saw the cover instructions for a Spy car and spy sunglasses I knew we were onto a winner. A trip for ingredients is planned shortly!