Sunday, March 30, 2008

For the love of all things woolly

I live in the Yorkshire Dales in the UK - imagine James Herriott country in All Creatures Great and Small and you'll get a pretty good idea of the countryside around me.  At this time of year the population of our small village increases by thousands.  These new residents jump, hop and skip all over the fields.  Their bleats accompanying my knitting and spinning.

Last night was a particularly stormy one - lashes of rain and strong winds made me glad to be cosy in bed when I fell asleep.  At about midnight I woke up - as I lay warm and snug listening to the rain I realised that a persistent noise had woken me.  The pathetic bleat of a lamb that was separated from its mother sounded as if it was around the back of the house.

My husband and I couldn't ignore it and sleepily got out of bed.  Dragging on my walking boots and cover all dirty camping jacket we grabbed torches and headed outside.  

I don't have a back garden.  There used to be a rather nice paddock with a large vegetable patch and stunning views.  The guy who owns the land got planning permission last year to build a small gauge railway complete with station, bridges and various other features - it is currently a very muddy building site.  The bleats we quickly realised were coming from the building site.

OK it's midnight, raining and blowing a gale.  We are on the top of the hills in the Yorkshire Dales.  If you haven't been to the Dales in the winter I have one word to say - MUD.  I'm in my jammies wearing walking boots and a big coat with a head torch lighting up the large holes and puddles in the ground.  We soon found the little lamb standing on the wrong side of the fence bleating loudly.

This is where the fun starts.  We try and approach and it runs away.  We separate and one goes one way and the other the other way - the poor wee thing slips past my husband and runs away.
We regroup and try again - remember its raining hard and blowing a gale and at this point I realised how cold and dark it was.  There is no ambient light in the country so dark is very dark.

On the fourth attempt the lamb once again evade rescue but this time runs down the side of the station house - there is no escape.  My husband vanishes in after it and comes out some time later covered in mud and lamb poo clutching/cuddling the lamb who seems to have accepted the ordeal.

As he reaches up and puts the lamb down in the field we both have the same horrible thought - have we put it in the right field.  We stand for another five minutes listening to the lambs bleats as it runs around the field.  We can't see anything beyond the pool of light from our torches and listen acutely to the mothers deeper baas and the babies cries.  Suddenly both stop.  We trekked back to our warm cosy bed giggling at how silly we must have looked.

Just as I'm about to fall asleep my husband says - is there nothing you wont do for your love of all things woolly.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Your item left the United States.....

Although I'm on  Yarn Diet I still have some things that I ordered before the 23rd March that are yet to arrive.

One of them is a Spindolyn......

I ordered him on March 12th from Knitting Anyway I got an email earlier in the week letting me know it was on it's way.

I have some time off work next week and it would be really good if it would arrive in time for us to get to know one another without any other demands on my time.  Rather excitedly there is a link to the postal service that is handling the package and I can track its progress across the globe......................

Your item left the United States from MIAMI at 6.44am on March 28 2008.  Information, if available, is updated every evening.  Please check again later.

How exciting is that..................

Friday, March 28, 2008

Yarn Diet

No don't laugh................................stop it!

Inspired by sieue's simple living manifesto (yes on Ravelry) I have joined her on  a Yarn Diet - for yarn read anything that's to do with knitting.  I have, as do most obsessive knitters, a very healthy stash so I'm not going to run out of projects.

The start date was March 23rd and the finishing post June 23rd - just in time for Woolfest.

Every time I would have bought something and resist the temptation I am going to keep track of the money I save.  So far the total in £4.25 and an interesting tale of knitting make do.

On Easter Monday the Baby Surprise Jacket was coming along nicely - I was just about to pick up the stitches and work the button band - about 10 ridges and it would be finished.  I picked up the first set of 10 finished the row and ran out of the colour I was using.  Although the BSJ is striped I could change colour at that stage - wrong side and would have looked strange on the second pick up.  That's OK I reassured myself I will go to Sheepish on Tuesday and buy some more!!!

Then I remembered the Yarn Diet!!

I sat and sulked - how is this Diet a good thing?  I can't finish this jacket until the end of June!  I picked up the Cranford Mitts and lost myself in the lace pattern.

Then it struck me - tink back three ridges - change colour - knit on.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Would you like to see.....

....what I've been knitting inspired by my new muse?

There is my first piece of lace - the Forest Canopy Shawl which I'm doing as a KAL with the At Home in Harrogate group.

There is a cracking mistake at about 1 1/2 repeats - can you spot it?  I decided not to rip it out because it doesn't have to be perfect, just beautiful.  As my first piece of lace I had to get to grips with the whole repeat thing combined with yarn overs and k2tog psso.  I realised that I actually have to concentrate.  I would like it to be really large, like a blanket that I can wrap it around myself when I go camping.  When Sue blocked hers it came out 30% larger which is encouraging.  It's knit in Kauni and goes from dusty pink to dark cherry.  I'm using much larger needles than the pattern calls for so it's very lacy and I love it!!!

I never have just one thing on the needles.  Excitedly a colleague at work is having a baby in the summer which means just one thing - a Baby Surprise Jacket

I realised half way through that this one is really a jacket for a boy.  As I don't know if she's having a girl or a boy I get to knit another one in girly colours.  I would be showing you a picture of the finished jacket but yesterday afternoon (Easter Monday) I ran out of yarn.  I got to the point where you pick up stitches and realised I couldn't change colour at that point and that I was going to run out.  What a shame I have to go and buy more yarn at lunchtime today.

I was knitting a pair of socks but hated the yarn so much that I decided to rip out the sock and a half that I'd done and THROW THE YARN AWAY.  It's OK though becuase thanks to Sue I have a new mantra "No knitting is wasted knitting.  No knitting is wasted knitting.  No knitting is wasted knitting".

To make myself feel better I decided to cast on the Cranford Mitts - a lovely pair of fingerless gloves inspired by the recent BBC show Cranford.  I've found them really fiddly to get going and I'm not sure yet that the yarn is going to work with the lacy pattern - it's a bit of a love/hate thing.  I love the finished gloves but at the moment I am hating the process.  This is the yarn I'm using

The orange/brown one I got about 3 years ago from the Knitting & Stitching Show, it's Fyberspates and I bought it for socks but it's perfect for Cranford.  The brown that I'm using as the contrasting colour I bought a couple of weeks ago from the The Yarn Yard and it is the perfect match for the old yarn.

I could go on - Foxtail Cardigan is finished, I did spin for 1/2 yesterday and I've got my next couple of projects lined up and ready to go - but I really have to go to work.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Where's the blogger at....

Its a bit like falling in love.  You know when all you ever think about is the new love of your
  • Waiting until you can spend time together.  
  • When you're apart thinking of amusing things to say when you see them next.  
  • You start doing new things so that you have more in common.
  • You plan the rest of your life around time when you can be together.
  • Your friends start to complain that they never see you.
Since I got my invite I've been spending so much time over there it's scary - or at least it would be if it wasn't such good fun.

The very best thing about Ravelry is friends - and not just cyber space friends but real life ones.  There are several Ravelry members who live in the same town as me.  It didn't take long for us to gravitate to our own group

From there it was a very short space of time before we were meeting up monthly.  But that just wasn't enough we now meet once a fortnight and 'chat' regularly on Ravelry.

Ever since I discovered knitting blogs and the cyber knitting community I wanted to belong to a knitting group that understood what on earth I was going on about - that knitted socks, spend vast amount of money on yarn and lusted after impossible lace projects.

Thanks to Ravelry I do.

The downside of Ravelry is that I've kind of abandoned some other stuff - blogging for example is only possible today because it's Easter Monday so I'm not at work and I've already spent a couple of hours on Ravelry, and just run out of yarn on the Baby Surprise Jacket.  

I'm just about to pick up the spindle and try some BFL that I got yesterday.....

....of course that's totally inspired by the ....... on Ravelry.  

So less Sparkly Stitches and more Ravelry Stitches at the moment - where's your stitches at?