Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Last evening

Tuesdays are designated knitting/spinning evenings at my home.  Dalesman and Dalesboy go out to twist and turn at their aikido class and I am home alone.

It's become a bit of a ritual

First of all I put some laundry on and prepare some supper - usually some spelt pasta and homemade pesto.  Then I tidy and clean the kitchen.  The lounge gets a quick tidy then I put the kettle on and make a pot of peppermint tea.  The only light on is the one by my 'nest' and the laptop is sat on top of my workbasket.

I decide what podcasts to listen to.  Amongst the choices are:  the Archers omnibus, Cast On, Sticks and String, Y Knits, Knit Picks, Faery Knitting.

Finally I decide on which project to knit, click play and I'm off.

Last evening I was sat knitting on a cardigan for a yet to be born knitter.  So many of my friends are having babies it's fantastic - keep up the good work girls and boys.

After a couple of hours I realised I was totally relaxed and at peace.  There was a huge thunderstorm and I just carried on safe and secure in my 'nest'.

When it was time to go to bed I took Knitting in America with me.  I love this book.  My copy is getting really tatty cos I read it all the time.  Not only are the pieces in it wonderful the stories of knitters across America are truly inspirational.

Finally I fell asleep and had the most wonderful dream about a large complicated knitting project.

By the way I thought I'd share..........................

129 sleeps till we're off to see the Harlot

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yarn Diet - an update

Well it's been a few weeks now and I've been good - quite often clicking things into my basket at my favourite online shops but then emptied them and gone away.............until today.

As the Forest Canopy Shawl is doing so well it was time to start looking for a shawl pin - as Sue says they are chic.

Well look what I found...........'s at Purlscene and I think it will be perfect on the Shawl.  I clicked it into my basket and the kind people at Purlscene came up with a recommendation of something else I might right they are............

"Casbah combines machine washable merino (80%) with a touch of nylon and (ooh!) cashmere (10% each) for a sock yarn that’s hardwearing, yet luxurious"

Well some of that clicked into my basket also and then with total disregard for the Yarn Diet I clicked buy and those gorgeous items are all mine.

I have confessed all to my dear Nutty Knitters over at Ravelry and as Kelly said a diet is not about deprivation and I have already saved lots by not buying things so I'm hopping straight back on the wagon - until Woolfest that is.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Time for an update

The Forest Canopy Shawl is coming along nicely:

For a while I was worried that I had been too adventurous with the bigger needle size but now I can see it's going to work well.  I love the colours - it's so soft and pretty.  I don't know when to stop.  I'm hoping that I'll just know.  I dare not count how many stitches there are - that would just be too scary.

The Cranford Mitts are stalled - I like how they are going - but I've made a mistake that I think I can fudge but I'm not sure..............I need to think about it a bit more.

I've a simple sock on the needles - for out and about.  It's in Regia Bamboo and it's really soft.  I've used 2.75 dpns instead of 2.50 cos it felt a bit fine and I knit tight.  They seem a little too big but time will tell.  I'm really enjoying this yarn it's a real pleasure to work with.

I've also something else on the needles...................

......but I can't share just yet.

I've also made a decision on my project for after the Forest Canopy Shawl.  I'm going to do Lady Eleanor which appears in Scarf Style.  I've decided to do it in Kauni - hopefully in a greenish colourway.  However, as I'm on a Yarn Diet until the end of June I can't buy the yarn so I'm going to do a dishcloth so I can understand the concept of entralec as I've never done it before.

This week is Nutty Knitters week, the opportunity to spend an evening with knitting friends has become a fortnightly treat so I know it's going to be a good week.

The Red Needle

My grandmother and my mother were both knitters.

My grandmother gave up when my grandfather retired and complained about the clicking needles.

My mother taught me to knit on red needles when I was 9 – I knit scarves for Teddy Edward.

My first ‘big’ project was a sleeping bag for my doll. My mother taught me to read a pattern and how to shape by decreasing stitches. As the knitting finished she taught me to sew it together and fix in the zip – it was perfect.

I didn’t see my mother again for five years. I continued to knit and sew – making my own school skirts as my father wouldn’t buy me the fashionable ones I wanted so I made my own. After about five years my mother got in touch – she had found herself a rich man and was living a lifestyle so far removed from my own that it was like watching a film – she was still knitting.

For the next 15 years my mother flitted in and out of my life – with her knitting – complex mohair jumpers and intricate cables. She stopped knitting after flying home on Concorde knitting all the way and managed to get a frozen shoulder.

Two years ago my mother was sorting out her house – clearing out years of buying too much stuff – cloths, shoes, handbags, ornaments. She asked me to look after her knitting bag for a couple of weeks so it didn’t get cleared out with all the junk.

For two years now my Mother has been missing – I don’t know where she is. She did some appalling things before she left and I’m not sure I can ever forgive her for leaving – not this time.

I have never knit cables – last night I thought I'd have a go – I hunted for a cable needle in my things and in my grandmothers sewing box and couldn’t find one. Then I remembered my mothers knitting bag. I got it down from the top of the wardrobe opened it up – right on top was a familiar looking green needle box – opening it I found a couple of cable needles. As I was going to push it back in the bag I saw a flash of red………………………

This is one of the needles I learnt to knit with. 

My mother used to take her knitting all over the world..........she always had my first knitting needle with her. 

Her knitting bag is back on top of the wardrobe and now I have one of her needles in my knitting bag.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The craft of women

This weekend I have been away on a tutorial with 11 other women.  As well as exploring the physicality of birth (we are studying to be antenatal teachers) we made music, danced and laughed. 

As I sat at breakfast waiting for the day to begin I was knitting.  This prompted a wonderful conversation and the sharing of memories about knitting, sewing and craft in general.  We recognised that creating things is a wonderful way of expressing ourselves.  We knit baby jackets, socks and jumpers.  Scarves that go on for ever and dishcloths to clean the kitchen.  We make quilts to warm our children and touch our souls.  We create meals to nourish our families.  We create homes within which we nurture all who enter.

We were all creative in some way.

Women create baby's.  

Women are creative.

Although I have done very little quilting I shall make a birth quilt.  A quilt that I will take with me to tutorials, study days and meetings.  It will come with my when I go as a Doula to support women whilst they have their baby.  It will be used by me, my friends and colleagues, it will go on the floor as a rug, maybe to cover a window or hide an ugly television.  Small children will play on and under it.  It will cover me whilst I knit.  It will nurture a birthing women and provide warmth to anxious partners.

As I make this quilt I will think of all the ways it might be used and I will visualise all those people this quilt will touch - I will create.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Letter Home

Dear Mama Spindolyn 

I wanted to tell you that I arrived in the UK safely with my new Mama today.  She was very welcoming and showed me off to everybody she saw and told them all that I was very beautiful and that I was created lovingly by a special person.

I’ve got a lovely new home.  I share the space with a very chatty little spindle and a fun loving bowl of roving.  There’s a snooty plant who wont play with me and an anxious vase that is constantly worried about falling over.

Sometimes children run past and touch me wanting to know my name.  My new Mama shows me off and occasionally lets them have a go, they’ve a lot to learn.

I know I’m going to be very happy here and spin lots of beautiful fibres.  Thank you so much for creating me and sending me off into the world.

Lots of Love


Friday, April 04, 2008

one more thing.....

Your item cleared customs in GREAT BRITAIN at 8:44 AM on April 3, 2008. Information, if available, is updated every evening. Please check again later. 


Yesterday I ventured out of the Dale.  Not only did I leave the Dale I went 'down south' - to Cambridge to be precise.

For the past 10 days dalesboy has been away on a residential music course with the National Children's Wind Orchestra.  Yesterday was the end of course concert in Cambridge.  I was so impressed.  The children ranged in age from about 10 to 15 (dalesboy is 12) and the music they produced would rival any adult orchestra.  

We got there several hours early, the weather was beautiful and we had lunch in a pub by the river watching the punts.  We had supper in the same pub after the concert - it was like a summer evening.

For the first time in months a whole day passed and I didn't knit, spin or do anything remotely fibre related.  I had the [cranford mitts](pattern) in my bag just in case and I normally knit during concerts and pub lunches and all that general hanging about time - for some reason it didn't even occur to me.

We all got back safe and sound late last night.  It's great to have Dalesboy back, although he's so tired I think he'll spend all day in bed whilst I knit - normality is resumed.

I've just checked this after I'd uploaded it.  Ravelery peeps can you see what I did?  In Ravelry if you mention the name of a pattern you can create an automatic link to it by using [  ] (pattern).  Without even realising I typed Cranford Mitts in Ravspeak.  I think I might have a problem!!!