Friday, May 30, 2008

Thank You

You guys made me feel so much better.  My pity party didn't last long thanks to all the virtual hugs.   You may be pleased to hear that today I picked up a parcel......

Can you see that yellow sticker - the round one - bottom right of the parcel.  It says Tom Binh!!!  It was still a bit of a palaver to get it - an hour trip each way.  

I opened it up carefully and this is what I found.....

Removing it from the box and as Sue predicated spent the next couple of hours packing it, and repacking it, and packing it again.

I love the way it is just lounging against the chair - looking all at home.  At the moment this is what it looks like inside.

I know it looks a bit of a jumble but its not really.  The two zipped pockets, one either side have stuff in them.  One site purse, ipod, phone, work id badge.  The other side small moleskine notebook, pens and notions bag.

You can see the rather nice small project bag (green) which currently has a No Purl Monkey sock.  The bag came with a Stuff it Sack which I can't show you cos it's looking after The Secret - and no the needles you see are not a clue.  There is still loads of room in it.  The best test will be on Monday when I go to work and pop my lunch in and anything else I feel like taking.

So far so good - I think I like it even more than I thought I would. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

If you always do what you've always done

You'll always get what you've always got

I'm disappointed and frustrated.  This is totally  self inflicted.  I am to blame.  

After 40 minutes of  reflection on the drive home from the depot without my bag (please do not ask I may cry).  I have decided that I will no longer be buying anything from overseas.  In fact anything that needs a courier to deliver it does not need to be mine.   If I cannot buy it simply from the UK I will not be buying it at all.  This is no hardship I do not need anything.  

Buying things will not make me a different person.  

My lifestyle will not be miraculously changed by owning a new bag/yarn/book.  

I said last night at the Nutty Knitters that I am easily influenced cos I always want to be everybody else.  I always want to live in someone elses house, drive their car, have their hairstyle etc, etc.

This weeks frustration and feeling of powerlessness is made all the worse because it is tinged with guilt.  I really didn't need to buy this bag and I'm humbled by the greed that overtook my purchase.

The need for reflection continues.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

So what now

The delivery driver insists he delivered it on Friday.

I haven't got it.

My neighbour insists that the delivery man drove off with it on Friday.

The tracking office at UPS have asked the driver to call in here to try and sort it out.

Meanwhile I sit and knit..........

...and make mistakes - this entrelac is fun but I keep getting it wrong.  Which is why I need to practice before I make a start on Lady Eleanor.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Did I get it

Well Anne to answer your question yes.......and no.   As so often happens there is a tale to tell.

I've spent the week tracking the UPS delivery status of this.....

This is the Swift by Tom Binh.  It is a tote/shoulder bag specifically for knitters designed by Tom in collaboration with the readers of Knitty magazine.  It features all sorts of nifty things that make it so special for knitters.  For a great review and pictures check here  It was an impulsive and expensive purchase and I'm really looking forward to using it.

Anyhow the USPS tracking service told me it was to be delivered on Friday.  I arrived home at 3.30pm to find a completely blank UPS delivery slip pushed through the door.  As there was nothing written on it I had a look around to see if it had been left outside anywhere and when I couldn't find it I rang the UPS people.

I was told it had been delivered at 2.57pm and signed for by Scott.  I live in the middle of nowhere and have two neighbours neither of whom are called Scott - although my immediate neighbour is a Scotsman!!!

I wandered over to his garden to see if he had it.  Apparently he had been snoozing in his chair when his doorbell went.  At the door was the delivery man who asked for me.  He was directed to my frontdoor (harder than it sounds) by the friendly Scotsman.  A few minutes later out of the corner of his eye my neighbour saw the delivery man wandering back down the drive carrying my parcel.  As my neighbour got close the delivery man got in his van and drove off.

I rang UPS back and told them the tale - which they said couldn't have happened because it had been signed for in the name of Scott.  Two hours later I got through to their tracking department and the nice man there suggested it may have gone back to the Leeds depot.  When I asked him if this was definitely the case he admitted that he didn't know and couldn't find out until Tuesday morning.  However, it will probably be delivered on Tuesday.  

I'm not going to work on Tuesday, I shall sit in the garden and wait patiently knitting for the potential delivery of my bag.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The problem with the Internet

is that I spend a lot of time just idlly surfing - following links, discovering new stuff.  Every so often I stumble upon something which either catches my imagination or I see something that I fall in love with.

I don't know where I saw the link to this blog somebody had got one of her wonderful project bags.  I fell in love with the green/pink one.  As I don't speak Norwegian I wasn't sure what was what but decided to post a comment and see if I could order one.  Well it worked like a dream (I'm always embarrassed that everyone can manage some english and I can only manage a wee bit of french).

Look what arrived .........

....isn't it lovely?  Here it is all packed up with Cranford Mitts ready to go to the pub for the impromptu Nutty Knitters meet up.

It's really well made, I am so impressed by her sewing skills.  I used Google Translate on her blog and although it wasn't exactly an exact translation I enjoyed what I could understand.  

The trouble with the Internet is that even when I'm trying to be good (remember that Yarn Diet) it is so easy to be tempted.   I hardly dare say it but..................

This message was sent to you at the request of TOM BIHN - Portable Culture to notify you that the package information below has been transmitted to UPS. The package(s) may not have actually been placed with UPS for shipment. To verify when and if the shipment was tendered to UPS and its actual transit status, click on the tracking link below or contact TOM BIHN - Portable Culture directly.

Important Delivery Information

Scheduled Delivery: 23-May-2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Freak Show

Well that's what it felt like.

Last evening the Nutty Knitters had an impromptu get together - in a pub.  We took ourselves down to a lovely pub settled in at a nice table, ordered drinks and got out our knitting.

We were chatting, laughing and probably rather noisy.  We shared projects, looked at books, talked about patterns.  We talked about life, children and knitting.  

One of the girls from the kitchen came out for a quick chat.  A knitter herself she came to see what we were doing.  

Occasionally my ears would pick up on odd words from the bar staff.  The couple on the table next to us were......................well to be polite were interested.

The was an odd situation with a group of 'youngsters' who came and sat at a table next to us for 5 or 10 minutes and then make a rather unpleasant exit.

Yet it was a wonderful evening.  I felt as if we were in our knitting bubble and although aware of what was going on around us it really didn't matter.  We were far more interested in our shared obsession and growing friendships.  

Thanks girls for a great evening.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Summer Swap

At Home in Harrogate on Ravelry is having a Nutty Knitter Summer Swap:

1 handknit item for your SECRET partner (stash yarn is totally fine)  
1 hank of yarn or knitting item that your partner would like (from your stash or bought for them)  
1 non-knitting related “End of Summer” item (could be handmade, like cookies, or anything your partner might like and would go with the “end of summer” theme)

We been give our secret partners and are answering random questions on the group about our likes and dislikes.  It's a great way to get to know one another better.

We aren't exchanging gifts until September (after the Yarn Harlot trip) so there's plenty of time to knit.

I've decided on the pattern and chosen the yarn.  I actually did this before I knew who my partner was knowing that I may have to change my mind if my partner didn't like the colour or the pattern wouldn't be to their taste.  Amazingly my partner put the colour I had chosen as her favourite and I know that the pattern is one that she will like - it was obviously meant to be.  Although I keep having moments of doubt when I am convinced she will hate it and I try to think of other things I could do.

Despite the doubt the knitting is going well - as there is no hurry I'm savouring the process.  For one who spends so much time on Ravelry, who blogs and meets up with the Rav Group regularly it's proving to be very hard not to reveal anything about what I'm doing.  I've already checked this post about three times to make sure I haven't said something I shouldn't have.

I would love to post a picture but I'd better not because

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sat Sitting

The weather here in the UK has been beautiful recently.  It's been warm but with a refreshing breeze.  At at work during the day I kept the office cool by opening windows first thing and putting the fan on. 

When I got home I made a pot of peppermint tea to drink in my favourite mug........

I took it outside with Secret Knitting and sat on Keypa's bench.

My Keypa (granddad) was an engineer who invented things in a Heath Robinson kind of way. One day he found two iron ends of a bench abandoned in a coppice at the back of our house. They were rusty and unloved and he cleaned them up and painted them.  He then acquired some beautiful wood and assembled this bench.  

This summer it's time to rub down the ends and give them a lick of pain and treat the wood.  He died many, many years ago (about 16 I think) and I love that when I sit on this bench I know it was his hands that put it together.

When my Granny left home to live with friends in a nursing home she took this bench with her and we bought the table so she could sit outside her room and have tea.  Now the bench and table sit in my garden and on warm days I like to come home from work, drink tea, knit and remember my family.

PS  When I was very little my Keypa had retired from his engineering job and was working as a concierge/caretaker at the town hall - he wore a huge ring of keys on his belt and forever after was known as Keypa.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The thing about lace

I've knit two or three things that use a lace pattern - that is they use yarn overs, k2tog and ssk in various combinations to make strategically placed holes in the knitted fabric.

I also make bobbin lace which uses a combination of twists (or lack of) on a couple of threads to achieve various combinations to make strategically placed holes in a piece of fabric.

In both cases I struggle at the beginning - I just can't see what's supposed to be happening - it looks like a mess of yarn/thread and I get frustrated and rip it out and start again, and again and again.

Then something magical happens - suddenly for no reason at all I can see it..........right in front of my eyes it's there - a pattern.  From that point it just gets better and better.

As I knit I understand what the individual stitches are doing and can tell if I'm doing it wrong - my fingers retain the pattern and the lace flows off the needles or bobbins.

That is of course if I'm doing it right - if I'm not it can be frustrating, challenging but somehow it always makes me happy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Knitting Appreciated

Today I've finished the Cranford Mitts....

After being stalled for about six weeks I finished mitt one on Thursday evening and Mitt two about half an hour ago (Sunday).

It's an absolutely lovely pattern to knit - really intuitive and uses hardly any yarn.  I have plenty of the fyberspates left....... well as almost all of the bitter chocolate merino from the Yarn Yard

This is a good thing as on Friday I took the one finished mitt to work for show and tell.  Matilda liked it so much that she asked me to knit her a pair.  What was especially exciting about her request was that she didn't expect me to do it for nothing, nor did she want me to put a price on the mitts.  Rather wonderfully she instinctively offered to make me something in exchange.  Matilda's schooldays were spent at a Steiner School and she is wonderfully creative - I don't know yet what the barter will be but I'm sure it will be wonderful.

Meanwhile I get to knit this pattern twice more - isn't it lovely when your knitting is appreciated?

Monday, May 05, 2008

5 rows to go

In just 5 rows time the Forest Canopy Shawl will be finished ready for blocking.

It's a bank holiday today in the UK so I have nothing to do but knit which is just as well because each row is taking 1/2 an hour.  I started at 8am today and it's now 11.30am and I've done 5 rows - I had to stop and feed children, put laundry in etc.

See you later.................................