Monday, June 30, 2008

Woolfest joy in the Lake District

I'm back!! And ready to flash ma new stash!

Above: Krafty Koala merino/bamboo sock yarn in a luscious Chocolate Cherry Ice colourway.

This fabby Yarn Yardage Requirements card by Ann Budd - I found it a little late, after having spent the morning walking around with handwritten notes in a wee pad.

I also printed off my Ravelry queue using the neat little print icon next to the queue. It's frigging genius and I love Ravelry! It prints of a wee thumbnail pic, the meterage requirements, and the yarn weight required.

There are 4-5 queued projects per page - I asked the boy to guess how many pages were printing in the yarn room as I rushed about packing for Woolfest...

His guess? 3 pages.

Reality? 29 pages.

4 skeins of Manos Silk Blend which is so yummy I could eat it! And below, 2 skeins of Fyberspates merino/tencel sock yarn - with a 10% discount for being on Ravelry. I love the colourway.

Above; some Trekking XXL in a colourway I've been after for ages (I realise the photo's upside-down, but I couldn't be bothered, OK? I've a new project waiting for me to finish blogging and get back to it)

And finally, below 700g of DK 100% wool for a bargain £20!

We were in the Lake District - so really an opportunity not to be missed, bird-watching wise ... The clouds however, felt differently. Dropping down to car height they ensured nothing could be seen, and damp, raininess was everywhere.

These shots are of Haweswater - it took an age to get to it. More if you include the many times we passed the turnoff and had to go up and down the motorway a few times (but shh, don't mention it to the boy - he gets awffy cross when he gets lost - especially when "we're wasting precious petrol!". Oh, and also English signage is apparently "crap!" We're now saving for a tom-tom...)

So we finally get there, and step out into the drizzle to find that the hide (1 mile away) shut 5 minutes ago ...

We also went to an Osprey viewpoint just next to Keswick, where we were staying. Turned up 5 minutes too late to view the nest there too... The shot above is the boy watching the chaffinches and wee birds instead.

And an arty shot of the trees on the trudge back down.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Grab a cup of tea ...

It's been a fortnight and quite a bit has been happening.

There's been a trip up north to see the relatives - above; we went to Loch Ruthven to see the Slavonian Grebes. You'll just have to trust me that they were there, we don't have the equipment to photograph them as well as Springwatch can. (If you select the 3rd video down on the Springwatch page "A Farewell to Speyside" you can see them near the end of the video)

We also took my sister, who managed to spot an Osprey on her 1st time! I think she was unimpresed with the whole birdwatching malarky though ... oh well.

Then we went to Boat of Garten, a regular stop on the way back to Glasgow. The boy took this shot using the telescopes at the hide - you can just see one of the Osprey chicks if you look carefully. One day we'll get there a daybreak to try and catch a Capercaillie.

Anyway, enough birdwatching - onto knitting! I finally stopped procrastinating, and blocked the button band. Finding the buttons was such a challenge - purple is really hard to match buttons with - especially using online button websites.

I found - which was great, but I was too impatient to send off a length of yarn for them to match. Instead I bought 8 sets of purple buttons (they're really cheap!). Not one of the buttons matched ...

... however I finally found these silver buttons at John Lewis, on the way to knitting group.

Remember Lilith's Race for Life in my last post? Well I won a prize! The best prize! A cashmere Swallowtail shawl, hand-dyed and hand-knitted by Lilith herself. It's utterly sumptious and I got lots of envious looks at my knitting group - hee-hee!

You can see the beads in the shot below.

And I had another birthday, making me officially in my thirties now. I got oodles of lovely pressies; Some long coveted Socks that Rock from Lilith, some utterly lovely Fyberspates yarn from Lynette, an Amazon voucher from India (which bought me Fitted Knits), and a yarny voucher from my sis. I also got lots of lovely cash from my grannies, parents and the boy for Woolfest - less than a week away! I'm so frigging excited!!

So a massive thank you to everyone for all my yarny joy!

Twilley's tank top is going well - I've been knitting it in the round instead of flat pieces. I've just separated it for the back, and am nearly at the neck. Obviously without sleeves, this is a quicker knit. I doubt that it'll be long before this yarn felts, but at the moment it's very cosy, and looks like it's be nice and toasty.

Given that it won't be long until the tank top is done, I'm swatching for Apres Surf Hoodie from the latest Interweave magazine - it's looking good so far. I'm doing it in a superwash sock yarn so that I can bung it in the wash - handknits can be very high maintenance, and I'd like a few machine wash jumpers that I can wear to work.

We're getting our office refurbished over the summer, and when we come back it'll be baltic-freezing air conditioning that will engage in a constant battle with me and my foot heater to keep the temperature at freezer levels ... I know this because we have aircon on the main floor where I work at the enquiry desk, and I'm in a scarf and layers of clothing all year round. Knitting is not just a hobby for me, it's a survivalist neccesity! (I'm the only one that's cold - everyone else is fine in t-shirts)

I digress. The lace tension square is very pretty, but I am wondering this; how exactly do you measure a lace tension square? I should have 24 stitches per 4 inches, but it's going to be hard to figure out.

The lace repeat is 10 stitches, so it would have been fine if it was 30 stitches equals x measurement, as I could just measure the repeats. But 24 stitches is 2 repeats and a bit ... anyone?

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Lynette, Mags & I were up early this morning to cheer on Lilith (and her RSA) in their 5K Race for Life for Cancer Research at Glasgow Green. There were over 13,000 women racing and they raised 1 million quids!! It was a lovely, and emotional, morning. According to the man on the mic, the Glasgow Race for Life was the biggest in the UK!

... and they're off!

... and 42 minutes later, Lilith and RSA came running past us for the final few metres. I was going to take a photo, but knew that Lilith would have found the strength from somewhere to destroy any camera taking her picture at the end of the 5K. I decided instead to take a shot of her once she'd passed - I've circled her in pink above.
There's still time to sponsor her by clicking here

In other news, Twilley's Tank Top is coming on well. I've modified the pattern to be knit in the round, which seems to be working quite well so far ...

It was my birthday on Friday; I got lots of yarn-enabling money for Woolfest, and some stunning Fyberspates yarn from Lynette to knit Garter Stitch Mitts. I'm really struggling not to cast on for these as I have currently got Twilley's Tank Top and a mystery project on the go, when Pinwheel Sweater remains lying in the corner, unloved.

Speaking of projects I shouldn't be thinking about, Apres Surf Hoodie from the latest Interweave Knits, caught my heart so much that the yarn was bought on the same day, and it is literally taking all my willpower not to cast this lovely one just yet.

PS Central Park Hoodie is still finished and waiting for me to sew on 2 more buttons, block the button band and hood and pose about a bit. Soon, I promise!