Monday, 30 July 2007

Delayed Update

I've been meaning to blog, but have been putting it off as I've not downloaded my photos from my camera yet. And still haven't, but if I put things off any longer, I'll be writing War and Peace.
Jeff Fest was brilliant. Great bands, great night. The Quireboys were on top form to finish the night, and took me way back to a muddy field in Leicestershire in the early 90's. Got a kiss off Spike as well - and this probably isn't the place to mention I had a bit of a thing for him back in my youth...
I had the next day off work, supposedly to recover, and did my first ever blocking - my Field of Flowers shawl in Posh Yarn Eva "Just Peachy". I thought it was pretty to start with, but once I had it streeeeetched and pinned on the bed (see - had to get up early) the lace took on its own life. I'd heard how lace is transformed, and was loving the shawl in its unblocked state, but after a soak and a stretch, it looks fantastic (if I say so myself).
Later, I got cracking on my MS3 Clue 4. I broke off late that night to go and queue for my Harry Potter - which I had finished by Saturday teatime! Then back to MS3, with a quick finish on Monday night. Pictures will follow, I promise. This clue should have been the easiest for me - it was a relaxing repeating pattern I've done before, but I probably tinked this one more than all the others put together! I think I got complacent, and thought I could do it without concentrating. Clue 5 and Theme Reveal this Friday!
Then, I've started a pair of socks for Jon in some Regia from Woolfest. One down, and part way down the cuff of the second.
Finally, tonight, I've started the edging on my Fir Cone Shawl. And I'm finding it tricksy. I'm sure I'll get into it though!
Just a quicky - but proof I'm still here.
Claire x

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Another FO...

I got a little bit itchy the other night, and actually finished something off! I now have a pair of socks in Eva from Posh Yarn in the colourway "Harem", and I love them. I just knitted them plain so it shows off the variagation well. The socks are slightly different colours - they were from 2 skeins, which looked exactly the same skeined up, but knitted differently, but I love them. Slightly odd socks for a slightly odd woman! And as I tend to not be at my best in the morning I have worn odder! Will post piccies here and on the Posh Yarn group later in the week. And I'm now expecting some beautiful laceweight from Dee in "Morning Star" - so my fingers were fast enough on Sunday - that's already allocated to "Leda's Dream" which was the first "Mystery Stole" - I fell in love with the pattern on Melanie's blog, and as she says, I've fallen down the lace rabbit hole.
Still persevering with the Fir Cone shawl - it will be worth it, it will. It's just that I'm now 27 repeats in, and itching to start on the edging - but I want it to be big, and snuggly, and to wrap me up in, so I need to be patient. Not one of my few virtues, unfortunately. Little Miss Instant Gratification, me.
And I'm planning to block my Field of Flowers on Friday. I'm out on Thursday night, at Jeff Fest in Newcastle (The Quireboys are headlining, which makes me very happy), and have decided not to inflict myself on my work colleagues on Friday - gone are the days when I could fall into bed at 3, and still be up for work the next day. Not to mention the next clue for MS3 is out on Friday, and it's a biggie - and with the new Harry Potter out on Saturday, I need to start managing my time (or finding another couple of days to put on the week!).
Nuff for now.

Claire x

Sunday, 15 July 2007


I'm blogging tonight while waiting for the Posh Yarn shop to open. Dee is one of the nicest traders I've "met" online (and I have met some really nice people, and had really good service) and I keep returning again and again to play "Fastest Fingers First" on a Sunday evening. Dee has an excellent selection of yarns, all very reasonably priced, and in beautiful colours. Then, in addition to all that, she packages them up in pink, posts them out almost before you've finished paying for them, and is extremely pleasant and friendly to boot! This week, I've been drooling over laceweights since the preview went up, and am hoping to get my paws on one or two lots. There's one in particular I have in mind to use for "Leda's Dream" which was the pattern for Mystery Stole 1 by Melanie.

I am still knitting Melanie's third Mystery Stole, and have now completed Clue 3. The clues are nice and manageable (100 rows for clue 1, and 50 each for clues 2 & 3). Next week's will be a challenge - at 135 rows, it's designed to compensate for the Harry Potter launch, and should last us for 2 weeks. The real killer for me is that Clue 7 & final is due to come out on Friday 17th August - and as I am driving down to the Midlands that day to see Jon's folks, and go to the V Festival, it means I shall be clue-less until the Tuesday! (All funny comments on being clue-less to be swallowed, please). We should know the theme of what we are knitting in about 3 weeks' time, but at the moment, I'm enjoying the knit. Looking at the charts, it's not something I would have attempted if I had seen it all together, but I'm glad I signed up - it's introduced me to reading charts, Jaggerspun Zephyr, and beading - none of which I had ever considered before.

Short post for now. Here's the pictures of MS3 so far.


Claire xxx

Monday, 9 July 2007

Now tell me if I'm boring you...

...But I have Mystery Stole itis. I started Clue 2 a decent 2 hours or so after I printed out the clue on Friday, and had it done by about quarter past midnight on Saturday, despite having a bit of a busy Saturday afternoon. It's looking beautiful. Melanie is such a talented designer, and a great teacher. I've not done much in the way of lace before, and I am finding this a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. There were around 6700 knitters signed up to this by the time the group closed on Friday, which is an amazing number of people, all over the world, all knitting (or thinking of knitting) the same project. How Melanie keeps up with us all I'll never know - and hats off to this lovely lady who's allowed us to knit her beautiful design for nothing more than joining her Yahoo Group.
Hats off, in fact to all of those talented and generous designers who share their designs with the rest of us. I appreciate what you do - it's not something I've ever attempted, so I cannot share, and I would not have the talent (either from the artistic or the engineering side) to even be bold enough to try! It's your livelihood - and I know how ratty I can get when it's assumed I do my job for the love of it, so to offer it freely is so generous, and much appreciated.
Talking of talented and generous, I just want to mention that Annie Modesitt, who is another talented and lovely designer, has serious illness in the family at the moment. Please spare a moment to think of her and those close to her. Google her if you'd like to know more, but at least spare a thought.
I'm getting on with my Fir Cone shawl as well - 25 reps and still not on my second hank... will get there at some point. And if it's ever going to be more than that, I'd better love you and leave you. Take care,
Claire x

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Burble! **Pictures Galore**

Well, I went to my first Woolfest yesterday, and I am still recovering. It completely blew my mind - plus it was great to see everyone there that I saw, Carrie Anne, who has hardly changed in the past (ahem) years I have known her had told me how fantastic it was, yet I still wasn't prepared. What was great was seeing the animals, and being able to get to see stalls where unless I was prepared to drive the length and breadth of the country, I wouldn't get to see. In all my awe, I never got to take an overview picture, but did get some of the Alpacas and some sheep - although others did see me coming and hid!

I fell in love with the Angora bunnies as well, but Holly is a jealous cat, and would not be at all happy if other small and fluffy people came to live here.
In terms of purchases, I think I'm set for the next year or three....

What we have here is a failure to moderate my purchasing. From top left, going clockwise, we have Fyberspates sock yarn in blues / turquoises, Regia DK Sock Yarn for Jon, a Tiboodoo cardigan kit for my new niece, a couple of skeins of mohair, one in blues, one in greens, from MoBear, hand dyed Opal sock wool, and 10 balls of beautiful Cumbrian Alpaca.

Then next - oh yes, there is a next...

The Cumbrian Alpaca is still there, supporting Olaf, another Alpaca's, coat, which I plan to spin on my new Drop Spindle. Either side are a couple of grab bags of coloured merino to practice on first! And 10 balls of Rooster Almerino Aran.

This is not to mention that I also bought "A Gathering of Lace", for the beautiful patterns, and well explained how tos.

Finally, I bought my Zephyr in Ebony, Black #8 beads, a 0.6mm crochet hook, and 3.5mm Addi Lace needles so I could finally make a start on Mystery Stole 3. I started this last night when I got back, and I have now finished Clue 1.

So far, I think it's very pretty. There's still time to join - the list is open until the end of this week. So far, there's approaching 4000 people knitting this worldwide, which is pretty amazing.
I returned home last night, full of a headache to end all headaches, but happy.
That's me for now. Love to everyone x.