Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Fade into the Sun


Thunder played Newcastle for the final time last night, and like the trooper I am, I was there. The gig was fantastic - the Quireboys were supporting - which rounded things off for me, as the first time I saw the band was at the Monsters of Rock in 1990, where they opened, and were followed on stage by the Quireboys. I can't recite the set list, as the whole evening seemed to pass in a blur, but from the opening signal of "Backstreet Symphony" to the closing screams of "Dirty Love", the boys were on top form. As were The Quireboys - I love those guys as well, and they know how to get a party going!

We had a small pyro incident - Danny's monitor caught alight, but he was saved by a brave roadie with a towel - bless that man. I'll add the set list later on, but I'm pleased to say I made it through to "Love Walked In" before I started bubbling - it suddenly hit me that this is it - the last time you're going to hear this live - and off I went. It didn't help that "A Better Man" was the first song of the encore, either!

Once I'd dried my eyes, I was lucky enough to have passes for the meet and greet. Jon, as ever, was on hand with the camera, making sure if I blinked, or looked a bit drunk, he caught me. I'm not showing the picture he took of me and Harry - I look as if I'm about to collapse and start singing - but he did get this one of Harry looking as though he's about to attack...


Danny was just himself - chatty and fun, and seemed genuinely happy that I'd enjoyed the show.


Ben - just a sweetheart - love him to bits.


Chris - so sweet - when I started to bubble, he gave me a big cuddle and calmed me down. Lovely, lovely man - and yes I will be going to see the Illegal Eagles.


And Luke - the songwriter, axeman, and sweetheart. I could run away with this man.


Now, Jon also managed to get a photo of Luke with Spike from the Quireboys - I love this photo - it seems to capture the pair of them.


And you saw my TShirt? This is an antique - 19 years old, and was the 1990 Donington TShirt. Thunder are at the bottom, and the Quireboys up a little to the right. Spike caught sight of it, and insisted we get the next photo - what a star that man is... Come to think of it, maybe I should have just taken them both home!


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Where have I been?

Goodness... It's 4 months since I last blogged... Look at the sidebar to see what some lovely people I know have done with the time...

These are items from Etsy shops run by ladies I go to Stitch n Bitch with - aren't they great spinners?

Yes I have been knitting, and spindling, but no photos tonight... Soon - I promise!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Project 365 - Week 3

Already it's week 3 of Project 365, and so I have another 7 photos to show. I've also got a bit of chatter about yesterday, but pictures first, and expeditions later...
On Monday, I switched on the Lava Lamp. I love my lava lamp - I find it relaxing to watch. While it was heating up, I saw a face in the "Lava" and so had to capture it for posterity...
I love the light in here through the liquid, so will probably be taking more of the lamp.
On Tuesday, I had my dyeing evening, and my picture for then is my yarn drying...
Wednesday, I had to turn to my book of ideas, as I was a bit out of ideas. I have a very pretty Karatstix WPI Gauge in the shape of an Alpaca, so this got snapped.
On Thursday, it was my sock pattern day, so I used the photo of my Wibbly Rib Sock as the day's photo:
Then Friday, I decided my hand dyed yarn was dry enough to skein, and took a picture of the skein. This is quite probably going to turn into the delicious and addictive Forest Canopy Shawl.
Now yesterday was the Posh Day Out in York. I left my camera on the coffee table, where I couldn't possibly miss it. And missed it. It could have been worse - as I was going out of the door, I realised it would be a really good idea to take my train tickets with me... So, as I have no photos of the day (poo!) I compromised with a picture of some of my acquisitions:
Then, this morning, it was beautifully bright and sunny. When it's like this, Holly takes up residence on the windowsills, and sunbathes. We've also got some excess Aiji Chillies drying there, and this morning, she was fascinated by the yellow chillies. I had to snap her...
So there's my week in pictures.
Going back to yesterday, on Ravelry, the Posh Knitters Group arranged three meet ups - one in London, one in Shropshire/North Wales, and one in York. I went to the one in York, and had a great time. I travelled down with the lady otherwise known as Jammam, and her little one (who when she wasn't smiling, was sleeping, and an absolute angel), and met up with other Poshites from Yorkshire and Lancashire for a day of nattering, knitting, shopping, and general fun. There were some lovely shops to see in York - Sheepish on the Shambles, with lots of lovely yarn. Duttons for Buttons, which is where the stash enhancement that provided yesterday's picture came from - that place is Aladdin's cave for buttons, and I bought one of their mixed bags, which was amazing value - there's a good 7-8 complete sets in the bag, plus assorted single buttons. Then a lovely lunch and knitting session at the Slug and Lettuce, followed by more ambling to Craft Basics (oh my - what a cornucopia in there - and they had Fibre from Winghams - the first time I have seen fibre on sale other than online or in a show), and the Viking Loom. All very nice. The day went way to quickly, and coming home, there were 2 trains due in - one was direct to Newcastle, and the next was to Darlington with a rail replacement bus for the rest of the journey. Thinking we were being a bit clever, we got on the direct train. 2 1/4 hours later, when we arrived in Newcastle, we weren't so sure! At least I had good company, and we didn't have to negotiate lots of ramps and the bus with the buggy - and we got a nice scenic tour of the diversion route...
But all in all a great day, and I can't wait for the next one!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Dyeing Days

Back at Woolfest, in June, I caved and bought a Kool Aid Sock Dyeing Kit from DT Craft and Design. I've never dyed before, but Debbie was very persuasive, lol. So on Tuesday night, armed with my kit, and my Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook by Lynne Vogel, I went into the kitchen. First I soaked 100g of Alpaca sock yarn in some water with a little squirt of washing up liquid.
Then, after leaving it an hour or so, I squeezed the excess water out, and made up a solution of Lemon and Lime mixed with Lemonade in about 700ml of water. I dropped the yarn in there, and left it until the water went clear, and the yarn went green.
Then, I mixed up some Orange, and dipped one end of the yarn into that.
This portion of the yarn went gold. Following the orange, I repeated with Strawberry and then 2 packs of Grape, overlapping the sections.
Then I rinsed, and cooked the yarn in the microwave.
And hung it up to dry...
Finally, I skeined it up, and took a photo of it all finished.
I thought Kool Aid would give really bright colours, but I'm very pleasantly surprised at the softness of them. I think this is going to be a shawlette of some description.
So... This week I have completed 2 things I have never done before... Published a pattern, and dyed a skein of yarn.


Thursday, 15 January 2009

Wibbly Rib Socks


This is my first proper pattern! Wibbly Rib Socks are inspired by my favourite sweater, and are a rib with a difference. Knitted in Fyberspates BFL Superwash sock, they are a straightforward knit. If you can knit, purl and do basic increasing and decreasing, you can do these. Any questions, please send me a message, or leave a comment.

Instructions are for a pair of socks to fit leg circumference 7.5" to 9.5" and as written are sized for a UK Size 6-7 foot.

Click this button to purchase for £2.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Project 365 - Week 2

So this week was my first full week of Project 365. It's been back to work for me, after two weeks off, which has limited my opportunities for taking photos. I have no car at the moment, so I leave for work before it is light, and arrive home after dark. It's also been a little cold this week, which has left me feeling too nesh to think about going out! I have still managed to take seven photographs, so here they are.
Monday's shot was of my La Novia scarf. I'd finished the scarf over Christmas, but had not photographed it, so it was a good excuse. I got down quite low to take the photo, as I wanted to capture the texture in the scarf.
This is some 70% BFL, 30% Silk fibre from Warratah Fibrecrafts on Etsy. This was a prize in a charity draw run by Ramblings of a Yarn Junkie, in memory of her mother. The fibre is as beautiful as it looks, and I am so glad that Laura reached her £1000 target.
On Wednesday, it was late, and I popped to the front door and saw the streetlight shining through the sycamore tree - the same tree I photographed last week. I thought I would give it a go, and see what came out. I'm going to photograph this tree a lot, I think - it's one of the first things I see when I open the curtains or leave the house, and I'd like to track its life throughout 2009.
Thursday finally saw me photographing my Golding Cherry Tsunami spindle, surrounded by The Yarn Yard's Merino/Silk roving, which is my current spindling.
Friday was a bit panicky. It was late, I hadn't taken a photo, and I was stuck. I looked at the table, and saw my musical frog looking back at me. He was a Christmas present from Jon a few years ago, and if you remove the stick from his side, you can run it up and down his back to make a not unpleasant noise. I wouldn't say it was great music, but it's better than I thought it would be.
Remember Thursday? Well yesterday, I plied my first spindleful of yarn from this roving. I got 71 yards from it, of very lustrous yarn, and it's coming out at about 14 wpi.
Finally, Jon and I went for a walk earlier today. There are a number of old industrial sites very near to us, which have been developed as nature reserves by the local ranger service. This one is the old Percy Pit in Lemington. It was a blustery walk, but it helped to clear the cobwebs. In terms of wildlife, we saw magpies and pigeons, but not much else. In the spring, we get lots of wildflowers, so the area will be well worth investigating then. As it was, we called in at the local pub on the way back, so any health benefits have probably been lost...
So that's it for Project 365 for this week. I'm writing ideas down as I go in a little notebook, so hopefully I can have more ideas than there are days in the week, and build up some ideas, so I'm not stuck at half 11, thinking "what on earth can I photograph today?"

Monday, 5 January 2009

French Lessons

I am very bad with languages. I have O'Levels in French and German, and a smattering of various others (mainly picked up so I didn't embarrass myself too much on holidays and business trips - the most embarrassing moment I have had being trying to mime out something I wanted in a shop in Milan - I'm a quarter Italian, for goodness sake! - although that was a giggle for both me and the lovely man in the shop), but it isn't something I have ever actively kept up. I work for a French company, so deal with people in France who speak English beautifully.
So when work offered me the chance to take beginners' French classes for an hour a week, I jumped at the chance. The first lesson was tonight, and I'm pleased to say that so far, so good. I've not learned anything completely new, but I have recalled a lot of information that's hidden away. That's good, because hopefully I can ease into it, and start relearning what I have completely forgotten, and recall what's still in my mind. I don't expect to be fluent within the year (or even 2 or 10), but hopefully I'll be able to understand what people are saying, and leave "Parlez-vous Anglais, s'il vous plait?" at home when in France.
I've also taken some knitting pictures. The first is a current WIP - the White Queen's Bag by Lynda Sorenson of Lilypad Knits.
I'm finding it a well written pattern, and must thank Taliesin on Ravelry (here's her blog) for the enablement.
I've also photographed La Novia, which I love - Manos Silk Blend, 5.5mm needles, and a quick knit from the ever-impressive (and lovely) Anne Hanson.
What a scrummy, textured pattern... The second photo is also todays Project 365 photo, so a sneak preview, too!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Project 365 - Week 1

So... for Project 365, I'm going to post a blog entry each week, either on the Sunday or the Monday. This should mean I keep on top of things, as I'm terrible for taking photos and leaving them to languish on the camera. I'm a happy snapper rather than any sort of good photographer - my best photographs all happen by accident! But my photos are going to be a record of my year - hopefully I can look back when 2009 is all done, and see what I was up to each day (If anything).

So - the first (half) week's batch...

This is January 1st, and is a picture of the Cotoneaster bush that I have in my teeny tiny garden. I chose it as the subject for picture 1 as the shiny green leaves and red berries are a nice reminder of Christmas.

January 2nd is Holly the Cat. She likes to play out and sit on the path, watching the birds, passers by, or bits of interesting air. She was completely refusing to do a cute pose - she'd be poddling around, would look all cute, and then as soon as I focused the camera on her, she'd be off. So I got the back of her.

January 3rd - Holly on her cushion (are we getting a theme here?) - I had planned yesterday's photo to be a picture of the Penguin lights Jon bought for Christmas, but I couldn't get a photo of them that wasn't blurry and quite frankly, pathetic, so I snapped Holly snuggled up in front of her heater.

I took this one a few minutes ago, as the sun (? - Big Light in Sky) was setting behind the sycamore tree that is outside my house. I love the trees on our estate. It is one of the reasons I like living here. I just looked up, saw the colours of the sky (I love it when the sky is lavendar and orange like this) and nipped out with the camera.

So.... I have to get 7 more by next Sunday. Hopefully they won't all be Holly, but for 5 days I'm at work within the hours of daylight, and for security reasons, I'm not allowed to take photos. I may have to be creative...