The musings of an obsessive knitter and stash collector

Monday, July 31, 2006

Completed in July

Another finished sock, somehow I seem to have finished 7 socks this month, I'm not sure how, but I actually made 5 mates for orphans which I'm very pleased about. It's been a better month for me, I stil hav esoem lurking health issues, but Hecate and I are settling down happily together even though she drives me daft some days.

I did say I'd cast on the second lace sock at once - and look, we have half a cuff! Thank you for your comment on the first lace sock Secret Pal, I'm proud of it, it's intended as a gift so I must finish it's mate!
These are the other two socks I'm working on, they are bus knitting. although I left the one on the left hand side at home today and had to spend a joyful 20 minutes rewinding the ball of wool when I got home!

trek and schrodinger, I think Hecate jumps so high and far in part because she is so small and light, she springs around the flat rather like a kangaroo, she just bounds around and leaps for no reason, just because she can. It can cause her to be a dratted nuisance, but her joie de vivre almost always makes me smile.

Tomorrow is my first blogiversary, I'll have been showing you pictures (mostly of socks) for a whole year then - I may have to make a plan for the next 12 months!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

One lace sock

I've reached the toe on this sock, I'm certain to get it finished before the end of July, kitten has spent the day curled up next to me acting good, to make up for knocking my computer keyboard off my desk and managing to unplug the modem during the night!

The first lace sock is done - I'm really pleased with it, I'll cast on the second sock tomorrow once the pink one is finished, Im still working on matching all my orphans.

Hecate spent last night box climbing again - it's much cooler here and she's enjoying being more active - it's a miracle nothing has got broken!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Current SIP's

First up is the lace sock, I'm 2 patterns into the foot, I still haven't learnt the pattern properly unfortunately so I have to have it written down in front of me while I'm working on it, it's grown reasonably quickly though considering I can't do it on the bus!

This one is about a third of the way along the foot, I'm hoping to get it finished before the end of the month to increase my tally of completed socks.

This is another mate for a poor orphan sock, I've halved my tally of orphans in the last two months. Blissfully it's been cooler today so I've actually done some gardening and housework, that slowed down the knitting, but it's the first time it's been cool enough to do anything remotely energetic.

I may not have been being energetic, but this was Hecate last night, today she has brought me a ball of yarn and two skeins, I've figured out where from though - she's managed to open the lid of a storage box under my bed!
Scarlet Princess, I've tried to hide my new yarn safely from her, but it appears that only locked doors will do!
Secret Pal, the socks look as if they will fit fine, I'll try them on after I bath - I go barefoot in summer and didn't want to try such lovely socks on with dirty feet!

Friday, July 28, 2006

My brilliant Secret Pal!

Look what arrived today - my brilliant Secret Pal surprised me with a package. I was taking a day off work so I could spend the day gloating!

My pal has sent more treats for the kitten, Hecate will enjoy them I'm sure, some Pony 'pearl' dpn's, I've never seen these, I'll use them on the next sock I cast on and see how they feel. Another beautiful pair of hand knitted socks and she's included some grips to go on the bottom of slipper socks, I knew they existed but I've never seen them for sale in the UK. there's also a very pretty card included.
This is the last item in the package, yarn dyed by my pal, she has clearly noticed my addiction to shades of purple! She suggests making felted slipper socks with this, I must look around for a pattern and see what I think!

Look how beautiful these socks are, my Pal knits much fancier socks than I do, they are beautiful, I'm not sure what yarn they are made of but they feel very soft and are just my colour!

This is my progress on my latest sock, well on the way to making a pair out of another of my orphans, I'm definitely speeding up a little on getting them out of the way, and with slightly cooler weather forecast for this weekend I'm hoping to sit down and finish the first lace sock as well as getting some of the long abandoned housework and gardening done.

More yarn from the Natural Dye Company arrived, this is lime and cherry blossom.
And this is cornflower and arctic pearl with parma violet on the right! They do have wonderful names for their yarns! Parma violet is an alpaca/silk mix that I haven't tried before, but I'm going to be good and finish my lace socks before I start any new ones!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Kitten chaos

Not much happened last night on the knitting front, most of my evening was taken up by the kitten who in one evening stole 2 balls of yarn, one dpn, threw up on the bathroom floor, bit a hole in a sock I was wearing and fell in the bath when I was in it. This was no doubt her revenge on me for commenting that she'd been letting me get on with my knitting relatively undisturbed lately!

This is the mate to one of my orphans and is almost ready to start the heel in a plain colour, I'm just hoping I can remember how I did it last time. I had to abandon work on the lace sock last night as due to the kitten induced chaos I couldn't work out which pattern row I was on, there are only 5 pattern rows so it's a bit poor of me! I'll try again tonight!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It's another orphan

Isn't it beautiful? Tequila spice merino/alpaca, it's knitted up so evenly and very quickly, either I'm getting used to the heat or something because that's my 5th sock this month! Plus I'm heading along the foot of my first ever lace sock too!
Hecate is still thieving yarn, I found another skein on the landing when I got home today, but she's not stopping me fom knitting as much, partly I think because it's to hot to sit on my lap!

Thank you for the kind words about my sister's quilting - she's soo talented I'm in awe of her work. Secret Pal, I think it's a wee bit cooler here than where you live, but it's very humid and we're expecting thunderstorms any day! It's nice around 6am but after that it's all downhill as it gets hotter and more humid all the time.

Manchester Cathedral

Another famous Manchester building for my Secret Pal to see!

The cathedral is now rather detached from the main city centre, although it marked the centre of medieval Manchester. Today's Manchester Cathedral has grown and changed over 600 years. It was dedicated by Henry Vth to St Mary, St Denys and St George, and is built in the perpendicular Gothic style, typified by its tall windows and flat fan-vaulted ceilings.
The first recorded Christian church in Manchester was built in the 7th century. After the invading Danes destroyed this, King Edward the Elder ordered the building of a new church near the earlier site in 923. This church was recorded in the Doomsday book as St. Mary's.
Work on the current building began in 1215 within the confines of the Baron's Court beside the Manor House. The occupying Lords of the Manor were the Grisley family and their coat of arms is still associated with the Catheral to this day. The Grisley family acted as stewards of the church, building and endowing the first chancery, the St. Nicholas Chancery.
In 1311 the succession of the Grisley family ended, and the estate passed by marriage to the de la Warre family. Between 1330 and 1360 the ornately carved entrance to the Lady Chapel and its former tower were contructed. In 1349 the De Trafford family endowed the St. Nicholas Chancery. The involvement of the de la Warre family increased in 1382 when Thomas de la Warre (later appointed Baron of Manchester), became Rector of the parish church.
It was in 1421-2 that the parish church of the little known village that was to become Manchester was raised to the status of a Collegiate Church, and served the surrounding 60 square mile parish. Most of the exterior of the building is a 19th century reconstruction carried out by Joseph Crowther, he was copied the original building, and none of the original styling has been lost. The possible exception is the west front, which was rather ornately over-reconstructed in celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897 by Sir Basil Champneys.
The interior has many examples of period woodwork in the form of the finest late medieval woodcarving, carried out between 1485 and 1506 by the so-called 'Ripon Carvers'. The old Collegiate Church was became a cathedral in 1847.
In December1940, the building received a direct hit during the Manchester blitz, and much damage was sustained, many fine windows being lost forever. Fortunately, much of the woodcarving survived the bombing. Saxon stone fragments survive from the 8th century.

Now, the Fire Window by Margaret Traherne, occupies a place near to the site of the impact. This window was damaged by the IRA bomb in 1996 but has been reconstructed. On the west side of the cathedral are five modern windows made by Tony Holloway and representing "St George", "St Mary", "St Denys", "Genesis" and "Revelations". The oldest part of the building are the piers which support the tower, which date from 1380.

The cathedral runs a drop in centre for the homeless in Manchester, providing support and activities and refreshments in the Booth Centre.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Quilting, views and knitting!

I've been visiting with my mother and my eldest sister. My sister is working on this quilting and I asked her to let me take pictures so that I can share with you how clever she is!
This is a sampler quilt that she's making, I gather there will be 9 squares surrounded by what looks like a twining ivy pattern.
I don't know enough about what she's doing to be able to tell you the names of the different styles of quilting but I think it's going to be gorgeous.

This I know is made with hand made bias strips, as you can see from the needle this is the square she is working on.

I took this on my way to work this morning, it was lovely bright sunshine reflecting off the leaves, I couldn't resist getting my camera out.

The early morning sun (6am) makes the bricks of these houses glow, they stop being plain red and turns them golden.

This statue is on my way to the office in Manchester.

Proof that it's warmer here than it used to be, a palm tree in a small garden near my office - I'm afraid the litter pickers hadn't been round when I took this so the background is messy.

My latest bus sock - I don't know how I got so much done today, I'm almost at the toe shaping already.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Secret Pal questions

First, the questions from our Secret Pal hostess

1) What is your favorite season of the year?
Autumn or spring are tied for me, I don't like very hot or cold weather which rules out summer and winter. I love spring for the new life and freshness, but the autumn is harvest time, I love the colours of autumn too,
2) Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I haven't had a holiday in about 10 years, we used to holiday in Scotland when I was a child, but we camped, I'd like to go back but staying soemwhere comfortable!
3) If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
Ireland, it's not that far away, but I've never been, although I do have so many online friends in America I'd like to be able to meet up with them too!
4) If you could pick any job, and be paid well, what would it be?
Apart from knittting you mean? I'd love to have trained to be a councellor, in my ideal world I'd be able to afford the training and work as a therapist.
5) If you were going on vacation for 1 week, and had to take ONLY one project with you, what would it be?
My Pacific North West shawl, since I got the kitten complicated lace is off limits, she likes to sit on my patterns. Plus she interrupts my knitting mid row too often for comfort!
6) If you won a shopping spree to your favorite Yarn shop, what would you get??
Koigu KPPM, Lorna's Laces sock yarn and laceweight, Cherry Tree Hill sock and lace yarn! I have expensive tastes!

I finished this pair of socks, one of them needs the ends fastening in, but as you can see, the kitten was helping!

The lace sock is progressing, I'm hoping that it#ll grow fairly quickly now I'm only doing lace on the top half, but I can only work on it when I can sit and follow the pattern, it isn't bus knitting!
I may not be able to update this tomorrow, we're going to visit my Mum, my eldest sister is up visiting so big brother and I are going round as it's my mum's birthday on Tuesday.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lace in small amounts

It hasn't been quite as hot here today so I've done a bit of housework, watered the plants, all sorts of oddments, buT I have reached the toe shaping of this sock! I may get it finished this weekend.

I'm really pleased with the progress on this sock, it's an experiment on my part, a lace pattern I borrowed from somewhere inserted into my standard sock pattern, I'm determined to start making socks with patterns sometimes. So far I'm doing OK with this, I'm now aware of a small mistake in the first pattern repeat but I'm not going to frog, it's a very small mistake and I can't bear to undo that far now! Amber, I'm with you on the pink/brown sock I think, I'd rather make two totally different socks that go together than find myself with odd socks that ought to match.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Socks - again!

When I get home from work I mostly have company, company that likes to 'help', the sort of company who selects the ball of yarn I'm working with and tries to sneak it away to a place of safety. The sort of company who sneaks a leg or a tail into my blog pictures, here you can see the evidence. I wasn't buying knitting books, but this was half price because there was a tear in the cover! I've only glanced at it for now, I know that this was inspired by it which is what led me to look for the source book.

Just to prove that the whole cat was there, it wasn't me with a fake kitten leg!

Now, advice please, I want to make the mate for this sock, but, I'm not sure if I have enough yarn, I have about 35g of the brown, 21g of the pink and the sock in the picture weighed 29g! I'm always an anxious knitter when it comes to yarn amounts, I always buy far too much for fear of running out. Have I enough pink yarn do you think? I could alternatively make the mate as a mirror, pink where this one is brown and be certain of having plenty, what do you think?

Minor progress on one of the partner socks, I've been too sleepy for the lace sock this evening so I'ev stuck with what I think of as my autopilot socks, I can do them without having to think hardly at all!
This is a new orphan in the making, I try to make one orphan for evrey two that I create mates for, it keeps the socks moving along steadily - besides I love knitting with this alpaca/merino blend, it feels lovely and knits up well.

Five more rounds on this one and I'll be doing the toe shaping and that will be another pair completed.
It's been slightly cooler for most of the day here so I got some errands run and even sat down and worked out my finances, paid bills and things that I'd not been concentrating enough to do. I'm planning on cracking on with the lace sock tomorrow, I want to see it done and decided if I like it enough to wrestle kitten for the yarn whiel I make a second one as she's quite taken to this yarn - surprising really as it wasn' that expensive!
Thanks to Melisa and my Secret Pal for their comments on yesterday's entry and a big hug to both of you!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Happiness with a dash of sorrow

I was going to burble happily to you about this skein of Geranium Twinkletoes that arrived from the US today, Then I was going to show you the small amounts of knitting I'd achieved on my current 3 socks in active progress. I was then going to tell you that I actually sold 5 items on eBay as my first ever try at selling!

Well, the pictures are here, but I have something rather different on my mind. I went out at lunch time and collected a copy of my local evening paper, the front page news was of a 15 year old girl who had died unexpectedly, she was an organ donor though, so her death had given a chance of life to 5 people. It isn't that uncommon a story, although there is a shortage of young organ donors, the kick for me was, I used to know her family, her mother had helped me when I was very ill about 5 years ago, we've since lost touch.

I can't imagine how her Mum must feel, to lose a teenage daughter in the space of 2 days, to be grieving but yet be so proud of her daughter's maturity in wanting to be a donor. I'm not sure if I really have a message, I've no children, so I've no right to tell everyone with children togive them an extra hug, 'just because' I can't tell you all to regiser as organ donors. For me, I'm going to shed a quiet tear and then try not to whine about being too hot and go on and make the most of life.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Still too hot to knit!

I did get a small amount done, the left hand sock is on to the foot and the lace experiment has had two repeats done, I'm not sure if I like it yet but will persist, I'm just glad I'm doing it in a plain yarn, patterned yarn with a lace pattern would probably make my head explode. I've done lots of tinking!

We have here some yarn goodness, 10 balls in total of Regia much cheaper than I could buy as single balls, and you all know how little sock yarn I have in my stash don't you?????

And two totally contrasting items from Arklow, a mug from the art studio pottery by John Ffrench and a small shamrock piece from the original factory, it's old and a bit worn, but is a new shape for me and is a souvenir of Killarney, I didn't have anything for there either.