Sunday, 28 September 2008

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby!

My in-laws celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary last weekend.

Merriment was held at my BIL house and the weather was so kind we were able to enjoy an afternoon in the garden, drinking tea, eating cake and, later, quaffing wine. Although that warmth seems a long time ago as I have been cold this evening.

After a glass of champagne (so necessary at all festivities, although DH disagrees), we were treated to a lovely dinner at La Flambe.

Following on from all the festivities, Sam and I played netball on Sunday morning. I don't know who was more surprised - Sam that I actually turned up or me that I could catch the ball! Certainly, it was not like playing netball at school. I used to hate the seriously competitive edge matches had, maybe because I always felt useless and was one of the last chosen. I'm really not bitter and twisted by school sports (although I hated the majority of them), but it is refreshing to discover that ball games can be played for fun, with much laughter and the odd jostle.

For the afternoon, we enjoyed a sunny walk around the circular drive at Westonbirt Arboretum. The autumn colours are starting to come through, and there are plenty of berries on the trees.

Russets always look spectacular and light up the greens around them.

I just loved the splash of purple against the lime of the leaf.

I was surprised by the glorious show put on by the hydrangeas, although I do love their blousey lazy look.

I think the perfect view of the day was this heavily ladened tree. Each branch was perfectly lit and looked like a shower of lights in the sunbeams.

I have been knitting too, although you might not think so. I am desperate to finish All the Fun of the Fair and Vera. I am very close to finishing both of these projects but have been devoting time to knitting presents.

My friend, Mandy, returned to New Zealand this Wednesday. I have discovered she has taken up knitting, generally reusing garments from charity shops. I really hope to see some of the stuff she has been working on. I was able to send her home with my EZ Hat, which should help keep her warm next winter.

I will be running the Trading Hut in the village this Saturday. Whilst I hope to get some knitting done during my shift, I also hope it will be busy so we take some money.

Saturday, 27 September 2008


As Amy so rightly stated, it didn't take me long to die and suffer forced retirement from Hat Attack II. I love my death weapon but am secretly pleased not to have to knit at the required gauge. My hands hated knitting such a thick yarn on such small needles. Madness and my mind is still trying to recover.

Anyway, thank you M McClurg for my woolly death, it is lovely.

Our village held its annual Flower Show on 13 September.T he night before it looked as though the marquee would be washed away but on Saturday morning we were all greeted by a lovely sunny day.

With certain members of the village not entering a Victoria Sponge or Fruit Cake this year, I felt sure I would be placed. Oh, foolishness indeed. Although I thought they both tasted lovely, it appears that Soya margarine is not the type of marg the judge likes. I must return to the traditional type of marg next year. (The fruit cake is a set receipe.) Even worse was the fact that a very small portion of my Victoria Sponge was not thoroughly cooked. Now, in our house this is not a problem but in the competitive world of cake baking it means the cake will never be placed. Not in a month of Sundays. Drat. This also meant I could not entice people to purchase my prize winning cakes at the tea stand. Not this year anyway.

Roll on 2009!

On a much brighter note, I obtained a 3rd place for my first ever entry in floral arts. So happy. My husband is very concerned that the pink container came home with me. However, it is cute. I just need to think of a use for it.

After my bitter disappointment last year when my lace shawl received a second place I am very happy to be placed 1st this year. Last year, my lace came behind a well knitted pair of stocking stitch socks.

This year, I entered my socks Purple Perils (above), lovingly blocked onto my Fibre Trends sock blockers. I was up against some stiff opposition this year, the cardigan, necklace and blanket were lovely.

Also, there was some glorious needlecraft in the show this year. I am not sure who the entrants are but I am in awe of your work.

I will be uploading images from the Flower Show shortly in Flickr. I will advise when they become available.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Hat Attack II

Well, today is the day! I have been presented my target, the lovely Amyjaneb (Ravelry link).

My needles have been well tuned and I have selected the gorgeous colours for my murder weapon "Death is not the End".

I really think I'll use the maroon and bitter chocolate colourways (both to the right of the picture). The yellow and green were used to knit a hat based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's pattern. I am very happy with how it turned out. Therapi is a really lovely yarn to knit with (even if I have to use insanely small needles to obtain the necessary gauge for the death hat.

Anyway, it is time for bed so I can get up early and knit some death hat before work.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Honey, I bought more yarn!

The internet is a wonderful but dangerous place, especially just after pay day. I have amassed so much yarn over the last couple of weeks I am having serious problems with wedging it into my storage basket.

Anyway, shopping is always a favourite - even though it is best to window shop. There are adorable knitting needles by Kiku in the shape of ducks, pirates and Buddhas to name a few.

I also think the sock project tubes by Knitzi are great. My friend Jess has one and it is beautiful. I admire it very much and, when I can stop buying yarn, I really want to get myself one.

A pair of blockers is really useful for sock knitters (of which I am one) and I do love my Fibre Trend pair. However, I much admire Chappy Woman's wooden sock blockers. They come with many gorgeous designs and the main problem is deciding which to purchase. Also adorable are the blockers from Whorl Drop Spindle.

If only I hadn't been so bad with my yarn purchases over the last month ...

There are all sorts of goodies in there ... SWTC Therapi for Hat Attack II, Collinette, Manos del Uruguay, RYC, Lornas Laces, 4ply alpaca for Victorian Lace projects and some angora (the lovely blue/green/lilac bundle. I spent way too much but the majority was scored for really good prices on eBay.

I think my stash needs organising and I definately need to and learn to knit faster.

Our village Flower Show takes place this weekend which will put an end to some of the madness and mayhem in my life for another year. I am off to complete my entry form before I start baking cakes for the refreshment stall.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Walking News

First, The Gardian carries a knitting supplement and then The Telegraph follows suit. Where The Gardian was aimed at encouraging new knitters and also featured several sock patterns, The Telegraph's article is interesting and incorporates a book review. The vintage patterns are interesting, especially the frogged cardigan.

At work, we all seem slightly sad that September has arrived and we are yet to have a real run of sunny weather (although Saturday was glorious). To remind myself how lucky I am I thought I would pay attention to the views I enjoy whenever I attend my Sunday Knitting Group.

You see, I am lucky enough to enjoy a walk along a portion of the Kennet & Avon Canal at Bath.

I usually enjoy my stroll and knit along the way. I get the odd look but it has lead to an interesting conversation or two.

After the calm of the canal, I then have to walk up a big hill on a main road. Even on a Sunday, this can be busy and the noise of the motor car shakes out some of the good vibes. However, half way up the hill I can look over the wall and enjoy this view...

The sheep are a real bonus and I miss them when they aren't in the field.

I am a lucky girl.