Saturday, 28 March 2009

Let them eat cake

This is funny Cake Wrecks. Found thanks to Susan at Martha's Vineyarn Fibre Farm. I love her blog, especially for the pictures of her expanding flock.

Friday, 27 March 2009

What a Week End

What a week that was. It is now Friday night and I can't believe how quickly this last week has passed by.

As you know, I went to the Stitch & Craft show at Olympia and had a great day with Simply Knitting and the team from Future Publishing. It was fun discussing knitting with people and giving them help and ideas. I totally love spending time with yarn and there is always something that encourages people to share and talk. It seems to be a good introducer.

My toe up socks caused quite a stir with several people and indeed the Fybrespates Echo Self Striping yarn was much admired as well. The colour is Kermit, I am knitting a plain sock so the stripes can shine through.

I also took time to meet Kerrie and Alex of KAL and was lucky enough to see a proof of their new magazine, Inside Crochet.

Other things that caught my interest (and I managed to take photos of) are:

These adorable little houses by The Nutmeg Company. I love the idea of making little villages in cross stitch.

I just totally love these tatoo tapestries by Emily Peacock. The colours are lush, the traditional tatoo style, and the fact they are created in yarn just make me smile.

I was also able to purchase a copy of A Stitch in Time by Jane Waller and Susan Crawford, who kindly signed my copy. This book is lush and it was a complete pleasure to view all the samples and see them being warn. How could I resist, virtually everything is made in 4ply and I do seem to like working in thin yarn!

Of course, there was a purchase of yarn and (don't faint), it is DK in baby blue. I won't bore you with a picture but it does have angora in it.

Saturday was spent at the Natural History Museum. If you haven't been I so recommend it. The building itself it awesome. A cathedral to creationism and science designed by Alfred Waterhouse the building itself is worth a visit.

We had a great time visiting the Darwin Exhibition and wandering around the galleries.

That evening, we had a lovely dinner at Nineteen in Stretham. The food was delicious and the service very good. The wine flowed well and the rest of the evening finished in merriment and a bit too much alcohol. This lead to a lovely lazy Sunday, chilling with friends. Of course, we had to do a tourist shop at Fortnum & Mason.

Of course, I haven't left cholera behind and we had to have a drink at the John Snow pub, which is where the Broad Street pump was located.

Monday, 16 March 2009

All I want for knitting is a Beatle

I have been wishing for a new project bag. It is a case of desire not need though. Having found the following two project bags at slippedstitchstudios Iain might be tempted to buy me one :).

slippedstitchstudios also carries matching needle rolls. She makes these items in a wide range of lovely fabric and I love the look of her kits for knitters. These come with magnetic pattern markers, stitch markers, 10 handcrafted care cards and a lovely printed tin.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

What! Another Post?

Happy unbirthday to me!

Happy unbirthday to me!

I have been accumlating sock yarn, again. I don't think this obsession will ever end.

The yarn I have purchased has come from Gothic Yarns, I just fell in love with the colourways and there was no hope for me. No hope at all.

As always, the yarns came supplied wrapped in red tissue. The skeins look like a coptic bundle, tied with black ribbon

and guarded by a skull stitch marker

Inside, the fun did not stop. I had purchased Carrie (top) and Poison Apple (bottom).

Carrie is beautiful; the vivid orange becomes burnt as it merges with the red tinged black and the red is lightly speckled with spots of black.

Poison Apple is lovely and reminds me of the rosy apple sweets I had as a little girl. Small accents of citrus lemon become zesty lime and spring green. A rosy pink has coloured the cheek of the apple and I just love it.

I won't bore you with the details of my recent shopping expedition to Get Knitted, except to mention Fybrespates Echo Self Striping Sock lemon, lime, fresh green, deep green and teal).

and Malabrigo in Turner in chartreuse and olive.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Weirdness, Cholera and Bellowhead

There is some mad, crazy stuff out there in the world:

Fish with transparent heads

Unusal cousins to octopus. (Don't worry DH will correct my grammer for that sentence.)

I know the above form only a knat's whisker of a knat's whisker of oddness in the natural world.

With this in mind, Iain and I are off to the Natural History Museum next weekend and we am very much looking forward to seeing the Darwin exhibition. We have nothing else planned for the day as this wonderful museum will happily fill the day

Also, I have been wanting to visit Highgate Cemetery for a long time. Maybe we will manage it this time? Click here to see some the majesty of this Gothic necropolis.

We also want to go to Body World. I guess we will have to see what we get up to. Iain has promised to buy me a pint at The John Snow pub in Broad Street (as was) to "celebrate" the cholera outbreak of 1854. Although there isn't a song about the outbreak (as far as I know), Bellowhead have recorded a song about Cholera Camp. If you like the sound, go to and listen to them on radio, then go see them live. They are excellent!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Gothic Yarn

I was catching up on blogs the other day, as I am very behind with everything and I saw the recent lovely dye additions at Gothic Yarns. I had seen her yarns on eBay and Misselle mentioned they were really nice.

Of course, having been given the word about good sock yarn I couldn't resist and purchased Gothic Rose and Full Moon Rising. The yarn is so lovely and shiny and Full Moon has exactly the right colour grey to send me dancing into the night.

I do believe that these are some of the nicest packaged yarns I have ever received.
Just the perfect little present for myself. And look, a sweet wing stitch marker is included.

Several of us were lucky enough to be given a cupcake by a famous person yesterday. It was a lovely gesture and had us giggling very well. Hurry up and open your cafe, we love a good cup of coffee.

Monday, 2 March 2009

A Guild Meeting

Having recently purchased a spinning wheel, it only seemed right to finally take the plunge and visit the local Spinning Guild. Accompanied by my friend Jess we took our drop spindles and fibre and set off for a meeting in Rode. As first timers and complete wheel novices, we felt that spinning wheels could wait for another day, especially as I haven’t managed to fix mine yet.

On arrival, we discovered the hall filled with spinners working at their wheels. We were also advised that half the members were attending a workshop in the back room. It was very pleasing to see it is a well attended Guild. As newbies, we were warmly welcomed and one of the members, Rosemary, kindly showed us the basics of spinning.

She supplied us with a lock from an unwashed fleece and had us prepare and spin it by hand so we could get a feel for the behaviour of yarn. I found this very useful, even though I have been doing some spinning; it gave a real feel for slipping the yarn. It was definitely felt more intuitive than using the commercially prepared tops I have been spinning. Based on Jess’s first attempts with her drop spindle, I do think this is an exercise that is totally worthwhile. Afterwards, Rosemary kindly ran through maintenance and set up of a spinning wheel, which was informative and will help me as I fix my wheel and give it a general overhaul.

Unfortunatley Jess couldn't stay for the afternoon session. It was a real shame as Anne Lane, another member, showed a range of fleeces together with skeins spun using wool from a variety of rare and common breeds. The main emphasis of her talk was decorative yarns.

The samples passed around comprised a wide variety of decorative yarns including slubs, pompom, tuft and striped yarns. As she sat there, Anne carefully made a range of batts and proceeded to demonstrate long draw technique. This made my jaw drop in amazement at the range and quality of the yarn she produced and I never recovered as she ran each technique through her wheel. She then demonstrated tuft yarn using neps raised when spinning long draw.

Finally Anne placed two bobbins of hand spun silk in two handmade lazy kates (of the shoebox and knitting needle variety) and started to spin knotted silk yarn. Carefully stopping the silk from winding onto the bobbin she passed the right hand silk back and forward over a short portion of the left hand silk, forming an elongated knot. Once this was completed the silk was allowed to wind on slightly before repeating the process with the left hand silk forming the knot.

All too soon the meeting came to an end. As a new member of the Guild I can't wait for the next meeting.

Sorry there are no photos of the lovely yarns.