Friday, April 28, 2006

Mayday, mayday

Come Mayday, I will be officially casting-on for Sharon Miller's Wedding Ring Shawl. Come Mayday evening, I will just be sending out mayday messages.

You see, this is what happens when you start blogging, you 'meet' people. And they seem nice, kind, clever, funny, and sometimes you start leaving comments, and sometimes those comments turn into emails. And then, someone who you thought was nice, kind, clever, funny turns around and decides to play Flight of the Bumble Bee using your brain as their xylophone. And so the dear, delightful Snow signed us up to a joint, transatlantic adventure, were we would share the pleasures and pains of knitting the Wedding Ring Shawl together. And because she isn't putting me through enough already, we have become the Fellowship of the Ring Shawl (thanks, Mary-Lou). So now I have to watch those blasted movies (if you are a Tolkein freak, I apologize for the diss, but the most Tolkein I ever managed to read was less than a paragraph before I ran screaming from the room), and work out clever and witty over-extended metaphors and puns and references, as if the whole knit itself isn't going to be enough.

But I have to say that the FotRS site is very pretty, as is the button (look, sidebar, linking, even available for your own site, download properly etc., etc., 'cos if you don't the RingWraiths will get you) thanks to the tender ministrations of Scrine, web-designer extraordinaire and cute squinty bird. Who will be watching over us, our own little Gandalf, ready to step in and take control if we lose it too badly.

And, as if that isn't enough, there is even a Knitting the One Ring ring (details on FotRS), so that you can ALL come and play (yes, I'm looking right at you, Wye Sue). Because Snow and I can't be the only ones mad enough to knit this.

So, all that aside, I have been doing other things, now that my back has been crunched into submission by the osteopath. I thought, first, I would work on lace, because I need all the practice I can get, so 40 rows of Sharon Miller's Spring Shawl, which doesn't look very much at all in the photo. And has been put aside, because, funnily enough, I have a hankering to work with large and chunky things right now. So I have my head down, my hands round some 7.5mm needles, and am concentrating on finally finishing a habu jacket. Oh, and fighting with the weed-fest that is the garden (dandelions look so pretty, from a distance), 'cos garden beat-up green stained hands make lace so much easier.

For those who dance round the maypole, have a fun weekend.

Oh, and aren't you impressed with all my casually tossed in LotR words! Look at me, I do Tolkein now.

Oh, and did I mention the FotRS thing?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

exciting news...

and many plans, but it will all have to wait, as I've put my back out. Indeed, I, and the food, needed to be rescued from the supermarket carpark by a friend today.

Still, if you want to know, go and see Snow, who has forced my hand, and signed us up to something ...

Meanwhile, can't move, can't knit, but baby is the painkiller high fun.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

mother and daughter

A few months ago, one of my favourite people ever, L., gave birth to a daughter (who could not love a woman who says of her first born: "... to me she is lovely. She is improving by the day in the looks department - less like Brando and more like a little piglet." Now, I have promised that little M. will get handknits, and she will, when I get round to it (I'll know this girl for years, so I've got time). But I wanted to get mother and daughter something really special, made just for them, from start to finish. (Let us ignore the fact that these are hats, and we are heading for summer - the hats are not tacky-fashion-will-go-out-of-season-in-a-flash hats, and will work just as well next winter. And by then there is an outside chance that L. and I will have actually managed to get together, and I will actually get to meet M.)

So a few weeks agos, I turned to one of my new favourite people, Ruth, and demanded that she help. And Ruth, with her professional hat on, came through for me. She wasn't scared when I said there were no photos of L. Ruth wasn't scared when I said I have absolutely no memory for faces, and couldn't tell her what L. looked like, even if I were staring L. in the face. Ruth wasn't scared when I started on the long and rambling stories of things done with L., all in a vague attempt to capture character.

Ruth asked me clever questions, made suggestions as to shape and colour and style, sent me work-in-progress photos, and delivered (came in under budget, too!). Two gorgeous, hand-dyed, hand-spun hats, warm and interesting and beautifully finished, one in cashmere, one in merino and silks, which I know fit L., in body and soul.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


You know how I said that I had all these things I needed to do? All those plans I had made, to make socks and jumpers and baby clothes? You didn't really think I was actually going to be sensible, did you?

Good. Because instead I made a small moebius scarf, in luscious Lion and Lamb (mixed berries, if you must), in one of my favourite, favourite stitches, brioche. (I feel so unutterably extravagantly elegant, working brioche, swooping down for the yarn overs, scooping up through the slip, finishing with a satisfying, anchoring k2tog.) Which I promptly gave away, before I took a photo (I'll eat mixed berries til the summer pudding runs out, but they aren't something I'll wear.)

And then, because the world seems to be dotted with devious little traps at the moment, I finally fell down the rabbit hole. Now this rabbit hole is a travelling rabbit hole, and I know of at least two 'victims'. Snow fell down, a while ago, when she bumped into Alice Starmore's Laleli. Cassie just keeps falling from one rabbit hole into another (but she's briefly come up for air, and is making some serious cute holders for an emergency sock kit, which would be almost perfect if they weren't for the evil dpns). And I would warn you, I don't know where it is going to hit next. And I would warn you, because this rabbit hole makes you come over all Super-Knitter Super-Hero (what would the costume be? Hair held up with crochet hooks? Circular whips? Stitch markers to pin you down? Lace shawls to tie you up? A knitter's bag, all porcupine-y with dpns, just right for clouting round the head. Sweeping past in a cape of all the swatches you have - of course - made and kept and labelled and numbered and catalogued?), and things that in a saner moment would bring fear and trembling suddenly seem a snip-snap-snop. Because this week, I thought I could knit the Wedding Ring Shawl.

Now wiser knitters than I will survive playing with bunnies, I'm sure. But based on the swatches above, I think I hit just about every tree branch on my way down. The first swatch, on the bottom left, is in a Shetland Cobweb (914m per 20g), done at night, in bed, watching a dvd. The second swatch, the abomination bottom right, is in a Gossamer Silk (700m per 20g), done at knit club, worked when awake, in good light, in a good chair, with a lovely helpful young man who brings you coffee at regular intervals. The lesson learnt being me talking and lace is a bad, bad, bad thing. Also that silk is just waiting to pounce, and make a fool of you. (The top swatch is in a mysterious coned yarn, thicker than the others, but after the silk bit back, I thought I just ought to behave and practice.)

So, guess what I ordered.

Send supplies, I could be down here some time.