Thursday, May 25, 2006

for Myriam

Myriam - I asked a friend to write this in French for you. I hope it helps, but I am not an expert, and my friend does not knit. My friend also found you another website to try, which has places which will translate knitting terms, and further down the page, there are some links to French knitting blogs:

Bonjour Miriam,

Pour le 'blocking', je me sers de 'blocking wires' (fils), qui sont en acier inox mince main assez résistant et très lisse. J'ai trouvé les miens ici: ( Vous aurez également besoin d'aiguilles de bonne qualité.

Quand le châle est terminé, lavez le doucement a la main. Enroulez le dans une serviette pour absorber l'eau, puis étalez le soigneusement sur une surface plate et propre. J'enfile les fils a travers les extrémités du châle et retient les fils en place avec des aiguilles. Doucement, en faisant attention de garder la bonne tension, je donne la bonne forme au châle en tirant doucement. C'est le bon moment pour vérifier s'il y des erreurs ou des mailles lâchées, et les réparer. Je laisse sécher au cours d'une nuit. Vous pouvez distendre le châle fermement, la laine devrait être assez résistant. Faites attention de ne pas tirer trop brusquement.

Voici une autre site qui vous aidera peut être – il y a des images utiles:

J'espère que ça vous aidera. Bonne chance pour la compétition.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

distraction tactics

You will be pleased to know that the new car made it home
safely, made it in through the ancient rusty gates safely (about 15cm total clearance - takes me 10 minutes to get in and out of the drive now), and has received cat approval. Susie was most miffed that I took her red car away, but she has decided, after some judicious sniffing, that the shiny new silver car is an equally good heat conductor, and just right for sunbathing (after total block has been applied to her ears). Oh, goody, cat claws and shiny new metallic paint.

I only wish, Daisy, that I could reprogramme the car to allow knitting! Or perhaps find an ever so helpful monkey to help share the driving duties.

And it is nice to know that helpful people, aka Carrie K, are trying to encourage me in finding my way through the maze that is Lord of the Rings (and no, I haven't watched all of the movies yet, and I'm liking the knit so much, that I've decided to do it all again - update soon, over on the official FotRS site, as soon as I stop crying.)

And I have found yet more distractions - and then was so distracted that I forgot to mention them. But I signed up for The Amazing Lace the other week (look, button in sidebar and all, how official), which is the devious concept of Theresa and Rachel. I'm sure that it is meant to encourage us all in the knitting of lace, but seeing as my current progress can be measured in minus numbers, I'm not sure that I'll ever make it to the end. Still, many pretty things over there to look at, so go look.

What else, what else. Well, apologies for having not been as good as going round all the blogs recently, as I am still silly busy - so could you just all stop being so prolific, maybe just try posting once every couple of weeks or so? That way, I don't get so behind, and miss out on visiting some of my favourite people and seeing what they have all been up to.

What else - oh, you came for knitting? So could I get on with it? Well, no knitting going on here, but I have a double confession. Which I had been hoping I wouldn't have to make, what with the distractions and all. For not only have I been playing on the dark side (yes, the evil crochet), but that I also I killed some yarn.

I happen to be lucky enough to know Hello Mango (Hi, Mango, waving frantically), in actual person, down at the local knit club. And every so often, Hello Mango brings some of her handspun with her. Beautiful stuff, soft, delicious, and colours which just called to my inner 5 year old child, bright, vibrant, screaming out to be made into a dinky little summer bag, with a great big crocheted flower on the outside. So over the weekend I hooked up a bag, for felting (yes, I know, officially it is fulling). And I threw it in the washing machine, because pah, hand-felting. And it felted just fine, down to the right size, kept just a hint of stitch definition (which I wanted), small enough to make the inner 5 year old happy, just large enough to put a couple of summer essentials in. But. And this is where it gets awful. I killed the yarn. I've already grovelled to Hello Mango (who does have a name, Zoe, but I like writing Hello Mango) and apologized, and she has been very kind and not threatened to never sell me yarn again. But I killed it. Because I borrowed a pair of jeans to throw in with the bag, and didn't stop to think about dye. So the denim dye did what it would do, and dyed Hello Mango's bright lucious colours a slightly denim dull dye shade. Readers, I made the yarn die. I am sorely ashamed, and so ashamed that I cannot give you further details of my heinous crime. But apparently, Puplet, who has no shame, has kidnapped the bag, and will be giving full details, with photographic evidence, of how I killed a fimble last weekend.

And now, I will leave you with the final distraction, a photo of Fran, the great huntress. Little Fran is growing big and strong, gamboling through the tall, weed-infested grass out back (wildlife friendly, I'll have you know, not lazy gardeners), and bringing home her kills to share, and be admired.

And what would the great huntress be bringing home? Why, the most deadly creature know to cat or human, the most difficult to trap, to carry, to capture. Nothing other than the garden worm. Our kitten, the great worm-charmer. Lovely, underfoot, first thing in the morning.

Friday, May 12, 2006

full-time score

Coffee vs Knitting

Coffee 0 :: Knitting 23

Sorry for being all cryptic - and I only wish, Mary-Lou, that life had taken over because of fun things, like birthdays!

No, just one of those silly, silly times when everything just gets far too busy, and there was NO TIME FOR KNITTING. You know, when suddenly you feel like you have to spend your life in the car, and being the driver, you CAN'T KNIT, or you get put on a quiz team, and you CAN'T KNIT, or there are 8,001 people round wanting drinks and food, and you spend your time jumping up and down getting coffee and tea and water and wine and nibbles and olives and cheese and dinner and crisps and you CAN'T KNIT. And then you have to do the washing up of the 8,001 people who wanted all the coffee and tea and so on, so you CAN'T KNIT. And then all the washing up has made your hands cracky spodgy prunes, so even if you had the time, you CAN'T KNIT. And then, what with all the driving around, and the driving of the others around, you decide that the car really is just a little bit sick and old, and if you were going to spend far too much money fixing the car, you might just as well spend far too much money getting a new car, so you have to go and test drive possibly new cars, and you REALLY CAN'T KNIT driving a strange car. And then you have to do all the 'how much? You must think I came down in the last shower' conversations with the car people, and although sharp pointy needles can be just a bit threatening, I'm not sure that they really work when you are trying to be all hard-nosed and no I haven't fallen in love with this car, which by the way was officially registered on my birthday, and I really, really want it, and I'm makin
g it a set of fluffy dice right now, and then maybe a car cosy, so you CAN'T KNIT. (Now, there is an idea, handmade fluffy dice....)

But, I think I have now reclaimed the balance - or rather that knitting has reclaimed its rightful place as in charge. For this morning, I took delivery of both my regular supply of coffee beans, and a second-hand, but absolutely untouched Gansey kit, which must have come from these people (bought in 1987, cost £32.80, 'cos they left the receipt in the bag, and lookie, lookie, it would cost me £67.35 now, and the friend it came from wouldn't even take any money for it - so we compromised and left cash for charity).

Coffee is precious to me. I hold my hands up and admit that I am one of those sad people that cannot function with caffine - do not ever talk to me first thing in the morning unless I have had my coffee - and the beans, all 3.5kg of them, live in the bottom of the fridge-freezer, in the special coffee beans only drawer. Each delivery, the packages are carefully unwrapped, stroked, sniffed, and lovingly placed away until needed, welcome, Costa Rica, ah, the Nepalese, how nice to have some of you again, my old friend Mocha, and Mysore, hiding in the back there. But the gansey kit? There is a chance, that although untouched by human hands, it might have played host to a few little critters, there was just a hint of something crusty that might once have been the casing for some moth larva - only on the 2 'spare' balls, which had been left loose, to fend for themselves (how my heart bleeds). But needs must, and now the coffee has to fend for itself, not even taken out of its cardboard box, as each of the 12 balls has been unwrapped, had a quick examination, and then put away, in the bottom drawer of the fridge-freezer, until I have both strength and time to carefully, carefully, carefully crawl along each and every inch of each and every ball, to see what else might have been crawling along.

So, you see, all is as it should be now. The wool has taken over. I've even been making non-progress progress over on the FotRS.

And now, I must leave, to go and get a 'new' car (it makes fancy bleeping noises, I've never had a car that bleeped at you before, and had buttons to press and make bleeping noises, and told you to put your seat-belt on! How long before I start bleeping back at it?)

Can you cross you fingers, so that I at least get it home without pranging it?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

half-time score

Life vs Knitting

Life 1 :: Knitting 0

In immortal words of surely someone wise, it is all a bit poo.