Tuesday, September 18, 2007

the animal edition

Because I promised, and because I am in love with them, herewith prawn pr0n and sheep. (And a cat, being a prawn.)

So first, and look carefully, for there is a delicate crocheted prawn - with antenna - nestling among the sugar prawn sweets. A prawn, when seen, that I practically wrested untimely from its maker's hands. (Actually, I did trade for them, with some shockingly pink Rowan something or other. Which, fortunately, the lovely and kind Marie (non-blogging, but deeply talented) likes - shockingly pink, that is.) And after losing prawn at least twice at knit club that night, he did finally make it home, to be sewn onto a brooch back, and then carefully placed to adorn my coat. But do you remember those shockingly sugary prawn sweets? Well, I couldn't resist buying a packet, just to see what they were like. And to know, now, in my growing dotage, that I much prefer the crocheted kind. (Though I would never say no to a bowl of perhaps delicately garlic and chili scented finger dripping loveliness of the real kind.)

Happily, fortuitously, Prawn then got a friend, to keep him company. For the deeply talented Mary-Lou, in a moment of incredible kindness, and stunning organisation, sent a little care package my way for my recent birthday. (Which arrived, on the day itself. More than anything I got from either of my brothers. Though one of them did call that evening, and sing a stunningly drunken and out-of-tune song to me. And even though the singing was shockingly bad, the fact that he remembered, for the first time in over a decade, was more of a shock.) So Sheep arrived. And where better to put Sheep, than next to Prawn, on my coat.

Mary-Lou also had the intelligence to send chocolate (well, of course it isn't still around), and a delightful book on shoes. (By the way, I have become so attached to my farting shoes, that I now have three pairs. Such joy and bouncy comfort do they bring to my life. And so much fun to wear, especially when chairing meetings of my local WI.)

What brings me even more delight are the looks I get, with Prawn and Sheep on my coat. The looks, as people stare, double-take, and stare again (hey, their eyes are up and to the left of where they sometimes are, which is always an improvement). And sometimes even have the bravery to ask questions, in a 'Is that a..., well, no, it couldn't be..., is it really...,' kind of way. Don't you just love having talented friends?

And finally, one of the dreaded beasts. Doing her best to imitate a prawn. Looking innocent. No at all as if she had been hairballing with a vengeance recently, in an attempt to get the premium, ridiculously over-priced cat food, rather than supermarket own-brand. (One small bit of success, though. For we are starting to wean her off her cravings for raw potato peelings - though she isn't so keen on summer varities, and really isn't a fan of new potatoes, she is a King Edward girl all that way - and have discovered that cucumber peel is an almost acceptable alternative.)

Still to come, mitten (and now mi), and more pressies - something from the very prescient Wye Sue (owner of the niftiest combinations I have seen, ever) who just knew that I need something to kick start the lace.

And Avast, ye land-lubbers, for tomorrow, 19th of the fair month of September, is of course, Talk Like a Pirate Day. (Lookie, lookie, Mary-Lou even has appropriate clothing for you!) Arrrr!

(edited because I can't spell today)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

it was a 'special' day yesterday

And I forgot to mention it. It was, in fact, Wye Sue's Birthday. (Mine too, as it turns out.)

And I got mighty spoilt, for I received cards, and presents (details to come, but many, many thanks, Mary-Lou). And I took myself off to go and see the KCG - which is code for spending money on things knitterly. And then I took myself off to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, to eat bambi and cranberries and ice-cream, and be stilled in awe by the Andy Goldsworthy exhibition.

And seeing as it is birthday season, the last of my recent birthday knits:

Seemingly, a rather strange thing - but in fact a version of Elizabeth Zimmermann's 'Very Warm Hat' (from 'The Opinionated Knitter').

Knit in just over one ball of Jaeger cashmina (the grey), and using that darned Buffalo gold yarn for the brown. And after all the possibly snitty things I may have said about Buffalo gold, I have got to say that it is beautiful to work with. Because it feels like your hands are running through the softest undercoat of your favourite pet (but without all the requisite wet dog smell). And it does knit up ridiculously warm and soft. So I shall cherish my memories of working with this yarn, because unless I get very, very rich, I shall never work with it again. (Oh, and the problem with birthday knits, is it helps to check the head size you are knitting for before you are nearly finished, so that you have to start all over again, and end up washing and blocking the hat at 4.30am, to be given, still damp, at noon the next day.)

Many thanks for the kindness about the tea-pot cozy. The latest report is that it is now completely liberated from the tea-pot, and has become the hat-du-jour for the twins. Which is delightful, but does mean that when I visit for tea, my tea will still be cold. So my cunning plan went awry. Again.

Amy, I wish there had been a pattern, it would have made life much easier - but instead I just cannabalised one of the frilly neck/cuff patterns out of Nicky Epstein's 'Knitting Beyond the Edge' (which has some very, very beautiful things in it), and topped it off with a selection of her flower patterns from the same book. The thing which saved me was knitting the base in a lovely, forgiving, elastic 100% shetland wool yarn, which meant I could get it good and wet, and stretch it heinously, and block it fiercely on the tea-pot itself, because of course, not starting with a swatch, it was slightly too small. (Everything I make tends to be either slightly too small, or slightly too large. My inability to judge size correctly must be related to my refusal to accept that I am no longer a size 8, or even vaguely near to a size 8, and haven't been for the past 20 years.)

Right, now that I am older, I must away to bed, for the midnight bells have struck. But still to come are prawns, and mitten and socks in a myriad of sizes. And a sheep. Can't wait...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

not blogging, been knitting

And so, may I present, the 'Functionally Frou-Frou Teapot Cozy':

Behold, first, in its pinning on of the insane, using up lots of yarn oddments, flowers. Hmm, fun. (And many thanks for Hiding Pup, for the sewing up of the insane flowers.)

Then, the side view. Note the functional frills - for added insulation. And the flower topping, for added insulation, and added frou-frou. (Note, as well, how flower placement decided to change. Gah, you try to plan something, and do you think it behaves...)

And finally, the top - if only Carmen Miranda had liked flowers instead of tropical fruit - view.

The teapot has been presented, accepted, and used. More importantly, no sooner had young god-daughter and twin sister seen teapot cozy, than they did what every sensible, and fashion-conscious, 18 month old does, which is place cozy on head. Where it looked mighty fetching. (And, gloriously, this has solved all present giving for many years to come. Because the younglings like hats. And I can make hats. And then in a few years I can present them with knitting needles and yarn, and they can make their own hats. Bliss.)

So when I say functional, I actually mean multi-functional, for the cozy can keep warm both tea and tiny tot tĂȘtes. I loves a bit of form meets function, I does.

I'm still far, far behind on blogging, and emailing, and just generally things. But in my defense, I have indeed been knitting. So to come, more hats, mitten, the most beauteous crocheted prawn, and an almost completed pair of tumescent socks. Just like buses, you wait forever for one, and then three come at once...