Saturday, December 29, 2007

My angel:

plastic canvas angel
I can't remember exactly which year I made this, probably about ten years ago.

My new Christmas present/blogging tool:
gorilla pod tripod

Yes, its a gorillapod, as seen on Rosamundi's blog.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas for tomorrow

Happy Christmas!!!

If I get round to it later, I will edit in a photo of the angel from the top of our tree. I made her a few years ago, two or three years after we got married. She is from plastic canvas (this is the ideal use for it), and sits in the top of the tree.

I know lots of bloggers seem to make every decoration they have out. This is one of the few homemade ones we have.

My tastes this days seem to veer more towards sparkly glass. This gorgeous little Swaroski Christmas tree would fit right in. No, I don't have one, but isn't it gorgeous? Maybe it'll be in the sales...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I succumbed

To Ravelry, that is.

Look at my place on the list:

If you've added your name to the invite request list on our front page then you can use this form to check your place in line.
Email address look me up!
Found you!

* You signed up on Today
* You are #71173 on the list.
* 7003 people are ahead of you in line.
* 0 people are behind you in line.
* 88% of the list has been invited so far

Sad, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Failure to Crochet

Two days running, I have taken my crochet with me in the hope that I'll be able to make some progress on my "Learn to crochet blanket", whilst filling in waiting time.

Day 1: deliver child to school hall approximately 50 minutes before the concert is due to begin. Spend 5 minutes in the car, then go to hall. The mother of Kiddo's friend is the only person queuing at the "Box Office" (aka table outside hall). Go in to hall together, sit down together. Feel guilty as we discuss the book she is holding (Northern Lights), in case she really wanted to read it during the wait (she has many children under 12yo, who all seem to do at least two after-school activities each). Don't get out my crochet.

Day 2: I sit in the car near the teacher's house while t'other Kiddo has their guitar lesson. Normally the lesson is 4.30pm - 5pm, so it is usually cold and dark in the car. Today the lesson was 4.00-4.30, meaning it was still light. I made sure the ball of wool is in my handbag, then drove to the lesson. Get ball out of bag. Look for hook. Continue to look for hook. Empty out bag, look for hook. Conclude hook is not in bag. Wonder how I can fill in the next 30 minutes with no reading matter available. Copy infrmation from old diary to new diary. Mess round with phone, entering ICE number, where ICE is this idea rather then the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I took my Patchwork to Patchwork Corner

A very long time ago, I posted pictures of my leaf quilt. (Then I managed to delete all the photos I uploaded, so don't go expecting pictures.)

This is it yesterday.

patchwork of random placed maple leaf blocks in two sizes

After I had finished the top, I started piecing the back: the inspiration came from old brick walls, where the bricks are varied in colour: each brick is 25cm by 5.25 inches. That size got the maximum number of bricks from each metric fat quarter.

patchwork which looks like a wall of old bricks

Unfortunately, what with one thing and another, progress completely halted. My sewing machine stayed put away, the quilt was in its bag.

Finally I got back to the bricks a few weeks ago. Originally I spent a lot of time rearranging the layout. This time I just sewed them together without worrying too much about optimal placement. Every so often, I layed them out and occasionally would unpick one seam and resew a different set.

Earlier this year, I'd seen Ferret's list of services. One thing she does is to baste quilts using her long-arm quilter. This would save me a massive amount of time on the next step. So I took it down to Patchwork Corner, for her to collect.

Then I had an even better idea. Rather then basting, could she do some, but not all, of the quilting? The answer was "yes", she could. So we agreed that she would baste leaf motifs over the background - the earth colours - and leave the main leaves for me. So that is what she did.

detail of quilting

Yesterday I went and picked it up. Patchwork Corner has some well-designed quilt hanging displays: you can pin your quilt to a beam which is raised and lowered using a pulley. I took these pictures while I was there.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Who ikes old books?

You know the wallpaper you can get, the one which looks like shelves of old books.

The new British Library at Kings Cross doesn't have it in their cafe.

The cafe at the new British Library building (opened 1998) has a very modern glass wall.

The other side of the glass wall is a wall the size of the building, extending above the ceiling of the cafe and below its' floor.

It's not a brick wall though: this building-sized wall is an expanse of real, old books. Really old books. Real, really old books.

(And what's more anyone[1] can walk in to the British Library and go to their cafe.)

([1] Assuming you don't mind queuing for a while to have your bag searched, and being prepared to explain that in the small bag in your bag is a knitting needle and some new fabric bought in Libertys, and that other object is just a crochet hook... )

Friday, November 23, 2007

Kiddo's Knucks

I've lost track of who it was, but the blog of one of my commenters said they liked to see works in progress as well as finished objects. So from a few days ago:
barely there glove

If it looks like a lot of DPNs, there are indeed 8. But I wasn't doing the pattern quite as stated: first time round, the fingers were too small, so I undid the whole lot and used the old thumb as the first finger, and continued from there. But I didn't knit a new thumb at the time. Instead when I got to the right place for the thumb, I knitted up from the bottom of the thumb.

This photo was taken on Tuesday (I think), and I have now got to the bottom of the ribbing. I think it is long enough, but that will have to wait until morning, when Kiddo gets up.

FWIW, I started two Sundays ago. Hopefully the other one will get done faster. Then it is time for me to knit a pair for Kiddo's Sibling.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Three and a half...

pile of fabricI won a giveaway on Kate's blog for small rectangles of fabric. They arrived today - all three and half inches of them. Yes, the pieces are 3.5 x 2 inches, but the pile (I measured) was also 3.5 inches high.

I haven't looked through all of them, but I do like this one:planet on fabric

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Draw

A quick post to say that we've had the draw for the pink banana yarn promised last week. The lucky winner is Shan from Half Soled Boots.

bright pink banana fibre

Running giveaways is hard: I wanted to be able to give something to everyone. But I've only one hank.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Edited: Why I blog less then I think about blogging.

This evening it snowed! Just a teensy bit which didn't settle, but it was snow none the less.

Yesterday, I went to Patchwork Corner, the shop which Ferret blogged about recently. I also bought some flowered shoes (not from Patchwork Corner). All pre-teens questioned said they were a bit childish, but I think they have a bit of Boden style. I'm not convinced that the make isn't a bit old ladyish, but these particular ones were nice.

I'm on the verge of making this comment on Too Much Wool. Of course the last sentence is only true sometimes, but I thought the whole thing was worth posting here too, as it does summarise my feelings.

Sometimes the blogging bit is hard, because you have to find the camera, and clear a bit of space, and take the photo(s) and upload the photos to your computer, and crop the photos, and resize the photos, and upload the photos to the internet, and write the blog post, and check the links, including the photo, and edit the post and then finally publish it. And after all that, NO-ONE COMMENTS ON IT.

(Edited; (if I've got the tags right) I've crossed out that last sentence on the comment, because really its the rest of the pfaffing around that puts me off posting. If it was important to me, I'd have a sitemeter to check whether anyone is reading, but instead I rely on comments. It sounded a bit whingy.)

Anyway, I always read all my comments, even if I don't always reply to them, or comment on your blog. Thank you for all the comments on the "two years" post.

OTOH, it is probably also worth saying I've just recently changed computer, and deliberately didn't move all my bookmarks over. So if you notice that I've suddenly stopped going to your blog, that's why. But I'm willing to start again.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Two Years!

It is two years since I started this blog. I think it is time to do a giveaway:
bright pink banana fibre
Bright pink 100% banana fibre from HipKnits. There is 160g there, about 160m. It's supposed to be similar to recycled sari silk yarn. Leave a comment, and this time next week, I'll draw one of them at random.

Just like last year, I can't really say blogging has changed my life. But my life has changed since I started. The fundamentals are still there - same husband, same children, same house. But I still don't know how to write about this. Also, tomorrow I go and see someone at a World-Famous University to discuss this.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Knucks again

It would appear that Kiddo's Knuck is too small and have to be frogged. I'd done all the fingers on one hand, and partway down the hand itself, but although the fingers had been tried on several times, they were too small when knitted together. The thumb can be saved and used as a finger, but that's it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Memo to self

Which is the plural of memo, memos or memoes?

Don't use dark purple waste yarn to hold dark purple stitches when knitting.

I'm knitting a second pair of Knucks (I never blogged about the first) for Kiddo, because she has taken over the Knucks I knitted for myself. I'm using two balls I got in Ghent, where I went before I got a blog. One ball is a multicoloured Regia 6-fadig sock wool in shades of pink/purple. The other is plain dark purple, the make called Annell: you can buy it here (if you speak the right European language, which might be Dutch).

Giveaway - ticket for Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show

I've got one ticket for the Knitting and Stitching show at Harrogate on 22nd - 25th November. I bought it to go Ally Pally, but instead only went with my S'n'B group. It is valid for the Harrogate show, details as on their web-site. I've filled in my details on the ticket, but you can either rewrite them, or just masquerade as me.

FWIW, to pay on the door costs £12, advance tickets are £10. Group tickets are £8.50.

This is a first come first served offer, but if I can't contact them in a timely manner (hint leave a way of getting in touch :-) ), it will be offered to the next person. If you can't use it, feel free to mention it on your blog: I don't want it to go to waste.

I'm also planning a giveaway to celebrate my two year blogoversery on Wednesday.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Saturday's Celebrations - Bonfire Night

Bonfire on the Green, with flames as high as the trees.

Fireworks, showering coloured light high in the sky.

For supper, hotdog, with onions, eaten in the dark.

Candy floss on a stick, a sweet and sticky treat.

Alas, at home, no broadband connection for over 80 hours.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Escape Goat

Life is pretty exciting here, with plans of a non-crafty nature coming together.

Instead of craft news then, some photos which I took in the summer, at a local goats centre.

We start with the escaped goat:goat

Stopping for a munch:goat eating
Alas: back behind bars
goat behind bars

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Today's sewing excitement

Will I have enough thread to finish piecing the back of the quilt? (The bobbin has very little left either.)
nearly empty spool of thread

It's not looking hopeful:
emptier spool of thread
Even though I've got a little green thread on a bobbin from another project:
sewing with green threadAhhhhhh! just not enough
about 15 centimeters not sewn up
Oh well, I can finish it by hand tiny amount of thread on spool

Monday, October 22, 2007

Womanhood - modern v outdated

"We read books to find out who we are." Ursula K LeGuin.

"Life's too short to stuff a mushroom." Shirley Conran 1975

"I think it's important to define my/our domestic activity in the terms of today's world and not always with reference to the past." Jane Brocket 2007

flowers in vase

I could say a lot about the Yarnstorm/Telegraph/Women's Hour controversy. There are any number of strands to the debate: one of which is whether we should be trying to live up to a thirty year old version of womanhood espoused by Shirley Conran in her book "Superwoman".

One of my female role models has a doctorate in computing and a City and Guilds in machine embroidery. That just about sums it up for me.

PS I think I'll get Jane's book.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ally Pally - what I got

We got to Alexander Palace by 9.20am, the second coach in the coach park (I think we were also the last to leave). Palm Court was incredibly busy, but once the doors were opened and they let us in, the halls themselves seemed nearly empty.

The best purchase of the day was this lovely Finnish wool from Stentorp. She had some knitted jumpers: I was very taken with one that had Viking ships and motifs - including runes that spelled the name of her farm. (They are pictured on her website.) I can picture a sweater that starts with the dark brown hem, then has the multicoloured wool, then the lighter brown. The palest one will be at the collar.wool from Finland

The second best purchase was this Noro from the Knit Today stall - 10 balls at a massively reduced price. There is only one ball of the red silk garden, 4 balls of the Kureyon and five of the purply silk garden. They did have five balls of a differnet silk garden and I debated for some time over which to get. Then I remembered the colours of the landscape at Lands End, and how entranced I'd been by the colours of the heather, the grasses and the rocks: the purple silk garden could have been dyed to match.nice noroheathlandcolours of silk garden

Oh, lets scurry through the rest, as if I don't I'll never get this all posted.

A collection of bits and pieces from various places. The purple sock needles were a hit: at least three people got them. They were from Knit n Caboodle, where I also got a tool to find out WPI and the Baby Surprise Jacket Pattern.
knitting stuff

The laceweight and the sock yarn came from KnitWitches. The lace is to make a shawl to go with a purple beaded dress, and matches incredibly well. I'm getting a bit worried though that lace will catch on the beads.

some stuff
yarn forward magazine and other things
I got a very limited amount of fabric, just six pansy fat quarters.
pansy material

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Knitting + Stitching + Alexander Palace = Aching Feet + Empty Purse

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Exam: Over

Exam was yesterday. I wrote for most of the time. I repeated myself lots. I missed out some important information about methods before calculus: that wasn't the question where I repeated myself. My essay on maths in the ancient world kept saying that we had limited sources. My essay on important new developments said why they were important at least twice per development. The bit about square roots of negative numbers veered between i and square roots of other negative numbers. Did I say I repeated myself?

Today, I did nothing. Well not quite, I threaded the sewing machine, and I worked on a cross-stitch kit. The kit was from Traveller's Tales, who are exhibiting at Ally Pally. I didn't go today.

I will do nothing much tomorrow as well. Doing nothing much is slightly more productive then doing nothing. I might actually sew with the sewing machine. I won't go to Ally Pally tomorrow either.

On Saturday, I will go to Ally Pally. I will take my green stripey bag, and I will probably wear a brown jumper with a front made of crochet squares. If you see me, please say hi.

From February 2006 until my exam yesterday, I've had a constant selection of Big Worries. Today is the first day in over 18 months where I have none.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Please say "hi" at Ally Pally?

I'll be going to Ally Pally for the Knitting and Stitching show, on the Saturday and on a weekday (I haven't decided whether to go on Thursday or Friday yet). I'll be bringing the bag in my profile photo: if you see it, please do come and say "hello".

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Today is Saturday. My exam is on Wednesday. I am taking tomorrow off (I learnt the importance of a complete break from studying many years ago). My course has been distilled onto 27 sheets of A4 paper. I now have to make sure that they get into my brain. YIKES!!!

You'll be glad to note those 27 sheets aren't crammed full. For instance one has six words: "Good calculator Kepler Bad Calculator Leibniz". I think I know that one, and it is probably fairly irrelevant. Achemedes was another person who was good at calulations, phew now I have my three examples from different time periods.

I am trying to think of times when books weren't important in the development of maths. There is logarithms (although that is printed tables) and also the contest between Tartaglia and Fior, where Tartaglia developed a new method of solving cubics, and won 30 dinners from Fior. There is more to that story, and it leads into the publication of Ars Magna by Cardano. That's an important book, as is Newton's Principia, Euclid's Elements and Apollonius' Conics. Also the textbooks by Lacroix and Lagrange.

My favourite important book is "The Castle of Knowledge" by Robert Record, who wrote a series which also includes "the Grounde of Artes" and the "Pathway to Knowledge". They sound like they ought to be a fantasy series: which is kind of funny, because Record seems to have been a very straight forward kind-of guy, unlike his near contemporary Dr John Dee.

Of course, these are the things I know: now back to the sheets to learn the things I don't know.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Beyond Amazing

Earlier this year, I had the vague idea that after I'd done this History of Maths course I might possibly do an MSc in the History of Science in a few years time.

However the course was really interesting. Not always easy, but even then it was a case of getting my thinking into the right lines. Also, I was getting (very) good marks. I started to make a more specific plan.

At our last tutorial yesterday, I to plucked up courage to ask the tutor whether this plan was feasible. I expected her to give a bit of general advance ("do this, rather then that"). But she didn't: her response was beyond what I'd hoped for.

She said I ought to consider a research degree (the MSc's I'd looked at were all taught), and that she would get in touch with several different research groups on my behalf.

I simply can't describe how I feel.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Corwall: the Eden Project

We went to the Eden Project and looked round the domes. Anyone following me would have heard squeals of amazement and delight when I saw the star fruit tree. It went something like: "A star fruit tree! Look, its a star fruit tree. Oh wow, its a tree with star fruit on it! They grow on trees!" I don't know why it appealed to me quite so much, but it was the plant that most I was most interested in.

star fruit tree

The domes are quite amazing from an architectual prospective:
inside the domeinside the domeinside the dome

View of the vents from the inside...

vents like hexagon patchwork

...and the outside:

vents like flowers

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cotehele Hall, textiles and maths

I have lots of photos of Cornwall, which I haven't sorted through.

One place I went to, for which we have no photos, was Cotehele Hall. It belongs to the National Trust and photography was banned inside the house: there are numerous extremely large tapestries covering many of the walls. It would have taken many man-years to produce all of them: it took a year for one person (usually a man) to produce one square yard of tapestry. A single tapestry might take several men three-four years to complete.

They had several "Liberal Arts" series tapestries - "Grammar", "Arithmetic" and "Geometry" in different parts of the house.

"Geometry" is of particular interest: it depicts Euclid sitting next to a globe of the Earth, with a lady measuring distance. Of course, the word "geometry" comes from the words for Earth-measurement, so from the prospective of a speaker of Ancient Greek - which included many educated men of the Renaissance - the imagery is apt. However, it is entirely inappropriate for a historian of mathematics.

At the time of the creation of the tapestry, the mathematical subject of geometry was that described in the first books of Euclid's Elements. This is the part of geometry we know call "Euclidean Geometry". It's the geometry we get taught in schools, where the angles in a triangle add up to 180 degrees. However, the geometry of the sphere is different! On a sphere the angles of a triangle don't add up to 180 degrees, and the other axioms of Euclidean geometry don't work either.

In the nineteenth century, mathematicians gained a much wider understanding of geometry. Euclidean geometry is a special case of more general geometries, and depends on the "space" in which it is measured having a constant curvature of zero. The curvature of a sphere is also constant, but it is not zero: it is related to the radius of the sphere. Globes do not conform to Euclidean geometry!

I find this rather amusing.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ancient Languages and Essay Conclusions

My essay has been finished and posted. (I used 1347 words to conclude it was "partial". It's against OU policy for their students to post essays to the 'net, so you'll just have to fill in the other 1346 words for yourself.)

I got this from Frogs and Ravens. I think at least some of you will enjoy it.

Your Score: Older Futhark

You scored

Language of the Norse, Older Futhark! Thirty symbols, all told. And no hardier, more warrior-like tongue has ever graced the longships of the Viki or left the Celts and Saxons in such quivering fear. There's only one drawback, that being you died 800 years ago.

Link: The Which Ancient Language Are You Test written by imipak on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Post and Run

We got back from two weeks in Cornwall yesterday. I've got lots of things to blog about, such as go-karting (weeee!!!), the Eden Project and tapestries of Euclid at Cotehele House. I expected to be able to use the Wonders of Modern Technology to post a few times while I was away, unfortunately Modern Technology couldn't cope with the combination of poor quality mobile phone reception and blogger's post editor.

However, it will all have to wait at least a week. My next assignment for the History of Maths course has to be posted by next Saturday (I thought it was the Monday after), and I haven't read the course work yet. That means in the next six days, I have to read five weeks worth of material and write over 1000 words. Oh, and buy about six pairs of school shoes/trainers/football-boots which I'm actually dreading more.

(OTOH, I got top marks for my last assignment.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fabric Purchases 1667 (Newton, Isaac)

Bought to make Isaac's bachelor's gown:

ffor Woosted Prunella 8yds 1/2. 1 . 5 . 6
ffor the lining 4yds ———— 0 . 9 . 4

He also spent 16 shillings on a magnet.

More information here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Isabella Review

Now for a picture of Isabella.
knitted t-shirt

I wore it for the first time on Sunday. Up until then it kept being too hot: these photos were taken the day I finished it, about ten days ago.

Pattern: Isabella from Knitty
KAL: here
Yarn: Rowan Cotton Glace
Shade: 791, a pale fudge colour
Quantity: 6 balls (or was it 5 balls, or 7 balls?) with a teensy bit leftover
Stash busting: 6 balls
Time Taken: about 3.5 months from start to finish
Modification: changed sleeves, used yarn with a different gauge

I started this more or less the day Knitty came out. I got sidetracked with knitting of failed projects, plus other stuff going on. When I was actually knitting it, it went fast. I really liked the lace panel, and it seems to flatter my hourglass figure.

The original was sleeveless. However, I was worried I'd get sunburnt shoulders, so I added cap sleeves. I'm not sure they quite work. Dh knows to say only nice things about my knitting, but when I said the sleeves would go down well at a Star Trek convention, he said he had spotted the similarity. If I was doing them again, I'd probably decrease more in the sleeve section. Also, before washing, the armholes seemed quite gape-y, but they seemed to have settled a bit. I don't think I'll redo them.

The picot edging turns up as well, so I might redo that. Or I might not.

Sleeve modification:
The pattern says to:

  • pick up stitches around the armhole,
  • knit four rows
  • do the YO, k2tog picot row
  • knit four more rows
  • cast off
What I did was
  • pick up stitches around the armhole, starting at shoulder seam
  • knit four rows
  • calculated what one sixth of the stitches was (strictly speaking, halved then divided by three, which rounds slightly differently)
  • short row sleeve section:
    • from top of shoulder (I had a marker), knitted one sixth stitches minus one
    • wrap and turn, and purl back to same number past the marked stitch
      (that is one third in total), but also purl 2 tog at top of sleeve
    • wrap and turn
    • knit back to one less stitch then before
    • wrap and turn
    • purl back to one less stitch then before, also decrease at shoulder seam
    • repeat for a total of ten rows

  • Next row, knit all the way round, picking up wrapped stitches
  • then the picot row
  • then knit four more rows, but on the third, increase about four stitches on each outside curve of the short row shaping section.
  • cast off, and sew up as described in pattern

I like the fit, although I'm not sure about the sleeves.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Leftovers from Isabella
small quantity of cotton glace in three balls

plus a new book and some other yarn
Modular knitting book and yellow cotton glace


mystery project

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Euler or Newton

I've spent the last week writing essays on the calculus after 1700 and on Newton's Principia. Let me tell you what I know:

On second thoughts, let's not...

PS the cherry plums are now very nice jam.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


bowl of fruit
I've finished Isabella at long last: I made some changes to the sleeve, which I will write up and include in a post, along with pictures.

There seemed to be a huge load of sewing up with Isabella, and having finished it, I continued with sewing in ends of some other projects.

This one is obviously Grrr from Knitty. I used some Patons 100% cotton, which had been in my stash for a while.

grrr on a lavender bush(This picture is genuinely the right way up.)

I really like the way it has come out: the front has a soft texture, and the back has a slightly harder texture for scrubbing grubby faces and hands. OTOH, it was a tedious knit, the stitch pattern needing too much concentration to watch TV while doing it, but too repetitive to want to sit and knit while doing it.

The second is a Mason-Dixon nine-patch washcloth. I enjoyed knitting the nine-patch. It used Sirdar 100% DK cotton.
another washcloth on the lavender bush

I can really see the appeal of knitting washcloths. Nice small pieces that can be finished quickly, with as simple or as complex a pattern as you want. The problem with them - for me anyway - is that they aren't something I'd use. I could knit them and give them away: but then I'd have to spend ages explaining just why I'd knitted them, especially as you can (if you look at the right place and time) get quality face flannels for 75p. However a net-savvy knitter would appreciate one, and I have a reason for knitting them for such a knitter.

Oh, we picked the cherry plums in the first picture from the garden. It is the first time the tree has fruited since we moved here. Unfortunately the birds have been busy, and this is a fraction of what we could have picked if the birds hadn't got there first.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Needle roll pics

I have been a Bad and Neglectful Blogger and not showed you the needle roll Crafty Bernie sent me. It came weeks ago, and was the best type of informal swop. I sent Bernie some wool, and she sent me a needle roll in return. She was happy because she had some wool which she wanted. In return she cleared out a little bit of my stash (thank you Bernie) and made me a home for my knitting needles (thank you Bernie).

inside of needle roll
outside of needle roll
It also came with this:
beaded ring

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Harry Potter film knitting and crochet highlights

The lilac shrug worn by Luna here (also some scarves).

The lace cardigan demonstrated by Delores Umbridge.

Ron's sweater which has a plain back.

There was another top which only came up momentarily, but it looked like Leonie
(fifth of the little pictures). It was in browns, and might have be mainly knitted apart from the crochet edging.

Hermione wore a fair isle sweater in some scenes.

Plastic bags, revisited

I've mislaid my camera, which means I can't show you pictures of my topologically impossible sock knitting, or the knitting needle roll which Crafty Bernie made for me.

However this is not a pictureless post: do you rememberthis post? I showed you: relections of translucent needles a pot scrubber made from knitted plastic bags.

Well Ferret found a tutorial which shows how to make material from plastic bags. The possibilities are fascinating.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Buying sock yarn in Reading

The other shop I went to in Reading was Jacksons, an old-fashioned department store. My route from the carpark led me past the shop before I got to the main shopping centre, so I had a very quick look round. I identified sock wool (several makes) as being a probable purchase, but they also had Sirdar, Patons and I think Gediva. The total area dedicated to yarns was quite reasonable, and they also had rug yarns. I didn't notice anything in the way of fabric.

After I'd looked round some of the other shops, I returned to the wool department in Jacksons and selected two balls of St Ives Sunbeam, made by Thomas Ramsden, in the colour "Heathland". This comes into the category of cheap and cheerful, a wool nylon mix in a shade of green that is nearly, but not quite solid.

The shop was so old-fashioned that when I took it to the counter, the assistant got out a pad and wrote out the receipt, calculating the price and the change due herself. (Funnily we had been discussing at the tutorial how no-one needs to know basic arithmetic any more.) There was a till, but it was shut up - it was 5pm on a Saturday afternoon. No problem, she took the whole lot to another department where there was a device worthy of a Harry Potter film. The assistant put the handwritten receipt and the cash into a cylinder like the "airtube carrier" pictured here. She put it into a hatch, and there was a whoosh. A little while later there was another whoosh, she opened the hatch and took the pod out again. Inside was the change, a five-pound note.

(Full details of the system in Jacksons on this website: the pictures could have been taken yesterday.)

Coming soon, the topologically impossible knitting, or the socks that cannot be knitted...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Back again.

I'm back!

A very close relative died, that's where I went. It was sudden, and we weren't expecting it, but not a total shock. What did take me by surprise was how completely it drained my energy: when they say "take each day as it comes" they forget to add "because you can't cope with tomorrow as well".

I had an OU tutorial in Reading yesterday. Then I went and had a quick scoot round the shops there. I found two shops selling wool, both had been discussed on the angel yarns forums.

The first was John Lewis: the department seems quite small compared to John Lewis in Milton Keynes. It had a range of Debbie Bliss and Rowan wool as well as some more typical Sirdar or Patons. I selected two balls of Debbie Bliss cashmerino superchunky, because they matched the 8 balls of Space I'd bought in Ireland last year. The shop-keeper had decided I needed 8 balls for the pattern I'd selected, although actually I was a size larger, and would have liked to have had one spare in case I ran out. I think I matched the colour pretty well from memory.

three balls of wool

I also bought some balls of Debbie Bliss Soho: partly because they matched the superchunky for colour. Anyway, I really liked them. I asked the assistant if they had any patterns. They didn't, and although she said it would knit to any pattern for aran, she looked a bit dismissive when I said I just wanted to go home and knit.

five balls of wool

I'll show you the sock wool later: if I don't post now I won't for ages.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Do I post?

Put it like this: real life has got in the way of posting, and I have no words to tell the world about it. Do I post a poem, or a picture, or some words, or just go back to my normal posting about random craft type things?

I probably won't post anything less cryptic, and I may even delete this post. But today was the first day of the rest of my life.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Second Swap Package

I have been a Bad and Neglectful Blogger, and not shown you (yet!) what Kristen Mary sent me in the Flibbertygibbet swap package.

The fabrics were all kitchen related:

But look at the extras! A cute little bag (its reversible as well) with sewing themed material. Just right for a set of scissors, tape measure and a few other little bits and pieces. A badge, and a copy of Adorn magazine. It's really interesting to read, especially as it has a crafter's guide to London.
It's far too long since I had a shopping trip to London, I've been there for theatre trips, and for exhibitions, and even to take the children there for the day. But I haven't been shopping properly for a very very long time. I know Covent Garden still exists (we went to the Transport Museum there), but for all I know Oxford Street vanished in a puff of smoke several years ago.

Everything in the package is lovely; Thank you very much Kristen Mary.

I find the swap thing really interesting: we all had the same brief - 3 strips of 4 inch wide fabric, and yet everyone's parcel was so different.

Edited: to change post title