Monday, 16 February 2009

In Search of a Nice Warm Sweater

Fallen Angels:
In case anyone who reads this blog has lost the Angel Yarns Knitting Forum and doesn't know what has happened to it, this is to tell you that the forum has been shut down by the owners; however a new forum has been set up here. If you are a Ravelry member, you can also visit the Angel Yarns group to find out more.

I'm feeling creative at the moment, and I have a strange desire to knit lots of really warm sweaters. First up is my Bergere de France Cable Sweater, which I have been faithfully knitting since the beginning of January. I am blocking the finished sections at the moment.
The back

The front
and the sleeves so far
It's a lovely design, a very pleasant knit, and the Berlaine is soft and luscious.
That said, it must be one of the worst written patterns I have ever come across, and quite frequently does not make sense, but it is usually easy enough to work out what needs to be done.

Although I'm not knitting anything else (yet!), I have acquired four balls of Tofutsies and some Click Chunky (to knit a scarf - warm, see); and a pack of DROPS Karisma to knit a Must Have Cardigan, which I have just fallen in love with (it looks warm doesn't it?). I could really do with some more warm socks, too, as it happens.

Last weekend I spent the day in a workshop on textured knitting. I was very pleased to find that the workshop was led by Alison Crowther-Smith, the author of Shibori Knitted Felt, whose fun and creative felting workshop I went on last year. I noticed that she had a needle case with a felted cover, and in a flash of inspiration I realised that one of my felted samples from the earlier workshop would also make a lovely needle case. I had to buy a ball of Scottish Tweed to make the inside of the needle case, and as I was choosing it I saw some KSH in a lovely hot dark apricot colour, so I got some of that too. I believe it's quite warm.

We made a square with a lace and beaded heart, did some cable samples with bobbles and I learned how to do a bobble in a contrasting colour, which looks really fun. I have a new idea for my warm scarf, involving bobbles and Kid Silk Haze. There were quite a few people in the workshop doing the Debbie Abrahams Mystery Blanket, and I must say that the squares looked beautiful and fun to do. The only thing I do not like is that they are all in cotton, and I think I would prefer a wool blanket.

Finally this week my Great American Aran Afghan book arrived, and I have been ooohing and aaahing over the squares. I have a vague plan to knit it in the autumn this year.

Then the weather was so beautiful yesterday that I started thinking about knitting summer garments. I think cardigans is the way to go for a bit!

Monday, 2 February 2009

A Snow Day

At 6.00 a.m. we had two possible strategies. I thought that our journey was not essential and that we should stay at home, and Braveheart thought that we should leave as early as possible so as to get to work on time. We got up and had breakfast while we thought about it, and then were lucky enough to watch one of the neighbours trying to get his car out. The road was as you see in the photo, in fact the tail lights you can see in the far right are those of the neighbour in question. He cleared snow from the roof of his car, and that allowed me to see that there were about 12 inches. Hmmm, I thought.

He took 10 minutes to back out of his drive onto the road and get stuck in the snow. Then he took 20 minutes, a shovel, two pieces of carpet and five neighbours to get his car back on the drive. His wife stood in the doorway saying "you'll never make it". We watched from the window and took photos discreetly.

Braveheart decided that our journey was not essential and we should stay at home.

We measured the snow depth outside the back door:

and outside the front door:

The garden is a winter wonderland.
Kino and her three friends left for Africa a few weeks ago. She'll be gutted to learn that she missed the best UK snow event for 18 years! She is travelling over there until Easter when she is home for a week before returning to continue her trip around the world. Kino has her own blog, and you can read her articles (and look at some stunning photos) on Curiouser and Curiouser.

A day after her departure I received an email to say she had left her yellow fever vaccination certificate in her handbag and could I send it on by Global Priority mail. Unfortunately, there was no vaccination certificate in her handbag and after a lengthy search of her belongings I concluded that we did not have it. A difficult email conversation followed, as she was absent for days at a time and I had to travel to Paris and had no internet access, but the upshot of it all was that I phoned around her doctors in the last five years till I found the one who had done the vaccination, and then they issued a new certificate, which they posted to me and which I have now sent on to Kino at a youth hostel in Kenya. Here's hoping it gets to her alright!