Saturday, February 7, 2009

Babette for Ariane

This was a very quick,little knit for Ariane. It took only 2 and a half days from start to finish and is really just a little raglan jumper with a (slightly) fancy bottom. The real event is the yarn, which it's very hard to capture in a photo using the light available in our flat.

This photo does it no justice at all. It's Lambs Pride Superwash in Mysterious Fuchsia - a beautiful heathery damson purple. I bought two skeins of it ages ago with the intention of a jumper for Ariane. With the rate she's growing, I figured I'd better get a move on before I didn't have enough yarn to fit her. As it was, I only just managed it. I knit the 6 month width, but the two year old lengths, and although it fits her well, the length is a close-run thing. She must take after her Dad in the long, thin stakes.

In other news, I just listened to a very interesting Radio 4 programme about the Harris Tweed industry. Perhaps 'industry' is the wrong term to use in conjunction with such a culturally and historically rich fabric. I remember vaguely hearing a little about the controversies that have been going on about it's production and sales, but I had no idea how interesting the political machinations were.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Far Too Long

Well, that was a bit of an unintended break. After my last post, I had the kids to deal with on my own for a couple of months. The experience left me breathless with respect for those that do the single-parent thing full-time. There also wasn't much knitting time, or eating time, or sleeping time, or anything-time.

Thankfully, we now have R back with us. And he has a job, which is a bit of a relief in these frankly scary financial times.

It now, finally, feels like things are back on an even keel (or as even as they can be). I've actually done a fair bit of knitting in the past couple of weeks. Nice simple things like mittens and hats, with the odd jumper (mindless raglan in the round) thrown in for good measure.

Now that the days are definitely beginning to stretch out a bit, and the first daffodils are making their appearance, everything seems a little less like a hard slog. Between yesterday and today I've nearly finished a little toddler-sized sweater in the last of my precious, tiny stash of Lamb's Pride. Hopefully there will be photos of the finished article tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I guess this picture says a thousand words on the subject. I think we're finally getting our act together, though. F starts nursery tomorrow. Five mornings a week! Free! And only a ten-minute walk. For the very first time I fairly skipped to the computer to pay my Council Tax bill when it came. Thank you, Edinburgh City Council.

Knitting has been remarkably absent recently, although my fingers are definitely getting a bit itchy. I only rarely knit with chunky yarn, but when faced with the reality of the head-on wind along North Bridge, my mind strays to thick wool scarves. Hence this:

It's Manos Del Uruguay, and it's the simplest drop-stitch pattern that I was able to hold in my mind through those awful first sleepless/sleepy days and nights.

I've discovered that it's a new challenge to photograph in the flat - there's not much natural light, but how can I really complain when we have such an inspiring view of the castle from the bedroom.

I love how it looms over us. We've joined Historic Scotland, so we can nip up the hill any time we like to visit it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dear TSA Workers and Baggage Handlers,

I know you have a tough job and aren't paid very much, but I'd like to implore you to please not steal anything from my luggage tomorrow. I know that the last time I traveled, my half-used body lotion, mobile phone charger and perfume were too much of a temptation, but this time please resist. I'm going so far as to say, pretty please don't do anything to my Knitpicks needle set, the Gnarled Oakwoods stole or any of the half-finished knitting in my bags. If I were to find any of these things missing, it might turn nasty.



P.S. Thankyou, Jean and Helen, I would love to meet over a cup of tea - you both know so much about so many things I'm sure the conversation would be animated and fun! I'm going to be without the computer for a couple of weeks, but if the offer still stands when I get back on-line, I'll be in touch.

Monday, September 22, 2008

More knitting

Here are (some of) the things I've been working on the in past couple of weeks.

This is my version of the Twisted Tree pullover. I'm knitting it for F. For some reason, this has become a long plod. I've finished the body, and have nearly finished one of the arms, but I seem to have stopped dead. The sleeve has taken forever - something you wouldn't normally associate with a jumper for a four year old. Perhaps it's the yarn - it very grey and dreich, and just a little depressing. Still, I'm intending to finish this before we go, so I'll grit my teeth and push on.

This is the Classic Child's pinafore (Ravelry link) from A Gathering of Lace. The yarn is Knitpicks cotlin - my first time using it, and if I wasn't leaving their stomping ground it wouldn't be my last. I'm surprised to see only one project on Ravelry - it's easy, quick. Perhaps I'm old-fashioned when it comes to children's wear, but I really like it. It was my first time doing double knitting, and I enjoyed it. I think the cleverness of slipping stitches and knitting two sides at once appeals to me. I only have to knit the straps, but they're double knitting too, so you effectively knit double the amount of stitches for the same length. I'm sure I'll get to it one night this week.

The weekend was spent in a blur of saying goodbye to people and places. Most difficult was our last trip to the zoo. I often forget that a small child's cognitive make-up is so, so, different from an adult's. As we were leaving, F said, "Bye-bye zoo, we'll see you next week", despite our best efforts to work with him on the whole 'moving thing'. He's trying really hard to wrap his head around our move, but I think we're fighting a losing battle with his developing ability to form and remember abstract concepts. It made me a bit sad, though, because I can't help thinking that he's going to feel very disappointed when he finally gets that we're going and not coming back.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Phew! week left here. Lots of strange contradictory emotions about it all. Being honest, I'm not going to miss San Diego much - there's nothing particularly wrong with the place, it's just not my cup of tea. Too conservative, too suburban, too deserty. It's a nice place for a holiday, or perhaps to be stationed in the military, but not really for me.

I'm glad we lived in Altadena for a couple of years first. I loved being there. Our house was at the very bottom of the San Gabriel mountains, at the very end of Lake Avenue. It felt like we were part of the town, but could escape into the wild whenever we liked. It really was wild, too. A mountain lion came to visit our neighbourhood once. All we had to do was cross the road to get up into high, beautiful land.

Of course, that was before I'd lived through a serious fire season. I'm not sure how much peace of mind I'd have now.

Anyway, knitting has continued amidst the packing.

Someone loves the yarn stash more than me!

I decided on Monday that I needed a practical scarf - easy care, not too long, but kind of interesting. So I decided on an Adamas Shawl. I have history with this. I bought it from Knitpicks when I first started knitting, and it was one of the first things I ever knit. I remember pouring over the charts like they were some ancient grimoire. It took me weeks to struggle through, and in the end I still managed to screw up one of the pattern repeats because I blatantly didn't have a clue what I was doing.

Fast forward to last Monday night. I cast on using Ultra Alpaca Fine which I had hanging around. I didn't knit on Tuesday because I wasn't feeling well, but I still managed to cast off last night. That's four nights' work! To be fair, I only did 10 pattern repeats because I wanted it a manageable size, but still I impressed myself with the learning curve I must have undertaken in the intervening four years since my first attempt.

It might not be completely perfect, but it's perfect for me!

I've also got another two projects on the go - a jumper for F, and a dress for A. I want to see how much I can get done today on them both before I post photos.

I'm trying to get all the internet access I can at the moment. I'm not taking the laptop back with me (I figured 2 kids, a pushchair, 2 (large) carry-on bags and three planes might put me right at the edge, so taking a computer in and out a bag at security might push me over).R is coming back in October, so he'll bring it then.

Our plans have changed a bit - he's returning to stay in the US until February to finish a project. Needless to say, my fantasies of leisurely afternoons perusing the yarn in K1 have been dashed by my temporary single-parent status. Never mind, I can use up all the stash that A loves so much.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

We're Coming Home...

...on the 29th Sept, if Orbitz manages to confirm our reservation. R is going to stay for an extra week or two to finish things up here. A's passport is beautiful - I very nearly kissed the UPS guy when he brought it this morning.