Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Having a KiP

I'm the chubby one.....

Vicki and I decided to meet up to Knit in Public, as one Guild meeting a month just wasn't enough of a fix! Paul suggested the Botanic Gardens, and we spent the afternoon there on Saturday. Paul pushed me along to the little area in front of the hothouses, and we knitted while he took photos. (All the photos here are copyright to him.)

The place is amazing, much bigger than when I used to go there in my student days. And it's full of beautiful flowers, like these next to us:

Unfortunately the hothouses aren't very wheelchair-friendly, but Paul took loads of photos of the flowers, cacti, butterflies, and fish:

There are loads of beautiful trees, and lovely views:

Not forgetting the sculptures. I loved the Millennium Bug:

There's actually a baby one next to it, too!

It took me till now to start to recover, but boy, was it worth it! We had a brilliant time, and it was so wonderful to be out in the fresh air. Here's to the next time!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

On your mark(er)s

I've just discovered how useful stitch markers can be. Yes, I know it's late in my knitting career, and yes, I did indeed buy four sets of the little sparklers last week. Why did you buy them if you don't use stitch markers? I hear you cry. Well, they were shiny......

To be strictly accurate, I have used stitch markers before. Those little plastic paper-clip efforts. Usually for holding the dropped stitch I've just noticed until I get back to it on the next row. However, it was only when I bought the sparkly type that I actually used them to - well, to mark stitches. Not just dropped ones.

I had to do a section of decreases across the width of a capelet in Sirdar Foxy, a very eyelashy eyelash yarn, and if I hadn't marked all the decrease points with markers, I would have gone screaming from the room. So today, when I had run out of commissions (I'm waiting on another consignment of yarn), I began Fiona Morris' beautiful cable-and-eyelet-lace collared tunic from the latest issue of 'Knitting'. It's made with 4-ply anti-tickle merino, and is going to be gorgeous.

Anyway, as it has several different components across the pattern section, and because I am feeling particularly foggy and muzzy at present, I decided to use the aforementioned sparklies to mark each section off as I went along the row. Success! No unpicking, no hassle, no desperate counting and recounting to check I haven't missed out vast chunks or done one bit twice. I am sold on markers.

And they're very shiny.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Fanfare for the Common Knitter

I have a little bit of News.

I've been keeping it under my stash for a while, for fear of jinxing things, but I feel I can now reveal that.....ta-dah!

I have sold five designs to UK 'Knitting' magazine.

I am so excited :) Panicky and feeling sick, but excited nevertheless :)

I can't begin to explain how much this has boosted my confidence. Having to spend so much time in bed, only knitting a few stitches at a time some days, has actually brought me something that I can be proud of!

Finally I have something that puts me on a par with healthy people, 'normal' people, those who don't have to understand the limitations of a chronic illness because they, and their circle of acquaintance, don't suffer from one. I wish them well, and hope it stays that way - but I'm still excited that, in this one area, I am 'normal' too!

Anyway, details - I have sold the beanie hat; the furry snood/hood-thing that I was working on at Pins and Needles a few entries back; a wrap, in Sirdar Bigga; a shawl/poncho thingy; and a capelet. I tell you, this is heaven - being paid to design and make stuff, with free materials, is just the sweetest deal ever.

Talking of the caplelet, I needed to find a pretty clasp for it. After much hunting around, I found JosyRose. No affiliation and all that, but I tell you, the place is Embellishment Heaven. Don't go and look if you're overdrawn......

Well, I'd better get back to my designs, she said smugly. Actually, what I'm getting back to is a cup of tea and lights out, but that doesn't sound so swanky ;)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Dum de dum de dum de dum......

Did I enjoy The Wedding yesterday? Of course! I was riveted :)

No, not Charles and Camilla's. Nothing on earth would have persuaded me to watch that. I refer to my latest eBay purchase, a Vintage Archers cassette of Shula and Mark's wedding.

Yes, constant reader, I admit it. I am a rabid fan of 'The Archers', the longest-running soap in the world (first heard in 1950), broadcast six days a week on BBC Radio 4. The title of this entry, in case you didn't realise or recognise it, is a representation of Barwick Green, the sig tune. Billy Connolly once suggested it as a new national anthem :)

Listening to audio books (or the radio) is a great accompaniment to knitting, because you don't have to watch anything. It still hasn't helped with the complex Aran sweater I was making from Knitter's magazine, which is now a ball of yarn again. I can't do Aran sweaters without a chart, and the charts for this one were awful. Instead (and as, coincidentally, I happen to have the right yarn in my stash), I am about to start on Fiona Morris' lovely green Aran in this month's 'Knitting' magazine.

Just to make sure I keep my place on the pattern, I have gone somewhat crazy and ordered some of the most gorgeous stitch markers I have ever coveted, from Angelyarns. Surf and drool :)

By the way, 'Constantine' was thought-provoking, with excellent costumes and an unusual story. It just wore me out for over a week.... I'm still not entirely with it now, which is why this entry has been slightly disjointed.

Normal service will be resumed soon. Probably :)