Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Not a good day

I was going to have a moan.

I was going to tell you a long story about how I needed to rip out about 6 rows of the camisole last night, and have managed to end up, 24 hours later, 20 rows further back than I was this time last night.

I was going to shake my fists at the weather, which prevented my sister from coming and spending the day with me.

I was going to grit my teeth over the DVDs which didn't turn up today as they should have done.

Then I switched on Radio 4 for 'The Archers', and caught the 7 o'clock news, and an item which put my bad day into its proper context.

Linda Smith, stand-up comedian, actor, Radio 4 panellist and writer, died today of ovarian cancer. She was 48.

She had a deceptively quiet style, with, as Mark Steel said today, 'an air of Englishness' about her. She could sum up a situation in one pithy remark and put people in their places without their ever realising she had attacked them. She wrote a subplot on one of her shows about having a poltergeist with ME which still makes me laugh every time I remember it.

She went too soon.

Blowing two trumpets at once

The April issue of 'Simply Knitting' is out, and I'm very proud to say that I have TWO (count 'em, two) projects in it - my rainbow wrap, and a bag featured as the 100g Challenge. They've really done me proud with the photos, and both are in thumbnail on the front cover.

I have to admit, though, that by far the cutest thing in the magazine is the dog babygrow - especially as they photographed it on the world's cutest baby! It's almost enough to make me broody. Not quite, but almost!

I'm not sure if I have anything in the April issue of Knitting, but I can reveal that I have THREE items in the May issue. Yes, three. One more than two :) Although, strictly speaking, it's two items and an article.

If they keep using my stuff at this rate, I'll have to learn to knit faster.....

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Senior Moment

Well, it had to happen sometime. Given how erratically my memory works, I was bound to mess up sooner or later.

You see, it was like this. I came up with two different ideas, in two completely different yarns, for camisoles - let's call them A and B. I offered A to editor 1, and B to editor 2. Editor 2 accepted first, so I organised the yarn, and started on....

Camisole A.

I then compounded the error by not realising until it was half-finished, when I did what I should have done in the first place, and read my 'To Do' list.


Luckily both editors were very understanding, so I didn't have to frog or chuck out what I had done so far, but I did feel a fool :(

Ahem. Anyway.

You may have noticed a new button, for the Doodles Frappr map. Please click and put your pin in the map - I'd love to see where my readers hail from!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Calling all artists

I have a friend in Glasgow called Janie Thomson. She's a brilliant photographer, and she is starting a new project photographing women artists at work. She's blogging about it here , where you can see the first photos. She's keen to get in touch with all kinds of women artists, preferably in and around Glasgow, but further afield as well (I've volunteered!). If you think you would like to help out by being photographed, please comment at the blog. Many thanks!

Well, all day today, I've been here - not the website (which is a fabulous gallery of pictures by another talented photographer friend, Robin Somes - please go and view it), but the New Forest.

Not literally, sadly, but mentally. It's where I grew up, and I miss it with an intensity that amazes me at times - after all, I've lived here in Durham, three hundred-odd miles away, for longer now than I lived in Hampshire. I love my adopted county, but still, when I lose myself in thought, it's the New Forest that I see.

Today was the February meeting of the Knitting and Crochet Guild. Once again, I could not attend - the weather was too cold, I'm not as healthy as I need to be, and anyway I had no transport. So I knitted. Knitted and sulked, knitted and swore, knitted to avoid looking at the same four bedroom walls I see day in and day out. Knitted to escape.

Gradually it began to work the soothing magic I needed, and I was caught up in my own thoughts. I could remember the smell of the pines, the leafmould, the bracken. I could feel myself relaxing and recharging. The mind is an amazing thing, especially when knitting lets it roam.

It's been a lovely day. Not the day I wanted, but a good one nevertheless.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Happy Saturday

Do you think the guy turns up once you've knitted the dress?

And, more to the point, do I really need a man to chew on my knees?

Another pattern from my collection. In fact, the first one, the original pattern that started it all off....

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cross everything!

OK, people - my submission to Vogue Knitting goes off in the post tomorrow.... I've submitted two tops, one of which could be for summer, but both could be for evening wear. If you see what I mean. Anyway, one's in Rowan Wool Cotton and one's in Rowan Calmer, both of them a joy to knit with, I have to say. I don't usually use a lot of Rowan, but I needed something which was widely available on both sides of the pond.

Actually, I may find myself using more Rowan in future - after the lovely parcel I received this week. A full set of up-to-date Rowan shade cards. Mmmmmm.... I love being a designer, you get such fun stuff! And speaking of designs - p.27 -29 of the new issue of Knitting is my pattern for a moebius scarf :)

I've spent a lot of time this week working on a piece called 'A Pillar of the Community'. It's going to form part of a display that several local knitting groups, including the Knitting and Crochet Guild, are mounting in Sunderland Art Gallery in the autumn. We're creating a patio and garden (not to be confused with the knitted garden that the BHKC are creating), and my piece is a sampler of Aran and gansey stitch patterns.

I'm using the collections of Mary Wright and Gladys Thompson as my main resource. All their patterrns come from traditonally-constructed ganseys, ie those worked in the round, so I am creating a long tube. I'm alternating cabled sections with textured sections - it's looking OK so far....... I'm working out how to make it stand up as a pillar, and I think part of the solution is suspending it from the ceiling!

One last thought. I've been watching the first series of 'Lost' again in the last two weeks, on DVD. Is it a sign of my obsession that I get cold shivers wondering how I would survive there with no knitting?