27 September, 2008


Socktoberfest!!  It rapidly approacheth.  Are you in?  I love Socktoberfest because it's my kinda "Thing-Along."  There's no competition, no rules to speak of, no real deadline...it's just a month of socky celebration, however that works for you.  Me, I may (may, I am saying) branch out and do a sock with a lace or cable pattern, rather than my usual and beloved self-striping plain vanillas.

Check out the link above for some inspirational pictures from last year's Fest.  By the way, the host, Lolly of Lollyknitting around - that's her blog, and it is an inspirational thing, itself.  She explores the world of color and texture, through knitting, photography, weaving...there's even yoga there.  What a neat lady.

[Speaking of Thing-Alongs, I've opted out of the Mystery Stole 4 for now.  I found that my beads were too small, and my credit card too otherwise engaged to order more.  Additionally, I wasn't feeling the love for a stole that needs to be grafted in the middle.  I'd be the girl who knit one half, then lost the mojo to knit the same half all over again.  I will say, from looking at Clue One, it's going to produce some gorgeous stoles.  I'll keep printing the Clues, and hope to be re-inspired at a later time.]

26 September, 2008

My Cat, If I Had One...

This made me snort soda from my nose, just a little. You can buy the bumper sticker here.

Hope all is well with you, Gentle Readers.  Been a busy, not-very-newsworthy week in KnitFarmVille.  More soon!

22 September, 2008

Finished...One More Pair of Socks

These bad boys have been languishing for a while, but I picked them up the other day and finished off the half-sock that was left. [OK, the ends aren't darned in, but they will be.] Most of the knitting was done on the train to here and there, and some was done while listening to the Great and Mighty Yarn Harlot give her talk at IKnit London. That makes these very special socks, indeed!

Fact file:

Regia 4-color sock yarn (Canadian Classic line, colour 4741)
Size 0 US needles
My own basic ankle sock

I call them the Socktor Who socks because the tones are so much like the colour theme of the revived Doctor Who series.

I love Regia sock yarn. Easy on the hands, soft on the foot, and wears like iron.

Good times, y'all...good times...

19 September, 2008

A Real Noro Sock Knitter!

Looking to confirm the shade of Noro I am using (it's colourway 185, Noro Kureyon Sock, by the by), I happened on this AMAZING sock knitter. Check out those posts to see some beautiful Noro socks. Almost enough to make me want to try the wool for socks. Almost...

Why the Noro's [Almost] Worth It...

These are true colours, taken outside just now on a mossy stone next to a brick wall. See how rich the colours are? I wish some of the "smooth yarn" manufacturers would bring out shades like this. If they're out there, and you've seen them, I'd love to see links!!

17 September, 2008

"Noro, Noro, Noro..." (shaking head in dismay)

So.  Once again, the lovely rich shades of Noro yarn have seduced me.  In my opinion, Noro wools have some of the most vibrant, unusual combinations out there.  I love to look at them in the skein, and I loved watching the colors come out as I knit up the Noro Kureyon I was given.

[rant] However, I do not so much love working with this yarn.  The Kureyon had sticks scattered throughout, random knots, and the WORST thick and thin spinning you'll ever see. Seriously, sometimes it was like knitting with Lopi  and sometimes I was knitting with wool as thin as two strands of embroidery floss.  To me, that doesn't bode well for durability.

However. Ahem.  At the I Knit London event, a gorgeous skein of their newer Noro Sock wool followed me home and it is becoming Revontuli.  As I have gotten started, all the reasons Noro Is Bad are flooding back, except maybe the "spun with sticks in it" part.  No sticks yet.  I have had horrible irregularity in thickness, three joins in the one skein (so far!), which also did not follow the color repeats. 

I pulled out the joined areas that didn't fit, and have made them into little balls that I can add in at appropriate spots.  Oh, my goodness, what a lot of work for a single skein of pretty colours.  I just can't imagine using this for a pair of socks, which would get much more hard wear than a scarf!  [/rant]

In fact, here's a review of the Noro Sock, which does say the durability is, shall we say, less than optimal.

15 September, 2008


Well, once again as the summer begins to fade away, we didn't get out camping.  I get nostalgic for the camping of my youth, when it seemed like we were off to a state park every weekend.  Much of that probably had to do with cramped living conditions, and sharing a house with another family for a few years, but I learned to love tents and sleeping bags and roasted marshmallows.  I have especially fond memories of a camping trip David and I took ages and ages ago - "Forgettable 45s," sweetie?

Somehow, these nostalgic memories don't seem to translate into tons of camping trips for us now.  As we've gotten older, the lure of sleeping bags on hard ground, or even air mattresses, is less than compelling.  Perhaps we're meant to try this new style of camping...this glamping thing.  Check out the linked article - doesn't it sound fun? And luxurious? 

However, the price tag is a little TOO glam for me: "Prices start at £275, about $488, at $1.82 to the pound, for two nights for a medium tent that sleeps two to three people."  Yeesh.

14 September, 2008

Ahoy, Mateys!

So, how's YOUR weekend been?  Saturday was good fun.  Kids had two birthday parties to attend, D. and I had a nice date night and watched a ridiculously funny movie, Pineapple Express. [I was snorting with laughter much of the time at the poor stoned heroes; I think this movie is the evil, extra-violent, stoner version of Napoleon Dynamite.  Same sort of very random humor, only with lots of pot, swearing, and bad fight scenes...]

Allergies have me pretty zonked this evening, so no knitting progress, but I leave you with this, in case US politics is weighing too heavily upon your brain: Crazy Pirate Fashions.

12 September, 2008

"First Day"

For all of you who don't get the family newsmail, here's the "First Day" picture of David as he starts the school year.  Big Year 5 boy.  I suppose you could say he's Year 5.5 this year.  Because he hopped up a grade when he arrived in England, David will get to spend 3 years in the Year 5/6 room, rather than move on to the high school at age 10.  We all adore his teacher, so no problems with that at all!  

Anyway, here's the Day 8 of school picture for your viewing pleasure...

10 September, 2008

In Honor of the Large Hadron Collider's Big Day Out...

I showed this lovely video to small D. just now.  Geek rap at its supah-finest, complete with back-up dancing scientists...we loved it!  Here's to the Higgs boson, wherever it may be!

Check out this link for a clear read about the Large Hadron Collider, and how it's totally NOT going to suck the earth into a black hole.

09 September, 2008

Quick Drive-by Post

The kids and I headed to Heathrow last night with Harriss, and we've seen her safely on board her flight home to the US. Bon voyage, sweet niece of mine! I hope you had as much fun with us as we had having you here.
Now, it's back to reality, and house-shovelling, and de-cluttering, and all of that jazz.

I'm whipped, but did start an interesting new knit on the train to London yesterday. It's the Revontuli shawl. [Go look; I'll wait. It's a worthy pattern!] Revontuli means rainbow in Finnish, and it looks like the perfect pattern to show off a strongly striping yarn. And strongly striping yarn is something I have, since I purchased a single skein of Noro Sock at the IKnit festivities. I believe the colorway is this one (picture nicked from Flickr), with earthtones and a vivid purple. I have enough to make a shoulder scarf-sized shawlette, methinks. I've seen at least one other on Ravelry that used a single skein.

I'm almost done with the Soctor Who socks (at the toe of sock 2) so I hope to get a decent picture in daylight for posting.

Hope all is well with all of you Gentle Readers.

07 September, 2008

IKnit, Harlot, and Yarn, Oh My!

Yesterday was IKnit Day in London, and as my husband amusedly pointed out last night when I was giving him blow-by-blow recaps, it was, for knitters, something like a sci-fi convention for Star Trek fans.

I got up at oh-dark-thirty, with backpack and knitted alien in tow, and made an early train from King's Lynn. Once in London, I tubed it over to Oxford Street area and checked out the big Waterstones briefly, and then Hatchard's, which I liked much better than Waterstone's, to be honest. Hatchard's is in a lovely older building. Several floors of interesting books, many I hadn't even seen at the big chain stores. I wandered over, via breakfast and the Times, to the Horticultural Halls for IKnit. When I got there just before opening time at 11, the queue was literally around the block. It was rainy, but I had an umbrella, and the fellow waiters were both friendly and decked in interesting handknits. What's not to love?

Inside the hall, there were workshops (great, I heard, although I didn't attend), fashion shows (good), stalls for charity knitting projects, and vendors galore. Oh, wow. The vendors. So nice to pat some of these yarns in person. I picked up some Addi Turbo Lace needles in a size I needed, dropped off my alien to play with the others on the competition display table, browsed all the stalls once, knit on the World's Biggest Knitting, chatted with other attendees, and commenced to spend my limited-to-cash disposable income.

After lunch (a sandwich, a soda, and some quality time spent queueing and talking knitting and comparing knits with another solo knitter) and the vintage knitting fashion show, I headed over to the hall across the street to hear the Yarn Harlot's talk and Q&A. Man, she's funny. Man, that hall was full. Man, it was great to be there, and be alive, and be among so many other knitting folk.

Afterward, she came to the main hall for the booksigning. That was another fun queuing time, sighting gorgeous shawls and wraps and bags and jumpers. After seeing so many shawls, I want to knit one in jeweltoned silks. They absolutely shimmered.

The Harlot (aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) was so lovely and friendly to each person she met, including meeeee. She complimented my jacket (which is an awesome chartreuse wool number, even if it does make me look as big as a house), noted my unusual accent ("You're not FROM around here, are ya?" sort of thing), and commiserated with my gauge difficulties when I showed her the lovely Snowdrop shawl (her design, my first lace, and waaaay oversized). All that in less than a minute. She rocked.

Intermixed with talking to knitters, sitting and knitting and watching fashion shoes, and all this loveliness, I did do some stash enhancing. I came home with some awesome stuff, mostly lace weights, that I hope to photograph later. The interim camera I was using was pretty rotten when it comes to focus.

I did get the following blurry pics, but I must refer you to Liz at Knitting on the Green, who has posted some great, and CLEAR, pictures of the day! Check out the end of her post, when she mentions my buddy Susie kinnearing her when we first met! Who's that chartreuse person?
Got home at 11 PM, after a fun "incident on the line"-related re-route from King's Cross over to Liverpool Street Station and the Oh-so-local to Cambridge, followed by an hour's wait on the platform there.

Here we have a picture of the wonderful Yarn Harlot signing my book. See the chartreuse?

Oh, look! More chartreuse. It's me handling the World's Biggest Knitting.

A view of the Alien competition entries, early in the day. My batteries died before the winners arrived, but every. single. thing. was fantastic. My alien, behind the stripey green tentacled one, was definitely the poor little matchgirl, but it was fun to bring one along.

Here's Acrilla the Pun, from Planet Orlon in the star system PolyAstra, with a magenta friend.

And a completely random shot, for the kids, of this knitted pirate and treasure. Aaarrrrr!

04 September, 2008

Better First Day Pic; Mystery Stole 4?

[Edited to change title of post because of CREEPS who Google. Nuff said.]

To all the friends and family who read my e-mail earlier, this is what First Day Girl looked like without half of her cut off. Promise to get a picture of First Day(ish) Boy soon, too.
As for knitting, I'm halfway done with sock 2 of my Soctor Whos, and preparing for Mystery Stole 4 to open for business. Anyone out there signed up for that?

03 September, 2008

School's In!

I just returned from the first day drop-off, and here's to a great new year at school for the kiddoes.

Sorry for my absence last week (really, most of the summer), but David was off and we were touristing our little toes off: Salisbury, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Legoland, and another trip to the Doctor Who exhibition. I'm a wee bit tired.

This week we have fewer plans: Harriss will catch up on some school work, she and I are going to see the Prickwillow Drainage Museum (finally!! Whoo hooo), and Saturday I have a knitter's thing that includes a talk by the great Yarn Harlot. I'm excited.

We finish our week with a birthday - Harriss' 17th!

I do have pics from the trip, although not from our camera. That has gone missing since the History Fair at West Acre and either it's in a bag I haven't found, or I really lost it. Sigh. I made Harriss take lots of pictures with Precious Junior, however. That's her camera, obviously.

I also used it for first day of school pics, but will have to wait to download them until later today.

Promise to be back in blogging action soon....