Saturday, 29 November 2008

yarn drought

Well, all is quiet on the knitting front these days. Twinkle has stagnated since I had to rip back to the armholes after realising I seemed to be knitting it in child size. Now I'm starting to wonder whether it's worth it, but I have written my own version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Knit in case there is a day when I post finished photos. Other than that I have abandoned the other sock (SSS? I think so) and my stash is empty. Alright, I admit I have the gorgeous Manos skeins, but I can't think of anything to make with them right now and refuse to waste the yarn because I have itchy fingers. This is turning into a moan, so let me move onto what I'll be knitting with the yarn dear hubby has promised to give me for my birthday.....

First, either Bond by Kim Hargreaves, or a version with cap sleeves and a coloured motif in the centre - sort of a custom designed 't-shirt' to wear over light long-sleeved cotton tops.
And, a long, wide, soft, lacy scarf...I'm thinking of Haven, I particularly like this one. Both of which I really want to do with something other than rowan wool, maybe its finally time to try Cascade.

In the meantime I've begun a quilt with some very pretty fabric, it might be ready in time for unusually chilly summer nights...

In real life I'm to organise the adoption of two donkeys on behalf of brownies and guides in Bath from a Devon Donkey Sanctuary...sweet! It's not my idea I hasten to add, but part of a trip I am obliged to help plan, a weekend in Beer, Devon for nine and ten year olds.
Isn't Beer an absurd yet romantic place name?

Monday, 17 November 2008

fabric painting and forgotten knitting

I'm ashamed of the dusty mirror in this photo, but am rather proud of my first serious attempts at fabric painting... I cut out a cabbage rose stencil late last night while watching Topgear, then made four different coloured prints on this old black t-shirt; navy blue, royal blue, silver and turquoise. Obviously my technique needs quite a bit of work, but it's so much fun!

I've recently made a list on my side-bar of all my finished knitting projects, and discovered that there are a few things I might have blogged about but didn't post photos of the finished objects. So here is the long-since finished hollow oak teacosy, and a tiny valentine's day heart made from scraps of red malabrigo for my HH.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

you are what you read

I work at a bookstore. My mind runs on books for many hours each day. Boxes of books, stacks of books, armfuls of books, shelves of books, tables of books, walls of books. I am also a list-maker. So I have decided to write my very own list of books I've read, and have read again and again, and can heartily recommend. That is the only thing these books have in common; they do not all appear on any public/literary critic 'best books' list, they are not all fiction, or classics, or bestsellers, they are simply good. Really good.

They're also not in any order of preference, I can't bring myself to rank some books over others, I can't compare them to each other. I would love to know which of these you have read, because you see this is more than a snapshot of my bedside table over the last 10 years, its a mini-portrait of my soul. To quote Greg Kinnear's character in You've Got Mail..."you are what you read".

  1. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  2. Craven House by Patrick Hamilton
  3. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  4. Cranford, and other short stories by Elizabeth Gaskell
  5. Vanity Fair by William Thackery
  6. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  8. Good Wives (and the two sequels) by Louisa May Alcott
  9. Pride and Prejudice (and the many sequels) by Jane Austen
  10. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
  11. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  12. Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford
  13. The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
  14. Don't Tell Alfred by Nancy Mitford
  15. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
  16. Consequences by Penelope Lively
  17. 1939; The Last Curtsey by Anne De Courcy
  18. Nancy Mitford (biography) by Harold Acton
  19. Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher
  20. Last Curtsey by Fiona MacCarthy
  21. The Mitford Sisters by Mary S. Lovell
  22. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
  23. Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman
  24. The Victorian House by Judith Flanders
  25. Victorian Girls by Sheila Fletcher
  26. Aristocrats by Stella Tillyard
  27. Daughters of Britannia by Katie Hickman
  28. Evelina by Frances Burney
  29. Sense and Sensibility - Diaries by Emma Thompson
  30. The Tale of Beatrix Potter: A Biography by Margaret Lane
  31. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  32. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
  33. The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark
  34. Master and Commander, and the entire Aubrey/Maturin series (21 books) by Patrick O'Brian
  35. The Golden Ocean by Patrick O'Brian
  36. The Unknown Shore by Patrick O'Brian
  37. The Catalans by Patrick O'Brian
  38. The Road to Samarcand by Patrick O'Brian
  39. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  40. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  41. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  42. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  43. The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
  44. The Hornblower series by C.S. Forester
  45. The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith
  46. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
  47. The Liar by Stephen Fry
  48. Moab is My Washpot by Stephen Fry
  49. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
  50. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

Thursday, 13 November 2008

There's nothing like a contest to win yarn...

So get yourself over to Choo Choo Knits fantastic blog, she's giving away yarn for cryin' out loud!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Plenty of Photos

I finished the awesome mittens a week ago, these were difficult to put down - I was so anxious to wear them. I've added a mitten flap and they are tres cosy. I will definitely be making these in a charcoal and lilac/blue combination too.

I have plenty of photos; making the mittens ~

wearing the mittens ~

So my life has taken a dramatic turn, hopefully for the better. A few months ago I quit my dull job and after working out a colossal nine-week notice period as a favour to my ex-employers, I tasted first relief that I had decided to make a positive change in my life, and then the fear of unemployment. Luckily, oh so luckily, I have a new job, and even better I think I'm going to enjoy it. So pensions are out, and books are in - I'm working part-time in a well-known bookseller (I won't mention the name as they have rather strict employee web-log rules). But they do have a dress-code that suits me down to the ground, it being casual and black.

Has anyone else been reading Little Dorrit? Its
such a great novel - I finished it last night but wouldn't reveal the sensational ending for the world.