Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ravelry and unravelling

I signed up on Ravelry quite a while back (I'm on there as Annabanna in case you want to look me up), but had never really got into it. I went back on to find a pattern for an earflap hat (the boy just won't keep hats or hoods on so I need one I can tie under his chin!) and got drawn into it- oh, it's an easy addiction to get!
Of course, all this knitting inspiration only led to one thing...more yarn buying.
Like I reeeaaaallly needed more yarn. Okay, no I really didn't, but I couldn't help it- it's cold! I'm cracking on with the Fair Isle and have nearly finished the back, but I also have chilly fingers (when I'm out and about) and chilly toes.
I found this lovely pattern from Ysolda for flip top mittens. I had some flip top mittens before and found them so useful, especially out with the buggy, that I wore through the thumbs! The Artesano is a lovely pinky red and soooo soft, I can hardly wait to make the mittens, but I'm going to make myself wait until the Fair Isle is finished before I allow myself to buy the pattern- it's the only way.
As for the socks- well the last picture shows the result of hours of squinting at a horrendously complicated pattern full of travelling stitches. They were going to be the Diamond Socks from Yarn Forward magazine September issue, but by the time I'd knitted, unpicked and reknitted myself down to the heel, turned the heel and embarked on the foot, I'd had enough! If I even made it to the end of one sock, I'd never have the patience to make the other. So all that work has now been frogged, and this yarn, and the lovely pinky stuff above is going to be made into nice, plain, easy to knit without concentrating socks, hopefully quickly so I can get these toes warm.
And yes, I know those are yet more Brittany Birch needles- but you know, if I'm going to make all these socks, I think it's about time I had some gorgeous feeling needles rather than the nasty metal ones I've used in the past. In fact that might be why the Diamond socks went wrong. I protesting too much?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Small pleasures

Sometimes at this time of year different factors can conspire to close the world in a little. But rather than mourn this closing in, I choose to embrace the warmth and cosiness of small pleasures.
First the spotlit cauliflower! This is mainly here for the benefit of my oldest best friend Kitty Broon, who was all set to drive a crazy number of miles up the motorways when I told her we were having cauliflower cheese tonight. So glad to hear your good news, Kitty, but good thing you didn't come- the cauli was delicious but pretty small (we bulked it out with lashings of garlic bread, mmmm).
Next a small but significant addition to the kitchen. I'm rather into loose leaf tea at the moment, but two different tea-ball contraptions both have the same problem that leaves (especially red bush ones) keep escaping and floating about, spoiling an otherwise lovely cuppa. Sometimes simple is just better, so I've gone back to the old school and bought a tea strainer from Lakeland Plastics which works an absolute treat. Proper tea bliss restored.
Lastly, a visit to the library today sees me embarking on another Phillipa Gregory novel- The Constant Princess. I've just finished The Boleyn Inheritance and I think I'm developing a temporary addiction to her historical fiction, set in the court of Henry VIII. I've no doubt some serious historians would raise eyebrows at how accurate they are, but they're well written and real page-turners as far as I'm concerned- just the thing for a cosy night in.
What are your small pleasures? Do share...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Glorious mud

The weather has definitely turned and although it's very cold today was clear and sunny, so we headed to Broughton in Furness to walk along the old railway line. Tried putting P in a padded all in one suit that someone donated second hand. Bless him, he was cosy but it wasn't exactly flattering! Perhaps it was revenge then that made him decide that today was the day to fully explore mud and puddles. Of course mummy had cleverly decided to leave his wellies in the car... still, as Meg on Sew Liberated said in her lovely recent blog isn't that just what you're meant to do when you're little like him?
The last pic is just a little update on the Fairisle. So far, so good as far as tension is concerned (both across the back of the knitting and my own!). It certainly isn't the sort of knitting you can do with your mind or your eyes on anything else, as several unpicked rows can attest, but I love seeing the pattern emerge.