Friday, February 10, 2012

On a Whim

I had a whim.

I moved.

I'm now here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On a rainy day, knit socks

The weather is wild today, so I focussed on finishing 'Buttercup's Folly' while watching tennis. The second isn't blocked yet, but they're just what I had in mind. Bright, silly, girly. I had fun writing up the pattern draft too and it's off to a worthy volunteer test knitter.

Which is good, because I have a second design already in mind! The chosen yarn is peeking out of the project bag I sewed up on Mrs Higgins. Just don't look too closely at those seams! (Papa's a bit worried - I mended his pants on Mrs Higgins!)

Just in the nick of time, my fabric order also arrived from Spoonflower. I see some productive time with Mrs Higgins ahead.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Luverly Bunch of Coconuts

Pardon the inadvertent advertisement here, but lately I've been a little addicted to this particular brand of coconut water.

Partly, of course, because it's in a really cool container! Then I made a discovery. If you take off the label and take out the internal juice box... you can put a ball of yarn inside.

And due to the nifty hole already supplied for the straw...

Yes, my house is about to be overrun with yarn coconuts!

I've also finished designing a sock!

It's a lattice design with tiny 'wildflowers' worked into the lattice, the heels and the toes. It's called 'Buttercup's Folly' and is worked in yarn from Christina Marie Potter (a fingering yarn in the Amy Pond colourway - she does brilliant geek yarns).

I had a certain Scot trying to nose his way into photos, so there's lots of cropping going on. It is a pretty bright yarn and I wanted a flippery, summery design to go with it. Now I'm thinking of writing it up as a 'proper design'. What do you think? Well, okay, I have the second sock to go...

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Good Start to 2012... and Mrs Higgins's Sewing Machine

2012 started hot, but well. We went antiquing. Knowing there was a long drive, I grabbed some yarn, some needles, and a vague idea about a couple of stitch patterns and through the traffic, put all that together. It's still in progress, but this just might be my first real sock design. And yes, it's very, very girly. I can't fight my nature.

While antiquing, I found this little fellow and since the stall owner was really nice and kept reducing the price for me, he had to come home with me.

He's Wembley Ware, incidentally. Those lettuce leaves have the most gorgeous sheen.

And then I got very excited. Under this unprepossessing case?

My first sewing machine! It was an absolute bargain and it works like a dream. Not to mention... how pretty is it?

It has had only one previous, careful owner, a Mrs Higgins. She purchased the machine from the Myer Emporium in 1959. We know, because the receipt is still tucked into the original accessories tin.

So, I now have Mrs Higgins's sewing machine. I have to admit, I gulped a little as we threaded her and gave her her first test run (recalling previous driving lessons, Mum crying 'take your foot off the accelerator!' and 'would you pick up your lead foot' as the fabric churned through). This is like a whole new awesome avenue for activity. As though I have time to get bored...

Mind, I have sewn before. I know the basics. I just hadn't found my machine. Mrs Higgins's machine is emphatically my machine.

The rest of the time, my parents chased me away from every vintage mix master I located, even the pink one! Though they did make it up to me, since they'd sneakily picked up a bakelite cookie press, which they gave me at dinner.

And I think Mum might be softening on the topic of vintage mix masters since I pointed out that they are smaller and more compact.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sneak Peek at 2012

These aren't the best photos, particularly since the knitting is still on the needles and it's too hot to really bother for long messing about with pins. However, it is the start of 'The Doctor's Wife' sampler shawl and so far, it's going according to plan. Well, aside from that glitch a few rows back... shhhhhhh...

Anyway, sorry for the apologies and bad photos, but I couldn't resist putting some photos up to mark the end of 2011.

Those boxes even out when properly stretched - the pins weren't quite doing the job and I was a little worried about stitches falling off the other end. The 'Sexy Edging' (it takes a cue from the Tilting TARDIS cowl and its use of the tilting ladders pattern, though I played about with it some more) is looking a bit off kilter here too, but I still smile when I look at the little lights on top of the TARDISes. I love that I'm currently measuring the shawl in TARDISes (10 along the short edge). It should become a valid form of measurement.

'The Doctor's Wife' is one of my all time favourite episodes. One day, the ideas of the sampler shawl and 'The Doctor's Wife' snapped together in my head and I had the basic idea. I've got most of the patterns roughed out already, but oh, there's such a lot of knitting and math to be done!

I also have a soft spot for 'The Doctor's Wife' since I gave a paper a few years ago in the UK about the TARDIS, arguing she's alive and female, much more powerful than the Doctor (she sees everything in time and space), and that she is his ultimate, if you like, companion - cough, 'wife.'

Anyway, time to start New Year's Eve prep. We're having a Pushing Daisies marathon. Fingers crossed for 2012 being a great year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Figgy Pudding

"We Wish You A Merry Christmas" is playing in a loop in my head. This may or may not be a good thing.

However, it did enable me to sprint through my Miss Marple socks! They're done! In record time for me. I got a little obsessed, you see.

They're from Cookie A.'s knit. sock. love. as you may know by now. I took a photo last night, but the colour of the yarn came out a little dull, so this morning, I braved heading out with a camera, new socks and a wet Scot. The Vintage Purls 'Oneirology' now shows its pretty colours.

And I love the way the lace winds around as it leads into the heel.

As the Scot and I walked last night, we ran into the parcel delivery van. The guy rushed out with a parcel. "But we don't live here!" I protested. "I know. (Rattles off my address) I recognised you." That should probably concern me more than it does, particularly since he has on occasion caught me in my pjs.

Nonetheless, it meant I got to carry a lovely squashy parcel home that contained my Knitsch and some very cool presents care of my favourite Honorary Ninja Sheep. Isn't the Knitsch thoroughly gorgeous? There is 'Beatrice', because between having seen Much Ado on stage earlier this year, now having it downloaded safely to my computer, and looking forward to Joss Whedon's film... I'm all about Much Ado and Beatrice has always been one of my favourite Shakespearean characters. She's just too cool. She's the best friend you'd love to have.

The 'Deep Thought' is destined for Doctor Who socks. It's more 10th Doctor TARDIS. Speaking of which, I did finish my TARDIS snowflake garland and I couldn't be happier with it.

I especially like the way this snow flake turned out. [Note: Oh, I did adapt the snowflakes from ones I saw online, but do you think I can find those particular snowflakes again? If I do, I'll definitely link back again!]

So, everyone, have a great Christmas! I don't go in for retrospectives or new year's resolutions. I will only say, 2011 as a year didn't quite work for me. There was great stuff afoot, too! But things just went a little haywire. I won't mind changing calendars all that much.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Last night I went to see Neil Gaiman and Tom Stoppard. The night before I was at a Christmas party. This morning, I'm armed with coffee and aspirin and thinking about 'The Great Clean-up' that I have to achieve today before visitors come rolling in tomorrow.

Incidentally, last night was brilliant. I swear, Neil Gaiman is one of the few authors who can threaten to send in the hounds on his audience and his audience would let him. And he talked about 'The Doctor's Wife,' which made me peculiarly happy.

As an added bonus, on the train, I knitted up the cuff of my second Pointelle sock. I decided to actively participate in The Southern Summer of Socks this time around. It wouldn't have anything to do with the Knitsch on offer. No siree. However, it did mean I dug out my half started Pointelle sock (from Cookie A's Knit Sock Love) in Vintage Purl's 'Oneirology'. I started ages and ages ago and things went badly wrong. I looked at it, I squished it - it really is the softest, loveliest yarn. I ripped right back. I started again, full of purpose. I went wrong again. I took a breath. I ripped right back again. I started again, full of more purpose. I went wrong again...

But, well, the curse lifted. I sensibly stuck a large post-it note on the chart so I wouldn't start reading the wrong row and look, I ended up with a sock already!

I have no idea why I required all those false starts. Once I was settled in with the post-it note, the sock flew. In the background, you can also see my first finished Chick Flick sock. Hey, who said I had to finish a proper pair? Well, I think one of the moderators on the Southern Summer of Socks might have said something about that... (whistles to herself).

The designing is going well too and I'm hoping to start showing some photos, because, let's face it, I'm going to be a while at it and I might as well show it off in the meantime.

Just like Wee Davie is showing off his new coat. It's by Made by De. Yes, it is summer, hence, this is a cooling coat. Dampened down with water, it holds in the cool for hot Scots. Hot Scots who today have to have a bath in the middle of 'The Great Clean-up'. Yes, this means I'll probably have a muddy Scot rampaging over newly cleaned floors. I'll have to think this plan out some more...

I've also put aside for a short while the plans to decorate with many TARDIS snowflakes.

This is my slightly - ahem, very - dodgy first attempt at replicating this awesome snowflake. I had been cutting out Star Wars snowflakes to insert in Christmas cards for various friends, but I'm more a Doctor Who girl. Problem is, there aren't as many templates out there for Doctor Who. Which is outrageous.

I've also been making my new favourite holiday snack - white chocolate popcorn with sprinkles.

Ah, 'tis the season. Okay, I think one more coffee then I really will start 'The Great Clean-up'. Or I'll just keep watching my current favourite seasonal clip... A muppet, a Scot in a Christmas sweater, and a pipe. What more do I need?