Friday, October 28, 2011

Come along, Ponds!

The Ponds are done! Dusted! In glorious green goodness!

Wee Davie approved, even though he thought I should be much more interested in kicking his ball than taking silly sock photos.

Finding my final sock blocked and ready, I took a break from grading to do the photo shoot. It's so nice and sunny and the grass sets off the gorgeousness of the yarn. Seriously, I love Sokkusu!

So, these are from the Knit Love Sock Club 2011: 'Fiyero' (think Wicked), in LFB Sokkusu. I repurposed them for a Doctor Who reference, of course. Like Wicked, but love Doctor Who.

And don't they look great by the burgeoning vegetable patch?

I love these socks. Springy, incredibly green - you want to dive into the depth of this colour - and comfy. The pattern is intricate and I admit, towards the end of the second sock, I was growing impatient, but it's just adorable. These socks make you feel clever. I like socks that make you feel clever.

Speaking of Doctor Who, I've been reading The Brilliant Book 2012. Neil Gaiman has been adding some facts about the Corsair that make me want to read/see/hear a plethora of Corsair stories! Please!

Last night I also crossed off one of my ambitions. I popped off to see QI Live. There was such a friendly, fun atmosphere in the theatre and I can listen to Stephen Fry merrily ramble forever! Alan Davies was also most silly. The world truly needs a little more silliness. I just wish the guy in front hadn't perched his sunglasses on top of his head...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Helping Hand

I'm a big fan of Socktopus. She ran the sweetest, most friendly little shop in London once upon a time. I'm in her Knit Love Sock Club at the moment and although I am way behind, I'll have those green socks to show you soon! She has a book newly out. I'm just waiting for my copy. And her yarn...

Her yarn...

Her yarn is good enough to eat apparently.

Honestly, I was just taking my 'Vintage' Sokkusu outside to photograph so I could show you how gorgeous the yarn is. The wee one was busy playing with his basketball, but spontaneously ran over and tried to eat it. I'm pleased to report that it survived and will be knitted up into some awfully cute socks... just as soon as I have time.

Why am I telling you how much I love Alice's work? Well, at the moment, she's taking care of a tiny pup who has had a rough start in life. It's so nice to follow her blog and see the pup looking happier and happier each post. So, as if this wasn't enough, Alice has started fundraising for Hong Kong Dog Rescue (with some really generous encouragement in the form of give aways, but, really, we are doing it for the dogs!). I read her blog post and got a little teary, so I wanted to pass along the word in my own small way. It's such a great idea and I hope she reaches her goal really soon!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Little Getaway

Earlier this week, I was relaxing. It was wonderful. I visited The River Song for the first time.

One afternoon, Mum and I invaded, armed with a picnic basket of gluten free cupcakes and old-fashioned soda pops. We sat on the back stairs and knitted. The birds sang. The breeze blew.

I realised that sitting on the back steps is one of my favourite things in the world. I have since been daydreaming of kitchen sinks and shiny taps. The River Song has never had a modern kitchen. There have never been benches and overhead cupboards. It is as it was in the 20s, complete with broom cupboard. Apparently the real estate people thought this was a negative selling point. My heart sang. A whole kitchen to play with! And no built-ins will sully my kitchen. I have magnificent plans for a cosy, 20s inspired kitchen. If only Agas were cheaper...

I also heard some more family stories while I was away. I have a great great aunt Dora who has totally stolen my heart. She never wed. When I asked my grandfather about this, he burst out laughing. "Her older sister died after having three children and her husband, Jack, turned up at the house asking for another sister. Dora sent him packing." Who could not love her for that? I'm finding a copy of her picture to put up - we single ladies have to stick together! As I then pointed to my great great grandmother Caroline, my grandfather gave another chuckle. "Oh, she held the purse strings in that marriage! She kept it all in a billy can under her bed. He [being my great great grandfather] did what she told him. He didn't get the bacon." I smiled contentedly.

I'm not really someone who sees her ancestors in herself. I think we make our own lives. But I love a good family story and I'm coming to love the relatives I never had a chance to meet.

I'd also love a little more knitting time, but I'm crimping what I can. I'm more than half way through another pair of socks and Wee Davie has already given his approval to the first sock.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Farewell Lulu


I wish I could stop writing these posts.

Rest in peace, Lulu. You were very young and very nutty and we'll all miss you. Especially Fifi, to whom you were a most excellent fluffy, feather duvet.

I've been feeling like an absolutely dreadful hen mother. The day before I nipped away for a quick trip, Lulu was looking rather sad and lethargic, though as you'll see from the photo above, the day before that, everyone had been happily pottering about the yard as normal. That's Lulu on the step, all white and black. The only clue is that Lulu's comb was a little dull, but it had been since I'd had her, so that hadn't tipped me off to something more serious. Then the day I left, my neighbour pointed out that she really wasn't looking good and I had to agree. I tried a few quick tricks and remedies, but alas, after I left, she rapidly deteriorated and was gone the following day. I suspect she had a respiratory problem - her breathing apparently sounded awful on her final day. Last week, there was a lot of wet, damp weather and although they have dry places to hang out, it may have been too much for her. At least, that's my assumption. It was so very, very quick.

My grandfather did reassure me that these things happen and there's not much to be done. The remaining girls are all looking happy and healthy.

So I'll leave you with - in hindsight - a rather pensive photo of the lovely Lulu, one that made me smile when I took it because she was posing!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mothers Look Away

Well, actually, I only need one mother to look away. So while she's doing that, let me share with you an image of two carrots cuddling...

Yes, in fact, it is weird in my vegetable patch. But I figure weird in a good way.

I finished Mum's birthday socks! I've been calling them 'sparkly legwarmers' for the last month, but she has caught on that I'm knitting socks. I don't think she's caught on as to which socks I'm knitting.

That's me this morning, desperately knitting so I have enough days to block the final sock before I wrap them up. I'm eating a chocolate chip blondie, but not just any chocolate chip blondie. These are seriously healthy. Don't believe me? Look at the recipe. And don't be cynical or you'll miss out on the most amazing, chewy, taste explosion.

Anyway, although one sock is still unblocked, this is how they turned out.

The pattern is Vintage Purls, "Nightingale." Staggering wow factor, right? They're knitted up in purple Malabrigo sock and pink yarn from The Yarn Cafe, now Evoke Yarns.

These socks were made for some serious, sassy walkin'!

They are a bit loose on me. That's intentional. Mum and I aren't the same size. There is some guesswork going on here, but fingers crossed.

After all, I could almost decide not to gift them, they're that comfortable!