Sunday, July 31, 2005

Marple Stash Mission

Marple was fantastic!! Auntie Peg's local yarn shop was so dreamy - it was bigger than any I'd been in so far and had LOADS of yarn (more than John Lewis) all easy to see on labelled shelves. And a big bargain bin to root around in, and I stroked lots of different yarns.

There was a good variety of yarn - Rowan, Jaeger, Debbie Bliss & Noro for the more expensive stuff and then the more ordinary Patons and Sirdar, plus their funky yarns too. If I'd known they stocked Noro I'd have waited to get my Kureyon - I'd much rather support a local independent store than John Lewis (even though John Lewis is very fluffy and ethical). Unfortunately Sew-In is 80 miles from where I live, so not very practical for stash enhancement (having said that, I do live 150 miles from the John Lewis on Oxford St and still manage to go there often enough (but that's not very far from UCL).

I KNOW I said I wasn't going to get any more yarn. And technically I didn't as Mum bought it for me!

This is 2 balls of Sirdar Donegal Tweed DK in blue (for baby jumpers) and 1 ball of black fluffy stuff - all from the bargain bin. The brightly coloured things on top are more sock yarn, which I just couldn't resist.

Meanwhile my Auntie Peg gave us both a jar of honey and look what it's called:

from the Daisybank Apiary in the Peak District. Yummy. Yummy. Yummy.

Oh, and as promised, here is progress so far on Jenny's second thank you sock:

This is going amazingly well considering that I left the pattern at home and had to turn the heel from memory on the train! As well as dropping thousands of stitches as usual!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Beads and Noro and nice things like that...

I'm back and nobody tried to bomb London while I was there (or before or after for that matter!). It was a bit scary getting off the train at St Pancras to find police with guns everywhere though. It was a very very good few days, I had a lovely time staying in Nottingham with my brother, sister-in-law and the cutest baby in the world. I got loads of knitting done on the train (pics to come next post). I even dropped loads of stitches again and was unfazed this time!

I also managed to make it to some of the Stitchcraft knitting group at the British Library. The BL is one of my favourite places anyway - it has a bookshop as dangerous as any yarn store - so the idea of having a knitting group there is excellent! I met up with Noel and Cara in the terrace restaurant for about 40 minutes and we knitted and chatted away. Bliss. Although I'd never met them before we'd come across some of the same people - they recognised my little fimo badge as one of Alex's!

Then I went on a small stash enhancement mission to John Lewis (didn't have time for Loop this time unfortunately. Think I'll save it for a completion-of-dissertation-celebration). This is what I got:

Two balls of Noro Kureyon in a gorgeous bluey, purpley, orangey colour (it's brighter than it appears in the pic). This is for the K. Kozy from Knitty, which I'm planning to make as a thank you present for some friends I'm going to stay with in September. Also in the pic are some beads I found at a shop on the way home (right opposite Lincoln station) - called Beadazzled. These are for making the aforementioned stitchmarkers (see several previous posts), although the shop only sold tiny rings - about the right size for my 2.5mm DPNs, but no good for any larger needles. I've ordered some bigger rings from Ebay and then I'll have a play with them all & see what I can make!

When I got home there was a lovely pile of post waiting for me, and no bills!! There was a parcel from Frances, containing this:

It's a beautiful icon, from Taize. Thank you Frances!! :-)
and also this:

It's my wristband for the Greenbelt Festival at the end of August. It's meant to be my finishing-dissertation-treat, although I bought my ticket in April when it was cheaper!! I really should check my tent is still waterproof, although i don't think that would be much good against the tornados that struck Britain this week. Tornados. Britain. WHAT is going on?? I hope everyone in Birmingham is OK.

I think that's all for tonight. I'm a bit sleepy and I'm going across to Marple tomorrow to visit Monkey's maker (my great aunt) and her local yarn shop. Yummy Yummy. Mustn't buy anything else. Mustn't buy anything else.

Oooh yes. Interesting knitting TV at the moment is: Coast on BBC 1 on Friday and Sunday evenings. A minibus full of slightly wacky people are going all the way round the coastline, highlighting history, archaeology, geology and the downright weird.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


I've been tagged by nickerjac & I'm not totally sure what I'm doing, but here goes:

Pronunciation Keyn. pl. id·i·o·syn·cra·sies
A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
Write down five of your own personal idiosyncracies. Then, if you wish, tag five people from your friendslist to do the same.

1. People I have lived with will attest that I'm totally neurotic about cleaning rotas, to the extent of making everyone else's life hell if they haven't done their share of the dusting, yet in my own bedroom I rarely got round to even dragging the hoover in. Now I've got my own flat this has spread to the whole flat, not just my bedroom. I also have piles of stuff just piled up.

2. I am a cow. Officially. After all, my (middle) name is Daisy.

3. I love smiling at people on the tube/bus/walking down the street. This usually causes a panicky reaction in the other person, although occasionally an interesting conversation results (and once I ended up teaching someone to knit!).

4. My brain seems to be wired to work out how to do things in the fastest/most efficient way. Hence I now have a routine involving turning the computer on whilst having breakfast, which means that I neither have to sit around waiting for the kettle to boil or the computer to boot up. This also works at cross roads with traffic lights. Instead of crossing through two sides (which takes 2 sequencs of the lights) as a pedestrian you can often get away with walking diagonally across the middle!

5. I LOATHE shopping. Not completely anymore as I love yarn shopping, but I hate hate hate clothes shopping. This is because nothing ever fits and I get SO annoyed trying to buy shoes as my feet are ridiculously narrow. There are currently only two shops I know of for shoe shopping for me - one in Southampton, one in Edinburgh. Both really handy for Lincoln! If anybody has any ideas where to get AA or AAA shoes please let me know!!

Thank you to everyone who's left comments on the last couple of postings. The wrap is progressing well, but I won't post a pic until it's a bit bigger. I'm about to depart for London (yes, I know it's only Wednesday). The trains have been so bad recently, and the GNER east coast mainline seems to be the main terrorist route into London (judging by this morning's news) so I'm going to stay with my brother in Nottingham and travel into London from there tomorrow. Different train company, hopefully fewer problems... Am not thinking about being in London on a Thursday. Again. Why do they keep picking Thursdays for doing awful things to London?

Also, thank you to littlelixie for the FAB little badge I received this morning. Isn't it great?! Sorry the pics a bit blurry, I still need more practice with the camera. The battery is there for scale.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Neutral sheep

I'm a neutral sheep - a bit boring surely?

Which flock do you follow?

this quiz was made by alanna

Having now recovered from my car embarrassment of earlier (not that the car has any more petrol in it yet), I thought I'd put some more pics on here.

I blocked Fondant over the weekend, and there is one wibbly bit where I wove some ends in. But it's on the back so I'm going to ignore it as I can't see it when I'm wearing it.

Mum insisted on an outside shot (even though it was FREEZING!) so she could have some bushes in the background.

I have also started off a wrap in KidSilkHaze from Simply Knitting issue 2. This is weird to knit with, like cobwebs, but I like the effect. It has an 8 row repeat, so I'm doing a repeat a night whilst listening to Book at Bedtime. I love this colour - it's "liqueur" which I got on ebay.

Meanwhile, Sooty is still annoyed with me for not entering him in the cutest cat contest (a travesty anyway, as Molly didn't win).

Meanwhile, my printer inkjet cartridge was running low (can you see my halo from all that dissertation writing?!) and I found that you can buy them from ActionAid Recycling - profits to charity, reasonable prices, free delivery and they arrive SO quickly!! They're also really friendly when you email to request a cartridge.

Oh yes. I finished off Jenny's first thank you sock:

It's looking good, and I have hours on trains again later this week so the second one should appear even quicker!

Also, Mary Anne has sent me some links to instructions for making stitch markers. I still haven't got any further with this, as am currently trying out Kate's suggestion of just using a circle of yarn.
  • This one is like a string of beads in a ring round the needle. Looks good, although might be a bit fat if you've got a lot of stitches on there.
  • These are like the dangly ones I was originally thinking about. With loads of pictures of how to make them!
  • These are cool - you shrink pictures into little pictures and make them into stitch markers!
  • More dangly ones - with even clearer pictures of how to make them!
  • And sheep beads!!
Now I need to decide what to make. I want to get on with it NOW (although obviously patience is a virtue...). Anybody got any idea where to buy the little ring things - from the blogs above it appears that once again the shops on t'other side of the Atlantic are better! Oooh, I'm feeling all inspired. Thank you Mary Anne - you're a star!

The car

I did the What Sex is Your Brain? quiz on the BBC website yesterday, and discovered that I am 25 on the male side. But then this happened:

I just decided to put some petrol in the car (Mum & I share it so it was the first time I'd done this). I was just congratulating myself on driving in so the pump was the same side as the petrol hole, when I realised that I couldn't get the cap off the petrol hole. The outside was fine, just unlock the cover, but the inside thing refused to screw off or pull off. I ended up standing there with the instruction book, but still couldn't do it. In the end I had to give up and drive home. Still feeling extremely embarrassed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Fondant - hooray!

I've just finished the second armhole of Fondant with more decreases to allow for my non-existent bust and that side looks a lot better! As you can see from the photo:

I worked out that the reason I got so annoyed with it was that it was occupying the needles and stitch markers I wanted to use for something else (in fact various things, like another baby jumper or a clapotis). I was approaching the nearly-at-end-of-project stage, when I normally start something else off at the same time but couldn't. But I also had a big urge to knit because I was all stressy about my dissertation so was thwarted in that and therefore got even more stressy! And it all boils down to only having two stitch markers!

I've had a look for some more. Angel Yarns has some nice dangly ones but they're quite expensive (the ones I have already came in an Angel Yarn sock kit). There are also some nice ones on ebay at the Yarn Faery. But I could make some myself, as various other people on various other blogs have done. This of course would mean even less time to write the dissertation... Hmm. But maybe that's a good thing. If I induce a state of panic I might actually get round to writing the thing sometime soon.

Mum bought me a couple of new cushions yesterday:

They're the flower and the zigzag ones. I got the checky one in the middle on holiday in the Lakes last month. The idea now is that these colours coordinate with some yarn I've already got to make more covers for my plain cushions. How many cushions does one sofa need?!

Also,please vote for Emily's cat Molly in the cutest cat poll. Molly is really really cute and there are plenty of gorgeous pictures of her on Emily's blog. I could have entered Sooty, but I don't think he comes into the cute category - he makes far too much noise & also distracts me from the dissertation!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Fondant. Why??

Fondant is driving me mad. I've finished off the neck now (with a nice stretchy cast off recommended by someone on UKHandknitters) and done one armhole (it's a sleeveless top with 2x2 ribbing round the armhole). Tried it on and it's baggy at the front. Mum, tittering away to herself, said that this is because my bust is non-existent (she's just jealous, as hers is enormous). I have been reading up on ease and things like that on Knitty, and have found out plenty about making more ease for bigger busts, but nothing about making things smaller. Huh. I'm just picking up stitches for the second armhole ribbing and am going to experiment with more decreases - then will redo the first armhole.

The good news is that I followed the picking up stitches instructions on knitty and that part looks a whole lot better than last time I tried! :-)

Also, anyone know how I can get my sidebar to appear at the top of the side when using Internet Explorer? The thing seems to have developed a life of its own and keeps heading for the bottom. I've tried deleting large pics from the sidebar, which worked for a while, but now it's reverted back...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Knit Lincs takes off?

It's only 9.45am but I've already taken 3 phone calls from people interested in Knit Lincs - including one from somebody who runs a disability craft group who wants to publicise it there and one from a woman who runs a local shop and wants to have a poster in her shop for it! Is knitting suddenly taking off in Lincolnshire?!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Harry Potter

I am so so sleepy. A lot of exciting things happened in the last few days. Do you want to hear about them? Tough. You're going to anyway!
First of all, my dissertation is now over 6000 words long and not all of that is codswallop!! I lost count of the amount of chocolate it took to get this far...

Then my ebay parcel arrived, from littlelixie. A sock knitting book!

This is so so cool. Several lovely patterns that I want to have a go at, now I've made 2.5 pairs (or should that be 5 individual?) basic socks. There a really helpful list of different sock yarn in a table so you can compare them.

Then, I went into Lincoln to return my library book and asked whether my Harry Potter reservation was in yet, never thinking it would be ready that quickly. But it was!! I've read about 450 pages of it so far, hence the feeling sleepy and not getting any knitting done. I'd better not give anything away about the plot though...

And I also trotted along to the newsagents and discovered several copies of this:

So one of these found its way into my bag. I'm not sure whether it was worth getting or not. Some of the patterns are highly dubious - I cannot imagine wanting to crochet a bikini even if if I knew how to crochet. And there is yet another poncho pattern (surely these must be going out of fashion soon?) However, I did like one top - Pina Colada, which I think would work with my hipknits cotton. It's got a strange looking peplum thing attached, but I'll probably leave that bit out.

I also found two circular needles at the local charity shop for 50p!! Whoopee!!

I did get a tiny bit of knitting done. Mum has finally (after prolonged bullying) got a mobile phone and requested a woolly jumper for it, so I made one of the S & B ones. Why a mobile should need a woolly jumper in July I don't know...

Anyway, I'm now going to return to Harry Potter before I fall asleep on the keyboard. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Ooh yes. Nearly forgot, I've just read a report on Nickerjac's blog about the new Loop shop in London. It sounds FAB so I'm planning a trip there on Thursday, assuming I get done at UCL in enough time and the trains aren't playing silly choo choos like they were last week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I'm in a REALLY GRRRR mood. You can see why from the little cartoon person in the sidebar. Huh. Grrr. Although now I have a Magic Magnet life is a lot better (spending 4 days wrapped round a hot water bottle in this weather is not good, but with the magnet I don't have to!! Doesn't stop me being a moody cow though...).

But now I think it's time to talk about happier things. First of all I had a visit from Noah my Nephew-Sprog this afternoon:

He came to demonstrate his new crawling technique, which he only started at the weekend. Isn't he cute?! Looks just like my brother... (who is definitely not cute).

I also got my Feed the Children baby jumper #1 finished off:

This is the smallest size. I think I'm going to make one in the biggest, and then possibly a medium before I post them off. The stripes and stocking/garter stitch pattern helped me to count rows, as my row counter was already engaged with a pair of socks...

Fondant has also made a come back. I did a certain amount of unFondanting to the point where I'd misread the pattern, managed not to lose any stitches (!!) and carried on from there. So that's not as disastrous as I originally envisaged!

I wonder how many Fondant photos will eventually end up on this blog? That's six already!

All of this knitting was helped along by last night's knitting TV. There was a very good programme on Channel 5 (of all places!) about George Stubbs' horse paintings. Ok. This may not sound instantly attractive/interesting. But I love horses and used to do a lot of riding and the programme was interesting and lively. There's an exhibition on at the National Gallery at the moment, which I think will go on my places I want to go to list, along with the Picture of Britain exhibition at Tate Modern. Not sure when I'll have time for all this.

I am also continuing my cheesy Jane Austen take-off reading. There are some very funny, often dire books out there, some of which are definitely based on the BBC adaptation, rather than Austen. I think possibly the worst so far was: "Darcy's Story" by Janet Aylmer. This was totally hilarious. My friend Penny has just sent me "An Assembly such as this" by Pamela Aidan, which is supposed to be better. I shall report back soon. I'm also reading "We need to talk about Kevin" at the moment - really cheerful stuff but well written.

Tomorrow I venture back onto GNER to go to London. With me will be the Thank You Socks for Jenny.

I really hope that I won't get hours of knitting time on the train this time...

Also, the Proms start this weekend - hours and hours of knitting time whilst listening to music!! :-) I quite fancy promming properly in the gallery bit at the top of the Royal Albert Hall as you can lie on the floor and stare at the mushrooms on the ceiling whilst the music floats over you. Or sit and knit. Hmm.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Frances' Birthday

Frances has just sent me a pic of her wearing Wavy. She's looking amazingly awake considering she's just been on a coach all night on her way back from Taize! Although that's probably why she's not smiling... Combined with the fact that it's very hot and I've just made her wear a scarf.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Lots of photos

Here, finally, are some more photos! The first shows the Regia socks being modelled by the washing line (I haven't washed them, just thought I'd take a pic with the garden behind!). The socks have turned out really well, despite the circumstances under which I made them in London. I think they're what is called "fraternal twins".

Here they are again being modelled by Mum's feet. Despite the heat. She did take them off fairly quickly after I'd taken the photo!

I think more socks are on the horizon. I thought I'd make some for my friend Jenny, who was an absolute star on Thursday night and let me stay over when I was stranded in London. She saw me making Mum's socks and liked them. Jenny's favourite colour is blue, and I have some Sirdar town and country blue sock stuff in my stash, so next project here I come!

A MYSTERY item can now be revealed, as it's been despatched to Frances for her birthday. It's Wavy, a Knitty pattern for a wiggly scarf. It hasn't turned out quite as wiggly as the picture on Knitty, but I think they used 100% wool, whereas I used 3 balls of Sirdar Donegal Tweed DK which isn't as springy. This was a fun project to do on holiday, but involved a bit more counting than I'm used to!

Sooty was really worried about me in London and is now lolling all over the floor as he thinks it's far too hot. I suggested he took his fur coat off or took a shower but he wasn't too impressed with these ideas and went to sit under the hedge instead.

And yes, he really does have a leg missing at the back!

Finally, Knit Lincs yesterday went very well. There was only Debbie and I there, but we sat in the middle of an art installation on the top floor of The Hub. There were hanging things from the ceiling with fish, octopii and other sea creatures there. Various people wandered past and looked at us knitting in the middle of all this! I really wished I'd taken my camera along. Somehow two hours went past really fast and when I suggested a coffee we realised the cafe had already shut. Where did the time go?!?!
Debbie also told me about KnitCast, which I'd heard mentioned before but hadn't known what a podcast was. I do now! And although I haven't got an ipod, I'll be able to listen to them on my computer. I'm going to save up the 10 episodes so far and use them as a dissertation incentive, otherwise I really will never get round to writing the thing.

Oh, and I noticed whilst blogging using Jenny's computer on Thursday night that when you look at Daisychains using Internet Explorer (I use Mozilla Firefox at home, it's much less problematic than IE) the stuff in the sidebar (profile, links etc) was all right at the bottom of the page. Has anyone else had this problem whilst looking at my blog?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Home again...

Thank you for all the messages - the comments left on my blog and the people who emailed me direct. I think I've heard from everyone I know who was in London yesterday and they're all OK, thank goodness.
I've just got back! It took 7 hours (normally takes 2 between Lincoln and London) and I had to change trains 5 times (normally just once)! However, this did include a wait of an hour for a connection at Peterborough, during which I nipped over the road to John Lewis to have a look at their yarn sale (and bought 2 balls of baby DK for the Feed the Children project). It wasn't a bad journey after all as there was a great camaraderie (sp?) amongst everyone and people were much more friendly than normal. It reminded me of the people walking home on Thursday evening - it is so unusual to see so many people walking and chatting. Perhaps something good has come out of these terrible events?
I hope everyone else who reads this got home OK in the end and that all their loved ones are safe. I will post again once I've unpacked, had some sleep and worked out which way is up.

And it's Knit Lincs tomorrow!! :-) :-) :-)

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Have borrowed a friend's laptop. I hope everyone else in London who reads this or who is a knitter/blogger is OK. Fortunately I overslept this morning and was about to get on the tube when the first announcements came through - we didn't know about bombs at that point, it was thought to be an electrical fault. Otherwise, it doesn't bear thinking about, I was on my way to the Russell Sq area where that awful bus explosion was... Anyway, I'm now stranded in London until the trains start working again and I can get to a station that's open. If anybody else is in a similar situation the BBC website is probably the best place to look. They seem to be updating regularly with travel news. Good luck to all who are trying to get home or are stranded for the night.

And I've finished all the knitting I've got with me...

Monday, July 04, 2005

Bye bye for this week

I'm about to vanish for a week. Unfortunately not on holiday this time. :-( I'm working away from home for the next few days - the wilds of Lincolnshire, a little bit of Yorkshire and a bit more of London (oh and Ranger camp at the weekend!) so will not be able to go online. :-( However, I've got HOURS on trains to look forward to and a pile of knitting awaits. Photos will be posted on my return...

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Well, I think I've recovered my sense of proportion. I've been listening to LIVE8 on Radio 1, and watching a bit on next door's TV too. There are all these people putting a lot of time and effort into convincing politicians to do things to alleviate poverty. And I was worried about a few dropped stitches. I think some reassessment of priorities was needed. LIVE8 was on all day (and at 22.50 is still going, even though it was supposed to finish two hours ago!), which of course means one thing - plenty of knitting time while listening! It seemed appropriate to knit my Feed the Children jumper - this is progress so far. It's looking good and knits up quickly.

Also, if you want to sign the petition that will go to the G8 leaders in Edinburgh next week, it's here. It all seems to be taking such a long time, I went on a march in Cologne in 1999 - Jubilee 2000 where we protested about getting debt relief and all held hands to form a giant circle around the city. Not much progress seems to have been made since then.

In terms of the not-really-a-knitting-disaster-after-all from Thursday - the sock is finished and is also looking good!

I promise that this is the same Regia sock yarn that appeared in two balls from my holiday last month and has been shown at various stages in the making. It looks a different colour in every photo! I know someone asked what yarn I'm using - it's Regia Jacquard and I think it's the 5180 shade.

Fondant is being ignored for the time being. Also, as part of my reassessment of priorities I looked up my dissertation regulations. The word count needs to be between 12000 and 15000 - not min. 15000 as I originally thought. Which means that I'm a quarter of the way there (to 12000 words) with the woffle I've written already! HURRAY! Now wouldn't it have been sensible to look at the regulations a bit earlier?!?!

This morning I distributed Knit Lincs posters around Lincoln. The next meeting is next Sat, 9th July between 2-4pm at The Hub in Sleaford. I popped into Needle n' Craft, with a poster for the window but managed to resist the temptation to buy anything. They have SO much stuff in there, and it's often quite crowded on a Saturday. Waterstones also opened today in Lincoln - amazing - we never used to have a bookshop at all and now there are several! It was absolutely packed as there was a children's book promotion on with Maisy the mouse wandering around. I thought Maisy was rather scary - She/it? was about 6 foot, with monster whiskers. I'm sure I'd have been terrified of her/it when I was younger. Anyway I wriggled my way through to the first floor to have a look at the craft section. This was disappointingly small, with perhaps five knitting books. Perhaps they need plenty of people to go in and order knitting books to encourage them to stock more? Maybe I should volunteer to do this?! The shop itself was large, bright and airy but I didn't get a chance to look at their fiction section as the crowd was just too big downstairs.

I also made a trip to the library, with another poster and to pick up some books. This was waiting for me to collect - Erika Knight's Simple Knits for Easy Living. Wow. Fantastic book. The pics are beautiful and the ideas are indeed really simply but look incredible. I love the way she describes the textures and colours so I'm feeling all inspired again.

This evening a TV dilemma developed. To watch the end of LIVE8 or to watch the Time Team Big Roman Dig on Channel 4? As it's Mum's TV we watched Time Team. Normally I wouldn't watch this, as it's like archaeology on speed and rather divorced from reality, but this subject is what I was woffling about on a post last week - they unearth new evidence about Roman Britain. The programme is carrying on every evening all week so go and have a look! They're filming at 10 sites around the UK and there seems to be bits of everything - from having to fill in trenches at a Roman lead mine as there was arsenic underground to a load of schoolchildren acting out a play in Latin. Oh and plenty of people running round fields shouting about "geophys." !

I needn't have worried about taking a couple of hours out of LIVE8 as it's STILL going. About an hour ago some bloke appeared on stage and talked a bit before a new act, I thought he looked vaguely familiar, then someone said afterwards he was David Beckham. Just shows how out of touch I am... But I do find the celebrity thing a bit daft most of the time and can't see the point of reading all about them in magazines etc. They're only people after all. Obviously this excludes Colin Firth, the most wonderful Mr Darcy ever...

Right, well I thought I'd end this post with a picture of the clematis I found in the garden today. I was hanging out the washing, and there it was, looking very pretty in the sun. I forgot to read its label so don't know what sort it is.