Thursday, April 23, 2009

Folksy and Misi

I've been admiring things on Etsy for a while, but the dollar pricing put me off, especially once the exchange rate began to move in the wrong direction (for me).

Then I read on Nic's blog about Folksy, which is like a UK version of Etsy. And I got hooked stalking things on that. A couple of weeks ago I bought a couple of things from Nic's shop, NicsKnots, pictures below:

A needle roll for DPNs with SEEPS on it!! BAAAAAA

And this really cool cat drawstring bag:

I'd also followed Nic onto Misi (which is similar to Folksy) to have a look. And ended up stumbling upon the perfect present for a friend, from a seller called Mad about bags

Haven't sent her it yet, I hope she'll like it!

Thank you for all the comments about my last post - we enjoyed reading them (he does read my blog, and yes, he has seen the size of my stash. Although he's only seen the boxes and chest etc that it's stored in, rather than the whole lot strewn all over the place, which would look far scarier...)

I'm missing my garden. I've been reading people's updates about gardens and planting things, including Yarnstorm's gorgeous pictures, and I'm missing doing things in my garden. Waah. I'd only just discovered that I liked gardening, so I only really had 18 months of doing it, but I enjoyed it in that time (we'll ignore all the Sunday afternoons I spent moaning about having to go outside to do stuff instead of curling up with a book).

So I planted some herb seeds for my windowsill:

It's not really the same, is it?! Now the weather is better I'm also missing having the garden for hanging washing outside. The airer is a bit of a permanent feature in my living room. I want my garden back!! I hope my tenant is taking good care of it...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The recent lack of knitting

The eagle-eyed may have noticed a massive decrease in the amount of knitting I've done over the last two months. There is a reason. Exciting things have been going on in part of my life that appeared to be in terminal decline. And I'm very happy about it. ;-)

Yes, Monkey and the nephews are no longer the only men in my life. Actually, are they men at all? One is a knitted monkey and the other two are small, noisy, energetic sprogs who like making Play-Doh hair with garlic crushers and making their Auntie get up horribly early to read books about Big Diggers when she's on holiday with them.

Anyway, a picture I took with a certain someone, as we wandered along the South Bank and watched sunset over the Houses of Parliament.

And I may have got slightly diverted into Stash on the same day and came away with some Koigu PPPM (you would have thought a trip to a yarn shop was enough to frighten any man off, especially on a first date, but not this one). And some people, like Nickerjac, Grit and Michaela saw him (briefly) that day!

Other places we have wandered over the weeks:

Cookham, where we had some lunch, then had a look in the church (bits of which date back to the Saxons), saw Stanley Spencer's grave and then

wandered by the Thames in the (sort of) sunshine.

Another time we wandered along the Thames a bit further down and stopped at Boulter's Lock,

which was evidently a bit busier in Victorian times.

We've also wandered around Wandsworth Common. This is the station, which featured in the film "The Waiting Room", which I borrowed from him a few weeks ago. I loved the film, it appealed to my soppy nature.

And there's a great bookshop (LibraryThing link) nearby too. Very small, but one of those independent ones that somehow manages to pack an enormous amount into a tiny space.

I've had a similarly detrimental effect on the number of books he's getting read...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Have you read...

... "Lullabies for little criminals" by Heather O'Neill? I'm meant to be reading it for Reading Group next week, but I'm not getting very far. It doesn't sound cheerful from the plot summary in the link above, but I'm not even that far yet - only on page 25! I just can't be bothered to pick it up and read any more of it.

I finished reading "The believers" by Zoe Heller last week, and I'm wondering if that had something to do with it? I picked this one up at the library as I'd enjoyed (probably the wrong word? More like "found compelling and got sucked into it"?) "Notes on a scandal" and thought I'd try something else by Heller. I wasn't too impressed with this one either, once I'd realised I couldn't care less about any of the characters and the fact that nothing really happened until page 82?!?! Apparently one of the things Zeller does is produce unlikeable characters but I'm not sure where the incentive is to keep reading if you don't give a damn what happens to anyone in the book? According to the reviews quoted in the Wikipedia article: "It has been called a "cruelly clever new novel", "an observant and unsentimental family drama that pits rationalism against faith", "at heart an American novel: a larger, more considered, layered and utterly assured study of a family driven by political passion whose personal lives refuse to comply with prescribed ideology", and simply "a brilliant, brilliant book".

Maybe I missed something? Still haven't decided whether to carry on with "Lullabies..." but if I procrastinate much longer it'll be the Reading Group meeting and I won't have read it so the problem will be solved.

In other backward steps I frogged (again) the Herringbone/No purl monkey socks and began pattern attempt no. 3 with the sock yarn. Has my concentration suddenly become really bad or something? I can't ever remember having this many book and knitting failures all at the same time?!

This time I'm attempting the Rib Fantastic pattern from the "Knitting socks with handpainted yarn" book. I'm loving the book (see, I can still read and enjoy something! Maybe it's weird novels that are the problem?) and found the introductory chapters really helpful in terms of different styles of handpainting/dyeing and what to look out for when you're deciding which pattern to use.

I've also knitted half of a tea cosy for a friend's birthday (which was on 3rd April, but I only gave her last year's birthday present at the beginning of March so I'm not doing too badly really...). The pattern is from the RYC Home book and the yarn is some space-dyed DK I bought from Wingham Wools.

I have also been playing hunt the button. I've nearly finished my Suri cardigan and needed five small buttons. Via Twitter Blueadt suggested trying Duttons for Buttons in Harrogate and Anne suggested Dragon Yarns, both of which I liked the look of. But then I got an email from Kangaroo, whom I'd forgotten sold buttons and they had some I really liked. Except of course there's a minimum order, so I ended up ordering more buttons...

These are cheap and cheerful black plastic buttons, along with some sweet little Rowan ones:

and I couldn't resist some of the Debbie Abrahams hand-made buttons, even though they're too big for the cardigan.

I've been playing around with my veg box delivery order too. I use Riverford Norton, which delivers from Hampshire, and I had been getting the mini fruit & veg box every week, but that never includes potatoes or onions, so I've switched to alternating between a mini fruit & veg box, and a mini veg box with extra fruit bag. Except I then invariably find I prefer the look of the other box contents that week so end up switching around again.

Still, this was last week's mini veg box - looks rather good, doesn't it? I consumed the last of it tonight with an omelette!