Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shiny sparkly

Just got back from a week in Lincoln with some exciting news - the OH proposed whilst we were away and I accepted!

It was all very exciting and very romantic. Unbeknown to me he spent some time thinking about the best place in which to propose and when we went into Lincoln Cathedral on Monday evening he waited until all the tourists (and my Mum) had disappeared from the cloisters, before getting down on one knee and proposing!

He couldn't actually have chosen a better place - not only is the cathedral a really special place for me, but he also proposed underneath the Wren Library, which is where I decided on my rare books librarian career (which led to me meeting him) whilst doing work experience aged 15!

The ring was his grandmother's and is absolutely beautiful. And also fits me perfectly!

I will post more soon but thought I'd post the exciting bit now!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cuddly yarn

See, person in recovery from swine flu experiences a rapid easing of the symptoms on receiving 15 balls of yarn in the post. And also starts wearing a slightly silly grin.

Thanks to the sale at Celticove these did actually arrive a fortnight ago when I'd just gone back to work after swine flu and was totally out of umph. They really helped to cheer me up. 15 balls of Mirasol Sulka in sage (which is actually green, even though it looks blue in the photo below). It is SO gorgeous and soft and cuddly. I think I want to make Lima from the Mirasol first collection with them, but as I've got various other projects started now that won't be just yet.

I've finished off Suri (also from Mirasol book one) and the OH photographed me wearing it. The knitting isn't wonky, it's my shoulders, they always come out wonky in photographs.

I loved this yarn (Mirasol Hacho), it's very soft and squishy, and the way the pattern came out. It was easy to remember but more interesting than just doing plain stocking stitch!

During my swine flu recovery we visited Ham House one Saturday. We took the train to Richmond and walked along the Thames to the house about a mile and a half away.

The house itself is beautiful but there was something we couldn't quite put our finger on. We had lunch in the Orangery restaurant in the gardens, then went round the house.

before heading off towards the shop. Where we saw a large pile of DVDs on sale. Of course, this was "Kensington Palace" in the Young Victoria film, which we'd only just watched. No wonder it all looked very familiar. When I got back home I discovered that Yarnstorm had also just been there too.

By the time we'd been round the house I was getting rather tired so we had to get the bus back to Richmond before getting the train home!

I have some new commuting knitting started.

Don't worry, I didn't accost a total stranger and demand to have my photo taken on the train. My OH caught the same train to work as me one day so I got him to take it! Look at all the empty seats - plenty of room for knitters! These are the Sunday Swing socks from Knitty, and I'm actually using the yarn in the pattern - Lorna's Laces, as I had some in my stash. The colourway is "Valentine" and it's been hanging around in my stash for at least three years now. The groovy needles are my Knitpicks DPNs bought at Get Knitted back in May. And I LOVE them.

I've also started another project to knit at home. Narvik, from Rowan 42 - I bought the yarn at Get Knitted last year when I did the learn to crochet course. The yarn is Rowan Cocoon, another beautifully soft, cuddly yarn, although it does tend to "fluff" everything it comes into contact with.

I won't be around for a bit and I won't be reading blogs for about 10 days now as the OH and I have got a week off work to go up to Lincoln. He'll be meeting my Mum and we'll also be putting my house on the market whilst we're up there, but we should get some time to relax and do some touristy things too! And if you know anyone who wants to buy a house in Newark do let me know...

Friday, August 07, 2009


Before getting started on new things I've been trying to get some of my WIP pile cleared. Several projects had got put on one side because I didn't want to sew them together whilst moving, or I didn't have anywhere to block them whilst moving. But I've been steaming ahead with some finishing.

I started this tea cosy way back in March, intended for a friend's birthday in April. Fortunately I haven't seen her yet and we'd only just exchanged our previous year's birthday and Christmas presents as I ran a little late with this one. But now it's finished. I realised once I was going that this is Fair Isle! The pattern is Terrific Tea Cosy from Rowan Classic Home and used almost exactly 3 balls of space dyed DK from Wentworth Yarns (as acquired on Skip North back in 2006!).

I finished off the Rib Fantastic socks, in Regia Designline Kaffe Fassett 4ply. I like the way the colours have worked out in these.

And I finally finished off Dylan's tank top and got it posted off to him. What a failure of an Auntie. Although I shouldn't think he's too bothered as he seemed much more interested in the wooden car transporter I sent him for his birthday than anything knitted. This is the basic vest pattern by Ann Budd, made in Peaches & Creme cotton.

Want to see some more of the house? This is my study/the spare room, which Monkey shares with Claudius my laptop, and quite a lot of yarn. Sometimes they let me in there too.

I've also finished a couple of books. Last month's reading group book was "The vanishing act of Esme Lennox" by Maggie O'Farrell. This is the first book in ages that I haven't been able to put down - it's totally compelling. Bizarrely at reading group all the women loved it, and the one man hated it! I loved the way it jumped backwards and forwards, allowing you to piece the story together from various recollections and accounts. Some parts felt strange - what was the significance of Iris' relationship with Alex, for instance? But on the whole it worked extremely well. It was also chilling to think about how easily a woman could be locked up in an asylum in those days, basically for doing very little other than not wanting to conform to society's expectations.

I was not as impressed by "A walk with Jane Austen" by Lori Smith. I found this very odd. It wasn't so much about walking with Jane Austen as about the author's own problems - I spent half the time wanting to shriek "get a grip" at her. Especially when she spends half the book mooning over "Jack", a relationship that never even comes to very much at all. Whilst it was interesting getting an American's view of a trip round England (and very amusing in places) some things didn't really add up for me - such as why was she being so energetic if she was really feeling that bad? The faith and Christianity parts also didn't fit at all well - there was nothing on the outside of the book that mentioned anything to do with religion and I found that these parts mostly really grated (and I'm a Christian!) - and might be a shock for many readers?
From the front cover: "A modern woman's search for happiness, fulfilment and her very own Mr Darcy" make it sound quite light-hearted, maybe verging on the chick lit, when it isn't actually at all! It's got mixed reviews, including someone who thinks it would be perfect for a "young woman's" reading group. Hmm. Yeah.

Ah well, August's reading group book is "The reluctant fundamentalist", which I'm currently reading... and it's already proving better than walking with Jane Austen.