Thursday, September 24, 2009


Possibly the strangest looking cauliflower I have ever seen showed up in yesterday's veg box. I think this one beats even that purple one from a few years ago that perfectly matched my knitting.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cambridge - the return trip

After last week's incredibly dull conference trip to Cambridge it was nice to return yesterday for a more relaxed visit to meet some of OH's friends. We wandered along the Backs and watched the punts going past on the Cam.

The friends came equipped with small children, which also necessitated a trip to the park to play. Both the OH and I got dragged into playing on the train (as we had real train tickets from our journey to use) but I very cunningly managed to avoid being photographed on the train, unlike him:

Slightly ironically, we came across a "real" steam train when we returned to Kings Cross that evening!

I also found time in Cambridge to disappear briefly into Sew Creative (their website still has loads of stuff about sewing machines and virtually nothing about yarn on it!) and emerged with four balls of Sirdar Crofter DK to make a tank top for Noah's birthday. Since when did I become old enough to have an almost-five-year-old nephew?!

Knitting has been progressing reasonably well. My train knitting at the moment is the Sunday Swing socks from Knitty. This is the first one:

I'm loving the Lorna's Laces sock yarn and my Knit Picks DPNs.

and I've finished both the fronts of Narvik and am now on with the back. This seems to go SO quickly as it's on 7mm needles!

Reading wise, I've just finished "Bones in the belfry" by Suzette Hill, which someone at work lent me. This is a completely crazy book, featuring the Rev. Francis Oughterard who accidentally strangled one of his parishioners in the previous book. This one follows him as he attempts to cover his tracks, involving hiding two paintings for the person who provided him with an alibi for the murder. A large chunk of the action is narrated by Oughterard himself, but sections are by his dog, Bouncer, and his cat, Maurice. It's very funny but I'm not sure if I'd classify it as a mystery or a crime novel, more as totally insane.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Iknit Weekender

Yesterday the Iknit Weekender beckoned. I was worried that all the yarn would have already disappeared as it started on the Friday, but I needn't have been anxious. The Royal Horticultural Lawrence Hall had plenty of stalls with plenty of yarn left, plus plenty of room for plenty of knitters to sit and knit. I may be wrong, but it felt like there was more space to sit and knit this year, although it might be that there weren't as many people around as it was spread over two days?

I'd wanted to get a proper Ravelry badge to wear, but they were all sold out, so I recycled the badge from the Immensely Dull Conference with Horrible Food and Uncomfy Beds (the one redeeming feature was bumping into Rosie as I wandered through Cambridge avoiding going to an evening reception) that I went to last week:

and the OH drew a sheep on it for me. Apparently it's a Lincolnshire Long Wool that's recently been shorn.

I met up with several people, including Littlemy, who I met for the first time after several years of being in touch online! Also, Faeroes from my fledgling knitting group here in Staines, Quitecontrary from back up in Nottinghamshire, Babylonglegs on the Fyberspates stall and Greensideknits who I had a cup of tea with. And I did see Woolly Wormhead in the distance but not close enough to say hello!

I bought two gorgeous skeins from Fyberspates. These are Faery Lace in colourway "Regal", it's 90% merino and 10% nylon and feels gorgeous.

I was fairly restrained with my purchases this time, but I couldn't resist two balls of Zauberball as I've wanted some for ages. On the left is the original Zauberball and the one on the right is the Crazy Zauberball. I got these on the Knitting4fun stand.

And I also couldn't resist a Herdy mug. In fact, I'm drinking tea out of it as I blog!

My OH met me outside and we trotted off to do some shopping, went for a cup of tea in the crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, wandered across the Thames and along the South Bank (wondering where all the people came from, turns out it was the Thames Festival, not just people from Iknit) and then went for a meal before heading home.

I arranged the yarn on the train seat, partly because I wanted to admire it and take a photo of it, and partly to stop anyone else sitting there (!!) but the OH seemed to think this was embarrassing behaviour. Can't think why.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Lincoln adventures

Well, now I've calmed down a bit from the BIG Lincoln adventure - the getting engaged bit of it, which was definitely the MOST exciting part. And got fed up with answering questions about dates (no idea), wedding dresses (don't care, but I do want to knit a shawl), where it's going to be (not in Lincoln) etc, it's time to blog about the other bits of the Lincoln adventure. Thank you for all the comments on my previous blog post - I think that was a record number received! I *think* I've managed to reply to everyone I had an email address or a blog address for.

Ever been back to the place where you grew up, and viewed it as a tourist? This visit to Lincoln was a bit like that. We did lots of things I'd never have done on my own, like wandering up to have a look at the cathedral at night.

And wandering around Castle Square. And going for a drink in one of the pubs around there - can you believe I've never done that? I didn't go to secondary school in Lincoln, so I've never really socialized there at all, despite living there for about two thirds of my life.

One day we went round the Castle, something I haven't done since I was a kid. This is the cathedral from the top of the Observatory Tower.

And the view from the entrance turret into the castle, with the Crown Court in the centre and the old prison buildings to the left.

Another day we went round the medieval Bishops' Palace, again, something I haven't done since I was extremely small. There was more to it than I remembered, and it was once an incredibly important building, bearing in mind that Lincoln diocese, until the mid-19th century, stretched all the way down to the banks of the Thames, close to where I'm living now.

Above is looking up what was a hallway towards the entrance tower, with the cathedral in the background. Below is the inside of the Lower East Hall, at ground floor level, which was built between 1186 and 1200.

Another trip we made was to Belton House, near Grantham, which is where some of the BBC Pride & Prejudice was filmed (Belton starred as Rosings Park) and is also where I once worked. I actually got the phone call inviting me to the interview for my current job whilst standing in the cupola on the roof here - the only place I could get mobile phone reception!

The OH enjoyed all this immensely - he'd never been to Lincoln before and is even more history-obsessed than I am so he had a whale of a time. This is him looking at the fountain at Belton. We also enjoyed visiting Jew's Court in Lincoln, where the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology have a bookshop stocking loads of local history.

Another view of Belton, the lake, which was always a little bit too far away to reach on a lunchtime walk!

And the Arboretum, where we went for several walks.

Oh, and on the way back from Belton we had a slight run-in with a 4x4 after a moped appeared out of nowhere at a junction and I couldn't stop in time. If we'd hit a normal car nothing worse than a dented bumper would have resulted, but as it was a 4x4 Oxo's radiator was punctured by its tow bar, the bonnet and bumper damaged and the number plate smashed. And we hit at less than 5mph as the airbags and seat belt locks didn't activate! Poor Oxo had to be loaded onto a truck and returned without us to Staines (we still haven't got her back from the garage over two weeks later!) and my Mum had to transport us south the next day with all of our stuff. A bit of a pants end to a lovely holiday.

We've managed quite successfully without a car for the last two weeks. Fortunately we both go to work on the train, and there's a supermarket within walking distance, and my church is only 15 minutes walk away. But it will be nice to have her back again!

I'm off to Cambridge for some of next week, attending a conference, so not sure when I'll next be posting. And next Saturday is the Iknit Weekender!!