Sunday, March 20, 2011

More knitting

Last May, when I had my final wedding dress fitting up in Newark, Mum and I decided on a trip to Southwell afterwards, where the Little Wool Shop is.

One of those amazing shops that isn't very big and has a heck of a lot of lovely stuff in it. I was very tempted by various things, but loved a sample they had on display of Isabella, a Noro jumper. So I bought Noro Catwalk and 3 balls of Kureyon sock yarn to make it in shade s420.

And I finally cast this on last week and got knitting. I love the way the colours are coming out, although an adult jumper in 4 ply is going to take an age to knit. I'm not at all convinced I'd want to knit socks with Kureyon sock yarn,  it's a little bit too harsh/thick/thin, I think, but I haven't had any problems with it breaking yet. I've also been practising Continental knitting on this as it's mostly plain stocking stitch - I usually knit English style, but learnt Continental several years ago but am now very out of practice! It's on 3mm needles (see what I mean about how long it's going to take?!)

I've also finished the Bonfire Cowl from Yarn Forward magazine, in the Manos del Uruguary Maxima yarn that I bought at Iknit back in January. This is lovely yarn, all soft and squoooshy to knit with, and the colours are great! It takes exactly one skein to make a cowl, although I don't think I'd cast on as many stitches if I was going to make it again as it seems quite big.

And two more blanket squares - this is impressive as these are the February and March squares, and it's still only March! Someone asked me in the comments - the yarn I'm using is a mixture, all in aran weight, but bought at various wool shops around the country in various local sheep breed wools. These two are in Pure Southdown wool, purchased at Creative Crafts in Sheringham, probably about five years ago?I seem to have an inability to use a tape measure, in theory these two are both blocked to 10 inches, despite looking different. Then I checked against the January square, which I seem to have blocked to 9 inches. Oops.

Outside, I've planted 50 snowdrops and 25 bluebells, mostly around the new standard apple tree, but some elsewhere.

Fixed up some trellis to support the espalier apple tree. Both the trees are showing signs of coming into blossom, a good sign considering we only planted them in November!

And I think this is a sedum poking through in the front garden, but I could be wrong. Anyone any good at plant identification? It looks like the sedum pictures on Google images...

I've just finished reading Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. Not the most cheerful read ever, rather chilling, especially when it mentions the earthquakes and "large waves" that came before the end of the world as we know it. The main character seem to be the last remaining human, who is living amongst the devastation of the world after an unspecified (you find out at the end) disaster of human making, alongside some odd-sounding not-quite-humans called the Children of Crake. The action jumps between his life now and back in the past through his school days, university and what brought the world to this state of affairs, shown through his friendship with Crake. It is very very chilling as you can begin to see how things were going to turn out as the plot advanced, and the sheer stupidity of the humans and the damage they've done to the world. I hadn't actually intended to read this one, but my April reading group book is The year of the flood, which the OH read, then we realised that it was a sequel to Oryx and Crake so I thought it made sense to read this one first.

Thank you for all of the comments on recent posts. I think I've managed to answer any questions - either directly or on here, but do leave more comments, I love receiving them! I've got several things on in the next couple of weeks, so I'm not expecting to blog again for probably a fortnight, maybe longer?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Catching up on some knitting

As promised, I have been busily knitting away, trying to get caught up with things that were meant to happen ages ago. This is the January square from the knit-a-block-a-month group. So only about 6 weeks late... This is almost exactly 50g of aran weight Pure Hebridean wool from my stash.

And I finally finished my Out of Town in London Fog socks, from Iron Knitter, which were meant to be finished in, er, September. So that's only 6 months late...
The yarn is Trekking Pro Natura, which is 25% bamboo, 75% wool. It's quite harsh to knit with, which I think is partly why it took me so long to get on with it, but I've worn the socks once and washed them and am pleasantly surprised by how soft they feel now. They were comfy to wear too. I also like the longer legs, done for the competition, but actually very useful when wearing them at work as they come up well above the top of my work boots!

The reason why I haven't had as much time to blog last week, apart from the usual inconveniences of going to work/creating meals/attempting to grow plants etc etc was my church's Read-the-whole-Bible-in-a-week week. Reading from the King James version (more usually known as the Authorised Version over here, except everyone seems to have adopted "King James" this year) as it's the 400th anniversary of its publication this year (and don't I know it, not only am I doing it at church, it's also taking over my life at work at the moment too).

So, yes, we (well, about 200 people) read the Bible in a week:

I did the material for the display screen on the right. It's about the history of the KJV translation and Bibles in general. The two chunks I read out were Galatians and John 1. This isn't my actual church - I'm in a three church parish so the event was at one of the other churches.

It was kind of fun, a different sort of listening, where the sound just washes over you. Very peaceful and meditative. I got a lot of knitting done at the same time. And having people there all day every day with the heating on meant that, for once, it was nice and warm at church.

And, it was combined with Fairtrade Fortnight, so on the last day we had a Big Brew coffee morning day, with CAKE and a Fairtrade stall. And then at the end of the Bible reading champagne to celebrate finishing.

As all of this was also combined with five days at work, producing CAKE for the CAKE stall, and all the normal life stuff by the end of the week I was absolutely exhausted and totally ready to collapse in a heap.
Except I couldn't because by then it was Monday and time to go back to work again for more King James Bible stuff...

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Garden at the beginning of March

I have been doing some knitting, but I've hardly got any time to blog this weekend, so you'll have to be content with just the garden update. It's still not light enough when I get home from work to take pictures, so this was taken on 6th March rather than 1st!

Again, it doesn't look immensely different from February or January! I suppose a bit less muddy as things are beginning to grow more. The OH has cut the lawn, as the mild weather had caused a growth spurt (before it turned cold again). I've dug over the bed at the side and planted two rhubarb plants there, but you can't really see that. And I've dug out a proper bed around where I planted the apple tree and planted some bluebells.

More soon, as I haven't yet replied to various blog comments, and I need to talk about knitting!