Yarn Diet Progress

Cruise Countdown

Monday, 24 September 2012

You Had to Be There

The Cheeseburger

Scene setter: A BURGER van queue at an event somewhere in the East of Scotland which has a prominent advert for steak and venison burgers.

Whilst standing second in line at said burger van the following was overheard.

Customer : Two chicken burgers, a cheeseburger, a portion of chips and a bottle of water.

The young girl on the van duly makes up the order and asks if the customer wants onions with the burgers? The answer was yes. 
The burgers are placed on the counter before the customer and what followed truly was one of the most bizarre conversations  I have ever encountered.

Customer : What is that? (pointing at the cheeseburger)
Girl : It's your cheeseburger
C : Yes but what is it?
G : Your cheeseburger!
C : Yes I want two chicken burgers, a cheese burger, chips and water.
G : Yes that is what is there!
C : (pointing to the cheeseburger burger) Is that meat?
G : (looking totally confused) Yes it is your cheeseburger!
C : But I do not eat meat, I am vegetarian!

At this point the chef of the burger van who has heard the whole exchange steps in and kindly informs the customer that they have been indeed served with what they asked for. The customer is still protesting that they did not ask for any meat, but a cheeseburger! At which point the man in the van quickly makes up a bun with cheese and onions and hands it to the customer who proceeds to ask for tomato sauce! They are directed to the condiments table and leave.

I discover at this point that I have been holding my breath for a while (and I can only imagine my facial expression) as I watched the scene unfold and I have promptly forgotten what I wanted to order. The girl in the van is still totally baffled, and the chef is lost for words.

As I say, you had to be there.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Needles

What do You Use?

Talking with my DH this morning after a squeal of delight by me (more on that later) I got to thinking about my life's journey thus far through knitting.
I first learned to knit when I was just a wee thing, taught by my gran and using the standard long needles which for all I know were all that were available back then. They as I remember were about as long as my arms and I struggled so much with them, but I persevered and mastered the basics of the craft.
The type I started with.
I continued knitting with this type of needle all through my younger years until I gave up due to sad circumstances and never picked up another needle for about 15 years.
When I did begin knitting again it was with the same style of needle and I must admit that looking back I had the same problems, I still found them difficult to manoeuvre and my hands would begin to hurt after just a few rows.
I then decided to try bamboo needles which I was assured were much lighter and would not be so cumbersome. Whilst it is true that I found them lighter and slightly easier to manage I still was not totally convinced, although you will see I still use them for some projects.
Bamboo Needles

Moving on I discovered that there was an alternative, circular knitting needles where two needle tips are attached to each other with a long cable. So I thought what the heck I may as well give it a try. What a revelation these were light easy to handle and I did not get sore hands. I could knit for hours at a time. 
Circular needle
I then discovered Ravelry and this opened up a whole new world of knitting to me. New techniques and patterns, different styles and ideas and of course I learned even more about knitting needles and the endless brands that are available at the touch of a few buttons via the wonderful world of the internet.
Now whilst I was quite happy with the circular needles I had in my tool box, I had also discovered that I wanted to try new things. Something which appealed to me was trying for the first time in my life to knit socks. I tried and failed spectacularly with double pointed needles and actually broke a couple of sets in my endeavours to master them, (so I have none to take pictures of). 
Then I was pointed in the direction of a technique called Magic Loop. I duly studied a few You Tube videos on the subject and off I went. Wow!! What a revelation. I could knit small things in the round, I could try socks!! And so I did, but there was a fly in the ointment for me. I just did not find the cables on my needles malleable enough and I started to struggle once again. I then heard about a certain brand of needle whose cables were more pliable and I decided to give them a try. And so lo and behold I mastered Magic Loop 
A sock in progress on my chosen needles.

And so, back to my squeal of earlier. So far the smallest needle size I have in this brand is 3mm, as I have the interchangeable type. This limits my choices in sock making as most patterns call for a thinner needle, so imaging my delight this morning when just on the off chance I discovered that this brand I use makes fixed circular needles in sizes down to 2mm in my preferred length for magic looping. Today I am one happy bunny. I will order some soon and you will surely see some more pictures of socks in due course.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary





Sunday, 16 September 2012

More Summer Knitting

Now for Some More

As I said, I kept on knitting through the dismal Scottish summer and even (shock, horror) challenged myself. Who would have thought just over a year ago that I would knit gorgeous lace shawls, socks and as it has come to pass Fair Isle hats. Not me that is for sure. 
So here goes with the list
1. My beautiful (if I may say so myself) La Vie en Rose shawl
started in January but put to one side for a while for reasons best known to someone out in the ether. Knitted in Tosh Merino light, the pattern is Reminiscence by LilyGo. A wonderful pattern by a superb designer. This is my second shawl by her, the first was my Blooming Fuchsia, and I am already almost finished a third design by her.

2. Next up was my very first attempt at Fair Isle
Bottom side up
Top side

This traditional tammy I knitted for Bec who worked with us at the museum for a short time before moving on to pastures new and promoted. Bec was straight out of Uni and delight of delights a knitter also. Someone with whom I could share the ups and downs of this delightful hobby. She will be missed by us all hence I named her hat, She Came to Scotland and was Loved.
I used a variety of different yarns in this project and found that stranded knitting came easily to me. A great way of using up small amounts of leftovers. Oh and it only took 4 days to knit :)

3. More Fair Isle, yep I was on a roll


This time it is Dollheid, by Kate Davies. Again I used little amounts of yarns and left out the facial features as I was not fully in love with the look.
This hat was knitted for Justine at work who had loved Bec's so much and had a birthday later that week. Ah well it just had to be done.

4. And finally for this post a project I finished months ago, but just never got round to blocking and finishing

this is In Pink a Hitchiker shawl/scarf. A very easy knit, great for mindless TV knitting.

So there you have it, I may have been quiet on the blogging front, but my hands sure have been busy on the needles. Of course I still have way too many WIP's, but I will get there. And now that it is September I suppose the ugly truth of Gift knitting must surely rear it's head. It is still too early to mention fully the C word. No mention of that in this house until November at least.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary


Friday, 14 September 2012

Where Does the Time Go?

Hey folks, here I am. I have not forgotten you, but I seem to have forgotten myself. Boy, oh boy how on earth can it be September already?
So what can I say, I have been busy re-organising life in our wee household. I have had to give up full time work to look after DH more, but am still clinging on to very part time hours at the museum. I simply could not bring myself to give it up completely. It is not often that you find a job which you love and which inspires you to give the best of yourself, yet that is how I feel about my wee job, so I am clinging on.
Well you would think that being at home most all of the time would allow me more time to myself, but far from it, the opposite seems to be true and like many retirees I have spoken to have said before, I really do not know how I found the time to go to work.

Summer has Been and Gone

So how was summer for you? For us it was a non-event. The odd nice day here and there interspersed with heavy downpours and grey dreich days. My grand plan was to get DH out of the house and to go on wee jaunts to local places of interest or just down to the beach for a walk with the dog. It just did not happen. Either the weather was too bad or he was not well enough to go out. 
Mind you we are lucky to have a bit of a view from the kitchen window and have enjoyed seeing a different picture every day.
Our view today.
As you can see we have a nice view of the Firth of Forth and on occasion we see the large cruise ships either heading to or from Edinburgh. This gives us much pleasure as it brings back happy memories of past cruises and ports of call.

And on to Knitting

Well the needles have been going what seems like non-stop this summer and I have a few finished projects to share. 

1. Firstly a Wingspan

This was knitted with Rico Poems Sock yarn which I found very splitty, but had such gorgeous colours. I named it Bird of Paradise and gifted it to a friend.

2. A summer top for me
This is knitted in a cotton/acrylic mix which my good friend Gillian gifted me as she did not know what to knit with it. 

3. Another summer top

The same pattern but in a bamboo yarn I had in my stash for years. This was gifted to a friend also.

4. The Rockerfeller mystery KAL

A fantastic project again using up stash. I had no clue what I was knitting and although I did not like the last clue of the pattern and made a few modifications I love the finished shawl. 
This is also a very lucky shawl as it was entered into a finished projects prize draw in the KAL group and won a prize.

I will leave you with this for now and will post the rest of my summer knits in another post very soon. I promise.

Keep safe and happy crafting.

Mary