Sunday, 27 May 2007

SP Goodies, Knitting Update, Yarn Pron and NEWS!!!

Wow, that has to be the longest title so far. I guess it's indicative of the kind of week I've had!
I mean, it must have been mad for me not to blog midweek but so much has happened, I've barely had time to think!

Anyway, start at the beginning, Saturday, marched bro and hub down the road to get new 'puter. Obviously, out of necessity rather than choice and the credit card's taken a dent but it just had to get sorted, you know, make the bad thing go away stylee?

Anyway, local comp shop happens to build on a Sunday so I got my shiny new 'puter on Sunday then had to take it for a walk down the road Monday 'cos it didn't have the memory it should have done (at least it was an easy fix!). Weird thing is, new 'puter is a she, with a name- don't ask me how or why, but Millie is a lady with attitude, she's big, black and fast yet likes her own space, she's now on the floor. Conversely, Fred (old computer) was old but reliable, had a few health scares but at least passed peacefully and quickly in his sleep.

So, enough nonsense, here's the first thing finished this week ( for last Sunday to be exact), I was comissioned to knit a pair of slippers for a friend's ballerina-loving mum. here's the result...

They were knitted with a pattern from Handknit Holidays (originally Nutcracker Slippers) and are threaded with ribbon to criss cross round your leg, just like true ballet slippers. I hope she'll be pleased.
By the way, unfortunately, I lost every single photo I'd taken of the stuff I sent to my SP in the crash so unfortunately, there'll be less of a reveal than originally anticipated!
Anyway, yarn pron, My latest stash enhancement a la Posh Yarns, (minus the top right which is actually Goddess yarns). 2 Skeins laceweight cashmere (top left)- sorry, I forgot the name! One cobwebweight silk/cashmere in seek (centre) and 1 4 ply pure cashmere in shade- Gecko which just seems to match up with the goddess yarn v. well. No actual plans yet, they're just occupying the "pretty" category, but given time, they will speak their purpose!!!

Update on Jackety Coaty thing- it now has collar and I'm halfway thru the rib on one side front.
Most of the 200 odd stitch rib was actually produced whilst travelling- aroung and 8+hour round trip!

Anyway, the puropse of the journey was to isit P+M Woolcraft and try out their Majacraft wheels, my original plan had been to take my Ashford Traveller to Woolfest and part exchange it for either a Little Gem or a Suzie Pro. As that isn't going to happen, I had to travel the 140+ miles to north Milton Keynes instead! Well, they didn't have any Suzies in stock, but I tried the Little Gem and HATED it!!!
It's hard to describe but the treadle action is so different to a usual wheel and because the wheel is so small, it's very easy to underply your fleece. Somehow, the scotch Tension is the "wrong way round", I ended up loosening it when I wanted to tighten and vice versa. So, I actually came home empty handed, still with my Traveller, a somewhat expensive trip with the toll road, lunch etc. and particularly the 5 hours it took to get home with queues at what seemed like every junction!!
However, I did learn a valuable lesson, It was the first time I'd tried a whel before buying, I liked the Rose but it would never be described as a foldable small wheel and the price was prohibitive. I did actually like the Ashford Joy which surprised me greatly, given the low orifice etc. but I've actually settled on that one! I've found the best price and despite the fact it doesn't and will never have a jumbo Flyer, it certainly fulfills every other criteria!
There will not be a trade in however, I still need the features on the Traveller, but I will need to find a new home for the Kromski as there is DEFINITELY not room in our house for THREE wheels!
SP stuff
I got my first SP parcel, woohoo!!

A hugemungous box from LittleBitty Knits, packed full of yarny goodness!!

Some Malabrigio in shade peach tree and some gorgeous singles spun in purples, beiges, pinks and tans ( as usual, camera does its less than perfect job, but you get the idea).

Yummy superwash merino sock yarn from J Knits in all my favourite colours in a colourway called Louisiana, 'aint it pretty?

And some lovely laceweight from KnitPicks. You can't see it but it's a lovely blend of blues and purples which I adore and have to find the ultimate pattern for some day.

This yarn so reminds me of Noro, it's pure wool with a teensy bit of silk but look at those colour changes!!! I think it's fab and I'll have to find some like colours to match it with so I can knit something big.

Nearly finally, there were 3 different colours of Paton's Kroy, another blue/purple blend, a purple pair and a grey marl ( with a few men in my family, it won't be a problem to find a home for them!). I can see I'm going to have do do some major sock knitting in the near future, maybe starting with the next 6 socks knitalong and then, who knows. Still, it'll have to fight for space in between spinning time!
Anyway, the final thing is a whole pound of goregous merino tops in a blend of greens that is so fine it just screams lace. It's a lovely big ball and I keep forgetting to photograph it!

Anyway, NEWS!!!!
The Burton Manor meet got pushed forward to Wednesday afternoon (not Monday as I'd previously said), I got loads of things ready took a huge box of knits along, was nervous as hell but, hey I got the gig!!!!
I'm all signed up to do two initial courses, one in November, the other February next year. I'm so chuffed, it's like my dream job or something! Anyway, what with getting ready for it and now scrabbling to fill in course details so they can go off to the printers on Tuesday, I haven't had time to think! Still, hopefully I've completed them properly today, will e-mail them later and I can have a me day tomorrow, fingers crossed!

Saturday, 19 May 2007

D'you want the good news or the bad news?

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".
Well, I'd planned to do a normal post tomorrow as usual, pics et al now that my antivirus is happy but I felt I had to put this in writing as it will be a day that one day I might be able to look back on and not have a sick feeling in my stomach.

The good news? After a FOURTH phonecall and hubbies insistence that he get put thru to someone who could actually do something NOW, I finally have my e-mail back.

The bad news? Remember MS Mc Phee's blog a while back re: the definition of a Brick in computer terms? As in "as useful as a..." Yep, that computer with the dodgy power supply? Power supply dead- replaced, motherboard dead, both harddrives dead, dvd reader dead. So about the only thing working is the replaced power supply. Joy, deep unbounding joy, particularly the many gigabytes of hard work that is no doubt irretrievably lost and the £100 plus spent on it this year on new kit now fried!
So, yeah, my computer is a brick, big, solid and utterly useless!!!

Which kind of puts a dampener on the e-mail finally being reinstated as all my addresses were on that computer and this laptop got wiped so I can't contact any of my old pals, new pals, anyone who doesn't have my yahoo mail!

So, now we'll have to find £3-£400 for a new built replacement so anything that does still work will be totally defunct, sure, I'll have a shiny new system but wether I'll ever retrieve the stuff from my old one, god knows.

I promise to be a little more upbeat tomorrow, after all, its less than 3 weeks to my birthday but please let me grieve a little now.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Wahey, fixed it! Holiday snaps and a bit of news!

Yaay, managed to fix Kaspersky so now I can post piccies again! I bet you'd have got tired of my rants without the occasional snap to brighten the scene! Anyway, here's the first inastallment of my holiday snaps, a bit all over the show as I forgot the camera on Sunday- Puzzlewood, ace! and other days I carried it then it was too wet or I just forgot! Anyway, the first one is of nearest and dearest on "his" day, the Bank Holiday Monday.

It took some leaflet searching to find the Transport Museum, Worcester. In fact, it was outskirts of Birmingham which somehow made far more sense, what with its more industrial background etc. I bribed himself to have at least one shot by the buses as evidence we'd actually been there but I have to say it was a bit pants! Fine if you're the bus equivalent of a train spotter with all the boards up showing engine ratios and stuff but it could have been a bit friendlier to joe public. The thing that made us laugh the most was the £7 for entry to the museum and ALL DAY BUS TRIPS!!!! Which as far as we could see was to Birmingham city a park 'n' ride?? Most expensive one of them I've seen in a while on old but not particularly special buses- defo for enthusiasts only!

We managed to find a sunny spot to take a few of our barn conversion and surroundings as it was so pretty (shame the bed was so firm). In particular, we enjoyed the doves mobbing the Birdtable every day in the morning and afternoon- went thru a whole bucket of seed that week!

This is one of the views out back- we had full access all the way round the building and lovely mature shrubs and plants with a pond out front. There was a pretty courtyard garden out back with aforementioned birdtable and a wooden swingseat ( had to have a go, of course!).

This is the back of the building- too much plantlife at the front to get a shot! It was built in a T shape with the 2 bedrooms at the top, then bathroom, living room and finally kitchen. Small, but perfectly formed! It had originally been a Piggery at the rear of a farm and there were still traces like the cobbles out back.

This was the view down our lane, the Malvern Hills so close, you felt you could reach out and touch them! Pity the weather was mixed so we didn't really walk, but we still managed to fit plenty in (including numerous little cider producers- well, it is Hereford, after all!).

This is a picture of the Black and white House in the centre of Hereford Proper, we'd been to the cider museum and distillery, did the tour and (of course) tried the apple brandy!

There was a Spring Festival on, hence the fairground stuff (and it was tipping down).

Anyway, enough for part one, there's also news! I got a phone call From Burton Manor yesterday as their e-mail to me had bounced (surprise, surprise, the saga continues!), to arrange a time for me to come down and "speak" to the Director (for that read informal interview), bring samples and some ideas of whatI'd like to do for a course! So I'm a busy bee at the moment, planning worksheets and a rough draft of what I'd cover in the day. I'm mulling whether I should run up a C.V., it would prove I'm professional, but do I have enough time to give everything my full attention?

I've said I have access to a whole world of knitters and will be asking them what they would most like to see on a Design your Own Knitwear course so I'm asking all you fellow bloggers and readers- what do you think?

I've also a pair of knitted slippers to knock up by this Sunday AND I've got my fab roving from Rachel this morning so it's been split up the middle and in between the rest of the chaos, I'm spinning one half to one bobbin, the other to another in the hope that whan I ply the colours will somewhat line up? Fingers crossed Folks!

Thanks to Romelda for her lovely card, there were such lovely words it near brought tears to me eyes! And also to Mel ( who I called JO in the last post - OOPS!) who spent damn near 6 hours nattering with me on Monday!

And hi to Anne playing with her new knitpicks needles ( me? Jealous? Never!) and Kath looking very dapper in her Noroesque Butterfly Cardi/Jackety thing last night who I'm also jealous of as she's Knitting the Horcrux Socks from the Six Sox Knitalong and I don't have enough hours in the day!

Still, I will take great delight in frogging my lary pink valentines sock this evening, I didn't enjoy knitting it, don't like the look of it and a quarter of the way thru the 2nd sock decided enough was enough. It will then be removed from the UFO pile!

Right, tea then nose to the grindstone.......

Monday, 14 May 2007

I'm Back!

Wow, it seems like this is the longest I've left it without a post! Bad Blogger!!!
For those that don't already know, I've been on my holidays in a lovely rural bit of Malvern, Herefordshire with plenty of peace and tranquility but no internet signal!

And you all know how manic it gets the week before, particularly if you add in a broken washing machine and a mouse in the kitchen, sorting out a better internet deal plus our e-mail; accounts being switched off the day before we left! For the record, himself's is now a ok but mine? Still in the land of the faries AAARGHH!!!

Add to that the fact I got an e-mail from Burton Manor saying essentially, letter in the post and by the way was I serious when I said I could run this course (which they wouldn't want me 'cos I've no training qualifications, just a hell of a lot of transferrable skills as well as a teaching degree). Basically, they said they'd be interested to talk to me re: running a course!!!!

Well, I e-mailled back in the affirmative but I don't know if they've replied back because of THAT e-mail so it's fingers crossed it'll come back on in a day or so. I will however keep everyone posted if this theoretical does become a reality tho it's likely to be at least 6-12 months in the future. Oh yeah, and I got sent a £20 voucher off my next course which I think is fine.

Sorry for the lack of pics on this one but on my return, my main computer died! So this is being composed on my laptop (thank god!) but it has a new super duper anti virus thingummie that HATES the one to put pics on...still, I'll hijack himself's later and give you a proper holiday summary.

For now, I'll keep this short 'n' sweet 'cos JO'll be along soon ( no I can't ad links either...) for her trawl 'round Ryder House. Cashpoint at the ready, on your marks, get set.......