Well, it’s been a very busy couple of days showing Rachael around!  I haven’t got time to share it all with you because today we’re off on our big trip.  I probably won’t have much chance to post until I get back, so expect lots of photos in about three weeks’ time!

More Ally Pally

Something else I’m craving that I decided I just could not afford to buy at Ally Pally (I took £100 cash and this would have pushed me over that) is this:

The Weekend Quilt from Daisy Chain Designs.  I must borrow a sewing machine and make this!  Just as soon as I can afford the kit that is!  It’s backed with some lovely velour-y type fabric too.  I want to sew again!

More Autumn Rose

So I found a great video on double-handed fairisle knitting, which should suit me well as I learned how to knit English-style, and switched to Continental when I decided English wasn’t fast enough for me!  Hopefully I am still relatively comfortable with holding the yarn in my right hand.  I figured I would share it in case anyone else is interested: (only works in IE though, sorry).   The weaving looks like fun!  Watching that I am actually a lot less daunted.

Ally Pally damage

… actually not as bad as it could have been. I couldn’t find everything I was looking for (and spent quite a while looking for the perfect yarns to knit the Endpaper Mitts with (I want teal and dark grey, as it will go well with my new winter coat). But here is what I walked away with:

Some of the famous Eucalan from Socktopus (big knitting washing day coming up tomorrow! let’s hope it all dries before Rachael comes to stay on my drying surface futon on Sunday!). Mmmm, smells good (yes I did insist on smelling it and Alice didn’t look at me like I was crazy, yay).

Some Pure Lana Ecologica from a stand that had this and then a lot of acrylic blend stuff. It is what it says it is – lovely, soft, pure, undyed woolly stuff. Destined to become a Gretel hat, sometime quite soon I think – I have been craving an instant gratification project.

And then, the day’s big purchase: Simply Shetland 4 and a yarn pack to make the Autumn Rose Pullover:

I have been completely and utterly obsessed with this pullover for some time now. Also completely and utterly terrified. I have never done any colourwork of any kind before (ok, once I think I knit something with stripes, but that’s way on the other end of the scale!) but I simply must knit it. The thought of knitting an entire jumper on 2, 2.5 and 3mm needles is also a bit scary. But even so, I can’t wait to go to I Knit tomorrow night (movie night!) and buy the needles. But I’m also really hoping I Knit will have exactly the shades I have in mind for my Endpaper Mitts, so I can at least get a little practice in before I jump in at the deep end with this “expert” level pattern.

Hmm, I just remembered I am already knitting a jumper with 3mm needles. It’s called Thermal, and it’s hiding about 30% completed at the bottom of my stash bin. Then there’s the Pinup Queen sweater (I think anything with such an American name must be called a sweater) I started the other day. I’m not usually one to leave projects half-done (socks aside). Thermal was abandoned when I arrived in New York, because suddenly it wasn’t winter any more. Pinup Queen, well, that was just an attempt to bust my stash before Ally Pally. But wouldn’t it be nice to knit something called “Autumn Rose” in Autumn? Or should I try to finish something else first?

Also, any advice on knitting this behemoth of a project would be very, very gratefully received!

Boo hoo

Well, one month shy of its fourth birthday, my laptop has finally given up the ghost. It’s not completely dead, but nor is the blue screen a good sign either. I paid fifty quid to some dodgy-looking shop (which does claim to be a licenced Toshiba repairer) in Tottenham Court Road to “see what they can do” about it, and handed my precious baby over. I explained that all I really wanted was the data (my photos! my writing! my music!) but given that the swarthy, chainsmoking guy I gave it to spoke very limited English, I’m just hoping they don’t completely reformat it…

Argh! Meanwhile I have been pricing new computers and wondering if I can afford one what with my upcoming trip to Italy, Monaco, France and Spain (what? I didn’t tell you about that? oh yeah – leaving next week!), although the tour is mostly paid for. And of course then there’s Ally Pally this weekend! *gnashes teeth, wails* It’s seriously going to cut into my yarn-buying capacity…

Ah well, things in my life have a habit of working out for the best! In truth Europe shouldn’t be so terribly expensive as it’s mostly paid for already, there’s just four extra nights in cheap hotels, food, and entry prices (and oh yes, TOILETS. Those mercenaries on the Continent!) to deal with.

I’m on my cousin’s computer right now, which is a horrible mac thingy. I think my next post will be from a shiny new HP pavilion (and when I say shiny, I mean it’s got one of them lovely shiny widescreens and a dvd remote! yes I can be rather girly even about technology purchases, but for a laptop it should also make a halfway decent gaming machine should the mood strike.) Or possibly another Toshiba. I just really wish my Dad hadn’t gone home on Friday or that my brother was here to help with the bargaining bit – he’s a real wheeler-dealer and I’m not really.

I had been worried about travelling to France so soon after, well, you know (I’m not going to say the dreaded R word here). But then I remembered that I’m on a UK passport and they all think I’m a rosbif anyway (c’est possible, to be a vegetarian rosbif?). But then I realised that that will probably be even WORSE especially by the time I get there so there’s no escape!

Well I’ve been whiling away my computerless time doing things like knitting, and cooking, and reading, so I think I may leave you there and go and eat some homemade bean soup with cornbread muffins, and start a new book!


We also went to Weymouth, which is where Dad used to spend all of his childhood holidays and where Mum and Dad went on their honeymoon an unspecified but significant amount of years ago (I’m not allowed to say because then people would be able to tell Mum’s age, yada yada). I can tell you that it was before certain advances in indoor plumbing were made in Weymouth, and that instead of having a shower, water was brought up to them in a basin for washing! Although Weymouth did have a certain “town that time forgot” quality about it, luckily they have made significant advances on that score and we had ensuite bathrooms in our hotel.

I snapped a lot of photos there:

Family stuff

Out for dinner in Hampstead the other night:

From left clockwise: Jess, Jean (aunt), Dad, Steve (uncle), Mum, Brigitte (honorary aunt), me, Ray (honorary uncle)

In Cheltenham: Mum, cousin Rachel, aunt Hilary

They were actually the only family I got photos of, whoops!