Monday, January 30, 2006

Picture-free blogging continues

Arthur is home from school, sick, and knitting up a storm. I'll show you his scarf as soon as he finishes it, likely tomorrow. It's mondo. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but it's not your plain old garter stitch scarf! We are discovering some interesting things, like it takes about a meter of yarn to make a centimeter of scarf! Can this be true?

All cameras are out of the house at the moment, otherwise I could also show you pictures of primroses trying their best in my garden -- I know they are trying, coz I can see lots of buds, but I can also see that the slugs are there first, chomping off all their pretty petals!!

In other news around town, some poor person tripped on their shoelace in the Fitzwilliam Museum and broke some 300-year-old vases! Ooops.

More excitement when I get my hands on the camera!

Project Spectrum

I found out about Project Spectrum the other day, and it sounds like a lot of fun. I don't think I would join a knitalong to knit a specific project (although I followed the Hallowig knitalong with great interest, and even made one) but this is just about noticing colours and doing something with certain colours. I think it will help with the small projects. If in March I have to do something red or pink, I'll knit up that pink 4-ply I have, and some squares for my blanket, as well as a more time-consuming project. In April, I'll finally get Arthur's orange socks done. The scary thing is that I can think of yarn from the stash for each month, without batting an eye. The project is not necessarily about knitting -- you can paint your bedroom pink if you like! (And it gives me an excuse to have coloured text in my blog, whoo hoo!)

- Red and Pink -- 4-ply scarf and some squares
- Orange and Yellow -- Arthur's orange socks, and some squares
- Green -- Maya shawl or perhaps bag or perhaps mitts/hat
- Blue -- denim baby sweater(s)
- Violet / Purple -- more squares (moving month)
August - Neutrals / Black & White -- tweeds for a hat/scarf set

And meanwhile, once I finish the Weasleys and the Olympics, I'll set to work in earnest on the big woolly jacket and the Summer Tweed sweater for me. I'm pumped, I tell ya!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

This Olympic thing

These knitting Olympics are outta control! The Harlot tells us there are more than 1800 registered athletes! Of course, I am on Team Canada, and I sort of think of myself as being on Team Cambridge as well, since I know a few other Olympians in town. (Must pick a pub for the opening ceremonies -- leave suggestions in the comments! How about the smoke-free Free Press?) I could join Team Wales. There's Team GB. There's also Team Saskatchewan, Team Boston, the American sock-knitting team, and undoubtably a million more! My gawd.... Just wait till 2010, when the games are actually in Canada, only 1475 days from now! (In case you want to start your training for that event now.)
My paralympic knitting, which was scheduled to go on till March 4th (the kids' Weasleys) is ahead of schedule! Elaine's sweater has both its sleeves and is just blocking prior to being sewn up, and I've started Arthur's first sleeve. Here's hoping I can get these all done before Feb 10!
Thrilling, eh?

Friday, January 27, 2006

On its last legs?

I knit this sweater a long time ago, sometime between 1993 and 1996. It's an acrylic-wool blend that my mother-in-law gave me, and it's the simplest sweater you could imagine, a bunch of sort-of rectangles of garter stitch, with sleeve increases and a v-neck. It was neglected by its intended recipient, my hub, for a while (I know this because I wore it a lot when I was pregnant with Arthur, and he's almost 9) but now, and for a few years, this is the sweater he constantly wears. And it is falling apart. The buttons have come off and been sewn on innumerable times, except for the one that fell off and rolled down a drain on Spadina last year. The cuffs are fraying. There's an actual hole in it somewhere.

I have knit him other sweaters, including this one in Cotton Fleece, which he says he'll wear in the spring, and this blue one, which he once left in a conference room in Montreal and he had to race back across town to rescue it, and now he's a bit nervous about it. (It is made of wonderful soft wool, and the pattern is some of his convection experiment data. It's chaotic!) I feel like perhaps it's time to move on from this old sweater, now, dear...
But, he wears it, and he likes it, and I did make it for him, so I guess I should be flattered that he still uses it. But as a better knitter now than I was then, I wish he would show off the better sweaters, and keep the fraying cuffs at home! Or else I shall have to dig into the Rowan black Yorkshire Tweed and mend the holes and stuff, and that is just too hard....

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

You meet the nicest folk in the pub

This great big sweater and I went to the pub with the knitters last night. We found a table with good lighting, but it was right under a speaker, so chit chat had to be more of a shouting match. There was a bit of a yarn swap -- everyone brought the stuff they reallllly didn't want any more, and after the few gems were snapped up, a lot of it stayed on the table! And, when there were only 2 of us left, we discovered a couple of unclaimed bags under the table, too! (Claire has them....) I took a few balls for the kids to knit with at school, but Arthur now tells me his teacher has 4 boxes of yarn already!

We got to see Anne's sock and a half, which was a treat, and Liz's knitting that seems to grow on its own, she knits so fast. And Rosie was there, and Claire, and Bekki.

But the best thing was that after most of our gang had left and we were down to two, we were joined by some girls who wanted to learn to knit! (And I can call them girls, because they were young enough to be my children, and really, I hope they had warm jackets somewhere to cover up all that nekkid flesh on that cold, cold night...) Actually, only one of them wanted to learn to knit, and Claire gamely showed her, while her friends came and went. It was a learning experience for us all -- who knew you could get such fancy jewels for the belly-button piercings? The world was richer by one knitter by the end of the evening, and she took a ball of purple acrylic from the unloved stash pile! I wish I'd had my camera, coz I'd bet our new pals would have posed for me!

We'd sure have different knitting nights if they joined us regularly. When they left our table, they were seen sitting with many handsome boys, I hope telling them all about knitting, but I doubt it.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A breath of fresh air

After last week's exertions on the Olympic training front, I needed to get out and about on the weekend. Lucky for us, Saturday was clear and beautiful, and we took the bikes out along the river to The Bridge near Waterbeach.

On the way we got to see a boat race, men's eights in what they call a head-to-head. The river is too narrow for the boats to race beside each other, so there's just a long line of them, one after the other. Elaine and I on our three-wheeler raced alongside one boat for a while -- they go pretty darn fast! A lot of the teams have women coxes, but the one we were neck-and-neck with had a guy with a very loud voice, urging us all on. We sure needed fueling up when we got to the pub!

Another picture of pretty branches and sky and stuff.

And in training news, I think that Bob, or is it Dick, will win his bet and I will knit a pullover vest in the round. This not only gets rid of pesky buttons and buttonholes and buttonbands, which are my nemesis, but will also prevent me from following Dick's idea, or was it Bob's, of turning the whole thing into a baby blanket instead of facing the armhole issue. Stay tuned.

And if you ever fancied knitting up a Starmore sweater or twenty, check this out! Too bad I just found it at the last minute! Actually, too bad I don't have a few thousand dollars of yarn money in my pocket!

Oh, and stashbusters, stay away from this!

Friday, January 20, 2006

A peek at an Olympic training camp

"Here we are, ladies and gentlemen, at the training camp of Mary de B, aspiring Olympian. She's going to be trying for the gold in the chunky wool vest category, she's got her needles and she's got a bit to show for her training, but there's plenty of work to be done. She will be using a simple pattern with a few yarn overs, that she likes to call lace."

"That's not lace, Bob, that's just a 13-stitch, 2-row pattern with a few yarn overs. Shouldn't strain any muscles on that!"

"Well, Dick, I hear she's got other commitments around the time of the Olympics, and I'm sure there'll be enough challenges for her here. I mean, a vest isn't just a piece of straight knitting! There has to be some armhole shaping and a neckline, you know. She'll have to line those yarn overs up so the side seams don't look all wonky! And of course, the event's not over till things like buttonholes are made and buttons attached!"

"You're right, Bob. Let's talk to the athlete herself! Mary, how are you feeling about this upcoming event?"

"Oh, Bob, it's going to be great. I've got all these great balls of yarn, see, and I'm really feeling confident on the lace part: Knit 1, yarn over, knit 4, knit two together, slip slip knit, knit 4, yarn over, knit one, yarn over, knit 4..."

"Yes, Mary, that is great... Although some would argue about your definition of lace, I think. And I'm sure you're getting sorted on the armhole shaping and buttons and so on, too!"

"Um, armholes... Yes, I guess you can't really do a drop-shoulder vest, can you? I'll get right on that, Bob."

"Could we get a look at your buttons? I guess that's a challenging part of the training process, picking your buttons!"

"Oh, Bob, um, I think I just have to sit down a minute... Knit one, yarn over, knit four.... buttons... armholes... Knit 4, yarn over, where was I....."

"Dick, I think we overwhelmed her with that last question. Open the window to give her a little air.... (Psst, I've got a fiver that says she'll turn it into a pullover vest!"

"Are you kidding, it'll be a baby blanket before long!")

"Ahem, yes, folks, that's how it is here at training camp. We'll check in in a few days and see if Mary's got her wind again."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Kids do the darnedest things

Yes, Arthur's knitting with his feet. Throwing the yarn with his hand, but working the needles with his feet. I wonder if he can get an Olympic medal for this.

My mother in law is passing through the Panama Canal on a cruise boat today. You can check out the Panama Canal webcams here, and see if you recognize any of your relatives!

My computer is limping along, being very slow and garbling lots of web stuff. So I'll stop for now, because the poor dear needs a rest, and I need to go peruse my new Vogue Knitting!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Knitting, continued

This lovely green tweedy thing is the back of Arthur's Weasley sweater. It's getting there. It's not going to be used as a mousepad, but you get the scale this way! This is actually the thing that has to be finished third in the near future, but it's the one I'm working on anyways! First is E's Weasley, then my Olympic venture... I'm very behind schedule in my knitting, actually. This morning I helped take Elaine's class (22 five and six-year-olds) to the Folk Museum to learn about old-fashioned toys, and so missed out on my Wednesday knitting lunch!

But that's not why we're here today, folks...

You may recall the scraps of Colinette Point 5 I brought home from the yarn swap.

Well, I quickly knit up an octagon in the two colours, and this is all I could come up with. It was quite pretty, but pretty useless!

So last night I threw it in a pillowcase in the hot wash, and it came out, some time later, somewhat smaller!

I won't do any "important" felting in this machine, as I can't stop it half way through and check on things! It just goes... It will take some use and hot pots being put on it to flatten it out properly (it's not going to be a mousepad, either!) as it got kind of extra-scrunched in the pillowcase, but it's still quite pretty.

I do want to do a felted bag with my lovely Maya, but I think I will wait till I'm home with my old top-loader to felt it!

And I've begun training for the Olympic sweater. I made a swatch with 6mm needles and Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky, and found the fabric too tight, so I had to go out and buy 6.5s. I can't believe I still have gaps in my knitting needle repetoire! And upon mature reflection, I realised I ain't cabling anything on trains, so I picked an easy chevron, not-very-lacy pattern, with those flattering vertical lines, and now I think I'm settled on that. I wonder if one could swatch a piece just about the right size to become the front of a vest in a pinch... But no, I'll play by the rules...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Going for the gold

What have I done?! I have foolishly said that I would join the knitting Olympics. This seems to mean that I will knit a challenging-yet-not-impossible garment between the opening and closing ceremonies of the upcoming Olympic games. Fun, yes, I think so... Challenging, for sure! (It was pretty darn challenging getting that button in my sidebar!) But I forgot, in that one moment of excitement, that I am going to Paris for a week in there, and while that will give me some train time, it will also not allow me much sittin' on the couch and knittin' time. So, I am a bit hesitant. Maybe I should rethink, but the folks at home are cheering me on, and even if I trip over a hurdle or something, I guess I should give it my best shot. I also have other events in the calendar as well -- got to get the Weasleys done for the kids' birthdays in February and March!

And, I seem to have been tagged for a meme! So here we go. All of these are "in no particular order"!
Four Jobs You Have Had In Your Life:
1. I weighed salad at the student cafeteria at
2. I taught Latin to theology students
3. I proofread just about anything
4. Tons of library jobs: shelving books, signing out
books, finding lost books...

Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:
1. The Big Sleep
2. Sense and Sensibility
3. Kenneth Branagh's Henry V
4. Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet

Four Places You Have Lived:
1. Vancouver, Canada
2. Ebrington, Gloucestershire, UK
3. Santa Barbara, USA
4. Cambridge, UK

Four TV Shows You Love To Watch:
I haven't had a TV for years. I stopped watching TV
before Cheers was a big hit. I'll follow the Olympics online.

Four Places You Have Been On Vacation:
1. Point No Point, Vancouver Island, BC
2. Tobermory, Ontario
3. Tobermory, Scotland
4. Santorini, Greece (I used to link to a picture here, but I've de-linked it)

4 Websites You Visit Daily:

Four Of Your Favorite Foods:
1. jaffa cakes
2. pot roast with potatoes
3. a perfect peach
4. brie

Four Places You Would Rather Be Right Now:
1. somewhere nice and warm and beachy
2. somewhere nice and cold and snowy with a hot tub
3. in a restaurant eating a nice dinner
4. in Romni Wools, looking at the Noro

Four Bloggers You Are Tagging:
Ok, I've thought of four... All local! And please ignore this if you hate the idea!
La Donna, coz we haven't heard from her in ages, Otter, Pig Wot Flies, and Liz.

Oh, and anyone who feels like doing it.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Pandering to the masses

Well, it seems that what you folks want is pillar boxes, so pillar boxes you shall have.

This was taken on our trip to Norwich over New Years. Elaine in her crown, with her baguette, which we carried around all day and which she eventually ate in its entirety, standing by a George VI box right outside the walls of the cathedral.

And this one was in Salisbury. That funny spike on top used to hold a sign, I think, like one you can see here. Funny, the one in that picture is Edward VIII, the holy grail of pillar boxes. They are rare because Edward VIII was king for a very short period of time.

And imagine my pique (okay, embarassed rage!) when I found this picture! Excuse me, this is in Tobermory?! Where I was in August??? How come I walked right past it???? Urgh!

Now I feel extra bad about another pair of pillar boxes I didn't photograph in Norwich. They were across the street from us, and the rest of my family was heading off down a hill, and instead of flinging myself into traffic in a strange town, separating myself from my loved ones to get a look at the pillar boxes, I followed the rest down the hill... Hoo boy, if I learn that one is Edward VIII....

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Yay for yarn swap!

Yesterday I took Arthur to the knitting afternoon and yarn swap. He was supposed to keep me from bringing home too much stuff! Right.

In the morning Arthur and Stephen went for a gigantic bike ride to a hobby shop to look for a certain kind of wheel. (It's scientific, don't ask...) And then Elaine and I had to zoom downtown on the bike and meet them, and then we exchanged bikes and kids, and Stephen and Elaine went off to Lammas Land to play and Arthur and I set off for the Grads Club to meet the knitters. It turned out we were more efficient at all this than we had thought, so we got there first and picked out the seats by the window. Alison arrived next with a bag of yarn and a bag of fabric, including this marvy jacket direct from the disco years. (edited to add: read all about it at her blog!) Arthur snatched it up in a flash! (And you can have a picture of him jumping out of the frame, or perhaps one with his eyes closed!) Liberace, here we come!

Over the afternoon he got hold of some silver yarn, gold, red fun fur, and a ball of Rowan Big Tuft! Oh, and a bunny, too! And a craft magazine, not in the picture... We figure a snazzy strap for his electric guitar with the wild stuff, and the wool will get knitted on to his grey Big Wool scarf.

One of the highlights of the afternoon for him was the gigantic knitting going on! There was a woman there knitting 2 strands of finger-knit yarn together on dowel needles that must have been an inch in diameter! Arthur was impressed, and gladly knit her a row or two. Once all the yarn was knit up, it became a sort of flag, or sign: Knitting is going on here, see? Arthur also enjoyed tossing the yarn around, poking in the new bags for something good, chatting, watching the punters out the window and so on.

I felt a bit moderate compared to him, and got a few wee balls -- some teal chenille and some fuzzy stuff that goes with it nicely for a little scarf, some weird pretty multicoloured stuff (100% unknown fibres, with nubby bits), some merino that will go in the yarn pile for the afghan, and a few little scraps of Colinette stuff that I will put together with my little scraps of Colinette. I asked Arthur, "Do you think I should take these bits, and then I've got some bits left over from that cushion, and I could ... um... put them together somehow?" And he said, "No." And that was his final word, but heck, I'm the mom, so I took them anyways, and now am making a circle of Colinette scraps which I might one day felt, and then we'd have a little hot pad thingy. Or I'll hang it on the wall... We shall see. I also snagged a book, Dazzling Knits, which is full of ideas.

So, a fun afternoon for all. Must do it again sometime... There was a suggestion we have another swap shortly before we leave town, but then I'd have to go, drop my bag of stuff and run away, and I'm sure not takin' any kids!

Friday, January 13, 2006


Hey, it's National De-lurking Week, so stop lurking, and drop me a comment! Pin my map! Tell me you're here!

And then I'll tell you that I'm working on the back of Arthur's Weasley sweater, and got quite a lot done today, since I walked his class to the swimming pool, chaperoned the 11 8-year-old girls in the changing room (where I listened to a discussion on the merits of certain £12-a-bottle nail varnish!) and then got to sit and knit while they swam. And then I went out knitting with Alison, Hilary and Scarlett! So I'm zooming along, unlike when I try to knit at home and get distracted by laundry and dishes and grocery shopping and all that stuff. I have no picture for you, but just imagine a dark green tweedy hunk of stocking stitch...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Weasley progress and some quick links

Ah, what is that a picture of, over on the left!? It is a tiny half-a-stitch, not caught up and knit with. It is a split,
half-dropped stitch, 6 inches from the top of Elaine's sweater. Grr. (Click to get the big picture and the true horror of this.) It leads to this next picture, the ladder down the 6 inches to pick up the strand. But, never mind, the front and back are now done, and if not perfect, at least finished. I forgot to knit in the serif on the top of the E, and had to duplicate stitch it in. Want a picture of that, too? Okay, here you go.

Now I am taking a bit of a break from plain tweedy stocking stitch to make an elaborate tweedy hat before going back to Arthur's Weasley. I want the two kids to get their finished sweaters at about the same time, so I have to do a bit on each.

And in the fun and games department:
Here's a cartoon about the joys of receiving gifts of yarn, especially Koigu! I've only ever fondled it in the shops, but never actually knit anything with it. Thanks to Liz for pointing that out!

And here's an article about the Renaissance Florence of knitting, ol' Toronto! Funny, I used to knit there in the Middle Ages, I guess.

Happy Tuesday to you all.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Old chums

Here's the happy scene at our house Saturday night! A bunch of nuts sitting on the couch. It was really great to meet Alison again after all this time, and it's always funny how easily the conversation flows, 20 or 30 years later...

We had a nice dinner and chit chat, and then Sunday morning we took her round the town a bit, showed her our bridge and our river and our King's College Chapel and then she had to drive off home across the country and we had to go visit more kids! (And as Elaine noticed this morning, there's no "washing the dishes" included in there. I'm just digging out the kitchen now...)
We had a nice visit with the family of a colleague of Stephen's in the afternoon. They have a boy close to Arthur's age who also likes to do electronic things and take things apart and play with remote control cars... so we had a grand time!

And in knitting news, the preview of the new Vogue Knitting is up. It looks better than they've been lately. Fewer odd-shaped shrug-like things. I guess we'll just have to wait to see the real thing, though, and of course I'm not buying yarn, am I?? Ahem, although I did go and use my gift certificate this morning and get some Felted Tweed. I'm in a tweedy state these days, it seems. It is so soft and tweedy and nice and murky coloured....

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Flowers and knitting together

Flowers! Today I saw a couple of primroses in my back yard, forsythia, which I pronounce for- sith-ia, with a short i, and the English apparently pronounce Forsythe - ia, with a long i sound -- and these pink blossoms! Can we have been looking at snow a week or so ago? I tell ya, I love this English winter! It will be months before these delights are seen in Toronto. Now if only the sun could stay up till dinner time! That's noticeably improving, though...

So, I must get all this dang knitting out of the way, right?? Okay, I'll give you a pic of the front and most of the back of Elaine's Weasley sweater. The front looks sort of smunched because the stitches are on a circular needle, awaiting a 3-needle bind-off on the shoulders. So stay tuned for that. I think I will do the back of Arthur's, then the sleeves and necks, and not rush on and finish hers now.

And the Cambridge K Tog knitters are having not only SnBs this month, but yarns swaps at the same time. Here's the info:

The next 2 knit togethers are also going to be stash swaps: a chance for you to reduce (or maybe increase) your stash of yarn.
Just bring along any yarn/patterns/needles/knitting mags (whatever) that you are no longer in love with (or which are taking over your storage space) then dive in and see if someone else's cast offs are, in your eyes at least, treasure. You could strike lucky (I did, last time we stash swapped, when I realised that all the rust and kingfisher oddments I was planning to give away actually went rather well with some mohair and boucle yarns someone else had brought along. Will bring the scarf along to "show and tell").
OK the dates and venues are:
Sat 14 Jan Grads Cafe, top floor of the University Centre, Granta Place, off MIll Lane, 2-4pm. Just take the lift from the ground floor, there's no need to register at reception.
Tue 24 Jan The Regal, St Andrews St 7-9pm. They keep moving their non-smoking area (sometimes they change at about 6.30pm) so rather than try and guess where will be smoke-free let's go for the tables downstairs, at the back and hope it isn't too smokey. Light levels here aren't marvellous, so bring something fairly uncomplicated to work on and just trust your intuition during the stash swap. Warning: over 21s door policy.

A report on my old friend's visit tomorrow, folks!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Another castle and cathedral, and fame and fortune!

School's back in, and I think we were all ready for it. Phew, 6 weeks till half-term!

We had a last-minute daytrip to Norwich, about an hour away on the train. There's a big castle, which was a prison for most of its history and is now a musuem, with lots of nice, small displays -- one doesn't tire of the Anglo-Saxons before the Normans come along.... And there are geology and natural history galleries (lots of trophy heads of various animals on the wall) and a whole teapot gallery, with info about the real Mr Twining and teapots with The Green Man on, and teapots that look like London buses and ... on and on, but no pillar box teapots!
The kids made crowns in the keep, and wore them all day long! There was a really cool exhibit on buried treasure which showed lots of things found by amateurs -- and luckily by amateurs who called on pros once they realised they had something exciting. There was a story of a man who found a large hoard during the second world war, who used the ancient silver tray for his fancy dinners, but was convinced to hand the stuff over to the authorities after the war. And of course a few stories of people who learned where finds were and stole things that we'll never see again...

The other must-see in Norwich is the cathedral which has a few little gems. The bishop's throne is behind the altar, and there's a passage behind it. It is said that the monks would go and pray right behind the throne, and there is a little hole there so he could hear what they were praying for, or what his advisors were telling him, one could imagine! Also they have wonderful carved bosses on the vaulted ceiling, all different, and including a Green Man. There was a big tilted mirror on wheels that you could move around to look at the ceiling without craning your neck! And in the cloister is a maze in the grass. Much fun was had following the trail to the middle. A good way to run off some steam!

The trains were a bit odd -- it was Monday, but a Sunday schedule, except not all the time, and one Cambridge train was cancelled so we took another and had to change at Ely and then the next train was also cancelled, but after an hour on a cold platform in the dark, we did eventually get home! Phew again.

And what's upcoming here, on the Cam? Tomorrow I am expecting a blast from the past, a visit from a woman I met in 1972, when I was a kid here with my sabbaticalling dad. We went to this school, which was not then a technology college, nor was there a samba band. And not even any boys! See a picture here, and this one shows my headmistress, Miss Clarke, who used to swoop into assemblies in her academic gown like a big bat. Here are some of the girls, wearing their school uniforms, of course. I was in second year so got the tunic, instead of the skirt. My friend was last seen in 1984 when I was on a whirlwind trip through Europe. So, that'll be exciting... Tune in for more news later!

This just in: Check out this! (Updated Jan 9: Actually, the link doesn't always take you to my work any more, but it will take you to the amazing collection of stuff uploaded recently! Mine's the brownish Buttonhole Bag) The Mason-Dixon ladies alerted the world that we can post pictures of our non-garment knitting at the Victoria and Albert Museum! So I did! Woo-hoo!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Oh, dear, look at this!

Ahem. Well. No such thing as surplus wool, eh? Here's the story. I have been reading Lisa's blog, Knitting Up A Storm, for a while, watching as she tries to get her stash down to 200 balls. 200 balls! I thought this was extreme, to say the least. Who needs 200 balls of yarn at once?? However, I now realize that any knitter will have 200 balls... I came here 6 months ago with enough yarn to finish Stephen's orange sweater (I still have most of a 100-g ball left) and Elaine's pink cardie (a ball and a half left over) and the gigantic Sweater that Makes Me Sneeze (um, 20 balls and bits of balls!), and that's about it. Oh, a ball of sock yarn, too.
Anyhooo, now I have 109 balls of yarn in the house!! How did that happen!? When am I going to knit it all up!? In 6 months I have to fly it all over the ocean again, so I'd much rather take finished objects than loose wool. (But as we can see, it does all fit in one big duffel bag!) I have projects lined up, but it looks like I have to knit a ball every couple of days to work through it... Hoo boy. I guess that's a New Year's Resolution, to buy less and finish more... I'll get those Weasley sweaters done in no time....

We spent New Year's Eve at the dining room table with crackers and cheese and Monopoly! Arthur cleaned up again, knocking out me first, and then Stephen. A house or two in just the right place really does the trick! Elaine quietly read the rule book and played with the hotels.

There were some trips made out to the Common to see if there were fireworks, but although people were setting them off somewhere, and booms were heard, there wasn't much to see. I think most of the residents of our little street were snoring in their beds at midnight. Our game ended at just about 12, and we toddled off to bed shortly after.

And we'll end with a picture of my new favourite skein of yarn, some Debbie Bliss Maya, which I will use wisely! Ain't it lovely?

All the best to everyone in 2006!

A breath of fresh air

After last week's exertions on the Olympic training front, I needed to get out and about on the weekend. Lucky for us, Saturday was clear and beautiful, and we took the bikes out along the river to The Bridge near Waterbeach.

On the way we got to see a boat race, men's eights in what they call a head-to-head. The river is too narrow for the boats to race beside each other, so there's just a long line of them, one after the other. Elaine and I on our three-wheeler raced alongside one boat for a while -- they go pretty darn fast! A lot of the teams have women coxes, but the one we were neck-and-neck with had a guy with a very loud voice, urging us all on. We sure needed fueling up when we got to the pub!

Another picture of pretty branches and sky and stuff.

And in training news, I think that Bob, or is it Dick, will win his bet and I will knit a pullover vest in the round. This not only gets rid of pesky buttons and buttonholes and buttonbands, which are my nemesis, but also will make it impossible for me to turn it into a baby blanket, as suggested by Dick, or was it Bob. I'll just have to deal with armholes and a neck.

I've done Arthur's Weasley back and am working on a sleeve for Elaine's. In order to avoid sewing the sleeves in, I'm picking up the stitches and working down. Love it! Steadily decreasing rows make me happy.

And for those of you with dreams of making a Starmore sweater or 20, check out this! Too bad I learned about it at the last minute... actually, too bad I don't have a few thousand dollars of yarn money in my pocket!