Sunday, 20 October 2013

Colour Craving Mystery Shawl Revealed. . .

I have had so much fun knitting this mystery shawl over the past month.  Here were the three colours I initially chose.

Clue #1 started striping with two colours and was augmented by these enormous yarnover holes, forming an odd cone-like shape.  Very unusual. 

Clue #2 saw the introduction of the lime green bordering two sides of this cone-shaped triangle.  Clue #3 called for the use of the second colour again but since mine was the white and I thought it would be a bit too boring, I opted to pop in a fourth colour - the dark green.  I'm very happy with how the colours work together. 

And ta-dah!  Here is the finished shawl. I added a fifth colour of black in the i-cord bind-off.  Not sure about all the holes, but it certainly is an original design and was a lot of fun to knit. And while wearing it as a scarf - which I'll probably do most of the time - the holes do come in handy for weaving in the long end.  It's certainly very cozy and warm. 

Did I mention how HUGE this turned out to be?

The pattern is Colour Craving by the flamboyant Stephen West and you can purchase it on ravelry here.  I'm already looking forward to next year's mystery knit-a-long. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Alice Munro wins the Nobel!. . .


Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize for Literature!

Most Canadian women of a certain age (ahem, mine) probably read either The Lives of Girls and Women or Who Do You Think You Are? during their teenage years and became a fan for life. I am just over the moon at this news and I wonder - will it give short stories (she's never written a novel) a new prestige and popular boost among the reading public? I think it's definitely time to reread some of her work.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Monthly Planner: October. . .

October is going to be a slow-down month.  I don't have tons planned and for once, that's okay with me - I want to ease gently into the colder, darker weeks that are coming and enjoy the light and any mild days that we have.  I'm also scheduled for quite a few extra shifts at work so any free time is going to be precious.

Reading: I've counted and inexplicably, I'm currently in the middle of no less than seven books!  No more new ones until at least half of these are completed.

Knitting:  I'm completely on track with my mystery knit-a-long shawl.  One clue to go which arrives this Friday so unless it's a big one, I should have the shawl finished next week.  I've thoroughly enjoyed knitting this and I think it's going to be really spectacular.  Can't wait to have it off the needles and around my neck. I'm also fairly close to finishing my Eyre shawl - I made it extra big - and when that's done, I'm concentrating on jumpers and/or cardigans for the rest of the year.  Oh and maybe some mittens.   Time to get ready for winter.

Daytripping:  The Liverpud and I have at least one hiking day planned in the Lakes this month, but no other trips.  And I will still be out and about making time for some cultural fun in the city. I have tickets to what promises to be a really interesting theatrical adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's Master and Margarita at the Unity Theatre. 

And coming this month to FACT is a movie that I can't wait to see. Le Week-End, starring Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan, has been billed as Midnight in Paris meets Before Midnight with an homage to Godard's Band of Outsiders. Yes please!  Check out the trailer here.

Small and simple pleasures.  A little bit of cocooning. Taking time to breathe and enjoy the things around me - that's my month ahead. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Yarndale Goodies. . .

I had a specific budget for Yarndale and of course I didn't keep to it.  Darn it all, too many booths took cards so once the cash ran out, so did my self-control.  Limiting my purchases to all-British narrowed the field somewhat, although with so many great indie dyers using British fibres, I was completely spoiled for choice.  Two of my must visit booths were Baa Ram Ewe so I could get my Titus fix (2 skeins of their deep Eccup colourway) and John Arbon Textiles where I picked up five skeins of their Exmoor Sock Yarn in Smoke (the photo makes it look brown but it's a really lovely softe purple-gray) that I hope will become a lightweight cardigan or sweater someday.  It's 85% Exmoor Blueface with 15% nylon. 

Another favourite at these shows is Jillybean Yarns and I am in love with this gorgeous hand painted skein made up of mixed local British fleeces. 

And then I met these cuties.  And stroked them. And stroked their yarn. And fell in love. 

I love the name of the company too - Bigwigs Angora - clearly another Watership Down kindred spirit.

I also picked up some patterns and was lucky enough to find an older Rowan magazine that I didn't have.   The "Tess" slippers by Ann Kingstone are named after Hardy's heroine.  I'm always a sucker for any pattern inspired by literature.

So more than enough to keep me going until the next show.  Hmmmm - maybe Edinburgh in March?