Never mind, let's just jump on again shall we?
It's school holidays here which means a whirlwind of juggling work and children, tagteaming with the husband and lots of picnics in the park with friends, movies, and special treats. And knitting, always with the knitting.
I seem to have fallen into a few informal swaps lately - not the sort that bloggers seem to love whereby a gazillion people sign up and there are deadlines and expectations (too stressful by half). These are more spontaneous, and generally begin with a random comment on Twitter, like the shawl and quilt swap from last month. This time I was the recipient of some absolutely beautiful stitch markers from Fresh Tea in New Zealand, in exchange for some blue dyed laceweight yarn. Look at these little beauties. Aren't they exquisite? I might have let out a small squee when I opened the parcel.
Now maybe I'll be able to knit the February Lady Sweater, which has defeated me five times with two different yarns in the last year, all for the lack of decent markers (yes, I tried bits of coloured wool, and safety pins, and plastic split rings but none of them worked - clearly they were just not pretty enough).
Fresh Tea was generous enough to include a second set as well, as she thought I might need contrasting colours. And if I knit the Laminaria as I'm plotting to do, I will need all the help I can get.
This week the postman brought me a box from Canberra filled with fabulous home made chutney, two kinds of plum sauce (thick and thin, with instructions for their respective uses), and the most divine quince paste, from Zoe at crazybrave. (You might know her from the collaborative foodie blog Progressive Dinner Party). I haven't photographed these, just consumed them.
In return Zoe requested some large olive green fingerless gloves.
I used the left over green I dyed for my first shawl, and made the famous Fetchings pattern which I've now knitted six times I think. I modified this pair by adding another section of rib in the diameter, an extra cable at the top, and leaving off the rather fussy picot cast off, which always curls annoyingly anyway. I'm pleased with the extra cable at the fingertips and will do it again when I knit Fetching in the future - one row of cabling just looks unfinished. I'm very happy with these gloves overall, and hope Zoe is too.
That photo was taken before they were blocked, and I see they're curling a bit at the top. Hopefully the blocking, and the being squished into a Postpak for two days will have fixed that. Also I hope they fit Zoe better than they do me. I have slender wrists, and Zoe has, in her words, "huge paws".
I've indulged in some more dyeing these holidays too. First up was some sock yarn ...
Clockwise from top left: Denim, Yolk, Ink, Fire.
The Ink is already halfway to becoming an Ishbel for my mum, and the Yolk is sitting at my feet as I type, amid a sea of tiny sock sized dpns and swatches, as I ponder whether it will be the yarn I use for my latest sock adventure - Kirsten's mystery sock knit-along. Is anyone else doing this? Kirsten from Through the Loops releases a bit of the pattern on her blog each Thursday in October, and people all over the world knit along. Details at Through the Loops if you want to join in. I'm rather excited about it.
As for the other skeins, the Denim screams shawl to me, although socks would be glorious too wouldn't they, and the Fire, well I just don't know. The long neglected etsy shop perhaps?
The next major dye session was today, so no photographic evidence yet; the skeins are still dripping on my clothesline. I'm custom dyeing four skeins in two separate colourways for Sheeps Clothing, and believe me, replicating previous colourways is a challenge when your dyeing style is
What else? I had a day's work in the city this week instead of my usual location and spent a happy lunch hour in Morris & Sons and a brief session in Cleggs (no link because when I googled all I found was a termite removal company) after work. Also, I took the train there and back, which meant nearly two hours of knitting time all up. That was fun. I could get used to working in the city again. There are changes going on at work and there's a possibility that I might end up working a day per week in the city. I'll certainly be pushing for it.
Yesterday Stomper and her boys and me (I?) and my boys all went tenpin bowling together. That was fun too. I forgot my camera despite making all sorts of mental notes to remember it, but Stomper faithfully recorded our awesome bowling action for your viewing pleasure. Son #2 thrashed us all soundly, Cherub came second, while Son #1 who is our family's resident bowling champ, came a dismal last.
And now Sons #1 and #2 have been whisked away to the seaside with friends for four days, so it's just the littlest and I pottering about together. I think a trip tomorrow to the Pancake Parlour might be called for.
ps. The dog just stood up, turned around five times, and lay down again right on top of the skein of Yolk. Worse than a cat, he is.