Wednesday, 28 July 2010

So how do you say Clapotis?

If any project had a name which it should not have it is this pattern.  I just can not say it without alluding to something straight out of the gutter.   My inner 12 yr comes out to play every time and I have to stifle the giggle.  

I got into trouble last night cause of my short hand - this CLAP... is giving me the Sh*ts.  The bunch of knitters in the corner of a fairly posh pub let out a loud earthy laughing following a quip by our group leader who responded to my statement... A beetroot moment for me.      I had avoided this project due to its over popularity so why am I knitting one because it is part of my UK knit camp homework.  Do I sound like a teenager yet?

Rose's Tearooms spread

Yes I am heading off to a one week Knit Camp as part of my holidays and there is a special afternoon tea party entry requirement is the Clapotis.  I am hoping to meet up with my friend, Mrs Magic (ravname), to have scones with jam and cream, and all things lovely that you expect at a posh afternoon tea.  We like our afternoon teas and have been to Rose's Tea Rooms on the Wirral which we should do again soon as I can skive a day of work and she is in the same region of England.  Mrs Magic has not been at knit night lately as she has been away visiting  gallivanting off seeing friends and family.  By the sounds of the Facebook messages her Clap is lot more advanced than mine...;-P

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Fields of Gold

As part of my fibre increase for the Tour de Fleece I have purchased some more batts this time it was a fibre that reminded me of the daughter and our shared fascination for bees and bugs. So I have now got 200gms of the lovely Marino/ Bamboo and sparkly bits batt from Shunklies and her etsy shop.   It can also be remarked that these batts are the same colour as the winners jacket on the tour.

Love the honey coloured yellowness

I am still knitting on the clapotis but it is starting to bore me to tears sorry make that to sleep.  I really have to sort out the boredom factor by starting an alternative project to spice up my life a bit.

Friday, 23 July 2010

UK Knit camp homework

Sometimes the reality that my dyslexia affects me in my everyday life comes and hits me square between the eyes with a 2 by 4. If you have not worked out by some of my antics I can be totally delusional ala last minute Xmas knitting. Anyone for knitting a hoddie jumper in less than 48 hours ???  I sometimes delude myself that my dyslexia does not affect me when I am knitting.

For once in my life I was being a cautious bunny and actually was doing a swatch trial run so as not to damage my pretty wool.  For one knit camp event you need a Clapotis so I was preparing my homework assignment by doing the swatch and little trial run of the instructions. I had got through section one and two parts of the swatch but I just could not get my noggin round section 3 of the pattern. I had read the text and reread the text; and each time my cartoon brain had interpreted the instructions in a different manner.

After whinging like a four year old, a Knitnight knitter with good googlefoo posted a link for me and even with the sound off I got it. Just looking at the pictures of the hands moving and how they were picking up the bar sorted my total confusion out. It just confirmed in so many ways that I am a visual-kinaesthetic learner. So if you decide to do a Clapotis, which is really pretty straight forward once you understand the written directions, you may want to check out this tutorial for doing the dropped stitch.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Knit Camp

Knit camp??? was a comment I recently got during a conversation online with a fellow knitter. Now as some may remember last year in Coventry was the first UK Ravelry day.  This year it has turned into a Ravelry weekend and a prequel knit camp week.

There were so many classes and so many teachers on Ravelry Day 2009 that many complained that too much choice too little time.  I personally crashed out with exhaustion and had to go back to my hotel for a snooze after falling asleep in the Meg Swanson talk  sooo embarrising...  There is also a shortage of events in the UK that you find elsewhere in the world like Knitting Camp which was first started in 1974 by Elizabeth Zimmerman (Meg Swanson's mum).

I have been recently reviewed what classes I have signed up and looking up the homework assignments as a result I think I have solved my dilemma of a new knitting project after the recent melady of meh!   Here is what I have stashed away for this project.  It will most definitely be a rainy day project.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Tour de Fleece review

Unfortunately for me life got in the way of my tour de fleece spinning.  I did spin but not enough to meet my personal goals.  Life and a lack of supplies were my two reasons why I did not spin as much as I wanted.  I will be doing a mini tour myself when I go up to Scotland in a couple of weeks time to knit camp.

I have been working on the supplies issue much to my posties horror.  So I have some gratuitous shots of my latest acquisitions. Top is a Merino /Tussah silk mix from Devon by the lovely Sarah of SarasTexture Crafts.  The next image of a Merino silk combo from Helke  who is Steinkreis-Naturseifen on Dawanda.  Are you starting to notice a pattern yet???

The third parcel was from Stephanie or aka kreativsucht on dawanda.  This batt is 100% Merino but there is also something else in common, have you spotted it yet???  Bingo they are all purple variations.

And it keeps on raining

We have endured a second wet graduation day. Thank goodness we had a some shelter indoors.  I had to use the welly boots to get in and out of the building.  Yes we have had the flash flooding and I am wondering if I have enough stashed wool cause I am sure we are looking like a 40 days and 40 nights Noah's ark event.

The weather lady keeps saying we are in for more of this stormy weather.  I have had some parcels of fibre delivered and I feel so sorry for my postie cause he had to treadle his bike through the flood water to drop off three parcels of fibre today for me.  Not heavy but bulky and odd shaped.  The post man in the picture is not mine but you get an idea of what sort of weather we have been having in the last couple of days.

I am still in knitting limbo and I have been trolling the pattern library in Ravelry for sweaters and cardigans.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

All Laced out...

I think that I am officially laced out at the moment.  The push for the shawls last week is probably the cause of this laced out feeling.  Since graduation last week I have not really done much knitting wise.  I have found that I have been looking at  sweater patterns and daughter has been nagging me to get on with some sewing for her.  I just have not had the time to go and play in the coal bunker as I have been caught between work, graduation and graduation parties.

This week we have had a bit of a downer as one of the cats, Zaffy, who liked to play in my yarn and drying dyeing succumbed to a very sudden illness and has had to be sent off to kitty heaven yesterday.  The house is so quiet without her crazy antics and even the older cat is missing the bat out of hell who used to annoy her.

I have managed to score another Philip Poore spinning wheel recently and so I will have a new Wendy, travelling spinning wheel to play with at knit camp.  Can you believe it we have less than 3 weeks to knit camp?  I have been ordering some fibre to replace my Tour de Fleece activities. I think for next year I need to get myself into a fibre club such as one by Debbie of the Hue and Dye blog organises through her online shop.

Saturday, 17 July 2010


As some may remember I work in academia at more than one institution so it has been a busy week for me as it is Liverpool John Moores University and Liverpool Hope University's graduation week at the same time.  It is Edge Hill University's graduation week next week.   Normally they manage to stagger the ceremonies to only one institution per week. One of the honourees at Liverpool John Moores ceremonies this week was Kim Cattrall.

In all of this fuss and bother with my monkey suit, the dreaded academic robes, I have had students working on their masters and doctoral dissertations. The submission date for one of the masters' program was last Wednesday. There were a couple students there earlier in the week who were very high maintenance through the last couple of days whom I had to juggle round my participation in at least two ceremonies per day. I have to see them go across to ensure that they are graduating.

In addition to the problem of juggling my time commitments to my current and graduating students I discovered this week that I was short on a couple of graduation presents. I knew it was close but I had miss counted or someone (Ry!) has snorked a shawl from my stash pile in the coal shed. One of the many reasons why I knit and crochet so many shawls is so I can give them away as presents. I like to give useful things.

The coal shed or bunker is my crafting broom cupboard where I have my various crafting stashes stored. I did a quick count last week based on my Ravelry project pages and I thought ok just finish the projects I have on the needles / hooks  and I will right for the graduation pressies this week. But as I was wrapping and writing the cards I made a startling discover Ooh... I am short a shawl. I knew I was short but I did that silly thing and cranked out a project in rappido time so I had enough for the gang on their special day.

Congratulations to all who finished and I am now going off to have a snooze before I go to the next graduation party.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Blocking Festival Continues

Since the weather has been appropriate for blocking and I had made the effort for a couple of shawls the festival of blocking continued and another couple of shawlettes were blocked, along with 2 scarfs.

To go with this festival of blocking a photo shoot was scheduled for Sunday afternoon with a parental royal command for both models to attend. Please note the teenager dissatisfaction of placating their mother and her need to supply pictures to her blog.

I know I have not had him for a model since the winter. It is a Eureka moment as I have been unsuccessfully trying to get him for the last 2 years to get a photo of this vest that he demanded as a Xmas 2008 request.  He hardly ever wears it and after the blood sweat and tears that it took to get his sodding lime green colour choice for his requested vest it is almost criminal.... Ummm that could put him on the not knit worthy list but I wont just yet.

This scarf was made out of the Rav Tav Calcutta swap parcel of Araucania Nature Cotton from the Crazyyarnharlot (Ravelry name).  Daughter with her total addiction and devotion to all items green has got her beady eyes on this scarf even when it was just a skein of yarn.

I have learnt a new skill this year and that is spinning.  I even have got addicted to a certain type of spinning wheels and have started to dream about a collection.  Watch out J this could be a problem for your wallet.  As part of the current Tour de Fleece I have been spinning away. So I thought I better photograph a couple of projects from my first pieces of spinning that I have made up.

Here is the Mermaid head scarf that I made for daughter which I can see becoming a favourite of hers during the autumn as she is not keen on hats but will wear a bandana.  The yarn is best described as 100gms of chunky....  But I am getting better. I am starting to learn the personality of my Pipy saxony wheel which of course daughter labelled as "Pippy Longstocking" which is so original but it suits this little double drive wheel.

As you can see daughter has done the Goth thing that most blondes do and dyed her hair darker so she is now a nice Mocca brown.  Thank goodness the hairdressers were able to moderate it a bit and we did not get the inky black but she has gone dark.  Father did a bit of a wobble but I had phoned him and given him a heads up so he could button it in her presence.  I had prepped him for pink, blue or purple streaks but she shocked us all by going brown. No warning because she had been talking streaks in the morning when I left for work and the first clue I had was a text message saying "I now have brown hair". So there was a trip home on the train of OK what is this going to look like and a mad call to hubby to give him the heads up.  She looks good as a brunette but she will always be a blonde in her father J's eyes.   The little scarf she is wearing in this photo is one that I am going to keep for me this winter as it is the feminist colours.

Shock horror I have actually knitted something for myself.  I thought a little lace shawlette for summer to brighten up my work wardrobe of the classic white oxford shirt was an appropriate thing.  But as you can see I think that I must be deluding myself again cause daughter when modelling was rock chicking this and I have a feeling that this lace will be permanently borrowed and be found in her wardrobe.

Toodle pip, Pippy Longstocking  and I have some work to do tonight so I can catch up with my spinning.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Blocking like Crazy

After knitting a number of shawls I just had not got round to blocking them.  Why the old factors of time and space along in the case of one shawl total disappointment and a fit of rage.  That shawl was going in the bin I had thrown it across the room as I was  so cross with it.

On Wednesday I blocked them.  On Thursday I roped the daughter in for a fashion show and photos. I actually got the photos uploaded and the project pages on Ravelry were updated.

First Cab of the rank is the RavTav Bitteroot that we knitted as a KAL back in March.

Next on the photo parade is April KAL with Zoec - the Haruni.

The Haruni redeemed itself from the corner of shame when it dried.  It was a miraculous stretching effect that occurred when the pattern opened up and suddenly this shawl was growing and growing to a lovely size.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Starting position spinners, Un, Deux and Trois!

Today is an important day in the Kotaatok household as it is a two for one day.  By two for one - I mean we had two big events on at the same time.  Today is our wedding anniversary and we should be out on our second parole thanks to good behaviour.   We were cooing away this morning and girl child's comment was "Get a room or I will get a bucket of water".  Isn't karma a witch when she comes back to bite you on your arse.  I have said this phrase so often that I did a double take as it was my mother talking except it was out of my daughter's mouth. Since I could not be a young hip loved up person I chose to focus instead on the other event that starts today.

Today is the start of the Tour de France and in the fibre world it is also the start of the Tour de Fleece for spinners. So this morning I have carded some fibre and cleaned up a bobbin and I am about to head off to spin like mad.   I have some fibre to get spinning with so adieu as I must take my place at the start of the Tour de Fleece.
Just a little feel for France.