Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Sock Notebook Rides Again

So I have my Traveller's Notebook. I also have this:

If you've been dropping by here for a while you might recognise it as my sock notebook. No? You're right: it hasn't seen a lot of action lately. I made my first entries almost two years ago - I ordered wool for my first ever pair of socks on St. Patrick's Day 2015 (or so the notebook says) - and started recording my progress not long after.

Then, for a bit, I was knitting faster than I could write: the notebook couldn't keep up and I began tucking ball bands and snips of yarn inside, in the hope I'd get back to it. Last week I knocked my notebook off the shelf and, yes, of course, all my carefully curated but completely unattached ephemera fluttered to the floor, all wild and free. So I decided to catch up.

This page

records a big moment in the life of a hand knitted sock: its first hole. When a shop bought sock wears through, we bin it (unless we're a student who works on the who is going to see my feet principle. Maybe your mother? When you come home for the holidays? Let's park that thought and move on..) But it's not so easy to turn your back on hand made. Clearly I had to learn how to darn.

And this page

makes a not of my contribution to Winwick Mum's Sock Line last summer. I think she'll be running it again this year, so I need to remember to leave myself time in the old knitting schedule. Schedule? Sounds like I have a plan. Maybe there's a small one, incorporating a phone photography class in a knitting shop. I'll say that again because it's a magical combination. A phone photography class in a knitting shop. I'm looking forward to it very much. There will be wool, new wool, so I'd better get going on pinning down the details of what I've already used. Just one more sock related note before I go. Pablo Neruda, I recently discovered, wrote a beautiful poem about a pair of hand knitted socks. You can find Ode to my Socks here

"and what is good is doubly good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool in winter.."

Monday, 24 April 2017

Memos, Mail, Me: Planning, Not Dreaming

...though there's nothing wrong with the latter

even as I've been spending more time on the former. And it's because of the planning that I have to apologise today for my photos, versions of which some of you will have already seen on instagram over the weekend. I can't show pictures yet, see, of any of my mail. Over Easter, when the post slows down, nothing special arrived, so this week I'm looking forward... parcels I'm hoping will arrive very soon. There's been some birthday buying: surprises for our girl, so please don't tell, all I'll say is that I hope she'll like what I chose to go with that Uniqlo dress

Notebooking supplies on these pages from Felicity Jane

I finally hemmed, using over three metres of horsehair braid to make it swirl. She's hoping, I think, for a record player too, so as soon as that's settled I'll be ordering. Vinyl really is back. They're all looking for proper records now, talking about album covers again, carrying them round like the badges of honour they deserve to be. So there's that to look forward to.

And there's the fitflops I ordered after seeing them reviewed here, on the blog which speaks to those of us with feet we'd quite like to swap. I'm pinning my hopes of a summer of comfortable walking on these babies, so they'd better deliver when they're delivered.

Finally, after going backwards and forwards over it (cue one more weekend picture of confused sheep at crossroads)

I've decided to buy a new photo printer. I had, and happily used for years, a canon selphy; but it stopped working last summer and since then I've tried various printing services instead. But ordering pictures is my least favourite part of scrapbooking. It's the only bit I would call "work". Printing at home, on the spot and (this time round) wirelessly from my phone? As The Tall One would say: that's happening. Soon, I hope. 

There's only one thing I've left out of my post plans. And that's what to tell you about next week now that I seem to be working ahead of myself. But you never know what's round the next corner (cue debate over whether to move the sheep picture to here) Right? I had no interesting mail this week. But I did have a couple of lovely texts, both of which will, I think, result in meet ups, one with an old friend, one with a new knitting pal. Maybe there'll be a story for next time there?

How about you? Anything new over the weekend? Any interesting news? Mail you'd like to share? It's Monday! How about making a memo?

 Helena, Barb, Deb, Mary-Lou, Mitra, Maggie, Alexa, Alison, Honore, Karen, Melissa, Alexandra and Ladkyis were good enough to share last time round. Go on, give 'em a wave! And have a good week!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Making It All Over Again

The holidays are all tied up and finished off here at High In The Sky. I got up at 5.30 this morning to wave The Tall One off to the airport, having climbed into bed just before 1.00 am because I'd stayed up to gossip with the other one. But that's what you do, when you know Studentland is calling: if the talk starts, you don't say It's bedtime, you say I'm listening.

As they pack up I finish off little jobs I'd promised. I did a bit of mending for The Tall One yesterday: exactly the same mending I'd done for him as he got ready to travel to Scotland for Freshers Week, over three years ago. As I stitched those stitches over again, I thought about him surrounded by suitcases and boxes holding half of his life, back then, and I thought about today's trip, travelling light, in charge, back to do his Finals, back to his friends and his flat, and the promise of a job, not next year - his diploma year - but the one after that. That's a whole life, right there, pulled together in between two mending sessions.

As a scrapbooker, I'm used to seeing a record of what we've been up to as I create. That's what it's there for. That's the point. With a big sewing or knitting project often the recording comes as you finish it off and reflect upon what life has cast up since you picked out the pattern and made the first stitch. I recently finished off that brown yoke sweater in my first photo. It's the second one of this "crofthoose" pattern I've made this year. The first - maybe you remember it - is blue with red and green houses, bright and cheery and the sweater I turned to every morning in a difficult March in which I cast on and knitted hard and fast on a new version I'm now wearing with a lighter heart.

I've finished up that man sweater I've been telling you about too. It's another double. First time I knitted this pattern - maybe four years ago? - I knew enough about knitting to realise the pattern was wrong and some trickery would be needed to get sleeves and neckband combined. This time (for I had to make it again as everyone was agreed this particular pattern offered your every day accountant both cuddle factor and macho manliness in magical proportions) I knew enough about Ravelry to look for help, which I found. No trickery required.

Every project marks some change, ecah one is a way of moving on. I'm working a shawl at the moment, with many, many stitches: plenty of time in that to wonder what's next. Maybe I'll be warding off a stiff Scottish breeze on Graduation evening the first time I wear it. Who knows? How about you? What plans do you have for your works in progress?

Project Notes:

Crofthoose Yoke by Ella Gordon knitted in Jamieson and Smith 2 ply bought at Tangled Yarns

Baseball Sweater from Knits Men Want by Bruce Weinstein knitted in Rowan Alpaca Merino DK

Drachenfels Shawl by Melanie Berg knitted in Rosy Green Wool Cheeky Merino DK

Monday, 17 April 2017

Memos, Mail, Me: Running Behind, With a Flag

Ah, Monday: a holiday day here, everyone home, working at the kitchen table, or tidying a bedroom, or peeling potatoes for the roast dinner we had intended to eat yesterday, though changed our minds after, ahem, too much snacking. That would be down to the Easter treats we brought home from Little E's on Saturday.

My mail this week: paper and pictures all on the one day

It was a very satisfying trip, in all kind of ways. First, we stopped off at a beach I've never in my life been to before. Haven't we all got a place like that? Somewhere not so far from home, you could get there if you tried but you haven't, and you grow up hearing everyone else talking about how amazing it is? We went. It turns out to be the kind of beach Jim Rockford might have wanted to move to, or Pamela Anderson, if only they had packed their waterproofs and their thermals, because of course we aren't actually talking about California.

Then on to Little E. As is tradition now, he had an Easter basket waiting for me. Hurray! Last year's was wrapped in tiny lights. How could he top that? With twinkling carrots! And more chocolate carrots inside and - 

There's been some debate here, his mother said, about the Easteriness of carrots..

but I wasn't listening. I was admiring. Little E hadn't been with me in the shops the day I had spotted the clip on bunny tails and regretfully decided to pass. But he had guessed and so my basket contained my very own bobtail. I clipped it onto my behind, on the back of my skirt. I felt so bunny I almost hopped.

I'm glad you're feeling energetic my sister said. He has his birthday scooter charged up and ready to go..

And Little E took me by the hand and led me outside. It was a go kart-y scooter - a "razor" I think he called it -just the right size for a small aunt to try. I did a few laps. This is so going on Facebook! I heard someone shout as I flashed past. But I don't really do Facebook, so I don't really care. All I know is I want a razor for my birthday. Then it was Little E's turn. 

Here's the flag! he said. I'll drive. You run behind me waving it.

Which is what we did. And that burst of exercise could go some way towards explaining why the rest of my weekend has also been - running behind. I have a story for you - or maybe that's a tale? -

photo by Little E
but the paper and pictures which made up my best post this week really do need combining. Next time I hope I'll have some craftiness to share. How about you? I hope you had some fun this weekend. We'd love to hear about it! Anything new, any mail you enjoyed, we'll read it all..

Have a good week!

Last time  Deb, Helena, Barb, Mary-Lou, Ladkyis, Maggie, Karen, Alexandra, Melissa, Alison, Honore and Mitra posted their post (or their weekend news, anything goes..Go on! Give 'em a wave!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Greetings This Easter

This afternoon we are off to the sea, to see Little E. But before I pack his Easter eggs into the car I wanted to wish you a

Happy Weekend. Let's hope for some sun and some good company

and maybe a chance to make something. This year, for the first time ever, we have our own homemade simnel cake cake to try. When our girl is home she bakes and the rest of us enjoy the results.

Cards made with supplies from Felicity Jane

Have a good break, won't you? I'll be back on Monday.
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