Friday, December 19, 2008

merry christmas

and a very Happy New Year to both all my blog readers!

Well, I finished the Christmas jumper, at last. No weaving in ends on Christmas Eve - phew. And what a nice festively fun project this was. You can almost hear those sleighbells jingling as you knit. I'd thoroughly recommend it, although anyone attempting it might benefit from reading the list below.

Things I learned from the festive jumper knitfest

  • Dalegarn Baby Ull is the stickiest woolliest yarn ever. It's kind of like knitting with goosegrass. This is of course a very reassuring thing if you are planning on steeking anything. Not so great for sewing up / frogging though.

  • Never attempt to spit-splice white yarn late at night whilst drinking red wine.

  • Similarly, if you have recently cut your finger, do not continue to knit whilst it is still bleeding. (Seriously - what is wrong with me? Why can't I ever just put the needles down?!)

  • Following on from the previous two points, Dalegarn Baby Ull machine washes nicely at 30 degrees.

  • nice scarf
  • Steeking is actually quite good fun, if you have the cojones for it. Well, it's probably more fun better than attempting to stranded-purl on the wrong side.

  • Although lots of people on ravelry ummed and ahhed about whether the jumper would fit over a baby's head, i found there to actually be tons of room. My gauge swatch was about half a stitch looser on the width. I thought with 4 ply, this would be close enough. And indeed the sleeves seem to fit pretty well, but the jumper is a little wide in the body and neck. There was no need to make the neck opening 10 stitches wider, as I did. If you do, you may discover such hilarious unintended consequences as those depicted here.

  • Have a great festive season everybody!


Monday, December 15, 2008

literary meme

I couldn't resist this one.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Underline those you intend to read
3) Italicise the books you LOVE.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (love the David Lean film version)
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (some of!)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis - not sure why this is in again after the Chronicles of Narnia!
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Alborn
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton (I read the Magic Faraway Tree)
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (I had the picture book of the film when I was wee, it was ace)
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (again, when I was very small!)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Some great books in here I thought. I seem to have italicised rather a lot. I think I am a bit of a bookslut. And I don't appear to have read many books written in the last century. I tend to favour the Hardy / Dickens style of bleak tales of poverty throughout the ages. Or scifi. I don't like happy endings really. Or romantic fiction, although Wuthering Heights has enough death and bleakness in there for me to like it. There are a couple of modern books in there that I have read just to be polite, but generally I run a mile when someone tries to lend me any kind of glossy paperback that they have just really enjoyed. I am basically a misanthrope who hides in the dusty classics section of the library.


Thursday, December 04, 2008


mother, chill out with the needles ffs
Rubbishknitterjunior wears: tweedy earflap hat (on ravelry), woolly childhood (on ravelry), blanket of many browns (on ravelry)

I think you know you have been overdoing it a bit, when your son looks like this. Well it's been a bit cold, and we had to walk the dog. I may have got slightly carried away with the wrapping up.

Unfortunately, though, the recent febrile knitting atmosphere in my house has resulted in another flare up of tendonitis. Bugger. I am off to the doctors in a couple of hours to seek sympathy and painkilling medication while I can still get it for free. But it has rather delayed my Christmas knitting, just as I was starting to see the end in sight.... grrr.

bag of lovely if messily packed jumpers
Btw, if you are getting bored with the gratuitous Woolly Baby shots, don't worry there shouldn't be too many more. I have just received a rather lovely bagful of handknitted jumpers, passed on from a sibling. They are all very lovely and there are plenty here to keep the wee man warm this winter. So I really have no need to be making him anything else for now. Apart from possibly some more bootees. Oh and finishing the jumper I'm making obv. But after that I can make more stuff for meeee and other deserving individuals at my own discretion. Which is a fine thing.