Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I did BSL level 1 several years ago, which is the equivalent of how to get by on holiday in Deaf world, eg "Hi, what's your name?" and "where's the loo?". I started level 2, but you really have to be part of Deaf (with a capital D) culture to get anywhere - like learning any foreign language - and, despite crap hearing, I'm very much part of the hearing world. But anyway, I think this ad is great.
How ironic is it, then, that Pepsi's other ads during the American Superbowl didn't have subtitles? Bit of a mixed message there, methinks.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Over the last few years she has been the driving force and brain behind two enormous community projects, encouraging and inspiring everyone to take part. This includes her family, with mum Ann, brother John Murray and uncle John Garrod all lending a hand. A 60feet high Christmas tree and a giant gingerbread house have raised over £20,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
"Dear Nautical Nutty Knitters,
Thank you for your interest and support in our latest adventure in all things watery. The theme is “Above and Below the Waves” and it will be our most ambitious project so far.
We are hoping to construct a tunnel that will make it possible to walk under the sea, while above there will be rocks, a lighthouse, boats, beach etc. As this is more complex project we are still working on the technical details and because of this the completion will be in 2010.
However, we can start knitting and crocheting now, and the following patterns are a rough guide to what we may need. As before there are simple patterns for rectangles and SQUARES, fish and coral, but feel free to improvise and make shells, starfish, seaweed etc.
Because of the theme we are aiming to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). The project is already booked for a national tour in 2010-2011 and we will keep you posted.
We are also aiming to produce another book, as we did with the Knitted Gingerbread House. This will be called ‘Fishy Tales’ so we would love to receive any of your recipes or stories connected with the sea.
The following patterns are just a guide to get you started. Feel free to make whatever you feel inspired to do: Starfish, jellyfish, Seaweed, Crabs, Shells etc.
Please send all knitted items (or contributions to the fishy book) to
Alison Murray, “High Rising”, Northdown Road, Bideford, N Devon EX39 3LP
8” wide x 20” long,All shades of blue, white, grey, black, turquoise, sand or brown.
Make 2 pieces the same:
Knitting needles – 1 pair 3.25mm (UK10, USA3)
Using black, embroider an eye on each piece. Sew the two pieces together leaving a small opening. Stuff firmly and close opening.
Foundation ring: using double knitting wool and a 4.00mm crochet hook make 5 ch.ss into last chain to form a ring.
Round 1: 3 ch (counts as first tr) 14 trs into ring.
Friday, January 09, 2009
See this linky here for the details. Fascinating, Mr Spock. I love Ravelry.
I have a hankering to knit clapotis. I can FEEL a Stash EXpedition coming on. Roll on SKIPNORTH! I also learned today that the SKIP in Skipnorth stands for Spinning and Knitting in Public. And I didn't even realise it was an acronym.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
I'm giving the old bod a holiday after the holiday overindulgences...
With moral support from my ds, am following a vegan, wheat-free, alcohol-free diet for January... and have yet to shake off this stinking headcold. Haven't particularly missed anything yet, even chocolate. Must have really over indulged at Christmas.
Now I'm off to tempt myself at the pub- parentcraft reunion!
(mind you, have been invited around to friends' for supper on Saturday, and I promised to make profiteroles for dessert - ho hum).
Back home, finally, and seven couples turned out into the cold, with their babies. Noone wanted to go home! I love seeing nervous mums with bumps metamorphose into confident mums with babes.
One particular couple I cared for antenatally had come over from Bosnia where they are involved with community voluntary work, to have their baby here. Being the avid knitter that I am (really? Yes really!) I commented on the mum to be's beautiful handknitted slipper-bootees. So I was really chuffed when they presented me with a pair of Bosnian handknitted slippers tonight, as a gift.
These are different from the booties I'd admired, but still fascinating - I've been trying to work out how they're constructed - I'm even tempted to pull one apart and reknit it! They appear to be knitted in segments with the sole going a different direction to the instep/top. The cuff is definitely knitted last, in the round. The heel appears to be a standard dutch heel, but with really long gussets. This is they:
Whatcha think? Any ideas?
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Think I did this meme, or one similar, last year. But having spotted it twice now, once on Helen's blog and again on Spinning Fishwife's blog this will cover todays blog nicely.
This meme is originally from the Big Read. Apparently they reckon most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. (!?)
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Underline those you intend to read
3) Italicise the books you LOVE.
4) Post your list so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them.
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 Well, some of it.
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare.
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - J D 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 (well, most of it - I tossed it aside when she threw herself under a train because I couldn't bear to read on)
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
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres (started it, never finished)
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 (on mount toobie!)
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’ 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 Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
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
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
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
My favourite read of last year was "I know this much is true" by Wally Lamb. covers everything, war, peace, relationships, politics, religion, therapy, you name it, it's in there! Now I'm waiting for his new book to come out in paperback.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Within the silent stillness of the hollowing woman, caught in the marrow of ancient bones and far inside the cauldron of crows, rests one seed that holds the key to the restoration of life. So we create a journey of germination and renewal as we pause before the last out-breath of winter, held at a turning point within the protecting hands of the oldest guardian, and guided by the visions that wait behind our eyes. A time for mending, dreaming, tending fires and travelling gently, supported within the circle of women and nurtured by the ancient land.
- A piece of yarn approximately 3 metres in length, that I have filled with the energy of my journey and my land between now and the gathering - washed by rain, blown by the wind (frozen solid if the weather continues like it is!) lain at my hearth, worn around my belly.
- A small simple gift that I've made, (out of wool, bones, something from nature) to carry and offer when we make a ceremony of remembering fire.
- A few words to share with the circle on our first night to describe my winter journey so far.
- A personal totem, piece of nature or item of significance to me, to represent me on the central shrine for the duration of the weekend.
- Since I can expect to spend some time in the roundhouse (an amazing building built as our ancestors must have done, by Carolyn and her partner Nigel - that's Carolyn in the entrance in the picture above) I must bring wellies and shawls and blankets to wrap up in and drums and rattles and torches to keep the night at bay.
- Women who came to the first workshop (I didn't) should bring their spindles and death totems (which sounds rather alarming!?)
The yarn and small gift and spindles are no trouble - but words to share? Death totems? What have I let myself in for?
Monday, January 05, 2009
This is the first one I did (front and back): it was rather large, so I knit the second one with one less repeat of the pattern and a bit of bodging. This first one went as a birthday present to Carolyn.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
You can see the results in the picture.
By now, the couple had reached New Mexico and decided on a whim to visit the Luna County Museum. In the Mimbres Room, she was stunned to see 'her' design painted in the centre of a small bowl. Most of the other bowls in the room were painted in black paint on a sand coloured background - this one was painted in red on a sandcolour. Spooky ay?
Nearly all the other bowls in this room had holes punched in the middle of the bottom - perhaps to release the souls of the potters who had made them and with whom they had been buried - Meg was told later that the bowl without the hole, the one she was knitting, was 'her' bowl and that its spirit had not been released at her death and that was why she was knitting it.
Anyway, my Mimbres vest is much more subtle :-)
I had the grey garn studio yarn left over from the failed Astrid's Knitalong that I dropped out of last year, which I wanted to use up (very prosaic compared to Meg!). I've been fascinated by the randomness of using long colour change dyed wool like noro to get fairisle effects, so I wanted to try it out again with this pattern. The tone in the noro is so similar in places that the pattern almost disappears - but not quite. I like the effect.
I'll take some more photos when after I've machine sewed the steeks and I'm ready to cut.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Friday, January 02, 2009
And that set the tone for the rest of the year.
At the beginning of March I set out for Yorkshire by way of Hereford and WyeSue's to ‘Skip North’, joining 18 other knitters and crocheters at Haworth Youth Hostel (once a Mill Owner’s beautiful mansion) to spin and knit and chat and eat cake and drink wine. Lixie and Nikerjac (erstwhile organisers) hired a coach so we could visit Winghams and the yarn mountain at Lee Mills amongst other such fabulous places of no interest to anyone but another fibre enthusiast, and a wonderful time was had. I donned white gloves to examine the collection of 18th century reticules and even older lace shawls…
May heralded Wonderwool: a trip up to Builth Wells to attend the fibre show at the Wales National Centre And the Welsh food festival on at the same time. Yum.
In June I ran the Knitting and Crochet Guild Stand at the Contemporary Craft Show in Bovey Tracey: Imogen brought along her Victorian sock knitting machine and proceeded to knit the longest sock ever: it stretched from the entrance to the main marquee… Sue had her knickers on display. That’s a handknitted silk thong, a fancy lace 1940’s set of briefs and a 1950s style pair of sensible school knickers – not the one’s she was wearing.
IN July came the Knitting and Crochet Guild AGM in Winchester where I was duly elected a member of the board of Directors. Hmm, what HAVE I let myself in for?
The AGM involved MORE knitting, eating of cake, drinking of wine, and invariably much tinking (knitting backwards) as wine and complicated patterns do not go. There was a fascinating slide show of Montse Stanley’s collection, now housed at Winchester University library, and another talk by a woman who knits articles for war re-enactments from the original patterns. Who’d have thought that soldiers from the First World War were so SMALL?
IN August I participated in the Ravelry knitting Olympics. I opted out of watching the Real ones because of 1) our lack of a telly and 2) in protest of the continuing presence of the Chinese in Tibet.
I was sidetracked somewhat from finishing my ravelry project (I reduced my ambitions from knitting a steeked waistcoat to knitting a moebius cowl from my handspun instead) by applying for a new job – which I didn’t get. There was a strange mix of relief and disappointment at this, though I acquitted myself well at the interview apparently (my first in 18years!) I did manage to finish the cowl in good time. My sister nicked it a couple of days ago.
I was knackered when I returned from the festival, but no rest for the wicked coz our East Dartmoor Tea Shop Knitters Group had a KTOG (the second) the very next weekend. Over 120 fibre enthusiasts managed to find the Scout Hall, (including Sandra all the way down from the smoke and Jen up from Cornwall). We raised enough to pay our workshop organisers some petrol money and send £66 to Bliss, and £20 to the UK knitting and crochet Guild And put back £50 for next year.
(If we do it again).
In and between all these knitting events I have attended regular East Dartmoor Tea Shop meetings, which have now grown to become weekly events: WE meet the first Sunday in Bovey Terrace Café, the 2nd in Café Green Ginger, the 3rd in the Walled Garden. Dunsford and the 4th in Exeter Boston Tea Party. The 5th (if there is one) we have OFF. Then on alternate Tuesdays there is the Packhorse Knitters in South Brent (though I’m slowly sneaking back to hashing) and monthly there are two groups in Spin-a-yarn.
I haven’t even mentioned the Spinning group in Tedburn and the Devon Guild of weavers, dyers, spinners in Exeter on the first Saturday of every month.
Speaking of which - Ravelry! Ah, Ravelry. What can I say about Ravelry?