Monday, April 30, 2007

A houseful...

Our guests arrived and we have been busy. Busy with bike rides, barbeques, shopping, and of course swimming. The children all seem to be getting on, most of the time at least, and here shown playing in the fountain in the Plaza.

L-R: Nancy, Adam, and Finlay. Ned of course too small to join in yet. He does not, however, consider that he is too small to join in with the soccer, lego, or other potentially dangerous activities!
The weather co-operated with a week of glorious sunshine. This has disappeared (temporarily I hope) behind a veil of cloud.

There has been a little knitting: more socks, in this case big black socks for Ms Hemstreet's son.

My usual sock recipe extended to fit size 11 feet in boots. I researched that boot socks must be at least 12" tall. The sock on the right is one of my own, for scale. These were knitted from Regia Silk with reinforcing thread on the heels. The Regia Silk is lovely to knit with and makes a really soft sock.

I consider that knitting these socks was an anti-war effort - in the spirit that we can support individuals without being in support of the war. I had planned to knit for Socks for Soldiers but when I heard that Eric was headed for Iraq it seemed more sensible to knit for someone specific. Anyway, I hope that he can wear them.

My lace knitting project is on hold as I can't knit that and talk at the same time!

Monday, April 23, 2007

If I knew you were coming...

...I'd have baked a cake. Well, not exactly a cake. To welcome our guests (arriving Tuesday) Finlay and I baked some cookies.

Of course the best part is licking the spoon

and scraping the bowl!

On the needles

By popular demand (Christina) I am exposing what's currently "on the needles". As I'm not a competent HTML programmer I am not going to create a side-bar for this, but will do an occasional blog entry on in-progress knitting.

Im knitting some BBS (big black socks) for Ms Hemstreet's son who has been recently posted to Iraq. The are indeed big and black, but I made good progress on my flight from Puerto Rico.

In Puerto Rico I also cast on for the Estonian Garden Shawl in a gorgeous Claudia's handpaints yarn (part of my birthday sale shopping in Yarndogs). It's on hold for the moment while I await some Knitpicks needles. Ive ordered some 3.75 tips for my interchangeable cords as the Addi's are really too blunt for the fine lace work.

The yarn is a lovely subtle olive colour, I am trying a more solid colour for this complex lace work, rather than my usual combination of busy yarn in a complex pattern!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ferretworld in the Isla de Encanto

I just returned from a trip to Puerto Rico, I stayed at the Westin Rio Mar Resort and it was just lovely. Here is the view from my hotel window.

I particularly enjoyed the beach and spent many hours floating in the bath-water-warm sea. One day I took a snorkeling trip on a big Catamaran. We went to this place - no idea where it was, but it was certainly pretty. I didnt really see much of Puerto Rico apart from the beach and boat trip, but I was only there for 2 full days. It seemed rather built-up and I would probably choose to return to a different island.

Funnily enough I did get some knitting done, largely on the 9-hour flight each way. I also finished off the silk scarf I had been knitting. This is the striped scarf from Victorian Lace today, knitted in Seasilk. I blocked it on the hotel floor...

...and then dried it on the balcony....
Then wore it to our final gala dinner!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Nancys socks

I knitted these socks for my canadian friend Nancy. It is my old faithful generic sock pattern. The wool is Knitpicks Simple Stripes, now discontinued.

I love the colour of this yarn, and its superwash wool reinforced with some nylon, which is just about perfect for socks. Its not terribly soft, but does soften with washing. But, and this is a big but, Knitpicks colour management is lousy. Both times I have knitted with Simple Stripes I had had problems with the colour sequence - Ned's sweater used 3 balls, one of which was in reverse sequence. This yarn was even worse, one of the balls had a break in the yarn, a large knot, and then the colours started again in the reverse sequence! I had to rewind the ball to preserve the stripes and as you see, I did make an error where I re-joined. I hope Nancy likes the socks anyway, but I dont think I will buy Simple stripes again!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ferretworld goes to the beach

We just had a trip to the beach for Spring Break. We spent a few days in Cambria at Pelican Cottage . Just down the hill were several wonderful bluff-top walks with lots of rock pools.
We went to Cayucos beach and walked along the long beach towards Morro Rock.
There was more rock pool exploring.
We went to San Simeon beach for Adam to try out his new Boogie Board. He spent his saved pocket money on this mini board, but there was some apprehension before he actually went into the water...
He had a great time and was very pleased with himself. As you can see the waves were pretty big. At one point Nigel got knocked off his feet by a 10' wave which was quite spectacular - but luckily the boys were not with him at that moment.
Finlay of course refused to go into the water - but entertained himself pretty happily.

We had a lovely time and left wishing we could stay - which is always the best way to end a vacation.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Blog birthday

Its a year since I started this blog so I did a quick review of my creative efforts in the last year and I was astonished by how much stuff I had knit:
  • 12 pairs of socks

  • 8 scarves and shawls

  • 7 pairs of gloves/mittens

  • 6 sweaters
as well as 3 hats and miscellaneous other small things. I also sewed 2 dresses and a skirt. I do spend a lot of time knitting, probably 1-2 hours a day, but it is something I do when otherwise I would just be watching TV (of course I am still watching TV but knitting at the same time). It is still surprising how productive it is - I must have knit miles of yarn!

I should have a competition like the big bloggers do...but since that would probably just result in my sending yarn to Christina, I could probably just skip the whole competition element and just send her some wool!

Here is another quick finished object: this time dog-walking mittens for my hairdresser Christina.

The ubiquitous fetching pattern, knitted in Noro Silk Garden. Despite all the drawbacks of this yarn (splitty, lots of vegetative matter in the wool, not machine washable) the long colour runs are just so beautiful that I always enjoy knitting with it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Birthday roundup

I celebrated my birthday at the weekend - and with boys who think anyone's birthday is exciting (even though they cannot comprehend my enormous age) - it really was a celebration.

The morning started with tea and an enormous bunch of flowers in bed. I then opened my lovely gifts and cards. I got some really nice presents.

I then nipped out to our LYS as they had a 20% sale...perfect for a birthday treat, especially as I received a copy of Victorian Lace Today from my sister. This book, by the way, really lives up to the hype.

We then took our bikes out to Wilder Ranch State Park for a ride to the beach where we had a picnic.

It was a really windy day, but the views are glorious.

We came home for cake (icing on the cake banana cake) and more tea, followed by a swim.

It was a lovely birthday! Thank you to all who made it so.