It turns out that I have fewer truly lascivious yarn photos than I hoped; it’s the fault of the frelling light. Outdoor light is fine. Frelling frelling frelling fluorescent light is never fine and while my brain- and finger-numbingly over-specified camera probably has a fluorescent light setting it takes about twenty seconds every time you want to reset anything due to the profligate nature of both the available menus and the items on the menus, and the menus of each individual item, all of them shrouded in impenetrable and unguessable icons which you need to be at home reading the CD on your computer to decipher because of course the paper instructions that you might keep in your knapsack are a feeble pamphlet with a lot of white space that tells you how to insert the battery and turn the thing on and then suggests you read the CD.* So there you are at a fabulous yarn show scowling at the lighting, which is a diabolical, and unpredictable, mixture of fluorescent and outdoor and even if I could find the Nasty Glaring Indoor Light button on my camera it wouldn’t be the right answer either. So, for example, although I took photos of all of these, I can’t show you the amazing knitted layer cake complete with (knitted) candles—knitted lit knitted candles—that a local knitting society had made for their own 35th anniversary. Nor can I show you the astonishing crochet blankets the Natural Dye Studio** had hanging on their walls, or Tilly Flop Designs’*** silly greeting cards or Injabulo’s† gorgeous buttons. Or a number more knitted shawls††, speaking of shawls.
But we’ll do what we can.
This is not a good photo, and the original photo probably wasn’t all that great before they blew it up, framed it and put glass over it. But it’s totally worthwhile because the look on this dog’s face is priceless.†††
I had promised Fiona to fondle every skein of pink, purple or pink-purple yarn I saw. I was quite a while at this booth.
They’re one of the many little indie producers out there. But not only is their yarn seriously smoosh-worthy but they’re nice.
I actually looked at the pattern—being GOH at Boskone might do as a laird-substitute—and fell on the floor laughing. Um. No.
There. You don’t feel cheated or short-changed do you?
* * *
* You might think that there might be a short cut menu for the stuff that ORDINARY people use and adjust the most often, but clearly this camera was not made for ordinary people.
** http://www.thenaturaldyestudio.com/ Hint: they sell the patterns. I already knew I have to learn to crochet some time because there are a lot of crochet roses out there. But I may have to crochet a blanket.
*** http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/tillyflopdesigns Keep Calm and Finish It for Next Christmas. There was also one at the show I don’t see on her Etsy page, which goes, more or less: I told you I’d have it done for your birthday, but I didn’t tell you which birthday
†† http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/stars-in-the-sky for example. None of these photos BEGINS to do it justice. And I have about as much chance of knitting it as I do the Unnamed Item with Roses from the first Yarn Porn instalment. A girl can drool.
††† I am reminded of Sarahallegra’s Calantha in her bunny ears. Oh, this is http://www.redhoundfordogs.com/ Clearly they are a good place by the high percentage of sighthounds.
. . . I’m leaving you to look up any more web sites. I think the labels on the rest of the photos are legible. Anything you’re dying for that doesn’t have a visible label, post to the forum, I can probably figure it out.
No, no, said Nina, I’ve only just got here myself; I misread the bus schedule and. . . . TO BE CONTINUED.
A certain renowned author and GOH at 2015 Boskone is getting entirely too fond of cliffhangers!
Snork. It wasn’t meant to be a cliffhanger. It was ‘okay, that’s 1000 words, I can get at least a second post out of all the photos, YAAAAAAAY.’ No, I found my way out of the car park without happening across more than one or two bottomless ravines and/or person-eating tigers . . . and having stood at a total loss on the pavement outside the exit for about thirty seconds while the traffic swirled by* the very first passing pedestrian I applied to pointed over his shoulder and said, your Ancient Building—and your yarn show—is that way.
And it was. And Nina was waiting in the entrance.** And we spent the next three hours in a daze of colour, texture and naked desire.***
And it won’t be nearly as droolworthy as any of these. But it’ll be a shawl.
TO BE CONTINUED. Again. Hey, it worked last time. . . . †
* * *
* And I’m sure I saw that stricken look of No! Not Sainsbury’s again! on several of the drivers’ faces
** Having had a slightly fascinating time watching all the painstakingly handmade knitwear marching through the doorway. This reminds me more than a trifle of costuming at cons. The majority of it is pretty fabulous and you think if all that love, care, creativity and skill could be more widely applied we’d have the world’s problems sorted instanter. Unfortunately there tend to be governments and special-interest groups in the way.
And then there’s a little of it that, ahem, isn’t fabulous. At least not on this planet. There were a few items in this category at the yarn show.
*** Well, I did. Nina is made of sterner stuff, although she admitted she began to feel a trifle overwhelmed. But she came for a project and she found a project, and she bought a pattern and took advice about suitable yarn and bought that AND THAT’S ALL SHE BOUGHT. Gaaaaaaah. I bought an ENTIRELY UNSUITABLE VERY LARGE BOOK OF PATTERNS for the extremely pathetic reason that I fell wildly, hopelessly in love with one of the knitted-up samples. I have about as much chance of knitting the freller^ for myself as I do of riding dressage in the next Olympics—in fact I have a better chance at the Olympics—but maybe I can turn the book into a coffee table. It’s big enough.^^
Now most of this is just my embarrassing lack of self-control. But it’s also because the stall-holders were nice. I could imagine ringing them up and saying WHAT DO I DO NOW? I can even imagine them answering.^^^ Most of the stall-holders made a point of saying that they were happy to take phone calls and offer advice, and pressed their business cards on you, and most of these are small independents producing their own yarn and/or their own patterns. Although there were a few franchises there, they were friendly too. Knitting seems to be a pretty welcoming world.
However there was one stall where I would certainly have bought one and probably two patterns, both of which were really interesting and looked more clever than complicated . . . but a little complicated. And I looked at the proprietors and thought, well, no, I can’t imagine ringing these people up and asking for advice.# So I didn’t buy the patterns. Sigh. Not like I don’t have 467,912 patterns already.
^ No I’m not telling you what it is. It’s an item of clothing and it has roses on it.
^^ Speaking of large books full of gorgeous patterns I have no hope of knitting: http://americanmuseum.org/2013/09/the-colourful-world-of-kaffe-fassett-22-march-to-2-november-2014/
I even have a Kaffe Fassett book from another, similar occasion of tragic longing. It’s an art book, okay? Never mind those pattern instructions in the back.
^^^ The likelihood of my being able to follow their instructions however. . . .
# Nina, by the way, in her calm, clear, rational manner, had the same reaction to them that I did. So it’s not just me being the raging loony faction. She also liked the patterns. Maybe I’ll buy one on line and ask Fiona to help me.
† I’ve also just spent fifteen minutes frelling arguing with this laptop, which may be moving toward retirement^, about posting that last photo, which it insisted was Fully Occupied Having Illicit Relations with Another Programme. IT FRELLING ISN’T YOU FRELLING FRELLING. I don’t want to do that any more tonight and I have no idea what it might have in mind for my next attempt at loading a photo. The yarn porn is obviously disturbing its moral and professional values.
^ I can’t AFFORD a new computer! I need to BUY MORE YARN!!
I was putting Pav’s harness and lead on for a hurtle late this afternoon while listening to the weather report on the radio. Dry for the rest of the evening and overnight, said the radio. Pav and I stepped out the door. It was raining.
I’ve spent way too much time looking for good Hampshire-flood photos for you. Is it because flooding, managing or trying to manage the floods and beginning in some cases to clean up after floods which may yet return is still very actively going on that the photo record of all the hoo-ha is such a mess? You google for ‘Hampshire’ and you get Gloucestershire, Dorset, Somerset and Wales, with a little Kent and Surrey thrown in. Not that Gloucestershire, Dorset, Somerset, Wales, Kent and Surrey haven’t been flooded too—poor old Somerset is in a bad way—but I wanted to show you Hampshire. Anyway you can troll through here—or not. These are all at least 2013-14—I think—although with the occasional disconcerting ‘historical’ flood photo, which may or may not be in Hampshire either. I found a really good Hampshire flood photo gallery but before I got too happy fortunately I noticed it was from two years ago. I don’t even remember flooding two years ago.*
Anyway. It’s already too late for Short Wednesday. Maybe we’ll have Short Thursday.
. . . bad weather IS claustrophobic, and inside with three hellcritters, one in heat and a bit too interesting to the others is definitely a major trial.
It was a lot more histrionic than a BIT too interesting. But she’s now OUT of heat and . . . Chaos doesn’t believe it. Darkness, while still inspecting her carefully every time she reappears, is reverting to his previous attitude, which is, Bark! There’s an interloper! Bark! Remove her at once! Bark! —Siiiiiiiigh. I was HOPING that there might be some positive long-lasting effect on their relationship as a result of that hideous recent ninety-four year stretch when she was on high spectacular heat and Darkness was her slave . . . but I guess not. Siiiiiiiigh. Meanwhile there is an effect on her relationship with Chaos . . . he doesn’t believe she’s off heat and keeps trying to hump her. Mind you, he’s humping the wrong end and he’s never got his—ahem—tackle out, so it’s not exactly Sex As We Know It Jim but it still must frelling stop. Arrrrrrrgh. The slightly funny thing, if I were in a mood to be amused which I am NOT, is that Chaos was a lot less bothered by the whole situation than Darkness was. Darkness was out of his tiny furry mind. Chaos was la-la-la-la Chaos, although he was happy to stop eating to keep his brother company. ARRRRRRRGH.
We convinced our old cat to come in during severe weather and she’s now convinced that–if she’s indoors–someone should be . . . paying attention to her anytime she’s not dozing. . . . Yowwwwwwl. Yowwwwwwl. Yowwwwwl. One critter is driving me frantic several times a day . . . I cannot even imagine three critters sharing the house with me.
Three critters keep each other company. This is why I brought two puppies home seven years ago. This does not always work out perfectly to plan (see: happy to stop eating to keep his brother company) and introducing a new one to an established hierarchy is always tricky, even if you’re not bringing a girl into a household with two entire males. But for a human prone to guilt resisting the huge mournful puppy-dog eyes is easier when your single dog is not alooooooooone every time you go out for a cup of tea with a friend.
Diane in MN
There probably is a way to adapt a bigger gauge pattern to a smaller gauge—isn’t there?—but in the first place it would require MATHS and would be beyond me and in the second place . . . I’d run out of yarn.
I do this kind of a lot because I knit tight and I substitute yarn, so getting gauge is not guaranteed for me. The arithmetic doesn’t go beyond multiplication and division, but you can find knitting calculators online that will do it for you. Here‘s a pattern conversion form that should do what you want.
Oh, cool. Thank you. I think.** I like the part about how all you do is fill in the first bit and it does all the rest, but I haven’t finished my swatch yet so I don’t know what unexpected tentacles may lie in wait. I have found the needles that make the right fabric however: 8 mm, so a whole two (or four, depending on how you’re counting) down from the recommended 10 mm. Hmmph. Yarn manufacturers. They know nothing.***
Deep v neck. Less yarn. Three quarter sleeves! Less yarn! Cropped!
Perhaps a dickey?
Yes, yes! A dickey! What a good idea! There will be enough left over for at least one mitten!
Deep v neck. Less yarn. Three quarter sleeves! Less yarn! Cropped!
At this point, I’m not sure there’d be much point left to knitting a bulky-weight pullover…
Snork. It must be hard, living a life of such strict rationality. Not one of my challenges.
There’s a very good Lion Brand pattern for a top-down raglan-sleeved cardigan, knitted in one piece (the sleeves are knitted downwards later), which is pretty much infinitely adjustable. Cast on enough stitches to go round your neck (high- or low-line), increase at the raglan points till big enough to fit round your chest at armhole level, put sleeve stitches onto holders and join up the gaps, knit downwards till long enough. Put sleeve stitches back on needle and knit till, er, long enough. Add a button band, either knitted separately and sewn on, or picked up along the front edges, if you want buttons.
So you leave yourself a ball, or two, for the sleeves (depending on how long you want them), allow another one for button bands, and you can knit the cardi till you run out of yarn!
Yes, I was thinking I’d look for a top-down for that reason—that, in fact, I need to overcome my circular phobia and learn to love some basic top-down thingy because I am a relatively small narrow person and short waisted with it and I’m pretty sure I could learn to squeeze a basic top-down thingy out of slightly too little yarn, which would be very nice. Do you have a link for the Lion Brand pattern? There are a million gazillion Lion Brand patterns and I tend to lose the will to live on their site pretty quickly. Also so many of their patterns are extra-large and up. When it’s some ordinary person on Ravelry who has created a pattern and she’s a 48” chest and her pattern is for 46-50” this seems perfectly reasonable. When it’s a frelling commercial yarn site, even though the patterns are free, it seems to me perverse that when you look at what they mean by ‘small’ it says 44”. Um. No. That’s not small.
Now you’re going to tell me there are pattern converters for this problem too.
. . . Meanwhile. It’s raining again/still. What a good thing wool stays warm when it’s wet.
* * *
* I remember five-foot-of-water-in-the-cellar 2000-01 very clearly.
** But I also knit tight and . . . substitute yarn? You mean there’s some other way to do it? You mean some people actually USE THE RECOMMENDED YARN? ::stops to fan herself::^ This comes up with me perhaps more than with better knitters: for some reason easy patterns tend to assume you’re going to use cheap acrylic or acrylic-mix-but-mostly-acrylic yarn. Noooooo.^^ You do get fancy yarns that suggest a simple pattern that will leave the effect up to the yarn, but not so much the other way around. Or maybe I just read the wrong magazines.^^^
^ Although that may just be another frelling hot flush
^^ The hellhound blanket is acrylic but they’re allergic to wool AND I AM NOT GOING TO WASTE MERINO ON CREATURES WHO ROUTINELY CLAW UP THEIR BED TO MAKE IT FLUFFY.
^^^ And so far as I can tell it’s a publishing rule that a knitting book shall not be issued till all its recommended yarns have been discontinued.
*** Nothing in comparison to someone who has been knitting erratically for about three years and hasn’t FINISHED anything but a few leg warmers and some baby bibs.
Morale is not high. I won’t say it’s at an all time low but it is not high. I am not, as you will have surmised, Street Pastoring tonight; I’ve been obsessively following Hampshire weather reports all day—those of you who follow me on Twitter will have seen a few RTs on the subject*—and when the wind started up mid-afternoon right on gindlefarbing schedule** I sighed a heavy sigh and emailed Fearless Leader that I was staying home tonight. I’m being a good responsible citizen, ratblast it, the cops keep tweeting ‘if you don’t HAVE to go anywhere STAY HOME.’*** I don’t even know if there was enough of a team left to go out; I know we’d lost more than just me.
I’m not quite sure what I have done today besides get wet to the skin† in the company of various (wet) hellcritters and feverishly look for more weather reports.††
And listen to the wind. I am not looking forward to the last hurtles of the evening.††† The rain is coming in sideways, in this wind, like spears, and I swear the points have been sharpened. May we at least continue to have electricity. And hot water. And an Aga to dry and re-dry and re-re-re-dry wet critter towels.
I hope we don’t lose any more trees.
* * *
* And anyone who hasn’t seen the photo of the Winchester Cathedral crypt ISN’T PAYING ATTENTION since it’s a big favourite with the media at the moment for a symbol of South England Under Water: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-26186875 ^
^ Mind you, the cathedral was built on a marsh, so there’s a certain amount of hoisting by own petard going on, as it has gone on for the last thousand years. Very sturdy marsh, that one. And surprisingly forgiving of large piles of stone. Maybe it was less of a marsh in the eleventh century.+
But we in New Arcadia are NOT built on a marsh and we object to all this superfluous water cluttering up the place. There’s nowhere to put anything down. Like a dog, for example.
+ The cathedral was also a good deal smaller to begin with. They kept adding bits on.
** Why can’t the frelling meteorologists be wrong about something you’d LIKE them to be wrong about? How many times have you got caught in rain/sleet/hail/yeti invasion because the weather report was for clear and mild and since you wanted it to be clear and mild you were a little foolish? Arrrrrrgh.^
^ Of course over here it’s a major piece of cultural history that the meteorologists—and one TV presenter in particular—missed the Great Storm of 1987, worst in three centuries, and forecast a little wet weather and some wind. La la la la la. Hope everyone had their small dogs and children on short leads.
*** Alternating with a tweet saying PLEASE DON’T TAKE CLOSED ROAD SIGNS DOWN THEY’RE THERE FOR A REASON. Duh. Good grief. I will certainly go have a look down a closed footpath^ but in daylight at walking speed you can see before you get into any difficulties, and you also won’t stall out if water gets up your tailpipe. You may have to carry your short-legged companion through the swirly bits.^^ But take closed road signs down?! At very least, if you’re going to be a sovereign idiot, put the sign back after you’ve driven through it toward your fate.^^^
^ Although Pav and I had an epic hurtle this morning because we went down to the river and turned the other direction and it never occurred to me we’d be able to keep going. . . . I now have a pair of yellow All Stars that will take a week to dry out. At least I remembered the plastic bags over my socks today. Practise makes perfect.
^^ I do know that currents can be dangerous. Trust me, I’m timid.
^^^ Oh yes and when you have to ring up to be rescued be sure and mention that you drove through a closed road sign so they can put you at the bottom of their list.
† I have two raincoats and they’re both sheeting wet.
†† Well I’ve done some knitting. Got some lovely big fat gauge 100% merino wool on insanely cheap sale and then bought a set of 10 mm needles when I discovered that that is approximately the ONLY size I haven’t already got, 10 mm being the recommended needle size for this yarn, and I was already trying to decide whether I was going to make this pullover or that pullover out of it^ since I’d bought this book on sale a little while ago, as I settled down to make my swatch. I like making swatches. It doesn’t matter if something goes wrong, it’s just a swatch. Which is why my swatches never go wrong. I save going wrong for the pattern.
AND I DON’T LIKE THE FABRIC ON THESE NEEDLES. THEY’RE TOO BIG. THE FABRIC IS TOO OPEN AND LUMPY.
So now I get to start over with 9 mm and 8 mm and . . . just by the way . . . with finding a new pattern. There probably is a way to adapt a bigger gauge pattern to a smaller gauge—isn’t there?—but in the first place it would require MATHS and would be beyond me and in the second place . . . I’d run out of yarn. SIIIIIIIIIIGH.^^
^ I’m really good at starting projects.
^^ Furthermore I think I have to make a cardigan.+ I was just thinking this morning that my two woolly brown cardigans are the sand end of brown and I need a chestnut end of brown. This yarn happens to be chestnut.
+ Deep v neck. Less yarn. Three quarter sleeves! Less yarn! Cropped!
††† I have a cranky hellterror underfoot as I (try to) write this blog. She’s forgotten our epic hurtle early today and WANTS MORE ACTION. She couldn’t get back indoors fast enough however when I took her out for eliminatory functions and indoor action is limited.^
^ Especially since she’s still a little too interesting to hellhounds+ so I am forced to stimulate her brain by long down which tends to need fairly regular upkeep.++
+ Who still are not eating enough to keep one-third of a slow elderly hamster alive.
++ No, lie down. No. Lie down. No. Lie DOWN.#
# She actually is at the moment. Don’t anyone breathe loudly or make any sudden gestures.
The truth is I’m not doing very well. We had both the speech therapist and Tabitha yesterday—note the we—and the speech therapist tired me out almost as much as she did Peter.* I tottered after hellhounds and hellterror while Tabitha worked Peter over and admired the floods and the torn-up trees and the flattened fences in her neighbourhood** and then after she’d pummeled me it was one of those Wolfgang-knows-the-way journeys home again. Sigh. I didn’t make it to Fustian bell practise last night. I barely made it off the sofa at the mews to go back to the cottage. I didn’t make it to Forza bell practise tonight either.***
This is, I think, mostly the backlash from Peter’s stroke. He’s getting better so I can afford to fall apart.† Even people who don’t have ME may indulge in a spot of this behaviour under similar circumstances.†† Booooooring.†††
So maybe I’ll try that going-to-bed-early thing again.‡
Thank you all of you who have posted about book recs past. I was looking over the list and thinking oh, wow, I remember that, and I was going to do . . . and . . . and. . . . Maybe this will inspire me. And, speaking of personal inspiration:
I got Shadows for Christmas and finally had some time to read it this week. IT IS FABULOUS!!! I went to reread my favorite parts and sat there for another hour. Good work McKinley.
Thanks for the awesome story!
::Beams:: This is especially cheering on a day when the energy level is .05% of the live human average and there’s a monsoon out there that won’t go away. Thank you.
* * *
* It was the knitting. When you’re as stupid-fingered as I am knitting is hard.^
^ I missed the frelling chunky-yarn sale at one of my favourite on-line yarn stores from dithering and not noticing when the deadline was. Bah. I’m quite taken with the idea of knitting myself a large triangular navy-blue shawl/scarf in time for next New Year’s Eve when I may need it to Disguise My Logo—and the rest of the time it can wrap around my neck. I want something fairly big-gauge—yarn that will play nicely with 6.5 mm to 8 mm needles—so it will knit FAST+—and I also like the bounce you get with big fat yarn. But this does bring up the question of fibre. It has to be something I can bear next to my skin, which means either merino or not wool. But I like wool. I like the heft and the texture and the warm-when-wet. The two yarns I have my eye on—which both have a bright friendly dark blue and both are from reputable yarn makers—one is 100% merino and the other is half merino and half acrylic. Given that this scarf is likely to have a hard life do any of you people out there with EXPERIENCE have an opinion on what would survive better? I’m a natural-fibres snob so my immediate impulse is the 100% merino, but I’ve wondered sometimes if, in my extremely limited experience, merino is all that tough. Also, this is, you know, reasonably priced merino, so not top end, and I’m thinking about how cheap cotton is nasty and expensive cotton is often worth the added pop, even when it doesn’t call itself pima or anything snooty. But then frelling acrylic varies in quality too. . . . Maybe I’ll just take a black plastic garbage bag next New Year’s Eve.
But if I’m going to do this I need to get started.++ It’s only eleven and three-quarters months till New Year’s Eve. Now all I need is another chunky-yarn sale.+++
+ As fast goes, in my case. But I’m going to be knitting my big square scarf on 4 mm needles for several years yet.
++ YAAAAAY another unfinished project YAAAAAAY. One cardi, one jumper, two scarves, we’re not even going to mention the hellhound blanket(s)~ and do I have to count all the unseamed leg warmers? I’ve finished knitting them.
~ Or the two or three items I’ve flatly given up on
+++ . . . and my fate is sealed.
** Although hellhounds and I went out to Warm Upford today, mostly because the monsoon backed off for a few hours^ and I’m getting claustrophobia about town walks, and it’s relatively unwrecked out that way. Took the hellterror over the hill just outside this town however and we were scrambling over fallen trees and little landslips and sinking up to our knees in new mudholes.^^ The hellterror thought it was a fabulous adventure..^^^
^ Not many. It’s out there eating the scenery again now.
^^ These jeans were clean this morning.
^^^ And had to keep pogo-sticking off my body to encourage me to share her enthusiasm. Some of the mud on these jeans is recognisably pawprint shaped.
*** I will soon forget what Grandsire Triples or Stedman is.^
^ . . . Ah. Hmmm. This has possibilities. Bob major? Fie. Cambridge minor? Piffle. . . . I could grow to like this.
† Learning to get down to the mews in time to take him shopping in the morning is very good for my character. Or will be as soon as I learn it.
†† And the hellhounds not eating and not eating and going on not eating is not helping. There’s only so much force-feeding you can perform before you get utterly demoralised. Yes, I’m going to ring the (homeopathic) vet again. It’s just that they usually cycle out of these spasms and this one is just going on and on and on. But I’ve been reluctant to mess with the fact that what he gave them last time seems to have significantly improved the eliminatory aspect. Can’t I have dogs that both eat and crap solid? Is this too much to ask?^
^ The hellterror eats and craps solid (mostly). I know it can be done.
††† Even more boring: this frelling laptop may be dying. Raphael is trying to get here tomorrow to perform either resuscitation or last rites, but the monsoon ate his car.
‡ Sleep is probably too much to ask, however, like the eating-and-crapping-solid. But lying down is restful, right? And I have MARCO AND THE BLADE OF NIGHT on Astarte.