Tuesday, 15 December 2009

off air for a while

My computer will be shut down sometime today as we prepare to move  Settlement should take place tomorrow and son wants to move all the computers and network tomorrow evening.

Net access is supposedly enabled already at new house, but we'll see...  However, after son's office and  the kitchen are set up, the rest should follow so it should be only a few days before I'm back.  My sock shown below is progressing rather well and I'm pleased with it.

I'll wish all a happy Christmas, just in case there are problems.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

shantaram socks, baby knits

Thank you for your kind and encouraging comments.  It seems as if all will now go ahead, although Thursday and Friday were very tense days.  My son spent most of both those days desperately trying to find an immediate source of a large amount of money.  I mean large.  Not easy at almost the end of a quarter an particularly at Christmas.  Lots of money available, even from the bank in mid-January, but we did not have that time.  He still looks very drained and tired, he has a very high powered job which has been full on for a couple of months now.  He often has 7:00 am meetings and may not be home till well into the evening.  Moving will mean he is much closer to work and he'll be on a direct train line.

Then, late Friday afternoon, offers of help came flooding in from some very unexpected sources indeed and it appears all is now well, although in a month that particular bank will lose his business.  I spoke to friends at the weekend whose daughter runs a conveyancing business.  She said this sort of thing happens frequently.  If we were caught by a month's backlog causing problems, then there must be other people in the same boat as we were in.  Just disgusting.  No communication and a downgrading of the amount both approved and promised.

This is my third order from the Book depository.  The middle book was not knitting related.  It has some lovely old patterns in it, a little pixie hat with ties, some beautiful booties and more.  I thought it might be handy for special little gifts.  I already have Exquisite Knits for Cherished Babies, so should be well  set up now.

I haven't done a  sock for a long while.  I started this because I wanted something small I could easily pack in my bag, something small which I could do a pattern repeat in quickly.  The pattern here is an eight row repeat.

I'd tried a few designs lately but really hadn't been motivated.  However, I'm really enjoying this sock,  from Ailsa's wool to her design.  I've now done four of the eight pattern repeats suggested for the leg.  There's another tiny cable, twist really, to the right of the main pattern which is centred over the instep.  I'm stretching the fabric out a bit over my fingers.  The wool knits up easily and makes a very even fabric.  Both the stocking stitch at the bottom of the photo and the purl inset are very even indeed.  The colours go well together.  I have nothing like this so these socks may well be just for me, although I already have a lot.  I think I counted about forty pairs when I packed them, but as that was a few weeks ago, I've forgotten the exact number.

Finally, just because I can and because there will be only a few days left here for shots like this...  I have a few photos like this, some in almost direct sun and some with the sun shining through the clouds.  The first time I took anything like this, a friend told me that this was called the "fingers of God."  I'd never heard the expression then but have heard it several times since.  I think the sun was coming through clouds about 50 km away.  I've used the zoom here.  The formation was much wider than this, but this was the prominent part.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

lacy kerchief and indian summer

I finally blocked the lacy kerchief scarf.  It's huge, at least three metres long.  I left out at least thirty rows of the pattern in the middle.  Can't really remember just how much I omitted.I had to block it on my blanket as I have packed everything else I could use and DIL has packed linen cupboard contents.  I love the colour of this Bendigo 5 ply,it suits the pattern.

Each of those little points in the lace uses 4 rows.  Lots and lots of points and pins too to block them.  I have had no reply to either of my emails to IK regarding the dreadful layout of this pattern which is being sold at a comparable price to many other well laid out patterns.  They've lost me and I've I've also unsubbed from their daily email and tips.  No more magazines either from me.

Christmas came early for me today. DIL arrived home with two of the three books I'd ordered from the Book Depository at 10% off their already low prices.  This is one of them, the third is a book of vintage baby knits which is still at PO.  I'm looking forward to some sewing once we move, if ever we do move.

Actually, we have to move by next Friday, 17/12 at the latest.  All packing except pantry has been done.  However, the bank has royally messed son and DIL around and moving to where we hope to go may never happen.  Not "which" bank, not the one which sells bananas instead of mortgages, but the proud icon of the old British saint.  They did not let son know they were over a month behind in drawing up papers for mortgages.  Nor did they tell him they were undervaluing all properties, so he would not get the amount both promised and approved but 20% less.  That leaves shortfall available  of a six figure number.  Not a lot as money goes these days, but son has been frantically trying to find someone who could lend him this amount till mid-January.  Many would help but can't access their money till the new year.  Time is running out. Stress  has caused psoriasis to flare on my scalp and my feet have been attacked by arthritis and are badly swollen particularly under instep.  Both are autoimmune disorders and both react badly to stress in me.

I also took photos of the first instalment of the yarn from Ailsa's yarn club.  I find photos, cooking and sewing are related in a strange way.  If I have a headache, am annoyed or generally out of sorts, any one of those things does not go well.  Bells has a great photo of her box.  Lovely yarn, an interesting sock pattern for it, some Ghiradelli chocolate, some tea, a lip balm and a packet of sock needles, just the length I enjoy using, were all beautifully boxed.  I'm looking forward to the next package.

It's been while since I posted.  The black dog has been snapping around my heels.  This financial mess hasn't helped.  I've bought and wrapped all presents but  was remembering the thorough job mum did of buying presents.  She had the knack of finding something unusual.  First Christmas without her. The anniversary of the end of forty years was two days ago and #2 son was given notice last week.  All good cause for black dogs but I'm determined not to give him a home.  A brisk daily walk helps but my feet are too sore to do more than hobble.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

lacy kerchief continued

An early morning picture of the lacy kerchief scarf half done.  The colour is  a bit dark here but everyone who's seen it has admired the colour.

Actually, it's half done according to me, but the pattern suggests it needs another seven repeats to half way.  As can be seen, it's quite long now and will be longer blocked.  The pattern suggests worsted weight done on 4 mm needles.  Now I've seen a variety of weights of wool in USA patterns, all labelled worsted, but everyone of them has been quite a deal heavier than this 5 ply Bendigo wool which was in my stash.  I would not normally use their Classic wool on this sort of pattern preferring something not a crepe construction, but it was there and I wanted to start.  It has some drape to the feel but I think worsted done on 4 mm needles would be very heavy and stiff.  I'd probably use 5 mm for worsted.

I'm quite enjoying the pattern but would make some modifications next time.  As I said, I've already decided this is halfway so I'm on the decrease side of things now.  The increases in the main garter stitch part of the material are done by a yarnover.  To me, this breaks the smooth garter stitch which I love.  Another  scarf will be done with a knit front and back for those increases..  The increases are done every six rows but the pattern repeat is eight rows.  No big problem but inconvenient to remember without making a note each time.

It's a bit hard to see the lacy edge but it's quite attractive and will look even better when blocked.

Interweave Knits?  As I explained in the post below, the pattern is appallingly presented, especially when patterns currently available are so attractively laid out for the most part.  Space and clarity play a part in making the pattern look good.

It's now eleven days since I emailed IK about this presentation.  Result?  Zilch.  Silence.  Not a word.  Linda from the USA left a comment about this on the previous post.  Her experience was the same and she tried a second time asking for a response.  Nothing.  No response at all.  I'm fairly certain this will be my experience too.  How incredibly rude to have not even an automated response sent to an enquiry.  There has been some discussion lately on several knitting lists abut magazines and the often poor service given by companies.  I think that with the ease of buying patterns etc from the internet, the one thing that will bring repeat orders is good service.  I've found that when I buy yarn online, the service from every vendor has been very good.  I'm happy to give repeat business to the vendor.

However it appears that many of the magazines think the consumer is there for them.  Now obviously, this is partly true.  However poor service will lead consumers elsewhere.  Some magazines seem to pay lip service to using the net.  Some have quite elaborate sites and facilities.  However, IK has lost me as a customer both of the printed magazine and of anything sold online with their attitude.

Today is the day I pack my knitting stuff aside.  I'll keep out this scarf and another which I have started in laceweight as an experiment.  My own design, it will not be finished quickly.  I have one more lot of wool coming to son's PO box before we move.  It's the first instalment of three lots from Ailsa.  I'll slip that in somewhere.