Monday, 31 December 2007

Fifteen Knitters on a Dead Man's Chest

Well hello there, and I hope you all had a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas. I have been fortunate enough to be on holiday now since the 21st December, so I have comfortably settled into a routine of waking up late, sitting around with a cup of coffee and browsing the web. I am so not looking forward to the hideous awakening at 6.00 am on 2nd January and the realisation that I actually have to get up NOW and go to work.

Enough of these horrors, dear reader. As you can see, I have been using some of my time productively. The Skully Knucks are finished, and very nice they look too, at least I think so.

Triumph of the season, here are the finished Father and Son socks.

I have knitted a second set of repeats on Catbert's Diamond Fantasy scarf. She said coldly as she departed here after Christmas, having seen the state of it "well, perhaps it can be finished for my NEXT birthday". Well, perhaps.

And I have not been able to resist the temptation to cast on for the Snowflake Socks which are the December pattern from Sockamania. What am I like! I am using some Cygnet wool rich 4 ply in Lilac as the main colour, and a ball of Opal Lollipop as the contrast colour. The contrast is quite subtle, but I think will look very nice when finished. I am going to do one snowflake band around the top and a snowflake on the heel flap, I think.

I have been playing with teaching myself continental knitting over the Christmas break. I have mastered the knit stitch well enough to use it for the colourwork on both the Knucks and the Snowflake sock, so I have been knitting them with one colour in each hand, which is quite efficient. I have been practising knitting the Continental way with just one colour, as well, and I have mixed feelings about it. I have been knitting the Other Way (lever action I think my style is called, so not actually throwing, but yarn in the right hand)since I was five, so this new way feels a little awkward, but I suppose practice makes perfect. My tension is not so even with the new way as with the old, and there are some things (like ribbing, for example) which I know how to do easily with the old way but can't really work out with the new. I'm not even sure the new way will be faster, but having started to learn it I am reluctant to give up without mastering it and knitting something significant with it. I think what I really need is a tutorial from an experienced continental knitter. Any volunteers out there?

Right, better stop procrastinating and get on, I've got loads of stuff to do this morning and I haven't even had my second cup of coffee yet.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Bonsoir from Paris

Tonight's post is brought to you from The Hotel Mercure, Massy Palaiseau, as I am in Paris for a business meeting tomorrow. It is now possible to connect to the internet in a hotel room through WiFi, which is very civilised. I had a moment of panic when I realised that I wanted to post photos of some of my WIPs, and I had not brought my camera. However, I do have a mobile phone. So these photos are taken on my mobile phone and then transferred to the PC and uploaded to the internet. Isn't technology amazing!
The light here is poor, although notice how I've cleverly improvised with some sheets of white A4, and the resolution perhaps not what readers of the Knitbert Principle have come to expect, but I think you can get the idea.

I should be knitting Catbert's Diamond Fantasy scarf, and indeed I have made progress! The colours have not come out at all well, but you can see it is bigger than before. Unfortunately, I seem to have got distracted by this fun item:

The glove pattern is Knucks, and I found the skull chart here. Well, I fancied trying some colourwork, what can I say? The yarn is assorted acrylic from my stash. They're cool though, don't you think?

I do have an Important Announcement to make - I have finished the Father and Son Socks!I do not yet have a photo, but I will add one when I get home. I started them in March, and they are my second and indeed I think we can safely say final pair in 2007. I did rather overestimate how many pairs of socks I could knit in a year. Not even a bronze medal from the Crafty Threads and Yarns Sock a Month *hangs head in shame*
Oh well, I think in the New Year I'll look through the Sockamania archives and try some of Anni's lovely patterns.

Monday, 10 December 2007

The Past Is A Foreign Country

A friend of mine from a long time ago invited me to see his facebook album today. He is someone who takes lots of photos, and when he was a student the wall of his room was covered with portraits of his friends. He has now scanned and uploaded over a hundred photographs of us all at University, including some of me. The photo at the top was taken after a formal dinner in the month of May, when I was 21. I wasn't sure it was of me at first, but there were some others taken at the same time which show what I am wearing, and I recognise the dress, which was white cotton with flowers painted on it. I remember it because I spilled red wine on it that very evening and I never wore it again.
I think I look quite calm and collected in that photo, as if I knew what was going on and where I was going with my life, but in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

There are also some other photographs of the college, this time taken in winter. I had forgotten that it snowed in winter in those days, but looking at these photographs I remember the biting cold, freezing feet trudging through the snow, wearing layers of thick sweaters to keep warm and toasting bread on the end of a fork around the gas fire.

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."
L. P. Hartley ['The Go-Between', 1953]

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Memory Lane - December

This year has been a year of journeys and discovery, both geographically and otherwise. And that's all I'm saying. So this month I have decided to show some slide shows of the places and people I visited this year. As there are so many to show, I will put a new one up each weekend until Christmas.