Noblin activity of the knitting variety.

Including Noblin Designs, How to identify Noblins,
Advice on how to catch a Noblin, and How to keep your Noblin happy.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic weekend

Wow to the opening ceremony! I watched it mostly open mouthed alternating between saying wow and amazing.

I went to my sister's to enjoy a pre-ceremony barbecue party, including union jack garden decorations and didn't go to bed until 2am.  There was a moment when we were all tired and it seemed that the torch would never be lit but when we heard it would only be another 15 minutes until team GB arrived we decided to stick it out.  I wasn't pleased with the incredibly boring speeches and Macca wasn't up to much but it was worth it for the torch bearers and the wonderful torch itself.

I didn't get up very early but I was glued to the tv in the morning, watching rowing, shooting, judo and so much more.  Then, I decided to see my younger sister to watch the women's football although not before visiting my aunty, to help walk the dogs and present Percy#3.

I needn't have worried about it. It went down very well. :)  I missed most of the tennis and football but there was still so much to watch, including beach volleyball which had a party atmosphere to it.  I then was glued to the basketball until gone midnight, whichw as so exciting, even if we didn't win.

On Sunday, I went back to my older sister's house for more knitting and olympics but we also went swimming ourselves.  I probably shouldn't spend the whole of the next two weeks on the sofa after all.  I missed the women's gymnastics but saw more volleyball and Rebecca Adlington win her medal. I have watched so much sport it feels like the olympics has been running for several weeks already. Today I had to go to work but kept an eye on the equestrian, tennis and diving and then caught up on gymnastics at home.  It was so tense I forgot to make any dinner so had to pause the swimming but gave up after that as none of team GB or Ryan Lochte won medals. 

I don't know how I'm going to keep this up, there's so much to see!

Labels: ,

Friday, July 27, 2012

A trap we all fall into

Like many knitters before me, I decided to knit on both sleeves of my cardigan from the same tiny ball of yarn. I was living in London when I first heard of this technique and I laughed in horrow in the face of the knitter who suggested it. Realising it wasn't a joke, I just looked horrified instead.

A seed must have been sown, as instead of splitting my remaining yarn into two little balls on this project, I merrily worked on both sleeves at once, slowly creating a big tangle.  At first, it was just a case of the yarn ball unravelling slightly but then progress halted last night.

So I spent a very happy afternoon watching Bert and Dickie, a tail of Olympic triumph, while unwinding the tangle.  I really wanted to finish this before the opening ceremony tonight, so I can allow myself to cast on something new during it. I don't think I really joined a team in the Ravelympics Ravellenic Games but I like the idea of knitting something new in two weeks.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Buy British

With the news that Britain is in a worse recession than the experts expected, I continue my one knitter quest to boost the economy.

Exhibit one: Big sporting event themed stitch markers from Fripperies and bibelots. Shhh, don't say olympic or we all might get arrested.

Exhibit Two: Vampire's Kiss stitch markers. 

 I felt a bit bad yesterday morning when I was waiting for the stitch markers to arrive.  I am using about 30 at the moment, of the 50 I bought before, so that brings the total to 70, and then I ordered a club set that will be sent out next week.  When they arrived though, I didn't feel bad anymore.  They are pretty and they live up to the claim of snag free and they make me happy.  I have decided not to buy anymore for a while though, as each time I see a set I like, I will end up buying four or five as I have very little self control.  I'd rather have one in every colour or not at all than just one.

Exhibit Three: Sirene, BFL and Wensleydale 600m per 100g, from The Natural Dye Studio

This is lovely, less orange than I expected but still a lovely peachy colour.  It does have a sheepy smell but it's not as strong as another hank I have, which as I type, I realise I haven't blogged. So that could be another exhibit but I'll leave it for now.

Exhibit Four: Spyder Silk, 420m per 100g
I bought this in case my aunt is too allergic to wool to wear her Percy#3, in which case I'll keep it and knit her something in purple silk.  Unless she also doesn't like pale purple, in which case I'll keep everything.

Exhibit Five: Sparkle Sock, 600m per 150g in Midnight Purple from Fyberspates

This is for a Rock Island for my mum and it's so beautiful I have already wound it and am itching to start.  I'm going to keep to my new rule of not starting a something until another is finished so either that will be Echo Flowers or Simplicity cardigan.  I'm alternating between the two as a whim takes me and making use of my stitch markers on both.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Shopping trip

Every so often, I take a lovely shopping trip on the internet. It's been a little too often lately, as I've been feeling low due to the weather. Some people say shopping's not the answer but then they obviously haven't been to Loop before:

I snapped up some Darn Pretty tips and cables. These have become the baguette handbag of knitting needles so when I saw Loop had some in stock, I really couldn't resist.

The 3.75mm tips are rose wood and the 4mm tips are Apple wood. 
I felt slightly amoral, but decided to embrace my dark side, as my sister ordered a pair last November and is still waiting for them.  Perhaps they'll arrive in time for Christmas this year.
I also wandered into the sale section at Loop and saw this Washi tape. I'm a sucker for most things Japanese so I bought a roll to try out on lace charts.

I tried it on the compliments slip and it worked well. The same piece lifted off easily, curled up quite a bit, but then stuck down again. 
This is by no means an exhaustive list of shopping.  More to come in the future. 

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Echo Flower Shawl

Sometimes when I wake up in the night, I'm not fully awake. Like last night, I remember closing the window so the talking bees couldn't come in.

I hurt my leg on Tuesday so have booked an appointment with the GP as there seems to be a recurring shin problem that is stopping me from dancing and running, and at the moment even walking hurts.  So more days on the sofa, gradually expanding and feeling lethargic.  I think I'll have to focus just on walking as exercise as soon as this injury starts to clear up, and put aside my desire to get back to running. sad face.

Pn the other hand, knitting makes me happy.  I've been staring at a computer screen a bit too much today, with work and extra work for my friend, but I've got the rest of the evening to stare at the tv while knitting instead. I started Echo Flower Shawl with my steeplechase yarn and it's a very relaxed knit.  The main pattern is only 8 rows long and only the right sides are pattern rows.  I've completed 3 repeats already, making great use of all the new stitch markers.  Okay, some of the new stitch markers but I've plenty more repeats to come so will be using many more.  It's just aswell as plans are afoot to buy even more, just because I can. I may also have been spending money at a certain boutique knitting shop in London but that will have to wait for another day.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

FO Holiday socks

Here is my second pair of socks from Berlin. They're impregnated with aloe and jojoba oil so after a few wears I should feel like I've had a fish pedicure. Or something. I've been put off some magic patterning sock yarns before as I don't like the fake fairisle so when I saw how this knits up into stripes, I found it hard to choose only one colour.  In fact, I wish I'd bought one in every colour.  Happily, the friends I visited in Berlin sent me some more for my birthday!
The wedding on Saturday was brilliant fun.  The groom was a friend from uni so it was something of a uni reunion (some people there I hadn't seen for oooh a year) and everyone was on great form.  It was the first Humanist wedding I'd been to and if they're all as good as this one, I thoroughly approve.  It made the couple and their family the focus of the day and there were still rings, speeches and a massive cake, so what's not to like.
After the speeches, the son of the couple asked us all to stand and sing twinkle twinkle little star. After a pause, we all did as we were told. Perhaps this should be adopted for all weddings in future.The venue and food were great, everyone looked beautiful and we danced for several hours, squeezing in time for bacon rolls before heading home. 

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 16, 2012

I just put the heating on...'s only been on for 10 minutes but now I'm feeling much more snug.  I put it on to encourage my washing to dry.  It's been raining all day and I'm beginning to develop trenchfoot to supplement my winter blues.  Happy July, everybody.

My hours at work have been cut slightly from this week (poor weather = poor sales) and I'm determined to make the most of it.  I walked to work, even though it was raining (although I hadn't realised it was raining as it was invisible sideways drizzle) but drove back after lunch.  I developed a raging bad mood due so wasn't disappointed to have to leave early.  What better remedy than boiling up milk for a restorative hot chocolate and settling down for Japanese homework.  If I can manage half an hour each day and half an hour of stupid boxing and dancing with the wii I'm sure I'll start feeling more cheerful.

Some pretty things that make me happy arrived last week from Fripperies & Bibelots.  My only complaint about the company is there are far too many wonderful colours to choose from.  Whittling it down to five sets (wimbledon, breakfast at tiffanys, dusky sunset, rock chick, scaly simple solid rings) was a feat of great restraint but now there's an olympic set and I'd like vampire's kiss and not to mention there's a limited edition club set being released on Sunday night.   Now that I have so many stitch markers, I really should put some to use but I made myself finish a project before starting a new one.  It was supposed to be the simplicity cardigan but evidently if a cardigan has already taken a year, it's not going to knit itself.  After a brilliant wedding on Saturday (more about that another post) I finished a sock yesterday. Hangover plus channel 5 films all afternoon makes perfect simple sock knitting time. So, this evening, having done all the smug things mentioned earlier, I wound my steeplechase green silk and am ready to embark on Echo Flower Shawl. Bon voyage.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, July 13, 2012

Something I knew but didn't understand

When my aunty saw my red Percy, I think for the first time I really impressed her. She said it looked like a cobweb and she'd have one in black with black beads. Whilst I've knitted for her before, I'm not sure she's asked me for anything before so I was very happy to oblige. Finding black yarn was a bit of a challenge but I plumped for 100g Grignasco Merino Silk 2ply from Violet Green. I haven't knitted much with lace weight but I knew it commanded serious respect from other knitters and I'm all about the glory. I knew it was finer than the sock yarn I'd used for the previous percys. So, perhaps some part of my brain knew the finished shawl would be much finer. And, I knew I'd used about 50g of yarn so it would be half the weight of my Percy. But then, knowing isn't the same as understanding.
I'm now concerned it's too nice. Too fine. Too unsubstantial. I'm worried my aunt won't dare wear it for fear of it floating away in the breeze or disintegrating between her fingers, because that's certainly how I feel when I hold it.  It is beautiful though.

I'll take it round and see what she thinks.  If she likes it then I hope she can wear it every day, and if she doesn't like it, I hope she says so as then I can make her another one, no I'm not bored of Percy yet, and keep this one for myself. And then I'll take up flamenco dancing.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Breakfast show thankyou

I woke up this morning to my radio playing Never Forget. I thought, crikey, did Gary Barlow die? Chris Moyles wouldn't play it without a good reason.  The next song wasn't a Take That anthem though, so I realised it wasn't a memorial marathon but the chatter afterwards definitely confirmed something was up.  The news at 8.30 reiterated what I had missed - Chris Moyles was leaving the breakfast show in September, we were being forwarned of the end of an era. Here's how I felt.
Finding out that over 8 years of waking up to the same voice was coming to an end was quite a shock and I guess people in the studio felt that way too as the team seemed rather stunned and subdued.  They kept playing songs, which is very odd behaviour. I know he's not everyone's cup of tea, but Chris Moyles has seen me though changing jobs, moving house, changing jobs and moving house again.  When I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning in a post divorce funk, he was struggling to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro.  And I thought to myself, well, getting out of bed is hardly a mountain, is it? He, along with his team and listeners, has raised millions for charity but I wonder if he realises how much influence his show has had on people personally.  Perhaps he will after all the tweets and messages have had their chance to reach him today.

I was surprised how upset I felt this morning, even though I tried to be sensible.  He wasn't dead, simply moving on, making a change, and with all the milestones we've passed together, perhaps a new morning show DJ would signal a new phase of my life, even if I am not target audience anymore.  Think of the under 30's, people! I tried to cheer myself up by shortlisting who would be acceptable to me as a replacement: Zane Lowe, Mista Jam, Dev and Grimmy were the ones I could come up with but didn't expect any of them to be chosen.  While hell for me is a GP's waiting room with Radio 2 playing, I would consider switching to Classic FM or 6 Music if pushed. Well, at 10.30, it was announced Grimmy is the successor.  I cheered up immensely and felt ever so slightly youth. Radio 2 can suck it.

In knitting news, I have finished Percy#3 and it is now blocking. I've become a laceweight convert.  You get so much bang for your buck, knitting is slower but the finished product is sooooo beautiful, and you gain mucho bragging rights when you show of hundreds of metres of patterned loveliness.
With that in mind, a little while ago, I signed up to a lace club. I'm not normally one for surprises, and had never committed to a club before, but I had a funny five minutes at work one day and signed up to two. The first instalement of the first club arrived a few days ago. I was not disappointed.

The Yarnyard Steeplechase Club Instalment 1: complete with lovely letter, stitchmarkers and a yarnbra.
The yarn is 1000m of silk, dyed in three layers of colour and it is beautiful. I don't know if I'm lucky or not as I bought a similar colour from Nimu in a silk blend also during the very extended funny five minutes of stash enhancement at work. I've never joined a surprise club before as I've been convinced I wouldn't like the colour, but in this case, I definitely do.

Stitchmarkers by fripperies and bibelots:
Great name for a company and great product. I've slaved through three Percys now using scraps of yarn as stitch markers and on the #3 little wisps of colour were graffiting the lacework. I used to have many pretty stitch markers but stopped using them when I found they snagged on the yarn. Ornamental, rather than useful and so, not fit for purpose. Well, now I've been introduced to these snag free markers and I am a born again addict. So, finding the yarnyard had no more stitch markers, I google fued and visited the etsy shop. Money spending followed...

Labels: , , , , , , ,