Monkey mates

Lizzie and I went out for tea just after Christmas and she brought her monkey friend to meet HP6.

They quickly became friends

and started to get into monkey mischief.

They even got interested in sock knitting.

But they really liked going to the bookshop to sit on the rocking horse.

Got some new models :)

… for preemie hats!

I can’t believe it is the end of January already! I still have a few to send off to Jeanne so must get on and do that soon. Hopefully, Jeanne now has over the target of 150 she set herself. It is a lovely project and I’ve had fun knitting these teeny hats for it.

Got to run now – I’m reading a book called Truth and Bright Water by Thomas King for my class tomorrow. Sadly, I have already forgotten quite a lot of what I’ve been reading so I’m going to have to read it again so I don’t sound like a twit 🙂 I’m doing a course on Boundary Busting and Border Crossing this year so it is quite different from the American Modernism course I did last term. Now I’m into the swing of things properly, I can see how much more work I need to do each week!

07 in Knits

  • 13 pairs of socks plus two single socks
  • 7 preemie hats
  • 2 baby bibs
  • 3 shawls – 2 Birch and 1 Kiri
  • 1 Eloise cardigan
  • 1 pair knee high socks
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 teddy bear
  • 1 Casablanca sweater
  • 1 hat
  • 1 baby blanket

Yes, I’m acutely aware we are almost a 1/12th of the way through 08 but I thought it’d be fun to review what I did in 07 and think about 08.

  • I think I knitted a total of 30 FOs in 2007! Not bad since we had a big house move in February and I didn’t knit for quite a while after that.
  • In August and September, there was a significant stash enhancement in New York, Minneapolis and Boston which signalled the official end of the stashalong.
  • I went to the First British Stitch n’ Bitch in November.
  • And I acquired a lovely new knitted friend – HP6!

This year I’d like to knit:

  • More socks – hmm, think I’ve already started on that track
  • Sweaters – I have some lovely soft purple yarn from the US for a sweater and a very nice pattern. I have been looking at the grey Kid Silk Aura but the lace pattern has temporarily defeated me until I have time to type it out and think it through
  • Shawls – I loved making them last year, they are definitely on the wish list this year
  • Mittens – I have seen Jeanne and Deb‘s super mittens. They look pretty hard so they would be quite a neat challenge 🙂
  • Some toys – I have got a great felted penguin kit and a super book of teddies.

Merlin’s dream for 2008 is playing with my black sheep tape measure.

Softy, sockly

I’ve been working on these socks during the week – I really like the purpley background of these. I like the name of the colourway Mirage Fog – it is another of the Kaffe Fassett yarns. I got the yarn on my trip to iKnit in December. I’m usually quite good about knocking out sock 2 straight after but I was distracted on Saturday.

I had an emergency dental appointment which involved me sitting in the hygienist’s chair for about an hour until she found the dentist because she thought I had cold sores on my gums and she wanted a second opinion before doing any work. The dentist put on some very amusing (and if I wasn’t so nervous) comedy-like glasses to look at the suspected cold sores. I was pretty sure they weren’t and was proved right. I have to go back in a couple of weeks and she will start work. I was told that my gums showed that I’m not very well – I can’t say I was all that surprised. I’ve got a couple of weeks of a stringent mouth care regime.

pao decided we ought to do something nice so we ate lunch and strolled round town and suddenly he said: “Can we look at the yarn, please?” This statement was so arresting, I stopped walking and looked surprised. So we went to C&H Fabrics and he kept freaking me out by saying “Isn’t it smooshy?” and “Shall I get this one?”. No, we haven’t turned him. Yet.

C&H sell mainly Rowan, Jaeger and lots of cheap acrylic for the granny market so I was pleased to see a small amount of Regia especially since they stopped selling St Ives last year. What really caught my eye was a big display of Regia Softy.

I went shopping with a couple of friends from work just before Christmas and one of them bought some lovely soft bedsocks. When I saw Softy, I knew what I wanted to make 🙂 Since we had to sit through an obscene amount of 24, I had plenty of time to knock this first one out and get quite a bit of ironing done.

I might have come home with a bit of Kidsilk Aura in a beautiful dark grey and a pattern book too… but I was just too tired to get started on the lacey pattern. I think I have a strange mental block when it comes to charted patterns so I found it hard to keep track of and just gave up. It’s weird because I used to do a lot of cross stitching and managed to work with patterns with no problem at all. Hopefully, it was just tiredness rather than mental deterioration…

Paws for thought

I just missed out on the Central Park Footie contest but I thought it would be fun to grab some of the kitties and take photos of their dainty paws anyway.

Ophelia has lovely white paws.

I love her tufty fluffy bits.

Her back paws are equally as tufty and pretty.

Perdita’s paws are the opposite – not at all tufty.

Perdita likes to cross her paws. We often find her lying in the hallway on her back with her paws crossed.

Ophelia must be taking lessons!

FO-8 Marathon

I loved these Fyberspates Blue Faced Leicester socks. The berry shades are a departure from my normal colour palate and they look great.

When I visited iKnit in early December, I picked up this supersoft Artesano Hummingbird Alpaca. I like the way these have turned out.

I had a bit of an alpaca addiction this winter. I fancied knitting something a little more difficult than plain so when I picked out this Berocco Ultra Alpaca Light, I knew that the Apple Harvest pattern was a perfect pattern for this.

I like the pattern on the back of the leg. It was a particularly nice knit because it was one of the yarns I picked up when I visited Depth of Field with Chris, Jeanne and Michael.

I even managed to pick up my Trekking 100 socks up and finished the second.

For the last couple of days work on my essay, my knitting efforts have been restricted to dishcloths. I bought a few balls of Sugar n’ Cream when we visited Windsor Button in Boston which was a great store recommended by Dave. I think I could easily have an addiction to this yarn! It is lovely to knit with and I’m now looking round for something similar here in the UK.

For the observant amongst you, yes, I forgot to photograph the bib and the preemie hats which were in yesterday’s photo. I am waiting for my models to come out of hiding.

Thank yous – Part 3

I am a very lucky mrspao indeed! I won one of Becky‘s prizes in her ‘A little something’ contest. She sent some gorgeous Lang Jawoll in lovely black and purple and some gorgeous lavender hand cream. Thank you, Becky!

There was a beautiful sunset over the green the other day – it was absolutely gorgeous!

I have been knitting happily since New Years. All are simple knits as I needed to be focused on that essay. More info about these tomorrow!

Thank yous – Part 2

Today’s thankyous go to Chris and Jeanne. pao was so excited when the box arrived, he made me stop everything I was doing so I could open it right away. Right on the top, nestled in some yarn for a felted penguin was a wonderful bag of Bugles and still whole. I can’t believe that those wonderful golden bugle shapes made it through our mail systems to arrive in tact. I am saving that wonderful pack of Bugle goodness for the weekend as a reward for finishing my essay.

Not only were there Bugles, there was a wonderful tin of Fireside Chai – really rather yummy, a brilliant mix CD, sheep tissues and a really useful card to keep track of my needles.

There were also wonderful books and very cute socks. Sue Grafton is definitely on my to-be-read list.

Even the monkee was thought of 🙂 He now has a tiny friend and there were some really cute monkey cards.

They also put together the most amazing felted penguin kit. I’ve been saving this as a treat to do after the humungous essay.

The kitties got treats too – not that you could see them as they were really keen to get stuck into their gifts.


Here is a better, erm, clearer picture. pao loved the penguins. The kitty’s got sent some cute balls and some kitty caviar which the cats are going nuts over!

Thank you so much for such a generous and thoughtful package!

Thank yous – Part 1

I’m finished!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much to everyone who sent comments and good wishes. You are all so lovely and supportive and it was wonderful to read them all.

5,797 words written and submitted for scrutiny. Not the best essay I’ve ever written and believe me at 2am this morning it didn’t make a whole lot of sense either but it’s over and I can do nothing more about it.

I did learn some rather valuable lessons over the last few weeks:
1. Compile the bibliography as I’m going along. I was like a dribbling idiot late last night trying to put that together and remember what I’d used.
2. When I’ve got a deadline, do not answer the phone.
3. Take notes on my laptop so I can cut and paste useful quotes – it’ll save me time in the long run.

So now to my first thank you which goes to Sarah who sent us some amazing looking packages which pao insisted that we wait until Christmas Day to open. They were most certainly worth the wait!

Sarah is indeed a miracle present buyer. She sent us some amazing teas, tea bag rests and a Harry Potter Uno. We are so happy! We have really wanted to find a new Harry Potter Uno set since we seemed to have lost ours so we were completely delighted with our new one!

Sarah is definitely a mind reader because she guessed that I really really wanted to try the new Raven colourways that Socks the Rock have started selling.

This is the Haida colourway – it is gorgeous!!!

Thank you so much, Sarah! You definitely must be a mind reader!

Going AWOL

Thank you everyone who has been in touch in the last few days. I passworded my last post because I did not want to be publically critical. I have been letting people have the password if they’ve emailed me.

The last week has been very hard. I’ve cried for most of 5-6 days and felt like I’ve been stabbed in the back. I have been emotionally incapable of writing and now I’m faced with my deadline in a few days and I feel incredibly worried all over again. Unfortunately, the health issues don’t seem to be improving but I am more than determined to get my essay done by the revised deadline. I have alternated between having trouble sleeping and being extremely tired so when I was sleepless on early Monday morning, I got up rather than lying in bed feeling anxious and wrote the first 1300 words of my essay.

A very wise man who sadly does not attend our church any more said some important things to me on Sunday about forgiveness and relationships and I’m very thankful he said them because even though they were hard to hear; they made me feel a whole lot better about the situation. It is hard to try and put it behind me but that is what I plan to do because it is impossible to move forward if you’re constantly looking back. I can’t reclaim those five or six days that I couldn’t stop crying but I do know I’ve got to get on and focus on what is really important to me now. I have felt like someone has died and it being the anniversary of my mother’s birthday perhaps it hit me harder than it normally would.

I do have a lot of happy things to report – it’s not all doom and gloom chez mrspao but they are going to have to wait until next week because I’m going AWOL and I’m not doing anything but working on my essay when I’m at home until next Monday. See you then?