Friday, November 16, 2007

Bag stuff

Well I finished knitting the bag (did I mention the bag? I can't remember) and I'm disappointed in how little it has felted (though not particularly surprised!). However there is an up side to it in that the straps stretched out all skinny and were neither use nor ornament and I was able to frog them.

I've washed the yarn and hung it up to dry and I'm going to re knit it into straps held together with the Adriafil Graphic from stash that I used round the top. I'm very pleased with the colour match between the two. The Graphic has more wool and has felted better so should make the straps more sturdy. I'll keep you posted.

The second bit of excitement is that I've had a very nice chap round this morning looking at my hedge (see picture). This picture is taken from my back bedroom window where the computer lives and as you can see, it's a bit out of hand.

Every year I get a snotty letter from the council telling me off because it's encroaching on the pavement, but I'm more concerned about the height of it. Anyhoo this chap is going to cut and lay it for me which is a technique used on agricultural hedges in order to make them stockproof. It involves partially cutting through the main trunk of the plant and bending it down so it's laying at an angle which encourages new shoots to form from low down making the hedge bushier at the bottom.

There's rather more to it than that, but that's basically how it works. Anyone interested can get more info here.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Woooooo Hoooooo!! Holiday time!

Well, off work anyhoo. I'm not doing anything as dramatic as going away (haven't planned it anyway). In fact I've only just got back from Ro's for the weekend.

I decided to take the scenic route home. We went into Fosse Park yesterday and I bought two knitting magazines; "Simply Knitting" and "Knitting". I had to buy them both because I couldn't decide which one to get!! It does irritate me a bit that they have them done up in plastic bags so that you can't see what you're getting for your money until you've shelled out!

Anyway I wasn't expecting too much; buying UK knitting magazines is SUCH a triumph of optimism over experience, but there were a couple of things that I may knit so I wasn't too disappointed. I think the thing that bothers me most about them isn't necessarily the patterns which DO seem to have improved a bit, but the desperately condescending way that they're written.

"Interweave Knits" is a grown up magazine for grown up people who are interested in knitting. If they have an article about a knitting related topic it's properly researched and written, but the articles in both the above magazines seem to be simply there as padding. They don't appear to want to challenge the reader in any way, as if what they're writing about it beyond our fluffy little brains. As an example, an article on podcasts included the line "Don't be put off by the odd name, or the fact that you may have to get your computer to do something new for you." Heavens to Betsy, we aren't bloody five year olds. I know that not everyone is familiar with technology but it would be good if they could assume a certain level of intelligence in their readership.

Anyway I'm rambling somewhat. The point is that I was looking at the adverts in the back and decided to take the scenic route back up to Huddersfield and take in a new yarn shop (purely in the interests of research you understand). So I set off for New Ollerton near Sherwood Forest. (No I'd never heard of it either).

On the way I saw a number of signs to Melton Mowbray and recalling that there was a fairly new yarn store (as well as a famous pork pie shop!) there I decided to take a detour. I made this decision AFTER passing the turning to Melton Mowbray, so I just took the next turning instead. Ten minutes later I was in a village with no idea where I was. But that's okay, gotta map book and with a map book you're never lost (honest Dee, it's true!) you may not know where you are, but you're not lost.

The shop in Melton is called Purl (2, Bowley Court, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE13 1XY
Tel: 01664 566347. no web site
) and it seems a nice shop. Good selection of yarns there, some more unusual ones including the Araucania range, as well as the more obvious Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Sirdar etc. and the people seemed friendly though both were busy when I went in. I managed to resist the temptation to buy anything and continued on my way. Have to admit that I took in the famous pork pie shop too.

I was surprised to meet a colleague driving a SUMA truck coming the other way whilst zooming up the A46, though I suspect not half as surprised as she was to see me. We waved! I got to New Ollerton and found Heath's Country Store without too much trouble. My gosh, what a surprise. In addition to yarn they have a quilting section in the shop, but it doesn't matter because despite not looking large from the front it goes back miles so there's plenty of room for both. They had some absolutely gorgeous yarns as well as loads of LOVELY felted bags and examples of the various yarns knitted up into garments. They had the most amazing selection of buttons for sale and I seriously want to move to New Ollerton despite the fact that apart from this shop it looks like a complete hole in the ground (sorry if anyone who loves the place is reading this).

This shop is well worth a visit! Even if you have to go out of your way to do so (and believe me you will have to). I managed to escape quite lightly only buying three balls of Sirdar Peru; a wool/ acrylic/ alpaca blend which I'm told will felt nicely. My only criticism is that they sell smelly stuff too, like incense etc. which I'm not keen on and the place pongs a bit, but I realise most people look on this as a good thing rather than a bad.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Heart sachet. I actually finished the knitting last weekend but didn't stuff it and sew it up until last night. I'm not mad keen on the colour! Technical details can be found here (possibly). Please can someone let me know if the link doesn't work .

Luckily we sell dried lavender as mine in the garden is way past it and would be no use to anyone. Unfortunately we sell it in 500g bags so I have quite a bit left.

Anyone want to score some lavender?

I may be making lavender bags for some time yet!

I have all of next week off work (hurrah!!), but haven't decided what to do with the time yet. depends a lot on the weather. If it rains it may be inside (even in bed) stuff all week. If it's fine I may venture out. We shall see.

Last week end I made my christmas cake, dosed it liberally with brandy and put it into hibernation for a month or two. I love christmas cake.

(Crumbs I just remembered I bought some little onions last weekend too for pickling, best get on with that too!)

I'm sure that I'll find plenty to get on with.

ps I've just been reminded from reading Tutleymutley's blog that I was astounded to realise as a result of a discussion on Ravelry about copyright that a book I bought for £1.99 at the Oxfam shop is selling for £60.00 second hand on Amazon. Amazing!