Monday, 29 October 2007

Jitterbugging progress

The jitterbug yarn is knitting up beautifully. The colour distribution is nicely spread out and the feel of the knitted fabric is much softer than I expected (I had originally thought that it was a tiny bit scratchy when it was in the skein).
The next question? How far up the legs will the single skein stretch? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

choosing school shoes

I remember my mum and I shopping for school shoes before I started year 7. The choice came down to 2 styles, the Clarks T-Bar "sandal" (still a classic now) or the "pastie" (can't remember the brand on that one - they had an upturned seam running the centre length of the shoe which made them resemble a Cornish pastie). The saleswoman told us that most girls went for the t-bar shoes. But I decided that the pastie was more comfortable - even at 11, I favoured practicality over fashion.

I don't suppose that anyone really paid that much attention to my shoes (remember that remark in The Shawshank Redemption? - I always thought that a bit strange, because I do notice people's shoes. Perhaps men don't...), but throughout that first year of secondary school I felt painfully aware that even my shoes didn't fit in with everyone else's. In later years I went through a couple of pairs of t-bars in an attempt to feel like more of the crowd. But by year 12, I celebrated being different by wearing these funky black canvas shoes that I'd got in France in preceding summer holidays. Vive la difference....

And my point is? T-bars might have been the height of fashion for school-wear, but you don't see many grown-ups wearing them. They are, however, a damn fine shoe for showing off hand-knitted socks. So here are my new Footprints T-bar shoes teamed with a newly finished pair of socks.

socks and footprints

Vital Stats:
Pattern - Elongated Corded Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks.
Yarn - SWTC TOFUtsies
Needles - 2mm addi circs - magic looped (one sock at a time)
Started - Sep 2007
Finished - Oct 2007

Elongated corded rib socks

Sunday, 21 October 2007

following through


follow through, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

For a few years now, my girlfriends and I have been saying that we'd like to learn to play golf. But we never did anything about it. This year, C and I have pulled our fingers out and we've just completed a beginner clinic series.
This morning we had a hit out over 9 holes and I got to christen my new set of clubs. We're a bit slow at the moment. It took us the best part of 2.5 hours to finish just 9 holes. I think it will take us a while to build up to a full 18 - especially as the weather gets warmer. It's about 30 deg out there today and playing in anything much warmer than that could be quite distressing. Still, with a good hat and plenty of water, it's a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Jay Jitterbug Toe Ups


Jay Jitterbug Toe Ups 01, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

To break up the monotony of the cream baby shawl, I decided that I needed a bit of colour. I think these will fit the bill.
(Colinette Jitterbug, Jay colourway, Two at once, magic loop (2.5mm addis), Wendy Knits basic toe-up sock recipe, no frills)

Friday, 12 October 2007

exploitation, choice, artistic expression

Unlike many bloggers, I rarely enjoy the writing process. I struggle to translate my inner monologue into intelligible prose that meets my satisfaction. But now seems an appropriate time for me to make an effort to try and put some of my thoughts about current goings on in the blogosphere. I don't feel that I'm necessarily doing my thoughts justice as I get frustrated that I can't follow every thought through to some sort of logical conclusion, but this will have to do.

Three things today - they are related.

1. Until recently I'd never really given any thought to the political correctness or incorrectness of the new vogue of "pr0ns" such as Gastro-pr0n and, in the crafting world, "yarn-pr0n" and the newly-coined(?) "pinnie-pr0n". I thought that they seemed to be neat terms for what is perhaps a relatively new phenomena, or at least a relatively recently observed phenomena, of people gaining pleasure and enjoyment just from viewing beautiful pictures of food or yarn.

I'm not that fussed by pr0n - or so I thought. [I realise that some people view it as an exploitative industry, but I guess I make a distinction between the concept (whatever floats your boat) and the practitioners (consenting adults versus legal or illegal exploitation).] But a week or so ago, a Flickr member added me as a contact. When I looked at her profile (as you do when contacts are made) I discovered that she was a sock fetishist (in a sexual way) and was a member of various "adult only" sounding groups. Flickr warned me that her photos were beyond my comfort zone and so I didn't go any further. I toyed with the idea of blocking her so that she couldn't make any comments on my photos, but didn't. I can't stop her looking unless I make my photos private and I deliberately keep my photos relatively anonymous so that I'm happy for them to be out for all to see. I guess I just couldn't work out whether to be grossed out or just perplexed that anyone would be turned on by my pictures of hand-knitted socks. In the end I guess that it's not doing me any harm. If she starts leaving comments that I don't like then I will reconsider.

2. Jane from Yarnstorm is on the publicity trail for her book The Gentle Art of Domesticity. Pop over to her blog to catch up on the goss. She has received some negative reactions from women in the "mainstream" press.
"Women are back in the kitchen doing "women's stuff". How dare they put that pressure on the rest of us? How dare they create illusions of unattainable ideals? Oh the irony of the post-feminist generation taking up all these things that their mothers fought to be free of! "
Women judging women. Women criticizing women. Is this another feminist backlash? I don't think the men give a shit if we're icing cupcakes and knitting dishcloths or not. They'd enjoy the fruits of this craft when it is there, but they are highly unlikely to criticize their partner for not crocheting enough doilies for the house. So women are either doing this because they want to, or because they feel obligated by some "imposed ideal" or expectation put on them by other women. I'd like to think that we are liberated enough that it is the former, but perhaps the critics of Jane's book argue that nobody could possibly want to do these things unless it was under some "misguided" obligation. I guess they're just not interested in baking and knitting and it makes better radio or press-copy to play devil's advocate. The storm in a teacup of controversy will do no harm to Jane's sales as people who are not interested in the "gentle arts" were never going to buy the book in the first instance. I plan to buy a copy.

3. Jane is not the only blogger with a book deal that has arisen out of her online presence. I've noticed the odd instance of comments on other blogs such as "oh... not another blogger publishing a book". I say "good on them". They wouldn't get the deal if the publisher didn't think it was a financially worthwhile exercise. And I have a great of admiration for those with the application and the skill with words to write a whole book. I don't think it is an easy thing to do well.

That's my ramble done for now.

Monday, 8 October 2007

50

That's how many patterns are now queued up on my Ravelry account. One of my favourite activities (when Raveling) is re-arranging my queue order. I guess I'm not really under any illusions that I will ever knit all of these patterns. If I was, then I'd probably be in a mad panic by now and would be swearing an oath to not add any more patterns until something is removed or cast-on.

What's at the top of the queue right now? A plain vanilla pair of toe-up socks using Colinette Jitterbug. I have two skeins of this stuff, but I've read quite a few posts from people who've found the yardage a bit on the scant side. So I'm going to try out a two-at-once toe-up pair to see how far the yarn will go on my feet before I make a cuff-down pair from the second skein.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Knitting and Moo

Quite a lot on knitting going on, but it's not very interesting to photograph yet. Cue photo of seemingly endless garter stitch.
baby a shawl start


I've successfully knit one sock using magic loop for the first time.
elongated corded rib sock

Once its mate is completed then the next challenge will be two at once on magic loop. Baby steps. Baby steps.

I signed up for a pro Flickr account a few weeks ago and they are currently including a sample pack of 10 Moo cards with membership. I got mine in the mail on Friday.
moo cards

I like them, but I'm not sure that I really have a use for them. They're beautifully presented and they have a certain appeal for those stationery fetishists amongst us. I guess I can take them out from time to time and admire them.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Drunken Bees finished


Drunken Bees pair, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

I finally finished the Drunken Bees. I had an unexpected invitation to a 21st party over the weekend, so these ended up being a gift. I think they will fit... (I hope).
The second sock seemed to go quicker than the first. Perhaps this was because I knew exactly how many rows were left at any one point on the second one.