Saturday, October 27, 2007

High Noon at The NicKnits Corral

OK, so you know the way that personal computers have improved our working and personal lives in zillions of ways? Equally of course they've found just as many new and improved ways of driving us crazy.

A case in point: My laptop is fairly new. Well, new in comparison to the solar system. It's a year old, so in technical years it's about 100. Anyway, it was zinging along for a while there with few problems.

Recently however it has become as slow as a) molasses b) the traffic on the M50 or c) a really really really slow thing that goes very slowly. (Just insert your preference). For one thing, it seems to have memory issues - perhaps there was a traumatic event in the factory, or it didn't get enough love from it's motherboard.

Editor: Ah Jaysus Nic, enough with the metaphors. Get on with it.

It turns out however, that there are not one but two internet security systems installed. (Don't ask, it has to do with overzealousness on the part of another.) Like wearing in cold weather.

This means that whenever I ask the system to do something, especially internet related, like open a browser window, each security system starts to monitor the activities of the other.

It's akin to 2 gunslingers facing each other at each end of a deserted and dusty street.

Gunslinger 1: 'I'll draw!'

Gunslinger 2: 'No, I'll draw!'

Gunslinger 1: 'No, I'll draw!'

Gunslinger 2: 'No, I'll draw!'

Gunslinger 1: 'No, I'll draw!'

Gunslinger 2: 'No, I'll draw!'

NicKnits, from an upper story window of the local saloon: 'Bang!'

So I shot one of 'em. Not sayin' which one.

Gunslinger RIP.

In Knitting News, I have finally begun the long knit journey into night process of the Jolly Green Giant, a hu-normously large aran jumper for me Dear Aul' Dad. Pictures and details at another time.

Enough to say for now that it's a) large and b) green.

Right now I'm packing feverishly for the NicKnits Family who are off to Spain for a week. Praise God for Half Term.

Now...the eternal question. Never mind the knickers, what knitting will I bring?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Foolish Princess

Once upon a time there was a Foolish Princess.

The Foolish Princess started out as a Happy Knitting Princess (HKP).

The HKP didn't intend to be foolish, it just kinda happened along the way. The HKP is sorry now and she won't be foolish anymore - at least, not this kind of foolish. (She reserves the right to be foolish in many other ways that she hasn't thought of yet.)

Our story begins long long ago, when the HKP fell in with a Handsome Prince, but like many other HKPs before her, she fell in love with a Handsome Yarn and a Charming Pattern.

Such a very Beautiful Project (BP), thought the HKP, I shall be the Happiest Knitting Princess in the land!


When the HKP went home and cast on for the BP, she was a very HKP indeed. The Handsome Yarn knitted swiftly and the stitch pattern was interesting and delightful. The HKP took her progress knitting to show it (off) to the Fairy Godmothers (aka, the ladies of TIK).

The Fairy Godmothers ooh-ed and aah-ed over the BP and suggested that the HKP might like to take home THE LAST BALL of yarn for the BP as a precaution against running out. (Here comes the foolish part.) The HKP foolishly said, 'No thanks, it'll be fine' and foolishly skipped off home.

The HKP (now the Foolish Princess) said this even though she ALREADY PLANNED to make the BP slightly longer than specified. In her defense, if she had known that HKP Mary L had finished the very same BP with only THREE FEET of yarn to spare, she would have answered differently.

[On a serious note however, the cardigan was only lengthened by 4 rows (front and back of course) which doesn't justify running out of yarn to such a degree. AND the HKP left out most of the bobbles on the cardigan fronts - because she just doesn't like bobbles - so that should have saved some yarn. Definitely a pattern warning.]

The FP kept on knitting and knitting but instead of becoming happier, she became sadder and sadder as it became more and more obvious that she would run out of yarn entirely before the end of the 2nd sleeve, with the button band and the collar still to go.

Too late, the FP ran back to the Fairy Godmothers. 'Please, please may I have the last ball of yarn for the BP', she said eagerly. But the Fairy Godmothers couldn't help her. The last ball of yarn was long gone. Sadly they sent her a new ball in a different dyelot in the hopes that it would suit, but in vain. The dyelot was significantly different and just would not do.

The FP searched far and wide and finally found a 1/2 ball of the Handsome Yarn hiding in a stash sale in the Castle of the HKP Knitting Neels. HKP Knitting Neels gladly sent the yarn to the Castle of the FP, but again it was in vain.

In desperation, the FP sent out messages to HKPs throughout the land to see if anyone had some of the Handsome Yarn hiding somewhere.

'Desperately Seeking Debbis Bliss Cashmerino DK, Colour 18004 (Red), Dyelot 54', the message said.

The Foolish Princess sadly put the Beautiful Project away and waited. While she waited, she wondered if casting on for Sofia would ease her pain. 'I'd better shorten the sleeves if I lengthen it', she thought.

The Foolish Princess had finally learned her lesson!

Sofia, from the magic needles of Fairy Godmother Jacqui!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happiness is...

A new knitting book! My thanks to Jellyknits for enabling this particular choice. Once I got my mitts on her copy I was powerless to resist!

I ordered it from my local bookshop, Bridge Street Books in Wicklow Town. (Tel/Fax +353 (0) 404 62240) and they got it for me in double quick time. Thanks Hilary, Joanne and Sandy!

They know that I can't wait to get a new book once it's ordered. They're so good too, they let me babble about each book when I pick it up and I make them look at all the patterns! That takes patience for non-knitters as we know.
I guess they think I'm safer off the streets for a while so they're doing a social service for the community.

Anyway, back to the book. I haven't had time to read it in detail (I'm looking forward to an uninterrupted moment - probably sometime next March!) but it looks as if it doesn't assume that you're a lace whizz and it holds your hand while you try out the lace patterns.

To be honest, some of the pieces are unfeasibly large, would take YEARS to complete and are probably quite unwearable. Tablecloth? Bedjacket anyone?

On the other hand, it's definitely all about the lace and it's really really beautiful.

It's also sumptuously produced, with fantastic photos, historical locations, and best of all, lots of knitting and social history, which I love.

Just holding this book is a pleasure. Boy, have I got it bad!

I'm not predicting when I'll actually have time to tackle any of these projects, but it does bring me joy knowing that they might be in my future.

I'll settle for that.

Edited to add: Here's the scarf from Grumperina which began my journey to this book last year, until last weekend when Jellyknits sent me over the edge - and it's the most likely project I'll someday take on. Fabulolus.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Digitally challenged

Well, here I am again and still no knitting pics. Is this a soooper knitting blog or what?

Don't answer that.

Yadda yadda yadda there are lots of excuses reasons for this, but the long and the short of it is that somebody else has the cables for the digital camera, and the drivers that make it work, so that person gets to download and store the pictures. Hence, the camera is full of non-knitting pictures. This situation will be recitified as soon as I can get around to it.

However, just so's I ain't got nuthin', here's the Debbie Bliss Ribbed Cardigan that I am almost finished.

Lovely, innit? A thing of beauty. The kind of thing that makes one rush out and cast on forthwith. I was instantly inspired by the cardigan Mary L (currently blogless) had with her at TIK the day that Ms Bliss came to tempt us to spend the children's allowance on yarn say hello.

And if you think that's nice, you should see the picture inside the book of the back shaping. And no smart remarks about how it'll be better to see me leaving than arriving.

Progress pictures presently.


Thanks folks!

Many thanks for all the nice comments and emails about the Yarn Forward cover. I'm dead chuffed and I appreciate such a positive response from ya'll.

I should have a copy of the mag in a week or so. Let's hope there are no errors in the pattern - yikes!


Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I went looking for the new Magknits this morning to see Lien's new pattern. (Congratulations Lien it's gorgeous!) It's a really great Magknits issue, check it out.

However, that's not the OHMIGOSH moment, oh no.

On the way to Magknits I found this!

Those are MY Ms Potter Mittens on the cover.

I'm not going to pretend to be all cool about it. How proud am I? Wow.

Thanks Kerrie and Yarn Forward. And thanks TIK for the Rowan Tapestry!

I wasn't expecting these to be published for a couple of weeks yet so this was a nice surprise. For those of you who know me, this is hard to believe, but I'm kinda speechless.

For now anyway.