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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Wednesday

Today is, I have been reliably informed by big daughter who knows about these things, "hump day".  It sounds vaguely rude to me, but according to the Collins Dictionary it's the middle of the working week. (Interestingly, the definition from the Urban Dictionary showed up on my Google search for what exactly "hump day" was as "The absolute BEST day of the week, the day of maximum hope that maybe, you might make it out of this week alive" but when I tried to click on it, our internet safety settings informed me that this search involved pornography and I wasn't allowed to look at it.  So perhaps I'm not the only one who feels that "hump day" is vaguely rude!)

Anyway, here we are the in the middle of the week and what have I got to tell you?  Well, I had a day out to see my friend Lucy yesterday and no trip to Coopers Cafe Bar in Skipton is complete without one of their "fully loaded" hot chocolates.  Ooh, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed that mug of calorie-laden, marshmallow-and-chocolate-covered sweetness!  The scone that we shared was warm from the oven too ... mmm!


We had our chimneys swept today.  Our old sweep has retired so it was the first time that the new sweep had been to see us.  He over-estimated how many rods he would need to get the brush out of the chimney which looked rather funny when we went outside to check that it was out of the top of pot.  No matter how many times I've seen it, I always love to see that brush pop out of the chimney pot - it feels so very traditional in our modern world.  Chim-chiminee-chim-chiminee ... 


Big daughter and I went to have a look at some student flats this afternoon - she needs to make her choice for next year already.  I was very pleased to be asked to go with her as I know that she's old enough to do these things without her Mum in tow if she chose to.  She's already seen quite a few places that didn't meet her expectations but today's viewing seemed to go very well so I think she may have discovered what she was looking for!

A few days have passed and my Hartland Cliffs shawl and I have made friends again.  In fact, I'm steaming ahead now that I've read the pattern properly, and I've nearly caught up to where I was when I realised it had all gone horribly wrong.  


I'm really enjoying knitting with this yarn - it's Blacker Yarns St Kilda Laceweight - and it's lovely and springy and not at all bothered by the fact that I've had to frog a huge amount of the knitting. You can see the woolly fuzziness (I think the technical term is "halo"!) of the yarn in this picture, and I can't wait to wrap myself up in this shawl.  It's not feeling itchy at all whilst I'm knitting it, despite the fact that it's 100% wool.  It's been a long time since I've knitted a laceweight shawl - over three years ago, in fact - and I'd forgotten that you have to do a lot of knitting to make it look like you've done anything much at all, but I know that it will be worth it in the end.  The finish date for the Blacker Pod KAL is 4 March, just before the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, so I've got some knitting to do if I'm going to finish this and my socks before then, although the world won't stop if I don't - I've learnt a lesson or two about deadlines after the Easy Cable Sock tutorial!  


Finally, before I leave you to enjoy the rest of your week, I've got some very exciting news!  On Friday morning I was lucky enough to get a Woolly Muckers package from KnitBritish - only 10 of them were available and it was a case of the fastest fingers when they went on sale.  Luckily, I have had years of practice at fastest fingers thanks to trying to buy concert tickets to bands that big daughter wanted to see when she wasn't old enough to go on her own, and this training stood me in good stead at 11am on Friday morning.

So what is it? I hear you ask.  Well, I mentioned KnitBritish in my last post when I was talking about podcasts; KnitBritish is one of the few podcasts that I will make sure I have time for, and Woolly Muckers is the way that Louise, who records the KnitBritish podcast, has decided to support her work.  The 10 Woolly Muckers packages contained a project bag designed exclusively for this project by The Knitting Goddess, a pen, badge and notebook (always handy!) and two skeins of Blacker Yarns Cornish Tin II DK in Levant Grey (yet more Blacker Yarns yarn in my stash - hooray!).


These are certainly lovely treats, however what really drew me to the Woolly Muckers package is that buying it means that I am now going to be sponsoring an episode of the podcast.  I'm really thrilled about this as KnitBritish and Louise's contributions to other websites such as Wovember have been really helpful with my search for British breeds and no-nylon sock yarns and quite honestly, I'd have sponsored the show without all the treats just as an opportunity to return the favour.  I don't know which episode of this year's podcasts I'll be sponsoring just yet, but I'll let you know when I do!

Enjoy the rest of your week; apparently Thursday is now the unofficial start of the weekend so it's all downhill from here - in the best possible way, of course!


18 comments:

  1. That chimney photo did make me laugh!
    And as for the hot chocolate....I'm sitting here already experiencing severe cravings for chocolate....

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    1. If you're ever up in Skipton, you really need to try the hot chocolate at Coopers - it's certainly worth the drive! xx

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  2. Your shawl is going to be beautiful, Christine. Can't wait to see the finished product :) A job well done.

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    1. Thank you! I'm reaching that point where I want it to be finished now, too! ;-) xx

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  3. Cor blimey photo reminds me of Mary Poppins! It was funny today at work a customer was telling me she had just found out about "hump day". I agree it sounds rude too. Can I ask why you want to go nylon free in your socks have I missed something? Fab blog!

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    1. I'm just interested to see what difference it makes to use no-nylon sock yarns, Kerry. I still use commercial yarns with nylon in them, but as I got more familiar with the yarns I felt that many of them were of a similar composition, and the beautiful hand-dyed yarns are also often a blend of similar wools and nylon. I know that the nylon makes the yarn stronger, but after reading an article that talked about silk and mohair having the same properties as nylon but in a natural form, I became fascinated with the idea that you could use non-standard sock yarns to produce long-lasting socks. From there, it was just a short step to start discovering all the wonderful British breeds that we have that are used in yarns that aren't as well-known as commercial ones and it really fired up the researcher in me - I always like having something new to learn and I like that there's so much more to learn about yarn! :-) xx

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  4. Your shawl is looking beautiful. Hump day is very common here in Australia, it's even used by announcers on the radio.

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    1. Thank you, I'm very happy with my shawl now that it's behaving! I don't know if hump day is going to enter my everyday vocabulary, but at least I know what it is now! :-) xx

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  5. Hi Christine,
    I found you on Instagram under the Moorlandblanket # ... I was hoping to read more of your dilemmas with it as I'm having a horrible time of it. I was interested to know where Lucy set you straight. I seem to be losing stitches somehow so my 10 stitch repetitive pattern will never work because of it .. cheers Jocelyn ( Australia)

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    1. Hi Jocelyn, my problem with the Moorland Blanket wasn't so much that I was losing stitches but that initially I had a strange bunched up line of stitches running through it as I was using a hook that was a bit small - changing up a size definitely helped me and that was the advice that Lucy gave me. I still find that I have to be careful at the start of the rows as it's easy to lose a stitch there, but going back to Lucy's tutorial has been very helpful and I've also started to recognise now where the pattern goes - there are actually 4 flat stitches in the dips and across the humps and if I can find those, I can work out where the rest of the stitches in the pattern go. Sometimes, I have to find the flat stitches and then work backwards to the start of the row so that I know where to put my hook for the first 3 stitches, but that does help. Have another look at the week 2 post (http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/2017/01/moorland-blanket-cal-part-2.html) as it shows you how people are working out the 10 stitch repeat with markers and lifelines. If you're still stuck and you're on Facebook, there's a support group for people making the blanket (https://www.facebook.com/groups/234262100312780/) - it's nothing to do with Lucy; another lady has set it up, but there are lots of people in there now so you should get some advice. I hope that helps! xx

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  6. I had never heard of Hump day before but it does remind me of my father who always rubbed his hands together on Wednesday evening and said "It's all downhill from here". I'm sure he would have enjoyed knowing it had a name. Your shawl is looking beautiful and I'm really looking forward to seeing it completed.

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    1. Your Dad was obviously an early "hump day" trendsetter! Thank you, I'm looking forward to seeing my shawl finished too! :-) xx

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  7. I've known Wednesday as "Hump back Wednesday" for several years. It's the middle of the week just like the top of a hump back bridge. So from lunchtime on Wednesday you are half way through the working week, you have done the hard graft and you can free-wheel to the weekend.

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    1. That's a nice way of putting it - free-wheeling to the weekend! I like that! :-) xx

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  8. Yes, it is a bit crude and some do use that term in a vulgar (at least I think so) way.

    It's refreshing to see I'm not the only one interested in using natural fibers for knitting socks. Thus far, I only knit two socks that do use nylon. I used Kroy yarn. I will say, I much prefer the natural fibers. I have several pounds of a silver grey merino fleece and I am hoping to blend that with some cormo and merino (very soon) so I can make yarn that will eventually be used to knit socks. I'm currently knitting with a yarn blend of merino and silk. These will be school uniform socks for my daughter.

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    1. Your yarn sounds interesting - I've not knitted with cormo though I've heard that it's very soft - will it be strong enough for sock yarn? Your daughter will have the poshest school socks around if she has silk and merino ones! xx

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  9. Whoops, that should have been a grey mohair fleece. The cormo and merino are soft and so I'm hoping the mohair balances it out and makes some sturdy socks. ! I even have a photo of the angora goat. She's adorable.

    I'm experimenting, so we'll see. I think at least 40% of this blend will be mohair.

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    1. Ah right, in that case it should work very well as mohair is "nature's nylon" :-) xx

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