Monthly Archives: November 2008

Twist Collective Winter 2008

So the second issue of the wonderful Twist Collective is online today. Given that I am currently embroiled in Christmas knitting, I absolutely cannot immediately cast on for a new cardigan. Instead I thought I’d indulge my desire for some of these gorgeous items by sharing my favourites; the ones that I really, really want to drop everything, go to the yarn store first thing tomorrow, and cast on for the second I get home.

First of all is Slyvi, by Mari Muinonen. It’s a knee-length, A-line hooded jacket with cabled stalks, leaves and flowers up the back. It manages to be both fun and elegant at the same time. Love it! Want it! Now!!

Next up is Vivan, by the lovely Ysolda Teague. It’s hooded, cabled, curvy cardigan that fastens with a zip, and is, frankly, calling loudly to me…

I love, in fact I am coveting, Kingscot by Norah Gaughan. I can just picture myself wearing this to work (and when I say picture myself, I mean, obviously, tomorrow).

And finally, Dietrich by Marnie Maclean is just the cutest hat! I’ve just seen a trailer for the film Changeling, and Angelina Jolie was wearing one very similar. Not knitted though. What was she thinking?

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loose ends?

I haz them!

This is the inside of the first of Alex’s BMP Knucks. I’m finding it really quick and fun to make, despite having the weaving in of all these ends to look forward to! It is, however, definitely not a train-knitting item, what with adding in a new length of white or green yarn on every round, cutting it off at the end of the pattern section, and following a chart at the same time. Still, I’ve done over half of this first glove in just two evenings, so I’m sure they won’t take too long to finish. And I will definitely be able to do the sewing in on the train!

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Christmas knitting

Having been cruelly reminded that there are only 6 1/2 weeks to go before Christmas, I’ve got my act together with regard to what gifts I would like to knit this year.

I announced to my family a couple of months ago that this year there would be NO Christmas knitting, and that from now on I would ONLY be knitting things for myself. Call me a sucker, but I was really touched to discover how much it means to them to have something made by me on Christmas day. So, I have made some plans, and this is what I am going to make. None of these gifts are going to be surprises, as I will need to make them while my family are there.

For Alex: A pair of Space Invader fingerless gloves. Alex loved the BMP sock pattern when it came out and, although I had intended to, I never got around to making him any. This year he has asked for some fingerless gloves, and I came across this fabulous pair by Turtlegirl, combining the Knucks gloves and BMP socks patterns. Pure genius! The photo above is of Alex trying on the fingers for size.

For Will: A pair of black and white polka dot socks, based on the Heart Crook (Ravelry link) pattern in More Sensational Knitted Socks. This is his idea for a design.

For Steve: A pair of Having Hope socks in this delicious Malabrigo Sock yarn.

I’ve also had some really good news about my Bacall shrug, which I can reveal in the full confidence that my mother doesn’t read my blog. She came round this week and saw it hanging up in the hall (where I had left it after photographing it the other day) and immediately fell in love with it.

In a rare display of quick thinking, I casually mentioned that I had put it there to see whether she might like it for Christmas. I have always refused to make her a cardigan in the past, partly because I am reluctant to make larger items for anyone other than myself, and partly because I find it hard to imagine her being happy with whatever I made for her.

She was thrilled and, being shorter than me, the shrug fitted her perfectly. So, it has not only found a home, but has also answered the question of what to give my mother for Christmas. Result!

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What does your taste in art says about you?

First of all, I’d like to thank you for all your comments yesterday, I was incredibly moved to read them.

And now (as the Monty Python boys might say) for something completely different. I came across a really fun quiz on Cindy‘s blog today!

My highest score (just) was for Ukiyo-e art. Ukiyo-e ‘pictures of the floating world’, is a genre of Japanese paintings produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries.  It mostly featured landscapes, historic tales, theatre, and pleasure.

It turns out I am simple(!), progressive and sensual. Here’s what the quiz says about me, it’s actually quite accurate!

‘People that chose Ukiyo-e art tend to be more simplistic yet elegant.  They don’t care much about new style but are comfortable in creating their own. They like the idea of living for the moment and enjoy giving and receiving pleasure.

They may be more agreeable than other people and do not like to argue.  They do not mind following traditions but are not afraid to move forward to experience other ideas in life.  They tend to enjoy nature and the outdoors.  They do not mind being more adventurous in their sexual experiences.  They enjoy being popular and like being noticed.

They have their own unique style of dress and of presenting themselves. They may also tend to be more business oriented or at the very least interested in money making adventures.  They might make good entrepreneurs. They are progressive and adaptable.’

What does your taste in art say about you? Find out here.

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President Obama

I live in a staunchly Conservative area of England. I remember clearly the day in May 1997 when the current Labour government was voted into power. Or rather, I remember the sunny morning after the election result had been announced the night before. I walked my kids to school, feeling happy and elated that this party was back in power after eighteen years of Conservatism.

There was a gloomy atmosphere at the school gate that day, and it was easy to spot the few Labour supporters amongst the crowd of mostly miserable mothers. We were the ones who just could not keep the smiles off our faces. We laughed, and hugged each other, and fairly glowed with the sheer wonder of it all. It felt as though our country, stagnant for a long time, had finally come alive again.

Of course, since then there have been many, many things that have eroded people’s excitement about and support for the Labour government. But that morning, that moment, was a truly special one. It was a moment when change really seemed possible, when it seemed as though ‘politics as normal’ did not have to be the only way for politicians to behave. It seemed as though the depressing selfishness and constant grinding down of what it was to be part of a collective society was not an inevitable part of our lives.

This morning, for the first time in a very long time, I am proud that my country is an ally of America. Congratulations to all of you who voted for this extraordinary moment.

Tonight is […] the answer that led those who have been told for so long, by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful about what we can achieve, to put their hands on the arc of history, and bend it once more towards the hope of a better day. It’s been a long time coming, but because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

President-Elect Obama, 5th November 2008

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