Monthly Archives: April 2009

new project: over the garden wall socks

Thank you so much to all of you who have made a donation to support Race for Life! My yarn raffle (see post below) will be open until next Wednesday, 6th May, so if you would like a chance to win some Sundara or Posh yarn, you still have time!

This is the second project from the Socktopus Sock Club. The pattern is cute, and the yarn is lovely. This is a variegated yarn that really works for me. I think it is because the different colours are all of a similar tone, which means that visually they blend very well together.

The yarn is Artist Palette Yarn’s Sweet Feet, made from 80% merino and 20% bamboo. It is lovely to knit with, being soft with a beautiful sheen from the bamboo content. I can’t wait to wear them!

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win yarn! sponsor me!

There is just over a week to go before I run in my first ever 5k race. On the 6th of May I’ll be taking part in the Race for Life in London’s Battersea Park, an event that raises money and awareness for Cancer Research.

I’ll be running as part of the Iknit London team. Other team members will, impressively, be knitting while running or walking. I, on the other hand, will have more than enough to concentrate on with not falling over my own laces.

Thank you so much to everyone who has already sponsored me for this event! I have been really touched by your support. However, I thought the time had come to be a little more pro-active about fundraising. On the one hand, this is not a huge race, and times are tough, so I haven’t wanted to go overboard on this; but on the other hand, it is for an excellent cause. It really doesn’t matter how much or how little you are able to give; every little really does help.

So, I thought I’d do a bit of a yarny giveaway. Here’s how it will work. If you would like to contribute, this link takes you to the sponsorship page for the Iknit team. Click on the link, and donate as much or as little as you like or are able. Leave a comment with your donation with my name in the comment* – this is so that I can identify you and put your name in the draw.

Everyone who does this will have their name put into a hat, and I’ll get Steve to pull out two names. Those people will win one of the two skeins of yarn photographed here.

The first skein is Sundara Yarn Fingering Silky Merino in the colourway The Life Aquatic. This is a 3-ply yarn, made from 50% silk and 50% merino wool. There are 500 yards and 150 grams in the skein. The colours include navy, teal and denim, with flashes of turquoise and pale lime peeping through.

The second skein is Posh Yarn Charlotte in the colourway Atlantis. This is a lace weight yarn, also made from 50% silk and 50% merino wool. There are  700 yards and 100g in the skein. The colours include sky blue, light turquoise, lilac, and aqua.

Thank you in advance!

*If you have already sponsored me but didn’t put my name in the comments, just drop me a line using the contact page, and I’ll add your name to the draw.

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pompeii: what we did on our holidays (2)

We spent a day of our Italian holiday visiting the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

In 79 AD the volcano Mount Vesuvious erupted. On that day, the surrounding area, including these two cities, were covered with  nine feet of burning gas and rock.

When Pompeii was excavated in the 1920s, holes that had once contained organic matter were discovered. The ash had solidified before this matter had disintegrated. And of what did that matter consist? Well, wooden objects such as doors:

And, more hauntingly, the bodies of many people and animals who had died in the ash. The archaeologists found that they could fill these holes with plaster and recreate the forms that had once taken up the space of the hole. The remarkable and poignant casts created from these voids speak of the last moments of these peoples’ lives.

Because of the way Pompeii was buried so completely, and the nature of the solidifed ash which covered it, the city remained incredibly intact. I thought I’d share some pictures of Pompeii and its sister town, Herculaneum, also buried in the volcanic ashes. Click on the arrow below to start the slideshow.

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amalfi: what we did on our holidays (i)

We stayed in a small, family-run hotel that clung to the cliff face hanging directly over the sea. We slept to the sound of the sea gently slapping against the rocks beneath our windows.

The hotel was, in parts, literally hewn out of the rock face. It was quite a surprise to walk  down the stairs and come across this:

It was as though carving the last bit of rock away was just too much trouble!

We spent a lot of the week pottering up and down the coast to various small, beautiful fishing villages, where we drank a lot of coffee and ate a lot of seafood and pasta.

One day we hired a speedboat. The skipper took us along the coast from Amalfi to Naples, exploring the dramatic coastline with its little coves and grottos. We disembarked on Capri, where we walked the coast path and had lunch before leaving the island in style and being taken back along the coast. Rather than loading this post up with photos, I put together a slideshow of this day. Click on the arrow below to start the slideshow.

Next time, I’ll share photos of our day in the extraordinary ancient cities of Pompei and Herculaneum.

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holiday prep (ie, which yarn to pack?)

Warning – this post contains a photo of the Socktupus Sock Club March yarn. Don’t scroll down if you don’t want to see it!

We’re off to Italy for a week on Monday, and tomorrow is my yoga course, so today is my last day for packing and preparing for the trip. The clothes are all washed and ironed, suncream has (optimistically) been purchased, and the camera batteries are all charged and ready to go.

Which leaves the really big decision: which knitting project(s) to pack?

Serendipitously, the second shipment of my Socktopus Sock Club yarn and pattern arrived in the post this morning. The yarn is Artist’s Palette Sweet Feet, which is a merino/bamboo blend. The colours remind me of English skies at this time of year – there are delicate greys and silvers, greyish and gentle cerulean blue. It’s really pretty, and the pattern (by the talented Lou and Emms) is cute too. I’m going to swatch it tonight, and then pack the yarn and needles ready to cast on on the plane.

My ‘on-flight’ knitting kit consists of a pencil case filled with various pens and pencils, ipod earphones and charger … and my knitpick options needles stashed away in there with the other wires and pointy straight things.  I’m not sure whether I really need to disguise the needles this much, but it’s always worked for me, and I’d rather be safe (have knitting) than sorry (not have knitting!)

I have also cast on for a yoga cardigan. I mentioned the other day that I was thinking of making something like this (Ravelry link) but it is not quite what I want. Instead I am following Barbara Walker’s instructions for a raglan cardigan (another Ravelry link*) from her wonderful book Knitting From the Top. No photos yet, as all I have is a scraggy little crescent of knitting, but I’m having fun with it so far.

Anyway, here’s the Socktopus yarn. Next time hopefully I’ll be able to share some photos of Italy!

* If you are interested in these links and are not yet on Ravelry then go! Sign up now!

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