Friday, 9 October 2009

KNITTING YARNS (OBVIOUS PUN!!)'s the end of another week, and what a week it has been! Plenty of knitting and other things going on.....not least of which is the slow growth of the wonderful Cherie Amour which I have now knitted around 30 rows of. (I'm using Manos del Uruguay Wool Classica) Up until now it has been a kind of back-burner project, with only a round or so each day. But now is the time to pick it up a bit so it will be done for my December trip to Leiden. you ever feel like you have so many things you want to knit at the same time....?

Our Co-op is in mid-allocations mode, with people to visit and shortlist, following an amusing and enlightening meeting. I feel eternally grateful to various fellow co-opers who have been really supportive and this means I find myself now at this point more involved with the running of the Co-op and really getting into my role as Deputy Chair. Thanks, Annie, Jerry and Hev! We still really miss the wonderful Joe, who was very much a stablising and levelling influence.

I went to see the volunteer co-ordinator at the Tyneside Cyrenians about doing some voluntary work with them. They are always looking for volunteers as they have so many projects for homeless and vulnerably housed clients, as well as people who may need support to remain living independently, such as people with learning disabilities, the mentally ill etc. One project I'd love to be a volunteer with is their organic growing which happens at a garden of one of their buildings. They also work with people classed as 'chronically excluded',i.e.people whose lifestyles or problems - drugs and alcohol etc - have in the past prevented them accessing services which could help. I feel like this type of work is what I should be doing; don't ask me why, although part of it is obviously my caring and empathetic nature and my understanding of the way everything is linked to everything else. I start with an induction day this following Monday.

I went to see an advisor who works with people who've been out of work due to disability, or incapacity because of illness. She was extremely helpful and supportive and told me about various schemes and grants available to enable me to get back into work.

NOW the knitting biz....
I received my prize/gift wool from Bonnie over in Massachusetts! Thank you so much, Bonnie!! It is quite simply divine and it is the perfect colour for the Kernel scarf. It's a lovely gold, toffee, honey yellow - yes, a bit like corn kernels, so I can totally understand where the inspiration came from there! I shall be starting Kernel at the weekend.

Anyway, this is the wool, a skein of Handmaiden 'Mini Maiden', which is a Canadian dream yarn. As I call any fabulous handspun/handpainted or unusual or rare yarns.
The photos do not do it justice, by the way. The one in the link (my actual skein before it was shipped here) is a lot better.

I've cast on for another pair of Monkey socks after buying some bargain Araucania Ranco on eBay. Not usually my choice for socks, as I prefer Mirasol (Chirapa or Hacho)
Natalie loved the last pair I made and asked for some in purples and blues, and as the only purple and blue sock wool I had was Wentworth of Yorkshire's Space Dyed and quite itchy I decided this would be a good time to try the Ranco. Here are the results so far:
(Top to bottom: Cuff and beginning of chart pattern; leg and part of foot; close-up of pattern.)

These socks look really odd and lumpy until you put them on, which is when the pattern really shows. This pattern is really great for showing off variegated yarns with many shades - the Ranco doesn't seem to be so bad for colour pooling but I have only used it this once so can't really make a true comparison yet.

I've also cast on for the first of a pair of fingerless mitts - the pattern is Nalu. I'm using my sole ball of Cashsoft and crossing my fingers! This pattern fits my requirements perfectly, i.e. no fingers to knit, but there is a thumb; there's a chart to follow with enough variation to prevent boredom; there are basic cables which give me the chance to use my new no-cable-needle cabling skill (actually less hassle than using yet another dpn while already using 3 or 4!)

I received some Patons Inca, which I got REALLY cheap on the 'Bay specially to make the cats a lovely bed. I wanted a chunky yarn with wool content; I also wanted a compromise between cheap and quality, by which I mean I didn't want to spend loads for something which will, let's face it, be destroyed within 6 months, but at the same time I didn't want to buy some cheap rubbish just because they are cats. I saw the Patons Inca - 4 balls - and decided that was perfect.

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