Thursday, 31 July 2008

Zombies ALIVE! Run awaaaaaaaaaaay...

Zombie Socks

Don't faint, please, but you can run away screaming if you wish...

I have finished a pair of socks. That they are the Zombie Socks by Sheryl Giles seems apt. I myself am feeling somewhat zombie-ish at the moment.  This has been caused, not by a bite from a zombie (I wonder how one DOES become a zombie - I may have to Google this... I shall be right back... Okay, so you have to be 'infected' and killed by a zombie. I think this is relevant...) but by being in the 35 degree heat of the South of France then the 22 degree air-conditioning of the French High Speed Train system then the 34 degree heat of home. Add a liberal dash of sniffly people ON the train and Hey PRESTO - instant cold.

:: sniffle ::

Ugh. Of course, the timing is somewhat crap, as I have a concert in a week's time in Germany, and some music still to get into my system, but I guess there's a lesson about procrastination to be learnt there, if nothing else!

But I FINISHED MY ZOMBIE SOCKS!  This pleaseth me. It doesn't make me feel any better,  sniffles-wise, but FO-wise it makes me smile! Huzzah!  (They're called 'Zombie' socks because they include SCARY dropped stitches!)

 So mis-matched they MATCH!

I am rather fond of these! It was the first time I used 'sock' yarn and I wasn't sure how the variegation would work, but I do like the way they're almost negative mirror images of each other!

stretched out and looking GOOD!

But I am also pleased that I can post one of my 'stealth' objects now, too... A few days ago it was the birthday of a lovely friend of mine from Ravelry. I was already sending her some rather HAWT shoes and the timing was such that I thought I'd send her my first evah amiguri-type knitted thingy and some yummy yarn as a birthday pressie...I don't have a photo of the yarn, but I can tell you it was called 'Raspberry Ripple' and came from my favourite 'Angels & Elephants' dyers...

The amiguri-type-thingy? Well, I attempted a little cupcake with a cherry on top... I had it in mind for the recipient a long time ago and was quite pleased with how it turned out...

 cupcake for G

Ach well, back to attempting to throw this cold... and finishing the other stealth objects... and praying for cooler temperatures!  Heh!
:: sniffle ::

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Bach en Drôme

I have freckles and my hair is a little lighter. This is what comes of spending a few days in the South of France in 30+ degree heat!  Marvellous!  Drôme is a département of South-East France and I had a brilliant time with my friends doing a concert of some gorgeous music by Bach. 

But first I must show you where we rehearsed in the East of France before we went down south...

The Ancient Post House of the village.

Okay, so you know me well enough by now to expect a few more photos. I did, after all, come back with over a hundred...

Above is the family home of the conductor of the group and I've been coming here for nearly 10 years of rehearsals, concerts and fun, but never, until now, have I taken any photos - VERY lax on my part.  The garden was blooming, we had lunch under the mimosa tree and rehearsed in the music room, (complete with numerous harpsichords) the window of which can be found at the top left of the house as you face it... Ah... Bliss!

 I can't remember for the life of me what this is called...

 grapes nearing ripeness

 um, don't know what this is, either, but it was pretty

 déjeuner sous l'arbre de mimosa

The concert was in the pretty little town of St Donat in Drôme and the church was beautiful (but the interior refused to be photographed well), as were the ancient and carved cloisters and... ah...

 floral motif stained glass windows

 cloister arches with neo-classical waste-paper bin

 more carved pillars

 vielle player

And just to prove to me that there is still life in the old camera yet, it pulled this little number out of the hat...


I am pooped but very pleased the concert went well (even more so because I was singing the alto solo and I could be HEARD! Oh YEAH!)  If you ever get a chance to hear a concert or recording of Bach's 'Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden' (based on Pergolesi's 'Stabat Mater') I'd thoroughly recommend a listen...

Sunday, 20 July 2008

O is for...


Angels & Elephants hand-dyed sock yarn 

I may have waxed a little lyrical on this topic before. And then I only had 2 types of the stuff. Today, to add to my obsession, a package arrived in the mail with my final (for the moment) shipment of yarn from Angels & Elephants, who are based in Cornwall, UK and have their yarn shop on eBay.

I now have the colourways of Tintagel (denim blue and green), Maisie (lavender, blue and turquoise), Polruan (green, blue and yellow), Tamar (light and dark lavender and pale green), Sea Spray (blue, lavender and pale jade) and Damson Delight (damson, purple and pink) I think I may be a tad spoilt for choice. Until I see the next consignment of colours on eBay, bien sûr... And sock yarn doesn't count as stash anyway, does it? 

So, after gathering all my wee smooshy, yarny babies into my loving arms and just breathing in the colours, (you can too breathe in colours... pfff) I decided to get my camera and try to take some pretty pictures. I think I may never again have such a beautiful subject... (Um, until I see the next consignment of colours on eBay...)

My camera, on the other hand, was playing hard to get. It is a rather old Olympus C-Zoom and takes about 10 pictures before I am informed by means of a blue screen with a big red cross on it that there ain't no more pictures getting taken. It laughs in the face of zinc carbon batteries (nom), eats rechargeables for breakfast (nom nom), gazes greedily at anything that promises 'long-life' (nom nom nom) and almost salivates (work with me here, people) at the thought of nomming quickly through a couple of lithium cells. And if I even think about using the macro function, then this snacking turns into a full-scale face-in-the-trough nom like-there's-no-tomorrow.

:: sighs ::

So, four batteries later I ended up with some yarn pin-up shots. Or as my DS would say, some obligatory arty-farty shots. Most of them, needless to say, were pretty naff. Darling Olympus, I think you've earned your retirement.

 Rolling hills of colour

Oh, how I love these colours. I'm turning into such a hand-dyed junkie. I guess I'll never have enough yarn like this, yet it feels a bit strange to start a project with them, because they're just so damn pretty in the skein. But, biting the bullet, I have started one super secret sock project with one of them. To end this post I'll show you the sole, as it won't give anything away apart from how lovely the yarn looks knitted up a bit...

Super Secret Sock Sole in Sea Spray
(For DS - Sally Snake goes sssssssssss!!!)

You'll notice I've artfully covered the toe... That's 'cos it's an unholy mess. I *may* cough cough have misread the directions...

Thursday, 10 July 2008

N is for...


 lunar echo

I am a night owl. I seem to get most work done in the hours of darkness and feel more at peace then, too. Of course, at this time of year and the heat it brings, I love the cool evenings even better... It has always been thus and I suspect always shall be.

The photo above was an attempt at capturing the face of the Man in the Moon, but all the photos turned out a big blur of light except for this one, which although does have the big blur of light, it also managed to capture some kind of reflection through my window pane. I like it a lot!

Night. Excepting end-of-term hysteria in this student town, the nights are quiet here. 3am is so still. And night-time has so many photographic personalities.

  Foggy night in Tours

Colours are exaggerated yet muted around a street lamp on a foggy evening, or sharpened and enhanced with reflections from water...

 Amsterdam Gracht

It makes me think of home...

View from my parents house to my grand-parents house


...but then it can also invoke annoyance. See the big, wide-open space between the 2 houses here? It opens up to the field in the heart of the village... See an earlier post entitled 'There Goes My Childhood' for further explanations of my disgust about the future of this view...

But, the night is not always my friend. Insomnia strikes occasionally and then any lure of the dark and love of the night flees from my soul and I pace the apartment muttering not-so-sweet nothings to my over-active brain. I must admit that the first time I ever appreciated French tv was during one of these episodes.  Falling asleep to re-runs of the Simpsons in French leads to strange dreams, however.

My last sleepless night was a few days ago... Or a few nights ago, if you prefer. The tv wasn't doing anything for me, camomile tea only made me closer acquaintances with my porcelain necessarium and pacing about hurt my foot too much. My eyes fell on my knitting, but I knew I wasn't in the mood for cables, or indeed anything that entertained a certain brain-using thinky-type element. Some no-counting mindless knitting was called for. I saw the silver wire and a tube of little shiny beads (oo - shiny), sat down and ended up with the beginnings of this.

Pointless and Arbitrary Wind Catcher 

I dedicate this wind-chime-catcher to the Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Group on Ravelry. It seems apt. It will neither catch the wind nor chime, but it looks pretty and shiny and sparkly and, well, does it need any more point than that?

It's made from quite a few metres of 28-gauge silver wire and a multitude of little silver and glass beads. 

oo - shiny...

And at that I shall off and switch on every light in my flat. There's a thunderstorm brewing and, ironically, they frighten me when it's dark outside...

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

A miniscule bit 'o this an' that...

Ugh, blogger have changed formats again. No longer can I justify the text paragraphing. This annoys me. There are now only 4 text sizes. Okay, I shouldn't complain about that as I only use two, normally, but just the same... Ooh - woopee you can format the HTML on the page, but as I don't know enough of the code to do that, it'll just be another button I won't press.

Oh dear, I've started off on the wrong foot. It's the heat. It makes me cranky. It's 32 degrees outside and 30 degrees inside my apartment and as I have no a/c, my standing fan is only succeeding in blowing hot air about. A bit like me, in fact.  

So, there's a tag/label for this post and it says 'knitting'. It's there for a reason, I promise. In fact I've been doing a lot, but for reasons of stealth, secrecy and something else beginning with 's' that I can't think of at the moment, I don't have much to actually SHOW you. But I'll do what I can.

Here is a cuff, an ankle and a heel flap.

Crooked Cable Sock № 1

[OOOO! I take it all back. Blogger has not only allowed me to place the picture WHERE I WANTED IT, instead of putting it at the top of the post where I normally have to cut and paste it to where I really wanted it, but it gave me options as to what size I wanted it - ON THE PAGE. I may be easily amused, but this amuses me, easily!]

This little sock pleaseth me also. The cable pattern is très simple, the *gulp* lacy-holey things aren't too nasty (well, the first few rows were pretty nasty until I figured out that tension of the correct variety would enhance things visually no end), and I have figured out that the 'eye of partridge' stitch for the heel works a lot better when the slipped stitch in the knit row is slipped 'as if to knit' and not, as I have been doing, slipped 'as if to purl'. The fabric is much denser, and although the pattern isn't visually as strong as the purl version, who's going to notice when it's in a shoe?!

I do love the EoP stitch though. There is something altogether soothing about it. So much so that I took close-up photos for my enduring ocular gratification.

Celtic Cable Socks № 1. Heel-flap pr0n.
Just as an aside, I'll post a close-up of the cables on said Celtic Sock, too. I love cables. I'm not sure if you know that about me, yet... ;-) I'm almost finished sock one, so maybe I'll have another kitsch photo of me wearing 2 different socks for the next post, if I can finish the crooked cable one around the same time...

 cables, cables, cables, cables, cables...

Stealth projects? Yes, well... One is, um a secret to send to someone who doesn't know about it yet, but who may occasionally peruse this blog, and the other is a secret something being knitted as a test for a lovely person, which is Super Stealth Top Secret. And, child that I am, I am loving the subterfuge! Even if I'm making no sense in any form whatsoever! They're both immensely enjoyable to knit. So much so that the secret-present one is already finished and the stealth test has taken over everything else. It is GORGEOUS (even if I say so myself!) and I look forward to the day, in some months hence, where I'll be able to post about it in a more definitive manner.

Until then, I will watch the world from a hole cut into my newspaper and will endeavour not to attract too much attention to myself...

Mair Bloag Weejits

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Footerin' Aboot
Heh! I'm so funny!

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