Monday, January 7, 2019

Happy New Year

One week into the new year, and I'm doing that thing where we look back.    It's been a busy year- some family things, some travel.  Knitting has been on the light side-just over 30 projects.  And despite the number, that's a lot less knitting than usual- mostly hats and mittens, only 2 pairs of socks.   Of the things on my master project list, I didn't complete anything. 

Reading on the other hand, has been more intense.  I read 242 new books this year- there were some rereads as well, though I didn't count all of them.     And I have finished another book every day in 2019 so far, though I can't possibly maintain that much longer!  Not while working, and once I finish off the several remaining half-finished books I have in process.

One thing I have noticed, is that I've missed writing about crafts and keeping up with my online crafting friends- I want to try and do better this year.    And speaking of crafting, here are the last projects for 2018.    There were of course kid mittens:

I started out to make a hat with this chunky yarn, but ran out with a short cowl.

A last pair of adult mittens:

A Wurm hat- I've wanted to try this pattern for a while, but hadn't gotten around to it...then I happened to glance at it and noticed that it's written for sport weight yarn.  Of which I have a great deal...I'm sensing there may be some more of these in my future.

Speaking of sport weight yarn, I made another colowork hat, again with the aim of using up sport weight yarn.  The sport weight is too light for a single layer to be really warm - the Wurm pattern uses ribs to trap air for additional insulation.   But there are other ways- colorwork adds an extra layer of yarn for a warmer hat.  And it's higher resolution- the extra stitches required by the thinner yarn provides a suitable canvas for more intricate designs.  (This one came out of my Fair Isle stitch dictionary.)

And last but not least- Christmas socks.  Yet another pair of Sagittarius socks, a pattern I've knit before but always enjoy.  I didn't have a chance to photograph these in natural light, but the yarn is pale green with a subtle copper sparkle.  Very pretty.

Due to some last minute scheduling changes, I knit the second sock in three days flat- good thing it was a long weekend heading into the holiday!

Just before the holidays, I cast on another Mini-Mania scarf for social knitting -also to use up a bag of mini-skeins that wandered into my stash- but that's a story for another day, when I have a photo of the scarf in question to show you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Yikes, really?!

Okay, the blog has been sadly neglected, and there's far too much that has happened for only one post.   But let's start with the knitting.  In the last knitting post you saw these socks, now long since complete:

I also did a whole bunch of adult mittens with chunky yarn that the charity knitting group gave me for that purpose.

And when I ran out of the chunky weight, I used doubled worsted.  (The small pair is a set of kid's mittens to use the remaining yarn.)

Then another pair of socks.

More adult mittens:

And a hat- it was intended to be a kind of low key hat, the kind that a guy who didn't want flashy would go for.  But the yarn was incredibly soft and comfy.

A colorwork hat... not entirely successful as to what I was trying to do, but still fun. 

Then there were yarn ends for kid mittens. 

And yet another hat because colorwork is addictive.

Really, it's a bit pathetic for 6 months worth of knitting, but it's been pretty busy. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Belated London Part the Fourth

As I was recently reminded, the blog has been sadly neglected of late.  So, let us return to last year and the last set of photos from our English travels.

Having seen the Cutty Sark in our previous ramblings to Greenwich, we decided to go back and actually see the boat, something we hadn't previously managed despite several previous trips to Greenwich.
Our visit coincided with that of a group of school children, and while they all rambled about, there was one who seemed to have enough energy for several children.  Approximately every 30 seconds, we'd hear an exasperated teacher saying, "Amelia!  Get down off that."   Or "Amelia, stop climbing over the rail".   My suspicion is that young Amelia would, given ten seconds out of adult scrutiny, would have been halfway up the rigging.

It's a beautiful boat, and makes it easy to see the romance of the tea clippers.

Afterward, we headed over to East India Wharf to Kerb, the food truck market (very popular).   This is another instance of the food truck gathering that's up near King's Cross station.

And we took a leisurely walk back along the river, taking in the various wharves and river views.

I found this rather jarring composition of the two modern buildings known as the 'Walkie-Talkie' and 'the Gherkin' behind the Tower of London amusing.  I expect the past Kings and Queens would have been nonplussed.

Later, we ventured upriver to the Imperial Wharf, which gave us striking views of the new construction on the opposite bank.

The next day found us on a train to Stratford-on-Avon, where we strolled around and skipped most of the various tours of places Shakespeare allegedly frequented.

Instead we got tickets to see Julius Caesar, performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company.   It was fabulous.  It was stunningly well acted- there was never any point where the antique language had the audience groping for the meaning- it was extremely clear from the expressions, gestures and movement on the stage what was going on.  As JT commented, "It's a political thriller."  (I will note that the Royal Shakespeare performances are filmed and shown in various theatres in the US, so it's not actually mandatory to go to Stratford to see them.)

We took a walk before the play started along the somewhat redundant River Avon (Avon is the Celtic word for river, and there are a bunch of Rivers Avon in England).

We stopped by the Holy Trinity Church, where the Bard is buried.

And we grabbed a quick dinner before heading back to the train station.  This structure turns out to be a monument, and not as we first thought, the steeple of a church that had sunk into the ground.

Our last couple of days in London turned out to be over Cavalry Day- we heard some terrific military bands playing in the park.

There were our traditional visits to bookstores, some further strolling about as we said goodbye to the city.

And then we headed back to the airport, homeward bound after another lovely trip to England.

Click here for the complete photo-view of our trip.