Borou-eg Market

Friday was our last Mad Knitter’s Bingo for the summer. We had gorgeous fibre from Southern Cross Fiber, Koigu, STR, silk lace, Namaste needles, the cutest sheep teatowel holder… we had a great time, Tash & I calling out with some of the multiple winners (Yuvee!) taking a break from their winning streak to call numbers. Lots of laughter, hilarity and cake. A great night. We also raised almost ¬£150 for MSF and I got to make up number calls (half a monkey, anyone?). Next round we’ll have Cookie A vouchers, a subscription to Yarn Forward, and more. Keep a look out for a late Sept date.

Today DH & I hit Borough Market, and hooked up with Daifu our friend from NYC. He comes regularly and we always do a morning meet up at Borough Market, munching and chatting. We came home, went bed shopping (we are getting a new bed so that we can have a proper guest room), DH finished painting the spare room and I recharted my mystery shawl. I’m still not happy with the border, but I think I have nailed it. Will see – have ripped back my third sample and will reknit it with the new border. Love the cashmere silk I’m using, but damn it’s short yardage! 360m!

Tomorrow we’ve got Nimu coming for a trunk show – I’m really excited as I have been admiring her yarns for a while now. She’s been on maternity leave but has started up dying again so am looking forward to seeing the goodies she’ll be bringing.

Thank you for all your comments re the Knit Love Club, also to everyone who signed up for the notification. I’ve created a page on the left of the menu bar above, and will post updates from time to time there.

Now time for bed! Night night! ūüôā

Thursday Love

Every Thursday night is my knit night group. We hang out, chat, and order in vietnamese from our local place. So tonight, being Thursday, I’m looking forward to a nice evening in. Hardest decision – pho or bun?

Have been very productive today – finally got out my newsletter and set up a mailing list for my 2010 Sock Club. Next year’s club is going to have a limited membership which will be allotted by ballot. Sign up here to be notified when the ballot opens.

etaThe notifications were sent out the 5th September, but you can still enter the ballot until the 15 September here at the club website

I’m making some changes to the club. This year was a little less smooth than I would have liked. Part of it has to do with being a one woman operation trying to juggle 2 clubs, an online shop and a bricks and mortar shop, and working with similar one or two people businesses for both the yarn and the pattern.

So I am reworking the club to make it run better and also so I can spend more time with it. Paring back down to essentials, next year I am only going to concentrate on one club – and that will be the 2010 Knit Love Club. This will be the new incarnation of the Socktopus Sock Club. There are a few changes I will be making:

1) Designs. These will be Alice exclusives. Yup yours truly is going to be sending out her design babies to you. I may possibly have one or two guest designers. What this means for you is I can tailor the club socks to your skill set and make them a little more modular and progressive in terms of learning.

2) Colourways. I get to choose them all! This means I can choose and arrange for all the six club yarns in advance and don’t need to juggle around additional schedules. It means I can make sure that there is a good mix of solids semi solids and variegated. It also means you can tell me what you hate and I will see what I can do to avoid using it! But Jaq I’m sorry I can’t rule out green. I love it too much….

3) Now this is still under consultation. Knit Love 2010 is going to primarily a sock club. I love them socks and they are one of the best small projects you could dream of. But I am thinking – especially the way I knit with a gazillion wips on the go to cater to my every mood- that perhaps it might be good to add a little bit of spice and variety to the club? I want to still concentrate on yarns that are hard to find in the UK. But I also want to show case the glorious dyers we have here on home soil. So -I was thinking of adding some lace to the mix. A couple bonus projects using local dyers. A lace shawl? A scarf? Colourwork mittens? Let me know what you think in the commentd I’ll take that under consideration.

4) Patterns will be pdf downloads for the club kits which saves on those cardboard envelopes. But at the end of the club members will receive a yearbook – a bound book (in technicolour!) of the year’s patterns, and member pages.

5) Finally – no more bells & whistles. They are fun but I always worry people won’t like them and while some may love them others may not. Maybe a club bag instead… let me know your thoughts.

Time to knit!

Snape Victorious

Went to see HBP last night. Fun movie, though they cut out the bit about the potions book and the wig/bust/tiara. I guess they’ll just gloss over it in the final film(s). Was a fun ride, though remain unconvinced by Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore – he harbours traces of Layer Cake, besides which his portrayal of Dumbledore lacks that good humoured warmth and twinkle that Dumbledore ought to have. Oh Richard Harris, what hard shoes you left to fill. Anyways, it was suitably amusing and I loved Snape. So funny and hammy. He must crack up trying to speak his lines without moving his lips or indeed any muscles in his face.

Am enjoying my running journey – getting up there with my mileage, and mighty pleased with my results. Ran just over 9Km this morning and felt great. 10k soon and then I’ll start with speed training and intervals – strangely excited about that! Looking forward to running swifter farther and faster! Yippee! On my birthday, I signed up to the Hampton Court Palace 10K run with Anna my running buddy. I am aiming to run it in under an hour. I want to do it in 45 minutes but I think that may be a too ambitious for now. Anyways if you fancy donating to Cancer Research, here is the linky.

Since I last posted, I had my birthday. Thanks to all the cards and birthday wishes! ūüôā I wasn’t sure about having a party or celebrating as I was in a bit of a sombre mood, but David decided to ignore me and threw me a lovely birthday dinner with my oldest and dearest friends in London. ¬†Arianna made me the most decadent and delicious chocolate mousse cake….


It got a little too rowdy for my building – someone complained three times (twice before 11pm apparently) and security finally had to come up. I think they were a bit disappointed when they arrived to find no crazy party but me, DH, my friends Ed & Alison, and their sleeping 8 month old baby Annabelle. Must of been Annabelle’s crazy partying that got our neighbour’s knicker’s in a twist. Apparently the complaint was that there were ‘plate noises, and laughter’. My my. At least I know that we have neighbours! I wasn’t so sure before. Anyways, it was a really nice night. Low key with loved ones. Perfect!

For my birthday the only thing I wanted was a new camera. I ruined my old one by dropping it in France, and wanted a small portable powerful thing. So my dear friends clubbed together and got me this:

It is amazing -size of a credit card, it handles light and dark situations perfectly, and has the most amazing macro!  Thanks B for the recommendation! Check this out.

I took the flower photo at Cowley Manor – DH’s bday pressie to me. ¬†It was the perfect mini-break. A chance meeting with Barb, Paul and the wee goddaughter who were there to celebrate B’s promotion. ¬†Well done B! Lunch with friends, followed by pampering and hanging out in the beautiful pool and spa. DH and I and puggy went on long walks in the grounds, and puggy loved it. ¬†I caught Deuce doing a classic pugtona – these crazy tucked bum runs when he is super happy and having fun. Here he is trying to eat some crap on the ground, and going into gleeful pugtona’s when he grabs a mouthful. Watch his funny tail unfurl!

We’ve had some excitement at the shop too – the Knitting Goddess – dear Joy below – came for a trunk show on Sunday the 12th. ¬†Check out that yarn!

IMG_0176 IMG_0170

Jen with Woolly popped up to say hi.


This week we have more lovely yarn coming from Nimu on Sunday 26 July, and of course the last MSF Bingo of the summer on Friday 24. Tickets are up on the website, so do come along!!

I’ve also been having fun designing a lace shawl and decided to host a mystery knit along on Twitter using the pattern. If you want to join check it out here. ¬†You need about 360m of sock weight yarn. It makes a lovely lacey shawl (if I do say so myself!). ¬†Clues are every Monday night at 10pm GMT – and there are 3 weeks of clues. Here’s a little tantalising peek:


Some come on over to Twitter, and join the fun!

A truck load of oranges

I once was told I was an orange. One of those lovely sweet round oranges – bright orange inside and out. It’s my all time favourite compliment, because, well, who wouldn’t want to be an orange? Especially one like in Wendy Cope’s poem The Orange . A little bit of sunshine in your hand.

I also came across this video short in looking for a link to the poem, and it also seemed apt in its way.

I am lucky to have such wonderful friends. Thank you for being there, for sending hugs, for keeping an eye out. I feel like I’ve been given a massive crate of sun kissed oranges. I have a new life motto: Run. Remember. And enjoy those oranges!

Duties call -inventory to do, deuce to walk, plus some cooking later on as David and I are going to make a cake tonight. I get to have a whirl on the new mixer.

Au Claire de la Lune

Back from France, it feels like an age since we left. ¬†The P-S clan came and spent the night on Sunday evening. David made a gorgeous mushroom tart and strawberry shortcakes. ¬†A quick constitutional post dinner along the river, with Sophia walking Deuce and telling him sternly ‘No cheesing Deuce!’.

The next morning saw us bleary eyed and bundled into our car by 545am for the drive to Portsmouth and our awaiting 8am ferry.  Among the magazinses, chocolate and games, they also had this:


Yes. That is a banana keeper. I’m not sure why that in particular made the list of limited items to sell aboard a ferry – but I like that someone clearly thought it ought to make the grade. What next, a peach keeper? put me down for 2 monsieur!

We were in Normandy by lunchtime, and sitting at a seaside restaurant by 2pm. ¬†The oysters were absolutely amazing. ¬†The periwinkles freaked me out, but the whelks were delicious. ¬†Sophia brought her baby ‘Lucy’ whose hair was the same colour as David’s!


We drove on to Bayeux where there was a protest by the farmers against milk prices. ¬†They parked their trucks, some of which contained a load of manure, on the main street and abandoned their trucks to the hot sun. ¬†Peee-eeww. ¬†But the town itself was sleepy and calm. ¬†Our friends S&M met us at the hotel and we wandered off to dinner, Sophia playing with Alanna, trying some oyster juice (not the oyster, just the seawater and lemon left in the shell). ¬†Sophia sang ‘Alouette, gentille Alouette,’ I dragged up distant memories of school taught songs and sang ‘Il etait un petit navire’ and ‘Sur le pont d’avignon’. ¬†We taught her to sing ‘Frere Jacque, dormez-vous?’

I was falling asleep at the table, and was grateful to find my pillow.  There was a party nearby, but after about 5 minutes I was blissfully unaware of anything but sleep.

Tuesday morning dawned overcast and breezy. A small mercy as my dress was wool and long sleeved.  The service was held in a small country church yard, in a wee village.  There were wildflowers blooming along the old stone wall, a few headstones standing quietly in the yard.  The church itself had weathered centuries Рa simple but grand building, unadorned, stone bleached white by the sun and moss growing along the corners.  The pastor had a kindly face, and his service was comforting and loving.  He spoke of love,  faith, and living memory.  I ran through two packs of tissues. The scent of figs danced in the breeze.  We listened and prayed.   And then we said our goodbyes, each putting a handful of earth onto her casket.

We caught the ferry back in the evening, and arrived home around 10pm.

Felt like lying in bed today feeling blue, but pulled on my running gear, and went for a run.  Being practical Рmight as well get endorphins where I can get them.