Having been berated (gently) twice, I thought I ought to get my bum in gear and update my sad neglected blog.  On opening my editor, i found an a old post form the 22nd November. Eegads. So here it is:
22 Nov: It’s been a busy week – the highlight was an evening with Ysolda and Sarah. Ysolda has just published her second book of patterns, Whimsical Little Knits, and she was at Stash for a book signing, with ALL the samples from her two books. Amazing.  We spent the first part of the evening with Ysolda busy signing books, then as the crowd thinned, we went to town trying on her garments.  We tried on Coraline (which though a size 34, fit everyone just fine.  And looked great on too!) and all the hats.  I have a big head. Not just ego, (it has recently dawned on me that I’m not as modest as i like to think. Must work on that!) but actually I have a big noggin. None of the hats fit me!  It was so much fun seeing what shapes suited whom. 

Next up was a trip to the legendary Wollmeise.  Absolutely amazing to meet Claudia in the flesh and to see her amazing walls of colour (photos from Arianna Halshaw!).

 Wollmeise Heaven

  Wollmeise Heaven
Wollmeise Heaven
And now it’s the 15 December and Christmas is sneaking up on me.  In my defense it’s been a hectic few weeks, but still, not a good excuse to leave my poor mom searching for scraps of information about me in friend’s blogs! (Hi mom! happy now? heehee)

Cookie & I launched Knit Nation (phew!) at the beginning of December. Yaaay!  It was not without some sacrifice to the God of Sleep –  Cookie pulled an all nighter just before flying to Thailand, and I did the 5 am shift to do a few final checks before pressing the big green button for a 6 am launch.  Nerve wracking but so exciting to see it all work and nothing really fall apart! 

Had a lovely afternoon with Barbara catching up and drinking mulled wine. I enjoy it so much and everytime a girls’ afternoon is over I am always excited for our next catch up.  By the way, B just had her review of Ginger Strand’s Inventing Niagara published in Places Journal — a web-based journal of contemporary architecture and urbanism, in partnership with the Design Observer Group.  Great article – pop over and have a read.  It occured to me in a Marvel comic sort of way that the radiation in the Niagara region could be the reason for B and her St Catharine’s troop of friend’s genius.  Paul always says it must have been something in the water… maybe it was!

Meanwhile for us we’ve finally had our floors done – it’s been a year in the waiting since last Christmas our floors were damaged by some flooding from next door.

It went from this (all the wood is in thos white boxes under the window)

To this where all the old wood floor was ripped up and placed neatly in piles


In the space of a day.  Then they started to lay the floor – a wood called panga panga. I didn’t choose it just for the name, though was tempted as it makes me smile just to say it. Panga panga. Panga. Panga!

Anyways, it’s a tough old wood, which is great as we’re pretty hard on our floors (when I say we, i guess I mean I since I move stuff around so much).

They started laying the floors last week – two days  for the hall way and another few days for the living room.

IMG_1244  IMG_1245 IMG_1246 IMG_1248 IMG_1253 IMG_1254

They put on the final coat of oil today and its been drying up. The colours really pop up after the oiling – much warmer, richer and deeper.  Very cool. Will take a photo in the morning before the guys put the furniture back in place! Very very pleased – and despite the fact that having the sofa in the kitchen along with alot of other random pieces of furniture meant we had to get takeaway for dinner the last couple nights, I really miss our sofa and being able to just chill in the living room so am totally looking forwrad to getting use of our space again. Yay!

here’s a gratuitous shot of the deuce being a sleepy piggy.  He’s more cat than dog, and sort of frog shaped. All belly with skinny little legs and huge round eyes. But we love him for it all the more.

It hasn”t been all toil and work for me thank goodness.  One of the reasons I shut Socktopus was to regain my life balance.  And, for the same reason earlier in November why I had to withdraw from the Socktopus-Stash collaboration.  Sadly it became apparent that I could not give Stash the hours it deserved, on top of dividing my dwindling basket of hours to sock club, Knit Nation, hubby, puggy and friends.  

So first on my visit list was my dear friend Jenny and her cutie pie son.  A lovely afternoon at Ottolenghi (of course) ensued.  He was so charming and sweet all afternoon.  And he let me eat all the cake too. what a gentleman!

I also went on a chocolate making course with Geri this past Saturday. Pretty cool – we learned about the cocao bean…

cocao nibs…



IMG_1282 IMG_1279

…and conching. The photos are of the same chocolate, with the chocolate on the right having had more conching (remember that scene in charlie and the chocolate factory about the chocolate waterfall – integrating air into the chocolate? That’s conching, and the oxygen it introduces to chocolate helps to give it a smoother rounder flavour) giving a smoother, shinier chocolate, left the original with less conching, a bit gritty and not at all shiny.
IMG_1276 IMG_1275

We made a heck of a lot of chocolate, using Callebaut chocolate (lovely high cocoa content – Bernard was starting with some seriously great assets when he moved to Calgary!).  Anyways thanks Geri for a fab Saturday.  

I also got in a last shipment of yarn – including fabulous Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop yarn – hand spun yarn that flies off the shelves whenever Klaus puts any up on his site.


From left to right
Stand By Me, Hey Jude, In the Air Tonight

Born to be Wild, Layla.

£18 a 3oz skein (200yds)
If you’re interested, email me at Alice AT socktopus DOT co DOT uk

This week is a big week for me – the last club parcel for the sock club went out on Monday and the last fibre parcel will also be going out on Friday.  Which means, next week – PURE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY!  YAY!  I might actually get to send out the Christmas cards I made with Marja a few weeks back.  Monday a day out with the girls at Wahaca and a spot of mall rat thrown in (of course!).  There were a few fruit flies hanging about where we were and we spent the time trying to kill the fruit flies by clapping like maniacs at random intervals.  We must have looked rather insane to the diners below.

Tomorrow lunch in the country, dinner with old friends up in Golders Green, Thursday parcelling & knit night at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, and the whole weekend to hang out with D & D.  Bliss!

5 thoughts on “Berated….

  1. Happy to read from you ! Happy that everything seems to fall into place, including the floor. And happy that you’ll be able to enjoy some well deserved vacations. But WHAT DID YOU GET AT WOLLMEISE ?
    You can’t let us wondering :0)
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

  2. I miss you lots after reading this post. I can hear your voice as I read. (and your head is just exactly the very right size!)

  3. Hey! Thanks for the shout-out in your blog. And thanks for blogging. When here in NYC it makes me feel more connected to ‘home’. Did you see Paul’s latest? I think it’s his funniest ever.

  4. Pingback: Autumn in January — Adventures of Socktopus

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