Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom! Hopefully will get a chance to speak to you today, but if not, here’s wishing you a fab day, great weather, and a birdie or two! 😉

The week has been hectic – haven’t had much time to myself, but it’s been productive as a whole lotta ticks got made on my to do list. Also managed to have some fun too! I finished a pair of socks and my long dormant not quite February Lady sweater.

Not Quite Lady Feb Cardi

Got some lovely yarns from Loop (they are having a sale on their Koigu! Dare I go there again pre their big move? I can hear my debit card groaning in pain already…)

Casbahx2, Madeline Tosh, Koigu KPPPMx4

And some yummy Loop candy that tastes like Popeye cigarettes used to when I was a kid. Totally my favourite candy ever.

Loop Candy!

Went to Knit Night down in the courtyard of Kingly Court with Da Girls! Including Tricia, Arianna, Kate, Nora & Tina. Kate got me some lab equipment for my next project, Nora brought me a foot, and I had my almost completed Skew sock number 1 with me, which, when put together, got a lot of strange looks from the neighbouring tables.

Mad Scientist with Sock

Tonight hubby is home from Jersey (I asked him to bring me home a cow, but maybe all I’ll get is a potato) and I think it’s going to be a chillaxing night in, knitting (for me) beer (for him) and a dvd for us both. But please let it not be Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy. I’ve watched 4 episodes of it and I still have no idea what is happening, and which bits are flashbacks and which aren’t. In the last episode I was confused when in one scene they said Control was dead but in the next scene there he was, alive and kicking albeit looking rather ill and crazy. Turns out it was a flashback, except there didn’t seem to be anything to let you know it was a flashback! Marja lent me Supernatural Series 1-4 so maybe I can get David hooked on that instead…

May Club Parcel Off!

Phew! I always heave a sigh of relief when the bags and bags of silver Knit Love Club parcels have been sent off to the post office.  This month we also sent out last year’s Socktopus Club badges too so it was a fun little parcel we put together for club members.

The sun was out last week and the weather glorious. We are back to grey skies and coolish days.  So happy we took the time to enjoy the weather when we did!

Went to Loop yesterday (as well as last week) and bought a couple more gorgeous skeins of Koigu, of which they have a gazillion gorgeous colours.  I think you should stock up… because Knitting Daily is going to be coming out with a great sock pattern on the 2nd of June.  It’s one of Cookie’s and it looks darned cool. Am winding up my yarn so I’ll be ready.

Hi mom! If you’re reading, I’ll be home tomorrow so let’s speak then cause I keep missing you!

Cold Beer+Hot Sun=Happy

Jacqueline & Me

The week has been pretty busy – Jacqueline Sava of Soak was in town so we met up on Monday and headed up to visit a storage and packing company up Norff.

A lovely sunny day, if a little chilly, and it was quite fun to see how a warehouse works. Met Jacqueline’s sister and mom, who were Ottolenghi aficianados already on their first day of arriving in London. We went to Loop who will have Soak (including Unleashed!) at their new shop opening party in June, met up with Robynn and Claudia from Purlescence, and popped into the Make Lounge to say hi to Emilie and Jennifer.

Deuce managed to get conjunctivitis in both his eyes, so we made a couple trips to the vet last week too. Thankfully no ulcers and after a round of 4 different kinds of medication, each eye getting different treatment, it’s all cleared up and today he’ll be done with his final drops.

This weekend has been absolutely glorious – great big blue skies, sunshine and 30 degree weather. All the summer dresses are out, and it feels like we finally are moving towards sunshine and lazy afternoons in the park. Nights are still cool, thank goodness. This kind of weather makes me so happy. Yesterday we hung out with Clare who was back in town on a business trip. Managed to get some quality time in before she jetted off back to Tokyo. We went to J & A’s, where we soaked in the rays in their backyard, watching little Oliver negotiate the stairs, Sophia announcing that she was not Sophia but in fact Daphne. Paul wrapped her up like a wonton in a picnic blanket, and proceeded to bounce her up and down on an exercise ball, Sophia/Daphne giggling hysterically. Someone should invent a ride for adults that did that. So much fun!

Very excited about the feedback so far on the Farmer McGregor Socks. It is ridiculously thrilling to see people actually buying the pattern. Like my little baby has taken his first steps in the world. Glad you like the socks Debbie! And thanks to all for the lovely Ravelry comments too!

This week I’ll be packing up the May Knit Love Club socks, working on a pattern for my friend Tash’s sock club, the bonus pattern for the Knit Love Club, and the August club socks.

Marja will be happy to know I’ve completed my May finishes – in fact I have 2! A pair of socks and my not quite February Lady cardi. I had a moment of near disaster when I snipped off the button loop to redo it… and snipped a stitch from the collar instead which instantly unravelled. EEEK. Some quick grafting with a darning needle saved the day. Am happy to know I can keep my wits about me in the event of a yarn emergency, but rather disappointed to find that I’m a complete idiot with scissors. Photos to come.

Farmer McGregor Socks

I‘ve been working on these socks on and off for about a year now. My hubby inspired these guys – I’m always on the look out for a good stitch pattern that keeps my interest but is not too ‘girly’ for a bloke, since hubby can be rather picky with sock patterns. I got the thumbs up from him for these ones, so am rather pleased!

These socks are knit cuff down, and have a similar diamond theme to my FIL’s socks using twisted stitches too, but I think these ones are really the bees knees for variegated yarns.  The double lattice is a strong enough texture to hold its own against a cacophony of colour. Carrie knit up a pair in Wollmeise 100% Superwash Rhabarber, and mine are in Socks That Rock River Rocks. I think both colourways work really well, you can easily see the colour changes, as well as the stitch pattern. Check it out:

Socks That Rock in River Rocks colourway

Wollmeise 100% Merino Rhabarber colourway

The pattern is all written with one chart for the instep pattern. You’ll need:

Approx 437yd /400m of fingering weight yarn. Samples knit in Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash and Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight

Gauge is 9 sts per inch in stocking stitch, which gives a finished unstretched circumference: 7” (8”/9”). If your gauge is different, the sizing will, of course, also be different according to your gauge.

We knit the socks on 2.5mm needles, or appropriate needle size to get gauge. You can buy it now as a pdf download in the Socktopus Pattern Shop.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother's Day

To all the dear moms in my life – Sue, Barb, Marja, Susan, Irmgard, Tricia, Mel, Buzz, including my very own wonderful, kind, funny, generous, big-hearted, adventurous and slightly crazy but very much loved mom – Happy Mother’s Day!

Gulet & Testi Kebab

Today we went on a gulet trip – that is a leisurely boat ride around the Kas bay. The boat was lovely and spacious, with a motor and masts for sails, though there were none on it today.

Gulet

DH and I spent the entire day basking in the sun, occasionally braving the waters for a bracing swim. The water is pretty cold, since we’re early in the season yet, but after a little bit getting used to the temperature a brief swim is refreshing. We had a great group of people – all really friendly and easy going, and over a baked sea bass lunch we swapped stories about hammams and travel round Turkey. I finished my sock club sock, and stuck it on a foot form and took a bunch of photos… much to everyone’s amusement and DH’s utter embarrassment.

Lycian pillars

This area of the coast is rich with Lycian ruins, and we went to visit an ancient town called Xanthos yesterday. The Xanthians are legendary for their fierce protection of their freedom.  When the Persians invaded in 540 BC, the Xanthians facing defeat rounded up their citizens and committed mass suicide rather than be captured as slaves. Eventually Xanthos was repopulated, only to revisit the grisly scene again with a mass suicide when Romans invaded in 42 BC.

We walked around the old town, visiting the theatre and the royal house – walking through the weeds and grass and visiting the old dining/reception room, bath, agora (open courtyard) – and the commercial centre where walls still stood and most of the old church, along with mosaic flooring. Only the old church was walled off, the rest we could freely clamber around. The old Roman pipelines were visible in many places as were the original drains in the bathrooms and the cisterns.  Most of the excavated finds at Xanthos were removed and now live at the British Museum courtesy of explorer Charles Fellowes.  It will be nice to go home and visit the Lycian exhibits there – seeing the ruins in situ really helps bring history to life.

Goats

The goats had the run of the place, running around and munching on the weeds. Our guide told us that in a month the goats will have done a stellar job of clearing all the weeds. “Goats are good for ancient sites” he told us.

Sunday night the hotel restaurant had a special dish called Testi Kebab (just normal lamb, not a special cut!) which was like a tagine, cooked in a terracotta urn. The urn came to the table on a plate of flames, with the opening at the top covered in foil. The waiter then wrapped the foil with a cloth, held the cloth and the urn upside down, and used a huge metal stick to tap the bottom of the urn (now sticking up in the air), which was supposed to break off and allow him to pour the contents onto the diner’s plate.

Unfortunately for our waiters, the dish proved to be very popular, and tricky. The foil lids leaked, meaning they got burned quite a lot, and a few of the terracotta urns simply refused to part with their bottoms, meaning they could not get the stew out. Some urns decided to part with more than their bottoms, meaning the stew inside was littered with terracotta pieces. At one point, there was a fire in the kitchen, since an urn and its meth laden flaming plate base had fallen to the floor. That one happened to be the one for DH! Still, it was quite a show and despite having to wait 2 hours for our main course, there was more than enough to entertain us, with diners exploding into spontaneous applause everytime one of the bottoms was successfully tapped off!

We’re going to try out a restaurant in Kas tonight. The weather is perfect, warm and still. Off to find some Turkish mezze and kebabs. Maybe even some guzleme.

Merhaba!

We arrived in Kas Saturday late afternoon after a full but uneventful flight into Dalaman airport. The last time I was here was with B & M when we went west from Dalaman to Turunc Bay. This time, DH and I headed east.

We had a little kerfuffle at the airport – pretty much everyone needs a visa but you can get it at the airport just before immigration. However, they ask that you pay in Euros or USD. Very annoying if you have prepared Turkish Lira! In a huff I went to the Currency Exchange desk, where the chap there hurriedly changed my Turkish Lira into USD. But I forget how things work here. I asked him whether I needed to queue again. He took my money and my passport and left his little cubicle, leaving a wad of foreign currency unmanned and unsecured at his desk, strolled up to the front of the queue and had a word with one of the visa officers, and got my visa for me. It just was such a pleasant reminder why I am always so impressed by the Turkish. It’s the huge dose of humanity which tempers the bureaucracy that I just love so much (the humanity that is, not the red tape!).

Kas Harbour

Kas is a little fishing village with a harbour and Lycian ruins dotted about. We are staying in a hotel on the water’s edge about a 10 minute drive away from town. Very peaceful and beautiful. It weirds me out a little that every single guest in this hotel is British (except me). Still, everyone is very friendly and chilled.  There are a heap of stairs here, since it is built into the hill, which is perfect since we are heartily enjoying the seafood here and some exercise will do us good.

View from the stairs

Stairs up to our room

The view from our room is pretty stunning, water and mountains. We have a wee balcony to enjoy the afternoon, but so far we’ve spent our time by the water’s edge on the rock platforms and sun loungers.  Patara beach which is in the area is the breeding ground for the local sea turtles.  I was hoping to see some but instead we had a different visitor – a wee little lizard.

From the sun lounger. Wee dot is DH swimming

Visitor

The area is dripping with bougainvillea and loads of cute little flowers.

Purdy flower

Wee flowers

We spent the morning today in the Kas just wandering around, and to my utter delight found a place that made us fresh juice and fresh guzleme – delicious little Turkish style crepes. Will be going back for more! Meanwhile, tonight is dinner down on the rock platforms so we’re heading down the steps for some nosh. Will tell you about last night’s comical dinner later – think Fawlty Towers farce with lots of Manuel’s running around.