Friday, February 10, 2012

Knitting Nirvana - Crafty Books, Done Deals and WIPs

Modelling my frilly ChaChaCha scarf
I know, I know, I promised to  be a more consistent blogger in 2012 and I'm already falling by the wayside. I am writing this on Martin's lovely iMac with a big screen and a sleek brushed steel frame, with the iconic Apple and no big tower like in PC world! I'm sorta minding it for Martin but hopefully he'll not be able to fit it in his suitcase when he comes home for Shayne and Jany's summer wedding! Then I'll get to mind it for a bit longer, and will by then have figured out all that I've forgotten about Apple Macs and their quirkily intelligent Operating Systems. 

Already the keyboard is toast, as Martin spilt tea on the lovely slimline objet d'art before  heading to Australia, rendering 5, T, H and N useless and by extension the whole bloody keyboard - *ry worki*g wi**ou* **ose and you'll soo* fi*d out how much you use *hem! So I'm using a clunky old Dell Keyboard - functional but with no aesthetic properties whatsoever! At least the Apple Mouse is still working, except for the scrolldown button. Which I can live without.

This is a little post on recent knitting I  have done. I joined the Knitting Circle at Angela's Design Workshop last year and thoroughly enjoy it. It's on twice every Tuesday in Lismore, and I go to the evening session as being a wage slave prohibits my attendance at the morning session - that's peopled by a number of retired women including a few retired Public Health Nurses - knitting nurses being quite the thing. It certainly whiled away a few quiet nights for me on agency night duty back in the 70s and 80s - yes, even nurses had quiet nights in some of the smaller private hospitals.

Apple iMac - a thing of  beauty!
Rathcooney Mitts in cotton blend - now in Oz!
The knitting circle is a nice social outlet, people meet to chat, share patterns and ideas, and help each other out with tips on patterns and problems , and even do a bit of skill-sharing - some of us who can crochet gave a demo on making Granny Squares a few weeks back. We have tea and coffee, cakes and biscuits and a good laugh is guaranteed. There's something very cosy about a knitting circle, and it's a great leveller as everyone brings something new and we all gain from it, from absolute beginner to experienced returnee  - which I consider myself to be as I only came back to knitting about 3 years ago after a lifetime away from it - probably over 20 years. 

Book Token buys!
My Christmas Wish List this year was books - Knitting and Crochet books - and I had great fun self-selecting on Amazon. I got two wonderful books - Carol Feller's Contemporary Irish Knits and Stitch'n'Bitch Superstar Knitting. The boys and Anne (Shayne and Jany's Au Pair) gave me book tokens for Easons and Waterstones. I still have the Waterstones' one (no shop nearby) and two weeks back spent a blissful hour browsing the Craft Section in Eason's in Dungarvan - where they have thoughtfully positioned tub armchairs for enhanced browsing - and came away with two great books - The Knitting and Crochet Bible, and The Happy Hooker - Stitch'n'Bitch Crochet

Mitts I made to match my cowl Knitmas gift
Great series of books!
I've  been making lots of little things since Christmas - fingerless Rathcooney Mittens from Stolen Stitches Blogger Carol Feller's book being a firm favourite and I made a couple of pairs as presents for friends. I made a matching hat too, and a cowl in Feather and Fan stitch which was like the one I got from Caroline (@scattyhats on Twitter) in the Knitmas Secret Santa which I mentioned in a recent post. I sent some things off to Cathy (@cathyqtpi on Twitter) for her Knitmas gift.  
Rathcooney Mitts for a piano-player friend - Merino wool
Best Irish Knitting book of the year! 
iPhone Cover from Monika on Ravelry
I made some frilly scarves for friends and one or two  for myself - and I have been asked to make some for other people! I made some iPhone covers from Ravelry - which is a fabulous resource for anyone interested in knitting - and right now I am patiently working in painfully slow fine 2-ply Noro Sekku yarn (no 7) - a delicious blend of Cotton, Silk and Wool, which I also got from Caroline for Knitmas. I am doing a Feather and Fan lacy scarf which will take forever as I can't give too much time to it, what with work, baking and blogging amongst other things, and I have other knitting fish to fry as well.

Tivoli Twirl scarf made in car en route to Dublin, gift.
I'll link some of the books and show you some of the photos of the projects.  I hope you get inspiration from this post to try your  hand at knitting - and indeed crochet - and remember start small, you don't have to knit a jumper, something small or baby clothes will give you great satisfaction and you'll have something very special to share with the world - or at least your friends and family!
Modelling my Rathcooney Knits


Jo said...

Hi Catherine, love the sound of the nice computer. Bummer about the keyboard. Hope you get to mind it a little longer! I LOVE your knits. I used to wear mitts like those Rathcooney ones when I played the organ for the church way back in the days when we lived in South Africa. Also popped by to tell you that I've since moved from Kenya to Tanzania! Do visit my blog when you get a chance. Have a great weekend. Jo

Catherine said...

Thanks Jo! Lovely to hear you're in Tanzania - I've just been looking in nostalgia at your blog! I loved that country and though I don't know the Mwadui/Shinyanga area well I did spend a few weeks in Singida where LWF/TCRS (The Lutherans) had projects years ago and I have been to Mwanza many times - love the lake there and the rock formations in the bay. I see Williamson Mines are still there in your project area. We lived in Iringa where the Diamond Cutting Factory (TanCut) was based, and there was a wonderful Tancut Orchestra of Zairean/Congolese musicians who played all over town. They were well known in African music hubs in France and all over East Africa. There was also a mysterious Belgian from Antwerp who flew back and forth regularly to the diamond markets there - we always had visions of him handcuffed to his diamond-laden briefcase! It's lovely to see people still like Tanzania as much as we did - and your Swahili will improve with much less English there. At least so it was in our day. Kenya and Uganda teach through English but not Tanzania. Legacy of Nyerere but we always appreciated what a peaceful oasis it was in the midst of the warring neighbouring states. Especially Rwanda- Burundi - you can see why fostering national rather than tribal loyalty was seen as so important - tribalism ruined those lovely countries.
Enough politics. I'll comment over on your blog soon!
Catherine xxx

Stephanie V said...

Love your mitts - I'm a sucker for cables - and those scarves would inspire anybody. Glad to see that you are enjoying your return to knitting.

My partner has a one of those smart-looking Macs, too. It is quite a lovely thing: so sleek and tidy. Hope you get another keyboard for it...or rather, that Martin does :)

Catherine said...

Thanks Stephanie, they're so effective and I love cables too - am making a 4-ply cotton phone cover now in deep green, lovely texture. Isn't knitting great anyway? I got some nice cotton socks mix with wool in the mix should be nice for the summer! Keep on knitting! Catherine xxx

Catherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pooch Purple Reign said...

i want a mac too...
nice mitts. i love the mustard ones
~laura x

Anonymous said...

What a nice blog again, i know a bit late reaction as you know due to lack of the big WWW.. Shayne and me were laughing out loud about your missing letter/keyboard part.. at least the mac must be 10 times faster then your much cherished laptop ;)
Can you post me a picture of your frilly scarves so i can ask around who would like to have them.. they are lovely!! I am starting making sunhats now for the kids from my friend whom moving to New Zealand soon.. curious how thats going to work out... speak soon!! xxx

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