Friday, June 23, 2006

Knitting in groups

On monday to my local knitting group. Knitting being a process I associate with long evenings in front of the telly, the whole idea of a taking my knitting to a group was alien. However, I needn't have been concerned as it was a real treat to be in a room full of people for whom "knitting" is not a synonym for "tedious activity only done by those incapable of more active pursuits".

The range of projects in progress was very wide and the group newly formed. It will be interesting to see how it develops once the aim is to acquire new skills.

I'm making good progress now on my WIP. It's just that taupe is not a very stimulating colour.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Finished object.

At last I have a finished project, started and finished after my hand surgery.

I bought two balls of Jaeger silk, in a light turquoise, on e-bay, largely on the strngth of seeing Wendy knit a top in the same yarn. It's quite a heavy yarn without much lustre, but the thought that it was 11.50 per ball originally does create a sense of luxury.

I've knitted a scarf in travelling vine pattern and,although it is heavy for a summer scarf, the colour is light and summery. More than that, of course, is the relief of being able to knit at all.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Stash yarns

It never ceases to amaze me to see what other people will admit to having in their stashes. Hundreds of pounds worth of big name silk, baby goat, Japanese imports....

I was brought up to thrift, and fatally acquired jumble sale syndrome when I was 14. I started grammar school just as my older sister left it, so I was able to inherit her gymslip. I'd like to see the 12 year old nowadays who would wear something which had been worn daily by someone else for four years before they got it. However, that never occurred to me. What rankled was that, in the last year of junior school my brother had been bought a bottle green gaberdine raincoat. But boys at the grammar wore navy-blue, a fact that had eluded my parents. So this same raincoat was passed on to me. It was a boys' coat, straight and fastening the other way. I wore it for three years.

When I was 14, at a jumble sale, I lighted on a Robert Hirst school coat: bottle-green, belted and with a purse on a chain still in the pocket. It was half a crown. That is twelve and a half pence in today's money, but then it was the price of two visits to the local cinema - so I guess that's at least ten pounds in today's money. I had it cleaned and wore it every day until I left school at eighteen. Eeee, it was a different world.

But, my point is this: I always value things more highly if they have been bought as a spectacular bargain, in a charity shop or at a boot fair.

Greatest bargain to date? A sealed pack of Rowan Cork and one of Kidsilk Haze, along with the issue of Rowan magazine which had inspired their purchase, in an Oxfam shop in Penrith for ten pounds the lot.

What's your biggest bargain been?