I keep my blog as a personal record of what I'm up to, which might be seen as working towards "An elegant sufficiency, content, retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books, ease and alternate labour, useful life"

I'm certainly not there yet.  There is quite some way to go!











We've been having a conversation on a mail list about "nesting" and the need to have everything to hand "just in case". Well, today, that need was justified.

I had been scheduled to observe two classes and set off this morning through dreadful traffic to arrive fifteen minutes early for the first one. Almost there and I get a call to say the tutor is ill and the class is cancelled. It really wasn't worth heading home again, since I had the second class to observe this afternoon in the same area, so quick decision re what to do/where to go.

Answer: Symonds Yat.

It was a glorious day, clear and sunny, and the views were magnificent. OK, I wasn't quite dressed for the great outdoors, but so what - I enjoyed some fresh air and spent a happy hour or so there. Of course, the nesting instinct meant that I had knitting, book, ipod, flask of coffee, sandwiches etc. to hand and was perfectly self-sufficient!

Trouble was, the car park was away from the view, a little empty and I felt I was being watched with suspicion by the other couple there. They were surely questioning why this smartly-dressed woman was hanging around the car park?!

So, I headed off through the Forest of Dean to Speech House, and Beechenhurst Forest picnic site, where I ate my lunch, knit a few inches of my alpaca-silk wrap, and listened to a podcast. (Can't bear You and Yours!)

Really quite a blow then, to have to do some work this afternoon when I heard that this particular tutor was working as normal!!

Two more photographs from NYC today, this time taken at a "costume jewellers" on 6th Avenue. Yes, of course I bought some!!


A Day at the Office

Well, hardly...but I suppose it's my equivalent. I spent the whole day training tutors to use "new technology". Your know the kind of thing - wires everywhere, half of it behaving nicely, the other half being temperamental. Oh well, maybe some were converted. Hope so.

Anyway, next in the series of yarn shops. This time to Purl, again in NYC, taken on the same day as the previous entry. Beautifully arranged and very helpful staff. Nice store.

Whilst there, I bought a scarf pin - the kind of doughnut shape with a stick across to hold a loosely woven scarf in place. This one was (note the past tense) greenish stone, and went perfectly with a couple of my favourite scarves. Yesterday I dropped it. Fool that I am, I pulled the pin and failed to hang onto the doughnut bit...and it crashed to the floor and broke into several pieces. Huh. Not a happy bunny about that.

So, nothing creative today, and unlikely to be tomorrow, when I'm out observing classes - a life class and an interior design class in a local college. Might be interesting.


Simple stuff

After a busy day full of meetings and stuff, with hardly a break to grab a cup of tea, let alone do anything creative, I thought that it would be reassuring to continue my series of photographs of yarn shops! Above is a picture of The Point, NYC, taken whilst there last August, and site of a Loose End meeting - you can just about spot Jordi in the background.

I did a couple of creative things yesterday in preparing for a short evening workshop for a local WI - they fancied making a book. I'm going to get them making envelope books, suitable for giving as presents, holding coupons for their supermarket jaunt, keeping colour swatches for dressmaking or decorating or for holding holiday souvenirs. You can see three of my samples below

The books are simple, made from an even number of envelopes (could recycle those prepaid ones which come with junk mail but I used new ones). Each flap sticks to the next envelope, so there's no sewing or glueing (lick'n'stick'!) the bundle of envelope "pages" get stuck (with a strip of double sided tape) into a cover made from an old magazine or calendar page which is cut large enough to have a flap to fold over to keep it closed. Might splash out on some Velcro stickies for them...or a bit of magnetic sheet.

It's such a short session - less than an hour - and they won't have anything with them, so it has to be simple and controllable. In addition, it's a general meeting rather than a class they've chosen to come along to, so there has to be guaranteed success for all!


A Grand Day Out

Had fun today with friend Sue K at the Get Knitted warehouse in Bristol. A good job she knew her way around, for I'd have got hopelessly lost trying to find it, tucked away in an industrial estate.

Who should we see as we stepped inside, but Wendy from ThreadEnds! We'd not met before, but somehow the old magic worked and Sue recognised her instantly - not that the clue of the amazing recycled knitted bag, or the glorious hat and scarf she was wearing didn't help! The place was quite full and at times it was hard to get to the corner that surely contained the very yarn we'd been looking for, but all was good natured and sunny and rather fun.

Sue's haul
We each left with quite a haul...beautiful hand dyes and patterns for lace knitting, plain and dyed alpaca for socks and a "smoke ring", a pair of Lantern Moon needles, Opal sock yarn and some fresh green Debbie Bliss Alpaca silk for the Vogue magazine wrap I mentioned previously.
(I haven't posted a link to the Debbie Bliss site because it's one of those which, once you're there, traps you and doesn't let you go back. Am I the only one who resents that?)

Gill's haul

Sue's suggestion of the re-opened Arnolfini was great for lunch and reminded me that we need to walk around this part of Bristol and have a closer look sometime soon.

The exhibition at the Arnolfini was interesting, though we did draw the line at lying flat on our backs to experience a light show on the ceiling of a darkened room! Last stop was the bookshop, where we admired a copy of Sophie Calle's beautifully bound "Exquisite Pain", the book I first saw whilst in NYC with Jordi last summer. I picked up a flyer for a couple of performances of the work next month and though I am tempted by the idea, I am not sure
I would find it easy viewing.

And yes, I know theatre does not always have to be comfortable or easy!


Making a list

Tomorrow I'm meeting Sue K and we're off to the Get Knitted open day in Bristol - for which I'll need a list. So far, I need to look at what Addi needles I'd like to add to my collection, want to look at Cherry Tree Hill Yarns as recommended by Jordi, and see what Lornas Laces are like. I also want to get hold of the pattern for the Heartstrings "Flared Lace Smoke Ring" which I rather fancy. No doubt I will take the opportunity to find an interesting yarn to knit the wrap (#24) in the Holiday 2005 Vogue knitting magazine.

Those are my intentions. Let's see what reality brings at confession time tomorrow evening!

Thought I'd illustrate this entry with pictures I took on my last knitting shop expedition, to Colinette in Wales.