Saturday, August 26, 2006

Heat, headaches and hedges

Can't believe I haven't managed to blog since the middle of June but then the whole of this summer seems to have disappeared in a blur of heat, headaches and hedges.

Firstly the heat, oh boy! has it been a hot summer and being inland for most of the time haven't had the benefit of any cooling breezes so been recording temperatures into the mid 30s C a lot of the time. Thankfully it's now much cooler and almost seems to have gone straight into autumn - it's really chilly in the morning and evening and there are loads of blackberries around, the rowans are amazing and loads of bird activity. I love it and have recovered some energy at last.

I just don't seem to cope with heat very well and spent most of June and July with constant headaches and even migraine. Used to have migraines regularly whilst in a really stressful work situation but most of the time can control them. Aspartame, getting dehydrated and low sun glare seem to be the major triggers so guess the combination of constant glare and probably not drinking enough were the cause. Of course the worse attack coincided with Woolfest and from reading the rest of the Knitty folks blogs missed a really good time. Has made me more determined to get there next year and it's even worth going on a yarn diet so can make the most of it.

Hedges - the hawthorn hedge which borders onto the canal towpath had got the stage where it was unmanageable so took it down by a good metre and a half. That was quite manageable and achieved it in a morning but it then took us weeks to chop up all the bits and dispose of them down to our local waste disposal site for composting. One of my work colleagues was surprised that we just didn't compost it ourselves. In theory that sounds fine but there was so much of it - when bagged up covered the whole of the carport and hawthorn doesn't compost down that well, the damn thorns tend to stay around for a rather long time.
Fortunately packages from my Knitty SP7 Westozcaat brightened up my summer. I had pics already to post but when my computer died it lost my pics. I will get around to photographing all my goodies again.
Again due to the heat it's been too hot to knit too much over the past months. Signed up for the Mystery Shawl KAL and the wonderful Sue a.ka Sadie was kind enough to send me some Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud. It's a lovely yarn and just wish we had access to it here in the UK. However started the shawl and got just over half way through the first clue and kept going wrong. Then when folk started posting up their pics realised it just wasn't for me. It was eventually named Scherezade which was suitable for it since it was somewhat oriental in influence but just a bit old fashioned for my taste. Felt really bad about owning up to the fact that I'd given up on it but through the Knitty boards found out I wasn't the only one including Sadie. Have started kniting the shawl featured in Sarah Dallas's book but progress is slow.
So what have I been knitting?? - needed to do something quickly to get me back on course so Voila!! I bought this Opal Acapulco yarn earlier in the year when I was down in Cornwall. A nice quick knit and certainly can't miss my feet in them.

Signed up for the Petals collection yarn from Sundara some time ago and was delighted when my package eventually arrived (a whole load of parcels got lost so she had to completley re-dye, re-package and post out a duplicate set of parcels). Can thoroughly recommend this - beautiful yarn that comes beautifully packaged in matching tissue paper with pattern (inlcuding photo) in it's own matching envelope. Started knitting this pair of socks for a work colleague as a leaving present The yarn is named Calla Lily and the colours are pretty spot on. The pattern itself is fairly plain allowing the colours of the yarn to shine through but it does have discrete lace pattern on the back of the sock which makes them that little bit different. Knitting with this yarn was interesting - as you can see in the photo the yarn looks a mix of greens and pinks but when you look at it more closely the greens really zing out at you

The heel is based on the 'Welsh Heel' that apparently Nancy Bush describes in 'Knitting Vintage Socks' and although new to me and it did take a bit of concentration to work it out it seems to really cup the heel well and one that I'll use again.

Have to excuse the quality of the pics. My computer kept crashing and after M fiddling around and trying various things decided that the best option was to replace the hard drive before I lost everything. So my computer has been almost totally rebuilt however M has installed Adobe photoshop rather than Canon Browser. Now I rather liked Canon Browser and knew how to get the best out of it and until I get to grips with Adobe got rather sub-standard pics.