Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Socks, Socks, Socks

This month has been Sockoctoberfest in knitting blogland. Lots of bloggers have knitting lots of socks. This month, I managed to finish the stripy socks in the last post and that is it.
The picture below shows the 9 socks I have cast on at present. How the heck did that happen lol.

Only one of these is the second sock of a pair - the one on the top left, which is knitted in the Broadripple pattern from the marvelous online magazine, Knitty. I cast on two new socks this month which were - Hedera, the purple lacy ones on the top right and are kntted in some 4ply soft that Seahorse Claire gave me earlier this year and the bottom right ones which are in Opal 6ply in Ladybird.

I also have a fair large stash of sock yarn which is waiting to be knitted up too. Considering I only learnt to knit sock this time last year, I think I may be a little obsessed with it. Incidentally, if you are reading this Shannon, I taught myself to knit sock via a pattern and some knitting forum post so I am sure you could learn. I even have a pattern you could have - drop me a message via yuku/ezboard with your mailing address and I'll send it to you. I have to spread the insanity of sock knitting lol.

As I mentioned before, I finished this month's Essy's friend project as soon as it got here. I finally got a picture of it uploaded.

I've had to turn on word verification on in comments because of a weird comment spam which was posted here and at a wordpress blog of the same name as this one that I don't post at anymore. If that person is still reading, I'm Scots not Irish and I'm not oppressed in the slightest. I also have the IP of where you posted from at wordpress.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Knitty and other stuff

First off, thank you all for your lovely commments, they are very much appreciated. Autumn has hit here this past week and its getting cold so the knitting has been getting some attention.

I've finished two things this week so far. Firstly I've finished a new pair of socks. I finished the first one a while ago and now the second one is done. I've now got six pairs and they are so warm and cosy. I also finished a clapotis scarf which is knitted in the Orkney angora I bought a few months ago. Its a little shorter than I would like but it will look okay tucked into a winter coat. I just need to buy a new winter coat now.

I have quite a few knitting WIPs. When I began knitting, I said that I would not end up with my knitting going the same way as my stitching. Cue ironic laughing as I currently have 2 bags and about 8 pairs of socks at various stages of progress plus a few other things. I've definately got chronic startitis with my stitching and knitting.

I've got two more work days left this week and then I'm off until the 3rd. I requested not to work this weekend as the local stitching show is on this weekend and I'm planning to visit on Saturday. I don't really have any particular things I want to get and I'm not planning on spending a lot of money but its just lovely to and see things in person. Its certainly going to be more fun than last weekend which I spent working,

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Some finished things

Firstly, thank you to everyone for your lovely comments about the exchanges. I had a lot of fun stitching the designs and trying out new things. And I got such lovely stitched things from my fellow stitchers. Receiving the packages really brighten my day.

I've finished two projects from the retreat so far. A felt bag designed by Blackbird designs and a little Halloween SB necklace that was the welcome project.

When I got back from Utah, I wasn't really feeling like going anywhere due to jet lag so I decided to try and do some stitching. First up two Essy's friends designs by Indigo Rose and Glory Bee. I'm really behind stitching these so I thought I'd better get going with them. I've also finished this month's, which is a ladybird fob but I can't find the picture of that one just now.

And lastly a framed piece - Legends of the Spellcasters. I ordered a frame for this and its been around at home for a few months so I'd thought that was a bit of pity. So I spent about an hour stretching it and framing it up. I'm pleased with how it looks.

I have a few big things waiting for framing - Titania, Taj Mahal garden, Queen Bee sampler, St Peters fair to name 4 of them. The friend of my dad that has done framing for me in the past has been away a lot this year - every time I ask about framing something, he seems to be away or just about to go away. I'm going to go and have a chat with another branch of the framer that Tina (of An Italian Scot's stitching journal) uses as the Glasgow branch isn't that far away so I think Titania might get framed by them.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Catching up and exchanges galore

Since I got back, I've been feeling a little overwhelmed with everything. I think going away was so much fun with great people that when I got back, everyday life seems so mundane. Combined that with root canal treatment last week and going back to work this week to find I had to deal with lots of bad decisions by a new manager which are going to make my job much harder. I've decided that I'm not going to let the job thing bother me too much and I am going to look even harder for a new job.

On to better and much more fun stuff. I take part in quite a few exchanges on the SBEBB which I enjoy doing as I find it gets me to stitch a bigger variety of things plus I get lovely stitched stuff in return.

I got my Halloween exchange from Svenja not long after I got back

I sent to Sylvie, who coincidentally I sent to last year also.

I also took part in the Autumn Quaker exchange and sent to Barbara who received it today, which is good going considering I only posted it on Saturday to The Netherlands.

This morning I received a package from Aniza containing a lovely quaker pinkeep which has a magnet on the back to keep needles on. Its very pretty and stitched over one.

It was a doubly good mail day as I got a lovely package from Nicki this morning contained my Neeedlework smalls exchange. You are right about purple Nicki, Its much more my colour.

I sent to Karoline who received today and incidentally, it was posted at the same time as the Quaker one and only went a fraction of the distance. Typical Royal Mail.

Other than exchanges, I've been doing quite a bit of stitching since I got back and I've also framed a piece that I got the frame for a while ago. I don't think I'll push my luck with blogger's photo uploader today so watch this space for more finished stitching to follow.

I've alos been thinking about changing my blog's appearance as I'm a little fed up with the way it looks just now. I've been having a look around at some templates, I just need to decide which one.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Retreat report part 3

Saturday was the last day of the retreat and was the busiest.

First up, class at 9 am. This class was with Amy Mitten and was a mourning sampler based on a murder mystery story written by Amy. She also had some other mourning samplers based on aspects of the story. We also went on a field trip to her room to watch a DVD she had made to illustrate the different symbols used on Victorian tombstones. It was all pretty interesting.

After lunch, it was off to the last class with the ladies from R&R reproductions. They had designed a lovely halloween stitching case. It was a pretty relaxed class. After explaining the stitches used in the piece, Pat showed off her finished Moulin rouge sampler in blue and her WIP of Fish city by Stoney Creek. Both looked lovely. They also chatted about the shop they opened with another lady in Virginia Beach.

And then it was time for the evening banquet. The theme of the banquet was a murder mystery, hosted by Lady Kloster Block whose husband was murdered. Each table was allocated a character name and we had to come up with why they would have murdered Lord Kloster Block. Each table had a spokesperson who then told their character's story. With each story, things got more and more outrageous.
Lots of people got dressed up for the party. Teri from Shepherds bush played the character of a clarevoyant and Charland played a detective called Aida Hoops. It was a lot of fun.

And so the retreat was over. On Sunday I headed home via Chicago and London. With each flight there was a delay. The worse was in Chicago where we were almost 3 hours late leaving as American Airlines didn't have the plane. You would think that with having a timetable, they might have some advanced warning that they need a Boeing 777 ready to fly to London. They told us we had to wait for it to come from another part of the airport. I know O'Hare is a big airport but seriously, it sounds that American airlines are pretty useless at organising things. When I got to Heathrow, they had kindly sent one person to assist people who had following flight - he was pretty overwhelmed and I had an hour to make my connecting flight. I got as far getting to the security point at the entrance to the gate to be told that I now had too much hand luggage. I had checked my hold baggage at Salt Lake and no one told me it would be a problem. So then I had to clear customs and passport control and run to the desk to check a bag. Where I met a series of very unhelpful British Airways employees. I was very stressed but polite and they were ignorant and unfriendly. I ran through to the gate through security again and got to the gate to discover that British Airways didn't have a plane either. Okay I thought the whole thing about airports was that they had planes there. After a short delay, I got on the plane to an annoucement to say that there was no catering and we were going to wait at the gate for it. After another short delay, the pilot announced that we weren't going to wait anymore. We only got as far as the bit just before the runaway, where we got another annoucement to say that we had to wait for an hour as a storm had come in just outside Heathrow and it was unsafe to take off right then. I felt like pointing out that if we had taken off when we should, we would have beat the stupid weather. Finally I got to Glasgow over 2 hours late and very tired and fed up.

On a brighter note, I now have lots of new stash to play with.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Retreat part 2

On Wednesday afternoon, Adana, Joanna and I arrived at the Canyons Grand Summit in Park city where the retreat took place. We had pooled for a 2 room suite with parlour which was surprising cheap as far as my experience goes. It also had the advantage of a kitchen, which was great for breakfast.
I shared one of the bedrooms with Susan who didn't arrive till later.

After a few teething problems with the keycards - we could only get into one of the rooms as the keycards wouldn't work in the other doors. We had problems on and off all end with the keycards. I'm not very good with them generally and tend to kill them every time I use them.

We did a grocery run and then Adana and I waited up for Susan to arrive just before midnight.

Susan gave each of us a little gift of a scissor fob plus I got some chocolate and a magnet of Chicago. The fob is gorgeous. I also got a gift of a halloween stitching pouch and a variety of fabrics from Adana which was lovely too.

Thursday morning, the retreat shop opened. Most people arrived at the conference room it was in before the shop opened. I guess the talking was pretty loud as hotel security came along and asked everyone to be quiet LOL. The shop was pretty amazing - full of things from each designer plus a retreat fob from Shepherds bush. It was pretty full with lots of shopping going on.

Whilst we were there, I met Georgie - pictured here with Susan and I

After a short lunch break, when I had some lovely Salmon tacos in Loco lizard, It was back to the hotel for registration and the welcome project which was a tin pin necklace. There were 7 designs to chose from. There's only 5 in my picture because some of the designers were wearing theirs

The designers then took it in turns to reveal their projects. I had chosen the Shepherds bush/Amy Mitten/R&R reproductions track. The only point I doubted my choice was when I saw the Merry Cox piece which was beautiful.

After another short break, we then had our evening class which was called Scared stitches and was a little bag with a design by Shepherds bush, a charm by Charland, fabric by R&R and finishing instructions by Merry Cox. Each teacher came into explain their section. I forgot to take pictures of the finished piece but I will stitch it soon so watch out for pictures.

Friday morning brought our first full class. For my half of the track, that meant Shepherds bush so I got to spend nearly 3 hours with Tina. Teri came in at the start to kid Tina on about how late it was before the piece was ready then she went off to take pictures and look after the retreat shop. The Shepherds bush piece is called Happy Haunting and its so cute. I got a good start on it in class and I've been stitching away on it since I came home. I think I'm about 1/3 of the way done.

After class, we had some free time until the Blackbird class in the evening so we went off for a wander down main street in Park city. The weather was gorgeous and sunny. I had to hid behind sunglasses as my eyes are pretty light sensitive (which is also why you may see a lot of pictures of me with my eyes closed lol). I was delighted to find a keyring with my name on it as I never find personalised name stuff for me over here. Of course then everywhere we looked, I found a ton of stuff with my name on it.

Friday evening, it was off to another class with Alma and Barb from Blackbird designs. The class was to applique a felt design on to a black purse. Some of trhe other retreater weren't overly pleased intially as they had a similar project last time but I thought it was fun. We had a great table with Berangere, Cindy from Illinois and Cindy from Texas amongst others. Joanna and Cindy from Texas worked away at their purses.

Joanna and I both finished ours before the end of the retreat and wore them to the Banquet on the last night.

Tomorrow Part 3 with the rest of the classes, the banquet and the stash report.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Utah trip part one.

I think I am starting to get over the jet lag. My sleep pattern is still all over the place but thats not that different from normal.

I've been struggling to start the trip entries as there is so much to tell, it was hard to know where to begin.

I began my journey at Glasgow airport. Security was tight but they had plenty staff on duty. The flight to Chicago was pretty uneventful. The security at O'Hare was pretty slow though; it took me longer to get through the security checkpoint to get into the domestic terminal than it did to clear Immigration and Customs combined. I did confuse the Immigration officer - I don't think he quite understood why some one would come to the USA for a needlework event.

I found Adana quite easily in the terminal and we had lunch in the airport, which was great for me as American airlines has the worst food ever. The waiter got a little confused when settling the check as he tried to give me more in change than I gave him for the meal.

After a short flight, we arrived in Salt lake city. My luggage arrived safely but unfortunately Adana's didn't. It finally turned up the following afternoon. We spent the first night in a hotel near the airport and set out next morning to drive to Ogden.

We got to Ogden and made a short trip to Walmart prior to anything else. I took the opportunity to stock up on DMC - I think the checkout lady was cursing me as she scanned in nearly 100 skeins. After Walmart, it was on to Shepherds bush.

Adana tells me the shop is small. Obviously I haven't been in enough shops as it was the biggest and best stocked shop I had been in. I took a ton of pictures - I loved the Shepherds bush stocking display.

After a little bit of stash enhacement, I went back to the hotel for a bit and then returned for Shepherds night birthday party. I mer a ton of people who I don't seem to have pictures of - I did have my picture taken with a few people, just not with my camera.
I met Berangere at the back of the shop.

I also met Cindy (didimr2), CathyUT, Lancy and her sister and many others. After some lovely cake and, more stash enhancement and a gift from the shop which included a lovely sheep pin, Berangere, Cindy, CathyUT, the other Cathy, Adana and myself went to Roosters for dinner. There was lovely food and interesting chat. One of the waiters heard more of our conversation than I think he wanted to and he seemed a little shocked LOL. It was lovely to meet everyone. Berangere is so much fun and she brought lovely Belgian chocolate for us to eat. It was great to meet Cindy as I had been her exchange partner in a recent exchange on the Rotation BB.

Wednesday we made another run to Walmart first thing. I had to buy a back pack as I reach the realisation that I was never going to fit all the stuff I was going to buy in my hand luggage and there was no way I was putting any stitching stuff in my checked luggage after Adana's experience. After more stops at Joanns for more DMC and a few other bits, it was back to the shop for the retreat open house.

The shop was decorated for Halloween and there were a few new releases too. Near the front of the store, there was a table full of Halloween stuff

I bought a few of the new things including a lovely Halloween ABC shop exclusive. We got a lovely pumpkin pin with our purchases.

Tina was behind the counter and Charland (of Charland designs) was helping out. Everyone working in the shop was so busy but took the time to help when neeeded. Tina and Teri are so welcoming and friendly.

We also met quite a few people including one of our room mates, Joanna who flew in Wednesday morning. After visiting the shop, we went off to Jill Rensel's framing studio. What a great place. She had laid on a lovely food spread and gave gifts too. She had lots of little frames that she was giving one of to each visitor and magnets and bookmarks.

Next time, I'm going to send something ahead to be framed. This time I had to make do with drooling over the mats and frames.

After Jill's, it was off for more shopping, We visited Needlepoint joint. I was hoping to buy some Lorna's laces yarn but their selection was very small and not very interesting. I did buy two skeins of Koigu: I couldn't leave without buying something. We then had lunch, did a little shopping and headed off for Park city.

Tomorrow, details of the retreat itself.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Back from Utah

I got back from Utah last night after a few delays and some ropey flights due to weather.

I'm planning to start posting a retreat report tomorrow once I stop randomly falling asleep. I hate jet lag. Meantime here's a photo of me outside the Shepherd's bush shop in Ogden.