All posts for the month March, 2015


Published March 19, 2015 by Jackie

I don’t believe in them, but I get a daily one emailed to my spam account. Sometimes it’s amusing to look back on them after the event…..

Here are my horoscopes for Yarn Festival weekend:

Your schedule is packed with social plans, and you’ve been looking forward to them. (and then it went on…. There may be some confusion when it comes to the role of some other person — maybe a friend, or your significant other (if you’re seeing someone). They may have an entirely different agenda, but they may not be sharing it with you for some reason. Ask for some clarity to avoid impending conflict.) irrelevant!

There’s a lot going on right now, and the odds are good that you’re quite the social butterfly, flitting from person to person and party to party. Settle down for a few moments, so a particular conversation can be more enlightening. Putting your head together with someone else’s gives both of you considerably more brainpower — and then some big, confusing matter turns out to be a piece of cake.

maybe this last phrase referred to my Brioche class the day before? it WAS a piece of cake, and I’ve already cast on my first Brioche project

You love experimenting to find new shortcuts that can save you a few minutes in the middle of your commute, but more than that, you love gathering your tribe together. That’s even more true right now, even though you all know perfectly well that you might regret all this tomorrow. Accept that that you’ll be yawning tomorrow afternoon. Share the new shortcut with your people,and at least you should all be able to give the snooze button an extra slap.

Hmm well I could regret all the extra Twitterers I’ve followed, I seem to be spending much more time than usual there, or at least this week!

Now I could read all kinds of things into those sentences, but the bits that made me laugh the most were the ‘social butterfly’ ‘gathering your tribe’ and the ‘yawning tomorrow afternoon’ ~

I was quite the social butterfly over the weekend, as you might have spotted in my last post. And I was certainly more interested in gathering my tribe on Twitter on Monday, than I was in my work, I think I followed about 20 more people and they me! And by the end of the Monday I couldn’t stop yawning, went home and had an hour’s nap, waking at precisely the time I should have been starting my meditation class across town!

(ps these horoscopes are always sent the day before, but I was still a wee bit confused about whether the yawning was meant for Monday or for Tuesday)


It was the best of times….

Published March 18, 2015 by Jackie

… full stop! No need to continue with the rest of Dickens’ quote, there was no worst of times here, that’s for sure.

The aftermath of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival… Yarn Party to end all yarn parties! Until the next one, that is ~ there will be a next one, won’t there? I know, I know, you need a rest now, Jo and Mica, but just a hint of a knowing smile, even if you stick with that 2-year calendar…

Seriously, I had the best of times! I got exactly what I wanted and needed from EYF, (despite some rumours I heard that I’d not enjoy the full experience by booking so many classes, so don’t worry on that account, my friends!) I knew that my health has been too unpredictable of late to volunteer at the event, and a recent blip has proved my point: that’s it’s a younger, (or fitter) woman’s game.

I did my volunteering time in my 40s, different genre mind you, stuck in a cupboard while my friends were on the dance floor ~ ok I was the DJ, providing the music for them ~ but I feel I’ve done my bit, just sorry knitters that it wasn’t for you.

But if you can’t be a volunteer, be a participant instead, throw lots of money at it! I missed out on classes at the first EYF, but maxed out this time. I booked 3 classes, enough time to leave myself a slot for the market…

and of course, I’d be at the Ca-baa-ret! H O O O O L D M E B A C K!

The classes were wonderful, inspiring; the market place was seriously overwhelming, a real box of delights! But the best thing about it was the people.

The people who ~
~ came from ALL over the world, including a charming lady in my Brioche class who insisted that two weeks in London first meant she hadn’t come specifically from Australia for the event (aye right!)

~ chattered excitedly on the bus to total strangers they’d sat beside, but could tell where they were heading to because they were wearing hand-knits (seriously, there were 3 Epistrophieds on my bus on Saturday alone… and 2 Striped Study Shawls on Sunday, not to mention my monochrome Puffin Mantle)

~ are old friends, or new friends, or friends you hadn’t realised were knitters! Friends you saw last week, last month or last year; or friends not seen for 5 years tho you’ve chatted on Ravelry off and on, or from a totally different part of your life, unconnected to knitting; folk you follow on Twitter or who follow you, even though you’ve never met them before. People you sat next to in class that morning too!

Saturday evening, waiting for for the Ca-baaa-ret doors to open, seemed to be a flurry of interrupted conversations, as someone I’d not seen in years (or weeks) wandered by and had to be greeted. Then turn around and the person I was talking to had moved on, apologies of course, but I think you were all experiencing this too!

So I have reached 500 words +, and think I’ll stop and publish this post, and come back to tell you more about the Ca-baa-ret and Sunday in my next post!

Are we nearly there yet?

Published March 13, 2015 by Jackie

It’s Friday (not quite 5 to 5, so no CrackerJack!) 13th (eek!) of March today, which means tomorrow is…..



woohoo! and all that kind of stuff! I’m almost ready for my classes, of which there are three over the two-day festival (mostly to keep me out of yarn-buying trouble!)

For Nancy Marchant’s Basic Brioche first thing tomorrow, I have a ball of Cascade 220, and I might look out another ball I know I have somewhere. Looking out needles is tonight’s task.

For Tom of Holland’s class on Sunday, I’ve dug out my holey socks, the ones my trainers ate in Jedburgh in a single day! One sock has a very large hole, and the other you can see daylight through. That should be enough for a couple of techniques… reminder to me to find yarn to darn with.

And for Helene Magnusson’s Icelandic Steeking, I made a yarn dash to Mei’s Be Inspired shop in my lunch-hour for a couple of odd balls of contrasting Lett-Lopi. (Important knitters’ electronic gadgets and apps include the Lothian Bus-tracker app for maximum shopping time and minimal lunchbreak hassle)

Although not physically the closest yarn shop to me, Mei’s is much the easiest for me to get to from home ~ walk to bus-stop, wait for the 24, quick 15 min journey across town, then cross the road at the other end, voila! ~ so I think of it as my lovely Local Yarn Store! It’s full of lushness and covetable skeins, and amazing samples that are right up my street! She will be at the Yarn Festival, along with her MadeleineTosh skeins… sigh!

Sunday will be my main shopping day at the Yarn Festival, although I might make time to buy a sheepy mug from Ingrid at the Bon Papillon pop-up gallery on Saturday.

One of the times I’m most looking forward to is after class on Saturday evening, there’s a wonderful ca-baaa-ret planned for the evening, but some time before to simply chill and knit with friends. Quite a few Ravelry friends from distant locations will be there, as well as local friends, tho a lot of my local friends are volunteering at the event. I’m looking forward to seeing them all!

But what to take for casual knitting? It’s going to have to be my much-neglected-of-late Scollay, which is languishing in the bottom of a bag I’ve not used in a while. Maybe this will motivate me to finish it? It’s at the back-and-forth stocking stitch for 10 inches stage, and one row is just too long for my work journey at the moment. But what do I want for social knitting? something that I can just go back and forth and not think about, or make a mistake on, so ideal! Problem solved!

On Sunday, however, I’m planning to leave as if I was going to a 10am class again, and have a good mooch around the market. There are a few stalls I will definitely visit, and a few more I’ll look out for, I have a couple of ideas but I have no definitive shopping list, and a finite amount of cash in my purse to spend, having blown my £2 coin stash on a painting a few weeks ago!

here’s a picture of my picture, painted by my dear friend Lesley Skeates

you can see more of her paintings on her website

oh and can I just add how very pleased I am that my toothache was last weekend and not this! (well you know what I mean, I’d rather not have had toothache at all, but at least it’s over and done with now and i’ve done with the ‘avoid alcohol at all costs’ antibiotics!)

I’m my own worst enemy!

Published March 4, 2015 by Jackie

A few weeks ago, I finished a toddler size Icelandic sweater for my friend’s grand-daughter. I took it to work, and showed it to a couple of people… (It was designed by a woman in Iceland who wanted to make something, inspired by the Disney movie Frozen, for her daughter.) And I was asked if I could make one for a 6-year old too, seems that everyone’s daughter is Frozen-mad? I had suitable yarn, and it’s worsted weight, how long could it take?

Too damn long!!! is the simplest answer. 6-year olds are a bit bigger than toddlers, aren’t they? It has lace instead of rib, no problem, 8 rows only, took no time. But it was only when I’d knit the first sleeve that I realised I was unhappy with the bottom of the sweater…. I’d made a wee mistake on the first sleeve bottom, and it looked so much better that I repeated it on the second, and then I wanted to knit the body again. I didn’t rip, just slowly knit from the top end of the body until it was all undone.

Of course the problem with this jumper is it was only ever going to get really interesting when I reached the yoke! I’m almost there now, and the sleeves are finished, I’ll be putting them all on one needle tonight. But it’s felt like the longest time getting there…. The reality? I actually only cast on two weeks ago!

I’m hoping I’ll get this finished this weekend, or a couple of days after that… No, I’m really really hoping! Get the ends sewn in quickly, then finish another little child’s gift, and then it’s time for some proper ME-time!

The next project has to be for me, and it has to be something different. I’ve a couple of ideas, and the yarn is already in my stash, and I know exactly where it is too! It will be a slow knit, I’m sure, a fingering weight long-sleeved tunic, in a very large size, but I’m hoping it will be inspiring enough to finish quickly ~ it has multi-coloured stripes! (as in 2 different wildly variegated Wollmeise yarns…)

It’s also going to be TOP-DOWN! Really, designers, if you are reading this, why isn’t everything top-down? So much easier to take sleeve stitches out of the equation and knit later, than join 3 parts together and work round some awkward corners for a few rows… AND SO MUCH EASIER to make things longer in the body if you need to! My niece’s Nordic sweater taught me that much…

Of course, now I am itching to get home, and it’s only 1pm!