Saturday, 30 October 2010

Books and other diversions

I've been using for a while now, which is an online service for buying and selling secondhand books in the UK.  You can sell your own used books for £3, and buy other people's books for £3.75 including delivery.  I always check there first before ordering something on Amazon.  Recently there have been more knitting books popping up on the site (search on 'knit' in the title field, which will pull up anything with 'knit' in the title like 'knitting', 'knitted' etc.) and this week I was delighted to score a copy of The Stitch and Bitch Handbook by Debbie Stoller.  So many people list this book as one of the seminal works that got them into knitting, but the cheapest I've seen it elsewhere has been about £7.  I will enjoy reading my bargain buy.  I've also just sold my spare copy of 'Noro Joy' through the site.

Another book site I have recently looked at is Project Gutenberg, a site which provides legal electronic versions of many older out-of-copyright books for people to read on their PC or on an e-reader. Interestingly, they have some delightful antique needlework books to download, such as "The Ladies Workbook Containing Instructions in Knitting, Crochet, Point-Lace, etc."  The search function is not very advanced.  I found the best way to find these books was to find one of them, click on it to view its indexing details which include the 'class' and 'subject', then click on either the 'class' or 'subject' hyperlinks to see all other books which fall into that class or subject area. To read on your computer, click on the 'Download' tab at the top, then choose the 'html' link which is usually the top link.  The file will open instantly on your computer screen.

My copy of Alice Starmore's 'Aran Knitting' turned up this morning, so I've got lots to read through now.  I saw this at the I-Knit Weekender event, where the author was signing copies, but I'm afraid I was naughty and waited until I got home to order it from Amazon for only £12. There are some absolutely gorgeous patterns in this re-release of the original, including some new material and a new pattern.

Other diversions this week have been distracting me from my main knitting projects, although I have been soldiering on with the second Sanquhar Glove and am just about back to where I was before I had to rip out.  This time it is coming out the right size.  But I just couldn't settle down to any of my other projects and got distracted into knitting a couple of quick projects.  One was the mug cosy in the picture above, which has come out a bit big so I think I need to sew some darts into it to make it fit better.  I had some leftover Rowan Cocoon from knitting the scarf for my f-i-l last xmas, so I just did some 1x1 ribbing top and bottom, and a few cables in between, and crocheted some ties.

I had fun knitting another tea cosy, this time for a very small tea pot that I like to use when it's just me, as it only holds about 1.5 cups.  DH suggested making it look like a cupcake, so after a bit of experimentation, this is what I came up with.  This is knit yet again from my huge surplus of Lion Brand Wool-Ease left over from when I knit the intarsia lighthouse socks last year.  The 'cup' is in garter stitch knit sideways, then I picked up in stockinette stitch (leaving a little lip) to knit a top which draws on the influence of the Innocent Big Knit xmas pudding pattern. Above the handle I joined up and started knitting in the round.  I will be honest and confess that this final version is actually Mark II.  The first version I finished didn't have the lip, the icing was much smaller and the cherry was bigger, and, much to DH's hilarity, it looked exactly like a breast with a nipple at the top.

I have to show off a picture of my new glue bottle stand, which my f-i-l built to my specifications.  He did a brilliant job, it is all beautifully sanded and he even glued felt on the bottom.  I have about five bottles of Aileen's Tacky Glue which have just a little bit left in them, so this gadget will help me use up the very last drops when I am dollshousing and ensure the glue is always at the top of the bottle ready to come out.

We are once again mystifying our neighbours by displaying lots of Halloween decorations in our front windows.  Although Halloween has definitely become more of a thing here in the 20-odd years I've been living in the UK, it is still not mainstream and virtually none of our neighbours do anything for it, or even give out candy to trick-or-treaters.  I don't think the English really 'get' Halloween: although there are more decorations and costumes for sale in the shops, they tend towards ghoulish and macabre (bloody knives etc.) rather than kitsch and humorous.  It's the one North American holiday I haven't given up on, so I persevere even though some years we have had less than 10 trick or treaters.  DH wants me to put in that he (an Englishman) has embraced Halloween, but really I think he has warmed to it because when there are only 10 trick-or-treaters,  he gets to eat all the leftover candy.

1 comment:

Marthaamay O_o said...

Hello Sharon!

The last bit of this post really makes me laugh!

I am also not really a celebrator of Halloween. But I wonder if I would be if it was more kitsch?

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