Saturday, 6 August 2011

Summer: don't blink or you'll miss it

Our erratic British weather abruptly decided to be summer earlier this week, and we had highs of 30 degrees or more, before it once again collapsed into torrential rain.  Today we had both: nice sun earlier in the day, then sudden rain this evening.  It makes it very hard to decide what to wear to work in the morning, and my knapsack weighs a tonne as I am burdened down with sunhat, umbrella, shawl for warmth, water bottle for hot train carriages etc. to be prepared for all eventualities.

Commuter knitting this week has been a new start: the Summer Flies shawl , a free Ravelry download.  I couldn't resist starting something with my Patons Linen Touch cotton/linen DK yarn, and I love love love knitting with this yarn.  It feels so cool to the touch in this intermittent hot weather, the stitches look crisp even with my loose knitting gauge, and it drapes really well while still feeling substantial.  I've made it to Row 60 and the rows are starting to feel a bit long now (159 stitches so far).

TV knitting this week has been the continued assembly of my Machine Knitted Doll.  I haven't sewn the skirt on yet but I've draped it on for the photo so you can see the effect.  I'm not very convinced by the hair or the facial features in the pattern, but coincidentally Simply Knitting magazine arrived this week with a supplement which has a really cute knitted doll in it.  So I might copy her face and hair for this doll.  It's fun to make a toy, I have no use for them and usually end up giving them to the local Shooting Star hospice charity shop, but I do like making them.

After the carpet cleaning last weekend, we brought the frame back indoors and I reassembled the poles and re-levelled the table.  I got a new quilt loaded on, this is a Log Cabin made in American Civil War reproduction fabrics from a kit I bought at the Stitching Post in Sisters, Oregon a few years back.  I'm going to quilt the same Baptist Fan quilting pattern on it.  However, after setting up the panto and getting all set, I stitched about two feet (everything working fine) along the quilt, then suddenly without any reason the top thread started looping on the underneath.  I didn't realise this for about another two feet, so now I am having to painstakingly un-pick the bad part which is really annoying.  Don't know what happened, I'm beginning to wonder if I have a faulty bobbin case.

The sock yarn swap has now taken place, and I swapped my two I-Knit Sock Club yarns for these two great skeins:  a lovely Fyberspates fingering variegated and a Zauberball.  So I'm looking forward to making something with those, and they are much more my colours.  Hopefully the next Sock Club yarn will be a colour I like more.  I think the Fyberspates might make a really nice cowl or simple shawl.

We went to the Victoria & Albert Museum today for our monthly visit.  We happened to go past where the Textile Galleries used to be (you know the ones with all the pull-out study boards featuring different kinds of needlework).  I was surprised to find they were closed off and there was a big sign reading: "Behind these hoardings we are in the process of transferring the textiles collection to the V&A's new Clothworkers' Centre for Textiles and Fashion Study and Conservation, a new international centre dedicated to the study, conservation and enjoyment of textiles and fashion in Kensington Olympia, opening 2013." 

I hadn't heard about that before, and it sounds pretty cool although not as easy to get to.  Also, I thought I had read that they were knocking down the Kensington Olympia complex to build a new luxury housing development.  I wonder if they will have room to display more of their collection, the bulk of which has always been out of sight in storage.

While we were up in London we happened to walk through Leicester Square and came across 'M&M World', located in the old Swiss Centre.  Apparently it just opened in July, so the staff haven't yet become jaded and suicidal.  They were all really friendly and bopping around to the over-loud soundtrack, including one dressed as a giant M&M, and everything looked shiny and new.  It was all a bit mad, four floors of technicolour M&M themed clothing, toys and decorative items, with lots of London-themed M&M goods like M&M characters riding doubledecker buses or dressed as Beefeaters.  There are life-size statues of M&M characters costumed as armoured knights, or doing the Beatles Walk along a mini-Abbey Road.  We wandered around dazed by the soundtrack and amazed that anyone thinks the world needs four floors of M&Morabilia.  Then we discovered the colour-separated M&M pic-n-mix, tall vats of every colour of the rainbow, or colour mixes. They looked like giant fabric bolts.  We were tempted by a mix of all blue colours which weren't cheap but were incredibly tasty, much fresher than the kind normally sold in packets at corner shops.  Worth dropping in if you have kids.


Daisy said...

Glad you liked the yarn!

Sue said...

Oooo, love that Zauberball! I'm working with a rainbow colored one right now. The yarn is a bit fluffier than I usually use. A monthly visit to the Victoria and Albert - I could only dream! And of course I love the log cabin. Tension issues can be so frustrating!

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