Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Work in Progress: Preparing for Wednesday

Why is it so difficult to blog on Wednesday? Since I made my first WIP Wednesday post I have been planning the second one. I've taken photos. I've finished a few WIPs. I even started something and then finished it - well, it was a hat so not so difficult. I think my WIP pile is diminishing. But I just cannot sit down on a Wednesday and write that blog. So I am starting today, Friday, and maybe on Wednesday I will have something to publish. Maybe!

I'm a slow learner. Over the years I have managed to write a few blogs. I have even managed to find a way to improve my blog - thank you MarsEdit. well, thank you Tony - he found it and installed it for me. (What are husbands for, after all, but to sort out one's computer problems!) However, he has yet to find the solution to my next want - how to click on a photo and have it enlarge. I saw that feature on several blogs last week (and at least one of them was Blogger) and I so want to be able to do that. Stop slacking Tony!

Then my next problem. Commenting on other blogs. Some are easy. Usually they are websites - Crochet Nirvana is one such. Click on comment, add a few details, and voilĂ , there you have it - comment! I think I managed to register with Wordpress… but then I didn't have an avatar. I want an avatar, I don't like that horrible avatar they give in place of a real one. So I gave up. Blogger is a different problem. Should be easy, shouldn't it. But my Blogger account is under a different name. I don't want to comment under that name. I daresay there is a way. Husband is being remarkable unhelpful on this one.

But I have learned to link. That's progress.

Now to start on the knitting. But where to start? Finished projects or WIPs? Well, I could start with the stash. I have several places where I keep my stash. They are all full. However, the two small cupboards behind the sofa are over-full. Open-the-door-and prepare-to-catch-whatever-falls-out full! When I started thinking of the Wednesday blog a few weeks ago I thought of the stash cupboards and, since it wasn't Wednesday, I thought I would start preparing by tidying the cupboard.

So here is the before:
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After I had hauled out a few things:
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And then this:
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That was a few weeks ago. I only managed the one shelf but at least opening the door is no longer a major catastrophe. And… I frogged a couple of WIPs that were never going to become FOs.

This was the sleeve of a shrug I started to knit for a family friend. I loved the stitch pattern but didn't take into account how I was going to manage shaping. There was more - a second try with a different stitch pattern, sleeves done, body to armholes… and I just ground to a halt. So frogged it was.

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A test knit that didn't happen. Too many problems to overcome. Shame.

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And so to some finishing. This represents the final few days of the 2010 Advent KAL that I was working on. It now sits on the worktop in my new kitchen, adding brightness and colour. Love it. I added an icord edging to give it some strength.
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The Just Right socks DSC02621

And a little hat I knitted for my granddaughter:
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She wasn't impressed and I think it will end up on her teddy. I tried to get it back for one of my other granddaughters but that wasn't going to happen.

As for WIPS, I have finally got the Jubilee Diamonds shawl out again, figured out where I was in the pattern and away I go again. I reckon I could get it finished in a couple of weeks if I keep at it.

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I took that photo some time ago and am much further along than that now - five repeats of the central panel - only 15 more to go…

Yesterday I started another pair of socks:
IMG 2904 I just couldn't resist when I saw a call for test knitters, especially when the designer was looking for someone to knit a large size. I'm using Colourmart Shetland for these but… I think the large is still going to be too small for Tony's feet. They'll fit DS3 so, dilemma - should I continue with this yarn and hope that the socks may fit DS1 - who I also want to knit socks for - or should I stop now and change to the Fyberspates navy tweed that I bought with DS3's socks in mind? I'll procrastinate and work on the Jubilee Shawl while I decide.

I've also started a baby blanket using Wendy Party. It isn't the easiest yarn to knit with. Plus, I don't have enough yarn. It will be impossible to frog. Do I continue and hope to find more yarn or do I abandon it as a lost cause. I really don't like lost causes.
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There are some other little secrets hiding in corners but for now, I think that will do… except to say that progress has been made on the shawl and this is the current state of play with the socks
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I had to have yet another go at Judy's Magic Cast On for these toe-up socks. Thanks to Cat Bordhi and YouTube, I succeeded and am delighted with the outcome. Current plan is to complete the first sock by the weekend. Current plan!!!

Oh, and some good news. The bride I didn't manage to knit the bolero for told me yesterday that she is pregnant. Yippee… another baby blanket. Maybe I shouldn't tell her about it until it is done... For more WIP Wednesdays don't forget Tami's Amis.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Banbury Canal Day

Autumn has arrived. Here in Banbury the first Sunday in October is always Canal Day. Sometimes it rains. All day. Sometimes, like last year, it is so hot you just want to sit in the shade and enjoy a long, cool drink. But this year was perfect. No need for a coat, the autumn sunshine provided enough warmth. First stop, the canal. Obviously!
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Bubbles all round but the dog was unmoved!
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Canal Day is a favourite and the day being fine there were lots of people. This part of the canal is always busy with boats but for today they have been dressed in all their finery.
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We wandered along the canal bank, looking at the boats and soaking up the atmosphere. Our next stop was Spice Ball Park - lovely name for a park, don't you think? One day I may even try to find out why Spice Ball. One day!The easy way round the park?
DSC02556 This is where the children came to play. Bouncing was a favourite.
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And well over in the far corner, a sign that autumn has arrived. Tony was visiting the Amateur Radio tent when I took this. Somehow, amateur radio just doesn't excite me. I don't know why!
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These feathered friends were entirely unimpressed by the impression they were making. Fir Tree Falconry is found just outside Banbury on the Warwick Road. It is on a beautiful site, on a hill, surrounded by fields. They also have a lovely campsite. We took Eva and Maia there one day during the summer and they loved it.
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This tiny little one was lovely. Perhaps he was a little awed by the occasion.
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From Spice Ball Park we made our way to the car park where we found a number of stalls, some representing local charities, some food and some crafts. On our way, we passed this unusual hanging basket.
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And then the first of the food stalls. DSC02567
The Advanced Motorists stall didn't seem too popular. I wonder if that is a reflection of driving skills in Banbury - we are so good we don't need to bother with advanced motoring skills???
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Continuing on through the car park we arrived at the continental market. These two tall gentlemen were having a great time. They talked non-stop and kinda funny and were loved by one and all. In spite of the umbrellas that turned into water pistols when any young person, especially female - they screamed louder - happened to get close enough.
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Sadly, we had already eaten. These prawns looked delicious. DSC02577
Biscuits anyone?
DSC02582 Perhaps some salami for later?
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I hope these suckling pigs enjoyed their apples.
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Waiting for customers and enjoying their day.
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This couple came from Brittany. They part-bake the bread before they leave and then freeze it and store it in their van ready for a finally firing before it goes on sale in whatever town they are in that day. (Must be quite a van they have!)
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Selling Creole style food. I wish I had bought some. DSC02587
Lots of tinned food specials.
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And finally, soap from Provence.
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Back along the canal, here's one of my favourites
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Whoever was working the lifting bridge was having a busy day. This was one of two boats that were giving free 20 minute rides along the canal. The bridge had to be raised and lowered each time one came along. Incidentally, I found out later that there was an hour-long queue to get on!
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And then the business of turning the boat in a small space.
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On the other side of the canal, in another car park, was the Craft Fair. It was excellent this year, the quality high and the priced reasonable. I'm afraid I didn't think to take photos until after we had visited. Here is a photo taken from the tow path.
DSC02596 This was the end of the day and not so many people around.
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Mirrors made from driftwood and the carcasses of dead birds. I don't think many were sold - they had to have been the ugliest things I have ever seen.
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Another view of the canal, the boats and the tow path. The footbridge in the distance leads from a car park to the shopping centre. I always think it is one of the nicest ways to enter the town. Whatever the weather, whatever the season, there is always something new. In summer there are the most prolific hanging baskets on the bridge. Enough to lighten anyone's spirits.
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Until finally, to The Mill, our local Arts Centre, where a folk concert was being enjoyed in the courtyard.
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We ended the afternoon at The Mill, with a glass of wine. Canal Day over for another year.