Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Could not think of anything vaguely witty for the title of this post because I am completely astounded, amazed and semi-speechless that it is snowing!! In Central London!!! as I type !!!!.... Now, if it would only settle and land on a convenient mountain near Brick Lane... hmmmm,... we can but dream. Gruff suggested that I take my snowboard up to Parliament Hill. I think he was trying to be helpful as he saw how my excitement needed to be channeled into some kind of action as opposed to running around the living-room, shouting 'It's snowing...' and peering out of all the windows to grasp the full extent of our mighty snow-storm. It would be a great plan except for the gale force winds which would make getting to the top of Parliament Hill somewhat tricky... now if we lived in Scotland however...instead I am here, blogging.
As promised in my previous post - here's my knitting update. I managed to finish 2 hats - my first Woolly Wormhead Ribba hat

and this


Tried to persuade Gruff that his hat needed a bobble as a finishing touch but he would have none of it. In any case, I must admit it looks a little strange because I decided to free-style it... and it turns out looking like an inverted blue turnip! I also made significant progress on Courtenay...

According to my blog archives, I started this last May. So that's just one month shy of a year. Oh dear, I fear the color may be so last-last season but I don't really care. Must try to remember where I've put the completed sleeves, don't want to have to knit those AGAIN. Cannot wait to finish it so that it gets at least one outing before summer arrives. Although given the current climate, that may still be a long way off. (goes off to do a little jig)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Where every street ends with a mountain

I'm not entirely sure where this phrase stems from but it's a pretty fitting description for Grenoble also called the 'Capital of the Alps'. Here are some shots taken from our hotel window. Whilst strolling through the city, I'd look up and see a majestic mountain presiding in the horizon promising much goodness and lifting my spirits.

With wide boulevards flanked with ornate buildings and slim, elegant french windows - I was quite charmed by Grenoble. Although much larger in size, it reminded me of Canterbury in Kent where I spent my formative, university days.

Home of Godard and Rousseau, I was eager to discover the yarn merchants and stumbled upon one within the first 30 minutes. Great!... except that it was shut for their 2 hour lunch break. I later found this place which stocked some Amy Blatt and was thrilled with their window decoration for easter.

Gruff was extremely impressed though not entirely surprised that I could sniff out the yarn so quickly.

We took off early to catch the bus to Chamrousse the next day - a 70 minutes bus journey away, Bliss! In fact, 11 other ski fields are readily accessible from Grenoble so the good people of the city are entirely spoilt for choice in terms of snow which is some compensation for the lack of yarn shops.

Chamrousse was the site of the 1968 Winter Olympics which is reflected in much of its architecture, many of the modernist buildings had a certain retro chic to them. Day 1 was sunny which was slightly unnerving but at least better than Day 2 where we were beset with gale force winds closing off most of the chair-lifts. On Day 3 though, the heavens opened and we had a generous dumping of the white stuff. I was squealing with delight and trying to persuade poor Gruff to come off-piste with me. Later in the afternoon, amidst the bad light of a blizzard, I stacked it big time and apparently turned a funny colour. That'll teach me to go too fast! After that, we had a day of rain then 2 further days of sunshine. Sweeeeeeeet!

When I told Flib where we were going, she made a passing comment that Chamrousse sounded like a place that would have lots of cheese. She was almost right. On our last night back in Grenoble, Gruff and I shared a raclette.

there was a river of melted fromage oozing over the bowl of potatoes they give you. It was a complete galore and sinfully delicious. We had hysterics half-way through when we couldn't stop giggling at the whole situation. It was the cheese that kept on giving and I think my arse has doubled in size because of it. Gruff had to concede defeat after a while whereas I just could not leave it be and tried gainfully to get through more. We had to leave a quarter of it unfinished which seemed like such a terrible waste of gorgeousness. The dreams I had later that night were certainly vivid and surreal!

Before leaving, I found another yarn shop tucked at the back of a boutique. The nasty proprietor wouldn't let me take a photograph when I asked him for permission, instead he muttered some grumpy (maybe it's just a language thing who knows) unintelligible words and shrugged so I had to sneak in this furtive shot.

It was a very nice display but I don't know why he was being so bloody snotty when most of it was acrylic! Tosser... anyway, will put in all the details of the 3 shops on knitmap

On the Eurostar back, whilst the posh couple sitting across the aisle was quaffing wine and delicately eating strawberries, Gruff and I had pikey cobbled together cheese baguettes and beer. Our journey was devoid of stimulating conversation except to bicker about whose turn it was to go to the refreshment carriage. Gruff did lots of napping...

and I got lots of knitting done. But this has been a long enough post so i'll save the knitting to when I next check back in. Have a great Easter hols in the meantime!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Whirly Gig

Yes, I'm still alive and kicking.... and spinning as you can see

My second slightly more palatable skein of handspun but only because I chose better colors. Other than that, I've been experimenting with different tensions and fibers producing this....

I have already filled one spool with 25g of this which is Brown Falkland. Great fun and extremely addictive!

Janice did her Edinburgh show for a small invited audience. I wasn't organised enough to spread the word properly but I'm sure she'll do it again. Hopefully somewhere a bit more central than Stokey which is an arse to get to if you don't live around there. Anyhoo, Ginger Lucy has an excellent account of the evening here.

But otherwise, February has completely flown by - I'd like to blame it on the shortness of the month rather than a surreal warping of time. Big thank you to Helen for voting me a YMMD-blog. The funny thing about blogs is that it was my first contact with fellow knitters before i actually hung out with them. When I met Acechick in person, it was like a re-acquaintance. It took me a while to start blogging and I guess it was mainly because I was sick of loitering along the periphery feeling like a stalker or voyeur... it only felt right that I should contribute to the great sea of blog posts. I definitely want to blog more, at least once a week... so let's see if I can keep it up.

The most exciting bit about this month has been planning our white holiday. Gruff and I are off snowboarding tomorrow and going to the French Alps by train - which not only gives us heaps of green brownie points that we can be smug about but also gives me loads of knitting time... HURRAH! I completely loathe airports for a whole host of reasons I won't go into now.

Will be back with a full report - let's hope I finish at least one of my UFOs during my time away and that I don't end up damaging my hands in any way.