Here I am

Back again.  I’ve just been busy with other things and not really had time or motivation to blog recently.  However I do have some news for you.  As you all know, I’m a real ale enthusiast and CAMRA member.  Well for a good few months now I’ve been considering becoming more active in our local branch.  There is currently a core of four or five people who do absolutely everything and I’ve been feeling that I wanted to help out in some capacity. So firstly, I have volunteered to work at our Annual Beer Festival which is being held this week from 19th to 21st, I’ll blog about my experience on both sides of the bar at the weekend hopefully.  Secondly and the main thing, I have joined the Committee as Pubs Officer for Hull.  This actually is quite an undertaking and I’m not entirely sure I thought it through properly before volunteering!!  However, I will give it my best shot.  Basically I have to make contact with licensees of pubs in Hull and report to committee and members of any news or changes, current branch members often report any news to the pubs officer already so that will help.  I also would like to encourage some licensees to become more involved in CAMRA promotional campaigns such as the discount scheme to get more CAMRA members through their doors and other campaigns that run throughout the year.  Previously there just have not been enough people in the committee to do everything needed so I’m hoping to take some of that on.  Now this would take a very confident and self-assured person one would think eh?  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am neither of those things so this will be a challenge for me.  One I am looking forward to even though I am a little daunted by it.  Wish me luck!  The branch was also missing a proper webmaster due to the previous one having to give up due to work and family committments so Patrick has volunteered in that capacity too.  He has designed a new branch website and I’ll link to that when it goes live.  It’s been many hours of hard work but it’s looking brilliant, we just need people to make decisions now before we can take it further.

In knitting news, my mojo went AWOL for a wee while but I’ve now finished the baby jacket for my work colleague.  I hope she’s having a little ‘un because this has turned out much smaller than I expected. 

I’m also halfway through the second of my Pretty Pink Bubbles socks.  I love these socks, the pattern is so easy and yet pretty.  The yarn which is Cygnet Wool Rich 4ply is a very cosy but I think it will felt easily so it will be hand wash with care for these.  I am also now determined to finish Maude Louise before I allow myself to cast on another thing.

Socks

I seem to be on a bit of a sock kick at the moment having managed to finish my first pair of toe-up socks using the MUMTUS recipe . I did enjoy knitting socks this way actually and I’ve now got all enthusiastic about toe-up socks and been searching out and faveing patterns on Rav like there’s no tomorrow!  However, as is the way of knitters, I’m sure the mania will pass as soon as something else pretty catches my attention.  Toe-up does seem quicker to me than the top down method and magic loop is easy to do, I love Wendy’s magic cast on and I used Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy cast off for the top.  Mason is delighted with his new socks and is currently wearing them to school and showing them off to all and sundry!  I just hope none of the neighbours looked out of their bedroom windows this morning to see me sitting in the backyard photographing my own feet!

I’m not overly keen on the yarn or the colour to be honest.  It is the Zettl sockenwolle from Lidl a couple of years ago, it is supposed to be machine washable but I know from experience of the socks I knitted for Patrick in the grey colourway…it isn’t machine washable!!  They felted and would do a small child as a pair of boots!  I chucked them out after trying in vain to get them onto my own feet and realising that even if I found someone they would fit, they were so stiff and uncomfortable, said person would not wear them anyway.  Anyhow, I’ll have to make sure this pair are handwashed.  I liked the colourway when I started knitting the foot but there is a bit of pooling around the heel gussett on both socks.  Then I tried to get a bit fancy and knit the leg in a 3 x 1 rib.  This was a mistake, far too much variegation to take any pattern whatsoever, they just look messy to me. 

Buoyed by my success in getting them finished though, I got a hankering to knit myself a pair of lacy pink socks.  Pink because I’ve had this yarn in stash for yonks and lacy because I had lacy in mind when I bought the yarn.  I’m really not a pink girl normally, it doesn’t suit me at all.  However, for socks I can probably get away with it :-).  A quick search on Ravelry for toe up socks found me the simple lace pattern of Bubbles Down the Drain by Staci Perry (Rav link).  The description of how to knit the toe part seemed rather complicated in the pattern so I decided to go with Wendy’s Magic Cast on and the MUMTUS recipe up until I reached the stitch count for starting the lace pattern.  As you can see I’m at about 3 inches and that is after approx 3.5 hours of knitting time, as I’ve remarked in the past, I’m not the fastest of knitters but I enjoy it and finish things in my own time so I’m not too worried about that.  I am trying to keep track of time on this project, just out of interest to see how long it actually takes me, in knitting hours to knit a pair of socks.  I’m really enjoying this pattern, it is a four row repeat with rows 2 and 4 being identical.  I find this spurs me on to knit a little bit more.  Rather than just stopping knitting, I tend to finish a four row repeat before stopping, so instead of “just one more row” it’s “just one more repeat”.

I think next up on the radar is Medici by Woolly Wormhead.  Patrick’s sister Coral has knitted it for herself in Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend but only used 41g of a 100g skein.  She has very generously given me the rest of the skein for me to knit it for myself.  We’ll have to make sure we don’t both go out in them together though!