Hello, everybody, and welcome once again to the Apple Basket. This week, I give you an update on my knitting – lots happening there – I have three crafting events coming up, and something about what to do while knitting.
So I hope that you are well and enjoying what remains of summer; we had a few days of really warm weather – I want to say hot, but it didn’t get over 27°Celsius, though that is rather hot for Denmark. So yes, we had a couple of hot days. Now, though, it’s raining. Autumn is lurking, and soon, the leaves will begin to change and fall. We are getting apples and plums from generous people with big fruit trees, everybody is back in school; all in all, it’s late August. Not a bad time at all, and we can still hope for summery weather for a while yet.
When last I wrote, I was in a bit of a post-party slump; I had really enjoyed the whole Ravellenic get-up, the knit-along and the feeling of belonging to a group. So when one of the lovely members of Team TARDIS suggested a Tilting Tardis Cowl KAL, I jumped at it and cast on immediately. Well, almost. First I had to find out if I had the yarn for it in my stash – I’m still stash-downing and wasn’t going to rush out and buy yarn on a whim.
Anyway, I ended up having to choose between three blue fingering / sport weight yarns: what luxury! I chose a tussah silk tweed yarn that I ‘accidentally’ bought last Christmas, when I was getting a present for my sister. This should stave off the post-Ravellenic withdrawal symptoms for a while.
I still finished the Princess dress for Laura in time, of course, and she got it on her birthday this past Saturday. It turned out quite adorable, if I may say so myself, and she will have good use of it when the weather turns colder. The day itself was one of the hot ones, not one for wearing any more clothes than necessary. And certainly not a DK weight cotton-wool blend.
Of course, I have lots of Doctor Who-related knitting ideas and plans; among these a dress ... I’m letting that simmer for a while, and maybe I’ll knit it for the winter Games 2014. We’ll see.
In the meantime, I plan to challenge myself with toys: 13 knitted toys in 2013 – the Doctors, K-9 and a Dalek. I’m going to start a thread on the Who Knits? group on Ravelry to invite others to join a toy-along.
Speaking of KALs, I found one yesterday morning on the aplayfulday group, for finishing Ravellenic wips or getting started on the holiday knitting. It will be running until 9th September, when the Paralympic Games close. Now, while the Tilting Tardis KAL is informal and open-ended, this one comes with a deadline, and you know how I’ve been whining about deadline knitting, right?
So yes, of course I signed on. What did you expect? I did choose, though, an already queued project, a Damson for my cousin’s wife.
This is a little shawl by Ysolda Teague, a very popular pattern on Ravelry.
I’ve done the first 28 rows, and I’m already looking forward to the lace edging that comes after 72 rows of garter stitch. With yarnovers, though, but still not the most challenging project. I may well do one of the lace modifications that generous knitters have put on Ravelry.
At this point, I became thoroughly bored with the yarn; it’s a lovely angora-silk tweed in a denim blue colour, very nice in itself. But I was looking at the pattern pictures featuring a pretty purple Malabrigo – oh, and a pretty girl, too, but let’s prioritise here, shall we – and my tilty Tardis cowl was sitting beside me; and the denim blue looked increasingly dry and dusty. So I went stash diving and came up with a purple Shetland wool instead. Great. I just had to wind it, and then I could begin anew.
And then the skein turned out to be one of those tangly, fiddly ones that are almost impossible to wind: you go half a round on the skein and then have to stop and unpick a knotty part. Ugh. I was doing it last night, and Victor wanted to help, and the yarn refused to cooperate, and the poor lad thought it was his fault. So we let it sit over night to think about its behaviour, and then I went back to it this morning and finished it. With a bit of growling. But anyway, now I’m finally ready to cast on again, and it’s going to be pretty. I'll have pictures next time.
This Sunday, I’m going to a craft café. It’s a new thing starting up very locally, at the church, I think. They invite everybody to come along to knit or crochet or sew; you don’t have to know anything, they’re hoping for experts to show up and help. I’ll go over there and see what might be going on.
On Saturday 1st September from 11 am to 3 pm, the women’s organisation Zonta will be holding a craft exhibition at Brænderigården in Viborg, featuring various designers and their products on sale. It seems there is jewellery, pottery, maybe knitting, metal work. All proceeds go to Mothers’ Help. Again, I’ll go and see what’s going on.
And the following weekend, 7th to 9th September, is the big annual craft fair by Kreativ Fritid, also in Viborg. The concert hall, Tinghallen, and the Stadium hall will be filled with crafters from all over the country; this year, they are expecting 16,000 visitors. The vendors cover a wide range of craftiness, from all the woolly goodness of spinning and knitting, over jewellery, stationery, wood working, glass, quilting, embroidery – you name it, it’s there. Oh, and beekeeping, too.
I’ll be going on the Friday, I think, with my sister.
I will tell you about all of these events in due time, with pictures and everything :o)
And now for the title section of today’s chat:
Like lots of other crafters, I enjoy listening to stuff while I knit. And while I dye, in the kitchen (I don’t dye in the kitchen, I have a workshop of sorts), around the house, in the garden, out walking or driving or ... you get it. Several years ago, when I started commuting to work, I got into audio books on tape (yes, my first car was that old!) and CD. Some time after that, my sister gave me her old iPod, when she got a new one; at first I had no idea what to do with it (I’m tech savvy that way), but slowly I found out about podcasts and putting audio books into the iPod as well. My kids were getting older, so I had more listening time.
Now, for quite a while, my concept of podcasts was mainly radio shows, from the BBC or the Danish radio – but then a ravelation happened. See what I did there? Rav-elation? (Awful pun, sorry about that.) Somebody on a thread on Ravelry mentioned knitting podcasts, and I fell into the rabbit hole.
At first, I knew about Electric Sheep and Cast On. I decided to listen to both of them from the beginning of 2011: that would give me a back story instead of just jumping in now, without there being too many episodes to catch up on. When I was caught up, I would listen to the new episodes and in between them the old ones. Then the lovely Hoxton on Electric Sheep mentioned a new (this was an August 2011 episode, I think) Canadian podcast, Knit1 Geek2, and I tried that one out. They only started podcasting in July 2011, so I listened to all the episodes.
Now I had three podcasts to catch up on, including Ravelry groups and everything. I’ll give you a quick overview:
Electric Sheep is a London-based podcast, first in Hoxton (hence the username of the hostess (can I say hostess, or does that conjure up images of geishas and airlines? If so, I apologise)), now in South London. We get knitting, reviews of knitting magazines and pattern books, thoughtful essays of the ways of the world, tales of the Sheep himself and his exploits – and they are worth listening to, I can promise you that – and various weird goings-on, not least involving beards.
Cast On is hosted by Brenda Dayne, an American now living in Wales. She talks of knitting, the beauty of Wales, her dogs, feminism, books, music, designing, her family; all in a very nice way. And she always ends her shows with: ‘Remember, if you’re cold, put on a sweater. That’s what they’re for.’ Isn’t that sweet?
Knit1Geek2 has two hosts, Karen and Maggie, which gives a different feel to the whole thing, like a knitting group. They talk, very amusingly, about their knitting (you didn’t see that one coming, did you?) and all kinds of geeky stuff, in fiction and in science.
Now, I don’t want to bore your socks off – especially not the Malabrigo ones – so I’ll leave the podcast review section for now and give you some more next time. In the side bar, you can see a list of (most of) what I listen to. It has kinda snowballed on me ...
There are dozens of knitting and crafting and other podcasts out there; of the ones I don’t mention here, there are those that I simply don’t know about; some that I have heard of but not yet listened to, some that I have tried out and decided either to pass on or leave for later; I can’t follow all of them, there aren’t enough hours in the day.
I am not going to say which of the above are which, because tastes and preferences in podcasts, as in everything else, are so different. Every single podcaster out there is doing a huge job and is putting herself or himself on the line, and it’s not for me to say that this or the other podcast is not worth listening to.
I have always loved books; one of my early memories is trying to convince my mother that I could read one of my favourite books – when I was 3. She wasn’t convinced, realising that I knew the book by heart (it was about a cow who lost her bell and went around to the other animals asking about it). Anyway, at 5 I started school and learned to read in English. We were living in Malawi at the time. At home, we had books and newspapers in Danish, and I figured out how to read those.
But I digress. The point of all this is, of course, audio books. Now, this blog is not sponsored by Audible, which would be silly and does make a lot more sense for a podcast; but I do have an Audible account and I get books from there.
During the Ravellenic Games, I listened to two Doctor Who books while knitting TARDISes:
SHADA by Douglas Adams, with the 4th Doctor, and
The Silent Stars Go By by Dan Abnett, featuring the 11th Doctor.
I can highly recommend both of them :o)
Right now (well, not right now while I’m typing, obviously, you know what I mean), I’m listening to Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James. I do love her books – I want to be P. D. James when I grow up.
Hmm, I’m going to mention another podcast, after all: CraftLit with Heather Ordover. She calls it ‘a podcast for crafters who like books’ – which is me!
Anyway, I heard about CraftLit on ... Electric Sheep, maybe? and downloaded ALL the episodes. Free books? Bring it on! And Heather herself is lovely, I really enjoy listening to her. The first book of the podcast (from 2006) is Pride and Prejudice; I have read it at least once, I have seen the movie, but never mind, it’s still a great story – and you get Heather’s comments, too. She used to be an English teacher, so she knows what she’s talking about. This is brilliant.
Pemberley is, as you know, Darcy’s house; P. D. James sets her murder mystery 6 years after the original story, when Elizabeth and Darcy have been married a while. I’m not going to tell you more: no spoilers!
But again: I highly recommend both the podcast, the book, and Audible itself. It’s a book club of sorts: for £ 7.99 each month, you get a credit for a book; you can keep up to 5 credits waiting, if you are undecided. So, when you need an audio book, you go and download one; it almost feels like getting it for free. And you can download the books as many times as you want.
So, you can put on a sweater, pick up your pointy sticks and turn on a book: it’s time to cast on, keep crafting, and stay playful!
Thank you for stopping by, do come back another time, and until then: