Monday, July 10, 2006


Computers craze this knitter!

I spent a useful half hour this morning kicking and screaming in a tantrum because my computer simply would not do what I wanted it to. When it comes to beautiful yarns and glorious colourways, my serenity is unshakeable - but show me one of those smug screens which tells you that you can't access the page you want because you probably mis-typed it, or that you have just lost everything you ever committed to text, or, WORST OF ALL, having wasted several hours first finding and then searching what is supposed to be a Help site, having found nothing whatsoever that remotely resembles your query, THEN being brightly asked to fill in an online questionnaire about how useful you found the help site! Yikes, the rest of the day I will definitely devote to finishing the back of that Anny Blatt...

I mentioned that circular shawl last night, and thought you might like to see a picture of the WIP.

I bought both pattern and yarn at the legendary Schoolhouse in New York last January. The quirky little Herald Square Hotel has now entered the Wifi age, so was able to access a very useful blog in the bedroom which chronicled the adventures of four committed knitters and stash fiends who had a day out in the Big Apple. I duly noted down every one of their hits and set off with a large shopping bag. Schoolhouse is well downtown - around 28th St. as I recall - and up a flight of stairs, but when you get in that door - wow! The entire range of Karabella yarns, plus lots of ends and bargains. Couldn't resist the shawl pattern and found a whole cone of a beautifully soft Italian wool, very fine, which I'm using double for the shawl. I did start to wind the cone off into balls, thinking of my luggage weight for the homeward flight, but gave up after six and managed to smuggle the whole lot on board after all (yes, I did hit a few more shops, just a few before the flight...)

Speaking of travelling, I mentioned being in France recently. Some of the shops there had a very odd attitude to woolgatherers like moi. Bergere du Nord in Clermont Ferrand was one: shelves of yarn around the walls, but solid blocking counters 'twixt them and you, and firm-faced ladies to make sure you didn't cross the line. If you saw something (twelve feet away) that LOOKED promising, you pointed and they brought ONE ball of ONE shade out for you to examine under their beady eye. And all the Phildar shops seemed to have staff who followed you round, sighing and tutting if you dared to touch anything, and patting everything back into place as you moved along.

There were, however, some lovely surprises, including a MUST SEE if you're in Brittany. It's in the small town of Landevant, between Lorient and Vannes and it's called Laines. On the rue de Hennebont, it's simply a huge room with trestle tables laden with boxes, every one of which has specialty yarns at bargain prices. My credit card was whimpering by this time.

And speaking of French yarns, I need HELP. I have this small ball remaining of a really lovely mix, and I mislaid the label long ago and have no way of identifying it. Can anyone tell me what this one is? I would love to get some more of it.

The weather is a bit cooler here now, thank goodness - we're always suspicious in Ireland if the temperature goes up into the 20s - or high 60s if you prefer. Misty and damp today and although I have several things to write up, the urge to get on with my knitting is gradually taking over.

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4 comments:

All the Way With Knitting said...

Don't know if you ever read Bill Bryson but he says it all about computers and frustration !

Jo said...

Oh yes, I love that chapter where he tries to get help over the phone and just knows before he even starts that he's way, way out of his depth! Bryson is one of the few people who makes me laugh out loud even in places (like libraries) where I shouldn't. Him and the contributors to Knitter's Review Forum.

Fiberjoy said...

Thanks for mentioning your blog in knitters review!

I took to crocheting before finally caving in to knitting a few years ago when I wanted to make socks. Both have merits.

Do you even paint wood knitting needles white?!

My favorite Bill Bryson's book is "Mother Tongue" which is a very entertaining read about the English language.

You're blog is bookmarked, I'm looking forward to reading more.

Jo said...

Hi Wanda, and thanks for making contact. Having checked out your own website, I now know what the catalpa tree in my garden SHOULD look like in flower. I imagine the damp cool Irish climate isn't quite to its liking. But your husband's spindles, hooks and needles certainly are!