Try as I may, I am slowly being forced into upgrading to the 'newest latest' version of Blogger. I don't want to, I don't need to. I'm quite happy having figured out the current version. But tonight I got a warning that I can only use this format once more. After that I have to go with the diktat. It's exasperating and I can't see the need for it. We get built-in obsolescence in so many parts of our lives - fashion especially, but cars too, food fads, paint colours, furniture, decor - if it's this year's must-have that means it will be next year's forget-it. Even yarns have to be re-issued in new colourways, new textures, new blends, every year, so if you want just one more ball of something you bought longer ago than last week, you aren't likely to have much luck.
And now two of my KALs are inaccessible to me because they've both moved to 'new' Blogger and I'm not allowed in there. Honestly, if Blogger cost anything I'd be thinking of changing. As it is, I feel I don't have the right to complain, since it's free. But I wish they'd leave me be. Surely there must be others who had to struggle to get competent on weblogging and are only now feeling fairly secure? How do you feel about having to change to something new yet again?
If you don't hear from me EVER AGAIN, you'll know I'm lost and wandering desperately in the mines of Moria, alias New Blogger, and you'll also know to whom you should send hate mail.
Anyway, to the issues of the day. Vicki in California wanted to know what Celtic braid pattern I'd used for my alpaca headband. It's in the Harmony Guide to Aran stitches, Vicki, and if you've any trouble hunting that down, email me and I'll see if I can help. You can contact me via Knitter's Review Forum where I'm Celtic Memory. That is one great site to belong on - you pick up so much useful information. Must go over there later this evening and see what's new.
Did you all stock up on beautiful wooden hairpin looms and crochet hooks and circulars from Ed Jenkins when Stitch Diva had that special offer running? It's finished now, but you can still get orders in to Ed at Jenkins Woodworking as far as I know. Ed is of course the other half of Wanda at Fiberjoy and they do wonderful things by their creek in Oregon - wood turning and spinning and weaving and dyeing and all sorts. I love my Ladakhi drop spindle that Ed made, and I have a most beautiful wooden crochet hook of his right in front of me on my desk as I type. I'm going to get one of their hairpin looms next - haven't made hairpin crochet in a few years but it gives such delicate results I want to try it again. Oh and broomstick crochet - that's great fun. And Tunisian crochet too. So many things to do, so little time!
Tan was saying that Prague reminded her of Don Giovanni. Oh I wish you'd been with me, Tan - at least two of the marionette theatres were staging Don G, and if we'd had time I'd have been in there enjoying it thoroughly. But yes, we did manage to get to Guldenstrasse or Golden Lane, Angeluna. Isn't it the most incredible little place? This is a winding steep lane behind the cathedral and castle up at the top of the town, where the alchemists strove day and night to discover the secret of transmuting base metal into precious gold. I can just imagine the king striding down every now and again and saying, 'Come on, come on, I'm beginning to think your hearts aren't in this. I'm really going to be rather irritated if I don't have a big bag of the readies to pay the army tomorrow...' Here are a couple of pictures of Golden Lane for you.
You wouldn't think it, but we had to wait ages to take this shot, until all the groups of chattering schoolchildren had rushed into the tiny shops to spend their pocket money and the street was briefly clear.
I loved this one. It's like a doll's house, isn't it?
And you are right, Angeluna, all of Prague is like an opera set. You keep expecting Dr. Coppelius to come hobbling out of one of the ancient buildings, or Don Giovanni beckon to a young girl from his upstairs window. I wouldn't have been surprised if an entire opera chorus had burst into song on Charles Bridge when I was passing.
I got this lovely surprise in the post.
It's a stunning CD of harp music and song from my friend Rita Naumann. I christened one of her stunning hand-dyed yarn skeins, and in return she sent me this beautiful gift! I love the harp and this is going to afford me hours of pleasure. I shall take it in the car when I go out tomorrow. Thank you Rita. May your hands create ever more beauty.
I've just listed a whole lot of yarns on eBay. Most of them stash treasures like the cashmere/silk and some mohairs, but I had one new Celtic Memory creation I wanted to list which gave me a lot of trouble. It's called Celtic Forest and it's a lovely blend of soft mousse merinos, a fine kid mohair and a strand of green and silver glitter.
Does that look like a soft and glittery yarn to you? Nope, me neither. And that's Picture No. 112 or thereabouts. I just can't get the colours, much less the texture, to show up properly. And the glitter might as well not be there at all.
I even designed a new shawl in this yarn, so excited was I about creating it. (That was why I took time off from the Celtic Vest and the socks last night - I wanted to make this while it was still in my mind. Got fed up with how long it was taking, and cut it short into a small shoulder shawl rather than the long dramatic sweep it should by rights be, but it looks nice anyway.
Well... in real life it does, but not in the picture. You really wouldn't know there were threads of mystic silver flashing throughout this shawl. I can't list it on eBay. People would think I was colour blind or altogether blind. The cute little points on the sides show up OK, but not the overall soft and magical effect.
Huh? Oh it's my own design - I call it Butterfly Wing because the little scalloped points look like the wings of a peacock butterfly. No, it's really really easy - you wouldn't believe how easy. But I do wish I could get those colours and glittery bits to show up.
(Yes, DH had a go too, bouncing flashes all over the place, but to no good effect. We'll try again tomorrow morning, in the unlikely event of some sunshine.)
And so the new designer yarn hasn't made it onto eBay yet. You're the only ones to see it, and I wouldn't blame you at all if you thought I was losing my touch. Believe me, it is utterly beautiful. I just can't show its beauty to anyone - and how frustrating is that?
Wanda had a lovely picture on a recent posting - a tree which she said looked like a sea lion. It reminded me of some mossy beasties we found the other day when walking through a forestry plantation on Mullaghanish mountain close to home.
Isn't that amazingly like an owl perched on the wire?
This one takes a little more effort, but I think it's like a small Muffy dog standing up with her paws against a treetrunk and looking at the camera. It even has her bouffant tail.
Gosh a shocking omission from the last posting. The Kenmare shop has Noro too. Yes, Silk Garden and all the other glorious kinds. They even have throws on their sofas in the shop knitted in Noro. How cool is that? Shall I organise trips to Kenmare? Shall we hold an International SnB there this summer? With a class A cafe and a class A* yarn store in the same tiny town, what's keeping you?