Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lulworth Castle

The Boyfriend and I spent last Sunday at Lulworth Castle catching one of the last summer jousting shows (*GASP! We left the house! We went outside and saw real life people!). I think I must have been spoiled by castle trips as a kid because Lulworth is rather heavily restored and I kinda feel cheated if a castle is more pine floors and plaster and double glazing than teeny spiral staircases and massive holes everywhere. Perhaps that's just me. Having said that, we had great fun on the outside of the castle. We wandered around the animal farm while waiting for the show to start, where among the pygmy pot bellied pigs (very cute, but rubbish at posing for photos) and many many peacocks, they had angora goats...

...and llamas.

...Or possibly alpaca. I couldn't find a sign and I don't know the difference.

We also had a go at the archery which I thought I was doing pretty well at when I had two arrows on the target and Martin was still shooting clouds and grass, but then he got into his stride and shot it three times in succession. Smug feeling gone. Dang it.

And then, at 12 o'clock, the knights!

who wore shiny lamé 'armour' and had heroic hair!

and galloped toward each other with big sticks!

and rode backwards and occasionally upside down on their horses!

and thwacked each other with wooden swords!

The blue knight is the bad guy by the way (obviously, he doesn't have Hero hair), but he got kicked in the balls at the end of the routine, so everything turns out for the best. It was horrendously cheesy and utterly utterly brilliant. Worth the price of admission by itself. Martin now wants me to make him a knight costume because he is 12.

In other news, my uncle emailed me a few days ago to say my cousin Laura has popped and she's given birth to a gorgeous baby boy called Oliver Theo. I finally got round to sewing the buttons on my cardigan yesterday (it had been sitting buttonless for about a week after sewing in all the ends annoyed me enough to shove it in a bag and forget about it), I've made some matching booties and today I'm finishing it off with a matching hat. Oliver's the first baby in the family and my first opportunity to knit baby clothes and they are soooo adorable. I keep catching glints of terror in the boyfriend's eyes when I squee over them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Angus disapproves

Meet Angus the Angry Squid. Angus is 2 months old and lives in the wilds of Hamworthy. He likes curried eggs, America's Next Top Model and singing opera in the shower. He dislikes everything else.

This is Hansi Singh's Squid-a-licious pattern knit in leftover Cascade from my stripy jumper for my darling boyfriend (he was the advance guard, to make sure Martin's bedroom was liveable before I moved in)
The pattern is great - I bought 4 of hers and will at some point get round to making another one for myself - the only change I made was to stitch down a little ridge between the eyes and chain stitch on some eyebrows.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

New additions to the sock drawer

Originally this was just going to be a post of my completed toe-up socks, but then I finished my Jaywalkers yesterday, so I have twooooooooooo pairs! Woohoo!

I finished these just before I moved, just very plain vanilla stocking stitch socks in Regia 4ply Surprise Colour. They're my first toe-up socks, using Amy Swenson's Universal Toe-up Sock Formula and they fit perfectly round the foot, but the short row toe is kinda huge, so I don't think I'd use it for anything with a stitch pattern. My cast off is a little too tight too, so I'll use a sewn cast off next time.

My Jaywalkers are made in Noro Kureyon Sock, a gift from a Monthly Adventures swap. I like the pattern, but not too keen on the yarn. I love love love the colours, but the quality isn't great, much the same complaints as I've read from other people about Noro yarns. It's very scratchy to knit with, though it does soften up considerably after washing, and the way it's spun or...plied or...something (yeah, I'm not a spinner) makes it very tight and prone to twisting up in my hands. I managed to snap two needles while knitting these socks. Oh, and I found a knot halfway through the second sock which was tied to the wrong colour in the sequence. Gah. Shame Noro do such pretty colours. I guess until I can afford the lovely handpainted luxury sock yarns I shall stick to nice practical cheap (machinewashable) Regia.

Just a quick note about the new pair of socks I started last week. These are Cut & Paste socks in more Regia (bright, bright red Silk 4ply this time), and the toe on these starts from Judy's magic cast on. This technique is GENIUS. That is all.