Saturday, 25 August 2007

Little Weary

So it has been a pretty tiring couple of week as I started back at work. It's always a major shock to the system and thus not much has been done of interest. I got a lovely new cook book, "Pig and Sons" which is all about, well, pork, obviously. It's beautifully photographed and features chronicles of pig farmers and the like, in rural France. It seems very good, if a little overwhelming and it does features some ingredients that I might have to travel to France to get but I like it nonetheless. I'm going to try to make Pork Shoulder with Dates tomorrow, so I'll let you know how it goes.

I made Nigella's Guiness cake today. This has to be the easiest and most rewarding cake I know of and never fails to impress. It last for about a decade as well. If you haven't tried it, I do urge you to. It's in her Feast book. Nigella sometimes comes in for a lot of stick and I don't really understand why, unless the underlying reason is jealousy. Her writing and recipes rarely fail to be enjoyable and delicious.

Clapotis (whisper it!) seems to be going well . Hopefully it'll be done by next week. I've been whittling away at my socks as well. I keep them at work and get a few rounds down at lunch. I'm considering knitting Elizabeth Zimmermann's Fish Trap Aran for Mr Kittiker. I'm allowed to buy yarn if it's for someone else, right? I'm sure I saw that in the rules!

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Frailty, thy name is Kittiker!

I was weak. I have no willpower. But I have a magazine and that's better. I bought Rowan 42. It wasn't entirely deliberate. I ended up in Stirling as Mr Kittiker was exchanging walking boots he'd bought (he bought odd sizes - d'oh!) And there it was. Otherwise I'd've needed to get it mail order so it makes a certain sense. But there's no need to justify it really - it is an excellent collection of patterns. But I'm slowly making my way through my projects - one row at a time!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Knitting and Writing

So I know this should be about my holidays but its my blog and I'll decide. I've started trying to write again. I used to write all the time. I got a couple of poems published, wrote half a novel, a short play but then I just stopped and for the last few years I've done almost nothing. I still have ideas for poems and stories, all the time in fact, but I haven't been doing anything with them. This was another reason for blogging initially - to get back into the writing habit but I've decided to give myself a more formal structure to developing my creative writing and sign up for the OU's creative writing course. I'm a little nervous about it in an ordinary way. What if they say I'm crap ? I find it difficult to accept criticism of any creative endevour of mine but perhaps this is as good a reason to take the course as any. And any writer must be prepared to be told that they're crap at some points I suppose. My other fear is that I lack the self discipline to complete the course to the best of my abilities. I studied French with the OU and enjoyed it though I felt like I should've put a bit more into it. I also started a Spanish course but, to be honest, my heart wasn't in it and a lot of other things were going on (new job, new house, new area, another new house!!) so that fell by the wayside. I can only try my best. And I always feel its better to regret something you've done than something you haven't.

My knitting is driving me crazy. It's because I'm on this stoopid yarn diet - it makes me all antsy. I've promised myself some new magazines when I get to the half way point (4-5 FOs). The new Interweave and Rowan look great.

I've also decided to make Barbara Walker's How to Knit Afghan. It takes you through many different techniques and types of pattern. It's made up of 63 different squares, each with a different technique. One of the Amazon reviewers said it was like knitting university and I think that's a great description. I'm looking forward to the challenge of such a big project but because it is so big, I feel that 21 squares (1/3) should count as a FO under the conditions of my yarn diet. This isn't cheating, honest. Hell, I could knit 8 mobile cozies in an afternoon if I wanted and call it done!

My biggest irritation this week has been my Clapotis. This pattern is my Nemesis. I can't fathom it - it's an easy pattern and I've knitted it before - but for some reason I keep effing it up. Catastrophically. Maybe its because I'm using expensive yarn (Silk Garden) and I'm nervous. Or more likely, it's because I'm a knitting moron. I'm using lifelines for heaven's sake. I know there's no shame in it but in a Clapotis? Good grief. Maybe this afghan will sort me out.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

The News in Brief

I'm just back from a splendid holiday. Mr Kittiker and I toured the north west of Scotland, visiting Skye, Ullapool, Gairloch and Durness. It was sunny and restful and just lovely. Tomorrow we're going cannoeing up Loch Etive for a couple of days so at the moment I'm in packing and laundry hell and that leaves little time for blogging. I'm also crabbit as I have started my (now) annual yarn diet. My target weight is 8 to 10 projects lighter. This should pretty much half my stash and will leave lots of room for Christmas yarn! Hint, Mr Kittiker, Mother, friends!! More ramblings when I return.