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corkboard

I’m not tidy, but I’m organised. These images have been carefully framed to illustrate my organisation & craftily evade the piles and deluges of mess as-yet-unorganised-matter. I like having layers of clothes and yarns lying around, because they are a constant source of inspiration, suggesting new colour-combinations, and textures. At the same time I love being organised, because then I can find out what is unnecessary or what doesn’t belong, and I can (hopefully) become more efficient. Efficiency is closely related to grace and elegance for me, two values I strive towards.

Luckily, I’ve recently come to notice that I have a very good visual memory when it comes to putting things in places; I rarely ever lose anything. Unfortunately this applies to biscuits as much as it does to keys. It also applies to other people’s biscuits…

files

Anyway, yarn! I mentioned on Monday’s post that I recently moved house, and this was a great opportunity to re-organise. I have been going through a bit of a pink phase / pink haze, so I covered my files in stripey pink, to match some old sheets I found, and decided to arrange some of my yarn to match. These shelves divide my sleep area from my “work area” & can be accessed from both sides, which is very handy. At the top is a plastic wig-stand that I recently spray-painted; it used to be a very obnoxious green. Right now it holds my penultimate Minty (I really need to blog about my Minty obsession); my other hats are artfully scattered and layered on available furniture.

shelvesyarnstashminty

I have a pop-up laundry basket that holds my “bundles” of yarn. These are all in their own plastic bags, which look ugly, so I leave a few odd balls on top. Another plastic laundry basket has a few bags of random yarn, and two needle-boxes on top. There’s also an old copy-paper box under my desk that has some old WIPs. Any current knitting is usually on top of my desk. Unfortunately, pretty much everything is on top of my desk, so sometimes I pin things to my corkboard, just so I can see them.

oddballs

I also have four crates, which hold odd-balls (the bottom one has my stamp collection). I must mention that a good deal of my stash is still in the UK. I travel around a lot & have no idea where I will “settle”, so some elements of my knitting paraphernalia reflect this. For example, I still use an old Graze box to keep my notions, needles, bits & bobs, because it’s light & won’t break. I almost exclusively use circular needles, because they’re easier to squash into a suitcase. I really need to get a bag to store them though, or invest in some interchangeable circulars. DPNs are in jars on my desk. I’ll show you those when I get around to knitting some of those cute cabled covers for them. I’ve scanned the interesting bits from most of my knitting magazines / books. Books are the worst to carry, so this is really worth doing! Vacuum bags are great for storing / transporting yarn too. Of course, all knitters know that the most space-efficient way to store yarn is to knit it! :)

P.S. My summer work space is pretty dreamy, and always tidy. ;)

30th March, 2011  // Life, Yarn // tags: , , , , , , , , .

Summer Knitting

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parasol

It’s sweltering on the Aegean today! If you’re travelling to the sun this summer (perhaps escaping the gloomy torrents of British rain?), you’ll want to do a little thinking and preparation before you get there, to ensure you get the most out of your knitting time. Even if you live somewhere where it regularly gets hot in summer, you might find some of these tips helpful in keeping you cool and keeping you knitting.

What to Knit

  • Naturally, something light and lacy is better than a big, thick piece of knitting.
  • Loosen up. Thin yarn with large needles is perfect. Knitting too tightly can be hard work at the best of times, let alone when it’s too hot to move.
  • Knit something circular, so you don’t have to keep turning rows. Basic socks, hats, and other accessories are just the thing.
  • Knit something that you can wear even in the heat. Summer hats, sleeveless tops, and lacy beach wraps are about all you’ll want to wear if it’s really hot.
  • Avoid knitting anything complicated. I know we all get tricked into thinking that the summer holidays are the perfect time to catch up on knitting, but if the weather’s hot, chances are you won’t feel like working on much at all. There are several reasons for this:
    1. The heat can add to your frustration if you’re knitting something too fiddly, especially if you make a mistake! Even if you’re not a tight knitter, 20 K3togs in a row are enough to make anyone’s brain boil.
    2. If you’re knitting outside, in bright sunlight, it will be very tiring for your eyes to be scrutinising your knitting & the pattern all the time.
    3. You’re meant to be relaxing!
    4. It’s more fun if you don’t have to keep referring to instructions, and you don’t have to carry them around and make sure they don’t blow away.
    5. If it’s hot, it’s too hot to think. Take it easy.

(read more…)

17th July, 2009  // Travel, Yarn // tags: , , , , .

Where Have You Been?

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Well may you ask! When I came back to Turkey for a few months, I hadn’t realised that a combination of heat, intermittent internet, and a general lassitude would keep me away from work for so long. Many events have passed unrecorded, including my birthday, and the Skein Queen contest I won, to name one of her gorgeous colourways. The name I entered was ‘Summerhouse Love’, and it’s fairly descriptive of my current state. Ironically, I must await my return to Wales to fondle the Plushness, but the cool colours will be a reminder of my indolent summer days. I had already treated myself to a hank of Skein Queen yarn for my birthday (look at Deb’s gorgeous packaging! I admired it for a long time before I let myself open it), along with a tiny hank of Artist’s Palette ‘Glisten’. Really, the difficulty of the larger questions of life (its meaning, what one should do with it, etc.) pale in comparison with the painful hours of deciding which colourway of handpainted yarn to purchase.

skein queen package

another early birthday present

Much of my time has been spent reading, listening to Cole Porter songs, taking photos of congruous colours, and of course, doing a lot of mindless knitting. These socks are now finished, though it’s too hot to wear them.

sock & colette
Olive pressing against my window
sock & colette
bits of houses
kilim

I mentioned in my entry to the Skein Queen competition, how much I love summerhouse novels. Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Proust’s Swann’s Way (the only one of the series I’ve managed to read so far), and Colette’s Ripening Seed are the chief ones that occur to me. To a lesser extent perhaps von Arnim’s The Enchanted April (which I suppose is not summer), Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, Forster’s A Room with a View, and maybe even Bellow’s Herzog, though they’re all very different books. Admittedly A Room with a View doesn’t even involve a house, but it is still one of my favourites.

And if you’re looking for musical accompaniment, here is my Cole Porter mixtape:

  1. I Concentrate on You by Frances Wayne
  2. I Loved Him but He Didn’t Love Me by Kaye Ballard
  3. Get Out of Town by Chris Connor
  4. Night and Day by Ella Fitzgerald
  5. Just One of Those Things by Diana Krall
  6. I’m in Love Again by Bobby Short
  7. The Laziest Gal in Town by Marlene Dietrich
  8. Where Have You Been? by Judy Holliday

So close to your side I’ll stay,
You can never say,
“Baby, where have you been?”

13th July, 2009  // Inspiration, Life, Literature, Travel, Yarn // tags: , , , .
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