Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Plied (in) Cymru*

After beautiful sunshine at the Brighton seaside on Monday, yesterday's weather reverted to heavy rain just in time for the four hour to drive to my grandparents' house. I was able to leave the kids at home with my mum and could enjoy the whole afternoon with my folks without any nagging, interruptions or small people getting "booooored". It's years since I have done this and I enjoyed the chance to just 'be' there - drinking tea, chatting... and laughing, always laughing. I do wish it was easier to spend time with them - regular phone calls are better than nothing, but you can't give the phone a cwtch and a kiss can you?

So last night, my quiet hotel room soon looked like this...
Knitting: the rib on my Vanilla (handbag) socks
Reading: The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood & Sock Knitting Master Class by Ann Budd
Planning: my next pair of socks - on the ChiaoGoos, my favourites for socks
Spinning: I finished plying my firsShamu Makes fluff (shown here)!
Listening to: Inferno by Dan Brown

Although you can't really see it very clearly in this picture, I am especially pleased with the spinning. It was a 50g braid and I have made it into a few balls to try out some different plying methods. The big ball was plied with 2 centre pull balls in the red 'Fluff' bag - secured by the poppers so they couldn't escape, and this worked really well. The medium sized ball was plied with the two centre pull balls on the floor and didn't work so well, and the smallest ball was plied from both ends of one centre pull ball and I was really pleased with how that worked out, which surprised me a little. It's my neatest spinning to date, and you can see the process here, although the picture quality varies! 
Spinning progress.
The first half of Inferno was a good travelling companion. If you have read any of the other Dan Brown books,  you will know what to expect. It's typically formulaic - Harvard Professor Robert Langdon wakes up in hospital after being shot in the head. He has no short-term memory and must figure out why he is being chased, and what it has to do with Dante's Inferno and the strange visions that he has upon waking. The chapters are characteristically short and punchy and there is an (attractive) female sidekick. You know how it goes by now, but it's easy listening and made the long drive pass more quickly. I'll be listening to the rest while spinning and doing the housework this week - if you haven't already tried one, you might like to try Audible for 30 days for free, and download a free audiobook (I'd recommend 'Life After Life' from last week!)

I've almost finished The Knitting Circle. It was bought for me because of the word 'knitting' and probably isn't something I'd normally pick up but having finished the first half of it in one sitting, it must be good. There are just a few chapters left and despite the terribly sad subject matter - recovering from the death of a 5 year old daughter - I can relate to a lot of the characters and how they have found solace in the meditative rhythm of knitting which has also brought them all together. Yes, I like it. 
*For international readers, this is a pun - Cymru = Wales and  Plaid Cymru is the National (political) Party of Wales


  1. Wow what fab spinning! I'm still at the thick and thin stage with mine although it's getting more even. Can't get it much thinner than about dk weight at the moment, except on the really thin sections!

    1. Are you practicing everyday? That daily discipline of 15 mins seemed to be all I needed to crack it - I've a long way to go yet, but at least it's useable yarn, which is something! :D

  2. So nice of Mum to take the kids ... and so lovely to have some "adult-time"! I have to say I like the way you pack for holidays - so much fiber-y goodness :)

    1. A bit ridiculous for one night! I had a huge bag (the same one I took on my honeymoon for a fortnight) and most of it was craft stuff! :D

  3. Such lovely goodies. I've read that book and it's a good read if sad.

  4. It must have felt so good to have a few hours away from the kids. I love what you have packed for your holiday he he.

    You are really inspiring me to try spinning, though I worry I wouldn't be any good at it!

    1. It's really not difficult once you get your head around drafting and keeping the spindle going at the same time. Start with park & draft and get the feeling for it.

  5. Your spinning looks wonderful! I am in awe of your plying - I haven't got to that stage yet .... you're making my fingers itchy to get back to my spindle.
    You are very lucky to still have grandparents - ENJOY!

    1. Thanks Libby. I'm making a concerted effort this year (this is my second visit in the last few months) because I am really conscious that each visit could possibly be my last. My other Nanna died 13 years ago on Monday and I miss her every day.

  6. It looks like you had a fab weekend, I love The Knitting Circle, I didn't want it to end, I nearly bought Inferno on Friday. Ooh, you spin, it looks fab. Deb x

  7. That's a lovely, lovely photo of the beach ... thanks for sharing it!

    I have been to Wales (I'm in Baltimore, Maryland). I thought it was a beautiful country, and I loved the castles. And I discovered that my name, Beth, is a word in Welsh! I saw it on a whiteboard at a castle tea shop. The proprietor told me it meant "what."

  8. How fun to try new techniques! You are fearless.


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