Monday, May 31, 2010

Keeping my head down...

I had my Critical Theory exam this week, one final essay to write and submit and then I will be free - ish. It's three weeks until I start my new job, and between then and now, I will be tidying up a lot of loose ends, documenting how I do the job, recruiting interns and trying to find my replacement.

I am hoping to get back to regular blogging after Friday's hand in though, I have lots of things to catch up on!

I know it's a holiday for a lot of people across the world, I hope you're all having a nice day off. Me - I'm about to go for a walk while I think about my essay plan. Oh for the days like above, when all I had to worry about was whether I could escape my granny! It's hard to believe in that photo, she was only a couple of years older than I am now...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wuthering Heights - Free Cross Stitch Chart!

You had a temper, like my jealousy
Too hot, too greedy
How could you leave me?
When I needed to possess you?
I hated you, I loved you too...

I designed this initially as a gift for my tutor, as she taught this novel on a course I did, and then had a flash of inspiration, and made her a similar design featuring the "lost Gothic" novel she edited and is a world expert on. I won't be sharing that chart, as it is very personal to Karen, but I'm happy to share this one - and I think more people will have heard of this book rather than The Mysterious Warning (unless they have memorised Northanger Abbey) :o) Hopefully, stitching this won't have the same effect as my gift did for the good doctor - I made her cry ... she'd taught me for the last four years, and I was hoping she'd be my dissertation supervisor, but there have been cutbacks at the University, and non-tenured staff have been shafted had their hours cut.

I have a very ambiguous relationship Wuthering Heights. It seems to turn up on a regular basis in my studies, and I find it very interesting, but just not very likeable. And those people who think it's a wonderful love story ... *cough*. I've been to Haworth a number of times, as my friend lives nearby, and you can see samplers stitched by Emily, Charlotte and Anne in the Parsonage Museum. The borders to this piece are from Emily's sampler, as are her initials, but the main lettering is from other sources. Although she was referred to in the family as "Emily Jane" I've used EB because Wuthering Heights was published under the nom de plume Ellis Bell. 1847 refers to the date of publication of the novel. Poor Emily died the following year.

Moira Blackburn has done a reproduction of Emily's sampler and also ones by Charlotte and Anne Bronte. Emily's was stitched when she was only ten years old, Charlotte's when she was  just six - amazingly, both were done over one linen thread!

If you would like a copy of the chart, please comment below and leave an email address unless yours is visible in your blog profile. Some people ask for charts but I have no way of getting them to them :o( Charts are sent in PDF format.

If you do stitch this design, I'd love to see the finished article - and there will be a prize for any I show on my blog!

Although there is no charge for this chart, a donation to the MS Trust for this chart would be appreciated. Pennies will do - and you can make a donation by clicking here. You have raised £83 so far with your kind donations - let's see if we can make it a nice, round £100!

There is no obligation to make a donation - you will be sent the chart whether or not you choose to make a donation, as I appreciate that some people are not in a financial position to do so.

This pattern is offered for personal, non-commercial use only. Items made from this pattern may be sold on a small scale basis such as on Etsy or at craft sales. Sales for charity are positively encouraged! This pattern and the text and photos contained within, may not be copied or reproduced for any purpose other than personal use. Please direct people to this blog rather than forwarding the pattern, thank you! Copyright 2010 N M Wray

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

It's my dad's birthday today, as well as being a Bank Holiday in Canada - for which he sends his thanks :o) My dad turns out to be Bob Dylan's cosmic twin - they are both 69 today!

I don't really know where to start with stories about my dad ... my parents came over yesterday, and dad was reminiscing about his school days, when he was a bit of a naughty boy, who got the cane on numerous occasions! The one for which he got the harshest punishment was when he not only let the tyres down on a hated teacher's bike, but threw away the valves, so that they couldn't be pumped up again... I think my dad's mischievious past was an asset when he joined the police force, because he knew all the tricks!

Dad's been feeling a bit low since the winter, when he had his first serious health scare. He's taking a while to adjust mentally to this, and physically to the medications he's having to take. However, now the sun is here, and he's able to get out and about a bit more, he's cheering up. And my niece works magic too - he's wrapped around her little finger, but I can't complain, because I too am a Daddy's girl still!

Happy birthday dad, here's to many more!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Up to date?

Hopefully, everyone who has requested a chart recently has now received them - I'm sorry for any delays, life is a bit hectic at the moment.

If you are expecting a chart and haven't yet received it please:

- check your spam filter, because I'm sending charts as attachments, they sometimes end up there
- check that your mailbox can accept large attachments - some of the charts are about 1.5 meg
- check that you actually let me have your email address either in the comment or via your profile. No email address = no chart, unless I've already sent you a chart before and you are in my contacts.
- leave a comment to this post, giving your email address and the freebie chart(s) you want.

Thanks for your co-operation, I hope you have fun stitching the charts!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thank you for the good wishes

Thank you to everyone for the congratulations and good wishes on getting my new job. I know it's tough out there for a lot of people, and I feel very lucky. I've formally told my current organisation I will no longer be working with them (technically, I'm a freelancer) and have suggested an end date - because I'm the type who feels responsibility for everything, that date is actually after any notice period I would have needed to give had I been an employee... but I couldn't leave them in the lurch, these people are friends. The management know, but I'm waiting to tell the others and the volunteers I manage until after Wednesday's team meeting, so I'm having to be careful what I post and where (Facebook!).

Other than that, I had a nice weekend - I went to hear David Crystal give a talk on linguistics and language for children - very amusing, very accessible and engaging. And on Saturday, I visited a "new to me tea shop" with my friend Eleanor, which unfortunately was disappointing (hence no link) - there's a fine line between "quirky" and "total incompetence" and it was on the wrong side of it! We then went to a very nice exhibition at the Graves Art Gallery, which was portraits of influential writers. I came over all peculiar at a little silhouette of Jane Austen, one of only a couple of things known to have been taken "from life". The writers ranged from Milton and Shakespeare to Jarvis Cocker, J K Rowling and Amy Winehouse, which made an interesting selection. And it did kind of bring home to me that actually, I'm a pretty well-read person :o)

Talking of writers, I will be sharing my little Wuthering Heights chart sometime this week, so if the biscornu are not for you, and you like the primitive style, this might be more your thing!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May Biscornu and Fob - Free Cross Stitch Chart!

May brings flocks of pretty lambs
Skipping by their fleecy dams

As a knitter, how could I not have sheep and lambs on the May biscornu? I love how frisky and frolicking lambs become very sedate sheep ... although not always very bright, it has to be said!

A lot of the wealth of England in the Middle Ages and Tudor period came from sheep. It's why, in tiny villages there are huge churches - built on the wealth accumulated from these most humble of animals.

The chart follows my usual format of using only three colours so it should be quick and easy to stitch. I think it will look best on a pastel coloured fabric or natural linen. It might look cute to make one of the sheep black...

The scissor fob can be personalised with your own initials as I've included a full alphabet

If you would like a copy of the chart, please comment below and leave an email address unless yours is visible in your blog profile. Some people ask for charts but I have no way of getting them to them :o( Charts are sent in PDF format.

If you do stitch this design, I'd love to see the finished article - and there will be a prize for any I show on my blog!

Although there is no charge for this chart, a donation to the MS Trust for this chart would be appreciated. Pennies will do - and you can make a donation by clicking here. You have raised £83 so far with your kind donations - let's see if we can make it a nice, round £100!

There is no obligation to make a donation - you will be sent the chart whether or not you choose to make a donation, as I appreciate that some people are not in a financial position to do so.

This pattern is offered for personal, non-commercial use only. Items made from this pattern may be sold on a small scale basis such as on Etsy or at craft sales. Sales for charity are positively encouraged! This pattern and the text and photos contained within, may not be copied or reproduced for any purpose other than personal use. Please direct people to this blog rather than forwarding the pattern, thank you! Copyright 2010 N M Wray

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ch.. ch... ch.... changes

Oh lordy, I'm going to be going from a part time, freelance project manager to a full time, employed communications and marketing manager.

I got the job I interviewed for yesterday! It's going to cut into my knitting time and stitching time - the commute changes from 1.25 hours on busses to a 20 minute walk - but the opportunity of working for a national charity in such a role couldn't really be passed up.

Just need to negotiate a handover with my client - and hope they give me a good reference - and then, by midsummer, I will be in a new job! I'm quite sad to be stopping working for the circus, but this job, although it is a fixed term contract, offers me more security and - of course - more money.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May Goals

My goal for the month is just to get through! May is awful in terms of the commitments I have - two family birthdays, and then all the assessment for my Uni courses. And to add to the stress, I'm looking for a new job - I didn't get the previous one I applied for, but I have an interview for another job tomorrow, which is more money and in walking distance of where I live - it's about 20 minutes stroll away, and another 5 minutes takes me to the quilt shop. If I got the job, it would be dangerous at lunchtimes...

May Goals

  • Chevron Socks 2 - I'm halfway down the foot on the second, so it shouldn't take long
  • My Needle and Floss Comfort Me - it's more or less just the lettering to do. Keep looking at my blog for details of the draw to pass the pattern on
  • You Shall Be Queen Afghan - the border

Finish UFO:
  •  I'm going to give this a miss this month.
Start and Finish:

  • A gift for my favourite tutor - I've designed it myself. There's two parts, one of which I may share on my blog.
  • Early Christmas ornament for exchange

Frame or Have Framed
  • Bee Merry
  • Bee Mine
  • Bee Joyful
  • Country Cottage - I want to make this into a cushion for my niece.
  • May Biscornu and Fob Chart - this is done, I'm going to post it at the weekend.
  • Get previous things posted out

  •  £20 for the MS Trust - it would be amazing if I could get £27, because then I would get my target, but mustn't be greedy!
Right, let's see how I get on with these!

April Review

We're almost halfway through the month, and I haven't reviewed April yet. Not that it feels like May, we apparently had a snow flurry in Sheffield yesterday, but my eyes were glued to the computer screen. At least that essay is in - and now I only have an exam and one more essay to do this semester. If I chose to finish my studies now, I would have a Dip. HE, but I'm going to slog it out for another two years to get my degree and graduate.

Anyway, where was I?

Finish UFOs:

  • Lizzie*Kate Round Robin - Lizzie*Kate - no, not even looked at
  • Passing Time - DMC (Little Suzi's Zoo) - ditto
  • Chevron Socks 2  - no, these are still on the needles, but closer to being finished
  • You Shall Be Queen Afghan- by the end of April, I had finished and blocked all the squares, so I'm counting this as done! I knitted 33 squares for it this month, more than one per day!
  • My Needle and Floss Comfort Me - Waxing Moon - no, not a stitch was placed
Start and Finish:
  • F is for Friend (Prairie Schooler ABC SAL)- no, not even looked at
Frame or have Framed:
  • June- no - the frame has been chosen, just need to mount it.
  • Sow Kind Seeds - ditto
  • Morning Song - yes, and the framers did another super job
  • Bee My Honey Bee - no, still waiting
  • April Biscornu & Fob Design - yes, and you can find the chart here
  • Easter Biscornu & Fob Design - the design is done, but I'm going to be limiting the freebies from now on, as I have plans :o)
  • Get previous giveaways mailed out- er - no. Sorry!
  •  £20 for the MS Trust - I received two extremely generous donations overnight on 30 April/1 May, so I'm going to count this as done - thank you ladies for your contributions!

 So, what else did I do? Apart from Uni work, job applications and such?

  • Hooked on Exchanges Winter House Exchange - I will share pics soon, I promise!
  • Clapotis 2 - another large wrap knitted and I love it!
  • Liberty Print Pincushion - one of my oldest UFOs got made up into a finished item - yay!
  • Bee Happy - framed
  • Be Kind - framed
  • Be Gentle - framed

 So, not one of my most productive months in terms of number of projects, but when you consider that the afghan has 48 squares in it, actually not bad!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Still Here...

But otherwise occupied. I currently have a few paragraphs in search of an essay's all a bit of a dog's breakfast, and I'm not sure how it's all going to come together.

I'm trying to think of something profound to say about the relationship of literary theory to life ... and then I've got to tie one particular theory to one literary text to back up my argument and well - I can do the separate bits but the linking is driving me crazy as I can't just say "it's obvious, innit"! LOL

I'll be back, but don't expect me to surface before Wednesday, after it's handed it...

Friday, May 07, 2010

Thank you for the suggestions

It seems perhaps I was imagining the chart I was talking about in yesterday's post ... but I've had some great Bronte related suggestions!

Tracey told me about The Sampler Girl's On The Moors with Emily Bronte

Demeter83 suggested a piece that has been seen in a British magazine - I think I know the one she means, but it's a bit big as I only have two weeks to do something in ...but thanks for offering to send me the chart, it's much appreciated!

Both Riona and Sabine R suggested the Casey Buonauguorio freebie "Reader, I married him" which is of course the phrase everyone remembers from Jane Eyre - which is another book Karen has taught, and is very appropriate. And one I have in my folders, only not saved under that name, which is why I didn't spot it!
 That little simple phrase says so much about how revolutionary and proto-feminist Charlotte Bronte was. It's not "He married me" (passive) or even "We were married". It's "*I* married *him*" - okay, lecture over!

It's a great suggestion, and something I will be stitching in the future, but while I was Googling away, I came up with an idea. My tutor has edited a "lost" Gothic novel The Mysterious Warning by Eliza Parsons. It was first published in 1796 and is one of the seven "horrid novels" lampooned in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. So, I'm going to work on a design based on that. As if I didn't have enough to do ... but it will be worth it!

(And the Wuthering Heights idea will get worked up and put on this blog at some point, too!)

We're Living in Interesting Times...

Well, the Conservatives have got the most seats, but not an outright majority. The Liberal Democrats have lost ground, despite Nick Clegg's popularity, and the bloody, bloody British National Party have increased their share of the vote to 5.5% in my area - which means that, given the turnout and an average of two adults per household, that one person in every 14 houses round here voted for the bastards.

My sitting MP - Meg Munn - got re-elected, but with a hugely reduced majority. I hope she sits up and takes notice, her loss was much more than the national swing away from Labour, so it's personal this time.  There was trouble at my local polling station though, when the polls closed with some people still queueing to vote - I think the Returning Officer is going to have some questions to answer, as there was also trouble elsewhere in the city.

There was some good news - a Green Party MP was elected for the first time - well done Caroline Lucas. Pete Wishart - the ex Runrig band member - (SNP) retained his seat, which was a Tory target, and in a neighbouring constituency, Paul Blomfield, who I know through working with the Student Union, got in on a tiny majority (165) - he may not represent the party I voted for, but he's a great bloke and will get stuff done.

There's going to be some horse trading going on now while various agreements and coalitions get negotiated.And if none of this works, we'll go through the whole thing again in a year or so. It's one in the eye for the people who maintain a "first past the post" system gives clearer results - this could be the election that finally gets us effective electoral reform in all sorts of areas, and about time too!

And perhaps this blog and my mind will return to more fun stuff... watch this space :o)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

It's Decision Day! - and Help Me Track Down a Freebie!

Today's the day - probably at the end of the day we will have a new Government, maybe even a hung parliament. It's been the most exciting and hard to call election for years, and I'm just off to vote and get in some snacks as I'm planning on staying up to listen to the results coming in.

One of my university tutors is leaving at the end of the semester because of budget cuts :o( She's been FABULOUS - I've done at least one of her modules every year on my degree, and I was hoping that she could be my dissertion supervisor :o/ Anyway, Dr. M is also a crafty person, and I thought I would stitch her something as a token of my appreciation. Her specialty is Gothic literature, and she also adores Wuthering Heights. And okay, we disagree on that :o) but I thought I could commemoratate that as there is a Wuthering Heights freebie out there - and I can't find it. I can picture it in my mind - slightly prim, pretty much just the words. I've checked my Primitive Betty's, The Sampler Girl, Heartstrings Primitives, La D Da files - in fact all my files. And I'm stumped. Does anyone recognise the freebie? Or have I imagined it and it's actually inspiration for one of my own designs? LOL

Right, and now I'm going to put in an hour on an essay due for the above tutor - it's all about The Heart of Darkness, so a little grim but mesmerising!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Stitching Blogger's Monthly Question.

The lovely Lee (Lake Stitcher) has taken up the torch of the SBQ, and this is the first:

Suppose we say that there are two types of stitchers.   

There are those who enjoy the “process” of stitching.  They stitch for stitching’s sake and if something gets finished, so much the better, but it’s not necessarily the end goal.   Primarily, it’s the application of needle and thread to cloth that makes them happiest.

Then there are those who are “project” stitchers.  They move steadily through their projects, certainly enjoying their stitching time, but finding their greatest joy in the completed stitching.  

If you had to pick one to describe yourself, which type of stitcher would you be?  I imagine that we could all say that we fall somewhere in between, but really think hard about this and try to pick just one.  And once you’ve decided whether you’re a Process or Project stitcher, tell us if your recognize that approach in other parts of your life.

I think I've changed as I've aged. The reason I had/have so many UFOs is that stitching was a process thing for me - the stitching was all, and even if I didn't particularly like the project, I had to stitch with whatever resources were available at the time.

As resources increased there was more available to my taste, and I wanted to make things to decorate my home, even if it was just a rented room in a shared house. And as my skills increased, I wanted to make gifts for people - and of course, gifts come with deadlines...

And now I'm older, I'm more conscious of the use and misuse of resources and the impact I have on the environment, and so I'm working through my stash, and deciding what I want to finish. I think I'm also more aware of wanting to enjoy what I have, and what I've worked on. A project stuffed in a drawer isn't filling its potential ... which is partly what the Year of the UFO was all about.

As a knitter, I'm much more of a project person, and always have been - which is rather bizarre, but I put that down to knitting mostly practical items which I need and will use.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Post 7

(for more details, see Eskimimi Knits)

There’s one love that we all share: yarn. Blog about a particular yarn you have used in the past or own in your stash, or perhaps one that you covet from afar. If it is a yarn you have used you could show the project that you used it for, perhaps writing a mini ‘review’. Perhaps, instead, you pine for the feel of the almost mythical qiviut? You could explore and research the raw material and manufacturing process if you were feeling investigative.

I think the yarn I use most of - in number of projects certainly - is the sock yarn from Regia. It's a 75% wool/25% nylon mix to make it hardwearing, and it's nice and smooth to work with. But it's not the texture I love it for, it's the colours, especially in the Kaffe Fassett range. They are vivid and rich (mostly) without being too tacky and bright (again, mostly) and they make the funkiest socks which have kept my feet nice and snug during our "coldest winter for numpty nine years" ... I'm also quite keen on Opal sock yarn ... and - well, quite a few others, but for practically and enjoyment at a relatively reasonable price, it's the Regia for me...

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Post 6

(for more details, see Eskimimi Knits)
Bring the fortune and life of a past finished project up to the present. Document the current state and use of an object you have knitted or crocheted, whether it is the hat your sister wears to school almost every day, or a pair of socks you wore until they were full of hole. Or maybe that jumper that your did just didn’t like that much… 

These aren't anything special design-wise, or made from a a wonderful yarn, and they don't even match, but they get worn by my little niece every week to ballet class because "ballerinas wear legwarmers"- and because she loves them, and because "Auntie Nic-Nic made them 'specially for me".

Hopefully, my niece will never grow out of loving hand crafted stuff, and will never be too embarassed to wear hand knits!

And just because, here's a picture of her at the weekend at her fourth birthday party. The theme was "princesses and fairies" and there was so much polyester in the form of Disney dress up costumes that lighting the birthday candles  was even more closely supervised than usual!

From this, you can see why I chose the yarn I did for the leg warmers ;o)

Monday, May 03, 2010

Family Resemblances

My mum has discovered Facebook ... which is rather nice, as she's been putting up some interesting photos from her family tree researches.

I'll spare you the be-whiskered Victorians, as I'm not entirely sure how they fit in, but this is a photo that shows four generations - and it was taken over forty years ago...

I'm the baby there, and I would have been about 5 months old. To the right is my mum, to the left is her father, and the lap I am sitting on is his mother.

This picture is Grandad with his parents - the lady that to me always seemed so old looks very pretty and vibrant here, even in the stiff studio post. My Great Gran was a very independent lady - she was one of the first women in Scotland to have a motorbike, in the 1920s and was still driving well into her eighties! She could be a bit awkward, but she was never less than kind to myself and my sister, and even when her memory was failing, she remembered a little bit about us, and my dad, even though she could no longer recognise my mum or her daughters-in-law.

The little boy in the knitted dress grew up to be this handsome chap! Grandad was in the Navy in the War, and served on the Atlantic convoys, and went not only to West Africa (where he contracted malaria) but to Russia, where he spent most of one winter. He never talked about his war experience, and never wanted his medals. I think in this picture, you can really see the resemblance to my mum the most. My Grandad died when I was eight - he was a heavy smoker, and lung cancer took him. The hair by this time was heavily Brylcreemed to tame the curl, and the smell of Brylcreem and Old Spice still brings him back ...

This picture was taken when I was about four years old. And as you can see, I got the fair curly hair too - and so did Ma, although not quite as wild a head of hair... My mummy made not only the dress she was wearing, but my bolero too - it was knitted with a crochet edging and crochet flowers on it. I thought it was the bee's knees! Ma made nearly all my clothes when my sister and I were young - the dress I'm wearing must have been a present from my godmother, because they were nearly the only times we had anything "shop bought". I think partly this was out of necessity, but partly because Ma enjoyed making things - and she always sold it to us as something exciting, because we were getting something made especially for us!

I think this picture of my mum in Sherwood Forest was taken when I was eleven or twelve, because Ben (the dog) still looks quite puppyish ... Mum lost a lot of weight after Grandad died and to me she looks very thin. Although having a very active dog who needed a lot of walking won't have helped any ...

And to bring it up to date ... this was taken a couple of summers ago. I am turning into my mother ... when I stress about this - normally when The Hermit has pointed out matching character traits - The Hermit says "but that's okay, I like your mother!" - and he doesn't always understand why this isn't terribly reassuring :o)  I think the resemblance was lost for a bit as I wore glasses and was a lot heavier than her ... now we're equalising a bit and I'm wearing contacts more ..

I think I'll stop here, because I could write the same again about how my sister resembles our maternal uncle, maternal grandmother and her mother - not to mention how much my niece looks like Sis! I hope you've enjoyed the little clamber around my family tree...  I'd be interested to hear about your family and resemblances too!

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Post 5

(for more details, see Eskimimi Knits)

Where do you like to indulge in your craft? Is your favourite arm chair your little knitting cubby area, or do you prefer to ‘knit in public’? Do you like to crochet in the great outdoors, perhaps, or knit in the bath, or at the pub?

I'm the Martini Girl of knitting - "Any time, Any place, Any where". Well, okay, not the shower. Any probably a job interview wouldn't be appropriate either, but most other situations are fair game. I find it helps not only pass the time when doing something dull, like on the bus to the office, but it also helps when I'm doing something fun - I knit during our WI meetings, as it helps me concentrate on the speaker, and also makes talking to new people less hard. It's a good ice breaker, and it's often a way of having nice chats on the bus, especially with older people. Although conversations do tend to start off in the same way: "oooh, you don't see many people knitting nowadays, especially not young people like you..." - well, they are obviously not hanging out in either my social circle, or in blog land! Although it is nice to be classed as you :o)

The knitting group I'm part of meets in a pub, and we knit pretty much anywhere two or more of us are. We've even knitted on the "Sheffield Eye" ...

(I was more comfortable than my expression perhaps suggested!)

Knitting in the outdoors can be fun, and here is our knitting group on our retreat to York last year:

We're sat outside the Castle, I think we drew quite a lot of interested looks! I like this picture a lot, it's a reminder of a fab time!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Post 4

(for more details, see Eskimimi Knits)

Is there a skill related to your hobby that you hope to learn one day? maybe you’re a crocheter who’d also like to knit? Maybe you’d like to learn to knit continental, knit backwards, try cables or attempt stranded colourwork.

Hmm - I think I covered this in post 2, when I should perhaps have talked more about a particular project. Anyway, it gives me a chance to make another confession. And one that may shock those readers than know me primarily as a cross stitcher.

Are you ready?

I can't follow knitting patterns that are written in chart format!

There, I've said it. I think some of it is cultural - charts used to be a very uncommon way of writing patterns in the UK, and so it is something I've never learned. Some of it I think is how my brain is wired - reading things in different directions and relating them to a two sided project ... it's just not like cross stitch! And thirdly - I am a reader. I like things to follow in a logical order, I can find my place in a written pattern easier than in a charted pattern, and I don't have to do a mental conversion. With cross stitch my poor brain can remember that a dot means a particular colour, but with knitting, if a dot is "purl on one side, knit on the other" by brain just goes "waaah!"

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Wildcard Topic

(for more details, see Eskimimi Knits)

Okay, so I'm behind - but I will do a series of seven Knitting and Crochet related posts anyway ... the long weekend will give me a bit of chance to catch up!

Do you have a particular knitting/crochet tool or piece of equipment that you love to use? Maybe it is an old bent pair of needles that used to belong to someone special, or a gorgeous rosewood hand-turned crochet hook that you just love the feel of? 

My most favourite pieces of equipment are my 2.50mm KnitPro double pointed sock needles. They are fabulous - so smooth, with nicely tapered points so they don't split the yarn, and the colours (they are made from dyed birch wood) just make my heart smile, and are very "me". They are a great talking point with other knitters. I do have to replace them from time to time, as I lose them occasionally - I don't hear them drop from my bag in the same way as I do metal needles. They are worth the little extra expense, as they get a lot of use, and having decent tools is part of the pleasure of executing any craft.