Saturday, 27 June 2009

Ravelry Day Haul

Oh well this post is a lot later than I anticipated, just under 2 weeks later actually to be almost exact but better late than never (is a fitting motto for me and something that I suspect my family will have etched somewhere in remembrance of me after my clogs have popped and I have headed off the the big skein of yarn in the sky).

This year saw the birth of a new "festival/celebration" for us Knitters in the form of Ravelry Day. It happened in the Coventry Central Hall, Coventry which is in the West Midlands in the UK (which is just up the road from where I live) on Saturday 6th June. As well as the fortuous coincidence that the whole thing was dreamt up by a lady called Jo who happens to live less than 15 miles from my front door. I also had the added bonus that the whole thing happened a week or so before my birthday, so although our bank account was in a very battered and bruised state from the whole run of family birthday's that happen in May and June it didn't really matter because as it turned out a lot of the family were more than prepared to give me spending money in order to buy my own birthday present. Even the downside of having to hand over my precious purchases on my arrival home for a weeks hibernation in wrapping paper before being handed back to me did not spoil it a bit. In fact not even the torrential rain that persisted for the whole day could not mar the occasion for me, I didn't even mind the couple of times whilst standing at the back of a crowd gathered around a market stall the rain running off the plastic sheeting covering the stall and straight down the back of my neck. I loved the whole day.

I also got an opportunity to meet fellow Fekker Sash2, another regular member of a knitting forum that I eerrrmm visit on the odd occasion (hubby would argue that it is all day every day but I'm sure the girls will back me up and say they hardly ever "see" me). It was thanks to Sash that I actually eventually got to go Ravelry Day, she had bought a ticket for her mum who wasn't able to come as she is quite elderly and the transport links were going to be a big obstacle for her. I however hadn't bought a ticket, with the boys party/Leigh-Ann's birthday I wasn't sure whether I would have the fundage in the beginning and was planning to just chance it and go on the day, I had asked hubby whether he fancied it as a day out with the boys.... he just looked at me like I had gone stark raving mad and said "No thanks, Knitting I don't think so". So when Sash posted a message on the forum that she had a ticket going spare it was the 3rd and final bit of good luck (location, timing and now a valid excuse that my friend had a ticket spare and surely hubby and the boys would be fine without me for a mere 8 hours or so!!!!!) that smiled on me.

It was great to have a fellow knitter to drool over beautiful hand painted yarn, unusual and quirky buttons and even to want to pet the Alpacas that were next to the Toft Alpaca stall, but they were very smelly soaking wet in the rain. The amount of stash enhancing opportunities were fantastic, so many of the independent spinners and dyers were there and it was fantastic to be able to touch, feel and caress all the lovely fibres that I had only been able to see on a pc screen before now. The Knitting Goddess was there, so were Fyberspates, Kathleen Alice from Green Eyed Monsters (who I have conversed with on the original Lets Knit forum),Naked Sheep, Old Maiden Aunt Yarns, The Natural Dye Studio, and Knitting4fun were just some of them. The temptation to run amok was high, very high. It took an awful lot of willpower to not spend all my cash in the first 10 mins, but I had promised hubby that I would buy things other than yarn and I also had been hankering after a ball winder for a while, (skeins and I just do not get on very well, I always get into a complete mess and it has taken my over 24 hours before now to untangle a single 50grm skein of tangled mess into a ball).

Whilst the actual event was supposed to be in the Central Hall, from the forum posts on Ravelry I have read it grew from an idea from one very inspired lady and got such a huge response from fellow Ravelry members that eventually it had to spill out of what is quite a big hall that was booked for the event and many of the vendors on the day had to be accommodated in the markets stalls that are outside, hence the temptation for Sash and I as we approached and couldn't bear to walk past all that lovely yarn porn to go and look at all the demonstrations and exhibits until much later. We probably did it the wrong way round of course, we should have gone inside and looked at what was happening inside when we weren't carrying bags laden down with purchases but the fear for me at least that someone would come along and buy it all up before we had a chance to was far to great. There were classes and talks held by some of the greats in the knitting world like Meg Swansen, Debbie Bliss, Jared Flood to name but a few, which neither of us had bought tickets for. There was also a knitted fashion show, which we did have a peek at. There were some spinning demos, something I would really love to try one day when all the kids are grown up, moved out and I can have a room devoted to it. The prices of the roving are a big enough incentive o their own! I loved the extreme knitting stall, where you can knit a rug in less than a day using their huge needles and crochet hooks.

The whole event was sponsored by the The Knitter magazine and the people who publish that and also Simply Knitting magazine were offering a 3 issues for £1 deal for new subscribers as well as an extra free copy on the day. Of course I subscribed to both!! it would have been extremely rude not to.

Now normally I would be putting in loads of links and giving you in depth detail of what I bought and from where, but I'm writing this on the weekend and family life keeps rudely interrupting. Off and on I have been at this now since around 4.00pm but having to stop and feed the hungry hordes (both older two are out clubbing so I made sure they were well fed and stomaches lined before they went out, stopping to watch Zakk rock at Guitar Hero (he is wiping the floor with both hubby and I at the age 6, embarassing or what!!) and give Max some attention too I really need to finish up. It is now 8pm and the boys are running round the garden when they really should be and normally are in bed. Hopefully it is something I will come back to and do in the next day or so. I did know that this would be a major blog post but not how big!!!!!!
There was so much on offer and I'm really gutted that my chances of attending next years show are slim to none as it will be held during August far away in Stirling, Scotland. It is only fair of course that Knitters north of the border will also get a chance to have a fantastic day as well but I hope it's success continues and it eventually winds it way back down to the Midlands. All that yarn porn is such a rare opportunity for this knitter... well until November that is when I am off to Harrogate. I already have my ticket.....

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Conk the Clown

Well the gremlins are still present, I thought after the party things would settle down and I would get a little time to sort things out, but no, I'm still running round like a headless chicken getting nothing done fast.

A lot has happened in a few weeks as well as the boys joint birthday party, my daughter Leigh-Ann turned 21, I also had a birthday but I'm only admitting that I'm still 30something even though the boys tried to upset me by writing 41 etc all over my card. Yeah yeah very funny NOT. There was also Ravelry day in Coventry where I met up with a fellow Fekker Sash 2 for the first time, she is lovely and we had a great time but that will be another post in the very near future.

Today's post is a few photos of the boys joint birthday party, it was on Fri 5th June and we (OK mainly me) was very very worried about the weather. I had counted on having the party in the garden when I had let the boys invite 35 classmates and family members and despite the week before being glorious the weather started to go downhill as the party day approached. I think I have sold my soul in order for the weather to hold, I begged and borrowed favours from everyone I knew up in the heavens for it to be dry but it certainly seemed to do the trick. Despite a few teasing drops at 2.00pm when the party was due to start at 2.15pm it held on and the sun even came out for a view of Conk the Clown and his very funny act. He had adults and children in stitches and was worth every penny we paid. He got the adults up for a rendition of Old McDonald and they were laughing so mush they couldn't make the noises, I am led to believe there is a video of my MIL trying to be the pig on Youtube somewhere! I have asked for the link and when I receive it I shall put it on here. My BIL has it on his phone and has been keeping himself very entertained by repeatedly watching it! Despite all the distractions in the garden like the trampoline and climbing frames etc the children still for the most part sat and watched and enjoyed his magic act. Even hubby who had been chuntering for weeks about paying for a bloody bloke in a red nose was very impressed, I even had a high 5 from him after the event.
On the whole the party went very well, one or two accidents on the limbing frame etc but with how many children were there I was impressed with how smoothly it went. The weather stayed with us til 6pm. The party finished at 5.15pm and I had been praying til 5pm at which point I would have coped with all the kids and adults for 15 mins inside but the Gods smiled on us and 6pm was perfect because it meant the garden got tidied up as well but my house stayed clean and tidy too.
Like a switch had been flipped the heavens opened at 6pm and I think it rained for pretty much 48 hours straight but I didn't care even though it was Ravelry day the next day and all the stalls were outside.
I would like to say thank you for all the help on the day I had. My MIL Doreen , my SIL's Sue and Laura, my friend Liz and the mums Donna and Emma who all helped with loading plates of food and distributing drinks for the children, mopping up spills, tiding away leftover food and used plates etc and helping with washing up etc. You all helped to make the day much easier. You were much apprieciated.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Hello, Hello I Am Here Can You Hear Me???

We have Gremlins, well virtual ones anyway! For some reason the main PC that I usually use has decided it no longer wants an internet relationship, well actually I have a feeling it is the other way round that the internet no longer wants a relationship with the PC, whichever way round it is they are not talking which means I am unable to talk! I have a feeling that a phone call to my ISP will solve the problem but I just don't seem to have the time at the moment to do that and all the palarvering about that will entail in order to get back online. I am currently using my daughters laptop which seems to have constant PMT (unlike my daughter I hasten to add). It has a super sensitive mouse pad which does things all on its own whether you have your hand hovering withn 6 inches or not! It also refuses to interact with things like emoticons and spell checks etc, very very frustrating (also a VALID excuse for my awful spelling, my apologies).

You would think with all the extra time on my hands (according to hubby all day every day as that is how often he thinks I'm on the PC) you would think my needles are smoking! Alas no, it is the boys big joint birthday party is on Friday and I am trying to get the hovel that is my home and the overgrown wilderness that are my gardens into some sort of cared for and tended order. Not an easy job in this glorious sunshine and heat that we in the UK are enjoying at the moment (that is not a complaint by any means BTW).

But I have been knitting, I even have an FO and a nearly FO which I was hoping to have finished by now but because I am so shattered every night when I finally sit down it is taking a lot longer than I anticipated. Not that I could post a pic even if I wanted to, as it is a present and as the recipient now has access to my blog they aren't getting a sneaky peek. ;0)

Anyway HELLO to any FEKKERs out there you know who you are!! I will be back as soon as possible, well I hope you are missing me and my mindless drivel a teeny tiny bit at least. Hopefully nomal service will resume as soon as possible.