Saturday, 23 February 2008

Will there be photographs?

...wrote Blackberry Rambles in response to my last post. Oh yes! We had a perfect weeks skiing in Les Arcs & Courcheval last week. The sun shone, the air was very cold and the snow was there in plenty & generally was in great condition for skiing & ski it we did. For miles & miles & miles! On several evenings we caught the last chair lift to the top of the mountain & skied down as the mountains emptied & the light began to go down. This is Mr J as we paused to don extra hats & scarves before plunging down into the shadows that had enclosed the home run. Mt Blanc is behind basking in the rays of the sun. The scenery is stunning and I had plenty of time to admire it whilst son & heir was filmed doing the various drills demanded for his A level PE assessment.

....... S&H, skiing on the Aiguille Rouge above Arc 2000.
This wasn't the only assessment he had to face though. On Saturday we drove to Courcheval so that he could be assessed by 'New Generation' Ski School with a view to joining their trainee ski instructor 'Gap Year' programme. next winter. He passed! They take twenty students each year & over a three month period train them to BASI 2 level (British Association Snow Sports Instructors) & then the successful students have a chance to teach skiing in Italy for a month! (& earn money). This is pretty exciting stuff! Hopefully it will provide a little extra motivation to ensure success in the forthcoming A levels!
Reflections on the mountains!
Lunch stop, on the piste down from the Aiguille Rouge.
Looking towards Mt Blanc.
It was a wonderful family holiday. We are back in the Tarentaise in just a few weeks & hopefully the snow will fall again before then. This time we are driving so their will be plenty of time for knitting!

Now.... knitting. This was originally a knitting blog! I didn't knit on the plane out as Leeds Bradford had a very 'NO KNITTING NEEDLES AT ALL' stance when I queried it in advance of flying. In retrospect I doubt there would have been a problem, but on a very busy Saturday hassle was best avoided. On the way back, Geneva identify long metal pointy things, so I knitted away on my 5" Brittany Birch sock needles without too much concern. I have nearly finished a pair of socks for Mr J. The pattern is a simple garter rib. The yarn is Trekking XXL 100 & the colours are fantastic. The pictures don't do it justice -I will finish them & photo them in the sunlight. I had intended to try a 'new heel' for SKA February challenge, but decided that Mr J would be better with the usual flap & gusset, knit one, slip one routine to give a tougher heel. I am in the process of casting on 'Brigit' in memory of Gigi Silva & her wonderful designs. Her designs have been added to the February Challenge as a memorial to this talented designer. I am going to use yarn from my stash, bought at the Harrogate Show. I think it is Schoppel yarn, but I'm not sure of the colourway.
Much has been written about the wonder that is Ravelry. One unexpected bonus is the wonderful group of knitters in Harrogate that I have got to know 'in the flesh' (or yarn!) We met again on Wednesday. Our original idea of meeting monthly has already become every two weeks. Outings to events such as the Texare Mill open weekend are in discussion, the ongoing 'chat' in our own Ravelry Group 'At Home in Harrogate' punctuates the day with a few chuckles & at least two new sock knitters have been born! Me.... I may knit something with sleeves with their encouragement! I have managed a picture (at last!) of my first hat of the winter. Its an 'Odessa' in Cashsoft DK.
It has had plenty of wear early this week as we have enjoyed stunning frosts. I was running round the front garden as 7.00 am as Mr J was waiting to leave for work! I have been stalking Ravelry for more hat patterns & have found some great possibles, although whilst skiing I found that headbands were best as they stopped the ears getting cold but were less likely to take flight! Utopia could be the next hat. What do you think? Headband? The band from the Amanda hat I think? The pattern is a free Ravelry download. So much knitting, so little time........

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Guess what these are?I finally admitted the inevitable & went ahead an ordered a pair of sock blockers from Chappy Woman on ebay. They were made to order in the US & arrived on Friday.Postage was as much as the cost of the sock blockers & you know what? I don't care! They are beautiful & I can't wait to photograph a pair of finished socks on them. It may be a while as the wip on the sock front are a pair for Mr J, who requires a pair that are a little larger! They will be the 'knitting on trip' pair as we head of to the French Alps on Saturday! Its another return to Bourg St Maurice to ski Les Arcs & we are pretty excited. There is plenty of snow & more forcast. Although this is our fourth trip to Bourg it will be our first in mid winter (usually an Easter trip). The socks are knitted in Trekking XXL in colourway 100. This is the first time I have used this yarn & I really like it. They will form the 'February socks' in Ravelry ASK challenge -a different type of heel! I will be knitting a top down short row heel using reverse short row shaping (from Charlene Schruch). The socks will be in a simple garter stitch rib which seems to work with this yarn. The Melon scarf has nearly finished & I am looking forward to giving it a gentle blocking. Knitting it confirms that I much prefer knitting crisp lace projects in wool yarn rather than fluffy string type yarns!

This week included a 'first' for me! I went along to a knitting group in person (rather than a 'virtual' group)! This was the newly formed Harrogate group that has evolved out of the Ravelry Yorkshire knitters group & we had a really enjoyable evening. It was great to meet new people that were not connected with education or my husband or my son & share my enthusiasm for all things yarn. Well done Ravelry & thank you Harrogate Knitters -hope the socks are behaving Kelly!