Friday, September 07, 2007

Holiday post: Cambridge and Deathly Hallows

It's fully time that I posted at least a little of what I've been up to. Needs to be done before fresher's week and the Knitting and Stitch fair (wahay!) or it'll all be forgotten. Mrs Mawdesley used to insist that 'forgotten' was an insidious Americanism but I'm sure she was wrong. Also I need a clean slate for a new uni..

I've forgotten most of the detail of the accompanying stories but I hope the photos will suffice:

Cambridge- May Week knitting my poor Pomatomus.

Poor because that delightful sock wandered off somewhere in the vicinity of Claire's (spelling indicates junky accesories shop rather than noble and ancient college) I was stricken by the loss and would have given up the afternoon punt to retrace my steps- but after going halfway round town i found myself accepting my pomless fate. Perhaps some kind knitter found it and finished off its unravelling toe. I was more sad about losing half of my then irreplaceable knitpicks redwood forest yarn (now happily resolved by the magic of Ravelry); and that i no longer had anything to knit through all those Cambridge garden parties full of merry strangers, where a half-made mitten would've helped me glide over all those awkward social moments, providing an excuse to turn away during an uncomfortable pause, or desperately use up 10 minutes attempting to teach someone to cast on.

(Bikey I'm kidding your friends are lovely, I wasn't scared..)

The next thing I recall is over a month later- standing in line through the cold night in London for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Mad Cow, Ray and I stayed at Mrs C's the preceeding week painting her walls and listening to the Half Blood Prince audio book and fighting for Jelly Belly beans in endless Harry Potter quizzes. Ray and I get fiercely competitive- I wish I could apply my brain to syntactic structure the way I can to the exact physical description of Lord Voldy's hands (long fingers, white, like giant spiders, bean for every adjective)
I'd limited my HP knitting to a Gryffindor scarf for young Naomi- even though we've established that she's a true Hufflepuff the girl takes her Sorting as an insult. I would be happy to be deemed a Hufflepuff- it's all tolerance, hardworkingness, patience and other good stuff. The scarf wool was the rough stuff from my last post.

There were some giggly girls in front of us in the queue who got thirsty and abandoned one of their crew for Starbucks, which was cannily still open at 11pm. I was still knitting the Gryffindor scarf in the queue so I offered to teach the lonesome girl how to knit. A Danish lady watched my methods until she could bear them no longer and had to intervene with her Scandinavian skills. Our friendship with the Dane and her daughter flourished- I asked many ignorant questions about Denmark but made up for it by lending her shivering daughter my coat- and we passed the next 4 hours in the queue very happily.

Altogether the spirit of the queue was very like the good side of a protest or demo- all kinds of people lined up, dressed up and excited- collected by this one goal. The earnest discussions and Cow's impromptu juggling- even the honking/jeering cars that went by proclaiming spoilers and the huge cheers that went up everytime someone emerged from Waterstone's clutching their copy. It amazes me that all this patient but desperate waiting was for a book- we may have reached a new height of geekery by going, but i don't know if it'll happen like that again..

Ok I'm tired now-
last week I went to Sundae's Sunderland world- which is far lovelier than I expected. I idled those days away with ice-cream and plum crumble using a pound of Sundae's garden plums; mastering the beautiful Icarus shawl pattern (in plum knitpicks Shadow) and toe up sock technique in parks and beaches.
I liked the Cambridge botanical gardens more though cause they had 'lodja putti' which i saw last time in a tea-plantation in Bangladesh. It translates as 'shy leaves' cause when you stroke the leaves they curl up so coyly- hours of fun :)

Night before last I stayed up til 4 finishing a luggy bonnet from Melanie Falick's Weekend Knitting for my young Italian cousin who was going home. I fell asleep before finishing but luckily (for the hat) they missed their plane and so Fatima got her bonnet after all.

oh and some time pre-Bikey's wedding I experimented with yarn dyeing. I bought kool aid off the net but it was rubbish compared to those little bottles of food dye you get in supermarkets- the red one is Strong Stuff and the blue ain't bad. The green was feeble though- Mrs C's rejected big Wool just looked mouldy. But now I have the most delicious skein of deep purply scarlet which i wear round my neck cause it's so pretty!
There it is my pretty yarn, on an astonishingly lovely beach just outside Sunderland..

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