Yarn Envy

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Envy is an ugly word.  What it really means is that you want something that belongs to someone and not to content with just feeling that, you want to take it off them.  And technically, the yarn doesn’t really belong to anyone else anyway; it’s available to purchase but having a non-existent yarn budget, I am limited to coveting but I thought you might like to see some pretty things too, whether or not you’re a knitter or not.

(And if someone else did have it, I’d be really chuffed for them but want to pet it.  And I would give it back … eventually).

These are the two most must-have yarns that I have my little idiosyncratic radar on at the moment:-

Signature 4 Ply - Country Birds

Photograph from the West Yorkshire Spinners’ Website

I love sock yarn.  I like knitting socks (however slowly (yes, that is just a lone sock) but sock yarn is so much more than socks.  It’s a very versatile yarn because although it’s basically just four ply (in the English weight terminology), it comes in an apparently endless variety of colours and colour combinations (think variegated, semi-tonal, striped, stripey, faux fair isle ….) and fibre compositions.  And you’re not limited to just socks… Personally, I like knitting (and wearing) shawls too.

So yes, this is just another old variegated/stripey sock yarn… but wait!  Look at the name.  It’s inspired by the humble garden bird, the blue tit, a bird which is very dear to my own heart.

Bluefaced Leicester Country Sock Collection - Birds/ Blue Tit

Photograph from the West Yorkshire Spinners’ Website

They also sell them ready-knitted, if you need to be instantly enabled.

I must be the first knitter ever who actually wants Manky socks!

So that’s the first yarn and the second one?

It’s a German yarn but it’s hugely popular and adored by the American knitters.  Perhaps I am joining a bandwagon but it looks such a beautiful yarn and not just in terms of looks either because it works up beautifully as wel,l which is possibly even more important!  It’s hand-dyed and only has limited available, which seems to make it even more desirable.  (What is with telling humans that they can’t have something that makes them want it more?)

Seriously, go over to the Wollmeise website we can admire and drool together… it’s good, right?

Look at the beautiful rich colours! (Wollmeise’s Blend in Stella Polaris)

Or something more tonal? Wollmeise’s Lace in Sail the Seven Seas

Sock Yarn from Wollmeise

Or something a little funkier? (Wollmeise’s Twin in Glückstag)

What would you choose?  And how?  By colour?  By yarn weight?  By project?

I don’t know because I am like a little child in a sweet shop (or a stationery shop) and I struggle to make decisions at the best of times.  Perhaps it is just as well that I have no money!

So these are the two highest entries on my yarn wishlist and I didn’t even realise that they’re linked.

Any German speakers out there?

Wollmeise means wool tit.

It seems that I always gravitate towards these small birds!

(All photographs in this post have been nicked from their respective websites and remain the intellectual property of their copyright owners)

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Woolly Thoughts

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A Sheep from a Knitter's Viewpoint

It has come to my attention that I like wool.  No, not wool as in yarn, as any self-respecting knitter has to, but wool as in sheep fluff string.  I love the feel of it.  I love the smell of it.  Is that weird?  I want to be wrapped in woollens, preferably of my own fabrication.  I am not a fan of acrylic after all.

There’s a lot about bucket and what-have-you lists on the internet and I found an interesting entry the other day: pet a sheep.  I love sheep.  They are the most gorgeous things possible; cute faces, robust and enduring, and well, woolly.  Never mind bungee jumping, skydiving or any of those exciting, dangerous pastimes that make most people’s’ lists, on my Life Experiences list the first entry going down is I want to pet a sheep.  Preferably a lamb.  Although I see them frequently at a distance, gamboling across the spring fields, usually from a car,  haven’t pet a wee lamb since I was very, very little.  So I want to pet a sheep.

I had another nosebleed last week, which I really didn’t appreciate.  I also really didn’t appreciate the fact that I was working with white yarn at the time.  No, there was no damage, never fear, I am a well-trained and well-experienced blood-stopper but of all the colours that I don’t usually work with!

Whilst I do not hold Mr Freud and his theories  in too high esteem, he has had quite an influence on both our culture and our language.  Apparently, I have been making a Freudian slip (nothing to do with petticoats).  Apparently when I say ‘feral’ (when describing my organisation systems, for example), it comes out ‘fair isle’.  Hmm.

A Translation

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Old-Fashioned Phone Box

Being a generous and compassionate soul, I have taken pity on all of you who struggled to read my ‘text message‘ the other day and provided a translation.  Happy reading!

Guilty

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Old-Fashioned Phone Box

MNundstndYE1sms2hv prbsWtxtn:”OitB4yng ppl huNno hw2ryt/smfn.Txtn actBVüsfl.ItBprfct4ppl lykMhu h8spkn onDfne&huNcn hrVwl.Mfls d@AtxtB-ntrüsv,sm1cn ansa it wn itBcnvñtNwnMrng,gvs’m tym2fnk if ndd.Mlyk txtn2cz itBchp,Mgt2sy so mchNjs1ll txt&Mevn gt3txtsEch mth!MNüs al ds cOl acrnyms,Nid w@dy mn nehw!DsNE1?!Mhs rüls&Mstx2’m.4MitBallREstndrd abrv#s&fntcs.BtUhv2mmba d@Mgru upWhrn ls,hv prcp#dsorda&bro fngs frm uva lngs.Owl.Udo gt üs2it tho,hnst.JsNpnc&snd it öt.

(Well, seeing it like that I can see why it might look a little intimidating but give it a go.  I can always add your name to my ‘long hand only’ list or would you prefer a translation?)

Busy Bee

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[ there would be a picture here ]

Are bees busy?  Well, what I mean is, why do we perceive bees to be busy?  Most bugs and bichos are notable for their state of activity rather than otherwise.  Take the ant.  Ants are industrious.  But maybe they aren’t cute enough to enter popular colloquial speech?  (Are bees are cute?  Husband would argue otherwise, he has a major problem with the entire species (and anything else that speaks the same language – bzzzz) because he cycled into one once upon a time whereupon the unfortunate creature stung).  Ants creep.  Humans, generally, don’t really trust creeping things.  Or is it simply the pleasing alliteration of the phrase?  Well, in that case, maybe we could make a case for assiduous ants.  After all, being busy doesn’t have to have a purpose.

(I’m going with alliteration, the French apparently don’t do bees).

Anyway, that’s a nice random paragraph, a classic case of my idiosyncratic mind in full operation, but there really needs to be a point to this post.  I mean, you don’t come here just to read random wafflings about apiformes, do you?  No, I didn’t think so.

The point that I’m trying to make, and may well do so eventually, is that I have been a busy bee.  Or just a busy human.  Very busy.  And, of course, being busy has meant that I’ve also had to spend quite a bit of time recovering.  That is why I have been absent.  (Is absence usually associated with busyness?  Hmm).

Life has calmed (hopefully) and I’m bored of being rather poorly and bed-bound so I might have recovered, in which case, blogging will resume.

Shortly.

Hopefully.

Maybe.

Some Language Skills of Mine

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Collection of Condiments

Remember how I said that I can’t call myself ‘linguistic’ simply because I can’t attain levels of perfection when it comes to my grammatical knowledge, vocabulary or pronunciation?  Well, today I’m going to dare, to dare to start thinking of myself as someone with ‘linguistic skills ‘ or ‘linguistic aptitude’.

This is the evidence that I am considering:

  • Because I am nervous and sometimes social phobic, I have learnt the art of conversation: I ask questions.  This means that the other person does all the talking whilst I stick to questioning.  (There’s an art too to not making this type of conversation sound like an interview).
  • I try to include everyone in the conversation, especially those who don’t speak the language confidently or those who I know are shy or hesitant to speak up.  Being nervous makes me sensitive to how other people feel in these situations and I always try to put them at ease.
  • I can follow a conversation or discussion in another language, which I speak precious few words of, for extended periods of time, remaining interested, attentive and even enthusiastic throughout.  I can also agree, disagree, gesture and make sympathetic noises in appropriate places.
  • When I learn one phrase in a new language, I can cheerfully make this sentence answer any and all questions that I am hereafter asked.
  • A language being ‘foreign’ does not stop me from attempting to read it.
  • I can coax expressions and key words out of tiny phrasebooks and mini dictionaries to extend my (non-existent) vocabulary to deal with a situation.  (However, proper pronunciation is a different matter).
  • I always try to find a lingua franca when I met someone who doesn’t speak my language (well) and I don’t speak theirs (at all), this might be pidgin or gestural, but I don’t give up.
  • I can read phonetics, those weird almost symbol-like letters given for pronunciation in dictionaries.
  • I see language and words simply as gateways rather than barriers.
  • To my complete surprise (I was never thought to be good enough to do this), I can teach.  I love sharing so being able to share what I know is a beautiful thing.  Despite the fact that my knitting method has recently been discovered to be idiosyncratic, I’ve just taught someone to knit.  And to purl.
  • I can communicate.

The Nature of Nature

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Yellow Ladybird on Daisies

Does a badger badger?

Does a bat bat?

Does a bear bare?

Does a bug bug?

Does a carp carp?

Does a cow cow?

Does a crow crow?

Is a deer dear?

Does a dragon drag on?

Does a duck duck?

Is an eel ill?

Does a flea flee?

Does a fowl foul?

Does a fox fox?

Does a frog frog?

Does a hog hog?

Is a horse hoarse?

Does a lark lark?

What’s a lion lie on?

What’s a lynx’ links?

Does a moose mousse?

Does a pig pig?

What’s a robin robbin’?

Does a roe row?

Does a snake snake?

Does a squirrel squirrel?

Does a tapir taper?

Does a whale wail?

Does a wolf wolf?

Does a worm worm?