Pardon my knitterly excitement, but I am a few hours away from my first finished garment of the year. I cannot believe it has taken me this long, but I am now a frill and a neckband away from a Summer Tweed cardigan. This is exciting because a) I get to wear a new cardigan verrry soon and b) I get to cast on a new project. This reminds me.

I do not consider myself a Hardcore Knitter but when an incredulous Other Half asked me why the beep not, I could not really say why. The evidence is stacked against me:

  • When I want a little treat, I buy yarn.
  • I have a .. sizeable yarn stash.
  • My social circle consists of almost all knitters.
  • I attend two knitting groups.
  • Yarn fondling forms part of my my working life.
  • On-line social networking revolves around knitting activities.
  • I knit lace, socks, fair-isle, cables and do this using both Continental and English knitting techniques.
  • I can recognise a knitting pattern or yarn from a distance.
  • I can talk about rare sheep breeds.

But I still maintain I'm not Hardcore. How would you describe a Hardcore Knitter? Are you one?

But back to the new project I get to start so very soon. I am torn between knitting a hat for myself and casting on for a birthday present. A friend of mine turns forty this summer and has dropped hints about wanting a lace shawl. I have two balls of Kidsilk Haze in Ice Cream and I'm currently trying to find the right pattern. My friend is petite and very feminine, so I want something to match her personality and style. Ishbel is really the perfect pattern, but I have already made three (the same goes for the Swallowtail Shawl) so I'm looking for something .. else. Mooncalf suggested Citron but it is not as girly as I'd like.

Ideas, please.

However, most of all I am excited by the return of Doctor Who, the delirious, mad-cap, fantastic British sci-fi show. The first episode of the Eleventh Doctor's reign aired tonight and it was even better than I had hoped. You can read a quick spoilerish review here, or just trust me when I say it was a very good Steven Moffat episode. Moffat penned some of the best Doctor Who episodes in the recent past and I'm so pleased he is now on board as the show runner. I hope my non-UK Whovian friends get to sample the new Doctor soon. You'll like him.

In the Shadows of Trees

july09 057 Mooncalf requested a picture of my Pine. As the picture reveals, the cardigan's green (which will shock and surprise many of my regular readers). I'm knitting it out of two threads of the same fingering-weight yarn which is an unusual experience for me.

First I thought I could cheat and use some lovely tweed worsted-weight yarn I have in my stash, but when I actually read through the entire pattern like a good girl, I realised that some parts are knitted using one thread. So two threads it is, although I suppose you could get away with using worsted-weight yarn and matching fingering weight. Something to consider if you are planning on knitting this.

The body consists of four "ridges" and I'm on my third already, so it is a relatively quick and easy knit. I'm still sliiiightly unsure whether or not I shall have enough yarn (i.e. I have just about what the pattern suggests but I've been told to be slightly wary of Helga Isager's yarn requirements), but I suppose I could always have the button-band be a contrasting colour?

july09 053 As for where I was sitting this afternoon - well, the Glasgow Botanical Garden is a perennial favourite. It is a short walk away from my home, it's relatively quiet even on busy (i.e. sunny) days and I can go into the Kibble Palace (pictured) if it starts to rain.

After a long, stressful and utterly busy week, I took great joy in buying some sugary tea, getting my knitting out and just chill with my knitting for an hour or so before my Other Half came in to get me. I need more afternoons like this.

I also took some more photographs of my neighbourhood because I do love my West End and several of my Danish friends have requested a few photos of the place. Stay tuned.

Tonight, though, the concluding part of Torchwood Season Three (aka "Children of the Earth"). Scarily Torchwood S3 has been jumping the shark in reverse, so instead of going from good to bad, it has gone from being ludicrous in its first season to being absolutely compelling viewing. All I'll say is that this season had me at "Well, what else are the school league tables for..?"

Geek Overload

dalek1 Today we went to the Doctor Who exhibition at Kelvingrove. I had my photo taken with a rather short reincarantion of the Fourth Doctor (and Other Half rather worryingly said he fancied a Doctor Who scarf clearly not knowing how long it takes to make) as well as a very cute K-9. Loads of things to see, touch, go "woooh!" over and all that.

Also? Actual-sized Daleks are really very scary.

A Few Links

My nose is running, my head is stuffed and my throat is sore. So, let's cut this short. The identity of the new Doctor Who is going to be revealed today on BBC1.  I called Paterson Joseph in November after watching a potential slip-up during an interview. Behind The Sofa has an interesting discussion going with Stuart making a surprisingly good case for Hugh Grant(!) although the consensus seems to be either Paterson Joseph or Chiwetel Ejiofor. The Daily Dust points out that "if there’s a black doctor, it means that when the world gets round to doing all the press for Barack Obama and how black people are getting into positions never thought possible even just a few years ago, then Doctor Who is getting mentioned in those articles." We shall know very, very soon.

UPDATE: None of the above as it turns out..

BBC has one of those prediction things that they like doing: "we may be witnessing the death of the English indie scene that rose out of the embers of Britpop, and has now become tired and cliched." Which is utter nonsense, of course. We may see the end of identikit guitar bands pushed into the limelight by clueless record companies (The Pigeon Detectives, anyone? The Kooks?) but those bands have very little to do with indie music. Auntie Beeb also thinks that 2009 will be the year of electro-pop-rock which is a complete contrast to, say,   Klaxons who vowed British audiences and critics in 2007 with their, er, electro-pop-rock.

I didn't like this site when it first popped up, but it has improved. Which Book? gives you reading recommendations based upon parameters of your own choice. I plugged in a few "musts" and was recommended Patricia Duncker's Hallucinating Foucault (which I have already read and absolutely love).

Have a lovely Saturday.

The Next Doctor?

Philip Rhys - a UK actor starring in BBC's new adventure series Survivors with Freema "Martha Jones" Agyeman and Paterson Joseph - had a little slip-up during an interview on BBC News 24 tonight: “Yeah, we have a great cast. Max Beesley, Freema and Paterson Joseph .. y’know, the new D.. potentially the new Doctor.” And then the good Mr Rhys looked mortified and the interviewer quickly changed topic. Potentially? Let the speculation continue, although I suspect this might be confirmation enough for a lot of people.

Addendum: Behind The Sofa picks up on the potential slip-up. They've posted a link to a youtube clip of the interview.

Doctorin' The Tardis

David Tenannt has quit as Doctor Who. He was my first Doctor and will forever be tied in my mind to the early stages of the epic Ms Bookish/Scottish Guy (now known as Other Half) long-distance relationship. I watched New Earth and Tooth and Claw (Tennant's first proper episodes) during one of my visits and timed my next visit so it coincided with the breath-taking season finale. Aww. Back then I didn't have a big Doctor Who problem, of course.

Anyway. According to Other Half (formerly known as Scottish Guy), the smart money is on Paterson Joseph to replace David Tennant, although other contenders apparently include James Nesbitt (please, no, no) and Robert Carlyle (he'd be another local boy and, well, he likes my knitting). Any preferences?