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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Linea the Second

I know just how annoying it is when someone (usually someone you don't even know that well and who doesn't have a clue about crafting) comes up to you, grabs whatever item you're currently working on, and declares: "Can you make one for me?!" Usually in the tone of a small, petulant child. Yes I love making things, yes I enjoy making stuff for friends, but do you have ANY FRICKIN IDEA how long it takes??

I am however, also guilty of such outbursts from time to time. One such incident recently occurred on Facebook, when my friend B posted a fabulous image of an object he had just created. The petulant child in me stirred.. "I want one!" I blurted out. I am ashamed to say that I even added the sting of emotional blackmail by mentioning that it was my Birthday soon. Oh shame on me.

Approximately two seconds after having uttered this demand, I felt I should really offer something in return - an exchange of skills if you will. I offered B that I would knit something of his choosing. He chose a cat. Genius!

So fairly soon the cat started taking shape:

I really love making toys because they are generally fairly quick, and oh so satisfying. I had been requested to make the cat in the image of a dearly departed feline who was much missed: Linea. Seeing as B enjoys all things steampunk (as do I), I felt that Linea should have a steampunk inspired collar detail. After all, there were all those watch parts from Etsy which were still waiting for a project...

Collar in place, limbs stuffed and features embroidered. It was time to pose for the camera:

Ready for his close-up:

Bye Linea, I'm sure you will find a good home in Pennsylvania!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

D day

So what does one send an avid knitter for her 50th Birthday? Well, if one should happen to know that said knitter has a penchant for intarsia and general colourful knitting, then it's easy: lots of colourful mini balls of yarn!

Under the direction of a nice lady on Ravelry, myself and friends of Birthday girl D were instructed to send our little parcels of scrap yarn to her for collation in Germany (D kindly helped us along when we were yarn tourists in Sindelfingen). Great idea!

Me, being rather convoluted in my thinking, immediately thought of what to package the little yarn balls in. The solution? A little boxy zipped pouch, which could also double as a project bag for smaller WIPs.

After finding, and later abandoning various unintelligible boxy pouch tutorials online, I decided to fudge it myself. Miraculously, it seemed to work and after much cursing, this appeared:

Not a huge interior space, but enough to cram in some yarn surely?

Curious about the fabric? It's actually from a shirt that M got while at a Disney 'Creative Camp' in the US (apparently they had to wear it to meet with John Lasseter). It depicts various scenes from the movie 'Bolt', which I thought was fitting seeing as D is such a dog lover.

So.. on to the winding. It really amazes me that a modern knitter actually *needs* to have both a ball winder and swift in order to function independently. Ok, so you could argue that one could have the yarn wound at a yarn store for you, but I'm sure that would probably be frowned upon if you didn't actually buy the yarn there.. So here I am with seemingly antiquated knitting equipment, trying not to get myself entangled:

Three skeins of Wollmeise Lace later, and I've had quite enough of 'quaint' knitting equipment. I did however, now have three little balls of Wollmeise Lace, ready to go. I added another three hand-wound scrap balls, and the zippy pouch was at capacity.

All full!

So all that remained was to hand over the little package to the lovely L, who in turn will add her yarn contribution and send it over to Ravelry lady. Happy Birthday in advance D! Hope to see you soon for more German yarn fun :)

Friday, 4 March 2011

Are you an Icecreamist?

I had the honour of being invited to The Icecreamists launch of the new shop in Covent Garden last week. Have you perhaps missed the the phenomenon which is The Icecreamists? They had a pop-up in Selfridges last year which made quite a splash, and I have been following their progress since then.

They were extremely generous in offering a free ice-cream cocktail and free regular ice-cream per person. Double dessert before dinner? Oh yes!

I had a 'Molotoffee Cocktail' and M had a 'Sex Bomb'. The Molotoffee involved dulche de leche ice-cream smothered in banana liqueur and topped with meringue which was *blow-torched* at the table, and then sprayed with rum from an old fashioned perfume spray bottle.

The Sex Bomb had Fior di Latte ice-cream blended with Ginko and other 'natural stimulants', and topped with a shot of absinthe dispensed from a nearby IV drip.

Don't believe me about he IV drip? Here it is:

The Molotoffee was delicious, but the Sex Bomb was a little too medicinal - and at £15 per serving it was rather lucky that it was for free! We should have chosen the 'Toast Mortem' instead which appeared at a neighbouring table: chocolate and hazelnut ice-cream with Frangelico which was to be spread on an accompanying slice of Panettone. Slight desert envy ensued.

M eyes up the Toast Mortem:

We were then asked about our next ice-cream selection, whereupon we decided to share one 'Choc and Awe' which turned out to be very dark chocolate ice-cream, without the drama this time. Very good, but we were pretty ice-creamed out by that stage so couldn't even finish it between us.

I must say that I was surprised by how small the place was, in light of the fact that the biggest appeal of The Icecreamists creations (apart from the crazy flavours) is the theatre and drama that takes place at your table. We were lucky to get a table at all, seeing as there were only three in the whole place! Ok, so there were also bar stools but if I was paying £15 for an ice-cream (no matter how enhanced) I would also want a comfy seat.

A very interesting experience, and I do wish them all the best if only because they have such a (literally) cool brand. Oh, and I hear that their 'Baby Gaga' has now been banned..