Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Hand Knitted Socks? - Post 149


Now I've never understood the craze for knitted socks. Hand knitted ones I mean. I hadn't realised they were popular until I started looking at knitting patterns on the Internet. I thought they had died a death in the 'forties when women had to wear them because they couldn't get stockings. Well the alternative was painting that seam line up the back of their legs!

I always hated the feel of wool on my feet when I was little. I could feel the pattern of the knitting digging into the soles of my feet and they made my shoes and boots feel tight.

Even if the hand knitted socks are fine and made of 3ply wool, you have to wear a size bigger shoe. They're probably good with wellies, but as I don't ever wear wellies I've never felt the urge to knit socks. I know you can buy really soft wools and cottons now but if I wear socks, they have to be thin cotton ones.

I came across these free patterns for celebrity socks today. You can choose from Stephen Fry's QI socks, Rick Stein & Chalky or Alan Titchmarsh. So take a look and you can download the patterns free.

Well I fell in love with the Alan Titchmarsh Fantasy socks. I never wear slippers so I could wear these socks around the house. Mind you I'll still need another pair of thin cotton socks underneath!

Post 149

Monday, 29 March 2010

Free Easter Chick and Egg Pattern - Post 148


Looking for an Easter Egg pattern? There's a really sweet one on the Alan Dart website which you still have time to knit. It has a chick in it and it's
free to download here.

I have to say I looked at other toy patterns on this site and there are some great patterns there. The tooth fairy is brilliant and the star spangled bantam cracked me up. I think the snowflake angel might be on my Christmas tree next year and if you have a Westie, how could you resist knitting Wesley with a little tartan coat.

Post 148

Friday, 26 March 2010

I've Finally Done It! Post 147

What you may ask have I done?

Well way back in March 2009 I signed up for swimming lessons. I even blogged about it here. I had great expectations of being able to do a passable front crawl by May. What a laugh!

Well it's been a struggle I have to say. I found it hard to co-ordinate my leg kick, raising my arms out of the water and then putting my face into the water (YUK!) to breathe.

I learned how to swim breast stroke putting my head under the water. Swimming this way means my neck doesn't hurt and I can swim for much longer. Funnily enough it's faster too. Learning this involved re-learning the stroke but I did it. However the front crawl seemed to be my Nemesis. I couldn't do more than about 10 metres unless I had flippers on. The breathing was my biggest problem, I was out of breath half way across the pool.

I was determined not to give up, so I watched lots of YouTube videos on front crawl breathing. I marvelled at people like this who seemed to swim so effortlessly. Well Mark Foster probably learned to swim when he was very young and must have spent countless hours in the pool. Well he was after speed, I'm not. I just want to be able to swim a length with a bit of style, not splashing about.



Now is it me, or do you think he looks like he's wearing flippers? He isn't, it's just his feet. Wonder what size shoes he wears!

Well watching all those videos paid off, because today I finally swam 25 metres front crawl across the pool, face in the water, very little splashing and no flippers! It felt wonderful, not quite as good as passing my driving test but it just shows you can teach an old dog new tricks!

I need to improve my style. It's not too bad, but as they say "Could do better"! Then my target will be to swim a full 50 metre length.

Wonder if I can manage a tumble turn?

Must get back to the You Tube videos.

Post 147

What's a Gansey?

                                                Photograph courtesy of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums It's a seaman's kni...