The Knitting Sailor

Happy Christmas!
December 25, 2012, 9:19 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , ,

It’s the most festive boat in the world!

Note the amazing Christmas Tree - so much better than mine!

Note the amazing Christmas Tree – so much better than mine!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic day!

(Photo taken Scarborough Marina)


Thunderous applause required
December 11, 2012, 7:59 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , , ,

So after 5 years of trying…. I finally won an actual proper bona-fide sailing series in a proper club event and at prize giving on Saturday got a real life proper prize.

This is significant as I have frequently received the pity prize at the club.

Now I appreciate the understanding that I am an achievement junkie and like to have prizes to keep forever and ever (yes, I still have all of my Brownie badges and certificates for every half assed training course I go on – I mean who actually keeps these things).  But it had been getting a little ridiculous.

My first full year of Sailing I won the Best Improvers award.  I was very proud to have won this award.  It was voted for by the club.  I might not have won anything, but I was IMPROVING.  Having sailed a club Comet for the year I thought this was a good start.  And I got a funky pottery bowl to keep illustrating this important point.

Second year, I raced a lot in my hubbys Laser (I say it was his – he bought it, refurbed it and then didn’t even put it in the water once – his type of sailing) but wasn’t getting so much better….. in fact I had made a season out of getting capsized and not being able to get the boat back up.  This was not the case when sailing other people’s Lasers.  We sold the boat – it was obviously not me, it was the boats fault and that it was 100 years old and very heavy and therefore I wasn’t very good.

The Nelly Afloat.  It was a little prophetic.

The Nelly Afloat. It was a little prophetic.

The club obviously thought I was doing good too.  I got the Best Improvers award.  Again.  At this point I was still suitably touched about the fact that people cared.

Third year I got a new Laser.  It had go faster Orange and yellow stripes on the bottom of it.  It had a pimpy sail with lots of patterns on it.

InternatioNelly - being sailed by my brother.

InternatioNelly – being sailed by my brother.

This was going to be my year.  Sure enough, third time lucky….. Best Improvers award.

Now by this time I have to admit to getting a little peeved.  Just how much better did I have to get to actually win something??  Or even just get a place?!?!  GRRRR!

So that was the obviously the reason that I made the thoroughly sensible decision that what I needed…. Was a faster boat.  I took this decision over a long period of about three hours in the pub and promptly went home and bought a faster boat off E-Bay.  The logic was impeccable.  Now there was an itty bitty little problem with this.  I bought an asymmetric boat.  I have always wanted one, and in fact had previously owned a baby one (no PY though, so couldn’t race it).  The itty problem was that pretty much no one who was racing regularly had an asymmetric, never mind anything of the same class or type.  So no one to learn off.  And it turns out, handicap racing round the cans, well not so great for asymmetrics.  A lot of fun, but no cigar.  At committee last year I was one of those who thought it would be great to encourage those who were racing, but not being very successful, so we came up with a new prize – the ‘Doing lots of racing but never coming 1st, 2nd or 3rd’ award’.  I thought this was a great idea.  Until come prize giving, I won it.  On the plus side at least it wasn’t the Best Improvers which, let’s be honest if I had won would have had to be renamed in my honour.   This was all particularly embarrassing as series’ were by now being won by people I had been involved in training in the first place.  You know, people who couldn’t sail at all six months ago.

So that brings us to this year.  I haven’t raced much.  This is in some ways down to truly horrible weather which means we haven’t stayed at the club so much, and also due to truly terrible performance putting me off a little.  But I did take part in a few events, and triumphs this year include ‘Not being last in the May Open’ and coming third in the Little Americas Cup.  That’s right I got an honest to God third.  In a Topper.  In the rain.

I rock.

So at the prize giving on Saturday I dressed appropriately and proudly received my first ‘proper’ award following five years of sailing prowess.

Worth winning or what???

Worth winning or what???

It needs a little plaque to put it on now – I have yet to add my previous triumphs…

The moral of this tale?  I’m just out to buy a Topper…..



Oh – and in case you are interested my brother won this year’s Best Improver.





Vive la Revolution!
December 10, 2012, 7:42 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , ,

At this time of year, knitters everywhere are frantically knitting away to create hand crafted presents created with love for those about them.  Every year I set myself up for a fall here.  I get stressed and don’t enjoy it and then feel guilty about what I can’t finish.

But everyone loves something made by hand.  I truly believe that the most precious thing that any of us has to give is time – be that at home, at work, with friends, or on knitting a scarf.  When I give you something a bit loppy and holey what I am actually saying is ‘I care enough that I spent this long making something to show you I care’.  When you don’t wear it because it’s green / the wrong size / got holes in it / you don’t even know what it‘s meant to be – I’m hurt.  So for this reason many people will only knit or craft for people who will truly appreciate it.

I truly appreciate – and one of the gifts I received this year was this.

The dog looking extra cute - she's still angling for a sausage

Note the whole family trying to get in on the kudos – they too can stand next to a gorgeous blanket….

I know – hours right?  My Mum made it for me and even colour-coded it to the van – love it.

So I am really on board with crafting to show you care.  Go onto any knitting blog at the moment and everyone is powering through Christmas presents, hats, socks, even jumper are all rolling off needles across the world.  Spreadsheets and lists are created.  Sleep is lost, curses are flung and the desire to strangle someone with your yarn increases.

Not me.

This year I have come to the conclusion that I am going to reconsider the whole thing.

I’m not knitting anything for anyone.  It just makes me feel unsuccessful and lots of people don’t like it anyway.  So I have decided to buy all my gifts this year.  But I am working on the basis that really this shows I care just as much.  After all I will be spending money that I earned by going to work, which is an amount of my time I have spent earning money (instead of knitting), to spend on buying you a present.  It’s just a different route to the same thing.  Honest.

And you can take it back if it doesn’t fit or you don’t like green.

I’ve totally cleared my conscience with that one.

Pass the mulled wine while I go do some random stress free knitting with no deadline….


Christmas Reindeer
December 5, 2012, 6:19 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags:
I so want one of these for my house

I so want one of these for my house

Just like buses
December 4, 2012, 8:14 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , ,

So you pine all year, and then two come along at once!

Please ignore the background - we're decorating and its a mess

Nearly looks like a bike when you see them like that

That’s right, I am now the proud owner of not one but two spinning wheels!

They are both Ashfords, both about the same age and both sitting in my house.  I could barely contain my excitement.  Not least as collecting them had involved road trips to Scarborough and York.

Beautiful in the winter sunshine

Beautiful in the winter sunshine

One was from E-Bay, one was from a friend of the Mr’s who had heard I was looking for one – and before I knew it we were committed to both.  But with a brill deal on both I am reasoning that I can always sell the one I don’t like as much.  this was until my Mum started eying them and saying that actually it looked like more fun than she had expected.  and before I started to think that obviously it would be good to have two wheels – you know, one for home, one for the sailing club…

They have obviously been well loved – and Mavis even showed us some of the things that she had made with hers – including a cardigan with beautiful colours in it – all dyed from plants.  I think I am some way off that for the moment!

The second wheel was a real surprise – it came with some extras – a Carding Drum which lets you comb out fleece ready for spinning, but that actually looks like a Spanish inquisition type torture device and a couple of extra boxes.  When I was introduced to this box I was told there was some fleece in there.  When we went to collect, a couple of boxes had turned into 5.  And when I got home and looked inside the first box…. There were two actual sheep fleeces in it.  Complete with straw and sheepy smell.  I don’t know that I have ever been more stunned.   I just looked at them.

Trust me - they look bigger in real life

Trust me – they look bigger in real life

So on rough calculations I have around ten fleeces from ten actual sheep.  It’s a flock of my very own.  I have absolutely no idea what to do about this, so at the moment they are sitting in the spare room being interestingly sniffed by the dog who has finally found a sheep she can get up close and personal with.  I’m just hoping the sheep don’t want them back.

And I have one of them working.  Kind Of.  What I’ve got from my attempts over a few hours is this – it’s lumpy and bumpy and looks like this –

Lumpy, but really fast

Lumpy, but really fast

So I am super loving it.  But I need to put them away as we are in the middle of a decorating nightmare – so over Christmas I am going to have lots to play with once we are finished.

I love Christmas.  I’m going to decorate the pasting table.

%d bloggers like this: