The Knitting Sailor

What I did on my holidays
April 25, 2013, 11:12 am
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , , , , ,

So its been a while!

Since I last posted I’ve been to Ecobuild – great fun as always, and I even got to get there on the new Emirates cable car – its amazing so go visit if you get the chance!


You too could live in a house like this

He was there again... a true celebrity he didn't give autographs

Meet the Dulux dog

There was a sheep as well

It spelt ‘WOOL’!


Arriving by cable car

I survived the dual of the gennakers at the Spring Splash, primarily because I never got mine up.  The third week at South Shields was glorious. The sun was out, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky -in fact it turned out the weather was so good there wasn’t enough wind to sail against the tide. Racing abandoned. So we all tinkered instead!

It was hot too.....

Apparently no wind and tide are a bad combination

I fitted my new thinner main sheet, an extension to my outhaul and in a final touch of knitterly excellence some fine laceweight camel hair yarn to my shrouds – excellent tell tales and super attractive. I discussed this as I was doing it with my rival Vareo sailor. He seemed a little disinterested….

In pink of course

New outhaul for actual sail adjustment

Not pink.  The man in the shop was unimpressed when I stated this as a purchasing requirement.

Thinner main

Also not pink.  I don't understand why I bought it in blue.

Blue camels donated this beautiful tell tale

After a cup of tea I emerged from the clubhouse to identify why. HE WAS LEAVING!  I literally chased after him only to discover that he was finished and heading back to his home club – despite there being another 3 races.

I was – quite literally gutted. And therein lies a lesson. Don’t tell people how you are making your boat better – you will only scare them off.

The week after, everything changed – the wind howled, it rained, it was freezing.  Racing was abandoned.

Week 5 I couldn’t go as I was at Kielder for a committee meeting, and sailing did take place – damn!

Week 6, well between the snow and the sub zero tempratures and the artic wind… racing abandoned.

So effectively I sailed two races. On the plus side? I beat a topper!
On the downside? Everything else beat me!

So not a roaring success, but holding up there with last years significant development (not being last).

You might be wondering what hardy geordies are doing wimping out of sailing in too much wind. Honestly – the weather has been horrific. It’s been across from Siberia and basically meant everyone is sitting in their house eating chocolate (ok, maybe that last bits just me…)

In other news, the NSRC (Non Sailing Rear Commodore) has bought a boat.

He’s even sailed it (once!)

His next plan is to race me in it.

It’s a Supernova. Think he thought it came with champagne.

We went on holiday in the middle of the worst weather for as long as we can remember to north Northumberland.  It snowed every day at least a little and we used the time to tour lots of castles.  We came to the conclusion that not building these any more was why Britain is not so great anymore.  Couple of castles would sort it out.

Only one of lots of castles on the coast round here

Lindisfarne – so much colder than it looks here

Should we have an identify that castle competition?  I've loads more photos....


So we stopped with the castles and started with these... all downhill from there...

Tank Defences

I also did some knitting, finished a shrug, knit a headband to keep the wind off and knit and then pulled out a hat.  I don’t want to talk about this too much though as you will identify that they are essentially all scarves that I have sewed together….!

What every good knitter needs

My own design and everything

There’s a lot of other stuff gone on in the world, the Boston marathon, factories collapsing in Bangledesh, earthquakes in Sichuan.  I’m not qualified to talk about any of that stuff, other than to say that it makes you appreciate what you’ve got.

So I’m off to reknit that hat, and polish my boat ready for the May Open.  It won’t change the world, but it makes me happy – and life’s too short to not be.


EcoBuild and Socks
March 27, 2012, 7:36 pm
Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: , , , ,

Last week I had the most extraordinary week away at EcoBuild – nothing to do with sailing or knitting, but work related I’m afraid.  For the uninitiated EcoBuild is just what it says on the tin – a trade show of products and services for those involved in the construction industry – with an ‘Eco’ thrust!  I had had a great plan around this – take sock knitting with me for train and in-between working on the stand etc.  After all, we wouldn’t be THAT busy… would we???

What ensued was three days of total madness.

I know you will be bored if I tell you too much (and I’ll bore myself!), but there were some genuinely interesting things going on. The real life Dulux dog from the adverts was there (and getting treated better than any of the other exhibitors with his own podium, walkies on demand and a job description that basically required him to sit around getting petted), there was a huge display of wool and (plastic) multi coloured sheep – advertising the use of this fantastically versatile product as insulation (what a waste), and a fab stand advertising marine ply via the medium of wooden fish in a tank (we stole lots as souvenirs for everyone’s kids).

I also enjoyed that we were staying in Canary Warf and got to walk over the ‘Apprentice’ bridge (I fancy not looking quite so stern – or as steady after some light evening refreshment) as well as zooming backwards and forwards to the ExCel in Black Cabs (not half as glamorous in real life).

It was a hit for the business, and I loved getting the opportunity to talk to so many customers – although next time I may take a little more note of the line in the staff brief to ‘wear comfortable shoes’ and ditch my 6 inch stilettos next time … well they were comfy at the start of the day.  In my head.

However all this high excitement meant that as I returned to Newcastle on the train my knitting was still sitting, forlorn and abandoned in the bottom of my laptop bag.  This is now starting to induce guilt, and as everyone knows, guilt means avoidance, which means more guilt and then just not doing it.  I now have both a cardie and a sock giving me the eye in this way.

However I have finally got back on track with some junk, instant gratification knitting and have actually finished something!

It is actually the cutest sock in the world – made even cuter on the basis it’s finished.  You will note I say ‘sock’.  The second one, well, isn’t yet!

This is all as a result of a fantastic day out at the Knit Studio in Newcastle on Sunday.  Despite having knitted socks before, myself and my mum (a sock knitting virgin) went along to Anne’s workshop and had a great time.

It was a fantastic day and my Mum loved it too – she went a bit –

As for me I knitted my cute sock and its sister last night – I will have them all finished for a baby present by the end of tonight.  The only point of concern is that although very cute my socks look like the baby they are for may need to be a large baby, or grow into them… while everyone else’s are baby sized, mine are definitely for an older child.  I wondered if maybe I was being overly critical, but apparently the average babies foot is 3 inches long and 1 inch wide.  My socks are five inches long by 4 inches wide.  This is OK as I feel sure it will only be a matter of time before I meet a giant baby and it’s good to be prepared.

Now to finish that Cardie…

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