Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday the 13th and no accidents in sight

"Work hard, play hard", the saying goes. I have certainly worked hard lately, so I decided to sacrifice one of the few remaining days of leave and head for London for a prolonged weekend. There were several things I wanted to see and experience, the yearly Knitting and Stitching Show being just one of them. As always, I was full of good intentions and plans - last year I got a nice compliment from one of the absolute gurus of the modern knitting world, so the pressure was on to make something equally nice for this year's show, or if possible, outdo last year's scarf. The planning went well. It's just that the idea hadn't materialised by the time it should have. But, ever an optimist, I thought I'd have plenty of time to finish "it" on the Eurostar train and later I had the whole Friday for myself before I'd go to the KSS on Saturday and Sunday. This is the story what happened that Friday.

It was a gorgeous autumn morning: crisp, sunny and clear. Instead of taking the underground I decided to walk through the Hyde Park, and that was the right decision.

I passed Kensington Palace and continued past the Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall towards the V&A Museum.

The reason for this early start was that I hadn’t ordered tickets in advance, yet wanted to be among the first ones in to see an exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings. This strategy worked really well, arrived at the museum right on time and with rosy cheeks.And what a show that was! Scribblings on ancient paper, 1-inch-tall figures of men performing various tasks, muscles and joints bulging and stretching in such a lifelike manner that you just keep staring at them, never mind the queue that keeps building after you. The Queen seems to own quite a collection of the original drawings, reinforced by several other sources, so that the museum can offer quite an unique and wide variety of da Vinci's work. I wouldn't have missed this for the world.

There was another interesting exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum, Fashion from the 60's which, according to a Finnish magazine, should have shown the work of a Finnish knitwear designer as well. No matter how hard I looked, I couldn't catch a glimpse of it/them. Too bad - there would be something in the archives but I'd set my heart on seeing this particular collection.

There were hats,


more shoes and


which were a part of this whole outfit in plastic.

On the other hand, there were also paper dresses

bold and colourful

but probably not too practical when it happened to rain.

Knitting wasn't unknown, either.

And just look at this renegade fashion.

Here I have to confess that this photo wasn't taken from the 60's exhibition but is from permanent collections. Does anyone recognize the designer and the year?

Next I had to make a decision. There would have been another 'serious' art exhibition in the city, but by this time there were far more people around and I knew I would have to queue, if I wanted to see this gathering of masterpieces. Paintings had been flown in from several corners of Europe, some even from the U.S., and you don't often get a chance to see these portraits at one go. Holbein's paintings are on display until 2007, so I thought I'd save something for my next visit.

And what was the alternative programme for the afternoon then? Hihihii. I did go to an art exhibition, although not as serious one as Holbein's would have been. Beryl Cook turned 80 this year, and her speciality is painting ladies with a lust for life (and fabulous shoes). Wonder why I preferred this exhibition?

But there was still something bigger and bolder to look forward to. A couple of days before this trip I was watching the BBC news, and learned that there was a brand new piece of art of Carsten Höller at Tate Modern. The first three photos are taken of the tv screen just as those news aired - I just had to see this!

The longest slide is 58 metres and it takes only a few seconds to descent from the fifth floor. Oh what a thrill! People of all ages seemed to enjoy it. -- I've misplaced the leaflet there was, but when I find it, I'll add a quote. It sums up exactly what the artist wanted to give us, and he truly succeeded in it.

But where are photos of me sliding down the chute? Unfortunately the queues were so long by this time that I just couldn't wait that long to have a ticket. I just watched the others, making a pledge that I'd come back for another weekend and be there as the museum opened in order to beat the queues. It was late afternoon and I still had to find my way to a new yarn and knitting shop which was on the same side of Thames but not easily accessible.

I knit London has just opened a small corner shop, and even though I bursted in on a Friday night (which is dedicated to knitting men), they were kind enough to let me in and buy some yarn. And some needles. And... well, as the saying goes, 'just try to stop me'. They are involved in a campaign which aims at having clean drinking water and sanitation for everyone. This Knit a river project requires just blue yarn which is worked into either knitted or crocheted 15x15 cm squares and put together, forming a symbol of flowing water. There’s more info on I knit’s website (I won’t give you a direct link, since there’s so much else to discover there; go and explore!

Some parts of the river had flooded the shop floor, and another part formed a waterfall…or was it just a curtain?

This is how the shop looked like when I left. It was rather dark already so I had to modify the camera’s settings. To cut a long story short: Friday had passed and my scarf wasn’t going to be ready on Saturday morning, no matter how late I’d stay up crocheting at the hotel.

(to be continued: KSS on Saturday and on Sunday )

Thursday, October 26, 2006

And the Oscar goes to...

Onneksi olkoon, arvonta on nyt suoritettu (tai pikemminkin nyt ehdin julistaa sen tulokset). Hauskaa oli niin juttuja lukiessa kuin lappusia eri kategorioihin jakaessakin. Tulostin vastaukset useampaan kertaan että sain tarpeeksi vertailumateriaalia, leikkelin nimilaput samankokoisiksi, jaoin ne eri kippoihin kategorioittain, joita olivat mm. "tästä tunnistan itseni", "pieleen meni, mutta hauska kuulla", ja sitten lopuksi pläjäytin kaikki lippuset samaan kulhoon ja sohotin sitä hiustenkuivaajalla. Sieltä lappuset lensi iloisesti ympäriinsä, ja viimeisenä kulhoon jäänyt sai sitkeyspalkinnon. Sitkeyttä tarvittiin myös lappusten keräämisessä lattialta ja minne ne nyt lensivätkin. Niin että taas on koti järjestyksessä, kuten eräässä vastauksessa veikkailtiin.

No niin, tästä löpinästä puuttuu enää kyyneleet ja kaikkien mahdollisten tahojen kiittäminen.

Voittajia ovat siis Anonymous/Tuula, Krumis, Pirkko, Tarja ja TiinaV. Lähettäkääpäs osoitteenne tuolla oikeassa marginaalissa näkyvään sähkikseen pliis, niin tää laittaa teille tulemaan pikkuisen paketin. Samaan syssyyn täytyy kyllä mainita, että yahoomeilin kanssa on viime aikoina ollut vähän ongelmia, mutta jos ei rupea linjat aukeamaan, niin keksitään sitten muita viestimiskeinoja.

Ja nyt vaan kynttilät sammuksiin, juhlat on juhlittu. Kiitokset osallistumisesta, oli kiva taas nähdä uusiakin nimiä kommentoimassa.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sana on vapaa (ja arvonta tulossa) - Vent your spleen (there will be a prize draw later on)

Tämä blogi täyttää kohta kaksi vuotta. Ostin digikameran ja tietsikan syksyllä 2004, ja siitä lähtien on molempiin tallentunut kaikenlaista töönää. Tiedän, että jotkut teistä ovat seuranneet seikkailujani ihan alusta asti, osa taas piipahtaa täällä ihan lyhyesti etsimässä vaikkapa puolijoukkuetelttaa (kyllä, se on edelleen yksi suosituimmista hakusanoista, joilla tänne päädytään.) Aika paljon neulovista lukijoistani olen tavannutkin, mutten suinkaan kaikkia.

Rupesi vaan tässä kiinnostamaan, minkälaisen mielikuvan olette minusta saaneet, siis minkälainen ihminen tätä blogia teidän mielestänne pitää? Sana on vapaa, ei tarvitse kaunistella; tästä tulee paljon mielenkiintoisempaa kun ei tarvitse varoa sanojaan. Anonyymikommenttejakin saa jättää jos nyt välttämättä joku haluaa, mutta ottakaa sitten huomioon että jos satutte voittamaan arvonnassa, mä tarvitsen ainakin silloin yhteystietonne - kiäh kiäh.

Vastausaika päättyy sunnuntaina 22.10. klo 23.59 ja postittelen pikkupalkinnot kun tulen Suomeen sitä seuraavana viikonloppuna.

Toki tässä välissäkin tulee uusia postauksia blogiin, mutta pidän tätä palautejuttua ylimmäisenä niin kauan kuin asia on ajankohtainen. Jos siis etsit jotain muuta lukemista, skrollaa alaspäin.

This blog has been alive for almost two years now. I bought myself a digital camera and a laptop in the autumn of 2004, and you wouldn't believe the amount of information they have collected ever since. Now I would like to hear from you, dear visitor, whether you're a keen reader or just happened to land here by chance: what kind of impression do you have of me, on the basis of this blog? What kind of a person am I? There's no need to be polite and - I appreciate honesty - and besides, it'll be much more interesting if you tell us what you really think. - There has been some discussion in a couple of Finnish knitting blogs about the impressions we make and how wrong they can be, yet created so quickly. That's what sparked this idea.

There will be a prize draw amongst all the commentators. Although I prefer signed comments, you are allowed to leave an anonymous one as well. But if you happen to win in the draw, I'll need your name and address - har-har!

The cut-off time is on Sunday 22 October at midnight, and I'll try to post some small parcels right after that, although some slight delays might occurr since I'll be travelling...again.

I will add new messages, of course, but I'll keep this one on the top as long as the 'competition' is open. If you're looking for recent entries, please just scroll down.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Kumpi on tärkeämpää: jonkinlaiset yöunet vai kuvien järjestäminen? - I'd rather be sleeping

Sorry beibet, mä en nyt millään ehdi järjestää näitä kuvia minkäänlaisiin kategorioihin, lataaminenkin kesti iät ja ajat. Kuvat on otettu kevättalvella Kölnin lankamessuilla, ja osa malleista on jo löytänytkin tiensä Suomessa ilmestyviin käsityölehtiin. Sinisen ja vihreän sävyt oli hyvin esillä, vaikka näistä kuvista sitä onkin vähän vaikea päätellä; mukana on niin oranssia kuin pinkkiäkin. En millään raaski tyhjentää kameran muistikortteja ihan kokonaan, niiltä saattaa vielä tulla muutama yllärikuva tähän perään. Ensi viikolla lataan tänne joka tapauksessa lisää kuvia, ellei sitten tapahdu mitään yllättävää. Mutta uusia kuvia ootellessa nämä nyt ladatut saavat luvan viihdyttää teitä.

Begging for mercy: I just don't have time to organise these pictures into different categories, just loading them took longer than I'd imagined. They were taken at the yarn fair in Cologne earlier this year, and some of these winter patterns have been published in German knitting magazines in the course of the autumn. I'll be back next week, hopefully with more photos. Sorry, I really need my beauty sleep now.