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In Which It Was Wet And We Went Camping July 22, 2010

Posted by Fiona in Big things, Craftiness, Knitting, Look what I did, Lovely people, Really good day.

…and I didn’t take many pictures, because my camera was dreadful, and even the ones I did take came out quite badly most of the time.

His Nibs and I went to Larmer Tree Festival.  Captain Shakespeare and Cap’n The Younger went also.  Thursday and Friday it chucked it down, Saturday and Sunday it was glorious.  We all spent an inordinate amount of time drinking cider and bumping into Mark Kermode.

The bands present involved an impressive selection of beardy old men with guitars:

Steve Knightley.  I want him to be my uncle and come to my house and have barbecues with my family and just happen to bring along quite a lot of Somerset cider and a lute.  That would just be the best night ever.

Chris Wood.  Although, if I’d closed my eyes, he would have been impossible to differentiate from Martin Simpson.  Either I have been listening to too much of this sort of thing, or not nearly enough.  He was very good, is the point.

Otis Gibbs.  Don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of him either.  We happened to be in the tent where he was playing, and after about five minutes were totally mesmerised – the man can work a crowd like nobody’s business.  Potentially the best banter of the whole festival.  He ended up doing the encore without a microphone, wandering around a 150-ish seater tent strumming his guitar and ad-libbing at people.  Should have been cringeworthy and impossible to hear; worked like a dream.

Rich Hall also had a guitar, and made up several very funny songs on the spot – but I didn’t get a good picture of him, sorry.  He was totally worth standing in the rain for, and I’d love to see him speak live again.

Also, this is Oysterband.  I promise.

Other than said beardy men with guitars, there tended to be quite a few four or five piece bands with one or two jaw-droppingly talented female members and, um, surprisingly attractive accordion players.  There was also a fair bit of world music, a lot of things I’d never heard of but am quite glad I have now, and a certain amount of what I like to term His Nibs’ Music.  This latter is entirely because deep down inside I am actually the sort of middle-aged git who buys the Telegraph for the crossword and I don’t understand this modern um-chuh um-chuh um-chuh business.

Other exciting things that happened: there was a great quantity of exciting food, and a lot of street theatre.  A terrible picture was taken of the shawl I made a week or two ago:

(Yes, I look like this on occasions.  I shall remember it in years to come and either be overjoyed or disgusted.)  The shawl is the Lady Bertram shawlette (Ravelry link) by Wendy Bernard, in Old Maiden Aunt merino 4-py. The colourway is called ‘Bluebell’.  I love it.  The lace pattern is beautiful and I love that too, and I’ll reblock it and take better pictures soon because it deserves to be shown off.  It was so much fun to knit – I know I’ll definitely knit it again.

Also, the Cloud pullover came into being, and grew rapidly:

I knitted it at every opportunity, for the main reason that raglan sleeves fascinate me.  In the way that turning heels fascinates me, and knitting the Baby Surprise Jacket must be such a rush of excitement – I love knitting in apparently strange directions and then bam! Look what you just did, it was so simple and now there are SLEEVES!  I shall never tire of this.  I think I knitted an entire 100g skein of fingering weight, on 3mm needles, in four days, which for me is unheard of.  At one point, two fingers of my left hand seized up so I couldn’t grip anything without getting a stabbing pain.  This hasn’t happened since I was making my first pair of socks.  And isn’t the yarn so pretty?

Clearly the knitting enthusiasm wore off, because after nearly three and a half years of gentle poking, look at this!

Caught in the act!  His nibs can now cast on, and knit, and purl, and cast off.  I am so proud.  Not least because ever since he has been badgering me to lend him yarn and needles.  He took to it like a duck to cranberry sauce – by which I mean very well indeed.  Captain Shakespeare also learned, but it was fairly obvious that his attention was elsewhere.

To each his own.  I was amazed and impressed by how many knitters there were about, and how many people were learning.  Seeing new knitters about always makes me so happy and excited because of all the potential ahead of them, to see how it fits together and get enthusiastic about all the things that made me so enthusiastic when I first discovered them, and to make beautiful, clever new things.  New knitters are a wonderful thing.  Having said this, I was a bit self-conscious: Cloud is mainly stocking stitch, so I was going like the clappers for a lot of the time and not really looking at my work while I was doing it, so it was a bit disconcerting to look up and find myself being stared at by people who were just learning the basics.  I don’t feel like I’m that good at knitting, I feel like I always have a very long way to go before I can call myself good at it, but it’s stuck with me since I’ve got home that actually I’m quite a lot faster and more streamlined than I thought I was.  Which is nice.

I discovered something else that I’d really like to share, but I think that one’s going to get its own post – and I hope you’ll find it as brilliant an idea as I did.  It also involves the word ‘serendipity’, so it has that on its side.  It’ll make you grin, I swear.

Oh!  And I wore the shorts.  I knew you’d be pleased.

It was quite the excitement, actually.



1. ruethewhirl - July 22, 2010

I feel i should point out two things:

1) in no way do i look like that.

2) you missed the opportunity to include the phrase ‘while he initially took to it like a duck to merchant banking’.

i do rather like knitting, though. and you. xxx

Fiona - July 22, 2010

I have to admit, my favourite part of that picture is the ‘Get a room or this happens’ vibe going on in the background. You come a close second, though.

2. Flix - July 23, 2010

I rather like the duck simile. And the pictures. 🙂

3. teacherface - July 23, 2010

I love Mark Kermode – did you exchanges mere ‘hellos’ or was there further depth to the conversation – if any?

4. Jenny - July 23, 2010

My main question is: DID YOU SEE MARTIN. I haven’t seen him in ages (NOR YOU MADAM) and feel that somebody has to’ve done! xxx

5. luciainfurs - July 24, 2010

In an alternate universe where I had money and one of my close friends wasn’t born on the 17th, I was there with you and it was wonderful.

This universe sucks, though. Much jealousy.

6. Clare - July 26, 2010

I agree with the “NOR YOU MADAM” part of Jenny’s comment.

By which I mean – tea/coffe/hot beverage of choice, bookshop, knitting needles, the two/three/four of us, soon? Clue: the answer is YES.

Beautiful shawl, though.


7. windmillsofyourmind - July 28, 2010

I am so unbelievably jealous that you met Mark Kermode.

8. Coming up for air « de minimis - March 7, 2011

[…] started (Get Off My) Cloud (Rav link) by Kate Davies over the summer, if you recall, and it’s involved so much Icord, and so much sewing up, that I finished the […]

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