Friday, October 10, 2008

Back at uni and suddenly shocked to find myself a third year

How can I possibly be a third year? I'm not ready for third year! I want to do second year again!

To be fair, I am vaguely excited about the things I'm doing, but I still feel things are moving way too fast. I may have stupidly bitten off more than I can chew in the current project, especially since I only have 8 weeks to do it. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to build on the tailoring skills that I've learnt or try something completely new with corsetry, so...err...I'm doing both.

I'm making the suit on the left (only the jacket though, everyone else in my class is doing full suits, but then, they're only working from one design)...

...and the corset and combination on the right. For those of you not in the know, a combination is like a baggy, frilly, knee length jumpsuit. Well fit. My model is thrilled.

At the same time as I'm making those, we have a 4000 word essay to write. Not a long one by third year standards at all, but then, I'm guessing most third year students don't have tailoring and embroidery to do at the same time. I'm currently researching the physical and emotional effects of high heeled shoes, but I haven't got far enough in to decide what my focus is going to be.

We had a group tutorial on our essays this afternoon to talk about such diverse matters as Donald Sutherland's uberwhite teeth, whether Cheryl Cole is the best X-factor judge ever and Grayson Perry, the transvestite potter who takes offence at being called a transvestite potter yet produces pots and wears little girl's dresses. Personally I think Donald Sutherland is a diva, Grayson Perry is a fake and X-factor should be taken off the air forever. I think my tutor has more or less gotten used to my abruptness by now, but I can never really tell whether he's disappointed that I can be extremely negative, or impressed that I'm not intimidated by the Emperor's New Clothes effect of modern art. Mostly though I think he likes to ask my opinion about things so he can have a good laugh.

I have been knitting furiously in meetings and on the coach to London to go fabric shopping, my lovely lovely Manos is gradually becoming a lovely lovely Kombu. There is no photo though, because I'm sitting on my bed and my camera is four feet away on my desk and it's a Friday evening therefore I'm too lazy to stretch that far. Pah.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A hat! And a scarf! And no cold weather to wear them in!

I have housemates! They all moved in while I was up in Scotland, and while they're all very nice people and it's great to have someone to wander off to the student bar with, I'm still finding it highly odd to hear other people's voices in my house. They're all very impressed with my knitting too, which may have been a large factor in their earning my approval. Shelly, Emilie and Polly have all asked for knitting lessons. The boys haven't. Yet. I know they're just yearning to throw off the shackles of gender-based repression though...

My stripy cartoony jumper, though I was zipping through it at my parents, isn't going to be finished for enrollment tomorrow because I spent about 3 days casting off the hem so I'm now only halfway through the first sleeve. I'm using the 2x2 sewn bind off from the Vogue knitting book, so although it takes sodding ages, it doesn't have the chain along the bottom and it's a lot stretchier. I think I might unpick the neck edge and re-do it like this.

FOs though! I finished Thorpe about 3 weeks ago with some RYC Cashsoft from Get Knitted. (I like ordering from Get Knitted, they send you biros and lollipops in the package. Whee! Free stuff!) I decided it desperately needed a bobble on top, but apparently I've forgotten how to make them properly and it ended up so dense I could probably use it as a tennis ball.

I also finished My-So-Called Scarf before I moved but it only just got unpacked from my cold weather boxes. How can I forget about something this soft and yummy?! I feel unworthy. Malabrigo is just gorgeous. Smells bizarrely vinegary though. (Well, it did, now it smells of Persil Silk and Wool Wash)

And also, because obviously I am knitting so fast that my current yarn can't keep up (haha), we went yarn shopping in The Wool Shed in Oyne, where I displayed my stereotypical womanly ways by losing where we were on the map both on the way there and the way back.
Mum: Don't worry, we're taking the scenic route.
Hannah: We're in Scotland! It's all the scenic route!

These are buttons. Yes. They have no purpose yet, but I'm sure when I find it, it will be magnificent. They are from Touched by Scotland, a craft shop next door to the yarn shop, which sounds incredibly cheesy but is actually full of Very Very Nice Stuff.

Manos Silk Blend in 'A Shot in the Dark' for a lovely scarf, though possibly a short one I have to pin together with a brooch. Hmm.

This is...err...a stolen photograph of Jitterbug in Raphael, because my skein went into my slightly-less-accessible yarn storage before I took a photo and I'm too lazy to take it out again. For someone who previously didn't see the point in knitting socks, I seem to be developing something of a stash.

Must. Knit. Faster.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sir Reginald Barnaby Forthington-Smythe III at your service

Sir Reginald has recently arrived the home of my good friend Miss Darby, to act as chaperone on her 23rd birthday, and to ensure that her good reputation remains intact while she celebrates amongst the bounders and cads of Londontown. I personally feel she has more to fear from Reginald than the young whippersnappers of Soho.

Pattern: Pentapus
Yarn: Sirdar Snowflake and Cascade 220
I love this pentapus. It's been a while since I make Texas the stegosaurus for Chris and I'd forgotten how much fun it is making toys for people who are too old for toys. Laz adores him too, as is only right for someone who comes complete with his own monocle and twirly moustache. I now have a massive bag of stuffing I don't know what to do with as the fabric shop only sold 450g bags. Hmm. I shall have to find some more people who will appreciate something this bizarre and pointless.
Sir Reg's hat was made up as I went along (the original floppy hat obviously not his style), I decreased all the way round as soon as I attached it and increased gradually to flare it out, then purled a round to make a turning ridge before decreasing sharply to the middle.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mia. At long last.

I need to find someone to take photos for me. I faffed about for ages trying to get a half decent shot with the self timer, with my camera balanced on a shelf in my housemate's bedroom (the only room in the whole house with a shelf at the right height), and the best I got was the one below where I look about 15. It was either that or "look, it's my arm in a mirror again".

Pattern: Mia
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft DK
I finished this over a month ago! Egad. Pretty much as is in the pattern, with a King Charles brocade cuff.
I don't know when I will ever wear this. Someone please invite me out somewhere and stop me spending my whole life in jeans and tshirts.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

101 in 1001 update: Month 4

I don't seem to be doing very much with my free time this summer. I think it might be the lethargy of having nothing to do. Or perhaps I just need something important to push me to procrastinate. Either way, hardly any knitting, only one fat quarter sewn from the fabric stash, and I have read a grand total of one book, Of Mice and Men, which took me all of one cloakroom shift at work to read from cover to cover (it was a slow night).

I have been swimming and taking proper care of my skin, but I can't exactly say it's regular yet. Getting there though. Wearing skirts has fallen by the wayside a little. I've resigned myself to the fact that we're not getting a summer this year and my legs have been sulking in jeans and trainers every day since Nancy's wedding, with the exception of one night, when I went out in a miniskirt and boots and received many generous offers of drinks from sober and respectable gentlemen.

Knittingwise, I did finish Mia, sodding ages ago, and I farted about with the self timer on my camera today, so I have some very bad photos coming in the next post. Promise! As for sewing and embroidery, I did this a few weeks ago, but have been keeping it quiet as it was a gift for a swap. Anyhoo, Starry (Danielle) has received it now, so I may be smug and show off.

It's not perfect, but not half bad for making it up as I went along, I quite fancy making one of these for myself! I am particularly proud of myself for remembering how to make a jetted pocket (which the post-it block sits in), which was a tremendous waste of time since no one will ever see it! Embroidering and reverse applique...appliquing....appliqueing...sewing the cupcake was fun, thanks to Danielle for picking a fantastic theme for me to play with!

2. Fill out my student loan application for next year. Complete (yaymoney!)
24. Knit 12 garments.
36. Sew my entire fabric stash. 1/41
43. Do 4 beading or embroidery projects. 1/4
52.Go out to eat 4 times a year. 1/4
73. Go swimming regularly in the summer holidays; attempt to keep it up when I go back to uni. In Progress
92. Keep up a proper skincare routine. In Progress
58. Go to the cinema at least once a month, even if it means going on my own. 4/33
65. Read all the books I haven’t read on my bookcase. 4/25
95. Buy from a local butcher/grocer/market instead of the supermarket once a month.
20. Reach 175 blog posts. 64/175
82. Try a new food every month. 4/33
91. Wear a skirt at least once a week. 13/143

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Neeewwww knitting

I am feeling somewhat windswept today. One of my friends from Kentucky has come to England, so Jade (who I also met in Kentucky, but lives in Bournemouth, obviously) and I are using this as an excuse to do all the touristy things. Today we took an open-top bus (really rather too windy to be entirely a good idea) around Sandbanks, until recently the most expensive land per square foot IN THE WORLD, Studland Bay ferry and Swanage, where we strolled along the beach with our hoods up, ate massive cream teas, and attempted to explain the mysteries of the British Summer Holiday, for instance, why beach huts are great despite the fact that you can't sleep in them and how Punch and Judy does not in fact mentally scar generations of young children.

There has been New Knitting since I last made a non swap-related post. Also New NotKnitting. Oooh.

First off, New NotKnitting! I am giving crochet another chance. I'm actually happy with it this time, it's going slightly better than the Yellow Triangle of Doom from a few years ago. I promise, this one isn't actually triangular, it just looks like that because the trebles are bigger than the doubles. Not sure how far my yarn and my patience are going to go with this, but I can tick off a technique, and hopefully the novelty won't wear of before I can make an armpit bag that I will probably never use (ha)

My rainbow of Cascady goodness is started and going pretty damn fast by my standards (particularly since I haven't bothered to blog about it in 2 weeks). I'm not using a pattern for it, just a swatch and the instructions in Barbara Walker's Knitting From the Top, which looks to be such a brilliant book that I will forgive her for having a whole chapter on knitted trousers. This is going to be my Scotland holiday project, so I will put it away and finish up some other things in the next 3 weeks instead.

Snapping Turtle is still awaiting a zip because I am lazy.

Mia is still awaiting photos because I am Really lazy.

And because I am hopeless I just joined another Monthly Adventures challenge. I have til the 7th to make and embroider a stuffed toy. One evening and two legs down.

P.S. The bouncer in the night club last night recognised me from the knitting club in Poole and came over and started talking to me about socks and baby garments. Heh, love it. Rock'n'roll baby.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The End! Really this time!

First off, I did not wait until today to open this package. My self restraint is good,but not that good. The nocturnal sleeping patterns are getting to me though and after opening my presents and squealing excitedly I promptly went for a nap and didn't wake up til an hour before I had to go to work. Ooooops...

My swap pal was Cat, from At The Pace Of A Snail, and Iam soo chuffed with the goodies. She's managed to match up perfectly, not only with the theme photo but with the rest of my blog as well.

The bizarre looking green thing that came unwrapped in the last photo is a 'Fingerboiler Pen', a clue to my pal's job in the Museum of Science and Industry. It has glass bubbles with liquid inside that moves up and down as the pressure from your fingers heats it up. I used to have a room thermometer thing like this. I can see myself playing with this a lot when I'm supposed to be paying attention in lectures next year. (I am too easily amused :D )

The rest of my package was themed around my beach photo of where I'd been diving in Mexico, using Mexico and sealife as inspiration.

Carrying on the theme of 'things-that-amuse-me-way-more-than-they-should', I also have:

a) a squirty pufferfish. I saw a pufferfish when I was diving in Mexico. Are you in fact psychic Cat? It wasn't puffed (it was a happy fishy), but they are still really strange cartoony creatures.

and b) Tattoo shaped plasters. Heh. Not themed, but as the explanation note says "who doesn't want tattoo type plasters". Well, my thoughts exactly! I'm going to wear them to work; as I work in a club that routinely has Vince Ray style artwork on their posters, I can pretty much guarantee that there will be a theme night at some point for which these will be the most appropriate thing I own!

There is also wool fat soap, for sheepy goodness, and dried ancho chillis (which are mild, mercifully!) because they are from Mexico, obviously, but also because she saw in my 101 list that I wanted to make curry from scratch.

And then YARN!

Mmmmmyarrrrrrrrrrnn. The balls on the left are 100% corn fibre(!), as the Mexican eat lots of maize, and I'd said in the questionnaire that I wanted to try some different natural fibres. I want to learn fair isle/stranded knitting at some point and I love these colours together so that's what they're destined for. I was thinking Endpapers but I don't think I have the yardage for that, so maybe a hat. Currently Inga owns my soul.

The skein on the right is fingering weight Seawool from Knitspirations in Cocoa, a gorgeous light brown/dusky rose colourway. There wasn't any fibre content information on the ballband or the webite, but judging from other 'seawools' out there, I think this is mostly wool with some seacell. This yarn deserves to become some unspeakably amazing socks. I currently thinking of Bayerische but they may prove to be a little beyond me at the moment.

I am so impressed with Cat's stalking abilities and all my goodies and looking forward to finishing some of my current projects so I can start some new ones! Thankyou very much Cat!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The End! Nearly!

I posted off my package yesterday morning and I just got mine in return! Yays!

My swap partner is staying anonymous and wants me to seek her out through her blog (she’s a sneaky one). I shall put my detective hat on later…I know she lives in Manchester and works as a assistant energy curator…I haven’t been paying attention to people’s jobs and hometowns, I’ve only been watching the knitting!

Anyhoo (I knew this would happen) for the first time in THE WHOLE SUMMER I have a guest today, who is sleeping off the effects of last night downstairs (as I would be, if the doorbell hadn’t gone), so I will be good and not open my parcels till she’s gone home.

Oh, the suspense!

UK Swap question 8

After much consideration (er...and much laziness):

What three items would you want with you on a desert island and why?

I was thinking the obvious things like Ipod and knitting, but if I was forced to only bring one ball of yarn and an Ipod with a limited amount of charge I think it would annoy me more when they ran out than if I didn't have them in the first place. So:

1. A Book. I know, as above I'm only allowed one book, but I should think the Complete Works of Shakespeare would take me a good while to get through.

2. Snorkel gear. If I can watch the fish, I'm happy. This would be SCUBA gear, but limited amounts of compressed air is as bad as limited yarn or batteries.

3. A mosquito net. Absolutely vital. I don't know what it is about my blood but I'm like catnip to the little buggers. *shudder

Oh, and I'd like to get off the island at some point. Please?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I have been furiously knitting hexagons since I last posted. My fingers hurt.

This bucket'o'yarn represents...probably about 60 hours of TVlinks, Videostic and Lovefilm. I have never been more grateful for my internet connection.

The beast is now stretched out in one of the spare bedrooms (God knows where I'm going to block when the rest of my housemates actually move in) and it is mercifully flat. I did have a great pre-dunking picture laid out flat and taken from the side, which looked like a blue knitted mountain range. Then my memory card decided it needed reformatting and kindly deleted everything for me. I do not have a healthy relationship with my gadgets apparently. But hey! The peaks are gone at least, nothing a good deluge couldn't fix. The skirt is all but finished,all I have to do is wait about 4 days for it to dry and then I can start knitting waistbands and suchlike. And then I just have to pray that it fits me. And then I also have to pray that Summer returns and I can actually wear it. Hmmm.

There is a marked improvement as you travel down the skirt. This is what my picked up stitches looked like at the beginning.

This is what they look like now.

I feel I have progressed somewhat.
P.S. I just had to edit this post about 20 times to try and get the pictures in the right places with the words UNDER them. I still can't do anything about that last bit. I detest Blogger.

Friday, August 08, 2008

UK Swap question of the week #6 & #7

I nearly didn't bother with question 6. It was ages ago, I don't have decent answers to half the questions and, as I've said previously, I really don't like The Music Question. But hey, question 7 came out, and I'm a completist. Swap partner, apologies for the delay,hope you weren't going crazy wondering what my music tastes were.

Question 6

Of all the bands/artists in your cd/record collection, which one do you own the most albums by?

I thought it was Marilyn Manson (yes, I am a fan, don't judge me), but I just counted up and I have more Muse albums.

What was the last song you listened to?

Well, in counting up my Muse albums I just stuck on Map of the Problematique, but before that I was listening to Johnny Cash singing A Boy Named Sue.

What’s your favorite local band?

Um...this is one of the questions I have no answer to......

What’s the worst CD/record/etc. you’ve ever bought?

I have some real crap on my computer, but mostly I justify it by saying it reminds me of good times. I think the Rocky theme tune takes some beating, but it's staying on there because it reminds me of Paul singing it out of the blue when we were hiking in Yosemite.

What was the first single/album you ever bought?

I'm drawing blanks here too. Obviously it wasn't important and life-defining enough to warrant me remembering it.

Question 7

Do you prefer to watch films at home or at the cinema?

I don't think I really have a preference. It's all good.

What is the last film you saw?

Last film I saw at the cinema was The Dark Knight, last film I saw on DVD was Eastern Promises. Both very good films, if a little, um, icky in places.

Have you seen any films more than 10 times? If so which ones and why.

Oh, tons. I have many many favourites. American Beauty, Back to the Future, Baz Lurhmann' Red Carpet Trilogy, The Truman Show, The Princess Bride, Fight Club. I could go on. Mostly these are just films that lift my mood no matter what. Including American Beauty. It bothers me that people look at me strangly when I point that out as a feelgood movie.

What film do you recommend that people should see?

One? Only one film recommendation? Ok, go see Wall.E, I defy you not to fall in love.

If you could be any character from a film who would it be?

I wish I was more like Amelie, but honestly, I'm just not that nice.

101 in 1001 update: Month 3

5. Buy Playstation/DVD player. Complete

Yarp. I now own a nice, shiny, entirely non-new Playstation 2, so even though the TV in the new house doesn't pick up, y'know, actual TV, I can watch DVDs. And play Super Monkey Ball Deluxe. Hurrah!

38. Make a dress to wear to Nancy and Olly’s wedding.

Nooooo. Due to the malicious sentience that my sewing machine seems to have whenever I have a deadline coming up, it collapsed in a gruesome tangle of threads 2 days before the wedding. I am mildly peeved. It's a pretty complex pattern so I'd already spent almost a week cutting and gathering the damn thing. I was on the home stretch so I really want to finish it at some point, but it's definitely a summer dress and it's definitely an event dress so I've no idea where else I could wear it. Possibly my graduation, but that's a whole year away! *sigh

76. Give my number to a cute stranger. Complete

Um. Yes. This will never cease to amaze me. Even more amazing is that I actually said yes to a date. There won't be a second one, but still, I am perhaps getting over my habit of saying no without thinking.

82. Try a new food every month. 3/33

Apparently rabbit is the national dish of Malta. I am not terribly impressed. Give me a nice bit of cow any day.

58. Go to the cinema at least once a month, even if it means going on my own. 3/33

Yes! Woop! I fell in love with Wall.E. He is adorable and hilarious and I am not at all ashamed to say I cried. Well, slightly ashamed but at least I wasn't the only one. Also The Dark Knight, which looking back on the plot and characters is a really good film, but when I was sitting in the cinema, losing feeling in my arse, all I could think was 'God this sonar parp is distracting'. Pity they've ruined such a great film with pointlessly flashy effects.

65. Read all the books I haven’t read on my bookcase. 3 /25
66. Read the entire works of Shakespeare. 2/45

I've read the Escapement by K.J. Parker, Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne and The Taming of the Shrew (again) this month. I know as a woman I'm not really supposed to like Taming of the Shrew, but I do. I can't help it.

20. Reach 175 blog posts. 58/175
91. Wear a skirt at least once a week. 11/143
95. Buy from a local butcher/grocer/market instead of the supermarket once a month. 3/33

Old ladies are officially cooler than me.

I was knitting on the bus yesterday and an old lady started a conversation with me about how unusual it is to see people knitting these days. I told her it gave me something to do on the achingly long journeys. She said she used to knit a lot and I asked why she didn't anymore, expecting her to blame arthritis or something similar. Nope.

"I don't really have the patience anymore. I tend to go out and enjoy life instead."

Well, dang. So that's it. I knit because I have no life. I knew something was missing.

Anyhoo, this is what I was knitting:

Ths is my first pair of toe-up socks, using the Knitty Universal toe-up formula, which has a short row toe starting from a provisional cast on. I love this toe, tis genius.

Other than that I haven't done a lot since the last time I updated. The month sort of ran away with me really. The Snapping Turtle skirt is 2 and a half rows down and, man these hexagons go slowly. I finished Mia, and will take a photograph at....some....point, but I didn't get to wear it. The dress I was making for Nancy and Olly's wedding is still in piles of spotty fabric on my desk because (surprise, surprise) my sewing machine broke again, and my fallback dress wasn't quite as shrug-friendly.

I really need to buy myself a new sewing machine.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

An update! A REAL update!

I'm a little late on this. The entire world has now forgotten about Woolfest, but I've only just unpacked my yarn from my many many moving boxes so I shall inflict it on you all now anyway (oh, I'm sure you are backing away from the screen in horror).

I took a grand total photos in Cockermouth, big surprise, so we just have pictures of piles of yarn on my dining table instead. Hurrah! Somewhere, possibly on my mother's computer, there are photos of me wrestling a pair of giant knitting needles with which I managed all of 4 stitches, but it's probably a good thing I don't have these photos. The needles were about 9 foot long, they were very heavy, and there was much gurning involved in my manoeuvring of them.

I was very good at Woolfest. I had to be very good, because I only took cash. As in I only took cash to Cumbria. I left my cards in Bournemouth, so I'm not entirely sure what I would have done if I'd lost my train ticket home or something equally horrible. It was reasonably easy to be good, since the majority of the festival was fibre and I'm not a spinner (Mum is - she spent horrendous amounts of money on the offcuts of exotic beasties). Besides, I'd gone with specific garment projects in mind and most of the yarn stalls were selling variegated sock yarn rather than jumper's-worth amounts of solid colours. I did buy some sock yarn though. It was too fun to pass up. Only one though. I was good.

Both my 'sensible' yarn purchases were from a stall called Knitting4fun (not at the same time - I had to umm and aah and then come back for more). This is a wool/silk blend for the Silk Ribbed Corset, hopefully, though I forgot to take my notebook with me so I have no idea if it's going to come close to the right gauge or yardage.

These are pure wool for Candy, which Mum has promised to make me matching Fimo buttons for. Remember that Mum? I'm gonna remind you in like, 4 years time when I actually get round to making it.

This is my fun yarn. See, I told you it was fun. It's Colinette Jitterbug in MARDI GRAS!! (I may have added the capitals and exclamation marks myself). As always, the photo does not do it justice, it's much more...glowy in real life. Especially the yellow, I could wrap the yellow around myself as a reflectivejacket. A very small and pathetic one, but a glow-in-the-dark one all the same.

I have new WIPs since settling (Ha!) in my new abode, mainly because I am a huge quitter and can't be arsed to work out the new sleeve caps on the red jmper.

This is the first row of the Snapping Turtle Skirt. As far as I can tell it's going to fit me around the hips (yay!) but it is so far merely a Snapping Turtle Belt. I'm getting over my fear of picking up stitches though.

This is the beginning of Mia, and is also an out of date photo. I took this two days ago (before I could be bothered to update the blog) and I have since knit about 4 inches of the lace back, decided it was too tight with twisted stitches, frogged it back to the sleeve, knit the entire back with nice normal stitches and started the second sleeve. I may even finish this. Woot.

I use brackets too much.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

UK Swap Question of the week #5

Yep, I'm behind. My advice to you all, never make the mistake of moving house on your own, while still looking for a job, 2 days before going on holiday. Not that I had a whole lot of choice, but still, spectacularly stupid.

Quick fire questions this week, based on a game I've played with friends whilst on (very long) car journeys!

Choose one - don't think just choose...

1. Stop or go? Stop

2. Going out or Staying in? Staying in

3. Small town or big city? Big city

4. Happy or sad? Happy

5. Straights or Circulars? Circulars

6. Red or Blue? Red

7. Seaside or countryside? Seaside

8. Fish or chips? Chips

9. Surprises or plans? Plans

10. Wine or beer? Wine

11. Sweaters or cardigans? Cardigans

12. Pizza or Pasta? Pasta

13. Chopsticks or fork? Fork

14. Early Bird or Night Owl? Night Owl

15. Knitting or crochet? Knitting

16. Hot or cold? Hot

And now for the picture part of this quiz (copied from a meme that's going around at the moment)

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.

b. Using only the first page, pick an image

c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

I do like this mosaic and the searching was fun, but a lot of the UK swappers have the same images popping up. I think since I saved this mosaic I've seen that puppy at least 5 times. This would work better on questios that had more than 2 choices. Still, Stop! Hammertime makes up for any minor dissapointment.

1.STOP: Hammer Time, 2. Primary Stillness, 3. Montmartre on a cloudy day HDR, 4. Amazing Thailand, 5. Star light, Star Bright, 6. Gizmo, 7. Shell pick 'n' mix, lightly arranged, 8. Angel of the Morning, 9. First Snow 2007, 10. Why, Yes...I Do Have Shoes To Match, 11. And now for something completely different, 12. 'stick' together, 13. Colours, 14. Crafting 365, day 159 - another brooch to add to my collection, 15. Rut. With Gullfoss., 16. Some like it hot

Monday, July 14, 2008

UK Swap Question of the Week #4

What is your favourite thing that you have knit? (It might not be your favourite thing to wear but it was the most enjoyable to knit).

I really liked doing the travelling stitches on the Sunflower Tam, and also my Anthropologie Capelet, as my first top-down knit, was eye-opening.

What is the worst thing you've ever knit?

Hmm. The first scarf I ever made ended up too wide and too short. Not brilliant.

What are your favourite knitblogs?

I like the ones that make me laugh, like Yarn Harlot, The Panopticon and recently Boffcat.

What is the most amazing knitted thing you have seen (This Ravelry thread might help)

I've seen some pretty mindblowing fairisle and cables all over Ravelry, but this is the one that's in my head right now, by LenaF:

What is your favourite knitted item to wear? Post a picture if you can.

It used to be my grey and white stripy scarf, but since I've lost that (*sob), I'll go for my first pair of socks and my chocolate chip mittens.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

101 in 1001 update: Month 2

Ok, few days late with this, but if I don’t post now it won’t get done till the middle of the month because I’m Going On Holiday! Did I mention that? Apparently ripping wax off my legs and stinking of fake tan is enough to make me excited about something I was previously a little wary of. Well, provided my friends don’t persuade me to hit the town in hen party-esque costumes I should be fine. Roll on over-priced cocktails and sunburn.

5. Get the CD drive on my laptop fixed.

This one I’m changing to ‘Buy external DVD drive and/or Playstation’ after I was told replacing the drive in my laptop would cost about £120. I really don’t love this machine that much.

29. Go to the Bournemouth and Poole Stitch’n’Bitch at least once. Complete

Yes! After being a member of the Ravelry group since March I finally managed to make it to a meeting last Thursday. Hopefully I will be able to find a day time job soon and go to many more meetings, otherwise Sound Circus will continue to eat up my Thursday nights. It was good though! I got through a mile of otherwise very boring stocking stitch, ate much cake and talked to people close to my own age (GASP!), which was a nice surprise - I went to a ‘Knit and Knatter’ in Poole a couple of months ago, and while they were also very nice people, I was the youngest by a good 15 years and felt a little out of place.

37. Stop putting off my pile of clothes to be repaired. 3/

I sewed some buttons on. I can think of no way to make this more interesting.

42. Make myself a costume for each Hallowe’en and Summer Ball. 1/5

Yes, I have already blogged about this, but here, have another photo for good measure. You can see my moustache in this one. Loved that moustache.

58. Go to the cinema at least once a month, even if it means going on my own. 2/33

Yes, twice, I’m counting the first one as last month’s cinema trip, because it was early in the month, and I’m apparently already cheating on this list. I have now seen Indiana Jones 4, which is fantastic and I am still in love with him (though I have to stress Indiana Jones, not Harrison Ford – this is strict character love), and Wanted, which I loved but Lucy thought was “the biggest pile of gobshite I’ve ever seen”. I guess I was just in the mood for silly overblown unrealistic violence, and she really, really wasn’t.

63. Make a curry from scratch. Complete…ish

Well, kinda. I started from curry paste though. It’s just a mite too expensive to get whole spices. I cooked it from the Cook Yourself Thin cookbook too, does it count if it’s a low fat version? I’m not even sure why I own this cookbook, I’m not on a diet and doubt I ever could be, I like carbs and dairy way too much. If I get blobby I just have to accept the fact that I’ll have to spend money on a gym membership. Or liposuction.

75. See a sunset and a sunrise in the same day. Complete

Yep, got to the summer ball at 9, didn’t leave till half 4. Very very weird to be walking that road home post-sunrise. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it in daylight before.

78. Go to Bournemouth Oceanarium. Complete

Yup, we watched the stingrays being fed like bona fide tourists. There were teeny tiny baby seahorses too, which I was most disappointed to see people walking straight past. I wanted to grab them and force them back to the tank to take a closer look. I think it’s a good thing I’m not a tour guide, I have a feeling you’re not allowed to be that aggressive with unobservant members of the public.

15. Sell, donate or throw out 101 items I don’t need. Complete
20. Reach 175 blog posts. 11/133
82. Try a new food every month. 2/33
91. Wear a skirt at least once a week. 7/143
95. Buy from a local butcher/grocer/market instead of the supermarket once a month. 2/33

Yes, yes, blah blah, very boring. Lychees = ming. That is all.

Still no progress on the knitting and sewing list items. I fail at free time.

Monday, June 30, 2008

UK Swap Question of the Week #3

I'm back from Woolfest! It was fabby, but you will have to wait til next week for photos of stash enhancement, for it all went straight into boxes when I got home - only 2 days left in this house, I am now sleeping in a sleeping bag on my bare mattress.

Is there a TV programme you watch religiously?

Well, for the past 3 weeks I've had no TV, but I've been watching Doctor Who and Heroes religiously online. I have spent most of the year addicted to TVlinks actually, enjoying such delights as Dexter, Reaper, Desperate Housewives, Torchwood, Lost, Supernatural, Sex and the City...I could go on.

What TV programme(s) do you avoid like the plague?

Big Brother. Ugh.

Is there a TV programme that you find works particularly well for knitting along to?

I can honestly knit to anything. I may not go very quickly,but I can even go along with subtitles.

What was/is your favourite kids TV programme?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was awesome, as was Sharky and George (the crimebusters of the sea). Art Attack and How2 were pretty cool too. Moschops, though for some reason no one else from my generation remembers that. I found it on video though, so I obviously wasn't just making it up. Ooh, and Thunderbirds! That's just off the top of my head, I'm sure there were loads more. On the other hand, I was scared of Oscar the Grouch and Uncle Bulgaria, and I had an irrational hatred of Peggy Patch from Playdays.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cuffs galore

Nyeh. Ok, so the red jumper will not be finished for Woolfest (day and a half to go! EEE!). Possibly by the end of the month, but not for Woolfest. My stupid titchy swatches are haunting me with their inaccuracy. Eh. I didn't have any smaller needles and I decided it would be quicker and easier to work out how to knit it to a different gauge than to order new needles and wait for them to arrive. Ha. I still have not knit one sleeve I am happy with.

Attempt #1

Knitting from the pattern with the wrong tension. Hahahahahachump.

Attempt #2

Only did 4 lace repeats (the pattern uses 6), then increased up to the armpit. The sleeve fits (yay!) but the cuff looks weirdly long and thin. Makes me feel somewhat stickfigure like.


I have decided to knit a little flare into the cuff. You may have noticed that attempts #3 and #4 are missing. This would be because despite not being overly familiar with lace, I decided I could decrease it without working out where the decreases would go first. 3 and 4 didn't get beyond the second repeat. We shall talk no more of them. #5 is decreasing from 5 to 4 repeats. There's an attempt #6 too, going from 6 to 4 repeats, but I think after a little blocking this one will be enough. I hope so anyway, since I've now knit the first cuff six times. This jumper will make me happy if it kills me!

I am now breathing deeply and dreaming of all the lovely yarrn I will buy at the weekend. I have two skeins of stunning yarn from Etsy sitting on my desk already but it's not mine :( It's for my UKswap partner and totally not colours I would have chosen for myself but I fell in love when it arrived and now I want to keep it. Hmph. *stamps foot* Ah, roll on Cumbria.

Computer going to the doctor tomorrow to see if I can get my DVD drive fixed, I shall return with pictures of various fibre-bearing beasties, and possibly Bournemouth Stitch'n'Bitch, since I'm not working tomorrow.

Monday, June 23, 2008

UKSwap Question #2

02.02am. I can't sleep again. This is annoying. I have stuff to do tomorrow dammit!! I want to go to the bank and the post office. I want to go swimming. I want to cut out the pieces of my skirt and buy a zip. I want to do some more packing. I want to finally get the cuff of this jumper sorted out. I want to list some of my junk on ebay and freecycle. But I know I will do NONE of this bcause it is now 02.05, I can't sleep and that means I won't wake up until noon and won't have any energy for the rest of the day. At what point does it become acceptable to bash one's head against the wall in an attempt to knock self unconscious for a few good hours?


Which three guests (alive or not) would you invite to a dinner party and why?

I've been thinking about this one for a few days. I could invite people I think are funny (Simon Pegg, Bill Bailey, Eddie Izzard), or inspiring (Julie Taymor, Odile Dicks-Mireaux, Guillermo del Toro), or drop-dead gorgeous (James McAvoy, Casey Affleck, Ewan McGregor) or just a bundle of knitterly-wonderfulness (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Norah Gaughan, Franklin Habit), but then, I'm a pretty shy person at the best of times, I'd probably get starstruck, and I'd either spend the evening mumbling into my soup (don't really like soup, but it's kind of a requirement at a dinner party right?), or I'd get drunk and make an arse of myself. A very loud irritating arse no doubt.

I think I'm better off sticking to people I know who I haven't seen for ages.
1. Julia, my best friend from childhood who I've known since birth (hers, not mine, I'm 3 months older) and stuck to like glue all through primary school til I moved away and eventually lost contact.
2. NikkiandLaura. Best friends in middle school. I'm counting these two as one person, because we practically were for 2 years.
3. Kat, who did costume with me last year before dropping out and starting again in Interior Design somewhere else. Haven't lost contact thankfully, we just seem to be spectacularly bad at organising times to meet up.

I could feasibly have this dinner party, if I wasn't spectacularly bad at organising.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cornucopia Socks

Yarn: Schoeller + Stahl Fortissima Socka Cotton Colour

I had a teensy bit of SSS with these socks,the first one was finished when I was in America,the second one didn't get past the ribbing for about 2 months. The wrapped short row heels are much nicer than the holey ones I used for my Mum's christmas socks (which I still don't have a photo of, hint hint Mother), but I think I still prefer a nice flap and gusset. For some reason I was a complete idiot and missed out the plain rows on the second toe, so one toe is half the size of the other. It's a good thing lace stretches.
That's all folks.

Monday, June 16, 2008

UK Swap question of the week 1

Saturday 14th June is (was) World Wide Knitting in Public day.
What are you doing to participate in WWKIP day on Saturday?
I did nothing. *sob I worked Friday and Saturday night so in between waking up late and leaving the house again at half 5 I was in my room packing boxes and throwing out junk all day. It's been a fun weekend. Oh well,maybe next year.

What is the strangest place you have ever knit?
On the conservation project base in Mexico, in our little makeshift 'living room' on the beach. In between dives there was a lot of waiting around, often with hardly anyone else around. I thought it was perfectly sensible to knit in these spare moments. My fellow volunteers seemed to think it was a little odd. In hindsight, I suppose knitting gloves in 45 degree heat (in the shade) was slightly strange.

Picture Bonus: Post a picture of you knitting in public on Saturday, or if you don't get a chance to knit in public on Saturday, take a place of your favourite place to knit at home.
Err...might give the picture bonus a miss this week. My favourite place to knit is sitting on my bed, with my laptop on my knees watching TV-links. Not the most exciting picture. Besides, my bed is covered in stuff yet to be packed.

Back to work I suppose.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I am a mite pissed off

My boss tried to get hold of me when my bus was late to work this evening and called my old phone by accident- the one I lost 3 months ago. Some guy called Steve picked up. WTF??! What the hell is some guy called Steve doing with MY PHONE! I have spent most of the night fuming at the nerve of this arsehole. For god's sake, he could have at least put a new simcard in my handset. Of course, in clearing out my room I've chucked away all the old receipts and the like so I no longer have any proof that its my phone. Dammit. What are the chances that he just found it and he's honest enough to return it to me when I politely point out that it is in fact not his. I'm thinking slim. I may phone him tomorrow anyway, at least I'll get to vent my frustration at him if he doesn't. And then, since I am on contract now, I shall phone him every single night until he's forced to stop using My Sodding Mobile. Hahahahahaaaaaaaaa, sweet vengeance is mine.

Anyhoo, since I finished work early and am too irate to sleep, I guess it's as good a time as any for the long overdue update on My Life Since Uni.

Unfortunately, the last 3 weeks (I feel so ashamed that it's been that long) have been largely camera free, not through mechanical fault, just through my own laziness. For the whole 8 days I spent in Scotland, my camera didn't leave my bag once, so I have no pictures of the beautiful Moray Firth landscape, or the art festival we were volunteering at, and only one stolen piccie of my parent's new puppy.

Say Aaaawww. This is Oscar. He likes eating, sleeping, running on the beach, chewing people's shoes, licking people's jeans and getting in the way of the tv when engaged in a wrestling match with his bed.

I managed to finish the back and knit one sleeve of my red jumper (which really needs a better name than 74-7 Ribbed Pullover in Safran - the Drops people make great patterns, but are rubbish at naming them). I was sort of knitting the sleeve on autopilot once I got to the stocking stitch, being determined to finish it even though halfway through I knew it was going to be too big. Bah. It is too big - I could probably fit a leg in there. It seems that despite swatching I didn't in fact get gauge. Must make bigger gauge swatches. Tsk. I shall go a couple of needle sizes down, and make it a bit slimmer anyway to make up for my twig-arms. I can show you the cuff though, for that ROCKS.

I love those tucked ridges! And they're so simple, just stitches from four rows down hoiked up through the back and knit together with the new row. Definitely going to use this technique again. Hopefully it will make the fact that I have to knit the sleeve again from scratch more bearable.

This is getting to be quite a long post...

Luckily I have no photos again of the Costume show, in fact I was backstage and didn't see most of it, but in short it was an utter shambles and the director will not be invited back next year. After we had sorted out most of his disorganised messes for him, we had a ton of free time between frantic dressing sessions during which I finished a pair of socks....which I don't think I've mentioned on this blog yet...there will be photos. I am not putting a time limit on them though.

Last bit to squeeze in before I should really go to bed: I made my costume for the summer ball! In one and a half days! Yay! I can't bear to look at it too closely because in the last 2 years at uni I've been trained to be a perfectionist and there are an awful lot of cut corners, but to the untrained eye they were fantastic (ah, who am I kidding, they were fantastic anyway). This is me, my best friend and her boyfriend as the Jack, Queen and King of Hearts, in my favourite photo of the night. I have absolutely no idea who these people are but we were wandering round the site and found the ace to the eight of hearts! Love it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

UK Swap questionnaire

Eee, it's been a bit hectic the last few weeks. Hopefully at some point in the next few days I'll get to write about Scotland, and the costume show, and the summer ball, but for now I've just realised that today is the deadline for this questionnaire, or else I get kicked off the swap. God, I am so disorganised.

Part One: Crafting
Do you knit, crochet, or both?
I knit, I may learn to crochet at some point, but don’t hold your breath.
What do you like to make?
Jumpers and cardigans, socks and gloves
Do you have a favourite project?
Generally the one I cast on most recently!
Do you have a favourite type of fibre or brand of yarn?
No, I use natural fibres rather than synthetic, but I haven’t tried enough different yarns to know which is my favourite.
Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?
I like stitch definition, so I don’t like anything too textured.
Do you do any other crafts?
I sew, on the admittedly rare occasions when I can be bothered.
Do you knit in public? If so where do you like knitting and what is your "portable" project?
Sometimes, in waiting rooms and on public transport mostly, on anything small enough to fit in my bag! So socks, gloves, hats, scarves and bits of garments provided they haven’t got too big to carry yet.
What do you carry your "portable" knitting in?
At the moment just my handbag, but I’ve bought some fabric to make a proper knitting bag at some point.
Are there any knitting gifts (book, toy, yarn, item, tool) that you have been lusting over?
Barbara Walker’s stitch dictionaries, sock blockers, a yarn winder, very-pretty-but-horribly-expensive Knit Picks Harmony interchangeable needles.

Part Two: Your Favourites
What is your favourite colour?
I seem to be on a bit of a red phase at the moment. I also love all shades of blue, green and purple, rich chocolatey browns, black and white
What is your least favourite colour?
Yellow, most shades of pink and orange. Mind you, that’s just garments and accessories, when it comes to socks I’ll wear anything.
What scents/smells do you like? What don’t you like?
My favourites are fresh citrusy or floral scents. I don’t like ‘food’ scents, like chocolate and honey. Not fond of lavender either.
How do you like to pamper yourself? (bubble bath, hand creams, massage, manicure)
I don’t have a bath so most toiletries are out! When I need pampering I curl up with a good book or a good movie.
What goodies to you like to eat? (chocolate, biscuits, sweets, crisps etc)
Home baked cookies and cakes! Also milk chocolate (no nuts), and silly childish gummy, fizzy, gooey colourful things. And cheese. Though I wouldn’t really recommend posting me cheese.
Do you prefer tea or coffee while you knit? Any particular kind?
Nope, don’t drink either.
Do you listen to/watch anything while you knit? (TV show-Along, movies, music, podcasts, audiobooks)
All of the above! It is a very rare moment when I’m knitting without doing something else at the same time. Totally addicted to tv-links, am choosing to ignore its dubious legality.

Part Three: About you, Living & Past-times
If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be (and why)?
I’d be a smooth solid colour DK yarn, possibly a bit boring compared to all the fancy ones out there, but versatile enough to surprise you.
Where do you live in the UK? (General idea not address)
Have you always lived here, or did you grow up somewhere else?
I grew up in Buckinghamshire, came down to Bournemouth for university.
What is your favourite place in the UK?
Hmm, Bath maybe, tis very pretty there, plus there’s a costume museum.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
My list is way too long for this. Japan, Australia, Russia, Jordan, most of South America. Want to go back to New York and San Francisco too.
What other hobbies do you have?
Sewing and baking.

Part Four: The Theme
As part of this swap we are asking you to post (or link to) a picture or photograph you like. Your swap pal will use the photo as a basis for a themed item or parcel.
It could be of a specific item, e.g. Jellybeans, an Alpaca, a rainbow or a scene e.g. sunset, beach, woodland or anything else you can think of! Please add a few words to explain why you have chosen the photo if you think this is appropriate.It could be a photo you have taken or a picture you have found on the internet.
Please note - if the picture is not yours please ensure you seek permission from the owner before posting it on your blog. Alternatively, you can link to the original picture.

This is a photo of the beach I stayed on in Mexico in my gap year, when I was on a marine conservation project. It’s here because I love travelling, the diving was awesome (I can happily just float and watch fish for as long as my air lasts) and the colours are pretty damn cool too.

Final Part:
Any allergies/preferences (fibre-wise or treat-wise)?
I’m pretty anti-smoking, but I don’t have any allergies.
Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?
Just a hi, nice to meet you and feel free to give me a kick up the butt if I don’t update my blog regularly enough!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

101 in 1001 update: Month 1

4. Copy all music, photos and documents from my parent’s computer. Complete

Hmm. Well, nearly complete. My music is still on DVDs waiting for me to get my DVD drive fixed, but I have them with me at least.

15. Sell, donate or throw out 101 items I don’t need. 15/101

I've started the terrifying prospect of packing up my bedroom to move in a month. I can't believe how much stuff I have. Mildly worried about this. Anyhoo, have decided to celebrate the fact that I never have to design again by donating nearly all my art supplies to my Illustration-student housemates.

20. Reach 175 blog posts. 3/133

This is going to be harder than I thought. I didn't realise Blogger was saving my drafts so the 55 posts I thought I had to start with was actually only 42. Nuts. 3 posts down, 130 to go. Not the best of starts.

61. Sign up to Titletrader or Swapshop to swap old books, videos etc. Complete

Done! Signed up 3 weeks ago, 1 swap already completed.

65. Read all the books I haven’t read on my bookcase. 1/25

Read 'On Beauty' by Zadie Smith. A slow start again, especially as I'd already read a third of this book. Not a bad read though, albeit not my usual choice.

66. Read the entire works of Shakespeare. 1/45

Read 'Two Gentlemen of Verona'. Didn't like it. Proteus is an arsehole and Valentine is a doormat.

58. Go to the cinema at least once a month, even if it means going on my own. I suck. Although to be fair there were only about 3 days when I could have gone the cinema this month. Rubbish excuse, I know.

91. Wear a skirt at least once a week. 3/143

Um, nearly. Looked a little like Chewbacca for the first week though, thought it sensible to remain in trousers til I had time to wax.

95. Buy from a local butcher/grocer/market instead of the supermarket once a month. 1/33
82. Try a new food every month. 1/33
Yes! I can now proudly say that I've eaten water buffalo and ostrich. In Scotland. Where they are native to the land, obviously. Also cooked rhubarb from the farmers' market, which isn't really new to me, but I've never cooked it myself before. the coursework for the lack of progress here. And the holiday in Scotland. And the costume show. Maybe May wasn't the best month to start.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Today I am pimping

I like pimping, I get to wear the nattiest outfits. I think I look good in floor length purple coats and dalmation print hats. Oh, and a silver topped pimp cane, naturally.

Today, my trusty ho's (hos? hoes? how the hell do you spell that?) and I are promoting the UK Swap - Ravelry link here, normal blog link here. It's a swap (duh) for people in the UK (duh) for the sole purpose of swapping pretty pretty surprise presents with someone else in the UK for no good reason whatsoever! Because, seriously, when does yarn need a reason? It runs over the summer - til the beginning of September - signups have just opened and close on the second of June.

Of course, I am horribly, horribly mercenary and I'm only pimping this because there's a pimp the swap competition and I WANT THAT YARN. So, if you sign up, or even if you go look at the blog and decide not to, tell them I sent you and aid me in my pointless acquisition of more yarn I have no room for.

In other news, I'm leaving for Scotland to see the parenticals. I haven't seen my mother since January and I'm flying so I only have a small suitcase to fill. I'm currently struggling to decide which of my 5 new projects, 3 new magazines, 5 new books and gazillion bags of yarn she would be more excited about seeing. (OK fine, which of them I'd be more excited about showing off)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Aaaahahahaha. Four and a half months of freedom is MINE

I handed in my last project of second year this morning. Oh Thank God. It's about time, I think I was ever so slightly losing my mind by the end of it.

I suddenly ran out of ink at half past 6 last night, halfway through printing my workbook. There followed much high pitched swearing as I searched every inch of my room for the spare black cartridge I just knew I had, more high pitched swearing while frantically signing on to the internet to find the closing time of Staples, a fair bit of screaming and flailing at the less than efficient modem with the nearest thing that wasn't attached to the wall (a fold-up Christmas tree), and then more high pitching swearing, because I had found that I still had enough time to get to Staples but by that point the swearing had become a comforting thing.

Then I left the house. I got approximately halfway to the bus stop before I realised I had no money to buy ink. I don't mean that I picked up my purse without checking I had any cash,or picked up my bag without my purse in it. No. I left the house without my bag. I even went into my purse to get the bus fare, then put it back and left. Seriously, what?? Was an honest, hardworking life getting to me so much that I was subconciously planning to rob Staples?

It's possibly time for some proper sleep.

Today I need to go down to Sewing World and rip them a new one because my sewing machine is broken again. Ugh. I don't want to leave the house. My sewing machine is heavy and it's raining. Bah. The 2 weeks of beautiful sunshine I was stuck inside for has definitely disappeared now, it is crappy and English again. On the plus side, I don't get quite so many odd looks for knitting a jumper.

Ah yes, I'm knitting a jumper.

This is the Cathay Ribbed Pullover I swatched for at the beginning of the year. I'm about two thirds of the way up the back now, so I should be finished next month, in time to go cavorting with sheep in the lake district. I try to conceal most of my excitement about this because it is unseemly for mature, well brought up young ladies to squeal.

Monday, May 05, 2008

101 in 1001

I think my list making has reached obsession.

Jumping on the latest of many bandwagons, 101 in 1001 is from Day Zero and gives me longer than a year to complete all those super important new years resolutions that never get done in time, plus a bunch of random bollocks just for the sake of it. Feel free to take bets on how long it takes me to give up/forget about it.

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Start date: May 5th, 2008
End date: January 31, 2011 (Yes, I engineered it to finish on my 25th birthday. Told you I was getting obsessive.)

So, starting off in categories and ending in a jumble when I got bored, here is my 101 in 1001:

1. Sort out my tax refund.
2. Fill out my student loan application for next year.
3. Get some costume work experience.
4. Copy all music, photos and documents from my parent’s computer.
5. Get the CD drive on my laptop fixed.
6. Get my favourite digital photos printed out and put into frames and albums.
7. Graduate from university.
8. Find a costume related job.
9. Find a flat in London with Laz.
10. Decorate bedroom of flat.
11. Decorate living room of flat.
12. Change all light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs.
13. Learn enough basic DIY not to get ripped off by repairmen.
14. Get everyone’s phone numbers and addresses into an address book.
15. Sell, donate or throw out 101 items I don’t need.
16. Give blood.
17. Start a savings account to take a second gap year, save at least £3000.
18. Start learning Spanish again.
19. Revamp my blog layout.
20. Reach 175 blog posts.
21. Put up a free pattern on my blog.
22. Submit a pattern to
23. Teach someone to knit.
24. Knit 12 garments.
25. Finish my hibernating jumpers.
26. Learn to knit continental.
27. Learn to knit Fair Isle.
28. Learn 3 new sock knitting techniques.
29. Go to the Bournemouth and Poole Stitch’n’Bitch at least once.
30. Do something with my yarn leftovers.
31. Make all my Christmas presents one year.
32. Learn to crochet.
33. Dye enough yarn for one project.
34. Spin enough yarn for one project.
35. Make a needle roll.
36. Sew my entire fabric stash.
37. Stop putting off my pile of clothes to be repaired.
38. Make a dress to wear to Nancy and Olly’s wedding.
39. Make a trench coat from my own pattern.
40. Make a corset from my own pattern.
41. Make a handbag or knitting bag.
42. Make myself a costume for each Hallowe’en and Summer Ball.
43. Do 4 beading or embroidery projects.
44. Grow a pot of basil.
45. Have a barbecue (don’t rely on the manly men to do the cooking)
46. Go to a concert or festival.
47. Get a decent haircut.
48. Make vodka jelly.
49. Sing karaoke.
50. Learn 3 card games.
51. Make 5 birthday cakes.
52. Go out to eat 4 times a year.
53. Go to see an opera.
54. Get a manicure.
55. Learn to hula-hoop.
56. Swim in the sea at Bournemouth beach.
57. Meet Jack for lunch.
58. Go to the cinema at least once a month, even if it means going on my own.
59. Play Poohsticks.
60. Go diving again.
61. Sign up to Titletrader or Swapshop to swap old books, videos etc.
62. Find a nice pair of summer shoes I will actually wear.
63. Make a curry from scratch.
64. Have a picnic on the beach.
65. Read all the books I haven’t read on my bookcase.
66. Read the entire works of Shakespeare.
67. Get a pedicure.
68. Buy myself a bunch of flowers for no reason.
69. Learn to ride a bike (Again. Yes, it is possible to forget.)
70. Carve a pumpkin.
71. Take a train up to Scotland.
72. Take a train out of the country.
73. Go swimming regularly in the summer holidays; attempt to keep it up when I go back to uni.
74. Host a dinner party.
75. See a sunset and a sunrise in the same day.
76. Give my number to a cute stranger. (Ha. Yeah right.)
77. Go to the park and feed the ducks.
78. Go to Bournemouth Oceanarium.
79. Go to Go Ape.
80. Go out on New Year’s Eve instead of going to a houseparty.
81. Start dancing again.
82. Try a new food every month.
83. Finish playing Zelda on the N64 (Pfft, who needs new fangled gadgetry)
84. See Shakespeare performed in Stratford-upon-Avon.
85. Build an awesome sandcastle.
86. Run for breast cancer. Or walk.
87. Get in contact and meet up with an old friend.
88. Go to Gala Bingo.
89. See a West End musical.
90. Find out something about my Mum’s side of the family tree.
91. Wear a skirt at least once a week.
92. Keep up a proper skincare routine.
93. Watch the Wizard of Oz while listening to the Dark Side of the Moon. Defy convention by not being stoned at the time.
94. Go to 5 different museums or galleries.
95. Buy from a local butcher/grocer/market instead of the supermarket once a month.
96. Left open for 2009
97. Left open for 2009
98. Left open for 2009
99. Left open for 2010
100. Left open for 2010
101. Left open for 2010

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Season appropriate accesories need not apply

Only 4 days later, not half bad.

I have finished that sodding project report, I'm now procrastinating when I should be writing my essay. Plus, its a bright sunshiney day, so obviously the perfect time for me to take photos of myself in knitwear. Hmm.

I finished off my chocolate chip mittens. Actually I finished these in Kentucky, and they have been getting much wear, but I only sewed the buttons on two days ago. I like the buttons, they stop the tops flapping about like...annoying flappy things. Not feeling at my wittiest today.

I also just wove in my ends for Quant, made from a surprise single skein of handspun that my Mum posted along with the usual package of things I forgot and left at home when I went back to uni. I'm not entirely convinced about this one. Not sure headbands suit me. Mind you, I need a haircut and I'm toying with the idea of a fringe, maybe it'll look better with less forehead on show.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dapper gentlemen, drunk Americans and the best golf course ever

Apologies for the entire lack of Kentucky update, I have been mildly frantic for the past fortnight getting ready for this fitting.

Yes, all the boys in the Arts Institute are this skinny. Have to say, I love Victorian trousers. You can't see beneath the waistcoat, but they practically come up to his nipples. It's so funny to see guys who are used to baggy hipsters coming out of the fitting room with the waistband where they think it should be and the crotch around their knees. Of course,doing a WHITE SUIT! AGAIN! doesn't make for very exciting photos. Dang.

So, Kentucky. Hmm. I have to submit a 2500 word report on my experiences there in a week and I'm kinda struggling to write it. Yes, I made loads of friends, and yes I bought lots of yarn, and yes, I slaughtered everyone at poker (the first time at least,they got their own back for my beginner's luck after that), but I don't think that really makes degree worthy writing. As for what I meant to be doing, it sort of dissolved as soon as I arrived. The play I was supposedly woking on was contmporary and the applique adjustments I was supposedly going to making on the bought clothes ended up being professionally printed instead. Nuts. I spent most of my time learning beading and embroidery (no help whatsoever to Kentucky, just to me) and taking up hems for people.

I'm not complaining, I had an awesome time. I actually had more of a social life in the last 3 weeks there than I have in a whole year here (if only because i don't have enough free time in Bournemouth). I learnt the quaint tradition of beer pong, got addicted to Rock Band on the Xbox and went to Keeneland racetrack on my last day, where I didn't win anything, but one of my friends won $780 and spent the rest of the day in a bit of a daze. I met some of the best people in the world there and I wouldn't change it for anything, but it does make the follow-up written work a little tricky.
I've been doing a fair bit of knitting (read: procrastinating) recently - mostly on 50 million different projects, but I have a couple more FOs once I've woven ends in and sewn on buttons. Of course, I should have realised by now that promising photos in the next post means the next post won't appear for about a month. So, you may see my gloves in early June. Lucky, lucky blog.

P.S. Went out for pub golf for my housemates' birthday last week. Baked them the best cake in the world. Ah, I am the Sultan of Smug.