Friday, January 25, 2008

So, stress causes ulcers huh?

Well I have a mouth full of the buggers. Seriously, I can't move my tongue without finding a new one. It ain't pretty. I spent most of the week wanting to batter my head against a wall until either my head or the wall broke, and I didn't much care which.

Anyhoo, these photos are from the toile fitting, over a week ago, before the nightmare started. At this point things were going well. Give it a couple of days and it'll be going well again. I have to keep telling myself this or I will throw my sewing machine out of the window and I quite like my sewing machine if I stop and think about it. Quite like my window too.

My model likes it at least, it's 'swishy' apparently. You can't see the pleats in the photo, but yes, they do swish. He's not overly keen on the breeches (can't imagine why), but he has already announced plans to steal the shirt.
I have until next Wednesday for my final fitting, which means all the garments done in proper fabric, finished apart from hems and fastenings. It's now half past midnight on Friday and I'm taking a break from sewing 18 metres of ribbon and eyelash yarn onto the front of my waistcoat. It really is as fun as it sounds, and according to my schedule I should have finished it on Tuesday. I love my degree I love my degree I love my degree.
Knitting wise, in the two whole minutes of free time I have had, I frogged Pomatomus because it is a silly, silly pattern and I dislike it. Alternatively, I made the catastrophic mistake of attempting to knit it without stitch markers in front of Torchwood. I cannot keep track of where to decrease when there are dashing young men kissing each other on my television screen. I would have restarted, but I only have one set of those needles and as soon as the sock was off my half finished mitten went back on. I have completed half of one mitten flap in the last fortnight. University deadlines do not make for exciting knitting progress. Oh well, next time maybe.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Swatches galore (I'm a good girl)

Three fabulous things about this week:

1. All my bits work properly again

Blood test results No. 3 came back on Wednesday and I have a healthy, happy liver again, ready for me to re-poison it for my birthday.

2. I am off to the Land of Fried Chicken

I'm back at university now and I've got a 3 week extension on the deadline. It will overlap with the next project so I'm not sure how that's going to pan out, but I'm ahead of schedule for my toile fitting next week. Worryingly the costume more or less fits me. Aside from arms down to his knees and legs up to his armpits, Francis is the same size as me. Poor boy needs to eat more. Best of all, I can still go to America :D Cincinnati is off, since the contact we had there has just resigned, but my tutor is now looking into sending me to Kentucky. Equally exciting I'm sure.

3. I picked up my needles again

Most important part, of course. This is the first half repeat of Pomatomus. It's touch and go whether I'll contine with this, I might do a few more rows and decide it's really the wrong pattern for this yarn, the YOs do look a bit huge.

And this is my new little goody-two-shoes pile of gauge swatches.

The grey one I did after Christmas with Jaeger merino for this jacket, provided I have enough once I've done all the maths. The purple and red I just did this evening while watching Dexter online. Ah, nothing like a friendly serial killer to bring out the domestic goddess in you. The purple is one of the handspuns from my Mum, and is destined for this, again, depending on re-mathing the pattern. The red is new Debbie Bliss Cathay which was on sale and will eventually become this. Now it just remains to be seen whether I actually find time to make the garments or whether I'm just left proudly waving my little squares.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Roundup of 2007

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
Worked in a bar, span fire poi, hosted an Ann Summers party (so much fun), threw up due to excess of alcohol (damned dodgy liver), went to a funeral.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No, the few times I remembered I wanted to give blood I wasn’t allowed to because my blood was sullied, and I gave up on juggling ages ago.
Resolutions for 2008: Go to the cinema/theatre more often, cook more fresh food instead of throwing crap from the freezer into the oven, give blood, getting some sewing done in my own time, not just at uni.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandma on my Dad’s side, aged 91.

5. What countries did you visit?
The Netherlands, Scotland.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
Boundless energy. What the hell happened to my ability to be up and out of the house before any of my housemates emerged?

7. What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I can’t think of one, so I guess there isn’t one. It hasn’t been a very memorable year.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Leaving my job in the hotel and going home for the rest of the summer. That doesn’t seem like a very big thing, but that was the moment when I realised I had to listen to myself and actually live instead of just exist, stop feeling like a failure for being unhappy and do something about it instead.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Giving someone too many second chances that he didn’t deserve or appreciate.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Glandular fever, which disappeared amazingly quickly, but left my liver in a bit of a state.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new boots! They are gorgeous! Even though they still squeak.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Practically ALL my friends from school who now have proper grown-up jobs. I am so behind. *sigh*

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Mine. See question 9.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent I guess. How thrilling.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going on holiday with my friends in Easter – Amsterdam followed by the British Juggling Convention.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Oh God, that bloody umbrella song.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Hmm. Sadder, but optimistic.
ii. thinner or fatter?
I’m not sure. Every time I go home my Mum says ‘You’ve put on weight’ or ‘You’ve lost weight’ but I never notice myself.
iii. richer or poorer?
Richer, did a good job of saving my wages for this summer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Going out. At this rate I’m going to miss my 3 year clubbing window before I have to start working for a living.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Sleeping. I love my lie-ins, but I do regret them when I don’t have enough day left.

20. How will you be spending/did you spend Christmas?
In Scotland with the family, where there was tragically no snow.

21. How will you be spending/did you spend New Year's Eve?
House party at Alix’s in the party central of Chinnor! Oh Yeeeaaaah!!

22. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
21, didn’t actually do anything on my birthday due to lovely deadlines, but went out every night the week after, then went home and saw the Lion King with my parents. Top notch.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

24. What was the best book you read?
The Time Traveller’s Wife

26. What was your favorite film of this year?
I’d say Pan’s Labyrinth, but that was a late showing of a film that came out last year, so Atonement.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I don’t give half an arse about music. I went to see the Lion King for my birthday, does that count? It’s a musical…

27. What did you want and get?
Adoring fans and sweet sweet revenge. No? Ok, a job in Sound Circus.

28. What are you looking forward to in 2008?
International study exchange to America. If it actually happens. Cross your fingers.

29. Did you fall in love in 2007?

30. How many one-night stands?

31. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I’ve struggled with this one, but no, more regret and annoyance that we can’t be friends anymore.

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not losing all my energy! Damn glandular fever.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Jeans and cartoon tshirts.

34. What kept you sane?
People around to make me smile.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
James McAvoy, for he is beautiful. Mmmm

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Err……I can’t think of anything. I am sadly behind on the news.

37. Who did you miss?
All my friends at home while I was attempting to be ‘independent’ over the summer.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
The new friends I’ve made since starting my job in Sound Circus

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007:
I am way too young to settle for a life that isn’t making me happy. If its not perfect, don’t wait for it to change. I wish I’d figured this out sooner.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
'I’m not in love, I just wanna be touched.' I say. Ok, I admit, this was just playing on the radio while I was filling in the quiz.

Hmm. Looking back on this quiz it seems like I've had a pretty bad year. I haven't, honest. Just perhaps not as good as 2006.

A week into 2008 and I still haven't knit a single stitch.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy new year (eventually)

I'm not entirely sure why I've disappeared for a month. Again. Well, to be fair I initially vanished because I was only doing secret Christmas knitting, and then we went up to Scotland for Christmas, where we have no internet connection. But then I ran out of excuses. Oh well.

Christmas in Scotland was lovely, despite the lack of internet and mobile phone (itching for gossip a little by the end of the week I have to admit. My parents are retiring and fleeing north in a month, selling the 'proper' house and moving into the holiday home, so there was a lot of getting rid of old junk which I managed to avoid by hiding in my bedrom doing very last minute secret knitting. Bwah hah hah. All the gourmet food coming out of the kitchen was provided by Jack, who is training to be a chef and spent the week spoiling us on haddock chowder, roast venison and the like. Of course, he did need help with the piece de resistance. No way he could have pulled off this masterpiece on his own:

And here we have our lovely beach, complete with cliff, ruined church and girl showing off in hand-knitted hat and scarf. I may need a haircut.

My knitted Christmas presents were a huge successes (hurrah), despite my Dad casually mentioning 2 days before Christmas that he didn't really like knitted socks and managing not to notice my horrified facial expression. He did change his mind though and wore them quite a lot as walking socks, with thin shopbought ones underneath.

They went with my star find from ebay, a Meccano set that is even older than he is :P

Mum also got hand-knitted socks, recieved very excitedly (she bounced, seriously), but I stupidly didn't take a photo ad they were left in Scotland. Bah. Hopefully I'll get a photo off her in about a month.
I got spoiled by the ma with a boxfull of handspun yarny goodness.

This one is more purple than it looks and is possibly destined for some kind of shrug or bolero.

This one (which I have more of) is a more accurate photo and I have no idea what I will knit with it. But it will be mgnificent, I can assure you.

I shall leave you with the more...interesting presents left by Santa, the thing I never expected to unwrap but made my day. Well chuffed with these :D

This is from my friend Kerri, came from Ghana, and is likely to terrify me when I wake up in the middle of the night and forget about it.

These ones on the other hand, terrify my mum instead. Lucy knows me too well. I love my new FootBobs.

Happy 2008 everyone!