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.