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.