So long, and thanks for all the fish

October 31, 2008 at 8:38 pm (Life, Travelling)

I’ve been a little quiet (aka stressed about things outside the realm of this blog) – but as most of you will know I am leaving this cold and pleasant land behind for a while . . . Central America, baby!

There is a new blog to mark the occasion, and it’s here:

Check it out, spread the word . . . and if you know where in Guatemala the really good weaving classes are at, let me know.

I’ll get back to posting here when I come back, which is currently supposed to be the end of March, but who knows . . .


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I feel inferior.

October 10, 2008 at 12:29 am (Knitting) (, , )

Look at this:

This boy didn’t know how to knit ten days ago. And now? He’s making a hat! With ribbing and stripes and increases and decreases and . . . he can purl English! I can’t.

Pattern details (because I am obsessive like that, and he’s not on ravelry . . . yet!):

Pattern: Turn a Square by Jared Flood (aka brooklyntweed)
Yarn: Mirasol Miski (mmmh, baby llama!)
Needles: 5 mm dpns (mine, though I’m not expecting to see them again)
Cast on: during Sunderland v Arsenal, 4 October 2008
Cast off: disturbingly soon, I’m sure.

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Knitter’s Geek Code

October 8, 2008 at 10:45 pm (Knitting, Life) (, )

Someone mentioned this in the GeekCraft forum recently, so I re-did mine – and here it is:


Version: 1.1

KCR++ Exp+ SPM++ Steel ++@ Opt++@ Wood(+) Lux++ Wool++ Cot+ !Nov Stash++ Scale+ Fin-@ Ent FI+>++ Int- Tex+ Lace++ Felt+ Circ++ DPN++ ML– Swatch@ KIP+++ Blog SNB+ EZ+ FO++ WIP++ GaugeF+ AltCr-QXEmSw-Sp


Obligatory linkies for people who don’t know what I’m talking about: Knitter’s Geek Code and the Original Geek Code (mine would be boring . . . and full of >s).

In other exciting news, I am now in my new house . . . for the next three and a bit weeks, anyway. I really have to stop moving all my worldly possessions by public transport though. The Central Line at rush hour? Not such a good location for the giant monster suitcase.

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I am moving again . . .

October 8, 2008 at 12:43 pm (Knitting, Life) (, , )

. . . in about three hours, to be precise.

So, how did this happen?

Pretty, though, isn’t it? It’s the Hanami Stole in Yarn Addict Merino Lace. Mmmh!

Err, back to packing now!

I’m moving to Shepherd’s Bush / Acton, by the way – having done east (Forest Gate), south (Lewisham) and north (Finsbury Park) London, it’s time to go west!

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October 4, 2008 at 12:31 am (Knitting) (, , )

I made progress bars! Completely without any help from my tech support! Many thanks to Yarn Tomato though, who wrote a great, idiot-friendly description on how to do it.

I know there is a ravelry widget, but it’s not supported by (as opposed to wordpress hosted by yourself).

It’s kind of scared – and hopefully motivated – me to put all my projects down though . . . only a month to go!

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Uh oh.

October 2, 2008 at 3:06 am (Quilting) (, , )

It would appear that I have possibly acquired a new hobby.

Involves thread of some variety? Check.

Time-consuming? Check.

Generally regarded as uncool? Check. (maybe knitting is getting too mainstream? πŸ˜‰ )

Potential for stash acquisition and project planning that exceeds my probably life expectancy? Check.

The fabric in the photo is from a cute little tin box I bought when I visited the Quilt Museum in York when I was there for Chris and Jo’s wedding. There are 35 charm squares, and they are meant to make a little quilt with appliqued flowers on it. Sod that. I’m going to make a bag . . . or at least attempt one. I should point out that I have no pattern, no quilting book (and the web is woefully uninformative) and no sewing machine. I’m hand piecing, with the English paper method. This is clearly the way madness lies. (Although it may be a potential back up plan for my flight to San Francisco, if they take my (wooden) knitting needles off me.)

(You may also want to note the timing of this post. It’s 3 a.m., and I have to be at my horrendous soul-destroying temp job in 6 hours.)

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I’ve been spreading the wool . . . erm, word

October 2, 2008 at 12:45 am (Knitting, Life) (, , , , )

I went to Cambridge at the weekend to see some friends of mine, including a baby! yay! – The socks weren’t finished in time so I put an unfinished one on her with the pretext that I wanted to check it for size. Yeah.

None of us was feeling particularly energetic on Friday night, so I got the yarn out again:

I originally taught my alpaca friend (who requested to remain anonymous) a few months ago; he’s really got the hang of it, although he does have a tendency to apparently abandon his knitting motion halfway through and somehow simply transfer the stitch from the left needle to the right, which then confuses him no end. Ali (the human) is a knitter-in-waiting – a perfectionist with a great taste in yarn. Irritatingly, English came much more naturally to him than Continental. And then there’s me in the middle with my second Bay sock (still undecided which bay to name them after).

Please excuse the greasy hair and the nasty acrylic. The sort of photos I would really like to shoot are more like Franklin’s . . . πŸ˜‰

Ali is also a talented bass player:

I would post about my WIPs, but there are so so many of them at the moment that I think I’ll wait until some of them are actually finished, or at least photographed. You can look forward to something like three pairs of socks, two hats, two pairs of gloves (one with fingers, one without), some baby items, a jumper and as many hats for Innocent smoothies as I can get done before the deadline.

I also have the longest To Do List ever – all the stuff that needs to be done before I go away. Sometimes being an obsessive compulsive perfectionist ΓΌber-organizer really really sucks. I wish I could just casually stuff random things in my backpack the day before I go and not worry about anything . . . but no. I have a spreadsheet with multiple columns, and different versions of my To Do list organised by different criteria. I’m not joking. When I’m all done I’ll post my Ultimate Pack List (TM).

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I Aten’t Dead

September 25, 2008 at 11:11 pm (Life)

Just busy. Lots of stuff has happened . . .

  • I moved back to the proper side of the river, with a proper local football team πŸ™‚
  • I started the world’s most boring temp job (I don’t have access to a computer! suggestions for alternative entertainment are welcome; so far I’ve managed to read newspapers and I’m busy teaching myself Spanish again).
  • I had a birthday! No yarn was purchased, but patterns for Hanami and Millicent (both of which I already have yarn for).
  • Much knitting, mostly of socks and gloves (photos to follow).
  • I was on the radio! I very briefly got to tell Richard Bacon that I was knitting mittens (actually they are fingerless gloves) at 1 a.m. on Five Live. I’m becoming quite a media slut πŸ˜‰
  • I waited at a traffic light on Knightsbridge next to Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame. (I am way too British to ask for an autograph though!)
  • and most importantly . . . I have flight tickets! Woooo! Off to San Francisco on 3rd November, back from New York on 26th March, with plenty of “wintering in the Caribbean” (as I like to call it) in between.

I will try to be better at blogging . . .

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September 8, 2008 at 9:32 pm (Life) ()

Got up at 9, went to bed at 2.
Inbetween, turned this:

into this:

Phew. I would like to announce publicly that Ed is awesome.

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Knitters’ Paradise

September 6, 2008 at 10:35 pm (Knitting) (, , , , , )

Warning: long and picture-heavy post!

Saturday was iKnit Day. A one-off opportunity to blow the reimbursement for my season ticket, escape packing for the day and . . . drum roll . . . to see the Yarn Harlot in her first ever UK appearance. If you don’t know who she is, you’re probably not a knitter. She’s kind of a big deal.

So I braved the rain, and the weird geography of odd bits of Westminster I’d never see before, and finally found the Horticultural Hall, aka the Land of Yarny Goodness. It was amazing. I stroked everything (except the angora bunny, which wasn’t supposed to be stroked). I saw people I knew in real life, and even more people who I recognised from ravelry, and I made some new friends.

I also spread the word of Kauni, because I wore this:



(Sadly I don’t have a better picture, because it’s now gone into storage, but edited: not Tournesol – someone with a similar name! please tell me who you are! took one without me noticing, and it’s here.)

Within half an hour of arriving about five different people had asked me if it was Kauni. Now, I’m all in favour of social interaction, but I do like a bit of variety – so I MacGyvered an explanatory label out of a bit of programme and a hairgrip: [photo to follow . . .]. It kind of had the desired effect – I ended up with lots of people telling me they liked my label instead πŸ˜‰ But seriously . . . next year I’m taking a suitcase full of Kauni, and making a profit!

Yarn was purchased – the IRMT, where I’d just finished my internship, gave me back the money for a months’ season ticket. In cash. That basically made it free money . . . and these were my spoils (plus Β£5 spent on raffle tickets for the Mirasol Project):

Clockwise from top: The Knittery Merino Cashmere Sock Yarn in ‘Water Lilies’, Knitwitches 100% Cashmere Heavy Laceweight in ‘Northern Hills’ (which I took out of someone’s hand to admire the colours and never gave back – I still don’t know her name . . .), Pagewood Farm Yukon (merino & bamboo) sock yarn in “Bird of Paradise”, two skeins of Coldharbour Mill Merino 4ply (100% Merino! Water Wheel Spun! Β£4.99!) which will become knee high socks, and 100g merino roving in “Rio” from Limegreenjelly . . . who was so lovely that I bought roving even though I said I wouldn’t! (My spindle has gone into storage too. Boo.)

We all went out into the pouring rain to queue across the road for the Yarn Harlot. This was special. Everyone found a seat and got their knitting out.

No wondering if it was appropriate, no stares (other than “ooh, is that Rowan?”) – it was beautiful. (And yes, that rust-coloured yarn next to me is Rowan.) And the Yarn Harlot?

She was amazing. She had me crying with laughter. One of my favourite bits, though, came when she was complaining about the price of CrackSilk Haze in Canada.
“We pay twenty-five dollars!”
Audience: [sharp intake of breath]
“I mean, how much is it over here?”
Audience: “Seven twenty-five!”
We’re not addicts. I promise.

Back to the other hall to queue for book signings . . . man, she is popular. You have no idea.

(The girl with the short hair and the orange sock? She’s the one whose lace weight I, umm, stole. She didn’t really want it though.)

People queued for hours! Luckily we all knit, so we queue *productively*. (Although I did nearly garrote myself with a skein of Summer Tweed I had hanging round my neck while winding it.) Then it was my turn, and I grinned like the inane fan girl that I am. Because – and check this out – I. Made. The. Yarn. Harlot. Laugh. Here she is, most popular knitting humour author of all times, a blog that’s read by tens of thousands of people, everyone has just *paid* to see her – and I made her laugh. Because I have a note pinned to my shawl that says “Yes! It’s Kauni!” I am awesome. Here is the proof, by the way – scroll down until you see bright colours. I also got the obligatory picture of her with a sock-in-progress. Except . . . I didn’t have a sock in progress, but I will soon πŸ˜‰

Then there was more fondling of fluff (I resisted the merino-and-silk roving and the baby alpaca . . .), and aliens, and catwalk shows, and silliness . . . until Camille and I staggered out into the rain in search of football and food, both of which we found. Thus ends the happy day (except the football – we left at half-time because it was too dire).

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