Harumph and Hoorah!

Ok, a couple of little tales to tell today…
1) The Harumph.
My Brittany 4.5mm needles from Minneapolis have split. I’m in mourning for them, as they were so comfy to work with 🙁 And the poorly one is seriously split from the point in a straight line up the centre – so bizarre! Has anyone else seen this in their Brittanys?
I’m going to have to look for another pair now, as 4.5 are probably my most size apart from the sock ones… Harumph? Harumph indeed.
2) Hoorah A
I’ve been named a Rockin’ Girl Blogger by BlueADT, who herself indeed rocks. She has the best sock yarn ever, and shares many Coldspring lovely finds yum yum. She was very very lovely about me, but she is lovely too so there 🙂 I’m a bit thick at this, but I believe I’ll need to tag some more people? I must also add that I do indeed rock, as last night I was at the gym (is it me or has Homer Simpson completely altered the pronunciation of gym? :D), busy knackering myself out, listening to (amongst others) Goldfrapp, Interpol (I so wish I could see them at Reading/Leeds, oh my they are on BBC3 as I type and ooooooooh, they are lovely, especially Carlos), Beth Orton (the extended version of Carmella is fab for the treadmill – by the time the track is finished, you are too :D), Gonzales, the Editors and the Amps. I rocked out 🙂 I will label other people who rock imminently…
3) Hoorah B
The eagerly anticipated (by Facebookers) information about something that occurred earlier this week. Monday I found out I had an internal interview for a post in one of the subject teams. The interview was Wednesday. I spent the whole time from Monday to Wednesday in a nervous panic. Weds I went into the interview with an empty belly and horrific nerves, and managed to calm myself enough to get through in one piece, be enthusiastic, joke, and have as lovely a time as I could in an interview, however informal or formal! And, funnily enough, I landed the job 🙂
I’ll be starting on the 3rd, working half my hours on lending still, with the other half spent in the subject team (they look after a huge range of subjects – applied sciences, art and design, computing and engineering, hospitality and tourism). It is a temporary post, for a year, but it could lead to all kinds of good things, including enough experience to apply for more senior posts at the end of it. It is a FAB opportunity to gather experience in all the cool things librarians do, with an amazing team including two of my mates. And I’ll have a pink chair, which is obviously very important.
So I’m feeling quite pleased with myself 😉 Oh, and DB is going to have a paper published too 😀 Hoorah!
Naturally after all this, I’ve done very little knitting, and half had the most exhausting week ever ever. Tonight will be wine, a little baby knitting, and Reading/Leeds (which disturbs me – festival goers now seem far too clean and ‘trendy’ compared to 10 years ago :S Oooh Kate Moss and Peaches Geldof have a lot to answer for. No Top Shop gear in sight in my day! 😉 ).
On this note I’ll go and wait for something a bit more interesting than the Gossip on the tv. Ooo! The new series of the IT Crowd starts tonight 😀 Yay! What a perfect week! 🙂

Stash attack!

Oh, and also, my RHJ is finished! Anyone care to find me a nice simple dark toned shawl pin to fasten it?
It is an awful photo – the mirror is dustier than dust, and the only way to get a decent shot of yourself is to cover the collar with the camera in the mirror view! Many apologies for that. You know, in spite of the trouble, and in spite of the pattern errors, and in spite of the horrors of the almost run out of yarn, and in spite of the way the lace has gone a bit weird and ruffles up (I don’t know if that was my blocking or because the yarn is a bit fuzzy and doesn’t really provide much definition), I am utterly in love with this cardi. I used up ALL the Knit Picks Andean Silk for this. ALL of it. There was literally nothing left except the bits I clipped off from weaving in. This cardi should never have worked. You guys were mainly against knitting it, the pattern has caused so many problems for its knitters that they have had to construct a way of making it work, and the fit and style of it was never really something that would be appropriate for my body shape and size, but in the end it is comfy, warm, soft and cosy, and the collar adds such a lovely point of interest. I wanted something I could wear at work in the winter, and that would be something I could snuggle into when the chills set in, and it will do exactly that, with just that little bit of elegance. I’m happy. And as I say, I just need that shawl pin now! Pavi yarns have some lovely ones, so there may be even more spending before pay day comes!
One last thing – I’ve updated my projects list to be a little more accurate… It is scary. Be warned. 3 pairs of socks, one bag, one blanket, a baby cardi, and several things on hold. Just a couple of little things to finish and I’ll let myself start Wispy again. I really really really really need something a little more challenging than garter and stocking stitch right now though 🙁 I’m boring myself. If I finish the bag and the baby cardi next that would be great! I switched my Monkeys to Poms, by the way, as I had a brain wave and realised that the Poms have more sts so the pooling would probably be a bit less and more like striping. So far it looks like it is working. Expect more finished stuff for next weekend. She says, crossing her fingers.
[edited to add] Oops! The top yarn is Natural Dye Studio Mirage (a merino tencel blend) in Aqua Lime 🙂 Can you believe that even now I am considering buying more sock yarn? I don’t have enough solids, and in spite of my tirade against Colinette Jitterbug, I am seriously considering investing in some of the nearly solid yarn… I’ll be good and not spend yet though…

What a day!

Well, after all those post titles that were extremely daft and silly, I felt the need to talk sense again.
I had the maddest Monday ever. I start early for work this week, so of course there was no bus to be seen, no parcel at the post office again (I left my mobile number), and no time to have a relaxed breakfast before work. Then there was all kinds of mess at work including a panic to submit something with a deadline which I had completed over the weekend, emailed to myself but neither hotmail nor workmail were working (I had a printed copy, but I would have to type it all in again and proofread it). Luckily both mails came back up mid morning, and so saved me the trouble. Then a phone call where my parcel was finally discovered on a shelf, and the wrong info was on my card from the postie. Then a rushed trip to the post office for the 4th time, a queue of 20 mins, a rush to buy lunch at Boots, and a rushed lunch at my desk in the last ten mins of my break. Then a headachy afternoon, with some more rushing, a trip to the docs, where, funnily enough, I was told my blood pressure was ‘up a bit’. No surprise there then! I have to go back to make sure it is back down in a few weeks, and stay off the carbs in the meantime (there goes my beloved jacket potato lunch), so I cunningly had a very naughty last supper of bagels with cream cheese 😉 (and some steamed veg incidentally – I’m not that bad. Mmmm asparagus…). I shouldn’t be eating bagels anyway, but there you go!
BUT, there was a saving grace. The parcel. As I suspected, it was from my Sockapaloooza pal! And it was SO worth the wait, and the blood pressure and the angst. Here is what greated me when I finally had the time and space to open and enjoy it 🙂
I’m not kidding. These socks saved my life today. They are beautiful, and soft, and the stitches are perfectly formed, and the yarn is beautiful, and the pattern is one of my faves from Favorite Socks too (remember my failed attempts at holiday knitting in Italy? Maryann, my spoiler, had the same issues with varigated yarn at first too, and went for a solid in the end). Yum. The little bags are so cute! And inside the little bags, nothing but things designed for me – KnitPicks needles for socks 😀 and KnitPicks Gloss in a gorgeous choccy brown yumminess. Yum yum yum. That’s all I can say!
Maryann, you completely made my day today. It was meant to be that I didn’t get that parcel till I was having a rubbish day. You have really spoiled me 🙂


Ok, maybe I won’t have quite enough yarn for the collar :S There is about 35g left over, from 3 and a half 50g balls. Eek!
Time for a two point action plan:
1) I’ll knit until I’ve got about a metre or so of yarn left, which should be enough to sew the collar on.
2) I’ll block this thing out as best I can in the hopes that it will stretch enough to fit into the neckline. Luckily, because of the curve of the short rows and the lace, it is quite stretchy and accomodating. My original calculations before I wrote the post had about 42″ of neck line and 22″ of collar, but when I put the two together, the collar went much further, albeit at a different gauge to the measurements.
Gah. Thank goodness for the advice and support on Knitting on the Avenue. She did a grand job of re-writing the collar instructions so that it looks more like the real thing, and also put loads of advice on her blog about how to sew and block the thing.
Oh, and I really like some of the latest Debbie Bliss patterns, so my queue is rapidly lengthening :S Yum tho.

Ho hum

Well, I’m still not quite finished on Pippa or the Ram’s Horn cardi. The collar is about 2/3 done as of typing, and the bag has one piece left to knit, so neither will be long. I was supposed to have a knit filled evening Friday night with a friend who needed help with some booties, but we ended up drinking, eating, watching silly films and the Mighty Boosh (series two for those who know. “Neil Armstrong, walking on my face” :D). We managed approximately 8 rows of bootie which were ripped back after a drunken error, and the cast on for a baby cardi, which was also ripped out because it had lost stitches by the morning (like my second Anastasia sock which had 2 mistakes in the last half inch or so, so I’ve gone 1 step forward and 2 back :S). Oops! Anyway, the collar is perhaps the most dragging piece of knitting I’ve done in a long time. It requires concentration, but is super boring once you get halfway through the increases. I’ve made a little mistake but refuse to rip back as there has been too much of that this weekend, and it isn’t really noticable. I have a straight-ish run to the end now, and then it can be finished off. Looks like I might just have enough yarn though 😀 Hoorah! Because of the stupid boring collar, the easy peasy st st of the bag is much appreciated right now – knitting I can do without thinking! And the socks are quite happy 🙂 The STR is of course pooling but it looks pretty.
There are also some accidental purchases on the way… Oops! And some more coming up soon no doubt, given that I’ll be knitting a cardi for someone at work for their birthday pressie (it is a very very special birthday), and we’ll be visiting Coldspring for supply hunting 😀 Yay!
And, I’m thinking of joining Socktopia too, particularly given the cool chart for the mystery sockalong… 😀 If you haven’t seen it yet, they are issuing a new part of the pattern every Monday, so I might catch up by the end of the month if I leg it!


Ok, two things before I fall into the bath and then fall asleep (gym+long day at work with early start= knackered etc :S).
1) The stupid mail sorters strike has thoroughly ensured that the parcel I suspect is from my sockapalooooza is still waiting for my greedy little paws in spite of them trying to deliver it on Tuesday.
2) Everyone in the UK run over to getknitted.com. They have Knit Picks knitting needles!!!!! :O :O :O Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo my… I’m gobsmacked 😀 They have circs that would be perfect for sock knitting too in those awkward 1/4 cm US sizes for very reasonable prices 😀 YAY!
Normal service will resume once I’ve spent all my wage and have stopped sulking about being outbid on some Natural Dye Studio Merino Tencel sock yarn. Oh, and I will answer all your comments and send all my long overdue emails this weekend too. Apparently Joe really brought the lurkers out 😀 But he is a babe.
All this excited unplanned blogging is eating into my shopping and knitting time.
[runs away to lust some more]

Grrrrr again

Necia invited me to join Shelfari and I did cos it is good. Then I tried to make her my friend on there – not as easy as facebook. I deselected all my email addys and YET, IT STILL SENT A BARREL LOAD OF INVITES :/
Hmmph. So apologies if you have an email in your inbox from me and shelfari and you have run out of space and hate me 🙁

An update

Ok, if I frog a sock, does that give me the right to start a new sock? I’m already itching to cast on for something else :S I really really really want to start some Monkeys with STR Cobblestone County. REALLY want to start some. I’ve frogged some Charade socks in Posh Yarn Emily because the colourway didn’t quite pull in the pattern. Both the yarn and pattern are fab, but just together, they didn’t work, and I want to find an alternative with a BIG strong pattern really. I think. Ack I really need to clamp down, but I can’t help it! They are calling, calling, calling. I think I will do what Ruth says and just cast on for it 😀 What is the point if I don’t enjoy myself, as Rebecca has quite rightly said?! 😉
Oh, and to make up for the lack of knitting pics, and to satisfy Rebecca seeing as she has enabled me to be who I am, here is a cat picture. I haven’t talked too much about Joe really, but he is the most affectionate cutiepie the world has ever seen 😀 He doesn’t appreciate me using the laptop, so I often have to break off typing posts early while he comes to take over my lap. He then proceeds to mulch for England (he’s practicing for the Olympics – sometimes he mulches for at least 10 mins, looks like he might fall asleep then gets a second wind and begins again). Then, the cunning little bugger, he starts to lean towards one side while against my chest so that I am forced to bring up my arm and catch him. He’s too heavy to hold up, so I end up cradling him like a baby, while he lies on his back, his legs in the air, purring away happily and looking at me as if, well, as if he’s got the cream 🙂
He also models, as you can see below.
(Cath – he’s very happy as you can see, but I’m sure he misses you. Chicken and ham help him a lot, as does the brush we got for him, but he still misses you).
And to stop this from being a ‘I own a cat and he will feature in all my posts’ kind of blog (not that there is anything wrong with that, but I am in danger of doing nothing but cat posts and discarding all knitting), here is a pic of the Passion Flower in our garden 🙂
I bought this plant about 3 years ago from one of the Harrogate flower shows, but this is the first summer it has bloomed successfully (and as we discovered, was different to the one on the label :S). Before the buds had always fallen off before they had fully grown, but this photo demonstrates just what the threat of re-potting can do to a plant 😉

Managing yourself.

That’s the name of a workshop I once attended. It was ok, but a lot of it was about redirecting other people who kept ignoring the fact you had to work and just chatting away and disrupting your time. I have that person in my life in my knitting, and that person is me. I have way too many things to knit, way too many ideas, and tend to cast on for something new as comfort knitting when I get stressed about all the other things I have to make 😉 My list at the side is a slight lie, as I have 2 other pairs of socks, pirate mittens and a baby blanket… If it helps, the latter two are gifts and are essential knits now. All these projects have given me a kick up the arse – Ruth R was saying that she doesn’t know how I can have so many things on the go, but trust me I don’t enjoy it. I’ve taken Pippa out of hibernation, and have worked out that I can finish the knitting for her in about 10 hours. I figure that if I work on her and the cardi collar, the two big-ish projects will be out of the way, and then I can concentrate on getting my gift knitting done so I guestimate about a week of knitting to get both finished and out the way.
I hereby solemnly swear that I will not cast on for anything new until Pippa and Ram are finished. I will only cast on for one thing, and it will be gift knitting (and a small gift knit at that). The next part of the plan will be to finish the new gift knit and the mittens (they are the most urgent for timing). The mittens will take quite a while, but I can tell I’ll only be able to work on them at home, and perhaps with a podcast in my ears because of the need to look at what I’m doing, but the gift knit won’t take long as I said, so once that is finished, I can concentrate on cutting down on the socks. I might allow myself to start something PS2.0 related then. I have lots of plans for those, but one in particular is a quick knit and is already on the WiPs list, so I’ll start with that, I’m guessing at least 2 weeks from now before I can start that.
BUT, all this amounts to a plan of action, and is a start, regardless of the time scale. And after that, who knows. I still have big plans for some Rowan Wool Cotton in my stash… Sadly, regardless it means no pics this weekend. Unless I finish something 😉