Saturday, December 29, 2007

A little quicky

Net cafes are really few and far between in NYC. Everywhere seems to have free wi-fi access, which is fabulous but pox all use when your laptop is on another continent. We were about to break out the Visa and buy some tech, when we found a rather overpriced place with one chair between us. Joy.

So given that last night was our first here, what did we do? We went to an Irish pub, and drank Guinness and whiskey. Hardcore, that's us! Today, I've mostly been cursing the fact that I brought my big huge warm coat, as the weather here is positively balmy. Wind chill doesn't seem to exist over here at all. That, or the sky scrapers do a fantastic job at negating it.

Natural history museum is 2 blocks from the hotel, so we partook of that today. I'm now afraid of taking off my shoes, in anticipation of how fricking much they're gonna swell.

Have located yarn stores and gaming stores. Reports to follow at some point :)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Updates a go go

I'm currently sitting at the keyboard of a net cafe computer, and having made a mental note to wash my hands with 15 gallons of soap when I leave, thought I'd give a quick update...

Christmas was great. We had dad home from Sunday til yesterday, and he's doing really well. I got mucho, mucho shiny-o, and generally had a lovely time. The visitors never really left, which was cool, though the early morning starts both sucked and blew.

Tomorrow I be leaving on a jet plane. OH is having slight panic attacks, but is coping well.

I hope to update from NYC, with lots of yarn pr0n.

Hope y'all had a great holiday, and have a good new year, wherever on the planet you may be!

Friday, December 21, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas

Last night was our Dublin office party. Huzzah. Much sushi was consumed. Someone ate a huge lump of wasabi for a bet. And didn't cry. Naturally, this meant that my camera batteries were dead. Eventually, I will pull a finger out, I swear. Just not this week. Maybe I should get some of those new Duracell lithium batteries for my trip, and give up the idea that I'll actually go off and a) buy an adaptor and b)not only take it out of the packet, but use it.

The trip...oh yeaaaaahhhh!
This is my last day in the office this year. I am craving something deep fried and salty, so lunch will probably involve at least a cheeseburger (can I has cheezburger?) Overall, things are very, very busy, but rather lighthearted. I really like my colleagues. Working from home roxxors, but I do miss the office.

I'm leaving here at 4pm, or at least that's the plan. Jump on train, hopefully without my overfilled bags spilling their festive guts on the platform. Try to knit on train, and give up to have nap. Wake up in panic 20 minutes later, convinced that I've missed my stop and therefore my transfer.

....or something like that.

I have mittens on the needles, and My Booky Wook to keep me going at least. Since I arrived in Dublin yesterday, and won't see OH til Wednesday night, we had a mini celebration on Wednesday evening, and once more my "to be read" stack has hit body weight level. Wahoo! You'd think that this would mean I won't be buying any books for a while, but no. Barnes and Noble is one of the big points on our itinerary.

I am geek, hear me roar!

With all the fun, excitement and general pandemonium that goes along with the gorging-on-turkey, I won't be posting for a few days. I've also made the very sensible decision to actually chase up a net connection and check in online on Wednesday, so that I don't have to get up at 6am to go to the airport.

So happy winter festival of choice to everyone, and I'll see you on the other side!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The black hole of yarn

In the past two weeks, I've been rather quiet. This is directly related to my inability to cast anything off.

I mean, I've been knitting like a woman posessed, but am still not getting anywhere. You know those moments where you measure the length of an item, say, a sock, and you have 4 inches, and then having knit for about an hour, you remeasure, and still have 4 inches. Or 4.1 inches.

That's pretty much my month so far, in a nutshell.
My casting off like crazy mojo only lasted a week.


I'm on sleeve two of the neverending cardigan. Once that's done and sewn on, I've to pick up stitches and add about 6 inches to the cuff as the pattern was horribly wrong.

Having finally decided on my Christmas knitting, I've had to tell the receipients that they won't be done til after I get back from NYC, as the most urgent project at the moment is knitting mittens so that we don't get frostbite as a souvenier.

Main problem with this is I have to start the wedding shawls as soon as I get home. The yarn is waiting for me, and I've decided on a pattern that's fast, effective, and will allow me to hopefully escape second shawl syndrome. It also doesn't take eleventybillion yards of yarn to make. I am not in the market for hundred dollar shawls right now.

Other than that, life marches on.

My dad should be allowed home for 2 days at Christmas, which would rock. My mother reckons we'll clear a 10lb turkey between us in that time, no problem. Even though my dad is on half portions, and I don't really like turkey. I'd swear she was a famine victim in a former life or something...

So, with two weeks to go, has FO panic kicked in for anyone else, or am I the only person throwing in the towel this early in the game?

You never know....I might get more done now that I've surrendered.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Must reboot brain..

Went to the Christmas market last night. It's fan-fecking-tastic, and so blog worthy, and naturally I forgot my camera. I did manage to bring the case though.

I had roo burger (and my first wheat in a month) and wandered about and got some things for meze tonight. Picked up some fantabulous tea, a pack of which is on its way to the US of A, seeing as I finally finished and posted my tea swap package.

Landlord is on his way to sort out the smoke alarms. Boomer managed to wrangle the upstairs one out of its holder-thingy on the ceiling with some determination, brute force and a sweeping brush. Even when he managed to take the battery out and chuck it down the stairs in frustration, the thing kept beeping. It is now confined to the press under the stairs until said landlord appears.

Sleeve of neverending cardigan is going well, and should be done over the weekend. Huzzah.

Photos will follow.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the States. May your trousers have elastic waistbands, and the eggnog flow freely.

Mmmmm nog....

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A little bit of Gitmo at home

Who would have thought that in the last 24 hours, I would be driven to the point of gnawing on the bannisters because of a little piece of plastic.

This piece of plastic.

Our upstairs smoke alarm. It has been beeping loudly every 3 minutes since Sunday evening. The landlord and my darling other half are currently trying to fix it, while not plummeting over the landing down on to the tiles below.

Wine. Wine helps the pain.

Lots of wine.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Stitch and bitch last night was the quietest ever.

So having waited around til nearly 6pm, and having consumed what was possibly the nicest tea ever (made all the better by the freezing wind outside) while looking a bit like a crazy lady who brings potted herbs to talk to, I made for home.

Not without making a 10 step detour from my bus stop first. Ah, the things I do for my readers!

This is Belfast City Hall, and this photo shows perfectly one of the reasons I think Belfast should get an award for most fabulously illuminated city. While standing in front of it, you can't see the spotlights, and you're not left temporarily blinded by one while walking past either.

What's that, you say? What's that, peeking out of the corner? Could it be...?

Why yes! It could!

This is the Belfast big wheel. More like London's Millenium wheel than a 50 cent ride at the local fairground, this beautiful piece of engineering will be around til New Year. The booths, up close, look like horse-drawn carriages, without the wheels.

Or the horses.snort

I am so totally going up in it at some stage. I'll probably hang on til the Christmas markets open at the end of the month, also in the grounds of the City Hall. Can't wait for that.

I love late November into early December. Everything is starting to get decidedly festive, I can wander around cinnamon-scented markets and drink eggnog latte til I go up a dress size. Knitted items get worn as soon as I can get them cast off. For at least a week, everyone seems to bask in the glow that is knowing that they have a week off to eat, drink and fornicate be merry in the not too distant future.

Then the panic sets in.

I have seen otherwise dignified, fully grown women have fights in toyshops over the seasons "must have" chunk of overpriced plastic. I have myself been elbowed out of the way as the fingers of my outstretched hand grazed the last box of chocolates on a shelf.

It's 'effing ridiculous.

The stores close for ONE FECKING DAY PEOPLE!!!!!
Try explaining that to the man doing an impression of a rugby player (or an NFL player) as he sprints to the checkout with a Furby clutched so tightly to his chest that it may require surgical removal.

If money and my vacation balance for the year were no object, you know what I'd do?

I'd hire some plush cabin in a beautiful mountain area for the two weeks covering last-minute shopping, Christmas and New years. I'd hold up in there with my nearest and dearest, without a computer, mobile phone or cable connection. I would cook and bake, and do crafty things. Go for long walks and come back to an open wood fire with hot whiskey and talk until the wee hours. Watch old movies on dvd. Play board games.

And forget that most of the world around seems to have gone batshit crazy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy feet!

It seems that I've been knitting more than ever over the last few weeks, but nothing has been leaving my needles. It's like the black hole stage of knitting, where you measure something, and it's 7 inches long. Then you knit for what feels like eleventy billion lines, and you still have 7 inches. Or 7.25, to be really annoying.

I seem to have defeated that today.

I haz warm toez nao ^-^

Monday, November 12, 2007

Real live blogger

Yup, I am one. Just erratic is all.

Last week was turned into an entire week of reportage, and eating chocolate. If anyone is still around to read this, I appreciate it :)

So..what have I been up to? Well, the knitting and stitching show happened for starters.

There were a few cool bits and pieces at it

but mostly it was rather disappointing, to be honest. I think there were six stalls in the whole place selling actual yarn, and one of those was entirely fun fur and ack-rylic. No massive bargains like last year, and the presence of several stands of QVC-wannabes selling irons and lint rollers and mini vacuum cleaners was like nails on a blackboard.

It was great to catch up with the girlies, a few of which allowed me to snap them

It was also great to see lots of groups of young teenagers at the show, though they were balanced out by a huge number of members of the purple rinse brigade sitting at one big stand, with those battery powered massage cushions on full blast. I really should have taken a photo of that, in hindsight.

I did really enjoy the guilds section upstairs, and the actual exhibitions were fab (and didn't allow photography of any sort). I managed to come away with a few goodies, most of which were from two yarn shops that I go to whenever I'm in Dublin and Galway. Considering I was hoping to melt my credit card though, I was a bit bummed. I mean, if you're going to something called the Knitting and Stitching show, you expect to come away with more than two skeins of sock yarn!

Those two skeins were, however, Colinette Jitterbug. Yummo! I also got myself a felting kit from the (surprise surprise!) feltmakers guild, and picked up a crosstitch for £2 (or $4). Rocking.

Books, which I have been lusting after for what seems like an eternity, were also added to the collection.

Time for some lunch I think, and further adventures in walking around the house in a manner that suggests that I have no ankles. Breaking in new boots is less than fun.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sneaky sneaky

The weekend happened, and it was good (and I did not eated it).

Must do evil end of month report for work, then shall get to the serious blogging.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Just wanted to say "happy Friday!" to everyone.

That, and show off my lovely pumpkin

I am shameless, I know.

I'm off to the knitting and stitching show tomorrow. Huzzah!
I've brought my shopping bag with the nice thick shoulder straps, so hopefully no dead fingers this time around.

My act of random yoink-age for today is this

one of our squares for the UK Stitch and Bitch blanket.
I don't have a pic of the other one, but will try to harass one of the girlies for some thing.

I'm hopped up on eggnog latte, and raring to go. This weekend will be fully documented, as I've remembered my camera batteries. Go me.

Have a great one everybody, and I'll blog til you're all sick of me next week :)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Episode 56 star alpha

In which my cat looks more whacked-out on catnip than usual (even for a Saturday night)

and my tiny wickle bwain goes pop, and decides that handknitted socks are all that lies between me and hypothermia this winter

Universal toe-up sock in Cherry Tree Hill "greens and blues" supersock. Yes, I have teeny feet

Seriously though, it's pretty cold. Not cold enough for snow, but the wind is coming down from the Arctic every damn day, which makes your outsides want to become your insides for warmth.

This was not made easier by the arrival of an email from a certain long-coveted sock club in my mail box this morning. I now have to decide, by tomorrow, if I'm going to go ahead and sign up, even though it's damn expensive, or hang on to my few pounds for loading up on goodies in New York.

There's also the Knitting and Stitching show this weekend. There's no way I'm coming out of there empty handed either.

Hrm....a conundrum.

Last night was Halloween, or Samhain, or "another hallmark sponsored evening", depending on your outlook on things. I had a lovely, quiet halloween. I went to SnB, cooked proper dinner, drank wine and watched Monster House to the glowing light of a carved pumpkin. We got a few trick or treaters, but I think those started to tail off as soon as we were found out to be a sweets house, and not a pocket change house.

Naturally, I forgot to charge my camera batteries, so have no pictures of the lovely pumpkin. It shall be lit again tonight though, so I'll grab one then.

Dead batteries are also the reason why I have no other photos of my weekend, despite having gone to a convention. Gaelcon rolled around again, and was much fun. I missed it last year, as my back decided that standing, sitting or breathing was not allowed. This is also the first year that I've been to it and not been on either committee or staff. Very strange feeling of "shouldn't I be doing something" occured on more than one occasion.

I was also invited to a bra party in Dublin on Saturday evening, which I'm going to try to get to. It's impossible to get good bras in larger sizes that don't a) look like they were made for nuns b) cost an arm and a leg and c) require a team of dressers to secure them on the wearer.

Hehehe....I'm going to have a yarn bra weekend....

Yes, it seems that I am easily amused.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lurgy, Jim! Lurgy!!!


The cold I have been fighting off for the last two weeks may have been the flu. It also may have finally beaten my poor immune system in 2 out of 3 games of rock, paper, white blood cell.

Todays post is gonna be short, as I have an appointment with my sofa and a potato that is currently getting a suntan in the oven.

The sponsors of todays post are

I have a conference call with Amsterdam in just over an hour. Once this is done, I shall be retiring to the sofa for the day. I already have my little nest laid out.

The bag on the left with the fuzzy duck-egg blue wonderfulness is Sublime Kid mohair, which I won on Ewe Wish. I'm finally going to cast on Branching out. Go me. Some of the left over yarn will be used with my lurvely Knitpicks Ambrosia to make me some Mrs Beetons.

The bag of minstrels sadly only contains about 5 chocolates, left over from last weeks trip to the cinema. Next bag across contains sock yarn leftovers. (Yes, I bag pretty much everything.)I have most of a ball of Knitpicks Essentials left over from the making of my Volcano socks, which are in the foreground. Haven't sewn in the ends yet, because I can't find my needle case and am not arsed looking in my current condition. My 2.25mm addi's rarely leave the sofa when they're not being used, as my little project basket is at the other side of the armrest.

The blue square is my contribution to the UK Stitch N Bitch blanket that's being put together, and is in my own handpainted.

Exciting day I have lined up, eh?

I'm still going to hit yoga tonight though, as I'll miss it next week anyways.

Right, need to go get a topup for the 'leccy, so that I still have power and therefore, lights. Should possibly brush hair. And get out of pajamas.

...or I could give the little old lady in the shop a reason to use her panic button...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Got up this morning dun dun dun duuun dun
Feeling fiine dun dun dun duuun dun
Not sore after yoga dun dun dun duuun dun
Just ready for work dun dun dun duuun dun
Logged on to gmail dun dun dun duuun dun

It seems that my subscription to Rowan International has worked out at far more than £22 a year.

I've cancelled my card, and the fraud department are looking into things.
I've spent the morning changing passwords and nuking my laptop.

In fairness, I've been online for over 10 years, and I've not had any problems at all. Thankfully I spotted this before the little scrote in question booked flights to Bermuda with paypal.

Let this be a warning - if you don't have AdAware on your computer, get it. Update it and use it at least once a week.

I do feel a little dirty though. Some spotty 16 year old with a hard on for WoW has been rifling through my email and paypal accounts.

May he die screaming with raging syphilis.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sock it to me, baby

As I went rummaging for my camera, I remembered that I didn't update after stitch and bitch last week. We had our most members evah!, which rocked, and I was also on the belini-wagon

The dark green tweedy yarn in the background is Kilcarra donegal tweed, and is being knitted into a cobblestone by Nikki

On the way out the door that night, we were all in a bit of a giggly mood, and the sight of this van outside reduced several of us to hysterics, and required cameras to be whipped out.

Sure, it's childish and all that, but it's still funny on soooo many levels!

Yoga happened on Monday (just to get back to this week) and I woke up the yesterday and rejoiced that I had the foresight to have taken a soak in the bath after class. My hip extensors were not happy.
Class was great though. Nice and slow for a first night, but that didn't mean "not strenuous" by any stretch of the imagination. I'm liking it a lot though. Hazel is quiet and unassuming and can bend herself like a pretzel while the rest of us are working on not falling over in basic standing poses.

Current knitting is sock. Volcano sock.
MY volcano sock. For MY tootsies

I've not been knitting much at all in the last week or so, but I'm hoping to be on to sock two by the weekend.

Which is when we should next have post. I hate when Royal mail goes on strike. It always seems to be perfectly timed with my expecting something knitting-related in the post.

I'm hoping that my kilcarra shade card will have arrived at my parents place by the time I get there on Friday, as I'm eager to order yarn and get Pooks cobblestone started. He's basically getting that, a DS and a couple of books for Christmas. I will not be finishing the damn thing on the train 2 days before Christmas though. Nope.

....I'll be trying to get the ribbing done on a sock so that I can wrap it before the train stops...

Monday, October 08, 2007

The blob

I made a big mistake on Sunday morning. I weighed myself.
There, in 2 inch high letters was the unavoidable reminder that yes, I have been hibernating in a cookie dough flavoured fat blanked since dad was diagnosed at the start of April.

Bad me.

Ashtanga yoga starts tonight, and I'm on the class register.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Brought to you by the letters V, C and M

I love caramel macchiatos.
No, no, no, scratch that.

I fucking love caramel macchiatos. Make mine a venti.

Actually, now that I think about it, I spent last night making mine a venti on a very regular basis.

With rum.

This morning, while amazingly I'm not hungover, I'm dehydrated to the point that I feel like a small furry critter went to sleep in my
mouth last night (technically this morning) and I am lusting after a short stack of pancakes with maple syrup and bacon. Which you can't actually get
anywhere here.

The food at the restaurant last night was very good, but the service was appauling. When the plates were taken away after our main course, we were offered tea and coffee. We waited nearly 20 minutes for the dessert menu, and when we asked, we were told that we could have the menu, but they needed our table back in ten minutes. In other words, sod off.

So not impressed.

So we went to the pub for a couple of quiet drinks.I didn't realise that it was a late bar til they were kicking us out, and I glanced at the clock.


I got to bed some time around four. Nope, not gonna get much in the way of work done today.

Well, apart from going to investigate the potential for food. I've got caffeine, sugar and dairy covered, so it's totally time to get salt, carbs and more carbs under control.

Have a great weekend everyone. Have a caramel macchiato.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Another year older and deeper in debt

...or another year older and deeper in yarn. Probably more accurate.

The Supah Mario socks are fully finished, and modelled while hanging upside down off the sofa. They're just that damn exciting, it seems!

Universal toe-up socks in Opal Hundertwassers

I'm quite chuffed with them. Also with the fact that I made fraternal twins, and am not itching to frog them because the stripes don't line up. The very enthusiastic receiver loves them that he has pledged to wear them as house socks so that he doesn't wear them out. Aww bless.

Considering that mens socks take for-bloody-ever to knit, this may not be a bad plan, at least til I can get around to making him a second pair. I only realised yesterday just how slow they were, when I cast on a sock for myself, and turned the heel while watching BSG last night.

More universal toe-ups, in Knitpicks Essential Volcano Twist

If I keep going at this rate, I might have a pair done in a week! Pretty good, seeing as I've had to sacrifice my daytime knitting to end of month reports and cold fingers.

Today, I'm not feeling any bit more mature. My hair looks like the proverbial haystack, I'm drinking tea from a Nightmare Before Christmas mug, and trying to skive off work. It's just not right for someones birthday to also be the day for submitting end of month reports. Bah and humbug!

Things aren't all bad though.
My mam and dad sent me a card, and I got the new Jamie Oliver cookbook, and some sterling to buy myself a winter coat with. Huzzah! My dad actually managed to hold a pen long enough to make a vaguely "Dad" shaped squiggle on my card...I nearly started crying.

My godmother (I mistyped that as "gothmother" the first time, for some bizarre reason) and my mams best friend gave me some euros, which will be spent on my other obsession, shoes.

This morning was utterly squee-worthy:

I've had the wonderous Nintendo DS for a month, as he couldn't go without giving it to me. I currently have FF3 in it. I shall now be brain trained as well. A birthday isn't a birthday without books and chocolate, which are well represented, and the dvd's of wonderfulness are My Neighbour Totoro (I am obsessed with Studio Ghibli) and the Hammer box set!!! 21 movies in a box!!!!!

I shall now be endlessly entertained on my travels every weekends.

Sensibly, he didn't get me anything yarny. The Knitting and Stitching Show is coming up, after all!

Right, need to go shower and tame the mane, so that I can drip dry before heading to down.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Here comes the...

Last night, I met Pook after work, and we went and had a nice dinner out. Proper grown ups, we are. Then I got to finally find out what his big surprise was. Stall tickets for Pygmallion at the Grand Opera House. I may have squeed a little loudly. And bounced some.

The play was fantabulous.

Today is a little odd.
It's so strange to be writing the date on paperwork while sitting in the office.

If circumstances were a little different, I'd be having my hair done about now, and trying not to smudge my nail polish while eating toast and putting on mascara simultaneously. My mother would be fussing that she'd never be ready in time, and my dad would be trying to remain stoic while grappling with his bow tie.

It's a world of "what if", isn't it?
I know that things are only postponed, not cancelled.
I know I have a million things to be thankful for.
My dad is alive,and well, and getting stronger by the day. Four months ago, I wouldn't have been able to say that. Four months ago, we didn't know if he would ever wake up again.

I feel petulant and silly and more than a bit selfish that I'm being all misty-eyed about things today. There is, however, nothing in the world that can stop that little voice in the back of my head reminding me that today was to be my wedding day.

Next Wednesday, I shall not be sipping cocktails and doing things that people on honeymoon do.
I shall celebrate my birthday with shopping, cake, and stitch and bitching.

I will remember that walking, breathing, the ability to wiggle our toes and scratch our itches are things that we all take for granted far too often, and that laughter and knitting make the bad times a whole lot more bearable.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Magazines are my lifeline

In completely un-yarny news, my cousin David is now a proud papa for the first time.

Abigail Jane (or Abby, for short) was born in the wee hours this morning, and looks like a wrinkly old lady! Mama and baby are both doing well, and she's de-pruning by the hour. Abby, that is.

I may have mentioned that I'm on a yarn diet. I may also have mentioned my slight slippage to allow for purchase of enough laceweight to make the fricking wedding shawls.

Guess what arrived this morning?

Only 3 balls in the picture, but 4 were purchased. Sure, the postage was nearly the same price as the yarn, but still! It's 50% baby alpaca, 50% merino, and so wonderfully squidgy. I'm looking forward to casting on now. It's a bargain for that fact alone!

Back on the horse again now.

I'm also on a book diet. We have a lot of books. A whole lot.
Most of these are in storage, though, due to the large amounts of moving about that has been done over the last year and a bit. Since moving to Belfast, we've been buying books again. There are 3 shelves in the living room, that once housed crappy folding wine racks. These are full of books, 2 deep, and in places, 2 high as well. I have a stack of books in my "to be read" pile that's coming up to my waist. Hence, no buying books for a while.

So........magazines aren't books, right?

I've signed up for Rowan International.
I'm hoping that after a few issues, I won't have a large chunk of stash that I have no plan for. (Yes, I justify stash if I can break it into project-specific piles).

If anyone else is interested in signing up, let me know, 'cos if you get referred by a member, there are some extra freebies involved :)

I need to go untangle some sock yarn that's lying all over the stairs now. It got tangled around me as I ran down the stairs, and thankfully I noticed before falling in an embarassing manner.

Embarassing, because even if I had wound up in a puddle at the end of the stairs, I'd still have crawled to the door to get my yarn.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The prisoner

Today there are no photographs, no tales of being sucked into the LYS while browsing through the merchandise at the greengrocers.

Today, I am a prisoner in my own home.

I jest not. I am locked in, with no way of getting out.
This is in a very, very large part due to a certain someone not paying attention to where he put his house keys after he locked the front door last night, and having to take mine this morning in order to go to work.

This will also be my excuse for there not being anything interesting for dinner.

The sock is doing rather well though. (His name is Wario, it seems)So is my left index finger, now that the nerves in one spot are completely dead. Handy, that.

I've had a few questions, so I'll answer those in an attempt to look popular!

The shawl. Yes, it's really that bad. Yes, I also admit that I may be forever biased towards this yarn. This is not a warning that everyone should unload any of it that they have in their stashes, but a gentle reminder that it may not be the funnest thing to knit ever.

The shawl was blocked using a couple of types of pin.
The first was a tub of rust free, glass headed pins. They were purchased in the "yarn" shop in town, Simpsons, for the outrageous price of £2.90. Outrageous, indeed, especially as I really could have done with a second tub to properly block.
As it happened, I had my fabulous Clover knitting marking pins to hand, and they saved the day.

The pirate washcloth: I'll post a "how to" soon. As soon as I can make out the scrawled handwriting of my pattern, that is. I use the word pattern in the loosest possible sense here.

It's still cold and ick outside. My Jack Skellington mug is almost permanently full of tea and held between my far-too-cold fingers. Tea is my friend. Warms you up on the inside and the outside.
My current brew is Celestial Seasonings red vanilla, with honey. It's the only one of their teas that I've tried, and I do like it. Is anyone else a fan? Other recommended flavours?

Right, this chocolate ricecake ain't gonna eat itself...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Rain, rain, go away

To say that Autumn (or Fall, depending on your geographic location) is here, is an understatement. November weather seems to have arrived overnight, and the rain is falling with renewed vigor today.

The nights are closing in rapidly, and the chances of going out without a coat or umbrella are non-existant, at least for now. No more crawling out of bed on Friday mornings to see the whispers of dawn tinging the sky.
Nope. 6am now looks like this

Soon, all the "cool" hours will get in on the action, and 8am will look like this too.

Friday did get better.

I was most chuffed with myself for having remembered my camera as these babies flew by the office window at lunchtime.

Saturday mornings ungodly wake up call was softened considerably by shopping.

My wedding boots!
The photo has much crapper light than I hoped, but you'll get the idea. The boots currently reside in the wardrobe of my darling mother, to avoid my wearing them in a weak moment.

Sock 2 says hello.

He's much happier now that he has a heel, and is hoping to be done this week, so that he can hang out with his sibling. Not with his ends hanging out either!

Oooh er!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Barter doesn't count, right?

Some of you may remember my incessant whining about the shawl from hell. Some others of you may have guessed that the mystery photos yesterday were of said shawl.

Yup, I blocked the bitch.

It's done and dusted, and I'm delighted that I can now fold it carefully before abandoning it to the back of the wardrobe. Having finally completed it, I don't think I could possibly bear to let my bridesmaid wear it. I'd run the risk of ripping it off her shoulders and stomping it to death while holding a glass of post-ceremony champagne.

The shawl itself is quite nice, really, and I stuck with it til it was done. The chances of me ever wanting to see it again unless I am very, very (very) drunk are slim to non-existant though. That said, I reserve the right to drag it out of its confinement and reblock it before thrusting it on my poor bridesmaid a week before the wedding, if my new plan B doesn't happen.

My plans for the wedding shawls/stoles/wraps have changed again. This too means that I've broken my yarn diet, but only to the tune of USD$20, which ain't so bad. I have ordered some black laceweight, and I plan on having one shawl made out of it by (hopefully!) Halloween. Depending on how long it takes to arrive, of course.

This should really be called "The Disclaimer Post".

Having finally decided that no, I wasn't just going to suck it up and keep battling on with the demon yarn, I was left with 3 balls, bands intact, of yarn that I never want to feel next to my skin again.

...and here's where the magic happened...

Was turned into

Ain't it great?
I brought the yarn to my LYS (who stocks it) and traded it in for sock yarn!
The photo isn't great - I can't seem to get purples to come out purple instead of blue. These will eventually be turned into stripey knee socks. I do love my stripey knee socks!

Yesterday was International Talk Like A Pirate day, and was one of the quieter SnB's that we've had, in terms of volume, as there seemed to be a large amount of poring over piratey charts done. There was still cake though, don't worry.
I managed to get my supersized washcloth done and finished yesterday and all!

Not the most fantabulous thing I've ever cast off, but Mister is delighted with it, and broke into some appreciative yarr-ing.

All in all, this means that since Monday, I've finished 2 projects, and my WIP's are back to three - one of which is the blocking of the scarf of longness.

The next thing that I really need to start working on is Christmas knitting. I need to get a hat and mittens to match my scarf done so that my extremities don't freeze off in New York. Frozen fingers are unable to squidge new yarn. This is not an option. Himself also needs gloves and a new hat for the trip, as he has grown his hair and the hat I made for him last Christmas no longer fits.

Who else? My parents are the obvious ones, as they'll appreciate the goodies. Both got scarves last year, and will probably get socks this year.

I am paranoid that I've left it too late, and will have to start pulling all nighters with lots of tea, tiger balm and season 2 of Rome come November.

...and this week was sounding so productive for a minute...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A day in the life

I've been fabulously productive today, and it's not even 3pm yet.
It's all about default, you see.

There was no way that my new cookbook (Nigella Express, for enquiring minds. I <3 Nigella) could manage to squeeze into our woefully inadequate bookshelf when I wanted to put it away this morning. As a result, I ended up rearranging the shelves entirely, and now far more fit, without being squished to death. I hate when books get so compressed on a shelf that dust covers end up torn and with the imprint of other book edges in them.

Seeing as that was done, the cubby under the shelves looked even more awful, so while I was at it, I tidied that up.

Back upstairs, I cleared my inbox, then noticed that it was starting to rain. I managed to get outside and bring in the laundry before it got soaked. Seeing as I was in the kitchen, I put on another load (we have the most badly designed kitchen ever) and then the roll kept going.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bigger! Faster! Stronger!

I seem to be getting more spam than ever these days, and someone thinks that I need
a) a penpal
b) pirate software
c) all the pills I can swallow.

Oh, and a bigger penis, because I can't satisfy my woman, apparently.

Call me paranoid though, but it seems to me that the spam is getting more specific. The software one for example, got pretty specific about the software recently. Then I remembered that I had been discussing said software in email with a friend. Are the gmail targeted ads (which bug me insanely at the best of times) finally fulfilling their destinies and bringing us targeted spam?

Sorry, but my brain is still wrapped up in my nice warm duvet, and not wanting to be deleting rogue spam that didn't get caught by my filter.

Friday, September 14, 2007

So long and thanks for all the

This will be my companion on the journey home for the weekend.
My dad has had his tracheostomy removed, and my cats eye infection has cleared up fully.

Not the poo-est Friday ever.

Still haven't figured out where I'm going to get enough space to block my so called scarf. Washing in the bath is a given, but it looks like I'll have to pin it along the landing and into the bedroom. Chances of it not being stepped on accidently while drying? Slim to nil. The rest of the house has either wood or tile floors though.

Another thing to put off til Monday. Monday is going to be strange and busy.

No knitting last night, due to being fed within an inch of my life by MIL to be. Got to see Michelle in her bridesmaid dress. It looks fantastic. I only wish she was getting to wear it in a fortnight..

Still, considering that I've spent the last 6 months comfort eating, my chances of waddling up the aisle in March are far less than if it was this month. (Perhaps I should leave the G&B in the office).

....I really am silver-lining girl today.
Right, need to finish up some paperwork and get wrapped up here, as I'll be running for my bus in an hour.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My so-called queue

This morning, my wake up call was at 5am. Naturally, instead of being a sensible person and getting to bed at a reasonably early hour, I stayed up til 1am. So not my fault though.

Well, we'd seen the rest of the series, and the last disk looked so lonely and unloved in the box.....


Fecking great series though. Can't recommend it highly enough.

I'm currently sitting at my desk in Dublin, and I may or may not be eating carrot cake from the bakery downstairs. My boss is over from head office. She's very nice, atch, which was a pleasant surprise.

While BSG'ing my socks off last night, I finished off my so-called scarf. To say that it's a little on the long side would be doing it a disservice. Supah mario sock 2 is my travelling knitting for this week, and next week I'll get that so called hat on the needles.
My 5.5mm addi's arrived as well (wahoo!) so the boobholder is next on the list after that. I'll even be using stash yarn - ain't I great? I have a skein of Lorna's Laces fisherman in the Jeans colourway, which is a lovely muted blue, with a silvery beige colour going through it. I'm totally not doing it justice, but my English is slightly broken today.

Nothing that more cake can't fix..

I also need to get a new hat and scarf underway for pook. I have a London beanie on my Ravelry queue, and making a matching scarf will be so easy that it should even be SnB-proof. Yarn choice will be the problem. It needs to be a suitable "man colour" which generally involves greys, blacks, browns, and very muted greens and reds. Kilcarra would be perfect, apart from the fact that I already made him a hat and scarf in that already. I really don't want to use the glorious Rowanspun, as I've enough for jumper-sized projects in that, and would like to make said jumpers and not end up with a few scarves and lots of odd skeins.

What about cascade 220?

Yes, I realise that it's completely sad in a pathetic sort of way that I have more stash than some small countries, and yet there's nothing suitable for this project in it. I realise, too, that I told certain people (whom I suspect have very good memories indeed) that I'm on a yarn diet. I've bought no yarn for a week so far, and am being very good and not even browsing on eBay.

Stash bought with yarn birthday money doesn't count though. Just so that we get that out of the way before there's a misunderstanding.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Wednesday already. How did that happen?

Autumn has officially arrived in these parts, and quite a bit early.

So utterly crap was our summer that the swallows are preparing to hit Africa a fortnight early, and the trees started turning at the end of August. Mother Nature is clearly ready for some serious duvet time.

As is my routine now, I spent the weekend travelling to and from home, and being in a hospital. It's a bit surreal being home.
The daily routine hasn't changed that much from what it was in Cork, but now I get to wake up to the mewing of my cat outside my window at 5am.

He is a cutie though. Rather huge too, being part maine coon and all. He was yet another rescue cat, except we knew from day one that we were keeping him. Or that he was keeping us.

One of the best bits of my weekend?
Opening my bedroom curtains in the morning, and seeing this

Friday, September 07, 2007

Slip slidin' away has been a while, hasn't it?

To be honest, I didn't realise quite how long. Bad blogger. No cookie.

Work night out passed off well, and much food and booze was had by all.
Here we are!

One of the steaks was the stuff of legend

Knife included for a little perspective. This wasn't even the largest one on the menu. Cos, ya know, we could all do with having a pound of steak for dinner bleurgh

The evening went really well though. It was nice to have an actual night out. There haven't been many of those at all this year.

Supah Mario sock one was completed last week

Don't be fooled by the cast off edge into thinking that this sock is finished though. Oh no. It seems that even though I translated Pook's request for "one inch longer" into "3 inches longer please", the not-finished sock here is still about an inch too short. Easily fixed though. Easily fixed, on Monday, that is.

I applied, and had approved, my holidays for the end of the year this week. I'll be finishing for Christmas on Friday the 22nd December, and won't be back at work til January 9th. Rockin! The best bit is that I also booked our flights.

Myself and Pook shall be invading NYC on December 28th, doing some sight seeing, shopping, hitting a show, yarn crawling, and eating far too much food before departing again on January 6th. Wahoo!!!! doesn't even come close to covering it. It will be Pooks first trip outside of Europe as well (awwww!) and he's incredibly excited about going. That, and freaking out about the flight, thanks to those incompetant people at KLM giving him a flight to remember. In a bad way.

So, filled with online-shoppers buzz, we hit the town yesterday after work. I even wore my favourite socks

I do love long striped socks.

We managed to pick up some feather pillows at last. I really don't like microfibre pillows, and they're impossible to avoid these days. Now we have lovely squishy ones. We had some Starbucks (mmmmcinnamon) and pondered whether a shop with a sign outside it like this:

could be considered guilty of false advertising (or at the very least, misleading hapless knitters) when not only does it not sell spinning wheels, it isn't even a yarn shop! Nope, this place with the promising name sells curtains, pillows, duvets and craptacular bed linen at knockdown prices.

Craptacular. I do like that word.

Poor Pav finally lost his battle with cancer yesterday as well. He's the first opera singer I ever really liked, and he was just amazing. Won't be replaced any time soon, that's for sure.

Must go and get some actual work done now. Yes, I too would like to claim that sitting in front of my laptop surfing through Ravelry counts as work, but my inbox states otherwise.

Back down home this evening. At least I have my so called scarf to keep me busy. That, and my birthday prezzie from Pook, which I got early. That shall be blogged after the weekend. If I can pull myself away from it, that is.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Beginning at home

Supah Mario sock is coming along well.

It's very odd to be using 2.5mm needles again, after the 8mm pointy sticks stipulated by my last object. (The mohair shawl. Nope, still not blocked.) I am at a fork in the road though. Do I keep knitting, and get to the heel turning today, or do I cast on something else that I can bring to the cinema tonight? MmmmmMattDamon....nope, no chance of heel turning while watching that.

My so-called scarf is ready to be started, but I don't want to bring 35mm straights with me again, having poked myself in the arm so often last time.

Wow...the deep thoughts that fill my day....

At some point in the past, I may have mentioned the Great Destashing. One of my mothers friends knitted for all her grandkids, and as they grew up, she gave up knitting. Or, at least, knitting teeny little cardigans that she would never get to wear herself. The majority was acrylic yarn that came in either baby colours or school-jumper colours, as demonstrated below.

This morning, I had my eureka moment.

In my estimation, I have just over 3kg (or nearly 7lbs) of acrylic that I'm never, ever going to use. As of this morning, I have an empty cardboard box in our spare room/home office, and over the next few months I'm going to fill it with booties, hats and other items to be sent to various charity groups catering for babies/preemies. Just about all of these ask specifically for acrylic and acrylic blends, as they're totally machine washable and dryable.

Considering how fast little things knit up, I have little to no chance of getting bored of a pattern. I get my instant gratification projects, a warm fuzzy feeling inside, and a little head gets something cute to put on it.

Does anyone else do charity knitting? I know things like Afghans for Afghans and the Duulan project were huge in the States, but I wasn't keen on the vast amounts of airmiles that anything I would send would clock up. Anyone have any stories they'd like to tell?

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's oh so quiet...shhhh...shhh

It appears that some readers think I've been far too quiet of late, and I guess they're right. Then again, when my life closely resembles that of my hamster, I bore me at the best of times, never mind anyone else.

I feel that people would rather a few days of quiet, rather than being bored to death.
Personally, I like reading about the normal, everyday things that other people get up to in other countries, so perhaps I'm not entirely yawn-worthy all the time. Paranoia gets the better of me at times.

SnB was on Wednesday. We had a new venue, which worked fine, even if it was the smallest turnout ever. Durn college expecting people to get their theses (thesuses sounds more fun in my head lol) done by deadline and such. Still, we soldiered on bravely.

I felt a little underachieving, having failed to complete a scarf and another throw square like a certain someone. Ahem.

Still, it was a great laugh. The sock was named Supah Mario Sock, due to the resemblance of the sock striping to the colours of the infamous platform game.

The sock enjoyed a mojito. Well, it was payday...

The sock enjoyed the view from the hospital window...

...then deemed the lack of air conditioning intolerable and demanded to be taken outside.

As soon as the sun came out, of course.

I have a feeling that this sock is going to be rather demanding.

The doctor that my father is under at the moment is a highly intelligent moron. Degrees coming out the wazoo, and yet is more willing to say "we don't know how brain damaged he'll be" instead of admitting "I don't know what's going on, as I don't have any frame of reference".
My dad is not brain damaged in the slightest. He had a drug reaction last week, that made him think that our cat was sitting on the end of his bed, but that's about it. (As things to hallucinate about go, I'll admit that was both cute and rather funny!)

Then again, maybe he is. Personally, I don't know of any brain damaged person that can have a discussion on car manufacturing, and follow it up with explaining to me about the sillica content of sand used in glassmaking. Yeah, he's a vegetable alright....

He has, poor dear, picked up the nastiest chest infection in world history in this place. They, naturally, are going with the cover-your-ass method, and insist that he came from Cork with it. Do chest infections really take 3 weeks to manifest symptoms? Do you not think the slight lack of basic hygiene shown by some of your staffers might possibly have something to do with it?


.......enough rantage.
I just find things massively frustrating at times.

So what do I do?

I knit.