Friday, June 29, 2007

A little anti-social, no?

Well as I'm back in Dublin today, I thought I'd share another of my favourite bits of the city.

Nope, it's not a joke. This building is an often ignored Dublin landmark. Part of the reason I love it is that it shows the evolution of language. The title is hilarous to me now, but at the time it would have been quite serious, and not at all amusing.
James Joyce even mentions it in Ulysses.

It always gives me an image of overweight, red faced landlords sitting in high-backed armchairs with their trousers rolled up and feet in a basin of water, and looking rather annoyed. Indignent, even.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Onwards and stashwards

Last night was my second stitch n bitch, and as Nikki is in Florida, I was the designated photographer.

My invite arrived yesterday, and I'm already bordering on obsessive about the site. It's fantastic. It's even encouraging me to knit faster and turn my WIPS into FO's.

So today, I worked. Emails were answered, databases were updated, podcasts were listened to.

Knitting was done.

I finally cast off the body of the moss stitch cardigan. I'm very proud of me, both for sticking with it and for not being suffocated under layers of yarn while knitting it.
Fine, sure, hanging like that it looks like a waistcoat for a rather short and wide person. It's actually a cowl-type neck when it's done up - those bits are hanging down in the manner of Hugh Hefner's dressing gown at the moment. I bought some of those long Clover pins for holding things together during finishing, but they seem to have been stolen by brownies overnight.


Sunday will see an email hitting my inbox with details of my spoilee on the "Having a bad day" swap. I can't wait. It's knitty-shopping without the guilt :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ups and downs

Todays ups:
Got an email this morning inviting me to (my username is GaietyGirl, btw)
Work is quiet, so am managing to take and upload stash piccies.
The sun is sunshining.

Todays downs:
Beginning the process of suing OH's boss for unfair dismissal.
Can't say much atm, but basically we got back from the cinema last night to find a letter had been hand delivered, telling him not to come back to work.
This morning when OH went to work to collect his stuff, housemate was told that he was fired as well.

Thankfully evil boss seems to have written his staff contracts while in a drunken haze and not actually read them since. Sucks to be him right now hehe

OH starts jobhunting tomorrow. We can't afford to move again so soon, so crappy temp job for him it is. The thing keeping us sane on this is that we both actually like Belfast, our house, and I can still go to SnB meetings.

Gotta keep focussing on those silver linings.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The hills are alive with the sound of....sirens

It's a fabulously gorgeous day outside. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and fire engine sirens are wailing in the distance.
Nothing too serious, I hope.

The major downside with a day like today is being stuck indoors. It's the kind of day that makes me wish I were doing some sort of outside job, or had a garden to potter in. I guess I'll have to settle for hanging wet washing out on the clothesline.

Last week, I knitted up a baby hat for OH's niece, and here it is

Looking all squishy and cute in its dual role as head warmer and bannister decoration. My box of bits is in Dublin though, so I've not been able to stitch it up yet.

When I received my package of even more cashmerino and addi's on Friday, I squeed. Squeed a bit more, then inhaled suddenly, as I realised that the shade of green in my package was not just beautiful, but an entirely different shade of green to the hat. Bummer. On the plus side, I'd ordered a ball too much, so running up another one is not a big deal. (As a side note, I also found out on Friday that one of my friends is finally pregnant, so my apple green bannister decoration will be going to her as a belated meme craft present!)

Equipped with my bag o' yarn, needles and a 3 hour stint on a train, I cast on the Baby Shrug from Debbie Bliss Simply Baby. Lovely pattern, and quite easy, even though it's all knit in one piece. Granted, I haven't gotten to the "pick up on million stitches" part, but I'm quietly confident.

So here's what 6 hours of train knitting will get you.

Train knitting is a funny thing. The Dublin-Cork train is the most fancy and fabulous in Europe, apparently. They're new and shiny, and meet all the carbon emission standards for 2012 already. They do, however, sway a bit more than the old diesel warhorses, which makes knitting impossible at times. They also vary between artic cool and sahara hot at other times, resulting in my fingers being too cold to knit, or my dozing off, needles in hand.

That said, I knit pretty much every time I'm on public transport, even if it's just a few lines here and there. Every journey I knit on (save local busses) someone has struck up a conversation about how they/their mother/their aunt used to knit all the time. I've even had a 7 year old boy demand that his granny break out some needles and yarn when they got home to teach him.

Are knitters more approachable than other people? Or just seen as being? Is it that a WIP is an instant icebreaker, and people are insanely curious beings?
In my mind, there seems to be something a bit magical about it that draws people in.

Anyone else had some interesting WIP experiences?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Now with 15% more natural or artificial flavouring!

Yes, I promised photos on Monday.
Work demanded attention though, and as much as I may like to believe that I get paid to sit in front of my laptop and knit all day while listening to podcasts, it just ain't so.

On the plus side, I have some piccies. Well, two.
Today is all lovely and sunny, and good photo taking weather. Naturally, my camera batteries have picked this time to run out.

First up, the blue monstrosity.
Like how it's artfully draped over the bannister? I've also just noticed that my laptop case has weaseled into the frame. It's such an attention whore. Still, at least it's not something really embarassing, like...bras left out to dry, or a shrine to Debbie Bliss.

I don't really mean monstrosity though. I think it will be lovely when I get it finished. It's just a bit boring to knit. The wonderfulness of the yarn is all that lies between me and it being an eternal UFO. This afternoon, I'll get the body cast off, and get the first sleeve on the needles. Or that's the plan.

The really exciting bit o' news is that I went to my first Belfast Stitch N Bitch session last night. Much fun was had, and despite the girls *coughNikkicough* thinking that they've scared me off, I'm really looking forward to next week.
I didn't bring my camera, in an attempt to keep from looking like some crazy woman with an obsession. The purring noises when Collinette was mentioned may have killed that. Oops.

Sock 1 got quite an outing yesterday! My fingers are still cramping. I knitted on the bus to town, in Starbucks, while waiting for the bus home, on the bus home, and managed to have 3 glasses of wine while watching a movie til 1am and still knit away without any frogging being required this morning. Well, I thought it was impressive!

As a result, today we have artsy shot 2 of the day:

Taaa daaaaa!
My first magic loop sock. Complete with yarn tails hanging out, and with a severe need for blocking. It's a plain vanilla sock, but it's a pattern guaranteed to be acceptable to everyone, especially manly men who shy away from colours, stitch patterns or yarns that might possibly mean that they'd be taken for being anything less than manly men.

Addi turbos are wonderful things. I never really got the hype until I finally tried them for myself. I love them so much that I have 2 more sets on order - which I should have tomorrow. Squeee!

Things from to do list done:
One sock.

Things from to do list to cast on this weekend:
Second sock *gulp*
First cardigan sleeve.
Baby shrug.

Yeah, this whole thing of having one handbag project and one sofa project really isn't working out too well for me.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Work in progress

Well this week vanished on me entirely.

Yes, I've been quiet, but I've been knitting up a frenzy. I'm nearly at the ribbing on my first sock! It's been going so well! I used Knitty's universal toe up sock pattern on the magic loop. I no longer have to hide my sock yarn stash :)

I also got a hat knitted for OH's new niece in that lovely green cashmerino. OH was very impressed that I cast it on while watching tv after dinner, and had it done by the time he got home from work the next day. He's also volunteered to fund the buying of more cashmerino if I make bootees and a cardigan to go with it. Score one for me!

Yes, I realise that this means my projects for myself are getting further and further down the queue, while those around me are looking more stylish (ha ha!) by the minute.

So, what is the queue?

On the needles:
Moss stitch cardigan - 5 more rows, then on to the sleeves!
Lace wrap - mohair and lace. Concentration required. Can't do while people keep interrupting to ask for dinner/keys/other shoe/whatever.
Sock - Opal yarn, toe up. Photos on Monday :)

To do:
Second lace wrap - have yarn
Bootees and cardigan for niece - to match hat.
Socks for OH )
Socks for wedding for OH and 2 best men.
Socks for mother - can't make socks for everyone else and leave her out
Purple and black stripey scarf for S
Hat of some description for D
Cable baker boy cap for other S
Scarf - that Sublime mohair that recently came home with me shall be Branching Out
Scarf - Blossom scarf from that Velvet yarn
Summer mohair sweater thing from Stitch N Bitch - which won't be ready til next summer

The 3 items for friends were supposed to be done for Christmas, but keep getting bumped down the list. In fairness, I've bumped my own stuff down even further - the last 3 on the list. I think I've knitted myself one thing in the last year, a scarf, which I may need to sacrifice and frog if I run out of yarn before I'm done with my cardigan.

No one else is allowed have a baby or get married in the next 4 months.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"S" is for Squeeeee!!!!!

So, I was going to post a bit about my current knitting projects, but something utterly wonderful and squee-worthy has happened, so you'll have to wait for that round of ranting til tomorrow. Or whenever I manage to stop jumping up and down.

Back on the 22nd of May, I was catching up on some blogs while procrastinating at work. I'm sure a lot of people think I'm a sandwich short of a picnic, due to the random commenting that I do on said blogs.

Aaaaaaaaanyway, as I was reading through Ewe Wish, I noticed a packet of what looked at first glance to be some strange snackfood. A question was also posed "Can you guess what this is? And its intended use?".

Well, through the magic being born and raised in the countryside, I recognised what they were. I commented, as I do, and thought nothing more til I got an email asking for my address, as I had won a little prize.

As it turned out, not only was there a prize, but the fabulous Orghlaith spent several emails arranging said prize with my LYS! So I ran over to Jeans on my lunchbreak today, and left the shop 10 minutes later, bouncing, squeeing and trying not to cry.

There was a goodie bag. In fact, the word goodie doesn't even do it justice. See for yourself....

Isn't it wonderful? I even risked a broken toe (by saving my falling camera with it) to take a suitably artsy shot out in the sunshine!!!!

Jenny mentioned a "scarf kit" to me. Funny, I always remember scarf kits having horrible plastic needles and a couple of balls of squeeky acrylic in nauseating shades...not 5 (5!!!!) balls of Sublime Kid Mohair and bamboo needles!!!

So thank you again for your massive and wonderful gift, Miss Orghlaith.
I really am just completely blown away by your kindness.

Thank you from an elated knitter in Belfast, and from rather a large number of lambs who keep their testicles while you keep you stitches on your needles!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Those long lazy days of "what do I do now"?

The house is very quiet today. It's a bank holiday in Ireland, but not the U.K. so I have the day off while the boys have to work. Sucks to be them, I guess. Except that I'm having a can't keep still day.

The plan was to catch up on some of the massive amounts of sleep that I've been missing...I lasted til 9am before I got up out of boredom. I proceeded to clean most of the house, put on multiple loads of laundry and do some shopping.

I resisted the lure of Jeans, though it called to me. Multiple times, as I kept forgetting things and had to walk past it about 5 times.

So aside from checking out the shops, and pottering about, I've been doing some knitting. What a shocker!
The cardigan is being slightly ignored today. I've only got one front piece and sleeves to do, so I reckon I deserve a slight distraction, especially as Fathers Day is looming.
So over the weekend, I started on this

My first sock :)
Actually, first sock mark 2. I had progressed to this point already and had to frog back to the start. Why? Because knitting when sleepy is stupid, and stitches always run in huge and messy ways when I don't have a crochet hook, needle, toothpick or hair pin that I can rescue the situation with. Still, now that I've got the knack of magic loop knitting, there will be socks for everyone for birthdays, anniversaries, name it! This also ties in nicely with the justification of yarn purchases if it's for making gifts. Wonderful!

The shawl has been left in Dublin, because I'm a genius....
I did manage to snap a picture though, so I don't feel quite so bad. Hey, blogging the wrap is the same as knitting it, right?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Lazy posting day

Just because I have far too much time and not enough brain power on my hands, it's meme time. It's not 100% accurate, as I will try anything at least once and there are plenty of things like intarsia that I want to learn for the sake of learning. At this moment in time, don't ever see myself doing all these things regularly. Of course now that I've said that, future children will refuse to wear anything other than intarsia sweaters and socks!

Is there any technique that, when you learned it, you said to yourself that it would be your first and last time using it, but since then it keeps popping up?

Knitting techniques meme
If you read this and you knit -- consider yourself tagged! Be sure to leave a comment so I can see your list.

Bold for stuff you've done, italics for stuff you plan to do eventually and normal for stuff you don't intend to do

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire

Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down

Knitting with silk

Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL

Drop stitch patterns

Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn (where do people find these fabled sweaters??)
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with bananafiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with Bamboo yarn

Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/Doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items

Knitting with your own handspun yarn

Graffitti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental Knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)

Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Knitting with Alpaca

Fair Isle Knitting (just to say I've done it, mind!)
Norwegian knitting (ditto above)
Dying with plant colors

Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)

Knitting socks (or other small tubular items)on two circulars
Olympic knitting

Knitting with someone else's handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male to knit

Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously

Knitting with wool
Textured Knitting
Kitchener Bind Off
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO

Knitting and Purling Backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn
Stuffed Toys
Knitting with Cashmere - doesn't everyone!?
Knitting with synthetic yarn

Writing a pattern
Intarsia (again, firmly in the just to be able to do it camp)
Knitting with Linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting

Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers
Pillows (I presume these are what I would call cushions)
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine

Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public