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.