Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jeans, Interrupted.

There is nothing quite like having your jeans soaked most of the way to your knees, and having to sit in them all day at work. Bleurgh.

It is once more, a "grand soft day" in Dublin.

You're probably wondering why, having lived in Ireland my entire life, I'm still surprised when summer isn't very...summery. Call it my eternal optimism. We're so close to a bank holiday weekend that I can taste it. I've mentally checked out of work until Tuesday already, and am looking forward to seeing some friends in the pub this evening.

I'm also looking forward to rolling over in bed at 7am tomorrow, and going back to sleep. Nope, tomorrow I shall not be crawling out of bed and hanging around the train station

waiting for a train that could show up 5 minutes before or 20 after it's scheduled time. At some point in the afternoon though, I'll be heading for the city centre, and getting on a train to Galway.

See, not only am I a knitter, but I'm a card-carrying nerd to boot. I go to things like this and this, and engage in this and this too. I'm going to a convention for the weekend, which involves playing dress up, calling people morons but getting away with it cos it's "in character" and having more beverages of an alcoholic nature than is wise or advisable. w00t!

I have booked my ticket for the hangover express on Monday. I'll chat to you after that!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sock it to me

Socks. I loveses them.

I was intimidated by sock knitting for the longest time. Getting a sock started on DPNs is, to me, comparable to wrestling with an angry hedgehog. Then I discovered magic looping, and the rest is history.

For me, socks are the perfect do-anywhere project. A sock fits quite nicely into any or all of the bags that I use on a daily basis. I can do it on the train, without worrying about elbowing the passenger next to me. I even manage to squeeze in a few rounds before starting work on occasion.

Husbeast has gone from thinking that knitting is slightly odd and old lady-ish, to demanding to know when he's getting his next pair of socks. The whole thing is just made of win.

The pair in the photo above are in Lana Grossa, and are knitting up very nicely. Here's where the problem comes in. I won't get to wear them for weeks. Sure, it's Ireland, and we're never more than 20 minutes from a shower of rain, but if I wear wool socks in this humidity, I might just sweat to death from the ground up.
While I love my birkies. they're not workable for wearing every single day.

What's a girl to do?

I bought one ball of TOFUtsies before the big move, and knitted a pair for myself, which are fantastic. The yarn is great, but incredibly thin (and a little expensive) so I can't see myself making a drawer full of them. What do knitters in actual hot climates do? Cotton yarn is practically non-existant here, with the exception of worsted weight and mercerised.

I have a goal of getting to the stage where I only have handknitted socks. Sure, it might seem a little crazy, but it's just another small way I can give big box stores the metaphorical middle finger.

Does anyone have any recommendations for yarn to make warm weather socks from? If it's machine washable on delicate/handwash/cool cycle, even better!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Not yet humpday

Seeing as it's month end here, life is pretty much taken over with work. So what's a blogger to do?

Er....write this instead of finishing off yet another mind-numbing report, it seems.

It's both good and bad to be back in Dublin. The weather is mostly crap, but it's obviously the middle of tourist season, as it's impossible to go anywhere in the city centre in a hurry; the crowds are "bleedin' massive", to use the local lingo.

The part of town that I work in is, to be perfectly honest, known for two things; substance abuse, and Guinness. Now I do realise that there are some people out there that will point out that these can be one and the same, but I'll guarantee that the pilgrims to the Guinness brewery leave there in more control of their senses and bodily functions than a lot of the locals leave their usual haunts.

But I digress...

This rather fuzzy image (don't you love traffic fumes in small streets) is the one of the most photographed parts of Dublin. The bit that's missing from this early morning picture are groups of tourists dodging the large number of horn-honking taxi's and tour busses that crowd the streets here on a constant basis. Just up from this gate is the entrance to the famous Storehouse, where the tour groups are hearded in and out in quick succession over the course of the day.

The bit that most people fail to realise is that the Storehouse is a teeny tiny bit of the Guinness empire. Take a look at this bit that isn't on the tour!

There's a giant loading bay about 5 stories up the wall!

The whole brewery complex covers 64 acres (there are 43,560 square feet in an acre) of prime city-centre real estate. It's mind boggling, when you consider that a small one bedroom apartment goes for over 350,000euro these days (that's the best part of half a million dollars for a glorified shoebox). It's estimated that the land alone is worth in the region of 700million euro. Explains why they're looking into selling off a few buildings, doesn't it?

Don't get me wrong though; there's still a massively huge advantage to working in this part of town. You're guaranteed a really good pint of Guinness.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

One at a time

On Tuesday night, I arrived home to discover that our electricity had been cut off. One wild mood swing later, and many, many phonecalls under my belt, and it has been restored. I have never been more thankful for my iPod and the stash of candles under the sink.

Last night, then, saw me knitting my socks off, and the project that I started on Sunday

became the cute little shrug that I have been reduced to photographing in the bathroom at work.

The pattern is the One Skein Wonder, by the amazingly talented Stefanie Japel of Glampyreknits
Not only is this pattern going to be knitted to death by me, this incarnation used up some of my stash yarn from The Natural Dye Studio. I adore this yarn. In fact, if I had to pick one yarn to knit with for the rest of my days, NDS would probably be it. Amanda is not only a dye genius, she's a lovely, lovely person as well.

Tonight I'm heading out to TIK for knit night. Wahoo! I'm going to do my best not to spend my entire salary on yarn, which will be a lot more difficult than you'd imagine. I'm also using the time to do a little swap with another raveller. I'm a subscriber to Rowan International, but by the time I got my free gift last time 'round, all that was left was pale pink. Well that just doesn't work chez GaietyGirl, so it's been lingering in my stash, destined to remain unknitted for eternity. This evening, I'll be swapping it for some purple. Wahoo!

I'm still stalking the postman these days. I've had some new yarn arrive for a swap pal, and a couple of books for myself including Knitting Vintage Socks, which is fab. Next up, I'm expecting some nice smellies.

I do love online shopping. I can get things that I would never be able to pick up in my daily life. What's the strangest/most unusual thing that you've ever bought online?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Time waits for no man

This week is flying by at record rate!
I'm being rather productive too, considering I'm now a Plurk addict, as well as wired to Ravelry. I worry that when I get the net connection in our house sorted, I'll cease to have a social life that's not conducted through a computer.

I've been rather productive, even though I feel like I'm just barely managing to tread water at the moment. The phone usb cable has been found though *huzzah*

The Colinette jitterbug socks won the vote. Brain candy in sock form, they are. I'm even wearing them now.

I got the pixie hat done

....and the baby yoda is coming on nicely, with the back and one front done.

I will admit that I'm a little concerned that I'll be giving beautifully blocked cardigan parts to Emma, but I'm sure it will all work out on the night. As they say.


I'm also insane enough to have cast on another pair of socks this morning. I have a 30 minute (or thereabouts) commute on the train to work and back every day. Once more, socks are the perfect project. My feet may sweat to death in their woolly sheaths all summer, but I won't care!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mmmm beer

I'm currently sitting in an internet cafe, surrounded by WarCrack players. It's rather surreal.

I've also got a belly full of lunch, with a pint of Guinness to keep it company. Mmmm..

The move happened. We're still kinda mostly living out of boxes, but we have a fully unpacked and functioning kitchen, and a mostly unpacked and functioning living room. This makes life infinitely more bearable, I tells ya!

I got my Jitterbug socks done and dusted, and they're fab. I love this yarn bigtime. There will be photos when I get my usb cables unpacked and brought into work. We haven't arranged a net connection in the house yet, as it involves many, many phone calls to people who only want to upsell whatever they've been told to upsell that day. Argh, and so on.

A friend of ours, who now happily lives about 5 minutes away, is having a surprise baby shower next weekend. The knitting is in full force, and I'm hoping to have a pixie baby hat finished this evening, so that I can cast on a baby yoda on Monday. I, like the parents-in-waiting have no idea whether it's a male or female bun in the oven, so I'm sticking with shades of green and cream. I love gender neutral colours.

The best bit is that this is all being done in some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino that I have in my stash! Not that this makes me entirely virtuous, as I managed to completely fall off the yarn and book diet this week. Oops. You'd know I hadn't ordered either books or yarn online in a little while though, as everytime the buzzer goes at work, I stare at the door, waiting for someone to come my direction with a box. I know this is premature, seeing as I only ordered things on Wednesday, but still!

So that's about it, really. Things have been mentally busy, but I don't think anyone needs or wants a blow by blow report of my packing, moving and unpacking. Especially as the last bit isn't really done yet *cough*.

Hope everyone had a good week!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Alive, alive oh

Yup, I'm alive. Just about. Coffee is my friend, as are disinfectant cleaning wipes.

Will post later on, and with some piccies. Jitterbug socks are nearly done. I am most pleased with them.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I heart free hotspots

Our broadband/tv provider, in their infinite wisdom, decided to cut off our connection at midnight on Sunday, instead of midnight on Monday, despite having confirmed by phone that this would not happen, and that we were entitled to this as we'd paid til midnight on Monday.

Naturally, then, I was rather surprised when I couldn't log on yesterday. A very expensive call to their "I'd rather be anywhere else" customer service people proved both expensive and futile.

There is a special level of hell for those people. One with lots of pointy sticks. Not the good kind, either.

The good news is that I'm writing this with a most excellent caramel latte at my side, while sitting on a sofa in possibly the best cafe in Belfast. Great coffee, comfy seats, and free wireless broadband. Wonderful place. Twice as wonderful as I didn't need to make "the call" yesterday to let my boss know that her end of month report would be a week late due to my ISP being *censored*

Today is my last work day this week, which is great. I'll get the last of the packing done (why do the "little bits" take longer than all of the rest?) and I'll make it to my last SnB in Belfast. I'ma gonna miss this place, and all of the yarn enablers that fill it.

TOFUtsies sock two got finished in a frantic burst of energy and/or panic last night, and so was added to my June stash burn. Roxxor. Sure, I still have a hell of a lot of yarn, but it's working its way down. My current total is a rather eyebrow raising 48277 yards. I'm just happy that it's below 50,000 for a change! I can also now say that there's nothing in my stash that I wouldn't be happy to knit up into something that I'd either wear myself or give to a handmade-gift-appreciating friend. Quite an achievement, considering the vast swathes of squeaky dead lady acrylic I had only eight weeks ago.

Currently then, I have NO PROJECTS on my needles. Sorry, but I felt that deserved caps. Ok, I have one hibernated project, but I'm ignoring that.

My next 3 projects are ready to go.
Plain socks in Collinette Jitterbug
One skein wonder in Natural dye studio DK
Nagini socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock

Which should I go with? The urge is to cast on all three, of course, but that would be