Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nothing succeeds like excess

Last night I went back to ballet. The girl I share a desk with at work goes, and roped me in to "trying it out". I had an absolute blast, despite being entirely out of condition as I haven't danced in about 4 years.

So Mondays are no longer for whiskey. They're for ballet and then running like an idiot to catch the train!

Today was a good mail day.

Always a wonderful thing to happen on a Tuesday.

My copy of Interweave knits appears to have arrived as well, but at my neighbours house. When I changed my address with IK, they saved it as number five instead of number fifteen. Oops!

The wonderfully spectacular news of the week, nay, the month, is that I got an email today telling me that I've been one of the lucky people to win a place in the Wollmeise sock club! I'm absolutely over the moon. I've yet to own a skein of Wollmeise, as I always miss the updates (they sell out in seconds).

This has been a fantastic yarn month. I have a skein of Socks That Rock waiting to be cast on at home, my first Get Knitted Lorna's Laces sock club installment is waiting for me in my parents house, and now I get to play with some Wollmeise.

Really, I need to start knitting faster. I've gotten an embarassingly small amount done since I moved house, and if I don't get cracking on it I will end up with a mountain of sock yarn that will last 'til next century.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Smells like (post) teen spirit

Yup, another week slips by and work takes over from my ability to get a post done. Sorry!
Still, I have a few goodies for you at least. Or for me, more accurately.

Look what arrived this week!

Yup, it's an amazingly crap photo, but I'm still working off my camera phone as I can't afford to replace my digital camera.

The little bottles contain wonderousness from Blood Drop. This was my first indie perfumer purchase, and I'm over the moon with it. Not only do I smell good enough to eat, Astrid threw in some glorious freebies as well. I can see myself making many, many repeat purchases from her.

The scents, in no particular order, are:
The Zodiac club, Bisou, Devonshire Cottare, Ruffles, Bustles and Corsets, Miou miou. My freebies were Cafe Zazou (which may well be my new favourite scent ever), Merci8 and Cinema Noir. I haven't been able to find the last two scents on the website, so I'm guessing they were discontinued or specials. Merci8 will be used sparingly, as I'll cry when it runs out. I also got a very generous sample size of body cream in Killing Time in Taipei.

Overall, BloodDrop is made of win. Excellent customer service and fantastic scents. You can't go wrong!

If anyone is planning on making a purchase, leave a comment or mention my name in the order - there's a reference program, and the freebies are fantastic!

Yeah....knitting has really been on the back burner of late. I'm still not finished the second Lana Grossa sock. I'm really struggling with it for some reason. I think it's something to do with the texture of the yarn. It's lovely as a piece of fabric, but only ok to knit with. This is a big thing for me, as I'm very much a process knitter.

It might also have some small part to do with the fact that my last socks were Collinette Jitterbug. That stuff is just yum. Now that I have a skein of STR though, I might have to do some scientific-type compare and contrast, in an effort to finally answer the great question of "are they the same thing, basically?".

Just because it's Friday, a couple of interesting shots I managed to take last weekend. First was at the local dog show. It was horrendous weather, and the pooches were trying everything to stay in out of it - with the notable exception of the Newfies, who went around splashing in puddles.

This pup had a great seat:

Warm, dry, comfy, and with a great view of the bitches.

My cat decided to voice his disapproval with our coming home smelling of doggy by adopting a vaguely acrobatic porn star pose. Silly kitty.

Back to work for me then. It's nearly the weekend, it's payday, and the town is exploding with artsy fartsy events. Even the phone exchanges are getting in on the action

Roll on 5.30pm!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Before and after

Thursday evening was rather crap and depressing in the weather department

...and some happy-making strategies were required, which in this case, involved making hummus. I eat far too much of the stuff, and thought I might as well make my own, as I can get the seasonings exactly as I like them.

The experiment went pretty well.

The downside? I thought that one can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in the blender looked far to stingy, so added a second. I didn't factor in how much this would expand by once I'd added the oil and tahini. A litre of hummus, you say?

Still, nothing like starting the weekend with a full belly, is there? Especially as the weather improved beyond all hope on Friday.

What a difference a day makes, eh? It really reminds me of the before and after shots on those cheesy makeover shows.

In the same before and after vein, allow me to offer some advise:

If you ever find yourself in Ireland, and travelling on our pretty mediocre(but improving) rail service, you might find yourself faced with one of these beasts

These are still seen far too frequently for my liking. Some of them have been around for 40-odd years, and they smell it, for the most part. I had the misfortune of travelling from Cork to Dublin on one a few years back. It was the coldest January we'd had in years, and there was no heating on the train. We ended up huddled together under stacks of coats, trying to keep warm, as our waterbottles froze before our eyes.
The summer edition also comes with a distinct lack of air con or opening windows, which can make that Friday evening train journey very hot and fragrant - in a bad way.

Want the good news? These old jalopies are being phased out, and not a moment too soon. The new trains on the network are amazingly fancy creations from Taiwan and Korea, and are the shizzle.

Hardly seems fair that this is my train for the twenty minute journey home, while people going to Galway get stuck on the orange monstrosity for 3+ hours....

Naturally, the weather didn't hold for the weekend, but it's Ireland so we should be used to it. Somewhat. Flooding has hit various bits of the country, and I even resorted to pulling my wellies out of storage when I visited my parents at the weekend. They proved most useful, if a bit naff.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Further down the rabbit hole

I love Alice in Wonderland. Absolutely love it. Have multiple copies of the books. Went to New York at New Years, and came home seriously considering opening a franchise of Alices Tea Cup. You'll understand my joy at finding the perfect mug then.

Everyone loves an action shot!

During a lunchtime wander around Avoca, I spotted this sitting on a small shelf on the stairs. There may have been squeeing, and running towards the till. The little tea filter inside was bought as well. It's in the shape of a teapot, which you may be able to make out, and came with a teeny little dish that it fits perfectly. No more dribbling tea all over the desk on the way to the bin for me!

Yesterday continued to be made of win. I got home to find a parcel waiting for me. The fact that I had post (mail) was enough to cheer me up all by itself, as I got soaked to the skin walking the 200 yards from the station to my house. When I opened it....the squeeing could probably be heard in space.

SP12 goodies, and how.
A fab spotty drawstring project bag (no more ziplocks for me!) and a skein of SOCKS THAT ROCK!!!!
While this may be a run of the mill thing for many of you, this is my first skein ever of this yarn. The colours are just perfect, and the urge to stick it straight down my bra was incredible.

It's gonna take every bit of my willpower to finish my current sock and not just abandon it and start winding the beautious yarn into cakes. It will keep me company when HusBeast has me committed for getting "maybe a bit overexcited" about yarn.

So thank you thank you thank you to my SP12 partner. You rock.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ice, ice baby

The weekend was a very strange thing, involving the purchase of a bookcase, eating far too many brownies, and hiding from the rain of death.

It also involved this

Popping the cherry, so to speak, of my ice cream maker. Such a brilliant wedding present, especially now that we have a freezer!

Never one to do things the simple way, I started with coconut ice cream, which began by looking rather sad

but quickly progressed to

There are no finished photos, unfortunately, as it was devoured in record time. I'll make sure to document the next batch more fully.

The sock travelled with me last night after work

and while it was deemed unsuitable as a candidate (couldn't even be bothered hiding the needles, for a start) was an amiable companion for the duration.
Apart from the karmic bit, the other really cool thing about giving blood in Dublin is that once you're done, you're shunted to the cafe for complimentary tea/coffee/guinness/snackyness and this view

This is O' Connell Bridge - the heart of Dublin. Much prettier to look at than walk over though, due to it being August and therefore tourist-central.

Two other random bits for you today. Firstly, the office oasis is coming on well.

Second.......you can tell me that this was made for banana storage all you want. I still think it looks like a sex toy.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Dyeing for the cause

This week has been absolute mayhem! I'm looking forward to a nice, mostly-calm weekend to round it all off.

First off, Galway happened. Due to some technical problems, we ended up on the old orange and black train with the seat springs that sit in your arse. Only one way to handle a situation like that!

Not much knitting got done this week, overall, but I did get to do some dyeing. The first in my new house.

I was rather pleased with the results. It's a custom job for a friend in the States, who loves aquas, teals and blues. The next piccies, while rather blurry, show the colour a bit better.

Hrm....the lighting here is not my friend today. The yarn looks much cooler in real life, and is currently winging its way across the ocean.

Or, being more realistic, is in a bag in a postal depot somewhere in Dublin.

I made it to knit night this week as well. Not to my local SnB, unfortunately, as public transport is conspiring against me, but out to Blackrock. For a change, I didn't buy any yarn! I think I deserve a medal for this, considering that Knit Night is held in a) the coolest yarn shop in Ireland and b) a new shipment of Brown Sheep had just arrived. Having resisted the urge to climb into a giant box of yarn, I felt a reward was in order. Oh don't look at me like that!

If I'm honest, I'm a bit lukewarm about the whole series of SnB books. I think they try a bit too hard to be cool and hip (or whatever buzz word is flavour of the month) and the patterns are a bit blah for me.
This book, however, is pretty much rocking my world. Having had not much more than a flick through, I had it up on the counter and bagged. There are at least 5 projects in it that I plan on making rather soon, and that's before I start bandaging my boobs down.

Who am I kidding? I'll never be able to restrain the "twins", but that doesn't make this book any less cool. I think Debbie Stoller has really cracked it with this one, and has produced a book that contains some good and practical advise (of the sort that we don't want to hear, but need to) and a whole bunch of incredibly wearable patterns. Bravo Miss S. Keep up the good work.

Now all I need to do is find a good hiding spot for it, so that the HusBeast doesn't get any ideas...

To avoid the sock getting jealous, I have to add that I got the heel turned on the train home last night, and look forward to ignoring it for the weekend in favour of getting my baby yoda finished. Just don't tell the sock.

It doesn't deal with rejection.