Archive for November, 2008

Round round, baby, round round….

I’m totally hooked on spinning. So much so that I hardly did any knitting this weekend. So much so that I hardly did any packing as well, and considering we’re moving on Saturday, it’s not that good!

I think I said before, I got a spindle and some fiber from Socktopus. The fiber I got is Spindlefrog‘s Merino in a colourway called Mango Fandango and renamed Pumpkin Autum by myself. I split the plait in 2, then each one in 3. Before I was halfway through the second one, the spindle was getting heavy, and following Diane’s instructions and some of my imagination, I transferred the spun  yarn to another stick. A chopstick in this particular case….

From left to right – first chopstick and second chopstick that make 2oz of fiber. Then the third pic shows what’s on the spindle right now, you can click on it and see how much better I got from the first attempts to here!

On Saturday, Diane, Mel and myself took a little road trip up to P&M Woolcraft, where we met Sarah and drooled over spinning wheels and several tons of fiber. Pauline and Martin are so nice and knowleadgeable, I was a bit scared about trying the wheels as I haven’t tried one in my life, but they gave us a bit of fiber and off you go – we tried the Pioneer, the Little Gem and the Joy (double treadle). Mel and I fell in love with the Little Gem. I am going to try and save up a little here and there to be able to buy it in the new year. The treadling is SO easy, the wheel didn’t turn the wrong way even once, it’s smooth spinning all the way. The shade of the wood is very classy and being so small makes it perfect for my new house, as I can take it upstairs or downstairs easily depending on where I want to work.

I also managed to bag a copy of the new Holiday Knits and Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning, from where I took many tips. Before this trip, I was drafting and parking – after it, I’m not parking anymore and I’m managing to get even drafting, even where I need to splice and join new fiber. It’s a good thing I got better, as I got 150g of grey merino and 100g of alpaca silk. I left the fiber bag besides the sofa – last night I kept dipping my  hand in it, I love how soft that mix is.

Sunday was spent packing, although we did have to go out to buy Bobble’s birthday card. Can’t believe he’s 1 tomorrow. Sobs. Now the living room looks like a set off some war movie, there’s suitcases and boxes everywhere… but we’re getting there! Signing the contract today!!

Hopefully sometime later this week I can do a little review of the Holiday Knits issue.

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Wonder if anyone would notice

Half my colleagues are away somewhere. I’m in the office because I had meetings and I couldn’t stay home. All my meetings took place in the morning. I’m bored. I’ve done everything I had to. I have tried to think of a way for me to keep my knitting in my lap and look really intensely at some paperwork, thinking maybe that way I’d look concentrated enough and manage to get the cuff of 9-to-5 finished. Alas, no can do.

Last night I got my spindle from Socktopus and some nice Spindlefrog fleece, in Mango Fandango. Which I think looks like a pumpkin, very in season. I’m feeling quite inspired – I managed to jot down some notes on a concept that was circling my mind but I didn’t quite know how to bring to life.

Still trying, however, to construct the impossible without going mental. I wanted to pop up to York again to get some bargains (James C Brett Merino DK for the impossible project and some sewing books I saw at the stores) but now that we’re moving houses that may be put on hold.

Good news though, I finally received the missing package from the Light Dusting Lace Club that No Two Snowflakes ran from the summer. I received the July package fine. September fine. October fine. August? Well, August apparently circled the world 3 times before making it back to Nicole in October. She sent it back to me recently and surprise of surprises, I got it today – lovely dark chocolate laceweight merino. I thought I would make Obstacles with the pumpkin shade, but now I’m not so sure. And as a little bonus, a little skein in lemon and lime shades!

This, however, doesn’t count as stash enhancement, as it was paid for and expected to be there before my cut off date. I have decided to print all my stash from ravelry and allocate projects to everything without buying more yarn. I have far more lace than I should for my sanity. I’ve allocated a couple of skeins here and there (a blue laceweight for a lovely beaded scarf from Knitscene, a pink silk/merino for a Flower Basket Shawl), but I think I’m doing better at allocating the sock yarn than the rest of them.

If you check this out and have a suggestion on how to use any of them – do let me know. Especially the Araucania Ranco Multi. I’ve seen a cardi I could do, but the colour changes are quite drastic, so I’m still wondering if a Clapotis will really bore me to death.

And the wild coloured HazelKnits. Spring Forward was an initial idea but I think it’ll look better on a solid shade…

I know the best way to check it out would be to ball it and knit some to see if it would work on something other than a shawl/scarf, but if I ball of my yarn, where would I get my kicks from???

…gonna eat a lot of peaches….

Like the Presidents of the USA, I’m moving to the country. I don’t have a peach tree but I may as well because mama – I is moving to West Sussex.

That is, of course, if the poophole agents we are currently with get their crap sorted out. Having given notice in October, and knowing we had 2 months notice, they did say that “they’d be happier if we vacated the premises before December as December is a tough month to get new tenants”. Well, how about Nov 29th?

Yes, that is BEFORE December. However now they’re saying that “considering the 2 months notice, we’re liable for December’s rent if they don’t find new tenants”. Do you think they are even going to look for new tenants? I don’t think so either. Bloodsucking sons of the devil. Hate estate agents.

</rage>

Very well, let me walk you through what is (supposed to be) our new home. Situated in a little cul-de-sac in Horsham, it’s a 3 level split semidetached house, with tons of light coming in, a nicely sized living room, a nicely sized and space-generous kitchen, a small toilet, a big bathroom with a huge shower and 2 double bedrooms with built-in wardrobes, with the best feature – inside lightbulb!

Brian is allowing me to put my desk in the second bedroom, as it’s not frequently that we have guests, and that way, my sewing machine, yarn, fabric, books, etc, can have a room of their own.

The house is carpeted throughout, which I adore, as my feet don’t like wooden floors and I love walking around barefoot. No shoes past the door in my new place, guys! The place is completely unfurnished except from the kitchen, as it has the hob/oven/grill combo, big massive fridge, dishwasher and washer/dryer. There’s a big cupboard in the first hallway where we plan to implant our shelves with books, and an airing cupboard for those annoying suitcases, books, plastic crates, etc.

Gas central heating and blackout curtains make this place even better, and the fact that the master bedroom’s windows overlook a field is such a luxury – considering now we overlook Sainsbury’s offices in South London!

We’ll be saving a lot of the rent money, and I’ll sleep much better with the calm surrounding it. Now I only need to time my notice at work cleverly enough to make sure I still qualify for the bonus in March, and ensure I’ve plenty of small projects to take with me on the train, as I will have a slightly longer commute than I have now.

Horsham is a lovely little town, big enough to have a Starbucks and a Waterstone’s, but small enough to have a nice Saturday market with independent traders and know that your house won’t be broken into just because you’re away on holidays. The streets are pebbled, mainly pedestrianised in the centre, there’s plenty of bus and train services everywhere, and it’s even closer to Gatwick Airport (my hub for homebound flights)

Now to make a list – bed, sofa, dinner table, transfer the phone, internet….

Watch out here I come

looooookie…..

spinny

Yesterday evening at the Socktopus knitnight, Diane in her infinite patience and incredible encouragement, taught me the short & sweet version of spinning.

I’m totally hooked now – next week I’m definitely getting my first spindle, and some fiber to play with. I’ve been showing it to anyone who is anyone in my life, and my mother sounded way weirded out when I told her over the phone last night….

– Mum, I spun my first yarn last  night.

– you… what?

– yes, I spun yarn

– from what, a sheep?

I guess I’ll have to show her over christmas!

Also, Brian got around 6 viewings for us on Saturday, who knows, maybe we’ll have found a home by then. It’s pretty certain we’ll be moving to Horsham, I guess I’ve had enough of the city neighbourhoods? I’ve always been a city girl, I was born and brought up in Valencia, but as my parents live in the outskirts, the way of life is much more different. I think where we are right now is just a “place of passage” as it doesn’t look like people actually settle in that area, and I’m looking to settle.

I sound like my mother. I’m so excited I can spin.  Pardon the silly song/post title, I just had to!

Taking stick

Last week I was pretty surprised when I read about the Ross/Brand prank on Andrew Sachs and his granddaughter. The whole thing just reeked of Russell Brand – tasteless, lacking in respect, not funny in the slightest and with a distinctive smell of a very far away shower.

In any case, yesterday I found out that the granddaughter in question is a burlesque dancer. Not to be blunt, but surely if you insinuate sex and get nude for a living, surely you should get some stick for the whole joke, right? Poor Sachs though, I understand how bad he must feel – if I had any relative, distant as they may be, who had been in close proximity of Brand, I’d be furious too.

The whole “take some stick” rant begins this morning with a bunch of chavvy losers on SouthWest Trains. As usual, I sit down, take my coat off and get knitting the project du jour.  Let me start by saying that chav #1, sitting to my right, stank of cigarrette smoke and his breath allowed room for improvement.  He was shouting across the aisle to chavs #2 and #3, who looked like they’d been hit with an I-beam when they were born and never recovered. Talking about Page 3 (what else if not!?) and #1 tries to turn the paper to his maights (mates for those with real spelling skills), and I hear over my music that “maybe that bird could make me some long johns for xmas”. Assuming the “hey if I don’t pay them attention they’ll realise they’re worthless little pieces of crap and leave me alone“, I continue knitting and skipping tracks on my Zen to get to the meanest loudest heavy metal song I could find. The joke continued all the way to Brentford.

I told a colleague and his response was “you need to learn to some stick”.  Why? I don’t go around provoking anyone, or asking them to take notice of my actions, I’m literally taking my 20 minutes of commute and stitching them up into something useful and creative. Why would they need to think it’s in their right to voice their judgement very loudly and probably enrage anyone who wanted to have a quiet train ride into work with their actions? 

In his opinion – I’m doing something completely out of what’s considered usual to do on a train and therefore there’s room for jokes and fingerpointing.

Which led me to another thought: I have not yet seen anyone trying to stop the chavs from laughing at someone, playing their music on speakers, being a nuisance and menace to everyone around them. Sad, isn’t it?

Dear errata… (& Socktopus opening!)

Don’t you just love it when your pattern has something wrong and you only realise when you are about to finish?

This happened to me on Sunday morning, just as I finished my newest pair of mittens. On the first mitten, I’d just followed the pattern without questioning it, and as I wasn’t knitting from the magazine, I didn’t compare the picture to the FO. As I was gearing up to finish the second mitten, this time with my copy of Vogue, I look at the picture and look at my first mitten. Over and over.

Crappers. The pattern called for knitting every round, including the front of the mitten, when the front is all knit in reverse st st. I didn’t have my computer on and I was on a rush, so I decided to make my own rules. Lo and behold, the pattern is wrong and my version is so much better.

I had to undo the tip of the first mitten (only because Brian kind of bullied me to) and knit it back in a hurry because we had to be off to the Socktopus opening party!

Socktopus is a bit of a walk away from West Brompton station, but it’s in a nice neighbourhood, so that makes it better. When we arrived there were tons of people already there, so many that if I tried to link them it’d be my afternoon all gone – suffice to say everybody I’ve met so far was there and it was a blast to catch up with them. At first I was going to be good and only bought one skein of Indieknits sock yarn (shade name is Frost and it’s gorgeous!) and one of Hazelknits for a pair of socks for Brian, in shade Laguna, a very nice mix of teals and celeste shades.

But then he produced a bunch of cash and said “come on, buy yourself 2 more”. yay!! 2 more Hazelknits (I’m addicted to the stuff!!), in Red Carpet and Terrytwinkle.

So hopefully I can make Entangled Stitches out of Red Carpet, I’ve been looking for the perfect colour to make them.

OTN right now it’s Catriona, right about to separate the neckline, and Nine to Five, a sock pattern with lovely stretchy cables all throughout that is giving me a run for my money as I’ve had to tink back 3 rows due to my cruisecontrol knitting.

Will probably take pictures of yarn, socks and mittens tonight and update this post.

Socks picture!

9 to 5

In other news – we’re officially homeless (almost). We handed our notice to crooky landlord and before the end of December we must be off. Not really sure where we’re heading, but it looks like West Sussex has got more points than any. Must wait and see what happens about work – if the thing I’m hoping to come through does come through there’ll be other “what if’s” to consider, but if it doesn’t come through, we move wherever we move, then I quit work and look for something else.