Saturday, 16 July 2005

Every can has a silver lining

By the time I got to the hospital I was feeling truly dreadful. I was a bit early so sat on a bench with a can of 7-up. Then this lorry pulls up right in front of me...
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An omen, I thought. Then I looked down and saw my can of drink...
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Ah, I thought. Maybe the only way is up. And then, and I'm not kidding, an empty hearse pulls ou of the road just to my right. I didn't have the camera in my hand so just sat there open mouthed watching it. Still astonished I looked to my right and there is a 'full' hearse, complete with flowers, plus 2 empty mourning cars waiting to pull out. Enough of fricking omens, I thought to myself and went in.

Dr P is a wonderful man - truly the most intelligent and understanding I've ever met. He explains how the male psyche works and so now I am not annoyed with Pooch but have, under Dr P's advice, 'banked it' for later use. Am now on a whopping 60mg fluoxetine a day and he is leaving a decision about lithium til Monday but that would only be short-term to help me over this 'episode'. Once I am over it he's going to try me on another pilllllllllllllllll.

So I left feeling better and with a new understanding of the Pooch-brain and made my way to the British Museum (got lost, but I hardly need to mention that as it happens with such regularity). I realise now that I only took two pics while I was there, and one of them was of pink lemonade with my hand dyed wool in front as I loved the colours.
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The other is of Jenny, Elaine and Natalie - the old school posse as we are all veterans of such gatherings. Haven't seen Jenny for ages as she pretends to enjoy dancing more than knitting on wed eves now. Was good to catch up and meet lots of new people.
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You know I'm now worried I've got Elaine's name wrong. How embarrasing - sorry :(

Finally, I got home to find a very drunk, very upset Pooch. Turns out there was more going on today than he'd said but won't go into that here. He had apparently staggered into Liberty (and undoubtedly given the poor knitting woman there a surprise) by demanding some 'good stuff' and then asking her whether it was all the same dye lot and pointing out that of course it wasn't as good as debbie bliss maya or noro. God knows what she thought. So I am up 10 balls of cashcotton in a lovely heathery colour.
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He also got a pattern book to go with it so it's either a cardi out of there or the dreamcatcher cardi from loop-d-loop. I'll have to work out if I've got enough for that one.

Many thanks to everyone who commented - I basically did everything that everyone said at some point yesterday (apart from actually going to salsa). It looks like the Poochster and I are OK for another day. Now I have to go off and eat some breakfast and stuff myself with 3 pills and paracetamol to combat the side-effect-headache. Wish me luck!

Friday, 15 July 2005

Salsa tonight

  1. Pooch agreed three weeks ago to go to Salsa tonight.
  2. It has come up in discussion several times since then.
  3. He said about 10 days ago that he had heard there would be lots of women there looking sexy and dancing - he now says this was not an indication he wanted to go but an attempt to make me uncomfortable about going.
  4. He just told me at about 9.30am this morning via text that he actually did not want to go.
  5. He has left it to me to tell his friends about his decision.
  6. I would now be the only one not coupled up if I still go which means I'd be dancing with the leftovers.
He has suggested it is unreasonable for me to be upset about this as he only originally said yes to stop me from becoming annoyed and I should have known that. So, acknowledging the fact that I did find it surprising he agreed so easily in the first place and that I know him quite well and was aware it was quite likely he would disappoint me again, should I be annoyed? And, depending on how I take this (resigned or annoyed) what should be my course of action?

Thursday, 14 July 2005

THE best day

Today, because i was good in a pastlife or something, I got to go to Nickerjac's studio. It was ...a...w...e...s...o...m...e. There was wool *everywhere* and dyes and needles and postcards and beads and oh wow it was the place good knitters go when they retire, die or win the lottery. Plus of course it had Niki in it and she was the best bit. She knows everything and let me dye some of her own wool that was going to be used for public consumption and everything. She got going like a fish gets down to breathing under water while I had a little bit of a try out - guess which is which...
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Yeah, that is it, that little reddish splodge in the bottom right of the bowl. Under her expert tutorlege (how do you spell the damn word?) and bolstered by ice cream she sent me into the dyeing room ALONE. Just like that. It was like when the bird gets tired of waiting for it's chick to learn to fly and so gives it a push over the edge. She was on hand but otherwise I was flying solo, so off I went. And it was splendiferous, truly, it was wonderful. And here is me with the finished product.
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It's drying in the kitchen at the mo. So excited and impatient to see it knitted up. I think maybe a purse, but I will ponder that more later. It really was the best day - I wish things were different and I wasn't so attached to my income. I wish I could take the chance and go for it and I really should do considering my brush with death last year. All I've done though is carry on just doing what I was before. Anyway, don't want to get all down after such an excellent day. It really was just so good.

There is a yarn store called 'creations' just down the road and went in but it was SO hot in there. Got 2 balls of wendy mosaic in a stone-ish colour as sian's boyfriend wanted a scarf just like the one I gave her last xmas but in a different colour - and here is just what I need. It looks quite impressive close up!
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Have managed to get quite a lot of the french market bag done, especially as I only cast it on at the group last night.
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And check this out - I cast on and did the first zillion rows on double points - uh-huh, yeah baby, oooooh yeah. Me using double points, followed by circulars. I've got it all going on now.

My final photo for the day concerns another idea that came to me in bed - this time concerning needle holders. I haven't quite developed the detail yet but it meant that I felt justified in buying a cheap table cloth (with daisies on) and a plain, clear shower curtain. I'll keep you updated on how it goes. The little circle things are stitch markers (because nickerjac uses these ones and I want to be her...she's so cool)
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I was supposed to be going to a birthday thing tonight but have major PMT. It's weird that it only really comes out when I'm with Pooch. Actually that's just me letting it come out then. Poor Pooch...he is lovely.

I am trying to reach the place I have reached with jewellery (other than, you know, diamonds and the good stuff). I see it now in accessorise or pound shops (good one in bethnal green btw) where I pick something up anf try it on and think oooo that's nice but then think 'i just dont need it' and PUT IT BACK. I think this briefly happened this afternoon in that shop. There was lots of kooky stuff but I kept picking things up and thinking "yeah, but what would I do with it" and putting it back again. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED WITH YARN BEFORE. Maybe this is it. Maybe there is a 12-step plan in this. Maybe there isn't but I think it probably deserves more thought. Hmmm, ponder.... - ponder away little byrne.

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

I love it, but what is it?

This is a now common reaction to my little ball of fluff (no, not Pooch) since it was created yesterday. I speak, of course, of 'the ball' as it is known. Anna - you are right, it is just a big ball of fluff, not a ball of yarn I am going to use to knit with. It is done by needle felting, which is when you repeatedly stab a ball or lump of unspun wool with a small barbed harpoon type needle. It messes all the fibres (there's that word again) up and makes it stick together. It is basically felting but without soap and water and with a harpoon. I made the basic ball first with some boring stuff then harpooned the colourful curly bits on afterwards. There is a link to a Yahoo needle felting group in the left column somewhere so click on that to see a cute bear that someone has made. You have to join the group to see the other pics but some of them are awesome. I can't remember now how this fascination started but I am well into it after just one attempt and have only sustained two superficial wounds! (Needles VERY sharp - fingers very unfeltable.)

What is your business?

Not a philosophical question but a true to life one asked often, even by people I have already told. It is, in essence, providing unnecessary things to crafty people to allow them to emblazen themselves with the language and imagery of their chosen craft. So, for example, I might wear a t-shirt that says 'BORN TO KNIT' on it. My favourite is 'Man enough to knit, strong enough to purl' except of course I am of the female persuasion plus someone in america is already using that one. There will also be mugs, notelets, baby-things, wrapping paper and whatever else springs to mind. Tea towels maybe. I have grand plans but no cash! Incidentally, anyone interested in putting a couple of grand into a depressed woman's crazy business do get in touch.

How could I forget?!

Finished the damn OST project and took it round to the dti personally. The dude there told me it was just in time to go out to all the heads of the research councils to be best practice and to lead the way in what they should provide to the OST. Aha, chuffed. Have told the director who was 'overseeing' it at work and he got v excited. I'm telling you, if I don't see some sort of bonus as a result of this (going into work during my holiday! I work for a charity for physicists for goodness sake - nothing should be that important) I'm going to be rather miffed.

Tuesday, 12 July 2005

*such* a productive day

So we'll gloss over dinner. I followed the recipe to the L.E.T.T.E.R. and it all stuck - edible but looked as if someone had already eaten it. So we'll leave that behind and move on. A rather irritated me wearing my lovely scarf - all finished!
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I love the suggestion that the wool fairy will now come and leave something under my pillow :) I haven't done anything this quick for ages and even though in many ways it is hideous, I absolutely love it. (I may well be wearing it at the Knitting and Crochet Guild meet-up on Friday. British Museum restaurant at 5pm for anyone in the vicinity.) Here is a close up, mainly just so that I can use the word fibre again - check out those....fibres.
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I know what you're thinking - anyone can pick up some 20mm needles and three balls of whatever from their stash and knit a scarf. And you're right. But B*E*H*O*L*D* the ball.
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Oh yeah, baby, work it work it. I needle felted some merino into a rough ball and then added the wednesleydale or whatever the (blatantly brightly coloured) sheep are called over the top. I've deliberately left it a little fuzzy so I don't lose the texture of the we....whatever sheep bits.

Just to make this post even longer I wish to report that I went to see my accountant today. Yes, my accountant. Ha! I have an accountant! It was my first consultation about starting a business and has got me all fired up again. I came home and rang LLoydsTSB for a loan. I have banked with them for 14 years so I didn't expect any problems and indeed everything went swimmingly until...."have you had any health problems necessitating a visit to a doctor in the last 12 months" 'yes' "oh....what was it in connection with" 'Depression' "oh - it seems you've been declined for that loan but you can have one over a shorter pay back period at a higher interest rate" ....just incase you go nuts again miss byrne and we don't get our money back. Dude!! I'm not keen on multiple exclamation marks but...dude!!

We have the technology...

La tra la tra la tra la I have the stuff I need (implements as we needlers call them, aha) for needlefelting. Bottom left is a book with needles in it that explain the whole caboodle. Have some merino fleece in red and a kind of pinky grey to add to my other bits of fleece to make felt balls from plus some wendsleydale (maybe) curly bits just for fun. The thing is - it all sounds horrifically expensive (silk is something like £70 a kilo) but you buy a clump of it and you pay 70p. Yippeee for 70p.
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The packet of reddish fibres in the middle is more silk. The bags at the back are blue faced leicester (not a cheese strangely), yak, more silk and camel. I love camel - it is unbelievably soft and lovely to combine with other fibres. Ooooo, look at me casually using the word fibre. I wish there was a living in all this. Anyway...back to the runown - the ball of terribly boucle stuff middle right is ...boucle. The boucles are HUGE though. What is it about me and boucle? I hardly ever knit with it but I do seem to hoard it. I just love the way it looks. Finally there is something that arrived in the post - my flower fairy cross stitch kit I got from ebay. I *love* flower fairy things and had a hankering to try some cross stitch again so here we are.

Now I kid you not, but I actually dreamt about knitting a scarf in a combination of three yarns last night. And this is them:
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Pink mercerised cotton, crazy pink gypsy and this weird puff slub pink and white stuff I can't remember buying but there it is. It is quite mental and therefore I love it. I'm on 10mm at the mo but think I might go to 15 or even 20mm. I'm quite liking the combination and hey, I dreamt it, and if you knit it, they will come or something like that.

I know I've been blogging a lot recently and forcing the faithful to read inches of drivel but I can't seem to help it. Another addiction along with stashing, chocolate and cyber-stalking other knit-bloggers - my apologies...

Monday, 11 July 2005

Holiday? What holiday?

The project for the OST got delayed by me being ill and then the bombings on Thursday so I'm trying to get it finished remotely from home. Which means I have to be in contact with work. Which means I get to talk to a senior civil servant complaining about the rude and unhelpful attitude of one of my staff even though I'm not fricking there. Bloody hell.

Have felted a couple of swatches to see how they react - one was knitted with the stuff I dyed with koolaid and the colour stayed perfectly! Even in a machine wash. Felted nicely too. The other one is the debbie bliss soho which I'll obviously need to do on larger needles - maybe 7mm. This (one on right) was done on the recommended 5.5mm.
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Have been umming and ahing about getting some denise interchangables. I'm really fine about knitting on crics now - what was the issue dude? - so rather than pay £2.50 a pair for each length vs size combination doesn't it make sense to splurge? Have a load of stuff on ebay so will wait until that has sold now before actually doing it - need £34 inc postage to get them in my paw.

Just waiting for my Pooch to come back to me - he is very uncomfortable about travelling at the mo - as is everyone I should think - so will be good to get him back for a hug. Once I've finished the (now) hated cable red top (still fiddling with the back) I'm going to have another go at altering his space invaders jumper so it is about half the size and actually fits him.

Ok, before I go, one more thing. Look what I did today - bread. (Yeah, I know I used a machine and it does it all for you, but still....I made bread!).
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Holiday plans

Hoorah hooray, look what I've just been out and collected:
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Hair dye in 'plum' to brighten up my ghastly locks. Knitting magazine (because some of the patterns have potential although the edgings and so on are a bit yucky - ooh hark at her!) Time Out London to plan all my little excursions. 3.75 and 2.75 mm circs for portable sock knitting. Little red notebook to be my stash-on-the-move log so I can instantly tell if I have the yarn for a pattern I happen to see of if I need to go shopping. 3 fabric marker pens to make self patterning sock yarn without having to make up any dye (have been pondering this method for a while so will see what happens).

And last, but *not least*, a postcard from my lovely secret pal. This one has got cats on it - she's got me sorted sure enough!

Tomorrow I've got a trip to the london handweavers studio planned. The rest of today is for knitting on the sofa and reading one of the books I bought last week when I was hiding in Waterstones.

Sunday, 10 July 2005

Red cable top finished...or is it

I know I said this was finished before - but I hadn't sewn on the poppers or finished all the ends. But here it is, actually done...
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...(nice moody look eh? Pooch and I ended up on different sides of a 'discussion' about whether the neighbour's music was loud enough to be complained about) or so I thought. Because what has happened? It is TOO BIG. Now I know why this is. I almost lost the will to live while doing the cable repeats all up the front (here they are by the way, not that I'm showing off or anything, ahem)
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so I decided not to do the cables up the back but just to do the 4 lines of twisted stitches in the original cable. At the same time I CAST ON THE SAME NUMBER OF STITCHES AS IF I WAS GOING TO DO THE CABLE. Hello? Earth to Byrne? So I have a plan (cue maniacal laughter). Naturally this does not include ripping the back and doing it again, because that would be silly. No, it includes putting a kind of f*ck off pleat in the back and pretending it's part of the 'look'. A la...
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The other option is cutting (steeking?) and sewing up the two sides, but that scares me.

So it fell to Andrea to be the only one who told me I didn't look like su pollard which was obviously what I was fishing for. Hmph.

Are you kidding me?

Look what he was doing!!!!
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Eating curry products right next to my silk clapotis. What's with the boy? I shouldn't get too annoyed though. I have been going through a transition in my life - from mid to late 20s - and I have come to realise that i have been dressing like.....Su pollard. I'm using her sacred name as shorthand for when you dress like you used to when you were ten years younger but now you're ten stone heavier and 10 inches wider and look...awful. It's this combined with the fact that you look at clothes and judge them only in terms of comfort. And even worse, comfort = trousers you can wear big pants with. Discomfort = anything that requires less than huge underwear.

I have been moaning about the onset of pollarditus for weeks now and so Pooch finally had enough yesterday and took me shopping. He agreed to buy me clothes on condition that he liked them all, and that they were boho, and that they went together. So this is what we end up with:
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A lacy cream top you can only wear with certain bras and a boho skirt you can not wear big pants with without looking like....you are wearing big pants. It didn't stop here either - there is a white skirt and a brown top. There would have been a little lacy bolero cardi but being a knitter and a yarn snob I recoil from the synthetic yarns they've produced these things in. Later today we are going to look at my wardrobe and he's going to rate my clothes 0-10 on the pollard scale (10=something Su Pollard wouldn't even wear if she were on stage as a pantomime dame). It's for my own good and at my own instigation but is surely a recipe for a fine old argument. The goal is for me to end up with a style that I'm comfortable with (but not in a big pants way, although it could turn out that way) but that is more feminine than my current one. I'm not going to throw anything away, but I might just put it to one side for the duration.

A knitting related thig that goes with this is lace knitting, and here it is Kate who inspires me. The stuff she does is awsome and this is her latest one to get underway and I LOVE it. I would really like to be more of a shawl person. I have always loved Alphonse Mucha's painting and feel sure the women in those would have lots of lace shawls. So need to get choosing on one to start with. Birch from rowan 35 (I think) is a possibility. Will surf and see I guess!
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