Friday, 29 July 2005

"Bow down before me for I am your god"

That is exactly what these needles seem to be saying to me.

For yes, it is true, I, lixieknitsit, have now got denise interchangables in my possession. And they are just sooooooo good. Am going to get going on them tomorrow because tonight, of course, is poker. Texas hold'em to be exact and I am planning on whipping their ass's tonight.

Anyway, lots to show and tell today. As well as the needles in the post along came this wonderful book: jean moss sculptured knits. Does it live up to expectations? Well, kind of. The jacket on the cover is divine and will one day be gracing my bulgy form. The other patterns vary between genius and basket stitch but there enough of the former there to make me happy I bought it.

One more thing that didn't arrive in the post but did arrive today is these egg cups (two of them in fact) which are a present from Vishanti. She works for me but is also going out long-term with Pooch's mate Alex (not me - he is a different alex and male) because I set them up within about 2 weeks of her starting here. It's weird really because I only set them up because they were both single and mopey and here they are talking about kids (she wanted to scare him a bit last night!) and being all loved up. Mind you they are both 29 so definitely getting on a bit ;p

The gift (so lovely of her - she knows I love polka dots) came at a good time as there is trouble brewing at work. Apart from the industry manager absolutely loathing me and suspecting me of wanting to take over his dept (why?) there was someone fired today and that won't be the last of it although I won't put more just in case the other person suddenly make a life choice and start reading knitting blogs all of a sudden. I will post more on tuesday night. I had my appraisal today and John was really ppsitive about everything. When I asked what the catch was he constructively told me that people management was the weakest of my many skills which I found myself waiting for me to react badly too but instead I was just like 'oh, yeah, you're actually really right'. I am not a good manager. I mean, I get the work done and I keep them in order but as soon as one kicks off I am a bit lost. All this yucky caring stuff I got saddled with. I used to think having staff was the be all and end all and really meant you had arrived but now I couldn't care less. Project Management - that's for me - none of this people malarky.

There is a space on the form where you are supposed to put down future career aspirations and last time (in oct) I put down 'running an art collective'. This time I wanted John to put 'spinner' and he wouldn't! How do you say 'spinner' in management speak? 'Twisted fibre provider'? In the end we agreed on 'Alex is currently researching different opportunities'.

Anyway, back to real is the finsihed bag. Now ask me (go on I dare you) whether I'm happy with it and I'm going to pause. The thing is it felted so damn much that all the original character of the yarn has gone. So bunging on some unfelted i-cord, even in the same yarn, looks a bit odd. I guess I'll suck it and see but hmmmm, I might take it off again.

I did that last night after I had finished.....SORTING THE HUGE AMOUNT OF BUTTONS JANE GAVE ME. Sooooo many buttons. Look at this.

Have you ever seen so many lovely buttons in your life? Jane just suddenly did the rabbit out of the hat thing with her bag on wednesday night and there they were, plus she says taking this lot hasn't even made a dent in her collection. Wow. Jane is a goddess among button worshipers. Aren't they just fab? If I do take off the i-cord I can feel another button plague descending on that bag!

So what else is going on? Well my dad and aunt have started reading this blog which is mildly freaky but fair enough. My aunt has renewed the invite to visit them in Wheaton (near Chicago) and I'd really love to but of course Pooch never will. I might go by myself next summer - or could see if Dad fancies another jaunt across the pond. I think this time I would have to save up hugely and combine it with a trip to NY to check out these amazing yarn stores I have heard so much about. Plus visit one of their funky (grass is always greener) knit groups that are rumoured to have, can it be true, *men* in them.

Plus I have decided to start selling my little knitting badges. I'm going to change the design just slightly though to make them more sensible. £2 each - what do you think? Too much? Will ponder over the weekend.

Tuesday, 26 July 2005

Hobbycraft haul

I love hobbycraft. I want that place to be my spare room and guests can sleep between the aisles. There's just so much good stuff. So here is a taster of what I went for:
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So first up is fimo, obviously flavour of the month. Red sparkly and two called 'stone effect' which I thought looked quite tweedy plus some modelling tools.
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More jewellery findings with which to expand my fimo repetoire. Plus some little marcasite beads. I'm thinking of rejigging the stitch marker side of things and start selling them again, even though so many others seem to have had the same idea....
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Now this last one is a bit of a mish mash. Some blank cards as I have a cunning plan which I may remember to unveil at some point in the future. The heart cupcake cases just because they are so strawberry shortcake and twee and then the hearts on a strand of wire. Now it was Nickerjac that gave me this idea by incorporating a kind of tinsel into the edge of her edgy exchange gift. It basically makes the brim a bit more robust and you get to use funky stuff like hearts on wire to do it.

I have been tagged by purlpower so here goes...
Pronunciation Keyn. pl. id·i·o·syn·cra·sies
A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.

Write down five of your own personal idiosyncracies. Then, if you wish, tag five people from your friendslist to do the same.

1. I regularly eat in the bath. In order to accomplish this with minimum inconvinience I have developed a system of using a tupperware tub of suitable size to hold the food and this floats around keeping my food dry and my bath food-free. The size is very important - it must be small enough to not look greedy and large enough to maintain some stability following the motion of a random body part.

2. Whenever I see a cat I stop mid-action/sentance and say 'Oo look there's a cat' and immediately leave whoevere I am talking to to go and stroke it. It will normallly run away when I get near it so I will then spend a lot of time following this initial approach following it as it tries to make friends with someone who hates cats.

3. I have to be in the right mood to see a film and I can be quite hysterical about this. This doesn't mean I have to be happy to see a happy film or anything like that - nothing so logical. It just has to feel right. I have never seen Titanic because it has always felt just oh so wrong.

4. I can not tell left from right without thinking about it for a second or two. This was an issue when learning to drive.

5. I feel more comfortable working in a cluttered area. Not a small area - just all mucked up. I basically like to have things where I can see them. My work desk is an ever changing sea of (currently) paper, a christmas party hat from 2004 with a big feather in it (I just took it off), some professional headphones, wires, business cards and a selection of red and black notebooks and writing implements. My sitting room floor (much to Pooch's distress) has things in discrete piles with no particular order to what is in each pile. And the bedroom has what Pooch has lovingly named 'byrne mountain' at the end of the bed.

On the subject of Pooch (who is another of my idiosyncrasies) he and I had a good talk this morning and are set to continue tonight. We have resolved to.....resolve a lot of things. All those people who have commented and emailed me privately about men and life in general - thank you so much. It has helped me see that no one is perfect and to appreciate the things in life that he is good at (hubba hubba) and the ways we do get on together and support each other. He's not so bad really, just don't quote me on that.

Soooo...hmmmmm...who shall I tag.......

Monday, 25 July 2005

3 things

1. Thanks everyone - commenters and private emailers. Still feel awful today but life carries on.

2. Secret Pal - you are amazing. This is the yarn she has sent me. 50% cotton and acrylic. So soft and the colours are even nicer than they seem here. Then a beautiful mug with sheep on (baa!) plus marzipan chocolate which I've managed not to eat long enough to photograph and a tin on a keyring that says "Very Important Stuff" on it.

3. This is the picture of a temari ball I particularly loved when I found it before. Isn't it lovely? Got my weekends mixed up - is the 6th I go and meet Liz hich means she didn't get rained on this weekend (she'll get rained on next weekend instead - fingers crossed you won't)

Have experimented with blogger's own photo hosting thing and seems to be working quite well. Just a short post now as wanted to show everyone my SP presents before I ate them!

One last thing...a quote I saw on a yahoo list...
"I'm only as strong as the cocktails I drink, the hairspray I use, and the friends I have."

Tired, emotional outpouring

Obviously Pooch and I have had another little disagreement. I realise this is one of those things I'm going to put up here and then probably take down again almost instantly becaus it is foolish to wash your dirties in public but what the fuck. It helps to have it written down.

We went to an open-house tonight. I don't remember now if I've mentioned it before but Gav's dad died in the edgware road train. I haven't been talking or thinking about it much because I've been trying to cocoon myself from stress because of the madness. The open-house was an opportunity for friends and family to come round and support each other. When we got there there was a kind of service going on lead by a jewish guy and he was reading some bits in hebrew and talking about colin and then Gav read something and Colin's best mate talked about him ans all this. I found myself starting to cry and sniff fairly early on and wanted to just lie down and bawl. Since the meds increased I'd have thought my emotions would have been deader than ever but the opposite seems to be true. After a while pooch hugged me and told me he'd look after me.

I spent most of the rest of the night in the garden stroking the cat. The topics of where we'll move to next and holidays both came up and they are real flamers for Pooch (and me I guess) so were quashed. We got the tube home and were walking back when Pooch started talking about Charlie and the chocolate factory and how they'd added a cutesy ending. Man, this is so dumb and petty. Anyway, I don't see the problem when people change books for films as they are books, not screenplays. You pay your money, you make your choice. Pooch had given his opinion, I had replied, he spoke again and then after three words of my reply he cut me off and said we'd better stop talking about it - another flamer obviously. I thought about what Dr P had said about avoiding stress but then also thought about what the bbc brain programme said about men often just not realising when people are upset so I vocalised my feelings very calmly. I realise I had expectations of Pooch's reaction to me telling him how I was feeling and that part of my increase in agitation was the fact he didn't meet those expectations. I wanted Pooch to recognise that I was upset, am still depressed and had felt his conversation stopper was patronising and unhelpful. I didn't get that. And then I went against what Dr P had advised and summarised the situation as 'Our whole relationship is a series of conflicts' to which he replied 'maybe you'd be better with someone else then'. I know - I set myself up for that one.

I went for a walk after that and phoned the samaritans *again*. It's ridiculous I don't programme the number into my phone for speedy dialling seeing how they are the ones I've spoken to most out of all friends, family, colleagues and medical professionals in the last couple of weeks. 08457 909090 in case anyone needs it. I spoke to them for 10 mins and realised I was exacerbating the situation by being out without telling Pooch where I was going or how long I'd be. I thought he might be waiting up worried as he knows I've been suicidal recently. I got back and he was in bed, asleep. I woke him when I got in and he got annoyed about me putting the hall light on. I'm in the front room now where I'll sleep tonight when I feel tired.

Am I looking at this the wrong way? The way I look at it he has a suicidal girlfriend who has been upset and crying and then walks off into the night following an argument. And he goes to sleep. When I was going out with Steve a similar thing happened once. We were on our way back from the cinema and we fell out - I was very depressed then too but not officially as I hadn't been to the doc to have it made official and to get meds. I stayed on a park bench thinking and smoking a fag for about 30 mins. By the time I got back he had been out running around looking for me and was just picking up the phone to call the police.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't walk away in order to make Pooch worry about me. And it was only when the samaritan talked to me about how Pooch was feeling that I realised he might be worried and came straight back. I was gone maybe 20 minutes. But in that time he'd brsuhed his teeth and verything and fallen asleep.

Pooch and I only had a drama about him not supporting me earlier on in the week so I thought he understood that things weren't even at the moment. Especially after this evening at gav's. Poor Gav. Isn't it dumb to be depressed and concerned about my relationship when he has just lost his dad because some terrorists blew up that particular carriage? Looking around tonight I was feeling for gav but I was also wondering what would happen if I died. Would my friends and family stand around talking about how great I was? What would they say I had achieved? Apart from the fact my family hate each other and my friends are in such discrete groups they would have no shared memories. Basically, dude, I should have been in that carriage and Gav's dad - who seems to have been a really nice guy, should have been at home stroking his own damn cat. The cat, incidentally, is called 'chocolate'. My family could have mourned me as a victim rather than a selfish suicider but...another day and no mysterious brain aneurism strikes me down. The jewish guy was talking about god quite a lot. How can there be a god? People say it is all part of 'his' divine plan but what kind of plan involves starvation, torture, genocide and innocent death? I tried hard to 'find' god when I went into hospital but there is nothing there to find. The whole thing is a joke to make you feel less responsible for the nuts things that go on. Perhaps suicide is an obvious way to take responsibility for yourself.

But Dr P would query, I do feel 'safe' tonight. Nothing is going to change and tomorrow I will wake up again in the knowledge that another night has passed without me dying in my sleep and that all the shit from today still needs to be dealt with. I feel like I should end with some upbeat jokey piece of haha about knitting but I can't think of anything. Nothing at all.

Sunday, 24 July 2005

Shane Warne - has he finally got his hair right?

I think it has always been his hair that has let him down in the past. Pooch (who is lovely) has taken a perverse liking to watching cricket and so I have had some opportunity to observe the warne bonce of late and I like the hair for the first time. Enough about hair...although feel free to pick up on my bleh hair in later pics. Because today we are in picture central - I've got no less than 6 of the buggers to show you. Oh yes. To kick off we have the 2nd charity jumper complete with buttons. I'm not sure if eye lash yarn has reached the sub-sahara yet but it will do shortly (they asked people to make them as attractive as possible). These are for the feed the children appeal featured in simply knitting a month or so back.
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In fact let's get this stuff out the way early - here's a bit of housekeeping. I was wondering what would happen to the fabric marker ink I used on the cotton when playing with sock yarn and basically it has washed at 40 degrees unscathed. Always good to know.
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You can see here why it looked all patchy like this in the first place.

Second (or third maybe, depending on where you started counting) bit of housekeeping is the progress of Brown's xmas scarf. I started this at golders green and it looked nothing like this.
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I decided the tenson was too tight, it wasn't wide enough and I didn't like the pattern I was using. So just a couple of minor niggles there. Ripped it and am going basket stitch on 7mm instead (recommended was 5.5-6.5). Has made a lot of difference and it might be boring to knit but at least it's simple and he'll like it.

So for the good stuff....allow me to introduce you to the i-believe-i-can-fly-cardigan. Made in the finest sari silk from the gorgeous Trudie at hipknits and finally sewn up this afternoon.
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Here is a sultry side angle...
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I know what you're thinking and yes, I shined my forehead especially for that photo. It's fabulous to wear, all slinky yet heavy and cold yet warm and smooth yet textured. Despite all these oxymorons (thank you gcse english teacher for teaching me that word - it stays with me even though your name has long gone) it is shedding like it's going out of fashion. Ideas on how to stop this? I have asked the UKHK list and I'll see what they come up with.

So another productively creative weekend. Next weekend holds Temari balls with Liz (hope she was OK at her festival this weekend - has been raining all day today) denise needles should arrive in the next few days so I can get started on the medallion loop-d-loop cardi in the drunk-yarn pooch bought me. Some of you will be wondering how I got Pooch to give in and pay out. Basically it is all down to Dr P and his wonderful advice, given to me on the day of the drunk-yarn. "Do not get annoyed Alex" he said "Put it in the bank and save it for when there's something you need or want." Dr P - you are a god among men. I think I have probably said this before but it's just so true. So during a further discussion while I was in the bath I played my trump card..."Stop going on about needles" says Pooch "Do you remember when I didn't go on about you not going to salsa?" I sploshed back. Ladies, I'm telling you, this is the way to go. Yes, it could be called a form of prostitution but hey I now own denise needles and didn't have to exert myself in any of the ways Pooch was suggesting I persuade him to buy them. And yes, I could have just bought them myself - but where's the fun in that?

Went to see the fantastic four last night and it was just my cup of tea - ridiculous action with loads of effects. Jessica Alba is ultra sexy. Captain fantastic is this fit welsh guy who's got the most chiseled cheekbone/chin combination ever and the baddie was just SO evil. He was excellent. Would recommend it as a good, fun film.

Quiz mania

I am 28% loser. What about you? Click here to find out!

But what does this mean?
Knitting Guru
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting
and do it all the time. While finishing a piece
is the plan, you still love the process, and
can't imagine a day going by without giving
some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation
involves leaving ample space for the stash and
supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn
ends and you begin.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
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This one was a given
You're Miss Marple! You look harmless enough, but
beneath your blue rinse and cardigan lurks an
intellect superior to any Chief Inspector. You
solve your cases by making everyone think that
you're senile and then hoisting them with their
own petard! Aha! You're also a good knitter.

Which fictional detective are you?
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I love Miss Marple.

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