Saturday, 13 August 2005

Quick spin update

Pooch, poor tired thing, went to bed at 8.30 but I stayed up til midnight and carried on spinning. This one is done but needs the twist setting.
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This one I really love and want to make the pinky hat on knitty with it.
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Recognise those sequins purlpower?!They are perfect for this.

So the more retentive of those among you will notice that if I was spinning at midnight, and it's now 7.15 am, that suggests not a lot of sleeping. And you'd be right. 5.58 am I was wide awake. What a bugger. Feel *exhausted* but can't go back to sleep. Oh, isn't life just so hard!

Friday, 12 August 2005

Catch up, ketchup

Yay, settled in front of the tv with the laptop (OK, Pooch's laptop), a twirl and a pepsi max cooling in the fridge. Watching the A-team (bless you dvd) with two whole days of la la la ahead of me. So where to start?

I guess with the bag that finally got to my secret pal.
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Another of my trademark button bags. Found the bag itsel in matalan and has a zillion pockets so thought would come in useful and she seems to like it. Here's a close up of the buttons.
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And let's not forget this was pre-jane so had limited buttons to work with. Am now plotting to spin with buttons, but more of that later.

Next up would have to be the brooch I won on ebay. It's a lot bigger and heavier than I thought but I think it'll look good pinned to a bag. It was only £3 including postage so I'm not bothered.
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And finally in the picture stakes, I've come over over spinnable. Here is me trying to spin three threads at once and realising that it's not for me.
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Got into rather a tangle and had to literally cut my way out of it. Here is what the second attempt looked like (all 10 g of it!)
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Sorry, got distracted...
Baddy: Oh you're a big one aren't you?
Mr T: More to the point I'm a mean one sucker

The thing is, the thing I still haven't got a handle on, is what do you do with your handspun afterwards, Nickerjac made a hat. But what do you do with 10g? Sell it to a scrapbooker possibly? Or is there another option? Anyway, between philosophising and biscuits I spun/span 3 shades of grey merino together and got the stuff wrapped round the bottle. My plan was then to ply it with the flourescent letters on the coral 4-ply but I actually quite like the greay stuff as it is. But then we come back to the big philosophical 'why'? or 'what'? Depending on how you look at it. If I don't molest it with letters then does it have any point or is it just an existential protrusion into undefined craft-space. (I designed that sentence hoping that Terry Pratchett would drop by and be proud of me).

I have a couple of plans for the weekend..
  1. Visit the handweavers studio and pick up some more supplies of merino, wendsleydale and blue-faced-leicester plus another drop spindle and something to wind spun stuff onto that isn't a water bottle.
  2. Visiting Nickerjac in her studio
  3. Spinning lots more mad stuff
  4. Having a bit of a clear out
Workwise stuff today was quite weird. Sean, Denise and I know I'm taking this new job. I told Vishanti last thing as she's on leave next week so now she knows. I'll tell John I'm applying on Monday, then others will get to know and gradually everyone will know and then I'll move desk and then that'll be it. Weird.

Wednesday, 10 August 2005

So what happened is...

I fired, let's call him Git, last Tuesday after he kept missing deadlines, pushing work onto another person and coming in late all the time. He immediately played the 'but I have a baby' card (Yes, he does have a baby - 4 months old, very cute, and the reason Git has been given umpteen warnings and wasn't fired 6 months ago) and officially appealed, adding in that I was extremely agressive towards him and bullied him all the time. The appeal interview was this morning and the decision was upheld BUT....can you believe this.....they gave him two months money as a goodbye present *even though he was fired for being rubbish*. Those babies huh? They can really add to your income. So Git gets the money, I get the hassle with everyone internally hating me for being practically a baby-murderer and now I have to recruit someone else while doing both his job and mine and my other staff member's who is off on sick leave til end sept (absolutely not stress related fnah fnah - her only comment when I rang to tell her was "yeah, well I'm not surprised").

Or so I thought. There I was, chatting to my mentor, minding my own business, when he offered me a job. Working for him so same company but completely different stuff (no more bloody chartered status) and....wait for staff. No one to worry about. No one to do appraisals for. No one to have to tell off or, worse, sack for being crap. I get half a PA but she's his responsibility. I'd also 'have' to do an MBA while I was working which they would pay for. What a tough break huh? Although actually that could cut into my knitting or, even worse, blogging time. d'you like them apples?

It's so lovely of you - people have been emailing me and commenting all day to see if everything has worked out OK and frankly I'm still pissed off about Git but the thought of being able to up sticks and leave the drudgery of my last 5 years life work behind is a real thrill.

Knitting wise - apologies, not much to report. Off to the golders green group tonight so am sure will have loads to post about tomorrow. Pooch did finally get home (god knows how, I don't think he could see that well) all pleased with himself because his colleagues think he's a genius or something - him keeping me awake for ages telling me repeatedly what happened has all been banked and will be kept for another time. I showed him the swatches I'd done this morning and apparently the colour is all wrong. But wait, you're thinking, didn't he choose it himself? Yes....that's my boy! I've now got 150g of alpaca 4-ply in a gorgeous red. Any ideas on what to do with it? Maybe luxury socks or is that just wasteful? He's going to take me to liberty to buy some 'the right colour' and maybe one or two other things......fnah fnah

Tuesday, 9 August 2005

Buggery fuck

Spent most the evening swatching and drawing up a pattern for my secret project. Then spent ages threading about 150 beads onto my yarn. Now I've done the first three rows, realised I've written the pattern wrong, and noticed all the beads are on in the wrong order. Note to self - never try to knit with beads of more than one colour. Bloody pissed off now.

Have done two swatches for pooch's life aquatic hat - the alpaca arrived today and is very nice - good work Texere. But......Pooch isn't even here. He decided last minute to stay out to watch the football. Leaving his pmtense girlfriend behind.....with no chocolate. Pooch is in trouble.

The only good thing about today was my temari book turned up along with 'spinning designer yarns'. Tomorrow is d-day. Pants.

Aran madness?

Am I mad (madder than usual)? I have expressed a desire to knit an aran jumper for dad 2 for xmas and, as every knitter knows, one can not embark on a new self-designed project without buying at least one new stitch dictionary. This one is excellent - all the stitches are indexed according to how many row repeats they occur over. Was pouring over it last night and knitted the final tension swatch on my denise needles. But am I aiming too high? It's going to be quite a piece of work and I find cabling very boring. Basically we both know this is a project doomed to piss me off but.....but..... he will really like it and then I can tick "Aran jumper" off my 'what I need to knit before I die' list.

In other news the alpaca from texere still hasn't arrived which is a bit boring. Have half a mind to knit Pooch this hat rather than the more boring one he wants.

There has been a really nasty spat going on on the UKHK list. Dawn has been really rude to colin - I hate that kind of thing. It's supposed to be a list for people to share their love of a craft. Makes me angry when people spoil it.

1-day til zero hour at work. By tomorrow lunchtime the nastiness which has been ruining my sleep for the last week should be resolved and I'll finally be able to explain what has been going on. I hope I'm not kidding myself as I know the staff gossip will continue but at least I'll be able to draw a line.

Sunday, 7 August 2005


Had a lovely day with tess, les from silkwood and nic and two bunnies. They all had a stand at syon park (which is very lovely - I want to go back for a proper look another time). Here it is:
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And I know what you're thinking..."Who is that fine figure of a man on the right with the crochet hook?" Well down ladies, he is firmly married to tess but that is les, in full charm mode. Here he is in all his glory:
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Note the braces. I love those braces. Les is a self-taught crocheter-extraudinaire and had just finished a second shawl in an angora mix from their own rabbits. So soft and delicate (the shawl) - only 80g for the whole thing. I know he won't like this but I have to admit that while he is everything a woman could possibly desire in a man (stash-friendly, a wood turner so good for needles and peg looms, plus positively disposed towards cats) I long to add him to my collection of dads. You see I have two (so far). Dad A (Chris) who is the biological specimin reads this blog occasionally so obviously he is lovely, wonderful etc etc....he is quite good though. He is business-dad, golf-dad and legal-dad. He also had the good sense to spawn my half-sister and brother, Freddie and Piers. It was Freddie's 17th birthday yesterday but I digress....Dad B (Rob) is gentle-dad, practical-dad and happy-as-long-as-you're-happy-dad. So what role could possibly be left for a Dad C? Well, there is an opening for fibre-dad. Neither of the current two can (to my knowledge) knit, crochet, spin etc etc and wouldn't know angora from merino. And as I seem to collect dads it seems too good an opp to pass up. I need to consult tess to see if she would mind. Ironically I've seen more of les this year so far than of A and I'm getting near to number of days spent with B too. You see that's why I need so many...

Anyway, back to the good stuff, what did I actually do while I was there?
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Oh yeah baby. I knitted away and kept laughing when person after person said "Couldn't you find any smaller ones?" fnah fnah...! I thought they were great fun and they weren't hard at all. All the weight is on the floor and of course it all knits up quickly. One woman had a go and tried to hold them continental style. Persuaded her leaving them on the floor is best. Although they are massively long they are (only?) 23mm and I've got some 20mm in the other room. IOf you see some at a show I recommend giving them a try though as they are fun.

So what did I really want to hair slide. HOW RESTRAINED?! There wasn't much that I fancied but there were some little porcelin earrings like delicate flowers - orchids and roses. But then i thought to myself..."Byrne, £11 not spent on earrings is £11 more towards your spinning wheel." Now I just have to remember to put the £11 somewhere so I don't spend it on cake. I also bought a homemade pie which we had for dinner which was very nice. And Pooch has a new favourite hairdo for me too!
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Some people might have thought that after all that I'd be ready to put the byrne feet up and snooze a bit. But no. I made a dive for my handspun which is now all dry and 'set'. Think I have ruined the silk by boiling it when the koolaid was sinking in but it still feels nice even if it's not lustrous. I like the colour too. The other is the blue faced leicester, camel and yak. I'm keeping that on one side til I've got enough for a scarf. Will be so soft and warm!
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This was it yesterday so it's a bit of a spot the difference. Now you know me, by now, so you know that I'm not one to stick too closely to a pattern and hey if it feels good go with it. So I have started a middle band.
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I'm not sure whether you are supposed to cross the threads like that in real temari so this might have to go down as a bit of a hybrid. I will know once my book arrives, and I must email Liz and ask her. I just think they're so attractive! But I have to slow down on my new-craft acquisition. I almost considered a weaving course today. Woah, that's just crazy talk.

So 'life' continues tomorrow with work work work. If only every day could be working with beautiful things. I live for the weekend!
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