Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2006

The end of another year...

The last year has brought many new experiences into my life but more importantly I feel now like more of a whole, better balanced person. The madness has continued up and down but with the help of my new therapist I can see ahead to a time without pills and even without therapists. As superficial as it may seem the new hair and new clothes make me feel more like I'm accepting the way I am and getting on with things as they are rather than wishing things were different.

When I was at the psychiatric hospital one of the big themes was 'irrational beliefs' where you want the world to be other than it is. For example you get a parking ticket. You are annoyed because it is unfair and yet you didn't pay the fee or parked illegally or whatever. So despite the fact that that is how things are you are annoyed because 'it' is unfair and 'it' shouldn't be like that. So deeply entrenched into me was this lesson that now whenever I start to think or feel somethin…

New do

Yes, it is that time of year when I visit the hairdresser and make some sort of hair-decision-disaster. I had good intentions to go for a c-something (no laughing) type bob with the under layers slightly shorter so it would curve in. But then I sat down and had nothing to do for 10 mins and my eye fell on a binder of elegant do's that lay on the elegant coffee table and as I nonchalently flicked through one particularly caught my eye and.... I have taken a photo but have taken it at super high res and am a bit worried it will crash my poor blog if I put it up here but I'll have a go and you just tell me if it slows things up too much.

Pooch is saying nice things and I have to admit I kind of like it. Now don't laugh, but with this do and the clothes I bought in the sale (ones that actually FIT ME and are NICE rather than not-warranting-nice-clothes-because-I'm-only-temporarily-a-16-and-am-
bound-to-fit-into-all-those-size-12-things-again-any-minute) and the bead necklace…

Remind me not to quote anyone anytime soon

No sooner had that blog post about sock machines gone up then James Brown has left this mortal coil and gone to a funkier place. Rather a shame but hopefully a lot of his music will now be played in tribute which will be good because it is damn funky.

So here I am on boxing day with another xmas gone. This one was unique in that it was completely family free as Pooch and I were very insular and ate our guinea fowl alone. It was actually really fun! This is depsite the post woman not coming on Saturday leaving me without my family's presents which is rather a shame and yet pretty good because I know that there are even more good things to come. I'll have to try to remember in coming days to post a picture of the duvet cover and pillows I made for my sister Sianybo which were rather good though I say so myself. I often wonder why I don't make these things for myself instead of putting up with tesco value tat so maybe that is something to add to the To Do list.

I was looking ba…

Pooch's Christmas Message

It is with sadness that I look back at the last year and consider all the wasted opportunities for annoying my Byrne. There have been many good instances, and I only wish there was enough space on the interweb for me to relate them all here, but I don't feel I have really made the most of the time we've spent together. I want to assure you, my loyal readers, that this will change in 2007.

Yours grumpily, Pooch


Get UP! (get on up) Stay on the Scene! (get on up) Like a Sock Machine! (get on up)

Ahhhh, good old James Brown. Nobody does it better. Yes, here I am - sock machine supremo. I may detest the 4 needle method but those socks with seams have been leaving my needles at a fair old pace. I finished two pairs for me in the last couple of days both of which were started months and months ago but got put aside for ghastly xmas knitting.

Both pairs are sadly a little on the large side. But who needs svelte socks?

Here is the ghastly baby set that I did for someone my Mum knows.
Bernie did the hat - godbless'er - which lets me safely segway into an update of the knitting situation at work. Some time ago you may remember me casting myself in the role of evil stepmother slash witch in the snow white story tempting a young, defenceless colleague into knitting a mobile phone cover. Well.... she has finished a scarf with not a single mistake, ends sewn in and all, and has caused such consternation in her department manager at all this display of skill that it caused her to go out …





I'm not kidding. I've been sitting at my desk sniggering like a school boy who's just been told a fart joke for the last 10 minutes.

Now that the xmas knitting is gone and done I have had a chance to join some new ATC swaps. While perusing the web for vintage nudes (as you do, at work, when your screen faces the whole room) I came across this website. Obviously I wouldn't take any of the images from this website as that would infringe copyright but they are all remarkably free of watermarks and there is an amazing variety.

It is amazing what you can find on the web. For instance I can see the one on the left making an appearance on an ATC sometime soon.
Someone else at work has been made redundant in a rather unexpected reshuffle. All a bit odd. What is odder is that I got a kind of random job offer from a website that uses ZoomInfo to find likely candida…

Cast off the old, in with the new

Finished the bloody xmas knitting! Just checking in quickly as had a hectic day off yesterday frantically knitting, stitching and otherwise fiddling with presents after a busy weekend in manchester with Pooch's family. ALL DONE! Thank ****.

Have sent out about 35 copies of the zine which is rather good and have had some very nice comments back. You can still get a copy here.

Have more pictures of cherries to be posted but none with me so until tomorrow........

Impromptu lectures

When I got to work this morning I got called into a photo shoot for our Events business's new brochure. Being sober and upstanding I got to stand at the front behind a lecturn and pretend to lecture. Except I saw no point in pretence and decided to go for it. My homily (sp?) covered many subjects including

the music of william shatner
balanced scorecard
the distribution of staff survey results
the height of some of my co-workers
the flying spaghetti monster

It worries me that there are some people out there who do not know about his holiness, the FSM. Here he is:
I know. He's breathtaking. I have asked Pooch for the gospel of the FSM for xmas. I love him, and Pooch, and want to be touched by his noodly appendage, and the FSG's fnah fnah. I feel it is important that anyone who has heard about Creationism should also read about Pastafarianism. Incidentally my colleagues already think I'm nuts so were not surprised at any of the above topics. Just before I go - is the word '…

One word meme

Where do these things start?

Yourself: Ditzy
Your boyfriend: Pooch
Your hair: awful
Your mother: Bookish
Your father: Distant
Your favorite Item: Chocolate
Your dream last night: absent
Your favorite drink: chocolate
Your dream car: red
The room you are in: impersonal
Your ex: numbered
Your fear: madness
What you want to be in 10 years? Poochetta
Who you hung out with last night? Pooch
What you're not: Unhungry
Muffins: chocolate
One of your wish list items: wool
Time: lacking
The last thing you did: kiss
What you are wearing: cords
Your favorite weather: rain
Your favorite book: Freakonomics
The last thing you ate: cherry!
Your life: patchy
Your mood: sleepy
Your best friend: Louise xxx
What are you thinking about right now? dinner
Your car: none
What are you doing at this moment: hungering
Your summer: warm
Your relationship status: dreamy
What is on your TV? nothing
What is the weather like? windy
When is the last time you laughed? just now
Who do you tag? anyone?

310th post

I made that the title as there must be something to celebrate in this otherwise most unlovely of Tuesdays. Those masochists among you who have been checking in for some time now may have heard me mention the film "Zoolander" once or twice. There is a point in that film where Hansel (Owen Wilson) is telling a story to a group of himilayan pygmies while baking bread. It goes something like this....

"So I'm free-basing down this mountain in the alps and all of a sudden I feel the snow slide under me and I'm like 'oh no' and suddenly I'm falling and I'm falling through the air waving my arms and screaming 'aaaaarrrgggghhhhhh'.... when all of a sudden I'm like.... 'Hansel? Haven't you been smoking Peyote for 6 straight days? And isn't it possible this all a hallucination? And you know what?..........It was! I was in Utah. I've never even been to the alps!'

(Pygmie) 'Cool story Hansel!'"

From which story you wi…

Hexalong - yippee!

There is a woollywormhead pattern in knitty, which also contains umpteen other cool things. I am joining the knit along for it! Click on the button below to get to it or the pattern is here.

This is me, right?

This is me, right, with a young lady we will call Vinnie. Except she's not holding an apple. It's more like she's holding her first ever piece of red knitting. She managed to do it without a mistake and even cast off and on with no problem. Not too shaky for a newbie. Incidentally, mobile phone covers are the new pot holder. She was just lamenting that she is away for the weekend and has nothing to knit on the train. Oh yeah. I got her good.

I don't have long to blog today as just as I sat down to do this the xmas fairy landed in our office and I got heavily involved in The Decoration Project. Believe it or not I am one of the tallest on my floor (at 5'7" - place is full of midgets) so was called on for lots of sticking of blue tak. Fortunately we have a temp in who is seriously 6'10" and so no standing-on-rotating-office-chair-accidents took place.

Off to see Sound of Music tonight with the in-laws and then a weekend of family style debauchery - i.e. …

Live life like you're gonna die... because you're gonna

Nope, not a return to madness but the title of a great song that Will Shatner stars in. Let me lay some lyrics on you...

You'll Have Time
(William Shatner/Ben Folds) Live life
Live life like you're gonna die
Becasue you're gonna
I hate to be the bearer of bad news
But you're gonna die Maybe not today or even next year
But before you know it you'll be saying

Is this all there was?
What was all the fuss?
Why did I bother?" Now, maybe you won't suffer maybe it's quick
But you'll have time to think
Why did I waste it?
Why didn't I taste it?
You'll have time
Because you're gonna die. Yes it's gonna happen because it's happened to a lot of people I know
My mother, my father, my loves
The president, the kings and the pope
They all had hope And they muttered just before they went
Maybe, I won't let go
Live life like you're gonna die
Because you are Maybe you won't suffer maybe it's quick�…

Moo is home and has brought donuts!

Nicked this from Mooknits.

You Are a Caramel Crunch Donut
You're a complex creature, and you're guilty of complicating things for fun.
You've been known to sit around pondering the meaning of life...
Or at times, pondering the meaning of your doughnut.
To frost or not to frost? To fill or not to fill? These are your eternal questions.What Donut Are You?
*sigh* another load of no-sends on I am so disillusioned with that site although I have done a lot of good swapping on it. It is just so dispiriting when you make something, like a handknit dishcloth, and then get nothing back. I have just signed out of all the swaps that hadn’t started yet and will just slog through the ones I have left and then leave it entirely with and the eclectic ATC Yahoo group. Maybe.

I have this internal conflict going on at the moment concerning the throny issue of organisation. As much as it may seem to conflict with my whole life I would really like to be organised. I am always writing lists but then tend to lose them or at least lose interest. The area of swaps is another one where I really want to be organised but am just not getting there. I have an excel file on my PDA but I keep forgetting it. Then I started another list in my notebook but keep forgetting about it. Then I tried writing it down but the paper wasn’t wide enough.…

Every day in every way....

Do you know how much knitting I have to do? God damn christmas. Bah humbug! I am also somewhat preoccupied with the memory of how much time the MBA is going to take up when it starts again in May. I have to learn to really make the most of all the time I DO have. Which includes no more xmas knitting. NO MORE. But it's a bit late now. Oh poo.

Have been thinking for some time that Pooch should have a blog to put across his side of things. I wanted to call it Pooch's kennel but he has steadfastly refused to do one and this afternoon officially trademarked his name meaning I can't use it at all. So I have decided to have Pooch's blog as a subset of this one. So here follows the first entry of Pooch's kennel

Sunday 3rd in the Kennel

Got up today and drank a lot of tea. Then went back to bed with tea and my laptop. Did you know that the ATG couldn't find the SPU input with their elbows? Spent 3 hours on wikipedia reading about code breaking, mafia bosses with funny nam…

Anything you want to share?

One of my colleagues just asked me if I was pregnant.


Anyway, spent the weekend in Oxford with the Pooch where there was a complete lack of yarn shops. I think I may claim the last week or two as an unofficial start to another stashalong month of abstainment. Can I do that retrospectively? Maybe if I told myself it was going to be a 2 month stint. But then that would mean missing out on the sales. But then I do have enough yarn to bury my pregnant looking form several metres deep so maybe that won't be such a bad thing.

OK, yes, 2 months, but backdating it to when I last bought yarn. Naturally this calls for a ticker to be created......

In knitting news I have finally finished the jumper for the wretched child and have begun the leggings - probably about 1/4 done on those. A colleague has offered to knit the hat to save the baby from total hate-knitting karma which is nice of her.

The second issue of the ProudtobeCrafty Zine is almost finished! (Go here to pre-order a copy and f…

Big old rant time

I've got a few minutes to spare and it so happens that my temper has been sorely tried today so what else does a blogger do in that situation other than sit down and inflict their views on the world?

I have been in a training course all day on customer care. I have been in a training course all day with a load of people who are mostly perfectly nice and about 3 who are the most ignorant f*cking idiots you've ever come across. The thing that finally got my goat was the all-physicists-are-weird chorus that gets trotted out by the aforementioned idiots every now again. The woman leading the chant this time happens to be jewish so having said I found the statement rather offensive and being told how stupid I was I asked her how she'd feel if someone said "All Jews are tight."? Now what I should have done was kept my mouth shut and just privately reflected on how good life was in that I only had to come into contact with her at these sorts of events. Instead she got a…

New Crush - behold a god

I have a serious new crush. I just watched sunday night's episode of Torchwood. Does anyone else get the raging horn, as I believe Derek & Clive called it, about John Barrowman? I am totally loving this man. YES I know he's gay but I don't care. I just adore him and am happy to do so from afar. And not only that but I think Torchwood is much better than doctor who. I love the 'grown-up' feel about it and that none of them are smug.

Um, that's kind of all I've got to say actually. Except,
I love John Barrowman

So there I was

minding my own business in a one-to-one with my boss when he turned to me and said "Well, one thing's for sure. You're not destined for a career as a diplomat."

Actually it wasn't quite like that. The words that may have passed my lips before the long pause which preceded this statement were "Bring it on." Not to much of the "J'ACCUSE!!!!!" with pointy finger that I am imagining I have seen in some french melodrama as a "Yes, not everyone likes your style." Which is fine. Old Byrne would have gone into a tailspin about this and sat and had it go round and round and round and round and so on until she ended up on the phone to the samaritans. New Byrne is above such things. New Byrne accepts constructive criticism and uses it to learn and grow from, like watching an OU programme at 4am with your feet in a bowl of manure. So New Byrne sat on the tube (yes - sat - hahahahahahaha!) and did what she does best. I'd alrready got a gan…

Another day in the life

Here is a microsoft project plan of the ATC cards I had to do when I created it on Tuesday.

Good, isn't it? For those of you who know about such things you'll notice that the tasks aren't linked but what I did do is make the time to make 1 ATC = 1 day so where the task is 4 days long that means 4 cards. Then I decided that I can make 3 cards a day. So my Alex resource = 300%. Then I assigned myself to each task and then levelled the resources to see when the making hot spots were. I fully intend to update it today and add in the slack bars but I don't want to run out of things to do like I had yesterday by 9.30am.

So peeps, do you get what I'm saying here? Yes, work is still a tad on the slow side. What I have done is written 4 project proposals and fired them off to various people internally. Much to my surprise one has been taken up and IOP Enterprises will soon own an online shop selling funky stuff with funky graphics on obscurely related to physics. This gives m…

Blog trawl

Felt compelled to post for a staggering second time today because of the most recent cat picture over at Crazy Aunt Purls. I really wish I had a cat. Then my job wouldn't be so boring and I wouldn't get so obsessed with ATCs - apologies to annarella for banging on about them in a comment on your blog a minute ago!

Since I'm here, we also have the following from today's blog trawl....
Excellent flea story linked to from purlpower (you just have to take a leap of faith that a story about fleas is worth the clicking to get you there) (and it is)New hat patterns from woollywormhead. Just splurged a full £1.75 on the spiral cap. But it's DPNs, curses. Then some things are worth the agony. Like childbirth. Or so I hear. A light haul this time. Off to for an online class on altered art now. Yippee!

Digital ATCs

Have found a new website called and have joined a new swap for digital ATCs which I've never done before. We have to do 4 each based around 'your wildest dream'. Here are my first three.


Swimming in chocolate

Knitted Byrne


As you might be able to tell it has been a slow day at the office. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO bored. Have emailed me boss begging for more work again which is just such an unnatural act I feel sure there must be a law against it. It's just not natural. My one concern is I'll get made redundant but then I'd get a nice fat cheque and the kick I need to change direction and actually do something interesting with my life.

The second issue of the Proud to be Crafty zine is oh so nearly finished. It is very exciti…

So where the hell have I been?

Yeah, I don't really know really. I have been off work for a couple of days with a heavy cold but the blog was already a week old by then and I do have broadband at home so that's no excuse. I guess I just got a thing about it and didn't feel like posting. You know. A Thing. Like not walking under ladders or something. Maybe.

I have been knitting non-stop since I was last here but can't show any of it because it is all destined for stockings of the great and the good, which is to say, my family and friends. I have been getting a fine bevy of post not all of which has been photographed but most of which was concerned with ATCs. Here are some that did make it to the camera....

These are ones I did for a Kinky Swap.

I've been having a bit of a crisis of confidence about them. I'm just not convinced mine are really worthy. I posted a message on the eclectic ATC group about this and it seems I'm not alone. Anyway.....

The second issue of the zine is shaping up very …

Craft Porn

First off a little yarn porn.... Socks that Rock. This stuff deserves every inch of its reputation. Blissful to knit with.
Not a colour combo I would have picked out on a shelf but I am *loving* the way it is knitting up. Have done one sock already and about an inch of the second. Should serve as a reminder to think ahead to what colours will look like all merged together rather than judging them in skein form.

Now we have some ATC porn. When I got home last night I had post from all corners of the globe. 4 packages of ATCs not to mention my fave magazine.

Every time I get ATCs I am amazed with what people do. Makes me wonder what my paltry efforts are thought of.

I am still thoroughly into swapping on Swap bot and most recently completed my first ever dish/face cloth for a swap. I had always meant to do one but kept thinking they were a bit pathetic. Let me tell you - that opinion has been thoroughly kicked out the window. Look what I did in about an hour last night (my swap partner has …

You know those frumpy looking women on the tube?

Those ones who wear either all black or really clashing clothes that don't fit too well and whose trousers are normally a bit too short? They tend to be reading some sort of zany fantasy book and eating something weird. They also tend to have rosy cheeks, be slightly overweight and look like they could really do with a haircut.

They also tend to be about 28, dark haired, freckled, called Alex, reading a Terry Pratchett hardback and eating chocolate coated raisins out of a paper bad like a healthy-hobo (except no one ever really kids themselves well enough that whatever the fruit, eating it with chocolate smothering its natural form ever makes it healthy).

Yes, people. I have turned into that woman. I realised this when I was on the tube home on friday night. Now this is the first give away - going home at 7pm on a friday. Obviously going home to stroke cat or if doesn't have one to search the internet for pictures of cats. I had almost fallen over because I was completely engros…

Links and news

Linkwise here we have the link to the crasfter index page of bag tutorials:

I also wish to show those of you have not yet seen it this site of subversive cross-stitch.

The reason I want to show you that is because I am combining free fonts from with 'draw your own graph paper' to map out an embroidery of my favourite quote, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger" a la la (la = on the left). I tried out tonnes of different fonts before settling on this one which is called 'Once in a while'. I am not sure yet whether I am going to do just the outlines or fill it in in solid of variegated colour but I have some 14 count black aida in the post and so should have the design sorted by the end of the weekend.

This weekend of course brings the mumsy and, to be thorough, the Robsy too. The schedule at the mo includes lots of good food, the rodin exhibition at the RA and possibly a boat ride o…

Blog trawling

Just catching up on some blogs people and so have the usual trawl of stolen objects...

You Are 64% Evil

You are very evil. And you're too evil to care.

Those who love you probably also fear you. A lot.

How Evil Are You?

Want a needle holder thing that goes on the back of my door like the one in this post:

I want to do bullion crochet as good as what Nickerjac can. And I want to be able to put colours together like she can and not like I do which makes it look like a hobo has vomitted.

I want to know what 'the power of jam' is as Pixeldiva has it and I want it. Probably. At least tell me what it is.

Tickers for SkipNorth

These are in the same folder they are in the files section of the SkipHolidays yahoo group. I have put these up here partly to let current good timers know what they look like but also to entice others along! We still have a few places so go to if you want to join in with a group of knitting and spinning enthusiasts let loose from domestic responsibilities for three whole days!

line and sock


car and houses

line and heart

The best bag(s) in the world

I have always wanted one of those japanese wrist bags and after an afternoon of non-work and browsing on I came across some rather nifty links to bag tutorials. If you have not been to craftster you should go - there's a link in the list of blogs on the left. There are so many tutorials on how to make really cool stuff. I did quite a bit of printing that afternoon...

Anyway, the moment you have been waiting for..... (I'm suddenly feeling I may have hyped this up a bit too much)

I can not tell you how happy this bag makes me. I bought the fabric out of John Lewis's remnant bin about, literally, 6 years ago and have been waiting for the right project ever since. It is perfect for this. It is a really good size and feels highly natural just sitting on my arm. Yeeha for craftster!

Now this was on Friday night because you all know that I do not actually have a social life. At all. On saturday I set to with a second tutorial and the lovely fabric Pooch bought me. And…


Just nicked this from A Mingled Yarn

48 Things You Could Care Less About

1. FIRST NAME? Alexandra


3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? On Tuesday at couple therapy with Pooch.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? It varies between cool and 'arty' and completely illegible. Overall I'm pretty happy with it.


6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I don't think so. I'd be friendly to me but I think her mood swings would bore me.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Kind of. I do have one but I don't write in it often. I did have loads of diaries going back about 8 years but threw them away as they were full of depression stuff. Kind of regret doing that now.


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? If I was presented with the opportunity yes, but can't be arsed to sort it out or pay for it.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Applejacks. It's american and neon gree…

Belated ally pally round-up (photo heavy!)

I know I'm a week late but it's been a busy one so in every sense, better late than never. For those of you who have never visited the Alexandra Palace show I thought it might be nice to have a look at this, which is me walking through about a 1/10th of it.

I really did have a very lovely time and, a la Wormhead, was having trouble carrying everything on the way back at the end of the saturday. I got some really awesome things but my biggest splurge is yet to arrive - enough pukka shetland wool for the scoop neck fairisle in the most recent Vogue Knitting. Ooooooo. Anyway, from what I did get....
Hip knits silk and the new magazine on the block:

Fat quarters and beads and the like:

Handmade paper for an altered journal swap:

The cheap stuff - for a hard wearing trivial pursuits cushion and the variegated for the shawl on the fornt of the Vogue shawls book:

Lovely pure wool Twileys Whisper or something like that for either a boxy cardigan from knit1 or a jumper:

Wicked chocolate not…