Saturday, 7 January 2006

You wanted pictures?

Actually I don't know whether you did or not but I have been promising them for a while so fear not, this post won't be just yards of text.

I have just been through all the blogs in the 'Blogs I read' list and caught up with what's been going on. I like doing that kind of thing at the weekend because it's like catching up with old friends and hearing their news over a mug of hot orange squash. I actually made a list of the bits that appealed most to me this time. Top of this list has to be this story of enduring friendship. Actually I haven't written where I saw the link to this but I think it was stitchymcyarnpants. I'm going to be adding this blog to my list for future weekend catch ups.

Nownormaknits had a good one. There seems to be some sort of avatar war going on but she had this site and her own icon from it. I tried making one of my own but got all confused and overwhelmed by the silliness! Plus I've got one digi-icon and have been thinking of going back to an actual photo sometime soon. But hell, enjoy yourselves!

This is what I should have joined, if only I hadn't missed the sign up date (curtosy of WendyKnits). I got 10 skeins of maya in reds last year when on the first Pooch-Byrne holiday to Blackpool for a, then, astonishing £4.50 a skein. Now loads has been reduced and I never did knit any of mine and it's just not talking to me. I'm not going to get agitated about it though. I have resolved to leave it in the stash and wait til its day dawns. There are one or two stash bits on ebay at the moment though in case anyone is interested. Plus the stitchmarkers of course.

Yummy yarns feature here thanks to yarnstorm. The loveliest colourways I've seen since I was last at silkwood but too pricey for me this month.

As you might have guessed I only started writing things down when I got to 'N' in my list so sorry for the earlier blogs I haven't commented about. I did wonder about doing a podcast about blogs and letting people who do not have time to catch up an overview of what is going on in blogland. What do you think?

Anyway....where are these pictures I hear you mutter.
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The monkey was what I did first. It is about 12cm high and I do really like it. The tail is supposed to be longer but I made it this length as I just thought it looked better. The pink blob next to it is the mp3 holder - a view of what I am thinking of as the front. The monkey followed a pattern but I 'designed - ahem' this myself.

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Here is the back of both - I love the little heart on the monkey's bottom! It serves to cover up where the tail joins. I'm not so keen on this side of the cover but I always think of these things as learning tools so I still think it's great really.

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Very simple and only about 4cm tall, pig, panda and cat. I had enough of doing the animals in 'real' colours hence the cat is purple.

I have really enjoyed making the felt bits - expect more soon although I'd love suggestions for what to do with them. I have also progressed a little bit on the petal shawl.
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Slowly but surely - and I'm really looking forward to having it as it's freezing at work - another woman near me is menopausal so having the radiators on is rather unfair on her.

Lastly, this is a catch up from a few weeks back now - the final felted bag.
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I am *really* pleased with this as it feels like I've finally found some use for Noro kureyon. I won't be knitting noro myself again. This is destined for Charlie. I am longing to find out how little Yoshimi (the baby) is getting on. Vitas, the brute, promised to send me photos but hasn't so I must ring them this weekend.

Sean got back to the office about 2.45 yesterday and we had our meeting. Got through the main business of Monday and a few outstanding queries before I beat my little fists upon the table and demanded more wok to do. Sean looked a bit shocked and my first thought was 'oh shit, he's going to tell me he expected me to self-start' (which was in the job description but then I have already occupied myself for weeks if not months already) but then he went off at what seemed to be a tangent and after some shillyshallying...friends....I am destined for great things, apparently. All this stuff about succession planning got said and The CEOs vision of the future and stuff and it turns out asking for more work is a good thing. It was one of those conversations I seem to have had at regular intervals in the last couple of years where you get to see a little bit more about how real-life is. During these conversations I tend to say at least once 'but that's terrible' and the person I'm talking to says something like 'listen, babe, that's just how life is' only without the babe-bit. I recall a description in a book about the scales falling from this bod's eyes - might even have been the bible - and that's an excellent description. And in summary what it all goes to show is that when you think you've got a handle on office politics, there turns out to be greater, more devious depths to be plumbed.

Friday, 6 January 2006

Guess what I've been doing?

I'll narrow down the options for you - it's obviously not working.

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What do you make of this? Coming soon to a fridge magnet near you. Yes, I have spent my morning (or at least the last 30 mins) crafting my empire and not only am I stitchmaker extraordinaire I am diversifying into magnets and possibly postcards, depending on how I feel.

The other thing I was doing last night was making more of the little felt mascot things - but still no pics. Have started a cover for the mp3 player Pooch gave me so will have lots to show at the weekend. I was looking at the other japanese books the seller has on ebay and saw a couple of images of the inside pages. I am very tempted by the ones containing these pages.
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Pooch has been on form recently and following my purchase of a swazzle (many thanks Tracy for saving me the trouble of searching for one) he has got quite excited by the whole thing. Now referred to as "Pooch and Judy" he was a bit upset to find out he wouldn't actually be playing a major role in any of the proceedings although I did offer to let him do the carrying. He has started called me 'Professor' though which is very much in keeping with the thing. Yesterday I found some instructions for making felt puppets and will probably start them this weekend. My book tells me you really ought to have wooden ones - preferably handcarved willow. But I'm thinking that's more of a second-stage thing. Felt should be fine to start with.

Thursday, 5 January 2006

Panic over

The problem with having been so mentally fricking weird in the past is as soon as you have a downer you think it's all going to get as bad as it was before again. I now wish to report I am back on form and so you can cease to be concerned. In a large part this was helped by going to knitting last night where there were a massive 12 of us crowded round the little tables in starbucks. We had our secret santa and I came away with some very special chocs and some gorgeous stickers. Been a bit remiss with the cmaera recently so still no photos but will get there in the end.

Have brought my previously begun novel - "The Scientific Knitter" - in to work and will be doing some more of it this afternoon. At least it's typing in word which is almost like working I guess. Am also going to start my MBA research. Wow, so much to do!

Just briefly - my punch and judy book has arrived and is divine. I can't wait to get making my puppets! Am now on the look out for a swazzle, just in case anyone knows where I can get one.

Wednesday, 4 January 2006


The byrne brain would appear to have entered into something of a decline. And not in a good way. I’ve slept badly the last three nights and so naturally at such times of fatigue ones brain turns its attention to ways it can make things just a bit worse and you start feeling depressed. D.R.E.A.R.Y. Actually maybe I shouldn’t write this blog entry because the one thing more boring than being depressed is writing about it. Or possibly reading what’s been written.

All the way in to work this morning I was trying to talk myself out of it and I have even bought bread so I can go feed the ducks at lunchtime which is my old skool cure from when I went properly loopy. In fact on the subject of trying to talk oneself out of something – ever walked down the street talking to yourself? I have always avoided these actions as signs of stereotypical madness which, you know, just Is Not Cool. But today I let rip and did the two-chairs exercise therapistlouise has taught me while walking from Bond Street to Portland Place. Now this involves walking up Harley Street so you’d have thought people wouldn’t be that surprised to see a fruitloop in the midst of quack-central but no. Their poor little faces when they realised I really didn’t have a hands free set dangling from my orifices. Imagine the scene – a seemingly beautiful stranger – elegant, debonaire, wearing mittens – walks towards you. She clutches a loaf of bread lovingly to her bosom and is eating a bagel. You hear her talking as she sashays closer. She gets within detailed eye view and suddenly she interrupts herself with the other side of the argument. You realise she does not appear to be on the phone. She stops in her tracks, you pause in yours. “No no no” you hear her say in a cross tone of voice. You cross the road. Hahaha.

It could have been worse – I could have let the loaf of bread play the second chair role.

Knit wise I can’t be arsed at the moment. Partly because I got my second book from this seller. The last was crochet toys, this one is felt mascots. I spent last night sitting on the sofa watching vintage Sherlock Holmes dvds while making a really cute monkey. At the moment it just lacks a tail and a purpose, but I am sure these will follow soon. It’s only about 12cm high but is very detailed (pattern provided in the book) and I really love it. I might even photograph it at some point.

I’m actually writing this at work because, yes you know it, I DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH TO DO!!!!! Boss, how many more times? I’m so bored. I’ve listened to Tom and Doug’s latest podcast, which was excellent and even made me smile and drawn a new flowchart/bubble diagram on the big white board. I’ve emailed 17 people for statistics and it’s 10.30 and that’s basically all my work done for the day. Actually, I was writing that book about “The Scientific Knitter” so maybe I should bring that in and give it another going over. Tra lala BOREDBOREDBOREDBORED

Am sure this is not helping with my mood.

Sunday, 1 January 2006

2006 and all that

Let us get on with the knitting content first as that is the point of my blog.
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This is the first 33 rows of the 169 rows of the Flower Petal Shawl from Elann. Am doing it in plain old black as that meant I could start it straight away and because I figure that will be the most useful over time. I have fancied doing a shawl for a while and toyed with kiri and a couple of other mainstream ones but I love the shape of this and it is sufficiently engaging to keep the knitting interesting while not requiring much proper brain power. The yarn is RY Cashsoft Aran and what I want to know is - is 'microfibre' the new non-emotive name for acrylic? There's 33% of it in this stuff.

While strumming through my stash earlier I realised there is an extra new year thought I need to add which can't really be quantified but just needs to be born in mind....What you going to do with all those single balls you keep buying 'just to try'? This black was the only thing I had more than about 200g of.

Have been wearing my cherry tree hill socks today and they are just lovely. So luxurious. They are definitely the way forward and I did see that Get Knitted have some reduced to a 'tiny' £9.99. The shade doesn't scream at me though - plus I have a tonne of nice if not quite so luxurious sockyarn. So the sensible thing here, byrne, is to not buy it and put the money you would have spent towards stitches east. There's not much on the web yet except the dates but I have the brochure for stitches west and would really love to go. Looking at flights etc it seems like £300 for the flight, about £50 a night for hotel then there would be the major stash enhancement and registration fees. I'm still in kind of two minds though. It's a lot of money to lay out when I could save it for ally pally. Anyone been to one of these events before and want to give me their opinion?

I have listed some stitch markers on ebay again. They are all here. Postage is free again. This listing is a bit of an experiment as I know we're all a bit broke but they're quite tempting as impulse buys and won't do too much damage to the bank balance. The money from these will go into the america fund.

Last night ended up going very well. I don't often take liquor into the byrne-system and I loathe those conversations that start "I drank so much last night and then I ate a baboon and it was hilarious" but I do feel like showing off as I haven't been that drunk in about 3 years. What is it about being drunk that is so attractive though? It is liberating I suppose and it is quite exhilarating to lose control but it's not something I'd want to do a lot as it's expensive and although I haven't had a bad hangover there's no doubt it's not good for the byrne-physique. It was all very low-key (a phrase that seems to be a good descriptor for my life at the mo, not that I mind) and friendly and nice so the tube strike didn't wreck things really. I still loathe the RMT though.
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