Saturday, 13 May 2006

Time and timing

As worried about, my studies are already impinging on my knitting time. Finsihed the regia silk socks on two needles with the ribbed for her pleasure leggy bits but haven't had a chance to photograph them yet. Will try to update properly tomorrow.

Before I go, am getting very excited about SP8 and have added a button to the lefthandside. SP8, rah rah rah!

Thursday, 11 May 2006

And lo! 12 hours appeared as if from nowhere

Mr Rancid Pooch the first has just phoned me to say he is irretrevably drunk and I must stand by to accept the wounded and dying. Hmmmmmm, spare room for him me thinks. (His doghouse, fnah fnah)

Is actually not that bad having a bit of extra time to myself to reflect as I just had my first MBA tutorial this evening. Where on earth did I think 12 hours study time a week was going to come from? Wow. That's a lot of time. So now I need a plan and am thinking it will involve starting work at 8 and knocking off at 4 and then
sitting there with literally a different hat on for 2 hours after that crunching OU stuff. But then that has its drawbacks because people will still bug me about stuff, even with a stupid hat on. Perhaps, no, I already know that wouldn't work so am not going to bother typing it. Basically it's all going to mean far less knitting. Had my update with sean this morning and am not moving dept - in a move previously unknown at the IOP there has been an internal reorganisation and I have not changed boss, floor or building. Extraordinary. Actually since coming back from Philadelphia I've felt a new comfort in what I'm doing with all the strategy stuff. Therapist Louise told me ages ago that a healthy head doesn't seek external validation but then she's never had to devise a scorecard when your chief exec is a useless windchime and the senior management all hate each other. People are coming to me with all these questions about how things can be done to achieve this that and the other and it's reminded me that, admittedly, I'm the only one that knows enough about it to advise (I'm now correcting Sean when he comes out of stuff - yep, you just know he loves that!) but that it is all actually rather complicated and difficult for tiny british minds to grasp. (I put that last bit in in case Tom is reading and is thinking how easy it is for broad american minds to grasp.)

I had better break off here and batten down the hatches for Pooch's arrival which will no doubt be stormy. He told me he was celebrating because he had 'saved sony' today at work. I feel certain I will be hearing all about it the moment I hear his key scratching at the door and go to relieve him of the burden of getting it in the keyhole.

Tuesday, 9 May 2006

SP8 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Recently I've been going heavy on machine washable wool but cotton is good too. Sock yarn is frequently found in my stash. Basically anything that feels soft - absolutely no scratchy acrylic but soft acrylic is good. Chunky would be good too - have bought way too much 4-ply recently.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a needle roll I made myself which I love - I also use jam jars. I tend to have one in each room in case I get an urge to pick up a pair and start something. I also just bought a crochet roll last week which is felted pink and orange wool.
3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I'm pretty advanced - I've done cable, intarsia, fairisle. I've tried and loathed entrelac. However, I am definitely not a perfectionist so will tend to have a go at anything new and just live with it if I have to bodge the first few rows.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No, sorry.
5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Vanilla - I am ALLERGIC to lavender so please be careful as I won't be able to go near anything that contains this.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Do I ever. I lurve chocolate. Favourite is probably dairy milk. I don't like Herscheys as it's too sweet.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I do spin but not very often. I am supposed to be getting a wheel but am just drop spindling at the mo. Developments in this have stalled as I have just started an MBA so all my spare time has vanished.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I have an mp3 player. I love listening to classic detective audio books. I'll try most music but do not like wailing women like Maria Carey or teenybop bands.
9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I like red best but have totally overdosed on it recently. I am getting quite into knitted flowers so any colour that could be made into a flower would be good - plus green for the leaves!
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am engaged to the sweet Pooch and we'll marry in May 2007. No pets but I love cats (Pooch is allergic, despite his name).
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
All except ponchos. The madder the better really.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
What I knit most frequently is socks. But this is more a convinience thing really. Actually I do really like hand knitted socks too and my family and friends have discovered how great they are too so I keep on churning them out. I also like small things like bags or jewellery that give a quick reward or larger things in chunky yarn.
13. What are you knitting right now?
Socks. Actually, I have two pairs on the needles. Plus a cabled aran jumper. Plus a garter st jumper. Plus a baby jumper. Plus I'm about to start a scarf for a friend.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I used to hate circs, now I'm converted. I have a set of denises. I also love crystal palace bamboo as they are just so damn smooth. I prefer shorter needles - about 20cm. I HATE double points. I hate them, they hate me, it's a mutual thing.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
17. How did you learn to knit?
My mother and a kit combined.
18. How old is your oldest UFO?
It's the cabled aran. It's not so bad though - only about a year and I get it out and do a few rows every couple of months.
19. What is your favorite holiday?
I just came back from an awesome time in Piladelphia. But it's the people that make a good holiday. My favourite scenic wise was Morocco - Marrakesh in particular. The culture and scenary there was amazing.
20. Is there anything that you collect?
Buttons - I love them! I get them to use though, not to keep. I have quite a collection of hairclips and tend to fling on a couple whenever I feel like a quick pick-me-up.
21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don't like simply knitting or knitting magazine. I have a subscription to Vogue and usually buy InterweaveKnits. I haven't tried Interweave Crochet - not even sure if Vogue has a version like that but would be interested to see a copy.
22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Tunisian crochet? I think that's it - the one where you keep the loops on the hook. I did want to try lace making but am doubtful I really have time for it. During SP6 I got into dyeing and have been doing some of that on and off since then.
23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Am a size 7 UK size and yes, I sure do make them. No one has ever knitted me some socks (hint hint).
24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
4th July - no, seriously! I'll be 28 this year.

Monday, 8 May 2006

I'm back (Long post warning)

It's a bit weird to be back to be honest. Yesterday I spent most of the day looking at this kind of thing.
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Then the plane landed and I was in the midst of this.
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On the way back I did cheer up a bit though because everything is so green and lucious and that wouldn't have happened without a fair dollop of the wet stuff.

Let me get the good stuff down though before I drop off to sleep. One thing I noticed about US yarn shops is that they are not that obvious. This is the one I went to as soon as I arrived and which remains my favourite.
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This was the most obvious. Another....
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....didn't even have a sign. It did have quite a good yarn wreath on the door though which is an idea should I ever come over all twee.

However, a lack of presence doesn't mean I didn't manage to get sorted (sorry for those double negatives). Possibly my favourite acquisition are the crochet hooks I went out there wanting to get.
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Then there is some lovely cotton with a multi colour acrylic twist. I *really* like this bu have no idea what to do with it.
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First lovely haul plus...
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...the books I got at the same time.
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Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers is all I hoped it would be. This knitted bouquet thing could really have legs - even knitted table centres as well maybe?

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Another day another yarn store. This was from Loop.
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And then this is my arrival from

I spent a lot of yesterday in Amish country part of which was a quilt museum - oh yes, nice.
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The quilts were divine. There were mostly traditional and historic patterns but there was also a display of new handkerchief quilts. I really rather like this idea - would mean you could highlight the pattern on, say, a kaffe pattern even more by quilting it as the centre panel on something.
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I had a GREAT time. One of the reasons for this is Tom, who I may have mentioned in a previous post. He is the guy who came over the install the software and train me on it 2 weeks ago. We really clicked and it was pretty clear from when he first got to the IOP that we would get on really well. As well as generally being there to answer my dumb anglo/american confused type questions during the conference he offered to take me to Amish Country because I'd mentioned I wanted to go to the quilt place. He'd mentioned that he had two motorbikes and I keenly accepted a lift although was a bit wary of going too fast. But turned out I am a complete speed junky and kept telling him to go faster. I so have to learn to ride and get me one of those things. Sat went so well we met up again for yesterday for the museums (philadelphia art museum and the rodin museum - easily the amost equal of the one in Paris.) When it came to time to say goodbye I was genuinely sad and managed to shed about 3.5 tears in the taxi (a major feat as you other pill poppers out there will know). Here are the two of us flaked out on the grass in front of the museum (incidentally, if you get a chance to go check out the asian art wing. They have rebuilt whole buildings in there and the decoration and exhibits are jaw dropping).
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I've offered him our spare room any time he comes to london because it is his favourite city but neither of us know when we might meet up again. Boo :( Plus there is the small problem of explaining this to Pooch who is bound to think there was more than friendship in it. In fact being honest had the Pooch not been the one and only Pooch for me then I probably would have jumped him. But having made my commitment I now find attractions to others (because it's not like everything shuts down just because you've found 'the one') quite amusing and a way of having a laugh with myself. Is this a terrible thing to say? Pooch has quite a little portfolio of 'real' (i.e. accessible) women he would twirl his moustaches at were I to allow such a thing, including my best friend! I've had to start trying to find Joe attractive in retaliation. And that's a real effort.....

Pooch has been sublime while I have been away - the flat is very clean and he has left me tulips and lots of post it notes in unexpected places telling me how lovely I am and that he loves me. He's coming home early tonight and I can't wait to see him - he really is unique and I love him completely. Hoorah!
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