Saturday, 24 February 2007

Baby knits and heart shaped boxes (kind of)

There is a teeny tiny baby boy due in May who will be getting this little ensemble.
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(Yes, that is Pooch Kermit is sitting on. Nothing but the comfiest seat for Kermit.)
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They are made of something I think is called Sirdar Baby Denim or something like that. The hat pattern is from a modern book and is a 2-needle job but the jacket is from a 70s baby pattern book full of really plump little critters with rosy cheeks and big smiles. Here's a better pic of the lacey bits although the colours look weird in this one.
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This was also a big week for socks as I handed over the socks that rock socks to BoyAlex and he did the whole i-love-them thing very well. Here is an action shot!
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They did seem to fit very well so I am very pleased with them and of course that means I am a quarter mile through my sock yarn. Somebody asked what 5.2 miles of sock yarn looked like and it's really not that much. Honest. Well. Kind of.
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A lot of it is plain green, blue, brown and white so I am thinking of some Elizabeth Zimmermann knee highs that were in interweave a few months back. It would mean dpns though so is a big thing to take on.

Talking of Interweave brings me on to something we'll just deal with briefly - my previous post. As expected there were a couple of 'but she's pregnant' type but the majority were supportive on top of those of you who took the time to email me privately about it. Particular thanks to one person who took time to share some of her past experiences with me. Anyway, as I said I got the money back and will just steer clear of hipknits in future so no harm done. End of episode!

SkipNorth is now less than 2 weeks away which is quite thrilling and vaguely terrifying as well. There is still a fair bit of detail to be worked out such as who sleeps where and dietary preferences and a final itinerary for the coach but once that is done I will be finishing a project I've been working on behind closed doors for a while. This is another blog which is more for my use than for public consumption over at LixieKnittedIt. This is a repository for things I have already and do plan to knit in the future. It is also somewhere to keep track of my stash. My original idea was to keep it as a showcase of what I'd knitted as a lot of my outpourings have flown the nest with no permanent record remaining of them. But it was also to serve as a deterrant to online shopping as when tempted I could pop across to this site and look at what I've already got. Cunning, but time consuming, so it is still very much in progress.

Another thing that is in progress is the PODCAST! Whoop whoop. Episode 2 is due to hit the airwaves tomorrow and I have found some music to use in it and everything so it should go pretty nicely. Famous last words!

Very finally we have had a new addition to our family - a heart shaped Le Creuset casserole dish. Isn't it sweet? The handles make me think of sticky out ears. I christened it by making a wholly inappropriate toad in the hole in it and it came out the other side relatively unscathed. Hoorah for kitchen kitsch!
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Tuesday, 20 February 2007

What should I do with my £13?

I have now twice written an email to hipknits asking to cancel my subscription and twice deleted it before sending. I feel like it would be a case of cuttingoffyournosetospiteyourface type thing. But really, what exactly would I be missing out on? I speak of course of the now legendary Yarn Forward magazine which has had...... one issue.... which was pretty good and came out in October last year. A second issue was promised at the beginning of Jan and subscriptions were sold. Admitedly only £13 or so for 4 issues but still, a pound's a pound. And so the saga of when-will-the-buggery-thing-arrive began. Cue excuses from hipknits. I looked on the magazine blog at the weekend and Kerry said it would be with us by the 20th. That's today! Where is my fricking magazine. I go to the magazine website and there is a message on the blog saying "there hasn't been as much progress as she hoped". Mid Jan she told me it was with the printer but she kept getting bumped down their queue. Now it seems to be back in the design stages.

All this exasperates me slightly because you contrast it with my experience with Woolly Workshop and Gill who I think must be a reincarnated buddhist reaching nirvana point. She read my woe yesterday on my blog and took the time to email me to say to give her a ring and she'd try the card again. And lo and behold it works. And lo - an Interweave Knits subscription did appear. Gill is a business woman and runs a business whereas the magazine seems to be some sort of hobby. I was reading the comments on the blog all telling Kerry not to worry about the delays and c'est la vie and all that stuff. Well I'm glad if she has supporters who are prepared to wait as long as it takes but isn't it a business she is running? For instance she has my email address from my subscription - but the only time she told me what was going on was mid Jan when I emailed her direct to ask. She hasn't even posted on UKHandKnitters about it which must contain the majority of her subscribers in one fell swoop.

Gosh, rant rant. I know this is bound to have upset some people and so can I say once again that yes, Kerry is a very nice person and I don't wish her any illwill and yes, I know she's pregnant. I wish her health, wealth and happiness but I finally sent my email. And to give her credit she's processed it while I've been dithering over publishing this. £13 should be coming back to me so peeps - what shall I do with it?

Just to bring this to conclusion on a happier note - Nickerjac has had her scan and there is a picture of the baby on her blog. I am *so* happy for her and Andy xxx

Man, can you believe I'm still humming and hawwing about publishing this post? It was about twice as long when as it is now when I first got to this point. Fecking conscience. However you spell it. I remember when I used to publish-and-be-damned when I was a fiery young twenty-something. Now I'm a jaded old twenty-something and keep giving others too much space in my head, as John put it. Must have head mange*.

OK - final attempt to end on a high. I have discovered a podcast called CraftyPod. You can subscribe through itunes and it is great. Interesting, balanced, engaging and diverse. I like the cut** of her jib.

*This needs to be read in conjunction with the previous post - I do not actually have mange although it's probably time to wash my hair.

** Cut using the correct scissors while pointing them away from your body for optimum finish.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Yes, life does suck today actually or "How I learned to accept purple mange as part of my life"

I am having a day that can only be described as mangey. Nothing in particular wrong, just low level mange. I don't mean I have a parasitic skin infection, because that would be unhygenic and those of you who thought it might be the case should go and gargle with TCP ASAP (and should think of those letters as a word with the emphasis on the a as in a-sap but not as in a-rse). Blah blah.

I got some ATCs in the post today and they were much better than the ones I sent. And I got rejected for a Project J thing I didn't want anyway. And I tried to subscribe to Interweave knits on woollyworkshop's site and my card got inexplicably declined even though I went and checked there was cash. And pleh. So yes. Mange. It's the only word for it.

In other news I've been listening to shed loads of podcasts recently for an article for issue 3 of the ol'zine. There is a lot of crap out there, if you'll pardon me saying so. I told one of Pooch's friends that my podcast was on i-tunes and he was impressed as he seemed to think there was some kind of vetting involved but in fact you could record your Pooch-equivalent farting and submit that and as long as it has an RSS feed it would be fine. So although I don't think I came off too badly (and thanks commenters for saying nice things about it!) it has all made me wonder why. WHY? Why am I spending so much time on a zine and podcast? All when I have now had 2 business ideas and yet the little voice in my head (what I was instructed to call "Nid*" at a recent training course) keeps telling me it would be too much hassle to make it happen. And yet here I am with podcasts coming out of my ears.

So naturally having convinced myself I don't have the time to make a living out of craft I sat down and sewed some really rather beautiful little ATCs. At least I think they are.
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I've put them in descending order of niceness. I've gone right off purple recently. Perhaps purple is my colour for mange, in a Synesthesic kindaway. I really wish I had that thing with the colours although I'm guessing it's not quite so great as I imagine.

So anyway....on the needles? Um...still the socks that rock socks. Still 'branching out'. And finally , still the sirdar denim blue baby hoodie although I should finish that tonight. Pictures? Pah, who needs pictures when you have purple mange.

*Negative internal dialogue. Should always be replaced by Pid. I'll leave you all to work out that one for yourselves.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Secret Pal 10 questionnaire

Yes, that's right....I'm in.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I don't like cheap acrylic or most eyelash yarns. Apart from that I'm fairly easy. I do prefer things to be machine washable even though I handwash most of my knits.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a needle roll and a crochet roll that I made myself. I don't use dpns much as I make all my socks on 2-needles.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I'd say I was an advanced bodger in that I can do most things but won't mourn if I make a mistake. The one thing I haven't tried is a big lace project. I can't decide whether I want to or not.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No, sorry.
5. What's your favorite scent?
Vanilla and strawberry. I don't wear perfume but I love scented candles with those perfumes or bubble bath and things like that. I am allergic to lavender in all its forms.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
YES! I have a very sweet tooth which is undeniably why I'm on a diet. I love all chocolate, even the really cheap stuff with the exception of high cocoa dark chocolate.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I can spin but I don't. I have tried most crafts but after knitting my top two are crochet and ATCs.
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 so mp3s are good. I like hip hop!
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I really like red and shades of it. I'm not keen on purple but do like green/blue combos and have some socks that rock yarn calling my name for my next pair of socks.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have a fiance called Pooch who is a geek and features frequently in my blog and on the podcast I just started. No pets as Pooch is allergic but I really like cats!
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
No ponchos! It hasn't really been cold enough to wear hats and mittens this year but I do wear both. I also wear scarves although I'm not keen on curly whirlies (I do make them for other people though!).
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
2 needle socks probably. I generally have at least one pair on the go and normally more. They are mindless knitting for the tube or office lunchtime or when I'm tired.
13. What are you knitting right now?
Socks, naturally! Branching out scarf from for my mum. Lacy baby cardigan for a friend who's expecting in May. Hex hat from A complicated aran jumper for my step-dad (longest UFO at about 2 years!)
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I generally use straight or circs. I have the denise interchangables which I LOVE! If I'm using straights they are the shorter ones. I find 30cm needles too unweildy.
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Both. Woudn't be without them.
17. How old is your oldest UFO?
2 years - I'm waiting for my stepdad to get fat so the jumper will fit him.'s a little bit big so far (curses).
18. What is your favorite holiday?
Easter because of the chocolate? No, diet Byrne, diet. I'm not sure that I have one.
19. Is there anything that you collect?
Chocolate? My major collection is ATCs. I really love them and love swapping them. I also have a huge stash of wool, naturally. I also like weird pens but I use them rather than collect them.
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I just let my Vogue subscription lapse as I haven't wanted to knit anything out of the last 3. I'm going to replace it with interweave knits. I do like interweave crochet (hint hint!)
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Maybe some sort of lace shawl. Apart from that it would be more of the same.
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Definitely but.....I'm trying to hold back the tears...... despite knitting dozens of socks for others no one has ever knitted me a pair. I have size 7 feet (UK). I have a strong belief that yarn isn't sock yarn unless it is machine washable at at least 30 degrees.
23. When is your birthday?
4 July 1978 - yes, american independence day!
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