Wednesday, 31 December 2008

2008 Review

One of the good things about Ravelry is it makes this kind of thing so much easier. According to the numbers on there I have made 62 projects. 6 have been frogged, 8 are in progress and 8 are hibernating, although to be honest half of those could be frogged.

Out of the 62, 32 were made for other people. I'm quite surprised at that as I always feel like I am always knitting for myself and should do more for others. My favourite projects from the year are....
  • Gary and Wendy's baby blanket - just finished last week


  • Pete's stocking


  • The tardis socks


  • Meaningful mittens


  • Felted diary cover


  • Henley cardigan - despite having to take it apart and practically redo it


  • Pooch's jumper


  • Yellow crosswalker socks - which I'm wearing right now


  • Mermaid scarf


  • Louise's starghan


  • Lucy's wedding blanket - which I never managed to take a finished picture of


My favouite yarns for the year have been the henley cardigan one, which was phildar lambswool, and the mittens one, malabrigo socks yarn. I haven't washed the mittens yet so I am not sure how it will bare up but the henley has worn really well. I've worn it a couple of times a week for the last few months and it hasn't pilled or gone baggy.

Non-knitwise the year has been a mixed bag. Started a new job, which has been OK. Met new people, which has mostly been fab. I'm fulfilling a dream and going to Egypt in a few weeks. But then balancing that is the elephant, which we don't discuss. So overall maybe not the best.

And what does 2009 look like bringing? There is another wedding afghan to be made. I am determined to make Sylvi, from the Twist Collective. Dad very kindly gave me the money for the wool for it for xmas. There's the swirl pullover which I just can't decide on the yarn for, and the meaningful cushions I have in mind - like the meaningful mittens but in DK+, and lastly the crochet hexagon blanket which I have just started in the last few days. I have decided to go with the star motif until I get bored of them. I can always mix in another hexagon pattern later on before I put them together.

Happy new year everyone!

Monday, 29 December 2008

A Sale Frenzy

I have to admit it - I am to blame for the deflation thingy the government has been going on about. I saw things I wanted in the shops and then deliberately waited until the sales to buy them. For instance, this coat...
Caught my eye a few weeks ago. Today it was 50% off. Score!
I also got a pair of jeans and this top/dress.
Normally I hate buying jeans as they never fit right, but the woman in the shop was SO nice. Really helpful. Not patronising. Not too in my face. Awesome. There is a website here and the shop in London is just off Carnaby Street. I will definitely be going back.

Now for the good stuff.... I've always liked Rowan Tapestry but hated the £4.50 ish price tag. I found myself liking the 50% price tag. Woo hoo! I ended up with three packs from John Lewis. I know three is quite a lot, but I plan to cast on a jumper in one lot tomorrow so I will definitely be using it all up soon. I got the rainbow, antique and highland colourways.
The last one, the highland, is rather lovely and seems to be a semi-solid colour. Didn't know they did that.

I also got a pack of 4-ply soft from Liberty - also half price.
I intend making this.

Both Liberty and John Lewis had similar yarns. Some scottish tweed aran. Some little big wool. Some biggy twist. All 50% off. But take abook - the queues were huge!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Something witchy for the weekend

I have been experimenting with motifs for my afghan. This one is the front runner but I'm wondering if it is a little witchy. I don't want to sleep under it and wake up with a frog.

These are the other possibles.

I did these this afternoon, but the big crafty news from the holiday period has to be this:

Completed in just 5 days from swatch to edging. It used 7.5 balls of Sirdar Escape and is pretty lovely, though I say so myself.

It has left me in the rather odd position of having nothing major on the needles. In fact, according to ravelry I only have 7 WIP and a mere 9 UFOs. This is a record for me and essentially amounts to having nothing to knit. Tomorrow I'll probably the Moonstone cardi, but then again you never know.

Xmas at the in-laws was lovely - especially the food. No one can feed you like a northern mother. I must be at least half a stone heavier than I was a week ago. Here I am opening presents:

...and here is Pooch outside with one of his - a coconut.

I got some awesome presents - 2 Barbara Walker stitch disctionaries, SPM book and page a day calendar, mili knitting bag and....


The surprise hit of the festivities was Pooch's choice of present for little Leanne, his baby cousin. It is an aquadraw mat. If you have a child aged 1.5+ you probably already know about these things. If you don;t you should get one. They are awesome.

You fill the 'pens' with water - just tap water - and when you draw on the mat with them it creates a blue line. You get stencils and stuff too. Awesome. She was totally hooked. Isn't she cute? This is her with her grandad, pooch's uncle jack.

Lastly, a couple of people asked if I used a pattern for the stocking. It is a free one from Schoolhouse Press. I adapted it and changed some of the motifs but that is where I started. I am very tempted to make one for me!

Friday, 26 December 2008

We are definitely all going to die

'We are all going to die' is my stock response whenever anything vaguely bad or very bad happens. I just mention this because I didn't want the titel of this post to be 'another meme', but actually I have been tagged by Donnac from "From Little Acorns".

Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

  1. What was I doing 10 years ago? I don't think I can say with any accuracy. Years on meds has made my memeory somewhat unreliable. But...I would have been at Uni still. Middle of my second year doing BSc Physics. I hadn't yet met David so I was still going out with Vitas - in fact I may recently have moved in with him or have been trying to pursuade him to. Note to self - a man you have to persuade to move in with you isn't worth persuading.
  2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order)? Eat chocolate, avoid watching the football, try on new dress, go out for some fresh air, think about elephants.
  3. Snacks I enjoy: Chocolate biscuits, chocolate mini rolls, chocolate cakes, chocolates in boxes, pretzels.
  4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire: Stop working and invest enough to give me income for life. Buy a house with a walk in yarn closet. Top up parent's pensions. Give siblings sensible amounts. Give anything left over to charity.
  5. Places I have lived: Herne Bay in kent, most of the areas of north and east london within zones 2+3, Palo Alto (California) (only for a month)
  6. Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention. Except... not snogging Ed Lewis, losing touch with Oliver Shaw, not snogging Sam Rae, not being more decisive about the elephant in the corner events of the last few months.
  7. 5 people I want to know more about: I am too lazy to go and tag people - so if you fancy it go for it.

The true number 6 was missing when I copied it over so I have invented one. I have been pondering recently whether it is better to regret not having done things or to not have any regrets over the things you have done. Does that suggest a life lived too hesitantly, or just too much navel gazing?

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I'll say it clear,
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.

I've lived a life that's full.
I travelled each and ev'ry highway
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way.

I've loved, I've laughed and cried.
I've had my fill, my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that
And may I say - not in a shy way,
"Oh no, oh no not me,
I did it my way".

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

A very merry kitsch christmas to you all

I love visiting my in-laws. Especially at xmas. Food coming out of my ears and the kitchest xmas treed decs. Look at these.
One Pooch made when he was a tiddler.
And my personal favourite:

I've brought some xmas knitting with me - another ten stitch blanket. The parents to be requested blue. They actually asked for pale blue - but that sounded a bit boring. This is sirdar escape. Nice stuff.

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Monday, 22 December 2008

On the somethink day of christmas, my true love gave to me - flu

He hasn't actually given it to me yet, but he is in my bed huddled in all my lovely handmade blankets sniffing extensively and looking like death. We're off to manchester tomorrow and I envisaging having to shovel him onto the train with some sort of poopascoopa.

To cheer me up, I have managed to complete all my christmas knitting. Here are a few...
Arun's hat. This is Arun and the Pooch as Arun's hat is an exact copy.
The tardis socks. (I am rather pleased with these.)
And finally, my piece de resistance, Pete's stocking. I really love this.
I wanted to hand it over when I met Nic and Lucy but didn't finish it until the last minute. But when we did meet up I managed to score this:
It is from the amercian diner in Romford. To be recommended.

I have also managed to score a mahoosive box of bits from Knit Picks curtosy of my aunt and dad, who brought it back from my aunt's. Why don't knit picks ship to the UK? Insanity. Mind you, I got this before the pound only bought you $1.47. Think it was about $1.90. Amazing. We're all gonna die. Anyway, I got the cat bordhi sock architecture book and tonnes of yarn. Enough swish dk for another blanket (since pooch has made my other one infectious).
Plus lots more. Oooooo, lovely.

OK, finally. I have done something slightly out of charactor - and bought a pair of 5" heels on ASOS. Killer.

Friday, 19 December 2008

So much for packing in the posts

Time has flown and xmas is nearly upon us. I have been knitting like crazy but haven't yet managed to get camera, cable and laptop in alignment so nothing to show for it, but believe me - it's all gold.

Just a quick thing to share. Don't look here unless you are ok with cartoons containing naughty words. But look anyway, because it is very funny. One of my colleagues just sent it to me.

Jingle bells, jingle bells...

Monday, 8 December 2008

Big Read Meme

Saw this over at Doodles and have nicked it. It's getting towards the end of the year and I always make my blog into a book (curtosy of the ingenius software that basically does it for you at Blurb) and I'm thinking that there's not much for 2008 so I'm going to have to bulk it up some how. So it's meme city from now on. Maybe.

The Big Read meme

This meme is originally from the Big Read. Apparently they reckon most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.


  • Look at the list and bold those you have read.
  • Underline those you intend to read. (I had to make them a different colour instead - no underline on Blogger)
  • Italicise the books you LOVE.
  • Post your list so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them.
  • Heather marked with an S the books she started and couldn't finish so I did that too.
  • Because I am a child of the 80s I've also asterixed (is that a word) the ones I haven't read but have seen a film or tv adaptation of. Hell, it's practically the same thing. Maybe.
  • I have put multiple question marks - ??? - by the ones I've never even heard of. Because I am ignorant.
  1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen **
  2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien **
  3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte **
  4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling - Awful bilge.
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  6. The Bible Bits of it.
  7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
  10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens **
  11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott **
  12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy **
  13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller S
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare Bits of.
  15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
  16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
  17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
  18. Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger S
  19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell **
  22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens **
  24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
  25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh S
  27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
  30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
  31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
  32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens **
  33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis About 3 books of the set.
  34. Emma - Jane Austen **
  35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
  36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
  37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
  39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
  40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
  41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
  42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
  45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
  46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery **
  47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy **
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
  49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
  50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
  51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
  52. Dune - Frank Herbert
  53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons **
  54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen **
  55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
  56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon ???
  57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
  58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
  60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez ???
  61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
  62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
  64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
  65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
  66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
  67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
  68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding **
  69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville S
  71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens **
  72. Dracula - Bram Stoker **
  73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
  74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
  75. Ulysses - James Joyce
  76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
  77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
  78. Germinal - Emile Zola ???
  79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
  80. Possession - AS Byatt
  81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
  82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
  83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
  86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry ???
  87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
  88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
  89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
  91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
  94. Watership Down - Richard Adams **
  95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole ???
  96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
  97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas **
  98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
  99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
  100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo **
Notes from a Small Island and Bridget Jones are essential reads nowadays? Wow. And the Da Vinci Code? Now I am sure somewhere along the line this list has been tampered with. Possibly by Dan Brown. So what does this tell us? My list I mean, not Dan Brown's moral code... Mainly that I seem to have watched a lot of bad tv. Feel free to steal for your own blog...

Ha! Just realised...I've read more than 6. Eat that Big Readers.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Mermaid - the results are in!

Hoorah hoorah - Nightcrickett! I have pm'd you on ravelry. Natalie at the Yarn Yard has donated her donation page so you just need to donate 20 squid to medicine sans frontier and then register it with the Yarn Harlot here. If anyone else feels like making a donation then good on you. Think how much it will mean to someone plus it will make you warm and fuzzy inside.


I have been knitting furiously on a plethora of hats. Two hats. Ok, only two. But they're good. But then I only have a picture of one. But here it is. Oh yeah.

That is Pooch modelling it, but it is actually for my office secret santa recipient. The other hat, which is a red beanie and the third I have knitted like it, is for another secret santa. I knitted most of it during the KCG Board meeting yesterday. It took place at my workplace since they lent us the meeting room for nothing and my CEO was there working. Half way through he stuck his head in and said goodbye and I just know he's going to say something about a roomfull of knitters when I get in tomorrow.

Christmas fever has broken out chez byrne. My sister came round yesterday and we put up the tree and I have been wrapping presents today.

Still not feeling very festive though. Must download some carols.

Christmas projects still to finish are the tardis socks, rob's cursed jumper, and something for dad. Apparently he has commented that I have never knitted him anything. This is because the two times I have offered he wasn't keen on socks and laughed and then begged not to receive knitted golf club covers. Just goes to show - be careful what you don't wish for, or something.

Friday, 28 November 2008

I think I'm being read.

I do like these posters from the latest Art on the Underground campaign.
Then not in the same series but similarly effective...from a wall in Greenwich.
It's been a funny old couple of weeks. To be honest there's an elephant in the room and so everything has gone to pot a bit. I haven't been doing half as much knitting as I would like to. However, I have been doing some xmas projects, one of which is a Tardis sock. Singular so far but it's pair is on the way.
I've also finally dyed the sock blank I got from etsy. Koolaid as ever and it came out very nicely.
Yum! Even nicer in a ball.
You don't actually have to ball it - you can knit straight from the scarf, but I want to make some stripey socks so it will be easier like this.

I've got plenty queued up to knit now, especially as this little gem has arrived.
I say little, but it is MASSIVE. Stuffed full of patterns and I immediately want to make at least a dozen.

In non-knitting news I've been out and about. 2 nights ago it was Stephen Fry at the V&A. This is the only crummy pic I have to show for it.
It was a Q&A with a BBC interviewer about his America series and book and it was fascinating. He is a charming man, very intelligent, funny, lucid, able to link the most obscure topics together, an excellent speaker. Basically it was brill.

Then last night I went to see Dylan Moran at the Dome. He was very different but also wonderfully brill. He also linked together bizarre subjects but it was, as the Pooch remarked, very well observed. I don't have a picture of him, sadly.

To finish, I give you my entry into the now weekly work bake-off. Ginger cupcakes with lemon icing. Though I say so myself they were rather fine. I'll find out how I fared on monday but I was up against chocolate ones with edible glitter, and edible glitter is a hard thing to beat.
Related Posts with Thumbnails