Monday, 28 July 2008


Hoooooot! Today was hot and humid and waiting for a storm.
The storm started about 4 or so, and quieted just when I went home. However, it didn't rain enough to cool down, just to get steam coming off the pavement (this might be and exaggeration) and make it even more humid. One of the most un-fun journeys I've had in a while.

It is raining quite a lot now, and it's considerably cooler and nicer, so I do feel again like dealing with yarn. Get Knitted was doing a sale on Rowan Classic, as they are not going to have it any more, and I went and took full advantage of that.

I don't normally stash, so all my yarn is going to planned projects. It was expensive to get it all in one go, but at least now I won't have to buy more yarn for a while, and it was much cheaper than it could have been.

Explained yarn

Future projects are:
Emerald (rav)
Sizzle (rav)
Afternoon tea fingerless gloves (rav)
Assorted projects are like the knitted flower (rav), to for some accessories for my cousin's wedding (to which I really don't want to go, so at least I'll get some nice knitting out of it).

The blue cotton glace is to make a Tachikoma, as I have just finished watching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. There is no known pattern for a tachikoma, though, so I'll free-crochet it, and then post a pattern. Tachikomas are sooooo cute, people will want to make them!

I also have 1 FO (the möbius cowl) and three nearly-FOs (the lacy summer tee, the black knitted flower, and the dice bag), hence my stocking up on yarn for new projects. I have also figured on what to use the yarn from my crap attempt (via which I learned that gauge *does* matter) at Isabella: Bottoms Up!

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Links of the week, 29/06/08

It's hot outside. Normal people go out and play in the sun, and then go to work like lobsters on Monday. Me? I hide! Sun is hot. I might go out for 5-10 min to the balcony, and then it gets too hot and I have to go in. Sure, I'm a lovely shade of white, but I don't go re!

Anyway, as I am inside, drinking cold coke, here are some links for your perusal!

The Rebel Knitter's Guide (Guardian suplement)
Remember Mazzmatazz, and the Doctor Who patterns problems? (which might be on the way to a peaceful solution, without needing to take out the needles). She is the author of the Guardian's Guide to Knitting, out yesterday. Interviews and several patterns ahead.
NASA images
Space images will make me happy any time of the day!
Kitten Wars
Kittens will also make me happy. One day, I will have one.
Optimism software
Sadly, it's not a handy piece of software that I can upload to my brain and be optimistic. I wish. It is, however, a handy piece of software to track down moods, coping mechanisms, sleep hours, triggers, etc. The best thing is that you don't really have to think about it: most of it comes in handy ticky-boxes, so you get the options and can check them, rather than having to think from scratch about what was going on. I've downloaded the demo, and I'm trying and playing with it. If I find it very good, I will buy the full version at the end of the week, and keep using it! I'll let you know how it works out, but for now, you know it's there/
Recycling sweaters for yarn
Having been in the process of unravelling a store-bought cardigan that I wasn't wearing (for approx fingering weight cream cotton), I found this useful, especially to break the cardigan into pieces. Now, were that unravelling was as fun as knitting, I would have finished this months ago, and not still being about. Buy, my laziness aside, it's a good resource.

I hope there aren't too many lobsters around! If it burns too much, tomato slices, cucumber or even yoghurt will soothe your burning skin.

Friday, 25 July 2008


The Spa was good!

I was a bit rather stressed in the morning before going, but at least they got rid of it all.

I arrived without problems to Bath, and made my way to the Spa with about 15 minutes to spare, so I had the tiniest wander-around. I changed into my swim suit, put on my bath robe and slippers, hugged my towel, and made my way in.
The massage and facial were wonderful. First I got the massage, 1/2 of kneading my back, shoulders and neck and leaving them more relaxed than they had been in years. I swear that guy must have had three hands, but he always hid one of them when I was looking.
Then I got the facial, complete with a scalp massage. It was so relaxing, my only worry was that one of my arms was falling asleep. After he finished with my face, rather than saying anything, he clinged a couple of chimes, presumably just in case I had fallen asleep! Not so much during it, but I was tempted to forgo the water and ask if I could just curl up there and sleep for a bit.

Then I had two hours in the pool. I had access to the main pool, the sauna, the balconies and the roof top pool. I started in the main pool, but there were to many people and they were making me nervous, so I moved to the top pool, but it was the same. Mercifully for me, 1 pm hit and most of the people disappeared to lunch. I went to the sauna and was there for a while. There were very few people, so I found a very empty space and managed to practise my tai chi form.
Then I went back to the main pool for an hour, and it was great. It was nice and warm, and there were very few people. It had bubbles in a corner! We also had floating spaghetti foams, so everybody had one and we just floated. The water pumped in formed a current, so you could just float and it would take you all around the pool! (with minor corrections for the calm bits). I circled the pool many times, just enjoying floating in the warm water.

After I was done, I had nice lunch out (I was starving!), and bought some cheese and things for dinner, and head home, to give Alex many hugs for his wonderful present.

It was so peaceful and nice and warm, and so relaxing. I still slept like normal (not very well), but I am still rested and feeling calm, even if I didn't get enough sleep. And there is nothing planned for this weekend, so I can just sit home and knit, read, play games and eat good food. And, if I feel super-energetic, I might buy some yarn.

Completely unrelated, Bath was full of pigs. I am also using this to prove that I was really there, before someone says "pics or it didn't happen".


Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Bamboo in the fridge

Waking up at 6 on Monday and 6.30 on Tuesday has not been good for me. I was completely wrecked yesterday evening, although I'm glad I managed to go to Tai Chi, I was "better tired" after it. I was talking nonsense, and I nearly put the half-used can of bamboo shoots in the draw, rather than the fridge.
I've also had to tone down the brightness and the colour intensity of my monitor, as reading documents with a white background is very tiring on my eyes. And everything is kind of hazy anyway.

However, I am going to the Spa tomorrow. I am finally going as my birthday present, and I'll get a shoulders and neck massage, a facial treatment, and a couple of hours in the nice water. I have the day off from work, and I think doing that will (hopefully) relax me, catch up on my beauty, and generally make me feel happy and better. Alex is awesome.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Links of the week, 20/07/08

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
Last chance today to see Dr Horrible for free, you won't regret it.

What do NASA engineers do in their free time?
Why, design their own Moon rocket, of course!
Apparently tired of the official space program, a group of scientists and engineers at NASA are designing their own, in their own free time and with their own resources. This is how space progresses!
Scary sounds and stories
Mp3 versions of old scary stories (some read by Boris Karloff himself!) and a collection of spooky sounds, to scare little kids (or players!)
Who's killed Hitler again?
Time travel is possible, and people keep going back to kill Hitler. But that appears to be a fixed point in time, and it cannot be undone (otherwise time-travel would not be invented). In the style of a wikipedia editors page, this is the time-travellers discussions.
Sound on salt
Cymatics is the study of the effects of sound waves in physical objects. In this case, salt, and it's really cool the way the waves are represented. Beware the the noises get very high-pitched in the video, so you might want to mute it half-way!

Happy Moon Landing day, everyone!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

That's some colour you've got there!


You might be forgiven for thinking I was dyeing something. In fact, I am washing my Green Tea. That is how the water turned out after living it for a little bit on cold water.

Remember, folks, if you are washing coloured Rowan Luxury Cotton, handwash it separately first!

Möbius update

I was going to put this tomorrow in the links of the week, but it comes down at Sunday midnight (until it comes out in dvd), and I want to give people more time to watch it.
If you haven't, go watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
It's Joss Whedon's latest production, a three episode "blog" on Dr Horrible's adventures to try to get into The League of Evil. It is very good, and very Joss.

Alex is away at a stag do (abseiling, canoeing, pub)(why do people get married anyway?), so I have the whole day to myself.
I've knitted, been on the web, emailed my dad (loooong email) and taken a long shower. Then I'll go out, have lunch out and get a couple of things; come back, read, knit, watch a movie. Read a chapter of my depression book too.

Anyway, the point of this post is to say that my Möbius scarf is under way, and I think I have knitted enough to be able to post pictures without jinxing it. I had to cast on 3 times until I got it right, and the botch a couple of stitches along the way, but I am about to start row eight now.

Best möbius shot

Stitch detail
Top view

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Black necklace (FO)

I have not been very good at the blogging business lately, have I?
I have some mild excuses lined up, like I had a friend over this weekend, and it was really nice but really tiring, and I barely got resting time, let alone knitting time!
But on Monday and Tuesday, I got out the hooks and, while Alex played on the PS2 (StarOcean), I wipped out a FO! *giggles at the pun*


I had to relearn how to do a double crochet, and struggled a bit with the small circles until I got the hang of it again, but today I have worn my new necklace to work! When I tried to put it together yesterday there was some amount of fail on my part, as I still sew in the button wrong despite having double checked, but I managed to make it better, despite feeling depressed (this involved a two hour nap in the middle of the evening).

I had a bit of trouble this morning finding something to wear that would leave most of my neckline open to show off the necklace, but I think it worked. It looks really nice, and I might make some more jewlery out of yarn!

Technical details
Ravelry project page
Pattern: Ponte Vecchio, from Barroco
Yarn: Rowan Cotton Glace, in black
Hook: 3.5 mm
Technical notes: Really quick and easy crochet, very easy to memorise as well (I did the three small circles on the bus, from memory). It looks very elegant, especially in black, and it looks steampunk to me, so I can pretent I am in that kind of setting! A, will knit again.

Incidentally, this is my 101 post!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Links of the week, 13/07/08

Only 4 links this week, I am afraid. However, you might have noticed that the ravelry progress bars to the right now have smiley faces! So I guess I can link that too (I wrote it as well in Ravelry), and now it's 5 links!

Books to the ceiling (quote)
I want to have more and more books. To the ceiling. I really liked this quote.
Xtreme!11!! chess
Who knew chess was such an extreme sport? These people alternate chess and boxing, and winning the match is determined by either of them
The main sign of an alternative universe is the presence of Zeppelins. This is why we knew the parallel universe in Doctor Who was one, and it is a clear sign. How this factory is going to rip the space-time continuum to transport us to somewhere parallel escapes me, but it should be awesome.
I want to learn how to sew. Sewing machines are expensive, though! But this comic amused me.
Ravelry progress bars happiness info

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Basic Human Bag (FO) (plus a little extra!)

I don’t always feel human. Sometimes I resemble more a panda, or a zombie, or the grinch. This will be my emergency bag for those days, rather than having everything floating about in my bag, getting lost, opened and bashed. Hence the Basic Human Bag. Fake it, baby!

I finished the bag on Sunday, and I have been using it this week. I really like it! All my "beauty" stuff is now together and easy to find. And, when I need to take it to the bathroom with me, I can just grab the bag by the i-cord and dangle it on my way there, rather than attempt to take whatever it is discretely.


These are the contents of my bag. The little blush pot also contains a mirror, and I plan to put in as well painkillers and allergy meds.

Technical notes
Ravelry project page
Pattern: Soft Drawstring Pouch, by Joelle Hoverson, from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Cathay (Debbie Bliss) in Grey, which appears to be discontinued, approx 60 meters.
Needles: 3.75 mm (dpns)
Technical notes: I only cast on 60 stitches instead of 90 for the small size, as I didn't need it that big. Knitted until everything fit! I was planning to graft the bottom, but apparently I cannot graft to safe my life. After 3 attempts this Sunday at my Stitch'n'Bitch, I gave up and did a 3-needle bind-off. I alternated knitting and purling stitches, ending which a slightly ziggy end that I think looks very pretty!


Extra, extra!
Finished knitting my boyfriend's dice bag, now it's just waiting to be felted. It's huge! Look, I can use it as a hat!

I iz hidden!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Sleep is good

Sometimes I don't know whether to be angry, or sad, or somehow amused, about some of the things my co-workers say.
I was talking to one of them about being tired, and I mentioned that I normally went to bed about 11 (and I should go earlier, really), because I was just too tired, and his reaction was "oooh, you are so lucky, I wish I could do that".
When I enquired further, he said that he went to bed late because he ended up doing other things, like playing in a band, going to the cinema or to meet with people, etc. Yeah, well. It's not so much luck any more.
I need that sleep, so I have to choose not to do those things, and come home and go to bed. I get unbearable when I don't get enough sleep. It's an active choice. There are other reasons why sometimes I don't want to do things with people, but I nearly always have to say no to things that will get me home late, especially during the week, like film viewings that start at 9. Most people can handle well a day of little sleep; I handle them awfully, and my depression flares up when tired.
So not really that lucky.

Still don't sleep well, though. At least I'm going to the doctor tomorrow, so I can mention my sleep problems again to him.

It all reminds me of I need some sleep, by The Eels, as featured in Shrek 2.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Links of the week, 06/07/08

Ok, I have to confess, I nearly forgot about this! It probably doesn't help that I wasn't at work on Friday, so my internal clock got thrown off, and I have plans for the weekend.

The Queens Arms
This is what I was doing on Saturday, having pub lunch here with some friends from Uni!
Slow Food Market (Bristol)
And then, on Sunday, I'm going to buy tasty food...
Stitch'n'Bitch (Bristol)
... before going to my local S'n'B!
Space technology in out everyday lives
Ok, some real links now. This is a list of all the things that have been developed for or severely enhanced during the space program, that we now use every day.
Astronomy picture of the day
Although, sometimes, these pictures make it worth it, because they are beautiful.
Adding graffiti to *other people's* photos
This camera is triggered by people's flash, and manages to superimpose another image (in this case a graffiti) on other people's photos. I find it really cool.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Three Works-In-Progress

This Sunday, just before watching Doctor Who (is it can be Saturday nao, plees? Need to know how it continues!), I bound off the body of the Summer Lace tee. It is still a way from done, especially as I still need to figure out how to do the straps. I don't want i-cord, but I don't know how to knit them, or whether to use ribbon.


I took some pictures yesterday, and let me tell you, it is remarkably difficult to take pictures of your own back!

You can see held in red the stitches that might held the straps, although there is no equivalent in the back. I figures I could always bound them off if I didn't use them, and I want the straps to go where my bra straps are, so I couldn't to the back just yet.
IMG_5414 IMG_5413

I have been making much progress with the Dice bag, and I am nearly about to start the decreases. Yesterday I bought one more ball of yarn, as I had run out of it. It is taking a lot more yarn than previously advertised!

I can only work on it two or three rounds at a time, because it's wool, so I've been knitting it in the bus, as that's only 20 min each way. The rounds are eternal, though. 160 stitches are a lot of stitches!

Finally, I started something little for me, the Basic Human bag. I don't always feel human. Sometimes I resemble more a panda, or a zombie, or the grinch. This will be my emergency bag for those days, rather than having everything floating about in my bag, getting lost, opened and bashed.

The basic human bag will contain: concealer, vaselin, nail clipper, migraine stick, painkillers and allergy meds. Possibly some blush, for the corpse-like days, but I need to find a really small one to fit the bag.
I'm using a pattern from Last minute knitted gits, albeit a bit smaller, and using leftover yarn from the Clapotis. It should be quick, and I can start using it soon, because I really need it! Things end up all over my bag and I can never find them.