Saturday, 28 February 2009

Knitting meme

While I am on Picocon, I thought I would leave you entertained with a knitting meme.

So, you need to mark with bold the things you have done (where they don't specify it can be crochet or knitting), mark the ones you plan to do sometime in italics, and leave the rest.
I have actually added underlining some of the things that, while I don't actively plan to do, I won't be opposed to doing, if the pattern was right and called for it.

  • Afghan
  • American/English knitting - my normal knitting style
  • Baby items - reproduce, friends!
  • Bobbles
  • Buttonholes
  • Cable stitch patterns
  • Cardigan
  • Charity Knitting
  • Combination knitting
  • Continental knitting
  • Cuffs/fingerless mits/arm-warmers
  • Darning - not knitting-related per se, but I have darned commercial socks
  • Designing knitted garments
  • Domino knitting - what is domino knitting anyway?
  • Drop Stitch Patterns
  • Dyeing Spinning Fibre
  • Dyeing with plant colours
  • Dyeing Yarn
  • Entrelac
  • Fair Isle knitting - I can never remember which colour work is which, so see also intarsia below
  • Free-form knitting - I guess I am half way through designing a pattern (hibernating now)
  • Fulling/felting - done it one, but knitting with wool doesn't make it worth it
  • Garter stitch - who hasn't?
  • Gloves - fingers do look like quite a lot of effort
  • Graffiti knitting
  • Hair accessories
  • Hats: Cuff-up
  • Hats: Top down
  • Holiday related knitting - made one mini-Xmas stocking for Alex's little brother
  • Household Items
  • I-Cord
  • Intarsia - I am still confused about colour techniques, so see above
  • Jewellery
  • Kitchener stitch - aka grafting. Hate it, but it's a necessary evil; I do think I'm finally getting the hang of it, though.
  • Knitted flowers
  • Knitting a gift - 3 in total, though, I'm not mad about it
  • Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine
  • Knitting and purling backwards - do you mean as in tinking?
  • Knitting art - hey, every piece of knitting is a little piece of art! :)
  • Knitting for a living
  • Knitting for pets
  • Knitting for Preemies
  • Knitting in public - buses, and occasionally as I walk on the street (empty streets along the estate where I work)
  • Knitting Items for Weddings - not as a present, but as accessories for me
  • Knitting on a loom
  • Knitting smocking
  • Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
  • Knitting to make money
  • Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
  • Knitting with alpaca
  • Knitting with bamboo yarn
  • Knitting with banana fibre yarn
  • Knitting with beads - one of the mittens I knit had beads, but I haven't finished them, and I don't think ever will - too many bad memories attached to that project
  • Knitting with Camel Yarn
  • Knitting with cashmere - it would have to be for someone else
  • Knitting with circular needles
  • Knitting with cotton
  • Knitting with dog/cat hair - unless I get a nice hairy kitten!
  • Knitting with dpns - my first project aside from learning swatch and a scarf was on dpns!
  • Knitting with Linen
  • Knitting with metal Wire
  • Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
  • Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
  • Knitting with silk
  • Knitting with someone else's hand-spun yarn
  • Knitting with soy yarn
  • Knitting with synthetic yarn
  • Knitting with wool
  • Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn
  • Lace patterns
  • Long Tail CO - my normal cast on
  • Machine knitting
  • Mittens: Cuff-up
  • Mittens: Tip-down
  • Moebius band knitting
  • Norwegian knitting
  • Participate in an exchange
  • Participating in a KAL - I find it incredibly difficult to notice a KAL before they start!
  • Pillows
  • Publishing a knitting book
  • Purses/bags
  • Rug
  • Scarf
  • Shawl - soon, my precious, soon
  • Short rows
  • Shrug/bolero/poncho
  • Slip stitch patterns
  • Slippers
  • Socks: toe-up
  • Socks: top-down
  • Steeks - but, what do you mean, *cut through my precious knitting*?
  • Stockinette stitch
  • Stuffed toys
  • Swatching - I learned about swatching after I made a t-shirt that would have fit two of me
  • Sweater
  • Tassels
  • Teaching a child to knit
  • Teaching a Male how to knit
  • Textured knitting
  • Thrummed knitting
  • Toy/doll clothing
  • Tubular CO
  • Twisted stitch patterns
  • Two end knitting
  • Writing a pattern - if I ever finish making that tachikoma

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

D is for Dragon


Dragon is my kitten. He was a present from Alex for one Xmas, and he was named Dragon because that way I could have a kitten *and* a dragon. Later on, I read a book that featured a dragon named Kitten. I laughed for hours.

Dragon was a present that came together because of my depression-triggered kitten obsession and because, well, it's dangerous to go alone.

Dragon is a very brave kitten, and sat my final exams with me, to the confusion of everybody else. He followed me to the Netherlands, and then back to the UK, always in my hand luggage, and I always sleep cuddling him when Alex is not around.

Dragon sometimes hunts and eats mice!
Meeting of the minds       Om nom nom

He also likes the same things I do.

One day, when I both live in a house that can have them and I'm mentally stable to take care of someone else, I will have a kitten. But for now, I have Dragon, and he is the best kitten in the world.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Picocon 26: 28/02

This is your annual Picocon plug: come to Picocon! (28th Feb)

Picocon is the annual one-day Science Fiction & Fantasy convention run by the Imperial College Science Fiction society (ICSF), of which I was a member (and vice chair one year). Alex organised it once! (Picocon 24, in 2007).

This year the guests of honour are Pat Cadigan, Robert Rankin and Michael Marshall Smith.
As always, there will be talks by each of them, book sellers, LAN gaming, a pub quiz, Destruction of Dodgy Merchandise (with sledge hammers and liquid nitrogen) and the (in)famous Not-a-fish-duel (honest). Silliness and like-minded people are a given.

It takes place at Imperial College Union, in South Kensington (London), 10 am to 6-ish pm. If you go by tube, there should be signs taking you there.

Come! It's awesome. Just look at how much fun we had last year.

Monday, 16 February 2009

A quarter of a century old!

As a present to myself, I have a day off and a finished Wisteria. I'm off to town now!

Wisteria finished!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

C is for coffee


Every weekday morning after I get up, I make coffee while Alex takes the first shower. It's only instant, albeit good instant, but it holds the magic of the first cup of coffee.
It's strong, bitter despite the sugar, but warming. It defies the morning with the initial burst of energy. It holds the promise of good days, and it's an oasis of peace in what will be a long day.


It feels, of course, a lot less poetic than that, because it's 7.30 and I feel a lot more like a zombie than a poet, but I do love coffee, and the first cup of coffee of the day ever more so.

Saturday, 7 February 2009


The average, healthy, well-adjusted adult gets up at seven-thirty in the morning feeling just plain terrible.
Jean Kerr

normal  /ˈnɔrməl/ –adjective
1. conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.
2. serving to establish a standard.

I often express my desire to be normal. This mostly comes up when I'm having a bad day due to depression, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, or, in particularly fun days, any or all of the above.

What I probably mean is healthy. If at any other time you ask me if I'm normal, my standard response would be "hell no!". I am at least eccentric, and that's only because it sounds better than "bat-shit crazy" :) My personality is a bit weird in the non-main stream sense, and at least once a week my area of the office falls silent while my co-workers stare at me like I've sprouted a second head. Normally this is because of something I've said, quickly followed by "how do you know this things?". Because it's a thing, and I like knowing!
Anyway, I am not normal when it comes to my hobbies, personality and what I know, say, and do. Or at least some people's bewilderness would make me think so.

But I've not been healthy for most of my life either. I've spent most of it taking anti-allergy meds, including one of the longest injections courses my doctor had ever seen, but I still considered myself normal, even if I wasn't completely healthy. Having to rely on that medication didn't make me feel inadequate and broken, while having to rely on anti-depressants does. Similarly, my father has to take pills for his cholesterol and, while he is also mad, that doesn't make him not normal in that respect. So having an illness or having to rely on medication does not necessarily make us weird.

Once I was complaining to my doctor that I needed to plan things so hard, because I couldn't, say, both go shopping and spend time with Alex: it was one or the other and I didn't have enough energy to do both. And my doctor said that that was normal. That people, especially once they have kids, find themselves all the time in those situations, and have to plan and are exhausted a lot. However, if that is true, I really don't want to be normal.

I think what I mean by "normal" is that I want to be healthy at least to the point that my illnesses don't interfere most days with my life, and I want to be happy. But I don't think I want to be completely normal. I'm pretty sure normal people leave completely boring lives.