Friday, February 17, 2006

my new blog home

I am trying TypePad as a new home for the Blog , so far I am spending too much time playing with all the pretties - one could be seriously side-tracked. Being a not very inventive type it is still Knitonlybutalso .

Monday, February 13, 2006

progress and a little diversion

I am progressing with rambling rose – done the back and one of the roses. I am full of kiwi patriotism - having joined team kiwi, I think I will have to wait until the wekend before I figure out the blog button side of it all.

However today was taken up by a work meeting in Edinburgh. This meant setting off on the 6.35 bus to Glasgow and then a train to Edinburgh for a 10.00 start. So by the return trip for 4.30 I was starting to flag a bit and got to Edinburgh station thinking I would have a bit of shut-eye on the train back to Glasgow.

Anyway, the train was not at the usual platform, so it meant scurrying off to a side area to find Platform 19. A number of us make it at 4.28 and arrive to find the doors firmly shut and people already inside, so we wait for the doors to open, and we wait, and we wait. By 4.39, a little voice comes over the tannoy to inform us that the train would leave for Glasgow at Platform 16 at 4.45. My guess is approximately 500-600 people turn and run towards the usual platform only to find the automatic gates have seized and there are just two guards on duty to check tickets as we go through, this happens just as two fire engines turn up to free the trapped passengers and also as the station staff decide for no apparent reason to evacuate the main concourse causing a totally impassable wedge of people to gather. Somehow I wriggle my way past man-nipples and back packs with trainers strung to them through the barriers and onto the train.

This makes me very happy, despite a very large man then coming and sitting next to me, pinning me into my seat. Everything is sorted I am on the train home. Although I do feel a bit of a sardine and can’t move my arms which means I can't drink my water.

The train fills with people, and a wee voice comes over the announcement system; “This is the delayed 4.45 train for Glasgow, stopping at Haymarket, Linlithgow and Croy” which means limited stops, people bound for Polmost and Falkirk Higher now have to climb past or over people to get off. Once they are off, another little voice comes over the announcement system “This is the delayed 4.45 train for Glasgow, stopping at Polmont and Falkirk Higher” so the people for Haymarket and Linlithgow and Croy get off and the people for Polmont and Falkirk Higher now get back on and climb over ginger haired toddlers screaming and struggle past the small squat old lady with bin bags and nose deep in a Maeve Binchey novel who aint moving no matter what. A new voice now comes over the train announcement system “This is the delayed 4.45 train to Glasgow and we are making limited stops”....

I love Scotrail at times like this, every journey is a potential adventure.

The bus home is such an anticlimax.

I have now begun the first side for rambling rose,which means 15cm of ribbing on 2 and ¼ mm needles. Now I am not in favour of stimulants to help wth sports or any of that sort of thing, but I think either chocolate or a Shingle Peak Sauvignon Blanc is called for at this moment...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Theo and the knit olympics (and still no Dave)

"I'm the only rodent kinda guy around here - grrrrrrrrrrr...."

This is possibly not the angel face we thought it was. Now I am not saying he was involved in Daves's disappearance, but every time he goes past Daves empty cage sitting on the living room with its' little door open, he gives the door a firm and thorough nudge shut.

Dave is still missing - we are hoping he is hibernating or semi hibernating or well, y'know something positive....

In the meantime, this is what I will be knitting for the Knit Olympics - I even found some ribbon that might work o.k-ish not that a trip to VV Rouleaux is exactly hell-ish (found whilst I was turning over the stash in a late night Dave hunt). Note it is sealed in its' plastic bag - I feel so virtuous - yarn I can't even touch until kick off, whatever next.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

January 29th

Oh, we are a house of woe (when are we not – just pick your type). Dave has escaped – this is bad, it has also meant much hand wringing, I guess we were not the benevolent humans we fondly thought ourselves to be otherwise Dave would not have sought freedom. So now not only are we agonising over the well-being and general happiness of Dave, but also our fitness as a hamster-inclusive family (why didn’t we clock any signs that Dave felt so unhappy and unsupported within the family unit?). We are currently divided into two camps – do we completely uproot furniture that has not been shifted in ages in our quest to find Dave? (which to me suggests inadvertently squooshing sleeping Daves’) or do we just leave his little cage on the floor with little Dave treats inside to tempt him back – or at least to keep him well nourished whilst he is on the skedaddle? (thus, a silent reproach to all in the living room) and what if he doesn’t come back? Anyone with hamster psychology experience please let us know.

In the meantime, we have vacuumed more diligently than ever before – so we can better estimate fresh hamster poo (yikes), doing a whole room with the small nozzle attachment thingy to avoid the unspeakable even in a small house is no mean feat. Come back Dave or at least send us a message (even a little pooky message is fine)….

Dave in happier times (at least that's what we thought)...

Apart from that, I have finished Thistle (had to shorten the fringe a little as otherwise I might need a retinue of little helpers to hold the train as I walk…..) and Tree for baby-yet-to-hatch for my fellow Kiwis holed up near Gartacharn. Somehow a missing Dave takes the gloss off things.

Monday, January 16, 2006

New Years Resolutions’ and all that (or should this be called l-cord limbo?)

Having spent most of December lying low and feeling pathetic as a result of a flu bug that decided it liked our family and wanted to become one of us, my New Years resolutions are probably going to kick in around February time, or maybe later. But having thought about the year just gone I have to admit with a heavy heart that there are those little projects that got away (for the moment) – Thelma the pink Jaeger Fur bunny is still armless and legless – which is not unusual for those enjoying a thorough Hogmannay, though it is stringing it along a little bit. The pink socks for Madam are still on the first sock (haven’t even turned the heel), the Hisdal Jumper is still mainly a nice neat kit, but more depressing is Thistle….

I fell in love with Thistle a while ago, it is a RYC design and just the ticket for looking lovely as one wanders the grey and windy western Scottish shores at this time of year. Except having collected up lots of Rowan Magpie in Toad (no, not the correct yarn but I LOVE Magpie – why the H*** did they ever discontinue something so near perfect??? Can you hear the cry of pain? Can you? Can you?) from various sources at discounted prices (4 corners of the UK were involved and weirdly they are all the same dyelot – an auspicious sign if ever there was), I have ground to a halt. Over Christmas, I rallied from hibernation and managed to knit the cardigan bit of it in 4 days (sounds so fast doesn’t it, but plain knit and 4.5 mm needles…), however I have now run into l-cord limbo of 72 stitches on the end of each scarfy-thing that need to be cast off over a 62 row of 2 stitch l-cord. It is taking longer than the actual cardigan and despite counting and re-counting each fringey-thing the 62 rows do not all look the same length and I thought my knitting was very regular. Sigh, double sigh and sigh again. But I sooooooo want to be wafting along the pebbly beaches looking mysterious and fabulous in Thistle – I can almost hear the swell of music and everything and the gorgeous stranger with the intense and passionate eyes and …. (oh darn I have a husband, that might put the mysterious stranger off, in fact if the husband doesn’t – he after all may be too engrossed in the shingle as that is what he does for a living, then the three fractious little treasures certainly will, in fact if I meet the mysterious stranger I might just smack him one, Very Hard for taking so jolly long, humph, after all I wasn’t meant for the type of life I am living - but one of being loved and utterly adored and worshipped). The reality of course is that I will look like an unravelling skein fighting to stay upright, and not tripping on the dangly scarfy things could be a challenge in high winds, but a girl can dream.

In fact having worked a fair bit of the scarfy-fringey thing at the end of each trailing bit, I may just look like a knitted squid. This may not be the year for mysterious stranger and I may have to wait a while more.

Anyway, New Years Resolutions so far (I make them up as I need them – that way an inappropriate NYR doesn’t linger into June, perhaps I should call them revolutions as my NYR are kind of the revolving door variety).

To only knit things I love (whether for me or for other people)

To get rid of (by any means) things that are not proving lovable (i.e. by frogging, donating or just plain old “disappearance”) rather than leave them festering in darkened corners and haunting me with reproachful rays that can penetrate wood/glass/plastic bags.

To be a more adventurous knitter – try new shapes, techniques, materials and colours.

To create more of what I knit from scratch.

To appreciate more what I have knit – more padded hangers for knits and general care and even actually thinking about what I wear with them.

To share more at knitting shows (volunteer more time this year than last year – which means I would probably see more Yvonne too!!!)

To “purchase with pride” no more sneaking yarn into the house from the car when everyone has gone to sleep (does anyone else do a 2.00 a.m run to the car in their jim-jams?), or bringing home 1 skein at a time from my work address etc etc, and definitely NEVER again will I stuff yarn into my clothing and smuggle it in that way either.


Let the yarn decide the project – if it says knit at a certain gauge and use particular needles, then I am actually going to do it (most of the time), and if a yarn has enough interest without doing knittable acrobatics I am going to restrain myself and just let the knit develop.

Apart from that I am finally shaking off the sluggishness that had me slumped on the sofa and I am back on the baby clothing kick for my friends the soon-to-be parents that are due to hatch in a month. The Noro Blossom took an evening of enthusiasm (and then I ran out of yarn on the final sleeve) and now can’t decide if I want to sew it up purl or knit side out, the Graphic was coffee breaks at work, the little hat is supposed to be felted on a wing and a prayer (front loading washing machine – means you can’t interrupt mid-cycle, kind of like my husbands thought processes) however it looks kind of baby-head size anyway, as more yarn is coming there will be denim pants and some Rowan things still to knit.

Graphic Baby Sweater

Noro Blossom Baby Sweater

Pick Up Sticks Baby Hat

Dave - the Christmas Hamster for Number 3 Child and Theo

Couldn't resist a photo of Dave, the Christmas hamster who is very lovely but lazy. Theo is getting used to his "step brother" gradually but initially was petrified, however we have placated him with the card board box the cage came in.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The run up to Christmas and knitting do not mix

Tis not the season to be jolly – no sirree. I don’t want to carp during the season of happiness (well actually you just know I am going to), but Christmas pays havoc with my stash. I am slowly losing the plot moving yarn, and then parcels into where the yarn was, then moving the yarn again and making way for other parcels, or decanting parcels into collaborative parcels and oh it is all too much, this is eating into valuable knitting time of which I have precious little at the moment. The fact that I haven’t felt inclined to pick up my knitting this weekend despite good intentions is besides the point, if I had felt like knitting I would not have had the time or been able to find the project.

Actually it has brought back memories of when I was young at home and my paternal grandmother would come for Christmas day much to my mother’s ill-suppressed fury. Grannie had gone slightly dotty by the time I was 12 (something to do with it being the only coping mechanism for dealing with my then recently departed, very cantankerous grandfather – vague waftiness completely nulified his Alf-Garnet-type rantings). Anyway at Christmas she would often sit at the head of the table floating in and out of our familial orbit (or at least that is how she played it) admiring the going-ons on board ship, as she was always convinced she was on a cruise when she came to our house (strangely the ship had summer-yellowed lawns with parched leggy petunias in the flower beds and was surrounded by the Port Hills that were bleached with heat and now and then they caught fire – which is odd in the middle of a nameless ocean). Grannie however was not conned – this was a cruise and we were floating gently towards Lord-alone knows where, with the odd swell of the boat brought on by pink fizzy plonk that went with the inappropriately large roast dinner. After admiring the trappings of the cruise “Nice service, but that waitress is a little surly y’know – she keeps giving me the evil eye….” (that would be my fizzing mother - glaring silently at my helpless father pinned between wife and mother duties), she would then get up and for some unknown reason begin to rearrange the furniture…..

I feel very close to my late Grannie with all this bag and knitting shifting.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

finally - proof that I am certifiable

Well first they sent me the invite to the graduation despite not knowing if the thing-that-must-not-be-mentioned had passed (so raising the question of what had I graduated with). Then they sent me the results of the first two years (I'd had those marks back at the time but I guess it needed confirmation) and then finally I got this!!! O.K now we can mention it, its a M.Sc in Health Informatics, 3 years worth of distance study and after 3 years if you understand the health system and provision/organisation of health information within the NHS then you are deeply deluded.

So now I am certifiable - worthy of a "stifikit" as my daughter would call it, but not yet the proud recipient, so as we are in the holding pen of pre-stifikit-but-worthy-of-one, then the only possible term to apply to such a state is just that - certifiable. I do hope when the stifikit comes in January (?) it is sparkly. I do like glitter and spangly bits, but I fear it will be something tasteful.

Anyway, what does three years hard slog, whilst owner-operating three ravenous offspring, one workaholic husband and a full time job with an organisation that has been "dissolved" as it is officially deemed to have failed-and-is-pulling-itself-apart-from-the-inside-out-give-you???

Well, the evidence suggests from a photo, an office-clearing colleague sent over to me that was taken just prior to starting the course, is approximately 2 clothing sizes and nearly three stone. So naturally I have celebrated the stifikation (sounds just short of deification if you say it like that) with a large family sized bag of maltesers just for me (disgusting). However no one in the Brown household seemed that impressed with the occasion so it is only fair and proper that I kept the Maltesers for myself. Oh o.k they did get a big fancy (reduced price) chocolate cake from Tesco - as wheat sends me orbital after 24 hours - they got that all to themselves.

Funnily enough, I haven't gone on a massive celebratory yarn expedition yet, as I am actually trying a bit of a yarn detox - ie using a bit of what I have as the husband as started making sad noises as he trips over little bags or parcels displaced from their usual hidey holes to make way for Christmassy things for offspring. The only knitting progress to report at the moment is Thelma - a pink Jaeger Fur rabbit so far armless and legless and missing her snazzy sunglasses. A pink fur rabbit needs arms and legs and sunglasses, so guess what I'll be doing this weekend - however as she is being knit on the wing so to speak I have no idea what sort of arms and legs etc to knit, still she needs done with - so this weekend is cut off point for her. Wish me luck.