Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Photo a day project...January



I've actually found this quite interesting. It's a nice wee challenge to set yourself to record your day-to-day life. See what you see and figure out what's important to you. Recurring themes for January? The odd creative day followed up with puddycats, knitting and food. Makes me a bit of a sad basket case really...but that's really only the stuff I can show you...!

Offshore...on a big boat!



I seem to be having a total photofest nowadays. I blame my new camera phone. I'm in love with it. I think I want to marry it...!

Just back from the Alba FSU after a 2 day trip. A lovely bunch of boys...boys! Mmm...hardly any of them under 40 but they were fine and laughed at my jokes so I liked them. It was quite calm so just a nice gentle movement to help you get to sleep at night. Poor Looby was feeling seasick just for the wee while that she was sat in the chopper waiting to fly off to the Alba platform just across the way. Thank hivvens it doesn't bother me or I'd be stuffed.

Only nearly barfed twice. Once on the Sedco 711 as I was handing out evaluations at the end of the presentation. I had to do the old "swallow" trick as I didn't want to chuck up in front of 30 guys. It would have totally ruined my street cred! The second time was when I was on Captain FPSO last October in the middle of a Force 12 hurricane. I had to sit down to do the presentations and hold onto the edge of the table as the chairs had castors so still kept moving! Apparently we were being chucked up and down about 30-40 feet with the swell that was going on. The worst thing with the FPSO is that it's anchored around a centre point so not only does she bounce up and down from bow to stern and port to starboard (see that - nautical terms...I is special!) but she also wallows around the centre pipeline that goes out of the ship down to the seabed. Really not pleasant at all. The core crew appeared reasonably impressed that I didn't chuck my guts up. So was I!

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Friday, 26 January 2007

Design gone wrong...!

Saw this in TK Maxx tonight. Isn't it absolutely hideous? Nearly barfed when I saw it.

It's like taking those horrible appliqued jumpers that were around in the 80's to another level...and not a good one at that!

If I ever contemplate wearing such a hideous thing please take me out and slap me for having such blip in the taste stakes.

And if anyone out there really thinks this is worth buying...think it might be time to get your eyes tested!

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

There's actually some knitting content...for a change!

Flicca continues.

She's been sewn together. The collar is finished. One edging is finished.

Only one more edging to go, followed by the ribbon to stabilise the collar and make sure it doesn't go all floppy and shapeless. That'll be fun as me and hand-sewing (when cloth rather than knitted fabric) don't really go together that well. It can all get a bit messy!

Then we have the Soy Silk Karaoke saga! I bought this from Stash ages ago (although they no longer stock it) as I loved the colourway and really wanted to try it out. But...big but...this has been an absolute bastard to find something that works in it.

First we tried this Cornelia Tuttle design which was originally for some Noro (Noro Revisited). It involved a wee bit of jiggery-pokkery to resize it as the smallest size was for a 36" bust and I am not nearly so well endowed. It looked nice on the needles. It looked fine when it was sewn up. It looked absolutely shite when I put it on!

So it sat for a couple of weeks and then it went to the frog pond and got ripped back to it's original state. I liked the wool too much to waste it and knew if I didn't rip it back there and then it would be something that got shoved in a drawer never to see the light of day. Bummer!

So we then had attempt number 2 at finding something suitable and up popped this cute cardi from Knit.1 (can't remember which issue). This mag does have a habit of coming up with some of the more hideous designs in an attempt to be hip and trendy (!) but it does have a few gems in there. I liked the style of the cardi - quite 50's/60's in inspiration. So we knit this up, spent a bit of time on it, took out the side panels as they would have made it horrendously wide across one's lacking bosums', and sewed it up. Again, it looked good on the needles, looked fine sewn up, and looked absolutely crap when I put it on.

Starting to get a tad pissed off by this stage!

So last night I ripped that attempt back and decided to give this little baby a go in the hope that it really would be third time lucky! This is from a Rowan book (number 7 - Woman) that I picked up in John Lewis last week for £2.95 rather than it's usual £5.95. The designs are all knitted in Soft Lux and come out at a similar tension as the Karaoke. I like vest tops anyway so would hopefully get a decent wear out of it. Plus it only uses a wee bit of wool so I should have enough for a cute waistcoat that I've spotted in the book too.

Please, please, please...I hope this one works out otherwise I'll be just a tad pissed off. I am determined to make this sodding stuff work but if it gets to the "I must kill" stage then I'll give it up as a bad job and sell the stuff on Ebay!

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

I've won a gold medal!

I did! Honest! Well, not quite...but, I did manage to get to comment first on Crazy Aunt Purl's blog today. Now most people would think I'm a bit more mental than normal to be pleased about this but you kind of had to be there.

I'm chuffed!

Friday, 19 January 2007

Last night was Stitch'n'Bitch time. I just loved the way the Noro photographed. It's such a nice contrast between the felted hat and the unfelted scarf. Much as I love some of the colour combinations of Noro I've never fallen in love with the yarn the same as most of the others have. I've always been more of a Colinette babe myself as far as their colour combinations go. Plus their shade card is just so gorgeous - you almost want to eat it!

I did putter along with my SWTC Karaoke shrug from VK Winter 2006. It's nearly finished although some folk were a bit stunned at just how small it seems to be, but then, I'm hardly a big girl so what's the point of knitting something big! My other bit of Karaoke is going to have to ripped back I think as the pattern just hasn't done it justice. I did the green cropped cardi from one of the Knit.1 mags but it just doesn't fit or look right. Looks great on the model but absolutely shite on me! Thing is I adore the pinky shades of the wool and want it to be used for something I'll actually wear so don't want to waste it by it being all knitted up and then stuffed in a drawer. What a waste!

And tonight I'll aim for a good clear-out of the stash. I have loads of little balls of wool which are no use to me but if I bag them up within like colours then I can pass them onto the charity shop and they can either sell them or give them to folk to knit up into squares. I could do the whole charity knitting thing but that is not my thing to be honest. I'm selfish! I like to make stuff for me or people I know so I'll leave the charity stuff to someone else who enjoys it. At least if I pass on the unused/unwanted stuff then someone else can make use of it. Shame to waste and I really don't need it sitting on my shelves just because the different colours look pretty!

Thursday, 18 January 2007

A testament to Tunnocks...

There are certain things in life which, if they were denied, would make the world a harsher place. There are also some things in life which, whilst adding to the general well-being of an individual, really do nothing more than stuff up your system. Here we have a perfect example: the Tunnocks snowball...! A confection that is almost 50% sugar (47g per 100g to be precise) and god knows how many hydrogenated fats is not going to be good for us. We know that...like, duh! But do we care? As if!

So what if it rots our teeth and leads to heart disease if we eat loads and loads and loads of them (scientific disclaimer: in moderation they're fine...oh, they really are so fine!). They really are one of the finest Scottish inventions ever. Some may put the invention of the telephone or the TV ahead of this. Others may have a preference for the discovery of penicillin but not here. We're a country that tops (or comes pretty close) the league table in so many things - heart disease, lung cancer, teenage pregnancy - but we're also a country that delights in sugar and fat in wonderful quantities. And who can blame us - they taste fine.

If only we could learn to keep them in moderation but Scots don't tend to do moderation - why else do you think our Hogmanay celebrations are the best. If you're going do it...then go for it!

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Camera phone in action...!

Got my new camera phone on Saturday and I'm steadily working my way through learning how to work the damn thing. Feel like I'm turning into the gadget queen - might as well be a boy. It was a rather fine, frosty, iced-up puddles sort of day though so to prove that I can get off my arse occasionally I did take a few pics as I went up my road to pick up the post. I was good...didn't jump on the puddles to break the ice but that's only because I didn't have my wellies on and my trainers are a tad non-waterproof.

And to prove that I do still knit nowadays - and we are ignoring the Aran jumper that has been on the needles since last year - here is Flicca. My version is in some cheapo burnt orange non-wool/acrylic label-less blend of an unknown meterage that I picked up for just under £17 in Tait and Style when I was back home in Orkney for my Dad's 60th. It has a shiny strand through the woolly bit that's really nice and catches the light real purty like. There isn't quite enough to finish the collar and edgings but I have a cotton tape yarn which is going to be used for that. We'll just call it contrast and a design feature rather than "oops, that was a bit close!" I have lopped about 4 inches of the bottom of the card, and rejigged accordingly, purely on the grounds that I am a short-arse (5'4") so the full-length one would end up dragging on the floor by the time I'd worn it a few times. Still have to take the final decision on the button question - what a dilemma!? After all the other dilemmas I'm dealing with in life at the moment it's nice to have one that is relatively easy.

The other dilemma's are tales for another day...suffice to say, they have made life interesting for the last year...!

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Not just the stork...


...that brings babies! Did you know that you can order them at Boots the Chemists? I was quite stunned to see that this is a service now being offered at your local pharmacy. We all know that they provide the wherewithal to provide individuals with products that can prevent conception, tell you when conception is more likely, help make it a more pleasurable experience, and have those little sticks that can tell you if your baby-making experiements have been successful. But be honest...in your wildest dreams did you ever think that you could just go straight in and order a baby off-the-shelf?!

What's amazing is that you can even get them delivered to your home address. Which courier company do you think they use? Hope they give a specific time slot that you can expect your delivery. Do you think they would just shove a card through your door to say they'd missed you but that you would find your "parcel" in the bin as that seemed to be the safest place to put it...!

And myself and James were very philosophical last night on the whole conundrum of reproduction. As he put it - I, in the company of quite a few other women, are breaking the biological chain in choosing not to procreate in our own image. That whole evolutionary response that has been conditioned over the millenia is being stopped in it's tracks with the aid of some armour-plated contraception and free thinking. If we chose not to carry on with our biological destiny we are effectively breaking the biggest chain letter in existence! Kind of blew our tiny little brains with that one as we oohed and aahed over the thought. Daily Mail readers like to tell us how we're all going to hell and damnation in a bucket if we don't stick to our rightful place in the grand scheme of things (at least 2 steps behind your man!) so I wonder if it would freak them even more to know we're breaking a chain letter. Some poor woman is expecting to get 6 babies once her name gets to the top of the list and instead somebody else has chucked the letter in the bin. Hang the consequences!

You can't tell that that discussion didn't take place at one in the morning after five hour drinking sesh can you?! Ach - we enjoyed ourselves...shame the hangover in the afternoon wasn't so pleasant...

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Where we went for Hogmanay...

One word meme...

One Word Meme

  1. Yourself: unhinged
  2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): ditched
  3. Your hair: dyed
  4. Your mother: fragile
  5. Your father: happy
  6. Your favorite Item: stash
  7. Your dream last night: relaxing
  8. Your favorite drink: champagne
  9. Your dream car: Mini
  10. The room you are in: office
  11. Your ex: history
  12. Your fear: unwanted
  13. What you want to be in 10 years? alive
  14. Who you hung out with last night? myself
  15. What you're not: nice
  16. Muffins: lots
  17. One of your wish list items: book
  18. Time: lots
  19. The last thing you did: cooked
  20. What you are wearing: clothes
  21. Your favorite weather: sunny
  22. Your favorite book: cookery
  23. The last thing you ate: pasty
  24. Your life: complicated
  25. Your mood: fractious
  26. Your best friend: Mandy
  27. What are you thinking about right now? love
  28. Your car: Golf
  29. What are you doing at this moment: procrastinating
  30. Your summer: hopeful
  31. Your relationship status: separating
  32. What is on your TV? nothing
  33. What is the weather like? stormy
  34. When is the last time you laughed? today
  35. Who do you tag? anyone

Starting to come back...slowly!

And this is what is what I finished off on Christmas Eve, Eiffel from Knitty. I haven't bothered with the velvet ribbon trim but that's purely because I'm too lazy. I finished it in under a week, mainly because the only finishing off you have to do is a wee bit of grafting under the oxters (or in my case a 3-needle bind-off because I can't graft to save myself) and some sewing in of ends. I used up some Paton's 100% cotton DK in Foxglove that was in my stash from my brilliant sesh I had in Littlewood's when it closed down - 70p (35c) a ball (100g). Since it took 2 and a half balls that meant it has cost me the grand total of £2.10 to knit. We won't count the cost of the bamboo dpn's I bought to actually make it - that doesn't count!