Thursday 31 May 2012

Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt: May

Emma is still picking the topics for this - please go and have a nose around everyone else's pictures too!

Something I Have Made
What? You want me to show off my sailor top again? Oh, OK...

It's not finished, but the body of it is and tonight I picked up for the hood/collar so I am hoping it will be done this weekend. It is a perfect fit, I am very pleased. This picture demonstrates the pipin before and after stitching together.

My stash!
So. Much. Stash.
Going through it all has inspired me all over again: if only because, hey, it's a little embarrassing to have this amount of yarn in the spare room...


Maybe not quite the usual urban, but Capri was some very pretty townage and it reminded me quite a lot of Bristol, with its pastel-coloured houses marching across the hills.

London buses!

 I was in the smoke last week for a conference and got off the bus early to walk down Oxford Street - it was a novelty for it to be so quiet. It looked amazing in the sun: very clean and tidy and with the flags and buses stretching as far as I could see. It felt very, very British. I'm sorry my phone isn't better at pictures because this doesn't do it justice. It's totally time for a new phone.

Motifs: Graffiti
It's not exactly a motif, but it is one of my favourite graffiti finds, from the wall of the local battered women's shelter a few years ago -
Yes, sometimes, I suppose it really does.
I feel a bit sad about this one because Bristol has some absolutely gorgeous street art, particularly around the People's Republic of Stokes Croft, but I only ever seem to pass it when I'm driving. There was also the See No Evil urban art project last year which I am hoping will be repeated.

Thanks for picking, Emma! Hopefully see you next month!

Wednesday 30 May 2012

May Goals Round Up

I'm all out of kilter with my days today. I was just trying to work out how I could subvert this into a Tuesday ten post; yet all day I have thought it was Thursday. Wrong on both counts! But whatever - it's only two days until half term and I only have four lessons to teach between now and then so it doesn't really matter.

Here's my goals round up and it's a good one!

Knit something from stash yarn - even if it's just a little thing.
 I have cast on for a new accessory using some beautiful Colinette I received as a gift a while ago. It's a sort of neck, cowl, stole, shawl thing. I will pair it with the dichroic glass beads I bought at FibreFest in 2009. Double stashbust!

Begin knitting a new garment.
 Yes and it is nearly finished! Sort of. Ahoy, Sailor is all knitted and just waiting for some kind of collar/hood and the sleeves. I am stalled for the moment because I am trying to figure out how to pick up and knit a sailor collar instead of following the pattern directions.

Sort through and re-organise stash and ensure it's all catalogued and photographed (I'm so geeky, I love doing this - I feel like it's cheating to put it on the list, tbh)
 Yes, and it was enjoyable as I thought it would be, although I feel slightly overwhelmed by how much there is. Ravelry says it's 65km. But, on a positive note, I have my next five garments lined up and ready to go.

Visit the tip to get rid of some stuff.
Well, I didn't actually do this. But I intend to go next week. I keep putting it off because there's always a massive queue of cars and it smells bad. I did recycle all the cardboard this evening though, come to think of it. 

Research and plan an activity using the iPods so that I can stop panicking about going to that conference in July and having nothing to say.
 Sort of - I have done a few activities with the iPods and it is going quite well. I feel more confident about the conference but there is still a chunk of work to be done on my workshop. I am hoping to get some of that done in the next two days, and next week: definitely before marking starts on June 21st, anyway.

Finish rewrites on the book with good grace.
At least they were done! I might have rushed it a bit towards the end and they are coming back again for a second pass this week or next. I am a bit bored of it now, tbh. I also need to start work on the peripherals - the perfect answers to all the exam Qs, for example - so that I don't have to squeeze those into three weekends in term time. Little and often, as I keep reminding myself. 

I am currently enjoying a trip back to my youth with this 90s Groove album I downloaded yesterday. It is like being a teenager again. I can almost relive the panic of my year 11s as their exams wash over them! Thank goodness all that's over.

Monday 21 May 2012

Ahoy, Success!

I love it when a plan comes together.

It may not look like much (taken, as it was, without a flash using my phone, and then hastily "snipped" because I haven't got round to d/l'ing paint.NET - yes, this is the same navy garment I blogged about yesterday) but it represents a  triumph for me.

I have been thinking about how to create this for a long time. I tried what I had decided, which was sort of short rows - I knitted four rows in white on these stitches, Kfb into the first and last stitch to avoid curling on the advice of someone on Ravelry. It didn't quite look as I I stitched the top white row together with the bottom white row, et voila! The piped effect I had been hoping for. I can't stop looking at it, because it's so straight and perfect.

(Please ignore those wonky stitches at the end, the rest of it makes up for it in my eyes).

I haven't been quite so obsessed with a knitting project in a while; I just want it to be finished right now. Curse you, job. Curse you, sleep.

Sunday 20 May 2012

Hello, Sailor

I've had a hankering for a navy garment with Naval detailing on it for a while, ever since I saw a sweater in River Island that had piping embroidered onto the front. It took a while to find the perfect yarn and the pattern most easily bent to my will, but happily I am now well on the way to success.

The pattern is from last summer's Interweave - the Amelia Hoodie, which is knit in cotton, has all the shaping on the back (I really love the little kick-out) thus enabling me to play around with the front, and which I already owned. Result. The yarn is Sublime Egyptian Cotton in the shade Dotty. Ange at knitting group discovered this first and I think, between us, we have bought the entire stock. It is lovely to work with and really crisp, and the navy is a really lovely shade - the picture does not do it justice.

The construction is interesting. You knit eight patches in a variety of stitch patterns, then whipstitch them together, pick up and knit bottom up in the round. I decided to whipstitch in my accent colour of Frothy, which was not sensible - I see myself unpicking it all and stitching it together in navy because it looks messy. i have added a white stripe and will eventually do an applied i-cord around the bottom in the cream.

I'm pleased to say I have added quite a lot to it since this picture was taken yesterday - I'm at 12 inches and starting the bust increases. I am almost ready to knit the first of three elongated bobbles I have planned. We'll see how that goes.

I am full of knitting plans at the moment, which is just as well, because I catalogued some stash today and felt a bit overwhelmed. I have 55km of yarn now, not including the Cascade and Lamb's Pride which are hanging around for various projects and which I am too lazy to catalogue. I spent some time matching yarns ith patterns and now have at least five cardigans ready to go. Better get on and finished this one, then!

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Goals for May

Feeling like starting this again.

  • Knit something from stash yarn - even if it's just a little thing.
  • Begin knitting a new garment.
  • Sort through and re-organise stash and ensure it's all catalogued and photographed (I'm so geeky, I love doing this - I feel like it's cheating to put it on the list, tbh)
  • Visit the tip to get rid of some stuff.
  • Research and plan an activity using the iPods so that I can stop panicking about going to that conference in July and having nothing to say.
  • Finish rewrites on the book with good grace.

ETA I started this list in April and didn't publish it, so I am just going with it.  Six goals is quite enough, I think.

Tuesday Ten

Ten excuses for where I've been

1. I've been marking coursework. 17 year 13 essays this year. By my count that is roughly 68,000 words. Woe was me, for a few days there.

2. I've been doing book rewrites. There were quite a lot for the second bit of book. I imagine there will be more soon. But the book is available for pre-order and I love looking at the page.

3. They've put my name second on the cover, where it goes alphabetically, even though I wrote three-quarters of the book. I am hoping this is just a mock up. Vanity, I cry, vanity.

4. I have been rarely going to bed before midnight and therefore wedging in naps.

5. I've been drinking these green monster smoothies every morning. Whoever thought blended spinach before 8am was a good idea? It is, you know, especially when you don't leave it overnight. I drink half as much coffee and need half as much breakfast.

6. I've probably been waking the neighbour up at 7am, using the blender.

7. I've been booking ski holidays for October half term. I'm trying to pay them but nobody will return my call. I don't think this bodes well, but we'll stay hopeful. My one-day chance to pass that ski course is in November so I thought I'd try and wedge some extra practice in beforehand.

8. I've been considering going on a bootcamp. Ten hours of exercise a day? I'll either love it, or spend the whole week sobbing.

9. I'm really struggling for a 9 and 10, I'll be honest, and I'm hoping you didn't notice number 3 wasn't really an excuse. Really, I've just been marking coursework and doing book rewrites. It's been deathly boring.

10. Um. I did go to circuits last night. For the first time in about two months. I hurt a lot. Maybe bootcamp isn't such a good idea.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Tuesday Ten

Ten Things That Are Blue (because I am a bit and this will cheer me up)

1. Yarn. Wagtails Kid Mohair 4-ply. I bought this in New York last May.

2. More yarn. Some Knitwitches cashmere silk laceweight. This is more variegated than it seems in the picture.

3. Blue flowers on a sundress by the blue waters of the Agincourt Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef.

4. Blue sky looking extra blue over Ayers Rock (it's impossible to just do one picture from Australia, there are far too many contenders)

5. Blue coats on my friends Louzle and Paul.

6. Blue light over the pond at school at dusk. Very pretty. 

7. The Blue Lagoon in Iceland. That's blue. It's even in the name.

8. Blue, blue waters off the Isle of Capri. 

9. Down by Durdle Door. Never knew the sea could look so blue in this country - and I grew up on the coast!

10. Oh, um. Yarn. More yarn. It has been a while since we had a picture of some yarn though, hasn't it?

It worked! Looking through old pictures has definitely made me more cheerful. However, it has not assisted me in managing my workload. Sigh.