Sunday 29 September 2019

Weeknote: 29/9

The front of the Volt, as explained in my weekend WIP post. Yesterday I cried off going round St Werb's art trail with Charlotte and worked on it doggedly until the shoulders were both done, which took longer than anticipated, as these things always do.

I should have cast on for the back today, but instead I used the paltry crafting time I had to try to start off a crochet blanket for my incoming niece. It hasn't begun well, but now I've read the comments on the pattern on Ravelry and see that lots of others had a similar issue at the start and there's a tutorial, so I will be trying that shortly.

Going to:
On Wednesday I went to the history lecture about abolition and class in Industrial Britain. It was really good but very high-brow for this sort of lecture. I think maybe he was quite nervous. I took my friend Rachael from school, who did a History and French degree, and we had dinner beforehand at St Mary's Kitchen which is an excellent Caribbean restaurant nearish school.

Other than that, it's been all about being at home. I had a killer work week and required a two hour nap on Thursday night, then racked up nearly 18 hours of sleep over this weekend. The change in the weather, too, means hibernation is tempting. I tried to act against it by planning weekends in Edinburgh and Belfast over the next few months.

Entertained by:
I'm into season 4 of Friday Night Lights, which is so watchable I could have finished it already, but I'm forcing myself to savour it. I've always said that if I lived in America I'd be the embarrassing stereotype with cowboy boots and a big truck and saying ya'll in a really irritating way. I don't know if I could stretch it to a love of football, but this series certainly helps.

I've also started watching Glow on Netflix. It's fun and I like spotting the anachronisms - pretty sure there weren't any Pringles in the 80s, but perhaps that was just in this country. I also like Kate Nash in it a lot.

I keep listening to Miley Cyrus's new song, which I think might be my favourite thing she's ever done.

I made myself a nice oatmeal courgette cake this weekend, to take to school. I added a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Autumn is here and it's time for hefty cakes.

Like I can finally stop for breath. There were far fewer remarks than last year - 100 fewer, and even then the paper is half the length this year, because Reasons - but I was also going through paper production and have had some other urgent things to do. Last Sunday was a heavy work day but between that and my efforts in the week, I'm out of the woods now.

Weekend WIP

The front of the Volt jumper is finally finished.

I cast this on in July but then spent all summer knitting the Diatom shawl. It has been slow going, I think partly due to the intarsia - every few rows there had to be a detangling - and partly due to the purling. Give me in the round any day, all day long. The back should be quicker, though, since it's just plain st-st.

I am delighted with how the colours have turned out although nervous about the first wash/block - I would be sad to end up with a green flash. I have many colour catcher sheets, though, so hopefully it will be ok.

I'm excited about finishing it. I'm currently enjoying a slouchy jumper from M&S that Parpy Jo managed to snaffle for me in the sale - it is oversized with drop shoulders, like this one, and it's really comfy to wear.

I am a bit concerned that there is variation in the yarn that I didn't really think of. I didn't alternate blue skeins because there was already a lot going on, but when I laid it out to take a picture in the first instance, there was quite a pronounced line where (I assume) I introduced the second skein.

It isn't as pronounced in real life as in the picture, thankfully. However, I think I will alternate skeins on the back.

Sunday Selfie

This cute little bar was round the corner from our AirBnB stay in Copenhagen. They basically just sold meatballs with fixings and lovely cocktails. Here I am, enjoying a negroni.

Saturday 28 September 2019

Strictly Come Dancing: My Dance of the Night

A double this week because I forgot to do this last week. I don't normally watch the early episodes because they go on for a really long time, but since I was at home and wanting to knit for the past two Saturdays, watch them I did.

Week 1 - had to be Kelvin and Oti's Samba. I think everybody was just blown away by how good he was for the first week. I loved the shots of Jamie in the audience, clearly being slightly annoyed that he had been replaced by somebody so good at dancing.

Week 2 - I liked a lot of the dances this week, but nothing much stood out for me this week, so it probably has to be Mike and Katya's American Smooth, because it was extremely entertaining. The lifts were predictably risky but I reckon that after Ed Balls, Katya basically has no fear.

I do love Strictly being back. It's just a big part of the routine for autumn.

Thursday 26 September 2019

Three on Thursday

I went back over to Carole's blog for the first time in a while recently and found a new prompt - Three on Thursday, which seems more achievable than Ten on Tuesday, which I miss but can become quite the time suck. So here we go.

Three things I'm doing to make myself happier

1. Home improvement. 
Done by someone else, and being fussy with it. We live in a permanent state of clutter (this mainly seems to be my fault) and I am not here for it, so we are finally reaching the end of the home improvement project (for now) as the built-in storage under the stairs is being finished and the flooring has been picked out for the hall, enabling me to look at many-drawered cabinets for holding everything we really can't part with. Exciting.
The carpenter we got for the job has been great and I've been bossy. He wanted to put the coat rail at waist height ('We measured your longest coat on it and it's fine') and left to right, but I have insisted on high up and front to back, because I know there are rarely-worn coats I won't need to get at and this is the best use of the space. He wanted to put 5-6 shelves of 30-40cm in the bookcase he's built me to replace the banister but I insisted on fewer, taller shelves because I wanted it more open. I'm not normally someone who is this bossy in this sort of role (though bossy is a natural state for me, so it's odd) but I have stuck to my guns and I'm getting what I want. He seems almost pleased at the direction. Who knew?

2. Prepping vegetables
Lunches are a personal watermark of my work-life balance. School do good lunches that are only £2 but if I'm buying them every day, it's because I'm not looking after myself. So far this term I've managed to batch cook enough veggies on a Sunday to have a home-made salad every day of the week. Granted, my 9-vegetable salad has shrunk to a 4-vegetable one this week, thanks to a busy Sunday, but it'll do. I feel a lot calmer when I can pack my own lunch.

3. Making plans
I've got friends who've moved to Edinburgh and Belfast recently that I'd like to visit. Today I caught myself thinking that I shouldn't visit them both in November because it's too many weekends away. Hang it all. This shouldn't be an issue! I am going to get the calendar out and make plenty of weekend plans between now and the end of the year.

Here's Carole's post on the matter. Thanks for the prompt!

Sunday 15 September 2019

Weekend FO

This was finished two weeks ago but I was waiting for the quarterly Flock gathering so that I could get some Mr B pictures for my blog post.

Pattern: Diatom Shawl by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence
Yarn: Knitpicks Palette - 4 balls of red, one each of the other five colours
Needle: 4mm
Mods: I wouldn't have a clue how to modify something of this intricacy, so none, unless you count where I made a mistake and didn't fix it - this happened disturbingly regularly but I can't find any of them in the finished item, thankfully.

This kit has been in my stash since 2013. I think I might have mentioned that already. It was a fairly straightforward knit for the most part, although when each repeat got to around 20 stitches, I did struggle a bit to hold the pattern in my head on complicated rows. Luckily every other round was plain knitting, which helped, and I took it to Copenhagen with me, which allowed for lots of knitting time. I pack a new ball of red and an optimistic ball of orange, and was thrilled when I ended up needing both - that might be the first time that's every happened.

I was going to gift this as a baby blanket but was warned about giving holey things for use with little fingers, and it is handwash only which I don't think SIL should have to manage on top of managing a baby, so I am going to keep it for me. It could probably block a bit bigger but I didn't have enough room on the time I am staying somewhere with a king sized bed, I might have another go.

Sunday Selfie

My extended summer absence means there are all kinds of selfies of me on holiday and I'm going to share a few of my faves over the next few weeks.

First up - me on a beach in Malta. It was a private hotel beach with call buttons on the umbrellas so the waiting staff would bring you all the food and cocktails you might desire. Turned out this was some food, lots of cocktails. We spent two days in a row lying around like this.

I can't remember the last time I had a summer holiday that involved two days of sunning myself on the beach. I thought I would get bored but then another cocktail would turn up which helped to break up the day. Also, this bikini is made from recycled plastic bottles AND is in the colours of the Maltese flag so I was double winning in it. 

 The holidays already feel like a very long time ago.