Monday, December 28, 2009

Earthy socks

Pattern: Plain socks
Needle: 2.5 mm
Yarn: Crazy Zauberball, and gift from the wonderful Ru

This is my usual pattern for plain socks that are dyed in such a way that the colour changes are interesting enough on their own.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Pattern: Cachoeira
Needles: 2.5mm
Yarn: Yarn Pirate Merino sock yarn, in a colourway that I've lost the tag for
Photoshoot: Opposite Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, across the Thames from St Paul's Cathedral. All pictures taken by my long-suffering boyfriend, who found being stared at by the tourists a novel experience.

I really, really enjoyed knitting these.

I cast them on while away from the majority of my knitting stuff, and had simply grabbed my usual sock needles - 2.5mm circulars - along with the pattern and the yarn. 72 stitches around is waaaay too much for my legs and feet on 2.5s, so I decided to decrease down to 64 stitches around over the course of three pattern repeats on the leg. I really liked the end result, with the 'waves' on the sides of the leg for the last three pattern repeats just touching at the end.

This was also my first attempt at something I'm planning to make a theme for the next year, which is to actually photograph my knitting in an interesting manner. Whether that means an interesting backdrop, or simply making the effort to take proper pictures of the finished object, it makes no difference - I just want to get them photographed!

So, last weekend, while I was down near Borough Market on the Southbank, I directed my boyfriend in taking these. I think they're a pretty good start.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Personal ad

I'm taking a page out of the amazing and inspirational Havi, and writing a personal ad for something that I really want in my life: a bike.

Tired of the Tube

Outgoing, energetic woman looking for a bicycle to form a lasting mutually beneficial partnership with.

Me? I'll take care of you, make sure you have regular check-ups with someone who knows way more than me about the way you work, I'll keep you in a safe indoor place at night and while I'm at work, take you out at least three days a week, and I'll continue to take you out in all weathers and year-round. You won't languish through the winter with me!

You: High enough for me (I'm quite tall), in perfect or near perfect working order. Not too expensive, hopefully under £100 - but I'm willing to spend a bit more to find the perfect match.

Ideally you'll be located near my flat or my office, so that I don't have to go to far to meet you for the first time. And hopefully you're already on the radar of someone that I know, who just hasn't told me about you yet. I'd love if you were the old-fashioned kind that lets me sit more upright, but I know that whatever you look like, being the right one for me is the most important thing.

No drama please - this includes chains that for some reason don't want to stay in place, wonky pedals or seats, and brakes that are, at best, iffy. Also, it would be helpful if your frame was quite sturdy or of very good quality. I'd like to have you around for a while, and this will really help.

If this is you, please have someone get in touch! I can't wait to meet you.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

The things we love

It's pretty impressive, sometimes, that we forget to listen to ourselves.

I think that most people, by the time they're in their mid-twenties, probably know themselves fairly well - or rather, they know what they like, some of the things they don't, and a bit of what makes them happy. So why, knowing these things, would someone just stop doing something that makes them happy?

I barely touched my knitting needles between the end of March and the beginning of June. I didn't finish a single project, I started a project I could care less about and still need to frog, and somehow - somehow I forgot about why I did this incredible thing with sticks and string.

Knitting grounds me. The familiar feel of needles in my hands and the slight friction of yarn over my left index finger relaxes me like nothing else. I can't even remember what I did before I started knitting, to have down time at the end of the day. To compose my thoughts and sort out the thoughts in my head. How did I forget this thing that makes me a calm and reasonable person? That means I can face my day without going mad?

I picked up my needles again on the 6th of June, and started the Luna Moth Shawl from using some beautiful fingering weight 100 percent alpaca in a gorgeous grey-brown that one of my younger sisters had gotten me for last Christmas. As I watched the repeats get longer and the bulk of the yarn go from the centre-pull ball into the mess that is lace, I could feel myself finding my centre again.

The shawl is drying next door, on the spare bed in my flat.

Moth wings, drying on the bed

It's beautiful, and better pictures will follow to show just how lovely; the yarn is perfect for showcasing the pattern, and I'm really proud of this one. It's for me, to wrap myself in on cold winter nights and to keep the chill off in the changeable English summer. It's to remind myself not to forget the things I know keep me sane.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

I couldn't leave if I wanted to

When a song captures my attention, if it's the right kind of song, I'll listen to it over and over and over again. The first time I heard 405 by Death Cab for Cutie, I think I listened to it on repeat my entire way to work. Which was about 45 minutes at the time. As the song is only about three minutes long...well. That's a lot of the same song back to back.

It's like I've got to absorb the music, take it into my blood and indelibly sketch the lyrics into my memory so that I can instantly conjure up the melody at will. Sometimes it's because the song means something to me, like Alien by Bush. I can't even count the number of times I lay in the dark, listening to that song with my heart breaking. Or Best of What's Around, by Dave Matthews Band - a song which will forever send me straight back to MarketSpice and mopping floors, with Chelsea yelling at me to turn the damn cd off already, we've listened to it three times today and for the love of god put something else on or she's going to kill me and Si and Ryan laughing like idiots.

A few days ago, California by Stroke 9 (version off Rip it Off) came on while I was on the Tube to work. Sometimes, it's the feel of a song. Sometimes it's the way the vocalist sings, sometimes it's the way a bridge is played, and sometimes it's a single line or two.

'I was raised and I was born here, couldn't leave California if I tried to.'

No matter where I go or how old I get, I think that I will always expect to live in a green city, surrounded by mountains with the skyscrapers caught in cloud most of the year. Anywhere else is just a substitute.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

8am assult course

I woke up late this morning, which is fairly unusual. Normally, I'm awake the second my alarm goes off, if not before. I think my new-found ability to sleep through the incessant beeping might just have something to do with sleeping in a bed for more than one consecutive night for the first time in two months.

However, I woke up late. I'd done a load of washing last night and took full advantage of the balcony with the clothesline at my new flat (rarely do you have a tumble dryer over here, for those of you State-side). I happily hung up my clothes and went to bed with the expectation of being able to wear some of them to work this morning.

So at about 7.07 (I usually leave around 7.20), I bolted out of bed, threw myself into the shower and furiously did everything necessary. I ran around, dropping things, managed to get moisturiser everywhere, and ran to the door to the balcony.

Which was locked.

Spotting a key in the bowl that holds the clothespins, I put in into the keyhole. It fits! Awesome!

I turn the key. Nothing happens.

Jiggle the handle. Nothing happens. Try turning while lifting the handle. Nothing. I then proceed to, for the next several minutes try everything I can think of to get the door open.


I'm swearing under by breath in despair - I wore the only thing that I didn't wash that I can wear to work yesterday, and there's no way that I can wear it two days in a row. I glance around.

There's a window. A window that might open enough despite the shelf on the wall outside that might allow me to get out.

So this morning, I started my day by climbing out a window in my flat in my fuzzy maroon bathrobe to get my clothes.

How do these things happen to me?!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

A few spares would be nice

On one of the that I’ve recently started reading, the author posted a link to a heart factory.

A little factory that makes hearts.

Something about the creator’s description, “If you are lacking a heart or tired of your heart being broken it would be wise to invest in your own tiny heart factory”, just. Well.

I’m certainly not lacking a heart, but somehow, in the past 27 years, I haven’t figured out how to protect mine enough. Yes, of course, you can’t entirely protect yourself – but when you build the big stone walls, with towers on four sides and archers stationed along the parapets, and then the deep moat with spikes at the bottom and man-eating sharks swimming around, and you even remembered to put a guard on the secret entrance because you’ve read too many books to be unaware that that’s the way they always get in… You at least expect something.

So a heart factory. I think I could use one of those, these days.

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