Thursday, 8 December 2016
So I'm slowly evolving my own perfect sock style. Although I do like patterned socks, I generally knit plain ones; maybe because I favour wild colours, like my dad, and patterns often don't go well with crazy yarn! I'm trying to become the sort of knitter who can just knock out a basic sock without even really thinking about it - not needing a pattern, just doing it. I'm getting there - I know my cuff will either be k1p1 twisted rib, or a folded picot, and my leg will be as long as I fancy. My heel will probably be flap and gusset*, and I'm slowly getting the method of that firmly stuck in my knitting memory. I thought I'd got it this time, I really did - heelflap over half the stitches, same number of total rows as stitches (so 32 for me), pick up 16 stitches down each side, and start the decreasing. Sorted! I was so chuffed, and maybe a teensy bit smug, as it all went perfectly. See?
Yeah. Bit of a cock-up there. I hear it helps if you actually, you know, turn the heel during the process... Ripping out time for me! (Again; I already redid the heel because I decided I really didn't like the short-row one I did first).
*Although I'm about to delve into the mysteries of the afterthought heel, so we'll see whether this remains the case!
Tuesday, 6 December 2016
I've bought a rowing machine - a bit of an extravagance, perhaps, but I was paid for a load of overtime, and then found this one fairly cheaply (and then it was even cheaper; I still haven't worked out how, but I'm not complaining!). I love rowing machines, though; I find them very soothing in terms of the motion, and I actively enjoy using them, so I know it'll get good use. Plus I believe it works most of the body, so that's a bonus!
The other thing I've really been trying to do, aside from eating more healthily, is trying to hit that magical 10,000 steps a day, as recommended by all and sundry. I have a pedometer, I do a fair amount of walking anyway - how hard can it be, right?
Seriously. I have yet to hit 10k since I started this. And it's not like I'm being a massive couch potato all the time. Take Sunday, for example; we went into London to meet up with some friends for our annual pre-Christmas get together and present exchange. Normally we go to a museum, but this year we were wandering around a Christmas market at Southbank. Lots of wandering around. Result? Just under 6500 steps. How?! And yesterday - I walked to work, I vacummed the office, I then went round and dusted the office, I nipped out to Waitrose and back, and later to the Post Office and back. I wandered around town doing a few errands before then walking home and pottering around the house a bit. Result? 8800 steps. Seriously. WTF?! I have no idea how anyone manages to hit 10,000 steps a day. All the advice tends to be stuff like park further away, or get off the bus a bit earlier, or take the stairs rather than the lift.... well, I walk to and from work, and there isn't a lift so I have to take the stairs! And somehow it still doesn't get there.
Anyone have any tips on this?!
Saturday, 12 November 2016
Fast forward a few months, and we hit the US presidential election; obviously their political system differs from ours considerably, and things like that are much more drawn out than our elections are, so there's been a lot of preamble and rhetoric. But in the weeks and days immediately preceding the voting period, and the announcement of the new President-elect, we saw the same sort of thing as happened over here; a lot of anger, fear, dislike, and intolerance was being bandied around, from all sides. It all seemed very personal, which is deeply distressing, and once the result was announced, things went downhill rapidly. Protests, apparent hate crimes, and a lot of fear and anger and turmoil. I fear it's going to be a long time before either the UK or the US settles down fully, and a lot of harsh things are going to be said in that time, which would better remain unspoken. People have voted; democracy has happened, whether we like the outcome or not (and I'm not going into my personal feelings on the subject here), and now everyone has to live with the outcomes. Whether those will be what people expect is another matter altogether, of course. But in the meantime, there are serious riptides of feeling on both side; mutual incomprehension as to how the other side could feel and vote as they did, and an apparent conviction that to think differently is to be both wrong, and somehow tainted with all the worst aspects of the disliked side... and if we're not careful, those riptides could drown us all. At the moment it is hard to see how we can be expected to create a united kingdom, or a united states, with all the ill-feeling, name-calling and general loathing that is being thrown around. And I'm not immune to it - I've had my moments (lots of them) of absolute wonder at what's happening, and incomprehension as to how anyone else could think differently. And that's normal. But I refuse (okay... I'm trying to refuse) to name-call over it; to hate anyone for thinking differently, or to think less of them for doing so. It's bloody hard; I'm a very judgemental, very quick-tempered person, and that does not make for patient, serene understanding, I can tell you. So I'll leave you with this, which comes from Quaker Advices and Queries (which in turn comes from Quaker Faith and Practice), and which is what I'm trying to cling to and live as best I can at the moment:
Do you respect that of God in everyone though it may be expressed in unfamiliar ways or be difficult to discern? Each of us has a particular experience of God and each must find the way to be true to it. When words are strange or disturbing to you, try to sense where they come from and what has nourished the lives of others. Listen patiently and seek the truth which other people’s opinions may contain for you. Avoid hurtful criticism and provocative language. Do not allow the strength of your convictions to betray you into making statements or allegations that are unfair or untrue. Think it possible that you may be mistaken.
I think that pretty much says it all.
Thursday, 3 November 2016
But now it looks like the test may have died; I'm guessing the designer is dealing with real life stuff, so I don't want to be harsh on her, but the fact is that there's been no communication from her for about three weeks now - despite people asking questions, etc. And the thing is that we're waiting for corrections/updates for the sleeves, so people can't continue until we hear something. One person has already dropped out, and I've said I can't commit to any further deadline because I have too much stuff on now. The deadline was supposed to be 31st October, which was fine, but now... well, who knows? I've said I'm happy to continue testing the pattern once more information is received, but that I can't guarantee a completion date. It's a shame, as I loved the design, and I was enjoying knitting it, and I really wanted it to be done in time for going up to my family for Christmas (both to show off, and to keep snug - Scotland is not the warmest place in December!).
So really I'm just a bit frustrated. This year has not been good for test-knitting, between broken bones and everything else, and every time I've felt terrible that I've had to pull out of the test. And now, when it actually looked like I might be able to finish this one as well, there are problems on the other side of the testing equation. I hope the designer is okay, and I hope that she manages to get this gorgeous design out there into the public, because it really is lovely. It's just such a shame that things aren't working out right now.
*That is, no more test knits this year...
Monday, 31 October 2016
However... I'm also very like my mother, in that I like recipe books. I have a great many recipe books. I enjoy leafing through them, reading them, deciding which ones I'd like to make. And then, when I actually cook, seldom actually using a recipe at all. I blame genetics. It means that a lot of my cooking is a throw-it-in-and-see what happens (I got a really nice beef and tomato curry recently by doing that).
Today, I have soup in my slowcooker - not for dinner tonight (and unfortunately not for lunch today, as it wasn't ready when I got in). It's an attempt at tomato and lentil soup, which will be divvied up into me-size portions, and then frozen, so I can have soup for lunch as it gets colder. It should be healthy and nutritious, it's definitely cheap (I have no standards when it comes to buying tins of chopped tomatoes; the really cheap ones are fine), and it is smelling really, really good! Mine is literally 4 tins of el cheapo chopped tomatoes, "some" lentils (I just chucked them in until I thought it looked like enough), a veg stock pot, some water, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and garlic. Stir, and leave on low for the day for a good-smelling house and hopefully some good-tasting soup! (You could also add in a couple of teaspoons of Bovril (or supermarket equivalent) for extra flavour and nutrients, if wanted). I'll whiz mine up with a whizzy stick (hand blender, for the more technical among you), as I prefer my soups smoother and thicker a lot of the time.
My cooking today does not stop there, though; in an effort to combat my autumn/winter sluggishness and inability to get going in good time in the mornings, I'm making myself some breakfast bars - essentially flapjacks with dried fruit, nuts and seeds, and rather less sugar than usual. They're based heavily on the recipe from Nadia Sawalha's Greedy Girl's Diet book (found in a charity shop quite some time ago!), but altered to use what I had and what I could find.... I do use recipes sometimes, you see, but they're often guidelines rather than rules! They're also smelling tasty, and I'm hoping it'll make my mornings easier if I only have to grab one and take it to work with me to have with a mug of tea.
Sunday, 30 October 2016
All of which means... it's NaNo time again! Yep, it's about to be (well... in a day and a bit) National Novel Writing Month. For the whole of November,
This year I'm branching out a bit. I generally end up going for fantasy or "literary fiction" (whatever the hell that is), as those tend to be the strongest ideas I have. But this year, it's all about the sci-fi, post-apocalyptic genre. Oh, yes. I've never tried it before (and after November 30th, I may never try it again), but the idea is there, and it will be written. I'll be up until midnight tomorrow night (also Hallowe'en, which I love with all of my geeky gothy heart), just to write the first few words of the novel (I do this every year; it's a 'thing' now). And then, every day for 30 days, I will delving hard in the word mines, trying to meet my daily quota lest some dire fate should befall me.
(Also, I'll be using the time to write more of my thesis; I find creative writing can often make academic writing a little easier, as I'm in the writing zone already, and the time pressure of NaNo may as well be put to good use elsewhere.)
So... wish me luck?
Thursday, 27 October 2016
I seem to have been working on a lot of things recently that are fairly slow and time-consuming. That's fine, I'm not in any mad rush for any of them, but sometimes you just want something quick and easy, for a bit of instant (or near instant) gratification! This was on my mind today as I left work... and then I saw that my local fabric shop had pieces of fleece fabric quite cheaply (£1.99 for the cut piece), and I remembered that Mr Geekygoth had expressed a desire for a cushion he could put behind his back when he's driving. Upon further examination, it turned out that the fabric shop also sells cheap cushion pads (£2.10 for a 16"x16" cushion, and a bit firmer and less lumpy than if I stuff it myself), and it was clear what I was going to be doing this afternoon!
I hand sewed it; I know it would be faster using the sewing machine (and probably less, er, characterful), but my sewing machine isn't currently easily accessible, and there's always the hassle of clearing a space for it, so I couldn't be bothered. It didn't take long, and now he should be able to drive in more comfort.
Monday, 17 October 2016
I just found THIS on Ravelry, and my heart went pitter-patter. I squee'd a little. There was girlish, geeky, gothy glee.
Now, I've always shied away from colourwork in my knitting. Far too complicated for me; I'll never be able to do that, etc.
But I don't think I have ever seen a jumper I want more than this one.
So next year... next year, my big knitting challenge to myself will be to knit this jumper.
I can't wait!
Friday, 7 October 2016
Currently sitting at home, watching stuff on Iplayer (I love the BBC!), and knitting a hat (it's a Christmas present, of course, and going very quickly; maybe everyone should get hats!). Of course, I don't want my yarn rolling all over the place (not least because, frankly, we're a bit overdue for some vacuuming...). Given where I'm sitting, there's the possibility of it going under the coffee table, or one of the two sofas. I really can't be bothered rummaging around after it. So... Behold my improvised "yarn bowl" - one of the drawers of the coffee table! It's sharing space with our PS2 games and a random remote (no idea what that belongs to, oops). It seems quite happy in there, and I'm happy because I haven't got to keep picking it up. Genius!
(For anyone who's interested... The hat is Jamie).
Sunday, 2 October 2016
I have the same problem that I have every year at this time; I love autumn, it's one of my favourite seasons; I even love winter (although I prefer looking at it to being outside in it!). I love the changing colours, the bleakness, the cooler temperatures, the excuse to dig out all my knitted things and cosy up. I like the change to porridge for breakfast, and the need to drink much more tea to keep warm. I like the blustery winds and the sudden rain showers, the moody skies and the crisp mornings with a hint of woodsmoke in the air. Unfortunately, my ardent admiration for this time of year is not at all reciprocated. The change to cooler, damper weather makes my arthritis play up, and the darker mornings and evenings cause me to struggle massively. I've never been officially diagnosed with SAD, as I think it's just been lumped in with the normal depression, but it is definitely a problem. I struggle to get up, struggle to motivate myself, and constantly want to just hide away and take naps. In summer I wake early, and generally get up early, being reasonably alert and capable of doing things. Once the mornings become darker, and I start needing the light on when I get up.... well. Not so much. I struggle to wake up at all, and it is a real and difficult fight to get myself out of bed in time to achieve anything other than dressing and leaving the house in time for work. I can feel my mood becoming more withdrawn and darker, and it's hard to keep myself going during the day. Why I get like this I don't know; every year I look forward to autumn arriving, and every year it kicks me in the teeth when it does! (I also currently have the sniffles, which also tends to be a reaction to changing seasons. Hmph.)
But the wet days and dark evenings are good excuses for snuggling up with my knitting, so all is not doom and gloom! I finally managed to sort out the test knit; the pattern is absolutely fine, and I feel very ashamed of myself for being so impatient and stupid; it turned out that I simply hadn't received the charts that go with the pattern, which is why nothing was making sense to me! I had some problems downloading the email the designer sent, and presumably something got cast adrift in the ether at some point in the process. All sorted out now; I have the charts, and the cardigan is progressing nicely! I'm going to love it when it's finished; it's a gorgeous green, and I love the cabling.
Other knitting has been taking place in the form of another pair of (plain, sober) socks for my father for Christmas. His colourful ones are awaiting wrapping! I'm using DPNs for these ones, as I wanted to see how I got on with them as opposed to my normal magic loop, or the mini circular I used for the colourful ones. I definitely prefer DPNs to the mini circular; I think I'll get rid of that. I like magic loop, but... well, I knit nearly an entire leg and the heel yesterday, without working at it especially consistently or hard, and I think that's faster than I could have done with magic loop. I love the DPNs I'm using, and have just stuck the set (of standard sock-knitting sizes) on my wishlist for Christmas! I certainly find them much, much easier for doing flap-and-gusset heels; I've always struggled with those on the magic loop, which is probably why I've been experimenting with short row heels recently. But yesterday the heel whizzed by, and picking up the stitches for the gusset was a piece of cake*! Obviously if I want two-at-a-time I'll stick to my magic looping, but otherwise I may be a convert to the joys of sock-knitting on DPNs.
I've also been reintroducing foods this week, as my low FODMAP time has finished. So far wheat seems to be fine, so long as I don't overdo it, but I think dairy/lactose is a problem, so I'm going to cut down on that as much as possible. I have no intention of giving it up completely - perish the thought! - but cutting down and not having it too often or to much at a time is probably wise. Otherwise, so far so good!
*Speaking of which - the total raised for MacMillan by my coffee morning came to over £100. I'm pretty pleased!
Sunday, 25 September 2016
It's been a quiet day today, doing not very much! I'm still rather shattered after yesterday, so it's recovery time before work tomorrow.
Thinking I wanted something quiet and relaxing, but productive, to do, I decided to work on my other test knit; not the unending 4ply cardigan of doom, but the worsted cardigan that should be nice and quixk and easy (in comparison!). I'm knitting it in lovely yarn, in a pretty shaade of green. I'm excited about knitting it, because it's going to be snuggly and cosy and pretty; a neat trick, in my book!
I've tried, I really have. But I cannot, cannot understand what the pattern is getting at. I'm following it to the best of my ability and understanding, as any knitter would do, but I can already see that it's not coming out as it should. Now, an experienced knitter (which I'm not, particularly) may well be able to read the pattern, understand exactly what it means and intends, and be absolutely fine. And presumably, judging by the other testers, this is indeed the case. But - and maybe I'm wrong here, but I feel fairly strongly that I'm not - I don't feel they should have to. In my opinion, patterns should be presented in a way that is clearly laid out and easy to understand. Any knitter (within reason; maybe not if they've literally just picked up a pair of needles and some yarn for the very first time) should be able to look at that pattern and understand what's needed. Things should be explained fully and comprehensibly.
Unfortunately, in this case, it just isn't. And, as a test knitter for the pattern, I feel I've had to highlight this as a problem. But I don't like doing it; I don't like essentially having to say to someone "I'm sorry, but I feel your pattern needs completely rewriting." I have done it, and I've phrased it as nicely as I can, but I still feel bad about it. I think, though, that I'd feel worse if I didn't say anything, and the pattern was released while still being essentially unknittable (in my experience, and presumably I wouldn't be the only one). I just hope the designer feels the same way...
Saturday, 24 September 2016
I think MacMillan have been very clever in making it a big annual event; it's not complicated to join in, you don't have to pay to do it, there's no fundraising goal you're expected to meet, and it's a fun way to spend a morning - and you're raising money for a fantastic cause. I may do it again next year, if my husband is willing to put up with it all again! We're both rather shattered now; neither of us are the most outgoing and sociable of people, so it's rather exhausting for us to have so many people around for several hours, however much fun it is. And there's the clear-up afterwards, of course!
Knitting continues on the eternal demon 4ply cardigan... no, that's not fair; it's going to be a lovely cardigan. Eventually. One day. Maybe when I'm about 60. (It's taking forever!).
Friday, 23 September 2016
Gosh, I'm knackered! It's been a very busy day, and I still have a lot to do - but for now I'm allowing myself a sit down and a much needed cuppa!
Tomorrow morning I'm holding a MacMillan Coffee Morning, as part of their annual Big Coffee Morning event (I'm a bit early with mine, but never mind!). It raises money for an amazingly good cause, so being tired is well worth it. I've been baking nearly all day (and washing up when I haven't been baking) - six different types of cake, would you believe?! Chocolate Fudge, Victoria, Carrot, Lemon Drizzle, Red Velvet, and Banana Yoghurt. The baking's not perfect, and that was bothering me, but I'm trying to let go of that and concentrate on the fact they should taste good, and raise money, which is the important thing!
Of course, no knitting today, and as I still need to tidy and clean, it's not looking promising. I have, as always, far too many projects on the go, so it feels like I don't make progress on any of them! But I do... just slowly.
I did buy myself some sock yarn, though, and that arrived today... I've found a couple of patterns I like that need striping yarn, and despite my vast sock yarn stash, none of it was properly stripy! I found some Sirdar Heart & Sole on sale, so bought myself a few balls to play with. Can't wait to get started... but I need to finish other things first!
Sunday, 18 September 2016
Well, tomorrow I start the final week of my low-FODMAP diet purgatory. And thank f@#$ for that, say I! It's not been huge amounts of fun, that's for sure. Expensive, frustrating, downright annoying... but not fun. It has helped; I'm a lot better than I was, which is great, but I also know that this is not sustainable for ever. I'm hoping I can reintroduce most fruit and veg without issues, as I'm missing them very much. Wheat and lactose... well, I'll have to see how it goes. It might be that I simply cut down on them considerably (which isn't likely to do me any harm!), and hope that does the trick. I'll be much happier going lactose free than wheat free, if I have to give one up!
Still, I made a lasagne last night - GF lasagne sheets (from Marks and Spencer), and a wheat-and-dairy free cheese sauce (found in powder form in Morrisons; I make no apology for this) in place of the bechamel, and just a teeny sprinkling of cheddar on top (I'm allowed a very small amount of hard cheese). And for pudding, there was the remains of my 'icecream'. All suitable for me, and people seemed to enjoy it.
Today I'm baking some flapjack type things for myself, which will become breakfast or snacks during the week. I've made the recipe up completely, so goodness knows what they'll be like! For anyone who might be interested, the "recipes" for the icecream and flapjacks are below.
Knitting continues, with test knits and Christmas presents progressing nicely!
A tub of frozen mixed berries
A good squeeze of honey
A good couple of sloshes of almond milk (or preferred alternative)
1/2 - 1 tsp mixed spice
Whizz it all up together, and pour into a freezable container with a lid. Freeze, stirring every hour or so, until it's completely frozen. Enjoy!
(Ifound that this froze very solid indeed, and needed a good half hour to defrost before it could be served!)
2 dessertspoons peanut butter (smooth or chunky, as you like)
A good squeeze of honey
c. 30-40g of ground almonds (optional)
2 eggs (beaten)
A couple of good sloshes of milk/milk alternative
c. 50-75g GF self-raising flour
Enough oats (GF if needed) to turn the mixture to a thick-but-pourable consistency
Mash the bananas with the honey, peanut butter, ground almonds and honey. Add the eggs and milk and beat together. Stir in the flour, and then add the oats a bit at a time until the right consistency is reached. Pour into a lined baking tin, and bake at 180°C until golden and cooken through (around 20-30 minutes). Cut into squares while still hot, leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then leave to cool on a baking rack.
Thursday, 1 September 2016
You know, I seem to remember having made some sort of declaration about test knitting. I believe it may have been something along the lines of not doing any more after I finish the current one.
I honestly meant it. Really, I did. I'm aware that I put a lot of pressure on myself about them, and I don't need that right now; there are far too many other things that I'm putting pressure on myself about! So i was going to finish my current test knit - a nice little cardigan, simple but pleasing; you can see my progess below - and then have a break, at the very least. And then... then I saw another test knit open. And I fell completely in love with the design, and yes, I'm test knitting it. It's a gorgeous snuggly hooded cardigan, with big relaxed cables on the back and sleeves. I'm doing it in the yarn below - Rowan Pure Wool Worsted, in shade 126 (Forest). I seem to be having a bit of a green phase at the moment! It'll knit up faster than the 4ply, at least?
Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Sunday, 21 August 2016
Tuesday, 16 August 2016
I'm on the second day on my low-FODMAP diet. It kind of feels like longer! Still, some interesting things have arisen already...
It turns out I actively prefer almond milk to normal milk on my cereal. Not so much in my tea, but it's drinkable.
I made gluten free bread. The first loaf, done in the bread machine, was a disaster. No rise, and so heavy that if I'd dropped it on my foot I would probably have broken some bones! It went in the bin, oddly enough. I tried again with a different recipe, made by hand, and although the loaves were still very small, they were baked properly and the texture is much better. So I've had chicken sandwiches for the last couple of days, and they've been.... okay. Edible. I miss being able to have a yoghurt, though!
I'm trying to make myself a sort of ice cream at the moment... all things I can have, so Ican have a bit of a treat when I want one. As far as I can tell, it's low-FODMAP, gluten free and vegan!
Frozen Banana Delight
1 very ripe banana
A large teaspoon of peanut butter
A small amount of syrup or sugar, if wanted
A good splosh of almond milk.
Mash it all up together, and put in the freezer. Take it out every so often, stir it, and put it back in, until it's completely frozen. Consume!
(I think most of this is customisable... I might try almond butter next time, for example, and you could use whichever non-dairy milk you prefer).
Sunday, 14 August 2016
Thursday, 11 August 2016
This has not been the relaxing, productive week off that I had hoped for. We've had a lot of problems with our gas meter (it's a pay-as-you-go), which dragged on for a few days, causing lots of phonecalls and hassle and annoyance. It is, in theory, sorted out now, so that's something.
I have, at least, managed to get some knitting done. I've already completed one of my Ravellenic entries - a nifty little cowl that looks like an artfully draped shawl from the front. And I've started another one, a nice slouchy hat in the loveliest, softest yarn ever! And the best bit is that they're both Christmas presents for friends, so I'm doing well on that front... and I think it's going to work well to combine Ravellenics with present-making in the future, too. I get the fun of "competing" (which is a thing that only interests me if I am essentially competing against myself rather than other people, for some reason), and the pleasure of knowing I'm making progress on things that need doing, rather than panicking later in the year!
The hat is a Wurm (I clearly like this pattern, as this is the third or fourth time I've knit it!). The yummy, scrummy, silky soft yarn is Debbie Bliss Andes, in the purple colour. Discontinued, alas; why do the gorgeous yarns always get discontinued?!
Monday, 8 August 2016
I'm at the beginning of a week off work, and it feels pretty blissful! Don't get me wrong - I really like my job, the people I work with and the company I work for. But sometimes it's nice to have a break!
I have few fixed plans for the week. At the tail end of it, we're going to the Shrewsbury flower show, courtesy of my lovely in-laws; I'm looking forward to it, but I need to remember to pack a good supply of pollen pills... (Or antihistamines, as I gather most people call them). I'll work on the PhD stuff, of course... I'd like to get some letters written, as I'm horribly behind on my correspondence (I always feel so pretentious saying that, but it's true!). I'll be knitting, of course. Otherwise, no real plans.
I do like writing letters (and getting them, naturally), and I do have a weakness for pretty stationery (ugh, my brain's gone blank and I can't remember if that's the correct spelling!). I got these in The Works (it often has pretty writing sets, if you're interested), and was carefully setting up all my letters yesterday, when I saw it - 10 envelopes (yep, that's normal), and 10 sheets of paper! What?! That's not right! Writing sets (in my reasonably extensive experience) generally have 10 envelopes and 20 sheets of paper, which makes much more sense. Who only uses one sheet to write a letter?! And yes, I know I can always supplement the pretty with some normal plain paper (as I frequently do, as my handwriting isn't especially tiny and I often need more than two sheets of paper). But still, I expected two pretties per letter! I realise I'm far too indignant about this, and really for the price I paid I shouldn't complain.... but I am, if only on here.
Sunday, 7 August 2016
I've never taken part before, but this year I thought.. why not? I'll be knitting anyway, so I may as well! So I've entered the sock category, shawl category and the WIP category. Given that some people knit entire jumpers in the time period, I think my aims are pretty modest!
I've started the socks already (and the WIP, of course!). I found a lot of sock yarn on sale a while ago... and while I'm fairly helpless in the face of sock yarn generally, I'm almost totally helpless in the face of sock yarn on sale. So I bought some... but unfortunately two of the colours I liked only had one ball each. So - ankle socks. I'm trying the picot edge for the first time (time consuming, a bit fiddly, but so very pretty!!), and doing shortrow heels. I'm still experimenting with heel types; I like the ease of knitting the shortrow heels, but I'm not sure how well they'll wear.
Saturday, 6 August 2016
1) I'm 34, female and married. No children, yet.
2) I love fibre crafts - I knit, crochet (not as well as I knit, as I'm very much a beginner), and am learning to spin.
3) I also enjoy embroidery, and making clothes (again, I'm still learning).
4) I'd really like to try weaving.
5) I work (part-time) and study (also part-time, at least in theory).
6) I'm in the (hopefully!) last stages of my PhD in archaeology.
7) I love creative writing, and have at least 3 finished or mostly finished novels hanging around.
8) I do NaNoWriMo most years.
9) I would absolutely love to be published, but I'm scared to try as I don't think my writing is good enough.
10) My husband has had a book published; I'm simultaneously massively proud of him, and slightly down-hearted because I can't see it ever happening for me.
11) I really enjoy knitting socks.
12) I may have a slight sock yarn problem. In the same way that Hemingway might have had a bit of a drinking problem.
13) I mostly wear black, because I like it, although I occasionally branch out into purples and reds.
14) Despite 13, I really like wearing bright, colourful socks.
15) I think it might be hereditary; my father also loves bright socks.
16) I also have a deep love of sparkly sock yarns. They make me happy.
17) I am vaguely trying to introduce a bit more colour into my wardrobe by having accessories in colour (shawls, hats, socks, etc).
18) I enjoy knitting shawls, but I'm not totally convinced that I'm the shawl-wearing type (at least, not the full on shawls).
19) I'm not very tall, and definitely not slender, both of which I think helps immensely with shawl-wearing (for most people; I have seen exceptions to this, of course).
20) I like cooking and baking, and people tell me that I am good at these things; I'm not much on presentation, though!
21) I suffer from depression and anxiety; it makes things really hard sometimes, but I try to just get on with it most of the time.
22) I find that crafting helps a lot with 21, and I will always make at least a bit of time for it.
23) I love the fact that my mother also knits, sews, etc, and that we can sit and knit together; it means a lot to me to have that connection.
24) I even don't mind that she's much, much better at knitting than I am ever likely to be.
25) I enjoy gardening, although I'm not terribly good at it.
26) I desperately want a cat (or two), but we're still renting so it's not going to happen yet.
27) Despite being (I suspect) inherently lazy, I love spending time outdoors - especially in woods or by water.
28) However, I also love spending a day curled up with plenty of tea (and cake, for preference), and a pile of books to read.
29) Books. Books, books, books, books, books. I love reading. Love it. I also read quite quickly. I'm like a .303 bookworm.
30) I enjoy yoga, but I'm not very good at it (yet). Also, I really feel that mirrors shouldn't exist in yoga studios. Who the hell wants to see the contrast between cool, flexible, slender teacher, and their red-faced, sweating, lumpy selves? Or maybe that's just me...
31) I'm a massive fan of David Attenborough. The man is verging on God-like, in my opinion.
32) Did I mention that I love reading? No, really - I love it enough for it to easily be worth two slots on this. Doing my research is probably my favourite part of the PhD.
33) I've started going to Quaker meetings. I can see it continuing, and possibly even me becoming a full member one day.
34) I like tattoos and piercings.
35) I'm yearning for a pair of the new willow pattern Doc Martens.
36) I can't swim properly, but wish very much that I could.
37) I'm not a 'girly girl', but I do love having pretty nails, and have a decent collection of nail polishes. There are quite a few variations of black, purple and red in there.
38) I really like vintage styles, especially the 1940s and 1950s. I particularly like goth versions of these styles! However, I lack the confidence to wear them.
39) I really don't like the heat. Even though cold and damp set my arthritis off, I'd rather that than be too warm.
40) Spring and Autumn are my favourite seasons. I seem to like the changing times.
41) I'm terrible for having loads of craft projects on the go at the same time, and rarely finishing things (except socks).
42) I have a weakness for vintage style brooches, and regret that I didn't keep any of my Gran's - unfortunately I didn't appreciate them then!
43) I'm terrified of speaking in public - any sort of presentation or conference paper gives me panic attacks.
44) I enjoy role-playing (tabletop rather than LARP, although I have done that in the past), and board games.
45) A perfect evening with my husband is a nice dinner, followed by listening to Classic FM while we play something like backgammon and discuss things like history or theology. Yes, we are secretly about 60.
46) I'd really like to try falconry.
47) I don't like alcohol much, but if I do drink, I favour mead, cider, or rose wine. Or blackberry and elderflower Pimms!
48) I cherish the fact that I can have intense discussions with my husband and friends about things that we don't necessarily agree on, and that's fine, and we haven't fallen out by the end of it. That's how ideas and people grow.
49) I really enjoy watching period dramas and murder mysteries, as well as all sorts of documentaries.
50) One day I will finish reading "Paradise Lost". Honest.