Monday, 27 February 2006

I tried, I really did.

So, yesterday being the last day of the knitting Olympics, I woke up in the morning, ran to the sofa and knitted like a demon. I phoned my mum and dad about 11am, and the reaction I had was, 'what on earth are you phoning us for? You should be knitting', you haven't got time to chat!'

Crikey, when did it get so serious? Others phoned to check on my progress, Anth brought me tea, and food so I only had to move when I wanted the toilet. By about 11.30 am I still had half the hood to go, no problem I thought. I'll get this done my 1, then I can do a sleeve in 4 hours then start the second at 6. At 3pm the rugby started, now unable to move because I was glued to the sofa, I had to put up with screaming men watching Wales loose spectacularly. Its hard to cable when there are men screaming at the TV.

By 8pm YES! 8 pm! When desperate housewives was starting, I was sewing up the hood. That's how long the damned thing took me ( I forgot how slow my knitting was). By then I still was hoping I could knit the sleeves into the early hours. By 9pm, I was having trouble telling what stitches were meant too be knitted, and what were meant to be purled. I had to admit I had been defeated, but not for want or trying.

But its not bad considering I started my submission 6 days late. I'm going to struggle with the motivation to finish the sleeves though.

I do believe I have experienced what I now officially call 'cabled post-traumatic stress disorder'. The best way to avoid this is to have breaks at least every two hours.

You know you have this if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

1) You can't remember which chart you are meant to be following.

2) You become confused about whether a stitch is meant to be a knit or a purl stitch...what the hell is knit and purl anyway?

3) You are confused about whether you are meant to be knitting from the right or left side of the chart, despite the fact that there are arrows pointing each step of your way.

4) Every time you look at the cabled symbol on your chart and you then go to check it on your instructions, it automatically switches into the opposite in your head, you end up knitting the wrong one and spend 45 minutes trying to work out why the sequence isn't working.

5) You've got to the end of your cabled sequence thing,  and it says there is another cable to work on your chart, you go back, frog the damned thing and then..... then the cables stitches that precede it untwist. Now you have no idea where the hell you are. Not to mention that because you were being the good conscientious knitter you are, you scribbled out each line as you finished it, now not only do you not know what line you are on, you couldn't read it even if you wanted to.

6) The cables on the chart start to dance around the page and won't keep still.

7) The frustration of dropping/loosing your cable needle down the side of the sofa, means you use any needle you can get your hands on, once these are all lost, you start using your pen as a cable needle, you loose that too; you cry.

8) You family start to get worried because you appear stressed. In order to pacify you, they ask you if you would like a cup of tea. You reply completely out of character, by screaming at them: Don't they understand that Ice skaters in the Olympics don't get interrupted in the middle of a routine and get asked if they want a cup of tea? That would be ridiculous. Surely they can read your mind and know when you are in the middle of something difficult, don't ask me, just bring the bloody tea.

Suffice to say that I am now in cable denial.

I never want to see another cable as long as I live.

In favour of cables, I have no aches in my hands, I guess because knitting the cables interrupts the rows of knitting.

I do have to say that the rogue pattern is the best written pattern I have ever knitted. The instructions are superb and perfect, there was no ambiguity and no mistakes what so ever. Even for someone like me who has a tendency to pervert all patterns by accident. Not this one. If you want to knit something cabled, knit this one, its superb.

So here's the picture of it in its unfinished state. I just noticed there is a difference in colour at the bottom, its more red than the rest. Bothered? Does this look like a bothered face?


I hate the variegation of the yarn though, it doesn't allow you too see the cables very well. The yarn wasn't meant to be variegated it was the result of a dyeing accident, and very little time.

It looks good on, I'll post a pic on once the sleeves are done.

Saturday, 25 February 2006

They said yes!

They finally accepted our offer!!!! Progress on rogue is slightly interupted because I'm running around the house screaming with excitment. Anth says he will only get excited when we have the keys in our hands, so I am am doubling my excitment efforts for the both of us.

Photo of rogue when there actually looks like there is a difference in the kntting, still not onto the hood yet. AHHHHHHH! Knit woman, knit for your life!

Thursday, 23 February 2006

The happiest dyslexic in the world!

I've just had the most wonderful realisation when I read Yarn Harlots blog. The end of the olympics is sunday not tomorrow!!!!! Oh my gosh I've got the whole weekend to finish my rogue. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was convinced that the 26th was tomorrow and I was a little dissapointed that I wouldn't finish, but now my hope has been renewed!! I really think I can do it. If I finish off the 'v' thing and the hood tonight and tomorow, that means that I can do a sleeve sat and a sleeve sun!!! Wohoo!

How exciting.

Talking of completely getting my dates wrong. I was so proud of myself because whilst purchasing my mothers birthday card on monday I saw the sign that said 'mothers day march the 26th'. I was shocked, the 26th? Thats sunday surely. I must get her the card today and send it off, then I won't forget! So I being very proud of myself that I was so organised I popped it in the post with the birthday card.

*Note to self: how can I think that it was the 26th on sunday and not connect that I thought the Olympics finished on the 26th which I thought was on can my brain be so fragmented, its bizarre.*

Then on the phone in the evening the next day, I said to mum, 'did you get the other card as well, The mothers day one' I said excitedly. There was a silence, mum said; 'no darling not yet, what was that, another birthday card?', 'no' I said 'the mothers day card for sunday, you musn't open it before then' I said. Then mum said. 'I don't think its mothers day yet jen' Oh! then I twigged I had the wrong month, we laughed alot. I do things like that alot, hehe. Thank goodness I didn't order the big bunch of flowers, I was so close!

The fact that there is only one cable mistake on my rogue is a small miracle. Honest.

Wednesday, 22 February 2006

What is going on?

Not much knitting stuff today so don't read if you only want knitting.

Whats odd, is that I used to censor what I wrote in my blog because I worry about being honest, when you have a business  you sort of feel pressured to give a certain impression, I'm bored of doing that, now I'm being me again, as a consequence I get loads more comments. Thanks guys, I love em!

Ok, my life is filled with such polarised things at the moment its all a bit strange.

So. The house people? They said no. THEY SAID NO. Thats the wrong answer. Sorry but it just is. We can't afford any more money. But I want that house. No, thats putting it too mildly, I walked in and I knew it was mine. I just know! So I'm not really sure what will happen next. But it will be mine. no kiddin, but I'm not going to pay any more money than we can afford. But that house will be mine. Watch this space.

Not much progress on rogue, but tonights the night!! I don't think i'll get it all done in time though, still i'll never give up.

I'm so excited about the knitting research, I can hear whispers of Phd in the back somewhere. That will only happen if I can be paid what I get now. But I'm realising that nothing is impossible anymore. Especially things as simple as houses! Cough cough.

Tuesday, 21 February 2006

experiments and knitting

What a day I'm having.

last night I found the house. The house I absolutely have to have. It's beautiful. I put a lower offer in because we can't afford the higher one. They said no. Family offered to help out a bit because they all love the house and so we've put in a second offer. I hope its accepted, I can't bear the waiting.

As a result of going to see the house at 4pm and not being able to leave because I loved it so much, I missed my bosses who were checking my ethics proposal for the knitting experiment. I managed to get in touch with the woman who deals with it, she said as long as I handed it in at 10.30 this morning it would still be OK. So I came to work especially early, 9.15am to be precise, to be here when my bosses could hand over the goods. No where to be seen, (they are very busy people) and to cut a long story short at 12pm my legs had gone numb and I was trying not to cry. I missed the deadline, no research could be carried out at the show in Olympia. In desperation Anth pushed me in the lift, took me to the floor, and flung me through the door of the woman, and told me to start begging.

I did, and told her it was my life's work. Well it is really, its the most exciting thing I've ever initiated. She looked at me sternly and said: I'm very busy today and lucky for you I haven't had time to send the proposals off'. You have an hour. I muttered something about kissing her and flew down the corridor to my bosses office to bang the door down.

He was there and had the stuff and signed it. Then I said, 'you need to sign that one', (the one that says principle researcher i.e. the person whose research it is), and he replied, no. That's you.

I am the principle researcher, I've never been that ever in my little life. The sun streamed through the window at that moment and the beginning of the Simpson's music started playing. (listen to the bit where they sing 'the Simpson's at the beginning its very up lifting.) Suffice to say I'm happy.

I'm so happy I don't even mind that I partook in an experiment that required dyslexic people and was completely humiliated because I can't do logic puzzles. 'Thats the point' the experimenter said, 'thats a classic dyslexic trait, I don;t care about whether you have the answer right or not, just how you worked it out.'

Note to self, if study requires dyslexic, forget it, even if it is to help out fellow collegues. : heres an example for you:

  All darts players are swimmers.

Some swimmers are whales.

What follows next? Some whales might be darts players???? I don't get it. (thats not a real example by the way).

So I'm going to have a late lunch break in town and get some sushi to celebrate and buy my mom a birthday present.

PS rogue progress going OK. knitting armholes. But need to be on sleeves really.

Monday, 20 February 2006

Olympic knitting experiments.

I just finished writing my ethics proposal for the knitting experiment at Olympia. All rather exciting really. and guess what? There is some serious progress on rogue:


Interestingly the cable on the other side looks slightly different. However seeing as I have got this far and the cable *difference* is at the bottom, there is no way I am frogging this thing. Not only that but I quite like the alternative cable. so its A-symmetry is staying. Lets just say cognitively; I'm flexible. Oooh! There's a knitting experiment hint.

Houses, turn away if houses bore you.

The house I went to see Friday? Well, the estate agent was 45 minutes late, and for once I do believe I was really quite relieved. A group of teenagers cycled up the road and started throwing stones at the cars and windows of the houses. Yes! Really! In front of us. I felt quite scared. Suffice to say, I am deleting that area of our list.

Having now looked for a total of 4 weeks or something like that I am changing tack. I booked in to see a load of gorgeous houses about £10,000 more than  we can afford and you know what? the difference in the houses and the areas are astounding. I've decided that being cheeky is not going to kill me. So I am going to keep looking at these lovely houses and offer them exactly what I can afford.  They can only say no, can't they.

Friday, 17 February 2006

Proud owner of a cable

So heres my olympic progress of rogue today:


'Hmm' you might be saying, she's only knitted about 3 inches. Well...yes....but I'm not giving up. I will knit furiously tonight and tomorrow and sunday. The cables were doing my head in, but its ok. I can do it I'm convinced.

I've got a 2 new yarns for the shop. These ones are only available from my shop.

The first is a super duper soft alpaca and silk blend. This stuff is so soft. I will work on some patterns for this because its super:


The second is a limited edition boucle, again British wool and very soft and snuggly.


I'll add more colours at the weekend, inbetween knitting rogue.

Getting excited about the house viewing tonight. The house is in an area, where in places can be a little rough, and I have been told that one street can be very different to the next. So if we like it and want to put an offer in, sat night we will go and buy chips and sit and eat them in the street in the car and see how rowdy the street is.

PS anyone going to Olympia?

I'm going to be running a huge research project there on the stitchlinks stand! Please come and Join in!

Thursday, 16 February 2006

I've started my olympic entry!!!!


Here is the progress on rogue so far:

I'm stuck already, and need some help. I've completed row 3 and increased the 3 stitches into each stitch,  and  done the increases on row 4 of chart A, but the pattern rows above don't work for the number of stitches I've increased. I don't get it. Please please someone explain.

** added later, thanks for the help, I figured it out now.**

According to anth, my olympic challenge, is to stick to the pattern and make no alterations.

And here is some yummy hand spun I bought from Lainezinzin its lush.


I've been in the process of buying a house for about 3 weeks now.  I hate it so much.

The problem I have is that for the price we can afford, there is always something wrong with the houses we go to see, either that they are falling down, have no planning permission for extensions, or have no flippin kitchen. AHHHHHHH! Its actually doing my head in.

If I had no hobby's/business then I could find some 2 up 2 down, no problem, or if I wanted to live in the valleys on a mountian, in a miners cottage in the middle of no-where then again we would be fine. BUT I DON'T! I want a big house where I can have a big art room, and have a large dining table so I can have people to stay and come for dinners, and a garden I can actually sit in. I want to live surrounded by the cosmopolitan culture that encompasses cardiff, and makes it the amazing place it is. If I want to go to my favourite japanese restuarant, I don't want to travel 20 miles. A bit much you may be asking. NO! I refuse out right to believe that there isn't a house just waiting for me out there. I may have to accept that we need to have house which needs work....which is the conclusion I'm coming to. But hey.

Property viewing no squillion tomorrow at 5pm. Big house. Bad decor. Please please let it be OK........

Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Valentines knitting

So look what I had for valentines!!!


I've always wanted a heart shaped box of chocolates like in the movies. Anth saved them from his US trip, how thoughtful. he's taking me out for lunch to the vege cafe around the corner. Then the pictures tonight and a curry. He knows me so well.

I was struggling what to get anth for today, and I was wandering around the Coop last night, a bit desperate, and came upon a box of Mr kiplings cherry pies. Anth loves cherrys, and he loves pies. Perfect I thought! He was splitting his sides this morning with laughter when I gave them to him, I really have no idea why.

What else? Nearly finished the hat which needs to be photgraphed today, only a very simple hat, once thats done I can start on my olympic challenge!!!

No computer news yet, seems as if my computer stuff is complicated.

Monday, 13 February 2006

what can I say?

Well, the wool is over - dyed. It's plummy and brown, I didn't really want anything variegated for rogue, but hey, that's what I do best.

So the wool is nearly dry, but I still can't cast on.......I need to finish a hat pattern by tomorrow, so obviously I need to finish knitting the hat. BUT Tomorrow night I will be casting on and knitting like a demon.

So, back looking for houses, and found a couple of potentials, and feel excited again instead of exasperated. There is one especially with a huge garage, perfect for a workshop, but it's a row of cottages amongst a sort of industrial estate. The view is nice, but they might build, so I'll have to research that one a bit.

On another note, my laptop with the whole content of my business has died. Yep! with all my patterns, invoices, business info. Well obviously I backed it all up didn't I? Actually....... not for three months...... I sort have been meaning to do it for ages, but just didn't seem to get around to it. As a result I'm feeling queasy again this morning. The techies have it and are trying to save my hard drive. I said I'd knit them socks and a hat. They said if I did, they wouldn't fix my computer. No appreciation. None.

Anth keeps telling me that after great difficulties comes great good fortune. I'm holding onto that really tightly.

ooh ooh ooh! one last thing before I go and heat my Heinz tomato soup up is, that I have new yarns, only available from the fyberspates shop. Hopefully I'll take pics soon and upload them into the shop. Alpaca and silk........fluffy soft boucle......yum, yum, yum.

Saturday, 11 February 2006

Olympic entry no1

Holy shmolies! The guns done off and I still haven't got my flippin trainers on, let alone my getting to the first hurdle, so I decided that if I dyed the wool for rogue today, then it would be dried by tomorrow and I could get started. But no of course it never works like that. I dyed the wool, but I the colour so isn't me, it was meant to be so much darker but because I was being cautious, I dyed loads which resulted in less depth of colour.

Want to see it? Well your going to anyway:


Of course I can over dye it no problem at all, but I ran out of acid, oh yes only today!

I went to the supermarket for emergency supplies, ended up spending a fortune on the most bizarre food, and guess what? I forgot the vinegar. So the yarn will have to stay like that until tomorrow. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

So if I finish this it'll be a miracle. However, I like a challenge!

What else? ohhh! New yarn coming for the shop, but that depends on acid as well, so ...... and thanks for all the really helpful comments on the house. I really appreciate your feedback. We have given up on that house because I feel it is too dodgy, we might never be able to sell it again, still on the bright side, a house has come up in the village I really wanted to live in, and it needs a little updating so is in our budget, V exciting. We are viewing it wed.

Off to take my Japanese lodger to the cinema to see Brokeback mountain and give her the experience of Caroline street in Cardiff afterwards, when we will have chicken curry and chips off the floor. Just don't ask why its called that ok! Lets put it this way, if you ever come to Cardiff, you have to have the experience just once, especially on a saturday night with all the drunk people. Its great fun. Honest!

Thursday, 9 February 2006

need some house advice/help!

This house I want to buy is complicated. The reason its wonderful is because the kitchen is huge. Just found out that the 'kitchen extension' does not have planning permission, nor has it had buildings regulations approval. I know it's sound because bob the builder said it was fine, the solicitor said that they will give us an insurance policy that will cover the eventuality that we have to take it down and put it back as it was if the local authority said so.

Any thoughts/ experiences with this type of thing?

I live in cardiff UK, if that makes any difference.

Wednesday, 8 February 2006

I'm feeling a bit sick now....

I do an exercise regime (when I can be arsed) called British Military Fitness. Its hard, you have to roll around in the mud and god knows what, in the dark, it hurts, they shout at you. So In anticipation of struggling, I Just ate; two packs of marks and Spencer's sushi, a large granola yogurt, and a very sickly chocolate flapjack. I feel queasy. I think that defeats the object of exercise.

They accepted the lower offer on the house, and today the survey is being done! Hooray!

Oh and I have been doing some knitting:


Its the same pattern as the last cardigan, I loved it so much I'm making another one. It's called Louise, from Noro knits by Jane Ellison. As usual I have to convert the pattern because I'm making it with different yarn, it may come out a little smaller than the other one, but hopefully I'll get away with it.

As for the jayne hat, I'm currently in denial.

Research is ticking along nicely, had a few more people sign up. I'm dyeing to analyze the data.

I think there should be an article on knitting and therapy in the march simply knitting with me in it I hope, anyone got it yet? I should really subscribe!

Sale is still on, oh and I added some hand dyed feather boa's to the store, they are lush!

Monday, 6 February 2006

Houses and hats.

So firstly I just got an email from Anth, who works 5 doors down from me on our corridor, with this :

'No pressure. Really.

Cold head? Me?'

And with this attached:


What I didn't tell you is that he wants it made of hand dyed, hand spun yarn. Seeing as the yarn for rogue hasn't arrived yet, this could replace my knitting Olympics submission, because I'll have to dye and spin the wool and then design the hat, because anth doesn't like the design of the other patterns, he wants it exactly like this one.

On a house note, I asked a builder friend to look at the house, there is some work that needs to be done to the roof, and so I have made a slightly lower offer, more than the builder suggested, but I'm not going to take advantage. Now I just hope it is accepted. This has to be one of the most stressful things I have ever done. I have organised the whole thing on my own, builders and all, so I guess I am quite proud of myself.

Its just the waiting.....

Saturday, 4 February 2006

Treats from the US

I do believe my husband actually listens to my knitting talk. On returning from his trip from LA, he presented me with presents, so obviously I grabbed the bag eagerly and tipped the contents onto the table, only to find a large skein of bright green acrylic from wall-mart. It was accompanied by fudge from Hollywood, so there was some compensation, here's a picture:


Trying my hardest not to look disgusted at his lack of judgment and taste (we are talking about the yarn now) he started rolling around on the floor with laughter. He knew it was not the yarn gift I was looking for and was really teasing me very much. (I do have to point out here, that stuff is extremely soft, any one got any ideas what I can use it for?)

SO then he grinned and got out the next present:


HE said that he tried his hardest to find a yarn store but couldn't and when he went to wall mart to get me the acrylic skein he was pleasantly surprised to find these, and even GET THIS!!!: Even chose the skeins with the patterns on the labels for a hat and scarf or waistcoat, (obviously I will make a couple of scarfs) and chose the right number of balls so I could choose what I wanted to make. He did choose the right colours as well, and there is no acrylic to be seen.

I love him, I really do.

Obviously there was also Hershey chocolate which, sorry to people who like it; tastes like baby sick to me. Its not chocolate, that's all I'm gonna say.

There were stripey socks from rodeo drive as well with angora in them and tee shirts.

:-) Oh and he loves the house, except there is a small problem which his dad noticed, somebody has knocked two rooms into one and haven't put a supporting beam in between, so the house could potentially fall down. But my friend bob the builder is taking a look at it Monday and see how fixable it is and we will drop the offer if its not too bad, because I really love the house.

OK, off to do some more dyeing and photo some more yarn for the sale

Thursday, 2 February 2006

I've got treats!

I do beleive my husband is the best, he got me knitting treats from the US.

Pic's later.