Archive for October, 2007

A week in pictures:

Posted by on Oct 18 2007 | General Ramblings

Busy busy busy…

A little ‘slip’ in stash enhancement courtesy of Aileen‘s stash sale.

An inability to work a simple garter stitch edging.

2 hours de-tangling cashmere sock yarn

There is a large black spider underneath the water bottle. I put the bottle on top of it. All by myself.

Honesty Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye.

Yarn Bra? Hay-on-Wye.

Hikes in the Brecon Beacons. (photo stolen from The Gurrier)

Rhubarb crumble. Delicious.

Portmeirion in the rain.

Cappuccino with good friends.


Not pictured, and I have no idea why: Drinks and a visit to St Fagans with Chris, the ferry journey to and from Wales, the lovely cottage we stayed in, the delicious beer we drank (proper beer (ie Ale) is hard to find in Ireland), all the delicious food we ate, Cheryl‘s lovely new home in the Dublin mountains, and much, much more.

It’s been a busy week, and I don’t see a let up in the fun just yet.

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Clearing out

Posted by on Oct 07 2007 | General Ramblings

I’m having a clear out. We’ve got rid of my desk, and right now the floor is covered in stuff. Piles of paper, photos, cards, tickets to gigs, stationery, etc etc etc.

I’m trying to be brutal. Some things will need to stay handy. Some things can be thrown away (the shredder is my friend). Some things can be boxed up and stored. And some things are going to charity.

This is my walkman. I last used it a couple of years ago when I had cassettes to listen to for my Open University course. I will probably never use it again. However, I’m very attached to it.

I bought it in Sheffield I think in 1999, when I’d finished studying and was working like an absolute maniac (averaging 60odd hours a week doing data entry. One week I did 80 hours but that almost killed me, despite half of it being at time and a half rate pay) to save up to go live in New Zealand for a year. Buying something so expensive and top of the range was a real treat. I love this because it’s shiny and purple*, because it’s really compact (ok, not compared to my ipod nano, but compared to my previous cassette playing thing), because it has a really lovely opening mechanism, and because I used it so much. It was an extravagance but one that I got great value from, and it’s been sitting in my desk drawer for ages, not being used, just taking up space.

The thing is – will a charity shop even want it? Is there a market for this sort of thing any more? I just don’t know. If I could think of anyone who’d use it I’d happily send it off to a new home. It works fine, comes with a rechargeable battery, charger, adaptor for a regular battery, earphones with remote control, and even the instructions. Anyone? Anyone?

Sigh. Getting rid of things is hard. I get too attached to stuff.

Back to it though.


1am, Edited to add: I don’t think I can do it. I don’t think I can give it away. Sigh. Anyone fancy a Sony CD Walkman though? I can part with that very easily.


*I like purple things. I also have the purple stereo that was a much appreciated 18th birthday present. I still use it and love it.

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The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Posted by on Oct 05 2007 | Books

This was a birthday gift, and I saved it for holiday reading, which turned out to be a good idea – once I got hooked I couldn’t stop and I’m not sure I would have got a lot of anything done if I’d started them in my normal life. This is a collection of 5 kids books, in one edition – the books are definitely kids books, not ‘crossover’ fiction in the way that Philip Pullman’s wonderful ‘His Dark Materials’ books are.

They start off with a touch of the Famous Five about them, but then get much, much deeper, and darker at times too. I really loved the great English legends running through them – King Arthur and Merlin – I would have loved these books as a kid. I do now, but I can imagine how I would have lost myself in them then. They feel like walks on a wet and windy beach followed by mugs of hot tea and toast with butter in front of a roaring fire.

The movie of the second book is coming out soon, but by all accounts the story’s been mashed to pieces, with the main character turning from an eleven year old English boy to a fourteen year old American, among many other things. It’s so unnecessary – his age is important, as it makes the task he has to face that wee bit bigger, and making him American will take away from the Englishness of the books, which I find a real shame. It also suggests that the makers didn’t feel that American audiences would have any interest in an English lead, which I find a bit, well, weird. So, despite the film starring Ian McShane (Lovejoy!) and Christopher Eccleston, I’ll be avoiding it. If you’re going, get your kids to read the book first!

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On hobbies, and friending, and writing, and things…

Posted by on Oct 04 2007 | General Ramblings

Forgive me, I’m feeling a little introspective, and I’ve been thinking a lot about writing, and friends, and online social networks, and how I relate to them all.

This week I was asked if I’d go along and join in a new activity. As much as I think it would be fun I’m on a self imposed new-hobby ban, until I can figure out how to fit all the knitting and sewing and baking and writing and reading in and still have time left over for a little exercise, sleep, and my beloved hot baths.


Social networking etiquette has had me thinking a bit too. I have accounts on Facebook and Ravelry, and I realised I have very different criteria for ‘friending’ people on them. My rule for Ravelry is that I’m free and easy with friending. Like someone’s blog? Friend ’em. Think they made something nice? Friend ’em. Have something in common with them? Friend ’em. Simple.

Facebook though, I’m different with that. I reject friendship requests there. I’d say often, but it’s not like I’m deluged with them. I just reject a good proportion of the ones I receive. I think the difference between the two may be that I know I have at least one thing in common with everyone on Ravelry – a shared hobby. It’s not the same with Facebook. Now, I’m taking a bit of a gamble here, that people I’ve rejected or un-friended don’t know about the blog, but I decided that I should have a rule of thumb for accepting friend requests, and it is this: If I bumped into this person in the street, would we have (a) an awkward 5 minute conversation about what we’re up to, each desperately hoping for a phone call to interrupt and take us away, or (b) would we head to the nearest pub/coffee shop for a good chat. If it’s (a), reject, (b), accept. Simple.


On my commute one day this week I was listening to the wonderful Brenda on Cast On interview Laurie from Crazy Aunt Purl about her new book. Anyway, Laurie was talking a bit about how she’d always kept a diary, and how that’s separate to the blog, well, no, she didn’t say exactly that, but she talked about writing in her diary too, and how some things would stay in private, in her diary, and might not get blogged about.

You know when you have those ‘duh’ moments, when something is so stupidly obvious that you haven’t been able to see it and all of a sudden it hits you in the face? I had one of those.

I used to write loads. An awful lot of it teenaged over-analytical bollocks, but not all. In notebooks, jotting down what I was doing, where I’d been, how I was feeling, stories, happy memories, lists, letters never to be sent etc etc.

Then I started the blog, and a lot of that just came here instead. And then it sort of stopped. And this became entirely about knitting projects, instead of writing, some of which happened to be about knitting. Don’t worry though, this isn’t a big apology post for not blogging. Stuff has been happening that I don’t want to blog. Nothing momentous, nothing exciting, nothing newsworthy, just little things that I’d like to be jotting down but not posting up for everyone to see. Add to that the fact that I got really self conscious about the quality of my Flickr Fictions that I’ve stopped writing them completely.

Despite all that I’ve been itching to write again.


This is me, giving myself permission to write stuff down in notebooks, longhand, and not worry in the slightest about putting it all up here.

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Confirming my geekiness

Posted by on Oct 02 2007 | Crafty things

Jayne’s Cunning Hat*

My cone of turquoise yarn isn’t the best model, it looks better on a real person, but there you go.

I am really pleased with how this came out.

Details: Phildar Tribord yarn, 5mm 30cm addi turbo (my hat needle of choice as I can just knit round and round with no fiddling), and the bones of the pattern from Redshirt Knitting.

*You will either recognise this or not. If you don’t, I promise it is supposed to look like that.

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