Monday, December 31, 2007

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

Yes, today I'm 26. No, it's not old. Since I plan to live to be at least 100 it is only just over a quarter of the way there. But, as it's my birthday it does mean that I can spend a few moments thinking about what has been good about the last year - what I have managed to achieve in one form or another. Sometimes achievements are simply managing to get round to things we should have done ages ago. Sometimes they are learning something new (or something you've been afraid to try).

My achievements in the year are some selfless, some personal achievements, some demons beaten (I can drive!) and some simple things which have changed my day-to-day existence.

There's lots more I want to do, and while my "to do" for next year might still be about hanging pictures and baking, I'm beginning to distil a sort of idea of what I want from the future. To be honest it's not really what I expected, and I don't know whether I can do it. However, one thing which will never change is my desire to prove I can do things, especially if other people don't think I can. I want to iron this out into a plan (which will probably begin with sorting out the money, again!)

So anyway, here they are:
  1. Donated to a charity each month by DD
  2. Learnt to knit
  3. Joined pilates classes
  4. Recommended Leon for his job
  5. Bought a new computer (when the old one blew up…)
  6. Knit my first pair of socks!
  7. Bought another car
  8. Got back down to a size 12 for my holiday
  9. Learnt to crochet
  10. Learnt to drive
  11. Played frisbee on the beach!
  12. Hired a car in the US!
  13. Joined ravelry
  14. Ran in the Race for Life again
  15. Went to Florida and visited the family
  16. Discovered sweet potato and smoked mackrel (not together)
  17. Got a promotion at work
  18. Participated in Secret Pals
  19. Came 2nd in the PTH
  20. Read a poem at James and Rachel's wedding
  21. Completed the "medium" level on Guitar Hero 2
  22. Created 24 knitted items, including 9 gifts
  23. Discovered the joy of wearing flat shoes sometimes
  24. Fancy Dress twice (or 3 times if you count the overdressed Xmas curry)
  25. Got measured for a properly fitting bra (trust me ladies, it will change your life!)
  26. Learnt what a "French seam" is

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Knitting Update!

So, Christmas has happened, and therefore I can reveal my knitted gifts!
You'll have to go to my Knitting Blog where you can see the three Irish Hiking Scarves, One-Skein and matching gloves, Garden Scarf,Two stripes and stripes forever and another One Skein

Oh, and it's my birthday tomorrow, so expect some sort of "in my 26th year" type post tomorrow (or maybe early Jan if I actually go and have fun on my birthday. Unlikely as I'm at work...)

I'm casting on the Manly Sweater tonight I think, I've read the pattern and distrusted it, but now I realise it's okay because it's the back not the front that I was reading. :)

Happy knitting!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hamster on Sunday

I've been promising pics of Aston for a while. I can't promise there will be more soon, because he's a funny so-and-so and really doesn't like the camera. I think it's because it's shiny. The photos are a little orange too, because the flash is also scary to a little tiny fur ball like Aston.

Anyway, here he is, little Aston:
Aston by Hayzee C, on Flickr
Isn't he sweet? He did do some hiding while we were photographing him too...
Aston in sawdust by Hayzee C, on Flickr
He loves to burrow in the sawdust you see!

I think he looks cutest on this last one... but I must apologise for Leon's thigh being in the shot :)
Aston and Leon by Hayzee C, on Flickr

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas is coming!

I’ve begun bribing myself in order to complete my Christmas knitting. Never again will I fall into the trap of knitting three identical items for different people (in different colours, but still…). In fairness, this third one is coming out fantastically, even though I buggered up the edge made an interesting pattern change for the first pattern repeat. It actually looks pretty nice, so I’m keeping it and I’ll do the same on the last repeat too so that it’s identical.
I showed mum what I’ve knit for dad. She seemed, not impressed but pleased. I know that she’ll love her knitted gift(s?). Yes, even now I’m adding more things to the list of things to knit before Christmas creeps up on me. I’ve worked out that one pattern repeat on the item I’m knitting for the third time takes me approximately 16 minutes. I need 55 pattern repeats (at least) to complete the item (you knitters will know what this is!) and I have done three. So, I need to do 52 more pattern repeats at a shade over a quarter of an hour each. That’s 13.86 hours (I’ll round up to 14 to allow for weaving in ends and un-knitting and re-knitting etc.) so, I need 14 hours to complete this item. I will knit this evening for at least 2, possibly 3 hours, but let’s say an average of 2 hours to err on the side of caution. That means I need a week to complete the item (just that item mind you). I can do that. The trouble is that I timed myself while sitting in bed concentrating on the knitting. Not while I was watching CSI. This could be a different matter.
I also have the second of two very similar items to complete in crochet. That’s much nearer to being finished now that I’ve sorted out the yarn issues. It’s looking (as does it’s sibling [hint for ravellers]) pretty nice now. I miscalculated the yarn requirements for these so had to order extra, which is difficult when a yarn is discontinued!
But, I was telling you about me bribing myself. Yes, so I set myself a target (based on the number of 15 minutes there are before 10:45) to knit a number of repeats on the item I mentioned. Once I have completed that number of repeats I can knit two rounds on the gypsy socks (which are for me). This has many benefits for me.
I have an aim, knit this much before you stop.
I have a reward, pretty sock yarn and teensy needles, allows finger flexing after all this on 5.5s
Okay, that’s just two (or three, if you count the second one as two) benefits, but they say a change is as good as a holiday, so…

I’ve decided that I need some flip-flop socks. Okay, maybe need is a bit of a strong word. If I’m wearing flip-flops it’s usually because I’m on the beach or by the pool. (probably should replace “the” with “a” there, since I have neither a local beach nor do I wear flip-flops to the swimming baths, only to pools on holidays). I just like the idea really. I’d love to knit toe-socks like the ones my sister buys sometimes (each toe has it’s own little section, like gloves compare to mittens, toe-socks compare to socks, sorta). I dunno. I should work out whether I have enough yarn left in my half-ball of Opal Feelings to do anything of use.

The OH is off on a course right now, so I’m on my own in the house (except for Aston, who may make an appearance on the blog when I clean him out). I’ve remembered to eat and stuff, I’ve been going to bed at a sensible time (not like last time he was away when I stayed up until 3am or something playing games online!) and I might even do some washing up and take out the compost!

After having flowers in the house (thanks again Jimbob) I decided that I liked it, and so I’ve bought myself a (cheap) bunch of flowers. These ones are pink and purple. The purple ones almost match the bathroom towels! I’ve put five-or-six in the bathroom vase (though I’m worried about the water level) and the rest are on the mantel. I have photos; they’ll be on Flickr eventually. (As will the Christmas Party photos, promise!)

Roll on holiday time! I’m really looking forwards to getting away for Christmas. It has been a hectic year; we haven’t managed to go on any “get away from it” breaks. Florida, as fantastic as it was, was not relaxing. However, Christmas at the GMIL’s will be relaxed. I’ll have lots of time to knit (though all the knitted gifts should be complete by then, there is a chance of end-weaving) and we’ll go for walks in the woods there (note to self: take walking boots). This year (touch wood) I don’t have a cold, which I have had the last twice we’ve been. I am actually well! Woo! I’m going to recommend that we see “The Golden Compass” as our holiday movie. We do have a few gifts left to buy, which is beginning to stress me out as we’re getting a bit close for postage, then you have to go to the shops and it’s always more expensive there.
I’ve been very restrained and not looked at my own Amazon wish-list for some time. This is because you can see if someone’s bought something for you and I don’t want to ruin the surprise! I already know about one or two of my prezzies, and so I want to keep the rest secret!

Anyway, I should be doing other things than this. {sigh} Maybe one day I’ll have a job that’s so interesting that I don’t get way-laid with other things. Maybe.

Monday, December 10, 2007

So you think you're a fan?

1. As I said before, my secret pal (downstream) is revealed (she worked out who I am): Fluffy Knitting!

onto the real post

I was having a bad day today…
I forgot to turn on my alarm, leading to a frenzied rush to get ready in less than forty minutes.
Work is, well, as usual
And then I read this article on Why Star Wars Fans Hate Star Wars I giggled. I agreed. I felt slightly silly.
I’ve watched the movies. So has my other half – see this post. I have read some of the books (mostly Timothy Zahn) and I have played both of the Knights of the Old Republic (which I enjoyed, but then I do like RPG… and being a Jedi…) and I agree.
The only thing I’d disagree with is the reference to trekkies (or trekkers or whatever they/we’re choosing to be called these days.) I don’t love all of Star Trek, nor do I only love the Gene Rodenberry bits. I just really dislike Enterprise. It’s inconsistent the same way that the “new” films are for Star Wars. They should know better. Do your research, know your (future) history!

Okay, that’s enough for now.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

To My (no longer) Secret Pal

Well, SP11 is all but over, I have one parcel to post tomorrow for my downstream.

I have loved this exchange. It’s been so much fun getting gifts through the post, and also lots of fun finding and sending gifts for my downstream pal.

Secret Pals works because of people like my pals, both up and downstream.

I’ll let “the blog” know who my downstream is once she has worked out the clue. (which is an idea I pinched from my upstream!)

My spoiler, Crafty Drama Queen has been a brilliant spoiler. She clearly took time to get to know me from my blog and bought me things that have been both exciting and (will soon be) useful!
Highlights have included:
The handmade stitch markers, which adorn a couple of projects already
The sari silk, which is now a bag and there’s leftovers. (It is rough on the hands so a good hand cream and patience are needed. I have both, but only in small quantities…)
The beautiful yarn, especially the alpaca sock yarn. I love alpaca. I love socks. {big cheesy grin}

It’s been great. I only hope that my pal feels as spoiled and that I have managed to understand her as well as my pal has me. It’s been a great adventure, and I hope we’ll stay pals (at least on Ravelry!)