Friday, June 29, 2007

TFI Friday!

Last night was a leaving do for one of the people at work who joined at the same time I did, about 3-and-three-quarter years ago (yes, way back in September 2003). That leaves only two of us who joined at that time, and I think 6 (including management) who were here before me still here. There were three permanents and about six contractors all started within a week of one another. The team I work in was very different then. It was a good evening, and a chance to socialise with people I don’t often get to socialise with. I wonder what else will change, and when it will happen. We will see, I guess.

We’re off to body pump again tonight! I’m looking forward to it with a mixture of trepidation (because it was hard) and excitement (because I enjoyed it). I’ve decided to try wearing just one of my sport vests, without a sports bra underneath. As there’s no jumping around, I shouldn’t need that level of support.

No real knitting news today, so I’ll tell you about my LYS (that’s Local Yarn Store for you non knitters). I wandered in at the weekend looking for the yarn for the secret item I’m knitting. It’s nice to be looking for yarn with a purpose. Anyway, I told the nice lady in there what I was after and she showed me several options. We ummed and ah’d about the various selection and then she emerged from a storeroom with some excellent yarn in just the right colour. Excellent! The balls are 100g and have a good long yardage (I can’t remember the exact amount) so I might even have a little leftover! (I know, I already have leftovers from my previous project, but I will find something I can knit with that.) Sheep image courtesy of knitting on the net
I am still hoping/waiting for an invite to Ravelry but they are still in beta testing and need to limit the number of users. I’m looking forwards to being able to see other people’s work, get help on my knitting, find out about other yarn…

Thursday, June 28, 2007

It's Thursday!

Aston

So, Aston is on the mend (this is not a recent pic, I may try to get one soon). I’m not sure that his foot is being used, but he is getting about better than he was. We will still be going back to the vets though, and we’re going to take his brother Martin with us too, because we might as well for the price it’s costing us! Hopefully the vet will be nice, as it’s a different one than before.

I’m trying a new moisturiser-with-self-tan, the one from Palmers. I really like the body butter that Palmers do, so I thought I’d give the tan one a try. I learnt two things:
  1. Don’t try to mix the tan with the non-tan product, it’s too squishy
  2. Don’t forget the backs of your arms
I also confirmed that the usual don’t put too much on your toes or elbows also applies to this product. Otherwise though it’s a nice smell, a nice texture and it soaks in well. I may be a convert. It has to be said that it is much easier to go get someone else to put some goop on, but it is expensive. I have one of the home kits for the St Tropez Tanning System, and it’s really good. it’s not easy to get your own back, but I am very flexible so I find it okay. I like that system because you can see where you’ve been when you put it on, and then you have a nice glow when you take it off. However, the moisturiser ones have an extra benefit – daily moisturising, which I should do, but don’t do.

Image courtesy of knitting on the net

In knitting news, I’ve managed to get past a bit in the pattern for the secret item which was causing me problems (I had to unravel [or frog] the entire thing twice!). As it’s a lace pattern it’s quite difficult, and the pattern changes every 10 rows, and is 10 stitches wide, with lots of yf and k2tog bits. I quite like how the stitch sl1 k2tog psso looks though, which I have been introduced to by this pattern. I’m a bit worried about decreasing in pattern, especially as the pattern’s author claimed that it wouldn’t be suitable for beginners. As I’ve only knit about a dozen things ever, I consider myself a beginner, but I also like a challenge. If I find any useful resources on the web about decreasing in pattern (or if you reader(s) know of any) then I’ll be well away. If they’re really useful I might add them to the blogroll.

Mum and Dad are up at the weekend to bring us a sofa-bed. It used to be theirs, and then my sister had it, now it’s going to be ours. Well, it’s not the most comfortable as a bed, but it’s not bad as a sofa. I’ve also asked for my big sofa-sized throw (shop bought, I’m afraid) to be brought up to throw over the sofa as it’s purple and I'm not a big fan of purple. The throw is burgundy/maroon (they call it “wine” on the label) and lovely. I will probably combine it with my pink smaller throw too, and it’ll look real pretty! Anyway, then I plan to make a cushion cover for the massive cushion we have left over from when we bought cushions (I think it’s 21 inches, but I could be remembering wrong) – I might even knit it! (my other cushion covers so far are sewn, and they still need Velcro fastenings attaching to them.) Well, once that’s all done, since it’s in the room with my yarn in, I thought I could sit in there in comfort and knit. That way I will be less likely to be distracted by the telly and ssk when I should be sl1 or knit when I should purl! Oddly, this is a situation where I’m seeing the most positive outlook on the sofa arrival!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Have to mention...

I surfed on into Yarn Harlot's blog for the first time ever today, and got sucked into this post about blogging etiquette - serves as a reminder that anyone can read your blog. I try to remember that, but you never know.

Update!

Okay, it’s been some time since I posted. There’s lots of news!

The Race for Life has been postponed! So, I will now be running the race on the 18th July 2007. This gives me an extra three weeks to train (woo)!
We’re not flooded out (yet) though the water will have to get pretty high. That said, we’ve been raising the issue of the flood defences with the council for quite some time now. If we do get horribly flooded it’s likely to be horrible! We should check our insurance too.

Poor Aston! On Wednesday (we think) night, Aston (one of our two dwarf Russian hamsters) managed to hurt his back leg somehow. He was limping pretty badly, though still getting around and eating. So we took him to the vet (don’t get me started on how expensive that was!) because I can’t see him suffer. Anyway, the vet gave us some painkillers for him (usually for cats, but hey) which we put on a couple of sunflower seeds for him each morning. We’ve also had to take away all of his toys, so there’s no see-saw, no house, no log, no wheels and no upstairs floor in the cage. Just sawdust, bedding and two food bowls and a water bottle. Poor boys. Martin has been climbing up over the water bottle it seems, the little terror. However, the good news is that Aston is looking to be trying to use his leg a bit more. If it’s dislocated the vet said that they would chop it off, which is best in that case I guess, but as it looks like he might be using it again, that might not be necessary. I’d prefer that, because I don’t want him to be under anaesthetic any longer than he has to be. Being so small, it’s really risky. If they need to x-ray him then they’ll have to knock him out. Anyway, back to the vet on Saturday to make sure.

Body Pump One of the classes that they offer at my gym is called Body Pump, it’s basically aerobics but with a bar weight. We went last Friday and I quite enjoyed it at the time. I didn’t enjoy not really being able to move about on Saturday, still being pretty sore in my legs and arms on Sunday and then still being a bit tight on my triceps on Monday when we went to pilates! What a class! However, we are planning on going back, hopefully we can get on a bit better. I intend to use a slightly lighter weight for the triceps section this time. Otherwise should be good.

Knitting There is not much to report on the knitting front. I don’t think that it will be a problem if I mention my current project on here, but as it’s a surprise gift for someone who might surf on in, I’ll refrain until it is done. I do intend to cast on the gypsy socks soon too, probably for my next journey anywhere in the car. I have also completed another square on the sudoku blanket, but have had to poach the needles for the secret project. I’ll get back to it once either the secret project is completed, or I buy some more appropriate needles!

That’s all folks. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I've been birthday meme tagged!

Eleanor of Crazy4Knitting tagged me with this birthday meme.

The rules are to go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday month and day only. Then post 3 events, 2 births and one holiday that occurred on your birthday, then tag 5 friends. I added the reason why I picked each too, seems like a good idea.

My birthday is December 31, it is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining. (It means everyone always has plans on your birthday)

Events:
1599 - British East India Company is chartered. (woo – pirates!)
1695 - A window tax is imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax. (this is funny, isn’t it?)
2006 - United Kingdom repays final installment of Second World War debt to America (I thought this was interesting because it took so long!)

Births:
1943 - Pete Quaife, English bassist (The Kinks) (The Kinks rock!)
1943 - Ben Kingsley, English actor (because the other choice was Sir Anthony Hopkins)

Holiday:
New Year's Eve on the Gregorian Calendar. (It had to be, there’s nothing else!)
My 5 tagees are:
Life After Buffy
Gemma
Lint
Gayle
Brit Knitter


I should add that, although I have tagged these five, I suspect that they'll not be big on responding. I just had to as it was my first ever tag of this sort! Woo!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Change One Thing...?

Okay, I admit it, I am not capable of changing just one thing at once – I'm too impatient! So, on top of everything, I am now reading “What Colour is Your Parachute?” and trying the Gillian McKeith ‘diet’.

I’ll let you know how things go with the reading of the book and doing the exercises within.

The diet is not posing any problems yet, but it is only day 1. I had muslei this morning (home made) with blueberries as well as the raisins and sultanas already in it. I also have unsweetened soya milk on it instead of proper milk. I don’t know what difference this makes! So, that was breakfast. I also had a cup of mint tea, instead of my usual breakfast tea. It was nice, but I'm not sure if I want to entirely give up tea. There’s not much else I drink, except for gin and wine – and they’re both out on the McKeith diet!
Anyway, I had a pear at about 10:30 this morning, and I’ve had some nasty vending machine tea (sorry) as well as some water. I also had a few pumpkin seeds. (!)
For lunch I have had tuna ni├žoise, which is tuna, salad, egg and olives. I had lettuce, peppers, cucumber, spring onion, mixed seeds, two eggs, four black olives, and almost half a tin of tuna. (Almost because I couldn’t squeeze it in to my tiny lunchbox!) I enjoyed my salad though.
I also have more fruit, a whole pepper (sliced up), and more pumpkin seeds.

Also, we’re off to the gym this evening. Normally we go early as it’s quieter and therefore nicer. However, I wanted to be in for 9am this morning to make sure that a piece of work which I would get the blame for if not the credit was going live at 9am. It seems to have gone fine.
So, I’ll be at the gym this evening. I’m going to try to run on the treadmill for a full 30minutes today. Last time I was there I managed 20 minutes, which was about 2.5km. I’ve been pretty much skipping the other cardio in favour of the running, with the Race for Life being a week today! (OMG! – I’ve only just realised that it’s a week today! Cripes!)
So, I hope to do at least 30 minutes and hopefully 5km on the treadmill before I do my weights.
Pilates is going well though. We’re hoping to sign up for some extra sessions over the summer while we wait for the September classes to begin. I’ve been really enjoying it, and I think that it has helped (though how much of it I undid with biscuits at Leon’s parents is anyone’s guess!) to tone me up. I really need to lose the flab around my tummy though, because under that layer of flab there is a toned tummy I’m sure! My fat percentage hasn’t changed (according to our bathroom scales anyway) although I haven’t weighed in for a while.

Anyway, the knitting for the sudoku blanket is going well. The fact that I am now capable of knitting in the car (without getting car-sick) is a bonus there! I don’t knit especially quickly I’m afraid. 48 rows of 33 stitches in a pretty simple pattern took the best part of 3 hours to do. Though I have just calculated that it works out at 528 stitches per hour, or 8.8 stitches per minute if I really knitted for 3 hours. Perhaps I’ll time myself. I did think that one row was taking about 5 minutes, which is even slower – though that was one row on my sock… which makes 12 stitches per minute in stocking stitch. That’s about 5 seconds per stitch! That’s shockingly slow! Perhaps I will time myself… anyway, I have got about half way through my sixth square for the sudoku blanket. I’ve done three shades of blue, a cream and a pink, and I am working on red. Then I have purple, another shade of pink and black to do.
Once I have done all of those, that will be pattern 3 completed (I started on 3 because it was the easier of the patterns. I will probably do 1 and 2 later on as they’re both quite difficult.) I may take a picture. I may not.

Lastly, as it’s only 1 month 2 weeks and 3 days until my holiday in Florida begins, here’s an update on that organisational nightmare :
We’re definitely off to Busch Gardens. Leon and I are off to the Gulf Coast for at least one night (we’ll be hiring our own car all being well). I’ve got shorts and skirts but still no new tops. I have ordered some sun cream etc from Avon [but the lady hasn’t brought them yet despite the fact that she was meant to come on Monday (and we were in, except for a brief spell at pilates!)]. We still need to buy shorts for Leon, I have a dress to make (I have some lovely material) and tops to buy. We do still need to buy more sun cream. We got our dollars though, since the exchange rate is good. They’re in my parents’ safe now.

I should write something about the weekend in Cambs and Livestock but I’ll leave it for now. There are pictures on facebook for people who have found me on there.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sock Lace is Complicated

So, I have my new sock yarn (sorry, no pics yet!) and I am considering designing some socks of my own which seems a big step, since they’ll only be my second pair. I’m not totally sure how one carries the pattern from the cuff (the leg bit) onto the foot without putting pattern on the sole or the heel of the sock. The sock pattern that I am hoping to adapt works on 60 stitches, but the pattern that I fancy is for multiples of 8. The number of rows for the cuff can be varied, so that’s fine, and I think I can get near enough (1 row extra) for the foot. I’ll leave the toe un-patterned too.

I’ve picked a pattern out of my pattern book, which has lots of choice in it. The pattern I’m favouring at the moment (though we’ll see what the swatch in the round turns out like) is gypsy lace. It’s a diamond lace pattern. I can either do 8*7 = 56 stitches or 8*8 = 64 stitches for the cuff – either 4 fewer or 4 more than in the original pattern. This still works okay for doing k2p2 rib on the top of the cuff at least! Now, I think that a lacy pattern will be a bit more stretchy than a stst pattern would be, because of the holes. I do wonder, though, whether I’d be better off finding a lace-based pattern and then re-jigging that rather than my pattern which came with my Opal yarn.

If I could find a lace sock pattern that I thought I could amend!

So, I’ll probably have to play. I’m confident that I can do the cuff/leg bit, but I’m just not sure what to do for the bit after the heel flap pickup. I think I know which bit will be on top, and I know how many stitches I might have there (based on the 64 stitch sock, I’ll want 32 on the top, which also fits in pattern!) and I’ll have to decrease to 64 rather than 60 stitches.

O, we’ll see anyway!

I’ll let you know how it goes, and eventually get some pictures of the new yarn! (It’s superwash wool mix in burgundy)

Oh, off to visit various parents and to a party in a barn this weekend. Knitting may happen, as I suspect will mud and wet-Tsuki. I am taking my walking boots for the party. I will also take a big sweater! (I’ll knit one of those one day)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Usual

Pilates last night was pretty good. I’m hoping to carry on with it as I am enjoying it. I think that Leon would rather be doing something a bit more physical, so we might also have to sign up for some “body pump” classes or something. They’re aerobics with weights. I’m not so sure about them, but I might give it a go.

Other than that, I’ve been continuing to knit my sock. It’s going pretty well, so well in fact that I have ordered some more sock yarn! Woo!

Work is still as thrilling as ever, but it could be worse at the moment!

I’ll keep this short before I go off on a rant or anything. Looking forwards to a long weekend.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Running in socks

Last night I went on my first run with some of the other girls doing the race for life. The planned route was from work, over Scarborough Bridge, up to Clifton Bridge, and then back. However, while we were waiting for the entire group to turn up Leon happened to come past, so I got him to collect my bags and instead of the original route, I ran from work over Scarborough Bridge, up to Clifton Bridge, back to Scarborough Bridge and over, then the other way down the river to my house. Around 2.14 miles according to GMaps Pedometer (that’s 3.45 km). It wasn’t too bad, although we did have a rest under Clifton Bridge before we came back. To celebrate, we’re off out for a curry tonight!

I measured myself last night for the first time in a while. It appears that I might finally have lost an inch from my waist. (This explains why some of my trousers are falling down)

I’ve done quite a bit of shopping for my holiday, including some exciting bits I have ordered from Avon. There’s a funky beach bag coming to go with my sun lotion. I’ll probably get more than just the stuff that I’ve ordered, but the one I’ve ordered has a slight tint so you can see if you’ve got everywhere! Less good if you don’t want it everywhere I guess. I ordered a couple of shower scrubs too, but I think that was all – oh and a toiletries bag, which has some mini bottles and pots in for taking lotions and potions in! Excellent!

I’m going to have to go back to New Look and buy the beige sling backs I saw. I saw them when I was shopping for my dress for Rose’s wedding, but couldn’t justify the expense. Now they’re half price, so I can justify that a bit more! I could so easily spend a fortune though! They’ve got some cropped trousers, linen mix, in fantastic colours at the moment. There is also a green dress that Leon has convinced me I should get, but it’s not in the New Look at this end of town, so I’ll have to go to the other one and see if they have it there. I’ll need a belt, though, or it’ll make me look pregnant! Haha. I have a fab green and pink dress/top for our holidays (I’ve probably mentioned it) and I also hope to get another of the same style. I like them. I’m still umming about some nice flipflops I’ve seen in a catalogue, where there are also a couple of dresses I like – however, the green dress is much like the ones in the catalogue. Hm.

The second sock is coming along nicely. I'm about half way down the leg (if you call it that?) and about 20 rows away from starting the heel bit. I think I might try a toe-up pair next time. I’ve noticed something about my sock yarn too, it’s much more stretchy than my double knit, for example. I don’t know whether that’s because the double knit is not as high a percentage of wool though. Sock yarn is so dear too! Compared to normal yarn I guess it’s not bad really, but it’s the fact that one ball and (for my current pair) many many hours of work go into the socks, and that’s so much more expensive than buying socks. I’m looking forwards to wearing them for the first time though.
If any knitters are reading, would you suggest that I wash the newly knit socks before I wear them? If so, should I just stick them in the machine or hand wash them? I’m using the Opal yarn, I think it is 100% wool – if not it’s close to.

I have to finish the socks soon though, because I have so many other projects waiting in the wings! As well as the sudoku blanket there’s knitting for the SCBU to be done and there are loads of accessories I want to knit. There’s also at least two tops I want to knit in the most recent issue of Simply Knitting, and the next one is due out in about three weeks! At least now that my yarn stash is sorted out I can see exactly what yarn I have – I’ve got loads of fancy yarns with no present use – if anyone knows of anything interesting to do with about 20 50g balls of random fancy yarn, let me know! They’re probably going to end up as trimmings for something or other. Some of the nice feathery stuff might make nice teddies, or cuffs on mittens!
I’m sure I’ll think of something. The eyelash stuff is rotten to work with though; I really don’t know what to do with that. I guess I’ll think of something – or I’ll see a pattern I like somewhere. (Or sell it on ebay!)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007

Stash Storage

As promised, here are the pics of my new storage solution for my yarn stash:

Chest The chest is from the Malm range at Ikea, it's quite attractive, in a fuctional kind of way. I store my books and magazines on top for now.

Sudoku Blanket I have a drawer for the yarn for the Sudoku blanket,

Chunky and baby one for my chunky, fancy and 4pl baby yarn,

DK and needles and one for my DK and needles.

Excellent, huh?