Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sweater Progress

There's going to be a lot of this over the coming months.
I've knit some on the sweater though, using the 5mm needles and the Cash Iroha. I think it looks pretty good so far. Corsica - 16 rows of cable (The pink is my provisional cast on. There are probably better ways but this works for me)
I'm finding the cable a challenge, but not too daunting. I'm sure that when I'm less tired it will be much easier! Also, when I get my new specs that should help (more about that on Wednesday when it happens)
I love the colour. It's odd, I've spent so long wearing pink and brown that I had forgotten about green, and then I go knit a bunch of things with green in them! (Okay, so just the shawl and this sweater...)

I've also sent off my scarf for the UKarma Travelling scarf. Corsica - 16 rows of cable I'll be getting it back in 13x2 weeks (26 weeks, 6-and-a-half months) when it will be complete! Very exciting! I'll also be knitting on 13 other people's scarves during that time.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Glad I did

I am so glad I swatched.

The Noro looks ridiculous on 6mm needles, and really grew when washed.
I wish I’d thought to take pictures…
Anyway, before washing, the 6mm swatch looked a bit floppy, but I was getting the desired gauge, 16sts per 4 inches, or 4sts per inch. I washed, blocked and dried said swatch. Then it was 12sts per 4 inches, or 3sts per inch. That’s a huge difference! That, my friends, would have been one baggy 1980s style sweater.
So I made a new swatch. This time I knit the first half of the swatch on 5.5mm needles (I have some lying around) and the second half on my 5mm addis from the shawl (not long enough for the sweater, sadly). The 5.5mm gave a post-wash size of around 15sts per 4 inches. Close. The 5mm was a triumph, the 5mm swatch after washing was at the right gauge! 16st per 4 inches. Fantastic! So, bearing in mind the universal knitting truth of: swatches lie. And also the knitting universal truth that cockiness is repaid in failure, I figure I’ll have an interesting knit on my hands. Mainly that this sweater is going to be knit at about ¾ the size of me, and then I have to hope that it blocks out the right size.
Very concerning.
But I am so glad I swatched! Even though, as with so many patterns, the sizes available are not my size, so I’m having to hope for the best anyway… there is supposed to be negative ease with this sweater, so that’s a good thing. I’ve asked the designer and the measurements on the pattern are the bust measurements, so that helps – I’m a medium on her scale. Also, I do believe she gives “actual” measurements when blocked, so I have something to aim for too. Woo!

And they say we’re getting snow this weekend. Perhaps I’ll cave in and buy myself another woolly sweater…they’re just not right. I want the ones in the pattern, not the one in the shop. Ho hum.
Knit faster!
I guess we do have some time off during Feb, although we are expecting to be doing things, like visiting family (both lots) and going to a wedding (with the shawl, I’ll post pics) and also meeting the baby for whom the baby jacket (just needs seaming) is destined.
But I hope that amid all of that I will get some time to work on the socks, mum’s cardi, my jumper, those darned mittens (seriously, when did I think that was a good idea – not second mitten syndrome as I haven’t even finished the thumb…) ah, we’ll see. They’re not too hard and the pattern is saved on my laptop.
I hope to have pictures to liven up the next post!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Post with no name

Do you tweet? I do now. I’ve joined twitter. It’s mostly pointless nonsense, like facebook but without the other stuff, just the status updates. I gather I can post some of my updates to Rav too, but I don’t know how, I’ll have to find the post about that. If you do tweet, comment (or email me) with your twitter name!

My needles for Corsica arrived. I must confess, I have knit a swatch. Normally I don’t swatch, but I do have good reason to this time:
  1. the yarn is a different weight than the pattern calls for
  2. the yarn is Noro – other Noro yarns have bloomed quite a lot when washed
  3. the pattern starts with a sideways cable band, so I can’t use that as a swatch
I’ve only done a shade over 4 inches wide by 2 deep. I’m getting gauge but it looks a little loose. Sadly, I don’t have any 5.5mm 80cm circs (I had to buy the 6mm 80cm ones!) so if I’m not happy with the swatch after I wash it then I might have to consider my options. I could swatch on some other 5.5mm needles…

Anyway, I was reading my usual blog list, and spotted Britknitter’s Gratitude List and thought it was a really nice idea. A way of making you feel good about yourself by thinking about the things you have to be grateful about. So here’s mine.
  1. My Boyfriend. He understands my yarn habit, he encourages me in life when I need it and has the most reassuring hug
  2. My Family. Yes, they occasionally drive me nuts, but they are there no matter what. If I feel crappy, or happy, they’ll pick up the phone and laugh with me; even when I feel crappy because they cheer me up!
  3. My Friends. Especially the ones who even after a long break of not seeing them are just the same even if they’re different.
  4. My knitting group. I know some of you read here, and you have no idea how much I appreciate you guys!
  5. Knitting. I love having a productive hobby!
  6. Knitbloggers. I have an array of knitblogs that I read. They take the edge off an otherwise rubbish day.
  7. Green People Lip Care, because I have a habit of picking my lips when I’m stressed and bleeding lips are not attractive.
  8. My bath. I couldn’t do without a decent bath. My bath has its flaws, but it allows me to have a long soak in deep bubbly water with candles (on coasters, safety first) (add a G&T or a large wine and I’m properly indulged!)
  9. My job. It sucks, but at least I have one.
  10. You, the reader. For surfing on in here and bothering to read my ramblings!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I'm thinking about stopping the "knitting blog" and just posting finished knits over here when they're done. That's easier to link from Rav, makes people who are interested not have to click on links, and as I always post a link it's no worse for those not interested...
Any thoughts?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Finished Project

Forest Canopy Shawl: Finished.
I love it.
Now I'm just waiting for the needles I ordered so that I can cast on for Corsica (my "Knit a sweater for me" resolution) but in the meantime I have a baby sweater to finish and mum's cardi to work on. I saw the most fab buttons which one of would be great for the cardi, but I need to finish it first!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Haiku for January

The rain is nasty
But my knitting keeps me warm
Waiting for summer

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thinking aloud

I’ve joined a new swap on Ravelry, the UKarmaTravelling Scarf Swap (Rav link).
It’s a really simple idea. There’s a group of people, lets say 10. Each of these 10 people knits the first few inches (length to be agreed) of a scarf. So, person 1 then sends their scarf to person 2, 2 sends to 3…and person 10 sends theirs to 1. After that, each person knits another few inches, hopefully in line with the requests of the original owner of the scarf (they might say “No fun fur, nothing with wool as I’m allergic" or perhaps “I hate yellow, please don’t use it" or “only 4ply please!") and once they’ve done, they send the scarf on as before. The sending on should occur every two weeks. Then, in the case of a 10 person group, in around 5 months a completed scarf will arrive in the post for each of the 10 people, with 10 different segments knit by other knitters. A hand made piece of art which has been all over the country! Amazing, huh?

I’m probably going to request no more than 50% acrylic, though I can’t decide what weight of yarn I’d like to use. I might ask that people stick to roughly that weight too – so I’ll probably go for DK/Aran approx. (knits up faster too!)
I think this is a really cool way of using up some leftovers lying in my stash. I have two small balls of Cascade 220 (pink and green, from the slippers) which I can’t think of a use for. I’ve got lots of single balls of things (red wool, brown wool, cream wool – that sort of thing, even cotton!) so unless someone specifies mohair (I’ve just given away ALL of my mohair) then I should have something to suit.

I finished the body of the baby sweater last night at knit-night, so I have only the interchangeable panels to go! I plan to make a visit to Duttons for Buttons, for buttons for the jacket, at the weekend. I also should decide what to spend my birthday/Christmas money on. Of course part of me says “yarn yarn yarn nom nom nom", but I’m actually considering buying some of the books from my wish list. As OH already bought me Victorian Lace Today (LOVE) then I am tempted by Retro Knits (Amazon Link) or possibly Vintage Knitwear for Modern Knitters (Also Amazon). Neither have much in the way of patterns on Ravelry, so I don’t know if they’re any good for me or not. I’ve heard good things about Knitted Lace of Estonia (Guess where? Amazon) although I might be over-laced then! Haha. Ah there’s plenty for me to choose from anyway! I’ll let you know what I decide.

Anyone have any recommendations? I like books with some history/information in them, but don't need to be taught the knit stitch again (I hope)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mostly Knitting

I’m on the last repeat of the shawl. I’ve done some maths and I think that after this one I wouldn’t have enough yarn for another repeat plus the 8 finishing rows and the two row cast off. I’m really excited to block it and see how it looks! The colours are amazing, there’s no other way of putting it! I think I’ve learnt a lot from this project too, about reading my knitting and correcting mistakes without tinking (knitting backwards, un-knitting) or ripping back to a lifeline. Incidentally, I haven’t used a lifeline either. Touch wood, it’s been fine! There were a couple of moments when I thought I should have, but I’ve recovered from both problems!

Once the Shawl is finished I plan to cast on for Corsica. I should also work on the cardigan for mum. Maybe now I’m a bit better at reading my work I’ll be able to do it justice.

As it’s knit-night tonight I will probably be working on the baby jacket for JJ’s baby. I believe that it’s due any time now. I hope he’s not holding on until the sweater is finished! It’s looking so cute now though, I’m on the left front. Then I have two lace panels to knit and if there’s enough yarn left I might make a matching hat. I also need to buy buttons, so I’ll be making a trip to Duttons soon I think. The elephant isn’t going to be ready in time.

I’m also progressing well with my Violet Green Knit-a-long socks. I’m at the heel flap now. I’ve decided on two pattern repeats (like in the picture on the pattern) which is about long enough. After blocking it should be spot on. It’s such a funky pattern too! it came in the kit (pictured) as a gift from Not-MIL for my birthday. It’s not quite as dark as in this picture. The needles are nice, though I am used to shorter ones I have got on with these well so far. They have a good weight to them. I like it when I get to the heel flap, it feels like I’ve made progress.

The KAL is going well on ravelry too, we’ve got lots of participants and everyone seems to be joining in. Some people knit much faster than me, and some have more time for knitting, so there are already finished objects available for the KAL, which is pretty inspiring. It does make me wonder about upgrading the socks from lunchtime knitting – which I might have to do if I want to finish them by January 31st! Argh!

In non-knitting news, there isn’t much going on. The gym is going okay (updates are on the diet blog) and I’m not disliking any of the workout, even though push ups are really hard, even “lady push ups” where you do them on the flat bit of muscle above the knee (not on your knees, that’s really bad for the joint, and means you can cheat by using your legs)

I mentioned the disturbance last night with the wing mirror smashing (it happens about this time every year, oddly) and it seems that it was a good job that we fold our (red) mirror in. (our car is green).
When we came back from the gym there were at least four cars on the street without wing mirrors on that side. That’s just the ones who were willing to park on the street again! I’m pleased we don’t need to replace the wing mirror again, who knows what colour we’d end up with!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Miserable Monday?

They say that today is “blue Monday”.
We’re still over a week from payday, but the bills from Christmas are all here. It’s cold, wet and miserable – weather wise. It’s just long enough for everyone to have broken their new year’s resolutions (not me!) and there’s a credit crunch.

What’s funny, though, is that I was feeling pretty positive this morning (actually, I still am!) even though I’m not going to have time for lunch today (meetings always end up at lunchtime, and this one requires a 45 minute bus journey first. Sigh. At least I can knit on the bus, eh?) We already have dinner tonight sorted, and so we might even make it to the gym. And, despite the man who was smashing off wing mirrors at 1:30am, ours wasn’t touched, so we still have an in-tact car! (well, as far as I could see!)

Well, I have work to do. Have a Great Monday, sod what the newsreaders say!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New fun

On Friday I wasn't having a good day. There is a lot on at work and I'm still very tired. So imagine my joy when OH arrived home and presented me with a copy of Victorain Lace Today, by Jane Sowerby. (He'd ordered it for my birthday, but it didn't arrive in time. So it turned up just when I needed it instead. He has a knack.)

There's so much more to it than just a book of lace patterns too, there's history of lace, specifically lace and the Victorians. The photos are amazing with beautiful backdrops, some of which were taken in Cambridge by the university and some from the same house used as Rosings in the recent Pride and Prejudice movie. All in all, amazingly beautiful!

There are so many patterns in this book that I want to knit! It's so inspirational, and there are stunningly simple and yet gorgeous patterns. I'm really excited about them all! Okay, I have other things to knit before I can cast on, and I'm being pretty good about not starting new things until I have finished some of the ones on the needles, but I do have two skeins of lace-weight yarn in my stash. One was meant to be Muir, but I'm going to do something a bit less taxing/daunting first I think.

Yes. Both of my lace yarns are pink. Did you really expect anything less? I may branch out into some other colours eventually, I do like the green on the cover of the book, don't you?
Of course, lace doesn't have to be knit using lace-weight yarn. Almost all of the patterns can be done in almost any weight yarn. Of course if you do that then you'll end up with something even bigger than planned. Not always an issue, but could be costly in yarn!
Anyway, that's why I've not been posting much. That and de-stashing some mohair (it itches!) on the UKarma board on Ravelry. It's almost all been claimed already which I'm glad of. I still have loads of random yarn that I'll probably not use! (ie, I'm running out of space in my stash and it's being used by yarn I don't necessarily want, as opposed to the lovely stuff I do like)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

30 things Meme

I saw a meme – 30 things you (probably) already know about me, and thought it looked fun.
  1. I don’t have a middle name
  2. but I used to pretend it was Olive Isabella
  3. I used to have terrible hayfever as a child, which gave me nosebleeds
  4. I’ve worn glasses since I was about 7 years old
  5. I broke my arm when I was 2 years old by falling down the stairs
  6. then I broke my leg just after my sister was born by falling off a step
  7. which gave me a gammy leg which aches when the weather changes
  8. I was taught to knit when I was small
  9. but I only really started knitting in 2007
  10. I used to dance (ballet, tap, jazz and acrobatics) and have medals for doing so
  11. and I performed on stage
  12. I had a speaking part in the Wizard of Oz when I was 10
  13. and I was really jealous that I didn’t get to play the melting witch because of my hair being short
  14. I have been to only five foreign countries
  15. and only three of the four countries that make up the UK
  16. I used to have three invisible friends
  17. they were called Ippy, Steven and Mina
  18. I was never anorexic
  19. although some people thought I was
  20. I have a 1st class degree
  21. but I got an E in my Maths ‘A’ Level
  22. My first car was a Ford Escort
  23. and I have driven a real tank
  24. I cry at sad movies
  25. and sad commercials
  26. I used to be a size 8 at university
  27. but then I got a job at Subway Sandwiches
  28. I don’t object to sunbathing topless
  29. I am afraid of cows
  30. and I have vertigo

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In The News

In an effort not to talk about the same things every time I post, here’s a news roundup of some issues that have caught my eye recently:
There are 25 Common Programming Errors which make life easier for hackers. Sadly, the article doesn’t go into detail about the errors.
Primark and TNS Knitwear are exploiting workers in sweatshops in the UK. The thing which I find most incredible about this is that it’s happening in Manchester, not in the outer reaches of India or China. The people in the sweatshops seem only to be there because they can’t get work anywhere else (usually due to a lack of papers). It is a bad thing that while awaiting asylum applications people aren’t allowed to do any work – some kind of temporary permit would at least mean that they could be kept track of. Worse than that, though, is the illegal immigrant and overstayed visa workers. In any case, though, minimum working standards should apply. We should not have factories in the UK which are in such a state. And the wages are shocking. So, if you ever wondered (and you knitters may well have) how Primark were managing to make knitted garments (sweaters) for less than £10 each, or the gloves which were so popular at just £3 a pair, now you know. The only way the prices get that low is through illegal and immoral labour being used. It’s despicable!
The 1911 Census is now online (and if you’re interested, it’s Here, at – my grandparents were all born later than 1911, but there should be families in the right areas with the right names available for my family history research. The most difficult part is making sure you get the right branches as you go back. The other great thing about this census is that the householder filled it in themselves, so you can get a glimpse of the handwriting of your ancestors. How amazing is that? Sadly, the 1921 census is unlikely to be made available any time soon, the 1931 was destroyed in a fire, there was no census in 1941 because of the war, so the next one, 1951 will be available no sooner than 2051. That’s a long time to wait!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dressed down

Today I will write my plan for achieving my gym-based goals.
I have already set up a spreadsheet with my current stats in, and I’ve reinvigorated my “diet blog”. I’ve done it more for myself than for sharing, somewhere to record my thoughts and hopefully my progress. It also means that I will not clutter up the real blog too much with random gym/thin stuff. It was a chuckle looking back at the old posts, and at how well I was deceiving myself. Funny that. Anyway, the new stats are truer – I got OH to do them for me. If I’m not honest with myself then I can’t achieve those goals.

 Forest Canopy I had planned to make a dress for the wedding we’re attending in a little over a month. I’d mentioned it at the hen night (Saturday just gone, good fun.) and I was reminded that the bride will not care, she’ll be too busy to notice, and everyone else is looking at the bride anyway. So, since it’s probably not worth the neck-breaking that I’d need to do, I’m not making a dress any more. So I went out and bought one instead. It’s pretty; it’s a bluey purple colour. I’m not entirely sure that it goes with the shawl I’m making, but I think I can carry it. OH thinks I should wear pink tights too, to tie it in. I might do that!
I’m still making the shawl. I’m not really making the shawl for the wedding, you see. I was always planning on making the shawl. the wedding is just a good deadline. I’m afraid it looks a little like brightly coloured yarn-barf at the moment, but lace has a tendency to look a little scraggy until it’s finished and blocked.

Anyway, moving on from weddings…

We’re continuing on our Organic drive in my house. We planned to visit a shop in town which has some nice organic products in (specifically, I’m looking for face wash) but they were closed on Sunday. (other than the dress, the shopping trip was pretty much a failure) so I still need to do that. As it stands I’m using my soap-free-soap at the moment. I can’t remember why it’s soap free, I’ll have to find the leaflet again some time. I cut it in half and put half in my gym bag. Unsurprisingly that half is lasting a lot longer than the half in the bathroom, but they are still both going strong. I’m slowly becoming more aware of what goes in to some of the things that I use. Like palm oil, which is used to make Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (that’s a foaming agent) for your shampoo. Palm oil, when responsibly sourced, isn’t an issue – it’s renewable, it doesn’t need masses of pesticides. You can even get organic palm oil, I think. No, the problem is that it’s very profitable to grow palm oil, and to do so rainforests are being deforested and replaced with palm oil crops. This means that our lovable friend the orangutan is running out of habitat (and it’s not only them, they’re just an example). It also means less trees to “filter” the carbon dioxide out of the air. If you don’t believe that humans are causing global warming then you must still see that wiping out a rare creature like the oranguatn just so that you can have foamy shampoo is a little on the silly side.
Some things we’re avoiding by buying organic are more obvious too. Bleach is one of them. Generally speaking we try to keep bleach off our skin, it’s not very good for you. Why then do companies keep on bleaching things like tampons and sanitary towels? There’s no need really, when you consider what you’re going to do with them, does it matter so much if they’re off white? Really? I find bleach in those products is an irritant, and I’ve been doing my best to avoid it for some time. Organic is a great way to do that!
We know from things like the nicotine patch that you can absorb things through the skin and into the blood stream, so if you’re watching what you eat then why not watch what you rub on your body too?

Anyway, I’ve still got an hour or more before lunch and I’m already wondering whether I can justify a chocolate bar. I can’t, but there you go. I have prunes on my desk, but they’re not doing it for me this morning. Ho hum. I’ll find something else to do.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What's on your bedside table?

They say (whoever they are) that you can tell a lot about a person by [insert some area of vague interest here].
Indeed, or by what they choose to keep by their bed...

I don't have a bedside table, as such. There isn't room.
What I do have is as follows:
  • Alarm Clock - y'know, to make me not late for work.
  • Random knitting - not even what I'm knitting right now!
  • Spinning stuff - I'm spinning some red stuff which I'm about half way through.
  • Books: Stephen King's Lisey (which I lost my place in) and a book about crafty/yarnie words in real life.
  • Magazines: Just some knitting mags now, there were some cardmaking ones but I moved them to the craft room just today.

I'm not sure what that says about me. I think it says that I should get out more, why am I posting this drivel?

Friday, January 09, 2009

2008 in pictures

I know you’ve probably had enough of 2009 summaries… …But I can’t think of a proper post today, so I thought I’d create a pictoral representation of 2008 from the photos I have posted to Flickr. The things that this shows me is that I need to take more, better photos… 2008 1. Ickle Bag 2. Holiday in Bruges 3. Fluffy Not Bunny Slippers 4. Star Trek PTH 5. Noro Gloves
6. Friend’s wedding 7. Nintendo Cozy 8. The Great Yorkshire Show 9. Earl Gray 10. NDS
11. Manly 12. Holiday in France 13. Monkey 14. Cusworth Hall 15. Urban Vest
16. Edinburgh 17. Ladybird 18. Handspun 19. Clapotis 20. Hand-dyed Yarn
21. Beret 22. Collecting Noro 23. Secret Pals 24. Christmas Parties 25. Christmas Day!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Time to be Cheerful!

Well, after the down that was my last post, I thought I’d hop off the depressing work resolution and look on the bright side for a while (at least for one post!)
Thank you for the comments though to BluePURPLEstocking and my Sister, they’re much appreciated.

So, first knitted item of the year is completed! Okay, so I cast them on in 2008, but still, I think that the (Mostly) No Purl Monkeys count as my first FO of the year. I’m wearing them right now! They’re lovely and comfy, though they still smell a little of Kool-Aid which is disturbing (and I might end up with pink feet…)

A long time ago I mentioned that 2009 is the Year Of Natural Fibres!
In honour of this, here are some links to some natural fibre clothing companies here in the UK:
  • Howies - they have loads of cotton and merino garments, all ethically sourced and made as close to the UK as they can. They’re not cheap, but there is a sale on.
  • Seasalt Cornwall - again it’s all organic as well as ethical. A little cheaper than Howies, and also having a sale right now!
  • No Sweat UK are sweatshop free as well as being fair-trade and (I think) organic
  • Bam – bamboo clothing. Lovely and soft, bamboo has been around for years but now is showing its potential as a green clothing fibre.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Resolution 5 has me thinking

It’s hard for me to put into words exactly what I am thinking and feeling at the moment. Perhaps I should try to look at things more objectively than I sometimes do. It’s hard to quantify the feeling of dissatisfaction that I have with work. I enjoy it when I’m troubleshooting, when things go wrong and I have to weigh up the different options and then pick the best course of action for the circumstances.
My current manager (not the one mentioned yesterday) has suggested that one way of thinking about what it is that I enjoy about my job could be to imagine what I would do if I won the lottery.
Obviously I would spend a few days doing as little as possible, and take a holiday somewhere warm. But then what would I do? I am fairly sure that I would be very bored just hanging around at home.

I could write about how I’d set up a knitter’s holiday retreat, or something like that. How I’d have a dying studio and a small fibre farm. How there’d be a small rescue centre for unwanted animals. How we would keep chickens (and possibly livestock) and have vegetable beds and fruit trees. I would have a really energy efficient house, insulated with British fleece insulation and with a wood burning stove.

But you see, that isn’t the point of the question. The point of the question is to see what you enjoy doing enough to do it even if you weren’t paid for it. This is because if you change career, there’s a good chance that you’ll change salary, and probably for a lower salary.

So, in order to achieve the new job resolution, I need to clarify in my mind what it is that I want to do. Leaving a job because you don’t want to be there any more is one thing, but leaving a job because you’ve found another one that you really want to do is quite something else. I know that I want to do something interesting to me, something where I can be creative and where I can make an impact.

I’m finding Eliza’s blog interesting, she is very good at expressing herself. She posts pictures which really emphasise what she means. Sometimes she devolves into long and convoluted posts, and I know how she feels! (I simply don’t post those ones, often… today is different)

I want different. I need something new, a challenge. I want to get home from work and think “yeah, I achieved something today” instead of “thank goodness that’s over. Oh no! Only 15 hours and I have to go back!” (and that’s on a day when I leave on time!). I want to wake up in the morning and get up, not snooze for an hour because I can’t face going to work. I want to have something to do every day that isn’t a wishy-washy “think of how to improve the team” type thing. I want to *want* to cut my lunch-break short, not wonder if anyone will notice if I knit just one more round before I go back.

I have to push myself to do this. The path of least resistance is to simply stay put. Don’t find a new job; just keep plodding away in the current one. But I’ve been plodding – no, that’s not true. I worked my ass off for a while, when I had a goal, when I cared about what I was doing. But now I feel like I’m plodding, or even trudging. And it is simply taking me closer to being back in the same old structure as before with a manager that I know I can’t stand.

I’ve just deleted a big whinge about that manager. The only person I’ve really talked to about this is OH, and I don’t know that it’s appropriate for the blog. Using my usual benchmark, I wouldn’t go and stand in the middle of Tesco and shout out some of what I wrote, so it’s gone. Suffice to say that I obviously either haven’t made it clear enough to those in charge, they don’t believe me, or perhaps they don’t believe I’ll go. I suspect that I wouldn’t really be missed though. It could all be worked around.

So all I have to do is: decide what I want to do (is it the same as now, is it different), roughly where I’d like to be (which could be York, but probably isn’t any more, even though it is a lovely city), and then go and get it, the new job, new house (if the job isn’t in York), everything.
Scary? Maybe a little.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Goals for 2009

I thought about this post yesterday, but ended up not having time to post it.
It’s just as well, really, it had gotten rather rambling and nonsensical.

What I really feel like doing is ranting about my ex-boss, who is soon to be my boss again. I’m not going to though. Even though I’m really irritated.

Instead, I’m going to talk about my goals for 2009. Doesn’t it feel weird to be in 2009?
  1. Double my Squat Weight. Indeed, all the weights I do, but squatting in particular. This requires going to the gym regularly (more than I do now) and getting on the weights. My best squat weight to date is 25kg. So, by 2010 I’ll be able to squat 50kg (or more!)
  2. Lose Girth. Specifically, have a 32 inch waist. On a good un-bloated day when I haven’t eaten yet, I can probably tug the tape measure enough to get there. I’d like to consistently manage it. I will measure myself no more frequently than once a week; preferably no more than once a fortnight. (otherwise it’s obsessive, and we don’t want that)
  3. Spin enough yarn to make a pair of average socks That’s probably about 300-350m of sock-weight yarn. If it’s a bit thicker it’s a bit less. I’ll be doing this on the drop spindle, I don’t spin enough right now to justify a wheel.
  4. Knit myself a jumper. I have no excuse, I have the yarn, the patterns, the needles (I think) and the desire. Now all I need are the time and not to be knitting lots of other things!
  5. Find a new job. Last year I resolved to improve my job. While I am a bit happier in what I’m doing (like I know what I’m doing a bit more and feel like I have a clue) I’m still not really enjoying it. And, as I mentioned, the boss I didn’t like will be my boss again, and though I try not to dislike him or be annoyed by him, it’s really so much effort and isn’t rewarding because he repays my effort with being a [insert mildly derogatory word of your choice here]
1 Person.
5 Goals.
12 Months.

I believe that if I want any of these things, if I really want to achieve them, then there is no reason why I can not do it.

That’s one thing which I’ve rediscovered during 2008. I can do anything, if I put my mind to it.
Do you know how I discovered that? By doing things, not being put off by anything I didn’t manage to do and being encouraged by my own successes, however small. By not listening to the people – you know the uninspiring or the nay-sayer.
It’s taken me longer to regain my self belief than it should have, so I’m not giving it up.
Now, I just need to stop talking about it and start doing things!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Better Late than Never...

So, as promised, 27 things I've achieved/done in my 27th year...

  1. Donated to a charity each month by DD
  2. Donated to Tricoteuses Sans Frontières
  3. Made some curtains
  4. Visited Bruges
  5. Bought an Apple Macbook
  6. Knit my first sweater
  7. Got the Polo through its MOT
  8. Still a size 12!
  9. Met up with some knitters from Ravelry
  10. Started a knit night!
  11. Published my first knitting design
  12. Learnt to spin on a drop spindle
  13. Created a group on Ravelry
  14. Got two new hamsters, Rowan and Aran
  15. Brushed up on my French
  16. Met OH's French Family
  17. Switched to Organic Free Range eggs, mayo, chickens…etc
  18. hand-baked bread, and finally bought a bread maker
  19. Participated in 5 different swaps (CSI, Discworld Luggage, Secret Pal 12, Music with Sox in, Secret Santa)
  20. Created 26 knitted (or crocheted) items, including 13 gifts
  21. Made three dresses for various occasions
  22. Organised a Knit Along
  23. Learnt to make beaded jewellery
  24. Started to pay off the mortgage!
  25. Planted mint in the garden (my first herbs) and cooked with it!
  26. Painted the new gate green (I can't claim to have put the gate up though)
  27. Got organised at work so that I could have a holiday on my Birthday :-)