Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Go Team!


I have my team assignment for Nerd Wars!


I’m quite excited about it. In three days I will know what the possible challenges are, and then I can get crafting!

I’m over half way through the singles of the Vampire Rock merino, so it’s unlikely that it will be spun and plied by the 1st, but you never know! I’ll keep working on it.

I’m looking forward to seeing the ravatars of other Nerd Wars competitors too; there have been some really creative ones in the forums so far.

X all the Y

I have been enjoying the meme known as X all the Y.

The original can be seen at hyperbole and a half

It’s really struck home with me, this simple but effective way of communicating how you feel about performing a task. Break it down into an easily repeated message.

I didn’t realise that it had become a “snowclone” (I had to look that up!) until I was kindly linked to this meme about Star Wars , and then I was hooked.

I’ve been finding many things fit into the X all the Y! and X all the Y? templates.

And so, I proudly present, my first meme snowclone.


When I started my new job, as a business analyst, this is how I felt
But sometimes, when it’s all getting too much and I’d rather go home and knit, I feel more like

Friday, September 23, 2011


Three days ago I received a PM in my Ravelry inbox.
The PM was from one of the moderators of a group on Ravelry called Nerd Wars (Rav Link).

The concept is pretty simple; knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers from Ravelry join teams representing their favourite nerdy topic (ranging from Star Wars to Books to Board Games!) and then these teams compete by crafting along to challenges for points.

Points can be earned for projects which meet the brief, and bonus points are available for projects which meet the brief in a way that reflects ones chosen nerd-dom. On top of that there are even more bonus points for projects which meet a challenge set by the team.

It’s been a while since I took part in any group crafting, and I think I’ve really only joined in with swaps in the past. This will be my first real craft-along!

I’m quite excited about it, and even though I won’t know for sure which team I will be on for this round (I’ve joined in time for tournament 3) until next week, I’ve been designing a new Ravatar for my first choice team: Team Enterprise. I’ll show it here if I do join that team. (The team is Star Trek, in case you couldn’t guess)
My other options are Rogue Squadron (Star Wars) and the Unseen University (Discworld).

There will be a challenge for each month, so I’m working to get my spinning wheel free (I’m about a third of the way through spinning my Vampire Rock fibre from a Little Bit Sheepish.

Vampire Rock

I also have the super secret Christmas gift for hubby on the needles, that’s not going to be done before the 1st October! The Lava cowl might be done by then if I concentrate on it for a bit. It’s quite a fast knit as it is heavy DK and on nice big needles!

And then there’s the two swallowtails. I’ve ripped the pink one back to just prior to the second-to-last lace section, but I still need to pick up the stitches from the lifeline and then re-knit the edge. I’m almost at the end of the budding lace on the blue one, though it would go quicker if I stopped making mistakes on it!
Depending on what else I decide to do on Monday and Tuesday next week (when I have two days off work) I might get one of the WIPs finished.

I have a week until round 1 of tournament 3 begins!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Having a Wrest in the sunshine

At the weekend hubby and I visited Wrest Park. It’s a really pretty place, and the weather was amazing.

Wrest Park

We strolled through the gardens

Wrest Park

And saw beautiful buildings

Wrest Park

And a gorgeous library

Wrest Park

It was a lovely day out, I’d recommend it to anyone who likes old buildings, beautiful scenery and that sort of thing!

I did have a sad moment this weekend though.

My Swallowtail, which I’ve been wearing as a scarf for a while now, had a mysterious hole in it.

Broken Shawl

On closer inspection, there were a couple of holes, so I decided to rip out the final section and re-knit it.

While I was ripping back, I ended up with about 12 different short-ish lengths of yarn. I don’t think that any of them were unrelated to the holes I already knew about, but it did make me nervous about that fiendish creature; the moth larvae. I have checked all of my knitted garments for holes, and I’m looking into storage options which are breathable but mothproof.

At least I have plenty of the yarn left.

And in the meantime, I’m knitting another swallowtail anyway! It’s only small again, but will be pretty when finished. This one is in the same yarn as my wedding shawl (you know, the one I didn’t wear on the day!)

Friday, September 16, 2011


If I’d named this post ghoti, you’d know what I was talking about.
Or would you?

I’m talking about phonetics. It was a discussion on the news this morning.
I did a little reading on the web, and came across a wiki article about phonics that made me realise that when I was at school, we certainly did synthetic phonics as a way of learning to read. I remember the flash cards with OO, EE and TH on them.

I also remember, and believe that most people my age will remember, the videos we used to watch about spelling – specifically magic e and Francis Drake (the duck) and the O-O sound (I wish I could find a clip for that!)

So, I bet you’re still wondering about the title of this post? Perhaps you’ve figured it out?

P as in hiccough (pronounced hic-cup)
O as in though (tho-)
T as in ptomaine (toe-main)
A as in neigh (nay)
T as in debt (det)
O as in bureau (byu-row)

Potato (Gh)(ough)(pt)(eigh)(bt)(eau)

Isn’t English amazing?

Speaking of which, I hear there’s an alternative to the Police Phonetic alphabet too (foxtrot, Charlie) where the idea is that the word does begin with that letter, but doesn’t sound like it does (k for knife) and one where the word sounds like it begins with a letter that it doesn’t (q for cucumber)

Since my online name (Tsuki) is often misread and mispronounced (Tusky being a favourite) here’s a phonetic breakdown of my name:

TS (as in Tsunami)
U (as in rude)
K (as in pick)
I (as in la-di-da) (sorry, I can’t think of a word where “i” makes the ee sound!)

So, there you have it.

My thought for the day
wouldn’t English be a lot harder to learn if we spelled potato as ghoughpteighbteau?

and a lot less interesting if we didn't know that we could spell it that way!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Crafty is as Crafty does

I'm plotting some more crafty adventures.

last week I picked 450g of elderberries. My Mum has also picked me about a pound, so if I pick just two more pounds of elderberries, I can make wine to my Dad's recipe. He's bringing me some demi-johns for doing that with. I also hope to make some plum wine, as the neighbours gave us a bucket full of plums!

Well, as you can imagine, there are more plums than I need for the wine. I'm also going to make some jam. The trouble is that I don't have any jam jars!
I do have about 600g of raspberries which are also lined up to be jam, but I've frozen those. I bet I can pick another punnet of them tonight too.
So, I think I'll need to buy myself some jam jars. (Though my Mother-in-Law has offered that I could have some of hers, which might be a cheaper solution!)

So, wine, jam - how cool! Anyway, we also identified that the tree/bush behind the shed is not, in fact, a blackthorn bush. Therefore it doesn't have sloes on it. It's a damson tree, and so I have also picked 450g (about a pound) of damsons. I'm going to make damson gin with some of them, and I might make damson rum with the other half if I can find a small (35cl) bottle of cheap white rum.

We're also making a scarecrow for the Bugthorpe Scarecrow trail. I'll post pictures once he's up. We're starting tonight by making a papier-mâché head.

On the fibre craft front, I am still working on the hoody, but I confess it's not really appealing to me at the moment. I just need to get to the top of the arms and it will be interesting again! I guess it's all down to my orangutan-like proportions - or so it seems! I've rarely met a jumper (hand knit or bought) which has sleeves the right length. Most often they are too short - the cuff leaves my wrist bone exposed, or in some cases they look like 3/4 sleeves even if they're not meant to be! Sometimes they are silly long though, but that's less of a problem!

I did cast on something new, a cowl. The pattern is Lava Flow Cowl (Rav Link) although I have made some amendments because of my yarn choice.

Llama Cowl in progress

The yarn is actually much lighter than in that picture, it's the Llama yarn that my parents brought back from America when they went.

This arrived in the post this morning

colourmart cash merino

It's greener than that (the joy of taking photos when it's rainy and miserable!) but really nice. It's 30% cashmere 70% merino from Colourmart. It's going to be something for Hubby for Christmas. He has seen the yarn (I had to check when it arrived, I was a bit worried about the green-ness) but that's all he's going to know about it! It's lovely stuff, I've already skeined it and I plan to wash it tonight. This is because Colourmart yarn is usually weaving or machine knitting yarn and as such is usually oiled. I want to make the most of the 150g I have, so I'm going to want to pick the most appropriate needle, and not have to make a swatch. (That and I hate swatching)
Then I want to re-skein and wash the bargain red yarn from the British Wool Weekend because it smells a bit fusty. Trouble is that it's probably twice as heavy as the Colourmart yarn, and it's laceweight. So re-skeining that could be a bit of a nightmare! I may have to do it into 100g skeins! That's going to have to be a project for when I'm a bit less busy. This week in my evenings I have to:
  1. help with the scarecrow
  2. pick elderberries
  3. pick courgette
  4. pick raspberries
  5. pack for visiting my sister (and travel there on Friday)
  6. organise present for upcoming birthday
  7. go to Slimming World
I think that's all. But that's a lot to fit in to the next three evenings! I guess it's better than vegetating in front of the telly though, right?

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Well That Didn't Last Long...

Indeed. Finishitupitis ended almost as soon as I typed the last blog post. Boo.

I was still working only on the hoody, but then we went to the British Wool Weekend in Harrogate yesterday.
I find events like that incredibly inspirational! This was the first one of these weekends, but the stalls were fabulous. There was plenty to look at for spinning and knitting, and some lush buttons! It was pretty calm in there too, not the mad scrum that usually occurs at the Knitting and Stitching show.

One of the exhibits in the hall was giant knitting.
giant knitting

I think that the "needle" might be made out of a drain pipe! It was certainly very cool. It took six of us to move the knitting round once a row had been completed! (I wish I had asked someone to video that!)

So, I was pretty restrained on the buying front, though I couldn't resist some laceweight yarns

Oliver Twists

They're both from Oliver Twist, and they're both very similar colours!

Oliver Twists

There were also some great button stands, one of whom gave me the idea to make some button broaches. (It turns out I don't have any broach backs, so I'll have to make do with one for now!)

Button Craft
I'm really pleased with it though.

Button Craft
I'm looking forward to making some more!
Also, I found this bargain yarn

Unknown Cashwool

It's "Cashwool". The lady asked for £5 for it. I don't know what the yardage is, but I think it's 100% merino, there might be some cashmere in it but I don't know. It's really soft. though.