I killed it!

My photo album, that is.  Ooops.  And yes, this time I think it really is gone – I was attempting to set up the new version of it using the NextGEN Gallery plugin within WordPress, and I guess that clashed somehow with the Coppermine script, because it’s all fallen down and the photos themselves won’t even show up as direct links.  They’re definitely physically there on the server, but I’m getting 404s when I try to reach them.  I don’t know why that is (though I have a suspicion).  So strange.

Anyway, that means that pretty much all of the photos on the blog are broken for the time being.  I’m going to try to get that fixed over the next couple of days, but I doubt it’ll happen tonight.  I have a concert to sing in!  But I might be wide awake after that, so I might make a start then after all.  Now, though, I’d better finish getting ready.  Concert blacks, here I come…

Crimble Shopping

Yesterday, I went Christmas shopping with the family in Canterbury.  I had some kind of idea in my head that I’d blitz through and buy presents for everyone.  Uh, no.  I managed to buy cards, wrapping paper… and a new dressing gown and slippers for myself, since my old ones had pretty much died.  However, I think I do now know what I’m going to get for everyone.  I’m just going to buy it online!

We did see some reindeer, though, in a pen outside BHS.  Okey-dokey!  They seemed quite happy with all the attention, though, and two of them kept pushing their noses though the fence and getting their heads rubbed by the people who’d come to see them (anti-septic hand gel was provided to use afterwards, probably because of that thing with kids catching E.coli after stroking farm animals).  I just took a couple of photos:

Reindeer in Canterbury

Aww, look at the baby one!

Let There Be Glove

My “Damson Gloves” [Ravlink] are my current main knitting work in progress.  I have no gloves, you see!  I lost mine a couple of years ago, and it seemed silly to buy new ones when I could make some, so I started on these.  And, um… I finished one plus just past the cuff of the second!  It wasn’t even like knitting the fingers were as fiddly as I’d been afraid they might be.  I think I got distracted with gift knitting and things with deadlines, and just lost the momentum on them.  And of course, every time I remembered them again since, it was already cold weather.  I do have nice warm fingerless gloves, although that’s not quite the same.

This year, however, I’ve picked them up again.  Or picked up glove no.2, to be more accurate.  I’d actually knitted up to part of the thumb gusset, but I didn’t actually know exactly how far up.  So I ripped it out (it was only a few inches, after all) and started again.  Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t do so sooner.  Well, I do – I had lots of other knitting that I was concentrating on, and these didn’t have a deadline.  But now I want gloves, and the weather is getting colder!  So this is how I’m doing:

Damson gloves - wip Damson gloves - wip

Actually, I’ve now got a little further than that – those photos are from a couple of days ago, and I’ve now knit the little finger and started on the ring finger.  If I concentrate on them for another couple of days, I should be finished.  Hoorah!

I don’t think I ever did a project info post for these gloves, so here it is now:

Pattern: Basic Glove Pattern (from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns) by Ann Budd [Ravlink] using a 1×1 rib cuff,  Wavy Rib up the thumb and Claw Pattern Cable with Bobbles on the back of the hand (both from The Harmony Guides Vol.2, pp.70 & 76).
Yarn: Yarn Yard Hug in ‘Damson’.
Needles: 3.25mm Addi Turbo bamboo circular (80cm)
Ravelry Project Page: Damson Gloves

With a bit of luck, my next post about these will be to show off the finished versions!

Oh well

Well, I had intended to keep on posting as much as possible for NaBloPoMo, but it turns out that wasn’t to be!  My landline was dead as a Dodo for a few days, and my internet connection with it.  BT fixed it today – they didn’t have to come here, so I assume it was a problem at the exchange – so at least I’m back just in time to take part in IComLeavWe instead.  Or sort-of as well: I might as well have a go at posting every day for the rest of the month, at least.  NaBloPoMo does keep running year round anyway, so I might try again next month.  I think they have themes for months that aren’t November, which might also be a help if I run out of inspiration!  Or I could borrow an idea from Paula, who has been using an alphabet theme for this month.  That could definitely be fun.

Anyway, IComLeavWe is the name-smush for International Comment Leaving Week, so starting today and continuing until 28th, I need to leave comments for at least five people every day, and return at least one comment (assuming I have any here to answer back to, I guess!).  Off I go!

Spinning again

As well as not having blogged since July, I haven’t done any spinning since then either.  During the blogathon, I posted that I was spinning some gorgeous merino fibre.  I got maybe 10g of the 100g braid actually done, and the spinning wheel has been in a corner ever since.  I suppose I sort of lost my spinning mojo / motivation, then I was busy with other things.  But I’m now feeling much more motivated, and I suddenly felt like actually finishing that.  So, yesterday I hoiked the wheel back out of the corner, sat it in front of the telly, and spun all through Strictly Come Dancing and Casualty.  And then, because I was on a bit of a roll, I put on the last two eps of Flash Forward which I still had to catch up on, and kept going.  I’d split the braid into two approx 50g sections so that I could spin two roughly equal bobbins full, and I’d been aiming to finish the rest of the first 50g.  In fact, I finished that first bobbin, and now I’m half way through the second:

I’m going to see if I can get a bit more done tonight before I go to bed.  I’m still on a little bit of a sci-fi high from the new Doctor Who episode / special tonight, “The Waters of Mars”.  Can’t wait til the next one at Christmas!  But I need to wind down a bit more, so a bit of podcast listening and spinning should do the trick.  Hopefully, I’ll get these singles bobbins finished and then plied within the next couple of days.  I might use the remainder of my birthday money to get a niddy noddy, too.  That’ll make winding the finished yarn back off the bobbin much easier.


It all went wrong!  I completely forgot to post on Sunday and Monday because I was pretty busy both days and not in much – over at Mum’s Sunday evening, and out doing various things on Monday, including an appointment at the CMHT and choir in the evening.  Then on Tuesday I remembered, and wrote this post (or most of it so far, anyway).  And oh dear, I forgot to hit the actual “Publish” button, didn’t I?

I ended up going out unexpectedly on both Wednesday and yesterday, so blogging slipped my mind yet again.  So here we are on Friday, and I’ve just noticed that this post is still sitting in Draft state.  Ooooooops.

Must Try Harder.  Yes.

Battle Bonfire

Hopefully I’ll be off to Battle Bonfire tonight with the family – I have to ring my Mum and brother to confirm if they’re all going, but at least according to the Beeb Weather, it’s going to be a clear night for it.  I was a bit worried yesterday, but so far November seems to be alternating rainy and bright days.

I wish I’d got those gloves finished (I have one!) but I am working on them again now at least.  Maybe I’ll actually get them done in time before spring this year.  I think second glove syndrome is even worse than second sock syndrome, even if it isn’t as nicely alliterative.   I do have some nice thick armwarmers / fingerless mitts to wear for tonight, anyhow, and I’ll be warmly wrapped up otherwise.  Um, is it weird that one of my favourite things about bonfire night is being out in the cold but all wrapped up warm against it?  Well, that and the procession and effigy exploding.  Ahem.

Insufficient Yarn Error

The main project that I’ve been knitting on recently has been the Ishbel scarf, and I was using some really lovely soft, squishy yarn for it: some BFL sockweight by Nimu.


Isn’t it preeeeeeeeeetty?  I know you can’t see it terribly well in that picture because it’s only some of the stocking stitch portion.  But trust me, it’s lovely – the colour of ripe blackberries.  The pattern calls for 300m of yarn, the skein was 365m.  I used the suggested needle size because I liked the drape of the fabric that gave me, although it put my gauge a little bit off.  That’s not important in a scarf, triangular or not, right?  Well, I knitted all of the stocking stitch section, and thought I still had plenty of yarn.  The I started on the lace charts: chart A, then B, then as I started A again I began to get a bit worried.  I kept going though.  Right up until I ran out of yarn with essentially 8 rows to go.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Has my dodgy gauge has eaten more yarn, or something?  I’m not sure that makes sense – I haven’t knitted more stitches, after all.  I’ve got more stitches to the inch than I should have: that means that to get suggested gauge, I’d have to go up a needle size or two, thus making larger stitches, and therefore less per inch.  My stitches are smaller, so they should be using less yarn, right?  The resulting scarf must be a bit smaller than intended, that’s all.

As I see it, I have a couple of choices: rip out the whole thing (noooo!) and start again with different needles or yarn, or knit the remaining few rows in something else.  But what?  I only have this one skein of lovely Nimu ‘Striding Edge’ BFL, and I love the way it’s feeling so much that I do want to use if for this project.  Bah.  My first instinct is to edge it in a black yarn, since it’s such a dark colour to start with.  But the only black yarn I have in what to my naked eye looks like a comparable thickness (I mentioned that it’s a very squishy sockweight, and it’s relatively loose-spun) is acrylic DK.  No.  I also have some similarly squishy sock yarn by the Yarn Yard – their merino ‘Hug’ yarn, in a couple of colours that might do:

[thumb:906:c:t=Mysterion][thumb:612:c:t=Damson][thumb:823:c:t=Damson knit up]

I don’t know which, if either, would be better though.  So I’m posting a poll.   Help meeeeeee!

[poll id=”3″]

You know what’s really annoying, though?  This is the fourth time I’ve run out of yarn on a project recently.  I must be doing something wrong.

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

Happy Guy Fawkes Night, everyone!  There are fireworks exploding all over tonight, and the Xandermog has the hump with me because I won’t let him out.  Silly beast.

I’m still a bit under the weather, but getting better, so yay!  I’ve been out today, over to C. House for lunch and catching up with friends.  I signed up as being interested in a creative writing course while I was there, too.  Also, note to self: there’s a walking group on Wednesday afternoons.  After I’d been there I went down to the shops to top up my gas and electricity keys, and bumped into my neighbour, so we walked back up together and had a bit of a catch up.  It’s been just like a normal day!  Heh.

I’m hoping now that I’ll be feeling fine for Saturday, which is when Battle Bonfire is on – last I heard, there are plans for going with the family.  I imagine it partly depends on whether Mum is verger-ing on Sunday morning.  I must remember to ask her tomorrow.

Od habbing uh coab

I was trying not to talk about it any more in the hope that it’d just go away… but it hasn’t.  It’s no good.  I have officially Got A Cold, which I’m really hoping isn’t going to be pig flu or whatever.  I did feel particularly awful today, but having slept for most of the day (hence the late post) I’m feeling a bit brighter.  So with a bit of luck I’ll be better still tomorrow and so on.  I have things I need to do, and I’m already annoyed that I had to miss choir on Monday and KnitJam tonight.  Bah!

Back to bed with me, then, and I will be better tomorrow, I will I will!

Where did the photo album go?

Honestly, I have no idea what’s happened: my photo album section has seemed to vanish off the face of the web.  Only, all the files are still there, the database seems to still be up and running… I’ve tried repairing and restoring back-ups, the whole shebang, but with no luck.  Eh?!  The little plugin that links the album script to WordPress is still working perfectly though.  You just can’t get to the album via its URL.  Not the front end or the admin section.  I wonder if it’s a conflict with a WP plugin, or if I maybe need to upgrade Coppermine?

Or perhaps it’s a sign that I should do what I’ve been considering for a while, and import the whole thing into WordPress.  Makes the template easier, that way.

ETA:  I upgraded Coppermine, and no luck.  But then it occurred to me that the upgrade page had displayed, so it must be something template-related (I hadn’t re-uploaded the template files).  So I put up new versions of those, and oh look – the photo album is back.  I’m still going to change over to using a WP plugin for it sometime soon, though, to make maintenance easier in the long run.

Is Oratoria the plural of Oratorio?

Actually, I’m fairly sure it’s just “Oratorios”.  Which is what I’ve mostly been singing lately, now that I’m a member of Battle Choral Society.  For any non-local people: no, we don’t wear chain mail, we don’t carry weaponry other than the heavy music, and we don’t make war on other local choral societies (although wouldn’t that be kind of fun? *g*).  Just like Battle Wool Shop doesn’t sell combative  yarn and needles (although, again…) and Battle Golf Club doesn’t practice an outdoor form of battle chess (I bet there is a Battle Chess Club, though, which may play normal or battle chess), it’s just that it’s based in the small town (large village?) of Battle.  Which is so named because it’s where the Battle of Hastings took place, with the abbey being built and then the town growing around that in the last thousand years or so.

Anyway, history lesson over.  I’ve been really enjoying being part of the choir, and would have been at rehearsals tonight if not for going down with this stupid cold – I’ve just got to the sneezy part, so I can’t very well go along and germify everyone else.  Bah.  At the moment we’re rehearsing for Haydn’s “The Creation” – concert at the end of the month!  And just a couple of weeks ago was the first concert I’ve done with the choir: Handel’s “Messiah”, which is one of my all time favourites, and luckily something I’ve sung many many times, since much of the practice for it was done before I joined!

Right, if I want to be well enough for KnitJam on Wednesday, not to mention choir next week, I’d better take myself back to bed.   I’m tempted to take my knitting with me, but I might be better off just trying to get some sleep.  Early night vs knitting?  Hmm, we’ll see.

NaBloPoMo ’09

Since I’ve been a little absent from blogging since the ‘thon (did I blog myself out?), and today is 1st November, I thought I’d try something to kick me back into the habit.  I don’t know if I’ll manage it, but I’m going to try doing NaBloPoMo.  And trust me, I’m already impressed with myself that I’m managing to get the sort-of-acronym right!  What do you call one of those things that’s not quite an acronym, but is more a name-smush of several words?  My brain has gone blank.  Maybe it’s just an abbreviation.  Anyway, what it’s short for is “National Blog Posting Month”, which is a spin off of NaNoWriMo (“National Novel Writing Month”) along with several other events that are now taking place during the month of November – off the top of my head, there’s a sweater knitting one, an art journalling one… erm… and I’m sure there’s at least one other thing.  The point is, to reach a certain goal during November, preferably by working on it every day throughout the month.  In the case of NaBloPoMo, that goal is to make a post every day for a month.

This would be my first post towards that, then.

In the interests of being picky, I’d like to point out that none of the events starting with “Na…” are in fact just national – they’re all, as far as I know, very much international and run over the good old internets.  Well, the blogging one could hardly be anything else, could it?  But anyway!  I have done NaNoWriMo before, two or three times, but never succeeded in the endeavour.  November always ended up being too busy a month for me, or something.  So this time, since I’m reducing my goal to more manageable things (something I shall talk about another day, since I have 30 to fill!) at the moment, I’m trying this instead.  After all, the posts don’t have to be long or even clever – thank goodness!  I pretty much just have to prove that I’m aliiiiiiiive.   I think.  Yeah, maybe I’d better go back and check the rules again, just to make sure.   Until tomorrow!