As I didn’t post all that much last month in the end, I thought I’d do a round up of last year’s finished projects now, before it gets too out of date. Some of these I’ve mentioned before, but I wanted to get some better pictures of one or two anyway. So, in order of finishing:
I was knitting on those socks I posted about earlier, but it’s just occurred to me that I could knit my February Lady Sweater instead… it’s been languishing for ages, and I’m sure it won’t take long once I sit down and work on it. Plus, larger needles might work better with tired, unfocused eyes!
I’ve been doing a bit of knitting… although I need to go and cook soon. Anyway, these are what I’m working on right now:
I’m a little worried I won’t have enough yarn for two whole socks, which is why I’ve stopped just short of the toe decreases (yes, my feet are that small) on the first one and started the second. I’m going to see how well the yarn seems to be doing on the way down the leg of sock 2, then decide whether I’ll need to rip back the first one and only have 3 pattern repeats for the leg instead of 4. Hopefully I won’t need to…
So, back in March I made some bloggy resolutions about what I intended to do for weekly posting goals. Obviously, I haven’t kept those up… and then I started feeling like I was in catch-up mode all the time with myself, and oh noes, panic!! Which is bad, since this blog isn’t supposed to be a duty! Therefore, I have Made A Decision: I’m giving myself permission to “give up”. In actual fact what that means is that I’m going to forget about Project 365 this year, since taking the photos already wasn’t working out – maybe I can go again another year, but I’ll see how it goes. I’m still going to do the Friday 5 whenever I feel like it, but not necessarily every week. I am going to try to post more about knitting and spinning and things in general. This way, it’s more of an adjustment of my goals to something more realistic, rather than really giving up.
Another thing that I’ve decided to let go of is taking strict part of the Sock Knitter’s Pentathlon ’09. I haven’t been knitting very fast this year, and I’d ended up knitting nothing but those socks and still not finishing them. It all got a bit too much like hard work! So even though I love the patterns for the first two socks, and I really like the look of the third one which has recently been released, I’m not going to start #3. I do intend to finish the first two socks, but not as my most immediate projects. Instead I’m going to go back to my other knitting works in progress and try to get those finished off. They’d been pushed back while I was knitting just socks. That’s meant that I’ve now almost finished the shawl I’ve been making for Emily (I’m casting off at the moment, but that’s deadly boring so I’m just doing a few stitches at a time then putting it down again *g*). And I’m really looking forward to picking up the projects I’ve been neglecting and making some real progress on them. Hooray! I don’t even feel like starting something new, because my old projects are almost like new ones by now.
I’m also thinking about giving in using Coppermine for my photo album software. Yes, I’ve been using it for years on this site, so it seemed like a more sensible decision to keep using it and integrate it with WP rather than migrate to something else. But there’s a good photo album plugin for WP, and the integration plugin for Coppermine doesn’t do precisely what I want it to do – it’s a great plugin, and it’s probably perfect for everyone else… but I’m picky! Also, I do have to do some tweaking of the source code every time it updates because of the way I have my Coppermine set up, and… well, in the long run it might just be easier to change to using something more integrated with WP. It’ll mean not having to theme Coppermine to match WP, too. I’m going to ponder it a while more, but I expect I will change over.
Why am I mentioning this, when no-one but me cares? Because it kind of fits the theme of the rest of this post: I’ve been hanging on to some things that I should have gracefully given in on a while back. Letting go and making a few small changes will make things easier. Note to self: change is good, and giving up on something doesn’t necessarily equate to failure. There we go, that’s my deep personal insight for the day. Now I shall stop rambling, let go of this post and send it into the big wide world (= hit the publish button)! TTFN.
I meant to post these weekly, but I’ve gone and slipped up already. So here are another two week’s worth of Project 365 photos. They’re also up at Flickr in my Project 365 ’09-10 set and in the Project 365 album for this year in the photo album here (you can see the great-big full size versions there). This time I’m going to put the medium-size pics up here rather than the thumbnails and put some comments in as well. Ideally I want the medium pics to link to pop-ups of the full size versions, but the plugin I’m using to integrate the blog with the photo album is being a bit temperamental about that. But with a bit of luck that’s what I’ll get. Here we go:
Continue reading “Project 365, 22nd March – 4th April”
Or so far… not. Heeeeelp! I’ve been going backwards and forwards on the first half-inch (the setup triangles) of the entrelac sock pattern that is the second pair for this year’s Sock Knitter’s Pentathlon. I was getting great big gappy gaps between the triangles and after I looked at this tutorial / pattern [Ravlink] for an entrelac scarf that someone on the mailing list recommended, I came to the conclusion that it was because of the extra two rows at the top of the triangles in the sock pattern – they didn’t ‘attach’ to the sock cuff. (The triangles were made by knitting increasing short rows, using one more stitch from the cuff every time until you get to six. I don’t think I can describe it any better than that, but the scarf tutorial has pictures.) The scarf tutorial, which starts the short rows with knitting one stitch instead of two like the sock pattern, solves that problem. So that’s what I’ve now done with those.
However! Now that I’ve done all the triangles, I’m a bit stumped. I have to pick up stitches to start the rectangle / diamond section, and it says to work left to right. But I’m not sure if I’m sposed to turn the work before I do that, or go “backwards” on the right side, or what. Aaaaaaah, confusing! I think I’m just going to have to experiment and see what happens. I should have knitted a swatch first. Oh well!!
Other than the entrelac socks, I’ve been doing some spinning, actually remembering to keep up with taking Project 365 photos (I’ll post those soon), and… um… also doing other stuff? Oh, I know – I have new glasses which is great because now I can see what I’m typing (always helpful), and I’ve also been reading a fair bit. In fact, I’m thinking of doing Dewey’s Read-a-thon, although I should probably make my mind up soon if I am going to join in. If I do, I don’t think I’ll commit to the whole 24 hours because I don’t want to mess my sleeping patterns up again just as they seem to be improving, but I could do 12 hours easily. I would say more, but it starts at 1pm BST (the site says GMT, but they mean current UK time by that, not actual GMT) and that would make my finishing time too late. And in fact, since it’s just past 1am right now, I think I’d better go to bed and get some kip! Night.
Here we go, my answers for:
- What is your favourite fizzy, bubbly drink?
Pepsi! Or Coca-cola as a second – I don’t like the diet versions (unfortunately!), and I’m not keen on the non-branded ones either. They just don’t taste the same. Picky, picky me.
- What is your favourite deep-fried food?
Um. I don’t really eat deep fried food. Oh, except for crisps I spose. So, crisps? And sometimes chips, but not if they’re too greasy.
- What is your favourite hot beverage?
Hot lemon squash. Weird, I know, but I don’t drink tea or coffee, and although I do like hot chocolate I only have it as the occasional cold-weather treat. It’s too thick / sweet for a regular drink for me.
- What is your favourite really messy food?
Depends what you call messy! Spag bol, maybe? Or maybe tortilla chips and dip because you’re bound to get dip on you at some point.
- What is your favourite recipe for a blended or mixed beverage?
Not really sure what this means! Like a cocktail? Or a smoothie? If we’re talking alcoholic beverages, I like Archers, vodka and orange juice. If not, then banana smoothies are probably my favourite. The recipe for that when I make my own is one banana (chopped up into smallish pieces), either (a) a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or (b) a tablespoon or so of natural yoghurt (depends what I have), and about half a pint of milk… or maybe more than that, I’m not sure! I generally go by ‘feel’. Then I whizz it all together with the whizzing device. Add a bit more milk if need be to taste, whizz again, etc. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Nom!
In other news, an actual knitting post should be coming soon! I’ve just cast on for the second SKP09 pattern, which is a pair of entrelac socks. There’s a new challenge right there – I’m just about to start the actual entrelac part and it’s all very exciting. And nerve wracking! Photos will be forthcoming… assuming I can make it all work.
Oops again: I managed not to blog for yet another whole month, and missed my 8-year Blogoversary in the bargain (thanks for the ‘versary wishes!). So what have I been doing?
Well, I’ve done a couple of websites for my brother and another group in his year at uni, for one of their group projects (no, I wasn’t doing the work for them! They’re allowed to ’employ’ people for various jobs that they can’t cover themselves in the group). Gave me a chance to do something new-ish with embedding streaming video and audio, and play with some CSS3 as well. Hooray!
Talking of websites… I still haven’t got the redesign for this one sorted out. Really must buckle down and do that. I had to delete the (MT) search script for the blog because it was being hammered with spam and overloading the server… hopefully when I switch over to WP I won’t have that problem. However, I want to get the new design done before I change over (so I don’t have to faff around turning this one into a wp theme as well), especially since I’m going to be running the whole site apart from the photo album through it.
Other than that, I have got some knitting done: I finished Em’s mittens, and I’ve even managed to blitz through the rest of the WFS [RavLink], which is actually Mum’s birthday present… from last year. Ahem. But it’s done now! All except a bit of weaving in, and the all-important blocking, that is. I’m thinking I’m going to evict the cat from the bedroom tomorrow, clear off the bed, and use that for blocking it on. If it doesn’t get dry in time, I can always sleep on the sofabed for one night. I’ve actually been quite organised with my knitting so far this year: I still have several unfinished projects, but I’ve put most of them to one side and worked on just two or three… which has meant I’m finishing, or getting towards finishing things! My final pair of SKP08 socks, and the gloves I’ve had hanging around for ages with just one done are both well on their way. No pictures today, though. Site redesign first! Off I go again to work on that :-)
Since most of what I’m knitting right now is shhhhh, secret, here: have a photo of something I can show you! It’s my fifth and final pair for the sock knitters’ pentathlon. Currently on temporary hold while I finish the presents I have to do, but I should get it done by the end of the month with no problem.
Stiiiiiiiill catching up: here are days 52 to 67 of my Project 365 photos – the first half of March. I’m going to post them in chunks of half a month at a time until I get caught up, now. If you want to see all the photos so far, click on the Project 365 category link, or check out the Project 365 folder in the photo album. Or for the most up-to-date version, try my Flickr set.
On to the pics (click them for the full sized versions):
Note to self: do not turn a sock heel late at night while watching telly and not counting properly. It will only end lopsidedly! Ah well, back I go!
This is, by the way, the third pair of socks for the Sock Knitters’ Pentathlon – the Rattlesnakes. I’m loving the twisty twiney cables, I really am. I’ll do a proper update soon and post a photo.
Part of the reason I’ve been so quiet recently, by the way, is that I’m not sure I’m getting on well with this version of Movable Type. Still, if I don’t use it I can’t get used to it enough to be sure. But the design templating system…hmm… I need to find out more about it. Because right now I’m getting more and more tempted to change the whole site to run off of WordPress (not just the blog). I think I can do that with MT as well, but I already know how WP works, so. I spose it all bears more looking into, and 1am isn’t the time to do it! I’m off to sleep on it again.
My second pair of socks for the Pentathlon is underway. For this one, I think the main challenge is in the preparation (there was confusion over which translated version of the pattern and which chart was most accurate), and since it’s a 16 row lace pattern where the stitch count increases and decreases a couple of times, you have to keep your mind on what you’re doing. I’m not finding it too much of a problem though. Not mindless telly knitting, but fine for watching something where I don’t want to have my eyes glued to the screen the whole time and so can keep count.
However, I have rebelled a little ;-) The pattern recommends using solid or semi-solid colours, and I… have not. I was going to: I said in my last post that I was intending to use a solid red. But the lace pattern is a leafy sort of thing, and I just didn’t want to make it in red. It would probably look lovely in the Yarn Yard September Club yarn:
…. but much as I think that yarn is beautiful, if I make yet another pair of green socks right now I might lose the will to live. ;-) So that one was out.
Then I thought, well, it’s a really pretty pattern. (In fact, if ever a pattern said “knit me in pastel pink!” to me, it’s this pattern, but that’s never going to happen. Sorry pink, but I’ll never wear you. Ever.) It’s lace, but I’m not sure that a multi yarn would obscure the pattern completely. And the Yarn Yard Feb 08 ‘Art Deco’ club yarn is really really pretty: light blue, chocolate powder brown, cream, pale yellow, a hint of soft green. Really springlike. And I could use the minty blue-green contrast skein for the cuff, toes, and maybe the heels. So, that’s what I’ve cast on with. And I was right, this yarn is really pretty. However, so far I’m not entirely sure if it’s knitting up as a pretty lacy sock, or a small woolly pizza. Below is a photo of the cuff and first lace repeat. Any thoughts, anybody:
Anyway, here are the project stats as they stand at the moment:
Pattern: by Kristin Benecken [Ravlink]
Yarn: Bonny (previously Sock) in Art Deco (Feburary 08 Sock Club yarn)
Needles: 2.5mm DPNs
Ravelry Project Page: Pentathlon Pair #2
If I do decide to change the yarn, I’ll definitely stay with Yarn Yard Bonny as it’s just perfect for the project, and I think I’d either go for the solid bright blue from the November club yarn or persuade myself that three pairs of green socks in five months would be fine, and use the above August one. I’m hoping that the Art Deco will work out alright, though. Not least because I’ve set myself the goal of coming in within the first 100 this time…
Last week, I bribed myself by setting a list of goals to achieve before I could have my “carrot” of casting on a lovely new pair of socks. Sooooooo, how did I do?
- – Finish unpicking the cast off of the second Jacobean sock and re-do it with a tubular bind-off (first sock already successfully done, yay);
— Done! And oh, I love them. They’re scrummy and squishy and now fit perfectly. LOVE!
- – Finish one repeat of the WFS edging;
— I now have several repeats done, which is sort of good. But not ideal, since I passed my deadline for finishing the thing. D’oh! I’m still plugging away and enjoying it, though.
- – Do the finishing for the two pairs of baby bootees (which honestly isn’t going to take long! I’ve just been procrastinating), which means: seam up the flat knit pair, make knitted buttons for both and attach them, make the button loops, sew in any ends;
— DONE. Why do I make such drama in my own mind over things that really aren’t that terrible (such as sewing up one tiny bootee)? Dear self: stop it!! I’ll make another post soon with some pictures.
- – Stop mentally flailing over which yarn I should use for the next Pentathlon project because really, I can’t choose properly until I see what the pattern is (although I’m sure I will be posting a short list of my possible choices here like I did last time);
— I’ve pretty much managed this. In fact, I’m not even going to post a short list. I think I’m going to use some YY sock in bright red “Shelter”, since the guidelines say that a solid or semi-solid is best, and light – medium and/or bright colours are suggested. Plus, I already have that one wound into a yarn cake ;-) I’ll make my final decision when the pattern comes online late tonight.
And my prize? Wheeee, I’ve cast on for the lovely Bracket Fungus socks. My version are the Bracket Fungoths, because I’m using YY Hot Pink Goth yarn as the multi colour and I never can resist a good (bad) pun. As I promised myself, I’ve only done the cuff so far because the WFS has to take priority for now, but here’s how it’s looking so far:
Even though I have…
- Mum’s birthday present to finish;
- Nine other things in progress in one way or another;
- The next round of the Pentathlon starting in two weeks (and I need to choose a yarn… hmm…);
- And, ugh, housework and shopping to do
I’m still really wanting to cast on a new pair of socks. Specifically, Jane’s Bracket Fungus socks [Ravlink]. I have everything ready to go for them, and I have done for ages. Yarn balled up, pattern printed out and tucked into a plastic sleeve, and all popped in a project bag with the needles and a row counter. But I have all the other things to do first, and now they’re starting to feel like chores because I want to jump to the new and exciting thing.
So, here is my bargain with myself. The carrot I’m dangling in front of my unmotivated nose! If I can…
- Finish unpicking the cast off of the second Jacobean sock and re-do it with a tubular bind-off (first sock already successfully done, yay);
- Finish one repeat of the WFS edging;
- Do the finishing for the two pairs of baby bootees (which honestly isn’t going to take long! I’ve just been procrastinating), which means: seam up the flat knit pair, make knitted buttons for both and attach them, make the button loops, sew in any ends;
- Stop mentally flailing over which yarn I should use for the next Pentathlon project because really, I can’t choose properly until I see what the pattern is (although I’m sure I will be posting a short list of my possible choices here like I did last time);
Then I am allowed to cast on for the Bracket Fungus socks and knit up to the first bit of the leg, before I should go back to Mum’s birthday present.
Although, I should probably go shopping at some point as well. Heh. I’ve sold some of my yarn and a Rowan mag, so I’m going to be taking those down to the post office. And didn’t I also need some of that… what’s it called…. oh yes! Food. I’d better write a list.
Whoops, I’ve been absent for a bit, haven’t I? I’ve been down with an attack of the April’s, you see.
I don’t know why exactly (although I’ve got a theory: it could be bunnies*) it happens every year, but starting in April, I always go through a depressive period. The joys of spring tend to be less than joyous. Not every day, for every thing, because there are lots of things that objectively I love about this time of the year. But mentally, it’s not one of my best times. Some years it’s lasted for months, getting worse and worse until I’ve been in a right state. Others, it’s been better, and it’s only really since I’ve been diagnosed with the bipolar that I’ve been keeping proper track anyway. But since then it’s depended on my medication, my own and others’ awareness of my mental state, and how soon it’s picked up on and started to be dealt with.
*or seriously, something to do with stuff that happened when I was around 18 which I won’t bore you with now, but was at this time of year. And btw, name that fannish reference!
This time, I only had about a week (or maybe 10 days… it blurs) of not being able to move out of bed / eat / etc. After that, there was a thankfully quite short period of getting myself back into a more normal routine again, and now I’m feeling a lot better. Hoorah! Interestingly (to me anyway *g*) getting back to normal once I’d been able to recognise and start coping with the depression as depression just took about three or four days. Before I got really low, I’d been struggling with a wonky sleep routine and lack of motivation for a good couple of weeks, and I was frustrated and annoyed with myself for not being able to sort it out. Now, I can “forgive” myself for all that because now I realise it was the start of the low mood swing. I’m not quite sure if I could have done anything at that time to head the low off… perhaps that’s something to talk to someone (doctor? CPN? counsellor?) about.
However, like I said above, there are things I do love about this time of year, so it certainly hasn’t all been doom and gloom. I haven’t got out and about as much as I’d like of course, but I did get to enjoy the snow at my Mum’s house, the sun in my flat (I have huge windows and my bedroom is a sun-trap), and the sea-air down on the seafront once or twice as well. And of course, being inside so much, I have got some knitting done, and a lot of reading. I did sleep most of the time when I was down (and I do mean most of the time: generally 16-20 hours a day!) but when I was awake, I was at least able to do those things.
What did I knit? Well, I’ll talk about that more in another post, but I finished my Pentathlon socks (yay!), I’m making two pairs of baby bootees for Ally’s little ‘un (who is due next week – the 23rd), and I’m working on Mum’s birthday present (also 23rd). Things are going much faster now I’m feeling more myself again, of course. Which is nice :-)
I’m behind on Project 365 of course – there are only so many photos I could take of the inside of my flat anyway *g*. What are you sposed to do when you miss some days, I wonder? Just skip them, or fudge it and fill the gaps with spare shots from other days? Is there a school of thought on that?