Kick Start

Hello, and Happy New Year!  Look at that, I’ve finally got around to posting here again.  I keep meaning to, but I always feel like I should post a long explanation of where I’ve been.  Well, I will, but first of all I think I need something simple to get me started.  So, have a meme: has valued my cat at £14.33 has valued my cat at £14.33.

I think I’ll keep him a while and see if he appreciates – I spent more than 200 times that on him last year, and I need to make some of that back somewhere. ;-)

Not-a-Friday 5

I have no blogging inspiration today, so let’s have a meme instead!  I’m going to fall back on the Friday 5, which is always fun when I remember to do it!

Friday 5 for November 5: Packing

  1. How far ahead of time do you begin packing for a weekend trip?
    Planning, 2-3 days beforehand, depending on where I’m going. Actual packing will be the night before. I am little miss last minute!
  2. What was your most recent purchase of a six-pack?
    Technically yesterday when my groceries were delivered, including a couple of six packs of Pepsi.
  3. What do you look for in a good everyday backpack?
    Comfy straps, at least two pockets with a couple of small compartments for things like my mp3 player etc, waterproofing, and in colours that I like!
  4. Among people you know, who’s the worst packrat?
    Me, I think. Ooops!
  5. How do you know when it’s time to pack it in each evening?
    When the cat comes to demand his supper, or when I’m starting to doze off, if I don’t have anything in particular on the next day. If I have something on, then it depends on what time that is, because if I don’t get a good night’s rest I’ll never get up in time for it.

Knitting meme, redux

I’m nicking this idea from Welshmillie – I also did this back in May ’07, so it’s fun to see what changes there are since then.

The meme says: “Edit the list, bold for stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.”  I am also adding bold & italic for things I planned to do previously and have now done, and bold and underlined for things I’ve done now that I hadn’t planned to do before.  Oh, and italic & underlined for things I’m planning on now that I wasn’t before.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockingette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn [O.o – I still haven’t come across this]
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch pattern
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn [but I have spun with merino/soy fibre!]
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards [OK, I know what this means now! Maybe one day!]
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO [Is this on or off? I’ve done a tubular cast off…]
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair [But I knew a woman who did]
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

I don’t know if that’s much of an indication of my knitting progress or not.  I suspect how well I’ve knitted things is more to the point.  But then again, this meme is about trying techniques.  There must have been some that are left off of it, though.  I just can’t think of them.

Friday 5!

I used to do the original version of this meme, back when this was a life-in-general blog, and I’ve decided I’d like to start up again. So here goes:

1. What was the last thing you baked?
Ahahahaha. Baking? Me? Um, no. Unless this counts anything that goes in the oven, in which case… a casserole?

2. What was the last thing you tried on for size?
The cardigan I bought on Tuesday. I know, bought. I fail at knitting. But see, I suddenly realised (on Monday evening) that I was going to freeze on Wednesday if I didn’t have a nice cardigan to wear at the funeral. So I went out and got one. I felt bad! But interestingly, it’s a cardigan that I don’t think I’d have looked at before I started knitting. I bought it because I liked the cable-and-bobble pattern on the front as well as loving the colour (aubergine is everywhere right now – awesome!). I picked it up and considered how it was knit and constructed before I got to “is it me”. Heh.

3. What was the last thing you purchased on credit?
Ummm. Train tickets, I think. Either that, or some ebooks.

4. What was the last thing you put a postage stamp on?
A postcard to my SP11 pal, I think. Technically, I didn’t put the postage labels on the packages I’ve sent out, the post-office people did…

5. What was the last thing you took a photo of?
The Hedara sock in the last post :-)

– The Friday 5

Song of Ice and Fire

This is a series by George R R Martin that I’ve been meaning to read for ages and ages. I’m pretty certain that somewhere (although I can’t find it at the moment) I have Book 3, Vol. 2. I certainly have a strong memory of the cover. I can’t find any record of having sold it on Amazon, or mooched it away, so I must still have it. It might be in a box at Mum’s house. But I’ll have to see if I can retrieve it, because I just got the first two books (A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings) in a two-for-one volume from Fictionwise. I had some money sitting in my Micropay account there, you see. Mmmm, instant book gratification! I love it.

Oh, and talking of instant books which are downloadable, there are a couple of authors now making their work available online. I haven’t read any of it myself yet, but I have downloaded the first two books of The Dances of Gods from Mayer Alan Brenner’s site, and I think I’m going to enjoy them. I found him via Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review. The other author is Lewis Shiner, and he’s making his short stories and articles available on his site.

And back to the Song of Ice and Fire series, I did the ‘House Sorting’ meme…

Continue reading “Song of Ice and Fire”

Questions from my Secret Pal

My SP, Miss.Teri (that still amuses me… I’m such a sucker for a pun), has sent me some questions to answer for her, and I thought I’d post them here rather than just emailing them back. Because… I don’t know why, actually. I’ve got in the habit of doing memes in public, and this is a bit like one of those? I’m an attention ‘ho? Um? *g*

Anyway, here we go:

Each question has two answers, ie, chalk or cheese, just choose the answer that comes to mind first…no thinking about your answers!1

Do you drink……………………………..Tea or coffee?
Neither! Well, technically I sometimes drink herbal tea (camomile and lime flowers for preference). But in actual fact my main hot drink is hot lemon squash: I don’t like ‘real’ tea or coffee, and I only occasionally drink hot chocolate (usually in a coffee shop rather than at home) or malted drinks.

Do you choose…………………………..Bath or shower?
Shower. Mmmmm, power showers.

On toast………………………………….Butter or margarine?
Margarine. I like skimmed milk, too. I know, I’m a freak.

Which colour……………………………..Green or purple?
Purple. Have you seen my hair recently? *g* Purple’s been my favourite colour for aaaages, with green as more of an accent to it (I painted my bedroom in my flat in London lilac with lime green woodwork – it looked brilliant). More recently, green has moved up into being a fave in its own right, but purple is still the one for me!

What TV………………………………….Dr Who or Torchwood?
Dr Who. It has to be, even though Torchwood is awesome and aimed more at my age group (although next season, less with the graphic shagging all the time, please! ….However, more of the Jack/Ianto snogging wouldn’t be bad. Ahem!) and, hi, has Captain Jack. But Dr Who… I’ve loved it my whole life, and even though parts of this new series2 are so aimed at the target child-friendly audience that they make me wince a little with the cheesiness… dear lord, when it’s good – which is 90% of the time for me – it’s fabulous. I just love it madly, no matter what. Seriously, you should have seen me at the Dr Who exhibition in Manchester last weekend. There was bouncing and (quiet) fangirling… and it was OK, because there were umpteen other people in there who were exactly the same! Alright, I’m going to stop now, because my fangirling is supposed to be confined to my livejournal, and if you really get me started on the ways I love Dr Who, we’ll be here all year.

Seasons………………………………….Summer or Winter?
Winter, of those two. I just don’t do heat. The sun, it burrrrrrns.

Which do you love best………………..Cat or knitting?
My mogboy! Of course I love my knitting and mmmm, yarn. But next to my snuggly purry furry boy (are you sorry you asked yet?), there’s no contest. He’s big and daft and the best natured cat I’ve ever known, and when I’m sad he comes to see if I’m OK and lets me squish him and cry on him if need be. Also, he never attacks the knitting, which is a definite plus. Even if he does get his fur all over it. Oh well!

Food………………………………………Sweet or savoury?
S…..avoury. Huh. I would have expected myself to say sweet, but honestly I think savoury is my preference overall. I wouldn’t want to be stuck without one or the other, though. My all time favourite food is actually Sweet and Sour pork or chicken, so you can see how decisive I am on this one really!

Which is best…………………………….Rose or Martha?
A year ago I never would have thought I would give this answer, because I loved the character of Rose, and I think Billie Piper is a great actress. But it’s Martha for me, now. She just rocks! I loved everything about her. She kicked ass and took names, and even though she had the whole unrequited feelings thing with the Doctor, it never took away her dignity, and she didn’t let him get away with blocking her out. And, whoops, you got me started on Dr Who again. Stopping!!

Takeaway………………………………..Chinese or Indian?
Chinese! Like I said before, sweet & sour is my absolute fave, but really, if it’s not fish (which makes me ill), then I lurve it.

Which one………………………………..Posh Yarn or Yarn Yard?
……….And that frying noise you just heard was my brain shorting out! OMG, I can’t decide that! If you gave me specific yarns or colourways to pick between, I could probably manage it. Probably! I seriously do not have a gut answer for this one. Let’s see if I can reason it out…. I love both of them for the colours, so I don’t know if I can pick one over the other for that, especially since both have a lot of one-off colours that aren’t repeated. I completely adore Posh Yarn Sophia – that’s 100% cashmere, and utterly gorgeous. However, I’m not sure that’s it’s going to be ideal for socks – I don’t know how it’ll wear. I just made the 6-ply version into some Fetching gloves and it was brilliant for that. The other Posh Yarn sock weight yarns… I think Emily is my favourite, but I love the Yarn Yard Sock just as much. Maybe even a little more. The YY Merino Sock, too. Price-wise, the Yarn Yard is better by a pound or two… But to be honest, I generally choose by colour. So I suppose if you gave me a choice of PY Emily, PY Sophia 4ply, YY Sock and YY Merino Sock (or the new Merino Tencel, which I haven’t tried yet) in the same colour, and I was going to make socks out of it, I would probably pick one of the YYs. Overall, though, I can’t make a choice between one shop and the other because they’re both brilliant and run by lovely lovely ladies.

In Bed…………………………………….Duvet or Blanket?

Socks……………………………………..Knee high or ankle socks?
Knee high. I like socks that (a) come over the top of my DMs comfortably, and (b) keep my legs warm when I’m sitting still at the computer for hours on end! I do sometimes wear ankle socks to the gym, but that’s it.

Eggs……………………………………….Scrambled or fried?
Scrambled! For a start I do like scrambled eggs better, though thinking about it, I probably eat fried ones more often. But mainly, they remind me of my Dad. He made awesome scrambled eggs. When my brother was born and Mum was in hospital with him, I clearly remember Dad feeding the two of us on scrambled eggs. Possibly at the time it was pretty much all he could cook, but he did them well! :-)

1Well, she didn’t say I couldn’t elaborate, did she? *hides* I did give my snap answers for all of them, I really did. I just then rambled a bit. I can’t help myself! Part of it must be a natural tendency, but you have to remember that I had it drummed into me for, what, 17+ years of education that you should always show your working / justify your reasoning. It feels totally wrong to me not to do that!

2It’s been too long since I’ve watched any of the classic series to judge the relative cheesiness of that. I certainly do remember the dodgy special effects etc etc, but plot-wise I’ll have to wait til I’ve rewatched to be able to say. However, the silly effects never made me love it any less then or now, so that’s redundant.

Alright, that’s it! I was almost brief with some of the answers, at least. Go me!