Sunday, May 24, 2009


Look, I've made my first yarn cake. Yum! The Man acted as a very good swift until the football started and then attention waned and we ended up with a massive tangle which took half of NCIS to unpick. But Cake!! Why are yarn cakes so satisfying? Is it the squishiness? Is it the diamond shapes? Is it the promise of creating something professional-looking from your I'm-a-real-knitter-now properly wound skein?

So this yarn is from the Socktopus sock club March parcel - Artist's Palette yarn Sweet Feet, 80% merino and 20% bamboo, in a beautiful angry sea slate grey/blue. I'm not doing the sock club pattern, this one is Interlocking Leaves from Knitty.

Also found this handmade yarn at a craft fair yesterday at Petworth House:

It's a very autumnal looking blend of wool and silk with a few metallic sparkles. Not sure I approve of metallic sparkles in yarn but they are very subtle in this one so I'll let them off.
It's hot hot hot out today - hurrah for some British sunshine!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

For goodness' sake

So the Speaker of the House of Commons has quit because MPs have been diddling their expense accounts. For goodness' sake. That's like a load of schoolboys getting caught, standing there looking shocked, then all as one pointing the finger and going, 'He's in charge! It's his fault!'. This expenses system seems to have been in place for decades, certainly since before this Speaker was incumbent. If it was me, I'd be furious! I'd bash my gavel and shout, 'Don't you dare blame me you dishonest bunch of [wotsits]!', but he just apologises!!! What are they going to fob the blame off for next? Things are not perfect. The law is weird in places. We have a PM who looks like this

rather than this.

Deal with it and sort it out people! Don't just keep manoevring for position and trying to keep the newspapers happy. You're not going to achieve anything that way, apart from piss a load more voters off.


Friday, May 15, 2009

She said He said

I seem to be in a spin-off vibe this week. A friend has directed me to a piece written from Edward’s point of view (Edward the vampire from the Twilight books – yes all right I know I should be reading something more high brow but everyone has their guilty pleasures, right?) which is as yet incomplete but is an entertaining start, and then a book arrived which I’d ordered from Amazon which tells P&P from Darcy’s point of view. I am still searching for a satisfying P&P spin-off. This one, praise the lord, has not offended me with horrendous clangers which the editor should have picked up on, like using modern language or playing free and easy with the characterisation (Darcy does not go to haunted house parties in the wilds of Wales, get pissed trying to forget Elizabeth and end up with a deranged woman trying to seduce and/or kill him). It is, however, a little dull in the end, despite some good angst in the middle. Perhaps there is something to be said for the bodice-rippers after all.

I have another weekend of coaching this weekend. I am shattered to start with, so I’ve booked off next Monday for holiday. As usual, I was hoping for an easy day, but suddenly everything has become booked up. Uncles and aunts are coming over from France and want to do lunch, but I have already arranged lunch, so perhaps we can do tea? And I need to do some much neglected cleaning, and shopping, and I suspect sleeping. Not sure I can remember how to have a lie-in, or even how to turn the alarm clock off….

We finally managed to book a day to see the vicar. 1 June. What kind of world is it that it takes over a month to get in an appointment with a vicar? I’m not quite sure what he wants to say to us either, and whether there are some answers to questions that are real no-nos. Any advice on this gratefully received! I know one of the questions he asked my brother was, ‘What would you do if you found a bottle of gin in [sister-in-law’s] handbag?’ (I believe Pete’s reply to this was, ‘Ask her for some’, but I can’t swear to it.)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Musings on Sparklyness

One of the knitting girls quite rightly commented at the last meet-up on the proximity of a blog post here whingeing about not being engaged and wanting to be, and one featuring a heavily sparkly finger. Indeed an interested phenomenon. I’m 99% sure that The Man doesn’t read my blog, but hey ho. Just shows the power of articulating your wants and desires! Or something.

So, I am getting used to wearing a ring on that finger, so much so that sometimes I have to check it’s still there. I’m also getting used to being engaged. A couple of the girls at work warned against the one-week-cross, where it seems that about a week in you get cross and grumpy for no real reason, but apparently that’s normal. Have to say that I didn’t notice it, but now, at nearly a month in (already??!) I’m starting to come down off the champagne fuelled cloud.

I did initially have three days of panic at the prospect of organising a wedding, which really perplexed me because that’s the sort of thing that I usually love doing. (Some lovely friends talked me down with stories of how much fun they had organising their weddings.) I think now it was the prospect of the soul-destroying task of sorting the nice wedding things from the tacky hideousnesses that some purveyors of bad taste seem to think that brides will go for. Your portrait etched in a heart-shaped lump of glass and backlit in colour-changing neon anyone? See through lace wedding dress? No? I could physically feel my heart sink as I sat with the first bridal magazine in my lap, gearing up to peel back the cover. Needed brandy rather than tea in my hand. But I have found it very cathartic to scalpel out the few things I like and then throw the rest of the wretched publication away. To be fair there have been a few good ideas. As long as you try to ignore the pouting models with their heaving bosoms. The vicar would have a heart attack.

It’s been interesting to people watch girls on the train and around town with engagement and/or wedding rings, and speculate about their state of mind, especially when you see them out with their other halves. A ring is a real brand to the world that you belong to someone else. On one hand, that’s good – you are in a partnership, a team, and someone loves you enough to spend the rest of their life with you. But on the other hand, it changes you. I feel a little like a pie (bear with me on this) in which a slice has changed forever. That slice is now The Man’s, and that slice, slim though it is at the moment, cuts right through to the core of me. And it’s taking a little time to get my head around that, because I’ve always been very self contained, and to have something dissecting me is something I instinctively resist. Well, you do, don’t you? Change is hard. And that slice of pie (or thin end of the wedge, whatever) is just going to get bigger. I’m going to have to change my name! That’s drastic!

Do men go through all this? They just get to wear a ring, and even that’s not compulsory. They get a social secretary and someone to do the laundry. And bear their children if they want. Good deal?

Before I get Anon on my back again, I am very very happy indeed to be engaged, but I’m just taking a while to get used to it. And learning to get used to the idea that The Man does actually love me that much! He’s so laid back sometimes that it can be a stretch to imagine him doing something so extravagant, but he does, even though he’s only going to let me talk about wedding planning three days a week.

In other news:

1. Life coaching training continues this weekend and I’ve just started with a new client which went well, so fingers crossed it continues to do so.

2. Mum and I just realised that I’ll be away in Florida during the knitting show at Ally Pally this year, which turns out quite well because we both dread it and we can try to go to Woolfest or Wonderwool instead next year. Which are nicer and smaller and cheaper for exhibitors. Hurrah!

3. Have nearly finished the baby hoodie but the hood/collar border needs ripping out and starting again because I can’t work out how to overlap the front and keep track of how many k2togs I’ve done at the ends of the rows. But it’s nearly there.

4. Have picked up the cable/rib cardigan/gilet again and god, it’s the slowest knit in the world. [sigh]

5. Have had a genius thought that perhaps our yarn with work for Liesl. In discussions with mum about giving it a try.

6. Ordered more yarn for projects I don’t have time for, inc some malabrigo lace from Pure Purl, who I have to say have great customer service for people like me who can’t make up their minds. Thanks Kim!

And now I’m off to meet some friends who are taking us out to a posh restaurant underneath the Metropolitan hotel. Oo la la, aren’t we high falutin’.