Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Soapbox and geekiness

Well, having had a go with this new ipod, I have to say that I object, strongly. Perhaps I missed a tiny button that said 'skip' on the screen, but having to put my name, address, bank details and inside leg measurement in before I could even use the blimmin thing is rather objectionable. As and when I wish to download some itunes I will do that, but not before! I suddenly feel a fond affection for my previous, anonymous, clunky mp3 player...

Anyway, Clare sent me a great link to this on xkcd.com:

I have sent this to my mother and MIL-to-be. I hope they will print it and laminate it and refer to it at all times, but it won't happen. Hey ho.

From the xkcd site you can also purchase stickers to put on the spare buttons in your car.

It would be so tempting to use the armageddon one sometimes....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Big Catch Up

We got some last minute tickets to see U2. Here is The Claw with whirligig searchlights.

The work police have reclaimed my slightly bending the rules long-term-loan work laptop because they might need it in case of a big swine flu outbreak, so I had to pony up the dough and actually buy one for myself (first time ever!), so I bought a pink one. And an ipod. Which is also pink. Matchy matchy!

I'm not at all a pink person but these guys just were calling to me! Actually girls - the laptop is called Mary-Lou.

So, here are the WIPs:

The Third Time Lucky Debbie Bliss Yoke jumper. If it's wrong this time, just tough! Nearly got to the point where you separate for the arms.

Progress on the cable cardigan:

Sorry about the selection of colours here - I don't think the camera was loving the end of the day light.

And interlocking leaves socks all finished!

And now I have to show you the masterpiece of DIY:

Sock blockers from wire coathangers! I saw this on a blog ages ago and actually it works really well. Take a coathanger and pull the middle of the bottom wire down, and then fold back one of the angles and voila. Sock blocker!

Adjustable for different sizes with a bit of brute encouragement, and with hooks pre-formed for hanging. I am inordinately proud of these! Really must get out more....

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Today The Man, Dad, my brother and a buddy of my Dad's are playing golf - there seems to be an ongoing tournament forming, as none of them like to lose. I am thinking of getting a trophy for them to award at the end of each game - a Perpetual Challenge Trophy, if you will.

Trouble is, do I go for tasteful or hideous? There seems to be a lot to choose from!

Something in the Swwwinnnggg!! school?

Le Comedie? (Love that turkey's expression. Perhaps he just got a ball up his butt.)

Slightly misshapen man with a slightly misshapen stick?

Crystal balls?

Not quite sure what category these are in apart from 'something I really don't want in my house'.

Amputated club heads (one with a clock!!!) One of these, and I did LOL in our very open plan office, was titled a 'Rearly Lovely Golfing Trophy'.

And the 'misc' section - one completely lacking in all taste, one pretending to be tasteful but I'm not sure if it quite succeeds, and one so completely off-piste I don't know what to think! Golfing angel anyone?

What do you think? Is it better to admit that a tasteful trophy for under 40 quid is never going to happen and just go the whole hog and get something hideous? Will that actually stop them wanting to win???

Answers on a postcard please.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Knit Global

I am intrigued with the phenomenon of meme knitting patterns. What is it with a pattern that causes a pandemic? Things like, Evelyn A. Clark’s Swallowtail Shawl, Knitbot’s Whisper and Featherwight Cardigans, Ysolda’s Ishbel, the February Lady Sweater. Somewhere along the line there’s a tipping point and the pattern goes global. The Owl sweater by Kate Davies suddenly is in the magazines as new and exciting, yet the pattern was quietly around since Nov 2008 – my old flatmate pointed it out to me.

What do you think it is? Does the pattern have to be simple or challenging, or strike just the perfect balance between the two? Does it have to be endorsed by some influential people before others sit up and take notice? Can the sea of opinion change and suddenly from indifference, people love it? I have to say I was a little underwhelmed by the Whisper cardigan when I first saw it in IK, but seeing how other people have knitted it, how they’ve adapted it and made it their own, how they've delighted in the simple but cunning construction, you can see why it’s become such a popular choice. This has been especially well adapted with this Featherweight, as pointed out by the pattern designer herself!

My current favourites list? Well, it’s got:

Whisper Cardigan – 1042 projects (although this might become the Featherweight (499 projects) if I think the yarn I bought for it is enough!)
Ysolda’s Liesl – 992 projects
Ysolda’s Ishbel – 2236 projects
Print o’ the Wave Stole – Eunny Jang – 846 projects
Grumperina’s Jaywalker’s – 6490 projects
Evelyn A Clark’s Flowerbasket Lace Shawl – 1422 projects

(These project numbers are the number of people knitting it (or finished) on Ravelry as at 4 August.)

I doubt I actually even want to knit all of these things, but somehow not to have them there means I feel like I'm missing out. I love to look at all the projects people have knitted and to judge the successes and failures. I love being fascinated at how global knitting (facilitated by Ravelry) has become - often comments and explanations of projects are in French or German or those little squares because I don't have the right characters installed on my computer. I love, when I do actually knit one of these patterns, feeling 'in', one of the kniterati, because I too can put my notes down on the Projects list and people can go 'Ooooh, you've done a Baby Cables!'. If this means I've succumbed to the pandemic, then so be it. I'm in with the in crowd!