Monthly Archives: May 2012

the future is knitting

Now that I’ve finished the Emilia Kindle Case, and because I don’t have the patience to work on my Tedious Hat, I’m on the look-out for a new project that will stretch my knitting know-how and learn me some new skills.  So I recently joined the infamous knitter’s network, Ravelry.com, and spent some considerable time browsing through all its creations, lost in a maze of wonder and joy, joy and wonder, in seeing what one can achieve with just knitting needles.

emjay bailey friends

alana noritake brain hat

brain slugs from futurama

And by far my favouritest discovery on Ravelry that seems so wrong yet so right:

facehugger & friend

WTF!!!

weirdness from meghan munro!

After these strange and fantastic diversions, I came across my project for the summer: the mug cozy.  A drink without a cozy, hot or cold, is not a drink worth holding at all and my duty it is to populate the season with “smoothie gloves” (cozies for chilled drinks).  But first, before I undertake such a daunting concept, I need to have a go at the following:

spiffing!

A mug cozy by Debbie Andruilli will make a popular gift idea for tea and coffee drinkers alike, non?  And if I exchange wool for cotton yarn, a well convenient smoothie glove especially for you, sir!

Also part of my browsing was ASOS.com, a website I’m becoming addicted to once again, much to the detriment of my wallet!  Here’s what I purchased most recently of all:

my lovely new bird bag!!

lots of cute little birds!

bird print satchel by kate sheridan

I’ve never owned a Kate Sheridan satchel before and I certainly didn’t buy it because Kate Sheridan made it; I just fell in love with the pattern and the practicality it offers to busy workers on the Night Shift who want to look cool and as if they actually have a life sometimes.  Fair enough, it wasn’t cheap (50% off in the sale, some leeway!!) and isn’t that waterproof by any measure, but who else has a satchel like this one in Dublin?  I people-watch all the time and often feel tempted to ask “Where did you buy that coat?” or “Where did you get that bag?” and have never seen this satchel gracing the shoulders of a Dubliner; therefore it’s my personal aim to rectify the situation… right?

Right!

While gloating at my new bag, I nearly spluttered at the sight of this promising knitted skirt from Connected Generation:

connected generation knitted mini skirt

From a distance it looks absolutely stunning, though, upon closer inspection…

knitting lies!

…I felt a little betrayed by the fact it wasn’t a ‘true’ knitted skirt.  A part of me scoffed with rage at the stupidity of printing a knitted pattern onto a Lycra material while a different part rejoiced in the optical illusion.  I’m still in two minds about whether to buy the damned thing (€20.00 in the sale).  Would a knitter be too lazy to make this themselves?  Or is it simply a matter of staying chill in the summer that Ireland seldom gets??

Hmm…

I like this snood by French Connection, though.  Definitely an item I’ll be making myself, once I study it closer!  Then again, I am tempted to just buy it ready-made since it only costs €33.00 (again, in the sale!)

scottish widows, anyone?

Since gifting the Emilia Kindle Case to a friend, I’m beginning to think that the future is knitting.  It’s the one interest I have at the moment where I can see myself becoming successful in a short period of time.  As long as my skills are up to scratch and I’m able to market my products, I can actually see myself at a crafts fair, debuting my work and catching the attention not only of the public but potentially lucrative business deals with retailers, here and everywhere!  It’s still early days, I suppose, and I’ll need to work really hard to get to that standard, but earning an income from what I enjoy… a glorious dream!  

lindor from my friend (exc. turtle!)

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the emilia kindle case

the kindle case…

…we’ve all been…

…waiting for!

My second attempt at a Kindle case is now finished and I am more than pleased with the outcome!!  It was weird, knitting with cotton, but it turned out for the best!  While it doesn’t fit the Kindle Touch, it should hopefully fit the Kindle, which is half an inch smaller.  I’m giving this case as a gift to someone at work – really hope they like it!

(PS: I have the pattern written out from memory.  If you’d like to give it a go, just drop me a line!)

I was browsing ASOS.com today for the first time in ages and came across a very promising item by Mischa Barton called “Karla Knitting Bag”.  Ooh, a knitting bag! I thought, and clicked for a closer look, only to find myself more entranced by the model’s dress than the bag.

lady in knitted red

I’d love to knit that dress.  You probably can’t see it in the photo, but the texture of that dress is like a very fine moss stitch.  Maybe it would be possible using a silk-based yarn?  Hmm… a future project, methinks!

Also browsed Gumtree and discovered this folding bike:

all mine for €150.00?!

I’ve been meaning to go to the local gym, a mere 15 mins away, but with this bike I could whizz there in a flash!  Should I get it??


summer in specsavers

northwood park, dublin

A sunny day in Ireland.  Never thought it would amaze me to see such a thing, but it certainly does after spending many months in darkness on the Night Shift.  For the second day running, temperatures have stayed above 20º C, locking the city in permanent sunshine which serves to disarm the most cynical Irish.  No rain to spoil the heat, no random bursts of hail, just pure and constant summer until the wonderful weekend (crossed fingers!)

view from the little bridge in northwood park

Overdosed on Vitamin D, I felt how most must feel when they get a bit fresh: capable of anything.  Swimming at the local gym, finishing my tedious hat, writing a brilliant book – all those little dreams excitingly possible, just because the sun was up in the sky!  But soon the sparkle wore off and I settled down for a stroll in the park nearby, hand in hand with my boyfriend whilst making short work of a nice, cooling Twister.

a flower on the pavement!

Surprisingly, it took my mind off the fortune I spent on new glasses and contacts this morning.  Set me back a handsome price, they did, getting reactions thinned down and put into brand-new frames, as well as a 3-month deposit on almost 100 contacts.  Painful though it was, it had to be done, and to soften the blow to my wallet, I made a special request from the optometrist who helped me:

the optic nerve…

…in the back of my eye

Yes, I asked him to send me photos of my eyes.  And why not, my dears?  They’re my eyes, aren’t they!?  Ask your optometrist for a copy of your own and see what they look like… mine look like planets!  

I actually spent 2 hours in Specsavers, you know.  Not only to register with the branch and retrieve some records from the one I went to in England, but also to know all the facts before I put down the money.  “How would the direct debit operate?  Could I amend it in future?  What about my quarterly plan?  Why are you charging this sum?”  So on and so forth until I was thoroughly satisfied and possibly the enemy of every member of staff (they were running around for answers to everything I was asking – god, I’m a brat!)  Perhaps this is just a compulsion of mine or simple curiosity, but I’ve always felt better knowing something inside-out.

And look what the children get these days if they need to wear glasses!

mr men design

Hopefully I’ll get some knitting done this weekend as I haven’t really been doing any.  My boyfriend gets lonely and increasingly resentful of the yarn stash… *sigh*  He’ll never be a knitter…

 


here there may be spiders…

the irish version of the metro

From time to time, I write to the Metro Herald here in Dublin and have the occasional pleasure of being published in their comments section.  Unfortunately, what I saw in yesterday’s edition (without any warning!) prompted me to submit a lengthy text insisting that the paper has a duty of care towards their arachnophobic readers.  Rather than pander to my girlish whims, however, they decided to ‘surprise’ me…

WARNING: ANY READERS WHO MAY SUFFER FROM ARACHNOPHOBIA, PLEASE SKIP THE HIDDEN SECTION OF THIS POST.  (For those who are not impaired at all: no worries!)  

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strangely knitting

My long-awaited autograph is here, courtesy of Ian Somers:

million dollar gift fan

Ah, it feels good to get a personalised message in a book you just bought, doesn’t it?  Guess that’s one thing ebooks will never surpass!

I’ve actually finished reading The Mynns’ Mystery by George Manville Fenn and thought it was pretty good, quite enjoyable.  I’m surprised how low profile it is.  Then again, it’s not one of those literary giants, just a  pleasant read for readers who want to relax and remind themselves how crimes were once solved in the olden days.

Due to my lack of stamina this week, my trip to Let’s Knit and Stitch has been delayed and I ended up visiting This is Knit for the yarn I need to make my colleague her Kindle case.

debbie bliss cotton dk

She originally requested pastel shades, so I selected Bright Red (47) and Light Green (20) from the Debbie Cotton DK range.  I’m knitting with cotton for the first time and look forward to seeing results once the Kindle case is done.  The quality should be finer and capable of surviving the usual wear-and-tear.  From speaking to one of the store assistants (an older lady this time, who could well be one of the founders!), I learnt that they didn’t have the 4.0 mm ProKnit Symfonie needles in stock but would order them in especially for the customer if emailed requests.  I like This is Knit very much!  Not only do they offer a personal touch with their service but they also stock a wide range of yarns, equipment, and literature – definitely sending my wish list once I figure it out!

A friend recently asked me why I’m knitting all of a sudden when I didn’t really knit before.  Like many young girls, I learnt to knit from an early age after hanging out with my mother’s ex-boyfriend’s mother (!), but this doesn’t explain why someone like me would return to this interest late in their twenties, childless, unmarried, and working the Night Shift.   My reason for knitting is simply to smile and achieve the little things on a regular basis.  Unknown to most on the Day Shift, the Night Shift can be cruel, stealing away your energy and leaving you stranded in the middle of midnight with nowhere to go and nothing to do, so what can you do?  Moan about it?  Well, I got tired of moaning about it and listening to others moan and making it seem like I had no life at all.  Everyone has a life, even on the Night Shift.  It’s down to me whether something is great or not, and I didn’t want to become like those who I used to work with: people so unhappy that they take it out on others instead of trying to find out what can make them truly happy.

So here I am!  Strangely knitting.  And if that paragraph above was a little too serious compared to my regular entries… well, I have an ecard just for you!

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the tedious hat: chapter i

What an adorable child… look at her smiling face!

That face there is the epitome of evil as we know it in ALL the knitting world!!!

But why do I say this of such an innocent child?

Because she is modelling a beret that will take me forever to master and millenniums to grow beyond the length of an inch.

Some say I’ve already knitted an inch, yet what would they know of knitting?  They have never done knitting with needles so slim…  They know not the patience required for knitting 100-plus stitches smaller than a centimetre… and all for a beret they can buy in any store for less than a fiver!

When this beret is done, this beret shall be mine…

this is not an inch, it’s a MILE


beanie hat slash bookshelf

project #3: the beanie hat

At last, here’s my cute little beanie hat!  I made this earlier in the week and found it much easier than the Garter Girl cowl.  After creating the rib then switching needles, it was simply a matter of forming the crown and sewing the seams so my hat looked as neat and chic as possible.  I got the stitching right, methinks, though I didn’t do what you probably should for joining the moss stitch together (made it all up!)  With all that acrylic, the hat feels soft and smooth and far more silky than plain old merino!

But I’m almost afraid to block it.  I blocked my cowl according to Knitty’s recommendations and the cowl turned out a different shape from the way I would have liked it.  They say you can block your garments again and again, until you achieve the shape that you want, but wool is so fragile when you get it all wet and I don’t want to damage such expensive material…  what to do!!

In other news: I have finally sewn those dark green buttons onto my over-sized Kindle case.

project #1: the kindle case

Isn’t it fabulous?  Haven’t blocked this either, but will no doubt have to since the flap isn’t stretched to cope with the contents.  Inside is The Million Dollar Gift by Ian Somers, you see, which I’m sending off for an autograph from the author himself (friend of a friend!)  Like me, Ian is a great fan of knitting.  He knits all the time.  Every day.  Every week.  Whenever he has Writer’s Block, this Ian’s always knitting.  (Not true, but I’m working on it…)

The lady at work who requested her own Kindle case has specified pastel green and red in horizontal stripes (not too thin or thick!), with the same patterns chosen for the one shown above.  I discovered a Kindle case that resembles a sock and wonder if I should try making hers like that to save myself some sewing and to learn a new skill.  Don’t know how to knit in the round yet, or even how to switch between different yarns and colours… shall I give them a go?

While my Kindle case is away, here’s where my Kindle lives for just the time-being:

closed view

You can purchase this from Amazon for the regal price of $11.19 or eBay for approximately €16.00 (inc p&p).  The choice is yours!  (Both quotes valid 18/05/12.)

opened view

I’m currently reading two e-books: The Mynns’ Mystery (George Manville Fenn) and Beyond the Veil (Johan Burghall).

The former is a mystery not many people have read.  Free on the Kindle Store and bursting with secrets, you’ll find it very hard to put this novel down – it’s not a boring classic with predictable characters.

The latter is my first ever purchase.  It follows Richard and Abigail Arkwright after seeing their friend being whisked away by a stranger.  Although vampires are mentioned in the online blurb, it takes the time to build the story up and bring you into this world where vampires live.

Am I blessed for having access to more than one debuting author?  I guess so!  Feel like writing a novel now, thanks to their writing!