Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Messy tuesdays wednesdays

I've been really inspired by the 'messy tuesdays' posts. If you've not spotted this yet, Felix's manifesto puts it so very well "You are not your flawless surfaces. You are not your orderly laundry-pile. You are not the seamlessness of your Finished Objects. You are not your risen cakes. You are not your sewn-in ends." Domestics in drag may be oodles of fun, but our lives aren't like that. Indeed, the messiness of the world is just as interesting as that oddly modernist aesthetic that seems to have embedded itself in the world of the craft blog; its not all clean lines, good light, an apparent complete lack of 'stuff'. Wouldn't it be lovely to celebrate the forms of domesticity we experience on an everyday level rather than voguing some fantasy we don't especially like that much anyway?

Except, my life is way too messy to get around to actually blogging on a given day. So here it is, a good 36 hours later I planned. Our round-and-round knitting jar (circs and dpns). Though, there appear to be a few standard straight needles that have inadvertently made there way in there.


It once held jam, though credit where credit is due, the domestic goddess of the household did sterilise it, and probably used it for several types of jam, chutney and marmalade in the meantime. The circs are more than a bit tangled, the dpns aren't neatly sorted and knotted together with string (as they once were). Its way too full. Also, the cables on the circs stick out more than there is space for on the shelf where they usually sit. Consequentially the whole caboodle tips over on regular occasions and, domino-like, scatter all over the kitchen floor. In fact, when I went to replace it after taking the photo, I managed to knock its neighbouring mug of crochet hooks everywhere.

I have to admit, I moved it to take the photo to somewhere with more light. I suppose this is cheating; playing to voguing a world where you can turn your home into a studio. In my defence (a) the only spare time I had was at 7:40am (b) our flat's bloody gloomy at the best of times (c) there wasn't much point posting an image of the kind of grey/ brown blur you can't see anything in. Bah, I'm sure the ability to cheat is part of the celebration of messy tuesdays!

I know I probably should finally get around to sewing that circular needle case from the SnB book. But I have a thesis chapter to write, it took me nearly two hours to get home from the library, and I'd much rather spend the free time I have this evening casting on Muir. Plus, if we're talking chores, there's the hob to scrub, knickers to wash, a button to sew back on, floors to sweep, mould to wipe off the back wall, and darnit I still haven't phoned the student loans company.

I'd suggest 'Yeah, I'm a slacken, and?' pin badges, but I fear people might take the other meaning (and on that, it is a bit shocking that one word can refer to both untidy and sex-worker).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

to see the wizard?

First up, a link. Oh my goodness, look at this amazing Bromptom, embellished with a gorgeous giant butterfly on the hip. Her project's ravelled here. You have no idea how happy that makes me.

Next, an FO. Mine, this time. A pair of legwarmers, yellow-brick road legwarmers to be precise, using a basket-weave stitch. I didn't intend to replicate the Brompton's sleeves, more inspired by the gentleman's fancy sock pattern, but it seemed to work out that way.

yellow brick road legwarmers

The yellow yarn is collinette's jitterbug, in the 'Vincent's Apron' colourway, inspired completely by Megan. I worked them both at once on a 80cm 2.5mm circular - I'd tried out the two-at-once trick for the red pom's, but found it much easier this time with just the one (rather than two) needles. All ravelled here.

yellow brick lroad egwarmers

That shot looks like I have rather clumsily upped the brightness on a basic photo editing programme - all that pink in the top left hand corner. But I didn't touch it, there was just weirdo light going on that morning. And on that odd photo colouring, I have a question: to SLR, or not to SLR?

I have a perfectly ok camera. It works. But I do keep getting frustrated by an inability (its and mine) to get the imaginary shots in my head out of the camera. Its five years old this summer, and though I'm normally of the view that (for the good of the planet if nothing else) you should use things till their death, I have to admit, I've been coveting an upgrade for a while. Plus the battery's running out quicker than it used to, so its obviously on its way out. My mother's going to give me money towards one for my birthday next month, and I should have a bit of extra money from various work things. My budget is £250 max, because although I want a good one, I'm not exactly rich. But maybe I should bite the bullet, wait a few months till I have (a) more money saved and (b) time to learn, and go for an entry level SLR.

Flatmate says go for it, mother says not to bother. I've read a few reviews online and tried the trick of clicking the 'what camera' on pictures I like on flickr, and I'm just not sure. Tips, advice?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

belated v-day post

marcus in hat

EDITED to add: bobble = pompom (for those not familiar with English-English).

A few months ago my boyfriend and I had a minor disagreement over a bobble hat. We were on a boat, it was cold, and we'd just spotted another passenger knitting a stripy hat, surrounded by her family members wearing identical ones (all with bobbles).

Marcus: Ooo, you could knit me a hat.
Me: [suddenly quite elated] Knit? You? A request? And you'd wear it??
Marcus: Yeah, you could knit me a hat, I'd like that. Keep my head warm. Go on, knit me a hat. Please.
Me: Of course my love! [starts to mentally add to her ravelry queue]. I could do cables, or fair-isle, you know some really complex patterns...
Marcus: [interrupting] Ye-es. But, you know, with a bobble.
Me: [pause, then imagine the next word like Lady Bracknell says handbag] A bobble?
Marcus: [smiling, goodnaturedly]. Yeah, a bobble, I like bobbles.
Me: But bobbles are horrible and childish. I don't like bobbles. I want to knit cables, or fair isle, and a bobble would just ruin it [pouts].
Marcus: [misjudging my attitudes to bobbles slightly, trying to look cute and and taking on the voice of some kids tv show character] Bobble, bobble, bobble, bobble.
Me: [looks in another direction in disgust].

Now, a few months passed, I'm over not being able to knit him something more technically challenging. Deciding the most romantic presents are always those based on a fight, I swallowed all pride and made him a bobble hat for valentine's day. Project ravelled here.

I started as a basic top-down hat, planning ear flaps and a garter-rim. Then I realised this was basically the same as brooklyn tweed's modification of thorpe to dk-weight, but with stripes. I lengthened the odd bit here and there (and added the bobble) but basically its the same. And, I have to admit it, I think the bobble actually adds to this pattern. It lifts the eye at top of the piece a little, and so stops it from making the head look a bit flat.

I used Rowan Scottish Tweed (a ball of each) because I wanted to see how he'd react to 100% wool. I'm going to knit him a jumper for next winter, and I thought this could be a good test of his skin sensitivity. I figure I can always line a hat, but it's harder with a jumper.