Sunday, May 25, 2008

I made a TARDIS

This post started off as a comment in Lara's blog about the potential of mess, but somehow started to grow into a post in itself and has been sitting in my blogger drafts file for nearly a month. Luckily, it fits my latest FO, so I'll can finally blog it up. I made a TARDIS (shhh, don't tell Auntie Beeb). Ravelled here.

TARDIS glasses case

For those who don't know what a TARDIS is, it's the time machine in Dr Who. It's capital letters because it is an acroynm for Time And Relative Dimension in Space. For the purposes of this post, what you really need to know is that its bigger in the inside that the out.

While I was knitting the thing, someone asked what it is for (its a glasses case, by the way, hence the photos), and flatmate-Kirsty pointed out a real TARDIS would actually be a lot more use and instructed me, in her ironically firm way, that I really should be knitting a real one. She's right; a bit of 'relative dimension in space' would be a good thing. Though, specifically, dimension in space with shelving. We so need more storage in our flat.

And this is what brings me to my response to Lara. Her point was inspired by Felix's point that much of mess is a matter of deferring the delight in the everyday. Lara celebrates this, delighting in the possibilities of her craft cupboard. But for me, the idea of such a pile of possibilities just makes my skin crawl. This is why I like to keep my stash generally so low. I hate excess stuff. Yarn, furniture, mugs, food, anything. I never realised how much I hate it until living with Kirsty, as she is entirely the opposite. This is the one area in which our flatshare resembles the odd couple. I have a hatred of hoarding: she can't live without it. I'm sure neither of us would notice this as odd except we share living space, but after nearly four years of the personality clash, I'm starting to wonder if both of us don't boarder on the obsessive.

TARDIS close up

Credit where credit is due: Kirsty's hoarding includes keeping stuff that'll be useful later, she's not just stockpiling deferred moments of consumption (a point Lara's post also notes neatly). I remember visiting a waste management center in Germany when I was 18 (don't I have all the exciting holidays?) and being delighted to hear they collect things they can't recycle yet and store them in disused mines until they've worked out a way to use them efficiently. Somewhere near Berlin there is a cave-full of batteries. That is sort of wonderful, isn't it?

Maybe I just need to implement a way of organising these 'deferred moments' (be they hobby, chore or a bit of both), so they won't feel like a mess. Maybe we just need a bigger flat. Or more time. That, or David Tennant and his handy time-traveling box with the giant insides. For now, all this one does is store my glasses.

inside of case

Saturday, May 03, 2008



I have finally got around to PDF-ing Rosalind and Bakerloo, and putting them up on ravelry. As an added bonus you can also find my Bottoms Up pattern and an article about toe-up sock heels (with formula/ pattern).

If you are not on ravelry, then that's your own problem, you freak. Join up.

They are all for free. Please respect (a) copyright and (b) that I'm not here to teach you to knit. By all means contact me if you think there is a problem with the pattern, but if I get another message on ravelry from a stranger who wonders if maybe they should have done a swatch (or simply hasn't read the pattern), I'll scream.

Because I'm feeling maudlin today, I've re-dedicated the Bakerloo pattern to Ken Livingstone, seeing as it was named after London transport. As I said, maudlin. Not just about the new mayor - its other voting decisions, or lack of them that really bugged me. I tried to walk it off this afternoon, so stomped up the hill to look over the view of London from the Horniman gardens. I often go there when I want perspective, I somehow feel soothed by surveying my city. But the skyline didn't work today. So I decided to hide in pretend countryside instead, and went for a muddy walk around Sydenham Hill Woods, which at least gave me a chance to play with my new birthday present (new camera). Hence the photos.

I can't believe I took these, and feel entirely justified in having 'blamed my tools' for the last couple of years.

pink blossom

bark (spot the web)

dark trunk, blue sky, green leaves

Friday, May 02, 2008

my so-called computer scarf

weird looking button monster

I'll explain what this odd looking button monster is in a moment. First: some context. There's been a lot of fuss about London's academic libraries over the last few weeks. I'm a bit of a connoisseur of such places so have been following the debates with equal measures of glee and distaste (my take on the subject is posted here). One of my favourites is a specialist library at the Wellcome Trust. Its a lovely place to study for those of us lucky enough to need to consult great tomes on the history of medicine. The interior is gorgeous; it's like you're walking into a George Bernard Shaw play (but with wifi).

Except, last week I got told off by the librarian. I can't bring my laptop case into the reading room. After all, I could be using it to steal books (or smuggling in illegal objects). This is fair enough, the British Library actually check the inside of everyone's laptop when they leave. However I need the case - the little magnetic bit that keeps my computer shut is broken. Without the case, the computer flaps open. And because the shutting mechanism is linked to sleep mode, this means the computer turns itself on and off, on and off, on and off, and crashes. Solution: a super-snug computer scarf (ravelry posting).

scarf on

Hence why I asked for a stitch with very little stretch. After trying a few slipped-stitch options, I settled on the so-called scarf pattern, because I like the texture. I bought the yarn in Japan and have no idea what it's made of. I think it might be a mix of bamboo, silk and possibly something plastic. Its strong anyway, and a light worsted which I worked on a reasonably tight gauge (3.25mm needles). I made enough to go around the computer and some. I added some buttons up each side (20p each, John Lewis, because no doubt someone will ask), made a few icord fasteners. Viola: a safe computer, without risking the suspicion of those fine librarians at Wellcome.

I'll finish with a screen-shot of the computer in action, as people seemed to enjoy nosing last time (from my introduction, which I forced myself to write this week). After all, it is my largest WIP at present.

thesis WIP May