Sunday, June 29, 2008

Welcome to...?

I've seen that sign twice a day for eight months now, and I'm sick of it.

I don't want to go into it all, but the upshot is I'm beginning to feel very much like I really only live on the weekends. During the week, I go to work, I come back, usually around 7:30 or 8:30, eat, maybe knit a bit, and that's it. I don't do anything else.

During the weekends, we can get into London. There are markets, and really good food options, and movie theatres that don't just play the latest popular shite. There are good bookshops. There are yarn shops. There are knitting groups. We have some friends in London.

Every time we go in, we think, screw it, we should just move into London. My train to work stops at Clapham before it hits Waterloo, so we could move one train stop into London. Clapham would be proper London- it's Zone 2. There are pubs, shops, restaurants, etc. It didn't help that we visited friends of The Limey's who live just a few minutes away from Clapham Junction train station. And it was great!

The bad things about this option:
-Housing would be more expensive, way more expensive;
-my train ticket would be more expensive (update: just checked, the monthly train ticket is actually only GBP25 more);
-it would add 1/2 hour onto my commute, each way;
-we'd spend more money because there would be more opportunities for spending money.

The good things about this option:
-We'd be in London!
-Proper London: it wouldn't cost us GBP10 each to get into London;
-we could take advantage of all the great food markets: right now, it's silly to spend GBP10 just to go in and buy some food. We feel like once we've spent that money, we should make the most of the day. We always feel like we're visiting London;
-The Limey could take public transport into work.

So we keep throwing this idea around. What's stopping us is the expense and the extra hour of commute time for me.

(Also: I've always lived in cities. This is the first time I've lived in a suburb. And I'm not sure I like it.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Almost there

Finally, finally!, knitting on the summer lace cardigan is done. I tell you, I love that Habu Tsumugi Silk, but the nubbiness and teeny gauge got to me after awhile. By the second sleeve, it felt like I had been doing that ladder lace pattern for centuries.

I went with plain sleeves, but 3/4-length, which gives it a summerier feeling than full length. Rarely for me, I actually have lots of yarn left. In fact, out of three cones, I still have one full, untouched cone. Not sure what I'm going to do with it now.

I seamed up the sides tonight at SnB, and pinned one sleeve, ready for seaming.

Those pins are teeny tiny clothes pegs. I saw them at a shop at the top of Brick Lane selling fancy, faux old-fashioned housewares. I didn't know what I could possibly use them for, but I also just knew they would be handy for knitting, somehow. So I bought a package of them.

Then I saw them for sale on the trip to Get Knitted, so I knew I was onto something.

When it came time to seam this cardigan...well, there was no question what tool would be perfect.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

YOU, yes you, personally, are destroying the planet

Do you ever wonder why people commute by car? Driving by themselves, instead of taking public transport, and thereby ruining the planet? And killing all the polar bears? And making Al Gore cry?

Well, does any of this sound familiar:
  • Are you one of those people who, on a crowded commuter train, takes up two seats by putting all your shit on the seat next to you? Instead of at your feet or on the handy overhead shelf?
  • Do you, instead of graciously moving your shit when asked, roll your eyes, sigh heavily, and then look around you for another seat for the seatless commuter, because of course, your St*rb*cks muffin deserves its own tray?
  • Are you one of those people who refuse to move to the back of the fucking bus? Do you ignore the vast area of space behind you, preferring instead to marinate in the miasma of BO and halitosis produced by your little cluster of fellow fuckwits on a muggy damp afternoon? Thus forcing passengers who board the bus after you to squeeze past your backpack and sweaty flesh to get to the back for a bit of oxygen that hasn't spent the last twenty minutes in the vicinity of your armpit?
If you are any of the aforementioned people, then I would like to inform you that you are the reason the earth is becoming an overheated piece of barren rock. You are the murderer of species upon species. Over your behaviour, the baby Jesus cries. You are the reason people don't take public transport.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Field trip!

When was the last time you had a proper field trip? It's one of those things about school that I actually miss. Field trip days were so exciting!

Last weekend, I went on a yarn field trip, which is just awesome, topped with some more awesome, with a little cherry of awesome on top.

Our knitting group decided on a -let's call it by its real name- pilgrimage to Get Knitted in Bristol.
It doesn't look like much from the outside:

But inside...

Masses of yarn, shelves and shelves of the stuff. Get Knitted is also a big on-line retailer of yarn in the UK, so they do quite a lot of business and keep a lot of stock. If you can't find anything in your local, physical yarn stores, Get Knitted is the next place to check.

They also had some fabrics. I don't do much sewing nowadays, so I didn't check it out closely, but I believe it was mostly Amy Butler stuff.

Half a dozen of us from the Southampton Stitch 'n' Bitch made it down to Bristol, but I've only managed a couple of pictures (too busy looking at the yarn...)

Dawn (who organized the trip) and Kate. They are standing in front of a wall of Koigu, people: a wall of Koigu.

Elana (who is always wearing a new and different handknit sweater each time I see her; how does she do it?) and a friend of hers (whose name I forgot- sorry!), and Dawn again. They are sitting in the little knitting area in the shop, which is set amongst the Debbie Bliss yarns.

For some reason, I have no pictures of Erika.

It was a lovely day. I bought a few skeins of Colinette Jitterbug to start swatching for an idea I have. We had a bit of lunch. We had cake. There was time to walk around Bristol a bit and look into a few really cool, independent shops, full of neat things you don't see on every High Street. A great field trip, basically.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Next decision

The summer lace cardigan (honestly, I tried to think of a better name) is going along swimmingly. I've got the fronts and back all knit and blocked.

I eventually chose the deep V-neck option. I think it will look pretty good.

Now, the next question is: what kind of sleeve do I want? I have a couple of options, with some sub-options.

Option A, the more exciting option, aka the one I would prefer to knit:

This is an elbow-length sleeve knit in the lace pattern used in the body of the cardigan. A wide border in the border lace pattern is knit in larger gauge and falls over the elbow. I would leave the inside of this border un-seamed, so that it can be ruffly and fluttery.

Option B, the safe, practical option, aka the one I would prefer to wear:

A fairly plain long sleeve, ending at the wrist, in the lace pattern used on the body of the cardigan. There is a possibility to add a bit of interest: for instance, have a smaller, ruffly border like the first option, but extending a bit over the wrist; or, without lengthening the sleeve, put in a small border in the border lace pattern, so that the sleeves look just like the body of the cardigan.

Let me be perfectly honest- I do not wear fluttery sleeves, and they would probably get on my nerves. I'd put a jacket over it, and get all annoyed that the ruffly bit is wadding up at my elbow. I'd reach over the table for the salt, and drag the ruffle into the ramen broth.

But, to also be perfectly honest- this cardigan cries out for Option A. Option A gives it a true summery, skipping-along-garden-lanes, running-through-fields-of-wildflowers feeling. Option B feels like the mother of the skipping-running summer sprite, hanging back waiting for the imminent skinned knee.

If I were knitting this for anyone else, or writing it as a pattern, no question I'd go for Option A. But I think, in the interests of actually wearing the finished object, and not wasting this beautiful Habu silk, I should probably knit Option B.

Oooh, is this what it feels like to be an adult?