Thursday, November 20, 2008


Just about to start packing to go for a visit to the US, for the first time in two years. The last time was right after The Limey and I got married.

Not only is it a long-awaited visit home to San Francisco, but it will also be a 3-state tour. We're seeing some of my old, old friends in Seattle and Portland before we fly down to SF.

I'm really excited because my group of college friends used to have these awesome, really fun Thanksgiving dinners, and I haven't made it to one for four years- ever since I moved out of the country. I timed this visit especially so I'd be in Portland for Turkey Day.

Besides that, I haven't seen these friends in nearly three years. Most of them, therefore, haven't even met The Limey. I have instructed them to queue up beer for him to try, because I'm sick of the crappy reputation American beers have over here. Miller and Budweiser are not representative when you have all the craft and microbreweries of the Pacific Northwest!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tailored Tweed Dress

Have you checked out the new issue of Knotions yet?! If not, go now!

It's only the second issue of Knotions, but Jody's done such a great job with it- the patterns are really fabulous. And I say that not only because this lovely gem is in it:

Tailored Tweed Dress
Yarn: Commodum Aran Tweed
Needles: 3.5mm circulars
Pattern: my own! Available in the Winter 2008 issue of Knotions

Notes: Okay, I can hear the chorus: A knitted dress?! But, honestly, people, you will look good in this dress. I have done absolutely everything I can think of to make sure this dress fits and flatters.

This dress features:
A-line skirt: This shape of skirt looks great on virtually everyone. It skims your hips, and doesn't hug in inappropriate places.

Ribbed waist: The waist on this dress is ribbed and shaped. If you're one of those lucky women with an hourglass figure (like Audrey in these pictures), it will show it off. If you're like me and have the perfect 34-34-34 figure, it will give you a waist.

Shaping by darts: so that the dress is even vaguely woman-shaped, I have used decreases and increases in paired darts instead of just at the sides. At the back hips, I put in darts to nip in the waist. At the bust, I have put in darts at the front because, let's face it, you're carrying a bit more width at the front there than at the back, eh? (Even me!)

Slipped stitch lines: I've put in slipped stitch lines as fake "seams" to have some slimming vertical lines for the eye.

Adjustable length: Though this dress is designed to be knee-length, I know that this is different for everyone. (Oh, don't I know about height issues!) So I've written the pattern in a way that lets you decide your perfect skirt length and knit to that length.

So now that I've convinced you that you would look awesome in this dress, what's in it for you as a knitter?
Knit in the round: 'Nuff said.

Aran-weight yarn: so you're not knitting a bazillion stitches per round, but it doesn't add unacceptable bulk to the wearer. Also, this is a pretty easy weight for substitution.

Herringbone edges: I got bored of ribbed, garter, and moss-stitch edges. The herringbone is interesting.

So, go on! You know you want to!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How's that for unfair?

The Limey was sent off this morning for work... to Dublin.

The decision to send him was made at short notice, and flights for me to Dublin for this weekend (unfortunately too busy at work to take any days off) were too expensive. So I'm stuck here while he's off drinking with our friends at a variety of pubs. Pah!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

City mouse vs. country mouse

For the past few months, The Limey and I have been having a conversation that goes 'round and 'round in circles. We're not disagreeing with each other, we just can't make a decision or figure out what we want.

First, the good news: due to the "current economic climate" and our- okay, The Limey's- saving prowess, we have enough for a deposit on a modestly-priced home. Even here in SE England.

The bad news is: we don't know where we want to live / what we want to buy! (I know, I know, first world problems.)

As mentioned before, I'm a city girl. I've always said that, should the day ever come, I'd choose a teeny city centre flat over a huge suburban house without a moment's hesitation. Now that that day is here, I'm completely confused.

See, when I compared the suburban home vs the city centre flat in my head, I didn't know that I would so desperately want a garden. I also didn't know that the desired flat would mean an extra hour's commute into work. When it was a hypothetical choice without, you know, reality muddying the waters, it was simple. But am I willing to give up space, an extra bedroom, a dining room, a garden, and five extra hours of life a week (on top of my already long commute)?

The Limey is different: he'd always figured he'd choose the larger suburban house, no problem. But for him, the house means he has to drive to work, which means no after work drinking with work buddies, as well as the stress of driving every day. The house means no easy ringing up of friends and saying, "See you down the pub in half an hour." The suburban house means friends and colleagues are too far away to casually invite 'round for dinner.

We've been talking about this for aaages, and we just can't get anywhere. We just don't know what we want. Now that it's time to actually look at possibilities, we're totally stuck.

How did you guys decide where to live? What other issues should we think about when deciding where to buy? How have you coped with commutes and friends? What do you wish you had known before you bought/moved? I know it's ultimately our decision, but I'm begging for any insight into the process, or any information that may sway us one way or another.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Some kind of record, surely?

Since it's been getting distinctly wintery here of late, I've gotten lots of chances to wear my knitted clothing. I've worn my Tailored Tweed Dress three times in the last two weeks. But today, I wore a record-breaking five (5!) pieces of hand-knits:

They're in all different styles and clashing colours, but so what?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


As Kate noted, the title of my last post could have been written about the election results, and so it is.

I was going to write a long post about patriotism and my conflicting and confusing attitudes towards being patriotic, but I'll just say this:

I believe the election- by the American people- of Barack Obama crystallizes everything that is good about the US.

No matter what else happens, if I can hold on to that image of the Obama family as they came out for the victory speech, to know that they were given the chance (by a landslide!) to occupy The White House, I can be proud of my country.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sanity prevails

I thought seriously about staying up all night, nursing a vat of wine and watching the election results come in. But since the polls don't start closing until 11pm UK time, I realized I'd have needed to plan ahead for it and taken tomorrow off work. Not to mention the hangover. Or, more likely, the still being drunk.

So I think I'll just check first thing in the morning.