Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A busy day

Hey there

I've been on a course for work today at the NEC in Birmingham. It was so lovely to be out and about and the course was actually very informative and interesting. I don't think I felt myself drifting sleepily once all day- which is pretty much a miracle! The lectures were centred around the use of blood and blood components in emergency situations and major incidents.

The most interesting features were the lectures on how this was done during the London Bombings of 7th July 2005. It was heart wrenching to hear the accounts of 2 A&E nurse practioners who were involved in the management and care of hundreds of critically injured and how some others were just too bad to even consider the "wasting" of valuable resources and made as comfortable as possible.

There were also lectures on cell salvage where the patients' own blood can be collected, processed and re-transfused to minimalize the amount of donor blood given to them during massive haemorrhage. All told, it was amazing to see how much our National Blood Service really needs donors and to educate the masses on the correct use of blood products and reduce mistakes that cost lives.

I know this is a bit alien to some of you, but I guess despite my artistic nature, I have the flip side of being a scientist as well... strange but true. I did fit in a bit of knitting today though! I couldn't knit during lectures obviously- I was too busy taking notes- but I did a little bit on the train and during the lunch intermission. So what have I cast on now???

To the impatient (you know who you are!) who leave comments demanding their next fix of my blogging, I have started the Cloud Bolero which I chose to make after running a small competition to find a bolero/shrug pattern and Ruth send me the link for Ysolda's creation. I have hit the 'cast on' button for it on ravelry so my progress will be added to on there as well as on here. So far I've done the set up rows and 2 out of 3 pattern repeats for section A so it's a good start so far. I'll post pictures when it actually looks a bit better, the piece isn't really long enough yet to get a half decent shot of anything.

Ho hum, I ought to be going to bed since I have to do some work on the portfolio tomorrow at work and it's hard enough to understand w/o sleep deprivation!

Good Night x

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A FO!!!

Wow, the first 'proper' FO of the year!

Dahlia is finally finished! All the knitty gritty is on my ravelry profile :o)

Here's the pics tho as promised. I literally finished it tonight and am super happy with it. Albeit a little baggy, I'm sure I can pimp it up with a scarf or nice belt at the waist as suggested in the pattern notes.

Well they aren't fabulous shots but for midnight using the camera on my phone, they'll have to do until I can get DB to play photographer.

I'm really happy with how everything turned out, even the sleeves. I was afraid they'd be weird because I had to do them on 5.5mm dpns instead of 5mm dpns. I would've eventualy bought another set to replace my lost 5mm dpn set but I wanted to wear this o Ravelry day- hurrah only 8days to go!

Well guys sorry for the uber-short post but I'm shattered and really need to get some ZZzzz's!

Ooops I forgot to do the Topic 6 answer for UKSwap!
Q: Have you done a swap before (doesn't have to be a knitting swap)? What do you like best about swapping? Are there any personal "requirements" that a swap has to have before you will join?

Well, this is my first swap! I guess I was a little too nervous before to join one, but I've really enjoyed this so far. I guess I didn't want to much fussing with the swap. This is fairly straightforward with a reasonable budget (though I've got a little carried away!). I'll definately consider doing another!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

topic 5 Anticipation

What kind of Spoilee are you? Are you paranoid that it's not being sent, or lost in the post? Do you want it to arrive quickly? OR Do you enjoy the anticipation? Sitting and pondering when it will arrive... and anxiously waiting for it, close to the deadline?

Well this weeks topic has been running on the ravelry group forum this week. I think my answer would be that because it is my first swap I am a little nervous and I want to make sure my downstream pal is spoiled. I think I'm trying not to get too excited about my parcel as I don't know what exactly to expect. I've really enjoyed emailing back and forth with my SPs and it's going quite well so far. I suppose I'm terrible with surprises and want to know what I'm getting and when but then feel disappointed (like if you know what your presents are before christmas day).

This week:

Well knitting wise it has been somewhat barren. Last week I managed to get Dahlia cast off but I haven't done the sleeves yet. I think the main reason I haven't rushed to the finish line with this one is I KNOW I have 5mm dpns somewhere but can't for the life of me find them! I have 4.5mm and 5.5mm at hand but dont want to spoil the project by messing up the sleeves. And because I'm stubborn I'd rather find them them than buy new ones when I dont use dpns all that often.

I have however made a little FO! I cast it on last night and finished it about an hour ago while seth was having a nap. DB has had a new toy- an Ipod nano and I've made him a cozy for it- just plain black as he's not into fancy colours. I used Rowan 4 ply soft on my ebony lantern moon 2.25mm dpns. I love working with wooden dpns but I have quite a grip and tend to snap them. My current stash of dpns are quite a composite of brittany birch (2 separate incomplete sets) and my beloved ebonys. I also have the addi metal dpns for a project that isn't super quick so I don't waste my wooden ones!

I made up the pattern after browsing through a few other bloggers FOs and cast on 30 st, did 5 rows of *k1tbl,p1* rib and then just knit until it was long enough for the ipod to fit in beneath the ribbing rows. I finished it off with kitchener stitch so there was no seam and weaved in the ends. Ta Da!!! I always have to get my copy of Stitch and Bitch out to do kitchener stitch though! I can never remember the steps.

I had started another project (yes strartitis is rife in my house) but then had to rip it out. I had planned to make a 'branching out' scarf from knitty for my great aunt as she loved the simple fir cone lace one I had made her for christmas. Trouble is the koigu I plan to use just isn't suited to the branching out pattern. The pattern needs something less variegated to show off the lace work and the koigu needs a pattern to show off the lovely colours. So.... I'm pattern hunting yet again. I only have 2 skeins of the koigu so I need something semi-lacy so that I can stretch out the yardage without losing the warmth of the yarn. I love koigu as it is just a great 'sproingy' and soft but delicate yarn.

Any how I have a great deal of tidying and such as the living room looks as if a pipe bomb went off and the toys were the shrapnel!

Good night and hopefully I'll get around to posting more than once a week when the swap topics come up!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Topic 4: Valentines Day

Hi there!

Still trying to keep up with the blogging. I suppose being part of the swap is making me update it as much as I possibly can.

And so for this week: Topic 4 Valentines Day

I guess i've never had a spectacularly fabulous romantic valentines day! My DB and I generally get each other a card and a little something and this year I think we agreed to get a card and instead of the usual chocolates/teddy/random useless item we're going to have a meal together. Sounds simple, but with Seth our 17month son getting any peaceful mealtimes is quite rare! I think if we could get a sitter, we'd go out but I think a late dinner when Seth's in bed with a nice film etc will be just as nice.

I do remember when I lived with my last bf he never celebrated Valentines. He didn't even believe in buying a card. I know it's an over commercialised holiday but a small gesture is nice- No not even a box of chocolates!

Aah now for the weeks news....

I had my official letter from the university saying I had indeed finished my BSc Biomedical (Hons) degree course and I will graduate in may/june with a 2(i). Hurrah!

Dahlia hasn't gotten much further as I'm half way through the sewn bind off for the skirt. I'm half way because the sewn bind off is so long winded and takes forever and with 200 and sum odd stitches.... Yawn! Yesterday I tried to get it finished but I was poorly with D&V and didn't even have the strength to sit up straight. I spend the majority of the day asleep/throwing up/sat on the loo. Lovely. I feel much better today but still weak and green around the gills though.

I've managed to pick up a few things for my downstream SP but I can't mention what they are just in case she stumbles along my blog!

Ah well not much else to report. I've had a few scarf orders- my friend wants a red scarf with a yellow 'W' as a womble scarf! He's going as Orinoco to a 70's fancy dress and my Great Aunt would like another koigu lace scarf as I gave her one for christmas and she wears it all the time. It was just the fircone lace pattern out of stitch directory in several repeats and garter border. Nice effect though and was very pretty when finished. Must get on with some knitting then!


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Weekly Topic 3

The Project Process

Q: What is your process when planning a project? Do you shop for yarn and then find a suitable pattern? Do you find your pattern and then go out to buy the yarn? Or are you stash-busting? If your stash is out of control, how did it get that way?

The best answer to this question is all 4 options!!!!
*Sometimes I see a yarn I really like and find a pattern linked to it I'd like to make. If the yarn is a fairly generic DK or Aran weight then I try and find a pattern that I've wanted to make before.
*Sometimes I see a pattern I like and keep a mental note; most of the time I go surfing like crazy through my popular knitting shops/sites and try and find an affordable but fitting yarn for the pattern if the yarn used is too expensive or not something I like. It's not often I have stash for must have patterns!
*If at all possible I'll use stash. On the odd occasion I'll try and find a pattern for some stash yarn I have.
* I really really need to cull my stash. There is a lot of long lost WIP stash and odd balls of something or other or yarn I've bought and I cannot think why on earth I have bought it! I can't physically bin it though!!! Maybe I'll take the more hideous stuff to a charity shop and ebay what "nice but I'll never use because.." stash or give it away. I've been promising to cull for ages....

On a different note:

I've almost finished Dahlia! I need to cast off the bottom of the skirt now that it is 12inches and finish the sleeves and it will be done. I'll take photos and update when I finish it.
The Garden Scarf is about 5 flowers long. I really like how quick the flowers grow.
I'm waiting for my swap details to come through. I really hope that I'm still a part of the UK Swap! My very first no less and I'm really excited too!!! I know this an abrupt post but I really want to get some progress on Dahlia while Seth is napping!