Wednesday, April 18, 2007

So what have I been doing?

Latest research says PowerPoint is pointless. HALLELUJAH! Now please spread the message around so I don't have to sit through any more ****** awful presentations... or even worse, do one myself.

I started putting together this post with the intention of filling you in on what I've been doing instead of blogging regularly for the last six weeks or so. I did think I hadn't done that much, because there is still loads that I want to get done, but I've reached the conclusion that that's just the way I look at life. I have a tendency to fill every minute with things to do (I always have done, I wasn't one of those children who ever complained of being bored cos there was way too much to do all the time!), usually underestimate (a lot) how long everything is going to take, don't take into account things happening on the spur of the moment (roadworks delaying journeys, the totally unseasonal (but nice) weather that means the plants need watering every night or bumping into people I know who want to chat) and the result is that I feel like I haven't done everything I wanted to. That probably makes me sound like a work-a-holic, but the things to do list includes things like making curtains, and doing some particular knitting, and making cushions, and cooking large yummy meals to put in my freezer and trying to make my garden into something vaguely resembling a garden, and reading all the books I've got out of the library and watching the DVDs I've got out on rental. They're all fun things that I'm looking forward to doing, but it needs about 100 hours in every day. So, that's the way I am (a control freak who doesn't DO spontaneity), but the fab thing is that I have actually got quite a bit done recently, and here it is...

So...
1. I knitted a boob. After reading this post of Anne's, after she'd read this post of the Yarn Harlot's, supporting a breast-feeding support thingy seemed like a good plan. It also seems a bit odd, after all, I haven't got children yet, so I haven't tried it (despite Noah's best efforts as a very tiny baby when he thought anything remotely resembling a bulge would produce milk), but I would like to be able to breast-feed when I do have children so supporting projects that support people who support Mums who want to breast-feed seems like a good plan... Still with me? The pattern is here:

Yes. I know it looks like a cake. And, you see, the base is crocheted (although it can be knitted), so I ended up learning to crochet too. So

2. I learnt how to crochet. With the help of a booklet called "How 2 crochet simply" and 2 balls of Cotton Rope (from stash) I now have a scarf.

And a couple of crochet books. One is from the library and is called "Simple Crochet" by Erika Knight, and the other one is from someone very nice (Darbyrose) from the Knittyboard who heard I was learning to crochet and had a book with the British instructions in which she didn't need, so she sent me it! It's called "New Ideas for Crochet" by Darsha Capaldi. Both book have very clear illustrations for newbies like me, plus some lovely patterns (oh gawd, like I need more things to make?!)

3. I applied for a job. Which I didn't get, although I did get into the final 4 and over 40 people applied. I'm sort of relieved I didn't get it though, as some things about it were a little odd - like the job description saying there was "some" Saturday working, which, when I asked at interview, actually turned out to be "every other" Saturday. Hmm. That's not my definition of "some" and made me wonder what else they were trying to hide! Of course, not getting the job means my Cat Acquisition Plan has had to go back onto the backburner again. And I could have done without the four evenings it took to fill in the application form - don't they know I have Things To Do?!

4. I knitted another square for the Skip North charity afghan, as they didn't have enough with the ones we took to Skip North. I've liked doing the squares, it's been a good chance to try out some stitch patterns. This one's called "Giant Garter Stitch" and is really quick to do as there's lots of slipped stitches. It's from Simply Knitting issue 24 (Feb 2007) and I used Rowan Cashsoft DK (from stash!!)

5. I've done some of the things I had thought of for New Year's resolutions, back in January.
a) I'm now registered for Chartership, and have had my first meeting with my mentor, which went well. I now have to produce something called a "Personal Professional Development Plan". Gulp. All of that has been slightly chaotic as I'm self-employed so even the simple bits (eg, filling in my job description) got more complicated (I don't have a "job" so don't have a job description!).
b) That also had a knock-on effect on my attempting to spend less time online. Yes, I have done considerably less blogging and much less aimless browsing, but I have also discovered a whole new world of things to explore - Chartership blogs (which I'm not linking to, as I want to keep that part of my life separate), librarian blogs and other such goodies. I then developed a new obsession, with Zopa, which is a sort of money-ebay and works a little like a credit union and fits in well with what I'd been thinking about ethical banking and similar things.
c) Knit From Your Stash is going well. I used my get out of jail free card at Skip North, and otherwise have knitted up some stash. I bought a couple of balls for a charity project, but that's all. Only five months to go!

6. I started knitting a baby blanket for the premature baby dept. at Lincoln County Hospital. This is the yarn I bought for it - James C Brett Marble DK. They provided a basic pattern, which I've modified with a stitch pattern called "Spaced Checks" from the Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches. I'm glad I did, as knitting stocking stitch for 25 inches might have driven me insane...

7. I rediscovered the House of Eliot. Lots of DVDs to work through. Great! It's much clunkier than I remember when it was on TV, but I was only in my early teens then and can't remember it that well.

8. I pruned my lovelife. Which is good. Look, I pruned this fuchsia at the same time and now it's sprouting little pink things (although my lovelife isn't sprouting little pink things (yet))! In case anyone is worried, no, there isn't a man wandering around with some bits lopped off, I didn't take the pruning quite that far...


9. I got a place on the summer school at London University that I applied for a while ago. So I'll do one module (1/4 of a postgrad diploma), which is normally taught over a term, in four days. What was I saying about filling my time up?! It's also costing me £150 extra in fees to write a 5000 word essay afterwards and have it assessed, but I can't see the point of just doing the course and then not having anything really to show for it, plus that would be 1/4 of a diploma completed should I decide in a moment of madness that I want to do more studying and complete the whole thing...

10. I attacked the garden. This really is taking ages to get done. I've been painting the fence and doing a bit every evening when I get in from work whilst jacket potatoes etc are in the oven (hence the need to make something big and freeze portions. I have mentioned to Monkey that it would be nice for dinner to be on the table when I get in from work but so far none has been forthcoming and he just demands more bananas). I also forgot to stir the wood preservative gunk stuff when I started so the first couple of fence panels are very pale and it gradually gets darker the further along you go...
*edited to add - Claire's managed to paint her fence in a yarn colour, so any ideas what mine might be?!


I have five different sets of next-door neighbours due to the way our gardens are laid out. And I've now had lengthy chats with all of them over various bits of fence! So nice and friendly, but not conducive for plenty of fence-painting. And there's still the trellis to go (have been putting this bit off) as it's going to take FOREVER. Fortunately the clematis I've ordered (special offer in the Guardian!!) aren't coming until June...

11. And I knitted a tanktop for Dylan's 1st birthday next month. This is the "Tom" slipover from the Patons "Nursery Days" pattern book and is in Patons Washed Haze Aran. I altered the pattern slightly to make it less bulky.
And since when has a tanktop been called a "slipover"?!



Phew. Maybe I should blog more often to remind myself how much really has been going on? But, of course, that would take up time... ;-)

19 comments:

Anne said...

Coo! Not much going on then? ;-)

We may be passing by your neck of the woods on our way to the Peak District tomorrow - I'll wave if we do.

Seahorse said...

I'm tired just reading about it all!

All the knits are great and I'm very impressed with the crochet!

knihovnik2000 said...

Ah, so you've got yourself a mentor already have you?! I haven't really sorted myself out in that area yet unfortunately. My excuse is I'm too busy, but it's wearing thin I think ;-) I am busy, but I should still do something about it!

Which Library blogs are you reading then? I read a pile from the US - they seem to be a lot more gobby than us ;-) though I have just written a massive post on the LIShow.

And just as an aside, how exactly do you prune your lovelife?! Is any man safe from your shears and size 35 knitting needles? ;-)

Nickerjac said...

Wow you make me feel positively lazy.

Anonymous said...

Nice to catch-up with you.
all love
Denise
xx

angie Cox said...

It's my age no doubt Daisy but I am not sure what clunkier means ? I would like to buy the set of "House of Eliot" for Holly ...lots of costumes who cares about the writing sometimes !! I hope you saw "I Capture the Castle" last Saturday ..wonderful !

Seahorse said...

Ooh, I think your fence might be Garstudio Karisma shade 36! ;)

http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/en/visgarn.php?garn=Karisma

dreamcatcher said...

Yarn-coloured fences LOL! Congrats on learning to crochet, my feeble efforts only amount to doing a simple edging so far! Lovely knits (and, er, crochets?!) too :-)

Mary Anne said...

You have been a busy person the past month or so! Good for you; sounds like you're having a great time.
ps: maybe one day Monkey will learn to cook and shop for food :)

Queen Frogger said...

Well done on getting the summer school place. You have been busy! I like the little vest top.

acrylik said...

Loved reading all about what you've been up to, certainly sounds ultra busy. Your garden is coming along really well, I love everything you've been doing to it. The little tank top is so cute! And the little blanket is lovely, someone will treasure that.

Kat said...

ooh variagated fences, it could catch on!

Farli said...

Hello,

I rediscovered season 1 of House of Elliot last year - quite wonderful.

Any idea when you might like to pop over here for a visit?

Sue H said...

Love that crotchet'd scarf, well done. I have just given crochet another go, after more than 30 years since last trying. I did ok, but I certainly don't enjoy it, and find it so much harder than knitting.

Iris said...

wow, you have been busy! I feel quite lazy now. ;-)

artyfartykat said...

Phew! You have been busy!
Well done on the crochet, another skill to add to the list!
The garden looks beautiful too.

KnitYoga said...

You HAVE been very busy! I love your yarn coloured fence - similar shade to mine! Your garden is coming along fantastically! Congrats on learning to crochet!

nanatoo said...

You've been very productive and it's all good :D
Well done on a crocheted scarf, I am envious as I haven't learned how yet!

Rain said...

Blimey, you have been busy. Love the 'slipover'. Your course sounds like it's going to be hard work.