Sunday, 26 April 2009

Where the hell did April go?

Jeez. It's the 26th already. I think I lost a couple of weeks somewhere. I got slightly broadsided by hurting my back, leading to working from home most of last week. It was nice, but annoying as I couldn't really do much around the place as I didn't want to aggravate my back. It was only a pulled muscle so all better now pretty much, but another sign of my increasing age :-) It was interesting to watch what goes on when I'm not normally at home, mainly the hens running riot in my front garden. If they carry on that game I'll put one in the pot. Probably the noisy cockerel first.

Anyway, apart from plotting the brutal murder of the livestock, I've managed to achieve a few things. I had a Project Spectrum moment, when I realised we're nearly into May and the next Cardinal Direction, and I haven't finished half the stuff I wanted to do for March - April. I may have to alter my timescales a bit, but that doesn't really alarm me too much. I did manage to snap a few photos for East already, we had a few really nice sunny days so I took full advantage. (I also did gardening which was what did for my back. Win some, lose some.) Of course the weather now has turned, it's raining, windy and I've had to light the heating again. So I started an afghan, for Project Spectrum North. This is all manmade fibres for easiness of care and because I wanted fluffy bits. I like fluffy bits in these sort of things, it adds a nice variety of texture both visual and tactile. I am an equal-opportunity yarn crafter.

I love green, which is why PS North has been good for me so far. Funny for someone who supports Hearts to like green, but hey. I can't help my tastes. There's also lots of springy new growth busting out all over, so photography has been really easy. PS North is actually put under Winter as its season, but I guess that's aimed more at people in the Northern US. Here Spring has definitely sprung.

I've one more project I'd like to do for North, which is a vest / sleeveless top in some gorgeous Scottish Tweed DK in a lovely sharp green. I think I've tracked down the pattern I want (finally!) - Vestish by Robin Dodge. It's very cute with the pockets and neckline flowing into the straps. I'll probably knit in the round up to the armholes though. Hate sewing up, you know? :-) It seems very wearable as well, I can picture this over a shirt for work, or over a flowery blouse with a cute twirly skirt.

I've also had a couple of distractions from Project Spectrum. One is lace. Remember I said I was going to do the Fountain Pen Shawl? Well I'm not. Let us speak no more of the matter. I've swapped over to the Large Rectangle in Leaf and Trellis Pattern (rav link) from Victorian Lace Today. I'm still using the Old Maiden Aunt laceweight merino in the Gothic colourway, which is gorgeous. I'm working it on a 4mm needle which, in all honesty, may be a little bit too large for this, but I am not frogging this yarn again as I don't think it would like it very much. The original pattern calls for a slightly heavier yarn, though I notice Rav has it listed as 4-ply which is interesting (and I think is a mistake - many people are workinging this in 2-ply / laceweights). I thought it was more like a 3-ply weight but meh. I'll just not block the finished article too hard. I don't have a picture as it currently looks like a small piece of tangled pinky-red-black spaghetti.

I also saw this on Flickr. Go on, click. I'm never too sure if I can post someone else's work on here, so I've just linked. This is inspired by the work of Anu Tuominen, a Finnish artist. She does some wicked things with crochet potholders. Seriously. Do a Flickr search and you'll see them. So of course, this has triggered a potholder kick, which in turn sparked off a general dishcloth / facecloth / tawashi exploration, which now means I have a load of dinky flower-shaped facecloths sitting in the bathroom. (Pattern here) I also may have bought some more crochet cotton. Ahem.

Mmm, Peaches 'n' Creme, finally available in the UK from here. The colours are to die for, however it is a true worsted weight which means it may not be suitable for UK patterns. It's between a DK and aran, I would say.

It's not been all yarn here either. Today I started a drawing for the first time since, well, I actually can't remember it's been that long. I will take some pictures once it's a bit more advanced. I've also been patchworking, piecing the top for my quilt. Experienced quilters may wish to look away now. There is no plan. no overall design, my seams are best not discussed in detail and I can't cut a straight line to save my life. However, I am enjoying the process. It's nice to work with fabric again.

Somewhere I have a quilt that I never finished, that was falling apart because I didn't know about proper seam allowances. I must dig it out and see if anything can be done with it.

And finally, this big box arrived:

What could it be?

No, surely not. It's not a...

It is! It's Roomba's little brother, the Scooba!

Here it is in action:

I tell you, with a bad back it was a ruddy Godsend. Yes folks, I am the proud owner of a £300 mop. My parents now think I am insane, I dread to think what the bf will say when he sees it, but to be honest, I do not care. My floors are clean and that is awesome. I plonk it in the room to be done, shift any stuff out of the way, press "go" and off it potters. I can then go and do something else far more interesting. It even plays a little tune to tell you it's finished. Awesome. I reckon this saves me 2-3 hours work easily. At that rate it's paid for itself after a few uses, and it's far more effective than sloshing a mop around. Also it's rather compelling watching it. I have yet to introduce it to the cat. That could be quite funny.


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