Thursday, September 07, 2006

Where does the time go?

I can quite see why some blogs don't get updated that often: like many things in life, it can be difficult to find the time! Not that it takes that long for the simple posts I've managed so far, but just making time to sit down and write for a few minutes is one of those things that modern times don't seem to allow for.

Though maybe that is, in part, due to the fact that I've written all my posts so far while at work, and for the past few days I've actually been doing what I should do - getting some work done. Catching up with all those things I do before taking tomorrow and all of next week off, hurray!

As for craft-related content - no pics (still) but a small revelation for me: I've finally figured out lace knitting (not 'knitted lace' - that is significantly beyond my skills at the moment). The lightbulb moment occurred when I figured out that a 'yfwd' was just that - bringing the yarn forward - and did not include knitting the next stitch. My sole achievement so far is a square with a chevron pattern, but it is an achievement I'm very proud of!

Ok, must go now - a few last things to sort out and then I'm off for a week of weddings (two, and I'm bridesmaid at one of them) and exploring the yarn shops of Devon and Cornwall...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Rules of a yarn diet?

I’ve begun to compile a list of my stash in a little notebook that I can carry around with me – so if temptation strikes (a) I can take a look and hopefully scare myself out of purchasing and (b) if I do succumb, I can double check I’m not duplicating something I’ve already got (this applies particularly to the non-yarn part of my stash – I know many refer to needles as tools and discount them from the stash, but in reality I know I’m collecting far more than I need with my ‘might need that one day’ mindset!!). Hopefully the list will make it here eventually, but I’ve got a bit of work to do yet!

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about ‘yarn diets’. My question is: can a yarn diet run along the same lines as a food diet, where some suggest the 80:20 rule – being good 80% of the time? And if so, how do you define that 80%?!

I’m off to Devon at the weekend for a visit to the folks and a friend’s wedding, and last time I was down there I noticed that a new yarn shop has opened in the town where my parents live. Quite amazingly it seems to stock something other than brightly coloured acrylics: as with many things, the trend for quality yarns is taking time to work its way down there. So, having promised to myself that I won’t buy any more stuff until the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace, I find myself tempted – in the name of supporting local/small business, of course! I think the rules to follow here are: only if I absolutely love it, can’t buy it anywhere else (except the internet – which is never as good as being able to hold something in your hand) AND know exactly what I would like to make with it.

And no, I’ve never been much good at food diets, so why should a yarn diet be any different!

Friday, September 01, 2006

The difficult second post...

So… You start a blog – as a result of reading loads of others (when you should be working!) and then… what do you write?! I’m not a prolific crafter – so progress of ‘half a 6”x6” square last night!!’ isn’t going to be entirely fascinating, is it? Ah well, lets just give it a go and see how things progress… (Oh, and the only digital camera I have is on my mobile phone, so this could be a little lacking in photos for a while – hoping to resolve that one at Christmas)

As suggested in the blog title, I’m a great one for starting projects, but when it comes to the knitting and crochet I think I could count on the fingers of one hand the number I’ve actually finished! Saying that, I’ve only really got back into this kind of things in the past year/18 months, having previously been preoccupied with excessive years in education and lab work. Now happily (well, reasonably happily) ensconced in an office job where I spend all day sat in front of a computer, doing something creative of an evening is the perfect antidote. And also the awkward sod in me likes it because of the puzzled reaction so many people have to the idea that I find knitting fun – it’s not just for old ladies folks – haven’t you heard?!

When it comes to the sewing side of things, I’ve been a little more successful, possibly in part because it’s so much quicker to do for me. Recently completed projects include roll-up holders for my knitting needles (one for straights and one for DPNs/circulars – did I forget to mention that I’m a bit of a compulsive shopper and my subconscious seems to be under the impression that if I have endless supplies, I’ll achieve more, when the reverse is probably true?) and one for my crochet hooks. I’ve also made all the curtains in my flat and a couple of other bits and pieces. The latest thing I’m planning to start there is a patchwork blanket for the soon to arrive baby of a friend.

So, what with that and the knitted blanket I’m also working on (about a third of the way through at the moment), and the baby due at the end of October – not a problem, right? If I don’t bother coming to work for a couple of weeks that is! (Oh, forgot to mention the tiny detail of some corrections I need to do on an old piece of work that will mean I salvage something out of 3 ½ years of blood sweat and tears in the lab, rather than ending up with nothing but a big gap in my CV – but that’s another story…)

Perhaps next time I’ll try to figure out exactly what projects I have in progress/have purchased stash for/have promised I’ll get finished for someone. The blog as a means of getting projects under control? Now there’s a novel one…