Tuesday, July 24, 2007


The first week of June was a haze of writing handover notes for my old job (despite there being nobody to hand things over to... they haven't got around to recruiting yet...) and leaving. Everyone told me it would feel really strange to leave after over two and a half years, but all I felt was relief. And pleasure at having been able to wangle a good leaving gift through a quiet word in the ear of a good colleague...

Liberty gift tokens (real coins, none of your paper slip rubbish!) and a Liberty hankie (to make up the money I think). Didn't get much of a send-off as a lot of people were away, but can't say I'm that bothered to be honest!

Took a couple of days off before I started the new job, sorted out some wedding stuff (venue, register office stuff and found a possible shop to get my frock from...) and then started the new job, which I am travelling to by bike! Taking a bit of getting used to as I've not had much exercise for a while, but I'm actually really enjoying it (and the new job, thankfully).

Also started knitting Kiri, my first time using Kidsilk Haze (in heavenly), and despite all I've heard about it (the KSH) I'm actually getting on ok with it - 9 repeats completed so far, and into the stretch where it takes a while to get each row done.

The end of June also included a trip to the Liberty sale, but more on that at a later date...

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Another month, another two finished objects!

After about eight months, Seraphim is finally off the needles:

I'm really pleased with it and have worn it a couple of times, although I'm still trying to figure out how best to wear a triangular shawl...

I also completed a feather and fan/old shale lace scarf for a friend, in Rowan Tapestry (approx 3 and a bit balls)

In may we also took a bit of a road trip to visit friends and family - 9 nights in 6 different places, London to Leeds to Durham to Newcastle to Kettering to Cottenham to St Ives (the Cambridgeshire version) and back to London again. Phew!

Took our 6 year old nephew to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre in Washington in the rain - which neither he nor the ducks minded, so the trip was a success! Also managed to sprain my foot chasing him around a playground, I think we underestimated how tiring it is to look after a child, never having had to do so before...

No knitting related purchases in May, there's a wedding to save for!

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I was happy to find that most shops in Tallinn open on Sundays, so we did a bit of a tour and picked up a few bits and pieces...

There is a large shopping centre in Tallinn - I think it was the Viru Centre - and in the basement we found our first shop. No purchases, but worth a look, they just didn't have anything I wanted at the time.

Just on the Town Hall Square, we found this shop:

Where I purchased this yarn:

On Niguliste, we found another shop selling traditional Estonian knitting and more wool:

Picked up a few more bits and pieces there:

And as I mentioned before, on Saturday we found a shop on Narva Mnt where I picked up some bargain rate laceweight - it worked out at about £3 a skein! In fact, all of my purchases were absolute bargains, I spent about £30 in total, and brought home quite a haul!

Tallinn also has loads of places selling traditional knitting, including a whole street full of stalls on Muurvahle (no idea how to add umlauts on blogger unfortunately)

So, that was a great trip.

The rest of the month passed in a blur of telling people about our engagement, with the added highlight of my birthday, a job interview, visiting baby P and family (including a trip to Monkey World - highly recommended) and...

... being offered a new job and being able to hand in my notice! Woohoo!



This was bit of a mad month.

First off, there were the dreaded MWoCs. Which at least led me to get on with applying fo ra new job! Then having gone to the doctor with what he thought was sinusitis, James ended up in hospital for a week. All is well now and he is feeling fine, but life was a bit crazy for while, and I spent as much time as I could visiting. On the plus side, it meant that I managed to knit myself a Forest Canopy shoulder shawl in about 2 weeks!

The magic of blocking took it from this:

To this:

My first piece of lace and I'm very pleased with it! There are a few mistakes, but they're only visible if you look very closely, and the varigation in the yarn takes the attention away from them. Overall, I'm very happy with it :-)

Project specifications to follow when I can remember them...

I also had an interview for another job, an events position for a major medical research charity, but unfortunately I didn't get it.

Thankfully, things picked up later in the month, when we took a trip to Tallinn. Things started well, when I checked my email at the airport to discover a message from my university (the one I left three years ago and have been battling with ever since) telling me I'm finally going to awarded an MPhil. Hurray! It was supposed to be a PhD, but things went so wrong and I was so unsuited to working in research that I was over the moon to salvage something out of the whole debacle.

We arrived on Thursday evening, survived a taxi journey with a driver whose English was only about 2 words better than out Estonian (which amounted to precisely zero words... always a good idea to print out a picture of your hotel and the address) and were happy to find that our hotel was lovely (never did manage to find the sauna though).

Friday we explored the city a bit and then went out for a lovely meal - Modern estonian food, quite good - then decided to climb some nearby steps to one of the viewing platforms on the hill in the old town centre, where you can look out over the city and the coast.

It was lovely to look out over the lights, and even lovelier when James asked me to marry him - I don't think the weekend could have got any better!

On Saturday we walked up to the big park and explored Kadriorg Palace. I found a yarn shop on the way, but more on that in the April installment!

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Going back in time a little, I'll cover my trip to Stockholm and a few details of my explorations!
Stockholm has to be one of my favourite cities, and I've been lucky enough to visit three times now. It's not a cheap city, so having a friend whose floor you can sleep on is very helpful! This was my first trip in winter, and I was hoping for the full Scandinavian winter experience, but alas, it was not to be - I managed to visit on one of the warmest weekends they'd experienced in months, so there was a lot of slush and not much snow - and not much need for the toasty hats and scarves I'd squeezed into my little suitcase either. I did, however, get to walk on a frozen lake, which was quite fun! (the tracks you can see are from cross country ice skates, which I'd never seen before)

I also got to explore some yarn shops and managed limit myself to one purchase (well, it would have been rude not to buy anything at all...)
I went here:

I can't quite figure out what this shop is called, its either Sticka, or This Side Up, but anyway, their website is here. A lovely shop, and the place where I bought this:

There was also another shop just down the road with some lovely stuff that looked to be hand spun/dyed - but I resisted!

We popped in to the yarn section in NK, which seemed to carry a lot of Rowan etc, so not much use to me, though it did look like a good selection, and toured some of the bead shops on Sodermalm. I have a feeling there might have been some yarn shops there too, but we couldn't find them (despite trying!). Finally, we visited Panduro Hobby (UK website here) where I picked up some little label holders which I intend to use on the side of the Ikea boxes that hold a lot of my stash. When I get around to being organised of course!

On the way home on Sunday afternoon, we happened upon another shop on the square where my friend catches the bus every day - which she'd never noticed before (no idea how, it was pretty big!) but unfortunately it had already closed. Oh well, will have to save that for my next visit!

As mentioned in my previous post, my flight home was delayed, so I whiled away some time chasing Bell Bottomed monkey around the airport while he misbehaved:

And that was about it for February, from what I can remember. Well, it was four months ago!


...catching up...

Looks like I fell a bit behind! lots to catch up on, which I will attempt a month at a time...