I was grumpy yesterday. I was so grumpy (and whiny) that my partner started laughing hysterically every time I said something. It did not help.Yesterday I hated humanity. I hated the world. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and not interact with anything or anyone at all. Snarl. But I mellowed. I treated myself to some of my favourite things and I got into my comfort zone. This is how I eventually returned to normality:

  • Tea. A strategically timed cup of hot, milky, strong tea with plenty of sugar. I am normally a coffee fiend, but tea makes me happy.
  • Some old favourites on my iPod: Finn Brothers' dark and atmospheric Suffer Never hit the spot as did Crowded House's wistful, mysterious Kare Kare.
  • Knitting in bed. I am currently working on a shawl pattern with a release date ultimo September. I loved working soothing lace repeats with  Juno Fibre Arts' "Belle". The feel and handle of the yarn is extraordinary.

My other half is off for a second blissful day of Glasgow Comic Con (yesterday he met Grant Morrison, if that means anything to you. Dave told me it was A Very Big Deal). I think I shall flex my toes, have a long bath and then continue my therapeutic dose of 90s moody Antipodean pop, tea-drinking and knitting. And breathe.

Stuff & Nonsense

Despite myself, I went to a gig yesterday to see this man and his new band, Pajama Club. Okay, so it is a bad photo. I was a bit too busy enjoying myself to worry too much about photographs.

Basically, I was in the third row dead-centre in a small club watching my favourite musician play new music that wasn't actually all that bad (unlike last time I saw him). Not a patch on my favourite stuff from his hand, but stuff I would actually like to listen to some more..

.. and somewhere along the way I managed to pull a muscle in my back. I think I'm getting old.


Dear FirstGlasgow, I am interested in learning why your bus driver wanted to charge me an additional 45p for a return ticket within Zone 1. I was wearing a green coat (from a reputable High Street chain) at the time which the driver was quite obviously eye-balling before informing me that a Zone 1 ticket was "For you, £3.45". Surely FirstGlasgow does not base its pricing upon what a customer wears, so what gives?

Looking forward to hearing from you, Karie Bookish.

In case anybody wonders why I'm discussing my wardrobe in a complaints letter, here's the Wikipedia article on Sectarianism in Glasgow. My green coat is just a green coat, but unfortunately some people see it differently. Green equals support for Celtic FC in their eyes and so I never wear my coat when the Old Firm are playing each other. People get very silly sometimes, unfortunately.

In less serious news, I cast off my Skald shawl the other day and unpinned it today. Photos and info to follow. The yarn, a Faroese 1ply, blocked beautifully but it does look like a cat slept on top of the shawl. It's really quite hairy. I have cast on for the next shawl, the Rock Island Shawl, in Old Maiden Aunt merino/silk lace (colourway: strange rock'n'rollers). The shawl is actually meant for Ms Old Maiden Aunt herself, Lilith, and I hope she'll like it. It has been ages since I promised to knit her a shawl..

.. I've been knitting whilst listening to Enzology, a podcast from Radio New Zeland about one of my all-time favourite bands: Split Enz (sort-of like New Zealand's answer to The Beatles, only not). It is a heady combination: lace, sunshine, and early Split Enz (youtube link). The combination has truly blown the cobwebs from my brain.

Less than two weeks to the Eurovision Song Contest, though, and I'm still not excited. Maybe I need to remove a few more cobwebs..


I have ten rows to go on my tenth shawl of 2010. The rows are getting very long now, so I'm taking a break - just long enough to make myself a cup of tea and to update my sadly neglected blog. It has been a very long week. All my best intentions and all my best-laid plans flew out the window whilst I tried to hold on to my sanity and get through a mountain of work. I have been playing catch-up ever since returning from Denmark and I think I'm almost nearly there.

These things have helped me through the week:

My shawl beckons me (as does that cup of tea). Have a lovely weekend.

Spot the Mistake

Sorry about the size of the picture, but I thought I would share what happens when you knit on five hours of sleep (I know other people do just fine on five hours of sleep, but I'm a nine-hours sort of gal). This happens.

The project is my Harmony cardigan made with Rowan Fine Milk Cotton. I'm currently knitting the left front. The button band is integrated with the lower half of the pattern: you knit the lace pattern, then knit nine stitches in a rib pattern and finish with a K1. It is easy and looks elegant. No problems.

Problems arise on the purl side where the pattern has you P1, then knit in rib pattern before purling back across the lace pattern. I blame my lace-knitting ways for instinctively slipping the first stitch instead of P1. I did not realise my error until much later - to be honest - I'm not going to rip back some fifty rows to fix this. I know this means I'm a bad, bad knitter, but so be it.

Besides, the right button band will overlap the left one and we are talking about something that'll be around lower-belly height. I would have ripped back had I made that mistake somewhere much more visible, believe you me.

Speaking of mistakes, I made the mistake of looking at my knitting queue and then looking at the local yarn sale. My planned 2010 Stash Slam Down is going seriously wonky, because I came away with nine balls of Calmer in a rich chocolate brown (which will become Still as soon as I finish Harmony) and four balls of Kidsilk Aura (destined to become Opal). I had my eye on some Pima Cotton in Caftan too, but thankfully I was reminded that I am not much of a cotton knitter (nor do I wear pink). Thank you, Paula, for talking some sense into me. Although there's always Daisy...

No. Well. Anyway. Stashdown.

In wholly unrelated news, I have finally listened to the new Crowded House album and, oh, it is not good. It is really not good. I have been composing an essay in my head for a few days now - all about the trajectory of Neil Finn's creative output (starting with Split Enz, then the various incarnations of Crowded House, through to the Finn Brothers albums, his solo output and collaborations) but I think my 3,000 word essay might just have to stay in my head, because someone else have already said pretty much what I wanted to say.

Heroes should never be allowed to grow old. Or grow a moustache.

Under the Peach Trees

Strange week.

  • Finished a shawl. It is a gift, so I am not posting information or pictures before the recipient has opened her present. But it was an underwhelming knit: the pattern was horrible, the colour unlike me and it took me forever to finish. I know the recipient will love it because the shawl is so, so her and that makes it all worthwhile.
  • Ripped back several rows of my 4-ply cardigan because I had mistakenly thought I did not need to check the chart. I did. Fine Milk Cotton still holding up really well despite the abuse.
  • The Crowded House concert veered between being sublime (hello, In My Command), cringe-inducing (one of their new songs goes "In Amsterdam / I fell under a tram" - whatever happened to knees and kitchens? I want references to knees and kitchens back) and downright embarrassing (security guards being very obnoxious to anyone wanting to dance). And Neil Finn still sported a moustache.
  • Other Half had to go to hospital due to a dodgy knee. He is fine now, but I was all over the place for about three hours. This is love feels like: one huge pool of worry.
  • Finished reading John Buchan's The Power-House, a novella without a plot but a lot of sinister innuendos. It reminded me of Mark Gatiss' The Devil in Amber which I read a few years ago. This is not a compliment. In Buchan's defence, he was writing within the period.

I am now packing for my Yorkshire adventure. I borrowed Miss Old Maiden Aunt's Tangled Yoked Cardigan so I had something to keep me warm during my stay. Of course, my adventure coincides with the sudden arrival of summer but you never know about the British weather.. yes, all the stories about changeable British weather are true. I am also packing my 4-ply cardigan project and am pondering whether to bring a tiny one-skein project too (funny how becoming a Knittah changes your approach to packing your suitcase). I'm also charging my iPod (and if you have Spotify access, I have compiled a Spotify playlist for the journey).

I hope for a better week ahead. I have the Yorkshire adventure lined up, but even more important: next week is Eurovision week! I will be missing the first semi-final, but will be all hyped up about the contest nevertheless. Woot!