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..

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.

World Where You Live

This week I cast on for my Harmony cardigan for the sixth time. Let me run down the other five attempts: 1) cast on during Doctor Who, 2) cast on during knitting group, 3) cast on long-tail and ended up out of yarn 13 stitches from end, 4) cast on wrong size, and 5) cast on with seriously wonky tension. Cast-on number 6 worked, thankfully. I have had to adjust the needle size, so I am now knitting a 4-ply cardigan on size 3mm  (US 2) needles. Wish me luck. One thing is certain: Rowan Fine Milk Cotton is a quality yarn. Remember, I used the same length of yarn to cast-on (and rip-out). While the actual yarn looks a bit crinkly, the knitted fabric looks as fresh as a daisy. Just look at the photograph and think of the abuse .. I knew that FMC would be a good yarn to work with - after all, it is a staple Rowan yarn - but I'm still impressed. I am now pondering other potential FMC summer knits (Geno from Rowan 43 and Arielle from Kim Hargreaves' Misty spring to mind), but let us see how the 4-ply on 3mm needles work out for me and my sanity..

Yes, my hand is better while I still cannot knit as much as I usually do. Actually, my hand is just peachy, but the arm gets pretty painful when I've worked/knitted/typed for a few hours. I try to rest it as much as possible, but I'm also notoriously bad at "just sitting around". I need to do something!

A few links for you:

  • Your Life is An Open Book. If you have a Facebook profile, you might want to reconsider how you are using Facebook. You will definitely want to check your privacy settings, and I also recommend using the ReclaimYourPrivacy widget. As an expat I find Facebook incredibly useful for keeping in touch with overseas friends and family members, so I cannot bring myself to quit Facebook, but I have locked down my profile as much as I possibly can.
  • This Cate Blanchett/Alexander McQueen outfit is the most stunning thing I have seen in a very, very long time.
  • This DNA/RNA necklace is pretty nice too. And more attainable.

And the rest of the day will be spent on paperwork before I suddenly become eighteen years old once more and will be screaming/singing at the top of my lungs (YT link). You never really get over your first love, do you?

Fangirl Overload

I hardly ever post twice in one day, but this needs to get out of my brain, through my fingers and onto my blog so I can stop saying Holy Guacamole!!! Neil Finn announces "Seven Worlds Collide, pt. 2".

In 2001 Finn had members of Radiohead, the Smiths and Pearl Jam playing with him for a series of concerts in Auckland, New Zealand. This time around? Johnny Marr (The Smiths and, now, Modest Mouse), Phil Selway and Ed O'Brien (both Radiohead), Lisa Germano, Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing) and Liam Finn (of Betchadupa, own solo career and Finn junior) join forces with four members of Wilco, Don McGlashan (of fab Kiwi legends The Mutton Birds) and, er, KT Tunstall. A record of original material with be produced by Jim Scott (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Foo Fighters and Johnny Cash).

And there is a NZ tour announced.