Frontier & A Bike

Blog Photos March 2012My knitting mojo seems to have returned - although I probably jinxed it by saying that. I have finished two things - neither of which I can show you right now - and I have cast on for a new project. Luckily I can show you this one.

This is going to be Frontier by Julia Frank. Julia is a knitwear designer that works within the realm of deconstructing traditional knitwear ideas: she works with relatively fine yarns knitted at very loose gauge and with dropped-stitch patterns worked across large areas. Her work is a tiny bit more commercial now she is designing for Rowan: Frontier interprets the loose gauge and the dropped stitches within the context of a cropped summer cardigan. (Oh, and I also really, really like Julia Frank's Clara jumper from the recent Studio 26. Knitted bottom-up in the round with a yoke .. but this traditional construction just seems so fresh in Frank's hands.)

Anyway. Frontier. I am using Rowan Pima Cotton in "Bark". I am always wary of knitted with inelastic fibres like cotton or silk, but my hands are doing just fine. It has been a quick knit due to knitting a DK yarn on 5.5mm needles using a drop-stitch pattern. I had to adjust to the double whammy of a loose gauge and dropped stitches (either is fine, combined they are interesting). It helped when I changed from my customary circs to straight (bamboo) needles to stop the wraps getting tangled. I am just one ball into the project but I'm already at the arm hole shaping for the back.

Blog Photos March 2012In lieu of any photos of my two FOs, here is a photo of the delicious vegan date cake I had at Artisan Roast during one of my bike trips.

Yes, the bike arrived this week. I cannot begin to tell you what a difference having a bike has made to my emotional wellbeing.

When I lived in Denmark, I used to bike everywhere - it is simply part of the Copenhagen lifestyle - but I have been reluctant to get a bike here for a number of reasons (traffic & health being two major ones). Recently I have seen a rise in the number of people biking around Glasgow and I decided I might as well join them. I am so very glad I did. Apparently I never feel quite at home in a place before I can navigate it on a bike. Glasgow belongs to me  now.

I am also very amused by the male bikers on their 17-gear racers who look at me with disdain as they race past me - and whose facial expressions turn positively green with sourness when this skirt-wearing lass on a three-gear classic ladies' bike catches up with them at the red light.

And, yes, I wear a helmet and I am significantly less suicidal on a bike than I was back in Copenhagen (where everything goes if you are biking). Don't worry.

Happiness is a red bike.

Is It Only Tuesday?

You know what I abhor? The phrase "one of them". I was told Saturday that all foreigners should leave Scotland and when the speaker learned I was foreign, he qualified his words with a "but you're not one of them" excuse. If I had a penny for every time I have heard people use that phrase, I'd be knitting cashmere sweaters. It's a lousy, cheap way of trying to seem less xenophobic and more inclusive, but the phrase only makes the speaker appear more racist and exclusive. Anyway. Sorry for that mini-rant. It has been a long week even if it is only Tuesday. My head is pounding and I still haven't had dinner (because cake does not count). Let's go for some delightful links.

+ Viktor & Rolf's Barbican Exhibition. Side-by-side comparisons of runway models and quite creepy dolls. Interestingly, it took longer to recreate V&R's clothes in doll-size than it took to create the original runway look. + Interesting Bookcases and Bookcase Designs. I used to know someone who lived in a 17thC Copenhagen townhouse and who'd use the rafters as her bookshelves. It was awesome. I really like the children's bookcase-bedroom, actually. Wonder if it would be possible to recreate that in an adult size? + The Word Clock. What it says on the tin. + Czech uranium glass buttons. Uranium?! I came across these listings on eBay and I still don't know what to make of them. + I'm not a huge fan of cupcakes but this shark attack cupcake mountain is fantastic.

Finally, Charles Bernstein on the current global crisis:

Let there be no mistake: the fundamentals of our poetry are sound. The problem is not poetry but poems. The crisis has been precipitated by the escalation of poetry debt—poems that circulate in the market at an economic loss due to their difficulty, incompetence, or irrelevance. Illiquid poetry assets are choking off the flow of imagination that is so vital to our literature.

Making Conversation

Work: "Hi! How are you? Hope you're feeling better. Just to let you know, we're implementing some new anti-fraud measurements. So, HR needs to know where you were working between October 2006 and February 2007?"

Me: "Er, I was working for you guys.."


A few completely unrelated and random links:

+ Is this cake scary or awesome? I just cannot decide.
+ I had a long conversation about the Theremin the other day.
+ Renewable clothing by Fernando Brízio. Art or not?
+ This page makes me so, so happy. I'm clearly weird.
+ Doctor Who: I Love the World. Heavy spoilers for Season 4, so beware.

And, yes, Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is up and running.

Can I Have Another Piece..?

I have a guilty pleasure blog that I read ever so often whenever I either want to cheer myself up or want to depress myself (and sometimes I want both - I'm a complex woman). The blog in question is Tartelette and it is a food blog. No, let me rephrase that: it's a food blog and I tell you them italics there make all the difference.

Tartelette features mainly desserts and baked goods - at least that has been the focus since I started dropping by ever-so-casually. A typical entry would be somewhere along the lines of this Lemon Rhubarb Mascarpone Mousse Cake entry: mouth-watering photography, exquisite recipe and a delightfully humourous blogging voice with oodles of that 'personal touch' which is so essential to a good blog read. And, of course, let's keep in mind that we're talking about a lemon rhubarb mascarpone mousse cake which is miles away from that lumpy lemon pound cake I managed the other day. It's good to daydream sometimes.

Seeing as I won't be making a lemon rhubarb mascarpone mousse cake (nor the honey panna cotta and raspberry terrine, alas), I think I shall have to pay The Mannequin a visit. It is a scrumptious tea and cake shop which has opened just a few minutes away from Casa Bookish. Last time we enjoyed their fabulous New York Cheesecake. I think it's time we sampled their Belgian chocolate cake.