Goin’ home!

…well, sorta. I didn’t. Someone else did.

Meet Douglas:

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No, not the backpack. The Highland Coo with the snazzy Tartan Bowtie.

Now, you’ve already heard about EYF from a human perspective a few entries back via our lovely Jo. So I won’t bother you with that and recount my trip. But I will, mainly in pictures, attempt to related to you how Douglas enjoyed his trip home. He hadn’t been in ages, and he had a special someone to meet. We’ll get to that later.

But first, the journey. We took the ferry, and were surprised to find that Highland Cattle, contrary to what one might expect, do not get sea sick.

His homeland greeted Douglas with appropriate weather.

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*sigh*

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Why do bus journeys take so gosh-darn-ding-dong long?

Seriously, though, four hours on a bus. That’s no environment for cattle. But, at long last, we did arrive in Edinburgh…

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…and had a pretty nice view, as it turned out.

Still looked nicer from outside, though…

Now, a few shops were to be visited, new friends were made, addictions to fudge revived… it was eventful.

Consequently, refreshment had to be taken, and what better place then where the magic began?

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Unfortunately, it was at this point that we learned Douglas can’t seem to hold his liquor. Or his butterbeer.

Douglas went to bed early that night. He had to be wide awake the next morning, for after…

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…soo many knitters…

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…and some idols…(Stephen West, for the uneducated)…

… it was finally time. Remember the special someone mentioned previously? Here she is:

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No, not the one holding him. That’s me. Not the other woman, either. That’s the lovely Kerry Lord (Creator of Edward’s Menagerie, TOFT. Douglas’ “Mom”, of sorts.) No, the fluffy Highland Coo next to him. His long-distance girlfriend, Morag. Now the snazzy bow tie makes, sense, right?

The day was as exhausting as the previous one, and ended with Douglas falling asleep on my purchases.

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What is this “self-control” that you speak of?

Day number three, I went to visit the Whisky Experience, and Douglas insisted on joining me. I experience a pronounced feeling of dread, but was persuaded.

I should have known better.

Found his namesake, and the world’s largest collection of unopened bottles of Scotch. So far, so good.

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Uh-oh…

 

Boy, had I been wrong to hope he’d learned from the butterbeer-incident.

The rest of the trip, Douglas spent in a hungover haze, looking for wizards and remedies, and encountering the random wild vampire. it was weird.

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Preparing for madness…

Well, more madness than usual.

EYF is not far, and yours truly is heading out to Edinburgh. Duh.

Surprising myself as well as others, I have actually been rather good this year so far, having refrained from any major purchases AND, have an actual shopping list for EYF that, as has been pointed out, does not just say “all the things”. I DO try, y’know.

In any case, TOFT yarn /kit(s) will be bought, most of it to be gifted once… transformed into a toy of some description, and I do have a jumper to shop for, but aside from that, I shall most stubbornly endeavor to behave. I’m likely to fail, but that’s not the point.

So, no yarn has been bought, a list has been made, what else does one do? Ah, right, try do work down the WIPs. Yeah. No. Not so much. I’ll admit, I’ve been a bad girl there. But there’s still 3+ weeks left, so a bit can still happen in this department. There’s always a bunch of “almost done’s”, is there not? I am determined to deal with those. No more casting on before EYF. There’s plenty to work on.

So… How do y’all prepare for a mad shopping spree like EYF? Do you treat yarn festivals as mad shopping sprees? Or is that just me?

I had the best intentions…

I wanted to blog on time.

I wanted to have lots to say.

I wanted to have lots of pictures.

But, alas, I’m blogging late, and I have nothing to say. So I’ll make this short.

I spent the holidays with my family, as one does. Most of the time, I was crafting. What was I crafting? Toys. The first one I finished was a cat, just in time to give it to my wee cousin for Christmas. Then I went on to a lion, and finally, a golden labrador. The patterns are all part of Edward’s Menagerie. Check it out, they’re great.

I had yarn for anther one with me, but after making three of these in the span of, like, five days, I’d had it, so I moved on to a knitting project (a WIP which still remains unfinished…), but behold the fruits of my labour:

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Yes, it IS a cat. Shut up.

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BFF’s

Happy New Year everyone!!!

I’ve done it again…

By which I mean, “bought way more yarn in one fell swoop than is sane”… Then again, we’re all mad here, are we not?

So, Dublin Knitting and Stitching Show is well over by now, and of course, we were there.

While some decided to only make it a day trip, Nikki, Sharon, and myself, took the bus down to Dublin on Thursday night. Fresh and awake (sort of) on Friday morning, we headed to Winnie’s Craft Cafe for breakfast, and to kick off the shopping extravaganza.

After Winnie’s, we moved on to This is Knit, finally making The Constant Knitter our last stop. For yarn shopping that is. Because we could, obviously, not skip “The Rolling Donut”. Otherwise, what else would we have for dessert after the Domino’s Pizza we ordered into the hotel without blinking an eye? (Let’s not discuss how many times we had to call Domino’s because they sent our Dinner to the wrong hotel…)

Anyways, here’s my own personal haul for that first day:

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Doesn’t seem to bad, right?

I will admit, I was quite proud of myself for sticking to the self-imposed rule of one skein of yarn max per shop. (Shut up, mini’s don’t count!!!)

And then the actual show happened. Let’s just leave it there. You know, while I still have a shred of dignity.

All I’m gonna say is, I didn’t take much of the cash I had saved back home with me…

Something else I did again: I cast on yet another blanket…

I hang my head in shame…

Not only did I fail to finish the thing I initially meant to blog about, but I forgot to blog entirely. Instead, let me briefly tell you the story of my Saturday.

I got out of bed. So far, so good.
Went grocery shopping, because I had nothing in the house. Then proceeded to have pie for breakfast while watching Fresh Prince.

Then, finally, I sat down and began what I had planned to do: Make a couple of project bags. Having managed two of the same type, I was quite pleased with myself…

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So I thought, hey, why not keep going??? So I cut out some more fabric, pulled another zip, and kept stitching.

And then my needle broke.

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This past Saturday morning, I left my house to join fellow Belfast Knitters, Weavers, (Fibre-)Artists of all sorts, really, at the Ulster Museum for a great day of showing off  our Arts & Crafts.

Since there’s a couple of shared members, and because we could, Belfast Stitch’n’Bitch paired up with the Ulster Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers for the event, in order to display the process from the fibre to the spun singles, to the plied yarn, to crocheted/woven/knit items of any and all shapes and forms.

Add other crafty and/or cultural ventures such as the Big Sock NI, as well as a little additional entertainment like dancing, comedy and music, and you have yourself a fabulous day.

And yes, if anything similar is going on in Belfast, the chances that at least some of us can be found there are high… ;P

You know how it is…

…or maybe you don’t. Anyway, let me illustrate how the process of writing these blog posts usually works. For me, personally, at least.

I sit at work.

My phone vibrates.

Darn. It’s Nikki. I have to blog today.

What to write????

Luckily, on the odd chance that I’ve just about managed to dissuade myself from buying that 7-skein Star Wars inspired pack of yarn, a topic may present itself.

So, after my shift, I went home, and indulged in taking a dive into my already present stash instead. Namely, to dig out the yarn I want to use for the Stonecutter Sweater, which will be my to-wear project for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this year.

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While I was neck-deep in my yarn anyway, I figured I might as well get to updating my Ravelry stash (only a wee bit, mind you, I have more…), and store the according yarn properly in the now free space. These were the lucky additions to my online stash overview:

Now, I swear I’ll be better prepared next time I get to blog, but that’s all for now, folks. (At least I’m honest about being a forgetful lazy bum… ;P)

Caught Red Handed.

Don’t worry, I have not murdered anybody. (Yet. But that’s a story for another time…)

What I am referring to is not the untimely demise of somebody who got on my nerves (that’s what Nair in Shampoo is for…), but rather the fact that I went, together with our dear Helen, to Whitehead this past Saturday, to attend a Yarn Dye Workshop. Of course, the gloves our lovely Terri provided were useless (I blame my hands, though, not the gloves.) and I ended up with the heel of my hand turned bright blue.

Naturally, my reaction to this was to forego the gloves entirely and just dip my hands into the dye directly when I went on to the next colour. With results everybody seemed to find quite entertaining.

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I suppose they had a reason…

The resulting yarn? Behold:

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These two are laceweight. There is a third skein in sock weight, but I did not yet take a picture of it.

 

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This mini was used to test the intensity of the colours. And then I threw some green at it. Because reasons.

And because Terri is a lovely person, she does not only offer a local pick-up option when you order yarn from her, she also brings it for you if you end up seeing her at a workshop.

Which means sometimes, you get to go home with 7 (and 1/5) skeins of yarn, but only have to pay for 3. (Well, you would have paid for the others earlier, but who’s paying attention?)

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First time for everything

I’ll keep this short and sweet, simply because I do not wish to distract from the point of the post. Which is, obviously, shameless self-advertising.

I have mentioned before that I designed a pattern for fingerless mitts last year, to be used as a sample item for Terri’s stall at the show in Dublin. I have finally put the pattern up on Ravelry, and yes, it is free. I’m not that presumptuous.

The pattern is called Twisted Heart.

There will still be a few adjustments to the description and more pictures added, but the pattern itself is correct.

Give it a try if you want, and don’t hesitate to let me know what you think.

The great WIP-pression

Come on, admit it. You know that feeling. You just finished that one project you were really excited about. It knit up way too quick. And now, you don’t know what to knit.
You have tons of WIPs. But they don’t seem all that exciting at the moment.

Okay, I might have made up the term, but the feeling can’t be new to any knitter. Or crafter in general, really.

In any case, it’s where I am right now.

The exciting project that knit up too quick? Libran, although I call mine Katy Perry. The reasons for that may or may not become obvious when you look at the project page.

The WIPs? Oh, so many.
There’s the MKAL from last fall, 8 clues, and I’m still stuck in the middle of clue 3. Every time I look at it, I just think ‘Meh.’
There’s the shawl I started just a few days before Christmas last year, and worked on furiously at the time because I had nothing else with me, but now I can hardly bear to look at it, because there was a death in my family at the time.
There’s the gloves, gorgeous pattern, but so detailed, my brain hurts just thinking about it.
There’s the second Yggdrasil Afghan – seriously, what was I even thinking when I cast on A SECOND ONE???
The CAL with only one block and the edges to do? I kind of don’t want it to end just yet, but I also kind of do.

So, yeah… Here I am, nothing to knit. Nothing to crochet. Nthing to stop me from biting my nails while watching that one heartbreaking episode of ‘Supernatural’ for the I-stopped-counting-long-ago’th time.

Here I am, smack in the middle of a great WIP-pression.

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