Day 193

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And I’m exhausted. Visitors have returned from whence they came, my house is somehow cleaner than when they arrived and I have a cold because both my husband and my visiting son brought one into the house this week. I hate having a cold. You aren’t really sick but you feel like crud. The sinus headache is the worst part for me.

Got my knitting done though and added another section to my husbands Doctor Who scarf. I have 9 days. I may yet get it done…. maybe.

I have 3 days left of the current blanket plan. Can you believe I’ve been working on this for so many days? Me neither.

day 193

I really, really, need to sew the ends in though. Every piece has 2 ends so right now I have 386 ends to sew in. Putting in a couple of hours a day will have it done in a week, I just have to convince myself to do it and I can’t watch tv while I do it because I have to concentrate and watch what I’m doing, which is why it hasn’t been done yet.

It is very gratifying to see others using this technique after seeing the blanket and asking how it works. One of my fellow knitters has made a blanket out of large squares big enough for a single bed and is now using up odds and ends of baby yarn to make a blanket with mitred-squares for a neighbours baby. This is why knitting groups are making a comeback, as much as the social aspect. I know that there is often very little knitting actually happening at my knitting groups but there is often discussion of projects or techniques or yarns. Or worse, the showing of completed projects that lead to adding new projects to the ‘I need to make this’ list.

I have an unhealthy love of catchy pop tunes (there’s a lot of ABBA in my childhood) and this one is one I love the lyrics and the video. She’s got fans doing the dance! It’s a dance I have managed to resist actually learning but there are many I haven’t resisted. I love to dance even though usually my moves are more Molly Ringwald in ‘The Breakfast Club’ than Pussycat Dolls (and given my size, that’s probably not a bad thing).

Anyway, music is a Thing The Brings Me Joy and ‘What doesn’t kill you (makes you stronger)’ by Kelly Clarkson is on that list.

Day 187

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Not much to say today. There’s been a low swing in my mood this week. As much trouble as I occasionally had with being constantly surrounded by people for 3 months in hospital, I’m finding being on my own so suddenly equally difficult.

At least I can identify a starting point for the down swing. There is little more irritating than being sad/angry/etc and not being able to work out why.

Turquoise rectangle and Alanna Myles’ ‘Black Velvet’ finish our update today.

Day 187

Day 182

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Did you know that half of 365 is 182.5? Yep, we’re half way. How awesome is that? I still an’t believe that I’ve been working on this for that long and that I came back to it after a 3 month break.

I didn’t get a photo of the whole thing today. Too many people were too interesting at knitting today 🙂 I did get a photo of today’s purple rectangle and yesterdays green square though.

Day 182

I had some sad news this week – the owner of our local music and comic book stores passed away after a 10 month battle with cancer. I have called him friend for nearly 15 years. Our local paper paid tribute to him today. He will be greatly missed by this family.

Day 174

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The colour of todays rectangle is called petrol but the phone is flat so no photo.

Here’s another 1988 classic for you all today – Yazz and The Plastic Population with ‘The Only Way Is Up’. I still love this song.

Day 161

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Ta-daaaaah!

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It’s so big that finding enough floor space for this picture meant clearing extra floor space in my sons room (very badly. Sorry.). It’s at least 2m across the top so it’s kinda huge.

I’m really pleased with it and the colours have come out beautifully in the mitred square shapes.

And here is the last 3 days of blanket knitting. Today is the blue rectangle, yesterday’s is the almost white square, the day before is the red square.

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The gap in the corner will remain empty for the moment. Tomorrow I move to the far side of the top of  the blanket to work back to this point. That will then take us into stage 4….

Sometimes the first time you hear a song, it’s a live recording. You buy the live album and love it so you buy the studio albums that have your favourite songs on them but it’s not at all the same.

I often feel the opposite of this. Sometimes, the artist makes changes to the track and it becomes almost unrecognisable…

Anyway, Sarah McLachlan released a live album called ‘Mirrorball’ and for me, this album is one of the first situations. There is something beautiful about unpolished music, and about hearing an artist truly enjoying their music.

I am not at all a fan of the studio version of today’s song. This is the live recording that I love… but I’m not sure anything is better than ice cream 😉

Sarah McLachlan – Ice Cream

Day 157

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Turns out I had almost got the join right last night. I was about ready to take a pair of scissors to the whole thing last night though so even though I got it right first time this morning, it’s probably just as well I didn’t keep making attempts.

On the plan, today was a large square. No idea why when it needs the rectangle I did knit today for half of one of it’s sides.

Long story short – trapezoid sorted and rectangle knitted.

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Random pet photo time. This is my dog Fox using my legs and a duvet for his midday snooze… Eyes squeezed shut, tongue poking out. Apparently this is all very comfy.

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He’s curled up very small at the end of the sofa now. I’m always surprised how small he can get and yet how much of the sofa he can cover when stretched out.

System of a Down are an awesome metal band. Though they hail from California, the four members are Armenian-American and the influences of Middle Eastern music can be heard particularly in the vocal performances. I am always eager to hear new musical influences within established musical genres. This is their debut song ‘Chop Suey!’. The video clip is a performance video so it’s nothing extraordinary but the music caught my attention immediately and continues to every time I hear it.

System of a Down – Chop Suey!

Day 154

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So I had the decrease ratio right for yesterdays triangle but I could not manage to pick up the stitches on the side connected to the trapezoids in any way that looked nice. To save my sanity and to move on, I sewed the angled side to the trapezoids. I think it works nicely.

Today’s rectangle was a cinch by comparison…

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Our son is with us this weekend so posta are likely to be only blanket updates. But today you get the Tenacious D track I mentioned the other day because it rocks.

Tenacious D – Tribute

Day 152

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So, after several attempted configurations, I have decide that I best like the way the shawl looks when I knit the border separately then use mattress stitch to sew it on. This is, however, subject to change…

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The Greater London Yarn Crawl happened this weekend, and while I was not part of any of the 10 groups wandering between London’s yarn sellers, my friend E was. Many of the locations offer mini skeins as samples and E gifted me with one of these to add to my blanket. Yesterdays trapezoid is dark purple but today’s rectangle is the new yarn – the dyer is ‘Countess Ablaze’, the yarn is Lady Persephone Sock (which uses blue faced Leicester instead of merino for its wool content), in a color way called ‘Girl At The Rock Show’, and I love it! The look and texture is more lustrous like a cotton when compared to the other sock yarns I have used so far. I think that this is in part due to the higher twist count of the yarn. From what little I have used so far, I can highly recommend it http://www.countessablaze.com

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I had planned to share Tenacious D’s ‘Tribute’ for today’s track but given that the name of the new yarn is also the title of a song by Blink 182 that I like, that’s what you’re getting.

Blink 182 – Girl at the Rock Show

Day 144

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I added yesterday’s trapezoid (stripes!) as well as todays rectangle to the blanket this evening (I love turquoise yarn!).

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I spent most of the day disassembling, cleaning the rebuilding The Machine today. Yes, my e-spinner got a new motor. We bought 2 with different ratios when we decided to try a geared motor. The one I killed was 50:1. This one is 95:1. It’s a lot slower but has higher torque so it will hopefully stand up to the requirements for a little longer. Also, the lack of dust to get caught in the works might help too.

I’m not sure I like the lower speed. I spin very thin yarn – because I like to, because it’s what I most often knit with, and because I want to get as much mileage from each braid of fibre as possible (unplied, the green and pink yarn I finished the other week was a full 1500 metres long – that’s one and a half kilometres of useable yarn from 100g of fibre!!!). Thin yarn needs a lot of twist to hold it together and to give it strength. This is most commonly done using a high speed flyer (does what it says on the tin – it has smaller pulleys so it spins faster than a normal flyer which puts more twist into the yarn without having to exert more effort. It’s all about the ratios), or faster treadling on a regular spinning wheel.

Both of these things very quickly become non-factors with an e-spinner. The motor sets the speed limits so it doesn’t really matter what flyer you have. If the motor is slow, the flyer will move more slowly. You have to adjust the speed you draft out your yarn. This may sound like a simple thing but we all fall into natural rhythms. When we spin yarn, we set our spinning wheels to complement those rhythms. I suspect that i am not the only spinner who slips into a meditative mental state when spinning. If something on the machine changes, my yarn becomes inconsistent because the twist in the yarn and the pull from the bobbin are no longer complementary to my yarn draw.

The point is, it stops being calming and starts to get frustrating. And that entirely defeats the purpose of crafting as far as I’m concerned.

So we’re still trying to find a motor that will meet my demands and won’t bankrupt us. Have you seen how much hobby motors cost?!

I also reinforced the opening for the jack. It won’t get pushed into the housing everytime I plug it in. I quite like the way it looks.

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Something funny for you to watch/listen to today.

I do not watch the news for ao many reasons but I love comedy/satire news shows, particularly panel shows. In the 1990’s, when I still lived in Australia, I loved watching Good News Week, hosted by Paul Mcdermott. Occassionally there would even be a musical number. This is one I have never forgotten. I love the song and Mark Trevorrow is brilliant (check out Bob Downe on YouTube).

GNW Paul Mcdermott & Mark Trevorrow – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You