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If I Was Bored

After the knitting needles & the yarn, the one staple of my knitting time is TEA. Turkish tea, English tea, herbal tea, horrible tea, over-stewed, under-brewed, too hot, too cold, in a cup, in a saucer, in a mug, in a glass. No milk, no sugar, thank you.

calm tea cup

I never watch TV, but I do sometimes watch films or Youtube videos if I’m knitting something easy like, say… a Minty? Otherwise I almost always either put on an audiobook, or tune in to BBC Radio4. In Our Time is one of my favourites, and now that they have such a generous archive on the web, I often listen to old episodes I missed. Here’s one on tea, for example!

I do occasionally read while knitting, if the knitting is simple & the book is obliging. At the moment I’m reading Aurora Floyd by Mary E. Braddon.

I usually knit on my own, but of course, I’m never lonely. ;) I mentioned that I recently started a knitting group & that’s been great fun. Even if none of my friends are around, I do sometimes take my knitting to a café, just for a change of scene. That’s one great thing about city-living.

I’m certainly not very ceremonious about knitting. I wake up, put the kettle on, sit down, and start. Especially if I’m excited about a project, this poses no problem. Throughout the day, the knitting is interspersed with a million other activities so that I never get bored (being a Gemini, this is essential): checking Ravelry, answering correspondence (usually tardily, oh dear! :( ), paying attention to my parents, writing, tinkering with the site, going to Ancient Greek class, messing about in Inkscape, writing up, charting, laying out, and proofreading patterns, taking photos, etc. etc.

I also love listening to music, and probably spend at least 30mins every day doing nothing else. (And having two consecutive blog posts with lyrics for titles is nothing to me!) I admire people who can write an essay while listening to rap. If I’m writing up a pattern and listening to anything with words, I will start writing the words. My favourite music commands all my attention. If you want a boost of energy or motivation for the new week, I recommend you turn off the lights, put in your earphones & listen to this:

Thanks for reading, dear knitters! I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts for Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2011. It’s been a great opportunity for me to reflect & to discover amazing new blogs. Thanks, Eskimimi, for organdising such a Great Online Event! Now I’m ready to start all over again!

Here’s a list of my week’s posts (or click here to read them all):

Monday: A Tale of Two Yarns
Tuesday: Swallow Your Pride
Wednesday: Room for More
Thursday: The Lost Patterns File
Friday: The Lonely Knitter’s Companion
Saturday: Her Ribbons & Her Bows
Sunday: If I Was Bored

3rd April, 2011  // Life, Literature // tags: , , , .

Room for More


I’m not tidy, but I’m organised. These images have been carefully framed to illustrate my organisation & craftily evade the piles and deluges of mess as-yet-unorganised-matter. I like having layers of clothes and yarns lying around, because they are a constant source of inspiration, suggesting new colour-combinations, and textures. At the same time I love being organised, because then I can find out what is unnecessary or what doesn’t belong, and I can (hopefully) become more efficient. Efficiency is closely related to grace and elegance for me, two values I strive towards.

Luckily, I’ve recently come to notice that I have a very good visual memory when it comes to putting things in places; I rarely ever lose anything. Unfortunately this applies to biscuits as much as it does to keys. It also applies to other people’s biscuits…


Anyway, yarn! I mentioned on Monday’s post that I recently moved house, and this was a great opportunity to re-organise. I have been going through a bit of a pink phase / pink haze, so I covered my files in stripey pink, to match some old sheets I found, and decided to arrange some of my yarn to match. These shelves divide my sleep area from my “work area” & can be accessed from both sides, which is very handy. At the top is a plastic wig-stand that I recently spray-painted; it used to be a very obnoxious green. Right now it holds my penultimate Minty (I really need to blog about my Minty obsession); my other hats are artfully scattered and layered on available furniture.


I have a pop-up laundry basket that holds my “bundles” of yarn. These are all in their own plastic bags, which look ugly, so I leave a few odd balls on top. Another plastic laundry basket has a few bags of random yarn, and two needle-boxes on top. There’s also an old copy-paper box under my desk that has some old WIPs. Any current knitting is usually on top of my desk. Unfortunately, pretty much everything is on top of my desk, so sometimes I pin things to my corkboard, just so I can see them.


I also have four crates, which hold odd-balls (the bottom one has my stamp collection). I must mention that a good deal of my stash is still in the UK. I travel around a lot & have no idea where I will “settle”, so some elements of my knitting paraphernalia reflect this. For example, I still use an old Graze box to keep my notions, needles, bits & bobs, because it’s light & won’t break. I almost exclusively use circular needles, because they’re easier to squash into a suitcase. I really need to get a bag to store them though, or invest in some interchangeable circulars. DPNs are in jars on my desk. I’ll show you those when I get around to knitting some of those cute cabled covers for them. I’ve scanned the interesting bits from most of my knitting magazines / books. Books are the worst to carry, so this is really worth doing! Vacuum bags are great for storing / transporting yarn too. Of course, all knitters know that the most space-efficient way to store yarn is to knit it! :)

P.S. My summer work space is pretty dreamy, and always tidy. ;)

30th March, 2011  // Life, Yarn // tags: , , , , , , , , .

For Japan

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I have been thoroughly shocked & distressed by the aftermath of the earthquake & tsunami in Japan, as I’m sure all of you have too. I’ve been wondering how I should help, because I really want to give something a bit more tangible than money. Then I read this post by a designer I admire, Olga Buraya-Kefelian who lives in Tokyo. She will be donating 85% of her sales until the end of the month to help those affected by the disaster, and what’s even more admirable, she & her husband will be buying & sending supplies themselves, rather than just passing the money on. Here are some of my favourite Olga designs. I hope you’ll consider buying some too…

The beautiful, multi-functional Hari.

Enso Vest. Olga has a great feel for structural knits & this is such a fab statement piece. Also, OT: how awesome are those matching tights?

Foggy Hat! I featured this as one of my favourites in my last newsletter too. I just love the lace pattern.

And then there is the fascinating Infinite Loop, just watch this video!

Here’s Olga’s Ravelry Store & her Designer Profile on Ravelry if you’d like an overview of her designs.

What delights me about this form of giving is not only supporting the crafting community, but also demonstrating that it isn’t always easy to distinguish what might seem like a “trivial hobby” from the Grand Happenings of natural disasters, nuclear threat and high & mighty politics. When it comes to helping people, there is really no scale.

19th March, 2011  // Life // tags: , , , .
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