Thursday, 24 February 2011

Almost there

Ok so sorry for the down post yesterday. I'm not feeling much better today to be honest but I'm trying to be objective. Last minute rehearsal last night revealed several people still struggling with lines. Some more so than others. One in particular! Two of the main ones struggling are the ones who my lines tend to follow so I'm failing as my cues aren't there. Dress rehearsal tonight so we'll see how they do when they can't come out of character and have to muddle through (if they can manage that!).

I have big plans to do nothing on Saturday. Not even go to the farm. As much as I love it I want a relaxing day doing nothing of importance to anyone but me. Selfish I know but I've done so little recently that I've enjoyed or that was only for me. I want to finish my sock. I'd like to do some spinning. I'd like to make some kind of pudding for me and Spadger and sit down and enjoy it. I want to drink the bottle of wine someone bought me as a thank you for fixing their hat (sharing obviously). I want to relax.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Is it Christmas yet?

Is it Christmas yet? I only ask because that is a time of holiday and I could really use a break. Life it just a bit mental at the moment and not all of it is good. I am exhausted, physically and emotionally. I really would like a rest.

The AmDram group I am part of puts on it's one performance this Friday. Two short plays, both of which I am in. We only have 8 members so it has been a hard slog at this. I will be very glad when it is over. It actually stopped being fun about 4 months ago. When you have so few people you feel it really quickly if people don't show to a rehearsal or aren't learning their lines. We only have the one performance so I hope plenty of people come and see it. As nervous as I am it would be a pain to have gone to all this effort and have no one turn up. Tonight is an emergency run through. Tomorrow is the dress rehearsal. Then the performance. Three evenings out of my week for something I'm not really enjoying. Madness.

I've agreed to make a Regency dress and jacket for my Mum which I now have only 7 weeks to complete and she still hasn't had the pattern delivered. Eep says I. I know I'll be able to do it but I'm a little bit nervous now.

There are a few family issues at the moment. I don't really want to talk about them yet but I'm sure I will. Seems wrong to only share the good things of my life with you all.

Work is.....well it's work. It's not a homestead so I'm not going to be happy. Plodding along though. I'm in the midst of tidying and sorting which I like doing so that's not so bad. My ipod and a ton of filing :o)

So, 304 sleeps til Christmas then.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Nebulous - complete

Here is my latest submission to Nerd Wars. Here is the gorgeous Blue Face Leicester fibre that I bought myself for my birthday. I've been really wary of spinning it as it is so pretty. I didn't want to mess it up. But I took the bull by the horns for the honour of Ninjas! This was my interpretation of the Orion Nebula which is my favourite.

I'm finally starting to get the hang of this whole spinning thing. I managed to get 166 yards out of this 100g of fibre. It's fairly fine (I've not checked the wraps per inch yet) and is pretty even. I really do love spinning.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Eco Quilt - blocks 2 and 3

Ok so I fell waaaay behind with this. The knitting and spinning has taken over my life. But I forced myself to get back on track and made 2 blocks from scratch in one night.

Block two's theme is the ties that bind us. Most people have gone for family and friend and love, those kind of things. I've gone for memories. I'm one of those folks who spend a lot of time in the past and my memories are sometimes more vivid than my present. This block is made from white fabric from a random source, red from a remnants shop in the city I went to university at and green from the first item of clothing I tried to sew and failed in my first year of uni. I started cutting the diamonds while still at uni, I was going to make a harlequin bag. But it never happened and many of them got lost. I cut a load more for this block and kept them just as wonky as the originals to keep the stars all kinds of lopsided as they would have been had I been sewing with the original diamonds.

The 3rd block title is K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. I decided to go for a simple pin wheel block. The floral fabric is leftover from a dress I made to wear to a friend's wedding, the red is left over from my Lady Grey coat. They don't quite meet right in the middle but it's not too bad.

AS with the 1st block I've managed to make these 2 a little big again. I'm gonna leave them for the moment. If all my blocks end up this size I'll just adjust the border strips to match when piecing it together.

Monday, 14 February 2011

The evils of strawberry plants

Now don't get me wrong, I loves strawberries. But the plants root like there is no tomorrow. Not long roots either, just tenacious. I spent Saturday clearing the old strawberry patch at the farm this weekend and my arms, stomach and legs are very aware of it.

It was a lovely day to be in the garden on Saturday. The sun was shining, the wind was gentle, the rain held off. Birds of prey were circling above, an owl kept fluttering by, the robins were following us eating worms. I got to hold a 3 day old piglet.

Oh yes, we're in piglet season again. I love piglets, they are just the cutest things. Next will be lambs and chicks and ducklings. Oh how I love spring.

Having taken all my weekly office anger out on the strawberries I was able to make pizza with out getting stressed. Pepper and bacon on a wholewheat crust. Yummy. Then we sat down to play on the Wii we have been loaned by a friend. Not a bad Saturday really.

Sunday was all about the dull ironing. Not my fav chore it has to be said. But it's all done now. I'm up to date with the washing, there is bread in the bread bin. the kitchen floor is reasonably clean. The hoovering needs doing and I really need to tidy my dressing table. But other than that the household things are up to date.

On the knitting front I am halfway through the fibre for my nebula challenge, halfway through one sock for my valentines challenge, ready to knit the front and back on Spadger's cardigan and have at least 2 other projects in mind already. I'm a block behind on the EcoQuilt challenge but I know what I'm doing for blocks 2 and 3 so I just need to get on with them. On the sewing front I have done nothing on my friend's coat (I'm a bad person I know), my Momma has commissioned me to sew a regency dress and jacket in 9 weeks and that is about it. My poor sewing machines are being ignored in favour of wool at the mo.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

My dad always said that there's 24 usable hours in every day

However I'm not wired on drugs and have to sleep for up to 8 of those. I also have to go to work for 8 of them and am usually in the building for 8 and a quarter. The travel to and from work takes about 1 hour in total and the getting ready for work takes about 45 mins. That leaves me with 6 hours and mins to do stuff. Now lets say that there is at least 1 hour of that taken up by making and eating the evening meal. That puts me down to 5. 5 hours to do everything that needs to be done to look after a home and all the things I would like to do. 5 hours to fit in baking, knitting, spinning, sewing, photography, jewellery. 5 measly hours. Either someone needs to add some extra hours into the day or I need to find a way to work less.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Prime Scoobies - Complete

Yay I completed my first challenge. I am now on the Ninja board with 1 point. Woop Woop! I my excitement I forgot to tell them which challenge I was entering it for. Fortunately for me the Gamesmaster is very forgiving :o)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Valentines Socks update

I started the socks last night. My first cables. As with any new project I had to start it over at least once. I should have really frogged and started over twice but I decided the mistakes were minimal and no one would notice but me. Purling round a corner seems to be an issue for me. Heck I still struggle a little with the Purl stitch at the best of times.

So second attempt in and I decided that the "proper" cable needle was not working for me. I don't really hold my needles very flat which meant it kept slipping out of my stitches. So I substituted a 5mm wooden dpn. Large and grabby, the stitches were going nowhere.

I've completed the 9 rounds that make up the ribbing. Next I start on the patterning for the heart cables that run down the leg. I think I'll be adapting the pattern by making it shorter in the leg as I only really want ankle socks. But this should be pretty easy as it is just a pattern repeat. As long as I stop on the same row of the pattern chart as the instructions call for I should be fine. I'm actually feeling fairly confident about this. However it may mean that this is the only NW project I manage. I'd like to do some others (posts coming up on those) but I'm not sure if I'll have the time. I guess I should start them though as the whole point of NW was to make me push myself.

I was mighty pleased to hear from you other Spike aficionados. Glad it's not just me. (Bless Spadger for putting up with my teenage lustings :oD) Just for you guys here is a little pic of happiness

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Challenge (Scientific): NEBULAS
Your challenge is to demonstrate a nebula in a project. For example, you could spin yarn reminiscent of a nebula or create a project that depicts a famous nebula.

Now this seems like a perfect excuse to spin the pretty fibre I got for my birthday.

Gorgeous isn't it?

It reminds me of my favourite nebula, the Orion Nebula. Mostly the bottom left corner. So if I spin this up well I will have Orion Nebula yarn. I think this will fit in with the challenge. This should also be easily doable in the time scale.

Valentines socks

Tonight is sock club. I'm teaching a couple of my friends to knit socks. Now lets ignore the fact that I have never actually knitted a pair of socks. I do know the theory and basic socks are no harder than anything else. I plan on offering people basis socks or a pattern out of my stash. I'm going ot be doing something al ittle more interesting than basic sock as I plan on combining them with my first Nerd Wars project.

Challenge (Team Spirit): VALENTINE'S DAY
I must knit something for my favourite BtVS character. Clearly this is Spike. I think a nice pair of socks would be much appreciated. The pattern I wanted to use is a toe up sock so that is no good. I want to work cuff down like everyone else so I can show them the basics. I think I'm going to make the Vampire Boyfriend socks. They will definitely be stretching my skills (cables eep!) and as I'm not in a team at the mo if I don't get them done it's no biggie. The vampire connection and the hearts make them a perfect pattern for the challenge. Plus they are socks I will wear. What? We all know Spike isn't really going to come round for them as much as I wish so I'd best make something I'll wear.

Prime Scoobies

Challenge (Intellectual): PRIME NUMBERS
Your challenge is to demonstrate prime numbers in a project. For example, it could be a prime number of yards (be prepared to show your work on how this was determined), a prime number of colors, or shapes that have a prime number of corners (triangles, pentagons, etc.). These are examples only - think creatively!

Ok so I started my Prime Numbers Challenge yesterday. I needed something easy to knit during the play I am in (yes my character is knitting. It's not like I just want to squeeze in some extra knitting time). So I pondered how I could fit this into the Nerd Wars challenges. Ah ha! I will knit a little phone cozy. How does this fit in with the above challenge? I've cast on a prime number of stitches (31). I'm going to knit a prime number of rows. I'm doing it in moss stitch which is a new one for me. Looks quite nice so far. To tie it into my (future) team I've chose a wool that makes me think of tweed in honour of Giles. I think he would like something tweedy to hide the modern technology that is the phone.

Nerd Wars

Hello my name is Affi'enia and I am a nerd. Wow that was kinda liberating. I've never really thought of myself as a nerd but my obsessive nature does lend itself to nerddom. I have decided to harness that power and use it to further my projects this year. I can be awfully lazy and need a lot of motivation. So with this in mind I have signed myself up to Nerd Ward on Ravelry.

This is the basic premise. Everyone is in a team based on their shared nerdy favourite. There is a lord of the rings one, a vampire one, a Pratchett one etc. The tournament lasts 3 months and each month there are 6 challenges, one in each category. You must try and complete one item for as many of the challenges as you can in the month. Points are awarded for completed items and less points for half completed. If you manage to embody the spirit of your team in each project you will get more points. The team with the most points at the end of the tournament wins.

Now I actually missed the sign up date for this tournament but there is a Ninja category where you can play along for the glory. Points will be awarded but there is obviously no team glory. I intend to play along this time and am in the process of gathering a team for the next round. Our chosen Nerd topic? Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Oh yes my friends I am a closet BtVS fan. I loved the series when it was first on and watched all of them bar the last series. It just sort of fell off my radar. I had a hankering a few months back to catch the last series as I really wanted to see the ones with Nathan Fillion. So I bought the whole 7 series with some of my birthday money. So far we are up to Season 3. Loving it!

Ok so February's challenges are as follows:

Challenge (Intellectual): PRIME NUMBERS
Your challenge is to demonstrate prime numbers in a project. For example, it could be a prime number of yards (be prepared to show your work on how this was determined), a prime number of colors, or shapes that have a prime number of corners (triangles, pentagons, etc.). These are examples only - think creatively!
Challenge (Team Spirit): VALENTINE'S DAY
Your challenge this round is to craft an item for that very special character in your nerddom. Maybe your beloved Night Elf gets cold on those cold nights battling the Horde. Make them a shawl! Perhaps that adorable pair of practical jokesters would love a skein of handspun yarn in their house colors? Even the coldest of the undead would appreciate a good pair of socks, right?
Challenge (Technical): A BONDING EXPERIENCE
Your challenge is to demonstrate the fiber equivalent of ionic bonding, using different types of fiber. Working with different fibers generally requires different techniques or tools to produce a finished object with the hoped-for properties. Therefore, in addition to presenting your finished object, you should discuss the technical aspect (fiber preparation, needle choice, etc.) of working with different fibers. Pre-blended fibers/yarns count as polyatomic ions and therefore can be one half of the ionic bond.
Challenge (Scientific): NEBULAS
Your challenge is to demonstrate a nebula in a project. For example, you could spin yarn reminiscent of a nebula or create a project that depicts a famous nebula.
Challenge (Giving Geeks): COLD HANDS, WARM HEARTS
Your challenge is to donate mittens to a program local to you, or giving them directly to someone in need.
Challenge (Nerd Culture): NERDWARSCON
Your challenge is to craft something that can be found at a convention (could be a specific one, or conventions in general) or craft something that would useful at a convention (like a bag to put all your free stuff in).

Now the hard part begins. Thinking of projects for each that I stand a chance of finishing before the end of Feb without ignoring everything else I am doing. Hmm....