Mini Monday: Knitting Takes Over

I’m on the commuter train to work desperately trying to find a tissue for my running nose. Didn’t find a tissue but have several tapestry needles, stitch markers, pieces of yarn and a random set of KnitPro tips and cable key. But no tissues.

Long story short I’m more likely to have a haberdashery than things I actually need in my bag.

(Paris and London was glorious, will post full update when not on a train looking for a tissue)

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Lovely Blog Award

HAPPY FRIDAY PEOPLE!

I have been nominated by the lovely dancingthruyears (which autocorrect wanted to change to something else entirely)

So: Rules. I don’t like Rules. Rules are boring. Bowties are cool. So I’m not going to nominate other people. If you want to do it, go ahead and linky-link in the comments. But if you are interested:-

Rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Include seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know about the award.
5. Display the award and follow the blogger who nominated you (if not already!)

And now 7 interesting facts:

1. Oranges are not cool. In fact They are very uncool. I am allergic to them.
2. Bow Ties are cool. As are Scottish 100% Rebel Time Lords. My obsession with Doctor Who at the moment has intensified to epic proportions. (And it totally is to do with a silver haired, previously toga wearing, utterly charming Time Lord). I know I have issues, I’m not exactly normal, I don’t actually care
3. Conveyancing is boring. And I have to explain what it is to everybody.
4. A large majority of the time I am plugged into my earphones. On the train, bus, any form of public transport, on my lunch hour, going for a walk, exercising, outside of 9-5 hours at work when working and especially when blogging. I have music on when I wake up until I go to bed. I have a soundtrack to my life. I like to pretend I live in a musical sometimes.
5. I have started to do things that scare me to make me live more. It’s always the things you don’t do you regret. So this week I have sexy new specs, a super new short hairdo and went to salsa classes. And I had fun. And soon I shall be GINGER! (And not rude)
6. Sometimes I want to use my holiday days and disappear from the world for a while, book a hotel room and knit in said room whilst listening to music non-stop for 12 hours. But then I’m scared it’s a waste of my precious holidays.
7. Plums are uncool. Especially when they lead to what looks like a compromising position with the boss of the Law Firm you work for. Damn plums.

Mini Monday: Missing Month

So it’s nearly over a month since I blogged and it feels like there is an enormous amount I’ve not blogged about but wanted to. Like the visit from the knitting fairy. Or the argument I had with a police officer. Or the tooth saga. Or the dream where knn was actually a pirate crew in search of y-argh-n!

And on top of that I have actually made progress with my WIPs. Every time I go to take pictures it suddenly dark or I had to leave for work 10 minutes ago. So still no pictures, but take my word there be epic!

Speaking of work it’s taking over my life at the moment. I’m in early, I stay late, weekends are non-existent. It’s sleep, work, knit. My appetite is suffering to the point people are asking what my secret to losing weight is. I’ve just starting smiling. The honest answer is come and work in the business area of law with understaffed team and no lunch hour, it’s the best diet in town at the moment.

Which brings me to this: do I have time for a blog relationship at the moment? I’m not sure, and if I’m really honest I could have blogged the last month it’s just I didn’t want to in the hour or so I had spare. But I enjoyed this just writing a little about the craziness that is my life at the moment.

So this maybe me calling hiatus or starting to make time again. Time will tell.

Stitching Sunday: Sleepy Sunday!

What a weekend! I feel like I could do with another one with the amount that I managed to fit in. In fact I don’t know I how I managed to find time to finish an item but I did. Yes it has the nickname that hideous pink cardie but now it all sewn up I’m very proud of it. It just needs a wash and it will be ready to proudly show off. I’m also pleased because it has been finished well in time, it’s not actually due as a present until June.

In other news I have very swollen feet from dancing all night so I treated myself to a foot massage and heated soak. Yes I had to massage my own feet and the heated soak just consists of my coarse salt in warm water in the washing up bowl but it was heavenly. My feet hurt because of the awesomeness that is The Wendy House. This is just another small part of my life which is a little bit of a contradiction. Yes I’m a geeky knitter, I’m also the history obsessed classicist, I’m also the OCD housewife. Another part of me is the crazy alternative girl who listens to metal. But it’s fantastic to have so many different interest and anyway normal is overrated. However staying up til 4am does tend to make me sleepy the day after.

I also had a fantastic pub lunch at the local pub today and some quality time with the family. It’s not often we all just have a natter and dinner out. We occasionally eat at the parents but with me and my sister both having moved out of the parents house (and with her having gone to The Other/Wrong Side of the Pennines) it’s rare for us all the be in the same place at the same time. The reason for all of the above. It’s my birthday tomorrow! Yay! I won’t have time tomorrow with the family because they are all working. And my comment about having another weekend? Well it’s going to happen because I have the week off work and going for a few days in the Yorkshire Dales to rest and relax. Hopefully there will be crafting too!

Lent Update: Still no Coca Cola. I was slightly naughty today and had a Lilt but whilst it was fizzy it had no caffeine and I didn’t even finish the can. Looks like my cravings have well and truly disappeared.

Fun Friday: I’m every knitter, the yarns all for me!

I saw this article and it got me thinking.

Is it right to judge anyone who picks up knitting needles?

The article seems positive overall but a few lines stood out.

“It helps with stress as well – knitting is the new mediation or yoga.”

Two things about this quote bugs me. Firstly, is it just men who deal with stress? No. I will put my hand on my heart and say I knit so I don’t kill people (I have that quote on a badge on my bag, I want it on a t-shirt and if I wasn’t such a scaredy cat I would have it as a tatto) knitting is my stress buster and the last time I checked I wasn’t male. Secondly it’s the new mediation or yoga. Right hmmm, I’m trying to think of way to respond that doesn’t sound bitchy but that statement makes it sound like a fad. Yes figures overall are showing an upward trend on people taking up knitting and that is fantastic news. It would be a terrible shame to see something like knitting disappear as a skill. But the above quote makes it sound like something people are doing just to seem cool. I knit. I am a proud knitter. It doesn’t mean it’s cool. It also makes me think what will happen when it suddenly become unpopular again. I feel yarn will go the way of all those unused exercise mats and aerobics DVDs – the back of the wardrobe never to be seen again.

Aside from the occasional funny look on public transport – more often than not from women

For some reason this line jarred with me. Once again I feel like saying this applies to all knitters not just the male ones. Also to add to the above when knitting is no longer de rigueur anymore it will become even more of a reason for people to stop and stare. I’ve been working at my new job about 2 months now and I still have people who stop and ask me what I am doing, and people who ask me of a daily basis are you still working on that one item. (The answer is yes, always yes, I’m not the worlds fastest knitter. The point I’m trying to make is that most of the people staring (ignoring the woman part because that winds me up for a totally separate sexist reason) is that people are staring because they are interested most of the time. It’s not a negative staring it’s a a intrigued stare.

the advantages of being a male knitter, the first of which is never being expected to make baby clothes, though admits there are occupational hazards; for example being treated like a shoplifter whenever you try to buy yarn

This final quote just makes me want to headdesk. Are men expected not to like children/babies? Are women suppose to just want to knit baby clothes? RAGE! I don’t like children. I’ve made this clear in my real life. My husband on the other hand loves children and children seem to really like him too. When we go to visit my goddaughter he is the one making goo goo noises while I stand there asking when will she be old enough for rational conversation. That doesn’t mean I don’t make knitted clothes for her because they are adorable. Equally my husband buys her gifts all the time as well and would make her presents if he had half an idea what to do with yarn and needles. Just rage at stereotypical gender roles.

And the whole feeling like a shoplifter in a wool shop. I don’t know what type of wool shop these men have been visiting but custom is custom. The only thing making a customer feeling uncomfortable accomplishes is ensuring that they don’t become a regular customer. The only comparison I can think of that fits the stupid stereotypes is my tiny female self going into a computer store and made to feel uncomfortable because “I’m a girl and girls know nothing about computers”. It reminds me of hathe time I was working at a supermarket in the electrical department. A man in his mid forties came up to me asking for the specifics of a certain television. As I opened my mouth to give him the details he proceeded to tell me that I obviously didn’t understand what he was wanting and wanted a male manager. I stood silent for a moment and then dutifully got my male manager. Who subsequently informed him he had no idea what the specs on the tv was but I would be more than able to help him. I then put the icing on the cake when he bought the 40″ TV by carrying it out to his car, all 5 foot 3 inches, 8 stone wet through, of me.

So the whole point of this is rant post is to say if you wanna knit you do it unless your doing it for fashion in which case I’m totally judging you and if you happen to be male, kudos to you. Just don’t expect me to make a big deal of it.

I’ve been nominated for the Wonderful Team Member Readership award!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

Right now I’ve got my girly squealing out of the way I should really say Thank You to Funny For Nothing for nominating me. Whilst I do a lot of reading on WordPress and leave likes and the occasional comment I didn’t think it would ever get round to an award. So really, really truly thanks for the nomination.

And so onto The Rules –

1. The nominee of The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her blog. (Done. Did that test my limited computer skills)

2. The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days, all at once or little by little; linking to their blogs; and telling them about it at their blogs. (I don’t think I have 14 reader. Worried now!)

3. The nominee shall name his/her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post during 7 days. (So I got the award more than seven days ago but really a) I was on holiday and b) it really did just take me three hours to get the logo on my sidebar)

And here are the nominees…

1. cross(stitch)yourheart

2. roguecrafter

3. michelenel

4. Fay Kesby

5. Debbie Buckland

6. redheadedstitcher

7. Allnightknits

8. TheGrangeRange

9. TheGirl

10. Call Me Appetite

11. ElizabethL42 (I don’t have a link for you sorry)

12. sewmuchchoice (I don’t have a link for you sorry)

13. chantellebears (I don’t have a link for you sorry)

14. NikkiM (I don’t have a link for you sorry)

So….apparently I don’t have the biggest of fanbases but that wasn’t really the point of this blog. It was to share everything I have been making. Which I haven’t done in a while. Whoops.

Real life – Gig Review: The Zombies and The Searchers

So I decided that if I can’t update with stitchy progress then I should at least update with the other things that have been infringing on my craft time.

These gigs were actually last month, on the 12th and 19th of May respectively, and I have done other things in between but this seemed like a good place to start.

Back in this post I spoke at length how much I love The Zombies. Nothing has changed. And seeing them for a second time have only increased my love for them. They were just as good as the previous time even with the vastly different setting. The first time we saw them was at Brudenell which is an amazing venue. It’s not perfect but its intimate. This time was at City Varieties. It’s set more like a theatre but the acoustics were much better.

The actually set was very similar to last time with two major differences. The first time we saw them there was no interval. This made it feel a lot more like a older style of gig. The first time also had “God Gave Rock n Roll to You” as the encore song. The second time this was completely missing from the set list. I was a little disappointed as one of my best memories was the crowd singing along the first time.

As for The Searchers, I’ll be honest – I wasn’t looking forward to it as much. Yes they are another band that define the British Invasion but to me their songs all kinda sound the same. Hell the only ones I could name were “Sugar and Spice” and “Sweets for my Sweet”. You gotta admit they have similar names, and when listening to them they are also similar.

However I came out a true convert. The gig, again held at the City Varieties, just had a energy that carried the crowd the whole way. They also carried the pieces between the sets really well. Even with a couple of standard jokes, such as “They say you play the Varieties twice in your career, once on the way up and once on the way down. It’s great to be back again!”, and some non-standard jokes, mentioning someone they had played with or admired followed by one of the others interrupted to inform that person was dead now, the banter didn’t feel force. The dead joke also had a serious payoff when they paid respect to the members of The Searchers who had died in a sincere but lighthearted way.

I also came out with a different opinion of their music. As they said on the night they played about 30 songs and they had recorded all of them and the majority were originals. They had a reputation for been a bit of a cover band but the actual output of original work is really high. I even came away with a song stuck in my head (Here have a listen but be warned it is quite catchy in a silly way)

The real reason I’ve decided to review both together though is a moment that I had about three quarters of the way into The Searchers gig. The band were talking again and seemed to appreciate the audience interaction. Earlier on they had been arguing with a guy in the from row about who was the original artist of a song. In the link section they mentioned that the boys had been playing the varieties the week before. Another replied who? The first one replied The Zombies. In that moment, almost like a out of body experience, I decided to whoop. Like a full on woooooo-hooooooo! I think everyone in the theatre turned to look at me. And the lead singer turned around and said something like “No love. The Zombies were last week”. I was so embarrassed. The whole way home I just kept repeating to the husband “I whooped. For The Zombies. At a Searchers concert.” Needless to say he found the whole situation highly amusing. Even now he’s not letting me forget it.

All in all I enjoyed both but for vastly different reasons. The Zombies have timeless music. Even now Oracle and Odeyssey regularly appears best album charts. The thrill of seeing them live is to hear the music. The Searchers didn’t really have the best songs. But the way they perform, their interaction with the crowd and their finale, which was a medley, made the the better performers.