Thursday, 17 January 2008

It is my last day at work !

And somehow I feel like this:

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Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Frightening friends

Or how Utopia can be a very scary thing...

Picture it: it is Monday lunchtime, and the knitters have gathered with some lunch and projects around a small table. The Utopia hat is such a logical make, the stitches seem to have taken a life of their own in my fingers as I chat away about Christmas and holidays and vacations...
"Why aren't you using a cable needle?" K's voice resonnates in my ear.

Looking up I see the horrified look starring at my 6-st cables that alternate right and left, as my fingers still pinch 3 stitches in mid air.

"Did I scare you" I ask her? She nods. I laugh. "It's really less faff than a cable needle" I add.

Later that day I send her the link for Grumperina's tutorial on cabling without needles.

And later this week there will be a picture of Utopia finished...but not now, because the light is bad and casting icky shadows...

Friday, 11 January 2008

Free range is fairer!

Apologies to the vegetarians (yes, you can look away now) as I step onto my little wooden box to call to the masses...

No it has nothing to with knitting, but yes, I believe you should keep reading.

If you live in the UK and have been watching TV recently you should aready be aware of the Chicken Out campaign to get better lives for chickens that will eventually end up on our plates.

BF and myself switched to free-range after watching The River Cottage Treatment last year, and as I felt guilty tucking into a Nando's bird of non-descript origin last weekend I knew there was no going back. Added to that the 3-part program of this week (Hugh's Chicken Run still available to watch on 4OD and probably through really finished opening my eyes.

Free range chickens take almost twice as long to get to retail weight, and they get a good night sleep...not 30 minutes of shut eye like their intensively-farmed equivalent.

The main issue people have with free range is the cost, and I confess I have gasped at the £17.99/kg price tag on organic free-range fillets BUT in fact the cost of a WHOLE free range chicken is only about £5.00.

Compared to the cheaper option (£3.50 on average) it is only the equivalent of 1 half pint of beer or about 5 cigarettes...not much of a sacrifice to eat a much tastier bird that had a much more 'normal' life.

So anyway as the celeb chefs take it in turn to draw the public's attention to the issue I thought I would follow in Roman Sock's footsteps and, having just signed up to the chickenout campaign, that I would encourage anybody who comes across this blog to do the same. Link in the side bar...

Thanks for reading.

And now to find a knitting way to help the campaign... knitted chicks anyone?

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Many happy returns!

First of all, to wish my friends and fellow knitters all the best for 2008. Whatever 2007 was like for you, I wish you a happy and positive new year!

Christmas is over, finally, and as the sales signs multiply in the shop windows I can breath a sign of relief. Well, almost, since I have yet to do most of my Christmas shopping... That's the thing with knowing you will not see your family over the holiday: you can postpone the shopping. (or possibly recycle some presents I received...mmh, now here's a thought)

It does not however make it any easier or even that much cheaper as, lost in the post-holiday calm you only want to forget about the past few weeks and focus on the coming year.

And in my case it is a somewhat scary prospect, as I face the new year without a job and not enough savings to make me comfortable about the whole thing. Somehow spending on presents becomes a frivolous activity, and CV writing fills me with tears.

Time for some stash busting I think... to the montego bay scarf and to the foliage hat still to be photographed, I will add a melon-seed scarf for my gran in a lovely dark grey mohair (fingers crossed I have enough yarn for the intended border!) and have to think of further presents to handmade from existing yarn... finally a god use for my craft!

As I finish this post I glance with a smile at the hat-o-meter on the right: we made it! over 400 000 hats to adorn the tops of bottles. I wonder what the target will be for next year...500000?