Thursday 28 July 2011

KIP it real

I read one of my favourite blogs with heavy heart today. The lovely Fourth Edition blogged about her reluctance to Knit In Public after thoughtless muggles ruined her day.

I understood her need for privacy and the horror at finding her face on the internet without her permission. I am a stickler for 'oversharing' on the internet and must say on a weekly basis, 'Really? You felt a need to share THAT with the world?' as I scroll through my Facebook activity in my usual weekly flyby. In my line of work a certain amount of anonymity does wonders for helping you develop a caring yet professional manner and I can't be alone in that. Once you've put it out there, it's out; you can't take it back.

Still, I sighed as I read her words. I love knitting in public and my first ever entry was about just that experience. Sure, people can be thoughtless but I find thoughtlessness isn't limited to reactions to my knitting. Just try reading a book by yourself in your lunch hour, I'll give it ten minutes before someone interrupts your indulgent moment and asks 'Watcha readin'?'

To convince our blog friend to come back I thought I would share some of my favourite KIPing stories that I know have made me glad I've braved the stares, pointing and just downright weird responses from others.

1.  Knitting a sock on the night bus and looking up to see a young guy, maybe 16, swivelled right round and staring at my hands in wonder. I braced myself. He slurred 'How do you knit with ten needles?' I counted out my 4 and explained I only ever use 2. He shook his head, stared harder and said 'I knew I shouldn't have had that last shot. I still see 10'. 
2. Victoria line. Woman of about 60 sits next to me and smiles gently as I work stitches. She taps me and I remove my head phones. She instantly apologises in a thick Russian accent and says 'I hated to be interrupted too but I used to make lace and it makes me so happy to see you knit'. We talk about the wedding veils she made for her sisters and all too soon it's my stop and I wave goodbye sadly that I missed more time with a Knit Sib.
3. Knitting at Silverstone Grand Prix and my friend telling Lewis Hamilton 'My friend says she's going to start cables if you don't make this donkey go any faster' (my friend works for Maclaren and it was a BAD season). 
4. Knitting on way home from work on the 277. A little girl sat next to me points and asks her mum 'Is she from Harry Potter?' Yes little girl, yes, I am.
5. Not exactly KIPing but being crushed on the Jubilee Line and I catch a woman eyeballing my shawl 4 people down. 'Ishbel?' She mouths. I nod and smile. She shuffles up her trouser leg to reveal Monkeys. We beam and the train empties.

Chin up chicken, they are just in awe (mostly)

Oh my GOSH!!

What's this you ask?


Oh this is just some lovely Abstract Cat

The colourway? Why, it's a special Autumn day........ 'Aplayfulday' even. 

To find out how you could win your own exclusive skein, tune in to the next episode!!


Monday 25 July 2011

Episode 9: Knit Nation 2011 Round Up

Aplayfulday is kindly sponsored by Superknits, the home of super yarns for super knits. Please show your support for our playful friend by clicking on the link above- go on, spoil yourself!!!

Show notes:

Show Sponsor Superknits skein of Bessie in Kate Bush! WINNER:   Trekky
Podcast donation and contribution winner of 2 skeins of fine alpaca from Purl Alpaca Designs: The Pagan Knitter

Knitting events
Donation giveaway:
Sock knitter's kit= 4 skeins of Drops Fabel, 2 sets of stitch markers. 1 sheepy set from The Lollipop Stop and 1 set with clip stitch marker from a Little Bit Sheepish.

Knit Nation features:

With yarn love for: The Yarn Yard,, Coldharbour Mill, Socktopus and Krafty Koala.

Fly, Fly, Fly by Adrina Thorpe, available on Music Alley
 by , available on Music Alley
Contact me at: or aplayfulday on twitter
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Thursday 14 July 2011

Sometimes you just need time with a friend

This one's soppy, don't say I didn't warn you all. 

It must be nearly two years now since PJ came into my life. We met in that way so many international knitters do these days: through the wonder of Ravelry. It turned from comments on FO's and gossiping about the F1 to little packages of happiness mailed back and forth. I think to date, we have sent approx 100 packages between us both. These include hands knits, yarn, treats and books. No expense is ever spared and we both feel we want to spoil each other silly whenever we can. 

Today I sat and read this lovely interview my other good friend Amber wrote. I sat and got a little tearful. Why? Because I miss my friend so much, it honestly pains me that we have to fly to see each other. She has seen me through some of the toughest moments in my life, chatting via webcam/ Skype/ Ravelry and emails bouncing back and forth like texts.When we met in person for the first time there was no awkward settling in period, we just enjoyed every moment before she flew back (and yes I cried all the way home after dropping her off at the airport).

Many people are horrified at meeting others via the internet but ofcourse we knitters know that the kindred spirit you find in people on Ravelry more often than not breaks this rule. Don't believe me? I'll prove it.

PJ and I both have stupid scars on our left knee. The scar is obviously not stupid but we both got them in stupid ways and agreed this made us twinsies. For the record I was drunk as hell while she was sober. I'm not sure which of us that makes dumber. 

When I bought my book from Cookie A and got her to sign it, I got PJ's first and Cookie A asked 'Is she your best friend?' and I squealed 'YES', half expecting PJ to hear from somewhere over the other side of the world. 

When PJ came to stay for a week in London, I lent her my welly boots and we both jumped in puddles and I thought 'Of course they fit perfectly, we both have unnaturally large feet' (see twinsies comment). Also in the same week we got drunk and had very intense and serious conversations while wearing giant decorated hairbands because THAT'S HOW WE ROLL. 

Everytime I'm complimented on a shawl I'm wearing, it's one she made me and there's a growing joke in my knit group that PJ is my personal knit designer. She is. You can't have her.

You know how when you were 5, you and your best friend have 'your own language'? PJ and I have that too. Words include 'footmeow' and yelling TSHIRT whenever one of us says something the other one feels is quotable. For example 'Robot dinosaurs would be awesome but heroines have boobies'. And yes, that's the average conversation we have. 

My parents bought me tickets to go play with her this September for my 30th birthday because, in their words, 'You two should not wait another 2 years to play again'. They know that when times are high or hard, I run tell PJ and I would cross the world and back again if she ever needed me too. 

So today I'm a little blue if I'm honest. Life has been more than a little hectic and as a result our regular chats have been somewhat lacking. I know things are stressful for her too and this makes me doubly frustrated that we live so far apart. Some days you just wanna hang out with your bestie so they know you've got their back and always will have. 

The best I could do today was this hun. Love ya'!!!

These happy days

Today the sun is shining and my day is feeling decidedly playful. Here's a few reasons why:

My soundtrack is 'Treme'. If you've not watched it, stop what you're doing immediately and watch the entire first season. It will blow you away.

My colour is new blue

I'm making cheese sauce with leftovers of some of the best cheese I've ever tasted and I have projects blocking. 

Sunday 10 July 2011

Episode 8: Need for Speed

Aplayfulday is kindly sponsored by Superknits, the home of super yarns for super knits. Please show your support for our playful friend by clicking on the link above- go on, spoil yourself!!!

Show notes:

Recommended: Yarn Reviews, Smitten Kitchen recipes.
Fyberspates WINNER:   Rhian DrinkWater
Show Sponsor Superknits is offering one lucky commenter the chance to win a lovely skein of Bessie in Kate Bush! Simply comment below before 24th July 2011 to win.

Knitting events
Donation giveaway: An entry to win 2 skeins of fine alpaca from Purl Alpaca Designs for every donation until the end of July 2011. I will announce the winner on the blog and 1st Podcast in August!
Knit Nation 15th-17th July 2011 with the podcaster meet up on the Saturday on the Green with podcasters Imake and Electric Sheep coming to play too. Look out for us on the green between 12-15 and 1.45 pm!!

On the Needles
Ulmus by Kirsten Kapur in Dream In Colour Starry colourway Midnight Derby and September Yarns in Merino Silky fingering colour way Amber.
Sugared Violets by Rose Beck in Uncommon Thread Lush Sock
The Dreaded Birthday knit, Earl Grey Socks by the Yarn Harlot in Sanguine Gryphon Bugga in the Tulip Tree Beauty colourway. 
Summer Field reports
Brought to you from Cally Fest and Nest Knit Games.

Fly, Fly, Fly by Adrina Thorpe, available on Music Alley
Use Somebody by Xavier and Ophelia, available on Music Alley
Contact me at: 
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Saturday 9 July 2011

Ooooooo pretty

OK so I know I said I wasnt going to stress the pretty anymore but sometimes pretty just lands in your lap. 

Today was a good mail day. 

To find out what these beauties are, tune in tomorrow's episode!!

Thursday 7 July 2011

Random outburst

Not a rant, just an outburst. 

My nails hurt. Why? Because I've taken to biting them again. REALLY, really badly. Remember I said I wasn't going to anymore? I even had pics to prove my love of nail polish and all things vampy. But since then I started temping and that can be quite a chore. It can be stressful, nerve wracking or worst, just plain boring. I noticed I'd stopped nail painting a while back but when the downpour of interviews started this week I realised I need to find a better and less gross habit as I'm in danger of losing a finger or two. 

Could you all nag me and remind me that  prefer my nails to look like this?

Tuesday 5 July 2011

A is for...

.... A broken laptop. 

In an attack of sheer stupidity I dropped a glass of water over my laptop. It's dried out BUT THE A KEY DOESN'T WORK. It has seriously limited my internet usage and further added to my blogging slump. I've been beating myself up about this. I want every post to be insightful/ pretty/ appealing but I've not always got access to a laptop these days and the pictures often are not on this laptop but edited on my old laptop and given names without a's in when I save them....

It's also the reason why I may not have been on Ravelry as much as I'd like, on Twitter or been blog reading and commenting as much as I'd like. I know what you're all thinking 'But she has an iphone surely?' Yes, yes I do. That's also on it's last legs. I don't have the patience to use it for matters of blogging. Don't even get me started on it's googlemap app!I miss commenting on all the wonderful blogs I read (and replying to comments, thank you so much for the book recommendations!!)

I have become aware suddenly of an audience and placed expectations on myself. I was feeling obliged to blog every 3 days, have amazing pictures, have new recipes and knit like the wind in order to have enough to talk about. 

I have decided to cut myself some slack. Sometimes I will blog about nothing much. Sometimes I will blog with no pictures. Sometimes the picture will have nothing to do with what I'm talking about. After all the point of this whole thing was to remind myself to be playful. 

So here's a nice picture I took recently. 

Isn't that nice?