Wednesday, September 28, 2011

possibly ahead of schedule

Today's soundtrack:
"Homeboy" by King Creosote
"Mis-Shapes" by Pulp
"Ugly" by Age of Electric
"Thug" by The Tragically Hip

Yes, I've been rather negligent in the blogging lately.  I've had a busy few weeks of conferences and traveling.  Visited Chawton and, in typical brilliant fashion, forgot to take my camera out of my backpack.  I also didn't get any time to see London, save for the Underground between Euston and Waterloo.  It's an excuse to take the sleeper train again, although it means that I have no new UK photos for you.

I do, however, have knitting.  Go on, try to act surprised.  At the moment, I've nearly finished my Christmas knitting for the nephews, as well as knitting for Carmen and Galian's wee one, but in order to keep the surprise from all the various parents, no photos here.  Instead, here's the latest sock project.  Technically, these socks are part of Miguel's Christmas present, but it's a little impossible to hide the project when I knit while we watch TV at night.

Striped Socks from The Lux Knitting Book (1942) using Cascade Heritage Sock in 5626 (Turquoise) and 5609 (Bark). 2.25mm needles.  Ravelled here.

I found this pattern the other year in Nana's stash of knitting books and pamphlets.  The book, which has seen better days but clearly has been well-used, belonged to my great-grandmother, who used the baby clothes patterns when she knitted for overseas children during WWII.  I don't think she ever made these socks, however, because there are no notes on the pattern.

Anyway, when I saw the fantastic slipped-stitch striped pattern, I knew these socks must be in the same colours as the Tenth Doctor's suit.  The overall effect is pretty subtle, much like Miguel's Tardis socks, rather than a ridiculously over-the-top homage to Doctor Who like, say, my Fourth Doctor Scarf.

Yeah.  I might need to get out more.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

scottish signage

Today's soundtrack:
"BCC" by Buck 65 feat. John Southworth 
"The Score" by Samantha Savage Smith
"Yer Spring" by Hey Rosetta
"Niagara" by Ohbijou

It's a blustery day here in Cellardyke. The wind has been averaging around 45 km/ph for over 12 hours now. Deck chairs are rearranging themselves. I know I haven't blogged in a bit, but since I have a paper to finish for this weekend's conference, the best I can do is a short guide to Scottish signage.

Lesson 1: How to tell a good hairdresser from a bad one

I really don't know which side this place in St. Andrews falls on, but even if it's the latter, at least you get a free shot of whisky out of the deal.  I feel obliged to point out that with the slight space between hair and cut, it's possible that you get a shot for every single hair cut.

Lesson 2: Scottish priorities are starch-based

Giggling about McNulty's aside (which I assume only serves bottles of Jameson's and lake trout), the top-billing of the almighty potato shouldn't really come as a surprise to me.  But top-billing above coffee?  Coffee?!  That sweet, sweet nectar of the gods?!  The only thing that can change grumpy grunty morning Kate into slightly less grumpy and grunty morning Kate?!  I suspect that if the supermarket sold more whole beans and less instant coffee, this country would come around to the Pacific Northwest attitude towards coffee.  Ritual sacrifice to Starbucks remaining optional, obviously.

Lesson 3: Unapologetically hilarious street signs

Pointing and giggling will mark you as a North American, just as taking a picture of the "Cosy Neuk" down the way is how we tell who's a Dutch tourist (hey, if you're looking for high-brow humour here, you may have made a larger mistake).  I should point out, for extra credit in today's lessons, that "wynd" is Scots for a narrow lane or alley.  The more you know.