Noblin activity of the knitting variety.

Including Noblin Designs, How to identify Noblins,
Advice on how to catch a Noblin, and How to keep your Noblin happy.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Anyone for tennis?

I had a lovely afternoon watching the tennis today. It was far more exciting than I anticipated. First we saw the Williams sisters lose in the doubles, then Laura Robson pull back in the second set to win in the girls singles, then flicked over to see Federer two sets down, watched him lose then flicked back over to see Nadal had lost a set. If that wasn't enough, Murray dropped his first set and played an unconvincing second but then woke up in the tie break and played well to win. Phew.
Amongst that, I did manage to finish the first of my Mum's birthday socks. I only had to redo the toe so it really didn't take long and I even grafted it up and it fits, hooray. I also had strawberries and cream.

Here's the front of the christening gown. I don't know why it's upside down.

I dug this little glove out of my drawer to take to knitting group last night. More on that another time.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hot weather

I have single handedly ended the heatwave in the South-East. I bought a fan for my living room. Boom - torrential rain.

Well, it's still hot here but nothing like as bad as yesterday. My office is still very hot and stuffy though. I got soaked walking to my car but then as soon as I walked into my office, the water steamed off me. Based on yesterday's weather, I made a mental pre-emptive cancellation of my usual Tuesday night run (that is, run then walk then run then walk then run a bit slower then stagger then jog then stagger home) but now I feel a little bit sheepish as it was probably perfectly acceptable running weather. No matter, I had a lovely time playing Lego Harry Potter, one of my birthday presents to me.

I'm now snuffling down some tea as it's time to go to my lovely local knitting group. As always, I have nothing simple to take with me. I was supposed to cast something on before I went but Lego HP was faaaar to fun. I also didn't take a picture of the front of the Christening Gown that I finished last night so all in all, I've been a bit slack. At least I learnt to fly my broom.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy birthday to me

I've a had a lovely birthday weekend with more junk food than I've probably eaten this year. I watched some tennis, opened some presents, was taken to the cinema to see Lil Smith in the Karate Kid (really enjoyable). I've finished the pattern that was hanging on and sent that off so now I can tidy my house and watch lots of dvds until bedtime.

What to do next?
The christening gown - I'm losing confidence on that already but will block the front and then see if it's too small.

My mum's Xmas, I mean, Birthday socks - oh the shame, these were supposed to be for Christmas but then the toes didn't fit and I bought her something else. They won't take long but equally they won't knit themselves.

Some more sketching of new ideas - I have a few but they need deveolping before I can present them to anyone to try to blag some more yarn.

Update this website - I've been meaning to do it for a while. The projects list is quite old and the layout is a bit odd. Maybe I should start from scratch instead of trying to recreate and improve it.

Plenty to do then and I've a holiday looming so I'll be nice and busy.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Following the teachings of Master Oogway*

I went to my first professional seminar yesterday. I didn't know what to expect, I didn't really know where it was, I didn't know if I'd get a seat on the train, I didn't know anyone there (or worse, I might bump into someone I used to know but didn't want to meet). I planned for the worst - that it would be boring and that everyone there would be exceptionally strange and I'd probably get lost on the bus. Further insult was that I had to get up with the dawn chorus instead of rolling out of bed at 8am to stumble into work around 9am. I set my alarm for 6.45am, people. That's before 7am! I left the house at 7.30 and caught a train at 8. Oh, what a wonderful train. I felt like a failure for not driving (why did I feel that way, why does the motorway taunt me so? compounded by the free parking permit) but when I saw that mostly empty carriage and pulled out my knitting, I felt like a champion. Trains are underrated and in this case, it was exceptionally convenient for me to get a train. I knitted for about an hour on the christening gown, didn't get lost on the bus, was pleased to see that the other delegates were a normal cross-section of society. The food was great - I was expecting a paper plate and a few sandwiches but it was a proper steak pie sit down hot meal. With a chocolate mint mousse for afterwards. The lecturer was very good and made a potentially sleep inducing subject mildly interesting at times. I was pretty tired by the end of the day but very smug about how it all went. I really shouldn't fret so much in future. It could equally have been disastrous but fretting about it? Will that solve any problems in advance? I think not.

Something happened this week that pushed my buttons and I started churning up about trying to make someone else behave how I wanted them to. And then I just realised, Master Oogway has the solution. Forget about the illusion of control. This person will do what they want regardless of how I react so there's little point in expending my energy on it. I should just relax and enjoy spending the voucher.

I'm trying to apply Master Oogway's teachings more to my life. I'll let you know how it goes.

*He's the tortoise in Kung Fu Panda, but obviously you knew that already ;)

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Thursday, June 17, 2010


Today I posted my next and for the time being final project to Let's Knit (and I'm so excited about this one, I can't wait to see it in print). I haven't put in anymore submissions and I've not been struck by any inspiration for a magazine project so I've decided to work on something a bit more personal. It may turn into a pattern I sell but that isn't it's main purpose. I've been asked to be godmother to my friends' daughter and I've decided I want to knit her a pretty dress as a special gift, possibly on approval by the parents, for her to wear at her christening. Ok, ok, I confess, I daydream about swanning around at the christening, having people congratulate me on the stunning gown that I've created and could I possibly be their best friend and maybe be interviewed on tv and move to Hollywood and try to take over the world.


I'm also on a drive to not buy yarn. I have lots of yarn and also I buy lots of other things so in my infinite wisdom, if I don't buy any yarn then I must be saving money. My stash isn't huge, it's mostly sock yarn and there tends to be only one or two skeins of each type. My initial reaction to trying to use something in my stash is that I couldn't possibly have anything even remotely suitable and even if I did, I wouldn't want to risk running out part way through. It's true I almost gave up on the whole idea having gone through everything in my main chest of drawers but then inspiration hit and I looked in one of my other yarn boxes. You know, the one that doubles as a bedside table and is underneath another bin of yarn which has the bedside lamp on. That one. I fell upon this gorgeous yarn.

It's Scrumptious by Fyberspates and it certainly lives up to its name. Scrumptious is a silk and wool blend, so it's sheeny and soft and light. It was a gift from Jeni when I helped/hindered her tidying up her shed. I definitely helped her spend money in Ikea. I think it was a sample she had, I'm not sure it is an existing weight - perhaps a sport weight. I'm using 3mm needles and am aiming to make a dress to fit a 1yr old. She gave me enough for a jumper for me but it's been waiting for over two years to be knitted (I lovingly fondle it every so often) so this seemed like a very deserving project. I'm enjoying having a long deadline and complete freedom to knit and design whatever I fancy. And no pressure because 1yr olds treat all clothes the same. It's not love or hate, it's just a receptacle for spare breakfast. An handfuls of mud. And maybe some dibble. Hmm, I hope this yarn's washable.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Let's Knit Front Cover, Issue 32

Wow, my pattern made it to the front cover of the latest issue of Let's Knit.

It's a pleated short sleeve top with bead and texture detail.

I designed and knitted this in February with some help from my sister. I wished I could blog about it at the time because it didn't run very smoothly. I think I'll just try to put that behind me and bask in the excitement of being on the cover. This is a landmark for me and has prompted me to think more about what I want to achieve with designing. I've been working on several patterns for Let's Knit this year, most of which have been published now. Now I'm at a point where I could submit some new design ideas, which if they're accepted gives me a guaranteed income and a deadline to work to. However I sometimes find I'm not designing the patterns I really want to or using the best yarn for a project. There's limited space in a printed magazine so I can't just freely write and have to use such shorthand that I sometimes feel I'm not really getting across what I want to. I could try to publish independently, for example through Ravelry. This would give more freedom in yarn choice and style of pattern writing but at my own investment in yarn and perhaps I would never finish writing it when there's no editor waiting for me. And, eek, perhaps noone would pay for them? I suppose at the moment I'm working a low risk strategy and accepting the limits in return for the benefits. I'm not sure this is the best strategy anymore. I have a dayjob for security of income so perhaps now that I've got some more experience I should branch out and take a few more risks. I guess it all comes down to how much work I'm prepared to put in. Noone can answer that but me.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

My patterns published in Let's Knit

Jodie, Issue 32, July 2010Pleated summer top with bead and texture detail

Sasha, Issue 31, June 2010Garter stitch entrelac blanket

Bella and Frankie, Issue 27, February 2010Fairisle patterned dress and jumper for children

Sindy, Issue 26, January 2010One piece wraparound top for babies

Miho, Issue 20, July 2009
One piece kimono style top for babies and children

Aster, Issue 16, March 2009
Illusion knitting flower blanket

Christmas Cosy Friends, Issue 13, December 2008
Knitted and crocheted Christmas themed egg cosies