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.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

This week's Ghibli film

Some time ago, Film 4 had a Studio Ghibli season and I recorded as many as I could.  I didn't make it to the Ghibli museum on my recent trip but I realised that I've only seen Princess Mononoke and one film wouldn't really give me the best basis for enjoying a museum dedicated to decades of anime. So, I've a hard drive with some films I recognised and others I didn't for hours of enjoyable research.  First up was Only Yesterday. Wikipedia link here
ETA I've just found another interesting link here

This isn't really a film for children which surprised and reminded me that in Japan, animation isn't just aimed at children.  I suppose there is animation for adults here too, but I'd forgotten.  There isn't anything particularly unsuitable for children (although some biology is discussed that might lead to further questions) but I think they'd find it boring.  It's about an old woman like me (hahah, she's 27) thinking about what she wants in life and remembering when she was ten.  And farming.  That's all really.  I found it rather beautiful and moving in a very gentle way.


Friday, January 27, 2012

This week's classes

On Tuesday, I went to my first ever ballet class.  I had worked through half of a ballet dvd before which was just as well as the teacher assumed some prior knowledge. I worked through the first part of the class feeling pretty smug. It was by the bar (with our backs to the mirror) so I couldn't see what any of us looked like.  I kept up reasonably well until we did one exercise very quickly. My toes are very short and I'm not very coordinated but anyway, it was fine.  Then we did some dancing which I struggled with and after that the real killer was practising leaping.  It threw me straight back to rubbish dance lessons in secondary school crossed with a comment likening me to a hippo one time.  I felt quite upset after the lesson - dumpy and ashamed instead of energised and graceful.  I had a little cry at home and read some knitting patterns to cheer me up which did help.  I was pretty bemused by my negative reaction and gave myself a stern talking to about it being my first lesson, it's good for me, I'll improve etc etc.  So I'll try again next week and see how that feels.

Japanese this week, and last week, was great.  I was thinking of giving up altogether as we'd had some very slow, dull, frustrating lessons, but we're learning new things every week now.  I need to do some homework as some of the vocabulary I'd learned before xmas has slipped out of my brain.  I don't think it will take long to revise it. I'm feeling much more positive about the lessons now, whereas I had been dreading them.  I cleared up a situation with another student too which was difficult but now I can relax a bit more when I'm there.

I've submitted a pattern for consideration for Let's Knit's June issue so I'm hoping it will have a positive reaction.  It was using DyeForYarn Merino/Silk sock yarn and I'm using the leftovers to make my mum a phone cosy.  The pattern is here.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

First run of the year

I haven't run since the semi-disatrous 10k in September so I've gone right back to the beginning.  I'm following a beginner's training plan from runner's world which has me training 5 times per week - 2 runs, 1 power walk and 2 circuits involving planks and lunges and things to improve strength.  The runs are more like interval session with short bursts of sprinting and walking to recover.  It was fun to be out again.  My trainers didn't hurt my toes as I was out for such a short time, it was short enough to not feel onerous (6 x 30secs run, 2mins walk) and it reminded me of when I was a genuine beginner, in 2009, when I would run rather than jog. The first few reps weren't too hard but as usual, the running began to feel like it was taking longer and the walking sections felt much shorter by the time I was at the third rep. After a total of not very much running at all, I deserved a lovely bath and even ached the next day so even though it was only a fraction of the amount of running I probably could do, it felt worth while.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

New or old?

I'm pleased I finished my raccoon mittens and would like to finish off some other projects.  On the other hand, the weather has turned chilly again and I haven't knitted myself any socks for ages AND some pairs passed away last year. Before I can knit more socks I need to wind more sock wool which would delay starting whereas the WIPs are all wound and ready to go.  The WIPS might have had their needles commandeered for another project but I think I've got multiple pairs of sock needles waiting to be used. Oh dear, can't decide so might end up doing nothing.  At least I have completed my tax return today which is something productive.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Usual programming resumes

Although it's not good news.  My Japanese classes started again last night and it was our worst turnout ever.  Three out of a possible seven or a more usual five.  It makes a small class even more frustrating.  And you might think that with so few of us, everyone would be paying attention to everything the teacher said or might be keen to contribute more often.  Nope.  I wasn't looking forward to the lesson anyway and I couldn't stop myself being grumpy.  I tried to be patient but I don't think I succeeded.  I don't know if I can keep attending the lessons as it puts me in such a bad mood.  I don't like to let other people down, and having just complained about the poor attendance, I would then be guilty of the same crime. I've already paid for the lessons and I don't like wasting money but I also don't like wasting my time or spending my time winding myself into such a bad mood.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Renegade Raccoons

This weekend I satisfied one of last year's resolutions and finished an old project.  I started this one year ago with yarn from my knitting xmas dinner lucky dip. It's Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and I used 3.25mm needles. The pattern is Ringo and Elwood by Barbara Gregory.  I knitted the smallest size but with bigger needles so they fit my hands. The raccoon pattern has a beaver partner which I have enough yarn for but I'm not sure I'll knit it.  I like the result but not the process of colour work.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I've been meaning to get back into running and to slim down and tone up.  I want to be stronger and fitter this year than ever.  I don't want to have to worry about being left at work to open or close the warehouse door anymore (sometimes I do it and it hurts my back).  I want to run the 5k Race For Life this year and actually run it all. I want to join a local running club (which gives you a free t shirt if you turn up enough times). I want to eat less chocolate and worry less about my teeth falling out. Or I want to eat more chocolate but not worry about my trousers not fitting.  I want some more room in my trousers for my stomach without having to buy more trousers. I've signed up to myfitnesspal to keep a food diary for a while and the first day has confirmed what I've known for a while - I get a lot of extra energy from my snacks :) I'm not going to drastically alter what I eat at the moment as I eat lots of good things to balance out all the sugar but I'm going to keep the diary to see why I didn't lose weight last year when I was running so much more than before.  I'm fairly sure it's all the snacks, particularly the extra snacks I eat when I run so a diary will help me keep an eye on this. I'm hoping that eventually I'll be running enough to eat more than usual but still have looser trousers.

Monday, January 09, 2012


I've decided to ease myself into blogging this year.  I've noticed I tend to have a blogging block during the dark winter months but I'd rather keep blogging all year round.  I find the winter difficult and tend to hibernate where possible and apparently this extends all the way through to the interweb. So this year may or may not proceed in the same way but I've actually finished some knitting already. Which I may or may not blog about.