Sunday, 26 June 2011

Hat-tastic!

Mara has asked me to test knit her very first pattern! It's a gorgeous slouchy hat with very clever details.

I'm knitting it in Rowan's Cocoon in the emerald colourway. Wierdly I had no suitable chunky stash and was awfully tempted by Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky. Fyberspates seem to have brought out Scrumptious in pretty much every yarn weight available which is just evil because it means fighting off the Scrumptious temptation every time I start a new project. Evil. However I'm glad I plumped for the Cocoon (which was 10% off at Get Knitted)  as it's a very pretty colour and beautifully soft. It's fluffier than I expected from the photos on the web but has a sheen which will show off Mara's carefully designed stitches nicely.

My knitting mojo had fallen into the summer slump but the hat seems to have brought it back to life ... Yay! Funky hat in chunky designed by my friend! Excuse to buy pretty yarn! Hurrah!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Metallica, Knitting, Sandals and a bunch of Pagans.

Yesterday Mr K and I went crawling through heavy traffic to Ipswich accompanied by the gentle crooning of Metallica:











I was knitting in time to the beat. Rock on baby, keeping the faith! Yeah.


I'm doing something I swore I'd never do; knitting socks for MrK. He has sock wrecking heels made of granite. I swear he's part golem. His heels have +5 versus socks and wear down pumice stones. But he did that whole puppy dog eyed thing because I've never knitted him anything. So they're going to be his walking boot socks, only to be worn with cheap, crappy socks underneath. And I might force him to learn to darn.



 We went to Ipswich to do a bit of shopping and pop in on the Ipswich pagan crew who were having a Pagan Heritage exhibition. It was lovely to see them all, there were some good squishy hugs from my Kindred and others. There were stories from my favourite storyteller too. And cake. Huzzah! Thoroughly good show chaps.


The shopping mostly involved shoes.

Shoe buying is a serious pain in the arse for me. I have size 3 feet. Well, actually I have European size 35 feet, which most UK suppliers would call 2 1/2. Most shoe shops interpretation of 'size 3' is EU36. And don't say 'can't you buy kids' shoes?'. It makes me want to poke people in the eye and tell them to fuck off. How many children's shoes have you seen that a grown woman would want to wear? Um.... yeah, exactly.

Fortunately Clarks 'size 3' is EU 35.5 which can be passable depending on the style. I've had to go on a sandal hunt recently as all my lovely flat sandals have started to give me back/ankle/knee pain. Unfortunately even Clarks often don't fully stock in size 3. As soon as I say 'can I try these in a 3?' I see the assistant get that glazed, apologetic look and they say 'I'll go and look' in a distinctly unhopeful tone of voice. BUT fourth shoe shop, second Clark's store I found the extra-mega-comfy sandals in the foreground. Thank the gods.

The shoes in the background were on a sale rail and begged to be rescued. They'll need insoles if I'm not wearing them with handknit socks, but hey, they're pretty (and a much better ox-blood red in real life than in the pic) and they'll rock with my Lanesplitter skirt once it's finished.

After all that MrK treated me to Pizza Express. He's a star.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Fractured Faces

I've recently been realising that my online presence is distinctly fractured. This might reflect certain aspect of my Real Life (TM), but that's not what I want to address here.

I have my facebook in my real name, with my real life friends and family. Plus a handful of people I barely knew from school. You know how it is.

There's Maytheweed in whose guise I write this blog, inhabit a couple of forums (though somewhat intermittently recently) and I would say is my general 'online persona' in that she's actually most like ME. Not shinied up too much for family or professional reasons. Ok of course I'm writing, therefore I'm 'creating' rather than being entirely spontaneous but I'm not a hugely spontaneous person. Maytheweed is me. Maybe a little braver than me in real life. But still me.

There's another blog I run, which is professional and has an associated (recently acquired) twitter account. It's still me, but professional me. No swearing (ok maybe the occasional 'bloody' or 'bugger' but nothing I wouldn't say in front of my boss), no complaining about my boss, no sweaty Pagan porn. Ok so there's no sweaty Pagan porn here either. But here I could. If I wanted to. It's ok I won't. Probably.

So along comes Pinterest. It looks interesting. But you can only sign in with a Facebook or Twitter account. WTF? WT sweet crispy F? My Facebook is personal, it's the real me, the family and friends edition (no contact details though, I'm not that daft) and so, no offence, I don't want to connect it to my Maytheweed blog. I could create a special Maytheweed facebook I guess. But why? And again I could create a whole seperate Twitter account, even though personally, I really don't see the fucking point of Twitter, except as a promo tool. 140 characters of poorly edited shite mostly, I fear.

So perhaps there are too many different 'mes' online which perhaps is a reflection of too many different 'mes' in Real Life (TM). Oh dear. Existential angst ahoy. Or not existential actually because I'm pretty damn sure I exist. It's just there seem to be more than one of me. Arseburgers. Now I confused.

Have you got more than one online self? More than one real-life self? And how the feck do you reconcile them?

I think I'd better go look for sweaty Pagan porn. It's about all I'm capable of right now.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Picky, picky, picky!

Peter over at Male Pattern Boldness asked what we never skimp or compromise on. He was asking in the context of sewing but I ignored that and answered:

"Bacon. It's got to be dry cured, and smoked back for preference. That and beer. Otherwise, pretty much everything else  "

And then I realised I'm wrong because I'm a picky bitch. I like nice food and nice things, and although it's not true that I won't compromise, I definitely have preferences. Strong preferences. Take incense, which I mentioned a couple of posts back... the only stick incense I've found acceptable is Nag Champa (the real deal, I've had fake once and it was nasty) otherwise it's loose incense, and even then quality can be hugely variable. That 50p baggy of 'Frankincense'? Smelt like burning tyres. And don't get me started on beer.

I am lucky to be able to afford to make these choices. I occasionally have access to great quality meat, properly hung, so the colourless stuff from the supermarket tastes like Quorn by comparison. My Dad's homebrew is the ale of the gods, so the piss they serve in many pubs and bars might as well be lemonade. I've tried high quality Frankincense so the cheap stick incense smells like dangerously nasty dope to me. I am so very lucky (priviledged even) to be in the position where I know the difference. And if it comes down to it, I'd rather have good meat once a month than anemic MRM every day, or one pint of my Dad's homebrew rather than a keg of Stella Artois (aka Piss).


Sewing and knitting are introducing me to new areas of gorgeousness too. Cashmere, silk, merino, baby alpaca... these things were not in my vocabulary a little while ago (ok maybe silk was, but mostly as an unobtainable pretty). Having said that, one of my favourite yarns is Marble Chunky which is 100% acrylic so I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool yarn snob just yet. I have also recently discovered the joys of A Good Bra and Good Shoes and am gradually learning about well-fitting clothes. This could either be a very expensive journey, or one on which I learn to make all my own clothes and exist on a 'capsule wardrobe' (the horror!)

Although I often frame these choices as being about what's so nasty about the 'cheap and nasty' option it's actually about what is good about the option I like. Ok, so Stella = Piss is good for a laugh, but really I don't avoid Stella because of anything at all about Stella. I choose Fursty Ferret, or my Dad's homebrew or Wychcraft because they're really feckin' tasty and I like that in a beer. I chose that alpace/silk mix because it's deliciously soft, not because there's anything wrong with the other options. I like butter because I like butter, not because I dislike margarine (though I do). Other people like marge, Stella and polyester (the freaks). That's cool. More butter, steak and homebrew for me!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Ooh you tease!

You know that purple skirt I was making? Well it's ceased to be disappointing and is going quite well. Slowly, but well.


I love buttons as embellishment. They're somehow spangly and ordinary at the same time.

Hopefully it will be finished by this weekend!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Probably the Best Radio Show Ever

I have to apologise to you if you're not British. I have a horrible feeling you have to exist in this world without the joy that is Radio 4's Infinite Monkey Cage . It's a science discussion programme with extra added comedy and it rocks. They gather together scientists, comedians and scientists who are comedians or comedians trained as scientists and discuss something. This week's topic was the future of space travel and managed to be both profound and hilarious at the same time. If you are British and are even vaguely interested in science and/or have a sense of humour I can't recommend it enough. In fact if you're not British I'd go over there and try to download it just in case I'm wrong.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Green Spiders and Elven Goblets

I've been carting my camera around to catch some greenness for Project Spectrum and came across this little beauty:


Unfortunately it was very difficult to capture and this was the best I could manage. It was a gorgeous clear apple green with a bright red spot on its rear, which didn't come out in the picture. I don't know what kind of spider it is, some kind of crab spider I think.

The Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) at my workplace is in flower at the moment:


In Lothlorien Galadriel sips mead from goblets like these flowers. I'm sure of it.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Medieval Fayre-ee Tales

Yesterday afternoon I wandered down to the Medieval Fair we have annually in Colchester, the Oyster Fayre. I forgot my camera, as per bloody usual. It's lots of fun - some serious re-enactmentyness, some random hippyness plus real ale. Can't go wrong really. This year I was by myself and went for just the afternoon so didn't see as much of the puppetry, mumming, falconry, archery etc as some years although I did peruse the stalls fairly thoroughly (no surprise there, then). I had my runes read for a laugh and recieved food for thought.


Pan's Pantry, my favourite incense suppliers were there and I bought some of the aptly named 'God's Smile' incense. I love this stuff. A few years back I discovered the joy of loose incense, thanks to their stall at Oyster Fayre and am now an incense snob as well as a beer snob. To be honest I find the loose incense rather less convenient than sticks, so don't use it as much as I'd like and have a box full of baggies of loose incenses. It's not a small box either. I'd take a picture but frankly it's a bit embarrassing and the box is a pain to move out into the light.

I was pointed to the stall of Viking Kristall by a friend I bumped into who had succumbed to some seriously beautiful viking silver jewellery. I managed to avoid the charms of the silver and fell for the bronze instead:
The spear heads are beautiful, speaking of war and weaponry and yet their leaf shapes recall nature too. The spear is the special weapon of Odin, and yet also the weapon of the common soldier. Cast over the heads of the enemy it began battles in Odin's name. And yet there's the leaf there too. I love that juxtaposition, though I know it was probably not intended by the maker. It feels very Heathen to me.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Friday, 3 June 2011

Pink! It's someone's new obsession.

Who the fuck though I have no idea. Someone in marketing stuff somewhere. Maybe it's just me - is there a rise in the amount of self-consciously 'girly' crap being sold?


 

Don't get me wrong, there are places I love pink; roses in the garden for example. I just hate it when it, and it's pastelly brethren are used for some kind of sugary sweet pseudo-femininity marketing bullshit:
"Oh yeah like we need to sell more screwdrivers but like I think we need a new market"
"How about marketing them to women I mean women need to mend their cars and put up shelves too now that they've emasculated all the menfolk. Bitches."
"Uh yeah but how do we market to women?"
"Make them in pink!"

Yeah I buy stuff because it's pink and sparkly, not because I need a decent screwdriver. Fuck you screwdriver marketing people. Pink wellington boots is another one that gets me. Ok market pink wellies for those dumb enough to not make the connection pink + mud = unattractive, but when it gets to the point I can't buy any wellies that don't have pink or lilac trim, that's when someone needs to keep away from me and my NOT PINK screwdriver set.

Have you seen the baby-yarn section in a yarn shop recently? Pastels. Wall-to-MFing-wall. What happened to primary colours for the sprogs? And recently I walked round the corner into the kids section of a well-known clothing retailer to find it was all sugary sweet PINK. I may have said a bad word loudly. There was a time I envied kids because they got the coolest clothes in the best colours. Apparently my childhood with it's bright red dungarees, blue t-shirt and yellow wellies was in someway not rigid enough in its training for gender roles. Must be why I'm not a simpering fucking moron then. And why MrK is making the tea, the poor emasculated bastard.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Green Peas

It's June and that means Project Spectrum moves along to green so I pottered out into the garden with my camera and found the very green story of a pea pod...


 First there is a beautiful flower...
... then a beautiful plump green pod...
















... and then some greedy so-and-so scoffs the peas and discards the pod. How rude!















I'm afraid in my garden the peas rarely make it as far as the kitchen, they're munched right there and then in the garden. If MrK is lucky he gets some, but mostly not.