Monday, October 16, 2006

MLQKnits up and running ...!

If you're still looking for me here, then please note that I now blog here, and you can find my new venture here

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Where am I ...?

... just a reminder that if you've found me here, and you want to see my latest knitting projects, you will need to change your bookmarks to here

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Interesting response to hi-jacking ...

An interesting repsonse received from Blogger regarding the hi-jacked blog

Thanks for writing in. When you change your blog URL, the old blog URL
becomes available for other users to take. In this case, it seems like
another user has now claimed the blog URL
Unfortunately, Blogger does not reassign blog addresses
once they have been taken. I'm sorry about the inconvenience

to which I can only reply - gahhhhhhh! (not impressed)

However, it is the speed of what happened that really disturbed me, and also what they're saying doesn't seem quite right. In following the instructions from Typepad to save to a new filename, so as not to overwrite the main index, surely this is akin to saving a Word document with a new name, ie. you end up with two versions of the same document ...?

Anyway, just a reminder that if you've found me here, please change your bookmarks to here

Monday, June 19, 2006

old blog hijacked ...

argh, argh ,argh! - was in process of setting up Typepad blog yesterday. All going well, managed to follow simple instructions for importing all previous postings (which involved removing all formatting, and saving to a new blogspot address, so as not to over-write old index.

All old postings transferred over successfully, and made test post on new blog, still looking OK. As dial-up connection started playing up badly, decided to go out and get some new printer cartridges. Came back to find old Blog address had been hi-jacked by some bar-steward calling themselves mlqknits, with a posting about home furnishing.

Haven't so far been able to find a way to get back my old blog URL, so I could let everyone know (oh what a pain, will have to e-mail a number of people separately to let them know), so looks like I am definitely using TypePad from now on, as have no real choice in matter, but on the plus side, posting seems (so far, touching wood!) to be a great improvement ...

I suppose salutary lesson from all of this is, if you do move your blog, take a copy of all the Blogger Formatting stuff, then once you've copied over all your old posts, make sure you re-set everything on Blogger the way it was, so no-one can sneak in before you're ready to go live ...

Right, just so you all know, some links

- the new blog is here

- the old blog is here

- and the hijacker is here - I have flagged his or her posting as offensive, and left a 'polite' comment. I shall also be reporting the matter to Blogger

Friday, June 16, 2006

fed up ...

Am condsidering moving this blog ... have been unable to post pictures* for quite a few days now, and I really don't think that's good enough. Am quite prepared to pay for the privilege of running a blog, so cost isn't a problem - what I do need, though, is some help/advice. Assuming I do move the blog, where should I get it hosted? - I quite like the look of Typepad, but are there any others I should consider? I am still on dial-up at the moment, though we are hoping to go over to broad-band as soon as Talk Talk gets it's act together, so that may be something I have to bear in mind as well. What I am most looking for is ease of use, and if it's possible to transfer over all my previous postings that would be nice too, and perhaps the chance to keep important things, eg free patterns, or other files attached as separate pages within the blog.

So come on you people, there must be some of you who've already experienced this frustration ...! - suggestions or help please!

* - to save any confusion, I don't upload photos from my computer, they are stored on Flickr here, and then I post the URL to Blogger ... sadly, this hasn't been working all week, and as far as I cna make out, I'm not the only one it's happening to

Monday, June 12, 2006

Maidstone Knitters caught KIP-ping ...

(13.6.2006 - sorry, Blogger is being awkward right now about pics, will have to try uploading these tomorrow.
14.6.2006 - still not happening, will keep trying)

Saturday was a very l-o-o-o-o-n-g day ... Holly and Emily and I left the house before 7am to get a bus to Maidstone, and because we arrived so early, I treated them to breakfast in McDonalds ... (actually the only meal I would ever contemplate buying in there). Feeling somewhat more wide awake, and in much better tempers, we sauntered down to the Chequers Centre to find Hazel and her husband Chris attempting to arrange stuff on a very tiny table, which became even more crowded as I unloaded magazines, scarves, yarn and spare knitting needles.

According to the rules of the shopping centre's management team, we had to be set up by 9am, which we managed to do (but we had to be there till 4.30 in the afternoon, before we would be allowed to pack up again). It was already shaping up to be a very hot day, but luckily we had been placed near to the air conditioning vents, so we were nice and cool all day (and Hazel was delighted to note that we were right next to an ice cream stand)

Emily spotted Hazel's big needles, and decided that she wanted to try out the ones I'd made the previous day (which was fine by me as my wrist was still playing up quite badly). I found some thick yarn for her, and cast on 10 stitches, and then she amazed me by remembering how to knit all by herself (though the last time she did it must have been at least a year ago), and had completed several rows by the time the photographer from the local paper arrived. He decided that the big needles were just the thing for his photo, and took loads of photos mainly just of Emmy and her knitting, and some with me as well (hope he uses the one of the ones with just her in it, though!) - we are rather hoping that a picture of a young knitter will be very good for encouraging others to give it a go ...

Meanwhile, Hazel was showing Holly how to finger knit, from the photos on Pixeldiva's Flickr gallery - Holly was delighted by how easy it was, and managed to create a long skinny scarf, which she is going to decorate with some beads, and put tassels on the ends (you can see the WIP in the photo here), one thing that really pleased me was that she gained sufficient confidence as a result to be able to explain what she was doing to someone passing by - and Chris was busy setting up the french knitter to keep Hazel supplied with i-cord to knit a thick scarf on her big needles - she had managed to teach herself to knit backwards, so that she wouldn't have to turn the work, and purl as well - good thinking 'cos purl stitch with needles that big is likely to cause an injury to someone (if not the knitter, then some hapless soul out shopping), and we certainly didn't want to have to make a claim on the Public Liability insurance that Chris managed to organise for us (another shopping centre rule that we had to comply with) ...

Patricia and Cecilia arrived with more stuff for the stand, and Mary turned up to say hello as well, and the nice man from the shopping centre had managed to get us an extra table to give us more space, so Chris went off to get some cloths to cover it with, and we rearranged the stand, which was looking really good, and well-filled. By this time there were lots of people in the shopping centre, and it was very entertaining to see so many people doing a 'double take' when they saw Hazel knitting with the huge needles, and many people were intrigued by the french knitting machine (so much more fun than cotton reels with nails! - and of course a damn sight quicker, certainly works for me ...!).

Lots of people came over to chat, and we gave out leaflets about Maidstone Knitters, and information on wool shops in the area, along with all kinds of general chit-chat, like the mad conversation I had with one lady in which we covered such diverse topics as hamsters and the Big Issue magazine. It looks like we might well get a few more members joining us, including (possibly) one little girl who was out with her mother and stopped to learn finger knitting - interestingly, the mother said that she didn't knit, but her daughter did. I found myself demonstrating the Loopa to several people, and in between times, I got on with yet another moebius - on the grounds that this didn't seem to hurt my wrists too much - and which I had finished by the end of the day (all bar darning in the ends), having cast on at the start of our bus ride to Maidstone.

The morning went by quite quickly, as so many people were around, but the afternoon went rather more slowly, mainly due to England having their opening game in the World Cup (much to all the other knitters' disgust :)), so that there weren't so very many people around any more. I had a small radio with me, so that I could listen to the commentary, but couldn't get very good reception - though I did manage to hear England getting the only goal of the match, and let out a very small cheer - so I had to give up on it, and wait till we got home. Margaret and Jackie came along, and stayed to knit, which swelled the numbers, and some of us (me, anyway) now have great plans for bathroom mats from recycled clothing, having seen the one in progress (what a very good idea!)

Emily's friend Emma and her mummy turned up unexpectedly, and came over to say hello, and they kindly whisked Holly & Emily away to do some shopping - cheers, Maggie & Emma! - they were both starting to look a bit frazzled by then, so it was a welcome break for us all. Holly came back with a new bikini (for the bargain price of £3), and Emily had a good time in Claire's Accessories for a similar amount. Then Emily went back to Emma's house, leaving me and Holly to go home on the bus (that child has brains!), and Holly went round with my camera (so you have her to thank for the photos!), taking photos of the stand.

The last half hour dragged the most, and we were all pretty tired by then (but Hazel still managed to have enough energy left to do an interview over the phone with the local paper, and give them loads of information, so here's hoping for a good write up, chaps!), so we were all pretty glad when we got to 4.30, and could pack up at last - believe me it's a lot quicker clearing up than it is setting up - must have taken us at least a minute :), then Holly & I went to catch the bus home.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Maidstone Knitters do it in public ...

No time to post a full report at the moment - I will do it properly later today - but meanwhile some photos are on my Flickr gallery

Friday, June 09, 2006

Ready for Knitting in Public ...

I have made some big needles (though judging by the state of one of my wrists, which has decided to go all 'clicky' today - too many bags carried back from Norwich the other day, I suspect! - I may not actually use them). I have several alternatives in mind (lightweight plastic 20mm needles, or big circs), so I think it may not be a problem anyway.

I have assorted "fun" yarns picked out, and some finished items for the display table. I have a couple of Loopas, crochet hooks and suitable yarn for loopa-ing with. I've picked out an assortment of magazines, and I have also today got hold of a copy of the latest Knit.1 magazine which actually has some stuff in that I'd like to knit (amazing! - this issue is far more 'grown-up' than the previous ones).

I even managed to get hold of a few lightweight stools to sit on. I've checked the bus timetable, and it looks as though I should have no problem getting into Maidstone before 9am (when we have to set up the stand and display).

I have T-shirts that I plan to graffiti with "Worldwide Knitting in Public" in marker pen for Holly and Emily (assuming they want to come too, and assuming that they would wear them if I do), and I have some small vacuum flasks for coffee ... now, is there anything I've forgotten?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Exhausting ...

Back at home after a strenuous couple of days on very little sleep (up at 5am on Tuesday to get to Norwich, and didn't get to bed till 2am on Wednesday, up again at 7.30am on Wednesday for swim and breakfast), and fuelled by far too much alcohol and nicotine (but thank goodness, no hangovers). Nevertheless, I've had a really good (and I hope, productive) time, quite a number of people asked me to e-mail my CV to them (I shall not read too much into it at this stage, but I think that at least a few of these were serious requests), and I also have several invites for coffee and a chat over the next few weeks, so again while I think that some may be less serious than others, it's been very good for me to get some exposure in my field, which is still a relatively specialist branch of insurance, in terms of numbers of people who do it.

One of the highlights for many of the chaps present this week was the Williams F1 car that made an appearance on Tuesday, and the really good part was the simulator that they were all encouraged to have a go on, for a small donation to charity (they raised an absolute fortune, as you can imagine). A very competitive thing - and surprising how many of them had to have just one more go if they saw themselves slipping down the leaderboard ... :) I didn't have a go myself, too much testosterone sloshing around, but it was great fun to watch, and John and James would have loved having a go. Now that James has had some time learning to drive, he tries to unnerve me every so often with questions like "is an F1 car road legal?" to which I can only reply "under NO circumstances ... and you couldn't afford the insurance premium anyway"

The children were pleased to see me last night when I got back, though I would have to say that that I think this may have had a certain amount of self-interest mixed in with it, as in "what did you bring me back from Norwich, Mummy?" - for those of you who know Norwich, anything from the sweet shop in the Royal Arcade is always a hit, and Holly is particularly thrilled because I found her a pair of almost Converse All Stars - I have been refusing to allow her to have the real thing, but only because her feet are still growing, and I don't really think I can justify spending that much money (currently £35 - 40 in the UK) for a pair of sneakers that she will probably grow out of in about 3 months. I found the next best thing in New Look for a tenner though, and logo aside, they look surprisingly realistic. Emily has a new pair of mules (she is like me and hates sandals with toe posts), which she is also pleased with, and James has several football related items (we're gearing up for the World cup here!), and a Williams team hat ...

Today, I have lots to do: a large number of e-mails to write following up on my trip (but unlike last year's trip, no hefty report to do as well - Hooray!), and preparations for World-wide Knit in Public day on Saturday are afoot. Will have to remember to take a small radio and earpiece with me for Saturday - England are playing Paraguay at 2pm ... Hazel has managed to organise us all, and we are knitting in public in the Chequers Centre (shopping mall) in Maidstone. Come along if you're in the area. and bring your needles with you ...!

I'm currently working on a longer length (but thinner width) moebius scarf for myself this week in Laines du Nord Modella in the monochrome colourway, with the idea that it will go round my neck twice for a cowl effect, but I'm having some difficulty deciding what to edge it with. I had originally thought of using strands of Patons Coast in black and white, but I'm not quite happy with the overall effect - althought the colours are all the same, somehow it just doesn't look quite right ... I also have some plain black chunky weight yarn that might be OK, or I have a ball of Stylecraft Mardi Gras in a monochrome colourway, think I'm going to have to do some swatching to see which I like best.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A busy week, and not much knitting ...

It's funny how you can dread some events in advance, and then when you get to them they turn out to be OK, and you wonder what all the fuss was about. This week I had to go into the office and clear my desk on Wednesday, and on Thursday I had my first appointment with an outplacement consultant.

In advance, I really didn't want to do either of them, but all I can say now is that I had a great day on Wednesday, catching up with almost all my colleagues, they took me out for lunch (which was really good fun), and we all parted on good terms with plans to meet up in the future (which I shall look forward to).

Thursday was even better - in advance, I was quite worried about meeting the consultant (I had visions of some 25 year old know-it-all - but of course the reality was entirely different!), but three hours later, I came away with a really great-looking short CV on one page (god, it makes me look good! - and I've never managed to whittle it down so much), lots of immediate suggestions of things that I need to do, and a plan of campaign for the other 4 or so sessions that we are going to do.

Had been to the Bead Shop in Covent Garden in the morning, spent loads of money on jump rings, findings, etc, for stitch markers, before going to the Outplacment session, and afterwards went on to Liberty's for the evening, to catch up with the Rowanettes. The Art Bar Cafe at Liberty's is soooooo civilised! - and the staff don't seem at all phased by having to deal with 20 or so knitters in their midst. Will definitely have to go more often ....

Friday was a busy day as I started to act on the list of things to do from Thursday. Spent Friday morning phoning as many contacts as I could to let them know I'm out in the jobs market (should make me the subject of much gossip!), but the main outcome is that I have an invitation to Norwich this coming week to go along to the conference that I would have been going to if I had still been working. As I had not un-booked my hotel (made many months ago now), I only had to adjust the dates for the booking slightly, and Friday afternoon went shopping with Holly, so I am now armed with a CV, business cards, and a few new clothes that fit the description "business casual" which is the dress code for this week (no, don't ask me what it means, please!). Just have to sort out my train tickets, and I'm there, feeling, and (I hope!) looking good.

Knitting news - not a lot done this week, though I've completed a few more moebius scarves. Got a look at Hazel's copies of Cat Bordhi's two books about moebius knitting last week, and these are definitely on my list of Books to Acquire asap.