Sunday, August 28, 2005

New layout

As you can see, I am playing around with the layout. What I wanted to have was a layout with three columns (menue - main text - menue), but I am still failing to achieve this...

What do you think of this one anyway? Good? Bad? Was the old layout better or do you prefer this one? Can you see it properly or does it load incorrectly on your server? I'd be really grateful if you could let me know if for some reason this looks wonky on your server!

I'll continue to play around with this in the next few days - maybe I'll master the layout with the two sidebars yet! ;)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Next project...

I have finished THE SOCKS!

I almost finished them on honeymoon, but then I ran out of yarn and couldn't work on it until we came back. There wasn't much to do, though - just the ribbing at the top. I finished them last night and this morning I managed to weave the ends in. They fit well, although if I do another pair I would try to bind off even more losely than I already did. It isn't uncomfortable when I'm wearing them, but putting them on it is a little bit tight.

I even have a picture of the socks - would have posted earlier, but I had a computer incident today. I tried to switch it on and nothing happened. Then, as I was trying to remove the power cable, there were sparks and it started to smell burnt. I was so worried, in particular since yesterday I had uploaded the honeymoon pictures, but hadn't yet burnt them onto CD. My thesis, etc. is all backed up, but it would have been so sad to loose these pictures.

Rang up a computer place and they took pity on me and told me I could bring the PC round today. I think it showed how much I am attached to this machine - when I walked into the shop and told them that I'd rung earlier, the guy grinned at me and said, "oh yes, the poorly PC!" ;-)

In any case, he had it fixed within 20 minutes. Apparently it was 'just' a power surge, and nothing was damaged... So relieved!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the socks. Here they are, in their full glory!

Apart from finishing the socks and ferrying my computer around, I haven't achieved much today. I spent a lot of time sitting in front of the tv, watching the Guilty Pleasures Weekend on one of the music channels, which is just the right thing for an 80s girl like me. ;).

Yesterday evening I cut some of the dalias in our front garden. Are they not beautiful?

The three weeks away and the stressful time before is really noticeable in the garden. It looks terrible! There are some beans, though and some courgettes, and yesterday I cut some pattypan pumpkins, which look very cute (will have to take a picture) and we had some Perpetual Spinach in the curry that D made for dinner.

Also, today I cast-on for the Hourglass Sweater. Finally! After many attempts at getting gauge with the Kelso tweed yarn that I'd envisioned using for this sweater, I finally had to admit defeat. Thinking about it for a while I was not quite happy with my first choice anyway - the yarn is rather scratchy and might work better as a cardigan over some t-shirt... Instead I think I might use Lang's Fantomas Superwash, of which I happen to have a large quantity lying around. I had planned to use this for the Market Sweater in the Fall issue of Interweave, but as my copy STILL hasn't arrived I might as well work on something else instead.

I'm a bit concerned about how it's going to turn out, because this is a lighter yarn, and there is no way I'm going to get gauge with it. I knitted up a swatch with 4mm circs, which seems to be a comfortable size needles for the yarn, and my gauge came to 3" x 3.5". Not quite the 4" that are required for the pattern.

I'm determined to use the yarn, though, so I have decided to alter the pattern. Of course, my poor math skills might mean that I'll end up with a tent instead, but what I am thinking is this:

My gauge was 19 sts = 7.5cm (3"), so 79 sts = 31.5cm. This means that I need an additional 28.5 stitches to get to the 42cm width required in the pattern (Calculated from the gauge as 19sts = 10cm). This means that I can more or less follow the pattern, using the 2nd largest size (which asks you to cast-on 107 sts), but have to make sure that I measure the length of the sweater regularly so I don't end up with a crop-top. This is going to be more of an issue I think, but we'll see how it goes. I'm also worried about the sleeves and how they are going to fit in, but let's master one problem at a time! I'll keep you updated...

Enough for now, I'm going back downstairs to knit some more and to watch some more cheesy 80s music.

2nd part of the Big Report will follow tomorrow. :)

The big report - part 1

I had this posted in my LiveJournal, but since it is friends-only and I can't just link to it I thought I'd copy it in here. When I get to the honeymoon part there will be more knitting-related content here than in the LJ anyway! :)

Ok then, as I have threatened, here is the first part of my report of the last few weeks - I'm hoping that I can remember, because I really want a kind of record of it...

I don't have many pictures of the wedding itself yet - we had a photographer (a wedding present by my uncle), but he hasn't sent me the pictures yet, and there were snapshot cameras on every table, which I have just sent off for development, so all I have for now is the pictures that one of my friends took and gave to me on a CD the morning after the wedding. I seem to look like I'm either drunk or not quite awake in most of the pictures, so I won't inflict too many of them on you, but I thought I'd post at least a few, including a picture of my dress:

These are the best pictures out of the lot - the dress is layered, with lace on the bodice, and different kinds of lace ribbons that were wrapped around my neck.

I think this one shows the layered lace of the bodice a bit better...

Our cute little wedding 2CV. This car is probably older than I am - my mother's best friend (and, now my surrogate mother) used to drive it before she had children and after that it just sat in the garage for years until her husband had it done up. He is now so proud of the car that nobody but him is allowed to drive it. :) The flower deco was done by S, their daughter.

And another one that shows the flowers a bit better:

The wedding was lovely - lots and lots of little things went wrong, but I think some of those things will be amongst my fondest memories of the day - who else can say that their husband tried to put your wedding ring on your wrong hand? D struggled for quite some time until it occurred to me (doh!) that the ring was never going to fit on that hand and thought to tell him:

Me: *stage whispers* Wrong hand!
D: You've got to be kidding me!
Priest: *bursts out laughing*

I also couldn't remember half of my lines and had to read from the tiny little emergency copy I had made of the vows to put on the bench in front of me - unfortunately I didn't have my glasses and the writing was minuscule, so I ended up having to make up half of it. Imagine me, fluffing my lines, trying to bend down towards the bench in an inconspicuous way so I can read better... ;)

The ceremony was at 3pm, and afterwards we went to my father's house, where there was Pimms in the garden. My bridesmaid and maid of honour, were absolute stars and had spent the entire Friday baking 130 savoury muffins, because on the original invite we had promised the guests coffee and cake... In the end it was just too much hassle to organise all that for over 100 people so they were served the (very weak, so all the people who didn't know the drink and were mistaking it for lemonade weren't completely drunk before the main reception) Pimms instead. After that we strolled over to the reception venue (just 3 minutes walk away). There was a champagne reception, then food, and finally dancing, which went on until 6 in the morning! :)

There were some hick-ups *coughcoughdadscough*, but overall fun was had by everyone and, to be quite honest, I was so glad that all the planning had paid off and that people were dancing and having a good time that this alone put me in a partying mood. Also, we had invited mainly friends, with a bit of close family, and to see all those people who had travelled from afar just to spend this day with us, was incredibly touching.

Most of the wedding party met up again the next morning for a casual breakfast at my dad's house.

Overall, we loved it but were completely and utterly exhausted on Sunday evening. Thankfully, all we had to do was pack, fly back to the UK on Monday morning, re-pack and fly out to Boston on the Tuesday morning! :)

The whole Wedding event looked like this:

* Civil service (registry office) with close family and friends.
* Lunch after.

* 3pm Church ceremony
* 4.30pm - Pimms reception in my dad's garden
* 6.30pm - Champagne reception at the evening venue
* 7.30pm - Buffet
* Afterwards: dancing

* From 11am onwards - Coffee, tea, and breakfast for anyone who wants to come along.

There will (hopefully) be some more and some better pictures when I get the pictures from the photographer...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I'm back!!

I'm back, I'm back! One wedding and one honeymoon later, I'm back in the lovely Midlands.

And far too tired and jet-lagged to write much, but I thought I'd at least give some indication that I'm home. Hope you've all been well? I'll try to catch up on your blogs in the next few days... :)

Soooo, things to come in this journal:

1) The wedding
2) Honeymoon on a Harley in New England
3) Our tour of the yarnshops in New England
4) Yarn purchases
5) The story of how D and I managed to become obsessed with hand-spinning (yes, D as well!)
6) Knitting update
7) Future knitting and spinning projects

Report starts tomorrow - watch this space. ;)