Monthly Archives: October 2007

I’m so exicted…


… and I just can’t hide it!

I have a new passion, sewing! The thing is the excitement is a bit premature as I haven’t actually done any sewing yet. I have the machine (in a box wrapped up in pretty pink paper, with strict instructions not be opened until Thursday) but I’m excited just looking at fabrics and deciding to what to make first. You see I HAVE to have some fabric to play with for the week end or else I’m just gonna sit a look at the thing – it needs to be used.

I’m a complete novice and really want to make bags – I love bags! I found a great shop and blog U-Handbag and contacted Lisa (the owner) for advice on a good beginner pattern. She is so nice and got back to me real quick suggesting this one – I promptly ordered it along with some interfacing. I will make the handbag first, then have a go at the drawstring bag. I think this will make a nice project bag for those projects slightly bigger than socks, but not too big to take out of the house. Hopefully it will be hear for Thursday.

Although Cambridge isn’t all that for yarn, the yarn shop, Sew Creative has ALOT of fabric. Whilst perusing several online stores I have fallen in love with the Kaffe Fasset range of fabrics and according the Sew Creative website they stock this range. Yay! It is going to take all my inner strength to sit through 3 hours of parasitology tomorrow morning before going to look (drool) at the fabric. I’m not buying anything yet as the material for my first project is part of my birthday present but I will price up what I like. I can then either try to find in London (if we have time), get Mum to order on-line for me or get the cash from Mum and go back to Sew Creative.

Do not think that I have forsaken knitting, I’ve been knitting quite a lot. I cast on Central Park hoodie (with Rowanspun Aran in a lovely tweedy brown) and have completed the back and about 3/4 of the left front. It is such a quick knit, I can see more of these in my future. I have completed the first Earl Grey sock for Keith’s birthday (another great pattern) and have just turned the heel on the Monkey sock for my Monkey Sock Swap Pal. These need to be finished by Thursday, but I think I may need the weekend to get them finished. Oops!

I have my MRI scan on wednesday, which is not something I look forward to. They’re not horrible in a painful, invasive proceedure way, or even unpleasant in a bearable but annoying pain way they just suck! I don’t even mind the claustrophobic atmosphere of the scanner, I just get BORED!!! Past scans have taken about 60-90 minutes and I find it difficult to lay still and not do anything for that length of time – unless I’m asleep. I have been known to fall asleep in the scanner but just as I doze off they wake me up by talking to me (through headphones) and asking me to hold my breath so they can take a picture. MRI’s are also very noisy, imagine lying in tube, and having someone sit on top and bang on it with a large hammer. The only good thing is I get to listen to music or the radio. I usually opt for listening to Radio 1 as that way it feels like I have a bit of company.

My new chair arrived today, so comfy, in fact more comfy than our bed at present, just waiting for the wireless router to arrive and I can sit up the table with my macbook on a comfy chair and write blog posts, at the moment i’m sitting on the floor in the middle of the lounge as the Ethernet lead doesn’t reach over the table. We had a move around to accommodate the new chair and the sewing machine. It also gives me more space to study.

I’m off to get some sleep or else I’m going to be to tired to celebrate of Thursday.


Winter Coffee Swap Questions



What are your favorite kinds of coffee? (Brands, Roasts, anything at all you’d like to share!)

I like most coffee and one of my favourite is Millstone flavoured coffee which is only available in the US, so if my pal is from there so much the better. Other than that I don’t mind what coffee I receive. I like medium blend coffees the best, nothing too strong or too weak.

Do you prefer whole bean or ground coffee?

I don’t have facilities to grind my own beans so ground is best.

This time of year, there are often Holiday Blends available, and many flavored coffees – do you drink flavored coffee? Do you enjoy special blends?

I love flavoured coffees and love cinnamon and Christmas spices. The only thing seasonal I’m not keen on is peppermint.

How do you take your coffee? Cream and Sugar? Straight up? Decaf?

I can drink my coffee anyway, preferably I like lattes, with no sugar. I do like sweet(ish) coffee though so I often use syrups (my fave being vanilla, cinnamom or hazlenut) I prefer sugar-free syrups but can only buy those with sugar in, in the UK. I get sugar-free when I go to Starbucks. I should be drinking decaf. due to my high blood pressure but tend not to.

Do you prefer drinking from a nice thick mug, or a matched cup and saucer?

Definitely a mug, the bigger the better! I drink out of my portable mug alot (as I drink the most coffee when at Uni) but it is only a Starbuck’s tall size and I can’t seem to find a bigger one. The UK just doesn’t get the big coffee cup thing.

Winter and Holidays – PLEASE be descriptive! Your pal will need this information to be sure to put together a package you will enjoy!

What is your favorite part of Winter?

Getting to wear all my handknits! I also love snugglying up with a large cup of coffee (or hot chocolate),watching old movies and knitting. I love being able to wrap up warm.

Do you celebrate a holiday in December, and if so, which holiday?

I’m not religious but I do celebrate Christmas, although not in a big way. It is just too expensive these days.

If you celebrate Christmas, do you put up a tree?

We do put a tree, but only if we are going to be spending Christmas at our house. Last year we spent Christmas away at our parents so didn’t bother decorating the house. Not sure what we are doing this year yet, but hopefully we will put the tree up. We only have a small artificial tree, as our house is only small.

Would you enjoy items related to the holiday, or would you prefer a Winter themed package?

I think I would prefer a winter themed package, as it would be relevant for much longer.

Do you collect anything? Are there any holiday or winter-themed items (Snowmen, Angels, Snoflakes, Santas, etc) that you collect?

I don’t collect anything specfic to winter or christmas but I do have quite few scarfs, hats and wrist warmers/fingerless mittens that I have knitted that I enjoy wearing at this time of year.

Do you wear scarves? Mittens? Hats?

Oh yes! All the time. I don’t actual own a pair of proper mittens (haven’t got round to knitting any yet) but love my fingerless mittens (great for uni). I pretty much wear my scarves all winter (even if I take my coat in lectures I keep my scarf on)

What is your favorite holiday or winter treat?

I love christmas spices, and my favourite treats are these little chewy cinnamon spicy biscuits that are only available this time of year. Some are covered in chocolate and some in a thin icing I think they are german (or somewhere like that). We never have christmas cake or chrismas pudding as neither me or Karl like dried fruit. Instead I make a spicy cake from my Nigella Lawson book and a Yule Log.

Please share a favorite Winter or Holiday memory.

Probably when I was about 5 I had my best christmas. I remember wearing a pair of red velet peddle pushers witha matching waistcoat. I got lots of great presents and the one I remember most was a Major Minor ( a plastic thing in the shape of a soldier which had a keyboard that played notes – you got cards that allowed you follow the symbols on the keyboard to play nursery rhymes)

Yarn and Crafting

Do you Knit or Crochet? For how long?

I’ve been knitting for nearly two years now. I don’t crochet and haven’t really got the inclination learn at the moment. I have a drop spindle and have tried my hand at spinning and when I have time intend to practice some more.

Do you like wooden, metal, or plastic needles\hooks? Circular or straight?

I only use bamboo or wooden needles as I don’t like the feel of plastic and metal hurts my hand as it drains all the heat from them and effects my joints. I use circs for larger projects and dpns for socks.

What sort of projects do you enjoy making?

I like most types of projects, at the moment I working on two pairs of socks, a scarf and two sweaters. I would like to do more knitting with beads. At the moment I’m trying to get sweaters finished as it is getting colder. My fave has to be socks but over the summer I lost my sock mojo. I also like knitting lace. I’m a fan of felting projects as I find felting in UK washing machines a real hit and miss. We don’t have top-loaders so the machine has to do the complete cycle and it can cause deep creases in the fabric.

What are your favorite types of yarn to work with?

Anything soft! I love alpaca,merino and BFL. I don’t like working with acrylic or novelty yarns. I’m allergic to mohair and angora so can’t knit with anything that contains it however small the quantity.

Do you spin or dye?

I have a drop spindle and enjoy it, but I wouldn’t say I was a spinner. I would like to practice more. I find corriedale and bfl the easiest to spin with. I dye sock yarn and sell it on etsy and really enjoy it. I use acid dyes for it.

Do you do other crafts such as scrapbooking or needlepoint or anything else?

I am getting a sewing machine for my birthday (in fact its sitting in the front room all wrapped up waiting for 1st Nov). I hope to use this to make bags.


When is your birthday?

1st Novemeber

Do you have any children? (Furry kind count!)

no children, but 2 gerbils and 3 hamsters. Oh my boyfriend can be childlike quite a bit of the time. Right now he is playing with the gebils, trying to get my attention!

What are your favorite colors?

I like most colours, but my faves are browns and greens. I like deep browns and pale browns but not to keen on orangey browns. I like all greens but my fave is olive. I also like turquoise, purple and pink.

Do you have any allergies?

Lots but they are mainly of the furry kind – cats, dogs, rabbits. I am also allergic to dust and find that I have to keep my stash dust free or else I sneeze when knitting with it. I am also allergic to tomatos.

Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap


Registration for this swap opens 24th October! It looks great and can’t wait to sign up!

It is a yarn, coffee and ‘winter’ themed swap, so whether you celebrate Christmas or not it doesn’t matter. However, if you are Christmas fan then the questionnaire allows you to express your preference (or not) for Christmas item.  Although I do celebrate Christmas, Christmas it isn’t one of my favourite times of year and I will be requesting winter themed items, as opposed to Christmas themed items.

The questionnaire is up but I will be waiting until registration is open before posting it on my blog.

Friday Feast


If you were a dog, what breed would you be, and why?

A Westie, totally my favourite breed. Small, compact but full of mischief. At least that how I like to think of myself and I definitely was like that pre-CFS, but these days I’m more of your laid back old mongrel, sleeping the corner of the room, getting grumpy when people make her move.

What does the color purple make you think of?

Me about 2 years ago. It was my favourite colour and everything was purple. I had a purple bedroom, loads of purple clothes (some of which I still have) and my fave my purple Dr Martens. I still like purple and anyone who has seen my FO’s and stash on Ravelry will vouch for that.

Approximately how long does it take you to get ready each morning?

I get up at 6.15 and leave the house at about 7.30, so 1hr 15mins. This does involve making myself a cup of coffee and Karla cup of tea after my shower and making another cup of coffee to make with me on the bus.

Main Course
How many cousins do you have, and are you close to them?

I definitely have 1 on my mums side, but I haven’t seen him for at least 20 years (if not more) and on my Dad’s side I think I have 4 but as I don’t speak to that side of the family I could have more bu now.

Take your initials (first, middle, last) and come up with something else those letters could stand for. (Example: SFO = Sweet Funny Otter)

L J C = Laughing Juggling Clown


I am now officially a BSc Microbiology student – no more Biomed!!! We received copies of the new Biomedical Science pathway last week and I discovered that I the option to specialize had been removed and we now had two generic modules covering all 4 areas, rather than one modules covering all four and one specializing in a chosen area (microbiology, haematology, clinical chemistry or cellular pathology).

I do not want to become a biomedical scientist, so do not need a IBMS accredited degree, I chose the degree because the subject area interested me, and I later discovered that I loved microbiology but could choose to specialise in my 3rd year. After finding out that I had to do modules covering the other areas I was slightly disappointed so after a couple of meetings with Uni staff and camping outside a couple of staff members offices to get the relevant forms signed I have managed to transfer to a single honors microbiology degree. This is possible so late in the degree (I’m in the final year, although doing over 2 years) because many of the first and second year modules are the same. I have had to pick up a couple of second year modules – one each semester this year which means I am no longer part-time but am still only doing 3 instead 4 modules a semester so can’t foresee a problem and to make things even better this semester I two of my three modules are 100% coursework and the other is an open paper exam. For those of you that have an interest my modules over the next year are:

Semester 1 – microbial pathogenicity, bacterial molecular genetics and parasitology

Semester 2 – applied microbiology, special topics in microbiology and medical microbiology

I really think I have made the right choice doing this as I wasn’t 100% happy with the modules I was due to do on Biomed and am excited about all the microbiology modules.

After finally ploughing through all the paperwork I logged on and read some blogs at uni, and this is the first thing I saw on the Lime n Violet Daily Chum. Can we say spooky! I so have to make some of those.

I have my first parasitology lecture tomorrow and will know absolutely no-one as this is one of the second year modules I have had to pick up. This week we are visiting the Museum of Zoology which should be interesting.

In knitting news, I have cast on for Karl’s Cobblestone sweater and it is looking good.I am using Cascade 220 heathers in a greeny brown. I’m loving the way its knitting up and thankfully so is he. My gauge is slightly off but as he is between sizes I am knitting the size up which will come out slightly smaller then the stated measurements. I had a bad case of startitis last night and cast on for Wisp with my olive green malabrigo lace. OH. MY. GOD. this stuff is amazingly soft. I so have to get me a sweaters worth of the worsted weight, ideally in the olive green to make the Tree Jacket with. I have come to a major hurdle with the Deep V Argyle vest, all the knitting and steeking etc is done but I am at a loss as to how to sew the ribbed neckband up, as I have live stitched at the base of the neck. I love this top so much that I don’t want to ‘make do’ and ruin it. If all else fails I may take it to ally pally and seek expert advice somewhere.

I tried on my Wicked! this morning and have faced up to the fact that it no longer fits me, I am 3 stone lighter than I was when I made it and it just looks wrong. I really like this pattern and plan to completely frog it, wash the yarn and re-knit it in a smaller size. In fact i had quite a few problems this morning as it was the first morning this autumn that I felt the need to be warm and nothing fit me. I know I should be glad about this and I am but I really don’t have the money to go buy new clothes – maybe I just need to knit faster!

Sock It To Me Swap Parcel


Sock It To Me Swap Parcel, originally uploaded by lyndsey-jane.

How lucky am I! This wonderful parcel arrived whilst I was ill last week and although I managed to take photos whilst unwrapping it I haven’t had time to blog about it.
This was the second parcel Wendy sent me, the first contained Knitting Under the Influence, some Opal sock yarn and lovely keyring.
This parcel was my reveal parcel and had my socks. Wendy made me the Genome Socks (perfect for a biomedical scientist student) from Natural Dye Studios BFl yarn. The socks are a perfect fit, really warm and the colours are fab.
Also included was some chocolate, a lovely pink/white hamster keyring ( I have never seen toy hamster things before and am so glad it was pink or Karl may well have tried to steal it), a lovely washcloth and Cath Kidston soap and some Camomile tea bags for my eyes.
Included but not pictured (apparently my early morning ill photo taken isn’t too great) some stitch markers, some energy teabags, a breast cancer phone charm (which I have on my palm pilot as my crappy mobile phone doesn’t deserve decoration), a breast cancer badge (which is on my laptop case, with my breast cancer ribbon) and a lovely beaded book thong.
I feel so spoilt and can’t believe how much energy Wendy went to personalise the gift so well for me.
Each gift was wrapped with instructions on the front, for example, the chocolates had ‘Eat Me’, the cloth and soap had ‘for the body’ etc
It was just what the doctor ordered when I was feeling poorly.
I’m off now to go soak in a bath with my washcloth, soap, eye teabags and a cup of herbal tea.
Wendy you really are a star! Thank you!