Friday, September 21, 2012

Joining Things and Saving Things

Always around this time of year I get the urge to Join Things.

When I lived in London, the "evening class" options were unlimited other than by time and budget.  Here?  Hmmm... not so much.  And although I would love to do an art or textiles course at the local college, it isn't terribly "local" when you already drive into the city from the Shire... and the college is a further drive out from the other end of town.  Besides which, I like to be around for FL in the evenings.  By the time I get home and cook, we only have an hour or two together before he is fast asleep.
First Rainy Weekend Sock for a man's Christmas gift ;)
So  far, the only thing I have joined is the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry, which is a very lively community of knitters.  Over-achievers the lot of them, though - I just can't match the speed of many of these ladies!  Three pairs of socks in a month is par for the course.  Me?  I am lucky if I manage one pair.
This month's socks are probably my biggest challenge because they are a man-sized 72 stitches with cables and are worked toe-up, which is not my preferred style of knitting.  But I am getting there.  After a dreadful phase of  mis-calculations and fluffy splitty unpicking around the heel-flap, I finally have a whole sock.
Can I finish the second within the month?  I hope so!
Flapping toe as man-sized sock

But there remains a certain twitchiness, as if I expect to be handed a new timetable and a reading list to guide my thinking.

I could be vulnerable to joining a yarn club, if something tempting presents itself to me.

It is all very well setting myself unrealistic goals to knit all the patterns in a book (my solution:  sell the book before I knit even one!) but it lacks a social element.

The really popular yarn clubs (American, mostly) have dozens of knitters all working on the same thing at the same time - that really appeals to me.  Peer pressure and support.

Knitalongs are like that too - but I have never stuck to one of those either!  Tell me what to do and I'll do it... but only if I like it! ;)

Somewhat off topic, and since we are all friends here, I want to consult you about my new lipstick.  I'm just not sure about it.  I was trying to update my "look".

It is Test by Illamasqua.  It starts off this sort of Elastoplast / Germolene colour and then, get this, gets darker as it wears off!

There must be a darker pigment under all that... beigeness.  Certainly I leave deep pink stains on my coffee cup (classy!)  My concern is that it gives the impression that I have put foundation on my lips and that my own ruddy skin tone looks like an allergic rash next to it?

Ah, Roo, you are such a glamour-puss (not!)

And finally, this week's top ten money-saving tips? 
1 - Take a packed lunch
2 - Make coffee instead of buying it from the cafe
3 - Make a star chart for every time you manage 1 or 2
4 - Send your children away for the good of their education (though note this is a temporary solution - just wait for the University fees!)
5 - After 4, downgrade your broadband allowance
6 - After 5, end your Lovefilm subscription
7 - Watch the electricity meter slow its spin and adjust monthly payments to suit
8 - Design your weekly menu around the Reduced stickers in M&S.  A couple can eat like kings on £30 a week, I kid you not!
9 - Avoid a certain seductive independent French pattern company website
10 - Do not click links from said French pattern site to French fabric retailers...  oops!

P.S.  My Deer and Doe patterns arrived!  That was just  two days' delivery time - amazing!


Lizzi said...

I like the lippy - it is very soft and natural looking.

Classes? I did a textile art course a couple of years a go I was told it was one day a week and finishing off at home - it took up my whole life for a year and I had a 2 hour 40 minute round trip.

Might just do zumba this year - it's local.

Sarahel said...

I too feel the need to be at home in the evenings. I find that because we can get so much from the internet today I tend to forget about the added value of the social contact. I've just done a 2 day upholstery course and have returned inspired not only by what I learnt and achieved but by being with 3 other similarly inclined people and an inspirational teacher.

Love the cables on those socks. And I think the lipstick looks really good.

And I'm not sure whether to thank you or not for the recent posts on Deer and Doe, of which I was blissfully ignorant before. So much temptation. I shall watch your progress with the patterns with interest.

woolmix said...

How about a virtual knitalong? I'd be in.

I like the lipstick, and as for the money-saving tips, I'm off to draw up my star chart, just once I've finished this venti latte ...

Dibs said...

I'm glad your patterns arrived. Which means mine should be arriving soon too. can't wait. The lipstick shade looks quite pale, and natural. I like it on you.

Sølvi said...

Those cables are looking good. And I love the deep green color too. A very nice pattern, indeed. Thanks for the Deer and Doe- tip, very cute patterns! I am in a joining things mood as well, it must be the absence of Self-Stitched September that does it, I think! :-)

Sew little time said...

i really like the lippy. very natural! re classes i have all sorts of ideas of dressmaking, block making and pattern drafting classes, none of which i will probably do. i hear good things about craftsy classes - they obviously don't have the social aspect but could be worth considering?

Evie Jones said...

I love the lipstick too. Evenings are knitting/handquilting/embroidery time in our house. Curled up with The Husband and a movie, I wouldn't be anywhere else. Especially at this time of the year. I like to be cosy!

velosewer said...

I've never heard of this lipstick either. Thanks.
Your socks are wonderful and I know what you mean about knit/sew alongs. You gotta want and like what your doing or else it becomes another UFO.
Cheers and have a good weekend.

colleen said...

The lipstick looks cute on you. I can't for the life of me imagine three pairs of socks a month. Doing nothing else, right? I find socks very tedious going, I don't know why. I am going to try again. I've finished no pairs yet but have had to knit one toe for two years and refuse to do it. Your group would bar me for life!

I love those green socks! They are so beautiful!

Linda C said...

I certainly feel the need to learn and stretch myself and accomplish this time of year. I think it is a throw back to all the years we were in school -and our children also. September is the beginning of my New Year, not January.

My problem is I sign up for everything and then do not find the time to keep up with the classwork outside the class. Good luck


laura said...

here's nice knit-along to try...modest and knitworthy and not gigantic projects..possibly stash-busting...

laura said...

oops--here's the link:

Saffi said...

What about trying a craftsy online course? It'll push your broadband usage up again, but you can do it from home on your own timetable.

sylkotwist said...

Don't ask me about lippy, I have yet to learn the skill of applying the stuff and I'm 43! But your money saving tips really made me laugh. Jimmy has just got us a smart meter installed and at the end of each day we are excitedly told how much we have spent on gas and electricity, I'll never be able to use the tumble drier again and just boiling a kettle sets off the alarm bells. I'm with you on 8,9 and 10!

Scruffybadger said...

Great lippy and interesting that it gets darker! Love your money saving tips and reward system....possibly the deer and doe patterns are advance prizes for your own coffee and packed lunch? I've been and joined in something must be autumn, end of a summer of students being at home....only mine's not sewing related...but it has got me excited ( joined the work team for half marathon aaargh!!)

Lynne said...

Your sock is amazing, I love those cables. Good luck with the second one! :)

Carolyn said...

I like that lipstick a lot. It's the kind of colour I would choose ;)
Woee, those sock knitters sound mad efficient! I can knit a pair of socks in a week but I don't think I could muster up the enthusiasm for more than a pair a month! And I only do just the very simplest of socks. Yours are just incredible!