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The shawl I made for [ profile] joasakura finally got there! Blasted post.

It was in Noro Yoroi, in two different colourways, one of which was black/brown/grey and the other was purple/blue/green, and here are photos:

one view
another view

I love doing mitred squares. I just like the way it comes out.
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Bead fair in Harrogate was very good. I got some excellent bargains, some things which I had decided I needed, and some things which I had no idea about but which I couldn't refuse once I saw them.

Got a taxi from the railway station to the place where it was happening (a large show ground area, apparently regularly hired out for this sort of thing -- there was a book fair and a paper/card convention of some sort going on in the general surroundings at the same time, but alas, I didn't manage to visit either, as they all closed at 4pm.) I know it was only two miles, but it was raining, and I would have had to find the way by map, and I did not find the thought encouraging. Had a nice friendly taxi driver who was kind enough to wait while I checked the location (we got misdirected by the traffic guy at the gate) and didn't charge me extra for it.

Lovely day, anyhow. Got back to Harrogate around 4.45pm (there was a bus which went back Harrogate-wards, and it's always easier to take the bus back than the bus to, since at least that way you know when to get off) and managed coffee and cake. Which was needed, because in the enthusiasm of bead fair I had managed to miss lunch.

Part of it is the beads, but the other part is being around people who understand your enthusiasm and share it. Like any convention.

LJ has got its act in gear again, it seems, and I can once more do things with my photos/scrapbook. Which means I have updated my knitting and jewelry folders.

This baby blanket was a gift for a coworker whose wife should be giving birth shortly. He liked it.

And here is a load of new jewelry I've been doing, everything except the first one on that page, which is older. This goes back several weeks. I'm bad at remembering to upload photos. But that's the memory wire stuff I've been talking about.


Last Answers

I wrote a poem on the mist
And a woman asked me what I meant by it.
I had thought till then only of the beauty of the mist,
how pearl and gray of it mix and reel,
And change the drab shanties with lighted lamps at evening
into points of mystery quivering with color.

I answered:
The whole world was mist once long ago and some day
it will all go back to mist,
Our skulls and lungs are more water than bone and tissue
And all poets love dust and mist because all the last answers
Go running back to dust and mist.

-- Carl Sandburg
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And this is one of the things I have been doing over the past week.

This is Grumpasaurus.

This is a back view of Grumpasaurus.

(Pattern is at, if anyone wants their own Grumpasaurus!)
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Just for reference - two pieces of knitting I completed recently.

Clapotis for my sister's birthday, in Noro Silver Thaw.
Hoodie for a friend's son. The yarn (straight cotton) is machine-washable. (I wouldn't give a three-year-old a piece of clothing for rough outdoor wear in a yarn that wasn't machine-washable.)

A quiet day otherwise. Back to work tomorrow. I hate to think how much email will have built up. Perhaps if I run away back home again . . .


somewhere i have never travelled

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

-- e. e. cummings
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I am feeling a little smug over having finished this knitted jacket.

(It's not as short as it looks. Though it could perhaps do with being a little longer.)

My greatest pride is that the stripes line up.

It consoles me for a grey, wet, and gloomy day. One gets to feel entitled (to sunshine and good weather) so very fast.



My land is bare of chattering folk;
The clouds are low along the ridges,
And sweet's the air with curly smoke
From all my burning bridges.

-- Dorothy Parker
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A nice peaceful day. Finished a shawl that I was making for a coworker (same pattern as an earlier one, but different yarns) and then had the very annoying job of darning ends in. I hate darning ends in.

Shawl One - in blue
Shawl Two - in pink and purple

Also had an enjoyable discussion of a future joint writing idea, which should be very neat indeed to work with.

And it's a four-day week. Excellent.


As Kingfishers Catch Fire

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves -- goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is --
Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.

-- Gerard Manley Hopkins
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Quite pleased with both of these:

Hat for a friend's toddler son

Shawl for another friend in Noro Yoroi

I love the Noro Yoroi. Such gorgeous colours.
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And here's a picture of the Noro scarf.

(And yes, it was admired.)



We must expect posterity
to view with some asperity
the marvels and the wonders
we're passing on to it;
but it should change its attitude
to one of heartfelt gratitude
when thinking of the blunders
we didn't quite commit.

-- Piet Hein
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So, let's see. If the British Museum was established in 1753, and the British Museum of Natural History in South Kensington was created as a branch institution in 1887, then for the pseudo-Victorian setting I have in mind, the Museum of Natural History would potentially exist. So I ought to set the stuffed animals scene there.

But since the British Library per se was created in 1973, and previously it was dispersed in different parts of London, including in Bloomsbury (within the British Museum), I can have it as still inside the British Museum if I want.

So first our heroes go to the Natural History museum on a false trail, then to the British Museum, and finally to the Library part. Yes. That works. Plus we get a cross-London chase scene.

. . . though it won't cross the Thames. Drat. I will just have to find somewhere else to put dragon/Thames interaction.

Also, on a totally different note, here are photos of the baby poncho that I just completed for a friend's granddaughter. (Started to run out of the original colour partway through, hence the stripes and hood and pocket in a different shade, but I don't think it came out too badly.)

Front view
Back view


You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. -- Jack London
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So I finished some knitting recently.

Cabled Hat (from Debbie Bliss knitting magazine) for a friend:
View one (it's really more of a crimson than a scarlet)
View two (on my head)

Mitred square blanket in Wendy Pampas Mega Chunky:
View one (on my sofa-bed while a guest was sleeping on it - she said it was very warm)
View two

That blanket has been ongoing for a while.


Not only the Eskimos

Not only the Eskimos
We have only one noun
but as many different kinds:

the grainy snow of the Puritans
and snow of soft, fat flakes,

guerrilla snow, which comes in the night
and changes the world by morning,

rabbinical snow, a permanent skullcap
on the highest mountains,

snow that blows in like the Lone Ranger,
riding hard from out of the West,

surreal snow in the Dakotas,
when you can't find your house, your street,
though you are not in a dream
or a science-fiction movie,

snow that tastes good to the sun
when it licks black tree limbs,
leaving us only one white stripe,
a replica of a skunk,

unbelievable snows:
the blizzard that strikes on the tenth of April,
the false snow before Indian summer,
the Big Snow on Mozart's birthday,
when Chicago became the Elysian Fields
and strangers spoke to each other,

paper snow, cut and taped,
to the inside of grade-school windows,

in an old tale, the snow
that covers a nest of strawberries,
small hearts, ripe and sweet,
the special snow that goes with Christmas,
whether it falls or not,

the Russian snow we remember
along with the warmth and smell of furs,
though we have never traveled
to Russia or worn furs,

Villon's snows of yesteryear,
lost with ladies gone out like matches,
the snow in Joyce's "The Dead,"
the silent, secret snow
in a story by Conrad Aiken,
which is the snow of first love,

the snowfall between the child
and the spacewoman on TV,

snow as idea of whiteness,
as in snowdrop, snow goose, snowball bush,

the snow that puts stars in your hair,
and your hair, which has turned to snow,

the snow Elinor Wylie walked in
in velvet shoes,

the snow before her footprints
and the snow after,

the snow in the back of our heads,
whiter than white, which has to do
with childhood again each year.

-- Lisel Mueller
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Finished another piece of knitting yesterday and handed it to its designated recipient today, as follows:

Shawl for a coworker.

Also have this stashed in my drawer at work, to hand over to another coworker at some point:

Scarf for another coworker.

The way the temperature's going, they'll both be useful.

Have to attend two-hour update session at work tomorrow on "what we're doing". What we would like to be doing is our work. Feh.


There was an impressive pause while King checked off crimes on his fingers. Then to Beetle the much-enduring man addressed winged words:

'Guessing,' said he. 'Guessing, Beetle, as usual, from the look of delubris that it bore some relation to diluvium or deluge, you imparted the result of your half-baked lucubrations to Winton, who seems to have been lost enough to have accepted it. Observing next, your companion's fall, from the presumed security of your undistinguished position in the rear-guard, you took another pot-shot. The turbid chaos of your mind threw up some memory of the word "dilapidations" which you have pitifully attempted to disguise under the synonym of "ruins."'

As this was precisely what Beetle had done he looked hurt but forgiving.

-- Regulus, from Stalky & Co, Kipling
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And the final knitted shinigami for the moment:

Ichimaru Gin -- he does have sleeves, really, but the black background doesn't help.

Group shot -- you will not be surprised at which shinigami is supine.

Group shot from behind -- because I had to show off certain Captains' coats.
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Kira doll, posing on top of a cushion and contemplating something or other.

Kira and Hisagi dolls. The Hisagi doll looks much more cheerful.

(The Kira doll's hair is mostly stitched flat to his head, except for the pointy bit at the front, which is smoothed down in the hopes that it'll lie in the appropriate position.)
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The weather's been close and storm-suggestive all day. I went off for lunch (and to send a parcel at the post office -- bloody queues, probably even worse because it'd have been shut yesterday due to it being a bank holiday) expecting the heavens to open at any minute. They haven't yet, but I'm convinced it's only a matter of time, and quite possibly waiting for the Worst Possible Moment, and I wish they'd hurry up about it.

It really has been a miserable summer, weather-wise.

Handed over this toddler vest to a friend at work for her son. She liked it very much. I'm pleased.

Yaoicon in 31 days, and my birthday in less than 3 weeks as well. I need to start doing Stuff, such as buying a new suitcase, booking taxi to the airport, filling in taxes form (sitting reproachfully next to me), sorting out doujinshi to sell at the swap meet (I'm sure I can spare a few), and so on. Busy busy busy. Or at least, will be busy busy busy once I get round to it, which I haven't yet.

Does anyone else ever get the urge just to give it all up, run away, and join a nunnery or something?


The Wombat

The wombat lives across the seas,
Among the far Antipodes.
He may exist on nuts and berries,
Or then again, on missionaries;
His distant habitat precludes
Conclusive knowledge of his moods,
But I would not engage the wombat
In any form of mortal combat.

-- Ogden Nash
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Have [ profile] takadainmate visiting, so not on that much.

But while I have been sitting round with her watching DVDs of Doctor Who and The Revenger's Tragedy (yes, that one you introduced me to, [ profile] solaas, the following was completed.

Ukitake (and Hisagi), front view
Ukitake (and Hisagi), back view

And she's been cuddling them both. Especially Ukitake.
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Hisagi Shuuhei, you need a haircut.

And I think you're still hung over.

The 69 worked, though.
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Working on refining the measurements, but so far quite pleased with how they're going.

Doll undressed
Doll dressed

(Doll pattern from, clothing patterns currently being worked out by hand and will share when I've got the bugs worked out.)
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So, recent knitting:

Hooded poncho for a friend's toddler -- made with variegated yarn, which somehow came out into a rather symmetrical pattern. The yarn is cotton/acrylic, so should be reasonably tough.
Hat for coworker's grandchild -- the original pattern was a flat-top beret, and I think they must have miscounted the decreases in the pattern, but it still looks cute.
Shawl for myself -- the photo hasn't come out very well, but the colours are dark brown/light brown/red, and it's nicely muted.
Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket and open view -- for the same baby as the earlier hat. I am rather smug about this one.

Quiet day here.


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