Monday, 28 February 2011

February Lace

I have been writing for my PhD a critical review about the importance of place in history- either as a location, the place where you live or place, your social status. Obviously the second place is less important in today's society, but in the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries it was important to know your 'place'. Place was also used to describe a job, as in to find a place in service - all very interesting and I have only got until next Monday to finish this essay!

It is interesting how a women's employment defined their place in the world of work - and I have been reading about the bone lace makers of Devon during the 16th and 17th centuries and reflecting on how this that once was an occupation, a poorly paid one, but something that a woman could do to help her family's income.

Nowadays what was work is often just a hobby. Knitting, spinning and all the other 'crafts' that we now spend our leisure time persuing were once essential to survival. All very deep, but that's the problem - work and play and how to balance the two. I am enjoying the research, but a big part want's to be playing - so mornings are for work and afternoons are for play and evenings are for Mr S and lace.....

My latest lace project - Midnight Shawl, part of the 11 shawls in 2011 challenge!!!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Why can't life be simple?

I just can't believe how complicated life can be at times - I don't know why I can't believe it, because if things can go wrong then they do. Simple things become mountains, mountains become unclimbable and so on.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that we were paying a lot more than the advertised price for our broadband - smaller package more money, bigger package less money - well I'm not stupid and going to pay more than I can get away with, so I requested the change - great - get confirmation - I would be paying less, and they'd send a engineer round to sort things out - no great shakes - easy peasey! Not a chance...

Saturday afternoon, not a good time, but they did turn up and left - leaving me internet-less - it'll be sorted in 24 hours they said - humph - no! Monday still the little blue light failed to flash - angry, but carefully polite, phone calls from me - job's worth people on end of phone - telling me the obvious - 'that my modem wasn't working' - as if I didn't know that already! Plus at the end of the umpteenth call the woman, after telling me that there was nothing they could do but send out a new modem - which would probably arrive sometime next week if I was lucky actually asked if 'there was anything else she could help me with' - the mind boggles, as if she had actually sorted out one problem and was ready and waiting to sort out the next - where on earth do they get these people?

Then along comes Gerriant, the Welsh wizard of Virgin Media, a man that actually does ring you back when he says he will, and sends round a lovely young man who 'noticed immediately that it was the wrong type of modem' - well I never, surprise surprise, who'd have thought that anyone would be daft enough to install the wrong type of modem - I can't imagine.

Upshot is, well obviously as I am posting this, the lovely young ex-naval man, brought me the right modem - and it works! But why oh why do I have go through this scenario - it isn't the first time and I don't suppose that it will be the last - all I want is people to do what they say they will, turn up on time and be efficient.

News Flash ................................. the dishwasher had just stopped working............................. they don't work after five, so tomorrow I will start the whole process again!!

Question - why do they play that awful music at you when they put you on hold? Perhaps they hope that you will hang up rather suffer?

I am now just wondering how long it will take this time, will he bring the right part etc etc - would it be quicker just to buy a new one - but then there is the problem of getting rid of the old machine - Ce la vie!

PS If you ever get to read this Richard Branson then you'll know what real people suffer at the hands of your employees

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Three shawls in January

Yes three shawls, well only two were actually knitted in January, and the third my Aeolian was finished (well the last 20 rows and these are the longest rows) having been sat on the needles waiting for the extra beads to arrive, it is surprising how many beads you need the pattern calls for 2250 a total of 27grams.

It started at part of a KAL (Knit Along) on Ravelry back in August it was a chart only pattern and I had never been a fan of charts, but I was persuaded and to help matters along I bought a magnetic board which certainly makes life easier.

So this is my Aeolian Shawl beads and all - a real labour - it is impossible to get any rhythm going as you have to keep stopping to add a bead, but worth all the effort.

The first January shawl was Pretty Maids and I made this with my White Romney lace weight yarn - from the fleece to the finished shawl all done by me!

Here it is being blocked, it is really amazing how a piece of knitting comes alive when it is shaped, it looked nothing until I stretched it out (should have taken a pic of it in that state, too late now!)

And finally my Leadlight Shawl

This was done in Victorian Velvet a beautiful dark velvety colour - dark purples, greens and black - a stunning combination.

Next a Ethereal Lace Shawl in a deep midnight blue, my own hand-dyed merino lace weight.

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