Thursday, 29 July 2010

Armenia, Part 2

So far we've completed two recruitment/activity days in nearby towns/villages. Both days went well but the second day has resulted in the opening of a Guide unit in that village which is very exciting.

Today was a rest day (after a training we were planning to run was postponed) and we used it to visit the genocide museum in Yerevan. We had an English guide who talked us around the displays initially and then we went back round alone to spend more time looking at the different displays. I think we were all quite overwhelmed by the museum, particularly as we knew little of the genocide before our visit.

This evening we're chilling out playing Flux before an evening tour around Yerevan.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Armenia, Part 1...

So, I've fleetingly mentioned GOLD (once here, and then a second time here), and I had the greatest of intentions to follow those brief mentions with some actual information. Unfortunately, as is the way, I totally failed to do anything about letting people know what was going on and now I'm in Armenia!

So the story begins in October last year when I attending a Guiding weekend called INTOPS (International Opportunities), it was a fab weekend and I met lots of lovely folks all of whom seemed more suited to every project than I did. Imagine my surprise therefore to receive a letter some weeks letter telling me I'd been selected to participate in the GOLD project in Armenia to develop GirlGuiding over there (PR, training and recruitment). From then to now there've been four briefing weekends and a team of six of us have been frantically planning away until... yesterday we all hopped on a plane and five hours later we landed in Yerevan!

OK, so that's the really potted version but I'm the last member of the team to get to the Internet - if you want to know more you can follow Team Armenia's adventures on our blog. Alternatively, if you hang around long enough I promise to expand on things when I have a bit more time, I'll be keeping some comprehensive notes in the meantime :)

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

FO: Mosey

Lizi wanted some legwarmers...

(Top photo taken by me, the other two kindly and more artfully taken by Hobnob)

Pattern: Mosey by Susan Power.

Yarn: Patons Wool Blend Aran, in colourway Beige, from The Indoor Market, Lancaster.

Mods: None to speak of.

Project: online at Ravelry.

Knitting Podcasts: A Review

So, back in April I bought myself an iPod touch. It had been playing on my mind and when I suddenly found myself in the Apple Shop on Regent Street, London, it felt like it was meant to be. The new iPod goes everywhere, if only as a more portable web browser than my laptop and as a way of saving trees when geocaching (I still need the GPSr though as the iPod doesn't have the built in GPSr that is present on the iPhone). With a new iPod to play with I've finally started to get the hang of this podcast thing, something I've never done with my previous iPods or just with my everyday use of iTunes. So far, I've restricted myself to knitting podcasts; here are a few I've tried:

Blurb: "A podcast by an Australian bloke who knits"
Pros: Clear and easy to hear; generally pleasant to listen to. Regular structure. Fairly regular and frequent publication. Provides show notes.
Cons: Content not always that related to knitting. Some localised content which was less interesting to me as an international visitor. Didn't really find the Easter show feature particularly interesting or easy to follow, there are photos in the show notes but I'm unlikely to have those to hand when listening (I often listen on the bus or in the car).
Overall thoughts: I listened to one episode of this in the car with Hobnob and it was sufficiently pleasant that he didn't demand I turn it off but we both agreed that the episode didn't really contain much knitting talk (episode 135). I listened to the remaining two episodes at work and of them all I enjoyed 137 the most - this was the only episode that had me looking at Ravelry and the Web in general to follow up patterns and yarns (e.g. Unique Sheep - I only just escaped without a KAL subscription!). I've unsubscribed from this podcast for now and *probably* won't resubscribe.

Knit Science (Episodes 31, 32, 33)
Blurb: "A podcast for the knitting enthusiast."
Pros: Clear and easy to hear. Provides show notes.
Cons: Infrequent and irregular publication. Varied talking speed. Content not always that related to knitting. This podcast felt slow, sometimes I just wanted her to 'spit it out' whilst at other times I wondered why she felt the need to say the same thing so many times. Didn't really engage me.
Overall thoughts: I didn't really like her voice/style which made it more difficult to listen to and we didn't seem to share taste in patterns (where they were mentioned). The science content was a varying degrees of interest but overall she never said anything that made me think "ah, of course - why didn't I think of that". She also made knitting sound like a chore in places which didn't appeal to me. I've unsubscribed from this podcast and won't be downloading any more episodes.

Double Knit (Episodes 32, 36, 37, 38, 39)
Blurb: "There's no single podcast like it!"
Pros: Two voices makes the podcast feel natural and easy to listen to. Clear and easy to hear despite background noises. Regular structure. Fairly frequent publication. Provides show notes. Lots of thoughts about a variety of patterns.
Cons: Some background noise, fairly quick speech. Slightly irregular publication. Later half of the podcast is not really knitting related. Occasional small-child related distraction (is this really a con?).
Overall thoughts: Found the show notes helpful, particularly where I was unsure spelling a pattern. The whole podcast was pleasant to listen to even if the later content didn't interest me so much. I'm keeping my subscription to this podcast because although it's not perfect, the knit-talk is really interesting and it's enjoyable to listen to. Also, I love so many of the patterns they talk about - every show increases my Ravelry queue/favourites.

Never Not Knitting (Episodes 36, 37, 38, 39)
Blurb: "A knitting podcast with funny stories, product reviews, project information, knitting help and much more!"
Pros: Clear and easy to hear. Regular structure. Regular and frequent publication. Provides show notes. Features special offers with show sponsors. Lots of thoughts about a variety of patterns.
Cons: Occasionally a little slow/fragmented speech.
Overall thoughts: I also love the Never Not Knitting blog, especially the fantastic photos.


Any recommendations?

Saturday, 3 July 2010

FO: Honeymoon Socks

I still have a whole host of projects on the blocking/finishing pile, but here is the first completely finished object since the wedding... I started these socks on the plane at the start of the honeymoon and finished them off just after we got back.

Pattern: Smoking Hot Socks by Monika Steinbauer.

Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball from Natural Stitches, Pittsburgh.

Mods: 64 stitches wide instead of 60. I didn't do the mitred squares as when I tried them they were just a smidge too small. Instead, I continues the slip stitch pattern up the front of the leg, adding the occasional short row pair accross the front two needles to make up for differences in row gauge.

Project: online at Ravelry.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...