Tag Archives: minor rant


I just had a truly horrible experience.

I’d just finished the first chart on Little Birds, and was about to start on the first sleeve. ‘Hmm,’ I thought, ‘I know I only just started a new ball of yarn, but I should probably go check how much I have left.’

I couldn’t find it. I knew it was still in the mailing envelope, a rather fetching blue metallic number. I knew that there should be at least one ball of Heron and one of Laurel left in it. But I couldn’t find the damn thing anywhere. Not beside the futon. Not beside the bed. Not in my work bag (I didn’t think I’d taken them to work, but you never know). Not in the office. Not – and I don’t know why I checked, but I suppose it’s good to be certain – in the bathroom.

I spent about twenty minutes searching before I started to get teary. I wondered whether DG or I had absent-mindedly thrown it away. That’s obviously crazy talk, because that would imply either of us had done some housework. But not crazy enough to stop me gingerly examining the contents of the kitchen bin.

By this point I was pretty much tearing my hair out. I tried to convince myself to sit down and relax, maybe post an ‘I lost my :insert object:‘ tweet, which normally causes missing objects to re-appear. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t even tweet. It was too serious a situation. This was wool, man. I cannot relax or spend time sending frivolous messages while wool is missing.

Eventually, I went back in the office, and in a moment of inspired desperation, rummaged deep in a box of miscellaneous wires and adapters for random electrical devices we probably don’t own any more. And there was my bag of yarn, sitting happily on top of a file of sewing patterns I didn’t even know was missing.

Why in the hell it ended up there I may never know. But at least now I can relax, and get started on my sleeves.

Little Birds, first chart done. #knitting

the importance of fact-checking

A rather interesting incident occurred last night, which really brings home the dangers and pitfalls of the modern, hotlinking, plagiarism-friendly internet world.

Names omitted to protect the innocent ignorant.

I was browsing tumblr, and came across a post featuring a black-and-white photo of a semi-naked man, with some sort of lewd comment beneath it.

This happens quite a lot, on tumblr. Shameless, brutal objectification of the opposite sex. *tsk*.

Anyway this shining example of manhood was tagged with the name of the person in the photo. This means that anyone browsing the Harry Lloyd tag would see the picture, and be able to take part in said objectification.

Only… that’s not Harry Lloyd. This is Harry Lloyd.

You’ll notice the almost entire lack of similarity. OK, so he normally does have dark hair but really? Really? If you’re going to objectify someone, at least have the decency to know who it is you’re objectifying.

I had to find the truth.

Turns out there is a little known thing out there that people use to find shit, and stuff. It’s called Google. Google has this nifty little feature called Search by Image.

Simply copy the image address, and post it into the search box. Then, when it can’t find that particular combination of 87 characters, you can click on the search by image link, like so:


This then uses some sexy algorithms to identify every occurrence of that image.

It didn’t take long for me to scan through the compiled list and identify the guy in the picture. His name is Roberto Bolle, he’s an Italian dancer and model, including for Ferragamo. Not an English actor famed for his appearances in ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Harry Potter’, and soon to appear in Brighton crime drama ‘The Fear‘.

So. How did this sorry situation come about?

It seems to have begun in February 2011, after the two men appeared in the same issue of Drama Magazine (issue four, by the way, and the source of some of the more popular images of Lloyd).

Investigative journalism

Someone cropped the pics, tagged the posts with both names, and the rest is history. It’s sort of laughable, but it just goes to show how easy it is for misinformation to spread.

Moral time.

So; if you’re posting something that you didn’t photograph or make yourself, just take a few moments to do an image search. Make sure you’re identifying the right pair of wrists, and help make the internet a better place, for everyone.

(NB: no link to source on the top pic, since the original poster has deleted their post in embarrassment. Oops. But photo credit belongs to Drama Magazine, linked above.)

Personality politics.

On my way home today my eye was caught by the new campaign poster for the Tory party. It features David Cameron looking solemnly out at the viewer, and bears the claim that he will cut the deficit, not the NHS. You can see it here, if you so wish.

First, I was struck by the composition of the poster. David Cameron’s face and a claim made in the first person singular. ‘Goodness,’ I thought, ‘David Cameron’s face. That’s an unusual style for a poster. And interesting wording. I don’t recall having seen that direct an appeal to the viewer before in a campaign poster.’

Then, I wondered where I had seen the expression before. Solemn, thoughtful, but ultimately loveable…

dc shrunk.png thmdtdog.jpg

Aww. I’d still rather donate to the Dogs Trust.

Then I spotted the tagline for the campaign. ‘Year for Change’. Umm, you guys? Pres. Obama already did the change thing. Quite recently, actually. If you’re not careful it might look like you’re copying him. What with that and the ‘I’ll…’ in the poster it’s almost (chuckle) as though you’re casting yourself in the role of solo presidential candidate.


For the record.

22 December 2009. That was the day I stopped using The Times as my primary newspaper1.

You might think it’s the proposed plan to charge for access to the online version of the paper. Perhaps it’s the infuriating way that the RSS feeds force you to go through an ad page to go to the full article from the excerpt. Or the way the RSS feeds when read on a Crackberry send you through to the home page of the mobile site, instead of the actual article you requested, which is now nowhere to be found amongst the 9 articles they make available through the mobile site.

Actually, it was this headline.

“Passengers’ fury at airports as snow steals Christmas”

Really. Really? Snow ‘stole’ Christmas? Snow came down from the sky, slapped a small child around the face and ran away with all the presents?

OH NO WAIT. Did it in fact come floating down from the sky in the manner of any other precipitation, and combine with the freezing temperatures and increased traffic to cause hazardous conditions for flying and driving? Y’know, like normally happens in winter?

“Chaos on the roads” is fine. “Many passengers… were inconsolable at being stranded at Christmas” is also fine, if a little emotive for my stony-hearted tastes. Both are, at least, statements of fact. But “snow steals Christmas”? What’s next? ‘Furious passengers take snow hostage and refuse to let it go until it gives back Christmas’? ‘Passengers go on vigilante raid against vicious snowy attacker by amassing huge pile of burning tyres and petrol attempting to hasten rate of global warming’? ‘Callous snow evades capture by melting with the assistance of co-conspirator Unseasonably Warm Few Days Around Christmas?’

Seriously, dudes. WTF. What am I supposed to read now? I can’t read the Telegraph (not posh enough2), I can’t read the Guardian (not an English teacher, can spell), I don’t really like the Independent online site. What’s left?

1 Yes, I know, Murdoch should be enough of a reason. I read it because I (normally) like the writing style. If you comment to tell me that Murdoch should be enough of a reason to stop reading The Times, I will know that you didn’t read this footnote, and will be entitled to tell you that you are wrong. On the internet.

2 I only say this because I was looking at a recipe from the Telegraph and noticed that it had separate instructions for cooking it in an Aga.

a brief rant about packaging.

Craptastic plastic spouts on cardboard juice cartons – why? Maybe I’m just unlucky, but I swear I have never spilt so much juice and milk as in the last few weeks wrestling with such items. it’s a good job my slippers are machine washable or they’d have more nutritional value than skimmed uht. I mean fair enough, I remember the bad old days of cartons when you had to split the two sides of the top, inevitably ripping it and causing spillage, but at least it really was your fault. Now you don’t even need to open the things for them to start leaking. I just don’t understand what’s so wrong with snipping the corner off. If I want it to reseal, or fit onto a shelf in the fridge, I’ll decant it into a suitable container. And if I want to spatter everything within a two metre radius with juice or milk, I’ll find a more interesting way to do it.

P.s. Does anyone else find they’re strong enough to pull the spout right off the carton, or rip the carton itself, but not strong enough to actually open the spout properly? I’ve spent too much time stood shaking with anger, a dripping carton in one hand and the perfectly sealed spout in the other for it to be a coincidence.

Macro shots. I hates them.

Yes. I hate them. I hate them because 90% of them are rubbish. Oh, well done, digital-camera-owner, you found the tulip button, that means any close-up photo you take is amaaaaaazing. I mean some of it is in focus and some of it isn’t. That’s cool, right? Right?

Maybe my problem with this is that my vision, myopic in teh extreme, is automatically a macro shot. Stuff close to me is in focus. Stuff further away is not. I wear contact lenses or glasses every freakin’ day to prevent this, and so I do not think that a partially-in-focus picture of some leaves, or whatever, is anything to be particularly proud of, when all I need is to blink a little bit too much and I can create the perfect conditions myself.

I am not a domiknitrix.

It’s just not in my nature. I tried whipping my knitting into shape, but it got resentful and started to fight back. And when you’re fighting with wool, you know you’ve got a problem. So I’m going to go back to being a passive-aggressive knitter; if a yarn doesn’t want to be in an item, fine. It can sit at the bottom of the stash box until it learns how to be a decent craft item. If it springs out and wants to be something, I will lavish attention on it.

I was going to have a good old moan about the Domiknitrix book, but I couldn’t make it not sound whiny and childish. So please improvise your rant using the following bullet points:

  • line-by-freakin’-line instructions
  • blatant errors in line-by-freakin’-line instructions
  • lame-arsed descriptions of common techniques
  • soft-focus pictures
  • skinny-arsed models
  • sulky bulky wool
  • tree-trunk needles

And we’re done. Onto some nice things. I’m making my first pair of socks… or will they be stockings? I’m just not sure yet. Depends if I get bored, I suppose. But I have discovered yet another new cast on (the book calls it Turkish cast on… wrapping the yarn round the two needles and then knitting from both sides of that), and this one I love. I am also taking to magic loop like a Devon teenager to cider – only once have I yanked the wrong needle out, and fortunately it was the ss needle, so it was pretty easy to resurrect. I may install a safety line in case of future whoopsies.

Have a look at my toesies.

adelle stockings

I’m a glutton for punishment, really. I have never made socks before, so do I pick a tried and tested pattern with lots of happy knitters vouching for its excellence? Of course not. Where’s the challenge? I picked this one, which nobody on Ravelry has finished, and nobody on the whole internet has liked (seriously, google it). And has errors in the chart (surprise surprise). I really wonder at my sanity.

Yes. It’s absolutely hilarious having a surname like mine. My sides are splitting.

For the most part, having as stupid a surname as mine isn’t that bad. A lot of people are too polite to mock it. I suspect that many people don’t understand it, it being more than one syllable long. This means that there’s such a long time in between people mentioning it that I forget how to respond. If it’s a friend or someone I’m reasonably comfortable around, I can cheerfully bat off any comments with a ‘shut yer face, twatblanket’. But when the person laughing at your surname is an employee of a multi-billion dollar commodity trading company, what is a girl to do? I mean, it’s not particularly amusing that I work in a bank with a surname like mine. I think it would be slightly more amusing if I were a doctor, or an engineer. Or her gynaecologist. But not a banker.

Actually, I wouldn’t have been so annoyed by this today had one of the team leaders not come round and told an ‘amusing’ anecdote about the time he took the piss out of my name to the boss of the office. I wish I didn’t need a job as his crotch was just in the sweet spot for a back-jabbing elbow. I still have a slight headache from the strain of resisting.

Incidentally, does anyone else have one of those people on instant messenger that you just don’t want to talk to but don’t have the heart to block? The kind where every reply sent contains an unwritten but shouted ‘you cock’ after it. Example of this:

Him: Hi!
Me: Hi. How’re you YOU COCK!
Him: Yeah not bad. Been up to much?
Me: Not really. You? YOU COCK!

Etc. I refused to be his facebook friend. I thought that would be the ultimate modern-day slight and he would never speak to me again, but still it continues. Sigh.

Internets meets literature. Confusion ensues.

Some recent book reviews spotted on my Shelfari home page:

  • The Da Vinci Code: its really gud n intresting novel….
  • Dracula (Penguin Popular Classics): guess wut, I’m romainian…
  • Fahrenheit 451: Classic book regarding the role that books play in our society.

Ye. Gods. I’m not sure which of the three I want to punch the most. Though all pale into insignificance next to this gem:

  • Northern Lights (His Dark Materials): i hav never herd of the author…shud i reed it???

I would be surprised if you COULD read anything, let alone should. My zombie Jesus on a plank of wood, what is the world coming to when a site dedicated to reading and literature is populated by grammarless arseclowns. Ack.

This might be a betrayal. Sorry.

But I feel a compulsion to post about this.

Yarn Die” – “The Rise of Adolf Knitler” – “Knitzkrieg!”

Those are three articles in the Philadelphia Weekly that I just read about in another blog. Knitters are up in arms about this needless, poorly written assault on what is a perfectly innocent hobby, and probably the nasty generalizations about the state of their arses.

I’m not, though. I actually thought the articles were rather funny.

Maybe this is because I cannot identify myself with the ‘baggy-arsed chancers wandering around Philadelphia with industrial looms on their backs’ to which he refers. I’m far too weak to carry a loom myself. I would have a boy do it.

Anyway, I must argue with a couple of the counter-arguments; firstly that the articles are poorly-researched. I mean –

“sexy” knitting magazine knit.1, featuring boudoir-eyed hunks holding huge, hard, thick knitting needles in their carefully shaven hands.

So… you’re saying that’s not true? Come on. The just-back-from-the-gym-veins-still-bulging-Adonis-in-a-twat-hat-pose is just the checking-watch-in-a-knitted-cardigan-pose of the present.

Also; he’s accused of being a bad writer. I disagree.

Seriously, if you called housework antihousework, would that make it cool? If you anticleaned the kitchen after antichanging the kitty litter before antipicking your screaming brats up from school and antidropping them off at soccer practice before rushing home and nearly anti-overdosing on antidepressants so you can face clearing up the vomit your shit-faced alcoholic of an antihusband has puked all over the bathroom (while still finding time to knit an amusingly decadent antitoilet-roll cover) does that mean your lifestyle is somehow edgier and more interesting than that of your poor burnt-out-at-40, dead-by-50 great grandmother?

That’s possibly the best paragraph I’ve read so far this year.

Furthermore – you gotta admit that he’s right. The whole alt.knit thing is a pile of crap. 90% of all these kooky, edgy designs are completely unwearable for anyone who doesn’t want to be laughed off the street (please refer to the futuristic section of knit.1 last autumn), even contriving to look bad on the perfectly-formed modelettes. Much like modern fashion as a whole, really.

Knitters, the lesson to be learnt from this is not to take yourselves so seriously. It’s just a hobby, after all. It’s no better or worse than card-making, scrap-booking, stamp-collecting, train-spotting, computer-gaming, anything that people do to while away the minutes and hours until they die. Some guy in Philadelphia doesn’t like it? Big deal. There’s no reason to be threatening needle-related violence against him, or whining that he’s a nasty person and a bad writer and he smells and everyone hates him. You’re just handing his next article to him on a plate.