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It's A New Year......It's a New Moleskine!

And what could be more exciting than starting a brand new moleskine for 2009. It is my little Bible, or my soul that I keep in my pocket. In it I scribble down absolutely any idea I have however silly and I sketch in coloured pencils the things I want to knit, or the designs I want to chart. Dotted around this page, are little extracts from my very personal knitting accounts in 2007 and 2008. I stumbled across the moleskine notebook purely by accident, I had never heard of them. I didn't really know any 'designers' or other groups of people who used these notebooks. What attracted me was the pocket. In the pocket I can fit the following things
  • A ruler with a stitch gauge reader
  • A needle gauge
  • A conversion chart for imperial and metric
  • Standard size charts
  • A packet of 12 coloured pencils
  • An erasable ink pen
  • A propelling pencil
  • An eraser
  • My contact cards
  • The odd swatch and bits of yarn
  • Knitters graph paper
  • A calculator

You know when you knit you can't work fast enough to catch up with ideas that you might have and if you are anything like me, then you are going to forget those things that pop into your head when you are in Aran mood, and those other patterns you like when in Lace knitting mode. So why not just write everything down, however silly or personal, and then you will find it there when you need to. Of course, I also sketch out my knitting patterns here, and whilst working on a sample I

can do simple maths that makes sense at the time of doing it for grading the other sizes, and t
hen when I look back to write up as a knitting pattern I have done some of the hard work already.

I also take it with me when shopping or out and about, and if I see a pattern or a garment I like I can sketch details. Sometimes it might just be a piece of a wood carving or a gravestone or perhaps a motif printed onto fabric....it all goes in most of the time.

This year, I was getting a little bored with choosing my 5th moleskine though with a black cover, and then I found out with delight that people like to customise their moleskines too and even sell moleskine covers on
etsy like these below. I love the idea of the leather cover you can transfer to new notebooks (and it means extra pockets). I also like the idea of a personalised fabric cover for every year. However, being a knitter means it would probably be very shameful if I didn't design and customise my own journal! Also, to buy a customised journal costs a lot, and if some of it is not that hardwearing.

There was a company offering engraving services, but apparently heating up your moleskine can give off dangerous gases so don't try burning patterns into it yourself. It is not real moleskin, moleskine (r) is a synthetic product.

So, I am slowly thinking on a 2009 cover, perhaps from tiny swatches or with a little motif knitted into it.

Other Books
I have just finished reading The Last Empress by Anchee Min. It is the story of the mother of Tung Chih and the Aunt who moulded her nephew to rule China. The power struggles within the Chi'ing Dynasty themselves were fascinating but I did feel that it swept over other parts to do with foreign affairs so quickly I could hardly gain an impression of it. However, it did span the whole of this lady's life, so there was a lot to tell.

I have just started reading The Lady Elisabeth, and as you might have noticed I have been a little obsessed with literature of a Chinese nature and the Tudor times. I have read the story of the Tudors from just about every angle you could think of, but still there are some things in the storytelling that shock and surprise me. This book by Alison Weir is a really good fast and easy read. In fact, it is nowhere near as claustrophobic as The Innocent Traitor was which told the story from Lady Jane Grey's perspective. I just wish history had been this exciting at school. However, if they had taught these stories, we would have had to have known what 'knowing' a man was all about, and in a girls' boarding school it might have caused some outrage.

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