Thursday, October 18, 2007


I just wanted to say sorry for my terrible lack of blogging and commenting in recent weeks. I don't seem to have the time or energy to keep up with everyone, and I do feel guilty about it, especially when people leave such lovely comments on my blog. Hopefully, after our short break in Scotland this weekend, I'll feel refreshed and be bouncing with energy! Well, I can always hope!
I look forward to catching up with everyone, take care.

Monday, October 08, 2007

We Have The Power!

The power of electricity that is! Electricity that we didn't have from 10.30am Thursday until 2.30 pm Friday! It all started when I noticed smoke coming from the cupboard that houses the electric meter and fusebox thingy. I was very calm and switched off the electricity at the mains, then got on the phone to Ian and squealed like a girl!

An electrician was summoned, but as it was 5.30pm by the time he arrived, he could only make things safe and promise to return the next day. So out came the candles! OOhh, lovely I thought, a quiet evening knitting I thought. Wrong! How the Victorians managed to do their delicate, intricate needlework by candlelight I don't know, I couldn't see a thing! So an early night was the SLEEP of course!!

Finally by 2.30pm the next day we were back on the grid. Little did we know that another problem was brewing. It was discovered by Kate, who desperate for a shower, dived in that evening. All I heard were the screams, as the freezing cold water hit her!! Somehow, the electrician had managed to wire us up wrongly, which damaged a circuit in the boiler, which meant a plumber joined the happy family on Saturday morning, to fix the boiler!

Thankfully we are now sorted. Very grateful that I was in when the smoke appeared and even more grateful it didn't happen overnight.

While Ian was sorting out the boiler problems on Saturday, I went off for a girly day with Carrie Anne, Becky and Bev to MIMA, a modern art museum in Middlesbrough. We had a wonderful day in the company of Felieke van der Leest, a brilliant artist who uses crochet and knitting in her jewellery.

This pic was taken during the afternoon workshop, which followed the morning lecture. It was a great way to explore freeform crochet, and we had a good giggle too!

This was the 3D heart I crocheted without a pattern, just making it up as I went, it's not great but I enjoyed the process. The cafe in MIMA was lovely and we just had to have a couple of visits!
I even managed to get a few rows of sock knitted while I was there, so all in all a brilliant day! This is the very sock, though I am much further on than the picture now.

I'm also really enjoying the Pirates hat, thank you for your helpful fairisle tips. I started off poorly, mainly because I didn't read the instructions! And because I didn't read the instructions, I tried to follow the chart in the same way as I had in previous lace patterns and then couldn't understand why the pattern wasn't working out! Duurrrrrhh! Then the penny dropped, I was knitting in the round! After a few choice expletives and reading of the pattern, I managed to get going.

It was so exciting to see the skulls appear! So, so far, so good! Eventually!

I don't know if anyone has seen the Walls sausage adverts with the dog trying to pinch the sausages, but I love it cos the dog is a Border terrier, the same as our beloved Alfie. So when I saw they were giving away an inflatable 'Grizzler' as he's called, I just had to have one. I waited over 6 weeks and it came today. I blew it up........and was horrified! I have never seen such an ugly, frightening thing in all my life! It's horrific!

It actually doesn't look too bad in the photo, but it would frighten kids in real life! Just to show what it should look like, I took tried to take a photo of Alfie and Grizzler, but Alfie was scared of it!

So it's been quite an eventful week, though most of it I'd prefer not to repeat! Hopefully I'll have a bit more time ( and electricity) to catch up with everyones blogs and plenty of illumination for knitting!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Emptier Nest!

:( One of my chicks has left the nest, and flown all the way to Ayr in Scotland.
Well when I say flown, Ian didn't drive that fast, probably because we were so laden with 'essential stuff'' he couldn't have even tried! It was a miracle it all fitted in! All those years of going camping and trying to fit everything including the kitchen sink into a small car, obviously paid off! Anyway, Tom's settled in and is looking forward to his course in countryside management, but the house seems so empty, especially as Kate is never in! Speaking of Kate, she finally got an interview for an admin post after hundreds of applications, and she got the job! Its only for a few months, but its a start.

Amongst all the mayhem ,I somehow got the string bag finished last week. I really enjoyed knitting it, it's so simple you don't have to think, which suits my brain at the moment!

It stretches loads, the picture shows it with a BIG box of cornflakes in and there was still lots of space. Have a look at Queen Of The Froggers version in the bright orangy yarn, it looks fab!

I've decided to start pressie knitting for Christmas too. I'm in the process of knitting an item using some Posh Yarn Lucia for one project, but can't reveal what or for whom! And today, my order from Dragon Yarns came with the Dalegarn Halk, so now I'm ready to start a hat for my brother.

I'm going to attempt They Call Em Pirates! I've never tried fairisle before, but I'm looking forward to trying it. Any tips gratefully received!!

My Pomatomus sock was coming along fine too UNTIL I tried it on!
I'd rounded the heel and thought the foot was looking a bit tight, so carefully tried to put it on and found they were TOO SMALL!!! AARRRRGGGG!! My big fat size sevens just wouldn't squeeze in no matter how I wiggled the DPN's and in disgust I pulled them off the needles and sent it to the big frog pond in the sky!! I've decided I like sock knitting best when I don't have to think about it, so I'm going to do some ordinary and boring plain ones! It probably won't last, especially as I love Kaths log cabin socks!

I finished spinning the Gotland I bought at Woolfest but I'm really disappointed with my spinning. I seem to naturally spin a very fine yarn and find it hard to spin thicker stuff, I start off OK but as my concentration wavers, I seem to have a thin yarn default!! I feel the Gotland is spun way too thin and doesn't show the variation in colours like I had hoped. I also think I over twisted it when I plied it, so all in all I'm not a happy bunny!!

So I'm going to have to practise spinning thicker yarn. I wonder if it's because I find carding hard work and sub-consciously I'm trying to eek out the rolag?! I've just got drum carder envy I think!!
The garden is coming to the end of it's growing season now. At the weekend, we picked the last of the tomatoes and lettuce. The frost will get the green beans soon and there aren't too many courgettes left growing. But saying that, the Brussel sprouts are fattening up nicely and the leeks are getting bigger, so maybe it's not all over yet!