Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hog Roast

Not a lot going on here at the moment apart from the agonising decision of whether The Gorgeous One stays or not. We have been making enquiries.

On Easter Saturday we went to the Chester Food & Drink Festival. It is on every Easter and is great, you get to taste all kinds of local produce, cheeses, breads, relishes and pickles etc. The wallet doesn't half take a bashing though. And of course there is the hot roast pork bap known as the Hog Roast for lunch, carved straight off the spit, yeee-ummm.

I have been reading a bit more lately and just finished Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwell. I couldn't get into it at first because it felt like it was written by someone else. All the previous Scarpetta novels are written in the first person from the perspective of Kay Scarpetta, but his one was in the third person and she wasn't in it much at all. It was all about the various secondary characters that have cropped up in previous books, (so it is best that you have read those first). The ending was quite weak too.

I have now started The Keep (see last post) and am not sure about that either. Have my expectations of a good book gone up? I think I will like the story of this book but the writing is annoying me. The main character is Danny and we follow him along, Danny this, Danny that, when all of a sudden in the middle of a paragraph it changes to "I .....". Who is this "I"? It's not Danny anyway. Very odd.

I am still partway through the second Zokni sock but am working on my Drops 88-4 to try to get it finished. It is all in fits and starts though, as I go upstairs to do a bit (out of the way of little sharp teeth) but don't really want to sit up there on my tod! I like to knit in front of the telly.

Talking of which the Sky is on the blink so they are coming out to fix it tomorrow. My car is also in the garage, for a new clutch and bearings (its only done 5200 miles for goodness sake!!!) but luckily I am 5 days before the end of the warranty and it is covered. Would have been £600 otherwise! Eek!

PS Hope the Boosh fans like the new pics of Noel on the left side bar!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lighting up time.

Here is the infamous earlight.

And here it is in action with the room light on. You can see the amount of light it casts quite well here.

And here you can see it with the room lights off. Sorry it is blurred, the camera didn't like the dark without the flash, but with the flash on it defeated the object! I reckon you could probably knit in the cinema as long as you didn't have someone sat right next to you.

I finally finished my first Zokni sock. As you can see I opted for a heel flap in the end, I'm still not happy picking up wraps on a short row heel.

I did try to teach a short row heel last night though. I met up with Becca from the knitting group. It was funny because we were sitting in Starbucks in Borders knitting away and a member of staff tried to recruit us for the knitting group so we had to explain that we had been there last week and that I was actually one of the organisers. He apologised for not recognising us and was pleased we were with the group.

Anyway, Becca made great inroads into her boyfriend's sock, so I think she will go great guns on it now and hopefully it will be well on it's way by the next meeting. She brought me a really sweet "birthday card book" as a thankyou for the lesson, which had lots of cute puppies on it. You can put cards in it ready for when you need them. Great idea. I love the Westie in the woolly knitted hat, maybe The Gorgeous One would like one!!

Talking of whom, we are still really struggling with him. We are trying to housetrain him using a crate, so he goes in it for a while and then he gets taken out to the garden to do his business and if he goes he gets to play in the house for a while. If he doesn't go, he has to go back in the crate and then try again in about 20 minutes. This had been going on for 3 and a half days now and he still doesn't seem to twig that he should go outside if he wants to have some play. Ulgh, it is really hard work. If he is out of the crate too long he still pees on the paper pad in the living room. But it just seems cruel to keep him locked away, and he cries a lot and tugs at the old heartstrings. We are still umming and ahhing over whether he is going to be a permanent member of our household. It may have been a bit too soon after losing Podge, because we don't seem to have a strong bond with him even after nearly 3 months. When he does come out to play he is still very willful and naughty and doesn't respond to "NO!!". We'll give it a bit longer I guess.

Yikes, I broke my "no book buying" resolution last night. I got The Keep by Jennifer Egan and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. We have both been looking at The Book Thief for a while and hadn't gotten around to buying it so I took advantage of the Buy One Get One Half Price offer at Borders. Did I mention It's a great way to get around the no buying books rule. I've had 3 books from there and they've cost me nothing!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

New knitty is up!

The spring issue of is out. It has probably been out for ages but I only just noticed!!! I think Jaden is very pretty and will be going on my list. And Marjorie. Posey looks fab but I couldn't be bothered with all that fiddling about. These are cute too. Oh dear, my ravelry queue is never going to get knit!

I'll get Colin to take a photo of me wearing the earlight at the weekend. It produced a lot of giggles at the knitting group on Tuesday.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

6 months on

It is 6 months ago today that Colin had his tumour removed. Time has flown and you would never know, apart from the scar running from his elbow to his wrist. He has a follow up scan next week and a consultant appointment in April, but fingers crossed everything is going well.

Knitters within Borders!

I have just had a comment on my last post from Nina asking how the knitting group went on Tuesday - so I'd better tell you hadn't I?

Well I knew there would definitely be 3 of us, myself, Janet (the other organiser) and a lady from ravelry called Mandy. The start time was 6.30pm so I got there early at about 6.15pm. I wandered down to where the table was set out with about ten chairs and notices saying "reserved for knitting group". There was no-one there at this point so I went over to the magazines and had a look at the new Interweave Knits issue. At 6.25 I wandered back again and there was still no-one there but there was a girl looking at the knitting books and she had a bag with her that could have contained some knitting. I went to Starbucks and got a coffee and took it back to the table.

I'd just sat down when Janet arrived and then it happened..........the knitters came out of the woodwork!! They must have all been lurking behind the fixtures in the shop waiting for someone to sit down first. The girl I'd seen (Becca) came over and then another 10 knitters making a total of 13 of us. There were even 3 generations of one family. A member of staff came and said that she had hoped to come but that she was working but would join us next month.

There was a range of ages, the average probably being mid-40s, the oldest probably 80 and the youngest about 10. Everyone was making something different, and there were a range of yarns too. We had a couple of beginners and some very experienced so a great range of knitters really. I gave Becca a sort of lesson in casting on for socks and also helped her start a swatch for a lacy top she wants to knit. I need to get a simple sock pattern to her because the one she had assumed you had some knowledge of sock knitting. I think the basic Opal sock pattern would be best for her to start on.

I took my Zokni socks to work on but ended up only doing 5 rounds in 2 hours because of the chatting! I am really pleased at how it went though, and am looking forward to next month. For anyone interested, it is on Tuesday 8th April @ 6.30pm. I wonder how many there will be next month. I'll see if anyone minds me taking a photo so you can see all our happy, smiling, knitting faces!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

books etc.

So last Sunday was Mother's Day, and this is what I made for my mum. It is from the latest issue of Let's Knit magazine. It came out quite big because I used a ball of Wendy Fusion and 5mm needles, so I didn't have enough lavender in the garden to fill it. I added some polyester stuffing in the end. I also sent her some Liz Earle body wash.

I actually watched her open it on the webcam!! This webcam has produced much hilarity, not least of which when I flashed my knickers and other undergarments at them. (The ones hanging on the clothes dryer behind me at the time!!). Here's my mum and step-dad concentrating at their end!

Whilst listening to a knitting podcast Pointy Sticks, (which sadly hasn't been updated since March 2007) I heard about an earlight. This is like a bluetooth telephone earpiece but is actually a torch. I got one from ebay and it's ingenious and perfect for knitting when it is getting dark and the light in the room just isn't bright enough for fiddly work.

Tuesday night is the first night of the new knitting group. I'm quite excited and intrigued to see how many turn up. I think we will be at least six anyway so it won't be a complete flop.

I have just finished reading Six Sacred Stones by Matthew Reilly. As usual you have to suspend all disbelief when reading an MR novel. This one ended at a huge cliffhanger and its going to be ages till the next book. I think I need something totally different after that so am going to try The Beekeeper's Pupil. I've had it for ages so its time I got round to giving it a go. Nothing else on my 50-strong TO Read shelf is jumping out at me.

I joined Bookmooch about a week ago. You list books you have read and get points for listing them, and then if someone asks for one you get more points which you can then spend on books you want. I have been asked for 7 of my books already so am building up a nice little cache of points to spend when I feel like it.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Slip up on slip stitch

This is what my Stitch n Bitch calendar told me on Tuesday.

Is that right? Does everyone else do it that way. I've been doing it wrong then!! I put the right hand needle into the stitch as if to knit and then slip it off the left hand needle. Am I twisting the stitch by doing that then? Hmm, going to have to investigate this further.

The sock has been going pretty slowly as the Gorgeous One has now got big enough to jump onto the couch and nothing is safe!!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

His Royal Highness!!

I have been trying to think about what to write in this post. I didn't just want to waffle on about my knitting or what i had for tea last night as it is an auspicious occasion - my 200th post.

And then, this morning, it happened. The Gorgeous One's official Kennel Club papers came in the post. We had known the names of his parents, but didn't know that he had an official title. We thought we had to do that bit, but no, the breeder does it. I was still in bed when Colin opened the post. I heard him sniggering, and then he came upstairs with a cup of tea and the paperwork.

And so, on this very special occasion, I give you........................(ta ta ta ta ta ta taaaaaaaaa!!!)........

Charming Prince Snowy

Ahhh, the poise, the grace, the dignity...........