Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009


See that little box on the left? You can keep track of the yardage (or meterage) that you have knit - useful for those de-stashers out there who want to keep on top of how much they have used as opposed to how much they (shouldn't) have bought.

If you want one, just click on mine and follow the instructions - and it's free! You can add it to your blog, or to Ravelry or both if you want.

Another site I recently joined - Good Reads - add books you've read and get reviews from other people. You can join groups too. This is my page if you want to add me as a "friend".

I am very excited as I have ordered this book, and hopefully it will be sent out on its release date - Thursday!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


We went out to Delamere Forest Park after lunch today to give Susie a bit of a run out. She hasn't had a lot of exercise this week so she needed it. First she found a rather big stick but got fed up of that pretty quickly when she discovered the muddy puddles.....

and ended up looking a bit grubbier than when we started. There were lots of other dogs running about and lots of cyclists to avoid if possible. There is also a new Go Ape adventure there where you basically traverse through the trees by various ropes and swings. Not my thing, we'd have to go there with someone who wanted to do it so that Colin could go up and and I could stay on the ground.

Then it was home time, looking a bit sheepish from getting all mucky. I put the hose on her with a bit of dog shampoo out the back but forgot I'd have to get my hands wet to get all the shampoo out - the water was FREEZING!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Can you tell what it is yet?

I felt like growing something, but not just any old thing. Flowers are lovely but they are lovely for a short period of time and then they are over. I wanted something a bit different, so this is it. I have just started it off, and apparently I should start to see something within 6 days. That's if I've managed to get the conditions right, I'm not sure about the temperature fluctuations in the back bedroom.

So have a guess if you want, I shall post progress pics, as and when, for the next clue.

Ear update: So I'd been to the GP on Monday and got the extra antibiotics but nothing was improving, in fact it was all getting worse as far as I was concerned. I have never known pain like it, and on Tuesday Colin came home from work to find me in tears. It was too late to get a GP appointment so we went over to A&E. Amazingly the wait wasn't too long before I was seen by an Australian soap star masquerading as a doctor. Basically there was nothing he could do for me except give me some lovely strong painkillers. Hoo-wee, were they good! Knocked me out a bit but they didn't half do the job. I am now more or less painkiller free (except I had to take some during the night last night) and I am now waiting patiently for my ear to "pop" so I can hear again. The swelling has reduced but it is all very blocked up.

This is going to be very icky but I haven't washed my hair since last Saturday because I was told not to get my ear wet. This has been okay because I haven't had to go out anywhere yet, but today is the day I have to leave the house. We have no milk and I can't have a cup of tea!!! Horror of horrors!

Monday, March 23, 2009


I am not having a good time. I have an ear infection and it is agony. There is some kind of "thing" swelling up in my ear and I am completely deaf on that side. It is extremely painful and no matter how many painkillers I throw down my throat, nothing will touch it. I haven't slept for 2 nights and I'm knackered.

I went to the out of hours doc yesterday morning and the nurse practitioner there gave me some Flucloxicillin. When I was still in agony this morning I went to my GP and she gave me Amoxycillin and Gentamicin drops. I am praying that something will start working soon, as I am about at screaming point now. I have never known such a long period of sustained pain. Usually you get a bit of a break when the painkillers kick in but this is relentless! Please make it stop!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dogs, UFOs and The Moth

Firstly, especially for Clarabelle as requested.........more doggy pics

Yesterday afternoon I had a little bit of a tidy in my knitting baskets, and uncovered a few UFOs!

I found the Interweave waistcoat that I'd thrown in the naughty corner, but looking at it now it is easily fixed and finished.

The first of a pair of Jaywalkers in the Regia Kaffe Fassett sock yarn. I had hoped that this would have more of the bright blue in it, but most of has disappeared under the heel.

The unfinished pair of socks I received during the Sock Wars Day of the Dead competition. These just need a tiny bit more foot length and a couple of toes.

Cherie Amour in Colinette Iona, abandoned becasue I couldn't work out where to continue the pattern after casting off arm holes!

Then there are the projects I am currently working on sporadically, a pair of Monkeys using Wendy Happy bamboo yarn. Coincidentally I made my other pair of Monkeys with bamboo yarn.

And a Drops cardigan with the ebay yarn that arrived last week.

And of course the super secret own design socks that are not progressing very fast at all.

Then today as I was perusing the sites I like to look at regularly, I came across a tutorial for making Dorset buttons and promptly came home and made this.

I have stuck a bit of magnetic tape on the back and turned it into a fridge magnet.

Yesterday I was looking at mooncalf's blog and was reading the comments left. Sometimes I click through onto the commenters' blogs to see if I can pick up on any good ones I'd like to follow. On one called Peapods I clicked through to a site called The Moth. The Moth is a group of people who meet in two places in the USA and get up on stage and tell stories. The stories have to be true and are completely unscripted. They are a maximum of approximately 15-20 minutes long - perfect for my commute to work. I subscribed through itunes (free) and listened to a couple to and from work today. They were really good. Some people are just born story tellers and can string out an incident that maybe took 5 minutes into a whole 20 minute fascinating story. Give The Moth a try, it's worth a listen.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I am feeling bad about something. This morning was the presale for U2 tickets and as I said in a previous post, I had the chance of getting 4 tickets which I was going to do. I had asked some friends if they would be interested in the spare 2 but various reasons came back - credit crunch, on holiday, don't like them, etc - but one person did express an interest albeit nothing concrete.

When I logged on to the site this morning and saw the possible prices for the tickets I decided to just get 2 tickets after all as I was worried that I would be left with 2 tickets I couldn't pass on and be £170 out of pocket! I emailed the person to ask if they definitely wanted tickets but it was very short notice (I didn't have a phone number as it is not someone I know in real life.)

I didn't hear back so I went with 2 tickets. I have subsequently heard from the person and they would have had the tickets. Now I feel a bit sh***y about not just getting the two extra tickets as they are now going to have to battle with the masses in the general sale. I probably could have sold the tickets anyway - and they didn't cost as much as I was expecting. It was a split second decision as Ticketmaster was telling me I only had 3 minutes to fill in this or that screen, and now I feel like I made the wrong one.

So to the person concerned - I am really really sorry. You don't have to reply. I'm sure you would be very gracious as I know you are a lovely person, but I know if it was me I would probably be grumbling about it under my breath and I don't blame you.


I'm not a great fan of "folk". When I first met Colin he used to go to what was loosely described as a "folk club" but was basically an open mike night where anyone who fancied having a go could get up and sing or play an instrument or both. As we'd only just started going out I felt I ought to make an effort to enjoy what he liked and I stuck it out for a while, gritting my teeth and smiling and clapping at the often awful efforts of some of the "entertainers".

But on a similar named but completely different concept, I came across a little website called Folksy. For those of you who know etsy, but are in the UK and find that most of the sellers are overseas, you may find this site useful. It looks a lot like etsy and is basically the same concept - independent craftspeople and designers selling their wares - but it is based in the UK. One seller that caught my eye this morning with their brightly coloured buttons and things is called PaperFish. Cute. There are also pages where they show you how to make things so you can have a go yourself.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Men of the Otherworld

I have just finished reading Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong. The description says it is a collection of short stories but I would say it was a short novel plus two short stories.

If you are familiar with Kelley Armstrong and have read her other books you will enjoy this one. It is a history of Jeremy and Clay Danvers. The first story is about Malcolm, Jeremy's father and how he is lured into a liaison with a woman, resulting in the birth of Jeremy. Then there is the novel which tells of how Clay became a werewolf and how Jeremy found him and brought him up. This is followed by another short story which is right up to date, involving Jeremy and Jaime Vegas.

I am about to start Fangland by John Marks. Another vampire book!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I am not Amused.

I finished my Amused jumper on Friday evening, but only got photos this morning.

I think I could have gotten away with the size down from this but I'd rather it was a bit big than a bit small. I haven't blocked it so it is still a bit wrinkly! I did one cable the wrong way at the very top but didn't notice until I'd cast off so I'm not going to let it worry me.

Pattern: Amused from knitty.com
Yarn: Garnstudio Alaska, colour 04 from Scandinavian Knitting Design , 13 balls
Needles: KnitPicks Harmony Interchangeables, 5.5mm.
Mods: made sleeves full length. I may add some buttons because where the cables cross over there is a gap that would be ideal as ready made buttonholes, then it could be done up when its cold.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

One month later.....

.......my ebay yarn arrived!

The seller was very apologetic for the delay, however the yarn is not what I ordered. It is what was shown in the photos on the listing but the description said Aran weight, 100% wool. What I got was Chunky and 60% wool, 40% courtelle. One positive though was that the listing was for 20 balls and I got 26! I have messaged them AGAIN, about the difference but have heard nothing back. So now I don't know what to do about feedback. I don't want to leave negative feedback at the risk that I will get negative feedback from them (they haven't left me any yet, and I have a 100% record so far). I could go neutral but that seems a bit wishy washy.

What is Courtelle anyway? I do still like the yarn, it is pretty soft but isn't suitable for the project I had in mind.

Any suggestions for chunky weight patterns for up to 1790 yards worth?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring Knitty

The Spring Knitty is up. I like all the socks (as usual) and decimal. And the floaty scarf Flit and Float is nice too, maybe I'll use the one ball of Kidsilk Haze that I have for this (- er maybe not, I would need two!)

Monday, March 09, 2009

U2 tour 2009

Whoopeeeee! The tour has been announced and as a U2.com member I have a presale code for tickets. We have decided to go to the one at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield on 20th August.

After last time when we didn't even think about a hotel until a week after we'd got the tickets and ended up about 10 miles outside of Cardiff, we got straight on it and have booked a hotel already. (They hike up the prices if you aren't careful). Anyway we are going to be staying here - posh eh?

I'll probably be getting the maximum 4 tickets so if you fancy coming let me know! (But make sure you book a hotel early!)

Anyone know any yarn shops in Sheffield?

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I've just got home and my order from The Bead Shop has arrived.

I ordered some glass beads in drops and rounds - these are all the drops and four of the 25 rounds,

and some Fimo beads for making sock stitch markers.

The Beadalon wire that I ordered is actually much thinner than I thought it was but luckily so are the crimps so they actually do match! Guess what I'll be doing later on.

I have now separated the arms of my Amused from the body stitches, I'm so glad, every third row I was increasing by 8 stitches and they were getting more and more squashed on the circular needle. I had 276 stitches by the last increase. I'm glad I wasn't doing any bigger a size! Part way through one of my Knit Picks cables broke and I had to dash to the LYS before they closed to get a replacement. I did try glueing the other one but nearly stuck my fingers together with SuperGlue so gave that up as a bad job! I can now work on 174 stitches to the bottom of the body. The cables are looking quite good.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Green Eyed Monsters

This is a sock yarn that I ordered from etsy with the money I made from selling the Drops Paris. The seller is called Green Eyed Monsters and is based in Manchester UK. Here is the original listing and you can see the colour is a bit different - pinky rather than red - but actually I really like it. It is slightly variegated so it will be interesting to see how it knits up. I think a nice lacy project is in order, probably socks!

Unfortunately I think I may have had my first bad experience with an ebay seller. I won an auction for some yarn on 15th Feb and still haven't received it and have heard nothing from them despite 2 emails. I'm not sure how much longer to leave it before contacting ebay. I've not had to do this before so I'm not sure of the procedure. They do have a history of being a bit slow dispatching - and I'm not in a great hurry for the yarn - but I'd just like them to contact me.

I have restarted the Amused jumper, and am back to where I was before I frogged it. I am using the stitch markers I made last week - the green ones - and have come across a slight snag with them. Because the thread is clear, I keep missing them and knitting them with the yarn! So I won't be using clear thread again. I have placed a small order online with the Bead Shop, including some silver beading thread so that should be better.

As for my design project, I haven't worked on it since before we went to Ireland. I am not really sure of the yarn and it is kind of putting me off carrying on. Maybe I will just complete one of the pair and see what I think.

My mum informed me that she has finished her scarf though. I wonder if she will now carry on knitting again.

Monday, March 02, 2009

What should I be reading?

I have books on my bookshelf that I acquired because they were books I thought I should read. One of these is Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, another is The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins which I have been meaning to read since 6th Form biology.

I also have a book of Greek Myths and Legends. I bring this up because I was listening to one of Stephen Fry's podgrams in the car on the way to work and he mentioned King Midas. All I know is that he was cursed so that everything he touched turned to gold. However, there is another bit where he is given the ears of an ass but no-one knows because he always wears a cap to cover them. Only his barber knows and he is sworn to secrecy. Because the barber has to carry this secret, the only way he can let it out is by shouting into a hole in the ground "Midas has asses ears!" When reeds grow in the place where the hole is they start whispering "Midas has asses ears" and then the trees hear and the secret eventually gets around.

I wondered if this was the basis of the song Whispering Grass, because of the lines

"Whispering grass, don't tell the trees,
'Cos the trees don't need to know."

It makes me wonder what other gems I have missed that are the inspiration for everyday sayings or song lyrics. But where do you start with Greek Myths. Is there a logical order to read them in? Do I need to read the Iliad or Odyssey? Or shall I just dip into my Myths and Legends book? Any thoughts?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Spring Issue of Twist Collective.

It is so gorgeous I want to live in it! And I've only had a quick glance through, I will digest it properly later.

Find it here.

I love the little monkey blanket.

Susie went to the beach today.....

(click the pictures for larger versions)

........she played in the sand with the ball................she went in the water and got a bit damp........
......and she found herself a nice young man.............
a toyboy actually, he was only 3, called Max. They are very similar in appearance, except he was a bit chunkier than her. They even had matching collars - hers is red and his was black! Made for each other.