Friday, 29 June 2007

I made the deadline!

Phew, from over long to simply balls, to finished scarf. I finally made it.

Happy birthday Babs!!

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Dogs, bollocks.

Meet Molly, she belongs to Sylvia the jeweller and we look after her every Friday. Last week we thought she deserved a special treat so Archie generously shared the liver that he was cooking for his lunch. I more sensibly had a cheese sandwhich. Molly ate the liver with abandon and soon our kindness was thrown back in our faces. Well, not exactly in our faces, it was thrown up on the kitchen carpet. One more reason to curse the previous owners of our flat for thinking that a carpet in the kitchen was a good idea. It has been one of those weeks.

Thanks to everyone for socky advice - I am now armed with some La Laine many coloured yarn and a quartet of 2.5mm needles. Still thinking about patterns and I've been looking into all of the suggestions. This week's Ebay purchase was a 1940's Knitting for the Services leaflet - socks and gloves. The socks are two needle affairs so I will be leaving them at home. For this trip, two needles would be cheating. I also had great plans to knit myself a wonderful red cardigan for taking to France, it was started and then Archie remembered that our sister in law was about to have a big birthday. Six balls of Kureyon later, I cast on 400 stitches on a circular needle and began the birthday scarf. Knitted and knitted and knitted, when the width was right I cast off to find a scarf three times the size it should be. That'll teach me to guestimate the gauge! After taking almost a week to knit it ripped down in a flash to return as scarf number two - using a pair of needles and a sensible number of stitches. There is a deadline of tomorrow to finish the blighter before we visit on Saturday. Then we fly to France on Monday. That only leaves Sunday for packing and planning. Aaaaargh.

Bollocks? This week, as well as cleaning dog vomit, knitting a scarf as long as a motorway and picking mice out of hats ( thanks Magnus ), I also photographed Sylvia's testicles. She had been commissioned to make testicular cufflinks for a gentleman's 40th birthday present. Oh dear.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

No photo, just a plea.

I got so carried away by finished knitting and cockroaches on my last post that I completely forgot to ask for help. I'm going away for two weeks holiday at the very start of July and I would like to use that time to teach myself how to knit socks using more than two needles.

What I need is an idiot proof pattern ( either a freebie or a PDF I can download ) and suggestions for sock yarn. I will be visiting the hallowed halls of Twistfibre Crafts, one of the few good yarn shops within thirty miles of me, next Thursday and can stock up then. Photos of any progress will of course follow.

Where is the holiday? I'm going to or Saint Nom la Breteche as they say without the website. It is a village nearish to Paris and I can't wait to be there!

Food blindness and hissing cockroaches.

I was reading an article in the Guardian this week -,,2100074,00.html and the phrase food blindness struck me as a good description of one ailment I'm never going to suffer from. According to researchers, food blindness is the inability to look at what you have in the fridge or in your cupboards and to see how they could be turned into a meal. I'm the complete opposite. Most of my tastiest food offerings have been as a result of ram raiding the fridge and cooking the occupants. I live with someone who is very good at following recipes and buying exactly what it says in the book. This means I'm great at day to day cooking but Archie wins at posh entertaining every time. His Christmas curries are the stuff of legend whereas most of my meals get eaten in front of the telly. However, we get a veg box from a local farmer every fortnight and who knows what will appear in it - my obsessive reading of cookery books and absorbing the contents thereof comes in very handy when the box contains three fennell bulbs each the size of a baby's fist.

I certainly don't suffer from knitting blindness. As I finished the windmill cardigan, seen above in all it's newly dyed glory, I realised that I have never knitted a pattern using the right yarn. Most of this is down to economy, I buy second hand yarn most times and kind people give me even more. It is trickier with knitting, keeping an eye on gauge and drape but I've decided that what I learn from the attempts more than makes up for the time spent knitting and ripping the ones that don't make it to a garden photoshoot. Anyway if all else fails, there is always room for more blanket squares in the world.

Cockroaches? We went to visit some friends this week and one of the children has Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.They are gorgeous and if I didn't think Magnus would eat them or ping them all over the room, I would want some for myself.

Weird thing just happened - I was downloading pics for this post and instead of getting a cockroach, I got a kitten. Hmmm. Cats do work in mysterious ways.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Note to partner; re knitting.

Just to clarify, when you see me arranging odd pieces of knitted shapes on the living room floor, swearing and not looking chuffed, I am actually trying to sew together a cardigan. A cardigan made from the wrong yarn, knitted too quickly and likely to be ripped down and turned into dishcloths. It is, however, most definately a cardigan. Now is not the time to say

" Are you making a windmill? "

photo by canon350dinhand.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Requiem for Stripey.

The village is a wonderful place for people knowing where to find other people. This week two different folk arrived at the door to check that the poorly looking cat wandering about in the street wasn't Magnus. Lucky for us we knew that Magnus was sleeping the sleep of the monstrous on top of the bed so we didn't have to worry. At least not about him, I had a feeling that I knew the poorly beast. Turns out my hunch was right and the wanderer was Stripey the old campaigner from across the road. His owner had died a month or so ago and his house is for sale but a couple of other neighbours had been feeding him. I hadn't seen him close up recently but had watched from the window as he sat in the middle of the road with cars swerving to avoid him. It was easy to find his late owners family and pass on the worries about Stripey but while I was about my investigations I met one person who lived in my house as a child and another whose husband did the renovations in about 1970. I'm going back later to get more details.
As a walked home I could see a forlorn shape weaving about on the road and stopped for a closer look. Sure enough it was the very cat, bones rattling in his fur, stinking like a ripe cheese, one eye completely covered over in something, blood on his paws and whiskers. Time for the final trip to the vet. I went home for a towel and Archie found a box. Poor bugger, he couldn't breathe properly but still managed to purr when I scratched his head. We delivered him to his late owners family and I went home and kissed Magnus on the nose.

Times like these you need some poetry and Billy Collins always knows what to say.....

Putting Down the Cat

The assistant holds her on the table,
the fur hanging limp from her tiny skeleton,
and the veterinarian raises the needle of fluid
which will put the line through her ninth life.

' Painless, ' he reassures me,
' like counting
backwards from a hundred, ' but I want to tell him
that our poor cat cannot count at all,
much less to a hundred, much less backwards.

Billy Collins.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

A short note about grooming.

Many thanks to the cheer squad for their sympathies re the Grayson Perry dilemma. I suppose now is not the time confess that I looked in the mirror last week and could swear that Justin Hawkins from The Darkness was staring back at me, or to post a photo of my new and extremely humungous jumper. I finally finished the recycled stripey thing after a few adjustments, ie, ripping out inches of the front and back and re-knitting it longer and without the rib at the end. All that was left of the yarn was a smidgen of the blue cotton. Bearing in mind my last post about personal grooming and it's lack of appeal. I used the blue to knit myself a washcloth. You see, when I said grooming, it was in terms of being smart, remembering to get haircuts every six weeks and making sure that things match/fit/don't have holes. I'm no good at that sort of thing but I'm perfectly fine at being clean. Just in case you were wondering. Now I have a brand new cotton cloth to prove it!!