Monday, 23 June 2008

Hello Muddah - Hello Faddah

The socks are done - I took the advice of a good few humans and one cat, and just followed my instincts. Horizontal grafting it is. The weather has let me down again so the picture was taken on a wet and windy doorstep. Cold enough for sock wearing at least and the garden is loving the rain.

Things could be worse - my mum and dad decided to go away for a few days in the Lake District. By the sounds of things, the weather hasn't been good to them either. We got an email from my dad last night. He doesn't really like holidays.

Hello Jeni and Archie

It rained yesterday, soft rain from a windless sky. We went for a sail on the lake in the morning and kept dry in the downstairs cabin.

Today it rained again, horizontal rain, with gale force wind to match, and no visibility. As I look out from the lounge I see upturned metal chairs on the patio, and leaves rushing past the window, and I hear the sound of the wind whistling through cracks somewhere. It is coming on for 2pm. I have finished the Sunday Times, and had a sandwich lunch. I have the Mail on Sunday to look forward to, and after that, God only knows.

Having a lovely time. Wish you were here.


Only one more sleep and he gets to come home!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

The next sock's Kirkcaldy.

I had hoped to post a photo of the socks that are troubling me but the weather has turned nasty and I don't really want to get my feet/camera wet. So, if you can, imagine a pair of almost finished socks. One has been done all the way to the toes and has been kitchenered by grafting twelve stitches on each needle horizontally at the toe ( ie, if you can visualise the end of the sock, the grafting is straight along the top. ) Then I looked at the pattern instructions and from what I can make out, they want me to graft the stitches vertically, as if the sock knits flat to the toe and then the seam .........

You know what - the sun came out and I sat on a wet step to take some pictures. Much easier than trying to explain all of that horizontal and vertical nonesense.

Which is right? I obviously didn't pay attention to that part of the pattern when I made my one and only other socks so if anyone has a theory, please let me know. Bear in mind that I might have just totally misunderstood the pattern in the first place.

Talking of socks, I had a look at the new Berroco sock yarns and there is one called Kirkcaldy. Actually there are a lot of Scottish place names and themes in the Berroco yarns. I went to High School in Kirkcaldy and while it is famous for a couple of things - being the birthplace of Adam Smith for one, it is most famous for being a smelly place. The town was a big manufacturer of linoleum in years gone by and the air always carried a whiff of linseed oil. It was immortalised in a poem called The Boy in The Train which has the classic lines:

For I ken mysel' by the queer-like smell
That the next stop's Kirkcaddy!

Maybe not the best advert for sock yarn!

Thanks to all who have asked after Magnus, especially Emma, Milo and Tuna. He must be feeling better, I found a dead mouse in the hall this morning.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Hold on tight to the rest of your lives.

So, where were we? Ah yes, Magnus and recuperation. After all of our positive thinking about keeping the tail in it's entirety, events rather made that decision for us. And it all started with a fish.

Magnus is very fond of fish and tends to lie on the kitchen floor looking winsome as it is being cooked, then he wraps himself around the legs of any person holding a plate of the finished meal. So it was one evening when a member of the of the household ( to save his blushes he can remain anonymous, but his name rhymes with Archie ) was walking from the kitchen holding his plate of fish, Magnus following close at his heels. He closed a door and a yelp ensued. Magnus shot across the floor and hid under the sofa. We thought that maybe a paw had been stood on. Closer examination showed us that something was not right. To our horror, that something was Magnus' tail, half of which was still in the kitchen door. Poor old boy, there was no feeling in the top of his tail so he hadn't noticed that it was caught in the door and when he moved it had snapped, leaving him with a stumpy bit. The skin where the dislocation occurred had died although we couldn't see that through the fur and it broke when pulled. It looked awful but Magnus seemed relatively unfazed and he continued the quest for fish as we phoned the vet.

Two days later the mog went in to get the tail tidied up and bandaged. This meant going under anaesthetic and a day at the vets. Archie collected the boy and he seemed fine, albeit a little wobbly on the legs. An hour or two later though things were very different. Magnus suddenly changed, began to drool and make strange noises and then he collapsed. He lay on the floor for what seemed like ages, not moving at all, blank eyed and breathing weakly. I really thought that the stress of the tail saga had been too much and this was the end. Then, all of a sudden Magnus came to and made his wobbly way up the stairs. We scooped him into the cat basket and went back to the vet who checked him all over. The vital signs were fine and the conclusion was that the sedative had caused him to have something like an epileptic fit - hence the falling unconscious. We spent the rest of the night watching him very carefully and I've never been so glad to have him nip me on the ankle when I went into the kitchen the next morning.

All in all the Mog has been through it in these last weeks. The bandage is off his tail and the stitches come out in a week or so. He seems to be doing fine. Me? I'm a nervous wreck!

Next time, no cat talk and some knitting. Honest.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

A Winner!

What fun it was doing the competition and thank you to all who joined in. Only one person got the answer right and I'm afraid I disqualified her as she is a real life chum who would have shocked me to the core if she didn't know the answer. Sorry Sammy Leigh, but worry not, I have a gift for you when we get together for the 40th birthday celebrations.

Magnus, you see, wasn't always known as such. When we chose him from the Cats' Protection League in Dundee, he was known as Beckham, after David Beckham the English footballer. He had been re-homed once already but had been sent back to the League after misbehaving. Before collecting him, Archie, myself and my big brother Tom got together at the Deep Sea, Dundee's premier fish and chip emporium and discussed names for our new pet-to-be over a tasty meal of tea and spam fritters. Tom favoured Brian, Archie in a fit of prescience thought that Satan might be a good name and I was set on calling the mog Magnus. You can guess who won.

The winner of this competition was drawn from my mum's floppy sun hat by Archie and it was Hockey Kitten. Congratulations Ms Kitten and I'll be in touch about sending some daft things off to you.

Knitting - there has been some knitting in the summer sun. I've made one whole sock, sans grafting, a blanket square or two and a cowl. I was inspired by Orinda and Lolly who have been knitting lovely neck enhancers and it was a good way to use up the hand dyed yarn that Magnus had enjoyed playing with. Nothing fancy, just stocking stitch all the way for a rolled edge. There was no-one around to take a photo of me wearing it when I finished so I borrowed Archie's childhood friend, the grumpy looking bear. I think he looks like a Rowan magazine model - all rural and sulky and staring into space.

I was hoping that Magnus would be able to help with picking the winner of the competition but he was recuperating. From what? That's all whole other story!