Saturday, 31 October 2009

Going away

Ugg - I finally got home at quarter to one this morning. However, it's done and I'm on holiday - hurray. Also, my packing is nearly done and there are still two hours until the taxi arrives to take me to the station. So obviously I am blogging.
Actually, I have been taking photos and doing battle with computers, but this means that I am now able to bring you these:

Rachel (or Hannah's) hat, knitted out of Bowmont Soft Spun DK from Devon fine fibres. I got this from Socktopus when it was still open - so hopefully Stash will stock it in future as I don't know where else you can get it. The decoration is crocheted in DK silk from the Knitting Goddess - I had it sitting around as a left-over in my stash and it worked really well.

And to make sure that no-one is left out, here is Hannah (or Rachel's) hat. I should explain that the photos were taken on the lid of a cake tin because it's pretty wet outside and I didn't want them to get grubby.

Talking of Rachel and Hannah (my goddaughters), I saw them on the box last night (although the programme was at 9 am - I had sky+'d it). I had a message from their Mum on Facebook and discovered that they had been taking part in a programme called 'Family!' which is a series of short episodes abouts families from around the country. They were representing Wales. It was lovely to see them even on the telly, given that I don't get to see them very often for real.

The final picture to show you is this one.

This is all the bits I have ready to start my Samhain shawl tomorrow. The colours aren't great since it's such a grey day, since the yarn is actually purple-ish (quelle suprise!). It's Angel 1ply Laceweight (Alpaca / Cashmere / Silk - yum) from The Natural Dye Studio in, I think, Heather 30. I got the beads from Aluisa Beads in Guildford. I've put two bags of beads into that tin ready to be used, and I have a third bag in reserve so that should be plenty. I'm very looking forward to starting this!
Anyway, I really should do some ironing and finish the packing - then perhaps a little more work on Ulmus (which isn't going with me) before I head off out.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Even sleepier

I thought it was bad yesterday!

It is half past 11 and I'm still at work. At the moment, there is nothing needing doing, but something may come up and so we can't go home yet. The thought of driving home for an hour nearly isn't great.

Tomorrow I am going up to Mum and Dad's - and still no packing done. I have written a list of things to pack so I guess that's a start. Fortunately, I'm going by train, so I can sleep on the way... I did do a quick trawl this morning, and I think I have at least got enough clean undies to pack.

On the knitting front, I actually picked up my Ulmus yesterday evening. I don't really know why I lost the will with it, as it's a very straightforward knit. My only worry is the length of the floats. The pattern is knitted in stripes of two yarns, and each stripe is just two rows, so you are supposed to float the yarn up one side. I just wonder how this is going to work when I come to block - I can see this becoming very lop-sided if I'm not careful (and not being very big if I am).

On the knitting front, I am seriously wishing I had brought some to work today. Usually, I do but today I didn't and yet now I have the opportunity actually to do some. Grr. I could have got a fair few more rows of the Ulmus done while I have been sitting around this evening. Still, this is my last day of this secondment. Holiday next week and back to my own office the week after. I have enjoyed doing the secondment - it's been good to get to know the folks and mostly I've enjoyed the work. Having an office canteen is also a bonus. On the downside, I'll be glad to be able to print documents and to reduce my commute (distance if not time) by half.

Thursday, 29 October 2009


It's 7 o'clock, I'm still at work and I'm sleepy. I'm not looking forward to the drive home.

It's one of those evenings where the work is intermitent so there will be more things needing doing but I am currently in a lull. On the upside, a Thai takeaway has already been ordered :-)

On Saturday I'm going up to Mum and Dad's for a few days so that I can see Sis, BIL and Nephew while they are back in this country, and then on Tuesday I'm going to Brancaster to join the in-laws house sitting. Hmm - haven't finalised arrangements with them. I should do that...

I am slightly concerned that I have my knitting all sorted to take away with me but not my clothes: tomorrow evening could see the inaugural panic-ironing event, where I waving a steaming iron around, get the clothes looking a bit flatter and probably burn myself. I'm not even entirely sure what I need to pack for a few days on the north Norfolk coast in November.

Exciting news is that last night I finished the Christmas knitting. No photos yet, as I haven't actually had a daylight opportunity, but I've finished the hats for R&H. The original plan was to sew buttons on as decoration, but then a cunning plan was developed and these were replaced by crocheted silk flowers - I happened to have some appropriately coloured silk DK sitting in the stash. The majority of my Christmas knitting has been done from stash so I feel like I've made good in-roads.

Not sure when I'll get to post again but hopefully it will include piccies. I'm almost tempted to take the work laptop away with me so that I can keep on line, but that's really not what it's for!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Testing testing

Just a quick test. The lovely RuthieD told me how to hyperlink last night, so I thought I'd try it out....!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A lovely surprise

When I got home last night I had a surprise.

To start with, the chubb lock on the front door wasn't locked. I was surprised because, although I had left in a hurry, I was pretty sure I'd locked it. Then I noticed the living room light was on. And again, I was surprised because I'd turned the lights off before I left. Before I could get into panic mode, though, a voice said 'Hello'. It was the Hubby - home a few days early from Algeria because his visa ran out.

It was lovely to see him but quite a surprise - and there was very little in the house for him to eat. The place I'm working at the moment has a canteen, so I have a main meal at lunchtime and a snack in the evening.

On the big upside - the house was tidy. I am not a tidy person. As my mother has said, I am good at tidying up but not at being tidy. This means that usually when hubby is away, I slob for a while and then have a major clear-up just before he comes home. However, the last couple of weeks I have been making an effort to keep tidy. This meant that when he arrived home:
  • There was no knitting strewn all over the sofa
  • There was no dirty washing up - at all not even hiding in the dishwasher(this is truly shocking)
  • The bed was made
  • The kitchen was tidy

This experience has proved to me that it is worth trying to keep things tidy.

Sunday, 25 October 2009


I don't know what time zone I'm in. The clocks went back last night, and usually this is an excuse for an extra hour of sleep. But no. I awoke at 6.30 - and I was wide awake. So I decided to do something useful (ha ha). Did some bits on the PC and then decided to wrap some presents. This was all well and good until suddenly it was twenty-five to ten and I was still in my nightie. Given that I needed to be at church shortly after ten, this wasn't good. Now, it's just coming up to eight pm and I'm all ready for bed. It feels much later. What is going on?!

Anyway, more interesting stuff. I went into Guildford to do some Christmas shopping yesterday and also bought the beads for Samhain. At some point there will be photos..... Then I went to see my friend Mel, who lives close by. We hadn't seen each other for ages, and I also got to see all the work that she and her hubby have been doing on their house and garden, so it was really fab to catch up. We went back to Guildford to have a look at vacuum cleaners, since mine apparently has died, and I also had a look at laptops. I am fed up with home PC (it's alright - it isn't clever enough to know I'm being mean about it). It's elderly and is getting unreliable. I haven't absolutely decided, but I am more and more thinking that I would like a home laptop. This would mean that I could sit on the sofa to Skype, blog, and generally play on the net (when the net is working) rather than being tucked away in the study. It would also mean that when hubby is at home I would still have PC access. The point is that I don't need a laptop. I'm very aware of how fortunate I am, and the fact that I could just go out and buy a laptop doesn't mean I should, however I try to justify it to myself.

I have also continued to knit, and on the FO front, I have these:

Pattern: my basic bobble hat

Yarn: Knitting Goddess DK Merino in semi-solid lime

These are the hats that were actually requested for Christmas. The niece and nephew asked for green hats, and green hats they have got. However, for the sake of their mother's sanity I decided on different coloured bobbles. I have also completed this:

Pattern: improvised as I went along

Yarn: Knitting Goddess bfl sock in Indian Summer

This is knitted from a lavendar kit sent by the lovely Knitting Goddess, Joy with one of her parcels of yarn. It has been festering in my wip basket for a while, but I finally got a move on and finished it. It has now been wrapped up as part of my sister's birthday present - I can say that because at the moment she doesn't know I have a blog .....

I do also have another bobble hat completed (although it isn't going to have a bobble). It was only completed this evening, so no piccies yet. It is one of a pair for my twin god-daughters, R and H. The completed hat is the second attempt because the first one was way too large (using different yarn and needles from the green ones). Photos of those will follow in due course, and then that will be my Christmas knitting done! Yay.

My other big achievement today was clearing my desk. I actually did the filing (rather than just leaving it in a tidy-ish pile). There were about five months worth of credit card bills in the heap, so I guess it had been a while. The upside was finding a missing piece of paper. I am taking part in the Unicorn quest being run by the Natural Dye Studio and Fyberspates, and I had lost the September clues - but I have now been reunited with them, and they have been reunited with the rest of the clues. I put them all somewhere safe .... I also rediscovered the pattern for Ulmus, which is another festering wip - so now I have no excuse for letting it linger.

Friday, 23 October 2009

TGI Friday

Oooff. Another week done and a lie-in tomorrow morning. I did more ironing yesterday evening, but figured that you can have too many ironing photos (some might argue that two is too many) so instead here's this evenings picture:

Merlot and knitting - what could be better? The knitting is the second green hat and is a much better likeness for the actual colour - I wish I'd taken note of what camera setting I used for it! I'm planning a shoping trip into Guildford tomorrow. Partly to buy Christmas and Birthday pressies for my sister and her family (who are in the UK next weekend - they live overseas) and partly for beads for my Samhain shawl:

I'm going to knit this as part of a KAL on the Knitting Goddesses (and Gods) group over on Ravelry and I'm very excited. The excitement did dim a little though when I calculated how many stitches there will be per row by the end (it's over 600). We're due to start on 1 November so I'm collecting everything together now. Meantime, I'm not letting myself cast on anything new except Christmas hats. Once the current one is done, there are just two more to go and that will be the Christmas knitting done. "Six pairs of socks, five woolly hats, and a stripey scarf for Jane". You can sing along - you know you want to! There will be proper piccies eventually.

I am hoping to take some FO piccies tomorrow, and I think there's some stash that hasn't actually made it on line yet but the weather forecast isn't great so we'll see. For now it's back to the lime-green hat and the glass of red wine .....

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The wonders of IT

I tried to post before I left for work this morning, having woken silly early again, but the home interweb was misbehaving again. However, I did manage to get these on line:

This is about 1/4 of my ironing and took about 50 minutes - that's not a good statistic! Once again, I didn't get home till gone 9, so this was all I was up for!

After that, I did manage to do about four rounds on the second green hat. It hasn't progressed very far, but here's the first one:

The colours are rubbish here, but hopefully I'll get some daylight photos at the weekend. By then I might have actually turned part of the ball of yellow yarn into a bobble too! The second (larger) hat is going to have a turquoise-ish bobble. I know the kids wanted matching hats, but I think being able to tell one from the other at a glance when they are different sizes is useful!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

A new day - a new blog

I was thinking yesterday (shocking, I know....). There are various blogs that I read, and people always seem to have interesting and/or amusing things to write about. I thought to myself 'the reason I don't blog is that I have nothing to write about'. It then occurred to me that I could do something about this! I could (and should!) make the effort to do more than go to work, go home, sit on the sofa and knit, and then go to bed. So, I decided to start a new blog. The aim of this is to force myself to do something blogable - even if it's only working my way through the ironing mountain.

In this respect, yesterday was a failure. Start as you mean to go on - I don't think! I'm currently on secondment to a client. Having worked late and then had a longer than usual commute, I didn't get home until nearly half past nine. By which time it was a snack for tea (client has a good canteen so I can get a main meal at lunchtime), a bit of knitting, and bed. Unfortunately, I then woke up at half past three this morning, and never got back to sleep. On the plus side, this means that the knitting part of one of the green hats ordered by the niece and nephew is completed - just needs a bobble.

I did get to speak to hubby briefly yesterday evening. He's in Algeria, and communication is tricky with email working about one day in three, mobile phone periodically connecting, and the landline having a swarm of wasps inside it (or at least - that's what it sounded like!). Still we did manage a brief chat. He is stuck in the desert so hasn't done much to talk about, and I had emailed him during the day with the latest news.