Tuesday, March 27, 2007

There's nothing like a little bit of S.E.X!!!!!

You know what they say girls - a little bit of what you fancy .........

Well last week I was very sad to hear that The Knit Tin was closing down it's shop and becoming an on-line retailer. I had 3 virtual baskets too, before I eventually succumbed. And, unusually, I didn't go for pinks or lilacs - you haven't seen what I DO have - and went for something very different.

The Kidsilk Haze, which was HALF PRICE is to make Tie One On from Knitty. The All Seasons Cotton is to make Bob, also from Knitty. The Handknit Cotton is to make Ce Ce, a Chic Knits pattern, and the 4-ply cotton is to make a little short sleeved blouse which was a free pattern last year on the Rowan site.

And just to add that I have edited this post - a huge thank you to Piglottie for her help in how to provide links!

I am desperate to finish CPH so's I can get some summer knitting started. I want to take these on holiday!

What I'd also like to do is wish The Knit Tin all the very best for the future as an on-line retailer.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Vive la France!

It's been a funny old week! Busy too. I finally finished, just in the nick of time, the Bushcraft socks for Jo's boyfriend for his birthday. No more emergency knitting for me I can tell you. I have also knitted a dishcloth for a "swap with a difference" on the Knitting Haven forum - but will post a picture when Jackie has received it.

Yarn: Bushcraft from The Yarn Yard

Needles: 2.5mm Clover Bamboo

Pattern: Basic Regia Sock Pattern with a German heel.

It's fun having our French boy - see last post - I played safe when he arrived on Tuesday and cooked a traditional British meal - spaghetti bolognaise lol - which went down well. I have subsequently discovered that he does not like vegetables of any description - mashed potatoes yes, vegetables no!!!!!! He has already been to London and seen the sights and been on the Eye so I think tomorrow is football day. We may well go to see Mr Bean on Sunday. And I'm not sure about his English improving - my French is coming along in leaps and bounds!!!!!

I was tagged recently by Seahorse and have been very remiss so let's put that straight.

My nearest book is right beside me!

It is called Fowler -My Autobiography

P 123 5th sentence and 3 further sentences

( Robbie Fowler is discussing a meeting with Nelson Mandela of all people! )

I swear, I was a teenager from Toxteth who knew f all about politics, but I could see what an impressive person he was, and it was his humility more than anything else that came across. Mind you, I did joke with him that Robben Island was a picnic compared with chucking-out time in Toxteth.

I should by rights tag three other people - but if anyone would like to "play" please do so!

Oh, and by the way - you are in the presence of Royalty!

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A Reflective Weekend

It's been a time of reflection this weekend. Comic Relief once again brought home just what sorrows and injustice people endure every single day, with little respite. It's hard to imagine how people endure this with such dignity and fortitude, how children still find it in themselves to smile and get enjoyment from the smallest of things. How much we all take for granted in our "civilised" world, and how remarkably little it would take each and every one of us to make a difference.

Sadly too, some of my cyber friends are going through very difficult times at the moment. I'd just like to let them all know that I am thinking of them - all of them.

Yesterday was my brother's 60th birthday - sadly we fell out last year over arrangements for OUR Silver Wedding Anniversary. He chose not to attend DD's 21st celebrations subsequent to this, which upset both she and I terribly. On the one occasion I tried to phone him, he was so hurtful I had to put the phone down. Sadly, apart from exchanging a few polite words at mum's, we haven't spoken since. And, I'm ashamed to say, that I couldn't make myself ring him yesterday. I know that life is short, and I should, but I am finding it hard to make that first move.

I am so looking forward to the next week - with some trepidation! We have a young French Exchange student coming to stay - not the first time this has happened, but it's a few years since it has. I am off to sort out the spare room so that it looks less like a LYS and more like a bedroom. They have lots of lovely day trips planned - Stratford, The Black Country Museum, The Bullring and Mailbox, Cadbury World - and - if he would like to, we plan a day trip to London on the train on Saturday - DH wants to take him to see Shrewsbury Town play football - we'll see which appeals to him most!

Finally, yesterday was Mothering Sunday. I was very lucky, my eldest gave me some lovely Lush goodies, DD bought me some M&S vouchers, and my youngest bought me Robbie Fowler's autobiography - an essential read! - and I also had some beautiful flowers. Once again time to reflect just how lucky I am and how little I really need in life. We went out for an Indian last night, DD having been at work during the day, I had slept off a night shift, and we walked home in the snow. What a perfect way to end this reflective weekend.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Open University?

Be warned. Today I am going to have a rant, so if you are of a nervous disposition, now is the time to go and read someone else's blog!

I read in the paper this morning that from next year prospective university students will be required to state on their application forms whether or not their parents are unversity graduates. I think the world's gone completely mad. Apparently it will increase the number of students from "poor" backgrounds!

Now, neither DH or I are university graduates - I have been a nurse since 1973, and a Sister since 1989. DH is a chartered accountant. Both my parents left school at 14 with no formal educational qualifications. My mum went into service. Dad worked on the family farm till called up for army service in the War. His last paid work was as a milkman. MIL was a nurse and FIL was a plumber.

My eldest son was the first member of our family to attend university, with 9 A*s and an A at GCSE and 4 A's at A level, he went on to achieve a 2:1 in Economics at the LSE and now has a very good job in the City. He did this entirely on his own merits, regardless of who his dad and I are, and we are extremely proud of him.

In future does this now mean that his children could be penalised in favour of someone from a "poor" background ( as the government puts it ) regardless of ability? I simply don't understand. This family started from humble origins after all.

IMO it's a misguided attempt at social engineering, and it makes me very very cross.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Progress at last!

Those of you who read the crafty Threads 'n' Yarns Forum will know that I've had the knitting grumps this week! I've been knocked a bit sideways with my March plans when asked to knit a pair of socks for someone I've never met with a deadline of March 23rd. So the Father and Son socks were put to one side, the Central Park Hoodie abandoned - yet again - and I set about the socks.

They are a present from the lovely Jo at Malvern Beauty Clinic for her boyfriend for his birthday. Jo looks after my nails, she never tells me off if I've had a nibble and is the sole reason why I am no longer an avid nail biter so I am pleased to do something for her. However, I HATE deadlines - and these are size 10's - hence my grumpiness!!!!! I started them last Friday, and am half way up ( or down! ) the second cuff so am on track for time but I shall be pleased to finish them.

I am DELIGHTED with the yarn - Bushcraft from the Yarnyard. It is beautiful to knit with, and I love the suble stripiness of it. DH wants a pair too. I am knitting the basic Regia pattern with 68 sts, but have added a reinforced heel, which I'm particularly pleased with - it gave a great edge to pick up the heel flap stitches from and gave me a neat finish.

Monday, March 12, 2007

What a Lovely Weekend!

What a wonderful weekend that was, in more ways than one! Not just the fabulous weather, my eldest son was home for the weekend too. Even spending a significant proportion of my time at work didn't spoil things!

Friday night saw a Night Shift, but getting up on Saturday was great. We all went out for a meal at our local Indian Restaurant - I was a very good girl as I am currently trying to lose weight with Slimming World, so no naan or any of my usual favourites for me. This was followed by a hilarious evening at the theatre watching Charley's Aunt with Stephen Tomkinson who really hammed it up and was just fab, as was the rest of the cast.

And although I was at work yesterday too, we still managed the buffet lunch at the Chinese - all you can eat, they say!!!!! Don't tell anyone, not sure if yesterday was a red day or a green day, I have a sneaky suspicion it was neither!!!!!

Not much knitting progress this weekend Im afraid, so I'll leave you with a photo of one of the flowers on the camelia my dear OH bought me for Easter last year. Beautiful isn't it!!!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Sock a Month

When Sock a Month on the Crafty Threads 'n' Yarns forum was announced, I thought - great! What a wonderful way of using my stash - back then I could just about manage to knit a pair a month without buying any more sock yarn. The first thing I did was to buy some beautiful BFL from an on-line friend, thus increasing the stash by one potential pair - this became Razor Shell socks, my January pair.

Since then, I have managed to complete my Tiger socks - February's pair - not strictly from stash as they were already OTN!!! I then bought the lovely Tofutsies as previously shown, followed by yesterday's delivery of these beautiful yarns from The Yarn Yard - Purple Goth and Bushcraft.

These yarns really are stunning. And my Father and Son socks which are progressing slowly will have to be put to one side as I have been asked to knit a pair of socks for a friend's boyfriend for his birthday on March 23rd - hence the Bushcraft - and as me and knitting socks quickly is a contradiction in terms, I had better get on with them!!!!!

I'd also like to introduce you all to Holly - our well loved escape artist. We were woken at 3:00 am again, there she was, roaming round our bedroom, rustling in the tissue paper the yarn from The Yarn Yard had arrived in!!!!! I wouldn't mind, but she'd had to make her way upstairs to do so and I'm not sure how she managed it!!!!!

She's a little rascal, but we love her dearly!!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Water Water Everywhere!

It's the most fabulous day today!!! Sunshine, blue sky - wonderful! However on Sunday we had rain of Biblical proportions, and so it came as no surprise when the Severn burst it's banks. I went to work last night with my camera and took these photos on my way home.

On this photo you can make out the natural riverbank on the left and see boats still moored there.

It's difficult on here to show the extent of the floodwater. It extends for many miles of course on the river's length, and for at least a mile and a half, the width of the road, although fields are flooded on the other side of the road too.

Flooding in the city centre is once again causing disruption and inconvenience. And it is the third time since Christmas that this has happened.

Those are the Malvern Hills in the background - home!!! :) It's an eleven mile journey from home to work, and on mornings like this, despite nose-to-tail traffic, it's a lovely drive home.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Central Park Hoodie - progress so far

I'm currently making a Central Park Hoodie along with some of my friends on the Crafty Threads'n'Yarns Forum and thought some progress photos would be in order!

I have also almost completed both fronts, I had hoped to show you those today too, but may have to be tomorrow now because as usual I have been sidetracked this morning. What I do want to show you though is the difference a Cast Off makes to a knit - the photo below shows how I had at first cast off on 3 alternate rows.

This photo shows how I cast off the same stitches with the help of an on-line tutorial video which has made such a difference I think to the appearance of the shoulder - thanks Jo028 for the link!!! It's still a staggered cast off, but much neater IMO.

I have edited this post to remove the links I added - someone has alerted me to the fact that they led her to an unsavoury place. This is probably my fault - it was the first time I had tried to add html links to a blog post and I probably went all wrong! I couldn't even see the links when I posted tbh even though they appeared in preview. Apologies to anyone else who may have been affected by this!

I will stay low tech for now, but if anyone should want to see the link for themselves or find out where to find it please let me know!

Monday, March 5, 2007

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

I saw this on Noo's Knits and thought I'd see what my birthdate said of me. I am so not impressed with this - it is nothing like me at all - at least I don't recognise myself there.

Your Birthdate: April 25
You excel at anything difficult or high tech.
In other words, you're a total (brilliant) geek.
It's difficult for you to find people worth spending time with.
Which is probably why you'll take over the world with your evil robots!

Your strength: Your unfailing logic

Your weakness: Loving machines more than people

Your power color: Tan

Your power symbol: Pi

Your power month: July
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

What does anyone else think?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Knitting is good for your Health!!!

Well who would have thunk it!!!!! Introducing fingerless gloves in SWTC Karaoke, finished earlier this year. I get a "cold" right wrist and inner forearm while working on the computer, and boy do these little gloves keep my wrists warm.

So there am I, sitting at my workstation this morning, when in walks the GP who promptly bursts out laughing saying "why have you got a TEA COSY on your wrist!!!!!"

I explained how it kept my cold wrist warm and cosy, so he took a look at my wrist, examined it, and said that it wasn't cold at all, and in fact I had tendonitis, and the reason I was only feeling it in my right wrist was that it was the dominant one doing all the work on the PC. He recommended I see Occupational Health for a special support when working with the keyboard.

Now if I hadn't been wearing my fingerless gloves I shouldn't have found out for some considerable time I should think. So there you are, knitting is good for your health!

Friday, March 2, 2007

New Month, New Challenge

I have been asked to knit a pair of mens socks, size 10 UK, and thanks to Knitbert have decided on Father and Son socks from Interweave Fall issue. I have swatched ( in the round ) with the Patons Diploma Gold and the tension appears to be spot on!

I do believe all my friends on the Crafty Threads 'n' Yarns Forum will have to prepare themselves for many many questions - I will be following a chart so watch this space. Hopefully I shall have some progress photos for you soon.

Sadly my Central Park Hoodie is taking somewhat of a back seat at present - I will see how much time I spend on my socks this month and hopefully I can at least get the sleeves of the hoodie knitted too.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus - Happy St David's Day

Don't worry - I shan't be blogging in Welsh - I couldn't if I wanted to, my Welsh is "O" level standard only I'm afraid!

It's St David's Day today! St David, or Dewi Sant as we Welsh like to call him, is the patron Saint of Wales, and I love March 1st! I always feel it's the first harbinger of Spring, and although the weather can be still unpredictable at this time of year, the spring flowers are blooming, and the days seem a little longer and brighter.

When I was a child we always held our school Eisteddfod on St David's Day and great fun it always was too - compeditive mind, but fun nevertheless. We had to wear red ties instead of our usual one, and we would also wear daffodils.

I still love to have daffodils in the house for St David's Day, and we usually eat lamb with mint sauce!