Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Letter O

It seems that I will need to start every new post with a "thank-you" so I will! Thank you all very much for your kindness and generosity - I will do my very best for all of you.

I was reading Rooknits blog the other day and came across the letter game which seems to be doing the rounds. The idea is that you ask in the comments for a letter and one is sent to you at random. You then blog about ten things you love beginning with that letter.

Roo sent me the perfectly formed letter "O" Hmmm, this isn't as easy as it sounds but I will try my very best ;-)

1. Orthopaedics

When asked as a child what I wanted to do when I grew up, the answer was always, always, "I want to be a nurse" - I have never wanted to do or be anything else.

In September 1973, at the tender age of 17, I left home and went to start my training at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital where I learned everything that is good that I know today about nursing and how it should be.

I'm the one trying to drown poor Mrs Wilson with the glass of water ;-)

2. Oswestry

Oswestry is a small market town in Shropshire a mile or so from the hospital above. I have fond memories of Folk Night in The George ( our local ) and if asked nicely after a drink or two I could probably still sing Mattey Groves for you ;-)

There were a lot of firsts in Oswestry - first boyfriend, first ride on a motorbike ( A Triumph Bonneville, wonderful machine ) first love, first broken heart ..........

3. Obsinate

Moi? Oh, you must have me muddled up with someone else ..................

4. Oranges

Love them!

5. Olives

Oh, yes please, preferably with a lime daiquiri on the bar terrace of the Sofitel Taba Heights . Can I go there now please?

6. Orlando

We have had two family holidays in Florida, in 2000 and 2002. I absolutely loved everything about it. We had a wonderful villa, our own pool, and the theme parks were the best fun ever.

7. Ocean

When I was 13, in February 1970, I went on a school cruise on the s.s. Nevassa. What a wonderful experience, never forgotten. It cost my parents £56 for three whole magical weeks. We visited Puerto de la Cruz ( this was 1970 remember, I had never seen a swimming pool irl, Playa de las Americas was still a small fishing village and a Vesta packet curry constituted exotic food ) Freetown, Dakar and Cassablanca. There were Lifeboat Races in Vigo Bay, seasickness in the Bay of Biscay and very competitively fought dormitory inspections. It seems a lifetime ago.

8. Orchestra

I once played the viola in the Welsh National Youth Orchestra and travelled to Strasburg with them to play in front of what seemed to be a huge audience.

9. Optimism

The older I get, the more I have become to realise that life is much more fulfilling when seen with an glass that is half full ;-)

10. Old Big Ears

That's how Liverpool supporters refer to the European Cup! ( yes, I know it's technically the Champions League now )

You didn't really think I'd get through this whole thing and not mention football did you ;-) Mind you, it's hard to be an optimist and be a Liverpool supporter these days!!

This has been great fun Ruth - thank you. If anyone would like a letter, just ask!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

No-Purl Monkeys

May I first say how much I appreciate your sponsorship. Thank you very much.

It was my intent at the beginning of 2009 to end the year with less sock yarn than I started it with. To that end I thought I should actually knit some socks ......... ;-)

I bought this yarn from KraftyKoala at last year's Woolfest, and I love it :-) There is something about no purl monkeys and a merino tencel yarn that just works I think.

No Purl Monkey Socks
Yarn: Merino Tencel Sock by KraftyKoala
Needles: 2.5mm Lantern Moon dpns

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This Year it's Personal

I simply can't believe that it's the time of year again! Yes, that's right, it's time to sign up once again for the Race for Life.

I shall be trying to come up with new ideas for fundraising this year, being mindful of course that we are all economising one way or another at the moment.

Little did I think when I ran last year that cancer would strike so close to home. Life's not fair sometimes, but adversity can bring out hidden depths in people. I am very very proud of my nephew.

You'll notice the widget in my sidebar. It's not there because I expect all of you to sponsor me, not at all.......... but if you did it would be very very nice ;-)

What I am going to do is hold a virtual coffee morning on February 16th - my nephew's birthday. Anyone sponsoring me the price of a cup of coffee before then will go into a draw, the prize being a £10 voucher to spend at Socktopus.

There will be more fundraising soon :-)

*Important* A friend has kindly passed some important information on to me. Sadly, because I am offering a prize, it seems that anyone who sponsors me to go in the draw for the Socktopus voucher will not be able to gift aid their donation. It's explained here and I am sorry that I had not taken the time to find this out first. I'll still hold the draw though, but will have to put my thinking cap on for anything in the future. I'm always so grateful when people sponsor me, a little reward or incentive is my way of saying thank you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Good Days, Bad days

This afternoon I am going to see Joseph :-) Not for the first time I hear you say, and you'd be right of course, but that won't stop me! The residents Chez Aknita are of the opinion that I am now into double figures - I haven't a clue, I've given up counting! All I know is that I shall leave the theatre lighter and brighter in spirits - what more could one ask.

I had a lovely day on Saturday too. I drove across to Knighton to visit First 4 Yarns as part of a Posh Ravelry group meet up. It was lovely to meet friends old and new, I took my camera but omitted to take photos *rolls eyes* but spending an afternoon in the company of like-minded people is a VERY GOOD THING in my opinion. Lisa and her mum made us all very welcome, and the cakes were just yummy. I also got to see Rooknits February Lady Sweater which was simply wonderful.

What made the afternoon even more special was the discovery that my cousin lived next door to the shop. How cool is that! ( If I were to tell you that my mother was one of 13 children and my father one of 12, you will perhaps understand that I have more cousins than you could shake a stick at, some even that I haven't met so forgive me for not having known he lived there )

It was lovely to go in and say "hello" again, and meet his family. It was the perfect end to a lovely day.

These lovely days I find help me to cope. With regard to work, I go in and come home and that's it. I see it as a means to an end, it's what allows me to have the lovely times above so I can cope with it for that.

I had a not-so-good day with mum on Friday who is definitely deteriorating :-( so balance is definitely required.

Tomorrow I am spending with my nephew. I remain positive, but I'm afraid the occasional wobble creeps up on me every now and then. His first round of treatment is over, but it has caught up with him and so there are good and bad days. I want to shout at the world!

Thank goodness for knitting to focus the mind. Here are a pair of Fetchings, knitted as my contribution to a Strictly Come Dancing sweepstake prize on Ravelry, made for HelenK.

They were knitted using 4mm dpns and using around 1.5 balls of Mission Falls 1824 Aran which was simply a pleasure to knit with. I'm not sure the picot edge is as intended, but there you are.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A FCS for Polly

As you can see, I have been "at it" again - here is a FCS in Yarn Yard Lochan. This one was made for Polly ( Ravelry Link ) who is the creation of a cyberfriend, Binty, who has an amazing talent.

I forgot to measure it before I posted it, but my floor tiles measure 12" square which gives an idea of size. It was knitted using leftover yarn from an earlier FCS that I had made for Binty. Those of you who have knitted this shawl will know that it simply eats yarn towards the end, so while there had not been enough yarn left for a third extra pattern repeat, there was sufficient to knit the set-up rows, four repeats and a border. I knew I was saving the yarn for good reason.

A couple of modelled shots (thank you Binty ). Isn't Polly fab :-)

Copyright @ Binty

Copyright @ Binty

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bombadil Socks

This sock is one that I have been test knitting for Lobug of Lobug Designs. It is the Bombadil sock and you can find out more about it here on Ravelry.

I started this sock two weeks ago. "Oh yes", says me confidently, "I'll have a sock ready for you in a couple of days"! Famous last words!!!!

I needed to get out of a knitting rut I think, and in knitting this sock I have mastered the provisional cast on, short rows and a new stitch pattern. Oh, and a chart Sue are you reading ;-)
I must here thank my friend Claire for her patience in explaining to me and demonstrating the mysteries of the short rows. She's not known as Fabclaire for nothing ;)

I used 2.75mm Knit Pro Options dpns ( my favouritest needles ever ) and the yarn is Footprints from the Unique Sheep dyed to the Bombadil colorway.

I will soon be receiving my first parcel from The Lord of the Rings Sock Club. I can't wait :-)

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the colours in the yarn reflect the colours Tolkein used when introducing Tom Bombadil and his wife Goldberry in The Lord of the Rings- yellow, blue and green.

"Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow. Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow". I missed him in the film adaptation. His wife, Goldberry, was dressed in green.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Frilly Scarf

Do you remember the Splodgy scarf I knitted for my friend Yvonne? This is the same pattern, the Frilly Scarf from the Scarf Pattern Medley ( scroll down )

I have used Lochan from The Yarn Yard, a merino/tencel yarn which is lovely to knit with. I used #9 UK Aero straight needles.

The scarf is a good match for my Cranford Mitts and very warm and cosy in this chilly weather.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Out with the Old, in with the New!

A very Happy ( if belated ) New Year to you all. I'm not sorry to have seen the end of 2008, and all I hope for in 2009 is that whatever life throws at me I will find the same strength to deal with it as I did in 2008.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

My week's Annual Leave this week didn't quite go to plan. I have ended up going into work just as usual as it has been so busy, all the illness in the community seems to have affected most of my colleagues too. So I am still behind in catching up with you all. Note to self: Must do Better!!!!

Here is some Christmas knitting. Cranford Mitts in Yarn Yard Hug, in colourways Milk Chocolate and Fudge. One pair was for me, one was knitted as part of a swap, and two pairs were Christmas gifts.