Monday, July 30, 2007

Can you hear that?

It is the sound of silence. M has gone back to work. J is reading and I've unplugged the phone!

I can hear the girls next door and the screech the odd seagull and that is it.

I am having a day off. No chores. No home school. No laundry/ironing. No thinking,

AND..............................most importantly no 'mind-fuck' phone calls from M's family. M has another meeting to discuss arrangements and to see the solicitor this arvo. I am not involved in any of that......I have kind of wimped out because my head canna take no more.

I intend to knit, knit, read, knit, knit some more, listen to an audio book, knit and maybe dye or spin a little. Sounds soooooooo good.

The trouble with Tribbles!

We wondered why Conkers McBonkers was so hungry every morning but his supper bowl was licked clean. Caught red-pawed Jasmine aka The Tribble on legs has been having late night assignations with Conkers food bowl.
I don't think Madame Yeti-boots gives a damn that it's cheap ole chicken Whiskas (Bonko's fav) and not her Gourmet (much more expensive - looks like flaked fish) Pearl stuff. I also don't think that she gave a shit that we rumbled her at 11.30pm last night.

She ate the lot, licked the bowl clean and pissed off back down stairs to kip on Ma's comfy bed. Conkers meanwhile supplemented his meagre ration (4 mouthfuls before Fuzzball-gutbucket got stuck in) with a couple of fat mithy-moths.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Keeping my hands busy...

keeps me sane - in these mad times.

So all the Blythe's now have new summer (?) frocks. I haven't sewn this much in a long time.
Camel and silk mix Navajo plied.
It is so soft. The pretty flowers are courtesy of M.

Life is still mad. Grief brings out the worst in some people and lots of pain and hurt is being spread around.

We are distancing ourselves as much as we can. We intend to sever some ties completely after the funeral as too much damage has been done. I can't understand why some people have to hurt others to counter their own pain.

We are strong. We have cried our eyes dry. We will come through this stronger. Like many people before when the chips are down..... I knit, I sew, I bake, I spin........busy hands to still an unquiet mind.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A little of what you fancy

does you good!
This is what I am spinning at the moment. It's a blend of baby camel fibre and silk which I got from Scottish Fibres ages ago when I bought a drop spindle from them. I wanted to get my spinning more under control before I used it on the wheel and now feel confident enough to spin it. Here it is. It is so very soft and I love the natural toffee colour. Only downside....its fluff gets everywhere - I am smothered in it. I only have a little left to spin - now I just have to decide whether to ply it or leave it as a single.
I was so impressed with the 1st dress that the other evening unable to settle to anything (mind is still a whirling fuckwit bath) that I made another one - this time modelled by Suki my Asian Butterfly Blythe. I have two more cut on the work table. M is at a family conflab (blood family members only *phew* lets me out) tonight so I might sew one of them then or maybe I'll just veg out with some knitting......after switching the phone off!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Haldane Lewis Spinning Wheel.

This is my Haldane single treadle spinning wheel which I bought 2nd hand on eBay earlier this year. I have decided not to keep it. It's a great wheel - but now I have a double treadle wheel, which I really prefer, I'm not enjoying spinning on this one as much.

So........before I put this on eBay - if any would be UK spinners are interested in a great wheel to learn me on - perilainchbury at hotmail dot com.

It has 3 bobbins and a free standing 2 bobbin lazy kate. M has given it a clean and waxed it when we got it. It is a double drive but also can be single drive with scotch tension. It has a smooth spinning action and we replaced the treadle rubber doobrey ;-) prior to me owning it, it had one careful lady owner, who had it from new and I don't think she used it all that much - it really is in good nick.

It would really need to be someone fairly local as it is quite big and would need collecting - though we could drop it off - depending on distance etc (approx 50 miles) - we are in East Sussex.

I'll hold off eBay-ing for about 10 days.......if you're interested make me an offer.

********Just a note to say that this wheel has now found a new home *********

Opps - a little add on

I meant to make a point of saying - that not all of M's family are a grind - just certain ones. Some of them are very lovely and warm people who I love and respect - but it is always the minority etc and they are the ones that stick in your brain!

I am an OK person!

Dear Anon Commenter,

Thanks for the timely reminder - what a shame I hadn't thought of that! (sarcasm) What a shame that they NEVER gave me the same consideration through all the losses I have had since they have been in my life.

My humour is what sees me through this - it is part of MY grieving process, after all my MIL was part of my life for 24 years, and for all that she was an old bag and we didn't see eye to eye, she also had my respect - she was M's mum after all, that alone deserves respect.

In the 20 years I've been married I've spent 19 of them coping with ill/sick family - both M and I have suffered many close family losses - comments like yours don't help. Don't assume to understand until you have walked a mile in my shoes.

My blog is where I say what is in my head - freely - let off steam etc. And if you knew or had to deal with M's family - you'd understand my comment regarding the grind. The grind of watching your husband worn down by their stupidity, their leaning on him, their self interest - none of which are related to their grief at all. I say nothing to them, it is not my place. I support them all.

Finally, I've had 3 snide comments that are Anon recently - quite a new experience for me - it's a free country - you are entitled to your opinion - BUT have the bollocks to put your money where you mouth is and put your name to your opinions - I have no time for cowards who hide behind anon! I have enough on my plate as it is.



Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A precious, few, quiet moments.

Rizzo needed a new frock and as she's a Rosie Red Encore Blythe - this material seemed perfick! This is an old Puchimadam Style Lab pattern that I downloaded ages ago and had never used. It made up well and is really easy to sew.

I just needed an hour this morning to be creative in some I haven't had a chance to knit or spin since Thursday and I've not really had the inclination either.....this might just kick start it.

Down, but not out!

I'm here but not - if you know what I mean.

It is all an awful mess, there is so much to do/arrange/sort out. Families are so complicated.

Anyhoo, I found out the other day - that the wonderful Pearl from and had tagged me for the 'Eight things about me' meme. And as is it Pearl who tagged me - I will oblige cos she rocks!

The rules are simple…Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1) I did ballet and tap for years from the age of 4 and can even dance on pointe.

2) I can play the clarinet.

3) I read the cereal packets every morning - even the ones I read the day before.

4) My home is always clean and tidy - but I hate housework and if I didn't make myself do it everyday I would be living in a pit!

5) I met my husband when I just 15.

6) I love to bury my face in the warm fluff on Conkers tummy and nuzzle it - it smells warm and dusty and it makes him purr.

7) I can do the splits.

8) I snore!

There it is then - ;-)

Can't think of 8 to tag - my head is overflowing with stuff right now - but if you want to have a go - then 'fill yer boots!'

Back to the grind and believe me with M's family it IS a grind!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Blog hiatus.

Just temporarily - M's mum died - life is a lot chaotic.

Back in a bit.

Thursday, July 19, 2007 made my day.

I was having a totally crapola day today....then postie rang the bell and look what he brought me!

Kathrows from the Knitty Board sent me this as a prize for the best use of an old foam groundsheet adult size. Remember when I blocked my Tulipa Stole on the luscious bright blue one? Well, Kathy said it deserved a prize......I thought she was joking...... she wasn't.

She sent me goodies, which have brightened my day. Lovely thick and bouncy Lambs Pride for felting, stitch markers, blue KoolAid and the most autumnal coloured sock yarn I have ever seen - so pretty it screams to be knitted into beautiful socks.

Kathy....thank you so much.

Birdie sings the sweetest things.

Yesterday morning Ma found two baby green finches on the lawn under the bay tree. They were only just in pin, were really tiny, fluffy exposed bundles with wide open gapes. She put them with some torn up paper in a little, open box under the bay tree. Fed them some ripped up worm, ripe from the composter and left them alone. Mother finch came and fed them. Both parents were seen during the morning coming regularly to the box. In the afternoon they stopped coming!

Next doors cat, sauntered by, he was discouraged.

Every move near their box made little head bob up with gapes wide open. Still the parents didn't return.

M came home. It was a clear evening, cool breeze, setting for a very cool night. M checked them and added some hay to the paper. Still no sign of the parents.

About 9.00pm, we decided that M would climb the bay tree (monkey man) to look for a nest. No nest found - nor in any of the surrounding bushes, trees etc. We looked online at what caring for such small nestlings would entail......massive amounts of time and care. But I couldn't just leave them to die of the cold or to make a tasty feathery snack for Mr Fox -who visits us every night.

Ma had a brainwave.....unusual for her.....but....she did. A local guy R is a well known wildlife rescuer, he once rescued a badger for me that I and a work colleague had found, hit by a car but alive, at the edge of the road. We phoned him. Great guy that he is, said "Bring them straight round." I stayed with J, Ma and M walked round the block to R's house - he took them straight in. They have a far greater chance of survival with him and I could sleep last night.

Two things come to mind. Firstly, I know it is better not to interfere with wildlife but these were uninjured, healthy and by the afternoon abandoned as they should be fed at least once every 30 minutes. I am not sentimental about wildlife etc but as Ma had already moved them I felt we couldn't just leave it at that.

Secondly, R doesn't get paid to do what he does. He relies entirely on what he can earn and donations - he gives his whole life to saving local wildlife. He gave us a copy of his newsletter... I quote 'IN AND OUT So far we have had 633 birds in (of which 83 are gull chicks) and released 238. We have also had in 30 foxes, 37 squirrels, 10 rabbits, 16 hedgehogs, 2 badgers, 7 mice, a vole, a weasel and a newt.' - (Fleur Musselle, Roger's Wildlife Rescue News, July 07, issue 41). Aren't we lucky to have such a person in our community. Someone who puts their money where their mouth is. They deserve our utmost respect and thanks for all they do!

******OK soapbox is back in its cupboard*******

Normal knitting and nonsense service will resume shortly :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


pictures! Have still not remembered to buy batteries, so borrowed J's camera instead - if photo's are crap, blame me - I have 'L' plates for his very complicated gadget! Here is the 2nd lot of merino/silk mix. The colour is called Raspberry - but the top picture is the truest color wise.
I love the sheen. I Navajo plied this skein - it is glossy, even and soft and I love it.
Yay for Woollyrockers! I used one of their free patterns to make this during a bout of knitting ADD on Sunday. It's as good a use of sock yarn scraps as any and I'm sure the Blythe's appreciate it.
Hurrah - socks. Again beset by ADD here are two halves of two pair. The turquoise (which is more green in reality) is from and is called 'Flicker' I adore Cookie's patterns and am quite addicted to making them. The yarn is Opal Uni and they are knitted on 2.5mm ebony dpns. The other sock is a good ole plain vanilla sock with a short row heel. But, look at the colours - talk about a sunset in a sock! The yarn is from Dee at it is her Emily yarn and it is so soft. It knits more on a double knit or 6 ply thickness - so I worked it on 3mm Brittany Birch dpns over 48 sts. I have cast on for both their mates.
Close up (abeit a bit blurry) of 'Flicker' pattern.

Other stuff.

Am now spinning my baby camel and silk mix, pure unadulterated bliss - spins like a dream and is so pretty.

Am finally getting around to reading and completing the Dfes Home-ed Consultation - nothing like leaving it a bit late - has to be in by 31/07. *sigh* I thought when I finished my studies I wouldn't have to wade through any more child related government docs like this. Ah, well if you don't speak up you can't complain or protest if you don't like what they do - can you?

Took J to see latest Harry Potter movie yesterday - it's bloody good. Best one so far - imho - wonderful effects. Apart from the rustle of his popcorn bag nary a peep or movement from J for the whole 2 1/2 hours. He also saw trailers of at least 2 other movies - Transformers & Simpsons - which I am informed he 'needs' to see. Hmmmmm I think M can take him to the Simpsons one! I laughed out loud at his reaction to one trailer though......Bratz - real life - I mean, I ask you.....what next? He made wonderful retching and vomiting noises to express his disgust while I just sat and laughed. What a good mother?

So I better get on - read this document whilst I wait for the Gas Man to come and service the boiler - life is just too exciting sometimes.

*****To Anon poster on old Torvesta post*****

I will also reply on the post you commented on in case you don't normally read my blog.

I've made this pattern twice now - both quite a while ago - I've checked the pattern and my notes and I made no comment about having problems with the straps at all. Looking at the bags the ridge is there - so I am assuming I just carried on with the pattern using a shortened version on rows 1 & 3 as established. Hope this helps.

Monday, July 16, 2007

No, no, no,no,no.................

the MIL monster has struck again. Please someone, somewhere take me away from all this!!!!!!!

The saga grows and worsens by the hour.

It's her birthday tomorrow - you have to ask yourself is this attention seeking?

Well it's in vain as she forget M's birthday (New Years Eve - for fuck sake, my 40th and J's 10th) - no card, no phone call. I always remind M of her birthday - not this year.

Oh well.....we all have things to try us.....she is one of mine.

Back to plying my silk/merino raspberry coloured spinning.

I think I might switch off the phone first.

The good, the bad and the.....

downright annoying! That about sums up this weekend. So I decided that I'd post nice images to cheer myself up. Here is a flower from our pumpkin plant - that M is so tenderly nurturing.

On the good side M bought me these on Saturday. We planned a romantic evening which was some what disrupted by the bad and the annoying.
So here are the plus points.......
We did get a bit of romance which was wonderful. I marvel at how our loves still grows and is so strong after being together so long!
I did some knitting and spinning.
I watched the Tour de France - mountain stages - tres exciting.
J was good, very good.
Now for some of the bad and the downright annoying.............
M was on call - so the best laid plans for Saturday got fucked up! 6 months of the year he's on call 24/7 - 2 weeks out of every 4 - he isn't paid enough and it really messes with all we want to do.
The MIL of absolute evil kicked off - 2nd time in one week. This time she infected both SIL's - who didn't deserve it. This kicked off Sat evening (time of romance!!!) M got drawn into it slightly - *rolls eyes* - that women has been messing with my life for 24 years.
*big sigh*
Camera ran out of batteries - so no piccies of knitting and spinning.
This morning my Mother has made my son cry twice *sighs again* she had a vicious tongue on her when we were kids - with age it has matured. But once again I am the meat in the sandwich.
On the plus is cooler today :-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Choc full of spinning goodness

"Look Mother, I'm spinning!" (for non-UKers - use of a reference from Arthur Atkinson from The Fast Show - slightly altered). M was fascinated by the images he could get whilst I was plying yarn yesterday.

Here is what it all resulted in. The is a mix of Merino and Silk.....pretty isn't it?
Here's the close up. I have never spun a mix like this before. It took me a while to find a tension that I felt comfortable with - but boy when I did I couldn't stop spinning this stuff. I spun a test on Sunday and finished this yesterday PM - there's about 50g.

The only downside was the mess - blue silky fluff everywhere - especially on my trousers (old and battered ones - used mainly for messy stuff). I have another 50g of this in a maroon without the silk being variegated - am itching to spin it.

Once this was off the wheel - just for curiosities sake I spun a little soya fibre - eieieieie - what squeaky messy stuff. The resulting yarn is nice - smooth - but I'm not in a hurry to spin more - I think it needs to be blended with something.......not sure what yet......any ideas?

Other stuff.

MIL (mother-in-law) health scare. I swear, that women has more lives than a cat! We found out on Sunday that she had a suspected throat cancer. Emergency hospital appointment had been made for 1st thing Monday for an endoscopy. She told my SIL she had to be there 1st thing, it was a 4 hr appointment requiring a general anaesthetic.......phooey! Firstly she could have attended her appointment ANYTIME in the next 14 day (so SIL missed a days work, re-arranged her kids school pick-up and her entire life for a day for.....?), secondly she didn't need to go to the hospital that required a lift about of 25 mile because she CAN'T have a general anaesthetic because she uses breathing assistance apparatus and as it would be done under a local anaesthetic she could have gone to the local hospital which is a fairly short bus journey or least wouldn't have disrupted the whole of SIL's day - who I might add is a tad pissed at her Mother right now. Finally, she's fine, nothing don't get me wrong this is good news, really good news......but, there has to be a but......she's a drama queen, who lies, schemes and gives all of us grief and this is just the latest episode. She is wringing us all dry.

Right that was longer than I intended.....must go attend to stuff, chores, packing swimming stuff, more chores, ironing, more get the picture.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


My 1st attempt at plying on the Ashford Traveller - boy it's much easier with the built in lazy kate, much smoother and took a fraction of the time.
Here it is - all plied, washed dried and skeined......pretty BFL, I think.
Look, the babies are really starting to relax around each other. This is the closest that they've ever slept. Mind you, Loobles still enjoys bouncing and barking at both the cats, though Conkers doesn't really take a lot of notice of her now.
Tiny proving for a spider he has a fat arse!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Busy bees.

M has a few days off and so far our feet don't feel like they've hit the ground. There's been outings, shopping, swimming etc all culminating in collapsing in tired heaps at the end of the day. Good tired though.

Yesterday we took an amazing drive through the back roads of the E & W Sussex countryside on route to open air museum. This is a favourite day out for all of us and it being a term time Friday, it was quite quiet. We had plenty of time and space to explore. Every time we go there J gets more from it than the time before. It was his choice of destination and he explored every nook and cranny of every building. He still loves the upstairs privy in Bayleaf best. I spent a lot of time admiring he veggie and herb gardens of the time period of the houses and in Bayleaf had the chance to have a real good look and a very, very old spinning wheel that was treadle-less and the wheel was at least 4 times the size of a traditional style wheel.......fascinating. We saw butter and cheese making, smoking in the Elizabethan kitchen, met and thoroughly fussed the new Shire horses, ate a splendid picnic, saw the water mill working, fed ducks, drunk lots of tea in the .......wait for it........SUNSHINE!!!!! Then we made our foot sore weary way home, decided we were too tired to cook so treated ourselves to Fish-n-chips from the local chippy, who gives such generous portions that 2 cod and chips feeds the 3 of us with chips to spare!

Today is such a lovely day again (this from someone who hates summer and hot weather, but it is nice to have a dry day), we've decided rather than battle the crowds who will flock to be out of doors etc, that a day pottering in the garden would be nice and give our feet time to recover.

Might go to Brighton Kite Festival tomorrow. Although after all the years when we were so involved with it all, it will feel odd and I'm not sure about revisiting the past.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Conkers is 2 today!

He spent some time on pigeon and gull watch.
Then he spent some time watching the invisible spider he believes lives on the ceiling.
Then he sniffed some stuff with his big black hooter.

Tired out he collapsed for a kip on Mr Heaty.
All this celebrating is tiring you know!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


A good way to spend a rainy Wednesday afternoon. These puzzles were a Xmas present a few years back and are a lot harder than they look. J solved this one.....1st time ever completed.
He was made up.
Then look - I managed this one. I am useless at this kind of things. Puzzles of any sort hurt my head. I just don't think that way.

The 3rd one is still unsolved.....all 3 of us think that it is wrong as out of 3 adults, 1 child and many frustrating hours it has never been solved.

Anway I promised him I'd put them on my blog....and I have.

Named and news.

Here is the stole all blocked and dry. It is lovely and the yarn is so soft. I am pleased with it. The Knitty girls came up with some great names Kathrows suggested 'Stoldemort', Glittr suggested 'Onandonandon' but the one I liked the best and thought suited it the most was suggested by Bluepeninsula , she came up with the name 'Tulipa' so that's what I'll call it - thank you to everyone who came up with ideas - much appreciated. I am still WIPing but found and completed one that I'd forgotten about, a little beaded bracelet, picture in due course. So with yet another WIP morphing into a FO, I spent a good part of yesterday working on a new stole design - I'm 14 rows in and it's looking like it's going to work ;-). Question is how long will this one take?
And because everyone needs a little Conkers to make the week a better place (and oh boy do I need a better place this week) here he is. On his (?????) suede beanbag chair!

Other stuff.

Filled a whole bobbin of BFL, made a start on bobbin number 2.

Wasted hours looking at travel prices within the UK - truly shocking!!!

Loobles went back for her checkup - she's A-OK *phew* just getting cantankerous in her old age. The vet reckons Dallys get set in their ways and each dog gets their own little quirks. Well this is certainly true of Boobies! Yesterday one of Ma's cronies popped round with her dog........Looby-lou doesn't like strange dogs in HER house, she'd just got back from the vets and had had her check and her annual jabs so she was shall I put it? Pissed - about sums it up. Chaos ensued - dog fur dental floss, she almost had mangy mutt for her dinner *sigh*.

J has new glasses - he looks so cool. He was well happy as the lady in the opticians made a point of telling him he was the most polite boy of his age she'd ever met.....*swells with maternal pride*

Lastly, this one is sad. My last Great Uncle died yesterday, he was 86 and it was sudden. I haven't seen him since I was 11 or 12. But he was one of those people who stayed with you. I remember he (and his wife) always had a lot of time for a little girl who was rather shy. He'd play 'Pong' with me for hours and I had a very soft spot for him. I don't know why we stopped visiting, they only lived in London. Obviously, I was shocked to hear he'd died but I was surprised at the sadness I felt too. The world will be a less jolly and less kind place without him.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The 'no-name' stole.

I started this stole ages ago. Got one ball in and got a bit fed up with lace. So it was subject to a hiatus. The WIP along galvanised me to get the old metaphorical finger out and finish it. The 1st picture shows it, unblocked, straight off the needles.
Here is a close up of the stitch pattern on the blocking mat. The horrible blue colour of the mat does detract from the lovely colour of the KnitPicks Shimmer - but the pattern is shown in good definition.
Here it is full length, on the the dinning room table. The mat is an old foam groundsheet (adult size) which may give you some indication of length.
Flow of pattern.

This took 2 balls of Shimmer, knitted on 3.75mm Addi Turbo. The pattern is my own and is as yet nameless as I cannot for the life of me think of a name.......suggestions/ideas welcome. The stole took 40,734 stitches in total. I will post modelled shots when it's all dry.

Birthday and Boris

J had a great birthday. When asked what cake he'd like, he asked for a homemade ginger sponge with white icing. Et voila!
Official blow out at lunchtime. The cake lasted 3 days which in this house with M and J is pretty good going......even Grandma got a slice. At lunch time we bombarded him with streamers, balloons, blowers and party poppers......bliss for a boy. He ate a light lunch though to save himself. The curry he ate at the restaurant was massive and the waiter, who has a soft spot for J, came out with a special chocolate mousse pudding complete with candles and sang happy birthday - none of us expected that and J was made up!
Boris who we are now 98% certain is Doris has moulted. In secret. She's been hiding away in her web and when M checked her we could see the shadow of the moulted skin. She is refreshed, her hair is plush and her colours bright. No sign of tibial spurs or clubbed pedipalps so looking more and more like a lady spider. So from today she is now referred to as 'she' and renamed Doris!

A brief bask in our awe and she disappeared back behind her cork bark to her web and hasn't been seen since.