Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Woolfest pt 2.

The only reason for a pt 2 is I couldn't fit these pictures into post number 1. Above is the merino/silk from Jo.
And this is my new spindle it's a 14g Canarywood Bosworth and was the most expensive purchase of the weekend. I got it from P & M. (http://www.pmwoolcraft.co.uk/)
Those of you who know me IRL know I drop more than I spindle. But I have always wanted to master this. I have watched Kate (pie on Ravelry) with awe and envy and spent a good part of the weekend watching Jo spindle away (we didn't have room in the car for wheels). Jo gave me some tips and........'By Jove I think she's got it'. Still not perfect but getting there and loving it.
That's it all posted.
I have the Mother and Father of all periods. I feel like shit so am off to get some painkillers and knit on my socks till the cramps pass.

Woolfest pt 1.

I travelled up to Cockermouth with Jo of Limegreenjelly fame, to help her run hers and Jon's (Easyknits http://www.easyknits.co.uk/ ) stall. The best way to describe the whole experience, in a nutshell, is - hot and sheepy.

I didn't take any photos of stalls and shit mainly cos I was just too dang hot and too dang tired. The same goes for scenery, though I must say I think it is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK I have ever seen. Truly breathtaking.

I have taken pictures of my shopping (I was quite good). I decided before going that I was 'NOT' buying yarn - I didn't.....not even a skein.....not even one of Jon's delicious bamboo/merino ones!

I did however finally buy a ball winder. Bliss. No more winding for an infinity when it's lace weight. I bought it from Sara's Texture Crafts (www.sarasTextureCrafts.com) they had the stall next to ours and seemed lovely peeps - she has some lovely stuff, so it's worth checking out her site.

I also bought this silk from Oliver Twists (they can be found at www.rainbowsilks.co.uk or www.cottonpatch.co.uk among others) . It is almost too gorgeous to describe - it smells divine and best of all it was half price!!

I just fell in love with this batt. It's from www.FeltStudioUK.etsy.com. A blend of hand carded merino, kid mohair,viscose and sparkle. She had really beautiful fibres, unusual and stunning colours but this one just sang out to my heart.

I got this 21 micron merino from Jo (the aforementioned www.limegreenjelly.com) and in almost the same colour way I also got 70/30% merino/silk .

I love this (am already spinning it on the Traveller). It's Masham x Shetland fibre and came from fibre@willoalpacas.com. It spins beautifully and smells really good for pure wool fibre. This lady had an amazing stall - so much good stuff and she kindly lent us some Blutack and liked my haircut - lol.
All the stall holders seemed really friendly. The organisers were helpful. The event was very well run. And on Saturday night the ladies running the kitchen (the auction house has its own cafe and bar) saved my vegetable deprived weekend by having a broccoli, tattie and cheese bake on the menu - served with fresh veggies too - it was wonderful. I was so tired and so hungry by then, it hit the spot 100%.
I had a great time and am pleased I went. Bumped into some old friends, met Internet peeps in person and made some new ones. But oh boy I am glad to be home with air conditioning! I got back around 3.00pm Sunday, which was J's 12th birthday. I missed him and M so much, it was like loosing my right side. Have had lots of boy hugs, hubby hugs, rubby purrs from Conks and kissy lickies from Lotsie and am just starting to feel like me again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cheerio...I'll be back soon

But first I'm off to Woolfest.
I'm going there with Jo
With fibrey/yarny goodness in tow.

Back next week.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hair we go

I buzzed my hair again yesterday, 9mm all over and 6mm at the edges. This is the 3rd time I've done it, takes about 20 mins in total. I still have very mixed feelings....

The Pros

It takes seconds to deal with.
No bed head in the morning - just a slightly flattened coconut effect.
It is 100% natural colour - lots of grey, white and brown mixed.
No dying of the roots every 3/4 weeks.
It's in great condition.
No overheating when it's hot.
No hair stuck to my lippy when it's windy.
No gel or styling at all evar!

The Cons

It still feels alien.
I feel less feminine.
I kind of miss my hair and faffing with it.
I hate growing it out - hence keep buzzing it, it gets to a certain (doormattish) length which I hate so I buzz it again - vicious cycle.
I miss going to see Simon for a 'do' cos he is the best kind of nutter and cutter.
I know I'm getting bored with it - I could dye it a wacky colour - but still have the urge to grow it out grey and see what it looks like.
I've never liked what 'I' see in the mirror - I like it less now - too much face.

Oh well at least it will easy to deal with when I go away later this week - don't even need to pack a comb.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tits and stuff.

Of the Long Tailed variety. A pair came into the garden yesterday and bathed. We don't often get them - they are so cute.
M took this on our early morning walk on Friday.

Lottie has adopted one of Ma's armchairs as a new afternoon snooze spot. That's the life alright. A walkie, some grub, harass the cats for a couple of hours, lunch and then a 3 hour snooze till teatime, play up the garden, another walkie....bedtime!

Handspun 100% merino from one of my sample batts. Navajo plied. Spun up slightly thicker than I usually do using the Little Gem wheel - whole thing took about 1.5 hours.

This is a mix (not blended) of Churro and Californian Red - just a sample. Again Navajo plied. I spun each alternately then mixed together. The Churro is really rough until you start to spin it and then the fibres soften as they stretch. I'm looking forward to spinning the rest of it.
Also finished 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' - loved it! Made me laugh out loud but still retained so much of the original, the juxtaposition of the plot was wonderful - I especially enjoyed what happens to Charlotte Lucas and the outcome of Wickham - perfect.


Stop arsing about.

I can't be arsed.

It's all arse about face.

That's a very fine ars-pect.

Can I arse you a ?

I arsed it up.

Arse you like it.

Arse no questions, tell no lies.

Arse bound.

You give my arsehole the earache.

Arse me another.

Today's blog post has been bought to you by the word 'ARSE' - it is the perfect word to describe exactly how I feel the world, universe and everything right now - arsey!

Monday, June 15, 2009

I said "No more."

But I do miss Lou-Lou so much. I have all the positive reasons memorised, I repeat them to myself as a mantra, but I miss being a Dalmatian owner.

They are such a wonderful breed of dog, so much personality, so very funny, loving and full of naughty.

I adore my Lottie and she does help fill the void, but 14 years is a long time to get over.

I am so torn.

Must repeat my mantra.....must repeat my mantra.

"No big jobbies to clear up, no getting barged down the stairs, no white hairs all over everything, no big dog farts, no big jobbies to clear up, no getting barged down the stairs, no white hairs........"

It's not working!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flowers, fibre and furries.

Gorgeous roses from M. I adore flowers. I also adore the fact that after almost 22 years of marriage I still get flowers on a regular basis.

Conkers McBonkers loves this perch in Ma's lounge. It has a ringside view of the bird table and he is compiling a Pigeon cookbook.....bit worried about the Pigeon Surprise though.
Lottie has a ringside seat for Conkers watching too.

Merino/silk fibre spun and Navajo plied. Colour is called 'Libra' it is a loud pink, yellow, orange and a almost green mix -works though. I like hot loud colours mixed together. Spun about 100g have another 300g left to go.
Yesterday was WWKIP or in our case WWKASIP - World Wide Knit and Scoff in Public. There was cake galore - we are blessed with wonderful bakers in our part of the knitting world. There was chocolate marble cake, courgette & lemon cake, brownies, ginger cake and cheese scones (plus on the Friday knit for D,C &A there was red velvet cake - which was sublime). Other peeps bought nibbles so we had a mega scoff-a-knitathon. Wonderful.
Today M has gone to LIMS. I got all my chores (housework & ironing)done by 8.15am so I have the rest of the day to please myself. J is busy with 'boy' stuff.....so knitting here I come.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Yesterday I trawled my way through the Badman review on home education. I am still digesting some of it, but on the whole I am shocked, really shocked at how much misunderstanding there is about the life choice of home edding (which is perfectly legal in this country).

I never question peoples rights to make choices, they may choose to be vegetarian, they may choose to follow a certain religion, they may choose to dress entirely in pink for the rest of their lives, they may choose to send their kids to school....that's their right to 'choose'.

It is our right to choose to home-ed our child.

Why do other people feel they have a right to question, probe and generally brow beat us and other home-edders about this choice? If I had a quid for every time some 'well meaning' peep interrogated (that's how it feels) us about this choice I'd be rivaling Richard Branson.

Those of you who completed the consultation earlier this year, know already just how intrusive the information they want is. It was also clear from the questions, that they were heading in this direction.

Social services have made some errors, missed some stuff - no-one can deny that - so why are we being used as scapegoats? Why am I as a home-edding parent under more suspicion of possible opportunities of child abuse than any other parent? My child is more in the 'public' gaze than a kid closeted in a class room for 6 hours a day.

Why does the fact that I educate my child, at my own expense, making sure that he has the tools he needs to become a self-sufficient, reasonable human being mean that they want the right to question him (without his parents being present) as if we are already guilty of doing something wrong? They want to have a register of us each year, and if we move we have to tell them, we have to justify ourselves to 'them' every year? Isn't that what they do to known sex offenders?

All I want is what is best for my child.

School is not right for every child.

I thought we lived in a free country, a democracy? Why does it feel like a chapter from '1984'?

Why are the govt undermining the right of parents (any parent, home-ed or no) to raise and parent our kids? They can't run a country - what makes them think that as parents we are as incompetent as them?

As someone with a degree in Childhood and Youth Studies, I find it amazing that other professionals are taking a wonderful piece of legislation like the UNCRC and trying to use to their own means - has it crossed their minds that although the UNCRC allows children the rights they should have automatically as human beings, it will also give them the right to refuse to be questioned by officials, the right to request a child advocate to sit with them at any interview. If it comes down to this being passed as law - my child will have an advocate, my child will know he has the right to say 'no comment' to anything he does not 'choose' to answer. My child will not be brow beaten and intimidated by strangers - official ones or not.

Please take the time to visit this blog http://reflectionsinthegreenhouse.blogspot.com/
read Dani's post (I want to be Dani when I grow up). She puts it so well.

Read Badmans report. It is kind of shocking.

If you feel it is wrong.....please speak out, have a voice, be heard.

How long before they start questioning other choices we make?

I didn't realise the fascists had got parliamentary seats in the UK govt already.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

I have disabled comments for this post.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday is...?

Cooking/baking day in our home-ed world. This morning J has made (with very little assistance at all) 3 cheese, paprika and herb scones for lunch and an iced ginger sponge cake - yahoooo and yummy!

How long do you think it will be before he's making Sunday lunch?

Next week he fancies trying his hand a refrigerator cookies and maybe a quiche for the savoury.

Bring it on.

A bit different from yesterday

Same view, better weather.
Rottingdean windmill.
Both taken about 7.30ish today. T'was brisk, breezy and lovely.
Our Skylark flew early so we missed him (there were other dog ,walkers in the area, their dogs were off the lead and running near his look out, so he took to the sky before we got the camera in focus). We saw another Cinnabar moth though - not seen one in 42 years, now seen 2 in two days. J found another candy stripe snail. I wonder how long J will carry on getting up and out early with us - not taking any bets on this.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

All aboard the Skylark

T'was a misty, moisty morning......actually it was grey and rainy, as you can see.

Every morning we walk a particular path from Ovingdean to the windmill at Rottingdean, it's a lovely walk with gorgeous views and is exceedingly peaceful. At the end of one path there is a cabbagey looking plant that a skylark uses as a look out post. We get very close before he leaps away singing......
Not the best pictures, the light was crap this at 7.30 this morning but he is there if you look carefully.

J came with us today and was amazed at just how much wildlife is about when it's early and quiet. We heard the baby Skylarks calling from their nests. We saw unusual snails, slugs, bunnies and a Cinnabar moth - I have never seen on before - it's wings are almost fuchsia with grey markings, it's body looked black, pretty amazing little bug.
Sadly we didn't manage a full walk as the drizzle turned to a downpour so we headed back early, still was worth getting a little wet for.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Handspun BFL

100% BFL from Easyknits in Starlight.
Spun up thick and thin and two plied for M.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A relaxing time

We had a lovely relaxing weekend. Lottie had lovely downland walks and chose the suede beanbag to recover on.

J went off swimming and for a massive playfest with his cousins, which gave M and I an afternoon off from parenting. We went out to afternoon tea, lovely. We also went to a local farm shop and bought some goodies for a wonderful supper for two - ate far too much!

Lots of gardening, (M, not me. Plants wither at the sight of me) lace knitting and relaxing. Really nice and peaceful. We also found two massive toads in the garden and traces of Hedgepig poo, we've not had Hodgehegs in the garden for years. So, at the moment we are getting Squirrels, Hoggies, Badgers and Foxes - Springwatch eat your heart out - lol.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


M has just gone to collect Lou-Lou's ashes from the vets - why is this part making me sadder than the actual putting her to sleep? Is it the finality of it? Or am I just getting soppier by the minute?

Been crippled by migraine the last couple of days - I know it's hormonal but this months is worse than usual. This morning I lost my peripheral vision in my left eye all I could see was zig-zag,white light holograms. I've felt sick and washed out all day. It feels like it's starting to pass which most likely means the next stage, crippling cramps and mega grouchiness, is about to hit - deep joy!

Am knitting a bit when my head eases, finished a 'Shur'tugal' sock this afternoon, have cast on for numero 2. I love the pattern but it's been a slow knit as I can't knit it when distracted for some reason. Also knitting 'Summer' socks from Cookie A's book - nice pattern, easy to remember, started Monday and am on final pattern repeat for leg of sock 1, so not bad progress but apart from socks that's about it.....I slow down when it's hot. Still also distracted by books....James Patterson is distracting and addictive, the naughty man.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Marmite - the spider not the spread!

Our spider tanks are thick glass, with a very heavy duty metal mesh for an air vent. Yesterday the smallest, youngest spider, Marmite, decided he didn't like his tank and tried to eat his way out via the mesh! Neither hole was big enough for him to get through but if M hadn't seen what he was up to, they might have become big enough.
So Marmite had to be moved into a bigger, plastic tank with no chewable bits.

He's been exploring his new home all night.

He's still a handsome boy(?).