Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When you're smiling

The whole world smiles with you.
Lottie was having happy dreams yesterday evening, so she smiled for about an hour in her sleep. Oh to sleep so deeply and be so blissfully unaware of everything going on around you. I think 2 massive pigbat attacks in the garden, being chased round the house for 'wee-wee's' by me and a long walk tired her out.

This made me smile. A winter gift from a friend, she made herself, isn't he delightful?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I have cleared a mountain of chores and laundry - that's the fun stuff done!

Entered our data to the RSPB for the Big Garden Birdwatch - which we took part in over the weekend. I am a secret birdwatcher (have been for a long time) right now I can hear a Magpie chattering away outside the window - I can and often do spend too much time watching the birdies......perhaps I caught it from Conkers?

Made tomato and herb bread- from scratch. Have recently re-discovered the joys of my breadmaker. Yesterday I made a sweet sandwich loaf - which we had toasted with jam and marmalade for breakfast today and the rest is destined to become M's favourite pudding....bread and butter.

I have chased a litter terrier all round the place to catch it so it will go 'out' for wee-wees - she's such a stubborn moo. Groomed both dogs and Conkers.

Caught up on my blog reading.

Done 30 mins of yoga.

Made lunch.

Finished this months household accounts.

Researched something that I'd been meaning to look at for weeks online.

Now I have an hour or so (fingers crossed) till I plan to walk the dogs so it's time for some knitting. What's the betting I manage 2 rows before something - child/animal/hubby related requires my attention?

*** 2 rows before M got in, 2 more after making coffee before the dogs needed to go out and 3 rows before J needed me - 7 rows!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Movement and loss - a thought or two.

So as family we can now start to move on. M's Mum's estate is finally settled and we can stop having to think about solicitors and wondering how soon we should phone them to, yet again, chase them up, stop wondering when the next form will arrive that they forgot to tell us we needed to complete, stop working out how all four siblings will get to sign it because the cracks in relationships are now so deep they are beyond repair? We can have movement. But so far the movement for me is a deeper sense of loss - not so much for me personally - but for M and J. We now have 1 parent between us and J has one grandparent - I think coming to terms with losing both parents must be so strange. Even now M says that he makes mental notes to tell his Mum this and that, and is bought up short that the person who, probably, know him best for longest is gone.

It makes me think about my relationship with J and my relationship with my Mum - which is complicated at times by the fact we live in the same house and quite often manage to piss each other off. But M's loss has made me appreciate the fact she's still around, and fit and strong, a lot more. I actually admire the fact that at weeks away from 70 she has so much vigour, strength and independence. We may not always see eye to eye - but I'm glad she is still a part of our lives.

I watched 'A Short Stay in Switzerland' last night - it made me cry, it made me think and it made me question my ideas and thoughts about illness and death (lovely jolly post this - isn't it?). I was deeply moved by the issues and by Julie Waters portrayal of this women and her decision. I am still thinking about it now. The three parents that we've lost between us all died differently - all unpleasantly in their own ways - all really without a conscious chance to tie up loose ends and say goodbye. I know people see funerals as 'goodbye' but I don't, funerals are a balm to the living and I can't abide them (just personal opinion). What moved me and gave me such food for thought was the chance to express parental/familial love - I believe that 'our' grief would have been easier to bear had that opportunity fallen to us at least once. As an atheist I don't believe in any sort of after life so the comfort of loved ones waiting across the great divide isn't mine. I know there is no point in wishing for the impossible and that lots of people experience loss without leave taking, but I still feel surprise that when watching last night I felt a sense of envy within my sadness of her story.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Flutter Sleeve Cardigan

This pattern is by Pam Allen and featured in Spring 08 Interweave Knits. I started in May last year and finally finished it today. It took 6 balls of Sublime Super Fine Merino and I knit the middle size.
Detailing on arm cuff (which does need blocking) the rest was blocked before sewing but this bit has to be done after and at 11.00pm last night I couldn't be asked and today I just wanted to get the seaming done.
Love the ceramic heart buttons though.

Did I enjoy making it? To be honest - No. Why? The shaping is great - love the S/row on the waist, the rest is a very boring knit and the moss st borders are endless, mind numbingly so! The button hole method also (IMHO) leaves much to be desired - I found it too messy with too many ends - I doubt I would make it again but if I did I would use a different button hole technique.
Do I like it now it's made? Not really. It may grow on me, it fits fine, but I don't like the way it flares at the bottom and it isn't very flattering over the 'ole ample booty'. I'll leave it to fester for while and look at it again in the spring - if I still feel the same it will be passed on or frogged!
Still it's one to be knocked of the 'to finish' pile - which is what I am determined to whittle down this year before starting anything new (other than socks - they don't count). I have 5.5 balls left of the yarn as well - so they may come is handy - hats/scarfs etc.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I love yarn!

Lorna's Laces Shepherd and Sock in 'Amy's Vintage Office' and as a tribute to the wonderful Amy herself, pictured on a Ukelele, a SpongeBob one at that. The colours remind me of our bedroom and are really subtle IRL. (The uke belongs to M - he's learning to play).
Manos del Uruguay, Silk Wool - I bought 600g of this wonderful limpid pool colour, it is destined to be a...........not telling ;) but I bought it with a preplanned purpose in mind.

The above two are Malabrigo Sock Yarn - oh yes baby! It is so very, very soft and squoochy. The colours are Abril and Persia but as I have already stashed it away I can't remember which is which - whoops.

M bought this Manos Wool Clasica destined to be a hat. Lovely subtle colour changes within it's rich blue palette.
I also bought some needles and lockable stitch markers, as most of mine are well over 10yrs old and are brittle so they snap or have been lost.
This little shopping expedition led to a complete overhaul of my stash storage, everything got re-baged, labelled and listed so I now actually know how much yarn I have - not as much as you may think - but enough for a while. It was satisfying to see it all organised and has inspired me, I have lots of things in mind for 2009's knitting etc.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A whole chunk of peace & bliss.

We had a lovely, relaxing and chilling weekend.
Log fires, snuggling, walking, saunas, feeding and watching the local wildlife.

We read, we knit and we talked.

A visit to Salisbury Cathedral on the way home rounded it off nicely. Although neither of us are religious we both adore old churches and this one is magnificent. I was blown away by the Magna Carta.

It is nice to be home....missed J and the critters. Have a mountain of laundry to catch up on - that kid sure do get through clothes!!
Oh and I almost forget on the way out on Friday I dropped a bundle of cash (early birthday pressie) in the Get Knitted shop, pictures next time ;-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Originally uploaded by loobles2002

Sadly Humbug, the Brazilian Black and White Tarantula died last night. He was the first tarantula we had from a spiderling and was smaller than a 20p when we first got him.

Like all male tarantulas his life was fairly brief (we had him about 4 years) and most likely frustrating, tramping about on the look out for a lady friend.

J was sad as he named him, a good name for a pet with black and white stripey legs.

We are now down to 3 eight legged friends now - Doris, Tiny and Marmite. I don't plan to buy any others at the moment unless something comes up that I can't resist.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Back to black.

Not just my wardrobe this time but my hair as well! It's been ages since I had black hair and the wonderful Simon had this amazing blue/black and the rest, as they say is history. I've also changed the cut (again) I loved my bob but it is sooooo normal, nothing wrong with that, but I am easily bored. So now I look a bit like a 'Human League' reject - a tad retro - but what the heck.

Life is chugging along, fairly quiet and normal. Am spending a lot of time reading (I adore the Nintendo DS, 1oo Classic books) I can't stop reading the Sherlock Holmes volumes, in fact I've got so into them I just ordered a couple more on Amazon, they'll be perfect to take away with us this weekend.

Finished my Jacques hat over the weekend and have enough yarn left to make mittens, so cast on for them last night.

My Nana is getting better, still in hospital but more like her normal venomous self - it runs in the family, this poisonous tongue - I think my sister and I have escaped the curse but it may surface as we age.

I have a quiet day planned today - J is busy, M's at work and I have the once a month 'blahs' so I don't intend to stir far - a quick Lottie walk and that's it - I feel another delve into 'The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes' coming on.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Jacques and Tilly

I cast on for this yesterday. The Jacques Cousteau Hat by kasilla tekemisen terapiaa - Ravelry link . It's an easy knit perfect for T.V or movie knitting or just something light.
The hat is to go with my Tilly scarf (see previous posts for where the pattern comes from etc) which I finally got around to finishing. Knit on 3.75mm needles using Manos silk/wool. I made it slightly shorter than the pattern calls for - because personally, I prefer a shorter scarf inside my jacket.

This is another nice knit, great pattern but as usual cables kill my hands and wrists. I don't know why but any cable is always a slow knit for me.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Lottie says

"Put me down women, I want to see what's going on over there!"
"This canoodling is ruining my image."

"Please make that white stuff come back. It's such fun to play in. Pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaassssse!"

Monday, January 05, 2009

A peaceful space.

First off, the hall is all finished and that ends the 2008 decorating marathon. I love these light shades so pretty!
My peaceful corner - all kidlets and musical gadgets are banned from this area.

My armchair was delivered today. I finally have somewhere comfortable to sit knit, read and spin without the beeping of gizmo's and the prattle of TV. I can listen to audio books and pod casts in peace - ahhh the bliss of it. I may be MIA for quite a little while as I intend to hide away here and relax!




Lottie and J love it though - wet dog and wet boy, muddy foot/paw prints everywhere.