Saturday, December 24, 2011

A mixed bag or sack as it's Christmas

 Christmas 2009 and a cake for M from his sister Tina.
 Christmas 2010 reindeer from the Percy's crackers.
 Christmas 2011 - amazing clouds and
Mrs Grunty who had just seriously assaulted last years wind up reindeer.

This week has flown by without any blogging. But lots of other stuff has been achieved and in amongst it all there has been patchwork, spinning, a wee bit of knitting and some crochet. Also there has been shopping, wrapping, cleaning, socialising, fun and frolics and disturbed sleep.

If you do the Christmas thing - then I hope your day is full of joy and if you don't then have a good Sunday.

See you on the other side.

p.s Am gearing for the 2012 52 books in a year challenge.....can't wait.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Purty has become yarn.

 At the beginning of December I posted this and then earlier this week I posted these well yesterday they became the singles above and earlier today they became the 2 ply below.
 Now it is skeined up (awaiting a soak and a bash - but the skein hangs straight - straight off the niddy noddy which is pretty amazing). The colours are awesome.
Though the photos do not do it justice. I have 100g which gives me 20 wpi and approx 346 m of yarn.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This afternoon.......

 I will be spinning up this and Lottie will be sleeping on my bed.
Fergus is on squirrel watch just for a change.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


 Started a new project on my little loom today.
I think I like it.

Previous project is wet blocking. This one is using different fibres and a smaller heddle. Took forever to warp it up though.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Gerbils

Our first married Christmas and our first one at our flat - we had very little money and virtually no decorations. M took our limited funds and went to the Woolworth's in St James's Street and got a wonderful collection of really tacky decorations (don't ask about the rainbow glowing orbs of tree lights - which are still in the attic somewhere). In amongst the tat were these two (who are now very battered being 24 years old) and as we had two Gerbils at the time, Zebe and Haaaaaa, we called them our Christmas Gerbils. They have been on display every year but one since then (neither of us could remember their safe place one year). Even J looks for them. They have been glued, blue tacked and are rather wonky now but it wouldn't be Christmas without them....not bad for 50p.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How to disarm a gruntying pig.........

by Mrs Grunty. Actually that should be how to 'ungrunt' the gruntying pig - but either works.

 The bestest way to do this delicate operashun is to pull its gruntyer out of its mouth and then nibble holes into the gruntying system so it cannot grunt even if a Monkey Fing replaces apawmentioned gruntying system.


Next week Mrs Grunty brings you how to decapitate a puppy Kong or two small Kongs for the price of one medium one or two Kongs= double the peanut butter= winner!

20's Snail Titfer.

 Pattern is from the current Knitty and can be found here - Escargot by Veronica Parsons. I wanted a real 20's feel to mine and for hat inspiration went and found some old pictures of my Nana. When she was a young lady she wore a lot of hats and particularly went for the cloche style ones. I played around with needles and tension and decided to deepen the brim and crown.
I used Rowan Cashsoft Aran (because I know it stretches well in blocking and gives a soft shape) on 4.5mm needles in two colours - a kind of brick red edged with charcoal grey.

I think I am in love with it. It fits comfortably and I love the look - it does look like some of the hats Nana wore! Just call me snail head.

Friday, December 09, 2011


I have a love hate relationship with cross stitch it has never really grabbed me but occasionally I see something that inspires and that is was happened with this design. It is a free one on Tom Pudding Designs which is a site from the ever excellent Wibbo and the design is one of hers.

I love it but I only stitch when the spirit moves me (which isn't very often) so progress is very (and I mean very) slow.

There are loads of fabulous and inspiring designs at Tom Pudding so if stitching floats your boat it is a great place to keep an eye on as she regularly puts up new ones.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Work table

My little corner where I do all my stuff and make all my mess. Yesterday afternoon it was bathed in winter sun and at that moment I was working on a gift (in the red bowl) and a personal lace project in the blue one. I love my crafting area, it makes me happy.

p.s the gift - got finished - hurrah!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Lottie is a funny little dog!

She has her own little routine, that she sticks to. After brekkie she likes a long play in the garden,chasing Kongs etc (Fergus does a garden border control...there might still be a hidden toad etc) then she has a biscuit followed by an emptying of her toy box and then an indoor play of fetch, tug and jab the human with a blue fing.......then if she is really lucky.......her favourite 'kill the fairy'.

This only occurs (in the morning) if it is sunny and I decide to do the ironing. She growls at the ironing board, selects a toy to shake and then waits for the iron plate to make reflections as I iron....these are 'fairies' (they do occur at other tag reflections from Fergus's collar, reflections from watches etc) but ironing 'fairies' are the bestest in the world, ever! She digs the floor, shakes her toy, growls and generally bounces all around the room chasing them. The game ends when the ironing board is put away again - after a severe growly telling off from Mrs Grunty.

Then she normally settles down for a doze until walkie time. She cracks me up,every day - she really is the funniest little dog.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


I blew my nose and made both ears pop and was deaf for 30 minutes - scary.

I listened to very loud rock music on my iPod (my hearing had returned by then) and still couldn't drown out the boys watching last Friday's 'The Walking Dead'.

I got Fergus's twinnie in the post. This was made for us by the wonderful Fiona - mad woman of the North. Fergus gave him a good snuffling but Lottie hates him - she has growled at him and bitten him. He has yet to be named....I think we should call him 'Frogus' in homage to Fergus's summer passion.

I got another parcel with a lovely Xmas card and a present........for the terriers from Archiebear and Nellybean. I have saved it so they can open it on the day. (Yes I do know they are dogs!)

I knit one whole 32 row repeat of my new lace project - without making a mistake....fanfare please. I also knit two pattern repeats on my sweater as well....well go me.

I sold my Majacraft Little Gem wheel - woot-woot.

Was a good day.

(I didn't include any of the boring stuff - grooming the rats, housework, ironing etc - cos it is soooooo very dull - but I did loads of that shit too.)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Secret Santa goodness.

Yesterday was our knitting group Christmas lunch - we always do a Secret Santa - no-one knows who is giving to who (except for the excellent Ben who picks out the names - he's one of our knitters husband and does a fab job for us) but after the presents are opened it is time, if you want to, to own up.

This year I got a gift from the wonderful Wibbo who is an extremely talented textile artist and who has a wonderful eye for colour. She gifted me two skeins of KnitPicks (which isn't readily available in the UK) Gloss Lace in Fiesta - the yarn is a merino/silk blend - and it sings to me of a knitted lace scarf. So much so in fact, that when I got in the pattern I have been coveting on Ravelry, Anne Hanson's Fernfrost, was downloaded and the first skein was balled up. I have only cast on, my head was still too woolly from my cold to do more than that yesterday but it's there....waiting for me to finish all I have to accomplish head is a lot's been a while since I've been so excited by a new project.......dashing off now to get on with stuff........need to start to knitting...............

p.s The meal was fab.U.lous and so was the company - M and I had a wonderful time.....M got lovely sock yarn called Exotic Clay from his Secret Santa.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Drop spindling

Slow progress but progress none the less. The spindle (which is a wee Bosworth) and the bobbin show what has been spun so far (only taken 2 and half years of sporadic spinning) and the fibre shows one complete half a braid (behind the bobbin) and the rest is remains of the first half. The fibre was gifted to me from the very talented Jo who is Limegreen Jelly - she's on maternity break at the moment (can't wait for her to maybe get back to dying fibre, her colours are the best) - it's 70/30 merino/silk and the colour is called 'Hot Stuff' the braid was a 100g one.
Perhaps in another couple of years I'll be finished.

Friday, December 02, 2011

I feel so lucky

I know a lot of peeps knock Facebook but I have met some wonderful people on there. People who are funny, supportive, mad, clever and generous and some who are all of the aforementioned. Yesterday the postie delivered a lovely parcel from one of my FB buddies which had this wonderful 100% Ronaldsay wool in it - the colours are glorious and totally what I would have chosen for myself, they also sent a lovely postcard and some Orkney fudge (which was saved till last night and shared with J and M), my goodness that was some lovely fudge.
This is my 2nd RAK in recent months....I am really am very lucky.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

I has a purty.

In the last few days this has found its way into my purty? Beautiful deep rich colours and a lovely blend of merino/alpaca/cam/silk. I can't wait to start spinning it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Start to finish - in more ways than one.

 100g of merino/tencel fibre.
 Two half bobbins of spun singles.
 2 plied onto one very full bobbin.
 Skeined up.
I got 20 wpi, 98g and 344m out of one plait. Now I've just got to do it all over again with the second one.

*** That's it the very last NaBloPoMo and I didn't miss one. Not sure if it has kick started the blogging mojo will just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Early birthday pressie.

 Mrs Grunty will be 4 later this week. M came home with pressies but unfortunately the PAH bag was spotted and harassed (and as there in crickets in there) I took the path of least resistance and capitulated (otherwise there would have been crickets all over the kitchen). Mrs G chose the bunny - who has been well loved - it is sodden! But it is in one piece and still squeaks.
Fergus McNortybeard got the goose - who no longer squeaks, has had it arse ripped off and its guts removed in quite a brutal manner and with no anaesthetic.

Fergus now covets the bunny who he thinks needs the same treatment (got to be fair, no favouritism) and Lottie spent all of last night guarding the bunny from sneak attacks from the Scottie brigade.

I have taken the decision to hide both toys this morning .......just to get some peace! The war of the bunny can continue after lunch.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mrs Grunty gets a 'do'

I has been defluffed. I'm not too sure about the defluffing business. I gets a Nippy-Moo-Bag. The Pink Monkey Fings say my beard still needs a bit of a tidy and paws and claws are left to do.....I think not. They try that and there could be tears before bedtime.....theirs!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Van Gogh SockYarn

Just had to get these - aren't they gorgeous? Wonderful colours inspired by two of my most favourite paintings. Total winner.

Can't knit them yet though, need to finish other stuff's almost torture.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


A little bit of progress - all the ends are now sewn in and some of the singles are sewn on. After I took this picture I realised it is wrong side up (whoops) but you get the idea of what all of yesterdays hexagons are destined to become.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Yesterday I rediscovered this partial project in the stash cupboard and from that I got a bit of crochet mojo going has been missing for a long time. I can't have worked on this project for at least a year.

I love these little hexagons - the colours are from scraps of favourite sock yarns. I also think the texture and shape really work. Perhaps I need to spend some time being a 'hooker' over the weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


 I started spinning the fibre I bought at Lewes the other week. It's a merino/tencel blend in shades of blue. The above is a spun single, fairly fine, and is half of one braid so approx 50g.
I've started on the second half and will ply them together.

The colours are gorgeous. I  think I may have rediscovered my spinning mojo.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


sham 012
Originally uploaded by loobles2002

I have a thing for graveyards. I find them peaceful. Never creepy just a good place to find some quiet and stillness.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Puppy Boggart

fergus 003
Originally uploaded by loobles2002

Well as Mrs G had a puppy post the other day, I thought I had to play fair and post a puppy piccie of Fergus McNortybeard.

He was probably the easiest pup I've ever known, he was quiet, playful and gentle.....then it all went down hill. Now he's grumpy, shouty, stubborn and determined. Oh and he is also an attention seeker, he loves to be fussed and nudges you with his hooter until you do, the second you stop he nudges you again and again and again.

For all that he's a grumpy little bugger I do love him.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Three or four times a year on average I get migraine. The one I have today has been slow in coming on (2 or 3 days) but this morning I woke up and here it is. I have done everything to try and stop it hitting me in full force but all my normal avoids have failed me.

So now it's time for strong pain meds, no caffeine at all and to wait.........

Not much of a blog post but them's the breaks.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mrs Grunty - the puppy years.

ab3 009
Originally uploaded by loobles2002

As Lottie is fast approaching her 4th birthday, I thought I'd post a puppy picture of her. I've had dogs all my life but she was the nortiest puppy I've ever, ever encountered.

She wasn't destructive, other than her own toys and her first bed, she wasn't a chewer, what she was, was a monster. A biting, snappy, scrabbly little beastie who wasn't affectionate unless she was sleepy and sleepy was always rather brief.

If I am honest there were times when I despaired of her ever becoming a well behaved and loving pet. She still has a lot of funny, quirky little ways but she has become more than I ever dreamed she would be. She is loving, gentle and sweet and she is a wonderful companion.

She does still get the evils now and then and Pigbat-Monkeydog still gets taken out of the box if she feels the occasion merits it. She still shakes her bluefing or her bing-bong-kong and grrrs at stuff and she still chases fairies (reflected light) - but I wouldn't change her for the world.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Time for toast.

Hurrah it's the weekend (even though M is on call again). Have woken up starving hungry therefore I declare it is time for  toast and ............................................................can't choose............. blueberry jam or peanut butter and don't say both - Yuck!

M makes the best homemade bread, we never have shop bought anymore, other than the odd french stick. I love homemade bread toasted, I think it is my favourite breakfast. Never liked cereal much, cooked brekkie is nice but only occasionally and porridge, well I do like it a lot, but not as much as toast.

I like toast anytime of day. With soup for lunch, with cheese as a snack. Toast just rules.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Meet the neighbours.

 This is a local 'Charlie' he sits on the pipe above my bathroom roof and chatters away - it's a sort of "bub-bub-bub-bub-bub" conversation.
And below is another frequent visitor - in fact we have 3 that regularly haunt the tree at the top of the garden. They watch us intently with their beady greeny/grey eyes and  then fly off with a "chak, chak, chak, chak"call.
We get a nice variety of larger birds in our garden and in the past have had a Sparrow Hawk with its kill on the lawn. The Kestrel raids the sparrowville on a regular basis and we also get Magpies, Carrion Crows and Rooks. I can waste an awful lot of time watching them.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Six things about me.

1) I am a total maths dunderhead. I can do arithmetic but proper math beyond fractions and I am utterly useless - my brain just locks up and I can't see what it is that I am meant to be doing.

2) I love poetry and have a particular love of poetry written for children. I love A.A. Milne, Edward Lear, Hilaire Belloc and Spike Milligan's poems and can loose myself for hours reading them - I know quite a few off by heart.

3) I love classical music and in amongst all the metal and rock stuff  I have a nice little selection of my favourites and quite often choose classical over anything else. I love it when I have the house to myself and I can play it loud enough to fill the room.

4) I hate music radio (other than radio 3). I hate radio's on in cars or houses especially if they're just left playing for noise. I really only listen to radio 4. I prefer a silent house.

5) I will always choose savoury over sweet. If we go out to eat, I'd rather have a starter than a pudding.

6) I rub my feet against each other in a circular motion before going to sleep.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I am an arctophile.

 A person who loves and/or collects bears of the 'Teddy' variety. I have two shelves in my bedroom where I keep my favourites. The picture above has (going from roof slant end) Brunel who had his paws well chewed by a very naughty Siamese kitten, sitting with him is Mike's bear 'Ted' who he had as a little boy, next to them is Jezabell who is cuddling Lois B Bearlove, next along is Leroy Brown (don't tell the others but he's my favourite bear) who is resting his chin on Arfur Bear and the last two are Charlie and Bruin Leadbum. In that lot are a couple of Steiffs and a couple of Barbara-Ann bears for anyone interested in makes and types.
On the bottom picture are Solly, Perkin aka Fred, Herman, Bungar, Zoe, Ebenezer, Sir Thomas-a-Pocket and Valentino. Another couple of Steiffs, a Herman and a Mother Hubbard in that lot.

I have other bears - some in store - some scattered about in other places. I don't really collect much any more as I haven't the £'s or quite the inclination, most of these were bought well before J was born. But I still like to have them and they still make me smile and bring me joy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday yap from Mrs Grunty

I is not amused - here I is in all my fluffy hairy lovliness which has taken me months to grow and what do them stoopid Monkey Fings start doing plucking it all out. My poor ickle brows are gone.....gone I tell you.

I gave them some serious grrrrrrrsssss and some snappy nips - though I always miss - and what did that get me? More plucking.....yes........more.

Today they will finish off plucking my beard - I look a bit silly - skinny plucked head and a fluffy bod. I do gets lots of kibble and they keep saying how sweet and pretty I look but I look sweet and pretty all the time.

I don't fink I will ever gets them!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Climping beach

 This photo makes me feel warm - it was warm for so late in the year.
 This looks like some kind of boiler/tank rotting away at the edge of the beach.
I have no idea what this plant is growing in the pebbles and shingle the flower looked like fine paper. It was the most glorious yellow.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


 Mike came home on Friday with these for me.
Rose, the sign of love
Beauty is picturesque
Speaks for itself
An inspiration

Rose, scent is everlasting
Always fresh upon the eyes
Keeping a pose of pure divine
Beauty evokes
An inspiration

Rose, pedals are smooth
With a bounty of great beauty
Shows affectionate feelings
Has a unique power
An inspiration

Rose, sways slowly in a breeze
Perfuming a scent all its own
So, sweet and light
An inspiration

Rose, in full bloom, it is radiant
As it whispers of passion
Breathes of love
An inspiration

Rose, each thorn has a reminder
Rose, is fragile and delicate
Love can hurt
An inspiration

Rose, a token of great love
An inspiration

Elizabeth Grant Price