Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Zzzzzzz's from Mrs G

We was a bit tired from helping to paint the fence in the back garden, the Scottie idiot now has fence paint in his lugole - only he could manage that. So when we came indoors we both wanted the same sunny spot on the monkey fings bed. Old Haggisbrain has such a big snoz he has to rest it on somefing, todays somefing was me, I was less than impressed but was not going to give up pole position so allowed him this little favour of using me as a snoz rest.....don't worry he will return that favour with interest!

We snoozled for ages to recuperate our strengths which was a good fing as then it was time to go back out and do some raking....I loves me that rake.....I loves it so much I wants to kiss it all the time with my teggies!

We is tired again now but is waiting for the monkey fings to settle down so we can snoozle on them!

Books 15 and 16

'The Rowan' by Anne McCaffrey
Format - book.

I loved this book the first time I read it and nothing has changed. I think McCaffrey had a genius for complex storytelling with sci-fi slants which mixed in seamlessly with human interest and in this case a bit of romance. From telepaths to invading hive like aliens this book covers the lot and that fact that the character Reidinger is there in the background just makes for an added bonus. It has inspired me to read the others in this series at some stage during the year.
I never grow tired of her writing and her death last year was a massive loss to the world of fiction I hope her legacy lives on for future generations to be transported to distinct planets and cultures and to find the deep joy and satisfaction of a good read that I've come to love.

'Treasure Island'  by Robert Louis Stevenson
Format - Kindle - Librivox read by Adrian Praetzellis.

Two things about this - I discovered this narrator last year and listened to him read 'Kim' and 'Wind in the Willows'  on both of which he did an excellent job and he has struck gold (pirate treasure reference) with this one too. The guy narrates wonderfully and does good characterisation throughout bringing the story to life.
The other thing (which is linked) is I know I have read this or attempted to read it and I recall being bored and finding the while thing tedious that is why I started listening with some trepidation. This book is perfect for an audio book, I absolutely loved it to bits - it held my interest totally and I found it absorbing and exciting - a lot of that is down to the skill of the narrator - but the story played an equal part as well. I am so glad I gave this book another chance by using a different format. I am now thinking of trying this with other books I have failed to enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bought to you by the letter 'B'

 'B'irthday socks for Ma off the needles and
onto the 'B'lockers. So happy to have finished them - in plenty of time for her birthday and because although I love the pattern with the skinny yarn and needles they seemed never ending.
'B'order in the bed.
 'B'ogey on the bed looking very 'B'lack and 'B'ushy.
'B'oth 'B'uggers on our 'B'ed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Books 13 and 14

 Over the weekend M had to go into the attic, hunting for something he needed, and whilst he was in there he found a box of books from my childhood, including all my 'Famous Five' ones. I loved these as kid, I was even a member of the 'Famous Five' club and had a membership card and badge (they are still kicking around somewhere). I didn't keep all the books out - just the 'Fives' (and a couple of others) and on Sunday (when I had so much other stuff going on) I read the first one. OK if I am honest - it didn't have the same old magic - I spent a lot of time giggling because I was being 'a pig' or 'beastly' but I did enjoy the dip into childhood nostalgia. I may read one or two of the others - not sure yet. I still adored Timmy best and I still love the illustrations they are just so cool.
While I was making space in the boxes under the bed (which had my sci-fi haul from last years foray into the attic) for the 'Fives' I moved this book and then had the overwhelming urge to read it again. I have loved Anne McCaffrey's books for years - her Pern series is wonderful  and I can loose days re-reading them. But the character of Helva in this book has been a favourite too - this book delights and in a way also horrifies. I read it on and off from Sunday evening to this morning and wasn't disappointed. I remembered some of it as I went along but I still loved all of it even the bits that disturb me. I have all the other 'Brain' novels and think I need to reread them as well so watch this space......

A little progress.

One V-Junkie off the needles. I had to adapt it a little in as much that I made the medium size for the leg (I do have rather chunky ankles) but needed the small size for the foot - I have small average feet and the medium foot was just too mahoosive and too long! It does use a lot of yarn, I had a slight worry that I may not have enough for the toe but just squeaked it in. I love the pattern - it's really easy - and I just love the short row heel used - tis excellent and doesn't leave nasty holes at the sides. Just need to make it's brother now.

Mum's sock is progressing - on the heel flap of number two and hope to maybe get it off the needles this week.

A lace project is growing as well but slowly.

The crochet hexagons have hit the 50's and I've started edging some of them just to do something a bit different. I think it will look very pretty when it's done.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I has em. Give me more Bo-bo must obey me and my laser will feed me NOW!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Books 9-12

'The Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern
Format - Kindle.

It isn't often that I find a book that totally enthrals me from start to finish, I can normally find a moan or a negative, but not in the case of this book. I couldn't put it down. I was transported with wonder and fully entertained by every single page. I want to see a circus like this! I loved the concept, I loved the major and the minor characters and I adored the interweaving stories of them all. I think it is one of the best books I have read in a very long time.

'Dracula' by Bram Stoker
Format - Audiobook - Librivox - read by various.

When this started I thought I'd done a wrongun. The narrator had a strange voice and was reading the first chapters which are Jonathon Harker's journal - the women's voice was pitched low and I couldn't engage with it at first (though I did get used to it) then as the novel progressed I realised that to show its epistolary style to its fullest each characters journals etc was read by someone else and the cast line up was maintained throughout the whole 27 chapters. I love this book, I first read it as a teenager and I had avoided it as a audio book because I didn't know how it would work, well I have to say that the peeps  at Librivox did a first class job! It really worked, even the Jonathon Harker voice fitted in to the story telling. It gave the story a whole new dimension I enjoyed every second of the telling.

'All Wound Up....' by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Format - Kindle.

I think you either love the 'Yarn Harlot' or you hate her. I happen to fall into the camp of loving her, her blog and her books. So a new book by her is always a joy to me. This one didn't disappoint - yes the format is similar to her others - but there was, in my opinion, a greater depth and character to her tales. They are written for knitters who like her whimsical take on the world of being obsessed with yarn but this collection I think moved a little outside of that on some occasions which is what gave them a bigger scope. I enjoyed it, it's a pick and put down book, ideal for the odd quiet moment here and there.

'The Railway Children' by E B Nesbit
Format - Audiobook - Librivox - read by Karen Savage.

Another favourite book. Last time I read it was when J was little and we were following on from 'Five Children and It' he loved it and I rediscovered it. I like this narrators style (she also read 'The Secret Garden' mentioned in my last book post). It is a little twee and of a 'hug-your-knees' style but it has a timeless charm and innocence and I think it still is a 'jolly' good read. I always loved Perks and the Old Gentleman and to this day have a soft spot for Phyllis!


I've been trying to crochet at least one or two of these a day if I've time and the pile is slowly growing. All of these are made out of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn (which is my most favourite sock yarn) and each one is either a pair of my socks that I still wear or own or are socks I've gifted to other people. It was amusing to recall each pattern or detail of the socks for each colourway. There is the colour that I knit a pair for a friend in Australia, there is one of a pair I made for M's sister and there is the colourway I knit a pair out of when I was on Fair Isle and Shetland.
I've started on other makes of of sock yarn now......more socks to recall as I go.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Progress and distractions

 Progress on Ma's birthday socks....yay....number 1 is finished. Oh boy did it seem a long knit.The pattern isn't over complicated but it is really fine sock yarn and 2mm dpns and every row is patterned so there is no mindless knitting. It has however got me to chapter 21 of my audio book.
 The link to the pattern is in a previous post and the designer says that the side panels (above) represent the melting water after winter and the front panel is flowers. I like this idea for the inspiration hope Ma does.
 Distraction......a new sock book that I've wanted since it was first published 'Socktopus' by Alice Yu and how could I resist this? Me a total 'True Blood' fan - it's called 'V-Junkie'.
More progress my hexagons are growing.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Books 7- 8

'Memoirs of a Porcupine ' by Helen Stevenson and Alain Mabanckou
Format - Kindle

Strange book but in its own way rather compelling. It is a book outside my normal reading habit and comfort zone but that said I enjoyed its strangeness. The narrative voice was really well written and I could find some empathy with the Porcupine and its need to tell its tale and maybe exonerate itself. I would read other works by this author quite happily as the written style flows well, is easy and by the end it became a page turner - though I found the conclusion a little abrupt.

'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Format- Audiobook - Librivox read by Karen Savage

I never read this as a child (though I might have seen a TV version). I loved this. It transported me completely to another time and place and the narrator was excellent - she managed to convey the children's voices perfectly from petulant spoilt to wonder and reason as the book progressed. Even though she obviously isn't from Yorkshire she managed the dialect and accent really quite well. I was totally entertained and the hours flew by.

Sometimes, as Librivox is mainly free and voiced by volunteers, you do get a duff version but I find on the whole the more popular books are read by some very good and dedicated narrators who really deserve a pat on the back for the service they give and the many hours of pleasure they have given me.

Friday, January 13, 2012

This week I have mostly been.....

 Knitting some Cachoeira socks (pattern by Kristi Geraci - available on link to pattern) in some very fine sock yarn in a pale green on 2.00mm dpns for Ma's birthday. Nice pattern but slow going.
 Indulging my love of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock by adding Mt Creek (top) and Passion to my stash.
 I loved making my hexagon throw and although I've been adding to my crochet square stash using Jan Eaton's '200 Crochet Blocks' (Linky to book on Amazon) I missed having little time filling moments of hexagon crochet love. So in the end I decided the scrap bag and my life had room for another one........
which this time I will edge with black merino 4 ply.

Reading continues I've finished one audio book and Kindle book this week and have started the latest Yarn Harlot and 'The Night Circus' on the Kindle and listening to Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' on audio book.

Monday, January 09, 2012

First F.O of the year!

 Yesterday was a bit of a 'hormonal' stay indoors kind of a day. Rather than mope, I decided to set my myself the challenge of finishing the second Angee sock by bedtime. I had completed the rib, the set up and almost one pattern repeat of the leg. That left me one and a half pattern repeats (of 24 rows) for leg, the heel, gusset, foot and toe, with a charted lace sock (though not a particularly difficult one) that's quite a lot of knitting.
I didn't spent the whole day one it. I suppose I settled done around lunchtime, had a couple of breaks to do some other stuff (a bit of stitching and some patchwork) but I finally finished around 10.30 last night. I had a break during the evening to watch Sherlock (one of the few things I refuse to miss on TV).

I love Cookie's patterns cos the do what they say on the tin. The sock is a good fit but as I actually (for once) followed the pattern to the letter are a bit longer than I normally knit for myself in the leg.

I seem to have rediscovered my sock knitting mojo - it had been awol for a while. I also finished my audio book and started the next one. Sometimes enforced indoor time gets put to good and satisfying use.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

52 books challenge - books 1 to 6.

I decided in the dreary first week in January to kick off this years attempt at 52 books in a year (or maybe less) with a week of chicklit type fiction.

'Chocolate Wishes, Sowing Secrets and Wedding Tiers' by Tricia Ashley.
(format - Kindle).

Books 1-3 are all by Tricia Ashley who I discovered by chance on Amazon (Kindle pages) just before Xmas. I read 3 of her books over the holiday, before the start of the challenge, these books all had a Xmas theme and I really enjoyed them, so I downloaded 3 more (they are very reasonably priced). I started with 'Chocolate Wishes' which combines village life, chocolate and a bit of witchcraft with an ex-rock star vicar, followed it with 'Sowing Secrets which has themes of art, friendship and gardening and finished off with 'Wedding Tiers' which included cakes, the good life and weddings to name a few themes. I loved the lot of them but did flag a bit during the last one...too much of a good thing? If you like Katie Fforde then you will love these - well written light reads that engage and entertain.

'Don'ts For Wives'  by Blanche Ebutt.
(format - book).

This was a joke Xmas pressie for M, he saw it and couldn't resist. It is a tiny little book which I've read in the mornings this week with my first cuppa of the day - just 5 minutes - and the humour has made me start each day giggling. OK, when it was written (circa 1913-ish) it wasn't funny it was serious but today it is funny - well to me. I now want its partner 'Don'ts For Husbands'.

'Never Can Say Goodbye'  by Christina Jones.
(format - Kindle).

What can I say? I have read every book by this author, most of them more than once. They are light, they are chick-lit but they are brilliant. I adore every book she has written and not one has ever failed me. They cheer me up, make me smile and leave a 'feel good' factor with me every time. This one based in a vintage frock shop with added unwanted ghosts was brilliant. Loved it to bits.

'Alice in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll.
(format - audio book - read by Kirsten Ferreri)

Always loved this as a child but never had it read to me. So it was a treat to sit back, with my knitting, and just listen and loose myself in this weird and wacky world. The narrator did a good job and told it well without annoying me and impinging on my enjoyment and I love it now as much as I did as a child. I smiled at all my favourite characters appearing - I adore the Duchess and the Cheshire Cat. It filled a wet and windy afternoon indoors with nostalgia and pleasure.

Am finished with chick lit for a while now - back to something different. Have been using the daily deal on Amazon and have downloaded new authors and stuff well out of my comfort zone this space.

Friday, January 06, 2012

A different kind of stash dive.

 A fabric stash dive.

I went to patchwork classes for years and learnt all manner of wonderful tricks and techniques but I still adore the old fashioned traditional English patchwork using paper hexagons.

I needed to cut out some more so the above came from a quick rummage through my odds and sods.
 Here are some cut and tacked and ready to sew. The beige striped and the beige/gold floral ones are for the edging.

 Little flowers still with the card in ready to stitch together.
The whole shebang - a lovely array of colours and shapes. Makes me wear my happy face.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The ballad of Ferlock Bones and Mrs Grunty

(cos Tash asked me to)

Now this is a tail within a tale
about the demonic biscuit tin.
It made a noise and spun about and
it didn't have biscuits in!

Ferlock Bones was quite perplexed
and furrowed his noble brow,
whilst Mrs Grunty pranced about and
menaced it with her growl.

Ferlock shot an artful glance towards the evil tin,
"What's the point of it all?" he asked "It has no biscuits in."
Mrs Grunty's head shot up -"Biskits did you say? Where did they go? Who ate them all?
Or did they run away?"

"The tin ate its own contents," Ferlock Bones replied
"and that's why it makes a din. It's middle is all empty and it needs
more biscuits in!"

"Well it can sod off" said Mrs G "all them Bo-bo bikkies are mine.
You'll have to find  another way
to stop it moaning all the time."

Ferlock said "Be still a mo and let me have a think. "
Said Mrs Grunty "Well move over there - because you really stink."

Ferlock then had a brilliant thought
that would solve this mystery,
"If I cock my leg against the tin,
I can rust it with my wee"

"Ewww!" said Mrs Grunty
"Isn't there another way?" Said Ferlock "Well can you think of any?
All you do is grrrrr and play!"

"Ok"growled Mrs Grunty " I suppose that I agree
and if it gives us peace and quiet- then HUZZAH for Scottie pee!"

The mystery of the demonic musical biscuit tin

 "So" said Ferlock Bones "it's not the lonely little biscuits inside the tin screaming to be eaten as they have all disappeared, I wonder where they went?" (J looks a little guilty and wanders off).
 Mrs Grunty decides the only way to deal with the demonic music is to shake her Kong at it until her ears flap "That might help...." says Ferlock doubtfully.
Ferlock ponders as Mrs Grunty creeps closer...."it's gone all quiet now" says Ferlock "oh well must be time for a snooze, you stay on watch Mrs Grunty just to make sure it doesn't start again." Cunning Ferlock knows this will give him a head start on reaching the best kipping spot first.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

First sock of 2012

Started over New Year- finished sock 1 today. Pattern is Angee by Cookie A knit on 2.5mm dpns. Yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (my most favourite sock yarn) in Apple Hill.
Best cast on its mate!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Another day, another year

New Years Eve came and went. Fergus slept through most of it.
 Conkers just stayed superior to all the fuss (Fergus was growling at him when M took this - looks like he cares?)
Pooper Grunty disgraced herself by refusing to go out and do-do - she came in and did the deed in Grandma's bedroom....she is sleeping off her disgrace!

M, J and I celebrated a special birthday for M - had a lovely meal with one of his sisters and her husband on Friday which was awesome and on the day went for a totally fabby meal with some jolly good chums which resulted in much merriment and jollifications all round. Pretty good birthday for the ole boy (lol).

Now we are into 2012 - no resolutions here - waste of brain juice.

But I have cast on for my first pair of socks for 2012 and started the first book in 52 books in year challenge - apart from that life as normal really.