Wednesday, 30 September 2009


I have never really used stitchmarkers before simply because I have never really needed to. However, today I wanted to mark stitches and in the absence of any stitchmarkers I used some Clipiola Italian style paperclips (made by Cavalini of San Francisco).

These, like 'real' stitchmarkers, fit around your needles, even really thick ones.

These are also, apparently, excellent stand-ins when blocking - you simply put a clip wherever you want the point to be, then attach to a corkboard. How successful this method will be remains to be seen later.....Watch this space (again)!!

How to get glue from a failed attempt to have a screen protector on a PSP. TURPS.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


A couple of updates but not really much else to write.

Firstly, I got us a new washing machine - and it's great! Bonuses to appease my Green, anti-White-Goods conscience are: A+A class for efficiency/energy saving etc; I bought it from the Co-operative's online electricals site; the delivery guys took our old machine away for recycling.

I have written some emails trying to get some casual, temp proofreading work that I can do from home. One reply, from Mslexia, a women's magazine and publishing company based in town which promotes all kinds of writing by women. I need also to write to Tyne Bridge Publishing and Tyneside Free Press about getting my book published. I might actually get in touch with Educational Heretics, Hawthorn Press and Praxis.

As for my knitting.....
....Monkey socks are coming along nicely.
I finished one in an evening after a few days break. The pattern really breaks up the variegated yarn nicely - totally avoids colour-pooling. Although this isn't all that much of an issue with Chirapa, the contrast between the patternd leg/instep and the stocking stitch sole is obvious.

The second sock was immediately cast on to avoid second sock syndrome, and I've just started the heel flap rows.

As for the fabulous Cherie Amour, I have knitted about 20cm (in the round) I'm getting into it much more than I was at the start. I kept being tempted to frog and start again with a plain stocking stitch v neck with ribbing cuffs and waistband, but I kept at it and now I'm pleased 'cos I will have a totally unique and unusual sweater, and the 'holes' will allow any layered tops I wear underneath to show through. (Since I possess mainly shades of purple,blue and white, whatever I wear underneath it will look fab. I'm definitely not knitting the very fitted ribbed midsection; instead, I'm going to simply continue the lace pattern, but with a smaller needle sizeto bring the waist in a bit before going back to larger ones for the chest and shoulders.The sleeves will have a similar combination of large/small needles to vary the openness of the lace, but I haven't figured it out yet. Nor have I worked out the changes to the decrease rows for the V neck, but that should be fine,particularly as by then it will be side-to-side knitting.

For a bit of variation, I am starting some well-needed fingerless gloves, probably Knucks or Fetching, both from Knitty's HANDS Library.

Joshua has just received his new P.C. which he bought with birthday money, and having come home early from College today (due to skipping a non-compulsory class jaunt to the Careers Fair at the Arena, which he reckons is 60% Armed Forces recruitment), he is now installing the computer in his room. His old CPU is being brought downstairs for communal use. Some families have a TV in every room; we have a computer (or two) in almost every room! Priorities!!

Finally, Gordon Rayner - remember little Gordon Rayner? - has co-written a book about the process of exposing the M.P.s' expenses. I still find it difficult to believe that little Gordon Rayner who we spent so much time playing with (and signaling to from the garage roof!) when we were kids, is now the Chief Reporter for the Telegraph's politics dept. Thanks to him and his team, the whole country got to hear about the scandalous overspending on frivolous items and the misuse of the second home rules by most M.P.s. I emailed him at the time and he wrote me a really nice reply and told me what he's been doing and about his family etc. I intend to get back in touch with a congrats for this book publication. He really does write well. I guess he is going to go the way of Will Hutton, maybe?

Thom-Cat has just come in - yowling in protest at something or other - oh, and he's wet, alerting me to the fact it's we go, folks; Summer is definitely O-Ver - and of course, according to the old calender, since we had the Equinox - Mabon - a few days ago, Autumn is here at last!!

I've got hiccups.....

Monday, 21 September 2009

Absolutely brilliant......NOT!

Firstly, I heard I won a competition to win some fabulous Handmaiden yarn used to make Kernel, the new scarf pattern on Knitty!!! Yee haa! I have never really won much in my entire life so this is practically a first. The competition was on Blue Peninsula, the blog of Bonnie Sennott from Amherst in Massachusets, the designer of the Kernel scarf (among other fab designs!) and she asked people to post a comment about their first lace project (Ha ha ha!! Let us never mention THAT scarf ever again!)

And then...the washing machine died. Well, it isn't quite finished,but let's just say I don't actually enjoy hearing the sound of a 757 taking off in our kitchen every time it goes into the spin cycle. knew it was on its way out though, because last time I had it repaired the guy pointed out that to spend any more money getting repairs done would be false economy. We've had this machine since we moved here - 12 years ago - and only needed to have repairs done over the past three years, so I can't grumble, and buying a new one won't go against my Green principles, having had the old one for so long. I'm thinking of buying from Comet's auction site, which is where they sell their ex-display and returned models. Watch this space.

I've done 2 pattern repeats on the Monkey socks:

Not A VERY good photo but it is too dull outside to take pics.
I bought 10 skeins of lovely lovely lovely Mirasol Hacho in Double Fuchsia. What's not to like?! And some fantabulous Araucania Ranco in a deep purple ever-so-slightly variegated (but actually a 'Solid')

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Wonderful Day

What a fabulous Autumn Fall day! These apples are from my father's garden - aren't they absolutely the most amazingly appley apples?!

I've also been casting on for some new projects: the brilliant and extremely popular Monkey socks, which I am knitting with the divine MirasolChirapa in 'Saffron Spice'.....

....and also from Knitty, Cherie Amour, a beautifully feminine design for an open lace sweater - pics will follow when I've knitted enough to see!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Battle For The New Cat Cushion

Oh dear.....

My father very kindly bought us a lovely cat design tapestry covered cushioned draft excluder, which I knew from the moment I saw it would be very attractive to the Queen of the Cushions, AKA Spangle. I also knew there would be trouble, since Thom automatically wants anything Spangle has for himself. Well, he totally took over the play tunnel which we got a couple of weeks ago, so in reality it was only fair that Spangle should be in charge of this New Item. (Pete doesn't really care so long as he has the left hand side of the futon to himself, and in fact gets quite agitated if anyone sits there - after totally failing to see the cat hair which usually builds up on it within seconds of the latest brush)

So....Thom was so busy sniffing, and then lying on, the plastic bag it came in, that he failed to notice Spangle jumping up onto the sofa to investigate the new cushion, which I had placed on the back, under the lamp, where she likes to sit while I am knitting. Hmmmmm....what's this, something I can's comfy!!

She settled in for the duration, only moving a couple of times to fend off the Invader! She's been giving in to his attempts to take Alpha status recently, but she wasn't going to give this cushion up and Thom was relegated to the lower level, where he continued to seethe quietly (you could almost see him shaking with barely contained rage!!)


Such a lovely early Autumn day!
Blue skies - well, grey actually, or is that grey?'s my great mood making it seem like a blue sky kind of day.

I decided not to have separate blogs for my knitting and other stuff. so this one will just my life and also, occasionally, like my knitting.
I've noticed that so many knitters have cats. And they include their cats in their blogs, even if they are knitting blogs. How odd, I thought. Not now. I totally understand why cats go with knitting. It isn't something which can be explained though. It is a very vibes kind of thing.
Also, how many knitters got their cats from Rescue Centres.

There is definitely a 'new wave' of knitting - knitting no longer has to mean grannies knitting vile baby clothes in horrid custard yellow acryclic. And, rather like breastfeeding, knitting is now acceptable In Public. I happily sat on the number 39 and knitted a gusset on a sock. An Old Granny type said "EEEEEEeeeeh, what lovely wull!"
(it was Mirasol Chirapa, in Crystal Ocean)