Friday, 29 October 2010

Spinning around

I have been spinning like crazy this week. I am officially on my last yes my last roving. So stash wise the fibre cupboard is pretty bare.  What do you mean bare? :hubby questioning and pointing to large bulky bags: Ok, Ok so I have four fleeces in the cupboard but I have to do the preparation before I sit down to spin with this wool. After this roving I can not just jump on the wheel and start treadling to my hearts content.

The last roving is Merino / Tuseah Silk and since it has the silk component I am trying to do lace weight. It means intense concentration and the added benefit of making the roving last longer. Most spinners have default spinning weight that they do and in my case this appears to sock weight. I wont put a photo up of it just yet as I have to do a couple of Secret Santas. If my spinning turns out like planned I think I will have a nice gift for a lace knitter and I know quiet of few of those.

Fibre Flurry is tomorrow in Birmingham and I am looking forward to it. I don't think the husband is looking forward to it but hey ho.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Purple people eater

Monday night I plyed the Bramble that I had missed and I thought I had some BFL in the Fibre stash but I found another purple toned roving and went that is what I want to spin tonight. I ended up spinning some Downland which the dyer called "Crush". It has some very Berry tones. I certainly must have been on a purple jag cause I appear to have a lot of purple tonal fibre in my stash I think you can call me the purple people eater cause I certainly being flying or my little wheel has been flying. So the Crush was spun and plied.

Tuesday night again it was a case of keeping off the knitting needles and getting into a bit of a spinning jag. So the little wheel and I went out to knit night and I think I may have kick started another spinner. I have a done another couple of singles in the Frangipani and some Sugar Plum Fairy. I plied up the Frangipani at knit night and also came away with the raffle for the second week in a row.  I now have a very nice booklet that I need to make sure that the children and in particular the green monster ala daughter does not get her beady eyes on. There are a number of items including a hat that I can see daughter going please mum for.

Berry Crush
Tonight I think once I finished plying the Sugar Plum Fairy I might be looking for something else to spin.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Spinning on Squeaky

After the recent disasters of knitting I am putting myself on a knitting break so today after getting all the mundane chores done, the kids homework done, and the roast dinner on I settled down to spin. My squeaky wheel is not so squeaky anymore it appears it was mainly a lack of maintenance and use which had caused the squeak. My renovation of use including the oiling of all the possible moving parts as well as actually using her has probably worked the squeak out of her.

Lovely Wendy Wheel

I finished two bobbins off today which I will have to ply together another night.  I had thought that I had finished all of 4oz of Bramble but I found 1 oz in the bag that I brought back from Scotland.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Inset Day Baking

Today the boyo stayed home and I ended up home early. I was having one of those days when you should never leave your bed let alone go through the your front door out into public. After one too many bad things I listened to the omens and returned home while I was still in one piece. So since I was home I got the brown eyes from the boyo he wanted to do some baking.  He is still not allowed to do baking with no one home. He can do a reheat or put prepared meal on but I just don't want to admit that my youngest is almost fully grown up so he can not bake without supervision.

Getting the flavourings ready for crock pot
So we got the crock pot going so we can let it bubble away. The boyo is a good cook so I ended up being the executive chief and he was the demi doing all the work. So the Moroccan Chicken was put on which was a lovely meal tonight with cous cous some 8 hours later. Then after doing the backlog of dishes.We got the ingredients out. At this point the boyo asked a question about M&M which we did not have in the house and suggested that we do M&M cookies. He even volunteered for the shop and being one not to look a gift horse in the mouth I handed over the cash and a small shopping list (Bread, M&Ms, orange juice) and he was off, out and back before I could even drink the coffee that I had  brewed when I sent him out the door with the list.

Batch waiting to go in oven
The first tray were eaten before they cooled. I think the boyo likes rainbow cookies quiet a lot. Since he did cookies I did another batch of cup cakes so Ry would not get upset when she got home from College today. She is not a fan of cookies but has a real cup cake fetish.

Ended up with 24 of these.
The boyo and the rest of the family this afternoon and evening have steadily working their way through the cookies. We now have a grand total of two left. I can see a fight coming on for the last cookie.

Mine nope it is MINE!!!
Knitting wise I have not really got anything done. I think I need a complete break from knitting and then I might be able to pick up the needles again.

Pottering in the coal shed

Sunday afternoon the daughter and I were pottering in the coal shed.  I think I have created a monster as at one stage I was kicked out of my crafting shed as daughter wanted to use my sewing machine and really mother there just not enough room for the two of us in here. : said with 16 yr attitude:

Not enough room for two 
adults sized people here.
She was bugging me about wanting to make something so after some dicussion with me attempting to gain clarification about what she wanted to do and some ratting through my fabric stash she decided that we would make some Christmas stockings.   So after quickly drafting up a rough pattern on the back of a piece of handy card board (back of a note pad) we had a pattern.  We did not have enough of anyone piece of Christmas fabric to make a whole stocking out of it so it was time for creative extending.  Using some of the ubiqutious calico which I have miles of in the stash.  I always buy calico as it is my go to resource - makes toiles, school costumes that need to be dyed you can never not use calico in this household.
Crazy Patchwork
Crazy patchwork here we come if you want to do some. 
  1. Cut out your shape in calico in our case it was the classic Christmas stocking shape.
  2. Cut your fabirc into 2inch strips. Have about 5 different fabric selections.
  3. Take one strip and cut a five sided shape out to start your patchwork this will be your centre. Pin to the stocking about the ankle location.
  4. Work round your shape a strip at a time to set the next patch and this create a crazy patch effect.  When you have sewn along one edge. Iron or in mycase finger press the seam open and then trim to match the next edge shape.  Use the next strip to alternate the pattern.
  5. If you  need to due to the shaping you can cut a new edge in if you find that you are starting to get stripes or arrows. 
  6. To finish you can top sew  the seams by machine or hand with embrodiery stitches.
  7. Sew your front to your back and trim 'n' grade the seams.  Dont forget to clip your curves and points and pull through and adjust into shape 
Don't you just love
the concentration
Ry is starting to become more confident with the sewing machine and there were only three times she called on me after kicking me out. Twice with loading a bobbin and rethreading it and once with threading the needle.  She had a minor tension problem thanks to top needle rethreading but she worked it out once she found out where the threading picture on the machine was located.  Her stocking is a little distorted but it will still be usable.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

A strange week

This week has been a strange knitting week thanks to time scales and not getting very far on the knitting front.

It has been bleak.
Well I have an excuse as 2 PhD students handed in their theses and then another post grad student couple worked on their other creative research project which arrived at midnight on Thursday night - a baby boy.  

No name yet, Mum and Dad are discussing it.
This  student couple had a tough time last year when they lost a baby during delivery.  So during this pregnancy Mr and Mrs Postgrad Student had been highly anxious and very concerned about the pregnancy and the delivery. Due to the family history the consultant brought Mrs Postgrad in Thursday at 9am for an induction. Baby arrived at midnight and looked absolutely adorable in the special care nursery when I visited them on Friday after work. All going well Mrs Postgrad and baby will be back in class on Wednesday next week as a baby is not an excuse for stopping a Masters.

Looking forward to graduation next year.
Baby knitting wise this week I have had a complete fail just the continued fallout for the last eight weeks.  I think tomorrow I am going to spend the day pottering in the coal shed and may be I will get some of mojo back. This is the longest mojo disappearance that I have had in a long time we are talking years since it has been over 8 weeks without knitting regularly on a project.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The start of Autumn

This week has had its up and downs but on Saturday I had a lovely trip into my favourite deli in the sunshine.  The deli is on Bold Street not far from Central station.  I had to go in to do some work so it was a 2 for 1 trip - work and deli. The trouble with where we live is that we don't have specialist food suppliers and the variety of world food in the local shops you can write on a postage stamp.

Our Cherry tree flashing a lovely
colour before dropping its leaves.
As a result of the supply run we are now stocked up on some of the essentials of life in our house, spring roll wrappers, a couple of tins of Milo, couscous, polenta, Thai fish sauce, and lots of herbs and spices that we go through at a great rate of knots.  Dinner last night was a breakout of the new package of spring roll wrappers.

Some of the Thai vegetable spring rolls
made and waiting to be fried.
Today it was another nice day of business in the sunshine. I now have another of post graduate TESOL students and this takes some of the pressure off with work and the cash finances but I will still be looking for a more permanent solution to the hourly job contracts. Came home from to town to the gorgeous smell of a crock pot full of French Onion Soup welcoming me in as I opened the front door.  

Old pic of duck socks but now at repeat 4
of 2 at time duckie socks
I seem to be back into the swing of knitting. Knitting wise for the last couple of 7 weeks or so has been a complete disaster. I have had my 15 minutes of fame but I wish it had not been over such a terrible thing. I have managed to get to the fourth repeat on the duckie socks during my trips to and from Liverpool Central on the train over this weekend. So things are looking up knitting wise. Thank goodness as I have a baby pattern test knit to finish and some time constraints for new baby items. One of the babies is scheduled to arrive this Thursday so I need to be knitting like the clappers. Nothing like a tight time frame.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Dear Bunnies

As I am strong believer in Karma your various messages that JW "is very seriously ill at the moment and any further negative comments or pressure could cause her to have a full blown Nervous Breakdown or worse. It would be desirable for people to stop posting things about knitcamp or JW in light of the further distress it is causing her" are not appreciated or accepted.  Karma is biting her back on the arse for all the trouble she has caused others. People are physically sick with worry over how they can go about meeting their financial responsibilities thanks to her failure to pay them.

I WILL NOT STOP POSTING about Knit camp and JW's total incompetence. I do not think her further distress has anything to do with matter as she has failed to meet or acknowledge her obligations to her staff and the tutors whom she had legal contracts with. They did their job and they have a right to payment. As I have previously stated work without recompense is slavery.

Her failure to run a business added to her previous business track record including Bankruptcy is more than enough evidence for me to continue to be shouting about KNIT CAMP to warn anyone who is unfortunate enough to come into contact with this woman or attempt to ensure that this type of incident does not happen again.

JW's failure to acknowledge the issues in addition to the failure to pay has created serious impact on tutors, staff members, traders and attendees. The form letters sent out by DW make a total mockery about the consideration that JW will eventually make recompense for the distress and financial losses especially if you read her post event posting on the Knit Camp blog it becomes particularly galling and reflects her total lack of professionalism.


In the whole drama the only ones who I have sympathy for is the innocent children of JW and DW,who have done nothing to deserve the drama they have been dragged through and had to live through thanks to their mother.

The Saints of this World

JaneKal on Ravelry is one of the Saints of this world and she does not deserved the crap she has been getting online in PMs and some of those Posts in Ravelry threads.

Those who are now ranting and raving that the Stirling Tutor Fund is a scam need to pull their heads in as listen to the facts.

  1. Tutors who attended Knit Camp and who this fund is for have nominated a neutral representative and they have had meetings about their situation.
  2. The Accountancy firm has been appointed is held in good stead by the professional organisation, they are registered with company house and recommended by the regional business link office (Government approval for new businesses)
  3. JaneKAL has gone above and beyond in ensuring that all queries have been answered in a timely manner and dotted her I's and crossed her T's to ensure the paperwork and administration matters have been set up to address the concerns for legitimate and best business practices.
  4. The Stirling Tutor Fund is not stopping anyone from taking legal action but has stepped up to help tutors to address the missing income they need to pay the expenses they incurred by teaching at UK Knit camp.  
  5. Casey and the Rav team would not have paypal link button setup for this fund or allow any of the posts announcing this fund to remain if they were not assured that the fund was legitimate and above board.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Fund raising for Knit Camp Tutors

The wonderful JaneKAL has come up trumps.  Details of how to make a donation to the Knit Camp Tutor Fund below this was JanKal post on Ravelry.


Many people have expressed a wish to help with the situation regarding non-payment of teaching fees and travelling expenses to most of the Knit Camp Tutors (Instructors), so a fund account has now been set up. Respect & privacy for tutors and security & confidence for donors are paramount. Therefore the fund is being managed by Accountants, the cost of which has been donated, so every penny/cent donated will go straight into the Tutor Fund.

The Knit Camp Tutors have got together as a group and all money donated and raised will be paid by the accountant directly to each individual within the group. The group as a whole will decide distribution and this information will remain private.

The account is being managed by Clifford Towers Chartered Accountants, and audited accounts will be made available – note that details of individual donors and recipients will remain private. Clifford Towers is registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

The fund will be open for donations and proceeds of fund raising until the end of October 2010. There is a need for funds to be donated and distributed asap. Anyone with fund raising that may go on longer, please contact JaneKal (on Ravelry)

If you wish to donate to the fund using PayPal - here is how:
Email address to use :----  (double click to send email, copy address to use on your PayPal account page)

Reference to use:  Stirling Tutor Group Fund
Enter this in the subject and/or message box at the bottom of the PayPal page in the ‘optional email to recipient’ box.

For further information, or to pay by cheque (UK only) you can telephone the number below or email Ros at the address above.

Telephone number: 01788 577613 (hours 9.30am to 12 noon, UK time, Monday to Friday)


Go on give them your coffee or lunch money for one day. Chuck cost of one skein of your favourite yarn into the lolly jar. These people did not deserved to be treated this way. Keep these Creatives fed so they can create for you. 

Monday, 4 October 2010

Follow up to Knit camp continues

After finally putting my thoughts online about the whole debarkle that was knit camp life has not got any better for me knitting wise but that sort of matches the other sh*te what is happening in my Real Life.  Isnt it the way that trouble comes in threes.  Well hopefully we as a family have now had our three and are on our way to a more settled place.  Real life can be a complete pain in the arse and there are times you need to step back to work out what is important to you and your family.   The last weekend has been amazing with the husbeast and kids and it helped in so many ways to put life into perspective.  Also the husbeast is a fairly good cook and he certainly kept me fed with comfort food for the last couple of days.

It has been a windy road

While things will be tough for us for a little while thanks to the reduction of income stream, I have enough fingers in as many pies to help keep us afloat and explore the new opportinities that have developed in the last week. As a family we are all now geared with an action plan along with an attitude check for mother (me) to stop worrying about things I have no control over.

So many angels working to help
those suffering

I also have to say thank you to the wonderful fibreclaireuk who posted a link to my blog post over Knit camp in a couple of threads.  The personal responses and the public ones have been encouraging that I was being rational over issues which continue to cause pain and suffering for so many.  Yes the whole situation has been depressing and there appears to be limited recompence through the justice system for everyone involved but  I have been following the developments by JanKAL and am looking forward to announcing that when it is launched.  JanKAL has been working her golden fibre heart off to help with addressing the reinbursement of tutors so watch this space.  When it is all systems go I will be shouting about it from the roof tops.