Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Oh it is shiney.

When I finally came through the front door this evening after leaving the house some 18 hours earlier I reminded my dearly beloved that it was a bad bad thing to let me loose any where near a yarn provider when I had craptastic work day when he commented on the additional parcels I had under my arm. The instinct to comfort shop hits me especially when the yarn pusher has something in one of my favourite jewel colours in one of my favourite yarn brands and at half price.

I can not say what this yarn is for but... but ... but I just had to have the soft pretty 50% silk and 50% merino wool yarn. It is soft and slinky and I have enough meterage for a garment. I was good in one way cause I could have come home with another three packets but naughty in another as I have enough yarn in my stash to last me at least a year not including the amount of fibre I have to spin into yarn. I really don't like having my stash box over flowing as I try to be reasonable about my addiction. This year since I have taken up spinning I have had to add another plastic box to store my fibre and fleece issues (4 fleeces from Scotland) so I have been trying to maintain my stash addiction at a semi-reasonable level.  Well what I consider reasonable for me.  I have tried to limit my yarn to one plastic crate since I have completely failed in the past with fabric.

The coal bunker stash
My failure of managing the fabric stash can be seen in the picture above of the coal bunker stash cupboard. Two large plastic crates live in that space behind the chair is normally where I keep my yarn and fibre stashes.  I probably should not have told you that considering some of the yarnies I know who know where I live.  

Monday, 29 November 2010

Mini NaNoWriMo in academic writing

The weather has got colder and since Friday I have done over 27,000 words in academic writing. I am now knackered out. Daughter you have well and truly been supported and I just have to get through one more day of NaNoWriMo. I have just got to survive tomorrow and a couple of tough gigs at work and then we can say this month has been done and dusted.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Mini NaNoWriMo

Daughter made her word count and is heading towards 70,000 words again this year. At least this year it was not 70,000 words over a weekend. I have been doing NaBloPoMo this month to support her. This weekend though I have been very busy with work and assignments. I have had to do some assignment work.  This weekend I have a goal of 14,000 words. After 7 hours work on Saturday I am at the 8,000 word mark. I have to get cracking today. 6,000 on assignment plus probably another 4,000 in other work tasks. So it will be definitely be a day of head down and typing at a great speed of knots.

Running like a duck swimming

With all this work on I am bit like a duck swimming at full pelt.  My little feet will be going like the clappers as I glide through the assignment and work tasks.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

All hale our Hero

Tyson the wonderful mouser
We have had a suspicion for a while that we had some vermin who had joined us in the kitchen. A couple of traps were laid but no luck. During the last week the dog kept going on alert in the kitchen and today he struck. One mouse became cactus and he duly trotted out and presented it to us. Nice and neat with a clean break to the neck. It looks he has been learning from the old girl Furzy the cat was very proud of him.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Frosty Friday

Frosty footpath and road (last year)
We have had a very cold night last night and this morning it is a balmy -4C at 5am.  There as been a light dusting of snow but I expect that to melt as soon as the sun actually hits it but that will sometime after 9am long after I have gone to work.  The kids are still hoping for snow day sorry that is not going to happen today.

Knitting wise the Ruby Ruby is sitting and looking at me with pleading brown eyes saying "pick me up, you know you want to knit".  Sorry I have to do a couple of thousand words first.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

It is the start of the Christmas manic panic

You know it is almost Christmas when the kids start doing the count down and the number of days is under 40 to be specific. Happy Thanksgiving for those in the USA. Both the Ry and Rh have started their campaigns for Christmas.  Ry reminded me that it is exactly a month today to Christmas, typical girl.  I was just looking at the work load, study assignments, parent tasks like parent teacher evening, the knitting present list, Christmas task list and making the conclusion that sleep will be an optional extra for the next couple of weeks.
Wish I was driving this little car.
I have to write a 4,000 word assignment in the next couple of days in between supporting someone who has to write about 10,000 words on the PhD discussion before they fly home to visit their family. So while I am driving a keyboard I wish I was  doing a road trip in the little classic citron like the photo above which was taken on a Driving holiday through Belgium. I will be glad when this month is over but I have several tight deadlines before the end of the month. Daughter has passed the 50,000 word count for her NaNoWriMo and I have been a goody two shoes for the last couple of weeks with my daily posts.  See yah I am off to read a couple of articles and write my first five hundred words.  See how I do it I break it down into manageable chunks.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A chance of snow

This week we have a chance of snow. Driving home from knit night last night there was ice on the roads to the point there was a serious accident and a police redirection. The gritters were out in one district so their roads were covered but my local district has only sent the gritters out this morning. Not much help to those who have to go to work early.

Kids are hoping for a snow day
 like last year.
From the various weather reports we could have a deep flurry come Thursday through to Sunday. Both the kids are watching the sky and the weather reports with the thrilling hope of another snow day like last year. It is cold enough for everyone to be looking for all their hand knit items. Daughter it is probably on your floor. Yeap she is doing that teenage thing at the moment where her floor is her cupboard. The downside is the son is now replicating his sister's habit.  We officially have two teenagers and I just don't go into their rooms so I don't freak out at the mess.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Road to Scotland

A dear member of our Tuesday knit night is leaving Liverpool and heading back north to Scotland. Hubby has won a great job there and they needed to go as it was an oppertunity for them. So tonight we said bye bye to Scottish Anne.

You take the road to Scotland...
We will see her when she comes down to visit the hubby's family and I am pretty sure she will have visitors up in Scotland.

Monday, 22 November 2010

A welcoming light

When it is dark when you leave for work and dark when you get home it is so nice to see a welcoming light.

St Margen Nativity Scene 2007
The wood carvers of the Black Forest region create wonderful items. I have admired the various Nativity sets that I saw when we visited there but we are not made of funds.  Tonight I was the first home so there was no light on.  It is now and hopefully as the rest of the family comes home the light welcomes them home on this cold blustery night.

At the moment knitting wise I am working on the Ruby Ruby while the elbow protector is still in the time out corner work basket.  I ended up swapping the pattern of the Ruby Ruby Ruby project to a sideways gilet by La Droguerie.  Hopefully this gilet will give me a little je ne sais quoi.

Sunday, 21 November 2010


A peaceful scene
A peaceful scene is not something that we have had in the last couple of weeks due to the drama of life, work commitments and a lack of ability to distort time and space. Unlike Doctor Who I do not have the ability to bend temporal continuum or the time space vortex.  Today was a case of knuckling down to do all the boring chores so I will leave you with a peaceful scene which we have not had for quiet a while in this household.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Rerun Saturday

Today was one of those days were you watch reruns and snuggle up in the doona (Australian for duvet) to avoid the cold, foggy day. DH had to work today so I was home with the kids. The boyo went out with his friends to the pictures while daughter stayed home NaNoWriMo-ing. Since it was just us girlies we watched a couple of chick flick reruns.
Ruby Ruby Yarn
I love the colour and feel of this yarn but I have not had much success with this Ruby Red version that I have in my stash. I have made a Komon cardigan by Vicki Square in it and frogged it back twice cause I just was not happy with the final garment. Loved the pattern texture but the garment just did not work for me. I had blocked it and still I felt very disappointed in it so the last attempt was tossed into the time out zone while I worked out what I was going to do.

Since I was watching rerun movies I frogged it again back into skeins, dampened then to relax the knitting kinks out of it. This time I decided that while keeping the work cardi idea in my head I would look for another pattern and use it. Part of the problem I have had and why it sat in time out for so long is that I have only so many skeins of the dye lot and I would not have enough to do a long sleeved version.

The elbow protector may become an actual elbow protector. I have started the toe decreases twice and stuffed it up twice. I have had to rip it back twice so you can see I am seriously having a rerun day. The elbow protector is in the time out basket so I don't do a serious hissy fit with it.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Thank God/ Goddess or Sacred Spirits it is Friday

What ever divine being/s there is in this world I am thanking her/him/it/whatever cause it is Friday. It has been another one of those weeks  for so many with the inclement weather and the dramas of our individual lives.

Life has been a bit of a sinking ship.
But the thought of the weekend and getting some space has made me think about the bright side of life and the fact it wont be that long to spring and summer. Yes I am starting to count the days to the warmer weather.

Summer Calm
I am using positive thinking here we only have to get through the next 6 weeks and then the day light will start to be longer. The elbow protector from the Quacks is almost up to the toe section but I just need some concentration enough for straight stockinette.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Mainstream media making foobars

In the last couple of weeks we have had some mainstream media foobars. The NY Times decided to run an editorial which insulted participants in NaNoWriMo and then decided to have a sideswipe at knitting and knitters in particular those who participate in NaKniSweMo. Excuse me this event is encouraging people to write and then dripping your disdain you poke at the participants. Reality check without a writing gig the author of this editorial would not have a pay check

The tone of the editor indicates that participants in NaNoWriMo are laughable. Excuse me my daughter participates in NaNoWriMo she has been quiet successful in fan fiction and she is only 16. This is not her first NaNoWriMo and she wants to go on an be a writer when she leaves education but she acknowledges that she will have to find another job to fund her writing.  She has already flicked journalism to the side lines cause of hacks like this editorial. Check your facts. I would suggest they visit Shannon aka knitgrrl blog for some details and the response from knitters and writers to this editorial.

Then The Huffington Post in an article on the 9th November decided to class Ravelry which has 1,000,000, yes 1 million, users as one of the strangest Social Networks. To add salt to the wound Rob Fishman from this site goes on MSNBC to again throw his disdain about again about handcrafting as being a bizarre act. Think about 1,000,000 knitters armed with knitting needles getting a chance to express their disdain for the attitudes expressed.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A day at the Quacks and is that an elbow protector?

Doing this NaBloPoMo blog post thing every day for a month is very hard as I look at our life and think it is very very mundane.  We get up, we go to work and we come home. So I am going to do a boring post today about the trip to the Quacks also known in non Australian English as the Doctors Surgery.

Every so often, about every six months, I get to spend the day at the Quacks.  There are some days that you want to stay at home in the warm and dry, and today is one of those days it has certainly been a lovely day for the ducks puddle wise but even they are hiding away due to the cold blustery wind that cuts through you.  I thought since I have had real problems with the knitting for the last couple of months that I would take my boring don't need to think sock knitting with me.

Didn't I manage to create a stir while waiting between the various appointments with the vampire (phlebotomy nurse), asthma nurse and GP.  Even the student docs were surprised about someone knitting a sock.  Dont you just love being the entertainment in the doctors' surgery  Ok I admit that I am using a small circular (9" long Hiya Hiya which I scored at fibre flurry) and knitting is not the norm for someone of my age according to the general population but when I can quote the age of the magazines in the waiting room and the potential number of germs that they may have collected you can understand why I needed something as I waited the 30+ minutes between each appointment.  The youngest magazine was 2004 and I won't gross you out with the potential number of germ infections.  Is knitting really that odd an activity when you are waiting around?  

I was asked was I knitting for a new arrival and when was I due.  Sorry I know I am plus sized but I did not know knitting was a special social marker that indicated I was expecting.  Plus my fat does not even make me look like I am preggers.  It got me thinking as I was listening to the same CD of music for the fourth time (they had some delays) that thank god I do knit or I could have been going nuts in the waiting room to the point that they ship me down the road to the local high secure unit.

The best comment of the day came from an about four year old who asked if I was knitting an elbow protector.  Considering how active this little one was and the number of tumbles he had while mum and new sibling were waiting for the district nurse appointment I could see how he could need one or two elbow protectors, shin guards and a crash helmet for his noggin.  So my sock could be an elbow protector which makes it slightly more interesting than a standard stockingette stitch sock in size 9 for the boof (buffalo sized) foot.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The complete gall

It appears that the knit camp dis-organiser has recovered. Some miracle there who has done a cure for you.  Would you like to share the name of your miracle worker? I am sure suklycat and I would be most appreciative of a miracle cure.

I am absolutely spitting chips this woman who has screwed staff and tutors over a large amount of money is back in business. We are talking tens of thousands. Hello how can she still be operating?? What planet are we on if this sort of bad trader is still getting away this crap? Get your pitch forks out cause I most certainly be protesting about this. Guess what ebay complaints about this trader will be made? Paypal?

What about an apology to all people and organisations you have screwed over then?  Are you going to pay them from your sales on ebay???  Do the people on Ebay realise that they have been very fortunate to have a "nice smooth transaction"?  So many of us, yarnies, have experienced transactions which were definitely not smooth or super fast.

I am so galled that she even thinks that she can continue to trade and use her website which was off line for a while with a please note the mobile phone number is no longer in use message.  How can this woman even think she can continue on her merry way and not do any sort of restitution?

Come on Karma! It is time we stop being polite and nice brits and bite back hard.

Gossip!!! New Flash

There is going to be royal wedding next year. Prince William and Kate Middleton are finally going to get hitched. I can see all the collectors tat coming out and I am already sick of the news coverage.

Some cheery news while it is a very horrible cold day here in Lancashire.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Feminism is not a dirty word

Ok I am admitting that I am a Feminist but that does not mean all those stereotypes. I don't burn a bra unless it is an excoriating uncomfortable instrument of torture.  

For me Feminism is about the fight for equality for all. My Great Gran and Gran won the right to vote in 1901 when SA gave women the vote. They received their franchise then and yet almost were disenfranchised in the very next year with the Federation of Australia. The NT was a part of SA at this stage. My mother fought for the right to stay in the public service after she married and when she had children. Mum held the first executive position equivalent to being the Under Secretary of a government department in the independent NT civil service during the late 1970s. Yeap, she broke through the glass ceiling before the glass ceiling was a common term.

Men and women have been knitting for generations but why is it seen today as a feminine trait or a unmasculine activity? Hello Nelson's Navy knitted most of their uniforms and where do you think the soldiers/sailors of this world got their socks before cheap mass production. At one stage men were master craft men who knitted.  When knitting was a profession it was man's work. When it was no longer valued it became women's work.

So what is Feminism - it is really about creating fairness between all genders including trans-gender individuals. Should we relabel it an call it Equality-ism.

PS.  Doing these NaBloPoMo blog posts each day is actually quiet hard.  Daughter is past 26,000 in NaNoWriMo so she is still on track for her writing plan. 

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Making Pasta

Well it was not yarn, spinning or knitting but we gathered together in the kitchen to make fetticcuine di zucca this evening. It was funny and of course we made a mess with three cooks, flour and pasta machine in our galley kitchen.

Ours was more orange cause it had
pumpkin in the dough mix

We had a lovely time but I kept looking at the pasta and thinking it looks like tangled yarn. A couple of my online friends like to de-tangle yarn but sorry we were eating this yarn.  

Saturday, 13 November 2010

It is Saturday it is Saturday!!!

Do you ever have one of those weeks which you can not wait for it to end?  This week it was one of those for me with lots very over long days.  I swear the poison dwarf has attacked me again and I can not see a clear surface for miles.  Even doing a blog post in the NaBloPoMo to support daughters' Namowrimo effort has been very hard.  She is ahead of her writing plan on about 20,000 words.

Chores to be done first.
Today I have had a haircut, visited the parcel postal centre to pick up my packages and set the family a chore list. So we will be doing everything on the list while we can to clear the surfaces in this house.  Once that is done I fully intend to play in some yarn or wool.

Peace and relaxation in wool fumes.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Don't call me stupid!!!

Last night we as the family watched the Kara Tointon documentary on BBC3 called "Don't call me stupid". It was certainly a bonding moment for the kids as it made all the stuff I had been saying about the various "dys-es" we have in our household more believable. Daughter who is dyspraxic finally understood some of the things about her mum and brother that she had never got and actually asked some very good questions. We had tried to explain it but probably because it came from a close relative it did not gel in her comprehension.

Hopefully some of the things we talked about afterwards will stick in their brains and we can do the things to make our lives easier. My kids in the past and some of my friends have described some of my habits as OCD. Sorry no, it is how I cope with my brain wiring and the weak processing links that I have.

Now I can not change my teenagers' pre-programming to use the floor as a filing cabinet but I might get some more tolerance from them when I go off the deep end about it.  I need order and organisation cause I have a shocking short term memory and I would not find anything at all.

The more disorganised or chaotic my life and environment is the more stress it creates for me.  We plan this weekend to have a bit of a clean up so that we can sort out the tip that is this house at the moment.

Daughter is recovering really well from her attempt to be Mr Wobblyman from Noddy or a road bollard according to her father.  When looking at some yarn tonight that I was considering for a project she made an observation - "You can see all of these colours in the black of my bruises."

You can see all these colours
 in the black of my bruises.
I thought it was strange that she did not mention that in some places there is also a hint of green. It could be due to her favouritism for green she was not going to mention this. The ice has been working really well in getting her to colour up and to ease some of her pain.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Burr it is Cold

What is it about a sudden temperature drop that it inspires us to knit winter items we don't usually use?  Tonight when I came home from a late night finish at work I had to look at my temperature gauge twice cause I did not want to believe the reading.  It was 2C but I was looking at it and wondering where was the minus sign cause it was - 2C to me.  I could see my breath and I was absolutely freezing.

While waiting for dinner to cook I had my fleecy trakkie dacks on, 2 jumpers and 2 pairs of socks and 3 blankets but was still freezing.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


While there are some parts of globalisation that I love such as the web and the access to blogs from round the world there are other parts that worry me.

Today in the UK there is an unrealistic expectation that cheap clothing will be relatively available and accessible to all.  What happens if we actually start paying living wages to the workers who produce these clothes?  Hello could we afford to buy the clothes we buy today and would we be looking down on those men and women who have the traditional skills of sewing, knitting and general crafting.  Could we afford to buy the status goods like the ipod and ipad?

Would the knitted garment or object made with someone's love and effort be more respected?  Would my daughter actually stop using the floor as her storage locker - Nope she is a teenager and what would be surprising is if she actually picked up her clothes. 

Why do we today not value handmade and homemade unless it is from elitist fashion brands?  What about the ethics of Fashion Brands?  Do we really need to be global consumerists?  Do we really value the labour of those who make the clothes and objects in our homes to pay them the value for their labour?

Ebay mentions that there is some 50 something shopping days left to Christmas.  Is it really necessary to have all those new gadgets and items?  Think about your Christmas expenditure and the true meaning of the season.

Monday, 8 November 2010


When I was a kid and learning to drive my dad made us learn basic car 101.  These basics were important and we had to pass them before we were allowed to drive on our own.

Tonight I pulled out my basics which Dad taught me and used my knowledge to rescue a couple of women at hubby's work.  I dont know who was more surprised the women or the security guards who did absolutely nothing to help but watched in complete awe at woman who did not need to call the AA or RAC man.

Black to Black and Red to Red when you cable up for a jump start.

The football playing security guard admitted he did not even know how to change a flat tyre. So women are useless when it comes to cars.... 

The surprise of everyone was a little shocking and it is a bit like the shock people have that someone under 70 knits for pleasure or knits full stop. Hello what happens we have a cataclysmic disaster and turns the world back fifty years. My grandmother had to make socks for her children.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Sleeping In

There is one thing they forget to warn you about when you have kids - they dont forget,  they just dont tell you - that you wont get a sleep in until they have left home and then only if for some parents.

I have been knackered all week with daughter stunt so I tottered into bed early last night well before the kids and I actually got a sleep in. I got to past midday, yeap I did that teenager thing and sleep in past midday.

I am so sleepy today that it is possibly all the stress of the last week catching up with me. Daughter I am still working out if I will let you out of the house without me.  So this a little post for nano writing month and back off to bed I go.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Nanowrimo and NABloPoMo

So to support daughter in NaNoWriMo I thought and planned to do NaBloPoMo but life got in the way big time. NaBloPoMo is where you blog every day for a month. This week after a lovely weekend event and break from the workplace I ended up with major drama which threw a spanner in the works.  I can not seem to get away from drama.

This weeks drama included the Daughter on her way home from school college early in the week playing chicken with a taxi on a zebra crossing.  She managed to get knocked down by a private hire taxi on the zebra crossing out the front of the campus. I was in the City Centre of Liverpool and lets just say I was not doing the correct speed limit on my journey to Royal Preston Hospital up the M58 or M6 motorways.  She is so lucky that she is alive.  Somehow she did the family trick and bounced out of this accident - she has cuts, bruises and concussion. Bruises included the taxi bumper and grill shape on her right leg.  Thanks to all those who helped me keep my sanity and the well wishers.  She is home now but we are very very thankful that it was any worse especially given the family history of pedestrian mvas.  We bounce so many times and then we dont - dont ask we have lots of accidents blame the dyspraxia and jonahism.

So between daughter and work I have had a bit of horrendous week and have been so shattered that I have not got anymore spinning done from my fibre that I brought at Fibre Flurry but I plan to rectify that tonight as I think a little spinning might help me wind down from the frantic pace of this week.

Daughter has made me feel very very old this week and I am blaming her for all the grey hairs which have turned white with fright. I might be able to get my granny card based on my looks soon if she keeps these antics up. Does that mean that I am automatically a master knitter? Cause everyone knows only Granny's knit. xP

Monday, 1 November 2010

Fibre Flurry

So it was very early when I got up on Saturday morning as it was a case of being  a little hyperactive about going away for the day to Fibre Flurry and catching up with other yarnies including some of Knit camp Survivors such as Nic ala talesfromtheplain. I want one of the t-shirts when you do one!!!  Nic keeps talking about getting a shirt which says "I survived Knit Camp 2010" or something like that. At the start of the trip down there was a slight hiccup when the husbeast disappears down to the shops in the car just as I am need to get into it to travel to pick up my co-yarnie, Mrs Magic, in Prescot at our prearranged time.  I was about 20 minutes late to pick her up and we made it down to Brummyland in about 2 hours on the M6. Not bad for the nightmare stretch of the motorway.

While in Brummyland I caught up with Bec, Kate and lots of others.  I also got to see Sarah (aka mamalonglegs on Twitter) and get some more of her babylonglegs' yarns and fibre  for my stash.  As promised I took the Goblin yarn shawl, the April Leaves, down to Brummyland so she could see it in person.

Before I left in the morning there was a mad call up the stairs  to the daughter at about 7am for her shawl.  She did not like the wake up call but I think was good payback as this hand knit was in the typical teenager's storage space again - on her bedroom floor.  The super wash and lovely nature of babylonglegs dye was what attracted me to Sarah's skeins in first time and I so wanted some more for my stash.  This time I actively stepped away from her greens cause I want it all for ME as daughter automatically assumes if it is green that I am knitting for her and if not will drop a paddy about not getting the green knitting.

Fallen Leaves in the lovely Goblin by Babylonglegs.
In one part of the marketplace rooms it was a North West Lovefest with the Krafty Koala and some other locals and of course I had to support them. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it although Krafty your fibre has no storage staying power.  I am currently spinning some lovely Falkland Merino from the Krafty Koala it really did not stay in the stash for very long. It was a grand total of about 15 hours from when I brought home and put it in the stash to breaking it out and starting the first bobbin.  I will get some photos of my goodies up later in the week when I get some daylight to do photos in now the clocks have gone back an hour.

While the drive down was ok the trip back was a little slow due to the traffic. So it was very tired Mrs Magic dropped off in Prescot and I was home in the dark.  The clocks went back on Saturday night so my crash into bed and sleep in was actually an hour longer than the official clock time. I had a very lazy Sunday and did not move much other than petting the new pretties. Some how the one of the new fibres ended up on the Wendy wheel so I did do something constructive but not very much.  At this point in time I am saying that any spinning I am doing is going to be for Xmas swaps and other pressies.

Do you realise we have 52 days to go to YULE (XMAS)? OMG shoot me now I am so far behind I think I will not make it all this year.