Thursday, 30 December 2010

Have I fallen off the deepend?

Save Meeee
This is the question I am asking myself. Jess the cat from Postman Pat has it right someone save me from myself. I was going meh about doing socks but still wanted to do at least one pair a month to sort myself out with socks.  As my good friend MMMC  recently observed with knickers you always seem to be short of them. Well in my household I have some sock thieves and the main offender is about 14 and has a real thing for stealing his mother's socks. I am so glad that neither kid fits my knickers or they would be at risk as well. I lose enough clothing to both of them that it is not funny.  Hello daughter that was my new coat etc  fill the blank (YKWIM). I even started to get organised to set myself up a self imposed sock club knitting project ala yarnharlot with a bunch of other ravellers.

Pattern: Haruni 
In the mean time, I resigned up for 11 shawls in 2011 group who are continuing the 10 in 2010 shawl challenge cause I have so many shawl patterns in my knitting pattern queue and yes now that I have conquered lace I have been bitten by the lace bug. My knitting queue is longer that my estimated life span but hey ho that is the breaks. I am hoping that shawl projects will help my pressie stash and to get some of my yarn stash back under control.  It would also help with the odd job issues and the need to do some xmas pressies (member of the xmas list knitters as well). I was even a good little knitter and finished up a new citron shawl, Limoncello, that I started on Boxing day for the next year which is currently blocking so I will get photos when I get the combo of light and model in the same place and time.

A Belfry
But then then some insane idiot known as Puddytatpurr mentioned something about the A to Z KAL. After a bit of fishing on Ravelry I found that there were a bunch of insane individuals in the UK sock knitters group who are going to attempt to knit 26 patterns matching the alphabet over the period of a year. Yes that is a pair of socks every two weeks. While I have the 26 patterns, I am full aware that I have absolutely nope hope in the time space continuum that is my life to do all of them. This KAL recognises that life happens so you can dip in and out. I know that there some other insane fools like Wyndwitch who are also attempting this one so I am not alone in my insanity.

So the plan challenge wise for 2011 is:
  • 11 shawls in 2011
  • Self imposed sock club
  • Stash down -  get that stash down to a manageable size
  • A-Z sock KAL 
  • Xmas List knitting
  • Odds and ends clean up including finishing up some outstanding creative projects
So it appears that somehow I have managed to create my own 52 projects in 52 weeks and I am totally insane because my projects are not small scale easy to complete tasks. I admit that there are several brick short in my bbq and I have bats flying round in my belfry.  

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

End of Year Review looking for ideas

Each year I like to challenge myself creatively and it is that time of year again to identify the challenge for the next year. In 2009, I did the 52 things in 52 weeks challenge. This year I did the 10 shawls in 12 months challenge. I sort of did all of the lace shawls in about 6 months. I learnt to spin and I now have two wheels so that long held challenge has been done and dusted in 2010. All in all I would say that this year has been very successful and I have certainly developed in my skills and knowledge. I still have a long way to go but I am not scared of lace anymore. I even competed in my first Tour de Fleece and of course the Winter knitting Olympics in February.

I am looking for ideas for 2011 as I am sort of wondering where do I go next challenge-wise? Hubby suggested that I do a small project a week or a pair of socks per month and I sort of went been there done that. I can see why he said socks as I need some but I am sort not a regular sock knitter as they are filler projects for me between others a bit like that book you have in bag that you have read several times but keep it there to be occupied when you have a long wait. In November, I brought "The Knitter's Year" by Debbie Bliss which while a lovely pattern book there are several projects in there I would never knit cause it just ain't me and I have already done the 52 projects in 52 weeks before in 2009. I am also a bit of a flippy giblet who has the attention span of a gnat so doing one project per week out of this book would just be too constraining for me.

One thing I would like to do is reduce my stash a bit as I like to keep it to one plastic container. I also want to spend more time in my coal shed / bunker. I have some fabric stash that I want to use up. I also want to be more prepared and get some spare pressies in the cupboard for emergencies cause my backups have all been used this Christmas. I have already started to address this with some shawl knitting for Xmas next year. I think no matter what I will be doing I will have to do a Xmas pressie per month so I have enough pressies in the cupboard but hopefully spacing them out with other items will help relieve some of the xmas knitting boredom that could occur. This year may be the year of the Odd Jobs ie finishing up a load of Odd Jobs round the house to help make the place more homey.

Any Suggestions out there?

Monday, 27 December 2010

We Made it

Well we made it through Xmas.  As some may know the Hubby & I survived Cyclone Tracy in 1974.  J was evacuated out and I was kept in the rubble with my Mum.   Mum was very persuasive with the army when she fired a warning shot  announcing that
  1. she would consider them as looters
  2. she was essential staff for reconstruction and recovery 
  3. she was armed and therefore was not going to be forcibly evacuated. 

Christmas while a great family holiday for many; for us as parents can be very very stressful not only with the demands of children, extended families, work and other commitments. Please take the time to remember those who do not have their families and are less fortunate than you.

If you have a chance remember others who still need our help at this time of year.   The 2004 Tsunami survivors still need help and so do the 2010 Haiti Earthquake victims please give something to the various charities such as MSF who are trying to assist with the on going issues these locations.   It took Darwin almost 20 years to recover after Tracy the Tsunami countries still have missing infrastructure such as water supplies.

If you are a knitter please consider Knitters without Borders / Tricoteuses Sans Frontières  or if you are in the UK please consider Pennies per hour of pleasure (P/HOP).

Wishing you all safe and well.

Friday, 24 December 2010


‘Twas the night before Christmas and all around me 
Was unfinished knitting not under the tree. 
The stockings weren’t hung by the chimney with care 
‘cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds 
but I had not finished the caps for their heads. 
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all, 
And the sweater for him was six inches too small.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, 
I put down my needles to see what was the matter. 
Away to the window, I flew like a flash, 
Tripped over my yarn and fell down with a crash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow 
Reminded me how much I still had to go. 
Out on my lawn, I heard such a noise, 
I thought it would wake both dad and the boys.
And though I was tired, my brain was a bit thick, 
I knew in a moment, it must be Saint Nick. 
But what I heard then left me perplexed-ed, 
For not a name I heard was what I had expected
“move, Ashford; move, Lopi; move, Addie and Clover Move, Reynolds; 
move, Starmore; move, Fraylic--move over” 
“Paton, don’t circle round; stand in line. 
Come now, you sheep wool work just fine! 
I know this is hard semi, it’s just your first year, 
I’d hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer.”
I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing, 
Eight woolly sheep on my lawn all a’grazing. 
And then, in a twinkle, I heard at the door 
Santa’s feet coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet, 
And as I turned round, Saint Nick, I did meet. 
He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe 
And his clothes were handknit from above to below.
A bright Fairisle sweater he wore on his back, 
and his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack. 
His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace, 
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf round his neck could have stretched for a mile, 
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle. 
The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable, 
And suddenly on one I spied a small label.
SC was duplicate stitched on the cuff, 
and I asked “Hey Nick, did you knit all this stuff?” 
He proudly replied “Ho-ho-ho, yes I did, I learned how to knit when I was a kid.”
He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man, 
And I laughed to myself for I’d thought up a plan,. 
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air, 
And the next thing he knew he was tied to a chair.
He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap 
Where I’d laid my needles and yarn for a cap. 
He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two; 
For the first time I thought I’d really get through.
He put heels on the stockings and toes in some socks 
While I sat back drinking Scotch on the rocks!! 
So quickly like magic, his needles they flew, 
That he was all finished by quarter to two. 
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free, 
And over his shoulder he looked back at me. 
And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon 
“Next year start your knitting sometime around June!”
Author unknown

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Lunar Eclipse

Start of Lunar Eclipse last night
Well we have had some very hard winter weather here in Lancashire starting with almost 2 foot of snow on Friday night.  Normally we are sheltered by the Irish Sea but we got some of the spin off what hit Ireland and landed 30 inches of snow in some places. We have had some snow here before in the last couple of years but generally it is just a quick splash and that is it.  This time we has 12 continuous hours of snow fall. Over the weekend we got daytime temperatures topping out at -10C. Such lovely weather. It has been the perfect weather for sitting at home and knitting but unfortunately I have had to do some university work and paid work so I have been tap tap tapping away on the keyboard.  

I trudged into LJMU today taking 2 hours to do the normal 45 minute commute to have student after student cancel after I had got in there. At least the hubby and I had lunch together in peace for the first time in ages before we turned around to make the 2 hour commute home. 

The downside of the weather has been the effect on my sleep pattern but the upside has been I got a lovely view of the lunar eclipse this morning.

So take care all, may you all have a lovely Christmas and Yule time and I will probably not be posting again until the new year.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Happy St Nickolaos the Wonderworker

St Nicholas or St Nickolaos day is the 6th of December and many around the world celebrate this in conjunction with Christmas. I have some Germanic or Northern European ancestors in the family so I was brought up with St Nicholas and Zwarte Piet. While it is not a politically correct story I do like the idea of leaving sticks for the beating of bad children.  We used to get given a bag of gold chocolate coins if we were good on this day. We could of got the tradition from the Scottish part of the family as there is an association with St Nicholas on the North East coast due to the fishing industry.

Now living in Liverpool I am surprised about the lack of recognition that they make for their patron saint, yeap he is the patron saint for the city. St Nick is the patron of sailors and with Liverpool's history as a maritime town you think there would be more of a hoopla.  

So today we will be having ginger biscuits with our coffee and I will sending a little prayer his way cause I certainly need it. St Nick is also the patron of students and this student most certainly needs some divine help with the amount of writing she has to do in the next week or so. I also need his help with getting some of the Christmas stuff done.  Knitting wise I am so behind it is just not funny so I just dont want some sticks for a beating from Zwarte Piet rather some extra help with everything I need to get done this week.  I need St Nick the wonderworker badly.  I hope you all get gifts you want rather than piece of coal and swatch of sticks.

Friday, 3 December 2010

You know it is cold when

Your milk delivery is frozen solid in the glass bottle.  We have only have had a light dusting of snow much to the chagrin of the children who have been plugging for a snow day. We have had temps in the range of -8C to -10C on a couple of nights and some of the day time temps have been below 0C.  It made it to 1C yesterday. At the moment we are hovering at about -2.54C and I am feeling particularly sorry for the milk man who is dropping off bottles of milk from his electric milk float. He would not be able to deliveries if we were getting the snow that Kent and Surrey is.  

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Another Dear Santa

Dear Santa

Yet another late Christmas letter cause I am a totally disorganised bugger who has failed at Motherhood 101 yet again. I failed last year when I sent the begging letter and you could of helped out more cause many of the same requests are on this year's letter.

Could you lend me a team of your elves for the next 12 months as I still have a long list which are very similar to last year's request?

If the elves come they can help me with the following:
  1. Find the floor of my children’s bed rooms
  2. Do the house work that I am so behind with
  3. Help me to clean up the house and put everything away in an organised manner so I can find things when I am looking for them.
  4. Select, shop or make and then wrap the Christmas presents
  5. Make the Christmas cake and plum pudding that I normally do in the October half term and  for the second year in a row did not do cause I was totally disorganised in this case too busy earning dosh to pay the household bills which was better than last year with the lergy.
  6. I still need the attitude adjustment from last year cause I yet again giving the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge a run for their money in the Bah humbug stakes.
  7. Let the family understand that I am going to decorate with yarn on Xmas Eve cause I can not find be arsed  to locate the Christmas ornaments  (again) and no I wont be putting our tree up on Xmas Eve. See I am a little bit of traditionalist and I do maintain the 12 days of Christmas. No I am not going to change my mind I have not in the last 20+ years we have been living together J so it aint going to be happening this year.
  8. Give me enough breathing room so I can actually retain some of brain functions or is that a semi balanced mental state and not keep losing personal items such as car keys, work passes, purses, eye glasses and diary due to being stressed out to the max which causes a complete loop failure in my working memory.
  9. I need a time turner gadget like Hermione has in the Harry Potter books cause I am so behind in my xmas knitting that I need to distort the time continuum. If not Hermione's gadget the Tardus would do.
  10. Can we have some peace in our world but I would settle for some calm in our household were we are not lurching from one crisis to another.
Yes I have started to turning into that deranged mother and wife, who is terrorising her family and the rest of the community with her continual emotional meltdowns which are now on looped repeat. Yes I am doing my role play as an inpatient at the local maximum security psychiatric hospital and I am sure people are starting to talk about my tick.

Bah humbug