Friday, November 30, 2007

Just in time

Here are the latest pair of socks for my son. He has size 11 feet and yes, that IS a gameboy in the pic for scale.

These are also my socks for the October Sockalong at Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry. I can't get into it right now so this will hopefully be enough evidence to convince them that I have indeed finished in time.

Gingerbread Socks - FINISHED

Trekking XXL, will edit to add the colour tomorrow, 2.5mm needles, pattern pretty much made up as I went along. Stitch is "Gingerbread Rib" from a book I borrowed from Miriam.

I reversed the cables on the second sock. Looks nice, hey?

Socks Close Up

Will post more tomorrow. Now off to watch 4 episodes of "Smallville" with the wearer of the socks.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Is this fair?

I went to the pulmonologist (sp?) today. I have had a bad run of sinus and bronchitus and can now no longer climb two flights of stairs of carry my daughter from her bedroom to the lounge without doing a good impersonation of Darth Vader.

I had a morning full of tests, more results to come, the good news is that I am not allergic to the most common allergens. Bad news is that I have "Late Onset Asthma".

I have probably smoked less than 10 cigarettes in my life (all when quite seriously drunk or feeling self destructive). It bugs the living daylights out of me that people who have spent YEARS voluntarily inhaling toxins have an easier time breathing than I do.

I now have drugs that I need to take morning and night and more drugs to take before exercise and if I feel my chest going all tight. I also have to run to the specialist if I get a chest infection as that could lead to the asthma getting out of control which could lead to my lungs being damaged.

Knitting content will return with the next post.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What a week

Right – this week has been HECTIC. It is that time of year when everything happens at once (or at least it feels that way). I meant to post something on Monday but what with Michael’s therapy session and the PA meeting I just didn’t get round to it. Tuesday was another thing at the school, Wednesday I just faded, Thursday was something else at the school and Friday I had some deadline sewing to do.

SO – in order :

On Monday I went to the shops during lunch to post something. I didn’t get out as early as I would have liked and when I got there the queue was long, there were only two tellers, after waiting for 5 minutes and getting nowhere I decided to leave. HMM – now I think of it I STILL haven’t posted it, must try to get round to it this week.

As I had driven all the way to the shops I decided to pop into the second hand book shop for a quick browse. It is quite amazing what you can pick up at these places. I live in hope of finding a complete set of Alice Starmore books with the label “R500 for the set”. It’s right up there with the belief that I will find a complete kit for the Kaffe Fassett cardigan with the animal print inspired spots at a jumble sale. Just checked – it is called “Leopard Skin” and is on page 100 of “Kaffe’s Classics”. I have this idea that, once I have knit this cardigan and put it on, I will achieve the waif-like gorgeousness of the model and that my life will magically become perfect.

Yes, I do live in my own world, but it’s fine, everybody knows me here.

I didn’t quite find anything of the above but I found THESE:


Not quite in the league of my wish list, but incredibly special to me nonetheless. My mom had these, in their softcover incarnation, when I was a child. I might actually still have them somewhere, but if I remember correctly they are falling apart due to much loving attention from yours truly. These books were a mine of information when I was growing up. All the questions about knitting and crochet and sewing that my mom couldn’t answer – these books could! I attempted my first sock and my first mitten (neither of them were ever finished – AH – how little I have changed) from patterns in these books. I took my first steps in quilting from their instructions (hexagons in English Paper Piecing – thankfully lost in the mists of time as the fabric I used was HIDEOUS – that much I can remember) and I wrote quite a few Home Economics projects based on their pages. When I was down and lonely and hurting and nobody understood or cared I would open these books, turn the pages, and find comfort there. I started knitting an aran (also never finished) from their instructions, I lusted after the gansey on the next page but could never find the right wool (now, with the internet at my disposal, it will be child’s play). It’s like meeting an old friend. Things have been a bit CRAP of late and, right now, this makes me very very happy.

This is one of the little lights at the end of the tunnel (that isn’t an approaching train) that life sends you every now and again.

In other, also positive news, the new gardening protocol seems to be working well as growing sunflowers have been sighted.


The deadline sewing – a dress for Jackie.

Divali Dress

We were invited to a Divali dinner at her friend’s house. I had to get it done in time. Thankfully all I needed to do was sew down the neck facing, put in the sleeves, hem everything, and sew on a fastener. All was done in time and a good time was had by all. I have now left the sewing machine on the desk in the computer room. If it is accessible I do more on it.

I have actually promised myself that, if I can clear off the “big shelf” in my room and keep it clear, I will get myself a proper sewing cabinet for my birthday in May. I want something with doors that close so I can leave everything out (but safely locked away) to avoid accidents to children and cats. I also want a big table so I can get a cutting mat and use a rotary cutter to cut out patterns rather than having to pin everything down and mess about with scissors.

Next project – bags for Jackie. She wants to learn how to use the sewing machine and as this is mainly straight seams she can help me with this project.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Of Ducks and mysteries and gardening

This has been another busy weekend.

At knitting yesterday I gave Andrea the hat for her littlest. She seemed to really like it, which is always nice. I did have a shawl and a hat for Georgia but, sadly, she wasn’t there. I have her daughter’s details so I’ll leave things there for her to collect when things are a going a bit better.

Today Jackie and I went to Emmarentia to feed ducks. We initially went to the Botanical Gardens side of the lake, but the lack of hungry ducks led us to move to the other side of the lake. There were plenty of ducks here and Jackie soon had a following.

Duck 1


In Knitting I finished the first clue of the November Mystery sock on Ravelry’s Sockknitters Anonymous group. This went pretty quickly, but then it was just two cuffs. Clue 2 is only out next week so I’ll keep myself busy with SOMETHING in the meantime.

November mystery 1

As far as gardening goes – earlier exercises resulted in the ground being kept too wet so pretty much everything went all gloopy and mouldy. I am trying something different this time.

Basic procedure is as follows :

Get your children to eat lots of yoghurt so you have lots of empty tubs. Poke drainage holes in the bottom of the tubs. I used a metal skewer.

Yoghurt Tub

Fill tubs with seedling mix, soak well, put into a suitable container and plant seeds. In the pic below the container is a cat litter box. I do have cats and suggest that you buy this new. Cat pee is toxic to most plants and it smells terrible too.

Litter Box

Then, to ensure that the seedlings stay moist, put them into a clear rubbish bag.

Litter Box 2

I think this is where I went wrong the last time. I put too much water in and closed them too tightly. This way there is a bit of space for water to evaporate. Now to leave them (I do check on them daily) until they start growing. The plastic bags have multiple purposes. They help keep in moisture, they help keep insects and other pests out, and they protect seeds from the most inappropriately named cat in the world.


This is Angel. The kids chose her name. I think she is more like the vampire of the same name in the Buffy spin off. She likes to dig up seedlings and to eat tender young leaves. She has yet to learn how to untie knots in plastic bags.

OK – that’s all for now. I will hopefully have more knitting pics and maybe some plant pics shortly.