Thursday, March 21, 2013

knitting, reading, making, listening....

When I went to the craft fair recently with my craft group, I bought some decopatch materials. I'd been wanting to try it for a long time.  There was a workshop at the fair, so a couple of friends and I had a go. I made a heart that is now hanging in our kitchen and bought a horseshoe for a friend's wedding, and a little elephant for myself.  I decorated them yesterday. The horseshoe still needs the addition of ribbon and a couple of flowers, I need to get strong glue. I really enjoyed it, it's quite easy and I think, ideal for small gifts. I have a few ideas for gifts and things I would like to make for our home.  

My friend managed to fix the baby blanket for me! She says it looks as though I randomly knitted about ten purl stitches in the middle of the garter stitch blanket, which created a kind of trough that was really noticeable. She used some of the yarn and a darning needle, and sewed over the bad bit to make it look the same as the rest of the blanket, very clever! So now I just need to get the lacy border sewn on and all the ends sewn in, and I can give the blanket to the new baby after all. I'm very pleased.

In other knitting news, as I said in my last post the wurm hat is now finished.  I am really pleased with it and the weather is still cold enough to get some wear out of it. I'm trying to knit a couple of squares  of my poncho most evenings and today I am going to try to get the baby blanket finished. I am also having another go at learning to crochet. Wish me luck with that, as I am the most crochet challenged person in the world. The same friend who fixed the blanket helped me with the crochet last night, and she is so patient, and I seem to understand what she is talking about, which helps! Watch this space.

I'm reading The Soldier's Wife by Joanna Trollope and finding it quite difficult to get into. I will give it a little bit longer before giving up. So far this year it seems books have to really grip me for me to have any patience with them whatsoever. I have three books for book group next week and I am partway through and struggling with all of them. I guess it's me.

This week I discovered that an Erasure concert I went to in 1990 is on YouTube, and spent a happy hour listening/singing along, and then watched the Erasure DVD that the Young Philosopher gave me for Christmas. I wold love to see them in concert again so I am following Andy Bell on twitter and keeping an eye on them. I can't imagine the Prof will want to go, but I think I might be able to talk my friend Lisa or my brother into it, they were both there the first time! I have some great photos of us dressed in Erasure t-shirts and baseball caps, on our way to the concert. One day I will have to dig them out and post them here.

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along and Dawn Suzette's Make and Listen Along

What are you knitting/reading/making/listening to?

Monday, March 18, 2013

I've been....

Shopping: a gift for a new baby, the new edition of Homemaker and Country Living magazines for me, a lovely new suit for the Prof.

Enjoying: coffee, as usual. I only drink decaff at home so a real coffee is a weekly treat. No crossword this week though, although I have been carrying the part-finished Saturday Telegraph crossword from a couple of weeks ago around in my bag all weekend in case, we just never got to it.

Testing: new subtitling technology.We attended a special free screening of Wreck it Ralph at a cinema in London, where the Prof was able to test some new subtitling technology currently being developed and give his feedback. There were different items being tested and he was asked to try the glasses he is wearing in the picture, apologies for the quality, it was taken in the dark, which my phone isn't very good at. The subtitles appear in the glasses instead of on the screen, which is a good idea as then every film could be available to deaf people. Currently we have to attend specific subtitled showings, of which there are not many, and lots of films either don't get subtitled at all, or too few subtitled copies are made, and they don't get shown at every cinema. If these glasses came into use, all films could carry the captions, as they would only be visible to the deaf person wearing the glasses, and on-screen captions would not be needed any longer.

Visiting: the library. I returned two books, Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes and The Good Father by Noah Hawley. The first was chilling, the second thought provoking and I thoroughly enjoyed both. I picked up some reserved items: a novel, a knitting book and the DVD Hope Springs, which is one of the films we hoped to see with subtitles last year and were not able to.

Knitting: I finished the wurm hat! I knitted one pattern repeat less than called for, and I think it is a little slouchier than I would prefer, but I will wear it, and more to the point, I learned how to knit in the round! If I make another sometime I will knit it a bit shorter.

Planning: my days. Instead of just bumbling along, I am trying to come up with a daily routine including yoga, fresh air/sunlight, proper meals, housework, decluttering and of course, reading and knitting - which may sound simple but with CFS, not so much. I am hoping the yoga will improve my strength and stamina, after three years at home I have little of either.  Work in progress.

Weekending with Amanda

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sweet Fifteen

'Tell a story about a time you got drunk before you were legally old enough to do so.'

I am lucky to have been born on New Year's Day (my Mum was maybe not so lucky spending New Year's Eve in labour). It's great because I get to celebrate at midnight on New Year's Eve when everyone is in festive mood and happy to make a fuss of me and again on my actual birthday, when everyone is off work and happy to make a fuss of me.

The day before my fifteenth birthday, I was invited to a New Year's Eve party with my boyfriend's family.  I don't remember now who or what it was for, but I remember that it was in a hall rather than someone's home and that it was a take-your-own-drink affair.  I spoke to my Mum, who said she had a very small amount of Martini, about two measures worth if that. She agreed that she would top the bottle up with lemonade for me to take to the party. As it happened, she found she had more Martini than she thought, so what she gave me was considerably stronger. She forgot to tell me this.

When we arrived at the party, I drank the whole bottle very quickly, thinking it was  little more than lemonade. I followed this up with two vodka and orange juices provided by my boyfriend's Dad, and was very shortly throwing up in the toilets. Soon after that I decided I had better go home and my boyfriend and I set off. The thirty minute walk took  two hours because of the state I was in and was made even longer by my drunken insistence on taking a rather long short cut through the park, being sick a few more times, then deciding I felt much better lying down and refusing to move. As my fifteenth birthday dawned, I was lying on my back on the grass watching fireworks and stars spinning in vertiginous circles above and around me and feeling truly dreadful. Eventually I felt slightly better and staggered the rest of the way home.

My parents had friends over to welcome in the New Year and as we approached my home, I did that thing, you know the one, where you draw yourself up to your full height and attempt to look as sensible and normal as possible so no-one will suspect. Confident that my parents and their friends would have no idea I was as pissed as the proverbial newt, I unlocked the door and entered the house in dignified and determinedly sober fashion.  My 11 year old brother appeared before me and blew my cover completely.

'Eww' he said 'You STINK of sick'.

The Scintilla Project

Why Does Everybody Call me Big Head?

I am still smarting over my blanket disaster. I can't face undoing it to re-knit, the mistake is about halfway, so I would have such a lot of it to knit again. Thank you so much for all your suggestions, and I do think covering the mistake area with flowers would have been a great idea, but the baby was born at the weekend, and he is a boy. I thought about applique, maybe a boat or something,  but the border of the blanket is a delicate mint green and I don't think I could match the colour. A better sewer than me could probably embroider something, but I know my limitations. So I am giving up on it, and I will buy a present at the weekend.

I made this scarf for my Mum for Mothering Sunday, but I couldn't post the picture until I had given it to her as she reads the blog. I made two of these, as Curly Girl fell in love with the first  one I was knitting for Mum, so I gave it to her, and then bought exactly the same yarn again and made another. It's a quick knit, they take me about two hours and I am not a fast knitter. I have finally got around to putting details of my projects on Ravelry, you can find the scarf here. Mum loved it.

I am reading The Good Father, which I am enjoying so far. The wurm hat is going well, but seems to be HUGE. However, it fits my head.

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along

Friday, March 01, 2013

Good news and bad news

I finished the lacy edging for the baby blanket I was knitting, and when I came to sew it on to the main part I saw a mistake in it that is quite noticeable and renders it not really gift-worthy. I would use it myself if I had a little one, but I am not happy giving it as a gift. The baby is due any time, so I think I will be buying a present, rather than inflicting my dodgy knitting on him/her, and probably donating the blanket somewhere. Ah well.

My wurm hat is going well. I was concerned about doubling over the knitting for the band, but when it came to it I had no problem. I have been struggling to work out where the end of each round was, until someone suggested using a stitch marker, duh. So THAT'S what they are for! The hat isn't perfect by a long way, but I am happy to have learned the various new skills involved. At my craft group this week, I even found myself explaining to some else how to knit on circular needles.

I am loving the first issue of Kindred magazine, and looking forward to more. I am also really excited to have rediscovered a favourite childhood book, Mandy thanks to Kindred. I read this from the library as an eight year old and loved it, but could never recall the title or author and have spent years looking for it online under various titles that I thought it might have been called! Then when my Kindred magazine arrived last month, there was a list of books inside and I knew right away as soon as I read the title and author, that it was the one, and I am so looking forward to revisiting it. It will join my little pile of well loved books from my childhood.

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along. What are you knitting and reading?