Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What's that all about?

Today as it’s finally summer here in the UK, I decided to have my lunch in the park near work. I like to do this in the nice weather. Anyway, I sat down on a small wall near a bench where two young mums were sitting. Nothing wrong with that, they were sitting having a natter and a drink of pop. One of the mums was letting her kid get sunburn, but I couldn’t possibly comment, not being a mum myself (I thought you keep them out of the sun til they’re big enough to tell you they’re burning?)
Anyway, I was enjoying my sandwich while the mums changed their babies. I also have no issue with this, it’s a pain to have to find somewhere that you can get the push-chair into that has a parent and baby room, and nobody could be offended by a naked baby bottom.
So then, the two mums put the smelly nappies on the bench and walked off. I’m sorry – when did public benches become a place to dispose of nappies? When did they stop being the responsibility of the mum who had just changed the child? It’s not like there aren’t bins in the park! Sheesh!

And so, I have felt guilty all afternoon for not:
  1. reprimanding the mothers
  2. clearing away the nappies
In fairness, I didn’t see them leave, and they might have just forgot the nappies…
And I couldn’t bring myself to clear them away, I don’t want to deal with that until it’s my own baby’s smelly nappy I have to throw away!

On a completely unrelated note, I have begun a new knit project to take on holiday with me (maybe). I’m making the zig-zag-bag out of a back issue of Simply Knitting. I’ll keep you posted, but it looks cool so far (I’m using pink, purple, pale orange and pale green yarn for this one) and shouldn’t take long to knit – in fact I might manage to finish it before I go. I’m planning on crocheting a scarf on the plane, if I can just pick which scarf pattern and which yarn! I might go for a one-colour one as that will mean less yarn to carry on the plane. If it could be done in one ball that would be even better, but we’ll see. If it could be one that I can knit from one end that might be best… we will see, I suppose. I’ll also be taking the gypsy socks in my case, to cast on and get started while I’m there.

Lastly, you might have noticed that it’s my blog-o-versary in FOUR days time! In honour of my having been blogging for another whole year (I think that might make 2 years!) there is now a survey in the sidebar. The survey will close on the blog-o-versary and is just for fun. I would run a competition but I wouldn’t know what to make the prize. Maybe next year!

Monday, July 30, 2007


The weekend was, as expected, a crazy shopping spree!

Leon and I went in pretty much every shop in York (well, that's an exaggeration, but it felt like it!) to try to find the bits we still wanted for our hols. I bought some T-shaped T-shirts and a couple of vests, a bag, some knickers, that sort of thing. I wanted some cheap T-shaped T-shirts to wear if when I get my shoulders sunburnt. I also picked up a casual sun dress. Most importantly I picked up the new bikini that I have been hunting for. It's practical for water parks. I went swimming in it to test its not-being-see-through-ness, which was sucessful. I also jumped up and down and wiggled about a lot to make sure I wasn't likely to fall out of it (which is the case with my side-tie ones!)

I also discovered that them people who keep whinging about clothing sizes are right! I tried on some size 12 items in several shops, which ranged from a 36" (my bikini top) to a 40 (Dorothy Perkins vest). This is confusing and irritating. However, the thought of going metric is even less appealing - I don't want to be a 90cm person, even if I am. 90 sounds big, 12 sounds small(er). Though the connotations would be different I guess. Who knows.

I did try to buy some all stars that I liked from Office. The first pair I liked they didn't have in my size. Bummer. So I asked for another pair which I liked almost as much. They did have one pair in my size, but they were terribly scuffed. Bummer. I went to two other shops which sell this kind of shoe. Nobody had the ones I wanted. In the end I bought a pair of glittery biscuit coloured ones from New Look (not real All Stars) for a tenner. I'll buy some proper All Stars in the USA where they'll be cheaper. And the New Look ones are really comfy, so maybe it was for the best!

So, then I finished off the secret item I was making, and I looked at it...
I giggled.
I held it up to show Leon as I began to laugh.
Oh dear!
What should have been a pretty shawl would go round most people at least twice, and was about long enough for a toddler. I ripped it out before thinking of taking a photo of the hilarity though! It was brilliant. So the surprise isn't happening, there's no way I can knit something in three days, with all the other stuff I have on anyway.

I'm in SP11!
I'm still waiting on ravelry

Sister Sister

My sister has started a blog.

It's not going to have anything knitting related in it, I suspect, but could be an interesting read.

Hopefully she'll remember the unwritten "Rules of Blogging" of never put anything online that you wouldn't say to someone's face!

Enjoy your blog little sis.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I should have known...

You Are the Middle Finger
A bit fragile and dependent on your friends, you're not nearly as hostile as you seem. You are balanced, easy to get along with, and quite serious. However, you can get angry and fed up with those around you. And you aren't afraid to show it!
You get along well with: The Index Finger
Stay away from: The Pinky

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I want to knit!

I’ve just seen the mid-season knitty pattern called Emerald Seas. It’s labelled “Tangy” which is “Tired of rectangles? Ready for something more challenging? Try these. - Fun things with zing. A twist, even.” Which sounds less complicated than the secret project I tried which was lace and shaping. I found it hard. So hard, in fact, that it has become my first UFO (UnFinished Object).
I have switched to a (hopefully) quicker knit which should serve the same purpose. I still need to finish it before my holiday – you’ll see why! I’m fairly sure that the recipient doesn’t visit my blog often, but they just might.

As Britknitter mentioned, I don’t have vast amounts of knitting time at the moment. I'm managing to squeeze in about an hour or two every night though. As the secret project is still fairly challenging, I have made a choice not to carry it around with me. The main issue is the sheer number of stitches on my slightly-too-short needles! I’ll make sure to pick up some circulars before I try this one again! That does mean that I’m not getting to knit in my lunch-break (if I get one) though. That said, other than the mad shopping day on Saturday, my weekend is free, so I might be able to spend some time on Sunday knitting! I reckon that I should be able to have finished the secret item before Saturday though, despite the fact that I’ll not get home until about 9:30 tonight and tomorrow I might be even later.

It’s a shame that I can’t knit on the flight, or even when waiting for the flight (my hold luggage will be checked in quite early). I was considering getting some little plastic needles which don’t matter to try to sneak onto the plane ask the man at passport control about and post home if necessary. However, it might be possible to crochet. I’ve had a go, and I’ve made three granny squares (towards my “Teeny Blankie”) in some nice variegated blue yarn. I think that three more in that colour and then six in white will make a nice blankie, four squares wide, and three squares long, alternating colours. Depending, I might make it even bigger, though I do prefer to knit.
I do also have the dilemma of what knitting to take, considering the risk of bag-loss. I might take my gypsy-socks (still not cast on) to do, which are small, portable, and not too complicated. In the other case (in case of single case loss) I will probably take some bits for the squares for the sudoku throw. Though that is a big risk, if just some squares went AWOL, so I might go for something a bit less risky, like the mittens I intend to knit, or possibly a scarf (simple and sweet). I may be crocheting a scarf on the plane with my plastic crochet hook (that is another thing I need to buy!) too. I have purposely not opened my copy of Simply Knitting for this month so that I have that to read on the plane (that’s a half hour or more taken up) and I may buy some other knitting magazine too, if the fancy takes me. I will probably buy some gossip mag too (though I know I shouldn’t) and I hope to by something in WHSmith in the airport to read on the plane/beach. I must remember to put my glasses in my hand luggage!

I always plan loads to do on long plane journeys, and then I usually just sleep for most of it! We’ll probably get fed twice because we’re taking off after lunch and landing at tea-time. Okay, so I am starting to be excited about it now! Not the long flight (though it’s all part of it!) but the holiday should be fab! We’ve put togther an itinerary to make sure that we do everything we want.

If anyone knows of any nice (and preferably not too expensive) hotels in Clearwater or that area in Florida, drop me an email! That’s probably one of the bits of my holiday which I’ll enjoy most as I’ll get to spend some time just with Leon. I am also looking forwards to seeing my family, though with a little more trepidation! It’s been a long time. I don’t know whether I have changed much (it’s hard to tell when it’s yourself) or whether it matters. I know I’ve grown up, but more than that, I dunno. We will see.

Anyway, I have work to do, as well as a shopping and packing list to write!
Happy knitting!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Transformers Rocks!

Went to see an advanced showing of Transformers - it Rocked! Go see it. Now. Or on Friday when it goes on general release.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Holiday Yarns

I can’t believe that it’s only 19 days until my holiday! Woo-hoo! That’s less than three weeks!
We’re having a day-of-organising at the weekend back in Gainsborough with my parents. Leon and I are only going to be there for the day, but that should be plenty of time to decide the loose plan of what we’re going to do.

Anyway, time for a quick catch-up as I haven’t posted in an age!

My ebay yarn sold well, I got the starting bid for one and a bit more for the other. I shipped them off on Monday, so I should check in on ebay and see if they have left me feedback yet.
Speaking of ebay, I bought 900g of random yarn while I was surfing. I’m hoping to make something random out of it, depending on what I have in the mix. It arrived yesterday, but as the package is big I have to go to the post office to collect it on my way home tonight.

The Race for Life has been postponed again, it’s now on Sunday 26th August. That’s the weekend after we get back from our holiday. I’m not likely to be training while I am in Florida, so that could make for interesting action at the racecourse. That will not stop me from doing my best to keep my 7minute kilometres going!

We went to see Leon’s brother, John, in a play called Little Red Things. It’s actually a children’s play, but it did have a message for all the parents too. I really enjoyed it! There were puppets and lighting effects as well as some pretty good acting.

Also at the weekend we visited Wimpole Farm. This was lots of fun, though there weren’t many goats, I did get to see lots of sheep, pigs (including piglets), evil moo hounds cows and horses. There were also lots of chickens. Leon’s mum is thinking about getting some chickens. I’d quite like to have chickens but our yard is not really appropriate at the moment. perhaps when we have a bigger house and garden we’ll be able to have some other pets.

Last piece of news (I think) is that we have bought our camera now, it’s pretty good! We need to invest in a memory card for it though. I’ve been using it already to take pictures of my old mobile phone which I hope to sell on ebay too. [I’ve been bitten by the bug – I’m scouring the house for more things to sell!]

I only have a couple of other bits to buy for my holiday, I have sun-cream, beach bag, bikinis (though I want a water park suitable one), sandals for traipsing in, sandals for going out in an evening in, shorts for the beach, shorts for theme parks, a skirt, a dress to travel in with my jeans under (probably), camera, sun hat, prescription sunglasses (for driving too – my licence says I have to have), suitcases in bright blue (everyone else has brown or black, so they’ll stand out). I still need a bag suitable for the plane. It should be big enough to fit in my magazine, purse, passport, a book (for the flight), my iPod, possibly some crochet, some gum, maybe some other bits, I don’t know yet. I also want to get some all-star trainers (though they’ll be loads cheaper over there) and a bikini (as I mentioned), and possibly a couple more tops. I do need a baggy t-shirt for the water park, one that I don’t mind if it gets wet. I may go to New Look and see what is in the sale there. I also fancy getting a couple more vests in nice colours. I need to wear a cardigan on the train/plane on the way there, but I don’t know which one yet. Most likely the deep-pink wrap-around one. Depends on the weather on the 5th August.

Oh yes! The last piece of news is that my new driving licence is here! I have the stipulation that I must wear my specs to drive (01) but otherwise nothing special. Quite exciting that I have it though, even though it’s only a bit of paper and a bit of plastic.

Lastly, before I go, I’ll do a Knitting Update. I’ve been working on the secret project but probably not fast enough. I’m half way through the second piece, but there are three more pieces to do. I want to get it finished before the holiday, so I have 19 days in which to complete it, and it also needs blocking and pressing really, to make sure it’s a sensible size. I’ll be totally gutted if it doesn’t fit the intended recipient!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Romance is dead?

Google doesn't think so...
Check it out!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

No Pigs For Me

Stitch n Bitch: The Happy Hooker So, my new books are here! I am now the proud owner of Stitch n Bitch: Nation and Stitch n Bitch: The Happy Hooker. I’ve had a bit of a read through the first chapter or so of both, and had a good leaf through the patterns. I’ve also ordered myself some sets of crochet hooks from ebay which should be with me soon. I will have to use yarn from my stash at the moment, because I am skint. There are a couple of items that I am itching to have a go at crocheting. I must work on the secret project though, as my time to complete it is limited. I do want to learn to crochet before we go to Florida because then I can crochet on the plane. There’s a clear notice that one can not take knitting needles, but there’s no limitation on crochet hooks – though I might need to pick up a nasty plastic one. I say “nasty” because I like the way that metallic knitting needles feel in your hands, the way they click when you knit, the way the yarn slides along them. That said, crochet hooks are a different beast…

I do have plenty of yarn in my stash to use up too! as well as the yarn I’ve bought specifically for projects (where I do tend to end up with too much!) and the yarn I’ve bought to get me started (mostly DK) I have a big pile (well, drawer full) of yarn I bought as a job lot from ebay. This yarn is an incredible mix of stuff, from some beautiful baby 4ply in white and pink, some black 4ply, loads of Peter Pan from Wendy, a cone of black spotted stuff (it screams lacy shawl to me, but if lace knitting is always as evil as the stuff I’m doing right now, I may not tackle any more for a while!), some weird wool-fleece stuff, loads of spotty patterned yarn and some ribbon-like stuff too.

I’m selling the eyelash yarn that I bought on ebay. I bought a four scarf pack with three balls of each colour, pink and blue in feathery texture and burgundy and white in eyelash texture. I made a scarf with the pink, which is funky, and I think I have enough left to cuff some mittens with (the mittens can be in the leftover of the pink or cream from the pom-pom hat) I’m not sure yet about the blue, but I was thinking about a bag for the red and white, but decided against it and so I’ve put it on ebay. Two of the balls (one of each colour) are ball-band-less, which is a shame. There are people watching the items, but not bidding on them yet. I’d quite like to sell some other things on ebay too, I think. The yarn is a good start.

Pigs Xing Last night I went for my first solo drive, it wasn’t as scary as I thought it might be, although the roundabout near Tesco was a bit flustering! I did go to pets at home too, and bought some treats for Aston. I looked at the baby guinea pigs too. I’d love to have a guinea pig, but really I’d like to have a place to put them. A friend of ours has guinea pigs (who are adorable!) and they do tend to chuck hay everywhere. We pig-sat for them one time, the pigs were fab! They squeak all the time, it is so sweet! As I said: no pigs for me. Not even the cute ginger one who squeaked so adorably at me through the door of the pen in pets at home.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Waiting to drive

I’m waiting on the post now. Well, not actually waiting, it would make me even later for work if I did that. But I am waiting for things to arrive in the post: my new full driving licence and the camera we ordered.

Tonight I am going on my first ever solo drive at potentially a busy time too. I’m off to Tesco to get some random bits of shopping. I might call in to ‘pets at home’ too, while I am there! Very exciting for me, though probably not for you!

Knit and Purl Mama sounds like she’s trying to be the perfect mum. Her recent post asks “How do they manage” – meaning mums with more than one child. Now, while I can’t comment on that particular aspect (I only have Leon and our hamster to look after) I want to send out a big hug to her, and say this:
The most important thing for your family is that you are there for them; it doesn’t matter if you forget to hoover on a weekend sometimes, and it doesn’t matter if you put off the ironing in favour of having a rest. In fact, make sure you do have a rest!

I know that K&PMamma surfs in here occasionally, and I hope that I’m not being too bold.

Well, otherwise I don’t have much to report. We bought Lego Star Wars II at the weekend, so I haven’t done as much knitting as I would have liked. I’m about 10 rows in to the second piece of the secret item. I’m a little concerned that my gauge is too far out and that it will not fit the intended recipient. That would suck! I could wear this one myself if it turns out too small, but I wouldn’t have time to knit a second one in a bigger size. I’ll see, I guess. Maybe it will be better when I’ve pinned and pressed it (gently of course). It is also machine washable, which is always good.
Speaking of machine washable, my OH put my Opal socks through the wash just a couple of days ago, and they are fine! I’m really pleased with how well they have washed, and I am surprised that they actually seem softer than at first (possibly I should have washed them once before wearing) but this does pressure me to start my next pair. Also, I weighed the ball of Opal remaining and there is 50g. As it was 100g to begin with, I am hopeful that I might get a second pair of socks out of this ball, which would be smashing! It would be heartbreaking to get to a few inches from the toe and not have enough yarn though, so I might look for a pattern which would require a touch less yarn – something with eyelets or ladders in it might work with the stripes. It doesn’t want to be too complex because it will be striped too.
But I must cast on and knit the “gypsy socks” I have planned in the nice burgundy yarn I got. If it knits up well I might get some more. I’m also considering getting some cotton sock yarn for summery socks!
Also, an interesting question, if one is allergic to wool (which I am fortunate not to be) what would one use for warm winter socks instead?

I’ve just had a phonecall from WHSmith to tell me that my books have arrived – how nice! I was expecting an email. And so, I’m off to get the books, then off for a drive.


PS. I would have put a random title, but blogger isn't letting me!

Update: It let me put a title on today (11/07/07)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Busy Weekend?

Indeed, yes!
On Saturday we went to Castleford (a completely different place to Castleton!) to collect our "new" car. Here she is. The colour is so vile that it's fabulous! I do like it; it's different.
Anyway, since this was my first proper drive (I did drive back from the gym, but that hardly counts as I had done that with L plates) I had asked Leon to print out a route where I didn't have to go on the motorways. I know I have to sometime, but I didn't fancy my first ever drive in our new car being quite that scary. However, somewhere along the way we missed a turn or something, and we ended up on the A1. It went something like this:
  • Me - We're approaching a roundabout, which way?
  • L - Third exit.
  • Me - There are only two exits. I'll take the second one.
  • L - Oh...
  • Me - That sign said A1(M) this way. We're approaching another roundabout. (trying not to sound worried)
  • L - second exit.
  • Me - We appear to be merging with the A1? Aah! We're merging with the A1!
So, anyway, it was all fine. We came back via the A1(M) and the A64 - how exciting!
Today we decided to go to the garden centre where we picked up Aston and Martin to look at the hamsters. There weren't any though! I was a little sad, but never mind.
Then we headed off to Knaresborough for the afternoon.
We had fish and chips (yum!) and then wandered around the castle and some random gardens.
It was a thoroughly pleasant day, and I drove home. I almost forgot to wear my specs though, I think I need a reminder sticker!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Clear the roads!

I am officially allowed to drive on my own without L plates!

Yes, today at 10:44 I began my driving test (well, 10:47 actually) - I did turn in the road and reverse park.
I got three minors, which is pretty much as good as it gets, and I'm really pleased!
I found out that I had passed my driving test at approximately 11:30

Thanks to my driving instructor, who has been really good with me over the last few months and has always been confident that I would do it.
Special thanks to Leon for believing in me, even when I've been grumpy about it, and also for suggesting that I spend some time affirming myself (I am a proficient driver, for eg)

We're getting the new car tomorrow, so I'll be able to drive that for real, no more L plates! Woo!

So, if anyone needs some magnetic L plates, give me a call!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Decreasing in Pattern is Hard

The secret item that I am making has a pattern which includes yf (yarn forwards, this adds a stitch) and sl1 k2tog psso (slip1, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over the new stitch and off the needle; this decreases two stitches). Each of the decreasing stitches has corresponding yf stitches to ensure that you finish with the same number of stitches as you started with on each row. However, I’m now at a point where I need to cast off at the beginning of a row, or decrease at each end. So, as I am still pretty new at knitting, I decided that I wanted the pattern in detail. The pattern just says “continue in pattern and decrease at each end of every row” which tells me the info, but I need more! So, I’ve been working out (with the help of excel, and thinking far too hard!) exactly what the pattern should be. I’ll hang on to it (clearly I’ll need it if I want to knit this item again), and I will post it when I have completed the item and it’s no longer secret.

So, I didn’t get any knitting done last night as a result of that, and due to going to the gym. Well, I got a couple of rows done before I realised that I’d calculated part of the pattern wrong and had to re-do it. I did get chance to have a bit of a sit on my new sofa bed (new meaning new to me, not new new) which is pretty comfy for knitting on I reckon. I do need to make some covers for the purple cushions though, they’re irritating me. I’m not a fan of purple, you see.

I have just ordered myself some books (I know, I can’t really afford it, but if I’m staying home more to help cover the cost of the car, I need something to read/do!) they are in the 3-for-2 at Smiths. I got the two new books by Debbie Stoller (Stitch n Bitch Nation and The Happy Hooker) and a surprise gift for someone. I’ve been thinking about ordering SnBN for some time, I had a flick through in borders a while ago and almost bought it then. So, it’s not uber cheap at Smiths now (it was less than £8 at one point) but as it’s 3-for-2 I got the books for under £10 each. Woo!
So, I’m aiming to learn how to crochet before I go to America, because you can’t take knitting needles on the plane, not even if you have plastic ones, or mini wooden ones for socks (which are basically glorified toothpicks!) but you can take a plastic crochet hook. That does lead me to another dilemma – my crochet hooks are presently all metal ones, though they are all smallish sizes too. I intend to pick up some sensible ones once I have had a look at the book and know what I'm looking at!

I am going to give the crochet thing a whirl anyway, even if I don’t take to it quite the way I have to knitting (I really do enjoy knitting, there are few evenings when I don’t knit at least a couple of rows on something) it will be handy to be able to add crochet borders to stuff, for example!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Burgundy Sock Yarn
To offer solace after the sadness of yesterday, here's a picture of some yarn (ok, probably not that great for you non-knitters!)
This is the new sock yarn that I go ages ago. No, I still haven't cast on for the gypsy socks, because I have to get the secret project completed first! It's a great colour though, and is a wool mix again. Offers the comfort of wool with the durability of a man-made fibre.

That's it for now. Be well.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Bad Day

Today, when we got home from work we discovered that there had been a death.
Martin, our cute dwarf russian hamster, has passed away. He was only about a year old. He was a happy little hamster, and very friendly to everyone.
Here are a few of my favourite pictures of him:

Martin attack!
Here he is with his brother Aston
Aston and Martin
I'm going to miss him, so is Leon, and so will his brother.

A Good Weekend

This weekend my parents were visiting to bring us a sofa-bed (as I may have mentioned, I intend to sit on it to knit)
However, we ended up going off on a jaunt down the M1 to look at a car, which we bought! It’s a fairly revolting colour, being as it is electric turquoise (or similar, I’m sure) – though it will be easy to spot in a car park etc! It’s an N reg Polo, with the electrics kit. It’s nice, and I look forwards to driving it, with or without L plates, preferably without, but we’ll see about that one. That’s my big purchase news.

Aston is much better now, we took him back to the vets and a different vet saw him, he had a feel of the bad leg and said that he could feel a hard bit which meant it was healing. We’re still giving him pain killers for another few days, and he can’t have his toys back for three weeks. Poor Martin, Aston’s brother, is a bit under the weather at the moment. One of his eyes looks a bit gunky. We’re keeping an eye (no pun intended) on him and if there’s any funny coloured or smelly discharge then we’re taking him to the vets.

The Smoking Ban came in to force in England on Sunday. We went to what is usually a smoky pub and took part in a scary pub quiz. Much nicer than before, though I’m not sure I’ll become a regular there.

Secret Pals! I’ve just signed up to SP11, which I'm hoping I can join in with. It’s quite exciting, if you’re a knitter or you crochet. Should be quite exciting, I think. I’m sure you’ll see more about this soon.

Knitting has been going pretty well. I am about half way through the first piece of the secret garment I am knitting. It’s looking pretty good, though I’m a little concerned about my gauge. I’m already plotting some covers for the cushions that come with the sofa bed, possibly to match (or compliment) the throw. Photos will be here when I sort them out.

Best go now, happy knitting.