Monday, 31 July 2006

I've started .... so I'll b***dy well finish!

Another wee sock fantasy moment - that one day I will be good enough to produce these! A combination of 2 of my 'loves' - socks and Charles Rennie MacIntosh. The pattern for these beauts (by Dawn Brocca) is available at:
Charles Rennie MacIntosh is the reknowned Scottish Architect who played a key role in the Art Noveau era. My love of his designs is well known amongst family and friends; and they often give me pieces in that design style for birthdays and Christmas. At the moment, my collection comprises of bracelets, ear rings, necklaces, watch, table mats, glass, mugs, kitchen storage jars, candle stick holders, vases, pens, paper weights and (errrrr) sitting room wall paper! (Does that read as a tadge obsessional???). I love having some of my Scottish heritage in my welsh home. Wouldn't these socks just add the glace cherry to my collection??

Have spent some of this evening doggedly working away on the 'oh so Beautiful' sock (by Judy Sumner). Please forgive me Ms Sumner and all Sumner sock fans, but this is proving to be just a labour and definitely not a labour of love. Am not sure if it's the pattern I am not keen on - though certainly it's only 4 rows and very easy to commit to memory ... or if (shock horror!!) its the Lorna's Laces yarn DD2 selected for the project. Bless her non-cotton socks, she determined she absolutely had to have them done in LL Sherbet - which must rank as the only Lorna's Laces colourway I can't bear! I drool over nearly the whole range ... have recently bought Black Watch, Black Purl and Tuscanny. I fantasise over placing a dream bulk order for:

  1. Purple Club
  2. Wisteria
  3. Mother Lode
  4. Somerset
  5. Baltic Sea
  6. River
  7. Watercolor
  8. Lakeview ....

I can lull myself into an almost trance-like state imagining the big parcel arriving at the door ... the anticipation ... the unwrapping ... stroking ... touching... Ohhhhh, had better stop before this becomes a 'naughty dream'; but you do get the picture??

Instead I am sitting with a look of steely determination, chanting a mantra 'You are knitting NOTHING else until THESE are done'....

Sunday, 30 July 2006

(Noro Silk Garden 230)

Have had a lovely day and hope everyone in blogland has too! Really leisurely day spent with DD1 and DD2 - we went exploring to Cribb's Causeway, near Bristol (about an hour from Cardiff and across the Severn Bridge into England). Was quite impressed with the range of shops there - which translates as there was a wool shop there in amongst the usual clothing retailers! I dragged the girls, not once, but TWICE into the wool section of John Lewis's. Have fallen even more in love/lust with Noro Silk Garden - shade 230. Was really really tempted but am bidding for some on eBay at the moment - and am not sure if I want my entire winter wooly wardrobe in the same shade! It was great spending time with the girls - giggling, trying on clothes, spending and wool browsing!

Although I was the model of yarn restraint this afternoon, I haven't been as controlled the rest of the week. Recent purchases on eBay include these 2 wee beauties:

  1. Opal Summer Night Dream (from Katy11knitting's ebay store) in 1st pic
  2. Silver Moon Hand dyed merino sock wool (from naturaldyestudio eBay shop) in middle pic

Had better go and get on with some knitting rather than just stash enhancement!!

Saturday, 29 July 2006

I'm in love ....

with these beauties found at hrische's eBay store, NEEDLEWORK'S PLEASURE. Am going to sit here and share this sensual moment of yarn lust with anyone who cares to join me ... just please avoid drool on the yarn! A Capital offence!!
Today has seen a drastic turnabout in the weather - we have one of those grey, wet days and must say, it feels strange to have 'normal' weather after basking in a Caribbean climate for weeks. The humidity has drastically fallen and old misery guts is one happy camper!! It all feels much more comfy - and provides a perfect excuse to pick up the needles for at least a fair part of the day! Have been behaving myself since yesterday and can no longer be counted as a 'sock sinner'! I have cast on the 'mate' for the 'Oh so beautiful' sock (pattern by Judy Sumner) and shortly DD2 will have a PAIR, knitted in Lorna's Lace Sherbet. I just need to develop the same discipline with the small bag of other lone soldiers recently produced!

Friday, 28 July 2006

'Should' rebellion

Have taken a much needed day's annual leave from work today - brilliantly supported by the team who posted placards all over the office telling me not to come in till next Wednesday (including one that read that 'Knitting needs protected time: Knit - don't work!'). Now, either my colleagues are really supportive and could see how knackered I have been looking of late - OR I am a really crap boss and they wanted me out of the way for a few days! I'm voting for the 1st version though; otherwise, my self esteem will be in my boots and I haven't finished the boot socks yet...

Felt strangely compelled last night that I should spend the day tackling the huge 'should' pile of tasks that needed to be done:
  • should do the 3 feet high pile of ironing that lies waiting
  • should be cleaning our non-see through windows in the sitting room (Abbie and Molly - our beloved Heinz's lie like Cardiffian- sphinxes on the window sill for hours ... leaving 'nosey' trails along the lower part of the glass)
  • should be stripping all the beds
  • should be ... blah blah...
  • should be getting up early and tackling all of the above and more!

What have I done?? I am now the founder member of the Should Rebellion! I woke up mega-late (errrr 11.30am to be exact) ... have read the papers leisurely ... watched a little day time TV (god, I just love doing that occasionally - what an embarrassing confession) ... have browsed online at some yarns (no change there then!) and have fallen in love with Noro Silk Garden 230 (Should resist spending - but, hey, am the founding member of the Should Rebellion!) ... am about to join Angelyarn new club (Yarn Angels) ... then think I'll get down to some serious sock knitting for the rest of the day. Even that fits in with the SR Manifesto because, technically, I should be working on the Sirdar cotton shrug (in California Girls pattern book and knitted in Sirdar Luxury cotton - calico colourway) ... or the Noro Blossom (shade 15) cardigan ... or the cardigan in goldie coloured Shimmer (WHAT was I thinking on that one?? Am going to look like a middle aged teddy bear in THAT one???)...

Thursday, 27 July 2006

Don't you wish...

that you could protect your children from everything nasty and unpleasant in life? It's been a difficult week ... eldest daughter, of the howling hormones fame, had another appointment at hospital. Having seen an Orthapaedic and Trauma Consultant at the beginning of the year, he referred onto a Paediatric Rheumatologist and she was seen on Wednesday. It's now official - not only have I genetically shared her predisposition to fair skin, freckles, love of books ... it seems I have also passed on my rheumatolgy history. The Consultant has agreed that she, poor lamb, has a Juvenile Arthritis and has done blood tests to try to ascertain which form. I am so proud of the way she has handled this so far ... Her perception is that it doesn't really matter what they call it, she's already lived with it for 4 years. For quite some time, she had planned to complete her AS's and A' levels and then apply for a degree in Criminology and the law (or psychology) with the long term aim of joining the police. With this type of diagnosis, she accepts she will not pass the medical and has already identified an alternative future direction - and now is considering applying for a business related degree. If you are reading this, please think of her and wish her well... Typical women though, we are planning a weekend of retail therapy to lift our moods and empty mum's purse!

Our other 'therapy' (of the non-tablet form!) are these wee rogues! Molly, our docile spaniel/ poodle (a far prettier combination that that descriptor suggests!) had 4 puppies nearly 7 weeks ago, following some flirtation in the local park. We have had such fun with the 'babies' and its been fascinating watching them grow and develop - each has their own personality, traits and mannerisms. 'Spot' is the absolute mischief and desperate for attention - she is the first one to race up for a pat and a formidable stealer of the others' chewy bones! The other wee white one, known at the moment as Jadyn (don't let DD2 pick names is the moral of this tale), is the explorer - she has worked out how to escape their pen and often greets me at the bottom of the stairs in the morning. Sushi, black/white with a wavy coat, we have to watch like a hawk as she tries to sneak her mum's and auntie Abbie's food (she discovered the joys of lasagne the other day ... and we discovered the joys of cleaning the pen afterwards!!!). Kaydn is black/white with taupe markings on the side of her face on her hind legs - she is a steadying influence on the others ... a gentle wee thing with perseverance. How empty the house will seem next weekend when they move to their new homes ... though I know 4 cats who are practically packing for them now!!
[picture 1: Spot and Jaydyn; Picture 2: Kadyn]

Sunday, 23 July 2006

Blogs - The New Avoidance Strategy!

Have woken up to another scorcher in unusually sunny, hot South Wales. Sounds like paradise?? Well, trying not to sound tooo grumpy here, NOT if you have Celtic (ie pale as a ghost, red headed, freckly ... And, errrr, grouchy in heat and humidity!) colouring. Am meant to be tackling work related project today, needed for early next week - setting foundation and full competencies for Band 5 Occupational Therapists .... BUT it's Sunday, my head is mulch and I am indeed a Master of Avoidance! So far, I have browsed through online yarns shops (Get Knitted and Angel Yarns are calling, begging for sales!!); have read the Sunday papers (always important to keep abreast of world events - and gossip!); fed/cleaned and played with the puppy babies; set up an excel sheet to gain some control of the mounting 4 ply sock yarn stash I seem to have acquired .... Was about to start the dreaded piece of work when, YIPPEE, I thought of here!!

I became a member of the Angelyarns forum a couple of months ago and have found it a really friendly place with loads of support from knitters way more talented than me. I used to tease my friend who knitted all her hubby's socks and couldn't quite get my head around why not just run down to Marks and Spencers to replenish stocks??? Well, have been well and truly corrupted in the forum - as the above evidence proves! Here are my first 4 pairs - modeled by MrBletherer and my youngest daughter! Isn't it strange that the same pattern (Opal freebie) was used for both DD's socks and how differently they have turned out?? The sock on the left of the photo is Opal Prisma and the other is Lana Grossa (seems the cotton content has made a bit of a difference to the gauge). There are more pairs on the way (if I ever get round to finishing the partner socks). I LOVE finding out how the wool looks when knitted up ... which is not great in supporting pair-dom really.

Ohhh stop blethering on, woman!! Go get that piece of work done - NOW!!!

Ooohhhh a blank page ... and a blank mind!

There is something a little daunting about the power of the blank page! All that space ... all that promise ... and, now writer's block!

Start the way of most 'first meetings'? Will share a little about myself (and scream "shush, woman!" when you've heard enough ... I can talk the hind legs of a donkey when I start...

I am an exiled Scot, now living in Wales with my partner (who I met in cyber-space a scarily long time ago!). My daughters and I moved to Wales 6 years ago and we now live in Cardiff; with our new home bulging at the seams at times! Our 'brood' consists of my partner, 2 daughters, 3 step-sons who visit regularly, our 2 lovely dogs (photos to follow when I can persuade them to sit still and pose), 4 cats (guess who didn't get our original TWO cats speyed in time!!) and, currently, 4 puppies who were 6 weeks old on Thursday. Honestly, we plan NO more additions to this chaotic household...

I work in mental health full-time and am blessed to have a job that I love - though, like nearly everyone, have the odd day when I would love to have a lie in and win the lottery! I have survived (may my tutors never discover this blog!) the second year of a MSc in Healthcare Management and am about to start on my dissertation in a couple of months (keeping purposely vague here about timescales as then means my anxiety levels remain contollable about the task that lies ahead).

In my spare time, I love gardening, reading, cross stitch, the odd glass of red wine ... After a gap of about 10 years, I have become a 'born again' knitter and have discovered the joy of home knitted socks - and am subjecting family members to fancy footwear whether they like it or not! Luckily, my DP and DD2 are very sweet and will wear any item hot off my needles. More recently, DD1 has become a secret convert, sidling up and whispering that mum-socks would keep her feet warm. She then proceeded to place an order for 2 pairs!

Enough for just now ... and if you have stuck with me thus far, thank you!