Saturday, 25 October 2008

Gardens, twins and sunshine

Well, this is the back of the house, newly painted by ourselves, taken by photographer extraordinaire (that's me, OK) in the sunshine this afternoon. I'm standing on the far side of the little low wall between the tamed garden and the field ... in olden days that little low wall was called a haha - in olden days that little low wall wasn't built, we built it not so many years ago, but hey ... ha ha it's a wall! I was gardening all day, but needed a break from tugging up nettles and brambles ... so out came the camera!

And here is DH, strimming the ditch, so that the bloody weeds won't keep blowing into the garden ... Give a man a machine that goes broom broom, operates on petrol and oil and he will be happy and content for hours!!! I can;t work out why they call an oil and petrol mix 2 stroke, but I'm sure there is a bloke joke in there somewhere.

I'm sure he thinks he is clearing brush in some jungle some place exotic ... meanwhile ....

This is the view of hubby, happily wielding the strimmer ... it's man and machine against nature ... although it's not really too much like jungle out there!!! No tigers, no lions, no alligators or crocs, no monkeys, parakeets ... well you get the picture - just a man, a strimmer, weeds and some sugar beet as backdrop.

Meanwhile I'm up to scarf no 4; 3 are competely knitted wit
h ends sewn in - I just have to fringe, whilst the 4th is still in production. I definitely have 7 scarves on my list for Christmas mini gifts, although there will definitely be a couple of smaller ones for the twins at the end.

And here are the twins, rabbit and tiger, smiling for the camera ...

When this was taken they didn't need scarves .. but give it a month or two!!!

So, here I am with hands bloodied and blistered from gardening, arms aching and fingers numb from knitting, and heart full and happy from a couple of good days.

Cooking has been fun too ... dinner tonight was lamb steaks with portobellini mushrooms with a mushroom/cream cheese stuffing and a madeira sauce, with roasted italian vegetables and baked sweet potato
; whilst the naughty sweet stuff was almond and sun dried cherry flapjacks. I really need to garden more ...!!!

I think tomorrow I must get up early and run for at least 12 hours!

Love and hugs

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

A cold, yoyo yarn, yoyo the cat and hoops!

Let me tell you a wee sad story; this time last year my daughter's beautiful cat, Truffle, died. He (and she) fought a long brave battle with his kidney failure, but in the end we had to kiss him goodbye.

I cannot tell you how we have grieved and mourned, but on Sunday these two tiny kittens (the picture makes them look much bigger than they are) became adopted by my DD. They had been found, worm infested and flea ridden with two other cats, one of which was dead. A kind soul associated with an animal charity took them in, and made them better. Now they are about 10 weeks old and gorgeous. They are a colour that is somewhere between faded apricot/rose and ivory.

The one looking at the camera (YoYo) is a gorgeous shy girl, while her brother is a bounding ball of excitement (and called Hoops). So, as DD was at work on Monday, I had to drive for an hour (and a bit) to her house, to kitten sit! Boy do these little monkeys like knitting. They love the needles, they love my arms moving, they love the yarn, and they love the ball band. I laughed more than I have done for ages - I very nearly stole them! Watch out, I may yet.

Anyway, back to my knitting of the past few days ... I have had a cold (only a girl cold, but still rubbish). So I knitted and knitted. I have finished my recycle jumper, but couldn't sew it up (my eyes have been streaming) and my icecream sweater is gorgeous, but I needed something to take my mind off the continual sneezing and eye watering.

So, for my second ever pair of socks, I fall in love with the Slip Stitch Delight pattern, (Thanks Terry L Ross) and decide I will knit them for my DD as a wee gift at Christmas. I decided I was knitting this with classic rib top (cuff) and not with fancy X top; I adore the mock tweed rib, which is gorgeous. However I was more than a bit dismayed at the poor quality of the Noro K sock yarn, which is a bit like a yo-yo dieter -veering alarmingly from way too thin, then ok, then way too chunky, back to way too thin, etc, etc. The colour is gorgeous … but don’t know whether this is just a duff skein or whether this is typical of the sock weight yarn (although I have shared these feelings with another user who is suffering the same weight issues!).

Once they were finished I took a snap and decided I am a better knitter than photographer … the socks look weird in photo and ok in reality .. perhaps it is being short … I can't get the perspective right.

Then I actually decided to reinforce one part of first sock with duplicate stitch, as yarn went almost invisibly thin on one part of sole and I know it would wear out in a heart beat. :( I cannot believe I am now pre-darning socks.

As a quick win I moved on to the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf by Karen Baumer, which I am knitting in Lang's Mille Colori. I have to say this yarn is gorgeous … having just finished the socks in Noro K sock yarn where, quite frankly, the yarn was all over the place in thickness, this yarn is beautiful and, consequently, the scarf is going to be beautiful. Despite being all knit stich (and I DO get bored VERY EASILY) I have mentally ordered several more scarves from myself as Christmas gifts … well, perhaps the diagonal knitting will stop me from hanging myself with 50% wool/50% acrylic.

I did see something similar in the Per Una range in Marks and Spencers at £25 … YES that’s £25!!! and that was 100% acrylic or poly. This will take 2 skeins and work out at £6 ish. (shop around and if you can't find it for that price email me and I will give you the name of my source.

Wherever you are and whatever you are knitting, I hope a laugh or two bounds into your life to make you smile.

Sending hugs

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A sugar rush

I recognise the signs when I am stressed; I want to cook or knit or drink wine, or do all three (which in the past has led to some pretty inventive cooking - like the raglan spaghetti sweater in red wine*!)

Today we did gardening and gardening and gardening, when suddenly I got the urge to dash inside and cook brownies and teacake. Now I only do cake/dessert cooking once every decade or so, usually when I find out I am pregnant or redundant or about to remarry. None of those apply (fingers crossed), but still the urge for bakery was fierce.

The brownies are deep, dark and decadant; seriously heavy cocoa content, really soft, chewy, thick and deep deep chocolate, with chocolate chunks and dashed with chopped pecans, almonds and brazils. The teacake has sultanas, raisins, prunes, apricots and pecan. I now have a sweetly swollen tummy curve from the trialing, tasting and testing. If I am not to swell up like a balloon I need to find something hugely complex to knit. The wine was Blossom Hill, a californian soft red and dinner was slow braised lamb, with flageolet beans and small cherry tomatoes.

Tomorrow I know that, as all tomorrows shall be, I shall be good and eat nothing but salad, run miles, exercise hard and only drink water! Except that tomorrow is Wednesday, which is mad mother day, so perhaps tomorrow will start on Thursday!

Is the love I gave in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes

So tell that someone that you love
Just what you're thinking of
If tomorrow never comes

Monday, 13 October 2008


And so, after a great couple of days away, it is back to the grind of trying to catch up with everything. We finally finished painting the outside of the house last week ... and it was a lot of house.

However, we are late with everything this year: when hubby put his back out for 4 weeks it put everything on hold. So it is now time to return to trimming the laurel hedge, and there are miles of it... and the garden is in serious need of some TLC as the weeds are the bully in the playground and threatening the gentle pretty plants. So I am about to wage war on bindweed and nettles, thistles and dandelions, as well as speedwell, daisies, rose bay willow herb and buttercup. "Wild flowers" sound far more attractive when they are in a wild place ... in my garden they are just a huge nuisance!

I won't however do weedkiller ... so I am forever disturbing a surprised frog or toad as I scoop up leaves and pull up weeds. Occasionally a newt will peer at me, I am sure it will be praying I am not a predator (I'm not!) before I pick it up and move it closer to the pond.

I finished knitting the recycled sweater tonight ... tomorrow may be a "finish off" day ... or it may well be a "cast on and hang the sewing" day. I have to start planning what I should be doing, rather than letting my excitement persuade me into knitting something that may not help the Christmas gift situation.

Here I want to say that despite the fear that hubby's pension pot may have dissolved into a puddle of mud; despite the fact I am 200+ miles away from my twins, son and Dil; despite the fact that mad mother is not going to get better, and despite the fact that I miss my daughter immensely and fear she is working too hard; despite all those things I feel happier tonight.

I think it is the belief in possibilities. There is a possibility I will meet up with DD for a girly morning on Sunday; there is a possibility I may see the twins at the end of the month, sometime over half term; there is the possibility that the worst of the dreadful stockmarket may have happened and this could at least level out; and finally, even though mad mother is not going to get better, she was happy on the phone tonight and possibly she will be happy tomorrow.

Meanwhile, decision made, I think tomorrow WILL be a cast on day!

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we see
No I won't be afraid
No I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling stand by me
Oh, now, now, stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry
No I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

Sunday, 12 October 2008

How much do I love them? Let me count the ways

Well, how lovely, the jackets were a success. They put them on as soon as they unwrapped them and they wore them all evening. Then, in the morning, they pulled them on over their PJs and wore them all morning.

I knitted the size 7/8 for their 6th birthday so I thought they would be over big ... but no, they can grow some and they will still fit, but they look lovely now.

Modelling the version in Sea spray is Beth and her puppy Lucky. She also smiled despite being a little concerned that she is waiting for her front teeth to grow back.

She would like a real dog, but for now she has to make do with Lucky!

Modelling Purr is Ellie, who is kitten like and curled, smiling because she thinks I'm a little bit silly. It's a jacket, it's keeping her warm and I don't usually take photos of her clothes.

However, they were both completely impressed that the knitting I had been doing when I last visited had metamorphed into jackets. They have taken up their needles and rather tangled bits of yarn with renewed vigour, knitting and dropping stitches with great enthusiasm.
Meanwhile I had a hoot after they had gone to bed last night, watching Mamma Mia (truly cheesy and wonderful) and drinking just a little more wine than I should! Actually, I was impressed with my knitting today ... no major bloopers! (so not too much excess wine!)

My second sock is progressing well and I am just decreasing for the instep ... on the home straight and I have enjoyed the socks ... guess I may just be tempted into doing some more ... this would be a good thing as I accidentally bought some noro sock yarn ... whoops!

As for my twins ... well they quite fancy hats and mummy is going to look around and see what she would like for them from the shop, take photos with her mobile and send them to me! I think that's success.

So night night all, have a great day tomorrow and may all your knittings be miracles!


PS a touch of poetry for the twins, a sprinkling of a little Coleridge, snippets from Frost at Midnight -

Dear Babes, that slept cradled by my side
whose gentle breaths heard in this deep calm ....

My babes so beautiful! it thrills my heart
with tender gladness, thus to look at thee ...

But thou, my babes shalt wander like a breeze
by lakes and sandy shore, beneath the crags
of ancient mountain and beneath the clouds ...

all seasons shall be sweet to thee
whether the summer clothe the general earth
with greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow

Friday, 10 October 2008

Lady of Shallot, onions and leeks!

So, in a far distant and somewhat dusty corner of the universe, someone posted a line or two of William Blake to describe their Roaring Tiger yarn. Gorgeous ... just gorgeous ... so I went to check out the yarn and in doing so I left the website and ventured google wise to find said yarn. In a poetic frame of mind I then thought:

She leaves the web, she leaves the loom,
She makes three paces through the room, she sees the waterlily bloom,
She sees his helmet and his plume (no sniggering here girls)
She looked down to Camelot

Out flew the WWWeb and floated wide
The mirror cracked from side to side
The curse has come upon me cried (again no sniggering here girls)
The lady of Shalott

(Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

And what the heck it is true (not the whole sailing on a barge like a dead thing issue), knitting is rather poetic. It needs to ring true, it needs to have balance and whilst people admire the
"off the wall, freeform" style, traditional metres, patterns and styles have a soothing and recognisable value.

And, if that all sounds too highbrow, then let me say

There was a fine lady who knit

She'd sit and she'd knit and she'd knit

She knew she should dust

and clean if she must

But still she would sit and she'd knit

Meanwhile the little garden bed on the RHS is now pretty, a little picture of lavender, climbing rose and edged with box. My nails now look like claws, my facial pores are filled with grit, despite several attempts to clean and exfoliate, but the garden looks good.

Tomorrow I'm off to deliver the little jackets to the ever growing maniac twins, how much do I love them - let me count the ways!

If I don't chat tomorrow have a fantastic weekend.


Who is this and what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer
And they crossed themsleves for fear
All the Knights at Camelot
But Lancelot mused a little space
He said "She has a lovely face
God in his mercy, lend her grace
The Lady of Shalott"

OO I do like that .... a lot!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

The insanity of gardening

Apart from knitting (and cooking and drinking wine, but bear with me here), apart from knitting - Gardening is one of my real pleasures. Don't get me wrong, I loathe weeds with a passion; hate the wrong kind of weather; detest slugs and snails; would totally eradicate bindweed/convulvulus from the global memory of the planet in a heartbeat; get annoyed that grass will grow strongly and unbeatably anywhere and everywhere - except on a lawn, but all that said, I enjoy gardening.
So, today, I was planting up a new bed. Last year, on the LHS of the drive, I planted up a lavender bed, edged with box. This year, throughout the year, it looked lovely. It is two tone (I like colour combining), in a soft pink and a warm purple. When the flowers were out, and the sun was shining, the scent was gorgeous; the bees droned, and honestly it was a lovely area where before grass had struggled to survive.
So this past week on the RHS I have dug up some dead (well they are now) and dying (well honestly they really were) shrubs, raked over the soil, and set about putting in a matching bed of lavender edged with box. Hubby went to golf today, which I thought was a GOOD thing. I do like a few hours just to pootle, poodle and do whatever.
However the "whatever" today involved a lot, yes A LOT, of swearing. The wind was blowing, and the weed suppressing membrane I was laying wasn't (laying); it was flapping and waving and moving and not staying still. The most stupid thing is that you lay the membrane, get it sorted into places (like lining up stitches, or decreases) then you hold it down and cut ruddy great holes in it. Then you do this whole "shy" thing whereby you fiddle around, under the membrane, digging holes in soil you cannot see, then plant lavender in holes you hope are large enough (you can't see), then try and bed them in with spare soil (which YOU STILL CANT SEE), whilst trying to hold the membrane down in a wind (which unsurprisingly you cant see), and you hope that the end result (which you very clearly can see) is perfect. Huh!! A lot of swearing. Then, just for fun, I throw on a couple of hundred spadesful of shingle ... and tonight I am only half way ... so I have just as much pleasure tomorrow to look forward to.
When I came in, to chill out and knit a few rows, I finished off a front .. just a few rows. So I moved on to the socks, when I hit the divide for heel, so migrated and I knit a few more rows of the surprise Christmas swap thing, before I needed to integrate a fairisle or is it fairaisle ... I don't know, well a dual colour pattern section, so I moved on to my 4th project ... and now I have hit the arm decrease area on the RHS front of that ... so I am about to find something mindless to cast on ... either that or I'll just go and read (with my unemployed fingers twitching) for 10 mins before bed.
Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, have a good day .... my aching legs and butt are off to bed ... and joy of joys, the weather looks good for tomorrow, so I guess I'll be outside again - whoopiedoodie!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

What if the world goes bankrupt and other such questions?

Wednesday is MM day (mad mother); every Wednesday she catches her local bus and I drive into the little local market town, where we meet. Wednesday is market day and in the little local market town there is one of the largest and most diverse markets in the UK. Every Wednesday we convene at a local cafe for tea (which is wrong - it should be a cafe for coffee and a cosy for tea!)

This Wednesday the global economy has dissolved into a puddle of mud. MM tells me that she was born on 5th May 1929 (which I know) and that was the day the great crash hit the US (which I need to check - she has a habit of mostly being wrong then, just to upset me, occasionally being right). Note to self - check details BEFORE blogging.

So, MM asks me what will happen if Iceland is bankrupt - not too much to affect you, I say, unless you are invested in whale blubber (Note to self - apart from banking - what are principal economies of Iceland?). What happens if world is bankrupt, asks MM. Well, I replied, I will dig up my lawn, plant vegetables and keep chickens. MM laughs, but honestly I have no idea, however the planting vegetables and keeping chickens may be a good start.

Meanwhile recyled cardigan proceeding well; socks have had a few more rows added .. nearly at heel on 2nd sock; accessories for christmas swap gift have arrived ... fabric and things, and we had salmon en croute for dinner.

I have promised MM that I will help her make sense of her banking - which is a good thing because it will save me sheepishly accompanying her to the bank every Wednesday to get confirmation of what I know and MM has forgotten :(

Meanwhile, what if the world does become bankrupt? .... well I have some very fine stash, some of which I am willing to barter for some vegetable seeds and some chickens.

Chat soon

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Life, the universe, and thoughts on recyling

On my 999th row of round (it's triangular to be exact) knitting on the sock project, I hit the meditation mode. The one where you forget to increase\decrease\change pattern whatever, but start thinking off at a tangent (that's probably how entrelac was thought up). Anyway (OMG only on third sentence and I have hit my anyway start) ... I got to wondering (after the 999 rows of knit only) why people disliked purl. I rather like it and not just because it makes a change from 999 rows of knitting. I like it because:-
It is done at the front! Yes, that's right, at the front where you can see it. No trusting that your needle has picked up all of the yarn and not split it, so that you end up with a quasi increase - a clearly visible entry, yarn around, and exit. ALL AT THE FRONT.
I love the way it makes a smiley face ... ok so this point is not as technical as the previous point, but honestly when you are knitting something tedious and you can see smiley faces as well as arrows, it is cute.
It makes moss (seed) stitch look like naughts and kisses (now if you are from the US this little pun won't mean much as you call naughts and crosses TicTacToe. Actually why? Naughts and crosses I understand cos you either put a 0 (ok in the US that's a zero, over here in antique land it's a naught) or a X (Kiss/Cross - hence the pun)).
Anyway, for a break from the unending 55mile an hour highway that round and round and round knitting can be, I decided to unravel a cardigan. I love the yarn, I really love the colour and texture, I even wore the damn cardigan a couple of times because I loved the feel of the yarn and its colours. But I hated what I had done to this gorgeous yarn ... it had turned out too baggy, too wide and too short ... almost like I had knitted it for someone much wider than me (ok possible) and way shorter (seriously not, at 4ft 10.5ins just really really not possible).
At this point I should confess to having a stash that outdoes my LYS ... I have more (bad) yarn and more (good) yarn and more (middling) yarn than most people within a few hundred miles. Dont want to get into a mine's bigger than yours situation, but we don't need loft insulation.
So why did I unravel and immediately recast on this wonderful yarn. Why didn't I just consign the garment to the sin bin (also known at the charity shop or thrift store)? Well, as I said I love the yarn. More than that though, I felt I had fallen short on this yarn's potential. The thing is, there is nothing else I can think of can be undone and redone but better. That's it. Knitting has the potential to take yarn and eradicate past mistakes;to rise above errors and to become something better.
Cooking - can't take apart the ingredients and reuse as if new, definitely not parenting, nor making curtains, or painting walls ... knitting has the ability to be deconstructed and reconstructed, like the bionic man of my childhood, so that it becomes better than it was. It's also so very "green", a recycling of prime components - all within my lap. Wow.
How cool if life were like knitting - still at least knitting is like knitting!
Sending hugs

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Strange days indeed

So it was lashing it down this morning; I checked out of the upper windows several times but didn't see anyone building a large wooden boat with a whole load of animals in their garden, so I decided it was ok to drive to the shop for the paper.

Here, in the back of beyond's beyond, there's no such thing as paper delivery and the shop is a good threequarters of a mile away ... so a nice walk on a decent day, which today wasn't.

Into the car, down the road, pick up paper, drive back ... so far, so normal (well apart from puddles with ducks in). However, I opened my door to get out ... leaned over to passenger seat to pick up newspaper and handbag and a little dog jumped into the back seat behind me and sat there (smiling? it looked like it was smiling - do dogs smile?). It was tiny, wet and muddy but hugely friendly and wagged its little stump of a tail like crazy (crazy indeed!). So, I said hello (as you do) and leaned over to read his collar. He acted like a runaway criminal "oh trying to feel my collar" he thought, and jumped out still smiling and wagging. So, I followed him down the drive in the lashing rain, dialling on my mobile. A nice sounding woman answered; I told her I had a small dog with me .. she sounded bemused ... not her dog! I had transposed some of the numbers. Meanwhile dog now thinking it fun that I am chasing it, in the lashing rain, without an umbrella ... I'm disagreeing. So I thought I would leave little maniac to go pee on someone else shrubs and hope he makes it home safely.

Later (that same day as they say in the best novels) I had a phone call.

Now I grew up in London and then moved to Windsor - huge city, big town. This may have coloured my perception of the role of the police force.

On the 10th of September my mother had her purse stolen (largely invited by the fact that she never shuts her bag and insists on carrying worryingly large amounts of cash). Still, as thefts go it was subtle ... she never knew and wasn't hurt. It has however shaken her and her confidence - exacerbated by the fact that her memory is failing her and she can't remember all the details. So, back to the plot ... I had a phone call. It was the lovely community PC who had come to take the details from us on the 10th. He wanted to check that my mother was ok, he checked on a Sunday, with no hidden agenda, he was just asking how she was doing. I LOVE the countryside (despite the lack of paper delivery and puddles full of ducks).

On the knitting front I have knitted another third of a sock ... I'm not sure I comprehend SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) - surely it is better than second sleeve (you need two of those and you are still not finished), and definitely better than knitting two of everything for twins ... so I am happily plodding on with sock. It is, however, fine yarn on teeny DPNs, so in the evening when I am making attempts to be sociable (tonights film Run Fat Boy Run) I knit something which doesn't require good lighting and full concentration.

I have also been planning my Christmas swap gift ... have ordered some materials and am rather excited at my concept. How, though, do I share it? I may have to wait for 3 months to discuss .... I am not sure I can hold out that long!

Day 66 - pork loin
marinated in orange zest/juice, ginger and orange liquer, then roasted with an orange and apricot sauce ... actually extremely jummy and low fat - bonus!

Meanwhile, eagerly anticipating deliver of latest YH book ... will try not to scoff it down in one sitting like a kid with a bag of sweeties.


Saturday, 4 October 2008

Not going to get rich by knitting!

So, despite not being "normal materials" for a baby jacket, I guess that means it wasn't white and it wasn't acrylic .. they awarded me a first - Woo Hoo. I won, now hold on to your seats here (and notice I've not issued my address in fear of muggings or beggins letters) the princely sum of 60p ... I guess that may be about $1 ... so I am not about to go buy the champagne just yet!
In the early summer I entered my Alan Dart, Tooth Trader fairy, who whilst lovely apparently was "too thin". Anorexia hits the knitted toy scene and is booted into the sin bin! She won second, so hurrah, the jacket "done good".
Meanwhile, back on the needles, one half of a skein of Colinette Jitterbug (lapis) has morphed into a sock. This was going to be a present for DH, but as it was the first foot wear, excluding baby booties, that I have ever attempted, I decided to make DH try on the first, before I went for the match.
Yey hey, success, he loves it, it fits, I'm happy!
Well ... and sad (as the surprise element is now ruined) as I now have to think up a further surprise Christmas knit for dearest beloved.
Meanwhile in the backwater, a Christmas draw has taken place and I, fortunately, have pulled someone whose tastes I know ... so have great ideas. She is a little bit goth/emo .. no matter her age ... so I am thinking a knitting bag with goth imagery and lining ... bear with me on this one and I shall consolidate my plans and let you know ... but you are SWORN to secrecy :-)
Meanwhile ... still planning on how to spend all my decadent winnings!!
Night night sleep tight and enjoy the rest of your weekend
PS Thursday, field mushrooms stuffed with welsh rarebit; Friday - slow braised lamb shanks with red wine and sun dried tomatoes; tonight Carbonnare de boeff (my spelling is really nowhere as good as the cooking!). 65 days and no repeats !!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Ripples in the backwater and Virgin sock knitter

Well, I've just started my first pair of socks for this socky virgin. Not that socks scared me ... I just got put off by known obsolescence. (I have the first baby wrap I knitted; I have a sweater that morphed 3 incarnations - but never have I darned socks). The knitting is lovely, the yarn sublime - I just don't know how I will cope when the first hole appears - I may lose it entirely! However, DH has been remarkably likeable of late (not least because he has been working his conkers off [translation conkers = horsechestnuts = nuts] painting the house) and has been deserving of some knitting. He has ooed and ahhed at the Double Trouble jacket, and (honestly) made some insightful comments like "wow how did you get that cable to move from the middle to the outside?". Now, for me, that is almost a declaration of passion ... ok maybe travelling cables don't get you every time, nor me, but a non knitter chap noticing - well that's GOOD.
So back to the main theme ... I decided I would knit him a pair of socks - in the softest most tactile yarn I could discover, in the most vibrant of colours (hang in there if I had knitted them in black or navy they would get worn too often and worn out even quicker!). In the product placement world this is where I declare my eternal love for a brand and get squillions of skeins of yarn ... however in my world if you want to know the sock yarn I fell for go look at the project details on Ravelry.
As for the sock (well I am still on the first) so far so lovely.

Meanwhile I thought I would touch on ripples in the backwater and say that on another site ... in a galaxy far far away, there were downing of needles and abandoning of forums after one member was summarily banned for expressing displeasure that out of 11 issues of the magazine 17 patterns had required later correction. The banning was later lifted and attributed to "typing in capitals" as aggressive and intimidating behaviour. WELL HELL CALL ME A RIPPLE. I know that squillions of us quiet/loud, famous/infamous knitters would be casting aspersions on the checking department and perhaps even in CAPITALS. After a day of protests and virtual banner waving the capital typer became reinstated. Small beer in a day, but honestly freedom of speech says nothing about "well say what you want and I will defend your right to say it, unless of course you put it in capitals".

Back to the first part of my name .. .. I do like to cook - really, from scratch, without packets or tins, and sometimes without anything except a spoon, a knife and ingredients. When I was an ultra stretched banker I would come home feeling my life, whilst well paid(ish), sucked as I had contributed little to anything of meaning. So my creative outlet, between loading the washing machine/dishwasher, reading bedtime stories and going to sleep myself (sometimes I even made it to bed, ... so my creative outlet was cooking. The more stressed I was, the more I would chop, slice, stir, season, taste and arrange. Back to now and I still love to cook, but for enjoyment and the production of great food ... for creativity and stress reduction I now have the time to knit.

At the beginning of August I asked hubby if there was anything he fancied to eat as I was off to the shops. He replied that he should start a spreadsheet (ex accountant - gets his fix from Excel) then whenever I asked him that (as I do once or twice a year) he could suggest something we hadn't eaten for a while. So, I said, "ok, go create the spreadsheet".

So here I am, bragging/boasting/smiling, because in two full months, more than 63 evening meals, there have been no repeats! (There were three days, at the beginning of September when I went to stay with twins and look after them before school resumed, that he ate preprepared oven ready meals ... but even those meals have not been repeated).

So, feeling proud of the first and middle part of my name, I think I deserve the last syllable ... and I think tonight I'll drink red ... (but keep it well away from the socks!)

Sending hugs

ps These are the rabbit and tiger who are the "double trouble" duo .... cute aren't they?

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