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Monday, 5 December 2016

Ding Dong Merrily.....

and all that jazz.

I had a moment of utter madness this morning. Once Ben had been walked and fed and my porridge had been eaten, I didn't lick the dish out but it was a close run thing, I just love the tang from the marmalade.
I went scuba diving under the spare bed and hauled IT and THEM out.

That was the tree and the decs.

Yep, the tree is up and trimmed. I stuck to gold and red this year. As Fran was not here it is much more restrained than usual with a bonus box of excess trimmings that will be in the CS tomorrow.

I did have help, no shimmying up stepladders for me. The bunting is up and all the old favourite figures are present and correct. I am not putting anything up in the dining room this year, this meant that a few of the older and tattier things have gone into the bin.

On to another thing before I forget. I will not be using the rest of the awful sock yarn for heels and toes. I bit the bullet and knitted it up into a hat, I have taken a photo and will attempt to get it in for tomorrow.
Even knitting from the other end it was horrible but I soothed myself by casting on a sock. Glorious bright coloured wool from the West Yorkshire Spinners, I have a plain colour for heels and toes. I have taken photos and will be trying to load them later.

I am off to the surgery in a little while, my ears are playing me up something shocking again. I don't mind having to turn the TV up but can not hear anyone on the phone.

I did my Christmas shop for the local food bank in Ammanford on Saturday. This year I filled a trolley with toiletries and then topped it off with a stack of chocolate selection boxes.
I was told this morning that a new one is opening in Gwaun Cae Gurwen, the next village to us, I will be giving them a call tomorrow to see what they need. Much nicer to keep it close to home. These were mining villages and of course the pits closed and the jobs evaporated.

On that note I better love you and leave you and get my body down to the surgery.

                       TTFN                                            Pam




Saturday, 3 December 2016

Ding Dong, The Socks Are Done.

Which old socks? The rotten old graduated pair, I had to grit my teeth and put my Big Girl Knickers on. I kid you not, even when decreasing for the toe, on the second sock, I could have launched it across the room.
I have 80 g of the yarn left, following a tip from a podcast I have rewound this. I will use it in a scrappy pair and knitting from the other direction may sort out the issue.  Even if it does I will not be buying any more. There are so many yarns out there to try that I have no intentions of putting myself through the wringer again.

I went into Ammanford yesterday, I had to have a new radio put in the car and I was halfway there. It was surprisingly quiet for market day, although it was almost 2 when I got there and the market is very tiny.

I had a look round but did not find anything to tempt money out of my purse. The fruit and veg stall had Nadine potatoes, my favourites, but on close inspection they were frost damaged.

I met up with friends and we had a chat over a coffee before going our separate ways. I had a look in Peacocks, dire offerings, I was taken aback later in the evening to see a glitzy advert on the telly. None of that was in the store in town, perhaps it was down to clever lighting and camera work.

The only things in the clothing line that I need to buy are some long sleeved tee shirts. Mine are ready for the rag bag. I will get another 2 pairs of thermal tights next time Lidl have them in, they are excellent quality and a good fit. I like to have a couple of pairs in reserve, Fran has benefitted from them once or twice.

I still have socks on my knitting list but my next cast on will be a chunky cardigan for me. I will have a pair of vanilla socks for telly watching and Knit and Natter, I like a small project that does not swamp me.

I bought the yarn from Debs wool shop to make a shawl, then I found the cardigan pattern in my folder and the shawl was out the window. I remember buying this, and the yarn to make it, ages ago at a Knit and Natter but want to use the new yarn. 

My trip to town made me quite tired and when I woke up  from a doze, at 9 last night, I threw the towel in and went off to bed.
I slept straight through to almost 6 this morning and feel better for it.
I can have a lazy day once the basic housework is done, there is no washing and ironing at all. It will not take me long to walk (I nearly put run) the hoover round and swish a duster here and there. The bathroom and kitchen don't need much and the hall stairs and landing where done yesterday.
I may have to tidy the sewing station, I can not see the sewing machine for packs of wool that I have been looking at. Tut Tut.
Tidy as you go was my mantra for so long , then I retired and fell into that trap. The longer time that you have to do something, the longer time it will take.

I need to pull my socks up in that respect and get back into the old habit. Don't put it Down, put it Away.

Well that told me, and now I am off to shower and get dressed. Then after porridge with marmalade I will be walking Ben.

Have a good weekend and I hope that you all get some "Me time".

                     TTFN                                              Pam


Thursday, 1 December 2016

And Play, And Play

I did very little on Wednesday except knit, the blue Aran hat was cast on and off, it took around 80 g of yarn and was a relaxing project. I will make a scarf next as there is a large amount of that yarn, it was bought for a project that never happened.

I cast on a sock in West Yorkshire Spinners  Fusions, an Aran weight 75% wool 25% nylon. A graduated yarn that is a bit variable in thickness through the ball. I had 2 x 100 g balls and expect about 60 g to be left. That will become something or other, maybe heels and toes in a plain colour pair.
I am about 15 rounds from the toe and will have that done this evening. I want to get the second cast on and finished, I am not enjoying the yarn at all. I am so pleased that I only bought the 2 balls and that it was a clearance offer from somewhere or other.

Dinner was very good, even though I was a bit heavy handed with the smoked paprika. Apart from the spices, a tin of tomatoes and one of chick peas it was all fridge bottom veg.

I have no idea what tonight's offering will be other than it will be egg based.

I need milk and a top up of fruit and veg before the weekend, as Thursday is usually a quiet day in Pontardawe I will do that this afternoon. I have bread in the freezer, I sliced it up so just take out what I need, it cuts out any waste.

There was a very sharp frost this morning, Ben loves this cold and dry weather, he  prances round me in his eagerness to get out and then wants to walk to Ceredigion. I have to watch that we do not go too far otherwise I would be carrying him home.

Washing out on the whirlything, not that there is enough wind to stir it round but it is in the full sunshine.

I did the ironing this morning, it was a step too far for yesterday, and it is ready to be put away.

That is me up to date so I am off to catch up on my reading list.

                               TTFN                                          Pam

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Work, Rest, PLAY

I had my day of working, and although I thought that I took it easy I had to follow it with a day of rest.
Then yesterday was time to play. It had nothing to do with the fact that it was Tuesday and Knit and Natter. Of course not, it had EVERYTHING to do with it.

I had a reasonably lazy morning, 2 walks for Ben, a load of washing out in the sunshine and just enough knitting to get the green/white Aran socks to the same point. I knitted them in tandem and wanted to get round the heel and finish the decreases, just straight down to the toes.
I managed that and took myself off to Debs shop for some overdue R & R.
One of our group is booked in for a C Section next week and she brought cake in, oh yum, it was chocolate, double yum.

I have been longing for a ring style row counter for a while, I cannot use the needle mounted ones as I just forget about them.

When I mentioned that I was instantly given one to try, the lovely lady had bought it and did not like it. OH MY, I tried it out and Bingo! I love it.

Even with the amount of Nattering that I did I still managed to finish one sock and make progress on the other, I finished it last night after dinner.

I cast on a rib hat in some light blue Aran from stash, just 96 sts on a 5mm 40cm circular. I will knit a simple K2 P2 rib until it is long enough and then do a 4 round decrease before finishing off.
Easy knitting and fast growing, an hour of telly and I was well on the way.
This is a try out for my Stash Busting Project, I hope to use as many odd balls and remnants of balls as I can while knitting hats, mittens and scarves. These will to a charity that clothes those who are in need.
One of my friends, and her hubby, regularly put the time in to collect clothing and then deliver it to their church. From there it goes to the people who need it.

I envisage lots of happy knitting time ahead. Not to mention making space on the yarn shelves.

I was tired after my afternoon out though and was nodding off on the sofa so toddled off to bed quite early.

This morning I was up and about by 6:30, a bit later than usual, and feeling good. My time out did me the world of good, better than any medicine.

Ben has had his walk and his breakfast, he is now settled on the sofa making little snuffly noises.
I had my porridge, with a dollop of marmalade again, and am about ready for another cuppa.

No washing today, just a little ironing that may or may not get touched today.
Dinner will be a vaguely Moroccan Vegetable Tagine with Brown Rice and Quinoa. 

I am off to put the kettle on, enjoy your day where ever you are.

                         TTFN                                       Pam


Monday, 28 November 2016

A Day of Rest, hmmm

I did have a rest from the internet, it was almost 11 last night when I realised that the laptop had been ignored all day.

I took advantage of the lovely weather and got a load of washing blowing on the whirlythingy. Although it was a bit chilly I threw all the windows open wide and let the sunshine flood through.

I even got the polish out, and used it.

A good vacuum round, and into a few corners, dust bunnies were rolling like tumbleweed. The dusting brush was attached and I did the staircase, then went over it with one of those microfiber cloths.
Skirting boards went under the cloth and came up gleaming, I was almost ashamed at how bad they were in some places.

I did not rush through this, I took my time and had frequent tea breaks, after all I had to stand back and admire the shiny surfaces and dust free corners.

I started my day with porridge, I don't usually sweeten it but as I had a fancy for marmalade I dropped a spoonful in the bowl.
Oh My Word, it was delish. I used the grapefruit, sour tangerine and Seville batch that I made last year. Perfect, the satisfying tang and no sweetness. I am certain that it fuelled my morning.

Lunch was a cheese sandwich with a smear of my chilli jam, it hit the spot.
Dinner was a very lazy Pulled Pork from the freezer, salad and a wedge of ciabatta . I also found room, a bit later on, for a slice of rhubarb pie (also from the freezer) and a generous drizzle of cream.
This was, in part, to celebrate the Strictly results.
I think that Judge Rinder will be the next to leave, he has done amazingly well but the standard is so high this year.

I have finished the DK red socks and have cast on a pair of the Aran weight from my list. These are in a greens and white self patterning yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners, 75% wool 25% nylon. I have a decent stash of their sock yarns in both Aran and DK weight. It is not the softest to work with but once washed and blocked is fine.

Now it is time for a cuppa and a shower before I get stuck into today.

                       TTFN                                              Pam



Saturday, 26 November 2016

A knitting snapshot



I have managed to get a few photos loaded but lost the cropped versions. I will have another play tomorrow and see if I can do any better.


This is the first Antler Toque, knitted in  Aran weight wool on a 16" circular, it took just under 100 g. I had to change to a longer cable and magic loop for the decreasing but it was an easy, and fast, knit.



This is the Big Rib hat in Worsted weight wool, dug out of the stash, I knitted it exactly as the pattern was written and used 100 g with about a yard leftover. The ribbing band is 4" deep and on the next one I will reduce that to 3". It is just a bit too long although this one will be perfect for walking in a cold wind, no cold ears.



The fold back  is knitted in reverse and then a row of knit stitches gives a fold line.  I used a 16" circular for this as well. The decreasing is gradual over 23 rows and I did not have to change to magic loop until row 16.


The second Antler Toque, knitted on straights and in some Drops Alaska that I had squirreled away. It took almost 3 x 50g balls, the yarn is considerably thicker than Aran, only 70 m per ball rather than 100. The colour is not as pink in real life much nearer a Burgundy.


This pair of socks are for  boots , I had to borrow them back for the photo. They are in Aran weight and have been worn a few times, the verdict was along the lines of  "great socks, how soon can I get 3 more pairs?".


This is the current pair, the second pair of Blueberry waffle in DK. This is now finished and the second is cast on. The first pair were a gift and these will be going as soon as they are finished.

I have a waiting list for socks, 2 more pairs of Aran boot socks, 3  DK Blueberry Waffle and 3 pairs in fingering weight. I also have 3 more hats on the list, 2 in k2 P2 rib and another Big Rib.

It is a good thing that I like being busy.

I aim to try some sewing next week, the last time I tried it affected my breathing quite badly. I tend to lean forward when I sew, I do try to sit back but always end up bent forward. I feel so much better now though that I have high hopes of managing at least 30 minutes.

I have had a bit of a shopping fest, the cupboards are well stocked and, apart from the usual fresh stuff, I will not be shopping for at least 10 weeks. Deep Joy.

I did consider booking a delivery slot for perishables in the run up to That Day, but can time my trip into Pontardawe for the second the shop opens. I only have a 10 minute journey from door to door.
No frog for breakfast today, just porridge with some cooked blueberries.
Looking at the clock I better get off my bum and be busy, there is a small pile of ironing and it will be better done and put away. Then I may have enough credit for a little knitting and a brew.

                      TTFN                                               Pam






Friday, 25 November 2016

Frog For Breakfast.

No I didn't eat any, I had porridge with some blueberries.

I meant the Rip it, Rip it of frogging out knitting when you gaze at your work in pleasure and spot A Glaring Mistake. Not too bad just 6 rows to go back on a sock. I could have sewn in a safety line, took the sock of the needle and pulled it back to the line. Quick and easy to do, BUT it was a stupid error and I wanted to etch it into my brain. So I took it back stitch by stitch and then knitted it all back, minus the mistake, before my breakfast.
By that time my tum was starting to grumble and my toes were curling up like a row of pigs tails.
I still haven't got round to trying to get photo's up on this laptop. I just get settled with my knitting and some  telly in the background before it pops into my mind. Then I just shrug my shoulders and think, I will do it in the morning.
I have nothing pressing today so once my chores are done I will try.

I have been watching season 1 of Quantico on box sets, the first episodes were quite compulsive viewing. B U T it is dragging on and seems now to be merely a vehicle for the Leading Lady to pout and pose her way through each scene.

The best program, in my view, on TV now is Planet Earth 11 on Sunday evening. Strictly has become a bit of a balls up and even the John Lewis advert is banal.

Thank goodness I am happy with the radio or silence while I am pottering about.

On that thought it is time that I got Ben off his bed and out for an airing.

Have the best day that you can.

               TTFN                                                    Pam