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Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Long time no see

In fact I am seeing very little that is clear these days, I ache to get my eyes tested. I am not ready to be stuck in a small enclosed space with somebody as close as they have to be. No matter what protective apparel they, and I, may be wearing.

I have been busy with helping Michael who incidently has managed to split his thumb open and damage the bone. The less said about it all the better.
Then there are the trying trio of Revi, Poppy and Herbie. Walking them without playing Russian Roulette with other people on narrow footpaths means an earlier than usual walk. That is an hour or more, followed with play in the garden and then a later walk in the evening. 
You would think that I would be a few mm shorter and at least a Kg or so thinner, Not a bit. I may not have grown, what are being dubbed, Lockdown Love Handles but no weight has been shed here.

My scales and eyes tell me that I need to lose a bit, quite a bit, but i am as fit as the proverbial butcher,s dog and, almost, as agile as a flea.( None of those in this house thank you very much.)

I am knitting through my bright and light yarns and socks are practically falling off the needles.

I have worked through some of the WIP pile, only one was frogged and that yarn has been divided into 2 cakes ready for more socks.
I am mostly using the Fleegle heel as my eyes can cope with that, double stitches and wrap and turns are a stitch too far. I do have the Fish Lips Kiss heel pattern but really cannot be bothered.

Some of these socks have been for small people, Jess,s girls are in love with "Pam Socks", at 20 odd grams a pair I can churn them out. I do use a heel flap and gusset for them, I can manage to pick up 12 slipped stitches on each side as long as I mark the first one with a lightbulb marker.

Likewise with sewing, I have run up a few pairs of long trousers for them, elastic waist, no zips or button holes, I am working through the larger scrap pieces. I have found a couple of free top patterns for them and they are next on the list.

Then there is the garden, we have had heatwave followed by cool wet weather with the odd downpour, rinse and repeat. It is a chore to keep the grass looking halfway decent and the weed level acceptable. I seem to spend half my time at the compost bins and a big chunk dead heading after the rain has done its best to ruin every flower.

The one shining light is the window box in the little back courtyard. It is a sea of flowers, all planted in spring last year, there has been some colour right from that May. I do feed them wth nettle tea and have added the odd sprinkle of fish, blood and bone. This Autumn I have to take them out an replant as they have really outgrown the space.

The dogs are sprawled out over both sofas, snoring one against the other so I grabbed the chance to get a post up. This mornings rain has abated and it is quite clear but not remotely sunny, so my next move will be to get them outside to play whilst I pick vegetables for dinner. The early potatoes are in buckets and once I empty one the compost gets a handful of F,B & Bone, a little fresh compost and goes back into the bucket. Each one then gets 6 leeks planted and is put back into its space. I will not be hacking at frozen ground to make leek and potato soup in the winter.

I hope that you are all well and safe, I am erring on the side of caution and still using my weekly Asda slot. They may not stock every thing that I would like but I have become adept at making the best of what I can get.
I am not sure that I will be changing back when I feel that it is safe to do so. I quite like having somebody pick and pack my shopping, it is just a shame that I have to stack it away myself.

Stay safe and make the best of every day.


                TTFN                                           Pam







Thursday, 18 June 2020

Many thanks

Thankyou so much for all the good wishes for Michael. He got through the appointment and treatment but there may be another op later, it has been suggested that a bone graft may take place.

The weather has been all over the show, pounding rain, blazing sun, strong winds and total calm with a smattering of mist and fog. At least there has not been any white stuff.

The grass is approaching hay length but I am not bothered. I can always strim it before mowing.

The veg garden is romping ahead in some places and falling behind in others.

The sock knitting is going well and the floof for Francesca's sweater has arrived, bliss, pure bliss, it's like touching a warm cloud.
I ordered it from itsastitchupyarn and the service was brilliant. I realised that I had not oredered enough so messaged Suzie. She instantly told me to order another and she would refund the extra postage, which by the way was for the complete order not just 1 skein. It arrived yesterday, that's just 3 days delivery time.
I will certainly use the shop again and will check it out on a regular basis, I don't want to miss anything.

I have my eye on a new teapot, not a specific one, with an infuser. There is a famous make that has a French Press, very nice but I am not a fan of transparent pots. I will mull it over and whatever I decide upon will go on my wish list. 
I am under orders to replenish it after my birthday gifts emptied it.
I do like a surprise as long as it is well considered, Francesca knows my taste but likes a list to chose from as does Michael.

People that I gift to like anything that I knit, sew or crochet. That is very good for me as I am never without something lovely to work on.

Good loose leaf tea, Assam in particular is always on my list, along with coffee beans. I have gone completely away from tea bags and instant coffee. I have the coffee filter machine and a French Press and 2 different size tea leaf infusers. The only issue with the latter is that they are very hot to handle once the tea has brewed. Sugar tongs are rather short for removing them from the pot. 

At the moment it is raining quite hard, Revi has just galloped outside so I need to grab a dog towel

I am still mulling over the hoover situation, I will make my mind up soon.

Stay safe.

                            TTFN                                   Pam





Sunday, 14 June 2020

It never rains

But it pours.
Michael is back in hospital, complications resulting in surgery later today.
I fell into bed quite early but have now been awake for a couple of hours.
Herbie is most put out and has been searching the house, he doesn't like it when one of us is missing.
I threw the towel in and brought him down, there was to be no rest whilst he pitter patted up and down.
I have been indulging in some retail therapy, not for me. I found the  undyed suri alpaca silk and 4 skeins of that are headed in my direction. I was intending to dye 4 skeins of fingering weight yarn but found an Etsy shop having a sale, there was a colourway that was perfect for Francesca so she will have a Paloma for either birthday or Christmas.

I blanched at the total cost and dived headfirst into my stash, I found some long hoarded cream wool and have cast on a Penny sweater from Tin Can Knits, it's a paid for pattern, knitted bottom up in the round and joined at the arm holes. It has a V neck but I may well change that into a crewe or even a roll neck. It has become a tradition that she has 2 garments, at least 1 hat and a few pairs of socks shared between Birthday in November and Christmas. 

Herbie has settled down and is snoring so I will see if it is possible to get back to bed myself. I hope that he settles down, I like my sleep, not a massive amount but unbroken.

We have had glorious hot sunny days with cool and rainy nights, good for the garden, not so much for those looking to make hay.

Stay safe.

                         TTFN                                         Pam



Thursday, 11 June 2020

How far will it go?

The protesting.

Yes many wrongs were commited in the past, some of it not so distant. 
Gang masters have been responsible for virtual slavery toward migrant workers fron Europe.
Zero hour contracts, may not be slavery but they have very long reaching consequences.

Statues being toppled, I can understand that in the heat of the moment, but to then tip them into docks where they become a danger No.

How far will it go?
Will direct descendants be strung up?
Will estates and monies be seized?
Will our goverment (such as they are) be thrown out leaving us in chaos. After all the government of the time approved of the Slavers, possibly many members of parliament had their snouts in the trough.
Will Queen Victoria statues be removed, and every Queen Vic or Prince Albert pub be renamed. After all they were in full knowledge of these happenings

Taking it a step further will all blonde haired, blue eyed people have to prove that they are not descendants of Hitlers breeding program.

Yes , it all sounds pretty far fetched. But who could have predicted the recent scens across the world.

My grandfather was in both world wars. His view was that war should never be glorified but that it should also never be forgotten.

History is what it is. To try to sanitise it is morally wrong.
Children, and many adults, need to be able to know what happened. To know that people who are on pedestals for their ability to make vast amounts of money did not do it kindly.

Across the world there are rafts of exceedingly wealthy families. Much of this wealth comes from nefarious sources.
Many such families chose to do good with their wealth. Should they now be vilified, their history wiped from the books. How and why should they be held responsible for the acts of generations ago.

These people were products of their time and they and their acts should never be hidden from view. They should stand as a warning to future money and power greedy generations. These things must not be allowed to resurface, nor anything like them.

Knowledge is power. 
Ignorance may be bliss but it can lead to unmentionable wickedness.

That's it. Soapbox away.

Stay safe.

                                  TTFN                           Pam

PS. no diatribe comments please this is just my reaction to the craziness about me. I learnt about creatures such as Cecil Rhodes at school. I may despise him and his ilk but I want other children to be able to learn as well. 







Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Feeling chipper

I am feeling much more myself today, still being careful though. The dogs had a new walk today to a place where they could have some off lead time with lots of space to run round in. They enjoyed it and it gave me a breather before the walk home. The sun was shining but within an hour the rain arrived, nice and gentle so doing good. 

It has brought the slugs and snails out so I have had a picking session, nasty things. I have a resident toad but he must be having an away day, I didn't see him but there were some empty half crushed shells around.

I have been sitting on the Paloma sweater pattern for a while, humming and haahing over whether or not to knit it. Then I saw  Nicky Winterton, on her blog Sheep and Cheerful, trying hers on and my mind was made up. Not one but two, one for Francesca and one for me.

I had a look online and found fingering weight for both, then looked for suri alpaca silk. Hah! Undyed is sold out everywhere. My plan was, and still is, to pick really strong colours in the fingering and tone them down with undyed fluff. I did toy briefly with reversing it but threw that idea in the bin.
Anyone know where I can source said fluff. I can get kidsilk mohair but both Francesca and I find it scratchy.
I usually go to blueface.com, but they are out of stock. I did find some on an Indie dyers site but it was rather overpriced.
I will buy the coloured yarn and hope to locate the lace weight sooner rather than later. I do have a few months before it will be cool enough to wear sweaters, fingers crossed.

Meanwhile I am at the ribbing on the blue socks and halfway up the leg on the paler pair. Even with the rain it has been bright enough for the darker yarn today, a bit iffy at times with a terrier on my lap, but I managed to get quite a bit done.

Herbie has finally given in and gone to sleep, he has such a good time with Revi. They are a perfect match though she towers over him.

I am ready for a cuppa now, the kitchen is put to rights after dinner an I am eyeing my knitting up. I have a film to watch and could well finish the ribbing whilst watching it.

Stay safe.

                                     TTFN                       Pam


Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Still resting up

It's just past 9 and I am in bed with my knitting. I am resigned to stick with vanilla socks, on magic loop I can almost knit them in my sleep now. Having said that the current pair, and the last 3 pairs, are k4 p2 rib. All in light shades and mens sizes. My gift box is filling up nicely, once I cannot face another pair of socks it will be sockhead hats or possibly beanies, something that doesn't require reading a pattern and intricate stitches.

Not feeling sorry for myself, quite the opposite. Here we are in early June and I getting well through my gift knitting. I do have 2 sweater wips that have been set aside till my eyes are done. Both are too busy for me, one is heavily cabled and the other is lace.

I have cut out a wrap skirt, I adapted a pattern and instead of side seams I have marked darts for shaping. A deal less sewing and no zipper to insert, and no need for the overlocker, I can not see to thread it now. I had a job to wind bobbins earlier, it was difficult to see to get the thread through the machine and the little hole in the bobbin. I persevered and wound 6. It's quite silly as I have no problem threading the needle, and no I do not use the automatic threader.

I see that the greedy grasping few are selling a £1 tin of dried yeast on Ebay for up to £7, I hope that nobody buys it. My local shop has some, at a higher price than the supermarkets but not that exhorbitant. They took the time and trouble to source it for their customers, they have a limited supply and sell only 1 pack at a time.

There is nothing like a disaster to bring out the best and the worst in people.

We were promised rain this evening but so far it is dry and warm, the last lot filled my water butts so I am happy.

Now I think that I ought to do a few more rounds on the socks before turning the light out. Michael is snoring his head off in the other bedroom, all the doors are open but I think that I willl need to shut them soon or I will never get to sleep.

Stay safe.

                          TTFN                          Pam

Monday, 8 June 2020

Champing at the bit.

First let me thank you all for your advice as to getting rid of the layer of dog hair. It looks as though Dyson is the make to go for. I will have to double check though as I am sure that I read somewhere that the business has been moved to a "tax haven". If so I will not be looking at that brand. 

Secondly I am on a forced slow down.
You long time readers may remember my heart issue from a few years ago. I have been in control and all has been tickety-boo. Until this morning. I was scuttling around, getting through my job list, before the foster girls arrived and was obviously going at it  hell for leather. Half way down the stairs my heart went into overdrive and I sat down hurredly. It was lucky that I fell backwards.
After several minutes I got right down, onto the sofa and I have mostly been here since.

During the winter I was fine, remembered to take regular pit stops, and maintained a somewhat measured pace.
When the hot weather arrived it was just too hot to hurry. This morning it was cooler but fine and bright and I got carried away with myself.

Soooo, its bum on chair for a little bit longer today and then back to my old routine for the forseeable future.
I was fine over the weekend as I was sewing coronavirus masks. My family in England have all had some but with the relaxing of lockdown I became concerned. The fact that people on public transport will have to wear a mask soon, plus they will then have to wear a fresh mask once they arrive at work put another strain on the chain of supply.

I have posted off 30 to Francesca, like me she is concerned that the ongoing demonstrations will lead to a surge in new cases. She is still working from home but now intends to wear a mask on her daily walk.
My sister in Norfolk has to go to the local post office and the chemist weekly, I want her to wear a mask, and the same with the rest of the family. Apart from my sister none of them sew, and she does not have a fabric stash, I was given some part bolts of quilting cotton recently and I have interfacing and elastic. My sewing machine is going through a needle every day now and I bless my American bought Oliso iron. It has little feet that drop down when you let go of the handle so nothing gets scorched and it does not have to be balanced precariously on end. How many irons have fallen onto the floor? in my home more that I care to count, usually due to a dog pushing through and rocking the ironing board.

So my days are pretty much cut, sew press, rinse and repeat. I like that. I do have a skirt cut out ready to sew and will try and slot that in this week. I make 25 masks a day, its tedious work, and sewing through the pleats and elastic kills the needles. I could use a jeans needle but I have a stash of machine needles, also from the US, that have been with me for over a decade. They worked out at around 3p each, I ordered them with some  Bonnie and Camille fabric, the Marmalade collection (when the regulations and cost were not so draconion) and they threw in an extra box as a gift.

Much as I like to sit and sew, there are other things to do. I want to be in the garden moving pots and a stack of wood. That will have to wait a while, if I could get the "bit between my teeth" it would be done and dusted. Hence the champing.

The dogs have just finished a particularly lively game of chase and have collapsed on the sofa and are all snoring. It's very soporific and I can feel my eyelids drooping so I may join them for a while.

Keep safe.

                          TTFN                                      Pam