Friday, 22 March 2019

Near enough is enough.

I have got everything that I think that I need back on the 'puter. There is still a list of things that were removed (how kind of them to to tell me) but if I don't need them they can stay gone.

I did lose all my bookmarks, but again I have not looked at them for ages so did not need them.

Not much is happening here, some cleaning, washing, cooking all the usual day to day stuff.
I have put some more work into the "sticky socks#2", the little pile of 7 round Granny squares is growing, albeit in fits and starts. I have cast on a jumper using some stash Aran weight yarn. It is a merino and cotton blend so should be wearable for most of the year. Heat waves permitting.

I was watching the lovely Ange on her podcast, YarnNyarn, and she has committed herself to working regularly on her crochet blanket. That gave me a guilt trip and I have decided to emulate and work on my squares most days, if not every day. The basket that holds all the yarn and squares is rather huge so I have found a project bag and put crochet hook and a ball of yarn, Stylecraft special DK, into it. That gives me a small portable project, if I get fed up with using the same colour I can just swap it out for another. 

I have printed off a cardigan pattern, Peggy Sue free on Ravelry, this will be for Francesca and possibly one for me. It is short sleeved and ideal for slipping on over a dress when summer takes a day off and the goosebumps appear.
The other is a paid for pattern, Blakelaw sock pattern by Geordieknits Designs. I recently found the Geordieknits podcast and thought the socks looked good so bought the pattern. 

It is a simple lace pattern so will be ideal TV knitting when a vanilla sock is just not cutting it for me. I usually fall back on Blueberry Waffle or Hermione,s everyday socks and now they are as simple as vanilla.

Dinner tonight is a Thai green curry, lots of ginger and garlic, and I have some wild garlic leaves to stir through rather than coriander. It is as good to ring the changes with my cooking as my knitting.

I feel the need to sew coming on so tomorrow I hope to get some fabric washed for a dress and probably another Hollyburn skirt. I love that pattern and hardly make any other skirt up now.

The dogs have been walked and fed, Ben had a bath this morning and is as shiny as a new penny. Herbie will have one on Sunday when the SO is here, he is as mad as a box of frogs (Herbie, not the SO) once the rinsing starts and I need the help. I wonder if the shower tickles as he doesn't mind the lathering and even lifts his feet to be washed.

On that thought I will be off to get another hours knitting/crochet in. The SO is home and gone for a shower and the coffee is on.

                          TTFN                                  Pam

                      (Somewhat cooler than yesterday)

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Back on track.

Fingers crossed.
I had a systems update and it turned the blasted laptop doolally, even allowing for operator stupidity.

I am slowly restoring as much as possible, thank goodness for you tube on the telly.

It took me almost 30 minutes to persuade the printer that it was installed and to tell the laptop that I did want to use the printer installed and not some strange named creature from another dimension.

For a while I was thinking that if I lobbed it across the room and let Herbie have a game it might teach it to behave.

I managed to conjure up some common (HUH very rare) sense and just watch a couple of how to videos and follow along.
Almost like painting by numbers.

I will be back tomorrow once I have cooled down a few hundred degrees and regained some calm.

                                  TTFN                   Pam 

                          (AKA hot and bothered of Cwmgors)

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Farmer,s weather

Raining during the night and dry in the day, not too shabby for the gardeners amongst us either.

A couple of days have slipped past, nothing much has happened really, I have knitted, searched for patterns, looked at the yarn stash in despair oh, and done the boring but essential household jobs.
Yesterday was a full on washing day, the sun was out, there was a decent and gentle breeze, and everything that was in the washing basket went through the machine. All line dried, even the door curtain that came down just because, it was a great feeling to tuck it all away.

Then the SO came home, showered and left another full has been washed this morning and is ready to peg out. It is still a bit misty here, there is blue sky showing in patches, so it can wait a little while.

I am keeping up with the walk at home every day, I have been chopping and changing the workouts, I do not want to get bored. Yesterday I did a 2 mile "power walk" as well as up and down the stairs, in and out to the washing line and walking the dogs. This morning I did a new 1 mile walk and will repeat it later on. This one had lots of people taking part who were not super slim, much more realistic.

Dinner last night was chilli and garlic bread, I stuffed as many vegetables into it as possible and some mixed beans. My dried chillies are going strong (really strong, 1 is plenty) and hopefully will last until I have fresh ones on the plants.
Tonight we are having Mushroom Something, a new recipe that has not been born yet. I have had a rummage in the fridge and it will be another veggy meal, this time with ginger and garlic and a decent amount of lemon to cut through the earthiness of the mushrooms. There will also be courgettes involved, I do not want to waste a thing.

I managed to have a quick tidy round in the pantry this morning, I keep my kitchen hand towels etc in there and they had begun to wander slightly. All is regimented now, I had been through a little phase of "put it down" rather than "put it away". I need to nip that in the bud, if not prune it right out.

I am still pining to do some spinning.
I am still space poor.
I have had a very good look at my stash yarns.
I did not cry, nearly though.

I bought a huge amount of Acrylic Aran weight yarn very, very cheaply a couple(ish) years ago. There was the idea of a thicker blanket floating round my head.
The problem was that I bought baby Aran in pale shades, not at all my cup of tea, as that was what was on sale.


I sorted it out, looked at patterns, sniffled a bit, went on Ravelry for more pattern inspiration, sniffled a bit more and threw the towel in.

I will not be using that yarn.

It will not be wasted though, my sister is a voracious knitter and crocheter, she loves the paler shades, she makes things for friends and neighbours as well as family. It will be in a box and on its way to her as soon as I get it packed away.

I figure that the space gained will allow me a drop spindle and some fibre to play with.
It will take something much more radical to make room for a wheel.

I will not let her know as we all love happy post, and if it is a surprise it is all the better.

I do have another surprise parcel to get packed and despatched, and as I am taking the car in for it,s MOT this morning I can get them both sent off. The garage is just near the local shop that is a drop off centre for a courier firm. Courier is by far the cheapest, and mostly the quickest,way to send a parcel.
The Post office has priced itself out of my business.

All those words and I have not really said anything much, they have been stored up since my last post and just had to escape.

A bit of knitting,

Francesca's cowl, I have chopped the point off so folded it for a better look.

It is very pretty in real life, soft and silky. perfect for a cool spring morning. It may well become an Easter gift and a warmer one will be made for the winter.

The Chunky, Furry, sooo soft cowl. Mine, all mine. I wore it last night to walk Herbie and it was super warm, super light and not a hint of tickle under my chin. Possibly because I made it deep enough to pull up over my chin.
Much as I love it I will not be repeating the exercise, sewing the ends in was an experience, it took me 20 minutes to find a needle with an eye larger enough, and joining the new skeins in was not easy, or tidy.

The new "sticky yarn" sock, I used Kay Jones,s short row garter stitch heel pattern for the first time. It was so simple, because it was so well explained
The second sock is 10 rows away from the heel, I hope to get it completed this week.
I will be ripping out the toe on the first sock and adding a few rounds to the foot. A foolish mistake on my part, I did not use the "umbrella toe" in the pattern, just my preferred wedge toe and of course it is shorter. No big deal, I will pick up the stitches just before the decrease row before ripping the toe back. I have plenty of yarn so no yarn chicken will be involved.

Now I need to get those parcels made up and print the labels off, they will be sent off today if I get them dropped off before lunch.

                     TTFN                                         Pam

Monday, 18 March 2019

Still Wet in Wales.

It has been a few wet days, yesterday being the exception until
around 2:30 when it hammered down.

We have had a flurry of activity here, people, dogs, general house
things and normal living.

We did have a bit of a film day on Saturday and watched the 2 Deadpool films back to back. Mad, ridiculous and funny, a good way to ignore the weather.

Lots of knitting was done, the photo,s were very blurry so I will take some more later.

The Bertie Botts Cowl is finished and is blocking, I did 8 less rows on the patterned section as Francesca is shorter in the torso and neck than me.

Remember the sticky yarn that I knitted socks with, well in the interests of knitting up the stash I cast on another sock. a single sock top down with a short row garter stitch heel. It is working up really well considering the trouble I had on the first pair. One at a time has helped, there is nothing for it to stick to, but it is slower going than my normal pace.
The first one is around halfway along the foot, if I watch a couple of catch up episodes of Silent Witness tonight I may well get it finished. Or at least to the toe decreases.

I still have the chunky Cowl on the needles and will (hopefully) finish that before casting on the second sock. I still have 3 long standing WIPs to sort out, it will happen at some point I just need to be in the zone.

No sewing, that is possibly because my sewing room overlooks the mountain and it has been wreathed in rain and mist so is very uninspiring. I may have to bring the small machine into the kitchen and get it set up. The table is big enough but I do try to keep the sewing confined to one place, the knitting and crochet tends to migrate far too readily to all the house. 
I had to move 2 project bags from the dresser this morning and 1 from the bedroom yesterday. These are future knitting with pattern, yarn and needles all assembled .
I discovered that I need would like at least 2 more fixed circulars in 2.25 mm, 80 and 100 cm.  I will add them to my wish list for a month or 2 and see how I have managed till then. I did have 3 in my stash but gave 1 away and promptly sat on one and broke it, they were all Knit Pro Symfonie. I use these on splitty or very slippery yarn rather than metal ones as they do provide much more grip.

Some of my time has been occupied with finding new podcasts to watch. I stumbled upon Geordieknits and am watching from the beginning. At the same time I am looking through her subscription list, the Lonely knitter, who says that she lives on the most Easterly bit of the UK, I think that must be Cromer or very close. Suffolk Socks, who has an online yarn shop and is a marvellous dyer. The Hairy Sheep a Mum and young daughter duo from North Lincolnshire, who have 2 podcast episodes up and SCR1TNO hosted by Sharon Richards. no idea where she lives as I have only just had a little peak of her first episode. I am slowly watching through all the episodes, except for Suffolk Socks who I used to follow and have no idea why I stopped. It may well have been when I got the new laptop, my data transfer was not ideal. There may have been some snarling and growling going on.

There are many more on her list but I am only watching the UK podcasts. I have nothing against the rest, many of them are on my list also, it is just nice to watch somebody whose yarn choices are readily available without having to pay customs charges, VAT and the Robbing Post Office who charge you to pick up your parcel.

There was nearly a rant there. That charge is guaranteed to make my hackles rise and transform me into an approximation of a Rabid Dog.
I do not mind the Customs charges too much, they do an amazing job of keeping lots of really bad stuff out of the country. I do not even mind VAT too much, it is something that we have to live with so I suck it up. At least I used to until the monetary value boundary before you had to pay it was dropped to next to nothing. Since then I have not bought in anything from overseas.

Calm down, Breathe slowly, think about chocolate cake and other good things. 

There, that's better. I am calm again.  

And there is the sun, casting it,s golden rays over the house and garden. Woo Hoo.

Perhaps it will stay for a while, the forecast was very woolly this morning, full of if's and maybe's. Why they can not just say that it will be a mixture of everything and impossible to predict correctly.

On that note, with an empty coffee cup beside me, I think that it is time to kick start the rest of the day. Herbie wants his second walk, the long one. The bed needs remaking and there is a little washing up to do.
Dinner will be a bean and veg chilli with home made garlic bread and there may be a cheeky rhubarb pudding to follow. 

I hope that you all had a good weekend, mine was great, uneventful but great.
A quick note for Cherie K the yarn would be fine for socks, in fact that is what they sell it for. It is really soft so I would use a sturdier yarn for heels and toes. I have 30 grams left if you would like to to try. put a comment in with you address (I will not publish of course) and I will send it off.
I will be replying to comments later and reading through my blog list but I am going to be goody two shoes today and get the chores done first.

                               TTFN                                  Pam

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Still down the rabbit hole.

The cowl shaped rabbit hole,and very cosy it is down here.
I cast on number 2 yesterday and have 5 rows to do before joining to knit in the round.

I know this is a bit blurry, I had a mad Herbie dancing round me as he wanted desperately to see what I was doing.
I will take another later after the pattern has begun.

This yarn is from Little French Meadow, the colour is Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans.
I will be following the original stitch pattern after all as the yarn is such a random mix. Most other stitch patterns would be lost in the colours. 
Once again this is not a true representation of the colours, it is far less blue and has quite a lot of pink, orange and cream in it. perhaps it will show up better when it is a bit bigger and on a different background.
The yarn is so soft that it makes me want to hang onto it for myself. It will go into the gift box as it already has a recipient, Francesca, it will look lovely under her grey winter coat.

We had a good dry day yesterday and lots of washing went out to dry. At some point during the night we had heavy rain, within the last 30 minutes the sky has started to clear. There is still some fine rain and the forecast is for lots more of it BUT it does look promising. As I typed that last sentence the brightness has diminished and a grey wash is slowly covering the sky.

Last night,s dinner was really good, the pasta sauce was the last of a batch made in January, the flavour had developed well and the crunchy topping was a great contrast to the soft pasta hidden beneath it.

Tonight we are having beef casserole, also from a batch cooking session in January, in a Yorkshire Pudding. No other carbs needed, just some lightly steamed cabbage. We like cabbage. There are still some brussels sprouts in the freezer so I may get some of those out as well.

The weather should be grim till Sunday and then much better from Monday, I think that means knitting time will be abundant. There should be some sewing time in there as well, fingers crossed I have a stack of lavender bags cut out.

There is a small shopping list, but nothing that I am desperate for, and the house jobs are all up to date.

The only thing that I am behind on is getting the kettle on for a brew. The dogs have been walked and fed, dinner is thawing out, well the Y.pud mix is in the jug freshly made this morning. I find that it rises so much better after a rest in the fridge, I just give it a quick whisk up before it goes into the oven.

                         TTFN                                     Pam

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

A Finish.

The eye test went as well as I expected, a jump in my precription both in long and near sight lens. I have both prescriptions in the one lens, it saves having to swap specs around and is much better for me.

So that was 60 minutes and many £,ss that I said goodbye to. 
On a more positive note the optometrist thinks that by my next examination the cataract in my right eye will be mature enough to be removed. Blissful thought as even with the new specs that eye cannot be brought up as well as the left. It is because of the detached retina that I had many years ago. Apparently any surgery on the eye means that there is a higher chance of cataract forming and it will grow relatively fast.

Enough. Let us see something really positive.

Tah Dah.

Paris in Berlin.

I have remembered that I bought the yarn at Wonder Wool,almost 2 years ago, when I wound it into a cake there was a knot in the yarn so I made 2 cakes and promptly lost the label.
It needs a soak and a block, the yarn is a touch scratchy on my neck. I am a delicate flower you know. I have 15 grams left over, and as I weighed the cake before starting the garter border I know that it took 16 grams to finish it.
I have the yarn picked out ready for the next incarnation and will be casting it on later today. Fingers crossed.

It fits really well under a coat and is very warm and snuggly, there is enough bulk to be warm but not enough to feel "lumpy" with the coat done up. 

Since starting this I have seen a few other cowls with a similar look but I will not be buying the patterns. What I will do is have a browse through my stitch library books and see if there is anything that jumps out at me. It should  be a simple matter to keep the increase spacing with a different stitch pattern.

Watch This Space.

If you hear the sound of wailing and rending of fabric, pulling of hair etc, you will know that was not as simple as I anticipated.

Walking at home is progressing well, I wake up with a glow of anticipation as to which plan I will be doing today.
Yesterday was the walk with a boost, today was week 1 of a fitness plan. That included some work with weights and some stretching on my yoga mat.
Mmm, need to get the cowl soaked and blocked soon, I use my yoga mat for blocking rather than having to find space to store designated blocking mats.

Dinner last night was home cooked ham, (poached) eggs and chips. lovely crisp oven baked chips that I tossed in just a tsp of olive oil. A green salad on the side and we were well fed.

I did enjoy it but there will be no chips for a couple of weeks, too much of a good thing....and all that jazz.

Tonight it will be a pasta bake with a crunchy top of cubed wholemeal  bread, seeds and cheese. I have the heel of a loaf to use up, I saved it for this dish, and I will use wholemeal penne pasta.

The weather forecast says that it should brighten up as the day goes on followed by goodness how many days of rain. Wonderful, I have plenty to keep me occupied and happy, though the housework does not really figure in that list.

I will do my chores first.
I will do my chores first.
I will try to do my chores first. 

Right, I WILL make a start before the sentence changes beyong recognition. Just like Chinese Whispers I can see the last version along the lines of "I will leave the chores for another day."

                     TTFN                                          Pam

Monday, 11 March 2019

I blame James Martin.

Yesterday started out at the double and just got busier as the morning progressed. At around 11-30 we sat down with a cuppa and put the telly on to catch  Simon Rimmer and his guests. James was amongst them and we watched him cooking Plaice in batter, with scraps or crispies (depending on where you live). 
As one we said "my mouth is watering, I could just eat that"

Now in Neath there is an award winning chippy "Shillingfords" and they cook on Sundays.

We have never cleaned up and left the house so fast, at least not for a long time.

Yes, you guessed it. Our plan for a gammon, jacket potato and salad dinner was shelved. We had battered Plaice and chips.

The fish was cooked to perfection, light crispy batter that crunched between the teeth and then melted deliciously. Firm white flakes of fish, sweet as a nut, with no clumps of half raw batter mix. 
The chips,however, were not to our taste.They were cooked but quite soft and pale whereas we like ours to be darker and crisp, they were also not as hot as we expected. 
It was our first visit there and because of the non existent parking will quite likely be the last.

Come the summer our local chippy will be open on Sundays, although we do not intent for this to be anything more than a one off.

Any way, on to some knitting. I am working on the Paris in Berlin shawl by Joji Locatelli, it is a very easy knit and I am loving it.
I have to say here that no knitting (or crafting of any kind) happened yesterday. On our return we carried on being busy both outside and in.

This is using up the remnants of another project, using a nameless yarn, in a soft semi solid yellow/orange/cream colour, it will be mine, all mine. 
I will take the next shot against a dark background in the hopes of showing the true colour. 
I have only just completed 27 rows of the main pattern and find it so addictive. I have stash yarn picked out for one each for Francesca and L and am inpatient to get started on those. The pattern is really simple and so easy to follow simply by reading the knitting. It starts off in the flat then once the first textured section is completed you join in the round and start the main body. The idea is that is is a cowl that simulates a shawl in the front. All the gorgeous drape at the front neckline with no dangling points to be tucked away.

Now although i have lots more to ramble on about I need to get in the greenhouse and prepare the side beds for plants and seeds.

Tomorrow, mid morning, I have an eye test booked. It was the first one available but will mean that nothing much happens here till after lunch. Perhaps I will be able to get the next round of lavender bags cut out.

                       TTFN                                         Pam