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Friday, 20 April 2018

There's a kind of hush...........

all over the house, for now.

Quite simply both Rufus and Herbie are worn out. They have been tearing around the garden and hurtling through the kitchen every now and then, just to see what I am up to. Ben follows them every now and then, he does not like to miss anything, but soon returns to the relative sanity of indoors.

The SO has been turning out the shed and storage lockers, all is now neat and tidy, and has had the incinerator fired up. The rubbish has been burned so there will be no smoke over the weekend.  Hopefully the weather will stay kind and there may well be washing pegged out and/or outdoors activities happening.

I have cast on another sock, Petunia Dursley's Double eyelet Socks a free pattern by Erica Lueder of Dreams in Fiber. I have had the pattern printed out for ages and decided that it was past time that I knitted it. I am using a Crafternoon Treats skein, Think Pink, a blend of 95% Romney Lambswool and 5% fawn Shetland, this is very deep stash indeed.

I do have other things that should be getting my time but, given the lightning bolt called Herbie, I need to be able to abandon my knitting at the drop of a hat, or even a ball or toy. I am not knitting 2 at a time, which is my preferred method as it just tangles up when jettisoned.

I did manage to get some baking done for the freezer this morning. A couple of crunchy top lemon loaves and chocolate sponge rounds, most of which have been cut, wrapped and popped in said freezer. I made a batch of Semolina Shortbread as well, it is ages since I made the recipe and had to look it up. There are many versions but I use Mary Berry's, it never fails.

Dinner will be something with salad, last night we had a pasta dish with a creamy garlic and chicken sauce. It was very garlicky and I made some Garlic bread just to reinforce it. No vampires here.

I will be in Llandeilo next Tuesday, not for knit and Natter unfortunately but in the quilt shop so all is not lost.

On Wednesday Herbie is going to the vet for a once over and will be booked in for neutering.

Then on Friday I will be having the stress test in Morriston hospital, a busy week ahead.

I did a biggish shop yesterday, filled all the gaps in pantry, bathroom and cleaning cupboard. I do this every month or so and then just buy fresh stuff once or twice a week. It suits me and I very rarely run out of anything. I hate the thought of having to go to the shops for 1 item, it is either a waste of petrol or pay through the nose in the village shop, always supposing that they have what I need.

That's it for now, Herbie is flat out beside me and has not even lifted his head. Normally I only have to touch the lap top and he is bouncing all over me.

Rufus is on the floor waiting for his dinner and Ben has claimed the other sofa. It is like the calm before a storm. I will enjoy it while it lasts.

Here's hoping that you all have a great weekend, with lots of lovely Sun.

                            TTFN                                 Pam 







Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Quick, while he is sleeping.

Herbie is the perfect name, he is a right little Herbert. I can not read, knit or touch the laptop if he is awake. He just grabs a toy and launches himself at me. Then it is play or go for a walk, today was easier as the weather was glorious and he played in the garden with Rufus.
They rushed around for almost 2 hours, it was Rufus who tired first and he went home for an hours rest before the afternoon walk.
Herbie chose to play with his toys instead.They had their walk and after eating Ben curled up and had a snooze.
Herbie, on the other hand, found his rope ball and went doolally for half an hour. He is sleeping at my feet now and I am hopeful that he stays that way for a little while.








He does like this crochet ripple blanket and sneaks it off the sofa at every opportunity 



Just like Rufus the moment I get off the sofa he takes my corner.

I have managed some knitting, only socks though as I can drop them the minute he hurtles toward me.


These are from Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears, they are her All is Calm sock pattern. I have only put the lace on the legs this time but will knit the pattern again with a solid yarn.


I can not find my sock blockers, I remember moving them a few weeks ago but have no recollection of where to. I hope that they turn up soon.





This pair will be off the needles soon, also in a bakery Bears pattern, the Snowfall socks. Just a simple pattern to give a little bit more interest than vanilla socks. again I have only used the pattern on the leg because of the patterned yarn.

I hope to get some work done on the Carbeth very soon, it ought to be finished by now and there is yarn for another waiting in the wings.

Sewing has been a no no as well, if he comes into the room with me he runs riot and if I shut him out he cries at the door.
I did make the squeaky bone toys (now just chewed up shreds) but he was playing in the garden at that point.

I have some squeakers on order and will be making a stack of toys with some sturdy fabric. 

That little surprise has taken over my free time but he has also taken over my heart. He has become best friend to Ben and Rufus and when not plaguing me he climbs over the SO to find the most inconvenient and awkward place to go to sleep.

Both the dogs came with us to Neath for the SO's dental appointment, we had a walk along the riverbank and a little way through the town. Luckily the SO was not in there too long, but the dogs had a good snuffle and sniff round and slept in the car on the way home.

It is now 9:00 and I need to get this posted and pick that sock up while all is quiet.

                      TTFN                                                     Pam

Monday, 16 April 2018

Knit? Read? Watch TV?

You don't really want to do any of those, do you?
I'm sure you want to ..............................................................................................PLAY.




Come on, you know you want to.


Look what happened to my hefalump.
You should have played.


I have monkey now!!!



Did you want hefalump?


Go on, have a play.


Mmm, shall we try with my ball?


Look at it. Lovely big ball. You can have a chew.


Oooh, Rufus has come to play in the garden with me.


I like playing with Rufus.
I

But I would rather play with you.

What do you mean Dinner Time. You had a late breakfast and it is only half past six.



We did have a late breakfast so we had pudding for dinner.
Naughty but oh so nice.


A version of Spotted Dick, raisins and mixed spice. Yum.



It did look and smell yummy but where was my bit??
Look, here is my squeaky bone that you sewed for me.
 Shall we play with this?


There's my new brother, Ben. We share our toys but he doesn't want to play as much as me. 
He is my older brother, much older.

There was a photo of me asleep on my big blankie.
 (it was Mum's but she let me have it.)
It got lost in the 'puter thingy so she will have to wait till next time.
(she'll have to be quick to catch me sleeping)

More later, there is another one of those new bone toys somewhere and Mum says it is for Rufus. Not if I find it first!
BTW Ben has one as well but he rests his head on it and nods off.




                                         TTFN                                                   Pam

PS. I have managed a little knitting but every time that I pick the lap top up Herbie wants to play with it. I did get some work done in the garden and we should have a decent week. There is a lot of new fencing that needs painting, we are mostly puppy proof. There is just the top area and we have a gate to keep Herbie out of there.

                 Pam (hope to get back to a decent schedule soon.)





Thursday, 12 April 2018

Planning on Proofing.

Puppy Proofing. And some.

Thank you all for your comments, Herbie is a delight, a very wriggly, running and jumping delight. He explored the garden a few times yesterday with Ben and Rufus and it became instantly obvious that Things have to Change.
Pots and planters have to be moved.
Protective collars have to be put round tree trunks. Sharp Teeth!!!
A new section of fence and a gate have to be made. Soon, very Soon.

The gate is to keep him out of the greenhouse area, I can just see him hurtling towards it at 100 miles an hour. It is Polycarbon but would damage his eyes and frighten him if he ran into it.
The fence is really just a long narrow section to block  off a possible escape route at the bottom of 2 fence panels.

My knitting has to go on my little table, not on my lap, he stole a ball of sock yarn from under my nose and wound it round the living room in seconds.

He can also access the side table where the biscuit barrel and chocolate dish USED to live.

He did sleep well, all that playing and a new home to explore must have been tiring.

W had put feelers out to all his friends about a dog for me and yesterday he had a phone call. That led to the trip to Port Talbot and Herbie.
W did not go into too many details but Herbie comes from a home with young children and was just too much for them. They had him from 8 weeks and at that point there was another baby on the way.
He is now 9 months old and very lively. I can understand that not everyone can cope with all the time that a puppy needs when there are children and a new baby to be looked after.

He came with toys, food, dishes,collar and lead and so on. He is house trained and is up to date with his shots from the vet. he does need to be neutered but I will give him a month to settle in first. The only real issue is that he does not know his name, or he is a consummate actor, so there is absolutely no recall. He will not be off his lead for a while yet. There is a secure, fenced area in the park where he can have free exercise and we will start that today.

I have not weighed him yet but will do that later, then I can calculate how much to feed him. I do not want him to pile on too much weight.

I will have to slip into the CS at some point and get a bag full of soft toys, he and Ben had a fine old time last night and there were 2 casualties that could not be saved. It is a long time since Ben played like that, it was lovely to see. I need to get a larger dog bed for them to share, I may see about making one myself. I have some curtain fabric, lining as well, and enough fibre fill for stuffing. I could make a separate insert and then 2 or 3 covers.
The quilts may have to go on time out for a few days, I will see what I can come up with. 
It is nearly 7:30 and I have been up long enough for 2 cups of tea, time to shower and climb into some clothes ready for a walk.

I am sure that there will be more photos quite soon.

               TTFN                                                  Pam.









Wednesday, 11 April 2018

A little surprise.

It has been a muddling sort of day, not hot or cold, not wet or dry. No real wind at all, just the odd wispy breeze.

The dogs were walked, chores were done, an hour in the sewing room as planned and of course some knitting.

When I went to fetch Rufus for the afternoon walk W asked if I could keep him for a while as he had to go to Port Talbot and did not know what time he would be back. 
No worries, he is always the perfect guest. I figured that he would not be back till around 8 so when I got a text just after 6 saying that he was back and would I go round my heart leapt in to my throat.
I scooted round and my concern was written across my face so W made me sit down, he assured me that he was fine and then asked me in.

There in the room was a dog cage, in the cage was a miniature version of Rufus.



Meet Herbie.


The main difference is his dark muzzle and his tail has a full pug curl.

I thought that W had got himself a puppy but then he asked if it was okay,if not he would sort it. 

Then I twigged that the little JUG,( jack russel/pug cross )was for me.

I have to tell you that I cried on his shoulder, we have had several conversations about another dog. I was adamant that if I did have another it had to be as near to Rufus shape and as close to Ben's size as possible.



He was not far out.








Ben is fascinated by him, even to the point of toy sharing.

The SO took one look and said "Rufus has shrunk" Twice.

Now I have to go and do some serious playing.

                 TTFN                                      Pam





Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Back to the 60's

That is denier tights, after a few warm days and thin tights this morning was chilly enough to get the thicker ones out again. It did warm up as the morning wore on, but not enough to warrant changing.

The dentist trip was a bit like a University challenge question, it was a starter for 3. The SO has a filling next week and possibly an extraction the following week. There is the choice of paying through the nose for another root canal procedure (the last one has failed miserably and is now infected) which may or may not work, or waiting 18 months for an NHS appointment with the same prognosis. 

I have a suspicion that he will plump for the extraction as he has had 2 procedures on that tooth already.

I have taken pics of the socks but because I used a speckled yarn the pattern has not come out very distinctly





I love the yarn, it came from Rosie's Moments and is called Sprinkles. It is an 80/20% superwash merino nylon blend .

The pattern is obvious in real life, I will be knitting a pair for Francesca in a solid colour yarn, I just have to pull some from the stash.

This is the stitch pattern, it comes from The Knitter's Bible Stitch Library by Claire Crompton. I love this book and my other knitting books and intend to look for a few others as they all have different patterns.

I had a look in the Library this morning but the choice was abysmal, 12 very elderly tomes that were sadly out of date.
Possibly because there are few knitters in the area, there are a couple of yarn shops fairly local, one is a reasonable high end and the other more of a warehouse type shop. I have not been to either, I am happy with Deb's shop and anything that Deb doesn't stock I can get online.

I have made a small investment in the past few days, you know that I like to watch podcasts and one of my favourites is The Bakery Bears, well as a treat for myself I have become a patron. This gives me a discount on all Kay's patterns on ravelry and everything in her Etsy shop. Even better is a steady supply of free patterns, I have knitted a few and each one is wonderful.
I am not a toy knitter but fully intend to knit up her Bakery Bear patterns, there is a Mr and  Mrs Bear and lots of clothes for them. There is a Fox and a Giraffe as well, I may become a convert to toy knitting.
I will take this cost from my craft budget and believe that it will be a saving. 

All is trundling along as usual, the Easter Chocolate Mountain has shrunk to a molehill, the freezer stock is being used albeit slowly. I have curtailed my weekly shop and the shelves are becoming less stacked. I can not say more empty as it will take a month or so to get down to the level that I am aiming for. As well as volume I want to reduce the variety, I am a self confessed foodie and have far too many spices, sauces, flavoured vinegars and so on.
Simplify is the name of the game, and I need to play it for a while.

Dinner tonight will be Pasta with a spicy sauce, mostly from the pantry and using up some sausages and bacon. I am trying very hard to plan all our meals to use what I have rather than shop for new things. I did a small shop on Sunday and it was mainly veg, fruit and perishables.

I am experiencing a little difficulty in my crafting. I have fallen into a pattern of all knitting or all sewing and that really does not work well for me. I am going to try to devote a period each day to sewing, I hope that this will become a habit and help me to enjoy my sewing, I have been guilty of sewing for hours and ending up with back pain, a stiff neck and head ache. 
It has been so bad that I found myself contemplated selling my sewing cabinet and big Janome. If the new idea does not work it might come to that.

Any how, enough of the whinging. I have some time this afternoon to sort through the fabric that is strew about the sewing room, and then some more cutting to do. I am going to spend an hour sewing tomorrow and then pack up for the day. I aim to fit that in so that I will then take the dogs out for a walk and the exercise and fresh air should do me the world of good.

I am off now to perform said sorting chore, followed by some ironing. sigh.

              TTFN                                                Pam












Saturday, 7 April 2018

Upside down, Boy you turn me....

Not inside out but certainly round and round.

I wanted to knit a pair of socks, patterned but not too much. I went through my folder of sock patterns and nothing called out to me.

I turned to ravelry, freebies of course, but yet again nothing was grabbing me.

AHA, I thought, I will copy what lots of pattern "designers" do. I pulled my stitch dictionaries out and browsed. I found a 12 stitch 16 row panel that just said " I am perfect for Francesca".Trouble was this was written to be knitted flat and bottom up. I knit my socks in the round and top down ( do intend to try toe up at some point).

So, I cast on and joined and happily knitted 20 rows K1 P1 rib then embarked on the pattern. I had to start on the last row and work my way backwards and translate the wrong side rows.There are some twisted stitches which all had to be reversed, brain ache!!

But, it is looking good so far and I have started on the 3rd pattern repeat and love it so much that it will be used in a sweater pattern soon.

Once the pair is finished I will share them, and the amended pattern, then any of you sock knitters can have a play without the brain ache.

My eldest grandson has a broken leg, both Tibia and Fibula, and he is plastered from foot to mid thigh. He is a very active boy so I anticipate lots of  "I'm BORED" and "I'm fed up" quite soon. We will be looking for some new Lego for him and a few books. The SO has dentist on Tuesday so we hope to go over on Wednesday.

 It is his birthday in May and we had planned to look for a sturdy football goal set, the last one was very flimsy and died within days.
Of course that will not happen, rubbing salt into the wound and so on.

I watched the latest episode of The Bakery Bears podcast this morning, Kay made a steamed Spotted Dick. I told the SO and we are having one tomorrow, I will use vegetable suet and take a large slice round to W. I will be breaking with tradition and using raisins, chopped stem ginger and some ground ginger, I will be putting some of the ginger syrup in the bottom of the basin.

It has been a foul day here, I woke to torrential rain which died down to a persistent drizzle, the mountain has been veiled all day.

I did manage to get Rufus and Ben out this afternoon for a while, they were not too keen but we all needed the air.

I have Firefly recording on the TV, I never saw all the episodes the first time round so will enjoy watching while I knit.

Now I need to get the kettle on for a brew, the veg are chopped and sweated off for an Impossible Quiche, I do like a one pot wonder and all it will need is a squirt of ketchup, maybe a little salad.


                  TTFN                                      Pam