Deep Hull

Deep Hull

Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year.

Resolution number one - blog more often!

I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas break. We've been very lazy and its been wonderful. Lots of sleeps in, full English breakfasts and sitting watching The Ashes. I'm not really a cricket fan, far too complicated for me! Patrick is though and I have absolutely no objection to sitting on the sofa all day eating chocolates and knitting whilst the cricket, sky-plussed the previous night, plays on in the background :-).  The spooky thing is that during the last Ashes series, I knitted my purple Mr Greenjeans and what do I find myself knitting during this Ashes? Yep, my red Mr Greenjeans!  It's almost finished, thank goodness as I'm losing the will to live now, it seems to have been going on forever but I really want to finish it before I start anything else.  For Christmas from my sons, I got the books New England Knits and Alice Starmore's Fishermens Sweaters, they are gorgeous and I'm dying to knit something from either one of them.

Happy New Year to everyone.  May your knitting adventures continue (or even start maybe?)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Journey to work.



This is one of the main roads into Hull this morning. Then after an uneventful journey...I got stuck in the car park at work and had to dug out!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Weekend in Cropton.

Well, we're back home safe and sound after our lovely weekend away.  It was just what we needed, relaxation!  The cottage was beautiful and the owner Mike, couldn't have been more helpful.  Even down to getting his 4x4 out to tow us off the yard on Monday morning when our car was stuck in the very deep snow.  There was a wood burning stove in the inglenook fireplace and we made great use of that all weekend.  Very cosy and romantic :-).

We took books to read and I had plenty of knitting with me, oh and biscuits and chocolates of course :-)

My dream holiday
Now, coincidentally this happened to be the weekend of the Cropton Beer Festival.  We didn't know this when we booked the cottage - no one believes us of course but it's true.  Naturally, we were very happy to discover it, but we genuinely didn't know about it when we chose that weekend. Our plan, as such, was that we would just chill out and relax, pop to the pub a couple of times and stay in and cook one of the three nights we would be there.

So, after staying in with a bottle of wine and a beef casserole on the Friday night, on Saturday, after a hearty full English breakfast, we set off for a walk in the snow around the village.  It really was a winter wonderland, so beautiful.

The view from the Cottage window

Sheep in a field
The New Inn, Cropton
Naturally, after all the exercise, we felt we had earned a couple of beers so it was off to the beer festival.  We got there just as it had opened for the day so had the run of the bar in the marquee specially set up for the purpose.  Just take a look at all those pumps!  That's only half of the bar in the picture.

"We'll just start at one end and work our way down shall we?"]
I'm not going to bore you by listing all the beers we had over the weekend, suffice to say we tried a fair few between us!  My particular favourite was Cropton's Blackout.  A fabulous rich Porter which is produced from a 1930's recipe.  It's like chocolate in a glass....yum yum.  There was also a Biker's Rally on over the weekend and about 50 motorcylists had braved the elements for the event and many were camped in the field behind the pub.  Yes, that's right, camped!  As in tents and sleeping bags!  I was astounded that people would even consider camping in that weather but the ones we spoke to assured us that they were snug and warm.  I'll take their word for it I think.  We were also surprised to see how many other visitors there were from Hull.  We met people we know and saw quite a few others who we know by sight from The Wellington Inn in Hull.

On Sunday, we had a very lazy day and actually didn't move from in front of the fire all day.  I enjoyed some knitting and finally finished my Woolly Wormhead mystery hat B, just in time for the end of November!  I also made a dent in my Red 'jeans cardigan and am pleased with they way that's coming along now.  I'll blog about and put pictures of my hat up when I can get some nice ones.

On Monday lunchtime when we came to leave, we found the car well and truly stuck in deep snow.

There's a car under there!

I had to sweep the snow off!
Mike the cottage owner got his 4x4 out to try to tow us out but it was a struggle.  We had to dig more snow from under the wheels and try several times.  Eventually we got moving and once we were on the road, it was fine.  Fine, until we got within spitting distance of home.  Part of the road to Beverley was closed and we had to take a diversion, through little villages and country roads.  It got a bit hairy at one point when we couldn't actually tell where the road ended and the ditches began!  I would have taken a photo but I was too scared.  I also thought it might piss Patrick off since he was the one trying to keep us on the road at the time.  I know if I'd been driving and he'd got his camera out, I'd have felt like ramming it down his throat. :-D.  We were very relieved to see the main road in front of us, relatively clear of snow, leading to the main Beverley bypass.  We stopped in Beverley at The Green Dragon, for some lunch and then made our way home for a quiet night in.

A truly lovely weekend break.  Why are they always over too quickly though?

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Cropton in the snow.



We are having a weekend away in the village of Cropton in North Yorkshire and I think we're in real danger of being snowed in! I mean, just look at it.     :-) :-)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

New Phone

I've got a new phone, it's a HTC Wildfire  which is an Android phone and I'm loving it.  Patrick had got the HTC Desire a while back and the Wildfire is basically the same phone on the outside, apart from a slightly smaller screen.  On the inside, it does the same as the Desire but a little slower, it has a 584mb processor instead of the 1Gb on the Desire.

I'm not usually a gadget geek and never got excited about the iPhone/Smartphone revolution but Patrick's phone was just a complete revelation to me, these things are in essence, pocket computers and I just never realised you could do so much with them.  Everything you can do on your computer, you can do with these phones.  As per the previous post, when I tested it out, I can take a picture and at the click of a button, post it either here on my blog, on facebook, twitter, to my Flickr stream as well as the usual MMS, Bluetooth etc.  My emails are automatically sent to my phone, I have access to the whole internet in the palm of my hand and then there are the Apps!  Thousands of them, ranging from the downright silly Who Farted to the useful 3G Watchdog which keeps track of your internet usage for those with a limit on their account.  I'm really enjoying getting to know my phone and it's capabilities, I suspect I never will use it to it's full potential though.  I'm hoping to blog a little more frequently too now that it is so easy to make short posts whilst on the move.  Sometimes it's difficult to find the time to sit at the computer, upload photos from the camera and create a post.

In knitting news, I went to my knitting group last night.  Lesley the owner of Babes in The Wool, who runs the group always brings in bargain yarn for us to buy.  Last night was Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran, absolutely lovely at £1 a ball.  I managed to resist it although I was very tempted to buy some small quantities for hats and scarfs.  So the yarn diet is still underway.  I'm rather proud of myself :-)

Monday, 15 November 2010

Yarnaholics not so anonymous

I'm on a yarn diet.  Yeah, yeah sure you are Jill!!   No, really, this time I really am.  Manda, one of the ladies who posts on the Phoenix Knitting Forums  has set herself a challenge, started a blog about it and invited us to join her.  I'm certainly in.  I have lots of yarn, as seen here (oh and there's been much more bought since that picture )and I have lots of things I want to knit with it.  Here are the rules copied from Manda's Blog :

  1. if I knit then it must be from my stash unless it is a gift for someone (even then it should be stash if possible)

  2. if some one asks me to knit for them they must buy the yarn (I don't often knit for others as a rule)

  3. I can ask for and receive gifts of yarn (or money for yarn)

  4. I can give gifts of yarn

  5. I can swap or sell yarn (the money made can go in my yarn fund)

  6. I can buy yarn but it must come out of my yarn fund.

  7. I can earn yarn fund by knitting 1 pence for every meter of yarn I knit.  This is per finished item, UFOs do not count. If I finish a current WIP I can count this for my fund.

UFO = Unfinished Object, something you started to knit and it's not looking likely that you will finish it anytime soon.

WIP - Work in Progress

So, As a starter, I've been through my Rav queue and assigned stash yarn to most of the projects in there.  If I can't knit it from stash, it will have to be at the bottom of the queue for a while.  Apart from the hat I'm knitting for the Woolly Wormhead KAL, which I bought the yarn for before, everything I have in progress at the moment is using stashed yarn so I feel justified in saying I can add that meterage to my yarn fund when I finish them (eventually!).

So, wish me luck avoiding bargains and other temptations.  Yarn can employ very devious methods of ambush if you're not careful so I'll have to be super vigilant in my quest.

Friday, 5 November 2010

It's arrived.....

..and I love it :-)

Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend in shade Arctic
Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend in shade Arctic

Thursday, 4 November 2010


I've been a bit disillusioned with my knitting lately.  I can't seem to get very enthusiastic about anything, I keep starting things and either leaving them or frogging after only a few inches because it's just not working for me.  I started Mr Greenjeans in some Patons Jet in a lovely bright red, this was after frogging the Central Park Hoodie I had started and decided I wouldn't like!  I also started, with enthusiasm, a February Lady  in Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran in Navy.  I've been wanting a navy blue cardi and can't find anything in the shops so I was quite happy to be starting this and really looking forward to wearing it in a few weeks.  However, I'm struggling with it.  The yarn is quite...well, I don't know how to explain it really, just that it is difficult to knit with.  It doesn't seem to slide along the needles, I'm working on a circular and I've tried both metal tips and the knit pro wooden ones but it is such hardwork!  I have to stop every few stitches to drag the rest of the stitches along and it makes it slow going.   At this rate, it will be winter 2012 before I am wearing this cardi!!  I bought some of the very lovely Ethical Twist DK from Kemps and planned to knit Coraline, I swatched and then washed the swatch and..... have had nothing else to do with the project since, haven't even measured the gauge of the washed swatch.  No idea why because I was buzzing about that cardi whilst winding the wool and thought I wouldn't even be able to wait for the swatch to be washed before starting to knit. I frogged the lovely Clothilde because the Ranco Multy was doing nothing for the delicate pattern of the lace, I may start another one in some solid 4ply I have in stash but I've lost my appetite for it just at the moment.  In short, nothing has made me want to rush to cast on lately and the cardigans I have OTN have felt a bit like a chore, so it gives me great pleasure to announce that I received a little squishy parcel today which has got me a wee bit excited :-).  It's a skein of Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend in shade Arctic which is a lovely green, and with it I'm going to join in the Woolly Wormhead Mystery KAL.  I've never done a mystery KAL before so am really looking forward to getting started with this.  Oh please let this be my mojo coming back, I hate being so lethargic and disinterested.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

This week I have....

I saw my eldest son off to University on Saturday so it was a bit emotional for me but made much easier by the fact that he was looking forward to it enormously and settled in really well immediately.  He's gone to York to study Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence.  We had a time slot to arrive in, between 9.30 and 12.30, I was tremendously impressed with how smoothly things ran, considering around 600 students would have been arriving that morning.  Upon arrival at around 11am, we were directed to where we could park and unload, a lovely young lady who was a second year student came to meet our car as soon as we had parked up and introduced herself and offered her help.  Michael was taken to where he needed to be to collect his key and she helped unload the car and took us to the flat he will be living in for the next year.  The accommodation is all brand new having only opened last year.  Michael is in a flat for 12 people, all rooms are en-suite and the shared kitchen is huge!  After helping him to unpack and make his bed (his priority was his computer - no surprise there), we asked if he wanted to come and have lunch or if he wanted us to leave him to meet his flat-mates and get on with things.  He opted for the latter which, although I was a teensy bit disappointed at, I was also very happy that he felt confident enough to be alone in this new environment.  From subsequent chats on facebook etc, I'm happy to report that he is settled and enjoying his new life.  Michael will not be a party animal, that's not his bag but I have no doubt that he will embrace all opportunities that appeal to him and will enjoy a full and satistfying life over the next four years.  I'm very proud of him.

By coincidence, I'm going to be in York this Saturday too.  I am doing a Rowan knitting workshop on finishing techniques at Poppys, a beautiful yarn shop on Colliergate in the City.  I'm looking forward to this greatly, it is a workshop I have wanted to do for some time now as I feel it is often the sewing up and other finishing bits and bobs that let my knitted garments down.  I'm looking forward to learning how to finish more professionally as well as a good old natter with like-minded souls.

I always enjoy going to my knit group each month for the same reason.  I don't have any knitting friends that I see regularly, so it is always a joy to be among a room full of other women, all knitting and chatting, comparing our projects and sharing tips and techniques.  Last night at knit group, my lovely friend Shona had given me a ball of Merino so that I could knit the squares we need to take with us to the workshop on Saturday, so that's what I was doing last night and I've almost finished all four of them now.  In other knitting news, I finished my Ishbel and I am so pleased with it, it is really beautiful.

Ishbel for me
Ishbel for me
I've started Mr Greenjeans in red and frogged the February Lady in the Adriafil Soffio, I also frogged one of the summer tops, I needed the needles and when I tried to transer the stitches over to spare yarn, I got in a muddle and lost some.  I hadn't done much of it and couldn't quite remember where I was up to in the pattern either so it's no great loss.   I also started Clothilde in Arauncania Ranco Multy and have wound the yarn for Propello.

I have quite a busy weekend ahead what with the Rowan workshop on Saturday and then on Sunday, we have having a family party for my mum who will be 90 next week.  More on that next week.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

So much to knit, not enough time!

Firstly, I'm not under any pressure, I rarely knit for others so it's entirely up to me what I knit and when. It's the deciding that's the problem at the moment.

I'm currently on the last leg of my Ishbel, I'll get it beaded and finished by the weekend I think. I have a couple of summer tops OTN which have been around forever and are likely to be around for much longer before I can be bothered with them again :lol: .

I really wanted to finish the Ishbel before I started anything else so I've resisted casting anything on for the past couple of weeks. I did start a February Lady  in some Adriafil Soffio Plus from the knitting group raffle but have decided that I won't have enough to finish it so that will be frogged, it would have been lovely, was knitting up a dream but I only have 5 balls of it and have used almost one whole ball and not yet finished the yoke. I need to find a use for this lovely yarn though. I also had started a Central Park Hoodie  in Patons Jet in a lovely bright red but have decided that I probably won't wear it a lot and will get more use out of a Mr Greenjeans in that yarn. My dilemma at the moment is that it takes me rather a long time to knit a garment and I WANT THEM ALL NOW!! I have some Navy Blue Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran which I can see as a February Lady, the red Patons Jet which is destined for Mr Greenjeans and I've just bought some Ethical Twist DK in cardigan/jumper quantities in both camel and baby cream, either of which would make a gorgeous Coraline . I also want to use the Soffio for something and I have some Rowan Summer Tweed to knit Propello, which is the KAL on the Wormhead Hats group on Ravelry. Oh, and I will want to join in the mystery KAL on Wormhead in November too. Almost forgot the Arauncania that I bought with Clothilde  in mind too. see my problem? Too much to knit and not enough time.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Holidays part one.

So, like I said, I'm a few weeks behind with my blog posts but I'll try to catch up as best I can.  This could make for a very long post so I'll blog in stages to avoid boring you all to death in one sitting.  You can die of boredom bit by bit instead!

During the last week of July, Patrick and I had a weeks leave from work and we had planned to go to Huddersfield for the first weekend. Not a very exciting prospect I can hear you saying!  However, for real ale fans, it is very exciting because Huddersfield is one of the stations on the Transpennine Real Ale Trail.  The weather was lovely as we arrived at Huddersfield and we firstly bought our train tickets for our journey.  The trail takes in 7 stations now because the pub in the first station of Batley has closed down, I'm sure there are plenty of other pubs in Batley but as we don't know the area, we decided to stick to the recommended route.  Five of the stations are in West Yorkshire and for that part of the journey we could buy a family day rover ticket which cost us the princely sum of £8.80, seriously, how cheap is that?!!  The other two stations are over the Pennines in Lancashire and the tickets for that cost I think around £15 for the two of us but I can't quite remember the exact cost.   Huddersfield station is a stunning Grade 1 listed building.

Huddersfield Station
Huddersfield Station
Having left our baggage at our hotel, we ventured down to the first pub of the day, The Kings Head at Huddersfield station.  However, what we didn't realise until the next day was that there are actually two pubs, one at either end of the station and the first one we went into was the other one.  The Head of Steam was an interesting place, four very distinct rooms and plenty of hand pumps on show!  I opted to try a completely new beer, I almost always do this, unless there is something on that I particularly love.  I was unlucky with this choice though.  I now cant quite remember the full details but it was either called Brass Monkey or that was the brewery name and it was vile.  It had a strange metallic kind of taste and for only the second time ever, I couldn't drink my beer!  We  had downloaded a Beer app for Patrick's new phone so that we could make notes about what we enjoyed and what we didn't.  Geeky?  Maybe, but it makes perfect sense to me to make a note of it you have enjoyed a beer or not for future reference.  We have, on numerous occasions, seen a pump clip, known we have tried the beer before but cannot remember, until we taste it again, if we like it.  This app should hopefully help us to recall what our fuddled brains have forgotten.

Here is the interior of The Head of Steam.  I've no idea who the bloke in the  picture is

Head of Steam 1
The Head of Steam - complete with random bloke at the bar

Proud mum alert!

I'm several blog-posts behind and I will catch up soon I promise.  I have lots to tell you and lots of pics to share.  However today, I am a very proud mum.  My eldest son Michael has his A Level results and achieved grade A in Maths, Further Maths and Physics, giving him the required points to be accepted at his first choice university.  So, in October, he will be going away to study a Masters Degree in Computer Science and Artifical Intelligence.

I will miss him terribly but York is only 50 miles away so I'm sure I will still see him fairly often.  Shaggy (the dog) will miss him even more than I will I think!  I asked Michael if he will miss me,  No he said, but I will miss Shaggy.  Typical!  I'm really glad that he isn't the homesick type because that would make me worry.  He is very independant and will grasp the opportunities in front of him with all his might.  I just know that he has a great future ahead of him.

Here he is in his finery at his Leaver's Ball from Hymers College, with his younger brother Mason who was dressed up for his School Prom.

michael & mason
Michael (left) and Mason (right)

Friday, 23 July 2010

Gardening and knitting.

Tomatoes ready to ripen
My little back-yard garden is coming along nicely, considering that I really don't give it the attention it should have.  I do water it most days but haven't been overly active on the feeding side of things.  I should really because my tomatoes and cucumbers are abundant with fruit just waiting to ripen.

Little cucumbers
Whilst they were still very small, I thought they were not going to survive so I planted a second crop as back up, some trailing cherry tomatoes to put into nice pots.  Now they are growing too and I'm not sure what to do with them!  I have put one of them in a tall pot with some mini surfinas and a basil variety called Minissimo with tiny leaves to keep them company

Trailing toms, basil and mini surfinas
and I have another two that are still languising in their little nursery pots as well as a cucumber.  I'll ask Patrick, if he wants them as I don't know whatever I will do with all these tomatoes if these ones crop as well as the Latah.  Mind you, as they're not yet even flowering, whether they will fruit whilst the summer is still here to ripen them is unknown to me, being inexperienced in tomato growing as I am.  I also have some Pepper plants which are flowering and one or two of them have tiny fruit on, it's very late in the year now though so I'm not overly hopeful about the success of these.  I must be earlier with my planting next year!

Pepper plant in flower

Carrots, radishes and salad leaves
Finally, I have carrots, radishes and salad leaves, the radishes and carrots haven't come to much yet but the salad leaves are fine, pity they'll probably all be gone to seed by the time the tomatoes and cucumbers are ripe!

Ishbel for Coral

On the knitting front, I finished the Ishbel for Patrick's sister Coral a few weeks ago and she was very pleased with it.  Here it is blocking. I really enjoyed knitting this and I'm sure I will knit it again and again.

I decided to bead the last section to add a bit of interest.  I was particularly pleased with how it turned out as it was my first attempt at knitting with beads.  I knitted a little sample of the edge chart to practice with and also to decide which of the 4 different beads I had bought (because I couldn't make up my mind!) to use.  In the end I went for some dark green iridescent ones that I thought looked really effective against the pine green yarn.  The yarn I used was Cygnet Wool Rich 4ply in colour Pinemix.  Below is the beaded edge detail, the yellow things are pins not beads!

Bead detail
bead detail
 I am almost finished with my Traveling Woman Shawl and am now on the last section and adding beads for a bit of bling.  I'm pleased with this and have enjoyed it more as I've gone along.  At first, I wasn't getting on with the lace pattern, although I have to say it is incredibly easy to remember, I just seemed to have a mental block and kept having to count all the time.  It just clicked after the first repeat of the chart and I got along with it fine after then.  I really wanted to have it finished in time for the weekend because we are going away but I don't think I can have it finished and blocked in time.  I am also STILL doing the boyfriend's Hug Sweater!  Mind you, if I actually did some work on it instead of just saying I am still working on it, it might get done a bit faster!!  I can't say that I'm hating doing it, I'm not, it's just a bit tedious and there are so many other nice things I want to knit.  I know I will be thrilled once it's done and I can present it to P, I thought of knitting him a sweater because I wanted to give him a gift that I had spent time making....and believe me, I have certainly spent a lot of time with this one!  Once I finish my shawl though I think I will concentrate on getting it finished.  P just cannot comprehend the constant flitting from one project to another but I know that all you knitters out there will understand perfectly :-)

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


When I came to write this post, I found the previous one still saved as a draft which is why we have two posts in the same day!

We had a scare on Sunday night. Our elderly dog, Shaggy, had a Vestibular Syndrome attack Basically, he looked like he'd had a stroke, he was tilting over to the left, falling over and being sick. I honestly thought he was dying and it was horrible. I phoned an emergency vet and after talking through the symptoms with her and establishing that he was settled and rested, decided to wait to see our own vet the next day. Monday morning arrived and he seemed worse, I thought we would be taking him to the vet and not bringing him home again. Michael, my eldest son and I had slept downstairs with him all night to make sure he was ok during the night. I say slept, I dozed but woke and sat up at every little movement from Shaggy. I had cried a lot during the night, thinking that we would be saying goodbye to him the next day. When Michael woke up, I told him what I thought and he was devastated. I mean really heartbroken, sobbing, it was awful to see because I couldn't do anything to ease his pain. Shaggy is very much Michael's dog. He all but lives in Michael's room, coming downstairs only for food and toilet needs! He sleeps on Michael's bed, shares Michael's snacks and is generally all-round devoted to the boy. Michael is almost 19 now but still that devotion is mutual. He stands for a lot of what most owners would draw the line at, getting up in the middle of the night to take Shaggy downstairs because he needs to go outside, having to curl up uncomfortably in a small area in his own bed because Shaggy (who is a fairly small dog) has decided that he will stretch out and utilise almost all the bed for himself. Shaggy also smells! He is an old dog at 16 years of age and makes some pretty nasty smells at times. Michael just doesn't let it bother him, most people would be throwing him off the bed in digust but Michael just laughs and gives him a hug. So, I'm sure you can imagine how the lad felt thinking that his beloved pet was about to be put to sleep. So, off we go to the vets, both sobbing all the way. My ex-husband met us at the vet with younger son Mason who is almost 16 who wanted to say goodbye to Shaggy. In we all trooped, crying! The vet and his wife are the parents of Mason's best friend so we know the family fairly well, Mike the vet called us through and the boys and I went in, me carrying Shaggy. I explained the symptoms and was surprised to see that Mike wasn't perturbed by this at all. He went on to explain that it is fairly common in older dogs and is treatable with drugs and most dogs make a full recovery in about 10 days! All that grief was unecessary, thankfully! Michael has now decamped to the lounge with his mattress and bedding and computer equipment so that he can still be with Shaggy who cannot manage the stairs at the moment. I don't know if he ever will be able to again so I really don't know what will happen when Michael has to go back upstairs to his room but for the time being, we are happy to still have him with us and will do whatever we can to keep him happy whilst he is recovering from a very unpleasant experience.

Shaggy waits to come downstairs!

The Deep

Well I haven't been around for ages but I thought I would check in and update. I've been busy, my mum has been in hospital and is now in there again. So what with working all day and then visiting in the evening, I've not had a lot of time to myself.

However, a few weeks ago P and I decided to have a day out to the local submarium (that's aquarium to the rest of you but when it was built, they wanted to make it unique so decided to invent a name! That's marketing types for you eh?! Our 'Submarium is called The Deep and it is built right on the junction of our two rivers, the River Hull, which flows right through our city and the River Humber which used to be one of the busiest channels in the country with docks either side in both Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. It's been a while since I visited the Deep and some new areas had opened since my last visit, we enjoyed our day and I took a couple of photos. The first is of a Clownfish (aka Nemo), hiding in the fronds of an anemone.

Nemo peeping out

The second pic is of some eels, They were tiny, about 3 or 4 inches tall (well the bit that was above the sand anyhow) and only about 1/2 inch, if that, in diameter. I can't remember what they were called I'm ashamed to say. I'm also ashamed that despite turning off the flash of my camera and taking one picture, the second picture automatically flashed so I probably blinded the little fellas! Just as well there were no staff around, it specifically says 'No Flash Photography'. I didn't do it on purpose, honestly! Anyhow, how cute are these guys?

How Cute!

Monday, 7 June 2010

I'm still here!

I'm back again, things like work get in the way of what I really would prefer to be doing!

So. What have I been up to? Well, knitting-wise, I finished the waffly jacket and absolutely love it. I did forget to put in a buttonhole but actually I rather like it fastened with a shawl pin, it suits it. I'm also getting on really well with the Boyfriend Hug sweater. I've finished the body, all but the front neck shaping. It is knitted in the round so just the sleeves to do now. I've put it on hold for a while though because I am currently knitting an Ishbel shawl for my boyfriend's sister. It's a special gift for a special person who is ill at the moment and it means a lot to me that I will be able to give her a gift that is truly from me, with love. Flowers are lovely and chocolates are yummy but a handknit shawl is special. I am enjoying knitting it, it's in Cygnet Wool Rich 4ply in the colourway Pinemix and I am going to bead the last lace sections.  I think it's going to look quite fab :-)

I'm at work at the moment so will finish this short post.  I'll be back later with some photos hopefully.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Bits and bobs

Stash 2010
Stash 2010

Here I am again, it's been a while, mainly due to my illness and then just generally being very busy.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to drag out all of my stash to see just how much there is when it's all laid out in front of me. You can see the result above! I'm trying not to buy anymore until I've worked through some of this but sometimes a bargain is a bargain and you just have to have it. I'm not actively buying put it that way, it's only if something jumps in front of me that I may succumb ;-)

Knitting-wise though I am almost finished with my Waffly Jacket, pattern can be seen here I'm just doing the collar and then have to seam it. It's really lovely in the variegated Patons Jet that I've used. In between, I knitted a trellis beret from Woolly Wormhead, using Roman Romance from my stash I may add...polishes halo. It also is lovely and what with this flipping horribly weather, I've been wearing it too! Next up I think is going to be Stolen Moments Wrap which can be seen here I have some James C Brett Marble chunky in greeny-blue colours that I won in our knitting group raffle and I think it will look lovely knitted up as this wrap.

Gardening, my tomato, cucumber and pepper plants are all still doing well but I really need to pot them on soon and get them into my little mini greenhouse that my boyfriend put together for me at the weekend. The cucumbers are flowering already! We have done a fair bit of work in my boyfriend's garden too over the past two weekends. He had a wall built so that he could create a raised bed with a little pond and water feature. We had a tonne of top-soil delivered on Sunday and got the raised area filled, the bucket for the pond sunk in and all the plants put in too. We also planted up some hayrack type wall baskets (12 of them to be exact) and will hopefully be doing the hanging baskets this weekend so in the summer (hahahaha) it will be a riot of colour and we will have a pretty fountain to tickle away in the background whilst we sit and relax and enjoy our work. I'll get some pictures up when it's all done.

That's my update for now, I must try to keep up with this more often and to get pictures included too.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Feeling ill :-(

I have a bad cold at the moment and am feeling really poorly...come on I need a big collective AWWWWW!  It started off just as a cough, which got worse and as a few people at work have been off sick with nasty chest infections, I made a doctor's appointment for Wednesday this week.  Yesterday the cold started, streaming nose, blocked sinuses, sore throat and coughing like you wouldn't believe.  I left work a little bit early to miss the traffic and did nothing all evening apart from a bit of knitting whilst sitting with my feet up, covered up with 'The Poorly Blankie'.  I still feel very rough this morning but have come into work because I simply have too much to do to just leave it.  Thankfully I have my own office so I hopefully won't inflict my germs on all of my colleagues.  The frustrating part of this is, I've struggled to get myself ready and in here this morning and our computer system is down so I can't actually do any of the work I came in to do until they sort it out.  This is why I'm writing a blog post at 9.10 on a Tuesday morning!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Time, or lack of, or mismanagement of, or......

I really, really want to keep up with this blog mallarky, I enjoy putting my thoughts down and keeping track of what I'm doing and how I feel but I just never seem to have the time.  Yet, I never seem to get things done either so what do I do with my time?  This week for instance, Monday - No idea what I did once I'd finished cooking and eating, there was no knitting done as I'd temporarily lost my mojo, I didn't watch anything on TV, so what did I do?  Probably got lost in time browsing ravelry or reading blogs.  A waste of an evening?  I don't know about that because I have a busy job so sometimes I just need to chill in the evening but then I feel guilty because the ironing is screaming at me or the house needs a clean through.  There's another post in that I suppose, should one feel guilty about relaxing?  Tuesday, I went to my knitting group, got my mojo back by starting a lovely cabled bag, came home at 8.30 and knitted until around 11.15 then went to bed.  Wednesday was my eldest son's last ever parents evening.  Again, there's another post in that about how proud I am of him and how lovely it was to hear his teachers praising him to the hilt.  I got back home at about 8 and flicked a cleaning cloth around the bathrooms, then knitted and watched football on TV with youngest son.  Thursday, my mum who will be 90 this October, comes for tea on Thursdays, so after I had taken her home I fully intended to tackle the ironing mountain..did I?  Nope, I knitted...again!  I think I'm seeing a trend here of why I get nothing done!!  The point I am making I suppose, is that other people seem to be able to knit as much as I do, but also do the other things they need to do.  With me, it's one or the other.  I need time management lessons I think!

However, I listen to podcasts, like for instance the very wonderful Electric Sheep (you can find the link in my side bar) and despite working full time, in London where half of your day is taken up by travelling to and from work, never mind the 8 hours you spend at work, Hoxton still manages to knit lots of stuff, put together and publish a brilliantly entertaining podcast each week and still have a life.  I think she's actually got one of those gadgets that Dumbledore gave to Hermione so she could be in two places at one time and therefore take an extra class.  Yes, that must be it, all of these seemingly organised people who work full-time, run a household, knit umpteen items to my one pathetic effort and still have a social life, well they all must possess a time travel gadget!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Container gardening!!

On Sunday, I decided that it was time to start off some of my seeds in my little electric propagator.  I got this propagator last year from our local Freecycle along with loads of plant pots, too many for me ever to use and I ended up Freecycling a lot of them myself.  Freecycle is a great idea and most areas have a scheme going.  The idea is that if you have something you no longer need, you post on the Freecycle site and if anyone wants it, they contact you and you can then arrange to give it to them.  Similarly, if you are in need of something, (say a small electric propagator) you can post a wanted message and if anyone has one they no longer need or use, they can contact you to arrange to hand it over. 

Anyhow, I digress.  So, on Sunday afternoon I cleaned up the propagator which has been lurking in the shed for the past year, plugged it in to warm up and then set about filling twelve little pots with seed compost and planting my first seeds of the year.  Four each of Miniature White Cucumbers, first one on this page, Latah tomatoes, 2nd one down on this page and Kaibi Round sweet peppers, 2nd one down on this page  I attempted to grow all of these last year, the tomatoes were a success and fruited right up to December!  The cucumbers were a partial disaster/partial success in that I put them out too early and we had some really severe rain and wind and they got battered to death.  I then planted another seed and it germinated and grew really well, lovely pretty yellow flowers and simply delicious cucumbers but then I went on holiday and left my 17 year old son in charge of watering them...yep you guessed it, poor thing, along with the tomatoes was almost dead when I got home a week later although after copious watering, the tomatoes survived, the cucumber alas went off to that great greenhouse in the sky.  The peppers just didn't amount to anything and never flowered or fruited so I think I didn't start them off early enough and hope I've rectified that this year.  It was my first attempt at container growing last year though and I'm naturally hoping for better results this year.

I stumbled across The Real Seed Catalogue whilst searching for organic seeds on t'interweb last year and was impressed by their ideas and ethics.  They encourage their customers to learn how to collect seeds from their own plants and produce a free leaflet how how to do just that, which would seem as though they are doing themselves out of business but they appear to be really passionate about what they do and about growing real vegetables rather than the hybrids we get so much of nowadays.  If you are interested in growing your own veg from seed, don't go to B&Q for packets of seeds, read about these people here and have a browse through the website.  I can honestly say that the tomatoes I grew last year were quite simply the most tasty and firm tomatoes I have ever had and I can't wait to be eating them again this year.  Bye Bye supermarket tomatoes for the summer (and beyond if last years crop is anything to go by)

Two days after sowing and my cucumber seeds are sprouting already!  I'm simply astounded at how quickly they have germinated.  I love growing from seed, it never ceases to amaze me how miraculous it all is.  A tiny dried seed has all that creation inside it.  I love how the tiny plant breaks out of the seed case, it peeps up from the compost, doubled over like a little hook and gradually straightens, strengthens and grows, producing flowers and fruit, which then seed and the whole process starts again.  Amazing!  I feel like a new mummy watching my babies grow.  I'll keep you well posted on progress.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


Well that big round yellow thing in the sky has been on show for the past three days now, what the hell is going on?!  On Monday morning, driving to work I spotted the first yellow crocuses peeping through and some of my spring bulbs in containers are showing too.  It must be almost Spring :-).  The photo isn't the greatest but I just managed to snap it with my phone whilst queuing in traffic this morning.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Hello world!

So, it's now Saturday, weekends are my favourite times, no surprises there for anyone else who is caught up in the 9 to 5 rat race.  It's quite bright today, making a change from all the dull, wet weather of the past few weeks.  I'm going to go out for a walk on our local shopping street for some fresh air and a browse.  We are lucky to have this lovely shopping area full of independant shops, here is the website of a scheme that was set up to encourage shoppers to the area and I try to support them by shopping there when I can.

Knitting-wise, I'm currently knitting a sweater for my mister in Sirdar Hug.  It's going to be a large project for me and will take me quite some time as I'm not renowned for being a fast knitter!  Maybe he'll get to wear it next winter then!!  I'm also knitting this for myself in Patons Jet in a gorgeous orange/purple/brown mix. I'm really pleased with how it's looking but I've put it on the back-burner for a while to do the boyfriend's sweater.  As I'm not too far off the finish line I maybe should crack on with it and be able to wear it in Spring.  Ah yes, Spring.  It won't be too long now before the crocuses start peeping through on the central reservations of the dual carriageways.  This event never fails to make me ridiculously happy.  The first day I drive to work and see the crocuses, I have a smile on my face all day long.

I'll try to get photos included in future posts but for now, this is it.  My first blog post.  Signing off for now but in the words of Arnie, I'll be back!