Saturday, December 24, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

I've done it

I've signed up for Secret Pal 7, I'm all excited now, it's my first secret pal.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Today I have been following pancake the clown......

Or so the sign on the back of a van that passed me on the A500 said. Didn't follow him far 'cos he turned off soon after. A fleeting relationship!

I'm only on here 'cos I can't sleep, gotta stinky cold (typical, holiday starts on Friday) and I'm feeling sorry for myself. Haven't really got much to say. All quiet on the knitting front since the weekend. The Hot water bottle cover was progressing nicely at that point but I didn't take any knitting away with me. Quiet run this week, managed to avoid road rage and running into anything too (which is nice); and got Christmas presents and kind words from some of my customers.

Thursday will be my last day at work then I'm off for a fortnight, woo hoo!

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Now I know that I'm the last person in the known universe to knit one of these and that every other knitter on the planet has made at least two BUT, I'm still very pleased and proud of the finished article so you'll just have to put up with yet another Clapotis blog.

This is a Christmas present for someone (and she'd better bloomin' like it). Next to this you see it in it's early stages (note the home made stitch markers). I must say that whilst stitch markers with pretty beads on are very nice, the ones without are FAR easier to use as you don't have to keep making sure they're on the right side of the knitting. The ones with beads you have to pull through the knitting if you get them on the wrong side.

This is Clapotis being blocked (a practice I have avoided up until now). Must admit to being quite pleased with blocking, it certainly improved the look of the thing, the corners are still showing the teeniest inclination to curl up, but not as much as before.

And this is the finished object (well okay I haven't sewn the ends in yet, but there's only two of them and it will be the work of a moment!).

The yarn I used for this was Jaeger Odessa, which is a Mohair / Acrylic blend with metalic gold highlights DK. I knitted it on 4mm needles. I wasn't at all sure how it would turn out as I wasn't confident that the stitches would unravel properly in a mohair yarn, but it seems to have worked out okay. They did need a little encouragement though.

I'm very pleased with it and am going to knit myself one after Christmas. Hmm, along with all the other things I want to do. Got my eye on Tubey in the latest issue of Knitty, and from reading other peoples blogs I'm not the only one. I got some Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed in various shades of reds and purples out of the bargain bin at Up Country a couple of weeks ago and I thought it might look good in that.

Once again, the picture doesn't do credit to the colours (I think we need an acronym for that!).

Anyroadup, happy Knitmas to all in blogland and a yarn filled new year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

think I may have sorted it

Innit typical? You ask for advice then work it out for yourself. I'm sure lots of you would have helped so thanx anyway.

Short and sweet

Got back from my run and am very tired but am going to post 'cos I haven't for a while. I'm three quarters of the way through a Christmas present Clapotis which is all red and sparkly. I'm praying that it works out okay 'cos I've invested some time in it and I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO FROG IT!!! (If it works I'll put a picture up.)
Plan on returning to Addingham on Friday in order to get some more yarn to make a bag to match one of the finger scarves I made (another Christmas pressy). Ro needs some more of the Softy that she got there too so I'll get that as well and possibly some for myself to knit a hotty bottle cover (yup, another pressy).
I've had a traumatic two days, victim of road rage yesterday (which is odd cos I'm usually the one raging!) and then about three hours later I ran into a parked car (ouch) when I stopped on a slope and didn't put the parking brake on properly. The truck wasn't damaged but I dented the wing of the car and smashed the wing mirror.

Oh well, things can only get better (can't they?)!

Bye the way can anyone tell me how to persuade blogger to put the correct time and date on my posts automatically. I always have to change it manually before posting and I've been into the settings and told it I'm on GMT.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

GIGANTIC fuzzy feet

Hmm, and this is post felting .

This Rowanspun aran doesn't appear to felt too well, the French Market bag I made of it didn't shrink as much as I had hoped either. Put these through a complete 60 degree cycle with a pair of jeans and you can still see the individual stitches on them and they'd fit a camel (not the intended recipient of them!). I think I may put them in the preassure cooker and give them a good boiling and see what happens.

Kill or cure.

This is a picture of the other thing I bought at the Harrogate show. Couldn't post it before 'cos I bought it as a present for Ro, couldn't wait for Christmas though so I sent it to her straight away. Two bags of beautiful silk tops for her to incorporate into her spinning. She loves them!

This is a picture of the scarf and bag she made a while ago. She bought a skein of Maya cheap from Up Country, then found the fuzzy stuff (dunno what it's called) to tone with it. Lovely.

And finally....................
............ picture of Gracie being bad in my sink. Why is it that given a bowl of perfectly acceptable water, cats will innevitably choose instead to drink out of the toilet, washing up bowl or any other source of stagnant water? Is it the chlorine or flouride or whatever else they pollute our drinking water with?
God my kitchen looks a disgrace, in my defence:-
I did not choose the decoration, I bought the house looking like this and have done nothing about it.
The mark next to the sink is a stain which I have failed to remove despite many applications of bleach.
Haven't realy got an excuse for not having done the washing up except that, well it's a bit boring and there are many more interesting things to do.

Okay off to do some more cardi and boil my fuzzy feet. May be pictures later. Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

How I love to make life difficult

... well I realised that one of the kits I bought on Thursday required that I have a pair of 15mm

needles and a pair of 19mm needles. Of course I don't have them. I suspect that the wool stall on the indoor market doesn't either, they never seem to have anything else I want. And no way was I prepared to drive into town on a Saturday to find out


I drove to Wicks instead and bought some dowel, you can see in the picture my first attempt at making a pair of knitting needles.

Off to use them now whilst watching the All Blacks cream Scotland, wish me luck.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thursday's adventures.

Well now, before I start on the Harrogate show here is the hipknits silk which I got through the post yesterday. It's my prize for the 'photo competition on the Knitspeak site. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to Hazel of Knitspeak and to Kerrie from Hipknits for this lovely lovely yarn.

I've been fondling it since it arrived (Hazel says that's okay and it's normal to be a yarn perv.)! I think it's going to have to be a Clapotis. Haven't made one yet but I do want to. Probably won't start till the new year as so many pressies to be getting on with first.

............ here's the ill gotten gains from me trip to Harrogate yesterday. There was something else but I've posted it off to ...... no I can't say.

I think I've been quite restrained really. A lot of what's there is earmarked for Christmas presents. I was intending to buy a swift, but alas I didn't see a stall with any on.

The actual journey to Harrogate was a bit of a pain in the proverbial, had to do the ring road round Bradford which is never good, and the last mile or so into Harrogate took AGES. Christmas shoppers probably. (sorry, I'm trying not to use the C word, but it keeps slipping out).

The car park at the conference centre was horrible, and crowded and when I managed to find a space and buy a ticket I was just about to leave when I noticed that it had a sign saying it was reserved. I had to decide if I should try to find another space or take the risk of leaving it there. Decided to risk it.

I found the place where the show was and caught one of the security people and asked if it was okay to leave my car where it was, I think he could tell that I was on the point of hysteria so he checked it out and told me it was okay.

When I got into the actual show though it was worth it, loads of lovely stalls with beautiful things to spend LOTS of money on. As I've already said, I think I was pretty restrained. I shot round quickly once taking it all in, then did a more leisurely circuit buying stuff (well organised or what?).

It wasn't until I left that I realised that I'd gone in the wrong way. I went to go up the escalator that I'd come down on and there was a sign saying "conference delegates only". Anyway I ignored it and carried on, luckily the security guy at the top was busy telling two other people that they couldn't go that way, so I just swept past looking as if I knew where I was going.

It was well worth going, and many thanks to Ling for letting me have the ticket.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I heard a funny thing on the radio....

Three thirty a.m. travelling up the Elland bye pass in a (horrible) hire truck earlier this week listening to the world service on the radio. There was a feature about the spread of AIDS in Africa.
(I know it doesn't sound funny, but bear with me!)
The (female) health worker was talking to a (male) interviewer about how they are encouraging the use of the female condom to try to limit the spread of the virus, as many men were unwilling to use condoms themselves, and this gave women more control. The interviewer pointed out that despite these efforts, use of the female condom was much less widespread than that of the male condom.
"Do you think" he asked "that the use of the female condom will ever catch up with that of the male condom, or do you think it will remain a niche market."!

I nearly crashed me truck laughing!

Sunday, November 20, 2005


one finger scarf in Adriafil Graphic & Adriafil Decor (one third of a ball of Graphic & whole ball of Decor). Took about half an hour to make.
Detail of scarf.
Second finger scarf made with another third of same ball of Graphic and a different ball of Decor.
More detail of first scarf.
Gracie modeling scarf no. 2

Ro's Moebus scarf made with a ball and a bit of Adriafil Softy on no. seven circular.

All done last night whilst watching the rugby internationals.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

a grand day out

Ro came up to visit this weekend and last night we went to see the Tigers play Sale in Stockport. Unfortunately the Tigers were beaten (they don't play well on Friday nights.)
Today we went over to Addingham to the Fabric Colour Workshop. We stopped off at Denholm Velvets on the way over which has a factory shop and Ro got some groovy velvet offcuts to make stuff with.
We continued on to Addingham and found the shop on the Townend Trading Estate (Next to Beanstalk Wholefoods which I used to deliver to). Elizabeth Selman owns the shop which stocks yarns, fabrics, silk painting stuff and other craft materials. Her husband Ashley imports Adriafil yarns and so that is what the shop stocks on the knitting front. They also run a series of workshops on silkpainting,embroidery, things to do witha meter of fleece etc.
Within seconds of walking through the door we were made very welcome and we even got a free demonstration of finger knitting.
I explained that I hadn't really got anything in mind so probably wouldn't buy anything, just looking to see what they had (yeah right).
I walked out with about seventeen quids worth of yarn to turn into finger knitted scarfs as pressies (pictures to follow). Ro bought some yarn to make a Moebus Scarf as she was so impressed with the two I'd made already.
The place is well worth a visit if you're in West Yorkshire, and the yarn is lovely. I don't know how widely available it is in this country, but I don't think I'd come across it before. I'm also told that you can download Adriafil patterns for free from their website but haven't looked yet.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A continuing theme............

Following my post a few weeks ago concerning an episode of CSI in which someone died from falling onto a knitting needle what price "The rebel angels" by Robertson Davies, in which a character commits murder by pushing knitting needles up someone's nose!

Anyone got any more?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Mmmmmmm stash!

Just got back from a drivers' meeting at work. I went in specially for it as I don't work on a Friday, and I nearly didn't manage to drag myself out for it 'cos the weather was so filthy and I was feeling lazy. But I did and it was quite good fun.

One of the drivers got the piss ripped out of him because he set off for West Wales yesterday morning in THE WRONG TRUCK! Didn't realise until he got to his first drop that the truck he was driving was empty!! Now when I first started driving I heard a number of horror stories of drivers who took an empty truck, or a truck with the wrong load on it out by accident, so I always make a point of looking in the back to make sure it has the right pallets on it (at least at the back!). How on earth he managed to drive it up the Elland bye pass (quite steep) without noticing that it was pulling better than an fully loaded truck ought to I can't imagine, he must have been asleep still!

Ah well, all the other drivers got a laugh out of it!

Went to LYS this morning and did a BAD thing, yup more yarn. Sixteen balls of various shades of Debbie Bliss aran tweed @£2,50 a ball. Yippee! I also managed to pick up seven balls of Lee Target Motoravia(!?) 4 ply pure new wool at a charity shop next to one of my drops in Bristol on Tuesday. Seven balls of that and two of mohair for £1.99. I love charity shops!

There was a big pile of yarn in the hospice shop this morning too, and I got all excited, but on closer inspection it all turned out to be acrylic in naff colours so I didn't bother and just bought two crochet hooks. Probably just as well. I believe that buying yarn is addictive, god help me when I go to Harrogate the week after next. Eternal gratitude to the lovely Ling who sent me a ticket that she'd not been able to use for the show at Ally pally.

The Moebius Scarf

...................and here it is knitted with one skein of Noro Kureyon colour no 149 on 7.5mm circular needle. Took me one evening and I'm very pleased with it. It actually turned out as expected!!!!

Found the pattern here. I did adapt it slightly, cast on 100 stitches rather than the 150 stipulated as the tension swatch (yes I did! Briefly) came out with only about three or four stitches to the inch.

It's intended for a Christmas present for a chap, hence the colour. Not too good with the blue, but the salt and pepper matches my hair (curses!)

I do occasionally smile by the way, just not when having my picture taken, I end up looking like Goofy when I do!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

the scarf

There, done!

In fact I sweated blood over this scarf. I think this was the third attempt and I nearly gave up on this one too. I HATE chennille! There's just no "give" in it, so knitting into the back of the stitch was a complete pain in the butt. Once I was past that though it was okay.

I'm pleased with the finished object tho' even if it does look like a clown collar! I will probably try another one but NOT in chennille! Fancy one with a fluffy edge. I was considering a picot edge on this but couldn't remember how to do it and was at Ro's this weekend so didn't have my knitting resources to hand.

Bye the way did I tell you I picked up Montse Stanley's "Handknitters Handbook" for £2.95 at the second hand market in Huddersfield? Wot a bargain, it's fab. If you see it, get it!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

pictures working now.

.........there's the bag, scarf to follow.

It's a frog's life

First of all thanks to Becky for her suggestion re: the neckline of the cardigan. Haven't tried it as yet but I will do so once I've got round to concentration knitting.

Had a bit of a problem with the bag as the second skein of rayon is thicker than the first so I'm not sure if I'm going to have enough to finish the fourth quarter. If not I'm going to have to frog ALL FOUR QUARTERS and re knit them slightly smaller!!!!
(Were I not a lady I'd say a bad word here, but I'm far too well brought up, you'll have to insert your own!)

I knitted up a curly wurly scarf on Sunday in Noro Shinano, and I liked it but ran out of yarn before I felt it was wide enough. So that got frogged and I've started a new one with Cherry red chennile from my stash of which I have plenty. Ro has already said she wants it (well she wants the bag I knitted with the chennile before and the scarf will match it. I've told her she can have the bag and she can sew it up too!)

Bum, I was going to put in a picture of the bag, but blogger doesn't want to play!

Never mind, I'll come back later. Should really be getting ready for work.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Not much to report

Bin suffering all week from a bit of a stinky cold but have been soldiering on anyhow (snuffle).

Gasps of amazement at ra's stoicism and courage!


This pic has no relevance at all to this weeks news, I just like it. I took it earlier in the year whilst I was on a walk to the farm to buy some eggs.

I was considering time off work but what with it being half term and another driver breaking his ankle last week when he came down off his truckbed and landed awkwardly on the edge of the kerb, we've been a bit pushed to have enough drivers to cover all the runs that have to go out. So I was very brave and went to Bristol anyway.

In actual fact it wasn't too bad, the run was particularly light this week and I still managed to get a decent nights sleep Tuesday despite the snot (sorry).

Of course discovering I had a bulb out on the truck at 2.45am on Tuesday was a bit of a bummer, and discovering that once I'd found a screw driver and taken the damn thing out, there weren't any spare bulbs in transport was slightly irritating. But shucks, these things happen.

It's funny that despite being ill I was able to drive for long periods without endangering life (well no more than usual anyway) and unload large quantities of wholefoods without keeling over BUT when I got into the office on Thursday I might as well have stayed in bed for all the use I was.

On however to things knitted. I've been very good and have finished the sleeves on my cardigan and grafted the shoulder seams. The reason that I've started blogging is that I now have to pick up and knit for the ribbing round the neck. Now I'm not very good at that, I don't seem to pick the stitches up evenly and I get funny lumps and things. The other problem I have is that although one side of the cardigan is different from the other the instructions still tell me to pick up the same number of stitches down both front sides. I can't help feeling that this won't look right, so I'm indulging in a spot of displacement activity.

Last night was one of the co-op's quarterly general meetings and as I was at a decreasing sort of place on my sleeves I decided to take my sari silk (rayon) bag with me to knit instead (less to concentrate on). As it was I spent the first half of the meeting rewinding the yarn as the knitting end had become tangled with the other end. I'd wound the ball on my wool winder and I think it was too loose and had started coming apart. I've sorted it now though and have wound it quite tight with the spare end firmly hidden in the middle. perhaps I'll do some more of that while I contemplate the neckline problem. I've also got to remind myself how to crochet to finish the button band.

The wool I bought for the Moebus scarfs is calling to me as well. I knew I should have put it away rather than leaving it sitting on the singer table!

Bad, bad, ra!

The other productive thing I've done this week is to put my stash into placcy bags. I've snimed some from work (don't worry they'd only get chucked out). They're the zippy ones that close at the top. The Hopi Ear Candles (don't ask) come from the suppliers in them in twenties and we sell them in singles , so if we don't take them out of the bags in the warehouse people pick a big bag of them rather than a small bag. I just liberate the bags.

I've also added some stuff to my sidebar. I've bought a book on bloggy / websitey things in the hope that I can make it more interesting but I have far to many other things to do.

Hmm for a blog that started with not much to report I do seem to have gone on a bit.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Well everyone else is doing it....

So you type "your name needs" into your search engine and list the ten most entertaining things that come up. I tries my whole name and found I didn't need anything, so then I just did my first name and this is the result.

Rachel needs help when she enters Manhattan's meat-packing district to help three transvestite hookers find out who murdered one of their friends .......Hmm, interesting

Rachel needs £5000 can't disagree with that.

Rachel needs to buck-up. God that's spooky, straight from one of my school reports.

Rachel needs to have blush that is very bright and colorful. in order presumably to look like a clown?


Rachel Needs Fucking Now no comment!

Rachel needs to be responsible for her own behavior well, if you say so you're probably right.

Rachel needs time to chill out Oh yes!

Rachel needs to learn to edit herself a little Well, she's got the list down from seventeen to ten so she's not doing too badly.

Rachel needs to borrow some chairs No no no, got far too much stuff already

So there you go.

Last night I was knitting my cardigan when I got to the end of a row, put the knitting down on the settee, went into the kitchen and got a yoghurt, came back and ate the yoghurt, went to carry on with my knitting and the loose needle had disappeared! I've pulled the cushions off the settee, looked under the settee, tidied all the rubbish off the floor, I even looked in the fridge (it has been known!). I can't find the damned thing ANYWHERE! It's driving me crazy! Luckily I have more 4mm needles so I can carry on knitting but WHERE HAS THE BLOODY THING GONE?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

It's binna long week

and not a very good one.

Well not to start off with anyway. I told you that I was going to court because I'd been attacked by a dog. On Monday morning I had to drive in to Leeds to get to the court. After waiting in the witness room for about an hour and a half (this after a year of waiting for the case to come to court) the prosecution barrister came and told me that the CPS wouldn't be presenting any evidence.

It would seem that because the women who claimed to be the owner of the dog wasn't the person who actually let the dog out (it was her daughter in law), she was not responsible for it getting into my garden and attacking me. The fact that the dog is dangerous is apparently not relevant as long as it's kept under control, and it wasn't her fault that it wasn't under control at the time of the attack.

So no case. They can continue to keep a dangerous dog in the garden next to mine. The fence is high enough to keep it in, but it's escaped once and I've no doubt that one day it will escape again. If it gets a child next time the damage it does will be more serious.

Ah well such is life.

On to better things. My cardigan continues to grow. Have finished the back and both sides of the front and started on the sleeves which I'm knitting both together. I did this with the fronts as well and all was going swimmingly till I realised that the decreases at the neck weren't the same for each side. So what with different decreases for each side on the neck and decreasing for the armholes too I got into a bit of a mess. In the end I gave up and frogged back to the neck cast off and finished the fronts one at a time. Problem solved. I have no pictures of the work in progress but I'll put one up of the finished article soon.

Another of the better things is that I received my ball of Noro Shinano which I bought on ebay from Purlyqueen. It's a lovely bluey purpley greyish colour and very soft. Another scarf perhaps? Still no advice on the Moebus scarf forthcoming, I'll just have to suck it and see.

On to the end of the week and my trip to Cambridge / Essex / Suffolk. Actually I only dipped my toe into Suffolk on the second day of the run, but it's lovely isn't it? I went to a little village called Stoke by Nayland, and due to some confusion in the A to Z I turned left at the crossroads instead of turning right in the direction where the shop I was delivering to was. After driving a couple of hundred yards I realised I'd gone wrong, so I had to pull over (when I found room) and walk back until I found the post office. This was at half six in the morning and it's pitch black; no street lights in Stoke by Nayland. I then had to reverse back to where the shop was. Great fun. Narrow street, parked cars, pitch black, eighteen ton truck. Incidentaly there's FAR more traffic about at that time in the morning than one would imagine. All those bloody commuters living the rural life and driving into London every day to work no doubt. (oops just alienated at least half of my potential readership.)

Such is the life of a truck driver, give us a kind thought and a wide berth next time you see us performing unfeasible manouvers in strange places!

The rest of the run was fairly uneventful but the A1 has to be THE most boring road in the country. It was okay on the way down early on Thursday morning but on the way back up on Friday afternoon it was deadly. Finally drew in to the yard at ten past six after a twelve hour day (fourteen on Thursday). Gawd I'm shattered.

Lastly a word of advice, try to avoid parking up in the lorry park in the centre of Colchester, and if you must do it, take ear plugs. It seems to be a favourite haunt of boy racers on an evening (and past midnight). Luckily I always take ear plugs with me so was relatively okay.

here's a pic of the wide and beautiful Cambridgeshire sky at a disused airfield between Little Walden and Hadstock. I went there to do a pick up.
Apologies to the inhabitants of Hadstock, who I'm sure are delighted that they have trucks driving through their tiny village. (Unless of course they are aforementioned commuters, in which case I don't care).

Just occurred to me that this is not a million miles away from Constable country, which explains a lot skywise.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Well I didn't go to ally pally this weekend, but I did go on an expedition. So here's the pics:

After winning her spinning wheel on ebay last week (and receiving it on Thursday) Ro wanted to go to the Alpaca Spinner in Rockingham to buy carders and a lazy kate and stuff. So on Saturday morning off we went.
These are pictures of Rockingham and of the shop; very quaint. Linzi who owns the shop is a real enthusiast and was full of helpful information and advice. She gives spinning lessons as well as running the shop and was helping someone out who had had lessons from her when we arrived. So we got a free demonstration of spinning alpaca wool.

We spent the best part of the morning there and Ro came away with her lazy kate and five spare bobbins, a niddy-noddy and some gorgeous merino rovings. The latter as Linzi didn't have any carders in stock having sold the last pair, so she's getting some in for her.

We also discovered that the wheel had the tensioner missing so we had to find something we could use for the Scotch tension. Luckily I found just the thing. Unfortunately I can't get blogger to upload the picture so you'll just have to wait for that one!

After we got home and had some lunch we photographed the spoils and while Ro set the wheel up and sorted stuff out I failed to get on with my cardi being under attack from Ro's patented anti knitting device, better know as Gracie.

We did manage to get some spinning done and I will post more pics when Blogger is feeling less tired and emotional. I'm quite keen on learning to spin but I MUST NOT GET ANY MORE STUFF! So I'm going to have to do it at Ro's. (Haven't told her this yet!)

extra pics

Here are the rest of the pics that I couldn't get blogger to upload this morning.

First another pic of Gracie, 'cos she's such a cutie.

This is a picture of the beginning of our spinning of the merino roving from alpaca spinner. You can see on the right of the picture my solution to the missing tensioner on the wheel. Yup a wooden spoon, perfect fit!

On the subject of merino wool, this merino is from new Zealand, we're trying to avoid buying Australian Merino having heard about the practice of Mulesing the sheep which they do in Australia to prevent fly strike. I had a discussion with Linzi about this, she had not heard of the practice. I have tried to find information which isn't OTT in either direction about this and came up with this link to the Western Australia Agriculture Department . Other info was either from the Australian wool marketing board or animal rights campaigners. This gives a description of the practice without glossing over (marketing board) or shock horror (PETA). You can draw your own conclusions.

I'm not sentimental about animals and I'm aware of how disgusting and painful fly strike on sheep is, it's a tricky situation.

Finally a picture of KIP (Knitting in public). this is me getting on with my cardi before kick of at Welford Road, home ground of Leicester Tigers, on Friday night. This was probably the best part of the evening. The game was a bad tempered affair ending in an unsatisfactoy draw. Two players sin binned and two sent off (one of each from each team)

Friday, October 14, 2005

There's nothing like a week of great SEX

Stash Enhancement Expeditions that is!

First I got back from Ro's last Sunday to find that a parcel was waiting for me at the Post Office. Went to pick it up after work on Monday and it was nineteen balls of Rowan Linen Drape, ten in olive green and nine in terracotta. This was from McA's sale. As I said I have a project in mind for some if not all of it. It was so cheap I couldn't resist getting more than I needed.

Hmm bet none of you knitters out in blogland have heard those words before, let alone uttered them yourselves!

The picture doesn't in any way do credit to the shade of the green, tho' the terracotta has come out quite well.

Then today, Friday I went into Huddersfield to the charity shop and bought some more stitch holders. Should have got them all last time I went in but didn't so this week I had to take the ones I was using for the tops of my sari silk bag in progress so that I could put the shoulders of the back (finished) of my cardi onto them. Have decided I want to try grafting the shoulder seams rather than casting off and sewing them up. Thought it would look nice if I used the black for that as well as the ribbing and bands as a subtle bit of detailing. I'll let you know if it works or not. I'm a bit in love with Kitchener Stitch, I still think it's magic.

Then after getting my hair cut I went in to Up Country to have a rummage through their bargain box. Bit disappointing this week again. Still loads of Rowan Cork in there, but I've decided I don't like it (dunno why). But instead I was tempted by a skein of Debbie Bliss Maya in shades of blue, and a ball of Noro Kureyon. Both of these are intended as scarves for christmas presents so I'm hoping that there will be enough of each for a scarf. Both say 100 meters so I'm hopeful. (Short scarf perhaps).

I want to try a Moebus scarf, but the pattern I saw seemed to have loads of stitches which I think would have made it too long. I just want a sort of chest/neck warmer type of affair. The pattern I have says 5 stitches to the inch, cast on 150 stitches which would make it 30 inches long then you knit into the yarn BELOW each stitch and then knit into each stitch as well, so doesn't that make it 60 inches long, or have I missed something?

Has anyone done this? How does it work? Will it turn out how I want it or will my intended victims (sorry recipients) trip over their scarf every time they turn round?

Any advice gratefully accepted.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

No knitting

no pics anyway, I have been knitting a bit. Getting on with the back of me cardi'. But a blog needs pictures so here's one of Bristol.
Now you probably all think I'm some kind of psycho taking pictures whilst I'm driving BUT in my defence;
a) I was stationary (see light's on red), out of gear and handbrake on and
b) The beauty of a digital camera is that you don't have to look through the viewfinder when taking a picture.

That being said I don't honestly recommend it.

I took this a while back when it was still sunny and warm, though it does look a bit overcast on this one. I'm working on a series and am hoping some of them may get into our catalogue showing some of the fun places we get to.

I haven't been driving this week as I've had a bit of cystitis.
Still able to work but the thought of being any distance away from a convenient loo was not appealing. So I've spent four days at work; two in the warehouse and two in the office. It's been the longest week in ages and I'm still only doing four days! Driving certainly breaks the week up.

Next week I won't be driving my run 'cos I have to go to court on Monday and possibly Tuesday as well. Last year almost to the day I was attacked in my back garden by a neighbour's alsatian dog. If I had the 'photo's the police forensic photographer took pf my legs I'd post them. Talk about psychedelic!!!

Anyway after a year of delays and messing about the case has finally come to court and I'm really not looking forward to it.

So next week I'm filling in for another drivers run on Thursday and Friday and will be traveling down to Cambridge and all points easterly so if you're in East Anglia and you see a woman with a digital camera driving a truck, that'll be me. Please smile and wave.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sunday, October 09, 2005

It never rains....

..but it pours. Got in the car to go shopping, turned the key and it went "phut" (yes that's phut, keep it in mind). No ignition, no lights, no camera and certainly NO action.

"Aha" thinks Ra "fuse!"

So I changed the fuse. No joy.

Every so often whilst this was going on the radio spontaneously burst into life!

Well that's the extent of my knowledge of the electrical system on my car so I'm reduced to calling my breakdown service (luckily have homestart, unluckily now lose my no claims discount when renewing. RATS).

Call breakdown service, nice man on other end of the 'phone takes my details, I describe what's happened and promises to send someone out.

"Bye the way" he says " How do you spell foot?"


"How do you spell foot? You said it went foot, how do you spell it?"

Ha Ha!

Turns out my battery is past it's sell by date, so trip to Kwik Fit and sixtytwo quid later and I'm back on the road. Oh well, at least it happened on a Sunday afternoon before everything shut and not two thirty on Tuesday morning when I get up to go to work. (Fingers crossed and touch wood as I say that, after all there are still lots of things that can go wrong at two thirty on Tuesday morning).

I even got to Sainsburys before they shut.

Busy Weekend

Well I'm back from Ro's (my sister). We've had rather a busy weekend. On Friday night we went to a quiz in aid of the British Heart Foundation which was being held at our local rival
rugby team, Northampton Saints (we are both Leicester Tigers supporters, though my older sister Ann is a Saintanist). We were meeting Ann there, but she was late. We walked in to the bar full of Saints supporters with Ro in a Tigers shirt and me carrying a cuddly Tiger. Everyone was lovely though and we were greeted very warmly despite a few comments!!! We didn't win the quiz, but we had a good night, made some new friends and most importantly helped raise a fair amount of money for a very good cause.

Saturday we went to watch the Tigers play Worcester in the Powergen cup. Despite the pouring rain we had a good time and the Tigers won a convincing victory. Ro wrote a match report for the fans website (she had a bit of trouble keeping her notepad dry). Then we went back to her house and watched the Saints winning their game gainst Newport Dragons on the telly. We followed this up with a Chinese takeaway from her local pub. Yummy.

In amongst all this I did manage to get a small amount of knitting done. I've cast on for my cardigan. There's a picture of my progress so far and the pattern, I'm doing the plain one. The yarn is lovely to handle, very soft, and knits up nicely. I'm doing the main body of the cardigan in dark gray and the ribbing and button bands in black. I think it will look rather smart. Haven't decided on the buttons yet. Ro suggested scottie dogs but I think (hope) she was joking.

Ro's fed up 'cos she was bidding on a spinning wheel on ebay but she didn't win it. never mind, better luck next time. It's a few years since she has done any spinning, but I'm looking forward to it 'cos it means I won't have to buy wool for knitting any more!! Ha Ha.

Anyway gotta go an buy some food now as I won't have time later in the week so that's all folks.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Just a quickie

Got no fun pics today. Never mind. It's been a bit of a funny week, don't seem to have had any time to do anything, probably because I'm going away today. Off to visit my sister(s) today so the usual flopping about Friday will not be happening.

Got back from my run on Wednesday to find that the second skein of recycled rayon had arrived from Colourspun Yarns, so I've got half way through the third quarter of my bag. Then decided that it's such an easy knit it would be more sensible to save it to take with me when I'm driving. When I park up on a Tuesday evening I'm too tired to knit anything complicated so this would be ideal I guess.

Before I went to bed on Monday I knitted a tension square. I bought some Rowan DK soft from the bargain bin at Up Country some time ago, black and dark gray, and thought it would make a nice cardigan. I'm sort of torn as far as the pattern to use is concerned. One of the ones I bought from the charity shop the other week is quite nice; short, fitted waist, deep round neck (crocheted band, hmmmm!?!). Nice but don't know how practical it would be for wearing over stuff, I like to layer. The other possible is from a "Knitty" pattern called Sonnet. Think the latter may be more suitable to a chunkier yarn though. Wish I had a picture of the other one then could ask for advice.

decisions decisions!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I'm very sorry

about the quality of the 'photos. I shouldn't have bought a cheap digital camera but at the time I didn't think I was going to do any close up shots and it seems to be okay for landscapes.

Anyhoo this recycled rayon knits up a treat. It's not a difficult pattern either, got this done during a Saturday evening TV viewing. bit fed up to realise I'd misjudged how much I needed, so finished first quarter, weighed it and remainder of yarn and have ordered some more so's to have enough. Which is okay, just means two lots of postal charges.

BUT I've managed to save money today as not only have I bought some yarn at sale price, but there's no postal charges for orders over £5.00. Found McA Direct on another blog (leading me astray) And they have Rowan Linen Drape as a discontinued line. Well I bought Vintage Knits a while back and there's a pattern for a lovely short sleeved ribbed lace sweater in Linen Drape which I coveted, but couldn't find the yarn. Job done! (Well obviously I have to actually knit the thing but.....).

I'm feeling virtuous today because I've been upstairs painting the spare bedroom and now every wall has a coat of paint. It'll need another coat, but at least I've got that far and have overcome my BIG SULK of yesterday. Honestly tho' I was listening to Desert Island Discs whilst painting and they had Frank Gardner; BBC security correspondent on. Last year he was shot in the back by Al Qaida terrorists in Saudi Arabia, he is now paraplegic. Made me feel a bit abashed to have given up so easily yesterday when I couldn't get the step ladders to work.Don't you just hate people who are strong and brave in the face of overwhelming adversity!

Anyway it's probably true that you feel better if you just get on with things than if you get the hump. A propos of which:

THE Camel's hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump that we get
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
If we haven't enough to do-oo-oo,
We all get the hump--
Cameelious hump--
The hump that is black and blue!

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our bath and our boots and our toys;

And there ought to be a corner for me
(And I know there is one for you)
When we get the hump--
Cameelious hump--
The hump that is black and blue!

The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
Or frowst with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
And dig till you gently perspire;

And then you will find that the sun and the wind,
And the Djinn of the Garden too,
Have lifted the hump--
Cameeleous hump--
The hump that is black and blue!

I get it as well as you-oo-oo--
If I haven't enough to do-oo-oo--
We all get hump--
Cameelious hump--
The hump that is black and blue!
( Rudyard Kipling)

So I'm giving the hump the elbow, at least until next time.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Now that's what I call service

............................. arrived this morning after buying it yesterday, yes that's yesterday on ebay from Colourspun Yarns. Now that's what I call service.

It's recycled rayon, which is cheaper than the recycled sari silk and I'm planning to use it for Unbiased from Knitty, so the fact that it will have a different feel than the silk is less important than if it was something I intended to wear. In actual fact it feels okay, not too synthetic and hopefully ideal for the bag. It should be quite a quick knit too and get me back on track.

Today hasn't been a good day one way and another. I woke up this morning with the good intention of setting about painting the spare room and just to get on with it until each wall had at least one coat of paint on it. I'd been having trouble reaching the top of the tallest wall in the room so re-jigged my stepladders which turn into a straight ladder hoping this would give me the extra reach. Unfortunately it was worse than using them as step ladders so went to turn them back and the damned things had jammed.

Decided to go back to bed instead.

Ho hum.

I've got up now (still not dressed) and have managed to wind the rayon into a ball with my excellent wool winder (another ebay purchase). Is it possible to buy these anywhere except ebay? I asked in our local yarn store in the indoor market (strictly acrylic and novelty yarns) and they looked at me as if I'd come down from another planet. So am intending to settle into knitting me bag now, I'm hoping that it's an easy knit (looks okay) 'cos I'm really not in the mood for any kind of a struggle!

Friday, September 30, 2005

oooh er

So this is the sock that's put it's little foot down firmly and positively refuses to get any bigger. It's not a particularly inspiring pic, partly because I can't get my damned camera to focus on it (seems to like the ball of wool tho'). I think that I might be going to start something else.

Went into town today and in the Kirkwood Hospice shop bought a load of old patterns and two stitch holders. Five p. each pattern and fifty pence the stitch holders (bargain)

Hmmmm. the Hawkins Bazaar catalogue seems to have crept into the top right hand of the picture. I can heartily recommend this publication to anyone who likes "stuff"

I'm a bit concerned that I may be the kind of person who's more into the paraphenalia than the actual process of knitting, though to be fair I have got a number of completed (and half completed, alright I admit it, I don't like blocking or sewing up my projects) things lying around making the place look untidy. I have even WORN the cable jumper I knitted from the Stitch and Bitch handbook.

See it posing seductively in my undecorated spare bedroom (best natural light in the house).

Omigosh I'm all excited, the rugby team I support are playing in Wales tonight and I was expecting to listen to the commentary over the internet. I've just discovered that the match is actually being shown live WITH PICTURES over the web. Wow the wonders of broadband.

blimey I know it's raining in Newport but it looks as if they're playing in a goldfish bowl .........complete with refraction. Perhaps the wonders of broadband aren't quite up to action pictures yet, not on my bandwidth anyway.

Oh well, up the Tigers!


This is so exciting I'm getting messages. For the past month or so I've been reading all these blogs and feel that I've been getting to know people, sometimes posting comments and all of a sudden they're talking back. It's well cool.

Pulpower - I drive down from Elland in West Yorkshire to Cheltenham on a Tuesday morning, then on down to Bristol. Do deliveries in Bristol throughout the day and sometimes pick ups south of Bristol. Sleep over, back up to Cheltenham and work up through Cotswolds, Malverns, Worcesterhire (basically M5 corridor) on the Wednesday. Then back up to Yorkshire. I start at three a.m. on Tuesday morning and get back between three p.m. and sixish on Wednesday, depending on how busy my run is, hence my decision to stop working on Fridays.

Been doing this since March when I passed my HGV after driving seven and a half tonner for just over a year.

Picture is of the M5 at about six a.m.

I've driven the Glasgow run once too when the regular driver was off sick.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Well my dear sister has told me that the picture is visible when I'm off line, so now I'm up and running. Unfortunately I can't seem to get involved in knitting at the moment, have hit a full stop on Elfine's socks whilst turning the heel. Never knitted toe up before and I'm not entirely convinced the finished article will fit so am a little despondent. I want to start something else to get me back on track, but I'm not sure what at the moment. Will have to do some browsing of "things I've seen and liked and put by for later". I'll do that tomorrow(day off work! Hurrah!).

So instead of posting a picture of my knitting I'm posting a picture of my truck. Bye the way, it wasn't me that trashed the bottom step and front bumper, must have been one of the other drivers. I only drive it two days a week.

Have to say that other drivers are somewhat bemused by the sight of a woman trucker knitting. I don't knit while I'm driving, but a couple of weeks ago I had a problem with my drivers side windscreen wiper which decided in the middle of a monsoon like downpour to stop working. I managed to get to the M.A.N. dealer to get it fixed and they told me it'd take a few hours. The kind man on the service desk told me all the things I could do whilst waiting. "No that's okay" I said "I've got my knitting with me." He was gobsmacked. Every time anyone came in he pointed out that the trucker waiting for a repair was passing the time knitting! I did point out to him that traditionally many male dominated occupations had been associated with knitting (sailors for instance) but he didn't look convinced. Ah well, I continue to knit in public and spread the word!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The mystery of how to post piccies

Okay, now I need someone to tell me if this is here all the time or if it disappears when I'm not on line. The reason I ask is that the pic is from my computer rather than saved to a host site. Does it go and live in blogger land and stay visible????
You all can tell that I'm a real expert at this IT business can't you?

This is a picture of my right foot starring a sock I knitted in that fab self striping wool by Opal with which you can astound your family and friends. I bought a kit from a toy shop on Gloucester Road in Bristol after finishing a delivery to the shop next door. One of my colleagues back in Yorkshire was so impressed that she has been putting in regular requests for more wool so she can knit socks for all her rellies. I have since finished the socks and have knitted another pair plus a fifth one (not from the same ball of wool, my feet aren't that small!). Would be knitting the sixth but am using the needles for the other pair mentioned in my previous post. As you can tell, socks have really caught my imagination!

Friday, September 23, 2005

my first day as a blogger.

Well, I've recently started working a four day week as I'm working the forty hours I'm contracted to work in those four days. Decided I didn't need the extra dosh from working the fifth day, so might as well have the time for myself instead. When I made this decision I was full of good intentions of the things that I'd do to use the time productively and well! I was intending to go swimming regularly and get fit again; I was going to do all the housework that got ignored during the week and thus would have the weekend to do the fun things in life without guilt. Ha!

Was on the computer this morning getting myself a blog when the postman arrived with a parcel from Amazon. Yipee the three books arrived that I'd ordered; Zen and the art of knitting, Knitting on the road, and A perfect arrangement (the last one's a novel by Suzanne Berne). In addition to this my free gift from joining Rowan International a froth scarf kit.

So to cut a long story short my entire day (apart from an hour at lunchtime when I did actually do some decorating in the spare room, which I'm ashamed to say has been on the go since March of this year and is STILL not finished) reading "Zen and the art of knitting", which I have just finished. So not an entirely wasted day from a pleasure point of view, but as far as being energetic and productive is concerned not one of my better ones. (tho' in my defense m'lud I did make some bread!.... and do the washing up).

Never mind, got to go in to work tomorrow as we're stock taking all day and it's not very optional, so it's only fair that I should have a slob day. This evening I shall do some knitting. I'm working on a pair of socks in Rowanspun four ply using a pattern from Amelia Raitte's blog "Elfine's socks" . I hope that this link isn't bandwidth theft. It's a lovely pattern tho' a little more complicated than anything I've done before.

When I work out how to do pictures on here, you might get to see them.

er... hi there

Well I've done it. Decided to become a blogger and it's all a bit , um weird. I'm not exactly sure how this works so you will have to bear with me. I'm hoping that this will be a description of my progress through life with a pair of knitting needles, but it would be a good start if I could work out how to edit this damned thing!!!

Catch you later.