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!