Monday, May 28, 2007

Seven random things

Kath has tagged me for "seven random things about me" so here you go:
  1. I have a funny lobe on my left ear.
  2. I have never given a car I owned a name (and I’m vehemently resisting the plan to give our trucks names!)
  3. I HATE throwing things away.
  4. My hair needs cutting
  5. I have no pets, children or significant other
  6. I hate it when people call me Raych (and you’d be surprised how many people do!) what’s wrong with calling me by my given name? Is that extra syllable such an effort????
  7. I’m currently listening to TMS* (rain has stopped play)

* TMS = Test Match Special. Ball by ball commentary of the cricket broadcast by the BBC. Equally interesting whether or not there is any cricket happening.

If anyone is unfamiliar with TMS you may be interested to hear the Archive Hour's special about the programme. You will find it here.

Friday, May 25, 2007


Well, after the completion of the Dublin Bay socks and various teeny mitred squares I've started another pair of socks. This time Falling Leaves Socks from Knitty Autumn 05.

This has been an exciting departure for me as they are my first toe up socks. Ta taaaa!!! Have to say that I am somewhat less than overwhelmed by the crochet cast on which is, not to put too fine a point on it, a complete pain in the arse. I say this because however I pick up and knit the stitches the original chain ALWAYS fails to unravell gracefully when I want it to and I end up sweating and cursing as I try to unpick it without dropping the stitches.
As I had to rip out the first attempt anyway to use smaller needles than recomended and change the yarn (first lot too self stripey) I used a knitted provisional cast on for the second attempt after which things went much better.

I've got to the cast off stage on the first sock having negotiated the delights of a short row heel when what should fall through my letterbox than the Summer edition of Interweave Knits which contains an article by Ann Budd called "Working socks from the toe up." from which I've learned an alternative method of casting on; the Eastern cast-on, which involves no crochet or knitted provisional cast on. She also uses the sewn method of casting off for her socks. Dunno what sort of a top this leaves and if it's suitably stretchy for big calves!!! When I knit socks top down I cast on over two needles so that the leg has enough "give" in it.

The other serendipitous aspect of IK was a pattern by Amy Singer for the "Montego Bay Scarf" which uses one skein of Sea silk. I bought a skein of sea silk from Get Knitted when we went down to Cardiff and have been wondering what to do with it. Now I know.
Other patterns in the magazine which I liked are the following;
1824 Blouson. Mari Lynn Patrick
Oriel Lace Blouse. Shirley Paden.
Origami Cardi. Norah Gaughan.
and Spiral Boot Socks. Veronik Avery.
I don't imagine that I'll make all these or that they would suit me if I did, but I do like them.
My only slight concern is that I thought that my subscription to IK had run out and I hadn't renewed it but that I had renewed for "Spin-Off". Now I'm starting to wonder if they've cancelled Spin-Off by accident. Or perhaps I renewed both. My memory is just awful.
I'd also like to tell you that I deleted my previous post re; Mark Thomas' "My life in serious organised crime" as the listen again link had expired. The show was again not available as a podcast much to my sorrow (boo hiss to the powers that be at the BEEB) but I have to report that the lovely Colin Anderson, producer of the programme and self styled "BBC head of getting my programmes heard one CD at a time", sent me (and no doubt hundreds of others) a CD of the show. What a hero!
I'm not even going to mention what happened at Twickenham last Sunday when Tigers went down to Wasps in the final of the European Cup. Ooops too late. Never mind, two trophys out of a possible three isn't the mark of an unsuccessful season and tho' it pains me to say so Wasps were the better team (but only on the day!).
Congratulations Wasps!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

New neighbours

See who I discovered had moved in at my local farm shop (Hinchcliffes in Netherton).

I dropped in on my way back from Ro's last weekend to buy a tub of Dixon's Chocolate muddy fudge ice cream only to find that these two had taken up residence. They don't belong to the farm but to someone else and are just living there for the time being. Nice to see them tho'. I must find out what the owner is intending to do with the fleece.

Other news is that I finished my Dublin Bay socks and they are lovely; wore them to drive this week and I haven't washed them so they haven't faded yet. I've been knitting little mitred squares out of left over sock wool with a sort of vague long term aim of a jacket of some sort but it's very hazy and unformed idea wise as yet.

The other crafty thing that I've done is felted soap, yep that's right felted soap. Got the instructions from Cledry Yarner's blog. What a great idea. My first attempt (wrapped round a Rose and Geranium flavoured SUMA soap, which is the perfect shape for felting) and I quite like it. Got another soap at the ready to try again. I've given this one to Ro.

Friday, May 11, 2007

By popular request.....

.....I'm back. My public has been baying for an update (well one person asked what had happened to my blog) so I thought I'd better do me a post.

I've actually finished off a project that had stalled; to whit my second pair of slippers from the Fibretrends pattern I bought at Get Knitted.

You may remember that I'd knitted a pair using the yarn double but thought I'd try a pair using it single too. It's worked pretty well, certainly shrank more than the first pair, not quite as comfy to wear as they're thinner but I'm happy with them.

I did make them in the Mary Jane Style but cut the straps off after felting as my ankles are a bit too thick for them to be comfortable (particularly the left one, which is full of metal).

So now I have a pair to wear at home and a pair to wear at Ro's. She has made a pair too which she gave to a friend but alas I have no picture of them.

I took the picture last night but when I looked at it my legs looked a bit unshaven and bristly and I wasn't going to post it then I had the idea of going over it with PhotoFiltre Studio. I downloaded this for free (for thirty days I think) and it's very good. So I can now airbrush my photos!! (wish shaving my legs was as quick and easy as airbrushing the stubble away!)

The second project that was on hold was my second pair of Dublin Bay socks which I'd started with the remainder of the Cherry Tree Hill "Fall Foliage". I'd completed the first sock, started the second and then hit a wall. I take them along with me everywhere but never get them out!! Poooh!

So on Wednesday I had a delivery at HMP Bla******st (official secrets dontcha know) and I rolled up at nine fifteen, booked in to deliver and was told to queue up behind the Hovis truck and wait. Of course because of security they can only let one vehicle in at a time so I was in for the long haul. Out came the knitting and I sat and waited. I waited about three quarters of an hour so I got plenty done and have carried on since then. Second sock should be finished very soon. watch this space!

I've never done a delivery to a prison before and wasn't sure what to expect. I got patted down, had a very nice (if slightly dim) spaniel hoiked into the truck to check for drugs or something, which went something like:

Handler lifts dog onto back of truck;
Dog (staring out of the back of the truck)- I wanna get down!!!
Handler - Good boy go on.
Dog - I wanna get down!!!!!
Handler - go on, find it.
Dog - I wanna get down, let me out!!!!!!!!!
Handler - Go on, I'm not coming up there.
Dog - let me out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rachel helpfully points out the pull down ladder, handler gets up onto the truck and attempts to enthuse dog.
Dog - okay I've pretended to be interested NOW will you let me get down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Handler - come on then!
Rachel - Do you want to look in the chiller unit?
receives dirty look from handler.

I then handed in my mobile phone and penknife (didn't tell them about my knitting needles) and was admitted to the inner sanctum. I didn't actually see any prisoners whilst unloading which took about ten minutes. Still at least it kick started my knitting again.