Wednesday, June 27, 2007

So many posts in a single week

I just got back from shopping and I saw these and had to buy them (no not the eggs). They're just so cute and they remind me of the brightly coloured plastic cups and saucers etc. that we used to have when we were little.

I was a bit surprised when I took them out of the packet and found that instead of being rigid plastic they were rubbery and bendy. Well cool though!

Roofer's just been round to tell me he'll start on my roof next week. There was a bit of a mix up. I thought we'd arranged for him to start this week, but apparently the last time I spoke to him I said that I'd have to start saving up, so he thought the job was on hold. Luckily I rang him on Monday or neither of us would have been any the wiser.

I have no idea what I said to him the last time we spoke as he (rather foolishly) rang me at nine thirty on a Tuesday evening at which time (as my regular readers will know) I am tucked up in my duvet having worked a fifteen hour day which starts at three in the morning. Scared the life out of me when my mobile went off as I was fast asleep! He wasn't to know though.

Anyhoo, whole thing now sorted and roof will be off next week (gulp), hope the weather's improved by then!

Things seem to be getting back to normal and luckily the M1 has re-opened this morning after being closed all day yesterday due to the threat of inundation should the Ulley reservoir dam burst. I hope that all the SUMA drivers made it home last night from the Monday/Tuesday runs, most of them come back up the M1 so god knows how they managed. Imagine that the Sheffield run was something of a washout on Monday too.

I say luckily because Ro is driving up today, she'll be coming up the motorway and we don't want anything to stand in the way of our setting out tomorrow for Cumbria. Woolfest here we come.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm still not sure.....

...........about this scarf. I loved the picture of the finished item in I.K. and I like the stitch pattern and love the colour of the yarn (which I am having real trouble getting a good picture of as the light is so awful at the moment) but I'm not entirely convinced by the shape of the scarf in real life.

Here's a reasonable shot of the colours!

The problem is that the scarf is, well, it's a scarf. And I'm not sure that yarn as luxurious as this wants to be just a scarf. I think it wants to be a stole or a wrap.

A scarf's a bit dull

a bit everyday

a bit mundane

and a bit long and thin. My concern is that it'll just look like a long thin stringy thing.

Thing is that I'm not really a wrap or a stole kinda gal. I can see me wearing it as a scarf, but probably not as a stole or a wrap. I guess I may as well finish it now (it's nearly done) and see how I feel then, rather than frog it right away. It may only need to be a bit wider and shorter than it is now.

Told you Ro; the blue toque of indecision!!!

Oh by the way re. the fringe problem. I measured off the whole length required for the fringe and just cut that off in one piece rather than in 200 pieces; that's the small ball on the right in the first picture.

Oh yeah, nearly forgot. I'm entering the "Tour de Fleece" this year (see also button in sidebar). I realise that it's a gruelling challenge and I suspect that I'll be way back in the pelleton if not the lanterne rouge rather than up with the tete de la course. Anyone else up for it? Lets see those wheels spinning!

Friday, June 22, 2007

That's me done for the next week

Yes! Hurrah! The holiday starts here!!!!

And not a moment too soon, this has been one of the less enjoyable weeks of my life. Lack of sleep; problems with my run; general ennui. But now I have nothing to do except look forward to


Complaining continues for most of the rest of this post so if you can't face it just ignore the rest of it and wait for the next one instead!

I say there's nothing to do but I have quite a lot of stuff to organise and loads of money to spend before then. The car is being M.O.T.d as we speak (failed first time on several bulbs and a leaking CV joint on the offside front!). They also told me that there's a problem with the ignition, but I don't believe them. I gave them the spare key which I never use and they say they're having trouble starting it. I used that key to drive to the garage yesterday morning and had no trouble at all. Never do with the usual key either!!

Once that's sorted I have to tax it, renew the breakdown cover and probably insure it as well (these things all come together when you buy a car from a garage of course as tax and MOT are done when you buy it!!). I have a guy coming to mend my kitchen roof next week (I hope he's coming next week anyway) as it's been leaking since last Autumn. I'm not even going to tell you how much that will cost!

Two weeks ago my oven stopped working so I had to get that fixed. The first week the guy came to look at it he didn't have the part, had to order it. So while he was there I thought he may as well service my gas fire and boiler as neither had been done since my moving in (in 2000) in the first instance, and fitting (in 2002) in the second. So he did them and the following week returned to fit the part. Suffice it to say that what he made from me will go some way towards paying for his holiday in Costa Rica!

It's jolly lucky that I'm normally such a tight git or I wouldn't have the money to pay for all this. However I am a tight git so I do (I just resent having to).

Sorry to go on about money, I can afford it all so it's not as if I'm in a particularly tight spot but I just need to get this moan off my chest then I can be all glad and holiday like and start looking forward to four days in Cumbria full of scenery, knitting, spinning and like minded folk.

Oh yeah, speaking of which we've got a new contract worker at SUMA who's come in over the summer to help cover the driving rota. She's going to be driving my run next week. She asked me if I was going anywhere nice and I said (a little sheepishly (pun intended) as you don't know how muggles will react to this kind of information) "I'm going to a wool festival".

"Ooooh" she said "Like for knitting?" Turns out that she was wearing one of her own creations (knitting machine) and that she'd done a textiles course then worked for a (commercial) spinning company previously. hah hah, us textile types get everywhere!

Friday, June 15, 2007

You can call me chicken...

... but I'm finding it very difficult to start the "Montego Bay Scarf" I mentioned from the latest Interweave Knits. This has something to do with the fact that I'm using Handmaiden Sea Silk (£17 per skein) and the first instruction in the pattern reads;
"Cut 200 12" lengths of yarn" (for the fringe at the ends).

Do you think I'm being unreasonable?

Should I just bite the bullet?


Should I find another pattern?

p.s. do you like the girls? They're supposed to be garden ornaments I think, but if I put them out in the garden the fox might get them!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cotswold Farm Park

Saw a sign on Wednesday as I drove out of Bourton-on-the-Water advertising a "Wool Weekend" at the Cotswold Farm Park. Dunno if there's anyone near there this weekend who reads this that may be interested.

From their website:
"The Cotswold Farm Park is hosting a WOOL WEEKEND on 16 & 17th June 2007 to celebrate sheep, their fleece and all things woollen.Come along and find out about the history of sheep. See the sheep being shorn using hand shears and machines. Watch the craft of spinning and weaving in action. Peruse the shearing equipment and bygones. See what products can be made from wool. Take the opportunity to purchase fleeces and woollen products"

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Honley Show and UFO

Well we went to Honley Show yesterday as promised and had a lovely time. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera so I only have one picture which I took using Ro's camera.

Highland cow and calf. Aint he a cutie? They were both a bit naughty and didn't want to be led round the ring, but in those coats and in that weather who could blame them?

The show was smaller than I expected, lots of classes but not a lot of entries in them. I imagine this is probably down to the problems with farming nowadays, hard enough to keep your head above water at the best of times. This was a shame I thought, especially as there were loads of spectators there, so clearly an interest in the event.
There was a stand with some Alpacas on from Holmfirth, they'd just been shorn so looked a bit odd. they were the same as the one's I saw at the farm shop, but they had some friends with them too.

Sandy was there, of Yorkshire Woolybacks fame showing her Ryeland sheep (who have little wooly faces so are also kinda cute and teddy bear looking.) There were horse classes, dog classes, cattle, goat, pig, and sheep classes. There were vintage tractors and vintage car and motorcycle displays. There was all sorts of stuff going on.

There was a tent with handicraft competitions in including (scary) soft toys and ........

...........things made out of vegetables?????

We were very good and hardly bought anything (I nearly bought some alpaca but Ro wouldn't let me!) Got lotsa fun cheese from the cheese stall including Yorkshire Blue; some Wensleydale made in the traditional manner from ewe's milk; another ewe's milk cheese called Yorkshire Fettle (I'm very fond of ewe's milk cheese, in particular a hard cheese called Berkswell) and some Swaledale. Anyone recognise the theme?

It was a baking hot day and not a whiff of a breeze so we were forced to have ice cream (yummm). By the time we got home we were exhausted and unable to do much more for the day than loll about.
Earlier yesterday before Ro came I'd been pootling about tidying up rooms that I seldom use except to chuck junk into (one of which is the room that Ro sleeps in when she comes up), when I unearthed probably my oldest ever UFO.
This is a romper suit I began knitting for my sister when she was expecting her first baby. Unfortunately the evil ungrateful witch took one look at it and said words to the effect "If you think I'm putting my baby in that....." So I stopped knitting it.
Said child has just celebrated his eighteenth birthday!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Very quick post

Finished pair of "Leftovers socks" These have been a bit of a hit at work, not so much because of the inverted nature of the colour scheme but because I knitted them both at the same time. Many people found this rather a difficult one to get their head round, but it's very straightforward and simple. The worst bit is making sure that the yarn doesn't get horribly tangled.

I think I mentioned that I was using the pattern for toe up socks from the latest IK. Toe up is ideal for these socks as you can just carry on until the smaller amount or yarn runs out. Perfect!

Ro's coming up tomorrow and we're going to Honley Show. It's ages since I've been to a proper agricultural show and I'm looking forward to it. I believe that Sandy Davison of Yorkshire Woolybacks of Kilburn (from whom I bought the fleece that I've been playing with recently) will be showing her sheep there, and there's also an Alpacca display (wonder if they're the one's I saw at the farm shop the other weekend?). I've been living in Huddersfield for many years now and this is the first time that I'll have been to this show though I intend to go every year I just don't get round to it. Managed the Harden Moss Sheepdog Trials one year which was quite good fun.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Just stuff..........

Well I've been quite a busy little bee but in true bee mode I've been flitting from one thing to another without settling down to anything much. The only finished object that I have to show is a second felted soap (thank you Cledry Yarner for the method). I like the colours on this one better than the first. They are more my colours but they don't match my bathroom which is still the same bilious shade of , ................. hmm, kinda lost for words on that one! Anyhhoo, the same shade it was when I bought the house.

On the spinning front I've been playing around with carding colour into natural coloured fleece again. These are two samples of the Ryeland/Jacob that I bought last year carded together with

firstly some bronze coloured roving and

secondly some greenery browny bluey (with whitish blobs) wool/silk. The next challenge is to card enough to make something with. I've taken advice on the best way of doing this whilst maintaining consistency of colour across the whole amount from the Online Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers. The Internet is truly amazing, post a question and get an (almost) immediate response from half a dozen people.

Lastly I've started another (yes yet another) pair of socks. This time I'm knitting them toe up together. Yup, one circular, two socks. It's pretty cool and easier than I expected but would be easier still with two circulars. Unfortunately I only have the one in the right size at the moment.

I'm knitting them from left over yarn. I had about enough of the Trekking XXL no.28 from the Falling Leaves socks left for one more sock (I think), and enough of the Kool Aid dyed stuff I did ages ago for my Pomatomus' for one sock so decided to knit up a pair using both and alternating them . Bit odd but fun (well I think so) and a great way of using up left over sock yarn.

I'm using the pattern from the article in IK which I mentioned in my last post, which has charts for various sizes and you just choose the ones that apply to you foot size/needle size gauge etc. Nice little bit of mindless knitting.

I'm very keen to get back on the spinning, particularly as Ro has booked us into the Friday night spin in at Woolfest (gulp!) and I need the practice. So I was pleased to find this on Diane's site. The Sunday Spin along (see also link in sidebar). I got there via Annie's site Up Knit Creek. Thanks Annie. I may not go through all the techniques that she's going to post, but I like the idea of putting some time each week aside for spinning. Believe the Yarn Harlot does the same on a Tuesday so we're all in good company.

Breaking news: Ro has succumbed and started her own blog which you can find here: Tiggerish Tails way to go sis!