Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday Sky

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Getting to the points...

Tina is growing well - I've completed half of the first edging points.
12 done and only another 84 to go...

I'm having a rest from her for a little while, I realised that I have several birthdays coming up and I need to concentrate on those for a couple of weeks...

I've been doing a lot of stash reduction....

One bag for a lady from keep fit who runs a group that does charity knitting.

And the other is going to the NEC tomorrow to be divided, think there probably is half the makings of a tree in there ;-)

And get ready for the Great KnitPic, what can you make for Shaun the Sheep ?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A many spun'd thing

You remember the many spun yarn, well this is what it turned into - the far end is me, then Spinny's fine work, then some Wormhead, and then I loose track of the order !!

I think I should have done it a bit narrower but it does make a very chunky neck warmer ;-)

And then someone said the words 'sheep' and 'ebay'

I'd been really good and not been there for a while but this pair caught my eye.

In my defence, I would like to say that I do have a small collection of cruet sets....

Thanks for all the messages from my thoughtful post, I'm sorry if I made you cry, I really didn't mean to :-(
And now that date is behind me I can get on...

Tina shawl has been growing very quickly, at the moment I'm on round 61 of 68 for the border. Then I have 96 points of edging to do. Somehow I dont think there is going to be a problem finishing it before the beginning of May !!!

I also got the results of one of my short courses from the OU. I amazed myself by getting a 61, it was a truly horid course (Fats of Life) and I notice that they have stopped running it now - and if you do want to know what gives butter its taste I might be able to tell you. And the strange fact I found out while trying to answer the end assignment -that yellow margarine could not be sold in Wisconsin until 1967....

And this week I'm off to see Mr Mole in his garden for the last time. He will be at the NEC from Thursday until Sunday. I wont be there on Friday, but should be there on the other days, if you do see me come and say hello.

Saturday Sky

A really uninteresting one today.....
There are a few good things though - it hasn't rained for a few days and the bitter wind that was here at the begining of the week has gone !


Monday, March 19, 2007

Mothering Sunday Memories

When I was young my Mum ran the Sunday school at our local church, so on the Saturday before we went picking daffodils, with permission from the farmer, I should add. This is when I learnt that daffs are slimy and not nice to pick in huge quantities - I think it was something like 150 bunches of 5, it still makes me cringe even though it was 30 years ago...

My Mum didn't like Mothering Sunday, it was too commercialised (even then) so we were never allowed to give presents or cards, she complained that she had to get a card for her mother and mother in law...

I just get annoyed at all the over advertising of what was a religious (or even pagan) festival for the beginning of Spring (if I've got it right).

I used to sit in front of the telly on a Saturday afternoon knitting or sewing with Mum. We watched in horror when the stadium caught fire at Bradford, we shouted at the wrestling of Big Daddy, and we watched any number of bad films on BBC2.

We went shopping to craft shops over the Pennines on the first day the roads were open after the snow. We argued in the shops who was going to have which cross stitch kit (she always won !)

She encouraged me to knit and get a job knitting for a local wool shop when I was 16.

And now today she has been gone twenty years.

It is hard to believe the passing of time, nearly half my life (give or take a few months). I had a very strange feeling when I realised that I have known my friends from uni longer than I knew my Mum. It also bothers me that her anniversary is always close to Mothering Sunday when everyone expects you to have a mother and buy things for her.
I feel so tempted to shout out that I haven't got a Mum any more, I wonder if I would be so anti the day if it wasn't for her bad timing, it just makes her passing worse with the constant reminders each year.

So for all of you with Mothers out there remember they will not be with you forever make the most of your time with them.

And for those who are Mumless I hope you manage to remember the good times without too many tears.

And now I think I'm going to find a cheering dvd to watch, do some knitting (no surprise there) and think happy thoughts .... of what might have been, who would have finished the wedding ring shawl first, the exciting yarn filled holidays that could have been, and the fights over books and patterns......

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday Sky

Now when one goes shopping for cider you sometimes find out about some exciting days...

The Alpaca Society had an open day at Weston's cider....

So I had to get a pricture of the sky with some of the lovelies in the picture....

I met Spinny at the station in Ledbury and we talked Alpacas and fibre with most of the owners, and for most of the day as well...

We found out that the fibre is a by product and the owners are not particularly interested in doing anything with it....

This fellow had 4kg of fleece last year. They live about 15 - 20 years. They are pregnant for 11 months and give birth during day light hours, usually without any problems.

Males cost about £800 and females are a lot more expensive.

There are 22 recognised colours.

They need to be kept in groups and you can keep 5 - 6 per acre (and my garden is no where near big enough ...)

They are good guard animals, protecting sheep from foxes.

They can travel in horse boxes, and they normally sit down while the vehcile is in motion !

We were good, nearly tempted by some rovings but we both resisted.

(I have been down to the shed and extracted a bin liner of dirty alpaca fleeces, so tomorrow once I have finished knitting something huge I will have a play with my wheel...)

Friday, March 16, 2007

How many people does it take...

To spin some wool...

The answer is one two three four five and me makes six (And maybe seven but I'm not sure if Liz actually spun any)

I dont think I've left anyone out, but it was fun, the centre is still very over spun ....

And this is the rest of the blue faced humbug, spun this morning and still very wet...

Think they might end up as an interesting designer scarf type thing....

Progress on the shawl is faster then I thought - I have been doing other things honest !!

And this is still the first ball, I wonder how long it will go....

And these were meant to be matching socks but someting went wrong at the heel.

So I give you nearly matching socks !
A lot of one foot knitted on a coach somewhere in Yorkshire....

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The best ginger cake in the world (allegedly)

According to Sue from New Zealand this is the best cake in the world :-)
For other Skip Northers here is the recipe for my sticky ginger cake - adapted from 'The Classic 1000 recipes' compiled by Wendy Hobson.

100g Marg
175g Golden Syrup
175g Black Treacle
100g Soft brown Sugar (or which ever sort you have in the cupboard)

Melt together (I use the microwave, but you could use a large pan on a gentle heat).

275g Plain Flour
2 tsp Ground Ginger (original recipe used cinnamon...)
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
2 Eggs, beaten
150ml 1/4 pint Hot Water

Mix into the melted mixture - it wont look like normal cake mixture, more pourable and bubbly - if it is lumpy beat it to get rid of flour lumps and make smoother.

Cook at 180 C, gas mark 4 for 45 minutes.

Recipe says it makes 1 10 inch (25 cm) square cake

I did double mixture and it made 6 loaf cakes, baked in foil trays and 1 lb inserts.

It does get stickier if left for a few days (if that is possible !!)

And for those that tried spinning on my wheel, I managed to spin another bobbin this afternoon and plied the very interesting result. It is drying over the bath at the moment - photos tomorrow.

And I have also managed to finish the green socks I was knitting while away.
There has also been progress on the Tina shawl, on round 20 of the border, only another 48 to go before I start on the 96 points on the edging - and the main worry will I get it finished in time for the Christening at the beginning of May (bearing in mind that I will loose over a weeks worth of knitting due to shows and a weekend away) The last round took about 30 minutes, but it is increased by 8 stitches every other round, ending up with 752 stitches (that sounds like an awful lot to me !!)

I got my horrid assignment back today and was amazed to get 58 (a pass is 40) and I got that mark for the first assignment in my health and disease course, a bit spooky !

Monday, March 12, 2007


Sorry but due to a technical problem I took no pictures while away, I did have my camera with me but it was hiding from me....

It was good to catch up with everyone again, and meet new friends.

And to prove I can be good and leave yarn for others to buy here is most of what I bought (there are a few presents for others which I'm not going to share...)

From Winghams - Interweave Summer 2003. The History of Knitting by Richard Rutt - half price (bargain)

A huge cone of dirty yarn, some 3 ply and because I allowed myself a 'get out of jail free card' some milk protein fibre.

I didn't go into one of the roving sheds and only very briefly into the other two sheds - I wish I could have been as controlled with the cakes....

From Coldspring Mills, a kilo of Noro for £25 !

And some cones from the yarn mountain at KCG, the pretty one has 1.8 kgs on it... so it will be split and winging it's way to others eventually.
(and they cost £10)
All very fine, and there is something very silly in planning from them......

The books were from the KCG library duplicates.

A lace pattern that wanted to come home and some interesting bamboo pins that might be used as shawl pins...

And that was all I bought.

I'm impressed with how controlled I can be when I put my mind to it, but I also seem to have a cone problem.......

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I'm off....

...Today on a big adventure :-)
Going to Colinette this afternoon, but it looks like I might be going to the shop first thing as I'm running late...
And then Liverpool tomorrow and the big adventure that is Skipnorth at the weekend.

Think I will probably end up stopping in Liverpool on the way back and at the moment I have no idea when I will return home. But the frogs will have probably finished their callings by then..

Sorry for no links, time is against me and I need to find at least 600 of the right words for my ou assignment (worst topic yet, 'does good palliative care remove the need for euthanasia ?')
Still not packed clothes, but have got all my amusements ready waiting by the door - priorities in the right place !!

Have fun and see you when I return.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Saturday Sky and other things...

Sorry but I cant cope splitting this into lots of posts...

The sun has got his hat on :-)

I know it wont last but there is lots of blue sky !!

Do you think I have some either very stupid or very optimistic frogs in/ by my pond ???

Yes this is frog spawn on a rock by the side of the pond - the yucky green in the picture is the water....

The frogs are quiet this year so far, think they all haven't arrived yet...

And I thought I better check that I can still spin with my wheel...

This is Mid Brown Ryeland and the first spinning I've done since the summer....

And the following day I did this.

Not sure what the fibre is but the plying is terrible.... Louet was not behaving himself last night.. I think I to talk to the knowledge next weekend

And talking of next weekend.

I've managed to finish a square for the charity afghan.... It needs blocking and the ends sewing in - will do that as soon as I've finished typing...

So I'm partly organised - Cider, spinning wheel and tops are by the door. Vacuum bags are still in the boot. I've just got the minor things like a throw and two jumpers to finish and an assignment to write - the cake (and maybe biscuit) making are going to have to fit round things, and I promise I will try and get some sleep between now and then.....

Still no news from Liverpool, which is good, so I will be able to play next weekend without interruptions. I'm hoping that I will be able to get home directly afterwards, but if not I will have to buy extra supplies to keep me amused, and teach my brother's cats how to spin....