Thursday, 10 April 2014


Shadowscapes Tarot

Almost one week into the holidays, and Mini Diva has kindly donated me her sore throat and snotty cold. I guess I can't complain too much, as I haven't had a cold for the longest time. Unfortunately I am out of rum, and Lemsip just doesn't taste the same (or have the same effect) without it.

In the quiet times I am hooking like a crazy person, and entertain some hopes of finishing the Deadline Item by the deadline. Next week. My nose is so blocked up it's almost the same as holding my breath, wouldn't you agree ?

Just because, here is a picture of someone who clearly knows he should not be where he is:

As usual, I have been able to count on the Eviller Twin and the Good Twin:


And inside was - no, not a herbal cure, if I used this I would die (and not from fluffiness) - but a housewarming present of two brugmansias (which the conservative amongst us might call daturas) :

They are presently being cossetted (but we're not telling them that, as you know what results) in the conservatory while they recover from their journey. Plus, I need to find some nice pots for them to go out on the patio ....I imagine sultry summer evenings of purple shadows and tropical fragrance, gin, tonic, lime and ice in hand ....

OK, so maybe the Lemsip is having some kind of hallucinatory effect ....

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

WIP Wednesday: Non-Stop

Housewives Tarot

Well, I almost posted on Monday, but I was so grumpy I didn't: someone who I thought was a decent human being turned out not to be. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me to find out that they were a puppy-kicker. Anyway.

On to more cheerful things: a dawn raid on our old house resulted in the quick and easy capture of the Inky cat, who seems to have settled down nicely, appearing nonchalant about the increase in number of dogs in the new neighborhood while at the same time seeing off intruders into his new territory:

Yes, he really is that mehusive.

What with the mega-sleepover the kids had at the weekend (7 children altogether), Mini Diva's parents' evening (yes, she continues to overachieve, is on all the sports teams, be socially delightful yadda-yadda) and planting my patio roses retrieved from the old house, plus clue 5 of the Spring Fling MKAL seemed to be about three times the size of the normal clue, I have only managed to get 2/3 of the way through it, although clue 6 was released last Sunday - a quick glance shows we are nearing the end, as it is the short row section ....

There are a squillion beads in there. Not that you can see even one, of course.

But it's all on hold, I have 2 weeks to complete a massive Very Important Project. Crochet, too.

Yes, yes, you're totally right, what AM I doing here chatting with you when I should be hooking my way to glory ?

See what everyone else is up to over at Tami's Amis ....

Monday, 24 March 2014


Prairie Tarot

                                     I'm baaaa - cckk !

Didja miss me ? Didja ? Didja ? 

I wouldn't have survived if Belo and my MIL hadn't hurled themselves into the melee, and two gorgeous SILs had come to clean up the old house after our personal hurricane wafted through .... thank you.

I have more boxes wilting on the patio than in the house now; the kids have about 2 boxes of their stuff to unpack, I have 2 boxes that apparently came from my desk, according to the labels: and they are not small boxes, so I guess it must have Tardis-like qualities. I'm going to give it a month, and if I haven't  needed anything out of them, I shall condemn them sight-unseen, to the tip.

Plus, I got tricked by the recent mild and sunny weather, into thinking that Spring might be almost here, so I dug out the two flower beds in the front garden. Then last night we had a hard and heavy frost. Of course.

Well, yes, I did actually dig one, but only supervised Titch digging out the other one: loads of dead heather, long grass, and thistles. Our result:

No, I didn't think about Before pictures until After. Yeah.

I am going with white/silver/blues in the left-hand bed, and reds/oranges/yellows in the right-hand bed. I pruned the three neglected roses, and will see what they deliver over the summer as to whether they are permitted to remain.

And in addition, I have knitted nothing, nothing, I tell you, since the move - can you believe it ?? A mere lonely singular row in the Spring Fling MKAL, for which the latest clue has just been sent. I toyed with a bit of crochet - one that has a rather important deadline - but it's not doing as I want, so I am sulking.

Anyway, this house faces east/west, and the sun has reached the front, so I am off to the trenches with my trusty steed rusty tools .....

Friday, 14 March 2014

FO Friday: Messing About on the ....

Victorian Flower Oracle

         .....  River.

Oh River   (French)

Oh River Durchee      (Italian)

Auf Wee in der Seine   (German)

I hope you  won't miss me too much - I hope to be back next week sometime, when the nice techy man  has reconnected my right arm, aka the internet.

Friday, 7 March 2014

A Tale of Woe

 Dear Friends -

I must apologize for the sad, lonely and empty space that this blog has been for the last couple of weeks - I have not even managed to generate any enthusiasm for posting about knitting ! That's how bad it has been. Thank you for your kind messages of inquiry and concern.

 Let me tell you the basics of the story in pictures, as it will be way less hassle for all of us than if I use only words:

 this is me tootling along in the rut and routine that is my usual life.

Nearly 3 weeks ago, our landlady phones me to give us 8 weeks notice to quit, she has to sell the house.

I am doing pretty well at learning Drama from Mini Diva (or maybe it's a combination of hormonal imbalance plus lack of meds), so I cry, wail and generally run round in a panic. I am not good at change, and I feel like Chicken Licken.

I worry that we will not be able to find a house in the same area for the same cost within the time frame - and even if we do, how will we raise all the cash for a deposit, admin fees, month in front etc. I try to imagine how we will all sleep in Wilhelmina, even though she is a big car.

It takes me a while, but eventually I calm down. Panic is surprisingly tiring.

My friend Andy generously shares his time and expertise to reassure me.

My Eviller and Good Twins shore me up, as do my local friends. They - quite nicely - tell me to get a grip. I am blessed to have them.

I not only find my Big Girl Pants - I put them on.

I start to view houses. I find 3 in the area I need, I view 2. I pick one.

 The house we are in is small, drafty, Victorian and beginning to need some substantial work done on it. The house I have picked is much more spacious, more modern, and warmer. At the top of the hill, it is much closer to Mini Diva's primary and high schools. However, Destructo Boy's days of late-sleeping mornings are over: his school is at the bottom of the hill.

Titch is loaned the cash. I pay the deposit, and order boxes. I do this along with everything associated with Mini Diva's 11th birthday.  The washing machine breaks, and I have been waiting 14 days (so far) for them to have a new drum delivered to the engineer.

I spend an enchanting evening at A&E with Mini Diva, as some lump of a boy bowls her over and squashes her during a basketball tournament match - they think her wrist is broken, but it turns out to be a very bad sprain.

I am amazed to find that I am still standing. There is no longer any booze left in the house.

I start to sort, bin, and pack.

That was my last 3 weeks.

One week til the move.

I'll be back when I can - be assured, I won't forget you.

Friday, 7 February 2014

FO Friday 171: Failure

Durer Tarot

Well, I'm here to confess and admit to a bit of an aberration - a startling lack of perfectionism. You'll remember I was doing another test knit for Emily Ross, a stockinette version of her popular Haruni shawl.

I can hear you wondering how I could make a mess of something that is stockinette. But wait !

It wasn't the stockinette that defeated me.

It wasn't the tulip/leaf-shaped lace border.

It wasn't the somewhat finicky pinning and blocking.
It wasn't even the 312 (yes, I counted) size 6/0 beads placed individually with a 0.6mm steel crochet hook.

It was the loopy edging:

I didn't find the chart for it simple, and the written  instructions did not mention the difference in the number of chains per section that make up the loops. Having looked at other people's finished shawls, I could see what the chart meant, but by then it was too late for me - I did not contemplate for longer than a millisecond the idea of unpinning the blocked shawl and undoing the edging with it's 116 beads (yes, I counted) and howevermany stitches, and then having to re-block it.

I think if I had made the original Haruni, or even looked at it, I would have had a far better understanding of this border - but then, that's the point of a test knit: to find the things that people trip over and fix them so that even a fool like me can make it.

On the plus side, the yarn - Regia Hand-dyed Effect in 'Amethyst' (purple shades) - was nice and soft, and the shawl still turned out really pretty. And I've learned that the agony sting of imperfection fades a little if you give it time.

Pop over to Tami's Amis for pretty pictures without any self-pity ....


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

WIP Wednesday 180: Circles

Paulina Tarot

Well, the test knit is blocking, and looks pretty in spite of where it went wrong. I am not one to sit idle, as you know. At least when it comes to knitting - housework is a whole 'nother story. But as I say, February is a heavy-duty month for birthdays - I have one gift made, and have just started another, in a beautiful rich shade of Stylecraft Special DK called 'Emperor':

Yes, that is a Magic Loop, and my 'spensive KnitPro Symfonie fixed circulars. I luffs them. They are wood,  they feel good, they are pretty, and the cable is nice and flexible. I do worry though that maybe some of the patterns I do which may involve things like P3tbl (purl 3 through the back of the loop)  may end up either dulling or ruining the points.

And here is more knitting-in-a-circle, but it is too large to count as Magic Loop, it is just a plain old circle, the beginning of a summer top, Fluidity, for Mini Diva, using Wendy Happy 4ply in 'Prussian Blue' that I had frogged from a previous project that I lost enthusiasm for:

I have way more things to share with you, but I'm hanging on to those for a little while to make you come back. Meanwhile, go check out all the projects at Tami's Amis ....