Wednesday, 23 April 2014

WIP Wednesday: Disguise Fair Nature ....

Tarot of the Northern Shadows

.... with hard favour'd rage (Henry V, III.1)

Why, no, this is not a post about any hormonal or medication-al issues I might have.

No, it isn't a post about the gory Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire - although I'm so annoyed with Martin I'm not going to read any more of the story, even if he actually manages to keep going and complete the next stage/book - me not buying it, will of course make all the difference in the world to him.

Oh I SEE. The wolf.

Well, that's because of this:

Cascade Alpaca Lace in the colorway 'Peony Pink'. Perfectly innocuous, even when pictured on a chair as the big piece of white card I usually use for pics is somehow covered in muddy paw prints, and you'd think, a good match for the Boo Knits pattern 'Sweet Dreams'.

You'd think wrong. 

I had to rip back the stockinette section to the beginning 3 times - I don't know why it kept going so wrong, it's not like it was a challenging part of the pattern. And then once more, just as I reached the final chart for the border - I'd made a huge error somewhere which resulted in the stitch count being wildly out, and the lace pattern being decidedly on the huh. So now it sits in splendid solitude while I stomp and huff around the house, with the dog avoiding my gaze.

Well, OK, so it might actually have something to do with hormones and meds as well, then. Pop over to Tami's Amis and see what balanced people are achieving .....

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Made It !

Fantastic Menagerie Tarot

  Well, we made it through the Fire Swamp Easter holidays - lots of sleepovers, bright but cold weather, and I still have the cold that Mini Diva gave me, which seems to be hanging on forever - and today Destructo Boy went back to school dressed in colorful shorts, a T-shirt and a warm jacket for 'Beachwear Day'. It is somehow connected to this term's Topic, the World Cup, and Brazil; as is their visit to the cinema on Thursday during class-time to see Rio 2. We are sure that this has some kind of educational benefit, aren't we ?

Mini Diva, on the other hand, sits her SATs next month, and the revision pressure seems to be on - they don't appear to be learning anything new, just re-doing lots of old stuff. Of course, this emphasis would have nothing to do with the school being in Special Measures, about to convert to Academy status, and desperate to improve its standing .... I need to just take a deep breath and get her through this final term of primary school without her totally stressing out. Yes, she is only 11 years old. So wrong ....

On a more cheerful note, I managed to finish the Deadline Item by the Deadline - my youngest niece's 18th birthday. She had requested a blankey, so a blankey is what she got:

You may possibly recognize that this used to be the WIP formerly known as the Summer Garden Granny Square Blanket:

At a very early stage

 Except I got bored with the granny squares, and time was racing on, so I made strips of the squares, added a couple of rounds of treble stitch round each strip, and then joined the strips together before adding a great big couple of border rounds around the whole thing. I forgot to count how many squares ended up being involved ....

Now, on this grey and damp morning, with my second optimistic wash of the day in the machine, I feel the overwhelming impulse for a lil nap to recoup my energies. It has nothing to do with the fact that I just inhaled the last bit of Mini Diva's homemade red velvet cake, nothing at all ....

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.