Friday, 15 April 2016

The Grass is Greener ...

Spiral Tarot

You know how it is, you spend hours and hours trawling the interwebz on a quest to find the perfect eyelash yarn - yes, didn't you know there can be eyelash yarn that is not only wanted but needed ?!

 I know, it's not everyone who can link Meatloaf and knitting - you're welcome.

Anyway. I found some that looked just right for what I needed - something grass-like in color and texture, King Cole Moments in 'Lime':

What arrived illustrates perfectly the perils of shopping online:

ouch ! my eyes ! my eyes !

All in a tizz, I instantly emailed the eBay seller, habby-knitters, begging to return and exchange it, explaining that I had been anticipating something more in the way of Irish or even Surrey fields than those of Chernobyl. 

In response, I received an email telling me to keep the 'Lime' and they would send me something more truly grass-like. In fact, they sent me four more balls without any charge:

I could make some witty comments about the dumping of nuclear waste, but actually I just wanted to give habby-knitters a shout out for excellent customer service, exceeding by far the minimum solution I'd been hoping for. It's always a (rare) pleasure to be able to really be surprised, touched and pleased by top notch service, and to want to tell others about it.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Sunshine & Storms

Robin Wood Tarot

Titch took a day off to drive us to Norwich for a day out, as Mini Diva wanted to go to the RAF Careers Centre - our closest one. It was no sacrifice at all as we used to live in Norwich years ago, and it's one of our favorite cities: the size of a city but with a village feel, full of unique non-chain shops too. 

While we were there, she also blew most of her birthday money on posh sports clothes, so she was happy; I found 2 posh yarn shops: Norfolk Yarn which stocked Tibetan Yak yarn, and The Crafty Ewe which does late night opening once a week ! Plus a Hobbycraft, all of which made me happy - but (making Titch happy) from a stall on the huge market bought only a crochet hook and cute buttons for this:

Sirdar Tiny Tots DK 1561

The rest of the weekend was spent in clearing out our shed in order to put a 2nd-hand chest freezer there ready for storing supplies for the cricket season which starts next week - I am amazed, if not gobsmacked, that Titch volunteered to do the snack kitchen again this year; quite frankly I am really not looking forward to it: after an autumn and winter of merely showing up to watch the kids play rugby at a semi-civilized 10am, being out of bed every Sunday at 6:30am for an 8am start from now until August has NO appeal whatsoever.

Which brings me to the reason for the 3 of Swords. In clearing the shed, we found a box that we both thought had been stored in the house. Unfortunately it and its contents have been ruined by damp and mold:

This is Mini Diva's baby 'coming home' outfit, her first pairs of baby shoes, first lock of hair .... you get the idea. Every single one of the congratulations cards was ruined too. The tears ran down my face like Niagara.


Friday, 11 March 2016

FO Friday 11/16: Ascending the Everest of Stash

Steampunk Tarot


You know how it is, you get an idea, and it gets stuck in your head and you must do something about it RIGHTNOWTHISVERYSECOND even though it is cold and dark and late ?

You don't ? Sanity must be a wonderful thing.

Well, Wednesday night I had an urge to make a particular pattern, for which I wanted to use a wool/alpaca blend yarn for the 'hairiness'. I was sure I would have something at least sort-of appropriate, and a quick search of my stash listed on Ravelry confirmed it.

I thought it was in the armario, but not exactly where - what shelf, near what, bagged, unbagged ... nope, no idea.

This was the result as seen the next morning in daylight:

This meant I spent a couple or three hours with the delightful job of tidying, sorting out and organizing my stash.

Nope, not one shred of sarcasm there at all. Now it looks like this:

I only had two tubs, so all the 4ply/fingering weight is in a huge bag; all my oddments are in baskets, in color groups; my two longterm WIPs and their yarn are in the big wicker basket, my short-term WIP basket is - GASP OF HORROR - empty right now. The 4 large shoeboxes (Titch takes a size 12 or 13) are full of fat quarters. There was no room for any other fabrics, the cushion forms or all the embroidery gubbins - I have several hoops (some had been my paternal Grandmother's) and a floor frame that I need to find room for somewhere ... the pouffe is already full of Chunky and random bits:

All in all, a very satisfying afternoon - me and the dog singing along to the loud radio pottering through yarn. We are totally not discussing that I now realize I have 19 sweaters'-worth of yarn. As in, 19 separate bags/packs which each contain enough of an individual yarn to make a sweater. We are definitely not telling Titch.

What did I need that Drops yarn for ?

Oh yes - this:

Cornish Dormouse Tea Cosy, pattern by Debi Birkin

Friday, 4 March 2016

FO Friday 10/16: Stash Mountain

Legacy of the Divine Tarot

I do actually have a FO for this FO Friday ... but I know you would much rather I shared with you my recent stash acquisition.

Well, no, not all of this year's, even though the year is still quite new - I'm not prepared for Titch to quite find out the extent. I am, however, beginning to have trouble getting the doors on my armario shut's a good thing yarn is squishy.

Firstly, Titch owed me about 3 trips to a LYS, accumulated over birthdays, anniversaries, doghouse events etc last year ... so on my birthday this year we went to Colchester and I went wild in the aisles of Franklins, who stock not only upscale yarns, but a great selection of various brands, the latest yarn 'releases', and my own personal favorite, the Bargains ... not the tidiest or organized of places, one could trip and suffocate in piles and packs of yarn if one did it right.

I do indeed have a Plan in mind for all of it. Those are going to make an afghan and some cushions for our sofa. Don't be scared of the colors, I promise it will look ... fine. The fun fur stuff is for just in case. Just in case of what, I'm not sure ...

And then at Christmas, my BIL the Cornishman gave me vouchers for the Wool Warehouse. I have become so adult I didn't spend them until this week, and then when it arrived, I waited a whole day to open the box.

Why yes, yes, I am able to eat only one chocolate from a box and put the lid back on, how did you guess ?

And that is the ingredients for two more afghans, you will admit, a far more random combination of colors.

And since I am hosting Mini Diva's birthday sleepover tonight ....yes indeed, now she turns 13 not so much of the Mini I guess, I need to go and move the fragile things. But given that they are all sleeping downstairs along with the dog who is over-generous in sharing the pungent repercussions of his dinner of tripe mix  ....

Friday, 26 February 2016

Well Hello There ....

Fantastic Menagerie Tarot


So I think this needs a soundtrack, don't you ?

Something classy but a little unusual and unexpected, like me.

Yeah ... I swear it was just last week when I posted, not nearly 4 months ago ! My 2 year tenure as co-Chair (with my Good Twin) of TABI ended, I went to Witchfest for the first time in years to read tarot with my Eviller Twin, I had a temporary Christmas job which I loved, and a little sideline making tea cosies, and then I lost my blogging mojo. I'm not quite sure it's 100% back yet, so no empty promises, let's be spontaneous and uncommitted and see where the breeze blows us. 

Yes, I was a small child in the 70s, why do you ask ? It left me with a morbid fear - nay, phobia - of wide lapels, flared slacks, clompy ugly shoes and bowl haircuts done by my Mum. I can barely control the shudder.

This year looks like it might be mainly crochet - I have lots of cushions to make to replace the well-used manky ones currently on the sofas, and at least two blankeys - one of which will be a BAMCAL (Block-A-Month Crochet-A-Long) with the aforementioned Eviller Twin. As far as I am concerned, it will be impromptu, because I don't want to know her Plan.

So this is a 70s-influenced post for sure - free spiritedness, crochet, and our house.

'Afghan Reincarnation'

And guess what - even more 70s-type colors:

Cow Parsley Afghan Square

Square 24 from '99 Granny Squares to Crochet'

The 2 above were made using King Cole Value Chunky and Hayfield Bonus Chunky: with a 6mm hook, they were super-quick to do, and using Chunky meant the squares came out large enough for a 16'' cushion.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Tarot Blog Hop Samhain 2015: Remember


This time, our host is Arwen Lynch-Poe, and the topic she has created for the Samhain 2015 Tarot Blog Hop is:

''Samhain is the time of the feast of the dead in many cultures. For our topic, I would like you to post about a loved one or someone you admired/disliked (historical figures are fair game) that ties in with Tarot, Lenormand or an Oracle deck. You can do a Tarot reading for them. You can talk about what they would have thought about you reading the cards (good or bad). You can write a poem to them using a Tarot/Lenormand/Oracle card. You can post their favourite recipe along with thoughts on what Tarot card might represent that meal.
***Commune, Communicate, Commemorate with those who have gone on before us. ***

 My baby sister, as she first appeared to me in 1972:

Known to my regular readers as Auntie Fashion, she has been gone for 1 year and 3 1/2 months.

She was very much a Queen of Pentacles - grounded, practical, no-nonsense, a homemaker, creative and crafty, an excellent cook, proud of her home, a lover of nice things and luxury; she liked things to be just so. She provided an open house for her daughters and their friends. She created and maintained a unique relationship between herself, her ex-husband and her husband, which grew stronger over time and her various periods of illness, so that both men supported each other and the girls when she died, and remain good friends who spend time with each other on a regular basis.

She hated confrontation, so had developed many, many ways of saying 'No' that didn't involve the word. Her mulish and dogged tenacity is what brought her through at least 1 coma and 2 other near-death crises.

my sister on the inside
my sister on the outside

even the breed of dog is right: Hi, Charlie

Her last illness was relatively short, and she faded quickly.

And now she is somewhere else watching over us.

And what we remember most is her smile - there is not one photo of her without.

Halcyon Jean     22:04:72 - 18:07:14

Decks used in order: Wizards Tarot, Victorian Romantic Tarot, Witches' Tarot (Dugan), Paulina Tarot, Comparative Tarot

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Thursday, 22 October 2015


Fantastic Menagerie Tarot

I kind of lost my way a bit recently - I embarked on a small new venture, and that distracted me from, yanno, the important things in life, like knitting for fun. I didn't want to make anything in my queue, my stash offered no inspiration, and crochet had no appeal either. It got so bad I actually cleaned the oven (not my job as I don't use it), and left the house for fresh air on a daily basis. I marked the TABI tarot training exercises so fiendishly I was up-to-date with it all, and I have a rough draft of the Chairman's Report ready for polishing for the AGM. 

I know, a bit on the early side for a spooky Hallowe'en story, but did it give you chills up your spine ? I'm quite horrified really when I think about it.

Anyway, Destructo Boy's Akela (Cub Scout leader) is expecting the patter of tiny paws so yaaay baby knitting, almost my favoritest kind - though it will mean ripping out the blankey that I have used 900m of yarn for because I don't like it's texture. I've HAD to order more yarn - would you believe it ? - as I have nothing in my stash appropriate for the Christmas gifts I want to make for Destructo Boy and Mini Diva. 

Obviously, that was the cathartic experience that was necessary to unblock the artisanal pipes, since I've decided to make the Hortense Shawl while I wait for the yarn to be delivered. No, I didn't sneak any little extras in, only one ball of baby yarn to make the amount needed for free shipping: wasn't I virtuous ?

Thing is, I thought I'd just drop you a little note as half-term starts at the end of today, and I don't know when next I'll be able to have the quiet time needed to compose the literary gems that are my posts ...