Wednesday, 30 January 2013

WIP Wednesday 129: Wednesday's Child

Housewives Tarot

.... is full of woe. And disgust. And even though I was not born on a Wednesday, I sure am feeling aggrieved - it started first thing this morning when I got out of bed: I put my slippers only to instantly shake them off as they were soaked in cat pee from Moonheart, Mini Diva's cat who has raised the Art of Passive-Aggressive so high that all others bow to her expertise and thoroughness; thoroughness illustrated by not just drenching the slippers, but also the surrounding carpet.

Daringly barefooted, I shuffled downstairs to find that Sebastian had eaten over half a big bag of pfeffernusse I had left on my desk, leaving me only the empty cellophane. You'd think this snack would have satisfied him, but no, when I let him out, he pooped and promptly ate it.

Cat 2, Inky, now seems to grace us with his presence only when whichever old lady who cossets him up the road has run out of food; she must have laid extra supplies in as we haven't seen him for a few days. Which leaves Cat 3, Jewel, who managed to extract herself from her cone of shame during the night and then scratch herself to pieces.

Destructo Boy's Beaver Scout group has collapsed abruptly in a messy morass of personality clashes and unprofessional behavior, and emails to the hierarchy go unanswered, apparently leaving us with the choice of letting him go to Cubs, for which he is too young, or moving to another Beaver group elsewhere.

Mini Diva is home sick, DH's monthly eye checkup told him he needs another injection (after about 6 months without) and to stop smoking on pain of blindness: which to me is more scarey than death. I am having internal thermostat issues which result in night sweats and thus wet pyjamas to go with the damp duvet - but hey, I guess at least they match my slippers for moisture levels.

And to cap it all, after I posted a picture of my progress on my Spring Green cardigan last week, I had to rip it all out and start again, because not only had I discovered what then became a glaring mistake, I had also managed to completely and totally forget which row of the pattern I was on, and I didn't have the necessary synaptic connections sparking to work it out. So last week's

looks unsurprisingly similar to this week's

If you made it this far, I am totally impressed - well done ! Reward yourself by heading on over to Tami's Amis for happy people ....

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

WIP Wednesday 128: Martha

Tarot of  Durer

Today's theme song is:

Everything right now is making me feel as viciously bad-tempered as the man in the card: the builders and painter, although they are lovely people and tidy workers, are still here, and the house is therefore totally filthy and messy and cold and everything is topsy-turvy and I hate it passionately. And because it is still sub-zero even though the snow is slowly melting, I can't even sit out of the way on the patio.

I went up to Mini Diva's school yesterday evening to hear the excuses explanation for why her school has dropped from Ofsted grade 2 to 4 'inadequate with important weaknesses' in the last 6 years or so. There was no apology - which had at least one parent vociferously riled (no, it wasn't me, I promise); there was blame - it is all owing to the 'legacy of underachievement' ie. the last head teacher, who left over 2 years ago; and there is a shiny nice new plan of action and lots of external monitoring. They missed the many opportunities to use the cool phrases like 'empowerment' and 'owning', but at least managed to get in 'engaged' and 'on board'. 

But all in all, it wasn't quite the lynch mob that might have been expected: that segment of the crowd was quelled by ignoring their questions as long as possible, and then saying that this meeting was not the place for their particular comments, talk to the head teacher: which is all very well if she ever answered letters, or was available and approachable for parents. It is very fortunate that Mini Diva's academic performance has not been affected, but I feel for those parents whose children are losing ground.

Things have been so up in the air that I have not even managed to do any knitting since the weekend, and as I can only knit Flopsy when Mini Diva is not here, I have not got any further than the body:

the pin marks the right side & which way is up

When she is around, to allay the suspicion that the zombie apocalypse is starting (which is what having nothing on my needles would engender), I am working on the spring green lace cardigan:

 While I go see if there is perhaps one undisturbed, un-dusty, relatively warm corner of the house to cower in, why not pop over to Tami's Amis for far more cheer and positivity ....

Monday, 21 January 2013

It Never Rains ...

World Spirit Tarot

.... But it pours. 

Almost literally, in our case.

The damp problem in our front room had come back for the 5th winter in a row, and the final diagnosis has been rising damp combined with condensation. The plaster has been removed, a dehumidifier has been running:

Leonard Rossiter

And today the now-injected porous Suffolk brick has been covered with some kind of special smelly goop as a precursor to plastering:

And as if that wasn't bad enough, when the decorator arrived to paint the kitchen today, he found more rising damp in there too:

retro Bistro-style look

 At least now DH has to stop blaming the cats for the smell - apparently ''Eau de Cat Wee'' is the defining and characteristic aroma of rising damp.

Added to that, yesterday night we spent almost 4 hours in A&E because Destructo Boy, not content with evolving into a feverish puking machine, then developed a pinprick rash ....  don't worry, after tests and observations, it turns out it is just some random bug that he's picked up. Thank goodness.

So by the time we got back around 1 a.m, having crawled ever so slowly along in the snow in Wilhelmina the Volvo (in my head I always pronounce that as 'Wolwo' for a more authentically Swedish feel - I just don't want you to miss out on that either) with the special Winter gear control thingy switched on, we were both shattered. And DH has gone to work, and - of course - developed the same sickness as Destructo Boy. Without the rash, at least.

Destructo Boy is home until he is sick-free for 48 hours; Mini Diva's school messed us all around by saying since last night up until just past 8 this morning they were going to be open until .... they were not: the heating system has died over the weekend.

But hey, to make up for the fact that I can't feel my hands or feet because the builders and decorator are in and out like ... I don't know, something too rude for me to say here .... I guess I can try to stay awake and look out at the purty scenery:

our back garden is under there somewhere

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

WIP Wednesday 127 : Three to Get Ready

Gilded Tarot

Ermagerd .... Finally .... finally .... finished the purple yarn and the purple shawl: odd how that happened simultaneously, huh.

Seeing as how I have mostly dealt with most of my control issues, I can now have a Plan and a List and not stick to either of them; I can mix it up with the best of the bad boys, like shuffling from the bottom to the top, adding something totally new and extraneous and even - whisper it oh so gently - actually ignore stuff and do something random instead: go me and spontaneity, woo-hoo.

Of course, I am talking about knitting, you knew that, right ? I did say 'mostly', not 'completely' dealt with, remember - baby steps, people, baby steps.

So anyway in a spontaneous fit of random organization (oxymoron ? No, what's that mean ?) I sorted and shuffled my Ravelry queue of Things I Must Make (TIMM). And guess what - I was so free-spirited that now I even have the patterns, yarn and notions for the first three items; the first of which is this lacy cardigan available free from the Patons website:

I shall make the adult version in King Cole Haze DK in the shade 'Evergreen', of which I know Stephcuddles will approve as it is so very very green:

Second is the beautiful Sweet Dreams Shawl by BooKnits, which I shall make using Austermann Merino Lace,

with charteuse beads from the fast and friendly Highly Strung Beads website:

Hard to visualize now, but it will look Fabulous, I promise. There's almost a theme developing, isn't there ? Not to worry, to reinforce just how carefree I am, the third project is this cardigan, from this book:

Which I was fortunate enough to receive from Denise over at Voie de Vie, my fantastic swap partner (and now also my friend) in last year's Blog Hub Swap; I even have the specified yarn, Filatura di Crosa Brilla, a gift from my DH, although in cream rather than the book's pink.

Look at that, isn't it great ? Organized, listed, planned, yet with a touch of whimsy that is not green. So, what have I actually cast on ? This:

I must be off, to revel in my untrammelled-ness, humming this as I go:

Now you too will be humming it as you view all the other lovely things at Tami's Amis ... you're welcome.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Wishin' and Hopin'

Tarot of Trees

They have been promising snow since Friday, but today is the first sign there has been: after the bright blue sky and cold sunshine of this morning, it is now dull, overcast with a lowering sky and trying really really hard to snow.

I think it's just messing with my head, leading me down the garden path to nowhere, when what I want is plenty of snow so the kids can stay home and we can have fun ...

But still ...

Friday, 11 January 2013

FO Friday 120: Two for the Show

AnnaK Tarot

Well I thought I had a few FOs to post today, what with Xmas and stuff getting in the way of blogging; it was quite disheartening to find, when I checked, that actually I only have 2 FOs that I hadn't posted about.

And of course, with all the ripping back and frogging I've been doing just recently, I have not fully completed anything, and I feel like my knitting is in serious slo-mo, or that I am stuck in some kind of time rift anomaly. Actually, probably I am stuck in a time rift anomaly, when I think about it. Don't be scared, I don't think about it much as space folding etc tends to fry my brain ...

My Eviller twin Ania not only worked out which hat I was talking about from the clues ''it's twisted and blue'', but then gifted the pattern to me:

Koolhaas for a Kool Bro

 The Koolhaas Hat took only about half a ball James C.Brett Marble DK 'MT26', aka, 'green'; made for my Über Cool Brother, who as an aficionado of authenticity, organic, and farmers' markets, appreciates hand-made quality.

And then there was the project I hinted about in black that involved colorwork, which was a present for my DH:

Stormtrooper Hat

Which had the desired effect of laughter....

Pop over to Tami's Amis to see what else is finished ....

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

WIP Wednesday 126: False Advertizing

Tarot of Durer

I am terribly sorry to have misled you by tagging this as a WIP Wednesday post, although I did warn you in the title. You see, it should have been, if things had gone as they were meant to. But they did not. As the inscription from Accius on today's card from the Tarot of Durer warns us, ''there are many snares for the good'', and I have apparently fallen into one.

Some while back I bought the Sugared Violets Shawl pattern, to go with the pretty Artesano Hummingbird 4ply I found. You'll remember the yarn and pattern hated each other like cats hate water:

Yucksville Central

 No matter, I had some different purple yarn hanging around, and this time I've read loads of the comments people have made about the pattern, which set some alarm bells off, but hey, I'm stubborn and I already paid for the pattern.

Well, I got to within about 30 or 40 stitches of the end, when I ran out of yarn. And this was in spite of altering the pattern to be shorter. On top of that, I really didn't like the overall look - it was too shallow and too long. It was unfixable. So I frogged it.

450m is just right for a decent size shawl, so I thought I'd do the Summer Flies Shawl again: it is so pretty, and I really liked making my last one:

This time, in addition to thetanull's modifications to make it larger, I was feeling a little adventurous, so I changed the ruffled edge to the lace version in 'My Version of Summer Flies'. Things seemed to be zipping along quite nicely, thank you, until about 11pm last night, when I realized I totally didn't like the juxtaposition of the knotted openwork section with the arrow lace of the modification, and on top of that, everything looked a little too ... crowded ... somehow.

Here is the result:

Not to worry. It will sit peacefully in a Time Out while I go do something else: I have the yarn and patterns for the first 3 or 4 items in my Ravelry queue, so all I have to do is pick  ....

Pop over and see more encouraging starts to the New Year at Tami's Amis ....

Monday, 7 January 2013

One for the Money

Mediaeval Scapini Tarot

    So, a New Year is new beginnings ... yadda yadda. 

    I say yadda yadda as I don't do formal resolutions (far too easy and too tempting to break them) but instead I prefer to go with achievable intentions.

   This year I will need the help of The Emperor. He often gets a bum rap from tarotists, as who really wants to have lots of rigid structure, rules and self-discipline in their lives ? They're not generally seen as sexy qualities; but certainly they are necessary, unless one is happy as a homeless raggedy anarchist.

The Emperor achieves his empire with planning and forethought; a good judge of character, he can delegate specific aspects to people better suited than he is. He provides stability, authority, consistency and a structured framework, but is not so inflexible that he can't alter and adjust his plans to compensate for the vagaries of Chance. 

Spiral Tarot

I need his will, his self-discipline, his drive, and his ability to get things done.