Friday, 30 August 2013

FO Friday 152: Discounts and Done

New Palladini Tarot

Last year I booked Destructo Boy's birthday party at a football centre because a friend had pointed me in the direction of a discount website, which meant we got a 50% discount on the cost.

More recently, I am discovering just why couponing is both popular and addictive - we paid 25% of the going rate for 2 games of bowling because of a discount voucher I had, and for the cinema I had a 20% discount, one free adult ticket and a voucher for free popcorn, so we have seen Despicable Me 2 (not as good as the first film, I am sorry to say). I had a voucher for 25% off in the store where I bought Destructo Boy's uniform, and a £10 off voucher for the the store where I bought some of Mini Diva's uniform. I have had lots of discount vouchers for my weekly online grocery shop this summer, and lots of discount vouchers for petrol. And I still have a £5 voucher for Morrisons, which I am saving for a blue day when I really need their Secret Surprise Centre Lemon Muffins to heal my soul.

This is kind of new to me, as couponing has not been big in the UK - so I am keeping my eyes peeled for more exciting discounts and deals, although I would like to reassure you that I am some way off yet from dumpster diving in a frantic hunt for coupons.

And in the same vein, ie. success that makes me happy, I completed all my self-imposed crafting tasks for August: 1 baby cardigan, Mini Diva's school cardigan,1 baby hat, 1 patchwork cot quilt, and Destructo Boy's school cardigan:

I think I should have made it a size bigger, but hey, I can squeeze him tightly to make him smaller ....

All this also means that when a forlorn and neglected DH asked me if I'd started his old man cardigan yet, I could truthfully say 'yes'. I'm on a roll .....

See who else is rolled up over at Tami's Amis .....

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

WIP Wednesday 158 : Cats and Dogs

Gaian Tarot

I am feeling just like the woman in this joyful Sun card from the Gaian Tarot: I had the most fabulous weekend away in Kent, meeting the gorgeous Nephew (August 2013 Edition) and attending SIL2's birthday gettogether. The sun shone, everyone was in a good mood, the kids and the dog behaved beautifully, DH and I were put up somewhere self-contained on our own, we didn't have to cook (by we, I mean DH, of course)  ....  it was just superb.

On top of that, all the baby things I'd made were much appreciated and more importantly, ooohed and awed at; SIL2 loved her birthday shawl. And now I am home alone in quiet solitude. Even my checkup at the dentist (only 1 filling needed in 2 weeks' time, in the tooth that had the ache - you can't imagine my relief. Or maybe you can.) and mucking out Destructo Boy's sty to the tune of 4 full big black bags full of rubbish has not affected my mood.

 It has just occurred to me that because I was out walking with DH and Sebastian on the beach or in barley fields ie. The Wild, I didn't even go into any yarn shops. Wow.

Unfortunately I have not managed much knitting or making. I did take my knitting with me - I find it keeps me calm and distracted in the car - intending to get on with the fronts for Destructo Boy's cardigan. I made a start, with the ribbing, and a few rows of pattern - then realized that I had managed to leave behind the pocket linings.

It is obviously not part of the Universe's plan for me to knit this week:

Perhaps everybody else is being more productive over at Tami's Amis .....

Friday, 16 August 2013

FO Friday 151: Bow Tie Cot Quilt

Inner Child Tarot


Even snapping a needle did not prevent me from finishing this project in the nick of time, with enough of a gap in the rain showers to wash and dry it today, ready to travel tomorrow to its recipient, the Nephew (August 2013 Edition). Yes, he is here !

I made it almost entirely from stash: I only bought 1 fat quarter for the patchwork; wadding, 3.5 m of bias binding, a reel of navy cotton and this most marvellous soft furry fabric for the backing, to make it reversible. I luffs it, and without further ado present to you the Bow Tie Cot Quilt from start to finish:

And now go see lots of other pretty things over at Tami's Amis ....

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

WIP Wednesday 157: Old Time Spree

Spiral Tarot

Blogger is being seriously glitchy today, so let's see how far I can get before I lose patience and stomp off .....
 At the weekend, Mini Diva dragged me to some kind of wildlife exhibition thing which was being held in a kind of community shop - a concept I haven't seen here before, where several crafters/upcyclers have a section of space to display their wares for sale, the person at the till takes the money, notes down the relevant seller, and gives them the money for the sale at a later date. Kind of interesting, and a good way to cut costs, a more inexpensive way to achieve a 'shop window' for one's crafts. This shop is right by the regenerated area of the docks, but on the wrong side ie.the busy main road without parking, not where all the new trendy bars and restaurants are. I wish them the very best - Winter is Coming.

Anyway. While I was there and checking out the two soap sellers, and the prices on the fashion yarn scarves, I literally stumbled over a basket full of ...... vintage and retro knitting and crochet patterns ! 

I know, right ? Karma does not often reward selfless maternal devotion almost instantly - so of course, it behoved me to plomp down on my butt on the carpet and spend a good half an hour going through the leaflets while Mini Diva drifted around giggling at the vintage clothes. I know you will be as amazed as my DH that I only came home with 5 leaflets, for which I had paid the princely total sum of £1.00/$1.55. Even I didn't realize how thrifty I could be. Don't worry, I'm sure it's just a temporary aberration.

Let me show you my goodies:


Two patterns for a bedjacket, indispensable for your frail and fragile modern woman.

Unfortunately, no pipe; but we do have the square chin, white teeth, shawl collar and pockets required by a Man Cardigan.

 These super-cute baby cardigans. Shame that I didn't notice they are for skinny 4ply yarn until just now.

Mini Diva just laughed at me for this one; as she said, it's crochet so tiny she doesn't think I'll ever make anything because my eyes are rubbish.

And just to show I am not totally lost in the mists of time, I did start a new project this week:

So far there has been much resigned sighing, rather than the usual naval swearing. I may be mellowing ......

Go see proper things over at Tami's Amis ....

Monday, 12 August 2013

Lammas 2013 Tarot Giveaway Winner

Animalis Arcanum

So today I get to use the beautiful Wheel of Fortune card from my talented friend Oephebia's Animalis Arcanum tarot deck to symbolize the workings of random fate.

It suddenly occurred to me that not only had I not announced the winner for my Lammas 2013 Tarot Blog Hop giveaway, I hadn't even done the draw ! Such are the perils of blondeness and advancing age.

So I scooted over to, plugged in the numbers, and this is the result:

Not counting my own response, that means that the lucky winner is Cassandra Santori !

Congratulations !

And thank you to all who read and those of you who also participated.

Friday, 9 August 2013

FO Friday 150: The Home Stretch

Inner Child Tarot


 This week's FO Friday post shows what can be achieved when one sits down and totally ignores one's children and chores really tries to get something done. Being able to tune out loud squabbles and desperate pleas for food and clean clothes (I find earplugs helpful in this regard) allowed me to practice my concentrational skills, and thus I have a trio of finished projects to show off to you today.

First, I turned this vintage Lee Target Baby Cardigan


Into this:


I used skinny needles (2.75mm and 3.00mm) and 1 ball of skinny King Cole ZigZag sock yarn in Burgundy; in spite of its generous meterage (448m/493yds) you may recall that I ran out with about 1 inch of neck border to go; an appeal for leftovers on Ravelry was unsuccessful within the required time frame, so I caved and bought a whole new ball. If I recover from my sulk, I may turn the remaining 99% into a shawl. Or something.

While the baby cardigan was in its Time Out, I sprinted on with Mini Diva's School Cardigan for Grade 6; I have since gathered that this is a Retro rather than a Vintage pattern (it isn't old enough to be vintage yet):


Four balls of nameless black acrylic later (don't judge me, I know how hard she is on her clothes, and Winter is Coming, Jon Snow, when it is difficult to get heavy woolly clothes dry; even if you are kind and give me the benefit of the non-existent doubt, of course, that I would also be hand-washing such an item) and we have this practical and toasty tunic/cardigan:

 Because I'm good at full disclousre, here is the bottom half showing the crookedyish pockets:

I promise, they do not look quite as wonky in real life and normal light. Really.

 And then I figured I'd better get round to making a baby hat for the Nephew (August 2013 Edition) with the leftover yarn from the Striped and Cabled Baby Sweater:

 It was lovely to work with the King Cole Baby Comfort DK again, it is so smooth and soft. It took me an afternoon and evening to make this, so it genuinely deserves its name: Emergency 1 Day Hat. A great, simple, free pattern that looks way better in all the other project photos.

Yes, yes, yes, all right, I get it - don't skimp quite as much on the yarn for Mini Diva's next sweater. A mistake is only a mistake if you don't learn from it, right ?

There is one more thing that has been completed just this morning, but it is not mine to share yet. Yes, I am rather good at tantalizing, aren't I ?

Hanson-Roberts Tarot

Pop over to Tami's Amis to see the round-up of good stuff ....

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

WIP Wednesday 156: Bobbing Along

Spiral Tarot

Firstly, a little reminder that today is the last date for entry into my free tarot deck giveaway - all you have to do is leave a comment on this post here.

I have to confess, I've been slacking a bit recently - I got caught up in all the excitement of finishing a couple of projects over the weekend, and have rested on my laurels somewhat this week. However, my work ethic is kind of uncomfortably prickly (the Devil finds work for idle hands), so I have started Destructo Boy's Grade 3 School Cardigan , using Cygnet DK in 'Navy':

I'm using a retro/vintage pattern I found, but of course am changing the buttons to the other side for him. The original stitch pattern is some type of eyelet cable, but I tried it a few times and it just didn't look right; having taken advice from Ravelry, I blew it out of the water and am using a simple 3x3 twisted rib stitch, which has thus far met with Destructo Boy's approval.

It seems that recently I have been using mainly retro/vintage patterns, and so far I can say that some of the things I have noticed is that they are reliant on design and stitch patterns for interest, as opposed to any particular 'fashion' yarn, ie. a DK pattern is a DK pattern and any ordinary DK can be used.

Therefore, the designs and stitch patterns seem to be far more unusual and interesting than most modern patterns; they also tend to use what to me are unusual sizes of needle - the pattern above requires 3.75mm needles for the body, when a more common size for DK weight yarn would be 4mm.

No, there's no point in whispering - or even shouting - 'swatch' at me. Like Ramon, 'Let me tell someting to joo' - it just ain't happening. 

I bet you can see other people who knit properly over at Tami's Amis ....

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Tarot Blog Hop: Lammas 2013


   Tarot Blog Hop: Lammas 2013


You may have come from Joanna's blog, or fallen backwards from Chloe's - or even alighted here by random fate, how lucky for you. The theme chosen this time by Arwen, is:

''Lammas is a special time for me. It's the first harvest (generally fruits and grains) in many cultures. It's associated with baking bread among other things. I won't go into all that it is. Grin, you all have the ability to research for yourselves.

The first blog hop topic was "How can I be a better candle?" It was meant to spark the idea of how we can each light up ourselves and our community as a whole. Going off that theme, the question I have for us for the Lammas 2013 Tarot Blog Hop is:

"What can I share from my table to enrich my community?"

 Regular readers will already know that my table never looks like the one above, since I am not a cooker. I like to eat, of course, but I really dislike cooking - too many years doing it as part of my job, I think, has jaded me. In other words, if you want to get fat, it won't be in my house !

So, what I can I share to enrich my tarot community ?

This kind of reminds me of the Litha 2013 Tarot Blog Hop, when we had to tell people about how stupendously amazing we are. Of course, as a regular reader, you already knew how totes amazeballs I am, but it never hurts to remind of one's fabulousness, does it ? I feel I share with my tarot community as I am a teacher and mentor, as well as a founder member of TABI. But all that's kind of established and old hat and boring - which as you also know, is so not me.

Tarot of Durer

So I think I will add to my general overwhelming awesomeness by peaking with a plain and simple giveaway: all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Next Wednesday I will use one of those random number generator thingies and a winner will be picked.

What's that ?

Winner of what, did you say ?

Oh yes, I forgot the really important bit - as it's a tarot blog hop, I think I shall give away a tarot deck. After a quick shuffle over to the bookshelves, I think the most appropriate deck on this occasion is the out of print I Tarocchi Del Buongustaio from Lo Scarabeo.

 Good to know I can still impress myself too.

Don't forget to check out all the other tarot Lammas offerings by clicking on the links below: