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 ...

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Unlucky for Some ...

Art Nouveau Tarot

... But not me - I've broken my jinx. Happy 13th Anniversary to Titch ...

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

SAL Wednesday 36/15: Scratching the Itch

Gendron Tarot

Well, I've been having a bit of a lull. That's what we'll call it, anyway, because it sounds so much more normal than admitting I'm jonesing for a fix since I hadn't knitted or crocheted from Friday until yesterday. It's just as well you couldn't see me, because I was having trouble concealing the itch:

So having tried a couple of stitch patterns and motifs in the King Cole Flash DK, I didn't like any of them - the colors were pooling in blotches that didn't suit the pattern - I gave up and found some random turquoise yarn (it might be Robin DK) and a pretty pattern which I thought I'd downsize for the back of a cushion cover ... this is what we have so far:

The pattern, yarn and my tension are combining to make me pay attention as if I'm not careful I'll have wavy or ruffley edges ... now if I could just work out how to do this in a rectangle rather than a square ...

Friday, 4 September 2015

Nothing to Say: Syria

Victorian Romantic Tarot
AnnaK Tarot

I haven't anything to say that others haven't already said about the death of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi, his 5 year old brother Galip, and his mother Rehan. I have cried until my eyes hurt; and then I cried some more. His father has lost everything. 

I can't imagine what it must be like to be in a situation where putting your very young children on a small overcrowded flimsy rubber dinghy, without even lifejackets, to travel about 5 miles across open sea, seems like any kind of acceptable choice compared to enduring circumstances wherever you are.

However, a picture of their home town, Kobane in Syria, might give an inkling to the origin of their desperate journey, and why they were refugees - not economic migrants:

Picture from the BBC Feb.2015

TABI is raising money to help Syria Relief via our JustGiving page; you can simply donate, or request a reading from one of the readers listed on the page.

Friday, 28 August 2015

FO Friday 35/15: Scrumptious Stripes

Sacred Isle Tarot

So you may remember my forlorn aspiration of making an afghan for Destructo Boy in a week and a half. Of course, I didn't manage it, as you know real life things and especially people are so blimmin' selfish, wanting your attention, time, company and things like food and clean clothes.

I couldn't even use the approx. 5 hour round trip to pick the kids up effectively, as the deathgrip I had on the armrests meant I couldn't use a crochet hook. It also means Titch won't be able to sell the car on as the upholstery has been permanently dented ... And then I ran short of yarn.

Anyway, according to my Rav notes, it took me 18 days, which I don't think is too bad, considering; it's about 65 inches wide and maybe 72 inches long ? I should have measured the length I guess. It was 60'' wide before I added the border, that bit I did check.

The colors pick up the wallpaper quite nicely, I think. And more to the point, Destructo Boy is chuffed with it, and even though he's always too hot to need it, he sleeps under it.

I used 3660m of aran-weight yarn (none of which were scraps for a pattern named Scrumptious Scraps Afghan) - but that includes the border, which I took from Leisure Arts  #4531 '50 More Crocheted Borders'.

Having completed this large project means that I am also almost back in the mood to knit another shawl for my longterm Big 6 project ... but I can't choose which to do ...


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

SAL Wednesday 34/15: Scales

Spiral Tarot

I have just a moment to update you, as I have escaped for a breather from cleaning up the aftermath of a sleepover for 7 12 year old girls - there is one bin full of sweetie wrappers already. I don't even want to think about the bathrooms ...

After I had shovelled as much pizza into them as was humanly possible last night, I hid out in a darkened corner of the house and played with my latest project, a cushion cover.

I know, I know, don't keel over with all the excitement. 

I'd bought a ball of King Cole Flash DK in the colorway 150 'Waterfall', and wanted a pattern where the color changes wouldn't be lost or wasted, and a textured stitch seemed the way to go. I found an interesting pattern for a Crocodile Stitch Pillow, and this is what I have so far:

I'm really liking it; however, it EATS yarn - I am definitely going to need another ball if I want to do the back in the same yarn ... perhaps I will call it a reward for all the pizza, pancakes and cleaning up ...


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

SAL Wednesday 32/15: The Quest

Radiant Rider Waite

Having taken a forced break from the annual deep clean of the kids' rooms (I need Titch to do a bunch of stuff involving power tools and high things) I decided that it seemed perfectly rational to make an afghan/bedspread for Destructo Boy within a week and a half.

Yes, for a full size single bed.

The kids are due back this Sunday.

I know, you're quite right, it has about as much chance of success as Scott's merry little jaunt. I have reached the 'crochet or die' stage, and this is what I have to show so far:

Yeah, sorry about the eye-bleeding scream of color. It reflects the color scheme of his room, but that is not quite so in-your-face, I promise.

I had been looking for a pattern with colorwork ie. stripes, and not motifs/modular because of all the ends and sewing up. 

I have since been brought to realize that stripes also involve many ends. Many, many ends. But I have come too far to go back, in the very restricted time I have left.

And speaking of which, I must abandon you for the moment to pursue my crazy unachievable goal ...


Friday, 7 August 2015

FO Friday 32/15: Cold Collation

Gaian Tarot

Yep, this is not only the weather right now, but my mood. All the baby things I made have reached the two respective Mamas-to-Be, so I can put all the photos together in one mehusive FO post before I run off to weed the patio. I know, the excitement never ends, right ?

There were 4 cardigans:

L to R, Top to Bottom: BHKC 6 Baby Cardigan in King Cole ZigZag 'Burgundy';
Sirdar Snuggly DK 3946 in Sirdar Snuggly Tiny Tots DK in 'Green' ; Sublime Little Bertie in random DKs from my basket; (Vintage) Robin 1139 4ply Baby Cardigan in Sirdar Country Style 4ply in 'Camel'.

And then there were two blankeys, both crocheted:

The top one is a pretty, light and lacy pattern called 'Sweet Dreams' - I love the final work, but it was completely off-gauge, whatever I did. Looking at other people's project notes, I wasn't the only one ... 

The second blankey is 'Ruffles & Stripes', which is altogether more substantial. Both patterns were from the 'Best of Terry Kimbrough Baby Afghans', a great pattern book that I've used a couple of times before.

Anyway. That post has taken me waaaay longer than I expected as I used a photo montage maker which kept crashing ... note to self: let's not overreach ourselves when time is at a premium ...


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

SAL Wednesday 31/15: The Circle

Housewives Tarot

Yep, this is me today, armed and dangerous. 

Well, maybe a bit later when I'm dressed and have had another cup of tea. 

The kids are down at Nanny's, and we all know and quail from what that indicates on the wheel of my life and year - something akin to the Great Migration of Africa, but which in this case is confined to the inside of the house, has never been shown on Animal Planet or NatGeoWild, and has no David Attenborough narration: it is the Great Mucking Out.

I am hoping for less dust, no poop, and no crocodiles

I should have started yesterday, but I'd treated myself to finishing a shawl - I had only 1 row and the bind off to go, and thought maybe an hour would see me done. However, I'd neglected to consider the bajillion stitches, of which every other one had to be beaded ... and of course, blocking took more time than I'd anticipated too. However, I WASHED. ALL. THE. THINGS. Pillows, mattress toppers, blankeys, cushions, random clothes left out in the savannah open to fester (there will be more behind the beds and in the nooks and crannies, I'm sure). They are clean, dry and folded, and the house smells beautifully of clean laundry.

What's this got to do with a WIP ? Well, housework is always a WIP, more's the pity. But I thought if I finished the shawl, then there'd be nothing on the needles tempting me away from my Mission. And since the only other thing I have going is my travel knitting, I can resist:

And speaking of cycles .... this Fitzroy cardigan

thanks to the Mad Unravelling Skillz of my MIL, has been turned into this:

It was always too short, and never fitted right around the neck - it would gradually fall back, meaning I spent a lot of time hitching it back to where it ought to have been. And the buttons were not the best choice. So, now it's gone from a FO to a WIP-in-Waiting. It is lovely soft Rico Aran Cotton, and I'll probably use it to make something for Destructo Boy ...

Monday, 27 July 2015

TABI 10th Anniversary Conference 2015: Summary

Spiral Tarot

Well ! I had NO idea that so much time had passed so quickly and that I have been silent for over 4 weeks; I am so sorry, my dear friends - you'll find the tissues to dry your tears right over there.

I had got sucked into the vortex that is the end of term, feeling like a visitor in my own home as I spent so much time away from it at various school events - two separate sports days, a 'Wimbledon' and other stuff that I've already forgotten; then weekends currently tend to be full of child/cricket club-related activities; and then I lacked inspiration, and thought that perhaps the knitting project posts were all a bit samey and clinical; and then of course I have actually been away !

As in, got on a train and went somewhere !

I know ! It felt odd to me too, I have become such a sad homebody who uses too many exclamation marks, it seems !

But I went to TABI's 10th Anniversary Conference, held at the Aston Conference Centre; superbly organized by my Good Twin Alison Cross and the Treasurer Caroline Blackler, all I had to do was eat, drink, socialize and take photos - I was quite open that I wasn't there for the educational aspects, although some of it seeped in despite my best intentions: Alison's own talk on how to use elemental dignities to aid interpretation of reversed Court cards, Jane Struthers' very useful talk and spreads on relationship readings; and my friend Andy Boroveshengra's introduction to reading Lenormand, which I am convinced made it appear deceptively simple, but is actually just the mere tip of the iceberg. Caitlin Matthews' sung blessing at the beginning of her talk added an unexpected New Age touch to the Conference, and ensured everyone was awake ...

I came away with quite the swag bundle, as you can see:

A custom souvenir tarot bag from AniaM:

 And lastly - and which connects my tarot to my knitting - the thoughtful thank you gift I received for doing nothing:

A gorgeous yarn bowl from the Stone Penguin Pottery.

But the best part of the whole weekend was making so many new friends, and meeting up with old ones:

The Good, The Eviller and The Evil Twins

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Tarot Blog Hop Litha 2015: Star Light Star Bright

Our gracious hostess this time is Alison Cross, currently co-Chair of TABI; you are probably more familiar with her in her Good Twin incarnation rather than the version that came up with this creative topic for the 2015 Litha Blog Hop ...

You will find a list of the Major Arcana cards below, please pop your name next to the card that you want to write about.... and write about your chosen card! That's all there is to it! But, before you jump in and pick your favourite card... you might want to set yourself a bit of a challenge.
You could pick a card because:
  • You love it
  • You loathe it
  • You think that it's a tricky blighter!
  • You can write a poem about it
  • Your favourite artwork in the whole Tarot world is about one of these cards.
  • You've painted your own version – share it!
  • You can show us a video of your own tap-dancing routine inspired by the card :)
  • You have designed a spread based on this card's energies
  • You want to share your own way to interpret this card etc etc
 Made your decision? Select your card! 

Well, of course I have chosen XVII The Star; astrologically associated with Aquarius, my sun sign, I have always had a soft spot for it. I love its meanings, I love its symbolism, I love the
range and variety of depictions:

Phantomwise Tarot

Hudes Tarot

Such a strong sense of serenity and peace; plenty of life-giving water, a woman alone but not lonely, a comforting blanket of darkness ...

Hanson-Roberts Tarot
Victorian Romantic Tarot

Quiet optimism, hope, renewal, healing - what's not to like about this card ? Titch once told me one of the qualities that I have that he admires the most is my resilience, a word I think encapsulates those meanings.

Of course, you'll recognize my most favoritest Star:

Starlight Arcana

I am involved in organizing the 10th Anniversary TABI Conference, approaching soon, so  browsing the many versions of XVII The Star has calmed me, and I am refueled with peace and quiet - now I can direct you forward to XVII The Moon, or back to XVI The Tower ...

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Friday, 19 June 2015

FO Friday 25/15: The End of Stripes

Housewives Tarot

In amongst the electrical appliance disasters, Cub events, cricket matches, committee meetings, the approach of the 10th Anniversary TABI Conference and domestic drudgery goddessery I completed a great little baby jacket, but forgot to share it with you.

I found the pattern when I was browsing through my knitting magazines (I don't buy them often, but over time they do still amass) in Woman's Weekly Knitting & Crochet Special Jan.2011; it actually is a Sublime pattern called 'Little Bertie' - and it was the colors that caught my eye:

Yes, it does say the yarn should be Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK. I know, there are no limits to the crazy, right ? It says it is machine washable, but we need things that a new mum does not have to think twice about, let alone the cost: even the smallest size will be approx.£16/$25. Our Snowflake will be just as Special in spite of wearing ordinary yarn. So here is my version, using remnants from my yarn basket:

Of course, I like mine more. The shawl collar variation was in the magazine. I loved this pattern: loved the design, the colors, the stripes, and it was an error-free quick knit.

But I won't be making it again, because - all. the. endz. You can't really carry the colors up the side because 4 colors make for a sizeable lump in the seams, and it was a real pain to have to weave in all those millions of ends ...

Pop 'FO Friday' into Google and see what happens ...