Friday 28 October 2011

FO Friday 58: Twofer

So it's here at last: FO Friday and the weekend. I am crazy drunk with the thought of freedom and liberation, as Mini Diva and Destructo Boy are staying at their Belo's for the weekend, so that DH and I can celebrate our wedding anniversary (better late than never): we are going to Bury St.Edmunds, walking the dog, and DH is cooking me a special dinner - I love having married a chef. Add wine, knitting and plenty of sleep, and that's pretty much my idea of a perfect weekend. Let nobody say that I am high maintenance or difficult to please.

Onwards and upwards with today's Twofer: firstly, the scarf for my eldest BIL:

To recap: this used 3 balls of the discontinued RYC Classic Silk Wool DK in the colorway 'Bramble', and the pattern is the 'Twin Leaf Lace Panel' from BW Vol.2. Eldest BIL has proved himself Knitworthy by the warm reception he gave this birthday scarf.

Secondly, I am proud to present Mini Diva's Sky Shawl, which will be hidden away until Xmas. This is the Summer Mystery Shawlette pattern of Wendy D.Johnson, and it is most definitely a shawlette; I was quite worried at how small it seemed - barely a neckerchief; but rather than frog it back and start again casting on a minimum of an extra 48 stitches, I blocked it really aggressively. I ought to have read more fully about it on Ravelry and her blog: I would have made it larger from the start. Lesson learned - use  Pentacles attributes ie. pay attention to detail and be thorough.

 It used about 1 and a bit balls of Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4ply in the colorway 'Baby Blue'; the slight scratchiness went after soaking and fabric conditioner, and it was easy to knit with - a very slight halo, but no splittiness or snagging. I'd use it again, especially as they have some pretty shades and are excellennt value for money at 205m/224yds per ball.

Do pop over to Tami's Amis to see lots more pretty finished things .....

Wednesday 26 October 2011

WIP Wednesday 64: Canine Caper

You already know that I don't really do cooking - so why the Whimsical Tarot card illustrating the Knave of Hearts ? This:

This used to be about 1 lb. of lambs' livers; the bowl is my seasoned flour ready to coat it before pan-frying, and then casseroling in yummy gravy gently with smoked bacon and sliced onions. I had walked through to the front room to see how Mini Diva was doing with her homework, and returned to find a thief had been and gone. A tidy thief who had left not even a blood trail.

 sleeping off the aftereffects of the heinous crime ?

Hmm. Let's line up the usual suspects for a food robbery. Three cats and a dog, you say ? Jewel and Inky never get on the counter under any circumstances, as they are rescue cats and thus are careful of their manners. Moonheart, Mini Diva's mercurial cat, both wanders the counters, sleeps on top of the microwave and kitchen cupboards, and has been known to steal before (whisker-prints in the butter); however, her alibi is granite solid, seeing as how she was outside prowling the neighborhood at the time.

Which leaves this laughing larcenist:

So anyway, I can't show you pics of my BIL's scarf until Friday, but I can show you this kind of odd picture of Mini Diva's Xmas shawl:

Go me ! But makes for a kind of empty WIP Wednesday, as I'm back to this: only the sleeve, sewing up and neckline to do ...this last bit just seems to drag on forever....

Don't forget to hit up Tami's Amis to see Art and Craft rather than crime scenes .....

Friday 21 October 2011

FO Friday 57: Friday Night is Bath Night

I found this marvellous image of the 6 of Wands online from the Phantomwise Tarot by Erin J. McCauley to illustrate today's post: it's Friday, and the start of half-term, and we have made it !

Mini Diva's parents' evening was yesterday, and I am afraid I am getting just a tad complacent with all the good reports she gets term after term. Long may it continue !

But anyway, tangible stuff that has been completed ... I promised you today that I would post some soapies ... Firstly, the special limited edition called 'The Tarot Suits', a set of 4 soaps which have been themed to each suit of the Tarot through scent:

These have been very successful - many sold on pre-order, so that I only have two sets left

In addition, I have 5 more new soaps listed:

 Aztec Queen, perennially popular - with Cocoa and scented with creamy Vanilla, it contains generous amounts of cocoa butter.

 Old Faithful - enriched with Rhassoul clay, sprinkled with Allspice, loaded with shea butter and scented with that old-fashioned gentleman's fragrance, Bay Rum: slightly piquant, sweet and spicy.

Continuing the West Indian theme, Caribbean Sunshine - enriched with lashings of shea butter, made with coconut milk, and scented with Coconut and Pineapple, this will evoke warm sunny beaches ....

Suggesting peace and relaxation, California Dreamin' contains plenty of hemp seed oil, along with shea butter, and is fragranced with a great combination of Cedarwood and Patchouli.

Helen of  Sparta (she was also known as Helen of Troy, whose beauty not only launched a thousand ships but resulted in 10 years of war and the destruction of Troy itself) is an unscented, uncolored soap made with oatmeal for gentle exfoliation, goatsmilk and honey.

Phew ! I don't have international shipping listed, but if you live outside the UK email me with what you'd like, and I will cost the postage on an individual basis for you ....

Now I'm off to Tami's Amis to check out what everyone else has completed for today !

Wednesday 19 October 2011

WIP Wednesday 63: Old & New

Ooh - er. So Blogger has this shiny new interface; which I'm sure is fabby and squeaky-clean and simple, with bells and whistles too when one knows where to find them. Which will probably take longer than today, that's for sure.

I will tell you all about my most recent soaps in detail on Friday, but in the meanwhile you can see (and buy !) them from my Folksy shop; currently I do not have international shipping listed, but I am happy to find out costs on an individual basis - just drop me a note here in the comments, by email, or message me via Folksy.

Work has continued at a somewhat leisurely pace on the scarf for my BIL, but it is a pleasure working with RYC Classic Silk Wook DK: soft and not splitty, easy to handle.

I think part of the reason I'm liking it quite so much is because it's DK weight, and the shawl I have started for Mini Diva's Christmas present is 4ply. The pattern is another Wendy Johnson shawl, which she ran as a mystery KAL this summer: hence its name, Summer Mystery Shawlette. I love the way that her patterns are written and charted so clearly; and - of course- they are so pretty. I am halfway through Chart B; I am reversing the instructions for the second half (after the spine) as I prefer the shawl to be symmetrical. It is pretty straightforward, but I must remember to not watch exciting/interesting TV when I'm getting used to a new pattern. Or cry at Matthew's stiff upper lip, as tears blur the instructions.

I'm using Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4 ply in 'Baby Blue'. As apparently us growing out of being pink & purple is permanent. It definitely feels wool rich: it has that slight scratchiness I seem to recall from childhood. But I am armed with good fabric conditioner, so I shall not despair as yet.

Don't forget to pop over to Tami's Amis where people concentrate on their creations ....

Friday 14 October 2011

FO Friday 56: The Seekrit is Out

Well, this is the least I can show you:

A tiny ball about the size of a large marble, which is what's left over after the completion of the Seekrit Projekt.

'Course, that really is the least I can show you. But since I'm in an expansive, friendly and generous mood (let's not say exhibitionist or proud), I will reveal the Seekrit Projekt in it's entirety:

Posed over a recently painted wall just up the road - I needed a light background to show the shawl at its best; I had to wait til the kids were at school to do this in case my eccentricity embarrassed them ...

As for the Madeline Tosh laceweight 'Prairie', colorway 'Briar'. Hmm. Yes, it's nice. 840 yards/768 metres, which is good. But it is still only merino wool - and not especially soft, at that. The color is lovely, but again, I don't find it to be jaw-dropping. So I don't think that it justifies its price tag of £25.00 (approx. $40US) when in the USA it retails for $25 (approx. £16) , a considerable difference that I do not believe is due to merely the shipping costs.

Don't forget to check out Tami's Amis for other beautiful creations ....

Wednesday 12 October 2011


Like spirituality and honesty, the people who shout about it most, have it the least. You know who you are. And slowly - very slowly - others are coming to know who you really are, too.

Monday 10 October 2011

Destructo Boy Celebration

Destructo Boy is 6 years old today ! I have no baby photos of him - they''re all digital and trapped in an old hard-drive, so I think the next oldest is this one when he was about 2; he had gotten out of bed, tootled along the corridor, and plonked himself down for more sleep on top of his Dog:

He's still just as cute now. He has opened a mountain of presents, to play with when he gets home from school.

Saturday 8 October 2011

The Magic Number 9

Happy 9th Anniversary to my honey.

I believe those marks in your back from the shotgun barrel may have faded somewhat by now.

Keep on truckin'.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

WIP Wednesday 61: What Was ....

..... I thinking ? I'm involved in a curtain-washing frenzy today, as they say it is the last warmish, dry - and very breezy - day before Cowboy Autumn defeats Indian Summer and takes over. Having previously bleached and washed (the aroma of Shed is not one that excites me) some pretty but old green & white curtains I'd been given, I picked today to put them up in our sunny back living room. Only to find that although they looked the right length, in fact they are too short. Of course.

Cue juggling which curtains go where; and - natch - they all have different hooks and fittings. But I think I finally have it sorted: the warm tawny-orange curtains in the south-facing back living room; the Delft-like cotton ones in the north-facing front room; the pretty green & white ones in Destructo Boy's bedroom - the only window that they fit.

So with only Destructo Boy's curtains left to put up, I'm taking an unusually well-earned break for lunch, and to blog, before taking Sebastian to the park ...

This is where the Seekret Projekt has got to, about 70% complete, I reckon: not an awful lot of yarn left, and I'm getting increasingly paranoid about not having enough to do the picot edge bind-off.

I was finding the 281 stitch rows kind of wearisome, so I also started another scarf for yet another BIL (my DH is the middle of 7 children) whose birthday approaches; it's in RYC Classic Silk Wool DK in the lovely colorway 'Bramble', which I had bought absolutely ages ago with this particular BIL in mind:

And - as if I needed more excitement after our trip to A&E at the weekend - I took some trousers off the washing line last evening to bring them in, and was rather perplexed to find them buzzing loudly. I gave them a robust shake, and out flew this:

About 2 inches or so of hornet. I grabbed the fly/wasp killer and sprayed it for all I was worth .... falling over the sofa in my haste to retreat without losing sight of it. I popped it in a plastic tub with a lid, where it continued to twitch for about another 24 hours .... which made me feel cruel and barbaric, but also showed what will be keeping the cockroaches company when the world ends.

Go and see some lovely projects on the go over at Tami's Amis ....

Monday 3 October 2011

Snap, Crackle ....

.... Pop.

A fabulously hot and sunny Indian Summer weekend is not complete without at least one trip to A&E. Which is where we spent approximately 3 1/2 hours late yesterday afternoon with Destructo Boy. Today's card from the Morgan-Greer tarot deck is quite accurate - except for the head bandage and the blood. Thank the gods there was no blood, or else Destructo Boy would still be screaming now ....

Not content with having broken the old shower head followed by breaking the new one within a day of its installation, as well as his sparks scooter, he utilized a visit to the playpark with Belo and Ubercool Brother to Destructo himself by falling from a climbing frame and breaking his right wrist.

Mini Diva has not gained her name for nothing, and fails to see why her brother is getting all the attention; she looked something like this - but younger and not Latina:

as she exclaimed '' But it's only an ARM !''

Destructo Boy has a cast on for 2 weeks as it's a buckle fracture, the doctor at the fracture clinic this morning told me. After that, he should be fine. For some reason, he is embarrassed by his cast and doesn't want to go to school ....

It is very lucky that his shared birthday party - a trampolining party at the sports centre - was on Saturday, and went not only without a hitch, but without any damage to anyone more serious than a graze. However, I think the bowling he has requested for his actual birthday next weekend may have to wait until his arm has healed.

To add insult to injury, someone(s) have scoffed Destructo Boy's birthday box of grown-up chocolates that he was given ....