Friday, April 28, 2006

Knitting weekend

Thanks for all the comments & emails. I'm still very sore & now the pain is in my neck & shoulders. I managed an hour & a half at work this morning before giving up & coming home. The thing that seems to hurt me the most is driving which is bad news as DD & I are driving over to West Yorkshire this evening. We're doing the Parent & Child Rowan Workshop & are both very excited but I just wish I wasn't in so much pain.

I've managed to do a little bit of knitting but not a lot. I'm hoping that another good nights sleep (as well as can be expected when sharing a bed with a child who is all legs & elbows) will ease the pain a bit.

Whilst we're away please pop over & say hi to Piglottie & welcome her to the blogging world!

Thursday, April 27, 2006


I woke up this morning in a lot of pain & was nearly crying by the time I got to work (after taking DD to school) due to the effort of driving the car. My back was really sore & I couldn't get any relief.

After frantically ringing round I managed to get into see a Chiropractor (first appointment 10 a.m. - luckily he had an empty slot) & he returned my 7th rib to it's rightful place. I had either sneezed or turned awkardly in the night as I was absolutely fine last night when I went to bed.

So am at home today with an ice pack - feeling very tender & sore but not as bad as I did this morning.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mothers' Day socks completed

Mothers' Day Garter Rib Socks
Mothers Day Garter Rib Socks

Pattern: Garter Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Opal Sugar Almond Magic Yarn from Get Knitted
2.5mm addi turbos
Started: 26th March 2006
Finished: 26th April 2006

DD gave me the yarn for Mothers Day and apart from going wrong on the second sock when I was ill these socks have gone really smoothly. They're the first pair that I've knitted from Sensational Knitted Socks & I fully intend to use the book again soon.

Another first for me is that the stripes match up! I tried to get my first pair to match but a stripe was missing & then I ran out of yarn so it didn't happen.

Mothers Day Garter Rib Socks
Mothers Day Garter Rib Socks

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

I'm feeling totally spoilt!

After a very late night (more on this further down) DD woke me up this morning with a menu that she'd written so that I could have breakfast in bed She also brought in the parcels which have been arriving during the week & gifts from her & DH.

Bear & Keyring
Bear & Keyring from DD

She bought these yesterday with her own money & apparently had to search for ages to find the Mum keyring - this may relate back to me finding Vince.

Ladybird & Flamingo
Opal Rainforest in Ladybird & Flamingo

These were actually a replacement present as she had originally chosen a a non yarn knitting accessory as she knows that I'm trying to reduce my stash & love knitting socks. However the day after DH ordered it, I received this parcel & DH asked me to choose something else.

These books were from DH & I've already signed up for the One Skein Secret Pals Exchange as well as casting on for one of the projects inside - using stash yarn but no further details yet.

One Skein
One Skein

Wrap Style
Wrap Style

The parcel from my friend in Australia (she's English but is out there for 5 years) was actually sent from New Zealand as she's been on a 3 month walking holiday.

Merino et Soie
600g New Zealand Merino et Soie

It's absolutely gorgeous but I haven't got any patterns in mind yet.

Alison surprised me with this:

Knitting on the Road
Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush

I've already decided to make the Whitby socks as soon I've got some needles free.

Sue surprised me with these yesterday but didn't make me wait until today to open them:

Colinette 4ply
Colinette 4ply

dog toy
Blue dog toy

Blue loves her toy but it's been kept well away from Annie as she has previous convinctions of being rough on toys. Her past form includes: frontal lobotomies, removal of eyes, ears, legs, squeekers, all innards & total annihilation.

Blue with toy
Blue with toy

Whereas Blue just loves her toys & rarely destroys them. We've still got a toy that she was given over 5 years ago & every so often I stick it through the washing machine. That doesn't mean that she isn't mean enough to tease Annie though:

Blue & Annie
Blue teasing Annie

I'm embarassed at the state of our back door but this will explain it.

I've got another treat to come as well. My MIL, SIL & BIL have bought me an Aromatherapy Massage which I'll be booking tomorrow.

We had planned to go out for a meal last night & I had booked a table ages ago. I was also determined that it wasn't going to be a swimming weekend. There was a huge meet on this weekend from Friday evening & finishing late this afternoon. Last year I did Time Keeping for all 5 sessions but refused to stand by a poolside on my birthday weekend so didn't enter DD this year.

However it wasn't to be. I got a text on Friday afternoon asking if DD could swim in a league on Saturday night & she really wanted to do it. So the meal was cancelled & we went to the cinema on Friday night instead & saw Inside Man - if you haven't already seen it I throughly recommend it. In addition to missing the huge meet this weekend she will be missing another two important galas soon so I felt it was only fair that she swam in the league.

DD swimming front crawl
DD swimming front crawl

She swam in 5 events as they were short of swimmers due to the other meet & even had to do 2 races that were for 15 years & under - she's 10 but due to ASA rules swims as an 11 year old. I did Time Keeping & got soaked & DH took over 400 photos. We were up late last night sorting them all out for the club website & local paper.

Thank you for all the texts, emails, comments & a big thank you to Alison & Sue.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Over due Easter post

Last weekend we went to Cropton Forest for a 4 day Easter break in our caravan:

Our caravan, car + dogs

We went with our friends who have 3 kids (FDD 12 years old, FDS1 9 years & FDS2 7 years old) & Jasper the dog.

The weather wasn't too bad whilst we were there but we've had so much rain recently that the site was really water logged & everything including the kids got very muddy. Normally we set up a table in the awning & eat out there but the mud was coming up through the ground sheet so the awning became a dumping ground for scooters & not much else.

children playing
boys playing

DD loved having friends to play with & they went into the forest, played in the play ground & raced around the site on their scooters. FDS2 named one particular slope 'Death Hill' after he came flying off his scooter rather spectacularly but true to form he got straight back on & headed back up the hill to do it again In the evenings we had the kids in one caravan watching a dvd whilst we adults sat in the other with red wine

I took the dogs out early in the mornings for a 4 mile walk in the forest & couldn't believe how thick the Pheasants were. One walked straight across my path & the dogs (on their leads) went absolutely barmy. The dogs have to be tied up whilst on the campside but we kept the back of the car open & they jumped up into their crate to get comfortable whenever they wanted to:

Annie & Blue
Annie & Blue

We took the kids to the coast on Easter Sunday so that they could search for fossils but that morning I got ill & spent most of Easter Monday in bed. I'm not sure if it was hayfever or an allergic reaction to something but a sudden onset of frantic sneezing, swollen bloodshot eyes & a really painful face totally knocked me out. It was whilst I felt awful on Sunday night & sat in our friends caravan with all the kids playing a DVD quiz (very noisy & hyper on chocolate) that I attempted to set the gusset shaping on the second Garter Rib sock. This was a BIG mistake. So I spent some time this week tinking back & have redone it. I'm now working my way down the foot & hope to have the pair finished soon.

Our next caravan holiday is in 5 weeks time & I'm looking forward to it already

Friday, April 21, 2006

Thanks Stripey

I had the great pleasure of spoiling The Stripey Tiger in Secret Pal 5 last year. We hit it off & have kept in touch since the exchange finished. Recently I have continued to spoil her by sending a ball of Opal Rainforest Tiger & the Tiger Cubs as she is expecting her third baby next month.

Who could resist with a name like The Stripey Tiger? She just had to have her own Tiger yarn & the baby some tiger socks.

Anyway - the tables have turned!

On Wednesday this arrived:

Present from The Stripey Tiger
Present from The Stripey Tiger

I was really good & didn't open it until DH came home as I wanted the photo above as the paper was so pretty. It contained these:

Stuff Sack
Stuff Sack

Handmade by her own fair hand this is the best present ever! It's already been used at the Art Gallery & at the swimming pool whilst DD was training last night. I can see this being used ALL the time for socks, sleeves & other small items. There is also something else about this that I can't share now - will do soon after Sunday.

Kaalund Expressions
Kaalund Expressions - Wisteria

This yarn is really beautiful - blues & greens with a purple thread through it. My first thoughts were Branching Out. Can anybody suggest any other patterns?

Point Protectors
Point Protectors

Always useful!

Sheep notepad
Sheep notepad

Really cute & I'll have to hang on to this one!

Thanks very much Stripey & I'm sure if you do start selling the Stuff Sacks they'll be VERY popular! Cheers!!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

1st blog birthday!

A year ago today I finally took the plunge & started my own blog after reading them for ages. I've learnt loads of technical stuff, made loads of new friends, met quite a few of them in person & had lots of fun. I've also enjoyed participating in 3 Secret Pal exchanges & am currently deciding whether to sign up for the latest or not.

Today has been a great day. I took DD & my two neices - DN1 - 8 years old & DN2 - 6 years old into town. They all had paper & pencils & we went to the Art Gallery. The kids chose pictures that they liked all within the same gallery & sat quietly (as much as they could but DN2 found this hard) copying the masterpieces. None were recognisable but they had fun. I tinked back on my Garter Rib sock as I've made a mistake & great fun was had by all.

Then before we came home I had a quick pick up to make. A few weeks ago whilst doing my job I happened to be speaking to a Manager at a National Chain of handmade cosmetics. Totally weak, at the end of the conversation, I asked 'if his warehouse smelt nice'!! After which he took down my name & asked which was my nearest store, told me to wait a week or so & then go in. Well I finally got there today & there was a HUGE box waiting for me which contained:

14 bathbombs
9 bars of soap
1 bubble bath bar
5 shampoo bars

All free for me!!! The bag was so heavy that they had to double bag it. So am off for a bath now as DD is out - spoilt for choice as I can't decide which bathbomb to use!

I've also received a parcel from Australia but haven't opened it yet as there are written instructions on it that it can't be opened before Sunday - the customs sticker reads WOOL!!!

Which reminds me - another parcel arrived yesterday from Australia but that has been opened. More soon......

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Fugitive is apprehended at dawn......


I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning after having a horrific dream that Vince was trapped in DD's net bag (which holds her swimming training aids) with a huge snake. DH & I had been arguing about who was going to put their hand into the bag & save her. He was arguing that as I have smaller hands I should do it as was there was less surface area for the snake to strike & I wasn't buying any of it. I woke up & just knew that she was in the trap & sure enough when I turned the light on I saw a small pale brown lump in the bottom of the vase. She was fast asleep & very cold so I quickly put her back in her cage, gave her some food & fresh water & then headed back to bed. When I woke DD later I was the 'Best Mummy in the Whole Wide World' & she's been bouncing ever since.

After 15 days on the run she has lost weight but has gained in another area. This picture was taken on the day we got her (February 17th), this photo was taken on March 19th & today she looks like this - see how much the tufty bits have grown.

So now DH can decorate our bedroom & the carpet can be relaid. She had definately been in the bathroom wall as our neighbours told DD that they'd heard some scuffingly in the wall when she happily reported her news. I had warned both sets of neighbours that she was missing in case they laid poison thinking they had mice.

Thanks to everyone for their help & suggestions, especially Nickerjac who was the first to describe how to build a trap for her. Initally she didn't like the dust sheet that we used to lead up up into the vase but eventually she over came this as we put food on it so she had to walk on it.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Some progress

Last night I was lying in the bath trying to work out what had changed since Vince last took food on Tuesday & remembered that DH fiddled with the kickboard under the bathroom cupboards & side panel of the bath on Tuesday evening looking for her.

So last night we left a gap in the kickboard & a piece of basil & a nut out in the hall - the trap was still set up as normal & the bathroom door was open. Both herb & nut disappeared. This morning when I looked into the space behind the kickboard I spotted a small piece of paper hamster bedding!!!

The bad news is that we may never get her out. DH built a false wall to house the plumbing & the valves for the shower & bath are sunken into this. The wall cavity is filled with glass fibre which is prehaps why she hadn't taken much or any bedding as she is very comfortable & warm. In addition to the plumbing part of this wall is now tiled & also holds the glass shower screen so it can't be taken apart.

I'm going out later & will leave food in both the bathroom & hall with the bathroom door closed. I'm hoping that the bathroom food will be gone thus proving that she's in there & am also going to try & buy a humane trap whilst I'm out.

Whilst we're away my MIL will be coming over to feed the cats so she'll also be on bathroom patrol, rebaiting the trap & hopefully freeing Vince back into her cage.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Vince is still Absent With Out Leave. She ate some hamster seed & a piece of fresh pea on Monday night & some cheese yesterday whilst I was at work.

Last night we set up a trap (thanks for all the suggestions) - namely a huge glass vase that my FIL gave me YEARS ago, supported on a dust sheet, with some bedding & nice food inside. DD ran a little trail of goodies up to the lip of it including cheese & we put fresh basil & parsley just inside the vase.

Nothing had been touched when we got up this morning & I checked as soon as I got home from work & again no sign. So it's been rebaited with some smelly blue cheese, fresh food & a date. We considered using peanut butter but DD hates it so reasoned that her hamster would too.

DD has been really depressed & I imagine that she's feeling very guilty & cross with herself. She has been cheered up a bit with the stories of hamsters returning after two weeks so is still hoping to get her back. DH & I aren't too confident as she hasn't eaten the food left out for her in 24 hours but are doing our best to keep DD's spirits up.

I've now finished work for 6 days & believe you me I was clock watching today. DH & DD are going up North tomorrow to watch Speedway & I've got to get things ready for our Easter break. We're going away for a few days from Friday morning & I've got the wonderful job of packing the caravan with clothes, food & other essentials. They'll be back very late so I'm sure I'll also get some 'me' time in as well

I am also aiming to tackle the Pig Sty that is DD's room in the vain hope of catching a glimse of the aforementioned hamster......

Monday, April 10, 2006

SOS - Vince is missing


'Somebody' left the cage open & she's gone! DD is destraught & crying her eyes out. We've left a small pile of bedding material out with some food & are hoping that she'll help herself tonight so at least we'll know that she's still around.

If anybody has any better suggestions I'd love to hear them....

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Garter Rib Sock progress

Garter Stitch Rib in blue Opal Sugar Almond Magic
1st sock - Garter Stitch Rib in blue Opal Sugar Almond Magic

Pattern: Garter Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks
2.5mm addi turbos

The first sock fits really well after a little bit of adjustment. I followed the pattern only to find that my toes were a bit too snug, so tinked back & added an extra 3 rows in by increasing the two row decreases in the toe. This was done at Knitting Group on Friday - I wonder how many other people have taken their shoe & sock off in a cafe to try a newly completed hand knitted sock on? The staff didn't notice or if they did nobody complained Once I had got the fit right I could do the Kitchener Stitch which wasn't easy in such a lively atmosphere!

Garter Stitch Rib in blue Opal Sugar Almond Magic
2nd sock - Garter Stitch Rib in blue Opal Sugar Almond Magic

I'm racing to get these finished as DD is keen to see me wear them

Friday, April 07, 2006

Tiger cubs

The Stripey Tiger has finally received the surprise knit mentioned here

Tiger Cubs
Tiger Cubs

Yarn: left overs from my Opal Rainforest Tiger Jaywalkers.

Pattern: Heel and Toe socks aged 3-6 months in 50 Baby Bootees to Knit previously used here. 3mm addi turbos.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


A little girl in Canada is now wearing her Boat Neck Sweater last seen here. Mum was delighted as the colours match those of her favourite Hockey Team.

Baby in Boat Neck Sweater
Baby in Boat Neck Sweater

She cut her first two teeth this week but by the time I meet her she'll be walking & mostly probably talking. Yes we're going to Canada!

Lots of hard work in the blueadt house has recently meant that a large longstanding debt has been cleared so we're now saving for a decent overseas holiday. I have yearned to visit Canada since I was a young child & now it's finally happening! I won't go on about it for the next year as that would be boring but we're all really excited. So nearer the time I'd love some tips on decent LYS's to visit - by then I should be allowed some time off for good behaviour on Stashalong

Sunday, April 02, 2006


DH & DD got up at 6 a.m this morning to go walking with his mother & her friend in Farndale, North Yorkshire but I stayed in bed as I had other plans for the day.


They had planned to do the daffadil walk but it has been cold recently & spring has been late in arriving so they only found one clump:

Lone daffadils

The ground was waterlogged as there has been a lot of rain recently so DD got stuck in the mud & DH had to pull her out:

Daughter stuck in the mud
DD stuck in the mud

Both DH & I had been worried that DD would whinge & whine but she was really good & even carried her bag for most of the walk:

Daughter walking
DD walking

DH took a lot of photos including a panaramic but it's too big to load at the moment.


Farndale Sheep
Farndale Sheep

I stayed at home as I was long over due to groom the dogs. They've been looking like shaggy beasts recently & not smelling too nice either. I normally bathe & clip them every 6 - 8 weeks but didn't clip them last time as it was too cold.

8 hours later I emerged from the garage covered in dog hair & totally exhausted. They were equally knackered, with less hair than they had had this morning & smelling far nicer too.



There has also been some knitting progress on my Mothers Day sock. Yesterday afternoon whilst DD swam in a gala I did the heel flap & turned the first heel. Now I've finished the gusset decreases & am working along the foot:

Garter Stitch Rib in blue Opal Sugar Almond Magic
Garter Stitch Rib in blue Opal Sugar Almond Magic

I'm going to bed now as Blue is moaning at me to turn the light out

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Stashalong - here I come......

I've mentioned previously that I have a lot of yarn - far too much in DH's opinion. We have a small house & the yarn used to be stashed all over the house, loft etc but now fits into 6 big boxes:

my stash
my stash

There is a box ontop which contains yarn that I got in a swap with Fred which I need to somehow manage to squeeze in - hamster for scale.

I've already got rid of a lot & gave away half a binliner recently at the knitting group that I run in a 'Stash Swap'. The rules were that you couldn't take if you didn't put in. I was really 'good' & didn't bring anything home, my DH didn't believe me at first. The few bits that were left over were taken to a charity shop by another knitter so I didn't feel tempted to adopt them.

I'm signing up for 3 months with a few days off:

April 23rd - it's my birthday & I might get some yarn as pressies - here hoping!

April 29th/30th - am doing the Parent & Child course at Rowan with DD & will look in the bargain bins.

May - we're going to the Derbyshire Dales for a week & I know of two LYS's that stock Debbie Bliss, Rowan & Noro that I can't buy locally. However I'll be good & only buy stuff that would help me use up my stash like the odd ball of Debbie Bliss's Baby Cashmerino to compliment the colours I already have.

I plan to knit some socks, finish some WIP's (now out of date as some items have been finished), baby knits and will still buy needles & books if needed but not much yarn at all.