Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ok so far

The predicted bad weather hasn't arrived yet + the severity has been scaled down. Every day we hear of more friends that have been flooded + there isn't a single hotel room to be found anywhere (or doubles either). Knitting content to resume soon + something else as I have a new toy!

Blogged via mobile click on pic to enlarge.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The aftermath

After all the rain yesterday the effects have been horrendous. Parts of the city including where my MIL & SIL & her family live are still under water & cut off. MIL lives on the same street that we left in March & although her house wasn't flooded she can't leave the area as all the roads are totally blocked

SIL's house

SIL tried to drive to us this morning so we could have the kids whilst her & her husband tried to clear up but she couldn't get out of the area. An area about two square miles where they live is totally cut off by road & some people have been evacuated by boats.

SIL's street

Some friends of ours were moving house yesterday. Half of their stuff is in the old house which is within this area & half of it to the new house. His mother picked their 3 year old son up from nursery as they couldn't get to him but then she was flooded as well. So they had to borrow a big van today & drive through the roads that are closed against all advice to reach their son as Grandma has no power & it wasn't safe for him to be there. They took it very slowly & managed to get to him without stalling the engine.

Other areas nearby are also badly affected & I spoke a friend earlier who was evacuated by boat with her husband & two children by boat. The water in her house is now 4ft high

In this area probably hundreds if not thousands of people have been flooded & many evacuated from their homes

Monday, June 25, 2007

Update on flooding

DD is on cloud nine as her school is closed tomorrow but we couldn't have got there even if it were open as the car is still where I left it on a hill near my office. The whole area has been really bad affected & a man died this afternoon after being trapped in a manhole not far from us

DH's work mate who help us get DD from school & brought us all home has unfortunately been unable to get home himself. His wife is also stuck so their 14 year old daughter is at home alone with a dog & five cats

MIL has water coming through her kitchen ceiling & no electricity in the kitchen & DH feel powerless as he can't go & help her.

The rain is predicted to ease off over night but I can imagine there will still be lots of problems here tomorrow.

I'm just so glad we bought a house on a hill. Do you remember me mentioning a house that we viewed last year flooding recently? It's bad again & DH captured it on a video:

The dogs are not impressed as they hate getting wet but at least the cats can use the cat tray in the conservatory.

ETA: DH has just spoken to his sister & they're just about to be flooded. They're trying to get things upstairs & have 3 young children. Poor DH he feels so helpless that he can't help his Mother & Sister.

We're home safely

Thanks to the kindness of one of DH's work colleagues we all home safely. He & DH managed to get near my office but I was cut off by waist deep water. One of my colleagues has a much higher car than ours so managed to get through it, just & I then transferred to the other car. Then we had to negotiate the closed roads & those that were just passable to collect DD from school. The school had just announced that it was closed but children couldn't be released until a parent got there for them.

She was very giddy & enjoyed a piggy back through the rain to the car as we tried to keep her cast dry.

The ride home was scary to put it mildly & we headed up hill as best we could & then back to our house. We're ok here as luckily we're on a hill but I know that lower down in the village it's awful.

DH's work colleague has now headed home as his 14 year old daughter is home alone. I hope he makes it home safely.

ETA: DH recorded this near my office & this near to the junction that I crossed with my work colleague in his car before joining DH on our journey to get DD from school.

Heading home

I,ve abandoned our car + one of DH,s workmates managed to get near my office + we,ve managed to pick DD up.

Blogged via mobile click on pic to enlarge.

I,m trapped

I parked the car on high ground but the roads are closed. DH is heading home on the bus + DD is at school safe for now but with a cast on her foot can,t walk in the flood water.

Blogged via mobile click on pic to enlarge.

View from office window

Most of the cars have been moved. The toilets are backing up...<

Blogged via mobile click on pic to enlarge.

Car park

I,ve got wet feet.

Blogged via mobile click on pic to enlarge.

Flooded road

Taken from the office carpark. I parked on higher ground a few streets away.

Blogged via mobile click on pic to enlarge.

Severe weather warning

This is the road outside my office + to get here I had to go past a piece of road that had collapsed + was sticking up out of the water.

Blogged via mobile click on pic to enlarge.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Rowan Holiday bag

When DD & I did the Parent & Child Workshop a few months ago I got to play with a new yarn, well new to me anyway. As there aren't any Rowan stockists nearby I hadn't seen this yarn before. To be honest it didn't appeal to me as the strands remind me of Jay Cloths but the colour that I chose was perfect for my SIL & she had a birthday at the end of May so I decided to give her a handknitted gift. Yes these photos were taken then as you can probably tell by the sunshine in the photos.

Bag in Rowan Holiday Sand
Bag in Rowan Holiday Sand

However I can not take full credit for this bag as Arianwen kindly offered to give it that special touch. In fact I felt very lazy, as she took the pieces of the bag that I made that weekend home with her & when I sent her the last bits, she put it all together with something firm in the base, wadding & a beautiful lining. I tried to thank her in the best way possible & sent her some gifts to show my gratitude.

Marine Turtle bag lining
Marine Turtle lining

My SIL has three children so I made sure to say that there was 'something inside the contents' (the bag) that was just for her & she agreed when she opened it:

BGreen & Blacks Maya Gold
Little extra treat

Yarn: 4 x 50g of Rowan Holiday in Sand
The pattern was one supplied at the workshop & it was meant to be decorated with a bow made of the same yarn but I didn't like it so left it off.
Needles: 8mm Knit Pick Options.
Modifications: The lining & wadding, a figure of 8 piece of I-cord which I used as a closure on the I cord & a magnetic clasp.

I didn't enjoy knitting with Rowan Holiday but I did like the finished fabric. It has a lovely drape & would be nice for a Spring/Summer cardigan so I would use it again. SIL absolutely loved it & says that is just big enough for her purse, phone & keys.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mobile blogging + Baileys

Doesn,t make interesting reading. Good night!

Mobile blogging

It,s a bit dark in the conservatory + a mess but i,m having fun playing ;-) have also been exploring with rss feeds B-)
The photos aren,t up to my usual standard but it,s all done via my phone so think of the possibilities :-D


Playing with my new mobile...

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Downside

to Owls in your garden & Parenthood:

Whilst it is very nice watching owls every evening it isn't so nice watching them eat Their parents have been around for the past two nights & are giving them fresh food to feast on & I really haven't enjoyed watching them tear their prey/dinner to pieces. I could always avert my eyes of course but them I might miss a short flight to another tree & they're so beautiful to watch. Plus they're being VERY noisy tonight but still I'd prefer to hear birds making a racket their our ex-neighbours with their arguments & stereos blaring.

We also had it confirmed today that DD won't be able to go on her school trip which takes place the week after her cast is due to be removed & involves abseiling, rock climbing & canoing which is just perfect for my sports mad daughter. Of course she didn't strop at the nurse who told her this ('quick' visit to the hospital as cast is smashed underneath) but saved the full vent for me whilst I was negotiating rush hour city traffic. Even the promise of Rock Climbing lessons with the refund of the trip didn't work as apparently she prefers Abseiling but I don't know of a local facility that provides it.

However the Fun Run to raise money for her football club is happening due to the loan of a wheelchair organised by our Doctors Surgery. Early on Sunday morning: That'll be fun!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Copy Cat/Dog


If the cats can do it so can I!


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tawny Owls return

Tawny Owl
Tawny Owl

Tawny Owls
Tawny Owls

Tawny Owls
Tawny Owls

The photos aren't as good as last night I'm afraid as it was getting dark.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The day after

Thanks for the the comments on DHs' Walking Socks & the flooding yesterday. We've had some rain today but nothing like Friday so I'm hoping that it doesn't get as bad again. I spent the afternoon in the launderette as I haven't done any washing all week due to the rain & we can't dry anything as we haven't got anywhere to plumb our gas tumble dryer into yet. There were loads of people in there who were flooded yesterday including one poor couple who haven't got power so they got fish & chips whilst their clothes were washing & then went to the coffee shop for a hot drink. It's made me really pleased that DH insisted on living as far as possible up the hill when we were looking for a new house. I also found out today that a house in the street below us that we viewed in October was flooded yesterday. We're really pleased that we didn't buy it!

Regarding DHs' Walking Socks he absolutely adores them. He loves the fact that I made & designed them just for him & was very amused by the comments about hiding the pics from other DH's!

His new pair are being steadily worked on but as I'm working on 2mm needles the progress is painfully slow:

Small Tiles toe up socks
Small Tiles toe up socks

The yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch which I bought whilst on holiday last year. The pattern is 'Small Tiles' from More Sensational Knitted Socks.

I've also found a partial solution to DDs' boredom & frustration caused by her broken foot:

Class sock from Sensational Knitted Socks
Class sock from Sensational Knitted Socks

So far I've helped her with the cast on as she struggles with Long Tail, picked up the stitches on one side of the gusset & with rearranging the stitches on the needles. Since this photo was taken this morning she's finished the foot & started the toe decreases so next she'll be learning Kitchener Stitch! Not bad for an 11 year old

Finally I'm going to leave you with a new visitor to our garden:

Tawny Owl
Tawny Owl

We've been watching a pair of them for the last hour & think they're after the mice that are nesting in the undergrowth under the trees at the bottom of our garden.

I hope they don't keep us awake tonight!

Friday, June 15, 2007


Today has been a total wash out in the true sense of the word. We've had heavy rain all week & it led to flooding.

DD & I left the house a few minutes earlier than normal but 15 minutes later were sat in traffic 2 minutes from home. The roads were totally submerged in places even going across the pavements. DD was very excited & wanted to go out in it but I vetoed that idea; Can you imagine her on her crutches in a foot of water?

We were stuck in traffic & I kept trying for half an hour to call my office whilst I couldn't drive. Eventually I got through only to be told not to come in as the toilets were backing up so we got off the main road & made to come home. So neither DD nor I got to school or work this morning & in all it took us over an hour to do a 5 mile round trip.

DH had left home earlier than us as he works in the city & goes in by bus. He took a video of the road conditions on his phone:

(Fast forward for 45 seconds to get to the flooding)

In the end he gave up as well & came home 3 hours after setting off totally soaked.

I've just taken the dogs into the village for a walk & the streets are drying out now. We're luckily on a hill so our house didn't flood but quite a few houses lower down in the village had to be pumped out. The bbc news has just reported that our village was the worst affected in the region

Saturday, June 09, 2007

My first attempt at an original pair of socks!

DH has been complaining for a while that whilst I've been knitting plenty of pairs of socks for myself he has to make do with shoddy shop bought pairs so I finally decided to be brave & knit him a pair. The strength was needed as he has big wide feet with long toes so I knew that they'd be a lot of stitches involved.

However before I could even get to that bit there was the small problem as to the choice of yarn. I decided to use DK yarn as that would mean less stitches & also that they would be walking socks as we'd just booked our summer holiday to the Highlands of Scotland. Stripes with any colour in them were deemed 'too girly' & I couldn't face the agony of pure black socks just yet. Eventually we settled on this:

Blue & Annie
Regia Country Style 6 ply in Korsar & Granite

Due to the size & breadth of his feet I decided that I had to go toe up & after my fiasco with the Yarn Over Cables I wanted to go toe up + two socks at the same time - gulp...

Yes, a totally new concept for me but Susoolu has assured me many times that it isn't that hard.

After an evening spent on the sofa, swatching with a variety of needles I ended up with 3mm which gave me the chance to play with the Knit Picks Classic Circulars that CL gave me at Christmas. These needles are 16" long so not quite long enough for two socks at once but are totally workable to start with.

The toes reminded me of an odd shaped bikini:

toe up socks
DH socks - toes

I had originally planned to use a pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks but with 10 stitches per inch & a foot width of 10" the yarn didn't 'carry' any of the available 5 stitch patterns. The fleck dominated & the patterns just didn't work. So I settled on a boring 3x2 rib. However that didn't last long as I got bored after 5 rows so I threw a cable in for good measure & repeated it every 4th row.

Here we have the feet in progress:

toe up socks
DH socks - feet

The 5 stitch patterns in Sensational Knitted Socks are all cuff down but I wanted to go toe up, so reused the heel that I discovered when knitting my Oriel Socks as I have found them really comfortable. This meant a bit of tinkering on the heel but I got there in the end. There are no more in progress photos I'm afraid as our house move interfered with that. They were mainly knitted together on a 24" Knit Picks Classics Circular once I got past the toes but separated for the heels.

Toe Up Walking socks
Toe Up Walking socks

I reinforced the heel by using a slip stitch so hopefully they'll last in his walking boots. The socks fit his wide feet perfectly & the cable serves to pull the fabric in on his slender calves!

Toe Up Walking socks
Toe Up Walking socks

Pattern: My own made up with the aid of Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Regia Country 6ply in Granite
Gauge: 10 spi
Needles: 2x 3mm Knit Picks Classics Circulars
Technique: Toe up using the Turkish Cast On, two socks at once on circular needles. A reverse slip stitch heel flap & finished off with a stretchy bind off (scroll down to the red text).

Amazingly I even managed to get the stripes to match:

Toe Up Walking socks
Matching stripes

These socks were finished about a month ago & DH has already worn them but proved to be a reluctant model. He loves the fact that they fit him so well & was so lavish with his praise that I've already started another pair for him!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Good bye Vince

Thanks for all the good wishes for DD. She is now encased in a blue cast & staggering around on crutches. We spent HOURS at the hospital today so I managed to get some knitting done which was the only good thing about it.

Vince went to the vets this afternoon & is now no more. DD was absolutely beside herself last night but took it really well today. She was a lovely little hamster & never bit any of us so we're all a bit sad tonight.


Knitting content soon I promise....

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It never rains but it pours...

Poor DD her world is falling apart at the moment. She's had a repeated bout of ear infections recently & hasn't been able to swim for three weeks and was due to return to the pool next week. However today in a particularly energetic game of football she's managed to crack the metatarsal bones in her right foot & so we spent the afternoon at A&E (The Emergency Room for any o/s readers). She's hopping around on one foot tonight or scootering on her backside & tomorrow we're going back to the Fracture Clinic & she'll be fitted with a proper cast & hopefully crutches or a wheelchair.

No more swimming or football for at least 6 weeks & I really felt for her when the Doctor told her this as she just burst into tears. She's got some good swimming galas coming up in the next couple of months plus football practice, a sponsored fun run to raise money for the football club plus an athletics tournament for school & she's been chosen on the basis of her throwing (she beat all the boys by miles)and all are now not possible for her.

If this weren't enough Vince is dying. I think she's had a stroke & is swaying from side to side or lying flat on the floor of the cage. If I hadn't been occupied with DD this evening I would have taken her to the vets to be put down as I can't stand seeing her suffering so if she's still alive tomorrow will have do it after we've been to the hospital. DD is absolutely distraught & has been pulling herself apart saying that she wasn't a good owner (she often had to be 'reminded' to clean the cage, change water etc) but for an 11 year old with her first pet she's done pretty well.

So apart from killing her brain cells in front of the TV & knitting growing mountain of butterflies (read this to explain the insect reference) has anybody got any ideas to occupy an normally VERY active 11 year old? She'll read for a bit but gets bored after an hour or so, similarly the Xbox, doesn't have much homework as it's near the end of the school year & can't move very well. Arts & crafts activities (apart from knitting but I'm trying not to encourage too many more butterflies as we can't cope with any more) are a bit babyish for her now but I might be able to get her doing something if she gets really bored. Depending on how mobile she is I'm planning to take her to the WWKIP in the city centre on Saturday afternoon. For those who know where I live we're meeting in Starbucks from 1 til 4. See some of you there!

ETA: DD has requested that I knit her a cinnamon coloured hamster to remind her of Vince. Can anybody point me in the direction of a pattern?