Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Scarf #2

Yay!  Managed to finish the fluffy scarf!

I managed to mostly rip out the yarn from the previous attempt, with one little lump at the end that I couldn't unravel.  I looked for some help on the Internet and it told me that I should be using it double.  No way was I going to rewind that blessed stuff into two balls (I was beginning to be sick of the sight of it) so I decided to mix it with something else.  I had some undefined black wool (4 ply I think) so I had a go with that.

It worked really well and although not easy to knit, it was certainly 100 times easier with the 4 ply.

I'm afraid the pictures do not do the yarn justice.  In the turquoise there are also patches of purple, sea green and grey and it is so soft and not at all itchy.

Anyway, I couldn't find a pattern online that I liked, and I didn't just want to do garter stitch as I thought that would take too long, so I just made it up.  (Well, actually I started following a simple lace stitch in one of my books but I was watching True Blood at the time and forgot to do row 3 of the pattern!)

I had one skein of Colinette SilkyChic in colour Jay.
One ball (approx 100g but I only used maybe just over half) black 4 ply.

Cast on 24 stitches loosely on 10mm needles, with both yarns.

Knit one row.

Row 1:  K.1, (yrn, K.2 tog) repeat instructions in brackets until last stitch, K.1.
Row 2:  Purl.

Repeat these two rows until desired length; I did about 60 inches and then knit another row at the end.

Cast off loosely.

Please remind me not to buy fluffy wool again!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Show-Off Sunday

Just a quick post today, to show you this really quick scarf I knitted this week.  I treated myself to some rather posh wool; a blend of merino and silk from Uruguay.  Let's not burden Marathon Runner with how much it cost.  (Shh, I don't think I have ever spent so much on one skein of wool!)

It knitted up so quickly, that I thought I would knit another one for a friend whose birthday is on Tuesday.  I had some fluffy wool, bought years ago for heavens knows what, but after two attempts and LOTS of knots, I think I am going to give up.  Not only is it very hard to see the pattern, it is absolutely impossible to back-track if you make a mistake and very easy to knit bits of fluff instead of the actual stitch.  So she won't be getting a scarf for her birthday.

Back to the drawing board but with only just over 24 hours to go!

Anyway, this is turning into a longer post than anticipated but just have to show you this:

Can you see the bee?  Today I cut the grass for the first time this year.  I can't believe that it is nearly Easter already!  Chocolate here I come ...

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A Little Get-Together at Twilight

To celebrate the dvd release of the latest Twilight film, Mad Child wanted to have a little gathering to celebrate with her girlie vampire wannabees, so Mum tries her best to make it special.

It's amazing what you can do with a spare sheet (good job Scary has black sheets), a few apples and some roses.

These mats I printed out from Hostess with the Mostess here.  They recommend that you take the file to a print shop, but I took it to my local one and they looked at me like I was mad, then said they would charge at least £4 per page and then said they couldn't do it at all because it was the wrong format, even though they were looking at it on their computer screen when they told me this. 

I've a feeling I might have said "right" a bit like Basil Fawlty before hauling my memory stick through the rain back home and printing it out perfectly successfully on my own printer.  I did use photo paper and the 'best photo' setting on the printer though, as well as laminating them.

Do you see the napkins?  Mad Child did those from her origami book.  They are swans, get it?

The Hostess also had some drink labels which I stuck onto some J2O bottles.  Yes, I know I should've soaked off the top labels first but I just didn't have the time!

I also managed to find some red and black straws in my local paper shop.  I'm glad I went in there because I had no idea they sold so much cake decorating paraphernalia. 

I must admit that I was really pleased with my cupcakes, although I think perhaps I might have been on my own here.  I had to explain to Marathon Runner what it was and he still looked dead unimpressed.

I got an "Oh Mum" from Scary in that sort of voice she uses when I've been knitting fruit and vegetables.

I got the idea from here but I didn't faff about with cherry pie filling.  I just put a bit of seedless raspberry jam into a syringe (the kind you use for squirting nasty medicine into babies) and splodged it on.

Please tell me you know what it is.

Bearing in mind I worked this morning and this was all done this afternoon, I feel quite pleased with myself.  Just don't ask me to do anything tomorrow except eat up the rest of the cakes!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

In a Country Churchyard .... in your Kinky Boots!

I found a lovely remnant the other day and resolved to make an apron out of it for my friend D.  She has been my friend for what seems like forever, but in reality we have known each other since we were four years old when we started school together.  I admire her so much because she has picked herself up from a rotten marriage and has just finished a degree and started working in elderly care, something she has wanted to do for a long time.

So the other day I cut it out and today I managed to finish it.  It is hard to see but the material has apples, cherries, lemons and apricots on it.  Hopefully it will match her newly decorated kitchen, which is yellow.

I didn't quite have enough material to do the waist ties but I hope you think the green backing material doesn't look too bad.

Scary deigned to model it for me today.  Don't you just wish your bum looked like this?

And what about the kinky boots?

Marathon Runner couldn't quite handle the boots.  I think men find it difficult when confronted by their daughters in such attire!

As it was such a lovely day today, we popped into a nearby churchyard to have a little walk.  This is Widworthy Church, just off the A35 near Wilmington, Devon.

St Cuthbert's Church was built in the fourteenth century on the site of an earlier wooden church and may even be the site of pre-christian burials.

Do you know the song by Chris de Burgh that goes:

 "In a country churchyard, there's a preacher and his people
Gathered all around to join a man and woman,
Spring is here and turtledoves are singing from the steeple,
Bees are in the flowers, growing in the graveyard,
And over the hill, where the river meets the mill,
A lovely girl is coming down,
To give her hand upon her wedding day...
Dressed in simple white and wearing flowers in her hair,
Music as she walks slowly to the altar,
And picking up his bible then the preacher turns towards her,
"Will you take this man to be your wedded husband,
to honour and love in the eyes of God above,
Now let the people sing with me,
The words to live forever in your heart...

Let your love shine on,
For we are the stars in the sky,
Let your love shine strong,
Until the day you fly away"

Many years have fallen on that golden country morning,
The graveyard's overgrown, the church lies in ruins,
Ivy on the walls and ravens wheeling round above me,
As I made my way towards the last remaining headstone,
I fell to my knees, read the lines beneath the leaves,

And suddenly it seemed to me,
I heard the words like singing in the trees...
Let your love shine on,
For we are the stars in the sky,
Let your love shine strong,
Until the day you fly away..."

Sorry, I was just going to quote the first couple of lines but I just got carried away!  It is one of my favourite songs and I always imagine I am here when I hear it.

Although I am not a church-goer, this is really a special place for me.

Don't you just love old gravestones?

I do hope you have all had a relaxing weekend.  See you soon.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

People Don't Cross the Street to Avoid Me Anymore!

I am so lucky Marathon Runner likes to bake bread.

He has the weekend off, so you never know, we might get a few little jobs done!  That's when he recovers from Ireland losing their rugby match, that is.  Awww diddums.

Yesterday I had a lovely surprise.  After several years of extremely hard work with the local Parents and Teachers Association at the Primary School, I have finally hung up my secretary's hat and I received these lovely goodies from the new Committee.

Shhh, don't tell Marathon Runner about the chocolates!  I'll happily share the wine with him though.

I never was very good with flower arranging I'm afraid.  Why do they always look like they've just been plopped into the vase, however long I fiddle and fart-ass around with them?

Parents can stop avoiding me now!

However, I will be keeping a wary eye open for the PTA Committee at the secondary school.  Once lumbered, twice shy!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

What I've Been Up To

Well, where have the last five days gone?  There's been a little bit of this:

Followed by a bit of this:

Some cutting out, some baking, some cleaning (!), some working and some viewing:

I'm not overly into vampires, but I stumbled upon this a few episodes into the series and got hooked.  When I ascertained that no-one was rushing around getting me a Mother's Day present, I decided to buy it for myself!  Oh err, not one for the children, however, much as they are into the undead!

Spring has definitely sprung and the weather has been lovely, although we have had a little rain tonight.  It's quite nice to be able to go out in a light coat.

Many thanks to you all for the lovely comments lately and, please keep reading, because I'm coming up to my 100th post and also my birthday, so who knows what will happen then?

This fellow has been hovering around a lot lately:

Do you think they have come to take me away, ha ha?

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Three cups: egg, cakes and 36JJ

A certain teenager was trying my patience today.  So I thought I deserved a present:

Four little eggcups, just in time for Easter, from a nice little shop called Leaf Street.

Then home and a little more experimental baking from my new-ish cook book 1001 Cupcakes, Cookies and other tempting treats: banana and pecan cupcakes.

Just have to try one, in the interests of quality control.  Would hate to serve up something that wasn't up to spec.

On to cup number 3.  During an attempt at an unknown yoga position whilst trying to reach a spoon lodged at the back of the dishwasher last night, there was a rather loud snack in my vicinity.  Marathon Runner enquired what was that?

Well, the RSJ in the left cup of my brassiere had just snapped in two!

Quick as a flash, he says: "well, that one's tits up then"!

More like down, I think.  Oh well, have to visit this lot I supppose.

(image from Bravissimo)

Do you think it will suit me?

Friday, 12 March 2010

Tesco are at it again!

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Tesco Stores plc. They are the only semi-decent supermarket in my town and so logistics dictate that this is where I shop. There are two other smaller supermarkets but I cannot get everything we like in either one, or even both together.

Even so, I very rarely buy meat in there as I go to a local butcher and sometimes get my vegetables from good old Riverford.

(image from Riverford Blog)

Short of driving 15 miles into Exeter every week, shopping in the local Tescos is my inevitable destiny.

So obviously I have a Clubcard and I usually do very nicely out of it. We have had tickets to theme parks, subscriptions to magazines, saved them up to (almost) pay for my daughter's laptop, etc. Lovely job, thank you. Would rather you just made my groceries cheaper, but hey, might as well get what you can!

So, to the point. We have really big bags (mostly Tesco ones) to take to the supermarket, to get our points do our green bit.


Always in the past we have been given 2-3 green points for a big bag and 4 for a box, because if you used their carriers, that is probably the number of bags you would use.

Two weeks ago we had a big shop (£140 worth) and when I got home I noticed that I had only been given 7 bag points.  I'd like to see someone get all that shopping in 7 carrier bags.  I think that may warrant a visit from the Guinness Book of World Records.  I'd then like to see them pick up the bags and carry them!

This week (just over £100) I was only given 5 points.  So I complained.  Believe me when I say this does not come naturally to me (unlike my Marathon Runner).

Evidently since Christmas, they have been told that one bag = one point.  Doesn't matter if the bag is the size of a small country.  It's still one point.

So all of this:

will go into one carrier bag, right?

Just thought you might like to know. 

Rant over.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

A Grizzly Day

Today dawned bright and fresh. Very fresh actually. Rather chilly when you are hanging around waiting for your husband to finish a race.

Even Seaton (!) looked nice in the sunshine. Time for a few pensive moments before one of the toughest races. It's called by some 'edge-of-sanity' running!

Marathon Runner was taking part in 'The Grizzly', a 20 mile multi-terrain race starting in Seaton, Devon and going through Branscombe and Beer and eventually back to Seaton.
When they say multi-terrain, that's exactly what they mean. It starts off doing a loop on the pebbly beach. That in itself would wear me out. I can't even walk on the pebbles without twisting my ankle.
Roads, fields, bogs, beaches, steps, hills, rivers, oh and cow muck!

Do you fancy having a go? 2001 people entered and the entries were closed in one week!

I wonder why they let that extra '1' in?

You wouldn't think there were that many daft buggers about would you but they come from all over the world to do this.

At least this guy seems to have got the right idea!

Oh look, another hill.

I don't think the sun stopped shining all day.

On the way around they have a few people to raise your spirits(!).

And they even have a shrine for you to leave your offerings.

They also have a tree onto which you can tie ribbons but Marathon Runner didn't like to take a picture of this, as a lady was there crying!
Oh look, here's some mud!

This is near the end of the race. You see the white cliff at end of the beach? Just when you think you're nearly finished, you have to make your way up that cliff!

Can't show you the pictures from the end because the camera broke! I have taken some with the 35mm one but of course I will have to wait for them!
For all his efforts, Marathon Runner got a round of applause, a (rather unpleasant) chocolate milkshake, a banana and a pink t-shirt!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Wouldn't It Be Lovely

Wouldn't it be lovely to be going here:

Marathon Runner and I did manage to get there a few years ago and it was a lovely day out by ourselves, no children, all on our own. The amount of organisation it required when the children were younger though took some military precision! Now the girls are older, I thought we might try it again. When I totted up the cost, I had to sit down!

Rail fare £100
Underground £16
Tickets £23

£139 and that's not even taking into account food (most important) and buying something (which I know I couldn't resist)!

Think I might just have to browse on the internet instead!