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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

A really Good Day

Yesterday dawned fine and bright with a little nip in the air, a perfect early Autumn morning.
The dogs were walked, while the washing machine did it's thing, and they were very perky and bouncy. I like to think that they enjoyed the change from the humidity of recent days.
Washing went out and more travelled through the machine until there was nothing left to wash.
Windows and doors were flung open and the whole house had a good airing. I could almost hear my granny chuckling and rubbing her hands together with delight.
Iwhisked through the rest of my chores and after a quick sandwich went off to knit and natter.

I took my gold stylecraft  jumper and managed to finish the back and get the front cast on and half the ribbing done.
I picked up some yarn for two hats, King Cole Moods, an acrylic with 30% wool and 2% viscose.Two balls each in Petrol and Firecracker. It is a DK weight but I find that it knits up as worsted so will make for warm hats.

The early evening saw the temperature fall and Ben and I had a very pleasant walk into the village and back. He can not manage long walks now but is happy (and eager) to have 3 or 4 shorter ones spread out through the day.

We have had a blast of cold air in the last few days, not a real frost but enough to make my Crookneck squash plants turn their toes up.
I gathered all the remaining fruits and will make a vegetable curry tonight.
Last night I made shepherds pie with a root veg mash top, very tasty and a splosh of mint sauce and a handful of peas in with the meat helped it along. A and K had one for their dinner and enjoyed it.  I have enough meat left for another meal, possibly a Rogan Josh, or maybe an Oggy.
This morning I am off for my second session of Nordic Walking and looking forward to it. It is lovely to be out with a group of like minded people. I have signed up for a 6 week training course and will hopefully go twice weekly after that

I think that it is time for more tea,  and maybe a slice of toast.


                         TTFN                                                 Pam



Sunday, 18 September 2016

Good intentions come to fruition.

It is almost the end of another day, the weekend has been busy but unhurried.

Most of my plans happened, the grey waistcoat (my Grandfather called them Weskitts ) is off the needles, at least the 3 main pieces are. I have to join them and knit the ribbing.  Oops, just realised that I did not get the buttons, Tuesday at knit and natter will do it.

I dug a leg of lamb from the chest freezer and cooked that today, A and K were all too pleased to have Sunday dinner cooked for them.  Ben had the small shank bone and spent a good hour and a half chomping and gnawing away at it. It gives him a full body workout
without  getting to his feet.

Shopping was just fresh goods and some frozen edamame beans, I did forget mushrooms but can manage without.

My latest skein of yarn from Crafternoon Treats has been wound into 2 x 50g balls ready to be cast on for socks.

The partial quilt blocks have been pressed ready to be sewn together and both washing and ironing baskets are empty. HURRAH.

I am tucked up in bed with a cup of gingerbread tea and just about ready to turn off the light. I had an early start again this morning and have been doing something all day.

Ben already has his head down and is snoring.

Time for me to emulate him.

                      TTFN                                               Pam



Saturday, 17 September 2016

Saturday and all is nearly well.

I have managed to load my printer onto the new laptop and successfully printed a new sock pattern out. Score 1.

I am still dithering about my photo's. I am concerned about doing something wrong and losing them forever. I will gird up my loins, put my big girl knickers on and try a bit later.

It is still very early, I did a great deal of rushing around yesterday and fell into bed at 9:30 last night, I do not remember turning the light off. I do not mind as I can play catch up with some blog reading.

I did cast on the right front of the waistcoat and am on my way to completion, I also made good progress on the new jumper. I am loving the rich colour and plan on making my next socks in a very close shade. A West Yorkshire Spinners yarn in Nutmeg for the rib, heels and toes, the rest of the socks will be in Pheasant. I bought enough of the Nutmeg to make a Featherweight cardigan, I have seen this knitted up in a multitude of colours and yarns over the last few months.

You remember that I made a list of things to do this month, well on the clearing out front I have surpassed myself. 4 large bags of bed linen, fleece blankets and clothing have gone and 2 more are ready to go later this morning.
I have taken a large bag of books to Knit and Natter and plan on thinning out some more.

I had planned some clothes making but upon reflection I have put that on hold. I have enough clothes, more than enough really. I plan on slowly replacing some of my wardrobe over the next 12 months. To satisfy my "making" desires I will be knitting, crocheting and sewing for gifts. I have steadily built up a supply of materials and am ready for a very crafty winter.
I also have a very early Christmas gift coming soon, I am going to take part in the blanket CAL on Crafternoon treats, the kit is quite pricey so I was planning on using as much stash yarn as possible, using up oddments of yarn and making a scrappy version. But the kit was offered to me and a refusal was not allowed, so I accepted gracefully and gratefully.

I am still slowly working through the freezers, it will be at least another four weeks before I need to start a list for restocking. The plan is to have a wider range of home cooked ready meals stashed away. I am certain that I will be happy to have a "cook up week" at some point.

There is still a lot of colour in the garden, I have cut the spent flower stems off the perennials and hope for a late show albeit of smaller blooms. The Penstemons are looking very promising, the roses and fuchsias are still going strong and show no signs of slowing down.

I have collected good supply of plastic drink bottles and plan on installing a load of slug traps, I am not looking forward to emptying the contents but needs must. I do not like using pellets in large quantities (if at all) but we are over run with the slimy blighters.

It is 5:30 and I think that a cuppa is warranted, I have some gingerbread green tea that is lush. So I am off to get the kettle on.

           TTFN                                                                   Pam

  

Thursday, 15 September 2016

A better day so far.

I have the new laptop back, most of the issues have been addressed. The main fault was that PC World did not inform me that a great deal of the data that should have been transferred was not compatible with Windows 10. My local 'puter man was very lovely and put it to rights for me as far as he could. He has also taken my old laptop in and is going to open it up and see if it can be resuscitated.
If so fine and dandy, if not I am thinking quite hard about a desk top set up. I like the idea of the bigger screen and it will stop me slumping into the sofa.

watch this space.

The left front of the "battleship" waistcoat is done and off the needles, I know that I should have cast the other side on ..................
Of course I didn't, I pulled out the new yarn and cast on the back of my new jumper pattern. I will finish the deep band of k2, P2 rib and then cast on the last part of the battleship. I aim, no , I INTEND to get that knitted up and sewn together over the weekend. Then the ribbing edges finished by mid week. I will celebrate with a day sewing my autumn blocks together. I may use the quilt as you go method, it just depends on how large it turns out. I am not using a pattern, just the yardage that I bought for the project. It will possibly go into the window of Deb's Wool Shop for her Autumn display and then I aim to donate it. I think that it will be a good lap size when finished an suitable for a retirement home perhaps.
Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats did a small update on her Etsy shop this morning, I watched her podcast last night and at 9:55 was on the 'puter poised and ready to do battle.
Deep Joy, once again I managed to purchase the exact skein that I wanted. This time it is not for me, ( I look forward to the time when
I can buy multiple skeins in one colourway) it is for a pair of socks to be gifted. I did restrain my greed and only bought the one, her colours are so lovely and all deep inside my comfort zone. I will be keeping my Eagle Eyes upon the shop as she has a very small amount of some glorious yarn containing a blend of different fleece and some local Angora... how lush is that, it is a natural cream and I hope to buy a skein.

The sun is shining hotly from an azure sky, the birds are singing, the grass has been cut, washing is on the whirlythingy and Ben is snoozing in the sunniest patch that he could find.
Me? Oh just wonderful, I have a hot date with the ironing. I regard it as rightful payment for my luck on Etsy this morning.

 
Then I will be (fingers crossed) loading photos ready for another post.

                                  TTFN                                    Pam.

PS. I hope that you enjoyed your visit to Deb's shop Yvonne ,and your holiday in Tenby. Happy Knitting.



Tuesday, 13 September 2016

I Hate My Laptop

Just a quick note to say that all is well with me.
It is the laptop that is ill, I have borrowed one for the time being but as it is not loaded with my data I can not post photos.
The WW11 socks are finished and I am pleased to have knitted them but as the pattern is sooooo borrrring will not be knitting any more.
I am happy to report that my first pair have been knitted on short circulars, I don't think that they were as fast, for me, as magic loop but there is no tugging the stitches tight to avoid a ladder. I now want to experiment with afterthought heels and various toe shapes. I just did my first Kitchener finish, a tad untidy but passable, and found it fiddly. I must look in my "socks on straight needles" book as there are several versions in there.

The "battleship" waistcoat is progressing nicely, the back is done and half of the left front. I have adapted the pattern to have pockets and instead of knitting the band separately and easing it to fit I will be picking up stitches and knitting it on a long circular. That way it will match the armhole finish as well as the pocket additions.

I have some lovely rare breed 4 ply yarn from Crafternoon Treats. It is a blend of 95% Romney Lambswool and 5% fawn Shetland, woollen spun in a small mill in Yorkshire. Hand dyed using dyes manufactured in Yorkshire, it is  a new venture for Kathryn. It is sublime in shades of pinks, plums, blues and some cream but overall reads as pink. I want to knit a shawl with it and just need to decide on the pattern.
I am not turning into a yarn snob and am still more than happy to carry on buying and using yarn from stylecraft and the like. Indeed I bought a pattern  for a vintage style jumper today, cable and lace panels with a deep waistband. I also got my yarn, Stylecraft special DK in gold, I think that it will be perfect for Autumn (need to get a wiggle on) right through to spring.
I am slowly putting the garden to bed for the winter, there is still lots of colour but the wind and rain have taken their toll. The beans have done well and I am leaving the remainder on the vines for a bit longer to harvest the beans for drying.
Knit and Natter was busy today, I think that the noise levels, at times, must border on the maximum decibels allowed.
Ben is asking to go out so I must obey.
   
             TTFN                                                             Pam



Saturday, 3 September 2016

A Guest and a Gripe.

Ben's BFF Dolly has been at the vet's, she is just over 2 years old and her owners decided that it was time for "that operation", no more twice yearly worries and definitely no chance of a surprise litter.

As her partner in doggydom, Archie, is such a live wire he is staying with me for a while. Just until her incision has had a little while to knit back together and she is back on her feet. The last thing that she needs is for this chap to be bouncing all over her.



Oh Look Post!


I did receive some post, I have just been a little preoccupied and have only just got round to sharing. Note the important word up there ,sale, don't you just love a good sale. I must say that there was a pile of fabrics that were not to my taste, and I was committed to only paying a maximum of £3:30 a metre.


These two will be used in bags I believe, although I quite fancy some PJ's in either of them.


This glorious loud print will be for Kaitlyn.

What about this overload of cuteness.








Just too cute for words.


Tah Dah, Fran's shawl is done, I blocked it last night and it will on it's way on Monday. I don't particularly love it, not my colours, but it will be perfect for wearing to work and back.


I have almost finished the sock and have done some work on the grey waistcoat. Some gardening, housework and sorting out has happened along the way.

Some of the blogs that I read have a monthly goal page, I think that is a great idea, I do like a list, so I decided to scribble one for myself.

This months is pretty simple and straightforward,
A finish list,
The ww11socks, the grey waistcoat and 2 quilt tops to be layered and quilted. There is also the Autumn Quilt to do, it is cut out and I have started to sew the four patch blocks.

A sort and remove list,
A shelf of books to donate. They are bagged up ready to go.
Some surplus furniture to rehome. Done, it all went to the Barnardo's shop during the week.

Things to make,
A skirt, pattern and fabric picked out and ready to start. this is to replace one that I managed to rip open when tangled up in a blackberry cane.
The Spindrift Shawl, wool selected and in project bag. This is a little single skein shawl, but will wait until the socks are done.

I hope to work my way through this comfortably, I am continuing to work my way through the freezers and am slowly sorting unloved things for the CS.  A bag of clothing went off yesterday and has left a feeling of space in my wardrobe. None of the things had been worn in 12 months, there are some other things that have 3 months on the clock and if not worn in that time will be going.

I still  have the cookery books and craft magazines but do not plan on touching them this side of the next spring. I hope to get some mileage from then during the winter months.

I have passed on a few quilting mags to one of the knit and natter group, she wanted some inspiration.


And now for something completely different

Life goes on as normal, I do wonder about the mentality of the powers that be though. On one hand we have GP's who are stretched to the limit, Junior Doctors who want to strike for better contracts and schools with far too few places for the children in their catchment area.
On the other we have groups campaigning to allow more and more refugees in to the country. Yes it is a terrible world that sees people risking their lives to flee the country of their birth. Yes the pictures of small children living in the squalid camps are heart wrenching.

I also read of people lying on gurneys in hospital corridors for ages, waiting to be seen or be admitted into a bed that is none existent.
Families with young children living in sodden and mouldy accommodation that they can not get warm, as the windows and doors may as well be made of cardboard, even if they could afford to.

It will take a deal more than the hot air billowing round the house of commons to address these few long standing issues, never mind all the others.

I am not a political person and I know that there is no easy answer. maybe a building program of  really affordable housing would be a good place to begin. What about dealing with the landlords who happily take their rent each week and let the properties rot around the tenants ears.
Oh yes, I can hear the mutterings about irresponsible people having children that they can not afford and single mothers who are barely more than children themselves.
My Granny always said that it was the good girls who "got caught" as the bad ones knew better. There have always been children born out of wedlock, the percentage does not alter much, it is just the numbers that escalate.

Enough, I have fallen off the soap box and am off to walk Ben and Archie.

Put it down to Cabin Fever, it has been hammering down all day and I need some fresh air.

               TTFN                                                       Pam












Monday, 29 August 2016

What happened to Sunday

Oh yes, it was rained off. There were a couple of very hot sunny spells but the rest of the time it hammered down. My little bit of lawn looks like the green slime on top of a bog, you can see the surface water glinting in the sunlight.

Francesca has been over for the weekend but stayed in Cardigan this time, It was Kaitlyn's birthday party on Saturday and having Leo to look after meant that Cerys needed all the help she could get.
I drove over to Carmarthen station this morning to see her off home, it was a lovely drive. I went via Llandeilo and the A40,  the sun was shining and there was very little traffic. In fact there were more cars milling around the village than there were on the A40.
I was a little early but had this to keep me occupied while I waited.


This is the No-Fuss Shade-loving shawl by Susan Ashcroft, a free pattern on Ravelry. The pattern gives direction for a chunky yarn but I am using Stylecraft Special Effects DK in Foxglove. I bought this to make another Shawl Linus but changed my mind. This will be a gift for Francesca, she has a walk from home to tube and then from tube to work, for the cold weather commuting.



I am using the little tennis playing bunny progress marker, as you can see I only managed a few rows whilst waiting.



Ben has had a bath and was just taking a breather from rampaging through the house, he seems to soak up energy along with his special shampoo. That green bed belongs under the Horn sewing cabinet.
Perhaps I should give it a try, not sure that I could stay in the bath for 5 minutes while it soaked in though.

Dinner will be a fridge bottom pasta sauce, with a pile of salad. It is far too nice to be cooking. I am now off to take my knitting out into the garden. Once I have made a brew of course.

I hope that you are all enjoying the bank holiday, whether out and about or chilling at home. To those who have to work, my commiserations, been there, done that.

                        TTFN                                             Pam.