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Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas cards

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Cards from bygone years for recycling 



The arrival of our first two Christmas cards prompted Ian and I to organise our list to ensure that no one was missed. Our method is so high tech, A4 writing pad, names recorded by going through cards from previous years, hidden in the depths of the landing cupboard we found three different years’ offerings. 

There was laughter and smiles from some cleverly designed cards, sadness and memories when the sender is on another shore, memory searching when we didn't recognise a name and a form of bullshit bingo concerning the spelling of my Christian name. No excuses now, just check the credits on the last Bond film please. 

Slightly more difficult are negotiations about where we prune and edit the list, it needs sensitivity, links can be tenuous so each is taken on its merits. 

Need to start writing, no round robins, we have no objections to them and understand for busy folk with careers,  families, large mailing lists and interesting lives they are great and enjoyable.  We no longer fit these criteria, so sometimes add a personal update. Perhaps they should be  referred to my blog, but not all our world is here anymore. 

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Two go to the South West




Ian and I returned from Dorset today, we’d left the Metropolis on Monday, had lunch at DD’s before Ian left for Axminster to attends two day course on wood turning. The photo above shows some of what he achieved, but one cannot photograph caring for and using the special tools. The course was at the Axminster Skills Centre, very well organised, good lunch included in the fee and advice on where to stay nearby. 

Whilst he was away I caught up with my cousin, it was our Mothers who were cousins, so I am not sure whether we are second cousins or cousins once removed, it doesn't matter, we had an interesting day at Kingston Lacy learning about conservation. As a librarian I didn't know the right way to take a book from a shelf, nor did I appreciate that old books are better stored horizontally rather than the usual spine vertically.  Maybe we did learn this at I library school, it was a long time ago, nor did I learn the easiest way to ensure books are even at the shelf edge.  

We had to plod around the house with plastic overshoes on so the Carrara  marble staircase and floors weren't damaged, enjoyed the method of cleaning ceramics, just deionised water and cotton wool balls gently wiping the ceramics, mustn't touch the gold parts though. 

The following day met up with a school friend, went by train to Dorchester from Poole, such beautiful scenery, so much better and safer viewing it from train than car. Thinking about street scenery Poundbury has no street furniture, no yellow lines, no traffic lights, no zebra or pelican crossings, just a slightly raised area of a different surface where one can cross. It just seems to work and looks so visually attractive. Perhaps the appearance of some of our market towns with narrow streets and characterful buildings would benefit from copying Poundbury.

Just wish I had thought to take photos for comparison, oh well thank goodness for t’interweb!


PS Blog started on Thursday, finished Friday as gave up on trying to compose in Word, then cut and paste onto Blogger.  Why can't Apple and Blogger sort out their differences? 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

U3A 25th

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A couple of photographs to show display at Kingston U3A 25th celebrations, spot my Beekeeper's Quilt displayed vertically 


It was a very long day, tiring but worthwhile manning the display for the Knitting group. As I wasn't involved with any other group I sat and guarded everything, especially my Beekeeper's Quilt from about 10am till 4pm whilst trying to explain how I made it, about magic loop,  casting on to for the 'pocket' , about increasing and decreasing to obtain the hexagon, about stuffing before completing with three needle bind off. It did help that I am using magic loop to make socks, had my Work in Progress with me of course so that helped my explanation. 


Quite surprised to see people I knew in my other lives who are not U3A members but had dropped by so the occasion was a good catchup. Looked around other displays by different groups, there aren't any others I wish to join, I attend a Pilates class locally where there is no parking problems, the book club is local too, also just have no time to undertake more activities. 


Finally a picture of the fruit cake to add to the celebrations, appropriate as I am watching Bake off final whilst typing this in notes then cutting and pasting in Blogger which is playing up again. 


Please ignore the odd character and lack of punctuation!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Archeological wallpaper

Our favourite decorators, Michael and David have been smartening up our kitchen, the scullery/laundry room/extension plus those parts of our new downstairs shower room that require painting. Whilst rubbing down the wall behind the fridge freezer M and D found the remains of varnished wallpaper behind the fridge freezer. After much discussion it was decided the paper was probably 1930s vintage that had been varnished. I reckon it looks like a design for a knitted blanket squares. In nearly 19 years of living here we had never come across this paper before, it was assumed that the wall had been plastered and painted, at least 3 or 4 times by M and D.  It was reckoned they have been decorating our homes for about 27 years. 



Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Domestic details



Rather pleased that I have managed to line up the stripes at the start of the second sock, would like to have these finished in less than six days so I could display them at Kingston U3A's open day along with the Beekeeper's Quilt. This event is to celebrate 25 years of existence, apart from displays of knitting and patchwork groups' work, there will be ongoing Scrabble games, singing, a bike to reflect the interest of other groups.  Not sure how discussion groups will display their activity, will try to report back afterwards. Details on their U3A website if any of my loyal readers are in the vicinity of SW London - it is Kingston upon Thames, not upon Hull. 


At Pixie Towers there  is plenty of opportunity to knit, decorating is continuing well, there is a lot to do as we have a large original built in dresser and a larder to be painted, all of which have had to be emptied out. Earliest use by date found was 2009.


Having typed this on Note app will now try to upload and save it on Blogger. 


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Small things

I may have mentioned that I am a volunteer at the Local Studies library, recording information, none of which would be done however many staff the authority employed without the use of volunteers. Last week on my way out passing a huge notice board I spotted that it is now possible to download magazines through Zinio app using my library card number. Briefly, I have managed all on my own to download three of the magazines, the ones that I would look at in W H Smiths or Waitrose but couldn't justify buying for one or two articles.  Country Living was a particular weakness, ironic really I am such an disorganised person to live miles from anywhere. Actually not all the magazine is countryside, there was an article about a local garden centre and its cafe situated in this London borough. Next thing will be to clear my pile of back issues, just keeping ideas that would suit Pixie Towers, like illustrations and sources of herringbone parquet flooring or craft ideas. 




Ian has now registered too so the impulse buys of New Scientist are a thing of the past. 


Last weekend went by train to Dorset, slower but less stressful than driving over 100 miles each way in a 20 year old Corsa so much knitting of Ian's sock was done. As I am doing these socks one at a time so I line up the stripes I am very careful to record the rows using five bar gate system, pencil and paper too.



Much progress since this photo was taken, I am now decreasing for the toe, then will be using the left handed version of Kitchener stitch to provide a  neat join. 


For some time I have been having problems with Blogger app jumping back to my front page, I am going to write my blog in a copy and paste in Notes or maybe Word. 

Meanwhile back to making a pineapple fruit cake.  

Monday, 3 October 2016

A challenge





Today I celebrate finishing a 20cm square of knitting after four attempts using the yarn supplied, plus a trial using my own yarn. 

At the Knitting and Crochet Guild convention way back in July I signed up to knit a 20cm square using instructions from one Gladys Jeskins, then forgot all about it until we came back at the beginning of August from our Lakeland holiday to find yarn, instructions and a photograph of pattern 841. The yarn is King Cole merino blend 4ply superwash, needle size is 3.25.  

Today I cast off the square, now the ends need to be sewn in before blocking, spraying with cold water and leaving to dry.  The project has been quite a struggle for me, it was complicated to establish the number of stitches for the square had to be 20cms, the pattern was in blocks of 12, apart from the last 11 stitches.  Additionally there was to be a border of 6 rows of garter stitch top and bottom and three garter stitches beginning and end of each row. Needle size was 3.25mmm, the rows were 12 border, 2 foundation rows and 56 rows of pattern as 8 rows completed the pattern.

The instructions didn't use standard knitting abbreviations, also I had never come across a stitch before one drops a stitch down four rows before, knitting it together with the four 'rungs' of the ladder formed. 


Another reason I feel very cheerful today, apart from the sunshine, is that we went to a Beetle Drive on Saturday night. Good old fashioned fun in aid of Whitton Network, a local voluntary organisation that arranges for volunteer drivers to take people to medical appointments, do some shopping, just help out.  The Beetle Drive equipment, including dice, cups, photocopied sheets, whistle all date from the war or immediate postwar era, I suspect we should have worn vintage dress as we moved up and down or not in my case. I had the honour of winning the prize for the lowest score in the second half. 

Yes, four bottles of raspberry Lucozade, so needed after my Pilates class, we know how to live in suburbia.