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Thursday, 31 March 2011

Ooops, so late, so little time.

WEdnesDAY, MARCH 31, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook: 31st March 2011

Outside my window ...  it's dark, well as dark as it can be in suburbia with street lights and in the far distance the glow of lights from Heathrow Airport.

I am thinking ... about all the knitting patterns dating from 1950s to 1980s that I was given by one of the Breathe Easy group. Not sure how I store, use, share these wonderful patterns. Look at these knitted hot pants, gauchos and knickerbockers!

If any one wants the pattern I can copy and send. Don't all rush at once.

I am thankful ... my talk about the local Breathe Easy group to the Respiratory rehabilitation course didn't go too badly. They did laugh when I told them that the meetings were so relaxed that I did my knitting. First time I've ever done anything like that but I'm to be asked to give talk to the next course. 

From the kitchen ...Martha has made a chocolate and cinnamon cake to take to the department she's leaving tomorrow. Next week she starts in commercial litigation and wants to give them a cake on Monday.

I am wearing ... black East dress, orangey red CC cardigan. Had to look smart for talk, but this dress is just so comfortable.

I am creating ... still on scarf made from turquoise Can Can yarn; jacket and socks. Latter haven't moved and I didn't have energy for knitting group today. Neither of us felt like home group this evening either, we're not over inspired by the York Lent group.
I am going ...  to have another attempt at clearing stuff, give some cushion covers away on Freecycle and may be a clothes clear out to charity shop.
I am reading ...  Twilight  still, have to finish by Monday.
I am hoping ...  History society next Monday will be a better talk than the last two. Last month the talk on Oliver Cromwell went on for well over an hour; the previous month the talk on 10 worst Britons lasted barely 25 minutes. 
I am hearing ... Martha and her friend Jen laughing, presumably TV or a DVD.
Around the house ... some ironing to be finished, too late tonight.
 One of my favourite things ...  finding the right birthday gift for a friend.

A few plans for the rest of the week ...  well as it is nearly Friday not much left of this week. Choir practice for Ian tomorrow and I may go and help make up the Mothering Sunday posies at church on Saturday. We will supply greenery from our garden as usual.

Well, it's late, Ian has gone to make coffee, so I'll end these ramblings.

 Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Knitting in art

Yesterday was the birthday of my dear husband Ian,  so we went to London to view the Water Colour exhibition at Tate Britain. On the train journey I'm pleased to announce that I made good progress with knitting the can can curly scarf, I'm using circular needles as straight needles for it makes the work more portable.

Anyway, we ate first, apologies to all eaters after me who wanted the salmon fish cake, I had the last one. Food in museums has become so good now, no curly sarnies. As we were leaving the café we spotted the restaurant, think I'd have splashed out there seeing it was birthday but too late. Would have been good to be in quieter and slightly more spacious surroundings as well as waiter service.

We enjoyed the exhibition, both noticed that there is so much more detail in older work, the modern pieces seem to be much more broad brushed, also I liked the paintings that were realistic, I'm not into allegorical, highly symbolic or campaigning works. However, one painting had such a wide range of Victorian domestic detail was Walter Langley's 'But men must work and women must weep' painted in 1882 and exhibited the following year.

What really caught my eye though was the knitting on the table on the left, four needles so how far back does this skill go? I struggled with this and have switched to magic loop, but this wouldn't have been an option then. Also were there patterns at this time, presumably the skills were handed on verbally. Besides the knitting there is completed patchwork on the right of the picture.

I'm sure the curators didn't intend us to be interested in these skills, rather it was the painting. However, I googled Water Langley and found his painting 'Girl knitting' again the subject is using four needles.

Just saying, how two interests can coincide so encouraging me to research Walter Langley. Would I have bothered if I'd had to go to the reference library, look in art books and peer at a poor monochrome reproduction. Doubt it.

Another simple pleasure yesterday was travelling on the top deck of number 88 bus from Tate Britain. London was busy, crowded pavements, lots of tidying up going on, but looking  beautiful in the evening sunshine. Dr. Johnson was so right.

Well must get on, domestic things to do. Enjoy the weekend folks.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Read all about it.


Simple Woman's Daybook: 22nd March 2011

Outside my window ... It is a milk of magnolia morning as Sarah Kennedy would have said. Miss her radio programme although these days would have had to listen on i-player, 5am is far to early for retired layabouts. Weather looks promising, glad it is not so cold.

I am thinking ... about the tumultuous times in which we are living. Think we should not have been involved in military action in Libya.

From the learning rooms ... Ian has completed his first TMA this year, he has a tutorial this evening.

I am thankful ... family gathering to mark Ian's birthday went reasonably well last Sunday. Lunch at Caffe Mamma, we are recognised there now. We discussed with offspring our intentions to take out powers of attorney against the day I become even more bonkers than I am now. Does help that Martha has specialised in this area of law so no need to pay lawyers fees, just registration with Public Guardian.

From the kitchen ... nothing much, need to prepare lunch soon, probably pasta and salad. We've been discussing our lack of menu planning, a freezer full of stuff, so we should take stuff out overnight.

I am wearing ...M&S jeans, blue striped Thomas Pink shirt and navy round neck M&S jumper. None of this is very new, but it is comfortable.

I am creating ... now it is just socks and jacket. Second cushion cover in Jaeger silk and wool completed. 

I am going ... to have hair cut on Thursday, suddenly my Pixie cut has lost its shape.

I am reading ...  Twilight still. Martha and I had a laugh when I read out descriptions of Edward to her.

I am hoping ...  more people will sign up to support Martha in the marathon. Just in case this is her address . So many people have been generous, my thanks to them all.

I am hearing ...  very little; Ian's keyboard; occasional plane but otherwise life is peaceful here.

Around the house ...  the the decorators completed last Tuesday, carpet was laid in the lounge last Wednesday, now we await the arrival of the sofas. Have issued a fatwa that no food and drink are to be consumed in the lounge. The coffee table has gone so there is no where to place mugs, also, being selfish I prefer to eat at table rather than being crunched up. 

One of my favourite things ...    my Burberry raincoat. Bought in Amsterdam, we had gone on a day trip there in September 1979. As you do when you work for an airline. The coats were so much more reasonable at Schipol airport than at home so I went back the following week, bought not just the coat but a warm lining and hat. Oh, and the duty free booze again as well. Those were the days, but coat still fits, is worn regularly, just maybe not quite as showerproof these days.

A few plans for the rest of the week ... only special plans are for celebrating Ian's birthday on Friday.

A picture thought I am sharing ... 
Photo taken by Martha on Sunday at Richmond Green. Adam hasn't finished his ice cream.

 Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Stitch and craft show

Hi folks,

Just a quick report reviewing my thoughts and purchases from the Stitch and Craft show. I'd had an email from local school friend asking if I'd like to go with her. We settled on Friday, took 3 trains but we were fortunate with connections so whole journey took about 40 minutes.

Hadn't attended any thing like this before but enjoyed it. Few random jottings:-

One of the few times recently when I regretted not taking a cheque book, some stalls  didn't take cards. Understandable, but never saw a warning on S & C web page.

Catering: long queues. Although veggie sandwiches were on menu there were none at basement service point,  didn't matter as I'm not veggie but would have been angry to have had to queue again elsewhere.

Not enough loos, queues for ladies. Not the fault of the organisers but the venue.

Memo to self: don't forget the patterns you have printed out so you know the quantity and ply of the yarn needed. It didn't work with Ian texting the details   :(   Not his fault though.

Apart from these niggles, enjoyed it all, have increased my stash, marvelled at the beautiful and detailed work that crafters do. Couldn't see myself doing some paper crafts but can admire the work and skills of others.

This is for another cushion cover. Well I do own 9 Lloyd Loom chairs and we have 2 sofas on order.

 This is for socks, have to complete first ever pair of course.

This is going to be for a frilly scarf, I was told it is easy and the colours will complement the dress I'm wearing.

This is for a cushion cover too, even had the pattern thrown in with yarn.

Quite restrained, but have lots of knitting to do, have finished the second pewter coloured cushion cover but it   is in need of blocking and sewing up. May consider a crochet edging to pretty it up.

Not as tired after the day out, was home about 5pm. Unusual for me to go off somewhere without Ian, but it is good for us to do so sometimes.

As a result of my enthusiasm bought The Knitter and Knitting for this month yesterday.

Well, that's it tonight. Another time will tell you about today when we went to lunch with son, DiL and daughter to celebrate Ian's birthday. That's next week on a work day.

Good night, sleep tight,


Monday, 14 March 2011

Busy busy busy

MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook: 14th March 2011

Outside my window ... sunshine, very frosty earlier but now beautiful. Good drying weather so washing machine whirling away.

From the learning rooms ... Ian checking and thinking about his maths  TMA (tutor marked assignment)
I am thankful ... that Martha's training going well for the marathon. Just in case any one would like to contribute to her charity, Pancreatic Cancer UK her page is .
 It is not just about money though, it is in memory of her friend Gemma so do read about that.
From the kitchen ... yesterday we had Fairtrade breakfast at church, bought museli, apricots and honey from Fairtrade/Tradecraft  stall. Very sociable occasion too, as some worshippers from 8am service were joined by those from 10am.

I am wearing ... long grey M & S skirt with hand knitted pink polo neck jumper. 
I am creating ... socks, cushion cover and jacket. Knitted the heel of socks whilst travelling to London via Piccadilly line, have to pick up along sides next but not sure so will take it to Mrs Moon for help on Thursday.

I am going ... to wait before we put most of the pictures back on the walls, consider the wide choice we have and may wait for sofas to come. Mirrors are a given, opens up the house.
I am reading ...  house interior magazines again before they go out.
I am hoping... that it will not be too long before our sofas are made and delivered. The carpet is being laid this Wednesday, so the sofas will be the last item. 
I am hearing ... men working on the roof and the decorators working in our dining room.
Around the house ...  utter chaos at Pixie Towers. Outside we have scaffolding in front of the garage going up to the chimney top. The chimney stack is being repointed, when the smoke test was done for the new fire some smoke came out of sides of chimney not the top. We left the work until the better weather and it is ideal today. 

Ian taking advantage of the scaffolding to take pictures from on high.
Inside our lovely decorators are with us for the third and final day. The back room has been painted and now the front room is being bought to standard. All the rooms in this house are decorated with anaglypta paper and painted in magnolia so we have a blank canvas on which to hang pictures, photographs, maps, certificates. Also, means that walls are easy maintenance, Ian can touch up marks, repaint in between professional refurbishment. As the decorators work is of a very high standard it lasts a long while. 
One of my favourite things ... friendliness of the urban village in which we live. This morning, for the second time this year, I collected the newspaper, met a neighbour and we caught up on the news; other people smiled, don't know them but recognise them as familiar faces. 
A picture thought I am sharing ... this is the back room with all paraphanalia so the front room can be decorated. Twill all be worth it, that's what we say.

A few plans for the rest of the week ... not sure, domestic goddess role seems to be taking over. Think there is a Lent group on Thursday, will go to Local Studies as usual. Also, Adam and Juliet are joining us on Sunday to celebrate Ian's birthday. Not the actual date as it is a work day for them. Haven't seen them for a while, their last visit precipitated the new furniture and redecorating malarkey.

 Find instructions and links to other daybooks at The Simple Woman to whom acknowledgement should be made.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook: 7th March 2011/8th March 2011

Outside my window ... sunshine, bright and cold. So lovely after greyness.
I am thinking ... that running one's home and life is as if one is a one or two person business. Have just paid tax bill on line; now am trying to sort out savings on line. There was something to be said for the old fashioned bank manager.

From the learning rooms ... quiet, Ian is away at his U3A art class.
I am thankful ... Picasso car passed it's MOT test today. Very low annual mileage, just 3210. As it's a diesel and big car we use the very old petrol Corsa around town, cheaper on fuel, easier to park, also it didn't mind the cold weather.
From the kitchen ...  Yesterday (ie Monday) made up cakes using the Friendship Cake mix. Very pleased with result, Martha took samples to work, she texted to say cakes had gone well. Think I may cook next batch in a deeper but smaller baking tray. Have frozen starter again, seems to do no harm.

I am wearing ... blue cashmere polo neck jumper from John Lewis and M & S blue cord skirt. Tuesday, it is long grey skirt and Gap black wool and mohair slightly itchy polo neck jumper.
I am creating ... socks, jacket and cushion cover. For first sock have reached heel flap, need how to work out how it's done using magic loop; jacket, thought I had gone wrong as pattern didn't explain until much later that it was double moss stitch so had unknitted a row for nothing, I'd not gone wrong; first cushion cover completed, in use. Second one work in progress.

I am going ... to post a congratulations to grandparents card to my US penfriend, we have been writing to each other since we were about 12. Nowadays it's Facebook, originally surface mail. She's Martha's Godmother and shows much more interest than the other Godmother who is a blood relation.
I am reading ... Need to start reading group book, Twilight. Knitting seems to have taken preference over reading.
I am hearing ... on Tuesday afternoon it is very quiet, the school children have gone past the house, the planes have changed flight path so all can be heard is clock ticking and tap of keys.

Around the house ... carpet has been offered on Freecycle, we are waiting to ensure it goes to the most deserving cause; decorators start this Thursday. New carpet is in at the shop. Carpet being collected this evening (Tuesday), going to some one who doesn't have one. 

One of my favourite things ... house to myself on Tuesday afternoon. Quite like my own company, can think, even could have radio on and listen without interruption. sounds unkind, but not meant to be. Wonder if I am becoming reclusive, don't socialise much, apprehensive when I go to event or to meet up with anyone. Certainly don't wish to be involved in an organised way, like to turn up, assist, do what has to be done and creep away. Anyway I'm not good as seeing what needs to be done, am not a managing/organising sort of person, instead analytical, being on the sidelines, watching and in the background.

A few plans for the rest of the week ... local history society talk tonight, hope it is better than last month, less said about that the better; meeting with development officer of BLF to discuss the local Breathe Easy group; meeting up with former house mate in London for lunch and chat. We may take in an exhibition.
A picture thought I am sharing ... 

 Didn't realise flash would show up on wooden table, can never remember how to turn flash off.

Really need to concentrate, there are 40 rows of cable pattern as well as rest of pattern!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Women's world day of prayer

Just a little review about yesterday morning when I attended the local Women's World Day of Prayer, which was held at the church I attend. Apparently this annual event is always first Friday in March, don't remember attending one before but may have always been at work.

Some of us had been asked to make little loaves, no one had any idea of how many we would need in the end Ian made a batch the evening before and we didn't use the ones I'd made in little loaf tins and frozen. Worked on the idea if the freshly baked weren't needed we could freeze them, but couldn't refreeze others.

The service had been prepared by Christian women of Chile, I thought it was slightly long but inspirational and thought provoking. Mention was made of the Chilean miners and their rescue, the service had been prepared before this happened.

Our vicar's wife made a cake, I didn't think to photograph anything until I saw some one else taking pictures so took camera out and just snapped a few pictures.

The cake had been cut but the logo can be seen.  the vicar's wife had arranged the flowers too,

Finally views of the table on which the bread was placed and a group enjoying excellent refreshments and chat after the service. Surprised how many people I knew there, especially as it was interdenominational and not just our district but the local town too.

Will update everyone on the home refurbishments another time, yesterday required a blog of its own.

Keep warm, keep in touch,


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Just saying.....

It's been a good day.

I have mastered, I think, knitting with circular needles using magic loop so am making slow progress with my first attempt at socks.

Will be slow as needles are 2.5,  the yarn is very Regia sock yarn, very fine, and I have two other projects ongoing, a second cushion cover in pewter Jaeger silk and wool yarn and a cardigan with lots of cable and pattern. Enjoying the variety.

Second good event today was when I was working at the local studies library where you may remember I am one of the volunteers involved in a digitalisation project whereby local planning applications from 1880s to 1960s will be on line. Today, the first application I did was for our own house, well and next door as we are a semi. Pixie Towers was built in 1934, and as far as I could see it had been built as the plans, except for the loft access hatch was shown to be outside the bathroom whereas it is situated outside bedrooms 1 & 4. (These rooms are actually next to each other).

Very silly to be so excited about a plan and a form but I was. Especially as we have a copy of the original sales brochure for this estate. The illustration on that matched an illustration on the plan.

Knitted sock on the bus coming home, circular needles are so much more portable than straight ones.

Good night readers.