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Friday, 26 October 2012

Day 16.

Knitting update: yesterday evening worked on socks, ready to start heels, this time intention is to make them very neat so will take time.

Have been working on squares from recycled wool, almost at the end of the cream so completing last square with mitred corner. This square has so many joins, what I think is a complete ball of yarn has breaks in the middle but will need to use all to complete the cushion cover. Will sew in ends, wash and block squares before joining up to make the cushion cover.

A little more hexipuff knitting in odd moments too.

Today is a special day as 30 years ago I was at Queen Charlotte's hospital, our lovely daughter Martha was born there at 12.02 pm. Thanks to Face Talk we had a chat with her this morning, tea was being drunk to celebrate. Lots of greetings on Facebook from family and her many friends demonstrate what a super person she is.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Day 15 of 31

mmmm, nearly half way through talking about knitting.

Just to say yesterday I decided I wasn't happy with the standard of knitting around the heels of socks so whilst chatting to son and daughter in law undid the socks to way back, think just above the ankle when I was nearly at the toes. Have put both pairs back on the needle, one ready to go, other one needs to be tidied up, stitches untwisted and perhaps stitch below to be knitted too.

Haven't touched socks yet today, did some hexipuff whilst on phone.

Notice 'yet'. when I've been asked if I have visited somewhere my answer is either 'yes' or 'not yet', thus combining a sense of optimism with an acknowledgement of how much I have travelled. Great way of annoying our beloved offspring is to shout 'been there' at the TV or radio when a specific town or place is mentioned. Between us, these parents can clock up a few miles!

There aren't too many places that I yearn to visit, Montecello has been on the list ever since my OU studies: the Settle to Carlisle railway appeals but more often travelling is to visit people rather than places. Today, someone was surprised that we hadn't been away on holiday this year, well apart from a weekend in East Anglia, but that was based around joining other bloggers for a lunch party. People not places, it was so lovely.

Back to sock knitting and catching up on Bake off spin offs......

Monday, 22 October 2012

Misty Monday

Day 14 of knitting is just more progress on a hexipuff in odd moments of time. I had intended to take up the socks again whilst watching the Masterclass from Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, had assumed an 8pm start but discovered it was an hour earlier. Still there is always iPlayer.

I wore my pink socks with my winter boots yesterday and have realised that I knitted the feet a little big and made the boots uncomfortable so switched to the first pair I ever made which were a better fit. this time I shall try the new socks on when I reach the length indicated. Both pairs of winter boots require socks inside, my feet and legs are slim but boots are made assuming everyone has fat legs.

Looking at this picture the feet do look longer than the legs. Still ok for wearing around the house though!

Yesterday's church service back here was a complete contrast to the previous week but none the worse for that, for I came away knowing I will remember some of the teaching about service - as opposed to a service - and the pleasure of seeing some of the rather elderly ladies of the congregation participating in "Simon Says"! Yes, it was the monthly service for the younger age group but it was done so well it was right for all. How good for the children to be around the altar, to see what the priest does at the Consecration and sensing the importance and reverence.

This is why when we go away Ian and I try to attend the local church, although once in a village near Skipton we were accosted as newcomers, nearly signed up for the PCC and flower arranging before we could escape back to London. Visiting other churches gives a fresh insight into faith, a different emphasis on a familiar form of worship, learning something new and being able to look at one's own church on return to compare and contrast. The same benefits accrue when the vicar goes away for the four Sundays he is apparently allowed off and we welcome visiting clergy. Many years ago a priest who had been a teacher, or a school chaplain, not sure which, maybe both, used to cover and his sermons were like RE lessons, so much information about the background to Jesus and his life and about the world of St Paul.

As part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Guide company a presentation of their activities at a muddy PGL centre recently was screened. Guiding is just another world now, looks so much more fun and relevant. Like domestic science at school, much of our guiding seemed to assume being wives and mothers would be the most important part of our lives, the badges, like Little Homemaker reflected this.

It was my turn to host the reading group today, back went the Salmon Fishing in Yemen, in came White Truffles in Winter. Those of us who haven't read our free copy of Oliver Twist in this Dickens year were given a gentle reminder of the delights of this author. Am planning to download an unabridged audio so I can knit and listen.

Well enough of my waffle, busy week ahead.

Friday, 19 October 2012

PixieMum goes out west.

Right, let's get the knitting for Day 13 over. Have done half a hexipuff, then noticed had 19 instead of 20 stitches so will be undoing it. (Please insert your own mild swear word if you like) 

More success in completing one of the large Freecycle wool squares whilst having a chat on phone.

Right. Now the reason for not knitting or blogging was that I was away with the Strollers walking group. The name is becoming more and more apt, at times I found the pace a little slow and was glad to be at the front, striding ahead and then having more of a break and a photo opportunity.

Big difference this year was that I went without Ian. Now I know plenty of women of my age have no one with whom to go away, live on their own, don't wish their husbands to join them (or vice versa of course), but we tend to come as a package. However, Ian's OU maths exam was last Wednesday so there was no way he could lose three days revision so we thought it would be a Good Thing if I went without him so he could revise in peace and quiet.

Yes friends it went fine, I missed him terribly at odd moments, during the Sing Praise we have before Saturday's dinner, at the end of dinner where I suddenly realised that if I didn't go and fetch my coffee I wouldn't have any. Another time was on Saturday afternoon walked into Shaftesbury, it was odd pottering around a strange town on my own. Did consider walking down Gold Hill, but I opted out as I would have had to climb up again to return to the hotel. I had just about coped with the two walks I'd done.

The view of Gold Hill on Sunday morning after church at St Peter's Shaftesbury. It was very misty in the distance, clouds as one sees them from a plane obscuring the views.

Rather pleased that I managed to attend the 8am service, especially as it was BCP, said reverently, clearly with the correct emphasis, no servers to distract. I was amazed that I remembered all the words of the prayers so familiar from my teenage years onwards until the 1980s Series 2 and now Common Worship which can seem banal. BCP makes me think about what the words really mean, and this service, the worshipfulness, the peace and calm emphasised what is missing in my church back home. Additionally the excellent  talk by the priest, without notes, so apt, the church was celebrating Harvest Festival later at their 9.30 service so it was in that context.

Looking back over the weekend, there were some arduous walks as it was so muddy, there was slurry as we walked through a farmyard, there were stiles in a variety of styles and wobbliness and some steep inclines all of which has convinced me that I need more regular cardiovascular exercise and confirmed by the nurse discussing the results of my blood test.  I feel far less breathless than before I went away so we have an appointment next week to see what the local gym offers these old crocks. It has taken a few days to catch up as I have felt very tired, it has been suggested that I may have Delayed onset muscle soreness, nothing that time and paracetamol won't solve.

Just an example of the lovely views we encountered.

On Sunday, we breakfasted after church, group photos were taken before some departed for other destinations but the rest of us convoyed to Stourhead to find the place heaving. Had every National Trust member on Wiltshire and beyond chosen to go there on that beautiful sunny day? Admired the kitchen gardens, checked out the NT second hand bookshop and walked around the lake but no time to go into the house but am encouraged to return on a weekday.

After Stourhead, drove to my Friend-from-junior-school-days, so lots of catching up and chatting before I drove home on Monday. Both drives, on Friday and Monday were nearly two hours non stop, I used the Sat Nav successfully, before I have left it to Ian to set it.

Good night everyone.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Day 12.

Very brief note about my knitting journey, then after I have cleared the ironing marathon, will attempt a chat about the weekend away. With my walking boots I wore the very first pair of socks I knitted, on my return home socks needed a long soak to remove the mud. Worth it, feet and legs were dry and comfortable.

No knitting done until Sunday evening, but then just a few rows of the hexipuff during the advertisements on Downton Abbey.

Then, next knitting was during British Bake off but again, TV took preference; yesterday just knitted one of the  big squares for the throw whilst talking on telephone, so good to have loudspeaker on handset.

Not the muddiest part of the walk, I haven't asked permission to put photos here of other Strollers so that precludes some muddy events. Even though I doubt they are aware of my blog it would be bad mannered of me.

Right, off to iron, then a chatty blog later.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Day 11.

Just briefly after yesterday's huge photo, can say that the socks have grown because went to Royal Brompton yet again.

Have come away with a nebuliser, saline solution and slight confusion when I read the cleaning instructions. What with controlled breathing techniques, all the medication and now a nebuliser I shall have to be up early to do all this. Then most of the schedule is repeated again in the evening, I reckon we are talking a little shy of at least one and a half hours each day.

I should be fitting in some form of regular exercise into the day, walking to the High Street to collect the paper really isn't enough, especially as this activity depends on the weather.

Much knitting was done both on the train and the hour's wait for the pharmacy to provide the saline solution. Still have doubts about completing socks to wear at the weekend even though I am taking knitting with me to Home Group in a few moments.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

nine of thirty one.

Just a late, brief note to keep the momentum of daily blogging going, to say that I have established a method for ensuring an equal number of rows are knitted for the feet of my socks.

Method: different colour stitch markers on each sock.

On a post it note record the number of rows done for each sock using the 5 bar gate system.

Sit on comfortable sofa with one sock on each side.

Watch interesting TV programme and take it in turns to knit each sock and recording round.

None of this would be necessary if only I had put my ro-tallies on the needles when I started. Will know next time.

Good night everyone.

Monday, 8 October 2012

District Line knitting on day 8.

Had to travel to Royal Brompton hospital so of course I knitted a hexipuff on the train and whilst waiting at the hospital. 

Although this is the 152nd hexipuff, everything seemed to go wrong, either an odd number of stitches, or 12 stitches on one needle and 16 on the other, or the tail tanged with the knitting thread. I think I undid as much as I knitted. 

Far more important was the good news at the hospital, all my tests have come back clear, I am much better than in early July and next visit to consultant is in a year's time.

To celebrate this Ian and I went to Westfields, Ian had never shopped there although he was involved with the planning of the building, much evidence of his company's products were noted by us. Shopping was successful, including gold nail varnish (don't ask yet

Now off to complete socks, to be worn with gold toe nails of course.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Sunday Day 7.

Just a brief mention that I knitted a little whilst watching Downton Abbey, progress has been made on the socks in that I  am back to 64 stitches, knitting the foot so creeping towards the toes.

Went to a service to commemorate 75th anniversary of founding of 2nd Whitton St Augustine's Guides. Church was quite full, but only one other girl from my time in the company. Didn't matter, I knew plenty of the younger  guides and leaders. So many changes, from the Promise to Taps. have never forgotten when I was about to be enrolled, another girl asked me if I knew what 'on my honour meant' as it was part of the ceremony, haven't forgotten the answer. My honour means I can be trusted. Maybe haven't kept to that always in the past, but now in my later years can keep that promise.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Saturday 6th.

As the thirty one days concerns one subject I shall start with knitting, but then just add in an ordinary blog.

So the picture from the other day won't load onto here, have taken another one but Blogger wants me to sign up to loads of other stuff so will finish the blog on iPad, take a picture with ordinary Canon camera, go upstairs and  edit blog on laptop.  Now using laptop and camera so you can see the progress and how different each sock is. The wool is Regia stripe, there's a link to Kaffe Fassett on the ball band.

Unusual Saturday, daughter drove up early from Sussex, she had ticket for Hedda Gabler at Old Vic but before then we went into Kingston as she was concerned that I wasn't wearing right size bras. I had been measured a few years ago in M&S, just bought same size each time replacements were needed, often didn't wear one at all.  What I (and apparently lots of Mothers) don't know is how these garments should fit. So lots of trying on in John Lewis, purchases were made before moving to M&S for more trying on and slightly more inexpensive purchases.

Have to admit, I am feeling a little more comfortable than usual at the end of the day but don't ask me to explain English bra measuring systems, or to remember the overheard snatches of conversations from other changing rooms and from the shop staff. Made what could have been embarrassing a laugh.

Daughter went off to go to London, Ian joined me as a break from study and for lunch. Think I had forgotten how crowded shops are on a Saturday, we are so spoilt being able to do so in the weekday calm that we returned home mid afternoon. Of course had quick look in John Lewis haberdashery to see if any suitable wool for hexipuffing on sale -wasn't - and checked in Tiger but now acrylic only.

Daughter came back here, spent time with us before driving home to her cats. We gained an extra paper as she left her copy of The Times here, good to read the news from another viewpoint.

Friday, 5 October 2012


Very briefly, again tried to write on my iPad but Google/Blogger wouldn't allow so will just tell you I have made a hexipuff, just need to complete the three needle bind off.

This evening whilst Ian was at choir practice worked quite a few rounds of my socks, enjoyed BBC2 programme about servants a hundred years ago whilst knitting.

Today is the first day of Christmas preparations, bought a tin of Amaretti biscuits and telephoned a cousin to invite him and his wife to join us over the holiday. They have for the last umpteen years so this one should be no different, am pleased about that.

Will take photos tomorrow with my camera, upload them here so you can see knitting progress. Boo hiss to iPad!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

On the fourth day of thirty one ...

Well earlier in the day I tried a couple of times to post this on my iPad but it just gave me a Google error message so on our return from home group I have opened up the laptop to give you an update. Even here it started to tell me about an error.

The iPad photos I took of my knitting will have to wait for another attempt, can say that it has been a good 24 hours as last evening I realised that I had misread the pattern! Oh doh! As I had the right number of stitches couldn't understand from where the extra ten stitches to be knitted were coming. It wasn't ten to be counted, it was to knit ten to reach the beginning of the round.

Went to knitting group, didn't feel part of it, maybe because I no longer read or post on Ravelry - just use it to record my projects and stash - the conversations were lost to me, I felt like an outsider.

Have worked on a hexipuff at Home Group and worked on the giant squares for the throw at other times. I don't do the socks unless I can ensure I have time to work on both, perhaps tie on luggage labels to identify which round I am on. Should have put a ro-tallies on when I started, too late now.

Home group was interesting, kind of refresher course about worship, better than the York Courses or discussions about hypothetical topics that have no relation to the lives of the group, all of whom, with one exception, are all retired.

Will try to add pictures tomorrow.

Good night.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Day 3.

Have done knitting but not socks yet. Knitted hexipuffs in the car and on the bus to and from Local Studies today, think this will be last one in Rowan 4ply pale green. Traffic bit slow, so well on way to finishing.

Also completed quite a large area of a square using wool from Freecycle haul, just pick up the work when maybe on loudspeaker phone or waiting for something to cook.

As far as socks are concerned, have undone knitting so will have to pick up heel flaps again and try to achieve right number of stitches this time. If it doesn't work will go to knitting group for assistance as time is running out. Had hoped to make a cowl before walking weekend, this is some chilly autumn this year.

This is an experimental blog, for once didn't fire up my lap top, instead worked out how to write it on iPad, with Bloggers new style template.

Let me know if it is too bad.......

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Day 2 of 31

Not a great knitting day so far, did complete the 150th hexipuff, so able to start a new one.

Actually started it in Squires Garden centre café as there for lunch with other ladies from the parish. This is the second one, couldn't make last month, but there is nought else socially for ladies at our church. The men have a monthly meet up in the local pub, it is my understanding it has been very successful in terms of friendship, fellowship and laughter.

Anyway, whilst we waited to see who else would be joining us, sat on squishy sofa and commenced another hexipuff, but just time to cast on 20 stitches, and transfer some to the magic loop needles. Suspect casting on was a little tight as it is proving tricky to do this.

All knitters will appreciate I'm taking stitches from red needle to wooden needles alternatively.

Was not able to continue after the meal, for although we sat around chatting, I was showing the others information from my iPad about the Local studies CALM website, found details of the woodwind orchestra in which the organiser of today's lunch plays. This is at the church at the other end of our urban village.

Now back to the socks. They were left in favour of ironing yesterday, so today will try again but can concentrate whilst watching British bake off?

Monday, 1 October 2012

31 days in 2012

No way can I take any credit for this title, I read about this on The Bookworm's blog, so went to her source, which is the blog of The Nester.

Confused? Don't worry, so was I, but basically one blogs every day in October about a chosen topic. Some of the topics chosen are amazing, I suspect one would spend all of one's October reading them all.

I have decided to just post daily about my knitting progress, especially as I was making good progress with the socks but having joined the sock flap back up, picked up the stitches from the sides, then asked to knit 10 more stitches, I am confused as it will mean I think I will have too many stitches.

Any way, here is a picture of the socks so far .....

There is a deadline for finishing these, I would like to wear them when I go walking the weekend after next.

Of course, all may be well, but I shall leave my laptop, go and iron, then return to the knitting. These are the third pair I have made, perhaps I shouldn't have knitted and watched Downton Abbey at the same time.

to be continued tomorrow. Day 2/31.