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Monday, 26 November 2012

Day 22. Knitted cushions.

Yup, am creeping towards the end of 31 days of knitting with some good news. Have sewn up the knitted squares for a second cushion cover made from wool generously donated by some one on our local Freecycle. There is more yarn, it will wait while I complete the socks, also given the cold weather I'd like to make a cowl for myself as I am such a chilly mortal. I have Spud and Chloe yarn for this, it needs winding from a hank to a ball, just as I had to do when I knitted as I child and bought wool in a shop near my grandmother's home in Kew.

So this is the latest cushion, 50 x 50cm with cushion pad from IKEA, no buttons this time and below the chair with both cushions.

Just to show we don't just rely on the home spun, cottage industry, craft look we have bought cushions from the Royal Academy featuring anemones in a print by Dame Elizabeth Blackadder. Loved the cheerful design, reminds me of our visit to the Bronze exhibition a few weeks ago too. Another link, very tenuous I know, Dame Elizabeth is from Falkirk, not that far from Stirling from where Ian's Mother came and where his relations live still.

Attended reading group this morning, only two finished White truffles in winter, (I didn't) none of us were impressed even after viewing the BBC4 programme about Escoffier. Our next read is Before I go to sleep by S. J. Watson. I know nothing about it, have until mid January to read and consider it, even though that is a long way off mustn't procrastinate. Meanwhile, I need to complete those warm socks......

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Disappointed on day 21.

Some years ago I was sitting in Book Data's office car park listening to the car radio when the news came through that women could be ordained priests, felt so pleased that the man made church had moved at last to include the other half of humanity. Today, knowing the talents, compassion, complementary ministry and understanding that women have bought to the priesthood I just cannot understand why the laity have rejected the measure to ordain women Bishops. I would have understood the clergy rejecting women Bishops, there may be clergy who are scared of the competence, efficiency and popularity of women priests but for laity, and especially other women, not to give everyone an equal opportunity to serve the church - well I despair.

Just had a thought, the Head of the Church of England is the Queen, no one has ever said female Monarchs cannot be Head of the Church, so why so much discrimination within the church. Works both ways, surprise has been expressed that Ian is one of the church cleaners, he has helped with flowers arranging in the past too. It is barely 30 years since our church choir became mixed. We used to see and be recognised by the previous Bishop of our diocese in the local supermarket.

Back to other matters, saw a GP yesterday concerning my right shoulder, x-rays and physiotherapy are being organised. Such pleasantness and efficiency at our surgery. One thing I've learnt from this, I am not as left handed as I thought, have had to consciously use my left hand rather than it being instinctive. May explain why offspring are right handed in spite of left handed parents.

Ian met the kittens' new owner this morning, apparently they have taken up residence on her bed, also they were quite baffled by stairs.

Now day 21. Am undoing the instep shaping where I have gone wrong, it appears just on one side but I'm a perfectionist. Also whilst waiting for the laptop to fire up I have been weaving in ends of the cushion cover squares prior to sewing up a second cushion cover. Martha kindly picked up cushion pads in IKEA and brought them here. Need to plan design for next cover, but sock completion is first.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Kitten news update

Great news. Kittens have been named and are in their new abode with senior cats to guide them in the way of their new staff.

Ian and I had a phone call yesterday at 9am, we know the lady and her family so we were delighted to hear she wanted the kittens. Instant decision was made for us to drive to the coast to deliver a chair we had for Martha and to transport kittens and their luggage back here. Trip had to wait till after lunch as Ian was booked in for a Eucharistic home visit, too late to pull out, but if we had been able to go in the morning we wouldn't have had a problem with the sunlight whilst driving.

One of the roundabouts on the route was called Clark's Green Roundabout, I pondered whether Clark has any other roundabouts and if so, what colour are they.

To the kittens, they were so good in the car, no squeaks or mewing, they'd never been in the carrier before, never left the flat but looked quite calm in the carrier when we delivered them. Their new owner named them, the white and tabby is Mary and the all tabby is Martha. So appropriate for sisters, however I don't think there is a Lazarus in the menagerie. Another bonus, their new owner is a friend of the family who have Molly and Tabs, the parents of M & M.

As it's lunch time will blog another time about the sock knitting, also have a doctor's appointment about painful shoulder, I haven't recovered from what I thought was Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, time and paracetamol haven't worked in the five weeks since the walking weekend. Ian had to take over driving yesterday, it was so painful holding arm on steering wheel. Haven't been driving little car recently, it doesn't have power steering.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Fluffy kittens

This is more of an advertisement than a blog, as one never knows who is reading this so it may worth a try to find a home for Martha's unnamed kittens. They were going to a family in West London and at the last minute the Dad has decided he doesn't want them, children very upset of course.

The kittens are 12 or 13 weeks old twin sisters, one is tabby and white, one is tabby, very sociable, good tempered and house trained. They are free to a good home, they have not been outside as their home has been a first floor flat till now.

Martha lives on the South Coast, we are in SW London so kittens can be delivered within reasonable distance of these locations, also she would be willing to take them to Dorset as she has friends and family in that county. Moggies will come with toys, travel box, dirt box, unused automatic feeder.

These pictures were taken early September, there is a more up to date one below.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Day 20

Day 20 of 31..  Knitting.

Just progressing with socks, have completed the heel flaps and now will be turning the heel whilst watching BBC4 programme on Escoffier. He is the subject of the reading group book, White Truffles in Winter by N. M. Kelby. Am finding the book heavy going, tend to read it whilst using the nebuliser as there is not much else I can do then. If the TV programme doesn't inspire me I may give up.

On another tack, unintended consequences. So often something good can come from something that is not good. Like many, I received an email about a scam whereby a so called delivery company asks for debit card details to pay for a delivery. Email was forwarded to Ian, who passed it on to his contacts. The result that he has had many cheery emails, updating him on friends' activities, news and suggestions of catch ups.

Off to view Escoffier, wonder if that is where the English word 'scoff' comes from? Doubt it, me being silly, for as we used to say to the kids when they were little, Everyone, even grown ups, are silly sometimes. 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Completed cushion on day 19.

This will be about knitting as I have finished the first item that I made from the yarn  I acquired about a year ago through Freecycle. It was very chunky, I have made 16 squares, all garter stitch, some mitred, some started with one stitch then increasing and decreasing again. Now the first 8 squares are a cushion cover, the pad of which is 43x43cms and adorned with five lovely buttons.

The buttons were part of a parcel of goodies I received from a blogger who posts on Ravelry too. Last year she had a competition to celebrate a blog anniversary, anyone who commented on her blog in March 2011 had a chance of winning. I commented once about the London Marathon, in which my daughter and her son were running, not having seen anything about the competition and won thanks to a random number generator.

The lovely buttons are on the right of the photo. If you want to see the blog of the kind person who sent me what has turned out to be perfect buttons it is here:-  There is some beautiful knitting there, I am so inspired by her work.

Time to join Ian, he has stopped studying - or doing his sums as we say - so will go, maybe even sit on the new cushion.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Was looking back at my diary for 50 years ago when the calendar lined up with this year, well from 1st March as 1962 wasn't a leap year. Easy to remember a leap year, it is the last year of a US president's four year term of office.

A few other differences, 1962 half term was a week earlier than this year, we had just three days break, spent on a geography field study in Surrey. Holmbury St Mary youth hostel was my first experience of youth hostelling, I noted we sat on the scarp slope of Box Hill to eat lunch on the first day. Delights of the second day included drinking cider at the Stephen Langton pub in Friday Street, we're talking fifth years here so aged 15 or 16 with one teacher.

We were cut off from news, so we returned home to hear about the Cuban crisis although nothing is recorded about this in my diary, cannot decide whether I wasn't interested or it didn't impact on my world.

Looking at the entry for Tuesday 6th November, I record meals, bacon and egg for breakfast; school, the Headmistress said the hockey team was no good - didn't work as a team. She was right, we had a match that afternoon to which we travelled by bus, lost 4 - 0 and "home in Miss H*'s car. Lessons that day included French "went on with verbs"; Scripture "finished yesterday's work & started transformation" [Yesterday's Scripture work was about events at Caesarea Philippi] and in Geography started SW Peninsula. "As usual a good lesson". No idea why I wrote that, nor any indication as to what a good lesson was. 

Back to my Blog of today and Day 18 of Knitting Purchased wool for another pair of socks, just £6.00, Stylecraft Aviemore 4ply superwash 75% wool and 25% nylon in the local garden centre after lunch with ladies from the church. The wool, pink and grey random dyes comes in one 100g ball so will be unable to knit both socks simultaneously so careful row counting will be needed. First have to finish the pair I have on the needles. So stopping here to dash away with the smoothing iron and will knit this evening.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Day 17

As you know I decided that 31 days of knitting was not going to be consecutive days, if it had been so I would have failed. As my son says, failure is not an option so I changed my specification.

Knitting hasn't been a priority, we are considering extending our downstairs cloakroom to include a shower, this project will involve filling in the gap between the back of the integral garage and the utility room. The designer emailed the drawings today; two builders know of our proposals so the talk has been of heated towel rails and whether the shower screen should have obscure glass. The three waterbutts occupying the space will need to be rehomed, the pedestrian door to the garage relocated and slightly recessed.

As to knitting, more hexipuffs have been made, the cushion cover squares have been washed, blocked and are ready to sew up.

Not very clear picture, sorry folks, taken with my iPhone, emailed it to myself as am compiling this blog on my laptop then somewhere lost it for it didn't appear in the photo gallery. The knitted squares are on the cushion pad secured with one pin, the ones for the back are beyond and it all needs joining up. Quite pleased with the rustic look, all from yarn obtained from Freecycle, hence washing it as not sure of its provenance. Once the cover is complete I will need a better picture for my Ravelry project picture. Haven't even put it on as a wip.

Have enough square to make a second cover, need to pop into John Lewis to buy another cushion pad, originally was going to make the squares into a throw but have changed my mind. Also there's plenty more yarn, will knit some finer wool using double moss stitch for another cushion cover.