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Saturday, 29 August 2009

Knitting Journal

Inspired by making my own Spinning Journal, I went on and modified a Knitting Journal that I downloaded from here to suit me a bit better.

This is nothing against Kathryn Ivy - it's just that there were a few bits that I didn't use (like gauge lol) so I changed it slightly.

My Knitting Journal is available here.

Spinning Journal

I keep a knitted journal and everyone has been telling me I should keep a spinning journal too. I couldn't find one that was available for download so decided to create one myself and as I'm so nice, I'm making it available for all of you too!

You can download it from here.

Please give me some feedback and let me know what you think.

Matt passed!

Matt was told that to get into college he needed at least 3 E level GCSE's.

I'm so very proud of him because he not only got the 3 E's, but he also got 3 D's, a C and a B!

Now he's going to go on and do catering at college!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Ethel & Eric

On Saturday we were discussing whether we could fit a sheep or an alpaca in the car. I then said we'd need two so that they would breed and have lots of little baby sheeps or alapacas.

We were in quite a silly mood by this point and Su asked what we would call our pair and I promptly said "Ethel and Eric" which for some reason had us wheezing with laughter (I smile even now when thinking of it!).

That has been stuck in my brain ever since and I have now put those names to good use.

The sheep on my wheel is now Ethel and the wheel itself is Eric!

Here is Ethel sporting her new earring!

Sunday, 23 August 2009


Today was Fibrefest!

My alarm went off at 5.30am this morning. I'd only been asleep two hours - I can never sleep if I've got to get up early the next day!

I drove to Newport to pick up Su and Joy so that we could catch the 7.30am ferry.

The drive there was uneventful except for a brief rain spurt which reduced visibility to almost nothing and slowed our speed to about 40mph!

Fibrefest was held at Cold Harbour Mill in Devon and there was loads there! I meant to take loads of pictures, but only got these ones of the mill (sorry, can't tell you what half this stuff is LOL):

This one when I walked into the first tent.

Here's Su enjoying a flapjack and coffee.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh, do you know who that is? That's P/Hop Pete!


They even had an air raid shelter with lots of cool stuff inside (even a Mathematics book!)

But here's what you really want to see.................FIBRE!

Because a sheep is essential to the smooth operation of a spinning wheel:

I also picked up this little stash bag made by The Laal Bear.

I'd seen her around on Ravelry and was gobsmacked when she asked if my week had improved and admitted she reads my blog!!!

I also met up with Marianne, Helen, Gemma (KraftyKoala), Just Julie, Sarah, Anni, Fleegle and loads more people said "Hi" to me and I'm really sorry that I can't remember who everyone was LOL.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Am I Being Haunted?

Remember that DAB radio I told you I'd bought that developed a problem and refused to work.

I had to return it for a replacement.

Within a week of receiving the replacement, that stopped working too! I'm currently awaiting the arrival of my third one!

I ordered my Mac Mini a couple of weeks ago. I was so excited although I went through hell to finally get it as I told you here.

Well the adapter finally arrived today and I got it all set up and plugged in...................and the Mini is dead! There is no power going into it at all.

I phoned Apple, almost in tears, he asked me to unplug it all, plug it back in, try a different wall socket. Then declared it DOA and put me through to the refunds department.

I was not offered a replacement power cord or an exchange unit, just "return it for a refund"

They said the refund would only take a couple of days (maybe by Saturday? That would sweeten my mood!) but then I got the e-mail with my return number.

The e-mail says:

"Our carrier will contact you within 2 business days to arrange collection. The item(s) will take 3-4 business days to reach the Apple Centre. Once receipt is confirmed, your refund will be processed. Please allow 5-10 days for the refund to reach your account. "

Erm..........but the man on the phone said in a couple of days!!

I have to wait for that money to be credited back onto my debit card before I can order a replacement as I can't afford to just order another one! If I'm lucky, the money won't get eaten by a bill!

You know when you watch a movie where one guy is kicking the crap out of another guy (stay with me here, there is a point!). He well and truly kicks the crap out of someone and you think "blimey!"

That's how I feel! I want to kick the crap out of someone!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

24 hours of hell

Last night was our usual knit night. I went along and all was going well until about 10pm when Jess sent me a text to say that they'd all probably be at their Nan's when I got back.

I called to find out why as my mother only lives next door and Alex told me that Kyle had completely flipped out, grabbed Jess around the throat and shoved her. He said that Kyle had then left the house.

I told him to get Nan around until I could get home and I left knit night.

When I got home, everyone except Kyle was sitting in the lounge. Jess said her shoulder hurt where he'd shoved her; I had a look but it looked ok to me. Mum went home and I sat with the others and we told jokes and chatted to pass the time until Kyle got home.

After about an hour Mum buzzed through on the phone and said that he was there so I went next door. I tried to talk calmly to him, but he was well past that by then. He was screaming at me and crying.

Then he got right in my face. I raised my hand up and told him to step back as I was still sitting in the chair and he slapped my hand away.

I had to leave. I knew my being there wasn't helping at all and even though I was being as calm as I could, my presence was winding him up.

I sat in my lounge for about half an hour and cried, more from shock than anything, then went back next door.

Kyle was sobbing at this point and it was then that I made the decision to contact the Mental Health team. They couldn't send anyone out but said they would get someone to call me the next day. They also said that if he kicked off again then I should call the police for our own safety and that it wasn't a punishment. I told him that I couldn't do that because Kyle would see it as a punishment! He said "Well we'll deal with that at a later date." I couldn't believe it, as far as Kyle is concerned; bad people go to jail and that's it, police don't take good people away and if I called the police on him then he would believe he was no good for the rest of his life!

I ended up giving him a couple of Alex's bio-melatonin just to help knock him out. He'd calmed down by this point and was quite happy to take them, have a hot shower then go off to bed. Everyone else went to bed shortly after.

Well, except for me...I sat here shell shocked until around 5am!

The following day I was woken by Graham the builder who is replacing the fascia boards under the bit of roof that sticks out around the house and is painting everything else. The kids all slept for another couple of hours and when they got up, everything was ok.

Mental Health called me around 10am this morning. He was astonished that Kyle was never offered anything like counselling or support after he was diagnosed with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and recommended I make a start by visiting our GP.

I phoned the doctors surgery and at first they wanted to give us a sit and wait appointment because, apparently, there was nothing else available. Until I told them that MH had told us to get an appointment, then we were miraculously squeezed in for a double appointment at 4pm.

I stayed at home today; I was actually waiting for a converter plug so that I can plug my Mac into my new monitor (which never arrived!).

I heard a bang at one point and thought Graham had fallen off his ladder, I went into the hallway, but I could see the ladder through the glass door propped against the house so I didn't investigate further.

About ten minutes later, Mum rushed through saying that there might be "big problems" outside. I went out to discover that the string on the paint pot had broken. The paint pot (quite full, no lid) fell to the ground and white paint went everywhere! Even over the wall and onto a passing black car!

Thankfully, there was no accident and once we'd hosed the guys car off he was so nice about it he wouldn't even accept money to take the car to the car wash!

Graham has cleaned the garden up as best he can, but I think it'll be a whitewash the next few times it rains!

I took Kyle to the GP, not one I had seen before, he talked to Kyle a bit, asked me some questions, informed me that Kyle's diagnosis hadn't been recorded in his notes (our wonderful NHS at work!) and then said he'd refer Kyle to CAMHS (Child and Adult Mental Health Service) and I should hear from them in the next few days!

I'm absolutely shattered, obviously I didn't sleep much. After getting home from the doctors surgery, all I've wanted to do is sleep.

I did some spinning in the garden, the sun was shining and it was lovely. I think it's helped calm me down slightly too!

I raided my money box yesterday. I was initially saving this for iKnit, but I don't really need any yarn after Ravelry Day and I would like some more fibre so I'm taking it with me this Saturday to Fibrefest!

I have £150!!

Fibrefest! Here I come!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

The past week or so

I've been finishing a lot of stuff off. As of this morning I only have Wimbledon Wetland (which only needs a hood, the GAAA and Alex's socks on the needles!

I have done some more spinning this week; I spun the remainder of the purple and black up. I'm getting better at plying; the second lot is much better balanced, but then the spinning isn't as slubby either. I might make something similar to Ishbel - half stocking stitch with a lacy edging to it then I can use the loose slubby stuff on the stocking stitch and the nice finer balanced stuff on the lace. I have already contacted the manufacturers and asked if they can do me another 100g in the same (or near as possible) dye lot and they have agreed.

I'm so excited by all this that my head has been exploding with various mixtures of colours I can do, I'm going to try blending at the wheel too to see what that looks like!

Unfortunately, I have been restricted in the amount that I could spin as I woke on Monday morning with a sore shoulder. I must've slept funny and I assumed it would sort itself in a day or two. Well it's still causing me grief and I think I've got a trapped nerve so it's going to be a while yet, but this is seriously cutting into knitting and spinning time *grumble grumble*

Yesterday was very bad; but playing taxi for 40 odd miles for the kids didn't help. After dropping mum off at work last night, I came home and had a very hot shower. Then just before bed I took a dihydrocodiene.

I had a very strange dream that I was at a World Knitting Weekend - people from all over the world were there - it was great! But for some reason it was decided that I wasn't allowed to stay and they all told me I was banished. I actually woke in tears - physically crying to match the crying in my dreams. Weird!

I'm going out tonight; first night out in aaaaaaaaaaages! It was Mel's birthday on Wednesday so we're going on a pub crawl!

Definitely no medication tonight LOL

I bought a Mac!

I decided last week I would buy one, especially as Microsoft have just announced the release of Windows 7; this totally pissed me off because Windows Vista is still such a piece of crap!

So, Jess and I decided to visit the Apple store in Southampton.

Of course, I completely forgot that last week was Cowes Week!

I got to Cowes and there was NOWHERE to park! It was full. Cowes is a very strange place. No road parking unless you have a residential permit. There only seems to be one big car park and it's a fair distance from the passenger ferry (which doesn't offer any parking at all). The other two car parks are very small, one belongs to the Co-Op and the other is short stay only. Someone suggested I try the overspill car parks (these are opened purely for events). I drove around and was told I would have to pay £5 for the privilege of parking in a field! I informed the lady that I had a blue badge (disability badge which entitles me to park in the car park next door for free!) and she said I still had to pay £5. I got a bit annoyed at this point and said that I was an Islander, I had absolutely no interest in a stupid boat race; I just wanted to go to Southampton to do a bit of shopping!

She just sort of gave me a shrug and held her hand out for the money, I told her to forget it and that I'd leave. She then told me I'd have to drive right around the overspill "car park" because there wasn't turning room.

I drove forward to the end of a line of cars with the intention of turning around there (there was room, no one was in danger and I certainly wasn't driving around their car park!) and another woman had a go at me telling me to slow down.

I must admit I lost it at this point. I told her to mind her own business, to teach her grandmother to suck eggs and I barrelled out of that car park at top speed!

I drove around but all the other places were either full or you had to pay an outrageous amount. The only other place to park was Cowes High School, but that's far too far away from the ferry for me to walk.

Then I drove to the park and ride thinking we could park up and bus back to the ferry. That car park was also full and the fare for busing back into town was £2.50.

After that I decided I'd buy it online but I'd get the peripherals locally at least so I popped into Newport to buy the monitor and a trackball mouse. I went to PC World and stood waiting for a member of staff to appear for about five minutes. Then I shouted out "Is anyone working today?" before leaving and going into Curry's next door.

Unfortunately they didn't have the monitor I wanted and it seems like trackballs are going out of fashion or something because they didn't have any!

Then I went down to Staples. They didn't have any trackballs either but they did have the monitor I was after. I asked the rather scared looking (Well, Jess and I were in full goth gear) CSR if I could have one, only to be told they were out of stock. He nearly died when I looked (OK, glared!) at him. So I asked in an ultra-polite voice if I could buy the display one. He did a huge swallow and said very quietly that he wasn't allowed to sell it to me that because they were expecting more stock in.

Then I asked him about trackballs (I had to explain what a trackball explorer was first) and he said they didn't sell those anymore. To his credit, he then asked if I wanted anything they did have! I said I was going home to bed and that I totally gave up on the day!

I was ready to bite things at this point! So I drove home. All I had to show for my big shopping trip was a pack of 2 DVD-RW discs that I bought in Staples.

I ended up ordering a Mac Mini from Apple and I actually got a reconditioned one for slightly more money, but it has slightly better specs so I reckoned it was a good deal.

I went into Newport on Monday to get a monitor thinking Staples would have them in stock by this point. The new stock hadn't arrived!

I explained - very patiently - to the manager that I wanted THAT monitor and that I was told more would be in this week. I think he realised I was ready to kill and they sold me the display model with 10% off.

Over the weekend I also purchased a keyboard with an inbuilt trackball from eBay.

By Tuesday, everything was here and on Thursday I started to get it set up.

Of course, it just wasn't going to go that easily!

The monitor only has a VGA port and the Mac Mini has a mini display port or a mini DVI port. I have been to every shop in Newport and no one does the adapter (not even PC World and they sell Apple products) so I've had to order that from Apple too. That will hopefully arrive on Tuesday!

This bloody computer better be worth it!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

I name this wheel...

My wheel needs a name! I really don't know what to call it. I'm not even sure if it's male or female yet. Most people seem to feminise their wheel, mine behaves most of the time...but every now and then my yarn will snap as if my wheel is being a stubborn man and trying to remind me who's boss LOL any ideas for a good name?

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

More Finished Stuff

I finished a couple more things today.

First off here is the Aurantium Shawl; this shawl was done as a KnitALong (KAL) on twitter and created by Socktopus.

Pattern: Aurantium Blossom

Source: twitter

Yarn: Flutterby Creations BFL Sock in Brigit Colourway

Time: 21-07-09 - 10-08-09

Here is a scarf made with Rico Design Pompon yarn too

Pattern: Garter Stitch Scarf

Source: Ball Band around yarn

Yarn: Rico Design Pompon

Time: 22-07-09 - 10-08-09

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Lacy Baktus

I finished my Lacy Baktus today. Mum was so impressed that she immediately went stash diving and requested I make her one too *sigh*

Pattern: Lacy Baktus

Source: Terhimon's Flickr

Yarn: Knitting Goddess July 2009 Sock Club

Time: 6-08-09 - 8-08-09

My First Handspun

Finally! I have some finished and plied handspun yarn to show you.

I'm so proud of it!

I wish there were more of me so that I could knit everything I want to knit and now to spin as well!

Anyway, photo time!

Clicken to embiggen!

Friday, 7 August 2009

The shawl with no name

Anni was looking for volunteers to knit up a pattern of hers in time for fiberfest. I volunteered and everything arrived at the beginning of the week. It was a very easy pattern and I finished it this evening.

Here is a picture of it unblocked; Anni is going to block it herself which meant I could just squish it into the package!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Anniversary Mystery Shawl

I started the Anniversary Mystery Shawl several weeks ago and worked on it sporadically.

It was actually getting to the point where I wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but I battled on to see what it would be like after blocking.

Here it is.

It's shorter than I would usually go for, but will probably be ideal to wear with some of my gothic skirts in the summertime.

Pattern: Victorian Romance


Yarn: Knitting Goddess 100% Cashmere in Semi Solid Plum

Time: 3-06-09 –- 2-08-09 (while worked with other projects)

Saturday, 1 August 2009


I've been neglecting my friends lately.

I post often on twitter and Tweetdeck posts my tweets automatically to my facebook account. I'd posted about our visit to Southampton General this week so that Matt could have a cardiac MRI and Mel left a comment that pointedly started with "Hello Stranger!"

I sat and thought about it wondering what her problem was and then realised it's probably been about a month since I saw her last. Longer than that for anyone else except the knitting and spinning groups.

I used to hate sitting at home on my own and wondered how some people could do it. I started to tell myself it was because the weather has been so lousy, but yesterday the sun appeared and I raced outside in my bikini and sat spinning and knitting in the never occurred to me to go and visit someone!

I've been sat wondering why. Am I consciously avoiding the few friends that I've got? No.

To be perfectly honest, I'm just enjoying my own company at the moment.

Life feels so....................samey!

You phone people on a weekly basis and say "Hey, how's it going? What you been up to? What's the gossip? How are you? How are the kids/boyfriend/husband/parents/siblings/cousins/nieces/nephews/theguyyoumetatthepapershop..........."

Truth is; nothing much changes with me. I have pretty much the same routine from day to day and week to week and I started to notice after a while that everyone else does too. The only thing that changes is whatever we want to bitch about and that doesn't change often enough that I want to listen to the same complaints over and over again.

I've done that for people and got sweet FA in return. People that have told me their deepest darkest secrets, come to me and cried on my shoulder and told me their fears. But then those same people move on with their lives, find new people to spend their time with and forget that I'm still here being the faithful friend.

I get so fed up with that and so I've chosen to just not bother with it all for now. I know this means I miss out on other stuff, those friends from the paragraph before move home, find new partners, get married, catch swine flu & recover, have kids...big momentous occasions and I don't get to hear about it unless they happen to post it to facebook and haven't yet removed me as a friend!

Oh well!

I'm not consciously avoiding anyone, I just honestly don't have anything to say! I would hope that my friends, my TRUE friends, would still contact me if they needed me. After all, I haven't moved house, found a partner, got married, caught swine flu OR had (any more) kids LOL.

But I'm not avoiding you because you've pissed me off. I just don't have anything to chat about and I'm getting fed up with replying "Nothing." Whenever you ask what I've been up to; it reminds me of when I was at school. I know you guys aren't really interested in my crafting, so I'm not going to talk your ears off about it. But other than my knitting/spinning/crochet, being a mum and bathing/walking/feeding Isis.....nothing's happened!