Archive for November, 2009

It’s been a weird kind of week…

November 28, 2009

…from start to finish.  Notable events include:

The door on the driver’s side of my car filled up with water.  No, really!  We were on our way to Tesco’s and heard it sloshing about.  Luckily, my bank account (yep, them again, and they’re really pleased to have me as a customer just lately) includes RAC cover.  After trying to stretch a stroll round Tesco’s out for an hour and a half, the kind RAC man pointed out that all car doors let in water, it’s a deliberate design feature…and doors like those on my car have drainage holes at the bottom to let the water back out!  He used a bit of wire to unblock the holes, the water poured out and we were able to return home.

I saw the doctor-man about a range of small issues, including the never ending indigestion and he thinks I have some kind of bacterial stomach infection thing.  He prescribed me various things and it’s better already 🙂 .  He is also referring me to a private consultant about the irritable bowel diagnosis – my private policy will cover it for initial treatment and future flare-ups, but not long-term monitoring, which is better than nothing.  Unfortunately, the doctor-man also sent me for a blood test.  I say unfortunately because I have very fine, very delicate veins and only the really really expert nurses/doctors/blood test people can ever get my blood.  I saw the phlebotomist at our surgery on Friday morning and she couldn’t get anything at all, even after 3 attempts.  So I have to go back and see a nurse on Monday morning.  What a lovely start to the week!

A is off on his lads’ weekend away, and I’m enjoying the peace and quiet.  It’s wearing off a bit now, but I’m sure I’ll cope.  Last night I went out for dinner with one of my friends.  I don’t see Mrs Jarge (aka Georgina) very often, but we always have so much to say.  We’ve been friends since our very first day at college, aged 16, and kept in touch throughout Uni and all the years in between.  We went to my favourite Italian restaurant and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It makes such a nice change to go to a restaurant and be able to take as long as we want – we really didn’t feel rushed at all, even though we sat nattering long after we’d finished.  Mrs J has bought me a raspberry and a gooseberry bush for my birthday, which is so cool.  She has a knack for unusual but really lovely gifts – perhaps I should make her something for Christmas. 

On Weds afternoon a man came round to fix our bedroom window.  It has been whistling like crazy for a while, so after yet another sleepless night I invoked the warranty and had someone come out to fix it.  Apparently it had gaps all the way around – inside and out!  We’d spotted some of the gaps on the inside, but it was much worse from the outside!  At least that is fixed now. 

The rat-man came back on Thurs afternoon, to check on the bait he left.  One dish had been disturbed, there was grain on the floor around it, but none had been eaten.  The other two dishes were untouched.  I haven’t heard the little darling for a while, maybe it gave up and went away (wishful thinking?  Why not!). 

Our monthly organic meat box arrived on Thursday, and as well as the usual selection of sausages, mince, chicken, roasting joints etc, it was packed full of game.  That has never happened before!  There was a partridge, a pheasant, pigeon breasts, two different cuts of venison and a rabbit.  We’ll quite happily find a way to cook all of that, and enjoy trying the things we haven’t had before, but there’s no way we can eat rabbit.  No way.  Luckily my baby brother got excited about it and is happy to take it off our hands.  Here’s a reminder of why rabbit is not on our menu:

Anyway, on to making things…I’ve started a cross-stitch picture for niece Amy:

I haven’t got very far yet, as I’ve been obsessed by this:

That’s Mrs Christmas…with (currently detached) arms and skirt.  Once I have finished and sewn on the skirt, I can add the arms and she’s almost done.  Then she’ll be sent off to my big bro’s family in America, to join her husband who went over last year. 

Also, I made the effort to block Heather’s shawl:


I’m really pleased with it, and so is A.  Hopefully his cousin will like it – she’s one of those rare people who I can actually imagine getting use from a shawl. 

So, that was last week.  This week…I’m now working at least one day a week in Bristol, so that will be Tuesday.  Hopefully I’ll get to knitting in the library on Weds as I’ve missed a couple of weeks.  Blood test on Monday.  Hopefully it’ll be a less bewilderingly stressful week than this one!


Sorry I missed a week

November 21, 2009

I was just too miserable and stressed last weekend to write, it would all have come out mopey and depressing.  Strange, for someone who had a week off work and nothing to do! 

I did end up doing housework, and in the process discovered we have a big problem with a rat.  There were droppings tucked in corners all over the ground floor of the house, and random pieces of destruction lurking in odd places.  For example I found a cushion which had fallen into the gap behind the sofa…only when I picked it up it had been half chewed up. 

We’d been hearing this rat occasionally for a few days, heard it wander into the house through the attic space in fact, but hadn’t realised it had moved in.  Then on Friday we discovered that the little beggar had chewed its way through almost the entire contents of our kitchen food cupboard.  So the entire afternoon was taken up with rescuing what we could and putting it in tins, then thoroughly scrubbing the inside of the cupboard.  Nice way to spend my birthday! 

We tried traps, but it tripped them and ate the bait.  Our plan was to remove all sources of food and block up all of its holes and hope it would go away. 

Then this week we discovered that it has eaten away all the insulation surrounding the mains electricity cables where they come up through the floorboards under the stairs.  It looks like the cables themselves are intact (thank Heavens), but it’s still not a safe situation. 

In a bizarre twist, while searching for our home insurance documents, I stumbled across a leaflet from my bank, describing the home emergency cover I have with my bank account.  Weirdly, they cover pest control, as well as wiring!  So the rat-man has been and hidden poison bait under the floorboards and now we wait. 

It feels like the house is unclean, but really, the rat wouldn’t be interested if that was the case.  I’m trying hard to believe that 😉

Anyway, I’ve been back at work for a week now, and it’s business as usual. 

In knitting news, I’ve finished Heather’s shawl, but I’ve got no photos as I haven’t blocked it yet…must get on and do that.  I have started a Mrs Christmas doll to send to my brother and his family in America, but again no photos, as there isn’t really much to see yet. 

What I do have pictures of are my birthday presents:

That’s some pretty blue sock wool, and a mini-skein of laceweight, both from the Knitting Goddess.  I bought the laceweight with the intention of trying it as the border of my cobweb shawl.  Sue from Knitting in the Library very kindly brought me in some yarn she had, but it is a much heavier weight and much rougher, and after trying it I’ve decided it isn’t quite what I want.  I’m very grateful though, it was a lovely thought.  This laceweight from the Knitting Goddess is slightly heavier than the cobweb stuff, but not by much, and the brown matches some of the shades in the main shawl really well.  I’ll give it a try, anyway. 

This selection is from Violet Green, whose yarns I always love.  The undyed laceweight is to knit a beautiful stole I have been looking at in a book my Mum bought for my birthday (Best of Interweave Knits).  It’s complicated and delicate and would probably take a very long time.  But it’s lovely so I might just try it anyway.  The Cascade 220 is just because I can’t seem to help buying the stuff.  I now have 4 skeins, in 4 different colours and no particular plans for it. 

Aside form knitting, I’ve also been cross-stitching.  I’ve finished Daisy’s picture, it just needs framing:

I’m pleased with it.  Next I’m thinking of doing one for our niece, Amy. 

This afternoon we’re off shopping with Madison, our 7 year old niece, who gets to choose her own presents this year.  She’s excited…I’m…kind of…not so much! 

This week is looking straight-forward, until Friday when A sets out on his annual outing with his mates.  Then I get the weekend to myself, all of it!  I’ll thoroughly enjoy Friday evening and most of Saturday, then I’ll start missing him and looking forward to Sunday afternoon.

Hey Stewie!

November 7, 2009

I’ve had a Family Guy kind of a week, this week.  Firstly, on Monday I popped in to a supermarket on my way home for lunch and found the series 8 box set had just been released.  Randomly, this particular shop had just 2 copies left, from a huge display of them.  So I had to buy it.  Yes, we’re skint (again), and not making any unnecessary purchases, but Family Guy…come on, I had to! 

We’ve already watched the entire series. 

Secondly, A’s birthday present from my baby brother arrived, despite the postal strikes.  It’s a cushion:

Ha ha ha – hey Stewie!  A didn’t quite see the funny side at first, but now it is the cause of many jokes.  Mostly involving walking into the room to find someone else with the cushion in front of their face, quoting Stewie’s finest moments. 

To anyone who has never watched Family Guy, this probably doesn’t mean a great deal, but believe me, we’re laughing a lot.  Also, a lot of people who have watched Family Guy find it too offensive to be funny, but I like it anyway. 

Anyway, on to knitting news.  The shawl of doom is on hold.  I am too upset to pay it much attention just at the moment.  Suffice it to say, there wasn’t enough yarn to finish the border. 

I have instead started a new shawl, for A’s cousin.  It’s kind of a Thank You and a Happy Christmas in one, and she deserves it. 

The pattern is Heartland shawl, and the yarn is Artesano 4 ply alpaca.  It’s so soft and lovely.  The pattern is good, well written, but for some reason I keep getting rows confused and making mistakes.  Really stupid mistakes.  Maybe this isn’t a good television project.  I don’t get much knitting time that isn’t in front of the box though, so I’ll just keep going.  Between this and the shawl of doom, I have started to get really good at fixing mistakes in lace without tinking. 

I’ve also been plodding away at the cross-stitch Daisy picture, but no new photos as it doesn’t yet look all that different. 

I should probably give some thought to knitting something up to send to big bro and his family in America…I was planning on doing Mrs Christmas to match the Father Christmas I sent them last year.  I dunno though, might cross-stitch some decorations instead.  We’ll see.

And finally, some good news.  I’ve got the week off work!  For no reason!  I have hardly used any of my leave up this year, as I was focussed so hard on not taking time off sick and I forgot I could take leave.  So I have this week to do whatever I want.  Well, nearly.  I have no money for a start.  And between us we have 4 doctor and 2 dentist appointments.  And A has overtime for the first time in ages.  So I’ll probably just watch bad television, knit some, stitch some, take it easy. 

Of course I should do housework.  Yeah, right!

Photos, photos, photos

November 7, 2009

It has been another busy work week, so there isn’t really much news.  There has been knitting, and cross-stitch, although not much that is photo-worthy. 

The never-ending shawl is still in progress.  I’m half-way round the border though, so nearly there.  Unfortunately there really isn’t much yarn left and I’m hoping against hope that it will be just enough.  It’s still not good for photos…maybe when it’s blocking.  Although it did occur to me the other day, where on earth am I going to block something that big?! 

So, I took a photo of the cross-stitch picture that’s part-way done for Daisy (A’s cousin’s little girl):

While I was taking this picture, I decided I’d take some pictures of my ‘broidery book and share that too.  It’s simply a notebook of lined paper which I have used to record details of my cross-stitch creations over the last few years.  Actually, there are two of them now, and they look like this:

They are so pretty, and have lovely, good quality paper pages.  I even took a few pictures of the contents…starting with the first ever entry in the first book:

If you can make out the faint pencil writing, you’ll see it describes what the piece is, who for, the pattern source and details about materials and framing/finishing.  I also had to add the ‘By’ bit at the bottom, because A got interested so I taught him how to cross-stitch.  He was quite prolific for a while, so I started putting his stuff in the books too.  One year we made a whole stack of xmas cards between us (see below for photo).  The books don’t contain all of my cross-stitch work, not by any means.  I only started taking photos in 2005, but I’ve been stitching since I was 15!

Anyway, I took photos of a random selection of pages from the first book:

A cushion made for a nephew – now fought over by 3 nephews!

A Father’s Day card for my dad, the cross-stitch piece on the front forms a pouch, into which I tucked a couple of peppermint tea-bags.

A fairy for A’s Mum.  This one was huge, it used a dozen shades of blue cotton and several blending filaments in very similar shades.  It was really difficult and time-consuming, but worth it in the end. 

The aforementioned xmas cards.

Yes, I realise that taking photos of photos is a bit odd, but it gets across nicely the value of the ‘broidery books.  I love that I can look back through the pretty things I’ve made.  And it can be really useful, for example to check what birthday cards I’ve made someone previously. 

I have one final picture, but it isn’t a happy one. 

That is one of my amazingly warm alpaca bedsocks.  See the big hole where the heel has worn through?  I could have cried when I spotted it last night 😦 .  Still, they were made out of a soft yarn, not a sock yarn, and they have had a lot of wear.  The other one is also very thin, but not quite worn through.  I might attempt some kind of darning or something, or try to replace the heel if such a thing is possible.  Might as well, I can’t just throw them away. 

Still, it’s not all bad – as A pointed out, now I’ll have to buy more yarn for a new pair 🙂

Edit ot add – somehow I don’t seem to have published this last week, no idea how that happened, but here it is!