Friday, 9 November 2018

Long Time No Post

It's been a very long time since I posted and an awful lot has happened (much of it awful) but now is time to take control of the things I can control and move forward.

I am as I write still technically homeless although I have a wonderful friend who allows me to live in her house while I wait for an almshouse. We had hoped I would be lucky recently as I was in the last 3 for 2 properties but it didn't happen. Gutted does not describe how I feel.

I am still managing the local foodbank which is sadly doing extremely well having fed over 1100 people since April and recently moved to new much larger premises.

My current plan is to make and sell felt broaches and key rings both of standard flower and leaves and steampunk style with gothic decaying felt flowers and with cogs felted in. A small selection are below with more to follow when I have finished my other project....

The other project being a regency outfit for a party in a weeks time. The chemise, petticoat, blue stockings and shoes are ready. I have a cane so I won't need my wheelchair or anachronous crutches and am nearly at the end of stitching a period corset. However, there is insufficient time to make a gown so I have a clever cheat in mind - I bought the sari to make the gown and my character is Anglo-Indian so I have made a pair of sleeves to attach to the corset and will wear the sari as it was designed to be worn. I just hope I get away with it. Pictures when finished/worn!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Red Bags and Red Rags

Today I have been finishing the red bag I designed to show of the yarn a friend had spun for me and writing up the pattern and I would have finished the latter if I could remember how to put a border into a Page Plus document and colour it the way I want. Am now too tired to try again and I have to get up in the morning so am not going to look at it again till tomorrow. Here is a rather bad picture of the bag to be going on with.

I have also been seeing red over the subject of a certain publishing company much talked about at present in knitting circles. This company once published quite a good knitting magazine but was hopelessly badly managed in financial terms by the owner. Heavily in debt they offered a sock club with patterns and indy dyed yarn at £96 for 6 bi-monthly installments but despite this large injection of cash still opted to put themselves into voluntary liquidation when an unpaid bill owner took out a CCJ against them and won. Thus walking away scot free from over £230,000 of declared unpaid debts. Then the owner's husband set up another publishing company, paid a pittance for the 'good will' of the first company and started the whole sorry saga again. Sadly this is 'just' legal in the UK.

Now I got burnt by the sock club but not by much - none of the patterns matched the yarns, the final yarn was commercial not indy dyed and the last pattern still hasn't materialised, but others suffered loss of livelihood and far more unpleasant consequences. Now the owner of the first company - who is running the new company in all but name (legal niceties and all that) is blaming the defrauded and unpaid for her situation, calling them names, claiming they are bullying her and tweeting about them from her now blocked Twitter account. This makes me see red and especailly when other people side with her and say those of us complaining are being unfair, vicious and/or mean.

Having got that off my chest I shall go to bed and leave any readers that I might have to decided for themselves which side to sit on.

P.S. I made it all the way through Lent without buying yarn and celebrated yesterday with 4 skeins from Nimu Yarns  that I am assured are already on their way to me - excellent customer service is the usual in the knitting world making the situation described about even more indefensible in my opinion.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Better late than never - catch up

Its been rather a long time since I posted but I am taking the plunge and trying to get into a better posting habit.

It has been a very mixed start to the year work wise and least said soonest mended about that. I have however been knitting and sewing (but I forgot to photograph the sewing before sending it off in a swap)and designing. I am quite pleased with the 2 finished socks:

The first one I have called Egg Boxed and it has been written and charted and is in the hands of 2 wonderful test knitters as I write. 

 This second patterns is called Chiltern Beeches and is being written and charted at the moment before other wonderful test knitters are lined up to try it out.
 I have also been very brave and to date have not bought any yarn during Lent - not even for the swap I have been involved with - a fact of which I am inordinately proud (although I don't seem to be any richer!).

Monday, 12 September 2011


Hmm difficult one to spell that!

Not a very exciting Making Monday today but its Carrot and Coriander on the menu for a while now as I have made rather more soup than I intended. I have therefore frozen two portions already and will freeze more when I find the pots (and their lids)to do so. In the meantime it rests in the fridge.

Since I last blogged I have been to archery a few times (and actually shot once or twice too) including the Thursday when the Chiltern Air Ambulance arrived in the field with no warning. Its not that as Archers we object to sharing the field very occasionally with the Air Ambulance, it is the nearest sensible place for it to land for Stoke Mandeville Hospital and we all fully support it but....we need a bit of warning to get the bosses laid down before they get blown over by the downdraft and when they are 50 yards away and looking like hedgehogs there is a bit of work to do before they can be taken off the stands. Well actually all I can do is watch while others run, pull out the arrows and get the bosses down - wheelchairs don't work very well on grass. The usual practise is for the road ambulance to arrive giving us warning to get the prep work done before the helicopter appears but this time the chopper arrived first causing a flurry of activity and we (well they) just got the job done before it landed.

I have also worked out how to protect my dodgy leg while swimming from the accidental kicks and knocks I have been advised to avoid but always fall prey too while swimming in public pools. The reason for the worry is that below the knee my right leg takes months to heal from the tiniest bruise, cut, scrape or insect bite and the medicos aren't sure why - all suggestion gratefully received. Anyway it occurred to me that one of the detachable sleeves from my wetsuit might fit my leg like a toeless sock and being reasonably thick neoprene might act as a good safety barrier. I tried one in the privacy of home, found it fitted and have now used it twice the first time to swim 12 lengths and the second to swim 16. Start small and work up hopefully - and the first time I also succeeded in teaching my son to swim as well. Leading to another melancholy reflection - how come I spent a considerable sum of money on swimming lessons for both my daughter and my son but ended up teaching them to swim myself?

Monday, 29 August 2011

Home, Work and Knitting

Well I had a lovely time in Devon only marred by a bout of back ache and the nagging feeling from the start that I would have to come home again. Then when I got home that back ache got slightly better so I had to return to work on the due date leading to an increased feeling of depression - I will have to do something about a) getting a new job and b) moving to Devon.

Of course I haven't mentioned that my daughter was home from Belfast as well as we had a lovely time together catching up, inventing a new version of the Arthur story (having both been so annoyed by the last one 'Camelot' on Channel 4), donating her beloved Meg (from Meg and Mog) to the Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle and generally having a good time. All of which I failed to get a picture of.

While in Devon I decided that it would be a good time to put right my Madelinetosh Peacock Shawl which actually meant when I looked at it properly I had to frogged it completely and start again but now I have got to Chart G so further than before and without any mistakes (left in the work anyway!).

Then I discovered the Beehive Quilt and have become addicted although as an patchworker I will of course have to put it together in an organised design!

Along way to go but hopefully one day a finished quilt.

In the meantime I have to sort out washing, washing up, archery and tonights dinner not necessarily in that order.

Thursday, 11 August 2011


I am going to Devon today but before I leave I need to wake the children, pack, find the pattern for the peacock shawl, find the key to the suitcase pockets, make a batch of cakes then ice them and get my act together.

It seems the last one is actually the hardest - witness writing this rather than doing anything......

Oh and I woke up convinced it was Sunday which is weird as I knew I was travelling on Friday.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


Hmm time to get serious?

The situation in London and other parts of the UK is horrifying and as yet I have seen no sign of real leadership from those in charge. Of course we can all say that and then either suggest draconian measures or that it is the fault everything from the cuts to the welfare state but none of that really helps. The most positive thing I've seen is the willingness of ordinary people to join in Riot Clean Up and Riot Womble groups; although this will be hijacked very soon I suspect by the 'Big Society' camp as proof they have started something that was innate in society anyway. Go Wombles!

Cynicism aside what comes to my mind though is the British tendency to feel completely superior every time another country suffers from civil disorder (think France or Greece recently) and state so categorically that 'it could never happen here' has been rocked to the core. There is such a fine line between civilisation and 'the law of the jungle' that everyone would do better to remember it including those in power and make sure it tempers all our actions.

Pontificating over now to do washing for holiday, tidy house before daughter arrives this evening (from nice safe Belfast!) and find the key to the second padlock on my suitcase mislaid after Knit Nation (not the one where my goods where stashed of course) .............