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December 7th, 2008

06:11 pm - Radio 7
is my nightime companion. I've been listening to Alan Garner's The Owl Service. This morning, [info]bogwitch posted about her un-nerving experience with owl-stalkers, which reminded me of the book and [info]gillo, a fellow Eng. Lit. teacher. I realise I'd missed [info]gillo's birthday yesterday, so this post is to send belated birthday greetings for renewed energy and contentment to her.

For [info]gillo and [info]bogwitch (and anyone who wants to use them) I offer 12 owl icons


12 owl icons )

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November 18th, 2008

09:28 am - Another gift finished
just in time for The Nephew to take it home for his lovely Cambodian wife.

A Tam O Shanter (beret) in very Posh Yarn - Posh Beret

The Nephew is over here to take some accounting exams in Cambridge tomorrow. He couldn't resist modelling the beret - Beret man

and a cowl in matching yarn (the flash made it look very much lighter) - Cowl

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September 20th, 2008

09:01 pm - Autumn colours

season of mists and mellow fruitfulness )
All may be used as bases.

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September 14th, 2008

11:47 am - Another project finished
I'm finding the news so depressing that I've locked myself away for a while and done some serious knitting.

The result - an afgan planned for MWNN's birthday has ended up on the bed in my study.

waves afgan

MWNN doesn't like the colours. He wants something more cheerful. Cheerful yarn was ordered and is due for delivery on Monday. I'm going to have to knit like a mad knitting thing to get the next one finished in time.

I hope all my IJ friends are safe from the ravages of Hurricane Ike, and safely back home if affected by the Channel Tunnel or XL problems.

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September 6th, 2008

08:49 pm - Earn £1 for charity
in 20 minutes.



That's all it took to knit these two hats (including the pompoms) for the Innocent Smoothie campaign.

Any knitters out there? Put your bits of DK yarn to good use this year and knit some Innocent Hats.

innocent drinks : all about us

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August 3rd, 2008

06:03 pm - One Posh skein of glorious blue sky
arrived on Wednesday.

Today, it's this -

blue sky shawl 4

more images under the cut )

Now I'm all ready to cast on for a little chunky Shawl Relay and fiddly WIP Wrestling in the Ravelympics next week.

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July 18th, 2008

06:12 pm - We're getting there
We're walking Ronnie with the neighbours' Chihuahua, Bobby, in the hope that Bobby will overcome his fear of other dogs. He's much more relaxed on the Common now, and will walk at my heel, providing Ronnie is a few yards ahead. He also gets quite excited when Ron does the 'wall of death' running in circles at the end of his expanding lead. Bobby has recognised that this might be a fun game and has started to run along at the end of his shorter lead, though he still makes a dash for the shelter of MWNN's legs if Ron tries to play chase.

Bobby is quite large for a Chihuahua - he's almost the same size as Ron. Ronnie is quite the star when walking with Bobby and seems to know that he's to wait until Bobby makes the first move towards interaction.

I took some pictures yesterday, on the Common and in the car at the supermarket. Bobby travels First Class on my lap, while Ron rides steerage in the crate in the rear.

Bobby 3

cut for more pics )

ETA Took more pictures today, including this one of S, Ronnie and Bobby.
Untitled 4

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July 9th, 2008

04:08 pm - Terrier week of bed-rest update.
The week is almost up and the limp is nowhere to be seen. Whether that's due to the medication or the rest, we shall see when the pills run out.

We didn't have to use the crate much during the day at all. Thank goodness it's been very wet for the past few days and Ron hates the rain. MWNN taught him a new game of 'find the toy' (incorporating a 'stay' in another room while the toy is hidden) which kept him very occupied without any bouncing off the walls. He's proven himself to be a potential recruit for the on-board in-flight sniffer dogs' team.

Here's a few photos of him not wanting to go out and play in the garden, the rain being torrential all day today.

Ronnie July 9th

more under the cut )

Meanwhile, I've been doing a lot of knitting and have finished a new cushion cover, using less than one skein of Homespun. The colour, Ranch, has a lot more brown and less gold than on the Lion Brand Website, so I'm pleased that there was only one skein in stock.

buttoned cushion )

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April 3rd, 2008

01:13 pm - Ha!
Knitting isn't just for grandma.

But then you all knew that, didn't you?

Other news

  • My copy of Small Favour arrived this morning. Thanks to [info]spikereader for the headsup about the pre-order on Amazon being the US edition.
  • I have finished another wooly hat, this time in Meadow, for [info]spikereader and will be posting it off, together with a little something for [info]jennylyle's birthday, and [info]myfeetshowit - just because....

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March 31st, 2008

04:25 pm - I was tempted
on Sunday evening, and bought some more Posh Yarn.

cut for images )

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March 26th, 2008

02:11 pm - Third Time Lucky -Yay!
Finally cracked the gauge.

Knitted this one on 5.5mm with 52 stitches of Lion Brand Homespun, using a combination of two patterns from the Lion Brand site.

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March 25th, 2008

08:35 pm - Easter Weekend
was the most relaxing Easter we've had in a long time. The Daughter visited and much knitting was done. I completed
  • a knitting bag - in Homespun Harvest - no image yet, it needs lining.
  • two basic hats - in Homespun 'Harvest'; one is gi-normous, the other is g-huge. I have yet to work out how to knit this pattern to the correct size.
  • a tea cosy - in Rupert Bear colours.

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March 17th, 2008

07:55 pm - Started a new project
as a trial run, using Louisa Harding's Impressions, as preparatopn for using some of the Posh Yarn that is safely locked away in my cupboard until I'm well enough to wind it safely.
Party Lacy Scarf )
We're still without a working oven, Chez Hesadevil, so at least one day of the Easter weekend will be spent eating out. Oh dear. What a shame. Never mind.

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March 14th, 2008

11:11 am - Match it for Pratchett
On[info]gillo's LJ, I came across details of a fandom campaign to match Terry's donation of a million dollars with contributions from his fans.

"It's not much, but if we all give a couple of quid or a few dollars, it could start to make a difference. High end brain chemistry research is not cheap. If you've ever laughed out loud at Rincewind or adored Granny Weatherwax, how about chipping in? Say, the cost of a Discworld paperback.

It's not very official yet, though I rather think it's going to gather momentum. At present you have to go to the Alzheimer's Research Trust website and click on the Donate button. Once you have put in all the details, there's a box in which you can add a comment - perhaps that it's in honour of Terry from a fan.

Gill made a button to link to the site. Feel free to snaffle it, adjust it, make your own version. No credit needed - but please, if you can manage even a pound or a dollar, think about giving?

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March 12th, 2008

02:48 pm - warning picspam ahead. Scotland and knitting
was nice, in that I got to
  • do a little shopping,

    in Gretna )

    and Moffat )

    and Dumfries" )

  • a little fresh air and exercise along the
    Solway Firth )

  • helped MWNN track down the final resting place of
    some ancestors )

  • and to meet some 'live' distant cousins from the
    Elliot clan )

  • enjoyed a lot of rest and relaxation in a fabulous farm cottage where I finally finished the first tea cosy I’ve made in over 40 years.

    It'sa BIG tea cosy )

    It fits the big 6-mug teapot that always comes out at luchtimes Chez Hesadevil and is especially needed now that I've passed the cold from hell to MWNN. I am pleased with how this turned out and how easy it was to knit. I used a strand of each colour together throughout. I even remembered the burgundy colour perfectly when buying ribbon in Annan, having forgotten to take some yarn with me to the shop.

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February 21st, 2008

01:55 pm - Pretty, pretty things come in threes
Last night, I woke twice needing the loo. The first time was about 3am. I checked the sky and, despite the cloud, the beginning of the lunar eclipse was clearly visible. Over an hour later, I got up again and checked the sky. There was total cloud cover and I went to the loo thinking my first glimpse was the only one I'd get. On my way back to bed, the clouds parted revealing the final phase of the eclipse. Pretty, hazy moon but no stars.

This morning I went over to a pretty village called Walkern for a Knit and Chat at Jolie's. I spent way too much on new yarn, including cut for images )

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February 19th, 2008

01:09 pm - Yesterday I did a spot of babysitting
Bobby is a 4 month old chihuahua belonging to next-door neighbour's eldest daughter. He needs visiting at lunchtime, but yesterday the neighbours were at the hospital. So I volunteered to babysit. He's wriggly and gives lovely kisses and cuddles.

Puppy picspam )

He's so cute, like a little kitten rather than a dog. Loony GSD is still not speaking to me. She knew where I'd been.

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February 18th, 2008

11:50 am - Just for me - tea in the conservatory all snuggly and warm
My headcold has given me a migraine, so I decided to keep the shawl I just finished. It's so cuddly and comforting and I loves it.
cut for large image )

In other news, I have been asked to look after next door's puppy while the neighbour's husband is in hospital having tests. All that is required is that I give Bobby his lunch and let him into the garden afterwards. I may have to do this for about a week or so as the hospital tests are to be followed by an operation.


There will be picspam!

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February 17th, 2008

11:18 pm - Daily post
The lamb casserole was magnificent. Why did I ignore my desire for a slow cooker for so many decades?

Plus - I can haz
Magnum Ecuador Dark
for desert with my coffee.

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February 16th, 2008

05:46 pm - Today is Sunny Saturday
but very cold,

so I can haz tea and crumpets in the conservatory,

while the smell of lamb casserole in the slow cooker has been driving me to drool for the past 4 hours.

Two new books arrived from Amazon today; Georgette Heyer's Regency World, and The Foundling I ordered them after <lj user="gillo"'s visit when I learned that Georgette Heyer set some of her books in this and a neighbouring town.

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February 15th, 2008

05:52 pm - Today I be mainly tired
so apologies for not commenting on your journal or checking who has commented on mine (LJ isn't notifying me at the moment).

  • I missed Ashes to Ashes last night because I forgot it was on and got back from the knitting group when it was half-way through. I shall have to watch it on 'catch-up TV' if I can persuade the digibox to co-operate. It's displaying 'programme details unavailable' on all channels at the moment.

  • I ripped out 48 inches of the shawl I'm knitting for myself and started again, because stocking stitch does not work IMO.

  • I took my sore eye to show the pharmacist when I picked up my meds this morning. She sold me some eye cream that makes the eye a bit blurry - and it's still sore.

  • I drove MWNN to the airport this morning as he is needed in Dublin as there is yet another Irish-outlaws' crisis.

  • I sent the Monet shawl that was destined for The Daughter to Ireland with MWNN. Now I have to decide what sort, if any, to knit as a replacement.

  • I shopped for the weekend in Sainsbury's and bought a Morphy Richards slow cooker for £20 (33% off normal price). It'll do for casseroles and pot roasts until the gas oven is repaired or replaced.

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February 14th, 2008

01:05 pm - Today
is Valentine's Day when, contrary to the media hype and sentimentality, it's all about showing love for others.

I'm knitting a series of comfort shawls for family and have just finished my third. This one is for the younger Irish sis-in-law.

The views from the front and back of a triangular shawl knitted in Elle Monet, shade Van Gogh.

Click through pictures for larger image (opens in new window)

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February 13th, 2008

11:29 am - 2008
The year of the rat, and [info]totkat had her camera out at the Chinese New Year parade in London last weekend.

Chinese New Year icons )

All icons are shareable. Please credit to [info]totkat for the bases.

Bonus for [info]paratti

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February 9th, 2008

01:13 pm - Aaargh!
Yesterday evening, I finished knitting a new project using circular needles, which I have never used before. It's virtually impossible to see how a pattern is progressing because all the knitting is scrunched into a sleeve shape until it's cast off the needles.

It was a miserable, mis-shapen, mess. I don't understand it. I followed the pattern faithfully, unpicked rows and rows when my knitting while chatting, like my driving, went onto autopilot and I forgot to perl. (NB No it wasn't your fault, Gill, the pattern didn't work after the first 5 inches.)

There's only one thing for it - I'm ripping it all out and starting again on an easier pattern on straight needles. But I need a pair of size 9s and the largest I have is an 8. I also need a crochet hook to attach the fringing.


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February 5th, 2008

03:54 pm - Not sleeping well
at the moment. My head cold is proving difficult to shift and is triggering my asthma at night. So I've just had an afternoon nap as I'm going to the Mexico evening at the Women's Register group this evening.

Now it's almost tea-time and MWNN is making pancakes, it being Shrove Tuesday. What's the tradition for today in your part of the world?

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February 4th, 2008

03:01 pm - The theme
for tomorrow's women's group meeting is Mexico, where the original recipe for hot chocolate is to be found. It is also Shrove Tuesday (Mardis Gras), and some group members will be giving things up for Lent. So I am taking some chocolate and a recipe along to the meeting.

Angelina’s Hot Chocolate

The Angelina Cafe in Paris, open since 1903, serves a thick hot chocolate version in demitasse cups with a tiny dollop of mascarpone and whipped cream. They are famous for making hot chocolate from melted chocolate bars. It is incredibly easy to prepare by mixing chocolate shavings with hot water. You can serve it in small cups or in 17th-century style chocolate pots and demitasse cups such as those sold in gourmet shops.
Angelina's Hot Chocolate Recipe )

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February 3rd, 2008

12:10 pm - Today is

Yorkshire Pudding Day

I have a rib of Aberdeen Angus beef for roasting, but I quite fancy Toad in the Hole
recipe )

That is all.

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February 2nd, 2008

03:44 pm - Another fine lunch
After the dog walk yesterday, we had lunch at The Zeus Restaurant. It's years since I've eaten there and things have changed a lot. There's more dining room and the place is light and airy compared to the dark, pokey dive of 10 years ago. The one thing that hasn't changed is the excellent food.

The reason for choosing the Zeus was because it's in the same town as the 'Wool-n-Things' shop. MWNN is so pleased with his shawl, he's commissioned two more pieces

  • a throw for his computer chair with a pocket for a back support cushion.
  • a cotton yamulke, or a short beanie to cover his bald spot.

'Wool-n-Things' didn't have any yarn that he liked for the throw but they did have some neutral cotton for the hat.

Finally, today is [info]mary5958's birthday.

For [info]bendy1 - just because.

And for [info]gillo - , it really does help.

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January 31st, 2008

04:12 pm - As promised
- a picture of the finished shawl for MWNN. He specified no fringe so it's longer than the pattern's 60 inches by about a foot.

Huge thanks to [info]petzipellepingo and [info]kathyh for help with sourcing more Homespun yarn. There's a shipment on its way from e-bay in the US that's working out slightly cheaper than my UK supplier and they have more colours.

Tonight is my first night at the local knitting group KTOG where I shall take my problem of piecing my blankie together and start knitting a tea cosy.

In other news, I enjoyed Torchwood last night. Three episodes in and I'm still watching is a great improvement over last season.

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January 30th, 2008

08:18 pm - Another lunch date
This time with the women's group at The Place.

I mentioned that I was going to reccie the knitting group in the next town and was informed that a knitting supplies shop - Wool-n-Things had opened at the same time the group had been formed. On the way back from the knitting group's meeting place, I dropped in to the shop and bought some extremely cheap (and quite loverly) yarn for the next project I'm knitting while watching tonight's episode of Torchwood and the first episode of Ashes to Ashes.

For knitters on my Flist in the US or Canada - a plea. Would anyone be willing to look into the possibility of getting me some Lion Brand Homespun (shade - Meadow - tweed) yarn? The UK supplier I used for MWNN's yarn has run out of Meadow and won't be ordering until March. I tried to order myself some from Lion Brand's website, but they don't seem to deliver outside America. I could send however much it would cost to post 4 skeins to me through paypal.

MWNN's shawl is finished - photos to follow.

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January 29th, 2008

04:35 pm - Tai Chi
is on the agenda at tonight's women's group meeting.

And I agreed to give a short demonstration and presentation.

Today was not the day to discover that my printer has started eating paper when given the instruction to print more than one page at a time. I need to go and do all three components of the handout I'd prepared before I take a sledghammer to the dratted machine:

  • Deep breathing.
  • Meditation.
  • Flowing Movement.

ETA I just had a haircut so am feeling much better about coaxing the printer by printing one copy at a time.

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January 28th, 2008

01:00 pm - Baker's dozen
All this knitting has given my creative mojo a serious kick-start.

I made 13 icons all using the wonderful photographs of [info]totkat as bases.

gallimaufry )

All are shareable. Please credit bases to [info]totkat

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January 27th, 2008

06:19 pm - Today was another bright day
and I have knitted the first 20 inches of the shawl I'm doing for MWNN.

I'm really pleased at the way it is progressing because I have used exactly one skein of yarn. The pattern calls for 3 skeins and the finished length is 60 inches. Bang on target. I do love the chunky yarn (95% acrylic, 5%polyester). It is exactly as described with a silky soft feel. It's very chunky, knits up fast and is quite heavy compared to the double knit I'm using on the throw.

Dinner tonight is goose with roast spuds. I've never cooked goose before so am making a start with just a breast that says it needs just 50 - 60 mins. We shall see.

For those of you who enjoyed and/or tried my chicken recipe, here is one of my favourites for this time of year. Warning It requires at least 2 hours preparation time because there is marinading involved. The recipe itself requires fairly frequent intervention so this is not one for fledgling cooks. It's well worth the effort though and should freeze well if you leave out the lemon juice before freezing.

As far as I know, this is an old South African dish that made its way to the US. It came to me via an old school friend who lived for many years in France.

Winter Pork and Fruit Ragout )

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January 26th, 2008

07:39 pm - Surprise lunch date
The Icknield Way runs very close to the border between Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. While walking the dog, this morning, that I remembered the last craft shop in the area that might supply me with different sizes of knitting needles and a row counter is in the village across the county border.

We arrived at the shop at 12.30. Being a locally run small independent trader, it was closed for lunch until 2pm, so we pointed the car at the nearest hostelry offering food. . Click through the picture for the fascinating history of the pub being run by the descendant of Robert Smith, who sold it to the local brewery in 1804.

The Chequers provided a huge lunch of steak and ale pudding for me and scampi and chips for MWNN. As we waited for the food, I read the history of the building from the beam above the double doors leading from the original bar into the 1930s 'adjacent building' that is now the restaurant. By the time I'd finished, our plates had arrived.

Neither of us could finish the large portion of chips served with the main course and, though I'd eyed the pudding menu eagerly, there was no room for either the apple pie or fruit crumble that was so tempting before lunch began. MWNN washed his meal down with a pint of Old Speckled Hen and I had grapefruit and tonic. We both needed a nap afterwards but there was shopping to be done; knitting supplies from the craft shop run by a Granny Weatherwax look-alike and milk, fruit and eggs from the Co-Op.

What should have been an hour's dog walk became a quite wonderful 3-hour outing and the 'nap' was much much longer than the usual 30 minutes.

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January 25th, 2008

11:28 am - The Brighter side of life
arrived this morning in the form of

  • That bright yellow shiny thing in the sky that we haven't seen much of this winter - I think it's called the sun.
  • Legs of Man chocolates from [info]curiouswombat - not a broken one in the box. What a lovely surprise. Bless you for being so thoughtful!
  • The Illustrated Still Glides the Stream by Flora Thompson, from a bookseller in Leamington Spa.
  • The birthday of a gentle American lady - [info]slaymesoftly

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January 24th, 2008

04:05 pm - Let your Google do the walking.
or why I love the Interweb

I found a lovely easy pattern for a shawl in a wonderful yarn that I was sure I'd not be able to source in the UK. So I googled for knitting supplies and found a Knit Together Group in the nearby town of Baldock. They meet every couple of weeks in the Community centre. Their webpage has a link to the UK supplier of the yarn I need. What's more, they're in the same county and are already shipping 4 skeins of Homespun
Barrington to me. No way would I have found it in any of the local shops (most of which no longer sell knitting yarn) or through the Yellow Pages.

Now to find the time to finish the throw I'm knitting and start the shawl.

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January 23rd, 2008

11:16 am - [info]bogwitch


January 22nd, 2008

11:33 am - icons of contemplation
I missed Tai Chi Sword yesterday because of lack of sleep on Sunday night. I'm all caught up on my rest and looking forward to a relaxing day today after the housework is done.

message on a pebble )

All are shareable.

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January 21st, 2008

03:43 pm - [info]fredsmith

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January 20th, 2008

01:08 pm - Taking time out of a
lazy Sunday breakfast in bed recovering from a hangover, to wish [info]orchid_slayer

a very

I hope you're taking a back seat for once and allowing the family to spoil you rotten today,starting with

breakfast in bed )
As usual, all icons are shareable.

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