Happy Spring!


Well it’s a little late for ‘happy new year’  🙂
It’s been a while. Ok, a long while!

During 2009, I completed several pairs of socks, some of which I’ve mentioned here. Towards the end of the year, admittedly partly due to the minor sock obsesssion, I developed RSI in my left arm and the discomfort even now is to the point where I cannot grip sock needles properly or grasp/lift even light objects with that hand. Frustrating!

Only time and rest will heal the problem, leaving me to dream up more of my own patterns and write them out before trying them.

I also discoverered that as long as I’m careful, I can still do other crafts. So, I braved my first big DIY project. First? Well, I don’t count flat-pack furniture or putting beading round laminate flooring 🙂 I brandished jigsaws and drills inexpertly, mangled the pile of wood on the left below and produced the floor to ceiling shelves on the right. They may be uneven, but they’re sturdy!

DSC02116  DSC02160

Over the next months, when life doesn’t intervene, I’m hoping to talk more about knitting again. We’ll see. Right now, I’m off to correct several hundred broken links on a website then go home and clear up the sawdust storm…





I’ve been trying to install interwritePRS onto a usb stick for a mac. The first attempt’s still going half an hour later… And I’ve to do the same for use on a pc, and  get both variations to use the same data directory, and test on classroom pcs and train people  and write procedures and and and.

Ok, stress bunny moment over. Breathing deeply and thinking of the barbecue this weekend 🙂  Last time I was at my friend’s we were going to have a photo session and get pictures taken of all the socks I’ve made so far this year. The weather went and drowned that idea. So second attempt this Saturday.

Busy Busy Busy


And still not a lot of knitting.

The insurance company’s finally told the contractor they have the job, so I need to make notes about where I want elecrical sockets, arial points, switches and phone sockets put. Oh yes, and any extras I want done at the same time, because it’ll be cheaper to do all at once. All I do is have to pay for the parts and any top-up labour. Methinks I may break out Illustrator for doing some floor plans 😉

And I’m currently integrating/editing/rewriting reams of text on the rules page of the WTP – opinions welcome!

Summer’s gone

About, Gloves, Socks

The last couple of days have really felt autumnal – you know the feeling? Students starting to arrive back at university,  final course preparation (or training those who teach), the crisp scent of colder air and a feeling that you should really dig out those woollies you made earlier in the year.

These are a couple of things I finished some point in the summer – a pair of toe-up ‘Spring forward’ anklets with a dutch/square heel and a pair of mittens using the same stitch pattern. Both from the same ball of yarn 🙂

Spring Type
Spring forwardSpring forward

Housewise – weeellll, it’s officially dry… Personally, I ain’t convinced. The dehumidifiers had full tanks when they took em away this Monday, but supposedly the meter readings were alright. To be fair, the units didn’t beep lots or do the ‘off the scale’ continuous tone like they did at the start.
Now comes the ‘fun’ part of juggling contractors, insurers, allowing access to the house and oooh a 9 to 5 job where I have to be on site in term time.

Anyone know where I can find a time machine or an infinite source of valium?  😉

I may be distracted for a bit


This has not been a good week. I’ve been flooded out of my house. Currently I’m staying with a friend who’s been an absolute star.
Wednesday morning just gone, I was woken up by the police knocking on the door at 7am. They were telling folk in the area to get stuff upstairs if they could and then get out as quickly as possible. 15 mins later, I was wading through thigh high water to join the occupants of at least 8 other houses from the same street on dry ground. As we stood watching and the water level rose even further, people were forced to abandon their cars. The (ahem) ‘enlightened individual’ with the landrover had deliberately driven past the police vans which were trying to block access to the affected area, only to discover that their vehicle couldn’t cope with half a river up its exhaust pipe.

My friend came and rescued me from the police station where all the residents had been taken. Hugs from her and huge smiles cuddles and raspberries from her four year old daughter lightened the mood somewhat:)  She’s letting me stay til the house is declared dry and the electrics/gas have been certified safe.  The specialists are coming to set up the drying equipment tomorrow and the loss adjustors have already been.

Here’s hoping for no rain for at least a week, and the floors to be replaced quickly (and I’d like a pony).
Also, apologies all round if I end up doing things later than I said I would. I’m afraid my mind’s elsewhere just now.

Unexpected Allergies


I’ve been following the ‘why do people insist they’re allergic when’ thread on ravelry with some interest. It’s certainly enlightening seeing the various opinions talked through.

It’s fairly obvious on the thread and more generally that there can be confusion about what allergies are as opposed to ‘sensitivities’ or ‘intolerances’. The way it was explained to me recently by a hospital consultant, was that an intolerance causes an immediate reaction that subsides over time but an allergy is a reaction that builds up over time. I think that’s a gross over-simplification but I would need to read up a lot more before being sure.

Now for the irony. For years I’ve claimed allergy rather than intolerance to perfume/hairspray simply because the scent of most of them makes me start to sneeze or wheeze or occasionally feel extremely nauseous.  Recently, I had some patch tests done and it turns out that I _am_ allergic to a particular group of perfume chemicals that are used in pretty much every product on the market from perfume to shower gels, soaps, deodorants or washing powder and household products. Big big problem.

What’s more frustrating is the additional dye allergies that were discovered. I love purple, blue, black and all rich/bright tone colours. It turns out that I’m allergic to blue fabric dye, which is used commercially in some amount in all of these.  I’ve been advised to wear white/natural/light coloured animal/plant fibres.
The animal/plant fibre bit – no problem – I prefer them anyway. The colours? Sorry, but I refuse to wear them in public – not only do I hate pastels/pink with a passion only rivalled by my enthusiasm for knitting and sewing, but they do make me look like a washed out pregnant hippo. The best I’ll be able to do is order some  natural silk or cotton blend fabric and make undergarments – eugh! I though I’d left those things behind when I stopped living with my gran…

heh – sorry about the rant, but I’d just been shopping. Can you imagine how frustrating it is going down the shower gel & deodorant aisles in a chemist and finding nothing that you’re allowed to use?
I will be sensible and wear white/natural colour next to the skin – I’m not giving up my favourite colours for outerwear 🙂

Temporary Hiatus

About, Socks


I’ve been in the new place 3 nights now. The boxes are piled in every room, with their contents trying to make a bid for freedom. Slowly but surely I’m working my way through them all, unpacking, sorting and trying to make enough space to move. The spare room is still unpassable, with a mixture of tech, knitting and sewing paraphenalia stacked everywhere.

The picture above is the last photo I took of knitting in the old place. The socks have another 4 to 5 repeats to go on the leg before they are done. Gonna have to wait though.  Need to find them again before I can finish ’em!  🙂