Monday, 29 November 2010

Where have I been

I've totally neglected my blog and my life for a whole week. I started last Monday with a slight cold, nothing major, bit of a sore throat and a snuffle, I imagined I'd shake it off in a few days. On Thursday I popped out for a bit of provision shopping and got chilled to the marrow scraping ice off the car, I've barely been warm since. That evening I wore 3 wool jumpers, my pashmina and covered myself in a blanket, still cold, and my health deteriorated rapidly. I lost my appetite, OK not necessarily bad thing that I can no longer drink tea, coffee or wine, had no energy, coughed, spluttered. I won't go on about it all save to say that I haven't felt like doing anything apart from flick through a magazine or two, sip hot blackcurrant cordial and moan, Mr FF said it was worse than a bad attack of man flu.
So I haven't visited many blogs and done precious little knitting, which is a pity as I was enjoying producing these.
My first pair of knee socks, a Christmas order that I was a bit concerned about on several fronts. Firstly Julie, my customer, selected a Opal yarn from my stash but I wondered if 100g would be enough for a pair of ladies knee socks. I spoke to Christine at A Fine Yarn in Darlington both to get her advice and also ask if she had any of the wool in stock just in case. She said I probably would need more but that it was no longer produced. However Christine did have the brilliant idea of looking on Ravelry to see if anyone had it in their stash and sure enough they did. I contacted two knitters who had the yarn, both replied and I bought 6 balls from Nic at at a very reasonable price. Just as well because one sock took about 56 g. Secondly though I used my standard sock pattern for the lower part I knew I'd need more stitches at the cuff and I wasn't sure how to tackle the leg shaping. Reading various patterns I devised a back decrease either side of two constant stitches so that the shaping is central on the heel, it seems to have worked well.The second sock would be finished if I hadn't been struck down, but I am on the mend now, I should be back on the caffeine and alcohol very soon unless I consider this a pre Christmas detox and stick to fruit juice a big longer.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Last shopping day before Christmas

Today saw my last stall this year at our village market, which was a couple of hours longer than the usual morning event. Like most of the traders there I hoped people would be doing lots of Christmas shopping and besides the usual range of socks I'd topped up my stock of fingerless gloves and scarves with this in mind. My friend Ann joined me on the stall with the recycled accessories her daughter makes, brooches, bags etc from vintage fabrics and felted jumpers.
I always find it quite difficult to display my knitting attractively and to a certain extent it's pointless as people constantly pick up and feel the items. In fact today one little girl got quite excited sniffing the wool, which I totally appreciated. Another good day of sales, I took just under £100 with another £20 of orders to make before Christmas. I spent almost as much as I took, buying some pretty jewellery, the Swarovski crystals and pearls as a gift, the turquoise and onyx I might be a bit reluctant to give away. I also got some handmade toiletries, some lovely prints, this is crab apples and fly agaric fungi, a silk bag and some charity cards. It's really nice to support your fellow crafters, shop locally and tick a few items off the Christmas list. Now I'm exhausted, far too tired to start knitting orders. There is talk that the market won't run next year because of lack of local support which would be such a shame as it's a great community get together as well as an environmental thing to do. Besides, I've still got socks left and sod's law the scarf I worked late last night finishing didn't sell.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Be careful what you wish for

I mentioned yesterday that I wouldn't mind a bit of rain to check out my new mac, this is what we woke to this morning.
I thought it was thawing, now I'm not so sure.
Oh dear, when cosmic ordering goes wrong.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Shopping, of the recycling kind

Out for provisions this week I also popped into the local charity shop, I always buy, read and return their books, I picked up a couple more I couldn't resist a bit more pressed glass, this pretty sugar and cream set came complete with a little tray all for £1.75. But my star buy was this for £19.99Fair enough a reasonable mac you might say but look inside its vintage
It needs a good press, the belt is missing, I'd never use it anyway, likewise it probably had a hood at one stage but it has more fastening arrangements that I will ever need and a nice swingy back with a button tab. What a happy girl I am, hoping it might rain a bit this weekend but only on me I don't want to dampen your fun.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Time for a rant

After my exhausting social spree I am back to being myself which is obvious as I'm ranting.
Last week Mr FF attended a conference on UK Renewables, on and off shore wind systems, wave and tidal energy. I am not a huge fan of the wind farms dotted around our hills, Scotland has the largest in the UK, and looking at the infrastructure involved to construct these places I do wonder if they are sustainable. But I try to be a green person and keep an open mind so I was interested to hear about the conference.
Mr FF came home with a goody bag of glossy brochures and various corporate gifts. OK pens I can accept as useful but I feel the calendar proclaiming a greener tomorrow (though not stating that it was printed on recyclable paper) has limited appeal.
I don't think I'd want to spend a month looking at any of these photographs. But what really got me cross was this
a foam rubber model of a wind turbine. Now tell me what possible use this has apart from landfill that was probably imported from the other side of the world. A conference that proclaims the benefits of renewable energy and pays no heed to sustainability makes me think the whole event was a big business jamboree. You and I can keep sorting our recyclable products, composting our waste, saving energy but until the big guys take on board the needs of the environment rather than their own profit margins we will never save the world. When I was working I tried to get my office to use recycled paper but they didn't like it any more than they cared about the environment. And they couldn't stop using the ghastly coffee machine that produced more plastic waste than it did drinkable beverages. . Just don't get me started on the number of Christmas gift brochures included with this weekend's papers that all went straight into the recycle bin.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Feeling my age

I don't mind growing old, generally I like to model myself on a combination of Dame Edna Everage and Tina Turner but its my birthday today and I am really feeling those 62 years. Actually I've probably been out and about too much, since Wednesday I've been to Edinburgh, to visit my family in Yorkshire, to York, to Glasgow for a dinner dance and had a tour round Loch Lomond. I've spent an awful lot of time travelling and not enough time with the people I care about. I did catch up with my great niece Amelia for a few hours. It was her first birthday recently and wisely she celebrated with two cakes, one made by her Mum and this one from her nursery. Amelia is absolutely adorable, I wish I could have stayed with her longer.
Today I'm taking it easy at home, the stove if lit and knitting is calling, I have nothing planned this week until a girlie lunch on Thursday, hopefully I shall be feeling a bit younger by then.